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South Korea ranked first in volume of orders in the shipbuilding industry

Maritime News October 11, 2017

Samsung shipyard

South Korea ranked first in volume of orders in the shipbuilding industry. In September 2017, South Korean shipyard received orders for the construction of 26 container ships with total deadweight of 1.46 million DWT. China ranks second place with 21 vessels and combined deadweight of 890 thousand DWT, in the third place is Japan with 12 ordered vessels with total deadweight of 260 thousand DWT.

Тhe industry representative noted that the current growth is a “positive signal” for the not-so-good South Korean shipbuilding industry. At the same time, he was at a loss to say whether this trend is long-term and whether it signals the end of the crisis in the industry.

An unprecedented crisis overtook the shipbuilding industry of South Korea in 2015 due to the growing competition from China and a sharp reduction in the number of orders.

Three of the country’s largest shipyards – Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries, then announced plans to scale down production facilities, close docks and reduce staff. The cumulative net loss of three corporations in 2015 reached 7.7 trillion KRW (6.5 billion USD).

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Iranian dhow fishing vessel was hijacked in Somalia

Maritime News October 9, 2017

Iranian dhow

Iranian dhow fishing vessel was hijacked by Somalia. The vessel was operating in the area off Puntland, where was approached by local Coast Guard and militia, which opened fire against the Iranians. During the attack the Iranian Captain of the vessel was killed and one crew was wounded, as according to Coast Guard they refused to obey the order to stop for check.

The accident happened off Ras Hafun, Puntland, where the autonomous authorities have control. The Iranian dhow fishing vessel and all 18 crew was arrested and taken to Somali coast, where was anchored.

The Somalia’s Puntland area is under the governance of local militia and very often having aggressive reaction against vessel passing in vicinity.

The Iranian authorities still not responding to the accident.

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Taiwanese cargo ship missing in Taiwan Strait

Maritime News October 9, 2017

XIN FA ER HAO

Taiwanese cargo ship Xin Fa Er Hao is missing in Taiwan Strait after being caught in adverse weather. The small general cargo vessel with 6 crew on board left Taipei, but disappeared shortly after entering in the strait. The local authorities lost communication with the crew and initiated search and rescue operation. An empty life raft from the freighter Xin Fa Er Hao was found in the vicinity of the last known position, but there were no people on it. The large scale SAR continue, but the bad weather seriously hampered the research of the area.

The investigation for the root cause of the accident is under way. The vessel left Taipei with general cargo on board and 6 crew – 5 Taiwanese and 1 Indonesian nationalities. According to preliminary information and local coordination center, at the area of the accident there was a storm, which might be the reason of missing of the vessel.

Taiwanese cargo ship Xin Fa Er Hao is small coastal freighter without international registration.

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Chinese port operators are rapidly expanding their presence in Europe

Maritime News October 9, 2017

Chinese port operators

Chinese port operators are rapidly expanding their presence around the world. In recent months, reports of the Chinese purchasing another port in Europe or Asia appear regularly. In a number of countries, port expansion provokes protests. Many people from European Commission also express same opinion. But is the EU afraid of Chinese expansion?

In just five years, Chinese largest port holding companies – Cosco Shipping, Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) and China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort) – increased their presence in other countries fourfold, and in terms of investment – three times. Before, the number of foreign ports, where these three players invest, did not exceed ten. Now they are already forty.

Moreover, during the past year, the volume of Chinese investments in foreign ports has doubled , as plans are totaling 20.1 billion USD.

In particular, in June Cosco acquired 51% of the shares of the Spanish port holding Noatum Port Holdings for 200 million EUR, and recently announced the purchase of a 100% stake in the container terminal in the port of Zeebrugge (Belgium) from the Danish APM terminals for 42 million USD. Also in the “collection” of European assets Cosco added 51% stake in the administration of the port of Piraeus in Greece, 35% of the terminal Euromax in Rotterdam and several terminals in Italy.

And one of the main events of the past summer in the port industry was the victory of the consortium China Communications Construction Company in the competition for the right to build a new container terminal in the port of Hamburg – one of the oldest in Europe. The deep-sea terminal project will be able to service the largest modern container ships.

Outside Europe, the list of Chinese port acquisitions is even more impressive. “This is only the beginning,” said SIPG vice president, when in late 2015 his holding won a contract for the construction and operation of the Haifa port in Israel. At that time, the Chinese announced their intention to invest about 2 billion USD in the project, making this port the largest in Israel with a volume of container handling of 1.86 million TEU per year. Haifa was considered by the leadership of SIPG as a transfer point between Shanghai and other ports along the Sea Silk Road.

For Hong Kong’s CMPort, Latin America became the new growth point, where 90% of the container terminal in the Brazilian port of Paranagua was bought in early September for 920 million USD. The new Chinese owner plan to increase its capacity from the current 1.5 million to 2.4 million TEU in just two of the year. Another important point of expansion was Sri Lanka, whose government approved the sale to the Chinese of an 85% stake in the port of Hambantota for 1.12 billion USD. Under the terms of the transaction, CMPort acquired the right to operate the port and adjacent territory of 11.5 sq km for 99 years and with a number of exclusive conditions. In particular, the Ceylonese authorities promised that within a period of 15 years within a radius of 100 km from the Hambantota no new tender for the construction of stevedoring assets will be announced. At the same time, CMPort already has a container terminal in the Sri Lanka capital Colombo and expects to achieve a synergy effect thanks to the development of the Hambantota.

It was in Sri Lanka that Chinese investors faced serious opposition from the local population, led by Buddhist monks. As early as the beginning of the year, the leader of their community, Mahanama, said that for 99 years – and this is at least two generations – the Chinese will be allowed to leave roots on the island and the land will not be returned. The authorities of Sri Lanka explained that they had to go to such conditions to get rid of the debt to the Chinese, whose loans the port was built. However, mass protests could not be avoided, because of which the signing of the concession was postponed for several months.

Defense from Chinese expansion was also held in the port of Hamburg, where the largest container operator HHLA and the employers’ association of the UVHH port opposed the project of the SSSC consortium, saying that it was necessary to use the capacity reserves of existing terminals.

The EU leadership also does not welcome the growth of Chinese investments in the port industry and other key segments of the EU economy. In mid-September, the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking in the European Parliament, suggested limiting Beijing’s ability to buy European companies in infrastructure, high-tech production and energy.

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Containerships VII caught fire in Gulf of Finland

Maritime News October 9, 2017

Containerships VII

The container ship Containerships VII caught fire in Gulf of Finland. The vessel was proceeding in traffic separation zone of Seskar Island in Russia en route from St Petersburg to Helsinki, but the diesel generator caught fire after overheating. The accident was reported to the local authorities and the ship was brought to anchor in traffic separation zone, but no assistance was required. The crew started firefighting and succeeded to extinguish the flames quickly. There were no serious damages to the machinery and the hull of the vessel ship, so Containerships VII was allowed to resume the voyage to port of destination where will be inspected.

There were no reported injuries and water pollution during the accident. The investigation for the root cause is under way.

The container ship Containerships VII (IMO: 9250098) has overall length of 158.80 m, moulded beam of 21.75 m and maximum draft of 8.30 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 13,965 DWT and the gross tonnage is 10,499 GRT. The container carrier was built in 2002 by JJ Sietas Schiffswerft in Germany.

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D’Amico Shipping completed sale of medium-range product tanker High Prosperity

Maritime News October 9, 2017

High Prosperity

The dry cargo and product tanker shipowner D’Amico Shipping completed sale of medium-range product tanker High Prosperity for 14.2 million USD. The transaction will generate a positive net cash effect of around 6.9 million USD for the shipowner, contributing to the liquidity required to complete DIS’ fleet renewal program. D’Amico Shipping will retain the commercial control of the vessel agreeing 6-year time charter.

“The sale of MT High Prosperity is in line with DIS’ long term strategy of maintaining a young owned fleet, through the replacement of some of our older vessels with the newbuildings we have ordered in the recent years”, said the CEO of D’Amico Shipping, Marco Fiori. “At the same time, this transaction will generate a positive net cash effect of approximately 6.9 million USD, strengthening our balance sheet and liquidity position, while permitting us to retain commercial control of the vessel at a competitive time – charter rate for the next 6 years, allowing us to benefit from the expected recovery in the product tanker market”, added he.

The product tanker High Prosperity (IMO: 9292357) has overall length of 180.00 m, moulded beam of 32.20 m and maximum draft of 11.70 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 48,711 DWT and the gross tonnage is 28,794 GRT. The tanker was built in 2006 by Iwagi Shipbuilding in Kamijima, Japan.

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Tropical storm Nate closes production of oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico

Maritime News October 6, 2017

oil rig

The companies are turning off operations for the extraction of oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico because of the approach of the tropical storm Nate. According to the US Bureau of Environmental Safety (BSEE) on Thursday, about 14.6% of oil production capacity, or more than 254.6 thousand barrels per day, was suspended. In addition, gas production of 206.7 million cubic feet per day, representing 6.4% of total production in the region, was also stopped.

Exxon Mobil and Chevron previously announced the evacuation of personnel from the platforms located in the Gulf.

According to meteorologists, the storm by the weekend will grow into a hurricane that will pass through the center of the Gulf of Mexico and can reach the US coast in Louisiana on Sunday morning.

A tropical storm warning was issued late Friday morning for New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain, west to Morgan City, Louisiana, the hurricane center said, while a hurricane warning was issued from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border. A storm surge warning was put in place from Morgan City to the Alabama-Florida line, as well as along the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain.

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Container ship Victoria Trader collided with chemical tanker in Japan sea

Maritime News October 4, 2017

Victoria Trader

The container ship Victoria Trader collided with chemical tanker in Japan sea off Ulsan, South Korea. The both vessel were proceeding in same direction approaching to Onsan, but container carrier made maneuver and contacted the chemical tanker’s starboard amidship. Following the collision the both ship suffered damages and minor and remained afloat. There are no reported breached and immediate danger for their seaworthiness. The accident was reported to local authorities and the ship proceeded to Ulsan, where were berthed according to their schedules. The vessels will be inspected before allowed to return in service.

There were no reported injuries and no water pollution during the accident. The exact circumstances around the collision are unknown and local authorities initiated investigation for the root cause of the accident.

The ships will remained docked until further special survey and inspection.

The container ship Victoria Trader (IMO: 9437189) has overall length of 166.00 m, moulded beam of 25.00 m and maximum draft of 8.50 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 18,471 DWT and the gross tonnage is 15,334 GRT.

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Two injured after explosion on board of dredger MTS Explorer off UK

Maritime News October 4, 2017

MTS Explorer explosion

Two injured after explosion on board of dredger MTS Explorer off Cornish coast in UK waters. The crew of the dredger reported that compressed air cylinder had exploded and two people on board were injured in the blast. At the scene was sent Newquay Coastguard’s helicopter, which evacuated the injured people and transferred them to the local hospital for medical treatment. It was understood and condition of one of the injured crew was serious.

Also Falmouth RNLI Lifeboat attended and helped to the troubled dredger and secure the vessel.

“UK Coastguard is currently responding to reports of a vessel explosion 2nm South of Dodman Point, Cornwall”m reported the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. “Just before 1pm today, UK Coastguard received a call from a dredging vessel reporting that they’d had an explosion on board. The Newquay Coastguard helicopter and the Falmouth RNLI Lifeboat are currently on scene evacuating the casualties to Derriford Hospital. A Royal Navy Fleet Auxiliary ship and a Fishery Protection vessel are also on scene assisting”, adds the statement.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch have been informed of this incident and the investigation was initiated.

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Suez Canal Authority placed order for two cutter suction dredgers

Maritime News October 4, 2017

Suez Canal dredgers

Suez Canal Authority placed order for two heavy-duty rock cutter suction dredgers (CSDs). The contract for construction was signed with Royal IHC for the design and construction of two custom-built vessels, each with 29,190kW. the building operations will be conducted in Netherlands and the delivery is expected in 2020.

The heavy-duty rock cutter suction dredgers will have an overall length of 147.40 m and maximum dredging depth of 35.00 m. The ships will be equipped with one submerged and two inboard dredge pumps and the total cutter power will be 4,800 kW.

“Signing this contract is of great importance for Suez Canal. It is a serious step towards upgrading our fleet of dredgers, and means that we will have the world’s largest CSDs in terms of dimensions and total power. The new state-of-the-art CSDs from Royal IHC will enable Suez Canal Authority to participate in deepening and widening the waterway and help realize the Egyptian plan to develop local ports”, said the Chairman and Managing Director of Suez Canal Authority, Admiral Mohab Mohamed Hussien Mameesh.

Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez.

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