Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/10/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/10/2017

1. Panama Allows Slot Swaps
The Panama Canal Authority has announced that it will soon give ocean carrier alliances another way to integrate their operations: slot swaps. Beginning December 1, carriers within the same alliance will be allowed to trade canal transit time reservations with each other, subject to specific limitations: Both vessels must be containerships of same classification and transiting in the same direction. They must have similar transit restrictions and belong to services under the same alliance. The Authority will charge its standard swapping fee scale, which ranges from no charge for the vessel’s first swap up to $35,000 for its fifth swap.
2. Seafarer Dies in Port
A Chinese seafarer died onboard the 2010-built bulker "Efficiency OL" while it was at Bunbury Port in Western Australia. The 23-year old seafarer was electrocuted while working onboard the ship and taken to hospital, but he is believed to have died instantly. "Efficiency OL", owned and operated by Taiwan’s Shih Wei Navigation, remains at the port while both the local police and Australian Maritime Safety Authority investigating the incident and the ship’s safety standards.
3. Seadrill Creditor Backlash
John Fredriksen faces a significant creditor backlash over his restructuring plans for Seadrill. Last month Seadrill filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US as it pushed through plans for $12.7bn of debt restructuring. The plan has the backing of 97% of its loan lenders, but just 40% of its bondholders.
Disgruntled bondholders have now hired Kristopher Hansen, a well-known restructuring attorney with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, and Rothschild to seek an alternative plan. A number of unsecured creditors have hired a veteran bankruptcy attorney to question the Seadrill plan.
4. Autonomous Dream Team
Rolls-Royce has signed a deal with Google to develop further its push for autonomous ships. The agreement, believed to be the first in the marine sector, was signed today at the Google Cloud Summit in Sweden. It allows Rolls-Royce to use Google’s Cloud Machine Learning Engine to further train the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) based object classification system for detecting, identifying and tracking the objects a vessel can encounter at sea. The Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine uses the same neural net-based machine intelligence software which powers many of Google’s products including image and voice search.
5. Master Tanker Smuggling Rap
The master of the small product tanker "Lassea" has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence for his involvement in smuggling fuel during a salvage operation. The "Lassea" was contracted to take on fuel oil pumped up from the sunken Greek tanker Agia Zoni II, which went down off Piraeus on September 10 with about 2,500 tonnes of petroleum in her tanks. Prosecutors said that marine officials found significant quantities of an undocumented “petroleum mixture” in the Lassea’s ballast tanks when she arrived at a refinery to deliver the oil recovered from the Zoni. 
6. Crazy Efficiency Plans
Imagine writing a diet plan to lose weight where your calorific targets consistently exceeded what you were actually eating. Bizarre as it sounds, that’s effectively what the UN’s shipping body – the International Maritime Organization – did when it released efficiency standards for the global fleet in 2013. By declaring the global fleet was way less efficient than it really was when these standards took effect, the IMO stumbled on a plan where in theory it couldn’t lose. Ships would be required to be more energy efficient making the IMO and sector look good. New research illustrates just how flawed the EEDI is.
7. Fascist Charterers Fail
ITF says it is assisting the crew of the vessel C Star, who have been abandoned and left unpaid by its charterers, the right-wing youth group Defend Europe, according to the ITF.  The ship, currently in Barcelona, Spain, has been at the centre of Defend Europe’s “comic opera efforts” to block vessels rescuing refugees and migrants from sinking boats in the Mediterranean, the ITF said in a statement.  “Oh, the irony. This group charters a British-owned, Mongolian flag of convenience ship, with a Sri Lankan crew to protest migration into Europe. Then abandons the crew in Europe,” said ITF seafarers’ section chair David Heindel.
8. New ECSA Secretary General
Martin Dorsman, md of the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNER), has been chosen as new secretary general of ECSA (European Community Shpowners’ Associations). He replaces Patrick Verhoeven who left in the summer to head up the International Association of Ports & Harbours (IAPH).   Dorsman is a former civil servant who worked for six years in the Dutch government’s shipping policy department before joining KVNER, initially as deputy md before moving up to the top post in 2011.
9. Ships Violate Crimea Ban
The Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Ukraine has said that in the period from September 1 through October 1, 2017 a total of 30 cargo ships violated a ban to enter the Ukraine closed ports and terminals in Crimea annexed by Russia. 23 ships out of 30 were sailing under the flag of Russia and seven – under flags of other states, in particular, Palau, Sierra-Leone, Togo and Tanzania. In addition, five ships under flags of Malta, Panama, Tanzania, Togo and Russia stayed in the water areas of ports of Sevastopol, Feodosia and Yalta without calling at the ports’ terminals.
10. Indian Imports US Crude
The first US crude oil cargo of 1.6 million barrels bought by Indian Oil Corporation has arrived from the US at Paradip Port. The cargo was carried on board VLCC "New Prosperity". IndianOil will process the crude at its east coast base refineries located at Paradip, Haldia, Barauni and Bongaigaon. IndianOil has placed a cumulative order 3.9 million barrel from the US. Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, India’s two other public sector refiners, have also placed orders for about 2.95 million barrels and 1 million barrels respectively for their Kochi and Vizag refineries from the US.

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


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