News & Media

21 August, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 640

NEW SEAFARER REPORT TO PREPARE SHIP OPERATIONS POST-COVID
Source: Port Technology
BIMCO and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) are preparing the latest Seafarer Workforce Report which will prepare ship operations for a post-COVID world. “The shipping industry is evolving rapidly,” says Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping. “With the challenges and changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, decarbonisation and rapid technological developments, ship operators now more than ever need a management tool that provides them with an understanding of both today’s and tomorrow’s crewing landscape.” The new report will work to ensure that the regulations and policies being developed will be fit for purpose. It is expected to be published in 2021.  FULL STORY

CASH IN ON CHAOS: OIL PIRACY HAS SPIKED DURING COVID PANDEMIC
Source: RT.com
The Covid-19 pandemic and floating oil storage boom are threatening to reverse the trend of declining attacks as pirates are looking to cash in on the chaos. The year 2019 marked a crucial milestone in the fight against global maritime piracy. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), global pirate attacks plunged to a 25-year low, with piracy on large ships of over 100GT (gross tonnage) plunging to just 41, or more than a 50 percent decline on the rolling 10-year average of 95. Notably, zero cases were recorded in the notorious Gulf of Aden off the Somali coast, once considered the deadliest piracy hotspot anywhere on the planet. But now, the Covid-19 pandemic and floating oil storage boom are threatening to reverse that trend.  FULL STORY

PROBLEMS WITH IMO-COMPLIANT FUEL OIL COMMON: BIMCO
Source: Argus Media
A significant number of shipping industry participants have suffered quality issues with new sulphur-cap compliant fuel oil, according to a survey by shipping association Bimco. Following the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) 0.5pc sulphur cap, which came into force on 1 January, 0.5pc sulphur fuel oil became the main bunker fuel. In Singapore, the world's largest bunker location, VLSFO sales accounted for just under 70pc of July's total. A survey by Bimco found that 55pc of 192 respondents had received 0.5pc fuel oil analysis results that had indicated off-specification properties. The most common issues included sulphur content, sediment, pour point, and the presence of aluminium and silicon. Other problems included ash, flash point, acid number and viscosity.  FULL STORY

WORLD’S LARGEST SHIPPING FIRM SAYS DEMAND WILL ‘SIGNIFICANTLY DECLINE’ THIS YEAR
Source: Elliot Smith (cnbc.com)
Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping firm, beat second-quarter profit expectations on Wednesday and said it expects demand to pick up in the third quarter, but warned of a “significant decline” across the year. Despite being negatively impacted by a “sharp drop in volumes” in the second quarter, with revenues falling 6.5% from the same period last year as the global economy was brought to a standstill by the coronavirus pandemic, Maersk upped its full-year guidance on Wednesday.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA'S VIVA ENERGY AIMS TO BEGIN DESIGNING LNG TERMINAL BY YEAR-END
Source: Reuters
Viva Energy Group said on Monday it hoped to start preliminary design work on Australia’s first gas import terminal before the end of this year as it worked to diversify away from a refining market that it expected to remain difficult. The owner of Australia’s second-largest refinery had said in June it wanted to diversify earnings at its Geelong refinery site in Victoria, beginning with a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal. Chief Executive Scott Wyatt acknowledged in a statement that the refining business had been very challenging throughout 2020 so far and warned that margins would remain “uncertain and challenging” over the remainder of the year and 2021.  FULL STORY

PORTS AUSTRALIA WELCOMES THREE NEW MEMBERS
Source: Port Technology
Ports Australia has welcomed Papua New Guinea (PNG) Ports Corporation, Victorian Ports Corporation, and Aurecon as the newest members of its association. PNG Ports Corporation is a state-owned authority, serving the South Pacific nation as its gateway to the world. It owns and operates 15 of the 22 declared ports in the country and provides berthage, wharfage, pilotage and harbour management services. In a statement Mike Gallacher, CEO of Ports Australia said, “At Ports Australia, we envision a future where Australian ports share a relationship with their South Pacific counterparts which fosters collaboration and results in creative problem solving.”  FULL STORY

THE PORT OF NEWCASTLE CONTRIBUTES ALMOST $1 BILLION TO THE HUNTER ANNUALLY
Source: Matthew Kelly (Newcastle Herald)
The Port of Newcastle contributes almost $1 billion to the Hunter annually, a new economic analysis shows. The analysis, conducted by HoustonKemp Economists, found the port's direct and flow-on contribution to Australia's gross domestic product was almost $1.5 billion. It also underpins almost 9,000 full-time equivalent jobs nationally. Despite that, there has not been a significant increase in the port's economic contribution in recent years even though port trade has gone up. The Port of Newcastle is seeking to have state government penalties on container movements at the port lifted in order to boost its economic output.  FULL STORY

WORLD'S LARGEST FLOATING LNG FACTORY REMAINS IN SHUTDOWN — AT JUST THREE YEARS OLD
Source: Ben Collins (ABC Aus)
Shell's massive floating LNG factory off the Kimberley coast has been in shutdown since February and industry analysts are divided on whether the $12-17 billion facility has a future. Prelude FLNG is the largest floating object ever built and billed as the solution to getting gas out of Australia's most remote undersea gas fields. With five times the steel of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and half a kilometre long, it certainly is big. But as it sits idle 400 kilometres north of Broome, it risks becoming the world's biggest white elephant. Tim Treadgold is a resources industry analyst who writes for US business magazine Forbes, and says Shell is trying to keep Prelude's predicament under wraps.  FULL STORY

PORT HEDLAND IRON ORE EXPORTS POST MYSTERY SLUMP IN JULY
Source: Glenn Dyer (ShareCafe)
July’s slump in Australian iron ore exports to China from the world’s largest export port at Port Hedland has passed without too much comment, so was it a one-off (the size of the fall) or was it something deeper, say Chinese retaliation against Australia? There are a few people in the iron ore industry wondering if the size of the fall was a hint of Chinese reprisals against Australia much in the way China imposed high tariffs on Australian barley exports. Australia’s iron ore shipments to China from the hub of Port Hedland fell 17.5% to 38.1 million tonnes in July from the previous month, according to the monthly release from the Pilbara Ports Authority.  FULL STORY

MANDATORY COVID-19 TESTING OF ALL PORTS STAFF REINED IN TO ONLY 'HIGH RISK' CONTACTS
Source: RNZ.co.nz
The government has backtracked on plans to urgently test every single person who had come into the Ports of Auckland for Covid-19.
Last week the Ministry of Health issued a mandatory testing order for all workers at the Auckland and Tauranga ports as part of its border blitz. It had hoped to get all of those workers tested by midnight last night, but only managed to get about a fraction swabbed - 3485 workers as at 1pm today. The previous order had covered anyone who had come into contact with the port since 21 July - that was more than 5000 people from 800 organisations at the Ports of Auckland alone.  FULL STORY

COUNCILLOR JOINS PROTEST AGAINST LIVE EXPORT OF DAIRY COWS
Source: Robin Martin (RNZ.co.nz)
A small group of activists have held a "vigil" and picketed the offices of Port Taranaki in protest at the live export of dairy cows to China.
The livestock carrier Yangtze Harmony has been in port this week collecting 5700 cows. Among the protesters was New Plymouth District Councillor Anneka Carlson. She was calling on her Regional Council colleagues to stop the live export of cows through Port Taranaki, which the regional council owns. "Elected officials have made this decision and they represent the public. And is this how we want to be represented? "There is a petition, which is still open, with 7000 signatures calling for this to end. That's a lot of people who don't agree with it."  FULL STORY

PORTS OF AUCKLAND ADMITS HEALTH AND SAFETY CHARGE AFTER FATAL CRANE ACCIDENT
Source: Catrin Owen (Stuff.co.nz)
Ports of Auckland Ltd has admitted a charge after one of its workers died as a result of a crane tipping. Laboom Midnight Dyer, 23, suffered critical injuries after a straddle carrier turned on to its side on August 27, 2018. He was taken to Auckland City Hospital but died five days later from his injuries. Dyer's death promoted renewed calls for greater regulation and improved safety standards on New Zealand's waterfront, with claims deaths at ports were becoming a global epidemic.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS: PORT TARANAKI UNAFFECTED BY NEW COVID-19 MARITIME RESTRICTIONS
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Port Taranaki shipping schedules will not be affected by new restrictions under Covid-19 level 2 put in place for all ports outside Auckland. In a statement, Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said shipping was continuing as planned through the New Plymouth facility. “We have strict plans and procedures in place across health and safety, and operations to keep our staff, customers, contractors and port users safe, and are continuing to provide essential and important supply chain services to the region and New Zealand,” he said.  FULL STORY

INDONESIAN COAL ASSOCIATION LOBBIES FOR HIGHER EXPORTS
Source: Argus Media
The Indonesian coal mining association (APBI) has asked the government to relax the country's domestic market obligation (DMO) for coal to give producers some financial breathing space during the Covid-19 pandemic. Indonesia's DMO system requires the country's coal producers to make a percentage of their annual output — currently set at 25pc — available to the domestic market. Producers that are unable to fulfil their DMO requirements have to pay a fine and will be subject to production cuts under a December 2019 ministerial regulation, which is designed to reduce electricity costs by increasing the supply of coal for utilities. But the APBI has now asked for sanctions against companies that fail to meet their DMO quotas to be temporarily suspended because of weak coal demand.  FULL STORY

LOW GAS PRICES COULD DERAIL PAPUA NEW GUINEA’S LNG AMBITIONS
Source: Oil Price.com
Papua New Guinea first started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in April 2014 when the flagship $19bn PNG LNG project came on-line months ahead of schedule. With the project exceeding export expectations, the focus has now shifted to two new projects, which would more than double the country’s LNG production capacity if they come to fruition. However, as the government is determined to reap more economic and social benefits from resource projects than ever before, as of June 2020 an agreement has yet to be reached with investors on the fiscal terms that would allow both proposed developments to proceed in tandem. PNG LNG operates as a joint venture between three PNG companies and three multinational firms.  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