Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/02/2019
1. Worst Man Made Disaster
In what has been branded the worst man-made natural disaster ever to hit the country, at least 60 tonnes of bunker fuel has poured out of the hull of a grounded bulker in the Solomon Islands. The 1994-built Solomon Trader ran aground three weeks ago while loading bauxite in bad weather. Its anchor dragged and the ship became lodged on a reef off Rennell Island near the world’s largest raised coral atoll, a UNESCO site. Australia’s High Commission in the Solomon Islands has issued photos of the disaster and shared findings from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) recent flyover of the scene.
2. Japan Approves Open Loop Scrubbers
Japanese authorities have declared washwater discharge from open-loop scrubbers to be not harmful to the environment, lending credence to a three-year study on the topic carried by cruise giant Carnival, which was unveiled last week. Open-loop scrubbers have come under enormous scrutiny in the past 12 months with key shipping locations such as Singapore, China and Fujairah banning the technology. However, Japan, home to the world’s second largest merchant fleet, has come out in favour of them.
3. Owners Waiting for Even More
Things are heating up in the crude tanker market, with VLCCs reaping the benefits so far. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Charles R. Weber said that “last week’s influx of USG inquiry buoyed rates across the globe on the VLCC sector, as eastbound rates from the region approached year-to-date highs. This increased activity made the ballast option to the Atlantic more attractive, further reducing the over-supply of tonnage in the AG. In line with the rising USG activity, the most recent EIA numbers had crude exports from the USG reaching a record high of 3.607 mil bbls per day for the week ending February 15th. http://bit.ly/2VjraD9
4. Courts Strip UK of Territory
In a 13-to-1 decision, the International Court of Justice has ruled that the UK should give the Chagos Islands back to Mauritius, the archipelagic nation that once owned them. The ruling covers Diego Garcia, the strategic American naval base on a British-controlled atoll. “[The UK’s] continued administration constitutes a wrongful act,” ICJ president Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf wrote for the majority. “The UK has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos archipelago as rapidly as possible and . . . all member states must co-operate with the UN to complete the decolonization of Mauritius.”
5. Hybrid Cruise Trials
Hurtigruten’s cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen is nearing completion at Kleven Yard and has just completed her first sea trials in the fjords along the western coast of Norway. MS Roald Amundsen is hailed as the world’s first hybrid cruise ship. Custom built for some of the most extreme waters on the planet, she is currently undergoing final outfitting alongside her sister ship MS Fridtjof Nansen at Kleven. The 140-meter (460-foot) expedition cruise ships, accommodating 530 guests, feature technology such as battery packs and specially designed ice-strengthened hull.
6. Great Profit News
Hapag-Lloyd achieved a higher operating result in the 2018 financial year than in the prior year. On the basis of preliminary and unaudited figures, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to EUR 1,138 million (2017: EUR 1,055 million). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to EUR 443 million (2017: EUR 411 million). Both figures are at the upper end of the ranges forecast for the 2018 full financial year (EBITDA: EUR 900 to 1,150 million; EBIT: EUR 200 to 450 million), which Hapag-Lloyd announced on 29 June 2018.
7. Good Renewal for Skuld
Skuld, announced a positive outcome from renewals with a 4.3% net increase in mutual P&I gross tonnage year-on-year from 2018 to 2019, including committed tonnage for delivery throughout 2019. Completing on 20 February 2019, Skuld’s committed mutual P&I tonnage now stands at 95 million gross tonnes (GT). Skuld continued to grow its business organically as well as attracting a significant number of quality new mutual members in the Far East, Europe and the US. Significant growth was also recorded in all commercial P&I business lines, including charterers and offshore.
8. Positive American Club Sentiment
The American Club experienced a very positive outcome to the recently-concluded 2019 P&I renewal season. The Club’s mutual P&I and FD&D business saw increases in both tonnage and revenue, while the Club’s fixed premium facility, Eagle Ocean Marine (EOM), recorded a significant rise in year-on-year income. There was also good news on the claims and investment fronts. The American Club’s mutual P&I business saw tonnage increase by more than 1.6 million gt as of February 20, 2019 by comparison with the previous year, and by just under 900,000 gt in regard to mutual FD&D entries.
9. UK Government Secrecy
The U.K. government appears to want an upcoming trial over its controversial no-deal Brexit ferry contracts to be held in private, according to Eurotunnel, which is bringing the lawsuit. Eurotunnel – which is suing the government over its award of three contracts worth 108 million pounds ($141 million) to handle freight shipments in a no-deal Brexit – criticized transport secretary Chris Grayling’s approach in court filings for a pre-trial hearing. One of the contracts, which has since fallen through, went to a startup that didn’t own any ships. The government has kept vital documents for the trial confidential.
10. Incredible Port Fire
More than thirty vessels were burned in a major fire at Muara Baru Port in Penjaringan, Indonesia, on February 23, 2019. The incident in the subdistrict of North Jakarta affected a total of 34 vessels, according to DPKP DKI Jakarta, a regional fire and rescue agency. There were no fatalities caused by the fire. However, three people were injured and taken to a local hospital. One hundred and sixty firefighters, twenty-three fire trucks and three fireboat units were battling the blaze which was extinguished at 6:00 a.m. (local time) on February 24.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com