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A NewsLink service for Dole Colombia International maritime news for seafarers

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 Headland SatNews


Japan to start LNG futures contract

Japan is preparing to create the world's first futures trading contract for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a bid to stabilise the commodity's price as demand soars, an Industry Ministry official said on Tuesday. Resource-poor Japan and neighbouring South Korea are the world's two top buyers of LNG with East Asia accounting for about 60% of global demand, but the region also tends to pay higher prices with shipping costs expensive and rates varying from place to place. In Asia, the price for LNG is index-linked to oil, which means buyers tend to pay far more than those in North America, where price is determined on the basis of supply and demand. Big price differences for LNG - natural gas that is temporarily liquefied for easier storage and transportation - underscored the need for its own trading contract, the industry ministry official said. Tokyo wants to make the contract a reality within two years, he added. "We want to create a system that serves as a new indicator, reflecting the true supply-and-demand conditions of LNG and to stabilise its price," the official said. The contract would be traded at the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, with Japan saying it hopes to encourage gas users in South Korea and Taiwan to take part in the market, and later US gas suppliers. Tokyo has racked up growing current account deficits due to ballooning energy costs after it was forced to turn to pricey fossil-fuel alternatives in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima atomic crisis. The accident led to the shutdown of nuclear reactors which once supplied about one-third of Japan's power. A weaker yen has also jacked up the cost of imported fuel which is usually priced in US dollars. (AFP)

HK dockworker strike set to enter second week

A strike by Hong Kong dockworkers that is slowing cargo shipments at the world's third busiest port looks set to drag into a second week. Several hundred dockworkers and supporters camped out on the road in front of a container terminal on Wednesday, the seventh day of their strike. The workers are demanding more than the 5% pay rise offered by subcontractors supplying labour to port operators. Hong Kong is the world's third busiest container port, according to World Shipping Council data. Shanghai is first, followed by Shenzhen. (AP)

SAFETY Fuel oil quick closing valves

Quick-closing valves are fitted to settling and service tanks within the machinery spaces, boiler room and the emergency generator space so that in the event of an emergency such as a fire, they may be safely closed from a remote location to prevent the fuel in the tank from feeding the fire. They may also be used to isolate a tank from the fire. The valves may be operated remotely by pull wires, hydraulics or compressed air. In order to ensure that fuel oil quick-closing valves are

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Oil down in Asian trade

Oil was down in Asia on Wednesday as a pipeline closure in the US led to fears that inventories could rise and investors waited for the release of US payrolls data. The market is also eyeing a policy meeting on Thursday of the European Central Bank (ECB), which is at the forefront of the fight to tackle the debt crisis in the Eurozone, analysts said. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for delivery in May, shed 54 cents to USD 96.65 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for May delivery dropped 39 cents to USD 110.30 in afternoon trade. "Uncertainty surrounding the impact of the ruptured pipeline has kept US light sweet crude prices volatile," said Ker Chung Yang, senior investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas, a 95,000 barrel-a-day line, has been down since an oil spill on Friday. There are concerns the closure could lead to a build-up of stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point as crude cannot be pushed through to refineries. Such a build-up puts a downward pressure on prices. (AFP)

maintained and available for immediate use, all engineers should be aware of the location of the quickrelease valves and their remote-release panels. They should be able to close the valves both locally and remotely and reset them ready for use. Engineers should also be familiar with the inspection, maintenance, repair and testing of the valves. In addition, it is further recommended that the quickclosing valves and their release mechanisms are added to the vessel's critical equipment list within the Safety Management System. An inspection and maintenance regime should be included in the vessel's planned maintenance system, while technical manuals, drawings and spare parts lists for the valves and system components should always be available on board. The valves should be tested periodically to ensure that they function as intended with valves, or groups of valves, or closing when activated remotely. Source: WOE P&I

Sri Lanka dockers threaten boycott of Indian cargo

Dock workers at Sri Lanka's main container port called on Tuesday for a boycott of cargo from neighbouring India amid worsening relations. Ruling party-affiliated workers staged the protest at Colombo harbour, demanding that the government retaliate against politicians in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu who have called for trade sanctions against Sri Lanka. "There is an anti-Sri Lanka campaign in Tamil Nadu," a union spokesman told reporters at the demonstration. "We want the port to stop handling cargo from south Indian ports," he added. However, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority said there were no plans for any boycott. "The workers have expressed their anger but so far they have not resorted to an actual boycott," spokesman Nalin Aponso told AFP. "We're keeping a close watch," he added. The Colombo port handled 4.1 million containers last year, of which 70% came from Indian ports. Politicians in Tamil Nadu state, which has seen daily protests against Colombo, passed a resolution last week urging New Delhi to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly country until it probes the "genocide" of ethnic Tamils. Indian Tamils share close cultural and religious links with their kinsmen in Sri Lanka. Rights groups have said Sri Lankan troops killed up to 40,000 members of the minority Tamil population in 2009 in the final months of the island's civil war - a charge denied by Colombo. The Indian government, which has traditionally been wary of upsetting its neighbour, was among 25 nations which last month supported a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council calling for a probe of alleged war crimes on the island.

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Separately, ferry service connecting Greece's many islands with the mainland was disrupted on Wednesday, as seamen launched a 24-hour strike protesting against reforms. "No ship has sailed since 6am this morning (0300 GMT)," a spokesperson from the Merchant Marine Ministry told AFP. The Panhellenic Seamens' Union (PNO) organised the strike to oppose a law that will allow a reduction in the number of crew members aboard ships sailing under a Greek flag. The law has been submitted to Parliament but has not been voted yet. PNO is also demanding collective bargaining agreements, the application of which has been restricted in the context of the austerity programme adopted in return for international rescue loans. (AFP)

COMMERCE BDI drops as Easter break cuts vessel charters

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) dropped the most in two months after disruption in grain exports due to Easter break and slump in demand for shipments of iron ore and coal to Asia curbed vessel charters. The index, a measure of commodity-shipping costs, fell 1.5% to 896, the largest decline since January 30, the London-based Baltic Exchange, an assessor of freight costs, reported. The exchange data show that the hiring cost for Capesize vessels and Panamax ships dropped significantly. Capesize vessels carry iron ore and coal, while Panamax ships typically carry grain cargoes. Average rates paid to hire Capesize vessels went down 3.2% to USD 4,530 daily, while Panamax ships dropped for a fourth session from a 10-month high on March 25, going 1.8% down to USD 9,238 daily, according to the exchange. Because of the Easter holidays, the index didn't report on March 29 and April 1.

Chinese tanker loads crude in Iran

Last month, a Chinese tanker transported crude from Iran, shipping data and an industry official reported. This is the first time a China-flagged ship has loaded Iranian crude since EU sanctions imposed in July 2012 stopped insurers covering the shipments. Last year, tough sanctions were imposed by the US and Europe to choke Iran's oil revenue and force the country to halt its disputed nuclear programme.

RESCUE Crew rescued from sinking cargo ship

Omani rescue teams on Tuesday rescued the crew of a Turkish ship after asking them to evacuate, the Transport Ministry said in a statement. According to the ministry, the ship, which was carrying iron frames, to be used in a new terminal at the Muscat airport, listed and partly submerged after a fire in its engine room. The ship, with 21 crewmembers on board, is currently situated at about 144 nautical miles southeast to
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Masirah Island and listed about 20 degrees towards the port, the statement added. The crewmembers were evacuated to a commercial ship, the report said.

Rules on ship seating likely to be changed

A number of wheelhouse accidents has led to calls for a change in rules for ship seating. According to reports, a series of "seat related incidents" have been reported over the past month. The USCG was forced to issue new guidance on "Captain's chairs", after they dramatically broke under strain. The new USCG guidance was launched following three separate accidents on US flagged vessels. In one of the incidents, "a Master, Captain of a bulk carrier was returning from making a coffee and grabbing a few muffins, he sat down only for the seat to snap sending the shaft rapidly upwards causing some severe problems". Currently, the companies involved are undergoing a rigorous seat testing process.

HI-TECH New HiMSEN diesel engine gains class approvals

The South Korean company HHI has won type approval for the new 35,300 bhp HiMSEN H46/60V engine from 9 classification societies. The type approval test completion of the IMO Tier III compliant HiMSEN H46/60V expands HHI's medium speed marine engine line-up to cover output from 780 bhp to 35,300 bhp. The HiMSEN engine (Hi-touch Marine & Stationary Engine) was originally developed by HHI in 2000. Since then, the company has churned out 7,200 units for marine propulsion and land-based power plants. According to a press release, the engines can be customised to have anywhere between 5 and 20 cylinders to reflect customers' needs. "The rated power of medium speed engines varies depending on ship size and power generation capacity. With the development of the high power HiMSEN H46/60V, HHI is well positioned to swiftly respond to the demand for high power marine engines for ship propulsion and power generation," said the senior vice president of HHI.

Infield support vessel to be fitted with VSP

The new infield support vessel "Siem Moxie", currently being built at Fjellstrand AS shipyard in Norway for Siem Offshore AS, will be the first Ulstein X-BOW vessel to be fitted with two Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP). According to a press release, X-BOW vessels are characterised by the absence of a bulbous bow. Their bow slopes backwards above the water line which results in reduced resistance and improved wave slamming characteristics on the foreship. Designed for specific tasks in wind farms in the North Sea as well as in the Atlantic, the vessel with a length of 74 metres and a beam of 17 metres will be fitted with two electronically controlled VSP of the size 28R5 ECS/2342. They have a propulsion power of 1,850 kW each and will be arranged in the stern. Two Voith Schneider Propellers will also be used for active roll stabilization as well as for dynamic positioning (DP class 2). The entire propulsion system as well as the DP system will be controlled centrally. The interfaces for propeller and roll stabilisation control will be provided by Voith. The favourable interactions between the VSP and the X-BOW design result in lower vibrations, a reduction in fuel consumption and therefore in reduced emissions.

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New York (Tue Cls) Fgn Currency in USD Britain (Pound) Canada (Dollar) China (Yuan) Euro India (Rupee) 1.5105 0.9854 0.1613 1.2813 0.0184 USD in Fgn Currency 0.6620 1.0149 6.2013 0.7804 54.4300 9738.00 93.3500 5.8239 40.8600 3.2700 31.3087 1.2392

Indonesia (Rupiah) 0.000103 Japan (Yen) Norway (Krone) Philippines (Peso) Poland (Zloty) Russia (Ruble) Singapore (Dollar) 0.010712 0.1717 0.0245 0.3060 0.0319 0.8069

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