Shanghai initiates foreign ships integrity management

March 26, 2008

Shanghai Maritime Bureau has formulated and on February 21, promulgated the Shanghai Green Ship Selection Proposal, to include foreign ships passing through Shanghai Port into a Marine integrity management system.

It is the first attempt in China to apply integrity management on foreign ships. Reflecting the voluntary approach, fairness, convenience, and benefiting the public, this selection has not only set strict conditions of filtering among the best, but also made the title to be valid only within two years. Maritime authorities will offer ‘Shanghai Green Ships’ two-year exemption from the port state supervision and inspection, moreover, possibly other preferential measures such as efficient and priority import and export procedures, priority access to Yangtze Estuary and being able to use Wusongkou Anchorage.

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Fairstar Fjord Gets DNV Certification

March 26, 2008

Fairstar Heavy Transport NV  received Class Certification from DNV for its self-propelled heavy transport vessel Fjord.

In addition, the company signed a new contact to transport a highly specialized cargo from the U.S Gulf of Mexico to the North Sea. The specific identity of the cargo cannot be revealed under the terms of a confidentiality agreement with the client, however, Mario Kerssens, Director of Sales and Marketing for Fairstar comments, “This is a perfect cargo for the maiden voyage of Fjord. While not a rig, the cargo will require a high degree of skill on behalf of the crew and maneuverability by the Fjord in very tight loading conditions. The final destination for the cargo in the North Sea positions Fjord to pick up the floating dry dock in June in Newcastle, UK, which is scheduled to be transported to India. From there, Fjord will move on to Korea to pick up the Tombua Landana module in Korea and transport it to offshore Angola. With this project, the Fjord will now be working for a period of 163 days in 2008.” Cristijn Sarvaas, CFO, added “The time charter equivalent revenue for this contract is $81,000 per day for a period of 47 days. This is in line with the forecasts we have been sharing with the market and brings total confirmed gross revenue for the Fjord to over 15 million in 2008. We expect Fjord will continue to achieve this level of day rates for the foreseeable future.”

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IBIA Plans to Establish Professional Bunkering Qualifications

March 26, 2008

The International Bunker Industry Association has commissioned an independent study into the feasibility of instigating professional qualifications for the global bunkering industry workforce.

It has put the study out to tender, and expects to announce the successful bidder by the end of June this year. IBIA secretary-general Ian Adams says, “IBIA does not want to become a training establishment itself. But it recognizes the need to improve the capabilities of the bunkering workforce by establishing a comprehensive training regimen and independent system by which people in the industry can be assessed.” Two levels of qualification have been discussed, but not finalised. These are the IBIA Foundation Diploma (IFD) and the IBIA Professional Qualification (IPQ). The IFD could be achieved by relative newcomers to the industry, or could be structured as a refresher course for those looking for career advancement. The IPQ is envisaged as a qualification widely respected and recognized throughout the bunkering and marine industry sectors and as an essential qualification for significant career advancement. It could comprise three parallel in-depth courses focused on buying, selling and services. IBIA envisages that the independent study will provide a way forward to establishing it as the arbiter of training standards in the bunkering sector.

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European Commission opens an investigation into the activities of petrol tankers in the Strait of Gibraltar.

March 26, 2008

The European Commission is to open an investigation into the allegedly uncontrolled activities of the so-called floating petrol stations in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The EC will decide whether any penal action is needed. Antonio Muñoz gave the news from Verdemar-Ecologistas en Accion, who said that he had been notified of the investigation by letter last Friday. It comes after his organization had called on Brussels to investigate the matter, claiming that there was not adequate monitoring in the Strait, nor an efficient system of fines, which would persuade the petrol companies to stop putting marine life and people’s health in danger. Verdemar has estimated that nearly seven million tons of oil is transferred between tankers in the Gibraltar Bay. The recent case of the New Flame, the scrap metal boat that remains half sunk off Gibraltar after colliding with a tanker last August, has highlighted the dangers to the environment in the bay. Reports indicate the vessel has a cargo of 44,000 used exhaust pipes, car batteries and other toxic products on board, with pollution from the ship reaching beaches in Algeciras. An earlier investigation into the practice of ‘bunkering’ moving petrol from one tanker to another while at sea, took place in the Strait in 2006 when two Scottish MPs made a complaint, and that merely resulted in some observations coming from Brussels a year later that such operations should always be carried out with attention being made to the environment.

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Dubai to host maritime arbitration conference

March 26, 2008

The first Maritime Arbitration Conference will be held with the support of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The emirate of Dubai will be hosting the activities of this conference from April 5 to April 7, 2008, with the participation of a panel of commercial and maritime arbitrators and law figures on both levels — regional and international. This conference is regarded as a major move towards the solving of any legal and professional disputes in relation with maritime arbitration and to communicate the same to the concerned entities and organizations.

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