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Monday, June 24, 2019

Chemical News

© remipiotrowski/Adobe Stock

Market in Focus: Tankers

NewbuildingSince the beginning of the year, 100 newbuild orders have been placed across the tanker sector. This is a considerable amount lower than the same period last year, when 140 vessels were placed. It is no surprise to see the Greeks lead the way with the highest number and largest vessels ordered, but hot on their heels are the likes of Eastern Pacific and Ocean Tankers, the Singaporean owners ordering the clean trading vessels.Norwegian companies Hunter Group and Knutsen NYK Offshore buy few but spend a lot.

Photo: Mammoet

Mammoet USA Partners with Alabama Port

Mammoet has announced its partnership with Core Industries, the owner and operator of Theodore Industrial Port near Mobile, Alabama. Under the agreement, Mammoet will have the opportunity to work with Core and utilize the 400 acres of land at the port, positioning the company closer to Mobile’s well-established chemical industry. Over the years, the Mobile area’s chemical industry has expanded along a 60-mile corridor, with new and existing companies continuously taking advantage of the infrastructure and existing synergies in the area.

Photo courtesy of Wilhelmsen

Wilhelmsen’s New Heavy Duty Cargo Hold Cleaner

Tested extensively both in the lab and in the hold, Wilhelmsen’s Unitor CargoClean HD further improves on the market-leading performance of its predecessor but requires just half the volume of chemicals previously needed.Refined several times before the Wilhelmsen team felt their complex alkaline micro emulsion cleaner was strong enough to test against the best of the rest onboard a vessel, the new concentrated formula of Unitor CargoClean HD consistently produced the best cleaning results.

Pic: Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal to Modify Tolls Structure

The Panama Canal published a proposal to modify its current tolls structure for the dry bulk, passenger, containership and vehicle carrier and RoRo segments, as well as tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels, the intra-maritime cluster (local tourism segment) and minimum tolls (small vessels).According toa press release from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the announcement marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15…

Pic: BW LPG

VLGC Freight Rates Recover

The Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) freight rates started to recover towards the end of the first quarter as U.S. consumption reverted to seasonally lower levels pushing U.S. LPG prices down, widening the geographical LPG price arbitrage between the U.S. and the Far East.According to BW LPG, the owner and operator of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) vessels,  the recovery in VLGC freight rates was further strengthened by two occasions of fog and a temporary closure of the Houston Ship…

The Bayonne Bridge (The growth in part can be attributed to the completion in June 2017 of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, which raised the clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing the world’s largest container ships to pass under it and serve port terminals in New York and New Jersey.) Credit: Port NY/NJ

CONTAINER PORTS: Boxed in or Busting Out?

Benchmarking the Nation’s top container ports in 2018 and looking ahead to what comes next.The nation’s major ports finished 2018 and began 2019 setting monthly and yearly container volume records, but agitated trade activity in the White House raised questions about what corrections would be permanent and which would not.President Donald Trump said on Febuary 24 he is delaying the scheduled March 1 increase in the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The president said on Twitter he wants to give negotiators more time to reach a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing.

Photo: Bahri

Bahri Expands Footprint in Asia-Pac

The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has announced the expansion of its market presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region’s maritime industry.The stronger presence will help the company gain deeper insights into market trends as well as customer needs in chemicals and logistics sectors in Singapore and the wider APAC region, said a press release from the logistics and transportation company.The expansion will also enable Bahri Logistics and Bahri Chemicals, two of five business units of the company…

Per Ekmann. Photo: Uni-Tankers

Ekmann Named CEO of Uni-Tankers

Tanker ship operator Uni-Tankers, part of the USTC group, has appointed Per Ekmann as its new CEO. “I’m both happy and proud to have the opportunity to lead the way forward at this important stage in the company’s history. Uni-Tankers is based on proud and strong values, and with the recent implemented changes, the foundation is in place to realise our strategy together with our skilled employees,” said Per Ekmann. In future, the Uni-Tankers Executive Board will comprise Per Ekmann, CEO, and Thomas Thomsen, CFO.

File Image: AdobeStock / © ststoev

USCG: Marijuana for Mariners Still Forbidden

Marijuana use remains incompatible with sea service despite changes in state laws.Every year, dangerous drug use disrupts or destroys the careers of hundreds of professional mariners, threatening safety throughout the maritime transportation system at the same time. The ravages of addiction and accidental overdose make headlines daily, yet drug use among both the general population and safety-sensitive workforce continues to increase. Much of the rise is attributable to the growing use of marijuana…

Image: Ports & Maritime Organization

Abadan Ports Exports Up 56% in 2018

Abadan, Arvandankar and Choabdeh ports experienced an increase of 56% in 2018, says Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO).Abadan ports and maritime management announced that the export of goods from the three ports of Abadan in the past year has shown a  growing trend.According to the information system, the exports from these ports increased by 39.471 tons in the same period last year which shows a growth of 56.3% in exports, it said.Agricultural products, meat and meat products…

Container on Barge (Photo: PortNOLA)

MARAD Awards $6.7m in Marine Highway Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced $6,790,000 in grants to three Marine Highway projects. The funding, provided by MARAD’s Marine Highway Program, will go towards enhancing existing services in Louisiana and Virginia as well as supporting the development of a new project in New York.“These grants will expand the use of our country’s waterways, which are essential to our economic growth and vitality,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

Paolo Enoizi. Photo: Stolt-Nielsen

GasLog, GasLog Partners Name COO Designate

GasLog and GasLog Partners announced that Paolo Enoizi has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) Designate of GasLog and GasLog Partners.Paolo, who will be based in Piraeus, Greece, will take up his role in August 2019 and initially work alongside current COO Richard Sadler to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.On joining GasLog in August 2017 and in addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Richard indicated his desire to work with the rest of the senior leadership team to identify a long-term successor for the COO role.

Image: Maersk

Maersk Mulls Trade Financing Growth in India

Shipping major AP Moller-Maersk Group's export-import (exim)-focused trade finance arm Maersk Trade Finance is targeting a 33 percent loan disbursal growth at $200 million in 2019 in India.The trade financing solution arm of Danish business conglomerate said that it disbursed a total of USD 0.7 billion globally till date since its inception in 2015, with over 150 million in India in the year 2018, a 53% Y-o-Y increase as compared to 2017.Vipul Sardana, Global Head of Maersk Trade Finance said “Indian SME sector continues to play a significant role in India's economic development.

David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer

Kirby Posts 2019 Q1 Results

Kirby Corporation announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 of $44.3 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $32.5 million, or $0.54 per share, for the 2018 first quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 first quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $37.9 million, or $0.63 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 first quarter were $744.6 million compared with $741.7 million reported for the 2018 first quarter.David Grzebinski…

File Image: an aerial view of the port of Houston petrochemical refining complex. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K

Air Quality Monitored as TX Tank Blaze Rages

Houston officials and environmental groups raced to expand air monitoring on Tuesday after a raging fire at a Mitsui & Co petrochemical storage site produced billowing acrid smoke that could be seen and smelled miles away.The blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co in Deer Park, Texas, burned for a third day after firefighting water pumps broke down for six hours on Monday evening, the company said.The fire began on Sunday when a leaking tank containing volatile naphtha ignited and flames quickly spread to nearby tanks…

Pic: Port of Antwerp

2018: Record Year for Port of Antwerp

With a growth of 5.2% in 2018 compared to previous year, the Port of Antwerp has confirmed the earlier forecasts for a 6th consecutive year record."The confirmation of the port's attractiveness and the consolidation of its position as a global player and the largest integrated European chemical cluster are essential to the continuity of its role as the largest economic engine of Belgium. Below you will find the final annual figures for 2018," said a press release from the Europe’s second-largest seaport.The total transhipment in 2018 was 235.2 million tonnes…

Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute

A SmallSat AUV Network

There’s more to a global network than satellite links, and yet sat-linked remote operations experts can heap huge scientific and technological gains on the world. That’s what’s happening in the background — a smallish network of the best scientists from around the world are orchestrating the communications and robotics that’ll yield groundbreaking achievement in the networked use of autonomous underwater vehicles, or AUVs.If you contact Professor Kanna Rajan, as we did, he’ll tell you he’s not the world’s foremost “drone” researcher…

Photo Credit/Port NOLA: Container vessel being worked by current gantry cranes at Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal site.

Port of New Orleans to buy New Gantry Cranes

New Cranes Allow Port NOLA to Accommodate Larger Ships and Meet Growing Needs. The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) have voted to approve the purchase of two new 100-foot gauge container gantry cranes to be used at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. “These new cranes are vital to our success and growth here at Port NOLA,” said President and CEO Brandy D. Christian. “They will increase our efficiency so we can accommodate larger and wider ships…

TOP Ships: New Time Charter With Oil Major

TOP Ships Inc. an international owner and operator of modern, fuel efficient "ECO" tanker vessels currently focusing on the transportation of petroleum products, has announced that it has entered into a time charter agreement with Shell Tankers Singapore Private Limited for its 50,000 dwt product/chemical tanker M/T Eco Palm Desert until September 2020. The time charter with Shell consists of a fixed amount per day plus a 50% profit share for earned rates over the fixed amount and replaces a pre-existing charter.

Image: Royal Vopak

Vopak Sells 3 Terminals First State Investments

Dutch oil and chemicals storage company Royal Vopak has agreed to sell three terminals - Algeciras, Amsterdam and Hamburg - to First State Investments for 723 million euros ($812 million)."This divestment follows the strategic review of these terminals as announced on 17 August 2018. The transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in the second half year of 2019. The combined operational capacity of the three terminals is 2,288,000 cbm…

Diamond S Shipping Taps Kilcullen as CFO

US-based tanker owner Diamond S Shipping Inc. said it has appointed Kevin M. Kilcullen as its new Chief Financial Officer.Kilcullen comes to Diamond S from Oslo-listed chemical and product tanker owner/operator Team Tankers International Ltd., where he served as CFO for three years. Prior to that, he was CFO at Principal Maritime LLC, a private equity backed owner of crude and chemical tankers.Diamond S Shipping Inc. expects to become an NYSE-listed company with the closing of its combination with the crude and product tanker business of Capital Product Partners L.P. later this month.

Charles Matar, CEO Agility Gas Technology

HEC tapped for Innovative Ship Design

Concept Development of Large Cryogenic Liquid Transport of High Value GasesHerbert Engineering was selected by Agility Gas Technology of Park Ridge NJ to develop a ship design concept that will capitalize on Agility’s novel, less expensive yet safer technology to build large atmospheric-pressure cryogenic-liquid chemical transport ships. Specific designs are under development for very large volume liquid ethylene, ethane and propylene transport.According to Charles Matar, CEO of Agility…

The Houston Ship Channel and Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K

Houston Ship Channel Reopened

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday reopened portions of the Houston Ship Channel with restrictions on waterways affected by the petrochemical leak outside Houston that has disrupted ship traffic.The busiest U.S. oil port, shut last Friday after a chemical leak into the water, led Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries to cut production on Monday, according to people familiar with their operations.In a midday announcement, the Coast Guard said it is allowing daytime transits only through the ship channel…

TX Refineries Cut Output as Spill Curbs Shipping

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries cut production on Monday at their Houston-area oil refineries because of shipping disruptions along a waterway affected by a petrochemical fire and spill, according to people familiar with the matter.A fire and fuel leak at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) storage facility in Deer Park, Texas, last week sent gasoline, water and fire suppressant foam into the Houston Ship Channel, which connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico, and is home to nine oil refineries.The U.S.

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill)

Trafigura Sends More Asian Gasoline to Americas

Commodity trader Trafigura is shipping this month a second newly built crude tanker with Asian gasoline onboard to South America amid strong demand in the West, four industry sources who closely monitor petrol trade flows said on Thursday.Although it is not uncommon for traders to use a brand new crude tanker of 150,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) to ship clean fuels such as diesel, it is rare to use them for gasoline because of the sheer size."South America likely needs gasoline more than gasoil now.

Martijn Bergink (Photo: Framo)

Bergink takes over as Framo CEO

Sameer Kalra has passed the helm of pumping system manufacturer Framo over to new CEO Martijn Bergink.Bergink will be based in Bergen, Norway. Formerly President of Business Unit Boiler and Gas System at Alfa Laval, he has held various positions within Alfa Laval since 1998. Educated as a chemical engineer, Bergink holds an McS degree in Chemistry.Kalra, the former Framo CEO moves across to parent company Alfa Laval as the new head of the Alfa Laval Marine Division and a member of the Alfa Laval Group Management.