News & Media

27 March, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 619

LOW OIL PRICE ENVIRONMENT COULD ALTER TANKER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Oil prices could remain low for a number of months, a scenario which could alter tanker demand and shift trade routes. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “there is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic crisis is a world-shattering event that will change the world as we know it. Societies are facing challenging moments, markets have been violently disrupted and it will become even more visible later on that governments around the world will experience major shifts in their respective political and economic power.  FULL STORY

REPORT: BIO AND SYNTHETIC LNG COULD CONTRIBUTE TO DECARBONIZATION
Source: The Maritime Executive
The industry coalition SEA-LNG has released the latest in its series of independently conducted reports, this one a CE Delft analysis of the availability and costs of liquefied bio methane (LBM) and liquefied synthetic methane (LSM). The authors conclude that both could become available in sufficient quantities to make a contribution towards future decarbonization for the shipping industry and that the costs need not be significantly higher than those of other low- and zero-carbon fuels. The study explores the potential availability and cost of LBM and LSM produced from renewable electricity.  FULL STORY

PORTS CALL FOR RECOGNITION AS ESSENTIAL SERVICES
Source: Imogen Hartmann (Infrastructure Magazine)
Ports Australia is calling for the Federal Government to recognise ports and their personnel as essential services across all Australian states, as the government is starting to close down non-essential services around the country in an effort to combat coronavirus. Ports Australia has been in discussion with the Federal Government about the best way to approach the situation, in order to achieve the best outcome for the safety of port staff and livelihood of Australia. As the necessary safety measures ramp up around the nation, Ports Australia said that their essential services keep Australia running with medical staff, emergency services or supermarkets. Ports Australia maintains that its supply chains are critical to ensure fuel, food and other much needed essential commodities around the nation, making it imperative that ports stay open and their personnel allowed to keep working. FULL STORY

QUEENSLAND’S PORT OF BRISBANE EASES FOREIGN SHIP ENTRY RESTRICTIONS
Source: Jason Jiang (Splash 24/7)
Maritime Safety Queensland announced the port of Brisbane was easing 14-day restrictions on foreign ships coming from overseas ports under a new “two port” policy. Under the policy, nearly all vessels arriving at Port of Brisbane are able to berth and unload cargo provided their crew stay onboard, with the exception of vessels and crew from China and South Korea. MSQ said it will continue to work with health authorities to monitor the situation in China and South Korea to explore avenues to open up these time-restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so.  FULL STORY

METRO MINING TO RESUME SHIPPING IN APRIL 2020
Source: Nickolas Zakharia (Australian Mining)
Metro Mining is set to recommence mining and shipping in April, with an estimated one million tonnes of bauxite to be produced and dispatched by the end of June. From the start of next month, Metro’s mining operations will recommence at the Bauxite Hills Mine in Queensland. The company expects operations to resume smoothly, however absolute dates are subject to weather conditions. Metro also acknowledged the possibility of the coronavirus pandemic affecting operations after the company completed a detailed risk assessment for the health and wellbeing of their workers and community. “Like all other organisation in Australia, we are facing circumstances that are changing on a daily basis. It is certainly a challenging time and we are doing everything possible to address issues as they arise,”  FULL STORY

NSW PORT AUTHORITY WARNED IN JANUARY OF ‘GAPING HOLE’ IN CORONAVIRUS BIOSECURITY CHECKS
Source: The Guardian Australia
The New South Wales Port Authority ignored warnings in January of the need for tighter biosecurity checks, the Maritime Union of Australia says. In an email seen by Guardian Australia, MUA secretary Paul Garrett warned the NSW Port Authority chief executive, Philip Holliday, that ship captains could not be relied upon to self-disclose illnesses on board. “There is a gaping hole in Australia’s biosecurity network due to the failure to implement adequate checks for coronavirus infections on vessels arriving at Australian ports,” Garrett wrote.  FULL STORY

FEARS THOUSANDS OF CREW STUCK ON CRUISE SHIPS OFF SYDNEY COAST
Source: Matt O’Sullivan (Sydney Morning Herald)
The fate of thousands of crew stuck aboard eight cruise ships off the coast between Sydney and Wollongong is shrouded in uncertainty as companies struggle to devise a plan for them. The coronavirus infected Ruby Princess and two other passenger ships owned by cruise company Carnival – the Sea Princess and Carnival Spirit – have been circling off the coast from Sydney for days after passengers disembarked, along with the Royal Caribbean-owned Celebrity Solstice. The uncertainty facing the crews comes as the Australian Border Force blamed NSW Health for allowing passengers who had contracted coronavirus to walk off the Ruby Princess when it docked at Circular Quay last Thursday.   FULL STORY

PORT BOTANY’S AUTOMATION PROJECT ACCELERATES WITH ARMG DELIVERY
Source: PortTechnology.org
Port Botany, one of Australia’s most important trade gateways, has received three new Automated Rail Mounted Gantry (ARMG) cranes as the Patrick Terminals – Sydney Autostrad infrastructure project accelerates, according to Patrick Terminals. In a post on LinkedIn, the terminal operator said the ARMGs arrived at the weekend of 21 and 22 March from the Zhen Hua 36, a Chinese vessel. The machines will be used for the $190 million on-dock infrastructure project at the Patrick Terminals – Sydney Autostrad , which is jointly funded by Patrick Terminals and NSW Ports.  FULL STORY

WATCH: AURORA AUSTRALIS COMPLETES FINAL ANTARCTIC VOYAGE
Source: The Maritime Executive
After more than three decades of service, Australia's icebreaker Aurora Australis sailed up the River Derwent to Hobart on March 25, returning from her last resupply expedition to sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island. Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, Kim Ellis, said the ship has had a colourful and exciting 31 years plying the Southern Ocean. “The ‘Orange Roughy’ has carried more than 14,000 expeditioners on over 150 scientific research and resupply voyages to our Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations.” The iconic orange ship, owned by P&O Maritime, was launched at Newcastle’s Carrington Slipways on September 18, 1989 by Hazel Hawke – wife of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke.  FULL STORY

STRIKE RESOURCES : UTAL POINT PORT HEDLAND AS PREFERRED PORT FOR PAULSENS EAST
Source: MarketScreener.com
Utal Point, Port Hedland Considered as Preferred Port Option for Paulsens East Iron Ore Project
Strike Resources Limited (ASX:SRK) (Strike) continues to optimise the project economics and operating parameters of its Paulsens East Iron Ore Project (Project), which includes a refinement of project costs and the logistics for the bulk transport of iron ore from mine to port. As part of such optimisation process, Strike has recently completed a Trade-Off Study looking at the suitability of alternative port locations from which to ship its iron ore, both from a cost perspective and from the perspective of simplicity of product handling and the potential to increase mine throughput, port capacity and vessel shipping size to enhance project economics.  FULL STORY

PARTNER OF PORTS AUTHORITY CHIEF CONTRACTS COVID-19
Source: TheWest.com.au
The partner of Mid West Ports Authority chief executive officer Dr Rochelle Macdonald has tested positive for COVID-19. In a media statement released tonight, the authority said the diagnosis was not linked to the single confirmed COVID-19 case in the Mid West. Dr Macdonald has been in Queensland since March 12 and remains there with her partner, who fell sick and was tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from overseas. Dr Macdonald has not tested positive. “I am feeling fine and showing no symptoms of having contracted the virus,” she said in the statement. “I remain in Queensland while my partner recovers after a visit overseas earlier in the month.  FULL STORY

IRON ORE MINERS SET TO PROFIT FROM SHUTDOWN EXEMPTION
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Fortescue Metals chairman and major shareholder Andrew Forrest has recouped a small part of his more than $1 billion loss from the initial crash in the value of the iron ore miner’s shares with some well-timed purchases. Mr Forrest spent more than $35 million in buying 4 million shares at an average price of $8.79. Fortescue stock was on Thursday trading about 25 per cent up at $10.69 after the company reaffirmed export guidance this week and news emerged that major overseas competitors may curtail production amid the coronavirus outbreak. The stock hit a year high of $12.69 on January 22 off the back of strong iron ore prices.  FULL STORY

COVID 19 CORONAVIRUS: NEW MEASURES AT PORT OF TAURANGA FOR URGENT CARGO
Source: NZHerald.co.nz
Port of Tauranga has announced new measures to prioritise urgent imported cargo. The measures allow importers to identify cargo for essential services before it arrives in New Zealand, so it is handled and transported first, during the national lockdown. "We take our role as an essential service very seriously and our focus is to ensure vital food, medical and other supplies can keep moving," the post's chief executive Mark Cairns said, in a written press release this afternoon. "We also understand the stresses and strains on people and organisations trying to deal with the current situation, which has seen shipping delays, cancellations and other disruptions.  FULL STORY

ALL FISHING VESSELS TO DISCONTINUE ANY CREW CHANGES ON HIGH SEAS OR AT ANY PORT VISITED
Source: Iva Danford (FijiVillage.com)
The Fiji Ports Corporation Limited has directed all fishing vessels, local and foreign, to follow set protocols and discontinue any crew changes on high seas or at any port visited. Fiji Ports Chairman Shaheen Ali says they have met with local and foreign fishing vessel owners and agents last week informing them that all transfer and change of crew members has been suspended until further notice. Ali says they will monitor the fishing vessels and its crew detail and all fishing vessel operators are required to provide vessel and crew details to the Harbour Master prior to arrival.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING INDUSTRY GIVES ITS ASSURANCE AMIDST COVID-19
Source: Indra Singh (FBCNews.com.fj)
Fiji’s shipping industry has given its assurance to the people of the country that there is minimal to no disruption to supply chain. With two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, there has been a lot of fear mongering that stocks particularly in supermarkets and also fuel stations, are running low. A Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism-led consultation with shipping, and supporting fuel and logistics companies, with the Fijian Competition and Commerce Commission, saw discussions focused around ascertaining the extent of impact to the Fijian economy and possible response measures.  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