Top Ten Maritime News Stories 01/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 01/08/2017

1. Panama in Court Victory
The head of the Panama Canal Authority said a US arbitration board rejected a demand by Spanish-led GUPC consortium for $192.8 million to cover cost overruns during the building of a third set of locks for the century-old waterway. GUPC or Grupo Unidos por el Canal includes Sacyr SA of Spain, Impregilo of Italy, Jan De Nul of Belgium and Constructura Urbana of Panama. The authority’s chief executive, Jorge Quijano, announced the ruling saying, “We have been informed that we have won a major arbitration dealing with the expansion of the canal by the GUPC contractor for $192.8 million".
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2. 1000 Inspections No Detentions
The Norwegian Maritime Authority said that it carried out approx. 1,000 inspections focused on MLC items during 2016, however, not even one ship reported to have been detained due to serious MLC deficiencies. The MLC certification and inspections on Norwegian ships was carried out by the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) and the six recognized classification societies (DNV GL, BV, ABS, LR, RINA, ClassNK). 249 deficiencies on Norwegian ships with an MLC certificate were found, the NMA received 10 complaints on Norwegian ships in 2016. No complaints resulted in detention.
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3. Oil Safer by Pipe and Tanker
Transporting oil by pipelines is more than twice as safe as using rail, and marine tankers are safer still with a markedly improved safety record over the past 40 years, finds a new study released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank. “The evidence is clear — building new pipelines and shipping oil by tanker is the safest and most environmentally responsible way to get Canadian oil to global markets,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute’s senior director of energy and natural resource studies and co-author of ‘Safety First: Intermodal Safety for Oil and Gas Transportation’.
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4. Advisory on AC
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has stated that vessels designed to operate with functioning air conditioning systems have been arriving for transit with their air conditioning systems disabled or not available for use. Due to high temperatures and humidity prevalent in Panama, personnel required to work onboard these vessels during transit are adversely affected by the failure of this equipment. Therefore, the ACP recommends that vessels equipped with wheelhouses with sealed windows that cannot be opened for ventilation, be equipped with a properly working air conditioning. Otherwise vessels may be delayed.
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5. Swiber Misses Deadline
Bankrupt Singapore offshore and marine group Swiber Holdings has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Swiber Capital will default on its upcoming coupon payment of S$150m ($110.7m) due on August 2 under its $500m multicurrency Islamic trust certificates issuance programme. Swiber Holding and its subsidiaries officially went into judicial management in October 2016 after getting an approval from Singapore High Court and the company has since been involved in a series of bond and coupon payment defaults. In July, the court approved Swiber’s application to extend judicial management to March 21 next year.
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6. Tidewater Emerges from Chapter 11
New Orleans-based offshore support vessel (OSV) provider Tidewater on Monday emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after successfully completing a restructuring process agreed with US Bankruptcy Court. In so doing the company, the world’s leading OSV provider, eliminates $1.6bn in principal of its outstanding debt. It estimates that its interest payments and operating lease expenses will be reduced by $73m annually thanks to the agreement. Tidewater had filed for Chapter 11 in May after 14 months of difficulties during which it sought repeated extensions of waivers from creditors while it tried to amend its debt.
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7. Major Safety Reports Published
Two reports examining accidents in 2016 have been released over the past week. The U.K.’s Marine Accident Investigation Board (MAIB) published its 2016 annual report highlighting that there were 687 accidents involving 750 commercial vessels. The most notable incidents include the foundering of the fishing vessel "Louisa", off Mingulay, Outer Hebrides, with the loss of three of her four-man crew, the grounding of the semi-submersible rig "Transocean Winner" on the Isle of Lewis and the grounding of the ultra-large container vessel "CMA CGM Vasco de Gama" in the Solent. The US NTSB has also released its safety digest.
goo.gl/YjVnch
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8. Smart Ships Need Smart Registries
The shipping world needs to embrace smart shipping because it is already here and the downturn in the world economy is not going to last forever, according to Panos Kirnidis, CEO of the Palau International Ship Registry. “The maritime industry knows that smart ships and smart technology is the way forward and yet there seems to be reluctance on the part of some owners to fully embrace the technology. When the world economy turns and the shipping world recovers, progress in technology will be one of the real driving forces. The time to embrace this technology is now. Smart ships are here and so are smart registries.”
goo.gl/URtV7Q
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9. Wan Hai is Most Reliable
Niche container carrier Wan Hai Lines was the most reliable in Q2 as overall reliability for the sector improved according to analysts SeaIntel. SeaIntel said that global schedule reliability for the top 18 container shipping lines improved by 2.3% in Q2 to 74.6% compared to 72.3% in Q1. However, year-on-year reliability sank some 10.4% from 85% schedule reliability recorded in Q2 2016. Top for reliability in Q2 2017 was Wan Hai with 79.7% followed by another niche player Hamburg Sud 78.6%. They were followed by MSC and Evergreen with 77.4% and 77.0%, respectively. Performance was based on 38,995 vessel arrivals.
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10. MOL Back to Black
Japan’s shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is expecting an improvement in its earnings for the current fiscal year, as it witnessed a stronger first quarter. MOL said its net income for the first quarter of the fiscal year reached JPY USD 47 million, compared to USD 12.6 million seen in the same period a year earlier. The company’s operating profit for the quarter leapt representing a turnaround from an operating loss in the previous year. MOL’s revenues for the period also increased, signalling an end to a bad time for the company.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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