Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/04/2018




Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/04/2018

1. Dredger Cuts Pipeline
On Tuesday evening, the cutter suction dredger Jonathan King Boyd hit a gas pipeline during dredging operations in Matagorda Bay, Texas, sparking a fire. All crewmembers were rescued by a nearby commercial vessel, and no
injuries were reported. 
T&T Marine Salvage personnel confirmed late on Wednesday that the fire on board the vessel is extinguished, and the company is reviewing salvage plans to transit the dredging barge to Port Lavaca
for removal of fuel and to complete a damage assessment.
https://goo.gl/o1gYH8
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2. Fighting for Canal Tugs
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has thrown its weight behind the union representing tugboat captains who have been disciplined by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). ACP began the process of sanctioning
tugboat captains last week after some of them refused to transit some ships through the Canal’s new Panamax locks. 
Union of Tugboat Captains and Deck Officers of the Panama Canal (UCOC) representatives defended the captains’
actions saying they were drawing attention to safety concerns arising from shortages of equipment and personnel caused by cost-cutting.
https://goo.gl/tkemSW
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3. Venezuela Demands Crypto Pay
Foreign ships in Venezuela will have to use the cryptocurrency, Petro, to pay for services while in the South American country. And that could put
the shipping firms on collision course with the US and its sanctions. 
Venezuela has vast offshore oil and gas resources. Its embattled government introduced the Petro as a digital currency intended to circumvent a US-led
financial blockade, to raise foreign currency and to generate a new method of paying for goods and services. 
INEA, the country’s de facto maritime authority, says it will take payments only in the Petro for services such
as pilotage or towage to foreign ships.
https://goo.gl/faMNAd
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4. More Abandoned Seafarers
A legal dispute has left 15 Indian seafarers and one Pakistani seafarer stranded onboard a tanker off the UAE for over a year. Meanwhile, another 16 Ukrainian seafarers who were stranded off Casablanca have now been paid and repatriated. The
crew of the Panama-flagged tanker MT Zoya 1, currently moored 15 miles off the UAE,  have not been paid for four months. Their passports have been in the possession of UAE authorities since October 1, 2017 following a legal dispute with shipowner ECB International.
Ship managers Aurum Ship Management has asked the owner to pay salaries and port fees as soon as possible
.
https://goo.gl/Cfuytu
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5. Ports Pushing Green Agenda
Today, 28 of the 100 world’s largest ports in terms of total cargo volume handled offer incentives for environmentally-friendly ships, a new report released by the International Transport Forum (ITF) shows.  Greenhouse gas
emissions from shipping currently represent around 2.6% of total global emissions. Without reduction measures, this share could more than triple by 2050. The 
IMO last week set a target of reducing shipping CO2 emissions
by “at least” 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. To achieve this, stringent measures now need to be put into place, according to the report.
https://goo.gl/QtjcNd
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6. DNV on Marine Fuels
Class society DNV GL has published an up-to-date assessment of the most promising alternative marine fuels available today. The study is timely, as the 2020 fuel sulfur cap is fast approaching and the IMO has just decided to aim for a 50 percent cut in
shipping’s carbon emissions. The paper examines the prospects for the full range of alternatives – LNG, LPG, methanol, biofuel, hydrogen, fuel cells, wind and battery technologies – and it compares them to the use of conventional
fuel, both with scrubbers and without. It is primarily aimed at helping shipowners understand their compliance options for the approaching sulfur cap. 
https://goo.gl/xjJUuy
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7. Greek Ferry Crew Strike
Greek ferries remained docked at the country’s ports on Wednesday as seamen, marine engineers and ship cooks walked off the job to protest against planned government reforms which they say will further hurt their labour rights. The
24-hour strike was organized by Greece’s seamen federation (PNO), which said the leftist-led government was preparing a reform allowing non-European flagged transport ships to sail in Greece, leading to job losses for Greek crews. 
The
reform is coming on top of pension cuts, rising unregistered labor and work without any insurance, PNO said.
https://goo.gl/xuiJDH
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8. Egypt 24 Hour Working
Egypt will keep ports running for 24 hours a day, up from 16 currently, to cut “long waiting times” for shipments, Transportation Minister Hesham Arafat said on Wednesday as the country tackles an issue that has cost it millions of dollars. Grain
traders over the last year have added hefty premiums on shipments headed to Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, partly as a result of soaring demurrage fees – costs borne by suppliers if they fail to unload their ships on time.
https://goo.gl/4Ex1Aj
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9. Rise of Maritime Blockchain
Globalization has brought the most advanced trading networks the world has seen, with the biggest, fastest vessels, robot-operated ports and vast computer databases tracking cargoes. But it all still relies on millions and millions of paper documents.
In order to make the blockchain work, dozens of shipping lines and thousands of related businesses around the world — including manufacturers, banks, insurers, brokers and port authorities — will have to work out a protocol that
can integrate all the new systems onto one vast platform.
https://goo.gl/LmCEfQ
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10. Measuring Marine Microplastics
Swedish tanker company Concordia Maritime has, together with the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment (SIME) initiated a preliminary study to determine the feasibility of gathering information on the volume of microplastics in the oceans. By
installing a collection device on a tanker, water samples can be collected while it is underway for subsequent analysis by researchers. The aim is to draw conclusions as to the extent, distribution of microplastics and potential consequences for living organisms,
according to the company.
https://goo.gl/jW6CuX
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com
S. Jones
Seacurus Ltd
Seacurus Ltd.,
Barbican Group,  
33 Gracechurch Street,
London EC3V 0BT,
UK
www.seacurus.com
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