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Wärtsilä: Shipowners Not Very Concerned about Scrubber Discharge Bans

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…As Malaysia Opens to New Ideas on MH370 Search***

As the industry sails towards the International Maritime Organization’s impending sulphur cap regulation, there seems to be a rise in opposition to one of the widely accepted solutions to the 2020 sulphur cap, the open-loop exhaust gas treatment systems (scrubbers).

Namely, certain ports in China and Ireland have started to implement a ban on wash water discharge from open-loop scrubbers as of the beginning of 2019, while major bunkering hubs Singapore and Fujairah have announced plans to do the same starting from January 1, 2020, when the sulphur cap rule comes into force.

Further disagreement with the wash water discharge was expressed by European non-governmental organizations, followed by a proposal submitted by the European Commission that urges the IMO to change its scrubber guidelines calling for “evaluation and harmonization” of scrubber discharges across all ports, world-wide. The main reason behind the bans have been environmental concerns.

However, a three-year study led by cruise major Carnival showed that wash water samples analysed over the period were consistently well within the allowable IMO criteria and regulatory limits. Additionally, Japan decided not to implement the ban on scrubbers following a report in which the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) come to a conclusion that wash water from open-loop scrubbers does not present a significant threat to the marine environment.

Shipowners that have already chosen scrubbers for their vessels do not seem to be very concerned about the wash water discharge bans, Jan Othman, director of exhaust gas cleaning at technology group Wärtsilä, said in an interview with World Maritime News.

“There has been a lot of debate about this in recent weeks. The topic also sparked some debate in the industry related to what the impact of the potential bans would be. What we have seen so far is that owners do not seem to be very much concerned about the potential bans and some owners have even said that they have accounted that such a regulation might come into force,” Othman explained.

The lack of concern has been linked to the fact that a small portion of the ship owners’ fuel consumption takes place inside these areas where a ban could potentially be implemented, he continued.

“It does not really change the business case from the owners’ point of view. We don’t see any change in the market behavior due to this, at least not in this point in time. Perhaps there will be an increased interest in the hybrid solutions because of this in the future.”

Speaking about the proposed bans in European ports, Othman said that the company, as well as the owners who have decided to invest in scrubbers, “are a bit puzzled about these discussions because, as far as we can understand, there are no scientific arguments or reasoning behind this potential ban.”

When asked whether Wärtsilä’s wash water treatment system could help shipowners deal with the bans, Othman said that this could be one of the solutions, however, there would need to be a new regulation in place for this.

“Our open-loop system is compliant with the current regulation, but if a new regulation comes into force then that needs to be discussed and agreed upon with the relevant players.”

In 2018, Wärtsilä booked a high number of contracts for both open-loop and hybrid scrubber systems. Still, the company’s orderbook last year showed a greater appetite for open-loop system as owners started ordering the equipment for large ocean-going merchant vessels.

“We’ve had a very active 2018 when it comes to order intake for scrubbers and the market activity only increased toward the end of the year. Our contracting continued as active in the second half of the year as in the first half and we had a record year when it comes to the scrubber order intake by far. Positively, we also see a lot of activity in the market still in 2019 and we haven’t seen any slowdown yet. Now we are primarily selling in 2020 and onwards.”

Nevertheless, Othman continued, shipowners are just now starting to realize that there are very limited possibilities to secure slots for either equipment or drydocking slots for scrubber retrofits.

Looking at 2019 numbers, Wärtsilä’s order intake is still driven by tanker, container, bulker, cruise and ferry segments. Major cruise operators have already secured scrubbers and have either installed them or are in the process of installing scrubbers on their existing fleet. Therefore, Wärtsilä expects to see a slowdown in that segment as cruise lines have been ahead of the other segments with adopting this technology

“In 2018 it was primarily the largest vessel segments that were adopting scrubbers as a means of compliance with the global sulphur cap. Now, owners of smaller vessels are showing an increasing interest in installing scrubbers.”

When it comes to the newbuilding market, the company’s scrubber order intake reached three-digit numbers, Othman said, adding that this segment is expected to remain very active.

“There are various opinions related to the scrubber story in the market. Scrubber appetite will largely depend on how the fuel spread between HFO and MGO is going to develop. As we see things now, that spread is going to be substantial in the forceable future. Hence, there will be a demand for scrubbers also going forward. On the newbuildings side, that market will be present for a long time.”

Regarding the industry’s opinions that the scrubber story might be over by 2023, Othman commented that, due to the strong economic incentive for installing a scrubber, the boom for the retrofit market “will be there for a little bit longer than 2023, but it will eventually be over.”

There are not many uncertainties related to the scrubber technology as these regulations are very clear and straightforward, he explained. There is a dilemma over potential bans for open-loop operations and the discharge of water in certain harbour areas, but that doesn’t have a significant impact on the business case, he pointed out.

On the other hand, there is a lot of concern related to both the availability and the quality of compliant fuel, engine problems related to these new fuel blends, as well as the pricing of this fuel.

“We will continue to see uncertainty being debated and being around still in the industry throughout the year,” Othman concluded.

In the meantime, the Malaysian government will consider resuming the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 if companies interested in the hunt come forward with viable proposals or credible leads.

Flight MH370 vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014 with 239 on board.

Malaysia’s transport minister said on Sunday that the government was prepared consider offers involving “no cure, no pay” terms. The government had offered Ocean Infinity up to $70 million on this basis for its failed 2018 search.

An earlier multi-million dollar search for the plane was funded by Malaysia and Australia. The search was suspended in early 2017. 

Ocean Infinity has reportedly expressed interest in another search, citing new technology developed over the past year which led to the company’s success in locating the Argentinian submarine San Juan in November.

Some have said that China should fund another search, and Malaysian Airlines crisis manager Fuad Sharuji told 60 Minutes that he agreed that China should do more considering there were 153 Chinese on board the flight.

In July last year, the Malaysian government released the Safety Investigation Report stating that investigators were unable to determine the cause of the disappearance. The investigation showed that flight MH370 diverted from the filed flight plan, heading back across Peninsular Malaysia towards the Southern Indian Ocean. It could not be established whether the aircraft was flown by anyone other than the pilots, but flight simulator trials established that the turn back was likely made while the aircraft was under manual control.

World Maritime News with additional report from Maritime Executive

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NDLEA Intercepts 230,600 Tramadol Tablets, Arrests 106 Suspects In Kano

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NDLEA Intercepts 230,600 Tramadol Tablets, Arrests 106 Suspects In Kano

Determined to prevent Kano from becoming a drug haven, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Kano State Command, has intercepted 230,600 tablets of Tramadol and arrested 106 suspects in the state.

Its Commander, Mr Abubakar Idris-Ahmad, disclosed this to the newsmen on Saturday in Kano.

Idris-Ahmad said, “The command between June 10 and June 13, in its operation ahead of the Eid-el Kabir celebration, intercepted 230,600 Tramadol tablets along Zaria-Kano road.

“The operations, mandated by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, retired Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba-Marwa, in curbing the menace of drug abuse in Nigeria, resulted in the arrest”.

He disclosed that the agency also arrested 106 male suspects,  among which 11 were identified as major drug dealers.

“The suspects were arrested at various drug joints in Sani Abacha Stadium, Karkasara, Sani Abacha Youth Center, Dorayi, Dan-Agundi graveyard, Brigade Mini Stadium and the infamous Filin Idi drug den”.

The exhibits recovered include: Cannabis sativa, rubber solution, suck and die, exol tablets, codeine syrup and some other illicit substances.

“These illicit substances were intended for distribution and use during the Eid-el Kabir celebrations.

“NDLEA Kano Command is committed to eradicating the scourge of drug abuse and trafficking,” Idris-Ahmad said.

The commander also wished the good people of Kano State a drug-free Sallah celebration and urged the public to report any drug-related activity to the nearest NDLEA office.

”Together, we can work towards creating a safer and healthier community for all,” Idris-Ahmad said.

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CUSTOMS: Oyo/Osun Command Rakes In N6.3bn, Records 21.6% Of Annual Revenue Target

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CUSTOMS: Oyo/Osun Command Rakes In N6.3bn, Records 21.6% Of Annual Revenue Target

…Oramalugo showcases Command’s 5 Month’s milestones in anti-smuggling activities and revenue generation

The Nigeria Customs Service NCS, Oyo/ Osun Command has generated ₦6,335,842,600.28 in revenue, despite the prevailing economic headwinds encountered in most parts of the second quarter of 2024.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Dr Ben Oramalugo stated this while showcasing the Command’s significant milestones in terms of revenue generation and anti-smuggling activities spanning Wednesday 17th April 2024, to Thursday 13th June 2024.

Addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Thursday, 13 June 2024, an elated Oramalugo expressed his delight that his officers had demonstrated commendable resilience, against intimidating odds.

“Despite the economic headwinds encountered for most parts of the second quarter of 2024, I am delighted to announce that the Oyo/Osun Area Command has demonstrated much resilience and has successfully generated the sum of ₦6,335,842,600.28k, for May 2024”, Oramalugo said, while looking at the cumulative figures.

“Cumulatively, when added to the revenue generated for January to April 2024, the sum of ₦30,664,247,939.15k has been generated as revenue from January to May 2024.

“This represents a 5.2 % increase when compared to the sum of ₦29,154,853,722.73k; generated during the same period of the year 2023. The increase is a testament to the dedication and efficiency of our Officers in ensuring compliance and maximizing revenue collection.

“However, I would like to point out that the command still has a herculean task ahead, as the command’s revenue target is set at ₦141,682,012,396.84 

IMPROVED COMPLIANCE 

“Our efforts to educate various stakeholders within the Commands Area of Responsibility (AoR) on the importance of adhering to Customs regulations have paid off. We have seen a significant reduction in under-declarations, contributing to the overall increase in revenue.

TECHNOLOGICAL INTEGRATION: 

He revealed that the introduction of advanced technology solutions, such as the Nigeria Customs Service Modernization Project, had streamlined our processes and enhanced transparency, which had further boosted the Command’s revenue collection capabilities.

ANTI-SMUGGLING MILESTONES

“In tandem with our revenue generation efforts, the Oyo/Osun Area Command has maintained a robust stance against smuggling activities within our jurisdiction. 

“Despite the economic hardships that often exacerbate smuggling tendencies, Command Officers have remained vigilant and proactive in intercepting illicit goods and apprehending perpetrators.

“The months of April, May and some parts of June, witnessed numerous successful operations resulting in the seizure of contraband items and for the period covering 17th April to 13th June 2024 the Command has made the following interceptions and seizures: viz-

1. Cannabis Sativa 504 Wraps (Weighing 391.9kg) N15,814,600:00

2. Foreign Parboiled Rice, 600 (50Kg) Bags

(One Trailer Load) N50,280,000:00

3. Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), 274 (25 Litre Kegs), (Totaling: 6,850 Litres), N5,521,500:00

4. Pieces of Used Tyres, 123 Pieces, N15,648,000:00

5. Used Mercedes Truck, 01, N30,000,000:00

6. Used Nissan Caravan

01, N12,590,000:00; thereby attaining a total figure of N129,854,100:00

He highlighted that in line with the policy thrust of the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) BA Adeniyi MFR and in the spirit of interagency collaboration, the Command has received approval to hand over some 546 wraps; and another 33 sacks of Cannabis Sativa worth ₦21,128,260:00 to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Oyo State Command. 

“In the same vein, I would like to mention that approval was also received before this press briefing to auction the seizures of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) listed as part of our seizures due to their inflammable nature.  

“I would like to reassure all stakeholders within the Command Area of Responsibility (AoR), that we recognize the grave implications of smuggling on national security, economic stability, and public health and we remain resolute in our determination to combat this menace. 

“Through collaboration with relevant stakeholders, intelligence-driven operations coupled with enhanced surveillance along our borders and the deployment of advanced technology, we will continue to demonstrate exemplary professionalism, to ensure a safer and more prosperous future for all Nigerians. 

“In conclusion, I would like to extend my appreciation to His Excellency the Executive Governor of Oyo State Engr. Seyi Makinde FNSE, Sister Security Agencies, and other stakeholders, thank you for your continued support and collaboration. 

“I would also like to commend the unwavering dedication and tireless efforts of the Officers and Men of the Oyo/Osun Area Command in achieving commendable results during the period under review in the year 2024. Their commitment to duty and professionalism amidst challenging circumstances is truly commendable.

“As we navigate the complexities of the current economic landscape, all stakeholders can be assured that the Oyo/Osun Area Command remains steadfast in its commitment to fulfilling its mandate under the Nigeria Customs Service Act.

“We will continue to adapt and innovate, ensuring that our operations remain effective in the face of evolving challenges”, Dr Oramalugo further indicated.

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Rigorous Training, Competences- Uniqueness of Customs’ Senior Course 10- CGC

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Rigorous Training, Competences- Uniqueness of Customs' Senior Course 10- CGC

….ACG Egwuh confers beneficiaries with PSC titles 

When you properly combine six months of rigorous training, discipline and ambassadorial skills with anti-smuggling and revenue-generating competencies, the result may be nothing short of the unique Senior Course 10.

The Comptroller-General of Customs CGC, Adewale Adeniyi stated this recently, at the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja, while congratulating officers who partook in the rigorous Senior Course 10 training to understand why they must mandatorily add value to the Service.

“It is without a doubt that you have spent six months, having rigorous training that will equip you to add value to the Service. I congratulate you for your commitment, which has led us to today’s occasion,” the CGC, Adeniyi stressed, imploring the beneficiaries to be “more committed and be good ambassadors of the College”.

“You are now as strong as eagles. You are, therefore, expected to keep soaring higher.”

He said he considered it a great honour and privilege to be back in the prestigious institution and even as a significant part of the graduation ceremony.

“It is a great honour and privilege to be back in this prestigious institution and to be part of this graduation ceremony of Senior Course 10 today… I congratulate you for your commitment, which has led us to today’s occasion”, the Customs Arrowhead stated.

He tasked them to put to work all they have learned during their training at the college as the country awaits their positive contributions in maximising the security at the borders, suppressing smuggling and generating revenue.

Also Read: Echoes From Customs’ Senior Course 10

CGC Adeniyi equally used the opportunity to assure the college management and members of his unflinching efforts to enhance the welfare of officers and members directing staff – which, according to him, will improve efficiency in the Service. 

On his part, the Commandant of the College, Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, Kingsley Egwuh, in an opening remark, congratulated the graduating students and conferred them with the title of Pass Senior Course (PSC).

ACG Kingsley said, “With permission of the Special Guest of Honour, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, I stand here before you with joy to confer you all with this title, and I want to implore you to practice what you have learned as you go back to your respective Commands.”

On her part, Deputy Commandant and Director of Studies of the College, Comptroller Oluyomi Adebakin, highlighted that the students had been duly trained in various fields in accordance with the curriculum of the Senior Course to enhance officers’ skills and abilities with a high level of moral standards.

“I have no doubts in my mind that considering the quality of training you have received, you all will be good ambassadors of the College and the Service at large – and I wish to implore you to exhibit your competence to your subordinates when you go back to your places of work.” Comptroller Adebakin said.

Similarly, the management of the college had, on Wednesday, 5 June 2024, hosted a regimental dinner night to honour the graduates of Senior Course 10, where the CGC was represented by DCG Beatrice Nwafor, the Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs in-charge of Excise, Free-Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives. 

Addressing the graduates during the regimental dinner night, DCG Nwafor tasked them to consider the opportunity of attending a month’s course at the college as a means to improve their performance as Customs officers, “You are now as strong as eagles. You are, therefore, expected to keep soaring higher.”

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