Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/06/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/06/2015

1. ICS Annual General Meeting

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) held its Annual General Meeting in Rotterdam last week, at the kind invitation of the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners. The membership of ICS, which comprises national associations from 37 countries (including the newly admitted Russian Chamber of Shipping), reviewed a great number of important regulatory and policy developments affecting global maritime trade. These included many of the issues set out in the 2015 ICS Annual Review published in conjunction with the AGM.  In particular, ICS members focused on migrant rescue,  and United States Ballast Water problems.



2. Missing Tanker Thought to be Hidden

The Natuna and Anambas Islands off Indonesia are the best bet to find the missing oil tanker, MT Orkim Harmony, loaded with 7.5 million litres of RON95 fuel. "Based on the speed it was going, as of now it would be in Vietnam waters if it was going north. If it was going east, it would be in Kota Kinabalu waters this afternoon. "But until now, we have not been able to track the tanker in Sabah or Sarawak waters so there is a big possibility it is still in the South China Sea and in nearby areas," said the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).



3. Arms Trafficking Crew Convicted

Two North Koreans have been jailed in Panama for 12 years for attempting to smuggle Cuban weapons through the Panama Canal. The seafarers, Captain Ri Yong-Il and first mate Hong Yong-Hyon, were working on the North Korean-flagged Chong Chon Gang when it was stopped and searched in July 2013. The pair were convicted of arms trafficking, the cargo included two Soviet-era MiG-21 aircraft, air defence systems, missiles and command and control vehicles. The ruling overturns an earlier court verdict, which had set the pair free.



4. Delay in Attack Reporting

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has fired a broadside at Orkim Ship Management for taking 10 hours to report the loss of communication with missing product tanker MT Orkim Harmony. The minister overseeing MMEA, said that the delay will only complicate rescue operations and jeopardise the safety of the 22 crew members onboard. Orkim Ship Management denies the accusation as while communication was lost the company still had AIS tracking of the vessel. “The vessel could have been not communicating for a number of reasons, and we have to be mindful of safety…in a high traffic area,” they said.




5. Women Breaking Through

The “masculine” and “macho” image of Filipino “seamen” may soon gradually fade as more women choose to work on board international vessels. Only 225 out of the 230,000 Filipino seafarers registered from 1983 to1990 were women, a study by the IMO in 2000 showed. By 2006, the number of Filipino women seafarers deployed had risen astronomically to 6,436, according to statistics from the Philippines. That’s almost 29 times the number recorded by the IMO. Their ranks continue to swell—to 8,114 in 2009 and 9,002 in 2010. Today, women seafarers account for 2% of the total number of sea-based workers deployed from 2006 to 2010.




6. Owners Forced to Sell Vessels

With no signs of recovery in dry bulk freight rates, ship owners have caved in and sold vessels for recycling despite scrap prices going south. Scrap prices are falling in tandem with freight rates as more and more ships are being offered for recycling. IHS Maritime data shows that year-to-date, 250 bulkers including 62 Capesizes, have been recycled. Scrap prices for bulkers, especially Handysizes, now average USD360 per ldt on the Indian sub-continent, down from USD400 per ldt a year ago. Capesizes and Panamaxes managed to fetch better prices due to their sizes.



7. Huge New Cruise Orders

Carnival Corporation & plc announced Monday that it has signed a multi-billion dollar contract with The Meyer Werft GmbH (Meyer Werft) to build four "next-generation" liquid natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships with the largest guest capacity in the world, and all featuring a "green cruising" design. "Pioneering a new era in the use of sustainable fuels, the four new ships will be the first in the cruise industry to use LNG in dual-powered hybrid engines to power the ship both in port and on the open sea," said Carnival. "LNG will be stored onboard and used to generate 100 percent power at sea".




8. Investigation into FPSO Explosion

Petrobras has completed its investigation of a FPSO explosion earlier this year that claimed the lives of nine people. The explosion occurred following a natural gas leak aboard the Cidade de São Mateus February 11 while the ship was anchored in the Camarupim oil field in the Espirito Santo Basin about 75 kilometers (46.5 miles) northeast of Vitoria, Brasil. Nine people died in the accident and 26 others were injured. The event was the most serious oil and gas incident to happen in Brazil in the past 14 years. The report reveals a series of technical failures and poor decision making.




9. Emergency Drill for Giant Box Ship

One of the world’s largest containerships partnered with the Germany’s maritime emergencies authority Havariekommando to test the agency’s capability to tow an ultra-large container vessel. The CMA CGM Jules Verne, the flagship of the French container shipping company CMA CGM Group, met up with two Havariekommando response vessels June 13 off northwest Germany to carry out the mock emergency that intended to prepare crews for emergency towing operations off Heligoland in the North Sea. During the exercise, the crew of the Jules Verne and Havariekommando forces practiced a vessel in distress scenario.



10. BP Assesses the Future of Fuels

The Energy Forum of New York hosted BP’s group chief economist, Spencer Dale, for a presentation on the newly released 2015 edition of its Statistical Review of World Energy. In the presentation, Dale talked about a stormy year following several years of calm. Though the presentation did not touch on the tanker and shipping markets specifically, key trends identified in the report, which describes 2014 as a year "of tectonic shifts" in worldwide energy production and consumption, have had profound on all of the shipping sectors. In between the lines, the publication’s findings bode well for the product trades.





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