Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/12/2015
1. World Record Container Load
United Arab Shipping Company says its M.V. Al Muraykh, one of the world’s greenest containerships, has loaded a world record 18,601 TEUs. UASC says the Ultra-Large Containership (ULCV) departed Port Klang in Malaysia this week bound for Felixstowe in the UK as part of AEC1 service carrying the 18,601 TEUs. The vessel will be sailing for two weeks. “This unprecedented westbound shipment is also UASC’s highest utilization to date of this very eco-efficient class, meaning the CO2 output per TEU on this journey is set to be more than 60% lower if the same containers were shipped on board a 13,500 TEU ship,” UASC said in a press release announcing the record load.
2. Chemical Tanker Collision
A cargo ship carrying 560 metric tonnes of bunker fuel sank in Indonesian waters after it collided with a chemical tanker on Wednesday night, leaving six crew members missing while six were rescued, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). The Cayman Islands-registered chemical tanker Stolt Commitment collided with cargo ship Thorco Cloud bearing the Antigua and Barbuda flag in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait in Indonesian waters six nautical miles northwest of Batam. MPA said the 37,438 dwt chemical tanker sustained minor damage and is in stable condition, but the freighter sank.
3. African Maritime Security Farce
Just two weeks before Africa’s maritime decision makers were due to meet in early November in Lome, Togo for a summit on security, safety and development, the Togolese government announced that the meeting was cancelled. There are accusations surfacing that the summit was cancelled as Togo had only offered to organise the event to strengthen its chances of hosting the Regional Coordination Centre for Maritime Security in West Africa (CRESMAO). After Côte d’Ivoire was designated as the host for CRESMAO in May, Togolese authorities lost their original motivation…and pulled the plug on the summit. Which does not augur well for cooperation.
4. Maersk Disappointed by COP21
Maersk Group says it is “disappointed’ that the landmark Paris agreement on climate change agreed to over the weekend does not include new regulations on international shipping. The final text of the Paris Agreement was adopted on Saturday following more than two weeks of intense negotiations involving delegates from almost 200 nations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. The agreement marks the most significant deal to date addressing global climate change, and seeks to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. Maersk wants to compete in "a level playing field, carbon constrained economy”.
5. EU Launches Coastguard Plan
Brussels has put forward formal plans for a regional coastguard with over 1,000 staff to enhance the region’s maritime security. It follows the announcement from European Union president Jean-Claude Juncker in September of the intention to launch the European Border and Coast Guard Agency to better protect Europe’s maritime and land borders. The proposal comes amid concern over the increased number of migrants attempting to flee to Europe in unsafe boats, the security risks due to terrorism and the regulatory compliance challenges around Europe.
6. Russia and the Turkey Shoot
Turkish media outlets have reported that a Russian warship fired at a Turkish fishing boat because the boat interrupted the ship attempting to hijack Ukrainian oil platforms. The Daily Sabah claims the fishing vessel stopped the Russian navy from seizing Chernomorneftegaz oil platforms and moving them into Russian territory: Ukraine declared that it will apply to international arbitration for Chernomorneftegaz’s assets to be confiscated. As drilling platforms were operating in international waters off Ukrainian city of Odessa, they could have been easily seized. Kommersant reported the Turkish ship “prevented the movement of drilling rigs” in the Black Sea. http://goo.gl/7AXrnq
7. Castaway and his Eaten Friend
The remarkable story of Mexican castaway Salvador Alvarenga has taken grim turn as the family of the boy who accompanied him on his ill fated fishing trip off the coast of Chiapas Mexico has accused him of cannibalism and is suing for $1 million dollars. Alvarenga was made famous in 2014 after spending 15 months adrift at sea in a small fishing boat. He set out for what was to be a two day tuna fishing trip with a hired hand but they were blown severely off course only to have their engine die. Alvarenga survived by drinking urine and turtle blood and eating sea birds he caught by hand. He finally reached land after 438 days when he washed ashore in the Marshall Islands. http://goo.gl/2M7vuJ
8. Box Alliances Set to Change
The head of the US Federal Maritime Commission has discussed how container alliances are likely to change in the wake of the various ocean carrier mergers. Commissioner William Doyle noted that Cosco and China Shipping, who belong to different alliances – CKYHE and Ocean Three respectively – will take time before choosing which alliance they will go with. Doyle was in China last month and met with executives from both Chinese firms. “These companies are looking for flexibility including transition periods for determining which alliance a newly formed entity could join, if any,” Doyle said.
9. Bunker Industry Faces Challenges
The bunker industry is facing some challenging issues and the very low cost of fuel is impacting the industry in a number of ways, explains Captain Peter Hall, chief executive of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) in today’s Maritime CEO interview. The first being that the low fuel price is complimenting very low freight rates, particularly in the dry bulk sector and it is probably only the tanker market that is seeing good chartering rates at the moment. The other factors are as a result of the fuel prices; it appears that distillate fuel is the option of choice for ECA (Emission Control Area) compliance, which is not helping wider fuel adoption strategies in the long term.
10. Stuck for Christmas?
In the spirit of the season, and in trying to give you something to buy for your family, GCaptain has been looking at the raft of books that look at life at sea, all of which could make good Christmas presents. There is Horatio Clare’s "Down To The Sea In Ships" a book that looks both at the nuts and bolts of commercial shipping as well as being a highly readable literary feast of anecdotes about the sea, ships, sailors and international trade. While there is also Rose George’s "Deep Sea and Foreign Going" or another one is Geoff Dyer’s "Another Great Day at Sea" where the man who normally writes about D.H. Lawrence or modern art joins the crew of the aircraft carrier. http://goo.gl/bQsCGs
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