Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/07/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/07/2015


1. Torm Comes Back Fighting Fit

Torm has completed its comprehensive restructuring, recapitalising its balance sheet, by reducing the existing debt from approximately $1.4bn to approximately $561m by way of a lender debt writedown to current asset values against the issuance of warrants and a subsequent optional exchange of debt to equity. As part of the restructuring, OCM Njord Holdings (Njord Luxco), a wholly owned subsidiary of entities owned by private equity giant Oaktree Capital Management, has contributed a fleet of 25 on-the-water and six newbuilding product tankers to Torm’s group. The result has been to the creation of one of the largest owner-operators of product tankers globally.



2. Nigeria Rips Up the Old Guard

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari sacked his army, navy, air force and defense chiefs on Monday in a widely expected move to boost the fight against Boko Haram militants who have killed hundreds of people in the past few weeks. Buhari, a former general, swiftly replaced all four men and named a new national security adviser in the latest of a series of moves to end the six-year-old jihadist insurgency. Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, previously head of army training, was named Chief of Defence Staff. The new Chief of Army Staff, T.Y. Buratai, comes from Borno state, one of those worst hit by Boko Haram attacks.



3. Mate Jailed for Oil Record Crimes

The former chief mate of the Panama-flagged reefer MV Murcia Carrier has been sentenced to three months in prison for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). The sentence was handed down to Valerii Georgiev, 42, a Russian citizen, by the Honorable Joseph Rodriguez, the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division for the District of New Jersey. During his trial, it was found Georgiev ordered other crew members on board the Murcia Carrier to dump overboard several barrels containing some hydraulic oil. Georgiev disputes the number of barrels dumped into the sea.



4. Growing Number of Bunker Debt Cases

In the wake of the OW Bunkers bankruptcy, there has been a growing number of cases where physical suppliers have commenced debt recovery actions against shipowners for fuel supplies that had been negotiated by or through OW Bunkers entities. Different courts are currently considering this and are likely to provide differing answers depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. For example it has been highlighted how under US laws charter terms prohibiting liens on a vessel are not sufficient to defeat liens on a vessel and how this has emboldened physical suppliers to apply their cases in that jurisdiction.



5. Asian Tanker Activities Dropping

Large oil tankers are seeing less activities to carry long-haul fuel oil from Asia, as the region’s refinery capacity is expected to continue expanding, coupled with stringent regulations to curb the use of high-sulphur bunker fuel on ships, according to a view by Poten & Partners. In the period of 2013 to 2014, the reported fixtures of fuel oil on VLCCs, suezmaxes and panamaxes dropped by 5m metric tonnes each, while the fixtures of fuel oil on aframaxes decreased by 2m metric tonnes. “Increased Asian refinery capacity has also resulted in higher production of fuel oil (as well as all other oil products) in Asian countries,” Poten & Partners said in a recent report.




6. Carbon War Room Market Model

Carbon War Room was born in early 2009 with the idea of identifying and working in industries with significant carbon emissions and market barriers to their reduction. Early industry stakeholder talks included a fortuitous meeting between an investor-banker friend-of-a-friend of Branson’s and a Danish entrepreneur and inventor of a shipping industry air micro-bubble technology that helps ships slip through the water with less friction and thus improves fuel economy. They noted that one ship  can emit as much SOx, for example, as one million cars. Improve ships, and you could flip a significant amount of carbon and other emissions. So they are trying just that.



7. Whale Strike Zone Mooted

Friend of the Sea has urged the World Shipping Council to prevent whales ship strikes in Sri Lanka and worldwide. During a series of conferences in Southern Sri Lanka, Friend of the Sea’s director Dr Paolo Bray exposed the problem of the increasing number of endangered whales being killed by cargo ships strikes. Pigmy blue whales and other whales feed and breed in the area of the Indian Ocean just South of Sri Lanka. The same area is crossed by some of the most intense cargo ships traffic in the world: over 5,000 ships per month. Dead whales are often carried on the bow of the 300 meters long vessels.



8. Seafarers Now Stressed by Dispute

Calls made by the Aussie Fair Work Ombudsman to the crew of the tanker "Alexander Spirit" last week precipitated a "turn for the worse" among the seafarers, according to the Maritime Union. Five of the crew have since have left the ship due to stress-related illness, according to union representatives. The vessel’s departure has again been delayed as the vessel is still one member short of obtaining its minimum safe manning certificate. The ship is due to depart, but the illness delays could have an impact and draw out the dispute further.



9. Isle of Man Asked for Protection Measures

What measures are in place to monitor conditions for crew members on Isle of Man registered ships? That’s the question being posed by The Celtic League which is querying what steps are taken to ensure seafarers are protected. Director of information Bernard Moffatt has written to the Department of Economic Development – director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry Dick Welsh, who says he’ll be replying soon as the register looks to set out the measures and steps it implements to ensure that seafarers are cared for.




10. Italian Marines Set for Arbitration

Trial of Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen in 2012 is set to get delayed with the Italian government informing the Supreme Court that it has initiated arbitration proceedings challenging India’s jurisdiction in the case.  Appearing before a bench of justices AR Dave, Kurian Joseph and Amitava Roy, senior advocate Soli Sorabjee said India had no jurisdiction to conduct the trial and the Italian government has invoked international arbitration proceeding on the contentious issue.  He pleaded that proceedings in the case be deferred in view of the arbitration proceedings.





Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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