Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/08/2017

1. Maersk Oil Division Sold
A.P. Møller – Mærsk has found a buyer for its oil division. French energy giant Total has swooped for Maersk Oil & Gas in a $7.45bn share and debt transaction. Under the agreed terms, A.P. Møller – Maersk will receive a consideration of $4.95bn in Total shares and Total will assume $2.5bn of Maersk Oil’s debt. Total has also offered the possibility of a seat on its board of directors to A.P. Møller Holding,the main shareholder of A.P. Møller – Mærsk. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
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2. Urgent Dredging Needed
Calls are growing for authorities to dredge Latin America’s largest port. The Financial Times is reporting how containerships are being forced to shed 160 containers per 20 cm of lost draft at the Brazilian port of Santos as silting grows. In July tugboats refused to pilot ships into the port with a draft greater than 12.3 m. The Docks Company of the State of São Paulo (Codesp) undertook emergency dredging and raised the limit to about 13 m, but it was still considerably below the original level of 14.3 m. Silting is an issue at many other Brazilian ports too, the ports of Itajaí and Navegantes have been forced to close due to silting.
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3. Big Blue in the Black
Maersk Line has delivered a first half profit of $273m, erasing the loss of $114m in the year-ago period, due in part to the continued recovery in the container shipping market. The container carrier unit of Denmark’s AP Moller-Maersk Group reported a first half revenue of $11.59bn, up 15.4% compared to $10.04bn in the previous corresponding period. “Maersk Line is again profitable delivering in line with guidance, with revenue growing by $1bn year-on-year in the second quarter. The (second quarter) profit was $490m higher than the same quarter last year, based on higher rates,” said Soren Skou, ceo of AP Moller-Maersk.
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4. Hoovering up HMM
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is in discussions to make a sizeable investment into South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM). The Korea Economic Daily reports today that BlackRock is looking at investing up to KRW1trn ($880m) into South Korea’s largest shipping line. “We had a talk with BlackRock, but nothing was definite yet,” an HMM spokesperson said. HMM, the world’s 14th largest containerline, went through a massive restructuring last year. It has since outlined expansion plans for which it says it will need to raise KRW10trn in funding.
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5. US Naval Gazing
The US Navy will launch a review of recent accidents following the collision of the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in the Pacific Ocean, making it the second U.S. warship to be involved in such an incident this summer. Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, will call for a temporary halt in operations for the Pacific-based 7th Fleet, the forces that operate around Japan. “He has put together a broader inquiry to look into these incidents and to determine any of the causal factors to determine what’s going on,” Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters while traveling in Amman, Jordan.
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6. David Attenborough’s Stern Emerges
The stern section of Britain’s new polar research ship, RRS Sir David Attenborough, will be transported by barge this week from Hebburn-based shipyard A&P Tyne (Newcastle), part of A&P Group, to the Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead.  The new ship is a major U.K. Government investment in frontier science. Commissioned by NERC, and built by the world famous marine engineering company Cammell Laird Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders Ltd. The vessel is a Rolls-Royce design, and will be operated by British Antarctic Survey when the ship enters service in 2019.
goo.gl/WHMzFj
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7. Seafarer Rescued from Militants
The Philippine military has rescued a Vietnamese sailor kidnapped from the bulk carrier Royal 16, together with five more men in a November-hijacking off Basilan waters by the Philippines Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists.  After over nine months in captivity, the hostage managed to flee the militant group and was rescued by the Philippine troops on Monday “following intensified operations against the militants,” military spokeswoman Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay is cited as saying by AFP. This is the second sailor from the group to be rescued by the troops, the Abu Sayyaf’s requests for ransom were not fulfilled.
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8. New London DP Developments
Pentalver Transport Limited has commenced work on Phase two of its container facility at DP World London Gateway.  Work started to expand the container yard, located on Berth Seven of the logistics hub, on Monday, August 15. Pentalver opened the first phase of the facility in 2015, following a successful interim operation in support of customers who has commenced container operations at the new port. Phase two of the development will add 40% additional capacity and highlights the commitment Pentalver has made to DP World London Gateway following the commercial success achieved since opening in November 2013.
goo.gl/sU3ReJ
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9. New Mismanagement Row
A row has erupted over a new report, which claims that the UK Government’s “mismanagement” of the oil and gas industry has cost tens of billions of pounds since 2015. Pro-independence body Business for Scotland argued that, since the oil price crash, Norway had accrued £29.33billion in fossil fuel revenues while the UK lost £22.8million. It concluded that “Scotland would run a significant fiscal surplus” had it not been for Westminster’s handling of the industry.
goo.gl/jvVoQ6
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10. Major Smuggling Success
A task force led by the Royal Navy has seized drugs worth nearly £400 million from smugglers. Sailors made eight raids over a five-month period, netting 1.75 tonnes of narcotics. The haul included 265kg of heroin and 455kg of hashish worth £65 million, which was seized by those manning HMS Monmouth – a Type 23 frigate. The UK and France commanded the multinational naval task force, which polices more than three million square miles of sea in the Gulf and Indian ocean. British, French, American and Australian warships took part in the operation to counter drug trafficking, which funds terrorism in the region, the MOD said.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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