Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/05/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/05/2017

1. Master Commits Suicide
The Master of a containership committed suicide on a voyage from New York to Tilbury in the UK. The Apostleship of the Sea said the container ship, "Santa Bettina", was a week into its voyage when the master apparently took his own life on board, leaving its crew members distraught and traumatised. AoS port chaplain Fr Colum Kelly along with two chaplains from other seafarer charities went onboard the vessel when it arrived in Tilbury on 21 May to provide support to the crew. “All three of us spent time listening to the crew and of the stress that they had been feeling during the voyage. It emerged the death took place one week into the voyage. It was the first time the crew had sailed with that captain so they knew very little about him,” said Fr Colum. 

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2. Longterm Grim Outlook
Danish Ship Finance has provided a sneak peak of its latest market report, one that paints a grim picture for long-term growth in shipping. Danish Ship Finance expects long-term growth in seaborne trade volumes averaging about 1% per annum until 2030. The report suggests that that secondhand prices, which are already low, could decline if the economic lifetime of ships continues to decline. Future demolition is expected to lower the average age of vessels scrapped and continue to reduce the value of older vessels through a shortening of their economic lifetime. “In segments with low sales activity, the actual market value may be lower than indicated by current broker valuations,” the ship finance house observed.
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3. Owner Back in Trouble
A subsidiary of Odfjell finds itself in hot water with the US Department of Justice once again. Singapore-based "Odfjell Asia II", which was convicted in 2014 of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, has admitted to violating the conditions of its probation. As a result, OAII’s term of probation, which was scheduled to conclude this month, was extended by one year, and the company has agreed to additional probation conditions. On May 14, 2014, a judge in the US sentenced OAII to a three-year term of probation and a total criminal penalty of $1.2m for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. On May 16, 2016, a crewmember reported to OAII that, while he was serving onboard OAII’s vessel Bow Santos, there may have been a MARPOL compliance issue involving the disposal of machinery-space bilge water in December 2015.
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4. Shipping Not on Emissions Track
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its Tracking Clean Energy Progress report, saying that international shipping is not on track to meet the greenhouse gas goals of the Paris Agreement. The report highlights the overall status and recent progress in developing and deploying key clean-energy technologies. The shipping sector is a key enabler of international trade and constitutes the most energy-efficient way to move goods, says the IEA, but limited policy deployments have led to a slow uptake of clean technologies. In 2013, the IMO introduced the EEDI, the first energy efficiency standard for new ships, mandating a minimum improvement in the energy efficiency per tonne kilometer of new ship. In its current form, the EEDI mandates a one percent annual improvement in the efficiency of the global fleet from 2015 to 2025.
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5. Dubai Builds Shipping Fund
Dubai is looking into creating a $1 billion investment fund focused on shipping to develop the Gulf city’s maritime sector and ride out a global industry downturn, three finance sources familiar with the plans say. The sources said the Dubai Maritime City Authority, the government entity responsible for developing the maritime industry in the emirate, was examining ways to establish a fund to provide financial investment support to Dubai-based firms. “There is interest in this idea (from Dubai). At this stage it is fact finding,” one source said. The Dubai Maritime City Authority was not immediately available to comment. A second source said there had been initial discussions so far, adding that a tender could be issued by the authority in the coming months to hire an adviser.
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6. Record Canal Trip
The "OOCL France" has set a new record as the largest ship to transit the Expanded Panama Canal since its inauguration nearly one year ago. The new record comes less than a month after the COSCO Development became the first 13,000 TEU containership to use the expanded waterway. The vessel went on to set the soon-to-be-broken record as the largest containership to visit the U.S. east coast. According to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), Hong Kong-flagged OOCL France measures 366.47 meters in length by 48.23 meters in beam and has a total TEU allowance (TTA) of 13,926 twenty-foot containers, or 13,208 TEU based on OOCL’s website.
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7. Fatal Accident Investigated
Transportation Safety Board of Canada has launched an investigation into a fatal accident involving the geared bulk carrier "Nord Quebec" at the port of Trois-Rivières in Québec. According to media reports, a 38-year-old Filipino crew member of the bulk carrier was killed after he was hit in the head by a steel cable during a docking maneuver at the port on Monday. The TSB, describing the incident as a “berthing occurrence”, said it is sending a team of investigators to the port to gather information and assess the incident. The 36,546 Nord Quebec is flagged in Singapore and was built in 2013. AIS data showed that the vessel was moored at the port as of Tuesday. It was not immediately clear when exactly the ship had arrived in Trois-Rivières.
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8. Indian Seafarers Escape Tax Woe
In a relief to Indian seafarers, the government on has said a non-resident sailor’s income for services rendered outside India on a foreign-going ship will not be taxable. “The salary accrued to a non-resident seafarer for services rendered outside India on a foreign going ship (with Indian or foreign flag) shall not be included in the total income merely because the said salary has been credited in the NRE account maintained with an Indian bank by the seafarer,” an official statement said. The statement said that after examining representations made by unions, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a circular on the matter on 11 April which was followed up with a corrigendum on 26 April.
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9. Investment Shakes Djibouti
Djibouti has formally opened one of four new ports designed to cement the tiny Horn of Africa nation’s position as a continental hub, a statement from the ports authority said on Wednesday. Doraleh Multipurpose Port has been substantially upgraded as part of a Chinese-backed plan to establish Africa’s largest free-trade zone that can handle $7 billion of goods a year. “The port of Djibouti is a gateway to one of the fastest growing regions of the world with 30,000 ships transiting the port each year,” the statement said. “Located on two of the three busiest shipping routes in the world, the port provides a strategic platform for maritime activity connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe.”
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10. Women in Shipping Leadership Award
Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal, CEO of Golden Ocean, has been awarded the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) LeaderShip Award 2017. She received the award from WISTA Norway in recognition of her contribution to the maritime industry, her competency and leadership skills within the traditionally male dominated role of CEO. The award will be presented at Nor-Shipping’s Waves of Change Conference on May 30. Golden Ocean Group is a leading international dry bulk shipping company with a fleet of 70 vessels that mainly operates in the Capesize, Panamax and Supramax segments.  “Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal has lived up to WISTA’s core values, and contributed to the development of the maritime industry through her capacity as CEO in an extremely challenging market.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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