Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vacation Has Started...Sadly, It Ends Next Week.

Hello ASBOians!

It is a hectic schedule.
Back to schoolWORK next week.
So, enjoy your respite while
it lasts.

This character is not an ASBOian.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Vacation ASBO Sir, Guys and Doll!

From your faithful student/classmate named

Yours Truly.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

‘Energy rating’ for ships to cut emissions

Source: Lloyd's List
The International Maritime Organization has now received comments from the industry following the development of a provisional technical design index. While there are conflicting opinions over using some form of mandatory index to shape the permissible limits of CO2 emissions, attention is also focusing on how these limits can be enforced. There are many voices within the shipping community against the use of trading schemes, levies or other forms of taxation, with some voicing doubts over whether enforced reduction can have validity at all. However, it has been suggested that the market itself would be a good place to start.

Euro MPs get ‘cheeky’ with redrafting of safety plans

Source: Lloyd's List
The European Parliament is attempting to resurrect two maritime safety proposals, by European Union transport ministers earlier this year, by transplanting their contents into draft laws that are still alive.

Brussels spat over inland waterways liability

Source: Lloyd's List
A dispute has arisen in the European parliament transport committee over inland waterway liability regimes. At stake was an attempt by the chairman, Italian MEP Paolo Costa, to extend coverage to at least part of Europe’s inland waterway network. Previous attempts to impose the convention on companies operating along rivers and canals have been rejected by both the parliament and national governments.
IMO sulphur plans will backfire, says Interferry

Source: Lloyd's List
In a submission to the International Maritime Organization, ahead of October’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, the operators’ organisation Interferry has argued that the costs associated with proposed revised sulphur level reductions from 1% low sulphur fuel to 0.1% - estimated in North Europe to be between 80% and 100% - could force some ferry operators out of the market if they could not pass these on to their customers.

USN re-instates third Zumwalt-class funding

Source: Jane's Defence Weekly
The US Navy has announced its decision to Congress to continue funding a third Zumwalt-class (DDG 1000) destroyer, reversing a decision a month ago that proposed diverting funds from the thord ship to revive the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer programme.

Make or break: FSC programme

Source: Jane's Defence Weekly
Nearly 15 years ago, operational requirements staff in the UK Ministry of Defence first identified a requirement for a new class of warship - the Future Surface Combatant - to enter service as a replacement for the Type 22 and Type 23 frigates. This article examines the revival of the Future Surface Combatant programme.


TUKTOYAKTUK, NT, Augusat 27 - The government of Canada will extend its jurisdiction in the Arctic by doubling the range at which Canadian environmental laws and shipping regulations will be enforced, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today.
“Whether it is the thawing of the Northwest Passage or the suspected resource riches under the Arctic seabed, more and more countries are taking an interest in the waterways of the Canadian Arctic,” said the Prime Minister. “We will be sending a clear message to the world that our environmental standards and sovereignty are not up for debate -- if you are in Canada’s Arctic you will be playing by Canada’s rules.” The Prime Minister announced that his government will be introducing changes to the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act as part of its fall legislative agenda. Currently the Act allows the Canadian Government to regulate all shipping in zones up to 100 nautical miles from the nearest Canadian land in order to guard against pollution of the region’s marine and coastal environments. Under the proposed new law, this jurisdiction will be extended to 200 nautical miles.
In addition the Prime Minister announced that his government will establish new regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 that will require mandatory reporting from all ships destined for Arctic waters within the same 200 nautical mile limit. “As an environmental matter, as a security matter and as an economic matter we are making it perfectly clear that not only do we claim jurisdiction over the Canadian Arctic, we are also going to put the full resources of the Government of Canada behind enforcing that jurisdiction,” said the Prime Minister. “We are acting today to protect our environment, improve the security of our waterways and ensure that all Northern residents – and, in particular, the Inuit – have a strong say in the future of our Arctic for generations to come.”

Sulpicio to appeal BMI findings

Source - 08/28/2008/Tribune

The owners of the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Stars yesterday vowed to challenge the recommendations of the Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) which pointed the blame to human error by the captain of the ship adding that company officials can also be held criminally liable for the incident. At the resumption of the hearing of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) on the tragedy, Sulpicio Lines Inc. (SLI) lawyer Arthur Lim said they will avail themselves of the 30-day appeal before the BMI. In its 65-page report, the BMI said the SLI “failed to be extra-diligent in transporting its passengers to its destination.” As a recommendation, the BMI said the franchise of the Sulpicio Lines, which has been repeatedly embroiled in previous sea tragedies, should be suspended. The BMI has given Sulpicio Lines 30 days to appeal the body’s decision. “There was a failure of the master to exercise extraordinary diligence and good seamanship thereby committing an error of judgment,” the inquiry found. It also found Sulpicio Lines liable for failing to stop the captain sailing into the typhoon. For its part, the Marina had already said it would adopt as “input” BMI’s findings, adding it would come up with its own decision as early as next week.

Update on Quasi-Zenith Orbit Satellite of Japan

Quasi-Zenith Orbit Satellite

Because this system is not affected by the blockage caused by buildings and mountains that plagues existing Geostationary satellite systems, it provides higher quality image, sound, and data broadcasting, as well as bi-directional communication services to moving objects, including automobiles.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wah Kwong and Sanko seal alliance with VLCC dea

Source: Lloyd's List
WAH Kwong Maritime Transport has inked its first newbuilding joint venture with Japan’s Sanko Line after the two companies agreed to take a 50% stake each in a $140m very large crude carrier order at Dalian Shipbuilding.

Korean yards take a giant step forward

Source: Lloyd's List
Two of South Korea's leading shipbuilders have revealed new designs for ultra-large containerships. STX Shipbuilding has recently unveiled a design proposal for a vessel of 22,000 teu capacity, denoting a cargo intake far in excess even of that of the envisaged Malacca-max breed, while Samsung Heavy Industries has presented its latest offering in the ultra-large containership category, somewhat more modest at 16,000 teu than the STX behemoth, but potentially groundbreaking in size.

Force of nature

Source: Lloyd's List
On August 2, 2008, German wind-turbine manufacturer Enercon, based in the northern town of Aurich, named and launched its new rotor-ship E-Ship 1.
New Brazilian facility will deliver up to three ships a year

Source: Lloyd's List
OFFSHORE and towage specialist Wilson, Sons has expressed its interest in developing a $50m shipyard in Rio Grande, underlining the port’s position as Brazil’s fastest growing shipbuilding cluster.

Russia unveils $2bn terminal overhaul as cargo booms

Source: Lloyd's List
RUSSIA’s booming economy will see over $2bn spent within four years to expand and modernise congested container and ro-ro terminals in the Baltic ports.

Robot sub discovers secrets of the deep that could predict a natural disaster

Source: Times
One of the world’s deepest-diving robot submarines has returned from its first mission with spectacular images of giant holes on the seabed and evidence of underwater avalanches. Autosub6000, which was developed by British scientists, descended almost three miles below the surface to investigate a submarine canyon north of the Canary Islands.


WASHINGTON—David G. Williams, a former Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and main propulsion assistant for the Coast Guard Cutter Rush, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Hawaii for making a false statement to federal criminal agents investigating allegations of potential discharges of oil-contaminated waste from the cutter into the Honolulu Harbor, announced Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Williams was sentenced to pay a $5,000 fine, serve 200 hours of community service and serve two years of probation.

Williams was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 8, 2007, for lying to federal criminal investigators about his knowledge of the direct overboard discharge of bilge wastes through the ship’s deep sink into the Honolulu Harbor. As the main propulsion assistant, he oversaw the maintenance of the main diesel engines and other machinery in the engine room for the Rush, a 378 ft. high-endurance cutter stationed in Honolulu. On May 1, 2008, Williams pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal law enforcement agents.

According to the plea agreement, on or about March 8, 2006, Williams had knowledge of the direct discharge of bilge wastes into Honolulu Harbor. The Engineering Department personnel aboard the Rush engaged in an unusual and abnormal operation and configuration of engine room equipment to pump bilge wastes from the aft bilge to the deep sink and overboard into Honolulu Harbor, thereby bypassing the “oily water separator” (OWS) system. The OWS system is a pollution prevention control device used by high endurance Coast Guard cutters like the Rush to manage accumulations of bilge wastes while underway at sea. The OWS system collects, stores and processes wastes to separate the water from the oil and other wastes.

On or about March 13, 2006, the State of Hawaii Department of Health received an anonymous complaint stating that Rush crew members were ordered to pump approximately 2,000 gallons of bilge waste into Honolulu Harbor. On May 1, 2006, investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) received confirmation from Main Propulsion Division personnel who personally participated that bilge wastes had indeed been discharged through the deep sink and into Honolulu Harbor. CGIS investigators obtained various corroborative documents from the Rush, including engineering and ship’s logs, tank level sounding sheets, as well as the pneumatic pump used to facilitate the discharges.

When interviewed by investigators from the CGIS, Williams denied knowledge of personnel discharging bilge waste to the deep sink and stated that he was not aware of the pumping of bilge wastes to bypass the ship’s OWS system. The government’s investigation was initiated by the CGIS. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Section Chief Joseph A. Poux of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section; Ronald G. Johnson, chief of the Major Crimes Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney William L. Shipley, both of the District of Hawaii; and Commander Timothy P. Connors of the Coast Guard.


August 22 – The Business Standard reported this morning that Indian shipping agents, who typically represent foreign shipping companies, are fast disappearing as a significant number of overseas owners have begun to establish their own offices in India. In shipping, local agents are normally designated by foreign owners to look after marketing, cargo handling, paper work and vessel husbandry on their behalf.

The report said that as foreign companies decide to have these tasks done by their own locally established companies, the local agents are diversifying as transporters, freight forwarders, and operators of container freight stations and inland container depots. According to industry estimates, there were about 500 agents in India till the late 1990s and only half-a-dozen of them are in the business today. Each of them employed at least 100 people, of which only around 30 per cent have been absorbed by the Indian offices of the foreign companies.

Some of the companies that have ended their ties are P&O Nedlloyd Ltd, a London-based company that was acquired by AP Moller-Maersk AS and Tata Tea Ltd. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha LTD of Japan and United Liner Agencies of India Ltd have also ended their ties. Besides, AP Moller-Maersk AS, APL Ltd, CMA CGM Group, Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Hapag-Lloyd AG and Mediterranean Shipping Co SA have set up their own offices in India after ending their agency arrangements. A West Asia-based shipping line which is in the process of setting up its offices across the country’s port cities says India’s economy is booming, trade is growing significantly and much larger opportunities are available.
This, it said, made it economical for the companies to run the agency business on their own.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 -- Non-Hispanic white Americans, which account for the majority of the U.S. population will be minorities by the year 2050, according to a new estimate of the U. S. Census Bureau released on Thursday.

Population projections released by the bureau also show the nation will be substantially older, too, thanks mainly to aging Baby Boomers. The number of non-Hispanic whites will begin declining in the 2030s, according to the census, as white deaths outpace births. Whites will drop to 46 percent of the nation's population by 2050.

During the same period, the Hispanic population will nearly triple to 133 million, almost a third of the projected U.S. population of 439 million in 2050. The percentage of blacks will remain essentially flat. According to the estimates, blacks will drop from 12.2 percent of the population in 2010 to 11.8 percent by 2050. But Asians will grow from 4.5 percent of the population in 2010 to almost 8 percent in 2050. Baby Boomers will be senior citizens by 2030, and the ranks of older Americans will reach new highs. About one of every eight residents was 65 or older in 2008. The number of seniors will reach 88.5 million by 2050, up from 38.7 million in 2008. Seniors 85 and older will see their numbers more than triple, rising from 5.4 million in 2008 to 19 million in 2050.


Security Information – 08(2)/2008

By EILEEN NG, Associated Press Writer Thu Aug 21, 5:28 AM ET KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Armed pirates hijacked a Japanese-operated tanker and an Iranian ship off Somalia's coast Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks that have sent jitters among seafarers in an area known for its lawlessness. The hijackings came after a Malaysian palm oil tanker with 39 crew was seized in the same area late Tuesday. The latest attacks raised to six the number of ships hijacked in the Gulf of Aden since July 20.

In the first incident Thursday, pirates "continuously fired" on the Iranian bulk carrier before boarding and commandeering it, said Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur.

Less than an hour later, a Japanese-operated tanker with 19 crew was also attacked and seized in the same area.

He said there has been no communication so far with either vessel, but a multi-coalition naval force in the areas has been informed, and "is taking action." The naval force includes the United States, France, Germany, Pakistan, Britain and Canada, which currently holds the rotating command.

No other details were immediately available.

"In 48 hours, three ships have been attacked and hijacked by armed pirates. It is coming to a very dangerous stage," said Choong, who heads IMB's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur. "We urge the United Nations and the international community to take serious action to stop this menace."

The IMB has also issued an urgent warning to all ships in the Gulf of Aden to maintain a strict watch.

The Gulf of Aden connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, forming one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

Choong said pirates seized a Japanese-owned cargo ship with 20 Filipino sailors on July 20 in the Gulf. A Nigerian vessel was later hijacked, followed by a Thai cargo ship with 28 crew members this month.

Negotiations were continuing in all cases after pirates demanded ransom for the release of the crew, he said. There were no negotiations in the Malaysian hijacking as the pirates have not contacted authorities to demand a ransom, he said.

Somalia is the world's biggest piracy hotspot, with 24 reported attacks in the first half of this year.

The impoverished country has not had a functioning government since 1991 and pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and automatic weapons frequently seize foreign vessels for ransom, making it difficult and expensive to deliver aid.

In June, the U.N. Security Council voted to allow international warships to enter Somali waters to combat the problem. But its 1,880-mile coastline — the longest in Africa — remains virtually unpoliced.

Ships have been urged to stay more than 200 nautical miles from the Somali coast, Choong said.


Your are strongly required to navigate this area with extra caution.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Malaysian tanker with 39 crew hijacked off the coast of Somalia

Agencies Published: August 20, 2008, 10:14

Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian tanker with 39 crew was seized by armed pirates in the Gulf of Eden off the coast of Somalia, in what is the fourth hijacking in a month, officials said on Wednesday. The tanker was heading towards Rotterdam from Dumai in Sumatra, and the crew include 29 Malaysians and 10 Filipinos, the company that owns the tanker MISC Bhd said in a statement. The head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, Noel Choong, said they picked up a distress signal late on Tuesday and immediately notified Western naval ships patrolling the area.
An international terrorism task force dispatched a warship to intercept the tanker, which was heading toward Somalia territorial waters. There is no communication with the vessel so far. The distress call was relayed through another ship but the tanker has been confirmed seized by pirates. The tanker was transporting palm oil from Indonesia to Europe when it was attacked. This is the 4th reported hijacking in a month. Maybe the UN and the International community should make immediate steps to stop the worsening situation.

World's largest heavy transport carrier gets OCTOPUS

Dockwise Shipping B.V. has purchased the OCTOPUS-Onboard monitoring & routing system for the world's largest heavy transport carrier Blue Marlin. OCTOPUS-Onboard will be configured for immediate and mid-term decision support by using weather forecast, a ship response prediction model and a three-sensor motion measurement system. Using the on X-sens technology based measurement system, motions and accelerations can be monitored in any virtual location on the vessel or cargo. Amarcon will provide the turn-key system including hardware, software and sensors. Dockwise Shipping B.V. will also start using the new OCTOPUS-Online service by Amarcon. OCTOPUS-Online allows cargo- and ship-owners to be informed about the current location and status of their property. Daily reports from the vessel are sent to a central database server, which is accessible from the internet. Users have to log-in to gain access to their own part of the protected website. After the voyage, the recorded data is evaluated and the impact to the cargo can be analyzed. This is the seventh permanent OCTOPUS-installation for Dockwise Shipping B.V.

Pirates Can Claim UK Asylum

Bad news for sailors and others who go to sea

From The Sunday Times

THE Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights.

Warships patrolling pirate-infested waters, such as those off Somalia, have been warned that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain.

The Foreign Office has advised that pirates sent back to Somalia could have their human rights breached because, under Islamic law, they face beheading for murder or having a hand chopped off for theft.

In 2005 there were almost 40 attacks by pirates and 16 vessels were hijacked and held for ransom. Employing high-tech weaponry, they kill, steal and hold ships’ crews to ransom. This year alone pirates killed three people near the Philippines.

Recently, French commandos seized a Somali pirate gang that had held a luxury yacht with 22 French citizens on board. The hijackers were paid off by the boat’s owner and then a French helicopter carrier dispatched 50 commandos to seize the hijackers and the ransom money on dry land.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Canada Seeks Historic Shipwrecks

From BBC One-Minute-World-News

A Canadian team is to search for two ships lost in an 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The fate of the 1845 expedition has become a legend.
The British ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were trapped in the Arctic ice as Sir John Franklin sought a northern route from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
He and his 128 crew died - although their exact fate remains a mystery - and the ships were never found.
Retreating Arctic ice has made the Northwest Passage much more accessible and Canada is also using the search as a way of asserting its sovereignty over the region.
The exploration team is due to fly out on Saturday to join a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker that will use sonar equipment to search an area south of King William Island.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008



LONDON, August 12 – British Petroleum shut down an oil pipeline that runs through Georgia yesterday as a precaution at the height of hostilities between Georgia, its breakaway republics South Ossetia and Abkhazia and invading Russian forces. The pipeline however was not damaged during four days of air and land combat between the former Soviet territories.
BP said the 90,000-barrel-a-day pipeline to Supsa on Georgia's Black Sea coast from Baku in Azerbaijan will remain closed indefinitely. Another pipeline operated by the London-based oil company in the former Soviet Republic, the larger Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, is already out of action after a fire last week on its Turkish stretch. The BTC pipeline usually provides around 1 million barrels of Caspian crude to international markets.
BP spokesman Robert Wine said that the Baku-Supsa line was closed because it runs through the center of Georgia, where there was greater risk of conflict. However, he added that BP had no reports of damage to pipelines in Georgia, despite claims from some officials there that Russian forces had attacked the lines. "I think those reports out there are inaccurate," he said. Turkish President Abdullah Gul also said Tuesday that fighting in Georgia had not damaged the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Wine later said that BP also had stopped pumping gas into the South Caucasus pipeline, which runs from the Caspian Sea through Georgia into Turkey. However, gas will continue to run though that line for another seven days.
Associated Press reported that BP would continue to assess the security situation in Georgia over the next few days to consider when to reopen the pipelines, Wine said. Georgian ports on the Black Sea are a main shipping point of Caspian Sea crude from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. More than 500,000 barrels leave these ports daily, and plans are afoot to expand capacity by an additional 200,000 barrels a day.

Monday, August 11, 2008


August 11 - The U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, chaired by the Department of State, plans two Arctic cruises by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy this summer, one of which will be conducted in collaboration with the Government of Canada. The cruises are part of an interagency effort to collect scientific data about the continental shelf and oceanic basins in the Arctic.

The first cruise, August 14 to September 5 from Barrow, Alaska, will employ a sophisticated echo sounder that will collect data to create a three-dimensional map of the Arctic seafloor in an area known as the Chukchi Cap. This cruise is led by the University of New Hampshire’s Joint Hydrographic Center, with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The second cruise, September 6 to October 1, also from Barrow, will be conducted in cooperation with Canada. The Healy will map the seafloor and it will also create a straight and open path through the ice, while the Canadian icebreaker, Louis S. St. Laurent, follows and collects multi-channel seismic reflection and refraction data aimed at determining the thickness of the sediment.

This joint project is expected to help both countries in defining the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. It will also save millions of dollars for both countries, provide data of great interest to both countries, and increase scientific and diplomatic cooperation. The U.S. Geological Survey will lead the expedition for the U.S., while Natural Resources Canada will lead the Canadian team. In addition to the U.S. Department of State acting as chair, participants in the Extended Continental Shelf Task Force include: the Executive Office of the President, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Science Foundation, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Navy, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Minerals Management Service, and the Arctic Research Commission.


August 11 – BIMCO has issued a general reminder that the International Bunker Convention will enter into force in November 21 in the 22 countries that are a party to the Convention. The new civil liability regime makes shipowners, including registered owners, bareboat charterers, managers and operators liable for pollution damage from bunker oil.
The advisory said that “If your ship is over 1,000 GT and registered in a country that has ratified the bunker convention, or if your ship will call at a port or terminal within the territory of a signatory country, then you will be affected by the new legislation. You will need to have the necessary certification placed on board your ship by 21 November 2008 – so if you have not done so already, we recommend that you start the application process now.” Getting a bunker certificate is estimated to take three months.
There are two key documentary requirements for ships affected by the new Convention. Ships must obtain from their P&I Clubs a Blue Card which details information such as the name and IMO number of the ship and the name and address of the registered office of the registered owner. The Card provides evidence that the ship has in place adequate insurance cover to meet the liability requirements of the Convention. Without a Blue Card it will not be possible to obtain the second key document – the Bunker Convention certificate, which is issued by a signatory country. The Convention requires the registered owners of ships flying the flag of a signatory country to obtain from the authorities of that state a “Bunker Convention” certificate. This certificate provides the ship with evidence that it has the required insurance. “You require this certificate if your ship is flagged in a State Party even if your ship will not call at ports or terminals in other State Parties”, BIMCO said.
It is not yet clear which governments are prepared to issue Bunker Convention certificates to ships that are not flying that country’s flag. BIMCO said ships will not be able to obtain a Blue Card from their P&I Club until a signatory country has agreed to issue a Bunker Convention certificate. “This is because the P&I Clubs when issuing Blue Cards are required to address them to the State that will issue the Bunker Convention certificate. If your ship falls into this category it is essential that you contact your P&I Club at the earliest opportunity”, according to the statement.

First Ship with LRIT Compliance

Source - August 07, 2008/

International Tanker Management (ITM) managed and Marshall Islands flagged tankers MT PORT LOUIS, MT ALTIUS and the bulker MV PORT MELBOURNE reported that they have became the first vessels to be officially issued with LRIT Conformance Test Report Certification following the successful shipborne equipment conformance testing of the vessels’ Inmarsat C equipment. The event marks a milestone in the development of LRIT. ITM has been participating with the Marshall Islands on the development of LRIT and in particular with the development of the LRIT shipborne equipment testing. The completion of the first LRIT conformance tests show the high quality and innovative operational standards of the ITM fleet.

Vessels that sail into Calif. ports must use cleaner-burning fuel

Source - World News Network/August 12, 2008

California regulators yesterday approved the nation's strictest rules to reduce polluting emissions from oceangoing ships, saying it will help prevent cancer and premature deaths along the state's coast. This new rules will be implemented beginning July 1, 2009, stating that all oceangoing vessels that use the state's ports must use cleaner fuel to power their engines and boilers. Ships at the ports in San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as inland ports for oceangoing vessels in Sacramento and Stockton, would have to adhere to the new rules. Exempted are military, government and research vessels Ships needing modifications to use cleaner fuels would be exempt until renovations were completed. Shipping companies and cruise lines oppose the state air board's rules, arguing that California has no jurisdiction to regulate their operations beyond the state's coastal zone (meaning waters that extend 3 nautical miles from the coast). “International ships running in international waters under international treaties should be handled under international laws,” said T.L. Garrett, vice president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which represents about 60 ocean-carrier lines and cargo terminals. A state attempt to impose a similar rule failed in 2006 after a federal judge ruled that California didn't have the authority to set ship-emission standards without approval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wartsila-Hyundai Joint Venture Acquires Major Order

From World Maritime News

August 6 2008, Wartsila

Wärtsilä-Hyundai Engine Company Ltd., the new joint venture between Wärtsilä and Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, has received a major order. The order calls for a total of 16 Wärtsilä 50DF-engines for four ships to be built by Samsung Heavy Industries. The contract also includes an option of four more engines for a fifth vessel. The order is recorded in the order book of Wärtsilä-Hyundai Engine Company Ltd.

The engines are to be installed on so called Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessels ordered by FLEX LNG. The first engine will be delivered in February 2010.

The Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engine represents a pioneering industry change from traditional steam turbine machinery to a dual-fuel-electric concept with the benefits of much better operating economy and lower exhaust emissions. The engine can run on either natural gas, marine diesel oil (MDO) or on heavy fuel oil (HFO). Furthermore, the engine can smoothly switch between fuels during engine operation and is designed to give the same output regardless of the fuel used.

Comprehensive Marine Fuel Management

From Nautical Control Solutions

The FuelTrax™ Suite
The FuelTrax Suite is the first comprehensive marine fuel management system designed specifically for the marine industry. FuelTrax™ - the Vessel Monitoring System, and FuelNet™ - the Fuel Web Portal, are integrated technologies that optimize fuel savings on the vessel and across the fleet. Using custody-grade fuel flowmeters and marine fuel tank level sensors, these technologies monitor fuel flow and report fuel consumption to the wheelhouse and to headquarters. Information on fuel consumption, inventory and vessel logistics are relayed to the FuelNet data center in Houston via the Iridium Low Earth Orbit satellite network. This information is then made available over the Internet via FuelNet, the web-based marine fuel reporting system.

Spectacular Opening for Olympics

A respite from the blogging fever...

From BBC One-Minute-News
China has presented a dramatic display of fireworks, music and dancing to mark the opening of its Beijing Olympics.
Some 10,000 performers took part in the ceremony, watched on TV by an estimated one billion people, before athletes paraded around the national stadium.
Security was tight in the capital, and three US activists were arrested after holding a pro-Tibet protest. Larger rallies took place in Nepal and India. Analysts say it is the most politicised Games since the Cold War era.
The build-up to the event was dogged by worries over pollution and criticism of China's rights record.

It began at eight minutes past eight on the evening of 8 August, reflecting the belief widespread in Asia that eight is a lucky number.
More than three hours later, China's President Hu Jintao officially declared the Games open.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


TOKYO, August 7 - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) today announced the launch of one of the world’s largest iron ore carriers, the 320,000 dwt Tubarao Maru. The naming and delivery ceremony was held today at the Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) Chiba Works. The new vessel will sail under a long-term transport contract with Nippon Steel Corporation.
The Tubarao Maru is similar to the world’s largest iron ore carrier, the Brasil Maru, which was launched in December 2007. It is the second generation ship to bear the name; the original Tubarao Maru was launched in 1966. Guests at the ceremony included Nippon Steel President Shoji Muneoka and MES President Yasuhiko Katoh. President Muneoka’s wife Yoko cut the rope and President Muneoka named the ship.
After the naming and rope-cutting ceremonies, the Tubarao Maru will go into service to transport Brazilian iron ore to Japan. MOL became the first Japanese shipping company to operate a 300,000 dwt class very large iron ore carrier (VLOC) with the launch of the Brasil Maru in December 2007. Five of these VLOCs will sail under the MOL operating by August 2009. The ship is 340 meters long with a width of 60 meters and a 21.13 meter draft. It has a total deadweight of 327,127 tons. Tubarao Maru can deliver 1.4 million tons of iron ore annually.
UCSB oceanographer awarded prestigious naval oceanographic sciences chair
UC Santa Barbara oceanographer Tommy Dickey is one of two leading scientists nationwide to be awarded a prestigious Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations Chair in Oceanographic Sciences.
University of California - Santa Barbara
Patagonian glacier yields clues for improved understanding of global climate change
An expedition in 2005 by an IRD team and its partners on the San Valentin glacier in the Chilean part of Patagonia demonstrated the potential of that site for exploring climatic variations of the past. The analyses gave the first evidence of influences from Antarctica and the Pacific on the Southern climate of the American continent, thus indicating the complexity of the climate system in this ecologically fragile region.
CO2 design index too weak, say European shipbuilders

Source: Lloyd's List
The Community of European Shipyards’ Associations has expressed doubts about a proposed tool to determine a vessel’s CO2 emissions and questions how such a design index is to be verified in newbuildings. The CO2 design index is being developed as a potential scale to determine how efficient a given ship design would be in reducing emissions, and was one ofthe measures proposed when the International Maritime Organization’s greenhouse gas working group met in Oslo to tackle the issue in June.

Boxships get used to life in the slow lane

Source: Lloyd's List
Containership lines had begun slowing their big ships last year as oil prices soared, but the greatly increased cost of bunkers now has meant they are taking action wherever they can to slow steam, although the re-organisation is far from easy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Expert Assessment

Source - 27 July 2008/Shiptalk News

The Philippine Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) said a new regime of audits on the seaworthiness of vessels is continuous and will not be limited to Sulpicio Lines. Marina Administrator Vicente Suazo Jr. said that as directed by President Arroyo, the agency will outsource to private sector experts, either local or international, the job of auditing vessels. This will prevent camaraderie between shipping operators and Marina regional inspectors from compromising the process. The audit, based on NSM and ISM standards, will be focused on both hardware and software.

Hardware refers to all the facilities of the ship such as communications equipment, lashing gear and safety paraphernalia, among others. The software, on the other hand, refers to the procedures in how the ship is managed and whether it has a culture of safety consciousness,” Suazo said.

For the software audit alone, there are 13 to 16 elements. “The first element is to establish the company’s advocacy, especially of maritime safety and environmental protection,” Suazo said. Increased attention went to the safety of inter-island vessels after the MV Princess of the Stars sank in bad weather off Romblon last June 21.

Isn’t it just a little too late for them???

Filthy Pictures

Source - 25 July 2008/Shiptalk News

Caught up this news item and wanted to share it with all of you. Kind of a personal matter but just maybe some of us to would like to include this in our pre-departure orientations, so as to avoid this kind of situations to ever happen again.

Two Filipino crewmen were facing charges after a search of a ship turned up child pornography on laptop computers. Customs officers went aboard the oil tanker, M/T Negotiator, that was in the Port of Halifax last week. The two crewmen (just withheld the names), were arrested and charged with violating the customs act by smuggling prohibited goods. The Canada Border Services Agency says one the laptops contained pornographic pictures of boys and girls as young as eight years old.

Monday, August 4, 2008


August 5 - NYK has concluded a three-year charter contract with Japan Biofuels Supply LLP (JBSL) that comes with an option to extend the contract for two additional years. A 37,000 DWT class chemical tanker will be used for shipments of the biofuel bio-ETBE (ethyl tertiary-butyl ether).

JBSL, a partnership involving 10 major oil companies in Japan, has agreed to blend 840,000 kiloliters of bio-ETBE into gasoline in fiscal 2010 in response to the government’s request to achieve the emission reduction goals for Japan mentioned in the Kyoto protocol.

August 4 - The US Coast Guard has announced that the entire length of the river is open to navigation, but safety restrictions remain in place. Salvage operations on the partially sunken barge Tintomara continues. More than 500 vessels have been cleared and released since operations began on July 23. A summary of findings was announced by USCG pending a full investigation.

No mechanical or competency issues were found on the tanker involved. The conditon of the towboat is under investigation. It was determined that the master of the towboat was not on board and the steersman apprentice was not authorized to operate the towboat without direct supervision. The towboat did not respond to radio calls from the tanker or from the USCG Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).


HOUSTON, August 4 - Patrick H. Stinson, of Conroe, Texas, has been sentenced to two years probation for violating the Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA), United States Attorney Don DeGabrielle announced today. The violation occurred in connection with the operation of his business, Marine Waste Services, in the receipt and storage of certain waste products collected from commercial shipping vessels arriving in the Southern District of Texas after traveling to foreign ports. This is the first criminal enforcement of the 2002 Animal Health Protection Act in the Southern District of Texas.

Under the AHPA and the Plant Protection Act, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has authority to regulate the handling and movement of certain foreign waste products to prevent the spread of foreign plant pests and livestock or poultry diseases. Commonly referred to in the industry as “APHIS waste” or “regulated garbage,” these products are generally defined as all food, plant and animal waste, and all material coming in contact with such waste, generated onboard any means of conveyance during movements to or from foreign locations. The entry of regulated garbage into the United States is strictly prohibited unless handled and disposed of by authorized individuals or entities using strict biosecurity measures as required by the applicable regulations. To become authorized to handle regulated garbage, an individual or entity must enter into a compliance agreement with APHIS whereby the waste removal entity agrees to handle the regulated garbage in accordance with the regulations contained in 9 C.F.R. § 94.5 as well as the requirements set forth in the compliance agreement. Stinson, on behalf of his d/b/a Marine Waste Services, entered into several compliance agreements with APHIS and the Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Protection (DHS-CBP) to transport and dispose of regulated garbage from a variety of ports in the Southern District of Texas, including the ports of Houston and Galveston. Stinson’s compliance agreements required, among other things, submission of a log of all regulated waste collected during each month to DHS-CBP and required that any regulated waste stored prior to sterilization or incineration be kept in covered, leak-proof, rodent and bird-proof containers. Based upon information received from the Harris County Constable’s Environmental Crime Unit, APHIS and DHS-CBP began an investigation during the summer of 2005 to determine whether Stinson was adhering to his compliance agreements and the applicable regulations in his handling of regulated waste. The investigation revealed that on Oct. 3, 2005, Stinson was maintaining regulated garbage in open-top bins rather than in the required covered and protected containers. Investigators also determined Stinson had failed to submit monthly logs notifying DHS-CBP of his receipt of regulated garbage, including the log for the month of March 2005.

In addition to the sentence imposed, U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy ordered Stinson to pay $10,000 in restitution to Republic Waste, a waste collection entity that incurred costs in October 2005 due to Stinson’s misconduct. As part of his plea agreement, Stinson is also forbidden from entering into a compliance agreement with APHIS to handle regulated garbage in the future.The criminal charges are the result of a multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency investigation led by the USDA, APHIS with the assistance of DHS-CBP and the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Environmental Crimes Unit. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Varnado.

OECD shipbuilding group shuns steel index.

Source: Lloyd's List
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s shipbuilding working group is not proposing to look at steel prices or a suggested escalation clause in newbuilding contracts as part of its forward work schedule, despite calls from European shipbuilders for a formal escalation clause to be inserted into future newbuilding contracts to allow the value of the contract to fluctuate according to influencing factors, which include the increasing steel prices.
Snapshot of past climate reveals no ice in Antarctica millions of years ago

A snapshot of New Zealand's climate 40 million years ago reveals a greenhouse Earth, with warmer seas and little or no ice in Antarctica. A new study led by Cardiff University suggests Antarctica at that time was yet to develop extensive ice sheets. Natural Environment Research Council, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, GNS Science (New Zealand)

Scientists break record by finding northernmost hydrothermal vent field

Inside the Arctic Circle, scientists have found black smoker vents farther north than anyone has ever seen before. The cluster of vents -- one towering nearly four stories -- are venting water as hot as 570 F. Dissolved sulfide minerals that solidify when vent water hits the icy cold of the deep sea have, over the years, accumulated around the vents in what is one of the most massive hydrothermal sulfide deposits ever found on the seafloor.
Mussels to determine how much contamination is in the ports
The research Project led by Dr. Nestor Etxebarria of the University of the Basque Country is aimed at monitoring contamination of ports. Mussels are used to measure the levels of contaminants as they feed by filtering water and so accumulate any contaminant substances in their organs.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

UNH researchers tag first-ever free-swimming leatherback turtles in New England
University of New Hampshire researchers have tagged one male and two female leatherback turtles off Cape Cod. They are the first free-swimming leatherbacks ever tagged in New England. The 700-800-pound leatherback turtles, an endangered species, were tagged July 17, 26 and 29 with GPS-linked satellite tags that transmit nearly real-time tracking data, allowing scientists to better understand these elusive, highly migratory giants to enhance their survivability. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Regional Office, Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fisherme's Association

Timing is everything: How vulnerable to flooding is New York City?
A report just released in the most recent issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society offers hope that a new high-resolution storm surge modeling system developed by scientists at Stony Brook University will better be able to predict flood levels and when flooding will occur in the New York metropolitan area, information crucial to emergency managers when planning for impending storms. New York Sea Grant

Acidification of the sea hampers reproduction of marine species
Within 100 years, it is reckoned that the world's seas will be three times as acidic as they are now. The lower pH may strike a severe blow to the ability of marine species to reproduce, according to research on sea urchins at the University of Gothenburg. "Acidification may be the biggest threat to marine ecosystems for hundreds of thousands of years," says Jon Havenhand, a researcher at the Department of Marine Ecology. Swedish Research Council, FORMAS, Australian Research Council
US: A cooperative plan for 21st century sea power

Source: ISN
This article discusses the United States maritime strategy, "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower", which was unveiled at the International Seapower Symposium at the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island in October 2007, by the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, the Marine Corps Commandant, General James T Conway, and the Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thad W Allen. It is the first maritime strategy created jointly by the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, shifting from a narrow focus on sea combat toward one that also emphasises the use of "soft power" to counter terrorism and deliver humanitarian assistance. The strategy stresses preventing conflict as much as winning wars, and recognises that no one nation can secure the world's waters against terrorism and other threats.

Atlantic flood risk

Source: Bridge Marine Science Group newsletter
A research group at the University of Hamburg in Germany have constructed a computer model which analyses the detail of huge amounts of meltwater from the Greenland Ice cap being dumped into the Atlantic Ocean. Ironically the results indicate that the low lying Pacific Islands, previously thought to be most at risk, might in fact be among the last to be affected.
Mariner's Choice tackles greenhouse gas emissions with EPA registered products

Source: MarketWatch
Mariner's Choice International, Inc.has developed a range of Environmental Protection Agency registered MC-Marine fuel catalysts, which it claims address concerns over Greenhouse Gas emissions. In addition to reducing emissions, the company claims that the use of MC-Marine fuel catalysts can reduce operating cost per hour by 20%-30%, and realize increased profitability for cruise lines, shipping companies, work and crew boats.

Ship finance cash crisis to worsen in second half

Source: Lloyd's List
Shipowners are warning of potential difficulties in financing the massive newbuilding orderbook over the next few years as funding dries up. Last year saw 412 global shipping deals worth a total of $87.7bn. By July 7 this year there had been just 104 global shipping deals worth $24.9bn.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Oslo, July 29 - Aker Yards and FLC West have announced the approval of acquisition by FLC West of 70 percent shareholding in three shipyards in Germany and Ukraine. In its statement Aker yards said the transaction strengthens their financial capacity and improves the potential of the three involved yards.

Aker Yards ASA consists of 18 shipyards around the world. Last March 25, the group announced that it intended to take the Russian controlled company FLC West in as a majority shareholder in Aker Yards Ukraine Holding AS which owns the Okean shipyard in Ukraine and the shipyards in Wismar and Warnemünde in Germany.

The three yards focus on building merchant ships, increasingly with specialized technologies and with features for operations in arctic conditions. The co-ownership with the Russian FLC West creates opportunities to further pursue the growing Russian market for specialized vessels.

As announced, the completion of the transaction has been subject to evaluations of debt and working capital. Based on this evaluation and a review of the business portfolio of the three yards, the final transaction price has been set at EUR 248.9 million. This provides a net gain of NOK 800 to 850 million compared to book value for Aker Yards, or approximately NOK 7.5 per Aker Yards share. In addition to FLC West's previous prepayments of EUR 50 million, FLC West has paid the remaining EUR 198.9 million as part of the completion of the transaction.

"We are pleased that we have now concluded this transaction. The transaction values reflect a balanced evaluation of the qualities, expertise and further potential in the organization and in the facilities, as well as of the current and expected financial performance", says Ole Heggheim, Chief Financial Officer with Aker Yards.

As part of the transaction, the parties have also agreed on an option for FLC West to acquire Aker Yards' remaining ownership in the three involved yards. If FLC West decides to make use of this option, the payment per share to Aker Yards will be at the level of today's transaction plus a minor premium.


McQuilling Services has released its weekly note today focusing on the very strong market showing of Aframaxes in the first half of 2008. The report featured half a dozen graphs and tables that describe a steady surge in freight and charter rates for the first half of the year.

According to the report, the average Aframax fleet additions since 2002 have been feared to oversupply the sector. However, with a 29% rate of underutilization, the highest across five tanker sectors, delivery delays and other supply issues, the sector has performed highly above expectations. Scheduled conversion projects have contributed to about 75% of total fleet exits since the beginning of the year. However, that is not enough to balance the present fleet additions, as 2008 is expected to be the year with the highest newbuilding deliveries since 1982.

The report also notes the February drop in fixtures is in line with the drop in the spot market rates in the same month. An increase in fixtures in the second quarter may, in part, explain the strength of the spot market during the same period of time. “ We have recognized that the year was heading towards an above average market levels but did not project the unseasonably strong second quarter of the year,” McQuilling said.

The demolition value of an Aframax tanker has increased from US $11 million in January, 2008 to US $15.8 million in June.
Ships cleaner than road transport

Source: Lloyd's List
A new report by the European Environment Agency indicates that road transport remains the biggest source of air pollution in Europe, and is the EU’s main source of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and non-methane volatile organic compounds, as well as the second-most important source of dust or "fine particulate emissions", known as PM10 and PM2.5. Manufacturing industries, construction, the residential sector and agriculture were also singled out as polluters, whereas maritime transport figured further down the list. Although shipping has over the past year been criticised for its contribution to sulphur oxide emissions, which can aggravate respiratory diseases, the report found that the main cause of this type of pollution is electricity and heat production, which together are responsible for more than half of all emissions.

Maritime industry reform bills up after vessel probe

Source: GMA
The Philippines House committees on transportation and oversight which is investigating the June 21 sinking of Sulpicio Lines, Inc.-owned M/V Princess of the Stars is considering safety improvements such as upgrading the weather bureau’s forecasting capabilities, creation of an admiralty court to expedite maritime cases, and requiring shipowners to submit a stowage plan.
Ship finance cash crisis to worsen in second half

Source: Lloyd's List
Shipowners are warning of potential difficulties in financing the massive newbuilding orderbook over the next few years as funding dries up. Last year saw 412 global shipping deals worth a total of $87.7bn. By July 7 this year there had been just 104 global shipping deals worth $24.9bn.

Slow steaming could leave owners with huge bills

Source: Lloyd's List
With many owners and charterers are seeking to mitigate progressively costlier bunker consumption by reducing steaming speeds, this article warns that, unless the procedure is well managed, there is an increased risk of machinery failure, particularly with slow-speed engines, which are designed to operate at a high load and to steam slowly only for short periods, for example, during manoeuvring.