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Saturday, July 11, 2020

International Maritime Organization News

(File photo: A.P. Moller - Maersk)

Desperate Times for Sailors Stranded by Pandemic

Jens Boysen disembarked one of the world’s largest container ships on Thursday after 167 days at sea when he has acted not only as captain but also as doctor, dentist, mental coach and entertainment director for his stressed-out crew.Almost 200,000 seafarers like Boysen are stuck onboard merchant ships, some for more than a year, because coronavirus travel restrictions make it almost impossible to rotate crews, according to the U.N.’s International Maritime Organization (IMO).The crews…

Governments Pledge Crew Change Action

A dozen countries have have committed to facilitate crew changes and achieve key worker designation for seafarers, following a virtual ministerial summit hosted by the U.K. government on Thursday, marking progress to help resolve a growing crisis facing the maritime industry, and enable hundreds of thousands of stranded seafarers to go home or join ships.“The inability of ship operators worldwide to conduct ship’s crew changes is the single most pressing maritime operational challenge to the safe and efficient movement of global trade…

In May, the MV Barracuda made the first switch from dry cargo to jet fuel . (Photo: KCC)

Klaveness Lines Up Sustainability-linked Newbuild Financing

Norwegian shipping company Klaveness Combination Carriers (KCC) said it has secured a $60 million sustainability-linked term loan and revolving credit facility for the financing of the seventh and eighth CLEANBU vessels with delivery in 2021, reportedly a first within the maritime industry. Nordea is acting as coordinator and bookrunner and Credit Agricole CIB as sustainability agent.The credit margin will be adjusted, up or down, based on KCC’s sustainability performance, as…

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UK Plans Summit to Address Crew Change Crisis

The U.K. government announced Thursday it will host an international summit next month to address crew change challenges caused by the COVID-19 health crisis.Led by U.K. Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst, the virtual event will bring together UN, political and business leaders from across the globe to reflect on the impact of the pandemic on the global shipping industry, and what governments and industry must do to protect the welfare of crew workers around the world. Secretary…

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China to Be Self-reliant in IMO-compliant Fuel

Chinese refiners have the capacity to produce 18.1 million tonnes of low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) this year, which would make the country self-sufficient in the new shipping fuel, an official with state major PetroChina said on Monday.China has been striving to reduce its reliance on bunker fuel imports and is aiming to create its own marine fuel hub to supply northern Asia.About 20 refineries, mostly under state-run Sinopec Corp, PetroChina, CNOOC and Sinochem, installed equipment to produce 0.5% sulfur fuel that meets International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that came into force at the

(Photo: Stena Bulk)

Stena Bulk Offering Biofuel as an Option

Shipping company Stena Bulk said Monday it is offering low-carbon biofuel as an option for its customers following trials of the cleaner but costlier fuel on board one of its tankers in April.Customers will have options ranging from 20% to 100% biofuels based on an offsetting program where the biofuel is used within the Stena Bulk fleet, Stena Bulk said. This allows customers to make use of low-carbon shipping options regardless of fuel availability on the specific route and without operational disruptions…

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Djibouti Offers Crew Change Support

Djibouti announced at the United Nations Monday its readiness to facilitate crew change operations for any ships passing through the Bab el Mandeb strait, with the necessary support provided by the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA).The East African country is responding to a joint statement from the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) and UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to support crew changes and ensure that maritime personnel can return…

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Weary Sailors Pose Risk to World Merchant Fleet -Kitack Lim

Hundreds of thousands of weary seafarers stuck on ships for many months and unable to go home due to the coronavirus pose a risk to the safe operation of the world’s merchant fleet, the UN’s shipping chief said on Tuesday.About 90% of world trade is transported by sea and continued complications with changing over ship crews due to restrictions in some jurisdictions is still affecting supply chains despite an easing of lockdown in many parts of the world.Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the UN’s International Maritime Organization…

American Steamship Company’s M/V American Courage upbound on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio with a load of taconite from the iron ranges on Lake Superior for ArcelorMittal Cleveland, one of the most productive integrated steel mills in the world. (Photo Credit: Thomas Rayburn)

Great Lakes Shipping Companies Navigate Market Challenges Ahead

For U.S.-flag shipping on the Great Lakes, 2019 was a good year. Total cargos were 90 million net tons, up 7.5% over 2018 and 4.6% over the five-year average. 49.7 million net tons of iron ore were shipped, up 8.5% over 2018 and 11.7% over the five year. Limestone was up 9.7% over 2018 and 10.2% over the five-year average. In 2010 and 2011, coal and limestone were each about 20 million net tons. Since then, coal has shown a steady decline as coal-fired power generating plants…

© Raimo Makinen / MarineTraffic.com

Pandemic Forces Ship Owners to Shelve Scrubber Installs

Ship owners are postponing or canceling the installation of “scrubbers” that extract harmful sulphur emissions from their vessels as the coronavirus pandemic tightens finances.Regulations from United Nations agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which took effect in January, were viewed by the oil and shipping industries as one of the first worldwide efforts to enforce environmental change.The rules aimed to make ships use fuel with a sulphur content of 0.5%, compared with 3.5% previously.

Stena Lines' new vessel Stena Estrid on the Irish Sea: The E-Flexer vessels represent the next generation RoPax vessels in terms of energy efficiency and can lower CO2 emissions by about 25% compared previous generations of ships. (Photo: Stena Line)

Stena Line is 10 Years Ahead of IMO Emissions Goals

Ferry shipping company Stena Line reports it is 10 years ahead of international shipping's emissions reduction targets thanks to measures such as new, larger and more energy efficient vessels, AI assisted captains and an increased punctuality.The Sweden-based operator says that during 2019 it reduced its total CO2 emissions 1.7 %, corresponding to 24,000 metric tons of CO2 in total, while CO2 emissions per transported ton freight and passenger vehicles on board the vessels fell…

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Ports Pledge to Stay Open During COVID-19

Dozens of seaports across Asia, Oceania, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Americas have pledged to remain open to merchant vessels to ensure the flow of essential goods throughout the coronavirus pandemic.To date, more than 50 port authorities have signed on to support the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) COVID-19 declaration, initiated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore for ports to commit to staying open to merchant vessels and work together to share best practices in ensuring that port operations can remain undisrupted.“Now is the time…

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Willis Towers Watson Launches New Cyber Insurance, CyNav for Ship Owners

Willis Towers Watson unveiled a new type of cyber insurance product for shipowners that redesigns standard cyber policies to better navigate the risks for ship operators in the digital era.The solution, CyNav, addresses cyber threats in the broadest sense, including losses that occur from cyber-related business interruptions, even when the cyber events originate with third party IT service providers.CyNav’s primary focus is to support the continuity of maritime businesses and…

Photo courtesy of North P&I

New Dashboard Tracks COVID-19 Response Measures

A new COVID-19 Tracking Tool developed by global marine insurer North has been made available as a shared resource to the International Group of P&I Clubs.The online tool, first released by North in February, was formally launched via the IG website this week. It details the extent of COVID-19 and the numerous response measures that have been introduced in a single digital dashboard, including country and port specific advice for shipowners, charterers, operators and others.The interactive tool draws on information provided by IG club correspondents worldwide…

Figure 1. The near­coastal areas of the world’s oceans have been classed into 66 large, transnational marine ecosystems, known as the large marine ecosystems (LMEs). Taken from World Ocean Review Living with the Oceans. 5 Coasts – 2017. Image: The Author

Tech Talk: Managing Ship Biofouling During Layups due to COVID-19

Biofouling control measures for ships are usually selected to match their operational profiles, and so what happens when constant service ships become idle for prolonged periods or operate at slower service speeds? Will they become vulnerable to fouling, and what measures can be taken to reduce the risk? These questions can best be answered by understanding the biology of the waters in which the vessels are located, the ecology of the different immersed parts of the ship, the biofouling control methods that have been applied or in use…

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China to Issue VLSFO Quotas in Move to Grow Bunker Market Share

China is set to release its first-ever quotas to export very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) with total volumes of 10 million tonnes for this year, six industry officials with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.The quotas, which came in the wake of Beijing’s policy in January to offer tax sweeteners to boost local production of the fuel, paves the way for Chinese refiners to almost fully cover the demand from its coastal bonded marine fuel market of 12-14 million tonnes annually.The quotas will be issued to four state-run firms - Sinopec Group, CNPC, China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOO

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IMO Endorses Shipping Industry's 12-step Plan for Crew Changes

The need for ships to change crews and for the world's 1.2 million seafarers to be able to fly home at the end of their periods of service have emerged as two of the biggest challenges facing the shipping industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.To help governments put in place coordinated procedures to facilitate the safe movement of seafarers, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a 12-step plan to 174 member states, providing them with a roadmap to free…

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Cyprus Adopts Formal Crew Change Process

The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) formally announced it has adopted a new process to facilitate crew changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crew changes for vessels are possible in Cyprus provided certain conditions are met. The relevant decrees issued by the Ministry of Health also permit the long-term stay in anchorage of vessels, including cruise ships (warm lay-up).Cyprus is actively supporting and implementing such measures, in support of recommendations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO)…

Source: BIMCO

BIMCO: 2020 and the Collapse of Bunker Fuel Markets

The sulfur regulation from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that came into force on 1 January 2020 took the center stage in the shipping industry at outset of the new decade. Four months on, the spotlights have turned to the coronavirus and the OPEC+ oil price war.The outlook for global economic growth remains bleak as the world is faced with the largest recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s.Commodity prices have declined across the board and most recently…

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Shipping Plan Would Reel International Emissions into EU Carbon Market

The European Union's carbon market could capture a large chunk of emissions from outside Europe if the bloc succeeds in including shipping in the scheme, according to the European Commission's first report on maritime CO2 emissions.Pollution from ships plying international waters typically escapes countries' domestic emissions-cutting targets, but the EU's executive has said the sector must contribute to its trillion-euro push to achieve a "climate neutral" economy by 2050.It wants to curb shipping's carbon footprint by adding it to the Europe-wide emissions trading system (ETS)…

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China's VLSFO Exports Rose By a Third in April

China's low-sulphur marine fuel exports rose by a third in April compared with March to the highest level yet after it waived export taxes for domestic refiners to meet shipping demand, Chinese customs data showed.Chinese refiners began exporting in January very low sulphur fuel oi (VLSFO) with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% to comply with emission rules for ships from the International Maritime Organization.Data from China's General Administration of Customs showed April exports of the ship fuel reached nearly 1.43 million tonnes…

(Photo: IMO)

IMO Postpones More Meetings Due to COVID-19

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) said its meetings scheduled to be held in July, including the next regular session of the IMO Council, have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the UN shipping agency moves to revise its meeting program for the remainder of 2020.The IMO said it  has drawn up a priority list of meetings to be considered by the Council at its 32nd extraordinary session that will be held by correspondence from May to July. This follows the 31st session of the Council that took place…

MPA Awards Two Bunker Licenses

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has awarded two new bunker supplier licences to Minerva Bunkering and TFG Marine, following its call for applications for new licences in December 2019.Bunkering services in the Port of Singapore and oil trading remain resilient despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. Bunker sales in Singapore grew 5.4%, from 12.07 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2019 to 12.72 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2020.MPA and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) welcome the entry of Minerva Bunkering and TFG Marine…

Rear Adm. Melissa Bert (Photo: USCG)

Rear Adm. Bert Makes History with New USCG Role

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Friday Rear Adm. Melissa Bert has been invested as judge advocate general and chief counsel of the Coast Guard. Bert is the service’s first woman to hold that office.Bert was most recently the director of Governmental and Public Affairs for the Coast Guard, where she was responsible for external engagement with Congress, the media and other inter-governmental entities.As judge advocate general and chief counsel, Bert will lead a group of legal professionals who are responsible for the delivery of all legal services in support of the Coast Guard's missions…

Pia Meling, president of WISTA Norway (Photo: WISTA)

National WISTA Associations Offer Free Membership for Seafarers

The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association announced a new initiative aimed at helping seafarers.WISTA Norway, WISTA UK, WISTA Singapore, WISTA Brazil, and WISTA Argentina have come together to offer free WISTA membership for seafarers through August 31, 2020. Membership allows seafarers to access the largest network of female managers in the shipping industry, as well as online seminars, webinars and workshops. The idea for the project came from WISTA Norway.Pia Meling…

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FMC to Investigate Alleged Discriminatory Canadian BWMS Regulations

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) said it will initiate an investigation into whether ballast water regulations proposed by the Government of Canada discriminate against U.S. flag vessel operators in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.The FMC commissioners voted unanimously to accept a petition filed by trade group the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) asking the commision to perform the investigation and examine the detriment and harm to the U.S. flag fleet resulting…