E.U. Approves Shell’s Acquisition

By Reuters 2015-09-02 15:05:03

Royal Dutch Shell gained EU approval on September 2 for its $70 billion acquisition of Britain’s BG Group, the second of four key markets needed to clear the deal.

The European Commission said the transaction would not grant Shell market power in oil and gas exploration, the liquefaction of gas and the wholesale supply of liquefied natural gas.

The takeover, which will see Shell become the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer and a major deepwater oil player, is on track for completion in early 2016, Shell’s Chief Executive, Ben van Beurden, said in a statement.

The deal, announced in April, received the green light from Brazil in July but still requires mandatory approvals from authorities in Australia and China.

U.S. regulators have also cleared the acquisition.

“Receiving clearance from the European Commission underlines the good progress we are making on the deal,” van Beurden said.

Shell announced in July 6,500 job cuts and deep spending cuts in order to reassure investors it will be able to finance the BG acquisition as oil prices are expected to stage only a modest recovery in the coming years.

Shell’s shares were down 0.5 percent in London at 1425 GMT, while BG was up 1.3 percent. The broader FTSE Oil & Gas index was down 0.3 percent.

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Next-Generation Shipbuilding Inspection

By MarEx 2015-09-02 14:54:25

Poland’s Remontowa Shipbuilding recently inspected the UK-flagged chemical and product tanker CPO Japan using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The drone, equipped with a high-definition camera capable of recording HD videos and photos, accessed all parts of the tanker as part of her five-year class renewal inspection.

Remontowa believes the UAV will expedite operations at its shipyards. According to reports, the drone exhibited excellent stability in inspecting the internal spaces of a ship in confined space and was able to rest against the CPO Japan’s bulkhead while hovering.

The drone provides surveyors with an overall impression of the state of the hull and bulkheads under inspection, and the technology may also be applied to the inspection of masts and deck crane jibs. The UAV primarily assesses corrosion and detects cracks. Visual inspection may rule out the necessity of conducting more detailed inspections such as ultrasound thickness measurements.

The CPO Japan is a 51,747 dwt vessel with a gross tonnage of 29,363 tons.

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Singapore Straits Piracy Attempt Foiled

By MarEx 2015-09-02 14:30:22

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Indonesian and Singaporean Navies foiled a piracy attempt on the Singapore Strait on September 1. According to reports, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) received a distress call from the Malaysian-flagged tugboat M/V Permata 1 at 9:07 am local time. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) immediately deployed its Fearless-Class patrol vessel, RSS Resilience, and the pirates were apprehended. The Resilience escorted the Permata 1 to Singapore. No crew members on the tug were harmed in the incident.

Southeast Asian piracy has become a hotbed of activity this year. In July, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) said that incidents of piracy and armed robbery had risen by 18 percent in 2015 compared to the same period last year. There have already been 106 incidents reported between January and June 2015 compared to only 90 in 2014.

Malaysia and Indonesia recently established a joint rapid response deployment team on August 21. The Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) now has a base on Batam Island and Malaysia has a similar base in Johor.

In a statement, RSN Rear Admiral Frederick Chew said: “I am heartened to see the good cooperation between Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian enforcement agencies in disrupting the sea robbery attempt on the Permata 1. In particular, the close cooperation between the RSN and TNI AL is a reflection of the strong ties between our navies. We need to continue working closely together to keep up the pressure on sea robbers and to bring sea robbery incidents down.”

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Hyundai Heavy Industries Nears Shipbuilding Deal

By MarEx 2015-09-02 14:14:05

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), South Korea’s leading shipbuilder, may expand its presence in India, Asia’s third-largest economy. The Indian Ministry of Defense is expected to place an order for five fleet support ships later this year, and Hindustan Shipyard, India’s largest state-run yard, will build four of the vessels under HHI supervision. Hyundai would construct the fifth vessel in a deal valued at about $297 million.

HHI’s presence in Indian shipbuilding has grown significantly this year. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited HHI in May to develop India’s shipbuilding industry. In the meeting, which was held at HHI headquarters in Ulsan, Modi and Hyundai management discussed ways in which to expand cooperation on naval defense, LNG carrier construction and shipbuilding technology.

In January, Hindustan signed an agreement with Hyundai to build submarines for the Indian Navy. And GAIL, India’s state-run gas company, is expected to place an order for 11 LNG carriers to transport LNG from the U.S. to India for 20 years starting in 2017.

Additionally, HHI also signed a memorandum of understanding with India-based engineering major Larson & Toubro on technological support for the construction of LNG carriers.

If the deal between HHI, the Indian Navy and Hindustan is finalized, it will come at an ideal time for financially strapped HHI. Hyundai posted a record $2.5 billion loss in Q2 and has released 31 percent of its senior staff since 2014.

A potential strike looms as well. On August 24, union leaders representing about 28,000 workers at HHI, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipping & Marine Engineering stated that they would stage a joint strike on September 9 unless workers are given a raise. Each of South Korea’s big three shipbuilders announced a wage freeze earlier this year.

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Hyundai Heavy Nears Shipbuilding Deal

By MarEx 2015-09-02 14:14:05

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), South Korea’s leading shipbuilder, may expand its presence in India, Asia’s third-largest economy. The Indian Ministry of Defense is expected to place an order for five fleet support ships later this year, and Hindustan Shipyard, India’s largest state-run yard, will build four of the vessels under HHI supervision. Hyundai would construct the fifth vessel in a deal valued at about $297 million.

HHI’s presence in Indian shipbuilding has grown significantly this year. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited HHI in May to develop India’s shipbuilding industry. In the meeting, which was held at HHI headquarters in Ulsan, Modi and Hyundai management discussed ways in which to expand cooperation on naval defense, LNG carrier construction and shipbuilding technology.

In January, Hindustan signed an agreement with Hyundai to build submarines for the Indian Navy. And GAIL, India’s state-run gas company, is expected to place an order for 11 LNG carriers to transport LNG from the U.S. to India for 20 years starting in 2017.

Additionally, HHI also signed a memorandum of understanding with India-based engineering major Larson & Toubro on technological support for the construction of LNG carriers.

If the deal between HHI, the Indian Navy and Hindustan is finalized, it will come at an ideal time for financially strapped HHI. Hyundai posted a record $2.5 billion loss in Q2 and has released 31 percent of its senior staff since 2014.

A potential strike looms as well. On August 24, union leaders representing about 28,000 workers at HHI, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipping & Marine Engineering stated that they would stage a joint strike on September 9 unless workers are given a raise. Each of South Korea’s big three shipbuilders announced a wage freeze earlier this year.

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