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HOT Port news from GAC

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Your daily news service from ports around the world.

In this HOT PORT NEWS, read about:

  • United Kingdom, Immingham – De-ballasting facilities closure for repairs
  • Angola, all ports – New Foreign Exchange Regime law
  • United States, all ports – NOAA raises hurricane season prediction despite expected El Nino
  • Singapore, Singapore – Soil investigation works off power station
  • Australia, Port Kembla – Port closed due to severe weather
  • Australia, Sydney – Adverse weather closes ports * Bunker Update – GAC MARKETPRICE UPDATE 10/08/12

DATE: August 10, 2012 –  COUNTRY: United Kingdom –  PORT: Immingham – De-ballasting facilities closure for repairs

The South Killingholme Jetty/Immingham Gas Jetty  de-ballasting facility will be out of service for essential pipe work repairs from 1000 on Monday 13 August until 1800 on Friday 17 August 2012.

As the facility is unavailable, it will not be possible to accept ballast, tank washings or slops from visiting ships for the duration of the works.

For information about operations in the UK contact GAC UK at uk@gac.com

DATE: August 10, 2012 – COUNTRY: Angola-  PORT: all ports – New Foreign Exchange Regime law

Earlier this year, the Angolan Government passed a law setting a new Foreign Exchange Regime (FER), introducing new requirements on how oil companies operating in the country use their cash to make payments related to oil & gas activities.

The FER applies to oil companies, i.e. entities directly engaged with Angola National Concessionaire (Sonangol E.P.), on the performance of petroleum exploration & production activities. When the FER comes into force, they will only be entitled to retain outside Angola only the estimated profits and cost recovery funds. Funds necessary for the payment of all business expenses (i.e. for goods and services, whether provided by Angola or offshore-based entities) shall be kept inside Angola in local bank accounts. As a result, all payments owed by oil companies will be wired from Angolan Bank accounts. Prior to the new FER, offshore service providers could be paid directly outside Angola.

The Angola Central Bank has been working together with the local financial sector to implement rules and procedures to help banks effectively deal with this massive inflow and outflow of cash and keep fees within international acceptable standards. For payments to entities based outside Angola, under the FER oil companies are released from prior Central Bank clearance to make such payments abroad, which will expedite the payment process.

Another result is the requirement to have Angola-based suppliers paid in local currency AKZ (up until now, USD were often used to make such payments). From the moment this becomes mandatory, Angola-based entities (local companies and PEs) will be flooded with AKZ, a situation which has been cause of concern giving the associated foreign exchange devaluation risks.

The Angola Central Bank has set a calendar for the gradual implementation of these new requirements, as follows: – From 1 October 2012 – Oil companies will have to pay Angola-based suppliers using Angolan bank accounts only; – From 1 July 2013 – Oil companies will have to pay Angola-based suppliers using Angolan bank accounts only and with local currency AKZ; – From 1 October 2013 – Oil companies will have to pay both international and Angola-based suppliers using Angolan bank accounts only, AKZ continuing being used on the payments of Angola based suppliers. Foreign suppliers may be paid in local currency.

Other features of the new FER include: – Oil companies’ excess funds deposited in Angola bank accounts could be invested in or outside Angola; – Oil companies’ capital transactions (e.g. loans) to fund oil operations require Central Bank authorization; – Oil companies may have offshore escrow accounts to secure debt (finance) transactions; – Local banks may not provide loans or extend credit to foreign oil companies unless authorized by the Central Bank or if such credits are covered by local guarantees; – Oil companies netting for intercompany settlements require special authorization from the Central Bank; – Oil companies are required to register all foreign exchange transactions and quarterly filing of a list of all supply contracts (for services and goods supplied by non-residents); – The former foreign exchange regime existing in the various petroleum Concession Decrees is revoked by the new FER.

For information about operations in Angola contact GAC Angola at angola@gac.com

DATE: August 10, 2012 –  COUNTRY: United States – PORT: all ports –  NOAA raises hurricane season prediction despite expected El Nino

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season got off to a busy start, with 6 named storms to date, and may have a busy second half, according to the updated hurricane season outlook issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.

The updated outlook still indicates a 50% chance of a near-normal season, but increases the chance of an above-normal season to 35% and decreases the chance of a below-normal season to only 15% from the initial outlook issued in May.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook projects a total (which includes the activity-to-date of tropical storms Alberto, Beryl, Debbie, Florence and hurricanes Chris and Ernesto) of: * 12 to 17 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including: * 5 to 8 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which: * 2 to 3 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

The numbers are higher from the initial outlook in May, which called for 9-15 named storms, 4-8 hurricanes and 1-3 major hurricanes. Based on a 30-year average, a normal Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

“We are increasing the likelihood of an above-normal season because storm-conducive wind patterns and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures are now in place in the Atlantic, ” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. “These conditions are linked to the ongoing high activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995. Also, strong early-season activity is generally indicative of a more active season.”

However, NOAA seasonal climate forecasters also announced today that El Nino will likely develop in August or September.

“El Nino is a competing factor, because it strengthens the vertical wind shear over the Atlantic, which suppresses storm development. However, we don’t expect El Nino’s influence until later in the season, ” Bell said….

(For information about operations in the USA and the Americas, contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com or the GAC USA Hub Agency Centre at hub.us@gac.com)

Source: Extract from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA – www.noaa.gov) update dated 9 August 2012

DATE: August 10, 2012 – COUNTRY: Singapore – PORT: Singapore-  Soil investigation works off power station

Between 16 August and 30 September, soil investigation works will be carried out off Senoko Power Station, Johor Straits.

According to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s Port Marine Notice No.113 of 2012, the works will be conducted 24 hours daily – including Sundays & Public Holidays – at the following marine borehole co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum): PBH-11) 1° 27.356’N / 103° 46.910’E PBH-12) 1° 27.459’N / 103° 46.702’E PBH-13) 1° 27.400’N / 103° 46.628’E PBH-14) 1° 27.374’N / 103° 46.552’E PBH-15) 1° 27.267’N / 103° 46.430’E PBH-16) 1° 27.313’N / 103° 46.512’E PBH-17) 1° 27.490’N / 103° 46.770’E PBH-18) 1° 27.400’N / 103° 46.758’E

Soil investigation works will be carried out by means of borehole drilling using a jack-up barge. The jack-up barge, with tug boats in attendance, will have a circular safety working zone of 30 meters radius centered at the barge.

Tugboats will be used for shifting the barge from one borehole location to another.

A safety boat will be deployed in the vicinity of the working area to warn other craft of the project work.

Craft involved in the works will exhibit the appropriate local and international day and night signals.

When in the vicinity of the working area, mariners are reminded to: (a) Keep well clear and not to enter the safety zone of the barge; (b) Maintain a proper lookout; (c) Proceed at a safe speed and navigate with caution; (d) Maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 21 (Sembawang Control); and (e) Communicate with Sembawang Control on VHF  Channel 21 for assistance, if required.

For information about operations in Singapore contact GAC Singapore at singapore@gac.com

DATE: August 10, 2012 –  COUNTRY: Australia –  PORT: Port Kembla  – Port closed due to severe weather 

Due to severe weather conditions, the port of Port Kembla is closed until 1200 hours tomorrow (Saturday 11 August) when conditions will be re-accessed.

Further, due to heavy shipping movements some vessels may experience difficulties in securing pilots with waiting time for available pilot slots up to 24 hours.

For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gacworld.com

DATE: August 10, 2012 – COUNTRY: Australia – PORT: Sydney Adverse weather closes ports

Port Jackson and Botany Bay are closed to commercial shipping due to high winds and heavy swell.

Swells of up to 11 metres are being recorded offshore, and the adverse weather is expected to continue until Sunday (12 August).

The situation will be reassessed tomorrow morning (11 August).

For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com

DATE: August 10, 2012 – Bunker Update: GAC MARKETPRICE UPDATE 10/08/12

GAC Bunker Fuels Ltd Pricing Alert  GAC MARKETPRICE UPDATE 10/08/12

180 CST   380 CST   MGO       MDO

Aden                   751.00    0         1, 232.00  0

Alexandria           723.00    716.00    1, 040.00  0

Aqaba                  0         812.00    1, 120.00  0

Bahrain                0         0         1, 069.00  0

Busan                  682.00    670.00    970.00    960.00

Cape Town              694.00    0         1, 020.00  0

Colombo                760.00    700.00    1, 045.00  0

Dubai                  690.00    670.00    930.00    0

Durban                 670.50    0         0         1, 110.50

Falmouth               759.50    732.50    995.50    0

Fujairah               687.00    668.00    1, 010.00  0

Gibraltar              744.50    715.50    986.50    0

Hong Kong              675.50    661.50    958.50    955.50

Houston                660.00    625.00    990.00    0

Istanbul               680.50    655.50    979.50    0

Jeddah                 695.00    680.00    1, 180.00  0

Kaohsiung              715.00    703.00    1, 010.00  995.00

Kuwait                 667.50    652.00    0         994.00

Malta                  762.50    744.50    969.50    0

Mumbai                 673.50    658.00    1, 085.00  0

New York & New Jersey  680.00    650.00    970.00    0

Panama                 829.00    798.00    1, 043.50  0

Port Said              710.00    700.00    1, 095.00  0

Qatar                  0         0         896.00    0

Rio de Janeiro         680.00    656.50    1, 015.00  0

Rotterdam              723.50    698.50    0         0

Salalah                735.00    695.00    1, 070.00  0

Shanghai               673.50    660.00    1, 064.50  0

Sharjah                690.00    670.00    930.00    0

Singapore              667.50    654.00    959.50    954.50

St Petersburg          514.50    504.50    0         0

Suez                   700.00    650.00    1, 095.00

Present in seven locations worldwide, GAC Bunker Fuels, part of the GAC group, is a global broker and trader of marine fuels and lubricants.

The prices listed are for indication purposes only, and local offices should be approached directly for firm prices.

Contact Martyn McMahon on +971 566032534 or Martyn.mcmahon@gac.com quoting HPN for more information or with your bunker enquiry.

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