Baltimore channel unlikely to boost dry bulkers

  • Market: Coal, Freight
  • 01/04/24

The temporary channel that will be opened at the Port of Baltimore around the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge will be far too shallow to move large vessels and provide support to dry bulk freight rates.

The planned channel will be 11 ft deep (3.35m) and too shallow for the three types of vessels primarily responsible for transporting coal out of Baltimore. Supramaxes, Panamaxes and Capesizes have minimum drafts of 12.8m, 14.43m and 18.2m, respectively, and accounted for 87pc of the 19.94mn t of coal shipped from Baltimore in 2023, according to global trade analytics platform Kpler.

The channel is being built for "commercially essential" vessels, according to the federal Unified Command overseeing the removal of the collapsed bridge, which will include ships involved in the salvage operations.

If coal exporters do try to use smaller vessels to move their cargoes it would likely be on smaller barges, which would mean coal exports would continue to be heavily restricted.

The suspension of traffic depressed rates last week, especially for Capesizes and Panamaxes. The cost of coal-laden Capesize vessels transporting cargo from the US east coast to Rotterdam declined by $3/t to $12.90/t from 25-28 March, according to Argus data. Panamaxes traveling along the same route fell by $1.40/t to $13.90/t during the same period.


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24/04/24

Ayala’s South Luzon coal plant eligible for retirement

Ayala’s South Luzon coal plant eligible for retirement

Manila, 24 April (Argus) — Early decommissioning of coal-fired power plants in the Philippines has advanced with utility Ayala Energy's 246MW South Luzon Thermal Energy eligible for the US-based Rockefeller Foundation's coal to clean credit initiative (CCCI). The Rockefeller Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic group that creates and implements programmes in partnership with the private sector across different industries aimed at reversing climate change. Ayala has been working with the foundation to further shorten South Luzon's operating life from an original decommissioning date of 2040 to 2030. Doing so could result in the reduction of up to 19mn t of carbon emissions, Ayala said. An assessment by the Rocky Mountain Institute, the technical partner of the foundation for its energy-related projects, found that an early retirement date of 2030 instead of the original retirement date of 2040 could yield positive financial, social and climate outcomes. But decommissioning by this date will require carbon finance. Carbon financing will need to cover costs associated with the early retirement of the power plant's power supply contract, costs associated with 100pc clean replacement of the plant's power generation, plant decommissioning and transition support for workers affected by the plant's early closure, Ayala said. Ayala's listed arm ACEN welcomed the plant's eligibility for the CCCI programme, as its retirement is part of the company's goal to have its power generation portfolio composed solely of 100pc renewable sources by 2025. The Philippines' Department of Energy (DOE) said if successful, the pilot programme could serve as a basis for the development of other early retirement efforts as part of the country's plan to reduce carbon emissions. The DOE is seeking the early decommissioning of coal-fired power plants older than 20 years with a combined total capacity of 3.8GW by 2050, as part of the Philippines' transition to clean energy. By Antonio delos Reyes Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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US-led carbon initiative misses launch date


23/04/24
News
23/04/24

US-led carbon initiative misses launch date

Houston, 23 April (Argus) — The Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA), a global initiative to use voluntary carbon market revenue to speed the decarbonization of developing countries' power sectors, has missed its planned Earth Day launch but continues to prepare for doing business. At the Cop 28 climate conference in Dubai last year, the initiative's leaders said they hoped to formally launch the program on 22 April 2024 . That didn't happen, but the program's leaders last week announced that the US climate think tank Center for Climate and Energy Solutions will serve as the ETA's new secretariat and that former US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry will serve as the honorary chair of an eight-member senior consultative group that will advise the ETA's design and operations. The ETA plans to spend 2024 "building" on a framework for crediting projects they released last year. ETA leaders said the initiative could ultimately generate tens of billions of dollars in finances through 2035. The ETA also said the Dominican Republic had formed a government working group to "guide its engagement" as a potential pilot country for investments and that the Philippines would formally participate as an "observer country" rather than as a direct participant immediately. The ETA is still engaging Chile and Nigeria as potential pilot countries too, the initiative told Argus . The ETA is being developed by the US State Department, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Bezos Earth Fund and would be funded with money from the voluntary carbon market. The initiative's ultimate goal is to allow corporate and government offset buyers to help developing countries decarbonize their power sectors through large projects that accelerate the retirement of coal-fired power plants and build new renewable generation. As of now, the ETA's timeline for future changes and negotiations with countries and companies is unclear. The program's goals are ambitious, especially at a time when scrutiny of some voluntary carbon market projects from environmentalists has weighed on corporate offset demand. By Mia Westley Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Vancouver Aframax rates at 6-month lows ahead of TMX


23/04/24
News
23/04/24

Vancouver Aframax rates at 6-month lows ahead of TMX

Houston, 23 April (Argus) — An oversupply of Aframax-size crude tankers on the west coast of the Americas in anticipation of the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pressured Vancouver-loading rates to six-month lows on 19 April. With the 590,000 b/d TMX project expected to commence commercial service on 1 May, shipowners have positioned more vessels to be on the west coast to satisfy anticipated demand in Vancouver, but that demand has yet to materialize, leaving the Aframax market oversupplied for now, market participants said. Aframax rates from Vancouver to the US west coast began falling in mid-to-late March as an increase of ballasters added to tonnage in the region, helping drop the rate to ship 80,000t of Cold Lake on that route to $1.50/bl on 19 April from $2.55/bl on 21 March, according to Argus data. The rate held at $1.50/bl on 22 April, the lowest since 2 October and just 3¢/bl higher than the lowest rate since Argus began assessing the route on 21 April 2023. Similarly, the Vancouver-China Aframax rate also fell to a six-month low of $6.59/bl for Cold Lake on 19 April, down from $7.78/bl on 2 April, according to Argus data. In addition to the ballasters, two Aframaxes — the Jag Lokesh and the New Activity — are hauling Argentinian crude to the US west coast and are expected to begin discharging on 3 and 6 May, respectively, according to Vortexa. The Argentinian port of Puerto Rosales is mostly restricted to Panamaxes but can accommodate smaller Aframaxes. Downward pressure from across canal A recent slump in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Aframax market, due in part to falling Mexican crude exports to the US Gulf coast , has exerted additional downward pressure, a shipowner said. "Though markets at each side of the (Panama) Canal are different, softer sentiment looms in the region," the shipowner said. Last week, a charterer hired two Aframaxes for west coast Panama-US west coast voyages, the first at WS102.5 and the second at WS95, equivalent to $12.71/t and $11.78/t, respectively, as multiple shipowners competed for the cargoes. The Vancouver Aframax market typically draws from the same pool of vessels as the west coast Panama market. For example, the Yokosuka Spirit , one of the Aframaxes hired to load in west coast Panama, discharged a Cold Lake cargo in Los Angeles on 21-22 April after loading in Vancouver in mid-March, according to Vortexa and market participants. By Tray Swanson Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Baltimore opens third temporary shipping channel


22/04/24
News
22/04/24

Baltimore opens third temporary shipping channel

New York, 22 April (Argus) — A third temporary shipping channel has opened at the Port of Baltimore to allow more vessel traffic around the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. Located on the northeast side of the main channel, the new passage has a controlling depth of 20-ft, a 300-ft horizontal clearance, and a vertical clearance of 135-ft. When combined with two other temporary channels opened earlier this month the port should be able to handle "... approximately 15 percent of pre-collapse commercial activity," said David O'Connell, the federal on-scene coordinator. The main shipping channel of the Port of Baltimore — a key conduit for US vehicle imports and coal exports — is expected to be reopened by the end of May, the Maryland Port Administration said earlier this month. The bridge collapsed into the water late last month when the 116,851dwt container ship Dali lost power and crashed into one of its support columns. Salvage teams have been working ever since to remove debris from the water and containers from the ship in order to clear the main channel. By Stephen Cunningham Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Coal sales at Australia’s Whitehaven fall in Jan-Mar


19/04/24
News
19/04/24

Coal sales at Australia’s Whitehaven fall in Jan-Mar

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