In a bid to slash the industry’s emissions, France is arguing for a global speed limit for the shipping industry around the globe through a submission to the International Maritime Organization. France believes that in order to meet the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement, shipping needs to act faster than goals set out by IMO to get decarbonisation regulations moving by 2023. Reducing speed for most ship sectors is one option for a transitionary, temporary measure.
Home to the world’s largest refueling station, Singapore says it will have enough low-sulfur fuel next year to meet new demand tied to the required reduction in sulphur emissions. The country has been working with big oil refiners and shipowners and is confident that they will have enough fuel that is compliant with new industry rules for 2020. Large oil companies have been active in Singapore, testing new fuels to ensure that they are safe and usable on all ships. The new fuels are expected to cost 40% more than traditional bunker fuel, boosting operators’ annual fuel bill by as much as $15 billion.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has announced that it will accept all types of approved exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), or scrubbers, including both open loop and closed loop, for use in its territorial waters. These areas include Cape Town, Saldanha Bay, Port Nolloth, Port of Ngqura, East London, Durban, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, and Richards Bay.
Speaking in Istanbul, Simon Bennett, Deputy Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) warned today that avoiding overcapacity and unsustainably low freight rates is still a major challenge ten years after the massive downturn of 2008. Mr. Bennett said, “In that time shipping companies needed to show restraint when ordering new ships, to prevent stifling recovery. Yet the dark clouds of protectionism and slowing growth in key economies mean that the avoidance of overordering is now more important than ever.” Furthermore, he noted that overcapacity in the shipbuilding sector will continue to be a temptation.
Singapore offshore company Swiber Holdings is being restructured, with Seaspan signing an investment agreement worth up to $200 million last Friday. Under the new agreement, Seapsan will invest $10m to take an 80% shareholding interest in a new holding company to be incorporated into which certain assets of the existing Swiber Group will be transferred.
Seaspan and COSCO Shipping Energy have signed an agreement for strategic cooperation to strengthen collaboration on opportunities relating to LNG investments, LNG projects, LNG transportation, ethane transportation, or other related and mutually beneficial projects. The agreement is geared to take advantage of COSCO’s experience in the building, operation, and management of LNG vessels, and Seaspan’s experience in the operation and management of containerships, as well as the networks and experience of its board members in the energy sector.
Luxury Cruise Ship, Viking Sky, arrived safely in port on Sunday after sending out a mayday signal on Saturday due engine failure during a storm. The ship was drifting in rough waters in the Norwegian Sea and came to within 100 meters of land. Rescue services airlifted 479 people, hoisting them one-by-one on to helicopters, before the weather subsided on Sunday and a tow could begin. 900 people were still on board as the ship arrived at the port of Molde on Norway’s west coast. Some 25 passengers were injured in the ordeal, with most suffering only minor injuries. The Viking Sky has a gross tonnage of 47,800 and was delivered to Viking Ocean Cruises in 2017.
Maersk has partnered with members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition on the world’s largest marine biofuel pilot project. The pilot will see a large triple-E ocean vessel sail 25,000 nautical miles from Rotterdam to Shanghai and back on biofuel blends alone, saving 1.5 million kilograms CO2 and 20,000 kilograms of sulphur. The voyage will take place between March and June 2019. While Maersk will be the operating partner, the pilot is sponsored by Friesl and Campina, Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever, and Shell will provide the fuel.
CMA CGM has signed two agreements: an order for 10 new 15,000 teu containerships at China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), to be delivered from 2021 to replace 10 of CMA CGM existing fleet and; and an agreement to jointly develop more efficient and environmentally-friendly vessels. Five of the newbuilds will be fitted with LNG propulsion at Jiangnan Shipyard, priced at $130m per ship, while another five will be built at another unconfirmed CSSC yard, likely Hudong-Zhonghua, fitted with hybrid scrubbers and priced at $110m per ship. Both agreements were signed in the presence of French president Emmanuel Macron and Chinese president Xi Jinping.
The International Transport Forum is calling for constructive dialogue with the World Shipping Council. The call comes from the ongoing debate over whether or not the European Commission should extend container shipping’s block exemption regulation (BER) after the council claimed that the BER’s chief opponent, Olaf Merk based his recommendations to rescind the exemption on insufficient data. Merk’s primary argument against the exemption is that liner alliances now have too strong a market share to necessitate the special treatment they have received from Brussels.
A Maltese special operations team boarded a tanker to retake control after it was hijacked by a group of migrants that it had rescued at sea. In all, the Turkish tanker had rescued 77 men, 19 women and 12 minors. Once brought into port, armed military personnel stood guard on the ship's deck while several police vans were lined up on shore to take custody of the migrants for investigation, and five migrants were led off the ship in handcuffs.
The International Chamber of Shipping has published the latest update of its Flag State Performance Table. The report provides an indication of the performance of individual flag administrations, using information available in the public domain. The purpose of the table is to encourage ship operators to examine whether a flag state has substance before using it and to put pressure on their current flag administrations if improvements might be needed.
The SL Star, a 4,400 dwt cargo ship operated by Sea Link Shipping capsized earlier this week while berthed in Shahid Rajaei Port in Bandar Abbas, Iran. The ship was loaded with 153 containers. All fourteen crew members who were on board at the time of the incident were rescued. Initial reports point to the cause being a lack of coordination between the ship’s officer and the contractor charged with unloading the vessel. Preparations have been made to deal with possible pollution and container removal operations have begun.
Vitol will be expanding its global tanker fleet via a takeover of the VALT bitumen joint venture. The company will be acquiring the final 50 percent of the joint venture which it established with Sargeant Marine in 2016, giving Vitol 100 percent ownership of VALT. VALT operates a fleet of eleven asphalt/bitumen tankers and handles around 1.4 million metric tons of asphalt per annum.
HMM has signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a win-win fund for scrubber installation in preparation for IMO 2020 and to seek cooperation in the shipping-related industries. HMM plans to complete the scrubber installation on its 19 containerships currently operated by the first half of 2020. HMM is investing KRW 46 billion, with Hyundai Corporation, SKTI, Hyundai Global Service, DSEC, and PANASIA together contributing an additional KRW 62.3 billion. The total investment amount will be KRW 153.3 billion. The five companies invested in a win-win fund will get the first priority for the contract negotiation for long-term fuel supply, supply of scrubber equipment, and scrubber installation etc.
DNV has rolled out remote surveys for some inspections on its classed vessels. This means that for a range of surveys, a DNV GL surveyor will not be required to travel to the vessel. Instead, a team of remote surveyors will be able to provide support to vessels around the world. The goal is to have faster response times, lower costs, and more operational up-time.
BP has developed a new very low sulphur fuel, with a maximum of 0.5% sulphur content. The product has been successfully trialled in both Europe and Singapore, and will soon be retailed in globally in cities including, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, Singapore, Hong Kong, Salalah, and Seattle. China’s Sinopec announced recently that it will start supplying low sulphur fuel in 2019, with a full supply available from January 2020.