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  • 30 May 2014 12:32 PM | Anonymous

    FURTHER shipping line consolidation among the world's top 20 carriers is being hindered by ownership structures, according to Alphaliner's assessment of the industry's merger and acquisitions prospects.

    Fourteen out of the top 21 carriers are publicly listed companies, yet they are controlled by either state-owned entities or family-owned concerns that tend to be more resistant to takeovers.

    The last mega-merger wave in the liner industry occurred between 1997 and 2005. It involved top players P&O and Nedlloyd, Hanjin Shipping and DSR-Senator, NOL/APL, Maersk/Sea-Land, Maersk and P&O Nedlloyd, and Hapag-Lloyd acquired CP Ships.

    Five of the liner companies acquired were publicly listed without controlling shareholders, making those acquisitions easier to execute.

    The latest merger involves Germany's Hapag-Lloyd and Chile's CSAV. There is potential also for the two leading Chinese carriers, Cosco and CSCL to merge. However, none of the other state controlled carriers give any indication they were willing to give up control.

    Most controlling shareholders of other major shipping lines are either unable or unwilling to pump additional cash to recapitalise the carriers, with several resorting to asset sales to maintain liquidity.

    For example, the Israel Corporation's reluctance to rescue Zim with additional cash injections has pushed the line further into the hands of its creditors.

    Despite a belated injection of US$200 million under a new restructuring plan, the Israel Corp's stake in Zim is to be cut from 99.7 per cent to only 32 per cent.

    Zim is not considered a viable consolidation candidate, due to its special ties to Israel's administration.

    The government's golden share in Zim restricts the transfer of the ocean carrier's shares and stipulates that the company has to remain incorporated in Israel, with a majority of Israeli board members.




  • 30 May 2014 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    SHIP Finance International Ltd, affiliated with shipping magnate John Fredricksen, has won seven-year, time-charter agreements for four 8,700 TEU eco-design newbuildings, reported Vancouver's Ship & Bunker

    The company described the charterer only as being "a large, European-based container line," and said the contracts will add a total of US$46 million to its estimated annual earnings before interest, taxes, deductions, and amortisation (EBITDA).

    It has also struck a deal to buy two 82,000 dwt Kamsarmax dry bulk carriers in connection with an eight-year time-charter agreement for the ships with a state-owned Chinese company.

    "We are pleased to announce acquisitions and long-term charters to top quality counterparties that will continue to build our long-term distribution capacity," said CEO Ole Hjertaker.

    "The container vessels under construction are currently ahead of schedule, and the charter-rate is reflective of the very high specifications including the latest in eco-design features."


  • 29 May 2014 10:31 AM | Anonymous

    Increases in global refinery throughput in 2014 are being led by refining industries in Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States with access to discounted crude oil feedstocks, according to ESAI Energy’s recently published Global Refining Outlook. And with export‐oriented refiners in each of these countries looking to compete for market share in Europe, that region’s refinery operators should see their margins and profitability squeezed.

    In an environment of mostly deteriorating benchmark refining margins, global throughput rates are being led higher by refiners in Russia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S., where crude processing is set to rise, on a yearly basis, by a combined 1.2 million barrels per day in the first half of 2014 and another 600,000 b/d in the second half.

    “These three industries are being bolstered by new refining capacity and by their access to crude feedstock that is priced below international market rates,” says Christopher Barber, a Manager of Refining at ESAI Energy. “Cheaper crude oil inputs are insulating these operators from any deterioration in global refining margins.”

    Throughput in Saudi Arabia is rising due to some of the lowest crude oil production costs in the world and the addition of two 400,000 b/d refineries, one of which launched late last year. Russian throughput is benefitting from an oil export duty structure that ensures that the domestic crude price is heavily discounted relative to refined products and encourages high utilization rates. Increases in U.S. refining are being driven by the greater access of coastal refiners to inland North American crude that is trading at a discount to international benchmark Brent.

    Growing throughput elsewhere has big consequences for Europe, where refiners are beholden to feedstock priced against Brent. European margins are also exposed to U.S. and Russian deliveries of diesel to OECD Europe, which imported a record 460,000 b/d from those sources in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are importing fewer barrels of European gasoline. According to Barber, “the bigger than usual increase in product supply in the U.S., Russia and
    Saudi Arabia in 2014 represents an inflection point for Europe’s vulnerable refineries.”


  • 29 May 2014 10:29 AM | Anonymous

      Original news was published on 28 May, 2014

    Safmarine has expanded its Europe-West Africa service with the launch of Energy, a dedicated service to provide the oil and gas industry with a premium shipping service to West Africa.

    “The service, which has a frequency of every 18 days, will make direct calls at Aberdeen (UK), Antwerp (Belgium) and Portugal before calling the Nigerian port of Onne and Luanda, Sonils, Soyo and Lobito in Angola,” Safmarine MPV managing director Jorg Knuttel said in a statement. “Transit times will also be significantly shorter than those currently available.”

    Safmarine first introduced the new service at Breakbulk Europe 2014 held earlier this month in Antwerp, Belgium.

    Further, Safmarine merged two existing services, Ace and Opex. The new service, dubbed Industry, provides fast, direct liner service for industrial projects, conventional cargo and containers between Europe and selected ports in West Africa.

    “This service will offer the fastest transit times out of Europe into Port Gentil (Gabon) and Equatorial Guinea and will also call selected ports in Nigeria, the Congo and Cameroon,” Knuttel said.

    Standard features on both the Safmarine Europe-West Africa services are a heavy-lift capability of up to 160 tons (using ship’s own gear), full IMDG/IMO capability (acceptance of all classes of IMO including IMO 1 and IMO 7) and the support of Safmarine MPV’s trade and operations team.

    Safmarine MPV vessels can also call private jetties and perform offshore ship-to-ship transfers, Knuttel said.


  • 28 May 2014 9:04 AM | Anonymous

         Original news was published on 27 May, 2014

    Tutor Perini, a leading civil and building construction company, announced that its subsidiary, Tutor-Saliba, recently received the Project of the Year Award from the California Transportation Foundation for the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Project.

    This award recognizes the premier transportation project among projects throughout California. Tutor-Saliba constructed this major project for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Tutor-Saliba is led by Tutor Perini’s Civil Group CEO, Jack Frost.

    The Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Project won this award over several other high-profile projects including the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span Seismic Safety Project.

    The Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore opened to traffic on November 16, 2013, on schedule and under budget, saving motorists on average 10 to 15 minutes of commuting time. The project included the construction of a 3,399-foot long, 41-foot wide, two-lane concrete tunnel on the heavily traveled State Route 24 in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The project included seven emergency cross passages connecting to the existing third bore, sixteen retaining walls, soundwalls, two electrical substations, a two-story Operations, Maintenance and Control building, and various roadway improvements.

    The project also featured wide travel lanes, roadway shoulders, bright lighting, emergency exits along the length of the tunnel, and state-of-the-art fire and life safety systems. The tunnel’s incident detection and response systems allow monitoring and response to threats inside the tunnel, including detecting and suppressing fires and other hazards, and provide real-time information to help motorists safely exit in an emergency.


  • 28 May 2014 9:02 AM | Anonymous

        Original news was published on 27 May, 2014

    In the latest round of negotiations in GE’s US$17 billion bid to buy out French energy and transportation company Alstom, GE has pledged to keep the power-equipment maker’s nuclear operations in France.

    “We will answer the government’s legitimate demands that the nuclear unit remain French, that intellectual property stay French and that exports be protected,” Clara Gaymard, GE’s local chief, said in a radio interview.

    The French government is concerned about the deal that would see a foreign enterprise take over one of iats most important companies. About two weeks ago, a decree was signed that requires government approval for foreign investments deemed critical for national security, such as energy, equipment, plants and transportation.

    “This decree should have been done a long time ago,” Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said in a press conference in Paris. “You can’t ask countries to give up their strategic interests.”

    Germany, Italy and Spain have similar laws in effect, Montebourg said.

    GE also agreed to the government’s request to extend the closing of the transaction by three weeks, which moved the date from June 2 to June 23.

    Meanwhile, Siemens, a German rival, is expected to submit a formal bid for Alstom this week. Montebourg has said he’d prefer Siemens, Europe’s largest engineering company, over U.S.-based GE.


  • 27 May 2014 8:42 AM | Anonymous

    GAC Bunker Fuels and its Sri Lankan partner, Interocean Energy (IOE), have moved their bunker barge MT Kandy to Galle to meet growing demand for supplies at southern tip of the island.

    This puts fuel sources in the path of east-west shipping lanes with GAC's ship supply base at Galle with 12 craft serving ships passing off port limits.

    The MT Kandy is equipped to store, transport and deliver 770 tonnes of IFO 380cst and 250 tonnes of MGO fuel, along with 50 tonnes of fresh water. Deliveries will be made within the port, Galle anchorage and beyond.

    Its relocation from Colombo comes ahead of the launch of GAC Bunker Fuels' supply service at the nearby port of Harambantota, expected in thecoming four to six weeks.


  • 27 May 2014 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    Heads of Agreement to supply up to 3 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year by Yamal Trade to Gazprom Marketing & Trading Singapore (GM&TS) from the Yamal LNG project was signed on Friday, May 23 by Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of the NOVATEK Management Committee within the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014. The document will be effective for a period of over 20 years. LNG will be supplied under FOB (free on board) terms in a transfer point of Western Europe to be further delivered to Asia-Pacific markets, primarily to India. The price will be determined using the formula with oil indexation.

    “This Heads of Agreement will significantly reinforce the long-term LNG portfolio of Gazprom. It is an additional way to expand the global trade and use our own fleet of LNG carriers,” said Alexey Miller.

    “It is another crucial step in implementing the Yamal LNG project. As regards LNG contracting, all the necessary conditions are provided for the successful launch of project financing,” said Leonid Mikhelson.

    The Yamal LNG project envisages the construction of an LNG plant with an annual capacity of 16.5 million tons, with natural gas to be delivered from theYuzhno-Tambeyskoye field. The field’s proven and probable gas reserves amount to 927 billion cubic meters. LNG production will start in the end of 2017. The project operator is Yamal LNG, with NOVATEK holding 60 per cent, Total – 20 per cent, and CNPC – 20 per cent in the company. Yamal Trade is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Yamal LNG.

    Being a part of Gazprom Group, Gazprom Marketing & Trading Singapore is engaged in LNG trade, marine transportation and marketing in the Asia-Pacific region.


  • 26 May 2014 9:06 AM | Anonymous

       Original news was published on 25 May,2014

    APM Terminals Poti has completed a comprehensive engineering study to prepare the port master plan for the future needs of Georgia and the hinterland countries, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The study was triggered by the rapid increase of container throughput which will exceed port capacity by 2017. In 2013, total container throughput in Georgia was 405,000 TEU of which Poti handled 82%. The present capacity of Poti seaport is 600,000 TEU.
    “Larger vessels are entering the trades, reshaping markets and challenging port infrastructure.  We believe the ability to attract larger vessels to our port through a deeper water depth and easier entrance channel will lower transportation costs for importers and exporters while improving the flexibility of Georgia and Central Asia supply chains. As the operator of Georgia’s largest and most important port, we want to ensure our future infrastructure plans reflect the best engineering and economic scenarios for the market”, commented Steen Davidsen, Managing Director, APM Terminals Poti.
    Georgia’s geographic location connects several high growth economic regions, offering shippers a competitive location advantage as a transit hub strategically located between Europe and Central Asia.  Of importance, Georgia is the shortest transit link for the transportation of raw materials, goods, gas and oil from Azerbaijan and Central Asia to the West. And, serves as a north-south transportation crossroads between Russia and Turkey, and via Armenia, to Iran. Average growth figures the last five years are 15-20% per year, far higher than GDP rates, reflecting Georgia and hinterland markets increasing containerization trend.
    “Poti has an ideal port location and we look forward to working with the Georgian government to ensure the country’s flagship port is constantly improving the economy and attracting future investment. As a global port operator, we have the expertise to execute port upgrades quickly to launch a new era of Georgian port infrastructure suited to the future generation of ships,” added Mr. Davidsen.  
    In phase 1, which can be completed by 2017, the new port will comprise two deepwater berths able to handle vessels in excess of 9,000 TEU with modern ship to shore cranes and a capacity of 1 million TEU.


  • 26 May 2014 9:01 AM | Anonymous

       Originally news was published on 25 May, 2014

    The Palmali Group of Companies will build vessels at its own Armada shipyard in Izmir, Turkey, the group announced on May 22. The shipyard has already started the construction of two main parts of tankers of Volga-Don Max Class with carrying capacity of 7,100 tons.

    The launching of one of the tankers is planned for February 2015.

    The tankers are similar in size to Volga-Don Canal and Volga-Baltic Waterway. The overall length, width, and board height of the RST22M project vessels are 139.95, 16.6, and six meters, respectively.

    The vessels belong to the Volga-Don Max Class.

    The design of the vessels meets the special requirements of Russian and international oil companies. They are built in line with the additional ecological restrictions of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping ECO Project (ECO-S) class.

    The Palmali Group of Companies is specialized in transporting goods in the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian seas. Palmali works as a general carrier for oil companies, including Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR and Russian Lukoil. It has also long-term contracts for oil transportation with other oil companies.

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