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March 2, 2016updated 09 Mar 2022 3:07pm

February’s top stories: Panama Canal’s sill reinforcement, Scorpio’s $166.5m tanker sale

Panama Canal completed testing sill reinforcements of Cocoli Locks while Scorpio clinches a deal of $166.5m to sell tankers and India sanctions $150m loan to Iran’s Chabahar port. wraps up the key headlines from February 2016.


Panama Canal Authority announces completion of testing of sill reinforcements of Cocoli locks

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported that Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), which has been assigned with the responsibility of designing and developing the Third Set of Locks Project, concluded the testing of the reinforcements in sill number three of the Cocolí locks.

In August, a large crack was detected in one of the chambers of the new lock complexes, which was attributed to an insufficient steel reinforcement in the area while being subjected to stress from extreme condition testing.

The incident had prompted the GUPC technical personnel, the designers and Panama Canal Authority (ACP) specialists to fill the crack, to fix and reinforce the structure and monitor its testing process.

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 about $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.

India okays $150m credit line for Chabahar port development in Iran


India’s union cabinet ministry approved a credit line of $150m from EXIM Bank in a bid to develop the Chabahar port located outside the Persian Gulf in Iran.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by the two nations in May last year, under which, India will build and operate two berths in the first phase of development at Chabahar Port and contribute a credit of $150m to Iran.

The berths are expected to be operational within 18 months of the signing of a final contract, which will be approved by the ministers of finance, external affairs and shipping.

HHI develops high pressure SCR system to reduce NOx emission


South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) unveiled a new high pressure selective catalytic reduction (HP SCR) system, designed to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission from two-stroke marine engines.

Claimed to be the world’s first such product, the system is said to comply with IMO NOx Tier III requirement, which came into force last month.

The system is believed to be capable of reducing NOx emissions by up to 99% by means of using ammonia as a catalyst.

German federal cabinet releases new national port concept 2015

A new national port concept was revealed by the German federal cabinet to fortify the competitiveness of the German ports and to remove blockades in the hinterland and sea connections.

The new concept will address the challenges faced by the German ports and will develop measures to combat them. It is aimed at supporting port policy-making for the next ten years.

It comprises of 155 separate measures alongside general statements of the new port concept’s goals, which include expansion of port infrastructure, measures for training and employment, as well as better coordination of port politics between the EU, federal government and the states.

Cargill and MV Cargo agree to invest $100m to build grain terminal in Ukraine


Cargill and MV Cargo signed a share purchase agreement to build a grain terminal in the port Yuzhni, Ukraine, and agreed to invest $100m in the project.

The new deep-water terminal in Yuzhni will provide passage to Ukraine’s surplus agricultural produce to the global market’s demand.

The deal will see MV Cargo constructing the new facility in the Ukraine port.

VPS and DNV GL unveil new Fuel Analytics solution


Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) and DNV GL unveiled a new fuel analytics solution to assess the effect of fuel quality on vessel performance.

The new technology is claimed to be the first of its kind and is a result of the partnership between the two companies.

As a part of DNV GL’s ECO Insight fleet performance management portal, the tool will allow a systematic approach in measuring the impact of the quality of fuel used to propel the ships.

Sunken El Faro investigation reveals captain sent email seeking change in direction of sail

El Faro

A recent review of Tote Maritime’s cargo ship El Faro’s last fatal voyage revealed that the captain aboard the ship, Michael Davidson, had in an email to Tote officials, sought a change in route in order to veer the ship off the course of hurricane Joaquin in the Bahamas.

The 790ft ship sunk, killing 33 crew members on board, during Hurricane Joaquin on 1 October in the Bahamas after departing from Jacksonville, Florida.

Following the revelation, a seven-member panel was formed including the National Transportation Safety Board investigators, who summoned Tote Services vice-president of marine operations Philip Morrell to testify on the email.

MOL launches efficiency boosting big data trial of onboard inspection system

Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) partnered with Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) subsidiary Ship Data Centre to launch the trial usage of onboard data transmission and accumulation for its operated vessels.

The trial is aimed at facilitating an environment to allow the collection of data in a bulk from onboard a ship and distributing the same between ship and shore in real time by leveraging on the marine broadband service.

The initial trial will include transferring the onboard big data acquired from MOL-operated vessels to the ship data centre, where it will be accumulated.

Danish Maritime Authority issues guidelines to weigh container cargo prior to loading into ship


The Danish Maritime Authority released new guidelines for the maritime industry, requiring all the cargo containers to be weighed before being boarded on to the ship.

The guidelines come at a time when the number of incidents where bulk carriers have lost containers at sea and the ship’s hull has been damaged due to overload have increased.

Subject to a European Commission consultation procedure, the regulations will be put into effect from 1 July but will be formally issued in early May.

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