Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/08/2017

1. Oil Panic as Harvey Shifts
Oil traders were scrambling on Tuesday to move crude and fuel supplies through ports in Louisiana as Tropical Storm Harvey barrelled toward the state, threatening to close the last major oil terminals still operating on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Harvey pummelled the heart of the U.S. energy industry in Texas, dumping a record amount of rain and triggering catastrophic flooding in Houston. Harvey was the strongest storm to hit the state in more than 50 years, forcing operators to shut refineries, pipelines and ports.
2. Airbus Leaps to Cyber Rescue
Airbus Defence and Space has partnered with CSO Alliance, a maritime community of company security officers (CSOs), to build a tailor-made, secure online reporting platform to help counter maritime crime across the world. The platform will be ready for launch in early October and will provide the CSOs and company information security officers (CISOs) with a worldwide, voluntary and anonymous incident reporting portal for assessing physical, as well as cyber, threat activities and the respective risk levels as the basis for appropriate decision-making and action-taking.
3. Tanker Arrested in Libya
Libyan naval forces yesterday arrested a Liberian-flagged product tanker on suspicion of smuggling oil off the Abu Kammash area west of the capital Tripoli. The "Levante" and its all-Filipino crew have been detained in the north African country. Many other tankers have been arrested for similar offences in the six years since the nation slipped into a bitter civil war. The Greek owned ship was carrying 6m litres of oil when it was arrested, Libyan naval forces said.
4. Texas Still Suffering
Tropical Storm Harvey continues to batter the Texas coastline, and a combination of storm surge and unprecedented rainfall is flooding wide swaths of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. The storm is expected to make a second landfall east of Galveston by Wednesday night, and the National Weather Service warned of "relentless torrential rains" through Friday. The storm system is moving gradually towards Louisiana and will likely deliver another six to twelve inches of rainfall before it leaves the region. However, the weather forecast for the hard-hit city of Houston is improving.

5. No More New Ships
Hapag-Lloyd announced Tuesday that it anticipates no vessel newbuilding investments for several years. Hapag has recently merged with UASC, and the additional vessel capacity it acquired in the deal will be sufficient to meet demand, the firm said.  "Following the completed takeover of UASC’s container shipping activities, Hapag-Lloyd will not invest in new ship systems in the next few years. The joint fleet should make it possible to utilise the medium-term expansion opportunities resulting from market growth and to realise economies of scale in ship operations," the firm wrote in an investor report.
6. Bulker Fire Peters Out
The fertilizer cargo on board a UK-flagged cargo ship has finally stopped smouldering more than two weeks after its crew was forced to abandon ship due to toxic smoke, the owner of the vessel said Sunday.  In an update on the incident, Bibby Line Limited reported that Spanish authorities have permitted salvors to take the 56,597 dwt MV Cheshire closer to shore in Gran Canaria as salvage operations continue for the stricken ship. It is now being reported that all 5 cargo Holds have cooled down and at present, there are no fumes emanating from the vessel. The fire is believed to have started due to a chemical reaction in the fertilizer. 
7. Indians Release New Cyber Rules
The Indian Register of Shipping has released new class rules and cyber safety guidelines. The Mumbai-based class society joins the growing number of leading societies that have created their own rules, notations and guidelines as the maritime sector builds up a growing awareness of the cyber risks associated with the digital developments in the industry. The class society says its rules are based on guidelines set by International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as appropriate standards such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology  at the US Department of Commerce (NIST).
8. Hong Kong Gets Battered
Hong Kong has seen more than its fair share of storms over the course of the past week: last Wednesday, Typhoon Hato arrived at the busy port, toppling stacks of containers, sinking or capsizing ten vessels and forcing Hong Kong SAR aircrews to evacuate nearly 40 seafarers from ships in distress. On Sunday, Tropical Storm Pakhar arrived, bringing yet more wind and rain.  Heavy weather from Pakhar also led to the sinking of the freighter Hong-Tai 176 65 nm east of the city. Authorities received a distress call on Sunday morning and dispatched a fixed-wing aircraft to locate the vessel, and the aircrew found it at around 0840 hours.

9. Bunker Industry Sulphur Concerns
The global refining and shipping industries will be hit by the new low-sulphur requirements for marine bunker fuels, set to enter into force five years earlier than many expected. According to new analysis, the two industries are set to experience rapid change and significant cost and operational impacts, as they must comply with the new regulations by January 2020, as confirmed recently by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). While the IMO is taking positive action to address the environmental impacts of air pollution from ships, the rapid change creates significant disruption for both the refining and shipping.

10. Abandoned for a Year
Nine Kenyan seafarers have been stranded in Malaysia for a year with no money and are in dire need of help. They were stranded after the Zanzibar-flagged vessel they were in, owned by a Burundian, developed mechanical trouble and was declared unfit for sail by the Malaysian maritime authorities. “We are meeting tomorrow to see what we can do about them. They have been there for the last one year,” Betty Makena told the Star yesterday. The Burundian owner bought the ship in the Philippines and was set to bring it to Kenya using the Kenyan seafarers. 

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


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