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April 18, 2023

Grain inspectors in Argentina have launched a 24-hour strike to protest rules limiting the number of terminals operating at a port in Buenos Aires and high taxes applied to workers’ salaries.

This has caused the halting of shipments at key river ports in Rosario, which is a farm transport hub. Guillermo Wade, the head of Argentina’s Chamber of Port and Maritime Activities, said that the strike is affecting all ports in Rosario and that it is preventing ships from being loaded. The pause in shipments could also hamper the flow of foreign currency into the country, which is needed to rebuild depleted foreign reserves as part of a $44 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Argentine Maritime, Port, and Shipbuilding Federation warned that more stoppages will take place throughout the week, with planned strikes scheduled to halt operations at the Buenos Aires and Dock Sud ports and the Zarate-Campana corridor on Wednesday, and shutter the Rio Santiago shipyard on Friday.

Thirteen Filipino seafarers have finally returned home after being aboard the abandoned livestock carrier, Yangtze Harmony, for more than five months. The ship’s owners had abandoned the vessel and its crew after it was arrested in Singapore over an unpaid fuel bill. The owners also stopped paying the entire crew, leaving them without wages or a way to get home.

By April, the crew were owed $429,972. Thanks to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), advocacy for the crew lasted months and helped recover $1m in backpay owed to the crew, as well as flights home for the 43 seafarers of Yangtze Harmony and its sister vessel, Yangtze Fortune, which was also abandoned by its owner.

The ITF’s Steve Trowsdale emphasized that authorities have a clear responsibility under international law to act swiftly in cases where crew welfare is in jeopardy.

Scotland’s Seagreen, the largest offshore wind farm in the country, has reached a significant milestone with the installation of the world’s deepest wind turbine foundation.

The foundation, also called a jacket, was installed at a depth of 58.6 meters, breaking the previous record of 57.4 meters that was set in October 2022. The 1.1GW wind farm will feature 114 wind turbines and will generate enough electricity to power over 1.6 million homes in the UK. Seagreen is part of SSE’s £12.5 billion Net Zero Acceleration Plan, which aims to invest £7 million a day in low-carbon infrastructure to help the UK achieve energy independence.

The project is expected to enter commercial operation later this year. Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy Neil Gray said that the project shows Scotland’s potential to become a true world-leader in offshore wind technology.

Researchers have discovered an extensive deep-sea coral reef in Ecuador’s Galápagos Marine Reserve, located at the summit of a previously unmapped seamount at a depth of 1,310 to 1,970 feet. The ancient reef, hosting a mix of deep marine life, is the first of its kind to be documented since the reserve was established in 1998. The Galápagos Marine Reserve, covering 51,000 mi² off Ecuador’s coast, is known for its vast biodiversity and unique species. The discovery was made by scientists from the US National Science Foundation, the Galápagos National Park Directorate, and the Ecuadorian Navy’s Oceanographic and Antarctic Institute, among others.

Shandong Shipping places an order for twelve 82,000 dwt kamsarmaxes at Jiangsu New Hantong Ship Heavy Industry. These ships will carry carbon capture and storage technology created by China State Shipbuilding Corporation. The ships are set to deliver from the end of 2024 and into 2025, with a price per unit at $33.5m. Kamsarmax orders have also been placed by Oldendorff Carriers, who have ordered nine similar ships from the same yard as Shandong Shipping.

Vopak has cancelled plans to invest in a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Hong Kong due to delays in the project. The deal from December 2021 would have given Vopak the option to take a stake in the vessel-owning company of the 2017-built MOL FSRU Challenger. Vopak will remain involved in the commissioning of the terminal and provide support to its operation as required.

Norden has partnered with greenhouse gas insetting platform 123Carbon and its partners, AllChiefs and Verifavia, to issue carbon inset tokens for the decarbonisation of customer supply chains. Carbon inset tokens will be issued for CO2-equivalent reductions made on biofuel voyages and allocated to customers. Underlying documents are verified by French carbon emissions verification company Verifavia, after which immutable tokens are issued on blockchain. The platform aims to link emission reductions made by Norden with customers that are unable to bunker low-carbon fuels but are still looking to decarbonise their operations or supply chains.

Bourbon Offshore has partnered with Tethys Marine & Logistics to create Guyana’s first domestic offshore support vessel (OSV) operator. Tethys Marine & Logistics will become 51% shareholder of the Bourbon Guyana Joint Venture, bringing Bourbon Guyana into full compliance with local content regulations. Bourbon has been operating in Guyana since 2019 with a fleet of six vessels and the company employs around 70 Guyanese seafarers. This partnership strengthens Bourbon’s position in Guyana and consolidates their leadership position in the country’s offshore oil field industry.

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.