CMHI raises $700m from bonds

China Merchants Holdings (International) (CMHI) has raised USD700 million by selling bonds to support the development of its port business.
CMHI issued USD700 million fixed-coupon guaranteed notes, consisting of two tranches including a 5-year tranche of USD200 million and a 10-year tranche of
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A Look Inside Arendal Spirit

By MarEx 2015-08-03 18:57:02

The delivery of Arendal Spirit this year marks the addition of a new segment to Teekay Offshore’s offshore logistics portfolio and the world’s first Unit for Maintenance and Safety (UMS) based on Sevan Marine’s innovative cylindrical hull design.

After the successful completion of acceptance tests in June, Arendal Spirit became home for many offshore workers. The DP3 unit is currently in Brazil at Campos Basin on a three-year contract with Petrobras.

Arendal Spirit provides a stable platform with high uptime and excellent stability and motion characteristics. The vessel contains 500 beds in 248 cabins with en-suite bathrooms, daylight windows, television, internet and telephone connections. Additionally, the unit counts with lounge areas, coffee shop, television and game room, fitness room, dining room, office areas, meeting/conference room and cinema.

Arendal Spirit

Service speed: 7 knots

Hull diameter: 60m (196 feet)

Available deck: >2,000m2

Main tank capacity: 3,500m3

Accommodation: 500 people

3 Cranes: 100 t & 55 m range

Variable deck load: ~4,500t

Office conditions: 16 offices

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Maritime Dispute Heats Up with China

By MarEx 2015-08-03 17:25:01

The Japanese government has released 14 photos of Chinese offshore platforms in the South China Sea. The move highlights Japan’s concerns about what it sees as China’s aggressiveness in the region.

The photos pinpoint 16 offshore construction projects located in disputed maritime territories near the median line between the Chinese and Japanese shorelines. The new structures are on China’s side of the line, but Japan’s primary concern is that these platforms could serve as auxiliary military bases near its littoral nations.

The Chinese assert that the majority these new facilities will be used for drilling, processing and storing natural gases, but Japan says the structures can easily be fashioned with air defense radar systems and heliports.

The Chinese have secured several territories in the East and South China Seas despite sovereignty claims by Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.

China is also conducting coral reef restoration projects in disputed areas. Beijing says its residents are facing danger from land subsidence due to rising sea levels and are investing heavily in radar stations, underwater surveillance, tsunami warning and satellite operations systems in the East and South China Seas.

China has also announced the creation of a new South China Sea fishing fleet for its military militia, another move that could intensify regional disputes.

Many of the countries challenging China’s new structures are U.S. allies. The U.S. government has staged patrols and military drills in disputed areas recently in response to growing concerns that China is unilaterally claiming these maritime territories. Meanwhile, Beijing has been vocal about U.S. military presence in the areas and accuses the U.S. of militarizing the region.

China also claims that the U.S. is distorting facts in order to create discord between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea.

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Military Ordinance Dumped in Gulf of Mexico

By MarEx 2015-08-03 16:29:32

Texas A& M oceanographic researcher have reported that unexploded bombs and other military ordnance washing up on the Florida coast has brought more awareness U.S. government materials dumping decades ago in the Gulf of Mexico could pose serious threats.

Niall Slowey, along with professor emeritus William Bryant, who have more than 90 years of combined research experience, say millions of pounds of bombs and other types of ordnance are scattered over the Gulf of Mexico and also off the coasts of at least 16 states, from New Jersey to Hawaii. The bombs can get caught in fishermen’s nets as they trawl along the ocean seafloor, or wash up on shore such as last week near the Tampa area.

The military began a massive dumping of unused bombs into the Gulf and other sites that started in 1946 and continued until 1970, when it was finally banned.

“Up until the 1960s, people thought the seafloor was beyond the reach of human activity,” explains Slowey.

“They could not imagine the types of activities that are commonplace today. As more and more of these bombs and other ordnance are discovered, it has to be assumed that they are still dangerous until proven otherwise.”

Millions of pounds — no one, including the military, knows how many — were sent to the ocean floor as numerous bases tried to lessen the amount of ordnance at their respective locations. The bombs included land mines standard military bombs, and also several types of chemical weapons. It is likely that some of the chemicals are leaking due to 60 to 70 years of exposure on the ocean floor, and this could pose a serious environmental threat, the researchers say.

“When exposed to air, some of these chemicals can be gaseous and can cause burns and nerve damage, and these types of cases have been reported in the Baltic Sea area where some of the most massive dumping occurred,” Slowey adds.

There have been numerous reports of fatalities caused by such bombs, such as in 2005 when three Dutch fishermen were killed when they accidentally snared a World War II bomb in their nets.

As for the Gulf of Mexico, Slowey notes that “the seafloor off the Texas-Louisiana coast is among the most active in the world, with constant activity related to energy production. It is exactly in this region where many of the munitions were dumped. As time passes, more and more people are working on the seafloor and the chance of encounter with these bombs and other ordnance is becoming greater.”

With the ship traffic needed to support the 4,000 energy rigs, along with commercial fishing, cruise lines and other activities, the Gulf can be a sort of marine interstate highway system of its own. There are an estimated 30,000 workers on the oil and gas rigs at any given moment.

Bombs used in the military in the 1940s through the 1970s ranged from 250- to 500- and even 1,000-pound explosives, some of them the size of refrigerators. The military has a term for such unused bombs: UXO, or unexploded ordnance.

One huge problem is that record keeping of the military dump sites is incomplete and sketchy at best. It’s also believed that many of the munitions were “short dumped,” meaning they were discarded outside designated dumping areas by private contractors hired at the time.

“The real mystery is that no one knows what is down there, or where all of it is,” Slowey notes.

“Although most of these bombs do not have triggers in them, some types of ordnance , such as torpedoes and mines, can become more unstable over time, so their case the chance of an accidental explosion is increasing.

“Because chemical weapons potentially pose environmental contamination risks, and because explosive material in many of the standard bombs and other ordnance may still be viable, we need to determine exactly where they are and then have a plan for removing them or at least monitoring their condition,” Slowey says.

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SubSea 7 Vessel Catches Fire

By MarEx 2015-08-03 16:00:07

A fire broke out onboard the ROV Subsea Viking 7 while it was moored in Scotland at the Hatson Pier on Orkney Island. It was reported that short circuit in the diesel generator caused the fire which spread aboard the vessel. A Scottish coast guard tugboat extinguished the fire quickly and no one was injured.

The 1999-built Subsea Viking is a construction/flexlay vessel owned by Eidesvik Shipping and was on charter to Subsea 7. A ferry due to call at the pier last night diverted to a neighboring facility.

The vessel has overall length of 103.00 m, molded beam of 24.00 m and maximum draft of 6.20 m. The deadweight of the ship is 6,350 DWT and the gross tonnage is 7,401 GRT. The ship was built in 1999 by Umoe Sterkoder in their shipyard in Kristiansund, Norway.

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