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Sunday, 27 November 2016 20:46

Total in Ivory Coast LNG Deal

French oil major Total, the Ivorian state oil company and four other partners have formally established a consortium to build an LNG import terminal meant to feed the country's growing electricity consumption.

Demand for electricity is rising in Ivory Coast by some 10 percent a year, and the energy minister said last year that $20 billion of investment is needed in the industry over the next 15 years.

According to the agreement - first announced on November 24 - the new Cote d'Ivoire-GNL company is 34 percent owned by Total while the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) controls 26 percent and Ivorian state oil company Petroci has 11 percent.

Royal Dutch Shell will hold a 13 percent stake, while Houston-based Endeavor Energy and Golar LNG will have minority stakes.

"This project illustrates Total's strategy to develop new gas markets by unlocking access to LNG for fast-growing economies," said Philippe Sauquet, head of Total's Gas, Renewables and Power division in a statement on Friday.

Total added that the terminal is expected to become operational by mid-2018, and that it will use the terminal to supply LNG volumes from its global portfolio.

The company hopes the Ivory Coast LNG hub will help unlock LNG demand in the West Africa region.

The project aims to build and operate a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) with an initial capacity of 100 million cubic feet that would gradually be brought up to 400 million cubic feet.

"Many electricity-producing projects are awaiting a gas supply to really kick off," Ibrahima Diaby, the director general of Petroci, said at the signing ceremony in Abidjan on Thursday.

The cost of the project, expected to take about 18 months to complete, has also been reduced to $100 million from an earlier estimate of $200 million, he added.

Total will make a final investment decision on the project in the first quarter of 2017, a spokeswoman added.

Ivory Coast has the region's most reliable power production sector and exports electricity to its neighbors. Petroci said in July that it hopes to double oil and gas output by 2020 by developing offshore reserves in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea.


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Last week, Governor Tom Wolf announced a comprehensive capital investment program at the Port of Philadelphia that will result in more than $300 million in investment in the Port’s infrastructure, warehousing and equipment. 

The initiative will start next year and continue through 2020.

The program, ranking among the largest investments by a state on the East Coast, will boost three of the busiest sectors of the Port of Philadelphia, including the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port’s automobile-handling operation and the Tioga Marine Terminal.

The improvements will result in doubling container capacity at the Port, provide increased breakbulk (non-containerized) cargo capacity and bring a substantial increase in automobile-handling capacity.  

A total direct job increase of 70 percent is projected from the current level of 3,124 to a projected 5,378 direct jobs. Total employment at the Port will also increase, from 10,341 to 17,020, and state and local tax revenues generated will increase from the current $69.6 million to $108.4 million annually.

About $200 million of the capital investment program will be invested in the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port of Philadelphia’s largest maritime facility. Improvements will include four new electric post-Panamax container cranes, the relocation of warehouses to facilitate container growth and the construction of new ones and a deeper 45-foot depth at the terminal’s marginal berths to match the new 45-foot depth of the Delaware River’s main channel. Electrification throughout the terminal will also be modernized to support electrification of existing diesel cranes and cold ironing capabilities at the terminal (the ability to power without the need for the vessels to burn fuel while docked).

As the latest example of the successful public/private partnerships at the Port, Astro Holdings, the tenant of the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, will also purchase one of the Post-Panamax container cranes for the terminal, as well as dedicating significant privately-owned port acreage, in the form of the Holt-owned 40-acre “Publicker” site located next to the Packer Avenue facility, for container growth through Packer Avenue Marine Terminal.

Officials of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) expect that these improvements will result in a doubling of the cargo-handling capacity at the terminal, already the busiest and most multi-use terminal at the Port of Philadelphia. Container-handling capacity will especially increase, with a 900,000 TEU capacity immediately resulting from the improvements, scalable to exceed 1.2 million TEU capacity in the future, a significant improvement over the terminal’s current 400,000-plus TEU capacity.

The improvements at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port’s primary container facility, will occur at about the time that the Delaware Main Channel Deepening Project, will be completed. 

The Port’s automobile import/export facility, which currently processes 150,000 cars and employs more than 300 direct workers will also benefit by receiving about $90 million of the Governor’s Capital Investment program. Since 2010, Glovis America been the main customer of the Port’s Auto Processing facility, located in South Philadelphia adjacent to the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, bringing Hyundai and Kia automobiles on vessels for eventual distribution to dealerships throughout the region.

Improvements to the Port’s automobile-handling operation will include the addition of 155 paved and fenced acres above the flood plain at the Port’s Southport site; the conversion of the former seaplane hangar at Southport into a second auto-processing site; enhancements at the main auto-processing site at Pier 98 Annex and the establishment of a framework that provides flexibility for use of the land the Port needs for containers and automobiles, as determined by market demands.

Tioga Marine Terminal will be the third beneficiary of the State Capital Investment Program at the Port.  $12 million has been earmarked for improvements to the main on-dock warehouse that has been successfully handling and processing Brazilian wood pulp cargoes since 2014.  

A second warehouse at Tioga will be converted into a food-grade warehouse, allowing the Port increase its wood pulp volumes to meet the demands of Pennsylvania companies requiring wood pulp. Improved rail access and the purchase of a second mobile harbor crane will also add capacity for Tioga Marine Terminal.


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Singapore plans to offer financial assistance to its liquidity-hit marine and offshore engineering companies that could help them raise as much as S$1.6 billion ($1.1 billion) in loans.

The two-year downturn in oil prices has forced several firms, including oilfield services firm Swiber, oil and gas service provider Swissco Holdings Ltd and container ship owner Rickmers Maritime, to seek restructuring of their debt.

Billions of dollars have been wiped off the market value of the sector's listed companies and thousands of jobs have been axed in the worst-hit area of Singapore's slowing economy.

Many of the companies in the affected sectors have not been able to issue debt or get bank loans.

Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a statement on Friday the loans it is organising will be available from next month and could "catalyse" about S$1.6 billion in total financing to the sector over the next year.

The MTI said it will introduce a scheme allowing affected companies to borrow up to S$5 million for up to six years. A borrower group can tap financing of up to S$15 million.

A separate finance scheme aimed at assisting with project and asset financing support will be enhanced so that the maximum loan will be raised to S$70 million per borrower group from the current S$30 million, it said.

The statement did not provide any details on the financing costs. The facilities will be administered by government agencies SPRING and IE Singapore through local banks. The government will take 70 percent of the financing risk for both the schemes.

"The industry's financing challenges have intensified in recent months. Some industry consolidation is inevitable as companies restructure and adapt to the challenging environment," Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran said.

"The government will continue to monitor the economy closely and stands ready to act if necessary."

Those that qualify for the scheme include shipyards and their contractors, exploration, production and offshore services firms, oil and gas equipment and services companies and their suppliers.


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The sea-going vessel Fure West, a chemicals and oil tanker of the Swedish shipping company FureTank, has been bunkered with liquid natural gas (LNG) in the Port of Amsterdam today. This is the first sea-going vessel to bunker with LNG in Amsterdam. The bunkering took place on the Groene Kade in the Amerikahaven, the designated location for safe truck-to-ship bunkering of LNG.

Fure West is the first sea-going vessel of FureTank that has a dual-fuel engine. Built in 2006, the ship has recently been converted to run on LNG. On Monday morning, she moored at Oiltanking for unloading. On Tuesday, she made her way to the Groene Kade where the bunkering took place. Titan LNG external link, an Amsterdam company trading in LNG, transported the liquid natural gas in five tankers from the GATE terminal to the Amerikahaven and ensured that the bunkering would be safely accomplished.

LNG in Amsterdam

Inland navigation vessels have been bunkering with LNG in the Amerikahaven since 2013. As a result of recent changes to the quay, sea-going vessels can now also bunker there. The facility is part of the sustainability agenda of the company and the vision of creating a metropolitan port that is continually improving, becoming faster, smarter and cleaner.

Marleen van de Kerkhof, State Harbour Master: ‘Port of Amsterdam is fully committed to making shipping sustainable. This is needed to provide a sustainable solution to the demands of logistics and regulation. The facilitation of safe bunkering operations with new and cleaner shipping fuels is a good example of this. The Groene Kade is now a temporary facility. Together with various partners such as Titan LNG, we are looking to create a more permanent bunker facility that is both safe and efficient. Today’s bunkering operation was a successful first step in this direction.’

Niels den Nijs, CEO of Titan LNG, was also pleased with this milestone for the port and his company: ‘The use of LNG for shipping is on the rise, as a result of stricter environmental regulation, a sound business case and growing public pressure to make shipping cleaner.’

Cleaner shipping

Using LNG as a fuel has huge benefits for the environment. Sulphur and particle emissions would be reduced to almost zero, and nitrogen oxide emission is cut by 85-90 percent. LNG may also reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

About Port of Amsterdam

Port of Amsterdam is Western Europe’s fourth largest port and plays a large role in the transhipment and processing of energy products. The North Sea Canal Area transhipped approximately 97 million tonnes of goods in 2015, with Port of Amsterdam accounting for approximately 78 million tonnes of this amount. A total of 68,000 people work in the port region either at companies in the port or at port-related companies. Approximately 34,000 of these people work in Amsterdam. Havenbedrijf Amsterdam NV is committed to being a smart port and to adding value for customers and the environment in a sustainable and innovative manner. It seeks to promote growth at companies, while still taking a careful approach to the available space and the quality of water, soil and air. Port of Amsterdam works as Port of partnerships intensively with partners in the business community (national and international), city and region.



Published in News
Friday, 18 November 2016 19:53

Maritime Safety Research Center Opens

The Maritime Safety Research Center was officially opened this week by the IMO Secretary General Kitak Lim, who anticipates that the center could play a role in the shift of maritime safety from empirical to risk-informed legislation and goal-based standards. 

The center is an industry-university partnership, involving the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow's Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering, Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCCL) and DNV GL. 

A world first, the center aims to improve safety at sea through a close collaboration between industry and academia that targets interdisciplinary, common-threaded research and development.

It will contribute to safer waterborne operations through the development and implementation of a life-cycle risk management approach, accounting rationally and formally for all cost-effective measures of risk reduction, both active and passive. These efforts are directed at cost-effective safety improvements for new and existing ships and offshore units. 

It will also promote safety culture and continuous development of the regulatory framework. Research areas will include: safety and security of complex systems onboard ships, dynamic barrier management, ship stability, intact and damage stability of cruise ships, safety culture, fire protection and prevention and blackout prevention.

DNV GL’s Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen said: “Classification societies have an ever more important role to play, helping the various stakeholders in the maritime arena understand the new reality and complexity by focusing on interfaces, developing effective safety barriers and ensuring that these remain effective throughout the life of the vessel. Equally as important is enhanced capability for medium and long-term research, addressing the impact of increased complexity and of increasing societal expectations for human safety and environmental impact.”


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