Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/02/2019
1. Call to Dismiss GDP Projections
BIMCO has called for regulator International Maritime Organization (IMO) to dismiss high global gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections when addressing its next greenhouse gas (GHG) study, due to get underway next month. BIMCO proposed that the fourth IMO GHG study does not include “unrealistically” high GDP growth forecasts to predict future transport demand – and thereby emissions – of the shipping industry. The proposal has been made to the expert workshop preparing for the study, which is meeting in London for three days from March 12.
2. Crew Welfare Accusations
Crew aboard a ship at a BHP terminal in Queensland claim they are being starved and underpaid, in what the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) claims today is another instance of the miner’s “veil of secrecy” over its operations in Australian waters. A seafarer aboard an 80,000 dwt bulk carrier, the Villa Deste, contacted the ITF pleading for help. The crew claims to have no food and no onboard wages, and are being fed on a $4 food budget per day. The ship is owned by Greece’s Evalend Shipping.
3. Mega Box Utilisation
Ocean Network Express (ONE) has broken the last reported world record for the largest amount of cargo ever stowed – carrying over 19,100 TEU on board the MOL Tribute. Using Navis’ StowMan vessel stowage planning software to optimize the ship, the record load surpasses the record previously announced by Maersk at 19,038 TEU, achieved in August 2018. The MOL Tribute, with a total capacity of 20,146 TEU achieved the new record on February 11, 2019. Prior to the latest achievement, ONE completed two additional record stows on board the MOL Trust and MOL Tradition in its last two calls at PSA Singapore.
4. Improvement in Piracy Situation
The ReCaap ISC has released its latest figures citing three incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia in January 2019, down from 11 in January 2018. All three incidents occurred on board ships anchored: one at Caofeidian anchorage in China, one at Jingtang anchorage in China and one at Ciwandan anchorage in Indonesia. There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah and no hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo reported in January 2019, but the abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains a serious concern.
5. V Group Swoops on Travel Firm
Ship management and services giant V.Group has acquired Global Marine Travel (GMT) from Inchcape Shipping Services. The acquisition will see V.Travel combine with GMT to bring greater scale to increase the companies’ ability to offer global 24/7 travel operations. The combined business will operate under the GMT brand. “We are delighted to have found a partnership that allows us to increase the scale, and invest further in technology and talent within our travel business,” said Elliot Gow, group managing director, marine services at V.Group.
6. Rescue Deal Plug Pulled
Offshore vessel operator EMAS Offshore, part of Singapore’s Ezra Holdings, has announced that a non-binding term sheet signed with Udenna Corporation in October 2018 has been terminated. The agreement, if executed, would have seen Udenna inject $73.29m into Emas Offshore. Dennis Uy-led Udenna, based in the Philippines, is the parent company of Pheonix Petroleum and Chelsea Logistics Holdings. The agreement is the second for Emas Offshore which has failed to materialise, and again delays its restructuring efforts. Last July, BT Technologies pulled the plug on a $50m rescue deal.
7. Data Will Aid Compliance
Compliance to the IMO’s global sulfur limit for marine fuels could be aided by data gathered by verifiers through the EU Monitoring, Reporting, Verification, or MRV, process, Verifavia CEO Julien Dufour said in an interview. Verifavia is among the world’s leading emissions verification company for the transport sector, both aviation and shipping. Less than 10 months remain for the IMO 2020 rule to be implemented. Still, a lot of uncertainty shrouds the implementation of this rule, which is fraught with huge operational challenges as well as high related costs.
8. Dramatic Sea Rescue
On Wednesday, the crew of the seismic vessel Hugin Explorer rescued a sailor in distress about 200 nm off Galveston, Texas. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston received a report from the crew the Explorer reporting that the sailing vessel Pomodoro was taking on water and in need of assistance. The Explorer’s crew were near the scene, and they relayed the Pomodoro’s radio distress calls to Sector Houston-Galveston. A Coast Guard Air Station Houston helicopter crew and an Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew were launched to the scene.
9. Bulker Grounds in Storm
The bulker Solomon Trader has gone aground in a sensitive marine area in the Solomon Islands, raising concerns of environmental damage. On February 5, the vessel went onto a reef off Rennell Island, the southernmost island in the Solomons. Rennell is located about 100 nm due south of Guadalcanal. Stormy conditions may have contributed to the grounding, and another storm is hampering the response effort. A small tropical cyclone – Cyclone Oma – is passing to the south of Rennell Island on its way towards Vanuatu, with bands of thunderstorms extending out for hundreds of miles.
10. Happy Valentines Day Seafarers
Happy Valentines’ Day to all seafarers. Now, of course, the supposedly most romantic day of the year can be doubly difficult for seafarers – being far from home and loved ones is a challenge. Maintaining relationships at home is something that seafarers talk about a lot through the Seafarers Happiness Index. We received many heartwarming and heart breaking tales from those at sea who wanted to open up about their relationships and the way that being distant sometimes makes them feel.
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