US House of Representatives Rejects Jones Act Exemption for Puerto Rico
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives' Rules Committee rejected an amendment to a relief bill for Puerto Rico that would have exempted the island from American cabotage regulations.
The amendment, sponsored by Representative Gary Palmer of Alabama, was denied on the grounds that it was not considered pertinent to the bill itself, which is intended to help the island territory to restructure its troubled finances.
Palmer had argued that the requirements of the Jones Act – which generally prohibits the use of foreign-flagged vessels in domestic trade – drive up the costs of goods delivered to the island, as allegedly more costly American vessels and crews were needed to transport cargo from the mainland. He also asserted that the Jones Act prohibited Puerto Rican utilities from purchasing and transporting LNG from American facilities (though many Jones Act-qualified LNG carriers exist). maritime-executiv...
Piraeus Port Shareholders Approve COSCO Stake Sale
Piraeus Port shareholders approved a new concession agreement with Chinese shipping giant COSCO on Friday, bringing Greece a step closer to concluding the sale of a majority stake in the port. Greece agreed in April to sell a 67 percent stake in the port to COSCO for 368.5 million euros.
Striking port workers hold rally in front of Athens Stock Exchange
Striking port workers on June 10 protested in front of the Athens Stock Exchange where a meeting was taking place to rubber stamp Cosco Pacific’s controversial takeover of Piraeus port.
The Greek government has moved to privatise the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki in a bid to bolster its coffers as demanded by the European Union. However, port workers are not happy about the move, fearful for their pay and future job prospects under Chinese control and the nation’s top two ports have been hit by a wave of strikes.
In a move to appease them, the government has discussed transferring the most disaffected port workers to other parts of the civil service.
The chairman of Greece’s privatisation agency, TAIPED, Stergios Pitsiorlas, described the strikes this week as “disastrous.”
António Mariano, president of the Portuguese Stevedores Union, has called for the nationalisation of the domestic ports network.
He claimed that the sector generated “enough profit” and that it offered “guaranteed income”. “If it were made public, it would make more revenue for the state,” he said.
A strike, which began on April 20 and was not resolved until late May, resulted in significant losses of container traffic to both Leixoes and Vigo and cast a shadow over the continuing labour stability at the port.
Both unions and operator eventually reached an initial agreement at the end of May, allowing the port to resume operations. Source: Port Strategy
Seville Port Authority (APS) has agreed a series of terms and conditions to be included in a tender for the container terminal at Dársena de Batán, which is one of the port’s busiest areas.
A previous tender, which was issued on March 1, was declared void, as neither bidder – Terminales Marítimas de Sevilla and Termisur Eurocargo y Terminal Marítima del Guadalquivir – justified either projected traffic levels or promised vessel call figures, said the port.
As part of the new conditions, any bidder will have to justify traffic projections in order to guarantee the financial viability of the terminal. The more detailed the projections, the higher this will be weighted in the final decision. Source: Port Strategy
Russia to suspend oil loadings from Primorsk and Ust-Luga due to storm
Russia will suspend oil loadings from the Baltic Sea ports of Primorsk and Ust-Luga due to an expected storm, a spokesman for oil pipeline monopoly Transneft said on Thursday.
Igor Dyomin also said currently two tankers were being loaded in Primorsk and one in Ust-Luga.
“The wind is expected to strengthen according to the forecast,” he said.
Pakistan GasPort Plans LNG Terminal now with Double Capacity
Pakistan GasPort Ltd., which won a government contract to build the country’s second liquefied natural gas terminal, plans to list the project in two years and double capacity, taking advantage of a global glut, according to Chief Executive Officer Iqbal Ahmed.
The terminal which costs $135 million will initially handle 600 million cubic feet a day at Karachi’s Port Qasim, said Ahmed. GasPort plans to add another terminal to double capacity by 2018 and will be followed by the construction of a 500 megawatt power plant. GasPort was awarded the contract by the state-owned Pakistan LNG Terminals Ltd. after offering the lowest bid, Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, said by phone on Wednesday. www.hellenicshipp...
Japan eyes Yokohama port for first LNG fueling station
The Port of Yokohama could house Japan’s first fueling station for ships using liquefied natural gas under a public-private investment effort aimed at meeting growing interest in the relatively clean fuel.
A committee including officials from Japan’s transport and economy ministries as well as representatives from Tokyo Gas and shipper Nippon Yusen will meet as soon as Thursday to look into the creation of LNG fueling stations, using Yokohama’s port as a model case. Officials from the city and the port’s operator will participate as well.
Tokyo Gas already operates an LNG terminal in Yokohama, while Nippon Yusen has introduced tugboats running on the fuel. The committee will examine the state of the city’s port, as well as the costs, technological needs and market factors involved in the project, to produce an infrastructure development plan as soon as this year. Updating port facilities and purchasing fueling ships alone are seen costing over 10 billion yen ($93.1 million). Source: Nikkei
France’s Le Havre imports transport fuels,but no crude
At least one import terminal at France’s Le Havre oil port in the north is open and taking in cargoes of much-needed diesel and jet fuel despite extended strike action, according to two port agents operating there.
Strikes have forced refiner Total to close four of its five French refineries and have closed off crude oil imports, including those at Le Havre’s CIM terminal.
But the SHMPP terminal at Le Havre, which handles oil products, is fully operational, two different agents operating at the port told Reuters.
Shipping data showed four tankers carrying more than 110,000 tonnes of diesel and one tanker with 90,000 tonnes of jet fuel have discharged at the SHMPP terminal in the past week.
Another three tankers carrying around 100,000 tonnes of diesel are currently waiting to discharge.
The imports are crucial to France, Europe’s second-largest diesel consumer, particularly as output from its own refineries is extremely limited as a result of the strikes.
The CIM terminal is expected to remain closed as a result of strike action until June 8, according to the agents, and at least nine crude and oil product tankers were waiting outside the port to discharge.
A third terminal at Le Havre that handles chemicals, Sogestrol, is running normally, according to one of the agents.
Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith says it may be time to build an LNG import terminal in Sydney as a way of dealing with a looming gas shortage in NSW and Victoria.
Mr Smith’s idea came as Inpex flagged the potential for its 890km Ichthys pipeline, connecting Browse Basin fields with an LNG plant in Darwin, to one day feed gas into the proposed North East Gas Interconnector, which is to link Northern Territory gas fields with east coast markets.
The LNG industry is desperate to find new markets for its gas to offset a supply glut at a time of weaker than expected demand growth. Tapping into the east coast’s looming gas shortage, driven because of a lack of offshore resources and bans on onshore drilling, is attracting increased attention though significant challenges including a lack of infrastructure remain.
The cost of re-gasification terminals, which turn the fuel from liquid back into a gaseous state, has fallen sharply over the past decade and cost only hundreds of millions of dollars, compared with billion-plus price tags previously. www.hellenicshipp...