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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Russia News

Putin Okays Loading Start at Yamal LNG

President Vladimir Putin launched the first loading of liquefied natural gas at the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Arctic (Photo: SCF Group)

President Vladimir Putin on Friday launched the first loading of liquefied natural gas at the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Arctic, which will further expand Russia's global energy reach. The Yamal project, which required investments of $27 billion, will allow Russia to fulfil a plan to double its share of the global LNG market by 2020 from around 4 percent now. The LNG was loaded onto the ice class tanker "Christophe de Margerie", named after the former head of France's energy major Total, who died in a plane crash in Moscow in 2014. Total holds a 20 percent stake in Yamal LNG.

Novatek, Marubeni, Mitsui agree on LNG hub in Kamchatka

Russia's Novatek said on Tuesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan's Marubeni and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines to explore options for a liquefied natural gas complex in Russia's Kamchatka region.   Novatek added that the action plan was to explore opportunities to establish an LNG transshipment and marketing complex at Kamchatka in Russia's far east.   Novatek plans to launch its first LNG plant on Russia's Yamal peninsula next month, to export supercooled gas both to Europe and Asia. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov)

USA Wins Admiral's Cup Sailing Regatta

Photo:  Indian Navy

The ​​eighth edition of ‘Admirals Cup’ Sailing Regatta concluded on Thursday, 07 December 2017 at a glittering closing ceremony at Marakkar Watermanship Training Centre (MWTC) on the banks of the picturesque Kavvai backwaters at Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala tonight. Team United States of America (USA) represented by Midshipman Peter Hogan and Midshipman Brittney Slook lead by Lieutenant Sarah Bull won the Admiral's Cup with their consistent performance across all races.

Novatek Starts Production at Yamal LNG

Photo: Yamal LNG

Russian energy firm Novatek  has announced that Yamal LNG has commenced producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the first LNG train, with the nameplate capacity of 5.5 million tons per annum. The first cargo loading is scheduled on 8 December 2017 at the Sabetta port using the first Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker named the “Christophe de Margerie”. The Chairman of Novatek's Management Board Leonid Mikhelson noted: "This event marks a milestone accomplishment for the Yamal LNG project. The commencement of LNG production begins a new chapter in our corporate history.

Hamburg 2015 Port Forecasts Revised Downward

Photo: Port of Hamburg

The Port of Hamburg Marketing Association has slashed its forecast for container volumes at Hamburg's port, a hub for eastern European trade, due to weakening growth in China and shrinking trade with Russia. The association said on Monday it now expects container volumes to fall 7 percent to 9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit containers) this year, compared with a previous forecast for 3 percent growth to 10 million TEUs. China is by far the biggest trade partner for the Hamburg port, accounting for almost 3 million TEUs in 2014.

Sistema Welcomes Efforts to Resolve Conflict with Rosneft

Russia's Sistema conglomerate said on Thursday it welcomes all efforts to resolve its legal conflict with Rosneft after the oil major filed a new, $2.2 billion, lawsuit seeking damages. "Sistema welcomes any and all efforts for the settlement of the conflict on conditions that would suit all sides," a spokesman for Sistema said. The lawsuit relates to the 2009-2014 dividends paid by Rosneft-controlled oil producer Bashneft, formerly owned by Sistema. Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Marubeni, NOVATEK Sign MoU for LNG Transshipment

LNG carrier. Photo: Total

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Marubeni Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Moscow with PAO NOVATEK, Russia's largest independent gas production and sales company, to conduct a joint feasibility study aimed at establishing an LNG transshipment and marketing complex in the Kamchatka area. This Project will create offshore infrastructure to transship LNG cargoes from ice-breaking LNG ships to standard LNG ships. The LNG will be produced in LNG projects NOVATEK is implementing in the Arctic region. The Project will ensure flexible LNG supply to the Asia-Pacific region.

Christophe de Margerie Moves 1st Yamal LNG Cargo

Photo: PAO Sovcomflot

On 8 December 2017, the icebreaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie completed her first loading at the Port of Sabetta, on the Yamal Peninsular, with her first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced at the Yamal LNG plant. The ceremony was attended by: the Russian President Vladimir Putin, together with Sergey Belousov, Aide to the President; Sergey Donskoy, Russia’s Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection among others. Vladimir Putin said: “This is a remarkable day for us all.

Russian Partners Agree Icebreaking OSV Constructions

Arctic drillship: File photo

Sakhalin Energy and Sovcomflot (SCF) inform they have agreed to extend their co-operation having signed a number of agreements for construction and long-term operation of support vessels for the Sakhalin-2 project. SCF explain that the vessels will be used as year-round personnel carriers and also as supply vessela for offshore platforms in the Sea of Okhotsk. In case of emergency, they will be deployed for personnel evacuation and oil spill response. It is intended that Russian…

Aldubaikhi Named Bahri’s Next CEO

Abdullah Aldubaikhi will take over as CEO at Saudi Arabia’s largest shipping company Bahri, effective January 1, 2018 (Photo: Bahri)

Saudi Arabian maritime transport and logistics company Bahri has appointed Abdullah Aldubaikhi as its new chief executive office. Aldubaikhi’s appointment, which takes effect January 1, 2018, comes as the company gears for a new phase of expansion following several months of growth, according to Bahri chairman, Abdulrahman M. Al-Mofadhi. Aldubaikhi joins Bahri from Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC), where he served as CEO for six years. He previously held senior management roles at several firms, including Afwaf Investment, Awalnet and DowLog Technology Company.

Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Looks for New Investor as Sanctions Bite

Arctech Helsinki shipyard (Photo: Eric Haun)

Russian state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) is looking for a new owner for its Arctech Helsinki shipyard as sanctions against the holding company hamper business, the head of the shipyard said on Tuesday. The shipyard is the world’s biggest builder of vessels that can navigate ice-covered waters, and it has expected more orders as melting sea ice opens the Arctic to more shipping, mining and oil drilling. However, following the Ukraine crisis and back-to-back East-West sanctions, Russian ownership has complicated the shipyard’s access to finance.

HMM, FESCO and CMA CGM Launch Joint CRS Loop

The Hyundai Unity, which was deployed to the new service, crossing the ocean. Photo HMM

Prior to the launch, HMM has been jointly operating two services ‘KRS (Korea Russia Service)’ and ‘KR2 (Korea Russia Service 2)’ with FESCO. HMM merged the two joint loops and broaden its service coverage to the South China and the Middle China, and changed the service name to CRS, which was also joined by a French carrier CMA CGM. The new weekly service turns in three weeks with three ships of 2,700-4,600 teus those were provided by each company. The service calls at Hong Kong, Chiwan, Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Busan, Vladivostok (Commercial Port), Vostochny, Busan, Hong Kong.

CaroTrans Adds Direct New York-St. Petersburg Service

CaroTrans, a leading global NVOCC (non-vessel operating common carrier) and ocean freight consolidator, announced a direct, all-water LCL service from New York to St. Petersburg, Russia. This fortnightly service will commence on November 23 and has a 21 day transit. Russia is a major global trade growth market with over 140 million consumers, many in an expanding middle class, making it an important U.S. export location. When shipping to St. Petersburg, the largest container port in Russia, exporters eliminate transshipment hub delays and the associated costs. CaroTrans’ team on the ground in St. Petersburg provides reliable, secure support and facilitates timely cargo availability, and the company’s U.S.-based Russia Trade Manager is positioned to coordinate dependable cargo moves.

Greenpeace Russia Vessel Detention: Dutch Government Bond Ready

Outside Russian detention building: Photo credit Greenpeace

The Dutch Foreign Ministry has finalised a bank guarantee of 3.6 million euros in compliance with a binding ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ordering Russia to release the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and the Arctic 30 protesters. "The Netherlands has now fulfilled its part of the Tribunal's binding order and Russia is obligated to also comply by releasing the ship and the Arctic 30, as the Tribunal so ordered. The Tribunal has ordered both Russia and the Netherlands to report back on progress with their compliance by December 2.

MOL Presidential Awards 2017 Announced

(Left) MOL President & CEO Junichiro Ikeda addresses the ceremony. (Right) Award recipients. Photo: MOL

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced that the company held the 2017 commendation ceremony for the "MOL Presidential Awards for Officers and Engineers 2017" on December 8. The awards are intended to recognize the ongoing safety-related contributions of MOL Group officers and engineers and recognize their key role, in cooperation with fellow seafarers and ship management companies, in ensuring the safe operation of vessels. The recipients share a commitment to the education and training of younger seafarers…

World’s First Ice-breaking LNG Carrier Christened

File Photo: DSME

The world`s first icebreaking liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier was named Christophe de Margerie in St. Petersburg, Russia. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, South Korea’s Ambassador to Russia Park Dae-bong and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) CEO Jung Sung-leep attended the naming ceremony for the country’s new carrier. The ship will be deployed for Russia’s national Far East resource development in the Yamal Peninsula, in the western part of Siberia. The icebreaking LNG carrier, 299 meters long and 50 meters wide, can carry 173,600 cubic meters of LNG.

HMM New Service in North China, Korea and Russia

Photo: Hyundai Merchant Marine

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) announces the launch of a new North China-Korea-Russia weekly service, under the name of ‘CRN (China Russia North Service)’. The CRN service covers the ports of ‘Qingdao-Shanhai-Ningbo-Pusan-Vladivostok-Vostochny-Pusan-Qingdao’ and will begin on March 31. HMM will deploy one container ship on the route, and FESCO will place two vessels on the route. HMM has been offering CRS (China Russia South Service) services on South China-Middle China-Korea-Russia in cooperation with FESCO and CMA-CGM.

US Closer to Imposing More Sanctions on Russia

US Secretary of State John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Thursday that the United States is drawing closer to imposing more sanctions on Russia by saying time was running out for Moscow to change its course in Ukraine. "The window to change course is closing," he told reporters. "(Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin and Russia face a choice. If Russia chooses the path of de-escalation ... all of us will welcome it. But if Russia does not, the world will make sure that the costs for Russia will only grow." (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Ukraine Suspends Gas Payments to Russia

Ukraine Suspends Gas Payments to Russia

Ukraine is suspending payments to Russia for gas deliveries until the conclusion of price talks, chief executive Andriy Kobolev said on Saturday. State-run Naftogaz has suspended payments to Russia amid increasing tensions in a standoff that has the potential to leave European Union states cut off from the Russian gas supplies on which they depend, according to international media reports. Russia has raised the gas price for Ukraine and claimed it owed Moscow USD 2.2B in unpaid bills.

Russian Application to Extend its National Arctic Boundaries

In 2014, Russia plans to submit an application for extension of the boundaries of the continental Arctic Shelf to the special UN Commission after modifying and reinforcing the application by the results of additional research, reports 'Arctic info'. Citing remarks by Denis Khramov, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia, 'Arctic info' says that Russia had already applied for extension of the territories in the Barents, Bering and Okhotsk seas, as well as in the Central Arctic Ocean. The Commission generally recognized the application as meeting the requirements but requested the Russian Federation to provide an additional proof that the ranges of Lomonosov and Mendeleev…

Greenpeace Arctic Protest: Opposing Views

Moscow repeatedly called on the Netherlands in the past 18 months to stop the unlawful actions of  Greenpeace's 'Arctic Sunrise' reports Arctic Info (Russia) citing  the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Aleksey Meshkov. The diplomat was commenting on the proceedings initiated by the Netherlands against Russia at the International Tribunal for the law of the sea of the United Nations International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea regarding the case against crew members of the Arctic Sunrise. According to 'Arctic info', assessments of other interested parties is ambiguous. A few days ago, the President of Finland noted that while he does not consider the accusation of piracy for the offenders to be right…

Russia Says Will React if U.S. Imposes New Sanctions

Russia will take counter measures if Washington imposes new sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday. The U.S. Congress has readied new sanctions on Russian weapons companies and investors in the country's high-tech oil projects, but U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to sign a corresponding bill into law. "We will not be able to leave that without an answer," Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying. He did not say what form of counter-measure Moscow might take. Relations between Russia and the United States are at their lowest since the Cold War because of Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March and its support for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Russia Plans Fuel Shipments to Syria from Crimea

Russia plans to supply Syria with 200,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per year via the Crimean port of Kerch, two trading sources told Reuters. The plans are a further sign of cooperation between the two countries despite hopes in the West that Russia might stop shielding President Bashar al-Assad from pressure to step aside. Moscow had been shipping significantly lower volumes of LPG to Syria via Kerch before Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014. The United States and the European Union, which say the seizure of Crimea violates international law, have imposed sanctions on individuals and business in Crimea, which include restrictions on use of the Kerch port. Russia is a staunch ally of Syria and an exporter of arms to Damascus.

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

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