Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/11/2016

1. Hamburg Sud Up for Sale
The owner of one of the world’s biggest shipping-container operators is considering putting the business up for sale, people familiar with the matter said, as the industry battles a prolonged slump. Hamburg Sud, the seventh-largest shipping-container operator world-wide in terms of capacity, is part of the Oetker Group, a family-owned German conglomerate, involved in shipping, banking, food and beverages. The Oetker family is discussing a sale of the shipping business, but no decision has been reached, one of the people said. “If a sale is decided, the process could start before the end of the year,” the person said.
2. Shipping Bank Seeks Buyer
Reuters is reporting that Germany’s HSH Nordbank has been in London meeting with potential buyers of the troubled German ship financier, with acquisitive Chinese firms to the fore. HSH Nordbank, saddled by hundreds of millions of poor performing shipping loans, is looking to privatise next year. Reuters reports senior management has met with officials from Bank of China, while China Merchants Bank is likely to also show interest in the German bank. Buyout firms including Apollo and Lone Star have also had meetings with HSH. HSH’s owners are the northern German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.
3. Malacca Seeks New Business
Once at the heart of the global spice trade, Malacca is pumping nearly $3 billion into an ambitious plan to put itself in demand in a different hot commodity – oil. The Malaysian state is reclaiming land along the Straits of Malacca to build a port that can handle the biggest tankers on the planet. The target: a slice of traffic sailing on to nearby Singapore, the top but congested trading hub in a region with $600 billion in annual oil trade – a third of global oil demand. Funded largely by Chinese investors, port operator T.A.G. Marine and developer Linggi Base are building the $2.82 billion Kuala Linggi International Port (KLIP).
4. Indonesian Pirates Sentenced
Eight Indonesians were sentenced to between 15 and 18 years in prison by a Malaysian court for the hijacking of an oil tanker last year, an official said Monday (Nov 28). The tanker MT "Orkim Harmony" was carrying around 6,000 tonnes of petrol worth an estimated US$5.6 million when it was commandeered by the eight men on Jun 11 last year. The tanker was en route from Malaysia’s western coast to the port of Kuantan on the east coast. Six of the pirates were sentenced to 15 years in jail and five strokes of the cane, while the other two were handed 18-year jail sentences.
5. US Navy Data Hacked
Personal data belonging to 134,386 current and former sailors in the U.S. Navy has been compromised, the Navy has reported. It wasn’t immediately clear when the hack took place, but the Navy is pointing the finger at a compromised laptop belonging to a contractor as the source of the data breach. In a statement, the Navy said it was notified by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services that a laptop belonging to one of its employees was compromised. That employee, the Navy said, was working in support of a Navy contract.
6. Latest UNCTAD Report on Shipping

UNCTAD has released its latest report into global shipping. 2015, saw world seaborne trade volumes surpassed 10 billion tons – the first time in the records of UNCTAD. Shipments expanded by 2.1 per cent, a pace notably slower than the historical average. The world fleet grew by 3.5 per cent in the 12 months to 1 January 2016 (in terms of dead-weight tons (dwt)). This is the lowest growth rate since 2003, yet still higher than the 2.1 per cent growth in demand, leading to a continued situation of global overcapacity.
7. New Players Looking at Crude Market
A interesting crude tanker market play could be emerging in Southeast Asia, as Indonesia looks set to enter the foray. Shipbroker Gibson notes that “the upgrading of Indonesia’s refining industry has been one of the government’s top priorities for nearly two years. The largest population in South Asia is heavily dependent on imported fuel to meet domestic demand. Estimates suggest that about half of Indonesia’s fuel consumption is processed by domestic refineries. Furthermore, data highlights oil demand could reach close to 2.3 million b/d by 2025. Indonesia could be become one of the world’s largest product importers.
8. Hyundai Preferred Port Bidder
South Korean shipping giant Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has been selected as the preferred bidder for a terminal in Algeciras, Spain, owned by its bankrupt compatriot Hanjin Shipping. The company earlier said that it would purchase of a 100 percent stake in Total Terminal International Algeciras, situated at Port of Algeciras Bay, from its owners, including IBK Securities Co Ltd, according to Reuters. Although it did not reveal the financial terms of the transaction, HMM said that it is expected to be finalized in late December.

9. Coming into the Cold
Vessels sailing in cold conditions are affected by the Polar Code which enters into force on 1st January 2017. Ship owners already preparing for the new code will realise that besides technical requirements also operational aspects have to be considered. One of them is appropriate training for the crew. The Polar Code is adopted by resolution MSC.385(94). The Polar Code applies to the areas around Antarctica, south of latitude 60°S and around the Arctic. In principle these are the waters north of latitude 60°N with the exemptions off the coast of Iceland and northern Scandinavia as well as parts of Russia.
10. New LNG Bunkering Begins
The chemical tanker "Fure West" operated by the Swedish shipping company FureTank was bunkered with LNG in the Port of Amsterdam last week – the first sea-going vessel to bunker with LNG in Amsterdam. The bunkering took place on the Groene Kade in the Amerikahaven, the designated location for safe truck-to-ship bunkering of LNG. "Fure West" is FureTank’s first sea-going vessel that has a dual-fuel engine. Built in 2006, the ship has recently been converted to run on LNG.

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