Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/08/2017

1. CMA CGM Going for Gas
Two shipyards to share order worth close to $1.5bn for the world’s largest, and likely gas-fuelled ships French liner company CMA CGM has signed a letter of intent for up to nine 22,000-teu containerships with two Chinese shipyards that will be built either with dual-fuel propulsion or be ready to convert to use LNG — and it could herald a move to gas fuelling for large vessels. Newbuilding sources say that if the dual-fuel option is selected, CSSC’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) will take the lead on the project and build up to five of the new vessels.

2. Shocking Cyber Discovery
When staff at CyberKeel investigated email activity at a medium-sized shipping firm, they made a shocking discovery. "Someone had hacked into the systems of the company and planted a small virus," explains co-founder Lars Jensen. "They would then monitor all emails to and from people in the finance department."
Whenever one of the firm’s fuel suppliers would send an email asking for payment, the virus simply changed the text of the message before it was read, adding a different bank account number. "Several million dollars," says Mr Jensen, were transferred to the hackers before the company cottoned on.
3. Ready for the Blockchain Party
UK P&I Club estimates that carriers could save about $38 billion a year by using Blockchain technology. The average saving is estimated to be about 15-20% per one container shipment. “Blockchain is often described as a distributed ledger technology, but what does it mean? Think of it as a bank transaction. Presently, whenever we transfer money we rely on a middleman (the bank), to process the transaction. Now imagine that the bank is instructed to execute a complicated, time sensitive international transaction, where various strands of payments are triggered by numerous events outside the bank’s direct involvement or control.
4. Relieved of Command
About a dozen American sailors aboard a destroyer during a deadly collision off the coast of Japan in June will be punished for their roles in the accident, a senior Navy official said Thursday. They include the two top officers, who will be relieved of duty. The disciplinary measures were announced as the Navy released a harrowing preliminary report on the collision between the destroyer Fitzgerald and a freighter that killed seven people aboard the American ship. It was one of the Navy’s deadliest accidents in years.

5. Vessel Safely Refloated
Greek owner Transmed Shipping’s bulk carrier Clia, which ran aground near Kaohsiung on Monday, has been refloated this morning. The 92,900 dwt vessel ran aground while it was transporting more than 80,000 tons of coal to Taiwan Power’s Hsinta power plant. An initial attempt to refloat the vessel failed on Tuesday.
Following a thorough inspection of the vessel’s condition, the owner and maritime authority in Taiwan made a salvage plan and managed to refloat the vessel with seven tugboats. Currently the vessel is anchored at the Hsinta power plant terminal.

6. Yemen Rebels Targeting Ships
Saudi coalition forces have been on guard in the port of Mokha after a recent series of attacks by remote-controlled, bomb-laden boats operated by Houthi rebels. The Houthi forces have had success with this tactic before: in January, they damaged the Saudi frigate Al-Madinah with a remote-controlled boat, and they nearly struck a petroleum product terminal at Jazan, Saudi Arabia in April.  On July 29, the rebels allegedly drove another remote-controlled boat into a pier at Mokha, Yemen, according to a statement from the coalition. It detonated near berthed vessels, but did not cause any significant damage.
7. Yang Ming Remains Risky
Despite an improved showing in the second quarter Yang Ming, Taiwan’s second largest containerline, remains high risk, according to a report out today from Drewry Maritime Financial Research. Sales grew by 20% year-on-year for Yang Ming in Q2 with volumes up 7% to 1.15m teu. The line however remained in the red, with a net loss of NT$445m ($14.6m). This was a notable 91% improvement over the same period in 2016, and 51% better than in the first quarter of the year. Nevertheless, Drewry researchers remain concerned at Yang Ming’s huge debt burden, hence its high risk categorisation.
8. Rare Ships All the Rage
Once rare American-built oil tankers are now plentiful, changing U.S. gasoline flows and giving shipowners headaches. These brand-new tankers have names like American Endurance, American Freedom, American Liberty and American Pride painted on their sterns. They’re part of a growing fleet of so-called Jones Act ships, named for a law almost a century old that mandates any commodities moved from one U.S. port to another are hauled by vessels manufactured in an American shipyard. Government data show that in May, U.S.-made tankers had their best month ever transporting gasoline components from the Gulf Coast.
9. Norwegian Greenpeace Arrests
The Norwegian Coast Guard has removed Greenpeace protesters from the safety zone around Statoil’s drilling operations in the Korpfjell field, the country’s northernmost exploration well in the Barents Sea. The protestors entered the 500-meter exclusion zone around the Songa Enabler in kayaks on Thursday. They attached a giant globe to the rig that carried written statements from people from all over the world calling on the Norwegian government to stop the drilling operation. Statoil said their actions were "illegal and irresponsible," and called the authorities. The protesters refused to leave the area.
10. Fugitive Climbs Port Crane
A bizarre incident at the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday night as a high-speed police chase ended with the suspect entering the port where he climbed a giant ship-to-shore crane and stripping naked before plunging to his death. The wild scene began just after 3 p.m. when local law enforcement began chasing a 23-year-old man through Los Angeles county in an SUV he allegedly stole from a dealership earlier in the day. The suspect eventually entered a dock at the port of Los Angeles, where he continued to drive erratically through stacks of containers, then ditched the car and climbed a 17-story crane.

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


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