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MSC and Costamare settle with Amplify insurers over California oil spill

However, MSC maintained that Amplify is ‘solely responsible for events that led up to the oil spill and that their actions further worsened the pollution substantially’.

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MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company on Wednesday (12 April) said it has entered into a settlement agreement with the subrogated insurers of Amplify Energy Corp related to the 2021 Orange County oil spill incident. 

“The settlement amount will be jointly funded by MSC and Costamare without admission of responsibility or liability for the environmental damage that took place due to Amplify’s negligent management of their underwater pipeline,” it said in a statement. 

However, MSC maintained that Amplify is “solely responsible for events that led up to the oil spill and that their actions further worsened the pollution substantially”. 

“MSC agreed to this settlement to move forward productively, and we hope this regrettable incident will encourage Amplify to recognize its responsibility as a marine operator in the waters of California,” it said. 

The firm said Amplify pleaded guilty to criminal negligence for their role in the oil spill. 

“Amplify failed to act as a responsible marine operator by not taking reasonable preventative steps to better protect its pipeline and detect deficiencies within its pipeline despite becoming aware of them for months prior to the spill. For these reasons a preventable pollution event occurred which negatively impacted San Pedro Bay,” it added. 

According to the U.S. Justice Department on 26 August 2022, Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries Beta Operating Co. LLC and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Co. agreed to plead guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act, pay a USD 7.1 million criminal fine, and compensate federal programs approximately USD 5.8 million in connection with the discharge of approximately 25,000 gallons of crude oil during an offshore leak in the 17-mile-long San Pedro Bay Pipeline. 

In March 2022, it was reported Amplify Energy sued MSC and Costamare claiming gross negligence, liability, and failure to notify the company after their ships dragged their anchors damaging the pipeline nine months before the leak. Marine Exchange of Southern California, which manages traffic in the area was also named in the suit, claiming it failed to direct the ships to deeper waters. 

 

Photo credit: MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company
Published: 13 April, 2023

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Environment

IBIA survey: Study on the implementation of IMO SEEMP framework

Survey conducted by World Maritime University and IMO Future Fuels and Technology project to facilitate review of short-term GHG reduction measure.

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The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) on Monday (10 June) shared a survey for industry stakeholders interested in contributing to the Study on the implementation of the IMO Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) framework.

The survey is conducted by World Maritime University and the IMO Future Fuels and Technology project to facilitate the review of the short-term GHG reduction measure.

The purpose of this survey is to explore the concrete implementation of the SEEMP framework with attention paid to its three components, namely the energy efficiency management plan (Part I), fuel oil consumption data collection (Part II), and ship operational carbon intensity (Part III). WMU seeks to consult a wide range of interested stakeholders, divided into three groups, with questions tailored to each group:

  • Group 1: Policy making (legislation) and policy execution (regulatory) bodies, including: Flag administrations – member State delegations – PSC – Classification societies – Take Survey
  • Group 2: Policy performers, including: Ship owners- ship operators- ship owner/operator- seafarers – Take Survey
  • Group 3: Observers or other actors’ category, including: Charterers- cargo owners- academia- NGOs – technology providers – training institutes- consultants – other stakeholders – Take Survey

The survey is open until 30 June 2024.

 

Photo credit: International Bunker Industry Association
Published: 13 June 2024

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Methanol

Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels revealed a strategic collaboration with Vopak to secure necessary port storage to accommodate green methanol supply in Shanghai, Tianjin and later in Singapore.

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Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels Trading on Tuesday (11 June) announced a strategic collaboration with Royal Vopak Terminals in the key ports of Shanghai Caojing and Tianjin Lingang, China. 

The firm said the milestone agreement marked the next phase of methanol supply chain infrastructure expansion for Green Marine Fuels Trading, securing necessary port storage capacity to accommodate projected supply of green methanol from Chinese business partners.  

Green Marine will be undertaking a similar cooperation plan with Vopak Singapore as well. 

Gavin McGrath, Director at Green Marine, said: “This is an important milestone in the evolution of Green Marine Fuels Trading and further underscores our preparedness to supply green methanol to the imminent green transition within the shipping industry.” 

“Our leadership in the global methanol marine fuel sector uniquely positions us to bridge the gap between methanol producers and buyers, with storage and supply infrastructure being a crucial link in the chain.”

“We eagerly anticipate leveraging our expertise in these domains to enrich the Shanghai and Tianjin green port and marine fuel ecosystems.”

Manifold Times previously reported Vopak signing a strategic cooperation agreement with the Vice Mayor of Tianjin delegation to support the repurposing of Vopak Tianjin's infrastructure for new energies, including green methanol, sustainable aviation fuel, and potentially ammonia and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC).

Vopak said Tianjin Port Group will work closely with Vopak to develop a green methanol bunkering service solution.

Related: Tianjin Port Group and Vopak partner to develop green methanol bunkering service

 

Photo credit: Green Marine Group
Published: 12 June 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Fresh Carriers and Zespri complete first biofuel trial onboard “Kakariki”

Vessel was bunkered with bio bunker fuel in Hong Kong as there is none available in New Zealand; further biofuel trials between FCC and Zespri are planned using other FCC vessels.

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Fresh Carriers and Zespri complete first biofuel trial onboard “Kakariki”

New Zealand's largest horticultural exporter Zespri on Tuesday (11 June) said one of its international shipping partners, Fresh Carriers Co Ltd (FCC), has successfully completed a trial using biofuel in a charter vessel operating between Hong Kong and New Zealand, according to Zespri on Tuesday (11 June).

The purpose of the trial was to test the performance of the ship’s engines when burning biofuel.

The cargo ship Kakariki bunkered the biofuel in Hong Kong at the end of last month before starting its voyage south, arriving at the Port of Tauranga at the weekend. 

The vessel was powered by a blend of biofuel which is made from used cooking oil. The Kakariki bunkered the biofuel in Hong Kong because there is none available in New Zealand - if and when biofuel does become available in New Zealand it will present more opportunities for Zespri’s chartered ships to burn this low-emission fuel.

Zespri Chief Operating Officer Jason Te Brake said the biofuel trial by FCC is a collaborative step forward for the industry as it seeks to decarbonise and future proof through innovative solutions such as low emissions shipping.

“With Zespri having limited ability to directly reduce shipping emissions ourselves, we’re working with key shipping and distribution partners like FCC to increase the efficiency of our shipping and logistics, and make the transition to low emissions fuels.

“The biofuel trial with FCC is an important step forward and has given us both important technical insights, with the Kakariki monitored throughout its journey to make sure the biofuel performed well with no unforeseen technical issues. It’s fantastic to see it dock successfully in Tauranga.”

FCC Director Toshiyuki Koga said FCC was proud to see the Kakariki, which is the company’s first vessel to trial biofuel, arrive safely in Tauranga.

“We have been in discussions with Zespri for a number of months about carrying out this trial and are now looking forward to further biofuel trials using other FCC vessels. We are also considering a northbound trial taking Zespri Kiwifruit to market this season.

“Biofuel supply chains are complex and there is still work to be done to ensure stable supply, however this trial is a first step towards decarbonisation with Zespri.”

Jason Te Brake added: “New Zealand’s place at the bottom of the South Pacific Ocean means accessing low emissions fuel options is a challenge, and we are actively seeking partners to shore up access to more sustainable fuels to meet our ambitious targets and the expectations of our customers and consumers.

“It’s been positive working with our long term partner FCC recognising the importance of decarbonising and future proofing the industry. This trial is a step forward and we’re pleased to be on the path to introducing low emissions fuels to carry Zespri Kiwifruit to our markets around the world in the future.”

 

Photo credit: Zespri
Published: 12 June 2024

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