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Seven Armed Pirates Board Bulker near Singapore Strait
A South Korean bulk carrier was boarded by armed pirates while underway near the Singapore Strait in the morning hours of July 22.
The vessel in question is the 81,147 dwt CK Bluebell, Yonhap news agency said citing government officials.
Seven armed pirates assaulted the seafarers aboard the South Korean-registered bulker some 100 miles from the entrance to the strait.
Officials at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries informed that the pirates stole around USD 13,000 in cash, as well as the crew s personal belongings.
There were no reports of casualties following the attack, the official said, noting that some sailors sustained minor injuries during confrontations with the pirates.
After the attack, the 2011-built CK Bluebell resumed its voyage. The vessel was en route to Incheon from Brazilís Port of Santos at the time of the incident.
Stena Bulk Waiting Permission to Visit Stena Impero s Crew
Stena Bulk, the owner of the recently seized Stena Impero, said that it is still waiting for a formal permission to visit the ship s crew members in the Port of Bandar Abbas.
President and Chief Executive of Stena Bulk, Erik Hanell, said that the company submitted "a formal request for permission" to the authorities at the port to visit the 23 crew members of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality.
"The request has been acknowledged, but we await a formal response. In the meantime, we will continue to co-operate and liaise with all appropriate authorities."
The British-flagged, Swedish-owned oil tanker was seized while transiting the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 for "breaching international maritime law", according to a report from Tehran-based Press TV.
The 46,575 cbm Stena Impero allegedly turned off its tracker and ignored several warnings by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) before being boarded by armed guards. Additionally, the tanker reportedly failed to respond to a distress call sent by an Iranian fishing boat.
A second oil tanker, managed by Norbulk Shipping UK, was boarded by Iranian armed personnel on Friday. The 315,000 dwt Mesdar was instructed to head north towards Iran but it was soon cleared to resume its voyage.
"Our local staff in India, Latvia, Philippines, Russia are in constant touch with the families and we will continue to do everything humanly possible to keep them informed and to support them in every way we can," Hanell added.
"Our insurers in the region have been in contact with the Head of Marine Affairs at the Port of Bandar Abbas, who has reported that the crew members of our vessel Stena Impero are in good health and that the tanker is at the nearby Bandar Bahonar anchorage."
UK Ships Warned to Avoid Strait of Hormuz after Tanker Seizure
The UK Foreign Office has urged British-flagged vessels to avoid the Strait of Hormuz following the seizure of Stena Impero by Iran on July 19.
As informed, the UK government has raised ISPS Code Security Level for British-flagged ships in the Strait of Hormuz to level 3.
The government also plans to introduce further measures.
On Friday, the Iranian authorities boarded and seized the Swedish tanker flying the UK flag in Omani waters. The 46,575 cbm ship was then instructed to sail to the Iranian Port of Bandar Abbas.
The British government held a ministerial Cabinet Officer Briefing Rooms (COBR) meeting on July 20, reaffirming the UKís desire to deescalate the situation. The officials also discussed how they can guarantee the security of British and international shipping.
Describing the seizure as "totally and utterly unacceptable", the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "The Stena Impero was seized in Omani waters in clear contravention of international law."
Iran said it captured the vessel for breaching international maritime law, as Stena Impero turned off its tracker and ignored several warnings issued by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). According to Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), the ship was also releasing oil residues from its tanks.
Earlier this month, the UK and Gibraltar forces jointly detained the Iranian tanker Grace 1 as it was allegedly carrying crude oil to Syria, breaching EU sanctions against this country.
However, Iran described the tanker arrest as unlawful as the country is not a member of the European Union and not subject to its sanctions.
After having a conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Saturday, Hunt said:
" Ö it s clear from talking to him and also statements made by Iran that they see this as a tit-for-tat situation, following Grace 1 being detained in Gibraltar. Nothing could be further from the truth. Grace 1 was detained legally in Gibraltarian waters because it was carrying oil against EU sanctions, to Syria, and thatís why Gibraltarian authorities acted totally with respect to due process and totally within the law."
Novatek Closes LNG 2 Transaction with Chinese, Japanese Firms
Russian natural gas producer PAO Novatek has closed the previously announced sale of minority stakes in Arctic LNG 2 Project to Chinese and Japanese companies.
As informed, the company closed the transactions involving a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Coporation (CNOOC), and the consortium of Mitsui & Co and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (Japan Arctic LNG).
CNPC and CNOOC units each acquired a 10 percent stake under the agreements signed at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing in April 2019.
Two months later, the Japanese consortium signed a sales and purchase agreement with Novatek for a 10 percent interest in the project.
"We now have formed the structure of the project s participants by successfully closing the sale of interests in Arctic LNG 2," Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek s Chairman of the Management Board, commented.
"The target level of Novatek s participation has been reached, allowing us to make the final investment decision and optimally use the company s cash flow to finance our new projects".
The Arctic LNG 2 project envisages constructing three LNG trains at 6.6 million tons per annum each, using gravity-based structure (GBS) platforms. The project is based on the hydrocarbon resources of the Utrenneye field.
The project participants now include Novatek (60%), Total (10%), CNPC (10%), CNOOC (10%) and the Japan Arctic LNG (10%).
Five 2020 Bulkers Newbuildings to Be Delivered Earlier
Norwegian shipowner 2020 Bulkers has been notified that the delivery of five of its vessels had been advanced by a total of eight months.
Namely, the company received a notice from New Times Shipbuilding about the changes in delivery schedules for Bulk Santiago, Bulk Seoul, Bulk Shanghai, Bulk Shenzen and Bulk Sydney.
Bulk Santiago is now scheduled for delivery in September 2019, Bulk Seoul would join the company in October, Bulk Shanghai in November, while Bulk Shenzhen and Bulk Sydney are expected to be handed over in January 2020.
"We are very pleased with the good progress of our newbuilding program at New Times Shipyard, particularly in the light of the recent improvements in the drybulk market," Magnus Halvorsen, CEO of 2020 Bulkers Management AS, said.
"Following the revised delivery schedule, 2020 Bulkers is now expected to have in excess of 2,600 operational ship-days in 2020."
Oceanic trawler engulfed in flames, 1 crew died, Mauritania
Fire erupted on board of oceanic trawler IVAN GOLUBETS on Jul 19, off Mauritanian northern port Nouadhibou, and spread around, engulfing stern area. one crew reportedly died. Extent of damages unknown but seems to be severe. Trawler was taken on tow by another trawler, probably sister-ship. Last AIS signal was dated Jul 10.
DSME Names Newest Icebreaking LNG Carrier for Yamal Project
On July 18, South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) held a naming ceremony for an icebreaking LNG carrier jointly ordered by Japanese Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited.
The newbuilding has been named Nikolay Urvantsev, in honor of the famous Russian Arctic explorer and geologist.
Vinh Tan Port welcomes first international vessel
The Spring Hummer, under the Belize flag, has become the first foreign cargo ship to dock at Vinh Tan, a seaport in the south central province of Binh Thuan, since the port was licensed as a goods inspection location a month ago.
The 9000-DWT vessel arrived at Vinh Tan Port on July 17, carrying heavy equipment for the construction of the Vinh Tan 4 extension thermal power plant.
Namport s new container terminal soon operational
NAMPORT s new container terminal will be officially inaugurated on 2 August, and normal operations are expected to start on it on 24 August.
The new terminal, constructed at a cost of N$4 billion, is expected to increase container handling capacity from the current 355 000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to up to 1 005 000 TEUs.
APM Terminals Callao launches Peru s first digital customer platform
APM Terminals has become the first Peruvian port to introduce a customer platform that logs, streamlines and coordinate General Cargo operations in the port of Callao. During the pilot phase, the platform, which was developed together with maritime and customs agents, enabled users to complete transactions 67% faster and operations were completed 12% faster.
Kolkata Port Trust aims 70 MT cargo handling in FY20
Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is aiming at 10 percent growth in cargo handling to 70 million tonne (MT) in the current fiscal, amid constraints faced by the riverine port in the eastern part of the country, its chairman Vinit Kumar said.
In 2018-19, the port handled about 63 million tonne of cargo in its two docks of Kolkata and Haldia, registering nine percent growth over the previous fiscal.
Tanzania: Dar Port Cargo Handling Volume Steadily Rises
The volume of cargo handled at the Dar es Salaam port grew by 2.3 per cent to 3 .9 million tonnes in the quarter ending March compared to 3.8 million tonnes registered in the corresponding quarter 2018.
According to the Consolidated Zonal Economic Performance Report issued by the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) for the quarter ending March the Dar es Salaam port accounts for 9 7 per cent of the total cargo handled by Tanzania Port Authority s main seaports.