News & Media

14 June, 2019

Australian Newsletter - Issue 578

SHIPS OPERATING IN GULF REGION URGED TO TAKE EXTREME CAUTION
Governments and maritime agencies urged an abundance of caution Thursday for ships operating in the Persian Gulf region after two oil tankers were damaged in suspected attacks near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
Though details of the suspected attack on the ships in the Gulf of Oman of the coast of Iran were vague, the incident comes amid growing friction between Washington and Tehran in an area already fraught with tension. “The shipping industry views this as an escalation of the situation, and we are just about as close to a conflict without there being an actual armed conflict, so the tensions are very high,” said Jakob P. Larsen, the head of maritime security for the shipping association BIMCO, which represents some 60 per cent of the world’s merchant fleet, including owners of the two damaged tankers.  FULL STORY

CHINA TARGETING PACIFIC ISLES FOR STRATEGIC BASES
Beijing’s bid to project power in South Pacific is aimed at Vanuatu, the Solomons, Papua New Guinea
After decades as an unconsidered backwater, the South Pacific Islands have become a strategic frontline in a multi-nation contest for power and influence in Greater Asia. It is a measure of this change that for the first time in its 18-year history, last weekend’s annual regional security conference of Singapore’s International Institute for Strategic Studies included a session examining strategic competition in the South Pacific.  FULL STORY

PORTS AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES INTERACTIVE ONLINE SUSTAINABILITY HUB WITH REPORT SHOWCASING CORE PROJECTS
Ports Australia has published a comprehensive report outlining concrete projects led by its members in all WPSP main disciplines, namely Climate and Energy, Resilient Infrastructure, Safety and Security, Community Outreach and Governance & Ethics.
The report structured around the main WPSP themes, provides information on each project. Chief Executive of Ports Australia Mike Gallacher, commented “Australia’s Ports are economic foundations facilitating over 98 percent of our physical trade, but they are also community members and environmental partners. Sustainability is at the core of Port business planning.”  FULL STORY

MUFFLING THE RUMBLE
In recent years, noise emitted by ships has become a prioritized environmental concern for sea ports. Tightening regulations reflect increasing public awareness of the health effects of noise and an international trend towards developing housing projects in waterfront areas, including port vicinities.
“Ships are in many ways the most challenging noise source in ports,” knows Åshild Bergh, Senior Principal Engineer, Noise & Vibration at DNV GL. “Firstly, the technical and acoustic characteristics of ship noise make it problematic. As a rule, ships run their auxiliary engines to produce the electricity they need while at berth,” Bergh explains. “This engine noise is low-frequency, which makes it more annoying to the ear. Its long wavelengths mean that muffling it requires big, space-consuming silencers on board,” Bergh adds.  FULL STORY

TOWNSVILLE PORT WELCOMES ‘PIT TO PORT’ RAIL FREIGHT INITIATIVES
`Pit to Port’ solutions will become a reality with the announcement of $30 million from the State Government towards a new $48 million common-user rail freight terminal at the Port of Townsville.
The Port of Townsville welcomed the Budget announcement and, subject to completion and approval of the detailed business case, will contribute $18 million to build the terminal, which is expected to be commissioned by early 2022. The terminal is designed to achieve modal shift from road to rail, offering flexibility for customers of one of the world’s richest mineral producing areas – the North West Minerals Province – to get their products to market. It will create 50 jobs during construction and 45 jobs ongoing, reduce costs for mining companies and take trucks off the roads. The works will also provide a boon for local contractors and suppliers, enhancing their capabilities and producing a significant economic benefit for the region.  FULL STORY

PORT LAND WAIVER UPHELD BY COUNCIL
The Tumby Bay District Council has reaffirmed a decision made in 2017 to waive a conservation-based land management agreement (LMA) for the proposed Cape Hardy port site.
An internal review conducted by the council also revealed that if court action was taken against the council by neighbouring landowners, Iron Road would have paid the council's legal fees. Iron Road owns two subdivisions of an original block of land subject to an LMA, which was waived by the council in September 2017, under the condition that port construction began within five years. The decision came after the project received major project approval from the state government in May 2017.  FULL STORY

PORT HEDLAND IRON ORE SHIPMENTS TO CHINA RISE IN MAY
Iron ore shipments to China from Port Hedland in west Australia increased by 9.3pc on the month and by 2.27pc on the year in May to 37.83mn t.
Major iron ore producers Fortescue Metals, BHP and Roy Hill ship iron ore from Port Hedland. Total iron ore shipments from the port increased by 10pc on the month to 46.2mn t in May. China's iron ore import arrivals were down by 11pc from a year earlier to 83.75mn t in May. It typically takes around 10-15 days for shipments to reach Chinese ports from west Australia's Pilbara region, so some of the shipments from Port Hedland may reach China this month and be reflected in China's June import data.  FULL STORY

WORLD'S BIGGEST VESSEL SHIPS ITS FIRST LNG FROM AUSTRALIA TO ASIA
It's taken almost 10-years to plan and install but the world's biggest floating vessel, the 535-yard long liquefied natural gas (LNG) production barge Prelude has just shipped its first gas from Australia to customers in Asia.
Moored in the Indian Ocean 300 miles north-east of the Australian coastal town of Broome the giant facility sucks gas from reservoirs too remote for pumping ashore, converts the gas into a liquid for offloading into conventional LNG carriers. A project of oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell, Prelude displaces 600,000 tons which makes it five-times the size of the biggest aircraft carrier in the U.S. fleet.  FULL STORY

VICTORIAN PORTS & FREIGHT MINISTER TO ADDRESS PORT OUTLOOK 2019
Victorian Minister for Ports, Freight and Public Transport, Melissa Horne, is one of several high-profile representatives of the ports and channels community that the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has secured for its annual Port Outlook seminar on 6 August.
Port Outlook has grown over the last four years to become one of the VTA’s best-attended events, underscoring the importance of the Victorian ports sector in state and national supply chains.
“We are thrilled that Minister Horne has agreed to deliver a keynote address at Port Outlook and outline the Victorian Government’s strategic vision for our ports and waterways, which are an essential part of the Victorian and national economy,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.  FULL STORY

'WE DON'T TELL THEM WHAT TO DO', WINSTON PETERS SAYS OF SAMOA AS THEY PLAN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR CHINESE FUNDED PORT
Samoa is planning a large-scale Chinese-funded port costing hundreds of millions of dollars. The new port, at Vaiusu Bay, would have separate areas for cruise ships, container ships and fishing boats.
Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malialegaoi explained that it's crucial the new port be built as soon as possible as the current one is small, heavily congested and subjected to heavy swells during the first six months of the year. He said Japan turned down Samoa’s request and given the huge scale of the project no other countries are keen to be on board. However, China has agreed pending a final feasibility study. "We had opened the project for any good Samaritan and there is only one good Samaritan that came on board," Mr Tuilaepa said.  FULL STORY

NZ REGIONAL PORT MAKING MOORINGS SAFER
PrimePort Timaru in the southern Canterbury region of New Zealand between Christchurch and Dunedin is installing 15 shore bollards and new wharf bollards for the safer mooring of ships, including cruise vessels.
The fledgling cruise port, which is owned by Port of Tauranga and Timaru District Holdings Ltd, reports the work is due for completion by November, in time for the 2019-20 season with the 604-passenger Seabourn Encore arriving next January 14 and again on February 14 during her extended Australasia programme.  FULL STORY

ANOTHER TUG FOR PORT NELSON, NZ, AS EXPANSION CONTINUES
Over the past few years, Damen has been developing a relationship with what may well be its most distant customer from its headquarters in the Netherlands.
Located on the other side of the globe on New Zealand’s South Island, Port Nelson is a thriving port in the north of the island that forms a critical part of the infrastructure that serves the regions of Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough. The regional economy is based on primary production; forestry, fishing, horticulture and viticulture, and to landward the Nelson region is geographically isolated with no rail links. This makes the port the dominant point of entry and exit for goods of all types.  FULL STORY

SAFE USE OF HARBOUR PRIORITY IN ROLE
Otago's harbourmaster now has a full-time shipmate as the regional council increases boatie education.
Dunedin man Pete Dryden (50) started in the new full-time deputy harbourmaster role this week.
He will assist Otago harbourmaster Steve Rushbrook in promoting water safety and enforcing harbour bylaws. Mr Dryden comes into the role with decades of experience on the water. The Dunedin-born man's last job was with Maritime New Zealand for 14 years during which he enforced regulatory compliance.
This involved monitoring vessels in Otago and the Chatham Islands to make sure they were following safety procedures.  "I'm quite lucky that my last job gave me a really good skill set transferable to what I'm doing now."  FULL STORY

SUNDAY START FOR $4.5M UPGRADE TO PORT ACCESS
Work began on Sunday on the $4.5m upgrade of Gisborne’s port access, part of the Provincial Growth Fund’s massive $137 million roading package for Gisborne.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones first announced the package in September last year and yesterday confirmed work, fully-funded from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), would start to upgrade the road to Eastland Port as part of that package. “This project to upgrade Gisborne’s port road will bring a wealth of benefits to the Tairawhiti region,” Mr Jones said. “Since the road opened in 2008, high traffic volumes have led to significant deterioration and high maintenance costs. As the region’s key link to Eastland Port, Rakaiatane Road must be able to support increasing freight volumes, and current and future demands stemming from intensified economic activity.”  FULL STORY

AUTONOMY AHOY: SHIPPING INDUSTRY MOVES TOWARD CREWLESS VESSELS
Autonomous vehicles have been attracting a lot of attention as the automotive industry pushes towards future mobility. But what is the potential for autonomous ships?
While the deployment of autonomous ships may be lagging behind that of self-driving cars, across the logistics industry companies are already laying the foundations for the introduction of the first autonomous fleets. Promising the possibility of crewless cargo transport, fuel-efficient movement and accident-free operations, autonomous technology holds great potential and in some respects is already proven. Yet there may be a significant time lag before the first autonomous car carriers arrive.  FULL STORY

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, Inchcape Shipping Services accepts no liability nor makes any representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to its completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability.