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.:Maritime News :.
.: 9-Dec-2019 :.
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Deltamarin, GTT Win AIP for Dual-Fuel Newcastlemax Design
Classification society ABS has granted approval in principle (AIP) to Finnish ship designer Deltamarin and French engineering company GTT for a dual-fuel Newcastlemax bulk carrier design.
The trio has been cooperating on the development of the LNG-fueled energy-efficient Newcastlemax bulker, which is intended to meet current and future environmental targets, by introducing GTT membrane type LNG tanks with LNG fuel stored at atmospheric pressure and designed to ABS class.
As explained, the AIP addresses the design s introduction of a membrane fuel tank sited in the aft of the vessel.
The tank design is intended to maximize cargo capacity, with the additional tank having zero impact on available cargo space or the vessel’s hull dimensions.
"A design such as this would allow owners and operators to capitalize on the potential of LNG as marine fuel to help meet emissions reduction objectives without having to compromise on cargo load," Patrick Janssens, ABS Vice President Global Gas Solutions, commented.
EU Gives Green Light to Nord/LB s Recapitalization
The European Commission has found Germany s plans to strengthen the capital position of state-owned Norddeutsche Landesbank - Girozentrale (Nord/LB) to be free of any state aid.
The measures involve a direct investment of EUR 2.8 billion (USD 3.1 billion) as well as investments to carry out the necessary structural changes and downsizing of the bank to ensure that Nord/LB continues to operate profitably on the market.
Specifically, the commission found that the planned measures are carried out on market terms, meaning that the state receives remuneration in line with what a private operator would also accept in the same circumstances. Therefore, the measures involve no state aid within the meaning of EU rules.
The European Central Bank gave its approval to the plan on November 29, 2019.
"Germany s plan aims at keeping Nord/LB as a stable and profitable bank in public ownership while keeping the door open for future consolidation of the wider German Landesbank sector. We have found that the state is investing under the same conditions as a private owner would have accepted, in line with EU State aid rules," Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said.
Nord/LB is owned by two German Federal States and several publicly-owned regional savings banks. At the beginning of 2019, following the sale of a portfolio of non-performing loans to the market, the bank recorded losses in one of its business lines, namely ship financing.
The balance sheet of the bank amounts to about EUR 150 billion. Its non-performing loans amount to 2.7% of total assets and are concentrated in one business line, shipping, which the bank now intends to exit.
Under the recapitalization plan, the two German Lander Lower Saxony and Saxony Anhalt and the Institutional Protection Scheme of the publicly-owned German savings bank sector (DSGV) are planning to invest a total amount of approximately EUR 2.8 billion in the bank at the end of 2019.
In addition, the Land of Lower Saxony plans to provide asset guarantees that are expected to result in EUR 0.8 billion capital relief for the bank, in return for the corresponding remuneration.
"The EU Commission s decision is an important milestone in strengthening the bank s capital and in the realigning of NORD/LB," Thomas Burkle, Chairman of the Board of Management of NORD/LB, explained in a separate statement.
"We will now consistently continue the restructuring of NORD/LB which has already begun in order to establish ourselves on the market as a profitable and crisis-resistant bank."
Report: Bahri Linked to Charter of LNG Carriers
The world s largest owner and operator of very large crude oil carriers (VLCCs) Bahri has reportedly issued an expression of interest (EOI) to charter up to 12 liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers from 2025, Reuters writes citing industry sources.
The EOI is yet to be confirmed by Saudi Arabia s national shipping company, which through its five business units, owns and operates a fleet of 90 vessels. These include 43 VLCCs, 36 chemical tankers, six multipurpose vessels, and five dry bulk carriers.
Bahri s foray into LNG is believed to be in line with its parent s expansion into LNG trading as a way of boosting its revenues.
Namely, Saudi Aramco has teamed up with several companies on various fronts as part of its efforts to become a major LNG player.
A year ago Saudi Aramco and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the world s top energy producers from the Arabian Gulf, entered into a framework agreement to explore collaboration opportunities in the natural gas and LNG sectors.
Furthermore, in May this year, the company inked a 20-year LNG sales and purchase deal with Sempra Energy for five million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG offtake from Phase 1 of the Port Arthur LNG export project, under development in North America. The deal also includes the negotiation and finalization of a 25% equity investment in Phase 1 of Port Arthur LNG.
Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco s CEO & President, said at the time that the company plans to continue to pursue strategic cooperation deals in the sector ahead of an anticipated increase in global demand for LNG expected by around 4% per year, exceeding 500 million metric tons a year by 2035.
The proposed Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project is expected to include two liquefaction trains, up to three LNG storage tanks and associated facilities that should enable the export of approximately 11 Mtpa of LNG on a long-term basis.
Saudi’s state oil giant has been hitting the headlines with its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO), described as the biggest share sale to date. According to the BBC, Saudi Aramco managed to raise USD 25.6 billion through its IPO of 1.5 % stake in the company.
The share sale was significantly scaled down from the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman s original plan to sell a 5% stake in the oil giant and raise USD 100 billion for the country s mega infrastructural plans envisioned within Saudi s Vision 2030.
The IPO failed to spark enough interest from energy super-powers like Russia and Norway, hence its the share s listing in New York and London did not come to fruition. Instead, the shares were mainly bought by Saudi citizens and institutions in Saudi Arabia and the region.
Oldendorff Carriers Joins the Getting to Zero Coalition
Germany-based dry bulk carrier owner and operator Oldendorff Carriers has become a member of the Getting to Zero Coalition.
The German shipping company joins renowned industry names like Maersk, Shell, Ocean Network Express (ONE), Norden, Wärtsilä, and most recently Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).
The coalition is an alliance of more than 100 likeminded companies and organisations within the maritime sphere, which have committed to achieving the vision of decarbonizing the shipping industry and meeting the IMO targets of halving GHG emissions by 2050 compared to 2008 levels.
Specifically, the coalition aims to get commercially viable deep-sea zero-emission vessels powered by zero-emission fuels into operation by 2030.
The alliance was launched at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23, 2019. It was founded by the Global Maritime Forum, in collaboration with the Friends of Ocean Action, and the World Economic Forum.
"Following the recent COP25 Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Oldendorff Carriers recognizes the urgency to stop climate change. We will continue to investigate non-GHG causing methods of energy and propulsion for ships. Over 95% of the Oldendorff fleet, and most of our chartered vessels, are eco type vessels.
"Oldendorff Carriers has also recently signed a research agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology s (MIT) Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), which will investigate disruptive improvements in ship design and propulsion to achieve the IMO 2030/50 requirements," the company said commenting on the move.
Chinese Port Influence Overhyped, Says Drewry
Global expansion and influence by Chinese port companies is not as significant as the hype that surrounds it, a maritime consultancy has said.
Continued media coverage has ensured Chinese port players remain a major port sector topic, but their growth figures have had less of an impact than the scrutiny that fuels interest in their movements, suggests Drewry.
Speaking during Drewry s latest ports and terminals market briefing, Neil Davidson, senior analyst, port and terminals, said that data showed that Chinese operators have gained their strongest market shares in Europe and central America, but haven t made significant progress in South America or Asia.
"It s not easy to find the right opportunities," Mr Davidson said, adding Chinese companies are paying a premium but are competing with other operators. "There have been some major acquisitions but the global container market is a big one."
Looking at the Belt and Road initiative, he observed that the focus is now more on domestic consolidation due to perceived disorganisation in the country s ports market.
China Cosco Shipping and CMP have recorded average equity teu growth rates of 11% and 9% per annum since 2013. This is largely due to organic growth and M&A activity. Hutchinson has fared less well, seeing its volumes plateau in recent years due to its Hong Kong base.
Japan to halve tax on international cargo ships to attract more vessels
Japan will halve the tax on international cargo ships from North America and Europe regularly entering ports in three major metropolitan areas to raise their cost competitiveness against other Asian hub ports, government sources said.
The cut in so-called tonnage dues is part of the government s planned tax reform measures for fiscal 2020 starting next April, the sources said. It will be the first time the tax rates have changed since 1964.
The tax reduction will apply to container ships coming to seven major ports through main global liner routes from North America and Europe, they said.
Under the current rule of tonnage dues charged according to ships net tonnage, or cargo space volume, foreign vessels pay 108 yen ($1) per ton annually regardless of the number of their port calls, or 36 yen per ton at each arrival. Only the annual rate will be cut, the sources said.
The government s tax reform package is expected to be formulated in mid-December.