Thursday, 20 November 2014 23:55

New South Korean National Safety Agency

338 SKorea

In the continuing fall out over the loss of 304 people on the ferry Sewol, the South Korean government this week announced the formation of a new government agency designed to handle emergency rescue and safety management. The subject of much criticism, the Korean coast guard is being broken up and its search and rescue duties are being moved to the new “Ministry of Public Safety and Security” that will have more than 10,000 staff and incorporate national fire and emergency response teams.

Stung by criticism of the country’s poor record in confronting regional piracy, the Indonesian government also announced this week that it is to form a new coastguard. This was a key undertaking of the new Indonesian President Mr. Joko Widodo during his campaign.

Thursday, 20 November 2014 23:54

OW Bunker insolvency frustrates

338 OW

Owners and charterers that have received bunkers from OW Bunker, its affiliates or subsidiaries are being advised to stay vigilant as legal action initiated by the company’s creditors is rapidly escalating. Adding to the global uncertainty is that bankruptcies of OW’s separate legal entities in different jurisdictions will be handled under local law and while bankruptcy proceedings would put a stop on legal action against that entity in a particular jurisdiction,  they do not necessarily mean its contractual positions were terminated or in breach. OW Bunker and related offices around the world are believed to number around 40, operating under various trading names. The company’s debts were this week listed as $730 million.

Thursday, 20 November 2014 23:51

China powers ahead with LNG import capacity

338 ChinaLNG

After only kicking off LNG imports in 2006, latest predictions are that LNG import terminals in China will more than double in the next 10 years from the current 11 LNG terminals. As the country seeks to switch to cleaner fuel without displacing millions from employment, the country is targeting a 15% year on year increase in LNG imports with both state owned and private companies heavily involved in terminal infrastructure development. China is currently the third largest importer of LNG in the Pacific region in October taking 3.3m cbm (21 ships), behind South Korea 6.2m cbm (42 ships) and Japan a whopping 15.9m cbm (117 ships). So what are we waiting for?

Thursday, 20 November 2014 23:50

MLC adds to vessel detentions

338 MLC

Paris MOU vessel detentions under the new Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) have made up 17.4% of the total during its first year in operation with 113 detentions  Almost 40% of detainable deficiencies related to payment of wages, 43% accident prevention, 28.6% health and safety and 25.4% were related to accommodation, food and catering standards.

Thursday, 20 November 2014 23:47

Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise arrested - again

338 Greenpeace

Just a year after falling foul of the Russian authorities, Greenpeace is in trouble again – this time with Spain. The notorious Arctic Sunrise this time pushed its luck with the Repsol drillship Rowan Resistance (above) resulting in a fairly violent confrontation off the Canary Islands. The Spanish government has launched an investigation against the Captain of the Arctic Sunrise, for an alleged “infringement against marine traffic rules punishable with a fine of up to 300,000 Euros. While the crew has been released, the Arctic Sunrise is being held until a 50,000 Euro bond. See the short clip:

Thursday, 20 November 2014 23:44

Brokers consolidating

338 Brokers

Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker, is negotiating to buy Norway’s RS Platou ASA, a slightly smaller company. Between them, the two companies’ sales last year amounted to $500 million. Platou gets about 70% of its sales from investment banking and services to the offshore oil industry. Established in London in 1852, Clarkson has 42 offices around the world and more than 1,000 employees. Platou, set up in Norway in 1936, has operations in 18 countries and 370 employees.

Still with broking mergers, ICAP has confirmed that it is in talks with Howe Robinson to combine it with its ship broking arm ICAP Shipping to be up and running in the second quarter of 2015. Howe Robinson has a 150 staff in six offices worldwide, while ICAP Shipping has 196 employees in 10 offices. Howe Robinson specialises in the dry cargo and containership sectors, and ICAP Shipping is active in the wet and dry cargo sectors, offshore and FFAs. ICAP moved into ship broking in 2007 with the purchase of JE Hyde.

Thursday, 20 November 2014 23:36

Beer drinkers for seafarers

338 Seafarers

We have our own Cycling for Seafarers but UK brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC (Fullers) has gone one better by raising funds for Seafarers UK through the sale of beer. This year’s donation of £38,676, raised through sales of its thirst quenching Seafarers Ale, was presented recently at the opening of The Admiralty, Fuller’s new pub on London’s Trafalgar Square, where Seafarers UK’s Director General, Mr. Barry Bryant, met with guest of honor, The Admiral Lord West of Spithead, himself a long term supporter of the charity.

Closer to home, thanks go to Brian O’Connell (ISL Ship and Port Agency / Customs Brokers) for his donation of two Grey Cup tickets for auction (raised $600) at last week’s Plimsoll Club banquet and to the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers ($1,000) for both of their donations to Vancouver's Mission to Seafarers.

338 ChinaAus

The signing of a Free Trade Agreement between China and Australia after 10 years of negotiations promises to be good news for global shipping if not necessarily for Canada. In addition to an immediate scrapping of the 3% tax on coking coal imports, and a phasing out of the 6% tax on thermal coal imports over the next two years, the agreement is expected to boost Australian agriculture and allow for more Chinese investment in Australia. China is already Australia’s top trading partner, with two-way trade of around A$150 billion ($130 billion) in 2013 and once the agreement is fully implemented 99.9% of Australia’s current resource, energy and manufacturing exports will enjoy duty free entry into China.

337 TC

Transport Canada has issued a call for nominations for the Pacific Regional Advisory Council (PRAC) on oil spill preparedness and response.  Existing membership on PRAC will expire at the end of December 2014. Transport Canada is seeking expressions of interest to fill these positions and to establish an eligibility list for future vacancies.  View TC's PRAC Call for New Members.

337 EnergyEast

Following 18 months of environmental studies and public consultation, TransCanada has now formally filed with the National Energy Board a project application for the US$12 billion Energy East Pipeline. The project involves 3,000 kms of existing LNG pipeline to be reversed to carry bitumen and the construction of 1,600 kms of new pipeline to carry product as far east as St. John NB where TransCanada and Irving Oil have formed a joint venture to build, own and operate a new deep water marine export terminal. Pipeline capacity will be 1.1 million barrels/day. Despite being already largely built, the project is starting to generate opposition, especially from within Ontario and Quebec.

Friday, 14 November 2014 10:15

Quicksilver seeks LNG partner

337 Quicksilver

Proponents for the Campbell River LNG project, Texas based Quicksilver Resources has deferred further spending on its shale-gas assets amid negotiations for an LNG project partner. Current planning calls for the proposed LNG export terminal to be operated by a downstream partnership between Quicksilver and a third-party company as yet unnamed. The feed-gas for Discovery LNG would come from the Horn River Basin in northeast BC, one of Canada's prolific shale-gas areas and already earmarked to supply resources for several other LNG export plants. The company has filed an application with the NEB to export up to 20 million tons/year with a start up date of 2021.

Friday, 14 November 2014 10:14

Horizon Lines bites the dust

337 Horizon

The U.S. containership operator Horizon Lines has been purchased by competitors Matson and Pasha. Matson has secured Horizon’s Alaska operations for $456.1m deal while Pasha has acquired Horizon’s Hawaii business for $141.5m. All three companies operate in U.S. Jones Act protected trades. The demise of Horizon is not a major surprise given the company’s aged fleet, high operating costs and heavy debt burden. Horizon also announced that it will shut down its Puerto Rico domestic liner service. 

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