Very Interesting & Informative Video:
Very Interesting & Informative Video:
Link to the Article by Bloomberg BusinessWeek:
Plans to rebuild and reopen the two cement factories in Benghazi’s Hawari district have been announced by the owners, the Libya Cement Company (LCC).
The plants closed in mid-2014 when fighting in the area between the Libyan National Army and militants started. For almost two years, the militants effectively controlled the area and it was not till April last year that the cement works were finally recaptured.
At a recent general meeting of LCC, held in Amman, Jordan, the chairman of its parent Joint Libyan Cement Company (JLCC), Ahmed Ben Halim, said that full priority was being given to getting the Benghazi plants operational again.
However, he acknowledged that this would not be easy given that the two factories were damaged in fighting in March-April 2016.
An LCC statement says that instigations have shown the damage to be significant and that extensive re-building will be necessary. It will take at least a year before they can return to production, during which time the site will have to be made safe, new machinery and parts brought in, new skilled construction workers found and necessary utilities such as electricity and gas restored.
Fortunately, the statement notes, management took out Political Violence Insurance with Lloyds of London in 2015. The insurers have now accepted claims as legitimate, it says, adding that these are likely to run into tens of millions of euros.
LCC also owns a third cement factory in Derna’s Fataieh area which, remarkably, managed to continue operating despite being in a war zone, first between Mujahideen and the so-called Islamic State and then between the mujahideen and the Libyan National Army. At the LCC general meeting, the CEO of LCC, Robert Soloman, paid credit to the staff of the Fataieh factory for keeping it going.
Meanwhile, Ben Halim has welcomed a decision by the Beida-based interim government to continue paying company staff, despite the fact their Benghazi cement factory being closed.
Earlier this month, the Thinni administration confirmed that it would continue paying a minimum salary of LD 459 a month to employees of a number of foreign-owned or run companies unable to operate because of the military situation.
In addition to LCC, these are the General Company for Textile and Clothing in Benghazi, the General Company for Electronics in Garyounis, Melkam Oil Company and the National Development Company for Construction.
LCC is 90-percent owned by the Joint Libyan Cement Company (JLCC), itself a joint venture between Asamar Libya and the Economic and Social Development Fund (ESDF). Asamer Libya was bought two years ago from the Austrian parent company, Asamer, by Libya Holdings Group, headed by Ben Halim.
Dozens of German companies including Siemens attended meetings in Bolivia this week to discuss building a coast-to-coast railway through Brazil, Bolivia and Peru that could speed up the export of corn and soybeans to Asia, German and Bolivian officials said on Wednesday.
The massive, $10 billion project would involve building a 3,700-kilometer (2,299-miles) rail line across the continent, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, through mountains and jungles.
“This is the project of the century,” said Germany’s State Secretary of German Transport, Building and Urban Development Rainer Bomba.
Representatives from Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia as well as Germany and Switzerland are still studying the feasibility of the train route, which would drastically shorten shipping routes from Brazil’s coast to Asian markets for key commodities.
Siemens, Europe’s top engineering group, participated in the meetings “to get more information about the project,” spokesman Dennis Hofmann said in an email.
“The project is at an early stage and questions have to be clarified,” he wrote.
The discussions, on Tuesday and Wednesday, come after a similar, Chinese-led project build a trans-South America railway ran into roadblocks late last year due to cost and environmental concerns.
Bolivian and German officials did not name other companies that attended the meetings, but Bomba said: “The presence of 40 German companies here demonstrates that Germany is not only in the planning phase, but also in the realization phase.”
Bolivia’s Public Works Minister Milton Claros told Reuters Bolivia and Germany had signed agreements for technical assistance and financing for the project. The ministry said the project would connect the Brazilian port of Santos to the Peruvian port of Ilo and had a preliminary cost estimate of $10 billion.
Brazil is expected to export 28 million tonnes of corn and 61 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2016/17 crop year according to the USDA. It is the world’s largest soybean exporter and second-largest corn exporter.
China and Peru agreed in 2015 to study a 3,000-mile-long railway through the Andes, but Peru balked when China estimated its cost at $60 billion. Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski later said the rail should go through Bolivia.
Land-locked Bolivia has long pined for a corridor to the Pacific, blasting Chile for taking its coastline in a war in the late 19th century and maintaining its Navy on Lake Titicaca.
Brazil had also questioned the Chinese project and would likely back the Bolivian route, a member of the Brazilian delegation said.
“We identified problems in the reports made by the Chinese group. We communicated the points of disagreement to Chinese authorities and we are seeing how we can continue the studies,” said Joao Carlos Parkinson, coordinator of economic affairs at Brazil’s Foreign Ministry, who attended the meetings.
Brazil’s Ambassador to Bolivia Raymundo Santos said talks would continue.
“Our delegation confirmed Brazil’s interest in participating,” he said. “The political side has been resolved, but now the technical work has to move forward.”
All-in-all it was a pretty quiet week. This means there really is not much to talk.
Trade has slowed down in the Supramax/Ultramax segment of the North Atlantic this week. Players report very limited cargo offer for late March-early April. The number of vessels open for spot/prompt dates significantly exceeds demand for fleet. The costs of cargo transportation from the regional ports have sagged. This week, prompt rates for a Supramax vessel chartered for grain shipment bss dely USG redel Spore-Japan are voiced by brokers at $17k daily, those for Ultramax carriers – at $18-19k daily. Earlier this week, the contracts for Supramax transportation of petcoke bss dely USG redel India were concluded at $19-20k daily, while the relevant rates now amount to $18-19k daily. Brokers have not reported any voyage-basis deals for shipments of US grain this week, as the difference in ideas has grown significantly. The charterers are confidently lowering the rates, voicing the ideas of $34.5-35/t for transportation of a Supramax-lot of agricultural products from the Gulf of Mexico ports to northern China, while such shipment is quoted by brokers at $36-37/t.
Transatlantic market has also softened amid sharpening imbalance of cargo offer and tonnage supply. Thus, the charterers are ready to pay only $12-13k daily for a Supramax carrier chartered for petcoke shipment bss dely USG redel EMed with prompt laycan dates and about $11-12k daily bss dely USG redel ECSA. The time-charter for Supramax fleet bss dely USG redel Skaw-Passero is quoted by brokers at $13.5-14.5k daily, that for Ultramax vessels – at $14.5-15.5k daily. The situation remains unfavorable for Handysize owners in the region. Given limited number of relevant cargo offers, they have to make concessions. The deals for Handysize fleet bss dely USG redel Skaw-Passero are negotiated at $9.5-11k daily on average. A Handysize vessel can be chartered at $8.5-9k daily bss dely USG redel ECCA. The time-charter for such carriers bss dely USG redel WCCA/WCSA is quoted at about $12k daily.
By contrast, trade is generally brisk in the South America, though the owners of fleet are not able to raise the rates for fronthaul cargo transportation. Given a balance of cargo offer and tonnage supply, the rates are generally stable. The owners of fleet still want to get $13k daily + $300k bb for a Supramax vessel bss dely ECSA redel Spore-Japan and $14-14.5k daily + $400-450k bb for an Ultramax carrier. However, Supramax fronthaul shipments are quoted by brokers at $12k daily + $200k bb, Ultramax ones – at $13k daily + $300k bb. According to sources, prompt deal for an Ultramax ship bss dely ECSA redel Spore-Japan is negotiated at $12.8k daily + $280k bb. Similar contract is negotiated at $13.25k daily + $325k bb. A Supramax vessel has been chartered at $12.25k daily + $225k bb bss dely ECSA redel Spore-Japan.
The time-charter for Supramax fleet bss dely ECSA redel Skaw-Passero is quoted by brokers at $12-13.5k daily, that for Ultramax carriers – at $14-14.5k daily. The deal for an Ultramax ship bss dely ECSA redel Skaw-Passero has been signed at $14k daily. The time-charter for Supramax carrier bss dely ECSA redel Med is negotiated at $12.5-13k daily. The contract for a similar vessel bss dely ECSA redel Continent has been concluded at $12k daily. A Supramax carrier has been chartered at $12.5k daily bss dely ECSA redel WMed. The rates for a 57,000-dwt ship bss dely ECSA redel Med are negotiated at $14-14.5k daily. Closer to the end of the week, Supramax owners have started to raise their ideas for transatlantic shipments to $15-16k daily bss dely ECSA redel Med and sometimes even managed to reach such level for spot dates. Thus, the deal for a Supramax vessel bss dely ECSA redel Med with late March laycan dates has been signed at $15k daily. Trade has slowed down slightly in the Handysize segment this week, while the relevant rates have largely stabilized after last week’s increase. According to brokers, the time-charter for Handysize fleet bss dely ECSA redel Skaw-Passero is quoted at $10.5-12k daily on average. Such vessel can be chartered at $10-11k daily for cargo transportation within the South American ports. The rates for Handysize carriers bss dely ECSA redel WCSA amount to $14-14.5k daily.
In the short term, negative trends may be preserved in the North Atlantic amid a shortage of new spot/prompt requests. Brokers also report gradually growing number of vessels competing for April shipments; thus, the rates may come under strong pressure unless the corresponding cargo traffic perks up.
Supramax/Ultramax rates may go up in the South Atlantic if the relevant cargo offer grows. Handysize market is also likely to strengthen. Given limited number of vessels open in West Africa, the Shipowners will most likely manage to raise the rates.
Excel Document of Various Fixtures/Freight Rates Attached herewith: ATLANTIC
(*) Our thanks to our Colleagues CCShipbrokers
Four bids are expected to be tabled this week for the 67 percent stake in Thessaloniki Port Authority.
The deadline of the tender – which has been going on since the summer of 2014 – is this Friday at 7 p.m. and the binding bids will be tabled at Morgan Stanley in London.
The offers will come from the consortium comprising Deutsche Invest Equity Partners, Terminal Link (a subsidiary of CMA CGM) and Russian-Greek investor Ivan Savvidis’s group, as well as from Dubai Ports World, Japan’s Mitsui & Co, and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services.
The preferred bidder will have to implement investments of at least 180 million euros within seven years.
Talk of ties between any of the above candidates and the Cosco group, which has acquired Piraeus Port Authority, is refuted. Sources close to Cosco noted to Kathimerini that “the Chinese group is examining the form of its reaction to the discrimination that took place [at its expense] as in Piraeus Port only 51 percent was sold with another 16 percent due under certain conditions, while in Thessaloniki Port 67 percent is conceded with far fewer commitments.”
Russia has indicated it is happy for its companies to return to Libya, pending security approval, and will also look at resuming construction of the stalled railway line from Sirte to Benghazi.
The news came after Presidency Council (PC) Faiez Serraj and his delegation concluded their visit to Moscow with a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and a number of top Russian officials, including deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
The two sides agreed a joint committee,the Libyan Russian Business Council, to restart stalled Russian projects, including the 554-kilometre train track from Sirte to Benghazi that began work in 2008.
Dvorkovich also happens to be the chairman of the Russian Railways’ board of directors.
However, whilst Dvorkovich said he approved of Russia’s businesses returning to Libya, it would be up to the companies themselves to assess the security situation and make the final decision.
He also welcomed moves by Russia’s oil industry to return to Libya. Two weeks ago, Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft, signed a cooperation agreement with Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC).
Both sides also looked at renewed military and security cooperation..
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meanwhile is reported saying that Russian would consider reopening its embassy in Tripoli
The delegation has now left Moscow. Siala has headed to Cairo for a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers ahead of the Arab summit in Amman, Jordan, in late March.
Source: LH 5.3.2017