European Union News

19 May 2020

Passenger Ferry LNG Conversion Project Kicks Off

Royal Niestern Sander held a keel laying ceremony for the new stern of the passenger ferry MĂĽnsterland, which will be converted to LNG propulsion. (Photo: Royal Niestern Sander)

Dutch shipyard Royal Niestern Sander has begun building a new aft for a passenger ferry that will be converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion for German operator AG Ems.The shipyard is designing and building a completely new stern section to replace the one existing on the 1986-built passenger ship Münsterland, which will be fited with dual fuel engines, LNG storage tanks, propulsion systems, all LNG installations, pipelines and other systems.Niestern Sander was awarded the contract to undertake the project in July 2019…

18 May 2020

Russian Pipe-laying Vessel Moors at Nord Stream 2 Hub in Germany

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A Russian pipe-laying vessel Academic Cherskiy which Moscow can use to finish laying pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas project, has moored near the German logistics hub in Mukran, Refinitiv Eikon tracking data showed on Monday.Led by the state gas company Gazprom, Nord Stream 2 had to suspend pipelaying works late last year, hit by fresh U.S. sanctions. The project is aimed at doubling existing undersea flows to Germany to 110 billion cubic meters per year.Cherskiy, bought by Gazprom in 2016, has sailed from the Russian Pacific port of Nakhodka where it was docked in December when the U.S.

15 May 2020

Interferry Welcomes Easing of Travel Restrictions

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Trade association Interferry says it welcomes the European Commission’s guidance on the gradual relaxation of travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic and relaunching of transportation links that will go into effect in advance of this summer’s travel and tourism season.“We welcome the growing signs in Europe and beyond that COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are starting to be eased,” says Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan. “The global ferry industry is prepared to contribute to…

07 May 2020

Cyprus Adopts Formal Crew Change Process

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The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) formally announced it has adopted a new process to facilitate crew changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crew changes for vessels are possible in Cyprus provided certain conditions are met. The relevant decrees issued by the Ministry of Health also permit the long-term stay in anchorage of vessels, including cruise ships (warm lay-up).Cyprus is actively supporting and implementing such measures, in support of recommendations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO)…

05 May 2020

French Wheat Shipments Remain High Despite Lockdown

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French soft wheat shipments outside the EU last month reached a four-year high for April, Refinitiv data showed, as exporters continued to ship high volumes during the coronavirus pandemic.Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the European Union totalled 1.56 million tonnes, the highest April volume since the 2015/16 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.The April volume was about 70,000 tonnes lower than non-EU soft wheat exports the previous month, which marked the highest monthly total so far in the 2019/20 July-June season.Exporters have faced transport an

01 May 2020

Malta Refuses to Let Migrant Ship Dock

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Malta plans to keep 57 rescued migrants aboard a private ship anchored just outside territorial waters until the European Union finds a way to rehouse them, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Friday.The migrants were plucked from a dinghy earlier this week inside Malta’s search and rescue zone by a commercial fishing vessel that had been chartered by the Maltese government to intercept possible asylum seekers.The group were subsequently transferred to a launch normally used for tourist harbour cruises…

28 Apr 2020

EU's Piracy Fight Continues Amid COVID-19 Crisis

(Photo: EU NAVFOR)

The European Union's counter-piracy military force said it continues to patrol and work with global partners to fight piracy at sea during the coronavirus pandemic. Seafarers face continuing threats from pirates and armed robbers, says the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB), who reported 47 attacks in the first three months of 2020, up from 38 in the same period last year. Pirates boarded 37 ships in the first quarter of 2020.EU NAVFOR said ATALANTA remains full mission capable and ready to deter…

21 Apr 2020

Wartsila Says Share of Renewable Energy Up Rapidly Amid COVID-19

Finnish ship technology and power-plant maker Wartsila said on Tuesday the coronavirus outbreak has caused the share of renewable energy in Europe's power production to increase rapidly.The pandemic has caused demand for electricity to fall across Europe, Wartsila said, according to data it collected and analysed.Countries such as Germany, Spain and Britain have had to temporarily shut down coal-fired power generation, causing the share of renewable energy to increase rapidly in the power mix."Take Germany last week, they actually had over 10 gigawatts of excess energy production because they were still running their coal-fired plants ...

20 Apr 2020

Japan Exports Slump as Coronavirus Hits Demand

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Japan's exports slumped the most in nearly four years in March as U.S.-bound shipments, including cars, fell at the fastest rate since 2011, highlighting the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.Monday's bleak data underscored the challenges Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government faces in dealing with a collapse in activity that is expected to send the global economy into its deepest slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s.After a jump in virus cases…

26 Mar 2020

EU to Launch New Libya Sea Patrols From April

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The European Union will launch a new Mediterranean naval and air mission in April to stop more arms reach warring factions in Libya, EU diplomats said on Thursday, with Greece agreeing to take in any migrants rescued at sea.The decision, which was delayed by divisions over migrants, followed warnings by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell that the bloc risked becoming irrelevant if it could not act, potentially leaving Libya's fate to Turkey and Russia."Greece has allowed disembarkation (of rescued migrants) in its ports…

23 Mar 2020

Western Supply Chains Buckle as Coronavirus Lockdowns Spread

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Freight carriers are struggling to deliver goods by land, sea or air as the coronavirus pandemic forces Western governments to impose lockdowns, threatening supplies of vital products including medicines into the most affected areas, such as Italy.While China's draconian steps to stop the spread of the virus are now allowing its economy slowly to come back online, supply chains are backing up in other parts of the world.Problems ranging from finding enough truck drivers to restrictions on seafarers and a lack of air freight are hitting the smooth flow of goods…

19 Mar 2020

Shipping Not Immune to a Pandemic -BIMCO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a pandemic. There is little doubt that this will have significant implications for the shipping industry. But to what extent? BIMCO expects that the strict containment measures imposed by governments around the world will result in substantially lower global economic growth and consequentially, lower demand for shipping. Container and dry bulk shipping are at the front line when it comes to feeling the fallout…

18 Mar 2020

BIMCO Revises 2020 Forecast

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The coronavirus pandemic is impacting global shipping demand for 2020 negatively. The speed of the virus spread makes it difficult to assess the full consequences. Nevertheless, we see a need to update our 2020 forecast to make some of this massive uncertainty tangible.What is going on in addition to the coronavirus pandemic?Geopolitical tensions that made the OPEC+ alliance break down, has subsequently made the crude oil tanker spot freight market erupt. The events that followed the breakdown - and those that are likely to follow…

17 Mar 2020

Baltic States Send Ships for Stranded Citizens

(File photo: Tallink)

Estonia and Latvia will send ships to bring back hundreds of their citizens stranded on the border between Germany and Poland, following Warsaw’s decision last week to shut its borders in response to the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.The three Baltic countries - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - have criticized Poland for preventing their citizens in transit from returning home.Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki came under fire over the move during a coronavirus videocall of all 27 national EU leaders on Tuesday during which they agreed to seal off Europe’s external borders as par

17 Mar 2020

EU Antitrust Regulators Suspend Fincantieri-Chantiers Probe

Photo courtesy of Fincantieri

European Union antitrust regulators have suspended their investigation into Fincantieri's bid for France's Chantiers de l'Atlantique while waiting for the Italian shipyard to provide requested data.The European Commission's website shows it halted the probe on March 13. Prior to that, it had been scheduled to rule on the case by April 17."This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties fail to provide, in a timely fashion, important information that the Commission has requested from them…

13 Mar 2020

EU Expected to Veto Fincantieri's Chantiers Bid

Photo: Fincantieri

Italian shipyard Fincantieri has not offered any concessions to head off EU antitrust concerns about its planned bid for France's Chantiers de l'Atlantique, giving regulators no choice but to block the deal, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.A veto by European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager would deal a serious blow to Italy's bid to create a European industrial champion in shipbuilding to better compete with Asian rivals.Fincantieri declined to comment.

11 Mar 2020

IMO Pushes for Cape Town Agreement

Image:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO) said that the he entry into force of  its Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety will be crucial for improved safety at sea for fishers and will support the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.According to a statement from the UN body, during a European Union High-level Ministerial Maritime Conference in Opatija, Croatia (10-11 March), participants including IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the urgent need to bring the Cape Town Agreement into force.During the event…

04 Mar 2020

Shipping Goods into Nigeria Costs More Than for African Peers

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It costs as much as five times more to ship goods into Nigeria than it does to deliver items via other African ports, consultancy SBM Intelligence said in a note on Wednesday.SBM tracked shipments from the European Union into Appapa, a key import hub in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, Durban in South Africa and Tema in Ghana over three months.The results showed that total costs to get items into Lagos are five times higher than in Durban and three times higher than in Tema.Local transport added the biggest amount, costing 10 times as much in Lagos compared with the other portsThe figure

26 Feb 2020

Livestock Carrier Queen Hind Refloated

Livestock carrier Queen Hind, which capsized with 14,000 sheep on board in November, is now at dock after refloating efforts concluded on Tuesday night. (Photo: GSP)

Operations to raise a livestock carrier that capsized in the Black sea off Romania in November came to a close on Tuesday night, said local marine services firm Gruup Servici Petoliere (GSP).The Palau-registered Queen Hind flipped onto its side shortly after leaving Romania's Midia port en route to Saudi Arabia at the end of November 2019. Its entire crew, most of them Syrians, were rescued. Only 180 of the estimated 14,000 sheep on board survived.The Queen Hind is now docked…

21 Feb 2020

LNG Bunkering Operations Triple in Spain in 2019

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Ship operators carried out 195 liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operations at Spanish ports in 2019, 135 more than in the previous year, Spanish authorities said on Friday.81,704 cubic metres of LNG was supplied to ships during the year.The upward trend continued in January 2020, with 35 operations supplying 12,055 cubic metres.Spain has seven LNG terminals, more than any other country in Europe. The terminals have been or are being adapted to allow them to provide small…

19 Feb 2020

France Wants Customs Controls in Irish Sea in Post-Brexit Talks

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France on Wednesday said it was imperative that negotiations over a future trade relationship between Britain and the European Union included customs checks in the Irish Sea.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson struck a divorce deal with the EU last October that leaves the United Kingdom's province of Northern Ireland inside the UK customs area but all EU procedures will apply to goods arriving there."There must be controls in the Irish Sea", France's junior minister for European…

06 Feb 2020

US Trade Deficit Narrows for First Time in Six Years

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The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, keeping the economy on a moderate growth path despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak business investment.The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods last year, with exports posting their first decline since 2016. President Donald Trump, who has dubbed himself “the tariff man…

05 Feb 2020

Capesize Index Turns Negative for the First Time Ever

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Capesize index plummets to -133, the first time ever in negative territory – is it all up from here?The Baltic Exchange Capesize Index (BCI) dropped to -133 index points on February 4, 2020, turning negative for the first time ever on January 31, 2020. The composite BDI index (BDI), which has excluded the more stable handysize segment since March 2018, also dropped on February 4, 2020 to settle at 453 index points.The BCI has been on a freefall through the entirety of December, but the descent started to pick up more steam during the past couple of weeks.

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