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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Reuters News

Captain in Fatal Budapest Boat Crash Was Sober at the Time

Hungarian police said on Tuesday they had found no evidence of alcohol or drug abuse by the captain of a cruise ship that struck and sank a small tourist vessel last month, killing 28 mostly Korean people on board.The Mermaid boat sank in seconds on May 29 after the Viking Sigyn cruise liner hit it from behind under a bridge in the Hungarian capital during heavy rain, the worst disaster on the river in more than half a century."We launched the investigation as soon as we got on board (the Sigyn)," Budapest police spokesman Soma Csecsi told a news conference.

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Being Green: Banks Consider CO2 Emissions in Shipping Loans

A group of leading banks will for the first time include efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions in their decision making when providing shipping company loans, executives said on Tuesday.International shipping accounts for 2.2% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the U.N.'s International Maritime Organization (IMO), has a long-term goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.Working with non-profit organisations the Global Maritime Forum, the Rocky Mountain Institute and London University's UCL Energy Institute…

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Maersk Explores Arctic Shipping Route with Russia

Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Friday it is in talks with Russia's state-owned icebreaker operator to send more goods via the Arctic, which is becoming more accessible as climate change reduces the sea ice.Russia has made developing the so-called northern sea route (NSR) - which requires new ports and heavy icebreakers to move goods - a priority, with supporters dubbing the route the northern Suez Canal.Last summer, Maersk carried out what it said was a one-off trial…

File Image: A typical DP World-operated marine facility (CREDIT DP World)

DP World Mulls Port Deals Along Russia's Northern Route

DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, wants to run ports that Russia plans to build along the northern sea route in the Arctic to shorten shipping times between the east and west, its chief executive told Reuters.Russian President Vladimir Putin has made developing the northern sea route (NSR) - which requires new ports and heavy icebreakers to move goods - one of his priorities, with supporters dubbing the route the northern Suez Canal.Dubai government-controlled DP World operates 78 marine and inland terminals…

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China Urges Dialogue, Negotiations to Solve US Trade Row

China's commerce ministry on Tuesday urged dialogue and negotiation to solve trade differences with the United States.It is common to make revisions, suggestions and adjustments in trade negotiations, it said in a statement in response to U.S. government comments that China was pursuing a "blame game".Reporting by Reuters Hong Kong and Beijing newsrooms

US warns Hong Kong about Iranian Oil Tanker

The United States has warned Hong Kong to be on alert for a vessel carrying Iranian petroleum that may seek to stop in the Asia financial hub, and said that any entity providing services to the vessel will be violating U.S. sanctions.The news comes two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration stepped up moves to choke off Iran’s oil exports by scrapping waivers it had granted to big buyers of Iranian crude oil, including China.The fully laden Pacific Bravo abruptly changed course on Monday to head towards Sri Lanka, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.

Mariners Set to Strike at South African Ports

South Africa's transport workers union Satawu threatened a "total shutdown" at major ports across the country from Thursday after issuing a 48-hour strike notice for mariners over a payment dispute, the union said on Tuesday.The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) called the strike after negotiations with management became deadlocked over salary discrepancies between black and white mariners, with what it says are white mariners drawing higher salaries than their black counterparts…

Adobestock / © Nightman 1965

Risk Drives Up US-Venezuela Cargo Rates

Two major shipping lines this month have raised their rates for transporting goods from the United States to Venezuela, according to three industry sources and two documents, as U.S. sanctions limit transit between the two nations.Washington on May 15 banned direct flights between the United States and Venezuela, citing safety concerns, as part of a broad package of sanctions meant to pressure Nicolas Maduro into resigning as president of the crisis-stricken country.Citizens and…

CREDIT Maersk

Trade Tension Hurts Shipping, Maersk Warns

A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, warned on Friday that trade tensions and an economic slowdown are slowing growth in global freight.Maersk, which is seen as an indicator of global trade patterns, cut its forecast for global growth in container traffic this year due to the trade dispute between the United States and China."The recent escalation of the trade war induced by an increase in tariff rates and threats of implementing additional tariffs could take global container trade growth to the lower end of the 1-3% interval (range)…

A typical fleet oiler in support of U.S. Naval operations (CREDIT: USN)

London P&I clubs Widen Middle East Threat Zone

London's marine insurance market has extended the list of waters deemed high risk to include Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, officials said on Friday, in a move that could push up premiums.The London insurance market's Joint War Committee said in a statement that the additions cover areas of perceived enhanced risk for marine insurers and reflected enhanced regional risk."The situation will be kept under close review," said the Joint War Committee…

Senior China Official: Trade War Could Cut GDP 1 pt

A senior official of China's ruling Communist Party said the trade dispute with the U.S.

The VLCC MJAD, reported by Reuters as one of the vessels attacked. CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © piet verspui

Saudi Tankers Among Those Hit off UAE Coast

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and said it was an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.The UAE said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz, but did not describe the nature of the attack or say who was behind it.The UAE had not given the nationalities or other details about the ownership of the four vessels.

Russian Oil Contamination Still a Problem for Buyers at Ust-Luga Port

Russian oil quality from the Baltic port of Ust-Luga was improving on Thursday but still not good enough for refiners in Europe, with required standards expected only by May 11, trading sources said.The oil has been contaminated with organic chlorides, which can destroy refining equipment.

File Image: One of DP world's many intermodal terminals. (CREDIT: DP World)

DP World Acquires Fraser Surrey Docks

DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, said on Thursday it has agreed to buy Canadian marine terminal Fraser Surrey Docks from a Macquarie Group fund.The purchase consideration is below 2.5 percent of DP World's net asset value as of December 31, 2018, the port operator said, which Reuters calculated to be under $300 million.The marine terminal, is being acquired through Canadian subsidiary DP World Canada Investment Inc, which is 45 percent owned by Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec (CDPQ).The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019, DP World said.

File Image / CREDIT: Hapag Lloyd

Hapag Lloyd: Calm Passage Despite Trade War

Hapag-Lloyd is optimistic about the year ahead, despite global trade tensions, the German container shipping company's chief executive said on Thursday after a first quarter earnings rise."Despite all the uncertainty, we see a somewhat stable development," Rolf Habben Jansen told Reuters, adding that trade wars have so far had a limited effect on Hapag Lloyd's business.U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that China had broken the terms of a trade deal, adding he would…

Ever large merchant vessels, including this large containership, are now transiting the Panama Canal on a regular basis. Image: CH2M

Ever Larger LNG Tankers Head for Panama Canal

A 'Q-Flex' LNG tanker, the world's second-largest class of liquefied natural gas carriers, is set to pass through the Panama Canal for the first time, the canal's CEO said, expanding the Americas to Asia trade route for the fast-growing commodity.The 'Al Safliyah', which can carry about 210,000 cubic metres of LNG, is on its way to Panama from the North Pacific after discharging a cargo from Qatar into Korea Gas Corp's (KOGAS) Tongyeong terminal on April 21, shipping data in Refinitiv Eikon showed."This is the first Q-Flex to transit the Panama Canal…

Senator Cassidy: No Jones Act Waiver

A Republican U.S. senator on Wednesday said President Donald Trump will not waive rules requiring that only U.S.-flagged ships move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Republican senators said the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for 10 years. Bloomberg News reported last week that Trump was leaning in favor of some kind of waiver.Senator Bill Cassidy…

The El Coqui, a U.S. flag ConRo carrier, recently built specifically for the Jones Act Caribbean trades and powered by environmentally friendly LNG. CREDIT: Crowley Maritime

Trump to Meet with GOP Senators on Jones Act

President Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican senators on Wednesday over a proposal to waive rules that only U.S.-flagged ships can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Bloomberg News reported last week the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for some energy shipments and that Trump…

Singapore Mega Port on Track for 2021

Singapore on Tuesday said its plans to build the world's biggest container terminal in a single location were on track, as it held a ceremony to mark a milestone in the initial construction phase of the mega-project.Tuas Terminal is set to open progressively from 2021, six years after work began, and it is expected to be capable of handling 65 million twenty-foot long shipping containers per annum when fully completed in 2040.Once completed, the terminal is slated to become the world's largest container terminal in a single location…

Petrobras Takes Two of Six Port Terminals in Brazil Auction

Brazil auctioned off six port terminals for liquid fuels in the northern state of Para to private operators on Friday, with subsidiaries of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA winning two of the areas.The government raised nearly 450 million reais ($117 million) in the auction of the terminals — five in the Miramar port in the city of Belem and one in the Vila do Conde port in the city of Barcarena.The rights to operate the terminals are the latest in a slew of assets Brazil is selling as part of its drive to shore up public finances and reduce a gaping budget deficit.In an auction br

File Image: AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

Customs Demands Bigger Bonds as Tariffs Bite

Stephen Wang is counting the costs of President Donald Trump's trade war. He had to put down 12 times more cash as a guarantee to U.S. customs that he would pay the bill for tariffs on the Chinese-made pumps, valves and motors he imports.The cost of the guarantee - a U.S. customs bond - has shot up, an additional hit to importers already facing steep customs bills adding up to tens of billions of dollars for tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on incoming Chinese goods…

Russia: New Port of Sabetta LNG Terminal

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an allocation of budget funds in 2021-2022 for the construction of the Utrenny liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Russian port of Sabetta on the Northern Sea route, the Kremlin said on its website.The budget money will also be used to reconstruct a navigable channel in the Gulf of Ob in the Kara Sea.The Utrennee gas field is developed by Russian gas giant Novatek and serves as a resource base for the Arctic LNG-2 project. (Reuters, Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin Writing by Polina Nikolskaya Editing by Andrey Kuzmin and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

Maltese Soldiers Recapture Tanker from Migrants

A small tanker that was hijacked by migrants off Libya docked in Malta's port of Valletta on Thursday after Maltese special forces took control of the vessel, a Reuters witness said.Cargo ship Elhiblu 1 had picked up 108 migrants stranded at sea, some of whom then hijacked the vessel when it became clear that it planned to take them back to Libya.Maltese police arrested four men and the remainder of the migrants were disembarked and boarded onto buses, the witness said.A Maltese military patrol boat stopped the ship from entering Maltese waters and a special operations team was then dispatched

PDVSA Oil Port Paralyzed by Another Blackout

Venezuela's main oil export port of Jose and the country's four crude upgraders have been unable to resume operations following a massive power blackout on Monday, according to industry workers and a union leader close to the facilities.The most recent oil shipment for export, on the carrier Dragon chartered by Russia's Rosneft, left Jose, which is owned by state-run PDVSA, on March 24, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data and PDVSA's trade documents."There is no electricity…

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Report: FBI Falls Short On Port Threat Assessment

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is not taking appropriate steps to review and assess potential maritime terrorism risks facing U.S. sea ports, the Justice Department's internal watchdog has found.The audit, released on Thursday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, found that while top FBI officials believe the country faces a low maritime terrorism threat, that view is actually based on "incomplete and potentially inaccurate information."Moreover, the audit found that the FBI had not conducted its own formal assessment of the matter.In a letter to Horowitz dated Aug.

A typical DP world Terminal operation (CREDIT: DP World)

India Watchdog: DP World Trying to Halt Probe

India's antitrust regulator said in a court filing that a challenge by Dubai's DP World of a probe into its alleged anti-competitive practices at a Mumbai port is an effort to halt or delay possible adverse findings against the firm.The Competition Commission of India (CCI) told a Mumbai court that DP World's local unit had "prematurely" rushed to court to stall or delay the probe, according to a filing by the watchdog dated Jan. 30 and seen by Reuters.The CCI filing has not been previously reported…