Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/12/2018
1. Trade Associations on Liners
Four trade associations representing the international liner shipping industry yesterday submitted comments to the European Commission supporting a controversial extension of the EU consortia block exemption regulation (BER) for an additional five years beyond its current 2020 expiration date. The papers were submitted in the public consultation being held by the commissionâs directorate-general for competition (DG COMP) by the World Shipping Council (WSC), the European Community Shipownersâ Associations (ECSA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the Asian Shipownersâ Association (ASA).
2. Tragic Executive Suicide
A senior executive from Cosco leapt to his death from a high-rise hotel in Taipei this morning. Jia Libin, the 39-year-old managing director of China Shipping Development (Hong Kong) Marine, a subsidiary of Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation, jumped from a window of the 15th floor of the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel in the Taiwanese capital, having left a nine-page suicide note in his room.
3. Titanic Builder Up for Grabs
A famous name in British shipbuilding is seeking new owners. Harland and Wolff, the giant Northern Irish yard that built the Titanic, has been put up for sale as its Norwegian owner, Fred Olsen, goes through its own restructuring process. The yard has not built a ship in the past 15 years, focusing instead on renewable energy installations. It continues to repair ships however. The facility boasts one of the largest drydocks in Europe.
4. Cold Hard Cash Facts
Kenya runs the risk of losing control of the Port of Mombasa if it should default on loans from state financial institution China Exim Bank, according to a new report from Kenya’s auditor general. The terms of a $2.3 billion loan for Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) specify that the port’s assets are collateral, and they are not protected by Kenya’s sovereign immunity due to a waiver in the contract. KRC accepted the multi-billion-dollar loan in order to build the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway (SGR), with construction services provided by China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC).
5. Local Maritime Dispute
Singapore and Malaysia have deployed coast guard and naval patrol vessels to stake out competing claims between Tuas and Johor Baru Port, two terminal complexes on either side of the Johor Strait. In late October, Malaysia declared that it was expanding the maritime boundaries of Johor Baru to the east, towards Tuas. Singapore immediately objected, asserting that the new limits encroached on Singaporean waters. In late November, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) deployed its vessels to patrol, prompting complaints from Singapore about “intrusions” into Singapore-claimed areas.
6. The Rotterdam Effect
The economic significance of the Port of Rotterdam is twice as high as previously calculated. â¬45.6 billion ($52 billion) or 6.2 percent of the added value of the Netherlands is due to the port, according to The Rotterdam effect – Impact of Mainport Rotterdam on the Dutch economy study conducted by Erasmus University Rotterdam, commissioned by the Port Authority. The figures indicate that the Port of Rotterdam contributes twice as much to the gross domestic product than previously calculated.
7. Panama Safety Arguments
The risk of Panama Canal accidents is growing as fatigue plagues tug operators from long shifts, according to a report commissioned by Panamaâs captains union. The Panama Canal Authority disputes the findings. Since the Panama Canal opened a new set of locks in 2016, some captains have been covering long shifts. The report said the system is negatively affecting crewsâ health on the canal, which handles 5 percent of world trade. The study, which included interviews with 55 captains, a third of the total working at the facility, is the unionâs most recent push for a different shift system, crew members said.
8. Owner Using Drones
Japanese shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has participated in a demonstration test of ship class survey using aerial drones to inspect an MOL-operated coal carrier in service. The survey was conducted along with international class society ClassNK, Hitachi Systems, and Mitsui Co. The demonstration included a simulated ship inspection inside the cargo hold and ballast tank, using video shot from an aerial drone. The test verified the effectiveness of using drones to monitor rust, corrosion, and the presence of cracks.
9. The Prestige Ruling
Spainâs Supreme Court upheld Thursday a lower courtâs ruling that Spain is to be paid 1.6 billion euros in damages over the 2002 Prestige oil spill. The definitive ruling confirms an earlier ruling handed down by a lower court in La Coruna, Galicia, where the oil spill occurred, in November 2017. France will also be awarded 61 million euros as its coastline was also impacted by the oil spill. The bulk of the damages will be paid by Prestigeâs insurer, the London P&I Club, as well as Prestigeâs captain.
10. Bit of Elbe Grease
Next year will see work begin on an important widening and deepening of the 120 km stretch of the River Elbe between the estuary and the boundary of the Port of Hamburg. Once works are completed ultra large vessels â dubbed AGF class in German â of over 330 m in length and 45 m breadth, will have access it said. A 20 m widening of the fairway between StÃ¶rbogen and Wedel will create a zone 7 km long and 385 m wide between where AGFs will be able to pass each other, as opposed to being obliged to observe âone-way trafficâ as is currently the case for ships with a combined width of more than 90 m.
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