Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/10/2017

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

1. IMO on Human Duty
The secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has spoken of shipping’s “human duty” to ensure crew abandonment is kicked out. Kitack Lim, the South Korean in charge of the UN body since January last year, urged port and flag states to cooperate more to help fight the scourge. Thousands of men and women have been left marooned in dire conditions a long way away from home by unscrupulous shipowners during the protracted downturn. “Abandonment is a humanitarian issue that impacts heavily on seafarers, on their physical and mental health and on their loved ones", he said. 
2. UN North Korea Ban
The United Nations imposed a global port ban on four vessels yesterday which were found violating sanctions against North Korea. According to Hugh Griffiths, head of a UN Security Council panel on North Korea sanctions, the four vessels Petrel 8, Hao Fan 6, Tong San 2 and Jie Shun were involved in transporting prohibited goods to North Korea. Griffiths described the ban as an unprecedented move in UN history, the Security Council committee prohibited the ships from entering all ports in the world.
3. Autonomous Testing Starts
A model of the autonomous and fully electric container feeder vessel, Yara Birkeland, is undergoing trials at SINTEF’s test tank facility in Norway. The six-meter-long (20-foot-long), 2.4-ton model was revealed for the first time late last month. Agricultural products company Yara and technology company Kongsberg have partnered to build the 120-TEU, battery-operated vessel which has been designed by Norwegian design and engineering company Marin Teknikk. She will have an overall length of 79.5 meters (261 feet), deadweight of 3,200 tons and a full draught of five meters (16 feet).
4. VLCC Woes Start Again
Tanker owners are facing up to a troublesome demand future. BIMCO’s Peter Sand reports. Four VLCCs have been sold for demolition in August alone. This equals the numbers of VLCCs sold for demolition in the preceding 11 months. More importantly, it’s just what is required by shipowners to stem the pressure from overcapacity in a market, which has been hit by soft demand. The global crude oil tanker fleet is about to see a six-year high inflow of capacity in 2017. More than 28m dwt is set to be delivered this year, according to BIMCO estimates which take cancellations, postponements and delays into account.

5. Welfare Issues Debated
The 24th World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), held last week in Taiwan, focused on slavery at sea. Titled, Caught in the Net, it focused specifically on the welfare and lives of fishermen around the world.  In his opening address, Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development at the Vatican, noted that 38 million people were engaged in fisheries, 90 percent of whom were working in small scale fisheries, largely located in Asia and Africa.
6. Gas Tanker Release Beckons
The Madras High Court could be set to release "BW Maple", a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier owned by a firm instituted in Bermuda but operating out of Singapore. It was detained at Kamarajar port here after it collided with tanker vessel MT Dawn Kanchipuram on January 28 leading to large-scale oil spill on the coastline of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts. The Director General of Shipping has been calling for the court to ban "BW Maple" from setting sail to Singapore until all the claims arising out of the oil spill are compensated in full and the investigation into the incident is completed by the police.
7. Transformation of Seafarers
Seafaring could see a transformation amid the new generation of high-tech vessels, which are likely to operate with increasingly reduced crew levels, Nautilus International’s UK branch seminar on maritime automation heard. “Where there are seafarers on ships, they will be in small numbers but will be highly trained and specialist,” Mike Barnett, Southampton Solent University Emeritus Professor, predicted. “The traditional divisions of deck and engine departments may well go and there are big questions about how social life onboard may be affected by these changes,” Barnett added.
8. Wind Power in Open Seas
There is considerable opportunity for generating wind power in the open ocean, particularly the North Atlantic, according to new research from the Carnegie Institution for Science is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Carnegie’s Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira found that, because wind speeds are higher on average over ocean than over land, wind turbines in the open ocean could in theory intercept more than five times as much energy as wind turbines over land. This presents an enticing opportunity for generating renewable energy through wind turbines. 

9. Fire Blocks Mumbai Port
A massive fire at an oil tank at Jawahar Dweep oil terminal has been disrupting vessel traffic at India’s port of Mumbai. According to GAC India, the fire at the oil terminal’s tank started due to a lightning strike. Cargo operations at Jawahar Dweep were suspended with all vessels cast off to a safe distance soon after the fire started. Shipping movements at Jawaher Dweep were completely suspended until the fire was brought under control on Saturday. At the time, the fire was not completely extinguished.

10. Ammonia as Fuel
Shipping has begun assessing ammonia as a carbon-free fuel, for internal combustion engines and fuel cells. This marks the first time since the 1960s, when NASA used ammonia to fuel the X-15 rocket plane, that industry players have seriously considered ammonia for transport applications. There are many examples of ammonia fuel being used safely in passenger cars and public transport, from the 1870s to today (most recently, a sports car in Italy and a commuter bus in China). A fuel supply crisis facing the maritime freight industry, which is desperately searching for a carbon-free liquid fuel, could see ammonia as the answer.

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