Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/02/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/02/2017

1. Black Day for Hanjin Beckons
February 17 is likely to mark the end of what was once of the most high profile brands in container shipping. A court in Seoul has decided to end Hanjin Shipping’s court receivership process and said it will declare the link bankrupt on February 17 after a two-week period for appeals. The court said Hanjin’s liquidation value was worth more than its value as a going concern. Hanjin was the world’s seventh largest containerline when applied for court receivership in late August saddled with more than $5bn. It desperately offloaded assets in recent months in a bid to try and reposition itself as an intra-Asia player, but all to no avail.
2. Shipping Scrapping Shame
Shipowners worldwide sent 862 large ocean-going vessels for scrapping in 2016, with 668 ending up in Bangladeshi, Indian or Pakistani yards, despite international efforts to restrict unsafe ship breaking, according to figures the NGO Shipbreaking Platform published Feb. 1. German and Greek shipowners were among the “worst global dumpers” of old ships, the coalition said. Of 100 German-owned ships sold for scrap in 2016, 98 were beached in south Asia, as were 104 of 113 obsolete Greek-owned vessels, according to the data.

3. Ushering In K Line Change
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (“K” Line) announced changes to executive officers.  “K” Line has promoted Senior Managing Executive Officer Kazutaka Imaizumi to the position of chairman of “K” Line India Private Ltd., Executive Officer Aka Hiraoka to counselor of “K” Line Logistics Ltd., and Executive Officer Tomoyuki Okawa to chief executive officer of “K” Line Offshore AS. Tomoyuki Okawa will provide assistance to Energy Transportation Business, in charge of Tankers, General Manager of Energy & Off-Shore Business Planning Group.

4. Deluge of Tanker Deliveries
Tanker owners have been hit with a deluge of new deliveries in the first month of the year on a scale never seen before, heaping further pressure on an already weak freight rate environment. At an unprecedented scale, 5.5m dwt of crude oil tanker capacity – up 220% from January 2016, has already been delivered in 2017, according to preliminary data from The lion’s share of January deliveries were taken by 12 VLCC deliveries, which totals 3.68m DWT and represents 67% of the month’s total. Additionally, 943.000 dwt of suezmaxes and 903,500 dwt of aframax vessels were delivered.

5. Rising Water Aids Traffic
Water levels on the Rhine and Danube in Germany were rising rapidly on Wednesday after recent rain and as warmer weather thawed snow, raising hopes of a return to normal shipping on the two rivers by the end of this week, traders said. The Rhine and Danube have been too shallow for normal sailings since late November, with some barges in Germany only able to sail at 20 to 30 percent capacity this week. Traders said cargo was still being delivered. However, low water levels meant loads were divided among several vessels instead of being carried by a single vessel, increasing transport costs for cargo owners.
6. Russian Rig Shoots Plane
A Ukrainian Navy transport plane reportedly came under fire from personnel on a Russian Black Sea oil rig, according to Ukrainian defense minister Stepan Poltorak. Poltorak said in a statement that the aircraft was on a training flight over Ukrainian territorial waters at the time of the incident. It was damaged, but it was able to return safely to base. He posted a series of photos to his Facebook account showing the damage to the plane: Poltorak further alleged that Ukrainian forces detected the activation of Russian air defense radars.

7. World’s Biggest Tanker Fleet
NITC managing director, while noting that Iran possessed the largest tanker fleet in the world, expounded on plans to renovate and expand the existing squadron. New Managing Director of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) Sirous Kianersi made the remarks saying “presently, capacity of vessels belonging to NITC has climbed to over 15.5 million tons per year.” He reiterated that NITC owned that world’s largest crude oil tanker flotilla and touched upon expansion of the country’s fleet in the post-JCPOA era asserting. NITC has recently signed 35 lease contracts for lending out Iranian tankers to several European oil firms.
8. Standby Still Making Money
Safety standby vessels or emergency response and rescue vessels haven’t ever been the most profitable segment of the offshore vessel sector, but at the moment they are at least providing a profit, unlike most other vessel segments Almost nobody operating platform supply vessels (PSVs) or anchor-handling tug/supply vessels – let alone really expensive assets such as diving support ships – is making money at the moment. Most deals see vessels contracted to operate at or below opex, but in the emergency response and rescue vessel (ERRV) segment in the North Sea, it seems the market is holding up reasonably well.

9. Indian Ports Going Green
India has started the process of setting-up renewable energy projects at its twelve major ports by investing INR 7.04 billion (USD 104.5 million) as part of the country’s Green Port Initiative. In an effort to switch to renewable sources of energy to power the country’s major ports, the Ministry of Shipping informed that it plans to set up 91.50 MW of solar energy capacity at the twelve ports and 45 MW of wind energy capacity at the ports of Kandla and V. O. Chidambaranar. “When completed, these renewable energy projects will help in the reduction of carbon dioxide emission by 136,500 MT annually", it is claimed.
10. Autonomy is Rolling In
A Rolls Royce executive claims autonomous ships will be “routinely” used in the shipping industry within the next fifteen years. Autonomous ships will likely be on the water before 2020 and frequently used within 15 years, according to Oskar Levander, Vice President of Innovation, Engineering, and Technology at Rolls Royce. The marine branch of Rolls Royce is joining Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications in Finland to continue to develop the technology necessary to complete this transition. Autonomous or remote controlled ships would take away the need for shipping companies to hire crews.

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