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.:Maritime News :.
.: 24-Jul-2019 :.
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Stena Bulk Denies Claims of Stena Impero s Involvement in Collision
Swedish shipowner Stena Bulk has rejected claims of a collision involving Stena Impero, the UK-flagged tanker seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.
"We can confirm that we are not aware of, and nor is there any evidence of a collision involving the Stena Impero," the company said in a statement dated July 23.
The 46,575 cbm Stena Impero "failed to respond" to a distress call sent by an Iranian fishing boat after the collision, Iranian media cited earlier the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as saying. The ship allegedly turned off its tracker, ignoring warnings by the IRGC.
The IRGC then boarded and seized the tanker as it "violated international law", forcing it to sail to the Port of Bandar Abbas where the ship is still being held.
Stena Bulk submitted a formal request for permission to the Iranian authorities to visit the 23 crew members of Stena Impero on July 21.
The company said it still "awaits a decision to the formal request to the Iranian authorities for permission to visit the Stena Impero and verify the safety and well-being of … crew members held since July 19."
"We continue to focus our efforts on supporting the families of those affected in India, Russia, Latvia and the Philippines and will continue to offer full support until all 23 crew members are released and safely back with their families," Stena Bulk added.
The Swedish company and the vessel manager, the UK-based Northern Marine Management, also confirmed that all necessary notifications to relevant authorities and organizations were made for the Stena Impero s transit of the Strait of Hormuz. The companies claim that the passage was carried out "in full compliance with all international maritime regulations."
"At the time of the seizure, the vessel was within the inbound traffic separation scheme and out-with Iranian territorial waters with all required navigational equipment, including transponders, fully functioning, in compliance with maritime regulations," Stena Bulk explained.
Following the tanker seizure, the UK has urged British-flagged ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz. The country is also participating in the establishing of a European-led maritime protection mission in the region, aimed at supporting safe passage of both crew and cargo.
Virginia International Gateway Container Terminal Wraps Up Major Expansion
A USD 320 million expansion project at the Virginia International Gateway (VIG) container terminal has been completed, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced.
As explained, the completion of this project represents a significant milestone as the Port of Virginia works to increase cargo and container capacity at its two major terminals, with an overall goal of increasing capacity by 40 percent.
"The completion of the VIG expansion enables the port to move cargo more safely, efficiently, and sustainably than ever before, and cements Virginia s status as home to a world-class port," Governor Northam commented.
The 800-foot extension of the berth at VIG will allow the terminal to service as many as three ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) simultaneously.
VIG now boasts 26 new rail-mounted gantry cranes as well, which support 13 new container stacks, creating more room to stack and sort containers.
In January, four new 170-foot-tall ship-to-shore cranes arrived at the port. These cranes are the largest on the US. East Coast and will be able to service container vessels, regardless of their size, for decades to come.
Throughout the expansion at VIG, the port maintained service levels, handling a record-setting three million TEUs of cargo in FY2019. As the container terminal expansion was completed ahead of time, the terminal is well-positioned to handle peak season volumes.
"Today (July 23) we celebrate a major milestone in the most ambitious construction project ever undertaken at The Port of Virginia," John Reinhart, Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director, said.
"Construction at Virginia International Gateway is complete. Thanks in large part to the Administration and the General Assembly, we ve made the investments … and we are ready for peak season - and beyond. We are excited about taking this next step on a path to sustainability and success that will help drive job creation and investments across the Commonwealth."
Another LNG-Fueled Smart Ship Joins Balearia
Spanish ferry company Balearia has welcomed to its fleet Marie Curie, a new smart ship with LNG engines.
As informed, the newbuild - which is the fourth smart ship in the company s fleet - will start operation between Valenzia, Ibiza and Palma from July 26.
The new eco-efficient ship, built at the Italian shipyard Cantiere Navale Visentini, is a sister vessel of the Hypatia de Alejandria. Marie Curie was floated out in Italy in November 2018.
At the beginning of the year, Hypatia de Alejandria became the first passenger ferry powered by natural gas that sailed in the Mediterranean. The vessel currently operates on the Barcelona-Alcúdia-Ciutadella route.
Balearia has invested around EUR 200 million (USD 222.7 million) in the construction of Marie Curie and Hypatia de Alejandria.
Marie Curie, which can reach a speed of 25 knots and features a length of 186.5 meters, has a capacity for 810 passengers, 2,180 linear meters of cargo and 150 vehicles.
Balearia has been working on LNG-related projects since 2012 and is a founding member of the Iberian Association of Natural Gas for Mobility (GASNAM). Recently, the ferry company also embarked on a major project to convert six of its ships to LNG operation.
KOGAS, ECV Partner Up on LNG Regasification Terminal in Vietnam
South Korean natural gas company Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) and Vietnam-focused project development and asset management company Energy Capital Vietnam (ECV) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate on a new LNG regasification terminal.
As explained, the MOU provides the framework for the development of a privately-funded LNG regasification terminal, storage, gas supply system and 3,200 MW gas-fired power project near Mui Ke Ga, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam.
The two parties plan to work together to optimize their efforts to meet the significant LNG demand growth forecasted for Vietnam.
Commenting on the MOU, David Lewis, CEO of ECV, said KOGAS presence in the LNG business together with ECV s position as one of the first LNG movers in Vietnam, allows both companies to leverage each other s strengths to bring low-cost LNG to Vietnam and help address critical energy security needs.
"This significant milestone culminates a year-long effort with KOGAS. We share similar strategic visions … and we look forward to our long-term partnership together," Lewis added.
India working on reducing sulphur content in shipping fuel: Mandaviya
Union Minister Mansukh L Mandaviya on Tuesday said India will have a greater voice at International Maritime Organization (IMO) even as it is working towards complying with the IMO 2020 regulations on limiting sulphur content of bunker fuel.
"As a stakeholder and government, India is committed to comply with the IMO's decision to reduce the sulphur content in the shipping fuel. But we need to ascertain whether India was part of this decision making," Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Shipping and MoS for Chemical and Fertilizers, was quoted as saying in a FICCI statement.
Speaking at the conference on 'Fueling the Maritime Sector: IMO 2020 and Beyond' organised by FICCI, Mandaviya said the Prime Minister has created a respectable image for the country in the international arena and as India is recognised world over, it is crucial that the country participates in forums like IMO and get India's voice heard.
"India being one of the major shipping nations, our role at policy making level has to be significant. We are an important stakeholder in this space and therefore need to play a proactive role. This time I will personally like to participate at the IMO deliberations," the statement said quoting Mandaviya.
He further said, "We must adopt new technologies and ensure that the maritime sector is compliant with global norms. The maritime sector provides employment to a large number of people. We need to increase the number of seafarers in the country."
Mandaviya also said that logistics cost at present accounts for 14 per cent of GDP as against logistics cost of 9 per cent.
He said if it is brought downs to 9 per cent, it will automatically become 5 per cent more competitive in the global market. "Domestically, this will bring down inflation by 2.5 per cent," he added. Sanjay Bandopadhyay, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, said, "Shipping is an important sector for the government, and we are trying to bring in policies to help the sector."
Anil Kishore Singh, Chairman, FICCI Sub-Committee on Inland Waterways and CEO (Inland Waterways), Adani Logistics Ltd, said India's maritime sector is on a high growth path, mainly due to measures taken by the government like Sagarmala, which promotes port-led infrastructure development in the country.
Poul V Jensen, Director, European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC), said that more than 80 per cent of the global trade is carried out by shipping.
FICCI-KPMG knowledge paper, 'Fueling the Maritime Sector: IMO 2020 and Beyond', was also released during the event. The paper highlights using no sulphur or using technologies to treat burnt sulphur so that emission norms are met. The paper further states the necessary steps to be undertaken by the Indian government to meet IMO 2020 regulations.
"With January 1, 2020 inching closer, India needs to expedite progress on assessing the current level of preparedness, develop national policies and provide implementation guidelines for the shipping industry for smooth transition to compliance with IMO 2020," the knowledge paper said.
Russian fishing vessel seized by North Korea in international waters
Fishing vessel XIANG HAI LIN 8 was seized by North Korean Coast Guard early in the morning Jul 17 in Japan sea, at some 55 nm distance off North Korean coast, in international waters. Vessel with 17 crew, including 15 Russian and 2 South Korean nationals, was sailing from South Korea to fishing grounds in Japan sea.
Maersk Boxship Fined after Spewing Smoke in Spain
Danish shipping company Maersk has been handed an EUR 20,000 (USD 22,341) fine after locals spotted one of its ships emitting excess smoke while approaching the port of Algeciras, Spain, on July 18.
A company representative told World Maritime News that the Maersk Sembawang experienced malfunctioning on the fuel injection equipment on the main engine, which resulted in the emission of thick smoke.
Number of Indian Seafarers Employed on Ships Rises
The number of active Indian seafarers, employed aboard Indian or foreign flagged ships, has grown by about 45 percent in the last three years.
According to the country s Ministry of Shipping, in 2016 there were a total of 143,940 Indian seafarers working on vessels. The number was up at 208,799 in 2018.
Canada s Arctic Port Set for First Grain Shipments Since 2015
Canada s arctic port of Churchill is set to resume its first grain shipments since 2015 after a group backed by investor Prem Watsa stepped in last year to buy the facility and a related rail line linking the northern town with the rest of Manitoba.
The 88-year-old port on the shores of Hudson s Bay will resume operations in the next few months, reducing by several days the shipping time to deliver grains to Europe and the Middle East across the Atlantic Ocean.
Container terminals to boost annual capacity
In the largest commercial operation of its kind in the history of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah Port has received 28 state-of-the-art Liebherr cranes to start the expansion of the container terminals.
The latter was decided through a memorandum of understanding signed with National Container Terminal on the day the port was officially inaugurated in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last February.
BEST - The coolest terminal in the Med Hutchison Ports
BEST terminal in the Port of Barcelona has recently increased its storage and connection capacity for refrigerated containers, from 1,600 connection points up to 2,750, an increase of 70%, making it one of the terminals with the most connections for refrigerated containers in the whole of the Mediterranean area.
Kalmar to deliver first Eco Reachstacker in Indonesia
Kalmar, part of Cargotec, had signed a contract with Cikarang Dry Port, for the delivery of the first Kalmar Eco Reachstacker in Indonesia. The order was booked into Cargotec s 2019 second quarter order intake and scheduled for delivery in July of 2019.
GCT marks Vancouver container-shipping milestone
Global Container Terminals (GCT), Canada s largest terminal operator and maritime employer, celebrated a historic milestone July 18: the 50th anniversary of the first arrival of a dedicated deep-sea container ship to Vancouver s shore.
On July 18, 1969, the M.S. Axel Johnson, a container ship owned by Swedish shipping company AB Nordstjernan, sailed under the Lions Gate Bridge and docked at LaPointe Pier, which is now a small part of GCT s Vanterm terminal.
Kochi Container Terminal to get new mobile scanner
After installing drive-through container scanner at International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT), Customs Department is all set to install a new mobile scanner at the port soon. With the introduction of the mobile scanner, checking of incoming and outgoing containers will become foolproof.