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.:Maritime News :.
.: 24-Oct-2019 :.
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Iraq s Umm Qasr Port Ready for Bigger Boxships
Iraq s port of Umm Qasr can now welcome containerships of up to 14,000 TEUs following the inauguration of two new berths.
The inauguration ceremony marked both the opening of the Berths 25 and 26 and the completion of International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) overall USD 250 million investment program at its Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT).
"We are pleased to lead the way for Umm Qasr to serve higher capacity container vessels, up to and including the so-called New Panamax class (14,000TEU), and as a result to open the door for cargo importers and exporters to benefit from substantial scale economies," Enrique K. Razon, Chairman & President, ICTSI, commented.
Located in Umm Qasr s North Port, BGT operates a high capacity container terminal together with specialized facilities for the handling of general cargo, ro-ro, dry bulk and project cargo for the oil and gas sector.
Earlier development included the construction of Berth 27, adjacent to the new berths, with the three berths now offering a combined continuous berth length of 600 meters. Design depth alongside Berths 25 and 26 is 14 meters.
Three new quayside gantry cranes, each with an outreach of 56 meters and able to handle up to 21 rows of containers on the deck of a vessel, are installed on the quayside. On the landside, seven new rubber-tired gantries (RTGs) join three existing units bringing the total fleet to ten RTGs.
BGT already receives direct calls from a number of shipping lines but traditionally these vessels have not been fully utilized due to draft limitations. The latest berth development removes this limitation plus encourages other shipping lines to introduce larger vessels, according to ICTSI.
Outside of the container sector, BGT has also invested in the terminal complex s RoRo facilities, including dedicated warehousing and secure areas. Similarly, specialized handling services and facilities have been established to accommodate the efficient handling of project cargo for the oil and gas sector.
"This is the start of a new era in Iraq s port industry. As Iraq s economy continues to grow, it is imperative to make the necessary port capacity for the future," Phillip Marsham, Chief Executive Officer of BGT, pointed out.
Better Rates, New Ships Push Costamare s Earnings Up
Greek shipping company Costamare witnessed a surge in its earnings for the period ended September 30, 2019.
The company s net income jumped by 157% to USD 36 million for the three months, compared to USD 14 million reported in the same period a year earlier.
Voyage revenues were at USD 123.6 million in the quarter, up by 36% from USD 90.9 million
seen in the previous year s quarter.
"As was the case in the previous quarter, net income and earnings per share more than doubled, boosted by increased charter rates and the addition of new ships," Gregory Zikos, Chief Financial Officer of Costamare Inc., said.
During the three-month period, the company chartered in a total of 14 vessels, benefiting from a rising market in the larger asset classes.
"Charter rates for the larger container ships continued to improve and there is limited supply available for the Post-Panamax sizes," Zikos added.
"We have 18 post -panamax ships coming off charter over the next year which positions us favorably, should market momentum continue."
Following quarter end, in October Costamare reached an agreement to sell its 1991-built containership Sierra II, with a capacity of 2,023 TEUs. The sale is expected to be completed later this month.
NYK s New VLGC for Astomos Energy Named at JMU
A new very large gas carrier (VLGC) that Japanese shipping major NYK will charter under a long-term contract to compatriot Astomos Energy Corporation has been named.
The naming ceremony for the 83,000 cbm Lily Promenade was held in Kumamoto prefecture at the Ariake Shipyard of Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) on October 10.
Ordered in 2016, the Panama-flagged newbuild is scheduled for delivery on October 30, 2019, according to NYK.
With a length of 230 meters and a width of 36.6 meters, the gas carrier has a gross tonnage of about 51,000 tons.
As informed, Lily Promenade is the first new NYK-owned VLGC to include an SOx scrubber that is compliant with the International Maritime Organization s (IMO) more stringent SOx emission regulation, which is scheduled to become effective in January 2020.
The ship will also be about 10% more energy-efficient, meeting IMO EEDI phase 1 requirements. In addition, energy-saving devices and low-friction paint will make the ship a more fuel-efficient tanker, the shipping company said.
Norsepower Rotor Sails Achieve 8.2% of Fuel Savings on Maersk Pelican
The two Norsepower Rotor Sails installed onboard the Maersk Tankers product tanker Maersk Pelican have reduced the ship s fuel consumption by 8.2% during a 12-month trial period.
The Rotor Sails were installed onboard Maersk Pelican in August 2018 and the 8.2% in savings was recorded from September 1, 2018 to September 1, 2019.
The Finnish developer of the technology explained that this was equivalent to approximately 1,400 tonnes of CO2. The savings were confirmed by comparing detailed performance information to a baseline established with full scale measurements and computational analysis done for the vessel prior the Rotor Sail installation.
The Rotor Sails are large, cylindrical mechanical sails that spin to make a pressure differential, the Magnus Effect, that propels the vessel forward; in this instance a Maersk Tankers Long Range 2 (LR2) product tanker vessel.
The technology delivers auxiliary wind propulsion to the vessel - which have operated in conditions ranging from tropical climate to arctic conditions in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia - resulting in the optimization of energy efficiency and a reduction in fuel consumption.
Independent experts from Lloyd s Register s (LR s) Ship Performance Group have analysed and validated the performance data during the project to ensure an impartial assessment, Norsepower said, adding that technical and operational insights for performance studies will also be published.
"During the one-year trial period on Maersk Pelican, crew and operators have reported positively on the usability, safety and performance of the Rotor Sails in all conditions," Tommy Thomassen, Chief Technical Officer at Maersk Tankers, said.
"With the Maersk Pelican, there are three vessels in daily commercial operation using Norsepower s Rotor Sails. Each of these cases represents a very different vessel type and operational profile, demonstrating the widespread opportunity to harness the wind through Rotor Sails across the maritime industry," Tuomas Riski, CEO at Norsepower added.
The technology could offer even more savings depending on the vessels particular routes, Darryl Hylands, Programme Manager, HDV, Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), one of the partners on the project noted.
"On certain routes during the trial the vessel achieved fuel savings way beyond the average of 8.2% even with average wind conditions," Hylands said.
"There is a clear potential to achieve higher fuel savings, and hence CO2savings, on routes with more favourable wind conditions, which further improves the commercial viability of the technology."
Norsepower has recently entered into an agreement with Wartsila that would enable Norsepower to order service work from Wartsila, while Wartsila can pursue and sell Norsepower Rotor Sail projects with support from Norsepower.
DHT Reports Loss Despite Revenue Growth
Bermuda-incorporated crude oil tanker company DHT Holdings ended the third quarter of this year with a net loss despite posting higher shipping revenues.
However, when compared to the same quarter last year, DHT narrowed its net loss from USD 21.5 million to USD 9.4 million in Q3 2019.
For the first nine months of this year, the company s net loss was USD 2.2 million, against a loss of USD 58.9 million reported in the first three quarters of 2018.
Shipping revenues rose to USD 104.7 million in the third quarter of 2019 from USD 90.2 million seen in the corresponding three-month period a year earlier. As explained, the increase was driven by higher taker rates.
During the third quarter ended September 30, 2019, DHT s very large crude carriers (VLCCs) achieved time charter equivalent earnings of USD 25,500 per day of which the company s VLCCs on time-charter earned USD 33,700 per day and the VLCCs operating in the spot market USD 24,300 per day.
DHT added that revenues were affected by the decrease in total revenue days. The change was a result of scheduled off shire in connection with the company s scrubber retrofit project. By the quarter end, eight of the company s sixteen scrubber retrofits were completed while two ships were still at the yard at the quarter-end, DHT said.
On September 26, 2019, the company drew down USD 35 million under the revolving credit facility tranche of the Nordea Credit Facility in order to prepare for the company s 4.5% Convertible Senior Notes due 2019 coming to maturity October 1, 2019. As 80% of the notes were converted, the USD 35 million has subsequently been repaid.
As of September 30, 2019, DHT had a fleet of 27 crude oil tankers with a total deadweight being 8.4 million.
India Bans Single-Use Plastics on Ships in Its Waters
India has decided to ban single-use plastics on ships sailing in its waters, effective immediately.
According to the country s Directorate General of Shipping, plastics including cutlery, plates and cups, are prohibited on board Indian ships and foreign ships when in India.
The current ban includes other plastics, such as bottles, bags and dispensing containers for cleaning fluids.
Greek Shipowners Back Ship Power Limitation Proposal
Greek shipowners have expressed their support for a proposal to limit the ships power as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the industry.
The Union of Greek Shippers further announced a proposal for a short-term, prescriptive measure to improve the operational energy efficiency of existing ships, to be considered at the forthcoming meeting of the IMO s intersessional technical group in November.
European Ports Move Forward to Develop Sustainable Cruise Industry
Representatives of the main European cruise ports have begun to work on finding ways to help shape the cruise industry of the future.
On October 18, 2019, the working group s first meeting called "Cruise 2030:Call for Action" was held in Venice.
Asian Spirit Steamship Company Adds New Feeders
Germany-based Asian Spirit Steamship Company has taken delivery of its first two newbuildings.
The company said that the two ECO16 vessels were named Spirit of Kolkata and Spirit of Chennai.
The units feature "unique design parameters bringing them to the pole position of efficient feeder vessel design, both in terms of fuel efficiency and cargo carrying capacity."
Bangladesh targets big cut in port lead time
The Bangladeshi government has set a target to cut the time for completing import and export procedures to two days and one day respectively by 2022 under the National Single Window (NSW) project.
Currently, it takes eight days for clearing the imported goods and five days for forwarding export items through different customs ports in the country.
Abu Dhabi Ports breaks ground for Marsa Mina project
Abu Dhabi Ports announced that it has started work on Marsa Mina, a new water front leisure destination located at the city s historic Mina Zayed port area.
The project, which comprises of food trucks, retail units constructed from recycled shipping containers, family entertainment, playgrounds and open seating areas, is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2020, Abu Dhabi Ports said in a press statement.
DP World chairman says Djibouti dispute hurt company s ability to borrow
Global ports operator DP World has struggled to borrow from banks to finance new investments since a port it partially owns in Djibouti was seized by the government there in 2018, its chairman said.
"We are investing but it is costing us more. That s the damage," DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told Reuters in Rwanda s capital Kigali, where the company opened a $35 million logistics platform on Monday.
Vietnamese port infrastructure needs to keep pace with growth
The Vietnamese port industry needs further investment to keep pace with the country s rapid economic growth and reduce logistic costs for businesses.
After two plans (in 1999 and 2009) and one adjustment (in 2014), to date, Vietnam has 45 seaports with total capacity of more than 550 million tonnes per year. Major ports are concentrated in northern Hai Phong city, Danang and Quy Nhon in the central region and Ho Chi Minh City in the south.
UK preparing for no-deal Brexit with goods diverted to northern ports
With uncertainty still surrounding Brexit, despite a crunch vote on Tuesday, plans are being pushed forward to prepare for a no-deal.
In the event of such a disorderly exit major blockages and delays are expected at the UK s Channel Tunnel crossing at Dover leaving many businesses no option but to divert their goods to the Yorkshire port of Hull.