Paul Bartlett is a maritime consultant and editor of Seatrade's annual Green Guide and twice-yearly Middle East Workboat and Offshore marine publications, as well as being a former editor of Seatrade Maritime Review. Paul's vast experience of the maritime industry spans three decades and all the continents, and has included spells working in specialised ship finance companies.
A new hand-held fuel-testing device, the XRF Analyser, unveiled by Parker Kittiwake is set to dispel much of the growing concern relating to off-spec bunker stems, new blends of untested marine fuels, compliance with the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap and existing sulphur limits in emission control areas.
Hamburg-based Becker Marine Systems has won a range of new contracts for its fuel-saving devices as ship operators once again face higher bunker bills and renewed calls for improvements in ship efficiency.
Shipping is definitely on its way out of the recession but there is still some way to go. This was one of Martin Stopford’s key messages as he spoke to journalists at a press conference in Hamburg on Friday, held in advance of this year’s record-breaking SMM event.
Despite record levels of tanker recycling in the early months of the year, tanker analysts and brokers are increasingly concerned about continuing tonnage oversupply, particularly in the VLCC sector where a series of new contracts have been placed recently with more to follow.
Analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley have predicted that crude oil prices could spiral to $90 a barrel by 2020 as the IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap boosts demand from ship operators for more refined products.
Norwegian ballast water treatment manufacturer Optimarin has installed more than 20 systems through its new ‘fast-track’ service launched last September. Company ceo Tore Andersen reveals that these sales, which command a small price premium, have come in addition to the growing number of standard installations as owners finally decide to make a move.
Maritime & Merchant Bank ASA (M&M), a ship finance boutique based in Oslo which opened for business in December 2016, is establishing a successful track record in providing conventional first priority loans for traditional shipping customers.
The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association annual member survey has demonstrated improving sentiment amongst the country’s owners as they anticipate a modest 3% rise in revenue this year. This follows sharp dips in 2016 and 2017 – down 19% and 5% respectively – but reflects growing optimism, notably among the Association’s deepsea members.
Norway’s Eksportkreditt institute is offering a new financing set-up for Norwegian limited companies. Until now, such schemes have only been available for export transactions, rather than domestic operators.
Senior executives at products tanker pool operator Hafnia Management are quietly optimistic about their market in 2019 and beyond. Speaking of the demand supply balance, Hafnia ceo Anders Engholm told journalists: “We haven’t seen an imbalance like this in our favour for quite some time.”