First Ever LNG Project in the Black Sea
According to an April 18 report from the Georgian Daily Independent Voice, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Romanian are jointly launching a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, designated as the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector (AGRI). The three governments regard their project as an element in the EU-planned Southern Corridor for Caspian gas to Europe. AGRI envisages transporting Azerbaijani gas by pipeline to Georgia’s Black Sea coast, liquefying it there, shipping the liquefied product by tankers to Romania’s coast, and delivering the re-gasified product into Romania’s pipeline system and onward to EU territory. (Source: Georgian Daily Independent Voice)
Gazprom Scraps Plan to Cut Gas Deliveries
Russia's Gazprom scrapped a plan to cut gas exports to Romania by 9 percent on Saturday and by 5 percent on Sunday, Romania's Energy Minister Razvan Nicolescu said. "Our (pipeline operator) Transgaz was notified by Gazprom's office in Sofia that gas deliveries will be in line with normal levels," Nicolescu told state news agency Agerpres. Gazprom had notified Romania of the cuts on Friday. (Reporting by Radu Marinas, editing by John Stonestreet)
Port Accident in Romania Kills Five
According to reports, five people were killed when a floating crane crashed and hit a tugboat in Romania's Black Port of Constanta. An inspector in Constanta said police and port emergency experts were investigating the cause of the accident, Romania's NineO'Clock daily reported Friday. The accident, which occurred Thursday, was the biggest in the busy freight port of Constanta in two years. Source: UPI
Lukoil Dismisses Money Laundering, Tax Evasion Claims
PJSC LUKOIL has strongly denied accusations of money laundering and tax evasion brought against Petrotel-LUKOIL and its employees by the Prosecution Office under the Board of Appeal of the city of Ploesti, Romania. LUKOIL has been operating on Romania’s territory since 1998 and is one of the biggest fuel-and-energy companies on its market. LUKOIL is a prompt payer to the state budget and a supplier of quality products to the Romanian consumers. LUKOIL intends to appeal against…
MOL Appoints Agents in Romania and Ukraine
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), one of the world's largest global multimodal transportation companies, announced the appointment of a new shipping agent in Romania and Ukraine. As of March 1, Amity Shipping will manage all MOL liner agency activities in Romania and the Ukraine.
Black Sea Boundary Delimitation
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued its decision in the maritime boundary dispute between Romania and Ukraine. The parties have disagreed over the boundaries of their respective continental shelves and exclusive economic zones in the Black Sea to the south and east of Serpents’ Island since the Ukraine became independent. The ICJ basically split the difference between the contending claims. Romania v. Ukraine, General List No. 132 (ICJ, 3 February 2009). (Source: Holland & Knight)
Romania Allocates Funds For Ship Maintenance
Romania's government reportedly allocated funds for the safe operation of ships belonging to state-run Navrom and Romline shipping companies and to rotate and repatriate their crews.
Romania and Britain Investigate Ship Deal
According to reports, Romanian and British anti-fraud officials said on Friday they were investigating a 2003 deal in which two used British naval ships were refurbished by defence company BAE Systems and sold to Romania. Romania's anti-graft watchdog said it launched an inquiry into the $214m deal to buy former Royal Navy type 22 frigates, HMS Coventry and HMS London, but did not specify which part of the deal was under investigation. It is said that British officials were looking into suspected corruption linked to the refurbishment deal for the ships, noting that in connection with its probe two people had been arrested and released without charge this week in London. Source: Reuters
U.S. Beefing up Black Sea Presence
The United States will strengthen its presence in the Black Sea region using part of a $1 billion fund promised to NATO allies on Russia's borders, and will continue to send warships to the area, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in Romania on Thursday. Hagel is the latest high-ranking American official to visit Europe since Russia's annexation of Crimea, as Washington looks to reassure allies jittery about Moscow's intentions in its former Cold War backyard. The tour coincides with a visit by President Barack Obama to Poland this week, when he promised to increase military support for eastern European NATO members, including a $1 billion fund to support and train the armed forces of NATO states.
Bunkering Shares Sold To Overseas Shipping Stevedoring
Romania's privatization agency, the State Ownership Fund (FPS), is reported to have sold its stake in bunkering company Navcom to Yemen's Overseas Shipping & Stevedoring Co.
Norwegians Buy Romanian Shipyard
Norwegian group Scandinor AS has signed a contract with Romania's main privatization agency, FPS, to acquire a majority stake in local shipyard Santierul Naval Braila. Scandinor is to acquire the State Ownership Fund's (FPS) full stake of 69.52 percent in Santierul Naval in a $9.3 million deal including investments spread over five years, FPS executive manager Alin Giurgiu said. He said the acquisition price represented around one third of the value of the deal, with investments worth some $6 million focusing on technology upgrades and environmental protection. Scandinor, Giurgiu said, will also take over Santierul Naval's debts, amounting to around $11.4 million, mainly to banks and suppliers. The yard designs, builds and repairs small- and medium-tonnage river- and sea-going ships.
Aker Brattvaag Acquires Romanian Yard
Norway’s Aker Brattvaag AS, a unit of Aker RGI signed a contract with Romania's main privatization agency to acquire a majority stake in a local shipyard. A statement from the State Ownership Fund (FPS) said that under the contract, the FPS sold its 69.999 percent stake in Santierul Naval Tulcea in a deal worth some $22.6 million, including investments. Two-year investments, mainly in technology and environmental protection, represents some 60 percent of the value of the deal. Under the deal, Aker also assumes the shipyard's debts, mainly to banks and suppliers, of $12.1 million. Santierul Naval Tulcea, based in the Danube port town of Tulcea, has a share capital of $6 million.
Multraship Buys Three More Tugboats from Damen
Multraship and Damen Shipyards Group agreed on three new ASD (Azimuth Stern Drive) Tugs, all for delivery to Multraship in 2015. After delivery in Vietnam, scheduled for the end of first-quarter 2015, two state-of-the-art ASD Tugs 3212 will operate for Multraship as sister vessels to the 83-ton bollard pull Multratug 19, which was built by Damen in Romania and delivered in 2012. As part of Multraship’s fleet expansion an ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid is scheduled to be delivered in Romania in first-quarter 2015.
Multraship Orders Two Damen ASD 2810 Tugboats
Multraship confirms its purchase of the two tugs now being constructed in Romania for delivery in June/July 2013. Contracts for the two tugs, to be named Multratug 26 and Multratug 27, were signed during the course of Multraship’s recent annual client gathering in Terneuzen. Multraship managing director Leendert Muller said, “The new tugs will be mostly engaged in harbour towage activities in the Zeeland Seaports and Antwerp areas. In addition to their primary duties, they will also be on standby…
Training Vessel for Royal Navy of Oman Constructed at Damen
The Ministry of Defense in Oman has awarded Damen Shipyards Group a contract for the construction of a Sail Training Vessel (STV). The 87-metre square rigged, three-masted steel clipper and will take up her role as flagship. In addition to its key role of training young Omani navy cadets and officers, the new clipper will be deployed in a distinct diplomatic role and emphasize Oman’s centuries-old maritime tradition. Due for delivery in August 2014, the ship will replace the RNO’s current RNOV Shabab Oman and will be in the RNO Fleet. In March (2013) the ship’s keel laying ceremony took place at Damen Shipyards Galati (Romania). This was conducted by Rear Admiral Al Raisi, the RNO’s commander-in-chief. The RNO has an eight-strong overseeing team stationed in Romania.
Scorpio Bulkers Continue Newbuilding Spending Spree
Scorpio Bulkers inc. announce newbuilding agreements for 3 Capesize dry bulk vessels for an aggregate of US$162-million from the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. (DSME). The three Capesize dry bulk carriers of 180,000 dwt each are to be built at DSME's subsidiary facility Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries S.A. in Romania. All these 180,000 dwt ships are to be built in Romania and are of the same specification with the first two to be delivered in Q4, 2014 and the remaining vessel later in Q1, 2016. About Scorpio Bulkers Inc. Scorpio Bulkers Inc.
Daewoo Shipbuilding unlocks $2.6 bln Bailout
Bondholders at final meetings agree to debt-to-equity swap; shipbuilder needs about $400 mln in operating funds by April-end. South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd has won near unanimous agreement from bondholders to swap their debt for equity, meeting a condition that unlocks a $2.6 billion bank bailout for the world's biggest shipbuilder. Daewoo won approval from over 96 percent of bondholders at two meetings on Tuesday and three on Monday, with attendance exceeding 78 percent.
SNMCMG2 Completes Third Black Sea Deployment
Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) has completed its third deployment into the Black Sea under the command of Captain Ramazan Kesgin, Turkish Navy. SNMCMG2 started its deployment on July 8 in support of NATO’s assurance measures regarding Alliance resolve and commitment to collective defense, and to enhance maritime security in the region. SNMCMG2 included the flagship TCG CEZAYIRLI GAZI HASAN PASA (Turkey) and the mine counter-measures vessels TCG EDINCIK (Turkey), ESPS TURIA (Spain) and the ROS SLT. ALEXANDRU AXENTE (Romania).
ABS Creates Black Sea Technical Advisory Committee
More than 40 representatives from the shipping industry attended the inaugural meeting of the ABS Black Sea Technical Advisory Committee in Istanbul last week. The invitational Committee is formed from a wide range of senior representatives drawn from shipowners, shipbuilders, designers, vendors and academic and industry organizations domiciled in Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. ABS maintains an extensive global technical committee structure which provides a forum for industry and the class society to exchange research and ideas that guide the refinement of the existing ABS Rules and provide guidance on future areas of technical research and standards development supportive of industry needs.
ClassNK Holds PrimeManagement Seminars
ClassNK has, for the first time, held ClassNK PrimeManagement seminars in Europe. The seminars convened in Constanta, Romania, on 24 October and in Split, Croatia, on 26 October 2012. More than 70 participants attended each event. Croatia and Romania are among the leading suppliers of seafarers to the global fleet, providing many officers to Japanese flag LNG vessels and VLCCs. The seminars were held with the full support of the Croatian and Romanian crewing associations and were attended by representatives of local shipping companies, government officials, maritime education and training institute officials, marine consultants and others.
ClassNK Authorized for Romanian Surveys
The Japanese classification society has been authorized by the Romanian Naval Authority to carry out Romanian Government Surveys. The agreement allows ClassNK to perform surveys for SOLAS, MARPOL, Load Line and other international conventions, as well as perform audits and issue certificates to Romanian flagged vessels on behalf of the Romanian Government. With the authorization from Romania, ClassNK is now authorized to perform surveys and audits on behalf of 15 Flag Administrations in the EU, and a total of 108 Flag Administrations throughout the world.
Bulgaria Will Not Join Any NATO Black Sea Fleet After Russian Warning
Bulgaria's prime minister said on Thursday he would not join a proposed NATO fleet meant to counter Russian forces in the Black Sea as he did not want a war there, a day after Moscow warned against any build-up. Boiko Borisov said he did not want to see frigates sailing past the tourist resorts, at a joint press conference with President Rosen Plevneliev who described Bulgaria as a peaceful country. Tensions between Russia and the alliance have risen, particularly since the Ukraine crisis and Turkey's downing of a Russian jet in November. Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, has its own Black Sea Fleet based at Sevastopol.
VARD Wins Offshore Vessel Order
Vard Holdings Limited, a designer and builder of offshore and specialized vessels, said it has secured a new contract for the design and construction of one offshore vessel for an undisclosed international customer. The new offshore vessel is designed by Vard Design in Ålesund, Norway. With the hull to be constructed at Vard Braila in Romania, outfitting and delivery is scheduled from Vard Langsten in Norway in 2017. As of September 30, 2015, the group had 31 vessels in its order book, 18 of which will be of VARD’s own design.