Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/11/2018
1. Tanker Piracy Pursuit
On November 6, pirates pursued and fired on an unnamed LNG tanker in the Gulf of Guinea. At about 0600 hours UTC, nine pirates in a speedboat approached the vessel at a position about 30 nm southwest of Bonny, Nigeria, an oil and gas production hub in the Niger River Delta. The attackers opened fire on the vessel and made several attempts to get close, but the master sped up and took evasive maneuvers. The pirates ultimately abandoned the attack and departed. According to maritime security firm AKE, LNG carriers’ double-walled, insulated tanks are not vulnerable to small arms fire.
2. Aligning of Standards
Hong Kong and Taiwan are aligning their emission regulations with the Chinese emission control area (ECA) requirements for a local 0.50 percent sulfur cap from January 1, 2019, according to insurer Gard. Hong Kong will soon replace its current Fuel at Berth Regulation requiring ships to burn fuel with a sulfur content not exceeding 0.50 percent while at berth with a regulation that extends the standard to ships operating in Hong Kong waters. Taiwan’s Ministry of Transport and Communication has also announced it will implement a 0.50 percent sulfur cap one year ahead of the IMO’s global requirements.
3. Criticism of Funding
How shipowners go about financing scrubber installations is attracting criticism across the globe. Scrubbers have hit the mainstream press headlines recently, especially open loop ones, with concern growing that the technology will not help improve the environment. Nevertheless, there are estimated to be at least 2,000 scrubbers installed come the January 1, 2020 implementation of the global sulphur cap, led by large, listed shipowners who have moved to install exhaust gas cleaning systems on their biggest ships.
4. OSM Looks at Scrubbers
Norwegian shipmanager OSM is providing clients with a package of solutions to comply with the global sulphur cap including the complex procedure of retrofitting ships with scrubbers. A dedicated team of engineers provides consultancy and engineering to customers along the entire process ranging from an initial assessment on the most suitable approach for IMO 2020 compliance for each individual vessel to entire project management and installation of retrofit solutions globally. An OSM fact sheet shows which type of scrubber is suited to certain businesses.
5. New Team at Hyperloop
Virgin Hyperloop One has announced that Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, has been elected as its new Chairman. The announcement follows a new round of funding which means DP World will become Virgin Hyperloop One’s largest investor. Jay Walder has been appointed as its new CEO and will also join the company’s board of directors. Walder has served as Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York, CEO of the MTR Corporation in Hong Kong and Managing Director at Transport for London.
6. Digitalisation Savings for Drillers
Digitalisation in upstream: show me the money, a new report from global natural resources consultancy Wood Mackenzie indicates the upstream sector could see annual cost savings of $75 billion annually from digitalization by 2023. The biggest benefit from digitalization would be the ability to uncover new resources, says Greig Aitken, principal analyst in Wood Mackenzie’s corporate analysis team. This may be from better processing of seismic data or gaining new understanding of well logs and chemical analysis. Making better, faster decisions on where and how to drill or whether to drill at all, will be key.
7. Multiple Asphyxiation Deaths
Three crewmembers of the timber carrier Apollo Kita died Friday while working in one of the vessel’s holds. The suspected cause of death was asphyxiation. While the Kita was under way off Ishigakijima, bound for Osaka with a load of wood, the three crewmembers entered the hold and became unconscious. They were flown to a hospital in Ishigaki for treatment, but they did not recover. Authorities in Ishigaki believe that the oxygen level in the hold may have fallen too low, causing the men to lose consciousness. The three victims were all Philippine nationals, and ranged in age from 26 to 59.
8. Guidance on Missing Seafarers
New guidance on dealing with situations involving missing seafarers has been produced by ISWAN, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and InterManager. The good Practice Guide covers managing relationships on board, actions that should be taken and managing relationships with the families of seafarers who have gone missing. It includes details of recommended procedures to follow, templates and scripts for communicating with families and further resources including contact details for reporting incidents of missing seafarers.
9. Sanctions Boost for Tankers
U.S. sanctions on Iran and the trade battle with China have become a boon for owners of tankers, with daily freight rates at their highest in two years as ships shift their routes to load up crude from other oil-producing countries. Crude exports from Iran, the world’s fifth-biggest oil producer, have fallen about 50% since May when the U.S. pulled out of a landmark deal curbing Iran’s nuclear program. A new set of sanctions against Tehran took effect at the start of this month. Oil traders and tanker brokers said Saudi Arabia has moved to fill the void of more than one million barrels a day.
10. EMSA Elephant in the Room
The elephant in the room at the CrewConnect Global in Manila was the Philippines failure to comply with the European Maritime Safety Agency’s (EMSA) standards for the implementation of the STCW Code and increasingly possible ban of Filipino officers. Opening speeches at the conference under lined a dichotomy between the quality companies that attend such an event, and see a value in often impassioned discussions, on all aspects of safety, training and crew welfare, and a mass of training institutions in the Philippines geared at churning out seafarers with little interest in whether they serve at sea or not.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com