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MSC Oscar becomes the world’s largest boxship



Mediterranean Shipping Co container ship sets a new record at 19,224 teu

A NEW world record is about to be set by MSC Oscar, Mediterranean Shipping Co’s latest vessel, whose nominal capacity of 19,224 teu makes it the largest containership afloat

MSC Oscar, due to be handed over in January, is the first of a series to be acquired by the line through a long-term charter agreement.

The ship is just slightly larger than China Shipping’s CSCL Globe, which was officially declared at 19,100 teu a few weeks ago.

Until then, Maersk’s 18,270 teu Triple-E ships were the biggest in service.

The first of these was delivered in June 2013. To date,13 have now been built and another seven are still under construction.

“I am proud to announce the latest addition to our family, the MSC Oscar, which is the world’s largest container vessel today,” MSC president and chief executive Diego Aponte told Lloyd’s List.

“The Oscar will operate on our new-look Albatross service between Asia and Europe starting in January 2015.  The new fuel-efficiency engine will go one step further towards delivering a healthier supply chain for our customers.”

MSC Oscar, built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and classed by DNV GL, is 395.4 m long and 59 m wide.

The ship, registered in Panama, will be inaugurated during the first week in January and joins the Albatross service later in the month.

Waiting game

Confirmation of the size of MSC Oscar comes as the industry waits for the first 20,000 teu-class ship to be ordered.

Japan’s MOL is thought to be very close to placing an order for up to six of that size, through a lease agreement, for deployment within an Asia-Europe loop operated by the G6 alliance.

Another member of that consortium, OOCL, is expected to sign contracts soon for the same number of ships so as to complete the set needed for a service.

Evergreen has also said it is considering orders for ultra-large boxships.

MSC Oscar marks another stage of an extraordinary progression in containership sizes over the past two decades.

It is almost exactly 19 years since the world’s first 6,000 teu ship was unveiled to wide acclaim; the 318 m long, 43 m wide Regina Maersk was built at AP Moller-Maersk’s Odense shipyard.

That size was quickly surpassed, Maersk’s Emma Maersk setting the next benchmark with a capacity eventually acknowledged at 15,550 teu.

The 397 m long, 56 m wide ship was also built in Denmark, but Maersk turned to South Korea for its Triple-Es, with DSME landing the order.

These ships, built at the same yard in Okpo as MSC Oscar, are 400 m long, with a beam of 59 m.


The Danish line has ordered nothing since that contract was signed in February 2011.

However, MSC has been very active, with a large orderbook that could push the world’s number two containership operator into the top slot on current projections.

However Maersk Line, MSC’s partner in the 2M alliance, is poised to kickstart a newbuilding programme and has aready said the first orders are likely to be placed in the early months of 2015.

These are expected to include another four ships of similar size to the Triple-Es so as to have sufficient numbers for two Asia-Europe strings of 12 vessels apiece.

MSC, now headed by Diego Aponte who succeeded his father Gianluigi as president and chief executive in October, will overtake its arch rival and 2M partner in at least one measure with the arrival of the 196,000 dwt MSC Oscar.

The Aponte family is highly ranked in Lloyd’s List’s 2014 Top 100 most influential people in shipping that will be published tomorrow.

MSC Oscar is named after Diego Aponte’s son.

The new record-holder is one of three ships of similar size ordered for MSC initially ordered by  Hong Kong Asset Management in July 2013. However, China’s Bank of Communications Financial Leasing is thought to have subsequently taken over the contract

The ships were originally specified at 18,400 teu.

Charter deals

MSC’s orderbook also includes another six of nominal 19,000 teu capacity, while Emanuele Lauro’s Scorpio Group is negotiating to order three 20,000 teu ships that will be bareboat chartered to MSC.

Idan Ofer’s Quantum Pacific Group recently took a stake in this project.

According to the latest Lloyds List Intelligence data, Maersk’s live fleet stood at 2.5m teu in November after growth over the year of 3.5%.

MSC’s fleet capacity increased by 9.2% over the same period to 2.4m teu.

MSC’s orderbook stands at 34 ships of 424,200 teu, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence, whereas Maersk has just seven ships in the pipeline, the remaining Triple-Es.

Most experts expect ship capacities to grow further, before probably plateauing at around 24,000 teu as land-side infrastructure and berth restrictions start to limit commercially viable vessel sizes.

Already, the arrival of the latest generation of super post-panamax ships in the Asia-Europe and transpacific trades is said to have contributed to port congestion.

Janet Porter

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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