Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/02/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/02/2017

1. P&I Clubs Mainly Happy
Several leading P&I Clubs have reported a satisfactory renewals season that ended this week on 21 February, with their members also presumably happy that no general rate increases were applied by most of the Protection and Indemnity insurance mutuals. The UK Club reported member retention of over 99% and entered tonnage up by 2.5% to around 139m tonnes. The result followed the Club’s decision not to impose a standardised general rate increase but to negotiate premium levels individually to reflect any “specific risk” attached to a member.
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2. Bibby Hunting Arrest
Bibby Offshore has advanced in its Texas court case against Emas Chiyoda Subsea, with the judge granting the company permission to arrest subsea vessel "Lewek Express". Bibby filed a case last month in the Texas Southern District Court demanding arbitration over $14.7m owed from an $18.1m contract performed in Trinidad in 2016. While Bibby sought to arrest the Lewek Express, Emas Chiyoda Subsea argued that the vessel was not owned by the company and requested its release. The judge ruled however that vessel’s registered owner, Ocean Lion Shipping Ltd, is owned entirely, or substantially, by Ezra Holdings.
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3. Online Ship Sales
The VLCC "Varada Blessing" was auctioned off this week through a court-ordered listing on Taobao.com, the Chinese e-commerce platform better known for low-cost consumer goods. The 1993-built, 300,000 dwt tanker brought in $11.7 million at the close of her third time at auction; the two previous rounds failed to go over the reserve price. This transaction is part of an increasing trend in the Chinese courts to use online auctions for asset sales and liquidations. According to Xinhua, over 100 courts in Guangdong alone have set up shop on Alibaba-owned Taobao, and they brought in a combined $1.5 billion in online sales last year.
goo.gl/zaBxVP
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4. Ship Sails Close to Trouble
On Wednesday morning, the 40,000 dwt barge carrier Eide Carrier (AIS reporting name Tide Carrier) came within 300 feet of going aground off Jæren, Norway. Officials with the Joint Rescue Coordination Center – Southern Norway said that the vessel lost power at about 1045 hours Wednesday and deployed an anchor to hold herself steady. She regained power and weighed anchor, but lost power again and redeployed ground tackle to keep from drifting onto the beach. As of Wednesday night, the Carrier was without propulsion but stable, with two anchors to hold her steady and two tugs made up and standing by.
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5. Spanish Dockers Call Strike
Spanish dock workers have called nine days of strikes to protest government plans to allow ports to hire non-unionised labour, El Pais newspaper reported on Tuesday, threatening to disrupt trade for up to three weeks from March 6. Dockers last week called off a planned three-day strike after the government said it would put its reforms on hold and open talks, but the decision to push ahead with a bigger strike came after the government signalled it would not change parts of the plan, El Pais said, citing the CETM union. The proposals would allow companies operating in ports to hire staff that do not belong to unions.
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6. Megaships to New York
APM Terminals on Wednesday revealed plans to bring so-called ‘megaships’ to the Port of New York and New Jersey with a massive increase to its infrastructure investment plan at its Port Elizabeth facility. In September 2016, APM Terminals announced its plan to invest $70 million for a new berth at its Port Elizabeth container terminal that will allow the facility to handle the larger vessels coming through the Panama Canal post expansion. APM Terminals, the port operating arm of Maersk Group, is now more than doubling that investment.
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7. USCG on Ballast Violations
The USCG has confirmed that after an investigation of ballast water discharge violations, they have initiated civil penalty proceedings against a vessel’s operator. Apparently the accused vessel discharged ballast water without the use of a Coast Guard-approved ballast water management system or other approved means, which is in violation of the National Invasive Species Act and may be subjected to a maximum penalty of US$ 38,175. P&I Club Members are being reminded that cover for fines involving non-compliance to ballast water requirements, except for accidental discharges, will be discretionary.
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8. Singapore A Big Winner
The Port of Singapore is set to be the big winner on the Asia – Europe trade following container shipping alliance reshuffles from 1 April according to Alphaliner. With both THE Alliance and the Ocean Alliance kicking off on 1 April, along with Hyundai Merchant Marine and Hamburg Sud cooperating with 2M the Asia – Europe trade is set for a major shake-up. The “big winner” will be Singapore, with Rotterdam remaining the key port in Europe, while in Asia both Port Klang and Hong Kong will lose out. Meanwhile THE Alliance will only hub in Singapore for Southeast Asia.
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9. Suez Seeks Funds
Suez Canal Economic Zone has spoken to a number of British firms as part of an effort to attract $2bn of foreign investment, according to a report. “Several projects were presented to a delegation of eight British companies,” Ahmed M Darwish, chairman, general authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone, was quoted as saying by Zawya Projects. The eight UK-based companies were Weston + Williamson & Partners, Mott MacDonald, Carillion, Bridjes, Kadmos Consultants, Sarks UK, LF Fast house and Maximus.
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10. Danaos Hit Hard
Athens-based containership owner Danaos Corporation swung to a net loss of USD 366.2 million in 2016 from a profit of USD 117 million in 2015, largely impacted by the bankruptcy of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping. The company saw a decrease in operating revenues as well, which went down to USD 498.3 million in 2016 from USD 567.9 million in 2015. During the fourth quarter of 2016, Danaos posted a net loss of USD 446.6 million, compared to a profit of USD 6.5 million seen in the same quarter of 2015. Revenues for the quarter amounted to USD 112.1 million against USD 143.3 million recorded in Q4 2015.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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