Exxaro has doubled its ability to export coal through the privately owned Richards Bay Coal Terminal through its $472m acquisition of Total Coal SA, it announced.
Exxaro is a major supplier of coal to Eskom, which bought 30.7-million tonnes of the group’s total thermal coal sales of 38-million tonnes last year. It exported 3.9-million tonnes of thermal coal.
But coal exports are potentially a far higher margin business than Eskom sales, and encourage investment in multiproduct mines.
Exxaro CEO Sipho Nkosi said on a conference call on Monday the purchase of Total Coal would immediately double Exxaro’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) allocation to 8-million tonnes a year. This would rise to 10.3-million tonnes once RBCT had reached its expanded capacity of 91-million tonnes a year.
Exxaro at present leases export allocation from other miners to meet its export needs.
The deal requires various regulatory approvals, including from the competition authorities. Mr Nkosi said it was unlikely they would oppose it on the basis of Exxaro increasing its RBCT allocation, which would be only 13% of the total available.
Recent media reports were confirmed that tugboat deckhands at Port Hedland, Australia, have approved labour action in a continued dispute over pay and conditions. This could have a significant impact on one of the most significant iron ore export terminals in Australia. There has not been any immediate action, but the labour concerned are able to implement such action quickly should they choose to do so. Source: Skuld
Third time this year that APM Terminals has been granted extension to achieve required building permits Work on the construction of APM Terminals’ new US$1bn container terminal in Moin, Costa Rica has been delayed due to difficulties in obtaining the required building permits. This is the third time that the Dutch company has been granted contract extensions on beginning the building work. The contract was originally awarded in March 2012 and work was due to begin in early 2014, with the project scheduled to open 36 months later. However, extensions have been provided to 24 April, 24 July and now 24 October, according to a report in the Costa Rican Times. APMT has reportedly been asked by the Costa Rican authorities to provide further clarification on certain environmental aspects relating to the project. The new terminal has been mired in controversy since the project was announced, with the union of the Port Management Board of the Atlantic Coast (Japdeva) repeatedly resorting to obstructionist measures in a bid to halt its construction. Japdeva has argued that it would give APMT the monopoly of container handling in Costa Rica and accuses the Dutch company of not meeting the necessary environmental, legal and financial requirements set out by the state. The new Moin Container Terminal will have an initial annual throughput of 1.3m TEUs, rising to 2.7m TEUs at full build-out. With an eventual depth of 18 meters, it will be able to accommodate the 12,000 TEU vessels that will pass through the widened Panama Canal once the lock expansion project has been completed in 2015. At present, the port is limited to vessels of 2,500 TEU capacity. Source : Fruitnet
Congestion worsens at Rotterdam, feeder lines impose surcharges
Worsening congestion at the port of Rotterdam has prompted two short sea and feeder shipping lines to impose surcharges of around $100 per container. Team Lines, a German feeder operator, said the situation in Rotterdam has not shown “any significant improvements” since the end of May, when it was experiencing berthing delays of up to 48 hours at the ECT Delta terminals. The terminals “are still facing severe congestion and the operational constraints are increasing,” leading to extra costs and disruptions to its schedules at Europe’s largest container port, the company said. Team Lines said it will impose a surcharge of €75 ($102) per 20-foot container from August 1 until further notice for all vessels arriving at and departing from the ECT Delta and Euromax terminals to compensate for the extra costs caused by the congestion. OPDR, a German short sea carrier, said it has no option but to levy a €75/TEU surcharge on all containers handled at the ECT Delta and Euromax terminals from August 1 in response to the months-long congestion, which has “huge impacts on our schedule integrity and, moreover, causes great costs.”.
The Suez Canal’s major deepening project is just over the horizon as crews will start widening and dredging a 34-kilometer strip in order to improve wait times for vessels using the canal. AsiaCruiseNews.com reported in the last week of July 2014 that the long-awaited widening project could take years to complete, but dredging crews will begin within the next week. The canal’s website says the dredging will take the canal from 48 feet to 52 feet. “This project will allow giant container ships heading south to pass through these channels and reduce … total transit time,” the website says. Currently, on a typical day three convoys transit the canal, usually consisting of two southbound and one northbound trip. It takes between 11 and 16 hours to complete the passage at a speed of eight knots. The Suez Canal has seen record traffic this year, partially because of delays and construction at the Panama Canal. For the first time, on all-water services from Asia to the East Coast, a greater percentage of the shipments will move through the Suez Canal than via the Panama Canal, according to Alphaliner. In May, the Suez Canal Authority reported 526 ships passed through the canal, up 6.9 percent from April’s totals. The number of container ships passing through the Suez in May was the highest since May 2013, when 533 container vessels transited the canal. The ships are also larger than the vessels that make their way through the Panama Canal. Parts of the Suez are 66 feet deep and can accommodate vessels as large as Maersk’s 18,270-TEU Triple E ships. In 2013, Drewry reported the average size of ships passing through the Suez Canal was 7,756 TEUs; the current maximum for ships using the Panama Canal is about 5,000 TEUs. Source : JOC
On July 29 the "Botnia Seaways" returned to the Kiel-Ust-Luga-St. Petersburg service after a break of two months. The ferry which had been used between Travemünde and Klaipeda in the meantime will depart from the East Port every Wednesday.
Ships calling Israel on alert as rockets hit Ashdod
Ships calling Israel must be very vigilant as fighting between Israel and Hamas returned in force on July 27th. Palestinian rockets reached as far as the port city of Ashdod last Sunday July 27), some 40 km south of Tel Aviv. A total of five rockets hit the city, although there were no reports of casualties. A brief ceasefire over the weekend came to a close overnight and the fighting is expected to continue for days. More than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed so far. A report out on Friday from P&I Club, Skuld, said that all ports in Israel are operating normally, but care needs to be taken as the situation can develop and change without notice. Source : GulfshipNews
Dredging work will be carried out at Keppel Shipyard Benoi Road, off West Jurong Channel, from 28 July to 30 September.
As per the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Port Marine Notice No.98 of 2014, the works will be conducted 24 hours daily - including Sundays & Public Holidays - More at www2.marinelink.c...
Kamarajar Port Ltd. (KPL), formerly Ennore Port, has chalked out a Rs.20-crore expansion plan to facilitate increased export of cars.
As a new entrant, KPL is facing competition from the Chennai Port Trust, which exports about 3 lakh cars annually against 2.02 lakh units by KPL.
KPL Chairman-cum-Managing Director M. A. Bhaskarachar said that the port was developing a 58,500-sq. metre car parking yard adjacent to the existing one to accommodate 4,000 cars. The work order would be issued next month, and the yard would be ready within 15 months. On completion, 17,000 cars can be parked at any given time, he said.
KPL handled 39,000 cars and 8.9 million tonnes of cumulative cargo so far up to July 25 in the current fiscal against 7.67 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year.
Israeli transport minister proposes offshore port for Gaza
Cairo: Israel’s transport minister has proposed building an offshore port for Gaza. The suggestion follows on from recent calls by the Qatari foreign minister to build a port in Gaza to help alleviate the suffering there.
Israel’s transportation minister Yisrael Katz has said Gaza should have its own airport and port.
“We should open the Rafiah crossing between Gaza and Egypt for an intermediate period, for goods and people to pass through, with supervision,” he said.
“At the same time, we should initiate the creation of an artificial island at sea, under international supervision and with international funding, roughly 4.5 km off the Gaza coast,” he continued. A model for the project has already been created, he said.
“On the island there will be a port, a power plant and water treatment plant, and eventually an airport. There could be hotels there, too. The island would be connected to Gaza by a bridge, which would have a security checkpoint in the centre.
“[The checkpoint] would be under full international control for 100 years, and under Israeli control at sea,” he suggested. “The Palestinians would be part of operating the port and airport, and staffing the hotels.” [23/07/14]