Tag Archives: Brazil

MSC boxship grounded in Brazil

MSC Regina aground off Itaparica, near Salvador, on September 12

The Panama-flagged boxship MSC Regina (built 1999) reportedly ran aground off the Island of Itaparica, located approximately 20 km (11 nautical miles) to the east of Salvador, at about 05:15 hours on September 12.

According to the Brazilian surveyor Charles Rotta, the ship unberthed and disembarked the pilot without incident and then engaged herself in a series of maneuvers, the last of which ended in the grounding.

In Rotta’s Facebook, there is a video that shows the track of MSC Regina during the minutes that preceded the accident and photos of the ship with some list to port.

MSC Regina reportedly managed to refloat herself with no tug assistance at 13:00 hours of the same day. She was held by the local representative of the Maritime Authority for about a day afterwards and, according to the information presented by the site Marine Traffic at http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/datasheet.aspx?datasource=ITINERARIES&MMSI=357332000, departed from Salvador in the evening of September 13.

No hull damage has been reported and there was no pollution.

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BRAVE NEW WORLD | Dangers as the Vale-China row escalates

From Tradewinds, 2012.05.11

Harsh lessons need to be learned as China’s anger escalated this week over the fleet of 400,000-dwt “Valemax” vessels being built and now operated by the Brazilian miner.

In an intriguing twist to an already extended saga, which could be a parable for our times, Cosco has rounded on Vale for allegedly boycotting its dry-bulk fleet. The blacklisting is in apparent retaliation for what Brazil believes is Cosco’s – and China’s – discrimination against its new fleet of super-bulkers.

It pits one of the world’s biggest commodities producers against a leading shipowner and operator, which just happens to be a state-owned arm of the world’s largest importer and second-biggest economy. Put so bluntly, it is hard to overstate its potential significance.

Cosco president Ma Zehua has threatened to complain to China’s ministry of commerce over what he believes is Vale’s retaliation for government lobbying he says has not happened.

Vale has yet to confirm the boycott but has apparently shunned chartering Cosco ships for around two months, even at times taking higher-priced alternatives.

Vale has already seen some of the 10 Valemax vessels delivered refused entry to Chinese ports on thinly argued “safety” grounds, although some independent experts acknowledge the risks of such large ships in China’s shallow coastal waters.

Vale has set up a transhipment point in the Philippines in an expensive solution that clearly undermines the potential savings of building and operating such giants in the first place.

In response, Cosco’s Ma continues to peddle the fear of “a growing number of [future] safety problems” without any hint of the specific issues, let alone any solutions — which is rather ironic as 20 of the current proposed fleet of 35 Valemaxes are being built at Chinese yards.

Attitudes on both sides appear by turns authoritarian, naive and now increasingly embittered. It is not a pleasant picture with worrying implications for all.

The central message the outside world needs to understand is that commerce and state remain firmly intertwined in modern China, despite apparent modernisation. Until those links are fully broken, it is wise to presume that the two remain cyphers for the other.

Further, no one should underestimate China’s desire to take complete control of its supply chain. If that means breaking the power and influence of any supplier — either of commodities or ships — then that’s what it will do.

It is another chapter in the story of China remodelling the world to its own needs and expectations. China believes the choice is clear: you are either with it or against it.

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MARITIME: Fire on board cargo ship in Brazilian port

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A fire in one of the hatches of the Antigua-flagged general ship Thorco Celebration mobilized emergency teams at the   Brazilian port of Sao Sebastiao.

The ship was reportedly loading parts of an energy plant when the fire broke out, at about 18h30 UTC. According to the head of the port management, Alfredo Bricks, the fire first set ablaze the wood casing of the parts and spun out of control of the crew, making it necessary to require assistance from the local fire department and from tugs with fire-fighting capabilities stationed at the Petrobras terminal in the vicnity of the accident.

No casualties or oil leaks were reported.

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OIL SPILLS: Brazil’s federal police seek to indict Chevron, Transocean officials

By Bruno Marfinati and Reese Ewing

SAO PAULO, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Federal police in Brazil on Wednesday recommended the indictment of several Chevron and Transocean officials involved in an oil spill in early November for environmental crimes and withholding information in an investigation.

The indictment is unrelated to a civil suit brought against the companies by a public prosecutor on Dec. 14, seeking fines of $11 billion for their alleged roles in the spill at Chevron’s Frade field off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

This latest legal action against Chevron, the No. 2 U.S. oil company, and Transocean, one of the world’s biggest drillers, for a 3,000-barrel spill that never reached Brazilian beaches highlights the major political risks of operating in Brazil.

Head of the investigation for the federal police in Rio de Janeiro Fabio Scliar said on Wednesday he submitted his report to the Federal Public Ministry recommending that it bring charges against the two companies and its employees.

“I affirmed my conviction … of environmental crimes and withholding information,” Scliar told Reuters by phone.

Employees of the two companies, including Chevron’s Brazil Chief Executive George Buck, could face charges if the federal prosecutor’s office, which is in recess until 2012, accepts Scliar’s recommendations and pursues them in the courts.

Scliar said the companies were increasing the risks of an environmental accident in drilling.

“They were betting on luck and lost, which caused this whole problem that led to environmental losses of grand proportions,” Scliar said.

Chevron said it was advised the police were seeking indictments against its employees in Brazil, but that it believes these “are without merit,” a company spokesman said.

“We will vigorously defend the company and its employees,” spokesman Kurt Glaubitz said in an email. “The facts … will demonstrate that Chevron responded appropriately and responsibly.”

Representatives from Transocean also said the indictments were groundless and that the facts would exonerate the company and employees when fully examined.

Although such alleged crimes could carry sentences of over 10 years, according to some experts, it is unlikely any of the employees of Chevron or Transocean would spend time in jail.

Soon after announcing a series of stunning discoveries in 2006 and 2007 that would become known worldwide, Chief Executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli at the state-controlled oil company Petrobras said exploration of the massive offshore subsalt deposits was virtually without risk.

The storm that Chevron’s relatively small spill last month has caused in the local courts will cast a pall over one of the most promising new oil frontiers in decades and gives investors reason for pause before they pay top dollar for offshore blocks that concession holders are looking to farm out.

Source: http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL1E7NM0AK20111222?sp=true

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VALE BEIJING: Vale ‘really concerned’, hopes for ‘good explanation’

From Reuters:

In a further setback for the group, the damaged Vale Beijing, which is the world’s largest iron ore carrier, was towed on Tuesday from its berth in Brazil for repairs, raising potential safety worries about the mega-ships.

The ship, delivered in September to its owner and operator, South Korea’s STX Pan Ocean, is longer and wider than three soccer fields. It was about to start its first fully loaded voyage, a planned run to Rotterdam.

“Vale Beijing belongs to STX. It is an STX project, so we are awaiting their appraisal. The other ships have nothing to do with this. They are the same size but they are different projects. They are different,” Martins said.

“Now we are waiting … I am not minimising this, it is very serious and we are really concerned. But we need to wait for the conclusions. Everything we say now is speculation.”

Martins said he hoped the ship classification society [Det Norske Veritas] would have “a good explanation” for the damaged vessel.

He added that he was confident about the seaworthiness of other mega-ships already in service.

“Vale Brasil is now on its fifth voyage, and we have Vale Rio de Janeiro, Vale Italia. All those ships are already berthing, loading without a problem,” he said.

For the full article, please go to http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/07/vale-shipping-ironore-idUSL5E7N747Y20111207

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MARITIME NEWS | ‘Seawind’ crew: end of the ordeal?

The Brazilian Attorney’s Office for Labour and Work will file an injuction to ensure that the crew members of  the Panama-flagged cargo ship Seawind, have their rights protected. According to the Chief Attorney Nicodemos Fabrício Maia, the injuction will also require that the 14 seafarers be allowed to return to Bulgaria, in accordance with ILO Conventions 166 and 178.

The Seawind and its cargo of granite were arrested on July 9 due to debts that reportedly amounted to US$ 560,000. SInce then, the ship has been anchored two nautical miles off the port of Mucuripe, in Fortaleza. The captain, Nicolay Simeonov, says that eight crew members had to be taken to shore as a result of health problems. He also declared that the food and water onboard are enough for only three more days, and that the ship is also running out of fuel.

Source (in Brazilian Portuguese): http://www.direitoce.com.br/noticias/51793/.html

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DREDGING | Boskalis bags Brazil deal

Royal Boskalis Westminster has netted a deal for dredging and related work at the Acu port being built in Brazil. 

The contract for the project in Rio de Janeiro state, is worth EUR 200m ($285m) to the company’s coffers.

The deal was handed out by subsidiaries of Sao Paulo-listed FPSO builder, OSX Brasil, which is building the shipyard within the port.

The yard, which OSX says will be the largest in the Americas, is scheduled to be ready by 2013.

The Dutch company’s scope of work, will start soon and last two years, includes dredging an access and inner channel, turning basin and harbor basin as well as land reclamation work.

Brazil is proving to be a growth area for Boskalis which has completed several marine infrastructure projects there in recent years.

Source: Tradewinds

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