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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Blue Danube News

New AmaWaterway Cruise Vessel Named 'AmaPrima'

AmaPrima Christening Ceremony: Photo credit AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways new ship was christened in Vilshofen, Germany, by well-known travel expert Valerie Wilson. The AmaPrima, a sister ship to the award-winning AmaCerto (2012), is a deluxe164-feet passenger vessel that incorporates such innovative design features as Twin Balconies (an AmaWaterways exclusive) and spacious staterooms that measure up to 350 sq. feet. The AmaPrima will serve the Dutch and Belgium Waterways and the Danube and Rhine Rivers on 10 itineraries: Tulip Time Cruise…

Lorentzen Named CMA 2012 Commodore

Øivind Lorentzen, III, CEO of SEACOR Holdings Inc. has been named as the Connecticut Maritime Association (CMA) Commodore for the year 2012. Mr. Lorentzen follows a long succession of influential maritime industry leaders as Commodore. The 2012 Commodore Award will be presented to Mr. Lorentzen on March 21, 2012 at the Gala Dinner marking the conclusion of the annual Connecticut Maritime Association conference and trade exposition, at the Hilton Hotel in Stamford,  Conn. The Award is given each year to a person in the international maritime industry who has contributed to the growth and development of the industry. Lorentzen has served as CEO of SEACOR Holdings Inc. since September 2010.

Shipping on Danube Slated For Spring 2002

Regular shipping on the river Danube will not resume before the spring of 2002, following the removal of NATO bombing debris from the river in Serbia, the head of the Danube Commission, Hellmuth Strasser, said. The economies of countries using the lower Danube - mainly Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia - are losing more than $306 million a year due to the obstruction of the river, he said. The Danube has been blocked along a vital stretch in Serbia since 1999, when NATO bombing destroyed three bridges at the city of Novi Sad. In April a Danish-Hungarian consortium was awarded a 26 million euro contract to begin cleaning debris from the river. Such cleaning, however, has yet to begin, Strasser said. - (Reuters)

Shippers Suffer Losses Due To Blocked Danube

The Danube will remain blocked by bombed Yugoslav bridges through the winter, with the cost of removal estimated at as much as $31.5 million, the Danube Commission announced, adding that private shippers are racking up losses far in excess of these figures. "Environmental damage of considerable consequence goes far beyond what it would cost the international community to clear the bridges and re-establish navigation," Hellmuth Strasser, head of the commission's secretariat, said. He added that re-establishing the river's shipping is the most difficult task the Danube Commission has faced since World War II. Experts estimate it will cost between $15.8 and $31.5 million to remove bridges bombed by NATO during its air campaign against Yugoslavia, Strasser said.

Bulgaria, Serbia River Traffic Resumes

River Danube traffic between Bulgaria and Serbia partially resumed at the end of June, immediately after NATO'S air war against Yugoslavia finished, according to officials from Bulgaria's state Danube navigation company. "Bulgarian ships are running to Serbian Danube ports, even up to Novi Sad," said the chief of the Bulgarian River Navigation Authority (BRNA) Dimitar Stanchev. Serbian ships are also running to Bulgarian Danube ports, as well as to Romanian and Ukrainian ports, he added. He said traffic was much less than before the airstrikes but said he could not give volumes at this stage. There have been press reports of a Bulgarian private shipping company planning to open a regular line from the Bulgarian port of Lom to Prahovo in Serbia, hoping to attract tourists and traders.

Hungary Sees Danube Cleared By Summer At Earliest

The debris blocking the Danube shipping route in Yugoslavia could be cleared away by the summer, but more likely not until November, a senior Hungarian foreign ministry official said. The Danube, one of the most heavily used waterways in Europe, has been blocked along a vital stretch in Serbia since NATO destroyed several bridges during its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia last year. This has caused serious losses to the mostly central and eastern European countries using the river. An obstacle hindering the process is that the cleanup of the debris involves the building of a bridge over the river. The U.S. supports the cleanup of the Danube but it does not want to see a bridge to be built in a Serbia ruled by President Slobodan Milosevic.

Shipping Company's Losses Total $110M

Ukraine's Danube Shipping Company lost $110 million due to military action in Yugoslavia last year that destroyed bridges and blocked traffic along the Danube, transport minister Leonid Kostyuchenko said. NATO launched air strikes last year on Yugoslavia, which it accused of ethnic cleansing in the province of Kosovo, densely populated by ethnic Albanians. Kostyuchenko said collapsed bridges had blocked 63 Ukrainian ships on upper stretches of the Danube. Due to the disruption of the shipping, Ukraine's Danube ports were now working at just 40 percent of capacity, he said. This is not the first time Ukrainian companies suffer from problems in Yugoslavia.

Shippers Seek $90M In Restitution

The association of Romanian river shippers said it would sue the Romanian government and NATO over a total estimated loss of $90 million because of the Kosovo conflict. Association president Mircea Toader said the losses had been caused by the embargo on Yugoslavia after the Kosovo war and by the blockage of the Danube. Toader, who was speaking at the end of a meeting in the Danube port town of Galati, said the association -- representing 95 percent of Romania's river shippers -- voted to ask the Romanian state for damages worth $5.4 million for lost crude oil transport contracts during the embargo. The association also announced plans to sue the North Atlantic Treaty Organization over alleged losses indirectly caused by the bombing of Yugoslav bridges.

Low Water Still Hampers Rhine, Danube shipping

File Image: A typical tow makes its way along the Danube River in Germany (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) digitalstock)

Water on the Rhine and Danube in Germany remains shallow and cargo vessels cannot sail fully loaded, traders said on Monday. The rivers had fallen below normal levels in late June after dry weather. The Rhine is still too shallow for normal sailings from Duisburg and Cologne to southern stretches of the river, traders said. All of the Danube in Germany is too shallow for normal loading. Shallow water means vessel operators impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners.

Danube Blockage Seen Lasting Through Winter

The collapsed bridges blocking the River Danube since NATO's March-to-June bombing of Yugoslavia are likely to remain there through the winter, sources said. Despite the best efforts of Hungary and Austria to speed up an appeal for EU funding to clear the river, they said, at a cost estimated between 12 and 30 million euros ($12.3-$30.7 million), it was unlikely any work would begin much before spring. Hungary and Austria, as well as other Danube nations, are eager to get the river cleared, not only to resume shipping, where losses for member states had run up to $175 million by the end of October, but also for fear that a cold winter could create ice blockage and flooding.

EU Ready To Clear Danube If Serbia Cooperates

Work on clearing bombed bridges from the Danube River in Yugoslavia could begin in March if Belgrade agrees next week to a proposal that the European Union would help fund, according to EU sources. Removing the wreckage of three bridges destroyed by NATO during last year's 11-week air war over Kosovo from the river at Novi Sad in Serbia is essential to reopen the key international waterway to commercial shipping. However, it will require a compromise on the sensitive issue of post-war reconstruction that could cause friction with the U.S. The $30 million project awaits approval by the Danube Commission, made up of states through which the river flows, including Yugoslavia. The decision requires unanimity.

EU Commission Approves Aid for Slovakian Shipyard Modernisation

The European Commission has approved investment aid of 500,000 eur for the Slovakian shipbuilding company Slovenske lodenice Komarno which operates shipyards on the Danube river in the south of Slovakia. The aid will form part of a 2 mln eur investment project to optimize the shipbuilding yard's layout and make its production processes less dependent on the water level of the Danube. The commission said that, under EC Treaty state aid rules, the investment is compatible with the single market and will not distort competition. Source: AFX

First of 28 New Ships Enters CMA CGM Fleet

CMA CGM Danube (Photo courtesy of CMA CGM)

CMA CGM Group announced that the maiden voyage of the CMA CGM Danube will begin on June 30 in China. The 9,400 TEU vessel is the first of a series of 28 ships from 9,400-10,900 TEU which will be delivered through the third quarter of 2016. Sailing under the Malta flag and chartered bareboat to CIMC, it is the first ship of this class built at the Chinese construction site DSIC (Dalian PRC) and delivered to the group. The ship, 300m in length and 48m in width, was designed to offer maximal loading capacity while meeting the technical constraints necessitated by the Strait of the Bosphorus.

EU Adriatic and Ionian Strategy Targets Blue Growth

Better cooperation between countries in the Adriatic and Ionian regions is needed to address shared challenges and better exploit joint opportunities, the EU Fisheries department said today in a statement. The strategy was officially launched in June 2014 to help facilitate this coordination while also helping the regions' 70 million citizens to benefit from a boost in the maritime economy, the preservation of the marine environment, stronger transport and energy links and increased tourism. The Strategy will also provide a valuable opportunity for non EU-countries to work alongside EU members, in particular contributing to the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union.

Clearing Danube of Bridge Debris A Priority

Clearing the Danube of bombed bridges and helping Serbia get through the winter are priorities for a Balkan stability pact, Bodo Hombach, the head of the European Union's reconstruction plan said, but insisted that Europe would not help Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. "The stability pact is not against the Yugoslav people," Hombach said. The EU and the United States agreed in July to create a multi-national reconstruction program to stabilize the Balkans and encourage democratic change in Yugoslavia by denying all but humanitarian aid to Serbia. The Yugoslav republic of Montenegro was granted exceptions because of its western-leaning government and stance during NATO's air campaign against Milosevic.

Danube Shippers Catch A Break

Put in financial peril because of NATO bombing against Serbia which literally blocked its source of business, Danube shippers and port operators received good news when it was divulged that Romania's government decided to write off the debts owed to the state by Danube shippers and port operators. The debts included unpaid taxes and contributions to the state and social security budgets over April 1999-June 2000, as well as penalties, the cabinet said in a statement issued after a special meeting. Data put shippers' total debts at some 39 billion lei. Romanian shippers say they have lost some $150 million in trade since April 1999, when NATO destroyed bridges over the Danube in Serbia, on Romania's western border, blocking traffic on the river. The U.S.

Slovak Shipmaker May Face Crisis Due to Kosovo

Shipyard Slovenske Lodenice Komarno reportedly faces serious delivery problems due to the blockage of transport on the Danube in Yugoslavia.

Kosovo Causes German Barge Shipping Losses

The blockage of the Danube in the Kosovo conflict is reportedly halting 80,000 tons of monthly shipments to and from Germany's inland waterways.

More Danube Cruises Affected by Low Water Levels

CRUISE_Oceans_OVR_VikingStar

At least 20 river cruises have been affected in Germany on the Danube and Elbe rivers after lower than normal water levels have forced some cruise lines to undertake complex logistical maneuvers to keep tours running. Some Cruises have had to alter their itineraries. Cruise Critic will continue to monitor water levels in the regions and update you with further reports. Viking Cruises has seen more than a dozen of its itineraries affected, and maintains an updated list on its website.

New Success for Europe in Cleaner Inland Navigation

a new type of inland navigation vessel Sirocco. Owned by Chemgas Barging

The increasing use of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as a fuel was given another boost with today’s commissioning of a new type of inland navigation vessel: Sirocco. Owned by Chemgas Barging, this conventional gas tanker is equipped with a main engine capable of running on marine gas oil as well as on the clean LNG. What makes this dual-fuel system unique is that it is positioned below decks in the cargo area, which improves vessel safety. This deployment is part of the ‘LNG Masterplan…

EU Approves Aid for Slovakian Shipyard Modernization

The European Commission has approved investment aid of 500,000 eur for the Slovakian shipbuilding company Slovenske lodenice Komarno which operates shipyards on the Danube river in the south of Slovakia. The aid will form part of a 2 mln eur investment project to optimise the shipbuilding yard's layout and make its production processes less dependent on the water level of the Danube. The commission said that, under EC Treaty state aid rules, the investment is compatible with the single market and will not distort competition. EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement: 'The investment project will enhance the competitiveness of this yard. It complies with the stringent conditions applicable to investment aid in the shipbuilding sector.' Source: AFX

Study on Ports Network to Receive EU Support

The European Union will support with €750,000 from the TEN-T Program a project aimed at exploring the feasibility of connecting by rail a series of maritime and fluvial ports in north-eastern Greece and Bulgaria to create a multimodal freight corridor serving the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea and the Danube river. The project, which is called “Sea2Sea” and was selected for funding under the 2011 TEN-T Annual Call, will develop the concept of a “Sea2Sea” corridor by linking Greek ports on the Aegean Sea with Bulgarian ones on Black Sea via a rail link and provide an alternative route to the congested Bosphorus Strait. Furthermore, the connection to fluvial ports on the Danube river will also be analyzed.

Low Water hinders Rhine, Danube River Shipping

File Image: A typical Danube River pushboat and barge arrangement. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) digitalstock)

Water levels on the Rhine and Danube in Germany remain low despite recent rain and freight vessels cannot sail fully loaded on the German sections of the rivers, traders said on Tuesday. The Rhine is too shallow for normal sailings south of Duisburg and Cologne to Switzerland, traders said. Weekend rain had helped raise both rivers but water levels remain well below minimum levels for full loadings. The rivers have been shallow since the first week of April. Shallow water means vessel operators impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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