Marine Link
Friday, June 22, 2018

Lebanon News

Israel Bolsters Navy to Protect Offshore Oil & Gas

An Israeli Navy boat patrolling in the Gulf of Eilat Israel (AdobeStock 067097)

Offshore energy platforms a potential target; Israel accepting bids on 24 new exploration blocks. Israel is boosting spending on its navy to better protect offshore oil and gas deposits and secure a large maritime zone that abuts that of its neighbour and enemy, Lebanon. The navy asked in 2013 for an increase in its budget of $700 million to build up its systems and $100 million annually to maintain them, though the defence ministry declines to say how much it has since received.

Israeli Drone Crashes near Lebanon's Port of Tripoli

Image: Lebanese Army

Lebanese Army officials say an Israeli drone crashed in the waters off Tripoli on Saturday, reports Reuters. “At around 8:30 am (0530 GMT), a drone belonging to the Israeli enemy went down in the port of Tripoli, and the army has taken the necessary measures,” the Army command said in a statement, without elaborating. A security official said the pilotless aircraft crashed into the sea. Photos showed a Jewish star and Hebrew writing on the aircraft, which was basically intact although slightly damaged when removed from the water. There was no comment from Israel.

Lebanon Plans for Floating LNG Plant

Lebanon is planning to establish a floating Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) plant to feed natural gas directly to the country's power stations. Lebanon has been trying to adopt an alternative energy program for years, by diversifying its fuel sources and reducing its dependence on imported oil. With the government shouldering the mounting losses of ElectricitŽ du Liban - which meets Lebanon's annual energy consumption requirements using oil imports - the need to switch to switch to gas has become even more pressing. As part of the new energy strategy, Lebanon plans to build a natural gas pipeline along the coast to feed all its power plants. Up to 2004 the government did a lot of preparatory work to establish an off-shore national gas transmission pipeline from the North to the South.

CMA CGM Strengthens its Presence in Lebanon

Image: CMA CGM Group

The CMA CGM Group upgrades its Lebanese service by adding a call in Beirut on its EPIC line, joining North Europe to Indian sub-continent, and on its MEX line, joining the Mediterranean to Asia. "We are pleased to announce that starting July 27th the Port of Beirut will be called each week by two of its most emblematic lines. Those lines complete the Group's offer in Lebanon," says the release. The CMA CGM Group provides producers new solutions for imports and fruit and vegetable exports to the Arab Gulf, the Red Sea and the Indian sub-continent.

Cruise Ship to Be Used to Evacuate Americans From Lebanon

A small cruise ship, the Orient Queen, has been chartered by the U.S. government to evacuate Americans from war-torn Lebanon and ferry them about 130 miles to the nearby island of Cyprus, the Pentagon announced July 17th. The Lebanese owned cruise ship, which can carry up to 750 passengers, is expected to arrive in Beirut on Tuesday and will be escorted in its evacuation mission by a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, the USS Gonzalez. The cruise ship is expected to make its initial evacuation crossing from Beirut to Cyprus later Tuesday. Sources said the ship probably would take the evacuees to the southern coastal port of Larnaca, which is only a few miles from Larnaca International Airport, the island's main international gateway.

U.S. and British Navies Aid Evacuation Efforts

The International Tribune has reported that a five-ship United States naval group and a British flotilla were en route to Lebanon today to aid in evacuation efforts. The Navy said it was sending a strike group led by the amphibious-assault ship Iwo Jima to assist in the departure of some of the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon. The ships have hospital facilities, and carry 2,200 marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. That unit includes a helicopter squadron that has already ferried scores of Americans to safety from Beirut, beginning with children, the elderly and those with medical problems. The marine unit is “special operations-capable,” the Navy said.

Admiral: Navy Task Force Ready for Any Contingency in Lebanon

While U.S. authorities in Cyprus are expecting to evacuate at least 5,000 Americans from Lebanon, they are preparing for any contingency, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said July 18. Vice Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, who also commands the U.S. 5th Fleet, briefed Pentagon reporters from his headquarters in Bahrain. Nine U.S. Navy ships are converging on Lebanon from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and from U.S. European Command. The European Command ships are arriving in the "joint operating area" already, Walsh said. The CENTCOM ships are expected over the next few days. DoD also has contracted with the Greek-flagged Orient Queen to evacuate Americans from the Lebanese capital.

Iwo Jima ESG to Assist in Evacuation Efforts

U.S. Navy photo by Lithographer Shanika L. U.S. Sailors and Marines from the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) have been directed to assist in the authorized departure of American citizens from Lebanon. The U.S. Embassy in Lebanon has requested military assistance to help American citizens who wish to depart Lebanon to leave in a secure and orderly manner. Commander, Task Force 59, Marine Brig. Gen. Carl Jensen, is in Cyprus directing military efforts to provide support to the Embassy. The ESG and MEU are operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations and expect to be in place to provide assistance later this week.

US Navy Ship Anchors Off Coast of Lebanon

The USS Nashville anchored off the coast of Lebanon on July 20 to receive some 1,200 Americans fleeing fighting to take them to Cyprus. The Nashville was deployed as the United States and other countries ramp up their evacuation operations from the war-torn country. Early on July 20, some 900 Americans arrived safely in Cyprus aboard a luxury cruise ship the Orient Queen. Around 8,000 of the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon have asked to be evacuated. The Nashville was one of several Navy ships that headed to Lebanon late July 19 to assist with the evacuation. Most evacuees are leaving by sea as officials from several countries deemed the overland route to Syria too dangerous and Israel knocked Beirut's airport out of service last week by bombing its runways. (Source: washingtonpost.com)

Weapon-smuggling Ship Held in Lebanon

The Lebanese Army recently confiscated weapons on board a ship carrying used cars in the port of Tripoli, according to a news report in Lebanon's 'The Daily Star'. While the port of origin and the ship’s final destination remain unknown, security sources said the Lebanese Army found weapons in one of the used cars aboard the vessel. The confiscated weapons included assault rifles, and the sources said the army was also working on dismantling heavy and medium weapons. The news comes one week after the Lebanese Army intercepted a ship carrying weapons allegedly bound for Syria. Damascus says Tripoli is a hotbed of support for the Syrian opposition and complains about arms being smuggled from the area into Syria.

Effort Underway to Assist in Lebanon Oil Spill

An oil storage unit at a power plant in Jiyyeh, 30 km south of Beirut, sustained damage between July 13 and July 15. Precise details of the incident are yet to emerge. Some 10,000 tons of oil escaped and there is potential altogether for up to 35,000 tons to be spilled. The Lebanese coastline 70-80 km north of the power plant – approximately a third of the Lebanese coastline – has been affected. These areas are composed of sandy beaches, rocky beaches, fishing ports and marinas. At the global level, IMO, referring to the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (the OPRC Convention), is coordinating the international effort to assist Lebanon to respond to the oil spill…

UN, Agencies to Help Lebanon Clear Spill

The United Nations and maritime agencies promised help to Lebanon to clean up an oil slick caused by Israeli bombing during the monthlong fighting. The spill has been described as Lebanon's worst-ever environmental disaster, and experts say it could take up to a year to clean it up at a cost of more than $65m. The slick, according to UN estimates, was caused by the bombing of a power station near Beirut July 13-15, spilling about 15,000 tons of oil into the sea - threatening marine life and the local fishing and tourism industries. Officials from IMO, the UN Environment Program, or UNEP, and the European Union said they would appeal for international financial assistance to contain the spill. Source: CNews

Ship Seized Carrying Arms for Syria

Syria's ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali expressed his government's gratitude to the Lebanese Army and security apparatuses for seizing the ship suspected of smuggling weapons for the Syrian rebels, the National News Agency (NNA) informed the official Chinese News Agency. Lutfallah II, a Sierra Leonean-flagged vessel was intercepted by the Lebanese Navy on April 27. Weapons were found aboard its three containers. As a result, 21 people were charged and 14 are in custody. "However, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in the words of their own foreign ministers, announced backing the (Syrian) fighters and the opposition," he added.

Oil Prices Rise on Supply Cuts, Tensions

© marrakeshh / Adobe Stock

Oil prices rose nearly 1 percent on Thursday, supported by supply cuts by major exporters as well as continuing concern about political developments in Saudi Arabia. Brent crude oil was up 59 cents or 0.9 percent to $64.08 a barrel by 11:30 a.m. (1630), still close to Tuesday's intra-day high of $64.65, which was the highest since June 2015. U.S. light crude was up 46 cents or 0.8 percent at $57.27, just shy of this week's more than two-year high of $57.69 a barrel. Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude exports by 120…

Lebanon Vows to Protect Maritime Borders from Israel

© Loes Kieboom / Adobe Stock

Lebanon vowed to protect its maritime borders from Israeli threats, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said on Wednesday. "Lebanon will use all available methods to fend off the Israeli aggression that was announced today," he said in televised comments. Israel described as "very provocative" a Lebanese offshore oil and gas exploration tender in disputed territory on the countries' maritime border, and urged international firms not to bid. Lebanese President Michel Aoun described the comments as "a threat".   Reporting by Ellen Francis

Almarin Buoys Reach New Markets

(Photo: Almarin)

Almarin navigation buoys are being installed in a growing number of markets both in Europe and further afield, proving the effectiveness of their simple reliable design with the use of high quality materials manufactured in Europe. In the Léman lake, border between France and Switzerland, buoys have been installed to mark a floating containment boom in the estuary of Rhone river, nearby Port Valais. The Balizamar buoys used in this case were adapted by the customer for this application.

Lebanon Will Use Energy Block Disputed by Israel

Lebanese Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil vowed on Friday there would be full exploration in offshore energy Block 9, part of which lies in waters disputed by neighbouring Israel. Lebanon said on Friday it had signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production contracts for two energy blocks. A consortium of France's Total, Italy's Eni and Russia's Novatek signed contracts for two of the five blocks that Lebanon put up for tender. Israel and Lebanon have exchanged threats and condemnation over the tender, amid rising tensions over territorial and marine boundaries.   Reporting by Ellen Franci

Lebanon Rejects U.S. Proposal on Disputed Waters with Israel

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told a U.S. envoy on Friday that Lebanon rejects current proposals over the disputed marine borders with Israel, state media said. U.S. diplomats have been mediating between Lebanon and Israel over tensions including an Israeli border wall and Lebanon's decision to begin exploring for offshore energy near a disputed patch of water, officials said. Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State David Satterfield also met Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Friday. "What is proposed is unacceptable," Lebanon's NNA cited Berri as saying in a meeting with Satterfield. This was an apparent reference to a maritime demarcation line proposed by U.S. diplomat Frederic Hof in 2012.

Kalmar Bags Gulftainer Order

Kalmar T2 terminal tractor Photo Cargotec

Kalmar signed an agreement with Gulftainer Lebanon SAL to supply six Kalmar T2 terminal tractors and one Kalmar DCF80-45E7 empty container handler. The order was booked in Cargotec's 2016 third quarter order intake and the first delivery will take place in October 2016. The rest of the order will be delivered during the first quarter of 2017. Established in 1976, Gulftainer is a privately owned, independent port management and third-party logistics company based in the United Arab Emirates.

EPE SA Wins Lebanese Contract, Oil Spill Cleanup

After several successful environmental projects in Lebanon, Environmental Protection Engineering S.A. (EPE SA ) recently won an international bid for offers and has been awarded a contract from the Higher Relief Commission of Lebanon (HRC) to provide oil spill cleanup services for the Lebanese coastline. The signature of the contract was held under the auspices of his Excellency Mohammad Rahal, Minister of Environment of Lebanon. Dr.Vassilios Mamaloukas-Frangoulis, Director of Marine Environment Protection Dept. represented EPE SA, whereas General Yehia Raad, Secretary General, signed on behalf of the HRC. Rahal highlighted the fact that the Lebanon oil spill cleanup project has reached its final phase with this project financed by a donation from the Norwegian Government.

IRClass Authorised RO for Oman, Nigeria, Lebanon flags

Vijay Arora, Joint Managing Director. Photo IRClass

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), has obtained authorisation to act as ‘Recognised Organisation’ (RO), to carry out statutory survey, audit and certification on behalf of Nigeria, Oman and Lebanon flag states. With this developmental progress to-date, IRClass has been approved as a RO by 29 flag registries across the globe. The Middle East and Africa, among the fastest growing regions in the world, is a key gateway into the region for IRClass. Nigeria, Oman and Lebanon all have important maritime links to the Middle East.

US Navy to Commission Amphibious Transport Dock Ship Portland

Official U.S. Navy file photo.

The Navy will commission its newest amphibious transport dock, the future USS Portland (LPD 27), during a 10 a.m. PDT ceremony Saturday, April 21, at the Port of Portland, Marine Terminal 2 in Portland, Oregon. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Bonnie Amos, wife of the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, retired Gen. James F. Amos, serves as the ship's sponsor. "USS Portland enters service in a period of dynamic security challenges…

Lebanese NGO “KAYANY” Bags CMA CGM Corporate Foundation 2016 Prize

Photo: CMA CGM

On Thursday, December 22, the President of CMA CGM Corporate Foundation, Mrs. Naïla Saadé, handed over the 2016 Prize of the Corporate Foundation to Mrs. Nora Joumblatt, founder and president of the NGO “KAYANY” at CMA CGM head office in Beirut. Founded in 2013, the Lebanese NGO “KAYANY”, which means “my existence”, aims at providing schooling and psychosocial support to the most vulnerable Syrian children refugees in Lebanon. Since its inception, “Kayany” has been a key player in administering free and accessible schooling to over 3,000 boys and girls, aged between 6 and 14.

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