Livestock Ship Held off Australia Due to Coronavirus Outbreak
A Kuwaiti livestock ship, without animals aboard, was being held off Australia’s west coast after six crew members tested positive for the new coronavirus, authorities said on Tuesday, heightening concerns over how arrivals by sea are handled.The Al Kuwait left the Middle East on May 7 and docked near the city of Perth on May 22 after telling the Australian immigration and agriculture authorities that some crew members had raised temperatures, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan…
Coronavirus-hit Ruby Princess Departs Australia
A cruise ship linked to a third of Australia’s coronavirus deaths has left the country after a month docked in local waters, the authorities said on Friday, as an emergency cabinet meeting was expected to ease some social distancing measures.The Ruby Princess, owned by Carnival Corp, has become a flashpoint of public anger after being allowed to unload thousands of passengers in Sydney without health checks on March 19.Hundreds of its passengers later tested positive to COVID-19…
Australian Police Take 'Black Box' off Cruise Ship in COVID-19 Homicide Probe
Australian police said on Thursday they have taken the “black box” of a cruise ship which disembarked hundreds of passengers infected with the coronavirus in Sydney, as part of a homicide investigation into the country’s deadliest infection source.The investigation got underway as the Australian authorities said the rate of new coronavirus infections hit its lowest number in three weeks and began arranging more flights to bring home citizens stranded abroad.The Ruby Princess cruise ship, owned by Carnival Corp, has become a flashpoint of public anger in Australia after authorities granted the
Australia Orders Two Cruise Ships to Leave ... Now!
Australia ordered two cruise ships to leave its waters on Thursday, after a liner that docked in Sydney Harbor last week became the primary source of infection in the country's coronavirus outbreak.Although well below levels elsewhere in the world, the pace of Australia's infections is starting to pick up speed, reaching nearly 2,800 cases and 13 deaths.The government of West Australia state said nobody would be permitted to disembark from the German-operated MV Artania after seven of 800 foreign passengers on board tested positive for the virus…
Australia Finds Wreck of First Allied Submarine to Sink in WW I
Australia has discovered the wreck of its first submarine off the coast of Papua New Guinea, authorities said on Thursday, resolving one of the country’s oldest naval mysteries after more than a century. The submarine, AE-1, was the first Allied vessel to sink during World War One, while patrolling for German warships in 1914, in circumstances that have never been established. The Australian Navy and several private bodies found the final resting place of the vessel’s 35 crew on their 13th attempt, Defence Minister Marise Payne told media.
Australian Port Sold for $7.3 bln to Consortium
A consortium of global and domestic funds, backed by investors including China Investment Corp, agreed to buy Australia's busiest port for a higher-than-expected A$9.7 billion ($7.3 billion), a sign that tough equity markets are helping fuel appetite for infrastructure. Australian leaders will also hope the deal shows they still welcome Chinese investment in infrastructure. The federal government last month blocked the sale of the country's biggest power network, Ausgrid, to state-owned State Grid Corp of China and Hong Kong-listed Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings on security concerns.
Qatar, China in $6.4 Bln Battle for Australian Freight Giant
Canada's Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO) is planning a fresh $6.4 billion bid for Australian port and rail firm Asciano (AIO.AX) with Qatar's sovereign fund, two sources told Reuters, widening the global battle for the haulage heavyweight. The willingness of Brookfield to raise its offer and Qatar Investment Authority's (QIA) entry as a potential co-investor underscore the immense appetite for Australian infrastructure, especially mining-exposed companies whose share prices have been battered by the commodities downturn. Asciano, which had a market capitalization of $4.3 billion a year ago, said on Tuesday it was dumping Brookfield's…
Australia Iron Ore Shipments to China Dip as Weather Shuts Port
Shipments of iron ore to China from Port Hedland, Australia, which handles a fifth of the world's seaborne trade, fell 17.6 percent in January from the previous month after a tropical cyclone closed the port temporarily, port data showed. Tropical Cyclone Stan made landfall as a Category 2 storm early Sunday about 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Port Hedland. The storm closed the port for 48.8 hours, Pilbara Ports Authority, which operates the facility, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Weather Impacted Australia Iron Ore China Liftings
Shipments of iron ore to China from Port Hedland, Australia, which handles a fifth of the world's seaborne trade, fell 17.6 percent in January from the previous month after a tropical cyclone closed the port temporarily, port data showed. Tropical Cyclone Stan made landfall as a Category 2 storm early Sunday about 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Port Hedland. The storm closed the port for 48.8 hours, Pilbara Ports Authority, which operates the facility, said in a statement on Wednesday. The disruption occurred as the appetite for iron ore in China, the top consumer of the steelmaking raw material, has declined amid a slowdown in the country's economic growth and a sharp downturn in its property sector.
Shipping Industry Faces Shake Up
As global shipping grapples with its worst downturn in 30 years, private equity firms are unwinding massive bets made on the sector in a move set to accelerate a restructuring of the shipping industry. Private equity invested tens of billions in global shipping after the 2008 financial crisis, but weaker Chinese demand and an oversupply of ships has driven down freight rates and caused firms to idle vessels and in some cases file for bankruptcy. At least five private-equity backed shipping firms are seeking share listings…
Infigen Energy Mulls Shedding U.S. Wind Farms
Australia under pressure to fix renewable energy target deadlock; 45 wind farm projects stalled. Australian wind farm operator Infigen Energy Ltd is exploring the sale of 18 U.S. wind farms, worth about A$500 million ($409 million), so they escape impact from the uncertain future of Australian state rebates for renewable energy firms. Infigen has hired advisers to consider ways of splitting U.S. assets from its six Australian wind farms, so consequences suffered by Infigen from a political deadlock over the rebates would not filter down to assets on the other side of the world, Managing Director Miles George told Reuters on Wednesday. "We have contemplated ... the possibility of separating our Australian and U.S. businesses so that the U.S.
Melbourne Box Pot Lining Up Bidders
Three of Australia's largest infrastructure funds plan to bid for the country's largest container terminal in a sale expected to fetch about A$5 billion ($4.27 billion) for Victoria state, a source with knowledge of the process said on Wednesday. The prospect of three bidders suggests Victoria, Australia's second most populous state, will reap a hefty price for the asset and encourage other Australian states looking to sell a combined A$130 billion of assets in the next 18 months.
Aussie Tug Engineers take Deal, Cancel Strike
Tug engineers withdrew plans to strike at Port Hedland, Australia's biggest iron ore port, tug operator Teekay Shipping said on Thursday, removing a threat to exports from BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. The Australian Institute of Marine & Power Engineers (AIMPE) a day earlier had given notice of a four-hour stoppage to come on Nov. 22, after rejecting an enterprise agreement offering additional annual leave and three annual 2 percent wage hikes. But Teekay said AIMPE has agreed to a new enterprise agreement and withdrew its notice of industrial action. It did not disclose terms of the new agreement. "The AIMPE have endorsed the proposed enterprise agreement, which will be provided to the engineers for their review and vote to approve it," Teekay said in a statement.
Origin Buys Karoon's Offshore Gas Interest For $800 Mln
Australian energy company Origin Energy Ltd said on Monday it will buy oil and gas explorer Karoon Gas Ltd's 40 percent stake in Poseidon, Browse Basin gas assets for up to $800 million. In a statement, Origin said the purchase gives it a strategic stake in one of Australia's biggest offshore gas discoveries. It plans to initially fund the deal through debt facilities but raise around A$1 billion ($930 million) through an equity raising some time after August. Melbourne-based Karoon said the sale gives it financial flexibility to advance other oil exploration programs.
Australia's Victoria state may sell two biggest ports
Australia's Victoria state government said it may sell Port of Melbourne, the country's largest container and general cargo port, continuing a rush by states to sell major assets to fund new infrastructure projects. Victorian Treasurer Michael O'Brien said the government will commission a scoping study into the potential sale of Port of Melbourne and a second port, in a deal local media said may net about A$5 billion ($4.5 billion). The study will be completed before the May state budget. State governments are selling ports, power stations and roads to fund billions of dollars worth of new infrastructure. New South Wales state sold Port Botany and Port Kembla a year ago for A$5 billion and hopes to sell Port of Newcastle in 2014 for an expected A$700 million.