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It is Thursday the 3rd of February, and here we are again.
I was supposed to have been enjoying life in Dubai this week and be present at the currently held Breakbulk Middle East Expo and even chairing the first ever CLC Projects/Cross Ocean joint network meeting, but a virus came across my flight path. I had no symptoms, have gotten 3 COVID vaccinations already, and still was deemed positive twice from the tests I took before taking the long-awaited Emirates flight to Dubai.
I hate to admit it, but I was really upset and thought to myself: ”This is nothing but a flu. Why can’t I travel?” But, of course, upon reflection, during a pandemic it is NOT time to be selfish, and luckily, the on-line meeting platform does exist. So I have managed fairly well with a combination of Zoom/Teams and video calls using BOTIM which is the approved APP for the Emirates.
Still, the disappointment was palpable, and I was, in no uncertain terms, not a pleasant guy to be around during the first 2 days after my result. My wife confirms this fact and reminds me that she was also unable to receive her long-awaited, cosmetic, duty-free shopping list from Dubai Airport ? so I take it that her depression was ultimately longer lasting than mine…
I heard from the floor that although it is unpleasant and clumsy to have a discussion with the face mask (also due to the background noise you need to stand pretty close so the question is how much the face masks actually help), but overall, everyone has been happy to be out and about again. So let us hope there is light at the end of this very long and tiresome tunnel.
On the political front, it seems in the past week that at least for now, the Russia/Ukraine potential conflict has abated a bit, but make no mistake: trust is probably not what comes to mind when dealing with that empire in the east. They have had leaders in the past that were beyond atrocious, and I am not sure if you know about the genocide that took place at the same time as another dictator was in charge in Germany. It is called Holodomor—not as “well known” worldwide as the Holocaust but certainly its equal in both size and horror! Read about it here.
I was in touch with some friends in the Ukraine. I was told that everyone remembers, and although the region was then a part of the USSR, it is today an independent country.
The rest of the world had better stand up for itself and be firm, which is the ONLY language understood. Gas pipeline democratic discussions lead nowhere, and before we become another anschluss victim here in Western Europe, we had better wake up! I can recommend that you all read a book called: I chose freedom. Author: Victor A. Kravchenko. It was a huge eye opener for me years ago and had a profound influence on me. It begins with the history in 1905 leading up to the time when the author took his own life. Here is a quote from the review on Amazon about it:
“During World War II, Kravchenko was a captain in the Red Army, just before being sent to the United States as an official of the Soviet Purchasing Commission in Washington. It was then, in 1943, when he made the decision to defect and sever all relations with the USSR. He had to go into hiding in order to write what would be one of the most shocking accounts of what was happening in Russia. In just eight weeks, his book, I chose Freedom rose to the bestseller lists.”
Before returning to shipping news, let me share with you a recent clip I saw on YouTube concerning a bulker in distress in the North Sea. We have had terrible storms recently here in the North Sea and Baltic region of Europe. It’s amazing to see the rescue operations, watch here: SAR helicopter winching crew off of cargo ship Julietta D.
Also, with all the conflicts raging in the world and disagreements about this and that and so too in the logistics, freight forwarding, and liner shipping world, you may find this book by author Miquel Roca interesting. It’s just been published. It is about London as a centre for mediation, and if they are not too busy partying in the capital, it may well be that they are indeed the maritime centre for arbitration. Read more here.
Now, returning to the business world, today, we naturally have a bit of a focus due to the Breakbulk Middle East Expo in Dubai. We start off by republishing an interview we had with ATS: Asian Tiger Shipping in Dubai. They are active in the region and have close links with Saudi Arabia. You will find the video interview (below) interesting.
We then proceed by talking with the Dubai representative of a Philippine port operator called ICTSI who are among the largest in the world—a bit under the radar perhaps compared to bigger organizations but surely a player in the ever-increasing African market. It is important that you’ve got the terminal on your side when having a booking, right? So do read this interview.
Finally, we speak to a NATCO representative from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. NATCO are proactive and have also got an office in Dubai. You will find their comments insightful as well.
So as you can see, a focus this week on the Middle East is the order of the day.
I, of course, provide you with shipping news, trade intel, wise words including featured picture, and video of the week.
Also take note of the newly published Project Cargo Weekly Yearbook for 2021. It is chock-full of excellent (both written and video) interviews that were published during the year passed. Since the issue is digital everything including the video interviews are clickable.
Until next week, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Asian Tiger Shipping – Dubai, UAE
Srinivas, CEO and Deepesh Rajan, Dep. GM at Asian Tiger Shipping LLC, Dubai, UAE was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at Project Cargo Weekly.
ICTSI – Dubai, UAE
Mr. Michael Nielsen
To begin with, Michael could you elaborate a bit to our readers about your career in shipping leading up to your current position representing ICTSI—one of the most well-known port and terminal operators worldwide?
I have primarily worked for vessel operators / shipowners throughout my career. I started in the container segment and slowly moved more and more into the break bulk / project / heavy lift segments. I have been lucky enough to have worked in Singapore, Japan, Mauritius, and for the last 8 years in the UAE.
NATCO Middle East – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Mr. Irshad Hussain
Can you tell us about the history of NATCO in the Middle East? When was the company established, where is it headquartered and who are the owners of the company today?
Ever since the establishment of NATCO Middle East, back in 2002 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the company never looked back and went on to open branch offices in Riyadh and Dammam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and in Bremen, Germany, under the name Towerpro Logistics GmbH. We have our headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Mr. Syed Abbas Ali is the managing director/owner of the company.
TSI – Shortsea Index – Result
Toepfer Transport Research is a trusted entity for valuable information for most shipowners, charterers and major shippers. European Short Sea rates have also increased as have deep-sea rates etc. See the latest below. Shipowners are indeed entitled to a few drinks these days and well deserved; however, beware when the pendulum swings back….
Over the past 12 months, the income of the European Shortsea Fleet more than doubled and various stakeholders in this market expect that the current high levels will remain for some more weeks.
A Key Arctic Alaska Port Expansion Gets Federal Funding
Lots seems to be happening in the northernmost parts of the world. Here is the latest from Alaska that also will get an infusion of cash to develop ports and related services. It follows the trend with Russia that uses some of its wealth to develop their “arctic logistics”.
The project to expand and deepen a key port in Arctic Alaska will get a $250 million boost in federal funding from recently passed U.S. infrastructure legislation, officials announced Wednesday.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed in November 2021, will now include funding for four additional projects in Alaska, including the port in Nome.
Shipping News can also be, shall we say “Old News”
If you recall from recent issue of PCW I was onboard mv Nowowiejski of Chipolbrok, Gdynia in The Hutchison Stockholm Port of Norvik. There is a predecessor with the same name which I saw at Eurogate in Hamburg recently. These two vessels show that there has been development in shipping lines as well as in the type, size and capability of vessels. Credit goes to my good friend since 1986, Mr Olaf Proes who, although retired, is still active with open eyes on shipping in Hamburg.
TPM22: Los Angeles-Long Beach and a Vision for the Future
It is clear that the US needs to upgrade its infrastructure, so perhaps it’s worthwhile to take note of this conference organised by JOC taking place in California soon.
TPM22 is approaching fast, and this year’s program is one of the strongest and most important ones yet. One session you will not want to miss is Mario Cordero of Port of Long Beach and Gene Seroka of Port of Los Angeles sharing their vision for the future.
Taaleri to Build EUR-20m Biocoal Plant in Finland
The facility, worth EUR 20 million (USD 22.6m), will be built by Taaleri’s company Joensuu Biocoal Oy, with construction to start in the spring and operations expected to begin in the middle of 2023. It is planned to produce about 60,000 tonnes of torrefied biomass per year, using by-products from the forest industry and forestry, chiefly bark and first thinnings. Torrefied biomass can replace coal in the cement and steel industries.
Li-Cycle to build their First Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Facility Outside of North
Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. has announced that it has formed a joint venture with ECO STOR AS and Morrow Batteries AS. Li-Cycle will be the majority owner of the joint venture, with ECO STOR and Morrow being minority owners and the venture’s Nordic-headquartered strategic partners. Through this vehicle, Li-Cycle says it will construct a new commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in southern Norway.
Soltec Lands Deal for 420MW of Solar PV Projects in Chile and Colombia
Spanish solar tracker manufacturer Soltec has signed contracts to supply 420MW of its SF7 bifacial trackers to two projects in Chile and Colombia – likely owned by Enel Green Power – that are due to be completed this year.
Irish AG Energy to Build a 200 MWp Solar Power Plant in Ghadames
The Independent Power Producer (IPP) AG Energy has just obtained the authorization from the authorities in charge of energy in Libya, for the construction of a 200 MWp solar photovoltaic power plant in Ghadames.
The first renewable energy project to be carried out by an independent power producer (IPP) is now entering its full development phase in Libya.
In the Danish Versatile Port of Grenaa a lot is Happening
With a perfect location, excellent water draft to accommodate the largest vessels, the port is vying to do even more in the field of project cargo, scrap iron, renewables and what-not. Here is a short clip from my recent visit there.
Night view from Port Botany, Sydney. I took this shot when I was a passenger onboard mv CMA CGM Georgia from Singapore to Melbourne. I am looking forward to the day when COVID-19 is a thing of the past and we can travel by containership again as passengers!