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April 2, 2023

Image Source: Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

Members of the House China Select Committee have convened at the Port of Miami to scrutinize the security risks of Chinese-made cranes used in U.S. ports. These cranes, which are reportedly equipped with sensors that collect and transmit data on U.S. military supplies, have prompted worries among lawmakers and Pentagon officials who liken the devices to a “Trojan horse.” The Committee is proposing legislation aimed at inspecting port cranes and banning the use of cranes with software susceptible to Chinese control.

While ZPMC cranes are significantly cheaper than those offered by Western suppliers, the adoption of Chinese-made equipment raises concerns about China’s growing control over global trade and infrastructure.

Image Source: Michael B. Zingaro — US Navy

In a recent hearing, Congresswoman Betty McCollum questioned Navy Chief Of Naval Operations Mike Gilday about the United States’ preparedness in the Arctic region amid rising tensions with Russia and China. McCollum pointed out that China has participated in 33 Arctic operations over the last two decades, while Russia has 40 icebreakers, including two nuclear-powered ones. In contrast, the US has only one operational heavy icebreaker, the USCGC Polar Star, which has faced various issues in recent years due to its age and condition. Gilday sidestepped responsibility for icebreakers, stating that the requirement for icebreakers lies with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), not the Navy.

McCollum stressed the pressing need for a renewed focus on the United States Arctic preparedness and resources, including icebreakers, and questioned why the Navy had not allocated any funds in the new budget for icebreakers. The US Navy has made ice operations a priority since the Arctic Strategy and Global Resilience Office was established in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and growing concerns surrounding their activities in the north.

However, the US shipbuilding industry has faced challenges, and VT Halter Marine, the contractor for the USCG’s new Heavy Icebreaker project, was recently purchased by Bollinger Shipyards for a shockingly low price. The urgency for icebreakers in the Arctic remains a vital concern, emphasizing the necessity for the Navy to commit to safeguarding American interests in the rapidly changing region.

Image Source: Lappino

Kawasaki Heavy Industries delivers its first dual-fuel liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier, Captain Markos, to US-headquartered LPG shipping company Dorian LPG. The vessel can use both LPG and low-sulfur oil, making it compliant with SOx emission standards and EEDI Phase 3 regulations. The Captain Markos is also capable of reducing fuel consumption through the adoption of Kawasaki rudder bulb system with fins (RBS-F) and the semi-duct system with contra fins (SDS-F). Kawasaki plans to develop and build more LPG-fueled LPG carriers, LPG/ammonia carriers, and other commercial vessels that meet environmental standards.

Image Source: US Navy

The US Department of Justice has stated that it is seeking the forfeiture of more than 1 million rounds of ammunition, among other illegal weapons, which the US Navy intercepted on a fishing trawler from Iran to Yemen in December 2021. The seizure was part of a larger investigation into an Iranian weapons-smuggling network that supports military action by the Houthi movement in Yemen and the Iranian regime’s campaign of terrorist activities throughout the region. The forfeiture complaint alleges a sophisticated scheme by the IRGC to clandestinely ship weapons to entities that pose grave threats to US national security.

Image Source: Karadeniz Holding

South African power utility, Eskom Holdings SOC, is considering purchasing electricity from Karpowership’s offshore Mozambique plant after declining to sign agreements to procure power from the Turkish company’s facilities that were planned to be moored off the South African coast. Eskom is in talks with Electricidade de Mocambique to buy the output from a 415-megawatt Karpowership power station that will burn low-sulfur oil. The final off-taker of the power is expected to be the export market.

Eskom will be undertaking a fair and transparent process to acquire the power and has received unsolicited offers.

Image Source: GoodNRG

Hyundai Glovis has successfully concluded the first biofuel bunkering with a South Korea-flagged pure car and truck carrier, the Glovis SunRise. The vessel was refuelled with 500MT of the MDF1-30 sustainable biofuel blend, supplied by GoodFuels, during a port visit to Vlissingen in the Netherlands. The biofuel is produced using feedstocks, specifically processed used cooking oil and animal waste fats, and is claimed to enable well-to-exhaust CO₂ reductions of between 80% and 90% compared to its fossil fuel equivalent.

Image Source: Hyundai Mipo Dockyard

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, a South Korean shipbuilding company, has announced receiving an order for the construction of four midsize product/chemical tankers for an undisclosed African shipowner. The KRW 240 billion ($185 million) contract value will be delivered in stages by November 2025. Hyundai Mipo Dockyard has secured orders to build 15 midsize product carriers this year, making up more than half of the global total of 27 ships. Recently, the shipyard built South Korea’s first dual-fuel, smart electric passenger ship that achieved a 40% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions during operation and improved fuel efficiency by 6%.

Image Source: Ørsted

Ørsted has awarded NKT with a supply contract to deliver the high-voltage DC on- and offshore export cable system for the Hornsea 3 wind farm offshore the UK. The final order has an estimated contract value of approximately €500 million. NKT will design, manufacture, joint, and terminate the export power cable system for Hornsea 3, which includes two circuits of approximately 170 kilometres of 320 kV DC offshore cable, 50 kilometres of 320 kV DC onshore cable, and four circuits for a 1.5-kilometres route of 400 kV AC onshore cable.

You can read yesterday’s issue of ‘Currents’ here.

Disclaimer: ‘Currents’ is an online shipping news service by Earl’s Rock Trading (Pvt) Ltd that reports on the latest developments and trends in the maritime industry. We do not take any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in our news stories or for any opinions expressed by the people quoted in them. Our aim is to provide our readers with up-to-date news and insights from reliable sources. However, we do not endorse or take any responsibility for any actions taken by our readers based on the information provided in our news articles. We also want to make it clear that we do not own any of the images used in our news stories, unless stated otherwise. All images belong to their respective owners, and we use them solely for illustrative purposes. If you are the owner of any image used in our news stories and want it to be removed or credited, please contact us, and we will take the necessary action.