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April 11, 2023

Image Source: Paul Finnigan

Container charter rates have risen markedly for all sizes of ships, according to the Alphaliner Charter Index. One fixture, in particular, has given tonnage providers pause for thought. The 2009-built Synergy Keelung has been fixed for a minimum 24-month period at $23,000 with Thailand’s Regional Container Lines (RCL), a rate described as “remarkably firm” by brokers Braemar. The Hamburg-based New ConTex chartering platform noted that box charter rate levels remain stable in almost all tonnage segments, with rates for feeder ships in the Atlantic and Asia starting to rise again. The rise in charter rates and resale prices is expected to test carriers’ resolve to maintain pricing discipline in the coming months.

Image Source: Wilhelmsen

Hafnia, along with Microsoft, Wilhelmsen, IMC Ventures, and DNV, has launched a new digital venture studio, Studio 30 50, to identify new solutions that address a broad range of ESG topics concerning the maritime industry. The studio aims to fund innovative proposals built by start-ups that seek to improve efficiencies across the whole maritime supply chain, with the goal of reducing emissions significantly by 2030 and becoming net-zero by 2050. Studio 30 50 aims to attract individual founders and early-stage start-ups who have an ambition to solve complex challenges around emissions reduction, building a circular economy, solving social issues, and the broader supply chain inefficiencies facing the maritime industry. Microsoft will support all funded start-ups via its Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub program.

Image Source: Navigazione Montanari

Italian owner Navigazione Montanari has exercised call options to purchase eight product tankers from Vassholmen Shipping, a subsidiary of Cyprus-based sale and leaseback specialist Sole Shipping. The tankers were sold and bareboat chartered back in December 2018. The deal included four MR1 units built in 2008 and four MR2 ships built between 2007 and 2008.

Image Source: EemsEnergyTerminal

Dutch tank storage specialist Vopak has reached a principal agreement with state-owned energy network operator Gasunie to acquire 50% of EemsEnergyTerminal, a floating LNG import terminal in the Eemshaven area. The terminal has a regas capacity of 8bn cu m per year, with the ambition to handle 10bn cu m annually. The transaction will be subject to a number of conditions, including approval from the competition authorities. The partners plan to further develop the site to facilitate the import of green hydrogen.

Image Source: Vattenfall

Finland is set to launch tenders for five offshore wind projects with a total capacity of 6 GW. The initiatives, proposed by state-owned enterprise Metsahallitus, will cover the municipalities of Siikajoki, Hailuoto, Pyhäjoki, and Raahe, Närpiö, and Kristiinankaupunki situated on the west coast of Finland, with projects expected to become operational in the 2030s. The tender for two projects will be launched in September-October 2023, with an additional call for bids planned for 2024 for the next two projects. Last December, Sweden’s Vattenfall was selected by Metsähallitus to build and operate Finland’s first major offshore wind farm, with a capacity of 1.3 GW.

Image Source: Allseas

Swiss-based marine construction specialist Allseas has confirmed a contract award from Belgium’s DEME to install the substation for the Yeu and Noirmoutier islands’ offshore wind farm development in France. The Yeu and Noirmoutier islands’ wind farm, scheduled to become operational in 2025, will have a total capacity of 496 MW and produce enough energy to meet the annual electricity demands of 800,000 people. The installation of the monopile foundations, substation jacket and topside is scheduled to start in the first half of 2024.

Image Source: Michael Dwyer — AP

The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) is acting on behalf of fishing companies in Massachusetts in a lawsuit that seeks to stop the development of the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project. The TPPF has named the US Department of the Interior, the US Department of Commerce, the US Department of Defense and other agencies and individuals as defendants in the suit. The lawsuit claims the defendants violated several environmental acts and their respective rules and regulations. The plaintiffs are asking the court to “set aside the illegal lease issuance and the approval of the Construction and Operations Plan” for the project. The Vineyard Wind 1 wind farm is scheduled to deliver its first power to the grid this year.

Image Source: John Moore — Getty

The US state of Maryland has passed the Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources Act, known as the POWER Act. The state’s governor, Wes Moore, is expected to sign the bill into law. The POWER Act will boost Maryland’s goal for offshore wind by 2031 from 2 GW to 8.5. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network anticipates that the legislation will “strengthen labour standards for offshore wind manufacturing, installation and maintenance” in the state. US Wind plans to establish a long-term monopile production facility called Sparrows Point Steel in Baltimore County, Maryland.

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.