News & Media

14 August, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 639

RUBY PRINCESS REPORT HANDED TO NSW GOVT
Source: Dominica Sanda and Angelo Risso (AAP)
A special commission of inquiry's report into the ill-fated disembarkation of the Ruby Princess cruise ship is set to be handed to the NSW government. NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay is calling on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to release the report to the public as soon as she receives it. She also urged the Berejiklian government to implement every recommendation in full and called on the premier to apologise to the families impacted by the debacle. "The premier just needs to admit the government was deficient in some aspects," Ms McKay told reporters in Sydney on Friday.  FULL STORY

MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA WARNS AGAINST SHIPPING REGULATIONS
Source: Ship Technology
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) said that the country should revamp its security and licensing provisions for high-risk and hazardous goods shipments. The warning comes in the wake of two very large explosions in the Beirut port area on 4 August.
The explosions at the port killed 154 and injured more than 5,000 people. The number of casualties is expected to increase as the rescue mission is underway. Lebanese officials said that the explosions were caused by 2,750t of ammonium nitrate that was stored in a warehouse for six years. Officials have detained 16 Beirut port officials amid the investigation regarding the explosion. Australia needs to inspect the transportation safety regulations and permits issued for hazardous and high-risk cargo, which includes ammonium nitrate.  FULL STORY

LABOR ABUSE ALLEGATIONS TIE UP SHIPS IN AUSTRALIA PORTS
Source: Aaron Clark, Annie Lee and Jinshan Hong (Bloomberg)
Australian authorities detained at least two cargo ships for alleged labor violations related to demands from seafarers to be sent home, some of whom have spent more than a year at sea. The ships, which are or will be carrying materials for Cargill Inc. and for an aluminum industry joint venture that includes Rio Tinto Group, will be detained until they can adequately address the violations, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the shipping industry’s general practices for swapping crews, raising costs and creating logistical barriers that have made difficult conditions worse for vulnerable seafarers.  FULL STORY

SHOULD AUSTRALIA BE WORRIED BY BEIJING’S IRON ORE SECURITY POSTURING?
Source: Jason Jiang (Splash 24/7)
Splash’s report two weeks ago on China’s decision to construct a raft of new very large ore carrier (VLOC) terminals sparked considerable debate on the future of this vital dry bulk channel of business. Beijing’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) last month gave the green light for four new VLOC terminals to be built to go alongside the existing seven VLOC terminals. “Commentary on the move has speculated that Beijing is seeking to ensure greater ‘iron ore security’ for the future, not only by opening itself to a wider range of of markets, including Brazil, but also to countries where there is less chance of political disagreement,” Alphabulk pointed out in a weekly report. Not all analysts agree however – the fact is the two nations need each other for the time being.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN THERMAL COAL EXPORTS TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE: AURIZON
Source: Fred Wang (S&P Global)
Australian rail operator Aurizon said in its fiscal year 2020 (July to June) results report on Aug 10 that Asian coal-fired power consumption is expected to remain robust and Australian thermal coal exports continue to be competitive among seaborne consumers.
Aurizon is Australia's largest rail freight operator moving commodities such as coal and iron ore across the nation. "99% of Australian exports are destined for Asia. It is this region, rather than global consumption, that is projected to use coal-fired generation assets for a prolonged period," said Aurizon.  FULL STORY

WET WEATHER THREATENS AUSTRALIAN COAL EXPORTS
Source: Argus Media
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) expects a wetter-than-usual September-November, with a 50pc chance of a high-rainfall La Nina weather pattern developing that can quickly reverse the oversupply in the seaborne coking coal market. Disruptions from heavy rain and cyclonic conditions to Queensland coal shipments have put significant upward pressure on metallurgical coal prices, particularly high-grade premium hard coking coal prices. Flooding in the Hunter Valley and storms around the port of Newcastle in New South Wales (NSW) can affect the availability of thermal coal.  FULL STORY

DEFENCE AND ENERGY PUSH FOR PORT
Source: Michael Gorey (Bundaberg Now)
Bundaberg Regional Council has urged Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) to encourage developments in bio-energy and defence at the Port of Bundaberg. Council has previously identified the potential for a naval presence at the port and wants GPC to consider this in its future planning. “Defence infrastructure requires a long-term vision,” Mayor Jack Dempsey said. “Due to its proximity to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and being outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the Port of Bundaberg is an ideal location for defence infrastructure, especially if tensions escalate in the Pacific.” Mayor Dempsey said as per GPCs 50-year vision, berthing facilities should also be promoted on the western side of the Burnett River. A new land use plan is developed every eight years to regulate and manage strategic port land.  FULL STORY

GLADSTONE’S LNG EXPORTS STEADY IN JULY
Source: Kallanish Energy
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from Australia’s Gladstone port remained flat during July, with China again accounting for the highest levels of exports, Kallanish Energy reports. According to shipping data from Gladstone Port Corporation, the port exported a total of 1.67 million tonnes (Mt) of LNG spread over 25 shipments last month. This represents a largely consistent level of exports month-on-month, as June’s total LNG exports from the port amounted to 1.7 Mt, over 26 shipments. The Gladstone port exports LNG from three local liquefaction plants: Shell-operated Queensland Curtis LNG, ConocoPhillips-operated Australia Pacific LNG terminal and Santos’ Gladstone LNG.  FULL STORY

MOUNT ISA TO TOWNSVILLE RAIL LINE UPGRADE
Source: Jessica Johnston (NQ Register)
DOUBLE stacking of containers may soon be permitted on the Mount Isa-Townsville rail line to bolster freight movement between the state's mineral province and North Queensland's largest port.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey told parliament this week that three more projects on the rail line as part of a $50 million investment.As part of the projects, Queensland Rail will look at enabling double stacked trains to run from Mount Isa to Stuart and potentially to the Port of Townsville. A business case due to be finalised this year will analyse the cost involved and ensure there would be sufficient demand for double stacking.  FULL STORY

BURNIE PORT PROPOSAL WELCOME, COMMITMENT NEEDED
Source: Mirage News
Tasmanian Labor has welcomed an updated TasPorts proposal for Burnie Port. Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Shane Broad said the proposal would lead to a much improved port and a brighter future for the region. “Labor has long argued that increasing the size of the ships that can berth in Burnie will make a huge difference to the economics of mining in Tasmania and create thousands of jobs. “Reducing congestion at the port and conflicts between cruise ships and bulk exports is also desperately needed as we recover from COVID-19.  FULL STORY

GOVERNMENT GRANTS APPROVAL FOR PORT SPENCER GRAIN PORT
Source: Jarrad Delaney (Port Lincoln Times)
Peninsula Ports has taken another step forward to beginning work on its $230 million Port Spencer deep water grain port project following state government approval of its revised Public Environmental Report. Planning and Local Government Minister Vickie Chapman announced today the government had approved the revised report following a rigorous major development assessment process. The amended report removes the storage and export of iron ore from the evaluated project to reconfigure the site for efficient grain storage, handling and export, with the potential for managing other commodities in the future.  FULL STORY

WA GOVERNMENT PLEDGES $100M TO KWINANA OUTER HARBOUR PORT PLAN
Source: Briana Shepherd (ABC Aus)
The West Australian Government has unveiled plans to build a new container port in Perth's industrial south, which could see Fremantle Port close by 2032. The State Government has today announced a $97.2 million investment into planning for a new container port at Kwinana — with a dedicated freight corridor that will remove container trucks from the suburbs — following the release of a review of the future of freight in WA. The McGowan Government swept to power with an election pledge to review the future of the existing Fremantle Port, following long and angry protests over the previous administration's bid to build Roe 8 — a freight extension that would have seen wetlands bulldozed to provide better trucking access to Fremantle.  FULL STORY

PORTS OF AUCKLAND GETS GREEN LIGHT TO DEEPEN SHIPPING CHANNEL DESPITE CONTROVERSY
Source: RNZ.co.nz
Ports of Auckland has been granted consent to deepen Auckland's shipping channel. The port's application drew more than 200 public submissions to the Auckland Council - 194 in opposition and 13 in support. The controversy stepped up a notch when the council recommended 116 of the opposing submissions be struck out as these raised issues that were outside of the project's scope, such as where the dredged material is to be disposed of. Today, the port said in a written statement that the consent allowed the channel to be deepened from 12.5 metres to between 14m and 14.2m.  FULL STORY

INDONESIAN COAL EXPORTS TOUCH THREE-YEAR LOW
Source: Argus Media
Indonesian coal exports dropped to a three-year low in May according to customs data, and loadings are set to fall on the year for the remainder of 2020. The country shipped 29.4mn t of coal in May, with thermal accounting for around 27mn t (see graph). This was down by 2.2mn t on the month and by 11.7mn t on the year, with India and China driving the contraction. Restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19 hit Indian industrial activity and power demand hard in the second quarter, impacting seaborne demand for Indonesian coal, which typically accounts for most of India's imports.  FULL STORY

HULL COATINGS – A SLIPPERY SUBJECT
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
All manner of other substances, such as bitumen, mercury and arsenic have been used as hull antifouling coatings over subsequent centuries. Today the underwater hull of a vessel is protected by coatings comprised of individual compounds to prevent corrosion and fouling integrated into a multi-coat system. Antifouling coatings are technical paint systems that are applied to a ship’s underwater / wetted area of the hull to deter the settlement of fouling species. If the coating system is not properly selected or specified, regularly inspected and cleaned, it can have a profound effect on a ship’s performance, lower the manoeuvrability and reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 35%, leading to higher fuel bills and higher emissions.  FULL STORY

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