The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) secured over $14 million on behalf of aggrieved consumers during the 2012/13 financial year, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dolsie Allen, has disclosed.In an interview with JIS News, Mrs. Allen said that the sum was for the settlement of 1,607 of 1,782 complaints received, representing a 90 per cent resolution rate.She noted that the most frequent complaints filed were in the categories of electrical equipment and appliances, accounting for 30 per cent of the total and utilities, representing close to 11 per cent.As it relates to electrical equipment and appliances, the CEO urged persons to be mindful of illegitimate vendors selling substandard products.“One of the problems is that persons buy from vendors that are not really established and there is a challenge in terms of getting redress…so we are encouraging persons that whenever possible, check the appliance before you leave the store or point of purchase to ensure that the item is working and if possible, get somebody to go with you who might be knowledgeable about these items,” Mrs. Allen advised.She added that consumers need to ask relevant questions especially as it relates to the warranty, exchange and return policies of vendors, which are all critical when consumers seek some form of redress.“Once you are purchasing items especially electrical appliances and gadgets or any high value product, you must ensure that you have your warranty document in place. If it is not given to you, ask for it and ensure to get it in writing, whether it is noted on your receipt or a separate document,” Mrs. Allen advised.She noted that if this is not provided, the CAC, through the Consumer Protection Act, can impose a six-month warranty period.According to Mrs. Allen, the purchase of motor vehicles is another category, which continues to be of great concern to the CAC, with over 80 complaints still outstanding for the past financial year.“We are encouraging persons that whenever you are purchasing a motor vehicle, you do all the due diligence and try to get all the information you possibly can, including the model and year of the vehicle,” she stated.The CEO urged consumers to be more responsible in their purchasing decisions, especially on high value investments such as motor vehicles and stressed the need for a certified or experienced mechanic to be present during the time of transaction and/or purchase, to assess the vehicle and identify any existing problems or defects.In terms of outreach and public education initiatives, the CAC was involved in some 314 activities islandwide, directly reaching over 74,000 persons for the period under review.The CAC has pledged its commitment to keep consumers informed about their rights and responsibilities and assist them in obtaining redress when necessary.The CAC is the national agency responsible for consumer advocacy. It was established to promote fair and honest business practices, by investigating alleged violations of consumer protection laws, taking legal action to stop unfair or deceptive practices in the marketplace, and educating consumers and businesses regarding their respective rights and obligations.For further information on consumer-related issues or queries, persons may contact the CAC at 978-4998, or visit their website: www.cac.gov.jm or facebook page, www.facebook.com/cac.gov.jm.Contact: Kadian Brown
JUTC fleet in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) to increase from 244 to 350 Effective September 1, the fleet of Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses plying routes across the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) will increase from 244 to 350.This will be facilitated through the introduction of a number of buses which the state-run entity acquired recently.Managing Director of the JUTC, Colin Campbell, who made the disclosure during a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank at the JIS’ head office in Kingston on August 21, said 35 new buses imported earlier this year, have been serviced and are ready to be incorporated into the fleet.“What 350 buses will enable us to do is to provide a more predictable schedule for commuters; obviously to provide more seats on the routes, so that customers won’t have to seek alternative modes of transportation,” he stated.Mr. Campbell said the fleet is slated to be further increased to 400 by year-end, a move which will also be facilitated through the acquisition of new buses as well as re-introduction of repaired units.He informed that an additional 20 articulated (twin) buses have been released from the wharf, and are slated to be commissioned into service by late October. Further, several buses, which were taken out of service for repairs, should also be returned shortly as the requisite parts have been received.Mr. Campbell advised that some 15 of 40 units that were withdrawn to facilitate tyre installations are slated to be re-introduced shortly, as this exercise has been completed.“Therefore, out of a combination of new buses, repairs, purchasing of tyres, and refurbishing of buses, we intend to achieve the roll-out numbers. Once we achieve the roll out numbers and can consistently keep those seats on the road we should be able to bring our revenues up an additional $118 million per month,” Mr. Campbell said. 35 new buses imported earlier this year 15 of 40 units that were withdrawn to facilitate tyre installations are slated to be re-introduced shortly Story Highlights
Story Highlights Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, says the Government remains committed to increasing the production of local foods as it intensifies efforts to promote food security and safety in Jamaica.He noted that the local domestic production of staples such as yams, bananas, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, Irish potatoes, and tomatoes continues to increase incrementally, while the island is also self-sufficient in the production of chicken meat and pork.The Minister was speaking at the World Food Day National Ceremony and Exhibition held on October 16 at the Greater Portmore High School in St. Catherine.Minister Clarke said through the agro-parks programme, the Government is strategically targeting the production of peas, beans, onions, fish and meat, a vast amount which is imported.“Part of our solution must be to increase production and productivity of local foods. This cannot be stressed too often. Once we have produced locally, we must also aim to consume fresh local produce, which very often are the fruits, vegetables and staples we need for healthy diets and lifestyles,” he said.Further, in keeping with food security efforts, the Minister noted that Government has approved the Jamaican Food and Nutrition Security Policy, which seeks to ensure the availability of a sufficient quantity of nutritious and appropriate foods, through increased domestic production and a sustainable level of imports.“As Government and policy makers, we also intend further, to enact a Food Security Law to ensure the domestic production of a minimum threshold of a selected basket of foods for which there is production capability and national comparative advantage to meet domestic food, nutrition and health goals,” he stated.“We wholeheartedly subscribe to the expressed view of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that raising nutrition levels include enhanced production, marketing and consumption of local vegetables and staple crops such as locally grown yams, sweet potatoes and cassava,” the Minister added.World Food Day was established by the FAO in 1979 and serves to heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world. In addition, it turns the spotlight on agricultural food production and stimulates national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to this end. It also promotes the transfer of technologies to developing countries.This year’s theme: ‘Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems’ served to highlight the importance of food systems that can feed all people in a sustainable manner.During the event, exhibitions were mounted by the Ministry; FAO office in Kingston; Ebony Park HEART Academy in Clarendon; the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland; Jamaica 4-H Clubs; the National Irrigation Commission (NIC); the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and the National Food Safety Committee. Through the agro-parks programme, the Government is strategically targeting the production of peas, beans, onions, fish and meat, a vast amount which is imported. World Food Day was established by the FAO in 1979 and serves to heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world. The Government remains committed to increasing the production of local foods as it intensifies efforts to promote food security and safety in Jamaica.
“I think we are lucky to have had the first shipment by the end of last year, and the end of February was (when we had) the second shipment of alumina. So far, the operation has already gone to a higher level, so we will have enough eventually to arrange at least one shipment per month,” he indicated. Story Highlights Chinese entity, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO), which owns and operates the Alpart refinery in St. Elizabeth, is aiming to upgrade the plant and increase its capacity to facilitate the exportation of a minimum one shipment of alumina per month. Chinese entity, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO), which owns and operates the Alpart refinery in St. Elizabeth, is aiming to upgrade the plant and increase its capacity to facilitate at least one shipment of alumina per month.Assistant Managing Director of JISCO Alpart Jamaica, Sun Jing, disclosed that the company has already spent US$150 million to overhaul the plant in order to commence production that will lead to them attaining the target this year. According to Mr. Sun, the company has already been able to export two shipments of alumina in just over six months.“I think we are lucky to have had the first shipment by the end of last year, and the end of February was (when we had) the second shipment of alumina. So far, the operation has already gone to a higher level, so we will have enough eventually to arrange at least one shipment per month,” he indicated.The JISCO executive noted, however, that the outdated facilities present some challenges with respect to getting the plant fully operational. “We have to engage more persons to help us to run this plant. So although it probably needs 600-700 persons to operate, we have employed almost 900 Jamaicans for maintenance, operations and other relevant activities,” he said.Mr. Sun emphasised that modification and upgrade of the plant are imperative in order to maintain the operation. “Until then, we just keep going… although some of the (input) costs are very high, like oil and caustic soda. So to survive for the long-term, we need to do the expansion as quickly as possible.” Mr. Sun noted, however, that full modification and upgrading will take time.“When you finish the design, then you will have to begin the procurement process to buy equipment and do the installation. For the new equipment to be commissioned takes about one year.” he explained.Mr. Sun assured, however, that JISCO is committed to keeping the facility’s operations going until the modification and upgrading project is completed, “then we will have a chance to finish the new learning curve to bring this Alpart plant to the two million-tonne capacity per year”.A framework agreement has been signed between the Government of Jamaica and JISCO to undertake major improvement works at the plant and at Port Kaiser. This includes expansion of the existing refinery and construction of a new alumina plant; construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant; and the creation of a Special Economic Zone.Sale of the Alpart plant to JISCO and its subsequent reopening have been credited for significantly contributing to a 15 per cent growth in Jamaica’s mining sector over the October to December quarter of 2017. Assistant Managing Director of JISCO Alpart Jamaica, Sun Jing, disclosed that the company has already spent US$150 million to overhaul the plant in order to commence production that will lead to them attaining the target this year. According to Mr. Sun, the company has already been able to export two shipments of alumina in just over six months.
He said that 18-year-old ward Selana Reid, along with a caregiver at the home, and a young man, who saw the fire and came to assist, have been recommended for the Award for Gallantry at this year’s National Honours and Awards Ceremony to be held at King’s House in October. Story Highlights Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, made the disclosure at Monday’s (April 9) memorial service for Oneika McGrae and Anna Kaye Moreland, at the Faith Tabernacle Shiloh Apostolic Church on Lyndhurst Road. Three persons, including a ward of the State, are being considered for national honours for their acts of bravery during the fire at the Walker’s Place of Safety earlier this year that took the lives of two children and destroyed the Lyndhurst Crescent-based facility. Three persons, including a ward of the State, are being considered for national honours for their acts of bravery during the fire at the Walker’s Place of Safety earlier this year that took the lives of two children and destroyed the Lyndhurst Crescent-based facility.Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, made the disclosure at Monday’s (April 9) memorial service for Oneika McGrae and Anna Kaye Moreland, at the Faith Tabernacle Shiloh Apostolic Church on Lyndhurst Road.He said that 18-year-old ward Selana Reid, along with a caregiver at the home, and a young man, who saw the fire and came to assist, have been recommended for the Award for Gallantry at this year’s National Honours and Awards Ceremony to be held at King’s House in October.He noted that the three saved lives by waking up the children, who were asleep, and helping them to escape the blaze.Scores of persons packed the church for the memorial service, including portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, who read the first lesson, representatives of childcare agencies, family, friends and well-wishers.The State Minister, in expressing sorrow at the loss of lives, said he is heartened at the outpouring of love and support from the public in the wake of the tragedy.He noted that $9 million has already been donated for the rebuilding of the home in addition to other support for the children.Mr. Green urged Jamaicans to honour the lives of those who perished by doing more for children who are in need of care and protection.Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, who is Member of Parliament for East Central St. Andrew where the home is located, said “there is much goodness around us”, and this was evident in how the community came together to assist on the night of the fire.“The best of them came out, and they did what they could do for those children,” Dr. Phillips said, while calling for additional public support for the reconstruction of the home.Several other agencies and community persons addressed the function, including Director of Children and Family Programmes at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Audrey Budhi.Pastor at the Greater Grace Temple churches, Bishop Dr. C.A. Holdsworth, who contributed $10,000 towards the rebuilding of the facility, charged the congregation to “seize this opportunity to do something positive” for the nation’s children.
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is redesigning and rebuilding Jamaica’s fashion future, through the development of the local talent in the industry. Speaking with JIS News at the recent launch of Irie Magic Fashion Fusion Plus at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Chief Executive Officer at the JBDC, Valerie Veira, said the agency has a big vision to highlight and promote the development of small businesses, especially the fashion industry. The agency has implemented a fashion programme, dubbed ‘Irie Magic Fashion Fusion’, which highlights the works of nine local emerging designers and recent Edna Manley College graduates. Story Highlights The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is redesigning and rebuilding Jamaica’s fashion future, through the development of the local talent in the industry.The agency has implemented a fashion programme, dubbed ‘Irie Magic Fashion Fusion’, which highlights the works of nine local emerging designers and recent Edna Manley College graduates.Through the programme the designers are also being mentored and prepared to operate sustainable businesses with strong design identities and brand presence as an entrepreneur.Speaking with JIS News at the recent launch of Irie Magic Fashion Fusion Plus at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Chief Executive Officer at the JBDC, Valerie Veira, said the agency has a big vision to highlight and promote the development of small businesses, especially the fashion industry.She noted that development of the fashion industry has always been a core objective of the JBDC since the early 2000s, and through the JBDC’s efforts in the industry, many designers have participated in local and international fashion-related events, trade shows and business.“It is within this context that the JBDC is re-energising its fashion programme with its Irie Magic concept, which endeavours to prepare the new generation of designers to operate sustainable businesses,” Mrs. Veira said.“We are aware of the small entrepreneurs, their skills and contribution to the economy, so we want to nurture this growth and guide them on to the global market with the ideas,” she added.Manager, Technical Services at the JBDC, Colin Porter, explained that the concept was designed to provide market exposure to the fashion programmes, and specifically to the participating designers.“All participants in the programme got the chance to display their pieces during Style Week and highlight the exposure of JBDC’s support to the small business and the fashion industry,” Mr. Porter added.He noted that the JBDC is there to help small businesses, and encourages persons to visit the agency to get the information as well as share ideas on how the entity can improve its offerings.Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, congratulated the JBDC on the successful execution of the launch.She said Irie Magic will serve as an encouragement to creative persons and enable the development of the fashion industry.“Through this activity, we are bringing form to the fashion industry by way of designer mentorship programmes and product-development training,” Miss Grange argued.She said there is a shift in consumer appetites and the JBDC fashion development programme is sharpening the designer’s entrepreneurial skill sets and business acumen to meet the desires of the potential clients, and, by extension, the industry.“People want convenience, a great price, quality, novel designs and their designs on time. It is imperative that our designers are equipped to be able to maintain the appetite of buyers of Jamaican fashion, especially in this evolving global fashion ecosystem where it is predicted that in 2018, half of the world’s apparel and footwear will not originate in North America and Europe,” Miss Grange said.She further noted that the JBDC is uniquely positioned to bolster production capacity for the designers, improve their business strategies and formalise things for overseas opportunities through the Irie Magic programme.“I can think of international superstars, like Ralph Lauren, who have used Jamaica as an inspiration for their Spring/Summer collection for this year,” Miss Grange said.She said with help from the JBDC, local designers will soon have their clothes on the international market.Moses Fennel, who is now a firefighter at the Norman Manley International Airport, is one of the standout designers among the nine Irie Magic participants. He said the training he has received from the JBDC is giving him an opportunity to live his dream.He said that since he has enrolled in the JBDC fashion designer programme, the experience has given him a new perspective about business development.“The workshops at JBDC have broadened my knowledge and have really helped me to understand the value of my designs and how to convert my skill into a brand and how to make money from it.The class is ongoing, and we have learnt a lot about collection development process, costing for the international and local markets, and business acumen as a designer, which includes marketing strategies, catalogues and entrepreneurship,” he added.“Fashion is my passion; it’s the only thing that occupies my mind… so even while I did my duties at the Jamaica Fire Brigade, I still went and got additional training. I went to Garmex (HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy) to study for a diploma in Fashion Design and Technology, and from there other opportunities came up, including this Irie Magic show,” he noted.Mr. Fennel said he wants to transition from firefighting to fashion designing. “My aim is to have a global brand, providing ball gowns to females, and this is becoming more of a reality with the JBDC influence,” he told JIS News.
zoom Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc. has recently supplied five new Seaglider Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) systems to the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton, UK. The AUVs were ordered by NOC’s Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems facility (MARS), and will become part of a fleet of underwater gliders that are made available to research institutes around the United Kingdom. With this delivery, MARS will now have 10 Seagliders in its pool of AUVs.MARS supplies and supports gliders for scientists at the NOC, as well as institutes and Universities around the UK, to carry out their research programmes. 2013 has seen significant investment by the UK government in this technology, furnishing the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) with a fleet of over 30 gliders. These gliders are being used to support and enhance oceanographic research by UK scientists around the world, and the new KONGSBERG Seagliders will see service from home waters to the Antarctic.The new systems will immediately be put to use by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), which also owns two of its own Seaglider AUVs. All of the vehicles will be used in three ongoing, long term research programs: FASTNEt, the Extended Ellet Line and OSNAP.FASTNEt is a four year program to study the ocean/shelf exchange using novel observations and model techniques to resolve the key seasonal, interannual and regional variation absent from existing knowledge.Stretching across the Atlantic Ocean between Scotland and Iceland, the Extended Ellett Line is a major gateway for water exchange between the Nordic seas and the Atlantic. Regular in-situ monitoring is essential to develop the understanding of circulation in this area, which has a significant impact in the moderation of Western Europe’s climate.OSNAP is an international program started in 2013 and is designed to provide a continuous record of the full-water column, trans-basin fluxes of heat, mass and freshwater in the subpolar North Atlantic. It will generate new knowledge and understanding of the gyre’s wider impacts on climate and will help improve long term climate predictions and weather forecasting. “Due to their ability to operate in adverse weather, gliders are an essential component of our strategy for wintertime observations, which, in the past, have been very difficult to achieve. Clearer insight into wintertime conditions will shed new light on our understanding of upper ocean variability,” remarked Dr. Stefan Gary, a research associate at SAMS.In all three programs, Seagliders will be a vital tool in the collection of physical oceanographic data over extended durations and geographic areas.April 29, 2014
zoom The pump manufacturer Ruhrpumpen has chosen Trelleborg Gimbal Mountings for its water injection package for LNG in Gjerdrum, Norway.The package is placed on a special designed Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit from Sevan Marine, the “Sevan Voyageur.”Trelleborg’s gimbal mountings will be used as a three point suspension system protecting the equipment from vibration and the movements of the vessel. By reducing vibration, shock and structure-borne noise, isolation systems make an important contribution to protecting high value installations, improving efficiency, safety and the working environment.The water injection package from Ruhrpumpen consists of two booster pumps type SCE 10X8X16 and two main pumps at SM 6X13X10. The main pump skid, that also will carry the Lube Oil System, has been designed as a three point support version, which is a special design for platforms and FPSOs.Press Release, May 8, 2014
zoom Malaysia-based offshore services provider Bumi Armada Berhad has decided to take legal action against the Australian oil and gas company Woodside following a notice to terminate the charter contract for the company’s Armada Claire floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit.In a recent statement, Bumi Armada said that the notice of termination “is not valid, and in fact tantamount to a cancellation for convenience or alternatively, is a repudiation of the contract by Woodside, pursuant to which the company is entitled to compensation from Woodside.”Bumi Armada added that it intends to fully enforce its rights under the contract, which include initiating legal proceedings against Woodside for its “unlawful” purported termination of the contract.The company said that this FPSO charter contract termination is expected to have an impact on its full year 2016 financial results, however it is not known to which extent as it will depend on the outcome of the legal action against Woodside.The 1993-built FPSO has been operating in the Balnaves Field off north-western Australia since delivering first oil in August 2014.
zoom The European Commission has given its consent to Finland’s plans to grant EUR 28 million (USD 31.5 million) for the construction of a second small scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Hamina, on Finland’s South-East coast.The European Commission said that the project, which is expected to improve security of energy supply in the region and contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, is in line with EU state aid rules and would not unduly distort competition in the single market.“The Hamina LNG terminal is one of several planned in Finland. These small scale LNG terminals will provide a new source of cleaner fuel for the maritime industry and diversify Finland’s gas supply sources,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said.The Hamina project is part of Finland’s plans to create a network of small LNG terminals with the aim of offering LNG fuelling stations for ships and ensuring an additional source of gas for Finland.The Hamina LNG terminal will also contribute to the development of infrastructure supporting alternative fuels in a port that is part of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T).The Hamina terminal will have a storage capacity of 30,000 cubic meters. The public funding of EUR 27.6 million would cover 30% of the total investment costs, while the remainder would be funded by the developer and future owner of the terminal.This is Finland’s second aid approval for a small scale terminal, as the country received a nod for another LNG terminal in September 2015. The terminal, which will be located at Pori on the West coast of Finland, is scheduled to be completed in autumn 2016.
zoom Belgian Port of Ghent and Dutch Zeeland Seaports are to presented a balanced merger agreement to their shareholders and works councils as the latest step in their merger plans.Next week, the two port authorities will present these proposals to their shareholders. It is expected that they will put them on the agendas of their municipal and provincial executives in October and November.The ports are setting out how the merger, which was unveiled in November 2016, will be given shape on the basis of equality. Over the next three months, shareholders and councils are expected to return their verdict on the merger between the two port authorities.The move comes on the back of the merger talks undertaken on November 7, 2016 at the Flemish-Dutch summit.After several months of financial, legal and other studies, at the end of June the shareholders and works councils of both port authorities were presented with the outline of a possible merger in the form of a merger protocol. In the summer months, the outline accord was worked up into a merger agreement, articles of association and a shareholders’ agreement.The starting point for the merger agreement is to achieve a merger on a fully equal basis (50%-50%) and thus create a single cross-border port area and a single new unified port authority.As regards the hoped-for merger, all signals for Zeeland Seaports and the Port of Ghent are now set to green. Following the approval of the merger agreement by the eight municipal and provincial authorities, the new name of the unified cross-border port area and the merged company will be announced. This is provisionally planned for December 8, the Port of Ghent informed.
zoom Japan’s Mitsui & Co. has formed joint venture with gas shipping company BW Group Limited to own the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) BW Integrity.Mitsui & Co. has purchased a 49% share in BW Integrity, while BW continues to own a 51% share in the vessel. In line with the deal, BW will continue to provide commercial and technical management services for the vessel.The deal is expected to close as soon as the payment for the acquisition is completed, Mitsui said.This is the first FSRU project for Mitsui, and the first project for a Japanese company to participate in the LNG receiving infrastructure business in Pakistan.BW Integrity is currently in Port Qasim on a 15-year charter to PGP Consortium Limited (PGPC), to provide LNG regasification services at Pakistan’s second LNG import terminal. The demand for imported LNG in Pakistan is expected to grow steadily and reach 20 million tons per annum by 2022.“BW and Mitsui have a long history of close cooperation in many business areas and having Mitsui as a JV partner is a special relationship on which we hope to build for many years to come,” BW Group’s CEO Carsten Mortensen said.“The opportunity for us to enter the FSRU business is a very big step forward for our future business strategy. As an LNG receiving/regasification base project is an extension of the LNG shipping business area, it is important to acquire know-how of the FSRU business and to maintain effective relationships with partners like BW. I am convinced that this partnership will also greatly contribute to Mitsui &Co.’s gas sales strategy. I would like to continue to expand this business area firmly in the future,” Mitsui & Co.’s Chief Operating Officer of the Integrated Transportation Systems Business Unit II, Takeshi Setozaki said.BW’s first FSRU, the BW Singapore, is currently involved in a five-year contract providing LNG regasification and storage services in Sumed, Egypt.BW has a fleet of over 150 vessels, including 21 LNG carriers and FSRUs including newbuildings.Just two weeks ago, BW LNG welcomed two new MEGI LNG carriers into the fleet, BW Tulip and BW Lilac.The identical sisters were named at Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) two weeks ago and are the first two-stroke propulsion vessels in the fleet.
zoom The Panama Canal Authority expects to see a rise in the number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, mainly driven by increasing exports of fuel from the United States.Namely, the LNG tanker traffic would go up by 50 percent by September on the back of a growing global demand for LNG, Reuters said, citing Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Authority’s CEO.During the final quarter of 2017, the canal welcomed 60 LNG tankers, up from 43 tankers received in the same quarter a year earlier. As the demand for LNG continues rising, the Panama Canal expects to see one LNG tanker sail through its locks each day, Quijano told Reuters.US exports via the Panama Canal decreased temporarily in September 2017, due to damages caused by Hurricane Harvey to several Texas and Louisiana ports, but recovered in the following months.LNG vessels, which have an average canal water time of 20.5 hours, including waiting and transit times, represent about 9 percent of transits through the canal’s new locks.Earlier in 2017, Quijano informed that the canal expects to nearly double LNG carrier transits through the waterway by 2020 driven by US exports of natural gas.“The shale revolution in the United States not only has produced a quantum leap in terms of technology and volumes, but has also become a catalyst for the development and rapid evolution of a growing spot market, swaps and short-term contracts that were unthinkable a few years ago,” Quijano said.Based on the canal authority’s figures, the LNG segment has been surpassing the canal’s original expectations of one transit per week, and on average, 5.2 LNG vessels have transited the canal per week.World Maritime News Staff
zoom Qatar-based LNG shipping company Nakilat and Greek shipping company Maran Ventures Inc. have expanded their joint venture partnership with two additional LNG vessels.The new agreement increases the number of vessels jointly-owned by Nakilat and Maran Gas from 13 to 15 vessels.The two newly added vessels, Woodside Rogers and Woodside Goode, featuring 159,800 cbm each, were built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co (DSME) in 2013.In addition, the two vessels are under a long-term charter and equipped with Dual Fuel Diesel-Electric (DFDE) propulsion models, Nakilat said.“We are delighted at this opportunity to further strengthen our long-term strategic relationship. We look forward to working closely together in the future, continuing to strive to provide a first-class service to all our LNG customers,” Chairman of Maran Gas, John Angelicoussis said.Maran Nakilat Co. Ltd. was first established in 2005 with four jointly-owned LNG vessels, and was further expanded on several occasions.“Strategic alliance with renowned partners has been fundamental to our success, and we are always looking for opportunities to grow our international presence. Nakilat now has an ownership interest in 69 vessels, affirming our global leadership in energy transportation with the world’s largest LNG fleet,” Nakilat’s Chief Executive Officer Eng. Abdullah Al Sulaiti said.
Moody’s rating agency has upgraded Royal Caribbean Cruises’ senior unsecured rating to Baa2 from Baa3, and assigned a P-2 rating to the company’s planned USD 1.15 billion commercial paper program.The rating agency added that the company’s rating outlook is stable.“The upgrade to Baa2 reflects Moody’s expectation that Royal Caribbean will benefit from strong booking trends, increased onboard spending and the introduction of new ships which will enable the company to maintain leverage below 3.5x,” Pete Trombetta, Moody’s lead lodging and cruise analyst, said.“The upgrade also reflects the company’s improved liquidity position, including reduced outstandings under its committed revolving credit facilities,” Trombetta added.The P-2 commercial paper rating reflects RCL’s adequate liquidity, supported by its strong free cash flow generation which is sufficient to cover debt maturities over the next 24 months.Constraining the company’s liquidity profile is the large cash outflows related to new ship deliveries which cause spikes in capital expenditures throughout the year.RCL also has a USD 1.4 billion revolver due 2020 and a USD 1.2 billion revolver due in 2022; combined outstandings of about USD 700 million at March 31, 2018.The revolvers do not require a material adverse change representation at borrowing, but do contain financial covenants which are expected to maintain ample headroom, Moody’s concluded.
Wilhelmsen Ship Management, a Wilhelmsen group company, said it will be providing ship management services for the new Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) named Turquoise, owned by Ireland-based Pardus Energy.Pardus Energy is a new entrant into the FSRU market, which aims to further expand its market presence.The FSRU is a 170,000 CBM gas processing vessel, built at Hyundai Heavy Industry, South Korea. The FSRU will be managed by Wilhelmsen Ship Management Malaysia.“This win further solidifies our position in the gas market and we expect further growth driven by the positive sentiment in this segment,” says Carl Schou, CEO and President of Wilhelmsen Ship Management.WSM’s portfolio of managed vessels includes more than 450 vessels, including LNG/LPG, Ro-Ro and PCC/PCTC, container, cruise, bulk, and offshore.Image Courtesy: Wilhelmsen Ship Management
TRANSPORTATION/PUBLIC WORKS–Road Improvements for CumberlandCounty The province is building better roads in Cumberland County. A tender call has been announced to repave three sections ofroadway totaling about 9.2 kilometres. “We are continuing to invest in better roads for Nova Scotians,”said Ron Russell, Minister of Transportation and Public Works.”We are upgrading important sections of road in this county, andnow we are planning to work on other important sections ofhighway.” The tender covers Route 321, from Oxford town line south toWyvern Road, about 5.1 kilometres; Route 301, from CarringtonRoad east to Trunk 6, about 3.4 kilometres; and Route 307, fromTrunk 6 to Quarry Hill Road, about 0.7 kilometres. The tender closes Wednesday, July 7 and work is expected to becompleted by Aug. 31. This announcement follows a $1.4-million commitment to repavepart of Route 209 and plans to repave part of Trunk 6 inCumberland County. The Department of Transportation and Public Works highwaysdivision manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in NovaScotia. It maintains an inventory of 4,100 bridges and operatesseven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from districtoffices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.
COMMUNITY SERVICES–Province Strengthening Programs for Personswith Disabilities The province of Nova Scotia reinforced its commitment tostrengthening programs for persons with disabilities in its firstannual report under the Multi-lateral Framework for Labour MarketAgreements for Persons with Disabilities. The report was releasedtoday, Dec. 3, the International Day of Disabled Persons. It reflects the province’s goal to improve accountability forlabour market programs and services for persons with disabilitiesand it will serve as a baseline for future reporting. “It’s important to be able to measure the effectiveness of ourprograms and services to ensure we are meeting the needs ofpersons with disabilities,” said David Morse, Minister ofCommunity Services. “The new framework offers us an opportunityto evaluate and strengthen these programs to better supportlabour market participation for persons with disabilities.” The departments of Community Services, Education and Health havedelivered labour market programs for persons with disabilitiesfor many years — including career counseling, campus-basedsupports, addiction treatments and mental health services. Theseprograms and services are supported by more than $15-million inannual cost-shared funding from the province and the federalgovernment. Following the signing of the labour market agreement in April,Nova Scotia received an additional $800,000 in federal fundingfor this fiscal year. The funding was distributed evenly amongthe three departments to support existing programs and services. The province also began the process of evaluating its programsand services in consultation with the disability community –work that will continue in the coming year. “We are committed to engaging in meaningful, ongoing consultationwith the disability community and will work closely with theDisabled Persons Commission to ensure this happens,” said Mr.Morse. “We’re pleased to see the province’s commitment to consult withthe disability community on programs and services that affectthem,” said Charlie Macdonald, executive director of the DisabledPersons Commission. “It’s a good fit with our mandate, as well asthe theme for this year’s International Day of Disabled Persons,which is Nothing about us without us.” Mr. Morse said the province’s goal is to achieve full inclusionfor people with disabilities. “By working together, the lives of people with disabilities willbe improved,” said Mr. Morse, “and Nova Scotia will reap thebenefits of the many skills and talents they have to offer.” The goal of the multilateral framework is to improve theemployment situation for people with disabilities in Nova Scotiaby enhancing their employability, increasing employmentopportunities available and building on the existing knowledgebase. The first annual report under the framework can be foundon the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/coms/.
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION–Town of Truro Renews Affirmative ActionCommitment Residents have renewed confidence that the Town of Truro iscommitted to building a workplace free of discrimination. Officials renewed the town’s affirmative action agreement onThursday, March 31, with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commissionat a signing ceremony in Halifax. “For the Town of Truro this commitment is very important,” saidMichael Baker, Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act. “AsNova Scotia embarks on its efforts to encourage immigration, allof our communities need to be supporting the values of respectand inclusion.” The affirmative action agreement commits staff and officials inthe town to identifying and eliminating barriers that may denyequal employment opportunities to women, visible minorities,aboriginal people and people with disabilities. “The Town of Truro has recognized that actions such asdiversifying its staff enhances and increases the value of theresources and services it provides to the community,” said LanceHale, vice-chair of the Human Rights Commission. It is the second time officials from Truro have signed anaffirmative action agreement. The town’s original agreementexpired in 2004. “Council believes the goals and objectives identified in theagreement are both important and attainable,” said Truro MayorBill Mills. “As part of our strategic process, council will beannually measuring its success in implementation and results.” The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission currently has affirmativeaction agreements with 30 private and public sector groups in theprovince. “Affirmative action policies recognize that women, people withdisabilities, gays and lesbians, racially visible people, AfricanNova Scotians and First Nations people face disadvantages,” saidMayann Francis, CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.”By renewing this agreement, the town has reaffirmed itscommitment to promote equity and inclusion for its citizens.”
Local Area Office: 902-424-2129 Fax: 902-424-0568 HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Akerley Boulevard The entrance to Akerley Boulevard from Highway 118 and the Highway 107 bypass is closed due to an overturned tractor trailer. Traffic to Burnside can use the Highway 111 or Highway 118 interchanges or the Dartmouth Crossing entrance. -30-