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April 14, 2023

China to impose no-ship zone near Taiwan due to falling rocket debris concerns, on the same day as a possible weather satellite launch from China’s northwestern province of Gansu. The ban will affect busy flight routes and last from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 10th. The no-fly zone will only last for 27 minutes instead of the previous three-day restriction, following protests from Taiwan. The area in question covers areas between Taiwan and China, and Taiwan and South Korea, among others. Japan has expressed concern over the Chinese actions.

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents US west coast dockworkers, has criticized the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) for failing to reach a pay agreement. The previous contract expired on July 1, and PMA claims that union delays have slowed terminal operations in Southern California. Shippers worry that further disruptions to terminal operations may cause long-term damage to the ports’ reputation.

Cyclone Ilsa skirted around the world’s busiest iron ore export port in Western Australia, avoiding any damage to the harbor. Ships had been cleared out of the Port Hedland port ahead of the destructive storm. The Bureau of Meteorology said that Ilsa’s offshore wind gusts reached up to 289 kmh, which might have delivered a new record for sustained wind speeds in Australia.

Norway’s Belships has purchased another ultramax bulk carrier under construction in Japan. The company’s fleet now comprises 35 ships, with this new acquisition scheduled for delivery in Q4 2025 or Q1 2026. The vessel will be financed on a similar structure as the previous ultramax trio acquired in February, through time charter lease agreements. The CEO of Belships, Lars Christian Skarsgård, said that this acquisition would not affect their dividend capacity and no down payments are required.

BAE Systems begins construction of a new $200 million shipyard complex in Jacksonville, Florida, that will increase docking capacity by 300% to support the repair of Mayport-based Navy ships and commercial vessels. The complex will feature a new state-of-the-art shiplift system that can accommodate a Flight III U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer or a commercial vessel displacing about 25,000 tons. Construction and operation of the repair facility is expected to generate approximately 1,000 new jobs. The project is a joint effort involving Pearlson Shiplift Corporation, Foth Engineering, and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. The construction project is expected to be completed in 2025.

Chevron and Greece’s Angelicoussis Group are teaming up to explore the use of tankers for the transportation of ammonia, which can be used as an intermediate carrier for hydrogen. The partnership aims to advance ammonia’s technical and commercial feasibility at scale, particularly as an export for petrochemicals, power, and mobility markets. Chevron Shipping Company and Angelicoussis’ Green Ships will evaluate the ammonia transportation market, existing infrastructure, safety aspects of ammonia, potential next generation vessel requirements, and a preliminary system to transport ammonia between the US Gulf Coast and Europe. The partnership is expected to help develop the marine transportation of ammonia and the use of ammonia as a safe and sustainable marine fuel.

Container ships and LNG carriers have dominated yard contracts in the last two years, reaching all-time highs and promising to overhaul their fleets in the coming years. During the last 10 quarters, 8.61 million TEUs worth of containerships have been contracted, matching the level contracted during the preceding 30 quarters. The extreme ordering by containership and gas carrier owners has elbowed out tanker and dry bulk firms from renewing their fleets, but this could change. Brokers Braemar have noted that LNG newbuild prices have hit record highs at $259.5m for a standard ship, a figure that is now turning some owners away from ordering more. Braemar forecasts the global LNG fleet will expand by 36% between now and 2027.

Japan’s offshore wind farm market is gaining momentum, with over 6 GW of active capacity expected by 2030. Clarksons Research is projecting that around 600 wind turbines will be added to the 59 in operation today, with 1.8 GW of capacity awarded to developers later this year. The Japanese government has revised its guidelines for the second round of offshore wind auctions with the aim of accelerating project development and reducing the focus on pricing. Japan is targeting 10 GW of offshore wind capacity approved by 2030, with at least 5.7 GW online and between 30 and 45 GW by 2040 as part of its target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. In terms of vessel activity, Clarksons Research reported two wind turbine installation units deployed off Japan last year.

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.