VLGC rates near $130/tonne

Rates to ship LPG on very large gas carriers (VLGCs) are inching closer to the USD130/tonne mark, having averaged USD128.156 /tonne on the Baltic Exchange on 29 June.
That had come up from USD121.875/tonne on 22 June. At current bunker prices in Fujairah, the latest rate works out to daily earnings

Kobe port’s traffic up in March

Cargo traffic increased by 5% in the port of Kobe, western Japan, in March from a year earlier to 8.608 million tonnes because of a big improvement in domestic trade, according to preliminary figures released by the Kobe municipal government.
Of the 8.608 million tonnes, 4.536 million tonnes came

Deepwater Horizon Claims Adjuster Guilty of Fraud

By Wendy Laursen 2015-06-29 20:45:35

Charlie English III has pleaded guilty to fraud worth $257,400 in the U.S. after his actions in the of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

English, 33, helped claimants submit false statements regarding lost earnings for non-existent fishing companies. In return, he received some of the compensation money paid.

English worked as an adjuster for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. He is now required to repay $257,400 and is on probation for three years.

The case was brought as part of the Louisiana District’s partnership with the National Center for Disaster Fraud, a nationwide initiative to protect available funds and assistance for those victims of both natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the recent Gulf oil spill.

The BP-operated website, The State of the Gulf, reports that 264 cases of fraud worth $26,859,283 have been reported resulting in 187 convictions.

Other fraud cases have involved a Massachusetts man who faked his death, a Detroit mayoral candidate who concocted owning a boat and a Mississippi man who claimed to own a shrimping and fishing business that didn’t exist.

The fraud tally is available here.


New York Reactivates South Brooklyn Marine Terminal

By MarEx 2015-06-29 20:27:05

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined state, federal and local officials to announce the reactivation of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) in Sunset Park as a working maritime port facility on Monday.

SBMT is a key maritime asset owned by the city that will be turned into a hub for maritime commerce, creating hundreds of good jobs.

The U.S. Maritime Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation recognized SBMT’s importance by designating it and nearby Red Hook Container Terminal as part of America’s Marine Highway System, which will make cargo operations in Southwest Brooklyn eligible for future federal support.

These announcements represent key milestones in ongoing efforts to reestablish Southwest Brooklyn as a vital shipping hub, and they reflect the city’s interest in the long-term phased development of a deep water container port in New York’s harbor.

“This is a big step towards putting our waterfront back to work. Soon, cargo ships that would have docked in New Jersey will be docking here in Brooklyn, bringing good jobs, taking trucks off our streets and helping spur this growing industrial hub,” said de Blasio. “This transformation is happening because of the dogged advocacy of our congressional delegation, our partners in the City Council and our colleagues at the Port Authority, with whom we’ve worked together to bring this new port online.”

“Working alongside my dear friend and colleague, Congressswoman Nydia Velazquez, and all of the other elected officials who represent the Brooklyn waterfront, as well as key partners in labor, environmental and community organizations, I have been a passionate advocate and a supporter of the Port of New York & New Jersey for more than thirty years,” said U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler.

“As such, I view today as truly great day. I am extremely grateful to Mayor Bill de Blasio for committing his administration to the phased development of a major deep-water container port centered here at SBMT. I fundamentally believe that an active Brooklyn container port is imperative for the economic vitality, and environmental well-being, of the City and region — as well as the local community of Sunset Park — and that it is a key element in ensuring that our port district overall retains its position of dominance on the eastern seaboard of the United States.

“I also congratulate Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who negotiated a key 39-year master lease for SBMT with New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), garnering key community benefits and robust community engagement roles, while ensuring that NYCEDC can nimbly activate SBMT for good jobs as soon as possible. And finally, I’m thrilled the U.S. Maritime Administration has bestowed the American Marine Highway designation on South Brooklyn, and that it recognizes the importance of our nearby Red Hook Container Terminal, and its new barging service, as an essential part of our region’s shipping eco-system.”

“If we are to remain competitive as a region, we must address the need for additional cross-Hudson transportation capacity,” said Port Commerce Director Richard Larrabee. “This initiative is one of the many solutions to help mitigate the already limited resources used to transport cargo in the New York and New Jersey region. The barge service creates the extra benefit of reducing congestion and the port’s environmental footprint.”

The “America’s Marine Highway Program” is a federal initiative, led by the U.S. Department of Transportation, that seeks to integrate the nation’s 29,000 nautical miles of navigable waterways into the overall U.S. transportation network, alleviating highway congestion and providing public benefits including better air quality and reduced road maintenance costs.


IMO and IOM Pledge Migration Action

By MarEx 2015-06-29 18:51:19

The heads of the IMO and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reaffirmed their commitment to urgently address the humanitarian crisis arising from the dramatic increase in unsafe mixed migration across the oceans and seas in recent times on Monday.

IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu and IOM Director-General William L. Swing met at IMO Headquarters in London and observed a minute’s silence in honor of the thousands of migrants who have lost their lives on perilous journeys. They reiterated their concern about the loss of life, injury, trauma and serious human rights’ violations affecting migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees travelling by sea.

In a joint statement on enhanced cooperation and collaboration between the two Organizations, Sekimizu and Swing recognized the need for concerted global action to address this major challenge to the international community.

They pledged to work together on a number of specific actions, including the establishment of an inter-agency platform for information sharing on unsafe mixed migration by sea and the dissemination of information material on the dangers of such migration in collaboration with other interested agencies.

They agreed to facilitate discussions to find solutions to unsafe migration by sea and urged the international community to take robust measures against people smugglers “who operate without fear or remorse and who deliberately and knowingly endanger the lives of thousands of migrants at sea.”

The IMO and IOM heads also agreed to promote the relevant provisions of the IMO treaties addressing the safety of life at sea, search and rescue and facilitation of maritime traffic and to promote international migration law.

They agreed to support the relevant technical cooperation programs of each organization and set up case-specific technical or advisory bodies as needed.

Sekimizu and Swing’s meeting follows a series of discussions at IMO on unsafe mixed migration by sea, including a special session on the matter held during the Maritime Safety Committee’s 95th session (MSC 95) earlier in June; consideration during the Legal Committee (LEG 102) in April; and the inter-agency High-Level Meeting to Address Unsafe Mixed Migration by Sea, hosted by IMO in March 2015.

Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) Founder, David Hammond, has welcomed the news. Speaking from Malta where HRAS is meeting with local NGOs undertaking migrant operations, Hammond said: “The increasing focus of the IMO in looking at the migrant issue is strongly welcomed. It is key to the future dealings of the shipping community, not just with making the humanitarian and legal decision to rescue those individuals in peril at sea, but in terms of planning vessel routes, providing temporary facilities onboard, providing logistical and medical support, undertaking Deprivation of Liberty of suspected criminals where appropriate, as well as reviewing all necessary crew training for dealing with such eventualities wherever in the world these rescue operations may take place.”

The reality is that global migration as a maritime issue is something that is not going away, says Hammond. HRAS is seeing increasing movements of displaced persons through Central Africa for example, and where it is currently conducting studies. Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) movement is not south, but northwards through the Sahel and Sahara regions heading for the Mediterranean.

“Mass rescue at sea is no longer the exception, but will soon become a norm. The IMO will therefore be one of the key organizations at the forefront of safety and technical support to the maritime industry in response to this emerging trend.”

The joint statement by IMO and IOM is available here.


Container Ship and LPG Tanker Collide

By Wendy Laursen 2015-06-29 18:07:34

A collision occurred in Indonesia’s Java Sea on Monday between the container ship Leo Perdana and the LPG tanker Navigator Aries.

The collision occurred about 20 nautical miles off Surabaya, Karang Jamuang Island.

Media reports indicate that the tanker was hit on the port side and suffered a five-meter hole. The fire that ensued was extinguished by fire-fighting tugs and the vessel’s crew.

No crew members were injured, but a small amount of fuel was spilt into the water.

Four tugs towed the Navigator Aries to anchorage, and the 2,500 TEU container ship has now berthed under its own power.

The 23,000dwt Liberia-flagged tanker Navigator Aries is operated by Navigator Gas.


DOE Approves Sabine Pass LNG Expansion

The U.S. Energy Department announced Friday that it has issued a final authorization for Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC’s Expansion Project to export domestic LNG to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.

The Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana is authorized to export additional volumes of LNG up to the equivalent of 1.38 billion standard cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas for a period of 20 years. In 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction was authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 2.2 Bcf/d of natural gas for a period of 20 years. With this most recent authorization, Sabine Pass Liquefaction is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 3.58 Bcf/d of natural gas for a period of 20 years.

The development of U.S. natural gas resources is having a transformative impact on the U.S. energy landscape, helping to improve energy security while spurring economic development and job creation around the country. This increase in domestic natural gas production is expected to continue, with the Energy Information Administration forecasting a record average production rate of 78.92 Bcf/d in 2015.

Federal law generally requires approval of natural gas exports to countries that have an FTA with the United States. For countries that do not have an FTA with the United States, the Natural Gas Act directs the Department of Energy to grant export authorizations unless the Department finds that the proposed exports “will not be consistent with the public interest.”

The Energy Department conducted a careful review of the three Sabine Pass Liquefaction Expansion Project applications. Among other factors, the Department considered the economic, energy security, and environmental impacts and determined that exports at a rate of up to 1.38 Bcf/d for a period of 20 years was not inconsistent with the public interest.