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2017-06-09 10:34:29

Petroleum and chemical tanker owner AET Tankers has held a double naming ceremony of two long-range (LR2) petroleum tankers built by South Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

Christened at HHI's yard in Gunsan, Korea, Eagle Lyon and Eagle Le Havre will both qualify for the Green Passport notation, having been designed to optimise overall operational efficiency and minimise environmental impact.

AET Tankers said that the 114,000 dwt vessels have been fitted with the most modern energy efficient engines, auxiliary equipment having advance power management systems, along with the latest hull, tank and ballast epoxy coatings.

"Both vessels have been carefully designed to provide optimal operational and environmental efficiency," Yee Yang Chien, Chairman, AET and President/Group CEO, MISC Berhad, said.

The Singapore-flagged Eagle Lyon and the French-flagged Eagle Le Havre have been taken on long-term charter by French oil major Total.

The LR2s unveiled in Gunsan are the latest addition to AET’s fleet, which now includes 12 VLCCs, six Suezmaxes, one Panamax, 46 Aframaxes, four DP tankers, 13 CPPs, five LR2 tankers, 13 chemical ships and an LPG tanker.

Its current orderbook includes a further two Suezmaxes and four more Aframaxes.

2017-06-09 10:32:46

Palmetto State, the eight and final tanker constructed at US-based shipyard General Dynamics NASSCO, was delivered to American Petroleum Tankers (APT).

The shipbuilder said that the LNG-ready ECO Class tanker, one of the most fuel-efficient product carriers to enter the Jones Act trade, was handed over during a signing ceremony at its San Diego shipyard on June 7.

In 2013, NASSCO entered into agreements with APT and SEA-Vista to design and construct a total of eight 610-foot-long, 50,000 deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tankers.

Featuring a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity each, the Palmetto State and its sister ships are of an ECO design which offers 33 percent increased fuel efficiency and a corresponding reduction in ship emissions, according to NASSCO.

In late May, Palmetto State returned from its first run at sea. The 37,530 gross-ton newbuilding was christened and launched on March 25.

2017-06-09 10:30:54

Canadian ferry owner and operator BC Ferries informed that Salish Raven, the newest of three LNG-powered Salish Class vessels, arrived in British Columbia on June 7.

The newbuilding took 41 days to travel 10,440 nautical miles from Remontowa Shipbuilding in Gdansk, Poland.

"We are proud to welcome Salish Raven, our third natural gas-fuelled ship, home to B.C. and into our fleet," Mark Collins, BC Ferries' President and CEO, said.

Once Salish Raven clears Canadian Customs and final inspections are complete, the vessel will be officially handed over to BC Ferries, as explained by the company. The ship will proceed to BC Ferries' refit facility in Richmond on June 8 to prepare for operational service in the Southern Gulf Islands in the fall.

Salish Orca, BC Ferries' first dual-fuel vessel, was introduced into service on the Powell River – Comox route in May, while Salish Eagle, the second Salish Class ship, is scheduled to start service on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route in late June.

The 107-meter-long Salish Class ships will carry 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew. With a gross tonnage of 8,728 tons, the vessels feature two car decks and have a service speed of 15.5 knots.

2017-06-09 10:28:04

Danish shipping company Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S (Norden) has purchased a 2009-built MR product tanker with a cargo capacity of 50,000 tonnes, taking advantage of low asset prices on the back of weakening tanker markets.

The South Korean-built vessel is expected to be delivered in July 2017 and will be renamed Nord Pearl.

The purchase marks Norden's first tanker acquisition since it sold 3 Handysize product tankers last year.

In addition to the purchase of Nord Pearl, Norden has entered into long term charter agreements for a further 2 MR product tanker newbuildings and has thus concluded 4 MR product tanker newbuilding charters so far this year. The vessels are scheduled to be delivered to the company in the years 2018-2020. All agreements are with purchase options.

"Norden used the strong tanker market in 2015 and first half of 2016 to take cover. The increase in cover led to a decrease in capacity for 2017 and onwards, but in the wake of the weakening market, Norden has taken advantage of the reduced tonnage prices to increase our capacity and exposure at attractive cost levels. We can do this in the comfort of having an excellent product tanker operating arm in form of Norient Product Pool, and benefit of the premium earnings that they generate," Jan Rindbo, the company's CEO, said in a comment.

At the end of first quarter of 2017, Norden's tanker fleet consisted of 36 vessels – 25 MRs with a cargo capacity of 45,000-50,000 tonnes and 11 Handysize vessels with a cargo capacity of 35,000-37,000 tonnes. 19 tankers are owned by Norden while the rest are chartered vessels.

2017-06-08 11:09:22

South Korean Polaris Shipping Co. has reportedly ordered three very large iron ore carriers at compatriot shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Yonhap news agency said citing an announcement from the shipping company.

The order for 325,000-ton iron ore carriers comes as the shipping firm seeks to replace some of its aged ships, especially following the recent sinking of its converted VLOC-Stellar Daisy.

Further details of the said deal were not revealed.

The company could not be reached for comment on the order at the moment of publication of this article.

World Maritime News reported earlier this week that Polaris Shipping has expanded its fleet with a newbuilding, the 2017-built 209,000 dwt Capesize vessel TRF Charleston.

Under the deal signed on June 5 with US-based TRF Ship Management, Polaris Shipping paid for the newbuilding USD 46.2 million.

Over the past several months, the company was embroiled in controversies regarding its converted fleet as hull cracks were found on several of its ships putting the respective conversion process under spotlight.

Busan Coast Guard raided the company's premises on May 25 in relation to the sinking of the ill-fated Stellar Daisy as part of the recently launched investigation into the incident.

Initial findings indicated that the converted ship had split in half following a hull crack that caused shifting of cargo and subsequent sinking of the bulk carrier. However, an official cause of the incident has not been provided yet.

Polaris Shipping's fleet is comprised of 31 bulk carriers.

2017-06-08 11:07:41

Canada-based ferry owner and operator BC Ferries has awarded Damen Shipyards Group of the Netherlands a contract to build two new minor class vessels.

Scheduled to go into service in 2020, the 81-metre ferries will have the capacity to carry at least 44 vehicles and up to 300 passengers and crew.

The first of the new vessels will be deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route, replacing the 59-year old North Island Princess, which will be retired from the BC Ferries fleet.

The second vessel will replace the Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route. The Quadra Queen II will become a relief vessel, allowing for fleet redeployments and the retirement of the 53-year old Howe Sound Queen.

"We are excited that this project continues our commitment to coastal communities to replace aging ships with standardized vessels, which will reduce costs and improve operations," Mark Collins, BC Ferries' President and CEO, said.

The ferries will feature a hybrid diesel electric – battery power generation and propulsion system, and engines which operate on ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel. They will also have a hull, propeller and thruster design that minimizes underwater radiated noise, arrangements to minimize shipboard vibration and airborne noise, as well as a fully contained waste water handling system.

Damen has entered into an agreement with Point Hope Shipyards of Victoria, B.C. to provide technical and warranty support for the new vessels, ensuring repair and maintenance activities will be performed in British Columbia.

The total project budget, which includes financing and project management costs, is around CAD 86.5 million (USD 64.3 million). The project is partially funded by the Government of Canada.

2017-06-07 10:44:50

Greek tanker owner Kyklades Maritime Corporation has ordered five 115, 000 dwt Aframax tankers at South Korean Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.

The first two ships from the batch, priced at USD 44 million each, are slated for delivery in 2018 with the remaining three following suit in 2019, VesselsValue data shows.

Under the terms of the deal, the Greek shipowner has an option to order two more ships from the series.

Kyklades Maritime has ten tankers in its fleet, based on the company's website data, comprising four 2015-built Aframax-LR2 tankers, four 2012 Aframaxes and two Suezmaxes, one built in 2016 and the second one in 2017.

In addition, the company has two Suezmax tankers of 157,100 dwt on order at Japan Marine United (JMU) that are scheduled to join the company's fleet in 2018.

This is said to be the first order for the mid-sized shipbuilder since 2015, according to The Korea Economic Daily.

2017-06-07 10:40:42

South Korean shipowner Polaris Shipping has opted to expand its fleet as it reached an agreement to purchase a 209,000 dwt Capesize vessel TRF Charleston.

Under the deal signed on June 5 with US-based TRF Ship Management, Polaris Shipping will purchase the company's bulk carrier newbuilding for USD 46.2 million.

The vessel fetched a price which is slightly over its current market value of USD 42.4 million, according to data provided by VesselsValue.

Featuring a length of 300 meters and a beam of 50 meters, the bulker was delivered from China Shipping Industry in January 2017.

The newbuilding will join Polaris Shipping's fleet of 31 bulk carriers.

2017-06-07 10:38:52

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan turns out to have landed an order for a 14,000gt ferry from domestic ferry owner Taiheiyo Ferry.

According to local press, the newbuilding is slated for delivery in January 2019, to replace the Kitakami of Taiheiyo Ferry, which is operating between Sendai city and Tomakomai city.

Featuring a length of 192.5m and a breadth of 27, it is capable of carrying 310 vehicles (166 trucks and 146 cars) and 543 passengers at a speed of 21.5 knots.

Meanwhile, Taiheiyo Ferry is operating a total of three ferries, the Kitakami, the Ishikari and the Kiso, which were all built at Mitsubishi Heavy.

2017-06-06 11:08:02

Japan's shipowner NS United Kaiun Kaisha has placed an order for another 400,000 dwt Capesize very large ore carrier (VLOC) at its compatriot shipbuilder Japan Marine United.

Under the construction deal, signed on June 2, the new Valemax is scheduled to be delivered in 2020.

Although the parties did not disclose the price of the 200,000 gross ton vessel, data provided by VesselsValue shows that the ship has a market value of USD 66.4 million.

In April 2017, NS United ordered its first 400,000 dwt VLOC from the same shipbuilder on the back of a 25-year contract of affreightment signed with Brazilian iron ore from Brazilian mining giant Vale S.A.

The earlier signed agreement is scheduled to commence in the second half of 2019, when the newly built eco-type ore carrier is set to join its owner.

The deal would cover the transportation of an estimated volume of 40 million tons on the major service route between Brazil and China throughout the contract years.

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