Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/03/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/03/2017

1. Cleaned Bottom Allowed In
The DL Marigold, a bulk carrier controlled by South Korea’s Dae Lim, is back in New Zealand after an embarrassing expulsion earlier this month. The ship was forced to leave New Zealand waters on March 6 when divers at the port of Tauranga found extreme fouling on the ship’s hull. It made for Fiji where it planned to get the hull cleaned before returning to finish offloading its shipment of palm kernel. However, Fijian authorities also barred the ship entry. Dae Lim then employed New Zealand divers to clean the hull in international waters. The DL Marigold returned to Tauranga this week.
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2. Emissions Control in Med
France is pushing to create an emissions control area (ECA) in the Mediterranean. Sources claim that France first proposed the idea at a meeting of the European Council at the start of this month. Since then government officials have begun to flesh out the idea to a number of environmental NGOs. Existing ECAs around the world are across the Baltic and North Seas in Europe, coastal areas off the US and Canada and the US Caribbean Sea area while China has been trialling a number of ECAs in key port cluster areas.
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3. Ports Push for BREXIT Voice
British ports want trade facilitation to be central to Brexit negotiations, particularly highlighting ro-ro services to the EU. With UK PM Theresa May signing the letter that will trigger the process that will formally start the process to leave the EU British Port Association (BPA) chief executive Richard Ballantyne said it was “vital” trade facilitation was given the highest priority. Ports provide vital economic gateways and from the point of view of trade and freight flows, probably the lead concern from the ports sector is facilitation, with potential major challenges dealing with HGVs on ro-ro and ferry routes," he said.
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4. Owner Forced to Slash Fleet
European ship finance sources state that beleaguered Hansa Treuhand is being forced to slash its fleet in half. One of the most high profile KG casualties, led by Hermann Ebel, finds itself at the centre of the tough stance German banks have adopted finally this year to the messy state of the nation’s merchant fleet. “Of the 50 ships they control, they intend to reduce that to 25,” one banker said, adding that six of the KG units went bankrupt last week alone. Hansa Treuhand’s mixed fleet is led by boxships and also includes four tankers.
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5. Ocean Rig in Deepwater
George Economou’s drilling firm, Ocean Rig, has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the United States, a form of court protection that will help it to work out claims from stakeholders in multiple countries. Ocean Rig says that it has already reached a complex restructuring agreement covering about three quarters of the firm’s outstanding debt. Its largest creditors will swap $3.7 billion in outstanding principal for new equity, plus $450 million in new secured debt and a cash payment of $288 million. Existing shareholders will be effectively wiped out, “diluted to an insignificant amount of the post-restructuring equity of the company.”
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6. Nigeria Cranking Output
Nigeria’s crude oil exports are set to rise to 1.66 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, according to a loading programme compiled by Reuters. The programme for the month is up from April’s revised loadings and also puts Nigeria just above Angola’s planned exports of 1.61 million bpd in May. While Nigeria had consistently been Africa’s largest oil exporter, its loadings have fallen below those of Angola several times over the past year as it dealt with militant attacks on oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta.
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7. US Greenlights Blue Deal
Commissioner of the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) voted in favour of Maersk/MSC/HMM Strategic Cooperation Agreement on March 28. However, Commissioner William P. Doyle expressed concerns to the parties including Danish Maersk Line, Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and South Korean Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) related to ” the shipping public, American businesses and consumers.” “Despite announcements that were issued in mid-December by Maersk, MSC and HMM, the 2M alliance itself is not party to this strategic cooperation agreement.
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8. Queensland Ravaged by Cyclone
Ports of Abbot Point, Hay Point and Mackay have been closed after severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the North Queensland coast, North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) informed. Steve Lewis, NQBP Chief Executive Officer, said the corporation’s Whitsunday ports were all experiencing large swells, high winds and heavy rains on March 28. Lewis said NQBP has been working closely with port partners and emergency services to secure the port and begin planning for the resumption of safe port operations
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9. Making a Pollution Noise
The control of shipping-related noise is an issue that can no longer be ignored. Regulations, studies and technology developments are taking effect around the world, targeting both human and animal welfare, but the news is not all bad for shipowners’ bottom line. When it came down to it, Celebrity Eclipse didn’t actually require any modifications in order to receive DNV GL’s SILENT-E notation. Impetus for gaining the notation came from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) program. As of January 1, 2017, the port offers discounts to harbour fees for quieter ships.
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10. Yang Ming Losses Mount
Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine Transport saw its full year loss widened in 2016 over 2015 amid the continuing weak global dry bulk shipping market. Taipei-listed Yang Ming registered a 2016 loss of TWD14.91bn ($493.56m), incurring a larger deficit compared to the loss of TWD6.46bn in 2015. Dry bulk shipowner Yang Ming was last profitable in 2013 when it recorded a gain of TWD2.79bn. Revenue for 2016 dropped by 9.5% year-on-year to TWD115.4bn.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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