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Friday, January 24, 2020

Mediterranean News

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Israel Approves Privatization of Haifa Port

Israel gave final approval for the privatization of Haifa port, one of its main seaports, in an effort to improve competition in an industry that has been plagued for years by high costs and labor disputes, the port said on Tuesday.The green light by a ministerial privatization panel to sell the Mediterranean port in northern Israel came after the state reached an agreement with the main workers' union, which had initially opposed the plan.

Image: Kalmar

Kalmar Delivers MCT 200th Straddle Carrier

Kalmar, a provider of cargo-handling solutions and services to ports and terminals, and Italy's Medcenter Container Terminal (MCT), are celebrating the delivery of the terminal's 200th straddle carrier.Both companies participated in a joint event on 15 January in recognition of their long-standing partnership.Located in the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro, MCT is a megaport able to handle the largest vessels deployed on Asia-Mediterranean routes. The terminal has handled more than 50 million TEUs since it opened in September 1995.Antonio Davide Testi…

Photo: Konecranes

Konecranes Refurbishing Port Cranes in Taranto

Setting out to create a new Mediterranean shipping hub at Taranto Port, Yilport Holding in December chose Konecranes to refurbish 23 cranes.The Turkish company won a 49-year concession from Italian authorities in 2019 to operate Taranto, located in the southeastern part of the country, and plans to use the port’s central location to create a Mediterranean hub.Konecranes said its contract includes the recommissioning of seven ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and 16 rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes that are currently inactive.

Ethan Edson of Ocean Diagnostics demonstrates some of his microplastic sensors. Credit: Ocean Diagnostics.

SMTP Helps to Power Future Ocean Tech

On an unseasonably warm October day in San Francisco, hundreds gather in the Dogpatch district to hear about the latest innovations in ocean conservation and science. Bubble barriers to trap plastic in river mouths and portable DNA scanners preventing illegal wildlife trafficking are just a few of the ground-breaking tools and technologies that are transitioning from dream to reality. And the unifying factor amongst these groups is support from Schmidt Marine Technology Partners (SMTP).SMTP is a relatively new program of the Schmidt Family Foundation…

(Photo: Dachser)

Can the New Silk Road Compete with the Maritime Silk Road?

China’s president Xi Jinping refers the Belt and Road Initiative, aka the New Silk Road, as the “Project of the Century” and according to a recent Bloomberg article, Morgan Stanley anticipates Chinese investments will total $1.3 trillion by 2027. In addition, more than 150 countries and international organizations have committed to invest in the project as well with infrastructure enhancements, such as roadways and power plants. But will this New Silk Road ever really compete with the firmly established Maritime Silk Road?Bernhard Simon…

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Egypt Reopens Mediterranean Ports

Egypt on Thursday reopened two Mediterranean harbors that were shut this week due to bad weather.The ports of Alexandria and Dekheila were opened "after wind speed, wave height and visibility reached levels that permit ships to enter and depart the ports," a spokesman for Alexandria said.Egypt closed the ports on Monday after a dust storm and high winds.The two ports were shut last Friday for the same reason and reopened on Saturday.(Reporting by Ahmed Salem in Alexandria, writing by Patrick Werr; editing by Jason Neely)

© Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock

Egypt Reopens Two Mediterranean Ports

Egypt on Saturday reopened the harbors of two of its Mediterranean ports, Alexandria and Dekheila, which had been shut due to bad weather, the Alexandria Port Authority said.The harbors were shut on Friday due to high waves and wind speeds, preventing ships from entering or leaving the ports, though loading and unloading within the ports was continuing normally, the authority said in a statement.The port authorities on Saturday ordered moored ships to enter the harbors according to their mooring order, it added.(Reporting by Ahmed Salem in Alexandria, writing by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Toby

Image: Costa Cruises

Costa Smeralda Floated Out

Italian cruise line Costa Cruises said that Costa Smeralda is the first ship in the Costa fleet to be fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). "This is a step change for the cruise industry as a whole, guaranteeing a substantially reduced environmental impact," it said."Costa Smeralda is the first ship in the Costa fleet to be powered both in port and at sea by LNG, meaning improved air quality and protecting the environment with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95-100% reduction).

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

U.S.-Europe Tanker Rates at Record Highs

Rates for Aframax-class crude oil tankers leaving the U.S. Gulf Coast hit a record this week, according to three shipbrokers, reflecting strong demand in Europe and the Mediterranean for low-sulfur crude.Equinor ASA and Unipec, the trading arm of China's top refiner Sinopec, provisionally chartered Aframax tankers Everest Spirit and Nordorchid, respectively, this week at rates of 245 worldscale points, according to one broker and Refinitiv Eikon data. Both vessels are headed to Europe.The worldscale rate translates to about $60…

Photo: Maersk

MSC Re-Routes Cargos Due to French Strikes

Swiss headquartered container shipping company MSC said on Friday it was implementing contingency plans to re-route container ships away from French ports when necessary due to strikes in the country."MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is closely monitoring the situation in France where industrial action by labour unions is impacting maritime ports and overland transportation networks around the country," an MSC spokesman said.MSC said it would resume normal services to France as soon as possible. (Reporting by Jonathan Saul and Gus Trompiz; Writing by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by David Clarke)

File image of a modern RO/RO vessel underway. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kalyakan

Toyota to Build Port Said Egypt RORO Terminal

A consortium led by Toyota Tsusho Corp, a unit of Japan's Toyota Group, signed a contract on Thursday to set up and operate a roll-on, roll-off vehicle terminal at East Port Said in Egypt, the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) said.The consortium, which also includes Bollore Africa Logistics and Nippon Yusen Kaisha, will develop and operate a 600-metre quay and a new 21.2-hectare terminal for the import, export and transshipment of vehicles, an SCZone statement said.It will invest $150 million in equipment and infrastructure to enable the terminal to handle 800,000 vehicles a year, plus an ann

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Russia to Invest $500 mln in Syrian Port

Russia plans to invest $500 million in the Syrian port of Tartus and build a grain hub there to boost its presence on Middle East markets, Interfax news agency cited Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov as saying on Tuesday.Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, has stepped up grain supplies to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in recent years since Moscow's 2015 military intervention on his behalf in Syria's civil war.Construction of the necessary infrastructure at the port…

Image: APM Terminals

Vado Gateway Container Terminal Opened

The international container terminal operating company APM Terminals (APMT) said it has opened a new container terminal in Vado Ligure, on the Italian Riviera, which will be capable of handling 900,000 TEUs of containerized cargo.APMT has a 50.1% share in the “Vado Gateway,” while Cosco Shipping Ports has a 40% share and Qingdao Port International has a 9.9% share. APMT said the project is part of the “New Silk Road.” Chinese firms have invested in more than a dozen European ports…

Photo: Corsica Linea

Corsica Linea Partners with Moment

After a trial period, Corsica Linea has deployed Moment’s technology on all its fleet. The new service was implemented this last October.Moment has been selected by Corsica Linea, a major private French maritime company transporting passengers and goods, to deploy an onboard entertainment solution. This enables Corsica Linea to upgrade its service on the Mediterranean routes by providing reliable digital platform to passengers, accessible from their own mobile devices.Connected to the dedicated ship’s server with their personal devices (smartphones…

Photo courtesy of Valletta Cruise Port

Valletta Cruise Port Sets Record

Valletta Cruise Port has welcomed a record 900,000 cruise passenger movements.A lucky recipient, who arrived in the Port of Valletta aboard the MSC Grandiosa, was the designated 900,000th passenger and given the opportunity to return to Malta in the near future with a 2-day break in Malta inclusive of flights for two persons, courtesy of the Malta Tourism Authority.Valletta Cruise Port is strategically located in the central Mediterranean, and anticipating closing the year 2019 with record passenger movements of approximately 906,000 passenger movements aboard 373 calls.

Image: MSC

MSC Uses 30% Biofuel Bunker Blend

Swiss-Italian international shipping line MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) announced that its vessels bunkering in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, will now bunker biofuel blends on a routine basis - the first  major shipping line to do so.Following successful trials with biofuel blends earlier this year, MSC has decided to continue bunkering responsibly sourced biofuel blends on a routine basis.The trials were completed with a minimal 10% blend fuel and following further trials…

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CMA CGM and Total to Develop LNG Ship Refueling in Marseille

Container shipping firm CMA CGM will use the French Mediterranean port of Marseille for refueling some of its planned gas-powered vessels, backed by a supply partnership with energy group Total.Total will supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a refueling barge to enable CMA CGM to refuel LNG-powered vessels at the Marseille-Fos hub starting in 2021, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.The initiative covers five vessels with a capacity of 15,000 twenty-foot equivalent…

Jesper Kristensen. Image courtesy: Unifeeder A/S

Unifeeder Acquires Feedertech

Denmark’s Short-sea operator Unifeeder , part of the global port operator DP World, has acquired a 77% stake in The Feedertech Group, a Singapore-based feeder and shortsea operator.The Group’s Chairman, Ali Maghami, will retain the remaining 23% shareholding.Established in 2003, the Group operates two companies; Feedertech, which is a feedering service and Perma, a regional shortsea network. Both operate in the same market and connect the fast-growing trade route of Asia-Middle…

Photo: CMA CGM

CMA CGM Initiates Global Energy Coalition

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM Group recommended that French President Emmanuel Macron initiate an international coalition for the energy transition of the transportation sector whose priority will be to develop a more competitive and less carbon-intensive energy source.Rodolphe Saadé stressed the need to improve the cooperation of all those working on near-term solutions to replace fossil fuels in the transportation and logistics sectors.The French President accepted to actively support this initiative…

Image: Stena Line

Stena Estrid Begins 10K Mile Journey from China Shipyard

European ferry operator Stena Line announced that its newest ferry Stena Estrid has departed the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in north-western China, bound for its new home on the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland.Manned by a much-reduced crew of 27, with no passengers on board, the ship will travel on a journey of well over 10,000 miles, taking just over one month and making a number of stops on the way.Stena Estrid is the first of five next generation Stena Line RoPax vessels to…

Image: AIDA Cruises

AIDAmira Christened

American/British-owned German cruise line AIDA Cruises announced that model and TV host Franziska Knuppe christened  AIDAmira in Palma de Mallorca.AIDAmira is the fourth ship in the AIDA Selection program, sailing longer itineraries to exotic locales, similar to her function for Costa.After a debut cruise in the Mediterranean until December 4, 2019,  the cruise line will take the new Selection ship to Sète in the south of France, the Catalan metropolis of Barcelona, and back to…

L to R: Sergio Delatorre (Agency Coordinator), Manuel Tirado (CEO & Captain of the Port of Gibraltar), Herman Jorgensen (MD, GAC UK), John Ghio (Deputy Captain of the Port) and Ivo Verheyen (GAC Group VP, Europe). (Photo: GAC)

GAC Opens in Gibraltar

The GAC Group has opened an office in Gibraltar.Strategically located at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, the port of Gibraltar serves as the primary supply point for passing ships. According to the Gibraltar Port Authority, approximately 60,000 vessels transit the Strait of Gibraltar every year, with nearly 240 million gross tonnes of vessel calls in 2018 alone.

Pic: ZIM Integrated Shipping Services

ZIM Back into Black

Israeli international cargo shipping company ZIM Integrated Shipping Services continued to record improvements and to expand its global network to its customers confronting  challenging business environment.ZIM has reported a net profit of USD 5 million for the third quarter of 2019, after returning to black in the second quarter of the year. (Compared: Net loss of $6.6 million in Q3 2018).Eli Glickman, ZIM President & CEO, said: “In spite of the challenging market conditions, ZIM continued to record improved results in Q3, as it did throughout 2019.

Photo courtesy of MacArtney

MacArtney Expands Into Italian Market

MacArtney Underwater Technology is ready to launch its newest operation, MacArtney Italy, supporting local Italian customers with the global MacArtney brand.A long-standing cornerstone of the MacArtney strategy is to continually strengthen global reach and customer support through a strategic local presence in key markets. With a renewed focus on expanding their global footprint, MacArtney Underwater Technology will be offering their system solution technology and expertise to the Italian underwater technology markets…

Image ©Piraeus

$154.5Mln EIB backing for Greek Port

The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Monday formally agreed to provide 140 million euros (USD $154.5 million) to support expansion and upgrading of Piraeus Port, Greece's main port.The largest ever loan for port investment in the country by Europe’s long-term lending institution, will support the implementation of part of investments at the Port of Piraeus in a total investment plan of more than EUR 600 million. The 20-year loan was signed in Athens in the presence of Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis…

Pic: Port of Marseille Fos

Marseille Port Completes Blockchain Trial

The Port of Marseille Fos (Grand Port Maritime de Marseille; GPMM) has just completed a blockchain pilot scheme to enhanced efficiencies at France’s largest seaport.The focus of the project for freight transportation on the  Mediterranean-Rhone-Saone (MeRS) corridor is to run a trial to evaluate the security of the digital transport chain. It will involve applying blockchain technology to supply chain logistics and freight forwarding, particularly where goods are transported in…