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Number of Asian Piracy Incidents Down in January
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The ReCaap ISC has released its latest figures citing three incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia in January 2019, down from 11 in January 2018.

All three incidents occurred on board ships anchored: one at Caofeidian anchorage in China, one at Jingtang anchorage in China and one at Ciwandan anchorage in Indonesia.

There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah and no hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo reported in January 2019, but the abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains a serious concern.

The Situation in Sabah

On January 15, the Philippine authorities rescued the remaining abducted fisherman from the Sri Dewi 1. The fishing boat was sailing in waters off Gaya Island, Semporna, Sabah on September 11, 2018 when two masked men armed with firearms boarded the vessel and abducted two fishermen. One was rescued earlier by the authorities on December 5, 2018.

As of January 31, 2019, nine crewmen are still held in captivity. The Philippine authorities continue to conduct pursuit operations.

The ReCAAP ISC maintains its November 21, 2016 advisory to all ships to reroute from the area where possible. Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area and report immediately to the Operation Centres of Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command of Malaysia.

ITF: Crew Starved and Underpaid
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A crewmember on board a ship at a BHP terminal in Queensland, Australia, has claimed that the crew is being starved and underpaid, according to the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF).

A seafarer from the 80,000-ton bulk carrier, the Liberia-flagged Villa Deste, contacted the ITF pleading for help, claiming to have no food and no onboard wages, and being fed on a $4 food budget per day.

The ITF claims that BHP is blocking its requests to inspect the vessel, currently at anchor at BHP’s Hay Point Coal Terminal in Mackay.  

ITF national coordinator Dean Summers, says: “BHP told media today that the vessel was not chartered by the company, but it’s BHP coal being sold and loaded onto the Ville Deste. To now claim that they have no responsibility for the conditions on board this vessel when they arrive at their port, to load their coal, demonstrates an extraordinary failure to uphold basic ethical standards in their global supply chain.

“ITF inspectors along with faith-based welfare providers have rights to access ships clearly defined in the international maritime security code and Australia's national security legislation. BHP claim to have a process for access, but continue to refuse our requests and question our legitimate right of entry,” he said.

The ITF has previously contacted the Department of Home Affairs about BHP’s denial of grant access for ITF inspectors to inspect ships at Hay Point. The Department stated that approval to access a port facility is the responsibility of the port facility operator.

“By dismissing the ITF's concerns the Department of Home Affairs either unknowingly, or by design, has sided with BHP to even further isolate and abuse seafarers’ rights,” said Summers.

“The plight of these seafarers, and the failure by BHP to take responsibility for their welfare, highlights why it is essential that ITF inspectors are provided access through BHP’s terminal. ITF needs to ensure the seafarers are fed, their wages are paid and appropriate human rights conditions are in place.”

However, in a statement to The Australian the Greek ship operator Evalend Shipping rejected the allegations: “We have immediately contacted the master of the vessel Villa Deste …“[The] master has obtained a written statement from all crew on-board that they are very happy with the company and the vessel... Therefore we categorically reject any kind of such allegations and we have serious doubts that any one from the crew has contacted the [union].”

Petition Drive Seeks to Prevent Another Coast Guard Pay Gap
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Sea Service Family Foundation has launched a petition drive calling on Congress to ensure that if the federal government shutdown resumes on Friday, it will not result in another missed paycheck for the U.S. Coast Guard. 

Coast Guard servicemembers at home and abroad missed their January 15 paycheck due to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. At the end of January, the White House and Congress reached a temporary agreement to fully fund the government through February 15, and provided back pay for affected employees. However, unless a long term compromise package receives President Donald Trump's signature before Friday, large portions of the government will go unfunded and shut down once more. This would result in renewed furloughs for civilian employees, and could potentially put the Coast Guard's paycheck for the second half of February in jeopardy. 

Coast Guard families have already begun preparing for this possibility, but the Sea Service Family Foundation and other advocates would like to ensure that they will not have to experience another pay gap. The group is promoting two bills, HR 367 and S21, which would require that the servicemembers, veterans and civilian employees of the Coast Guard still get paid when normal funding lapses. 

The foundation argues that in the event of a shutdown, USCG servicemembers face a different set of circumstances from other federal employees: they cannot quit to take a paying job. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, coastguardsmen who walk off the job could be considered deserters and court-martialed. In recent years, the punishment imposed for desertion has ranged from discharge to prison, with sentences of up to 24 months. 

"We believe that the fact of our oath of enlistment alone is enough to ensure we always receive a paycheck, but when being compared to the civilians employed by the nation, we have a clear definition as to why we always deserve to be paid, and that is our adherence to the UCMJ," wrote the foundation in an appeal. 

To advocate for guaranteed pay, the foundation has launched a petition drive to pressure Congress to act on the two bills. The group calls on interested citizens to contact their congressional representatives and to take to social media to highlight the issue, using the hashtag #PayOurCoasties. 

"We need to pay the Coast Guard. They're one of the five branches of the uniformed services, and their mission is just as important as the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Air Force," said Michael Little, the group's founder, speaking to CNN

Former CEO of Alaska Telecom Company Pleads Guilty To Fraud
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Elizabeth Ann Pierce, the former Chief Executive Officer of a telecommunications company based in Anchorage, Alaska, pled guilty in Manhattan federal court to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft on Monday.

The plea was made in connection with a scheme to use forged guaranteed revenue contracts fraudulently to induce investors to invest more than $250 million into her company for the construction of a fiber optic cable network in Alaska. 

Pierce was the chief executive officer of Quintillion until July 2017. The company built, operates and markets a high-speed fiber optic cable system consisting of three segments: a subsea segment that spans the Alaskan Arctic; a terrestrial segment that runs north to south along the Dalton Highway; and a land-based network of fibers that connects the subsea and terrestrial segments. The system is connected to the lower 48 states through other existing networks.  

According to court documents, between May 2015 and July 2017, Pierce engaged in a scheme to induce two investment companies to provide more than $250 million to construct the fiber optic cable system by providing them with eight forged broadband capacity sales contracts and related order forms under which Quintillion would obtain guaranteed revenue once the system was built. Under the fake revenue agreements, four telecommunications services companies appeared to have made binding commitments to purchase specific wholesale quantities of capacity from Quintillion at specified prices that amounted to over $24 million during the first year of the subsea segment’s operation, approximately $10 million during the first year of the terrestrial segment’s operation, and approximately $1 billion over the life of the fake agreements. 

In reality, the agreements were worthless because Pierce had forged the counterparties’ signatures. Some of the agreements never existed at all, others were falsified versions of genuine revenue agreements made more favorable to Quintillion and, therefore, more appealing to investors than the genuine agreements. 

After the terrestrial system was built, Pierce attempted to prevent the discovery of the fake revenue agreements by accelerating the timing of incoming payments under certain genuine agreements to make those payments appear to be based on the fake agreements. Pierce also sought to prevent Quintillion and the investors from invoicing one of the customers that had no real contract with Quintillion by fabricating e-mail correspondence Pierce purportedly had with that customer.  

Pierce’s scheme started to unravel when a customer disputed invoices that it received from Quintillion pursuant to one of the fake agreements. Shortly thereafter, in the midst of Quintillion’s internal investigation, Pierce abruptly resigned. Quintillion self-reported Pierce’s conduct to the Department of Justice.

Pierce, age 55, now of Austin, Texas, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and eight counts of aggravated identity theft, each of which carries a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment, of which at least two years must be consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed on the wire fraud count.

Pierce is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos on May 16, 2019.

IMO 2020 Will Create a Two-Tier Charter Market, Says Swedish Club
by Ship Bunker
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Scrubbers installed versus no scrubbers.

GTT Receives LNG Tank Design Order for Minerva Gas
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

GTT has received an order from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) concerning the tank design of a new 174,000 m3 LNG carrier, on behalf of the ship-owner Minerva Gas.

GTT's membrane containment system Mark III Flex+ has been selected for the design of the tanks and the delivery of the ship is planned during Q3 2021.

Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and CEO of GTT declared: "We are very pleased that Minerva increases its presence in the LNG world through this new order for our Mark III Flex+ technology. It demonstrates the attractiveness, for the LNG Industry players, of this containment system which offers the lowest level of Boil-Off Rate currently on the market."

Hogia Posts Record Sales for Third Year in a Row
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

For the third year in a row, Swedish IT company Hogia has had a record year: Sales increased from SEK 565 million to SEK 605 million. For the 10th consecutive year employees numbers increased by 25 people bringing the company total to 675. Net profit rose from 34 to SEK 36 million, which is a profit margin of 6%, says Bert-Inge Hogsved, Hogia's founder and CEO.

The business area with the greatest growth in 2018 was the transport sector. Today, this business sector accounts for 30% of the Hogia Group's total revenue. The fastest sales growth being Hogia Ferry Systems.

“Ferries is our most international transport branch with ferry operators using our systems right around the world,” says Bert-Inge Hogsved. 

“We do not endeavour to maximize profit. Our goal is for the profitability to be just over 4%, which we have achieved for the last twelve years in a row. We invest SEK 200 million a year into the development of our software,” says Bert-Inge Hogsved.

Hogia is also investing SEK 160 million in a new office building at their head office in Stenungsund, Sweden. The building will be inaugurated in autumn 2019 and will house a further 200 workplaces.

“Over the last 28 years we have not had a single unprofitable year. We have a very solid financial situation, which means that we can continue to invest long-term. We invest in our products; both the refinement of existing products, and the launches of new cloud-based products. We also continue to attract and develop our expertise. Our year on year growth in personnel of 25 people will continue in the future,” Bert-Inge Hogsved concludes.

V.Group Acquires Global Marine Travel, Doubling its Travel Operations
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

V.Group, the leading global marine services provider, announced today that it has acquired Global Marine Travel (ISS GMT) from Inchcape Shipping Services. 
The move combines V.Travel with GMT’s industry-leading marine travel expertise and brings greater scale to the combined operations. Bringing together GMT and V.Travel increases the companies’ ability to offer truly global, 24/7 travel operations focused on delivering customer satisfaction.
The addition of GMT to V.Group’s travel portfolio doubles ticketing volumes, strengthens the management team and will enable the creation of a combined operational hub in the Philippines. At the same time, it bolsters existing travel operations with two additional International Air Transport Association licences. Both businesses will eventually operate under the GMT brand.

Last year, V.Group outlined a strategy of focusing on developing its six key services lines, with inorganic growth playing a key part in the process. In line with that strategy, this acquisition signifies V.Group’s commitment in the travel segment, and the extent to which V.Group’s inorganic growth furthers its strategic aim to transform the marine industry.

The combined resources of V.Group, V.Travel, and GMT will create a market-leading platform for managing and simplifying the seafarer journey from home to ship and back. This complements V.Group’s ‘Project Embark’ – which invests in the development of digital technologies that will streamline and enhance the overall seafarer experience.
“We are delighted to have found a partnership that allows us to increase the scale, and invest further in technology and talent within our travel business,” said Elliot Gow, Group Managing Director, Marine Services at V.Group.
“V.Group believes that there is genuine advantage to scale in the maritime services business, as it allows us to invest in great systems and great people. This partnership gives us unrivalled capacity, greater purchasing power, and better service capabilities within the travel market, and will help us deliver the right solutions, at the right prices, for our customers.” 

“We are excited to be onboard with V.Group, as the next important step in V.Group’s strategy to consolidate and grow in this fragmented market”, said Tim Davey, Managing Director of the combined Marine Travel operations at V.Group.

“GMT complements V.Travel perfectly, adding to our pool of deep expertise in the maritime travel sector, and increasing the scope of what we can deliver on a global scale, 24 hours a day. The extra talent and technical capacity will be instrumental in transforming the seafarer journey. GMT customers will continue to benefit from the excellent global standards they have come to expect, but with the addition of more resources and capacity to deliver.”

V.Group will also divest its V.Ships Agency business to Inchcape, simultaneously entering into a service agreement that establishes a partnership with a global leader in port agency to provide a better ship agency platform and improve the experience for all customers

Elliot Gow added: “V. Ships Agency is joining the world’s leading agency business, which makes this a win-win for both of our companies.”

Inchcape CEO Frank Olsen said, “GMT is a travel business with a global reputation for excellence, and we believe it is in good hands with V.Group. As we acquire the V.Ships Agency business, we look forward to enhancing the services we provide for agency and travel customers alike. I believe this partnership sets a new standard of collaboration within the marine support services market, aimed at continual service improvement and scale efficiencies.”

Don't Plan For GHG Reductions Using "Totally Unrealistic" Projections for Shipping: BIMCO
by Ship Bunker
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

If not, we risk making the wrong decisions and spending resources ineffectively, says BIMCO Deputy Secretary General.

Standard Club Warns on FONAR Uncertainty Ahead of IMO 2020
by Ship Bunker
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

"Many will hope that states will be more lenient during the initial period following January 2020," the Club says.

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WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2829 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2013-03-14 04:31:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-03-14 04:31:37 [post_content] =>

Clipper Oil is a worldwide wholesaler of marine fuels and lubricant oils specializing in supplying vessels throughout the Pacific Ocean. Operating internationally from our headquarters in San Diego, California, USA, we serve the bunkering needs of all sectors of the marine market. This includes fishing fleets, ocean-going yachts, cruise ships, cargo ships, military/government/research vessels, and power plants.

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The Tuna Clipper Marine Pier in San Diego Bay (1980).

Clipper Oil supplying the USCGC Kimball ex. pipeline at the fuel dock in Pago Pago, American Samoa (2020).

Throughout the years, Clipper Oil has grown from a small marine distributor in San Diego to a worldwide supplier of marine fuels and lubricants. Clipper Oil offers a broad diversity of products and services and are active buyers and suppliers of petroleum products. It is this combination that gives us the edge in market intelligence needed to develop the best possible pricing for our clients.

Our daily monitoring of both the current and future oil market enables our customers to take advantage of market pricing on an immediate basis. This enables Clipper Oil to provide the best current and long term pricing for our customers.

Clipper Oil offers the following to our customers:

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