Danish Owners Reassert Shipbreaking Stance

By MarEx 2015-08-24 19:42:34

Following on from the news last week that the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association has stated its opposition to shipbreaking on beaches, the Danish Shipowners’ Association has restated its, contrary, position.

The organization has released a statement saying that ratification and compliance with the Hong Kong Convention is the best way to ensure sustainable recycling of vessels according to the Danish Shipowners’ Association, both in terms of safety and environmental impact.

There is an ongoing debate of whether beaching in South Asia should be banned. The debate often flares up as 60 percent of the world’s vessels are dismantled on the beaches of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and these area in particular have been notorious for poor safety and environment conditions.

In addition the requirements for the E.U. white list of yards based on the E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation risk becoming an a priori exclusion of South Asian yards.

But Alang is not just Alang, writes Director of the Danish Shipowners’ Association, Maria Bruun Skipper, in an article from Spring 2015, following a visit to Alang, India. The point is that we all have a responsibility to ensure that the recycling is done without compromising neither the health and safety of the workers nor the environment:

“A couple of the yards we visited have invested in technology and established safety procedures to ensure that ships are recycled safely and that the environment is protected against leakage of harmful substances. It is up to the classification societies to certify that the standards are met, but in my view it would be extremely counterproductive if the yards, which have made important investments, are excluded based on geography and the concept of beaching as a method. The DSA does not by any means accept poor standards, but we strongly recommend individual assessment of each yard. This is also what we advise our members to do. Unacceptable ship recycling can take place anywhere in the world”, says Skipper.

“The U.N.’s maritime organization, IMO, has adopted the Hong Kong Convention which sets requirements for safe and environmentally sound recycling. Despite the fact that Denmark has yet to ratify the Convention, we do however recommend our members to follow the IMO standards and are fully in line with e.g. our Norwegian colleagues as regards the Convention’s primacy. Norway is one of the few countries who have actually ratified the Convention”, adds Skipper.

The Danish position is fully in line with the European position where the European maritime organization, ECSA is working on the global ratification of the Hong Kong Convention, she states.

Shipping stocks battered

US-listed shipping equities have fallen sharply amidst a broad market selloff driven by China fears.
Almost all publicly traded shipping stocks were down, many in the high single digits or low double digits across the 21 August and 24 August trading sessions. The largest two-day declines were

New Panama lock cracked

One of the newly constructed locks in the Panama Canal has sprung a leak, raising fresh questions on the expansion project’s already delayed timetable.
A publicly posted video (bit.ly/1U9wPDY) reveals water leaking through cracks in the Cocoli Locks on the waterway’s Pacific side. Asked by IHS

PCTC Flexibility Wins Out

By Wendy Laursen 2015-08-24 17:21:21

Conventional deepsea ro-ro vessels are fading from importance largely due to global economic development in, for example, the nations of Africa. The contraction of this market has been balanced by a rise in pure care and truck carrier (PCTC) orders, including the largest one built to date.

Conventional ro-ro vessel does not need extensive shoreside handling facilities, making them ideal ship for serving the developing world. Their often heavy-duty ramps also allow heavy and other project cargoes to be rolled on and off the ship. Basically every kind of cargo can be put on wheel, using different types of chassis. Therefore, they can be used for cars, trucks, high and heavy cargo, special product cargo and the transport of steel or paper.

However, as port, terminal and hinterland infrastructure develops around the world, the ability to operate without significant shore-side equipment is not as important as it was.

This is obvious in West Africa, until fairly recently one of the more popular ro-ro trades, reports shipping analyst Dynamar based in The Netherlands. Operators such as Delmas (CMA CGM) and NileDutch now completely focus on box ships in the region after having operated ro-ros for many years.

Just a few operators, Bahri, Grimaldi (including subsidiary ACL), Messina and Nordana have been responsible for most (24) of the conventional (deepsea) ro-ros ordered during the last five years, says Dynamar. The global fleet declined has by nearly six percent over that time.

Where the conventional deepsea ro-ro fleet has shrunk by nearly 100 units over the last five years, the number of vehicle carriers has increased by 40 ships. This equates to a growth rate of three percent per year over the last five years.

More than just cars

Conventional ro-ro vessels and vehicle carriers both have ramps and both carry cars and high and heavy cargo, an industry term for such rolling stock as buses, trucks and agricultural machinery, as well as road building and construction equipment.

However, while automobiles are a vehicle carrier’s base cargo, the conventional ro-ro vessel is basically a breakbulk-ship-extra, says Dynamar, for which cars is just one of the many different cargoes carried. The modern PCTC is a specialist, ungeared vehicle carrier with multiple decks, in part adjustable for flexible clearance and reinforced to handle heavier loads. For some of the PCTC operators, other-than-car cargoes make up for up to 50 percent of their overall income.

More orders in 2015

This year has seen further PCTC orders including a K Line vessel that will carry railcars to the U.K. A series of K Line’s 7500-unit size ro-ro vessels are now under construction in Japan. Some of these vessels from the order of 10 will be deployed into this Japan – Europe trade, which the company expects to grow. The new vessels will also give K Line an increased car-carrying capacity of 20 percent as well as much more space for high and heavy cargo, including construction machinery.

In July, Grmaldi signed an agreement for the construction of three new PCTCs with the shipyard Jinling of China. With delivery expected in 2017, the new vessels will be deployed on the group’s regular service linking the Mediterranean with North America. This service is mainly dedicated to the transport of brand new vehicles produced by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles destined for U.S. and Canadian markets. The order follows another in June for the construction of five new PCTCs at Chinese shipyard Yangfan. The vessels, also expected by 2017, will be deployed on the same route.

Höegh Target, named in June, is the first in a series of six Post Panamax vessels that Höegh Autoliners will take delivery of in the next 18 months. With its deck space of 71,400 square meters and carrying capacity of 8,500 car equivalent units, the vessel is the world’s largest PCTC. The vessel also has a higher door opening than Höegh Autoliners’ current vessels, enabling cargo up to 6.5 meters high and 12 meters wide to be loaded. Extra ramp strength allows for cargo weighing up to 375 tons to be loaded over the stern ramp and 22 tons over the side ramp.

In contrast to the PCTC news, investment in newbuilds for the deepsea ro-ro segment remains slow.

Obama Building Support For Energy and Iran Deals

By Reuters 2015-08-24 16:40:15

President Barack Obama, fresh from vacation and nine rounds of golf on Martha’s Vineyard, is launching into a busy two weeks promoting renewable energy and his nuclear deal with Iran.

With the U.S. presidential election campaign and China’s stock market dominating headlines, Obama was set to speak on Monday in Las Vegas on clean energy, then travel to New Orleans on Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The final 16 months of Obama’s presidency will likely be overshadowed by the 2016 presidential campaign and while Congress does not appear willing to tackle difficult issues, Obama has a to-do list.

At Senator Harry Reid’s National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Obama will promote steps that the White House announced on Monday to try to shift U.S. energy away from carbon-producing sources such as coal and toward renewables such as solar.

The steps, taken as executive actions, include increased loan guarantees for renewable energy developers and help for homeowners with solar power installations.

Taking his climate change message further afield, Obama will leave on Aug. 31 for a four-day trip to Alaska to focus on the effects of a warming climate on the Arctic.

Back in Washington, Congress will not return from its long summer vacation for two more weeks. When it does, lawmakers will have until Sept. 17 to act on a U.S.-led international deal backed by Obama to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for easing economic sanctions on that country.

Obama has steadily built support for the agreement in the Senate. On Sunday, it won the endorsement of Reid, the Democrats’ leader in the Senate. On Monday, Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow also came out in favor of it.

In coming weeks, the White House was also expected to send to Congress a plan for transitioning detainees out of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.