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April 13, 2023

Multiple cyber attacks targeted the Port of Halifax in Nova Scotia, and the Ports of Montreal and Québec this week, causing their websites to crash. However, the attacks did not affect the port operations, and no data breach has been reported. The ports’ spokespersons have confirmed that alternative methods of communication are available, such as telephone calls. Cybersecurity threats remain a growing concern for ports worldwide.

The Port of Port Hedland, the world’s largest iron ore export hub, has closed after Tropical Cyclone Ilsa was upgraded to a Category 5 storm. The Bureau of Meteorology expects Ilsa to make landfall on Thursday or Friday, with winds up to 315 km per hour. Port Hedland is used by BHP Group, Fortescue, and Hancock Prospecting, while Rio Tinto exports from the Port of Dampier. Many of the region’s mines are inland, but the closure is expected to impact the global supply chain.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, based in Toronto, has agreed to purchase Triton International Ltd., the largest owner of intermodal shipping containers, for $4.7 billion. The acquisition includes a 35% premium to Triton’s closing price on Tuesday, making its shareholders and regulators’ approval necessary for the deal’s completion in Q4. The acquisition allows Brookfield to expand its transportation logistics to support the global supply chain, bringing strong downside protection and growth potential.

China’s falling steel prices have had a detrimental impact on momentum in the capesize market, leading to lower rates. Jefferies analysts noted the drop in steel prices had taken away some momentum from long-haul iron ore shipping demand. Morgan Stanley has predicted a 28% drop in iron ore prices by the end of 2023, given the decline in Chinese steel demand and production. Commonwealth Bank of Australia has estimated that iron ore prices will fall to $100 a ton by the fourth quarter. The volatile demand is due to weak consumer confidence, which may impact the construction and housing sectors.

Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) announced that three of its medium-range tankers, Overseas Santorini, Overseas Mykonos, and Overseas Sun Coast, have been selected as part of the new Tanker Security Program (TSP). The program is a public-private partnership that aims to provide the Department of Defense with a fleet of active US-flagged and -owned product tankers to ensure the supply of fuel during times of armed conflict or national emergency. OSG’s CEO, Sam Norton, said that the program will deepen and broaden the pool of domestic merchant mariners and expand the number of available US-flagged tankers. Each vessel in the 10-ship program will receive a $6 million annual stipend from the US government for their enrollment.

Danish contractor Semco Maritime has entered into a strategic partnership with Norway-based energy company BlueNord to pursue opportunities in the oil and gas space. The partnership enables them to take over the operation of already existing assets, develop and operate new fields, and make other relevant investments or take on related activities. Semco Maritime will be responsible for the daily operation of topside facilities and tasks related to production optimization, maintenance and integrity planning, modifications, procurement, logistics and warehousing, and emergency response. BlueNord has submitted a license application in the Elly-Luke area of the Danish North Sea, which is believed to have the potential to provide around 5bn cu m of natural gas to Denmark and Europe.

Cara Shipping, the dry bulk shop of China’s Rizhao Steel, sold the Stella Ada, a 12-year-old cape, to Greek interests for $25.5 million. This is the first sale by the shrinking owner since last autumn when it offloaded its last two ore carriers to Berge Bulk. Chinese steel prices have been under pressure recently, impacting momentum in the capesize market. Rizhao Steel is joining a string of other Chinese owners selling capes in the volatile market. With weak steel demand for infrastructure projects in China and sluggish activity in the domestic real estate sector, Huatai analysts warned that “the market pessimism has increased.”

Norwegian contractor Havfram Wind has been selected as the preferred supplier of wind turbine transport and installation support for RWE and Northland Power’s 1.6 GW offshore wind cluster in Germany. The Nordseecluster project will consist of four offshore wind farm sites in the German North Sea, and the contract for Havfram Wind covers transport and installation support of at least 104 15 MW offshore wind turbines, using one of its newbuild vessels. The project will be constructed in two phases, with two wind farms in the permit application phase and turbine installation at sea expected to start in 2026, and commercial operations starting in early 2027. Two further wind farms for the second phase will add an additional 900 MW of capacity, with commercial operation expected to start in early 2029.

You can read yesterday’s issue of ‘Currents’ here.

Disclaimer: ‘Currents’ is an online shipping news service by Earl’s Rock Trading (Pvt) Ltd that reports on the latest developments and trends in the maritime industry. We do not take any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in our news stories or for any opinions expressed by the people quoted in them. Our aim is to provide our readers with up-to-date news and insights from reliable sources. However, we do not endorse or take any responsibility for any actions taken by our readers based on the information provided in our news articles. We also want to make it clear that we do not own any of the images used in our news stories, unless stated otherwise. All images belong to their respective owners, and we use them solely for illustrative purposes. If you are the owner of any image used in our news stories and want it to be removed or credited, please contact us, and we will take the necessary action.