The massive decline of the price of crude oil has hit Esbjerg hard. Every 10th of the roughly 10,000 who are living by servicing the oil and gas industry in town has already lost the job, and another 2,000 jobs may be in danger. Two out of three Danish offshore jobs are in Esbjerg, and the city's Mayor Johnny Søtrup is highly concerned about the development. But he stressed that the city also has a strong wind sector which is facing new growth due to the offshore wind farm Horns Rev 3. In the construction phase it will create between 7,000 and 8,000 jobs, of which a good part will be in Esbjerg.
Turkey’s Bosporus Strait closed to tankers due to snow (on Monday)
The Bosporus Strait was closed to tankers Monday afternoon (Jan. 18, 2016) due to heavy snow in the region, local port agents said.
“Authorities have notified [us] that the Bosporus traffic has been closed on January 18 at [4.06 pm local time] due to heavy snowfall,” Boutros Maritime and Transport said.
According to local agents, there were seven tankers due to pass through the Bosporus in a northbound direction Monday, and 13 due to pass through going South.
The Bosporus and the Dardanelles together form the only commercially navigable transit route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
Ship queue for coal exports rises to 21-week high at Australia’s Port Waratah
Eighteen ships were waiting to load coal exports at the two Port Waratah-operated coal terminals at eastern Australia’s Newcastle port on Monday, up from 16 ships a week ago, the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator said.
The shipping queue, a barometer of export demand, was last higher in mid-August at 20 ships.
The upturn is not expected to last long, HVCCC said Sunday.
“At PWCS there were 18 ships in the offshore queue at the end of the week. Based on terminal demand, the PWCS queue is estimated to be 11 ships at the end of the month and less than 10 ships at the end of February,” the report said.
The PWCS terminals shipped 1.98 million mt of coal exports in the week to Sunday, up from 1.15 million mt in the week to January 10 and following some disruption to Newcastle port’s operations from bad weather.
HVCCC had expected the PWCS terminals to ship 2.48 million mt of cargo last week, but the terminals’ performance was 499,000 mt below target, said the report. Source: Platts
Egyptian authorities reopened Safaga Port in the Red Sea at 12 am on Tuesday (Jan. 19, 2016) and Sokhna Port in Suez at 7 am following an improvement in the weather.The ports authorities coordinated with the Meteorological Authority to reopen the Suez and Sharm el-Sheikh ports that had also been shutdown.Bad weather and high wind speeds caused the closure of many ports on Monday. Waves in the Red Sea reached over 3 meters in height.
Source: Egypt Independent
Romania reopens Black Sea ports as weather improves
Romania’s Black Sea ports including the main port of Constanta reopened on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 after a two-day stoppage as snowfalls and winds eased, a port official said.
“Constanta reopened at 9:15 a.m. (0715 GMT),” the duty port officer told Reuters.
Snow is not forecast for the next few days but temperatures are set to remain around minus 15 degrees Celsius.
Blizzards dropped up to a meter of snow on Sunday, disrupting trains and forcing authorities to shut down all schools in Bucharest and nearby counties.
EU Opens Investigation into Port of Antwerp Container Terminal Operators
(Reuters) – The European Commission said on Friday it had opened an in-depth investigation into alleged state aid to two container terminal operators in Europe’s second busiest port, Antwerp in Belgium.
The Commission said concession agreements for PSA Antwerp NV and Antwerp Gateway NV contained a requirement for the handling of a minimum tonnage. The two did not reach this between 2009 and 2012, meaning they would have to pay compensation to the publicly-owned port authority.
However, the Antwerp Port Authority decided in 2013 to reduce the minimum tonnage retroactively, reducing the compensation to be paid by some 80 percent. https://gcaptain.com/2016/01/15/eu-opens-investigation-into-port-of-antwerp-container-terminal-operators/#.Vp86lirNy9I
Cartagena cruise ship port mirrors growth throughout Spain
Almost 150,000 cruise passengers visited Cartagena in the first 11 months of last year. Throughout 2015 the official statistics showed that the number of foreign visitors to Spain was considerably higher than the year before, providing a boost to the tourism sector of the economy, and the latest data show Cartagena cruise ship port mirrors growth throughout Spainthat the cruise ship ports, including Cartagena, played their part in this increase. Read more at murciatoday.com/c...
Panama locks opening now expected in second half of 2016
The opening of larger Panama Canal locks, already postponed several times by construction delays, has been pushed back again and now is expected early in the second half of this year, a canal official said.
“We expect it to be open for commercial business sometime in the second half of the year,” said Francisco J. Miguez, executive vice president for finance and administration at the Panama Canal Authority, in a speech at the SMC3 JumpStart 2016 supply-chain conference in Atlanta.
Miguez said canal officials hope to be able to set a more precise opening date by late February, after the contractor, GUPC, certifies that the locks are operational, and the canal authority has conducted tests.
The canal has been aiming for an April opening of the new locks, which will accommodate container ships with capacities of up to 14,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units, nearly triple the capacity of the canal’s century-old existing locks.
Miguez said, however, that the contractor has repeatedly pushed back the expected completion date for the $5.25 billion project beyond its original October 2014 date.
Work now is an estimated 96 percent complete, but canal officials want to ensure the locks are working perfectly before commercial transits are allowed through. www.joc.com/port-...
Coast Guard Rescues 7 People Near Port of Brownsville
The U.S. Coast Guard was called out to rescue a group of stranded people near the Port of Brownsville on Monday.
According to a Coast Guard service member, there were seven people involved. Three of them had to be taken to the hospital. One person was unresponsive.
The other four victims were taken to the U.S. Coast Guard station on the island. It is unknown if the people crossing the Brownsville Ship Channel are U.S. citizens.
They also reported finding several bundles of marijuana near the scene. Border Patrol and the Port of Brownsville Police assisted with the rescue. www.krgv.com/stor...
NSW Ports says the strike stoppages are causing cost to operators and loss in trade
Tug engineers working for Svitzer Australia are continuing their 24-hour strikes across ports in News South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia over dispute regarding a proposed new enterprise agreement.
The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers’ (AIMPE) Martin Byrne said almost all of the commercial shipping would be affected at all ports, with exemptions for cruise ships, military ships and the ones facing safety issues.
The strikes began last week in Sydney and Geelong before moving to Brisbane.
Tug and salvage company Svitzer’s new enterprise agreement proposes to consolidate the three agreements (one each for tug engineers, deckhands and tug skippers) into one, which the AIMPE says will reduce qualification requirements for engineers.
Svitzer is now offering its entire workforce an opportunity to vote on the proposed enterprise agreement this week.
While Svitzer says the new agreement has the "in-principle support" of the Maritime Union of Australia and the Australian Maritime Officers Union, the AIMPE says it will recommend its members to vote against the agreement.