Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/09/2015
1. Baltic Exchange Change
Jeremy Penn, chief executive of London’s centuries old Baltic Exchange will step down next year, the exchange said on Friday. Penn, who took the helm as CEO in 2003 after previous top positions with international news agency Reuters, will leave next summer. “It has been a privilege to work for the interest of the Baltic, its members and shareholders for the last 12 years and in many ways I shall be sorry to go,” Penn said in a statement. During his tenure, Penn rebuffed overtures from the London Metal Exchange (LME) and also faced heat from brokers over the launch in 2011 by the Baltic of the first central freight derivatives platform Baltex.
2. Illicit Bunkers Driving Piracy
According to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) incident report, now more than half of the world’s piracy attacks are occurring in South East Asia. Piracy in the waters off Indonesia, the Malakka and Singapore Straights has risen almost exponentially, representing almost 40 per cent of 2015 attacks globally. The majority of these incidents related to illegal oil bunkering. Vessels arrange illicit ship-to-ship (STS) transfers without paying the proper fees and avoid the designated areas. Weak legislation and lax fines are abused as primarily Singapore-flagged and owned vessels bunker with their AIS shut off to avoid suspicion. http://goo.gl/lnF043
3. UN Arms Vessel Freed
"MV Hoegh Transporter" which was detained in Mombasa port on suspicion of carrying drugs and illegal weapons has finally been released – despite threats it would be seized and blown up. The UN says the arms were part of legitimate consignment for its mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Drugs tests carried out on a substance found around some of the UN vehicles were negative, the police said. The rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, which were among the weapons found inside the UN vehicles, would be delivered under Kenyan escort to Indian peacekeepers in DR Congo, Mombasa County police commander said.
4. Seafarers Demand Internet
Easy access to the internet onboard ships is a key requirement if young people are to be attracted into the seafaring profession and shipping needs to be more visible in the public eye, according to speakers who addressed an IMO symposium on maritime education and training, held on World Maritime Day (24 September 2015). IMO Assistant Secretary-General Andy Winbow said there is much food for thought. Shipping clearly needs people and its image – or lack of one – needed to be addressed. Nonetheless, cadets around the world and those who had been able to attend the symposium had a bright future ahead of them.
5. Preparing for Clean Future
The MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) regulation aims to quantify and reduce CO2 emissions from shipping and will create a new kind of benchmarking system in Europe. The European Commission (E.C.) is bringing emissions from shipping into its 2009 climate and energy package. MRV is designed to progressively integrate maritime emissions into the E.U.’s policy for reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions (E.U. regulation 2015/757). MRV requires ship owners and operators to annually monitor, report and verify CO2 emissions for vessels equal to or larger than 5,000 GT and which call at any E.U. port.
6. Pirates Languishing in Jail
Dozens of jailed Somali pirates are languishing in an infamous prison in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa with Somali officials including Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya who spent the Eid festival celebrations with pirates in the jail witnessed a grim personal and appalling life conditions inside the detention centre. The Shimo la Tewa maximum security prison holds more than 100 Somalis convicted of piracy activities who were jailed after being captured in the middle of piracy activities in the high seas. Somali officials have been urged to help them secure a prison transfer to Somalia where they would serve their jail terms.
7. Bulk Owner Denies Bankruptcy
Japan-based dry bulk operator Daiichi Chuo has denied rumours that the company is close to bankruptcy. "The market is weak but the rumours are not true," the company said. The bulk operator has struggled in recent years, having reported a ¥7.85 billion ($63 million) loss in the first fiscal quarter beginning April 1, 2015. The current fiscal year’s debts were also reportedly recorded at ¥37.6 billion ($312 million) and long-term liabilities at ¥70.7 billion ($587 million). There is speculation the company’s largest shareholder MOL would be unwilling to provide further financial backing over and above existing commitments.
8. Shipping Confidence on Rise
Moore Stephens has found that the three months ended August 2015 has seen shipping confidence rise higher than it was in the first half of the year, though respondents indicated that they are still struggling with plunging freight rates and overcapacity, Marine Link reports. The survey found that confidence was at 5.9 on a scale from 1 to 10 compared to the 5.3 recorded at the end of May 2015, which was also the lowest level ever recorded since the survey began in 2008. Across the board, Asia, Europe and North America all purportedly saw increases in confidence.
9. MSC Box Ship Grounds
The container ship MSC Manu ran aground on Western Scheldt in Zeeland, southwestern Netherlands. The ship was en route from Antwerp to Tilbury near buoy 64. The local authorities dispatched several tug to assist the grounded MSC Manu. The vessel was refloated after 4 hours and it was estimated that there is not breached and damages during the accident. The ship resumed voyage to Tilbury after inspected and underwater survey. The reason for grounding is unknown, but local authorities will follow an investigation.
10. Canal Capacity Limited
The capacity of Panama Canal is reduced due to planned maintenance of locks. The reduction of capacity will last for several weeks and expect to dip by half. The canal lock will be selectively taken out of service for the performance of scheduled maintenance work, which will cause serious delays in operations of the ships passing through. According to panama Canal Authority the vessels could be delayed by up to a week and expects 50% fall in capacity in the days until end of September. The maintenance works are previously planned and not related with leaks at key elements of the Canal’s current expansion programme.
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