China reduces port charges

China’s Ministry of Transport and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has announced a reduction in port charges.
The authorities released the Notice to Adjust Port Charges and Port Security Charges, which prohibits port operators from imposing fees for services other than
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Invasive Species Risk for New Suez Canal

By MarEx 2015-08-06 04:21:23

Two New Zealand academics have raised concerns about the increased potential for invasive species transfer with the opening of the new Suez Canal.

Professors Chad Hewitt and Marnie Campbell from the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato, along with several overseas colleagues, have been lobbying for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment to be made of the environmental impact the new canal will have.

The massive $8.4 billion project – linking the Red and Mediterranean seas – consists of a new 35 kilometer section running parallel with the original canal. It will allow ships to sail in both directions at the same time over much of its length and is expected to more than double Egypt’s annual revenue from the Suez Canal from $US5 billion to $12.5 billion.

Professors Hewitt and Campbell say hundreds of invasive species have already made the 195-kilometre journey from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea since the canal was first opened in 1869 and increasing the size of the canal would only exacerbate the problem.

Many of these species have displaced indigenous species and caused serious impacts to the Mediterranean ecosystem along with impacting on commercial activities, recreation and human health.

Building a new canal had provided an opportunity to take stock of the situation and consider alternatives, but no environmental assessments had been done.

“There was the opportunity to ask the question, is there something we can do about this?” Professor Hewitt says.

The absence of any environmental assessment breaches several international agreements, including the Barcelona Convention, which aims to protect the marine and coastal environments of the Mediterranean, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which requires states to ensure they do not damage the environment of other states and calls for environmental impact assessments to be undertaken for activities likely to have adverse environmental impacts, and the Espoo convention, which obliges parties to assess the environmental impact of certain activities at an early stage of planning.

Professor Campbell says their interest in a project on the other side of the world has been questioned but she says the continued spreading of invasive species “is a global problem so it is an issue for everyone”.

“This has implications for us all,” she says.

Professor Hewitt says there are several ways to slow the spread of species through the canals, including curtains of air bubbles or building a desalination plant in the vicinity and using the waste – which has an extremely high salt content – to create a dead zone in the canal, which most species would avoid.

“That would seem a logical idea. The local people would get clean water and an effective barrier would be created.”

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World’s First Dual-Fuel Dredger Ordered

By MarEx 2015-08-06 03:57:39

A new generation dredger Scheldt River will be the first ever dredger to operate on engines capable of using either LNG or conventional marine fuels.

The 104 meter (340 feet) long vessel is being built by Royal IHC in the Netherlands on behalf of the Belgium based DEME Group. It will have a hopper volume capacity of approximately 8,000 cubic meters and is to be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel (DF) engines.

The contract with Wärtsilä was signed in July, and the scope of supply includes one 12-cylinder and one 9-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF engine, two Wärtsilä controllable pitch propellers and two transverse thrusters as well as the company’s patented LNGPac gas supply and storage system.

“Environmental considerations are extremely important for every new vessel built today,” says Jan Gabriël, Head of New Building and Conversion Department at DEME. “Operating on LNG allows DEME to set new standards in minimizing harmful emissions. Scheldt River will easily comply with all local and international environmental regulations. Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel know-how and in particular the 34DF engine series made our concept feasible.”

This is the second notable order received by Wärtsilä in recent weeks for dredger related propulsion solutions. In June, the company was contracted to supply a comprehensive integrated solutions package for one of the world’s largest and most advanced self-propelled cutter dredgers currently under construction in China.

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Marco Polo Marine profit dives 74%

Singapore-listed offshore services provider Marco Polo Marine’s profit dropped 74% year on year to SGD0.34 million (USD0.25 million) for the third quarter of 2015.
The company’s third quarter revenue also dipped 17% from SGD26.8 million a year ago to SGD22.3 million.
The decrease in revenue was
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