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Cleaning Up After Hurricane Michael
by The Maritime Executive
Friday, February 01, 2019

[By PO2 Paul Klug]

The Florida Panhandle experienced pure devastation from Hurricane Michael, Oct. 10, 2018. It ripped through coastal towns and made its way inland, driving people from their homes and leaving thousands without power and fresh water. Relief efforts from federal and state agencies, as well as local and out-of-state volunteers, responded to help displaced survivors.

After the hurricane, the spotlight shifted away from Northwestern Florida. Those not affected went on with their lives, news outlets found more current stories to follow and disasters on the West Coast demanded the nation’s focus. However, despite the end of search and rescue operations, members of the Coast Guard (active duty, reserveand civilian), stayed behind to complete a critical mission not often found in headlines: Emergency Support Function (ESF) 10 – Oil and Hazardous Materials Response.

Marine science technicians Heath Ard and Christian Heming observe vessel removal efforts, Panama City, Florida. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Krug)

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the ESF-10 mission “includes the appropriate actions to prepare for and respond to public health, welfare, or the environment caused by actual or potential oil and hazardous materials incidents”. In this specific case, displaced, damaged, overturned and sunken vessels in state waters have posed such a threat to the area. A Unified Command, consisting of the Coast Guard, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and salvage contractors, was established to address the threat head-on, Oct. 21, 2018.

The Coast Guard set up an Incident Command Post (ICP) in Miramar Beach, Florida, consisting of operations, planning, logistics, finance, documentation, situation, environmental and demobilization units. With a fully staffed ICP and a steady rotation of incident commanders, the effort to remove environmental threats from local waterways was underway.

A team consisting of Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission personnel conduct a vessel assessment in Port St. Joe, Florida, Nov. 10, 2018 (USCG)

“Thanks to our partnerships with FWC, NOAA and private industry, we are making great progress toward the successful completion of our mission to help return our maritime environment to pre-storm conditions,” said Cmdr. Catherine Phillips, the current Deputy Incident Commander.

Outside of the ICP, Coast Guard members from multiple districts, including the National Strike Force, began deploying to areas posing potential threats. Working alongside FWC, NOAA personnel and salvage contractors, field teams started the process to rectify concentrated areas of displaced vessels. Over 500 targets were assessed within the Panama City Beach and surrounding areas.

A displaced vessel is removed from Fanning Bayou, Panama City, Florida, Nov. 15, 2018 (USCG)

With such a large area of responsibility, the expectation of challenges was high. One of the more common issues found in the field is distinguishing ownership of displaced vessels and whether removal and/or recovery responsibilities would fall on the owner/operator, pier owners, or insurance companies (if the vessel was covered by insurance before the hurricane).

“Each scenario is case-by-case and not always black and white,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Clark, a marine science technician overseeing operations in the Massalina Bayou in Panama City. “Acting as a mediator between vessel owners and the owner of a pier is a big part of the job.”

Other challenges have presented themselves throughout the operation, resembling an ethical dilemma.

“To me, the hardest part of this response was finding common ground with the owners of destroyed vessels,” said Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Parrington. “The last thing they want to deal with is salvaging their boat while already burdened by the destruction of their homes.”

Part of the Coast Guard’s mission here is to help restore the environment back to its natural state. Removing displaced vessels, while potentially causing hardship for some vessel owners, is a difficult yet necessary step.

“There is a tangible benefit amid all of the destruction provided to the people of the region,” said Parrington. “These beautiful waterfront properties, ecosystems and waterways are what we are here helping to restore.”

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class TJ James assesses a displaced vessel in Panama City, Florida, Nov. 6, 2018 (USCG)

Once a displaced vessel has been assessed as a potential hazard, field teams determine whether or not it is targeted for recovery or removal. If targeted for removal, the owner/operator must take it upon themselves, or work with their insurance company, to recover their displaced vessel from its current position and move it back to the original location and make any necessary repairs. Additionally, some vessels require the recovery of oil/hazardous materials.

Vessels targeted for removal are lifted from the water or shoreline via crane and transported to a staging area where vessel owners are provided an opportunity to salvage their boat or release ownership. Chief Petty Officer Matthew Cote, a marine science technician assigned to the staging area, oversees this process alongside FWC personnel.

“What has gone very well is the communication and coordination with the contractors directly involved with the transition of vessels from the transition site to staging,” said Cote. “This has allowed for very efficient and smooth transfers without complications. In addition, working in conjunction with the FWC representatives has been outstanding.”

As operations continue, the ESF-10 mission has begun to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“This has been a total team effort of all levels to include federal, state and private industry to support the ESF-10 mission,” said Mr. Kevin Sligh, Deputy Office Chief, Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy and current incident commander. “The coordination has been outstanding and crucial to supporting the state of Florida and its residents.”

This article appears courtesy of Coast Guard Compass and may be found in its original form here

U.S. Navy Orders Two More Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers
by The Maritime Executive
Friday, February 01, 2019

The U.S. Navy has awarded a contract for the construction of two Ford-class aircraft carriers, CVN 80 and CVN 81, to Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. The contract is valued at $15.2 billion and is expected to deliver savings of over $4 billion compared to the Navy’s original cost estimates for procuring the vessels separately. 

CVN 80 will be named Enterprise, CVN 81 is yet to be named. The ships are scheduled to be delivered in 2028 and 2032, respectively.

“Today’s announcement is a triumphant step toward returning to a 12-ship aircraft carrier fleet and building the 355-ship Navy our nation needs,” said Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport Shipbuilding. “Most importantly for us, it provides stability into the year 2032 for our workforce and for our supplier businesses across the United States.”

Buying two aircraft carriers will stimulate Newport News’ aircraft carrier supplier base of more than 2,000 suppliers in 46 states, and the company anticipates being able to complete an aircraft carrier every three to four years. 

In addition to these savings, the contract includes ship integration costs of several modifications required to meet emerging threats including the F-35C Lightning II, MK 38 gun system and MQ-25 Stingray Unmanned Aircraft System. These modifications increase the lethality of the Ford Class, and represent an additional $100 million in savings that is in addition to the $4 billion, since these new capabilities were not included in the original single-CVN Navy estimate. Plus, these new savings associated with new capabilities increases to $200 million if installed in the ship before delivery, in comparison to installing after ship delivery.

This Fixed Price Incentive (Firm Target) (FPIF) contract limits the Navy’s liability and incentivizes the shipyard’s best performance. The contract guarantees a single technical baseline for both ships, which allows the shipyard to re-use engineering rollover products, minimize changes between the two ships and leverage economic order quantities for equipment and material procurement. 

The new carriers are expected to replace Nimitz-class carriers, which have served the U.S. Navy for more than 40 years. Enterprise (CVN 80) is the third ship of the FORD-class and the numerical replacement for USS Eisenhower (CVN 69). CVN 81 will be the numerical replacement for USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). 

Ford-class carriers are equipped with electromagnetic-powered aircraft launch system (EMALS). Unlike legacy steam catapults, EMALS was designed to vary the stroke of the launch depending on the size and weight of the aircraft, facilitating better launching of relatively light aircraft such as drones. However, the system on the first carrier in the series, the $13 billion Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), has suffered failures of its aircraft launch-and-landing system. Bloomberg reports that the Gerald R. Ford experienced 20 failures at sea, according to the U.S. testing office.

IBIA INSIGHT: Facts and Fears in the Open Loop Scrubber Debate
by Ship Bunker
Friday, February 01, 2019

Recent local bans on washwater discharges from open loop systems have increased a widespread misconception that there are no safeguards against their environmental impact.

Former Sinopacific Shipbuilding CEO Arrested
by The Maritime Executive
Friday, February 01, 2019

The former CEO of Sinopacific Shipbuilding has been arrested in Myanmar over alleged tax avoidance. Liang Xiaolei, 56, has now been handed over to Chinese authorities. 

The collapsed shipbuilding group's parent company is Evergreen Holding Group, run by Liang and his father. Evergreen has been in financial trouble for the last few years, with defaults on multiple bond payments totaling around $7 billion.  

The Chinese Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry announced last week that China maintained its top position in the global shipbuilding industry in 2018. However, the nation's shipbuilders have not been immune to financial trouble caused by the shipping industry's prolonged downturn. Back in 2015, Liang said: “The environment for private companies has never been supportive, but it has taken a turn for the worse recently.” Sinopacific Shipbuilding collapsed and its three affiliate yards, Sinopacific Offshore,Dayang Shipbuilding and Zhejiang Shipbuilding, have been sold or gone bankrupt.

LPG-Fueled ME-LGIP from MAN B&W to Power Chinese VLGC
by The Maritime Executive
Friday, February 01, 2019

Jiangnan Shipyard, owned by China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), has ordered an LPG-burning MAN B&W 6G60ME-LGIP engine in connection with the building of an 86,000-m3 VLGC (Very Large Gas Carrier) for Tianjin Southwest Maritime (TSM), the Chinese shipping company. Vessel delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2021 and includes an option for a second vessel.

Bjarne Foldager – Senior Vice President, Head of Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions – said: “With 2020 and the new IMO emissions fast approaching, interest in using LPG as a fuel – within and outside of the LPG carrier segment – is growing due to its sulphur-free character, widespread availability, price competitivity, and ease of bunkering. At MAN Energy Solutions, we feel that the introduction of the ME-LGIP is proving timely.”

MAN Energy Solutions already won the first orders for the new engine earlier in 2018 when Hanjin Heavy Industries announced that it would construct 2 × VLGCs (Very Large Gas Carriers) in their Philippines Facilities for Exmar, the Belgian integrated gas-shipping company. The 86,000 m3 newbuildings will each be powered by an individual MAN B&W 6G60ME-LGIP Mk9.5 engine.

The company could also announce the first retrofit orders for the ME-LGIP in September 2018 when it signed a contract with Oslo-listed BW LPG for the world’s first retrofitting of four MAN B&W 6G60ME-C9.2 HFO-burning engines to 6G60ME-C9.5-LGIP LPG-propelled dual-fuel engines. The order includes options for further retrofits in the future with work expected to begin during 2020.

Foldager added: “In gas mode, the ME-LGIP engine operates on just 3% pilot oil and down to 10% load. Ultimately, we expect the engine to operate without the need for pilot oil. The ME-LGIP can also burn liquid volatile organic compounds, a deliberate move on our part since the IMO will inevitably turn its focus towards the reduction of volatile organic compounds in the future. Accordingly, we view the ME-LGIP as also ideally suited to the propulsion of shuttle tankers and very large crude carriers.”

The MAN B&W ME-LGIP engine

MAN Energy Solutions revealed its latest two-stroke engine type at a ceremony in Copenhagen in September 2018. The ME-LGIP (-Liquid Gas Injection Propane) engine builds on the success the company has had with its ME-GI and ME-LGI dual-fuel engines, which have won over 250 orders since their introduction to the market. Employing essentially the same proven technology, LPG has now been added to the expanding list of non-HFO and alternative fuels that MAN Energy Solutions’ two-stroke technology can exploit.

The Diesel principle provides the ME-LGIP engine with high operational stability and efficiency, including during load changes and fuel change-over, while defining properties such as a stable change-over from one fuel type to another with no fuel-penalties are maintained. The negligible gas slip of the ME-LGIP engine makes it the most environmentally friendly, two-stroke technology available.

MAN Energy Solutions expects a strong demand for the ME-LGIP engine from very large gas carriers (VLGCs) and coastal vessels.

MAN Energy Solutions also reports that the ME-LGIP engine has experienced an up to 18% reduction in CO2 and circa 90% reduction in particulate matter when running on LPG, compared with HFO.

The Maritime Energy Transition

The development of the ME-LGIP engine to burn LPG is part of the ‘Maritime Energy Transition’, an umbrella term that covers all MAN Energy Solutions activities in regard to supporting a climate-neutral shipping industry.

The term stems from the German expression ‘Energiewende’ and encapsulates MAN Energy Solutions’ call to action to reduce emissions and establish natural gases as the fuels of choice in global shipping. It promotes a global ‘turn to gas’, driven by the IMO, and a common approach by the shipping industry and politics to invest in infrastructure development and retrofits.

Launched in 2016 after COP 21, the initiative has since found broad support within the shipping industry and politics.

LPG installation

With the ME-LGIP engine, LPG joins the list of liquid, environmentally-friendly fuels that can power MAN Energy Solutions’ portfolio of two-stroke, dual-fuel engines, which are available from all licensees. MAN Energy Solutions further reports that it expects ME-LGIP installation aboard merchant vessels to be extremely competitive price-wise, compared to other, dual-fuel-burning engine types.

LPG as fuel

Due to ever more stringent emission limits, many LPG carrier operators called for MAN Energy Solutions to develop an LPG-fuelled engine that could power LPG carriers in the most viable, convenient and economical way using a fraction of the cargo already onboard.

LPG is an eminently environmentally-friendly fuel, in much the same class as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and an LPG-fuelled engine will significantly reduce emissions, enabling vessels to meet the stringent IMO SOx emission regulations due to come into force globally from 2020. As well as being an important step towards reaching the 2050 IMO GHG targets, LPG also gives credit towards IMO EEDI compliance requirements.

LPG’s future as a viable fuel for general marine transportation looks promising as it will not require as large an investment in infrastructure – such as bunkering facilities – in contrast to other, gaseous fuels. As a widespread energy source, availability is high and LPG is easier to store and handle, compared with cryogenic gaseous fuels.

Furthermore, LPG is traditionally a cheaper fuel than MGO yet delivers the same performance and efficiency. Importantly, the ability to use LPG cargo as a supplemental fuel source provides significant cost savings for LPGC owners or charterers, including reduced time and fees for fuel bunkering. Accordingly, MAN Energy Solutions expects a strong demand for the ME-LGIP engine from very large gas carriers (VLGCs) and coastal vessels from its introduction.

The ME-LGI concept

With a new injection concept, initially developed for methanol, the ME-LGI concept greatly expands the company’s dual-fuel portfolio and enables the exploitation of more low-flash-point fuels such as ethanol, dimethyl ether and, now, LPG.

The engine’s ‘ME-’ prefix indicates that the new engine benefits from well-proven electronic controls that also encompass the fuel being injected by the so-called Fuel Booster Injection Valve. This innovative fuel booster, specially developed for the ME-LGI engine, ensures that a low-pressure fuel-gas supply system can be employed, significantly reducing first-time costs and increasing reliability.

The ME-LGI came about due to interest from the shipping world in operating on alternatives to HFO. Methanol and LPG carriers have already operated at sea for many years and many more LPG tankers are currently being built as the global LPG infrastructure grows. With a viable, convenient and comparatively cheap fuel already onboard, it makes sense to use a fraction of the cargo to power the vessel with an important, side-benefit being its positive, environmental performance.

RAmparts 2500-CL Ship Handling Tug Hinewai Arrives in Her Home Port
by The Maritime Executive
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Hinewai, a RAmparts 2500-CL ship handling tug, arrived in her home port of Timaru on the South Island of New Zealand on January 11th after a 30-day voyage on her own bottom from China. The vessel will soon commence operations for PrimePort Timaru Ltd who are the first owners of a vessel built to this modern ship handling tug design.

The RAmparts 2500-CL tug is an evolution of Robert Allan Ltd.'s highly successful RAmparts 2500-W design with additional updates for the marketing objectives of the builder, Cheoy Lee Shipyards of Hong Kong. The hull and skeg of the RAmparts 2500-CL have evolved to provide improved manoeuvring and side-stepping capabilities. As with all RAmparts series vessels, the hull has been optimized for maximum thrust and bollard pull, while maintaining excellent maneuvering and sea-keeping. A half-raised forecastle deck helps to keep the working deck safe and dry, while a gently rounded deck line in plan ensures the tug can safely and easily come alongside and distance itself from an escorted ship at speed. Most importantly, the characteristic double chine stern unique to Robert Allan Ltd. designs ensures that the tug can run astern at high speeds and maintain good control, directional stability and a dry working deck.

The new design is highly flexible allowing for a multitude of powering options, deck machinery arrangements, and outfitting choices such as off-ship firefighting. Hinewai has been outfitted to PrimePort’s requirements with a split drum winch and dual aperture staple on the foredeck, a towing hook and deck crane on the aft deck, and a propulsion system delivering in excess of 60 tonnes bollard pull.

The Hinewai was designed and constructed to Lloyd’s Register rules with the following notation: ?100A1 Tug, ?LMC, ?UMS, IWS

Particulars of the RAmparts 2500-CL tugs are:

Length overall: 25.4

Beam, moulded, extreme: 11.8

Depth, moulded (hull): 4.60

Maximum draft: 5.05

Tank capacities are:

Fuel oil: 92 m3

Potable water: 11 m3

Lube oil: 3.6 m3

Hydraulic oil: 0.7 m3

Oily water: 3.8 m3

Sewage tank: 2.7 m3

Grey water: 2.7 m3

The vessel’s accommodations are outfitted to high, MLC compliant standards for a normal operating crew of up to 8 personnel. The Master and Chief Engineer cabins are located on the main deck with three double crew cabins located in the lower accommodations.

Main propulsion for the tug comprises a pair of CAT 3516C diesel engines, each rated at 1864 BHP at 1600 rpm, and each driving a Schottel, SPR 430 fixed pitch Z-drive unit, in ASD configuration.

The electrical plant comprises two (2) identical diesel gen-sets each with a power output of 86 ekW.

Ship handling fenders at the bow consists of an 800 x 400 cylindrical fender with 480 x 300 mm “W” block fendering below. A 300 x 300 hollow “D” fender provides protection at the main deck sheer line and along the knuckle, and 480 x 300 mm “W” block fendering is used at the stern.

On trials, the Hinewai met or exceeded performance expectations with the following results:

Bollard pull: 63.9 tonnes ahead, 61.8 tonnes astern

Free running speed, ahead: 12.9 knots

Hinewai will undoubtedly be the first of many RAmparts 2500-CL tugs to be seen in ports around the globe as more of these vessels are on their way from Cheoy Lee Shipyards.

For more information on the RAmparts 2500-CL or any other vessel designs developed by Robert Allan Ltd., please contact

U.S. Navy Awards $15 Billion Contract for Construction of New Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers
by Reuters
Thursday, January 31, 2019
WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Thursday it awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc a $15.2 billion contract to build two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. The U.S. Navy told lawmakers in December it intended to pursue a block purchase of two Ford-class aircraft carriers, a step officials have said could save billions of dollars […]

InterCargo: Liquefaction Continues to be a Major Risk
by The Maritime Executive
Thursday, January 31, 2019

The industry body InterCargo has welcomed the latest amendment to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC 04-17) which entered into force on January 1 by says that liquefaction of cargo continues to be a major risk.

The pertinent updates include: changes to section 4.5 of the Code which stipulates the shippers’ responsibility to ensure that the testing and sampling for Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) and moisture content is carried out at the correct intervals; changes to the individual coal schedule which strengthen and clarify the designation of coal as Group A and B cargo; and the inclusion of a new test procedure for determining the TML of coal.

Although there has been no reported loss of life or loss of ship attributed to liquefaction in 2018, InterCargo urges all stakeholders to remain vigilant as cargo liquefaction continues to pose a major threat to the life of seafarers. “Ship operators need to be especially cautious when loading during a wet season, as currently being experienced in certain parts of South East Asia. However it is paramount that the shippers and the local authorities fulfill their obligations as required by the IMSBC Code.”

InterCargo's annually produced Casualty Report highlights the tragic loss of life associated with liquefaction. The last report for the years 2008-2017 showed that 101 lives and nine bulk carriers were
likely lost due to cargo failure (this compared with a total of 202 lives lost in all 53 bulk carrier casualties over the time period). Those nine bulk carrier losses comprised six vessels loaded with nickel ore from Indonesia, two vessels with laterite (clay) iron ore from India, and one with bauxite from Malaysia.

“The importance of investigating an incident and the subsequent publication of a casualty investigation report in a timely manner, in order for lessons to be learned, cannot be over-stressed, says InterCargo, urging all relevant administrations, that have not done so, to investigate incidents and publish the reports.

Malaysia Rethinks $20B "Belt and Road" Project
by The Maritime Executive
Thursday, January 31, 2019

[By Ben Bland]

Breaking up is hard to do, judging by the Malaysian government’s latest contortions over how to handle a $20 billion Chinese-backed rail project of questionable economic value.

The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is one of several high-profile Chinese infrastructure deals signed by previous prime minister Najib Razak, who is separately being prosecuted for corruption and money laundering for his role in the 1MDB graft scandal. (He denies any wrongdoing.)

Pushing back too hard against Xi’s signature initiative could backfire.

New (and former) Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad promised to scrap or renegotiate these “unequal treaties”, as he called them in a phrase designed to stick in Beijing’s craw. But that is easier said than done given the divisions in his loose governing coalition and the potential costs of saying no to an emerging superpower.

Last week, Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali said that the government had cancelled the ECRL, which is meant to connect the country’s less-developed east coast to southern Thailand and the capital, Kuala Lumpur, because the costs of paying interest on the Chinese loans were unsustainable.

But Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng insisted that no final decision had been taken and that negotiations with Beijing were continuing behind closed doors.

Construction, which is still in the early stages, is being led by the state-owned China Communications Construction Company and is 85% funded by the Export-Import Bank of China, one of Beijing’s main policy lenders.

The ECRL is one of the most high-profile projects connected to the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plan to deepen trade links with Asia and Europe through massive infrastructure investments. That puts the Malaysian government in a tricky position as it seeks to extricate itself from a deal that most analysts believe is not economically viable.

Pushing back too hard against Xi’s signature initiative could backfire, given that China is Malaysia’s biggest trade partner, has the ability to pressure Malaysian interests in the South China Sea, and has not been shy in the past about using boycott diplomacy.

The opposition Malaysian Chinese Association, which was part of the Najib government that agreed to the ECRL deal, warned (self-servingly) this week that “a nightmare looms” if Mahathir cancels the project and Beijing retaliates.

But the Chinese government, and the state-owned entities directly involved, will also undermine the prospects for the Belt and Road if they are seen to be forcing a small developing country to proceed with a plan that makes little financial sense and was agreed with a former leader now on trial for corruption.

Domestically, the ECRL impasse also highlights the political discord bubbling just below the surface of Mahathir’s Pakatan Harapan (or Alliance of Hope) coalition and the festering internecine disputes at the heart of Malaysian politics.

93-year-old Mahathir promised after last May’s election victory that he would hand power within two years to Anwar Ibrahim, his former protégé turned foe turned ally of sorts.

But Anwar, who has twice been jailed on politically motivated sodomy charges (during the reigns of Mahathir and Najib), remains fearful that Mahathir might go back on his word and stay on longer or seek to promote alternative leaders.

Enter Azmin, a former long-time aide to Anwar with his own ambitions for the highest office and relative youth on his side (he’s 54 years old, while Anwar is 71). Azmin has clashed with Anwar over appointments in their Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party) following hard-fought internal elections last year. And his apparently premature comments on the cancellation of the ECRL underline his desire to push himself to the top of the political agenda.

Mahathir, wily and playful as ever, has said he will stand by his promise to hand over power to Anwar, while also casting some doubt on his intentions, telling the Straits Times in November that “as a democratic nation, we have to listen to the people”.

With political divisions and economic pressures at home, and much uncertainty over how to resolve the disputed projects with China, it will not be easy for Mahathir and his government to keep the “New Malaysia” on the rails.

The ECRL disagreement is also a big test for Beijing, which will have to show more flexibility and pragmatism if it is overcome the problems that inevitably arise when promoting large infrastructure projects in developing democracies such as Malaysia.

Ben Bland is the director of the Southeast Asia project at the Lowy Institute. He sets the institute’s research agenda for this important region, commissioning analysis papers and organising programs of events and visiting fellows. Ben’s personal research interests span politics, economics and diplomacy across Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as China’s growing role in the region. Before joining the Lowy Institute, Ben was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, with postings in Hanoi, Hong Kong and Jakarta and experience reporting across China and Southeast Asia over the previous decade.

This article appears courtesy of the Lowy Interpreter, and it may be found in its original form here


Migrant Rescue Vessel Given Permission to Berth in Sicily
by The Maritime Executive
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Italian authorities have allowed the rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3 to dock in Catania, Sicily and offload 47 rescued maritime migrants who have been aboard for nearly two weeks. 

The disembarkation follows an agreement between Italy's populist government and six other EU states signed earlier this week. Germany, France, Portugal, Malta, Romania and Luxembourg have agreet to accept most of the 47 asylum-seekers under the terms of the one-time deal. 

Sea-Watch 3 had hoped to berth in Siracusa, but she was diverted to Catania, where the local prosecutor has frequently investigated NGO-operated rescue vessels in the past. Local police in Catania have boarded the Sea-Watch 3 to question crewmembers and have denied the right to conduct a crew change, according to operator Sea-Watch. The vessel remains in port while the inquiry continues. 

Matteo Salvini, the Italian interior minister and the leader of Italy's anti-immigration Lega party, has accused the crew of the Sea-Watch 3 of "criminality" for their role in rescuing the 47 maritime migrants. His ministry is considering charges against the crew for "favoring illegal immigration." 

"We are being threatened with a criminal investigation for saving people's lives at sea," said volunteer crewmember Brendan Woodhouse, a firefighter from the town of Matlock, England. 

Salvini is under investigation himself: prosecutors in Agrigento, Sicily, are contemplating potential charges of kidnapping against the interior minister after he prevented rescuees from disembarking an Italian coast guard vessel in Catania last year. A court ruled last week that Salvini should be tried; if the case proceeds and the minister is convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison. Salvini originally indicated that he would be proud to face trial, but in an op-ed published Tuesday, he suggested that Italy's senate should prevent the court from proceeding. 

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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.

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