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July 29, 2021 / 1:20 PM Two public container terminals at Port of Houston will remain closed Wednesday after what officials said was a hardware failure.

The issues at the Bayport and Barbours Cut container terminals were first reported Tuesday, just before the gates were set to open at about 7 a.m. 

In a letter, Port of Houston executive director Roger Guenther explained that's when they experienced a "major failure of the storage devices that support all applications used to operate" the terminals.

Although staff were able to get the terminals working again by 10 a.m. Tuesday, their backup procedures failed around two hours later.

Since then, the terminals have been inoperable.

Ships that were already in the loading and unloading process have been able to continue working, Guenther said. But new vessel starts have not been possible as the truck gates at both container facilities remain idle.

Guenther said in the letter that the port has the necessary hardware, but getting things back up and running is a different story. The configuration and restoration of all the components involved has been a slow process.

When the terminals resume operations, port officials plan to have daily extended gate hours including weekends, he added.

The Houston Ship Channel is a major artery for America's oil, gas and chemical production.

It's also the largest petrochemical complex in the country.

The 52-mile ship channel comprises more than 200 private and eight public terminals.

Guenther stressed that the issues had no impact on the greater ship channel, adding that the problem is confined to only the two public container terminals. 

Guenther also emphasized the hardware failure was not due to a cyberattack.


July 28, 2021 / 4:00 PM Methanol as a commercially and technically viable marine fuel is gaining greater traction over other alternative bunkers, including LNG, as more shipowners adopt the clean burning fuel as price spreads narrow and production ramps up.

Speaking at a virtual conference last week, Greg Dolan, CEO of the Methanol Institute, a trade body whose shipowner members include Maersk, Stena Bulk, MSC, MOL and Oldendorff Carriers, predicts that methanol production costs will fall to become more competitively priced than traditional diesel bunker and other alternative fuels.

Dolan suggested that the move to methanol would also help shipowners avoid the proposed carbon tax on diesel, which could be between US$250 and $450/t of CO2. 

“There’s a call by many including the world’s largest shippers for a carbon tax on diesel fuels. That would dramatically change the pricing picture for marine fuels and the only available alternative fuel options today are advanced biofuels, LNG and methanol,” he said.

As a transitional fuel, methanol is supported by the International Maritime Organization in its recent adoption of safe handling guidelines under the IGF Code for low flashpoint fuels.

“This has been an important milestone in the growth of methanol as a marine fuel,” Dolan said. “And while LNG paved the way for methanol, methanol adoption can be a model for ammonia and hydrogen in the future.”

According to Dolan, methanol production increased last year to 100Mmt, doubling production in a decade. He said production could reach 500Mmt by 2050, as predicted in a joint Methanol Institute/International Renewable Energy Agency report released earlier this year.

Commenting on those shipowners that have already announced plans to include methanol within their fuel pool, Dolan told attendees at the Maritime AMC-organised Alternative Fuels webinar that first movers, such as Maersk, understand “there is little time left to wait on potential solutions that might fulfil 100% of their 2050 goals. They know we don’t have 30 years to wait.”

Maersk announced in March that its first methanol-burning vessel will launch in 2023, seven years ahead of schedule. The company also mooted an order for twelve 15,000TEU methanol-fuelled containerships.

Another advocate is Proman Stena Bulk. The joint venture between shipowner Stena Bulk and methanol producer Proman is planning to build six 50,000dwt tankers with methanol dual-fuel engines for delivery in 2023.

A further three vessels owned solely by Proman, scheduled for delivery in 2022 and 2023, will be traded globally for shipping chemicals and clean petroleum products.

Anita Gajadhar, Managing Director Proman Marketing, Logistics and Shipping, said: “For us, methanol is a proven fuel capable of meeting the shipping industry’s carbon reduction targets. When you look at the long-term pricing, it is competitive when compared to alternatives, like MGO. It is easy to bunker, it is safe to bunker, and it is widely available as a bunker in 122 ports.”

Gajadhar claimed that methanol is currently being traded at a price lower than LNG in some ports, and is less expensive than biofuel, currently traded at US$1,200/t or more.

“Methanol is actually going to be a little bit cheaper than some of the biofuels that are available in the market today…. In terms of CAPEX, it is also a lot cheaper to modify vessels for methanol than it is for LNG,” she said.

Methanol-fuelled newbuilds also cost less than a LNG-burning ship, according to engine builders MAN Energy Solutions and Wärtsilä.

Kjeld Aabo, Director New Technologies two-stroke promotion, MAN Energy Solutions, told attendees that a 54,300m3 capacity product tanker running a methanol-fuelled engine would add about 10% to the newbuild price. The same vessel running on LNG would cost 22% more than a conventional HFO-burning ship.

The engine builder, which first unveiled and tested a methanol dual-fuel engine in 2016 and has a current orderbook of 23 ME-LGIM engines, said methanol combustion emits 8% less CO2 than an HFO Tier II engine.

SOx emissions are reduced by 97% and NOx up to 60%. And since the methanol molecule contains no carbon-carbon bonds, it does not produce particulate matter or soot when burned resulting in smokeless operation.

“I really believe there will be a big market for methanol in the future and the technology on the engine side is there,” said Aabo.

Toni Stojcevski, General Manager, Project Sales & Development, Wärtsilä, agreed but warned “if we are going to be compliant in 2050, with a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, then we need to prepare and start executing today.”

While Wärtsilä introduced a methanol engine in 2013, Stojcevski revealed that the engine builder expects to have an ammonia-fuelled engine operating next year and a pure hydrogen engine in 2025. The company also plans to launch a new methanol-burning engine based on its proven W32 series in late 2023. This will be available for newbuilds and retrofits.

Closing the webinar Dolan said: “Methanol engines are available. The fuel is available. The infrastructure is there and it’s affordable. We can act now.” 

Source: Maritime AMC

July 22, 2021 / 3:00 PM The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, ticked up on Wednesday on gains in the capesize segment.

The index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, added 5 points, or 0.2%, to 3,058.

The capesize index rose 8 points, or 0.2%, to 3,513.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes of iron ore, were up $64 at $29,135.

The gains came even as benchmark iron ore futures in China fell nearly 4% on Wednesday on cooling demand as mills controlled their crude steel production, while arrivals of the steelmaking ingredient gained.

Some steel producers in China’s Jiangsu, Fujian and Yunnan provinces were told by the government to cut production as the country aims to keep its annual output no higher than it made in 2020.

The panamax index dropped 23 points, or 0.6%, to 3,577, the lowest in nearly a month.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, dropped by $205 to $32,195.

Argentina’s government has urged citizens to limit water use in a bid to alleviate pressure on the Parana River, a key grain thoroughfare that is at a 77-year low, a situation which is hampering shipments of cereals including soy and wheat.



July 27, 2021 / 4:40 PM Eight Nigerians, among them five members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), who were kidnapped by gunmen in Rivers State waters on July 19 have been freed following intervention by the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh and other stakeholders.

Dr. Jamoh broke the news on July 24 after a phone conversation with the President-General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigerian (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju. 

The abductees are believed to be in good physical condition and the MWUN President General is expected to provide a detailed report on the incidents surrounding the abduction early next week.

The eight persons were travelling to Port Harcourt from Kula area in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, before the gunmen abducted them at the Kula-Abonnema waterway.

On July 24, Dr. Jamoh vowed that the personnel of the Deep Blue counter-piracy project would ensure that all waters of the coastal states are covered in their daily patrol to nip in the bud any act of criminality in the waterways and creeks.

He also said that the Special Maritime Intelligence Unit within the Deep Blue Project will up its ante in engaging the youths at the creeks through the use of a ‘carrot and stick’ policy to wean them away from marine-related atrocities and crimes.

Dr. Jamoh added that NIMASA will continue to explore its partnerships to educate youths on the non-profitability of marine crime as well as ensuring that they are meaningfully engaged to contribute to the development of the nation.

Source: hstoday

July 19, 2021 / 1:40 PM The DITEL 60cm Ku-band maritime VSAT antenna was installed on Shenlan 1, China's first deep-sea fish farm in Qingdao, Shandong province. High-quality, high-speed and stable operation of the equipment ensures the rapid exchange of information, signifying that DITEL will continue to give a hand to Wisdom Ocean Construction. 

Featuring a compact size and lightweight design, DITEL 60cm Ku-band maritime VSAT antenna provides stable and full network coverage for the whole salmon farming platform and offers superior tracking performance. The world's largest intelligent submersible aquaculture facility --- Shenlan 1, is equal to 40 standard swimming pools and weighs 1,500 metric tons. The installation of the satellite system will promote deep-sea aquaculture development towards an intelligent, environmentally friendly business.

The DITEL V61 and V60 are 60cm Ku-band maritime VSAT antennas. VSAT antenna system is composed of antenna, BUC, LNB, ACU and Modem to complete the transmission, reception and information modulation of satellite signals. DITEL maritime VSAT antenna can automatically track the satellite to support remote control by PC and mobile, video monitoring, broadband, video conference, VoIP and other network applications. According to the choice of tracking different satellites, the requirements of vessel operation in different sea areas can be satisfied.

DITEL is one of the world's leading providers of maritime satellite communication systems. DITEL's stabilized satellite antenna systems are chosen to deliver connectivity around the world. Founded in 2009, DITEL is leading the way in driving innovation in the satellite communication market and making firm strides towards the water world.

Founded in 1995 by a group of Maritime & Business Professionals, Navieramar International came out as a Company fully committed to providing the highest level of service to its clients ... Read more

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