Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/01/2016
1. Celebrating Indispensable Shipping
The new theme for 2016’s World Maritime Day is “Indispensable shipping” to reflect the impossibility of sustaining world trade without it. New IMO secretary general Kitack Lim reminded his audience that “no country, no society, can be self-sufficient – the need to export, to import, to trade, is universal. As a result, shipping – as the only truly cost-effective, energy-efficient and sustainable means of transporting goods and commodities in bulk – has become truly indispensable to the world.” Lim further highlighted the widespread ignorance of seaborne trade and its importance in the global economy. World Maritime Day will be 29 September.
2. West Africa Attack on Ro-Ro
Armed pirates attempted to board a RORO vessel confirmed as MV Silver Sky owned by Dubai-based Sallaum Lines while the ship was on its way in the Gulf of Guinea, some 64 nautical miles of Beyelsa. According to a report from the International Maritime Bureau, the vessel was fired upon yesterday, January 19th by pirates who were chasing the vessel in an attempt to board. It has been disclosed that one crew member has been shot in the hijacking attempt. After being unsuccessful in boarding the vessel, the pirates aborted their chase. The attack has been confirmed by the ship owner.
3. Barge Breakaway Closes Mississippi
A 22-barge breakaway hit three vessels and caused the closure of part of the Mississippi River. According to the US Coast Guard (USCG) the incident took place at the 54 mile marker on the Mississippi River near West Point a la Hache. The USCG said three deep-drafted vessels transiting the river were damaged by the breakaway barges and one lost part of its cargo of soy beans. All three vessels have now been safely anchored. The river has been closed between the 51 and 54 mile marker. “The Coast Guard continues to work with the responsible party to ensure all barges are accounted for, " USCG said.
4. Hyundai Fleet in Shop Window
The on/off sale by Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) of its dry bulk division has resurfaced again. The Korea Economic Daily reports that local private equity firm Hahn & Company is willing to pay US$495m to take on HMM’s bulkers. Hahn & Company is willing to pay to HMM and take on the company’s debt, the Korea Economic Daily reported citing unnamed investment banking sources. Neither HMM or Hahn & Company confirmed the speculation. HMM has been hawking its dry bulk fleet for the past year with local line SK Shipping as well as Yuanta Securities from Taiwan both reported as interested buyers in early 2015.
5. Greece Receives Increased Port Bid
Greece said it received an improved bid of 368.5 million euros ($402 million) that China’s Cosco Group submitted on Wednesday for a 67 percent stake in Piraeus Port, the country’s biggest. The board of the country’s privatisation agency (HRADF) met on Wednesday and evaluated Cosco’s offer. Privatisations are a key element of an international bailout Greece obtained in 2015. "HRADF’s board of directors declared the aforementioned company as the highest bidder and invited it to submit the documents required, in order for it to be designated as a preferred investor, according to the terms and conditions", HRADF said in a statement.
6. Pirates in Disguise
Pirates are believed to be disguising themselves as marine officers in attempts to fool local authorities as well as to carry out their illegal activities at sea. Marine Police Southern Region Two deputy commander Supt Mohd Salehuddin Mat Zaman said the imposters usually would extort between RM10,000 and RM100,000 as well as take valuable items from local fishermen in Pontian waters. Supt Mohd Salehuddin said the pirates usually aimed for trawler boats to carry out their illegal activities here. Pirates were seen wearing what resembled Indonesian marine police uniforms during the incident between midnight and 4am.
7. Shell Shares on Slide
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which is buying BG Group Plc in the industry’s largest deal in a decade, expects fourth-quarter profit to drop at least 42 percent after the rout in crude prices deepened. Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes probably shrank to $1.6 billion to $1.9 billion, Shell said Wednesday in a preliminary earnings statement. That compares with the $1.8 billion average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, and profit of $3.3 billion a year earlier. BG also published a provisional results statement that showed its 2015 oil and natural-gas production will probably beat forecasts.
8. More Plastic than Fish
The world’s oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050 if current business practices are continued, according to a report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Researchers warned eight million tonnes of plastics currently find their way into the ocean every year – the equivalent of one truckload every minute. At current rates, this will worsen to four truckloads per minute in 2050 and outstrip native life to become the largest mass inhabiting the oceans. The report ‘The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics’ by the WEF and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, urges more recycling and reduced waste.
9. New Technological Vision
The new CEO of Transas, Frank Coles, has vocalized his vision for the future of the global maritime technology for the first time since his appointment in late 2015. The Transas CEO has his sights set on the company delivering the technology and solutions needed for the integrated maritime industry infrastructure of the future. Revealing Transas’ new vision statement in an exclusive interview with Ship Efficiency Review, Frank Coles says that Transas will be “stepping up to shake up the market” in order to lead the industry. Coles states, “It’s not enough just to talk about it, we’ve now got to walk-the-walk in the industry.”
10. Human Error Blamed Again
The German Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation (BSU) has released a report into the allision of the special purpose dive support vessel Red7 Alliance with a lock in Germany, noting both human error and a potential lack of control system functionality. In January last year, the Bahamas flagged "Red7 Alliance" , arrived at the locks to transit the Kiel Canal during her voyage from Great Yarmouth to Mukran. During the movement the vessel continuously accelerated and rammed the closed lock gate with such velocity that exiting again under her own steam was impossible.
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