Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/01/2019
1. Davos Cautious But Upbeat
The global economy is stumbling but not falling over. That’s the analysis of investors, bankers and former policy makers attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as they argue the expansion is weakening but not by enough to generate a recession.
“We’re slowing, but we’re still growing,” said Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman of BlackRock Inc. and a former Swiss central banker. “The chances of a recession short of a major mistake or accident this year are limited.”
2. Confusion Over Scrubber Bans
Bans of exhaust gas cleaning systems around the world has been labelled as “fake news” by a pro-scrubber lobbying group. The Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020 has called upon the global maritime industry not to single out scrubber wash waters when coastal states and port authorities adopt local regulations to lessen the impact of ship operations. Responding to reports that coastal states and ports are implementing rules that “restrict the discharge of wash waters”, the lobbying group said that most ports and harbours already have discharge requirements which have been in place for years.
3. UK Long Term Strategy
A new long-term strategy launched today aims to make the UK a top global test-bed of emerging maritime technologies. The Maritime 2050 strategy launched by the British government after a year’s consultancy with the private sector outlines a range of short, medium and long-term proposals, including developing technology, people, and infrastructure, to keep the maritime industry in the UK flourishing. These include establishing an innovation hub at a UK port by 2030, looking at ways to clean up emissions from the industry, and building on the training already offered to seafarers.
4. Warrant for Shipowner Arrest
A warrant for the arrest of the chairman of Polaris Shipping has been issued by South Korean authorities, according to local media reports. Polaris Shipping operated the Stellar Daisy – the very large ore carrier that went missing off Uruguay on April 1, 2017. The 266,000-ton bulk carrier had 24 crew at the time. Their final message was that she was taking on water and listing, and the two survivors of the casualty reported that her hull cracked before she went down. The cause of the loss has not yet been officially determined.
5. UK Ports Not Ready for BREXIT
With just 65 days to go until Britain exits the EU, the UK government has not finalized a transition plan – and, according to a new survey, neither have the majority of the UK’s ports. A recently conducted a poll of UK ports found only 16 percent responded that they have made “significant or practical” preparations for Brexit. 80 percent said that their ports have done little or no planning, and only 25 percent believe that they are well-positioned for Brexit. A third believe they could cope, and 40 percent either don’t know or doubt their ability to handle the change.
6. Worrying Times for Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s continued slide down the rankings of the world’s great ports has pushed billionaire Li Ka-shing’s freight-terminal operator to take action. HongKong International Terminals Ltd., the city’s biggest container-terminal operator and part of Li’s CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., is freezing salaries for all its staff this year due to rising competition and the U.S.-China trade war. It has also formed an alliance with rival dock operators in Hong Kong in a bid to cut costs. “It’s been a tsunami of negative developments for Hong Kong,” said Rahul Kapoor, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Singapore.
7. Search for Man Overboard
Coast Guard is still searching for the missing crew of a foreign vessel named Merchant Vessel “Grande Progreso” who allegedly fell overboard off Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental while underway enroute to Brazil last January 15, 2019. The Japanese flagged vessel informed Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) Misamis Oriental personnel that one of their chief mates identified as Mr Dominador Calot Fuentes III, 33 years old and resident of Brgy Baliangao, Misamis Oriental was missing onboard the said vessel at around 6PM of the same date.
8. Panama Further Reduces Draughts
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced that, based on the present and projected level of Gatun Lake for the following weeks, it will be further reducing the draught for the new locks. Effective from 27 February 2019, the maximum authorised draught for vessels transiting the neo-panamax locks will be 14.63 metres (48.0 feet) TFW, down from the 14.94 metres (49 feet) draught that will be effective 11 February.
9. Hunt for Lost Boxes
A total of twelve containers lost from the containership YM Efficiency have until now been located and imaged by the remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROUV), the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said. Following the first ROUV assessment of the containers at the beginning of December 2018, three targets of interest were located and imaged. The operations recommenced on January 12, 2019, and resulted in finding an additional nine containers.
10. Bunker Dispute Ending
More than four years after the collapse of OW Bunkers and extensive legal wrangling, closure is on the horizon. At the time of the fuel supplier’s bankruptcy in late 2014, shipowners were not sure who they should pay, and monies went into escrow. The OW Bunkers cases are highly nuanced, with lawyers parsing the finer points of agency law, international bankruptcy law, jurisdictions and maritime liens. But the central issue in the US cases has been whether those funds should go to suppliers of the ships’ bunkers, or whether they should go to financial institutions who had lent money to various affiliates of OW.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com