Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/11/2016

1. UN Renews Naval Force
The Security Council today renewed for another year its authorization for international naval forces to join in fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia, stressing that while the threat of such crime had declined, it still remained a matter of grave concern. Unanimously adopting resolution 2316 (2016) and again affirming the primary responsibility of Somali authorities in the effort, the Security Council renewed the call upon States and regional organizations that were able to do so to cooperate with those authorities and each other in deploying naval vessels and military aircraft in the area.
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2. Swissco in Trouble
Swissco Holdings looks very close to following fellow Singaporean offshore firm Swiber Holdings into judicial management with news today that its restructuring plan has been rejected by its bank lenders. The plan, first presented on October 24, asked noteholders to accept a debt for equity deal, while seeking bank refinancing , and moving to scrap four of its rigs which lay idle. Adding to its woes, X-Drill Holding has obtained a court order in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea for the arrest of four of Swissco’s jackup rigs. Swissco, originally an OSV operator, diversified into rigs in mid-2014 just ahead of global oil prices plunging.
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3. US Election Jitters
If there ever was a sound argument for increasing scrapping, the US election gave it to the shipping world with the election of Donald Trump as president. In very simple terms, shipping depends on trade and trade depends on non-isolationism. The problem is not just President Trump; the problem is the belief of the US voters who elected him. The short-term prospect for shipping is dark, as is the medium-term. But the long-term outlook is good. Good because the world will finally realise that the United States should not be the leader of the so-called free world.
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4. Small Ships Under Threat
Somali pirates retain the capacity and intent to resume the attacks and have lately shifted to targeting smaller foreign fishing boats, according to U.N. report. The report, says that as of August 2016 there were no seafarers from large commercial vessels held by Somali pirates but 39 hostages from foreign fishing boats remained in captivity. The report also found that while reported piracy incidents increased slightly to 15 in the roughly year long period that ended in October 2016, up from 12 in the previous period, the numbers were sharply lower than the 237 pirate attacks reported when piracy was at its peak in 2011.
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5. Confusion over Maersk Giants
“The only way to tell the real capacity of a Maersk ship is to count the boxes on their Christmas cards.” So said a sage shipping correspondent more than a decade ago – and the same rings true today with news emerging that the latest series of light blue hulled mega boxships under construction in South Korea are record breakers, in excess of 20,000 teu each. Alphaliner is reporting Maersk Line’s second generation EEE class vessels, currently under construction at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), look set to become the first boxships that will break the 20,000 teu barrier.
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6. Baltic Exchange Sale Completed
Singapore Exchange has completed its takeover of the privately-owned Baltic Exchange, sealing an 87 million pound ($108 million) deal for one of London’s oldest institutions, the groups said on Tuesday. The acquisition is one of the latest developments in a string of mergers, bidding wars and failed deals among global exchanges. SGX’s offer also comes as the global shipping industry is struggling with its deepest downturn. "The acquisition … has been completed today as planned, bringing together complementary strengths of Singapore and London, two of the world’s most important maritime centers," the two said.
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7. MOL Takes Revolutionary Delivery
Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) take delivery of a revolutionary very large ethane carrier from Samsung Heavy Industries. The Ethane Crystal is one of six such ships ordered by India’s Reliance Industries that MOL will use to ship ethane derived from shale gas from the US to India as the fleet’s operator and manager.
The series of ships at 87,000 cu m each are the largest vessels ever built for transportation of ethane at an industrial scale, roughly twice the size of the largest currently afloat. They have GTT Mark III as a containment system which is unique for ethane transportation.
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8. Tracking Emissions and Energy
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has teamed up with container shipping giant Maersk on a new project that aims to track vessel emissions and energy efficiency of ships calling at the San Pedro Bay port complex. The project, which will span three years, builds on a $125 million investment by Maersk Line to upgrade 12 containerships as part of its “radical retrofit” program to reduce fuel consumption and increase capacity of vessels regularly calling at the ports. The two ports are contributing a combined $1 million to install real-time tracking systems.
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9. Lack of Maintenance Fears
BraemarSA has warned that a lack of maintenance has led to a significant increase in engine room fires according to its latest Asia Market Briefing. Analysing the trends report, its author, Graeme Temple, Far East Regional Director at BraemarSA, said: “Engine room fires remain all too common a problem, and during the Summer we saw a dramatic increase. Since attending these casualties we found that typically these fires are being caused by volatile vapours impinging on hot surfaces from technical failures that are down to a lack of maintenance and basic routine visual inspection.
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10. UK P&I On Bulk Cargoes
When bulk cargoes shift, liquefy, catch fire or explode due to poor loading procedures, the consequences can be critical – ships could capsize, lose stability or sustain severe structural damage. “Carrying solid bulk cargoes safely: Guidance for crews on the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code”, is an updated version of a 2013-published guide for ships’ officers and agents who arrange cargoes for loading, produced jointly by Lloyd’s Register, UK P&I Club, and Intercargo. This new edition outlines the precautions that need to be taken before accepting solid bulk cargoes for shipment, safe loading and carriage.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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