Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/10/2018
1. Hurricane Batters Florida
The most powerful hurricane ever to hit north-west Florida has flooded beach towns, submerging homes and snapping trees like twigs. Hurricane Michael made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a category three storm with 125mph (200km/h) winds in the state’s Panhandle region. One person was killed by a falling tree, Florida officials say. The storm left nearly 500,000 people without electricity in Florida, Alabama and Georgia, emergency services say. Michael was so powerful that it remained a hurricane as it moved further inland.
2. Out of Control Vessel
Panamax bulk carrier Guo Yuan 1, operated by Fujian Guohang Ocean Shipping, collided with three river vessels at Zhenjiang anchorage on Tuesday evening. The three vessels were tied together and anchored and all sank after the collision. Five crew from the sunken ships were rescued, while another four crew remain missing. Search and rescue operations for the missing crew are ongoing. The 1987-built Guo Yuan 1, which was on its way to Nanjing, has been detained by local authorities. Preliminary investigations shows the vessel lost control when sailing into the anchorage.
3. MSC Struggles with China
Gianluigi Aponte, founder and chairman of the Geneva-based MSC group, has made clear he is not enamoured with China as a business partner and he is not afraid about the potential of the Belt and Road Initiative. His greatest fear at the moment are the possible consequences of an oil price hike in the near future. That’s what emerged from a public interview held this week during a conference organised by the Confcommercio-Conftrasporto association in Cernobbio, Italy. “China is arrogant and to make business with them is not an easy task,” Aponte said.
4. Beware of Outsiders
One of the world’s most famous names in tankers has warned the industry to be aware of the risks coming from investors from outside the shipping. Bob Burke, head of Ridgebury Tankers, said: “The world is awash with capital”. He went on to explain how investors view shipping as an easy sector into which to invest huge sums overnight to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, whereas it would take them months to invest similar numbers in other industries.
5. New Green Finance Deal
Greek dry bulk owner has entered into a $310m loan agreement which refinances 26 vessels and includes a $70m tranche to finance the procurement and retrofitting of scrubbers for up to 50 vessels. Star Bulk has already drawn $240m and refinanced 26 vessels made up of four newcastlemaxes, four capesizes, two post-panamaxes, 14 kamsarmaxes and two supramaxes. DNB Bank is the mandated lead arranger, facility agent and coordinator of the loan, with ABN AMRO Bank, BNP Paribas, Danish Ship Finance and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken as mandated lead arrangers.
6. Full Steam Ahead at IMO
The IMO’s next Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 73) is expected to advance governance of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas and SOx emissions. Chaired by Hideaki Saito of Japan, key agenda items include plans to tighten the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and guidance for ship operators and flag states on the 2020 sulfur cap. The meeting will be held October 22-26 and is expected to agree a program of action to implement the initial IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, which was adopted in April 2018.
7. Trade War Bounce
The US-China trade war has seemed “positive” for transpacific shipping lines, so far, with importers rushing to beat tariff deadlines. But there is growing concern that a prolonged dispute would leave shippers with question marks on whether to reorganise their supply chains. APL chief executive Nicolas Sartini believes the industry should still achieve around 5% trade growth this year.
8. Working for HK Shipping
In her second policy address since coming to power last year, Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, today made good on her promise last week to bolster the city’s maritime credentials. “We will continue to serve as the best springboard for mainland maritime companies seeking to go global, and to provide facilitation for international maritime organisations to set up presence in Hong Kong and tap the mainland market,” Lam said in a lengthy policy address. Among new measures, the Hong Kong government will look to implement tax relief proposals for marine insurers and ship leasing companies.
9. Collision Track Simulation
We’re getting our first look at the track of the Ro-Ro passenger vessel Ulysse before and after it collided with containership CSL Virginia early Sunday morning off the Mediterranean island of Corsica. The video below was created by VesselTracker using AIS data transmitted by both ships. The collision occurred before dawn Sunday morning approximately 17 miles (28 km) north of Cape Corsica as the Ulysse was underway from Genoa, Italy to Rades, Tunisia. The CSL Virginia was reportedly anchored at the time of the collision.
10. Small Cost for Saving Arctic
It would cost passengers just the price of a glass of wine a day if cruise ships would stop burning highly polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic environment, according to a new report from green transport group Transport & Environment. The report analysed the impact on the cruise ship MS Rotterdam had it switched to marine gas oil (MGO) during three summer trips to the Arctic in 2018. Banning the use of HFO in the Arctic last summer would have increased ticket prices on the MS Rotterdam by on average 6%, based on 2018 fuel prices and assuming the additional fuel costs incurred were passed on to passengers.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com