Ship loses 80 containers off NSW coast in wild weather

YM Efficiency, a Liberian-registered cargo ship, was making its way from Kaohsiung in Taiwan to Sydney’s Port Botany on Thursday night when large swells knocked 83 containers into the water off Newcastle.

Roads and Maritime Services was alerted to the lost cargo on Friday.

Spokesman Angus Mitchell said the contents of the containers was unknown, but they’re not believed to contain dangerous goods.

“A full manifest of the cargo on board the vessel, and the condition of the vessel, is being sought,” Mr Mitchell said in a statement.

A further 30 containers on board are severely damaged.

The department said two had been spotted about 100 metres off Fingal Head and Boondelbah Island, near Port Stephens.

It’s now the vessel operator’s responsibility to recover and remove the 40-foot containers and boaters were alerted to the potential hazards on marine radio.

Members of the public can report any sightings to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on 1800 641 792.

The ship was reportedly refused entry to Port Botany on Friday due to the risk of more cargo coming loose.

U.S. Sanctions Start to Pinch Shipping in Iran

It will be months before new U.S. sanctions against Iran take hold, but global shipping operators are already pulling back from the big oil-exporting nation.

The world’s two biggest shipping lines, Denmark’s Maersk Line and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., said they were winding down general cargo shipments, while tanker owners said they plan to move their vessels to other oil-producing countries in the Middle East or West Africa.

Even though the U.S. is alone in imposing the new sanctions, “I don’t think any shipping line that operates globally will be able to do business in Iran if the sanctions arrive in full force, the way they are intended,” said Soren Skou, Maersk’s chief executive.

Maersk and MSC have been moving everything from electronics and household goods to food and heavy machinery to Iran. Mr. Skou said Maersk’s Iran operations are small, but with an Iranian population of 80 million, carriers heralded the lifting of earlier sanctions in 2016 as the opening of an important Middle East trade destination.

The Trump administration has given the industry until early November to end operations in Iran, which exported a record 2.6 million barrels of crude a day in April. The sanctions also will affect ship-insurance premiums, lines of credit for moving cargo, and ship-fuel suppliers.

Pulling Iran off the service map for crude carriers will be a blow to the world’s tanker operators. Shipowners in that sector have suffered from a glut of global capacity and now will see the world’s fifth-biggest oil producer removed from their market. Iran accounts for 5% of global output and the majority of Iran’s oil is exported to China, Japan, India and South Korea.

Shipowners in China, which currently buys roughly 650,000 barrels of Iranian crude a day, said they expect Iran’s total daily crude shipments to drop by more than half.

“We won’t dare to risk any violations as we also have a bulk of our business involving shipping oil between the U.S. to the Far East,” said a senior executive of a China state-owned oil-shipping major, who asked not to be named. “What concerns us is that our ships won’t be able to sail to the U.S.”

The carriers that will hurt the most are Iran’s two state-owned firms, National Iranian Tanker Co. and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

A spokesman for NITC, which operates around 5% of the world’s tanker fleet, including 38 very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, said it was too early to comment on the sanctions. But people involved in the matter said NITC may mothball some of its VLCCs and use them as “floating storage” in view of rising oil prices.

IRISL, which operates about 120 container ships, dry-bulk carriers and chemical tankers, has been looking to replace its aging fleet and join the world’s big shipping alliances.

It has placed orders for four container ships and six chemical tankers with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., worth about $650 million, according to people involved in the deal.

IRISL is considering whether to ask Hyundai Heavy to speed up deliveries before the sanctions go into effect, delay or cancel the orders, according to people familiar with the matter. Hyundai Heavy didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“The U.S. sanctions create a very challenging environment for shipowners, ” said Basil Karatzas, a New York-based shipping consultant, who works with some of the world’s biggest shipping companies. “They could be blacklisted for moving Iranian crude or other cargo, fined and prohibited from doing business with the U.S. It’s not worth the risk.”

Source: Dow Jones

20,000 TEU COSCO Shipping Virgo Delivered

Chinese container shipping major COSCO Shipping Corporation has taken delivery of its fifth 20,000 TEU containership, COSCO Shipping Virgo.

Built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, the ship is 399.8 meters long and 58.6 meters wide. It boasts a deck area equivalent to almost four standard football fields and can achieve a speed of 22.5 nautical miles per hour.

COSCO Shipping Virgo has a maximum carrying capacity of 20,119 TEU, and it is equipped with 1,000 reefer sockets.

The giant boxship was classed by both DNV GL and China Classification Society.

According to COSCO, the ship’s fuel consumption and energy-efficiency have been optimized through latest energy-saving rudder and propulsion systems.  In addition, the ship is equipped with intelligent ship management systems and allows for one-man bridge operation.

It is worth USD 122.95 million, based on the valuation from VesselsValue.

The delivery of COSCO Shipping Virgo comes on the back of four 20,000 TEU boxships delivered since the beginning of this year.

COSCO Shipping Taurus, also built by SWS, and COSCO Shipping Aries, built by Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering (NACKS) were delivered in January this year.

COSCO Shipping Leo and COSCO Shipping Gemini followed suit in March and April respectively.

World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Cosco Shipping

KiwiRail welcomes Northland rail pledge

There is local support for rail improvements.
DANICA MACLEAN/FAIRFAX NZ

KiwiRail is welcoming the Government decision to investigate upgrading and expanding rail north of Auckland.

The initiative was announced by the Ministers of Transport and Regional Development as part of a package of Provincial Growth Fund improvements to help Northland’s economic and social growth.

They pledged $500,000 to examining the potential for rail improvements.

The coalition agreement between Labour and NZ First said the new Government would commission a feasibility study on the options for moving the Ports of Auckland, including giving Northport serious consideration.

Friday’s announcement did not mention the port specifically.

“We are looking forward to participating in the business case process. As the Government has indicated, KiwiRail has the ability to drive economic growth in the regions through our freight network, world-class tourism services and the passenger services we enable,” said KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy.

“Using rail also delivers a range of significant benefits including reducing carbon emissions and road congestion, making our roads safer, lowering spending on road maintenance and upgrades, and reducing fatalities.

“Every tonne of freight carried by rail is a 66 per cent emissions saving over heavy road freight.

“Northland’s rail lines are under-used and much of the rail infrastructure is old, reducing the speed at which trains can travel. The tunnels are not fit for purpose when it comes to container freight and considerable investment is needed to bring the rail line up to modern standards.

“If it proceeds, this work will allow for faster trains, larger modern sized containers and tourism services.”

KiwiRail currently runs one weekday return service to Auckland on the line predominantly carrying dairy and forestry.

– Stuff

Trains back on Wairoa – Napier line

Trains will be moving again on the Napier to Wairoa line for the first time in six years next Wednesday.

“The project to re-open the line will pass a significant milestone when a work train travels up to Eskdale from Napier delivering ballast,” KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy says.

“Having work trains running is an important part of getting the line open to shift logs by rail and take trucks off the road.

“The line is expected to be ready for logging trains by the end of the year.

“This is also a good time to remind people of the need to take care around the rail line. Because it has not been in use by trains, people need to be aware that trains will now be on the line, and that they need to be looking out for them,” Mr Reidy says.

There will be a ceremony to mark the return of trains at KiwiRail’s operations depot in Ahuriri.

There are good vantage points for members of the public who are keen to see the train as it passes at Meeanee Quay and Domain Rd at around 11.30am.

The line is being re-opened by KiwiRail using $5 million of funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, and will be used to transport logs to Napier. The work is expected to take two years to fully complete.

“This is an important project for the region, for New Zealand and for KiwiRail. It lifts the regional economy. It makes the roads safer by taking logging trucks off roads that were not designed to cope with growing volumes. It helps the environment by cutting carbon emissions,” Mr Reidy says.

KiwiRail has estimated that using the Wairoa-Napier line to move the logs could take up to 5,714 trucks a year off the road, and cut carbon emissions by 1292 tonnes.

Auckland Council gives green light to 11.5c fuel tax to hit motorists on July 1

31 May 2018

Auckland Council’s controversial 11.5 cents a litre fuel tax has been approved by councillors at a budget meeting today.

Councillors voted 13-7 to approve the extra cost for motorists today.

Legislation allowing the tax is expected to be passed in Parliament to allow the tax to come into effect on July 1.

Auckland drivers face paying 25c a litre more in the next three years as the Government also proposes boosting fuel taxes in 3c to 4c annual hikes.

Motorists filling up with 91 unleaded this morning were able to get a best price of $2.03 a litre at the Gull Wiri self-service station in South Auckland, but more typically paid between $2.07 and $2.19 a litre, according to the Gaspy app.

A handful of service stations charged $2.20 or more a litre and the two Z stations near Auckland Airport posted the most expensive prices at $2.29 a litre.

Those wanting premium 95 unleaded had to dip a little deeper into their wallets, facing prices ranging from $2.14 to $2.41 a litre.

Mayor Phil Goff said the tax was critical to help pay for projects to improve transport after years and years of under investment.

“We cannot allow our city to gridlock and that is what we are heading toward,” he said.

Goff said the tax would raise $1.5 billion over 10 years but Government subsidies and development contributions would increase that to $4.3b.

To raise that money through rates would require a 13 per cent to 14 per cent rise.

The regional fuel tax was the fastest, cheapest and best way to raise spending to tackle traffic congestion, said the mayor.

Without the extra money, Goff said, the city would grind to a halt.

Manurewa-Papakura councillor Daniel Newman, the only councillor to advocate for higher rates as the way forward, said the tax would lead to a redistribution of wealth from some of the poorest people to those who have the greatest wealth and choice.

“I don’t think that is fair,” he said.

Councillor Chris Darby said the tax would lead to significant benefits across the city, as well as social and economic benefits.

“This regional fuel tax allows us to shift gears in Auckland in a way we have not seen before: out of planning and into delivery,” he said.

National MP Jami-Lee Ross said Aucklanders would not forgive Auckland Council and the Labour Government’s decisions to impose fuel taxes.

“They certainly won’t forget it every time it costs them more to fill up their cars.”

Ross said consultation had identified that 51 per cent of Aucklanders opposed the regional fuel tax.

“This new tax is not needed. If Auckland Council simply followed through on Mayor Goff’s promise to find between 3-6 per cent of savings in the council’s budget they could easily find the money that the fuel tax would raise,” he said.

“Instead, Auckland Council has been given the ‘tax and spend’ keys by Transport Minister Phil Twyford and hard-working New Zealanders will be paying the cost.”

How councillors voted
For
Mayor Phil Goff
Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore
Ross Clow
Josephine Bartley
Cathy Casey
Linda Cooper
Chris Darby
Alf Filipaina
Chris Fletcher
Richard Hills
Penny Hulse
Wayne Walker
John Watson

Against
Efeso Collins
Mike Lee
Daniel Newman
Greg Sayers
Desley Simson
Sharon Stewart
John Walker

READ MORE:
• Barry Soper: The hypocrisy of the Govt’s petrol tax position
• Aucklanders to have say on regional petrol tax before knowing how it will be spent
• Ken Shirley: Fuel tax poorly thought out solution to transport costs

‘Biggest’ change in oil market history: Crude prices set to soar ahead of shipping revolution

Instead of OPECIran or even Venezuela, the most prominent driver of oil prices over the next two years is likely to come in the shape of a shipping revolution, analysts have warned.

New rules coming into force in approximately 18 months’ time are seen as a source of great concern for some of the world’s biggest oil producers. That’s because global energy and shipping industries are thought to be ill-prepared for the looming sea change.

On January 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will enforce new emissions standards designed to significantly curb pollution produced by the world’s ships.

“It’s the biggest (change) in the history of the market,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” this week.

Why are the changes being enforced?

Amid a broader push towards cleaner energy markets, the IMO’s changes will specifically look to cut back sulfur emissions. The pollutant is a component of acid rain, which harms vegetation and wildlife, and is blamed for some respiratory illnesses.

The forthcoming measures are widely expected to create an oversupply of high-sulfur fuel oil while sparking demand for IMO-compliant products — thus ratcheting up the pressure on the refining industry to produce substantially more of the latter fuels.

“That is very important because Middle Eastern producers lose out heavily from that because their crude tends to be very high sulfur,” Sen said.

A support vessel flying an Iranian national flag sails alongside the oil tanker 'Devon' as it prepares to transport crude oil to export markets in Bandar Abbas, Iran, on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A support vessel flying an Iranian national flag sails alongside the oil tanker ‘Devon’ as it prepares to transport crude oil to export markets in Bandar Abbas, Iran, on Friday, March 23, 2018.

In contrast to some of the world’s leading oil producers in the Middle East, including OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, the U.S. is expected to be better-placed to cope with the IMO’s measures due to their reputation for producing lighter crude.

What does this mean for oil prices?

Global benchmark Brent crude will climb to $90 a barrel by 2020 as new international shipping laws overhaul the types of fuels produced by refiners, Morgan Stanley analysts predicted in a research note published last week.

“You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start.”
Hear what else Buffett has to say
“We expect the crude oil market to remain under-supplied and inventories to continue to draw,” the bank said, before adding: “This will likely underpin prices.”

To be sure, the IMO’s rules will ban ships using fuel with a sulfur content higher than 0.5 percent, compared to 3.5 percent at present, unless ships are fitted with equipment to clean up its sulfur emissions.

Right now, few ships have invested in equipment to scrub pollutants from engines that burn high-sulfur fuel, so many external observers believe the majority of shipping companies are investing in capacity to make low-sulfur fuel.

 

Here’s what drives the price of oil:

https://www.cnbc.com/debe067e-9806-4c80-a094-37917a68a4fb

 

The Auckland fuel tax always looked doomed, just not quite this quickly

New Zealand had a regional fuel tax during the early 1990s, but it was abandoned as the impact spread across the country.

SIMON MAUDE/STUFF
New Zealand had a regional fuel tax during the early 1990s, but it was abandoned as the impact spread across the country.
OPINION: When the Government signalled plans to introduce a special fuel tax in Auckland, transport officials warned Transport Minister Phil Twyford that such a measure had been tried before and failed. At least twice.

For all the good intention – that motorists benefiting from major transport projects pay their share – there is little that can be done to prevent the impact of the tax increase spreading across the country.

Proving exactly who is paying what when it comes to excise tax on petrol is hard, because the giant tax bill is paid in bulk.

But there are signs that rather than spilling over when the tax comes into force, that the sharp price increase in recent weeks could be price spreading in anticipation of the price increase.

Prices are rising strongly in areas where competition is limited in comparison to Auckland, where the increase has been much more muted.

When Twyford introduced legislation to enable the new tax, which is supposed to add 11.5 cents a litre to the price of petrol in Auckland but nowhere else, the average petrol station in Auckland was charging about 4c a litre less than in Christchurch.

By last week, as prices hit the highest of all time in areas subject to the “national” fuel price, the average difference between Auckland and Christchurch, was more like 16c.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford was warned that regional fuel taxes had been tried and failed before and is now refusing ...

MONIQUE FORD/STUFF
Transport Minister Phil Twyford was warned that regional fuel taxes had been tried and failed before and is now refusing to discuss signs that the impact may already be being felt by motorists elsewhere.
 According to information from Gaspy, a mobile app which monitors prices based on observations of thousands of drivers, the growth in the gap between Auckland and Wellington has also surged since late March.

In rough terms, the degree of price increases in many areas has grown by the scale of the impending Auckland regional fuel tax.

So come July 1, if prices in Auckland do actually increase by 11.5c, can it really be said that Aucklanders are the ones paying the regional fuel tax?

Or, as the Ministry of Transport warned could happen (and has happened before), has the impact of the Auckland regional fuel tax actually been spread across the country?

It appears the fuel companies are doing something akin to front running the increase. A sharp price increase is coming to a highly competitive area and prices in areas where there is less competition than Auckland are quickly drifting higher ahead of the move.

Z Energy, which has consistently fronted up to comment when its rivals have refused, denies prices are rising in anticipation of the fuel tax.

A spokeswoman said the price gap between the cheapest and most expensive stations tended to grow sharply during times of rising crude prices, and then narrow when oil prices stabilised.

Gaspy, which crowd sources petrol prices from around the country, has noticed a conspicuous widening in the gap between Auckland prices and other parts of the country, especially Christchurch. Z Energy says the price gap is typical of periods when crude prices rise strongly.

Perhaps this is the case, but if so it would simply highlight how different areas are much less competitive than others.

The Z Energy spokeswoman also declined to give assurances that the gap would narrow as crude oil prices stabilised. Come July 1, the company would add the Auckland regional fuel tax to stations across New Zealand’s largest city, but then it would be a case of market forces at play.

A spokeswoman for BP said the recent changes in its national pricing “are a function of the rising crude/falling [New Zealand dollar] environment we are currently operating in, together with competitive factors playing a part, rather than a response to the proposed introduction of the regional fuel tax.”

If the regional fuel tax were legislated, BP “will apply the Auckland regional fuel tax from 1 July within the identified boundaries” the company said.

Larry Green, co-founder of Gaspy, said the price gap between Auckland and other areas was growing at such speed it was “impossibly unlikely” that it was not related to the impending price increase.

“The more they [the petrol companies] spread it over time, the less it looks like an anomaly”.

This has all happened before, suggesting Governments never learn.

During the early 1990s, New Zealand had a regional fuel tax, but it was abandoned as the impact spread across New Zealand.

The Government passed legislation for another regional tax in 2008, but never introduced it because of fears of price spreading.

We know this because it is contained in a very clear warning to Twyford about what could happen to his increase.

“If price spreading was to occur the larger companies have the ability to spread the cost of the tax to all fuel sales made across their network. For example, fuel companies could charge approximately three cent tax nationally across their network to cover a 10 cents per litre regional fuel tax required in for each litre of fuel sold in Auckland.”

To give Phil Twyford credit, it is not as if he is prone to simply accepting what government officials tell him.

When he didn’t like what Treasury said about how much of an impact KiwiBuild would have on the housing market, Twyford accused “kids at Treasury” of being “disconnected from reality”.

Whether or not he accepts that the regional fuel tax will have integrity is hard to know.

Apart from a vague promise to increase monitoring of prices to assess whether price-spreading occurs, Twyford is refusing to comment, saying there is nothing he can add.

But given how stark the warnings were, the regional fuel tax simply looks dishonest. The Government should admit it will not work, replace the regional tax with a smaller nationwide one and drop the charade.

 – Stuff

LPC Ready to Meet Canterbury’s Doubling Freight Demands

18 MAY 2018

 

With the 2011 earthquake rebuild behind it, Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) is now focused on enhancing its infrastructure to efficiently manage Canterbury freight volumes, forecast to more than double in the coming three decades.

LPC Chief Executive, Peter Davie says, “We have recently been granted resource consent to dredge the harbour shipping channel to increase our draught. This will enable larger ships to call at Lyttelton Port providing Canterbury’s importers and exporters the best possible and most cost effective international shipping solutions.

“We have also been granted resource consent to expand our land area to cater for growing Canterbury imports and exports,” says Mr Davie.

“What’s critical for us is that these two developments allow us to grow Canterbury’s trade. It is really important that we have the facilities to enable larger ships to move cargo as we continue to grow. Since the earthquakes we have doubled our container volumes and we expect that to continue.

“The dredging programme means larger container ships, which have virtually doubled in size during the last 10 years, will be able to call at Lyttelton. It is estimated this will decrease freight costs for Lyttelton customers by more than 10 per cent.

“The channel deepening lengthens the navigation channel by approximately 6.5km and widens it by 20 metres. The work will occur in two stages. Stage one will allow vessels with a 13.3 metre draught to call at Lyttelton. Completion of stage two will allow unrestricted sailing for 14.5 metre draught vessels across all tides,” says Peter Davie.

Chairman of the International Container Lines Committee (ICLC), which represents most major container carriers calling at New Zealand, Mark Scott welcomes the news that LPC is about to embark on its channel deepening, and undertake further reclamation.

Mark Scott says, “It is vital that Lyttelton positions itself well and has the capacity for larger ships to call at the Port. Shipping companies are making decisions now on where these large ships will call in New Zealand and the dredging programme gives them assurance that Lyttelton Port is a major player.

“Currently container vessels visiting Lyttelton commonly carry 4,500- to 5,000 Twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs), that will increase to 5,500 -6,500 TEUs with larger vessels. However it is quite conceivable that with the dredging of the channel vessels carrying 8,000-9,000 TEU will be able to call at Lyttelton.”

Mike Knowles, Chair of the New Zealand Shippers Council says it is really encouraging from a shippers point of view that the Port Company is able to proceed with the dredging and expansion programmes.

“Bigger ships will continue for the foreseeable future and as Lyttelton is the major port in the South Island it is essential that it gears up to accommodate them.

“The infrastructure initiatives taking place at Lyttelton means it will remain competitive for international shipping lines, facilitating Canterbury exporters’ and importers’ access to world markets,” said Mr Knowles.

LPC was granted its channel deepening consent in March 2018, with Environment Canterbury satisfied that LPC’s plans balanced what is best for the environment, the community and Canterbury’s growing regional economy.

Peter Davie said the overall dredging programme would be the country’s biggest, and that LPC had already implemented the largest environmental monitoring programme ever undertaken for a New Zealand dredging project.

“We have awarded the initial stage of the channel deepening programme work to Netherlands-based contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. – a leading global operator with more than 100 years’ experience. Their dredge will start operating in late July/early August and the dredging programme will last around 11 weeks.

“At the same time we will expand our reclamation at Te Awaparahi Bay by 24 hectares, which includes the construction of a new 700 metre container wharf. Last year the existing reclamation at Te Awaparahi Bay reached 10 hectares.

“This expansion is critical to enable the Port, as the South Island’s trade gateway, to meet the needs of the forecast growth in the container and general cargo trades.

“A key focus of our long term plans is to move our operations to the east, away from the local community. The additional reclamation will facilitate this shift.

“We are committed to future proofing our operations by making certain that we have a facility that meets customer needs for the future and supports the lifestyle of all people living in Christchurch, Canterbury and the wider South Island.

“We are delighted to achieve these resource consents. We acknowledge the constructive working relationship we have with the many groups that make up our community, particularly iwi, as we carefully carried out our assessment of environmental effects prior to lodging our resource consents,” Mr Davie said.

Please view this short video, and see the graphics at the end of this media release, of the future development of the shipping channel and the reclamation.

https://vimeo.com/270012167

SH1 to Kaikōura to close overnight later this month

Road workers will close State Highway 1, between Christchurch and Kaikōura, later this month to start removing the shipping containers which have been protecting vehicles from rockfalls.

The seawall along a section of State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura.

The seawall along a section of State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura. Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

Shipping containers protect the traffic at three sites.

An operations manager for the highway reconstruction, Tresca Forrester, said crews had been working on widening the Paratitahi tunnels, and the containers needed to be removed to complete this work.

A section of the highway, between Peketa and Leader Road intersection, will close at 10pm on Monday 28 May and reopen on Tuesday at 6.30am.

Further overnight closures are planned for late June to remove the final containers and several hundred concrete blocks that have also been used for rockfall protection.