Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/09/2015
1. Glencore Financial Fears
Analyst warnings over Glencore’s uncertain financials are setting off fears of a collapse at the company that could cause a disastrous domino effect across the resource market, CNBC reports. Reports say that Glencore, which counts fuel oil and bunkers amongst the many areas it is involved in, has an uncomfortably high debt load that is closing in on $30 billion versus its $16 billion market value, with a debt base that surpasses its peers. According to separate sources, Glencore’s leadership have failed to reassure markets, which in part contributed to the company’s 29 percent plunge on the London Stock Exchange early this week.
2. Piracy Filmmakers on Trial
Two British journalists have gone on trial in Indonesia for allegedly trying to make a documentary about piracy without the correct visas, and could face up to five years in jail, an official said Tuesday. The two appeared in court together in Batam accused of having only tourist visas while attempting to make the film. According to their indictment the pair arrived in Indonesia in May to shoot the film with funding from National Geographic. They hired Indonesians to act out a scene of a tanker being boarded by a group of pirates, but residents tipped off the authorities and they were arrested.
3. Offshore Workers Compromising Safety
Some 50% of crews working on offshore support vessels are willing to compromise safety rather than say ‘no’ to clients or senior management, a report on workboat and OSV safety finds. The report summarizes six months of research and draws on original analysis of Port State Control detention records, feedback from 50 individuals from various off-shore companies, incident case studies, and input from leaders in best practice. The analysis of the accident and casualty statistics examined almost 6,000 occurrences that were reported during 2011 and 2013 in EU waters or on EU-flagged vessels.
4. Maersk Brings in Managers
Maersk Line has contracted third party ship managers E.R. Schiffahrt and Bernhard Schulte to manage 12 of its ships for the next five years. The ships are a variety in class, size, age, and engine type and, by putting them under third party management, Maersk Line aims to create efficiency gains for the whole fleet by learning from industry best practice. With 20 Triple-E vessels in regular service, and several large orders placed for new vessels in the coming years, Maersk Line’s fleet is becoming larger and increasingly modern and efficient. At the same time, Maersk Line aims to continuously improve how ships are managed.
5. Greek Owners Grabbing Tonnage
Ship owners from Hellas have been investing heavily in the market for second hand vessels over the course of the past couple of months, as they’re looking to exploit attractive pricing opportunities, hunting down distressed asset sales. As such, according to data compiled from shipbroker Golden Destiny, during August alone, owners from Greece acquired 33 vessels with a dwt of 2,936,125 tons, for a total price of $658,950,000. Worldwide, a total of 146 vessels were traded for an aggregate price of $3.5 billion. As such, the Greeks were responsible for 23% of the total S&P activity.
6. Frontline Delists from Stock Exchange
John Fredriksen’s oil tanker shipping company Frontline Ltd. has requested the UK Listing Authority to delist the company from London Stock Exchange with effect from the opening of the market on November 2, 2015. Frontline has asked the UKLA to cancel the listing of all of its ordinary shares of USD 1. The company believes that, given the limited liquidity of the ordinary shares, the costs and administrative burden of maintaining the listing on the official list and admission to trading on the main market are disproportionate to the benefits thereof.
7. South Africa Flag Reborn
South Africa’s ship registry has welcomed the first vessel to the country’s commercial fleet since 1985, with another to be registered within the coming weeks. The capesize Cape Orchid (172,600 dwt, built 2001; pictured) officially registered in South Africa on August 1, according to Equasis, and has just commenced its first voyage under the flag. South Africa’s Department of Transport negotiated the vessel’s registration, with support from SAMSA. Another vessel, Cape Enterprise (185,900 dwt, built 2003) will also be registered in South Africa in the coming weeks, according to press reports.
8. Guns on Ships
In the latest case of guns on board a merchant ship, a Vietnamese captain, Phung Van Chieu, and 11 crew, were temporarily detained after rifles were found on their vessel, "Thanh Cong 36" Ship. The Captain admitted that when he entered Thailand to bring plaster from Thailand to Vietnam, he bought the rifles to bring to the country for sale. The list of recent incidents where ships’ crew are either deliberately or inadvertently been involved in arms deals is growing. Earlier this month, Greek authorities seized a ship carrying an undeclared shipment of weapons en route from Turkey to Libya.
9. Smoking Bans Grow
The UK P&I Club is strengthening its anti-smoking campaign to boost safety on vessels. It will promote new measures next month – "Stopober" – to limit lighting up at sea and in port. Sophia Bullard, from the pre-employment medical examination programme of UK P&I, said: “It’s important for employers to establish a no smoking policy on board their ships to reduce risks to health and safety of all crew and visitors. “The policy should include control measures beneficial for the whole crew, such as a complete smoking ban on board or an indoor smoking ban except for within designated ‘smoking rooms’.”
10. Bahamas Flag Vessel Detained
A Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier remains in the Port of Tacoma after U.S. Coast Guard Port State Control inspectors found multiple safety deficiencies. A Port State Control exam team from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound boarded the 751-foot MV Rena last Thursday and discovered multiple areas that did not meet regulations set forth in the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS). The most severe deficiency involved the improper pressurization of the crew’s self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs), which would prevent the crew from safely responding to a fire aboard the vessel.
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