Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/01/2019
1. Worried about Washwater
Gard P&I has published an eye-opening map of places around the world it believes have issues with scrubber technology and its effect on the discharge of washwater. As well as the many nations highlighted in the media in recent months, including China, Singapore, Belgium, some US states, the German Rhine and Dublin port, the update from the Norwegian insurer shows other nations are also putting in place legislation to handle the shipping technology designed to counter next year’s global sulphur cap. Moreover, Gard warns other countries are likely to follow suit soon.
2. Call for Mediterranean Emissions Area
Air pollution from ship traffic in the Mediterranean Sea can significantly be reduced with the introduction of an emission control area (ECA). France investigated potential air quality improvements in the region following a switch to better grade marine fuels as well as related socio-economic benefits especially in terms of reduced health costs and environmental damage. Inter alia the report highlights that particulate matter can be reduced by up to 20% and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels even by up to 76%, all of this leading to up to EUR14bn in reduced health costs and more than 6,000 lives that can be saved every year.
3. Search for Port Chief
The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has initiated a global search to replace Susumu Naruse as secretary general when he steps down in May. The global port lobbying association is offering a salary in excess of $100,000 a year for the Tokyo-based position. Santiago Garcia Milà, IAPH’s president, stated in a release: “The Secretary General’s role has both a significant leadership and operational component. It requires an active and prudent individual who has international experience in the port sector and has profound knowledge about the accounting system, administration and finance.”
4. Chinese Year of Wind
The Chinese government has approved 24 offshore wind projects off the Jiangsu Province. Local media reports that the projects will have a total capacity of 6.7GW and will involve an investment of around $18 billion. The wind farms are expected to be operational by the end of 2020. They will be developed by a number of utilities including China Energy Group, China General Nuclear Power Corp., China Huaneng Group and State Power Investment Corp. The province already has 56 wind farms in operation with a total capacity of 8.6GW.
5. Huge Port Investment Plan
China Merchants Group has issued RMB10bn ($1.47bn) worth of bonds with a maturity of five years starting from January 18. All the proceeds from the bond issuance will be used for the development of the ports under Liaoning Port Group, an integrated platform for three major ports in Liaoning province – Dalian Port, Yingkou Port and Jinzhou Port. Liaoning Port Group was established in 2017 in response to the central government’s call to consolidate the port sector, following similar moves by others provinces including Zhejiang and Jiangsu.
6. What Seafarers Need
Despite seafarers bringing us 95 percent of everything we consume as a nation, sadly there are still a number of areas of improvement to ensure professionals in the industry have the opportunity to work, progress in their careers and feel protected, safe and happy in their jobs. Mark Dickinson, new recipient of the Merchant Navy medal says seafarers need working patterns that are not detrimental to physical and mental health, improved accommodation, adequate leisure and exercise facilities, a nutritious diet, as well as adequate resources and an end to blame culture and admin burdens.
7. Gulf of Guinea Piracy Hotspot
The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has released its global piracy report for 2018, and it warns that the maritime industry experienced a net increase in attacks year-over-year. In particular, the agency recorded a “marked rise in attacks against ships and crews around West Africa.” Worldwide, the IMB recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017. The Gulf of Guinea is particularly dangerous for seafarers and accounted for all six hijackings, 13 of the 18 ships fired upon, 130 of the 141 hostages held, and 78 of 83 seafarers kidnapped for ransom worldwide.
8. Amazon Under the Radar
Quietly and below the radar, Amazon has been ramping up its ocean shipping service, sending close to 4.7 million cartons of consumers goods from China to the United States over the past year, records show. This marks a significant move into what many believe is the company’s overall strategy of eventually controlling much of its transportation network, from trucks to airplanes and now to ships. As of the beginning of 2018, Amazon’s freight shipping arm has shipped over 5,300 shipping containers from China to the United States. Those containers mark Amazon’s push into the ocean freight market.
9. Dry Bulk Market Positives
The dry bulk market’s fundamentals are still positive, given that during 2018 net fleet growth was quite low, at 3% despite the fact that demolitions stood at record low levels. In 2018, deliveries of dry bulk carriers over 20,000 dwt fell to its lowest in a decade, coming in at 266 units equivalent to 27.3 mln dwt. This compares to 427 units totaling 37.1 mln dwt delivered in 2017, and the previous capacity low of 22.7 mln dwt comprising 300 units in 2008. In terms of units, deliveries in the Supramax category (mostly Ultramaxes between 60,000-64,000 dwt) again formed the largest share of 29%.
10. Dutch Owner Find for Scrapping
Dutch ship owner Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II BV has been fined 780.000 EUR and paid a settlement of 2.2 million EUR – totaling to a price tag of almost 3 million EUR – for having beached a ship for scrapping in India. In 2013, Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II BV, a subsidiary of WEC Lines BV, sold the HMS Laurence to a cash buyer, a company specialised in the trade of end-of-life vessels to beaching yards. The vessel ended up in Alang, India, where it was broken under conditions that “cause serious damage to the environment and expose the health of workers and the local population to grave danger”.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com