Toby Sterling News

27 Apr 2020

Dutch Students Sail Home Across the Atlantic Due to Coronavirus

© Alena Yakusheva / Adobe Stock

A group of 25 Dutch high school students arrived back in the Netherlands in a two-mast schooner on Sunday, after airline restrictions left them with little choice but to help sail it home from the Caribbean.The group, aged 14-17, had been halfway through a six week sail-study program in the region on board the "Wylde Swan", which was built in 1920. But by mid-March, it appeared they could no longer fly home from Cuba as planned.Organizers decided the ship, including 12 experienced sailors and three teachers…

09 Mar 2020

Amsterdam's Boats Go Electric Ahead of 2025 Diesel Ban

© Sergii Figurnyi / Adobe Stock

The century-old Amsterdam canal boat Gerarda Johanna looks like a classic with wood paneling, but beneath its floorboards lies a high-tech underbelly: rows of lithium ion batteries, 66 in all, with an electric drive train powering its propeller.The boat is part of a push by Amsterdam’s new Green Party mayor to ban diesel engines from the center’s ancient canals by 2025, helping the city’s efforts to combat climate change.The transition among commercial vessels is well underway…

03 Mar 2020

Amsterdam's Boats Go Electric Ahead of 2025 Diesel Ban

The century-old Amsterdam canal boat Gerarda Johanna looks like a classic with wood paneling, but beneath its floorboards lies a high-tech underbelly: rows of lithium ion batteries, 66 in all, with an electric drive train powering its propeller.The boat is part of a push by Amsterdam's new Green Party mayor to ban diesel engines from the center's ancient canals by 2025, helping the city's efforts to combat climate change.The transition among commercial vessels is well underway, with 75% of the 550 on the city's water qualifying as emissions free, according to city spokesman Wouter Keuning.Canal boats were a natural fit to go first. They are Amsterdam's most popular tourist attraction…

03 Jan 2019

Chemicals Found on Dutch Beach after Container Spill

(Photo: Coast Guard Netherlands)

A load of dangerous chemicals that fell off one of the world's largest container ships into the North Sea washed up on a Dutch beach on Thursday, and more debris was expected to land overnight, officials said.The Dutch Defence Ministry said the loss of 270 containers from the freighter MSC Zoe on Wednesday, some of them thought to contain hazardous chemicals, was one of the biggest incidents of its kind, they said.It was unclear how many of the containers sank to the sea bottom…

02 Jan 2019

Boxship Loses Containers in North Sea, Items Wash up on Dutch Islands

File Image: MSC ZOE / © MarineTraffic.com

Dozens of containers with items including flat-screen televisions washed up on the Dutch islands of Terschelling and Vlieland after a vessel lost its cargo in heavy seas, a report by RTL Nieuws said, citing a Dutch coast guard.The RTL report said that up to 200 containers may have fallen off the Panamanian-flagged MSC ZOE in rough weather.RTL showed treasure hunters looking at an array of items that have washed up on shore of the islands, including light bulbs and televisions. Reporting by Toby Sterling

28 Aug 2018

Gunvor Halts Refinery Upgrade for New Shipping Fuels

© corlaffra / Adobe Stock

Global energy trader Gunvor Group has put on hold plans to upgrade its Rotterdam refinery that intended to make the plant more competitive ahead of new global rules on shipping fuel quality, it said on Tuesday, citing market conditions.Global oil and shipping companies are looking at options to cope with the new standards that come into effect in 2020.The U.N. International Maritime Organization (IMO) will ban ships using fuel with a sulphur content higher than 0.5 percent, compared to 3.5 percent now…

03 Apr 2018

Macquarie, Goldman Sachs to Buy HES International

Infrastructure funds managed by Macquarie and Goldman Sachs have agreed to buy Dutch port terminals operator HES International from owners Riverstone and The Carlyle Group, they said on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed. Reuters reported in February that Macquarie and Goldman funds were poised to buy HES for around 2 billion euros ($2.45 billion). HES is one of the largest diversified port terminals businesses in Europe with 18 dry and liquid bulk terminals.   Reporting by Toby Sterling

16 Feb 2018

Rotterdam Port CEO "preparing for the worst" with Brexit

File Image: The Shell Refinery in the Port of Rotterdam (CREDIT: PoR)

The Port of Rotterdam is bracing for a British exit from the European Union without any deal on customs, and looking at measures such as hiring 100 extra customs agents and dozens of fresh produce inspectors. CEO Allard Castelein said he had had two meetings in the past week with "policy makers, the cabinet, the government and supporting officials about the consequences" of a so-called "hard" Brexit, which would move Britain away from EU rules. "If you have 407 days left, then you don't have time to embrace hypotheses that it will turn out pretty good in the end," he told reporters.

08 Nov 2017

SBM Offshore: The Cost of Corruption Rises

Image: © niroworld / AdobeStock

Marine engineering group SBM Offshore said a Brazilian investigation into its role in corruption cases had not been resolved and set aside an additional $238 million provision on Monday to cover costs from an unexpected U.S. inquiry. The Dutch company has also been forced to suspend its involvement in tenders with Brazilian oil company Petrobras , a major customer. Shares fell 10 percent to 13.96 euros at 0930 GMT, wiping out gains made this year when investors believed the builder of floating oil and gas platforms had settled the issue.

27 Jun 2017

Cyber Attack Hits 17 APM Container Terminals

Photo: Dick Sellenraad / Port of Rotterdam

Seventeen shipping container terminals run by APM Terminals have been hacked, including two in Rotterdam and 15 in other parts of the world, Dutch broadcaster RTV Rijnmond reported on Wednesday. APM Terminals is a subsidiary of shipping giant Maersk , which has confirmed it is suffering from a cyber attack. APM's website was difficult to reach and phones at its headquarters in The Hague and offices in Rotterdam went unanswered. A spokeswoman for the company in Copenhagen confirmed its systems were "impacted" as part of Maersk's IT infrastructure.

05 Dec 2016

Fugro's Shares Sink after Boskalis Trims Holding

File photo: Fugro

Shares in Dutch deep-sea prospector Fugro fell 4.5 percent on Monday after larger rival Boskalis announced that it had trimmed its holding in the company. A statement from dredging and marine engineering company Boskalis said that its holding in Fugro now stands at 24.9 percent. Boskalis had built a stake of as much as 28.6 percent at the end of 2015 in what was widely seen as a first step towards buying Fugro. Boskalis also took Fugro to court in an attempt to strip away some of the company's poison pill defenses but lost its case in May.

26 Sep 2016

The Hague to Arbitrate East Timor-Australia Maritime Dispute

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague will oversee a compulsory arbitration between East Timor and Australia on their maritime boundary, it said on Monday, rejecting Australian objections. East Timor asked for the process which could decide on which side of the border lies a large oil and gas field over which the two countries have a revenue-sharing agreement. The island nation said Australian espionage on its diplomats rendered recent agreements between them flawed. Australia has resisted negotiating a permanent border until 2056 at the earliest. The conciliation process will take place behind closed doors over the next year, the court said. (Reporting by Toby Sterling

05 Mar 2015

Port of Rotterdam 2014 Profit Dips

The Port of Rotterdam Authority said on Thursday its net profit for 2014 fell 4.9 percent to 215 million euros ($237 million) on higher financing costs. Europe's largest port has been investing for years in the construction of "Maasvlakte 2," a 1000 hectare extension, at an estimated total cost of 2.9 billion euros. The port said 2014 sales rose 3.1 percent to 660 million euros, as land lease revenues rose 5 percent to 337.5 million euros. Revenues from seaport duties were also higher, up 1.2 percent in line with a previously reported 1 percent rise in traffic by weight at the port. In all, the port received 445 metric tons of goods in 2014 versus 440 metric tons in 2013. Rotterdam Port is 70 percent owned by the city of Rotterdam and 30 percent owned by the Dutch state.

09 Mar 2016

Boskalis Profits Fall, Fleet Cut on Weak Oil

Photo: Boskalis

Marine construction company Boskalis expects a drop in net profit this year as depressed commodity prices hit demand for oil-related infrastructure, it said on Wednesday. Its shares fell 10 percent to 32.42 euros in early trading. "Volumes and prices are under pressure, which is also translating into our order book," Chief Executive Peter Berdowski said in a statement. Boskalis's order book fell to 2.49 billion euros ($2.7 billion) at the end of 2015 from 3.29 billion in December 2014. "In addition, we are taking a critical look at reducing the cost of the global office network," it said.

29 Apr 2015

Fugro Cut Costs on Market Downturn

Sales down 2.1 percent, order backlog falls 11 percent. Dutch marine services company Fugro said on Wednesday it would further cut costs and reduce the number of ships in its fleet in light of the continuing downturn in the oil market affecting its customers. The company reported a 2.1 percent fall in sales to 594 million euros ($652 million) for the first quarter of 2015 from the same period a year ago. It said its order backlog for the remainder of 2015 has fallen by 11 percent to 1.61 billion euros. "The drop in backlog however is a clear signal of the continuing downturn in the oil and gas market," CEO Paul van Riel said in a trading update. "In light of oil and gas market developments and reduced visibility, we have decided to implement additional cost reduction measures," he said.

12 May 2016

Shell Bids for Dutch Offshore Wind Farm

Royal Dutch Shell is participating in a consortium bidding in a Dutch government tender to build two 350 megawatt wind farms off the Netherlands' southern coast.   Shell, bidding together with energy company Eneco and contractor Van Oord NV, will use turbines built by Vestas if its bid is successful, the companies said in a joint statement. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Susan Thomas)

24 Sep 2015

World Court Hears Boliva-Chile Dispute Over Sea Access

The International Court of Justice said on Thursday it will continue to hear a case brought by Bolivia against Chile seeking to force its neighbour to enter negotiations to grant Bolivia unfettered access to the Pacific Ocean. Chile had asked the court, also known as the World Court, to issue a preliminary finding that it has no jurisdiction to hear the case. But the court rejected that request in a 14-2 ruling. The decision does not mean that Bolivia will win its case. It means that the proceedings, which are years away from a final decision, will continue.   (Reporting by Toby Sterling)

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