Sainty Marine sells two Ultramaxes

Shenzhen-listed Sainty Marine has sold two completed and abandoned Ultramaxes to raise a total of USD38.6 million.
In July, Sainty Marine said it planned to dispose of four completed Ultramaxes, which had been abandoned by Germany’s Corbita Maritime Investment, a stock filing of Sainty Marine said.

Polyethylene Wave Energy Device Launched

By Wendy Laursen 2015-08-30 20:12:26

Wave energy developer Polygen deployed a full-scale device three miles off the Cornwall coast in the U.K. last week.

Volta is a 46-metre long, sub-100kW oscillating surge converter made using high density polyethylene (HDPE).

Polygen’s newly patented device has been designed to optimize the flexibility and resilience of the material to help reduce concentrated stresses and hence produce an extremely cost effective converter.

The key properties of polyethylene from Polygen’s perspective include its high fatigue resistance, strength, light weight, buoyancy and flexibility. The material is non-corrosive and non-toxi and it has an almost unlimited lifetime underwater.

“After initial invention in 2013, we first focused on lots of hydrodynamic and economical simulations assisted by numerous wave tank testing sessions,” said business development manager, Rob Eavis. “There is no device similar to Volta, so we needed to convince ourselves that it would work well enough to be worth pursuing. With everything still looking positive, this August we installed a 6-flap, full scale device at FaBTest.

“During our time at the FaBTest demonstration site we will be primarily researching the behavior and performance of Volta, especially during the winter storms. We have predicted a number of key behaviors that we would love to monitor on the real device. Next year, assuming everything is still looking positive, we will start concentrating on optimizing the entire system, both with the hydraulic controls and also the primary design,” said Eavis.

“We know already many ways we can make the design more efficient, and we look forward to building these into our future designs.”

The wave energy device is the first deployed at FabTest since Fred Olsen shipped its Bolt Lifesaver wave energy converter to Hawaii in January.


Montara Oil Spill: Six Years without Compensation

By MarEx 2015-08-30 19:51:12

The Australian government has failed in its responsibility to investigate the effects of the country’s worst-ever oil spill from an oil rig, from which devastated fishing villages and communities across Indonesia still feel the impact today, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said last week.

Six years ago on August 21, 2009, the Montara oil spill spewed oil and gas into waters of the Timor Sea for 74 days. Millions of liters of oil polluted the ocean, creating oil slicks which soon stretched over the horizon towards Indonesia, and Australian authorities applied 184,000 liters of dispersant to the oil as it flowed north.

The spill occurred in the Montara oil field 690km (430 miles) west of Darwin following a blowout from the Montara wellhead platform. The rig involved, the West Atlas, was owned by Seadrill and operated by PTTEP Australasia.

Since the spill, local economies in the closest region of Indonesia, Nusa Tenggara Timur, have reported losses totalling billions of Australian dollars, with communities also reporting widespread sickness and health conditions they claim are caused by the oil spill.

Australian Lawyers Alliance National President Greg Phelps said it was absolutely shameful that there was still no proper independent research conducted in affected areas to assess the damage caused by the Montara spill.

“For six years, the Australian government has ignored the reportedly multi-billion dollar impacts of the Montara oil spill in Indonesia,” Phelps said. “Despite being specifically asked by the Indonesian government for assistance last year, the Australian government has made no effort of any kind.”

This is appalling, given the importance of the Australian-Indonesian relationship, Phelps said. “Australia has turned a blind eye to the damage that has burdened our closest neighbors, despite the fact that oil flowed from an Australian-registered company, in Australian waters, under the failed watch of an Australian regulator.

“Under international law, a state is meant to ensure that damage from activities in their own state does not impinge on the sovereignty of another. This has clearly not been done,” Phelps said.

“Eyewitnesses in Indonesia saw oil on their coastline. The polluting company said that the oil never got there. The Australian government has buried its head in the sand.”

The Australian Lawyers Alliance found in its investigation that oil reached the Indonesian coast. “The Montara oil spill was a major environmental catastrophe on Australia’s watch.”

Entire communities have been kept in the dark about why their livelihoods have been destroyed and what Australia is going to do to fix its mess,” Phelps said.

“At the moment, it looks like Australia intends to do nothing and is waiting for the issue to quietly go away. Meanwhile these people are left to worry about their future and the futures of their children, as people around them grow ill, and their economy continues in crisis.”

Phelps said that in 2010, the Montara Commission of Inquiry (which had powers almost equivalent to a royal commission) found that “evidence before the Inquiry indicated that hydrocarbons entered Indonesian and Timor Leste waters to a significant degree.”

He said however that despite such findings, there has been no effort to investigate this finding further, and to follow the oil.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance’s report found that within a fortnight of the spill, Indonesian fishermen and coastal communities reported that the oil was fouling their fishing grounds, killing fish and destroying seaweed farms. People began experiencing itchy skin conditions, inexplicable bruising and severe food poisoning requiring hospitalization.

“Nothing is stopping the Australian government from making an offer of assistance to Indonesia, especially given that, prior to the 2013 election, Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Australia’s relationship with Indonesia as perhaps our most important relationship,” Phelps said. “We encourage the government to recognize the nature of this relationship and finally act to find out what happened as a result of the Montara oil spill.”

On May 25, 2011, Australia’s Minister for Resources and Energy at the time, Martin Ferguson,released the Australian Government’s final response to the Report of the Montara Commission of Inquiry.

The inquiry determined that the source of the blowout was the result of the primary well control barrier failing. The report presents evidence that some weathered oil had crossed into Indonesia’s EEZ. On accepting the report, the minister said that compensation was a matter between the Indonesian Government and PTTEP.

The report noted that initial cementing problems were compounded by only one of the two planned secondary well control barriers – pressure containing anti-corrosion caps – being installed. The report states the conclusion that PTTEP Australasia therefore did not observe sensible oilfield practices at the Montara oilfield.

The Montara incident was the first well blowout in Australia in over 25 years.


Titanic II or Titanic III

By Wendy Laursen 2015-08-30 19:22:56

Australian businessman Clive Palmer has delayed his plans to build a Titanic replica by at least two years. With a Chinese theme-park Titanic almost ready, he may have to rename his vessel to Titanic III rather than Titanic II.

Arabian Business announced Parmer’s delay after an interview with a representative from Blue Star Line, Palmer’s company behind the project. The vessel had originally been expected to be ready by 2016, now it is slated for 2018.

Palmer originally announced plans to build a replica, which would sail from Southampton to New York, in April 2012. Ten days later, the millionaire, whose projects have also included plans to build a Jurassic Park-style theme park full of animatronic dinosaurs, signed a deal with the Chinese shipyard CSC Jinling.

A Chinese Replica

The theme-park replica Titanic is currently being built. The life-sized Chinese replica is expected to be complete by August 2017 and open to the public in October 2017.

Shipbuilder Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group, a Chinese State-run shipbuilder, is undertaking the one billion yuan ($161.3 million) project. Sichuan-based company Seven Star Energy Investment Group is reportedly providing the funds.

China Daily has reported that Su Shaojun, chairman of Seven Star, said that he wanted, through the reconstruction, to share and spread the spirit of the Titanic, love and self-sacrifice.

The replica will be the centrepiece of a theme park expected to attract tourists from around the world.

Su also stated that Seven Star has launched the Titanic Foundation which aims to provide assistance to shipwreck accident victims. Three percent of ticket sales and one percent of the theme park’s income will go to the foundation.

The replica will be permanently moored on Daying Qi River in Sichuan province where the park is located, but visitors will be able to experience the infamous iceberg collision via high-tech simulation.

The Real Tragedy

1,502 people died on April 15, 1912 when the original Titanic struck an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic.

Some relatives of passengers who died on the ship have condemned Palmer’s moves to build a replica as insensitive.

The Titanic was deemed unsinkable by its owners when it was launched in 1912, but Palmer has declared his Titanic replica “will be the safest cruise ship in the world”, reports Arabian Business.

Palmer’s Titanic will be modified to improve its seaworthiness. The hull will be four meters wider and welded rather than riveted. The vessel will also have modern evacuations procedures and satellite navigation equipment.


Two Deaths: Stena Drilling Australia Pleads Guilty

By MarEx 2015-08-30 17:08:04

Stena Drilling Australia has pleaded guilty to charges relating to the death of two drillers in Bass Strait on August 27, 2012.

The incident occurred during drilling operations and resulted in the death of Stena Clyde floorman Peter Meddens and toolpusher Barry Denholm. The men were operating heavy machinery when part of a drill dislodged and hit one in the chest and face, killing him instantly. The other man received a blunt trauma to his body.

The charge heard in the Magistrates Court of Victoria, last week, relate to Stena Drilling Australia breaching its duty as the operator to take all reasonably practicable steps to implement and maintain systems of work that were safe and without risk to health.

Australia’s offshore safety regulator, NOPSEMA, released a statement saying it had collected extensive evidence, tested the equipment involved in the accident and interviewed members of the workforce who were on the Stena Clyde at the time of the accident. Industry experts were also engaged to provide expert opinion on the equipment that was involved and the static and dynamic forces applied to the equipment.

NOPSEMA’s investigation identified that senior management on the Stena Clyde failed to apply the Stena management of change principles in failing to carry out a new risk assessment and toolbox talk after altering the original plan of works. Further, Stena Drilling conceded that senior members of the drilling crew failed to ensure that a revised risk assessment had been carried out prior to implementing the new plan.

NOPSEMA CEO Stuart Smith said, “This prosecution has reinforced the requirement for an appropriate risk assessment system to be implemented for all stages of work. Workers involved should have an opportunity to contribute to this assessment including consideration of factors such as stored energy, equipment design limits and impact of external conditions.

“Communication is a key part of any work offshore and supervisors should verify that all workers involved in any task understand their role and any associated risks.

“All equipment utilised in planned work should be fit for purpose and in good working order. If the equipment is not working correctly, a reassessment of the risks associated with the work or task should be conducted.”

The Maritime Union of Australia has criticized NOPSEMA for taking so long conducting its investigation.

The matter is now listed for sentencing on September 3, 2015.