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 Berichttitel: Re: NEWS 2014
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Wrak op de noordelijke kust van Mykonos

Wrak op de noordelijke kust van Mykonos


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 Berichttitel: Re: NEWS 2014
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Afbeelding


PART 1

USEC ports in deep trouble 5
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Great changes lie ahead in the trade lane between Europe and the US East Coast/US Gulf, but to what extent will its ports be up to the job, and what are the implications for shippers? Recent clarification of the port rotations of G6’s proposed services between Northern Europe and US East Coast/US Gulf from 2Q 14 underlines the great changes that are in the making in the Transatlantic. If all goes according to plan, Hapag-Lloyd, OOCL, NYK, HMM, APL and MOL will offer just three jointly run schedules from 2Q 14. And Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM will provide another three within the P3 alliance, in addition to two between the Mediterranean and USEC/USGC, assuming regulatory approval.

In theory, this means that much larger ships over 8,000 teu could replace the vessels between 3,500 teu and 6,500 teu currently deployed, subject to USEC/USGC ports being able to handle them satisfactorily. It would be a natural progression, as today’s ships are already a third larger on average compared to 2006 (see Figure 1). Ocean carriers also desperately need greater economies of scale; few can be making any money, as evidenced by the withdrawal of Zim Line last year, and Hanjin in May this year.

Afbeelding
Figure 1
Average Headhaul Vessel Size: North Europe-USEC Trade Route, 2006-13 (teu)

Source: Drewry Maritime Research

The problem is that many USEC/USGC ports have been gearing themselves up for the arrival of deep draught ships over 8,000 teu from the middle of 2015, when the new Panama locks were originally due to open, not 2Q 14.

Tables 1 and 2 show how the G6 and P3 alliances plan to start their respective Transatlantic schedules in 2Q 14, although, interestingly, neither have yet confirmed the size of vessels involved. These include G6 calls in New York/New Jersey, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, New Orleans and Houston, and P3 calls in New York/New Jersey, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, Miami, New Orleans, Mobile and Houston. The P3’s Mediterranean services will also call at Port Everglades.

Afbeelding
Table 1
Port Calls of Proposed G6 Transatlantic Services

* Also Veracruz and Altamira in Mexico
Note: Two further services linking Asia-USEC-North Europe via Panama are also planned
Source: Hapag-Lloyd

Afbeelding
Table 2
Port Calls of Proposed P3 Transatlantic Services

* Also calls Freeport, Altamira and Veracruz
** Also calls Freeport
Source: Maersk Line

The main USEC ports already handle ships of over 9,000 teu on Asian all-water services via Suez. However, inbound cargo tends to consist of relatively low weight consumer goods, and outbound vessels have significant empties aboard, so maximum draught is never reached. On the Transatlantic route, cargoes tend to consist of heavier industrial goods, plus the trade flow is relatively balanced, meaning inbound and outbound vessels can be well laden. Fully laden with heavy cargo, a typical 8,000 teu vessel has a draught of around 14.3 metres (47ft) which, with underkeel clearance, would require channel depth of at least 49ft (14.9m). This brings into focus the status of each USEC port’s dredging programme.

As Table 3 shows, Norfolk and Baltimore are sitting pretty with 50ft channel depths already. The Port of New York/New Jersey has also nearly completed its 50ft dredging programme, which incidentally was authorised by the port authority Board way back in 2001 – an indication of the extraordinary long lead in time for such projects. Interestingly though, the original cost estimate for the dredging has reduced from $2.3 billion to a “mere” $1.6 billion. To this has to be added the $1.3 billion cost of raising the Bayonne Bridge (although this is not currently a restriction on 8-9,000 teu vessels accessing the Port Elizabeth terminals but does need to be raised for 13,000 teu New Panamax vessels).

The remaining main USEC ports would face challenges if ships of 8,000 teu were deployed by the G6 and P3 by mid-2014, and were seeking to call fully loaded, as their current channel depths range from 40-45ft (12.2-13.7m). Tide dependent access can ameliorate this to a degree – for example, in Charleston, high water adds approximately 5.5ft (1.7m) to the water depth. Other USEC ports typically have a similar tidal range of around 6ft (2m) but the effect this can have on permissible vessel drafts and tidal windows is complex.

All have channel deepening projects, but at widely varying stages. Miami expects to have its 50ft channel completed by 2015 but Savannah, Charleston, Jacksonville and Port Everglades are at least three years beyond this, and in some cases nearer the end of the decade. In Savannah, the channel deepening project received the last of its federal and state regulatory approvals in 2013 – meaning that after 14 years of study and review, it became ready to move to the construction phase.

Afbeelding
Table 3
Current and Planned Channel Depths at Main USEC Ports

Notes: Channel depths shown are at mean low water
Typically at least 2ft (0.6m) underkeel clearance is required by vessels
Deeper vessel draughts can be accommodated within tidal access windows
Source: Drewry Maritime Research derived from port authorities

Clearly a significant step up in Transatlantic vessel sizes will require careful consideration of ports, particularly call rotations and the all-important deepest draught first call inbound, last call outbound choices. As significant for the ports though will be the concentration of volume in fewer services, bigger ships and hence greater volume peaks.

This will increase the pressure on landside operations, something that is already challenging for USEC ports. For example, in Norfolk and Portsmouth (Virginia), truck and rail delays and congestion have been an issue – a result of growing pains from the port’s strong overall volume growth and double digit rail growth, not least due to its increased number of “first in” and “last out” port calls. The port authority recently set up a Motor Carrier Task Force to focus on reducing truck turnaround times, cutting wait-time at terminal gates, improving chassis availability and spreading the arrival times for trucks throughout the day through the implementation of an appointment system.

Meanwhile in New York/New Jersey, the influential Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) recently sent a strongly worded letter to the port authority urging more action to address landside delivery congestion, backlogs and productivity issues.

Our View
Significantly bigger ships on the Transatlantic route will highlight draught issues at USEC ports, although port call rotations and tidal windows will be key. Perhaps more significantly, bigger ships will increase pressure on already strained landside capacity at key ports.

Source: Drewry Maritime Research
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Shipping issues arising out of the Ukraine crisis 5
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The situation in Ukraine remains fluid and, with events moving quickly, very little is certain. At the time of writing, attention is focused on the Crimea with rumours of Russian naval vessels blockading the Kerch Straits which, if true, would quickly isolate the main port of Mariupol (see map below). At present, the US and EU appear committed to achieving a non-military solution to the ongoing crisis. Limited sanctions have been introduced by both, aimed at freezing and/or seizing the assets of persons designated under the sanctions for their involvement in undermining the democratic process in Ukraine or misappropriating assets of the State. No-one wants to see any kind of armed escalation, but we can expect a period of uncertainty as Russia decides how it will react.

Ukraine’s importance in terms of wheat and corn supplies is significant. It is also a key exporter of metals and minerals to Europe, Russia and beyond. Ukraine ranks as the world’s fourth and fifth largest exporter of corn and wheat respectively and it is the world’s fifth largest steel exporter. It is also a vital gateway for Russian natural gas to Western Europe, with approximately a fifth of the gas used in Europe flowing across the country. Together with Russia, Ukraine forms the northern coast of the Black Sea, an important shipping route for agricultural products, metals and energy.

The potential disruption for the corn and wheat and gas and steel industries, together with the resulting rise in prices, is causing considerable concern. An escalation of tensions and

CRISIS
any military action may have repercussions for ship-owners, charterers, crews and insurers alike.

We outline below some of the legal issues that the shipping industry may face if the situation in Ukraine escalates.

Charterparties

War Risk clauses

Charterparties often include specific provisions relating to the outbreak of war or warlike situations. Such clauses generally provide that the contract should be cancelled/terminated in the event of war/hostilities/warlike operations breaking out, either between “two or more” of a list of specified nations (often including Russia and “any country in the EC”), or involving the flag state of the vessel.

What constitutes “war” in this context was the subject of an arbitration in 2002 (Northern Pioneer) where limited German participation in the NATO bombing operations in Kosovo led to charterers purporting to terminate charterparties involving German flagged ships. The Tribunal found that the action was not “war” and that, in any event, Germany was not “involved” (in what was a war between Kosovo and Yugoslavia) for the purposes of the clause. The matter found its way to the Court of Appeal ([2002] EWCA Civ 1878) primarily on points of procedure but the Court confirmed that any right to terminate must be exercised within a reasonable time of war breaking out and doing so a month later was too late.
In the context of a war involving only Russia and Ukraine, then any reliance on a similar termination clause will probably be restricted to charterparties involving vessels flagged in those countries. Whether military intervention by the EU (or individual countries) or the US would be enough to widen the effect of the clause to allow a more general right of termination is likely to turn on the degree of their involvement.

In order for war risk clauses to be relied upon, it is generally not necessary for war to be formally declared. Whether a state of war (including “hostilities/warlike operations”) exists for the purposes of these clauses will be a question of fact. The meaning of “hostilities/warlike operations” is, of course, wider in scope than “war”.

One other key question for owners will be whether they have to go there. As we saw during the height of the piracy problem, issues may arise over the right to refuse orders to Ukraine. In the wake of the Triton Lark ([2012] EWHC 70), BIMCO reissued the War Risks Clause (Conwartime and Conwarvoy 2013) and whilst that case was focused on the piracy threat off Africa, deterioration of the situation in Ukraine may see an early test of the principles set out by the Court in the consideration of whether a vessel is exposed to War Risks and whether those War Risks “...may be dangerous or may become dangerous to the vessel, cargo or crew”.

In this context, War Risks include:
“...act of war, civil war or hostilities; ...warlike operations; ... blockades (whether imposed against all vessels or imposed selectively against vessels of certain flags or ownership...) by any person... or the government of any state...”

What is “dangerous” will depend on the facts and will depend on both quantitative factors (the degree of likelihood that a particular peril may occur) and qualitative factors (the seriousness or otherwise of the consequences of that peril to the vessel). Issues may arise therefore as to whether an owner or master can refuse to go to an area where a War Risk exists and, because of that peril, will be dangerous at the time the vessel arrives there. The Conwartime clause expressly provides that a vessel does not have to pass through a blockade.
It should also be noted that whilst some war risks clauses will operate to exclude the charterers’ safe port warranty, others will not. Furthermore, unless the off-hire clause in the charterparty expressly provides otherwise, hire will generally continue to run during any periods of delay associated with war risks.

When a war risks clause is invoked and discharge occurs at an alternative port to the one originally nominated, whether the owners will be entitled to additional freight will depend on whether or not the substitute port is within the range specified in the charter. If it is, then freight may be paid as per the charterparty but, if it is not, then the charterers may be obliged to pay all of the additional costs associated with proceeding to and discharging at the alternative port.

Port safety
Charterparties may contain either express or implied safe port warranties. It is well established in law that a port will be safe where, at the relevant time, the vessel can reach it, use it and leave it without, in the absence of some abnormal occurrence, being exposed to danger which cannot be avoided by good navigation and seamanship. The time for assessing the safety of the port is the time at which the charterer nominates the port (i.e. it must be “prospectively” safe). Safety means both physical safety and political safety. A port may, therefore, be unsafe if there is a risk of seizure or attack, or if the vessel may be detained, impounded, blacklisted or confiscated.

The question of whether a blockade to Ukrainian ports by the Russian naval forces during a vessel’s call would amount to an “abnormal occurrence” for the purposes of a safe port warranty is complicated. Following the House of Lords decision in The Evia (No.2)[1983] 1 AC 736, the test for an “abnormal occurrence” in these circumstances would be one of foreseeability. An event can be abnormal but foreseeable. The deemed foreseeability or otherwise of any blockade would be key to the question of whether or not damages might be available to ship-owners for breaches of charterers’ safe port warranties.

Where charterers nominate an unsafe port, owners are entitled to reject that nomination on the basis that it is invalid. In the event that a valid nomination is made but, prior to the arrival of the vessel the port becomes unsafe, a time charterer will be obliged to nominate a new port. Under a voyage charter, the position is less clear and, unless the charterparty specifically provides for it, the charterer may not be able to change its nomination without the express consent of the owner. That is why voyage charters will often provide for a vessel to proceed to the nominated port “...or so near thereto as she may safely get...”. Considerations as to whether a charterparty is frustrated may arise if a vessel cannot get close to the nominated port at all.

Frustration
If the situation escalates, or if the Russian naval forces do blockade Ukrainian ports and prevent commercial vessels from entering or leaving, ship-owners and/or charterers might seek to argue that their charterparty is frustrated on the basis that the vessel is unable to navigate to Ukrainian ports. It must be noted, though, that frustration is difficult to argue successfully under English law. It would require the party claiming frustration to show that the event relied on had fundamentally changed the performance obligations originally contemplated by the parties and had made further performance under the charterparty impossible, illegal or radically different from that which was originally contemplated by the parties.

Whether there is frustration will depend on the nature of the charterparty and the length of the delay caused. Those entering into charterparties that might be affected by blockades of Ukrainian ports should consider incorporating terms that allocate the risks associated with such occurrence e.g. for delays, extra expenses etc.

The fact that contractual obligations become more onerous or expensive to perform is unlikely in itself to frustrate the contract. So if, for example, access to Crimean ports were blocked for a period of time otherwise sufficient to frustrate the charterparty, the charterparty may not be frustrated if another route would be available, i.e. delivery to another Ukrainian port which is not blocked and onward transportation by road/rail to the original destination port.

Deviation
Charterparties should be reviewed to see whether they allow deviation to a different port although, absent an express provision, the ship-owner/master has an implied right to deviate to avoid danger to the vessel, cargo and those on board. Parties may wish to vary their charterparties to allow for discharge at other Ukrainian ports, or even ports outside Ukraine. Conwartime for example, expressly provides for this.

Bills of lading
If it has been agreed that cargo is to be delivered at an alternative port, owners and carriers should be aware of the potential problems posed by an issued bill of lading which names a specific discharge port. It may be that a bill of lading incorporates the terms of the charterparty, or permits discharge at a port other than the one named on the bill. If no such provision exists, however, delivery to an alternative port may constitute a breach of the bill of lading contract. The parties should also bear in mind that even where a bill of lading appears to incorporate the charterparty provisions, proceedings might be commenced in a jurisdiction in which different principles may apply.

Obligation to pay for and arrange insurance
In the absence of express provisions to the contrary, responsibility for, and the costs associated with, insuring the vessel will fall upon owners rather than charterers. Should charterers wish to order the vessel to, or through, an area of heightened war risk, the vessel’s insurers may require the payment of additional premiums to compensate for the additional risk. In these circumstances, the issue will arise as to who is responsible for any additional premium and it will depend on the charterparty provisions whether the charterers are to reimburse the owners for any additional premium paid.

Comment
The situation in Ukraine remains in a “watch and see” phase. There is a lot of tension but seemingly a willingness on all sides to resolve things diplomatically. It is to be hoped that that resolve holds good. However, the introduction of sanctions by both the US and EU could give rise to a tit for tat escalation that may yet impact on commercial shipping even if both sides avoid any kind of military action. If military action does happen, then that is likely to be considered as a war or warlike situation with repercussions for the various stakeholders involved in any charterparty or contract of carriage.

Source: Ince & Co.
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Afbeelding
L. JALABERT BONTANG


Oil tanker orderbook hits a level unseen in more than 10 years
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

After years of over-purchases amid high rates, orderbooks (the order backlog) for tankers, Suezmax and Aframax class vessels, have fallen to levels unseen in more than a decade. Since it can take up to three to four years to construct a vessel, the tanker industry will see low supply growth over the next year or two. This will create a window of opportunity for higher rates ahead as fleet utilization tightens.

Suezmax orderbook as a percent of fleet is near 10%, while the ratio for Aframax is slightly higher, according to DryShips Inc. It’s important to note that when looking at orderbook, it’s best to look at the aggregate rather than one specific class, because tanker sizes are substitutable. If rates for a large vessel class such as VLCC rise substantially, they can pull rates for smaller vessels up.

Managers’ sentiment improves

The direction of the orderbook level is another important figure to look at because it reflects companies’ expectation of future rates and industry profitability. If rates are expected to improve or if newbuild (new vessel) prices are attractive, companies will place orders for new vessels. If rates are expected to rise substantially, orders will climb. But when rates are expected to fall, orderbooks will fall as companies refrain from ordering new vessels while existing orders get delivered. In a sense, the orderbook is managers’ sentiment index.

Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp.’s (NNA) latest earnings presentation’s orderbook for VLCCs (very large crude carriers) showed that managers have been pretty optimistic, placing as much as 16.1 million deadweight capacity throughout 2013, reversing past the few years of downtrend: 9.3 million in deadweight was ordered in 2010, 8.9 million in 2011, and 6.9 million in 2012. Current orderbook remains ~12% of existing capacity, which is pretty manageable, considering it has historically been around 20%.

For those who have followed us from last year, overall orderbooks for tankers based on IHS Global’s data started to turn up in December 2013, and are now in an upswing, reflecting managers’ optimism at companies like Frontline Ltd. (FRO), Nordic American Tanker Ltd. (NAT), Teekay Tankers Ltd. (TNK), and Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. (TNP).

Source: Market Realist
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Prospects bloom for widespread use of electronic bills of lading
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Earlier this year, a number of major dry cargo charterers began inviting owners to incorporate clauses into time charters to permit the use of electronic bills of lading in place of their paper equivalent. The International Group of P&I Clubs has endorsed two electronic bill of lading solution providers – essDOCS and Bolero. This effectively means that if an owner uses one of these systems, they will have the same level of P&I cover as they would with a paper bill of lading. Both systems work by providing a combination of a rulebook that creates a legal framework and technology that replicates the functions of a traditional paper bill of lading. Neither essDOCS nor Bolero charges ship owners to register as users – transaction charges are borne by the charterers. For users of these systems the experience is not radically different to online banking, which has become commonplace in business.

BIMCO has always been a firm supporter of electronic bills of lading solutions. After many years of development the industry may now be on the cusp of a broader uptake of systems which will help reduce fraud, speed up the documentation process and, notably, reduce reliance by ship owners on letters of indemnity given in exchange for delivery of cargo without presentation of the original bills of lading.

At a recent meeting in London, several major dry cargo charterers met with representatives of ship owners, P&I Clubs and electronic bill of lading solution providers to develop an eBill charter party clause. After careful consideration of the key issues, the group has prepared a simple and straightforward clause that acknowledges that electronic bills of lading may be used and treated identically to paper bills provided that whatever system is used is one that has been approved by the International Group of P&I Clubs and is listed in their Electronic (Paperless) Trading Systems circular. At present, the only approved systems are those provided by Bolero and essDOCS.

The new clause will be considered by BIMCO’s Documentary Committee at its meeting in Dubai at the end of April and, if approved, will be published in May.

Source: BIMCO
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Afbeelding
KWANTUNG


Dry bulk vessels still the "cream of the crop" for ship owners 2
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Dry bulk carriers have remained the most popular vessel type among ship owners as proven by the sheer number of second hand vessel sales and newbuilding ordering activity reported over the past week. With the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) on a recovery mode (now well over the 1,500-point mark), this trend is only going to intensify in the coming weeks, especially given the fact that financing options are increasing, with the rise of private equity funds and investors, looking to exploit the looming upward cycle of the shipping market.

According to the latest weekly newbuilding report provided to Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide (http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com) from shipbroker Clarkson Hellas, there was "a significant volume of ordering to report across the dry sector. "Jiangsu Eastern has announced an order for four firm plus four option 208,000 DWT Newcastlemax. As of yet, the buyer is unknown, however delivery is due from the middle of 2016 onwards. Although understood to have been concluded some time ago, it has come to light this week that NACKS has taken an order for two firm 209k Newcastlemax from RGL Shipping, with delivery of both vessels in the second half of 2016. Also at Jiangsu Eastern, Oldendorff has added an additional 97,000 DWT post-panamax bulker. This takes the total order to two, with delivery of the most recent vessel in mid-2015. Also this week, clients of Paragon Shipping announced an order for three firm 81,800 DWT Kamsarmax at Jiangsu New Yangzijiang. The order is understood to include a number of options, with delivery of the firm vessels from the second quarter of 2015".

Clarkson Hellas also noted "a significant order at Sainty Marine, with Precious Shipping announcing a total of 10 x 64,000 DWT Ultramax, due for delivery from the second quarter of 2015 onwards. At Hantong, Spar Shipping have declared a further four options for 64,000 DWT Ultramax. The latest vessels are due to deliver in 2015/2016 and takes the total series to six vessels. Portline S.A. have placed an order for three 61,000 DWT Ultramax at NACKS/DACKS, with delivery in 2016. A number of options declared by D’Amico, with the addition of two of each 39,500 DWT Handymax and 64,000 DWT Ultramax at Zhejiang Yangfan, due for delivery from 2016 onwards. Lastly in dry, Uni-Asia Finance Corp announced the addition of the fourth vessel to a series of 37,000 DWT Handysize at Imabari, with the latest due to deliver in the second quarter of 2015", said the shipbroker.

It concluded by noting that "the other markets have been relatively quiet this week; One order to report in Gas, with Kumiai Senpaku understood to have ordered a single 84,000 CBM LPG carrier at HHI, with delivery in the final quarter of 2016. In other sectors, United European Car Carriers (UECC) announced an order for two 3,800 unit PCCs at NACKS. Both vessels are planned for delivery in the second half of 2016", Clarkson Hellas said.

In a separate report on the secondhand market, Lion Shipbrokers said this week that the market benefited from the improved sentiment which prevailed in the dry bulk market. Lion noted the following deals: "Cido’s panamax TOP GLORY (76K BLT 2005 TSUNEISHI/JAPAN) has achieved a price of $22.8 mill from clients of Target Marine of Greece, same level with the sale of her sister TOP ETERNITY two weeks ago (also sold to Greeks). It is rumoured that Chinese controlled modern panamax SEACON 9 (74K BLT 2012 NINGBO/CHINA) have been snapped by Greeks for $22 mill, however others suggest that the sale has fallen through. In an off-market deal, Japanese controlled supramax WHITE HALO (55K BLT 2012 IHI/JAPAN CR 4X30T) was committed to Greek interests for $30 mill, one million more than mid February’s sale of JIN ZE (57K BLT 2012 TSUNEISHI/JAPAN CR 4X30T) gone for $29 mill. Late 90’s vintage handymax CRYSTAL OCEAN (49K BLT 1999 IHI/JAPAN CR 4X30T) attracted $14 mill, while one month ago her exact sister EILHARD SCHULTE was sold for $12.75 mill. Modern handy B HANDY (36K BLT 2011 HYUNDAI/S.KOREA CR 4X30.5T) changed hands for $22.5 mill. Prompt Dolphin 36 design resale MYSTIC TREASURE (35K BLT 2014 QINSHAN/CHINA CR 4X30T), which was originally contracted by Wilmar, was sold to clients of Loadline of Greece for $23.5 mill. South Korean buyers are reported to have purchased Oldendorff’s handy CATHRIN OLDENDORFF (31K BLT 2003 SAIKI/JAPAN CR 4X30T) for $15 mill, while smaller mid 90’s unit BAVARIAN TRADER (23K BLT 1995 MITSUBISHI/JAPAN 5HO/5HA CR 3X30T) has commanded a solid price of $6.2 million", the shipbroker concluded.

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
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Owners Liability For In-Transit Loss Does Not Extend To Loss Caused By Piracy 2
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

In the recent case of Trafigura Beheer BV v Navigazione Montanari Spa [2014], the Commercial Court considered whether a charterparty clause making Owners liable for in-transit loss covered loss where the cargo was stolen by pirates. This case involved a claim by Charterers against Owners for "in-transit loss" of part of a cargo of premium motor oil. The voyage in question was from Abidjan to Lagos.
Facts

The Master tendered NOR at Lagos and was instructed by Charterers to proceed to a position South-West of the port. Whilst awaiting further orders, the vessel was attacked by 15 armed pirates who took control of the vessel and arranged for a ship-to-ship transfer of approximately 5,300MT of the cargo (Transferred Cargo). Having removed the Transferred Cargo, the pirates released the vessel.

The charterparty contained an in-transit loss clause (ITL Clause) which stated that Owners would be responsible for the full amount of any in-transit loss exceeding 0.5%. The charterparty defined in-transit loss as "the difference between net vessel volumes after loading at the loading port and before unloading at the discharge port."

The charterparty also contained an exceptions clause (Exceptions Clause) which stated that "Owners shall be entitled to the protection of [Articles III, IV, and VIII of the Hague-Visby rules] in respect of any claim made hereunder."

Article IV of the Hague-Visby rules provides that:

"Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be responsible for loss or damage arising or resulting from ... (c) Perils, dangers and accidents of the sea or other navigable waters ... (f) Act of public enemies ... (q) Any other cause arising without actual fault or privity of the carrier, or without fault or neglect of the agents or servants of the carrier."

Whereas the Exceptions Clause was a standard-form clause, the ITL Clause had been specifically negotiated between Owners and Charterers.

Charterers claimed damages of USD 5 million from Owners for the lost cargo. The Court was asked to determine two preliminary issues:

whether the pirates' removal of the Transferred Cargo constituted "in-transit loss" under the ITL Clause, and
if the answer to (a) was yes, whether the ITL Clause imposed a strict liability on Owners or whether the Exceptions Clause applied to exclude that liability

Charterers argued that because there was a clear and obvious difference between the net vessel volume after loading and the net vessel volume before unloading at the discharge port, there had been in-transit loss under the ITL Clause for which Owners should be responsible.

Owners responded that in-transit loss in an ITL Clause of this nature only covered loss occurring as a direct result of the transit, and for reasons internal to the transit, during the course of a routine, ordinary voyage.
Decision

The Court held that the ITL Clause did not provide an exhaustive definition of what constituted in-transit loss but merely defined how the amount of any in-transit loss was to be determined. The Court acknowledged that this created uncertainty. However, as the ITL Clause did not specify the types of loss covered by the phrase "in-transit loss", the Court would give the expression its natural business meaning, which was loss incidental to the carriage of oil products (for example short delivery caused by quantity calculation errors, remnants of cargo left on board or loss through evaporation) rather than any loss that arose because of the actions of pirates.

The Court acknowledged that it would be difficult in certain cases to ascertain whether particular losses fell within the expression "in-transit loss" but maintained that loss from the pirates' activities was plainly not covered by the expression.

As the Court found in favour of Owners on the first preliminary issue, the second issue did not arise. However, as an aside, the Court said that there was no real conflict between the ITL Clause and the Exceptions Clause. The Exceptions Clause provided that Owners were entitled to the protection of Article IV of the Hague-Visby rules "in respect of any claim made" under the charterparty and that, despite the clear wording of the specifically negotiated ITL Clause, there was no good reason to limit the natural meaning of "any claim" by excluding claims under the ITL Clause.
Comment

A literal reading of the ITL Clause, specifically negotiated between Owners and Charterers and not simply a standard clause like the Exceptions Clause, would appear to favour Charterers' position that cargo removed by pirates was "in-transit loss". However, the Court took a commercial and pragmatic approach to the definition of the phrase, holding that it should be given its ordinary, natural business meaning so as to extend only to losses incidental to the activity of the carriage of the cargo on a routine voyage. This would not sensibly include loss at the hands of pirates whose actions, it is submitted, have never been understood by the market as amounting to an "in-transit loss" within the meaning of clauses such as the ITL Clause.

The decision confirms the Court's determination to approach the interpretation of commercial clauses such as the ITL Clause consistently with how they are generally understood in the market, in this case the oil sector. That said, given the Court's recognition that the ITL Clause gave rise to potential uncertainty, what does and does not fall within the natural business meaning of "in-transit loss" in other circumstances may not always be so straightforward to determine.
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Source: Clyde & Co
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Afbeelding
KARAGOL


ISS: Fewer pirates, different risks - Africa needs to rethink its approach to maritime security
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

With incidents of maritime piracy declining and greater awareness of new maritime security threats, the shape and governance of various counter-piracy initiatives and institutions will come into question this year.

These typically draw on a narrow definition of maritime security, which emphasises counter-piracy and the repression of armed robbery at sea.

However, a critical transition is underway whereby the notion of maritime insecurity is being redefined. Security infrastructure and institutions such as the Djibouti Code of Conduct also need to adapt to this expanded definition. In order to fully protect the African maritime domain, other destabilising issues that cause harm to human security are now being reconsidered. These include illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; human trafficking; the smuggling of narcotics; and circumventing sanctions through the shipment of contraband goods and weapons. To combat and overcome these challenges requires a cooperative and, ultimately, an integrated approach.

This expanded notion of maritime insecurity is reflected in the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIMS), which was adopted at the 22nd Annual African Union (AU) Summit in January. The strategy provides member states with many ambitious goals, and signatories and stakeholders now have a vision to work towards – such as establishing a Blue Economy in African waters before 2050. However, it also presents a complex challenge: how should they respond to both the apparent decline of African piracy and the emergence of new threats, while at the same time striving to achieve long-term maritime goals, and this in a context where piracy has been the main, sometimes only, concern?

Elsewhere in Africa, the various issues and threats affecting the African maritime domain are already being revised. A code of conduct similar to the Djibouti Code was signed in Yaoundé in June 2013 between the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It is notable for expanding its definition of maritime security to include more than just piracy. So, where does this leave the Djibouti Code and counter-piracy efforts?

The Djibouti Code risks becoming a multilateral counter-piracy instrument that actually has few pirates to fight or incidents to share. In response, signatory states are currently preparing for a May 2014 ministerial review to expand its scope, while also creating a new member state owned or steered governing structure. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has now held two sub-regional meetings – in Mombasa in December 2013, and Djibouti in February – where these issues were discussed.

The code, which was signed in Djibouti in 2009 between African and Asian states bordering the West Indian Ocean, is one of the most extensive transnational efforts for combatting piracy and armed robbery at sea. It has since been signed by 20 of 21 eligible states and is steered by the IMO’s Project Implementation Unit.

As signatories, states are expected to review their legislation, support capacity-building efforts and share information on piracy. It is a very technical code as it also encourages members to focus on training, reviewing and harmonising piracy legislation, trust building and creating infrastructure that enables information sharing.

The Djibouti Code remains non-binding, which has proved crucial for wide adoption by eligible states. However, it is important that signatories realise its enormous potential for improving maritime security – especially given concerns over the maritime environment and maritime-based transnational crimes such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, arms smuggling and human trafficking.

To combat these threats and efficiently utilise current infrastructure – such as the information-sharing centres in Mombasa, Dar es Salaam and Yemen – requires a revision of the Djibouti Code, possibly drawing on ideas found in the ECCAS-ECOWAS code. It is questionable whether such revisions are in fact possible as member states were initially drawn together to counter piracy and armed robbery; an issue that was agreed to pose an international problem and which made cooperation necessary.

In addition, the code remains vulnerable to competing regionalist interests and contexts. The Djibouti Code comprises African states from five regional economic communities (RECs), as well as Asian states. Drawn together around a common and international threat, they otherwise lack a history of sustained political cooperation or a security culture.

Arguably, if the Djibouti Code does not also move in a similar direction for an expanded concept of maritime security, it risks becoming obsolete or irrelevant. However, from an African, regional and security studies standpoint, the Djibouti Code represents a laudable starting point upon which to build future maritime security capacity.

African maritime stakeholders now need to collaborate and contribute towards the successful implementation of the 2050 AIMS, as well as become involved in both creating and implementing national and regional integrated maritime strategies. There are crucial lessons to be learnt from the process, as successful implementation depends on well-established information-sharing networks, which in turn should be underpinned by trust, technological compatibility and reciprocity.

East African RECs sorely lack an integrated maritime strategy similar to that of ECCAS, ECOWAS and SADC. As many members of the various RECs – such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); the East African Community (EAC); and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – are also signatories to the Djibouti Code, it is likely that continued participation and implementation could enhance cooperation and integration in other sectors of the African maritime domain.

The future shape of the Djibouti Code should be monitored closely. It will prove indicative of how all stakeholders intend to respond to emerging concerns over the governance of the African maritime domain.

Written by Timothy Walker, Researcher, Conflict Management and Peacebuilding Division, ISS Pretoria

Source: Institute for Security Studies Africa (ISS Africa)
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Jones Act Carriers Agree to $3.4 Million Settlement Over Price Fixing Claims
BY MIKE SCHULER ON MARCH 11, 2014

Jones Act shipping companies Sea Star Line and Horizon Lines have agreed to pay a combine $3.4 million to settle claims over their involvement in a price fixing scheme related to government transportation contracts.

Under the settlement agreements, Sea Star Line has agreed to pay $1.9 million, and Horizon Lines has agreed to pay $1.5 million, according to the Department of Justice.

The civil settlements resolve allegations made in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida, alleging that the shipping companies had violated the False Claims Act by fixing the price of government cargo transportation contracts between the continental United States and Puerto Rico.

“Today’s civil settlements demonstrate our continuing vigilance to ensure that those doing business with the government do not engage in anticompetitive conduct,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division Stuart F. Delery. “Government contractors who seek to profit at the expense of taxpayers will face serious consequences.”

A statement from the DOJ explains the allegations:

The government alleged that former executives of the defendant ocean shippers used personal email accounts to communicate confidential bidding information, thereby enabling each of the shippers to know the transportation rates that its competitor intended to submit to federal agencies for specific routes. This information allowed the shippers to allocate specific routes between themselves at predetermined rates. Among the contracts affected were U.S. Postal Service contracts to transport mail and Department of Agriculture contracts to ship food. Both Sea Star Line and Horizon Lines previously pleaded guilty, in related criminal proceedings, to anticompetitive conduct in violation of the Sherman Act.
The lawsuit, which was filed by former Sea Star Line executive William B. Stalling, was filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery.

The Act also allows the government to intervene and take over the action, as it did in this case. Stallings will receive $512,719 of the recovered funds.
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PART 2

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DeepOcean Orders New High Spec Cable Lay Ship, Signs Long Term Charter
BY ROB ALMEIDA ON MARCH 11, 2014

A 7-year charter agreement between expanding subsea contractor DeepOcean and Maersk Supply Service has triggered a newbuild order for a Damen Offshore Carrier DOC 8500 – the second order for this new ship design from Damen Shipyards Group.

The DOC 8500 will extend DeepOcean’s capabilities in the larger cable laying end of the market, representing a new focus on interconnector projects, in addition to oil & gas sector and renewables work. Tony Inglis, DeepOcean UK Managing Director commented on the new ship:

“This next generation cable lay vessel in combination with our survey and trenching capabilities will enable us to bundle our services for customers in the offshore power cable and umbilical markets. The versatile new vessel will be well suited for installation and burial projects using its 7,000 tonne carousel from land-fall to deepwater and also in remote geographical locations.”
Remko Bouma of Damen Shipyards Bergum, who is overseeing vessel construction, describes the DOC 8500 as a “semi-customised, modular” design. For DeepOcean, the ship-to-ship rule compliant vessel has been configured to accommodate 90 personnel, mostly in single occupancy cabins.

“The DOC 8500 has been developed as a flexible platform for both transport and installation work offshore,” says Mr Bouma. “Its bow and slender hull optimise sea keeping in rough seas and suppress slamming. The ship will run on either MGO or HFO and has DP2 capabilities in line with offshore market preferences. Its high on-deck cable carrying capacity makes it particularly competitive as a cable layer, while the vessel has also been optimised for shallow water operations, coming complete with a seven-point mooring system and the ability to take the ground fully loaded.”

The 138m length, 27.5m breadth DOC 8500 features 2,200 m² of unobstructed deck of 20T/m2 capacity with ro-ro capability. The 9,300dwt vessel will have a top speed of 12 knots.

The specially-equipped vessel will be delivered from the Damen Galati yard in Romania and owned and operated by Maersk Supply Service – the latest addition to the 60-plus strong Maersk offshore support vessel fleet.

Animation of the slightly smaller, Damen Offshore Carrier 7500 series:
http://youtu.be/qN0lDwn8UkI

René Berkvens, Damen Shipyards Group Chief Executive Officer, says: “We are very proud of being contracted by Maersk Supply Service and DeepOcean for this cable layer. We really believe in the new design, a result of our continuous R&D efforts. Because of the flexibility of the concept, the customer can incorporate a large number of purpose-specific demands to suit his specific needs. This particular vessel has been adapted in close cooperation with our clients, drawing on the expertise of all three companies to create a state-of-the-art Offshore Construction Vessel.”
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Liberty Maritime: A Different Kind of Company
A Different Kind of Company
BY TONY MUNOZ

U.S.-BASED LIBERTY IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST SHIPPERS OF FOOD AND HUMANITARIAN AID TO THOSE IN NEED. IT HAS A THRIVING COMMERCIAL BUSINESS TOO.

It’s all in the name. When Philip Shapiro founded the company in 1988 with the backing of the Schnitzer family from Portland, Oregon, they decided to call it Liberty. After all, it was an American company flying the U.S. flag, and what could be more appropriate? Its primary cargo was P.L. 480 food aid, so it made sense from all sorts of angles. The company was delivering liberty – “freedom from want” – in the form of food to those most in need. Today, all of its owned ships have the word “liberty” in their name as a reminder of its original – and still, to a large extent – mission.

BACKGROUND

Shapiro took an unlikely route to a career in the shipping industry. Ironically, he grew up not far from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1974 and his Juris Doctor from Hofstra University Law School in 1978. He then was hired by a New York City law firm which represented, among others, Apex Marine, then owned by Captain Leo Berger, a giant in U.S. shipping and, at the time, the largest private owner of U.S.-flag tankers.

Shapiro did some legal work on the Apex account and had impressed Berger with the quality of his legal work, not to mention his energy and intellect. In 1980, Berger offered him the position of Vice President and General Counsel of Apex. He was by then familiar with vessel operations and had spent a lot of time with Berger in Washington, DC on U.S.-flag policy issues.

Shapiro became a consummate maritime executive. He handled ship construction and conversion contracts under the Merchant Marine Act and Title XI programs, became involved with chartering and operations issues, sold two tankers to the U.S. Navy which were then converted to the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort hospital ships, and was deeply involved in industry issues including the 1985 cargo preference compromise legislation, which increased the percentage of U.S.-flag carriage of P.L. 480 commodities to 75 percent.

THE BUYOUT

In another twist of fate, one of Berger’s partners in some of Apex’s ships was the Schnitzer family, and Shapiro had the opportunity to spend time with brothers Leonard and Gilbert Schnitzer. By then – 1986 – Berger had built five new U.S.-flag Panamax bulk carriers in South Korea under Section 615 of the Merchant Marine Act. Section 615 was a program that permitted subsidized U.S.-flag carriers to build new vessels overseas to make up for the defunding of the construction differential subsidy (CDS) program by the Reagan Administration. Looking to retirement and being concerned that political threats to cargo preference might jeopardize his new investment, Berger began thinking of selling the bulk carriers.

Shapiro, who was just 33 years old, started looking for financing to buy Apex’s dry bulk fleet. In the end, he teamed up with the Schnitzers to buy the Apex bulk carriers, and Liberty Shipping Group LLC and Liberty Maritime Corporation were set up to own and operate the five U.S.-flag bulk carriers and a 90,000 DWT tanker.

AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR

The ships purchased from Apex were very involved in the P.L. 480 Food for Peace program, reducing the cost of U.S.-flag transportation dramatically and eventually easing the political pressure to eliminate preference as rates dropped over 50 percent. Over the next eleven years Shapiro recognized that the food aid trade was beginning to change from the shipment of large parcels with only one load and discharge port to smaller parcels with multiple load and discharge ports as African nations were now emerging as the major recipients of U.S. food aid assistance.

Shapiro and his executive team thought that smaller-sized bulk carriers in the 50,000 DWT-range with large-capacity cranes to discharge in undeveloped ports would be more efficient than Liberty’s current Panamax vessels. However, there did not appear to be a way in which to build those vessels in the U.S. for a commercially viable price.

Utilizing his legal experience from Apex, Shapiro knew there were still three unused Section 615 permissions. He made a deal to acquire them and, after gaining the necessary government approvals, began rebuilding the Liberty fleet. In 1999 he contracted for two Supramax bulk carriers – the Liberty Glory and Liberty Grace – which were delivered in 2001. That same year the company declared an option for the third ship, Liberty Eagle, which was delivered in 2004 and could carry ammunition cargoes.

In 2004 Shapiro established Liberty Global Logistics LLC (LGL) to handle the growing intermodal business for large and specialty cargoes. LGL transports commercial, military, project and other cargoes to and from the U.S. and Mediterranean and Middle East ports. Its fleet includes three modern Roll-On/Roll-Off (RO/RO) Pure Car Truck Carriers (PCTC) designed specifically for transporting automobiles and trucks. The company has a joint venture with United Parcel Service, which functions as the air component of Liberty’s multimodal business under a contract with the U.S. Transportation Command. LGL’s PCTCs, like the Liberty dry bulk carriers, are all committed to the Department of Defense through the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Program (VISA).

The LGL business model was fundamentally built around the Maritime Security Program (MSP) concept of commercial viability. LGL’s diverse cargo base enabled the company to operate in the commercial market and also service the U.S. government’s cargo needs. LGL is an innovator in the logistics business and has expanded beyond ocean carriage to multimodal logistics including air freight, truck and rail service.

Shapiro is particularly proud of the role LGL has played in support of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan where it has had many “firsts.” LGL operated the first U.S.-flag vessel carrying military cargo directly to Umm Qasr in Iraq in 2006, was the first carrier to take retrograde cargo from Iraq and Afghanistan directly to U.S. depots, and transported both the first and the 10,000th Mine Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP) vehicles by sea to the war zone.

PUTTING A STAMP ON MARITIME POLICY

Throughout his career Shapiro has been deeply involved with U.S. maritime policy. He has been a recognized spokesperson for the industry at numerous congressional hearings and was one of four industry representatives selected to serve on Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena’s Working Group on Maritime Reform. As a result of this group’s efforts, MSP was enacted in 1996 to maintain the American fleet and provide sealift capacity to the U.S. military. Today, MSP supports 60 militarily useful ships at an annual cost of just $186 million.

Shapiro established LGL to participate in the MSP program as he saw the trend emerging to create U.S.-flag capacity with an increased military utility. But in 2012 Congress guaranteed 60 MSP contracts to existing participants until 2025. Today, LGL has only the M/V Prestige New York in the program. In 2013 Shapiro unsuccessfully challenged the “grandfathering” of all 60 MSP agreements to 2025 because it froze the program in place without regard to vessel mix or the citizenship of vessel owners. Shapiro believes that grandfathering all existing operators without competition was not good for the program.

The company built the M/V Liberty Pride and M/V Liberty Promise in 2009 and 2010 in South Korea to meet MSP requirements in response to TRANSCOM’s request for more RO/RO vessels. Although ideal for the program, the ships are not enrolled – in large measure, according to Shapiro, as a result of the grandfathering and notwithstanding that they are newer and more modern than most of the RO/RO vessels that were grandfathered.

CHANGING TIMES FOR THE U.S.-FLAG FLEET ;

Liberty operates its ships in the international markets, but they are also dependent on U.S. government business. The current drawdown of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has been reducing cargoes for many U.S. operators, including Liberty. Meanwhile, P.L. 480 has been under attack by the Obama Administration and non-governmental organizations. The Administration has reduced food-aid funding by $1 billion since taking office in 2009 and increased the cash transfer program to over $300 million. Now the Administration wants to convert the entire program to cash instead of sending U.S. commodities abroad.

Shapiro says the Administration’s proposed changes would end the U.S.-flag carriage of food aid and all of the ships and jobs that go with it. He argues that “P.L. 480 has been the most successful humanitarian feeding program in the world for the last 57 years and supports over 44,000 domestic jobs from farmers to dock-side workers and merchant mariners. This program provides the U.S. government with both sealift capacity and a marine manpower base which is available to the military in times of national emergency, both of which are crucial to the Defense Department’s overseas projection and logistical reach.”

He says that calling the conversion to cash “reform” is a misnomer and there is no empirical evidence to support the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) claims that it could feed significantly more people by sending cash abroad instead of food. He insists that USAID’s use of tax dollars to purchase other nations’ agricultural products is irresponsible and will be far less effective than delivering American-grown commodities. He points out that USAID has an abysmal record overseeing cash programs, as documented by the GAO.

He adds that the U.S. government needs a long-term national maritime strategy to define its priorities and ensure its capabilities. It should also address a number of issues, including tort law reform, as insurance costs for U.S. companies are extremely high. He says that a national labor board, similar to a workman’s compensation board, should be considered to oversee payments for seamen’s injuries. He adds that the U.S. should consider exempting U.S.-flag crews sailing abroad from federal income tax, just like other U.S. citizen expatriates working overseas.

ENSURING THE FUTURE

Over the last 25 years Liberty has grown dramatically and become well-established. Shapiro says his talented management team – a blend of seasoned maritime professionals and younger talent – is capable of ensuring its future. If necessary, its U.S.-flag fleet can always be reflagged and prosper in international markets. In the interim, he and his team have diversified Liberty’s business model yet again with the introduction of four new 82,000 DWT Kamsarmax foreign-flag bulk carriers delivered in 2012 and 2013. Further growth and diversification are in the works, and the company will continue to provide first-class service to all of its customers in every market it serves.

Shapiro plans to maintain his high industry profile and to speak out on the importance of the U.S. Merchant Marine, cargo preference, food aid and MSP. And why not? He has spent a career promoting the U.S.-flag maritime industry, and his company has been – and will continue to be – a key player in the process.

Tony Munoz is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Maritime Executive.
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M. AKSU


Boat of the Month
Marine NewsTuesday, March 11, 2014

Alion & Robert Allan Team up to Deliver High Tech Research Vessel

Afbeelding

In the very near future, the new scientific Research Vessel Investigator will enter service for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), an agency of the Federal Government of Australia. Investigator went to sea for her initial sea trials in December 2013. Once deployed, Investigator will be among the quietest and most capable research vessels in the world, serving multiple, diverse scientific roles in a geographical areas spanning one-third the circumference of the globe.
The design was developed by RALion, a joint venture between Vancouver BC Naval Architects, Robert Allan Ltd, Alion Science and Technology of Alexandria, Virginia and Alion Canada of Ottawa. The acoustic analysis, noise treatments and noise trial measurements were performed by Noise Control Engineering of the US. The vessel was launched on July 21st, 2013 and then officially named Investigator at a ceremony in Singapore in September.
The vessel will potentially raise the bar for science vessels – here and abroad – in a sector where research vessels often emanate from platforms not originally designed for the purpose. Moreover, financial constraints for research organizations, universities and other government efforts often do not allow for the most environmentally correct equipment. Investigator changes that mindset. Described loosely as a combination of the large AGOR’s (23 & 24) class built in 1990’s and the NOAA fishery science vessels built at Halter and Marinette, the vessel’s price tag was said to be in the range of $125 million, the high end of what is typically spent on this type of vessel. That said; Investigator is a scientist’s dream platform, with virtually every bell and whistle the research community could possibly want. Investigator is classed by Lloyds Register of Shipping as a +100A1, +LMC, UMS Ice 1C IWS, EP, DP (AM) and DNV SILENT-R research vessel.
Designed to meet the underwater radiated noise requirements of the DNV “Silent R” notation up to 11 knots, this capability allows the vessel to undertake sensitive environmental research. A low radiated noise signature is critical for vessels engaged in fisheries and marine mammal research to avoid disturbing the habitats they are studying. A low noise signature is also crucial to ensuring that the vessel’s large suite of scientific survey sonars has the capability to reach the greatest depths of the world’s oceans. To meet this stringent underwater radiated noise level, a comprehensive program of noise control engineering and production practices was established. For example, all three MaK main diesel generators are double resiliently mounted on an isolation system engineered by NCE and RALion and supplied by MaK. This mounting system is specifically designed to absorb vibration. And, the Wartsila 5-bladed propellers have a unique blade shape specially designed to be free of cavitation up to 12 knots. During the sea trial, Investigator was found to have exceeded all of her noise requirements, including radiated, habitability, and structural vibration.
Investigator is fitted out with a full range of scientific laboratories, science and fishing winches, coring equipment, air and water sampling devices, and acoustic systems. She is capable of a variety of oceanographic operations in coastal and deep ocean areas, including the physical, chemical and biological oceanography, environmental investigations, ocean engineering and marine acoustics, coastal hydrographic survey, marine geology and geophysics, bathymetric surveys and fisheries research. An interesting feature is the vessel’s gondola and two retractable drop keels to house the extensive scientific sonar and transducer suites, supplied by Kongsberg. The vessel is fitted with a stern ramp and towing gallows to support fisheries research activities.
The vessel potentially represents the new benchmark for global research vessels. With its Tier II engines, self contained (zero discharge at sea) sewage treatment system and other green features, it also sets a new standard for environmental stewardship, consistent with the mission of such a vessel. The vessel enters service, fully commissioned, less than three years after award of the design and construction contract; a remarkable feat given the size and complexity of this ship.

Afbeelding

http://www.alionscience.com / http://www.ral.ca
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SFL Acquires Two Post-Panamax Container Vessels
Posted on Mar 11th, 2014

Ship Finance International Limited (SFL) today entered into an agreement to acquire two 5,800 teu post-panamax container vessels built in 2001/2002 in combination with long-term charters.
SFL Acquires Two Post-Panamax Container Vessels
The vessels are expected to be delivered to SFL over the course of the next few weeks, and the annual EBITDA contribution is estimated to be approximately $5.5 million on average during the charter period. The charters include a purchase option with profit share after 5 years.
The company also said that the settlement of a claim relating to four Handysize dry bulk carriers which were redelivered to the company in 2012, before the final maturity of their charters. A significant portion of the settlement amount has been paid to SFL in cash already, with the remaining amount to be paid in installments over the next three quarters. The company expects to book a gain of approximately $25 million relating to the settlement.
Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of Ship Finance Management AS, said in a comment: “Similar to the acquisition of the seven 4,100 teu container vessels last week, the acquisition of these additional 5,800 teu container vessels were also sourced from the German KG market. While the capital to be invested in the vessels is limited, the risk/reward profile of the transactions is viewed as attractive. Our business model allows us to target opportunities across our core business segments, and our main strategy remains to acquire modern vessels and rigs and combine with charters to leading operators.”
Mr Hjertaker continued: “We are also happy to see the effect of our resolve and patience coming to fruition with the settlement of a two year old chartering dispute. The vessels in question have been operated in the market without any disruption, and the market has recovered from the low-point two years ago. The cash received from the settlement will be made available for new investments.”

SFL, March 11, 2014
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Wartsila’s New Inline Scrubber System Saves Space
Posted on Mar 11th, 2014

The new Wärtsilä inline scrubber system is designed to offer notable benefits over conventional exhaust gas cleaning systems. Its compact form saves considerable space, which is particularly important in smaller vessels and when being retrofitted, while the lower cost structure of the new design offers CAPEX advantages. With just one scrubber system per engine, installation is faster and easier, which consequently reduces the out-of-service time for the vessel. Operational flexibility is also improved.
Wartsila New Inline Scrubber System Saves Space
The inline scrubber system operates as a conventional Wärtsilä open loop scrubber system, but has three water inlets in the main body of the scrubber, as opposed to two in the conventional system. The exhaust flows enter from the bottom and exits at the top, with water being sprayed in three stages in a counter flow to the exhaust. A Wärtsilä designed water trap prevents the scrubbing water from entering the engine. The inline configuration can be offered on the hybrid scrubber system as well.
Wartsila New Inline Scrubber System Saves Space-
“Space availability is a challenge that makes it difficult for many vessels to have exhaust gas cleaning systems installed, which is why the new Wärtsilä inline system is attracting a lot of attention from owners and operators. We have tremendous technical know-how in this field, and can work closely with customers to provide the right system for their needs, while at the same time making the cost proposition attractive,” says Mr Sigurd Jenssen, Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning, Wärtsilä Ship Power.
The first vessel to utilise the new Wärtsilä inline scrubber system will be Color Line’s SuperSpeed 2. The contract was signed in June 2013 and the installation will take place in March 2014 at FaYard in Denmark. This high speed ferry sails twice a day between Larvik in Norway and Hirtshals in Denmark and has limitations on the available space in the funnel. The inline system thus offers a practical solution for overcoming this restriction. In September 2013 contracts were signed for the fitting of the Wärtsilä inline scrubber system to three other Color Line vessels.

Wartsila, March 11, 2014
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Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.


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De gemeente Delfzijl heeft in samenwerking met verschillende rederijen in de regio een opleidingstraject speciaal voor langdurig werklozen ontworpen. Het project heet Go Maritiem.

Delfzijlster project biedt werklozen een baan in scheepvaart


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NEWS SNIPPETS
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Dry bulk vessels still the "cream of the crop" for ship owners 3
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Dry bulk carriers have remained the most popular vessel type among ship owners as proven by the sheer number of second hand vessel sales and newbuilding ordering activity reported over the past week. With the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) on a recovery mode (now well over the 1,500-point mark), this trend is only going to intensify in the coming weeks, especially given the fact that financing options are increasing, with the rise of private equity funds and investors, looking to exploit the looming upward cycle of the shipping market.

According to the latest weekly newbuilding report provided to Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide (http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com) from shipbroker Clarkson Hellas, there was "a significant volume of ordering to report across the dry sector. "Jiangsu Eastern has announced an order for four firm plus four option 208,000 DWT Newcastlemax. As of yet, the buyer is unknown, however delivery is due from the middle of 2016 onwards. Although understood to have been concluded some time ago, it has come to light this week that NACKS has taken an order for two firm 209k Newcastlemax from RGL Shipping, with delivery of both vessels in the second half of 2016. Also at Jiangsu Eastern, Oldendorff has added an additional 97,000 DWT post-panamax bulker. This takes the total order to two, with delivery of the most recent vessel in mid-2015. Also this week, clients of Paragon Shipping announced an order for three firm 81,800 DWT Kamsarmax at Jiangsu New Yangzijiang. The order is understood to include a number of options, with delivery of the firm vessels from the second quarter of 2015".

Clarkson Hellas also noted "a significant order at Sainty Marine, with Precious Shipping announcing a total of 10 x 64,000 DWT Ultramax, due for delivery from the second quarter of 2015 onwards. At Hantong, Spar Shipping have declared a further four options for 64,000 DWT Ultramax. The latest vessels are due to deliver in 2015/2016 and takes the total series to six vessels. Portline S.A. have placed an order for three 61,000 DWT Ultramax at NACKS/DACKS, with delivery in 2016. A number of options declared by D’Amico, with the addition of two of each 39,500 DWT Handymax and 64,000 DWT Ultramax at Zhejiang Yangfan, due for delivery from 2016 onwards. Lastly in dry, Uni-Asia Finance Corp announced the addition of the fourth vessel to a series of 37,000 DWT Handysize at Imabari, with the latest due to deliver in the second quarter of 2015", said the shipbroker.

It concluded by noting that "the other markets have been relatively quiet this week; One order to report in Gas, with Kumiai Senpaku understood to have ordered a single 84,000 CBM LPG carrier at HHI, with delivery in the final quarter of 2016. In other sectors, United European Car Carriers (UECC) announced an order for two 3,800 unit PCCs at NACKS. Both vessels are planned for delivery in the second half of 2016", Clarkson Hellas said.

In a separate report on the secondhand market, Lion Shipbrokers said this week that the market benefited from the improved sentiment which prevailed in the dry bulk market. Lion noted the following deals: "Cido’s panamax TOP GLORY (76K BLT 2005 TSUNEISHI/JAPAN) has achieved a price of $22.8 mill from clients of Target Marine of Greece, same level with the sale of her sister TOP ETERNITY two weeks ago (also sold to Greeks). It is rumoured that Chinese controlled modern panamax SEACON 9 (74K BLT 2012 NINGBO/CHINA) have been snapped by Greeks for $22 mill, however others suggest that the sale has fallen through. In an off-market deal, Japanese controlled supramax WHITE HALO (55K BLT 2012 IHI/JAPAN CR 4X30T) was committed to Greek interests for $30 mill, one million more than mid February’s sale of JIN ZE (57K BLT 2012 TSUNEISHI/JAPAN CR 4X30T) gone for $29 mill. Late 90’s vintage handymax CRYSTAL OCEAN (49K BLT 1999 IHI/JAPAN CR 4X30T) attracted $14 mill, while one month ago her exact sister EILHARD SCHULTE was sold for $12.75 mill. Modern handy B HANDY (36K BLT 2011 HYUNDAI/S.KOREA CR 4X30.5T) changed hands for $22.5 mill. Prompt Dolphin 36 design resale MYSTIC TREASURE (35K BLT 2014 QINSHAN/CHINA CR 4X30T), which was originally contracted by Wilmar, was sold to clients of Loadline of Greece for $23.5 mill. South Korean buyers are reported to have purchased Oldendorff’s handy CATHRIN OLDENDORFF (31K BLT 2003 SAIKI/JAPAN CR 4X30T) for $15 mill, while smaller mid 90’s unit BAVARIAN TRADER (23K BLT 1995 MITSUBISHI/JAPAN 5HO/5HA CR 3X30T) has commanded a solid price of $6.2 million", the shipbroker concluded.

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
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Do not dismiss heavy fuel oil says Lloyd’s Register
by Craig Eason

EVEN though shipping is facing increased environmental legislation to reduce its emissions, a new study suggests the industry could be using even more heavy fuel oil by 2030, not less, as the economy improves.
A project run by UK class society Lloyd’s Register and the Energy Institute of University College London has assessed the potential fuel mix in shipping over the next 16 years, a follow-up to the global marine trends 2030 report that LR published last year.
The global marine fuel trends 2030 study assessed the potential of six fuel types, all with biofuel equivalents, against three economic scenarios.
The fuels include a range of oil-based fuels such as marine gas oil and heavy fuel oils, but also hydrogen, methanol and liquid natural gas, which many in the industry see as a new fuel for shipping.
The research scenarios mirror the scenarios used in last year’s study; a status quo in which global trade remains stagnant, a scenario of little trade increase called Competing Nations and a third scenario, Global Commons, based on increased global trade.
The latter scenario is the most optimistic for shipping as it assumes an increase in global trade that will increase the demand for tonnage.
The study tries to shed some light on how these potential trade scenarios impact fuel prices, legislation and the complex link between technology and fuel choice, especially as in all cases fuel costs are expected to increase.
Writing an introduction to the study, marine director Tom Boardley said future fuel decisions are not isolated to the maritime industry and that although the alternative fuels debate has been dominated by the interest in LNG other potentially viable options could be assimilated into shipping, becoming “business as normal”.
The study does, however, only look at the trends over the coming 16 years to 2030, whichdoes not cover the full life of a newbuilding delivered today.
As Mr Boardley points out any marine fuel, whether new or established, must be available, cost effective, compatible with technology or technology developments and, increasingly crucially, compliant with all regulations.
Among its predictions the LR study suggests that under its status quo scenario there would be weak adoption of LNG, and as expected a strong continuation using conventional fuels.
If there is strong growth in international trade through the Global Commons scenario there will be expected growth in the use of LNG and even hydrogen.
But as this scenario suggests more demand for shipping and larger fleets, the overall demand for heavy fuel oil will increase, not decrease, even though its share in percentage terms of the overall fuel mix may drop.
Under this scenario the demand for heavy fuel oil in 2030 could be 23% higher than the demand for heavy fuel oil in 2010,which may not paint a good picture of shipping's efforts to curb CO2 emissions.
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Afbeelding
MAERSK CONSTANTINA


Knightsbridge buys five new capesizes from Frontline 2012
by Hal Brown

KNIGHTSBRIDGE Tankers is buying five fuel-efficient capesize bulk carrier newbuildings from Frontline 2012 and one 2013-built capesize from Karpasia Shipping for a total of $360m, reflecting John Fredriksen’s strategy of consolidation in commodity shipping by spreading his newbuildings out among various interests.
All three companies are controlled by Mr Fredriksen. Karpasia Shipping is a company controlled by a trust established by him for the benefit of his immediate family.
The 180,000 dwt capesize newbuildings were ordered by Frontline 2012 from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and have expected delivery dates between May and September this year.
Knightsbridge has agreed to pay $61m for each of the five capesize newbuildings and $55m for the 2013-built capesize, which has not yet been named.
Of the total consideration of $360m, $186m will be paid in shares of Knightsbridge Tankers at $10 per share, $150m in absorption of remaining newbuilding capital expenditure and $24m in cash.
Knightsbridge has agreed to issue 15.5m shares to Frontline 2012 and 3.1m shares to Karpasia, or another company controlled by trusts established by Mr Fredriksen for the benefit of his immediate family, on closing of the transaction.
Knightsbridge will seek to raise around $30m in bank debt per vessel.
The company expects to have 10 capesizes on the water by the end of September 2014 and four newbuildings delivering in 2015.
Knightsbridge said its strategic plan is to grow its capesize fleet and its cashflow per share as the dry bulk market recovers.
The company will consider acquiring further capesize vessels, perhaps taking more from Frontline 2012.
Frontline 2012 has a further 25 shipbuilding contracts for fuel-efficient capesizes with deliveries expected between the third quarter of this year and third-quarter 2016.
Knightsbridge chief executive Ola Lorentzon said: “The purchase by Knightsbridge of the six capesize vessels will help us in developing the leading New York-listed capesize owner.
“We believe that acquiring these vessels will greatly benefit our shareholders through additional scale and reduced fleet age and we believe it will increase our opportunity to benefit from a dry bulk market recovery.”
Frontline 2012 chairman John Fredriksen said: “We are very pleased to be able to enter into a transaction with Knightsbridge, which is in line with our strategic plan of creating pure plays in different shipping segments through consolidation, divestments and spin-offs.”
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Strait of Malacca still not safe from pirates
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The waters in the Singapore and Malacca straits are still not entirely safe from pirates, as evidenced by three ships that were robbed this month alone as they passed through the area, according to Indonesian Maritime Safety Information Center (PIKMI) officials.

PIKMI receives incident alerts from the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Center in Singapore.

PIKMI member Mohammad Yasin revealed that the first act of piracy this month occurred on March 6, while the second happened only half an hour after the first incident.

“Then, in the morning on March 10, another robbery took place. The vessels that fell victim were the MT Sea Voyager, MT Orpheas and MT Cape Veni, respectively,” he said on Monday as quoted by tribunnews.com.

The crew of the Marshall Islands vessel MT Sea Voyager were held at knife-point by four armed pirates as it was en route to Karimun Kecil Island at 5:15 p.m.

The crew had sounded the alarm as the pirates approached and the uninvited guests fled the ship empty-handed.

Meanwhile, MT Orpheas was robbed approximately half an hour later at 5:40 p.m. The Liberian tanker was also on course for Karimun Kecil Island when five armed pirates boarded and took off with several ship parts.

MT Cape Veni, a bulk carrier from Cyprus, was positioned southwest of Nipa Island when it was approached by a band of pirates in a motorboat at 1:50 p.m.

The crew also sounded the alarm, prompting the pirates to immediately flee the vessel.

PIKMI is a unit that operates under the National Maritime Institute (Namarin) and is in charge of reporting sea crimes. It is the regional partner to ISC-ReCAAP in Indonesia.

Source: The Jakarta Post
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Afbeelding
MELOI


COSCO Guangdong Delivers Bulker FUAT BEY
Posted on Mar 12th, 2014

COSCO Corporation (Singapore) Limited today announced that COSCO Guangdong, a subsidiary of the COSCO Shipyard Group Co. Ltd, has delivered 35,300 DWT bulk carrier FUAT BEY to its Asian buyer.
COSCO Guangdong Delivers Bulker FUAT BEY
The delivery documents were signed by and between COSCO Guangdong and the buyer recently.
FUAT BEY measures 180 meters in LOA (length of all), 30 meters in breadth and 14.7 meters in depth.
COSCO Corporation has one of the largest ship repair, shipbuilding and offshore marine engineering operations in China. The completion of its acquisition of a 51% stake in one of the largest shipyards in China, COSCO Shipyard Group (COSCO Shipyard), on 1 January 2005, propelled COSCO into the premier league in the shipbuilding industry.

March 12, 2014
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Three robberies in the Malacca Straits could be linked to the same group
by Tom Leander

THREE separate incidents since the beginning of March this year in the Straits of Malacca are probably the work of the same group of robbers, according to a report from Singapore-based piracy and robbery information group Recaap.
“The three incidents involved [a] group of four to five men armed with knives [who] boarded the vessels while underway during hours of darkness,” Recaap said in a statement.
“Without detailed reporting by the masters about the robbers’ boarding and modus operandi, it is assessed that the same group of robbers or robbers from some syndicate could be involved.”
Two of the incidents occurred on March 6 and a third on March 10. On March 6, robbers board two oil tankers, Marshall Islands-flagged 107,506 dwt Sea Voyager and Liberia-flagged 167,282 dwt Orpheas.
Both incidents happened within an hour of each other starting at 0510 hrs near the small island of Palau Keriman Kecel off the southwest coast of Singapore in the Straits.
The March 10 incident, involving capesize bulk 173,764 dwt Cape Veni, occurred shortly after 0100 hrs in the same vicinity.
During the first attack, four men boarded with knives from a fishing boat. The crew of Sea Voyager sounded the alarm and moved to the ship’s protected area. The men fled.
Forty minutes later, five men armed with knives boarded Orpheas and made off with engine spare parts. No one was hurt.
“With no success in stealing anything from one vessel, it is assessed that the robbers could have had targeted another vessel that came along,” Recaap said.
In the third incident, four men boarded the vessel, but the alarm was sounded and they retreated without robbing anything.
Recaap’s Information Centre urged “all vessels transiting the area to enhance vigilance and report all incidents to the nearest coastal state immediately”.
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Afbeelding
NICOLA D


IMB Warns of West Africa Piracy Threat
Posted on Mar 12th, 2014

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is asking ships to be extra vigilant when transiting West Africa as piracy in the region becomes a growing concern.
IMB Warns of West Africa Piracy Threat
IMB’s Live Piracy Map shows that since the beginning of the year, one vessel, MT Kerala, has been hijacked and six were boarded in West Africa. There was also one attempted attack.
The hijacking of the Liberian-flag product tanker in January by Nigerian pirates has sparked fears these gangs are venturing further south.
In that incident, the pirates hijacked the MT Kerala off the coast of Luanda in Angolan waters.
The vessel was released by the pirates eight days later after the cargo was illegally transferred in a ship-to-ship operation along the West African coast.
Whilst the incident shows the willingness of these gangs to venture further to commit their crime, it also raises concern due to the violence associated with such hijackings. One crew member was injured while the vessel was under the custody of the pirates.
The IMB has warned in its annual piracy report of the dangers to ships transiting West African waters particularly around Nigeria, Benin and Togo, and urge continued vigilance as the threat remains real, as highlighted by the MT Kerala hijacking.
It further points to the fact that because pirates have never attacked so far south, it is likely that vessels in the area are not aware of the danger.
Last year the number of Nigerian piracy attacks grew and it currently stands at its highest level since 2008. Nigerian pirates accounted for 31 of the 51 attacks reported in the region in 2013, and West Africa as a whole made up 19% of attacks worldwide last year.
The common tactics employed by these gangs operating in the area is to hijack a vessel for its cargo, normally gas oil. However in the process, crew members are also injured and in some instances kidnapped, and vessels fired upon.
According to a recent report by the United Nations titled Maritime Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea a lot of the piracy that affects West Africa is a product of the criminal activity associated with the region’s oil sector.
“A large share of the recent piracy attacks targeted vessels carrying petroleum products. These vessels are attacked because there is a booming black market for fuel in West Africa. Without this ready market, there would be little point in attacking these vessels,” the report said.
These attacks are damaging Nigeria’s lucrative oil industry as analysts point out that the hijackings of tankers for oil cargoes could increase the risk of doing business in the country.
One Nigerian Navy official recently said the country was losing N250 million ($1.5 billion) a month to maritime crime, which includes piracy, smuggling and bunkering fraud.
As a matter of course the IMB is warning ships to be extra cautious and to take necessary precautionary measures when transiting West African waters.
It urges ship owners and managers who lose contact with their vessels to report it to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre as soon as possible, so that investigations can be carried out and if appropriate suitable warnings issued to other vessels in the same area to reduce the risk of hijacks.
The IMB also operates a 24 hour maritime security hotline to report any information relating to maritime crime and maritime security.
-
ICC, March 12, 2014
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Ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam Call for Stricter Emission Standards
Posted on Mar 12th, 2014

Antwerp Port Authority and the Port of Rotterdam Authority want to see stricter nitrogen oxides emission standards for new built vessels on the North Sea and English Channel from 1 January 2016.
Ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam Call for Stricter Emission Standards
The two largest ports in Europe do not support a proposal to postpone this already agreed upon regulation by five years.
At the beginning of April, the environment committee of the International Maritime Organization (an United Nations agency) will discuss this proposal.
Ships’ engines which comply with the new standards emit 80% less nitrogen oxides than the current built vessels.
Reducing the emissions from shipping to improve air quality is in line with the sustainability policy of the two port authorities.
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Afbeelding
MONOGAS


Naviera Integral Returns to Damen for Four More Fast Crew Suppliers
BY MIKE SCHULER ON MARCH 12, 2014

Mexican offshore company Naviera Integral and Damen Shipyards Group have signed a contract for four more Damen Fast Crew Suppliers 5009 (FCS 5009).

The first two vessels will be delivered from Damen’s current stock and will be handed over in Vietnam on April 16th of this year. Construction on the second two vessels is expected to start soon, with delivery planned for July 2015.

All four vessels will operate in the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico, under a direct contract from PEMEX.

The signing ceremony took place in the Head Offices of Damen in the Netherlands on March 7th, 2014 and was attended by the presidents of both companies, Lic. Juan Pablo Vega Arriaga of Naviera Integral and Kommer Damen.

The 50-meter Damen FCS 5009 features the proven Sea Axe-bow, designed for worldwide offshore operations.

With these four vessels, Naviera Integral, which specializes in the transport of personnel and goods from and to offshore platforms in the Mexican portion of the Gulf of Mexico, will expand its fleet to 33 vessels, including 14 Sea Axes.
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Rebel Tanker Reaches Egyptian Waters After Escaping Libya
BY REUTERS ON MARCH 12, 2014

A North Korean-flagged tanker is docked at the Es Sider export terminal in Ras Lanuf March 8, 2014. Libya threatened on Saturday to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker if it tried to ship oil from a rebel-controlled port, in a major escalation of a standoff over the country's petroleum wealth. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
The North Korean-flagged tanker, Morning Glory, is docked at the Es Sider export terminal in Ras Lanuf March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
reuters_logo1TRIPOLI, March 12 (Reuters) – Libya’s navy has lost contact with an oil tanker that loaded oil in a rebel-held port and has now slipped into Egyptian waters after being attacked by Libya’s air force, a government minister said on Wednesday.

The tanker was last seen sailing near Marsa Matruh on the Egyptian side of the joint border, Libya’s culture minister and government spokesman Habib al-Amin told a televised news conference.

Libya had asked Egypt and other countries to stop the tanker, he said. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Anthony Barker)

Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.
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Afbeelding
MCS TEXAS


Solstad Orders Huge Offshore Construction Ship
BY ROB ALMEIDA ON MARCH 12, 2014

Solstad Offshore ASA (SOFF), one of Norway’s largest shipping companies, has announced this week a signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with one of their clients to construct and operate a subsea construction vessel of massive proportions.

VARD designed and built, this ship will be 180 meters in length, have a beam of 33 meters and a deck area of more than 2500 m2. Equipment on board will include a 550-ton top tension vertical lay-system, enabling the installation of large diameter flexible pipes in ultra deepwater and in harsher environments as well as a 600 ton active heave compensated offshore crane and a 4000 ton under-deck carousel for storage of flexible pipes, cables and umbilicals.

Upon delivery in Q2 2016, she will be placed on charter with Solstad’s undisclosed client for a period of 8 years firm, in addition to 3 x 1 yearly options.

The financial details of the LOI were not disclosed.
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Billionaire Ross Says Diamond S Shipping IPO Pulled as Price Too Low
BY BLOOMBERG ON MARCH 12, 2014

wilbur ross
Wilbur Ross, chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Company LLC. (c) REUTERS/Mike Segar
March 12 (Bloomberg) — Billionaire Wilbur Ross said an initial public offering for Diamond S Shipping Group Inc., the tanker company in which his firm is the largest shareholder, won’t proceed because the suggested price was too low.

The final proposal by the underwriters was not acceptable, the founder of WL Ross & Co. said in an e-mail yesterday. Diamond S won’t issue shares at a price equivalent to less than the market value of its fleet, he said. The company filed to sell 14 million shares in a range of $14 to $16 each, and was scheduled to price the IPO on March 11.

“Diamond S does not need the money and will not issue stock at the relatively unfavorable price created by the present stock market environment,” he said in the e-mail. “We are not opposed to being publicly owned but not at any price.”

Richard Khaleel, a spokesman for New York-based Jefferies Group LLC, which had been leading the offering, declined in an e-mail to comment. Nobody responded to a phone message left outside normal business hours yesterday at the headquarters of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Diamond S.

The shipping company, which owns 33 tankers for carrying refined fuels, planned to use the proceeds of the IPO to contribute to the purchase of 10 new ships, according to its prospectus. Other shareholders include First Reserve Corp. and a unit of Cargill Inc., the commodities trader, its website shows.

Predicted Recovery

Ross and his co-investors spent about $900 million on 30 product tankers in 2011, he said in August of that year. It was the 76 year-old billionaire’s first venture into shipping and he also predicted at the time a slump in tanker returns was ending.

Earnings from vessels of a similar size to those in Ross’s fleet averaged $12,391 a day last year, the highest since 2008, according to the Baltic Exchange in London. The price of five- year-old tankers rose 1.4 percent to $28.9 million since September 2011, the bourse’s data show.

Ross has a 42 percent stake in Navigator Holdings Ltd., which controls the world’s largest fleet of handysize liquefied- gas carriers. Shares rose 21 percent to $24.13 since the company’s IPO in November. Ross and partners last year raised $100 million to buy as many as eight ships hauling coal, iron ore and grains through a company called Nautical Bulk Holdings Ltd., he said in November.

Private equity firms last year invested the most since at least 2008 in shipping, according to Marine Money, an industry researcher and publisher.

In December, Ross postponed an IPO for International Automotive Components Group SA, an auto supplier, two people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

Isaac Arnsdorf and Leslie Picker.
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Afbeelding


Bohi Industry Orders New Bulk Carriers From Sinopacific
BY ROB ALMEIDA ON MARCH 12, 2014

Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group has announced the signed newbuild order for two firm bulk carriers, plus two options from Bohi Industry, the Chinese agricultural product shipper. The 82,000 dwt, CROWN MHI 82-designed vessels will be classed by ClassNK and built at Yangzhou Dayang Shipbuilding Co.

First delivery is expected for 2H 2016.

As of today, there are now twelve firm orders for this vessel from Sinopacific Shipbuilding, plus six options.
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EMAS’ Lewek Ebony Spooked After Being Chased Offshore Indonesia
BY ROB ALMEIDA ON MARCH 12, 2014

Lewek Ebony, an anchor handling tug and supply (AHTS) vessel owned by EMAS – the Singapore-based offshore and subsea contractor, was chased last night by two skiffs prompting the master of the vessel to report a pirate attack in progress and to light off the firefighting monitors on board the vessel.

What is unusual is the location of where this alleged chase occurred… 200 nautical miles southwest of Indonesia.

In a conversation with the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur today they acknowledged receipt of a similar report, however were not yet calling it an incident as they are awaiting further details on what happened. They note that there has never been an incident of piracy or attack this far offshore Indonesia’s coastal waters.

Being allegedly chased by two skiffs at night which end up breaking off the chase without being fully identified leaves open the possibility that these two vessels were merely fishing boats, but then again, as the crew of the MT Kerala found out recently, what is considered a safe place to be, may not be.

According to time stamps on reports, the crew Lewek Ebony had been monitoring the approaching skiffs for over 12 hours.

Given the lack of a confirmed incident ever occurring in the area, remaining vigilant is likely the best precaution.
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Photo: J. Seyler.


Tugboat and Salvage news at
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more news at:

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_________________
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.


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