News & Media

21 June, 2019

Australian Newsletter - Issue 579

KITESURFING FOR SHIPS EXPLAINED
A fully automated power kite capable of towing commercial ships is a new solution that could help curb emissions in the shipping sector. The innovative system, developed by Airseas, a France-based spin-off of Airbus Group, can provide ships with free and unlimited wind energy. The core technology used is the model of a flying wing which originates from the aeronautics industry. The goal was to develop the wing that flies automatically mastering any weather conditions and keeping it safe, Vincent Bernatets, CEO and founder of Airseas told World Maritime News during a press briefing event at Nor-Shipping.  FULL STORY

CENTRAL QLD INLAND PORT CONSTRUCTION KICKS OFF
CENTRAL Queensland's 'game changing' inland port project is now well underway with the project expected to be up and running by the end of 2019. Partially-funded by the local, state and federal governments, CQ Inland Portis a purpose-built and shovel-ready intermodal facility at Yamala, 25km east of Emerald. GrainCorp has already bought a 47ha site in the development with plans to construct $18.5m grain handling facility to maximise the efficiency of grain exports from the Emerald region.  At present, many commodities from Central Queensland are road freighted to other regional locations, where they are packed or processed and then road freighted to the ports. According to its promoters, the CQ Inland Port will allow for freight to be aggregated and packed in Central Queensland and rail freighted directly to the major ports of Brisbane, Gladstone and Mackay.  FULL STORY

PACIFIC NATIONAL WARNS NSW ON PORT BOTANY RAIL LINK
Rail freight operator Pacific National has warned the New South Wales government it risks losing future export container volumes to the ports of Melbourne and Brisbane if critical rail freight infrastructure is not upgraded or built within the next four years.
Pacific National CEO Dean Dalla Valle said the efficient running of regional freight trains in and out of Port Botany needs to be a top priority for the NSW government in its third term, stating, "It’s now or never."I’m confident the re-elected Berejiklian-Barilaro government has the will, expertise and funding to fix a longstanding problem for rail freight movements in NSW," Dalla Valle says. "The concern is that running a container freight train in country NSW over the Great Dividing Range into Sydney will become too inefficient, unreliable and hence costly within four years, forcing many regional exporters to bypass Port Botany.  FULL STORY

ADANI MINING’S CARMICHAEL COAL MINE PLAN GETS THE THUMBS UP
Adani Mining’s plan to build a 10 Mt/y open-pit thermal coal mine and associated infrastructure in the Galilee Basin of Queensland, Australia, moves forward after the company sealed the final approvals it requires to start construction.
The development of the first stage 10 Mt/y coal mine will also lead to the building of a circa-200 km narrow gauge rail network that connects to existing rail infrastructure and goes from the mine to the Port of Abbot Point. The initial design capacity of this line is for 40 Mt/y, with the ability to further expand, according to Adani.  Wood Mackenzie Principal Analyst, Viktor Tanevski, said, in another statement, the firm remained “cautious” on the timeframe for delivery of first coal onto a vessel from the operation given the “sizeable task of building out both a new large-scale mine and greenfield rail connection”.  He said: “We anticipate at least a 12-month delay to Adani’s target of first coal exports, approximately two years from the commencement of construction, predominantly associated with delays in the construction of rail.”  FULL STORY

RIO TINTO DEPLOYS ‘WORLD’S BIGGEST ROBOT’ IN PILBARA
Rio Tinto has launched its landmark AutoHaul project in the Pilbara, marking the world’s first automated heavy-haul long distance rail network. The launch of the project is the culmination of $USD940 million ($1.37 billion) worth of investment over the space of more than 10 years. AutoHaul was deployed by Rio Tinto alongside the Western Australia Government and its technology partner Hitachi Rail STS. The 2.4-kilometre-long trains, which are monitored remotely from an operations centre in Perth, travel across a network
of 1700 kilometres of railway tracks.  FULL STORY

INDONESIAN FIRM TO EXPORT COAL TO BANGLADESH
Bangladesh is set to import coal for the first time for a power plant as part of efforts to diversify its fuel mix in the electricity generation sector. The Bangladesh-China Power Company signed a deal with an Indonesian firm in Dhaka on Sunday to import coal for the 1,320-megawatt coal-fired Payra power plant in Patuakhali. Dipak Kumar Dhali, secretary of state-run North-West Power Generation Company, and Purnomo Yusgiantoro, chairman of PT Bayan Resources Tbk, inked the deal. A statement confirmed that this was Bangladesh’s first agreement for coal imports. Addressing the program, Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to the prime minister, said the plant was being constructed with a carbon emission control system.  FULL STORY

BUILDING A NETWORK OF SUSTAINABLE PORTS
Earlier this year, Port of Newcastle became the first port in Australia or New Zealand to become a member of EcoPorts,” commented Jackie Spiteri, Environment & Sustainability at Port of Newcastle. Spiteri explains: “It required the Port to commit to having its environmental and sustainability practices benchmarked against 120 major ports across Europe, Asia, North America and South America. Much as it should be, Australia is not a leader in this space. There is a tremendous opportunity to learn from leading ports overseas.  “In joining EcoPorts, Port of Newcastle is committing to ensure its standards are genuinely world's best practice…sustainably must be calibrated against global leaders in this area, not other Australian ports.”  FULL STORY

HAVING A GAS: AUSTRALIA DOMINATES CHINA’S LNG SUPPLY
Australia’s fast-expanding liquefied natural gas industry has this year been supplying the lion’s share of China’s growing demand for imports of the commodity, with appetite surging as Beijing shifts away from dirtier fuels such as coal. Australia supplied over 53% of China’s LNG imports during the first five months of 2019, shipping data in Refinitiv showed, up from around 40% in 2016 when a previous round of new Australian export projects started to ramp up. With Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude facility delivering its first LNG cargo this week from northwest Australia, that share is likely to increase further. Prelude’s start-up completes a $200 billion LNG construction boom that is putting Australia on track to surpass Qatar as the world’s top exporter of the fuel.  FULL STORY

COMMENTS SOUGHT ON TRANSPORT DIRECTION - WA
A DRAFT strategy to address challenges for more efficient transport of agricultural commodities and inputs across the Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions has been released for comment Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said most of the 20 freight route projects had been raised in extensive consultation with the agriculture industry, transport operators, local government and government agencies in developing the draft agricultural region freight strategy.  The draft strategy identifies 21 infrastructure projects and several non-infrastructure projects it deems a priority for improved agricultural productivity and a more efficient agricultural transport supply chain including links to ports. FULL STORY   LINK TO STRATEGY

WHANGĀREI PINS HOPES ON A $240M DRY DOCK FOR ECONOMIC BOOST
Whangārei is the front runner for a new $240 million dry dock which is expected to deliver a huge economic boost to Northland. Shipping leaders will meet with Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones on June 26 to discuss building the dry dock at the city's Northport. The dry dock would mean local ships, including the Interislander ferries, could be serviced in New Zealand rather than making the long and expensive journey to Asia. Whangārei District Council chief executive Rob Furlong said it would be incredibly encouraging for jobs, and housing was affordable for anyone relocating to the town.  FULL STORY

BIG PLANS FOR MAJURO - THE PACIFIC'S BUSIEST TRANSHIPMENT PORT
Majuro is the Pacific's busiest transhipment port and the authority in charge of managing it, and the country has big plans for both. Transhipment is where freight is transferred from one mode of transport to another. In the case of the Majuro, it's where tuna is moved from trawlers to freighters. The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) is updating the country's shipping and tuna management strategies. "Tuna is the number one driver of the local economy and it is important to revise the authority's management plans to cater to their regional and international obligations and the development of the vessel day scheme," MIMRA's director Glen Joseph said.  FULL STORY

THE PORTS OF AUCKLAND SAYS ITS DIVIDEND WILL FALL DUE TO THE COST OF ITS INVESTMENT PLANS
The Ports of Auckland says the Auckland Council can expect a reduced dividend over the next two to three years as it pushes ahead with a major investment programme. Auckland Council currently has 100% ownership of the port and it received an annual dividend from its shareholding of $51.1 million in the 2017/18 financial year. But the port company has increased its debt by 30% since last year as part of an investment programme to increase its capacity and returns, despite the fact its long-term future hangs in the balance. Ports of Auckland spokesman Matt Ball says the investment programme includes container terminal automation, construction of a new car handling facility and investment in its new Waikato Freight Hub.  FULL STORY

WHEAT IMPORTS ARRIVE ON OUR SHORES
The ship containing the first consignment of imported wheat to come into Australia since 2006-07 has arrived at Port Kembla in NSW. Bulk carrier African Pheasant, which has come from Vancouver in Canada, landed over the weekend with a shipment of high protein wheat, purchased by Australian milling business Manildra Group for use in its starch and gluten manufacturing facility at Nowra. Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann said his organisation was satisfied the shipment did not pose a threat to Australia's croppers. Mr Weidemann said GPA officials had visited Manildra's Nowra facility and were confident the arrangements as detailed as part of the import permit granted by the Australian Department of Agriculture would be adequate to manage any risks.  FULL STORY

TOWNSVILLE PORT STARTS ANOTHER MAJOR DEVELOPMENT
Townsville construction company Formset has been awarded a $10 million contract to build a 1.6-hectare container terminal as part of the Townsville Port’s $30 million Crane and Cargo Terminal project at Berth 4. The announcement was made today by Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad. Formset Managing Director, Brent Zander commented that the construction of the Berth 4 Cargo Terminal Area will take up to 36 weeks to complete. “We’ve been working with the port for a long time, but this is the biggest project we have undertaken for the port. The Berth 4 Cargo Terminal Area project reaffirms our commitment to quality and expertise in commercial and industrial environments, ” Brent Zander said.  FULL STORY

CRUISE SHIPS TO DAMPIER
The Pilbara cruising industry is set to be bolstered next year when the Port of Dampier welcomes a cruise liner for the first time. This comes as Port Hedland prepares for a passenger vessel to dock into the town after a two-year hiatus, setting 2020 up to be the strongest cruise season for the region. Dampier, about 20km from Karratha, will host two small cruise ships from luxury company APT in September next year as they make a return trip from Broome to Perth. The MS Caledonian Sky has a guest capacity of 106, a of crew 75. Pilbara Tourism Association chairman Barry Harrison said APT reached out when they got wind of the world heritage nomination for Murujuga National Park.  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.