Death Toll Rising Following Tianjin Port Eruption

By MarEx 2015-08-12 19:13:13

A fireball erupted at a warehouse for dangerous goods in the northeastern Chinese Port of Tianjin on Wednesday evening. At least seven people, possibly double that number, have died, and 300-400 people have been admitted to hospital.

Two firefighters are reported missing, and six have been wounded.

The explosion occurred in shipping containers that contained a shipment of explosives in the warehouse, reports Xinhua news agency. The blast was felt miles away.

China’s industrial safety record has been called into question. In July, 15 people died when an illegal fireworks warehouse exploded in the northern Hebei province.

Explosion Rocks Tianjin Port

By MarEx 2015-08-12 19:13:13

A fireball erupted at a warehouse for dangerous goods in the northeastern Chinese Port of Tianjin on Wednesday evening. At least seven people, possibly double that number, have died, and 300-400 people have been admitted to hospital.

Two firefighters are reported missing, and six have been wounded.

The explosion occurred in shipping containers that contained a shipment of explosives in the warehouse, reports Xinhua news agency. The blast was felt miles away.

China’s industrial safety record has been called into question. In July, 15 people died when an illegal fireworks warehouse exploded in the northern Hebei province.

Obituary: Niels Winchester Johnsen

By MarEx 2015-08-12 18:48:32

Shipping company founder Niels Winchester Johnsen passed away at age 93 on August 7 at his home in New Jersey.

Johnsen was born in New Orleans and attended Tulane University before joining the U.S. merchant marine in World War II.

During his time at war, he survived two torpedo attacks that sank the ships he was on. After the second attack, in 1944, he spent two weeks in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa.

After his service time, Johnsen joined States Marine Line, headed by his father-in-law, Henry Dickson Mercer. From there, he moved to Central Gulf Steamship which he founded with his brother and father in 1957. The company was a leading enterprise for shipping between the U.S., the Middle East and Asia.

Central Gulf Steamship later merged with Trans Union Corporation, and then in 1979, Johnsen became chairman of International Shipholding Corporation, a shipping company set up from the merged companies.

International Shipholding is the parent company of Central Gulf Lines and Waterman Steamship Corporation. It has about 50 vessels, and Johnsen retired as company chairman in 2003.

Johnsen was a trustee of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Corporation and a director of the Centennial Insurance Company and the National Cargo Bureau, which he also led. He also served on the boards of the American Bureau of Shipping and the Seamen’s Church Institute.

Johnsen received the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Silver Bell Award in 1988 and the Admiral of the Ocean Seas Award in 1993.

He left behind his brother Erik, wife Barbara, a son Niels and daughter Ingrid, seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Before his death he spent happy summer days with the children.

Can Power Ships Solve Ghana’s Energy Woes?

By MarEx 2015-08-12 16:05:27

Ghana is hiring power ships as part of the solution to its power crisis. Ghana government has ordered two power ships from Turkish energy company Karadeniz Holdings. The vessels are scheduled to arrive later this month and will be operational in September.

A power ship is a converted vessel that has been modified for power generation. A power plant is installed on ships and they are often sent to developing nations. Karadeniz’s power ships operate for about 12 hours a day in a 12 day cycle.

Ghana currently uses open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) to generate power OCGTs areinternal combustion engines that operate with rotary rather than reciprocating motion and run on diesel fuel, which can be expensive.

South Africa has energy issues and is also considering ordering power ships. Currently, the South African government has implemented rolling power outages on a rotating schedule to deal with its energy shortages. The strategy is known as load and shedding and its objective is to ease the pressure on the power grid to prevent its collapse. Load shedding is implemented whenever there is a discrepancy between energy supply and demand.

U.S. Navy Doubling LCS Fleet

By MarEx 2015-08-12 15:02:34

The U.S. Navy will double its fleet of Littoral Combat vessels by February 2016. The Navy accepted the USS Jackson, the first of its next four newbuilds, at an August 11 ceremony at the Austal Shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

The Navy will also receive the USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) in October, the USS Montgomery (LCS 8) in December and the USS Detroit NEXT February.

The USS Jackson is the first LCS ship built by Austal and is part of a ten ship, $3.5 billion block-buy contract. The Jackson is the first of seven independence-variant LCS under construction by Austal. The Montgomery will soon undergo test trials before its December delivery and the Gabrielle Gifford (LCS 10) was recently christened.

Omaha (LCS 12) is currently being prepared for a fall launch and the Manchester (LCS 14) is in assembly. The Tulsa (LCS 16) and Charleston (LCS 18) are currently under construction, and constructuion will begin on the Cincinatti (LCS) later this year.

In a statement, Austal President Craig Perciavalle said: “To deliver our first LCS as prime contractor is a major milestone for our company. I can’t express enough how proud I am to be part of this team of amazing men and women who made this accomplishment possible through their hard work and dedication. This truly is an extraordinary ship built by extraordinary people.”

The USS Jackson will undergo shock trials in Mayport, Florida and will be transported to San Diego, California once cleared. Its four sister vessels the USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) and the USS Coronado (LCS 4) are based in San Diego.