Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/11/2015
1. 35,000 TEU Ships Beckon
A research consortium that includes GTT, CMA-CGM and DNV GL recently unveiled the design schematic of Combined Gas Turbine and Steam (COGAS) powered mega-size 20,000 TEU container ship to be fueled by LNG. A future research concept could include an articulated or coupled two-unit container ship to operate major Asian – European trade routes. The rear section of such a concept ship could be loaded at the Port of Shanghai while the forward section would be loaded at the Port of Hong Kong after the rear section has sailed from Shanghai, with the two-unit European bound ship-train being coupled at Hong Kong.
2. NOL in Merger Talks
Singapore-based container shipping company Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL) is in preliminary discussions with French CMA CGM SA and Danish A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S with respect to a potential acquisition of NOL, the company said, thus confirming recent media reports. “NOL has a duty to assess all options to maximise shareholder value and improve its competitiveness. From time to time, NOL enters into discussions on possible combinations involving NOL, while remaining focused on returning its core liner business to sustainable growth and profitability,” NOL added.
3. EU and the Maritime Cluster
Britain needs to secure significant reforms in its relationship with Europe or risk damaging the £10bn-a-year maritime industry, shipping bosses have warned. The shipping industry claims that if Eurocrats are able to strengthen their grip on regulation, then Britain will be put at a “competitive disadvantage”. It is the first time Britain’s maritime sector has spoken out on Europe. The comments, which add to growing concern about EU membership among business leaders, come in a report by the UK Chamber of Shipping, which represents 170 major ship operators including P&O, Stena and the UK operations of Maersk and CMA CGM.
4. Singapore Tanker Arrest
The 119,500 dwt LR2 products tanker, "SKS Donggang", last week was arrested in Singapore, records from the Supreme Court of Singapore showed. Data from VesselsValue.com indicated the 2011-built vessel was controlled by Norway-based Jebsen Skipsrederi AS and valued at $50.1 million. The exact circumstances leading to the arrest are currently unknown, but such action is typical in instances of payment dispute. It is understood the matter was promptly resolved, but follows a busy October which saw several vessels arrested, including five bulk carriers.
5. Fredriksen Boss Under Suspicion
Chief Executive Officer of the Fredriksen Group, Jo Lunder has been put on leave until further notice, according to Norwegian news agency NTB. Lunder is suspected of being involved in an alleged bribery case in Uzbekistan while working as head of VimpelCom, a Russian mobile operator. As informed, the arrest and related investigation are not connected to Lunder’s current role at Fredriksen. Based on the findings of US and Dutch investigations, Russian mobile operators MTS and VimpelCom are believed to have paid hundreds of millions of US dollars to bribe officials in Uzbekistan.
6. Horrific Scenes as Man Falls
A man who jumped onto a lifeboat on the side of a cruise ship clung to the edge of the tiny vessel for more than minute early Friday as fellow passengers watched and screamed before he plunged into the ocean below, according to officials and video posted of the incident. It wasn’t clear why the man jumped toward the lifeboat or how he came to cling at its side. Royal Caribbean and the Coast Guard said only that the 35-year-old man, from Brazil, was on the seventh deck of the massive Oasis of the Seas when he apparently jumped onto the life boat one deck below. The cruise line didn’t release his name.
7. Batteries for Ships Develop
Oil giant, Statoil Technology Invest is investing in Corvus Energy, the manufacturer of lithium ion energy storage systems (batteries) for ships. Corvus batteries now provide power for more than 35 hybrid and electric vessels around the world, with an installed-base totalling over 30 megawatt-hours. As highlighted previously in OSJ, among the vessels fitted with Corvus batteries are a number of offshore support vessels. Vessels with Corvus batteries consume less fuel, operate more efficiently and effectively, and emit reduced amounts of greenhouse gases.
8. Learning Lessons on Fatigue
A new report has been released with a warning about fatigue. The publication CHIRP has comments and opinions from Captain John Rose Director (Maritime) CHIRP: “Every company desires safe operations and whilst written rules, standards and procedures are important and necessary, they are not enough. Companies must develop a culture in which the value of safety is embedded at every level ashore and at sea. This commitment to safety should be a value that shapes decision making all of the time and embedded at every level in the organization, at sea and ashore.
9. Tough Times for Dry Bulk
Dry bulk shipowners are heading toward 2016 with the prospect of one fewer cargo option on the key loading region of the US Gulf Coast, as new environmental legislation introduced by Beijing this summer could mean China will no longer be importing petroleum coke, or petcoke, from the USGC. As a result, shipowners are now left weighing alternative options, with some market players pointing toward India’s growing appetite for petcoke, while others are examining whether regions exporting low sulfur petcoke, such as the US West Coast, could compensate for the loss of the USGC-to-China petcoke routes by stepping up production.
10. GA and Pollution Claims
Standard P&I Clubs Bulletin has been addressing some thorny issues relating to pollution and general average. They have now also cast their eye on the costs of pollution in dry dock covered by particular average (PA). In a new case study they examine a vessel, sailing in ballast, suffering a serious grounding. A diver’s inspection reveals extensive bottom damage; however, the water pressure is holding the bunkers in the breached bottom tanks and there is no actual leakage. The vessel is towed to a local shipyard for repairs and enters dry dock. Considerable expenditure is incurred to and they consider each cost in turn.
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