Friday, 21 September 2018 14:17

IMO progresses on Methanol-fuelled vessels

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The International Maritime Organization’s sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC5) has developed draft interim guidelines covering the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel. The draft guidelines completes the work undertaken by the Correspondence Group on Development of Technical Provisions for the Safety of Ships using Low-flashpoint Fuels and are designed to provide for the safe design and operation of ships. 

Friday, 21 September 2018 14:13

Sinotrans moves to privatization

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Hong Kong-incorporated shipping company Sinotrans Shipping, part of Sinotrans & CSC Holdings, has unveiled the possibility of privatization. An announcement regarding the possible privatization of the company will follow a short-term trading halt in line with the Hong Kong Code on Takeovers and Mergers.  Sinotrans & CSC Holdings and China Merchants Group finalized a merger last April. Operating through three shipping segments, Sinotrans Shipping currently has a fleet of more than 50 bulkers, containerships and tankers, according to VesselsValue’s data.

Friday, 14 September 2018 11:23

ICS offers advice on global sulphur cap

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To assist shipping companies prepare for implementation of the IMO global sulphur cap for ships’ fuel oil on 1 January 2020, the International Chamber of Shipping’s Marine Committee has developed some comprehensive guidance on implementation planning, to help ensure compliance across the shipping industry with this regulatory game changer. New Provisional Guidance to Shipping Companies and Crews on Preparing for Compliance with the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap’ can now be accessed via the ICS website at

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The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit initiative aiming to rid the seas of plastic litter, launched its System 001 equipment on 8 September 2018 in San Francisco. The Maersk Launcher will tow a 2,000-foot-long (600-metre), U-shaped floating barrier with a 10-foot (three-metre) "skirt" below the water's surface to collect the waste. Debris will be funnelled to the centre of the system and the system will skim the surface of the ocean to collect the plastics. Initially the Maersk Launcher will tow the system 240 nautical miles from shore for 14 days of trials. If the trials are successful, the Ocean Cleanup will proceed a further 1,200 nautical miles to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located halfway between California and Hawaii. The patch reportedly contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic and covers an area twice the size of Texas. The organization anticipates that the first batches of plastic will be returned to land in six months, when the waste will be recycled into products that can be sold to help fund future operations.

Friday, 07 September 2018 15:15

USCG receives 17th BWTS application

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The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center received its 17th application for type approval for the NK-O3 BlueBallast II Ballast Water Management System manufactured by NKBMS Co. Ltd.

Friday, 07 September 2018 15:08

China advances ECA implementation date

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Regional authorities of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces have recently issued formal notices that ships calling at the provinces’ ports on or after 1 October 2018 will be required to use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% while navigating and berthing within the provinces’ waters and port areas.  Since 1 January 2018, ships have been required to use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% while berthed at all ports within the three ECAs. Ships must switch to compliant fuel within one hour of arriving at their berth and use compliant fuel until not more than one hour prior to departure. The changes affecting ships operating within these emissions control areas (ECAs) which had been expected to take effect on 1 January 2019 will now take effect three months before that date, as follows;

  • From 1 October 2018, ships will be required to use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% at all times while operating inside the Yangtze River Delta ECA.
  • From 1 October 2018, any fuel change-over operation will need to be completed prior to the entry into, or commence after exit from, the Yangtze River Delta ECA.

The Secretariat has been advised that the situation in the Pearl River Delta and Bohai-rim Waters ECAs remains unchanged, ships will be required to use compliant fuel at all times when inside these ECAs from 1 January 2019.

Friday, 07 September 2018 15:04

ICS addresses UN re governance in high seas

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At the United Nations in New York, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is representing shipowners at the start of a major negotiation to agree a new legal instrument for the protection of the ocean under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – which will apply to ‘high seas’ areas ‘beyond national jurisdiction’. ICS fully supports the objectives of the UN negotiations and the critical need to provide environmental protection for the ocean from activities such as fishing and seabed mining.  However, ICS says these are activities which, unlike commercial shipping, do not enjoy a comprehensive framework of global regulation such as that which has been developed, over a period of 50 years, by the UN IMO and its 174 Member States. Of particular interest to ICS is that the new UN instrument is likely to permit area-based management tools such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAS) being developed for the high seas.  ICS asserts that the detail and appropriateness of any future measures that might apply in such MPAs – for example special navigational measures to protect whales – should still be determined by the relevant specialist agency, in this case IMO, which has long experience of implementing MPAs for global shipping.

Friday, 07 September 2018 14:55

Significant weapons seizure in Gulf of Aden

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On August 28th more than 2,500 AK-47 automatic rifles were seized from a skiff in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden during a counter-trafficking mission conducted by the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109).  The US Navy has stated that 2,521 guns were confiscated from the skiff, which was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding conducted in accordance with international law. Although the origin and intended destination of the skiff were immediately unclear, US officials have said that ships intercepted in this area in the past have been linked to Iranian efforts to support Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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Wärtsilä has unveiled a global initiative that aims to transform the world’s marine and energy industry into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound and digitally connected ecosystem. The initiative, which Wärtsilä calls “An Oceanic Awakening”, was announced at the SMM maritime trade fair in Hamburg. Oceanic Awakening will activate a fully-integrated smart ecosystem that will improve operational efficiencies that will lead to greater profitability and sustainability.  The initiative will include improving fuel efficiency, reducing port congestion, and leveraging real-time communication between stakeholders.  Wärtsilä plans to connect 20 of the most influential marine cities by 2020 into a network that will inspire cooperation and support the adoption and deployment of best practices, embrace digitalization and legislate new environmentally friendlier, sustainable and smarter ways of doing business across our oceans. Under the auspices of SEA20, an assembly of key influencers from five marine cities have already been brought together to determine how these cities can best take advantage of a Smart Ecosystem and all its cascading benefits to society at large. 

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The third phase of Greece's port privatization efforts will start this fall with 10 ports identified, including four in Northern Greece, three in Attica as well as ports in Patra, Volos and Heraklio. Greece’s public assets management fund (TAIPED) is assessing each port’s potential and proceed with the necessary actions for use. Study results are expected in the coming days and TAIPED is expected to seek public-private partnership opportunities “encourage the advent of investors who have specific knowhow and experience, while at the same time ensuring the public’s best interests.”  This third phase follows the sale of the Thessaloniki Port Authority to South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki Limited (SEGT) for €231,926m earlier this year, reported GTP Headlines.

Friday, 24 August 2018 13:31

Maersk vessel set to explore the Arctic

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A Maersk vessel loaded with Russian fish and South Korean electronics will next week become the first container ship to navigate an Arctic sea route that Russia hopes will become a new shipping highway. The Venta Maersk, a new 3600 TEU Winter Palace class feeder ship, will travel from Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan up and around the Arctic Circle using ECA compliant fuel to arrive in St. Petersburg by the end of September.  The exploratory voyage will provide Maersk with scientific and operational data for future consideration.

Friday, 24 August 2018 13:27

Ship emissions continue to decline

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Carbon dioxide emissions from maritime cargo shipping continued to decline last year, according to a recent report from nonprofit organization BSR’s Clean Cargo Working Group. The Clean Cargo Emissions Factors 2018 Report, which took into account emissions data from 22 ocean container carriers on more than 3,200 ships representing around 85 percent of global ocean container capacity, found average CO2 emissions per container per kilometer fell 1 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year.  Since Clean Cargo began publicly reporting data from the industry in 2009, emissions per container per kilometer have dropped 37.1 percent on average. Clean Cargo tools represent the industry standard for measuring and reporting ocean carriers’ environmental performance globally.

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