Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/07/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/07/2015

1. Big Three Make Big Profits
Japan’s “big three” shipowners – Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) – all reported increases in profit for the first quarter ended 30 June 2015. Leading the pack was NYK, which reported a hefty 321.3% leap in net profits to $346m for the first quarter of FY2015. The much improved result came despite difficult conditions in the container and dry bulk shipping markets.
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2. Massive Deal for Mega Bulker
Brazilian mining company Vale SA said on Thursday that it expects to receive $448 million from the sale of four dry-bulk iron ore ships to China’s state-owned China Merchants Energy Shipping Co in September. The 400,000-deadweight-tonne ships, known as Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC) or "Valemax" vessels, are some of the largest ships ever built and were sold under accords between Vale and China Merchants signed in Sept 2014 and May 2015.
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3. US Looks to Oil Exports
The U.S. Senate Energy Committee on Thursday narrowly passed a bill to lift a 40-year-old ban on the export of crude oil, but the measure faces an uphill battle in getting passed by the full Senate. The bill to allow the United States to export oil and boost state revenue-sharing for offshore oil and gas drilling passed along party lines by a vote of 12-10. It was the second significant step in two days for advocates of lifting the ban.
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4. Action Ashore and At Sea
Military incursions on and off-shore Somalia have helped fight piracy attacks on key shipping routes around the Gulf of Aden, new data showed even though maritime experts called for caution. Although there are signs of optimism, 
IMB advises that the security situation in the Horn of Africa remains uncertain. IMB urges ship masters to remain vigilant when transiting these waters and to adhere to the industry’s best management practice.
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5. COSCO Issues Profit Alert
China Cosco Holdings (Cosco), the flagship unit of state-controlled Cosco Group, has issued a positive profit alert for the six months ended 30 June 2015, a reversal from the loss recorded in the year-ago period. Cosco said the six-month period is projected at $306m as against a loss of last time round.  “The board believes that the expected profit… is due to the receipt of subsidies for the decommissioning and upgrading of vessels".
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6. Class Looks at Safety of Gas
ClassNK has released new guidelines for compressed natural gas carriers. According to ClassNK, global economic and population growth is bringing about increased energy production and consumption. In its latest forecast, CEDIGAZ, a body dedicated to natural gas information, predicts that global natural gas demand will grow by 1.8 percent a year from 2013 to 2035 with the largest portion of this growth coming from Asia-Oceania and the Middle East.
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7. Future Living at Sea
A group of biologists, nautical engineers and biologists, backed by Paypal founder Peter Thiel, plan on building a floating city, or “seastead” by 2020. The Seasteading Institute has run an architectural design contest for its Floating City Project held in partnership with DeltaSync (Netherlands) and judged by an international panel of experts. The Seasteading Institute is working to provide a machinery of freedom to choose new societies on the blue frontier. 
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8. OPEC Thinks Oil Bottoming Out
OPEC expects increasing oil demand to prevent a further fall in prices and sees a more balanced market in 2016, its secretary-general said on Thursday, the latest sign the group is sticking to its policy of defending market share. Oil has dropped about 15 percent this month and halved in value in the past year but neither OPEC nor Russia, the world’s top producer, have cut output to support prices, hoping cheaper oil will hit U.S. shale and other rival sources.
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9. Thieves Target Burned Out Ship
The burnt-out ROPAX ferry "MS Norman Atlantic", owned by the Italian ferry company Visemar di Navigazione, has been raided by thieves, inspectors found. Thieves broke into the wreck and attempted to steal the cars on board the ship, which was moored in Bari, Italy after it caught fire in December 2014. The prosecutor believes that the unidentified thieves were targeting valuables that passengers might have left on board as they were rushed off the vessel.
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10. Dangers of Seafaring Illustrated
Seafaring is not an easy task as crews face various challenges on daily basis, including various types of incidents at sea that require bravery and skill to overcome. A new infographic summarizes the total number of the highest occurring shipping related incidents so far this year. These include 33 groundings and 12 collisions recorded worldwide. The incidents proved fatal in twelve instances as 12 deaths were reported on board during the said period.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

Best regards,

S Jones
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