Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/10/2015
1. Owners Rush to Beat Rules
Lloyd’s List claims the impending January 1, 2016 Tier III deadline, which will see tougher nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission control regulations implemented on ships travelling in the North American emission control area (ECA), has shipowners rushing to place newbuild orders, especially for containerships and tankers. "Any ship built after next year that is not Tier III compliant will quite simply be unable to trade to a U.S. port, severely restricting any future opportunities for that asset," stated Craig Eason. Under the rules, new ships will be required to have either a selective catalytic reduction system or an exhaust gas recirculation system.
2. Togo Urged to Free Piracy Victims
India has urged the western African nation of Togo to take steps for the early release of five Indian nationals who were detained in July 2013 in connection with an allegedly piracy case. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj raised the issue during a bilateral meeting with Togo’s Foreign Minister Robert Dussey who is here to attend the ongoing third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS). "We raised the question of five Indian nationals who have been in detention in Togo since July 2013," Sanjiv Kohli, joint secretary (West Africa) in the ministry of external affairs, said in a media briefing.
3. Cruise Mystery Could be Murder
The mysterious disappearance of a British woman on a cruise ship four years ago should be investigated by UK authorities, an MP has demanded. Rebecca Coriam, 24, from Chester, fell overboard from the Disney Wonder near Mexico but her body has not been found. Labour MP Chris Matheson said he fears she was murdered and has called for an inquiry. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said disappearances overboard were "incredibly rare". Rebecca’s disappearance was investigated by the authorities in the Bahamas where the vessel was registered. Her credit card was used after she vanished.
4. New Nigerian Training Regime
Nigerian Navy said yesterday it had adopted a new training regime aimed at improving troops’ proficiency in internal security operations across the country. The Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Naval Training Command, NAVTRAC, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo, disclosed this during familiarisation tour of navy training schools in Onne, Rivers State. Osinowo said the adoption of a new code of conduct in its training programmes was borne out of the navy`s commitment to drastically reduce oil theft and sea piracy in the nation’s maritime environment, as they have a new "detailed strategic direction" to improve internal security operations.
5. El Faro Engine Woes
The U.S. cargo ship El Faro which experienced engine failure and sank in a hurricane in the Bahamas earlier this month had previously lost power in open sea, according to a new lawsuit in Florida claiming the ship was unseaworthy and the owners negligent. The lawsuit, filed in Fort Lauderdale late Wednesday on behalf of the wife and five children of seaman Anthony Shawn Thomas, is at least the fourth filed seeking compensation for some of the 33 crew members lost at sea. The ship was undergoing engine room work during the voyage which the company has said was unrelated to the propulsion system.
6. Tanker Optimism Shines
The bullishness of tanker owners on the market’s future prospects is getting stronger by the day, as not even the strong newbuilding orders this year, are reason enough to dent their optimism. After all, one can afford to be bullish, since compared with the third quarter 2014, VLCC earnings on the spot market are up 112% for the third quarter. According to ship owner Euronav’s analysis of the tanker market, “the third quarter was remarkable for the underlying strength of freight rates in what is usually a seasonally weak period. The strength of rates during July and September was the key feature of the Q3 tanker market.
7. Gas is a Game Changer
The move from burning high-sulphur bunker fuel to the use of clean LNG as fuel will be a “gamechanger” for the global shipping industry, said Angus Campbell, managing director of Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement UK (BSM). Speaking at Gastech conference held in Singapore on Thursday, Campbell recalled that wind power gave way to coal and coal in its turn gave way to oil. Going forward, the move from oil to natural gas is “simply the next progression in the evolution of maritime transportation.” But this step change of refueling ships with LNG will require a sophisticated supply chain, dealing with simultaneous operations.
8. Mega Sailing Vessel Seatrials
Early drone video footage of Sailing Yacht A, with her towering free-standing masts now stepped, shows the jaw-dropping scale of the world’s largest sail-assisted yacht. At 143m/470ft she is nearly 200ft longer than the Cutty Sark and the Maltese Falcon. The footage was taken during early seatrials near Kiel and the Nobiskrug yard responsible her construction in Germany. Dubbed White Pearl during build, Sailing Yacht A belongs to Andrey Melnichenk, a Russian industrialist with a net worth of nearly US$ 9 billion. The details of Sailing Yacht A were kept surprisingly secret during build, and her interior is still to be completed. http://goo.gl/SDo0Y4
9. Guards on French Ships
After a slow journey through reams of legislation, the first private maritime security companies have begun to place armed guards onboard French flagged vessels. The first missions for French flagged vessels saw guard provide protection of a tanker in the Gulf of Aden and three teams are being deployed on tuna-seiners in the Indian Ocean. There had been some concern as to the speed the French were enacting legislation, and at the height of the Somali piracy issue there were some companies talking of re-flagging to allow them to access the security their risk assessments had stated were needed.
10. MOL in a Hole
Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Japan’s largest shipping line, was plunged into the red in interim results out today thanks to its links to bankrupt bulker firm Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha. Daiichi Chuo filed for court protection last month, another exclusive story from Splash, with top shareholder MOL refusing to put more money into the loss making organisation. MOL said in its interim results it had taken a Y26.2bn ($21.7m) hit on the valuation of shares of subsidiaries and affiliates, largely thought to be Daiichi Chuo. As a result of this write-down MOL slipped into the red for the six month period ending September 30, recording a Y0.2bn net loss.
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