Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/12/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/12/2017

1. Dream of Clean Ships

Shipping proved a central plank of discussion at the Emmanuel Macron convened One Planet climate summit in Paris yesterday. The Tony De Brum declaration was launched, named after a politician from the Marshall Islands who fought hard to get shipping emission
regulations in place before he died earlier this year. The declaration states shipping must set a level of ambition for the sector that is compatible with that of the Paris Agreement, including a peak on emissions in the short-term and then reducing them to
neutrality towards the second half of this century. The declaration was signed by 35 countries.
2. Smoking Goes On
For all the talk of clean ships, huge plumes of black smoke could be seen across Liverpool yesterday, with people believing there was a huge fire coming from a chemical tanker berthed at Bootle Docks. Dozens of people contacted the press to say they had seen
what appeared to be a major blaze in the industrial area. But the reality – that the thick smoke, visible for hours, is believed to be from a routine procedure – has caused even more frustration for nearby residents. People living and working nearby were outraged
at the smoke, which dock workers explained began after the Chemship owned vessel "switched on its engines”.
3. High Spot for Freight
Capesize freight rates crashed through the $30,000 mark yesterday, hitting highs not seen for four years. Brokers pointed to the tight supply situation in the Atlantic basin for the rapid improvement in fortunes for the cape market seen over the past week.
Gas shortages in China have also sparked a notable uptick in coal imports over the past six weeks The bullish tone in dry bulk was noticeable at last month’s Maritime CEO Forum held in Hong Kong where Keith Denholm, managing director at Lorentzen & Stemoco
Singapore, commented: ““We are on a steady path of growth. Steel prices are soaring.
4. Disgraced Shipowner Speaks
Nobu Su, the fallen Taiwanese shipowner turned serial maritime inventor, alleges one of Taiwan’s top banks laundered money and was responsible for the downfall of his shipping empire. Su’s shipping line TMT took loans from Mega International Commercial Bank
in 2010. As TMT struggled with depressed freight rates two years later it sought to extend these loans, with the bank agreeing to extend them and taking a ship as a mortgage. A fortnight after this loan extension was agreed, Su claims Mega Bank contacted TMT
one afternoon with a sudden demand to pay back all the money it owed – $45m in total – within 90 minutes.
5. Block Train Vision
Hyundai Merchant Marine will launch a block train service to Europe via the Trans China Railway (TCR) from South Korea. South Korea’s flagship carrier said it will collect cargo at ports in South Korea and then ship them to Qingdao and Rizhao in China’s Shandong
province, from where it will be sent to Chengdu in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The cargo will then go to Dostyk in Kazakhstan and on to Poland on the Trans Siberian Railway.

6. Owner and Master Blasted
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Tuesday released its findings about the 2015 sinking of cargo ship El Faro with the loss of all 33 crew. El Faro went down off the Bahamas when caught in Hurricane Joaquin on 1 October, 2015. The 790-foot
ship was en route from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico with a cargo of cars and other items when it was lost. NTSB found that El Faro’s captain, Michael Davidson, was relying on out-of-date information about the hurricane and failed on three
occasions to heed suggestions from other officers on board that the ship should change course.
7. Italy Migrant Misery
Amnesty International published allegations that European governments are "knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse" of refugees and migrants in Libyan detention centers. The organization’s new report asserts that certain European nations’ policies underwrite
a system of exploitation in which the Libyan Coast Guard, detention officials and human smugglers conspire to retain migrants within Libya. The complaint mirrors the United Nations assertion that EU support for the Libyan Coast Guard is "inhuman," as it results
in an increase in the number of individuals subjected to "unimaginable horrors" in Libyan detention facilities.
8. Pipeline Down for Repair
Britain’s biggest pipeline from its North Sea oil and gas fields is likely to be shut for several weeks for repairs, disrupting gas flows and sending international crude prices to their highest since mid-2015. The closure has struck during a winter freeze in
Britain, where snow and ice have driven up demand for heating fuel just as gas flows through the network, which carries a third of Britain’s gas produced offshore, were disrupted. “We are working to get the pipeline restored to full operation as quickly as
we can safely do so,” operator INEOS said in a email to customers seen by Reuters.

9. Crude Export Boom
The United States (US) government lifted their restrictive policy on crude oil exports in December 2015. In September and October 2017, increased demand from Asia and Europe has caused US seaborne export of crude oil to surpass the US seaborne export of oil
products in terms of billion tonne miles.
This is due to US crude oil being exported twice the sailing distance of US oil products. In October the seaborne exports of crude oil amounted to 46 billion tonne miles whereas the US export of oil products was equivalent to 43 billion tonne miles.
10. IMO New Vision
The IMO Assembly has adopted three resolutions which focus on IMO’s capacity-building work to support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. A key strategic direction for IMO is to improve implementation – ensuring regulations are
effectively, efficiently and consistently implemented and enforced.. The IMO Assembly met for its 30th session at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom (27 November to 6 December), the largest-ever gathering at IMO Headquarters in London, attended by
some 1,400 participants, including 56 at the ministerial level, from 165 Member States.

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