Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/03/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/03/2018

1. Chinese Naval Gazing
Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet
Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises. 
The Liaoning carrier group
last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry. 
The photos show at least 40 ships and submarines flanking the carrier Liaoning.

2. Rising CO2 Pressure
The crucial upcoming talks on greenhouse gases at the IMO are being watched closely by the customers of the shipping industry. Many big name shippers are under intense pressure to reduce CO2 emissions in their supply chains, and want the shipping industry
to decarbonise fast, according to Denis Choumert, chairman of the European Shippers’ Council. “We would like to see a commitment on the capping of emissions this year, like ICAO in the air industry. Up to now this has not been
discussed. They should put some figures on the table this year, 2021 or 2022 is too late,” Choumert said

3. Encouraging Signs for Insurers
The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) gives expert opinion on the current state of the hull, cargo and offshore energy insurance markets at its Spring Conference in Hamburg. The
past three years has seen the frequency of total losses within the global fleet stabilise at 0.13% by number (0.05% by tonnage). This is largely attributable to an improved safety climate, improvements in naval architecture and marine engineering; and more
effective regulation. Total losses involving vessels younger than 15 years were significantly less during the 2013-17 period than the years 2008-2012. T
4. Record LNG Exports
U.S. exports of LNG reached 1.94 billion cubic feet per day in 2017, up from 0.5 Bcf/d in 2016. U.S. LNG exports in 2017, all of which originated from Louisiana’s Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal, reached 25 countries. More
than half (53%) in 2017 were shipped to three countries: Mexico, South Korea, and China. Mexico received the most: 20 percent of the 2017 total. Growing natural gas demand in Mexico, particularly from the power generation sector, and delays in the construction
of domestic pipelines connecting to U.S. export pipelines, led Mexico to rely on LNG imports to supplement imports of natural gas by pipeline.
5. Kia Ora Leaves Bad Taste
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the 1,118 teu containership MSC Kia Ora from Australian ports for three months after the operator failed to ensure crew were paid their wages in full and on time, and that critical equipment was
maintained. AMSA inspected the ship in Brisbane after receiving a complaint which alleged that crew had been underpaid. During the inspection AMSA found evidence that crew had been underpaid
for the previous four months and were owed more than A$53,000 ($41,000). The outstanding wages had been transferred to the crew just 24 hours before the inspection.
6. Workers on Vacation
Samsung Ningbo, the Chinese yard owned by South Korean shipbuilding major Samsung Heavy Industries, has implemented a compulsory vacation plan with its employees due to a lack of new orders. Sources at the shipyard told Splash
that the plan, which will be applied to all the shipyard’s employees, will start from the outfitting department and the duration of the vacation will be three to six months according to different posts. 
The shipyard will
pay the employees by the local minimum wage standard during the period. 
“The employees believe it is a disguised layoff measure by the company,” the source said.

7. Scrapping Rates Leap
Offshore support vessel scrapping rates have jumped by over 150 percent, with Tidewater topping the list of companies offloading vessels by selling 13 vessels for scrap so far in 2018.  “In this current period of downturn,
critics of offshore shipowners say they have been guilty of not scrapping older tonnage in order to maintain a young and advanced fleet. Though this is justified, rewind to pre-downturn, these debt free older vessels were able to get work on a fairly regular
basis and were a cashflow generator for owners,” says VesselsValue Head of Offshore, Charlie Hockless.
8. Dredging Up The Future
Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management and Ronald Paul (COO Port of Rotterdam Authority) have given the official go-ahead for the deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg
and the Botlek. 
Rijkswaterstaat and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have joined forces to ensure that sea-going vessels with a draught of 15 metres can also reach the port. The initiation
of the project took place in FutureLand, the information centre about the port of Rotterdam on the Maasvlakte. The sizeable project represents an important improvement for the accessibility of the Botlek and the competitive position of the port of Rotterdam.
9. Zero Carbon Closer
While the notion that maritime transport could be "zero-carbon shipping" by 2035 may seem fallacy to the majority, a new report reviews the pathways to zero-carbon shipping. According to a  new report published by the International
Transport Forum at the OECD, deployment of all currently known technologies could make it possible to almost completely decarbonize maritime shipping by 2035. 
While the report targets 2035, a recent interview with Angus
Frew, Secretary General of BIMCO, the world’s largest shipowner organization indicates a common belief to decarbonize, but with a dramatically different timetable.

10. Shedding Shipping Debt
Genoa-based lender Banca Carige has put up for sale the financial exposures of three shipping companies which are worth some $750m. The loans classified as ‘unlikely to pay’ (one step before the ‘non performing loan’ stage) and related to Ignazio Messina
& C. ($585m), Finbeta and Scerni di Navigazione are part of a bigger amount of credits the bank wants to offload before the end of the current year in order to clean up its balance sheet. Finbeta is a shipping company based in
Savona, owned by the Bertani family and active on the market with five small chemical tankers.

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions
S. Jones
Seacurus Ltd
Seacurus Ltd.,
Barbican Group,  
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