UPDATE biz notes Ecochlor raises millions in private placement
Fallout from Korean ferry disaster broadens as captain and crew are arrested The fallout from the tragic Korean ferry accident continues to grow. As of April 29 the official death toll had reached 205. Ninety-seven remain missing. There has been widespread criticism of the safety and inspection practices of both the Korean Register and the Korea Shipping Association (KSA). As a result of that criticism, late last month, Korean Register of Shipping Chairman and CEO Dr. Chon Young-Kee announced his resignation. The news of Dr. Chon’s departure came on the heels of the resignation of South Korea Prime Minister Chung Hong-won. Chung, the second highest ranking official in the Korean government, took responsibility and apologized on behalf of the government for the many problems that
arose during the first response and the subsequent rescue operation. More than 300 high school students were onboard the ferry Sewol when it sank. Parents and relatives have been outraged and distraught over what some have portrayed as a slow, disorganized search and rescue operation. On April 19, Sewol’s captain, Lee Junseok, was arrested, along with one of the mates, Park Han-gyeol, and helmsman Jo Jun-gi. All three face criminal charges that include accidental homicide. Additionally, Lee faces a charge of abandoning passengers at a time of crisis, which could bring a life sentence. Investigators are also looking into whether the crew failed to properly secure vehicles and cargo before the ferry departed.
Last month, ballast water technology company Ecochlor, Inc. , Maynard, MA, completed a $10 million equity financing to support its growth into the burgeoning ballast water treatment market. Since its formation in 2001, Ecochlor has raised over $22 million in equity. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC acted as Ecochlor’s financial advisor and sole placement agent. “With this additional capital, Ecochlor is poised to take full advantage of the opportunities in the emerging ballast water treatment market by adding further sales and engineering resources to accelerate growth,” says Charlie Miller, Ecochlor’s Chairman and CEO. The Ecochlor BWTS uses a two-step process to treat ballast water—filtration followed by disinfection with the well-known biocide, chlorine dioxide. The system’s effectiveness is not impaired by variations in salinity, temperature, turbidity, organics, and vibration, which can impact other treatment options. Furthermore, the small size, low power, and low maintenance characteristics of the Ecochlor system make it ideally suited for installation on the world’s largest ships. With its simple design, the Ecochlor system reduces complexity and time in the installation process, which makes it an excellent choice for use on both new and currently existing ships.
German shipowner Herm. Dauelsberg GmbH & Co. KG will pay $1.25 million for failing to report damage to one of its ships and failing to maintain accurate records relating to the overboard disposal of fuel oil. Four whistleblower crew members, who provided photos and video to the U.S. Coast Guard, were awarded $500,000. Herm. Dauelsberg GmbH & Co. KG pleaded guilty to two felony environmental charges stemming from the arrival of the 960 ft Panamax M/V Bellavia at the Port of Long Beach with a crack in its hull. The shipowner pleaded guilty to one count for not maintaining accurate records involving the overboard disposal of fuel and another count for not reporting the hazardous condition to the U.S Coast Guard. 8 MARINE LOG May 2014
The ship had sustained hull cracking on earlier transits of the Panama Canal and Herm. Dauelsberg admitted that the M/V Bellavia had hit the side of the Panama Canal again last September and sustained a crack that passed through the ship’s hull into a fuel tank. The company also admitted that, after sustaining the crack, the crew used one of the ship’s pumps to discharge nearly 120,000 gallons of oil-contaminated seawater from the ship’s fuel tank directly into the ocean. That discharge was not done via the oily water separator, was not properly recorded and was not disclosed to the Coast Guard when the vessel arrived at the Port of Long Beach. In addition, the company admitted that it failed to notify the Coast Guard about the
The Port of Long Beach
hazardous condition presented by the crack. After accepting the guilty pleas, U.S. District Judge George H. Wu sentenced the company to the statutory maximum fine of $1 million and ordered it to make an additional community service payment of $250,000 to the Channel Islands Natural Resources Protection Fund, which is administered by the National Park Foundation.
AP Photo/South Korea Coast Guard via Yonhap
Shipowner to pay $1.25 million fine in hull crack case