Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/10/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/10/2016

1. Yet More Crews Abandoned
Four aframax tankers and 14 crew have been abandoned off Fujairah since June. The seafarers – all Indian – were hired by Mumbai-based manning agency Abhay Shipping, who it turns out does not have the right certificates to hire crew. The ships are the "Beta", "City Elite", "Al Nouf" and "Laowadale". All four are operated by UAE-based Venous Ships Mgmt & Ops. The crew have not been paid since being hired in May and provisions onboard the vessels are understood to be running low. There has been a spike in cases of crew abandonment, which have grown as the shipping depression has worsened.
2. Frangou Faces Felony Charges
Navios’ Angeliki Frangou has been implicated with banking executives in Greece, who are facing felony charges in connection with an alleged money laundering racket and for abetting corrupt activities. Andreas Vgenopoulos, chairman of Greece’s Marfin Investment Group (MIG), and 14 Marfin Bank executives also face charges in connection to a EUR75m loan allegedly granted to investment firm IRF, which is owned by Frangou, according to court documents cited by press in Greece. The loan was allegedly granted in exchange for the purchase of shares in MIG and its subsidiary Marfin Bank (Romania).

3. Qatar Pulling Plug on Gas
Britain’s top sea-borne gas supplier Qatar has stopped sending new shipments for several weeks as restocking demand from long-standing customer South Korea drains supply. The drought underscores the precariousness of Britain’s access to LNG supplies from the world’s biggest producer at a time when U.K. gas traders deal with volatile markets and the approach of peak winter demand. But tanker overcrowding outside Argentinian import terminals and Trinidad and Tobago’s export facility, plus potentially maturing demand in South Korea, may help bring relief to Britain in the near future, analysts and industry sources say.

4. Rig May Have To Stay
The UK Secretary of State’s special representative for the Transocean Winner salvage has given approval for one more attempt at loading the damaged rig onto a heavy lift ship for transport to Turkey. If the operation has to be called off again, Transocean may have to prepare to store the rig in its current location through the winter.  Hugh Shaw, the government’s representative, said that the weather looks favorable for another loading attempt later this week.
5. Glut of Ships Concern
Many marine shipping companies are struggling to stay afloat as the global market remains stuck in the doldrums. Junichiro Ikeda, president of Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, also known as MOL, painted a bleak picture for the global shipping industry in a recent interview with The Nikkei, saying, “The harsh situation will continue at least until the end of next year.” He said he has concerns over a glut in the supply of ships have receded following the bankruptcy of Hanjin, resulting in the freight rate recovering somewhat. But the freight rate is still about half the peak level seen before the so-called Lehman shock.
6. Hyundai Keeping Tankers
“Right now, we do not consider anything in connection with the sell-off of our oil tanker business division,” Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) answered to a request of an inquired disclosure by the Korea Exchange with respect to press reports of the sell-off of the division. “We considered various measures including the sell-off of the Oil Tanker Business Division in order to secure liquidity and improve out financial structure in March and April,” HMM said. “Afterwards, we signed a voluntary agreement and completed debt-for-equity swap and a capital increase with consideration and debt readjustment with our creditors.

7. Shipbreaking Has to Change
In a position paper, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform calls on the European Commission, the European Parliament and Member States to support the introduction of a financial mechanism that will enhance safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in line with the standard set by the European Ship Recycling Regulation. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform asks the EC to develop a legislative proposal in order to implement the polluter pays principle for ship owners with a European Ship Recycling Licence. They claim, the shipping industry has been on the go for the last 15 years trying hard to fight off regulation.
8. Claim of Unseaworthy Injury
A deck hand alleges an US offshore company’s unseaworthy vessel caused him injures while on the job. Joseph Prudhomme filed a complaint against Seatran Marine LLC alleging that the employer violated the Jones Act and the Admiralty and General Maritime Law. According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Aug. 11, 2015, he was assigned to work aboard the defendant’s vessel Mr. Ridge when he slipped and fell while attempting to secure the boat to a dock. He alleges the incident caused him serious and disabling injuries to his knee and to suffer medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
9. Palm Ship Held from Dock
A decision on whether a ship carrying suspect palm kernel extract will be allowed to unload in New Zealand is now expected early next week. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has blocked the MV Molat from entering the Port of Tauranga because its cargo, used as a cheap livestock supplement feed mostly by the dairy industry, has come from a facility not approved by the Malaysian government, an MPI requirement to import palm kernel extract. It poses a biosecurity risk.  The ship has been anchored off the Tauranga coast since September 6 while MPI and the importer negotiate a resolution.
10. Low Bunkers Set to Stay
It seems that ship owners are poised to keep profiting from a low oil price environment, as bunker prices will keep their low prices, while demand for crude oil transportation is looking healthy enough. According to the latest weekly report from shipbroker Allied Shipbroking, “OPEC recent accord to shut off more than 6 percent of its production this past week has been met with mixed feeling amongst traders. As we moved closer to the day of the meeting its seems that the oil bulls were running rampant, driving prices for crude to levels that top just above the US$ 50 per barrel mark.

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


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