Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/09/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/09/2016

1. Hanjin Handed Lifeline
Hanjin Shipping has been thrown a $90.6m lifeline as it seeks to unload its stranded vessels at the ports in Asia and Europe. The sum is seen as falling far short of what is required to keep Hanjin Shipping operations running day-to-day with the company having so many unpaid obligations such as charter hire at the end of August. However, it would cover the costs of unloading cargo from vessels from the ailing company currently stranded around the world. Terminal operators and other port service providers such as tug boat operators have been unwilling to provide services to Hanjin for fear of never getting paid.
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2. Great Barrier Reef Row
A two-week court case has kicked off in Brisbane that could seriously harm the bottom line of the London P&I Club. The Australian government claims that at least A$120m ($91.54m) is needed to “remediate” damage to around 40 ha of the Great Barrier Reef after the 2010 grounding of the Chinese coal carrier Shen Neng One off Gladstone. The ship was owned by Shenzhen Energy and insured by the London P&I Club. One seafarers was jailed following the incident and another fined. The British insurer is expected to claim that the damage to the reef was not as bad as the government has suggested.
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3. German Banks Stung
German ship finance sits on a precipice. KGs – like KSs in Scandinavia – are a wonderful way to raise money and are also nice for investors. However now people do not trust them because the KG houses completely overdid things in the hot market from 2006 to 2008, contracting vessels without employment and equity or with employment, but no equity paid in. Banks were stupid to provide loans also for the equity part without proper checks. So when the markets crashed they were left out to dry for up to 100% of the project cost. So now German banks are adopting a once bitten, twice shy approach to the sector.
http://goo.gl/rFQ1B8
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4. New Thinking on Container Crisis
It has been a dramatic year for container shipping with overcapacity, difficult markets and consolidation dominating the headlines. The middle of the year saw capacity in the market passing the 20m teu level as ultra-large containership tonnage continued to be delivered. Combined with a background of slower trade and low and volatile rates some have struggled to survive. This in turn precipitated a major shake-up in the structure of the industry’s global alliances. Seatrade has produced a new white paper assessing where the industry heads now.
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5. Giant UK Gas Deal
Qatargas has won a five-year contract extension from Centrica in a deal that will see it ship an additional 10m tonnes of LNG to the UK gas supplier up to 2023. It is the third extension of a contract Qatargas first inked in 2011 to deliver up to 2m tonnes of LNG annually to Centrica’s Isle of Grain terminal in Medway, Kent, via chartered Q-Flex and Q-Max LNG vessels. The Qatari company, initially entered into a three-year contract with Centrica to supply LNG from June 2011. A further 4½ year contract was then agreed before the latest five year contract extending till 2023.
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6. DP World Invests in Somalia
DP World has unveiled the first phase of its $442m plan to transform Somaliland’s Port of Berbera from a port it claims is currently operating without any shore cranes into a modern Horn of Africa trading hub. The Dubai-based global terminal operator has won a 30-year concession with an automatic 10-year option for the management and development of a 4.25sq km multi-purpose terminal at the Gulf of Aden port on Somaliland’s northern coastline. A 400 metre quay and 250,000 sq metre yard extension, complete with gantry cranes and reach stackers to handle containers and cargo, highlight the first phase of the project.
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7. Decline in Tanker Deals
The sluggish tanker charter market and declining asset values have seen S&P deals in the sector slide this year, according to data compiled by brokers Alibra Shipping. “S&P transactions for tankers have almost halved so far this year (Jan 1-Sept 2),” the broking house noted in a recent report. This year, Alibra has tracked 191 tankers changing hands, compared to 303 at this point last year. Some 15 VLCCs have been sold this year, compared to 42 during the 2015 period. This year, four VLCCs have been sold as resales compared to 20 this time last year.
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8. Indonesia Ratifies MLC
Indonesia’s ratification of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) 2006 will help protect its sailors and crew members, Manpower Minister M Hanif Dhakiri has stated. "The ratification of the MLC 2006 is mainly aimed at protecting our sailors and crew members when it comes to fulfilling their basic rights related to wages, work conditions, work and rest hours, medical care, health insurance, social insurance, training, placement and supervision," he said at a working meeting with the House of Representatives here on Monday (9/5). The minister noted that the ratification of the MLC will have a positive impact on the country.
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9. Shipping Embracing Disruptive Tech
Disruptive technology from other industries is likely to alter shipping business models irrevocably and older, establishment shipowners could be ousted by new, debt-free competitors, panellists at SMM’s Maritime Future conference have warned. Discussing the business case for unmanned ships, Rolls-Royce Innovation vp Oskar Levander indicated that unmanned ships would leverage cost savings beyond crewing. “A lot of companies talk about energy optimisation. Why do we just optimise fuel cost? We should look instead to optimise revenue – and not just for shipowners, but for customers.”
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10. More Magic Pipe Mayhem
In yet another ‘Magic Pipe’ case whereby a ship dumps toxic matter directly into the sea in breach of all regulations, a federal jury in Greenville, North Carolina, has found Oceanic Illsabe Limited, Oceanfleet Shipping Limited and two of their employees, guilty of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), obstruction of justice, false statements, witness tampering and conspiracy. The case revolves around the 29,513 DWT cargo vessel, the Ocean Hope, owned by Oceanic Illsabe and managed by Oceanfleet Shipping, which was responsible for dumping tonnes of oily waste into the Pacific Ocean last year.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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