Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 02/12/2015
1. Owners Reaffirm Green Stance
As leaders from 147 countries gather in Paris for the long-awaited UNFCCC COP 21, European shipowners have reiterated their support for the E.U. Member States’ negotiating position adopted in September. “We fully support the idea that shipping has to contribute to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” commented Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, adding: “E.U. Member States gave a vote of confidence to the IMO in its ability to address as soon as possible and in an effective manner greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. We believe this is the right approach as it would be the logical continuation of steps already taken at E.U. level.
2. Charterers Voice Efficiency Calls
Ahead of COP21, 26 of the 35 charterers that include vessel efficiency in their supply chain selection have come forward to highlight their proactive measures on climate change. By using the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Rating to find the more efficient vessels these industry leaders are using their influence to incite change in the maritime industry by rewarding ship owners that prioritise efficiency. Following in the footsteps of early adopters Cargill, Huntsman and UNIPEC UK a number of major players have come forward to announce their use of the GHG Emissions Rating, a tool developed by RightShip, the maritime risk management specialist.
3. CMA CGM Looks for Cash
CMA CGM S.A. is in talks with lenders, including BNP Paribas SA (BNP), HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBC), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan), to fund a potential takeover bid of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), Bloomberg Business reports, citing people said to have knowledge with the matter. The financing talks are said to be a part of Singapore’s requirement for CMA CGM to demonstrate it has sufficient financial resources to make a definitive bid for NOL, which has a market value of S$3.1 billion ($2.2 billion). "It may not be a done deal yet, but CMA needs to demonstrate they have the financing capability to go ahead," said one observer.
4. Constant Technical Change Beckons
Global shipping can expect to go through a changing landscape ahead in the way that the industry operates in view of the constant technological breakthroughs and innovation, according to Tor Svensen, group executive vice president of DNV GL. There are opportunities and challenges, as well as threats, ahead for the shipping market. But if well-managed they can in fact bode well for the industry. “One of the gamechangers for shipping is definitely oil prices,” Svensen told delegates at the Senior Maritime Forum of Marintec China 2015. Lower oil prices mean bunker fuel costs are cut, oil transportation is boosted, but the offshore sector “has been hit very, very hard.”
5. MCA Ruling Highlights MLC Issue
A recent case highlights the MCA’s alleged failure to enforce a key provision of MLC and the way in which criminal proceedings may be taken against the owner of a UK flagged vessel and its master in his personal capacity. Wilson v Secretary of State for Transport (2015), gives an interesting insight into how the MCA are handling enforcement obligations. Mr Wilson, was Fleet Trainer on a cruise vessel and unhappy about the way his employer operated and decided to complain. He escalated that complaint to several senior figures and was dismissed. He protested to the MCA that he had suffered a detriment because he had raised grievances about breaches of the MLC.
6. South Africa Makes IMO Progress
South Africa this week being named as a Category C member of the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Category C members are states which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure representation of all the world’s major geographic areas, the IMO said. Other Category C members are Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey. Deputy Transport Minister said the voice of African countries on maritime issues would be strengthened by South Africa’s presence.
7. Royal Navy Drug Seizure
The crew of a Royal Navy warship have seized around £3m worth of cannabis resin during a security patrol in the Mediterranean. Smugglers ferrying the drugs from Morocco to Europe were rumbled by the Portsmouth-based frigate, which sent a Lynx helicopter to investigate and despatched an armed boarding team of Royal Marines.
With the Lynx hovering low overhead, the smugglers ditched bales weighing over tonne into the sea and fled the scene. The boarding team recovered 1,015kg of cannabis that was bound for mainland Europe. Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “This goes to show the value of the Royal Navy".
8. Bunker Detectives Launch New Operation
Marine surveying and consultancy company The Bunker Detectives has launched a new operation based in Fujairah, and the global business has been rebranded as Petro Inspect, CEO and Founder Kaivan Chinoy said. "The renaming of the company to Petro Inspect will better capture its philosophy and value proposition, as well as bring all global operations under one brand," said Chinoy. "Some of our customers request surveys under the name of our parent company, AVA Marine, while the Bunker Detectives brand is unable to be used in certain global locations.
9. Pacific Temperatures Rise Ominously
Last week, NOAA‘s U.S. Climate Prediction Center announced temperatures reached 3 degrees Celsius (5.6 Fahrenheit) above normal in a key section of the Pacific called Nino 3.4, touching off a Twitter typhoon among some El Nino watchers alarmed that they were so high. Monday, the agency said readings had edged up to 3.1 degrees above normal. It’s probably too early to add this to the list of signs of the impending apocalypse. Instead, it’s likely just an indicator that the sea-surface component of El Nino is getting ripe, said Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
10. Reefer Loses Boxes in Channel
The reefer container ship Star First lost a dozen container off Boulogne-sur-Mer, France in English Canal during rough weather and big swell. The ship was en route from Almirante, Panama to Sheerness, UK, when during bad weather and 4-meter waves cut some secure lines and lost more than 12 a dozen containers in Atlantic Ocean. The local authorities sent preliminary warning to seafarers about the drifting container and organized search operation. Several container were fund on washed ashore near Calais, while another 12 were spotted by airplane, drifting off Boulogne-sur-Mer. The exact number of lost containers is still unknown, so the search operations are on way.
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