NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Hunter Inks Deal to Sell One VLCC, in Talks for Shedding Another One

Norwegian investment company Hunter Group has agreed to sell a very large crude carrier (VLCC) to “Far Eastern buyers” for a price of USD 98 million. The deal is a part of the company’s earlier received offer to sell two of its VLCC newbuildings. Hunter added it was still in advanced discussions regarding the sale of a second vessel. Hunter Tankers AS, a subsidiary of Hunter Group ASA, is to deliver the newbuilding to the unidentified buyers on October 31, 2019. The ship is currently under construction at South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and is scheduled to be delivered in October.

ICTSI Croatia invests to expand Rijeka terminal for 20,000 teu vessels

Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT), the Croatian subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) at the Port of Rijeka, is set to realise a comprehensive expansion plan in the period up to mid-2020. In March 2011, ICTSI inked 30-year strategic partnership with Luka Rijeka D.D. for the operation, management, and development of Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT) at the Port of Rijeka, Croatia’s main seaport. In close cooperation with the Rijeka Port Authority, AGCT has drawn up plans for a two-phase dredging scheme with the first phase fully-approved, entailing the dredging of 130 metres of quay over its Berths 1 and 2.

Panama Canal to Modify Its Tolls Structure

The Panama Canal has released a proposal to modify its current tolls structure with an “aim to better serve the global maritime industry,” according to Jorge L. Quijano, the canal Administrator. The move marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15, 2019. “Our proposed modifications will increase transparency and flexibility, among other improvements, to ensure the Panama Canal remains competitive and optimal for the industry today and moving forward,” Quijano added.

Female Captain to Take Helm of Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady

Virgin Voyages’ new 110,000 gross tons cruise ship, the Scarlet Lady, will be led by Captain Wendy Williams from the spring of 2020. Williams is the first Canadian woman to captain a ship for a major cruise brand, according to the company. While Virgin Voyages is still in the early stages of the crew for Scarlet Lady, the company said it had already recruited Captain Williams as well as nearly a dozen other female officers. “I have salt water in my veins and nothing brings me more joy than being at sea,” Captain Wendy Williams said.

Oil Tankers Attacked Again in Gulf of Oman, Raising Fears of Wider Conflict

LONDON - Two oil tankers came under attack on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, forcing their crews to abandon ship and setting at least one of them ablaze, a month after four tankers were damaged in the same waterway, a vital thoroughfare for much of the world’s oil products. The attacks escalated tensions in an already tense region, where Iran has long been at odds with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and they are backing opposite sides in the civil war in Yemen. Relations between the United States - allied with the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia - and Iran have also worsened.

Egypt Opens New Multipurpose Terminal at Damietta Port

Egypt’s Damietta Port Authority has inaugurated a new multipurpose terminal at an investment cost of EGP 1.36 billion (USD 81.3 million). The terminal includes a 630-meter-long, 17-meter-deep berth and is equipped with a backyard area of 50,000 square meters with anticipated capacity of about 4 million tons per year. It has been established under the supervision of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority (AFEA) and implemented by a number of Egyptian national companies. The completion of the works at the new terminal in Damietta Port were revealed by the country’s Minister of Transport, Engineer Kamel Al-Wazir.

Finland Inaugurates Biggest LNG Terminal in the Nordics

The biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Nordics was opened in Röyttä Harbour, Tornio, Finland, on June 11. Tornio Manga LNG receiving terminal answers to the growing demand for low emission LNG and strengthens LNG’s security of supply in the Northern Nordics. “Tornio’s LNG terminal is the biggest in the Nordics. Previously, the only LNG terminal in Finland was in Pori – some 600 kilometres to the south. The Tornio terminal is equipped with bunkering stations for LNG vessels, regasification equipment for liquefied natural gas, as well as a storage unit that is 50,000 m3 in volume,” Mika Kolehmainen, Chief Executive Officer, Manga LNG Oy, said.

Three Missing After Tanker Blast in Russian Port

MOSCOW, June 11 (Reuters) – Three people were missing and two injured on Tuesday after a blast on an oil tanker caused a fire while it was pumping oil in the southern Russian port of Makhachkala, Russia’s Transport Ministry said. The port is functioning as normal despite the incident, the RIA news agency cited the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transportation as saying. The fire occurred on the VF-Tanker 16 vessel, which is owned by the Volga shipping agency, part of the UCL Holding transport group’s shipping division.

Shell Ships Long-Awaited First LNG Cargo from Prelude

The long-awaited first cargo of liquefied natural gas was shipped from Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility off northwest Australia on June 10. The Spain-flagged LNG tanker Valencia Knutsen loaded the cargo from the FLNG, located 475 km North East of Broome in Western Australia. “Today’s first shipment of LNG departed from Prelude FLNG, safely,” Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director, said.

PSA Eyes Smart Grid Technology for Pasir Panjang Terminal

Singapore-based port operator PSA International is looking to reduce energy use and carbon footprint at the Pasir Panjang Terminal’s container ports. Under a partnership with the Energy Market Authority (EMA), the parties would transform PSA’s port operations and help reduce overall energy usage and carbon emissions. The partnership includes a joint R&D grant call for innovative solutions in smart grid technologies and energy management.

Sweden’s New Freight Port Taking Shape

Construction of Sweden’s new freight port at Stockholm Norvik Port has reached a new milestone with the completion of its 450-meter container quay. The project has now moved on to the next phase in which crane tracks are being laid, bollards are being fitted and guardrails, barriers and fenders are being installed. “With less than a year to go before opening, the work to complete Stockholm Norvik Port is happening incredibly rapidly,” Magnus Sjöberg, Project Manager at Ports of Stockholm, said. Stockholm Norvik Port will be both a RoRo port and a container terminal. The container terminal has a natural depth of 16.5 meters and the length of quay and terminal area needed to be able to handle the largest vessels operating in the Baltic Sea.

EU Funds Autonomous Shipping Initiative for European Waters

The European Commission revealed a new funding for an autonomous shipping initiative for the European waters. Under the project titled Autoship, two remote and autonomous (R&A) vessels would be built and operated, along with their needed shore control and operation infrastructure, reaching and going over technology readiness levels 7 -system prototype demonstration in operational environment. With a duration of three and a half years, the project has a budget of EUR 27.6 million, out of which EUR 20.1 million would be provided by the EU.

IMO to Take Different Approach on STCW White List Process

The International Maritime Organization has agreed to re-approach its listing process for the STCW Convention’s White List. According to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the IMO agreed to re-approach the process following discussions between SAMSA, other Member States of the IMO and the organization during a meeting in London a week ago. “Discussions on the matter between the parties concerned came to a conclusion that the drawing up of the list of countries for delisting from the STCW Convention White List earlier this year did not follow due process,” Sobantu Tilayi, the CEO of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), said.

Japan’s peak refinery turnarounds slow exports

The arrival of the peak refinery turnaround season in Japan is prompting a slowdown in exports of gasoil and gasoline from the country, and could potentially create opportunities for oil products to flow into the Asian consumer as the arbitrage window widens.

China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia up 43%

China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 43 percent in April, making the Middle Eastern OPEC kingpin once again the top supplier to the world’s second-biggest economy, boosted by demand from new private refiners. Saudi imports grew to 6.30 million tons, or 1.53 million barrels per day (bpd) on a daily basis, compared with 1.07 million bpd in the year ago period, according to data from the General Administration of Customs released on Saturday.