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.:Maritime News :.
.: 10-Sep-2015 :.
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Largest cranes in Latin America arrive at MIT-Panama
Four new super post-Panamax gantry cranes, the largest in Latin America, arrived in Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT), a subsidiary of SSA Marine, located in the province of Colón.
President Juan Carlos Varela, accompanied by the Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, Jorge Barakat, Stanley Motta, director of MIT. and port administrative and operational staff, toured the facilities and witnessed the unloading of the new equipment.
"MIT is a successful example of private investment in one of the most important economic and logistics and transport components of Panama. The arrival of these cranes and the ongoing expansion of the port are not only important for the province of Colon, but are key to the consolidation of Panama as a logistics hub, especially soon after the entry into operation of the third set of locks" said President Varela.
After the commissioning of the four cranes, estimated as of October 2015, a total of 11 post-Panamax cranes and eight super post-Panamax cranes will serve on the 2,000 meters of quay at MIT for container ships.
Source: The Bulletin Panama
VLCC Rates Slump Seen Ending Soon
By Naomi Christie
(Bloomberg) - For operators of very large crude carriers, the tankers that move as much as 2 million barrels of oil across oceans on a single trip, the fourth quarter can't come fast enough.
Since July, shipping rates have dropped by 47 percent after later-than-usual maintenance caused Asian refineries to close and demand to fall. Now rates are poised to reach their highest levels in a final quarter since 2008, according to analysts who point to growth in the amount of crude scheduled to be loaded from West African countries in October. Nigeria is aiming for a 9.5 percent rise in the number of barrels shipped compared with last year, while Angola's programs show a 6.7 percent increase.
The total of Nigeria and Angola's loadings is set to be the highest for an October since records began in 2008.
The most likely buyer for the added barrels is Asia, with China building up its crude reserves as it takes advantage of higher refining margins, according to Charles Rupinski, an analyst who follows shipping for Global Hunter Securities LLC in New York. Winners may include Euronav NV, DHT Holdings Inc. and Frontline Ltd., all of which saw their shares drop between late July and late August as the hire rate declined.
As refineries restart, "we think the market will get tight," said Jonathan Chappell, an analyst with Evercore Partners Inc. in New York.
Refinery utilization in Asia has risen in seven of the last nine years in the fourth quarter compared with the third, according to data from the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based adviser to 29 nations. While the U.S. used to be the main buyer of West African crude, it’s now Asia, a factor that raises the number of miles each ton of crude travels.
More miles means higher rates, Brian Gallagher, Euronav's head of investor relations, said in a Sept. 4 telephone interview.
Daily rates for very large crude carriers on the benchmark Middle East-to-Japan route reached as high as $94,946 on July 20, according to data from the Baltic Exchange. By Aug. 21 rates had fallen 74 percent to $24,512 when later-than-usual refinery maintenance caused demand and rates to fall.
Analysts now forecast that very large crude carriers will earn an average of $55,000 a day in the fourth quarter, according to data gathered by Bloomberg. The last time the ships earned more than that in a fourth quarter was 2008, according to data from shipbroker Clarksons Platou A.S.
"Any good addition of demand from West Africa will add a lot to rates," said Odysseus Valatsas, the chartering manager of Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd., the Greece-based company whose VLCCs were booked most frequently in the past 12 months to load West African cargoes, according to broker data gathered by Bloomberg.
While no one is sure how long China will continue to stockpile crude, the relatively low price of oil compared with a year earlier will probably help stimulate demand from refineries in other parts of the world, said Andrian Dacy, the global head of maritime at JPMorgan Asset Management.
Another factor may also be at play, according to Frode Moerkedal, an Oslo-based analyst at RS Platou Markets AS. If the price of oil on the spot market drops well below the price on the futures market, a structure known as contango, it could cause traders to hire ships to store oil at sea with the higher rates in order to make a profit in the future, he said
October Brent crude traded at a $2.64 a barrel discount to the January contract Wednesday. The spread would need to widen to over $3 over a three-month period for storage to be viable, shipbroker E.A. Gibson Ltd in London wrote in an Aug. 25 e-mail.
"The contango is now widening," Moerkedal said. "It's still not in floating storage territory, but it could happen later this year if they continue to overproduce."
The climb in West Africa loading schedules coincides perfectly "with the decline in refinery outages in Asia and in Europe," said Erik Stavseth, a shipping analyst at Arctic Securities ASA in Oslo. Now, "those high loading programs will actually have somewhere to go."
MHI Secures Orders for Next-Generation LNG Carriers to Transport U.S. Gas
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said Wednesday it has secured two orders from Japanese clients to build next-generation LNG carriers to transport U.S. gas.
MHI says that one LNG carrier each will be delivered to two joint ventures that Chubu Electric Power Co. has established with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), respectively.
The vessels will be built to the so-called "Sayaringo STaGE" design, which achieves significant improvements in both LNG carrying capacity and fuel efficiency through the adoption of a more efficient hull structure and an innovative hybrid propulsion system.
Both vessels on order are scheduled for completion and delivery in 2018, at which point they will be put into service for transporting North American-produced shale gas primarily from the Freeport LNG Project in Texas, an initiative in which Chubu Electric Power is participating.
The two orders were received through MI LNG Company, Limited, a joint venture between MHI and Imabari Shipbuilding. The vessels will be constructed at MHI's Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works.
The vessels will have a length overall of 297.5 meters, width of 48.94m, depth of 27.0m and draft of 11.5m. Each carrier comes with four apple-shaped tanks, an improved version of Moss-type tanks designed with a bulging upper half. Total holding capacity of the tanks will be 180,000 cubic meters (m3).
The adoption of a tank cover integrated with the hull, developed by MHI with support from Aker Arctic Technology, enables a lighter vessel while fully retaining overall structural strength. The new design also reduces wind resistance during navigation.
MHI notes that the vessels will have a width allowing for passage through the expanded Panama Canal.
The LNG carriers on order will also feature a hybrid propulsion system dubbed "STaGE" (Steam Turbine and Gas Engines). MHI say that plant efficiency has been substantially improved through the effective use of the engine’s waste heat for steam turbine, resulting in a highly-efficient propulsion system at a range of speeds.
The latest two orders come on the heels of an order for two Sayaringo STaGE LNG carriers in April, preceded by an order placed in January for two next-generation LNG carriers to transport shale gas produced in North America.
Effective October 1st MHI will launch a wholly-owned ship construction company and transfer all operations in the construction of large-scale commercial ships in the Nagasaki district to the new entity. MHI says that the initiative will focus the company’s shipbuilding structure on the construction of gas carriers, a vessel type that MHI is considered a leading shipbuilder of.
The Freeport LNG Project is underway at the Freeport LNG terminal in Texas and calls for the establishment of a new natural gas liquefaction facility to refine and liquefy shale gas and other natural gases produced in the U.S. at a rate of up to 13.2 million tons per year. The launch of commercial production is scheduled for around 2018.