Two oil tankers were attacked and left adrift on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices and leading to fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the US. The crew of the Norwegian-owned Front Altair abandoned ship in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after a blast that set the ship was ablaze. The vessel was carrying 75,000 tonnes of petrochemical feedstock naphtha. The second ship, Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous, was hit twice over a three-hour period. Its crew were also picked up safely. Iranian search and rescue teams picked up 44 sailors from the two damaged tankers and took them to the Iranian port of Jask. There were no immediate statements apportioning blame nor any claims of responsibility.
In February, the Ocean Cooper 2 capsized and sunk off the coast of Singapore. MPA Singapore has since the incident completed a hydrographic survey of the wreck site and determined that the wreck will not affect vessel traffic. The wreck is located 41 meters below the sea surface, significantly deeper than the deepest draught of transiting vessels, which is 22 meters below the sea surface. MPA Singapore will update its nautical charts to indicate the location of the wreck and issue a Notice to Mariners to keep the maritime community updated.
Vard has secured a contract for the design and construction of another passenger ship for Australia’s Coral Expeditions to be named Coral Geographer. The vessel will be the fifth expedition cruise ship in the company’s fleet. The vessel will be developed by Vard Design and delivered by the end of 2020. Along with its sister vessel, Coral Adventurer, Coral Geographer will be designed to meet the growing demand for coral expeditions in the Australian cruise market. Featuring a gross tonnage of 5,599 tons, each of the ships has a capacity for 120 passengers and 48 crew members.
The biggest LNG terminal in the Nordics opened in Röyttä Harbour, Tornio, Finland, earlier this week. The Tornio terminal is equipped with bunkering stations for LNG vessels, regasification equipment for liquefied natural gas, as well as a storage unit that is 50,000 m3 in volume. The new facility will strengthen LNG’s security of supply for shipments to Northern Finland and Sweden.
The cruise ship MSC Opera crashed into a dock and tourist boat River Countess in Venice, causing injuries to five people. The 2,679-passenger MSC Opera was assisted by two tugs through the canal when it lost control and collided with the dock. While the exact cause of the collision is not known, local media has reported that it is likely that the ship either suffered a blackout or the towing cable broke, and was unable to stop due to strong currents pulling it towards the dock. The hull of MSC Opera as well as the tourist boat have been damaged in the incident.
Oldendorff Carriers has completed 23 deals with three Chinese leasing companies over the last year. The deals comprise four 209,000 dwt, two 180,000 dwt, four 81,000 dwt, eight 63,500 dwt and five 61,000 dwt bulkers. Eight of the 10 vessels will be equipped with open loop scrubbers, while the other two will be equipped with hybrid scrubbers. In addition, by 2021, Oldendorff will have taken delivery of 106 newbuilds from 23 Chinese shipyards. Oldendorff currently has a fleet of 750 vessels with a total tonnage of 63.4 million dwt and an average age of eight years.
The Viking Sigyn collided with a smaller sightseeing boat The Mermaid, capsizing the boat and killing at least seventeen South Korean passengers. The incident took place as the vessels were approaching the Margaret bridge in Budapest on the Danube River. The Mermaid was carrying 33 Korean passengers with two Hungarian crew. The captain of the cruise ship has been arrested on suspicion of endangering water transport leading to a deadly mass accident.
J. Lauritzen has shrunk its fleet by 15 bulk carriers. due to a weak market for bulk. The decision comes as a reaction to the slowing bulk market and ongoing global trade which caused larger freight rate declines across all dry bulk vessel sizes.
K Line has signed an agreement Airseas, a developer of automated power kites for ships. Initially, Airseas will install and service one ship with the automated kite. Once in place, K Line will consider ordering up to 50 automated 1000 sqm kites. The kites use parafoil technology to tow commercial ships, helping save more that 20% on fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.
BIMCO’s Documentary Committee has agreed on a new standard Cyber Security Clause, that requires the parties to implement cyber security procedures and systems, to help reduce the risk of an incident and mitigate the consequences should a security breach occur. The clause is drafted in broad and generic language which allows for it to be used in a wide range of contracts and it is hoped that the clause will assist parties in obtaining affordable insurance for their cyber security exposure, as the clause introduces a cap on the liability for breaches.
Responding to changing regulations the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched of the third edition of its essential Guidelines on the Application of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, the only fully up to date guide to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) for all involved with the employment of seafarers.
New in Edition 3
European ports have prepared a memorandum on the role of port authorities and managing bodies as facilitators of the port ecosystem. The ESPO memorandum identifies ten priorities, ten fields of action and importance for the next five years. The memorandum explains how ports can contribute to Europe’s competitiveness by engaging with port-based industries and operators to influence and assist in the significant changes that we are being faced: climate change, sustainability, digitalisation and the volatile global trade and geopolitical environment.
The Ocean Alliance will skip two Asia-US West Coast sailings in June in an effort to maintain rates as the US-China trade war takes a toll on volume.
Maersk has announced that it will be investing in Traxens, a ‘smart container’ tracking product. They will be joining existing investors CMA CGM and MSC, with each taking an equal shareholding in Traxens. Maersk has agreed to order up to 50,000 Traxens devices, a similar order to those placed earlier by CMA CGM and MSC. The device creates visibility into the condition and location of containerised cargo.
The Ocean Cleanup’s plastics collecting system is set to be redeployed in June after undergoing upgrades. During the last campaign, The Ocean Cleanup confirmed many key assumptions of the design, but also encountered two opportunities to improve the system – the system did not maintain a sufficient speed, allowing plastic to exit the system, and a stress concentration caused a fatigue fracture in the HDPE floater. The design has now been adapted to address these issues.
A group of six Nordic companies has come together to develop new infrastructure for green fuels for ships. Lead by the technology company Wärtsilä, the group is called Zero Emission Energy Distribution at Sea (ZEEDS). Member of the group include DFDS, Grieg Star, Aker Solutions, Equinor, and Kvaerner. ZEEDS will work together to assess and address the supply, storage and distribution chain in order to accelerate the switch to cleaner shipping fuels. The partners will present their most promising ideas in Oslo at Future Innovation Day – Horizons on June 3 and during Nor-Shipping maritime event on June 4.