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May 5, 2023

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), a subsidiary of India’s Adani Group, has completed the sale of its port business in Myanmar to Solar Energy Ltd for $30mn. Adani had originally announced plans to quit Myanmar in October 2021, saying it expected the sale to close by the end of March 2022 at the latest. The sale marks the exit of Adani Group from a flagship foreign investment that has been criticized by human rights campaigners.

Adani’s Myanmar venture became mired in controversy after General Min Aung Hlaing seized power in February 2021. S&P Dow Jones Indices in April 2021 removed APSEZ from its sustainability index, citing media reports about the company’s “commercial relationship with Myanmar’s military”. Norway’s largest pension fund, Kommunal Landspensjonskasse, divested from APSEZ in June 2021, saying that its operations in Myanmar constituted “an unacceptable risk” of violating its guidelines for responsible investment. Adani Enterprises, which includes the group’s coal trading and airports businesses, reported surging profits and shares climbed 5% on the news.

The US Coast Guard has issued a marine safety alert, warning against avoiding load line requirements. This follows a recent marine casualty that resulted in the total loss of a crane barge estimated to be over $6mn. The incident occurred approximately 18 miles offshore of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. The crane barge was being towed in calm weather conditions when it capsized due to major modifications to the barge arrangement and other conditions that compromised its seaworthiness. The barge was uncertificated without a load line, and the operator did not request a Single Voyage Load Line (SVLL) Exemption from any Coast Guard.

Greek vessel operating company Zeus Lines Management S.A., its chief engineer, and Captain pleaded guilty to multiple crimes related to illegally dumping oily bilge water into the ocean and not reporting the vessel’s hazardous condition to the US Coast Guard. They will be sentenced on August 8th. The company will pay $2.25 million and serve a four-year probation term, during which any vessels operated by the company and calling on US ports will be required to implement a robust environmental compliance plan. The plea agreement also includes a community service payment of $562,500 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to fund projects to benefit marine and coastal natural resources located in Rhode Island.

Russia is expected to increase seaborne oil exports from its western ports to a four-year high of 2.42 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, slightly up from 2.38 million bpd last month, to meet Asian demand for low-priced oil due to weaker global prices. The higher exports are also facilitated by Russian refineries undergoing seasonal maintenance in May, which reduces domestic demand. Oil loadings from Primorsk and Ust-Luga will reach 7.5 million tonnes, including Urals and Kazakhstan’s transit sold as KEBCO oil grade, up from 7.2 million tonnes in April. The G7 countries have imposed a price cap, limiting Russian barrels sold below $60 per barrel on an FOB basis to be shipped and insured by Western companies.

US Senator Roger Wicker has announced the US Shipyard Act in Congress, proposing a $25 billion investment in maritime infrastructure. The aim is to revitalize the nation’s maritime infrastructure and regain the US Navy’s footing in the world’s waters as the fleet shrinks compared to China’s growing naval force. China’s expansion poses a direct threat to the US and its allies in the region.

The proposed act aims to increase funding for submarine production, a second shipyard for Constellation-class frigate construction, and the acceleration of purchases of unmanned platforms and long-range munitions. However, there are systemic issues with shipbuilding that have, so far, gone unaddressed. There are critical Navy shortages such as working ships and the 100+ ship shortage in oil tankers and sealift capacity. There are also financial incentive issues as most shipbuilding subsidies flow through the US Maritime Administration, an organization known for secrecy and failure. It currently sits on multiple LNG terminal permits that are critically needed to boost energy exports, and paperwork delays and lack of transparency mean many banks and Wall Street funds refuse to lend to shipyards that accept MARAD money.

Paris-based cabling company, Nexans, has won a €1.7bn ($1.87bn) contract with German transmission system operator, TenneT, to connect offshore wind farms in the German North Sea with the mainland. Nexans will supply over 2,160 km of subsea and land cables for the BalWin 3, LanWin 4, and LanWin 2 projects. This marks Nexans’ first project using its 525 kV offshore cable technology, developed specifically for supporting the energy transition. Once signed, major subcontracted works will be added to the project-specific call-offs. Denmark’s NKT and Italy’s Prysmian have also won tenders worth €2bn and €1.8bn, respectively, to provide cable connections for five of TenneT’s 2 GW projects.

You can read previous 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.