Marine Link
Monday, September 25, 2017

Germany Awards $2.4 Bln Naval Shipbuilding Contract

The German defence procurement agency said on Tuesday it has awarded a contract valued at nearly 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) to a consortium of shipbuilders led by Lurrsen Werft for five new corvettes to be delivered from 2022 to 2025. The agency said the contract would give the German navy additional proven warships to keep up with its increased responsibilities within the NATO alliance. The consortium also includes Thyssenkrupp and German Naval Yards, which had undertaken legal action to be added to the group. In July Germany's competition regulator, the federal cartel office, said it would not block moves by Lurssen and Thyssenkrupp to expand the consortium after finding no evidence of antitrust concerns.

Landmark ECJ Ruling on Liability Limitation for Cargo Theft

Jos van der Meché

Rotterdam based law firm AKD said a recent landmark decision of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg definitively puts its weight behind forum shopping to limit liability under the CMR Convention in carrier-friendly countries. This is a boon to the Dutch jurisdiction and specifically comes at the expense of the courts in Germany. The ruling had its origins in a dispute between cargo interests and carriers involving the theft of four consignments of Canon cameras during…

Somali Pirate Sentenced to 12 Years by German Court

A German court sentenced a Somali asylum-seeker to 12 years in jail on Thursday, for his involvement in the pirate hijacking of a tanker in the Indian Ocean in 2010. The judge in the Osnabrueck court in northern Germany said the man was guilty of kidnapping and severe extortion. The ship was released for a ransom of $5.5 million after eight months in the hands of Somali pirates. "After four months of extensive evidence gathering, the court is convinced that the 44-year-old Somalian was a leading member of the pirates who kidnapped a chemical tanker," said the court in a statement. The man was not named. German courts do not usually provide the full names of defendants.

European Court Ups Standards for River Dredging

Photo: Port of Hamburg

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Wednesday that damage to water quality must be considered when authorities approve river dredging to expand ports, in a ruling which could hinder expansion at the German ports of Bremen and Hamburg. The European Union's highest tribunal raised hurdles for approval of port dredging projects which could harm marine life, saying more consideration must be given to the potential damage to water quality and marine life. But it did not order…

Wreck of WWI German U-boat Sub Found off Belgium

A German U-boat (Photo: Library of Congress, Bain Collection)

The well-preserved wreck of a World War One German submarine, possibly still containing the bodies of its 23 crew members, has been found off the Belgian coast. The use of submarines, often referred to as U-boats, in World War One to disrupt British trade routes in the English Channel and the North Sea was a key part of German tactics. The 93 German U-boats stationed in Belgian ports downed more than 2,500 ships but were also a target themselves, with 70 of them lost at sea, killing 1,200 sailors.

Hamburg Elbe Dredging Plan Needs Improvement

The port of Hamburg, Germany (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

Plans to dredge the river Elbe in Hamburg must be improved before a stop order on the work is lifted, a German court ruled on Thursday, raising the risk of more delay to work to deepen Germany's biggest port and open it up to new container ships. Green pressure groups had lodged a legal complaint against the original plan, arguing the environmental impact of dumping mud and sand on fragile coastal wetlands would be devastating. Following the ruling from Germany's top administrative court that authorities must do more to protect the river's maritime environment…

Vulkan Italia, SB Broneske Start New Cooperation

Vulkan Italia has signed a cooperation with the German company SB Broneske. Vulkan Italia is going to work as a representative for SB Broneske in the Italian market, where the two companies will join their experience on the elastic support for exhaust pipe system. Elastic support for the exhaust pipe system includes vibration mounts, expansion bellows, pipe penetrations and rain caps for the exhaust pipe system of ships. Vulkan Italia, founded in 1987 and located in Novi Ligure, is the market leader in elastic support in the ship building industry in Italy. Vulkan Italia provides a superior service and deep knowledge of applications to the Italian customers. SB Broneske, founded in 1972, is inventor, designer and producer of elastic support for the exhaust pipe systems.

EU Court Rules in Favor of Kvaerner

The Court of First Instance, has today ruled in the case concerning alleged breach of capacity restrictions at Kvaerner's German shipyard, Kvaerner Warnow Werft. The group has been informed that the Court has ruled in favor of Kvaerner. The Court has set aside the EU commission's decision that Kvaerner should repay DEM 117 million. Kvaerner paid and accounted for this amount in 2000. The Court's decision can be appealed within two months. Although Kvaerner has not yet seen the details of the Court's decision, Kvaerner's preliminary understanding is that the amount will be repaid. In addition to this case, the EU commission has not yet…

Don't Scrap This Ship in India Environmentalists Plead

Toxics Watch Alliance warns imminent arrival of end-of-life German ship 'Northern Vitality' breaches Indian Supreme Court Order. "This is to inform you that in violation of the Supreme Court order dated July 30, 2012, Northern Vitality, a 15-year-old ship owned by German company “Norddeutsche Vermögen Holding GmbH & Co” and chartered by Swiss company MSC is headed for the shipbreaking beach of Alang, Bhavnagar, Gujarat. I am copying this message to Mr Michael Steiner, German Ambassador to India besides other concerned authorities. I have learnt that in the ongoing saga of Alang's existence as a graveyard of ships and migrant workers last month four workers died in Alang beach.

Palmali Lodges $2 Bln Claim Against Lukoil's Litasco

Turkey-based Palmali, one of the biggest shippers in the Caspian region, said on Monday it had lodged a claim worth almost $2 billion against Litasco, the trading arm of Russian oil producer Lukoil, with the English High Court. "The claim concerns an alleged failure by Litasco S.A. to provide contractual quantities of cargo under long term contract between the companies," Palmali said in a statement sent to Reuters.   Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin

Kenya Jails Nine Somali Pirates

A Kenyan court in the coastal city of Mombasa has sentenced 9 Somalis to 5 years in prison each for attempting to hijack the German merchant vessel 'MV Courier' in the Gulf of Aden in March 2009, reports Reuters. The men were arrested by international anti-piracy forces before being handed over to Kenya to be prosecuted, as Somalia was not considered able to try them properly. Prosecutors told the court the men attacked the ship armed with a rocket launcher, an AK-47 rifle, a pistol, a SAR80 carbine rifle, and other weapons. While handing out the sentence, the court noted that the accused had already served a long term in a maximum security prison while the trial was in progress, and therefore were given shorter jail terms. Source: Reuters  

German Shipyard Files for Insolvency; Buyer Sought

In recent the management of P+S WERFTEN have been involved in discussions with the representatives of the German Federal State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the German Federal Government, and with its customers, suppliers, employees, the trade union IG Metall Küste and with banks to find a way towards an economic future for P+S WERFTEN. Rüdiger Fuchs, CEO of P+S WERFTEN since 7 August 2012, said, “In recent days we have explored all options in our attempts to reach a solution. We have provided open and honest information about our problems and tried to prevent insolvency. For this reason, the management of P+S WERFTEN GmbH has filed for insolvency before the insolvency court of the local court of Stralsund.

Ship Breaking Worker Killed in the Yard

Only in 2016, at least 19 shipbreaking workers were killed and another 11 severely injured in the Bangladesh shipbreaking yard. More than 600 German-owned ships have been sold for scrap in SouthEast Asia since 2008 due to insolvencies and financial problems claims NGO Shipbreaking Platform. A worker named Shah Jahan was killed on December 04 on the spot at Arefin shipbreaking yard in Chittagong, Bangladesh, where German container ship “Viktoria Wulff” (IMO 9252101) is currently being dismantled on the beach, says NGO. The 35-year old man, who was made to work without any safety measures, was struck on the head by a heavy iron piece. German ship owner Wulff went bankrupt in August and the insolvency administrator is currently selling off the company’s remaining vessels.

Three Hanjin Ships Auctioned in Rotterdam

Photo: Hanjin Shipping

Three containerships of the bankrupt Korean shipping firm Hanjin Shipping were sold at an auction in Rotterdam for a total of USD 392 million, according to Dutch media fd.nl and Nieuwsblad Transport. The 13,000 TEU ships were auctioned on behalf of creditor HSH Nordbank. The  three vessels in question are Hanjin Europe, Hanjin Africa and Hanjin Harmony, built in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The 4th ship, the Hanjin Gold, is expected to be auctioned off by a Rotterdam court in January 2017.

Prison Sentence for Attack on FGS Spessart

EU NAVFOR said it welcomed the first judgment yesterday in a Kenyan prosecution in connection with the interdiction of a pirate group by an EU NAVFOR warship. The conviction involved seven Somali men accused of acts of piracy. The presiding Chief Magistrate, the Hon Rosemelle Mutoka CM, delivered the verdict at the Mombasa Law Courts on 6 September, sentencing the seven Somali men accused to prison sentences of five years as from the judgement date. The conviction relates to the attack on the FGS Spessart, a Rhoen – class tanker of the German Navy, on 29 March 2009. The attack by seven men aboard a single pirate skiff was repelled by the onboard security detail.

More Greenpeace Activists Denied Bail

Photo by: Dmitri Sharomov / Greenpeace.

Greenpeace International activist Frank Hewetson (U.K.) has been refused bail by the Regional Court of Murmansk in Russia, bringing the number of rejected bail appeals to 10. Activist Marco Weber (Switzerland) also appeared in court today, but his appeal hearing was postponed until October 21 due to the lack of a German language translator. Italian crew member Cristian D'Alessandro will appear in court later  for his bail hearing and more appeals will be held later this week.

97 German Ships Beached in South Asia in 2016

Photo: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

It may seem a big surprise for a country whose industry is proud of green technology and engineering solutions, but Germany is responsible for the worst shipbreaking practices among all shipping nations when one compares the size of its fleet to the number of ships broken irresponsibly, says the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. In 2016 German owners, banks and ship funds had 97 ships rammed up on the beaches of South Asia out of a total of 99 vessels sold for demolition, meaning 98 percent of all obsolete German ships ended up on a beach.

Seadrill Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

WEST GEMINI. Photo: Seadrill Limited

Seadrill Limited, one of the world’s largest offshore drilling companies, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the Southern District Texas court, Reuters reported. The indebted oil rig firm controlled by Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen is seeking to restructure its roughly $10 billion  debts as the petroleum industry continues to grapple with low prices. Seadrill announced that the court overseeing the Company's chapter 11 restructuring proceedings has granted the relief requested by the Company in its key first-day motions related to ordinary course business activities.

Rickmers Files for Insolvency

File Image: CREDIT Rickmers

German shipping group Rickmers said it had filed for insolvency on Thursday, a day after it announced that its restructuring plan had failed to win approval of bondholder HSH Nordbank. "The insolvency application was filed this morning, and the court has confirmed that it has received it," the company said in an e-mailed statement, adding that it could not yet predict further developments. Rickmers had proposed a revamp plan under which the equity stake of owner Bertram Rickmers was to be reduced to 24.9 percent…

Inuit Villages Sue to Stop Tests for Oil & Gas

According to an August 21 report from The Seattle Times, above the Arctic Circle in Canada near Greenland, five Inuit villages have won a court order that blocks a German icebreaker from conducting seismic tests of an underwater region that abounds with marine life — and possibly with oil, gas and minerals. For the villagers who live in this mostly treeless region of fjords, icebergs and polar bears, the case was a victory that forces the national and territorial governments to consult them over the use of their homeland. The decision comes as Canada, Alaska and other Arctic regions are deciding whether to allow oil and gas development in Arctic waters that are covered by ice for nine or more months each year. (Source: The Seattle Times)

Ukraine To Pay Gas Arrears If It Gets Contract First

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Ukraine is prepared to pay arrears to Russia for gas once it has a contract with Moscow and will take the country to court if it refuses to sign, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk was quoted as saying by a German newspaper on Saturday. Ukraine told Russia on Friday a $786 million partial payment on a bill that Russia says could exceed $5 billion by next week was on its way to Moscow. That averted an immediate threat that Russia would stop supplying the former Soviet republic with gas if it fails to make advance payments.

FGH Rejects Petrodrill Contract

Friede Goldman Halter, Inc., (FGH) announced that the bankruptcy court has officially rejected the Petrodrill contracts. On June 12, FGH filed a motion with the bankruptcy court to reject the two contracts for the construction of the two "Amethyst" offshore drilling rigs for Petrodrill, a Brazilian company. These highly unprofitable contracts caused substantial losses to the Company, and were one of the two key influences in conjunction with the losses suffered on the Ocean Rig Bingo program which led to the Company's decision to file Chapter 11. By virtue of this order, the company's contractual obligations on this project are terminated.

Gloomy Fate of Hanjin Rome

Photo: Hanjin Shipping

The ill-fated Hanjin Rome, owned by the bankrupt Hanjin Shipping Company - has been sitting off the eastern coast of Singapore for more than a month. The mid-sized cargo vessel was placed under court arrest here on Aug 29 after German shipowner Rickmers filed a civil claim for money it says it is owed by Hanjin. When the Hanjin Rome arrived in Singapore on 29 August, no-one on board expected anything other than a regular port call. Little did they know that their trip was about to come to a grinding halt.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Sep 2017 - Maritime Port & Ship Security Edition

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