Port of Corpus Christi remains open to tankers after fire on US Gulf crude barge
The Port of Corpus Christi is still open to tankers despite an early Friday fire on a barge loaded with crude, a top port official said.
“We haven’t received any instructions as yet from the [US Coast Guard] to close down or restrict tanker movements to our port due to the fire on that barge, which was loaded with 140,000 barrels of crude,” said Charles Zahn, chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Administration.
A barge, identified as B255 and operated by Bouchard Transportation, caught fire early Friday morning at the Aransas Pass anchorage, a Coast Guard official said.
The Coast Guard received a report of the fire at 4:30 am CDT (0930 GMT), said Jennae Steinmiller, an ensign with the Coast Guard at Corpus Christi.
There were a total of eight crew members aboard the barge, of which two are unaccounted for, she said.
“There are no pollution reports at this time,” Steinmiller said, adding that a unified command under the Coast Guard is coordinating putting out the fire.
The Aransas Pass anchorage is a Gulf of Mexico sandbar located some 36 miles from the Port of Corpus Christi inner harbor.
PDVSA blocked from using NuStar terminal over unpaid bills
Venezuela’s state-run petroleum firm PDVSA has been barred from using a NuStar Energy (NS.N) oil storage terminal in the Caribbean over $26 million in unpaid bills, according to documents reviewed by Reuters, halting delivery of a cargo to an oil trader.
The suspension was triggered when PDVSA missed a payment for use of NuStar’s Statia facility on the island of St. Eustatius, according to company documents viewed by Reuters.
“We should not load this cargo,” wrote NuStar Vice President James Calvert in response to a loading request, according to one document.
NuStar’s refusal to retrieve the oil over what amounts to nearly a year’s worth of monthly fees shows how recurring legal and trade disputes are disrupting PDVSA’s ability to deliver its oil to foreign customers, which generate more than 90 percent of the country’s export revenue.
Shipping delays and quality concerns also are jeopardizing the OPEC-member country’s crude sales, the lifeblood of its troubled economy. www.hellenicshipp...
Hong Kong: Improvements to vessel traffic services proposed
The Government has proposed to amend the Shipping and Port Control Regulations (Cap. 313A) and the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (General) Regulation (Cap. 548F) to enhance vessel traffic services.
A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said, “In view of growing marine traffic in Hong Kong waters, it is necessary to enhance communication between the Vessel Traffic Centre (VTC) of the Marine Department and vessels. This will be done by increasing the very high frequency (VHF) sectors from three to five.”
With the advancement of navigational technology, repeated reporting of vessels’ whereabouts is no longer necessary. The legislative proposal therefore suggests streamlining the communication process between the VTC and vessels by doing away with unnecessary reporting.
The Legislative Council Panel on Economic Development, the Pilotage Advisory Committee and the Port Operations Committee have been consulted. Members supported the legislative proposals.
The proposed amendments were gazetted today (October 20) and will be tabled at the Legislative Council on October 25 for negative vetting.
Enrique K. Razon Jr, Chairman & President of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) has signed the Expansion Agreement for the second major development phase of the Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) in North Port, Umm Qasr, Iraq.
Two new berths will be developed incorporating a 20 hectare yard area thereby raising annual BGT container handling capacity by 600,000 TEU to a total of 1,200,000 TEU. The berths will be configured and equipped with quay and landside container handling systems so as to be able to handle container vessels of up to 10,000TEU. Combined with the adjacent Berth 27, it will offer a continuous berthing line of 600m.
Keel-laying ceremony held for HANSEATIC INSPIRATION
On October 18 the keel-laying ceremony was held at the VARD shipyard in Romania for HANSEATIC INSPIRATION, the second of the two new expedition cruise ships built for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
The hulls of both HANSEATIC INSPIRATION and sister HANSEATIC NATURE are being built in Tulcea, Romania, and will then be towed to VARD's Langsten Shipyard on the west coast of Norway for final outfitting and commissioning.
Both HANSEATIC NATURE and HANSEATIC INSPIRATION are built to the highest ice class for passenger ships, although they are also designed for operation in tropical waters, including the Amazon. When operating in Antarctica, the passenger capacity for each vessel will be reduced from 230 guests to 199 guests.
The maiden voyage for HANSEATIC INSPIRATION is set for October 2019 – HANSEATIC NATURE will follow in April 2019. https://www.shippax.com/e...
A contract has been signed for the expansion of the commercial port of Rønne Havn on the Isle of Bornholm with the first spadework estimated to take place at the end of 2017.
Following a tender process, the first phase of the expansion project has been awarded to the Danish contractor, Per Aarsleff A/S. This agreement fully complies with the "MasterPlan 2050".
The port will expand in four phases spread over a 30-year period. In the first phase, a new 1,100m outer breakwater will be constructed, together with a multi-purpose terminal that has a 300m quay length, a new ro-ro facility and a new 150,000m² zone.
The water depth will be increased to 11m, making calls of the world's largest cruise ships possible. Besides the land- and seaside expansion plans, new wastewater discharge facilities will also be built.
Rønne Havn currently has an annual throughput of 1.5 million passengers and 380,000 cars. https://www.shippax.com/e...
Access to Port of Corpus Christi closed after oil barge blast leaves one dead, one missing
A crew member died and another was missing on Friday after an explosion and fire on an oil barge off of Texas, according to Reuters. Six of the eight-person crew were rescued without suffering serious injuries. The barge, carrying a load of 133,000 barrels of crude to a Corpus Christi refinery, The barge, carrying a load of 133,000 barrels of crude to a Corpus Christi refinery, was being towed by the tug boat Buster Bouchard when a rebroke out leading to the explosion at around 4.35am. It was about three miles offshore between Port Aransas and Rockport at the time. The fire
burned itself out before being extinguished.