Following Stories compiled in this News Digest for the week from 13 Jun 2022 to 19 Jun 2022 in descending order:
- Agnipath scheme to train & transform youths through Indian Navy to take up captivating roles in merchant navy
- It’s Time to Stop COVID Testing to Board Cruise Ships
- Norwegian study draws new conclusions on emissions reduction
- Granny makes waves as certified seafarer
- India: Goa Govt issues sanction order for seafarers pension
- Students Design Zero Emission, Sustainable Boat to Represent India in Monaco
- Seafarer wage rates set to increase: Drewry
- Industry Leaders Pave the Way for Safer Seas
- Greece releases detained Iranian oil tanker Lana
- Freight data wars on the horizon
- New Hydrogen-powered Tanker Concept Unveiled
- British Boat Builder Delivers the World’s First Fully Recyclable Boat to Police Scotland
- IMO Clamps Down on Dirty Fuel in Mediterranean Sea
- Mission to Seafarers re-opens Singapore drop-in centre
- Columbia Shipmanagement expands footprint in India with Aurus Ship Management deal
- India: Bonded bunkering brightens Vizhinjam port prospects
Agnipath scheme to train & transform youths through Indian Navy to take up captivating roles in merchant navy
19 Jun 2022
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) announced SIX attractive service avenues for a smooth transition of Agniveers in various roles of the Merchant navy, post their stint with the Indian Navy. The scheme will enable Agniveers to acquire necessary training, with rich naval experience and professional certification to join the remunerative merchant navy across the world. The provisions were announced by the Directorate General of Shipping, a Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways organization in Mumbai today.
These schemes for Agniveers include transition from Ratings in Indian Navy to Certified Ratings in Merchant Navy, transition from Electrical Ratings in Indian Navy to Certified Electro Technical Ratings in Merchant Navy, transition from Ratings in Indian Navy to Certified Class IV-NCV CoC holder in Merchant Navy, transition from Electrical Ratings in Indian Navy to Certified Electro Technical Officers in Merchant Navy and transition from Cook in Indian Navy to Certified Cook Merchant Navy. The MoSPW will issue INDOS and CDC for those Agniveers who intends to explore in any of the said schemes through Indian Navy. Some of the schemes are devised for Agniveers with Diploma in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering or ITI Trade Certificate in Electronic or Electrical stream – either joining with these qualification or acquiring these during their tenure with the Indian Navy.
The Agnipath scheme – a transformative move to modernize India’s armed forces – will create opportunities for the youth of the nation to serve the country and, at the same time, earn rich professional experience and training enabling them to seize opportunities. In order to provide global exposure via merchant navy, the MoPSW will work with the Indian Navy to train & equip the Agniveers & facilitate to take up alternate career in the merchant post four years stint with the Navy.
Speaking on the scheme, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal said, “The vision of PM Narendra Modiji through the transformative Agnipath scheme is an attempt that the profile of Indian armed forces remains youthful. They will be adaptive to newer technologies & prepare them through their stint with our world class Indian Navy to secure a lucrative career in the global merchant navy. We are working with Indian Navy to bridge the gap of skilled man force in the merchant navy through these schemes. It will help our Agniveers to get transited in the shipping sector and build an enticing career in merchant navy by contributing immensely through their rich skills & experience to the Indian marine economy.” Reference
It’s Time to Stop COVID Testing to Board Cruise Ships
19 Jun 2022
Somewhat quietly last Friday, June 9th, the CDC and the Biden administration dropped the requirement for air travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test before departing to return to the United States.
While the CDC said they would review the decision in 90 days, it seems virtually impossible that you could put that horse back in the barn.
Just a few weeks ago, there was a New York Times story about the steps that some were taking to avoid the COVID testing requirement- which frankly shows how ineffective the testing strategy was. One could sail, drive or walk across the Canadian or Mexican border and avoid the testing mandate.
The entire pandemic response has been plagued with half-measures, reactionary and xenophobic policies, and this was just another example.
Cruise travel remains the only means of travel or entertainment that on a large scale requires vaccination. To adhere to the CDC “highly vaccinated” standard, ships must have a minimum of 90% of passengers vaccinated. There has never been such a requirement placed on air travel, hotels, theme parks, etc.
Cruise ships have been held to the most rigorous standards- especially when it comes to testing. Depending on the line, all passengers are required to be tested between 48 and 72 hours prior to boarding, with many lines requiring unvaccinated passengers to test at the terminal prior to boarding.
This past week, Viking became the first cruise line to no longer require pre-voyage coronavirus testing in destinations where it’s not mandated.
It’s time more cruise lines follow Viking’s lead. Reference
Norwegian study draws new conclusions on emissions reduction
18 Jun 2022
Analysis by the Maritime Oslofjord Alliance reveals that only about 15% of existing tankers, bulkers and container ships are equipped with electronically controlled main engines, making them potentially suitable for conversion to alternative fuels.
The analysis, entitled Energy Transition in Shipping – Facts and Timeline, concludes therefore that most ships in shipping’s principal markets must adopt operational and technical measures as the most viable route to emissions abatement over the next three to five years.
Funded by the Oslo Maritime Foundation and Oslo Shipowners’ Association, the study also reveals that ships in the three categories of more than 5,000dwt account for about 80% of greenhouse gas emitted by the world fleet of around 94,000 vessels. About a fifth of this fleet consumes almost two thirds of all fuel used in shipping, the analysis noted.
Many ship operators contemplating engine power limitation as a compliance strategy to meet imminent IMO regulations due from next January will appreciate the conclusion that slowing ship speed “is the most powerful way to cut emissions”. The analysis, carried out by Svein Helge Guldteig of Ocean Consulting AS, estimates that a 10% speed reduction for a typical merchant vessel can typically cut emissions by 27%. A 20% reduction from 15 to 12 knots, meanwhile, could cut fuel burn by 50%.
Drop-in biofuels or e-fuels offers another operational measure, the report says. Modification and optimisation of hull and propulsion systems, energy saving devices, and retuning the main engine for lower load optimisation are other possible strategies. Meanwhile, digitalisation can play an important role in support operational measures and achieving savings from optimisation that were not possible only a few years ago.
Investment risk and access to competent seafarers are two further issues highlighted in the report. Limited shipyard capacity – both in new construction and repair/conversion – are likely to prove significant constraints over the period. Reference
Granny makes waves as certified seafarer
18 Jun 2022
FAJINAH Jaafar, 61, is set to be the first female certified seafarer in Penang after earning her certificate of competency (COC) in seafaring due to sheer hard work.
The grandmother with three grandchildren could barely contain her happiness when she received her certificate from Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman at a graduation ceremony at Universiti Sains Malaysia.
“Words can’t express my excitement. I almost gave up as the seafaring course was not easy. Due to my age, I needed to put in more effort to study after returning from the sea every day. “I am grateful that I persevered as I have learnt so much about maritime law,” she said.
Fajinah was among nine fisherfolk aged between 30 and 64 from south Penang island who passed the state Marine Department’s course to become certified seafarers. They are the first group to take the course under the Penang South Islands (PSI) social impact management plan (SIMP).
The “Domestic Mate Less Than 500 Gross Tonnage” course was held from Feb 28 to March 6 this year. Those who passed the written assessment at the end of the course subsequently sat for their oral test at the Marine Department on April 21 and 22.
Haris Abdullah, 62, was happy he finally achieved his dream to get a seafarer’s licence together with his 30-year-old son.
Ahmad Zakiyuddin, who is also Penang Islamic affairs, cooperatives and community empowerment committee chairman, said the course was in line with the state’s intention to create more opportunities for fisherfolk under SIMP. Those who obtained the licence are now qualified to pilot passenger boats carrying up to 12 people. Reference
India: Goa Govt issues sanction order for seafarers pension
18 Jun 2022
Finally, there’s good news in store for retired seafarers and widows. After a delay of six months, the government has finally issued the sanction order of Rs 1.25 crore for the disbursement of pension for the beneficiaries.
And, if everything goes well, the retired seafarers and the widows may receive the pension of the last six months before the Seafarers Day on June 25.
Director of NRI Affairs, Anthony D’Souza, informed that the Home department headed by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has issued the sanction order amounting to Rs 1.25 crore to disburse the pension for the retired seamen and the widows.
The beneficiaries will receive the pension for the last six months, starting from December 2021 to May 2022. The government has issued the sanction order for the entire year.
D’Souza said the NRI office headed by Commissioner Narendra Sawaikar will soon move a proposal to the Home department for enrollment of seafarers and widows who are entitled to benefits under the scheme.
To a question, he said the NRI office needs Rs three crore to fund the pension scheme for the retired seafarers and widows. Reference
Students Design Zero Emission, Sustainable Boat to Represent India in Monaco
17 Jun 2022
Those who passed by the Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore, in the past few months, have been met with a novel sight.
In the garage on campus, 14 students huddled together building what would go on to become a unique, zero-emissions boat that would secure a place in the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge 2022.
It began on a morning in December 2021, when their president Mr Shankar Vanavarayar got a call from a friend who knew about the Monaco Challenge. The latter had heard of the grit and determination of these engineering students and suggested to Mr Shankar that they take part in the competition.
Months of researching, studying academic papers, designing, taking apart and redesigning came to fruition when ‘Yali’ was the star at the trial round conducted at the Chennai Port on 10 May 2022.
The trial was under the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association and Yali impressed the onlookers with a speed of 20 knots that lasted for the entire duration of the 45-minute endurance test.
Yali is a 5 metre x 3 metre catamaran. With her twin hulls and blue and white exterior, she is a striking beauty on the water. Interesting to note is that Yali’s topology was inspired by the AGV train.
Right behind the pilot’s seat, which has been designed like a ‘formula race car’, is a 9.6kW lithium-based battery on which the boat runs and on top of this is a 200W solar panel.
While the battery serves as the primary source of energy, the solar serves as the secondary, and this is in keeping with the challenge criteria.
Yali satisfies the zero-emission criteria as its lithium batteries do not produce any emissions and contain lesser amounts of heavy metals. In addition, the battery can be powered by the solar energy that the panel absorbs.
Another sustainable aspect of the Yali is her 6KW pod propulsion system that serves as the motor for the boat to run forward. This eliminates the need for a power source for steering, as it can be done mechanically. It will work in case of a power failure too.
The team has also gone on to use Mono PERC technology instead of the typical monocrystalline photovoltaic cells.
Alongside building a zero-emissions boat, another objective that they have is creating conversion kits for boats. This entails transforming the diesel or petrol engines into electrical ones. Reference
Seafarer wage rates set to increase: Drewry
17 Jun 2022
Seafarer wage rates are set to increase in the face of worsening officer supply/demand imbalance, according to the latest Manning Annual Review and Forecast report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.
“Sustained fleet growth will lead to the highest shortfall of officers to crew the world’s merchant fleet in over a decade by 2027 with important implications for both hiring and future manning cost inflation,” says the report.
The current officer supply shortfall is estimated to equate to around 5 percent of the global pool, which is broadly manageable in practical terms for vessel operators. “But there is heightened risk with regard to the Russia/Ukraine conflict potentially further limiting the supply of a large number of officers. Looking ahead to 2027, the supply/demand gap is expected to widen to a deficit equating to over 8 percent of the global officer pool. This is despite a slight anticipated uptick in the rate of growth in supply as training rates increase now that Covid restrictions are much less significant. While ratings supply has also been slowing, this poses less concern to employers as it remains broadly elastic to increases in demand as the global fleet expands.”
Recruiting and retaining quality officers with experience on sophisticated vessel types is likely to be the first pressure point in a tightening supply pool,” says Rhett Harris, Head of manning research, Drewry. “Employers need to ensure that a career at sea is an attractive career option for ambitious and well-educated people.”
Worldwide consumer price inflation is forecast to be over 7 percent in 2022 before falling back to around 3 percent for the forecast period to 2027. So, seafarer wage rates are expected to increase by around 2.5 percent each year, in average terms, from around 1.5 percent in 2022. There will however, be increased volatility by rank, nationality and vessel type outside of these averages, the report said.
United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD), along with the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), had called upon stakeholders to take action to support the world’s 1.9 million seafarers from being unduly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions. Reference
Industry Leaders Pave the Way for Safer Seas
17 Jun 2022
Posidonia 2022 saw key players in the maritime industry share ideas on the role of data in safety. Representatives of Classification Societies, shipping companies, P&I Clubs and vendors joined the HiLo panel on ‘Using data and analytics to prevent maritime incidents.’
Panellists included: Mark Warner, Lloyd’s Register; George Kouloukas, Gaslog; Stuart Edmonston, UK P&I; Andy Cross, HiLo Maritime Risk Management.
As George Kouloukas puts it, ‘data is the bone marrow of our business’. It forms the core of day-to-day work in the maritime industry. By working together to make the most of data, we can identify and fill gaps in our knowledge, fundamentally making seafarers safer. Quite simply, as Stuart Edmonston says – ‘data is something to share’. Data is the key to moving from reactive to proactive. Gaslog are using their data to see where maritime incidents are likely to occur in the future, giving them the chance to prevent, rather than mitigate, issues.
LR’s Mark Warner talked about their innovative vision for the future – it is all about technology. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and wearable technology will all play a part in the future for Classification Societies. However, he stresses the need for collaboration to make the most of these technologies.
Andy Cross pointed out the difficulty of standardising terminology within the maritime industry. The key, he says, is to get everyone speaking the same language, because only after data is standardised can we act on it effectively. As we advance further with technology, Andy says, the temptation to fill in more and more ‘miscellaneous’ data files is a death sentence for standardisation.
The volume of data is not the issue. George Kouloukas noted that the industry has millions of records. However, it is vital to standardise format and contents to make the most of this information.
Trust is the keystone of maritime unity. Stuart Edmonston discussed the trust P&I Clubs have to put in shipping companies to take action where it is needed. The key is for us to collaborate, both within and outside organisations. Reference
Greece releases detained Iranian oil tanker Lana
16 Jun 2022
Greece has released the Iranian-flagged oil tanker Lana following a court order cancelling its seizure, stated Iranian news agency Mehr.
The country impounded the oil tanker Pegas, then operating under the Russian flag, in April, when it was anchored near the island of Evia due to an engine problem.
The tanker, which has the capacity to carry 115,000 tonnes of crude oil, was detained on suspicion of breaching sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) against Russian assets.
It was renamed as Lana in March and later started flying the Iranian flag.
According to the news agency, this incident led to an angry response from Iran, with Iranian forces confiscating two Greek tankers in the Persian Gulf over maritime violations in May.
Both Iran and Russia are subject to separate sanctions imposed by the US and EU.
A Greek court has recently reversed the previous ruling, which enabled the US to seize part of the tanker’s oil cargo. The latest ruling reportedly allows the vessel’s cargo to be returned to its owner.
The Iran Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) was quoted as saying: “With the swift and authoritative action of Iran, the Greek Government finally issued an order and we are now witnessing the lifting of the ship’s seizure and the return of its cargo to its owner. Reference
Freight data wars on the horizon
16 Jun 2022
When it comes to anything related to supply chains, uncertainty pervades.
An early June report from the Freightwaves platform, with the headline, “US import demand is dropping of a cliff”, received a great deal of traction, and caused holders of transport related equities to push the “sell” button- against the backdrop of equity markets already rattled by fears of rampant inflation and pending interest rate hikes that would stifle demand. Indeed, the Freightwaves article emphasized a looming inventory glut.
The investment house Stifel, in a letter to its investor clients, raised concerns about the Freightwaves report which stated: “The latest ocean container bookings data reveals that despite the strong levels of inbound cargo during the first five months of 2022, import demand is not just softening — it’s dropping off a cliff. Because capacity on the trans-Pacific has remained relatively stable, Freightos’ container spot rates from China to the West Coast have plunged 38% month-over-month to $9,630.”
In a sign of further confusion, the spot rate had initially been attributed to yet another source—Drewry. Freightos, an Israel based data provider with a working relationship with London’s Baltic Exchange, is different from Freightwaves, a US-based supply chain intelligence platform which provides news and data.
Among investors, fears of a 2008-like financial collapse are in the air. The Stifel note to investors in transport-related shares, sought to refute the Freightwaves allusion to a drastic fall in trade movements. Stifel said: “A Freightwaves article that claimed sea-borne US import bookings dropped by 40% within a couple of weeks caused a sharp sell-off in transport names. We see little evidence for this claim as it contradicts import data from US Customs. Also, it is our understanding that neither carriers nor freight forwarders have witnessed a sudden deterioration of sea-borne volume.”
The report’s author’s go on to say that: “We believe that the Freightwaves time series is neither an accurate reflection of the sea-borne import situation for the present, nor for the past. According to US Customs, sea-borne imports were stable late in May and early June except for a brief u-shaped move at the start of May that is most likely tied to the lockdown in Shanghai.”
Another observer, industry veteran John McCown, who publishes the McCown Container Volume Observer, noted that: “The ten largest US ports showed a gain of 2.9% inbound container volume during May.” Mr. McCown, an active consultant on supply chain matters, did say that while the May number represented a new record volume, the rate of increase on-year had slowed compared to the tremendous upticks over 2021 figures seen earlier in 2022.
With all the uncertainty, and the possibly over-stated levels of trade flow drop-offs, Stifel came with buy recommendations on a number of shipping and logistics “names” including Maersk, Matson and a number of others. Reference
New Hydrogen-powered Tanker Concept Unveiled
15 Jun 2022
A newly unveiled hydrogen-powered tanker concept aims to allow zero emission at berth, and up to 100% reduction of GHG emissions during voyage.
The Hy-Ekotank concept, launched by TECO 2030 and partners Ektank AB, Shell Shipping and Maritime and DNV, would see fuel cells with compressed or liquid hydrogen storage retrofitted on existing Ektank vessels.
The solution comes as the maritime industry continues to explore alternatives traditional petroleum-based marine fuels, and zero-carbon alternatives such as hydrogen, as a means to decarbonize vessel operations.
Tore Enger, Group CEO, TECO 2030, said, that with a cargo owner, shipowner, classification society, and a fuel cell provider, we will show the world what hydrogen is capable of doing for the maritime shipping industry.
Jörgen Johnsson, CEO Ektank AB, said, that we are pleased to contribute with our high-quality and energy-efficient vessels towards the development of zero-emission technologies to meet environmental demands and regulations. Reference
British Boat Builder Delivers the World’s First Fully Recyclable Boat to Police Scotland
15 Jun 2022
An Isle of Man based maritime green technologies start-up, ExoTechnologies is launching the world’s first fully recyclable, high-performance workboat range, with the boatyard’s first commercial vessel delivered to Police Scotland.
The vessel is built from fully recyclable DANUTM composite material technology and according to Ultimate Boats (the Glasgow boatyard owned by ExoTechnologies) says DANUTM is the most resource-efficient composite material on the planet. The Police Scotland boat has a top speed of 50 knots and operating range of 400 nautical miles.
ExoTechnologies CEO, Shane Mugan said: that we are proud that this pioneering and internationally significant project is being delivered in Scotland, by our talented Clyde-based workforce, in partnership with Police Scotland.
ExoTechnologies approached Police Scotland in July 2020 with an opportunity to co-design a purpose-built boat which would be offered on a research and development loan for operational use. It will be loaned to Police Scotland for a three-year period with an agreement in place which covers the cost of insurance, maintenance and servicing.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, lead for Operational Support, said: “This unique opportunity should allow us to benefit from a high performing asset that will make a positive difference to our capability.
“We have a duty to explore new projects that look to improve the working environment for our officers and staff, as well as the response we can provide to the public. We have been working closely with Ultimate Boats and will continue to provide feedback as the officers look forward to using this asset operationally.”
Mr Mugan said the Police Scotland deal is only the beginning for ExoTechnologies as it seeks to grow globally.“This project demonstrates an example of a green transition pathway within the maritime industry,” he said. Reference
IMO Clamps Down on Dirty Fuel in Mediterranean Sea
14 Jun 2022
Shipping’s global regulator ruled that vessels must slash the sulfur content of fuel used for voyages in the Mediterranean Sea, as part of wider efforts to clean up the industry.
The maximum allowed sulfur content of marine fuel in the region will drop to 0.1%, likely from the spring of 2025, a spokesperson for the International Maritime Organization said. The decision, made at this week’s virtual IMO meeting, sets a tighter limit than the current global mandate, and will reduce air pollution, benefiting human health and the environment.
The IMO in 2020 dramatically cut the worldwide sulfur limit on marine fuel from 3.5% to 0.5%, forcing shippers to stop using an old, dirty product they’d relied on for decades or invest in special onboard cleaning systems. That anticipated change caused sharp price moves in some fuel markets and raised concerns about the availability of fuel and ship safety, though those fears proved largely unfounded.
The latest rule covers a much smaller area, but could still have some sizable benefits. It’s set to prevent more than 1,000 premature deaths and 2,000 cases of childhood asthma annually, according to a proposal that was submitted to the IMO before the meeting by multiple countries, including France, Italy and Turkey.
More than 30,000 vessels operate each year in the Mediterranean, a major route for oil tankers and also important for ships carrying consumer goods and other commodities like grains, according to the proposal. The air pollution from ships impacts more than just ports and coastlines: it’s also carried hundreds of kilometers inland.
The precise date at which the regulation for the Mediterranean comes into force — after which ships will have 12 months before they need to start complying — is set to be confirmed at another IMO meeting this December, where the rule faces the regulatory hurdle of adoption.
Low-sulfur gasoil supplies are currently being affected by the war in Ukraine, as many southern European countries had been importing the fuel from Russia to cover demand and blending needs, said Soren Holl, chief executive officer of marine fuel trader and broker KPI OceanConnect.
The IMO’s week-long meeting also included discussion of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships. The shipping industry is a major emitter of CO2, spewing more into the atmosphere each year than Germany and the Netherlands combined. Reference
Mission to Seafarers re-opens Singapore drop-in centre
14 Jun 2022
The Mission to Seafarers has officially re-opened its drop-in centre at Jurong Port after a two-year closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Guest of Honour was Esben Poulsson, Vice-President of the Mission to Seafarers, and the event was attended by representatives from Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Jurong Port, Singapore Maritime Officers Union (SMOU), the Diocese of Singapore, St. George’s Church, as well as many of the Mission’s regular sponsors.
The lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions by Singapore, including seafarers, enabling ship’s crew to enjoy shore leave in the Lion City for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.
Helping seafarers stay connected during the pandemic some 6,296 seafarers aboard 748 vessels moored and at anchorage in Singapore have benefitted from the use of loaned routers for internet access since August 2021. Reference
Columbia Shipmanagement expands footprint in India with Aurus Ship Management deal
14 Jun 2022
Aurus Ship Management, has signed an agreement with Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) to explore various ship management opportunities in the Indian market.
As part of the agreement, Aurus Ship Management will be renamed Columbia Aurus Ship Management (CASM) and will work to become the leading provider of maritime services in the Indian market.
Services offered by the newly renamed entity will fall within the scope of the traditional business of Aurus Ship Management including recruitment of crew, purchasing, payroll management and technical services. With a particular focus on attracting, training, and retaining experienced and qualified crew, it is the aim of the rebranded set-up to become synonymous with maritime excellence throughout India. Combining CSM’s advanced development of in-house and external training resources, CASM will capitalise on the immense wealth of experience in the local and national Indian crewing market.
The move, which will ensure the supply of highly qualified and dedicated crewmembers from India and is seen as a way for CSM to increase its footprint in this very important market. By the implementation of a CSM Cadet Program in close collaboration with Aurus and Indian Academies, both parties will attract young talent, contribute to the further enhancement of the seafarer skillset and secure long term employment.
Aurus Ship Management commenced operations just six years ago and we are proud that Columbia Shipmanagement considers us worthy of partnering them in India. We believe it recognises the professionalism of our team of shore based employees and the values of the company that has seen exponential growth in its business activities.
We believe the partnership with CSM will provide new and exciting career opportunities over the coming years for those seafarers who choose to come and work with us. There is no doubt this partnership will further enhance the existing very high reputation of the Indian seafarer within the International Maritime Industry. Reference
India: Bonded bunkering brightens Vizhinjam port prospects
13 jUN 2022
The Vizhinjam International Seaport, which generated a record revenue of ?10 crore through facilitating crew exchange in less than two years, is now looking for providing bonded bunkering (supplying fuel to ocean-going ships) services for ships on international voyages.
Brightening the bunkering prospects of Vizhinjam, the first-ever bonded bunkering was carried out last week on a foreign tug called KIKI that called on the port to ship crawler cranes brought from Gujarat on a vessel to Maldives.
It is expected that the bonded bunkering service could improve the integrated service capacity of Vizhinjam port, which has emerged as a revenue source for the State government, amid the constraints of the paucity of tug boats and other infrastructure facilities. Though 719 vessels including container ships, tanker vessels, and gas tankers have used the facility for seafarers to sign off and sign in over the last two years, vessels opting for outer anchorage crew change off the Vizhinjam coast has recently come down significantly, affecting the revenue of the port. This was after the full swing operations of neighbouring ports after the Covid outbreak.
Ajith Prasad, managing director of Sathyam Shipping and Logistics Pvt Ltd, which did the agency work for the first bonded bunkering at Vizhinjam Port, said, “the ports could earn a considerable revenue by way of crew exchange including port dues, outer anchorage, channel fee, vehicle entry and tug hire charges. But in the current milieu, the port needs to start bunkering services to enhance its international influence. Crew exchange alone would not attract foreign vessels to the port for which we need to provide bunkering, house cleaning, husbandry works etc,” said Mr. Ajith.
Since the Vizhinjam port was very close to the international sea route and considering the economic turmoil in Colombo, the Vizhinjam port could emerge as a major service provider in terms of crew exchange and bunkering. Reference
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