Friday, 17 January 2014 18:45

Saudi Aramco begins refined diesel exports

293 Saudi-Aramco

In a coals to Newcastle type development, Saudi-Aramco will for the first time ship diesel oil from the new state of the art, 400,000 barrels/day capacity, Jubail refinery in Saudi Arabia to Europe this month. This is about as welcome as a cold bath in January for hard pressed European refineries. Several cargoes of jet fuel, gasoline and diesel have already been shipped to Asia since the refinery opened for business last year.

293 HongKong

The Hong Kong government has announced that it will make switching to low sulphur fuel mandatory for vessels at berth from 2015 — the first Asian port to do so. A draft Bill that requires sulphur content to be no more than 0.5% will be tabled at the Legislative Council for a vote in mid-2014 after Hong Kong’s local marine called for a leveling of the playing field. Under the so called Fair Winds Charter, for the past three years, some ship owners have been voluntarily switching to low sulphur fuel but this was by no means universal – hence the decision to legislate.

293 Pomalaa

 Loading nickel ore in Pomalaa, Indonesia

Following weeks of last minute lobbying by national and international mining companies, the Indonesian government last weekend enacted a new law banning the export of some unprocessed minerals. The main targets are nickel ore and bauxite under a law passed by Indonesia’s parliament in 2009 under which says mineral ores are required to be processed at domestic smelters from 12 January, 2014. Indonesia’s Ministry for Mines and Energy had proposed a three-year exemption that would allow companies to export unprocessed minerals until 2017 provided they make a commitment to build domestic smelters. Jakarta modified its proposals at the last minute to allow exports of iron ore, copper and some other concentrates to continue. Last week a number of Chinese owned and chartered vessels were reported as having been prevented from leaving Indonesian ports, just two days before the ban came into force. China imported around 65 million tons of nickel for the first 10 months of 2013, nearly all of it from Indonesia and the Philippines.

Nickel ore exports from Indonesia have long been controversial on account of mis-declaration of Transportable Moisture Limits (TML) which has resulted in the loss of at least six vessels, namely:

October 2010:               Jian Fu Star, 13 fatalities
November 2010:            Nasco Diamond, 21 fatalities
December 2010             Hong Wei, 10 fatalities
December, 2011:           Vinalines Queen, 22 fatalities
February 2012:              Harita Bauxite, 15 fatalities
August 2012:                 Trans Summer sank off Hong Kong, but all 21 crew were rescued by helicopters.

All vessels were carrying nickel ore from Indonesia to China.

Friday, 17 January 2014 18:40

Loss of Costa Concordia - 2nd Anniversary

293 CostaConcordia1  293 CostaConcordia2

The Italian navy and relatives of the 32 people who lost their lives released a wreath on January 13 on the second anniversary of the Costa Concordia disaster. On Giglio island, the accident was commemorated with a mass in the church that housed survivors on the night of the tragedy. Judges and survivors stood in silence at the theatre turned courtroom where Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel before all passengers had been evacuated. The trial has been postponed due to a strike by lawyers in Italy and has been rescheduled for January 27. A stone plaque bearing the names of those who lost their lives has been posted on the Island (above right).

Where the Costa Concorida will be scrapped has yet to be announced but for obvious reasons, given the precarious state of the vessel, her insurers are hoping that it will be somewhere in the Mediterranean. An announcement on the winning tender is expected in March and the vessel is being prepared for moving in June. It was revealed last week that after an extensive tender process, a total of 12 yards spread over Italy, the UK, France, Norway, Turkey, the Netherlands, and China are competing for the contract to dismantle and recycle the vessel. That’s quite a chunk of steel to cut up.

The Pacific Pilotage Authority is inviting expressions of interest from parties interested in providing a pilot boat service in Cape Beale (Port Alberni) area.

Parties wishing to find out more about this opportunity are asked to contact PPA by telephone at 604-666-8575 to obtain background documentation.  Expressions of interest must be received no later than Friday, January 31st at 4:00 pm PST.

Friday, 17 January 2014 18:37

Important carrier code policy update

As previously advised through Canada Border Services Agency’s Customs Notice 13-020 – Marine Mode Carrier Codes – Transition Period Extension, marine agent carrier codes are set to expire now on January 30, 2014.   This date is expected to remain unchanged, however we understand that CBSA will continue to work with agents to ensure that the applications are submitted and processed in a timely manner. 

Please note that the following points have been clarified this week:

  • Only vessels with import cargo or freight remaining on board are required to use a valid carrier code issued by CBSA.  Vessels arriving in ballast can use the generic carrier code, “9ITN”, as the carrier code for inward and outward clearances provided that these are submitted in paper format and not electronically.

Further information on carrier code eligibility as it pertains to single agents is expected to be released next week.

Marcella Szel has been picked by the board to replace Nancy Olewiler, whose term as a director expired on December 31, 2013. Szel has been on the TransLink board since January 2012. A former CP Rail executive and Coal Association of Canada board member, Szel is also vice chair of Port Metro Vancouver. View news release.  Brenda Eaton, who served as deputy minister to former premier Gordon Campbell, has joined the board for a three-year term.  The other board members are Howard Nemtin (vice chair), Robin Chakrabarti, Rick Christiaanse, Lorraine Cunningham, W. John Dawson, Barry Forbes, and Don Rose.

293 vancouver-wa

    site of proposed new Tesoro oil export terminal

On January 10, a Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of the Port of Vancouver, WA against three environmental groups that have been trying to stop development of a 42-acre oil-handling terminal for Tesoro. The three groups – Columbia Riverkeeper, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center and the Sierra Club jointly sued in October 2013 to stop the project on the basis that a 10-year, $45 million lease agreement was approved before an environmental study had been conducted. The project involves the development and operation of a new 120,000 barrels-per-daycrude-by-rail unloading and marine export facility.

Friday, 17 January 2014 18:27

Kitimat LNG takes a step forward

293 KitimatLNG

The Chevron Apache LNG project, Kitimat LNG, is cautiously moving forward by engaging a joint venture between two international engineering firms Fluor Corporation and JGC Corp to undertake the engineering, procurement and construction for the proposed terminal at Bish Cove. JGC will be responsible for the liquefaction facilities and Fluor will oversee utilities and offsite facilities. Even so, the company has yet to announce a final investment decision (FID) on the $4.5 billion projectwhich has a license from the National Energy Board to export up to 10 million tonnes of LNG per year for 20 years. Both the provincial and federal governments have approved an environmental assessment of the project.

293 Australia1  293 Australia2

As if white-washing the Brits in the just completed Ashes Series (cricket) were not enough, the latest secret weapon employed by the Aussies is to bake the opposition at the Melbourne tennis open. South-East Australia has been hit with extreme hot weather with temperatures comfortably above 40C this week causing play in Melbourne to be suspended as players and spectators wilted under the sun.

293 PanamaCanal

It appears that in the dispute between The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and its expansion contractor GUPC, both sides have taken a step back from allowing the dispute to disrupt the construction schedule. ACP has also this week published a list of FAQ and has assured the International Chamber of Shipping that the dispute will not impact the transit toll proposals already published.

ACP has released a construction update on Youtube, see

293 Qmax

One of the world’s largest LNG carriers, a 266,000 CBM Qatari owned Q-Max is to be converted to a capability to run on LNG. The country owns 14 modern Q-Max vessels and 11 smaller Q-Flex vessels with 216,000 cu m capacity hence if technically proven worthwhile this could be the precursor to a major program of hybrid dual fuel retrofits. Already extremely efficient, the fleet was installed with re-liquefaction units to return boil-off vapour to the cargo tank to maximize cargo volumes delivered.


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