Ship fined for reef pollution

An Australian court has fined the master and owner of the Hong Kong-flagged ANL Kardinia for dumping garbage on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) announced on 22 July that it had successfully prosecuted shipowner One Armania Shipping Ltd and its master on 20

BHP announces 13% hike in ore output

BHP Billiton’s Pilbara iron ore production rose under 15% for fiscal year 2015 (FY15), but enough to send shivers through the Australian stock market and iron ore juniors.
The iron ore output of 254 million tonnes for the year, up 13%, according to BHP’s operations review for the year ended 30

China Says Japan “Two-Faced”

By Reuters 2015-07-22 01:14:56

China reserves the right to a “necessary reaction” after Japan issued a defense review that called on Beijing to stop building oil and gas exploration platforms close to disputed waters in the East China Sea, the Defense Ministry has said.

In the paper issued on Tuesday, Tokyo expressed concern that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japan’s territory.

“This kind of action completely lays bare the two-faced nature of Japan’s foreign policy and has a detrimental impact on peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region,” China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement issued late on Tuesday.

China would further evaluate Japan’s defense review, or white paper, when the full text is issued and would then make a “necessary reaction depending on the situation”, it said.

Beijing described Japan’s annual defense review as misleading and malicious, saying it overplayed the “China military threat” and stoked tensions between the two East Asian powers. It stuck by its claims over the disputed island chain.

The white paper “maliciously hyped up the issues of East China Sea, South China Sea, internet security and military transparency”, the ministry said. It also exaggerated the threat of the Chinese military, “blackening” its image, it said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the review ignored that China’s maritime activities were carried out in line with international law, according to another statement posted late on Tuesday.

“The Diaoyu islands have belonged to China since ancient times … China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and Japan should not hold any unrealistic illusions,” he said, referring to the disputed chain of islets, also known in Japanese as the Senkaku.

The Japanese defense review had expressed concern that the platforms being built by China could also be used as monitoring stations near the islets.

The report also commented on the disputed South China Sea, where Japan and other countries have criticized Chinese land reclamation projects as a threat to regional security.

“Japan is not a stakeholder country in the South China Sea issue, so it should not tell tales and sow discord,” the Defense Ministry’s statement said.

The Foreign Ministry said China’s construction activities were completely within the scope of its sovereignty, and were not directed at any one country.

“We solemnly urge Japan to stop stoking tensions, provoking with contradictions, and instead undertake more activities that are conducive to regional peace and stability,” Lu said.


Port Project in Great Barrier Reef Faces Delays

By MarEx 2015-07-22 01:06:24

India’s Adani Mining has suspended two major contractors on its A$10 billion ($7.4 billion) Carmichael coal project in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Wednesday, raising fresh doubts about the future of a project that calls for controversial developments in the Great Barrier Reef region.

Project manager Parsons Brinckerhoff and Korea’s POSCO Engineering & Construction Co Ltd, which is also touted as an investor in the final project, were told late last week to stop work on the Carmichael mine, rail and port project, the newspaper said, citing sources.

Adani’s office in Australia did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Parsons Brinckerhoff referred a query on the contract to Adani. POSCO could not immediately be reached for comment.

Both contractors have big roles in the project. Parsons Brinckerhoff are the principal project management consultants, while POSCO is due to build Adani’s 388-kilometre (242 mile) rail line from the mine to the sea and take a financial stake in the development.

Adani had raised concerns about the project’s financing last month when it said it was rejigging the budget for the mine.

Adani intends to ship most of the coal to India for use in generating household power, which would help Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieve his goal of connecting the whole country to the electricity grid during his tenure.

The company said then that the project’s budget, based on previous anticipated approval timelines and milestones, was no longer achievable due to delays in receiving various approvals from the Queensland state government. It also confirmed it had suspended the contracts of four engineering firms while waiting for those approvals.

Adani has signed up buyers for about 70 percent of the 40 million tons of coal the Carmichael project is due to produce in its first phase.

The project mainly hinges on environmental approval to deepen a port on the fringe of the Great Barrier Reef in order to ship the coal, a proposal generating opposition worldwide.

($1 = 1.3514 Australian dollars)


New Zealand to Map High Risk Waters

By MarEx 2015-07-22 01:00:57

An in-depth assessment of New Zealand’s waters is set to improve maritime safety for ships, Minister for Land Information Louise Upston announced this week.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) will map areas of high risk so charting improvements can be made where they are needed most.

“LINZ’s risk assessments will use location information on vessel traffic, environmentally and culturally sensitive sites, and hazards such as reefs to create “heat maps” that show where risks are highest,” said Upston.

“Working with other agencies, LINZ will use these maps to plan improvements to safety infrastructure such as charts or lights and beacons.”

LINZ is responsible for charting and providing navigation services for New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, covering around four million square kilometers, and it is essential all vessels are able to navigate safely, she said.

“We’re an island nation and shipping is highly important in New Zealand. By providing greater certainty on where charting improvements are needed most, we are able to get better value for money from our hydrographic survey and charting work to improve the safety of our waters.”

This project complements work by Maritime New Zealand to review coastal navigation safety, and both agencies will work together to share information they collect.

LINZ will also seek feedback from harbor masters and others involved in maritime safety and draft results will be expected in February 2016. Final results of the assessment are expected to be available by May 2016.