Gladstone dredging project inquiry finds conditions on port expansion too vague to be enforced
An independent inquiry into a major dredging project in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area has found environmental conditions on a central Queensland port expansion were too vague to be enforced. The Federal Government commissioned a scientific inquiry into the Gladstone Port dredging project. It examined a bund wall that leaked sediment into the harbour from June 2011 to July 2012. The inquiry has found "aspects of the design and construction of the bund wall were not consistent with industry best practice", and the geotextile layers of the wall eroded under pressure. The investigation has found water quality monitoring sites in Gladstone were established in the wrong areas, and the federal Environment Department failed to adequately retain compliance records. It also says environmental conditions imposed by the Commonwealth lacked the specifics necessary to enable their effective enforcement.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt will hand down the report this morning. Fishermen in the Gladstone area have been eagerly awaiting the inquiry's findings. When the bund wall leaked it coincided with an outbreak of fish disease in the harbour and nearby waterways. However, a Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry report released in 2013 found that flooding and a large number of fish spilling out from the Awoonga Dam was the main cause of the problem. Source : ABC News
West Australia government considers sale of coal, iron ore shipment facilities
Fremantle port's Kwinana bulk terminal, which is used for coal exports, and the Port Hedland's Utah Point shipment facility, which is used for iron ore exports, are possible candidates for privatization, Mike Nahan, the treasurer for Western Australia, said in a budget statement Thursday.
"We are considering selling Kwinana bulk terminal and the Utah Point facility at Port Hedland, and some Water Corporation assets such as wastewater plants," Nahan added.
The Western Australian government is also looking at selling individual power stations including the Muja power plant in the state's Collie coal field, Nahan, who is under pressure to recapture the state's credit rating and reduce the government's A$25 billion ($23.4 billion) debt.
"The sale of assets that the state does not need to own is a key measure in regaining our triple-A credit rating and paying down debt," he added.
Kwinana bulk terminal handled 5.2 million mt of trade in the fiscal 2012-2013, up 55% on the previous year, mostly due to increases in iron ore exports which totaled 3.5 million mt in the year, the Fremantle port authority said in its 2012-2013 report.
Closure of New Large South Lock at Kiel Canal at Kiel (May 13 til May 14)
The New South (Large) Lock at Kiel entrance of the Kiel Canal will be closed from May 13 08.00 hrs until May 14 16.00 hrs due to important repairs. During the closure only the New North (Large) lock and the small Old North Lock will be open to the traffic.
Spain police seize tons of cocaine among pineapples shipped from Costa Rica
MADRID — Spanish police seized 2.5 tons of cocaine hidden among pineapples on a ship from Costa Rica in one of the biggest ever seizures of the drug, they said Wednesday (May 7,2014).
The cocaine was stuffed in 2,296 packages hidden among the fruit in a shipping container that arrived at the Mediterranean port of Algeciras. It was tracked and seized later at a warehouse near Madrid, police said in a statement.
The authorities gave no estimate for the street value of the cocaine but online newspaper El Confidencial estimated it was worth over 150 million euros ($200 million).
“This is one of the biggest seizures carried out in European Union ports,” the police statement said.
Police arrested six people in the Madrid suburb of Valdemoro, where the alleged drug traffickers are accused of storing the cocaine in a warehouse.
The authorities located the drug shipment in Algeciras thanks to a tip-off and tailed traffickers as they transported the cocaine to the warehouse
Vietnam Accuses China of Ramming Ships in Dispute Over Oil Rig
BEIJING - Vietnam said on Wednesday, May 7 a Chinese vessel intentionally rammed two of its ships in a part of the disputed South China Sea where Beijing has deployed a giant oil rig, sending tensions spiraling in the region.
The foreign ministry in Hanoi said the collisions took place on Sunday and caused considerable damage to the Vietnamese ships. Six people sustained minor injuries, it said.
"On May 4, Chinese ships intentionally rammed two Vietnamese Sea Guard vessels," said Tran Duy Hai, a foreign ministry official and deputy head of Vietnam's national border committee.
"Chinese ships, with air support, sought to intimidate Vietnamese vessels," he told a news conference in Hanoi, adding that water cannons had been used.
Six other ships were also hit, other officials said, but not as badly.
Port of Helsingborg endorses the world’s first hybrid Konecranes reach stacker
The award-winning Konecranes hybrid reach stacker has completed a full year of field testing at the Port of Helsingborg on the south-west coast of Sweden. The test machines have now permanently joined the existing fleet of 15 Konecranes reach stackers and forklifts in the port, the company said in its press release.
MOL, Evergreen Line and COSCON to launch direct Asia-West Africa ‘WA1’ service
COSCO Container Lines Co., Ltd. , MOL Liner Ltd. (MOL) and Evergreen Line today announced the launch of a weekly direct service from Asia to West Africa, branded the ‘WA1’. The new express link will further enhance each company’s service network to cover strategic markets in Africa, the company said in its press release.
The jointly operated twelve vessel service will commence from Shanghai on June 2nd, 2014, with six of the ships being operated by MOL, four by Evergreen Line and two by COSCON.
Additional ’WA1’ service details are as follows:
Shanghai ( MON/MON ) - Ningbo ( TUE/WED ) - Hong Kong ( FRI/FRI ) - Nansha ( SAT/SAT ) - Singapore ( THU/THU ) - Lagos Apapa ( MON/THU ) - Tema ( FRI/MON ) - Lome ( MON/FRI ) - Abidjan ( SUN/WED) - Singapore ( MON/MON ) - Shanghai ( MON/MON )
Westbound - MV TBC, ETA Shanghai 2nd June 2014
Eastbound - MV TBC, ETA Lagos Apapa 7th July 2014
In March 2014 the enterprises of the Freeport of Riga handled by 26,7% more various cargo than in March 2013, and evaluating the first quarter of this year it is evident that the total cargo turnover has increased by 21.7%.
Overall, 9.92 million tons were handled within three months, and it is the most successful first quarter in the history of the port.
The Board Chairman of the Freeport of Riga Mr. Andris Ameriks said: “The Freeport of Riga Authority has invested a lot of work and a lot of money to enable the Port of Riga to receive and handle such considerable cargo amount, and now we can see a real return. That refers both to the fairway dredging and access road infrastructure improvements, that Freeport has purposefully implemented for years.”
A total amount of 5.27 million tons was handled in dry bulk cargo segment this year, that is by 17.8 % more than last year, including 3.42 million tons of coal, dispatched by the port, that means an increase of 10.2% compared to the previous reporting period.
Panama Canal expansion works still suspended due to strike
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 | Panama Canal expansion works remain suspended by the Cosntruction Workers National Union (Suntracs), which called a general strike on all construction works on 23 April. Suntracs has presented a new wage proposal to the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (Capac) in an attempt to end the stoppage that is affecting some 400 projects, 98% of all the construction work in the country. Saul Mendez the Suntracs secretary general said that in recent days there have been significant advances. Neither party provided details of the new offers. Since the outbreak of the strike, Capac has upped its proposed wage increase from 21 % to 25 %. However, the unions are asking for 80%.
"Both from the Board of the Panama Canal Authority as from the Administration of the Canal, we call to reactivate as soon as possible the works on site,” said ACP Administrator Jorge Quijano. The Canal expansion works stoppage will bring another delay and likely to cost the ACP several millions dollars since it isa national strike, which GUPC, the consortium building the locks, may claim falls under the Force Majeure clause and consequently will likely present a claim to the ACP to cover the costs. Following a strike at GUPC sites, in 2012, the workers in the third set of locks projects received a 12.5 % increase since January 2012 for unskilled workers and an increase of 15% for skilled workers. This means that since then they have been earning that much more than other construction workers in Panama. The ACP has had to pick up the cost of such earlier increase through a claim placed by GUPC. Such claim is estimated to cost the ACP about $35m. At the time when the stoppage broke, works at the expansion sites had reached 75% and were expected to be at full activity by the end of April. The ACP will have to reassess the pace of activity once the strike is over and see if that will translate into further delay. Source: Seatrade Global
West lane at Pedro Miguel locks to close for dredging
Beginning Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at 0001 hours through Friday, May 16, 2014, at 2400 hours, dredging operations will be conducted at the lake entrance on the West side of Pedro Miguel Locks between the center wall and the West prism line. During this period, the West lane at Pedro Miguel Locks will be closed for shipping. This dredging work is a continuation of the work initiatied on April 29 and is necessary for the removal of critical shoals in the area.
As a reuslt, and in accordance with the rules governing the Transit Reservation System, Condition 2 will be in effecr from Wednesday, May 14, 2014, through Friday, May 16, 2014.
Applications for reserved transits while Condition 2 is in effect will be received beginning at 0900 hours on Sunday, May 11, 2014, The Just-In-Time (JIT) slots available for supers will be reduced during this period to one slot per direction, Nevertheless, JIT transit slots previously confirmed will be honored. The JIT slots available for regular vessels transiting wihout restrictions, as well as the booking slot available through the Auction Process, and the slots available for regular vessels less than 300 feet in LOA, will continue to be offered during this period.