Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/09/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/09/2016

1. Massive Tanker Fire Fought
A fire on a tanker carrying gasoline and diesel off Mexico’s Gulf coast was put out Sunday, a day after the blaze began. Firefighting boats had battled the blaze since Saturday aboard the Burgos, which is owned by the company, Pemex. A Pemex statement said experts have begun investigating to determine what caused the fire in two of the ship’s tanks. Pemex said only a minimal amount of fuel was in the water and it was contained by floating booms, it was claimed Burgos’ double hull had prevented any fuel spill. While the volatility of the gasoline and diesel on the ship would aid in its evaporation.

2. Hanjin to Sell Assets
Hanjin Shipping will likely sell some of its most valuable ships as creditors scramble to secure whatever remains of Korea’s biggest container operator as it heads towards liquidation. Korean peer Hyundai Merchant Marine will be the first to look at Hanjin’s 37 container vessels, with the focus on five 13,000-container ships, the biggest in the troubled carrier’s fleet. But it isn’t certain HMM will find the money to buy the ships, which could go for around $US90 million ($118m) each. “HMM will be the first to cherrypick among Hanjin’s vessels,” said a person familiar with the process.
3. Somali Pirates Death Sentence
A 119 Somali pirates nabbed in four operations by the Indian Coast Guard and Navy in 2011-12, have pleaded guilty to offences against them. The accused said their previous plea of not guilty may be disregarded. This comes at the end of the trial that commenced in late 2012 with 70 witnesses deposing and difficulties caused by the absence of several foreign national witnesses. About 50 pirates, booked for murder, could face the death sentence, which is maximum punishment under the section. All accused have also been booked under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

4. Many Ships Means Bad News
Too many new ships continue to plague the chemical shipping market, with a recent report citing the growth of vessel tonnage for depressing freight rates on major US trade lanes. Freight rates on two major routes this year are flat to down, according to ICIS. Eastbound transatlantic rates for 5,000 tonnes remain flat compared to early January figures, while rates for the US Gulf-Asia route are down 13% for the year. The latest report from SPI Marine says many players are reasonably optimistic that the usual late-year rally will materialise in the fourth quarter.

5. How Low Can Rates Go
How long and how far can the downward rate pressure go before the entire shipping industry is operating in red, and collapse, dragging the complex supply chain setups with them into the dumps? Negotiation theory says that a win-win result is the only one ensuring long-term success of the solution. The key question is where the downward rate pressure in recent years has its origins? One answer is obvious – in huge tonnage capacity increases by carriers. Why did the whole industry engage in adding such large numbers of mega ships to their fleet? The main reason were over-optimistic forecasts about the growth in demand.
6. Box Ship Sinks Tug
The container ship CMA CGM Simba sunk towing tug at Toliara port, Mozambique. The vessel was leaving the port, being towed by the port tug Domingue, but due to late releasing of the towing line, the tug capsized and sank. Four from the five seamen jumped into the sea and swam to the shore, while one was trapped inside. The four rescued seamen were transported to the hospital, but one of them died on route. The fifth crew from the towing tug was trapped inside, but managed to get out later, as air pocket saved his life. The container carrier CMA CGM Simba was detained after the accident.
7. Guidance for Online Seafarer Applications
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has issued guidelines on the online registry of seafarers as part of government effort to secure a universal identification for Filipino sailors. “The online seafarer registry shall likewise pave the way … for Filipino seafarers’ identification that is acceptable to all government agencies and Port States in compliance with ILO Convention No. 185 or the Seafarer’s Identity Document Convention” said POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac in a statement. Seafarers should register to be included on the list of qualified seafarers for overseas employment.
8. Tackling West African Issues
Pirates around Nigeria have started to expand hostage-taking from offshore supply vessels to production storage and general cargo ships. There were 54 piracy incidents reported last year, with 37 crew members kidnapped off the Niger Delta, and 34 the previous year. IMB estimates that only one-third of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea end up being reported. Shipping companies often would rather avoid having to inform insurers or endure a long investigation that often comes to nothing. The U.N. Security Council has urged international action to help Nigeria and other governments in West Africa contain piracy.
9. Separate Winding Up Orders
Otto Marine has announced that three creditors have filed separate winding up applications with the Supreme Court of Western Australia to wind up two of the company’s subsidiaries, Go Inshore and Go Marine Group. The total sum claimed against the subsidiaries is around US$600,000, and a court hearing is set for November 8. Otto Marine is currently under a restructuring through a takeover deal with a company controlled by its chairman Datuk Seri Yaw Chee Siew, and it will delist from the Singapore Exchange upon completion of the deal before September 30.
10. The Ballast Balancing Act
Implementation of IMO Ballast Water Management Convention requires shipowners to fit systems currently approved by IMO despite the fact that many believe it has so far been impossible to design a system which can treat all types of water at all times, even with stricter guidelines. The root cause of the current chaos is the location of ballast water treatment systems onboard ships. For existing ships, finding a place to fit a system in already overcrowded engine rooms is just beyond imagination. Also the availability of dry docks for retrofit is another problem with meeting the compliance schedule.

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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