Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/03/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/03/2016

1. Bunker Executives Face Charges

Denmark’s state prosecutor for serious economic and international crime (SØIK) has pressed charges against the former CEO of now-bankrupt OW Bunker and other executives, reports say. Among the accused is ex-CEO Jim Pedersen, who confirmed to Shipping Watch that he and former CFO Morten Skou are among the accused. Lars Moller, the former director of OW Bunker’s Singapore-based subsidiary Dynamic Oil Trading, is also among those charged, DR News reports. OW Bunker filed for bankruptcy in November 2014 after a $125m fraud was allegedly committed by senior employees within Dynamic Oil Trading.


2. Cayman Flag Flies Proud

The International Chamber of Shipping has rated Cayman Registry as top of class for the fifth consecutive year in its 2015/2016 Annual Flag State Performance Table. Cayman Registry is one of 15 flag states that has received the distinction in this year’s performance table. The ICS has been the principal international trade association for the shipping industry, committed to the technical, legal, employment affairs and policy issues affecting international shipping. The Flag State Performance Table serves to encourage ship owners and operators to examine the substance of a flag before registering their vessels.



3. Stiff Sentence for Somalis

Six Somali citizens have been handed 16 year and a half imprisonment after they attacked and fired at the tuna vessel Izurdia off the coast of Somalia in October 2012. The six men, along with a minor unaffected by the process, were part of "an assault group or pirate action group organized with materials and elements for boarding and hijacking commercial ships sailing in the Indian Ocean, forming part of an organization. This organization was based in Harardhere, "engaged in obtaining illegal profits after assaulting, boarding and hijacking ships in the Horn of Africa".


4. Biometric ID for Seafarers

The Indian Government has approved the ratification of an international convention on bio-metric based documents to keep track of seafarers to ward-off potential breach of security and possible terror attack through sea routes. The Government has approved the ratification of ILO Convention No. 185 on the Seafarers Identity Document (SID). Indias ratification of this Convention will benefit Indian seafarers, who may otherwise find a threat to their job opportunities, in the near future. Thousands of Indian seafarers will benefit from the ratification of this Convention it has been claimed.



5. Unemployed Turning to Crime

President of the Nigeria Ship Owners Association , NISA has claimed that many seafarers who have been unable to secure gainful employment after their training have turned to crime out of frustration. Over the years government has failed to evolve programmes to facilitate the creation of jobs for cadet seafarers.  A statement from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, has revealed that about 11,000 cadets of the maritime institute who have succeeded in completing various cadet courses in the last 10 years have been denied the opportunity of doing the one-year mandatory practical training on board ocean going vessels.



6. Bulk Invest Bankruptcy Filing

Bulk Invest, formerly Western Bulk, has filed for bankruptcy just weeks after it sold its chartering division to parent Kistefos, in an attempt to survive. While Bulk Invest had sought a restructuring solution seven shipowners that had filed and injunction against the sale of WB Chartering to Kistefos also rejected its restructuring proposal. “The final restructuring proposal presented to the shipowners included immediate cash payments to the shipowners, the continuance of the Bulk Invest group’s charter parties at rates significantly above the current market, and an envisaged recapitalisation of the Company in the amount of approximately $40m.”



7. Scrubbers Cleaning Up

DNV GL has created a new class notation to help shipowners prepare their newbuildings for the installation of a scrubber. Scrubber Ready ensures that the necessary preparations are in place for a smooth and cost-efficient scrubber retrofit at a later stage. “There is no doubt that stricter emissions regulations for sulphur oxides are here to stay,” says Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO at DNV GL – Maritime. “This new Scrubber Ready class notation gives shipowners the flexibility to minimize their initial investment when ordering a newbuilding, while at the same time having the confidence that their vessels are already on the track to easy compliance"




8. Shipping in Electricity

Zambia has turned to Turkish power producers, Karadeniz; for 100 MW of electricity to help fix its ailing power sector.  The Turks are expected in the next two weeks to start supplying Zambia with electricity from a power-generating ship for a two year period.  One of the company’s vessels is currently docked at Mozambique’s Nacala port, from where the power will be generated before being transmitted via a grid to Zambia. The company builds floating power stations which plug into electricity grids after berthing, the power stations also known as power badges run on fuel oil but can also be operated with natural gas.



9. Hyundai in Trouble

Hyundai Merchant Marine., South Korea’s second-biggest shipping company, plans to write down its capital by 86 percent after losses mounted from excess capacity, and weak global demand led to a plunge in shipping rates. Hyundai Merchant will reduce its capital to $143 million as of April 21 to help improve its balance sheet, the company said in a regulatory filing Thursday. It will seek approval from shareholders at a March 18 meeting. After posting losses in five of the past seven years, Hyundai Merchant has been selling assets in an effort to reduce debt that amounted to almost 800 percent of its equity.



10. 2021 Oil Glut Vision

While some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have tried to sound optimistic by saying the global oil market will begin rebalancing next year, Energy Aspects Ltd. has calculated that it won’t be until 2021 before accumulated global stockpiles will be cleared and a true market recovery will commence. The company bases its calculations on International Energy Agency (IEA) data that 1.1 billion barrels built up since 2014 will remain even when overproduction ends, and another 37 million barrels will be added in 2017. This is in line with a prediction made by Goldman Sachs the oil glut will last 15 years.




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