zoom Finnish dry bulk shipping company ESL Shipping has revealed plans to order two large LNG-fuelled bulk carriers from Chinese shipbuilder Sinotrans & CSC Qingshan Shipyard.The two 25,600 DWT vessels are set to start operating in the Baltic Sea in early 2018. The total value of the investment is approximately EUR 60 million, ESL Shipping said. The ships will be designed by Finnish designer Deltamarin and will feature B.Delta26LNG design.The LNG-fuelled B.Delta26LNG bulk carrier is equipped with both dual-fuel main and auxiliary machinery. The ship has a type C LNG tank of approximately 400 m3 capacity.“These new, ice-class 1A ships will be the first LNG-fueled large bulk carriers in the world, representing the latest in technology and innovation. CO 2 emissions per ton of cargo transported will be reduced by more than 50% in comparison to present vessels,” the company said.“Deltamarin and ESL Shipping experts have worked together for two years to develop a ship concept, which takes a significant step by bringing commodity transportation into a new era of greener shipping. The trendsetting design is proof of the Finnish blue cleantech know-how and cooperation”, explains ESL Shipping Managing Director Mikki Koskinen.The ships will be used to implement the newly signed agreement between ESL Shipping Ltd and the steel company SSAB covering SSAB’s inbound raw material sea transports within the Baltic Sea and from the North Sea. The aggregated sea transport volume covered by the agreement is estimated to be 6–7 million tons annually.“ESL Shipping’s new customer agreement running for several years will secure growing freight volumes, and the new investments to be implemented will release old vessel stock for other transport needs. Besides their environmental benefits, the cost savings provided by the new technology will also allow better profitability,” says Aki Ojanen, Chairman of the Board of ESL Shipping and CEO of Aspo Group.The announcement comes just a day after ESL Shipping’s deal with AB Fortum Värme on biofuel transport.The agreement provides ESL Shipping with access to the renewable fuels transport market. The company’s transport operations to the new Värtan Energy Port in Stockholm are set to commence at the end of this year.“Fortum will take an important step when its Stockholm power plant switches to more sustainable energy generation and the biofuel-fired CHP plant is completed. Biofuel is undeniably a good thing for sustainable development. The transport agreement with ESL Shipping ensures ship transport around the year in the ever-changing conditions of the Baltic Sea, and large shipments are important in efficient operations,” says Trading Manager Kjell Nilsson of Fortum. ESL Shipping’s present fleet consists of 14 vessel units, and in 2014 the cargo volume carried was 12.1 million tons. The company’s main clients are the steel, power generation and chemical industries.
Tim Rothermel, the Special Representative of the UNDP Administrator for the Programme for Assistance to the Palestinian People, said the total damage in the West Bank could range between $300 million and $400 million. The total damage to Nablus is estimated at $110 million, while the agency said Qalqilya suffered some $3.5 million worth of damage.UNDP said the Palestinian Authority’s central institutions in Ramallah suffered approximately $16 million in damages. This figure “does not include invaluable public records from various ministries, including the Ministries of Health, Education and Public Works,” Mr. Rothermel observed. The agency has earmarked $1.5 million for a recovery programme which aims not only to repair damaged buildings and equipment, but also to strengthen staff through training and policy advice. “Without an efficient and transparent Palestinian public administration, there will be no foundation for peace in the occupied Palestinian territories,” said Mr. Rothermel. “I think it is in the interest of all parties in the conflict to have an administration that is able to provide its people with basic social services, education, free trade and all the factors that an open, democratic and prosperous society depends on.”A detailed damage assessment for the entire West Bank and Gaza is being carried out by UNDP and other UN bodies, the World Bank, the European Union and the Governments of Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States. The results are expected to be made public on 15 May. Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) today released the preliminary results of its own assessment mission in the Middle East. Reporting on the food situation in Jenin, the agency said that 35,000 people there were in urgent need of food assistance. Around 90 per cent of all commerce with Israel has been lost due to recent closures, and a total of 4,320 people in the Jenin area are now homeless, WFP said.