UK highlights Gulf shipping threats
The UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is to call for more international support to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz when he meets his French and German counterparts later today (Friday, August 31) for talks about Iran. Last month, Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait in apparent retaliation for the UK’s seizure in Gibraltar of an Iranian ship accused of violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.The UK joined a U.S.-led mission to escort merchant vessels through the Strait of Hormuz at the start of this month but Germany and France declined to take part…
Iran Denies Drone Loss, Gibraltar to Detain Grace 1 longer
Iran on Friday denied President Donald Trump's assertion that the U.S. Navy has destroyed one of its drones, saying all of its unmanned planes were accounted for, amid growing international concern that both sides could blunder into a war in the Gulf.In the latest episode to test nerves around the strategic waterway, Trump said on Thursday the drone had flown to within 1,000 yards (914 metres) of the U.S. warship Boxer in a "provocative and hostile action" and had ignored several…
German Shipyard Suspends Production after Saudi Export Ban
German shipbuilder Luerssen has suspended production of coastguard vessels it was building for Saudi Arabia and placed large numbers of staff on short hours, blaming uncertainty over whether Berlin would grant future weapons export licences.After dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin would authorise no further weapons exports until Riyadh had satisfactorily explained his death.Privately-owned Luerssen was commissioned to build the coastal patrol vessels five years ago…
US Aims to Start LNG Deliveries to Germany in Four Years
U.S. companies expect to begin delivering liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Germany in four years at the latest and will challenge Russia which now accounts for 60 percent of German gas imports, the deputy U.S. energy secretary told a German newspaper."U.S. liquefied natural gas is coming to Germany. The question is not if, but when," Dan Brouillette told the mass circulation daily Bild in an interview published on Monday.U.S. President Donald Trump in July accused Germany of being a "captive" of Russia due to its energy reliance and urged it to halt work on the $11 billion…
MV WERFTEN Lays Keel for Crystal Endeavor
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Prime Minister, Manuela Schwesig were among those in attendance at a keel laying ceremony for the world’s largest polar-class expedition yacht held Tuesday in Germany.The ceremony marked a construction milestone for the 20,000 gross ton luxury expedition yacht Crystal Endeavor, currently being built for Crystal Cruises at MV WERFTEN's Stralsund shipyard.“The keel laying of Crystal Endeavor here in my political hometown of Stralsund marks a special moment for me that is doubly significant…
Italy Refuses Commercial Ship with Migrants on Board
Italy has refused to allow a commercial vessel flying an Italian flag to bring ashore rescued migrants, sticking to a hardline policy on new arrivals as it presses European allies to share the burden of hosting an influx of displaced people.A commercial ship that supplies oil platforms off the coast of Libya pulled 66 migrants to safety on Monday, but it was told not to bring them to Italy, an Interior Ministry source said.Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli, who oversees the coast guard and the country's ports, said the migrants had been transferred to an Italian coast guard vessel on Tuesday after some of them threatened the lives of the Italian crew.They will be brought to Italy…
Malta Detains Another 'Charity' Ship
Italy and Malta are refusing to allow charity ships in ports; governments say charity ships help people smugglers. Charities counter that policy will cause more deaths at sea. For the second time in a week, Malta on Monday detained a humanitarian vessel that normally rescues boat migrants off the coast of Libya, where two shipwrecks have claimed the lives of as many as 200 people in recent days. The Sea Watch 3 vessel, operated by a German charity, requested to leave port after undergoing maintenance and the port authority refused, a Sea Watch spokeswoman said.
Libyan Coastguard Picks Up 301 Migrants Headed for Europe
Libya's coastguard picked up 301 African migrants on Thursday from two inflatable boats after their engines failed near its western coast, a spokesman said.Libya is a main departure point for migrants fleeing wars and poverty trying to reach European countries, though crossings have dropped sharply since last July due to a more active coastguard supported by the European Union."The coastguard rescued 301 migrants early this morning, including three women and 46 children from 12 different sub-Saharan countries," its spokesman Ayoub Qassem told Reuters."The illegal migrants were on board two big rubber boats," Qassem said. "The engines of the two boats stopped working in the middle of sea."On Wednesday…
Germany: EU Should Present United Response to U.S. Tariffs
Germany's transatlantic coordinator told a group of newspapers that the European Union should take a common line in responding to proposed U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. After visiting Washington, Juergen Hardt - a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats - told the RND group of newspapers that an escalation of the conflict with the United States was not in Europe's interests and Europe would stick to a "rule-based world order". He added: "It's important that the European Union does not let itself become divided." Reporting by Michelle Martin
Leaders for Sustainable Shipping
International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Germany’s 10th National Maritime Conference in Hamburg (4 April), which focused on issues including sustainable growth and the importance of new technologies for the future of the shipping industry. Addressing Chancellor Merkel, the Mayor of Hamburg, German Government ministers and other stakeholders in his keynote speech, Lim emphasized that shipping, supported by IMO’s global regulatory regime, will be central to sustainable global development and growth in the future.
Merkel Visit aims to Soothe EU Migrant Tensions
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will use a visit to Turkey this weekend to try to soothe tensions over a deal meant to stem the flow of migrants to Europe as questions about its effectiveness and long-term viability mount. The pact, which came into force almost three weeks ago, aims to help end the chaotic arrival of migrants and refugees on the Greek islands, many fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. More than one million reached Europe last year. The deal initially slowed the numbers of new arrivals to Greece sharply, but boats have been coming again with about 150 people a day, indicating the "hermetic sealing" of the route appears to be over, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.
Merkel Backs German Bid to Build Australian Submarine Fleet
Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced her government's support on Friday for a German arms manufacturer's bid to win a $35.7 billion (A$50 billion) contract from Australia to build it a new fleet of submarines. Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and France's state-controlled naval contractor DCNS are competing with Japan for the deal, seen in part as an Australian effort to counter Chinese assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region. "The German government supports the German bid…
Thyssen Taps Anil Group for Sub Bid
Diversified German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp AG has initiated talks to partner Anil Ambani-led ADAG in building up to 12 submarines in a contract expected to be worth Rs50,000 crore ($7.6 billion), reports PTI. ThyssenKrupp, the Germany-based 41-billion euro company, is one of the aspirants and is banking on positive government-to-government talks when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits India later this month. "We are at early stage (of talks). All I can say is we have the right product to make in India.
Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead
A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara, from where the overcrowded boat had set off, said there had been around 400 people on board. Many appeared to have been trapped in the hold when it capsized. By late in the evening, the Libyan coast guard rescued around 201, of which 147 were brought to a detention facility for illegal migrants in Sabratha, west of Tripoli, the official said, asking not to be named. Another local official and a journalist based in Zuwara confirmed the sinking but also had no information on casualties.
Shipwrecked Bodies Brought Ashore, EU Proposes Doubling Rescue Effort
The European Union proposed doubling the size of its Mediterranean search and rescue operations on Monday, as the first bodies were brought ashore of some 900 people feared killed in the deadliest shipwreck while trying to reach Europe. Three other rescue operations were underway on Monday to save hundreds more migrants in peril on overloaded vessels making the journey from the north coast of Africa to Europe. The mass deaths have caused shock in Europe, where a decision to scale back naval operations last year seems to have increased the risks for migrants without reducing their numbers. "The situation in the Mediterranean is dramatic.
Germany Plans Electric Car Motorway Charging Stations
Germany plans to expand the network of charging stations for electric cars across the country to help boost lacklustre demand, a Transport Ministry paper seen by Reuters showed. Chancellor Angela Merkel's government wants to bring 1 million battery-powered vehicles onto the roads of Europe's largest economy by the end of the decade. But high vehicle costs and drivers' concerns about infrastructure and limited battery range have held back sales in Germany to just 24,000 models out of a market of about 3 million cars, according to government data.
Chinese Premier to Attend Europe Summit, sign Russia Energy Deal
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend a summit of European and Asian leaders on a trip starting next week that will also include a visit to Germany and the signing of energy and high-speed rail deals with Russia, the government and state media said. Li's Oct. 9-16 swing through the continent is the second this year, and culminates in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in the Italian city of Milan, the foreign ministry said in a statement. It comes as the former British colony of Hong Kong has been rocked by pro-democracy demonstrations, and also as the European Union steps up sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. In response to the crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned to China.
Investors Warm up to German Offshore Wind
German offshore plants attract new investment; offshore energy a key component in switch from nuclear. Start-up costs high, but returns are attractive. Germany's offshore wind parks, once seen as only for brave investors because of high costs and operational risks, are attracting fresh money after laws were passed to ensure ambitious renewables targets are met. British investment firm Laidlaw Capital bought its second German offshore wind park project two weeks ago, following a landmark German offshore wind acquisition by Canadian energy group Northland Power. Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has made offshore wind a priority in the country's "Energiewende", which moves Germany towards alternative energy sources after a decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022.
SMM 2014 Witnesses Record Turnout
SMM was another full success. With more than 2,100 exhibitors from all around the world, including 150 first-timers, with 50,000 industry visitors and roughly 90,000 square metres of exhibition space, SMM has demonstrated once again what it means to be the leading international trade fair of the maritime industry. After four days brimming with activity, the 26th SMM came to a close today. "We set new records this year," said Bernd Aufderheide, CEO and President of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.
Germany Could Stop RWE Unit Sale
Germany's Economy Ministry is investigating whether to block the sale of RWE's oil and gas unit DEA to a group of investors led by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, a spokeswoman said. The German government has never previously made use of a clause in its foreign trade law, under which it could stop the deal announced earlier this year if there were concrete signs it threatened "public safety and order". "An investigation has been started. It is an open-ended investigation (to find out) whether there are conditions for prohibiting the deal under the foreign trade accord…
State Won't Pay For Nuclear Decommissioning - Germany
Germany's economy minister has joined Angela Merkel in rejecting talk that utilities might hand over responsibility for decommissioning Germany's nuclear power plants to a new public entity, as the projected costs of decommissioning rise. "It should not be tax payers who pay for the clean-up of atomic waste but rather those who made money for decades through running nuclear power stations,"Sigmar Gabriel told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday. Two…
Ukrainian Formin Wants Tougher Sanctions On Russia
The West should impose tougher sanctions on Russia, which is waging a "hidden war" in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine's acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia said in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt. The United States and the European Union have already imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russian individuals and some companies, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of stoking the eastern rebellions, a charge Putin has denied. "The West should impose more severe sanctions that hit specific economic sectors such as banking and target Russian decision makers…
East Ukraine Referendum Raises Fears Of Dismemberment
Rebels pressed ahead with a referendum on self-rule in east Ukraine on Sunday and fighting flared anew in a conflict that has raised fears of civil war and pitched Russia and the West into their worst crisis since the Cold War. Clashes broke out around a television tower on the outskirts of the rebel stronghold of Slaviansk shortly before voters made their way to polling stations through streets blocked by barricades of felled trees, tyres and rusty machinery. "I wanted to come as early as I could," said Zhenya Denyesh, a 20-year-old student voting at a three-storey concrete university building. In nearby Mariupol, scene of fierce fighting last week, officials said there were only eight polling centres for half a million people.