Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/11/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/11/2017

1. Huge Prestige Award

On Wednesday, a court in the city of La Coruña awarded the Spanish government a total of $1.9 billion in damages for the 2002 oil spill from the tanker "Prestige", which broke up and sank after she was refused entry to a harbour of refuge.  The London Club is obligated to pay $1 billion of this amount, and shipowner Mare Shipping and the IOPC Funds are responsible for the balance, according to the Telegraph. A spokesman for the London Club said that the insurer "remains concerned at the direction that the Spanish court has taken generally." 

2. Torm Set For US Float
Danish shipowner Torm has announced plans to file for registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission today for a direct share listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market in New York. The Nasdaq listing is expected to be completed before the end of the year, leaving Torm common shares to be traded in both Copenhagen and New York. Jacob Meldgaard, executive director at Torm, commented: “In 2016, we took the first step towards a US listing when we implemented the Corporate Reorganization and established TORM plc. A US listing is the natural next step for TORM.”
3. New Gas Pool Launched
Teekay LNG Partners has launched Teekay Multigas Pool, a new in-house commercial management solution for ethylene-capable LPG and small-scale LNG vessels. The Teekay Multigas Pool expects to bring the partnership’s seven directly-owned ethylene-capable LPG carriers under the new management structure, transitioning the vessels from Norgas Carriers Pool, operated by I.M Skaugen. The pool fleet is expected to have at least 12 vessels by the end of this year, including third party partner vessels.
4. Casualty and Incident Rates
The European Maritime Safety Agency has released its Annual Overview of Marine Casualties and Incidents describing accidents reported by E.U. Member States, citing that during 2016, there were 106 reported fatalities, 957 injured, 26 ships lost and 123 investigations launched.  While the number of serious casualties and incidents remained at levels similar to previous years, a limited but continuing increase of less serious accidents was noted.  Over the period 2011-2016, half of the casualties were of a navigational nature, such as contacts, grounding/stranding or collision.  Human error represented 60% of accidental events.
5. Crew Freed From Pirates
Three crew members of the bulk carrier Giang Hai 05 have been rescued  during a military operation near Kang Tipayan Island in the Philippines. A fourth crew member was found dead, believed to have died of an illness shortly before the men were rescued. The Vietnamese men were kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants on February 19, 2017, while the vessel was sailing in the Sulu Sea, transporting 4,500 tons of cement from Indonesia to the Philippines. The gunmen killed one and kidnapped six, leaving 10 of the crew behind. ReCAAP ISC had earlier reported that one seafarer was killed trying to escape.
6. Ferry McFerryface Named
A new ferry in Sydney, Australia, will be named Ferry McFerryface. A naming competition saw most voters actually choosing Boaty McBoatface, a name proposed for the U.K.’s new research vessel. However, the name was rejected for being unoriginal. New South Wales state Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance is responsible for the decision. "Ferry McFerryface will be the harbor’s newest icon, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike. This one is for the kids." More than 15,000 name suggestions were made, and some were even more bizarre.
7. Role of Shipping to Spread Wealth
Capitalism, globalisation and international collaboration spread prosperity and growth – and shipping has a vital role to play in this process, Guy Platten, CEO,  UK Chamber of Shipping said in his address to the annual Scottish Shipping Benevolent Association (SSBA) dinner in Glasgow last night. A press release from UK Chamber quoted Guy Platten as saying: "Even though the world has never traded more, it seems like once again we have to defend trade, free markets and capitalism itself from those who would seek to tear them down," the UK Chamber CEO said.
8. Time to Drop Workload
Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for the Navy to reduce the gruelling workloads it places on many overseas-based surface warfare officers. He also challenged Congress to budget for the resources that the military needs in order to reduce the growing pressure on servicemembers.  "I look you in the eye and tell you a 100-hour work week is too long for a young member of our armed forces,” he said. "They are working 100-hour weeks. It has to stop. Otherwise you’ll see more tragedies such as took place with recent collisions.”
9. Box Ports See Growth
Global container port volumes grew at 7.7% in the third quarter, higher than expected, according to a survey by analyst Alphaliner. Alphaliner surveyed 75% of the world’s top 200 container ports with the third quarter volume growth of 7.7% above that of 5.8% and 7.4% growth in the first and second quarters of the year. As a result the analyst has increased its forecast for full year container volume growth to 6.4% from 6% previously. The highest growth was seen in the Latin American region with volumes up 10% as a whole.
10. Owner Ceases New Builds
Following its takeover of UASC German container line Hapag-Lloyd is putting newbuilding orders on hold for the next few years. In its nine months earning report Hapag-Lloyd reported a net profit of EUR54.3m for the third quarter of 2017 compared to EUR8.2m a year earlier. Revenues for Q3 2017 were EUR2.8bn up from EUR1.95bn in the same period in the previous year. The company said that the integration of UASC was proceeding as planned after the takeover was finalised on 24 May this year.

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