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Articles in category "International"

Maersk Line Looking to Buy German Container Shipping Operator Hamburg Süd

The shipping arm of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S is looking to buy German peer Hamburg Süd, people with knowledge of the matter said, a deal that would help Maersk Line boost its presence in global trade with Latin America.

Maersk Line, the world’s leading container-shipping operator, is interested in acquiring the entire Hamburg Süd business, which had $6.7 billion in revenue in 2015, not just picking up a few vessels, a person familiar with the matter said.

While it has bought or chartered ships from distressed peers like Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co., which declared bankruptcy in August, Maersk’s last full-scale acquisition was in 2005 when it bought P&O Nedlloyd.

Hamburg Süd, the world’s seventh-biggest container operator in terms of capacity, is part of the Oetker Group, a family-owned German conglomerate involved in shipping, banking, food and beverages.

The Wall Street Journal last week reported that the Oetker family was discussing a sale of the shipping business as early as this year. A person involved in the matter said the family will likely make a decision on whether to sell this week.

Maersk, which moves about 15% of global seaborne freight, has publicly said it is looking for acquisitions to increase its market share during one of the most challenging times for the industry, with freight rates well below sustainable levels over the past two years.

Container ships that transport 95% of the world’s manufactured products are caught in one of the deepest ever down-cycles, marked by anemic global trade and a glut of tonnage in the water.

continue reading at The Wall Street Journal

Deepest blue hole found in South China Sea

In case you aren’t already well versed in the realm of deep blue holes, aka oceanic sinkholes, there’s a massive one near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea scientists recently measured to be 987 feet deep. Dubbed the “Dragon Hole,” it’s 300 feet deeper than Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas, leading researchers to believe it could be the deepest blue hole on the planet.

A blue hole is a large marine cavern or sinkhole, which is open to the surface and has developed in a bank or island composed of a carbonate bedrock (limestone or coral reef).

 

Because a hole of that depth is far too pressurized for a diver to fully explore, the Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection used a robot with a depth sensor to get an accurate measurement. In addition to calculating depth, researchers were able to identify 20 fish species located mainly in the upper 300 feet of the hole since little to no oxygen exists deeper than 330 feet.

Sure, they’re mesmerizing to look at, but what’s the point of deep blue holes, scientifically speaking? According to Huffington Post, Ocean University of China Professor Yang Zuosheng explained their significance to CCTV, saying:

    “Research into a blue hole can provide detailed records of how the climate or water level changes over tens of thousands of years. Once we have that data, we can deduct the pattern of evolution for climate change in the South China Sea, including its ecosystem, hydrological system, and its landform.”

Officially named the Sansha Yongle Blue Hole, local administrators say they intend to “protect the natural legacy left by the Earth,” Sansha City vice mayor Xu Zhifei told China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua.

While the Dragon Hole is now the world's deepest "blue hole," it's not the world's deepest sinkhole. That distinction belongs to the Pozzo del Merro in Italy, the deepest underwater vertical cave in the world with a depth of 1,286 feet.

Though the Dragon Hole’s depth will have to be independently verified if it wants to solidify its title as deepest blue hole in the world, considering there are likely many others out there that have yet to be identified. With so much ocean yet to explore, why not pitch in yourself? According to CNN, you can buy your own underwater drone for less than $1,000 dollars and explore the seas to your heart’s content—all from the comfort of your living room. How’s that for a modern-day Captain Ahab?

Sources: GOOD, YouTube, mnn

Fortescue wins second towage licence for Australia's iron ore port

Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary Pilbara Marine has secured a tender with Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) to operate a second towage service at Port Hedland iron ore export terminal in Australia.

Under the licence, Pilbara Marine will be responsible for construction of marine and landside facilities to develop a tug haven behind Anderson Point berths one to three.

For this, the company will lease Crown land within the port area.

The company will begin its operations with an initial fleet of nine tugs.

For an initial period of 15 years, the company will also provide towage services, which are expected to start by 2019.

Fortescue Metals Group CEO Power said: "The introduction of choice and competition through the award of a second licence will benefit all users of the port, and will ensure Fortescue can provide long-term, sustainable towage services crucial to meeting the demands of our customers.

"We look forward to working with the PPA and others to finalise arrangements that will safely deliver flexibility, efficiency and value."

Fortescue said that the licence and tug facilities will provide additional capacity.

A total of $200m will be spent on developing the infrastructure and operating vessels.

Western Australian Minister for Transport Dean Nalder said: "There will be job opportunities during construction of the new tug haven, as well as further employment with the operation and maintenance of extra tug infrastructure.

"Port customers will benefit from increased options in tug services and the availability of services to meet future demand."

In 2014-15, Port Hedland shipped more than 446 million tonnes of bulk cargo.

At present, BHP Billiton (Towage Services) has a non-exclusive licence for towage services at the port and operates 18 tugs.

Source: mining-technology.com