Business Briefs

Friday, May 12, 2000
OPEC Output To Stay Steady

OPEC President and Venezuelan Energy Minister Ali Rodriguez dismissed another increase in crude oil output in July, quelling speculation that a recent price spike could pressure exporters to crank out more oil. Asked ahead of a Wednesday meeting with his fellow oil ministers from Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Mexico if production would be raised in July, Rodriguez replied "no."

Mexico's Energy Minister Luis Tellez, meanwhile, said the Wednesday summit of the oil trio -- the three engineers of a March 1999 producers' pact to restrict output and lift sagging prices -- would not produce any firm action.

Hyundai Wins Container Terminal Order/b>

South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction has won a $510 million order to build a container terminal in Hong Kong. Hyundai said it had been awarded the deal by a group of Hong Kong companies, including Modern Terminals Ltd. Work is to begin on May 12 for completion by October 2004.

Boat Sinks Off Spain

Two North African immigrants died, and 12 were missing May 7 after their rickety boat sank off Spain's southern coast, officials said. However, the boat sank so close to shore that the missing may have survived and fled the scene after reaching land, a Civil Guard spokesman said.

Eleven others were rescued and detained on suspicion of entering the country illegally, the Civil Guard said. Thousands of North African immigrants attempt to cross the Strait of Gibraltar and enter Europe illegally each year in search of jobs, but many drown when often-crowded boats sink during the passage, which is about eight miles at its narrowest point.

Syrian Ship Spills Acid

Over 160 tons of nitric acid spilled from a Syrian carrier ship on May 6 after it sank in the Mediterranean Sea about 3.7 miles from the port city of Alexandria, Spain. The accident happened when one of the ship's tanks carrying concentrated nitric acid fell over, a port official said. The acid reacted chemically and eroded the base of the ship, which caused water to spill in. The Dalia S, carrying 12 Syrian sailors and 162 tons of the acid, made an emergency call to officials at the port of Abu Qir, about six miles east of the harbor.

A team rescued the sailors, who were treated for suffocation from fumes from the leaking acid.

Cambodian Ship Sinks In Yangtze

A Cambodian ship carrying steel sank after colliding with a Panamanian cargo-free ship in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. No injuries or casualties were reported, officials said.

The Conan, flying the Cambodian flag, was bound for the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing from Mokpo of South Korea, carrying 10,000 tons of rolled steel, collided with a Panamanian ship, Robin Forest, on May 3 in the waters of Nantong, between Nanjing and Shanghai.

The captain of the Conan ordered his crew to abandon the sinking ship that night, and by early Thursday morning the deck was almost fully submerged, officials said.

China's largest water rescue crane was sent to salvage the ship.

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