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Clipper Shipping fined USD 1.5 Million for oil record book offense

Clipper admitted oily bilge water was discharged from LPG tanker “M/T Clipper Saturn” and the discharges were omitted from the Oil Record Book, according to United States Department of Justice.

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Clipper Shipping A.S. was convicted of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and sentenced to pay a fine of USD 1.5 million, according to the United States Department of Justice on Thursday (6 July). 

Clipper admitted that oily bilge water was discharged from the Motor Tanker (M/T) Clipper Saturn and the discharges were omitted from the Oil Record Book. 

On 27 September and 1 October 2021, while the M/T Clipper Saturn was anchored near Lome, Togo, the then-Chief Engineer directed that oily bilge water be transferred into the vessel’s gray water tank and then discharged directly overboard under the cover of darkness. In order to accomplish the discharge, the then-Chief Engineer ordered that a section of piping be removed and a hose installed onto the eductor system. 

This arrangement was used to discharge the gray water tank directly overboard. Personnel then re-installed and repainted the piping in the area in order to appear that none had been removed. During a Coast Guard inspection of the vessel in Houston, Texas, on 28 October 2021, authorities learned about the discharges.

“We take seriously the crimes of illegally discharging oily bilge water at sea and falsifying records to obstruct the United States’ ability to investigate those discharges,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. 

“The U.S. Coast Guard must be able to rely on truthful records on board ships and the Department of Justice will continue to ensure polluters are held fully accountable.”   

“Not only did this ship pollute waterways, but they tried to cover it up,” said U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani of the Southern District of Texas (SDTX). 

“To put it simply, Clipper Saturn wanted to get rid of dirty oily water from their ship. Instead of filtering out the hazardous elements, as required, they decided to cut costs and just release the whole contaminated mess into the sea. Unfortunately for them, they got caught when they docked in Houston. The fine imposed today tells them that there is a bigger cost to endangering our citizens and the environment in which they live, and that the SDTX will seek to hold those who harm oceans and waterways accountable.”

“The Coast Guard is committed to protecting our oceans and waterways from those who deliberately jeopardize the well-being and safety of the environment and the public,” said Coast Guard Capt. Keith Donohue, Commander, Sector Houston-Galveston. 

“The intentional pollution of U.S. waters is a serious violation that we simply will not tolerate. We will continue to work with the Department of Justice and our federal, state, and local partners to hold accountable those who choose to endanger our natural resources.”

As part of the plea agreement, Clipper Shipping A.S. will implement an enhanced Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) on nine vessels. The ECP requires independent auditing and monitoring of the vessels as well as imposing requirements to enhance the pollution prevention systems on the vessels.

 

Photo credit: MarineTraffic / Brian Kushner
Published: 12 July, 2023

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Poland: ORLEN to strengthen position in bunker fuels sector with new oil terminal

With the terminal’s commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports with conventional marine fuels and biofuels.

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ORLEN oil terminals

Polish multinational oil refiner ORLEN Group on Wednesday (12 June) said it is solidifying its presence in the marine fuels market with the construction of a new oil terminal that is scheduled for completion by the second half of 2025.

Construction of the Martwa Wisła terminal, located on the Martwa Wisła river, has already exceeded 70%.

The Martwa Wisła terminal will enhance the logistics capabilities of the Gdańsk refinery, allowing for the transshipment of approximately 2 million tonnes of fuel products annually.

The first four loading arms have already arrived at the construction site and the remaining four loading arms are slated for delivery by the end of June. The devices, with a throughput capacity of up to 500m³/h, will be used at transshipment points to load tankers.

With the terminal's commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) with conventional fuels and biofuels.

For over 20 years, the Group has been supplying quality marine fuels to all Polish seaports. Its refinery product portfolio encompasses a wide range of fuels that guarantee quality and strict compliance with regulations, including MGO (DMA 0.1%S), ULSFO (RMD80 0.1% S) and LNG, which will in the near future be complemented with ‘green’ alternatives.

All marine fuels offered by ORLEN comply with the international ISO 8217:2017 standard and meet the requirements of the MARPOL Convention.

 

Photo credit: ORLEN Group
Published: 14 June 2024

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Australia: Crew of bunker tanker “Champion 63” to strike following employer’s refusal to negotiate

‘BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low,’ states MUA spokesman.

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Champion 63

The crew of Champion 63, a 2022-built Australia-registered bunker tanker with home port of Brisbane, is set to go on strike after bargaining for a new enterprise agreement has stalled, stated the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) on Wednesday (12 June).

Members of the Australian Maritime Officers Union, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, and MUA voted up protected industrial action on 11 June 2024.

The crews have been trying to formalise their employment conditions with ASP Ship Management since the bunkering operations commenced in February 2023. It took ASP approximately six months to issue the Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) and start bargaining.

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“The crew of the new bunker barge on the Brisbane River and the maritime unions bent over backwards to make this vessel work,” said MUA Assistant Branch Secretary Paul Gallagher.

“Including low wages, excessive hours and a roster that does not allow crew to take leave. 18 months down the track when it comes time for BP to reward their crew and pay industry standards what do they do? They deny them fair wages, a workable roster and threaten their back pay!”

The AMOU filed a bargaining dispute after ASP refused to take their claim for a roster that does not demand that crews work every weekend seriously.

“Having to work every weekend because ASP does not have suitable relief arrangements is unacceptable,” said AMOU Industrial Officer Tracey Ellis.

“Crews have a right to be rostered time off to spend with their family. Waiting for ASP to fix the issue did not work, filing a Bargaining Dispute in the Fair Work Commission did not work, so the crews will take protected industrial action until their concerns are taken seriously.”

The crews onboard the Champion 63 voted up an unlimited number of stoppages of work of between one hour and 48 hours.

Gallagher added that, “the Maritime unions will not tolerate the big multinational fuel barons of this world undermining the Australian maritime wages and conditions of seven local mariners who are trying their best to support our own local shipping and Cruise Ship industry. If your cruise holiday gets delayed it is because, after recording over $40 billion profit in last two years, BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low.”

 

Photo credit: Maritime Union of Australia
Published: 13 June 2024

 

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Infineum releases Sustainability Report 2023 outlining its sustainability progress

Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and looks forward to the next 25 years of progress towards its net zero ambition by 2050, says CEO.

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Press release Infineum remains focused on our purpose to become a sustainable world class specialty chemicals company

Infineum, a specialty chemicals company headquartered in the UK, on Thursday (13 June) released its fourth annual Sustainability Report, reinforcing its purpose to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry.

Aligned with the company’s strategic plan to achieve its vision and purpose, Infineum announces:

Publication of its Sustainability Report 2023 (Sustainability.Infineum.com), which outlines the efforts and progress that the company has achieved through the year, including:

  • Championing of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) throughout the organisation
  • Achievement of 28% of colleagues volunteering, surpassing its 2025 target of 25%
  • Increased share of relevant supplier spends covered by sustainability assessments to 62%

Launch of revamped corporate website (www.Infineum.com) to better represent Infineum as a specialty chemicals company, showcasing Infineum’s existing capabilities, as well as diversification in the new markets

The joint venture, formed in 1999 between Shell and Exxon Mobil, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and recently shared its restructure strategy to two business units, Sustainable Transportation and Energy Applications.

“As Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and we look forward to the next 25 years of progress towards our net zero ambition by 2050, I am pleased to share our fourth annual sustainability report,” says Infineum CEO Aldo Govi.

“This is a journey and we have made excellent progress, but improvement will not always be linear, especially when set against the backdrop of a challenging external environment, but our purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry, continues to drive us forward.

“We remain focused on our vision to become a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company. Sustainability was at the core of reshaping Infineum to better enable us to contribute to sustainable mobility and the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

 

Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 13 June 2024

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