Trendwatch: IMB raises concerns over surge in piracy attacks; Challenges ahead for South Africa’s decarbonization as renewable power capacity to fall short of 2030 target; UK Government boosts cleaner shipping with multi-million funding

IMB raises concerns over surge in piracy attacks

Anti-piracy body ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that piracy and armed robbery incidents in the Singapore Straits have increased during the first half of the year.

In the period January-June 2023, 65 incidents were recorded, an increase from 58 incidents for the same period last year.

According to the mid-year report of IMB, of the 65 incidents, 57 vessels were boarded, four had attempted attacks, two were hijacked and two were fired upon. An important element of the report is that perpetrators successfully boarded 90% of targeted ships, while violence towards crew continues with 36 taken hostage, 14 kidnapped, three threatened, two injured and one assaulted.

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Challenges ahead for South Africa’s decarbonization as renewable power capacity to fall short of 2030 target

Renewable energy will account for just 20% of South Africa's power mix by the end of this decade, according to Rystad Energy analysis, highlighting the uphill battle the nation faces in its pursuit of decarbonization. South Africa had targeted lifting the share of renewable energy in its power generation mix from 11% currently to 41% by 2030 by increasing onshore wind and solar capacity, both of which have shown significant growth in recent years. However, rising demand and new additions to its aging coal power infrastructure mean that hitting the renewables target looks increasingly unlikely.

By 2030, power generation in South Africa is expected to increase by more than 40%, soaring from approximately 210 terawatt-hours (TWh) currently to 300 TWh by the decade’s end. Although significant investments have been made in advancing renewable energy capacity and paving the way for a cleaner power mix, the current pipeline of onshore wind projects especially is unlikely to support its ambitious targets.



UK Government boosts cleaner shipping with multi-million funding

The maritime sector in the United Kingdom has received further assistance in the battle to decarbonise the industry and boost the economy, with the UK government committing £34 million (US$44 million) in funding as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) on 7 July 2023.

With the fourth round of funding, the total amount invested through the CMDC now stands at approximately £129 million (US$166 million). The competition aims to promote continuous progress towards net zero goals by developing unique and sustainable technologies that link people, products, and services in a cleaner, greener manner.

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Deal to end British Columbia port strike is within reach, Canada’s labor chief says

Canada’s labor minister said Wednesday a deal is within reach to end the longshore strike at British Columbia ports.

“Today, after eleven days of work stoppages, I have decided that the difference between the employer’s and the union’s positions is not sufficient to justify a continued work stoppage,” Canada Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan said in a statement shared via Twitter.

To end the bargaining stalemate, the minister said he had asked a senior federal mediator to send him a written recommendation on the terms of a settlement within 24 hours. He said the two negotiating parties will then be forwarded the proposal, and be given 24 more hours “to decide whether or not to recommend ratification of the terms to their principals.”

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Port of Rotterdam says new EU cyber security regs will impact port and other stakeholders

New European Union regulations will expand the mandate for European companies to establish cyber security plans and will impose penalties in case of non-compliance, according to Marijn van Schoote, Manager, IT Service Management, Operations & Cyber Security, Port of Rotterdam.

In an interview with AJOT at the Port of Rotterdam offices on June 19th, van Schoote explained that under current European Union regulations “essential service providers and digital service providers are required to report significant cyber incidents to the national authorities … NIS1 (Network and Information Security Directive I) applies to essential service providers and digital service providers.”