Ships at Australia iron ore port seek safety as cyclone looms
Ships waiting to dock at Australia's Port Hedland bulk export terminals started on Jan. 22, 2013 heading for safe waters as a tropical low which is forecast to reach cyclone strength makes its way down the far west coastline of the Pilbara iron belt. Loading operations were still taking place at Port Hedland as the storm is not expected to intensify to a Category 1 cyclone -- the weakest on a scale of one-to-five -- until early Wednesday.
Vessels anchored off the port, however, have left for safe harbours, according to a port spokesperson.
Port Hedland is used by BHP Billiton , Fortescue Metals Group and Atlas Iron to ship ore, currently at a rate of around 200 million tonnes per year, accounting for a fifth of global seaborne trade in the steel-making raw material.
"I can tell you 35 vessels have been evacuated, these are vessels somewhat out to sea which were waiting to dock," the port spokesperson said. "At the moment, there are only seven ships in dock." If the storm reaches cyclone intensity, then gales with wind gusts of up to 100 kph (60 mph) could develop between Pardoo and Dampier on Wednesday morning, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Some 200 gallons of diesel spilled into ocean during ship refuelling accident
NASSAU, Bahamas - The Bahamas says just over 200 gallons (757 litres) of diesel spilled into the ocean during a refuelling accident on Jan 21, 2013.
The owner of a salvage company has estimated that the Sunday spill near the main harbour in Grand Bahama was roughly 1,000 gallons (3,785 gallons), but the government put their estimated figure lower on Monday.
Transport Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin told reporters that some 210 gallons (795 litres) of fuel splashed between a tanker and a barge during refuelling at dawn Sunday. The spill went unnoticed for about a half hour.
Swedish Firms Order Up to 10 Fuel-efficient Tankers at Guangzhou Shipyard International
Stena Bulk and Concordia Maritime on Jan., 21, 2013 have ordered up to 10 chemical tankers with fuel-efficient features that could reduce costs by $3,000 to $5,000 per day, according to shipbuilding consultant Seabay. The two Swedish companies will have the 50,000 dead weight tonne (dwt) ships built at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in China.
Nantongs Hongqiang Heavy Industry to build five 15,000-dwt bulkers
As Seatrade Asia reports, Jiangsu Hongqiang Heavy Industry at Qidong near Nantong has confirmed an order to build five 15,000 dwt dry bulk carriers. Zuo Zhijian, director and general manager of Hongqiang Heavy Industry, said the shipyard will continue to be on the lookout for newbuilding orders amid the gloomy shipbuilding market. The Chinese shipyard's current orderbook comprises of some 20 vessels including bulkers, oil tankers, chemical tankers, tugs, offshore support vessels, and river barges.
CSA opposes Vale’s distribution centre project in Zhanjiang
Shanghai: The China Shipowners’ Association CSA has recently sent an opinion letter to the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) and Zhanjiang government regarding the iron ore distribution centre which Brazilian miner Vale is planning to build in Zhanjiang.
CSA suggests the Zhanjiang government should listen to the advice from relevant national authorities and shouldn’t make hasty decisions by themselves.
According to an official from NDRC, Zhanjiang Port and Vale haven’t filed the application for the distribution centre project yet. “It is understandable that the local government wants to promote the local economy by attracting investment, but it should be operated according to relevant procedures and policies.”
The China Shipowners’ Association has been one of the most vocal opponents of Vale’s transportation ambitions. [SinoShipNews 21/01/13]
Australia's iron ore belt faces new cyclone threat on Wednesday Jan, 23, 2013
A tropical low off the coast of Western Australian may develop into a cyclone by Wednesday as it moves to the west southwest off the Pilbara coastline, the heart of the country's iron ore mining industry, Reuters reports.
A cyclone in the same area 10 days ago shut ports handling a fifth of the world's globally traded iron ore and cut supplies of natural gas and oil.
If the storm reaches cyclone intensity then gales with wind gusts of up to 100 kph (60 mph) could develop between Pardoo and Dampier on Wednesday morning, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Rio Tinto uses the port at Dampier to ship the bulk of its iron ore to overseas customers. The smaller nearby port of Cape Lambert is also utilised.
Last year, Rio Tinto shipped 253 million tonnes of iron ore in total.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said that as of 0600 GMT, the low was located near the tourist town of Broome, about 500 km (300 miles) north of Port Hedland, one of the world's largest export ports in tonnage terms.
South Korea's S-Oil hikes bunker sales after launch of Onsan terminal
South Korean refiner S-Oil has increased its bonded bunker fuel sales by 20,000 mt/month after it started using new storage tanks at Onsan in November, a company source said Friday, Platts reports.
Its bunker sales were 150,000-160,000 mt/month before.
The new tanks are owned and operated by Onsan Tank Terminal, a consortium of Japanese and South Korean companies. The storage tanks with a total capacity of 100,000 kl began operating in November.
S-Oil has been using 6,000-10,000 kl of the tanks' storage capacity. The main shareholders of Onsan Tank Terminal are Japanese oil trader Nakagawa Bussan (36.64%), South Korean city gas supplier Yesco (24%) and South Korean LPG supplier E1 (24%).
S-Oil operates a 669,000 b/d refinery at Onsan.
Philippines says salvaging U.S. ship should not damage reef
Philippines says salvaging U.S. ship should not damage reef
Philippine President Benigno Aquino has given instructions not to allow the U.S. navy to salvage its grounded USS Guardian minesweeper without Philippine involvement, in order to minimise damage to coral reefs, a senior official said on Monday, Reuters reports.
The ship, which is stuck on a reef at the Tubbataha natural marine park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, had just completed a port call at Subic Bay in the western Philippines when the grounding occurred last Thursday.
Officials said there were no reports of fuel leaking from the vessel. U.S. ships regularly dock in the Philippines for refuelling. Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said any salvage operation should be vetted by the Philippines government.
Xiamen Shipbuilding Industries bags order from Höegh Autoliners for three PCTCs
Xiamen Shipbuilding Industries has bagged an order from Höegh Autoliners for three pure car truck carriers (PCTCs) with options for more.
The 8,500 vehicle capacity vessels are due to be delivered by the Chinese yard in 2015 and built to a new design.
“With the new vessel design we will be able to cater for a greater variety of cargo, and add flexibility to our fleet. This will enhance the service we offer to our customers. The order is a continuation of our fleet renewal program, replacing older vessels that will be phased out within the same time frame," said Ingar Skiaker, ceo of Höegh Autoliners.
Xiamen Shipbuilding has previously delivered four PCTC newbuildings for Höegh Autoliners.
Chinese court seizes chemical tanker at Jiangyan Shipbuilding in Ezhou
A Chinese court has seized a chemical tanker being built at Jiangyan Shipbuilding after the privately-owned yard defaulted on loan repayments over the ship financing terms, Seatrade Asia online reports.
The chemical tanker was seized on Wednesday afternoon following a visit by court officials to the yard in Ezhou city, Hubei province.
A few years ago the shipbuilder had borrowed RMB10m ($1.6m) from an unnamed local financial institution, but defaulted on loan repayments that were due recently, according to reports.
The seized vessel was worth approximately RMB67m, according to an official from the Chinese yard. The ship was built for a Greek shipowner under a 2008 twin vessel deal worth a total of RMB152m.