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2017-06-30 11:50:44

Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has signed a contract to build and charter four liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers for Russia’s Yamal LNG project.

The vessels, which will feature a tank capacity of 174,000 m3, will be deployed on long-term charters transporting LNG transshipped by the project from Europe.

MOL informed that the carriers are scheduled for delivery in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

“While demand for LNG transport will greatly grow, by leveraging experience and know-how as owners of one of the world’s largest LNG carrier fleets and its management company, MOL Group continually takes a proactive stance in meeting customer needs in an appropriate manner and providing high-quality LNG transport services,” the shipping firm said.


2017-06-30 11:47:59

Swedish tanker shipping company Stena Bulk has named Stena Impeccable, the tenth of thirteen IMOIIMAX tanker newbuildings.

The christening ceremony took place at the Port of Rotterdam on June 28 where the 50,000 dwt vessel arrived at the beginning of this week.

“The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and our fleet often calls there. That’s why we also have many business contacts in the area and we took the opportunity to gather them in conjunction with this naming ceremony,” Erik Hånell, President and CEO of Stena Bulk, commented.

Following its delivery in early March, Stena Impeccable sailed from China to Australia. The newbuild then sailed from New Guinea via Singapore and the Suez Canal to Rotterdam.

After the naming ceremony, the vessel left Rotterdam for Brake in Germany.

Stena Impeccable was built at the Chinese shipyard Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) like all the 13 IMOIIMAX tankers ordered by Stena Bulk – both delivered and under construction.

The vessel is wholly owned by Stena Bulk, operated by Stena Weco and sails in the company’s global logistics system, which currently employs around 60 vessels.

Six of the 13 IMOIIMAX tankers are wholly owned by Stena Bulk, four together with Singapore’s palm oil company Golden Agri Resources (GAR), two by Stena Bulk’s sister company Concordia Maritime and one in partnership with Weco.

So far, ten tankers have been handed over to Stena Bulk and its partners, with the remaining three expected to be delivered by 2018.

2017-06-30 11:45:02

Helsinki-based shipping company ESL Shipping, a member of the Aspo Group, has christened its new LNG-powered dry cargo vessel at the Jinling shipyard in Nanjing, China.

As informed, the first of the two ordered vessels was christened Viikki in line with the shipping company’s tradition to name its ships for places in Helsinki.

“We are proud to reduce the carbon footprint of our shipping company with these innovative vessels. These new vessels are a significant step towards even greener shipping,” Aki Ojanen, CEO of Aspo Plc and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ESL Shipping, commented.

The 26,000 dwt ship produces more than 50 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions than vessels of the previous generation, as explained by the company.

Viikki, which features a length of 160 meters and a width of 26 meters, will start operating in the Baltic Sea during the first half of 2018, according to ESL.

The construction of Viikki’s sister vessel is also proceeding on schedule and the bulker is expected to be christened in September, the firm said.

ESL revealed in late 2015 that the ships will be used to implement the agreement between ESL and SSAB, a steel company, covering SSAB’s inbound raw material sea transports within the Baltic Sea and from the North Sea. The aggregated sea transport volume covered by the agreement is estimated to be 6–7 million tons annually.

“SSAB assumes responsibility for sustainable oceans by such means as our work to minimize carbon dioxide emissions from our production and our transport operations,” Thomas Hörnfeldt, SSAB’s VP Sustainability & Public Affairs, noted.

The construction project is part of the Bothnia Bulk project, co-funded partly by the EU. Its objective is to modernize the sea route between Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe to be more eco-friendly.

2017-06-30 11:42:38

US-based tanker shipping company International Seaways has entered into an agreement to acquire two Suezmax tanker newbuildings constructed at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries shipyard.

The vessels are expected be delivered by the end of July 2017, International Seaways said, adding that the acquisitions would be funded from available liquidity. The purchase remains subject to customary closing conditions.

According to data provided by VesselsValue, the ships in question were bought en block on June 15 for a total of USD 112 million. They each feature 160,000 dwt, a length of 274 meters and a width of 48 meters.

“We are pleased to add these two new Suezmax tankers to our sizeable and diverse fleet,” said Lois K. Zabrocky, International Seaways’ president and CEO.

“As INSW executes on our growth and renewal strategy, we will target vessels of high quality and attractive value at this low point in the cycle,” Zabrocky added.

Following the delivery of the tanker duo, the company’s fleet will consist of 57 vessels, including 51 conventional crude and product tankers in addition to its joint venture participation in four liquefied natural gas carriers and two floating storage and offloading service vessels.


2017-06-30 11:29:56

Denmark has become the seventh country to accede to the international Hong Kong Convention in an effort to ensure better protection of people and the environment when ships are recycled.

In mid-June the International Maritime Organization confirmed that Denmark expresses the wish to accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

“Ships that have reached the end of their operational lives typically contain hazardous waste and they therefore have to be recycled under appropriate conditions,” Esben Lunde Larsen, Danish Minister for Environment and Food, said.

With the Danish accession the Hong Kong Convention is now one step closer to entering into force. At least 15 countries, with a combined merchant fleet representing at least 40 percent of the gross tonnage of the global merchant fleet, must accede to the Convention before it can enter into force.

So far, in addition to Denmark, the countries to have done so include Norway, the Congo, France, Belgium, Panama and Turkey.

“With Denmark’s accession to the Convention, we are sending a strong signal to other countries about the importance of giving high priority to safe and environmentally responsible ship recycling,” Larsen added.

With support from more than 60 countries, the UN International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in May 2009.

When the Convention enters into force, it will obligate the countries that have acceded to it to have ships broken up at facilities complying with the requirements of the Convention and to compel shipbreakers and recycling companies to recycle ships in accordance with the requirements of the Convention.

2017-06-29 11:20:37

Greece-based owner of dry bulk carriers DryShips has taken delivery of the previously acquired very large gas carrier (VLGC) newbuilding.

The ship, built at South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) will be employed under a time charter on a fixed rate with five years firm duration to an unnamed oil major, the company said.

As informed, the charterer has options to extend the firm employment period by up to three years.

DryShips expects a total gross backlog associated with this time charter of up to USD 92.7 million, including the optional periods.

The purchase is a part of a “zero cost” option agreement which DryShips inked in January to purchase up to four high specifications VLGCs capable of carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Since the beginning of this year, DryShips has taken delivery of eleven vessels and expects to take delivery of six more by the end of 2017.

2017-06-28 10:32:02

Nine very large crude carriers (VLCCs), acquired from the BW Group Limited, have been delivered to crude oil tanker company DHT Holdings.

The vessels were purchased as part of a batch of eleven VLCCs, including two newbuildings due for delivery in 2018, in March 2017.

DHT added that the contracts for the two newbuildings have also been transferred from BW.

"The delivery of the fleet acquired from BW has been conducted in a speedy and efficient manner, speaking volumes of the professionalism and commitment by everyone involved both onshore and onboard the ships," senior management said.

The company financed the acquisition, worth a total of USD 538 million, by issuing some USD 256 million of capital stock, consisting of 32 million shares of common stock and 15,700 shares of preferred stock that are mandatorily convertible into 15.7 million shares of common stock subject to DHT shareholder approval.

DHT earlier said that it also plans to pay BW Group USD 177.36 million in cash and assume USD 104.16 million in remaining obligations with respect to the two newbuildings.

The company now has a fleet of 30 VLCCs, 26 in the water and four under construction scheduled for delivery in 2018, as well as two Aframaxes. The total dwt of the fleet is around 9,49 million.

"Our fleet has expanded by about 50% at what we think is an opportune time in the cycle. The transaction will deliver cost synergies by lowering G&A expenses per ship and is projected to be accretive to DHT’s earnings. Importantly, it will further improve our already competitive cash break even levels," the company added.

2017-06-28 10:25:32

France-based shipping company Brittany Ferries has confirmed the order for a new LNG-powered cruise ferry to be built at German Flensburger Schiffbau shipyard.

The investment is part of the company's investment budget of GBP 175 million (USD 222.9 million).

In December 2016, the duo signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the 42,400 gross ton ship which will be named Honfleur.

As informed, the 1,680-passenger newbuilding will operate on the company's busiest route from Portsmouth to Caen, with a planned arrival in spring 2019.

The vessel will feature a length of 187.4 meters and a width of 31 meters and will be able to reach a speed of 22 knots.

Upon Honfleur's arrival, Brittany Ferries' ship Normandie will move east to serve the Portsmouth-Le Havre route, according to the company.

2017-06-28 10:19:54

JP Morgan Global Maritime is said to have set sights on buying the 2012-built Supramax bulk carrier Ocean Symphony.

The company allegedly entered into a sub-sale agreement with Japan-based United Ocean Group, according to information provided by VesselsValue.

Once the transaction is completed, the 58,100 dwt Ocean Symphony will be bought for USD 15.2 million.

Currently, the market value of the 32,311 gross ton bulker stands at USD 16.06 million.

Featuring a length of 190 meters and a width of 32.3 meters, the ship was built at Tsuneishi Cebu shipyard in the Philippines.

Earlier this month, World Maritime News reported that JP Morgan Asset Management raised USD 480 million from insurers and pension funds aimed at investing into distressed shipping assets. The fund sparked considerable interest as the shipping sector proved to be one of the sluggish ones abounding in cheap assets.

2017-06-28 10:16:14

Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Cruise Line's first custom-designed ship for the Chinese cruise market, was christened today in a ceremony held onboard the vessel in Shanghai.

"After years spent carefully designing this amazing vessel, my team and I are both proud and thrilled to finally christen the world's first cruise ship custom-designed for the wonderful people of China," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Norwegian Joy's christening marks the end of a month-long grand inaugural tour where the ship has been showcased through events at the ports of Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, as well as cruises from Norwegian Joy’s homeports of Shanghai and Tianjin.

At 167,725–gross-tons and accommodating 3,883 guests, Norwegian Joy was built by German Meyer Werft shipyard.

Measuring 333 metres in length and 41 metres in width, the ship is the second in the line's Breakaway-Plus class.

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