Lifting of sanctions paves way for expanded shipping business in Iran

The US and the EU withdrew sanctions imposed on Iran, paving the way for trade relations with the Middle-Eastern country.

The sanctions were relaxed after the nuclear monitoring body, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed that Iran conformed to the rules laid down by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action last July.

An agreement was reached in July, 2015 between Iran, the five permanent members of the UN and the EU, over curbs on Iran's nuclear programme.

Scorpio to sell five MR product tankers to Bahri for $166.5m

Scorpio Tankers signed an agreement with the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) to sell five of its second-hand medium range (MR) tankers for $166.5m.

The MR product tankers were built in 2014 at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea. STI Chelsea, STI Lexington, STI Mythos, STI Olivia, and STI Powai are set to be sold to Bahri's National Chemical Carriers (NCC) subsidiary.

The sale of two vessels is expected to be completed this March, while the remaining three will be sold in the second quarter of this year.

Philippines take control of North Korean freight ship under UN sanctions

The Philippines reportedly seized control of a North Korean freight ship that called in Subic port, in the Northern Province of Zambales.

The 6,830 deadweight tonnage (dwt) cargo ship, Jin Teng, operated by North Korea's Ocean Maritime Management was subject to an asset freeze and sanctions authorised by the UN as a response to the country's nuclear and ballistic missile activities.

The Philippines deputy presidential spokesman Manolo Quezon was quoted by Reuters as saying: "The world is concerned over North Korea's nuclear weapons programme, and as a member of the UN, the Philippines has to do its part to enforce the sanctions."

Viking Line and Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry sign LoI for new LNG vessel

Finnish shipping company Viking Line entered into a letter of intent (LoI) with China’s Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry regarding an order for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered passenger vessel.

Both companies are planning to finalise the deal by next year.

The recently signed LoI also includes the option for an additional vessel.

CMA CGM proceeds with $2.4bn offer to acquire NOL

French container shipping company CMA CGM confirmed its intention to acquire Singapore-based global container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) in an all-cash voluntary conditional general offer for all outstanding shares.

CMA CGM priced each NOL share at S$1.30 in cash, which represents a 49% premium to NOL's unaffected share price, with CMA CGM specifying that the price will remain fixed. The total amount to be invested by CMA CGM will be S$3.4bn ($2.4bn).

The announcement comes after the potential transaction secured regulatory approvals from Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the European Commission.

NTSB locates sunken cargo ship El Faro’s voyage data recorder

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that the sunken cargo ship El Faro's voyage data recorder (VDR) was found, in 15,000ft of water 41 miles northeast of the Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas.

A team of investigators and scientists used remotely operated undersea search equipment to locate the VDR.

The investigative team consisted of specialists from the National Transportation Safety Board, the US Coast Guard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Tote Services, the owner and operator of El Faro.

Royal Caribbean and Miami-Dade County to build cruise terminal at PortMiami, US

Global cruise company Royal Caribbean entered into a deal with Miami-Dade County to build and operate a new cruise terminal at PortMiami on land leased from the county.

The proposed 170,000ft² terminal, nicknamed Crown of Miami, will be designed by architectural firm Broadway Malyan.

The terminal project, to be built with an investment of $200m, is expected to be completed by 2018.

DP World and TIPC collaborate to develop Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Port

UAE-based DP World signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state-run Taiwan International Ports (TIPC) for development of Kaohsiung Port’s Terminal 7 in Taiwan.

The deal also aims to develop future joint efforts in business, as well as boost Taiwan’s port infrastructure and improve the country’s trade by establishing well-organised cargo movement across its supply chain.

Under the collaboration, DP World will use its experience to help develop Taiwan’s economy.

ADC secures exclusive right to build $2.5bn Anaklia Deep Sea Port

The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) won a deal from the Government of Georgia to exclusively build, develop and operate the $2.5bn Anaklia Deep Sea Port for a period of 52 years.

As part of the contract, the government will invest $100m in the construction and development of railway and transportation links, connecting the port to the neighbouring region.

Spanning an area of 400ha, the port will pave the way for a new maritime corridor from China to Europe. 

Lerwick Port Authority launches new vessel monitoring system

UK’s Lerwick Port Authority installed a new vessel monitoring system (VMS), which uses the latest technology to advance the handling of ship movements at the Shetland port.

Provided by Transas, the new VMS covers four sites at the port area, including port control in the main building and three remote stations.

The areas being covered include Rova Head north of Lerwick, and Maryfield and Kirkabister, on the island of Bressay; monitoring the northern approaches, inner harbour and southern approaches, respectively.