Egypt Eyes Nile River Expansion

By MarEx 2015-10-02 13:09:43

On the heels of its Suez Canal expansion, Egypt has signed a grant agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to explore the feasibility of creating a cross-continent shipping line which would expand the Nile River and connect the Mediterranean Sea to Lake Victoria.

The $650,000 grant will be paid by the Korea-Africa Economic Trust Fund, an AfBD entity, and finance the first phase of the required initial feasibility studies for the establishment of the cross-continent shipping line.

The project aims to convert the Nile River into a sustainable transport line and link Nile Basin countries such as Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

If successful, the project could increase encourage trade and increase economic collaboration between the Nile Basin’s countries.

The project was initially agreed to by heads of state at the January 2013 African Summit.

But while the Nile Basin’s nations feel bullish about the project’s potential, it has sparked debate and criticism. According to a Alexandria University study, the proposed shipping line may not only be difficult to complete, but impossible.

The study contends that there are several engineering issues that must be overcome to make the shipping lane a reality. The Nile is dotted with dams, bridges and waterfalls which could cause difficulty in constructing the cross-continent line.

The Aswan reservoir poses an additional problem. Its five lock chambers have a water height differential of about 98 feet. While the lock could potentially facilitate river transportation, it has not been used or renovated since 1961. In addition, the Aswan Dam creates another obstacle as its water differentials range between 350 and 600 feet and would require massive renovation as well.

AfDB is a multilateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries. The AfDB was founded in 1964 and comprises three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund.

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U.S. Refineries in Path of Hurricane

By MarEx 2015-10-02 11:46:32

Hurricane Joaquin is barreling down on the U.S. East Coast with wind speeds over 131 miles per hour. The Category 4 hurricane could have a significant impact on the U.S. energy industry. Governors in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina, and North Carolina have declared states of emergency as the storm moves towards landfall.

The U.S. Atlantic coast has six key refineries that account for 1.29 million barrels per day of refining capacity per day, which is seven percent of the nation’s output. Hurricane Sandy, which rammed into the Eastern Seaboard in October 2012, left production and distribution paralyzed.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that the areas impacted by Sandy used about 2.2 million barrels per day of gasoline and distillates. Forty-two percent of supply comes from regional refineries, 31 percent arrives pipeline and 27 percent are imports arriving at New York-New Jersey Port Authority. All of these sources were significantly disrupted.

At Sandy’s height, 94 percent of regional capacity was shut down and two NY refineries with 308,000 barrels per day were out of operation through November 2013.

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USCG Response to Distressed Vessel

By MarEx 2015-10-02 09:12:13

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 12 crewmembers who abandoned the sinking M/V Minouche, which was caught in inclement weather from Hurricane Joaquin. According to reports, the vessel began taking on water about 51 nautical miles north of Haiti.

Coast Guard 7th District Command Center watchstanders received a message from the British Coast Guard stating that the Bolivian-flagged vessel was listing and its crewmembers were preparing to abandon ship and board a life raft.

A good Samaritan vessel and member of the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) was also diverted to the Minouche’s last known location. The AMVER located the crew members and hoisted them into USCG MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. The mariners have been transported to Great Inagua, Bahamas and suffered no major injuries.

The M/V Minouche is a 1,525-dwt general cargo ship built in 1980.

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12 Rescued from Sinking Cargo Ship off Haiti

By MarEx 2015-10-02 09:12:13

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 12 crewmembers who abandoned the sinking M/V Minouche, which was caught in inclement weather from Hurricane Joaquin. According to reports, the vessel began taking on water about 51 nautical miles north of Haiti.

Coast Guard 7th District Command Center watchstanders received a message from the British Coast Guard stating that the Bolivian-flagged vessel was listing and its crewmembers were preparing to abandon ship and board a life raft.

A good Samaritan vessel and member of the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) was also diverted to the Minouche’s last known location. The AMVER located the crew members and hoisted them into USCG MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. The mariners have been transported to Great Inagua, Bahamas and suffered no major injuries.

The M/V Minouche is a 1,525-dwt general cargo ship built in 1980.

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