Hanjin Shipping returns to black

Hanjin Shipping has returned to the black for the first quarter of 2015, posting a net profit of KRW22.9 billion (USD21 million), reversing its first-quarter 2014 loss of KRW224.5 billion.
The biggest container shipping company in South Korea reported total sales of KRW2.1 trillion and an operating

FSL Trust returns to profit

Singapore-listed shipowner First Ship Lease Trust (FSL Trust) has posted a profit of USD5.09 million for the first quarter that ended on 31 March 2015, returning to black after incurring a loss of USD4.95 million in the first quarter of 2014.
Revenue increased 10.5% year on year (y/y) to USD24.78

China launches Myships.com

China Transport Telecommunications & Information Centre (CTTIC), a company affiliated with China’s Ministry of Transport, launched Myships.com, China’s independently developed maritime information service platform.
The platform is constructed on the basis of vessel positions, tracking as many as

Capesize rates may see support in 2H15

The seasonal surge in iron ore shipments in the second quarter of 2015 may provide some relief for the battered Capesize sector.
As bunker prices rose, shipowners pushed for higher rates, resulting in average Capesize rates rising to USD6,976 per day on 13 May, up from USD4,530 a week ago. However,

U.S. Toughens South China Sea Stance

By Reuters 2015-05-14 00:05:22

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will leave China “in absolutely no doubt” about Washington’s commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation and flight in the South China Sea when he visits Beijing this weekend, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday.

Setting the scene for what could be contentious encounters with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, the official said Kerry would warn that China’s land-reclamation work in contested waters could have negative consequences for regional stability – and for relations with the United States.

On Tuesday, a U.S. official said the Pentagon was considering sending military aircraft and ships to assert freedom of navigation around rapidly growing Chinese-made artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea.

China’s Foreign Ministry responded by saying that Beijing was “extremely concerned” and demanded clarification.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense David Shear told a Senate hearing the United States had right of passage in areas claimed by China. “We are actively assessing the military implications of land reclamation and are committed to taking effective and appropriate action,” he said, but gave no details.

The senior State Department official said “the question about what the U.S. Navy does or doesn’t do is one that the Chinese are free to pose” to Kerry in Beijing, where he is due on Saturday for meetings with civilian and military leaders.

Kerry’s trip is intended to prepare for the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue next month in Washington and Xi’s expected visit to Washington in September. But growing strategic rivalry rather than cooperation look set to dominate.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that freedom of navigation did not mean that foreign military ships and aircraft can enter another country’s territorial waters or airspace at will.

On Thursday, influential Chinese tabloid the Global Times warned that the United States was risking a showdown if it sends its military to the South China Sea.

“If Washington takes this dangerous step, it will be nothing but a blatant infringement of China’s sovereignty, and the U.S. can expect potent countermeasures,” it said in an editorial in both its Chinese and English language editions.


The State Department official dismissed the idea that constructing islands out of half-submerged reefs gave China any right to territorial claims.

“Ultimately no matter how much sand China piles on top of a submerged reef or shoal … it is not enhancing its territorial claim. You can’t build sovereignty,” he said.

“He (Kerry) will leave his Chinese interlocutors in absolutely no doubt that the United States remains committed to maintaining freedom of navigation and to exercise our legitimate rights as pertaining to over flight and movement on the high seas.”

He said Kerry would “reinforce … the very negative consequences to China’s image and China’s relationship with its neighbors on regional stability and potentially on the U.S.- China relationship from their large-scale reclamation efforts and the behavior generally in the South China Sea.”

Beijing claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.

Last month, the U.S. military commander for Asia, Admiral Samuel Locklear, said China could eventually deploy radar and missile systems on the islands it is building in the Spratly archipelago that could be used to enforce an exclusion zone should it move to declare one.

The U.S. official who spoke on Tuesday said U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter had requested options that include sending aircraft and ships within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of the reefs China has been building up.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced a strategic shift toward Asia in 2011 in response to growing Chinese power and influence, but critics have questioned his commitment to this “rebalance” given U.S. security distractions elsewhere in the world and stretched resources.

News of the possibly tougher U.S. stance came as the key economic pillar of the rebalance suffered a blow at the hands of Obama’s Democrats in the U.S. Senate, who blocked debate on a bill that would have smoothed the path for a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

Failure to clinch an agreement could damage Washington’s leadership image in Asia, where China has been forging ahead with a new Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) seen as a challenge to U.S. global financial leadership.


World’s First Fuel Cell Drone Unveiled

By MarEx 2015-05-13 23:50:44

Singaporean company Horizon Energy Systems (HES) unveiled HYCOPTER in Atlanta (AUVSI 2015) last week. HYCOPTER is the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered multi-rotor UAV, and is being readied for a record flight endurance of four hours, or around eight to 10 times the average flight duration of equivalent systems today.

Unlike any other rotorcraft, HYCOPTER makes use of its frame structure to store energy in the form of hydrogen instead of air, eliminating energy storage weight. In the case of this platform, the equivalent energy of 3kg (6.6 pounds) of lithium batteries is stored as 120g (0.26 pounds) of hydrogen. With less lift power required, HYCOPTER’s ultra-light fuel cell turns 120g gas stored inside its structural frame into four hours of electricity to power its rotors.

Aerial survey jobs will become materially cheaper/faster and drone delivery over longer distances, more feasible, says HES. The drone is suited to border patrol, infrastructure inspection and survey applications.

“Where battery performance limits the effective use of these promising unmanned systems, HES’ next-generation fuel cell systems improve versatility and open new mission possibilities for smaller low altitude aircraft, typically reserved for larger, higher altitude and more expensive aircraft.”

The special fuel cell powering HYCOPTER was designed by Horizon Energy Systems (HES), which also recently announced a new solid chemical hydrogen on demand fuel cell able to achieve up to 700Wh/kg at system level. HES supplies the world’s highest performance and lightest fuel cells, achieving orders of magnitude beyond what is possible elsewhere today when it comes to energy storage, says the company.

“By removing the design silos that typically separate the energy storage component from the UAV frame design teams – we opened up a whole new category in the drone market, between battery power and combustion power drones,” said Taras Wankewycz, Group Chief Executive Officer. “Imagine smaller, lower cost, low-altitude electric aircraft now able to cover the same ground and perform similar jobs as larger, combustion engine, higher altitude aircraft with multi-million dollar payloads”.

The design has led to the start of Horizon Unmanned Systems (HUS), sister company of Horizon Energy Systems working to apply lightweight fuel cells towards optimized platforms and vehicles. HUS will also be embedding proprietary GPS-independent, precision navigation and collision avoidance technologies, in order to match the need for off-grid, remote area use of such power-autonomous UAVs.