Port operations in Turkey were facing disruption as a result of a massive power cut that had hit dozens of provinces across the country on Tuesday 31 March. Although the Turkish Straits and ports were not closed, husbandry operations (crew changes, spares, etc.) have been negatively affected. The cuts affected power stations and public transport, including Istanbul's tram and metro systems. A crisis centre has been set up at the energy ministry.
By early afternoon the Turkish Electricity Transmission company said only 15% of Istanbul and Ankara had power.
Turkey shuts Bosphorus Strait due to bridge construction
Turkey on Thursday, March 26 closed the Bosphorus Strait, a key shipping channel for Russian oil and other commodities, to allow for construction work on a bridge, shipping agent GAC Turkey said. The strait, which bisects Europe’s largest city Istanbul, was shut at 5 a.m. (0300 GMT) and was scheduled to re-open at 7 p.m.
The Bosphorus will be closed to all transit traffic in both directions from 05:00 to 16:00 hours local time on Friday 9 January, due to the works on 3rd Bosphorus Bridge.
Masters of vessels trading should act in accordance with VTS instructions and take all related precautions.
Bad weather is expected in the Turkish Straits and ports in the coming four days. All vessels trading in the area are urged to exercise caution and comply with the instructions of the authorities. Although efforts will be made to continue operations, expecially in the Turkish Straits, this will be subject to weather pemritting.
Storm forces Turkey to shut Dardanelles to tankers
Turkey shut its Dardanelles Strait on Dec. 30 to tankers and its flag carrier cancelled some domestic and international flights in and out of Istanbul due to a storm.
The Dardanelles waterway is frequently forced to shut during the winter due to rough weather, usually at least two or three times a month.
Five northbound and three southbound tankers waiting to pass through the Dardanelles were expected to be scheduled to do so on Tuesday, shipping agency GAC said.
The Bosphorus Strait remained open.
Connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits form one of the world’s major energy shipping routes, with about 10,000 vessels carrying 150 million tonnes of oil and petroleum products on the waterways every year.
Turkish Airlines cancelled 10 flights to and from Istanbul, while local ferries across the Bosphorus were also cancelled.
The Bosphorus will be closed to all transit traffic in both directions today, 20 December, from 06:00 to 15:00 hours,
due to works on 3rd Bosphorus Bridge.
Masters of vessels trading must act in line with VTS instructions and take all related precautions.
APM Terminals interested in potential Istanbul terminal
Container terminal operating company, APM Terminals, are interested in opening a facility in Istanbul in Turkey’s Marmara region. Although, no specific timeframe has been mentioned, Turkey’s “sizeable” economic growth compared to the rest of Europe plus its “low container penetration ratio” are proving attractive to the multinational company. Turkish container volumes are growing at twice the speed of GDP, which grew by 4.0% in 2013, and APM Terminals are currently “analysing the markets to determine the preferred strategy to enter”. Mogens Wolf Larsen, managing director of APM Terminals’ Izmir operations, told CM: “Marmara is interesting because Istanbul accounts for approximately 60% of the total Turkey volumes, so there is scale to have a large operation. The Istanbul market is also served by many of APM Terminals’ 60 global shipping line customers, so we would like to be able to also provide them with our services in Istanbul.”
Dardanelles traffic suspension after tanker engine malfunction solved
As reported, traffic was supended in the Dardanelles at 08:00 hours, on 27 October after an LNG carrier experienced an engine malfunction at Arzew – Marmara Ereglisi whilst transiting northbound. The engine malfunction was solved on board by the crew and the vessel completed her NB Dardanelles transit on the same day at 16:15 hours. Normal traffic resumes after 16:30 hours on 27 October.