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.:Maritime News :.
.: 19-Dec-2019 :.
Maersk Targeted in Petrobras Bribery Investigation
Danish shipping major A.P.Moller Maersk has been named among companies being investigated by Brasilian authorities over suspected involvement in the Petrobras bribery scandal.
The investigation is being conducted under the Car Wash (Lava Jato) operation, which uncovered one of the biggest corruption cases in the recent history of Brazil involving its state oil company Petrobras.
Federal prosecutors said on Wednesday that shipowner Maersk, Tide Maritime, and Ferchem, who acted as shipbokers for the company, were being probed over potential links to corruption schemes in ship chartering contracts by Petrobras, worth over 5 billion Brazilian reais (USD 1.2 billion). The charters involved the transportation of oil and oil products.
Under the investigation, Brazilian authorities want to determine whether insider information provided the companies in question competitive advantage in return for bribe payments to Petrobras employees.
Between 2002 and 2012, Maersk and its subsidiaries entered into 69 charter contracts with Petrobras, in the approximate amount of BRL 968 million.
According to the data from the federal prosecutors, Tide Maritime was involved in 87 maritime charter contracts signed with the state, between 2005 and 2018, totaling in about BRL 2.8 billion. Ferchem brokered at least 114 marine charter contracts with Petrobras, totaling in more than BRL 2.7 billion between 2005 and 2015.
The investigations are targeting at least 15 maritime charter contracts that were in force between 2006 and 2014 totaling BRL 658 million, amid suspicion that they were a result of bribery schemes.
As informed, 12 search warrants have been issued as part of the investigation.
Maersk is not the first shipowner to be subjected to an investigation of the Petrobras bribery schemes.
Previous money laundering and charter corruption probes named Athenian Sea Carriers, Tsakos Energy Navigation, Dorian (Hellas) and Aegean Shipping Management as suspects of bribery in ship chartering schemes involving Brazilian state oil giant.
JERA Hires LNG Carrier Newbuild from Angelicoussis Group
Japanese energy trader JERA has entered into a time charter party for an LNG carrier with a ship owning company affiliated with the Angelicoussis Group.
The 12-year charter, inked by JERA s subsidiary LNG Marine Transport Limited, is set to start between October and December 2021, and the vessel will be utilized principally for the transportation of LNG from LNG projects in Asia and Oceania.
The construction of the 174,000cbm membrane tank vessel is set to start in 2020 at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd.
DSME is the Greek owner s favorite shipbuilder, having secured contracts for over 100 ships over the years.
Earlier this month, Maran Gas booked a construction of LNG carrier for the group bringing the ordering tally for LNG carrier newbuilds to seven ships ordered this year alone.
"JERA plans to increase its LNG fleet to 25 vessels by 2025 as its ratio of FOB contracts grows. Going forward, JERA will continue to actively develop and optimize its fuel transportation businesses to achieve a stable, competitive, and flexible fuel portfolio," JERA said.
The charter was announced just one day before JERA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PetroChina International Company Limited (PCI), a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, on cooperation in the LNG business.
Under the MOU, JERA and PCI will discuss opportunities to cooperate in LNG bunkering, LNG shipping optimization, joint sale and procurement of LNG and generating new demand for LNG, including overseas LNG value chain investments.
"As LNG demand in China increases, the presence of Chinese energy companies in the LNG industry is growing year by year. JERA believes that strengthening its cooperation with PCI, a leading energy company in China, will not only expand business opportunities for both JERA and PCI but also contribute to the healthy development of the LNG industry," JERA said.
Costa Smeralda Refueled with LNG in Barcelona for 1st Time
Costa Smeralda, a recently completed cruise vessel owned by Italian cruise line Costa Cruises, has made its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling in the port Barcelona.
Barcelona was the first port to welcome Costa Smeralda after the newbuild left Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland on December 6.
During the operation, the Coral Methane tanker ship filled Costa Smeralda s three tanks with a total of around 3,200 cubic meters of LNG.
Two of these tanks have a capacity of 1,525 cubic meters, while the third tank has a capacity of around 520 cubic meters.
With one complete LNG tank filling, which will always be done in Barcelona, even once the ship has started its regular cruises, Costa Smeralda can be powered for at least two weeks, according to the cruise company.
The 180,000 GT Costa Smeralda is the first Costa Cruises ship to be fueled by LNG both in port and at sea. In addition, it is the second ship in the world, after AIDAnova, to use this marine fuel.
The Costa Group - including Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia - has ordered a total of five new ships fueled by LNG to be delivered by 2023 in an effort to reduce its environmental footprint.
APM Terminals to Sell Rotterdam Terminal to Hutchison Ports
The Netherlands-based terminal operator APM Terminals, a subsidiary of Maersk Group, has signed a letter of intent to divest its container terminal APM Terminals Rotterdam.
The terminal will be sold to another international port operating group, Hong Kong s Hutchison Ports, which owns the adjacent ECT Delta terminal located in the Port of Rotterdam.
As informed, the parties have agreed that APM Terminals Rotterdam will continue to exist as an independent organization with a 5-year volume guarantee from the parent company, A.P. Moller-Maersk, and no forced redundancies within 4 years of signing the agreement.
"Under the ownership of Hutchison Ports, APM Terminals Rotterdam will have the opportunity to grow into a leading, modern, future-proof terminal," APM Terminals said in a statement.
The Dutch company added that Hutchison Ports has expressed interest in talking to the Port of Rotterdam Authority for an extension of the lease.
As explained, the Works Council has been asked for advice about the possible 100 percent sale of shares in APM Terminals Rotterdam to Hutchison Ports. Consultations will also be held with trade unions about the intended sale, according to APM Terminals.
In addition, the duo will have to seek approval from the relevant competition authorities before the sale is completed.
Operational since October 2000, APM Terminals Rotterdam has an annual capacity of 3.25 million TEUs and is one of the largest container terminals in Europe. It is is a major transshipment center for the British, Irish, Scandinavian and Baltic markets.
K Line Joins Project to Develop Hydrogen Supply Chain
Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) is taking part in "CO₂-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-Chain Technology Research Association" (HySTRA), an association working towards creating an international CO₂ free energy supply chain, the company said.
The announcement comes days after the launching and naming of the project s centerpiece, also known as the world s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, Suiso Frontier, by Japanese shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
This vessel is owned by HySTRA, formed by Kawasaki, Iwatani Corporation (Iwatani), Shell Japan Limited, and Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER) in 2016, with the aim of promoting hydrogen as a fuel source.
The Susiso Frontier will be used for technology demonstration testing in Japanese FY 2020 aimed at the establishment of an international hydrogen energy supply chain in which liquefied hydrogen produced in Australia will be shipped to Japan. As part of the project, K Line said it would provide assistance for the safe transportation of liquefied hydrogen.
"K Line has been developing professional expertise and know-how concerning the safe operation of liquefied gas carriers and handling of liquefied gas cargoes such as LNG and LPG through its long history and diversified track-record of ownership and technical management of liquefied gas carriers. Based on such extensive experience, K Line will contribute to HySTRA s demonstration by providing assistance in the technical operation of Suiso Frontier," the company added.
The Japanese shipowner pointed out that its participation in HySTRA has been motivated by its belief that contributing towards the construction of an international supply chain of hydrogen, one of the primary drivers for the realization of low-carbon and carbon-free society, is fully compliant with its own corporate vision and philosophy.
The mass hydrogen marine transportation supply chain is planned to be derived from unused brown coal within the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization s (NEDO) demonstration project.
The pilot project is planned for 2020-2021, and it will demonstrate brown coal gasification and hydrogen refining at Latrobe Valley in Australia, hydrogen liquefaction and storage of liquefied hydrogen at Hastings, marine transportation of liquefied hydrogen from Australia to Japan and unloading of liquefied hydrogen in Japan.
Namely, a liquefied hydrogen unloading terminal is being built in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, and a brown coal gasification facility is being constructed in Australia.
DFDS Adds Another Firm to Its Logistics Portfolio
In an effort to further expand its European logistics network, Danish ferry and logistics company DFDS has acquired 100% of the share capital of the Finnish logistics company Freeco Logistics.
The transaction was closed on December 19, 2019, and Freeco Logistics will be consolidated in the DFDS Group.
"Freeco Logistics is a fast-growing Finnish provider of transport services that brings critical mass to our operation in Finland. We now have a much stronger platform to grow from," Niklas Andersson, Executive Vice President and Head of Logistics Division, said.
The newly acquired logistics company provides international transport services between mainly Finland and Scandinavia, Baltics and continental Europe. The company also offers domestic transport services. Operations include a fleet of around 150 trailers and 8 trucks.
As explained, Freeco Logistics expands and strengthens DFDS current activities between Finland and continental Europe and adds, in particular, in-house transport capacity and access to a large carrier network. The acquisition is thus expected to bring synergies from business development, according to the ferry operator.
The transaction comes ten days after DFDS bought Danish logistics company Huisman Group. DFDS plans with this move to expand its activities between continental Europe and the UK/Ireland and improve expertise in part-load solutions.
Container ship Master died after falling into ship s hold
47-year old Turkish Master of container ship LADY NURAY tragically died on board of his ship in the afternoon Dec 18. The ship is docked at Thessaloniki, Greece, he fell into cargo hold and hit his head. He was announced dead on arrival to hospital. Details of accident unknown, investigation under way.
Iron ore arrivals at Chinese ports rose by 3.65 million mt on week
SMM estimates that there were 108 vessels carrying 16.26 million mt of iron ore arrived at major Chinese ports during December 8-14, 3.65 million mt higher from the week ended December 7. Iron ore arrivals shrank 3.47 million mt in the week of December 7.
Iron ore deliveries leaving Australian ports fell 530,000 mt from the prior week to 14.45 million mt.
Kalmar s equipment heightening expertise to support EUROGATE Hamburg with straddle carrier modification
Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has concluded an agreement with long-term customer EUROGATE to heighten nine Kalmar straddle carriers operating at the EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg. The order was booked in Cargotec s 2019 Q4 order intake, with the work scheduled to commence in Q1 of 2020 and be completed by the beginning of Q3.
Nigeria: Manual Customs Processes, Overtime Cargo At Port Wasting Billions of Naira
The Chairman of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) Vicky Haastrup has said that the Federal Government was losing billions of naira as revenue due to manual cargo clearing process of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Haastrup maintained that the efficiency of the seaports is also being hampered by poor port access roads, and the preponderance of overtime goods at the nation s seaports.
Jask Port becomes free trade zone
Iran s Jask Port in southern Hormozgan province has become a free trade zone, IRNA reported on Tuesday, quoting the Transport and Urban Development Minister as saying.
Speaking in a conference on development of Iran s maritime services and infrastructure in Tehran, Mohammad Eslami said the program for turning the country s ports into free trade zones with the aim of facilitating investment and attracting foreign investors is on the government s agenda.
Shipping agents raise concerns over plans to privatise Larnaca port
Shipping agents on Tuesday expressed concerns over the government s goal of privatising Larnaca port, the only one left under full state control, expressing fears for the repetition of the mistakes made with that of Limassol.
In his address at the Shipping Agents Association annual general meeting, the group s chairman Panayiotis Christodoulou said the Cypriot port industry is at a crucial crossroad and the decisions the state is called upon to take will be extremely important for the immediate future.