Paris MoU Names Best Performing Flags

By MarEx 2015-06-08 19:25:10

The Paris MoU has published its new white, grey and black list with France maintaining top position and India moving up.

The White, Grey and Black (WGB) List presents the full spectrum, from quality flags to flags with a poor performance that are considered high or very high risk. It is based on the total number of inspections and detentions over a three-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in the period.

The list contains 72 flags: 43 on the White List, 19 on the Grey List and 10 on the Black list.

The White List represents quality flags with a consistently low detention record. Compared with 2013, the number of flags on the White List has decreased by three flags to a total number of 43 flags. New on the White List is India, which was on the Grey List last year.

France has been placed highest on the list in terms of performance for the third year in a row. The next in line of the best performing flags in 2014 are Hong Kong, Bahamas, Norway and Sweden.

Flags with an average performance are shown on the Grey List. Their appearance on this list may act as an incentive to improve and move to the White List, says Paris MoU in a statement. At the same time flags at the lower end of the Grey List should be careful not to neglect control over their ships and risk ending up on the Black List next year.

There are 19 flags on this year’s Grey List. New on the list are Spain, Lithuania, Poland and Thailand, which last year were on the White List.

Belize has fallen from the Grey List to the Black List. The poorest performing flags are the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Moldova, Togo, Cook Islands and Dominica.

For several years the MoU Committee has closely monitored the performance of classification societies acting as recognized organizations (ROs) or flags. To calculate the performance of the RO, the same formula to calculate the excess factor of the flags is used. A minimum number of 60 inspections per RO are needed before the performance is taken into account for the list.

In 2014, 37 ROs are recorded on the performance list. Among the best performing ROs were:

DNV GL

Det Norske Veritas

Lloyd’s Register

American Bureau of Shipping

China Classification Society

The lowest performing ROs were:

INCLAMAR

International Register of Shipping

Bulgarian Register of Shipping

Compared with last year’s performance level, a small shift in RO performance in 2014 can be noticed. This year fewer organizations have been placed in the very low and low performing parts of the list and more organizations have been placed in the medium part of the list.

On July 1, 2015 the performance lists will be used for calculating the ship risk profile and flags on the Grey List and Black List are subject to the more stringent banning measures in force since 1 January 2011.

The full list is available here.

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RO/RO Gets Novel LNG Bunkering Solution

By Wendy Laursen 2015-06-08 18:58:58

Dale Emmerton, National Marine Manager at Australia’s SeaRoad Shipping, has come up with an innovative LNG bunkering concept for his RO/RO newbuilding that has turned the eyes of the world towards Australia.

Like in most ports, there is no direct infrastructure for refuelling LNG where the new vessel will call, so locally available LNG will be bunkered by loading LNG road tank trucks directly onto the vessel during normal loading operations.

The design features three LNG road tankers connected to a permanent fuel manifold on the ship. They will be changed out after every round voyage for three tankers that will have been filled the previous day at the local LNG plant. The tankers will be secured to the vessel in special loading bays on the weather deck, aft, with multiple twist-locks.

This process is a relatively simple logistic task, particularly when compared to bunkering heavy fuel oil. “LNG as the primary fuel was chosen with an eye to both the present and the future,” says Emmerton. “Currently our ships burn heavy fuel oil which is sourced overseas and imported into Melbourne by a single company for resale and delivery to the vessels. LNG is available locally from multiple sources and is seen as a more reliable and certainly cleaner energy source.”

He further explains: “Our eye to the future involved both the stability of supply and also the very strong likelihood that Australia will join other developed countries in banning the use of heavy fuel oil in the coastal waters where our vessels will exclusively trade. Australia has significant reserves of natural gas which should ensure security of supply into the future.”

Teamwork

Steel cutting for the new ship is expected to start in Germany’s Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) shipyard in September 2015, and DNV GL is providing full classification services and liaising with Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority on its statutory requirements.

The project began back in 2008, says Timothy Holt, Area Manager Australia & New Zealand for DNV GL – Maritime. Having won the tender for the groundbreaking project, Holt’s enthusiasm led to a meeting of the SeaRoad Shipping team with a group of engineers in Oslo led by Torill Grimstad Osberg. The team conducted risk assessments and eventually granted Approval in Principle for the concept.

“Initially, I think we can safely say, our idea was met with dismay around the industry,” says Emmerton. “At that stage all the development and rules were being based on large permanent tanks fitted below deck, but our local DNV GL surveyor was most supportive. Our method simplified the task of bunkering compared to conventional methods and made it much safer. This was quickly understood by the team in Høvik, and after the initial meeting, the DNV GL team was very quick to assist with solutions for achieving our idea. The rest of the story is history with the various codes and rules now taking into account portable-type tanks for short-haul, quick-turnaround ships.”

Safety

The risk assessment led to the incorporation of a number of safety features to ensure appropriate levels of stability and fire safety. Heavier cargo units than an LNG tank would normally be secured by four twist-locks, however the gas tanks will have six.

The tanks take three cargo slots on deck, but the LNG piping system has no effect on cargo capacity. There are two main parts to the system, cryogenic and non-cryogenic. The cryogenic part includes the flexible pipes connecting the fuel tanks to a common manifold that feeds the LNG to a deck-mounted gas handling room where waste heat from the machinery plant is used to convert the -160 ºC liquid into a gas in specially designed heat exchangers.

The cryogenic pipes have to be stainless steel and double-walled because of the very low temperatures. Once the liquid has been heated and converted to gas, the piping is simpler but still requires ducts that are vented and monitored for potential leaks.

When the gas reaches the engine room it is supplied to the engines via gas valve units which regulate the gas pressure according to power demand. “The uniqueness of the design means we had to go through a detailed approval process with DNV GL to take care of all the rules and regulations which are not yet 100 per cent established with respect to the draft IGF Code,” says Raimon Strunck, Vice President Sales at FSG.

The Cargo Mix

“The cargo mix has driven the design, because SeaRoad wants double-stack cassettes for shipping of containers on the main deck, a mix of trailers and cars in the lower hold and LNG trailers on the weather deck,” says Strunck. There is also a specially designed area for the transport of livestock. “An-other cargo-related design driver is the fact that we have dangerous goods cargo in the forward part of the weather deck and, right behind it, reefers. This is rather unusual and normally not allowed due to explosion risks, but together with DNV GL we have found a design solution that ensures that this can be done safely and in compliance with class rules.”

The vessel’s principal dimensions are 182 meters length overall, 26.6 meters beam and a maximum draught of 6.3 meters. Service speed will be 20 knots. The vessel’s stern ramp is a split design to enable loading and unloading of two decks simultaneously. The design will streamline operations for truck drivers.

The newbuild will be twin-screw, powered by two MaK dual-fuel engines rated at 7.2 megawatts each. Two MaK gensets of 2.5 megawatts each will be installed to give the ship 100 per cent electrical power redundancy, something that is critical considering the schedule that the vessel will keep and the high-value cargo that it will carry. “The main engines and auxiliaries are dual-fuel and the auxiliaries are unusually large for a RoRo, double the size in fact,” says Strunck.

The newbuild is expected to commence service in late 2016.

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New IMO Limits of Liability Enter Force

By MarEx 2015-06-08 15:32:16

Amendments to increase the limits of liability for maritime claims enter force today under the 1996 LLMC Protocol.

The limits in the LLMC Protocol 1996 were raised and subsequently adopted in 2012 by IMO’s Legal Committee. The amendments increase the amount claimable for loss of life or personal injury on ships (not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage) to 3.02 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR), up from 2 million SDR.

The 1976 LLMC Convention sets specified limits of liability for certain types of claims against shipowners such as claims for loss of life or personal injury, and miscellaneous claims including property claims, delay, bunker spills and pollution damage.

The Convention also allows for shipowners and salvors to limit their liability except if “it is proved that the loss resulted from his personal act or omission, committed with the intent to cause such loss, or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss would probably result”.

New limits

The amendments to the LLMC Protocol 1996 raise the limits as follows:

The limit of liability for claims for loss of life or personal injury on ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage is 3.02 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (up from 2 million SDR).

For larger ships, the following additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount:

• For each ton from 2,001 to 30,000 tons, 1,208 SDR (up from 800 SDR)

• For each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 906 SDR (up from 600 SDR)

• For each ton in excess of 70,000, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR).

The limit of liability for property claims for ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage is 1.51 million SDR (up from 1 million SDR).

For larger ships, the following additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount:

• For each ton from 2,001 to 30,000 tons, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR)

• For each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 453 SDR (up from 300 SDR)

• For each ton in excess of 70,000 tons, 302 SDR (up from 200 SDR)

The LLMC Protocol has 50 Contracting States, which between them represent 57.41% of the world merchant shipping tonnage.

Special Drawing Rights

The daily conversion rates for Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) can be found on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) website: http://www.imf.org/​)​

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Guyana Lashes Back Over Disputed Maritime Territory

By Reuters 2015-06-08 14:56:47

Guyana’s new government on Monday attacked a decree by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro which it said seeks to annex Guyanese maritime space in the wake of an oil discovery.

The dispute between the South American neighbors goes back to the early 19th Century and has resurged after an offshore oil discovery by ExxonMobil Corp last month.

The decree creates a theoretical new “defense” zone offshore that would, in Venezuela’s eyes, leave the former British colony with no direct access to the Atlantic.

Guyana’s foreign ministry described the decree as a “flagrant violation of international law.”

“Guyana rejects this illegality which seeks to undermine our development through the exploitation of our natural resources offshore,” added the statement.

In April, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez wrote a letter to Exxon’s Guyana country manager Jeff Simon saying Venezuela would not accept the incursion or interference of any multinational company in the disputed territory.

The controversy centers on land to the west of Guyana’s Essequibo River, encompassing around two-thirds of the small English-speaking nation on the shoulder of South America.

Maduro’s decree changes a more conciliatory stance towards Guyana from his predecessor Hugo Chavez, who was friendly with the previous government and sold Guyana fuel on advantageous terms under the Petrocaribe initiative.

However, elections last month unseated the party that had run Guyana for 23 years and gave former brigadier David Granger the presidency.

“I am convinced that the site which they (Exxon) are drilling is well within our exclusive economic zone,” he told Reuters days after his win. “It’s our territory. I don’t see that Venezuela – of all the countries on the continent – should oppose the extraction of petroleum from one of our sites.”

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, according to OPEC, and earns 96 percent of foreign income from oil.

Exxon, which is drilling in the so-called Stabroek Block, around 190 kilometers (120 miles) off Guyana’s coast, had no immediate comment on the diplomatic controversy.

In the last flare-up, Venezuela’s navy in 2013 evicted a ship used by Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp to explore for oil in the offshore Roraima block.

The disputed land has long been denoted on Venezuelan maps as a “reclamation zone. Beneath its jungle and savannah lie gold, diamond and bauxite – staples of Guyana’s economy.

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SWIRE, Rickmers Forge Middle East and India Partnership

By MarEx 2015-06-08 14:19:52

SWIRE Shipping and Rickmers-Linie have launched a connecting carrier partnership in India and the Middle East, following an annoucement today.

Under this partnership, Swire Shipping, the liner shipping division of The China Navigation Company, will be able to connect its breakbulk and project cargoes in India and the Middle East, through Rickmers-Linie’s Middle East and India Service, to its network in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, via Singapore.

“This collaboration with Rickmers-Linie allows Swire Shipping to provide its customers with another shipping solution for their multipurpose cargo needs. It enhances our network coverage by providing a regular breakbulk service out of India and the Middle East into the South Pacific region,” said William Arblaster, Commercial Manager, Swire Shipping.

In total the cooperation will connect 12 ports in the transportation network and will accept cargo up to 120 metric tons.

Gerhard Janssen, Director Global Sales and Marketing for Rickmers-Linie added, “Since our vessels from Europe to the Middle East and India continue to Singapore, this cooperation offers an increased range of destinations and loading ports on offer for customers of both Swire Shipping and Rickmers-Linie. We are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation.”

The first voyage is scheduled to depart Mumbai on 9 June 2015, the first voyage from Jebel Ali being on 28 June 2015. The load ports are Jebel Ali, Mumbai, Chennai, Dammam, Kolkata (other ports on inducement). The destination ports, via Singapore, are Papua New Guinea, Solomons, New Caledonia, Fiji, Australian East Coast, Darwin, East Timor and New Zealand.

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French Port Closed Following WWII Bomb Discovery

By Kathryn Stone 2015-06-08 12:31:19

France’s busiest passenger port was closed until midday Sunday due to the discovery of WWII bombs.

The Port of Calais, which handles around 30,000 people per day crossing the English Channel, shut down operations June 7 after two WWII bombs washed ashore. There were no sailings from the port for approximately 7 hours as explosion experts raced against the clock to diffuse the bombs before the tide came in. Diggers were also called in to create sand barriers to protect a newly constructed pipeline less than 100 feet from where the bombs were located.

Authorities stated that the explosions could pose a danger to anything inside the one mile exclusion zone, which included the port. My Ferry Link reported two cancellations yesterday and P&O Ferries advised travelers to postpone their journeys saying that anyone affected by the closure could rebook free of charge.

The two bombs were dropped by Britain’s Royal Air Force in WWII as part of an extensive campaign against the German-held Calais. They had remained buried for over 70 years until recent construction at the port unearthed them.

A team of French army explosive experts safely detonated the bombs during the port closure and by about 2:30pm operations had resumed.

Currently, the Channel port is undergoing a650m-Euro ($730m) expansion project to increase capacity and improve infrastructure. The bombs are part of a larger discovery of 25 WWII explosives unearthed during the renovation project.

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