Australia bans spoil dumping on Great Barrier Reef
16 March — The Australian federal government has banned all dumping of dredging spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, as it seeks to keep it off a list of endangered world heritage sites. The marine park stretches from the far north of Queensland past the coal terminals of Abbot Point, Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point to beyond the coal and LNG port of Gladstone. The ban means that any future expansion or maintenance dredging of these ports will require onshore disposal of the dredged material, which is more expensive than dumping it in the ocean. The Queensland Resources Council condemned the move, saying that there will inevitably be dredging projects that have not viable onshore use for the spoil. "We strongly believe that any blanket ban on capital dredge material in the entire World Heritage Area does not represent evidence-based policy and will not prove to be viable in the long term," it said.
Indian conglomerates Adani and GVK last week agreed with the Queensland state government that they will dispose of their dredge spoil onshore from the expansion of Abbot Point, which will require a new environmental approval application to be filed.
The government plans to make the USD11bn Bagamoyo Mega port project, slated to have its foundation stone laid in July this year, the region's biggest port that will serve as the engine of Africa's economic boom.
The Chinese-backed project would dwarf Kenya's port at Mombasa, east Africa's trade gateway some 300 km (180 miles) to the north, and include an industrial zone and rail and road links to capitalise on growth in a region hoping to exploit new oil and gas finds.
"It will be the engine for economic activity not only for Bagamoyo but for the entire region," said district executive Ibrahim Matovu, speaking from offices overlooking beaches where ship-builders hammer out wooden dhows as they have for centuries.
In its heyday, Bagamayo was a gateway to the heart of Africa for colonisers, with trade goods surging in from the Indian Ocean, and timber, ivory and countless slaves exported from the east coast harbour.
Then Bagamoyo, which looks out towards the island of Zanzibar, fell on lean times for more than a century now.
Many doubt the plan can succeed and ask if Bagamoyo is even the right location for a port, given it is just 75 km (50 miles) up the coast from Dar es Salaam and far from gas deposits off Tanzania's southern coast. Politics also plays a role. More at www.ippmedia.com/...
Unalaska residents concerned about Shell mooring sites
Shell is planning to return to Unalaska this summer, pending final approval from regulatory agencies, and does not plan to leave anchoring systems in the water when rigs are not present, according to Unalaska Ports Director Peggy McLaughlin.
Despite her fears of Shell snagging a barge full of frozen fish towed by a tugboat in Natkeekin Bay and local residents’ concerns over the loss of fishing grounds near the oil rigs, the state Department of Natural Resources last week granted the oil company permits for three offshore anchorages in Unalaska.
“As barges adjust the towing wire between the tug and barge, the wire will often slack and drag. This event could potentially result in fouling with a wet stored anchoring system,” according to McLaughlin, who said a fleet of 28 Shell vessels, including the two big oil rigs, is expected in local waters in June.
The proposed Nateekin Bay anchorage, at the entrance to Captains Bay, is a “natural choke point,” McLaughlin said, where tug and barge tows are the “primary concern.”
“Captains Bay is heavily transited by the marine industry,” McLaughlin said, and is the site of the large Westward Seafood plant, two marine fuel tank farms and the container cargo tugboat and barge company Alaska Marine Lines, formerly Northland. www.adn.com/artic...
Natural gas exporters advance plans to build in Brownsville port
Proposals for the construction of one or more Liquefied Natural Gas facilities at the Port of Brownsville just got a bit more substantial.
Two of four companies that want to develop LNG export terminals at the port announced a major step in recent days: submitting a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to start the required pre-filing process, which kicks off the regulatory review process of the proposed plants.
Texas LNG Brownsville LLC and Annova LNG LLC, both Houston based, filed the necessary paperwork with FERC on March 9 and March 11, respectively. The LNG plants the companies hope to build would liquefy domestic natural gas for shipment overseas, largely to smaller Asian markets.
Annova’s plans call for a mid-scale plant capable of liquefying 6 million metric tons of natural gas annually. The facility would be developed in three stages, each capable of liquefying 2 million metric tons per year. Each stage would consist of two trains, or individual liquefaction units, of 1 million metric tons each.
Before it can be shipped overseas, natural gas has to be shrunk, which is accomplished by super chilling it to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit, which converts it to a liquid state.
Texas LNG has proposed a two-phase project, each phase capable of producing 2 million metric tons of LNG per year. The company expects phase one to begin LNG production in 2020, assuming the project gets the green light.
Annova has roughly the same timeline, saying it expects a decision by 2017 on whether to build its facility. Every LNG project must undergo a stringent, two-year review process involving not just FERC, which has regulatory authority over all U.S. natural gas facilities, but also more than two dozen other state and local permitting agencies. www.valleymorning...
Reopened Houston container terminal works on cargo backlog
Longshoremen at Port of Houston’s largest container terminal are digging through a backlog of containers and will work well into the weekend after two vessels collided on Monday in the Houston Ship Channel, forcing the closure of the facility and leaving dozens of ships stranded.
“It’s all hands on deck right now for those men and women,” Greater Houston Port Bureau spokesman Patrick Seeba told JOC.com on Friday.
Houston’s Barbours Cut Terminal was shut down Monday and reopened early Wednesday afternoon after a tanker and bulk carrier collided in the channel, leaking a flammable chemical into the surrounding waters. The closure amounted to just more than two days of lost work and a backlog of about 4,000 transactions and 2,000 containers, Seeba said.
The Houston Chronicle reported 70 ships were left stranded on either side of the channel as the U.S. Coast Guard worked to remove the damaged ships and monitor the chemical spill. While there were no vessel cancellations during that time, Seeba said, the terminal now has a significant backlog to work through. www.joc.com/port-...
Longshoreman dies in accident at Port of Anchorage
A longshoreman working at the Port of Anchorage died Friday morning after he was pinned between two pieces of equipment, according to Lindsey Whitt, the port’s director of external affairs.
The longshoreman, who has not been identified, had been loading military equipment into rail cars from a Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) ship when he got “pinched” between two pieces of military equipment, Whitt said. She said the man was on top of a rail car when the incident occurred.
He died immediately, Whitt said.
The military equipment was headed to the Fort Wainwright Army base in Fairbanks, where the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team was being deployed after training in the Lower 48, Whitt said.
TOTE had the contract to move the equipment, she said.
In a statement Friday, TOTE said the man was employed by Sea Star Stevedoring, a company doing work for TOTE. It said TOTE was working with the company and the Anchorage Independent Longshore Union, Local No. 1, to determine what led to the man’s death.
“Totem Ocean will continue to keep the victim’s family in our thoughts and prayers and would ask that the Anchorage community do the same,” the statement said.
King Mohammed VI Launches Large-Scale Port Project in Casablanca
The 4-billion-dirham projects, which provide for the construction of a new shipyard, the development of a fishing port and the construction of a cruise terminal, will restructure and rehabilitate the port area of Casablanca.
This shipyard project, which will be carried out in two stages, provides for building a dry dock with a capacity of 22 units/year, developing repair docks, building a dry dock (boat lift) of at least 5,000 T that can simultaneously handle six vessels and establish an overhead gantry crane of 450 t.
The fishing port integrated project will improve safety and living and working conditions of the city’s fishermen, create a better environment for marketing sea products, organize artisanal fisheries and develop related activities.
The project, set to receive 160 artisanal fishing boats, 120 deep-sea trawlers and 70 sardine fishing boats, features the building of a 665 ml-long main breakwater, a 500 ml-long secondary breakwater, a 7.6-ha platform and an 11.6 ha wet dock.
The project, which is part of the implementation of the Halieutis Plan, will be equipped with an integrated infrastructure for fishery products promotion and marketing, including a fish market (3,600 square meters) near unloading sites, rooms for ship-owners, wholesalers and boaters, a center of standardized containers, ice-making units, fuel stations and shops.
The cruise ships terminal will support the tourism projects featured in the Wessal Casablanca-Port, reinforce the metropolis’ attractiveness in accordance with the tourism vision 2020, and meet increasing demands by travel agencies for cruise ships tourism.
It will be contiguous with the Moulay Youssef port and will receive ships with sizes reaching 350m in length and 45 in width and 9 meters deep. Two unloading docks are also featured for this facility slated to have a capacity of 450,000 cruise ship passengers.
The Wessal Casablanca-Port, already presented to the King in April 2014, consists of projects set to consolidate this Moroccan metropolis’ assets as a tourism, cruising and resort destination and support the region’s economic, urban and demographic development. www.moroccoworldn...
Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sharqi, the ruler of the sheikhdom of Fujairah, inaugurated the fuel storage terminal “Fujairah Oil Terminal FZC,” the state news agency WAM reported.
The terminal is owned by the government of Fujairah, Sinopec Kantons and Concord Energy, WAM said.
The project started in March 2013, and cost approximately 342 million U.S. dollars. The completed terminal has a capacity of 1.177 million cubic metres and 34 reservoirs.
It has the purpose to storage raw fuel for customer service and for the purposes of trade.
Sheikh Hamad unveiled the foundation stone of the project. Fujairah is the only out of seven UAE sheikhdoms with coastal access to the Gulf of Oman which allows the UAE to storage and export oil by circumventing the geo-strategically important straits of Hormuz.
Sheikh Hamad praised the project, referring to its contribution to the success of the economic development plans in the emirate.
The emir stressed the importance of striking international partnerships to accomplish the vital and strategic projects in the emirate.
New deep sea link between APM Terminals Gothenburg and Japan opens up new markets. The Maersk Edmonton, that departed from Kobe, Japan,and called at APM TerminalsGothenburg on 25 February is likely to have switched containers filled with electronic goods and clothes, for others containing wood products and paper.
The Houston Ship Channel was fully reopened Thursday morning (March 12, 2015) after initial salvage plans on a damaged chemical tanker were completed and the ship was successfully moved the vessel from the Channel to Barbour’s Cut turning basin.
The MT Carla Maersk suffered significant damage following a collision midday Monday with the bulk carrier Conti Peridot near Morgan’s Point, Texas. The tanker spilled an unknown quantity of the approximately 216,000 barrels of the chemical Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) it was hauling when the collision breached two of the ships port tanks. MTBE is a highly flammable chemical compound that is primarily used as a fuel additive in motor gasoline.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, responders finished removing the remaining MTBE from the breached tanks of the Carla Maersk early Thursday morning before moving the ship to a safe harbor, outside the busy shipping lane. Salvage plans also included checking the structural integrity and using high-density foam to suppress flammable vapors from the damaged tanks. Extensive air monitoring around the ship showed no sign of vapors seeping from the vessel.