Fincantieri, Partners to Innovate Port Facilities in Italy

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has signed a preliminary collaboration agreement with Cassa depositi e prestiti (CDP) and Snam related to medium-term strategic projects for the innovation and development of port facilities in Italy.

Under the deal, the parties would identify, define and implement the projects, as well as develop sustainable technologies applied to maritime transport, in line with the provisions of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan Proposal (PNIEC).

In particular, the agreement focuses on four areas, including:

• Ports and coastal areas – projects for building infrastructure for the supply, transformation and use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and alternative energy sources in maritime transport within port facilities or coastal areas;

• New technologies and innovative energies – research, development and implementation of maritime transport systems based on new technologies (turbines for LNG modules, containment and management of liquid and gaseous methane systems), innovative energy sources (LNG, hydrogen, fuel cells);

• Engineering – sharing operating models and best practice between the respective engineering and construction departments;

• Energy efficiency – initiatives to increase consumption efficiency, with a particular focus on the naval and industrial sectors.

As part of the agreement, Fincantieri and Snam will share their technical skills by launching dedicated workshops. CDP will support these initiatives from an economic and financial point of view.

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Port of Virginia Sets New Volume Record in 2018

The Port of Virginia set a new annual record for container cargo volume having handled more than 2.85 million TEUs in calendar year 2018.

In 2018, the port’s TEU volumes were up 1.5 percent over the prior year. The port saw increases in volume at both Virginia Inland Port and Richmond Marine Terminal, and truck and barge volume. Breakbulk cargo handled at Newport News Marine Terminal was also up by 1.2 percent.

“Our growth in 2018 was less than what we had planned for, but as construction proceeded at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), we made the decisions to temporarily hold some cargo and limit the movement of empty containers,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.

The number of ships calling Virginia dropped by 5 percent in 2018 and while there are fewer vessels calling Virginia, they are larger and carry more cargo. The increasing vessel sizes and container volumes are factors in the port’s capacity expansion and Wider, Deeper, Safer effort, which is a project that will deepen the Norfolk Harbor to 55 feet and widen portions of the commercial navigation channels.

“In 2019 we will continue on our forward trajectory,” Reinhart said. “Our focus now is the expansion of NIT, bringing the new ship-to-shore cranes on line at VIG and wrapping-up construction there in June.”


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Maersk Honam to Be Shipped to Hyundai Heavy for Rebuilding

The ultra large containership Maersk Honam, which suffered a major fire in March 2018, was cut in two and would be shipped to South Korea for rebuilding.

Following the incident, which claimed the lives of five seafarers, the vessel was moved alongside for thorough inspections and discharge operations in the Jebel Ali Port (UAE) in June 2018.

According to a Maersk spokesperson, the containership has now been cut into two parts at the Drydock World Dubai (UAE).

The sound, 228.5-metres-long section from midship to stern will be transported aboard the heavy-lift vessel Xin Guan Hua to Hyundai Heavy Industries, where it would be rebuilt, in February. The section is scheduled to arrive at the shipyard in March 2019, where it would be rebuilt with a new forward section.

Maersk added that the former forward section would be safely moored at Drydock World Dubai for continued removal of damaged containers and debris.

“Once cleaned, it will be recycled. In accordance with our Responsible Ship Recycling Standard (RSRS), relevant recycling options are currently being investigated and evaluated,” the spokesperson said.

The rebuilt vessel is expected to resume service again in the second half of 2019.


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S. African Authorities Confiscate 706 Kg of Cocaine Hidden in a Boxship

South African authorities have confiscated 706 kilos of cocaine hidden at the bottom of a 30-story containership in the Port of Ngqura, Coega Harbour, African News Agency informed.

Estimated street value of the contraband, which was concealed below more than 3,669 containers, is R 720 million (USD 51 million). The name of the vessel in question was not disclosed.

The drugs, stored in 60 containers, were seized on Monday, January 7. The ship, however, was allowed to resume its voyage, as it has been determined that neither the crew nor the shipowner were involved in the drug trafficking. There have been no arrests made in relation with the case.

The drugs were sniffed out by a drug detection canine as part of a joint operation of the Directorate of Priority Crime (Hawks) and Interpol. As informed, the drugs originated from Brazil and were destined for India.

World Maritime News Staff


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FSL Trust Takes Damage Claims against Torm to English Court

Subsidiaries of the First Ship Lease Trust have launched a litigation procedure against vessel owner Torm Singapore Pte. before the High Court in England, the trustee-manager of FSLT said.

The two companies, FSL-25 and FSL-26, are respective owners of two LR2 product tankers Torm hired in June 2011 on long-term bareboat charters. However, when the two ships were returned to their owners in mid of 2018 they were in untradeable condition, the owners claim.

“Class inspections after the redeliveries demonstrated deficiencies of a serious nature and registered nine Conditions of Class for the M/T Torm Margrethe and three for the M/T Torm Marie,” FSL Trust Management said.

Hence, the duo is seeking damage compensation for the costs and losses incurred for the performance of the necessary repairs on the two ships.

In relation to the M/T Torm Margrethe, now renamed renamed FSL Piraeus, FSL-25 has filed a claim before the High Court in England, claiming a total amount of USD 1.89 million plus interest and legal costs. Security has been obtained for the claim in the form of a letter of guarantee in the amount of USD 2.53 million.

As for the M/T Torm Marie, renamed FSL Perth, no security was voluntarily provided. Accordingly, FSL-26 arrested the M/T Torm Amazon, a vessel owned by Torm, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on January 4, 2019.

Upon provision of a guarantee in the amount of USD 0.61 million the vessel was released, the trust manager said.

FSL-26 now plans to file claims in the English High Court.

“Litigation of the claims will now proceed and further announcements in relation to material developments will be made as and when appropriate,” the trust manager added.


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DP World Inks Acquisition Deal for Chilean Port Operator

Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World has decided to extend its global footprint with the acquisition of a Chilean port operator.

The company has signed an agreement to acquire 71.3% stake in Puertos y Logistica S.A. (Pulogsa), listed on the Santiago stock exchange, from Minera Valparaiso and other shareholders associated with the Matte Group.

DP World said that the acquisition would be effected via a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of the business. The company would offer USD 502 million in consideration for 100% equity ownership. As of September 30, 2018, Pulogsa had net financial debt of USD 226 million.

The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive in the first full year of consolidation and it would be financed from existing balance sheet resources, the terminal operator explained.

The transaction is subject to relevant third party consents and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

Pulogsa operates a long-term concession for Puerto Central (PCE) in San Antonio, in Chile’s Central Region V, and owns and operates Puerto Lirquen (PLQ) in Chile’s Southern Region VIII.

“These new assets will allow DP World to serve cargo owners and and shipping lines at five key gateways on the west coast of South America in Posorja (Ecuador), Callao and Paita (Peru) and San Antonio and Lirquen (Chile),” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said.


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HMM Starts China India Express Service with Mumbai Call

Hyundai Merchant Marine has launched its China India Express (CIX) service with the first regular service call in Mumbai.

The 8,562 TEU Hyundai Loyalty, one of six vessels deployed on this service, visited the Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals Private Limited (BMCT) on January 2.

The service connects BMCT, operated by PSA International, to key Far East markets with the following port rotation: BMCT – Mundra – Karachi – Port Kelang – Singapore – Hong Kong – Gwangyang – Busan – Shanghai – Ningbo – Shekou – Singapore – BMCT.

A total of 8,540 TEUs were handled during this first call in 42 hours.

“We are honoured to receive this early vote of confidence from HMM in BMCT’s first year of operations,” PSA India’s Senior Advisor Captain Suresh Amirapu said.

The terminal’s capacity is set to reach 2.4 million TEUs by April 2019 with the arrival of 3 more super post-panamax quay cranes.


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Maersk Tankers Names New MR Unit in China

Danish tanker owner and operator Maersk Tankers held a naming ceremony for its latest newbuilding on January 11.

The company’s new MR tanker, SHA-119, was christened Maersk Cebu at a Samsung yard in Ningbo, China.

The 50,000 dwt unit is the number fifteen of nineteen vessels in the company’s ongoing fleet renewal programme.

Soren C. Meyer, Chief Strategy Officer at Maersk Tankers, said that the latest addition contributes “to a competitive fleet and strong market position in a segment that is attractive to our customers. ”

According to data provided by VesselsValue, the remaining four MR tankers being built at Samsung would all be launched in February 2019.


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HMM CEO: 2020 Will Be a Year of Quantum Leap for Us

2020 will be a year of quantum leap for the South Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), the company’s CEO C. K. Yoo believes.

The leap would be led by the newly ordered 23,000 TEU containerships, Yoo pointed out, but also by considerable investment in IT, global network, education and improvement of customer service. In addition, HMM has managed to reduce its terminal handling charges by re-acquiring rights of the Hyundai Pusan New Port Terminal, thus maximizing profitability, Yoo explained.

As World Maritime News reported earlier, HMM acquired 50 ownership in the Hyundai Pusan New-Port Terminal that was sold off in 2016 as part of the company’s restructuring.

“Last year, we steadily made preparations for a new leap in the midst of difficult internal and external circumstances, including US sanctions on Iran, soaring oil prices, and global trade conflict, achieving a 150% increase in handling cargo volume from 3 million TEU in 2016 to 4.5 million TEU in 2018, thereby restoring trust of our customers,” he commented.

“We have also launched the Asia Europe Express (AEX) service, which links Asia-Northern Europe, as a basis to prepare for the introduction of mega vessels in 2020. We have also introduced M/V HMM Promise and HMM Blessing, the first mega containerships in the world to be equipped with scrubbers, so that we are able to preemptively cope with changes in the competitive environment caused by new environmental regulations.”

In order to prepare for the operation of the colossal vessels, including the five very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which will be deployed every two months from January this year, the company’s staff needs to prepare.

To remind, the five 300,000 dwt VLCCs were ordered in 2017 from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) for a total of approximately USD 417 billion.

According to Yoo, the preparation process would see reforming of HMM’s global organization as well as relocation and investment in human resources.

Commenting on the growing uncertainty in the industry from environmental regulations, Yoo called on gathering wisdom and knowledge across the company to turn the challenge from the environmental regulation paradigm into an opportunity.


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Cosco Sells, Leases Back 10,000 TEU Boxship Quartet

Cosco Shipping Development (CSD) has reached a sale and leaseback agreement for four 10,000 TEU containerships with Japan-based Financial Products Group.

Under the deal, entered into on January 10, the company would sell the 2014-built quartet for USD 267 million, and bareboat charter the vessels for a period of eight years and seven months.

The total fee for the duration of the charters would amount to USD 248 million, Cosco Shipping Development said in a stock exchange filing.

The vessels in question are the CSCL Spring, CSCL Summer, CSCL Winter and CSCL Bohai Sea.

The company said that the sale and leaseback arrangement allows the group “to obtain additional financing with the vessels and expands the financing channels of the group.” The proceeds from the transaction would be used for the general working capital.


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