Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/11/2016

1. Thanksgiving for Shipping
The shipping industry, whether for dry bulk, tankers, containerships or offshore, has ridden a monumental wave in 2016, a wave as impressive as Kanagawa’s Great Wave – metaphorically speaking. The dry bulk market first experienced the worst ever freight market in recent memory but then tripled in a matter of months. Tankers have seen their rates halved, and limited interest for secondary market acquisitions and relatively weak prices. The containership market saw a government-blessed entity (Hanjin) go belly up, which pretty much by itself sums the state of the market; also, seven-year old panamax containerships these days are heading to the scrapyard. Finally, the offshore market has seen brand-new, top-tier drillships idling.
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2. Double Nigeria Trouble
Two vessels operating in the Gulf of Guinea were attacked by the same group on the morning of November 23, reported FleetMon. Panamanian-flagged Product Tanker Eliana and Nigerian PSV Kendrick were both attacked off the Bayelsa coast off Nigeria, believed to be by the same group, some 60-70 nautical miles from shore. Eliana was en route to Lagos, having set sail from Port Harcourt, while PSV Kendrick was heading for shore having visited an oil field in the Gulf. It is believed both vessels managed to fend off the attacks before continuing on to their destinations. This latest episode marks an escalation in piracy activity off the Nigerian coast, with a Maersk container ship coming under attack earlier in November.
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3. Investigation into Collision
A UK government safety investigation has been launched after a 200m cargo ship collided with a barge off the coast of Dover at the weekend. Lifeboat crews had to battle dreadful sea conditions on Sunday to rescue 11 of the 23 people on board the Saga Sky after it hit the anchored Stema Barge II close to the port of Dover. And the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), which works with the Department for Transport to investigate marine accidents involving UK vessels, is now looking into what happened. It says the UK Coastguard evacuated all non-essential crew, there were no injuries and despite significant hull damage, both vessels remained afloat.
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4. Youngest Ship Scrapped
Rickmers Marine Trust is scrapping the youngest ever container ship sent for demolition. The India Rickmers is a seven year old Panamax, 4,250 TEU ship built in China in 2009. VesselsValue values the vessel at $5.87 million, just above scrap. In 2016, the vessel fell 62 percent in value. This year the average change in value in the container ship sector is -26 percent. The main reason for this is that these vessels are becoming defunct now that the Panama Canal has been widened. Panamax container ships built in 2009 have dropped in value by two thirds over the last couple of years. Rickmers Marine Trust’s live fleet of 16 Panamax vessels has an average age of eight years and is valued at $88.69 million by VesselsValue.
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5. Havila Edges to Oblivion
Troubled Norwegian offshore firm Havila Shipping has told bondholders that unless they agree to its restructuring by Monday it will then be forced to seek bankruptcy, after it received a notice to accelerate from its secured bank lenders. Thus far, bondholders have rejected measures proposed by the Havila board. Havila will know its fate by 3pm on Monday. The restructuring plan gives Havila breathing room through to November 2020, replacing approximately NOK3.2bn of debt maturities in the period 2017-2019 with around NOK67m of minimum fixed amortization. Havila is one of many financially struggling Norwegian OSV companies – a sector that is contracting fast via consolidation and players exiting the market.
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6. Shipping Financier Heads to Washington
As President Elect Donald Trump continues to shape his new administration, it seems shipping could be set for a shake up. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that one of shipping’s most significant investors will join the Donald Trump administration next year. Wilbur Ross, 78, the kingpin of private equity’s march into shipping over the past five years, is being touted as the next commerce secretary when Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the US in January.
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7. China Builds New Base
China will boost military ties with Djibouti, strategically located in the Horn of Africa, state media quoted a senior Chinese army officer as saying during a visit to a country where China is building its first overseas naval base. In February, China began construction in Djibouti of its first overseas military facility, a logistics base that will resupply naval vessels taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. Djibouti, which is about the size of Wales, is strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal. The tiny, barren nation sandwiched between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia also hosts U.S., Japanese and French bases.
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8. Safety Needs Improvement
The Singapore MPA has finalized its investigation report into the grounding of the Indonesian-registered passenger ferry Sea Prince, sparking a range of initiatives to improve safety standards for regional ferries. At about 7.50 pm on November 29, 2015, the Indonesian registered, Batamfast passenger ferry Sea Prince ran aground at about 0.24 nautical miles (444 meters), northwest of Nongsa, Indonesia. The vessel was en route from Nongsapura Ferry Terminal, Batam, to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Singapore. Investigation revealed that the Master of Sea Prince had deviated from his original planned route after leaving the demarcated navigational channel and went aground.
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9. Farstad Being Sold
Farstad Shipping is working on an overall restructuring plan to strengthen the Company’s balance sheet and liquidity position going forward. Farstad, represented by its independent board members, and Siem Oilservice Invest Holdings Limited have today signed a binding term sheet for a restructuring of Farstad along the following lines: Farstad will issue a minimum of 702 000 000 ordinary shares for a total subscription of minimum NOK 1 billion at a price per share of approximately NOK 1.4245 (the “Cash Issue”). Siem will underwrite NOK 1 billion of the Cash Issue, and subscribe for and be allocated a minimum number of New Shares so that Siem owns 50,1% of the shares in Farstad, post restructuring.
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10. Shipping Is Officially Beautiful
A map showing the activity of shipping vessels won first place in the Interactive category at the Information is Beautiful Awards this year. The website, shipmap.org, plots thousands of ships on their journey through canals, major rivers and the high seas: activity often well out of sight for the general public. Geographical interviewed Duncan Clark and Robin Houston, the creative duo behind the prize-winning visualisation and founders of a new data visualisation platform, Flourish.studio.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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