Bulk carrier detained in Singapore

Portugal-flagged bulk carrier Alexandrit was arrested in Singapore on 2 October under the instruction of local law firm Oon & Bazul.
The reason for the arrest was not known.
The ship was detained on 2 October at 17:45 h local time, based on Singapore Supreme Court records.
IHS Maritime’s

Dutch Freighter Sinks after Colliding with LNG Carrier

By Reuters 2015-10-06 02:08:56

A small Dutch freight ship sank early Tuesday morning after colliding with an LNG tanker in the North Sea off the Belgian coast, the Netherlands’ coast guard said. All on board were saved.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Vanessa Strijbosch said 11 of the 12 crew of the Dutch freighter Flinterstar were rescued from frigid North Sea waters, and one was being treated for hypothermia.

The Marshall Island-flagged tanker Al-Oraiq also suffered damage and is anchored by the site of the collision, 10 kilometers from the coast near the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, she said.

Traffic has been halted from entering or exiting the Western Schelt estuary, an important shipping route to the port Antwerp.

The 122,079 dwt Al-Oraiq is not leaking any petrochemicals.

The rescue operation, which included at least three rescue ships, five tug boats and a helicopter, was led and coordinated by the Belgian coast guard, with assistance from the Dutch.

The cause of the collision is not yet known.


Two Firms Fined over Offshore Wind Worker Death

By MarEx 2015-10-05 22:52:05

Two companies have been sentenced after a worker was killed and another seriously injured during construction of an offshore wind farm.

The incident happened when a team of engineers were loading wind turbine blades onto a sea barge for delivery to Greater Gabbard, off the Suffolk coast in the U.K., on May 21, 2010.

During the loading of wind turbine components at Pakeston Quay, Harwich, a 2.11 ton part of the blade transport arrangement fell off, crushing and fatally injuring one worker and seriously injuring another.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard both workers were employed by Siemens Windpower A/S but were working for Fluor Ltd, the principal contractor.

The injured man, Frank Kroeger, was airlifted to Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge where he was resuscitated twice. He suffered a ruptured spleen, lacerations to his liver, a collapsed lung collapsing, multiple rib fractures on his left side, and significant crush injuries to his right arm and hand, with nerve damage to his thumb and fingers.

His injuries were life-changing and required almost three weeks in hospital in the U.K., followed by a long period of rehabilitation and treatment near his home in Germany.

The family of the fatally-injured man has asked that his name not be released.

The investigation carried out by HSE found serious safety failings in the two firms’ management systems for the loading operation, which allowed vital parts of equipment to go unchecked before being lifted.

Following a four-week trial in July, prosecuted by the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Fluor was found guilty of breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was ordered to pay £275,000 ($417,000) in fines and £271,048 ($411,000) costs.

Siemens Windpower was charged with the same offence and also a Section 2 (1) breach of the same act, but pleaded guilty at an earlier stage. They were ordered to pay £375,000 ($569,000) in fines with costs of £105,355 ($160,000).

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Julie Rayner said: “This incident could easily have been avoided had suitable systems and procedures been in place to ensure that all loads were properly connected whilst being lifted.

“Had the right questions been asked when the lift was being planned and had the bolt and two brackets holding the blade and frame together been checked before they were lifted, the death and serious injury of two workers could have been prevented.

“This case clearly highlights the need to ensure that relevant information is considered when lift plans are produced to ensure that all of the relevant risks are considered.”


Rolls-Royce Cutting More Marine Jobs

By MarEx 2015-10-05 17:15:51

Britain’s Rolls-Royce said it would cut an additional 400 staff from its marine business by the end of next year, its latest move to make the unit more efficient and cope with a fall in orders sparked by lower oil prices.

The marine unit, which depends on oil and gas-related customers for about 60 percent of its business, has seen some of its orders cancelled in the past 16 months as the price of Brent crude collapsed to six-year lows.

Rolls-Royce had already announced in May that it would cut 600 jobs in its marine business, which employs 5,800 people in 34 countries and builds propulsion systems, winches and anchors. The latest job cuts would be worldwide, it said.

In 2014, the marine unit accounted for about 12 percent of Rolls-Royce total group revenue.

Rolls-Royce’s Chief Executive Warren East, who took up the role on July 2, is in the process of carrying out an operational review of the whole business, the results of which he will present on November 24.

The group issued a profit warning last year as it was hit by the slump in oil prices and earlier this year said profits at its biggest business, which makes aero-engines for large planes, would also falter next year.

Maintaining current profit guidance for the marine unit, Rolls-Royce said on Monday it would invest the cost-savings from the job cuts into research and development activity.

“We will sharpen our focus on the marine technologies of tomorrow by significantly increasing our current rate of investment in research and development,” Rolls-Royce’s marine president Mikael Makinen said in a statement.

“This is a fundamentally strong business, but we have to take decisive action to position it for future growth, with a structure that is simple, efficient and effective,” he said. “Reducing our workforce is never an easy decision, but the continued weak oil price, and the need to become more competitive, means it is necessary, if we are to build a strong base from which we can successfully grow this business in the future.”

The company said the latest job cuts would generate full-year savings of 40 million pounds ($60.7 million) with incremental benefits from 2016 onwards, and that the cost would be covered by a previously flagged 30 million pound restructuring charge which would now be spread over this year and next.

“This is an acceleration of the downsizing,” said Haitong Research analyst Edward Stacey.

Shares in Rolls-Royce, which hit a four-year low in September, traded up 3.5 percent to 729 pence, ahead of a two percent rise in Britain’s blue-chip index.

The company added that its focus in the marine unit was to improve competitiveness by reducing corporate and administrative costs.


EPA to Rewrite Ship Ballast Dumping Rules

By Reuters 2015-10-05 16:36:13

A federal appeals court in New York ordered the government to rewrite its rules regulating the discharge of ballast water by ships, in a victory for environmental groups that said the rules were too lenient and threatened the nation’s waterways.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday said the Environmental Protection Agency acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” when it decided in 2013 to follow an international standard governing the discharge of harmful organisms, though technology was available to adopt a higher standard.

Writing for a 3-0 appeals court panel, Circuit Judge Denny Chin also said the EPA, using its authority under the Clean Water Act, should have considered onshore facilities to treat ballast water rather than focus on pollution controls aboard ships, where a lack of space might limit their effectiveness.

“It’s a huge win for the environment,” said Allison LaPlante, a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon representing four environmental groups that challenged the EPA.

The EPA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ships take on and discharge ballast water, in quantities estimated at more than 21 billion gallons (79 billion liters)annually in the United States, to maintain stability and compensate for changes in weight, such as when they load and unload cargo or consume fuel.

But in taking on ballast water, ships can inadvertently pick up harmful organisms, as well as sediment and pollutants, and later spread them to other bodies of water.

One such organism, zebra mussels, has caused particularly heavy damage in the Great Lakes region, the environmental groups have said.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Center for Biological Diversity and Northwest Environmental Advocates had sued the EPA over its “Vessel General Permit” governing ships’ release of ballast water.

“Invasive species ruin aquatic communities and their ecosystems,” LaPlante said. “The EPA appeared to the take the path of least resistance by adopting an existing international standard that is inadequate to prevent their colonization.”

In court papers, the EPA said it “proceeded methodically and reasonably” toward its conclusions, rather than focus on methods “destined not to play a role at the present time in redressing aquatic nuisance species in ballast water.”

The case is Natural Resources Defense Council et al v. EPA et al, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Nos. 13-1745, 13-2392, 13-2757.