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May 11, 2023

EcoClipper sets sail for the first time with a shipment of Dutch chocolates from Amsterdam to Porto aboard a retrofitted sailing ship called De Tukker. EcoClipper is a sustainable cargo company that uses sailing ships to reduce fuel consumption and emissions from ocean transport. The company plans to produce their own cargo ships called the EcoClipper500 in addition to retrofitted ships. The EcoClipper500 will be able to carry up to 48 people and 500 tons of cargo. De Tukker will ship to several ports across North and West Europe including major ports in Amsterdam, Porto, and London. The voyage of De Tukker is expected to take a few days before it reaches Porto.

On May 10th, a Chinese research ship flanked by coast guard and nearly a dozen boats entered a gas block operated by Russian and Vietnamese state firms, two monitoring groups said. China is testing the United States and its allies by pressing its claim to sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea. The move is “extraordinary,” according to Ray Powell, who leads Stanford University’s Project Myoushu on the South China Sea, because of “the sheer number of militia and coast guard ships involved.” The Chinese group was close to blocks 05-1 B and 05-1 C, operated by Idemitsu Oil & Gas, a unit of Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan. China has been accused of using its coast guard and an armada of fishing boats widely considered militia to intimidate and disrupt energy activities. However, China’s foreign ministry said those activities were “normal.”


Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), a port logistics company, said the German government has cleared the purchase by China’s Cosco of a 24.9% stake in a container terminal in the sea port of Hamburg. The German government’s decision was made amid a political row over Chinese investments in strategic areas in Germany. The purchase of the stake will allow Cosco to have a presence in Europe’s third-busiest port, which handles more than 8 million containers each year.

On May 10, the US Coast Guard found 1,964 kilograms of heroin, worth $80 million, on a fishing vessel during a ship inspection in international waters using the USCGC Glen Harris. Two days earlier, the same cutter had seized 580 kilograms of methamphetamine and 35 kilograms of heroin, worth $30 million, from a different fishing vessel. Both vessels had departed from Chah Bahar, Iran. Combined Task Force 150 has now confiscated over an estimated $250 million worth of illegal drugs in 2023. Lt. Nick Jabs, commanding officer of Glen Harris, expressed pride in the team’s success and their ability to collaborate with regional partners to disrupt illegal maritime activities. The Glen Harris, part of the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, is engaged in search and seizure among other missions.

Scorpio Tankers, headquartered in Monaco, has purchased five leased MRs, which include the 2019-built STI Modest, STI Maverick, and STI Millennia, and the 2020-built STI Mighty and STI Maestro, reducing the debt by $147.3 million. The company has undertaken several debt reduction actions since last summer due to the fundamentally sound product tanker market. In addition, Scorpio Tankers has exercised an option to acquire another six leased ships for takeover in June, which will further reduce the debt by $147.3 million. Last month, the operator of 113 product tankers had announced that it is looking for a new financing deal of up to $1 billion that would enable it to pay off and refinance more costly lease financing, along with financing some of its unencumbered vessels.

Zahid Osman, AET’s current vice president, will become the president and CEO, while Rajalingam Subramaniam, the head of MISC, will be the chairman from the beginning of next month. Osman has over 20 years of experience in the energy industry, having joined AET in 2017. Following Rajalingam’s appointment as the head of MISC last year, the search began for leadership positions at AET.

You can read previous issue of ‘Currents’ here.

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