China Exempts New Energy Ships from Tax

By Wendy Laursen 2015-05-19 20:48:14

China has announced that “new energy” cars and ships will be exempted from vehicle and vessel tax, reports China Daily.

Cars exemptions include pure electric commercial cars, plug-in hybrid vehicles and fuel-cell commercial cars. Vehicle and vessel tax will also be halved for users of energy-saving cars and ships, said a government Department of Finance statement. Specific details for shipping have not yet been made clear.

China became the largest global energy consumer in 2011, and the move is a bid to reduce energy consumption and air pollution.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, studies conducted in Hong Kong and Shenzhen demonstrate that shipping is a significant source of air pollution and health problems, particularly in port cities. In 2010, China saw an estimated 1.2 million premature deaths caused by ambient air pollution. One container ship cruising along the coast of China emits as much diesel pollution as 500,000 new Chinese trucks in a single day, says the council.

However, the energy sector is a major contributor to air pollution in China. As a result of high coal consumption, China is the world’s leading energy-related CO2 emitter, releasing 8,106 million metric tons of CO2 in 2012. China’s government plans to reduce carbon intensity (carbon emissions per unit of GDP) by 17 percent between 2010 and 2015 and energy intensity (energy use per unit of GDP) by 16 percent during the same period, according to the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).

Coal supplied the majority (nearly 66 percent) of China’s total energy consumption in 2012. The second-largest source was petroleum and other liquids, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the country’s total energy consumption. Although China has made an effort to diversify its energy supplies, hydroelectric sources (8 percent), natural gas (5 percent), nuclear power (nearly 1 percent) and other renewables (more than 1 percent) account for relatively small shares of China’s energy consumption.

The Chinese government plans to cap coal use to 62 percent of total primary energy consumption by 2020 in an effort to reduce heavy air pollution that has afflicted certain areas of the country in recent years. In the energy sector, the government is moving toward more market-based pricing schemes, energy efficiency and pollution-controlling measures.


Norwegian Dawn Runs Aground in Bermuda

By MarEx 2015-05-19 19:46:51

The Norwegian Cruise Line ship Norwegian Dawn ran aground on a reef on Tuesday after leaving Bermuda but there were no reports of any injuries, U.S. media reports said.

The Norwegian Dawn was returning to Boston with 2,675 passengers and 1,062 crew, the reports said. In a statement cited by media, Norwegian Cruise Line said all guests and crew were safe.

The company said the ship had been leaving King’s Wharf, Bermuda, at about 5:00 p.m. when it temporarily lost power.

“The ship’s propulsion was affected and, at which time, the vessel made contact with the channel bed,” the statement said.

“The ship has full power and onboard services continue as scheduled. The ship’s team is currently assessing the situation and we will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Photos posted on Twitter by people onboard showed passengers peering over the rail at what looks like coral below in the bright blue sea, as well as a small boat apparently launched to check for damage and a tug boat approaching.

“Ship shuddered, then stopped really fast,” wrote one Twitter user, Rachel Hansen. “The captain said we won’t be moving for a while.”

Earlier this month, Norwegian Dawn returned to Bermuda prematurely after a passenger took ill and the captain decided to divert the ship.

Picture Credit: Port Bemuda Webcam on Facebook


India and Korea Boost Shipbuilding Ties

By Wendy Laursen 2015-05-19 19:08:13

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) during his visit to South Korea this week. Modi is looking to boost ties between Indian shipyards and HHI to develop India’s shipbuilding industry.

HHI is reported to be the only Korean shipbuilding company the Prime Minister visited during his two-day stay. During the meeting held at the HHI headquarters in Ulsan, Modi and the HHI management discussed various ways to expand cooperation on naval defense, LNG carrier construction and shipbuilding technology.

Modi has shown particular interest in HHI’s technological prowess in building a wide range of naval vessels as well as high value-added vessels such as LNG carriers, said HHI in a statement.

In the foreseeable future, India’s state-run gas company GAIL is likely to place an order of maximum 11 LNG carriers to haul LNG from the U.S. to India for 20 years starting in 2017. Additionally, HHI recently signed an MOU with India-based engineering major Larson & Toubro on technological support for construction of LNG carriers.

HHI has undertaken a total of 30 offshore projects for India, beginning with the Mumbai offshore oil platform project in 1982. Also, the company has operated construction equipment production lines in Pune since 2008.

Prior to his visit to HHI, Modi spoke with South Korean President Park Geun-hye about his desire for Korean companies to participate in his “Make it India” campaign, citing defense and shipbuilding as key areas. “Our decision to establish a joint working group on shipbuilding reflects our seriousness to cooperate in this area,” said Modi.

While in South Korea, Modi also announced the establishment of a channel Korea Plus to facilitate Korean companies’ investment and operations in India.


U.S. LNG Exports Slated for Chinese Market

By Reuters 2015-05-19 17:06:22

Chinese buyers are eyeing long-term supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from U.S. company Cheniere Energy, an official from the firm said on Tuesday, in what would be the first LNG deal between the world’s two biggest energy users.

Cheniere Energy is set to become the first U.S. LNG exporter, with shipments to start by the end of this year. However, no Chinese companies have signed up for any U.S. LNG cargoes so far.

That could change soon: “There’s a lot of interest from Chinese buyers for long-term LNG volume, especially for 2020 onwards,” said Nicolas Zanen, Vice President for Asia at Cheniere Marketing Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere Energy Inc.

Zanen said that some Chinese buyers had already begun moving to secure supplies, although without providing any details.

“The Chinese market is a very interesting market for us. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future we are delivering LNG to China. And not necessarily small buyers, big buyers as well,” said Zanen on the sidelines of the Asia Oil and Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, declining to give more information.

Zanen made the comments following recent controversy in the United States about American companies contracting to ship LNG supplies to China.

The United States, which is seeing demand for new exports despite an emerging glut, is set to become the world’s third biggest exporter of LNG by 2020, behind Qatar and Australia.

Australia’s LNG export capacity is set to more than triple to 86 million tonnes a year before 2020, compared to Qatar’s annual 77 million tonnes and U.S. expectations of selling 61.5 million tonnes per year by 2020.

Due to soaring output and cheaper oil, Asia’s spot LNG prices LNG-AS have fallen by almost two-thirds since February of last year.


Galley Worker Found Dead by Kitchen Knives

By MarEx 2015-05-19 15:48:37

A Filipino sailor was found dead Sunday evening on the containership MV Emvella when it reached dock at Malta Freeport.

According to local news reports, the man was found in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds on his body. Two kitchen knives were found next to the man’s corpse. The man was a Philippines citizen and worked in the ship’s galley.

The MV Emvella is registered in Malta and had departed from Turkey before the incident took place. Police are currently investigating the crime and coroners are conducting an autopsy this week to further determine the circumstances of the man’s death.