Gold Ribbon Banner
Friday, May 24, 2019

AleksandrSuvorovIt’s official. The UK is importing more coal now than for 50 years, up 25% over 12 months.

And Europe is importing more too, despite multifarious statements advocating reduction of the ‘carbon footprint’ and of ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions. The reason for coal’s expansion is simple enough – coal has become cheaper internationally since the US began increasing its use of its natural gas to reduce its own carbon emissions. So, rather than reducing coal usage world-wide, this has merely dumped US coal cheaply on the international market bringing down the price of coal everywhere.

It is arriving in big bulk carriers in Europe and because of this Russian coal has to become cheaper too, so coastwise traffics are also booming. At Hunterston, Brian Climie found transhipment of this transatlantic coal in full swing with CSL Clyde 4,783,’96 and Jolanta 3,621’99 loading for the Mersey and Belfast respectively. CSL Clyde’s principal run is to shuttle to Ellesmere Port to serve the big power stations nearby though she has also been to Belfast. The Maltese flag CSL Clyde was, until recently, Jebsens’ Clydenes and she is that rarity, a UK built bulk carrier - from Appledore - where she was delivered as the Arklow Bridge.

Her latest funnel colours – black top with white band above red - are obscured in this image, but give a clue as to whom her former Norwegian owners have sold her; to CSL Europe – a subsidiary of Montreal based Canada Steamship Lines. So US coal (and Colombian and Australian) is being distributed from a Scottish port to the Mersey, in a Canadian controlled Maltese flag vessel. Strange times we live in, but shipping has been strange for many years.

CSL, whose core operations have historically been on the Great Lakes, are for this reason, one of the world’s most experienced and largest owners of self unloaders. They have currently 19 large ‘Lakers’, but have also introduced sea going self unloading fleets in the US, Asia and Australasia. Jebsens were a ready made fleet with existing contracts, so the formation of CSL Europe with ten ex Jebsens vessels has suited both parties. CSL Clyde is one of the smaller units of the fleet.

CSL Clyde & JolantaMeanwhile, the Cyprus flag Jolanta seen here transhipping from Hunterston, is owned and managed in Estonia. No wonder Stevie Clarkes could not survive in this hugely competitive, multi-national and cut-throat trading environment.

Another fascinating twist in the revival of coal, and to rub salt in the wounds of Stevie Clarke in their former heartland, is the arrival on the Tyne of Aleksandr Suvorov 16,257,’79 of the Murmansk based fleet. Here she is bringing coals to Newcastle. But this is Russian coal from Norway – or is it Norwegian coal from a Russian mine? Whichever is the case, Russia has long had a concession to mine Norway’s only coal seams on Svalbard/Spitsbergen. As Norway doesn’t need the coal, being rich in oil, gas and hydro power, the UK is now, not only importing Norwegian oil and gas in huge quantities, but, is taking their coal too. It is within living memory that Norway would import many thousands of tons of coal from the UK and it is a historic change we are witnessing. The UK still has millions of tons of coal underground, but few mines are left since privatisation. Given the international competition lowering the price, there is little likelihood of those circumstances changing anytime soon.

Some UK coal fired stations are adding ‘biomass’ to their fuels and that too is mainly imported, so is good business for the ports. But does it make much environmental sense, if such freights travel around the globe, to reduce climate change? As far as I am aware, Workington is still exporting processed garbage to burn in a Latvian power plant - see Coastal Commentary September 12. You couldn’t make this stuff up!

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - December 2012 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!

Island Princess

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Move to Enlarge River Terminal +

    Grimsby River Terminal Associated British Ports (ABP) plans to expand its Grimsby River Terminal to enable it to handle the world’s largest car Read More
  • At the Helm of the RNLI +

    Mark Dowie A new Chief Executive has been appointed by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to succeed Paul Boissier, who has held Read More
  • Keeping the Tyne Clean +

    Clearwater Each year, the Clean Tyne project removes around 400 tonnes of debris from the River Tyne between Blaydon and the Read More
  • First Part of Huge Port Investment Completed +

    Sheerness Port The 20-year Master Plan for boosting trade through the Kent port of Sheerness has reached a significant milestone with the Read More
  • Ship Sinks After Fire Breaks Out in Cargo +

    Grande America All 26 crew and one passenger were rescued after the roll-on,rolloff container ship Grande America, 56,642gt, caught fire and then Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Houston Ship Canal Closed After Major Fire +

    Houston Fire The Houston Ship Canal reopened to daylight traffic after being closed for nearly a week due to a serious fire Read More
  • Back Home After Eventful Antarctic Season +

    Polar Star The US Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star arrived back at her homeport of Seattle, Washington on Mar 11 after an Read More
  • Four More Giant Cranes Arrive from China +

    Zhen Hua 31 Four new Super-Post-Panamax container cranes arrived at Tacoma, Washington, from China in early March, just over a year after the Read More
  • Two Hurt as Lifeboat Falls Overboard +

    USCG Reliance Two crew members of the tanker Chemtrans Nova, 73,870dwt, had to be flown ashore for treatment after the lifeboat they Read More
  • Cutters Seize $466mn of Drugs on Patrols +

    USCG Forward At Port Everglades, Florida, on Feb 5, some 34,780lbs of cocaine with a street value of $466mn was unloaded from Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • Three Main Courses Being Plotted for MOL +

    MOL Triumph The major Japanese shipping line Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has unveiled a number of new objectives aimed at improving its Read More
  • Cargo Ships for Bass Strait Service +

    Tasmanian Achiever II The first of two 700 teu cargo ship for the Bass Strait route between the Tasmanian port of Burnie and Read More
  • Race to Save Coral Reef After Grounding +

    Solomon Trader A major anti-pollution operation was launched in the Solomon Islands after the bulk carrier Solomon Trader, 73,592dwt, with a cargo Read More
  • Special Place for Tanker in Port History +

    Pro Alliance The largest fuel tanker in the 220 year history of the Australian port of Newcastle, NSW, arrived on Mar 18 Read More
  • Data Recorder Recovered From Ore Carrier Wreck +

    Seabed Constructor The Stellar Daisy, owned by Polaris Shipping, of South Korea, was carrying a cargo of iron ore from Brazil to Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • US Navy Orders Flight II Landing Platform Dock +

    LDP30 American News The contract for the construction of LPD30, the first Flight II Landing Platform Dock of the San Antonio Read More
  • US Navy Seeks Faster Ship Delivery +

    FFGX Rendering American News The future frigate program for the US Navy is getting fully underway and some idea of the urgency Read More
  • HMS “Dragon” in £75 Million Narcotics Seizure +

    HMS Dragon British News Whilst on patrol in the Gulf, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon seized and destroyed ten tonnes of Read More
  • New Generation of Enterprise Confirmed +

    USS Enterprise American News On 31 January, the US Department of Defense announced the awarding of a block buy contract with Huntington Read More
  • Brazil to Take Over HMS Clyde +

    HMS Clyde British News It has been announced by the Brazilian Government in early December that the Falklands Patrol ship HMS Clyde Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Further Delay for LNG Powered Glen Sannox +

    Glen Sannox The drama surrounding the much delayed new ferries for Caledonian MacBrayne continues to rumble on with the latest, not unsurprising, Read More
  • Favourite Claymore +

    Claymore A poster of Llandudno pier prompted a memory from ex Calmac chief engineer Charlie McCurdy as he took another trip Read More
  • Baltic Battery Power +

    Aurora Scandinavian and Baltic operators seem to be leading the way in reducing ferry reliance on fossil fuels. Read More
  • Electric Solutions +

    Polarkunsult Ferry A new ferry will replace the 1992-built MF Herjólfur to the Westmann Islands and will be in line with Iceland’s Read More
  • Variety of New Builds +

    Red Kestrel I am gratified to hear at Cammell Lairds and Red Funnel have a particularly good record in ordering from UK Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • Thames Tributary Barges +

    Lady of the Lea Most of the rivers flowing into the Thames had their own barge type. Read More
  • Dry Rot and Dry Dock +

    HMS Victory For some time Victory, the 110gun ship of the line, has had trouble with dry rot and is in danger Read More
  • Everards Eulogy +

    Greenhithe Scottish maritime interests particularly may mourn the loss of Geo Gibson. Read More
  • Welsh Port Gentrification +

    Penarth In the Victorian era, there were many coastal places where craft worked off open beaches. Read More
  • Sussex Sterns +

    Edward and Mary and Valiant In the Victorian era, there were many coastal places where craft worked off open beaches. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Red Funnel’s New Ferry Arrives +

    Red Kestrel Red Kestrel, the newest addition to Red Funnel’s fleet, arrived at her new home in Southampton on 18 April. Read More
  • Keeping an Eye on the Weather +

    Royal Charter storm I was intrigued to read recently about the career of Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy (1805-65). Read More
  • Port of London Trade at 10-Year High +

    DP World London Gateway Trade through the Port of London reached 53.2 million tonnes last year, a level last seen over a decade ago. Read More
  • Northlink Celebrates Apprentices +

    Paul Wheelhouse NorthLink Serco Northlink Ferries has been commended by the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse, for developing young Read More
  • An Auction with no Buyer +

    Falls of Clyde I was reading recently about the unsuccessful auction to find a buyer for the Falls of Clyde, the last remaining Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Seadream Yacht Club to Build New Ship +

    SeaDream Innovation For over fifteen years, the SeaDream Yacht Club has operated two yachtlike ships, on 7 to 15-day voyages. Read More
  • Tradition Plays Its Part +

    Prana by Atzaro If ever proof was needed that traditionally built craft can still play a part in the luxury charter market in Read More
  • MV "Magellan Explorer" +

    MV Yet another new and modern expedition vessel custom built for Antarctic air-cruises will make her debut in 2019. Read More
  • The Saga Continues +

    Saga Discovery Saga Adventure SAGA Cruises has announced it is taking up an option for it’s second new ship to be built at the Read More
  • Reconstruction of “Danah Voyager” +

    Danah Voyager Reconstruction of redundant offshore oil industry tonnage turning them into luxury superyachts is not a new phenomena, but recent photographs Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

San Juan

A Truly Different Shipyard

The entrance to the port of Pasaia on the Spanish coast of Biscay is one of Europe’s most picturesque. At Read More
Victoria

Victoria High and Dry

Five-hundred years ago, Ferdinand Magellan sailed out of Seville, Spain, on one of the most memorable discovery voyages ever made, Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

SS Eastern (2)

MT Arthur Foss

“The last vessel to escape Wake Island before Japanese forces captured the island” Read More
SS Eastern (2)

Rescue of Crew Member From Tanker Avanti

Captain A J Murdoch served with Eastern & Australian Steamship Company until he retired in 1982. Hailing from Melbourne, during Read More
  • 1
  • 2