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Saturday, February 29, 2020

European Union News

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LNG Bunkering Operations Triple in Spain in 2019

Ship operators carried out 195 liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operations at Spanish ports in 2019, 135 more than in the previous year, Spanish authorities said on Friday.81,704 cubic metres of LNG was supplied to ships during the year.The upward trend continued in January 2020, with 35 operations supplying 12,055 cubic metres.Spain has seven LNG terminals, more than any other country in Europe. The terminals have been or are being adapted to allow them to provide small…

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US Trade Deficit Narrows for First Time in Six Years

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, keeping the economy on a moderate growth path despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak business investment.The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods last year, with exports posting their first decline since 2016. President Donald Trump, who has dubbed himself “the tariff man…

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Capesize Index Turns Negative for the First Time Ever

Capesize index plummets to -133, the first time ever in negative territory – is it all up from here?The Baltic Exchange Capesize Index (BCI) dropped to -133 index points on February 4, 2020, turning negative for the first time ever on January 31, 2020. The composite BDI index (BDI), which has excluded the more stable handysize segment since March 2018, also dropped on February 4, 2020 to settle at 453 index points.The BCI has been on a freefall through the entirety of December, but the descent started to pick up more steam during the past couple of weeks.

Image: Fueltrax

Fueltrax Earns Certification by Verifavia

Verifavia Shipping, the independent accredited environmental verification and auditing body for maritime industry, has certified Fueltrax, against the European Union’s (EU) Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation requirements and IMO Data Collection System (DCS).The EU MRV regulation requires ships of 5,000 gross tonnages or higher to collect data from previous years to monitor CO2 emissions, fuel consumption, and other parameters, such as distance traveled, time at sea, and cargo carried on a per voyage basis.

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Trump to Discuss Traded Deal with EU's Von der Leyen

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he was going to discuss a trade deal with the European Union (EU) in a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.Speaking ahead of a meeting with von der Leyen on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump said: "Hopefully, we'll get something done."He earlier told delegates that trade deals struck this month with China and Mexico represented a model for the 21st Century.(Editing by Alexander Smith)

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Maersk Chief Warns EU Antitrust Policy Benefits China, US

Strict EU enforcement of competition rules prevents the development of the global champions necessary to compete with Chinese and U.S. companies, the head of shipping company Maersk warned in an interview."Is it really a good idea that we don't allow the creation of a European global champion? In doing so, we risk being outperformed by a Chinese company, over which the European Union has no influence," Maersk CEO Soren Skou told Danish business daily Finans.A Maersk spokeswoman confirmed his comments to Reuters.Skou is a member of the European Round Table for Industry (ERT)…

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YIT Eesti to Build Tallinn Cruise Terminal

Estonian port authority Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam) has signed an agreement with compatriot construction company YIT Eesti AS for the construction of new cruise terminal in Tallinn Old City Harbour.The value of the contract is EUR 13.7 million. New cruise terminal will be completed in July 2021.The contract includes a 3-storey terminal building with a net area around 4000 m2, pedestrian promenade area at the pier, children’s playground and parking spaces.The multifunctional…

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Georgia Scraps Deal on Major Port Project

Georgia has ended an investment agreement with an international consortium for one of the biggest projects in the former Soviet country, the construction of a major deep sea port on the Black Sea coast, its infrastructure minister said on Thursday.The nine-phase project to improve access to Central Asia and the Middle East had received support from Georgia's strategic partner, the United States, as well as the European Union, which had labelled the planned port at Anaklia a priority project."The government discussed this issue and decided that further postponement does not make sense…

Calais VTS (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Wärtsilä's VTS for Two French Ports

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply its Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) solution to two of France’s leading ports, Calais and Boulogne. The Wärtsilä VTS will effectively manage vessel traffic in these busy harbors to deliver greater operational efficiency and safety. The order with Wärtsilä was placed in October 2019 by Région Hauts-de-France, the government entity responsible for this tender.The system optimizes planning and traffic monitoring to reduce waiting time for vessels and allow just-in-time pilotage.

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Stocks Nearing Record Highs on Trade Hopes

World shares made another push for an all-time high on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington and Beijing were in the final throes of inking an initial trade deal.European trading was restrained, with MSCI's all-country world index now within 0.4%, or 2 points, of its record high from January 2018.London, Frankfurt, Paris and Wall Street futures all rose, and though Shanghai had struggled after Chinese industrial company profits shrank, Australia had set its…

Photo: Port of Baku

Baku Port Signs Major Asia-Europe Freight MoU

The Port of Baku,  Austrian ÖBB Rail Cargo Group and Cabooter Group (NL) signed an agreement to strengthen and expand the freight traffic from Europe to Central Asia and China via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (Middle Corridor). The Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology of Austria, Mr. Andreas Reichhardt, and Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Austria, Mr. Galib Israfilov were also present at the signing ceremony.The parties have decided…

Romania Tries to Free Trapped Sheep on Capsized Ship

Port authorities tried to right a capsized ship on Monday to rescue thousands of sheep trapped below deck in the Black Sea off Romania.The Palau-registered Queen Hind flipped onto its side shortly after leaving Romania's Midia port en route to Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Its crew, most of them Syrians, were rescued."There are hopes to rescue many sheep, as they are trapped under the deck in air pockets," an officer from Romania's naval authority said, speaking on condition of anonymity."But operations to lighten the ship and refloat it are very difficult and may last several days…

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Swiss Chide EU Over Steel Import Curbs

Switzerland criticized on Thursday measures the European Union has adopted to curb steel imports amid a global trade spat, saying they harmed the Swiss steel industry.The European Commission last month revised safeguard measures introduced in July 2018 and decided to reduce the annual increase in quota volumes, the government said in a summary of talks on the status of a bilateral free trade deal. "These changes threaten to further restrict bilateral steel trade between Switzerland and the EU and harm the Swiss steel industry…

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DHL Intros Fastest China-Germany Intermodal

DHL Global Forwarding, the ocean freight specialist of Deutsche Post DHL Group, is introducing the fastest rail freight connection between China and Germany in response to growing demand for rail freight services between Europe and Asia.The new rail service, operating between Xi’an in China and Hamburg and Neuss in Germany, has been set up in cooperation with Xi’an International Inland Port Investment & Development Group Co. Ltd. and is cutting transit time from 17 days to between…

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Hyundai Seeks EU's Ok to Acquire Daewoo

South Korea’s leading shipbuilding conglomerate Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group has submitted an application to the European Union for approval for its takeover of the compatriot shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).According a Yonhap report,  HHI informed that the submission will be reviewed by anti-trust authorities at the European Commission, expecting the results of their call in 2020.Hyundai Heavy has been taking prerequisite steps since April to apply for the EU’s mergers and acquisitions approval.In March…

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EU Invests in Border Security, Coast Guard

The European Union Council officially adopted the Commission's proposal to reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard, an agency that will acquire its own equipment, such as vessels, planes and vehicles, a will have a standing corps of 10,000 border guards. The move was announced to respond to the challenges facing Europe in managing migration and its external borders.“Today the European Union has achieved an ambitious task of transforming the EU border agency, Frontex, into a fully-fledged European Border and Coast Guard.

Image: Jan De Nul

Jan De Nul Opts for 100% Renewable Fuels

Luxembourg-based maritime construction engineering company Jan De Nul announced its decision to opt for 100% renewable fuels."Jan De Nul Group carries out dredging work in the Benelux with 100% renewable fuel. With this, the world player is further committing itself to immediately and considerably reducing its CO₂ emissions," said a release.Trailing suction hopper dredger Alexander von Humboldt will from now on sail on renewable biofuel from certified and sustainable waste streams.The choice of 100% renewable fuel is part of the ambitious CO₂ reduction objectives of the Jan De Nul Group.

Peel Ports sees Brexit Boost

Cargo shippers are diverting goods to more ports across Britain to ensure stable supply lines due to uncertainty over whether the UK will leave the European Union without an agreement, a top port executive said.Brexit has been delayed for a third time, until the end of January, and Britain is headed for a snap general election in December designed to break the impasse.The European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier this week said there was still a risk that Britain could exit the bloc chaotically with no divorce agreement.In the meantime…

Pic: Port of Rotterdam Authority

Rotterdam Port Halts No-deal Brexit Preps

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has again put its preparatory measures for a No-Deal Brexit on hold following recommendations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The largest port in Europe, located in the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands, said in a press note attributed the reason to the agreement reached yesterday by member states of the European Union and the United Kingdom on a Brexit extension until 31 January 2020."In concrete terms, this means that, effective from today, the buffer parking locations for trucks will again be dismantled.

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EU to Launch Ocean Tracker

The European Union (EU) is set to launch a new interactive map, dubbed The Ocean Tracker, to follow the commitments, made by governments, businesses and NGOs, worth more than €10 billion ($11.13bn) so far.EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for Environment, Maritime affairs and Fisheries said: "With the delivery of The Ocean Tracker, the EU demonstrates its leadership in ocean sustainability”.The Ocean tracker, itself a commitment made in 2017, when the EU hosted the Our Ocean in Malta…

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Blue Fund to Combat Ship Pollution

A proposed “Blue Fund” to help combat illicit ship pollution in the Mediterranean is set to be studied by States and stakeholders working to protect the Mediterranean marine environment.According to a press note from  International Maritime Organization (IMO), this was agreed at a meeting of the regional network for law enforcement officials of the Mediterranean, known as Mediterranean Network of Law Enforcement Officials relating to MARPOL within the framework of the Barcelona Convention (MENELAS) - organized by REMPEC…

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EU/IMO Global Project Drives Energy Efficiency

The GMN global network of maritime technology cooperation centers has completed numerous pilot projects over the past three years, helping to drive forward the changes which are required to reduce GHG emissions from shipping. A global network of maritime technology cooperation centers has completed an impressive array of pilot projects over the past three years, helping to drive forward the changes which are required to reduce GHG emissions from shipping.Five regional Maritime…

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Europe Hosts Green Inland Shipping Event

Green inland shipping event on 16 October 2019 showed the most innovative solutions in inland navigation at the CO2 neutral port of Brussels.Brussels Minister for climate transition, environment, energy and participative democracy, Alain Maron, emphasized the important environmental benefits of inland shipping to reach global and European emission goals.Five innovative vessels called at the port of Brussels to show technological solutions to cut CO2 and air emissions to a minimum to European decision makers and stakeholders.

The port of rotterdam (CREDIT: PoR / Freek van Arkel)

UK-bound Trucks at Risk after Brexit - DTA

Almost a third of companies who ship goods to Britain through the Netherlands have failed to complete the necessary paperwork for their trucks to embark on ferries after Brexit, the Dutch transport association TLN said on Wednesday."The registration is absolutely necessary, without it trucks will be sent away at terminals after Brexit," TLN spokesman Elmer de Bruin said.The Netherlands is home to Europe's largest seaport in Rotterdam, making it a major hub for trade with Britain.To keep the traffic across the North Sea flowing after Brexit…

Pic: Port of Rotterdam Authority

Dutch Ports Preps for a Possible No-deal Brexit

All partners including Customs, the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Port of Amsterdam Authority, PortBase and the involved municipalities are working hard on preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019.The aim of the coordinated action is to minimize any delays resulting from additional customs formalities at Rotterdam en Vlaardingen ferry terminals, said a press release from the Port of Rotterdam Authority.So-called traffic circulation plans have been designed…

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France's Cannes to Ban Polluting Cruise Ships

Mediterranean resort town Cannes, France's fourth-biggest cruise ship port, will ban the most polluting cruise ships from next year in a bid to boost air quality in the city.The ban will target ships that do not respect a 0.1% cap on sulphur in their fuel and could stop some passengers from disembarking in the city famous for its film festival."It's not about being against cruise ships. It's about being against pollution," Cannes Mayor David Lisnard told Reuters Television in an interview.Under the European Union's clean air policy…