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.:Maritime News :.
.: 24-Dec-2019 :.
Displaying 1 to 13 of Records.
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Gabon: Four Sailors Kidnapped, One Feared Killed
Armed pirates have kidnapped four Chinese sailors in Owendo anchorage in Gabon, the Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang confirmed.
The incident took place on December 22, local time, as the robbers attacked two fishing boats belonging to Sigapeche.
"Their whereabouts are not yet known at this moment. The Chinese embassy in Gabon has asked the Gabonese side to act swiftly to find out what happened, launch a rescue operation, and spare no efforts to free the Chinese sailors. We will continue to closely monitor the situation," the spokesperson added.
According to Dryad Global, the two fishing trawlers Guoji 867 & 838 were at anchor when they were boarded by a small craft with 6 or 7 persons on board. It is understood that the Captain and Chief mate were kidnapped from both trawlers.
As informed, this was the second attack on the same day, as earlier three vessels (MV Shail Al Doha, African Kalmia & Renauld) were approached by a canoe with 6 or 7 persons on board. On sighting the approaching canoes the alarm was raised and the canoes moved away from the vessels.
"Reporting goes on to indicate that there was a third attack involving a landing craft vessel. The captain of the vessel is believed to have been killed," Dryad said.
Dryad explained that this was the first incident within the Owendo Anchorage and Port Libreville area within 2019.
"Historically this area has held a high degree of comparative stability when compared with neighboring areas in Gabon and other major West African anchorages. Thus far, this is the first recorded kidnapping event in this location," the company added.
DP World Inks 30-Year Concession for Jeddah South Container Terminal
Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World has been awarded a 30-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) concession by the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) for the management and development of the Jeddah South Container Terminal at the multipurpose Jeddah Islamic Port.
The BOT concession was signed in Jeddah on December 23, 2019.
Under the agreement, DP World will invest up to USD 500 million to improve and modernize the Jeddah Islamic Port, including major infrastructure development to enable the port to serve ultra large container vessels (ULCVs).
With annual volumes of over 6 million TEUs, the Jeddah Islamic Port handles about 60% of Saudi Arabia s sea imports and is a strategic hub connecting east-west cargo. Developing the port is said to be in line with Saudi Vision 2030 as the project is considered a key milestone towards achieving the targets of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Vision Realization Program, one of the vision s major initiatives.
DP World, which has operated the South Container Terminal on a lease agreement for more than 20 years, said that the new concession will facilitate the smooth and efficient movement of cargo and enable greater access to local and international markets.
As the main trade destination for Saudi Arabia and one of the Kingdom s major port privatization projects, the new terminal will also have an upgraded capacity of 3.6 million TEU, up from 2.4 million TEU, to meet the future growth demand.
"DP World is honoured to support the Kingdom s 2030 growth vision through this new concession to transform the country into a global logistics hub," Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, commented.
"Beyond the terminal, our ambition is to develop inland connectivity across the Arabian Peninsula between Jeddah and Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, as well as to Saudi Arabia s cities through smart technology-led logistics, which should support further growth in this strategic hub that connects East-to-West," he added.
DP World has a portfolio of over 150 operations in over 45 countries around the world.
Industry Should Be Aware of IMO 2020 Teething Problems
The fast-approaching entrance into force of the global sulphur cap is a change of a magnitude never attempted before on a global basis.
Under the new regulation, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas will be reduced to 0.5% from 3.5%. This is expected to significantly reduce the amount of sulphur oxides emanating from ships.
In order to comply with the upcoming regulations, shipowners can install scrubbers or use compliant fuels. Many shipowners have opted for open-loop scrubbers that use seawater as the process fluid and discharge the treated water overboard. However, the rest of the global fleet is expected to comply by using low sulphur fuels and marine gas oils.
There are a lot of concerns across the board when it comes to picking the right compliance option, their safety, availability, reliability and finally issues concerning the very policing of the compliance among shipowners.
Having that in mind, teething problems are likely to happen when IMO 2020 first comes into effect on January 1, 2020, Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), said in a message to the industry on the eve of the IMO 2020 s implementation.
"The industry has been working hard to ensure that we are ready for 1st January, but we still have concerns over safety and the availability of compliant fuels in every port worldwide. This is a pressing issue.
"Shipowners rely on many other stakeholders in the marine fuel supply chain, particularly bunker suppliers and oil refiners, to ensure we are all able to fully comply with the new regulations. We need the supply side to fully contribute to a smooth changeover so that we do not have any incidents due to incompatible fuels and we can ensure safe operations for our seafarers," Platten added.
Platten insisted that Port State Control authorities will need to provide consistency and a common-sense approach to enforcement during the initial weeks of implementation, provided shipowners can demonstrate they have done everything in their power to comply.
"I would like to think the vast majority of shipowner will fully comply, and the new regime will be strictly enforced by Port State Control authorities globally.
"What we want is to make sure it is a level playing field - any shipowner would want that - and there is a uniform approach to compliance around the world. If you have not got a level playing field and people are able to gain from the system, thatís not fair."
"We believe this major change is both timely and needed, however, this does not mean it is without inherent risks," he concluded.
BDO: Shipping Confidence Reaches 18-Month High
Confidence in the shipping industry rose in the last quarter to its highest level for 18 months, according to a survey from shipping adviser and accountant BDO.
As informed, the average confidence level expressed by respondents to the survey was 6.4 out of 10.0, compared to 5.8 Q3 2019. This is the highest rating since the same level of confidence was recorded in May 2018, and it is necessary to go back to February 2014 in order to see confidence at a higher level.
"It is not far short of six years since confidence in the industry has been higher, and appetite for investment remains steady despite volatile economic conditions," Richard Greiner, Partner, Shipping & Transport at BDO, commented.
"This is despite general ongoing geopolitical uncertainty, and notwithstanding specific concerns about a variety of issues including Brexit and President Trump s impeachment inquiry,"
Confidence on the part of both managers and owners was up to 6.9 out of 10.0 from the levels recorded in the previous survey of 5.9 and 6.4 respectively.
However, confidence in the broking sector was down from 5.1 to 3.9, the lowest rating for this category of respondents since the survey was launched in May 2008. Confidence dropped in Asia from 6.8 to 6.0 but increased in Europe and North America from 5.7 to 6.2 and from 4.3 to 6.8, respectively.
The likelihood of respondents making a major investment or significant development over the coming year was unchanged from last time at 5.5 out of 10.0. Owners confidence was down from 6.5 to 6.3, while that of brokers dropped from 4.4 to 2.9, the survey found.
Meanwhile, the expectations of managers held steady at 6.1. Expectations were down in Asia and in Europe, from 6.6 to 5.7 and from 5.4 to 5.1, respectively.
The number of respondents expecting finance costs to increase over the coming year rose from 25% to 37%. Whereas 57% of managers anticipated dearer finance over the next 12 months, just 32% of owners thought likewise, BDO said.
In the freight markets, the number of respondents anticipating higher tanker rates over the coming year grew from 43% to 46%, with little or no movement in the expectations of main respondent categories compared to the previous survey.
In the dry bulk sector, overall expectations of rate increases were up from 39% to 50%, and in the case of brokers alone from 20% to 71%. The numbers expecting higher containership rates, meanwhile, rose by 10 percentage points to 29%. Net rate sentiment was positive in all three main tonnage categories.
"Shipping is not for the faint-hearted, and committed long-term players remain the most likely to achieve the best returns. Our latest survey revealed an increased expectation over the next 12 months of dearer finance costs. Such costs remain one of the most significant performance-influencing factors for our respondents. But the cost of regulatory compliance is slowly gaining in importance, and will continue to do so," Greiner continued.
"IMO 2020 was recently categorised by one commentator as a perfect storm for litigators. It is also part of a much larger commitment by the shipping industry to enhancing its green credentials, and in the process becoming a more technologically advanced and environmentally responsible sector. As such, it should be eminently attractive to investors," he concluded.
Cargo Ship Crashes Into Cliff off Sardinia, Crew Evacuated
An Italy-flagged cargo ship ran aground off the coast of south-western Sardinia after encountering rough weather on December 21, 2019, the Italian Coast Guard said.
The 8,100 dwt vessel, identified as Cdry Blue, was hit by strong waves and crashed into a cliff in Torre Cannai, Sant Antioco.
At the time of the incident, the multipurpose ship was en route from Cagliari, Italy, to Alicante, Spain, with twelve crew members on board.
The coast guard immediately sent boats and helicopters to the scene on late Saturday. However, rescue efforts were hampered by poor visibility and inclement weather conditions.
The coast guard helicopter managed to evacuate the crew of Cdry Blue the next day. No injuries were reported.
The 2010-built cargo vessel, which is operated by Italy s Nuova Naviservice, reportedly suffered damages but salvage operations have not been possible due to severe weather.
Local authorities continue monitoring Cdry Blue to check its stability and prevent any potential oil spills, according to the coast guard.
Golden Ray s Rudder and Propeller Removed
The removal of the rudder and propeller from the capsized car carrier M/V Golden Ray has been completed despite adverse weather, the St. Simons Sound Incident Response Unified Command informed.
The removal of approximately 130 tons of weight will help reduce stress to the hull of the wreck, allowing for the wreck to become more stable before it is fully removed.
Portions of the ship that were removed are being donated to the State of Georgia for use as artificial reefs in areas designated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
The operation followed the completion of fuel pumping from the stricken vesselís tanks, carried out last week. More than 320,000 gallons of oil and water mixture were removed.
St. Simons Sound Response will disclose further details on the wreck removal once it evaluates the status of the vessel and determines further action.
To remind, the Hyundai Glovis-operated car carrier started listing heavily after it became disabled in early September in St. Simons Sound near Brunswick, Georgia. The crew of the vessel, which was carrying about 4,000 cars bound for the Middle East, was evacuated.
Five Ships Boarded in Singapore Strait
Five ships were boarded by pirates in the past four days while underway in the eastbound lane of Singapore Strait, according to piracy watchdog ReCAAP.
Of the five ships, three were bulkers and two were tankers. All seafarers were reported safe, with some items reported to be stolen from the attacked vessels.
Carnival Legend, Carnival Glory Crash in Cozumel, Mexico
Six passengers were reported to be injured after Carnival Glory smashed into Carnival Legend on Friday, December 20, 2019.
Based on the media reports, Carnival Glory was attempting to dock in Cozumel resort island in Mexico when it collided with Carnival Legend.
The collision between the two massive cruise ships left extensive damage to the dining room decks of the Carnival Glory.
South Florida Container Terminal (SFCT) to welcome new electric equipment to port
South Florida Container Terminal (SFCT) will take delivery of six new electric-powered, Rubber Tire Gantry cranes (E-RTGs) in early January as part of the terminal s infrastructure upgrade.
The new E-RTGs replace older, diesel-powered toploaders which worked in the container yard.
Naivasha Dry Port opens for cargo amid concerns about is viability
President Uhuru Kenyatta will today flag off the first cargo train to the Sh6.9 billion Naivasha Dry Port even as pundits question its feasibility and efficiency.
A statement from the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU) indicates the commissioning will be held at the Nairobi SGR Terminus in Syokimau.
Maersk s Christensen named as Suez Canal Container Terminal s board head
Suez Canal Container Terminal s (SCCT) board of directors elected Lars Vang Christensen as chairman and CEO for the company, effective from 18 December 2019.
Christensen, who will succeed Abd El-Khaleq Ayad, chaired SCCTís board in January 2018, and spent most of his career at Danish shipping AP Moller - Maersk, after holding leading positions at international companies in a variety of fields, including energy, logistics and supply chain.
Velasco Terminal Expansion is Largest Public Port Project
The Velasco Container Terminal expansion, which includes Berth 8, features more than 925 feet of berth extension and will accommodate post-Panamax gantry cranes. This will be the single largest project built by a public port on the Texas Gulf Coast.
McCarthy Building Companies Inc. has been awarded the expansion project beginning at year end.
DP World awarded 30-year concession for the South Container Terminal at Jeddah Islamic Port
Global trade enabler DP World has been awarded a 30-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concession by the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani), for the management and development of the Jeddah South Container Terminal at the multi-purpose Jeddah Islamic Port.