Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/10/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/10/2016

1. Vallianz Abandonment Spiral
The crews on three OSVs managed by Singapore-listed Vallianz Holdings have been abandoned. Press had reported how the crew of the "Swiber Explorer" have been left to fend for themselves off Dubai since June. Since then news has emerged that two further OSVs, the "Swiber Navigator" and "Swiber Sandefjord" have been jettisoned by Vallianz Offshore Marine (VOM), the shipmanagement subsidiary of Singapore-listed Vallianz Holdings. Conditions on the ships are deteriorating and the crews are owed many months of pay. Vallianz claimed that it is paying the crews and is working to improve conditions onboard.
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2. Cyber Scale Unknown
The scale of the cyber-security threat against shipping is unknown according to Giles Noakes, chief maritime security office of BIMCO. Speaking at a maritime security forum in Copenhagen Noakes said the scale of the problem was unknown in the shipping as owners do not want to admit to as it is brand issue.
On top of this companies do not realise they have been a victim of an attack in the first place. “I would go as far as to say half the people don’t know they’ve been attacked,” he said at the event which was part of Danish Maritime Days. One of the biggest threats at the moment remains malware spread by USB drives.
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3. Tanker Attacked Off Yemen
A laden Teekay LNG ship was attacked off the coast of Yemen earlier today, the company said in a statement. But the crew and the vessel are reported safe. The United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported an attack, which Teekay LNG confirms was the 138,000-cbm "Galicia Spirit" (built 2004).
Teekay LNG said in a statement that the ship reported a "suspected piracy attack." It said no third parties managed to board the vessel and all crew members have been accounted for, and the ship’s cargo is secure. The vessel is heading away from the area with a Djibouti warship in attendance.
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4. Ransom Confusion Reigns
As four Indonesian hostages freed by Somali pirates return to Indonesia, the foreign ministry denied that it had paid a ransom for the hostages’ release. “Indonesia has a clear position that we will never pay a ransom to those who commit piracy,” ministry spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir said.
However, AP reported Monday from Nairobi that a pirate representative, Bile Hussein, said US$1.5 million was paid for the sailors’ release. That claim could not be independently verified, AP reported.
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5. Still Captives Held
Somali pirates are still holding three Kenyans captured in November 2014, Marine expert Andrew Mwangura has said. Mwangura said the three – Louis Njoki, George Macharia and George Macharia – were being held alongside 13 foreign sailors. “Mburu, 36, and 41-year old Njoki hail from Ongata Rongai, and are currently in Harardhere District in Galgaduud region," he told the Star on Saturday. He added the three were living in deplorable conditions in the hands of the pirates. He said the captives’ details were submitted to relevant authorities but that the government was yet to contact the families.
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6. OSG Bumpy Split
Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. (OSG) has revealed that its international flag business, International Seaways, will recognise vessels impairment charges of up to $55m for the quarter ended 30 September 2016, following an announcement to split up its businesses. International Seaways, which operated a fleet of 55 oil tankers as at 30 September 2016, is anticipating to recognise impairment charges of $50m to $55m on two LR1s, an aframax and a panamax. The impairments are a result of “industry-wide declines in vessel valuations during 2016”, OSG mentioned in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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7. Changes to STCW Beckon
Shipowners P&I Club has drawn Members’ attention to the impending 2010 Manila amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW). This change affects all vessels required to comply with the STCW convention. As per Regulation I/15 of Resolution 1 – The Manila Amendments to STCW 1978, these changes, which come into force on 1 January 2017, will render many seafarer qualifications invalid. This includes those that do not state an expiry date (perpetual certificates).
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8. New Suez Charging Model
Egypt is in talks with global shipping firms to change the way it charges vessels to pass through the Suez Canal, offering discounts for advance payments as it seeks to raise much-needed hard currency from a struggling industry. A.P. Moller-Maersk, said it was considering proposals from the Suez Canal Authority for a new toll system. “They have proposed a new payment method and presented it to us, and we are looking at it now,” a spokesman for its Maersk Line shipping arm said, confirming a newspaper report and that advance payments were under discussion.
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9. More Offshore Jobs Slashed
Italian oil and gas giant Saipem has unveiled a new three-year strategic plan designed to help the company face continued challenging market conditions. Saipem says it will adopt a new, leaner, more effective and more efficient organizational model. The company is creating five divisions separated by sectors offshore construction, onshore construction, offshore drilling, onshore drilling, and a new entity for high added value engineering activities and services. As part of the shake up it will reduce its headcount at European-based facilities by around 800.
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10. IUMI Heads to Asia
The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) announced the opening of a new overseas hub in Asia – this is the first time in the organisation’ s 142 year history that it has  established a  permanent  presence outside of Europe, IUMI said in its press release. Making the announcement at the 4 th Asia Marine Insurance Conference,  IUMI President, Dieter Berg said, “ The Asian marine insurance market accounts for almost 30% of global premium income and  global trade in this region continues to grow. The  opening of our new Asian hub, based in Hong Kong,  recognises this significant contribution.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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