News & Media

19 June, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 631

AUSTRALIA CANNOT EXPECT CHINA TO IMPORT AND BURN COAL IT NO LONGER NEEDS
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
The prevailing narrative is that the diplomatic and trade dispute between China and Australia is threatening coal exports and we should expect a return to business as usual once the spat ends. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is an historical accident that China became a large importer of coal, which China’s government has been seeking to correct since the global financial crisis. These efforts are bearing fruit and Australian coal exports will continue to suffer as China’s focus on producing more energy domestically displaces Australian exports. Australian governments need to see the political logic from China’s point of view and accept that we cannot expect China to import and burn coal it no longer needs. From there we can better formulate our own economic outlook and transition programs for affected communities.  FULL STORY

PORTS AUSTRALIA’S NEW POLICY AND OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
Source: Helen Hutcheon (Seatrade Cruise News)
Ports Australia CEO Mike Gallacher announced that Margie Barbouttis has taken over from Ash Sinha as policy and operations director. Gallacher paid tribute to Sinha, who has held the position since 2016, for his work in visiting ports around the country, meeting with industry members and government affiliates and running Ports Australia’s working groups. ‘Ash has been an invaluable member of the Ports Australia team, driving policy debate around issues such as coastal shipping, sustainability and helping to lift the profile of port and maritime related issues both within government and the wider community,’ Gallacher said.  FULL STORY

APL ENGLAND CONTAINER LOSS UPDATE
Source: AMSA
AMSA has issued a direction ordering the owner of APL England to search for missing containers that were lost from their vessel off New South Wales last month. The direction also orders the owners to recover containers as agreed with AMSA. AMSA has identified a priority search area of about 1000km2 stretching between the Illawarra and Sydney’s southern suburbs. Drift modelling and analysis of container sightings following the incident indicates that missing containers could be in this area at water depth of up to 200m. Containers within the search area pose the most immediate environmental threat and may present a safety hazard for commercial fishers.  FULL STORY

VIVA SPRUIKS JOB, ENERGY GAINS AS IT FLOATS GEELONG REFINERY OVERHAUL
Source: Nick Toscano (Sydney Morning Herald)
The site of the troubled Geelong oil refinery has been earmarked for a major transformation that will include the construction of a new shipping terminal to import natural gas into Victoria and a solar farm. As the 65-year-old refinery heads towards a loss of as much as $42.5 million in the first half of the year, down from an $18 million profit, Viva Energy unveiled an ambitious proposal to investors on Tuesday to turn the refinery site into an "energy hub" while retaining existing refining operations. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal planned for the site – to import gas from elsewhere in Australia and overseas – would be the second such project for Victoria, as AGL fights to gain environmental approval for a controversial floating gas-import facility in Western Port Bay.  FULL STORY

OZ MINERALS INKS EXPORT DEAL WITH WHYALLA PORT
Source: Nickolas Zakharia (Australian Mining)
OZ Minerals has signed a deal to export copper concentrate from its Carrapateena mine in South Australia through SIMEC Mining’s Whyalla Port. The contract marks the first major deal SIMEC has agreed to with a third party, with OZ Minerals set to ship its products via the port on a three-year term. OZ Minerals chief financial officer Warrick Ranson said the opening of SIMEC’s ports to third parties had become a key advantage to exporting product. “We are impressed with the capability SIMEC has managed to develop through the facility in recent years, and look forward to partnering with them to deliver our product to market,” he said.  FULL STORY

NORTH-WEST WA PORT DEVELOPMENT HELPED RATHER THAN HINDERED BY PANDEMIC
Source: Ben Collins (ABC Aus)
The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has helped move a new port in north-west Australia towards construction, its private developer says. The Kimberley Marine Support Base (KMSB) is a $110 million floating jetty development in Broome designed to service oil, gas and tourism industries. All of these industries have been severely impacted by the pandemic, with a record oil price crash and the devastation of the cruise ship industry.  FULL STORY

WA’S PORT HEDLAND IRON ORE EXPANSION FAST TRACKED
Source: Argus Media
Iron ore producers that use Port Hedland, the largest iron ore port in Western Australia (WA), have agreed in principle to fund an A$200mn ($140mn) house buy-back scheme to allow an expansion to increase exports. UK-Australian mining firm BHP and Australian producers Fortescue Metals and Roy Hill have agreed to fund the scheme to buy around 400 homes that are affected by dust from the port. This will make it easier for the firms to follow through with ambitions to expand exports. The WA state government expanded the maximum capacity of Port Hedland by 7pc to 617mn t/yr in October but the dust issue has restricted throughput. This has become a more pressing issue with the disruption to Brazilian exports from Covid-19 creating an opportunity for Australian iron ore exports to meet firmer demand from a resurgent Chinese economy.  FULL STORY

NEW WA VIRUS CASE AS SHEEP AWAIT EXPORT
Source: The Transcontinental
One new coronavirus case has been recorded in Western Australia, while bad weather continues to delay a shipment of about 35,000 sheep bound for the Middle East. A returned overseas traveller who is now in hotel quarantine tested positive on Thursday, leaving WA with two active cases. The Al Kuwait livestock vessel, which arrived in Fremantle on May 22, was initially held up after more than 20 crew contracted COVID-19 following a voyage from the United Arab Emirates.
The outbreak meant the ship could not leave WA before the northern summer live export ban began on June 1. A required exemption has since been granted, with strict conditions forcing the number of sheep onboard to be slashed from the originally planned 56,000.  FULL STORY

CRUISE INDUSTRY SAYS IT'S TIME TO ALLOW SHIPS TO SAIL AGAIN
Source: Amanda Cropp (Stuff.co.nz)
The cruise industry wants a ban on cruise ships lifted to allow Kiwis-only voyages around the New Zealand ports. The Government suspended all cruise ship visits until the end of June and Cruise New Zealand Association chief executive Kevin O'Sullivan said they were anxious to prevent any extension. Several cruise companies, including the small luxury Ponant line, had shown interest in running cruises for New Zealand passengers only, adding Australians when the trans-Tasman travel bubble opened up.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS: SHIPS COULD HAVE SHORE-LEAVE TIGHTENED AFTER NEW COVID-19 CASES
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
The Government may tighten shore-leave controls on crews of visiting ships as it toughens Covid-19 border restrictions after two women were released from self-isolation, then tested positive. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the case unacceptable and put a senior military official in charge of overseeing the isolation and quarantine process. Ship crew are free to come ashore if they meet health and isolation conditions, except in Auckland where the port company is the only one to ban routine shore leave due to Covid-19, under alert level one. Elsewhere, if a ship has previously been at sea for 14 days and declares no relevant health problems among crew, there is no test or physical Covid-19 control as they come ashore.  FULL STORY

AUCKLAND’S PORT SEEKS CONSENT FOR DEEPER CHANNEL - POAL
Source: voxy.co.nz
A deeper channel needed to safeguard Auckland’s vital international supply lines. Ports of Auckland has applied to Auckland Council for consent to deepen the city’s shipping channel and a resource consent hearing on the matter will be held next week. Auckland's population is forecast to grow significantly, with a million more people expected to live here by 2050. More people means more demand for the products we all buy from overseas, which means more containerised imports and - bigger container ships. Ports of Auckland must be ready to handle this growth. The largest container ships calling in Auckland now carry up to 5,000 twenty-foot containers (TEU). Shipping lines want to bring 6-7,000 TEU ships here in the next 2-3 years and in future we will need to host 'New Panamax' ships that can carry around 12,000 TEU.  FULL STORY

FAST-TRACKING OF PICTON FERRY TERMINAL UPGRADE WELCOMED
Source: Maia Hart (Stuff.co.nz)
News a new multi-million dollar ferry terminal will be fast-tracked has been welcomed in Picton, however some residents hope the effects of increased traffic from the upgrade will be considered. Picton's new ferry terminal upgrade is one of the 11 projects to be fast-tracked under a new law designed to help stimulate the economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It is expected to create 200 construction jobs. Last month, Marlborough Sounds residents called for consultation on the upgrade to be extended until face-to-face meetings could occur, after the coronavirus lockdown forced consultation to be switched to online.  FULL STORY

$15 MILLION GIVEN TO WELLINGTON'S PORT TO CUT EMISSIONS
Source: Laura Wiltshire (Stuff.co.nz)
Wellington's port has been given $15 million to green up its act to combat climate change. The funding is the first provided by the New Zealand Green Investment Finance (NZGIF), will be put towards projects such as moving to electric vehicles, generating renewable energy and upgrading energy efficiency at CentrePort. Chief Executive of the fund, Craig Weise, said the announcement was a significant first step in New Zealand's long-term, low-carbon economy. "We are pleased to have successfully negotiated this transaction with CentrePort, even as we both faced additional challenges introduced by Covid-19."  FULL STORY

VESSEL CONTRACT SECURES NELSON MAINTENANCE JOBS AHEAD OF 48HR DEADLINE
Source: Tracy Neal (RNZ)
The head of a Nelson marine engineering firm is thrilled and relieved the government has given the green light to allowing a ship into Port Nelson for maintenance. The Aimex Service Group had been seeking an exemption to Covid-19 border restrictions to allow in an American Samoan-flagged vessel for a $600,000 overhaul. The company previously said the jobs of up to half its 100-strong workforce were on the line without the contract. The group's general manager Simon Lavery said he was looking forward to telling the team their future was no longer up in the air. "This will come as a great relief for these talented hardworking people and their families. My job just got a whole lot better, as I was dreading the thought of having to let great people go. We just dodged a bullet.  FULL STORY

VIDEO: POPE FRANCIS DELIVERS MESSAGE FOR SEAFARERS STUCK AT SEA
Source: Philip Pullella (Marine Link)
Pope Francis paid tribute on Wednesday to hundreds of thousands of seafarers stuck on ships due to the coronavirus pandemic, a situation the United Nations has said poses a risk to the safe operation of the world's merchant fleet. In a special video message for sea workers, Francis said the work of maritime personnel and fishermen had been made even more important during the pandemic because it was providing the world with food and other primary needs.  FULL STORY AND VIDEO

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