Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/08/2017

1. US Navy Collides Again
Ten US Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after guided-missile destroyer "USS John S. McCain" collided with 2008-built tanker "Alnic MC" east of Singapore this morning in the Strait of Malacca. The accident occurred this morning at 6:24am Japan Standard time (5:24am local time) while the US Navy ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore. The "Alnic MC" was headed from the Korean port of Pyeongtaek to Singapore. The US Navy has confirmed 10 sailors are missing and five have been injured.

2. Crew Thrown into Water
General cargo ships "Xin Dong Yuan" and "An Da Sheng" collided near Pingtan, Fujian in China on Saturday. The incident led to the sinking of Xin Dong Yuan sending all 13 crew members onboard the vessel into the water. Fujian Maritime Rescue Center deployed rescue vessels and helicopters, and also coordinated nearby vessels for search and rescue operations. Four crew have been rescued and three have been found dead, while another six remain missing. Xin Dong Yuan is operated by Wuhan Chenguang Shipping and An Da Sheng is operated by Cangzhou Bohai Anda Shipping.
3. Explosion in STX Yard
Four subcontractors were killed at STX Offshore & Shipbuilding’s main yard in Jinhae, South Korea near midday on Sunday. The workers were busy spray painting the inside of a tank on a 74,000 product tanker, due for imminent delivery to a Greek owner, when an explosion ripped through the confined space. The ship is meant to deliver to Andriaki Shipping this October. Another four men working in the same tank survived the blast. For STX, the accident is a severe blow. It has only just exited court rehabilitation and kick started marketing for new orders after a very difficult six years where it came close to extinction.
4. India Acts for Seafarers
India has decided enough is enough, and is moving to ensure that only legitimate recruiters can place seafarers. The move comes after recent reports of around 100 Indian seafarers stranded in the UAE without proper contracts. The Indian government now requires that seafarer recruitment on foreign ships to occur through their e-Migrate online recruitment portal. Recruiters must be approved by the Directorate General of Shipping and their details recorded on the system which will be linked to the Bureau of Immigration, enabling Indian immigration authorities to stop seafarers not recruited through the system from leaving. 
5. Commanding Officer Sacked
The U.S. Navy has removed the two senior officers and the senior enlisted sailor on a U.S. warship that almost sank off the coast of Japan in June after it was struck by a Philippine container ship, the Navy said on Friday. Multiple investigations have yet to apportion blame for the accident that killed seven U.S. sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer the USS Fitzgerald. However, the punishments are the first public admission by the U.S. Navy that mistakes by the crew contributed to the deadliest incident on a U.S. warship since Islamist extremists bombed the USS Cole in Yemen’s Aden harbor in 2000.
6. Maersk Steers from ULCC
There is no incentive to order new ultra large containerships from a cost perspective right now, despite extremely low prices of newbuilding tonnage, according to Søren Skou, Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S. The comment was made in an earnings call anent the CMA CGM 22,000-TEU megaship order rumors and its potential impact on capacity discipline among container carrier players. As highlighted by Skou, five years ago large ships were ordered due to fuel economy, however, this advantage has been minimized, if not disappeared entirely, given the current oil price levels.
7. Taking Over Vessel Management
Nakilat has completed the first phase of taking vessel management of its fleet of LNG carriers with the 10th LNG carrier coming under its under wing. Nakilat Shipping Qatar Ltd (NSQL), a subsidiary of Nakilat and Shell International Trading and Shipping, has taken over the management Q-Max 266,370 cu m LNG carrier Al Mafyar from Shell, the 10th vessel to change management over the last 10 months. Until 10 months Shell provided management for Nakilat’s fleet including 14 Q-Max and 11 Q-Flex LNG carriers.
8. Sulphur Cap Decimates Bunkering
In its recent five-year outlook on petroleum products, ESAI Energy examines the implementation of the IMO 0.5 percent sulphur content cap on bunker fuels, which is slated to take effect globally in 2020. If implemented as currently planned, the regulations will destroy 1.2 million b/d of fuel oil demand and create a similar amount of marine gasoil demand. Despite a steep reduction in fuel oil demand, non-compliance, waivers, and to a lesser extent the adoption of exhaust scrubbers, will drive the continued consumption of large volumes of high sulphur bunker fuel oil in the years after 2020.
9. Hamburg Holds Steady
At 70 million tons, first-half seaborne cargo throughput in Hamburg in 2017, including the general and bulk cargo segments, all but matched the previous year’s, being only one-fifth of one percent (0.2%) lower. In the first six months of 2017 containerized general cargo throughput at 4.45 million TEU (20-ft standard containers) was at the previous year’s level. Up by one percent at 23.5 million tons, bulk cargo throughput in Germany’s largest universal port continued to grow. "Hamburg generally succeeded in asserting itself in a difficult environment", said Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.
10. Teekay Heads North
Teekay LNG is breaking new ground, preparing to operate six LNGC newbuildings in the Russian Arctic. Since February 2015, the Teekay project task force has been preparing, learning about 21 types of ice, several thousand hungry polar bears and how reinforced bin-bags and a (non-metal) dustpan and brush can help you to survive if you abandon ship and are stranded on the ice, waiting to be rescued. The team is working to prepare, kit out and train officers and crew to work on the company’s six Arc 7 ice-class LNG carriers that will load cargoes from Yamal LNG at Sabetta in the Russian Arctic.

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