Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/03/2019
1. CMA CGM Debt Level Fear
Analysts warn CMA CGM’s debt levels are set to soar this year while earnings dip. The world’s third largest liner issued its 2018 results last Friday, which have since been scrutinised by analysts at Alphaliner in the lead story of their latest weekly report. CMA CGM’s total debt hit $9.18bn at the end of 2018 and Alphaliner states the figure will increase to more than $15bn in 2019, due to new capital expenditure requirements and the consolidation of CEVA Logistics’ debt, as well as changes in accounting rules. With higher costs hurting a new $1.2bn cost saving drive has been initiated.
2. Kung Hei Fast Aground
One month and one day on from the ship’s grounding, the insurer and the owner of the Solomon Trader finally issued a release today, claiming “deep remorse” for the incident, which has become the worst man-made ecological disaster to hit the Solomon Islands. The 1994-built Hong Kong-flagged Solomon Trader, insured by Korea P&I, ran aground while loading bauxite in bad weather. Its anchor dragged and the ship became lodged on a reef. Reports of the Solomon Trader crew being absent from the vessel or intoxicated celebrating Chinese new year at the time of the grounding were deemed to be false. http://bit.ly/2SHrqKt
3. Greeks Seduced by Chinese Money
Chinese ship financing, especially leasing, has increasingly become an important financing source for Greek shipowners, which are known for their great skills in asset play. In a Greek owner panel at Marine Money’s event in Shanghai, representatives said they believe this trend will continue in the next few years. Jerry Kalogiratos, CEO of Capital Product Partners, said he had seen Chinese financial leasing grow substantially in the past three to four years, turning the old expensive financing structures into something more flexible with more competitive terms.
4. Small Ports Won’t Have Fuel
Despite assurances from fuel suppliers over the availability of compliant fuel to meet IMO 2020 from 1 January next year, industry executives warn that logistics will be a mess and the majority of smaller bunkering ports will not have low sulphur fuel. Marius Johansen, vice president, commercial (ships agency) for Wilhelmsen Ship Services (WSS), warned: “Of course running a liner type business you will frequent ports which you can’t necessarily rely on the fuel to be available when you need it to.”
5. Bunker Spill in Canadian Port
The 3,569 dwt chemical tanker North Atlantic Kairos has experienced a bunker spill in the Port Aux Basques harbour, Canada. According to the Canadian ferry services operator Marine Atlantic, the spill was noticed in the afternoon hours of March 3. The company said that it had been working with relevant authorities regarding observation and response activities, adding that a boom was places around the tanker, which was docked in port, in order to contain the spill.
6. Wind Assistance Certification
Norsepower Oy’s Rotor Sail solution has received the first-ever type approval design certificate granted to an auxiliary wind propulsion system on board a commercial ship. The type approval from DNV GL was issued after a design assessment of Norsepower’s 30-meter by five-meter Rotor Sail, two of which have been installed on board the Maersk Pelican LR2 tanker. The certification means that vessels operating Norsepower’s Rotor Sails are technically capable of safely navigating “all operational and environmental situations.”
7. Troops to Transition
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order making it easier for members of the armed forces to use their sea time and training to meet U.S. Coast Guard merchant mariner licensing requirements after they leave active duty. At present, Navy, Army and Coast Guard service doesn’t usually count towards the classroom and sea time needed to gain certification as an AB, QMED, deck officer or engineer. Under the “Military to Maritime” initiative, the U.S. Army’s little-known but extensive marine operations have been working to fix this gap by harmonizing their training with merchant marine standards. http://bit.ly/2u0SaMd
8. New Build Stability
Speculative orders have vanished from the newbuilding scene of late, with the majority of ship owners making moderate and calculated moves in the market. This has been the case so far in 2019, with prices stabilizing as a result. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that it was “a rather interesting week for the newbuilding market in as to dry bulk activity, with a fair number of orders coming to light these past few days. Furthermore, if someone also considers the current turbulent scene portrayed in the freight market, we could well hold a more optimistic view moving forward.
9. Hash Haul Found
The Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon has completed her sixth drug bust on the Middle East’s “Hash Highway,” seizing more than two tonnes of hash in a single boarding. The sale of these drugs is a known source of funding for terrorist organisations and criminal networks. The suspect vessel, a wooden dhow, was spotted by the warship’s helicopter during a night-time sortie. After closing in and taking a closer look, HMS Dragon decided to investigate further. Launching her two fast sea boats, each one carrying a joint boarding team of sailors and Royal Marines, they swooped on the dhow and found 2,000 kg of hash.
10. Gust Hits Cruise Ship
The cruise ship Norwegian Escape heeled over from a strong wind gust, resulting in cosmetic damage on the interior and several passenger injuries. “Just before midnight on Sunday, March 3, Norwegian Escape encountered unexpected weather in the form of a sudden, extreme gust of wind, estimated at 100 knots, which resulted in the ship heeling to the port side,” Norwegian said in a statement. “Several injuries were reported and those guests and crew received immediate attention or are being treated by the ship’s medical staff. There was no damage to the ship; she remains fully operational.”
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com