Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/05/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/05/2015


1. Tanker Businesses Targets of Cyber Crime

IT company Panda Security has released Operation Oil Tanker: The Phantom Menace, a report that details a malicious and largely unknown targeted attack on oil tankers. First discovered by Panda Security in January 2014, the ongoing attack on oil cargos began in August 2013 and is designed to steal information and credentials for defrauding oil brokers. Despite having been compromised by this cyber-attack, which Panda has dubbed “The Phantom Menace”, none of the dozens of affected companies have been willing to report the invasion and risk global attention for vulnerabilities in their IT security networks.




2. Seafarers Missing After Collision

Fourteen seafarers are today missing after a Bolivian-registered sand-carrier has capsized in Singapore waters. According to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Oceanline SC208 had 15 crew members on board at the time of the incident, before the barge sunk at 7.5 n miles northeast of Pedra Branca in Singaporean waters. Only one crew member, a Chinese national, was reportedly rescued by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, while the other 14 crew members comprising one Malaysian and 13 Chinese nationals are still unaccounted for.




3. Change at the top of Lloyd’s Register

Alastair Marsh, current CFO at the Lloyd’s Register Group Ltd. (LR), has been appointed as the successor to CEO Richard Sadler who has decided to step down at the end of 2015. Sadler will pass the CEO role to Marsh on October 1, 2015 and commence a formal handover period until the end of December 2015. Simon Nice, currently Group FP&A Director, will take up the role of Interim Group Financial Director during the transition. Following Sadler’s decision to step down as CEO, the LR board of directors conducted a six-month internal and external review of potential successors, unanimously agreeing on Alastair Marsh.




4. ITF Slams Australian Government

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has criticised moves by the conservative Australian government to deregulate its shipping industry and place at risk thousands of domestic jobs in the maritime sector. The changes would dismantle a comprehensive reform package delivered by the previous government three years ago that created a level playing field in domestic shipping. The 2012 package included support for Australian shipping companies, including tax breaks and training subsidies, as well as a requirement that foreign-flagged vessels pay Australian level wages when working domestic trade sectors.


5. Crew Member Murdered Onboard

A Filipino sailor was found dead Sunday evening on the containership MV Emvella when it reached dock at Malta Freeport.  According to local news reports, the man was found in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds on his body. Two kitchen knives were found next to the man’s corpse. The man was a Philippines citizen and worked in the ship’s galley. The MV Emvella is registered in Malta and had departed from Turkey before the incident took place. Police are currently investigating the crime and coroners are conducting an autopsy this week to further determine the circumstances of the man’s death.



6. Tankers Could Become Water Plants

Like many of the world’s resources, water is not distributed equally. Some parts of the world have all the clean water they need, while others are fighting a constant water shortage. Globally, there has been a growing focus on water access over the past decade. Two years ago, EnviroNor approached DNV GL with an innovative idea: could old oil tankers be repurposed into floating wastewater treatment plants?  The Changemaker was born. This is a vessel engineered to turn wastewater coming from the shore via pipelines into clean water, safe to use for irrigation and industry purposes.



7. Electric Ferry Enters Service

The world’s first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which corresponds to three days use of electricity in a standard Norwegian household. Built in conjunction with shipbuilder Fjellstrand, Siemens installed the complete electric propulsion system and put up charging stations with lithium-ion batteries which are charged from hydro power. With the change to battery, ship owner Norled is reducing the cost of fuel by up to 60 percent. The Norled ferry represents a milestone on the road to operating completely emission-free ferries.




8. Maersk Set to Massively Reduce Emission

World’s largest ocean container carrier Maersk Line plans to reduce CO2 emissions per container moved by 60% by 2020 compared to levels from 2007, according to the recently launched Maersk Line 2014 Sustainability Update.  With the launch of this new CO2 reduction target, Maersk Line is accelerating the effort to reduce its carbon footprint whilst growing the business. The impact of this new target is a sustained decoupling of economic growth from CO2 emissions. To achieve the target, average fleet CO2 performance will have to be below current E-class (15,500 TEU capacity) performance today.


9. Banks to Farm Out Ship Debts

German lender HSH Nordbank could split off a "bad bank" for non-performing shipping loans as part of a plan to create a sustainable business model, according to a person familiar with the matter. The city of Hamburg is willing to inject billions of euros in fresh equity to stabilise the bank, which is 85 percent owned by the regional states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. HSH’s bad shipping assets would be wound down under the plan, allowing a fresh start for the remaining bank with a focus on corporate lending, including new loans to the shipping industry.




10. World Maritime University Expands

Expanded premises for the World Maritime University (WMU) were inaugurated on Monday, May 19, 2015 in Malmö, Sweden, by IMO Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor Koji Sekimizu. WMU is an international educational institute for the maritime community, operating under the auspices of IMO. At close to 6,000m2, WMU’s new facility is nearly double the size of the previous Malmö campus. The new premises are centered on the refurbished historic Malmö Harbor Master’s Building, with additions designed by Danish architect Kim Utzon in collaboration with Australian architect Tyrone James Cobcroft of Cobcroft Architects.



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