Baltimore opens third temporary shipping channel

  • : Agriculture, Coal, Freight, Metals
  • 24/04/22

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.


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24/05/27

US against EU push to censure Iran for nuclear activity

US against EU push to censure Iran for nuclear activity

Dubai, 27 May (Argus) — US president Joe Biden's administration is opposing a European push — spearheaded by France — to rebuke Iran for advances in its nuclear program at the UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA's board of governors meeting in June, a diplomatic source with knowledge of the matter told Argus . "The US isn't enthused about the European effort to censure Iran at the IAEA's member state board meeting in early June," the diplomat said. "But there is a general European atmosphere that is exploring options and measures regarding Iran's nuclear program." The Biden administration is concerned about the need to manage tensions with Tehran, particularly at what is a highly sensitive moment, the source said. "Bear in mind, this board of governors meeting is happening around 10 days after the helicopter crash killed (Iran's president Ebrahim) Raisi and (foreign minister Hossein) Amir-Abdollahian" both of whom were primary interlocutors with IAEA director General Rafael Grossi on the nuclear file, the source said. "There is currently a vacuum in Tehran. Timing is bad," the source said, explaining the US position. A US State Department spokesman could not be reached for immediate comment. Concerns among western officials have grown over Iran's nuclear activity in recent years. Former US president Donald Trump in 2018 pulled the US out of a 2015 nuclear deal, resulting in an erosion of strict limits that the agreement had placed on Iran's nuclear program. Iran, in 2019, began breaching the restrictions and then pushed far beyond them. Tehran has enough highly enriched fissile material for three nuclear weapons, according to the IAEA. Iran is enriching uranium to up to 60pc purity, close to the near 90pc considered to be weapons grade, according to the IAEA. Grossi in March said inspections in Iran were not what they should have been and called for additional monitoring capabilities, given the depth and breadth of the program. "On Iran, recent negative developments haven't gone unnoticed. Nuclear threats by Iranian officials, and Grossi's recent interview all sent negative signals," the source said. The Biden administration has always maintained that it is seeking a diplomatic solution for Iran's nuclear program. And since the conflict between the Gaza-based Palestinian militant group Hamas, backed by Iran, and Israel broke out, the US has attempted to stop the spillover of the conflict into the wider region. US and Iranian officials have met at least twice for indirect talks in Oman this year. What are the options? "There is real concern nowadays within the international community that no one exactly knows where Iran is at the moment when it comes to nuclear enrichment," the source says. The IAEA has lost its "continuity of knowledge" in relation to the production and inventory of centrifuges, rotors and bellows, heavy water and uranium ore concentrate. "But the options are limited," the source said. The most the IAEA can do if a state is out of compliance with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement is to report its concerns to the UN Security Council. Since June 2020, The IAEA's board of governors has adopted three resolutions regarding Iran's cooperation regarding the non-proliferation agreement. "Two reports are to be published ahead of the meeting in June. Their outcome will set the scene on whether another resolution will adopted or not," the source said. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Tata Steel signs deal to build Dutch green steel units


24/05/27
24/05/27

Tata Steel signs deal to build Dutch green steel units

Mumbai, 27 May (Argus) — Tata Steel Netherlands has signed agreements with Italian steelmaking equipment suppliers Danieli and Tenova to set up green steel production units at its plant in Ijmuiden city. The company has selected the two Italy-based firms to provide engineering services for a direct-reduced iron plant and a 3mn t/yr electric arc furnace (EAF) at Tata Steel's Ijmuiden operations. Tenova will provide engineering, supply and advisory services for the EAF. The move is part of Tata Steel Netherland's plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The first phase of the plan is aimed at reducing CO2 emissions by 40pc or a 5 megatonne cut by 2030. This involves replacing the No.7 blast furnace and a coke-making plant with the direct-reduced iron plant and the EAF. Tata Steel will apply for the necessary permits to implement the first phase of the plan before the end of 2024. The firm's overall carbon emissions intensity totalled 2.21/t of crude steel, according to its 2022-23 financial report. By Amruta Khandekar Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Indonesian coal producer Indika eyes biomass market


24/05/27
24/05/27

Indonesian coal producer Indika eyes biomass market

Singapore, 27 May (Argus) — Indonesian coal producer Indika Energy is venturing into biomass, as it diversifies into more environmentally-friendly businesses and reduces its reliance on conventional fuel revenues. Indika, which produced 30.1mn t of coal in 2023 through its subsidiary Kideco, last year completed construction of a wood pellet factory in Paser, east Kalimantan, the company said in its 2023 sustainability report. The biomass business is part of its subsidiary Indika Nature that is preparing its first batch of production. It is aiming to produce 150,000 t/yr wood pellets by 2025. These will have an average calorific value of 4,200-4,750 kcal/kg that is suitable for biomass-based power plants or for co-firing in a thermal power plant. It is planning to export the pellets to Japan. [Japan imported 531,500t of wood pellets in March](https://direct.argusmedia.com/newsandanalysis/article/2562604), up by 47pc from a year earlier, according to preliminary data released by the country's finance ministry on 26 April. This was also higher by 9pc from February. Imports from Indonesia rise to 59,353t in March, more than a fivefold increase from 10,796t a year earlier. This exceeded the previous record high of 35,516t in January. Indika will become the first biomass company in Indonesia with a comprehensive value chain, it added. Indika Nature cultivates a commercial forest in east Kalimantan that provides biomass for carbon-neutral energy generation. It is aiming to cultivate this year 7,500 hectares of calliandra, a woody plant that is a source of biomass. The group's commodity trading arm also started trading of palm kernel shells, a by-product of palm oil production that is used as a fuel in biomass power plants. Its customers included trading firms in Indonesia, Japan and Portugal. Indika Energy has set a target for 50pc of its revenues to come from its non-coal business by 2025, as a part of its long-term goal to entirely transition away from coal and expand its presence in renewables and the non-energy space. It has been reducing its presence in coal-related businesses, while becoming more involved in electric mobility, gold mining and digital technologies. It decided to sell a 100pc stake last year in its Mutu coal mining unit to domestic firm Petrindo Jaya Kreasi. Indika earned almost 87pc of its $3.02bn revenues in 2023 from coal compared with nearly 89pc in 2022. By Ajay Modi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Chinese EV producers step up solid-state battery plans


24/05/27
24/05/27

Chinese EV producers step up solid-state battery plans

Beijing, 27 May (Argus) — Major Chinese auto manufacturers aim to launch mass production of solid-state batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) in the coming years. State-owned SAIC plans to deploy full solid-state batteries in its own EV brands from 2025 and start mass production in 2026. The battery will have an energy density of over 400Wh/kg. This can support at least 1,000km of driving range, according to industry forecasts. SAIC produced nearly 290,000 new energy vehicles during January-April, accounting for 22pc of its total vehicle production, up by 32pc from a year earlier. It is also China's largest EV exporter. GAC Group has also outlined a plan to deploy full solid-state batteries with its Hyber EV brand in 2026. The battery has an energy density of 400Wh/kg that can support more than 1,000km of driving range. Domestic EV producer Nio in last June tested a solid-state battery with a 360Wh/kg energy density and a 1,044km driving range. IM Motors, in which SAIC holds a stake, in April unveiled a plan to launch its IM L6 EV model with an ultra-fast charging solid-state battery with 130kWh of power and support up to 1,000km of driving range with a 900V ultra-fast charging capacity. Chinese EV and battery manufacturers have accelerated their development of solid-state batteries in an effort to make up for the shortcomings of dominant ternary and lithium iron phosphate batteries, such as erratic safety performance or limited driving range. Solid-state batteries with a longer life, smaller size and safer performance are considered the main development direction for the next generation of power batteries in a rapidly developing global EV industry. But there are several challenges restricting mass production of solid-state batteries, particularly significantly higher manufacturing costs, which could complicate Chinese EV manufacturers' production targets. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Indonesia plans 15mn electric vehicles on roads by 2030


24/05/24
24/05/24

Indonesia plans 15mn electric vehicles on roads by 2030

London, 24 May (Argus) — The Indonesian government aims to have 2mn four-wheeled electric vehicles (EVs) and 13mn two-wheeled EVs on its roads by 2030, to cut emissions and save energy. This will bring about energy savings of 29.79mn bl of oil equivalent (boe) and cut exhaust emissions by 7.23mn t of CO2 in 2030, according to special staff to the minister of energy and mineral resources (ESDM) Agus Tjahjana. Indonesia's transport sector makes up around a third of the country's energy consumption and the 11mn cars on Indonesian roads produce more than 35mn t/yr of CO2, while trucks emit more than 50mn t/yr, according to ESDM secretary general Dadan Kusdiana. The country's vehicle fleet is likely to grow in coming years because of its economic development, so decarbonising the transport sector is critical to achieving net zero emissions by 2060, said the ESDM. Greater electrification of transport will also allow Indonesia to reduce its fossil fuel imports. Indonesia is keen to develop the EV battery supply chain from upstream to downstream, in view of its large nickel resources that can support the development of the industry, said Agus. Indonesia currently has nine facilities processing nickel ore into nickel and cobalt sulphate, which is one of the materials used in making EV batteries. Out of these, four are already operational while three are in the construction stage, and the remaining two are still undergoing feasibility studies. The next step is to promote the manufacture of battery precursors, cathodes, battery cells and batteries, considering that the electric charging and battery recycling industries already exist, said Agus. But there is still a large price gap between EVs and conventional vehicles, said Dadan. The Indonesian government is hence providing tax incentives and subsidies for electric cars, hybrid cars and electric motorbikes to cover this gap. "Indonesia has prepared $455mn to subsidise the sale of electric motorbikes," said Dadan, adding that the subsidy covers the sale of 800,000 new electric motorbikes and the conversion of 200,000 combustion engine motorbikes. The government estimates that 32,000 charging stations will be needed to meet demand by 2030. The total number of charging stations available was 1,566 as of April, said Agus, adding that the government aims to add up to 48,118 charging stations by 2030. The ESDM has just approved 204 nickel mining work plans for exploration and production. The country produced 175.6mn t of nickel ore output in 2023. By Prethika Nair Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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