Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
MV Grace 1, more…
In the Med
The story continues to evolve more than a week after the ship was embargoed in Gibraltar on suspicion of violating EU sanctions against Syria, where the UK believed it was heading with two million barrels of crude oil. Her Master and Chief Officer were arrested on 4 July and the following day two other officers were taken into custody. It is understood from The Gibraltar Chronicle that all have now been bailed and released with conditions.
Early on the afternoon of 13 July Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo, spoke with the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, about the political issues surrounding the detention of the Grace 1 last week.
Mr Picardo said in a statement issued from Gibraltar on 13 July at 1857 GMT: ‘I was pleased to discuss with the Foreign Secretary the political issues surrounding our initial detention of the Grace 1, the investigation that is ongoing and the extended period of detention presently ordered by the Gibraltar Supreme Court.
‘Mr Hunt called me ahead of speaking with the Foreign Minister of Iran, Mr Javad Zarif. I therefore asked the Foreign Secretary to clarify to the Iranian authorities on my behalf that all the decisions made by Gibraltar in respect of the detention of the Grace 1 were made exclusively with a view to the Syrian destination of the vessel, the Baniyas oil refinery which is subject to EU sanctions, and without any regard to the origin of its cargo.
‘That was the exact basis on which the United Kingdom Armed Forces, through a detachment of Royal Marines, were deployed to provide military assistance to our authorities last week.
‘I also asked that the Foreign Secretary should communicate to the Iranian authorities that Gibraltar remained determined to enforce the EU sanctions against Syria through our Court processes but that we would be prepared to facilitate the release of the detained assets to a rightful claimant if we were satisfied that we had received guarantees that it would not be going to Syria or to any entity sanctioned under the relevant EU regulations.
‘I emphasised that the Foreign Secretary should feel free to say that I would be happy to meet any relevant officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran who wished to discuss or clarify matters further either in London or Gibraltar. I consider this may be a useful way of avoiding any further misunderstandings as to the motivations of our actions in respect of the Grace 1 and its cargo.
‘I have spoken again this evening to Foreign Secretary Hunt after his call with Foreign Minister Zarif and have been pleased to hear of Iran’s constructive approach and their wish also to resolve this situation, which comes at a time of heightened international tensions.’
In the Gulf
From the Persian Gulf where HMS Montrose escorted BP’s British Heritage after attempts by Iranian patrol craft to impede the tanker’s passage earlier in the week we learn that Montrose will be replaced by HMS Duncan currently on exercise in the Black Sea with Romanian and US partners as the former goes to a period of planned maintenance.
At the same the pundits writing in the letters page of The Daily Telegraph wasted no time in criticising the ruling Conservative Party (currently undergoing leadership hustings) of the folly of running down the Fleet such that the destroyer / frigate numbers have been reduced from 55 hulls to 19 since 1987, a time of heightened tension in Gulf waters.
We’ve been here before
For the historians what became known as the Armilla Patrol (see: https://www.revolvy.com/page/Armilla-patrol ) kept shipping safe in these days during what was the Iran-Iraq War (see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h9mLqeCygA ). At one time the Patrol escorted 342 ships in the first six months of 1988.
A record of a (UK) House of Lords (Upper House) debate on the Armilla Patrol can be found here: https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/lords/1988/jun/15/armilla-patrol
Before (the Northern Hemisphere) summer, the European Commission launched a review of the TEN-T Regulation 1315/2013 with a public consultation.
An introduction to the EU’s TEN-T programme is available here: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/infrastructure_en
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) submitted its proposals in a position paper. Readers are invited to see the document here issued in July: https://www.espo.be/media/2019.09%20TEN-T%20review%20consultation%202019%20-%20espo%20position%20-%20FINAL.pdf
In a statement of 9 September ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost commented: ‘European ports remain strong supporters of the 2013 Europe’s Transport Infrastructure Policy, which literally put the seaports on the TEN-T map. It is now time to adapt the framework to the new market realities, new challenges and new needs. Looking in a more comprehensive way at what ports can do, not only for transport, but also in terms of decarbonisation of society and digitalisation of supply chains and having that mirrored in the guidelines, is one of the to-do’s in this review. Nowadays ports are much more than a component of maritime transport, they have a pivotal role between the different modes and the different networks.’
With ABB’s shore connection technology, three Corsica Linea ferries will cut emissions and noise pollution when berthed in the Port of Marseille, France.
Instead of running diesel-fuelled auxiliary engines the ferries Paglia Orba, Jean Nicoli and Pascal Paoli will use electricity for power at the berth. Each of the three vessels is being modified to feature ABB’s power compensation device Dynacomp, which allows electricity available from the local grid in Marseille to be stepped down to 11KV in order to take care of ship power needs while in port.
Jean Nicoli is illustrated here with the kind assistance of Corsica Linea / ABB ©.
In the words of Ludovic Amouroux, Project Manager, Corsica Linea: ‘ABB shore connection technology enables the type of emissions-free ship power that regulators, ports and local residents increasingly demand. With ABB’s proven technology, Paglia Orba, Jean Nicoli and Pascal Paoli will be emissions-free when berthed in Marseille. We estimate we will use between 7MWh and 11 MWh of zero-emission power per call, depending on the vessel.’
Jyri Jusslin, Head of Service, ABB Marine & Ports added: ‘Decision-makers in the ferry sector like Corsica Linea continue to lead on zero-emission shore power, proving that existing vessels can significantly reduce environmental impact with technology that is available to shipowners today. We are delighted to offer our turnkey shore connection solution to meet Corsica Linea’s shoreside power needs.’