July 1, 2021 / 1:00 PM Germany will purchase five Boeing (BA.N) P-8A maritime patrol aircraft for about 1.1 billion euros ($1.31 billion), the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

Following approval from the parliamentary budget committee, the contract will now be signed, said the ministry as Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer visited her counterpart in the United States.

"This procurement, with a volume of around 1.1 billion euros, serves the urgent need to maintain a capability for long-range maritime reconnaissance and airborne submarine hunting," said the ministry.

Kramp-Karrenbauer said she was optimistic that Boeing would be able to deliver the aircraft quickly despite its challenges on other defence programs, especially since there was no new development involved with the P-8A aircraft."It's something that we're buying off the shelf," she told reporters in Washington. "We're actually optimistic that we can complete the procurement relatively quickly."

Reuters this month reported that the parliamentary budget committee had approved the purchase. 

The planes will provide an interim replacement for Germany's ageing fleet of Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft.

Kramp-Karrenbauer said German remained wedded to developing a longer-term replacement together with France under the Maritime Airborne Warfare System program, or MAWS. 

($1 = 0.8426 euros)


June 28, 2021 / 2:40 PM Indonesia and the United States have broken ground on a new $3.5 million maritime training center in the strategic area of Batam, in the Riau Islands, Indonesia's maritime security agency said.

Attending the ceremony virtually on Friday, the US ambassador to Indonesia, Sung Kim, said the maritime center would be part of ongoing efforts between the two countries to bolster security in the region.

"As a friend and partner to Indonesia, the United States remains committed to supporting Indonesia's important role in maintaining regional peace and security by fighting domestic and transnational crimes," he said, according to a statement from Bakamla, Indonesia's maritime security agency.

The training center, located at the strategic meeting point of the Malacca Strait and the South China Sea, will be run by Bakamla and houses classrooms, barracks and a launch pad, the agency said.

The US collaboration with the world's largest archipelagic nation comes amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, with the Philippines protesting the presence of hundreds of Chinese vessels in the Spratly islands this May.

Earlier this month the foreign ministers of Southeast Asia and China agreed during a meeting to exercise restraint in the South China Sea and avoid actions that could escalate tensions.


June 24, 2021 / 4:15 PM The maritime industry and particularly ports are part of the solution towards decarbonizing the maritime sector and can contribute towards the UN goal of achieving clean and affordable energy, panelists told a side-event on ports, held during the United Nations-led Ministerial-level Thematic Forums (21-25 June) on energy action. The forums bring together key stakeholders virtually, to mobilize actions as a major milestone on the road to the UN-led High-level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021.

“There is a large capacity to improve energy sustainability in port activities, operations and management. Meaningful improvement can be achieved through investment in renewable energy, clean technological solutions, automations and through partnership, capacity building and education,” said Nancy Karigithu, Principal Secretary, State Department for Maritime and Shipping in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development, Kenya. She was speaking at the side event on “Uptake of Port Energy Efficient Technologies and Operations” (22 June).

The event was hosted by the Government of Kenya, through the State Department for Shipping and Maritime, in collaboration with IMO – which implements the European-Union funded Global MTCCs Network (GMN); and the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Africa (MTCC Africa).

MTCC Africa is part of the global GMN network, which unites four MTCCS across the globe. All MTCCS work in their regions to promote technologies and operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector to support the move towards a low-carbon future.

Lydia Ngugi, Head, MTCC Africa, highlighted the MTCC’s work with ports across Africa, to undertake emission baseline studies, support the uptake of energy efficient technologies and facilitate the implementation of IMO’s mandatory energy efficiency requirements.

IMO’s Gyorgyi Gurban took the opportunity to highlight how a range of IMO-executed global projects, including the GMN Project, the GHG SMART project and GreenVoyage2050 are supporting developing countries on the path towards decarbonization in the maritime sector.  Related initiatives are supporting information-sharing (IMO-Singapore NextGEN) and looking at ways to address innovation needs (UNEP-IMO Innovation Forum) and to mobilize finance, particularly in developing countries, for the decarbonization of the maritime sector (IMO-EBRD-World Bank FIN-SMART roundtable).

Improved energy efficiency across the maritime sector – including ports – will support the achievement of UN Sustainable Goal 7, which, inter alia, has a target to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries.

June 23, 2021 / 3:00 PM The Ever Given could soon resume its journey after a deal was reached to release the quarter-mile-long container ship and the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cargo it was carrying when it blocked the Suez Canal three months ago.

An Egyptian court seized the ship and its 18,300 containers, after the Suez Canal Authority filed a $900 million compensation claim against Japanese ship owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha for losses arising from the six-day blockage.

Stann Marine, which represents the owners and insurers of the vessel, said Wednesday that an "agreement in principle" has been reached with the Suez Canal Authority following weeks of negotiations.

"We are now working with the SCA to finalize a signed settlement agreement as soon as possible," director Faz Peermohamed said in a statement. "Once the formalities have been dealt with, arrangements for the release of the vessel will be made," he added.

Khaled Abu Bakr, a lawyer acting for the Suez Canal Authority and head of the negotiating committee, confirmed the details of Stann Marine's statement to CNN Business.

The Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal on March 23, blocking one of the world's most vital trade arteries and heaping pressure on strained global supply chains as hundreds of other vessels became ensnared.

Since it was refloated, the vessel has been held in the canal's Great Bitter Lake, trapping goods belonging to companies such as IKEA and Lenovo and many smaller businesses on board. UK bicycle maker Pearson 1860 and Snuggy UK, which makes wearable blankets, have vital orders stuck on the vessel.

Despite the preliminary deal between the owners and the Suez Canal Authority, it could be weeks before businesses receive their goods. Companies will also likely be on the hook for a portion of the settlement, due to maritime law conventions.

Clyde & Co., a law firm that represents companies and insurers with over $100 million in cargo on the Ever Given, estimates the total value of goods on board to be over $600 million.

If the ship is cleared for release it is expected to go to Rotterdam, which was the next scheduled port, according to Clyde & Co. partner Jai Sharma. "It might need some repairs or it may be permitted to sail slowly," he told CNN Business, adding that it could take three weeks to reach the Dutch port.


Source: CNN

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