Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/06/2015
1. Hebei Spirit Claims to be Paid
The International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds will begin paying compensation for damages relating to the Hebei Spirit oil spill, South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) announced on 3 June. On 7 December 2007, Hebei Spirit, a Hebei Ocean Shipping Company-owned VLCC carrying 260,000 tonnes of oil, was anchored in South Korea’s Daesan port on the Yellow Sea coast when a Samsung Heavy Industries-owned crane barge, being towed by a tug, came into contact with it. The barge had broken free from the tug. The incident resulted in three of Hebei Spirit’s five tanks being punctured, spilling 10,800 tonnes of oil.
2. Cruise Ship Death Toll Rises
The death toll from a Chinese cruise ship that capsized on the Yangtze River has climbed to 97, state media says, as authorities have successfully righted the vessel. They have confirmed that there is no chance of finding anyone else alive in addition to the 14 survivors that have been found, including the captain.
Pictures on state television showed the ship, which had capsized completely, sitting upright in the water. Most of the four-deck ship remains under water, sitting on the river bed. More than 200 divers have groped through murky water after cutting through the hull, searching every cabin on board, but have found no more.
3. Car Carrier Catches Fire
The 29,213-DWT car carrier Courage was reported to have caught fire some 75 miles north of London. According to the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the vessel reported the fire at 10 pm BST on June 2. Courage was en route to Southampton carrying cars and US military vehicles. The blaze was successfully extinguished by the crew who were using the onboard CO2 system. A helicopter was dispatched to monitor the situation and a team of firefighters were winched aboard to assess the vessel. There were no reports of injuries or pollution released. The car carrier arrived in Southampton today at 05:04 UTC.
4. Human Rights Guidance
Human Rights at Sea has published a new international and independent guidance for shipowners, crew and private maritime security guards titled: “Deprivation of Liberty at Sea.” The guidance, published jointly by Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) and the Network of Experts on the Legal Aspects of Maritime Safety and Security (MARSAFENET) and financed through the European Union COST Action IS1105, is the first independently drafted international document covering deprivation of liberty (DoL) by ship masters, crew and private maritime security personnel. It is the result of in-depth research into the domestic and international legal frameworks.
5. Between a Rock and Hard Place
Ship owners active in the dry bulk market are in some tough predicament these days, as they appear to be caught between a rock and hard place, where the “rock” is the very low freight market rates and the “hard place” is the severe pressure experienced in the steel market, which in turn is negatively affecting the scrap market, i.e. the rates that owners can achieve for selling their older ships for demolition. In its latest report, shipbroker Intermodal noted that the slowing Chinese GDP growth rate has severely impacted the dry bulk market, especially as it has coincided with the increased supply of dry bulk tonnage.
6. New Fuel "Trilemma"
Trends in pricing are an obvious factor to consider when examining the feasibility of new fuels, but sustainability and safety also have an impact on the ultimate affordability of change. DNV GL has released a position paper that presents a methodology for evaluating alternative fuels, adding sustainability and safety considerations in the discussion. DNV GL’s position paper "The Fuel Trilemma" analyses the affordability, sustainability, safety and the reliability of future fuels. These three factors will govern the importance of any energy source chosen to meet regulatory requirements for CO2, SOx and NOx.
7. Repeat Oil Spill Offender Fined
A German shipping company on probation for dumping oily water off California in 2013 was sentenced Wednesday to pay $750 000 for a repeat offence in Alaska. A ship owned by Herm Dauelsberg discharged an estimated 6 738 litres of oily water in US waters on a trip from China to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands earlier this year, said Assistant US Attorney Kevin Feldis. "There’s no excuse for this conduct," he said. Herm Dauelsberg operates the 188m Lindavia, which took on fuel at a port in China in mid-January and experienced a significant fuel leak. Almost 136 274 litres of heavy fuel leaked through a corroded bulkhead.
8. Hybrid Propulsion Gaining Ground
Hybrid propulsion systems and connected ship solutions are emerging technologies that are "gaining ground faster than expected", Tor E. Svensen, CEO at DNV GL – Maritime (DNV GL), said Monday at the opening day of Nor-Shipping in Oslo. Although "unanticipated" during the development of the original report, DNV GL says a considerable drop in battery prices, as well as improved energy storage capacity, means that hybrid systems are now becoming a real option for the shipping industry. "Currently, there are already 33 hybrid vessels in operation or on order, and looking ahead it is possible this number will top 100 by 2020" Svensen said.
9. OW Reaches Payment Agreement
OW Bunker has reached a deal with its liquidators, receivers, and security agent ING Bank N.V. on the assets of its subsidiary, OW Bunker Middle East DMCC, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has announced. Under the terms of the deal, all recoveries from the company’s receivables will be paid into ING accounts specified by PwC, who have been acting as receivers. Any issues related to the receivables collection process will be jointly addressed by PwC and liquidators KPMG Lower Gulf Limited. Parent company OW Bunker filed for bankruptcy in Denmark late last year shortly after announcing significant losses stemming from an alleged fraud.
10. Shipping is a Dead Parrot
Shipping markets guru Martin Stopford declared the existing business model of the industry a “dead parrot” on Wednesday and said that a new management based solution was needed. Speaking at Nor-Shipping Clarksons Research Services president Stopford noted that over the next 50 years the industry would spend between $4 – $8trn on new ships. Referencing Monty Python’s famous dead parrot sketch Stopford remarked: “Is that the business model you are going to use for the next 30 years? Because if you are I think its worn out, I think it’s dead, it’s a Norwegian parrot if you know John Cleese.”
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