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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Australia News

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Fully Laden LNG Tankers Sit Idle Off Indian Ports after Force Majeure

At least five fully-laden liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers are idling offshore India, as yet unable to discharge their cargoes, after importers there declared force majeure earlier this week, according to an analyst and shipping sources.Gas demand is falling globally amid the fast-spreading coronavirus which has capped industrial output, forcing LNG tankers in several regions to remain at sea fully laden with no immediate destination, the sources said.At least three major buyers in India…

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Australia Orders Two Cruise Ships to Leave ... Now!

Australia ordered two cruise ships to leave its waters on Thursday, after a liner that docked in Sydney Harbor last week became the primary source of infection in the country's coronavirus outbreak.Although well below levels elsewhere in the world, the pace of Australia's infections is starting to pick up speed, reaching nearly 2,800 cases and 13 deaths.The government of West Australia state said nobody would be permitted to disembark from the German-operated MV Artania after seven of 800 foreign passengers on board tested positive for the virus…

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China Iron Ore Recoups Losses Amid Stimulus Hopes

 China's iron ore futures erased earlier losses to end flat on Thursday, regaining support as miner Vale SA said it may temporarily halt activities at its Malaysian distribution center as a safety measure against the coronavirus pandemic.Iron ore's most-traded contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange steadied at 678 yuan ($95.76) a tonne, after tumbling 5.8% earlier in the session.On the Singapore Exchange, the front-month iron ore contract trimmed losses to just 0.3% in afternoon trade from 4.1% earlier in the day.Iron ore supplier Vale said on Wednesday its Malaysian distribution center may

 Image: Neptune Pacific Line

Neptune Pacific Acquires Pacific Direct

Neptune Pacific Line, the provider of ocean freight services between Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, said that it has acquired Pacific Direct Line(PDL) from its Singapore based parent holding company, Pacific International Lines (PIL).The acquisition makes Neptune the new owners of all of PDL’s regional and Fiji based companies. The combined business will seamlessly link transport, warehousing, depots and customs clearance services and fully integrate customers’ supply chains across 18 South Pacific markets…

Image courtesy Jotun

Ship Hull Cleaning: Shipowners Should Be Proactive to Improve Hull Performance

While owners have long recognized the link between clean hulls and lower fuel costs, lack of reliable data has slowed investments in optimizing hull performance. But with improved sensor technologies and data analysis tools, hull performance is getting a second look. Owners seeking to lower fuel costs and comply with pending regulations on emissions and invasive species often look to equipment manufacturers to meet their needs. From new efficient engine designs to alternative fuels, scrubbers to ballast water treatments systems, owners face some expensive decisions.

Image: Evergreen Line

Evergreen Line Launches New Digital Platform

Taiwanese container transportation and shipping company Evergreen Line has launched a new digital platform designed to provide customers with seamless booking capabilities and greater access to integrated trade services.Evergreen Line said in a press note that GreenX platform provides a digital portal for Evergreen customers to get instant quotes and book secured space with prioritized equipment supplied by the carrier.From the time of its soft launch last month, GreenX has received nearly 2…

Image: Fugro

Furgo Backs Australia’s Hydrographic Program

The Australian Government has selected Fugro to join the HydroScheme Industry Partnership Program (HIPP) to increase Australia’s hydrographic industry capability.The panel of industry partners was chosen as part of a long-term strategy to ensure safe shipping routes, commercial ports and maritime approaches within the Australian Charting Area.Panel members will acquire marine environmental data to produce digital maps of Australia’s sea and coastal areas that will improve the safety of maritime vessels operating in Australia’s sea charting area…

Image: DP World

DP World Buys North American Terminal

Dubai-based port operator DP World announced it has completed the acquisition of Fraser Surrey Docks in Canada from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP) alongside its partner Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ).The enabler of global trade said in a press release that said the acquisition complements its footprint in Canada, which also includes terminal operations in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Prince Rupert and St John’s, without disclosing the value of the purchase.The integrated coast-to-coast platform provides customers with bulk…

Graph: Rystad Energy

Australia Becomes World's Largest LNG Exporter

Australia has become the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in the world. The record figure knocked Qatar out of the top spot."Australia is set to become the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter this year, overtaking Qatar, with its supplies expected to reach 81 million tonnes (MT) as Ichthys LNG and Prelude FLNG increase production," Rystad Energy said.Meanwhile, Qatari exports will remain at current levels, around 77 MT. The US will increase LNG exports from about 36 MT in 2019 to 56 MT in 2020, dominating new LNG supply contributions.

(L-R) Harry Gandhi and Mike Pugh. Photo: Unique Group

Unique Group Acquires APAC Marine Unit

Integrated marine and subsea solutions provider Unique Group has announced the acquisition of the Australian-company Western Advance’s Marine Division.The provider of services and solutions for the offshore, subsea and life support industries also announced the appointment of Chris Forde as its new regional vice-president.Western Advance’s integration with Unique Group ties in with the Group’s strategy to enhance its portfolio of autonomous solutions for marine, offshore and subsea industry operations in the region.Harry Gandhi…

HR Wallingford's newly built tug bridge simulator (Photo: HR Wallingford)

Australia Ship Sim Center Opens

The Western Australian Minister for Ports, the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC opened the expanded facilities of HR Wallingford’s new Australia Ship Simulation Center.HR Wallingford has added two new purpose-built simulators to its center in Fremantle, bringing the total number of simulators that it owns and operates there to six. This makes it one of the largest ship simulation centers in Australia and allows a full maneuvering team (including pilots, tug masters and vessel traffic service (VTS) operators) to conduct integrated and immersive full port scenarios.In her speech…

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Baltic Index Falls

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index declined on Friday as lower rates for capesize and supramax segments offset gains in the panamax category.The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels to ferry dry bulk commodities, dropped 16 points, or 3.7%, to 415.The main index has lost nearly 14.8% this week, its ninth consecutive week of decline.The capesize index fell 47 points to a negative 234, down for the 41st straight session.Average daily earnings for capesizes…

Image: Austal Limited

Austal Australia Launches Bajamar Express

Australian-based global ship building company Austal Limited announced that its Henderson, Western Australia, shipyard has successfully launched Bajamar Express, the first of two 118-meter, high-speed trimaran ferries under construction for Fred. Olsen Express of the Canary Islands.The ferry is now in the final stages of fit-out. She is scheduled for delivery in spring 2020, said a press note from the shipbuilder.“With the launch of Bajamar Express, our internationally competitive Australian team has again demonstrated an inherent capability to design and construct advanced…

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Coronavirus Paralyzes Oil, Gas Sales into China

Short-term sales of crude oil and liquefied natural gas into China almost ground to a halt this week as the coronavirus slows economic activity and cuts demand and buyers ponder legal action to avoid having to honor purchase agreements, trade sources said.Typically, trade would have revived after the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of January, but China has extended the break into February to try to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has claimed nearly 500 lives.As a result…

Image: Austal

Austal to Support USN Ships in Australia

Austal signed an agreement with the United States Navy which will see its Henderson shipyard conduct repairs and sustainment activities on USN and Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships.With the Agreement of Boat Repair (ABR) now in place, Austal’s Australian operations may now bid to provide emergent repair services to deployed USN ships, including the Austal designed and constructed Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).The ABR also allows Austal to bid for maintenance and repair of MSC ships deployed to the region…

Photo: Georgia Ports Authority / Jeremy Polston

Port of Savannah Tops Cargo Record

In the 2019 calendar year Port of Savannah moved 4.6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEU).Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Executive Director Griff Lynch said this is an increase of nearly 250,000 TEU (5.6%) compared to the previous year.In roll-on/roll-off trade, GPA handled 657,685 units of cars, trucks and tractors in 2019, an increase of 12,167 units, or 2%.Ocean Terminal picked up two new customers in 2019 - GM and Volvo - with both car makers exporting vehicles to Australia and New Zealand via Savannah.

The Passenger Express 41 to be constructed by Austal’s shipyard in Vietnam will accommodate 400
passengers and 20 tonnes of cargo over 2 decks. (Image: Austal)

SGTM Orders Catamaran from Austal

SGTM has awarded Austal Limited a $10.7 million contract to build a 41-meter, high-speed catamaran.The new vessel is based on Austal Australia designed vessel, with customer defined design modifications to be undertaken in Vietnam before construction commences there by March, 2020 with delivery approximately one year later.Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the new contract was welcome as Austal continued to build on its investment in facilities and people in the company’s new Vietnam shipyard.

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US Raises Tariffs on Derivative Steel, Aluminum from Some Countries

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation increasing tariffs on derivative steel products by an additional 25 percent and boosting duties on derivative aluminum products by an additional 10 percent.Trump said Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea are exempt from the additional tariffs on derivative steel products, and Argentina, Australia, Canada and Mexico are exempt from the added duties on derivative aluminum articles.Trump has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to help boost U.S.

Frank Smet (Photo: Hamburg Süd)

Hamburg Süd’s Chief Commercial Officer to retire

German container shipping company Hamburg Süd said its Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Frank Smet will retire at the end of March after roughly 27 years with the company.Smet, who has been working in the shipping industry for over 40 years – including in Brazil, Chile, Australia and Hong Kong – has been a member of Hamburg Süd’s Management Board since 2012. He was initially responsible for Network, Operations and Logistics before assuming responsibility for Sales and Customer Service in 2017.In the future, Hamburg Süd CEO Dr. Arnt Vespermann will also be responsible for the customer relations.

Photo: Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI)

Nestlehutt tapped to lead SCI

The Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI) selected Rev. Mark S. Nestlehutt as its new President & Executive Director, succeeding the Rev. David Rider, effective February 18, 2020.With more than two decades of church experience in Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, Australia and South Africa, Mark joins SCI from Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where he serves as Rector. His previous employment and interests include service as an officer in the U.S.

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Baltic Index Continues to Sink

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index slid for a 12th straight session on Thursday, hitting a six-month low, as reduced seasonal demand dragged down vessel rates across segments.* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, dropped 70 points, or 5.7%, to 1,151 — its lowest level since June 19.* The capesize index declined 127 points, or 6%, to 1,976 — the lowest in over six months.* Average daily earnings for capesizes…

Image: Ulstein

Aurora Expeditions Christens Sylvia Earle

Aurora Expeditions, the luxury cruise company that offers services to Antarctica and Arctic,  will build a second expedition ship, the Sylvia Earle, scheduled to debut in October 2021.The 126-passenger vessel  named ‘Sylvia Earle’, to honor the renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer.The order comes shortly after the Australia-based company introduced its first new expedition ship in 2019, the Greg Mortimer, named for the Australian mountaineer and Aurora’s founder.The new ship is one of the vessels in owner, SunStone Ships’, INFINITY class.

Image: Kalmar

Kalmar Signs Pact with Patrick Terminals

Kalmar, the provider of cargo-handling solutions and services to ports and terminals, has concluded a comprehensive software maintenance and support agreement with Australian terminal operator Patrick Terminals.The agreement, which covers the equipment automation systems at the company’s Brisbane and Sydney AutoStrad terminals, was booked in Cargotec's 2019 Q4 order intake, with the agreement coming into effect from November 2019, said the Cargotec unit.Patrick Terminals is Australia's leading container terminal operator, handling over three million TEU annually.

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Asia Boosts IMO Technical Cooperation

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), Thailand’s Ministry of Transport and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia (UNESCAP) have recently organized the second regional Knowledge Partnership Workshop in Asia in Bangkok,The workshop was designed to support maritime technical cooperation activities in the region.The workshop brought together officials from transport ministries, responsible for maritime affairs, and finance ministries, responsible for official development assistance.

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World Seaborne Coal Trade Rose 0.7% in 2019

Seaborne coal trade around the world grew 0.7% last year, helped by higher output in China and Indonesia and more export activity by Indonesia, Australia, Russia and Canada, Germany's VDKI coal importers lobby said on Friday.Imports and exports, counted together, rose to 1.218 billion tonnes from 1.210 billion tonnes in 2018, VDKI Managing Director Franz-Josef Wodopia said in an speech made available to Reuters, citing VDKI estimates.Within the 2019 total, trade in coking coal used for steelmaking dropped by 1% to 287 million tonnes as steel production declined, the Verein der Kohlenimporteure

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Rio Tinto's Full-year Iron Ore Shipments Drop

Rio Tinto on Friday posted a 3% drop in iron ore shipments in 2019 as the Anglo-Australian miner's operations faced disruptions due to cyclone and a fire at a port facility.Iron ore shipped from Australia's Pilbara region in 2019 was 327.4 million tonnes, the company said, well within its forecast of 320 million tonnes to 330 million tonnes.The company said it made up for the disruptions in the first half by way of higher iron ore production and shipments than a year earlier.