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July 8, 2015

June’s top stories: Meyer Werft ship building deal, naval migration control

Panama Canal expansion neared completion, ship building contracts for Fincantieri and Meyer Werft, and English Channel ferry services restarted after French worker protests. wraps up the key headlines from June 2015.

By Prasanth Katam


Panama Canal expansion nears completion


The next stage of the Panama Canal Expansion Programme started by filling the Cocoli’s locks on the Pacific side, after the completion of similar work on the Atlantic side earlier this month.

This milestone marks the beginning of the project’s compliance and operational testing phase.

Panama Canal administrator and CEO Jorge Quijano said: "Earlier this month, we reached one of the most important milestones of the programme through the filling work of the Atlantic locks; now moving on to the Pacific side, we take great pride in the work done so far and are eager to bring the full programme to completion."

Fincantieri to build three ships for Virgin Cruises

Fincantieri signed a binding letter of intent (LoI) with Virgin Cruises to build three cruise ships.

The new 110,000gt vessels will have 1,430 guest cabins with a capacity to accommodate more than 2,800 passengers and 1,150 crew members.

Virgin is expected to invest around $2bn in the construction of the three cruise vessels.

European Council launches naval operation to tackle Mediterranean migration

The European Council launched a new European Union (EU) naval operation aimed at tackling human smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean.

Named Eunavfor Med, the new mission is designed to identify, capture and dispose of vessels and assets belonging to migrant smugglers or traffickers.

The council stated that the operation will be in full compliance with international laws, including humanitarian and refugee law, and human rights.

German shipyard Meyer Werft to build four LNG cruise ships for Carnival

Carnival Corporation signed a multi-billion dollar contract with Meyer Werft to construct four cruise ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), representing a major environmental breakthrough in the cruise industry.

The new vessels, which would be the first LNG-powered cruise ships, will feature a ‘green cruising’ design and offer the largest guest capacity in the world.

The contract is part of the strategic memorandums of agreements that Carnival signed with Meyer Werft and Fincantieri to build a total of nine new cruise ships over a four-year period between 2019 and 2022.

South East Asia poses greater piracy threat to seafarers, says report


A report published by Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) stated that pirate attacks in South East Asia present a clear and remerging threat to seafarers with a 90% boarding success rate.

The report delivered by the maritime advocacy group showed that 800 seafarers in incidents in South East Asia experienced violence, or the threat of violence.

It added that around 3,600 seafarers were on-board vessels that had been attacked by pirates in the region.

English Channel ferry services restart after French worker protests

Cross-channel ferry services between Dover and Calais resumed after the French ferry worker protest caused the closure of Port of Calais and the Channel Tunnel.

Employees of English Channel passenger and freight ferry company MyFerryLink, formerly SeaFrance, started protesting after the firm announced plans to sell two of its ferries to rival firm DFDS.

The MyFerryLink vessels were used to block the port and prevent other ferry vessels from entering.

Unchecked maritime carbon emissions may increase to 250% by 2050, says IMO

The carbon emissions from international maritime shipping could increase by 250% in the period to 2050 if it left unchecked, an assessment by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) claimed.

In the fourth edition of the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) Maritime Emissions policy briefing, it stated that the present carbon emissions from maritime shipping represents up to 2.2% of the global total.

According to GSF secretary general Chris Welsh, the shippers’ views need to be considered as the IMO puts efforts to reduce emissions and the EU begins to review the technical details of its proposed MRV regulation.

Los Angeles Auckland and Guangzhou ports form tripartite alliance


The Port of Los Angeles signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ports of Auckland and Guangzhou, establishing the tripartite ports alliance to enhance cooperation.

The new alliance will allow the ports to collaborate on trade, innovation and investment opportunities between the public and private sectors of the three regions.

Los Angeles Harbor Commission president ambassador Vilma Martinez said: "We commend Mayor Garcetti’s leadership and foresight in helping to form this alliance during his trade mission to Asia last year."

Ontario to build new ferry for Pelee Island

Chile-based shipbuilder Asenav secured a contract from the Ontario ministry of transportation (MTO) to construct a new ferry for Pelee Island.

Expected to start service in 2018, the new ferry will serve the existing docks at Pelee Island, Leamington and Kingsville.

Ontario transportation minister Steven Del Duca said: "This new ferry will help keep goods and people moving in one of the most beautiful regions of Ontario."

Deltamarin unveils Ro-Pax vessel design in Norway


Finnish ship design firm Deltamarin launched a new Ro-Pax vessel design, DeltaChallenger.

Launched during the Nor-Shipping 2015 exhibition in Oslo, Norway, the new concept features dual-fuel electric machinery, four power plants and a compact Azipod D pod propulsion system.

The vessel will also be equipped with GTT Mark III membrane LNG tanks each with a capacity of 1,200m³ with superior layout advantages for efficient loading and unloading configurations.

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