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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Houston Ship Channel News

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Energy Transfer: VLCC Offshore Port to be Ready Early 2023

Energy Transfer LP said on Thursday discussions with potential shippers to build an offshore crude export facility in Texas capable of handling supertankers were progressing on schedule, with the project expected to be in service by late 2022 or early 2023.The company has also made advances on the regulatory and permitting process for the project, Marshall McCrea, Energy Transfer's chief commercial officer, said on the company's quarterly earnings call.Plans call for the facility to be connected to Energy Transfer's Nederland…

Niels Aalund, President, International Propeller Club

Aalund Named International Propeller Club's President

Niels Aalund was elected at the 93rd International Convention and Conference in New Orleans on October 17th.New Orleans, LA: Prominent maritime industry stakeholder Niels Aalund has been elected President of the International Propeller Club. Mr. Aalund will serve a two-year term, commencing from October 17th. Aalund, a well-known maritime subject matter expert and executive, currently serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice-President of the West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA).

Image: Kinder Morgan

Kinder Morgan Invest $170Mln in Houston Ship Channel

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan (KMI) plans to invest $170 million in various expansion projects along the Houston Ship Channel.The investment will increase efficiency, add product liquidity, and enhance blending capabilities at its Pasadena and Galena Park terminals, part of its best-in-class refined products storage hub on the Houston Ship Channel, said the energy infrastructure company in North America.In response to growing customer demand, KMI’s liquids terminal platform now boasts 10 ship docks…

Pic: Port Houston

Port Houston Box Volume Up 12%

Container volume at Port Houston surged in the first half of 2019, rising 12 percent compared to that period last year. According to the Executive Director Roger Guenther the port facilities have handled nearly 1.5 Million TEU through the first half of 2019.The Houston ship channel also said in a press release that , the Port Commission awarded a contract not to exceed $39.7 million to Archer Western Construction, the top-ranked proposer among four finalists. A total of 53 companies…

An aerial view of the houston Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Fire Erupts at Exxon's Baytown complex; 37 Hurt

Exxon Mobil Corp said it was fighting a fire that erupted on Wednesday at its Baytown, Texas, refining and chemical plant complex injuring 37 people and sending nearby residents indoors.As many as 37 people were being treated for non-life threatening injuries amid efforts to put out the fire, according to Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin. Available air monitoring information showed "no adverse impact at this time," she said.More than three dozen people were treated for minor burns, none requiring hospitalization, said plant manager Jason Duncan in an afternoon media briefing.

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.

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…

Houston Ship Channel Reopens to Two-Way Traffic

The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Wednesday to two-way traffic after salvage crews removed two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel, officials said.About 11,280 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, after a 755-foot (230-metre) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges was completed by midday on Wednesday and two-way traffic resumed…

AdobeStock / © Irina K

Houston Ship Channel Bottleneck Finally Eases

A bottleneck of inbound traffic on the Houston Ship Channel eased on Tuesday though one-way travel restrictions remained following a weekend collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge, officials said on Tuesday.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-meter) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.West Texas Intermediate crude at the Magellan East Houston (MEH) terminal on the ship channel traded at an $8.10 a barrel premium to U.S.

A file image of a typical Kirby pushboat and barge. CREDIT: Kirby Corporation

Houston Port Restrictions Could Last All Week

The Houston Ship Channel could remain under one-way travel restrictions all week following a collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway, according to an official.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized.The U.S. Coast Guard limited travel to one-way traffic because barges blocked part of the channel.

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…

Image: Port of Houston Authority

Houston Widens Ship Channel

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has decided to accelerate widening of the Houston Ship Channel, the nation’s busiest waterway.The Port Authority is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other representatives of the federal government, as well as Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel stakeholders, to obtain authorization and accelerated funding and completion, of a deepened and widened ship channel.“The Houston Ship Channel is open for business for all and will continue to be…

The sprawling Houston area refining complex adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Tanker Bottleneck Eases for Port of Houston

Four tankers on Thursday were preparing to offload or pick up cargoes in the busiest U.S. oil port, the first signs of an easing of the bottleneck that cut 1 million barrels per day of shipments, according to vessel tracking data.The Houston Ship Channel reopened this week with operating restrictions following a fire at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas. That blaze sent fuel and chemicals into the waterway, which connects Houston to the…

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.

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.

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…

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…

File Image: The port of HoustonRefining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Houston Tank Fire Spreads to More Tanks

A storage tank fire on the Houston Ship Channel on Sunday has spread to seven petrochemical storage tanks, forcing residents in the suburb of Deer Park, Texas, to stay indoors on Monday, but no evacuations or injuries were reported.The fire, which sent a plume of black smoke across the city's eastern half and was visible from 10 miles (16 km) away , began in a giant storage tank containing naphtha, a volatile component of gasoline, at about 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT) on Sunday.By evening…

(File photo: Port of Houston)

Chevron Eyes Houston Ship Channel for 2nd US Gulf Refinery

Chevron Corp wants to build or buy a refinery along the U.S. Gulf Coast to process crude oil from its rapidly growing Permian Basin operations, a senior executive said on Tuesday.The company would like to have refining operations on the Houston Ship Channel, in the western part of the U.S. Gulf, to complement an existing eastern Gulf refinery in Mississippi that makes lubricants and other materials, Pierre Breber, Chevron's head of downstream and chemicals, said."Something on the ship channel side could make a lot of sense for our company…

The Houston industrial refining complex (File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Proposed Rate Hikes for Houston Ship Pilots Under Fire

No less than 15 shipping companies, many of them top 10 liner companies, have written to Port of Houston Chairman Janice Longoria to reject the latest call for substantial rate hikes on the Houston Ship Channel. Local pilots already earn salaries that approach $500,000 annually.Like any other major U.S. port, registered foreign flag vessels must use a local state pilot on the Houston Ship Channel. According to local shipping stakeholders, the rates for those mandated services have spiraled more than 50% in the past 14 years alone.The rate increase proposal…

Photo: Intermarine

Intermarine Transfers Industrial Terminals to Watco

Intermarine, LLC, a global leader in the transport of project, breakbulk and heavylift cargo, and its affiliates, Industrial Maritime Carriers, LLC (IMC), and affiliate Industrial Terminals, Management, LLC, have transferred the leasehold ownership of their terminal assets to Watco Companies, LLC. The parties have entered into a long-term agreement for continued and future use of the Industrial Terminals facility. Industrial Terminals is directly adjacent to Watco’s Greens Port terminal on the Houston Ship Channel.

Courtesy Port of Houston Authority

Port Houston Reports Strong Q1 2018

Year-to-date total tonnage for Port Houston through March is at 9.7 million, reflecting a 2 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Results showed that bulk material and steel were the primary drivers for the growth. “We continue to see positive activity for all sectors of business through Port Houston facilities,” Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther said Monday to the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority during the April meeting. Cargo showed year-to-date increases across all major lines.

Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen. Photo: Stolt-Nielsen

Chemical Tankers Face Challenging Year: Stolt-Nielsen

Chemical tankers are sailing into another challenging year, according to the London based chemical carrier, tank container and terminals group Stolt-Nielsen's Chief Executive Officer, Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen. "Our outlook for the first half of 2018 remains essentially unchanged. We do not anticipate any substantial improvement in the chemical tanker market until 2019 when the orderbook reduces and the supply/demand balance improves," he said. Niels added: "For Stolthaven Terminals…

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Maritime Pilots Recognized with IMO Bravery Accolade

Two maritime pilots who defied fire to bring a burning ship to safety, averting a major maritime catastrophe, received the 2017 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea during the 2017 IMO awards ceremony, held on Monday (27 November). Pilots Captain Michael G. McGee and Captain Michael C. Phillips, from Houston, United States, were recognized for their role in averting a major tragedy in September 2016. The ship they were piloting, the 247 meters-long tanker Aframax River, broke…

Captain Arbogast, Houston Pilots, maneuvering a Z-Drive tug at MSRC (Photo: Pascal Rhéaume)

Houston Pilots Train for Post-Panamax Vessels

Members of the Houston Pilots recently participated in two custom-built simulation courses vital to their Pilotage duties in the Houston Ship Channel and the Port of Houston, the largest landlocked Port in America. Each course was two days long, and was provided by the Maritime Simulation Resource Center (MSRC), at their Quebec City, Canada-based facility. The Houston Pilots face a multitude of factors when piloting ships in their waterways, including weather and wind, particularly with large ships, a very small turning basin, as well as intricate 24/7 traffic management.

Photo: Intermarine

Industrial Terminals Activated as FTZ

Intermarine, LLC siad it has obtained activation for Industrial Terminals (Houston) as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) under Foreign Trade Zone Board (FTZB) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations. The entirety of Industrial Terminals’ 92 acres has been approved for FTZ activity, of which part is already active and ready to receive cargo. Industrial Terminals, the busiest project cargo port in the United States is located adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel and functions as Intermarine’s primary load and staging center for cargo and projects.