The third 21K TEU+ size containership owned by Hong Kong's shipping company Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has been named as the OOCL Japan at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje Island.
The naming ceremony, held on September 1, comes in less than two weeks from OOCL Germany's christening, the company's second ship from the series. The 21,413 TEU newbuilding forms part of a batch comprising 6 ships of the size.
"The economic growth fundamentals continue to show further improvement so far this year, and under the new industry landscape, we are seeing signs of a stronger rebound after witnessing significant volume growth, increased liftings, and more sustainable rate levels that are positively impacting revenues in the first half of 2017.
"We are pleased to be rolling out these new vessels under the current environment, and look forward to solid demand growth on a much stronger trajectory," said Andy Tung, Chief Executive Officer of OOCL, while commenting on the deployment timing of the boxships.
Furthermore, the company said that its network operations with its alliance partners under the Ocean Alliance, are continuing as planned and the new products, including the LL1 service, that were launched in April "are settling in well."
The OOCL Japan will be serving the Asia-Europe trade lane on the LL1 service and its port rotation is: Shanghai / Ningbo / Xiamen / Yantian / Singapore / via Suez Canal / Felixstowe / Rotterdam / Gdansk / Wilhelmshaven / Felixstowe / via Suez Canal / Singapore / Yantian / Shanghai in a 77-day round trip.
In addition, the ship's sister vessel OOCL Hong Kong achieved a Guinness World Records Title as the largest containership in the world based on its carrying capacity. The last time OOCL won a Guinness World Records title was for the largest containership back in April 2003 with the OOCL Shenzhen, an 8,063 TEU vessel.
"Once again, we are delighted to be setting yet another record with our long-time business partner because earlier this week, we have been confirmed by the Guinness World Records that the OOCL Hong Kong has officially been recorded as the world’s biggest containership by carrying capacity at 21,413 TEU," Tung added.
Viikki, the new eco-friendly dry cargo vessel of Finnish dry bulk shipping company ESL Shipping, part of Aspo Plc, was launched on August 31 in China.
"The longstanding work in this project becomes concrete today when we see the vessel floating for the first time. There is still a lot of work ahead before its delivery, but I’m confident that we will get a superb vessel tailored to our needs," Captain Jussi Vaahtikari said.
ESL Shipping informed that the 26,000 dwt Viikki is the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered handysize bulk carrier in the world and is a forerunner in energy efficiency and eco-friendliness. The 160-meter vessel produces more than 50 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions than vessels of the previous generation.
Constructed at the Jinling shipyard in Nanjing, the bulker was named at the yard in late June 2017. Viikki, the first of two vessels ordered from the shipyard, will start operating in the Baltic Sea during the first half of 2018, ESL earlier said.
Viikki's sister vessel is expected to be christened in September.
Greece-based shipping company Pantheon Tankers has been linked to an order of two 50,000 dwt tankers, in addition to two optional vessels of the same size.
Namely, the company signed a letter of intent (LOI) with South Korean shipbuilder STX Offshore for the construction of the above-mentioned ships, Intermodal Shipbrokers’ data shows.
Pantheon Tankers will pay USD 33 million for each vessel.
The newbuildings are scheduled for delivery in 2019.
World Maritime News contacted Pantheon Tankers for more details on the matter, however, the company is yet to reply.
Currently, Pantheon Tankers’ fleet comprises 20 vessels, according to information available on the company’s website. In addition, Pantheon Tankers has two Aframaxes on order at Namura shipyard and one Suezmax at Hyundai Heavy Industries Ulsan shipyard.
Canadian ferry operator BC Ferries has taken delivery of Northern Sea Wolf, the recently acquired vessel which is intended for the company’s new mid-coast ferry service.
The delivery took place in Greece on August 30, 2017.
In April, commissioner of BC Ferries approved the purchase of the secondhand vessel for the new ferry service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola in British Columbia.
BC Ferries said that a community engagement process with representatives from local First Nations, Ferry Advisory Committee members, BC Ferries employees and the Mid-Coast Ferry Working Group have selected Northern Sea Wolf as the name for the vessel.
“We are now preparing the Northern Sea Wolf to begin service next summer,” Janet Carson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Marketing, said.
Previously named Aqua Spirit, Northern Sea Wolf was built in 2000 and is able to accommodate a minimum of 35 vehicles and 150 passengers and crew.
The vessel is scheduled to arrive in British Columbia this fall, where it will undergo upgrades to be ready for regular service starting in summer 2018.
Sailings will depart from Port Hardy and Bella Coola five days per week during peak season.
South Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is moving forward with its plans to modernize fleet and has set sights on adding seven ships with options for five more.
Specifically, HMM will acquire two large container vessels at a 10% lower price than the current market price as it eyes to bolster its fleet competitiveness.
Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction based in the Philippines has been hired for the job of building the ships.
The price tag for the boxship pair totals USD 162 million.
The company said that the two vessels are scheduled for delivery in May 2018 and are expected to be deployed on East Coast South America trade.
“HMM bolsters its competitiveness through the early acquisition of fuel efficient & eco-friendly large container vessels at a lower price than the current market price,” a company spokesperson commented.
What is more, HMM said that the company’s board of directors has finalized the plans to build five 300,000 DWT very large crude carriers (VLCC) at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).
Under the letter of intent (LOI) HMM inked with DSME in April 2017, the order for the five VLCCs contains options for five more ships.
HMM further noted that it will invest KRW 470 billion (USD 418.9 million) in new facilities for the construction of the crude carriers.
As informed earlier, HMM will tap into the government’s financing program dubbed the New Shipbuilding Program to secure funds for the ship construction. The South Korean government announced the financing scheme worth KRW 2.6 trillion (USD 2.28 billion) in October last year with the aim of helping the country’s shipping industry.
The company said the investment in crude carriers has been prompted by low newbuilding prices which have fallen to the lowest level since 2003.
“However, multi-country market research companies forecast a rebound in VLCC newbuilding price after 2019 as to the improvement of supply & demand in accordance with the deployment of fewer newbuildings, combined with increasing scrapping activity,” the company concluded.
The VLCCs are set for sequential delivery in the first half of 2019.
Japan’s shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has christened the newly-built liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier Pacific Breeze at its Sakaide yard.
The new vessel, which features a length of 289 meters and a beam of 52 meters, was recently completed at the yard located in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan for the Ichthys LNG Project in Darwin, Australia.
The LNG tanker was built based on a construction agreement between Pacific Breeze LNG Transport (PBLT), a subsidiary of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) as the owner, and KHI. It is scheduled to be deployed in conjunction with the production startup of the Ichthys LNG Project.
Pacific Breeze is the largest moss-type LNG carrier, according to K Line, which is also the first moss-type LNG carrier equipped with tri-fuel diesel (TFD) propulsion system.
With a tank capacity of 182,000 m3, Pacific Breeze will be time-chartered by IT Marine Transport, a joint-venture company between INPEX Corporation and TOTAL S.A., and consigned to Taiwan’s CPC Corporation.
Following its delivery, the vessel will transport 1.75 million tons of Ichthys-produced LNG per year to Taiwan under a sales and purchase agreement with CPC.
Supported by an improvement in the dry bulk shipping market, Hong Kong-based Jinhui Shipping and Transportation managed to cut its net loss in the first half of 2017.
The company’s net loss for the first half of 2017 shrunk to USD 8.7 million, against a net loss of USD 39.1 million seen a year earlier.
Revenue for the first half of 2017 increased 37% to USD 34.3 million, comparing to USD 25 million reported in the same period in 2016.
During the first half of the year the company entered into five memorandums of agreement to dispose of four Supramaxes and one Handysize at a total consideration of USD 63 million. By using the net sale proceeds arisen from the disposals for the repayment of the vessel mortgage loans, the group’s overall indebtness had been reduced by around USD 52.3 million.
The company’s net loss for the three-month period ended June 30, 2017 stood at USD 784 thousand, compared to a net loss of USD 20.6 million reported in the corresponding period in 2016.
Revenue for the second quarter of 2017 increased 26% to USD 18.9 million from USD 15 million seen in the same quarter a year earlier.
Dry bulk shipping market has been improving since February 2017 on the back of rising dry seaborne trade volumes which were stimulated by both increasing agriculture products and coal trading activities. Despite the softening of freight rates in May and June 2017, the average of Baltic Dry Index of the second quarter of 2017 was 1,006 points, compared to 610 points in the same quarter in 2016.
As of the end of August 2017, the group had twenty three owned vessels which included 2 modern Post- Panamaxes and 21 modern grabs fitted Supramaxes.
John Fredriksen’s Ship Finance International took delivery of two 114,000 DWT LR2 newbuilding product tankers in August 2017.
Both vessels, SFL Sabine and SFL Trinity, commenced their respective seven year time charters to Phillips 66 immediately upon delivery, with options for the charterer to extend the period up to 12 years.
The duo was built by DSME’s Daehan shipyard.
In addition, during the quarter the company completed the sale of two older tanker vessels, the 1998-built Suezmax tanker Front Brabant and the 2000- built VLCC Front Scilla, which have been delivered to their new owners.
The combined net proceeds from the sale of the vessels totaled USD 39 million, including compensation from Frontline for the early termination of the charters.
Ship Finance recorded a book loss of USD 2.7 million as a result of the two sales.
The company also agreed to sell the 1997-built Suezmax tanker Front Ardenne, and the vessel was delivered to its new owner in the third quarter. The agreed net sale price was USD 12 million, including compensation for the early termination of the charter.
Ship Finance expects a minor book gain from the sale, which will be recorded in the third quarter.
Following this sale, Ship Finance has nine crude oil tankers remaining on charter to Frontline, all of which are VLCCs. The total EBITDA contribution from these two vessels is estimated to be approximately USD 11 million per year.
SFL reported net operating income for the quarter of USD 38.7 million, and a net income of USD 20.1 million. The company secured USD 150 million of total charter revenues during the second quarter.
“In light of the pending financial restructuring in Seadrill and also a softer tanker market, the board has adjusted the dividend to USD 0.35 per share this quarter. We believe this is a prudent action that resets our dividend to a more sustainable level going forward.
“Today’s declaration brings total accumulated dividends to more than USD 23 per share since 2004 and we have a large, diversified fleet of 70 vessels and rigs in operation, a significant charter backlog, and remain in a very strong financial position,” Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of Ship Finance Management AS said.
As of June 30, 2017, the fixed rate charter backlog from the company’s fleet of 70 vessels and rigs stood at USD 3.4 billion, with an average remaining charter term of nearly 5 years, or more than 8 years if weighted by charter revenue.
A number of European-sourced gasoline cargoes on the water, which were initially bound for destinations in West Africa and within Europe, have now changed destination to the U.S. in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. So far, Genscape has seen that around 111,000 metric tons (MT) of European gasoline diverted to the U.S.
Product tanker ‘Stenaweco Venture,’ which left Finland’s Porvoo refinery on August 2, changed her destination Thursday, August 31, from Lome, Togo, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, with a new ETA of September 9. Similarly, the ‘Elandra Oak,’ which left Milford Haven, UK, on August 29, changed her destination from Lome to Port Everglades, with a new ETA of September 10. Both are carrying 37 to 38 kilo metric tons (KMT) cargo lots of gasoline.
The ‘Elka Nikolas,’ which left the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda on August 26 and declared ARA as her destination, is now bound for New York, with an ETA of September 10, also carrying around 37 KMT of gasoline.
Freight rates for chartering product tankers to move gasoline from Europe to North America have also spiked sharply since the start of the week. As gasoline prices in the U.S. shot up a total of 20 cents per gallon from Friday, August 25, to Wednesday, August 30, there has been increasing interest to move petroleum products trans-Atlantic from Europe. This sudden doubling in freight costs broke a long recent spell of comparatively cheap trans-Atlantic freight rates.
Trans-Atlantic clean freight rates had previously been holding steady in a low range of around Worldscale (WS) 105-115 throughout most of August prior to the Hurricane Harvey, which has caused major disruption to refining operations in the U.S. Gulf, home to around half of the country’s total refining capacity. U.S. gasoline prices have risen sharply as a result, amid reports of disruption to the Colonial pipeline system, which moves products from the U.S. Gulf to the Northeast.
Some notably strong tanker fixtures already concluded this week include Statoil fixing the Green Planet to move around 37,000 MT of gasoline to the U.S. East Coast from its refinery in Mongstad, Norway, at WS 215, and Repsol, which fixed the Challenge Pearl at the same rate out of Northern Spain. Both loaded around September 5 and 10 laycan dates.
Many of new shipments are thought to be on subjects, i.e. provisionally fixed, and will have a range of discharge destination options throughout both North and South America. Port-specific destinations are generally declared on departure, but these can, and often do, change en route.
To date, some 918,000 KMT of gasoline has been chartered to move trans-Atlantic out of Europe for loading during the two weeks ending September 1 and September 8. Around 185,000 KMT is currently loading in European ports (as of August 30) and is expected to go Trans-Atlantic (based on fixture information). Another 310,845 MT of gasoline has already left Europe to go trans-Atlantic this week to destinations including New York and Tuxpan.
For comparison, recent weekly totals for trans-Atlantic gasoline exports to North and South America have recently been in a range broadly to either side of the 600 KMT mark, although did drop as low as 468 KMT in July.
On 28th August, a keel-laying ceremony was held at Damen Shipyards Sharjah. Damen is building an ASD Tug 2913 for Saqr Ports, part of Rash Al Khaimah (RAK) Ports.
The keel-laying was attended by, Captain Brand, Group General Manager RAK Ports, Captain Magee, Harbour Master RAK Ports, Pascal Slingerland, Damen Sales Manager Middle East and the Albwardy Damen management and project teams.
The keel was lowered onto the building blocks by Captain Brand. Following this, both Captain Brand and Captain Magee marked the occasion by breaking a coconut over the keel.
Furthermore, during the event, the 3D engineering model of the vessel was shown to the client. This is a tool used by Damen for the design of its vessels and the detailed engineering of all systems on board. The 3D engineering models allows Damen to design its vessels in such a way as to optimise the ergonomics for the crew onboard and to ensure accessibility of all systems for easy maintenance during the lifetime of the tug.
Captain Magee commented; ““The experience at the yard reinforced our belief that the decision to build with Damen was a wise one. We were able to visit the tug via a 3D CAD presentation and see all aspects of the vesel from the wheelhouse to the bilges.”
General Manager Captain Cliff Brand stated, “Damen have shown great versatility – to be able to produce their first 2319 in the UAE at our request is indeed impressive.“
Damen will deliver the vessel to RAK Ports next year, in time for the opening of a new bulk terminal at Saqr Port. RAK Ports required a tug that was both compact and powerful, in order to handle the large carriers that will call at the port.
Saqr Port is the main bulk-handling port in the Middle East and a vital part of the regional economy.