• 18 Jun 2014 8:51 AM | Anonymous

    Original news was published on 17 June, 2014

    CONTAINER volumes at the US ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach rose in May as shippers fearful of labour disruption sent goods to retail outlets before the contract between longshoremen and terminal operators expires on July 1.

    Los Angeles handled 689,141 TEU in May, an 8.2 per cent increase compared to the same month a year earlier. Long Beach handled 600,000 TEU, a 2.7 per cent year-on-year increase, and the busiest May since 2007.

    LA handled 351,403 container imports, up 7.75 per cent, and exported 158,473 boxes in May, an increase of 2.3 per cent year on year.

    Combined, total loaded imports and exports rose six per cent from 481,019 TEU in May 2013 to 509,876 TEU in May 2014. Empties were up 15 per cent year on year.

    In the first five months of the year, cargo rose by eight per cent, partly due to uncertainty over contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association that represents west coast employees.

    The contract talks started in May and are expected to go beyond the July 1 expiry date, at which point a legal strike is a possibility. In response, retailers have been shipping early to ensure they are stocked for the back-to-school sales.

    About 312,439 TEU flowed into Long Beach, a 2.3 per cent increase in imports year on year, while exports dipped slightly at 0.3 per cent with 146,702 TEU. Empties were up 7.1 per cent at 140,368 TEU.


  • 18 Jun 2014 8:44 AM | Anonymous

    Original news was published on 17 June, 2014

    Signet Arcturus, a 105’ x 38’ Z-Drive, designed by Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia was delivered by Patti Marine Enterprises of Pensacola, Florida on May 25, 2014.

    Signet Arcturus is powered by two Caterpillar model C175-16 main engines, each rated 3417 BHP at 1800 RPM. The engines are coupled to two Rolls-Royce US 255 CP azimuth thrusters via carbon fiber shafting, providing thrust for ABS certified sustained bollard pull of 83.45 metric tonnes. All Caterpillar mains and John Deere 6068TFM76 generator engines aboard the vessel are U.S. EPA Tier 3 certified for reduced emissions.

    Joseph W. Dahl, Vice President, Signet Maritime said: “this technologically advanced newbuild complements Signet’s offshore towing, rig escort and subsea expansion.”

    Signet Arcturus will be joined by her sister, Signet Polaris, a second ocean towing tractor tug, scheduled for delivery later this month from Patti Marine. Both tugs will be based at Signet’s Ocean Towing Division in Port Fourchon, Louisiana for service to the offshore energy industry.

    Further, Dahl said, “bundling the controllable pitch propeller (CPP) tractor technology with the brute strength of SIGNET WARHORSE tugs will provide our customers the best of both worlds in strength and agility.”

    The vessel is equipped with fire resistant wheelhouse windows for servicing LNG and drilling platforms to ensure safety of the crew in case of fire hazard. It is USCG Inspected and is certified ABS International Air Pollution Prevention, International Oil Pollution Prevention and International Energy Efficiency for environmental compliance.

    Deck machinery includes a Markey model DEPCF-52S, 75 HP electric bow winch and Markey model TESD-34, 100 HP electric double-drum towing winch. The bow winch contains 650 feet of 3-inch diameter synthetic line and the towing winch contains 2 ¼” x 2500’ tow wire and one 2 ¼” x 1500’ tow wire. Signet Arcturus is ABS Maltese Cross A1, towing vessel, escort vessel, fire fighting vessel class 1, Maltese Cross AMS.

    With the inclusion of the Arcturus and the Polaris the Offshore Towing Division has increased its fleet to ten OTVs, equipping Signet to provide energy service companies with high bollard pull towing and marine movements from harbor to offshore throughout the Gulf of Mexico.


  • 17 Jun 2014 8:48 AM | Anonymous
    Original news was pubished on 16 June, 2014

    Through the transaction, Star Bulk is acquiring an operating fleet of 15 dry bulk carrier vessels, with an average age of 5.6 years and an aggregate capacity of approximately 1.75 million dwt.

    The fleet includes five Capesize vessels, two post‐Panamax vessels, six Kamsarmax vessels and two Supramax vessels and contracts for the construction of 26 fuel‐efficient, eco‐design newbuilding dry bulk vessels including eight Newcastlemax vessels, eight Capesize vessels and ten Ultramax vessels each being built at shipyards in Japan and China.

    The newbuild vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

    Upon completion of the transaction, the Oaktree Investors will own 61.3% of Star Bulk’s shares of common stock and the Pappas Investors will own 12.5% of Star Bulk’s common stock.

    In connection with the transaction, Star Bulk has agreed to enter into shareholders agreements with the Oaktree Investors and the Pappas Investors providing for certain voting restrictions, standstill obligations and ownership limitations and, for the Oaktree Investors, certain rights to make Board nominations and to appoint officers of the company.

    As part of the transaction, the Oaktree Investors, the Pappas Investors and the company have agreed that Mr. Petros Pappas will become the Chief Executive Officer of the company and Mr. Spyros Capralos will become Non‐Executive Chairman of the Board.

    Spyros Capralos, President & CEO of Star Bulk, commented: “The transaction marks an important next step in the evolution for Star Bulk.

    Since 2013, Star Bulk has dramatically improved its market capitalization and liquidity through the successful completion of the rights offering and add‐on equity offering, modernized its existing fleet and placed a series of significant newbuilding orders to position the company for the future.

    With this transaction the company creates the largest U.S. listed dry bulk company with a strong shareholder base.

    We believe that the transaction is accretive to earnings, cash flow, and net asset value, and also has additional benefits as it will dramatically increase the market capitalization and asset base, enhance the on‐the‐water fleet portfolio, increase the newbuilding portfolio by combining two similar newbuild strategies, and improve access to capital to fund the current and assumed capital expenditure obligations.

    In addition, the combined business will be well positioned to capitalize on an improving dry bulk market with significant operating leverage to rising rates. ”

    The transaction is expected to close within the next 30 days subject to customary conditions, including the affirmative vote of a majority of Star Bulk’s shareholders that are not affiliated with the Oaktree Investors or the Pappas Investors to approve the transaction at a special meeting of shareholders.


  • 17 Jun 2014 8:46 AM | Anonymous

    Original news was published on 16 June, 2014

    JAPANESE shipping giant NYK has acquired 30 per cent ownership of the CSI (Consorcio de Servicios Internacionales) Group, a finished-car logistics company as domestic auto sales and export boom.

    The signing ceremony was held at the NYK head office in Tokyo and attended by CSI chief executive Leon Antonio Flores Elizondo and NYK president Yasumi Kudo.

    Mexican exports of cars is increasing, and a number of car companies making plans to build and expand plants is growing as domestic sales contribute to Mexico's strong economic performance, said an NYK statement.

    Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) is one of the world's leading transportation companies operating 846 major ocean vessels, as well as fleets of planes, trains, and trucks.

    NYK's fleet consists of 389 bulk carriers, 126 containerships, 120 car carriers, 82 tankers, 51 wood-chip carriers, 28 LNG carriers, 18 heavy-load carriers / conventional ships, three cruise ships, and 29 other ships.


  • 16 Jun 2014 8:44 AM | Anonymous

    Original news was published on 15 June, 2014

    “In the specialised shipbuilding sector, this is the most important ship we have built in the past 20 years. She has opened a door for us into a market segment which will help to secure the future of our concern”, said FSG Managing Director Peter Sierk.

    Speaking during the hand-over ceremony he also recalled the orders signed just this spring for two further offshore ships for Siem Offshore for charter to Helix Energy Solutions.

    “We are making our mark in this market segment, drawing attention to ourselves because of our outstanding performance and working to create follow-up orders. We are very proud of all of this”, the yard chief said.

    The AMAZON WARRIOR is an Amazon-class vessel that features the world´s first custom-built hull and propulsion system, developed exclusively for seismic operationsusing a WesternGeco proprietary design.

    As far as efficiency, safety, reliability and durabilityare concerned; this vessel meets the highest of demands and supports secureoperation anywhere the ship operates, including the Polar Regions, even in the most inhospitable weather conditions.


  • 16 Jun 2014 8:41 AM | Anonymous

    China has issued new air emission standards for boilers undefined old and new.

    For companies installing new boilers, the limits take effect on July 1, 2014. Existing boilers with capacities greater than 10 tons per hour must meet the stricter standards by October 1, 2015; smaller boilers by July 1, 2016.

    Retrofitting and upgrading could cost more than US$50 billion, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources. Already, companies are moving to comply.

    “As a result of the large emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from China’s thermal power plants, industrial and space heating boilers, which are primarily fired with coal, the country has been faced with the increasing challenge of poor air quality and environmental pollution, including the heavy smog which has hit vast areas in China recently,” Gang Li, chairman of NF Energy Saving in Beijing, said in a statement. “It has been mandated in China’s Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Program for the 12(th) 5 year Plan Period that energy efficiency enhancements and dust removal retrofits shall be conducted on coal-fired industrial boilers and emission intensive industries such as iron, steel and cement making.

    Li said his company NF Energy Saving has signed a US$3.38 million contract in Beijing to retrofit coal-fired boilers owned by a Chinese aircraft manufacturing company.

    NF Energy Saving will provide and install boiler denitration, dust removal and desulfurization systems two sets of equipment at the project for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions reduction and dust removal. Li anticipates there will many more such contracts in the future.


  • 14 Jun 2014 9:09 AM | Anonymous
    Original news was published on 13 June, 2014

    Crossrail, Europe’s biggest civil engineering project, is receiving critical data from the world’s first smart tunnel, operated by University of Cambridge engineers.

    “A project as big as Crossrail comes with all sorts of engineering challenges,” Robert Mair, head of civil engineering and of the Center for Smart Infrastructure and Construction at the University of Cambridge, said in a statement. “One of the most important of those challenges is how you excavate large tunnels underneath urban infrastructure without causing any distress to buildings or other tunnels.”

    Cambridge engineers installed an underground laboratory in the old Royal Mail Tunnel that runs just a few meters above the excavation of one of Crossrail’s new tunnels. The two tunnels run parallel to each other for more than 100 meters. This is the first time that two tunnels have been dug in London in such close proximity and parallel to each other for such a long distance

    The lab contains hundreds of low-cost sensors that monitor the movement of the old tunnel as construction proceeds. The Cambridge technology is answering how much movement is happening, what form the movement is taking and whether it is within acceptable limits. In fact, the sensors can detect movements as small as one-hundredth of a millimeter, which means any potential problems can be identified and corrected before they cause any damage to the older tunnel.

    “By installing the kind of sensors that can give a continuous update about how much those tunnels might be moving and what changes are taking place, we can answer a lot of important questions about the value of our current infrastructure, the future of it, whether it needs to be maintained, whether it needs to be replaced undefined all those kinds of issues can be much better quantified,” Mair said.


  • 14 Jun 2014 9:08 AM | Anonymous
    Original news was published on 13 June, 2014

    Signalling a major commitment to tug fleet renewal, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has placed a 10-vessel order with Damen Shipyards Group, as part of the state-owned operator’s strategic shift from chartered in to owned tonnage. The new tugs, which are expected to enhance operating efficiencies while reduce running costs, will provide mooring and manoeuvring support to tankers in Venezuelan ports and harbours.

    Following a global tender, the contract calls for Dutch shipbuilding group Damen to supply ten ASD 2810 type Azimuthing Stern Drive tugs, each with a 60 tonne bollard pull rating. Seven of these 28m long tugs are being supplied by Damen Shipyards Galati (Romania), while the remaining three are being built at Damen’s joint venture Song Cam yard in Vietnam. All ten tugs are expected to be delivered by the end of July this year.

    The Venezuelan oil company has several years of experience operating chartered-in tonnage to the ASD 2810 design. However, this is the first time that Damen has secured a direct contract from PDVSA.

    “There are two main reasons why PDVSA opted for the Damen design,” says Erik Hertel, Damen regional sales manager. “Technically the ASD 2810’s flexibility and high-end performance makes a perfect match for PDVSA requirements; this is our most popular standard tug and has a proven track record for reliability. In addition we were able to provide a very short delivery time as a result of our policy of building tugs for stock.”

    The 10 tugs have each been specified with a number of optional extras, including FiFi 1 capability, an aft towing winch and a larger than usual deck crane. The latter will have a lift capacity of 1.45 tonnes and 12.6m outreach.

    Hertel suggest that while this is the first direct Damen contract with PDVSA, it may not be the last. “We are talking to PDVSA about further orders to meet their various requirements as a result of the ongoing tug renewal project,” he says. “We developed a close cooperation with them as part of this project and we hope very much to build a long term partnership over the months to come.”

    In addition to tug newbuilding contracts, the shipbuilder and PDVSA are in active discussions over the possibility of Damen setting up service and maintenance facilities to support the operations of its new fleet of tugs in Venezuela.


  • 13 Jun 2014 8:52 AM | Anonymous
    Original news was published on 12 June, 2014

    BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron recently toured Liverpool2, which when completed will become Europe's first semi-automated container port able to accommodate 95 per cent of the world's containerships.

    "Liverpool2 will allow the biggest ships to unload via Merseyside. So many ships come to southern ports yet so much freight is destined for the North. This ensures freight can come directly to the North," said Mr Cameron.

    The GBP300 million (US$504 million) Liverpool port expansion is being undertaken by Peel Ports to create the most central deep water container terminal in the UK offering customers complete ship-to-door service.

    Mr Cameron announced a GBP150 million partnership to create the first canal-linked logistics park in the UK, with a direct feed from Liverpool2, connecting a number of hubs along the Manchester Ship Canal.

    Said Peel Ports CEO Mark Whitworth: "We were pleased to show the Prime Minister how Liverpool2 is progressing. What makes Liverpool2 special is its location and facilities."

    Peel Ports announced in April 2014 a GBP100 million deal with Shanghai's ZPMC to supply eight ship-to-shore megamax quay cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes.

    With semi-automated remote-controlled operation, the cranes will reduce the time taken to transfer boxes. They will also have the ability to operate at speeds in excess of 30mph and wind speeds of up to 55mph (88kph).

    The port is also supported by a fully integrated Navis N4 terminal operating system, autogates and ABB equipment controls. Together, they are intended to make Liverpool2 one of the most efficient ports in Northern Europe.


  • 13 Jun 2014 8:50 AM | Anonymous

    Original news was published on 12 June, 2014

    COLOMBO is expected to move up the league table from 32nd to 21st spot in the Top 50 World Container Ports this year with the new berths of the Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT), reported Lanka Business Today.

    It said the completion of the third and final phase of CICT will have a dramatic effect on container throughput at the island nation with an annual capacity of 2.5 million TEU being added to the Colombo shipping hub.

    At present, the throughput at Colombo has a capacity of 4.26 million TEU.

    According to the list, Port Bremen/Bremerhaven in Germany currently occupies the 21st spot with volumes of 6.12 million TEU, while Xiamen is in 20th place with 7.20 million TEU.

    The new CICT terminals, developed over three stages, opened the third phase of its facility recently in the reclaimed south area of Colombo port. The terminal began operations last year.

    According to the Hong Kong's China Merchants Holdings International (CMHI) annual report, the facility handled 60,000 TEU last year, as it gradually boosted its operational capabilities.

    The new port project is the result of US$500 million of investment by China Merchants, the largest direct foreign investment in the country. China Merchants holds 85 per cent stake and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) holds the remainder.

    According to general manager of CICT, Tissa Wickramasinghe, the new capacity at Colombo, which acts as a transshipment port for the potentially vast markets of the Indian subcontinent, could alter container supply chains in the region.

    Mr Wickramasinghe said the opening of the new terminals, the route between Chittagong, Singapore and Colombo could be rationalised.

    Much cargo is being carried by feeder vessels from Chittagong to Singapore and then transshipped onto larger vessels on the westbound Asia-Europe services.

    He is of the view that if the Colombo Port is able to cut out the Chittagong-Singapore leg, it would attract an extra million TEU and offer European importers reduced shipping costs.

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