Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/02/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/02/2017

1. Insurers Look Abroad
U.K.-regulated ship insurers are preparing plans to open new outposts in European Union jurisdictions such as Luxembourg and Cyprus, fearing that Brexit will hinder access to the EU’s financial market, industry sources involved say. Britain dominates the global marine insurance market and losing access to specialist Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs – marine insurers owned by shipping firms – could further weaken other parts of its multi-billion pound shipping services sector. Several Greek shipowners have already moved operations out of Britain anticipating changes that could remove their favourable “non-domicile” tax status.
2. Sale Markets Heats Up
Brokers are expecting a couple of heated S&P weeks ahead of them, hoping to grab the most popular ships on the market which are five to 12 years old Japanese built bulkers. Many brokers are already negotiating on ships, while principals are asking their banks to open the taps so they can grab more bulkers, mostly in the kamsarmax segment and down. Compass Maritime notes in its weekly report it is starting to see some buyers waiving pre-purchase vessel inspections and buying only days after ships are first circulated for sale.
3. Green Risks to Finance
Carbon War Room (CWR) and UMAS have released research that suggests climate transition pathways pose risks to the banks that hold $400bn of global shipping debt. “With the onset of climate policies as soon as 2023, there will be a need for significant capital investment to keep vessels competitive,” the two bodies noted in a release. The pair urged enhanced due-diligence to be undertaken today by financiers, shipowners, and shareholders in order to deliver long-term value and avoid losses by the mid-2020s.
4. Ro-Ro Ablaze in Channel
In the early hours of Friday morning, the UK Coastguard was notified of a fire on board the U.S.-flagged car carrier "Honor" in the English Channel. The vessel had just left Southampton on a voyage to Baltimore. The agency reported that the vessel’s fixed firefighting systems were used to attack the fire and the cargo space was sealed. None of the crew were harmed, and the Honor was able to return to  Southampton under her own power, where she planned to anchor southeast of the Isle of Wight. A fire and rescue response team including members of the local Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service was airlifted on board the vessel.
5. MOL in Shake Up
One of the world’s largest shipping companies, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) from Japan, is restructuring its organisation again. Last April MOL created dedicated dry bulk and energy business units. It will now add a product transport business unit which will lump together its liner, car carrier, port, logistics and ferry businesses. Moreover, the company said it will establish an One MOL Business Strategy Execution Office in the Corporate Planning Division as an organisation that engages in “division/area cross-sectional business promotion, based on global business strategies and strategic initiatives…in an integrated fashion”.

6. Engineers Found Guilty
Two engineers were found guilty in a federal court on charges of falsifying records to hide improper bilge waste disposal from a chemical tanker. The jury in Charleston, South Carolina, convicted Herbert Julian of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and of obstructing justice. And it found Panagiotis Koutoukakis guilty of a felony relating to APPS and of falsifying records. The men, successive chief engineers on the 2014-built and ironically named "Green Sky", are alleged to have regularly ordered the illegal pumping of oily wastes into the sea, using a so-called “magic pipe” to bypass the oil water separator.
7. Great Yarmouth Crew Head Home
The 12 crew of the "Malaviya Twenty", the ship abandoned in Great Yarmouth, U.K., in June last year, are returning home after being paid the wages they were owed. The Malaviya Twenty is one of two Indian owned and flagged vessels that were effectively abandoned by their owners after they were detained in Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth. The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) assisted both crews: it was routine ITF inspections that first revealed problems with the vessels and that the crews were not paid.
8. ICS on CO2 Reductions
The Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, Esben Poulsson, has laid out what the industry would like to see from the IMO to achieve as part of its CO2 reduction strategy for the shipping sector. Speaking at The Economist magazine’s World Ocean Summit in Indonesia, Poulsson expressed fears that unless IMO makes significant progress the industry could be vulnerable to regional action. Moreover, this action would not only be from the EU, which is considering incorporating shipping into the EU Emissions Trading System, but also from Canada or California, which have already introduced carbon pricing.

9. Teekay Losses Mount
Teekay Corp has registered a full year loss in 2016 as its income from vessel operations was nearly halved from that of 2015 on the back of overall lower rates in the tanker shipping and offshore segments. Net loss for 2016 came up to $123.18m as against the profit of $82.15m, while full year revenue dipped 4.9% year-on-year to $2.33bn. Income from vessel operations plunged to $384.29m in 2016 compared to $625.13m in 2015. Teekay Corp’s revenue is generated from its three publicly-listed subsidiaries – Teekay Offshore, Teekay LNG and Teekay Tankers.
10. Safety at Sea Improving
Safety at sea has improved significantly in the past twenty years, with losses of large merchant vessels becoming a relatively rare event, says a report from Clarksons Research. Whilst casualties appear to be more common among older and smaller vessels, total losses seem to be on a downward trajectory. Even as the world fleet reached its greatest ever size, last year marked the fewest number of vessel losses on record. Although major accidents will always hit the headlines, merchant ships have in recent times been an extremely low risk form of transport.

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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