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Thursday, December 5, 2019

West Africa News

Image: Petronas

Petronas in Game for a Third FLNG Unit

Malaysian oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) would build a third floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG)unit if there’s a demand.Petronas is the only company to own and operate two FLNGs, namely PFLNG Satu and PFLNG Dua.Bernama reported, quoting the gas and new energy business executive vice-president and chief executive officer Adnan Zainal Abidin, that if there is a reservoir with a sizeable amount of reserves and with the right gas composition that it is economically viable…

Pic: TORM

Product Tanker Freight Rates Rebounds

Product tanker freight rates softened in the third quarter of 2019 but rebounded strongly at the start of the fourth quarter following an increase in crude tanker rates that began after the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and accelerated dramatically to multi-year high levels at the end of September when the US imposed sanctions on two subsidiaries of China's COSCO Shipping.Denmark-based TORM said that growth in global demand for oil products generally remained subdued…

Photo: Monjasa

Monjasa Expands to Angola

Danish bunker company Monjasa announced the opening of its first office in Luanda, Angola, to support the West Africa oil and shipping activities.Monjasa started supplying bunkers across West Africa in 2009 and since then, it has delivered a total of 10.6 million tonnes of fuel products across the region from the Gulf of Guinea to Namibia."Monjasa is currently enabling the IMO 2020 transition by making new low-sulfur marine fuel available across the region. Today, Monjasa is the leading supplier in West Africa measured on volume and a fleet of 10 tankers deployed in the region…

Kristian Kaasing Larsen (Photo: VMS Group)

VMS Group Expands into West Africa

The Danish maritime service company VMS Group A/S expands into West Africa opening a workshop in Walvis Bay, Namibia. A favorable location combined with a rapidly growing offshore market and fishing fleet creates huge potential for a strong, maritime cluster in this region.Being the only port with service facilities between Cape Town, South Africa, and the Canary Islands, Walvis Bay on the Namibian west coast is a key area for marine traffic in the Eastern Atlantic. This is the reason why VMS Group…

Pic: Norwegian Shipowners’ Association

Pirates Kidnap Crew of MV Bonita

Pirates have kidnapped nine crew members from a Norwegian shipping vessel named the MV Bonita off the coast of Benin in West Africa.MV Bonita was anchored and awaiting berth at the Cotonou port to discharge a shipment of gypsum when the pirates boarded, the shipping firm  J.J. Ugland said in a statement Sunday.The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said that it is in close contact with Ugland Shipping with a common and clear goal to bring the 9 sailors back to safety. The vessel and remaining crew are safely anchored in Cotonou and investigations are carried out.

The ELKA_ARISTOTLE / CREDIT © MarineTraffic.com

Pirates Kidnap Four from Greek Tanker

Pirates attacked a Greek oil tanker off the coast of Togo in the early hours of Monday and fled after taking four crew members as hostages, the West African nation's navy said, two days after a similar attack in the waters of neighbouring Benin.Of the missing crew members, two are Filipinos, one is Greek and one is Georgian, the navy said in a statement. One security guard was also shot and wounded in the attack, it said."Monday, 4th of November 2019, around 0300, the tanker boat Elka Aristotle was attacked around 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the port of Lome by armed individuals…

Photo: Offshore Wind Consultants

OWC Opens Aussie Office

International engineering consultancy Offshore Wind Consultants (OWC) is setting up an office in Australia, as offshore wind plans in the country are moving forward.The International Energy Agency’s recently launched “Offshore Wind Outlook 2019” has identified more than 7,000TWh per year of offshore wind technical potential (roughly 2,000GW of capacity) in waters below 60 meters offshore Australia. The potential adds up to 16,000TWh per year when considering deeper waters.Currently…

AdobeStock / © Kasto

West Africa Crude-Freight Rates Ease

Freight rates to Europe and Asia have continued to ease, albeit at a less rapid rate than during the middle of the month, boosting price offerings for West African grades, traders said on Monday. Rates for VLCCs from Nigeria's Bonny Light terminal to Singapore settled at $3.25 a barrel on Friday from highs just below $10 two weeks earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while for Rotterdam they eased to $2.72 from a high above $5.Rates for key Angolan grade Girassol aboard a VLCC bound for China plunged to $3.84 a barrel from highs of $11.39.

Photo: ITF

ITF Expands into Asia Pacific

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has established its latest Contacts Network, covering Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Thailand.ITF has seen a significant increase in seafarers requesting assistance from countries without an inspector or contact, in recent years.Attempting to resolve these requests is often challenging due to several factors, including the local political context and the effectiveness…

file image (credit: AdobeStock / © dbvirago

U.S. Sanctions Deal Blow to LSFO for 'IMO 2020'

Highly sought after types of oil best suited to making cleaner shipping fuel are suddenly finding they are a tougher sell for thirsty East Asian markets, traders say, in an unintended consequence of U.S. sanctions on a Chinese shipping fleet.With just over two months until environmental rules are set to mandate the biggest changes to ship power in over a century, certain rare types of West African oil have soared in value but have had to be marked down due to the higher costs of transport.The United States imposed sanctions on units of China's COSCO on Sept.

Map: CMA CGM

CMA CGM Set to Launch Guinea Gulf Express

French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM plans to introduce its new product GUINEA GULF EXPRESS (GGX) service in complement of the current 6 weekly services as part of improving its  offer on the trade Europe and Mediterranean to West Africa strategic markets.The new Guinea Gulf Express is the second service from Gibraltar hubs linking European, Med and North America to Tema, Ghana, Nigeria Lagos port and Conakry, Guinea.It will provide perfect answers to Customers’ needs with transit times amongst the best on the market…

File image of a typical DP World terminal operation. CREDIT: DP World

DP World’s Topaz, P&O Merger Complete by Year-end

Port operator DP World's planned merger of its P&O Maritime and recently acquired Topaz Energy and Marine businesses is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Topaz CEO Rene Kofod-Olsen said on Monday.DP World bought Dubai-based oil services company Topaz in July with the intention of combining it with P&O Maritime as part of efforts to diversify beyond its core port operations to other marine-related sectors.The merged entity, to be known simply as P&O, will give Topaz…

Image by Liebherr-MCCtec Rostock GmbH

BP Orders BOS 2600 Offshore Crane

Ship cranes manufacturer Liebherr-MCCtec Rostock GmbH together with China's Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard signed a contract concerning the delivery of a board offshore crane, type BOS 2600.The German maritime cranes maker said BP will use the crane for supply and maintenance tasks on a jack-up accommodation platform off the coast of West Africa.The BOS 2600 is a compact and function-orientated crane design within the well-known Liebherr Offshore crane series and therefore the ideal solutions for platforms where space on deck is limited.“Because of the particular requirements of this project…

Image: Topaz Energy and Marine

Topaz Revenue Climbs

Revenue of Topaz Energy and Marine of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the six-month period of 2019 was $235 million, an increase of 56% compared to H1 2018.Dubai-based offshore vessel operator’s first-half net income also surged to $42 million from a $4m loss recorded at the end of first six months of 2018.Earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization rose by 83 percent to $141m in the first half.The global ports operator DP World acquired Topaz from Oman's…

Pic: Port of Rotterdam

Nansha Doubles Direct Sailings to Rotterdam

The deep-water port of Nansha in Guangzhou, a city of 15 million people in the vicinity of Hong Kong, has doubled the number of direct connections with North Europe and West Africa, following the arrival of the Elly Maersk.The Elly Maersk departed from Nansha for Rotterdam on 28 July; the first departure of the new 2M service, doubling the number of direct departures from Nansha to Rotterdam. The Ocean Alliance also already has direct connections with this fastest growing port in the south of China.Nansha port started international departures ten years ago…

Port of Nansha, the deep sea port of Guangzhou, has now 4 direct sailings connecting Europe. Image: © portofnansha.com

Chinese Port Doubles Direct Connection with Europe

The deep water port on the shore of the Pearl river (aka Zhujiang River), in the Nansha District in the Southern China, Port of Nansha doubled direct connection with North Europe and West Africa.The first navigation ceremony was held at the dock site on  July 28, as the first sailing of Elly Maersk in port of Nansha marked a new upgrade of AE7/CONDOR of 2M alliance from Asia to Europe.On this service 2M alliance deploy 12 vessels of 14 to 18 thousand TEU, calling Nansha on every Sunday.

Pic: Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority.

Tema Port T3 Welcomes First Cargo Vessel

The first commercial vessel, Maersk Cape Coast has docked at the Terminal 3 at Tema Port after 3 years of expansion and modernization works to complete the first two berths.The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, which operates the harbor is located along the Gulf of Guinea, said that with the state-of-the-art technology and equipment, 1,427 containers were discharged and 730 containers loaded.Incidentally, Maersk Cape Coast was inaugurated and christened at the port of Tema in 2011.

Map: Ocean Network Express

ONE Offers New African Service

Container lines Ocean Network Express (ONE) is launching a new service covering Africa, India and the Middle East (AIM).The new product will broaden ONE’s already expansive global coverage by offering direct port calls between West Africa, South Africa and key locations in West Asia.The new service will offer market leading transit times between the West Asian ports of Jebel Ali, Mundra, Nhava Sheva and Colombo and African ports of Durban, Cape Town, Tema, Tincan and Apapa.The AIM Service…

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd Launches New Africa Service

Hapag-Lloyd is expanding its African liner services and will offer its MIAX (Middle East-India-Africa Express) service starting in October 2019. It will include direct connections between the Arabian Gulf, India, Colombo (Sri Lanka), La Réunion, South Africa and West Africa.MIAX is integrated into the Global Mainline Network with the central ports Jebel Ali (Dubai) and Colombo. Hapag-Lloyd will operate MIAX jointly with Ocean Network Express.

Graphics: IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC)

Piracy: West Africa, World's Most Dangerous Seas

The seas off West Africa's coastline are now the most dangerous in the world for shipping, the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest report revealed.According to the report, of the 75 seafarers taken hostage onboard or kidnapped for ransom worldwide so far this year, 62 were captured in the Gulf of Guinea – off the coasts of Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Cameroon.The IMB Piracy Reporting Center (IMB PRC) recorded 78 incidents of piracy worldwide and armed robbery against ships in the first half of 2019, compared with 107 incidents for the same period of 2018.

Photo: DP World

DP World Set to Acquire Topaz Energy

The world’s largest port operator DP World is in advanced discussions to acquire Topaz Energy & Marine, marking the Dubai-based company's first potential foray into the oil and gas industry.Britain’s Sky News, citing sources, earlier reported that a $1.3 billion deal for DP World to take over Topaz could be announced as early as Monday. The report didn't specify whether the valuation was referring to the equity or enterprise value of the transaction.However, Bloomberg reported that the port operator is in “very advanced” discussions to acquire Topaz Energy.

Photo: ICS

ICS Launches Annual Review

In advance of its AGM in the Faroe Islands next week, the global trade association for shipowners, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has launched its Annual Review 2019, providing in-depth insight into the most pressing issues confronting shipping, which moves about 90% of global trade.ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson, explains:  “The immediate focus of ICS is the successful implementation of the UN IMO global sulphur cap, which will take complete effect on January 1. ICS…

Image: APM Terminals

APM Terminals Boosts Nigerian Agri-Export

The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) has invested in a new container freight station (CFS) at the Port of Onne, Nigeria.The 1,520m2 facility - the first of its kind in East Nigeria - provides Nigerian farmers with an opportunity to grow their business by exporting goods such as cashew nuts and sesame seeds.While the country has long been associated with the oil industry, it is estimated that more than 22% of the country's GDP is generated from agriculture. "A government drive to encourage exports…

Photo courtesy of Konecranes

Konecranes Cranes for Winning Int'l Group

A fleet of specially-designed, durable and productive Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Cranes is enhancing supply chain efficiency for Winning International Group.The cranes play a critical role in Winning International Group’s supply chain, by loading 30,000 tonnes per day of bauxite from feeder barges onto a mother vessel, ready for shipment between China and West Africa.“Our Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Cranes have proven themselves in a rough open-sea environment. They have been custom-tailored to our bauxite handling application…

(Photo: Topaz Energy & Marine)

Overcoming Local Crew Challenges

Dubai headquartered offshore support vessel (OSV) company Topaz Energy & Marine provides marine solutions to the global energy industry with primary focus on the Caspian, Middle East, West Africa and Subsea operations in the North Sea and Gulf of MexicoIn 2017, Topaz awarded Worldwide Recruitment Solutions (WRS) a contract as sole provider of managed services, which saw the UK based workforce solutions provider undertake crew management responsibilities for five vessels, all Topaz owned and operated…

Pic: Norden

Norden Expands into West Africa

Danish shipping giant Norden is opening an office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, as part of the Company’s continued global expansion.The office will generate new business and focus on contributing positively to the development of the region, the dry bulk and tanker owner said in a press release.“Norden opens offices and employs people with a long-term horizon and that is also the case for our move into West Africa. We wish to come even closer to our business partners and increase our business presence and at the same time be part of and help the region develop by investing manpower…