RINA acquires leading materials technology centre CSM
Growing Italian engineering, testing, inspection, certification and ship classification group RINA has bought the major shareholding in Italy’s leading centre for innovation in materials technology, CSM. The move strengthens RINA’s expertise in specialised steel processes and products, especially for the energy sector, and in innovative waste to energy conversion technologies.
RINA CEO Ugo Salerno says, “Bringing CSM into RINA is part of our long-term growth strategy of developing and widening our specialist competence. CSM’s very highly skilled engineers and scientists bring skill sets which complement ours and will enable us to grow faster in developing countries and in the offshore energy business, two areas of major opportunity for RINA.”
CSM CEO Mauro Pontremoli says, “Joining RINA gives us the financial platform and market outreach we need to deliver our skills and knowledge globally. We already earn 45 per cent of our revenues outside Italy and there is huge demand for advanced materials knowledge in the developing world, especially in steel and metal alloys processes and products. Working with RINA we can capitalise on our knowledge base, our over 800 patents and our innovative processes such as in waste-to-energy and in pipeline development.”
CSM has a turnover of around Euro 30 million and employs around 300 people in centres across Italy. Its acquisition will boost RINA’s projected 2014 turnover to around Euro 330 million.
RINA is a multinational group that provides services for verification, certification, conformity assessment, marine classification, environmental development, product testing, supervision and qualification of suppliers, engineering consultancy and training across a broad range of industries and services. RINA operates through a network of companies dedicated to different sectors: Shipping, Energy, Infrastructure and Construction, Logistics and Transport, Environment and Quality, Agribusiness and Health, Finance and Public Institutions, Business Governance. With a turnover over 280 million euros in 2012, over 2,200 staff, and 150 offices in 53 countries around the world, the group is able to meet the needs of its clients and at the same time is recognized as authoritative participant in the main international organizations developing new regulatory standards. www.rina.org
CSM was founded in 1963 by Italy's major steel manufacturers and end-users with the mission to develop steel technologies and applications. Over time CSM widened the range of its technological interests and skills to cover new capabilities related to new materials, products and manufacturing technologies in order to become a reference research centre for steel and high tech industry both at national and European level. Today, Centro Sviluppo Materiali is a prominent enterprise among European top materials R&D centres, co-operating with Italian and international industries, universities and research agencies and playing a recognised role as a national and international reference-point for innovation on materials. www.c-s-m.it
For more information:
Media Relations RINA Group
Ph. +39 010 5385555
External Relations CSM
Ph. +39 06 5055780
Labels: acquisition, certification, CSM, energy sector, engineering, inspection, Italy, RINA, ship classification. steel products, testing
London P&I Club issues renewed warning on cargo liquefaction
The London P&I Club says the lifting of an iron ore ban in India, together with the recent total loss of two ships, has put the spotlight once again on the problem of cargo liquefaction.
In the latest issue of its StopLoss Bulletin, the club says, “There are specific challenges involved in the export of iron ore fines from Indian ports during the monsoon season which can increase the moisture content of the cargo to levels where liquefaction can occur. This can result in severe loss of a ship’s stability and, sometimes, in the vessel sinking. Other cargoes such as nickel ore are also prone to liquefaction.
“Last month, the Indian Supreme Court lifted the ban imposed in 2010 in Goa on the mining, storage and export of iron ore, and allowed the e-auctioning of 11.5m tonnes of excavated iron ore which has been lying unused since the ban was introduced. The process will be supervised by a committee set up by the court. A separate committee was also appointed to advise how much iron ore can be extracted each year, and it is due to report its recommendations by 15 February, 2014. It is likely that there will be an increase in iron ore loadings from that region.
“There have also been total losses in recent months of a ship carrying Indian iron ore fines and a second carrying nickel ore. Investigations into both cases are at an early stage to establish precisely the cause of the sinkings. There are currently no links between these incidents and the cargoes on board.”
The London Club has issued a number of warnings about the dangers of cargo liquefaction, particularly in cases involving the carriage of iron ore fines and nickel ore from places such as India, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Indonesia and the Philippines. It says, “Great care must be taken when handling these cargoes, and the rules governing them under the IMSBC Code must be closely observed. Ships can be offered cargo which is unsafe due to their moisture content being above the Transportable Moisture Limit. This can lead to liquefaction, and is a particular problem in locations such as parts of India, when the cargoes are exposed to monsoon rain.
“Owners who are considering carrying iron ore fines or nickel ore are strongly advised to contact the club early on, before concluding a fixture, to ensure that the risks and associated precautions are fully explored.”
Labels: cargo liquefaction, India, iron ore, London P and I Club, mutual insurance, shipping, Supreme Court decision
Shipping, transport and trade will benefit from EU debt recovery proposal
ROTTERDAM-based law firm AKD says shipping and international trade and logistics operators should welcome a recent decision by European Justice Ministers which will improve their chances of successfully recovering money owed to them by trading partners in EU countries by effectively opening the door to the Europe-wide freezing of bank accounts.
At the end of December, 2013, European Justice Ministers reached agreement on the European Account Preservation Order (EAPO), which will facilitate the recovery of cross-border debt claims throughout the EU. This is part of an ongoing programme to harmonise procedural rules throughout Europe.
Sebastiaan Moolenaar, a partner with the transport & trade team at AKD, says, “Creditors seeking to recover debts in EU member states face serious difficulties, particularly in the current difficult - albeit generally improving - economic climate. It has been estimated that European companies lose roughly 2.6 per cent of their yearly turnover to bad debts. Moreover, about a million SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) encounter problems with cross-border debts, reportedly writing off up to EUR 600m a year because they are scared off by the time, effort and cost involved in taking even provisional steps to preserve the assets of debtors located abroad.
“Easy and quick access to asset preservation measures is essential in order to ensure that debtors do not remove or dissipate their assets before creditors have obtained judgment. But the prospects for issuing - and the conditions governing - asset preservation orders vary considerably under the national laws of different EU countries. Among other things, it is sometimes impossible in many EU countries for creditors to obtain information about the whereabouts of their debtors’ bank accounts, and the cost of obtaining and enforcing a cross-border account preservation order is often prohibitive.
“The EAPO proposal should be welcomed by all parties to the transportation chain operating throughout Europe. It allows money to stay where it is until a court has taken a decision on the repayment of funds. It will introduce uniformity to the account preservation orders which creditors can obtain, irrespective of the country in which the competent court issuing the order is located. Creditors will be allowed access to information concerning the whereabouts of debtors' bank accounts, and costs and delays involved in obtaining and enforcing account preservation orders will be reduced.”
The EAPO proposal will not replace or change existing national systems for arresting debtors’ assets. Rather, it will constitute an alternative European procedure for creditors, and is essentially protective in nature. It will become law following adoption by the European Parliament and by EU member states. A final agreement is expected soon.
AKD’s trade and transport team provides a full range of legal services. AKD is a full-service firm with over 250 lawyers. www.akd.nl
Labels: AKD, debt recovery, freezing bank accounts, shipping, trade, transport
Moore Stephens says 2015 should see return of healthy shipping industry
International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens believes that the shipping industry’s fortunes should be noticeably improved by 2015 if it maintains the recovery which got under way last year. But it warns that the prospects for recovery may still be fragile if the industry fails to meet a number of challenges, including tighter regulation and increased operating costs.
Moore Stephens shipping partner Richard Greiner says, “New Year resolutions are invariably a case of in one year and out the other. Generally speaking, it is wise not to make resolutions which are too ambitious; American troubadour Woody Guthrie had the right idea when he settled for, ‘Wash teeth, if any’. But the shipping industry can afford to be a little more bullish than previously in its aspirations for 2014.
“Shipping is in a different space to that which it occupied a year ago. Confidence rose to a three-year high over the course of 2013. Good things are predicted for freight rates in 2014, more companies are starting to consider new investment, and economic and political issues with the potential to hurt shipping are deemed less severe than twelve months previously.
“Over the next twelve months, we can expect to see more shipping money raised in the public and private equity markets. We may see more non-shipping money invested in shipping than for some time, although not necessarily by dentists. Supply and demand levels should come closer into alignment. Consequently, freight rates are likely to rise and, with them, vessel values. Increased levels of demolition will be required to offset new tonnage. China is already offering subsidies to shipping companies to scrap vessels before their operational expiry date and to replace them with new ships which are eco-friendly and which fly the Chinese flag. So everybody is happy – owners, shipyards, environmentalists (except those worried about the perceived evils of irresponsible recycling) and politicians alike.”
Greiner warns, however, that all the positive indicators remain somewhat fragile. Further,he says, “Operating costs are expected to go up in 2014. Shipping cannot operate without fuel and skilled manpower. Meanwhile, increased regulation of crew welfare, fuel quality and ballast water management are big-ticket items. Environmental regulation is self-perpetuating, witness the news that IMO is to debate plans for shipowners to compile fuel-consumption data to support steps to create carbon dioxide reduction regulations.
“It is to be hoped, however, that the industry can sustain the upturn which began in 2013. If it can, we may see a return to rude health by 2015 although, as John Maynard Keynes warned, ‘The market can stay irrational for longer than you can stay solvent’.”
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 634 offices of independent member firms in over 100 countries, employing 23,693 people and generating revenues in 2012 of $2.5 billion. www.moorestephens.co.uk
For more information:
Tel: +44 (0)207 334 9191
Labels: freight rates, Moore Stephens, operating costs, public and private equity, regulatory costs, shipping industry recovery
Bunker suppliers applaud EU waste decision
ROTTERDAM-based law firm AKD says recent guidance handed down by the European
Court of Justice which rules that off-spec fuel oil does not have to be handled
as waste is a triumph of common sense which will be welcomed by all suppliers
of fuel oils and bunkers.
Shell Nederland and Shell Belgium were
disputing a ruling by the Dutch environmental authorities (ILENT) which wanted
to force them to handle a parcel of diesel oil rejected by a Belgian client as
waste, when in fact Shell intended to up-blend the fuel to specification for
Carel van Lynden, a partner with the shipping and offshore team at AKD in
Rotterdam, says, “This is a good decision for bunker suppliers. This
case reverses the very strict interpretation which ILENT had placed on off-spec
bunkers. By insisting they were classed as waste they invoked all sorts of
domestic and EU regulations for their handling which imposed disastrous and
totally unnecessary costs on the bunker industry.”
court ruling will have a major impact in the key North Europe bunker hub of
a lower Dutch court and subsequently ILENT had
interpreted EU Regulations (259/93) which describe ‘waste’ as a substance or object …which the holder
discards or intends or is required to discard
literally with respect to
The problem is that when off-spec bunkers are defined as waste,
all sorts of environmental regulations kick in. For storage, transportation,
blending and recycling of waste prior permission from ILENT is required. Such
permission will only be given to a licensed waste collector or processor. A
regular bunker supplier cannot take the bunkers back unless it has such licenses,
which of course it has not. So the value of the off-spec bunkers to the
supplier drops to nil, and extensive costs have to be incurred for debunkering
This literal interpretation of EU waste regulations has
resulted in odd situations. For instance bunkers with an aluminium/silicon
content of 82 (80 being the 2005 industry standard), which were refused by a
vessel could only be debunkered by a licensed waste collector. The normal
practice in the Netherlands until then would be
debunkering by the supplier, blending with a parcel with a lower aluminium/silicon
content and resale on the market. There has even been a case where the master
of a vessel wanted to reject high sulphur fuel because low sulphur had been
ordered, and where, for the mere reason that the master wanted to “discard” the
perfectly sound high sulphur fuel it was qualified as waste.
The European court came to the rescue of suppliers in
December. In cases C-241/12 and 242/12, the court has ruled that such literal
interpretation is wrong. The case concerned contamination of a parcel of ULSD
with remnants of MTBE. As a consequence, the flashpoint became too low, and
the ULSD was therefore off spec. This was discovered when the parcel had been
delivered to the buyer in Belgium. The buyer requested Shell to take the parcel
back. Shell did that and re-transported the parcel to the Netherlands for
up-blending to specification.
found out and qualified the parcel as waste.
Note to editors
In subsequent proceedings before the court of Rotterdam, Shell
argued that the qualification as waste was wrong because ILENT was misinterpreting
the EU Regulations. The Rotterdam court asked the European Court to give
guidance. The European Court ruled that, in determining whether a substance is
waste, one should take into account whether that substance is still of use to
the holder. In the Shell case the parcel had no use for the Belgian buyer, but
that was not decisive: the buyer handed the parcel back to Shell against
repayment of the purchase price. The buyer did not ‘discard’ the parcel in the
sense of the Regulation, i.e. a manner of discarding which is detrimental to
the environment. The fact that the parcel retained a considerable value was of
importance. Shell took the parcel back for the purpose of up-blending it to
specification. The European Court decided that the strict waste legislation
does not apply to cases like this, where the parcel can easily be reconditioned
and will be resold for a considerable value.
AKD’s shipping and offshore team provides a full range of
legal services to the shipping and offshore industry. The team is ranked top
tier in both Chambers and Legal 500. AKD is a full-service firm with over 250
Labels: bunkers;european court of justice;waste;environment;ship's fuel;debunkering
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