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15 Jun 2017

BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT ASKED TO STOP DUMPING TOXIC SHIPS ON SOUTH ASIAN BEACHES

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"The Brazilian CONTTMAF trade union federation and its member SINDMAR [1] have recently criticized the shipbreaking practices of Transpetro, the oil and gas transportation subsidiary of the Brazilian petroleum corporation Petrobras, majority-owned by the State. In the last five years, more than twenty vessels owned by the oil and gas giant have been dismantled on the beaches of India and Pakistan, where shipbreaking activities endanger both workers and the environment. In an official letter sent on 2 June 2017 to Transpetro, Severino Almeida, president of CONTTMAF and SINDMAR, expresses his serious concerns about the Petrobras’ poor end-of-life fleet management. Several of the ships that ended up in South Asia were built thanks to financing provided by the Merchant Marine Fund. In other words, public money has therefore been used to build ships that now put workers’ lives at risk and pollute the environment in developing countries. According to maritime databases, at least six more units owned by Petrobras have already been sold for demolition but are still in Brazilian territorial waters. Four drill platforms were bought in a public auction by the cash-buyer Rota Shipping who exclusively delivers to Turkish yards and was able to offer just 180,000 USD more than Alfa Ship Trading, a cash-buyer who only sends to India. On the other hand, the product tanker LOBATO and the liquefied petroleum gas carrier GUAPORE have been sold by Petrobras to Indian breakers. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has alerted Brazilian authorities about the imminent illegal exports under Basel Convention’s rules of these two vessels, currently located at Rio de Janeiro Anchorage. To date, no reply has been received. As published recently by SINDMAR, and based on data collected by the Platform, Petrobras is not the only Brazilian company involved in dirty and dangerous scrapping practices. In the last two years, the Brazilian multinational corporation Vale, engaged in metals and mining, has also sold five ships to shipbreaking beaches in Bangladesh and Pakistan, where at least 79 workers were severely injured and 55 died in 2016. 35 year-old worker Mukhlesur was crushed to death as he and his co-workers were moving a large metal slab from the Vale’s ORE TIMBOPEBA at Mak Corporation Ship Breaking yard in Chittagong, Bangladesh. “It is unacceptable that Petrobras and other Brazilian companies contribute to the deaths and environmental pollution in South Asia”, says Nicola Mulinaris, Communication and Policy Officer of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. “In order to ensure clean and safe ship recycling off the beach, we demand stricter requirements for the public auctions of Petrobras’ end-of-life vessels and the enforcement of international legislation on hazardous waste exports. The vessels could even be recycled in Brazil”, adds Carlos Müller, CONTTMAF’s and SINDMAR’s Director. A committee coordinated by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, with the presence of the Brazilian Navy and Petrobras itself, is now considering the possibility to include ship recycling in the scope of national regulation NR 34, which sets environmental and safety requirements for ship building and offshore constructions, including repair activities. “Widening the scope of regulation NR 34 is certainly a step in the right direction. Should Brazil be serious about starting to use the dormant national ship recycling capacity, we call on all interested Brazilian yards to follow the standards set in the EU Ship Recycling Regulation and to apply to be included in the upcoming EU List of approved ship recycling facilities,” says Mulinaris."

27 Apr 2017

Singapore Ranked World's Top Maritime Capital

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"Singapore has once again clinched top position in Menon’s Leading Maritime Capitals of the World Report. The Menon Report is produced by Norwegian consultancy firm Menon Economics, and is a widely-accepted study of the world’s leading maritime capitals, looking at 24 objective indicators and garnering survey responses from more than 250 industry experts across all continents. Singapore also ranked first in the two previous editions of the report in 2012 and 2015. Singapore was ranked number one this year in the following three categories: Shipping, Ports and Logistics, and Attractiveness and Competitiveness. The maritime nation also scored impressive results in the remaining two categories: second place in Maritime Technology and fourth place in Finance and Law. Singapore jumped three places from fifth to second position in the Maritime Technology category. The Menon Report noted that Singapore maintained its reputation as a world leading maritime hub because of the width of the city-state’s maritime industry. In the sectors of Shipping, and Ports and Logistics, Singapore emerged first due to its strategic geographic location, its position as an important center for commercial management and as the world’s second largest port. Singapore’s offering as an international maritime center continues to grow. While more than 140 shipping companies are represented in Singapore, new companies continue to establish a presence, with the West of England P&I (protection and indemnity) Club as a recent example. Singapore ranked top in Overall Attractiveness and Competitiveness due to the ease of doing business and customs procedures. According to the report, seven in 10 experts regarded Singapore as one of the three most attractive cities in the world for relocating their headquarters and identified it as one of the maritime capitals most prepared and ready to adopt digitalization. In 2016, the port’s vessel arrival tonnage increased by 6.3 percent to 2.66 billion gross tons. Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), said, “We are not just talking about containers at our port anymore. We are also talking about the banks, insurance, P&I Clubs, classification societies, legal, arbitration, the whole ecosystem that has developed through years of conscientious and constant effort, invested in the rest of the maritime cluster in last few decades. “Why is that important? It is important because once you establish a cluster, you have shipping groups here and mind you we now more than 140 shipping groups in Singapore. Besides major shipping lines Maersk, CMA CGM, APL, COSCO, there are many other lines that have operations in Singapore. If they are like Maersk, they call Singapore their second home because their corporate functions are also here. “We are hoping that when the Japanese lines merge, they will also choose to locate their global operations in Singapore itself. Once you have these players here, the rest of the ecosystem also builds around these players. Which is why the P&I clubs, banks, insurers, the classification societies have established their presence in Singapore. Lloyd’s Asia is an example. They have more than a dozen syndicates in Singapore. Classification societies like DNV GL, they have a research center in Singapore. Same for Lloyd’s Register and other classification societies.” The Singapore Registry of Ships is amongst the world’s top five largest ship registries in the world, with over 4,000 Singapore-flagged ships. Tan said that Singapore does not want to be the world’s number one flag. “We want to be a quality flag. We don’t want to be a flag of convenience. It is easy to register a ship under the national flag but can you provide the quality service. The ship flagged under SRS have one of the lowest detention rates anywhere else in the world, because it is a quality flag and we intend to keep it that way.” Looking five years into the future, the Menon Report predicts that Singapore will keep its position as the global leader, while Shanghai is expected to increase its importance and become the second most important maritime city. The race to be the leading city in Europe is still open, with Hamburg, Oslo, Rotterdam and London as the leading contenders. In the Middle East, India and Africa region, Dubai is the leading center. The experts predict that Dubai will continue to grow in importance and be the world’s sixth most important maritime center by 2022."

26 Apr 2017

Huge maritime training centre to open in Rotterdam

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"Before the end of the year, the most advanced – and indeed one of the largest – maritime training centres in the world will be opening in Barendrecht: Simwave. A total of 59 simulators will be installed at the 5,000m² location, including life-size replicas of a ship’s bridge and engine room. The founders have announced that they will open a second centre in Singapore next year. Ultimately, they will be realising five such centres at various maritime hotspots around the world. Maritime simulation Right now, preparations are in full swing for transforming a building in Barendrecht into one of the world’s largest and most advanced maritime training centres. “Kongsberg’s simulators and technology play a crucial role in this context,” explains co-founder Marcel Kind. “We offer shipping companies and other maritime organisations the opportunity to perform trainings, assessments and research at our premises under their own name and with their own look & feel. However, we provide more than just facilities – we can also offer our clients extensive support by a team of training specialists, mathematical modellers and other experts. You could call it ‘maritime simulation as a service’. Full mission Among other things, the 5,000m² training centre will be housing ‘full mission’ simulators that feature a more or less full-scale replica of a ship’s entire bridge, supported by a 360° projection. A ‘world first’ in this context is the simulator’s surface-level projection (water, quay) from the bridge wings. For the seven engine room simulators, the centre will be constructing a full-size replica of a ship’s engine room across two storeys of the building. This will be complemented by simulators for tugboats, offshore support vessels and inland vessels, as well as simulators that focus on navigation, communications and emergency response operations for vessels transporting chemical, LNG, LPG or oil products. Co-founder Joost van Ree: “We will be offering our clients the best training and assessment options available. In addition, our infrastructure is very well suited for applied research. And finally, the layout of the centre not only allows for terminal operations exercises. We can also accommodate extensive advance testing, in terms of accessibility and safety, of plans for expanding or constructing a port or waterway, the relocation of a large-scale structure or the deployment of tugboats.”"

26 Apr 2017

Baltic Exchange outlines bold plans to enhance maritime leadership role

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"- Development of post-trade digital maritime market infrastructure - Move into LNG and container indices - Enhancement of regulatory role - Change of data distribution policies Newly appointed Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Mark Jackson has set out the Exchange’s ambitious vision of the near-future in a wide-ranging speech in Singapore during the concurrent MPA Singapore Maritime and Singapore Iron Ore Weeks. “The recent acquisition of the Baltic Exchange by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has reinvigorated this key international maritime institution, allowing us to grow our leadership profile and play a bigger role than ever before in setting standards, building consensus and leading change in the shipping markets. These are bold plans and will ensure that the Baltic Exchange remains at the heart of the bulk shipping industry for the long-term. In 2017 we will be providing more freight market benchmarks and move into the LNG and container spaces; increase our regulatory role by enhancing the Baltic Code; become more active in supporting our members in post trading activities by creating a digital maritime market infrastructure and change our data distribution policies to enhance the role of our contributing panellists and tighten non-authorised access to our valuable datasets,” said Mark Jackson. He added: “The Baltic Exchange will also be creating the Baltic Asia Advisory Committee whose key role will be to represent the voice of the shipping community in Asia.” Work is already underway to develop the scope of the Baltic’s freight market information services. There are plans for a container market index and investigations with SGX to develop a freight LNG index to support its spot LNG pricing and Singapore’s emergence as a regional natural gas market hub. On the regulatory side, the Baltic Code currently contains guidance for shipbrokers, owners and charterers, highlighting best and unacceptable practices and underpins our dispute resolution service. The Baltic Exchange intends to enhance the Code to provide greater clarity on the role of the shipbroker and raise global freight trading standards. The Baltic Exchange has ambitious plans for assisting in the development of a digital maritime market infrastructure to integrate the risk management of cargo and freight. This will involve working with the industry to develop tools that deliver real-time cargo and freight contract management, messaging workflows and data standards. As an independent and trusted body, the Baltic Exchange is able to provide the framework the bulk freight industry needs to develop new tools and standards. Changes to the Baltic Exchange’s data policy were also announced. Compiled by using assessments of freight rates and other data supplied by shipbroker panellists, Baltic Exchange data is used to settle freight derivative contracts and is increasingly written into charterparty agreements. The terms of the Baltic’s Data Policy will be changed to ensure that all companies with physical freight contracts which reference Baltic Exchange data will be required to use a Baltic Exchange Panellist to calculate the settlement price or prices. "

26 Apr 2017

"IRClass unveils plans to boost presence in Southeast Asia"

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"Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), a leading classification society, is boosting its presence in Southeast Asia with the opening of a new office in Malaysia. The move is part of its efforts to become a global classification society – a step taken after receiving recognition from the European Union. IRClass, which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), has just gained authorisation as a Recognised Organisation (RO) from Thailand. It has also strengthened its presence further with the opening of an office in Malaysia after establishing its Hong Kong office last year. Singapore is the regional headquarters for ASEAN and IRClass uses its base in the Lion City to co-ordinate its expansion into the region. It is aiming to get RO (Recognised Organisation) status from key ASEAN countries. Managing Director of IRClass, Mr. Suresh Sinha said today: “Singapore is globally recognised as a leading international shipping hub and it is our regional headquarters for the ASEAN region. He added: “With a greater presence in the Southeast Asia region, IRClass will be better positioned to offer its wide range of services and this would enable IRClass a close proximity to national administrations, ship owners, shipyards and other stakeholders in the region.” To further solidify its presence in Southeast Asia, IRClass aims to establish offices in Indonesia and Philippines in the near future, as well as obtain RO recognition from these countries."

03 Apr 2017

Very Large Ore Carrier ‘Stellar Daisy’ Sinks in South Atlantic, 22 seafarers missing

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A South Korean cargo vessel is missing after making its last contact in the South Atlantic about 2,500km (1,500 miles) from shore and 22 crew members are unaccounted for. Two Filipino crew members have been rescued floating in a life raft on Saturday, but other lifeboats and rafts found in the area were empty, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday. “A search operation is continuing for the 22 people,” a South Korean foreign ministry official in Seoul said by telephone, adding eight of the missing are South Korean nationals and 14 are Filipinos. South Korea has requested Brazil and Uruguay to aid in the search and rescue, the official said asking not to be identified. The very large ore carrier (VLOC) Stellar Daisy is owned and operated by South Korea’s Polaris Shipping based in Busan and was sailing from Brazil to China carrying iron ore when it sent a distress signal to the ship operator on Friday, Yonhap said. The ship is 321m long and 58m wide – or roughly the same size as 100 tennis courts. It can carry 266,141 tonnes of cargo safely. A message last received on Friday by Polaris from a crew member said the ship was taking in water on the port side and was listing rapidly, Yonhap said. Twenty-two seafarers are missing after the VLOC Stellar Daisy sank in the south Atlantic. Two crew from the 1993-built 266,000 dwt Stellar Daisy were found drifting in a life raft while 22 are unaccounted for after the vessel went missing 2,000 nm from Uruguay. The ore carrier sent a distress call before noon on Friday saying it was taking on water. South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the crew sent a text message to owners Polaris Shipping saying that the ship was sinking. The Uruguay authorities believe the vessel sank. There "strong smell of fuel" and spotted debris, "an indication that the damaged ship had sunk," a statement from the navy said, according to reports. The Marshall Islands-flagged VLOC had crew of 16 Filipinos and eight Koreans.

21 Mar 2017

Indian Ocean Ports and Logistics

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21-23 Mar 2017 Hotel Carlton, Antananarivo, Madagascar

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