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MSPC Newsletter March 2015 - Issue No. 55

We are pleased to present to you the MSPC newsletter for March.

16 March 2015

Malta is one of the members of the European Shortsea Network, which is a co-operation between all national ShortSea Promotion Centres.

We invite all readers to contribute with suggestions or news from their side which they think are relevant, by using the email at the end.



MSPC New Member - Malta Maritime Law Association
We are pleased to announce that Malta Maritime Law Association has recently become a new member of the MSPC.

The Malta Maritime Law Association (MMLA) is a non-profit making voluntary organization which was set up in 1994 with the aim to promote the study and advancement of maritime law and to assist in the promotion of the unification of maritime and mercantile law and practice of different nations. The MMLA, even though a law association, is composed of members from the various sectors in the maritime environment and thus provides a forum for the discussion of topical matters in the maritime field.

The MMLA reflects a high degree of maritime legal expertise, also through its affiliation with the Comité Maritime International (CMI), the oldest international organization in the maritime field formally established in 1897 with the aim to contribute to the unification of maritime law in all its aspects. Through the participation of the MMLA at high profile CMI meetings Malta is represented and can make its voice heard at the negotiating and drafting table of very important international maritime legal instruments.

Read further on the following link:


The Malta maritime cluster
The MSPC recently published another feature on local newspapers, in line with its campaign to transform the MSPC into a Maritime Cluster. The feature explains Malta's maritime industry and the establishment of a maritime cluster. Two more features were published during the past weeks. Full text of the third feature can be found on the following link:


New lines calling at Malta Freeport
Two new lines have chosen Malta Freeport Terminals as their main trans-shipment hub in the Central Mediterranean.

The Freeport will now host the 2M Alliance made up of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company, and the Ocean Three Alliance composed of CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Lines and United Arab Shipping Company.

The new alliances have strengthened Malta Freeport Terminals' network with its clients now having access to 17 weekly mainline services, complemented by an extensive number of weekly feedering services.

A total of 128 ports across the globe can now be reached from Malta Freeport Terminals.

Read further on the following link:


TEN-T: EU to support development of electric vehicle transport roads in northern Europe
The EU's TEN-T Programme will invest over €4 million in the development of an open access fast charging station network in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Germany. In total 155 chargers for electric vehicles are to be installed along the main highways connecting these countries.

A weak network of service stations for electric vehicles and varying standards are some of the major barriers to a fast uptake of electric vehicle transport in Europe.

This project aims to create an open access fast charging corridor along major highways connecting Sweden, Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands, to allow 'green' travel between these countries.

The new electric vehicle transport road will help accelerate electric vehicle uptake in northern Europe and will serve as best practice to other European countries.

Read further on the following link:


TEN-T: EU to back the development of green gas filling stations in Sweden
The EU's TEN-T Programme will co-finance with over €2 million a pilot deployment of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations on the northern Sweden's main road network. The project aims to upgrade and extend the existing alternative fuel infrastructure to enable the supply of safer, greener and cheaper CNG.

The project will cover two new CNG filling stations in Härnösand and Umeå, as well as improve existing stations at Sundsvall and Skellefteå in northern Sweden.

The aim of this project is to increase the number and density of the CNG filling stations, encourage the use of CNG and create a market opportunity for CNG/LNG investors.

Read further on the following link:


TEN-T: EU to support cooperative intelligent transport systems in France
The EU's TEN-T Programme will support with over €6.5 million a pilot project improving road safety, traffic management and multimodality in France. The project will test and assess cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) allowing vehicles communicate to each other and with the road infrastructure for a greater transport efficiency and increased safety.

The pilot is the first of a two-phase project with the aim to study C-ITS and define a national roadmap for these services. It will focus on testing C-ITS applications improving the safety of road users and operating staff during works or maintenance, as well as traffic management and multimodality.

Read further on the following link:


2015 World Maritime Day theme: "Maritime education and training"
IMO Secretary-General launches 2015 World Maritime Day theme: "Maritime education and training" at World Maritime University IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has launched this year's World Maritime Day theme, "Maritime education and training", telling students and staff at the World Maritime University (WMU) that maritime education and training was essential for the long-term sustainability of the sector, both at sea and on-shore.

The 2015 World Maritime Day theme provided the opportunity to highlight the importance to everybody, not just within the shipping industry, of there being sufficient quantity and quality maritime education and training available to meet the sector's needs, now and into the future.

The World Maritime Day theme provides a focus for year-round activities while the day itself is celebrated at IMO Headquarters and around the world in the last week of September. Since 2005, a formal parallel event has also been held, hosted by an IMO Member State.

Read further on the following link:


Cyprus: Study underway on shipping strategy
The transport ministry and the Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC), CIPA and other organisations have commissioned a study on a strategy for the island's shipping industry.

According to President Nicos Anastasiade, who addressed a CSC event, the study "to take Cyprus shipping into the future" was nearing completion.

Anastasiades said he was grateful to the shipping industry, which had managed to help support the economy through the crisis. The sector had managed to escape the brunt "through fully utilising the comparative advantages Cyprus offers to the shipping industry".
These included competitive ship registration costs and annual tonnage taxes, a favourable tax regime for ship management and other international business enterprises, and generally low operational and construction costs, coupled with Cyprus' strategic location, and highly qualified and professional workforce.

Read further on the following link:


Greece: Ship owners acquire 340 second hand vessels and place orders for 127 newbuildings
With Japanese-built vessels being the most sought after, Greek ship owners invested into 340 secondhand vessels over the course of 2014, according to data compiled by shipbroker Intermodal. They also placed orders for 127 newbuildings, a decrease of almost 30% compared to 2013. According to Intermodal's Research Analyst, Eva Tzima, Greek owners were reported as buyers in 340 of the 2014 reported second-hand sales and as sellers in 153 of them.

Read further on the following link:


EU to boost green maritime transport in Greece
The EU's TEN-T Programme will invest almost €600,000 in a study for the promotion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) use in Greek maritime transport. The greener and cheaper LNG could contribute to reducing transport emissions and fuel supply costs in the Aegean Sea.

The study aims to promote LNG for the passenger and shipping transport between the Greek islands. It will bring together a number of key LNG value chain stakeholders with the objective to identify the technical and economic framework for LNG as marine fuel in the South Aegean. Specifically, the group will look into the main supply chain options, required retrofits and infrastructure in ports, ships and shipyards, as well as business plans for each operator.

Read further on the following link:


TEN-T : Belfast to develop an intermodal transport hub with EU support
The EU's TEN-T Programme will co-finance with almost €3.5 million preparatory studies for a cross-border train and bus service linking Belfast in Northern Ireland to the rest of UK and neighbouring countries. The service will also integrate other transport modes and ensure a connection to Belfast's Central Business District.

The studies will identify how best to deliver a fully integrated service with amenities other transport users (taxis, cyclists, private cars, pedestrians) and a seamless connection to the city's proposed rapid transit service.

The new intermodal transport hub is part of a larger project aiming to reduce passenger journey times between Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe.

Read further on the following link:


TEN-T: EU to co-fund innovative and cleaner technologies for cargo ships
The EU's TEN-T Programme will support with over €4.5 million a pilot test of an innovative exhaust gas cleaner on cargo ships navigating in the North and Baltic Sea. The new technology is expected to reduce considerably the environmental impact of ships, as well as to bring down the costs for using less polluting fuels.

European regulation requires all cargo vessels travelling in European waters to cut down the emission of sulphur oxide (SO) from 2015 onwards, to decrease environmental pollution. Among the existing solutions scrubber, a system removing SO from exhaust gases with fresh water, is the most common technology used in this process.

This pilot project will install and test the latest scrubber technology that uses sea water instead of fresh water in an open loop. The new cleaning system is expected to bring a number of economic and environmental benefits: ships will no longer need to carry supplies of fresh water, nor will they have to transport and use chemicals for water treatment, in order to reuse it. More space will be available for cargo.

Read further on the following link:


European shipping industry - Innovate to stay ahead of the game
Brussels, 6 March 2015 - Europe has a major role to play in driving the maritime industry forward, said Tor Svensen, CEO of DNV GL - Maritime, in his keynote speech on innovation at the European Shipping Week in Brussels. Svensen outlined three priority areas that will drive shipping in the decades to come: Sustainability and environmentally friendly technologies, Big Data and connected ship solutions as well as a new safety mindset across the whole maritime industry in order to improve its safety track record.

"Today, 70 per cent of the world's fleet is controlled from Europe. Our strong maritime clusters give us the opportunity to drive innovation - by making a continued investment in research & development, stimulating joint industry projects, focusing on building competitive strengths as well as bringing capital, academia, investors and industry together and creating industry-government partnerships. Let us use this opportunity and be thought leaders", he emphasized.

In many of the most technology-intensive sectors of the industry Europe already lead the way, he noted. European equipment manufacturers hold a global market share of 41.5 per cent - and in the fields of subsea, deep-water and technology for harsh environments European technology and know-how is world-leading. The same applied to the most advanced ship sectors, for example offshore supply vessels, passenger ships, multi-purpose vessels and the new giant containerships.

Read further on the following link:


Brussels must work with European shipping to promote market access, urges ECSA president
Europe must play its role as an international trade partner, says Rehder

The European shipping industry needs to work with the European Union to ensure free trade agreements remain in place if it is to grow its way out of the retrenchment of the past seven years.

European Community Shipowner Associations president Thomas Rehder told Lloyd's List that maintaining a level playing field for shipping was a critical for competitiveness and that the EU had an important role to play in that.

"We are looking to Europe to play its role as an international trade partner," Mr Rehder said.

"The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is one example, but there are many areas in the world where there are market restrictions for shipping and where the EU has a political clout and power that it can use to the benefit of the shipping industry. This is one area where we can work together with EU officials."

The offshore market in the US that falls under the Jones Act and is not open to European shipping. That is an area where Mr Rehder would like to see change.

"A European company is not allowed to own more than 25% of a US-flagged ship. That is a field that needs to be opened if we are to expand the market for European shipping," he said.

"Likewise, 80% of transport within the North American Free Trade Agreement area is overland and not by sea. So there is potentially a very big market that can be opened for shipping and for European shipping.

Read further on the following link:


Joint industry statement on the mid-term review of the EU's Maritime Transport Policy
In June 2014, the Council invited the European Commission to present a mid-term review of the EU's Maritime Transport Policy until 2018 and outlook to 2020. Eager to provide the Commission with valuable input, ECSA, ECASBA, ETA, EuDA, CLIA Europe, Interferry and WSC have decided to make the review exercise the cornerstone of the European Shipping Week 2015. Following the very fruitful discussions held in the context of the week's flagship conference entitled "Charting the route of EU shipping policy: An input to the EU maritime transport strategy review", the main representative bodies of the shipping industry have adopted the following statement.

Shipping is a global industry faced with increasingly fierce competition. Shipowners need a stable and predictable EU fiscal regime and a regulatory framework in accordance with international rules in order to maintain their competiveness and ensure shipping's beneficial impact to the EU economy and society, while maintaining a global level playing field. These international rules, including environmental and safety regulations, which need to be adopted by the International Maritime Organisation in order to be global, should promote the highest standards for worldwide quality shipping, in line with the interests of our industry.

Read further on the following link:


Updated study highlights economic importance of EU shipping
At a press conference, ECSA presented the results of a recent update of the Oxford Economics study on the economic value of the EU shipping industry, which highlights the industry's important contribution to the EU economy based on new and more reliable data.

According to the study, the overall contribution of the European shipping industry to the EU's GDP in 2013 is estimated to have been €147 billion. Moreover, for every €1 million the European shipping industry contributes to GDP itself, it creates another €1.6 million elsewhere in the European economy.

In terms of employment, the industry provided jobs to an estimated 2.2 million people both on board vessels and ashore in the wider maritime cluster. The industry directly employs more workers than the aviation sector, while, between 2004 and 2013, direct employment grew by 25%. Moreover, EU shipping is far more productive in terms of GDP generated per worker than the EU average.

Read further on the following link:


European Tugowners Association guidelines for safe towage operations
Safe and smooth port operations require a permanent surveillance of safety standards by every port service operator in the nautical chain.

The European Tugowners Association and its members have made it their firm commitment to keep working on the promotion of best practices enhancing awareness of basic safety issues.

Since the publication of the Joint ETA/EMPA Guidelines on Design and Layout of Harbour Towage Equipment in 2011, the ETA identified operational safety risks that needed to be addressed by general guidelines.

Read further on the following link:


Grimaldi to Order Five Car Carriers Worth $300 Million This Month
BRUSSELS-Grimaldi Group, the world's biggest passenger- and car-ferry company by capacity, will this month complete an order for five giant car carriers worth a combined $300 million to move vehicles made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, the shipping company's managing director said.

"We have shortlisted some Chinese yards and the order will be finalized in March," Emanuele Grimaldi told The Wall Street Journal. "The ships will carry 7,000 cars each on 13 decks and will move Fiat- and Chrysler-made cars from Europe to the U.S. and the other way around."

The family-owned, Naples-based company, which operates more than 100 ships through five main companies-Grimaldi Lines, Atlantic Container Lines, Minoan Lines, Malta Motorways of the Sea and Finnlines -moves cars and containers from the U.S. and Canada to Europe and West Africa, from Europe to South America and West Africa, and from northern Europe to the Mediterranean. It also ferries passengers across Europe and the Baltics.

Read further on the following link:


For further details, please contact:
Malta Shortsea Promotion Centre
Maritime Trade Centre,Xatt L-Ghassara Ta' L-Gheneb,
Marfa HMR 12
Tel: 2122 2203
Fax: 2125 0365