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.:Maritime News :.
.: 17-Dec-2019 :.
Laker fire, crew evacuated, Detroit
Bulk carrier TECUMSEH suffered fire in engine room near Zug island, Detroit river, Great Lakes, in the afternoon Dec 15, while proceeding upstream en route from Thunder Bay, reported Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping News. All 16 crew had to be evacuated, A contracted firefighting team boarded and extinguished the fire, after all 16 crewmembers were safely disembarked, said Shipping News. The ship drifted to into Canadian waters and was anchored. On Dec 16 she was at the Morterm dock, on Dec 17 remains in the same position. The U.S. Coast Guards says it will coordinate any investigation into the cause of the fire.
Mega yacht collided with bridge on Sint Maarten island, Caribbean.
Mega yacht ECSTASEA went out of control on Dec 15 while entering Simpson Bay Lagoon, on Caribbean island of Sint Maarten, and contacted the control booth of a bascule bridge. Booth was ripped off and fell into water, but aside from that, bridge remained fully functional, and nobody was hurt. Yacht suffered superficial damages. Accident is though to be caused by adverse combination of strong wind and current.
Grindrod Shipping Extends Charter for Owned Tanker, Redelivers Chartered Bulker
Singapore-based ship owner and operator Grindrod Shipping Holdings has extended a charter agreement for one of its medium-range (MR) eco tankers and decided to return a chartered-in Supramax bulker.
As explained, the prevailing charter agreement for Grindrod s long-term bareboat chartered-out 2016-built tanker Matuku includes a fixed period ending May 2020, with extension options in favor of the charterer.
The company and the existing charterer of the 50,100 dwt Matuku have mutually agreed to extend the period of the existing bareboat charter for a further two years until May 2022 at an increased charter rate, Grindrod said.
What is more, the charter-in agreement for the long-term chartered-in 2015-built Japanese eco bulker, IVS Augusta, includes a fixed period ending March 2020. The contract has extension options covering a further two years at pre-determined charter rates and a purchase option on either the IVS Augusta or its sistership the IVS Pinehurst, which is also on charter to the Grindrod.
"We have elected to not exercise our right to extend the charter or exercise the purchase option on IVS Augusta. As a result, we expect the vessel to redeliver to her owners during the 1Q 2020. We retain the purchase option on the IVS Pinehurst," the company said.
Grindrod Shipping also informed it has acquired ordinary shares in the open market in addition to those detailed in the company s announcement earlier this month. Over the period from and including November 30, 2019, through and including December 11, 2019, a combined total of 66,398 ordinary shares has been acquired on NASDAQ and the JSE.
As a result, a combined total of 299,641 ordinary shares has been acquired on NASDAQ and the JSE over the period from the end of the second fiscal quarter through and including December 11, 2019.
Grindrod Shipping owns and operates a fleet of owned and chartered drybulk vessels and product tankers. The drybulk business, which operates under the brand Island View Shipping (IVS) includes a fleet of 17 Handysize drybulk carriers and 15 Supramax/Ultramax drybulk carriers on the water including IVS Augusta with two chartered-in Ultramax drybulk carriers under construction in Japan due be delivered in 2020.
The tanker business, which operates under the brand Unicorn Shipping, has a fleet of seven medium-range (MR) tankers and two small tankers.
Tanker Crew Abduction: Togolese Patrol Boat Makes Contact with M/V Duke
Following the attack by pirates on the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Duke off Lome, a Togolese naval patrol boat has made contact with the vessel, ship manager V.Ships Ship Management (India) confirmed.
On December 15, the oil/chemical tanker was boarded by six pirates who kidnapped twenty of the ship s twenty-one crew members. The 20 Indian seafarers were abducted, while one Nigerian cadet was left onboard.
As informed, a further tug with new sea-staff, including a Master, is proceeding to the 19,100 dwt Duke with a naval escort. They will resume command of the 2003-built ship which is owned by UK s Union Maritime.
"Owners and managers are working closely with all the appropriate authorities and specialists to secure the safe and speedy release of the crew members being held, this being the upmost priority," V. Ships said in a statement.
The company added that families of those kidnapped are being informed of the situation.
Described as "the largest kidnapping event in West Africa within 2019", the newest incident comes less than two weeks after nineteen crew members were kidnapped from the tanker Nave Constellation off Bonny Island, Nigeria.
EU Okays Maritime Transport Support Schemes in 5 Countries
The European Commission has approved five schemes to support maritime transport in Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Poland and Sweden.
As explained, the schemes encourage ship registration in Europe and contribute to the global competitiveness of the sector without unduly distorting competition.
Specifically, the commission decided to introduce a tonnage tax and seafarer scheme in Estonia, prolong a tonnage tax and seafarer scheme in Cyprus by ten years, introduce a new seafarer scheme in Poland, prolong and extend a seafarer scheme in Denmark, and prolong a seafarer scheme in Sweden.
Under the tonnage tax measure, shipping companies can apply to be taxed based on a notional profit or the tonnage they operate, instead of being taxed under the normal corporate tax system. This can reduce the overall level of taxes paid and increase their predictability for the companies. Under seafarer schemes, labor costs for seafarers employed on board vessels flying the flag of EU or European Economic Area (EEA) Member State may be partly or totally reduced.
As regards the tonnage tax schemes in Estonia and Cyprus, the European Commission found that the schemes comply with the rules limiting tonnage taxation to eligible activities and vessels. Furthermore, as regards taxation of dividends of shareholders, the commission found that both the Estonian and the Cypriot tonnage tax schemes ensure that shareholders in shipping companies are treated in the same way as shareholders in any other sector.
In addition, regarding the seafarer schemes in Estonia, Cyprus, Poland, Denmark and Sweden, the commission found that all five Member States have agreed to apply the benefits of their respective scheme to all vessels flying the flag of any EU or EEA Member State.
"The commission concluded that the schemes are in line with EU State aid rules, as they will contribute to the competitiveness of the EU maritime transport sector and encourage ship registration in Europe, while at the same time preserving Europe s high social, environmental and safety standards and ensuring a level playing field," the EC said in a statement.
"To be recognised by the European Commission for our fair and transparent tonnage tax system, which has already been applicable for ten years and is now extended for another ten years, demonstrates our commitment to the sustainable growth of European shipping and enables us to continue with our strategy for the sustainable growth of the sector in Cyprus and in Europe," Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister, commented in a separate statement.
"We are confident this prolonged system will assist in increasing the tonnage of our fleet as well as the breadth and sophistication of our cluster," Pilides added.
MOL Looking to Develop Zero Emission Pure Car Carrier
Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has teamed up with compatriot shipping solutions provider e5 Lab. Inc. to conduct a joint study of a hybrid pure car carrier equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell system and large-capacity batteries.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the companies aim to develop a zero-emission hydrogen hybrid PCC, which doesn t emit carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), or particulate matter (PM) while underway in coastal waters or in ports.
When navigating in the open sea, the hydrogen hybrid PCC s motor would be powered by an LNG-fueled generator and the large-capacity batteries, resulting in significantly lower emissions than current vessels equipped with diesel engines that run on heavy oil.
The duo will first conduct technological and business feasibility studies of the hydrogen hybrid PCC, and when they gain positive results, they will move on to the next phase of joint development for a practical of hydrogen hybrid PCC based on the results.
MOL has been working on eliminating emissions of vessels while in ports over the past ten years. Namely, in 2009 the company announced its future vision for the next-generation series "ISHIN-I" car carrier. In 2012, it launched the world s first hybrid car carrier, the Emerald Ace, which is equipped with the world s largest-scale solar power generation system and batteries.
"The hydrogen hybrid PCC concept marks a further step ahead from these past projects, and the company is pursuing the possibility of introducing more extensive and more advanced technologies with the goal of zero emissions," MOL said.
DP World Creates New Marine Unit Following Topaz Acquisition
Global port operator DP World has established a Dubai-based marine solutions and logistics company, P&O Maritime Logistics (POML).
POLM is the result of DP World s recent USD 1.1 bn acquisition of Topaz Energy and Marine and its integration with P&O Maritime.
As informed, the new company will focus on three strategic segments: offshore, port services and logistics.
Gwadar port operationalised for exports
The Gwadar port has been operationalised for export, Adviser to Prime Minister on Trade and Industries Abdul Razak Dawood announced on Saturday, saying that it would reduce the burden on the Karachi port.
Dawood said on the microblogging website Twitter that the departure of a vessel, carrying three fish containers worth $50,000 each, for a Far-Eastern country started the seafood exports through Gwadar port.
Mawani signs MoUs to develop, run JIP container terminals
Within the framework of consolidating the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia s position as a hub for global logistics services, The Supervisory Committee for Privatization of Transport Sector has approved signing concession contracts with the leading global port operator DP World and the leading regional port operator the Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT), to develop and operate the container terminals at the Jeddah Islamic Port.
Changed role of the Port of Rotterdam Authority in the Brazilian port of Porto Central
Rather than remaining as a shareholder, the Rotterdam Port Authority has decided to continue its involvement in the development of this Brazilian greenfield project as an advisor to Porto Central s management.
Dublin Port project raises concerns
A business group in Dublin s Docklands has questioned whether a €320m project by Dublin Port Company (DPC) to double its capacity is in the interests of businesses and residents.
The Docklands Business Forum is expected to raise concerns about the proposed major development of port infrastructure at an oral hearing of An Bord Pleanala later today, into an application by DPC for planning permission for the second phase of its Masterplan 2040.
FEPORT welcomes the Green Deal for Europe and its potential to mainstream sustainability into all EU policies
As promised in her political Guidelines, Commission President von der Leyen presented her Green Deal for Europe on December 11th, 2019. The Communication sets very ambitious objectives for the EU and sends a strong message to the rest of the world regarding Europe s intention to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and to transform its economy to become wholly carbon-neutral by 2050.