Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/12/2015
1. COSCO Only Buyer for Piraeus
China’s Cosco Pacific is understood to be the only party interested in the acquisition of the 51 percent stake (plus another 15 percent) of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), reports Kathimerini. Alexis Tsipras’s government had halted the sale after winning elections in January but resumed the process under the 86 billion-euro bailout deal it agreed with its euro zone partners in the summer. The deadline for final bids was 1700 GMT on Monday. The Hong Kong-listed firm was the only party to submit a timely binding offer in the context of the tender proclaimed in 2014 by the state privatization fund (TAIPED) by Monday’s deadline, four hours before it expired.
2. Europe Warns Greece on Tonnage Tax
The European Commission has sent to Greece a set of proposals to ensure that state support to the maritime sector in Greece complies with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission found that current provisions may breach EU state aid rules by allowing shareholders of shipping companies to benefit from favourable tax treatment that should be reserved for maritime transport providers. Similarly, the Commission is concerned that favourable tax treatment is also extended to maritime sector intermediaries and operators of ships, which do not provide maritime transport services.
3. Port State Carrot and Stick
Quality ship operations will be rewarded with a reduced inspection burden when the Black Sea MOU launches its new inspection regime on 1 January 2016. The Black Sea (BS) MOU had announced that their new inspection regime, BS-IR (2016), will be in force from 1 January 2016. The new regime will apply a risk-based approach for selecting ships to be inspected and brings the BS MOU in line with the leading memorandums Paris MOU and Tokyo MOU. Under BS-IR (2016), scope, frequency and priority of inspections will depend on a “ship’s risk profile”. Each ship’s risk profile will be determined by Port State Control (PSC) data and the ship’s historical data. http://goo.gl/Uf3GAz
4. Chemical Tanker Catches Light
The chemical tanker "Stena Lyra" caught fire off Mosjoen, Norway. The fire erupted in engine control room, due to short circuit of the engineering equipment and extended to the whole compartment. The crew was forced to emergency stop all the engines and diesel generators and to drop anchor to prevent grounding. Engine crew were evacuated and started the CO2 firefighting system. The fire was extinguished for half an hour, but the chemical tanker Stena Lyra remained powerless. The local authorities made special survey of the ship and after estimating that fire is completely extinguished towed chemical tanker to Mosjoen.
5. Cruise Europa Galley Fire
Fire erupted in the galley of cruise ship Cruise Europa during a voyage from Ancona, Italy to Igoumenitsa-Patras, Greece with 781 passengers on board. The fire started in a galley, but the sprinkling fire fighting system stopped its extension and quickly extinguished it. There were slight damaged of the ship’s galley during the accident, but fortunately there were no injured people and vessel remained seaworthy. The cruise ship Cruise Europa informed the Greek authorities about the accident and special survey was held before berthing at Greece. The cruise ship Cruise Europa slightly delayed from the schedule, but should compensate it during the next passage.
6. Merchant Navy Medals Announced
Captain John Rose, Director (Maritime) CHIRP, was amongst this year’s recipients of the U.K. Merchant Navy Medal. The Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP) aims to seek out root causes for near misses, identify the lessons learned and to consider how best this information can be used to prevent reoccurrence elsewhere in the maritime industry. CHIRP does not seek to apportion blame to any company or individual. Rose received the award for mentoring services to Trinity House Yeomen and his CHIRP work into the detection of hazardous incidents at sea. Rose has 45 years of maritime experience to draw on in these roles.
7. Vancouver Grounding
A team of safety investigators is headed to Squamish, Vancouver after a bulk carrier ran aground there Monday morning. The "Kai Xuan", a cargo ship sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands, has been in Squamish since Friday, according to an online marine traffic service. No injuries have been reported and there appears to be no leakage from the ship so far, according to Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Collard. The incident is causing concern for opponents of the Woodfibre LNG facility proposed for a location 7 km southwest of downtown Squamish.
8. Singapore Cargo Throughput Ups and Downs
The cargo throughput of Port of Singapore in January-November 2015 amounted to 529.51 million tonnes, representing a slight decrease of 0.2% yoy compared to the same period last year (530.79 million tons). In the report the handling of liquid cargo amounted to 197.44 million tones, which took 37.3% from the total turnover of the port, representing an increase of 9.9% yoy, including 180.75 million tonnes (+ 8.9%) of crude oil and 16.69 million tons (+ 21.7%) of other liquid bulk products. Port of Singapore is the fourth largest port in the world, which serve 250 regular lines and daily receives about 150 ships. The total area of over 600 hectares.
9. Hurricane Vessel Refloated
The 850 dwt cargo landing craft Emerald Express has been refloated after three months ashore on Crooked Island, Bahamas. She is a lucky survivor of Hurricane Joaquin, the same storm that downed the American ro/ro El Faro on October 1. The Emerald Express was about 25 nm from the El Faro at the time of the sinking, and crew told Bahamian media sources that they had been able to hear VHF calls from the stricken vessel before she went under. The hurricane’s 135 mph winds pushed the Express inland on a storm surge so deep that she passed over reefs and mangroves without trouble.
10. Social Media Storm at Sea
EMC and Norwegian Cruise Line break record for “social media usage at sea” during inaugural voyage of Norwegian Escape. Norwegian Escape, the newest and largest of Norwegian Cruise Line’s 14-vessel fleet, experienced a record-breaking social media milestone during its inaugural celebrations from October 22-November 11, 2015. Cruisers logged 576,896 Facebook posts, 14,150 tweets and 11,367 Instagram posts for a total of 159 million impressions, surpassing the cruise line’s “social media usage at sea” record set during the 2013 inaugural events for Norwegian Breakaway, exceeded in 2014 with the Norwegian Getaway.
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