Port Bureau Updates

AET Names Its First LNG Dual-Fuel Aframaxes

AET, one the world’s leading petroleum and chemical tanker owner/operators, named its first dual-fueled aftramax vessels, Eagle Brasilia and Eagle Bintulu. The vessels were inaugurated at a ceremony held at the Samsung Heavy Industry Co. Ltd’s shipyard in Geoje, South Korea. Both vessels have been taken on long-term charter by Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (Shell), primarily for operations in the Atlantic Basin, and will begin operating for the company in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Using LNG as a fuel eliminates sulphur (SOx) emissions by nearly 100 percent, nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions by 85 percent and particulate matter (PM) emissions by 98 percent, exceeding the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) MARPOL VI 0.5% SOx regulations due into force in 2020. The vessels are in compliance with NOx Tier III emission when operating in gas mode.

Designed with conventional single screw propulsion with two-stroke main engine, three auxiliary engines and two auxiliary boilers, the Eagle Brasilia and Eagle Bintulu are equipped with LNG dual fuel capability. LNG fuel is supplied through two type-C tanks of 850 cubic metres each arranged on the main deck aft port and starboard. Each LNG tank has two LNG feed pumps providing full redundancy for operation. The vessels can receive LNG fuel from LNG bunkering vessels (via ship-to-ship transfer) and will be able to trade with LNG fuel for approximately 6,000 nautical miles.

“AET has worked for many years in close cooperation with industry partners to develop these LNG dual-fueled aframaxes, which are amongst the very first in the industry. The MISC Group’s expertise in the handling of LNG and its use as marine fuel was leveraged upon too. The vessels have excellent environmental credentials, which will be achieved without detriment to the operational and commercial flexibility that these vessels can provide,” said Yee Yang Chien, AET Chairman, and President/Group CEO of parent company MISC Berhad. “To my mind, Eagle Brasilia and Eagle Bintulu are proof that as an industry, we needn’t see increasing environmental requirements as a threat to how we operate, but rather as an incentive to develop new, more innovative and sustainable shipping solutions.”

The environmental credentials of the vessels are further bolstered with a range of eco-efficiency technologies. This includes an optimized hull form with various energy saving devices such as Asymmetric Rudder Bulb, SAVER Fin and SAVER Stator. Variable frequency drives (VFD) are applied for main sea water cooling pumps and mass type flow meters are installed to measure the fuel consumption. Overall, the EEDI for these vessels is about 28.8 percent above IMO Phase 0, bordering to phase 3 when operated in LNG mode.

Both vessels have been awarded the “Green Passport” and “GFS” notations and have been fitted with an IMO-compliant ballast water management system.



Kirby Corporation Signs Agreement to Purchase CGBM’s Inland Tank Barge Fleet

Kirby Corporation (“Kirby”) announced in November the signing of an agreement to acquire substantially all of CGBM 100, LLC’s (“CGBM”) inland marine tank barge fleet for an undisclosed amount.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kirby will acquire 27 of CGBM’s 10,000 barrel inland marine tank barges which have a total capacity of approximately 270,000 barrels. The closing of the acquisition is expected to occur in the 2018 fourth quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Kirby Corporation, based in Houston, Texas, is the nation’s largest domestic tank barge operator transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, coastwise along all three United States coasts, and in Alaska and Hawaii.



Enterprise to Expand Mont Belvieu NGL Fractionation Capacity

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. announced in November plans for an incremental 150,000 barrels per day (“BPD”) expansion to its natural gas liquids (“NGL”) fractionation facilities at its Mont Belvieu complex. The expansion would increase Enterprise’s NGL fractionation capacity to 1 million BPD in the Mont Belvieu area, and approximately 1.5 million BPD companywide, once service begins. This new NGL fractionator is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020. Enterprise previously announced plans for a 150,000 NGL fractionator that is under construction and is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2020. The projects are supported by long-term, fee-based contracts.

“The demand for NGL fractionation capacity continues to expand as producers in domestic shale plays like the Permian Basin, the Eagle Ford and DJ Basin seek market access and end users require supply assurance,” said A.J. “Jim” Teague, chief executive officer of Enterprise’s general partner. “The upstream players in this country have transformed the U.S. into the world’s dominant energy producer, and Enterprise is proud to be contributing to this achievement. With the completion of our new fractionators, Enterprise will have essentially doubled its fractionation capacity in response to the shale revolution of the past decade.”

Teague added that the new fractionation units will supply NGL products for the expanding petrochemical industry on the U.S. Gulf Coast as well as growing global demand for U.S. NGLs.



Port Houston Posts Robust Container Growth; Discontinues Extended Gate Hours at Bayport Terminal

Container volume at Port Houston container terminals remains vigorous as cargo movement continues to lead last year’s pace showing a 10 percent growth through the third quarter. In 2015, history was made when Port Houston broke the 2 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) barrier for the first time.

” In fact, we already passed the 2 Million TEU mark in September, the earliest by far that we have reached that milestone,” Executive Director Roger Guenther said in his report to the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority during its regular monthly meeting held in October.
All indicators point toward container activity to maintain this stride through the end of the year.

The Commission received an operations update that the Bayport terminal will no longer offer extended gate hours as of December 7.



Coast Guard Inducts Rich Howes into Athletic Hall of Fame

Tim Fitzpatrick, Captain Rich Howes and Rear Admiral James Rendon

The Coast Guard Academy added five new members to its Athletic Hall of Fame on October 11 at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet. The event was held in the Otto Graham Hall of Athletic Excellence in Billard Hall as part of Homecoming Weekend.

The honoree list included Sector Houston-Galveston’s own deputy sector commander, Richard Howes as swimmer. Howes, was a two-time All-American and earned honorable mention All-America honors three times during his junior and senior seasons. In 1995, he placed seventh in the 200 breaststroke and was fifth in the 400 medley relay. He was also the New England runner up in the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke in 1995.

Howes, who was the team captain in 1995, led the Bears to a record of 50-8 including an unbeaten season in 1995. He graduated with school records in 200 and 400 medley relay as well as the 200 breaststroke, the breaststroke record he held for 21 years.

“This year we will honor yet another outstanding class to the Hall of Fame. With each and every passing year, I continue to be amazed with the extremely high caliber of our inductees,” said Tim Fitzpatrick, Director of Athletics. “After stellar performances as cadet-athletes, they all have gone on to distinguished careers first in the Coast Guard and in some cases as professionals in the business world.”



Briggs & Veselka Expands to The Woodlands with Seefel Lawson Moeller Acquisition

Briggs & Veselka Co. (“B&V”) has reached an agreement to acquire Seefeld Lawson Moeller LLP (“SLM”), a CPA firm based in The Woodlands, Texas. The transaction is expected to close before the end of November. The SLM acquisition is the fourth this year by B&V, which acquired two other accounting firms and Pathway Forensics in the first quarter.

SLM is a quality firm that will not only expand B&V’s geographic footprint, but will bring additional resources, especially given their deep experience in the not-for-profit sector. In an industry that has been in the throes of consolidation, B&V is proud of its independence and ability to provide both high levels of client service and sophisticated services to the middle market space, the driver of Houston’s booming economy.

SLM has built a strong reputation in The Woodlands-Conroe area. “Our primary consideration in such a transaction was the right cultural fit for our clients and employees,” said Debra Seefeld, one of the founding partners of SLM, who will join Briggs & Veselka as a shareholder. “We will be able to lever Briggs & Veselka’s expanded service offerings and resources to better serve both our existing and new clients, while providing more growth opportunities for our staff.”

Briggs & Veselka will continue to operate SLM’s current office in The Woodlands, as well as the new office for Pathway Forensics. The Woodlands office of Briggs & Veselka will be able to provide audit, tax, and consulting services to the 7,500 companies in the area, which has fulfilled George Mitchell’s vision of a complete community in which people could live and work.



Five Container Shipping Companies Plan to Establish Container Shipping Association

IT executives from MSC, A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, and Ocean Network Express announced in November discussions for the creation of common information technology standards to be openly available and free of charge for all stakeholders of the wider container shipping industry.

“It’s in the customers’ and all stakeholders’ best interest, if container shipping companies operate with a common set of information technology standards,” said André Simha, CIO of MSC and spokesperson of the group.”

While the shipping industry already has multiple organizations and associations, the members of the group identified a need for a neutral and non-profit body for ocean carriers that is driven by delivering benefits for the industry and its stakeholders.

“That is why we will also welcome new members with open arms to join the association,” Simha concluded. The association has no intent of developing or operating any digital platform, but aims to ensure interoperability through standardization. Similarly, the association will not discuss any commercial or operational matters.



  • Date December 5, 2018
  • Tags 2018 Nov