Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/11/2018
1. Greenpeace Boards Vessel
On Saturday, the captain of the palm oil tanker Stolt Tenacity allegedly detained six Greenpeace activists after they conducted an unauthorized boarding of his vessel while under way. At dawn, a boarding team from the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza used a daughter craft to approach the Tenacity as she transited the Gulf of Cadiz. While maintaining position alongside the Tenacity’s starboard side, the team hooked a boarding ladder onto her rail. Six Greenpeace activists were on board before the crew was on deck to confront them.
2. Fuel Tank Gash
The fuel tank of a 4,360 teu MSC boxship was badly ruptured yesterday morning as the vessel manouvered and hit a berth at a terminal belonging to Yilport in Turkey. Oil dispersants were used and a boom was put around the ship and the oil spill was contained. The 22-year-old vessel, the MSC Katyayni, will now likely stay in Turkey for repairs. It is owned by Zodiac Maritime and managed by MSC.
3. Contentious Year Ahead
Carriers and shippers are heading for a contentious 2019. A traditional, simplistic, economic view would be that the price for any product is governed by supply and demand. If supply exceeds demand, prices drop. This could be either because too much product was made or because demand falls short of expectations. The remedy would be to remove some of the excess supply or stimulate demand by lowering prices. The customer would furthermore expect that if the quality of the product declines, so should the price. None of this matches the reality seen in the container shipping sector.
4. Old Fights Continue
Turkey’s government has warned ExxonMobil that its ongoing exploration activity in Cyprus’ EEZ could affect regional stability, and it asserted that Turkey will soon begin its own drilling campaign in waters claimed by Turkish Cyprus. “We have warned the Greek Cypriot administration to stop the unilateral exploration for hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Ankara warned in a statement. “We reiterate our warning to the companies involved in these unilateral exploration and drilling. We remind them that sharing the natural resources of the island of Cyprus relates to the core of the Cyprus issue.”
5. New Ship Design Revealed
Japanese shipping company NYK has unveiled plans for a zero-emission Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) that could help the group achieve its long-term decarbonization goals. The conceptual design, which NYK calls the Super Eco Ship 2050, builds on its previous concept ship the NYK Super Eco Ship 2030, unveiled in 2009, but with an updated design that makes use of advances in technology over the last decade. The NYK Super Eco Ship 2050 is designed as a 2050-model PCTC. According to NYK, the concept would only require 70% of the power needed to operate compared to a conventional PCTC.
6. WTO Reform Beckons
China plans to propose reforms of the World Trade Organisation, while warning fellow WTO members against seeing reform as a chance to put China in a straitjacket. Their Ambassador was speaking at a lunch during a WTO conference in Paris on Friday, where diplomats and officials discussed ideas about reforming the WTO. With support from Brussels and Tokyo, Washington wants the WTO to crack down on subsidies for state-backed enterprises, overcapacity in steel and other basic industries, and on the practice of forcing investors to hand over valuable technology.
7. Concerns Over 2020
The use of scrubbers to meet the 2020 sulphur cap, their lack of regulatory framework, and impact on the market were very much under discussion at the Greener Shipping Summit in Athens last week. Indeed, many questions were asked and many opinions expressed as the quality and the cost of the compliant fuels and the environmental impact of the open loop scrubbers proved serious points of concern. Cheaper fuel and the premium on the charter rate of ships with scrubbers, will consequently lead to operation with increased speed and consumption and the proportional increase in emissions.
8. Class Can Do More
Classification societies have been called on to take a bigger role in the formulating of legislation, rather than just enforcing compliance with the regulations when they come into force. Many among the over 450 delegates representing 251 companies and organisations at the Greener Shipping Summit in Athens, last week, were by and large in agreement that shipping’s logistic chain has to be looked at in general and that there is great need for the shipping industry to improve its lobbying.
9. Wage Stagnation at Sea
Wages for officers have stagnated over the last decade rising by 1% annually since 2008, and increases look set to remain modest in coming years. Drewry, says, on average ratings salaries grew by 1% over the last 12 months while for officers the increase was slightly under 1%. The figures for 2018 were similar to the annual averages for the last decade with wages for officers rising by an average of 1% annually. In 2017 there was actually an average 2% fall in wages for a tanker Master with and an increase of half a percent this year.
10. Teaming Up for Green
Danish shipowner Ultrabulk is teaming up with Smart Green Shipping Alliance, UK’s power station operator Drax and Humphreys Yacht Design, to study the possibility of installing high-tech automated sails on some of its dry bulk vessels. The GBP 100,000 (USD 128,400) feasibility study would examine the potential of retrofitting Fastrig sail technology on an Ultrabulk ship importing biomass into the UK for Drax power station in Yorkshire, to produce renewable electricity. This study’s purpose is to find cost-effective ways to reduce the carbon intensity of the ocean transport required in the biomass supply chain.
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