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Monday, 23 January 2012

Wikborg Rein recruits LNG specialist as new partner for London office

LEADING international law firm Wikborg Rein has recruited Joe McGladdery as a partner in its London office. McGladdery joins from Qatar Gas Transport Company Limited (Nakilat) where he acted as the company's General Counsel and as a board member for a number of its subsidiary companies and joint ventures. He was responsible for developing Nakilat’s legal and insurance department and formed part of the senior management team which oversaw the expansion of the company into the world’s leading operator of LNG ships.

Before joining Nakilat, McGladdery worked as a shipbroker for H Clarkson & Co in London and Hong Kong before practising law at Simmons & Simmons and thereafter at Curtis Davis Garrard. He specialises in non-contentious shipping matters, and companies which he has successfully represented include Kuwait Oil Tanker Company, Novorossiysk Shipping Company, Marathon Oil, and Sovcomflot.

McGladdery says he relishes the opportunity to develop his practice as a shipping projects lawyer, with particular emphasis on the LNG market, where he foresees an expansion in seaborne trade. He says, “I hope that my practical shipping industry experience will be of great value to the firm’s clients.”

Finn Bjornstad, who was recently appointed senior partner of Wikborg Rein’s London office, says, “We are delighted to have recruited a person of Joe’s experience, reputation and ability. He will form an important part of the team we are continuing to develop in London offering global English law capability in the maritime sector. Joe’s experience as a shipbroker and as part of the management team of a leading ship owner and operator will greatly supplement the knowledge base within the firm.”

Wikborg Rein is a pre-eminent law firm in the shipping and offshore sector, and a major player on the international scene. Services to the maritime industry include ship, project and lease finance, corporate, contract negotiation, offshore and construction projects, sale and purchase, ship registration, insurance, casualty response, carriage of goods, ship arrest and international dispute resolution. More information on the firm and its partners can be found at

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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Bureau Veritas approves LNG-powered Ultra-Large Containership

Leading international classification society Bureau Veritas has given approval in principle for the basic design of a 14,000 teu containership to be powered by LNG. The design was developed in a joint industry project between Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, liner major CMA-CGM and Bureau Veritas.

Says Jean-Francois Segretain, deputy technical director, Bureau Veritas, “The market will determine when these ships can be ordered and built, but this is a real milestone as for the first time we have a fully worked and approved design for a main line ultra-large containership running on LNG. After an in depth HAZID analysis we can say with confidence that there are no technical or safety barriers to introducing LNG as a fuel for long-haul large containerships. Major operational savings are deliverable, combined with very much lower air emissions. And the key feature of this design is that the vessel can also run on HFO if required, increasing flexibility in the period before LNG bunkering is widely available.”

The 14,000 teu vessel will be powered by an ME-GI (MAN Electronic – Gas Injection) 2-stroke dual fuel engine made by MAN Diesel. This delivers the highest efficiency among existing propulsion systems and works by simultaneous dual burning of HFO and LNG. In minimum fuel and maximum gas mode around 10 per cent of the fuel is oil, providing overall CO2 emission reductions in the order of 23 per cent and SOX reductions of 92 per cent.

The basic design is for a 365.5 m loa vessel with a design draft of 14 m and a design speed of 24 knots. In the dual fuel configuration a 22,490 cu m LNG prismatic tank would be installed under the forward accommodation, and there would be a bunker tank for heavy fuel oil aft of 4,430 cu m capacity. The LNG tank would be a Daewoo patent ACT-IB Aluminium Cargo Tank – IMO type B independent LNG tank with PUF(Poly-Urethane Foam) panel type insulation.

The main engine would be rated at MCR 72,285 kW and the vessel would have a range of 25,000 miles if fully bunkered.

Explains Segretain. “Compared to the same ship with a conventional fuel power plant there will be extra capital cost for the engine and for the LNG tank and gas handling system, and there is a loss of cargo space equivalent to 438 teu to make room for the gas tank and equipment. But the extra capital cost and the loss of earnings on a theoretical full ship are more than offset by the fuel economies and lower emissions of this design.”

For a graphic of the design e mail john@merlinco.com or download from http://bit.ly/pYqIVs

Bureau Veritas is a world leader in conformity assessment and certification services. Created in 1828, the Group has close to 50,000 employees in 930 offices and 330 laboratories located in 140 countries. Bureau Veritas helps its clients to improve their performances by offering services and innovative solutions in order to ensure that their assets, products, infrastructure and processes meet standards and regulations in terms of quality, health and safety, environmental protection and social responsibility.

www.bureauveritas.com for corporate information www.veristar.com for marine information

For more information:
Jean-Francois Segretain
Bureau Veritas
+33 (1) 55 24 72 00

Philippe Boisson
Bureau Veritas
+33 1 55 24 71 98

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Shipping faces serious challenges as it takes the long-term view

SHIPPING is going to need a great deal of resilience to meet the challenges of the next twelve months, according to international accountant and shipping adviser, Moore Stephens. But, for those who can secure funding, there have been few better times to invest.

Julian Wilkinson, head of the Moore Stephens Shipping Industry Group, says, “More than ever, shipping will be an industry for long-term players. Operating costs increased in 2011, while the global economic climate deteriorated at a rate outpaced only by the growth of sovereign debt in some eurozone countries.

“The markets are languishing, and are likely to fall further. We have seen how, for the first time in a long while, some of the big tanker-owning companies have come under financial pressure. More owners and operators are likely to seek to renegotiate agreements with their financiers or with the yards building their ships, or both. And we can expect finance costs to increase, along with operating costs. Overtonnaging, meanwhile, remains the spectre at the feast, were there a feast to enjoy.

“We may see government intervention in 2012 to rescue ailing yards, at least on the part of those governments still in a position, financially, to intervene.
‘Impairment’ is likely to become a more familiar term in shipping circles, along with ‘Chapter 11’. The hand of government will also be evident in the tax affairs of the shipping industry. The UK has promised to consult on tonnage tax, which could restore permanently some of the benefits lost in the 2009 reinterpretation of the rules. And the EC should commence its review of tonnage tax regimes in EU countries.

“Meanwhile, demand for seaborne trade continues. Even if there is not enough work for all the new ships, we are seeing the emergence of a younger, more environmentally friendly fleet. There is also evidence of some rationalisation of competition which should feed through to better rates.

“Shipping’s glass is still, remarkably, more half-full than half-empty. Many owners, managers and charterers are reasonably confident of making a major new investment or development in 2012. And the underlying global nature of shipping continues to work in its favour. Given the choice between a domestic retail business in Kolonaki and a shipping business on Akti Miaouli, most would opt for the latter.

“Shipping may not turn the corner in 2012. Nobody yet knows where the corner is. Wider political and economic developments, as always, will play a part. It is said that there is nothing so admirable in politics as a short memory. In shipping, those who can remember the past and have a plan for the future will be the ones who fare best.”

Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping and insurance adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 638 offices of independent member firms in 97 countries, employing 20,588 people and generating revenues in 2010 of $2,151 billion.

For more information:
Julian Wilkinson, Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191

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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Actively confusing

Cricket is a simple game. So, too, is football. Yet neither sport can resist tinkering with its rules.

In cricket, most of the rule-tinkering has been for the good. Anybody with half a brain, or less, can understand why a batsman should not be given out LBW to a ball pitching outside leg stump. Can’t they? Yet everybody makes a fuss about how complicated cricket is, producing tea-towels printed with supposedly humorous renderings of the laws of the game. In our house, all the tea-towels have pictures of New Zealand, or different varieties of acorn, on them.

In football, it is the offside rule which is supposed to be complicated. It isn’t. Yet the authorities saw fit to meddle with it in 1995, introducing some nonsense about players being non-active. As Danny Blanchflower didn’t say, “If you are not active, you have no business being on the pitch”.

The rule is nevertheless still very easy to understand. So why has the Royal Mint just produced a new 50-pence coin (to commemorate the 2012 Olympic Games in London) which carries on its flip-side a pictorial explanation of the offside rule? (No answer required).

This was supposedly done because so many people – mostly women - are confused by the offside rule. This is an insult to women. It is also disingenuous. The people who don’t understand the offside rule are, more or less, the same people who don’t understand the LBW rule, and for the same reason. They do not care enough about cricket or football to take it in. I myself have never bothered to try and understand the rules about gross tonnage, for example.

Just to put the tin lid on it, the offside law described on the new 50p coin is wrong. This will help perpetuate the myth that women cannot understand the offside law. Why doesn’t somebody mint a coin which helps us to understand something useful, such as women?


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