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.:Maritime News :.
.: 5-Oct-2015 :.
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IMO and Singapore MPA Mull Global Cooperation Network for Maritime Technology
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has proposed a network of maritime technology cooperation centres to increase the abilities and efficiency of maritime hubs worldwide, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) announced last week.
At a shipping conference held in Singapore last week, the IMO, along with a variety of delegates, reportedly floated new ideas to improve operational ability around the world, which also included a suggestion to use domestic shipping in developing countries to transfer new technologies.
It was also noted that companies can lack the knowledge or readiness to implement new technologies, a problem which could be solved though testing facilities located in local institutions.
"This Joint IMO-Singapore Conference could not have come at a better time," said Stefan Micallef, director of the IMO's Marine Environment Division.
"It has illustrated that IMO and the maritime sector stand ready to support the global community to achieve its goals to address climate change that will be set in Paris later this year."
According to IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu, institutionalising the technology sharing and transfer process around the world will be key to fight against climate change.
"Climate change is one of the most significant threats facing the world today," said MPA CE Andrew Tan.
"Singapore is committed to be an integral part of IMO's process to encourage the deployment and diffusion of environmentally-friendly ship technologies."
Last week, Ship & Bunker also reported that Sekimizu had released a statement urging countries attending the global climate deal talks in Paris at the end of the year to rethink a hard emissions cap on the shipping sector.
Ship & Bunker News Team
Finland drops plan to build a regional LNG import terminal
Finland's gas utility Gasum said it has dropped plans to build a regional liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and a gas link to Estonia, citing declining gas demand and poor economics of the two projects.
The decision would benefit Russia's Gazprom, Finland's sole natural gas supplier, which also has a 25 percent stake in Gasum.
The government, which has the remaining 75 percent stake in Gasum, said the Nordic country can still apply with Estonia for European Union's financial support to build the pipeline across the Gulf of Finland.
"The Finnish gas market and its future outlook have changed substantially since 2008 when plans for the projects were initiated. The competitiveness of gas has deteriorated and gas consumption has decreased," Gasum said in a statement.
"The extensive studies conducted indicate that the Finngulf (LNG terminal) and Balticconnector projects are not commercially viable," it added, explaining the decision to drop both.
Instead, Gasum said it would continue to develop small LNG import terminals along Finland's western coast to meet industry and transport needs in the regions, where gas pipelines donít reach.
Natural gas demand in Finland fell to 29.3 terawatt-hours (2.8 billion cubic metres) in 2014, down 12 percent from 2013, data from Gasum showed.
Finland's Ministry of Employment and Economy said in a separate statement the government planned to set up a state-owned company which would apply with Estonian partners for EU funds to build the gas link, the Balticonnector.
To make the project viable Finland will need EU to cover up to 75 percent of the pipeline's costs, which have been previously estimated at some 200 million euros.
Finland and Estonia agreed on the plan to build a regional LNG terminal and the gas link last November after months of talks, which also involved European Commission representatives.
Gazprom's monopoly in the Baltic states cracked last year, when Lithuania opened an LNG import terminal and started importing super-cooled gas by tankers from Norway.
In Estonia, gas imported from Lithuania replaced about a quarter of Russian gas supplies, while Gazprom still remains a sole supplier to Latvia.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis)
Adani Ports signs MoU with L&T Shipbuilding for evaluating port operations
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has entered into a non-binding agreement with L&T Shipbuilding for evaluating the operations of the port at Kattupalli, Tamil Nadu, for a month.
"The definitive agreements would be entered into later," it told the exchanges on Thursday. "While all non-operating revenues and expenses will be to L&Tís account, Adani shall be responsible for Ebitda (operatign earnings) gains and losses arising from the port operation for this period (starting October 1). The shipyard will continue to be managed and operated by L&T."
In July, Business Standard was the first to report that Adani Group planned to take over the operational and management control of the Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Kattupalli International Container Terminal near Chennai.
The move is to strengthen its presence in the east coast.
L&T built the port at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore. Adani Group were looking at Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh, Karaikkal (near Puducherry) and L&T's Kattupalli. Gangavaram did not work out due to a high valuation. Karaikkal has some other issues, though still under consideration.
Adani recently got a nod to develop the Vizhinjam port in Kerala. Last year, APSEZ had acquired Dhamra Port in Odisha from Tata Steel and L&T Infrastructure, for an estimated Rs 5,500 crore. Adani is also developing a Rs 1,270-crore container terminal inside Ennore Port and the first phase is expected to be ready by January. The total capacity would be 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), of which 0.8 million TEUs will be ready in the first phase.
Sources said Adani might face hurdles in buying out the Kattupalli terminal because the Tamil Nadu government gave its concession on the condition that L&T operates both the naval yard and container terminal. Kattupalli's container terminal has two berths and handles 1,200 containers a month.
L&T Shipbuilding is a joint venture between L&T and Tamilnadu Industrial Development and Corporation; the former has 97 per cent and Tidco holds three per cent.
Both the shipyard and port have SEZ status.
Source: Business Standard
Container ships looking for cargo
As China slows, so too does demand for container ships to haul iron ore, coal and other kinds of cargo that keep economies moving. With economies not moving too swiftly and a glut of these ships, the global maritime industry is in trouble.
There is a global glut of container ships like this one.
The Baltic Dry Index, an indicator of freight rates for container ships, dropped 16% on the year, averaging 809 during the April-September period. The index uses 1985 as a baseline of 1,000. This was the second-lowest fiscal first-half figure since 1986, when the index dropped to 650. In February, the index even hit a record low - 509.
The index has been moving at "historic lows" since the beginning of the year, a representative of a major maritime shipper said.
Japan's Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha, a midsize shipping company, on Tuesday filed a petition to begin civil rehabilitation proceedings. The company has long depended on its container shipping operations.
Freight rates are now so low that maritime companies have difficulty making a profit by operating container ships, said Yasumi Kudo, chairman at the Japanese Shipowners' Association. Kudo is also chairman of Nippon Yusen.
Nippon Yusen and other big shippers also operate tankers, liquefied natural gas carriers and auto shipping vessels. But if the current situation continues, Kudo said, more companies will suffer financial difficulties.
Operating capesize vessels, the largest class of dry cargo boat, has become especially problematic. Chartering one averaged about $8,200 a day during the April-September period, down 33% on the year. With Chinese demand falling, there is little need for these behemoths, which must go around capes rather than through canals.
China-bound iron ore shipments account for more than 60% of the global total. The country's iron ore imports for August fell 1% from a year earlier; they also logged a year-on-year decline of 1.6% for the April-August period.
Demand for ships to carry iron ore usually increases during the October-December period. However, chartering a vessel for this purpose currently costs $13,000 or so, well below the maritime industryís profitability threshold of $20,000 to $25,000.
It is uncertain how much this rate
might rise during the peak season.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review