Headlines Friday 20th July 2018
 

Scottish renewables firms forced into ‘liquidation’ by government decision

Some small Scottish renewable firms were “forced into liquidation” yesterday by the UK Government’s decision to shutdown the Feed-in-Tariff scheme, according to an industry body.

Scottish Renewables accused the government of causing “significant uncertainty” and that the proposed closure of the scheme has “worrying consequences for the already struggling small-scale renewables sector” in Scotland.

Announced yesterday, the decision also resulted in the UK Government issuing a ‘call for evidence’ on the future for small-scale low-carbon generation.

Intended as a payment to small business for generating their own energy, the scheme was planned for closure in 2019, but a consultation on its future was a year overdue.

Hannah Smith, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, labelled the decision a “risk to jobs” and deployment of low-carbon energy.

She said: “While we are pleased to see this consultation published, it has some worrying consequences for the already struggling small-scale renewables sector.

“The picture for this part of our industry isn’t especially rosy. Since previous cuts to the Feed-in Tariff there has been a drop off in deployment of technologies such as hydro schemes and small-scale wind.

“That, coupled with considerable delay to the publication of this consultation, has already forced businesses into liquidation and created significant uncertainty as to whether small-scale energy generation can survive in the UK.”

  • Energy Voice

 

BP’s ETAP Hub Celebrates 20 Years of Production

ETAP, often regarded as one of the most ambitious and commercially complex developments in the North Sea, comprises multiple fields with varying ownership arrangements sharing a central processing facility (CPF).

The Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP) North Sea development, labelled by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) as the “poster child” for its Maximising Economic Recovery (MER UK) strategy, celebrates 20 years of production today, with the key hub expected to operate into the mid-late 2030s.

At the time of development, the individual reservoirs were not deemed to be commercially viable on a stand-alone basis, so the ETAP alliance was formed to develop the fields as one joint development.

It came on stream in July 1998 with an estimated production life of 20 years. However, a $1billion investment programme in 2015 breathed new life into the hub, securing its future well into the 2030s.

Intially seven fields, four operated by BP and three by Shell produced through the CPF. Two further BP-operated fields came online four years later in 2002, bringing the total number of fields producing through the CPF to nine. Two of the Shell fields have since ceased production. Day-to-day production operations of the remaining seven ETAP fields are controlled by BP from the CPF.

In its two decades of operations, more than 550 million barrels of oil equivalent (gross) has been produced from the BP-operated ETAP fields.

BP North Sea Regional President Ariel Flores said: “ETAP embodies the pioneering and innovative spirit the North Sea is renowned for around the world and shows what can be achieved when companies work together for the greater good of the region.”

The collaborative spirit of the ETAP alliance received industry-wide recognition in 2016 when BP and partners won the inaugural OGA Maximising Economic Recovery (MER UK) Award at the annual Oil & Gas UK Awards.

  • Oil and Gas People

 

UK's new Brexit envoy optimistic, as EU warns of Brexit crash

London’s new Brexit minister said he was confident he could reach a deal, on his first trip to Brussels on Thursday as the EU warned business to get ready for Britain crashing out of the bloc without agreed terms to cushion the economic disruption.

Brexit campaigner Dominic Raab, appointed to the government last week after his predecessor quit over Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals to stay close to EU trading rules, said Britain was ramping up preparations for a “no deal” but focussed above all on selling her ideas to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

The resignation of his predecessor David Davis and others, and May’s battles in parliament with pro- and anti-Brexit wings of her own Conservative Party, have led Brussels to wonder whether London is capable of agreeing any deal this year to avoid chaos when it leaves in March.

That, the EU’s executive European Commission insisted on Thursday, was not the reason for its warning on stepping up preparedness for a “no deal” or “cliff edge” Brexit.

Raab said Britain was on track and he would bring new “energy, vigour and vim” to talks as they get down to wire to find a deal before EU leaders meet at a summit in October.

“We’ve only got 12 weeks really left to nail down the details of the agreement, so I set out our proposals,” Raab said after meeting Barnier. “I’m sure in good faith, if that energy and that ambition is reciprocated, as I’m confident it will be, we will get there.”

EU officials and diplomats still think some kind of deal, including a 21-month status quo transition period to allow further talks, is more likely than not, if only because the cost for both sides would be so high.

The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday EU countries would suffer long-term damage equivalent to about 1.5 percent of annual economic output if Britain leaves without a free trade deal.

  • Reuters
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Headlines Thursday 19th July 2018

 

Maersk Line, MSC Team Up with ZIM

2M partners, Danish carrier Maersk Line and its Swiss-based counterpart Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), have entered into a strategic cooperation deal with Israeli shipping company ZIM on the Asia – US East Coast trade.

Currently Maersk Line and MSC operate five loops and ZIM operates two loops on the trade.

As of early September 2018, Maersk and MSC will contribute four of their operated loops to a combined operation of five.

Under the deal, the parties intend to swap slots on all five loops of the new cooperation.

Danish ocean carrier said the cooperation would bring cost efficiencies and pave way for an improved product on the Asia – USEC trade, including a new direct product from the US East Coast into Thailand.

“We will improve our combined product portfolio between Asia and the US East Coast and deliver on our promise to customers while creating the needed operational efficiencies for us to run a sustainable business on the trade also in the future,” says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer, Maersk Line.

“The new arrangements will help ensure a high level of service for shippers on all routes between Asia and the U.S. East Coast,” said Diego Aponte, President & CEO, MSC Group.

MSC expects that the new arrangements will result in economies of scale and efficiencies, helping the carriers to navigate tough prevailing business conditions.

The cooperation is scheduled to begin in early September 2018, subject to regulatory approval.

  • World Maritime News

 

Babcock shares dive as slower submarine spending weighs

British engineer Babcock (BAB.L) cut its full-year revenue growth target on Thursday as delays in government spending on submarines hit its Marine division, sending its shares down more than 10 percent.

Babcock, which provides specialist support and services to groups including Britain’s defence ministry and governments around the world, also said it would sell two low-margin businesses and make further disposals through the year.

The combination of the disposals and marine slowdown prompted Babcock, a FTSE 250 company with a market value of 4.1 billion pounds ($5.4 billion), to say it now expected to see “low single digit” underlying revenue growth for the full year.

It had previously forecast “low mid-single digit” growth.

Shares in the group fell 10 percent in early trading and were down 8 percent at 742 pence by 0725 GMT despite it reiterating its underlying earnings guidance.

A provider of aerial emergency services, nuclear support and fleet management, Babcock said it had clarity on the year ahead, with 83 percent of revenue now in place. Its order book of signed contracts remained stable and its pipeline of bids in progress increased.

The slowdown in its Marine division came as its naval business suffered from a temporary slowdown of revenue as the government’s new Submarine Delivery Agency reviews the timing of its planned spending.

That, combined with an expected decline in revenue from the Queen Elizabeth Carrier project is set to result in a year-on-year reduction in Marine revenues in the first half of the year. New order wins should help soften the blow for the full year however.

  • Reuters

 

UK to consult public on possible bid to join Pacific trade pact

Trade Secretary Liam Fox said on Wednesday he will consult the public about a possible bid to join a Pacific trade group that includes Canada, Australia and Mexico, once Britain leaves the European Union.

Fox also said there would be consultations on trade deals between Britain and the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

“The government is determined not only to seek deals with key bilateral partners but to break new ground: putting the UK at the heart of the world’s fastest-growing regions,” Fox said in a speech to the Federation of Small Businesses.

“That is why I am also announcing a ... consultation on potentially seeking accession to CPTPP - the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

The CPTPP has replaced the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was thrown into question early last year when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from it after his inauguration.

The Confederation of British Industry employers’ group said companies would welcome the government’s commitment to free and fair trade, but that the top priority was a trade deal with the EU.

  • Reuters
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Headlines Wednesday 18th July 2018
 
EU to launch safeguards to curb steel imports on Thursday
 
The European Union will launch safeguard measures on Thursday designed to prevent a surge of steel imports into the bloc that could have followed the U.S. imposition of tariffs on incoming steel and aluminium, the EU’s official journal said.
 
The European Commission has proposed a combination of a quota and a tariff to counter EU concerns that steel products no longer imported into the United States would instead flood European markets.
 
The quotas for 23 steel product categories are designed to be a reflection of imports over the past three years, with a 25 percent tariff set for volumes exceeding those amounts.
  • UK Reuters
Not dead yet - Home of Brent crude gets new lease of life
 
Oil giant BP’s (BP.L) Eastern Trough Area Project off the coast of Scotland wasn’t supposed to be viable beyond 2018. But government and industry working together have given ETAP a new lease of life that is being closely watched by countries and companies eyeing other ageing projects around the world.  When ETAP was launched 20 years ago today, some experts predicted the UK sector of the North Sea would cease most production by 2030.
 
Government efforts to keep producers in the basin, home to the Brent crude that underpins the price benchmark, gained urgency with the 2014 oil price crash.  Cheaper oil also forced the industry to upgrade technology and find more efficiencies.  From original plans to stop production at ETAP, BP decided to invest $1 billion in 2015.
 
“One has to take stock of the potential going forward and make an intervention that allows for the right investment to extend life,” Ariel Flores, BP’s North Sea Chief, told Reuters. “We’ve done that on ETAP.”
 
ETAP’s example shows how efforts to extend the production in the North Sea are succeeding, providing lessons for producers in other fields near exhaustion such as those in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Asia.  Long-established oil giants such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and Total (TOTF.PA) as well as smaller, nimbler North Sea-focused producers such as Enquest (ENQ.L) and Premier Oil (PMO.L) are all finding business opportunities in the area.
  • UK Reuters
 
Dairy products 'may become luxuries' after UK leaves EU
 
Everyday dairy products such as butter, yoghurt and cheese could become luxury items in Britain after Brexit, with price rises being caused by the slightest delay in the journey from farm to table, a report by the London School of Economics finds.
 
The LSE research, commissioned by the company behind Lurpak, Anchor and Arla brands, also found that speciality cheeses could become scarce after Brexit, with escalating costs whatever the outcome of the exit negotiations.  Ash Amirahmadi, the UK managing director of Arla Foods, said: “Our dependence on imported dairy products means that disruption to the supply chain will have a big impact. Most likely we would see shortages of products and a sharp rise in prices, turning everyday staples like butter, yoghurts, cheese and infant formula, into occasional luxuries. Speciality cheeses, where there are currently limited options for production, may become very scarce.”
 
The LSE report comes a year to the day after the government was warned that it was “sleepwalking” into a post-Brexit future of insecure, unsafe and increasingly expensive food supplies.
 
Britain does not produce enough milk to keep up with demand, creating a dependency on the EU, including on dairy-surplus countries such as Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark for everyday items such as cheddar cheese and butter.  If the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal and defaults to World Trading Organisation rules, prices will almost certainly rise as dairy products, along with meat, attract high tariffs.
 
A milk product with a fat content of 3% to 6% has a tariff of 74%, while fresh mozzarella is rated at 41% and unripened cheese at 68%.  Even if a deal were struck and there were no tariffs, imports would face costly delays at Dover, the report says. LSE estimates that every seven-minute delay at a port such as Dover will add a minimum of £11 extra per container because of extra labour costs.
 
The research suggested that small cheese suppliers in France and Italy could find their products uncompetitive in British shops, generating scarcities and, in turn, price rises.
  • The Guardian
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Headlines Tuesday 17th July 2018
 
Antwerp Port Posts Best Half-Year Results
 
Supported by increased container volumes, the port of Antwerp has set new records with the best half-year results ever.  During the first six months of 2018, the port handled 118.6 million tons of freight, a sharp increase of 6.5% compared with the same period last year. The container freight as the main driver experienced further rapid growth of 8.2% compared with the first six months of 2017.
 
The strong freight figures for the first quarter continued unabated in the second quarter. The container volume for its part rose by 8.2% to 66.3 million tons. In TEU, this indicates an increase of 8.3% to 5.6 million TEU. May was an all-time record month, with the port handling a peak container volume of more than 1 million TEU.
As informed, growth was experienced on all trade routes, both on the import and on the export side. Trade with Europe was the strongest, rising by 14.2%, thanks in part to Antwerp being able to win back transshipment freight which last year suffered a dip due to a temporary shortage of dock labor.
 
Furthermore, the number of cars shipped through Antwerp grew by 1.4%. Together with the 6.5% rise in the number of utility vehicles, this resulted in a 5.2% growth in the total RoRo volume, to 2.7 million tons.  Conventional breakbulk for its part got off to a good start at the beginning of the year but then declined by 6.5% by the end of the first half of the year.  In addition, liquid bulk experienced very strong growth of 6.1% in the first six months of this year.  Dry bulk for its part expanded by 3.1% compared with the same period in 2017.
 
A total of 7,210 seagoing ships called at the port of Antwerp during the past six months, up 1% on the same period last year. The gross tonnage of the ships arriving in port rose by 0.3%, taking the total to nearly 208 million GT.
  • World Maritime News
 
BW LPG to Nominate Three Directors to Dorian LPG Board
 
Oslo-based BW LPG has submitted the names of three director candidates to stand for election at Dorian LPG’s 2018 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.  The company said it intends to file a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, accompanied by a WHITE proxy card, in connection with Dorian’s 2018 Annual Meeting.
 
The move was made as a part of BW LPG’s takeover takeover attempt of Dorian. On May 29, 2018, BW LPG proposed to combine with Dorian in an all-stock transaction, under which Dorian shareholders would have received 2.05 BW LPG shares for each Dorian share.  After its initial proposal got rejected, the company increased its all-stock proposal to combine with Dorian on July 9, under which Dorian shareholders would receive 2.12 BW LPG shares for each Dorian share.  Martin Ackermann, BW LPG Chief Executive Officer explained that, due to Dorian’s continued refusal to engage with the company on the proposed combination, BW LPG have decided to go directly to shareholders with their director nominees, namely, Baudoin Lorans, Ouma Sananikone and Jeffrey Schwarz.
 
Based on BW LPG’s current price of NOK 34.06 per share and an NOK/USD exchange rate of 8.13 as of July 13, 2018, BW LPG’s proposal to combine with Dorian values each Dorian share at USD USD 8.88 per share, representing a 28% premium to Dorian’s unaffected share price of USD USD 6.96 as of May 25, 2018, the last trading day prior to the announcement of BW LPG’s initial proposal, and a premium of 19% to the long-term historical exchange ratio of Dorian and BW LPG since Dorian’s IPO.
  • World Maritime News
 
Vote Leave: Brexit campaign 'broke electoral law' in referendum
 
Brexit campaign group Vote Leave has been fined £61,000 and referred to the police after an Electoral Commission probe said it broke electoral law.  The investigation found "significant evidence of joint working" between the group and another organisation - BeLeave - leading to it exceeding its spending limit by almost £500,000.
Vote Leave also returned an "incomplete and inaccurate spending report", with almost £234,501 reported incorrectly, and invoices missing for £12,849.99 of spending, the watchdog said.
 
BeLeave founder Darren Grimes has also been fined and referred to the police for breaking the group's spending limit by more than £665,000 and wrongly reporting the spending as his own.
 
Veterans for Britain were also found to have inaccurately reported a donation it received from Vote Leave and has been fined £250.
  • BBC News
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Headlines Monday 16th July 2018
 
Singaporean Firm Fined USD 1 Mn for Dumping Oily Waste
 
Singaporean shipping company Hai Soon Ship Management was sentenced to pay a fine of USD 1 million and serve a two-year term of probation related to water pollution.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, District of Hawaii, the company received the sentence for charges stemming from its the failure to maintain an accurate oil record book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), and false statements concerning the illegal dumping of oil contaminated bilge water at sea.
 
The company pleaded guilty to the charges on June 14, 2018. Pursuant to its plea agreement, Hai Soon Ship Management’s vessels operating in U.S. waters will be required to comply with a comprehensive environmental compliance plan that provides for regular inspections under the supervision of an independent auditor.
According to court documents and information presented in court, the company’s 3,878 gross ton oil tank vessel Hai Soon 39 provided refueling services to fishing vessels operating at sea. In October of 2017, the Chief Engineer of the Hai Soon 39, along with other engine room staff, constructed a hose in the engine room to bypass the ship’s pollution prevention equipment, including its oil water separator, and pump oily waste directly overboard.
 
The resultant discharges were never recorded in the ship’s oil record book, as required by APPS, and the Chief Engineer made false entries in the oil record book to make it appear that the discharges had been routed through the oil water separator when in fact they had not.  As part of its sentence, Hai Soon Ship Management will be placed on a two-year term of probation that includes the environmental compliance plan to ensure, among other things, that all of the ships the company operates that come to the United States fully comply with all applicable marine environmental protection requirements established by national and international laws.
  • World Maritime News
 
Drewry: Ascent of the Charter Market Is Over
 
The rapid growth of charter rates in the container shipping market is likely to be over as ocean carriers release some ships back to the open market in order to curb the impact of weak profitability.  However, shipping consultancy Drewry expects rates to remain close to their current levels over the remainder of the year.
Suspension of a number of services by carriers over the past few weeks as they scramble to fight off the red ink has seen rates drop slightly, reversing their 50 pct growth recorded in the first half of 2018.
 
“The risk of default on a charter contract rises when your customers are in the red. While we do not envision a repeat of Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy, prolonged losses do raise the chances of carriers off-hiring chartered ships upon contract expiry,” Drewry said.
As explained, the charter market is more heavily weighted towards smaller and intermediate size ships, hence the oversupply of bigger units is more isolated to trades where owned ships dominate. However, the introduction of new mega-ships during the first half does still pose a threat to the charter market as it intensifies the cascading process.
 
The shipping consultancy said that as of last week there were approximately 2,450 ships owned by non-operating owners, which with a combined capacity of 9.6 million TEU accounts for some 44 pct of the world fleet.  MSC currently has the largest pool of chartered ships with nearly 400 units aggregating 1.8 million TEU, representing approximately 57% of its total operated fleet. In contrast, PIL only charters seven units, or 6% of its fleet. Zim (72%) and Yang Ming (64%) have the highest chartered ratio of the leading carriers, Drewry’s data shows.
  • World Maritime News
 
Justine Greening calls for second Brexit referendum
 
Justine Greening has called for a second referendum, labelling the prime minister's Brexit deal a "fudge".  Writing in The Times, the former education secretary described Theresa May's proposals as "the worst of both worlds".  The final decision should be given back to the people and out of "deadlocked politicians" hands, Ms Greening said.  She states there are three options: the PM's deal, staying in the EU or a clean break from Europe with no deal.  Ms Greening, who resigned after the cabinet reshuffle in January, said the referendum should offer a first and second preference vote so that a consensus can be reached.  Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Greening said the government's proposals were a "genuine clever attempt at a compromise that could work" but "suits no-one".  The MP for Putney said: "The reality is Parliament is now stalemated. Whatever the proposal on the table, there will be MPs who vote it down. But Britain needs to find a route forward."
 
Ms Greening, who supported Remain in the EU referendum, is the highest profile ex-Cabinet minister to call for a second referendum.  She said there were other senior Conservatives who agreed with her stance, adding that people who supported Leave in the referendum would also feel the government's approach is "not what they voted for".
 
In June tens of thousands of protestors marched to demand a second vote on the second anniversary of the EU referendum Ms Greening, who grew up in Rotherham, where 68% people voted to leave the EU, said the parliamentary stalemate "risks a no-confidence vote and, worse, a Corbyn government, which would be disastrous for the economy".
 
She had previously suggested a future generation of MPs will seek to "improve or undo" Brexit if it does not work for young people.
Mrs May has ruled out a second vote, as has Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, although a number of senior Labour figures are backing the cross-party People's Vote campaign for a final vote on any exit deal.  Amid continuing divisions in the Conservative Party, the BBC understands the government is considering accepting key amendments tabled by Tory MPs opposed to Mrs May's Brexit plan, to avoid a rebellion in the House of Commons.
  • BBC News

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Headlines Friday 13th July 2018

 
Corpus Christi Books Record H1 Results as It Eyes LNG Trade
 
The Port of Corpus Christi, one of the major U.S. crude oil exporters, had a record-breaking first half of the year moving 52.2 million tons of products between January 1 and June 30, 2018.
 
This number exceeds the tonnage moved in the first half of 2017 by 926,000 tons, a 2 percent increase year over year. The port attributed the growth to a 9 percent growth in crude oil and a 2 percent increase in all other petroleum products, compared to the same period in 2017.
 
“In 2017, the port recorded its second highest year ever in tonnage, at 102.4 million tons, and we set a new record in operating revenue with USD 95.3 million. This is not an anomaly. These numbers continue to grow in 2018,” said Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the Port of Corpus Christi.
 
The increasing tonnage further solidifies the port’s push for the Channel Improvement Project (CIP), which includes dredging the ship channel from 47 feet to 54 feet and widening it to 530 feet, to accommodate larger vessels.
 
To that end, the port approved a bond resolution to issue up to USD 217 million in revenue bonds to help finance capital improvements. Aside to the USD 335 million dredging project, set to start later this year, the port plans to invest in new terminals in the Gulf of Mexico and rail infrastructure.
 
In addition, the port aims to play a larger role in the development of LNG exports from the U.S. once the deepening project is completed.
  • World Maritime News
 
MSC Cruises, Miami to Build New Cruise Terminal
 
Cruise liner MSC Cruises and Miami-Dade county reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of a new Cruise Terminal AAA at PortMiami.
The new terminal, which is expected to be completed by October 2022, will be able to accommodate MSC Cruises’ next-generation, still under construction MSC World Class cruise ships carrying up to 7,000 guests.
 
Additionally, the parties signed an agreement for extended preferential berthing rights which extends MSC Cruises’ existing Saturday preferential berthing rights also to Sundays.
 
“The new agreement and expanded partnership with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County is another key step forward in the business growth of MSC Cruises, as we continue to strengthen our global footprint, with a strategic focus on North America,” Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, said.
 
In 2017, MSC Cruises worked with PortMiami on the completion of Terminal F, home to MSC Seaside, the first MSC Cruises ship to be built specifically for North American market and the Caribbean
  • World Maritime News
 
Trump: Brexit plan 'will probably kill' US trade deal
 
Donald Trump has said the UK will "probably not" get a trade deal with the US, if the prime minister's Brexit plan goes ahead.  He told The Sun the PM's plan would "probably kill the deal" as it would mean the US "would be dealing with the European Union" instead of with the UK.  Downing Street has not yet reacted to Mr Trump's remarks.  Theresa May has been making the case for a US free trade deal with Mr Trump, on his first UK visit as president.  She said Brexit was an "opportunity" to create growth in the UK and US.
 
Mr Trump also said that former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - who disagrees with the PM on Brexit and resigned this week - would make a "great prime minister", adding "I think he's got what it takes".  After it was published, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the president "likes and respects Prime Minister May very much", adding that he had "never said anything bad about her".
 
Mr Trump - who has been a long-time supporter of Brexit - told The Sun newspaper that the UK's blueprint for its post-Brexit relations with the EU was "a much different deal than the people voted on".
 
He said the Brexit proposals Mrs May and her cabinet thrashed out at Chequers last week "would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States."
"We have enough difficulty with the European Union," he said, saying the US was "cracking down" on the EU because "they have not treated the United States fairly on trading".
  • BBC News

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Headlines Thursday 12th July 2018
 
Shanghai Salvage Starts Removing Kea Trader Debris from Reef
 
Shanghai Salvage Company (SSC) has started recovering debris from the reef where the ill-fated Kea Trader ran aground a year ago.  The operation, during which the company would remove debris detached during storms, follows completion of a new independent bathymetric survey, Lomar Shipping, the owner of the vessel, informed.
 
The survey determined current surface conditions and the precise location of debris, enabling shallow work vessels to move around the rock hard reef for divers to collect the metal fragments.
 
Airbags have been used to remove larger pieces of hull structure off the reef bed and onto the logistics support & command platform Ju Li, that is now coordinating SSC operations on site. Lomar Shipping said that this work would continue and escalate over the coming months with the return of more favourable weather.
 
The materials and debris being recovered would be recycled by local businesses in New Caledonia.  Additionally, the company informed that plans for recovering more substantive pieces of hull from the reef bed are well advanced, with the intention to mobilise new heavy resources with heavy lift capabilities – the design of which is subject to complex engineering studies and final approval by the authorities.
 
Four offshore vessels continue to work on site, whilst also monitoring the ocean for any floating debris and pollutants.  The vessel’s vertical fracture last November and subsequent storm damage released a quantity of tar balls and polyurethane insulating material, as well as pieces of containers and carpet, that washed ashore in New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands.
  • World Maritime News
 
Bulker Banned from Australian Ports for Underpaying Crew
 
The Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier MV Shandong Hai Wang has been banned from Australian ports for 12 months after it was discovered that its crew had been deliberately underpaid.
 
The ban was issued after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) surveyors found evidence on board the ship that crew had been deliberately underpaid by about AUD 56,000 (USD 41, 366) from the amount specified in their seafarer employment agreements.  The bulker was boarded by AMSA’s surveyors on July 7 following a tip from the International Transport Workers’ Federation alleging discrepancies in the payment of crew wages.
 
AMSA, which takes a zero-tolerance approach to the mistreatment of crew, detained the ship immediately for breaching the Maritime Labor Convention.  AMSA’s General Manager of Operations, Allan Schwartz, said AMSA would not tolerate ships that underpay their crew in Australia.
 
According to the maritime safety authority, as of today, all outstanding wages had been received by the crew and the ship has been released from detention this afternoon, local time.
  • World Maritime News
 
Brexit: UK's blueprint for future EU relations to be published
 
The proposals were approved by cabinet last Friday but soon led to a big political fallout
 
A long-awaited blueprint for the UK's relations with the EU will be published later, with ministers vowing to deliver a "practical and principled" Brexit.  The "comprehensive vision" for future trade and co-operation is aimed at ensuring global trade deals and no hard border in Northern Ireland.  Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said it would respect the result of the 2016 Brexit vote and address business needs.  Labour said it took "just two days" for the government's plan to unravel.
 
The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has insisted the proposals must be workable.  The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, after the 2016 referendum in which people voted by 51.9% to 48.1% for Brexit.  The two sides are negotiating outstanding issues related to its departure as well as the outline of their future relationship once a proposed transition period comes to an end, on 31 December 2020.  Both are aiming for an agreement by October, to allow enough time for the UK and European parliaments to vote on what is decided.
 
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the UK initiative needed to be compatible with EU guidelines and not create extra costs and red tape.
  • BBC News
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Headlines Wednesday 11th July 2018
 
Drewry: Container Prices to Squeeze Leasing Rate Returns
 
Container equipment rental rates and cash investment returns remain weak, despite last year’s recovery, shipping consultancy Drewry said.  Long-term lease rates for standard dry equipment leapt by over 50% in 2017, having begun their recovery the year before as the Hanjin bankruptcy left large quantities of equipment impounded and therefore out of the market. But newbuild prices rose by a similar margin, limiting cash investment returns to around 9%.
 
“With little change in lease rates anticipated over the next few years, investment returns are forecast to remain under pressure,” Andrew Foxcroft, Drewry’s lead analyst for container equipment, said.
 
With the outlook for world trade looking more promising and growth in ship capacity slowing down, transport operators and especially leasing companies have been vigorously expanding their container fleets. After expansion almost came to a halt in 2016, the container fleet grew by a robust 3.7% last year as the industry hastened to catch up with demand.
 
Prospects for the coming years are almost as good, with container production expected to be above 3.5 million TEU in all four years from 2017-20, which would be the most consistently strong production figures seen in over a decade.
  • World Maritime News
 
IRClass Starts Issuing Electronic Certificates
 
Classification society Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has started issuing electronic certificates to all of its classed vessels.  As informed, the e-certificates are available on the IRClass website through a secure platform — giving ship owners, regulators and charterers a real-time access to the latest class and statutory certificates.
 
Commenting on this initiative, Vijay Arora, Joint Managing Director of IRClass, said: “The implementation of IRClass e-certificates are expected to reduce administrative burden and document handling costs for ship owners, coupled with increasing operational efficiency.”
 
The e-certificates have a digital signature and a tracking number for online verification purposes. This allows the user to determine the validity of the certificates — to ensure that they have not been falsified or tampered with. The authenticity, originality and traceability of the e-certificates can be verified through the IRClass Verification Portal, according to the classification society.
  • World Maritime News
 
Facebook faces £500,000 fine from UK data watchdog
 
The UK's data protection watchdog intends to fine Facebook £500,000 for data breaches - the maximum allowed.  The Information Commissioner's Office said Facebook had failed to ensure another company - Cambridge Analytica - had deleted users' data.  The ICO will also bring a criminal action against Cambridge Analytica's defunct parent company SCL Elections.
 
And it has raised concerns about political parties buying personal information from "data brokers".  Specifically it named one company, used by the Labour Party, called Emma's Diary, a company that gives medical advice and free baby-themed goods to parents.  Facebook said it would respond to the report "soon".
 
The ICO also said another company - Aggregate IQ - which worked with the Vote Leave campaign in the run up to the EU Referendum - must stop processing UK citizens' data.  Kyle Taylor, director of campaigning group Fair Vote UK said "Under new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) laws, the ICO could fine Facebook £479m.  "Unfortunately, because they had to follow old data protection laws, they were only able to fine them the maximum of £500,000. This is unacceptable," he said.
 
In 2017 Facebook was fined 110m euros (£95m) by the European Commission and in the same year they imposed a fine on Google of 2.42bn euros (£2.1bn).  The action comes 16 months after the ICO began its probe into political campaigners' use of personal data following concerns raised by whistleblower Christopher Wylie, among others.
 
The ICO found that Facebook had breached its own rules and failed to make sure that Cambridge Analytica had deleted this personal data.
  • BBC News
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Headlines Tuesday 10th July 2018
 
South Carolina Ports Authority Delivers Record Box Volumes in FY 2018
 
South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has reported record container volumes handled during the 2018 fiscal year.
 
SCPA’s container throughput was 2.2 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) in FY 2018, an increase of three percent over the previous fiscal year.
What is more, the port authority saw 201,163 TEUs in June, the single highest month for container volume in SCPA’s history and a 10 percent increase over June 2017. June was a strong finish to the port’s fiscal year, which began in July.
 
As measured in pier containers, or the number of boxes that moved across the docks of SCPA’s two container terminals, the port handled 115,696 containers in June and a total of 1.25 million containers in FY2018.
 
“June container volumes were exceptional, marking the first time our port has handled more than 200,000 TEUs in a single month,” Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO, commented.
 
Established in 1942, SCPA owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. Last month, the port authority approved USD 277.6 million capital plan — the largest in SCPA’s history — for projects supporting terminal modernization, capacity increase and intermodal volume growth.
  • World Maritime News
 
Irish Ferries’ Ulysses to Remain Out of Service
 
The technical issue concerning Irish Ferries’ ship Ulysses is more serious than originally anticipated, the company informed.  The vessel is expected to be out of service for a further period of one to two weeks, the shipping group added.
 
Operated by Irish Continental Group’s (ICG) subsidiary on the Dublin / Holyhead route, Ulysses reported technical difficulties with its Starboard Controllable Pitch Propeller on June 24. The vessel entered drydock in Belfast on June 28 and the investigation and repairs to the ship were expected to take no longer than five days, allowing it to resume service on July 4.  However, the repairs have not been completed yet, according to service engineers.  “In advance of her return to service, we will adjust the schedules of our other vessels to minimise the disruption (…) The Dublin / Holyhead route will operate with the Epsilon on the Ulysses schedule alongside the Dublin Swift which will operate additional evening sailings,” Irish Ferries said.
  • World Maritime News
 
Theresa May's new-look cabinet meets amid Brexit turmoil
 
Theresa May's new-look cabinet is gathering at 10 Downing Street after a string of resignations over her Brexit strategy left her government in crisis.
 
Mrs May was forced to carry out a reshuffle of her top team after Boris Johnson and David Davis both quit.  The prime minister has warned the Tory party it must unite or face the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn in power.  Jeremy Hunt, who has replaced Mr Johnson as foreign secretary, said he would be "four square" behind her.
The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, but the two sides have yet to agree how trade will work between the UK and the EU after that.
 
The delay has been partly blamed on deep disagreements within the Conservative Party over what shape Brexit should take.
 
Essentially the arguments are about how much the UK should prioritise business interests by compromising on post-referendum promises to end free movement of people, remove the UK from the remit of the European Court of Justice, and also have an independent trade policy which allows the UK to set its own trade rules and strike its own trade deals.  Last Friday at the prime minister's country retreat at Chequers Mrs May brokered a "collective" agreement on proposals for the future relationship between the EU and UK.  However, Mr Johnson - whose departure on Monday followed that of Brexit Secretary David Davis and several junior figures - accused Mrs May of pursuing a "semi-Brexit".  In his resignation letter, he said the Brexit "dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt".
 
Mrs May later faced down backbench critics at a meeting of the 1922 committee, amid rumours they were close to getting the 48 signatures needed to trigger a no-confidence vote that could spark a leadership election.
  • BBC News
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Headlines Monday 9th July 2018
 
Star Bulk Closes Acquisition of 15 Songa Bulk Ships
 
Greece-based dry bulk shipping firm Star Bulk Carriers has closed the acquisition of 15 dry bulk vessels from Norwegian shipowner Songa Bulk.  The ships were acquired for an aggregate of 13.725 million common shares of Star Bulk and USD 145 million in cash.
 
Following the closing of the transaction, the company said that Arne Blystad will be appointed to the Board of Directors of Star Bulk as Class C Director and Herman Billung will join the management team of Star Bulk as Senior Vice President. Additionally, Songa is expected to distribute the consideration shares to its shareholders.
 
First trading day of the secondary listing of the company’s common shares on Oslo Børs is expected to take place by mid‐July.
 
The cash portion of the Songa consideration was financed through proceeds of a five‐year capital lease of USD 180 million with China Merchants Bank Leasing with a margin of 280 bps, offering USD 35 million of additional liquidity for Star Bulk.
  • World Maritime News
 
Royal Caribbean Reaches Deal on USD 700 Mn Loan
 
Miami-based cruise line Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) has entered into a USD 700 million loan agreement to finance a part of the Silversea Cruises acquisition deal.
 
The company informed that the proceeds from the 364-day unsecured term loan agreement, which was signed on June 29, would also be used to pay fees and expenses related to the acquisition.
 
In mid-June RCL said it would purchase a 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruises based on an enterprise value of approximately USD 2 billion. At the time, the company informed that the price of the equity being acquired is around USD 1 billion, adding that it plans to finance the purchase through debt.
 
The interest rate applicable to the loan deal will range from a rate equal to LIBOR plus a margin of 0.90% to 1.50% per annum or a base rate plus a margin of 0.00% to 0.50% per annum, depending on RCL’s senior debt rating.  After a 60-day grace period, and until the commitments of the lenders have terminated, RCL will pay to the lenders a ticking fee equal to a percentage ranging from 0.08% to 0.20% per annum, depending on RCL’s senior debt rating, on account of the aggregate outstanding commitments of the lenders under the loan agreement.
  • World Maritime News
 
UK to expand navy in North Atlantic amid 'growing Russian threat'
 
Britain's Armed Forces will increase their presence in the North Atlantic to meet a growing threat from Russia, the head of the Royal Navy has said.  In his first major television interview, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones told Sky News that a new Joint Area of Operations (JAO) will be created for the North Atlantic.  It will mean the region becomes a priority for the UK government allowing Royal Navy ships and RAF aircraft to be deployed to the region much more regularly.
Admiral Jones said it was in response to a growing Russian threat.
 
"This is a resurgence that has come very quickly.
 
"It is an intensifying resurgence of capability and scale that we didn't necessarily see coming maybe 10 years ago. We have had to respond to that - it is also very modern, it is very capable.
 
"The signature of their vessels, their deploy-ability, their capability is very impressive. They've clearly been investing in the research and development to be able to do this."
 
The announcement comes weeks after the United States said it would re-establish its Second Fleet in the Atlantic, also as a response to Russia.  One of its tasks will be to protect the vital undersea lines.  An estimated 97% of global communications are transmitted by fibre-optic cables that run thousands of metres below the sea, right around the world. They carry an estimated $10trn (£7.5trn) in daily financial transactions.
 
The announcement comes days before NATO leaders meet for an important summit in Brussels where President Donald Trump is expected to put more pressure on alliance members to increase their spending.
  • Sky News

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Headlines Friday 6th July 2018

 
COSCO Shipping to Sell OOIL Shares to Restore Public Float
 
COSCO Shipping Holdings Co revealed plans to sell up to 15.1 pct of the total issued share capital of Orient Overseas International Lines (OOIL).    COSCO said that the sale plan will only take place in the event the public float of OOIL falls below 25 pct as required under listing rules and to the extent that would restore public float.
 
The Chinese major plans to sell up to 94,494,789 OOIL shares at the sale price of HKD 78.6, bringing the total value of the sale to HKD 7.43 billion (USD 947 million).
 
The announcement is being made following approval from the Chinese anti-trust body for COSCO’s USD 6.3 billion takeover of OOIL at the end of June.  The approval came in the nick of time to enable COSCO to meet its previously set date for the completion of the acquisition, which was scheduled for the end of June.  Once the merger is completed, COSCO would hold 90.1% of OOIL, thus becoming the world’s third-largest container carrier. COSCO would have a combined fleet of 400 vessels, with capacity exceeding 2.9 million TEUs including orderbook.
  • World Maritime News
 
Kongsberg Buys Rolls-Royce’s Commercial Marine Business
 
UK-based engineering company Rolls-Royce has found a buyer for its Commercial Marine business and it is Norwegian technology group Kongsberg.
 
The move was announced in January this year as Rolls-Royce launched further reshuffling of its business structure, switching focus to three core businesses based around Civil Aerospace, Defence and Power Systems.  There were several market rumors on the potential buyers of the business, including those linking Finland-based technology group Wärtsilä to the purchase.  The duo have signed a sale agreement, according to which the value of the enterprise has been set at GBP 500 million (USD 661.6 million) and the net proceeds from the deal will range from GBP 350 million to 400 million.
 
The sale includes propulsion, deck machinery, automation and control, a service network spanning more than 30 countries and ship design capability. Rolls-Royce’s Ship Intelligence activities, which have seen the rapid development of technologies to enable remote and autonomous operation of commercial vessels, are also included.
Commercial Marine has approximately 3,600 employees, with the majority based in the Nordic region. In 2017, the business generated revenue of GBP 817 million with an operating loss of GBP 70 million reflected in the group’s financial results.
  • World Maritime News
 
Phones to be seized at Theresa May's Chequers Brexit talks amid cabinet plotting
 
After a night of cabinet plotting, Theresa May faces a showdown at her country retreat over the UK's position on Brexit.
Ministers will have their phones removed on arrival at Chequers in Buckinghamshire and talks will continue into the night, with the PM warning they have "a duty" to "agree the shape of our future relationship with the European Union".
 
On Thursday night, leading Brexiteers held their own private meeting to mull over a 100-page document that proposes the government's position.
The plan could see the UK remain closely aligned to rules set by Brussels on agriculture and food, potentially making it much harder to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.  Although Downing Street insisted it was "categorically untrue" the plans would make a trade deal with the US impossible.
Speaking ahead of the crunch meeting, the prime minister said: "The cabinet meets at Chequers to agree the shape of our future relationship with the European Union.  "In doing so, we have a great opportunity - and a duty. To set an ambitious course to enhance our prosperity and security outside the European Union - and to build a country that genuinely works for everyone."  Papers circulated to ministers ahead of the crunch meeting are reported to recommend that the UK should maintain a "common rulebook" with the EU for all goods, including agricultural and food products.   The document also reportedly says that "we would strike a different arrangement for services, where it is in our interests to have regulatory flexibility, recognising this will result in reduced market access".
 
In response to media reports of the proposed "facilitated customs arrangement", Tory MP Owen Paterson - who is a board member of Leave Means Leave - said it would be "a complete breach of Theresa May's manifesto commitment".
  • Sky News
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Headlines Thursday 5th July 2018
 
Stolt-Nielsen CEO: Bunker Costs Eating into Tanker Earnings
 
Belgium’s Stolt-Nielsen Limited (SNL) booked a much lower profit for the second quarter of 2018 standing at USD 9.5 million.  Compared year-on-year the net profit was halved as for Q1 2017 Stolt-Nielsen reported USD 15.7 million in profit. On a quarterly basis the drop is even bigger taking into account that the company posted USD 39.8 million in net profit for the three months ending February 31, 2018.
 
For the six-month period the net profit stood at USD 48.3 million, with revenue of USD 1,056.3 million, compared with USD 30.8 million and revenue of USD 976.5 million in the first half of 2017.
 
The second-quarter results included an USD 11.8 million impairment taken on two bitumen ships, reflecting the weak market conditions. This compares to one-time gains of USD 24.9 million from the lowering of the US federal corporate income tax rate, and USD 8.2 million from a Stolthaven joint venture from the first quarter.
 
During the quarter, the last of Stolt Tankers’ newbuildings was delivered from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding to SNL’s joint venture, NYK Stolt Tankers.
 
According to Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, the underlying operating result was in line with expectations.  “At Stolt Tankers, we have thus far successfully compensated for rising bunker prices through the bunker hedge program, but rising bunker fuel costs continue to eat into tanker earnings, as spot rates have not yet fully responded to the increased cost of bunkers,” he said.
  • World Maritime News
 
Okeanis Eco Tankers Starts Trading on Oslo Børs
 
Piraeus-based shipping group Okeanis Eco Tankers, owned by the Alafouzos family, has concluded a USD 100 million initial public offering in Oslo and started trading on July 4.
 
Law firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised the company on the oversubscribed IPO of its new eco-friendly USD 1 billion crude tanker fleet on Oslo’s Merkur Market.
 
This placement will cover Okeanis’ funding needs well into next year, the law firm added.  Okeanis’ fleet consists of three aframax and three suezmax tankers, four of which currently have time charters in place. It also has eight very large crude carriers (VLCCs) under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Ulsan yard in South Korea.
 
This is the first maritime listing by a vehicle owned by the Alafouzos family, who have been active in the shipping sector since the 1960s and the tanker market since the 1980s.
  • World Maritime News
 
Staff praised for 'brilliance' as NHS turns 70
 
There are events taking place across the country, with NHS boss Simon Stevens giving "heartfelt" thanks.  NHS staff have been praised as the institution celebrates its 70th birthday.  Chief executive Simon Stevens says the service's success is due to the "brilliance" of its 1.5 million doctors, nurses, ambulance staff, therapists, porters, caterers and others who, along with volunteers, make up the biggest care team in the world.
 
In a message recorded in an ambulance control room, Mr Stevens said: "It's a time of celebration, looking back over seven decades when we're all living a lot longer and healthier, more than 10 years extra.  
 
"We've seen amazing medical advances, whether its organ transplantations or new cures for cancer or vaccines.
 
"But the reason why the health service does so well is frankly due to the brilliance of the staff.
 
"So, although this is our birthday, today our ambulance crews, here in the ambulance control room where I'm standing, our community nurses, our midwives welcoming new babies into the world, people who are going to be visiting their GP today...
 
The day will see celebrations around the country, including thousands of Big 7Tea events to thank staff and raise awareness of NHS charities.  There will also be services at Westminster Abbey and York Minster to thank staff and patients.
  • Sky News
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Headlines Wednesday 4th July 2018
 
Completion of World’s Largest Sea Lock Delayed
 
The completion of the sea lock at the North Sea Canal entrance in IJmuiden, the Netherlands, has been delayed for 27 months.  The daeadline was moved to the end of January 2022, according to the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen.
 
Responding to the development the Port of Amsterdam said that this means that calling of larger ships at the port will be postponed as well.  “We regret this outcome of events. Since the Noordersluis lock will now remain operational longer, the accessibility of ports in the North Sea Canal Area will, in any event, not be compromised,” the port’s release reads.
 
The sea lock, which will be 500 meters long, 70 meters wide and 18 meters deep, was scheduled to be constructed by the end of 2018, when the testing phase was planned to begin. Official inauguration for commercial shipping was scheduled for 2019.
 
The new lock is designed to operate in all tides, ensuring better accessibility for the port of Amsterdam, and reducing waiting times for ships.
 
Once constructed, the IJmuiden lock would be the world’s largest lock, according to the Dutch government, allowing the next generation of bulk carriers, container ships and cruise ships that have grown in size to access the port of Amsterdam and the North Sea Canal.
  • World Maritime News
 
Accountability Flaws Could Hinder IMO’s Climate Goals
 
Several transparency and accountability flaws could hinder the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ability to deliver on its own climate goals in reducing carbon emissions, a new report by Transparency International showed.
 
The report entitled, “Governance at the International Maritime Organisation: The Case for Reform,” outlines several key policy issues and recommendations that the IMO, the United Nation’s leading shipping agency, must address in order to meet international standards for transparency, accountability, and integrity.
 
The Berlin-based non-governmental organization said that these changes are essential if the IMO is going to honour its environmental and climate mandates and reach a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 50 per cent by 2050.
 
Currently, if left unchecked, shipping emissions could grow from 2.5 percent to 17 percent by 2050. However, to limit the rise in global temperatures by one-and-a-half-degree, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, some research suggests this number must actually reach zero by 2050.
 
As the principal international body tackling shipping issues, the IMO has a significant role to play in curbing emissions. However, in its current set-up, the IMO is at risk of severely under-delivering on its targets.
  • World Maritime News
 
Vote Leave broke electoral law, Electoral Commission expected to say
 
The official Brexit campaign is expected to be found guilty of four charges of breaking electoral law, the BBC has been told.  The draft of an investigation into Vote Leave concludes it broke spending limits and failed to comply with some of the rules.  It also imposes fines as a result of its findings.  But the group's former chief executive claimed the Electoral Commission had not followed due process.
 
Matthew Elliott has submitted a 500-page dossier to the Electoral Commission rebutting the claims.  The commission said Vote Leave had taken the "unusual step" of going public having seen the draft report.  According to Vote Leave's dossier, the commission finds the campaign group:
  • made an inaccurate return of campaign expenditure
  • is missing invoices and receipts
  • failed to comply with a statutory notice
  • exceeded its spending limit
Crucially, the draft report is said to claim there was coordination between Vote Leave and a smaller campaign, BeLeave, which received a donation of more than £600,000 in the closing weeks of the referendum, after advice from the Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings.
 
For months there have been allegations that the two campaigns broke the rules by working together too closely. The electoral rules stipulate that different campaign groups can work loosely together but they must not have a "common plan".  This has always been denied by the two groups and has been investigated twice already by the Electoral Commission.
 
Vote Leave now admits there was email correspondence between the donor in question, Anthony Clake, and Mr Cummings about passing the donation onto BeLeave.
It is understood that this third investigation concludes that there was a "common plan", and therefore the law was broken.
 
A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said: "The commission has concluded its investigation and, having reached initial findings, provided Vote Leave with a 28-day period to make any further or new representations. That period ended on Tuesday 3 July.
  • BBC News
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Headlines Tuesday 3rd July 2018
 
Port of Virginia Gets Final OK for Expansion Project
 
The Port of Virginia received the final authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move ahead with the Wider, Deeper, Safer project.
 
The USACE’s report is the final federal review of the project and clears the way for the deepening and widening of the commercial shipping channels serving the Norfolk Harbor.
 
The dredging project will take the channels to 55 feet deep and widen the channels in select areas to allow for two-way traffic of ultra-large container vessels.
 
“The largest ships in the Atlantic trade are already calling Virginia, but the added depth will allow for even bigger vessels and their safe, uninterrupted passage to and from the harbor,” the port said.
 
The project will be executed in two phases. The preliminary engineering and design (USD 20 million) is the first phase and is expected to take 18-24 months and the dredging phase (USD 330 million), which has a 2024 target completion date.
 
The Army Corps’ Chief of Engineers’ report allows the project to be included in the federal Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill.
 
The report completes an effort that began in 1986, when the port was given authorization in the federal WRDA to deepen the Norfolk Harbor to 55 feet. In June 2015, the port and the Army Corps’ Norfolk District office signed the Feasibility Cost-Share Agreement and began collaborating on the Wider, Deeper, Safer effort.
  • World Maritime News
 
First power generated by offshore wind farm at heart of Trump row
 
An offshore wind farm that faced opposition from Donald Trump has generated its first power. Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off the coast of Aberdeen successfully exported to the national grid on Sunday. The power, from the first of the development’s 11 turbines to go live, was carried through 66 kilovolt (kV) subsea cabling, the first time that cabling of such capacity has been installed on a commercial offshore wind project in Scotland.
 
The generation of power was hailed as a significant milestone for the project, which faced delays including a legal challenge from Mr Trump, who claimed the turbines would ruin the views from his golf course at Balmedie. The turbines at the site are the most powerful in the world, standing 191 metres tall, with each blade 80 metres long and a 164-metre rotor that has a circumference larger than that of the London Eye. The development is expected to reach full power later in the summer. Project director Adam Ezzamel said: “We have overcome major engineering and technical challenges to achieve first power on the cutting-edge EOWDC thanks to the collective expertise of Vattenfall and our contractors MHI Vestas, Boskalis and Murphy.
 
“Our priority now is to fully commission the wind farm safely throughout the summer. “First power from EOWDC reinforces north-east Scotland’s status as Europe’s energy capital and will help establish the region as an international centre for offshore wind generation.” Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the first power was a “very significant milestone”. He said: “I congratulate the project team at Vattenfall for not only a successful installation but also their achievement in generating electricity from the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbines which, with each rotation at full power, will generate enough energy to power a home for 24 hours.”
 
Jean Morrison, chair of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, added: “The timescale between the first installation and first power is remarkable. “The techniques and innovations developed at the EOWDC will be hugely significant for the industry and should help to reduce the future costs of offshore wind. “As energy demand grows, we need to maximise the returns from our natural resources and offshore wind can help us do that.”
  • The Scotsman
 
Shipping containers located in underwater search off NSW coast
 
As many as 50 lost shipping containers have been located on the ocean floor, after falling from a container ship off the NSW coast more than a month ago.  The 268-metre Liberian-flagged ship, YM Efficiency, lost 83 containers about 30 kilometres off the coast near Port Stephens on May 31, with debris including car parts, nappies, sanitary products, yoga mats, bikes and clocks washing up around the Nelson Bay area.  Only two of the 83 containers have since washed up.
 
But the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has now said a hydrographic survey vessel employed by the ships insurers, has possibly located as many as 50 more.  The search vessel was deployed from the Port of Newcastle on June 22.  A spokeswoman from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the search had been successful so far.  "The search has identified a number of targets which may amount to as many as 50 containers, either broken apart or intact, on the sea floor within the search area."
 
Search operations are expected to be completed later this week, with poor weather suspending the search on a number of occasions.
 
Fishers in the Port Stephens have expressed concerns that a long search and clean up operation could hurt their business.  General Manger of the Newcastle Commercial Fisherman's Co-Operative Robert Gauta said if they had to continue to avoid the area where the containers were lost, they would see losses [in catches].  
"The way fishermen work, they share the grounds around, that's one less place they can go."
 
"So there's no immediate loss, but certainly going forward, if those grounds are not able to be used, there'll be a decrease in our catches going forward."
 
AMSA said its investigation found a number of deficiencies relating to the ship's safety management system, safety of navigation, and cargo storage which could have contributed to the loss of containers.  It inspected the ship for two weeks while it was unloaded in Sydney's Port Botany.
 
"AMSA found the crew were not familiar with procedures related to appropriate planning and risk assessment before navigating through heavy weather, or the applications of approved arrangement to the stowage of cargo," an AMSA spokeswoman said.  It also noted that loaded containers were stowed in slots intended for empty containers, and some containers were heavier than the weight limit for the tiers, where they were stored on the ship.
 
It found a total of 324 containers exceeded their tier weight limits set in the ships cargo securing manual.
  • ABC News

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Headlines Monday 2nd July 2018
 
Fife marine services firm wins $4m BP contract
 
Fife-based offshore services firm Briggs Marine has boosted its global growth plans after being awarded a $4 million contract from BP Exploration.
 
The project, based in Azerbaijan, will see Briggs delivering fire and rescue services at Sangachal Terminal – one of the world’s largest oil and gas sites.
 
The three-year contract is in addition to the oil spill response services throughout the Caspian, which Briggs has been providing since 1996.
 
The new project will be delivered by 108 Briggs-trained local staff, working across three locations within Azerbaijan.
 
The oil spill response services will be delivered from two locations – the main response base in capital Baku and a satellite base located 170 miles away in the Evalakh District.
 
Most of the staff will be located at the Sangachal Terminal to provide the fire and rescue services.
 
Briggs Marine commercial director Pat Diamond said: “As we look to grow globally, Asia is a key market and we are delighted to expand our established services in the region for BP Exploration.
 
“Despite having worked with BP for nearly 20 years in Baku, this is the first time we have provided fire and rescue services for them outside the UK.”
 
Meanwhile Briggs has also bolstered its presence in Liverpool following a contract award by Peel Ports worth around £2m a year.
 
The contract will see the company provide all mooring services for ships arriving and leaving the Port of Liverpool including Tranmere.
 
This follows Briggs’ 2017 investment into new 500 square metre water-side facilities in the Port of Liverpool, supporting the ongoing development of its port services, renewables and sub-marine engineering offerings in the region.
 
Mr Diamond added: “This is another step forward in our Liverpool expansion plans and builds on our growing presence around the Mersey.
 
“It’s very encouraging to see the rewards of our investment taking shape, as growth in North West England is a key part of our business strategy.
 
“With 120 Briggs staff now working in the region, we’re using our experience and track record to continue developing and building client relationships, as well as targeting new contracts.”
  • The Courier
 
Diverse propulsion options sought to make crew transfer vessels greener
 
Technology is being sought to reduce emissions and fuel performance, enhance operations and reduce maintenance needs of crew transfer vessels.
 
The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has issued a call for entries from companies and consortia interested in undertaking a study to evaluate potential technology for reducing emissions and fuel consumption that are suitable for use on offshore wind vessels.
 
“In order to implement these technologies, an understanding of the necessary infrastructure is required. The objective for the assessment part of the project is to understand the current and future technology applicable for offshore wind vessels, for example electric, hybrid-electric, liquefied natural gas, hybrid-electric, or hydrogen fuel cell hybrid-electric propelled vessels, and determine what their potential is for meeting the objectives,” said the OWA.
 
The focus of the project is expected to be on crew transfer vessels (CTV) during the operations and maintenance (O&M) phase of an offshore windfarm.
 
The OWA believes that CTVs will act as a lower cost proof-of-concept with the intention that the technology, when proven, can also be utilised by larger service operations vessels, where work is under way on other projects to reduce their emissions and fuel consumption. “The O&M phase is more suited to long-term planning and facilitating potential new infrastructure required to support new technology,” said the OWA.
 
In parallel to the technology assessment, a competition is to be run to support and accelerate the introduction of technology shown to have the potential to meet these challenges.
 
Apart from  reducing vessel emissions, fuel costs and maintenance costs, the OWA wants to understand and evaluate the cost-benefit of existing and future powering and storage technologies, particularly from other industries.
 
It also wants to derisk and accelerate the introduction of technology to reduce emissions for offshore wind by running an industry challenge or competition, and determine the infrastructure required for integrating this new technology into offshore wind operations.
  • Offshore Wind Journal
 
Hyundai Heavy Lays Off a Third of Offshore Executives
 
South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries has cut a third of the executive workforce in its offshore and engineering division, Yonhap said citing the shipbuilder.
 
The world’s biggest shipbuilder is shrinking the workforce as its orders in the sector completely dried up.
 
The decision was made only weeks after Hyundai Heavy said it decided to temporarily shut down its offshore shipyard.
 
At the time, the shipbuilding major informed that the facility would run out of work by the end of July, when it finalizes its last order secured in November 2014, and subsequently close its doors in August.
 
This would be the first time the facility shuts down since the start of operations in 1983.
 
Yonhap earlier informed that the shipyard closure will leave some 5,600 offshore workers redundant, 2,600 of which are regular employees and 3,000 are supplier workforce.
 
The shipbuilder established a task force with its labor union in an effort to devise a solution for the redundant workers. HHI informed that the union demands paid leave for workers in rotation, however, the company is considering a number of options.
  • World Maritime News
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Headlines Friday 29th June 2018
 
Cargill on the Hunt for New CO2 Reduction Technologies
 
Swiss freight trader Cargill has launched the “CO2 Challenge” which aims to find and scale new technologies capable of reducing a ship’s gross CO2 emissions by ten percent.
 
The initiative is in line with the company’s recently revealed CO2 per cargo-ton-mile reduction target of 15 percent by the end of 2020.
 
Cargill’s partners in the project are DNV GL, which will be in charge of assessing the technologies proposed and modeling potential efficiency gains, and Rainmaking, a company which specializes in start-up accelerators.
 
“The CO2 Challenge is the start of an exciting journey. By taking this innovative approach, we hope to uncover new technologies, new ideas and new ways of working to help our industry meet the challenge of decarbonization and reduce its impact on global warming. Applicants have a unique opportunity to see their product make it onto a vessel and, hopefully, into wider commercial production,” said Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s ocean transportation business.
 
The challenge is open to all businesses and entrepreneurs who have a product in need of commercial assessment, testing, investment and scaling. The application deadline is September 17, 2018.
 
The shipping industry is putting a greater focus on decarbonization in the wake of the IMO’s decision from April 2018 that the international shipping must at least halve its GHG emissions by 2050.
  • World Maritime News
​​
Sovcomflot, Novatek Forge Ties on LNG Shipping
 
Russian shipping major Sovcomflot has inked a strategic cooperation agreement with compatriot natural gas producer Novatek for the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas condensate produced at Yamal LNG and Arctic LNG 2.
 
The agreement is a continuation of the strategic partnership of the two Russian companies on developing an effective logistics model for the transportation of hydrocarbons in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, and optimizing the Arctic fleet both in terms of quantity and technical parameters.
 
The deal will also cover Novatek’s other Arctic projects, the two companies said in a joint release.
 
The duo has pioneered shipping through the Northern Sea Route and in July 2017 Sovcomflot’s Christophe de Margerie, the world’s first ice-breaking LNG tanker, became the first tanker to traverse the route unescorted.
 
Christophe de Margerie is the first in a series of 15 carriers being constructed for the Yamal LNG project by Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) under a USD 320 million shipbuilding deal signed in 2014.
 
“Our unique partnership with Sovcomflot will optimize our LNG transport model through the Arctic zone by efficiently and effectively using ice-class tankers,” Novatek’s Chairman of Management Board, Leonid Mikhelson, said.
  • World Maritime News
 
BAE Systems wins £20bn contract to build Australian warships
 
BAE Systems has been awarded a £20bn contract to build a new generation of warships for Australia.  Shares in BAE rose by more than 1% following the announcement.
 
The frigates will be built down under but the PM said the export of a British design was an "enormous boost" for the UK economy.
 
The prime minister raised the possible deal with Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull at Chequers earlier this year, and its award follows four years of high-level talks between the two countries.
 
It is part of a £112bn spending programme by the government in Canberra.
 
BAE Systems will design ships to be built in Australia.  BAE Systems chief executive Charles Woodburn said the contract reinforced the company's position as a "leading designer and builder of complex maritime platforms".
 
"I am proud that our world-class anti-submarine warfare design and our approach to transferring technology and skills to the nations in which we work is expected to contribute to the development of an enduring world-class naval shipbuilding industry in Australia," he said.
 
Mrs May said: "The sheer scale and nature of this contract puts the UK at the very forefront of maritime design and engineering, and demonstrates what can be achieved by UK industry and Government working hand-in-hand.
 
"We have always been clear that as we leave the EU we have an opportunity to build on our close relationships with allies like Australia. This deal is a perfect illustration that the Government is doing exactly that.
  • Sky News
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Headlines Thursday 28th June 2018
 
Thorco Lineage Refloated, Drifting off Raroia
 
The recently grounded general cargo ship Thorco Lineage was refloated from its resting place on the Raroia Atoll, French Polynesia, on June 27.
 
The French navy’s vessel Bougainville, which was sent to the site to assist the 16,500 dwt ship, attached a tow line to Thorco Lineage in the evening hours of June 26 and started maneuvers to free the vessel.
 
Bougainville managed to free the cargo ship from the reef, however, the salvage mission was interrupted as the towing cable broke soon after. The team made a number of failed attempts to reattach the tow line.
 
Thorco Lineage is currently drifting in the open sea, south-west parallel to the west coast of Raroia, according to a statement by French Polynesia’s High Commissioner, René Bidal. The vessel is being monitored by Bougainville.
 
Joint Rescue Coordination Center French Polynesia (JRCC Tahiti) informed that, according to its drift prediction models, Thorco Lineage should continue drifting offshore in the Southwest.
 
The team at the site managed to conduct an underwater inspection, discovering damage on the hull and the ship’s propeller, but there were no signs of pollution. The ship is believed to be suitable for several days of towing.
  • World Maritime News
 
GoodBulk Shelves IPO Plans
 
GoodBulk, Monaco-headquartered bulker owner and operator, informed that it has postponed its proposed initial public offering (IPO) due to adverse market conditions.
 
The company revealed its IPO plans at the beginning of June and was aiming to raise USD 140 million by listing its common shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
 
Under the plan, GoodBulk was going to offer a total of 8.5 million common shares at a price between USD 15.50 to USD 17.50 per common share. The underwriters would have been also given the option to purchase up to 1,275,000 additional common shares.
 
The net proceeds from the IPO, together with cash on hand and additional borrowings, were intended for the cash portion of the purchase price of up to five secondhand Capesizes.
 
The bulker owner did not specify when the plan might be resumed, explaining that it would depend on the market developments.
  • World Maritime News
 
Brexit: May warned over 'disappointing' progress in talks
 
Mrs May will address EU leaders at a working dinner.  Theresa May has been warned that time is running out to secure a Brexit deal as she prepares to face the other 27 EU leaders at a summit in Brussels.
 
The PM will brief all her counterparts for the last time before October, when both sides hope a deal will be done on the UK's March 2019 departure.
But Irish leader Leo Varadkar said the lack of progress was "disappointing".
 
He said he expected fellow leaders to send a "strong message" to Mrs May that talks had to "intensify".
 
The prime minister, who has been under unrelenting pressure at home within her own party, has called her cabinet together for what has been billed as a make-or-break meeting at Chequers on 6 July to agree the UK's blueprint for its future relations with the EU.
 
Divisions over the UK's customs arrangements after December 2020, when the transition period agreed with the EU is due to end, have yet to be resolved, as have arguments over the future movement of goods and people across the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
 
With less than nine months to go before the UK's scheduled exit, leading businesses have said the time has come for clarity and issued warnings about the impact on jobs of leaving the EU without an agreement.
  • BBC News
 
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Headlines Wednesday 27th June 2018
 
Rotterdam Recovers Most of Oil Spilled from Bow Jubail
 
Most of the heavy fuel oil (HFO) that was spilled from the chemical tanker Bow Jubail at the Port of Rotterdam had been cleared by June 26, the port authority informed.
 
Namely, some 150 tonnes of the 217 tonnes of spilled oil had been cleared by Tuesday morning and it is expected that the clean-up operations will continue for several more days. Six special oil spill response vessels are deployed at the affected area for clean-up operations.
 
A washing facility has been operational in Geulhaven since Sunday evening to clean the over 50 inland vessels, with some 8 vessels being cleaned so far. Additionally, a washing facility for sea-going vessels opened on Monday afternoon near buoy 66 in the Botlek area. The first sea-going vessel has been cleaned and has continued on its voyage. A further 14 contaminated sea-going vessels still need to be cleaned, the port said in a statement.
 
“After cleaning the port water and the vessels, a start will be made to clean up the contaminated port infrastructure, including jetties, slopes, banks and embankments. This is expected to take at least several weeks,” the Port of Rotterdam Authority added.
 
The spill occurred on June 23 after the 37,499 dwt tanker, operated by Odfjell, collided with a jetty while it was on its way to the assigned berth for loading. The initial incident ruptured the ship’s hull. The tanker was not loaded with cargo at the time of the incident, and there were no reports of injuries to the personnel.
  • World Maritime News
 
Skangas Fuels Its First Ship with Liquefied Biogas
 
Skangas has supplied Furetank’s chemical/product tanker M/T Fure Vinga with liquefied biogas (LBG), representing the company’s first delivery of this renewable and environmentally friendly fuel to a marine company.
 
The fueling took place at the Port of Gothenburg, transferring the fuel directly from a tanker truck to the ship. The Swedish LBG was delivered to Furetank’s ship from Skangas’ parent company Gasum’s biogas facility in Lidköping.
 
The Fure Vinga was delivered from the shipyard in April this year and is one of two vessels in Furetank’s fleet powered by liquefied gas.
 
Together with partners, Furetank is building five further sister vessels to the Fure Vinga, all of which will be dual-fuel and can be powered by LBG when the fuel is available. The vessels will be trading in North Europe and will benefit from Skangas’ LNG supply network in the region, according to the company.
 
Further to the environmental benefits of using LNG instead of conventional bunker oils, LBG is also 100% renewable with no CO2 emissions. For running the engine, LBG has similar or better characteristics compared with LNG, Skangas said.
 
“Running vessels on liquefied natural gas is our contribution to a more environmentally friendly environment. We will, however, contribute by increasing the sustainability. Using liquefied biogas was a natural step in this direction,” Lars Höglund, CEO of Furetank, noted.
  • World Maritime News
 
Unions join business leaders to demand urgency in Brexit talks
 
TUC and CBI release rare joint statement as cabinet tensions flare into the open over issue
 
British and European trade unions and business organisations have joined forces to demand that “pace and urgency” be injected into the Brexit talks as complaints about the lack of progress made in negotiations intensified ahead of this week’s EU summit.
 
The TUC and the CBI released a rare joint statement with their continental counterparts calling for “measurable progress”, a day after the car industry called for a Brexit deal that delivers “single market benefits” and cabinet tensions over the issue flared into the open.
 
The workers’ and business organisations said: “We are calling on the UK government and the EU to inject pace and urgency in the negotiations, bringing about measurable progress, in particular a backstop arrangement to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
 
Earlier on Tuesday, car manufacturers said there would be no “Brexit dividend” for the industry, with investment in the sector and thousands of jobs being put at risk unless the government rethinks its red lines in negotiations.
 
Ministers have been forced on the defensive since the end of last week after Airbus and BMW said jobs in the UK were at risk if manufacturers could not easily import components from the EU after Brexit. But the CBI and TUC said their concern spread further, to 23 industrial sectors which want “regulatory alignment” post divorce.
 
They range from banking and financial services, through to energy, broadcasting and professional services all of which seek mutual recognition of each other’s regulatory systems post Brexit. Such agreement was of “utmost importance”, said the TUC and CBI in remarks approved by Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, and Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI director general.
 
May tried to allay some of the concerns on Tuesday by saying it is “right that we listen to the voice of business”, in a corporate summit sponsored by the Times, as she also attempted to counter some of anti-business remarks made by other cabinet colleagues over the last few days.
 
Labour accused the government of botching Brexit “by bickering amongst themselves” rather than “negotiating a sensible deal with the EU”.
 
BMW, which employs 8,000 people in the UK, said it needed to know by the end of the summer what the Brexit strategy was as that was when key decisions would be made.
  • The Guardian
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Headlines Tuesday 26th June 2018
 
Oldendorff Confirms Order for Bulker Duo at Oshima
 
German shipping company Oldendorff Carriers has confirmed an order for two more Kamsarmax bulkers ordered earlier from Japanese shipbuilder Oshima Shipbuilding.
 
Although the price details related to the newbuilding contract have not been disclosed, each of the two vessels is estimated to be worth USD 31.1 million, VesselsValue’s data shows.
 
The data further suggests that the bulkers will be named Diane Oldendorff and Dietrich Oldendorff and will each feature a length of 235 meters and a width of 38 meters.
 
Oshima Shipbuilding will deliver the two 100,000 dwt units, along with another three 62,000 dwt Ultramaxes, during the first half of 2020. The company said that Oshima designs are setting new benchmarks in terms of low fuel consumption.
 
The company said that the newbuilding options increased its orderbook, and Olderndorff now expects to receive another 21 eco bulk carrier newbuildings from yards in Japan and China Between end 2018 and mid-2020. These units were mostly ordered between 2015 and 2017 at historically attractive prices.
  • World Maritime News
 
Quijano: We Have Had to Come Out of Our Shell
 
Since the inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal on June 26, 2016, the waterway has broken numerous records, including monthly and annual tonnage volumes.
 
The USD 5.4 billion expansion project has seen the construction of a new set of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the waterway, creating a second lane of traffic and doubling the cargo capacity of the canal.
 
The Neopanamax locks have allowed much bigger ships to transit the canal, tripling the size of boxships that can fit into the locks, and doubling the size of bulk carriers and passenger vessels that can use the waterway.
 
The expanded project has paved the way for a rise of shipping traffic to the U.S. East Coast and opened up an opportunity for new trades to use the canal such as LNG.
Just last month, the newly constructed cruise ship Norwegian Bliss made headlines as it became the largest passenger ship to squeeze through the expanded locks, only a month after the canal authority announced the passage of three LNG carriers through the locks in a single day.
 
Now that the canal is celebrating the second anniversary since the opening of its third set of locks, World Maritime News sat down with Mr. Jorge Quijano, Administrator of the Panama Canal, to discuss the emerging trade trends at the canal and priorities for the future.
  • World Maritime News
 
Scrapping Trident need not cost Scottish jobs, new study shows
 
THE Faslane-based nuclear weapons deterrent could be disarmed without massive job losses, according to an independent report published today.
 
The Nuclear Education Trust, a think-tank and charity, says their conclusion is drawn from evidence from defence diversification projects around the world.
 
The report recommends that workers and communities must take the lead in making decisions for moving away from Trident "but a broad partnership involving all stakeholders is necessary for success".
 
It said political support for "diversification" must come from national, regional and local levels and suggested timelines to organise and plan for the move ranged from three to five years as a minimum
 
Funding must be available not just for putting a plan into action but for organising, analysis of the situation, planning and then implementation, the charity said.
The report is launched in Parliament at 4pm on Tuesday.
  • The Herald
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Headlines Monday 25th June 2018
 
Maersk’s Feeder Rescues 113 Migrants off Italy
 
Maersk Line’s feeder containership Alexander Maersk picked up 113 people from a boat off southern Italy, at around 4:30 am CET Friday morning, Maersk Line’s spokesperson confirmed to World Maritime News.
 
The ship was underway from Al Khoms, Libya to Malta when it received a request from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Rome, Italy to change its course to assist in a search and rescue operation, late Thursday evening, June 21, Maersk Line said.
 
As a result, the Danish-flagged ship was directed towards Sicily and is currently waiting for further instructions from authorities.
 
“The vessel is receiving timely support from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, who Saturday evening disembarked five persons from the vessel, mainly children and one pregnant woman, and delivered supplies to the vessel such as blankets and food,” the company statement reads.
 
The shipping industry is directly affected by migrants at sea, especially taking into account that under SOLAS, the captains of merchant vessels are required to rescue individuals in distress at sea. As prescribed, these individuals should be transferred to a safe port.
 
However, as indicated on numerous occasions, commercial ships are not equipped neither are the crews trained to undertake large-scale rescues or keep migrants on board for long time.
 
Since the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean escalated three years ago, over 50,000 people have been rescued by merchant ships, with many more rescued by military vessels and boats operated by humanitarian NGOs.
 
According to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) a further 3,000 migrants lost their lives during 2017.
  • World Maritime News Staff
 
GasLog Lays Keel for Its New LNG Carrier at SHI Yard
 
Monaco-based ship owner and operator GasLog held a keel laying ceremony for its new liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier at Samsung Heavy Industries’ shipyard on June 18.
 
The new unit will feature a capacity of 180,000 m3, XDF propulsion with a 0.07% boil off rate and reliquefaction, GasLog informed.
 
The company added that the new LNG carrier, which will have a length of 280 meters and a beam of 26.2 meters, is scheduled for delivery in July 2019.
 
GasLog placed the order for the unit in September 2016. At the time, the company said that it signed a time charter party with UK-based utility company Centrica to charter the vessel for a period of seven years, starting from the second half of 2019.
 
Data provided by Vessels Value shows that the LNG carrier has a market value of USD 191.2 million.
  • World Maritime News
 
SNP insists it has an 'open ear' to calls for a second Brexit referendum
 
THE SNP has said it has an “open ear” to a potential second referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, while continuing to fall short of backing one outright.
 
Ian Blackford, the party’s Westminster leader, insisted its priority was making sure Scotland could stay in the single market and customs union, but added it was "watching developments" over the prospect of another EU vote.
 
He said a hard Brexit would signal a "clear road map towards a second independence referendum that for me would be the priority".
 
It comes as SNP Brexit minister Michael Russell said he was “absolutely not hostile” to a second vote on any future deal, but suggested the result in Scotland would need to be respected.
 
He told the BBC: “There will have to be a vote at some stage. The question is what vote and when, and how it’s going to be achieved, and presently we don’t have answers to that.”
 
Mr Blackford said the SNP was not “in all circumstances diametrically opposed” to a further referendum, adding: “We have an open ear to developments on that front, but for us it's the priority of staying in the single market and the customs union that's most important."
 
He argued that if the UK Government did not listen to the SNP's "power grab" concerns over its Brexit legislation, then an independence vote could follow and the Scottish Government had a mandate.
 
As Theresa May narrowly won another crunch vote on the Government's European Union (Withdrawal) Bill last week, Mr Blackford branded the Prime Minister "very weak", adding "at some point that luck will run out".
  • The Herald
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Headlines Friday 22nd June 2018
 

EU Looking Into Qatar Petroleum’s Long-Term LNG Deals

The European Commission has launched an investigation into long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply agreements between seaborne gas supplier Qatar Petroleum, five of its LNG subsidiaries, and European importers.

The inquiry is to determine whether these deals have hindered the free flow of gas within the European Economic Area (EEA), in breach of EU antitrust rules.

The Commission will investigate whether Qatar Petroleum’s agreements of 20 and 25 years for the supply of LNG into the EEA contain direct and/or indirect territorial restrictions. In particular, certain terms and conditions in these agreements appear to, directly or indirectly, restrict the EEA importers’ freedom to sell the LNG in alternative destinations within the EEA.

Qatar Petroleum stressed that it “gives the highest importance to compliance with regulatory authorities in all geographical areas in which it operates.”

  • World Maritime News

 

Golar LNG Gets USD 200 Mn from Hilli Episeyo Financing

Owner and operator of LNG carriers Golar LNG has secured USD 200 million in additional liquidity as part of a debt financing deal related to the Hilli Episeyo.

Namely, the company has repaid the USD 640 million drawn under the USD 700 million construction financing facility and drawn down on the post acceptance USD 960 million lease financing facility provided by CSSC Leasing.

After the closing an additional USD 320 million of liquidity has been received by Golar. The net increase in liquidity to Golar after settling remaining Hilli Episeyo capital commitments as well as amounts due to minority (10.89%) shareholders Keppel and Black and Veatch as a result of the debt draw down, is expected to be USD 200 million, according to the company.

The transactions were undertaken on the back of the commercial acceptance of Hilli Episeyo, the world’s first FLNG vessel that has been developed as a conversion project from an LNG carrier, on June 4.

The drop down of 50% of the base tolling income to Golar LNG Partners is expected to be concluded shortly. The additional added contribution of some USD 82 million in effective EBITDA and effective EBITDA backlog of USD 650 million, given the 8 year contract term, will significantly strengthening the MLP’s financial position and supporting the distribution going forward.

  • World Maritime News

 

Airbus plans UK job cuts amid fears of hard Brexit impact

No-deal scenario directly threatens future in the UK, says Airbus COO Tony Williams

Airbus has confirmed it is considering cutting thousands of jobs in the UK as it starts to “press the button on crisis actions” over concerns about Brexit.

The company said it could ditch plans to build aircraft wings in British factories over concerns that EU regulations will no longer apply from March 2019 and uncertainty over customs procedures, instead opting to transfer production to North America, China or elsewhere in the EU.

Airbus, which directly employs 14,000 people at 25 sites in Britain and supports more than 100,000 jobs in the wider supply chain, also said a no-deal scenario would lead to “catastrophic” consequences, which could cost the company billions of pounds in delays. The firm also said it was considering stockpiling billions of pounds of parts to prepare for disruption.

In a risk assessment of the Brexit process published on Thursday, Airbus, which generates £1.7bn in UK tax revenues, gave a damning analysis of Britain leaving the EU without a deal. It said leaving the single market, and the customs union and the European court of justice would heavily disrupt its supply chain.

The risk assessment said operating under WTO rules could cost the company billions of pounds every week in loss of turnover and delay penalties. In the event of a no deal, the aerospace firm said it would be forced to reconsider its footprint in the UK, putting thousands of high-skilled jobs at risk.

In what the company called an “orderly” Brexit scenario with an agreement and transition period, the aerospace giant warned the current transition endpoint of December 2020 did not give the business enough time to reconfigure its supply chain and was likely to cause production disruption.

  • The Guardian
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Headlines Thursday 21st June 2018
 
 
California Unveils Plan to Cut Emissions, Protect Whales
 
Partners in an initiative to cut air pollution and protect whales announced the launch of the 2018 incentive program, which will start July 1 and end November 15, 2018, with voluntary vessel speed reduction (VSR) zones in the Santa Barbara Channel region and San Francisco Bay area.
 
For the 2018 program, financial incentives will be awarded to shipping companies based on the percent of distance traveled by their vessels through the VSR zones at 10 knots or less and with an average speed that does not exceed 12 knots.
 
The 10 knot target was selected by the partnership for consistency. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sanctuaries request vessels 300 gross tons or larger to slow down to 10 knots or less during the months of peak whale abundance to protect whales from lethal ship strikes.
 
Shipping companies will receive financial awards at different tiers based on their fleet’s adherence to the program criteria.
 
“Reducing vessel speeds greatly reduces emissions of smog-forming pollutants, and will help our District attain state and federal air quality standards for ozone (smog),” Mike Villegas, Air Pollution Control Officer at Ventura County Air Pollution Control District VCAPCD, said.
  • World Maritime News
 
Hamburg, Rotterdam Ports Launch Digital Cooperation
 
The Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) and the Rotterdam Port Authority have entered into a digital cooperation to improve operational processes.
 
From now on, both ports will exchange relevant data through a digital interface so that shipping companies can steer their ships more efficiently and terminals can optimize their resource planning.
 
The joint project was launched at the beginning of 2018 and, as of recently, the HVCC and the Rotterdam Port Authority exchange data directly via IT systems. The information pertains to planned and actual arrival and departure times for ships coming from or heading to either Hamburg or Rotterdam.
 
According to HHLA, this direct line of communication improves the basis for planning for both ports as well as for the shipping companies that use these ports, thus ensuring the ability to react quickly in the case of schedule changes. For instance, whenever shipping companies can allow their ships to travel slower – which may be due to, for example, dispatching issues at the arrival port – the ensuing bunker consumption is reduced, which in turn leads to cost savings and decreases the environmental impact.
 
The digital cooperation is achieved through an interface, which links the HVCC software with the PRONTO platform used in Rotterdam. This allows for the real-time exchange of data along the lines of the Port Call Standard of the International Harbour Masters’ Association (IHMA).
 
As explained, this is particularly useful considering the ships’ relatively short travel time of approximately 24 hours between Hamburg and Rotterdam. Without central management, communication takes place via emails, which makes it more time-consuming — the information regarding delays at a terminal in the departure port is often first given to the shipping company or its local agents and is then transferred to the central planner of the shipping company, who then informs all upcoming arrival ports.
  • World Maritime News
 
Brexit: Theresa May vows 'smooth and orderly' EU exit
 
Theresa May has welcomed the passing of the Brexit bill through Parliament as "a crucial step" in delivering a "smooth and orderly Brexit".
 
Peers accepted the amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill sent to them from the House of Commons, meaning the bill now goes for Royal Assent, becoming law.
The vote passed 319 to 303 after would-be Tory rebel MPs were given assurances they would have a meaningful say.
 
The PM said more detail on the UK-EU's future relationship will be given soon.
 
Mrs May said: "Today's votes show people in the UK, and to the EU, that the elected representatives in this country are getting on with the job, and delivering on the will of the British people."
 
The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 and negotiations have been taking place over the terms of its departure.
 
Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg told Sky News Mrs May would now attend a summit of EU leaders next week "with full strength, with the ability to say the legislation to leave the EU, under EU law and UK law, is now fully in place".
  • BBC News
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Headlines Tuesday 19th June 2018
 

MOL Steps Further into Subsea Support Vessel Business

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is moving further into the subsea support vessel business as it decided to buy a stake in Norwegian AKOFS Offshore AS.

As informed, MOL and Mitsui & Co have entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire shares in AKOFS Offshore AS, which is owned by Aker Group’s Akastor ASA.

“After in-kind contribution of the company of owner and leasing the subsea support vessel, Skandi Santos, which MOL, Mitsui & Co., and AKOFS are jointly operating since November 2016, MOL’s acquisition amount will be about JPY 8 billion,” the company said.

The move will enable MOL to become more involved in the operation and ship management of subsea support vessels, as explained by the company.

  • World Maritime News

 

Carnival Corp, Bellona Join Forces in Sustainability Deal

Miami-based cruise ship giant Carnival Corporation & Plc and the Bellona Foundation have signed an agreement of cooperation where the parties agree to work together to continue improving environmental and sustainability impact.

The newly formed cooperation is based on their shared vision of an even more sustainable cruise industry in a future zero emission society.

“Sustainable operations is a top priority for our business, and as the world’s largest cruise company, our global cruise line brands have taken and continue to take a leadership role for sustainable tourism,” Michael Thamm, Group CEO, Costa Group & Carnival Asia for Carnival Corporation, said.

“Working together with leading environmental NGOs such as The Bellona Foundation will help us to achieve our vision to provide our guests with extraordinary vacation experiences while meeting and often exceeding our environmental commitments.”

The agreement’s overall purpose is to contribute to and promote sustainable operations in the shipping industry. The arrangement will focus on solutions, regulations and legislation favouring the use of environmentally friendly vessels for the benefit of the environment, local destinations and the travellers.

  • World Maritime News

 

Tory rebels not trying to collapse government over Brexit, says MP

Conservative rebels are not trying to “collapse the government” but a “meaningful vote” before leaving the EU may help to avoid a crisis moment, the leading pro-European backbencher Dominic Grieve has said.

Ministers are preparing for another Commons showdown over an amendment to give MPs a meaningful vote even if the government fails to reach a Brexit deal, after the Lords passed an amendment in a landslide vote on Monday night.

Peers voted in favour of a new amendment, devised by Grieve and tabled by Viscount Hailsham, by a significantly bigger margin than the last time the issue was debated.

The wording is based on the deal Grieve believed he had struck with the solicitor general, Robert Buckland, in order to avert a government defeat in the Commons by pro-EU Tories last week.

Rebels say agreed wording was changed at the last minute to give MPs a vote only on “neutral terms”, which would give MPs no power to halt a cliff-edge Brexit.

Grieve said the new amendment was “a mechanism by which the House of Commons could express a view, without moving to a motion of no confidence, which could collapse the government.

Several MPs have suggested Grieve’s amendment is unnecessary. The Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat said MPs would be “looking for a new government” if the current one failed to deliver a Brexit deal that could pass the Commons.

Grieve said he hoped a compromise deal could be agreed with the government before the vote on the amendment on Wednesday, but it was “complete nonsense” to suggest the government could fall if Theresa May lost the vote.

Rebel Tories have insisted the prime minister had personally promised them that she would listen to their concerns about MPs having a meaningful say in the event of no deal with the EU.

Under the new amendment passed by the lords, ministers must update parliament by 21 January if there is no prospect of a deal with the EU and then have two weeks to return to the Commons with a statement on how the government plans to proceed. MPs would then be given a vote on whether to approve the action in statement.

  • The Guardian
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Headlines Monday 18th June 2018
 

Dorian LPG Says No to BW LPG’S Takeover Bid

U.S.-based gas carrier owner and operator Dorian LPG has rejected a takeover bid from Singapore-based counterpart BW LPG.

The stock-for-stock transaction would have created an owner and operator of 73 vessels, including 70 VLGCs, and 3 LGCs, with an aggregate fleet capacity of 6 million cubic meters.

After a consultation with financial and legal advisers, Dorian LPG’s Board of Directors decided that the USD 1.1 bn offer ‘undervalues Dorian on both an absolute- and relative-value basis’.

Dorian LPG added that the BW LPG’s proposal doesn’t recognize the value of Dorian’s younger, more fuel-efficient ships, the company’s superior commercial performance and forces shareholders to accept equity in a more highly-leveraged combined company.

  • World Maritime News

 

DryShips Sells Two Panamax Veterans

Greek shipowner DryShips is steaming ahead with its fleet rejuvenation strategy and shedding of older tonnage.

The latest move has seen the diversified owner sell two of its older Panamax drybulk carriers, built in 2002. The duo fetched a gross sales price of USD 18.8 million.

The vessels are scheduled for delivery to their buyers during the third quarter of 2018.

The move comes on the heels of DryShips’ announced purchase of two younger ships worth USD 93.8 million.

The duo is comprised of a 2013-built Newcastlemax and a 2017-built Suezmax tanker and if the transaction goes ahead will be bought from entities affiliated to George Economou, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. The purchase price included the associated bank debt of USD 50.3 million.

DryShips said that the transaction is expected to close in June 2018.

Following the recent Panamax sale, the company’s drybulk fleet will comprise 21 ships, including 11 Panamaxes, five Newcastlemax and five Kamsarmax drybulk vessels.

The company also owns a very large crude carrier, two Aframax and two Suezmax tankers, four Very Large Gas Carriers and six Offshore Support Vessels.

  • World Maritime News

 

NHS funding: Brexit dividend ‘won’t be enough’ for £20bn boost

The government will not reveal how a £20bn funding boost to the NHS is being funded until the autumn budget - but savings through Brexit will not be "anything like enough" to pay for it.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also said money could also be raised through taxes and expected economic growth.

It comes after Theresa May said the NHS funding boost would be partly funded by a so-called "Brexit dividend". Labour's John McDonnell called the funding model "not credible".

The UK prime minister announced at the weekend that the NHS budget would rise by 3.4% a year on average over the next five years.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Hunt said the "exact details" of how the increase would be funded "will be announced in the budget".

 

  • BBC News
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Headlines Friday 15th June 2018
 
Schulte Group Launches New Maritime Fund Manager
 
German shipping company Schulte Group has launched a new maritime fund manager, Hanseatic Capital Management (HCM).
 
The fund manager has an investment focus on maritime real assets, specifically merchant vessels.
 
HCM will concentrate on a commercially balanced employment strategy, which will include both shorter and period charters, depending on the vessel segments.
 
The first fund to be launched, Hanseatic Fund VCIC Plc, aims to initially raise USD 120 million.
 
Applying a strong focus on investor protection at all times, its investment goal is on Handysize and Supramax bulk carriers and feeder-sized container vessels aged between four and 15 years. Other types of tonnage or different sizes will be considered as well.
 
Hanseatic Fund VCIC Plc will be regulated as an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in line with the relevant EU directives.
 
The units of the Hanseatic Fund VCIC Plc also qualify as an eligible investment for the ‘Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by exception’, issued by the Republic of Cyprus. It therefore offers an investment opportunity in an asset class with great scope for diversification, which previously was not available under this scheme.
  • World Maritime News
 
MSC Cruises Orders One More Meraviglia Ship
 
MSC Cruises has unveiled an order for the construction of a fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship.
 
The cruise company signed the order with French shipbuilder STX France on June 14, 2018.
 
The announcement was made at a ceremony held at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard where the duo celebrated three shipbuilding milestones – the steel cutting ceremony of the second Meraviglia-Plus class vessel MSC Virtuosa, the coin ceremony of MSC Grandiosa and the float out of MSC Bellissima.
 
The newly-ordered Meraviglia class vessel brings the number of MSC Cruises’ LNG-powered ships on order to five.
 
Three MSC Cruises’ ships are now under simultaneous construction at STX France as the construction on MSC Virtuosa has begun.
 
“Our fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship will bring a new generation of (…) environmental technology to the market, benefiting from a new generation of LNG-powered engines. This will help us further reduce our environmental footprint and advance in our journey of constant improvement. She will be joined at sea by up to four World Class LNG-powered ships, as part of our overall commitment to environmental stewardship through this and other next-generation technologies and solutions deployed fleet-wide,” Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, commented.
 
As informed, the agreement for the additional Meraviglia-Plus ship represents an additional investment of EUR 900 million.
  • World Maritime News

 

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Headlines Thursday 14th June 2018
 
Panama Canal Ups Maximum Draft for Neopanamax Locks
 
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) increased the maximum allowable draft for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks on June 13.
 
The maximum authorized draft for vessels transiting these locks was set at 14.94 meters tropical fresh water (TFW).
 
The ACP informed that vessels arriving with drafts over 14.94 meters TFW may be allowed to transit depending on the actual level of Gatun Lake at the time of transit.
 
Otherwise, they will be required to trim or off-load cargo in order to be allowed to transit.
 
The changes were made following the recent rainfall in the canal watershed, which increased the levels of Gatun and Alhajuela Lakes considerably in the preceding days.
 
The ACP will continue to monitor the level of Gatun Lake in order to announce any future draft modifications in a timely manner.
  • World Maritime News
 
Shipping Industry Worried over Italy’s Migrants Policy
 
European shipowners have raised concerns after Italy recently refused a humanitarian ship to disembark rescued persons in Italian ports, according to ECSA.
 
“We realise that Mediterranean states like Italy, Spain and Malta have been under huge pressure in the past years receiving so many migrants and the burden of incoming migrants should be better shared,” Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary General, said.
 
“However, we find it unacceptable that ships carrying migrants are turned away from ports. Also merchant ships can be called upon for assisting with the rescue of migrants. In accordance with international conventions, the Captain has a legal obligation to help people in distress at sea, and will of course honour these commitments when needed. However, commercial ships are not equipped neither are the crews trained to undertake large-scale rescues or keep migrants on board for long time,” Dorsman explained.
 
The certainty that migrants can be disembarked as soon as possible is crucial for the safety and well-being of the migrants and the seafarers, ECSA informed.
 
“The shipping industry is directly affected by migrants at sea. Whereas the number of migrants rescued from the sea has gone down from the peak-year of 2015, merchant vessels are still often involved in the Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in central, western and eastern Mediterranean.”
  • World Maritime News
 
Immigration rules to be relaxed for non-EU doctors and nurses
 
The government is to relax immigration rules to allow more non-EU skilled workers into the UK.
 
On Friday, the Home Office is expected to confirm that foreign doctors and nurses will be excluded from the government's visa cap.
 
The cap - introduced by Theresa May when she was home secretary - sets a limit for all non-EU skilled workers at 20,700 people a year.
 
But NHS bosses say the rules are making it difficult to recruit enough staff.
 
Saffron Cordery, of trade body NHS Providers, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the change was "absolutely the right decision".
 
"This is going to be a huge relief for trusts up and down the country who have been really struggling to fill their doctors and nurses vacancies," she said.
 
Alp Mehmet, of pressure group Migration Watch, said he accepted the change but that it should not be the long-term solution.
 
"What we must not forget to do is train our own medical staff," he said, adding that the UK should not "raid other countries that need doctors and nurses a great deal more than we do".
 
The proposed changes relate to so-called Tier 2 visas - which are used by skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
 
On Tuesday, it was reported by the Financial Times that 2,360 visa applications by doctors from outside the European Economic Area were refused in a five-month period, apparently because of the cap.
 
And in April, NHS bosses warned that immigration rules were hampering their ability to find workers after visas for 100 Indian doctors were refused.
 
NHS England had 35,000 nurse vacancies and nearly 10,000 doctor posts unfilled in February.
  • BBC News
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Headlines Wednesday 13th June 2018
 
First LNG Bunkering Carried Out at Valencia Port for Baleària Ferry
 
The Port of Valencia has taken a step further in its effort to reduce emissions as the first LNG bunkering was completed for Baleària’s ferry at the port on June 9.
 
Abel Matutes was bunkered with LNG in the Turia quay at this Spanish port.
 
Gas Natural Fenosa and Baleària cooperated on this project which involved the installation of a natural gas generator as well as an LNG tank on the aforementioned vessel with the aim of reducing emissions and improving air quality.
 
The 190-meter-long ship will operate with the auxiliary natural gas engine, enabling it to reduce emissions in the ports of Valencia and Mallorca.
 
As explained, this technology on board the ship will result in an annual saving of about 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), more than 60 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 6 tons of sulfur oxide (SOx).
 
“All of these initiatives, in which Valenciaport participates actively, are aimed at reducing pollutants from port activities, as evidenced by the reduction of particles, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides achieved by the replacement of traditional fuels for LNG,” Federico Torres, Subdirector General, Port Authority of Valencia, commented.
 
Earlier this year, Baleària and Gas Natural Fenosa signed the first permanent LNG bunkering contract for ship propulsion in Spain. The supply deal will be exclusive for 10 years and will initially apply to the ports of Barcelona, Valencia and Algeciras.
  • World Maritime News
 
UK attracts £2.3bn in tech investments and 1,600 new jobs
 
Technology firms are to invest more than £2bn in the UK, creating 1,600 new jobs, Theresa May has announced.
 
Mrs May hosted a tech roundtable event where three firms announced private investment into the UK economy.
 
The prime minister also announced several government-funded initiatives to help British start-ups and attract foreign talent.
 
One initiative is a visa scheme to attract more foreign entrepreneurs.
 
The UK government is launching a £2.5bn programme to help UK companies grow and expand overseas, and it hopes to attract a further £5m in private investment for the scheme.
 
It is also starting two "tech hubs" in Brazil and South Africa, to build innovative partnerships and develop skills, capability and business networks in these markets.
 
The private sector tech investment that was announced included £1.9bn over the next five years by US cloud computing firm Salesforce. It will open its second British data centre in 2019.
 
The UAE's state-owned sovereign wealth fund Mubadala is launching a £300m European investment fund, that will be based in the UK.
 
And Japanese IT services firm NTT Data will be investing £41m to open a new office and an innovation centre that will create up to 200 jobs over the next three years.
 
UK tech industry body Tech UK said it is clear that the British government wants to stay ahead of other European countries like France in attracting tech entrepreneurs and investors.
 
"The new start-up visas are a sensible move to encourage those with good ideas to come to the UK, however, start-ups are only one part of UK tech," said TechUK's deputy chief executive Antony Walker.
 
"For many established mid-tier and larger tech companies, there remain serious concerns around Tier 2 visas.
 
"We understand that approximately 1,000 tech workers with job offers were refused visas between December 2017 and March 2018. This is a handbrake on economic growth and needs to be urgently addressed."
  • BBC News
 
Dixons Carphone admits huge data breach
 
Dixons Carphone has admitted a huge data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records.
 
It is investigating the hacking attempt, which began in July last year.
 
Dixons Carphone said it had no evidence that any of the cards had been used fraudulently following the breach.
 
There was "an attempt to compromise" 5.8 million credit and debit cards but only 105,000 cards without chip-and-pin protection had been leaked, it said.
 
The hackers had tried to gain access to one of the processing systems of Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores, the firm said.
 
Dixons Carphone shares fell more than 3% in early trading
 
The 1.2 million personal data records accessed by the hackers consisted of non-financial information such as names, addresses and email addresses.
 
Carphone Warehouse said it had no evidence that the information had left its systems or resulted in any fraud, but it was contacting those affected to advise them.
 
It added that it had brought in leading cyber-experts and added extra security measures to its systems.
 
Dixons Carphone chief executive Alex Baldock said it was "extremely disappointed" by the data breach and "sorry for any upset",
 
"The protection of our data has to be at the heart of our business, and we've fallen short here.
 
"We've taken action to close off this unauthorised access and though we have currently no evidence of fraud as a result of these incidents, we are taking this extremely seriously," he added.
  • BBC News
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Headlines Tuesday 12th June 2018
 
ABS Classes BC Ferries’ Newly Converted LNG-Fueled Ship
 
ABS has classed Spirit of British Columbia, one of BC Ferries’ two largest ferries that will use LNG as fuel.
 
The ship has finished conversion and returned to service on Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay) route.
 
“The conversion of these vessels to operate on LNG is an important milestone for BC Ferries and the region, supporting more efficient and environmentally-friendly transportation,” Patrick Janssens, ABS Vice President for Global Gas Solutions, said.
 
The Spirit of British Columbia was the first of two Spirit Class vessels to undergo conversion while its sister vessel, the Spirit of Vancouver Island, is expected to complete conversion during the spring of 2019. These vessels are the largest ships in the BC Ferries’ fleet with a capacity to carry 2,100 passengers and crew and 358 automobile equivalent. The conversion to LNG as fuel was completed at the Remontowa Ship Repair Yard in Gdansk, Poland.
 
“We are excited to welcome the Spirit of British Columbia back into our fleet and the environmental benefits and efficiency advantages that come with its conversion,”  Mark Wilson, BC Ferries Vice President of Strategy and Community Engagement, commented.
 
“The two Spirit Class vessels consume approximately 16 per cent of our fuel annually. The conversion of our two largest ships in the fleet, along with the introduction of our three new natural gas-fuelled Salish Class vessels last year, goes a long way to improving the sustainability of our operations and affordability for ferry users,” according to Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO.
  • World Maritime News
 
Windfarm experts publish no research and had no face-to-face meetings last year
 
Committee was set up by former prime minister Tony Abbott to handle complaints about wind turbine noise.
 
An independent scientific committee on wind turbines established by the Coalition in 2015 failed to hold one face-to-face meeting last year and failed to have its research accepted by peer-reviewed journals.
 
The independent scientific committee on wind turbines was created to advise on the science of potential impacts of wind turbines on people’s health.
 
It was an initiative of the former prime minister, Tony Abbott, who had previously called windfarms noisy and “visually awful” and who created the position of a “windfarm commissioner” to handle complaints about turbine noise in a deal with anti-wind senators in mid-2015.
 
As Fairfax first reported, the committee’s second annual report shows it tried to submit a paper last year on “wind turbine sound limits in Australia and overseas and a proposed sound limit based on annoyance” to the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America on 1 June 2017, but it was rejected.
 
The same paper was then submitted to the Journal of Sound and Vibration on 28 November 2017 but rejected because it was outside the scope of the journal. It was then submitted to the Applied Acoustics journal and has been sent out for peer review.
 
The committee’s 2017 annual report shows it sent another paper last year to the online journal Trends in Hearing “on the physiological effects of wind turbine sound” but it does not say how the paper is progressing.
 
The committee was set up to operate for an initial three years (December 2015 to December 2018), after which it will be reviewed.
 
It aims to have one face-to-face meeting each year, but its annual report says that proved impossible last year. It held seven meetings via video conference, including a meeting with the wind commissioner.
  • The Guardian
 
Glasgow health board vows to stub out smoking by 2034
 
Smoking remains the biggest single preventable cause of ill-health and premature death in Scotland.
 
Scotland’s largest health board has thrown its weight behind a national bid to make the country tobacco free by 2034.
 
The director of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), John Matthews OBE, has signed ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation. designed to further help drive down smoking rates.
 
It comes after artist Josie Vallely ran workshops with children who were inpatients and outpatients at the Royal Hospital for Children – where they created an activity resource promoting facts about the impact of second-hand smoking on children and families.
 
Despite the continuing drop in Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s smoking rates, smoking remains the biggest single preventable cause of ill-health and premature death in Scotland.
 
John Matthews OBE, chair of the board’s Public Health Committee, said: “Tobacco is still the most common preventable cause of death in Scotland with smoking to blame for around a quarter of all deaths.
 
“Signing this charter today is important as it shows our continued commitment to reducing smoking and our determination to ensure that all children will grow up free from the harmful effects of tobacco.
 
“Our work already focuses on key charter principles and by signing the ASH Scotland charter we are committing the board to further sustained action to reduce tobacco-related harm by encouraging people not to start, supporting them to stop or protecting them from tobacco smoke.”
 
Half of smokers want to quit for good, while a third of deaths amongst those aged 35 to 69 across the area are caused by smoking.
  • Glasgow Live
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Headlines Monday 11th June 2018
 
Posidonia 2018: Shipowners Stand Alone in Cutting CO2 Emissions
 
The new environmental regulations have been at the center of attention at this year’s edition of Posidonia trade show in Athens, Greece, which took place from 4-8 of June.
 
The upcoming sulphur cap in 2020 and the initiative to halve shipping industry’s carbon footprint by 2050 have been in the spotlight together with the immediate implications of the ballast water management convention.
 
Despite being supportive of the overall aim behind the decarbonization drive, the “tsunami of regulations“ has not been very welcome by the industry due to the lack of pragmatism in their application and the availability issues with respect to effective infrastructural solutions to enable the switch to a cleaner future.
 
In particular, John Platsidakis, Chairman of Intercargo and managing director of Anangel Maritime Services, believes that the overall burden for reducing emissions from shipping is being unfairly put on ships and shipowners.
 
Speaking during the 6th Analyst and Investor Day within Capital Link’s Shipping Forum, Platsidakis stressed that such an approach “will take us nowhere“, adding that providers of assets, i.e., shipyards and engine manufacturers should be pushed to provide better equipment to owners.
 
“As a result, we have to stand up and raise our voice about the real issue here. Therefore, we are asking the providers of assets to come up with the adequate solutions and we will be the first ones to adopt it,” he emphasized.
 
Furthermore, the very fact that refiners have not committed to make the sufficient amounts of alternative fuel available by 2020 poses another uncertainty for shipowners.
 
In addition, he pointed out that it was “unfair“ and “highly regrettable“ that at the end of the day the consumers would be paying the price for the implementation of the new regulations.
 
George Prokopiu, Chairman of Dynagas LNG Partners, agreed, urging that the new regulative framework should be a task for manufacturers and shipyard, not owners.
  • World Maritime News
 
Scotland hits new high for foreign investment, EY survey reveals
 
SCOTLAND has won a record number of foreign direct investment projects for a third consecutive year, with associated job numbers at the highest in a decade at more than 6,000 in 2017, a survey reveals.
 
And Scotland was again the top UK location in terms of the number of research and development projects from overseas players attracted in 2017, according to the annual survey from accountancy firm Ernst & Young (EY).
 
Scotland’s 7% rise in the number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects won last year outstripped the corresponding 6% increase for the UK as a whole in 2017, the EY survey shows.
 
This meant Scotland’s share of UK FDI projects rose from 9.5% in 2016 to 9.6% last year, with EY noting this was ahead of a historical average of 9.3%.
 
However, as Brexit fears continued to weigh, the UK’s share of the European market for FDI slipped from 19% in 2016 to 18% last year, having been 21% in 2015. The number of inward investment projects attracted across Europe rose by 10% last year
 
The UK nevertheless retained its number-one position in Europe by number of FDI projects attracted last year, ahead of Germany and France. But Paris was named by overseas investors as the most attractive European city to invest in, overtaking London for the first time since the survey of 450 key business decision-makers began in 2004.
  • The Herald
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Headlines Friday 8th June 2018
 
Brisbane’s New Cruise Terminal to Open in 2020
 
A new international cruise terminal will be operating in Brisbane within two years after Port of Brisbane and Carnival Australia reached a commercial agreement.
 
The Brisbane International Cruise Terminal (BICT) at Luggage Point will be operating by mid-2020 and is expected to generate almost AUD 5 billion in economic value for the Queensland economy alone within fifteen years.
 
The amended agreement between the duo follows the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) conditional approval of the project last month.
 
“The decision means Port of Brisbane will now get on with the job of building the terminal, which is a key plank of Queensland’s tourism growth story,” Roy Cummins, PBPL Chief Executive Officer, said.
 
“Cementing this partnership today means we can avoid delays and maintain our construction timeline which – weather permitting – targets completion in second quarter 2020,” Cummins added.
 
President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, Sture Myrmell, said the new terminal was a ‘win-win’ for cruising as well as the Queensland economy.
  • World Maritime News
 
Bernhard Schulte, Columbia Join Forces on Ship Supply
 
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement and Columbia Shipmanagement have combined their global buying power to create an independent procurement company.
 
The new unit, GP General Procurement Company Limited (GenPro), will negotiate framework supply agreements with international ship suppliers on behalf of its members’ clients with a view to securing the lowest prices achievable on all consumables.
 
This new agreement allows a pool of 800 vessels managed by BSM and Columbia the access to a wider range of consumables at the best prices available globally, the parties said.
 
It will capitalise on the best practices and strengths of its members by driving efficiencies into the whole procurement process to help reduce clients’ vessel OpEx costs and return real value to the client by way of volume-related discounts in a fully transparent and auditable way, the parties explained.
 
“We believe GenPro will change the way global procurement is delivered to shipowners on an international scale and will in time become a compelling new force in the industry. Both companies are leveraging their industry links and relationships to owners and we believe this is something owners will welcome,” Ian Beveridge, CEO of Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said.
 
The scope and reach of the procurement effort will not be limited to maritime products and consumables but will include all products and consumables associated with the operation of the maritime business, onshore and offshore.
  • World Maritime News
 
World Oceans Day: Med tourists leave 'toxic legacy' of plastic pollution
 
Millions of people visit the Mediterranean every year, but it is fast becoming one of the most polluted seas in the world.
 
Summer holidaymakers are responsible for a sharp spike in the amount of plastic ending up in the Mediterranean Sea, new research shows.
 
Analysis for the WWF to mark United Nations World Oceans Day reveals there is a 40% increase in marine litter during the tourist season, and almost all of it is plastic.
 
Sky Ocean Rescue has been campaigning for the reduction or elimination of single-use plastic.
 
More than 200 million people a year visit the Med, but a combination of litter on the beaches and poor waste management is making the sea one of the most polluted in the world.
 
It holds 1% of the world's water, but contains 7% of all microplastic.
 
Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF, said: "The Mediterranean is a beautiful holiday destination enjoyed by millions of British people each summer, but when we come home with our happy memories we're leaving behind a toxic legacy of plastic waste.
 
"The birds, fish, and turtles of the Mediterranean are choking on plastic.
 
"Our report also shows plastic is ending up in the fish and seafood we eat on holiday."
  • Sky News
 
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Headlines Thursday 7th June 2018
 
Oil majors to bid on choice stakes in Brazil's offshore
 
Executives from oil majors were set to gather in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday to compete for stakes in Brazil’s pre-salt oil play, home to some of the world’s most alluring offshore geology, as rising oil prices boost appetite for expensive offshore projects.
 
A record 16 companies, including Chevron Corp, BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc registered to bid for four blocks in the offshore Campos and Santos basins, part of the so-called fourth pre-salt auction on Thursday.
 
In the pre-salt layer, billions of barrels of oil are trapped beneath a thick layer of salt under the ocean floor.
 
Brazil, South America’s top producer, has recently attracted record bids from the likes of Exxon Mobil Corp, also registered to compete on Thursday, as oil majors seek to replenish depleted reserves.
 
A rise in oil prices to around $75 a barrel may entice even more interest, analysts say.
 
Decio Oddone, director of Brazilian oil regulator ANP, said he expected it to be the first pre-salt auction where all blocks are sold, meaning an injection of 3.2 billion reais ($832 million) into Brazil’s cash-strapped government.
 
“Brazil has a history of respecting contracts and the assets are appealing,” said Oddone, brushing off concerns about a possible impact on the auction from a fresh wave of government meddling in fuel prices at state-controlled oil company Petrobras .
 
A truckers’ strike over higher diesel prices paralyzed commerce in Brazil last month, prompting the government to announce measures to cut prices for the fuel. This fanned fears of more government interference at Petrobras and sent its chief executive officer packing.
 
Under current Brazilian rules, Petrobras will likely serve as operator and take at least a 30 percent stake in all pre-salt blocks it expresses an interest in prior to the bid round.
  • Reuters
 
Thales: Digital Transformation of Shipping Will Be A Long Journey
 
It will be a long journey for shipping companies to embark on their digital transformation, Robert Squire, Director Thales Certus, said at Posidonia 2018.
 
“The way the shipping industry is approaching digitization is very piecemeal and very reactive. They will only request solutions for specific issues they face at any particular point in time as opposed to approaching digital transformation in a more strategic, long-term approach,” Squire explained.
 
“Return on investment takes a long time to achieve so transformation needs to happen gradually in an intelligent way with a few quick wins to help you get there at some point in the future,” he added.
 
Digitalization, cyber technologies, autonomous mobility and artificial intelligence (AI) are the driving forces shaping tomorrow’s shipping industry. However, the pace of the adoption of new technologies in shipping is as slow as a tanker’s U-turn. Nonetheless, the consensus in the industry is that change is inevitable and that regulatory and competition forces will be the catalysts for companies to adjust to the new realities.
 
“It’s a survival issue; whoever does not adopt new digital technologies in the coming years will be left on the sidelines,” Mike Konstantinidis, CEO, Metis Cybertechnology, a Greek company established just 15 months ago to ride on the tide of the impending digitization, said.
 
“The shipping sector is behind other industries in the adoption of innovative technological solutions and only recently the industry has seen a change with more companies requesting information and expressing interest in cyber technology solutions to help them reduce costs and the complexity coming from the increasing demand for the adoption of the new regulations, as well as to improve crew efficiencies and productivity,” Konstantinidis continued.
 
Konstantinidis is upbeat that demand for digital transformation products and services will increase exponentially over the coming years as AI and machine learning solutions herald a new era in performance management in shipping.
 
And as more and more shipping companies and fleets adopt digital technologies, other challenges will surface according to Thales.
  • World Maritime News
 
'Exciting step' as test drives of flying car begin
 
The company behind Flyer says the vehicle is designed to be flown recreationally over water and in uncongested areas.
 
A flying car project has unveiled a model that can be taken for test flights by potential buyers.
 
Kitty Hawk, a start-up company funded by Google co-founder Larry Page, says it is "an exciting first step to sharing the freedom of flight".
 
The company says the vehicle is designed to flown for recreational purposes over water and uncongested areas.
 
An early version of Flyer was shown off last year.
 
The electric aircraft had 10 small lift rotors on its wings. This enables it to complete a vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter.
 
At a distance of 15m (50ft) away, the "car" is said to be as loud as the average lawnmower.
 
Test flights by first timers take place over water, with top speeds limited at 20mph and the altitude restricted to no more than 3m (10ft).
 
The uncovered cockpit appears to be big enough for one person.
 
The company opened for business last year in California, and its prototype has been tested in New Zealand.
  • Sky News
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Headlines Wednesday 6th June 2018
 
 
Panama Canal Sets New Monthly Tonnage Record
 
For the third time since its inauguration, the Expanded Panama Canal set a new monthly tonnage record of 38.1 million tons (PC/UMS) in May 2018.
 
During the period, the expanded waterway saw a total of 1,231 vessels transit its locks, according to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).
 
The container ship segment contributed highest tonnage with 36%, breaking its segment record with 13.8 million tons (PC/UMS) transited by 229 vessels.
 
“This new historical milestone reiterates the positive effect of the Expanded Canal and is further proof of the continued confidence of the maritime industry in the Panama Canal, and the impact it will have on the future of world maritime trade,” Jorge L. Quijano, the Panama Canal Administrator, said.
 
The previous record was set in January 2017, when 1,260 vessels transited 36.1 million tons (PC/UMS) through the waterway, just a month after setting the record with 35.4 million tons (PC/UMS) transited by 1,166 vessels in December 2016.
 
Since the inauguration of the Neopanamax locks almost two years ago, the waterway has received around 3,800 Neopanamax vessels, around 50 percent of which are containerships.
  • World Maritime News
 
Posidonia 2018: Scrubbers Not a Long-Term Solution
 
Scrubbers are not a long-term solution for the impending 2020 sulphur cap, Kim Yeon-tae, Executive Director of the Korean Register, told World Maritime News on the sidelines of the Posidonia 2018 exhibition and conference.
 
The regulation requires that all ships trading outside of the sulphur Emission Control Areas (ECAs) start using fuel with a sulphur content of up to 0.5 pct, a considerable reduction from the currently permitted maximum of 3.5 pct as of January 1, 2020.
 
Ships using exhaust gas cleaning technology will be able to continue to use high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) as a marine fuel. However, the shipping community has raised numerous concerns regarding the viability of scrubbers, especially when speaking about open-loop type of scrubbers.
 
The open-loop scrubber system removes SOx from the exhaust by utilizing seawater which is later discharged into the sea.
 
Initiatives have been made to ban the discharge of the washwater from scrubbers into certain regions as the contents of the released water include heavy metals and poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, posing a risk to the maritime life.
 
“The main reason why shipping companies opt for scrubbers is that they think that a potential ban on the discharge of the washwater is likely to be delayed,” Kim said.
 
Taking into account the IMO procedures, and the duration of the regulative process, it will take some time to designate these areas.
 
Despite the fact that the IMO insists that there would be no delay in the implementation of the sulphur cap, the shipowners are still taking the “wait and see approach”, Kim continued.
 
Aside to scrubbers, shipowners have a number of options to choose from when it comes to picking an alternative to become compliant with the new rules.
 
Speaking of the sentiment among the shipping companies in South Korea, Kim said that Korean owners still feel that it is too early to adopt LNG as marine fuel.
 
Namely, retrofitting existing ships to LNG is a costly and complex undertaking that takes a considerable time to complete. This in particular relates to small and medium-sized companies for which converting ships to LNG is pretty far away, he explained
 
“Some shipowners in Korea are considering the switch to LNG, but there are several risks to consider and the price is too high,” he said, adding that LNG as marine fuel is not a long-term solution either.
 
Another option for shipowners is low sulphur fuel, but the shipping community is worried about the lack of availability of the said fuel.
 
Speaking of the availability issues he said that it would probably take up to two years for those to be resolved, adding that by 2022 there should be enough supply worldwide.
  • World Maritime News
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Headlines Tuesday 5th June 2018
 
Wilhelmsen, Wärtsilä Ink Scrubber Maintenance Deal
 
Norway-based Wilhelmsen Ship Management and technology group Wärtsilä have signed a 5-year contract on the maintenance of exhaust gas cleaning systems installed in three vessels.
 
The agreement ensures that the units, managed by Wilhelmsen Ship Management, are fully MARPOL compliant and can fulfill the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new, stricter sulphur limits, coming into force on January 1, 2020.
 
All three vessels have a 25 MW Wärtsilä Hybrid Scrubber System, which has the flexibility to operate in both open and closed loop, using seawater to remove SOx from the exhaust gas. In closed loop mode additional reagent is used in combination with sea water.
 
The services covered under this agreement, signed in December 2017, include annual audits and safety tests to ensure ongoing MARPOL compliance, calibration of the Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) and water monitoring system as well as operational training courses for the vessels’ crew.
  • World Maritime News
 
Britain takes around £2 billion loss on RBS share sale
 
Britain’s government sold 7.7 percent of Royal Bank of Scotland shares for 2.5 billion pounds on Tuesday, realising a loss of more than two billion pounds on part of its investment in the lender it rescued in 2008.
 
The government sold the shares for 271 pence each in an overnight placement to institutional investors, a price almost half what it paid when bailing out RBS for 45.5 billion pounds at the height of the financial crisis.
 
“This sale represents a significant step in returning RBS to full private ownership and putting the financial crisis behind us,” Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said.
 
Opposition Labour party had earlier criticised the share sale when it was announced on Monday evening, saying that taxpayers would lose out and the government should have held out for more
 
Once one of the globe’s biggest banks, RBS under former Chief Executive Fred Goodwin embarked on an aggressive expansion course before its disastrous bid for Dutch lender ABN AMRO in 2007 left it perilously weakened as the financial crisis hit.
 
Few argue that Britain’s Labour government of the time erred in rescuing the lender, but the years since have been marked by relentless restructuring and legal costs at RBS that have all but wiped out its profits and chances of returning taxpayers’ money.
 
The government is set to sell the rest of its 62 percent stake in RBS over the next few years, most likely in a similar fashion to Monday night’s sale although it could offer some of the shares to the public.
  • Reuters
 
Swimmer begins epic Pacific crossing to highlight plastic pollution
 
A 51-year-old Frenchman has embarked on a long-distance swim in shark-infested waters - a journey which will take him thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo to San Francisco.
 
Ben Lecomte is set to cover 9,000km (5,600 miles) battling giant waves, jellyfish and the "Great Pacific garbage patch" - a large collection of plastic waste in the ocean between California and Hawaii.
 
The adventurer and environmentalist is hoping to become the first person to swim across the world's largest ocean.
 
His son and daughter joined him for the first 100 metres before rejoining well-wishers and family on the shore.
 
The swimmer is hoping to raise awareness of the plastic waste and ocean pollution blighting the water, with his support team hoping to carry out experiments throughout the trip, which is expected to take between six and eight months.
 
He will also wear a device to test levels of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear plant, which was hit by a tsunami in 2011.
 
Mr Lecomte, who plans to swim eight hours a day, will eat, rest and sleep on a boat which will accompany him before being dropped off every morning to where he stopped swimming the previous evening.
  • Sky News
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Headlines Monday 4th June 2018
 
MPA Awards Grant for Two LNG Bunker Vessels
 
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has awarded SGD 6 million (USD 4.5 million) to FueLNG and Pavilion Gas for the construction of two LNG bunker vessels in an effort to help promote ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in Singapore.
 
FueLNG and Pavilion Gas will each receive a co-funding grant of up to SGD 3 million for their respective LNG bunker vessel.
 
Slated for delivery in 2020, the vessels will be amongst the first of their kind in Asia, according to MPA.
 
“This is a significant step towards cementing Singapore’s position as a leading LNG bunkering hub in the Far East, catering to large ocean-going LNG-fuelled vessels,” MPA said.
 
“LNG is a viable marine fuel solution to meet global environmental regulations such as the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 0.5% global sulphur cap from 1 January 2020. As the world’s largest bunkering hub, we are pleased to support the building of the first two LNG bunker supply vessels for the Port of Singapore. We look forward to the successful applicants contributing to the growth of ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in the Port of Singapore,” Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, commented.
  • World Maritime News
 
New VLCC Giant Handed Over to K Line
 
Japan’s shipping major Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) took delivery of its newest very large crude carrier, the 311,000 dwt Tedorigawa.
 
The unit was constructed by China’s shipbuilder Nantong Cosco KHI Ship Engineering (NACKS) and handed over to its owner on June 4.
 
Featuring a length of 339.5 meters and a beam of 60 meters, the Panama-flagged mammoth has 161,483 gross tons.
 
K Line said that the vessel achieves low fuel consumption, about 20% less compared with the company’s conventional VLCCs, by removing Bulbus Bow, applying ultra-long stroke slow speed main diesel engine and highly-efficient large diameter propeller.
  • World Maritime News
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Headlines Friday 1st June 2018
 
New innovation report examines cost of Scottish offshore wind
 
A new report examining the future cost of offshore wind has been released claiming to focus on ‘future challenge areas’.
 
Looking at the future opportunities and expansion of offshore wind the report by the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub (OWIH) has looked at four improvement areas including turbines, electrical infrastructure, substructures and wind farm lifecycle.
 
The OWIH said the challenge areas align closely with the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy and have been developed in close collaboration with industry and academia by the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub, an initiative delivered jointly by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network.
 
Future ‘roadmap’ reports will then be released exploring where cost savings can be made.
 
The reports will also look to provide industry and government with a single validated source of information and highlight future potential market opportunities.
 
The OWIH said it “will now work with industry to issue specific technology challenges” in the future.
 
Dr Stephen Wyatt, research and innovation director at ORE Catapult and Co-Chair of the Hub’s Technical Advisory Group, said: “Innovation is at the heart of developing a strong UK supply chain and capitalising on the global growth of the offshore wind sector. The technology challenge roadmaps published today by the OWIH clearly signpost where the industry should be focussing its innovation effort to continue to drive down costs and maximise on these opportunities.”
 
Benj Sykes, co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), added: “These challenge areas will help to focus our industry innovation activity as we work closely with Government to maximise the advantages of our world-leading position and agree a transformational Sector Deal, which will unlock at least 30GW of capacity by the end of the next decade, providing affordable clean electricity to homes and businesses across.”
  • Energy Voice
 
Another 11 Ships to Fly the Danish Flag
 
Danish shipping registries will soon expand with another 11 vessels which are set to fly the Danish flag.
 
The units in questions are the ones belonging to the fleets of Danish shipping companies TORM and Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S, according to the Danish Maritime Authority.
 
“This builds on the historic milestone when Danish shipping registries recently reached 20 million GT,” the authority informed.
 
Even though Denmark is not the world’s biggest ship registry, it is now in front when it comes to growth rate over the past year, which means that in just one month, the Danish International Shipping Register has grown from 20 to 20.5 million GT, with more than 700 ships registered in DIS.
 
“It is encouraging to see the Danish flag continuing its growth. Our political initiatives are having a positive effect, and we will continue the efforts to reduce administrative burdens, digitalize and improve the framework conditions and overall service for the industry,” Brian Mikkelsen, Minister of Business, Industry and Growth, said.
  • World Maritime News
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Headlines Thursday 31st May 2018
 
Study Supports Case for Methanol as Sustainable Marine Fuel
 
In anticipation of the entrance into force of IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap, methanol is gaining ever greater support as an environmentally-friendly marine fuel.
 
According to the latest findings of the Sustainable Marine Methanol (SUMMETH) project, there are no obstacles to the efficient use of methanol in a converted diesel engine. The research also found that smaller vessel conversion projects are feasible and cost-effective, meeting the existing safety requirements.
 
As explained, methanol offers close to zero SOx and particulate matter emissions and significantly lower NOx emissions compared to conventional marine fuels or biodiesel.
 
Joanne Ellis, Project Manager for SSPA, which led the research, says the partners sought to build on the work already done in earlier research projects that resulted in the Stena Lines and Waterfront Shipping methanol dual-fuel vessels, using a vessel type that could use methanol in a converted single-fuel engine.
 
“The work on Stena Germanica and the Waterfront Shipping vessels proved the dual fuel concept in larger vessels; we wanted to understand whether conversion of a smaller engine was feasible. We looked at a road ferry with an engine capacity of about 350 kW which makes short trips between the mainland and the island of Ljusterö in the Stockholm archipelago, carrying people as well as cars, where there was a real desire to improve the emissions profile,” he said.
 
Topic areas of the project’s final reports include the technical feasibility of converting vessels to propulsion using methanol, the resulting environmental performance, bunkering issues and fuel supply now and in the future. The research program was conducted by SSPA, ScandiNAOS, Marine Benchmark, Lund University, the Swedish Transport Administration Road Ferries, Scania, SMTF and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
 
Ellis adds that as biomethanol increasingly becomes available, vessel operators will have the opportunity to blend in this zero-carbon fuel and progressively meet emission reduction targets set by the IMO.
  • World Maritime News
 
Crackdown on high-interest lending announced by FCA
 
The rent-to-own sector faces a cap on prices similar to limits on the cost of payday loans, but the financial regulator will not impose an immediate similar restriction on overdrafts.
 
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has spent nearly two years studying borrowing at high interest rates.
 
It has now outlined a package of plans for rent-to-own, doorstep lending and catalogue shopping.
 
High-cost credit is used by three million people in the UK.
 
Single-parents aged 18 to 34 are three times more likely to have a high-cost loan - such as a payday loan, doorstep loan or pawnbroking loan - than the national average.
 
"The proposals will benefit overdraft and high-cost credit users, rebalancing in the favour of the customer," said FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey.
 
Campaigners had called for a cap on the interest and charges faced by those using high-cost credit, including overdrafts.
 
They said that cap on the cost of payday loans, introduced in 2015, should be a template for the rest of the high-cost credit market.
 
Some 400,000 people have outstanding debt with rent-to-own firms from which they buy household appliances, paying the money back over three years.
 
After interest, they can end up paying well over double the cost price.
 
The FCA said it had seen cases when people had paid more than £1,500 for essentials like an electric cooker that could be bought on the high street for less than £300.
 
"The FCA believes the harm identified in this market is sufficient in principle to consider a cap on rent-to-own prices. It will now carry out the detailed assessment of the impact that a cap could have on the rent-on-own sector and how it might be structured," the regulator said.
 
Such a cap would not be in place before April 2019.
  • BBC News
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Headlines Wednesday 30th May 2018
 
Oldendorff Carriers Joins Sustainable Shipping Initiative
 
Germany-based dry bulk shipowner and operator Oldendorff Carriers has become the newest member of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), a coalition of companies from across the global shipping industry.
 
Oldendorff joins other SSI members who are working together to help create a more environmentally sustainable maritime industry by 2040.
 
Oldendorff Carriers usually has around 700 bulk carriers under operation at any one time. Since 2014, the company has invested in around 60 ‘eco’ newbuildings, which have been delivered from China, Korea and Japan. They feature low fuel consumption and significantly reduced emissions compared with older ships. Most long-term time chartered ships are also ‘eco’ type ships.
 
“Oldendorff Carriers is pleased to join the distinguished members of the SSI to share ideas and find a profitable and practical way forward on sustainability in the shipping industry. We found the SSI an excellent forum to address shipping specific sustainability issues, with like-minded companies,” Scott Jones, Director of Communications at Oldendorff, said.
  • World Maritime News
 
Heidmar Unveils New Bunkering Service
 
US-based tanker operator Heidmar has introduced a new bunkering service as the industry moves toward the upcoming 2020 legislation on the global sulphur cap.
 
The company’s new platform, Heidmar Bunkering Services (HBS), would providing strategic bunkering for risk management and scenario planning.
 
The Heidmar bunkering strategy engages the world-class purchasing performance and transparency of its pools as part of the company’s commercial service, adding a tailored and dynamic approach to managing future price risk, according to Heidmar.
 
“The upcoming 2020 legislation provides a unique challenge requiring fresh thinking and innovation, and Heidmar Bunkering Services is there to help ship owners and operators meet the changing bunkering landscape,” the company concluded.
  • World Maritime News
 
Uber and Virgin launch controversial tie-up
 
Virgin says more people will leave their cars at home, but opponents argue the move risks the livelihoods of regular taxi drivers.
 
Virgin Trains has joined forces with Uber to make it easier for passengers to book a cab to and from a railway station.
 
Customers will be given the option to receive a text message with a link to book an Uber to the station - and another at their destination station.
 
Passengers booking a taxi will be eligible for 50% off their first Uber journey up to a maximum value of £10.
 
The deal does not apply to the return leg of the journey.
 
Opponents say the scheme puts the livelihoods of regular taxi drivers at risk - and comes at a time when the ride-hailing app is battling to secure its operating licences in London, York and Brighton amid safety concerns.
 
The scheme begins on Wednesday on trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street, and there will be a two-week trial period for customers to give feedback.
 
The plan is then to expand the service to other routes including Birmingham International, Glasgow Central, Milton Keynes Central, Manchester Piccadilly, Edinburgh Waverley and Edinburgh Haymarket in the coming months.
 
The train company claims the move is aimed at encouraging more people to leave their cars at home, while the cab firm added: "We want door-to-door experiences to be as seamless and convenient as possible... at the touch of a button."
 
But Amanda Gearing, an official of the GMB union, said: "The licensing of taxis sits with individual local authorities, who take account of many factors, including safety and size of the market.
 
"This partnership tramples over our local democracy and we've already heard councils raising issues about this.
 
"Concerns about commuters' safety and risks to the livelihood of many taxi drivers have been side-stepped to promote the interests of a public sector privateer and a company that refuses to give workers employment rights."
 
Cllr Jayne Innes, Coventry Council cabinet member for city services, said: "This is incredibly disappointing news for locally licensed taxis, and for the black cab industry up and down the country.
  • Sky News
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Headlines Tuesday 29th May 2018
 
Port of Riga Is Ready to Welcome Large Vessels
 
Latvian Port of Riga has invested millions of euros in its infrastructure in order to be able to accommodate large vessels.
 
As explained, cargo owners wish to reduce their costs and carry out shipments using ships with a greater deadweight capacity. As a result, the port handled in 2017 almost three times more cargo than in 1997, while the total number of incoming merchant ships dropped from 4,029 in 1997 to 3,422 in 2017.
 
“The trend is clear: the number of ships coming to the port is decreasing, but their capacity increases,” A. Brokovskis, Captain of the Freeport of Riga, commented on the data.
 
The size of ships has been growing in the Port of Riga particularly rapidly during the past decade. In 2010, the port accepted only 110 ships with the deadweight capacity of more than 50,000 tons, while last year their number was 214. The number of large ships has doubled within this period. The main reason for the constant increase in the size of ships is the desire by cargo carriers for cheaper shipments, whereas the recent rapid increase is also related to the reconstruction of the Panama Canal.
 
Increasingly, large ships also pose new challenges for the Port of Riga. These ships require deeper and wider navigation channels. Over 20 years, almost EUR 90 million has been invested in dredging at the Port of Riga. Moreover, investments had to be made not only in dredging work but also in IT infrastructure, navigation systems and employee training. Managing larger ships also requires greater competence of port services and pilots in particular, according to the port.
 
The successful handling of large ships at the port does not depend on the depth and width of the navigation canal alone. It requires appropriate infrastructure on the shore as well. Hence, requirements for stevedoring companies operating in the port have increased.
  • World Maritime News
 
Offshore wind farm near Brighton and Worthing completed
 
A £1bn offshore wind farm the size of Guernsey which will provide energy for around 350,000 homes is officially opening later.
 
The Rampion project, off Brighton, has 116 turbines and will power the equivalent of half the homes in Sussex.
 
It is the first on the south coast and is two-thirds the size of the London Array, the biggest offshore wind farm in the world.
 
The Array has 175 turbines in the Thames Estuary near Kent.
 
Lewes MP Maria Caulfield will open the Rampion's Newhaven operations and maintenance base later.
 
The turbines will be fully operational later this year.
 
The farm stretches from East Worthing in the west, to Brighton in the east and covers an area of 72 square kilometres, which is just larger than the island of Guernsey in the English Channel.
 
It is a joint venture between E.ON, which developed the project, Canadian energy company Enbridge and a consortium of USS, Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund and Macquarie Capital.
  • BBC News
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Headlines Friday 25th May 2018
 
China to tackle wasted energy in new wind farm rules
 
China’s energy regulator has ordered local authorities to take heed of the grid capacity when selecting new wind power projects, in an attempt to ensure that no more than 5 percent of the electricity they generate is wasted, it said in a notice.
 
China’s renewable energy law compels grid firms to absorb the power generated by clean sources such as wind and solar. However, many projects have been left with inadequate grid access, a problem commonly known as “curtailment”.
 
Regulators have sought to manage the pace of construction in order to give grids more time to expand transmission capacity, but 12 percent of total generated wind power was still wasted last year, as well as 6 percent of solar, according to official figures.
 
The new guidelines published by China’s National Energy Administration on Thursday said priority should now be given to cross-regional wind power bases that can deliver electricity to different regional grids.
 
Projects on unused and untaxed land will also be favored this year, the guidelines said, as well as those on established wind power bases, where weather conditions are most favorable and subsidies are not required.
 
From 2019, all large-scale onshore and offshore wind power plants must be subject to a competitive tender process, with bids based on construction costs as well as power prices, the regulator said. The tariff for each project must not exceed the benchmark set by the government.
  • Reuters
Carnival Cruise Line Names Its Newest Ship
 
Carnival Cruise Line named its newest ship, Carnival Horizon, in a ceremony held in New York on May 23.
 
The second in the line’s Vista-class series, the 133,500-ton ship was built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and delivered to its owner in March this year.
 
The newbuild features a length of 323.6 meters and a width of 37.2 meters. In addition, the Panama-flagged ship can accommodate more than 6,400 people onboard, including staff.
 
According to Fincantieri, Carnival Horizon has been built in accordance with the latest navigation regulations and equipped with modern safety systems, including the “Safe return to port”. It has also been fitted with advanced energy-saving technologies such as energy-efficient engines and an exhaust gas cleaning system.
 
Carnival Horizon kicks off a summer schedule from New York with a four-day cruise to Bermuda. The ship will operate four-day Bermuda and eight day Caribbean departures from New York through September then reposition to Miami for year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning later that month, the cruise line said.
  • World Maritime News
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Headlines Thursday 24th May 2018
 
Euroseas’ Dry Bulk Business Spin-Off Gets the All Clear
 
Greek shipowner Euroseas announced that it has received regulatory approval to spin off its drybulk fleet into a separate company named EuroDry Ltd.
 
The company added that the application of EuroDry Ltd. for listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “EDRY” has been approved.
 
EuroDry is a middle range drybulk owner that owns six vessels, three of which are newbuildings, one Ultramax and two Kamsarmaxes.
 
“We believe that this separation will unlock the value inherent in our fleet which is currently trading at a significant discount to its net asset value. We believe that by forming “pure” play companies we can more easily be compared to our peers and this is expected to result in a significant increase in our value for our shareholders as our sector-focused companies should trade closer to their NAV. We also believe that separate drybulk and containership investment options will give our shareholders the flexibility to adjust their holdings, if they so wish, between the two sectors,”Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas commented.
  • World Maritime News
 
Kalmar, Yara Team Up on World’s 1st Fully-Digitalized Cargo Solution for Yara Birkeland
 
Kalmar and Yara have entered into an agreement in which Kalmar will deliver fully autonomous equipment, software and services for a fully digitalized container handling solution at Yara’s Porsgrunn facility in Norway.
 
This means that all the necessary operations related to the world’s first autonomous and electric container vessel Yara Birkeland will be conducted in a fully autonomous and cost-efficient manner, with zero emissions, as explained by the two companies.
 
The delivery is scheduled to be completed during the second quarter of 2020.
 
“With this agreement, Yara Birkeland is not just the world’s first electric and autonomous container vessel; it is the world’s first fully digitalised and electric supply chain, with all operations, including loading, unloading and sailing conducted in a fully autonomous manner with zero emissions,” Tove Andersen, EVP Production, Yara, commented.
  • World Maritime News
 
Deutsche Bank to cut more than 7,000 jobs
 
Deutsche Bank has said it will cut more than 7,000 jobs as Germany's biggest lender attempts to return to profit.
 
The bank said it would reduce global staffing levels from just over 97,000 to "well below 90,000".
 
Following a review of the business, the number of jobs in Deutsche's equities sales and trading business is being cut by a quarter.
 
The bank - which employs 8,500 people in the UK - did not say which countries would be affected by the job cuts.
 
Deutsche Bank employs about 66,000 people in Europe - including 42,000 in Germany, 21,000 in Asia and about 10,000 in North America.
 
The job cuts are the first major move by chief executive Christian Sewing, who took up the role last month after his predecessor, John Cryan, was sacked.
 
The search for his replacement is understood to have begun after the bank reported an annual loss of €500m (£438m) at the end of February.
 
That followed losses of €1.4bn in 2016, and €6.8bn in 2015 after restructuring and litigation costs.
 
Deutsche Bank had already flagged up that job cuts were on the way last month, with Mr Sewing saying at the time that they would be "painful but regrettably unavoidable".
  • BBC news

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Headlines Wednesday 23rd May 2018
 
 
Hong Kong proposes tax cuts to boost maritime industry
 
Hong Kong should take steps to develop its maritime industry, especially in terms of maritime financing and leasing, with the Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) releasing a research report setting out key recommendations for developing the sector in the city.
 
Top among these was a tax cut, with the report suggesting Hong Kong cut profits tax for maritime and ship leasing management and maritime and shipping-related supporting services by half or setting it not higher than 8.25%. This would encourage the growth of shipping and maritime-related support and management services, the report said.
 
Other recommendations include allowing qualified investors to access credit and liquidity enhancement products supported and/or endorsed by sovereign-rated financial institutions, encouraging the growth of shipping and maritime-related support and management services, talent development in the maritime cluster, signing more double tax agreements with major shipping jurisdictions, especially Australia and Brazil, increasing participation in international industry bodies by Hong Kong-based organisations, and upgrading the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board (HKMPB) or creating a centralised Maritime Office to  oversee maritime and shipping-related policy, regulation, other initiatives and act as a channel for private sector input into the policy process.
 
FSDC chairman Laura Cha, said: "The maritime industry has been traditionally one of the pillar industries of Hong Kong but has shrunk in size over the last decade. As an international financial centre, Hong Kong is in a uniquely advantageous position to drive shipping-related financial services. Hong Kong needs to further develop its maritime cluster in view of the fierce competition from global maritime centres. Hong Kong must maintain and enhance its competitive advantages of the maritime cluster for the sustainable growth of the shipping industry."
  • Seatrade Maritime News
 
MPCC Invests in Three More Feeders
 
Oslo-listed containership owner and operator MPC Container Ships ASA (MPCC) has resumed its fleet buildup with the acquisition of three more feeders.
 
The company bought MV Victoria Schulte, a geared 2,500 TEU vessel built in 2005, from Triton Debt Opportunities S.C.A. and its subsidiary Victoria Schulte Shipping.
 
The deal has been structured as a combined cash and share deal. Hence, MPCC will pay a total consideration of USD 11.8 million and may settle up to USD 2.9 million of this amount by way of delivering new common shares in MPCC.
 
“Physical takeover of the vessels is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2018, lifting the fleet of MPCC to a total of 68 vessels, “the company said announcing the deal.
 
Of this, 40 vessels are owned and operated by the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary MPC Container Ships Invest.
 
“Within only 12 months, MPCC has become the largest owner globally of feeder container ships with a capacity of up to 3,000 TEU. During the same time charter rates in the segment have developed very positively. Although the supply and demand situation is now pointing towards a rebalancing with a much reduced idle fleet, the market continues to provide attractive acquisition opportunities.
 
“We are currently considering financing options to further grow our business, both via asset acquisitions or ship for share transactions. The recent main board listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange will make us even more interesting for global investors,” Constantin Baack, CEO of MPC Container Ships ASA, comments.
  • World Maritime News
 
Number of over-65s in Scotland still working doubles
 
Scotland has seen the number of over-65s still working almost double over the past decade, new figures have revealed. A Scottish Government report on employment patterns revealed 84,700 people were working beyond the traditional retirement age. According to the document, 55.8 per cent of those working beyond the age of 65 said they were “not ready” to stop.
 
A total of 13 per cent said they needed to keep working to pay for essential items and 6 per cent said they needed to boost their pension pots. Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: “It’s worrying that an increasing number of older Scots feel they have to continue working due to money concerns. “Our research suggests that this is a growing problem, with 43 per cent of those aged 40 to 64 saying they won’t be able to afford to retire at 65. There’s a clear need for more guidance to help people plan ahead for their working life and retirement.” A total of 2,618,100 people aged 16 years and over were in employment in Scotland in 2017 – the highest level on record.
  • The Scotsman
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Headlines Tuesday 22nd May 2018
 
UK’s new air pollution strategy ‘hugely disappointing’, says Labour
 
A new clean air strategy published by the UK government has been criticised as “hugely disappointing” by the Labour party. Other groups said it did little to tackle the dirty diesel vehicles that are the main source of toxic air in urban areas.
 
The new strategy, announced on Tuesday by environment secretary, Michael Gove, aims to crack down on a wide range of pollutants. These include particulates from wet wood and coal burning in homes, ammonia emissions from farms and dust from vehicle tyres and brakes.
 
Ministers also want to give provide personalised pollution alerts to people and give local authorities new powers to cut pollution, all subject to public consultation.
 
The government said the new action would reduce the costs of air pollution to society by an estimated £1bn every year by 2020. The health costs of toxic air are currently estimated at £20bn a year, by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
 
The new clean air strategy is a response to an EU directive on cutting harmful emissions. An air quality plan, published in July 2017, is related to a separate EU directive on cleaner air. The latter plan was condemned as “woefully inadequate” by city leaders and “inexcusable” by doctors, and was ruled illegally poor in February, the third such high court defeat for ministers.
 
On Thursday, the government suffered another legal blow, with the UK referred to Europe’s highest court over its failure to tackle nitrogen dioxide pollution, which mostly comes from diesel vehicles.
 
Gove said: “Air quality has improved significantly since 2010 but 60 years on from the historic Clean Air Act a clear truth remains – air pollution is making people ill, shortening lives and damaging our economy and environment.
  • The Guardian
 
Diana Offloads Another Containership
 
Greek shipping company Diana Containerships has signed a Memorandum of Agreement to sell its 2006-built vessel Puelo to an undisclosed buyer.
 
The ship fetched a price of USD 20.5 million before commissions and will be handed over to its new owner by June 30, 2018.
 
The Post-Panamax had been chartered by Danish container shipping giant Maersk Line in August 2017 for a period of 8-18 months.
 
The sale follows last week’s disposal of a Post-Panamax container vessel, the M/V Hamburg.
 
The 2009-built ship was sold for a price of USD 21 million, which will also be used for debt payment.
 
Upon completion of the two sales, Diana Containerships’ fleet will consist of 4 container vessels, 2 Post-Panamax and 2 Panamaxes.
 
The company has been on a selling spree since the beginning of this year, having sold two 2010-built containerships, the m/v Sagitta and the m/v Centaurus, in March at a price of USD 12.3 million each.
  • World Maritime News
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Headlines Monday 21st May 2018
 
Novatek Forms Its Own Shipping Company
 
The Board of Directors of PAO Novatek, one of the largest independent natural gas producers in Russia, has decided to set up a transportation subsidiary called Maritime Arctic Transport LLC.
 
The new company is being established with the aim of managing and optimizing transportation costs, building up the Arctic navigation capabilities as well ensuring a centralized management of the Arctic fleet.
 
“Novatek’s long-term development strategy envisages a significant growth in LNG production from the company’s vast hydrocarbon resource base located on the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas in the Arctic zone of more than 55 million tons per annum by 2030,” Novatek’s Chairman of the Management Board, Leonid Mikhelson, said.
 
“Therefore, establishing an efficient Northern Sea Route shipping model is one of our key priorities to realize our long-term strategy. Creating our own shipping company fully supports this goal and will optimize transport cost and ensure a well-balanced, centralized management structure to improve the competitiveness of Novatek’s Arctic projects.”
 
Novatek, together with its partners Total, CNPC and the Silk Road Fund, owns Russia’s Arctic gas project Yamal LNG.
 
The project marked a major milestone this month with the shipment of the second million of liquefied natural gas produced at its first LNG train.
  • World Maritime News
 
AI to be 'new weapon' in cancer fight, Theresa May will say
 
Medical records will be cross-referenced with national data to spot those at an early stage of cancer.
 
Theresa May will unveil plans to use artificial intelligence to help prevent 22,000 cancer deaths a year by 2033.
 
In a speech setting out how science can transform health, the prime minister will also say at least 50,000 people each year with prostate, ovarian, lung or bowel cancer will be diagnosed at an earlier stage than they would have been.
 
Speaking in Macclesfield, Cheshire, Mrs May will say: "Late diagnosis of otherwise treatable illnesses is one of the biggest causes of avoidable deaths.
 
"And the development of smart technologies to analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings opens up a whole new field of medical research and gives us a new weapon in our armoury in the fight against disease.
 
"Achieving this mission will not only save thousands of lives. It will incubate a whole new industry around AI-in-healthcare, creating high-skilled science jobs across the country, drawing on existing centres of excellence in places like Edinburgh, Oxford and Leeds - and helping to grow new ones."
 
All of the data and technological advances needed to help cut cancer deaths are available but a system has not yet been set up to bring everything together.
 
Medical records, along with information about patients' habits and genetics, will be cross-referenced with national data to spot those at an early stage of cancer.
 
Mrs May will also announce another target to ensure that five more years of people's lives will be healthy, independent and active by 2035.
  • Sky News
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Headlines Friday 18th May 2018
 
ITF, UAE Sign Deal to Protect Seafarers in UAE Waters
 
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Transport Authority (FTA) agreed to work together to protect the rights of all seafarers operating in UAE waters.
 
The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the matter at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London.
 
“This is a significant opportunity to work with our partners in the UAE to bring seafarers and workers’ safety to forefront of the conversation,” Stephen Cotton, ITF general secretary, said.
 
“This agreement is just the beginning and will hopefully pave the way for similar agreements in other territories. We are keen to work for greater cooperation, in all areas of transportation.”
 
This is the first agreement of its kind between a government authority and the ITF. The parties are committed to working closely together and sharing information to provide comprehensive and timely support to vessels and seafarers in need within UAE waters.
  • World Maritime News
 
UK: Digital Growth Could Shape the Port of the Future
 
A number of developments in the digital and augmentation/automation areas could transform competitiveness and customer propositions at UK ports, according to a survey released by the UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG).
 
UKMPG’s members, the UK’s biggest port owners and operators, believe that these developments could shape the port of the future.
 
These build on continued evolution of the physical assets of ports, their hinterlands and their connectivity with main economic and urban areas. And these changes must occur within an environment of sustainability and responsibility, UKMPG added.
 
The survey informed the response of the UKMPG to the Government’s Maritime 2050 Call for Evidence which closed this week.
 
Taken together, and with the right enabling pre-trade and pro-investment policy frameworks from Government, these developments would build further the powerhouse ports needed for Brexit Britain, boosting the UK’s ability to trade with the world.
  • World Maritime News
 
Princes sets 50% recycling target for plastic bottles
 
Major UK producer of plastic bottles for drinks and oils is aiming to hit new target within four months
 
A major producer of plastic bottles in the UK is to increase its recycled content to more than 50% within four months.
 
Princes, which produces 7% of plastic bottles used in the UK, says it has started the process to increase the amount of recycled plastic in all its bottles and will finish by September.
 
The company is a major producer of plastic bottles for drinks and oils, averaging 900m plastic bottles each year for its own brand and other retailers in the UK.
 
David McDiarmid, corporate relations director for Princes, said: “We want to increase the recycled content of all the plastic we use and have been working for some time to implement 51% RPET [recycled plastic].
 
“This is a significant step for not only ourselves, but the wider grocery industry too as we will reach millions of households through our supply of brands and customer own-brand soft drinks and oils.”
 
McDiarmid said the company wanted to commit to 100% recycled plastic in all its products “as soon as we can”.
 
The company said it was sourcing recycled material from a UK supplier.
 
Major producers of plastic bottles have traditionally lagged behind “green” companies in the drive to use more recycled plastic. The Belgian company Ecover rolled out a 100% recycled plastic washing-up bottle earlier this year. The company has pledged to have 100% recycled plastic in all its household products by 2020.
 
On Tuesday, Iceland became one of the first supermarkets to announce it was to use a new labelling system to allow consumers to avoid plastic packaging.
 
It is hoped the new plastic-free “trust mark”, launched by the campaign group A Plastic Planet, will be prominently displayed on food and drink products, and will be taken up by other major supermarkets.
  • The Guardian
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Headlines Thursday 17th May 2018
 
Brokers: Sinokor Merchant Marine In for Up to 20 Bulkers
 
Seoul-based shipping company Sinokor Merchant Marine has been linked to an order for up to 20 bulkers at Jinhai Intelligent Manufacturing, according to Oslo-based broker Fearnleys.
 
Sinokor is said to have firmed up its order for four Newcastlemaxes at Jinhai, with options to boost its order with 16 more ships.
 
The delivery date for the firm 208,000 dwt newbuildings from the contract has been set for 2020. Price details of the deal have not been revealed.
 
The order is being reported on the back of Sinokor’s second-hand feeder purchases. Namely, in April, Sinokor bought two MAX  feeder vessels, which had been commercially managed by Dutch Vroon, with one more acquisition expected to follow soon.
 
Sinokor is in the process of merging its container shipping operations with compatriot Heung-A Shipping.
 
The merger is expected to take place by the end of the year before the duo joins forces with Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM). The integration is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, the country’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) said in a statement.
  • World Maritime News
New rules on ship emissions herald sea change for oil market
 
New rules coming into force from 2020 to curb pollution produced by the world’s ships are worrying everyone from OPEC oil producers to bunker fuel sellers and shipping companies.
 
The regulations will slash emissions of sulfur, which is blamed for causing respiratory diseases and is a component of acid rain that damages vegetation and wildlife.
 
But the energy and shipping industries are ill-prepared, say analysts, with refiners likely to struggle to meet higher demand for cleaner fuel and few ships fitted with equipment to reduce sulfur emissions.
 
This raises the risk of a chaotic shift when the new rules are implemented, alongside more volatility in the oil market.
 
“The reality is that the industry has already passed the date beyond the smooth transition,” Neil Atkinson, head of the oil industry and market division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), said in April.
 
WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES?
The rules, drawn up by the U.N. International Maritime Organization (IMO), will ban ships using fuel with a sulfur content higher than 0.5 percent, compared to 3.5 percent now, unless a vessel has equipment to clean up its sulfur emissions.
 
Any vessels failing to comply will face fines, could find their insurance stops being valid and might be declared “unseaworthy” which would bar them from sailing.
 
HOW WILL IT AFFECT THE FUEL OIL MARKET?
The global shipping fleet now consumes about 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of high sulfur fuel oil, but about 3 million bpd of that demand will “disappear overnight”, according to the average market forecast calculated by Norway’s SEB Bank.
 
Most demand is expected to shift to marine gasoil, a lower sulfur distillate fuel.
  • Reuters
Windier Britain creates renewable energy opportunity
 
Wind farms could become a greater energy source as global warming creates blowier conditions across Britain, a study has found.
 
If global temperatures reach 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the UK and large parts of northern Europe are likely to be more windswept, say researchers.
 
As a result there could be a 10% increase in on-shore UK wind energy generation, with turbines operating at peak capacity almost all year round.
 
The additional wind output would produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 700,000 extra homes per year.
 
Lead scientist Dr Scott Hosking, from British Antarctic Survey, said: “In future, nine months of the year could see UK wind turbines generating electricity at levels currently only seen in winter.
 
“Future summers could see the largest increase in wind generation.
 
“Therefore, wind could provide a greater proportion of the UK’s energy mix than has been previously assumed.”
 
The scientists combined data from 282 onshore wind turbines collected over 11 years with information from climate simulations.
  • ITV news

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Headlines Wednesday 16th May 2018
 
Tensions Heat Up over Panama Canal Safety Dispute
 
The dispute between the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and its tugboat captains over safety issues at the canal is intensifying.
 
The conflict started on April 12 when tug captains refused to transit ships through the expanded canal, thus impacting the traffic through the Neopanamax locks, ACP said.
 
As a result, the canal authority decided to sanction the workers saying that they broke the law by refusing to fulfill their duty “which affected the regular operation and caused a negative economic impact on the country.”
 
However, the Union of Tugboat Captains and Deck Officers of the Panama Canal (UCOC Panama) said the tugboat captains in question refused to conduct the maneuvering as it endangered the safety of crews and the canal as well.
 
According to UCOC, the Panama Canal Authority is deploying a reduced number of crew members to the tugboats as a way of cutting costs.
 
In particular, the captains’ union is criticizing ACP’s decision to reduce the number of deckhands handling lines aboard tugboats in the locks from three to two. The reduced number of workers has been linked to wear and tear on the locks, the death of a worker in November, and the collision of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Tampa.
 
Nevertheless, ACP said that the reduction was in fact “normalization of operations” which was planned all along.  As explained, the third mariner was introduced on board the tugs to test the security of the winches, a stage which has now been concluded.
 
The canal authority also stressed that the last year’s incident had nothing to do with the labor stoppage and that the workers’ are being sanctioned for refusing to work not for their safety concerns.
  • World Maritime News
Britain's strategy to meet climate change targets not sufficient – MPs
 
The British government’s Clean Growth Strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will not be enough to meet legally binding climate change targets, a committee of cross-party lawmakers said on Wednesday.
 
The strategy, launched last year, outlines investment in research and innovation to help reduce emissions which lead to global warming.
 
Britain has committed to cut emissions by 80 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels and must produce proposals on how to reach its climate targets as part of carbon budgets set every five years.
 
Although the amount of electricity generated from low-carbon energy doubled to a record 50 percent last year from 2009, there are signs that investment might have stalled in the past two years, the Environmental Audit Committee said in a report.
 
Annual clean energy investment in Britain is now at its lowest level since 2008, threatening the country’s ability to meet its carbon budgets from 2023.
 
The report also said that changes to low-carbon energy policies in 2015 has undermined investor confidence and reduced the number of renewable energy projects in development.
  • Reuters
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Headlines Tuesday 15th May 2018
 
Carnival, Meraas Partner Up on Future Dubai Cruise Terminal
 
Miami-based cruise liner conglomerate Carnival Corporation and Dubai’s holding company Meraas have partnered up on the future Dubai Cruise Terminal to be built at Dubai Harbour.
 
The duo has signed a strategic partnership agreement “that aims to transform Dubai into a major regional maritime tourism hub.” Under the deal, Carnival and Meraas intend to collaborate across several strategic areas including port development, terminal management and new cruise development opportunities at Dubai Harbour and the broader region.
 
As informed, Carnival will assist Meraas in ensuring the cruise terminal meets the highest international standards of the cruise industry, while the relevant authorities will be responsible for security, immigration and customs.
 
Operations at the Dubai Cruise Terminal are scheduled to commence in October 2020. The terminal will become the main cruise terminal in Dubai and all cruise ships visiting Port Rashid will be redirected gradually from its opening date, according to Meraas.
 
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas, said: “Dubai Harbour is a new and unique addition to the city’s infrastructure and our alignment with DP World to make Dubai Cruise Terminal the main cruise terminal in the emirate will drive the transformation of Dubai into a fully integrated maritime tourism hub.”
 
The Dubai Cruise Terminal will become Carnival Corporation’s primary hub for its homeporting and transit operations in the region. Carnival will launch new cruises from Dubai Cruise Terminal and aims to attract new source markets from India and China.
  • World Maritime News
VLCC Scrapping Ramps Up as Pakistan Opens for Business
 
Owners continue to commit their Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) for recycling in an effort to bring some ease to the depressed market.
 
The reopening of Pakistani recycling market for tankers further spurred the offloading of unsold tanker tonnage.
 
“There were further VLCC sales concluded this week, gradually bringing the total number of units sold through 2018 towards the 30 mark,” GMS said in its weekly report, adding that the mark is likely to be hit by the end of May.
 
Demolition of tankers and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers was banned at Pakistan’s Gadani shipbreaking yards for almost a year and a half, following several fatal incidents that killed over 30 workers.
 
The country has allowed the recycling of tankers to resume under the condition that tankers are totally gas free and their cargo residues, slops and sludges completely cleaned.
  • World Maritime News
Nicola Sturgeon insists Brexit process has strengthened case for Scottish independence
 
NICOLA Sturgeon has claimed the Brexit process has “strengthened the democratic case” for Scottish independence as she warned Theresa May that if she ignored Holyrood’s rejection of the Brexit Bill today, it would prove she could not be trusted.
 
But the First Minister declined to say if the argument for holding a second referendum on Scotland's future had also been strengthened, suggesting people would “have to wait and see” regarding her future decision on whether or not to call for another vote on Scotland’s future.
 
And Ms Sturgeon, speaking at a Reuters Newsmaker event in the City of London, also claimed there was now a "realistic possibility" that MPs could force the Prime Minister into a U-turn to keep Britain in the European customs union.
 
Today, a majority of MSPs is expected to reject giving consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill, which they believe is a “power-grab” by Whitehall.
 
The FM said that, far from the SNP Government being isolated on the Brexit Bill as Whitehall has suggested, the vote today expected to withhold consent and also be backed by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, would prove it was the Conservatives and Mrs May’s Government, who were isolated on the issue.
 
Ms Sturgeon said with time almost out that, at “three minutes to midnight,” there was still a path to a deal with the UK Government.
 
“What happens after tomorrow, the ball will be very much in the UK Government’s court; they have a decision to make as to whether they are going to ignore the views of the Scottish Parliament or listen to those views and try very hard to get a deal and to close the gap that remains between us.”
  • The Herald
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Headlines Monday 14th May 2018
 
 
Royal Navy nuclear submarines to get £2.5bn boost
 
The defence secretary is expected to announce a £2.5bn investment in the UK's nuclear submarine programme.
 
Under the plans, an Astute hunter-killer submarine will be built costing £1.5bn, and £960m will go towards completing a fleet of four nuclear-armed Dreadnought submarines.
 
Gavin Williamson will say it is part of a commitment to secure the UK "from intensifying threats".
 
The Ministry of Defence says the deal will help to sustain thousands of jobs.
 
Mr Williamson will announce the plans during a visit to defence giant BAE Systems' shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria.
 
He will say the Astute submarine - which will complete the Royal Navy's seven-strong fleet of hunter-killer attack subs - will be called Agincourt.
 
The deal with BAE will also help with the second phase of construction for the UK's Dreadnought submarines.
  • BBC news
 
Blast Holes Turkish Bulker Bound for Yemen
 
Turkish bulk carrier Ince Inebolu suffered massive hull damage last week while carrying wheat to Yemen’s Houthi-controlled port of Saleef.
 
Nevertheless, the exact cause of the damage is unclear as there are contradictory accounts on what happened.
 
According to Yemen’s Ministry of Transport, the ship was targeted by a missile attack conducted by the Saudi-led coalition. The ship was reportedly anchored about 70 miles off Saleef, when the explosion occurred.
 
Based on the images released by the ministry and Yemen Red Sea Ports Corporation, there is a major rupture on the aft side of the ship’s hull.
 
Following the incident, a naval vessel of the Saudi-led coalition received a call from the captain of the stricken bulker, reporting the damage.
 
The coalition forces, cited by Reuters, said that they inspected the ship, ascribing the damage to an explosion that occurred from the inside of the vessel.
 
As the vessel was unable to resume its voyage, it was towed to the port of Jizan in Saudi Arabia.
  • World Maritime News
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Headlines Friday 11th May 2018
 
MAIB: Overconfidence Led to Islay Trader Grounding
 
The general cargo vessel Islay Trader grounded due to lack of planning and overconfidence, according to a report from UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).
 
The vessel ran aground near Margate Harbour, Kent, in the morning hours of October 8, 2017, after it dragged its anchor as the length of its anchor cable was insufficient in the tidal conditions experienced.
 
The chief officer did not monitor the vessel’s position and was not aware that the vessel had dragged its anchor until alerted by the London Vessel Traffic Service. The officer then attempted to reposition the vessel without the assistance of the master and subsequently became overwhelmed and uncertain of the ship’s position.
 
Islay Trader grounded near Margate beach and was refloated some 12 hours later. There were no injuries and no pollution.
 
MAIB’s report highlights the importance of planning when going to anchor and the requirement for ensuring that an effective watch is kept whilst at anchor.
  • World Maritime News
 
North Sea oil and gas firms to recruit 40,000 people
 
THE North Sea oil and gas industry may have to recruit 40,000 people over the next 20 years amid huge changes in the sector but the size of the workforce could shrink by a much bigger number a study has found.
 
The findings hold out the prospect the industry will create thousands of high value jobs as advances in technology create the demand for a new kind of North Sea worker.
 
They will be studied with interest as the North Sea industry emerges from the brutal downturn that started in 2014 and led to oil and gas firms shedding 70,000 jobs.
 
The study by industry training body OPITO and Robert Gordon University found around 10,000 people will need to be recruited in emerging digital roles that don’t exist today in areas such as data analytics and robotics.
 
There is great excitement in the industry about the potential to use high-tech solutions such as drones to help slash the cost of operating in the North Sea.
 
However, at least 80,000 workers are expected to leave the industry as fields run dry, people retire and some work is automated.
 
The authors reckon total workforce numbers will fall to 130,000 in 2035 from around 170,000 in a best case scenario.
 
But workforce numbers could shrink to 65,000 unless oil and gas firms improve their performance in the North Sea sufficiently, win more export business and manage to diversify into other energy businesses.
 
“If the industry can work together to achieve ambitions around production and energy diversification, tens of thousands more roles can be safeguarded and our industry will continue to be one of the key industrial sectors in the UK for years to come,” said OPITO chief executive John McDonald.
  • The Herald
 
Leave.EU fined £70,000 and campaign chief referred to police over EU referendum spend
 
The chief of the pro-Brexit group has been referred to police following an investigation by the Electoral Commission.
 
Leave.EU has been fined a maximum £70,000 for breaches of electoral law during the EU referendum campaign, with the head of the pro-Brexit group referred to police.
 
The Electoral Commission announced the findings of its investigation on Friday, with Leave.EU found to have incorrectly reported what it spent at the EU referendum.
 
It exceeded its statutory spending limit of £700,000 and delivered incomplete and inaccurate spending and transaction returns.
 
The group, which was not the official Brexit campaign, failed to include at least £77,380 in its spending return.
 
This means Leave.EU exceeded its spending limit by at least 10%, although the Electoral Commission believes the unlawful overspend may have been considerably higher.
 
The investigation also found the group, which was initially endorsed by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and was founded by millionaire businessmen Arron Banks and Richard Tice, inaccurately reported three loans it received from Mr Banks worth £6m.
 
During the course of its investigation, the Electoral Commission said it found "reasonable grounds to suspect" Leave.EU's chief executive Liz Bilney committed criminal offences.
  • Sky News
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Headlines Thursday 10th May 2018
 
 
Offshore Production Buoy Developed for Stranded Fields
 
Aberdeen-based SLLP134 Ltd has developed a offshore production buoy which can be redeployed multiple times throughout its lifetime.
 
The company says the OPB buoy is low CAPEX and low OPEX and has been designed for deployment in stranded fields without nearby operator infrastructure. It enables operators to access oil reserves which were previously thought to be uneconomical for connecting to new or existing infrastructure. It can also be used to replace a manned floating facility where production has fallen below economic rates but where continued use of the existing subsea infrastructure is still possible.
 
Oil can either be off-loaded to a tanker or exported into existing pipeline systems.
 
The OPB system is based on a low-pressure self-contained oil production system, which uses gas for heat and power to separate oil and water and to stabilize the crude for export.
  • Maritime Executive
 
The Underwater Centre rescued by offshore industry
 
A Highland subsea training centre has been rescued from the threat of closure after an industry collaboration with a hat-trick of offshore firms.
 
The Underwater Centre, based in Fort William, was placed in a risky financial situation late last year when its subsidiary in Australia fell into liquidation. But last night it was announced a collaboration between Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), Subsea 7, TechnipFMC, Premier Oil and the Scottish Government’s Highlands and Islands Enterprise, had secured its long-term future.
 
However, the subsea training company will now operate as a not-for-profit group limited by guarantee, which will be funded and supported by its members, comprising operators, service companies and industry. The deal will also result in senior representatives of Subsea 7, TechnipFMC and Premier Oil joining the board of the Underwater Centre.
 
OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie said: “I visited the Underwater Centre and I saw first-hand the value it adds to the UK’s world-leading subsea sector. As we continue to move out of the downturn and adapt to a changing future, it’s increasingly important that the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry works together to consolidate areas of strength.
  • Energy Voice
 
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Gets Nod for 3rd Hanseatic Expedition Ship
 
German TUI Group has given the green light to the construction of the third Hanseatic class expedition cruise ship for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
 
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will shortly launch the planning and negotiation process for a further Hanseatic class ship, which is scheduled for delivery in 2021, TUI Group CEO Fritz Joussen said while presenting the group’s results for the first half of 2018 on board the new Mein Schiff 1 in Hamburg.
 
“This market is growing strongly. Thanks to its experience, competence and high-quality standards, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offers great potential to attract new international customer groups and deliver stronger growth in the expedition cruise segment,” Joussen added.
 
The first two ships from the series were ordered in 2016 from Fincantieri’s subsidiary Vard Holdings Limited (Vard). The hulls of the vessels are being built by VARD’s shipyard in Tulcea, Romania, and delivery is scheduled from Vard Langsten in Norway in the first quarter and the fourth quarter of 2019, respectively.
 
The keel of the first expedition ship, Hanseatic Nature, was laid in Romania in January 2017, while the keel laying for the Hanseatic Inspiration, the second ship, followed in October 2017.
 
The christening and maiden voyage of Hanseatic Nature are planned for April 2019. Hanseatic Inspiration is scheduled to launch six months later in October 2019.
  • World Maritime News
 
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Headlines Wednesday 9th May 2018
 
 
Renewables specialist invests £114m in giant Lanarkshire wind farm
 
RENEWABLE energy specialist Greencoat UK wind is set to increase its investment in the giant Clyde development in South Lanarkshire by more than £100 million.
 
The investment business has said it intends to exercise its option to increase its holding in the Clyde wind farm to 28.2 per cent from 19.8% for an outlay of £114.2m.
 
Greencoat will buy the interest from Scottish and Southern Energy owner SSE, which developed the wind farm between Biggar and Moffat. The 152 turbine development is one of the largest onshore wind farms in the UK.
 
Greencoat UK Wind acquired an initial 17% stake in Clyde in 2016.
 
Run by the London-based Greencoat Capital private equity business, the company agreed then to acquire up to 49.9% of Clyde with pension funds for a total £355m investment.
 
“We’ve been very pleased with the performance of our investment in Clyde,” said Greencoat Capital partner Stephen Lilley. He noted: “Clyde is a high quality asset in a great location with high wind availability, helping to deliver attractive returns to our shareholders.”
 
Greencoat UK Wind underlined its interest in buying more assets in Scotland in February. The company invested £240m in Scotland last year.
  • The Herald
 
DryShips Pens Sale and Leaseback Deal for Six Bulkers
 
Greek shipowner DryShips has inked sale and leaseback agreements for six bulkers with Chinese lenders.
 
Under the financing arrangement signed in May, five ships will be transferred to the buyer for 50 pct of the agreed aggregate purchase price of USD 164 million. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries will bareboat charter each vessel back for a period of eight years, with expiry set for May 2026.
 
The ships in question are three Newcastlemaxes, Marini, Morandi and Bacon and two Kamsarmaxes, Castellani and Nasaka.
 
DryShips said that the vessels are expected to be delivered and leased back to the company during May 2018.
 
The Greek shipping company has options to re-acquire each vessel during their respective bareboat charter periods, starting from the first anniversary of each vessel’s delivery date. There is also a purchase obligation upon the expiration of each bareboat agreement for 46.67 pct of the financing amount.
 
The deal was sealed just a month after Dryships entered into a finance lease arrangement with a Chinese leasing company for Kelly, a Kamsarmax drybulk vessel, under similar terms. The vessel will be chartered back for a period of ten years and DryShips has an option to buy back the ship.
  • World Maritime News

 

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Headlines Tuesday 8th May 2018
 
 
China to Ban Recycling of International Ships
 
China plans to stop allowing the recycling of international ships at its yards as of the beginning of 2019.
 
The decision comes on the back of China’s efforts to crack down on polluter and waste producing industries in the country, which have seen many yards denied their ship recycling licenses.
 
The Chinese-flagged ships will be allowed to continue to be dismantled at Chinese yards, however, the Government of China will no longer provide subsidies for the branch, as decided last year. Due to such a turn in policy, local owners are likely to look elsewhere to retire their ships, including India.
 
“In view of this, owners will have to succumb to the fact that, with the exception of Turkey, the H.K Convention approved recycling yards in Alang will have to be taken more seriously following the incredible improvements that have been made at these yards over many years and the fact that these yards now can only offer owners the only alternative at this current time for green recycling,” Clarksons Platou Shipbroking said.
 
Two years ago, industry leader Maersk committed to investing in Alang yards and boosting their operational standards to comply with the company’s requirements.
 
Chief Executive Officer of  A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, Søren Skou, said recently that some yards in Alang, India, are performing at the same level or better than yards in China and Turkey, “which used to be the only options for economically viable and responsible ship recycling. “
 
Explaining its approach, Maersk said that the company helps the yards to upgrade their practices while contractually requiring full implementation of its standards controlled by on-site supervision throughout the process as well as quarterly audits by third parties.
 
Even though the situation is far from perfect, especially when it comes to health hazards at the shipbreaking yards in Alang, Maersk believes that helping the yards to improve their standards is an opportunity to change the industry for the better.
 
However, for a more sustainable progress to be made more shipowners need to become involved.
  • World Maritime News
 
Panama Canal Lifts Daily Neopanamax Booking Slots to Eight
 
The Panama Canal has added an additional reservation slot to its Neopanamax locks, effective May 7, bringing the total available daily booking slots to eight.
 
The canal authority said the move was triggered by increased demand at the interoceanic route, which was inaugurated nearly two years ago.
 
The increasing interest in the expanded canal has seen  1,183 Neopanamax transits this fiscal year, which began in October, 2017, the Panama Canal Authority said. The figure represents a 39 percent increase in cumulative transits year-on-year.
 
“This increase allows us to offer our customers even more flexibility and was made possible by strategic planning and the experience the Panama Canal team has our accrued in the last two years, especially considering that almost 150 personnel are involved in each transit,” Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano, said.
 
The announcement also follows an increase in the maximum allowable beam for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks in April.
  • World Maritime News
 
Give millennials £10k to ease generation gap, think tank says
 
The Citizen's Inheritance would be restricted to spending on a house deposit, or "skills, entrepreneurship and pension saving".
 
Every 25-year-old in the country should be given a £10,000 Government grant in an effort to solve the yawning economic gap between the generations, a prominent think tank has proposed.
 
The proposal for a Citizen's Inheritance, to be funded by a revamped, tougher version of inheritance tax, is one of a number of policies proposed by the Resolution Foundation at the end of a two-year study into intergenerational inequality.
 
The report from the think tank's Intergenerational Commission, backed by business lobby group the CBI and trade union group the TUC, warns that today's thirty-somethings are the first generation to see their incomes dropping compared to when their parents were at that age.
 
It points out that with record numbers of people renting and unable to get onto the housing ladder, and with many trapped in zero-hours jobs, radical action is necessary to reset the balance.
 
The proposed universal Citizen's Inheritance would be restricted to spending on a house deposit, or to fund "skills, entrepreneurship and pension saving", the Foundation said.
  • Sky News
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Headlines Friday 4th May 2018
 
 
Stockholm Norvik Port Halfway Complete
 
The Stockholm Norvik Port, scheduled to open in 2020, has reached the halfway stage in its construction process.
 
Buildings, quays and bridges over the future railway are emerging simultaneously as the features of the new port start to take shape, while supporting casement walls are being moved into place on the sea bed using floating structures.
 
Around 350 people are currently working on-site as the Stockholm Norvik Port gets ready to welcome the first vessel in 2020.
 
“The Stockholm Norvik Port is long-awaited. Volumes of both RoRo and container traffic are increasing and vessels are becoming ever larger,” Johan Castwall, Ports of Stockholm Managing Director, said.
  • World Maritime News
 
DP World Limassol Opens New Cruise Passenger Terminal
 
Port and terminal operator DP World has inaugurated a new cruise passenger terminal in Limassol, Cyprus.
 
The terminal, which was officially opened on May 3, will enable the largest cruise ships in the world to visit the country for the first time, the company informed.
 
These cruise vessels would be berthed at the terminal’s East berth, which features a length of 480 meters and depth of 11 meters.
 
The terminal is designed to facilitate both Transit (day call) and Turnaround (home porting) services.
 
“This new passenger terminal represents a huge improvement in the service and facilities we are able to provide to all our customers. It is an exciting time for us at DP World Limassol as an economic driver, this new passenger terminal will open up new opportunities for Cyprus and Limassol,” Charles Meaby, General Manager of DP World Limassol, earlier said.
  • World Maritime News
 
Hawaii evacuations ordered as Kilauea volcano lava erupts
 
More than 1,000 people have been ordered to evacuate on Hawaii’s Big Island after the eruption of the Kilauea volcano led to lava flows into residential areas.
 
Steam and lava has poured out of a crack in Leilani Estates, which is near the town of Pahoa, with all of its population of 1,500 told to leave.
 
It comes after a week of residents being warned that they should prepare to evacuate, with officials saying an eruption would give little warning. Nearby community centres have opened for shelter.
 
Earlier in the week, a school in the Puna district was closed due to seismic activity and several roads cracked under the strain of the constant temblors.
 
Since Monday, hundreds of earthquakes – most of them about 2.0 magnitude – have been recorded in the area. The Puu Oo, which is a volcanic cone in the eastern rift zone of the Kīlauea Volcano, began to collapse on Monday, triggering earthquakes and pushing the lava into newly created underground chambers.
 
Officials said it was impossible to predict how long the eruption would last.
  • The Guardian
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Headlines Thursday 3rd May 2018
 
MODEC’s New FSRWP Vessel Design Gets AiP
 
French-based classification society Bureau Veritas has awarded Approval in Principle (AiP) to MODEC’s new vessel concept design at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas.
 
Namely, the Japanese FPSO specialist has developed the Floating Storage, Regasification, Water-Desalination and Power-Generation (FSRWP) vessel, which can provide clean energy and water more efficiently and cost-effectively than conventional solutions.
 
The vessel concept has been developed with the aim of addressing global key water and energy needs from a floating platform.
 
The new vessel concept, which is not covered by existing classification society, targets Africa as its primary geographical deployment area.
 
Bureau Veritas said that despite the concept’s early-development stages it used created new approaches to classification for this vessel, based on risk mitigation around new technology and requirements.
  • World Maritime News
 
Tidal power boom could create thousands of jobs in Scotland
 
The marine renewable energy industry could create thousands of jobs across Scotland after a new report found the sector is capable of meeting strict requirements imposed by the UK Government.
 
Experts are now calling for Holyrood and Westminster to unlock the potential of tidal and wave power and place the UK at the forefront of the developing market.
 
An evidence-based study by think-tank Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult found the tidal stream industry could generate a net cumulative benefit to the UK of £1.4bn, including considerable exports, as well as supporting 4,000 jobs by 2030. Wave energy could support 8,100 jobs by 2040 and contribute £4bn.
 
The report predicted the jobs created would be centred in coastal areas “with greater need for economic regeneration” such as Scotland, Wales and the south-west of England.
 
It added that developing these technologies in the UK would secure investment and jobs in coastal communities. Failure to invest would mean “letting our global advantage slip away to competitors
 
Industry minister Claire Perry set out a new ‘triple test’ in October last year for determining support for new technologies.
 
ORE believe tidal and wave power meet each of the three benchmarks - achieving maximum carbon reduction, showing a clear cost reduction pathway, and demonstrating that the UK can be a world-leader in a global market.
  • The Scotsman
 
German Cruise Market Heats Up
 
TUI Cruises took delivery of its largest cruise ship, the new Mein Schiff 1, from Meyer Turku on April 25. Due to enter service in May, as Mein Schiff also marks its 10th anniversary, the new ship is the latest advancement in the hotly contested German cruise market.
 
Since 2014, Germany has been Europe’s largest cruise passenger source market, growing by more than eight percent to over two million passengers in 2017 according to the CLIA. Over the past decade, the number of German cruise passengers nearly tripled lead by AIDA and TUI, which together today represent about 70 percent of the market. It continues to be the fastest growing market in Europe. 
 
The fifth new cruise ship Meyer Turku has built for TUI Cruises in just five years, the 111,500-gross ton Mein Schiff 1 is more than 10 percent bigger than the prior ships with nearly a 14 percent increase in passenger capacity. Ordered in July 2015, Mein Schiff 1 is the first of three new ships Meyer Turku will build for TUI Cruises. Previously, Meyer Turk built four 99,800-gross ton cruise ships for the Mein Schiff operation between 2014 and 2017. 
 
Conceived in 2008, Mein Schiff operated by TUI Cruises is a 50-50 joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises. Their first cruises launched in May 2009 with the former Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Galaxy, which was rebranded as Mein Schiff (later Mein Schiff 1). The product was tailored to the tastes and preferences of the German traveler reflected in the food, entertainment, amenities and onboard atmosphere.
 
Royal Caribbean Cruises CFO Jason Liberty recently told investors, “Our very successful German joint venture, TUI Cruises, will take delivery of the new Mein Schiff 1 next month. Demand for TUI Cruises’ brand is exceptionally strong and continues to accelerate as they further expand their destination offering.”
 
  • The Maritime Executive
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Headlines Wednesday 2nd May 2018 
 
JAXPORT and Carnival Cruise Line sign long-term deal
 
JAXPORT has signed a long-term agreement to extend Carnival Cruise Line’s service from the port of Jacksonville in Florida, US, until at least May 2021.
 
The deal extends the cruise line’s service from the Jacksonville port for three years and includes three additional two-year renewal options until 2027.
 
It will also see improvements to the passenger experience and to the terminal building in Jacksonville.
 
Following the latest extension, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Elation vessel will continue to provide year-round sailing to the Bahamas from JAXPORT’s North Jacksonville Cruise Terminal.
 
Featuring a length of 855ft, the 71,909t vessel is capable of accommodating 2,130 guests and 920 crew members on-board.
 
JAXPORT CEO Eric Green said: “In addition to bringing jobs and economic opportunity to Northeast Florida, cruise service boosts tourism in our area and offers a platform to promote all that this region has to offer.”
 
Since 2003, the company has handled more than 2.2 million cruise passengers at its Jacksonville terminal.
 
Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said: “With Carnival Elation sailing year-round from Jacksonville, we’ve seen great demand from the area.
 
“This agreement ensures we can continue to offer the great value, incredible service and the most fun our guests sailing from Jacksonville have come to expect from Carnival.”
  • Ship Technology
 
India’s 1st Floating LNG Terminal Inaugurated
 
Indian’s first floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal was inaugurated on May 1 by the country’s gas company H-Energy, a unit of Hiranandani Group.
 
Eni’s floating storage re-gasification unit (FSRU) GDF SUEZ Cape Ann was hired for the job in 2017.
 
The 145,000 cbm FSRU, which was hired for a minimum period of 5 years, arrived at the LNG re-gasification project at Jaigarh port in Maharashtra on the west coast of India, on April 30.
 
The vessel is equipped with the re-gasification capacity to operate the project at around 4 million tons per annum.
 
H-Energy said the FRSU sets a new era in Indian LNG industry.
  • World Maritime news
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Headlines Tuesday 1st May 2018 
 
Buckeye-Led JV to Build VLCC-Capable Terminal at Corpus Christi
 
Houston-based pipeline and terminal operator Buckeye Partners has set up a joint venture with Phillips 66 Partners and Andeavor to develop a new deep-water, open access marine terminal in Ingleside, Texas.
 
The South Texas Gateway Terminal will be constructed on a 212-acre waterfront parcel at the mouth of Corpus Christi Bay and is aimed to serve as the primary outlet for crude oil and condensate volumes delivered off of the planned Gray Oak pipeline from the Permian Basin.
 
The terminal, to be constructed and operated by Buckeye, will offer 3.4 million barrels of crude oil storage capacity and two deep-water vessel docks capable of berthing very large crude carriers (VLCC).
 
The facility can be expanded to include over 10 million barrels of storage capacity as well as multiple additional docks and other inbound pipeline connections, the company said.
 
As informed, the initial construction of the terminal is supported by long-term minimum volume throughput commitments from Phillips 66 and Andeavor, and the terminal is scheduled to commence initial operations by the end of 2019.
  • World Maritime News
 
WhatsApp founder quits after clash with Facebook over privacy rules
 
The co-founder of WhatsApp has quit after disagreeing with Facebook's attempts to weaken the messaging service's privacy rules.
 
Jan Koum clashed with parent company Facebook over the social media giant's attempts to use people's personal data and weaken WhatsApp's encryption, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the issue.
 
Referring to co-founder Brian Acton, the WhatsApp CEO wrote on Facebook: "It's been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an amazing journey with some of the best people.
 
"But it is time for me to move on."
 
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, commented on Mr Koum's post, saying he was grateful for what he had taught him about encryption "and its ability to take power from centralised systems and put it back in people's hands".
 
"Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp," he promised.
 
European regulators want to stop or limit Facebook's plans to use WhatsApp user data, including phone numbers, to develop products and target ads.
  • Sky News
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Headlines Monday 30th April 2018 
 
 
GasLog Partners Delivers Highest Quarterly Profit
 
Owner of LNG carriers GasLog Partners delivered its highest-ever quarterly partnership performance results in the first quarter of 2018.
 
The company’s profit increased by 7 percent from USD 29.9 million to USD 32 million reported in the first three months ended March 31, 2018.
 
Revenues for the quarter were slightly down at USD 77.1 million, compared to USD 77.2 million seen a year earlier.
 
The company mainly attributed the increase in profit to the USD 12.5 million profit from operations of the GasLog Greece, the GasLog Geneva and the Solaris, acquired by the Partnership on May 3, 2017, July 3, 2017, and October 20, 2017, respectively, and an increase of USD 6.3 million in gain on interest rate swaps.
 
“In the first quarter, GasLog Partners continued to execute its growth strategy, delivering our highest-ever Partnership Performance Results for Revenues, Profit, Adjusted Profit, EBITDA and Distributable cash flow,” Andrew Orekar, Chief Executive Officer, said.
 
“Following this strong performance, we are increasing our cash distribution for the sixth consecutive quarter to USD 0.53 per unit, or USD 2.12 per unit annualized, while maintaining prudent distribution coverage,” Orekar added.
  • World Maritime News
 
Biggest Indian Cargo Company Wants to Build an Uber for Shipping
 
Allcargo Logistics Ltd. is emulating Uber Technologies Inc. to boost its business of sharing marine containers.
 
A unit of the Mumbai-based Allcargo, ECU Worldwide, which aggregates orders from clients, plans to use Uber’s model to make it easier for clients to book marine freight.
 
Allcargo, which reported a drop in profit in four of the past five quarters, is betting on technology to revive volumes and take on overseas rivals such as DHL Worldwide Express in Asia’s third-largest economy. The time may be right for the company as India’s logistics infrastructure improves. The nation jumped 19 positions to 35 in the World Bank’s logistics performance including infrastructure, customs and timeliness.
 
“Internet companies like the Ubers of the world have successfully converted their aggregation model with robust technology infrastructure,” Allcargo Chairman Shashi Kiran Shetty said in an interview last week. “The idea is to help its customers to make it simple to conduct their business with ECU Worldwide, from any corner of the world through their devices.”
 
Allcargo -- which claims to be India’s largest integrated logistics services provider in the private sector -- has seen its shares fall 31 percent this year, while profit dropped about 30 percent in the three months ended December. ECU accounts for 80 percent of Allcargo’s revenue.
 
“The Uber modeling in consolidated cargo logistics is an ambitious and innovative move,” said Mathew Antony, managing partner of Mumbai-based Aditya Consulting, an advisory firm specializing in infrastructure, logistics and real estate industries. “But the challenge will be on the ease of transaction in the export-import trade where there are many regulatory check points, which is in third party control, compared to a direct business-to-customer model of Uber.”
  • Bloomberg
 
Sajid Javid replaces Amber Rudd as home secretary
 
Sajid Javid has been appointed as home secretary, replacing Amber Rudd who resigned after repeatedly struggling to account for her role in the unjust treatment of Windrush-generation migrants.
 
Theresa May announced Javid’s appointment on Monday morning, installing the communities secretary to the Home Office where his first job will be to deal with the ongoing immigration debacle.
 
He is the first BAME politician to hold the role and his appointment could offer some hope to critics that the government is aware of how damaging the issue has been for community relations and trust in the immigration system.
 
The home secretary, whose parents emigrated from Pakistan in the 1960s, spoke at the weekend about his initial reaction to news of the treatment of Windrush-generation migrants. “I thought that could be my mum … my dad … my uncle … it could be me,” he said.
 
Javid, 48, said he recognised the scandal could cause concern among ethnic minority voters but issued a plea to those who were wavering to look at the government’s attempts to “put things right”.
 
The Home Office, one of the major offices of state, is a notoriously difficult department to run, with many secretaries having been forced to quit as a result of errors.
 
Dealing with the Windrush crisis, as well as the underlying problems around immigration, will be top of Javid’s inbox. However, tackling rising knife crime, fighting to justify policing cuts and handling the ongoing terrorism threat are all key issues.
 
A Downing Street statement said: “The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP as secretary of state for the home department.”
  • The Guardian

 

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Headlines Friday 27th April 2018 
 
Scotland’s whisky industry reaches renewable energy target
 
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) set out an environmental strategy in 2009 to reduce fossil fuel usage and increase its reliance on green energy across the sector.
 
Renewable energy use increased from 3% in 2008 to 21% by 2016.
 
The industry has also reduced emissions by 22% over the last decade and has increased the amount of recycled materials in product packaging to 44%, SWA said.
 
Chief executive Karen Betts said: “The Scotch whisky industry may be one of Scotland’s oldest and most successful exports, but these ambitious targets highlight how as a sector we are embracing innovation and technology to help protect the environment.
 
“Looking ahead, there is more work to be done to achieve all our 2020 goals.
 
The SWA will continue to work with Scotch whisky producers, our supply chain, government and other stakeholders to ensure we continue to drive progress and deliver our sustainability strategy.”
 
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “It is encouraging to see the strong progress the Scotch whisky industry has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become more environmentally sustainable.
 
“The industry’s efforts to use non-fossil fuels, cut down on water use and to recycle packaging are an example we would encourage other sectors to follow and will feed into Scotland-wide environmental targets which will help make Scotland a cleaner and greener place to live.”
  • The Sunday Post
 
 
TEN Sells Its Oldest VLCC for Scrap
 
Greek tanker owner and operator Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) has availed of the strong demolition prices to sell its oldest very large crude carrier.
 
The Panama-flagged VLCC Millennium, featuring 301,200 dwt, was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in 1998.
 
“The Millennium has operated flawlessly and profitably since its newbuilding delivery exactly 20 years ago and was much in demand by many significant oil concerns throughout her life. The attractive price achieved combined with her age, provided us with the right opportunity to take advantage of the very strong recycling market, something other owners should consider as well,” George Saroglou, COO of TEN commented.
 
March was one of the busiest months for VLCC demolition, with a dozen of ships sent for scrap. Only one VLCC is reported to have been removed from the fleet in April this year.
 
Separately, TEN said that it has secured a minimum 12 maximum 24-months charter with an undisclosed oil major for an MR product tanker. The fixture of the MR is expected to generate approximately USD 10 million of gross revenues over the extended duration of the contract while the sale of the VLCC will generate USD 7.5 million of free cash after repayment of applicable debt.
  • World Maritime News
 
DP World Bullish on Volume Growth in 2018
 
Dubai-based terminal operator DP World Limited is off to a good start in terms of volume growth across its terminals.
 
The company handled 17.6 million TEU across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first quarter of 2018, marking an increase of 7.3 percent for gross container volumes year-on-year on a reported basis, and 8.4 pct on a like-for-like basis.
 
This is well ahead of Drewry Maritime’s industry estimate of 4.6 pct global throughput growth for the first quarter of 2018, DP World said announcing the results.
 
The rise in volumes in the first quarter was driven by continued recovery in global trade, with the company’s terminals across Europe, Middle East & Africa and Australia, delivering growth.
 
“Following a strong year for the global container market in 2017 with peak levels since 2011, our portfolio has had an encouraging start to 2018 delivering ahead-of-market growth,” Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented.
  • World Maritime News

 

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Headlines Thursday 26th April 2018 

 
 
GTT, Sembcorp Marine Ink Membrane Tank Solutions Deal
 
French engineering company GTT has signed a Technical Assistance and License Agreement (TALA) with Sembcorp Marine for the design and construction of membrane tank solutions.
 
Under the deal, GTT would undertake the works for Sembcorp Marine’s Gravifloat, FSRU and mid-scale LNG carrier products using GTT membrane solutions.
Sembcorp Marine received its approval after completing a qualification process which started in 2017, including the building of a Mark III mock-up and an audit conducted by GTT.
 
This partnership allows both companies to target new markets, especially focusing on solutions for LNG terminals, and to advance the development of LNG in the global fuel supply chain
 
  • World Maritime News
 
Singapore Maritime Week 2018: Record number of graduating seafarers
 
MORE than 80 seafarers graduated from Certificate of Competency (CoC) (Special Limit) programmes at Singapore Polytechnic on Thursday, making it the largest graduating cohort since the programmes were first introduced in 2011.
 
The programmes prepare seafarers to serve on board ships that sail up to 30 nautical miles off Singapore waters, also known as "Special Limits".
 
They have to go through different phases in their training programmes, including courses at the Singapore Maritime Academy, as well as on-the-job training on ships.
 
These seafarers can choose either the deck or marine engineer officer tracks. Some are at the starting points of their careers, while others are in the middle of advancing their careers.
 
A total of 44 seafarers who completed their course became cadets. 18 other seafarers graduated from the CoC Class 5 (Special Limit) programme, allowing them to be 2nd engineers or chief mates. Another 22 graduated from the Class 4 programme, which qualifies them to be chief engineers or masters.
 
The certificate, which is internationally recognised, is valid for five years and has to be re-validated after that for the holder to qualify for sea service.
Andrew Tan, chief executive of the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), said: "MPA is committed to growing a pipeline of skilled local seafarers to support the growth and transformation of the industry.
  • Business Times
 
Companies sign up to pledge to cut plastic pollution
 
More than 40 companie
s have signed up to a pact to cut plastic pollution over the next seven years.
 
The firms, which include Coca-Cola and Asda, have promised to honour a number of pledges such as eliminating single-use packaging through better design.
 
They have joined the government, trade associations and campaigners to form the UK Plastics Pact.
 
The signatories are responsible for more than 80% of plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets.
 
One of the promises which companies, such as consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble and Marks & Spencer, have signed up to is to make 100% of plastic packaging ready for recycling or composting by 2025.
 
Led by the sustainability campaign group WRAP, the pact is described as a "once-in-a lifetime opportunity" to rethink plastic both to make use of its value and to stop it damaging the environment.
WRAP's chief executive Marcus Gover, said: "This requires a whole scale transformation of the plastics system and can only be achieved by bringing together all links in the chain under a shared commitment to act.
 
"That is what makes the UK Plastics Pact unique. It unites every body, business and organisation with a will to act on plastic pollution. We will never have a better time to act, and together we can."
 
The set of pledges to tackle plastic pollution over the next seven years include:
  • Eliminate difficult or unnecessary single use plastic packaging through better design
  • Make 100% of plastic packaging reusable or recyclable or compostable
  • Make sure 70% of plastic packaging is recycled or composted
  • 30% of all plastic packaging to include recycled material
  • BBC news
 
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Headlines Wednesday 25th April 2018 
 
Nakilat’s Q1 Profit Grows by 13 Pct 
 
Qatar-based LNG shipping company Nakilat closed the first quarter of this year with a 13% year-over-year (YOY) increase in its profit. 
 
The company posted a net profit of QAR 217 million (USD 59.6 million) in Q1 2018, compared to QAR 191.4 million (USD 52.6 million) recorded in the same period a year earlier. 
 
“The company has managed to achieve positive results across its operations through rationalization of operational expenses, enhanced operational efficiency, and growth of our international portfolio through the recent expansion with Maran Gas Ventures Inc. to include two additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers,” Nakilat said in a statement. 
  • World Maritime News 
 
Russia and China Boost Cooperation 
 
Russia and China have recently conducted combined naval exercises in the South China Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Sea of Japan, and on Tuesday China said it will continue to strengthen military to military relations with Russia to address new security challenges in the world. 
 
Air Force General Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while meeting with Russia's defense minister Sergey Shoygu in Beijing. He said the Sino-Russian relationship has reached new heights. 
 
At the moment, new security challenges and issues are emerging due to growing uncertainties around the world, Xu said. Therefore, China is willing to deepen mutual support with Russia. In turn, Shoygu said Russia prioritizes strengthening its comprehensive strategic partnership with China. 
  • Maritime Executive 
 
High probability of a Brexit deal with EU, says Davis 
 
Brexit minister David Davis said on Wednesday he believed that there was a high probability that Britain would negotiate a deal to leave the European Union, dismissing fears that the country could crash out of the bloc. 
 
Telling a parliamentary committee of lawmakers that there was only a tiny probability of a no deal, he said: “I think the massively higher probability is a deal.” 
  • Reuters 
 
 
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Headlines Wednesday 18th April 2018
 
 
Each Brexit scenario will leave Britain worse off, study finds
 
Each of the government’s four Brexit scenarios, including a bespoke deal, would leave Britain poorer and cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds each week, analysis has shown.
 
The study for the thinktank Global Future by Jonathan Portes, a professor of economics and public policy at King’s College, London, found that a bespoke deal, the government’s preferred option, would have a net negative fiscal impact of about £40bn a year.
 
Global Future research is based on the government’s own impact studies on three different Brexit scenarios, but also examines a fourth option – a bespoke deal – using data from the official assessments along with details set out by the prime minister in her Mansion House speech.
 
After looking at all four options available to the prime minister, the study established that in the long-term, the amount of money available for spending on public services would fall. Under the so-called Norway option, there would be £262m less a week, under the Canada model it would be £877m, while under a no deal it would be £1.25bn.
  • The Guardian
 
Flex LNG Secures Charter Deal for New LNG Carrier
 
Oslo-listed ship owner and operator Flex LNG has entered into a time-charter agreement for its newly-built LNG carrier Flex Enterprise.
 
Under the agreement, signed with gas and power utility company Enel Trade, the 173,400 cbm carrier was hired for a period of 12 months, scheduled to commence during the second half of 2019.
 
Enel has the option to extend the contract for the vessel, which featured MEGI propulsion, by an additional 12 months subsequent to the firm period.
  • World Maritime News
 
 
Armed forces 'lacking 800 pilots and 2,400 engineers'
 
Britain's armed forces are "significantly" understaffed in critical areas - including a shortfall of more than 2,000 engineers and 800 pilots, according to Whitehall's spending watchdog.
 
In all, more than 8,200 regulars are needed to bridge what the National Audit Office (NAO) describes as the "largest gap in a decade".
 
The NAO also identified 102 trades where there are not enough trained regulars to cover operational tasks without cancelling leave or training.
 
Meanwhile, the percentage of those leaving the armed forces voluntarily has increased from 3.8% a year in March 2010 to 5.6% in December 2017.
 
But new demands, such as the increasing risk of cyber and electronic attacks, will "add to the pressure to increase capability in some trades that already have shortfalls" the report added.
 
Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, said: "In these uncertain times, it is more critical than ever that Britain has a well-staffed armed forces with the technical know-how to handle threats to national security.
 
An MoD Spokesman said recruiting and retaining talent was a "top priority" and there were many schemes to attract and keep skilled personnel.
  • Sky News
 
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Headlines Tuesday 17th April 2018

 

NYK Floats Out Industry’s 1st Green Bonds
 
Next month NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) in Japan is set to become the world’s first shipping company to issue labelled Green Bonds in the shipping sector.  Any proceeds from green bonds are used for funding environmentally friendly projects.
 
“NYK said it would use the bonds’ net proceeds to pursue investments in technologies such as LNG-fueled ships, LNG-bunkering vessels, ballast water treatment equipment, and SOx (sulfur oxides) scrubber systems.”
  • World Maritime News
 
Pound remains close to post-Brexit high
 
The pound has hit its highest level since June 2016, when Britain voted to leave the European Union.  It has gained more than 0.2% to $1.437, beating a previous post-Brexit-vote high set in January, in early trading, before falling back.
 
Back in June 2016, after the Brexit vote, the pound sank hitting $1.2068 in January of last year.
 
Simon Derrick, head of currency research at Bank of New York Mellon, said the main reasons for the pound's comeback against the dollar since the start of 2017 had been expectations about UK rate rises and increasing optimism over the Brexit process.
  • BBC news

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Headlines Monday 16th April 2018

 

TechnipFMC awarded contract for Tortue/Ahmeyim development FPSO unit
 
TechnipFMC has been awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by BP for the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit for the Tortue / Ahmeyim Field Development, a major LNG (liquefied natural gas) project located offshore on the maritime border of Mauritania and Senegal.
  • Reuters
 
Marine Harvest plans to produce salmon on a bulk vessel rejected
 
The Norwegian Fisheries Directorate has rejected Marine Harvest application for six development licenses in relation to the “the Vessel” (“Skipet”) concept, an experimental fish farm design to produce salmon, the regulator said in a statement
 
The application was sent in June 2016 and the Directorate apologize for a slow process
 
Marine Harvest’ initial plan (before rejection) was to convert a scrapped bulk carrier to a closed fish farm where the tanks was used for salmon production, total six tanks with about 158,000 salmons in each tank
 
To be awarded a license under the scheme, companies must show that their plans bring technological innovation while also adhering to strict environmental and animal welfare procedures
 
- Reuters
 
Vroon agrees on financial restructuring deal with lenders
 
Dutch shipping company Vroon has reached an agreement in principle with all of its lenders regarding the terms of its financial restructuring.
 
The agreement marks the important step towards the final stage of a process initiated in late 2016 following continued challenges in shipping markets. Vroon is confident that the envisaged restructuring will provide a generous runway to implement its strategic plans,” Vroon said.
 
The agreement is subject to final documentation and credit committee confirmation.
 
The company’s restructuring was prompted by an overall downturn in the maritime industry, driven in particular by offshore oil and gas.
Namely, Vroon’s offshore-support-vessel subsidiary Vroon Offshore Services was heavily impacted by a reduction in demand, resulting from the severe downturn. However, the company said that its other businesses were all performing in line with expectations.
Now that the restructuring agreement has been reached, Vroon said it would continue to keep its focus on measures aimed at strengthening its financial structure.
 
Vroon is active in several shipping business sectors and its fleet of 200 vessels includes livestock carriers, offshore-support vessels, dry-cargo and container vessels, product/chemical tankers, asphalt/bitumen tankers and car carriers.
 
The company employs 350 staff at its shore-based facilities and around 2,800 marine personnel worldwide.
 
- World Maritime News

 

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Headlines Friday 13th April 2018

 

Port of Rotterdam calls for higher CO2 price

The Port of Rotterdam has called on the Dutch Government to form a coalition with countries in North-West Europe with an aim to introduce a higher CO2 price.

The higher price is expected to stimulate new investments in clean technologies and innovation, according to Allard Castelein, Port Authority CEO.

A price in the range of 50-70 euros per ton of CO2 will stimulate companies to invest in solutions that we really need in order to realise the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement,” Castelein said, adding that “a North-West European coalition would guarantee a level playing field for the industry.”

The Port Authority announced that it would introduce an incentive of in total EUR 5 million to support vessel owners and charterers that experiment with low-carbon or zero-carbon fuels to promote climate-friendly maritime shipping.

The Rotterdam/Moerdijk port industrial area faces the challenge of reducing CO2 by 20 million tons per year as of 2030. The Port Authority is convinced that this target can be realised as part of the national Climate Agreement.

The Government is currently focusing on the reduction of greenhouse gases. In order to switch to a new energy system, as a Government you also need an integral vision and a corresponding industrial policy for the new economy, the future industrial landscape and the type of R&D required to achieve that.”

Additionally, the Port Authority presented new research figures in the transport and logistics sector at the Energy in Transition Summit 2018. The study showed that marine and inland transport with Rotterdam as the destination or departure point is responsible for emissions of around 25 million tons of CO2 every year.

World Maritime News

 

Theresa May gets the backing of her ministers to take action against Syria

Prime Minister Theresa May won backing from her senior ministers to take unspecified action with the United States and France to deter further use of chemical weapons by Syria after a suspected poison gas attack on civilians.

The prospect of a confrontation between Russia, the Syrian government’s ally, and the West has loomed since Trump said on Wednesday that missiles “will be coming” in response to the attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7.

Trump has since tempered those remarks and the White House said no final decisions on possible actions had been taken.

Russia has warned the West against attacking its Syrian ally President Bashar al-Assad, who is also supported by Iran, and says there is no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma, a town near Damascus which had been rebel-held until this month.

Reuters

 

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Headlines 12th April 2018

 

Theresa May summons cabinet to decide Syria response

The prime minister has summoned the cabinet to discuss the government's response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Ministers will consider the options for backing military action threatened by the United States and its allies.

Theresa May is prepared to take action against the Assad regime in Syria without first seeking parliamentary consent, sources have told the BBC.

The allies want to prevent a repeat of an apparent chemical attack in Douma.

Mrs May has said "all the indications" are that the Syrian regime of president Bashar al-Assad, which denies mounting a chemical attack, was responsible.

Mrs May is still yet to unequivocally point the finger of blame at the Assad government but she has spoken of the need for action "if" the regime is found to bear responsibility.

BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale said the cabinet was expected to back the PM, but she seems willing to act without the express support of Parliament.

However, he said this would anger some, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who believes Parliament should be consulted first.

Mr Corbyn has also warned that bombing could escalate the situation in Syria.

Mrs May has described the alleged use of chemical weapons as a "humanitarian catastrophe" that "cannot go unchallenged".

BBC

 

Norwegian Cruise Line gets green light for PortMiami terminal

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Miami-Dade County have amended and restated an agreement incorporating the construction of a new Cruise Terminal B at PortMiami.

A ground breaking ceremony for the new terminal, which will be able to accommodate vessels carrying 5,000 passengers, is to be held on April 26.

Construction is set to be completed in the fall of 2019 on schedule to receive the Norwegian Encore, the newest ship of NCL’s Breakaway Plus class, when it makes its debut in Miami with seasonal cruises to the Caribbean.

“The construction of a new cruise terminal with the capacity to berth an additional 5,000-passenger cruise ship represents thousands of jobs and increased opportunities for our community,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said.

 

The new agreement guarantees the county a minimum of 1.3 million NCL passenger moves annually, solidifying Miami as its exclusive homeport in South Florida.

We are excited to partner with Miami-Dade County, the architects at Bermello Ajamil & Partners, and the team at NV2A and Haskell to create a modern and innovative terminal that will soon welcome guests to a premium experience that begins even before they embark and fully immerse themselves in what it means to cruise with Norwegian,” Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, added.

NCL unveiled the design of its dedicated terminal at PortMiami in early March 2018.

World Maritime News

 

Enterprise Expands Terminal on Houston Ship Channel

U.S.-based Enterprise Products Partners has moved on to the next phase of expansion at its Houston Ship Channel marine terminal, the Enterprise Hydrocarbon Terminal (EHT).

Namely, the company acquired a 65-acre waterfront site on the Houston Ship Channel for the terminal expansion. The company unveiled that future plans include construction of at least two deepwater docks capable of accommodating Suezmax vessels.

Located immediately to the east of EHT, the purchased property features two existing docks, dredging infrastructure that will be utilized for maintenance and dock expansion at the site, and land for expanding Enterprise’s marine terminaling capabilities.

“As one of the last waterfront properties for sale adjacent to our existing ship channel assets, this strategic acquisition complements our world-class EHT marine terminal and strengthens our position as an industry leader in providing waterborne access,” A.J. Jim Teague, chief executive officer of Enterprise’s general partner, said.

The growth opportunities available at the 65-acre site enhance our ability to accommodate growing U.S. hydrocarbon production which is increasingly destined for global markets.”

Combined with the EHT complex, the newly acquired assets will be part of Enterprise’s premier Gulf Coast network of marine terminals that includes 18 ship docks, and eight barge docks.

World Maritime News

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Headlines 11th April 2018

 

Worlds 1st ferry to be fitted with a wind powered rotor sail

Viking Line’s passenger ship M/S Viking Grace has been fitted with a rotor sail for the utilization of wind power, becoming the world’s first passenger ship to feature the technology.

The Rotor Sail Solution, developed by the Finnish company Norsepower Oy, will cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions by up to 900 tonnes annually, Viking Line said.

The LNG-fueled Viking Grace will be deployed on wind-assisted voyages between Turku, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden from April 12, 2018.

“As the rotor is spinning, the passing air will flow with a lower pressure on one side then the opposite side. The propulsion force created by this pressure difference will drive the vessel forward. The rotor sail operation is automated and the system will shut down in response to any disadvantageous changes in the direction or force of the wind,” the company explained.

The cylindrical rotor sail installed on M/S Viking Grace is 24 m in height and 4 m in diameter and it uses the Magnus effect for propulsion.

“We want to pioneer the use of solutions that reduce the environmental load. Based in Finland, Norsepower has developed a world-class mechanical rotor sail solution that will reduce fuel consumption. We are proud of the fact that our Viking Grace will be the first passenger ship in the world to benefit from this innovative solution,” Jan Hanses, CEO of Viking Line, said.

The Finnish cleantech company’s rotor sail solution bodes with the tightening environmental requirements.

“The last traditional windjammers in the world were owned and operated by shipping companies based in Åland, so it’s fitting that Åland-based Viking Line should be a forerunner in launching modern auxiliary sail technology,” Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, said.

World Maritime News

 

MSC Armonia runs into a dock in Honduras

MSC Armonia, a 2001-built cruise ship owned by MSC Cruises, crashed into a dock in the port of Roatan in Honduras, on April 10, at 09.00 a.m., local time.

Videos of the incident that emerged on Youtube show the ship uncontrollably speeding into the port, damaging the dock in the impact.

The cause of the incident is unknown, however, initial reports indicate that the ship might have experienced a technical issue.

“While maneuvering alongside, for reasons that are currently still being duly investigated, the ship deviated from its course and grazed the end of the pier,” a spokesperson of MSC Cruises told World Maritime News.

 

According to the company statement, the crew of the ship and its guests are safe and sound. In addition, there was no impact on the environment.

“As to the ship, the damage was minor. The ship has also since been cleared by Honduran Port State Control authorities to continue its journey as soon as the necessary repairs are concluded. At the present time, ship personnel and external experts are still at work to complete such repairs,” the spokesperson said.

World Maritime News

 

Airlines warned of possible strikes into Syria

Pan-European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol on Tuesday warned airlines to exercise caution in the eastern Mediterranean due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria in next 72 hours.

Eurocontrol said that air-to-ground and cruise missiles could be used within that period and there was a possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Western allies are discussing possible military action to punish Syria’s President Bashar Assad for a suspected poison gas attack on Saturday on a rebel-held town that long had held out against government forces.

Trump on Tuesday cancelled a planned trip to Latin America later this week to focus instead on responding to the Syria incident, the White House said.

Trump had on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the Syria attack was established.

The Eurocontrol warning on its website did not specify the origin of any potential missile threat.

Reuters

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Headlines Tuesday 10th April 2018

HMM Orders 20 Megaships

South Korean Shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has embarked on ordering a total of 20 megaships.

HMM plans to order 12 vessels above 20,000 TEU and 8 vessels 14,000 TEU vessels.  The vessels are being considered for Asia-North Europe and US east coast trade routes.

“Considering the factors including the recent increase in new shipbuilding price and dock availability, HMM will start on selection of shipyards by sending out its Request for Proposal (RFP) to shipbuilding companies on April 10,” the company said.

World Maritime News

 

UK salaries for Permanent jobs rise at slowest pace for 9 months – REC

British companies raised salaries for new permanent staff in March at the slowest rate in nine months, according to a survey that may surprise Bank of England officials expecting a further improvement in pay growth.

The monthly gauge of starting salaries for permanent workers from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and accountancy KPMG from fell to 60.0 from 61.5 in February, its lowest level since June last year.

While official data last month showed workers’ total earnings, including bonuses, rose by an annual 2.8 percent in the three months to January - the biggest increase since 2015 - Tuesday’s survey of recruitment firms may raise questions about the strength of pay pressure further ahead.

The REC survey showed demand for staff - both temporary and permanent - continued to rise strongly, albeit at a slower rate than late last year.

“In hospitality, demand for temporary staff is really high, but businesses have had fewer applicants from the EU since the Brexit vote,” REC director of policy Tom Hadley said.

Reuters

 

China LNG Shipping Eyes VLEC order

China LNG Shipping, a subsidiary of China Merchants Energy Shipping Co, is interested in adding ethane carriers to its gas carrying fleet.

Namely, the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with compatriot Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding for the construction of Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLEC), according to the data from Asiasis.

Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has been active in developing very large ethane carrier designs amid an anticipated increase in demand for different types of liquefied gases.

World Maritime News

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Headlines Monday 9th April 2018

 

Oil Tanker crashes into historic mansion

A tanker crashed into a historicmansion on the shores of Istanbuls Bosphorus on Saturday afters its steering equipment became locked.   Traffic in the strait had been suspended in both directions as a result of the incident.

Tow boats and coast guard vessels were sent to the area after the crash and the “Vitaspirit” tanker, carrying a Maltese flag was pulled back from the crash site and brought to shore.

There were no reports of casualties but the Hekimbasi Salid Efendi Mansion, a mansion that has stood since the 18th Century, suffered extensive damage.

The bosphorus is one of the world’s most important choke points for maritime oil transports, with more that 3 percent of global supply – mainly from Russia and the Caspian Sea – passing through the 17-mile waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.

Reuters

 

Syria Says U.S suspected of attacking air base but pentagon denies it.

Syrian state TV said on Monday the Unites States was suspected of striking an air base hours after U.S President Donald Trump warned of a “big price to pay” as aid groups said dozens were killed in by poison gas in a rebel held town.

The United States have denied attacking the Syrian base, and France also said it had not carried it out.

“At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

“However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable.”

Reuters

 

Adidas to close stores in online push

Adidas expects to close down stores in the coming years as part of a shift towards selling more goods online, it’s chief executive told a newspaper.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Kasper Rorsted said “over time, we will have fewer stores but they will be better”, adding that over the coming year the number of Adidas stores was expected to contract slightly.

“Our website is the most important store we have in the world.”

Adidas, which wants to more than double its ecommerce sales to 4 billion euros ($4.91 billion) by 2020 from 1.6 billion last year, has 2,500 stores globally and 13,000 additional mono-branded franchise stores, the Financial Times said.

Financial Times

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Headlines Thursday 5th April 2018
 
£30m to be invested by Aggreko in renewables research in Dumbarton
 
AGGREKO is to invest £33 million in Dumbarton creating an innovation centre to develop mobile renewable energy solutions, in a move described by Nicola Sturgeon as “hugely encouraging” for Scotland.
 
The project will development Aggreko’s renewables offering with a particular focus on solar-diesel hybrid solutions & energy storage, more efficient engine technology and the introduction of waste heat recovery all with the purpose of reducing the cost of energy for communities and industries around the world.
 
“As our new Energy Strategy sets out, it is crucial that we find new ways to ensure energy is produced efficiently, and integrates renewable and low carbon technology – as is the case with these developments by Aggreko.”
 
Chris Weston, chief executive of the FTSE-listed group, said: “Power generation and energy markets are going through a fundamental change and businesses, organisations and governments across the globe are having to respond rapidly to this changing energy landscape.”
 
  • The Herald
 
ETF Urges Sicilian Ports to Tackle Attempts of Self-Handling
 
Undisclosed shipping lines have attempted to conduct self-handling in a number of Italian ports, according to the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).
 
Self-handling, which represents the use of seafaring onboard staff to load or lash cargo, rather than local dockers, was reported at the Italian ports of Palermo, Termini Imerese, Trapani and Porto Empedocle.
 
Reclaiming lashing is one of the priority fights for ETF and ITF Dockers’ unions, also in the framework of the Fair Transport Europe Campaign 2.0.
 
In a context of growing automation and decreasing cargo volumes, lashing by dockers is an important way to retain port jobs. Moreover, lashing operations are very dangerous and should only be performed by qualified dockers, ETF informed.
 
Seafarers should not do lashing, because they are not properly trained for such operations and because they are often required to do lashing during their rest time.
 
  • World Maritime News

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Headlines Wednesday 4th April 2018

 

Saudi Oil Tanker attacked off Yemen
 
Yemen’s Houthi Group hit a Saudi oil tanker off the main port city of Hodeidah on Tuesday in an attack that could complicate a new United Nations push to end the war in Yemen that has killed more than 10,000 people.
 
The Iranian-aligned Houthis said they had targeted a coalition warship in response to an air strike on Hodiedah on Monday that killed at least a dozen civilians, including seven children.
 
In a statement carried by Saudi media, the coalition said the oil tanker was in international waters when it came under “Houthi-Iranian attack” at around 1330 local time.
 
A coalition warship conducted a “swift intervention” foiling the attack, it said, without identifying the type of weapon used in the assault.  “As a result of that attack, the tanker was subjected to a slight  but ineffective hit and it resumed its naval course northwards, escorted by a coalition warship” the statement said.
 
  • Reuters
 
Maersk linked to purchase 6 container ships
 
The works largest container shipping company Maersk Line has reportedly invested $280 million to acquire six secondhand containerships from German Commerzbank.
 
Under the deal, reported by intermodal Research and Valuations, Maersk Line has added two Sub Panamaxes and four Panamaxes, which were already chartered in by the Danish firm.
 
The vessels in question are Maersk Eureka and Maersk Edirne, built in 2012 by HHI.  The two ships were previously known as Hanjin Sooho and Hanjin Asia and were part of Hanjin Shipping’s Fleet.
 
The ultra large containerships HS Shackleton and HS Baffin, both built in 2013, the two remaining ships are the Merkur Harbour and Rio Connecticut, built in 2012.
 
  • World Maritime News
 
YouTube HQ Shooting – Three Wounded
 
Police have named Nasim Aghdam, 39, as the suspect in a gun attack at YouTube’s HQ in California.  The motive for her attack is not yet confirmed.  It is believed that she was angry at YouTube for filtering her videos and reducing the money she could make.
 
In the attack on Tuesday two women and a man were left with gunshot wounds.  The attacker, Aghdam, shot herself dead after the attack.
 
Police in San Bruno, California, say there is no evidence that the attacker knew the victims, a 36-year-old man said to be in critical condition, and two woman aged 32 and 27.
 
  • BBC

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Headlines Tuesday 3rd April 2018

 

Shipping CO2 Emissions Meeting in London

With a meeting of the International Maritime Organisation, a UN backed body responsible for standards in the shipping industry, scheduled to take place this week in London, one of the main topics will be CO2 emissions within the industry.

According to the BBC, if shipping doesn’t clean up it will contribute almost a fifth of the global total of CO2 by 2050. A group of nations led by Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, Panama and Argentina is resisting CO2 targets for shipping.

Their submission to the meeting says capping ships' overall emissions would restrict world trade. It might also force goods on to less efficient forms of transport.

This argument is dismissed by other countries which believe shipping could actually benefit from a shift towards cleaner technology.

The UK's Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani told BBC News: "As other sectors take action on climate change, international shipping could be left behind.

"We are urging other members of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to help set an ambitious strategy to cut emissions from ships."

Wartsila, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of marine engines backs the proposals to reduce carbon emissions.

Jaakko Eskola, Chief Executive of Wartsila, said the support was needed to give shipbuilders greater confidence to invest in cleaner technology. “There’s a history of decisions being made, some people investing, and then [implementation] being delayed,” he told the Financial Times. “It is depressing new orders because of the uncertainty.”

  • BBC & The Financial Times

 

Britain to Ban Ivory Items

Britain will ban the sale of ivory items regardless of their age in an effort to restrict the illegal trade, tackle poaching and help protect elephants, the government said on Tuesday.

New legislation will create the toughest ban on ivory in Europe and one of the toughest in the world, with a prohibition on the sale of nearly all antiques containing ivory.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the tougher restrictions, which follow a public consultation, would demonstrate Britain’s belief that “the abhorrent ivory trade should become a thing of the past”.

 

“Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial gain or a status symbol, so we will introduce one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales to protect elephants for future generations,” he said in a statement.

  • Reuters

 

South China Sea Tension to Hurt Offshore Operations

Tension in the South China Sea will hurt PetroVietnam’s offshore exploration and exploitation activities this year, the state-run oil and gas group said on Tuesday, weeks after the Southeast Asian nation suspended a project under pressure from China.

Vietnam and China have been embroiled in maritime disputes in parts of the busy waterway, where China claims 90 percent of the potentially energy-rich maritime territory, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.

“The East Sea is forecast to continue to have uncertainty this year ... affecting the company’s efforts to attract foreign investors to invest in its open offshore fields”, PetroVietnam said on its website.

  • Reuters

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Headlines Friday 30th March 2018
 
 
China's space lab set for fiery re-entry
 
China's defunct space lab, Tiangong-1, should fall to Earth over the weekend.
 
At over 10m in length and weighing more than 8 tonnes, it is larger than most of the man-made objects that routinely re-enter Earth's atmosphere.
China has lost all communication with the module and so the descent will be uncontrolled.
 
However, experts say there is very low risk that any parts of Tiangong that do not burn up will hit a populated area.
 
"Given Tiangong-1 has a larger mass and is more robust, as it is pressurised, than many other space objects that return uncontrolled to Earth from space, it is the subject of a number of radar tracking campaigns," explained Richard Crowther, the UK Space Agency's chief engineer.
 
"The majority of the module can be expected to burn up during re-entry heating, with the greatest probability being that any surviving fragments will fall into the sea," he told BBC News.
 
  • BBC News
 
Sentinel Marine takes delivery of new North Sea emergency rescue vessel
 
Offshore support ship operator Sentinel Marine, of Aberdeen, has taken delivery of the latest in its fleet of multi-role emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs).
 
The UK-flagged ship is the seventh of Sentinel Marine’s new breed of ERRVs to enter operation as part of a £110million investment, with a further two currently under construction and due to enter service later this year.
 
Biscay Sentinel, which is more than 200ft long, was handed over at the Cosco Guangzhou shipyard in China earlier this month and is expected to arrive in Aberdeen in early May. She will immediately start work in the North Sea, providing vital support and lifesaving services to the oil and gas industry.
 
- Press and Journal

 

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Headlines Thursday 29th March 2018

 

Shipping Confidence Reaches Four-Year High

Shipping confidence reached a four-year high in the three months to end-February 2018, according to Moore Stephens’ latest Shipping Confidence Survey.

The study showed that the average confidence level was up from 6.2 out of 10.0 in November 2017 to 6.4 this time. Confidence on the part of owners was also at a four-year high, up from 6.4 to 6.6, while managers’ confidence was up too, from 6.1 to 6.4.

The rating for charterers, however, continued its recent erratic performance – down to 5.0 from 7.7 in November 2017, but up on the 4.7 recorded in August 2017. Confidence on the part of brokers, meanwhile, was down from 6.3 to 6.1.

World Maritime News

 

Carnival Cruise Line Adds 26th Ship to Its Fleet

Carnival Cruise Line has taken delivery of the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, the 26th ship in its fleet, which was built by Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.

Carnival Horizon is a sister ship of Carnival Vista, the largest unit which Fincantieri has ever built for the cruise line company.

The vessel is 323 meters long and accommodates more than 6,400 people onboard, including staff.

Carnival Horizon has been built in accordance with the latest navigation regulations and equipped with modern safety systems, including the “Safe return to port”, Fincantieri said. It has also been fitted with advanced energy-saving technologies such as energy-efficient engines and an exhaust gas cleaning system.

World Maritime News

 

North, South Korea fix April date for first summit in years

North and South Korea will hold their first summit in more than a decade on April 27, South Korean officials said on Thursday, after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearisation as tensions ease between the old foes.

South Korean government officials announced the date of the summit after holding high-level talks with their North Korean counterparts on Thursday. 

The two Koreas had agreed earlier this month to hold such a summit at the border truce village of Panmunjom when South Korean President Moon Jae-in sent a delegation to Pyongyang to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

Thursday’s talks were the first between the two Koreas since the delegation returned from the North. 

A joint statement from the dialogue said two Koreas would hold a working-level meeting on April 4 to discuss details for the summit, such as staffing support, security and news releases.

Reuters

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Headlines Wednesday 28th March 2018

 

US Quadruples LNG Exports in 2017

The US increased its exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in 2017, quadrupling the amount of cargo shipped across the globe.

All of the exported LNG originated from Louisiana’s Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal and reached 25 countries.

More than half of the exported LNG was shipped to Mexico, South Korea and China.  Almost 60 percent of the cardo was sold on a spot basis to more than 20 countries across Asia, Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and North Africa and the Caribbean.

4 more LNG projects are scheduled to start operation shortly to join Louisiana’s Sabine Pass and Maryland’s Cove Point.  Elba Island LNG in Georgia and Cameron LNG in Louisiana in 2018, followed by Freeport LNG and Corpus Christi LNG in Texas in 2019. 

This will help the US overtake Malaysia as the world third largest LNG exporter by 2020 remaining behind only Australia and Qatar.

World Maritime News

 

UK will bring in Plastic Returns Scheme in 2018

The UK will look to introduce a new deposit return scheme for single-use drink containers to increase recycling rates and slash the amount of waste littering land and sea this year.

British consumers get through about 13 billion plastic drink bottles a year but more than three billion are either incinerated, sent to a landfill or left to pollute streets, the countryside and marine environment, the government said.

“We can be in no doubt that plastic is wreaking havoc on our marine environment – killing dolphins, choking turtles and degrading our most precious habitats,” environment minister Michael Gove said in a statement.

“It is absolutely vital we act now to tackle this threat and curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled,” he said, adding that implementation of the scheme in England would be subject to consultations later this year.

The scheme can be executed by employing a network of recycling vending machines where glass and plastic bottles are inserted for a monetary return. 

Reuters

 

Rio Tinto exits coal with $2.25 Billion Kestrel Sale

Global Miner, Rio Tinto has sold its last remaining coal mine in Australia for $2.25 billion to private equity manager EMR Capital and Indonesia’s Adaro Energy Tbk.

The sale now makes Rio Tinto the only mining major without coal assets, which might boost its allure to some investors.

The Kestrel mine in the Bowen Basin region, which produces high quality coking coal, will be jointly managed and operated by Australia-based EMR and Adaro and marks EMR’s biggest mining investment. It last year bought an 80 percent stake in Zambian copper mine Lubambe for $97.10 million.

Reuters

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Headlines Tuesday 27th March 2018

 

Maersk and MSC Boxships Collide in Callao

Containership Laura Maersk collided with MSC Schuba B owned by seaspan and chartered by MSC.  The incident took place in Callao port, Peru, on Saturday March 24th.

Neither of the boxships sustained any major damage and were allowed to continue on their voyages.

Laura Maersk is a 4,500 TEU vessel, built in 2001, and sails under the Danish flag. It is operating on the AC1 service which connects Latin America and Asia.

Based on its latest AIS data, MSC Shuba B was also allowed to resume its voyage and is reported to be underway using engine bound for the port of Puerto San Antonio, Chile.

Reuters

 

Australia Hints at Possible World Cup Boycott Over Nerve Agent Attack

Australia said on Tuesday it will expel two Russian diplomats in response to a nerve agent attack on former Russian spy in Britain that the British government has blamed on Moscow and hinted at a possible boycott of the World Cup.

“Together with the United Kingdom and other allies and partners, Australia is taking action in response to the recent nerve agent attack in Salisbury, UK,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced in a statement.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said there were other possible actions, such as Australia boycotting the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“There are a whole range of further options of action that could be taken. The boycott of the World Cup is one of the further actions that could be taken in relation to this matter,” Bishop told reporters in Canberra.

Reuters

 

HHLA Acquires Estonia’s Biggest Terminal Operator

Germany’s Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA)has decided to acquire Estonia’s biggest terminal operator Transiidikeskuse AS.

The transaction, subject to various conditions, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.

Commenting on the acquisition of Transiidikeskuse AS, Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, explained: “Estonia is one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe and a pioneer when it comes to digitisation. We are therefore pleased to be integrating Transiidikeskuse AS – already a profitable and high-performing company – into the HHLA family.”

“One of HHLA’s targets is to grow internationally… The acquisition enables us to enter a promising regional market that offers growth potential as a result of its geographic position and its link to the New Silk Road,” Titzrath added.

“This transactions links Estonia and Muuga into the heart of Hamburg, where HHLA operates 3 terminals. The negotiations have not been easy but the knowledge that the company will be in good hands and that the new owner will open the next chapter in the history of Estonian transit history, made concluding the transaction easier,” Anatoli Kanajev, Transiidikeskuse AS Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented.

World Maritime News

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Headlines Monday 26th March 2018

 

Worlds Largest Ever Cruise Ship is Delivered

Royal Caribbean have taken delivery of the largest cruise ship the world has ever seen, Symphony of the Seas. The mammoth cruise ship is almost as long as the Empire State building and took 36 months to build thanks to 4,700 shipbuilders.

The official handover ceremony was held on Friday in Saint-Nazaire, France, with Michael Bayley and Richard Fain, President and Chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France, leading the traditional flag-changing ceremony.

“Symphony of the Seas is the latest example of how our people work to push the envelope of innovation with each new ship,” D. Fain commented.

“The Oasis Class has been a trend-setting design, but the team has evolved the design to build on that success to provide even more incredible family adventures.”

“Symphony will leave Saint-Nazaire yard as the ultimate example of our progress-driven spirit and commitment to innovation, which are at the heart of our partnership with Royal Caribbean, who is always challenging us in this direction,” Castaing said.

The vessel measures 362 meters long, 66 meters wide and 70 metres high.  Symphony of the Seas will host some 6,800 passengers and 2,000 crew when operating at capacity.  She will join her sister ship Harmony of the Seas, built 2 years ago and will be joined by the third of its kind in 2021.

- World Maritime News

 

Man Overboard From Tanker in Alaska

Search efforts continue in an attempt to locate a 23-year-old sailor reported to have fallen overboard from an oil products tanker, 126 miles south of Alaska yesterday.

The master of the tanker alerted authorities after a thorough search of the vessel was unsuccessful, he then turned the vessel around and followed his previous trackline in efforts to locate the missing man.

“We are fully prepared and readily equipped to conduct search patterns and provide search and rescue efforts for this young man. Our primary concern is to locate him and get him out of the water and into the necessary higher medical care,” Lt. Danny Piazza, a Coast Guard District 17 watchstander, said.

- World Maritime News

 

Trump shows solidarity with UK over poison attack

President Trump is considering the expulsion of some Russian diplomats in the United States in solidarity with Britain over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday.

An announcement of the U.S decision could be made as early as Monday, the source said.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said the United States is considering how to respond but would not provide details.

“The United States stands firmly with the United Kingdom in condemning Russia’s outrageous action. The President is always considering options to hold Russia accountable in response to its malign activities. We have no announcements at this time,” he said.

- Reuters

 

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Headlines Thursday 22nd March 2018

 

BIMCO: Trade War Would Harm Global Shipping

A potential trade war, which could emerge on the back of US’ recently unveiled tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, would be harmful for the global shipping industry, according to the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO).

Although the impact of US steel and aluminium tariffs, that enter into force on March 23 2018, on shipping is still unknown, a major trade action against China is now also likely to come from the US.

As steel and aluminium import barriers are set by the US, trading partners like the EU, Japan and China, may set their own import barriers against e.g. agricultural products in general or more politically targeted products hitting Trump’s constituency.

“All trade-restrictive measures are in principle bad for shipping,” Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, said.

“Open economies are all better off from trading, as they make use of their resources in the most optimal way. The result of a trade war is more expensive goods of lower quality and little variety. This goes for all products and commodities,” Sand added.

Under the American President’s metals tariff plan the US would put a 25% tariff on imports of steel and a 10% tariff on imports of aluminium.

  • World Maritime News

 

Fire-Ravaged Maersk Honam to Be Towed to Jebel Ali

Maersk Line’s ultra large containership Maersk Honam, which was hit by a major fire on March 6, will be towed to Jebel Ali, the UAE, where its cargo will be off-loaded.

The estimated time of arrival (ETA) is still to be confirmed, and may be approximately two weeks from now, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said citing its 2M alliance partner. The salvage operation is led by Smit Salvage and Ardent.

“Based on a limited amount of information to hand, MSC reasonably expects that a substantial proportion of the cargo located after, behind the ship’s accommodation area should be in sound condition. Unfortunately, we must assume, based on the details to date, that most containers located in front of the accommodation area are damaged by fire, heat or the water used to fight the fire,” MSC said in a customer advisory.

“We will only be able to clarify the situation once the cargo has been discharged at the port of refuge and inspected.”

Maersk Line said earlier that the berthing and discharging operations of the fire-ravaged boxship would result in high extraordinary costs.

  • World Maritime News

 

Britain seeks European help against Russian spy networks – diplomats

Britain is seeking help from other European countries to take action against Russian spy networks that could be preparing similar attacks as the nerve agent assault on a former Russian spy in England, diplomats said.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May will urge “coordinated action” among European Union governments at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, where she will also try to persuade the bloc’s leaders to condemn Russia squarely over the attack in Salisbury.

May accused Russia of the first known offensive use of a nerve toxin in Europe since World War Two after Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter were found unconscious on a public bench in the English city on March 4.

In the worst crisis between the two powers since the Cold War, May has expelled 23 Russian diplomats whom she says were spies working under cover. Moscow, which has denied involvement in the attack, has taken retaliatory steps.

  • Reuters

 

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Headlines Tuesday 21st March 2018

 

Ocean plastic could treble in decade

The amount of plastic in the ocean is set to treble in a decade unless litter is curbed, a major report has warned.

Plastics is just one issue facing the world's seas, along with rising sea levels, warming oceans, and pollution, it says.

But the Foresight Future of the Sea Report for the UK government said there are also opportunities to cash in on the "ocean economy".

They say this is predicted to double to $3 trillion (£2 trillion) by 2030.

The report says much more knowledge is needed about the ocean. The authors say the world needs a Mission to "Planet Ocean" to mirror the excitement of voyaging to the moon and Mars.

The Foresight reports are written by experts to brief ministers on medium and long-term issues of significance. This one has been signed off by ministers from four different departments as the authors emphasise the need for a joined-up oceans policy.

One of the authors, Prof Edward Hill from the UK National Oceanography Centre told BBC News: "The ocean is critical to our economic future. Nine billion people will be looking to the ocean for more food. Yet we know so little of what's down there.

"We invest a lot of money and enthusiasm for missions to space - but there's nothing living out there. The sea bed is teeming with life. We really need a mission to planet ocean - it's the last frontier."

  • BBC News

 

Cargo Ship Turned Over, Adrift after Collision off France

The 82-meter-long general cargo vessel Britannica Hav capsized and turned over following a collision with a fishing vessel on March 20 in the English Channel.

The cargo ship, which is now adrift, collided with the Belgium-flagged fishing vessel Deborah in the afternoon hours some 50 nautical miles northeast of the Cherbourg coast, according to France’s Maritime Prefect.

All seven of the vessel’s crew members managed to leave the ship before it sank, and were later safely evacuated by helicopter to land.

The Malta-flagged Britannica Hav suffered damage to its center port side, while four 15-by-20-foot bilge boards were separated from the vessel and were reported adrift.

At the time of the incident, the cargo vessel was loaded with some 1,955 tonnes of steel and had 48 tons of light diesel fuel on board. Maritime Prefect informed that an oil sheen was spotted at the site following the incident.

The captain of the fishing vessel sustained a minor head injury, however, no other injuries to the crew were reported.

  • World Maritime News

 

Natural catastrophes push Lloyd's of London to two billion sterling 2017 loss

Lloyd’s of London reported a 2017 pretax loss of 2 billion pounds, it said on Wednesday, pushing it into the red for the first time in six years after a record year for losses from natural disasters.

The specialist insurance market, which has been losing global market share, also said its planned EU subsidiary would be operational by July 2018, to cope with Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Insurers suffered $135 billion in losses from natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires last year.

The 2 billion pound loss followed a pretax profit of 2.1 billion pounds in 2016.

“The market experienced an exceptionally difficult year in 2017, driven by challenging market conditions and a significant impact from natural catastrophes,” chief executive Inga Beale said in a trading statement.

  • Reuters

 

 

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Headlines Tuesday 20th March 2018

 

Container Ships Crash into Each Other in Karachi Port

Two Post Panamax container ships collided in the Karachi port in Pakistan on Monday, March 19, sending over a dozen containers overboard.

A video released by local media shows Hapag-Lloyd’s 8,063 TEU Tolten brush against 6,350 TEU Hamburg Bay which was already berthed at the South Asia Port Terminal.

Several containers tumbled down from the ship and went into the water as the ship struggled to manoeuvre into the terminal.

It appears that the two ships did not sustain serious damage, however, an official estimate is yet to be provided.

There have been no injuries reported to the crew so far. The terminal suspended operations for several hours after the incident, according to Geo News.

The reason behind the collision is not known and an investigation into the incident is said to be underway.

  • World Maritime News

 

China Jumps to Number Two Importer of U.S. Crude

U.S. crude oil exports in 2017 were nearly double those of 2016, and China accounted for 202,000 b/d (20 percent) of the 527,000 b/d total increase. 

As a result, China surpassed the U.K. and the Netherlands to become the second-largest importing destination. However, similar to previous years, Canada remained the top destination for U.S. crude oil exports. Canada’s share of total U.S. crude oil exports continued to decrease in 2017, down from 61 percent in 2016 to 29 percent. 

U.S. crude was shipped to 37 destinations, compared with 27 in 2016. Many European nations are among the largest destinations for U.S. crude oil exports, including the U.K., Netherlands, Italy, France and Spain. India, which did not receive U.S. crude oil exports in 2016, received 22,000 b/d in 2017, tying with Spain as the 10th-largest destination.

  • Maritime Executive

 

UK investigating Facebook's response to alleged data breach

Britain is investigating whether Facebook did enough to secure data after reports that a political consultancy hired by Donald Trump improperly accessed information about 50 million Facebook users, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said on Monday.

Denham is seeking a warrant to search the offices of London-based consultancy Cambridge Analytica after a whistleblower revealed it had harvested the private information of millions of people to support Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

Facebook shares closed down nearly 7 percent on Monday, wiping nearly $40 billion (£28.49 billion) off its market value as investors worried that new legislation could damage the company’s advertising business and hurt its appeal to users.

  • Reuters

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Headlines Monday 19th March 2018

 

Bibby Line to merge with Cecon Contractors

Fara Holdco Limited, owners of the Bibby Offshore group of companies, have announced a merger with Rever Offshore AS.

Rever’s subsidiaries include CECON Contracting AS, an international subsea and offshore contractor, as well as two vessel companies which own both the Cecon Excellence and Cecon Sovereign.

The combination of Bibby and CECON Contracting AS will create a larger and more robust offshore installation delivery business both in the North Sea and internationally.

Supported by strong ownership, the Bibby-Rever platform is well positioned to deliver enhanced both service quality and efficiency. The combined company will continue to evaluate growth opportunities in its core diving and subsea umbilicals, risers, and flowlines (SURF) markets.

Executive Chairman of Fara, Riulf Rustad, said: “This transaction brings the excellent track records of both Bibby Offshore and CECON Contracting into a strong, focussed group.

“The complementary services and assets of each business produced a compelling industrial logic to join forces. The individual geographical strengths and subsea intervention skills of each business now allows the combined platform to offer a much wider range products and solutions to customers.”

  • Oilfield Technology

 

VLCC Scrapping in Q1 Breaks Last Year’s Total

2018 is off to a great start when it comes to removing of outdated tanker tonnage from the oversupplied fleet paving the way for the weak spot market to start recovering.

A total of 16 very large crude carriers (VLCC) are reported to have been scrapped so far this year, according to VesselsValue’s data, breaking already last year’s total of 13 VLCC sent for scrap.

This equals to a total 4,682,800 dwt having been scrapped since the start of the year.

In addition, two former VLCCs, which were converted into FSOs and used for storage projects, were sold for permanent removal, Gibson Shipbrokers said in its weekly report.

As explained, the tankers heading for demolition are getting younger when compared to last year’s average. This year’s average age is 18.5 years versus 21.5 years for VLCCs demolished in 2017, Gibson’s data shows.

Furthermore, the youngest vessel to be sent for demolition this year was 16.6 years old while the oldest one sent for recycling was 23.5 years old, according to VesselsValue.

The rise in demolition has been prompted by higher scrap values with lightweight prices in the sub-continent having climbed above USD 450/ldt in recent months, their highest level in three years, Gibson said.

  • World Maritime News

 

Putin savours big victory after winning six more years at Russia's helm

Russian President Vladimir Putin basked in a landslide re-election victory on Monday, extending his rule over the world’s largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory.

Putin’s victory will take his political dominance of Russia to nearly a quarter of a century until 2024, the longest rule since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, by which time Putin will be 71. He has promised to use his new term to beef up Russia’s defences against the West and to raise living standards.

  • Reuters

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Headlines Friday 16th March 2018

 

U.K. Ports Investing Billions in Infrastructure

The British Ports Association has published new research which shows that U.K. ports and terminals have an estimated £1.7 billion ($2.37 billion) of port infrastructure investment in the development pipeline.

The report by infrastructure advisory firm Moffatt & Nichol focuses on developments which have been announced in the press in the last 12 months and provides a snapshot of the potential scale of U.K. ports' investment in infrastructure. It's also likely that there are a many more privately financed infrastructure projects planned or underway all around the country, which haven’t been discussed in public yet.

Mark Simmonds, the British Ports Association’s Policy Manager, said: "Ports are doing their bit but we rely on Government to ensure that road and rail connections from the port gate are fit for purpose. The terrestrial and marine planning and consenting process is also cumbersome and costly and often holds back or even prevents some sustainable port development. We hope that this report helps Government to develop an accurate picture of the investment that industry is making when developing its policies and making its own investment decisions regarding infrastructure."

  • Maritime Executive

 

Russia to expel UK diplomats as crisis over nerve toxin attack deepens

Russia is set to expel British diplomats in retaliation for Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to kick out 23 Russians as relations with London crash to a post-Cold War low due to an attack with military-grade nerve agent on English soil.

After the first known offensive use of such a weapon in Europe since World War Two, May blamed Moscow and gave 23 Russians who she said were spies working under diplomatic cover at the London embassy a week to leave.

Russia has denied any involvement, cast Britain as a post-colonial power unsettled by Brexit, and even suggested London fabricated the attack in an attempt to whip up anti-Russian hysteria.

Britain, the United States, Germany and France jointly called on Russia on Thursday to explain the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump said it looked as though the Russians were behind it.

Russia has refused Britain’s demands to explain how Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet military, was used to strike down Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, in the southern English city of Salisbury.

  • Reuters

 

Maersk acts on dangerous goods after Honam fire

Maersk Line has stopped loading dangerous goods in areas close to the accommodation and engine casing units on its containerships as it carries out tests to determine the cause of the Maersk Honam blaze.

The Singapore-flagged vessel suffered the fire in its cargo hold on March 6. At the time, the ship, which was en-route from Singapore towards Suez, was crewed by 27 sailors.

23 crew members were evacuated by the vessel ALS Ceres after the fire broke out. One was reported dead due to injuries sustained in connection with the fire, while the salvors found the remains of three out of the four missing crew members aboard Maersk Honam, the company said on March 12.

  • Tradewinds
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Headlines Thursday 15th March 2018
 
Shell close to clinching Hong Kong's first LNG import deal
 
Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is hoping to beat off some fierce competition to be the first to supply LNG to the city. 
 
Hong Kong is making the big change from using coal to more natural gas to fuel its electric power generation.   In turn, this will then likely create a regular profitable demand in the Asian LNG market. 
 
Committed to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Hong Kong is looking to increase its use of natural gas (for power generation) to 50% by 2020.  
  • Reuters
 
Marine fuels market jolted by green shake-up
 
With changes to environmental rules approaching, the market for marine fuels is changing and causing worry for owners of coastal storage tanks. 
 
Whilst Fuel oil is currently the main source of propulsion for cargo vessels, there will be much stricter global standards on sulphur emissions starting in 2020.   Prices for future deliveries have been affected leaving traders uncertain about the demand so they have already started unwinding contracts to store the oil.
  • Financial Times

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Headlines Wednesday 14th March 2018

 

Dry Bulkers Worth More than Tankers and Container Ships

The dry bulk fleet is now worth more than the combined value of the tanker fleet, leapfrogging container ships as well, according to the vessel valuation expert VesselsValue.

The surge in the value of the dry bulk assets comes on the back of soft returns that plagued the market over the past couple of years which encouraged scrapping and drove ton-mile demand increase.

The dry bulk market hit rock bottom three years ago, with rates spiraling down amid tonnage overcapacity. However, as the market reaps the gains of a restored balance between supply and demand, hire rates have been on the climb enticing owners to invest in more tonnage.

  • Global Maritime News

 

Physicist Stephen Hawking, who unlocked the secrets of space and time, dies at 76

Stephen Hawking, who sought to explain some of the most complicated questions of life while working under the shadow of a likely premature death, has died at 76.

He died peacefully at his home in the British university city of Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday.

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement.

Hawking’s formidable mind probed the very limits of human understanding both in the vastness of space and in the bizarre sub-molecular world of quantum theory, which he said could predict what happens at the beginning and end of time.

His work ranged from the origins of the universe, through the tantalising prospect of time travel to the mysteries of space’s all-consuming black holes.

  • Reuters

 

Google to ban ads on cryptocurrencies, related products

Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Wednesday it will ban advertisements for cryptocurrencies and related content starting in June.

Under the new policy, the company will ban ads for unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency and financial spread betting among others.

In a separate blog post, Google said it took down 3.2 billion ads that violated its advertising policies in 2017, nearly double the number of ads it removed in 2016.

“Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that’s removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us,” Scott Spencer, director of sustainable ads, said.

In January, Facebook Inc said it will ban ads promoting financial products and services tied to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.

  • Reuters

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Headlines Tuesday 13th March 2018

 

Hyundai Heavy Industries Reveals 29 Ship Orders in 2018

2018 seems to be off to a good start for South Korean shipbuilders as they reveal a strong demand for newbuilds in the first quarter of this year amid market’s accelerating recovery.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) said last week that the ordering tally so far this year includes orders for 29 ships, worth USD 2 billion.

These include 3 LNG carriers, eight LPG carriers, 10 oil tankers, 6 container vessels and two very large ore carriers.

The latest order reported on Monday, March 6 was for two LNG carriers from an undisclosed European shipowner.

Furthermore, the shipbuilder has raised KRW 1.2 trillion (USD 1.15 billion) from its rights issue.

  • Global Maritime News

 

“Maritime Amazon” Unveiled

The Singapore-headquartered company Moscord is adding to the digital disruption of shipping with the unveiling of a new procurement platform offering simplified purchasing and pre-priced logistics fulfillment. Future development plans include integrating blockchain technology into the platform for credit and supply chain management, as well as dual pricing structures for conventional and 3D printed components. 

Moscord has proven its concept with leading Singapore-based shipmanagers Berge Bulk and MMS and has several other buyers under implementation. Moscord has signed contracts with suppliers including Viking Life-Saving Equipment, RS Components, Gemu, Hoyer Motors, DESMI, Schneider Electric and MedSupply, with others ready to come onto the platform. Deals have been signed with GAC, Steder Group and SG Shipping to provide consolidated delivery of orders.

“Moscord represents a major evolutionary step in the maritime industry’s purchasing supply chain, bringing a new approach to a process that has been crying out for change,” says founder Freddy Ingemann

  • Maritime Executive

 

Saudi Aramco international listing looks increasingly difficult

Saudi Arabia is increasingly looking to just float oil giant Saudi Aramco locally as plans for an initial public offering (IPO) on an international exchange such as London or New York hang in the balance, sources close to the process said.

The kingdom is counting on being awarded emerging market status by index complier MSCI in June to help Saudi Aramco attract Western funds, in addition to cornerstone investors from China, Japan and South Korea, the sources said.

“I would guess it is about evens that there will be no international IPO,” said a high-level source familiar with the preparations, saying they were proving to be a disappointment.

Saudi Arabia is planning to list up to 5 percent of Saudi Aramco in an initial public offering that could value it at up to $2 trillion and make it the world’s biggest oil company by market 

  • Reuters
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Headlines Monday 12th March 2018
 
 
Clarkson sees ‘recovery’ in global commodity shipping market

Shipbroker Clarkson has called the start of a “recovery” across its long-depressed market for hiring out ships to transport commodities across the world, as it also reported a healthy set of annual results.
 
Revenues at Clarkson rose 6 per cent to £324m in 2017. Its pre-tax profits dipped 5 per cent to £45m, although this reflected its one-off sale in 2016 of a stake in maritime trading house Baltic Exchange. Excluding this, as well as a writedown related to Clarkson’s 2014 purchase of Norwegian competitor Platou, underlying pre-tax profits increased 12 per cent to £50.2m.
 
The shipping market, which entered the doldrums in 2011-2012 as China’s infrastructure-led GDP growth slowed and the appetite for commodities reduced, was now showing “early indicators of recovery” Clarkson’s chairman James Hughes-Hallett said.
 
The Baltic Dry index — which measures the price of hiring ships that transport goods such as metal ores, steel, grains and cement — rose 42 per cent in 2017. Mr Hughes-Hallett said he remained “cautious about the near term direction of the industry”.
  • Financial Times
 
Golar FLNG unit produces first LNG
 
LNG shipper Golar said its FLNG Hilli Episeyo located offshore Kribi in Cameroon started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG).
 
At the end of February, Golar said its FLNG Hilli Episeyo, that was converted from a 1975 built Moss LNG carrier with a storage capacity of 125,000 cubic meters by Keppel, was undergoing commissioning.
 
Following its arrival in Cameroon in late November 2017, the vessel completed the ship-to-ship transfer of cooldown LNG with the LNG carrier Golar Bear in mid-December 2017, which was followed by the introduction of feed gas from the onshore processing plant.
  • LNG World News
 
World stocks bask in U.S. jobs data glow
 
World stocks surged to a two-week high on Monday after strong U.S. jobs data at the end of last week helped take the edge off investors’ concerns about the potential outbreak of trade war between the United States and other major economies.
 
European shares shot up across the board, following their Asian counterparts, while emerging market currencies strengthened as investors bought up so-called riskier assets and sold “safe haven” securities such as gold and government bonds.
 
Markets have been cheering Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls data which showed a hefty 313,000 rise in jobs, but also revealed that annual growth in average hourly earnings had slowed to 2.6 percent after spiking in January.
 
This suggested that the world’s largest economy is experiencing a combination of high growth and low inflation, referred to in the market as a “Goldilocks” trend; giving investors an incentive to buy assets such as equities and high-yield bonds without having to fear tighter central bank policy.
 
  • Reuters
 
 
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Headlines Friday 9th March 2018

 

Bremen, Bremerhaven Ports Sign Up to the Arctic Commitment
 
The ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven, Germany, have joined the campaign to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping.
 
Launched at the Arctic Frontiers conference in January 2017 by the Clean Arctic Alliance – a coalition of non-governmental organisations – and expedition cruise ship operator Hurtigruten, the Arctic Commitment aims to protect Arctic communities and ecosystems from the risks posed by the use of heavy fuel oil, and calls on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to ban its use and carriage as marine fuel by Arctic shipping.
 
“Bremenports is proud to sign up to the Arctic Commitment. Heavy fuel oil has no place in Arctic shipping. We are calling on other ports to join us in calling on the IMO to enact a ban on its use in Arctic waters,” said Robert Howe, CEO ofbremenports GmbH & Co. KG, operator of the twin ports.
 
“Sustainability is a central element in bremenport’s strategy,” continued Howe. “In order to reduce local air pollution, we will soon bring into service an LNG-powered barge for dredged material. In addition, sustainability and environmental issues are integrated into bremenport’s public outreach.”
 
The two ports join over 80 companies, organizations, politicians, NGOs and explorers that have expressed support to the campaign.
  • World Maritime News
 
Maersk Honam Fire Localized
 
The fire on board Maersk Line’s ultra large containership Maersk Honam, which has been raging since Tuesday, March 6, has been localized, the Indian Coast Guard said.
 
“Fire has been successfully localized and prevented from spreading,” the coast guard informed on its Twitter account.
 
The offshore patrol vessel Shoor remains at the site, about 650 nautical miles from Kochi coast, fighting the fire.
 
Two tugs CSC Nelson and Maersk Involver have also joined the fire-fighting operation, according to the latest update.
 
Four crew members, of the total of 27 seafarers that were on board the ship prior to the fire, remain missing despite comprehensive search efforts. According to Maersk Line, the hope of finding any survivors wanes due to the time passage since the fire broke out.
 
Trump prepared to meet North Korea's Kim
 
U.S. President Donald Trump said he was prepared to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in what would be the first face-to-face encounter between the two countries’ leaders and potentially mark a major breakthrough in nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.
 
Kim has “committed to denuclearisation” and to suspending nuclear and missile tests, South Korea’s National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong told reporters at the White House on Thursday after briefing Trump on a meeting South Korean officials held with Kim earlier this week.
  • Reuters

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Headlines Thursday 8th March 2018

 

Credit Suisse upbeat on forward dry bulk

Credit Suisse remains positive on the dry bulk market amid forward coverage in both physical and paper shipping markets. Highlights from the research note below:

- Vessel values have started the year off strong up ~25% YTD and ~40% above 1Q16 trough levels. However with ship prices still below mid-cycle levels (~25%) and recent conversations with ship owners pointing to a scarcity of modern tonnage for sale we expect asset prices to push higher for both modern and middle-age tonnage in the near term.

- Cape/Panamax one-year charter rates stand at $16k/$10k - up 60%/30% YTD. More importantly the period market is gaining breadth with 83 fixtures of at least 6-months already booked in 2017 versus 161 fixtures in 2016. Despite higher rates, charterers are looking to lock up more tonnage. Sentiment has started to turn with charterers fearing higher rates.  

- In 2016 many buyers funded their vessel acquisitions in all cash deals due to a lack of financing. While traditional ship lenders are still closed to many ship owners, alternative sources of financing have started to fill the void. This new breed of lender is offering financing rates of 7-10% (~2x banks borrowing rates). Additionally, while traditional banks tend to lend more on a loan to value (as a percentage) at the top of the cycle these new lenders look to be more counter-cyclical in their lending strategy.

  • Tradewinds / Credit Suisse Equity Research Team

International Women’s Day – British Airways Operates biggest ever all-female flight

Legacy airline British Airways operated the UK’s biggest ever all-female flight to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).

The flight from London Heathrow to Glasgow took off on Monday 6 March with 61 women involved – including baggage handlers, pilots, cabin crew, flight managers, loaders and push back teams, security, check in and airport teams.

  • The independent

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Headlines Wednesday 7th March 2018

 

Frontline fires as DNB Markets turns bullish on tankers

DNB Markets has raised its rating on the tanker market suggesting VLCC rates could double in the next two years, leading resale values to break back above $100m by 2020.

Analysts, led by Nicolay Dyvik, placed a buy rating on the sector and upgraded shares in Frontline, Euronav, DHT Holdings and Gener8 Maritime to the same level.

Frontline’s Oslo traded share shot up by close to one tenth in early trading, while Euronav was up over 3.5% in Brussels at the time of writing.

Dyvik told investors in a video presentation stocks were down 50% on average since DNB downgraded tankers in April 2016.

“We think it’s time to buy again,” he said, noting the market was oversupplied by around 55 VLCCs right now.

  • Tradewinds

Four Crew Missing from Giant Fire-Stricken Maersk Container Ship

Four crew members are reported missing following a serious fire that broke out in a cargo hold of the Maersk liner vessel Maersk Honam on Tuesday, March 6, at 15:20 GMT, the company informed.

After being unsuccessful in their firefighting efforts, the crew sent out a distress signal and 23 of a total of 27 crew members were evacuated to the nearby vessel ALS Ceres, which arrived at the scene around 18:30 GMT.

” The fire onboard the Maersk Honam continues and the situation of the vessel is very critical,”Maersk Line said in a statement.

Enroute from Singapore towards Suez, the vessel is currently positioned around 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman.

  • World Maritime News

Gary Cohn Resigns as Trump’s Top Economic Adviser

White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn has resigned from President Donald Trump's administration.

The former Goldman Sachs president and free trade advocate Cohn, whose departure date will come in a few weeks, decided to quit after Trump announced he would impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

In a prepared statement, Cohn said, "It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform."

"I am grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the Administration great success in the future," Cohn said.

  • CNBC

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Headlines Tuesday 6th March 2018

 
Norden Sees First Positive Result in 5 Years
 
Danish shipping company Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S returned to black in 2017 driven by a strong performance in the fourth quarter of the year.
The company’s profit for the year ended December 31, 2017 was at USD 24.6 million, compared to a loss of USD 45.6 million reported in the previous year. Revenue for the period increased to USD 1.8 billion from USD 1.25 billion reported in 2016.
 
“Based on a strong performance in the fourth quarter, Norden delivered the first positive result in 5 years. With a new, agile business unit in the form of Dry Operator, a substantial cyclical exposure in both Dry Owner and Tankers and a skilled organisation with a winning mentality, Norden is well-positioned to 2018,” Jan Rindbo, Norden CEO, said.
  • World Maritime News
 
Germany Gets Its First Female Cruise Ship Captain
 
The first female captain has taken the helm of the AIDAsol cruise ship, pertaining to Carnival’s Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand, making her the highest-ranking woman on a cruise ship in Germany. Nicole Langosch, aged 34, is the first female captain in the AIDA fleet as well.
 
“I’m proud to work at a company that promotes the careers of young women and that has made it possible for me pursue my dream profession. I look forward to my new role as captain on board AIDAsol and am aware of the great responsibility,” says Langosch.
  • World Maritime News
 
FTSE boosted by an unsolicited bid for Smurfit Kappa
 
An unsolicited bid for Irish packaging group Smurfit Kappa from U.S.-based International Paper lifted shares in the whole sector on Tuesday, providing a boost to Britain’s top share index.
 
The FTSE 100 was up 0.9 percent at 7,180 points by 0907 GMT, slightly higher than the European average as world markets shrug off trade war fears or political risk concerns in Italy following its inconclusive general election.
 
Shares in Smurfit Kappa, Europe’s largest producer of paper-based packaging, jumped 17 percent to 33.7 euros after the company said the offer from International Paper failed to reflect its growth prospects and the industry’s attractive outlook.
  • Reuters
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Headlines Monday 5th March 2018
 
 
U.S. aircraft carrier arrives in Vietnam on landmark visit
 
The U.S aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrived of the coast of Danang on Monday, the first US Navy vessel to do so since the Vietnam War.  The aircraft carrier and 2 other U.S Ships have arrived in the area on an historic 5 day visit.
 
“The visit marks an enormously significant milestone in our bilateral relations and demonstrates U.S. support for a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam,” Daniel Kritenbrink, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, said in a statement.
 
“Through hard work, mutual respect, and by continuing to address the past while we work towards a better future, we have gone from former enemies to close partners.”
 
The arrival of the Vinson marks the biggest U.S. military presence in Vietnam since 1975 - but it also illustrates Hanoi’s complex and evolving relationship with Beijing over the disputed South China Sea.
  • Reuters
 
MSC Madrid Collides with DFDS RoRo Ship
 
Liberian flagged containership MSC Madrid collided with a Ro-Ro ship Primula Seaways on Saturday morning.
 
The collision occurred while the two vessels were sailing in the vicinity of Vlissengen, Netherlands.
 
The 5,500 TEU containership sustained damage to its bow while the RoRo suffered a major blow to its port side.
 
The Belgian authorities are investigating the cause of the incident and have boarded both ships to inspect radar data.
  • World Maritime News
 
Tesco Completes £4 Billion takeover of Booker
 
Tesco’s 4 million pound takeover of Booker has been completed, both companies said on Monday, creating a new powerhouse in Britain’s 200 Billion pound per year food market.
 
The cash and shares deal to combine Tesco with Booker received court approval on Friday and is now in effect.
 
Booker shares have now been de-listed from the London Stock Exchange. For each Booker share Tesco offered 0.861 new Tesco shares and 42.6 pence in cash. Tesco shares closed Friday at 202 pence.
  • Reuters
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Headlines Friday 2nd March 2018
 
 
Trump plans hefty steel, aluminium tariffs – Asia fears trade wars
 
U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminium risk retaliation from other economies and could cost jobs, Australia’s trade minister said on Friday, while China predicted harm to trade if other countries follow the example of the United States.
 
Fears of an escalating trade war hit Asian markets, hitting share prices of steelmakers and manufacturers supplying U.S. markets particularly hard. 
 
Trump said the duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium would be formally announced next week, although White House officials later said some details still needed to be ironed out.
 
Australia has sought an exemption for its steel and aluminium exports to the United States.
  • Reuters
 
Toyota venture commit $2.8 Billion to develop self-driving technology
 
Toyota Motor Corp said new venture would be investing more than £2.8 billion to develop automated-driving software, in an increasingly frantic battle to be ahead of the curve as the industry has been hit with several disruptive technologies.
 
The Tokyo based venture will bring together circa 1,000 employees will be 90 percent owned by Toyota with group suppliers Denso Corp and Aisin Seiki Co each taking 5 percent.
 
“This company’s mission is to accelerate software development in a more effective and disruptive way, by augmenting the Toyota Group’s capability through the hiring of world-class software engineers,” James Kuffner, who will lead the venture, said in a statement.
  • Reuters
 
Diana Containerships Sells Panamax Duo
 
Greek Boxship owner Diana Containerships has signed two Memoranda of Agreement for the sale of its 2010-built containership duo.
 
Under the deals, signed through separate wholly-owned subsidiaries, the company will dispose of the M/V Sagitta and the M/V Centaurus.
 
The ships will be sold for USD 12.3 million each, and are expected to be delivered to their new owner by April 27, 2018.
  • World Maritime News
 
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Headlines Thursday 1st March 2018
 
 
EU’s Tusk warns of Brexit’s hard border in Northern Ireland
 
European Council President Donald Tusk warned Britain on Thursday that its plan to leave the EU’s custom Union and single market on Brexit could mean a return to a “Hard Border” on the island of Ireland.
 
Addressing a business conference in Brussels before leaving for lunch in London with Prime Minister Theresa May, the EU summit chair said an EU proposal on Wednesday to incorporate Northern Ireland within a “common regulatory area” with the EU was the best option to avoid border friction, but he would be asking in London if Britain could propose something better.
 
Until now, no one has come up with anything wiser than that,” Tusk told the Business Europe event. “In a few hours, I will be asking London whether the UK government has another idea that will be as effective in preventing a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.” 
  • Brussels Reuters
 
Banks complete 25 million Euros securities transaction on blockchain platform
 
Credit Suisse Group AG an ING Groep NV have completed a 25 million Euros securities lending transaction using blockchain based software, the companies said on Thursday, as more projects involving the technology behind cryptocurrencies get closer to yielding results.
 
The transaction involved the banks swapping baskets of securities through an application from financial technology company HQLAx built with a type of blockchain created by bank consortium R3.
 
The trade was one of the first examples of a real life capital markets transaction of its kind taking place on a system that uses blockchain.
  • New York Reuters
 
UK National Grid says required to local buy gas as supplies low
 
The UK’s National Grid said on Thursday it has a requirement to buy locational gas and requested shippers to post offers on the OCM locational market after wholesale prompt prices soared on freezing temperatures and outages.
 
Earlier, the National Grid issued a “gas deficit warning” in response to a series of significant supply losses resulting in a forecast for an end of day supply deficit.
  • London Reuters

 

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Headlines Wednesday 28th February 2018
 
 
Moon to get first mobile phone network
 
The moon will get its first mobile phone network next year, enabling high definition streaming from the lunar landscape back to earth, part of a project to back the first privately funded moon mission.
 
Vodafone Germany, network equipment maker Nokia and carmaker Audi said on Tuesday they were working together to support the mission, 50 years after the first NASA astronauts walked on the moon.
 
The companies are working together with a launch schedule in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a Space X Falcon rocket.
  • Reuters
 
Waymo shows off self-driving video to win over customers
 
Waymo showed off a 360-degree video to help people envision what it is like to ride inside an autonomous vehicle.  The company are on the brink of launching self-driving cars with real people and are hoping to win over potential passengers.
 
Waymo said in a blog that it had driven more than 5 million miles on public roads, doubling its miles since January 2017, when it unveiled its improved self-driving system installed in Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
 
Waymo also revealed a 3-minute video demonstrating how their technology works and what it is like to ride in one of their vehicles.  This video comes before what will be Waymo’s first foray into ride hailing with no human behind the wheel in Phoenix Arizona, in coming months.
  • Reuters
 
Frontline posts $265 Million loss for full year
 
John Fredriksen’s Frontline ended the year in the red having reported a net loss of $248.4 Million for the 4th quarter of 2017 and a net loss of $264.9 million for the full year.
 
The poor financial results were attributed to an impairment loss of $164.2 million on nine VLCCs leased from Ship Finance, as wel as three vessels for which the leases with Ship Finance were terminated in 2017.
 
“The spot rates in the fourth quarter were weak, as inventory draws impacted a freight market that was already suffering from high fleet growth. At the same time, the key drivers for the tanker market, crude oil demand and the world economy remain strong, and we may also be nearing the end of the cycle of inventory draws. The headwind factors experienced in 2017 could turn in our favour possibly towards the end of the year. The quarter shows Frontline’s resilience in weak markets, which is the direct result of low break-even levels and access to competitively priced capital,“ Robert Hvide Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS, said.
 
“With asset values, rates and Frontline’s cash break-even rates at historically low levels our downside risk is limited. We are in a unique position to capitalize on increases in both asset values and rates and we have a strong liquidity position in excess of USD 300 million as at the end of December 2017,” Inger M. Klemp, Chief Financial Officer of Frontline Management AS, added.
  • World Maritime News

 

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Headlines Tuesday 27th February 2018
 
 
14 Dead in Papua New Guinea Earthquake; ExxonMobil Shuts LNG Plant
 
Up to 14 people were killed in landslides and by collapsed buildings during a powerful earthquake in the remote Papua New Guinea highlands. 
 
The Earthquake measured 7.5 on the richter scale and rocked the region early on Monday.  The quake also damaged mining and power infrastructure and led ExxonMobil Corp to shut its $19 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.
 
Police in Mendi said 14 people were killed in the initial quake, including three in Poroma, South of Mendi.
  • Reuters (Melbourne)
 
Scotland says it won’t consent to Brexit bill after latest UK offer
 
Scotland’s first minister said on Tuesday that the devolved Scottish parliament would not consent to legislation necessary to keep Britains Brexit plans on track, presenting another issue for the Westminster government to overcome.
 
Theresa May’s government indicated on Monday that it would go no further in offering concessions to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who are concerned that they will lose powers in a constitutional realignment after Britain leaves the EU.
 
“I will not sign up to something that effectively undermines the whole foundation on which devolution is built,” Nicola Sturgeon, whose party supports independence for Scotland, told BBC radio.
  • Reuters (Edinburgh)
 
Artic warmer than parts of Europe as crazy weather continues
 
Freak warming around the North Pole is sending a blast of cold over Europe in weather that may happen more often with man-made global warming, scientists said on Monday.
 
A site in Greenland, has had a record smashing 61 hours of temperatures above freezing so far in 2018, linked to a rare retreat of sea ice in the Artic winter darkness.
 
Around the entire Arctic region, temperatures are now about 20C above normal, at minus 8 degrees Celsius.  Meanwhile temperatures in Rome hit minus 11 as Vatican priests were seen having snowball fights.
 
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Headlines Monday 26th February 2018
 
 
Chance of Halting Brexit now 50:50
 
Opponents of Britains exit from the European Union are preparing a major campaign they say now has close to a 50:50 chance of stopping Brexit by blocking Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal, a leading pro-EU campaigner has said.
 
With Britain scheduled to leave the EU in March 2019, opponents of Brexit are exploring various ways to stop the exit. ‘Best for Britain’, a campaign group which received a £400,000 donation from billionaire financier George Soros last year, hopes to convince lawamkers to block the withdrawal deal May aims to bring back in October.
 
Brexit can be stopped if people want it to be stopped,” the group’s chief executive officer, Eloise Todd said. “It is absolutely not over yet.”
When Asked how likely it was for Brexit to be stopped, Todd said: “We are sort of getting towards the 45 percent mark, we are nudging on 50:50 - we are not quite there yet.”
  • Reuters
 
Marubeni, Partners Eye LNG Import Terminal in Australia
 
Marubeni Corporation and JERA have agreed with Squadron Energy to conduct a feasibility study in an effort to set up an LNG import terminal a gas supply project in New South Wales, Australia.
 
The feasibility study is part of a potential project to develop an LNG import Terminal at an existing post in NSW, which will include chartering a FSRU, construction of associated onshore and offshore facilities, and the provision of gas to local customers in NSW.
  • World Maritime News
 
US Sanctions 28 More Ships
 
The United States has imposed a new wave of sanctions against North Korea’s regime targeting the country’s shipping sector, which has been linked to several sanction evasion schemes.
 
28 ships are being black-listed in addition to 27 entities and one individual.
 
Today’s actions will significantly hinder North Korea’s ability to conduct evasive maritime activities that facilitate illicit coal and fuel transports, and limit the regime’s ability to ship goods through international waters,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
 
Our actions are part of the ongoing maximum economic pressure campaign to cut off sources of revenue that this regime derives from U.N. and U.S. prohibitive trade to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”
  • World Maritime News
 
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Headlines Friday 23rd February 2018
 
 
Greek Parliament Gives the Green Light to Thessaloniki Port Sale
 
The Greek Parliament have given the go ahead for the privatization of its second largest port, the port of Thessaloniki.
 
The agreement to sell the 67% stake in the port for EUR 231.9 million (USD 275 million) was made official yesterday, Thursday 22nd February 2018.
South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki (SEGT) Limited, comprising Deutsche Invest Equity Partners, Belterra Investments and Terminal link SAS, is the consortium that won the bid to run the port.
 
The total value of the deal is EUR 1.1 Billion and includes mandatory investments amounting to EUR 180 million within the next 7 years as well as expected revenues for the concession agreement.
  • World Maritime News
 
PIL, PSA and IBM Complete Blockchain Trial in Singapore
 
Shipping company Paciific International Lines (PIL), port group PSA International (PSA) and IBM Singapore have completed a blockchain-based supply chain platform trial.
 
The companies worked on a proof of concept exercise, built on IBM Blockchain platform, applying then testing the platform to track and trace cargo movement form Chongqing to Singapore via the southern transport corridor.
 
“We are highly committed to this idea because we as a company believe the wider application of blockchain across the global logistics and shipping businesses will lead to much greater operating efficiencies, security and transparency. It is the future for our industry,” Teo Siong Seng, Managing Director of PIL, commented.
 
“PSA’s collaboration alongside our partners and relevant stakeholders in this blockchain trial demonstrates our efforts to enhance physical and digital connectivity, as well as to improve efficiencies along the global supply chain. Ultimately, we hope to create value for our customers along the Southern Trade Corridor – a key route in the Belt and Road initiative,” Roger Tan, Regional CEO Northeast Asia of PSA, pointed out.
  • World Maritime News
 
Schlumburger & Subsea 7 in talks to form oil services venture
 
Schlumburger & Subsea 7 said today that they were entering exclusive talks to form a joint venture to deliver subsea installations and services for oilfields.
 
In recent months, oil firms have returned to profits due to higher oil prices and the benefits of deep cost cuts they mae during the downturn but their suppliers are still feeling the squeeze and trying to cope with low profitability.
 
The two companies have collaborated since 2015 in designing, building and laying oil and gas production installations on the seabed.  
 
The two firms now aim to build a 50-50 joint venture to deliver subsea installations, maintenance and repair services.
 
“The proposed joint venture will give us the opportunity to capitalise on the synergies already established and significantly improve subsea economics over the lifetime of the field,” Schlumberger said in a statement.
  • Reuters (Oslo)
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Headlines Thursday 22nd February 2018
 
 
Oil Prices Fall on firmer U.S Dollar
 
Oil prices fell on Thursday, pulled down as a firmer dollar outweighed a report of a decrease in U.S crude inventories.
 
U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $61.15 a barrel at 0748 GMT, down 53 cents.
 
The dollar rose to a one-week high against a basket of major currencies.  Since oil trading is conducted in dollars, a rise in the USD makes fuel imports more expensive for countries using other currencies, potentially curbing demand.
  • Reuters (Singapore)
 
BIMCO: Circa 40 Boxship Giants to be Delivered in 2018
 
40 Ultra large container vessels (ULCV) are due to join the fleet in 2018, according to Bimco.
 
53 vessels larger than 13,500 TEU are scheduled for delivery, however, the number many of the owners due to take delivery might push the deliveries of their ships.
 
Similar to 2017 when 55 ships were due to be delivered, but only 43 were actually delivered.
 
Demand is forecast to grow by 4.0-4.5% against a fleet growth of 3.9% in 2018.
  • World Maritime News
 
Financial Impact of EC Fine revealed by Car Carrier Trio
 
K’ Line, NYK and MOL have revealed the financial impact of the European Commission’s decision to fine four deep sea car carriers for cartel practices and violation of EU competition law in separate statements.
 
The companies were fined a total of EUR 395 million.
 
K’Line said the decision would result in an extraordinary loss of EUR 39.1 million in the fiscal year ending in March 2018.
 
NYK, however, had already recognised JPY 19.6 Billion as provision for the fine in its 9 month report therefore their fine of JPY 18.8 billion.
 
MOL on the other hand managed to dodge a fine of EUR 203 million in exchange for information about the cartel during the investigation.
 
“Though the EC announced that they found the violation of European competition law and imposed fines, MOL and its subsidiary companies were exempted from all penalty including the fine because EC granted MOL an immunity,” the company said.
  • World Maritime News
 
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Headlines Wednesday 21st  February 2018
 
 
2018 – The Year of Opportunity for Dry Bulk Shipping
 
According to Bimco, 2018 should be another year of improvement for the Dry Bulk Shipping industry. The improvement is expected amid the slowest pace of fleet growth since 1999, as well as growth in demand.
 
There were plenty of new build deliveries in January as the numbers reached a 10-month high of 4.8 million dwt, while 0.7 were demolished.  Although the fleet growth slowed down, there are more new orders being placed in far eastern shipyards.
 
“Our forecast for overall demand growth in 2018 is around 2-3%, with plenty of uncertainty surrounding that. Not just in terms of volume, but most likely also in terms of sailing distances,” BIMCO said, adding that seen against a fleet growth of 1.4%, an improved market is still expected.
 
More than 60 MP’s demand May delivers Brexit with full autonomy
 
More than 60 Conservative MP’s have signed a letter demanding that Theresa May deliver a Brexit that ensures “full regulatory autonomy” for Britain after it leaves in March 2019, the BBC reported.
 
The 62 Conservative lawmakers signed a letter from the European Research Group that gave suggestions to May including ensuring that Britain is free to negotiate and sign trade deals with other countries as soon as it leaves the EU.
 
UK Jobless Rates Rise Unexpectedly
 
The UK’s unemployment rate rose unexpectedly for the first time in almost 2 years in the three months to December.
 
The unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent, the first increase since the three months to February 2016. 
 
Employment growth was weaker than expected in the three months to December, rising by 88,000 people rather than the 173,000 Reuters poll consensus.

 

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Headlines Tuesday 20th February 2018
 
 
Uber sees commercialisation of flying taxis in the next decade
 
Uber Technologies Inc CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that he can see commercialisation of the Uber Air flying taxi service happening within five to ten years.
Khosrowshahi was speaking at an investor forum in Tokyo on his first visit to Asia as Uber CEO when he said that Uber expected flying vehicles to eventually become an affordable method of mass transportation.
  • Tokyo Reuters
 
Great Eastern Bets on VLCC Scrapping
 
Oil tankers have experienced the worst winter since 2012-2013, with earnings dropping below $10,000 in the spot market.  With the tanker market under great pressure as inventories went down coupled with strong supply from yards, tankers are struggling for work.
 
CFO of Great Eastern Shipping G. Shivakumar said “Our run rate is going at about 20 million dwt of scrapping. With the market being so weak, there are reports that there are quite a few VLCCs still lined up and looking to be scrapped. Scrap prices are quite high, they had gone up past USD 450/ltd two to three weeks ago and at those numbers for a VLCC, you would get USD 20 million as scrap price.
 
“So, it makes it quite an attractive proposition to scrap the ship rather than undergo a special survey or a drydocking, which would cost USD 3-3.5 million and we expect that people are taking advantage of this and scrapping their ships, especially given where earnings are currently,”
  • World Maritime News
 
Chinese Warships Enter East Indian Ocean amid Maldives tensions
 
Eleven Chinese warships sailed into the East Indian Ocean this month, a Chinese news portal said, as the Maldives is now under a state of emergency.
 
A fleet of destroyers and at least one frigate, a 30,000-tone amphibious transport dock and three support tankers entered the Indian Ocean, news portal sina.com.cn said, without linking the deployment to the crisis in the Maldives or giving a reason.
  • Reuters (Shanghai)
 
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Headlines Monday 19th February 2018

 

The brawl that turned a Carnival cruise into a circus

Carnival have decided to investigate the response of its security personnel after a brawl broke out on one if their South Pacific cruises that resulted in 23 passengers being removed.

Carnival released a statement as a response to the incident that was captured on video and posted on social media. “the level of excessive behaviour experienced on the cruise was unprecedented,” The Carnival statement said. “We have apologised to guest who were directly affected by it,” it said.

The video posted online clearly shows passengers brawling with each other and security personnel.  It also shows passengers being kicked and punched by security personnel and crew.

23 people were removed after the violence as the 10-day cruise returned to NSW town of Eden for what the company described as “disruptive and violent acts”.

Reuters (Sydney)

 

EnQuest expects higher production this year

Enquest Plc expects higher production in 2018, due to its flagship Kraken oilfield and its acquisition of a 25% stake in BP’s Magnus oilfield the oil producer said on Monday.

Gross production from the Kraken field averaged 35,000 barrels of oil per day in January.  Total average production is expected to grow between 33 percent and 55 percent to about 50,000-58,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) this year.  Production averaged 37,405 boepd in 2017.

(Reuters)

 

Hedge Funds look to profit from rising tide in Shipping

The IMF has forecast GDP growth at 3.9% for 2018and 2019 versus 3.7 percent last year, which analysts say is boosting sentiment for shipping.

Around 90% of traded goods by volume are transported by sea and global shipping sectors, are on course for a recovery this year after a near-decade long crisis according to ratings agency S&P in a report released last week.

As a result of this many hedge funds are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars back into the sector.

“A lot of people have been talking about shipping recently. Last year, a few funds were setting up bespoke products,” said a London based Hedge Fund Investor.

Data released last week showed that hedge funds had bet at least $675 million on shipping stocks in the fourth quarter of 2017.

  • Reuters (London)
 
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Headlines Friday 16th February 2018
 
 
 
Air France – KLM shares slide over cost discipline disappointment
 
Worries in the market about Air France – KLM’s ability to reduce costs have sent the groups shares tumbling on Friday, after the company missed profit and cost cutting targets for 2017.
 
Air France – KLM has fell behind European rivals on cost cutting measures, especially on the Air France side of the business.  And with fuel prices set to rise in 2018 there will be more pressure on the airline to limit and reduce spending.
 
The stock is down 6% in early session trading, touching its lowest level in more than eight months. 
  • Reuters (France)
 
Generation locked out of buying a home in the UK
 
The institute for Fiscal Studies has said the biggest decline in home ownership in the last 20 years has been among middle income 25 – 34 year olds.
20 years ago, 65% of this age group owned a home compared to 27% in 2015 -2017. 
 
The study defines middle earners as those earning between £22,200 and £30,600.  A third of this age group are University graduates, 30% left school at 16 and around 60% have children.
 
Andrew Hood, a senior research economist at the IFS, said: "Home ownership among young adults has collapsed over the past 20 years, particularly for those on middle incomes.
 
"The reason for this is that house prices have risen around seven times faster in real terms than the incomes of young adults over the last two decades."
  • BBC
 
Philly Shipyard Reports Rise in Profits
 
US-basd Philly Shipyard has reported a net income of $98 million for the full year in 2017.  Up from $38.7 million in 2016.
 
The main drivers for the record high revenues were the deliveries of 3 product tankers to Kinder Morgan, as well as continued progress on two container ships for Matson.
 
Earlier this year the shipyard and shipping company TOTE announced that they would not be extending their letter of intent for a containership project.
  • World maritime news

 

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Headlines Thursday 15th February 2018

 

 

North Korean Tanker spotted in 3rd suspicious transfer of goods

North Korean flagged tanker Rye Song Gang 1 has been spotted by a Japanese maritime patrol plane in another suspected transfer of illegal goods.  This is the third occasion the where the vessel has been involved in suspicious transfers.

The Japanese Ministry of foreign Affairs sad that the vessel was seen anchored alongside Belize flagged Wang Heng No 11 on February 13th east of Shanghai.

The nighttime operation is suspected of involving a transfer of goods at sea in violation of international sanctions. The North Korean vessel was blacklisted by the Trump Administration in November 2017 together with 19 other North Korean-flagged vessels for engaging in illegal ship-to-ship transfers in an effort to evade sanctions.

 

UK tells charities no more cash if you don’t come clean on abuse

London (Reuters) – Britain will stop funding overseas aid agencies if they fail to learn the lessons from Oxfam’s sex abuse scandal, and the government will discuss possible prosecutions with law enforcement, the British development minister said on Wednesday.

The statement comes after The Times newspaper reported last week that some Oxfam staff paid for sex with prostitutes in Haiti after the country’s 2010 earthquake. 

Unless you safeguard everyone your organisation comes into contact with, including beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, we will not fund you,” Penny Mordaunt, the Secretary of State for International Development, told a conference in Stockholm. 

Mordaunt went on to say “Unless you create a culture that prioritises the safety of vulnerable people and ensures victims and whistleblowers can come forward without fear, we will not work with you,”.

“And unless you report every serious incident or allegation, no matter how damaging to your reputation, we cannot be partners.”

 

Greece won’t tolerate challenge to its rights after Turkish collision

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday said Greece would not tolerate any challenge to its territorial integrity, days after Turkish and Greek Coastguard vessels collided close to disputed islets in the Aegean Sea.

Tsipras said “Our message, now, tomorrow and always, is clear...Greece will not allow, accept or tolerate any challenge to its territorial integrity and its sovereign rights.”

“Greece is not a country which plays games,” Tsipras told an audience at the cοuntry’s shipping ministry.

  • Athens Reuters
 
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Headlines  Wednesday 14th February 2018
 
 
Keppel in New EIG Lawsuit
 
Eight of the funds managed by EIG have filed a civil lawsuit against Keppel Offshore and Marine Limited (KOM) before the New York District Court for alleged racketeering.
“This new lawsuit comes after an earlier civil action commenced by EIG and eight of its managed funds in the United States District Court, District of Columbia against, among others, the company and KOM was dismissed on March 30, 2017,” Keppel Corporation said.
 
This lawsuit was filed pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, it is said to be targeting $660 million in compensation claims.
 
As disclosed by the U.S Department of justice in December, Keppel Offshore and Marine and its US subsidiary KOM USA paid over $50 million in bribes to Brazilian officials, which secured $350 million of profit for the company.
 
NYK Investigating Embezzlement by Ex Managers
 
Japanese Shipping company Nippon Yusen KK has said it has set up an investigation committee after finding that former managers at a Chinese subsidiary may have committed embezzlement or made unlawful expenditures.
 
Nippon Yused released a statement that estimated a $18.6 million charge related to the conduct at the shanghai based subsidiary.
Tokyo (Reuters)
 
Asia’s soaring Gas Demand opens window for new LNG projects
 
New opportunities for new production of LNG from East Africa and North American have opened as a result of increasing demand from China, India and Southeast Asia.
 
Reuters have reported that trade flowsshow LNG imports having risen 40% since 2015, to almost 40 billion cubic meters a month.  Growth accelerated further in 2017 with imports up by a fifth, largely due to China, but also South Korea and Japan.
 
 
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Headlines Tuesday 13th February 2018

 

 

EU Regulators Step In To Fine Car Carriers For Price Fixing

Car Carrier majors are facing sanctions from EU regulators for their involvement in price fixing schemes, a ruling is expected in the coming weeks.

Several companies including NYK Line, K Line, MOL and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA are expected to be fined for their actions.

In an investigation that started in 2012 that involved several EU member states, the US and Japanese competition authorities, the commission stated they had reason to believe that the above companies among others were involved in cartels and restrictive business practices.

Several of the companies have stated in recent financial reports that they are under investigation in the EU and other overseas jurisdictions, at this stage it is unclear what financial damage the lawsuits will cause.

 

London City Airport Reopens

London City Airport has reopened this morning after the discovery of world war 2 ordnance in the King V dock in east London. 

CEO of London City Airport, Robert Sinclair said “The World War Two ordnance discovered in King George V Dock has been safely removed by the Royal Navy and Met Police,”.

The 80 year old ordnance was discovered on Sunday and the Airport had suspended flights in and out since Sunday night.  A 200 metre exclusion zone was set up as the Met and the Royal Navy stood in to lift and remove the ordnance.

The exclusion zone has now been lifted and the area has been declared safe.

 

Judgement Day for Assange

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will hear today whether his legal bid to halt action against him for breaching bail has been successful.

If the ruling goes in his favour Assange could leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the first time in 6 years.  Even with a positive outcome, Assange may decide to remain in the embassy with the fear of extradition to the US on charges related to WikiLeaks activity.

In June 2012, Assange fled to the embassy after skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden to face an allegation of rape, which he denied.  The Swedish case has since been dropped but there is still a warrant for his arrest in the UK for breach of bail terms.

 
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Headlines Monday 12th February 2018
 
 
MSC & Moby Sign Deal for 8 LNG Ropaxes
 
The Mediterranean Shipping Group and Moby Lines have signed a deal with China state Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) for up to 8 luxury Ropax ships.
 
The ships will be built by Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) and China Shipbuilding Trading Co. 
 
MSC and Moby have signed a deal for four ships with two more options for an additional two ships.
 
The LNG-ready RoRo passenger cruise ferrieswill be 229.5 metres in length with 3,765 lane metres, 32 metres wide and will have a total of 534 cabins, suitable for up to 2,500 people.
 
The first vessel is due to be delivered in 2020 to MSC’s Italian subsidiary Grandi Navi Veloci.
 
 
Schulte Group’s Acquisition of Pronav Gets The Go-Ahead
 
Germany based Schulte group has been given the go-ahead for the acquisition of the LNG specialist PRONAV.
 
Through the acquisition Schulte have increased the number of vessels under full management by 6 additional LNG Carriers.
 
Schulte currently fully manage 3 LNGC and provide crew management for 21 LNGC, this acquisition will take their numbers to 9 fully managed vessels.  Five Carriers and on Gas supply vessel are due to join the fleet this year and next bringing the total managed vessel to 15.
 
London City Airport Shut Down Over an 80-year-old WW2 Bomb Discovery
 
London City Airport has been closed after the discovery of a 500kg WW2 bomb was discovered.

Many other transport services have been disrupted following the discovery of the ordinance at around 10pm on Sunday evening.

Nearby properties have been evacuated as the Met Police and Royal Navy work together to eradicate the threat.  When they begin to lift and remove the device the evacuation zone will increase to 250m, forcing more families to evacuate their homes.
 
"While we endeavour to progress the operation as quickly as possible and minimise disruption, it is important that all of the necessary steps and precautions are taken to ensure it is dealt with safely," the Met said.
 
The airport will remain closed until further notice, whilst many airlines have cancelled or redirected their flights to other London airports.
 
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Headlines Friday 9th February 2018

 

US Government Shuts Down Again

The US Government has officially shut down for the second time in 2018 as senators were unable to meet a deadline on a vote on a new budget.

The 600-page Federal funding for government services plan proposes an increase in spending by about $300bn on defence and domestic services.  If the plan is passed in the House of Representatives and signed by the president in the next few hours, the shut down could be rescinded before the start of the working day in the US.

It is not clear at this point which agencies would close, it is clear that military personnel and air traffic controllers will continue as normal.  Many other agencies would shutdown as their future funding would be called into question.

 

DryShips establish Gas Ships Limited as a Standalone Gas Carrier Business

The Greek owner DryShips Inc has filed a F-1 registration statement with the U.S. Securities & Exchange.

Following the spin off, DryShips will retain a 51% ownership interest in Gas Ships Limited.

“The filing of the Form F-1 Registration Statement is an important step in the process of establishing Gas Ships Limited as a new, stand-alone company with its own strategic focus, independence and priorities. We believe that this business is well-positioned for success as a separate company,” George Economou, the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said.

 

First Human Eggs grown in Laboratory

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have grown human eggs in the laboratory for the first time. 

They are still some way off from being able to use the process clinically.  Women are born with immature eggs in their ovaries that can develop fully only after puberty.  With this breakthrough Scientists can now grow eggs to maturity outside the ovary.

At this stage the process is inefficient as only 10% of eggs developed have reached maturity and given that the eggs haven’t been fertilised it is unclear at this stage how viable they will be. 

Work on mouse eggs 20 years ago, showed the technology could produce live animals.  

 

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Headlines Thursday 8th February 2018
 
 

California stands against Trump’s new oil rigs

The state of California will block the transportation of petroleum through its state from new offshore oil rigs, a move to shut out the Trump administration’s effort to expand drilling in U.S. federal waters.

The plan to reject pipeline permits for transporting oil from new leases off the Pacific coast is perhaps the strongest step to date by any of the U. S’s coastal states against the proposed expansion in decades of federal oil and gas leasing.

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Chair of the State Lands Commission and a Democratic candidate for Governor said, “I am resolved that not a single drop from Trump’s new oil plan ever makes landfall in California.”

In a letter to Reuters, the commission wrote, “It is certain that the state would not approve new pipelines or allow use of existing pipelines to transport oil from new leases onshore

 

2020 Cap on Sulfur

The IMO have confirmed that there will be a 0.50 percent global limit of the sulphur content of ship’s fuel oil.  The new limit will come into effect on January 1st, 2020 according to IMO’s Secretary General, Kitack Lim.

The lower global sulfur limit will have a significant beneficial impact on the environment and on human health, particularly that of people living in port cities and coastal communities,” Lim said.

Consistent implementation to all ships will ensure a level playing field is maintained, with the result that the expected improvement of the environment and human health will be achieved. The large number of submissions on the matter indicates its importance and significance in the minds of all parties concerned, a point reiterated by the recent combined press release from industry and environmental observer organizations.”

“I am confident that the Sub-Committee, with the assistance of an intersessional meeting scheduled later this year, will, once again, rise to the challenge to ensure timely completion of this vital work,” Lim pointed out.

 

Pressure on the Tanker market

The tanker market looks set for a tough year in 2018 as DHT Holdings, Co-CEO, Trygve Miunthe explains “We are currently being hit from both sides,”

“Demand for tanker transportation is hit by inventory drawdowns and on the supply side we are hit by deliveries of newbuildings exceeding retirements of older ships.”

“But the good news is that we’re making meaningful progress towards the alleged goal of getting inventories back to five years historic averages. It has certainly been a tough period for tanker owners and we eye an end into the inventory drawdown phase in the not too distant future.”

According to Munthe, global demand for oil is robust and growing, noting that the main markets experiencing growth are China, India and Southeast Asia

 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Headlines Wednesday 7th February 2018
 
 
Shipping Goes Crypto
 
300 Cubits, a start up launched in 2017, is planning on being the first company to launch a blockchain application for the container shipping market.
 
300 cubits would initially aim to provide their own cryptocurrency, “TEU Token”, to the industry where it would act as a booking deposit.  The company have already began distributing the tokens to industry participants from the start of this month. 
 
They claim that 25-30% of the container shipping industry bookings fail to turn up and rolling happens in the most inconvenient time.
 
Providing the industry with the TEU Tokens would allow the container industry to use the tokens as a booking deposit through a cloud-based booking deposit module built on Blockchain.
 
UK looking at adopting the Norwegian way when it comes to recycling
 
Figures show that only half of the plastic bottles purchased in the UK are being recycled each year.
 
It is looking likely that the UK will now adopt the Scandinavian system after a ministerial delegation visited Norway to take a closer look at the industry-led scheme that now recycles 97% of bottles.
 
Essentially, the scheme works by introducing a tax on bottles between 10p and 25p depending on the size of the bottle. 
 
When the consumer has finished drinking the contents of the bottle they can then return the empty bottle to a recycling machine where the barcode is scanned, and they are presented with a coupon for the value of the bottle.
 
Just make sure that you don’t leave any liquid in the bottle, if you do the deposit will be made to the shop owner.
 
The Stricken MOL Prestige Under Tow
 
After suffering an engine fire last week, MOL Prestige has been adrift off British Columbia.  A tug arrived at the location of the vessel on the 3rd and they have now commenced towing operations. 
 
The vessel is expected to be back in port on the 10th February.  The engine fire took place on the 31st January and the stricken vessel has been adrift a few hundred miles west of British Columbia since. 
 
US flagged tug, Denise Foss is now believed to have the MOL Prestige under tow with permission to anchor in Constance Bank Anchorage in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, British Columbia.
 
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
Headlines – Tuesday 6th February 2018
 
 
SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launches for the First Time Today
 
SpaceX’s most ambitious launch, SpaceX Falcon Heavy scheduled for first launch today. The rocket will carry a Tesla Roadster into space, heading for Mars if it is indeed successful.  The launch is scheduled from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at between 18:30 and 21:30. 
 
Musk said “I feel super optimistic.  But I fell as though that optimism has no basis in fact. I feel like we’ve got a two thirds chance of success, but in reality, we only have 50-50 chance.”
 
One of my biggest concerns is booster-to-booster interaction,” Musk explained. “You’ve got a lot of dynamics going on there. Those rockets are very flexible; if they flex in unexpected ways they could potentially impact one another.”
 
Pirates Free Marine Express and Her Crew
 
The Marine Express and its 22 Crew members that were attacked 5 days ago by pirates while anchored off Benin, Gulf of Guinea have now reassumed control of the vessel.
 
The ship’s manager, Anglo-Eastern said “Full control of the vessel was resumed at approximately 04:00 Singapore time today. All crew members are reported to be safe and well, and the cargo of 13,5000 tons of gasoline remains on board,”
 
We wish to express our gratitude to the captain and crew of the vessel and their families for their courage and fortitude in dealing with this difficult situation, as well as the authorities and agencies involved.” Anglo-Eastern added.
 
Details of the operation leading up to the ship’s rescue have yet to be released.
 
US, Euro and Asian Shares Plunge
 
The European markets take a fall as they follow the Asian markets this morning as investors sell off their shares.
 
As the Dow lost 4.6% over night, Asian markets followed with Japan’s Nikkei 225 closing down 4.7%. After a year of steady gains in 2017 the US markets saw the largest percentage dip since 2011 when markets dropped in the aftermath of “Black Monday”.
 
The European markets have taken a hit this morning after the poor performance of the US and Asian markets overnight where London currently stands 1.65% down on the day at 7,214.11, Frankfurt is down 1.81% at 12,458.27.
 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Headlines - Monday 5th February 2018

 
Braemar Acquires Atlantic Brokers
 
Braemar Shipping Services have acquired the entire issued share capital of Atlantic Brokers Holdings, in a deal worth £4.8 million.  Atlantic Brokers are a wholesale broker for all of the Financial Coal products traded on CME Clearport and ICE.
 
The CEO of Braemar ACM Shipbroking, James Gundy commented on the acquisition “This is an exciting move for Braemar which promises an entry into the developing brokered commodity futures market.  Acquiring Atlantic, will enable effective integration with our existing business and provide rapid expansion opportunities for the futures broking team.  It will also complement our growing global dry cargo business.
 
Ryanair issues warning of “Local Disruptions”
 
Following a decision to recognise unions for its staff across the countries Ryanair operates in, the airline has warned of further “local disruptions”.
 
Last month Ryanair agreed to recognise a union for the companies UK pilots.  It is now expected that Ryanair will be extending union recognition to cabin crew.
 
"As we finalise union discussions along similar lines to that agreed in the UK, we expect some localised disruptions and adverse PR so investors should be prepared for same."
 
But Ryanair said that during the process, unions at other airlines could spell trouble for the low-cost airline: "In certain jurisdictions, unions representing competitor airlines will wish to test our commitment to our low cost, high pay/high productivity model to disrupt our operations.
 
"We are fully prepared to face down any such disruption if it means defending our cost base or our high productivity model."
 
Fincantieri seals the acquisition of STX France
 
After a lengthy negotiation process Fincantieri have announced that they have sealed the deal with the French State for the acquisition of STX France in a deal worth US$74 Million.
 
Following France taking over a 66% stake in the yard it will now sell 50% to the Italian Shipbuilder.  The shareholding structure for STX France will be:
  • Fincantieri – 50%
  • French State – 34.34%
  • Naval Group - 10%
  • Local Companies - up to 3.26%
  • STX France employees – up to 2.4%
 
Hashtag’s of the day
 
#Downingstreet #Britishairways #MondayMotivation

 

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