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Video: MSC Confirms 21 Containers Washed Ashore So Far
by The Maritime Executive
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has confirmed that more than 250 containers fell from the MSC Zoe during a night of heavy weather on January 2.

MSC has engaged Ardent Global to coordinate the search at sea. So far, a sonar-assisted search has helped locate hundreds of objects in the water, and so far 21 containers have washed ashore. Their contents have included electronics, car parts, furniture, clothing and toys. However, the Dutch Coast Guard has issued a warning, noting that three of the containers lost overboard contain hazardous materials, believed to be potentially explosive organic peroxides. Two bags have already been found and safely removed.

MSC has engaged a number of contractors for salvage and beach-cleaning on various sites. By deploying four wheel drive vehicles, tractors and specialist equipment such as a beach vacuum-cleaners, the response operation has achieved significant progress on the Frisian islands of Terschelling, Vlieland, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, in the Wadden Sea and on the mainland. In total, 1,220 metric tons of debris has been collected, says MSC. However, this week, a storm is impacting the area being cleaned.

MSC said on Saturday it would pay the full cost of the clean-up and would also ensure Dutch and German beaches were surveyed until all debris from the incident had been cleared.

The 395-meter (1,296-foot), 19,224 TEU MSC Zoe is one of the world’s largest container ships, raising some concern about such mega-vessels. The former managing director of salvage company Smit, Tak Klaas Reinigert, a resident of Schiermonnikoog told The Loadstar that the north-west force nine wind at the time of the incident should not have been a problem for a vessel that large. He suggests MSC Zoe's speed at the time of the incident should be investigated as well as the lashing of containers on the vessel.

Images courtesy of Rijkswaterstaat


Video: SpaceX Develops "Catcher" Boat for Rocket Fairings
by The Maritime Executive
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Commercial rocket company SpaceX has built its business model around recovering as much of its equipment as possible after each launch. Reused rockets save SpaceX tens of millions of dollars for each flight, relative to single-use operations, and that savings can be passed on to its customers.  

To make recoveries possible, SpaceX has developed several novel methods for retrieving components at sea. It has two autonomous deck barges that serve as offshore landing pads for booster rockets, and it has recovered multiple boosters after launch from its Cape Canaveral site. One recent at-sea recovery made history: on December 3, a SpaceX orbital-class booster rocket became the first of its kind to make three full round trips, thanks to a successful deck barge landing.

SpaceX is also developing a specialized workboat to retrieve rocket nose cone fairings - the high tech aerodynamic shells that surround the payload during launch. This unusual boat, dubbed Mr. Stevens, is intended to work like a catcher's mitt. It is a fast crewboat retrofitted with a large net above its back deck, and its role is to maneuver underneath a fairing as it falls towards the sea. (The fairings are equipped with parachutes, slowing their descent.)

So far, the catching tests have not been successful, but the but the boat has still managed to recover the fairings from the water for later reuse. After the Mr. Stevens missed two fairings from a live launch last year, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that the "plan is to dry them out and launch again. Nothing wrong with a little swim."

In another recent test, a helicopter dropped a fairing from altitude so that the Mr. Stevens could make an attempt at a catch (top). The effort was not successful, but the boat came within feet of landing the fairing. Musk has previously said that each fairing is worth $6 million, raising the prospect of significant savings from recovery and reuse. 

DNV GL Helps Washington State Develop Maritime Strategy
by The Maritime Executive
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Washington State partnered with DNV GL in late 2017 to develop the “Washington Maritime Blue” strategy for the sustainable development of the state’s $38 billion maritime industry. With that strategy now complete, the State unveils how it plans to achieve the vision of being home to a world-class, thriving, and sustainable maritime industry by 2050.

At an event in Seattle, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s Maritime Innovation Advisory Council unveiled the results of their year-long effort to develop a comprehensive strategy for leading the nation in the “blue” economy through clean technology and best practices. The Washington State Department of Commerce partnered with DNV GL, the world's leading classification society and a recognized advisor to the maritime industry, to develop the strategic roadmap that will be used to guide the state toward achieving this vision.

The roadmap and supporting strategy framework was driven by the Maritime Blue Task Force, comprised of hundreds of industry leaders and stakeholders from across public and private sectors. DNV GL and the Washington State Department of Commerce facilitated the stakeholder process and examined how other leading international maritime clusters have pursued similar sustainability and innovation-centric agendas. Drawing on these insights, stakeholders identified development pathways, policy recommendations and demonstration projects that will lead to achieving the Washington Maritime Blue vision. 

The strategy roll-out

Anthony DSouza, Executive Vice President DNV GL Maritime Americas, gave a keynote address to attendees at the strategy roll-out event. DSouza spoke about the importance of fostering the growth of a sustainable “blue” economy and the opportunities that it yields, while emphasizing that collaboration between the traditional maritime industry, the tech sector, and stakeholders across the public and private sector through a cluster organization is crucial for success.

Members of the Maritime Blue Task Force provided an overview on several of the key demonstration projects identified in the strategy. Those include the state’s plan for decarbonization, electrification of Washington State Ferries, driving research & development to commercialization in maritime markets, digitalization and IT for maritime entrepreneurship, green gateway and port investments, as well as youth maritime programming, and tribal engagement in blue and rural economic development opportunities.

Positioning for the future

Washington Maritime Blue is the latest large-scale collaboration project for sustainable development that DNV GL has been involved in. The company’s engagements in other similar efforts, including Norway’s Green Coastal Shipping Programme, the Sustainable Development Goals: Exploring Maritime Opportunities, and more, contributed to the global expertise that was shared with WA stakeholders.

“The opportunity to work alongside DNV GL as global leaders in maritime innovation has brought significant expertise to the initiative,” said Joshua Berger, Governor’s Maritime Sector Lead. “Not only their experience with the latest advancements in clean technology, but their ability to facilitate multiple stakeholders and perspectives makes implementing the strategy a sure success. We look forward to continuing our work together creating a world-class, thriving, and sustainable maritime industry here in Washington State and for our oceans and communities around the world.”

“The necessity for sustainability is driving change and innovation in maritime industries faster than ever before. Innovation comes with new opportunities that provide a clear and competitive advantage. The Washington Maritime Blue Strategy demonstrates that the State foresees the economic and social opportunities that exist over and above an already thriving industry and are positioning themselves to achieve advancements and spur technological progress for growth and sustainability,” said Antony DSouza. “DNV GL is a proud partner in the project to develop this Maritime Blue Strategy and will continue to support the State as it positions itself in the competitive national and international market place through the Washington Maritime Blue cluster.”

View Washington State's Strategy for the Blue Economy here.

Magnetic Sponge Developed for Oil Spill Cleanup
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, January 09, 2019

A team of researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada have developed a sponge for soaking up aquatic oil spills that is composed of magnetic boron nitride.

The non-toxic, biodegradable material, consisting of magnetic nanostructured white graphene, absorbs crude oil at up to 53 times its own weight. It can also be reused, and unlike some clean-up technologies, it allows for recovery of spilled oil.

Led by Dr. Nashaat Nassar, the team conducted tests demonstrated that, placed in water where an oil spill has taken place, the hydrophobic material repels water while attracting the oil, at which point the magnetic boron nitride surrounds and absorbs it. Once the oil has been soaked up, magnets are lowered close to the surface of the water, lifting the magnetic sponge and oil together, where it can be separated and the sponge reused.

While magnetic nanomaterials have been considered before for oil spill cleanup, biopersistence – that is, a material tending to remain inside a biological host – made the prospect too dangerous, due to the risk of disease like lung cancer and genetic damage to the lung. However, Nassar's material has been shown to be biocompatible with humans and other organisms. 

Nassar says the new nanomaterial is ready for real-life applications. “If someone wants to start manufacturing this, it is ready to be used right now.”

The Deepwater Horizon explosion that led to 4.9 million barrels of oil to spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 has prompted scientists to rethink cleanup technologies, and another recent development made by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in 2017 is called Oleo Sponge. The material easily absorbs oil from water, is reusable and can pull dispersed oil from the entire water column. The scientists started out with common polyurethane foam and then infused hard metal oxide atoms within complicated nanostructures. This serves as glue for attaching other oil-attaching molecules. The material, which looks a bit like an outdoor seat cushion, can be wrung out to be reused and the oil recovered. 

Last year, researchers from Flinders University in Australia, developed an absorbent polymer made from waste cooking oil and sulfur (a by-product of the petroleum industry). The highly buoyant polymer acts like a sponge to absorb oil from sea water, and it can be squeezed to recover the oil and then reused. 

Furloughed USCG Employees Advised to Hold Garage Sales
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, January 09, 2019

After drawing media attention, the U.S. Coast Guard's workforce support office has removed an online tip sheet recommending that furloughed employees try out garage sales, babysitting and temp work to survive the ongoing government shutdown. 

The Coast Guard's 42,000 active-duty servicemembers remain on duty, potentially without pay, as the status of their next paycheck is uncertain. However, 6,400 of the agency's civilian employees have been furloughed since December 22.

To provide guidance, the USCG's employee assistance office posted a five-page list of tips for managing finances in the event of the loss of pay. The plan advises furloughed employees to crunch the numbers on their family balance sheet, "get lean" with expenses, supplement their income, and start talking with creditors about the prospect of missed payments. 

The document was taken off the agency's site after reporters with the Washington Post inquired about it, but a copy remains available elsewhere. In particular, the document advises Coast Guard employees to: 

- Be creative with finding new income from other sources, like garage sales, dog-walking, babysitting, house-sitting, making money from side hobbies, tutoring students, or becoming a mystery shopper. 

- Talk with creditors early about missed payments, and prioritize which debts to pay first. 

- Understand the rules that govern debt collectors, and when and how they can contact you to ask for payment. 

- Avoid taking on additional debt to make ends meet. 

- Understand that credit scores may suffer as a result of the shutdown, and that this is "secondary to taking care of basic necessities for your family."

"Give yourself credit for doing a tough job!" the plan recommends. "You are taking control of the situation and directing it where you want." 

Shutdown talks stall 

On Wednesday, the White House and the House leadership held a brief conference on negotiating an end to the shutdown. It ended abruptly when President Donald Trump walked out, calling it a "total waste of time." In a Twitter update, the president said that without funding for a wall or barrier at the southern border - something that Democratic leaders refuse to support - he would not approve legislation to restore pay and operations at the affected agencies. 

Separately, the House passed the first of four bills to restore funding at prior-year levels on Wednesday, approving a measure to fund the Treasury Department, the IRS and other financial services agencies. The bill passed 240-188, including eight Republican votes in support. 

The bill does not cover the line item in dispute - the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which would be tasked with and funded for the proposed wall project - but the president has indicated that he will not sign any legislation that would partially end the standoff until the barrier is funded. 

Democrats Make Group Move to Block Offshore Drilling
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, January 09, 2019

A group of House Democrats each introduced a bill blocking offshore drilling in one or more regions of the U.S. this week.

The efforts come as the Trump administration prepares to release the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which will define the administration’s vision for offshore oil and gas drilling. The Draft Proposed Program, released in January 2018, would have opened more than 90 percent of American waters to oil and gas development.

That version faced significant public opposition and pushback from a bipartisan coalition of governors, who asked then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for state-level drilling exemptions. BOEM’s upcoming Proposed Program is still expected to open some portions of the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico regions and some Alaskan waters to leasing.

“Today’s bills are about a cleaner, more sustainable future for our country,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.). “We can create clean energy jobs and protect our coastlines at the same time with the right policy choices. The American people don’t want oil rigs on every beach up and down our coasts, and our economy doesn’t need them. Doubling down on offshore drilling would be a huge mistake, and we’re proud to work together to make sure we take a better course.”

The bills include:

Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee – The Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act of 2019

Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) – The Coastal Economies Protection Act of 2019

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) – The California Clean Coast Act 2019

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) – The New England Coastal Protection Act of 2019

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) – The Florida Coastal Protection Act of 2019

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) – The West Coast Ocean Protection Act of 2019 and the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2019

Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) – The Defend our Coast of 2019

Several major environmental organizations and coalitions spoke today in favor of the package. “The Trump administration should take note that it serves the public—not the oil industry—and abandon its reckless drilling plan once and for all,” said Alexandra Adams, Legislative Director, Nature Program, Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Our coasts are home to 68 national park sites that are destinations for millions of annual visitors and havens for birds, sea turtles, whales and other wildlife. These parks contributed over $5.7 billion in economic output in 2017 to local coastal economies. While the administration is allowing dangerous seismic testing to move forward along the Atlantic Coast and is soon expected to open most of our coasts to offshore drilling, the House is getting back to work protecting our coastal parks, and the marine life they support, from expanded drilling,” said Natalie Levine, Program Manager, Park Resource Protection, National Parks Conservation Association.

Carrie Clark, Executive Director of the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, said that local governments and businesses across North Carolina have one message for President Trump: “Not off our coast.”

However, the American Petroleum Institute released a statement in response, saying: “Closing the door on offshore development could hurt local economies, as well as America’s energy security, and is a step in the wrong direction.”

API President and CEO Mike Sommers addressed more than 400 government, labor and industry leaders on America’s economic leadership at API’s ninth annual State of American Energy address this week highlighting record U.S. energy production and U.S. CO2 emissions reductions to their lowest level in a generation while calling on policymakers to enact policies that embrace technological innovation and open markets, implement effective trade policy, and expand U.S. energy infrastructure.

“Net oil imports this year are set to fall to their lowest levels since 1958. On some days, we actually export more oil than some OPEC nations produce. That’s a monumental shift in the global balance of energy power, and it’s paying off in communities across the nation – cutting family budgets and bringing manufacturing jobs back.”

Sommers also released a new energy poll on what Americans think about U.S. natural gas and oil. Key poll results:

• 84 percent support increased development of the country’s energy infrastructure
• 83 percent see natural gas and oil as important to the future.
• 78 percent of voters support increased production of natural gas and oil resources.
• 77 percent support energy policies that the natural gas and oil industry advocates: a secure supply of abundant, affordable and available energy.
• 75 percent support the role natural gas is playing in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
• 90 percent see personal value in natural gas and oil.

Investors Plan $2B Methanol Plant at Port of South Louisiana
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, January 09, 2019

On Friday, January 4, 2019, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and South Louisiana Methanol CEO Paul Moore announced the revival of a plan for a new $2.2 billion methanol complex – one of the largest in the world - to be built in the Port of South Louisiana district. 

The project, South Louisiana Methanol, is a partnership between New Zealand-based Todd Corporation and Saudi state-owned petchem firm SABIC. The project was originally announced in early 2013 as a joint venture between Todd Corporation and Texas-based ZEEP, Inc.

“This agreement represents part of SABIC’s strategy to focus on the geographic diversification of its business, to reach new global markets and enable the company to access raw materials at competitive prices. The Port of South Louisiana and in-place transportation infrastructure make St. James Parish a great location,” said Mohammed Al-Wakeel, head of SABIC US Methanol. 

South Louisiana Methanol’s 1,500-acre complex in St. James Parish will use natural gas to produce an estimated 2 million metric tons of methanol per year. This petrochemical is used as a building block to make countless other products, including plastics, polyester fibers and fabrics, pesticides, fuel additives, pharmaceuticals and adhesives. 

Abundant, affordable shale gas has led to the development of multiple methanol projects along the Gulf Coast, which could help make the U.S. a net exporter of methanol in the near future, according to a recent analysis commissioned by the Methanol Institute. 

The state of Louisiana has renegotiated South Louisiana Methanol’s 2013 incentive package, which makes it eligible for a $5 million performance-based grant. The company will also receive assistance from the state’s LED FastStart, and Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.

Port Canaveral Awards $109M in Contracts for New Cruise Terminal
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, January 09, 2019

On Tuesday, the Canaveral Port Authority's board of commissioners approved two contracts worth a combined $109 million for the port’s Cruise Terminal 3 project and an adjacent 1,800-vehicle parking garage.

Ivey’s Construction, Inc. won the award to build the two-story, 188,000-square-foot terminal, the centerpiece of what will be the Port’s largest ever construction project. The $163 million complex will become the home port for Carnival Cruise Line’s largest cruise ship, the future Mardi Gras, when it opens in 2020. The 180,000-ton “XL-class” Mardi Gras will have a maximum capacity of 6,500 passengers and about 2,000 crew members, and she will be the first North American cruise ship powered by LNG.

The cruise terminal complex will be financed using a mixture of public and private funds. The port's commission has approved a $117 million bond issue for the terminal, supplemented with a $6 million grant from the state of Florida, and Carnival will contribute $50 million as part of a long-term agreement with the port. 

A five-member Port Canaveral selection committee picked Ivey's bid for the cruise terminal base on pricing and construction schedule. The company also won the parking garage contract, as its bid was the only one submitted. Because both bids exceeded the original project estimates, the port is looking at ways to reduce costs while still meeting the original design intent. 

“We're creating a world-class cruise terminal, and with these contract awards, the project is mobilizing and moving ahead,” said port CEO Captain John Murray in a statement. “We are confident that this state-of-the-art facility will be constructed on schedule and on budget.”

Contractor RUSH Marine is already working on the waterside construction of the terminal's new berth. Its construction crews are demolishing the existing pier structures at the site and installing barriers to prevent erosion from wake and wave action. The $39 million project is expected to be completed in December 2019.

ILO Celebrates 100 Years of Revolutionary Action
by The Maritime Executive
Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Imagine a world with no weekends, no eight-hour working day, no minimum working age and no protection for pregnant or vulnerable workers. That’s the workplace that might exist now if the International Labour Organization (ILO) did not exist.

Created in 1919, in the aftermath of the First World War, the ILO is celebrating 100 years of working for social justice with a new multimedia, interactive website.

The radical the idea behind the ILO’s mandate was, as summed up in the Preamble to its Constitution: “Universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.” Just as revolutionary was its structure, bringing together governments, workers and employers to determine labor standards. This was described later by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a “wild dream.”

At the time of the ILO’s founding, there was increasing understanding of the world's economic interdependence and the need for cooperation to ensure that growing international competition did not drive down working conditions. As the Constitution put it “…the failure of any nation to adopt humane conditions of labor is an obstacle in the way of other nations which desire to improve the conditions in their own countries.”

These sentiments went on to be enshrined in the foundations of the ILO – literally. When, in 1926, the ILO moved into its first purpose-built offices on the shore of Lake Geneva, the foundation stone was engraved with the Latin phrase, Si vis pacem, cole justiciam (If you desire peace, cultivate justice). The formal gates of the building also reflected the uniqueness of the ILO. They require three keys to open, symbolizing the equal contributions of the three constituent groups.

But, even before the move, the ILO had already made a mark on the working lives of millions of people. In 1919, the first International Labour Conference – the meeting of the constituents – held in Washington DC, adopted six International Labour Conventions dealing with labor issues including hours of work, unemployment, maternity protection, night work for women, minimum age and night work for young people.

With the outbreak of conflict in Europe at the end of the 1930’s, the ILO moved temporarily to Canada, becoming one of the few international organizations that functioned uninterrupted throughout the Second World War.

In May 1944, as the war was coming to a close, the ILO adopted the Declaration of Philadelphia. This reaffirmed the ILO’s vision and defined a set of principles that placed human rights at its heart, to meet the “aspirations aroused by hopes for a better world.”

The Declaration's emphasis on human rights was advanced with a series of international labor standards – legally-binding Conventions and advisory Recommendations – dealing with labor inspection, freedom of association, the right to organize and collectively bargain, equal pay, forced labor and discrimination.

The end of the fighting opened the way to a new phase of ILO activity. In 1945, the ILO became the first specialized agency of the newly-formed United Nations. Another post-war change for the ILO was the expansion of its membership. Industrialized countries became a minority, outweighed by developing economies, and so the essential ILO characteristic, of tripartism, was combined with a second – universality.

In 1969, on its 50th anniversary, the ILO was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Other important milestones include the International Labour Conference’s unanimously-adopted Declaration condemning Apartheid, in 1964, making the ILO one of the first organizations to impose sanctions on South Africa.

In the 1980’s, the ILO also played a major role in the emancipation of Poland from dictatorship, by giving its full support to the legitimacy of the Solidarnosc independent trade union.

As the 20th Century drew to a close, the ILO’s role continued to evolve to meet changes in the world of work, notably the growing march of globalization. Calls for its help expanded to encompass a more diverse range of issues, including the rights of indigenous peoples, HIV/AIDS in the workplace, migrant and domestic workers.

The organization championed the concept of Decent Work as a strategic international development goal, alongside the promotion of a fair globalization. When the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were formally adopted by the international community, decent work was a crucial component, notably for Goal 8 which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”

To protect the world’s seafarers, the ILO has adopted around 70 instruments (41 Conventions and related Recommendations) through special maritime sessions of the International Labour Conference. In February 2006, International Labour Conference adopted the Maritime Labour Convention. This Convention revised and consolidated 37 existing Conventions and the related Recommendations. It provides, in one instrument, the comprehensive rights of the world’s 1.5 million seafarers to decent conditions of work on almost every aspect of their working and living conditions including minimum requirements for work on a ship (such as minimum age, medical fitness and training) provisions on the conditions of employment such as hours of work and rest, wages, leave, repatriation, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, occupational safety and health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection.

Popularity of Open-Loop Scrubber Continues
by Ship Bunker
Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Langh Tech inks deal for open-loop scrubber retrofits on seven vessels in the Polaris fleet.

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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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