Since the peak of the Somali piracy crisis at the turn of the decade, the crowded waters of Southeast Asia have replaced those of the west Indian Ocean as the world’s most dangerous. A spike in hijackings for cargo theft in the congested Malacca Strait, along with a spate of kidnappings-for-ransom in the Sulu Sea by Abu Sayyaf militants, have prompted many to label the region as the world’s new piracy hotspot. The worst-affected states – Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines – have responded by launching joint naval patrols, resulting in a reduction in the threat level over the past year.
The Indian consulate in Dubai has issued an advisory in the wake of being inundated with many shocking cases of crew abandonment in and around UAE waters. For the first time, the mission has named and shamed repeat offenders so that seafarers can see the most unscrupulous shipowners. Shipping companies listed include Alco Shipping and Venus Ship Management. The consulate on its website — www.cgidubai.org — has also advised the sailors to apply due diligence before accepting an employment offer to work on these ships and not to get recruited through unscrupulous agents.
A shipyard on France’s Atlantic coast finds itself at the centre of a diplomatic spat. The nation’s new president, Emmanuel Macron has decided to temporarily nationalise the country’s largest yard at St-Nazaire rather than letting it fall into the hands of Italy’s Fincantieri, in a move that has reportedly left the Italian prime minister seething. Macron’s economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, said yesterday the government had “taken the decision to exercise the state’s pre-emption rights” to buy up the STX France shipyard rather than allow its sale.
One of Southeast Asia’s most adroit dry bulk asset players has made another tidy profit on a ship sale. Tan Binh, a private Vietnamese owner, has sold the 10-year-old 28,733 dwt Tan Binh 139 to Tokyo Cement for $7.85m. Tan Binh had bought the ship in December 2015 for $6.3m. In the last two years Tan Binh has targeted Japanese built handies, with many flipped for quick profits as prices for this ship type have picked up noticeably since 2015.
Some parts of the Panama Canal will close for scheduled repairs, lasting 11 days starting at the end of this month, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced. The east lane of Miraflores Locks will be shut down from July 31 to August 10 inclusive for dry chamber repair work. Also a culvert on the east lane of Gatun Locks will be closed for 10 hours on August 3 for bulkhead installation. And it will close again on August 10 into August 11 for bulkhead removal. There will be some restrictions on slot booking availability as a result of these closures.
More than one in five jackups need to be scrapped, according to a new report by consultants Rystad Energy. “With 100 newbuilds either completed and not delivered, or yet to be completed with delivery scheduled during the next few years and only 63 units retired in the downturn, the jackup market remains oversupplied resulting in low utilization levels and depressed rates,” Rystad noted in its research note. As of mid-Q2 2017, global jackup utilisation is at 56%. The jackup fleet stands at 521 with 11% being cold stacked, 33% ready/warm stacked.
India’s navy seized a ship carrying about 1,500 kg of heroin worth 35 billion rupees ($545 million) on Sunday in what it said was its biggest ever drugs haul. The vessel, which was operating under the name MV Henry under the Panama flag, was intercepted off the Gujarat coast near the city of Porbandar, said S. Paramesh, deputy director general at the Indian Coast Guard. It was sailing from Dubai to Alang, a town in Gujarat known for shipbreaking, Paramesh said. The eight crew members aboard, all of whom were identified as Indian nationals, are under investigation.
UK-based ship management company V.Group announced the appointment of Ian El-Mokadem as Chief Executive Officer and Martin Gaard Christiansen as Chief Commercial Officer. Both will assume their positions in the autumn. Ian joins from Exova, the global provider of technically demanding testing, calibration and related advisory services, where he served as Chief Executive for the last six years. Prior to this Ian was Group Managing Director, UK & Ireland of Compass Group where he led a multi-site business of over 60,000 employees with sales of circa £1.8bn. Ian has worked with Centrica and Accenture.
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