Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/06/2015
1. ICS Annual Review
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published its latest Annual Review of maritime policy developments in advance of its Annual General Meeting and to coincide with this week’s meeting of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee. Key issues covered in this year’s ICS Annual Review include the impact of the rescue at sea crisis in the Mediterranean on the shipping industry; the status of IMO environmental regulations on low sulphur fuel and ballast water management; the shipping industry’s efforts to deliver further CO2 emissions reductions; and an ongoing ICS initiative to encourage a new approach to the development of regulation.
2. Maersk in New Ship Deal
Maersk Line announced it has today ordered 11 new ultra-large second generation Triple-E containerships from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). Ordered to replace smaller, less efficient ships in the Maersk Line fleet, the new vessels will be the shipper’s largest and are intended to enter Asia – Europe service between April 2017 and May 2018. They will sail under Danish flag. The new building contract, valued at value of $1.8 billion, will see the construction of 11 second generation Triple-E container vessels, with an option for six additional vessels. The ships will have a capacity of 19,630 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) each.
3. Seafarer Diabetes Guide
Swire Pacific Offshore and The China Navigation Company are working together to raise seafarers’ awareness of diabetes. The companies, both part of the Swire Group, have produced a health guide called A Seafarers’ Guide to Understanding Diabetes and have partnered with The Mission to Seafarers to distribute it.
Multiple research projects have shown that seafarers have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared with the general population. This may be due in large part to lifestyle factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, and poor diet.
4. Nigeria Pays Blood Money
Chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Ahmed Tijani Ramalan, has disclosed that the agency pays the sum of N1.5bn monthly to the ex-militant leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, to protect the nation’s maritime areas. Dr Ramalan said, “Over 400, 000 barrels of crude oil are being stolen daily from our shores under President Jonathan; yet we had a government that has the Navy, the Army and the Air Force, and the government hands over the security to Tompolo at a very exorbitant amount of money".
5. Special Piracy Court Opens
Following the April opening of a modern court complex in Seychelles that has special jurisdiction to handle piracy and maritime crime cases, the court started to hear its first case on Monday June 1. This relates to the trial of 5 suspected Somali pirates who were arrested and brought to Seychelles by French naval ship, ‘Siroco’, in January last year. Seychellois Judge Gustave Dodin is presiding this first case to appear before the new court. Funding for this facility was obtained through a collaboration effort between the UN, the UK, the Netherlands and the Trust Fund on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
6. Cost Reductions Explored
As many companies continue the fight for survival in the challenging market conditions, shipping and offshore recruitment specialist Blue Ocean Marine & Offshore Solutions (BOMOS) announced its strategy to focus much stronger on cost reductions. “Current financial realities are calling for some tough decisions and there is an increasing demand to improve operating margins. There is no single solution to radically change the cost structure of shipping and offshore companies. Instead, these companies will reach their goals with a combination of several actions. And labor costs is one of them,” said CEO Cristina Garcia.
7. Grounded Vessel Needs Lightering
The Cosco HK Shipping bulker that ran aground off Port Arthur, Texas a week ago is still stuck and will need to be lightered before it can be refloated, the US Coast Guard (USCG) said on Monday. The handymax vessel, Jian Qiang (46,800 dwt, built 1996), was heading out from Neches Industrial Park in Beaumont, Texas, carrying a cargo of sulphur when it ran into trouble. USCG authorities say no cargo has spilled but they can’t be sure about damage to the ship until they have a chance to conduct undersea observation of the hull after it is freed. Bad weather has hampered progress.
8. Vessel Detained and Sold
Shanghai Maritime Court has ruled to detain a vessel – Jing Fan 1 – of financially troubled Shanghai Jingfan Shipping following the request of 29 crewmembers of the ship due to salary arrears. Jingfan Shipping has suspended operation since August 2014 due to financial difficulties and has left a huge amount of unpaid debts. The crews of the company also haven’t been paid since then. The owner of the company has fled the country. Shanghai Maritime Court will start the auction procedures for the ship soon. Another three ships of Jingfan Shipping were also detained by the courts earlier.
9. Dubai Grows Maritime Influence
Dubai will rank among the top seven leading maritime centres in the world in the next five years, said an international survey conducted by Menon Business Economics Group. Menon polled around 1,600 maritime professionals and experts from 33 countries of all five continents. The world’s leading maritime cities were benchmarked based on the four main maritime indicators of finance, technology, ports and logistics, and shipping, in addition to an overall assessment of the cities’ competitiveness and attractiveness. Dubai ranked 5th overall and 10th in the world in relation to both the size of ship owners’ fleets and size of fleets managed.
10. Nicaragua Canal Study
Consultancy Environmental Resources Management Ltd. (ERM) has delivered an eagerly anticipated social and environmental study on the impact of the proposed Nicaragua Canal, Telemaco Talavera, the spokesman of the government canal commission. Talavera did not reveal much to the local media, just saying that ERM’s study concluded that the Canal offered potential benefits for the environment and the Nicaraguans. An EMR spokesman said that the company was not for, or against the project, adding that the study revealed potential challenges the Nicaraguan government and the contractor could face.
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