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World Tankers Management clarifies media reports of “MT Strovolos”

‘The vessel [MT Strovolos] has been wrongly charged with stealing the cargo. It is not and has never at any time been our intention to misappropriate the cargo.’

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World Tankers Management Pte Ltd, the operators of MT Strovolos, on Wednesday (1 September) released a media statement clarifying an incident regarding recent events of the oil tanker:

World Tankers Management, operators of the MT Strovolos wish to strongly deny inaccurate media reports alleging the vessel and its crew were caught by the Indonesian Navy loading barrels of crude oil illegally without having permission to anchor in Indonesian waters. We also wish to highlight the impact on humanitarian issues of the approach taken by Cambodian and Indonesian authorities, where wrongful allegations made against the crew have resulted in refusals to enable a lawful crew change.

On 21 May 2021 the vessel’s charterers loaded a cargo of about 300,000 gross bbls of crude oil in the Apsara field in the Gulf of Thailand on the understanding that the cargo belonged to the charterers.

In addition to their failure to pay hire when it was due and owing, the charterers also failed with their obligation to supply fuel to the vessel when they had been informed that fuel levels were critically low.

The charterers’ default meant that we and the crew had no realistic choice but to sail the vessel to the nearest appropriate port, Map Ta Phut, Thailand, to refuel for the safety of the crew, ship and the cargo.

While the vessel was there, we tried to undertake a crew change as many of the crew had remained on board since September 2020 and they required to sign off and return home to their families.

In the meantime, the charter was terminated and the vessel was withdrawn from its chartered service.

Since then, we have requested that the owners of the cargo arrange to remove it from the vessel by ship-to-ship transfer at a convenient and practical location, but no agreement has been reached to enable this to occur.

Regrettably the vessel and the crew have been subject to unfair and unreasonable interference by and at the behest of the Cambodian Government and this has caused the crew immense distress and suffering.

Firstly, when the vessel arrived in Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy boarded the vessel, acting upon the request of the Cambodian Government.

Following the intervention of lawyers, the IMO and the Bahamas Maritime Authority, the Royal Thai Navy stepped back and allowed the vessel to sail to Batam, Indonesia, to make the crew change there as it was not permitted in Thailand due to Covid-19 restrictions.

We as owners stress that the reason for the vessel proceeding to Batam was for humanitarian purposes, to effect the long overdue crew change and allow the crew to return home to their families in accordance with their basic rights.

The Cambodian Government was made aware of the need to effect the crew change at Batam.  

However, the owners have also been faced with difficulties affecting the necessary crew change in Indonesia.  The vessel initially waited off Batam in view of the travel restrictions placed by Indonesia due to COVID-19.  It is alleged by the Indonesian Navy that the vessel did not have permission to anchor in Indonesian waters.  

We deny this but it seems that a key factor why the vessel was targeted was because of the wrongful allegations made by the Cambodian Government that the vessel and its crew had committed criminal offences in relation to the vessel's departure from the Apsara field to refuel.

As such, as preparations for the crew change with the involvement of the IMO, the Bahamas Maritime Authority and the Indonesian Government were in progress, we have been informed that Cambodian authorities have made an application to Interpol and the Cambodian Government is allegedly requesting that the crew be extradited to Cambodia. We now fear for the wellbeing and health of our crew. 

The vessel has been wrongly charged with stealing the cargo. It is not and has never at any time been our intention to misappropriate the cargo. 

It is our express requirement that it is offloaded from the vessel by the party that owns it on terms that we are paid the sums owed to us or otherwise that such amounts are adequately secured in the usual way. The vessel has at all times operated entirely within the trading area agreed in the charter.

We regret to report that some members of the crew have been detained ashore by the Indonesian authorities and remain so detained whilst the remaining crew are stuck on board the vessel unable to disembark.  

Our crew are entirely innocent and blameless in this matter and should not come to bear the brunt of commercial and political issues. 

The human rights of our crew are paramount and all parties involved in this matter, including the Cambodian and Indonesian authorities, should recognise and respect this.

As a result of this situation, we now have no choice but to involve diplomatic channels and the UN Human Rights Office.

Related: Cambodia: Government to take legal action after return of allegedly stolen oil cargo

 

Photo credit: MarineTraffic / Chun-Hsi
Published: 2 September, 2021

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Newbuilding

Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.

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Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

 

Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.

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Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.

 

Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

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Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.

 

Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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