Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/06/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/06/2016

1. Rooftop Shipbuilding Protest
Around 30 suppliers of Chinese shipbuilder Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering protested on the rooftop of a building in the shipyard yesterday, in an attempt to claim debts owed from the yard. According to the creditors at the protest, Sinopacific Offshore owes millions to them, and they have reported the situation to the local government. Sinopacific Shipbuilding is currently dealing with a financial crisis and closed its Shanghai operations earlier this year. Its parent group Evergreen Holding, is also struggling and defaulted on bond payments recently.
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2. Information Centre Closes
The Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre – Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GoG) will close before the end of this month, following what is being claimed as "the successful conclusion of the Pilot Project". Based in Accra, Ghana, MTISC-GOG has been operational since March 2014, supported by some EU Member States and other international partners. Merchant vessels submit voluntary reports to the centre which facilitates the creation of a maritime picture from Senegal to Angola and provides security warnings to vessels about suspicious incidents and piracy attacks. There have been allegations the centre had been hacked or infiltrated.
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3. First For New Canal
The container ship Cosco Shipping Panama, which on June 26 will be the first to pass through the expanded Panama Canal, set sail Saturday from the port of Piraeus, Greece, on its way to this Central American country, official sources said. Canal administrator Jorge Luis Quijano, currently in Greece with a delegation of the Panama Canal Authority, or ACP, had the chance to meet the ship’s captain, Jude Rodrigues, and his crew, before the container ship makes the 14-day crossing, the ACP said. “It was great being able to meet the captain and crew and see the quality of the team that will be piloting the ship through the waters."
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4. Box Line Not Fast Enough
Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) was not able to cut costs fast enough in an industry where shipping services were increasingly getting commoditised, chief executive Ng Yat Chung has acknowledged. And without the kind of scale needed to compete on costs, the best choice was to sell, he said. The home-grown carrier, once one of the big boys of global shipping, has been struggling to stay afloat in recent years amid the industry downturn. NOL is set to be sold to France’s CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest shipping line, in a $3.38 billion deal and eventually will be delisted from the Singapore Exchange.
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5. Piraeus Backs Chinese
Piraeus Port (OLPr.AT) shareholders approved a new concession agreement with Chinese shipping giant COSCO on Friday, bringing Greece a step closer to concluding the sale of a majority stake in the port. Greece agreed in April to sell a 67 percent stake in the port to COSCO for 368.5 million euros. With the concession agreement approved, the deal now needs the green light from parliament and the competition watchdog to go through. Privatizations have been significant elements in Greece’s succession of bailouts since 2010 but have reaped poor revenues due to political resistance, union protests and bureaucracy.
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6. Pirate Group Sentenced
A last group of suspected Somali pirates that remained on trial in Seychelles has been found guilty of piracy offences and sentenced to 12 years in prison by the Seychelles Supreme Court on Friday. In the ruling delivered by Judge Gustave Dodin the five were convicted of two out of three counts of piracy brought against them by the prosecution. The Somalis stood accused of attacking a dhow and holding the Indian crew as hostages, as well as for using the dhow as a pirate ship to attack an oil tanker. The offences were said to have been committed in the Gulf of Aden between January 1 and January 18, 2014.
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7. Warning on Drones from Ships
Shortly after a drone had been launched from a vessel transiting the Suez Canal, the Master was requested by the Canal Authorities (SCA) to drop anchor. During the subsequent inspection, they confiscated the drone and the vessel was detained in anticipation of further investigations. There are currently no common or international rules governing the use of drones. According to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), basic national safety rules apply but these differ from one country to another. Nevertheless, a drone launched from a vessel, can have serious consequences for the vessel and the shipowner.
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8. Small Glimpse of Future
Nearly 400 miles off the Massachusetts coast, a self-sailing, solar-powered, boat is bobbing along all alone. Looking like a very lonely, very miniature cargo ship, it’s at the start of a voyage that will hopefully take it more than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic and into the record books. Solar Voyager launched from Massachusetts, at the beginning of the month, and is headed, very slowly, toward Portugal. If it survives, it will be the world’s first autonomous surface vessel to cross the ocean, and the first to do it on solar power. It’s not the first to attempt the crossing, however, and the others have not fared well.
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9. Arms Ships Seized
A ship sailing under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda has been detained by Greek authorities at the port of Piraeus. Two containers with military equipment and arms supplies have been found on board the vessel sailing from the Bulgarian port of Burgas to Uruguay. The ship was detected by a patrol ship of the Greek coast guard near Kafireas on Thursday. The captain of the ship complied with the instructions of the cost guard and changed the course to Piraeus. After inspection it was established that the ship was transporting two containers with military equipment and arms supplies.
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10. Pandora’s Box of Tax
Greece’s top shipping lobby on Friday warned that EU scrutiny of their tax concessions would open a “Pandora’s box” of revelations concerning other states, with harmful consequences all around. “If we enter a full investigation and consultation begins … on what happens in European shipping, it would open a Pandora’s box, not for Greece but for other countries,” Theodore Veniamis, head of the Greek union of shipowners said. Back in 2012, the European Commission asked Greece to clarify the workings of its tax system for the shipping industry.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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