Turkey’s fast-growing Ro-Ro firm Alternative Transport has secured a EUR 27.5 million loan (USD 31.6 million) to finance the acquisition of a new roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) cargo ship.
Alternative Transport is investing in a new EUR 55.5 million-vessel, Meleq, with a capacity of 283 trailers to carry wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks, trailers or railroad cars that are driven on and off the vessel.
The new cargo ship will enable the firm’s much-needed expansion on the route connecting the Istanbul port of Haydarpasa and the north-eastern Italian port city of Trieste, increasing profitability and operating efficiency.
The EBRD has previously financed the acquisition of the other three ships on this route.
Back in 2014, the bank provided the company with a EUR 63 million-loan to buy three ships it had been operating on a charter basis.
Sea shipping is the leading mode of transport for Turkish international trade, both by value and volume. Over 60 per cent of imports and 55 per cent of exports, by value, are seaborne.
Ro-ro vessels form an integral part of developing the “motorways of the sea”, an international vision to transform shipping into a genuine, more environmentally friendly alternative to overcrowded land transport.
“Although the importance of ro-ro transportation between Europe and Turkey is increasing rapidly, shipping companies in Turkey suffer from scarce access to long-term financing. This is our second transaction with Alternative Transport, a truly international sea transport firm, as we believe shipping operations are not only a successful business but also support a cleaner, safer and more efficient transport system for the country’s booming trade,” Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport, said.
“We are pleased with the support of EBRD, which helps to make possible the execution of our strategy to develop intermodal solutions linking major European ports. On top of that, we keep developing our infrastructure; we invest in new vessels, trucks, warehouses and own ports to the benefit of our customers,” the founder and chairman of Alternative Transport, Ahmet Musul, said.
Alternative Transport was established in 2013, and gained a market share of as much as 18 per cent in its first year of operations, according to EBRD.
The company’s fleet is currently comprised of four RoRo ships.
National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has further expanded its fleet with the addition of a 300,000-dwt very large crude carriers (VLCC) Aslaf.
Bahri took delivery of the new vessel at HHI’s Mokpo shipyard in South Jeolla Province, South Korea, bringing the number of VLCCs in its fleet to 39 while increasing its total fleet size to 86.
Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea, the new ship features a length of 330 meters and a width of 60 meters.
“This marks yet another milestone for Bahri and reinforces our preeminent position in the global oil transportation industry,” Ali Al-Harbi, Acting CEO of Bahri, said.
Aslaf is the third VLCC to join Bahri’s fleet this year following the delivery of Amjad in February and Maharah in June. This addition is part of the company’s plan to continue improving its operational excellence and commercial flexibility.
In a separate announcement, Saudi Arabia’s shipping firm said that it signed an agreement with France-based Bollore Logistics Sas to establish a joint venture in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with share capital of SAR 15 million (USD 3.9 million).
The parties would increase the share capital to be SAR 30 million in three months from the date of incorporating the joint venture, which will be engaged in total logistics services including brokerage in freight forwarding and transportation.
Bahri will own 60% of the shareholding in the joint venture while Bollore will own the remaining 40%. The companies expect to finalize the establishment of the joint venture by the third quarter of 2017.
Vietnam-based Hyundai-Vinashin Shipyard, a joint venture between Hyundai Heavy Industries and Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, has reportedly secured five tanker orders over the past week from three Japanese shipowners.
Namely, Fukujin Kisen and Masumoto Shipping are linked to an order for two 50,000 DWT tankers at the yard respectively, a weekly report from Intermodal Research shows.
Fukujin Kisen already has three MR2 tankers on order at the yard, according to the data from VesselsValue.
Boasting 50,000 in DWT, two of the company’s MR2 newbuilds are scheduled for completion in 2018, and one in 2019.
Furthermore, a third Japanese shipping company, Hisamoto Kisen is said to have joined the ordering spree at Hyundai Vinashin booking a 50,000 DWT tanker.
Priced at USD 32 million each, the three newbuilds are slated for delivery in 2019, the report reads.
South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) revealed it has inked a shipbuilding contract for two vessels with an unnamed shipowner.
As informed, the contract value is KRW 271 billion (around USD 242 million).
The agreement remains conditional and is subject to final approval of the shipowner, according to SHI.
SHI didn’t provide any details on the ships’ type.
If and when the agreement is finalized, the company plans to release more information on the vessels in question.
So far in 2017, the shipbuilder won USD 4.8 billion worth of orders to build thirteen vessels, including two offshore plants. SHI is expected to end the year with some USD 6.2 billion worth of orders, slightly less than its 2017 goal of USD 6.5 billion.
Japanese shipping company Nisshin Shipping has been linked to an order for up to seven 82,000 DWT bulkers at China’s Jiangsu Hantong Ship Heavy Industries.
The fleet modernization deal, dated last week, comprises five firm orders plus two options, according to the data provided by VesselsValue.
The firm Panamax bulkers, valued at USD 24 million a piece, are scheduled for delivery in 2018, while the optional units would be handed over in 2019.
Including the latest order, the company has 16 newbuilds on order: five chemical tankers at compatriot Usuki Zosensho, four LR1 tankers at Korea’s Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, and two more bulkers at China’s Jiangsu Hantong and Jiangmen Nanyang, respectively.
Out of the above total, six ships are to join Nisshin’s fleet by the end of this year.
As World Maritime News reported earlier, the company was busy over the recent period shedding some of its second-hand tonnage, including five Panamax bulkers since December 2016.
Norwegian shipbuilder Ulstein Verft has held the steel cutting ceremony for Color Line’s plug-in hybrid ferry.
The steel cutting took place at the hull yard Crist, Poland, on July 14.
Scheduled to be completed in 2019, the newbuilding will serve the Sandefjord-Strömstad route.
As explained, the ferry will be able to turn to battery power upon arrival to the fjord of Sandefjord, with minimized noise and zero emissions of NOx, SOx and climate gases as result.
The ferry will be 160 meters long and will have a capacity of 2,000 passengers and about 500 cars.
The keel laying is expected to be performed this autumn, Ulstein informed.
Shell Offshore revealed that its affiliate, Shell E and P Offshore Services, will exercise a contractual right to buy the Turritella floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel from SBM Offshore.
The 159,100 dwt vessel is contracted for the Stones deep-water development in the Gulf of Mexico, which began production last year.
As informed, Shell and SBM will work over the next several months to achieve a “safe, smooth transition” of the vessel operations.
“Transitioning the ownership and operations of the 2003-built vessel to Shell affiliates allows the company to pursue additional efficiencies and achieve cost improvements,” Shell explained.
The Stones development is said to be the world’s deepest offshore oil and gas project and is scheduled to deliver approximately 50,000-barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) by the end of this year.
Turritella FPSO has a daily production capacity of approximately 60,000 barrels of oil and 15 million cubic feet of natural gas.
Currently, Shell has three additional Gulf of Mexico deep-water projects under construction – Appomattox, Kaikias, and Coulomb Phase 2 – as well as options for additional subsea tiebacks and Vito, a potential, new hub in the region.
Danish shipping giant Maersk Line has named its new H-Class ship, Maersk Horsburgh, in South Korea.
The ultra large container vessel (ULCV) was built at Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard.
With a deadweight of 162,100 tons, the newbuilding features a length of 353 meters and a width of 53.5 meters.
Market value of the boxship currently stands at USD 113.07 million, VesselsValue’s data shows.
“A capacity of 15,226 TEU yet 46 meters shorter than the original Emma Class, these new ships will boost efficiency on global trade routes,” Maersk Line said.
H-Class ships were designed for operational versatility in order to take advantage of shifting trade patterns. The greater capacity allows them to efficiently serve on the East-West trades, while its smaller size means these vessels are also capable of calling what are typically smaller ports on the North-South trades, if needed.
As disclosed, Maersk Horsburgh is part of a number of container vessels, most of them on the large end of the scale, which have begun arriving to the company’s fleet this year to replace older, less efficient ones.
Offshore services company Bourbon has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Automated Ships Ltd to support the building of the Hrönn, the world’s first autonomous, fully-automated prototype vessel for offshore operation.
The project will also include the support from the project’s primary technology partner, Kongsberg which will deliver all major marine equipment necessary for the design, construction and operation of Hrönn, including all systems for dynamic positioning and navigation, satellite and position reference, marine automation and communication.
Its vessel control systems including K-Pos dynamic positioning, K-Chief automation and K-Bridge ECDIS and Radar will be replicated at an Onshore Control Centre, allowing full remote operations of Hrönn, the company informed.
“Bourbon will leverage its expertise in building and operating a standardised fleet to provide detailed input to the development and design of the Hrönn project, ensuring flexibility, reliability and cost efficiency to operate safely and effectively in the demanding offshore environment,” the company said.
Hrönn is described as a light-duty, offshore utility ship servicing the offshore energy, hydrographic & scientific and offshore fish-farming industries. It can also be utilised as a ROV and AUV support ship and standby vessel, able to provide firefighting support to an offshore platform working in cooperation with manned vessels.
Automated Ships has progressed the original catamaran design of Hrönn since the project launch on 1st November 2016, opting for a monohulled vessel of steel construction, to provide more payload capacity and greater flexibility in the diverse range of operations.
In the second phase of the project, Bourbon and ASL intend to look for subsidies to finance the effective construction of the prototype.
Bourbon’s entry to the Hrönn project, follows the recent joining of forces with Kongsberg on developing digital solutions for next generation connected and autonomous vessels.
Hrönn’s sea trials are scheduled to take place in Norway’s officially designated automated vessel test bed in the Trondheim fjord and will be conducted under the auspices of DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA). The Hrönn will ultimately be classed and flagged, respectively.
National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) is considering venturing into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market as Iran gears up for production of natural gas in the future.
The plans were revealed by Mohammad Reza Shams Dolatabadi, NITC’s head of international affairs, Reuters reported, who said that NITC was looking into the acquisition of LNG tankers in the upcoming three to five years.
The diversification plans and fleet build-up come as NITC marks a substantial return to the European shipping market following the lifting of sanctions against Iran in January 2016.
“Our ships are calling at many European ports, and the number of these shipments is increasing day by day,” he told Reuters.
According to Dolatabadi, the company is eager to renew its fleet and is working on a five-year plan that will include purchasing of new tonnage and dismantling of outdated vessels, but without a major change to the fleet’s capacity.
Earlier this month, NITC’s parent company, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), signed a USD 5 billion deal with Total, marking the return of European oil majors to the country.
“By signing this contract, a lot of doubts with some foreign companies to invest and work in Iran will be resolved, and in fact, this will be the beginning of a return for those who want to invest in Iran, not only in Oil industry, but also in other fields not related to oil,” Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said.
As disclosed by NIOC, Iran currently produces 290,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the figure which is going to witness an increase of 78,000 barrels bpd.