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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Middle East News

(Photo: BlackSky)

The Suez Canal: A Vital Transit Route With an Ancient History

The Suez Canal, blocked by a giant container ship that ran aground on Tuesday, is the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe and about 15% of global shipping traffic moves through it.The 193-km (120-mile) waterway, run by the state-owned Suez Canal Authority, is a vital source of foreign currency for Egypt.How much oil goes through the canal?Of the 39.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil imported by seaborne methods in 2020, 1.74 million bpd went through the Suez Canal…

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Ship Blocking Suez Canal Could Be Stuck for Weeks

A containership blocking the Suez Canal like a "beached whale" may take weeks to free, the salvage company said, as officials stopped all ships entering the channel on Thursday in a new setback for global trade.The 400-meter Ever Given, almost as long as the Empire State Building is high, is blocking transit in both directions through one of the world's busiest shipping channels for oil and grain and other trade linking Asia and Europe.The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said eight tugs were working to move the vessel…

(Photo: NileDutch)

Hapag-Lloyd Acquires NileDutch

German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd announced Wednesday it has reached a deal to acquire NileDutch, based in the Netherlands, strengthening Hapag-Lloyd's position in the African market.The sale and purchase agreement will see Hapag-Lloyd acquire all shares of  Nile Dutch Investments B.V., subject to the approval of antitrust authorities.Rotterdam-headquartered NileDutch is among leading providers of container services from and to West Africa. The company currently offers 10 liner services…

Mark Darley (Photo: LR)

LR Announces Maritime Executive Leadership Appointments

Among his first key appointments since taking the helm of Lloyd’s Register (LR) in January, Chief Executive Nick Brown has named three new members of LR’s executive leadership team: Mark Darley as Business Director, Marine and Offshore, Andy McKeran as Business Director, Maritime Performance Services and Philippa Charlton as Chief Marketing Officer.“LR recognizes that maritime stakeholders must rise to the demands of changing technology and the drive to decarbonize our industry.

One of a total of more than 1.6 million Hapag-Lloyd containers (TEU). Image courtesy Hapag-Lloyd

Container Shipping Looks Strong in 2021 - BIMCO

In the full year of 2020, global container shipping volumes fell by 1.2% compared with 2019, much less than feared even before the pandemic was first declared, and much recovered compared with the 6.8% drop recorded in the first six months of the year. Volumes in the second half of the year were up 4.2% from 2019. Much of this growth was concentrated on just a few trade lanes, with congestion and imbalances on these spilling out and causing disruption on other trades.BIMCO expects that 2021 will be even better for container shipping than 2020…

© ValentinValkov / Adobe Stock

Bulgaria Nabs Heroin Haul on Containership from Dubai

Bulgarian authorities have seized 401 kilograms of heroin hidden in containers on a ship that arrived at the Black Sea port of Varna from Dubai, the prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.Customs officers found the heroin divided among nearly 500 packages stashed inside bitumen roofing rolls from Iran, which arrived on February 7, prosecutors said in a statement.

Image of LNG-fueled PCTC to be built. Image courtesy NYK

Ship Tech: GHG Emission Reduction focus of NYK LNG-Fueled PCTC Newbuilds

NYK has concluded a shipbuilding contract with China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Nanjing) Co. Ltd. for four LNG-fueled PCTCs to be delivered from 2022 to 2023, intended to transport vehicles mainly to/from Europe and/or to the Middle East.The ships are designed with GHG emission reduction, and to that end they will be outfieed with WinGD’s X-DF2.0 iCER main engine, the first time they will be utilized in the world. According to NYK, the engine consumes less gas and reduces GHG by cutting methane emissions from exhaust gas by approximately 50%.

(Image: Fueltrax)

Fueltrax Announces Expansion in Asia

Maritime fuel management systems provider Fueltrax said it is expanding its representation in Asia in response to growing demand for its solutions in Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific regions. Joining the company is Faiz Azani, Director of Operations – Southeast Asia, and Chris Pemberton, Regional Representative – Asia PacificAzani joined the FUELTRAX team last month and brings 11 years of experience in the oil and gas, shipping, and marine industry, focusing on Southeast Asia, Europe, & the Middle East. He is a former marine expert to Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM) of PETRONAS.

Teresa Peacock (Photo: Spinnaker Global)

Teresa Peacock Joins Dryad Global as Non-executive Director

Maritime security risk management firm Dryad Global announced Tuesday it has appointed Teresa Peacock as its first non-executive director.Peacock is currently managing director at maritime staffing and recruitment firm Spinnaker Global and a member of the Maritime UK’s Diversity Taskforce, a board member of the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA UK) and a part of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women and Work. Her experience spans a career in recruitment of over 30 years…

Image courtesy Inmarsat

Inmarsat Milestones: 10k Ships with Fleet Express Installed, 'Fleet Data Academy' Launched

Ship data consumption is booming, and as digitalization and data trends increasingly drive the maritime world, Inmarsat celebrated a pair of milestones, hitting the 10,000 vessel mark on Fleet Xpress installations and launching its "Fleet Data Academy."Traffic DoublesAccording to Inmarsat, the growth in Fleet Xpress now includes the world’s leading container ship and tanker owners, such as MOL, K-Line and Hapag-Lloyd, offshore support giants like Bourbon, Tidewater and Maersk Supply, as well as growing numbers of yachts, passenger ships and fishing boats.

© R. Jeff Huth / Adobe Stock

US Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Iran

The United States on Friday sanctioned companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and on three Iranian entities over conventional arms proliferation.They are the latest in a series of measures aimed at stepping up pressure on Tehran in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration, which ends on January 20.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington had sanctioned seven companies, including Chinese-based Jiangyin Mascot Special Steel Co.

Photo courtesy Valenciaport

Asian Market, Fuel Prices Drive Freight Rates in Valenciaport

The Valencia Containerized Freight Index (VCFI) of December experienced a growth of 4.19% with respect to the previous month, confirming the trend of the last five months of the year of increased freight rates. The high demand for traffic with China and the rise in fuel prices have played a major role in this increase. Thus, the VCFI as a thermometer of the evolution of maritime transport prices is demonstrating the recovery of economic activity. Thus, freight rates end 2020 with a new all-time high of 1…

© twinsterphoto / Adobe Stock

US Hits Iran With Fresh Sanctions

The United States on Tuesday blacklisted a Chinese company that makes elements for steel production, 12 Iranian steel and metals makers and three foreign-based sales agents of a major Iranian metals and mining holding company, seeking to deprive Iran of revenues as U.S. President Donald Trump's term winds down.In a statement, the U.S. Treasury Department named the China-based company as Kaifeng Pingmei New Carbon Materials Technology Co Ltd.

Squire Patton Boggs continued the expansion of its commodities and shipping capabilities with the addition of partner Kate Sherrard into its Financial Services Practice.

Sherrard Enhances Squire Patton Boggs Commodities and Shipping Capabilities

Squire Patton Boggs continued the expansion of its commodities and shipping capabilities with the addition of partner Kate Sherrard into its Financial Services Practice. She joins the firm from Clifford Chance where she was Head of the Asia Pacific Maritime and Offshore Group and is accompanied by senior associate Bernice Chia.“When we launched our commodities and shipping group last year we set our sights on creating one of the premier practices in the market,” said Steve Mahon, global managing partner – clients and strategy.

© alexlmx / Adobe Stock

Iraq to Sign $2.625 Bln Port Contract with S.Korea's Daewoo

Iraq's government has agreed to sign a $2.625 billion contract with South Korea's Daewoo Engineering & Construction to build the first phase of a giant cargo port in the south of the country, a port manager said on Wednesday.The long-planned and repeatedly delayed Grand Faw port is one of several projects that Iraq hopes will create a shorter transportation corridor between the Middle East and Europe, bypassing the Suez Canal.Under the contract, expected to be signed on Sunday, Daewoo E&C will handle construction works that include building five berths to unload ships and a yard for containers

Inmarsat's Most Powerful Satellite Enters Service

Mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat confirmed commercial service introduction (CSI) of its newest, most powerful geostationary satellite to date. GX5 is the 14th satellite currently in service with Inmarsat and provides additional capacity to Europe and the Middle East on the Fleet Xpress (GX) Ka-band high-speed satellite broadband service designed for the maritime industry.The satellite, launched in November 2019, delivers approximately double the combined capacity of the entire existing GX fleet (GX1-GX4).

Simon Judson (Photo: Peters & May)

Peters & May Announces Senior Management Appointments

Following the announcement of Simon Judson’s appointment as Peters & May’s new CEO, the global marine transport and logistics provider has revealed further changes to its senior management team as part of internal structural changes within the company and the strengthening of its business operations in response to changing industry demands.Based at the company’s UK head office, Simon Judson will head up the new senior management team and oversee the company’s wide range of services…

Gary Hubbard, Chief Commercial Officer of Neutral Fuels and Lars Liebig, Managing Director of UED.

Deal Struck to Deliver Maritime Biofuel in Fujairah

Uniper Energy DMCC (UED) and Neutral Fuels will collaborate to provide maritime biofuel in Fujairah, UAE.The companies will blend UED’s VLSFO and Neutral Fuels biofuel, creating a maritime fuel that meets IMO standard under their ISO8217:2010 RMG380 specification, cutting emissions of carbon dioxide.“The collaboration is aimed to address climate protection, the predominant social issue in the world today," said Lars Liebig, Managing Director of UED. "UED’s mission is to help countries…

© momentscatcher / Adobe Stock

Global Crude Market Finds Support From China Demand

China, the global oil market's lifeline this year, has stepped up purchases from exporters like Russia, the United States and Angola in recent weeks, while buyers elsewhere pare orders as coronavirus infections surge and fresh lockdowns are put in place.China, the world's largest importer of crude, is the only major buyer expected to see increased oil demand this year as the pandemic destroyed consumption globally.With China's imports expected to reach 12 million barrels per day (bpd) next year…

© STOCKSTUDIO / Adobe Stock

Bunker Demand Returns to Pre-pandemic Levels

Asian refiners' profit from producing very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) climbed to six-month highs this week as output cuts keep supplies tight while demand for the shipping fuel at most ports are back at pre-pandemic levels, traders and analysts said.The trend is likely to stay for the rest of the year, encouraging Asian refiners to prioritize VLSFO production along with petrochemical feedstock naphtha, where demand has also firmed.The front-month VLSFO crack was at $9.43 per barrel above Dubai crude on Tuesday, its highest since April 10.

Mathieu Philippe, Commercial Director of Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore (Photo: Bureau Veritas)

Philippe Named Commercial Director of Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore

Mathieu Philippe has been appointed to the new position of Commercial Director – Marine at classification society Bureau Veritas. Returning to Paris, where he started his career in shipping, Philippe brings extensive experience in commercial ship operations, markets and management to Bureau Veritas. He reports to Marine & Offshore President Matthieu de Tugny, and leads the marine markets team, providing expertise and technology leadership across all major ship types, ship fuel and propulsion technology.With growing compliance requirements and demands for transparency…

René Kofod-Olsen (Photo: V.Group)

V.Group Names Kofod-Olsen as CEO

Ship management and marine support services giant V.Group said on Wednesday it has appointed René Kofod-Olsen as the company’s chief executive officer, taking over from Graham Westgarth who will become chairman. Kofod-Olsen will join V. Group on November 1.Kofod-Olsen brings to the role almost three decades of global shipping industry experience. In 2012 he was appointed CEO of Topaz Energy & Marine, a position he held until the company’s successful divestment in 2019. Earlier in his career he worked for the A.P.

The Royal Bahrain Naval Force coalition ship, RBNS Al Muharraq, operates in the Arabian Gulf during a sentry patrol as part of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC). The IMSC maintains the freedom of navigation, international law, and free flow of commerce to support regional stability and security of the maritime commons. (Royal Bahrain Naval Force Courtesy Photo).

On Watch: International Coalition Monitors, Protects Middle East Shipping Lanes

The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) was created July 2019 as a way to deter unprofessional behavior in the waters of the Middle East region through its operational arm, Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel.The IMSC comprises eight nations – Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States – who deploy personnel, ships and aircraft throughout the region as part of the international surveillance and detection effort.Since establishing CTF Sentinel…

Photo: West of England P&I Club

Hodgkinson to Lead West P&I Club’s Loss Prevention Department

West of England P&I Club said that Captain Simon Hodgkinson has been appointed as Global Head of the West’s Loss Prevention Department. He joins from Polarcus, where he was Head of Marine Operations and responsible for the performance of a fleet of ultra-modern seismic vessels. In addition to his work at Polarcus, Hodgkinson served on the DNV GL Technical Committee Middle East for six years and is a member of the Honorable Company of Master Mariners and the Nautical Institute.Hodgkinson will have global responsibility for leading the West’s Loss Prevention team of former Master Mariners…

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

Maersk to Ship Cargo Between UAE and Israel

Danish shipping giant Maersk said it will now transport ocean cargo between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, a further sign of business opening up after the two countries established full ties.Earlier this month Israel and the UAE signed an historic agreement to normalize relations, marking a big development in economic collaboration and ending a ban on trade between the Gulf Arab state and Israel.“We have opened up cargo acceptance between UAE and Israel following the lifting of the boycott,” a Maersk spokesman said.Maersk, the world’s number one container line, said any trade would be fo

CSL Frontenac loading grain at the Port of Thunder Bay. Photo Credit: Michael Hull, Chamber of Marine Commerce)

Grain Shipments via St. Lawrence Seaway Climb

Canadian grain shipments through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway trade corridor are up 20% in response to continuing world demand for wheat and canola, the latest figures show.Year-to-date shipments of grain (from April 1 to August 31) totaled 5.2 million tonnes, as ships transported Prairie wheat and canola and Ontario wheat and soybeans for both domestic use and for export to markets around the world.The rush of grain, which is carry over from last year’s crops, has helped to offset continuing pandemic-related declines in other key cargoes such as iron ore (down 23%)…

Q4 2019  - Short Sea Shipping Ports