Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/09/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/09/2016

1. On a Mission for Hanjin
Mission to Seafarers has offered to help Hanjin Shipping in providing welfare support to their 2,500 seafarers on board 97 container ships. “Some port authorities are refusing entry, as the ships could be arrested on arrival, with the financial situation at such a critical stage and the while funds to unload the ships remain in doubt,” the maritime welfare charity said. "If the ships continue to be blocked from entering port, there could be a welfare crisis for these seafarers, as vessels will quickly run out of food, fuel and essential provisions", they added. Seafarers are worried about their wages and supplies on board.
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2. Need to be Super Aware
The Singapore Navy is warning shipowners to be super aware of a greater piracy threat in the upcoming few days. The navy’s maritime security information sharing division, the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) has just issued an update which reads as follows: “As the conditions are favourable, IFC assess that the risks of attacks in South China Sea and Singapore Strait from 25 Sep to 05 Oct 16 are high. All ships are reminded to be vigilant and to conduct anti-piracy measures.” Southeast Asia has become a hotbed of piracy again this year, but mainly to the north in the Celebes and Sulu seas south of the Philippines.
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3. Bankruptcy Rumour Spat
K Line has accused APL Logistics of starting malicious bankruptcy rumours. K Line described the claims of its financial woes as “unfounded” and “false”. K Line has met with the logistics firm and the latter has promised to send out a note to its clients correcting the false rumours. K Line said it was also looking at legal options stemming from the damage done by the accusations. “Our financial condition is sound,” K Line stressed in a statement. APL Logistics, formerly part of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), was bought by Japan’s Kinetsu Express last year. A report suggested K Line would file for bankruptcy  within two weeks.
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4. All Set for Split
Europe’s largest maritime conglomerate will split in two. A.P. Møller-Mærsk will divide its energy and transport divisions in a major shake up. “The Board of Directors expect that the oil and oil related businesses in A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S will require different solutions for future development including separation of entities individually or in combination from A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S in the form of joint-ventures, mergers or listing. Depending on market development and structural opportunities, the objective is to find solutions for the oil and oil related businesses within 24 months,” they said.
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5. Staff Being Replaced
Bergen-based GC Rieber is letting go of 66 staff from nine offshore ships and will replace them with contract labour. 58 of the 66 people being let go are of Norwegian nationality. The Norwegian shipowner has made plenty of staff cuts already this year. In February GC Rieber announced plans to reduce its total headcount by 25% and its seafarer workforce by 28% during the first half of 2016 “in light of the uncertain market situation”.
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6. Marco Polo Explores Debt
Singapore-listed Marco Polo Marine has said in an announcement that there may be a substantial doubt about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern due to growing financial difficulties, sparking concern that the company could follow fellow Singaporean listed offshore firm Swiber Holdings into judicial management. The group reported an unaudited net loss of S$7.5m for the nine months ended June 30 this year and expects to record net losses for the fiscal year ending September 30. Marco Polo Marine cited lower utilisation rates of the group’s vessels and lower charter rates for its predicament.
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7. Golden Dawn for Piraeus
China’s biggest shipping company, COSCO Shipping, plans to ramp up container volume at Greece’s biggest port in Piraeus by 35 percent by 2018, the port’s new managing director, Fu Cheng Qiu, told Reuters. COSCO Shipping, which owns the world’s fourth-largest container shipping fleet, bought 51 percent of the port’s operating company last month for 280.5 million euros ($315.5 million), one of Greece’s biggest and most strategic privatisations since a debt crisis began in 2009. COSCO wants to boost the port’s container traffic to 5 million TEUs by 2018 under its plan to turn Greece into a transhipment hub.
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8. Pulling the New Build Plug
Maersk set to stop ordering newly built vessels and instead pursue takeovers in an industry that has been plagued by overcapacity for almost a decade. A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, whose Maersk Line unit has repeatedly broken the world records it has regularly set in mega container ships developed with Asian ship yards, “is done with ordering new steel,” Michael Pram Rasmussen told Bloomberg at the the company’s Copenhagen headquarters. “If Maersk Line needs to grow, it doesn’t make sense to order new ships as there are already too many ships in the market,” Rasmussen said.
https://goo.gl/RlDC9c
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9. Bali Bomb Ship Arrested
Indonesian authorities on the resort island of Bali on Thursday detained a ship from Malaysia carrying around 30 tonnes of fertilizer which police believe may have been intended for making bombs. Customs and police were questioning the crew and investigating the material for potential links to radical networks as the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation remains on high alert for militant attacks. Bali police said authorities were looking into whether the material was on its way to the eastern island of Sulawesi, a region known for militant violence.
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10. Two Tankers in Collision
Two oil tankers suffered little damage after they collided in the morning hours of September 21, according to Belgian Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC). The vessels, the 50,215 dwt "Ridgebury Katherine Z" and the 73,334 dwt "Maistros", both built in 2009. The cause of the incident, which occurred in the Belgian part of the North Sea some 30 km off the coast of Ostend, is still unknown. An investigation into the sequence of events that led to the collision is underway. MRCC added that there were no injuries to the crew members aboard the tankers, and there were no reports of an oil spill at the site.
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