World’s Most Powerful Dam Stonewalls Coal Shipments to China

World’s Most Powerful Dam Stonewalls Coal Shipments to China
three river gorges damOn July 24, 2012, the peak of 71,200 cubic maters per second hit Three Gorges Dam. At full power, Three Gorges reduces coal consumption by 31 million tonnes per year, avoiding 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions,[62] millions of tonnes of dust, one million tonnes of sulfur dioxide, 370,000 tonnes of nitric oxide, 10,000 tonnes of carbon monoxide, and a significant amount of mercury. Image: China Yangtze Power Company

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) — Record production of hydropower from China’s Three Gorges and newer dams is displacing so much coal that rates to transport it have plunged to about record lows, roiling the shipping market.Daily earnings for Panamaxes, vessels that are about 750 feet long and get most of their spot cargoes from hauling coal, slumped as much as 76 percent this year, getting to within $26 of an all-time low. China started hydroelectric plants this year with enough generation to replace 26 million tons of coal, or about 370 cargoes, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The extra power means less imports and weaker freight rates, Morgan Stanley estimates.
While global shipments of iron ore and grain are rising, China’s decreasing appetite for imported coal is a challenge to transporters already seeing weaker rates because of an oversupply of Panamaxes. The world’s second biggest economy’s efforts to curb air pollution will help cut imports of power- plant coal by 2.7 percent this year, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., following average increases of 29 percent annually from 2010 to 2013.
“Because of reduced buying of coal domestically, the price has fallen, therefore there’s less incentive to import,” Georgi Slavov, head of raw materials research at Marex Spectron Group, an energy and shipping derivatives brokerage in London, said by phone on July 23. “It’s having an impact already,”
Panamax Rates
Panamaxes earned $4,923 a day as of July 31, according to data from the Baltic Exchange in London. Rates fell as low as $3,362 at the end of June. The all-time low was $3,336 in Sept. 2012.
The vessels will make an average of $12,900 this year, recover to a daily average of $17,250 next year, and rise to $17,900 in 2016, according to the median of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
China increased its hydroelectric capacity by 13 gigawatts in the first half, according to the China National Energy Administration. That’s the biggest first-half expansion since at least 2009 and more than enough to power Hong Kong.
China Three Gorges Corp., which built and operates the world’s largest hydropower project on the Yangtze river, completed two more dams this year which, as of July, had 20.3 gigawatts of power-generating capacity. One gigawatt translates into about 2 million tons of coal a year, according to a formula from Bloomberg Intelligence.

Replacing Coal
The largest of the two dams is the 286-meter-high (937 feet) Xiluodu project, a wall of concrete and steel spanning the Jinsha river on the border of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in the country’s south. It’s is the second-biggest hydropower project in China, after Three Gorges. The other new dam is the Xiangjiaba, to the northeast on the Jinsha river.
“As concerns around pollution intensify, we believe this trend will lead to a gradual deceleration in coal-fired power generation,” Goldman Sachs said in a July 23 report. “A lower rate of demand growth from the power sector will result in a peaking in import volumes, followed by a decline.”
Growth in Chinese gross domestic product is forecast to slow to 7.4 percent this year from 7.7 percent in 2013, according to 62 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Other Cargoes
Seaborne imports of thermal coal in China will slide for the next four years, reaching 75 million metric tons by 2018, half the level of last year, Goldman Sachs said. Coal imports to India, Japan and South Korea will keep growing, it estimates.
The benchmark price for Chinese power-station coal was at 480 yuan to 490 yuan a ton, the lowest since December 2007, in the week ended July 27, data from the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association show.
The erosion of Chinese coal demand isn’t holding back global trade in the fuel, which will expand 5 percent in 2014, according to Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker.
Global shipments of iron ore, the single-biggest cargo for dry-bulk vessels, will expand 10 percent to 1.3 billion metric tons a year, it estimates. Total trade in grains will rise 5 percent, according to the company’s most recent estimates.
Panamaxes are experiencing faster fleet growth than any other ship. Total capacity will rise 7 percent this year, two percentage points more than the trade in thermal coal, Clarkson predicts.
An Indonesian ban on exports of raw mineral ores has also exacerbated an oversupply of the vessels. The country, previously the world’s largest shipper of nickel ore and bauxite, banned exports in January. China was the largest buyer of the two ores from Indonesia before the ban, according to data from the International Trade Centre’s TradeMap, a venture between the World Trade Organization and United Nations.
The greatest growth in hydropower is in the south of China which is also where the largest amount of coal is imported, Diana Bacila, a coal analyst with Nena A/S, an Oslo-based adviser to utilities and energy traders, said by phone on July 24.
“Stronger hydropower production in South China is directly impacting imports,” she said. “It just cuts coal demand by replacing with hydropower generation.”
–With assistance from James Herron and Rachel Graham in London.
Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.
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 HMS INDEFATIGABLE HMS Indefatigable was an Implacable-class aircraft carrier built for the Royal Navy…

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 HMS INDEFATIGABLE
HMS Indefatigable was an Implacable-class aircraft carrier built for the Royal Navy (RN) during World War II. She was completed in 1944, and her aircraft made several attacks that year against the German battleship Tirpitz, inflicting only light damage; they also raided targets in Norway. The ship was transferred to the British Pacific Fleet (BPF) at the end of the year and attacked Japanese-controlled oil refineries in Sumatra in January 1945 before joining the American forces in March as they prepared to invade the island of Okinawa in Operation Iceberg. Indefatigable and the BPF joined the Americans in attacking the Japanese Home Islands in July and August. Following the end of hostilities she visited ports in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
After returning to the UK in early 1946, Indefatigable was modified for transport duties, and ferried troops and civilians for the rest of the year before she was reduced to reserve. She was recommissioned in 1950 as a training ship for service with the Home Fleet Training Squadron, participating in exercises and making several port visits overseas. The Board of Admiralty decided that she was redundant in early 1954 and decommissioned her later that year. Indefatigable was sold for scrap the following year.
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HMS Implacable was an Implacable-class aircraft carrier built for the Royal Navy during World War II…

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HMS Implacable was an Implacable-class aircraft carrier built for the Royal Navy during World War II. Upon completion in 1944, she was initially assigned to the Home Fleet and attacked targets in Norway for the rest of the year. She was subsequently assigned to the British Pacific Fleet (BPF) where she attacked the Japanese naval base at Truk and targets in the Japanese Home Islands in 1945. The ship was used to repatriate liberated Allied prisoners of war (PoWs) and soldiers after the Japanese surrender, for the rest of the year. Implacable returned home in 1946 and became the Home Fleet's deck-landing training carrier, a role that lasted until 1950. She briefly served as the flagship of Home Fleet in 1950. During this time she participated in many exercises and made a number of port visits in Western Europe. She was placed in reserve in 1950 and converted into a training ship in 1952, and served as flagship of the Home Fleet Training Squadron. The ship was considered for a major modernisation in 1951–52, but this was rejected as too expensive and time-consuming. Implacable was decommissioned in 1954 and sold for scrap the following year.
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USS George Washington CSG Arrives in Japan

USS George Washington CSG Arrives in Japan

Posted on Aug 1st, 2014 with tags .
USS George Washington CSG Arrives in Japan

The George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG) arrived in Sasebo, Japan, for a scheduled port visit, August 1.

 
More than 5,500 GWCSG Sailors will have the opportunity to volunteer their time and efforts to help make a difference in various Japanese communities by participating in community relations (COMREL) projects and attending a broad spectrum of tours, hiking trips, sporting events and shopping excursions offered by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).
“Our visit to Sasebo offers great recreational and goodwill-generating activities,” said Capt. Greg Fenton, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). “This port visit gives us an opportunity to show our partners in Japan that they have no better friend than the United States Navy.”
While in Sasebo, approximately 65 crew members from GWCSG will take part in three COMREL projects organized by George Washington’s Command Religious Ministry Division, including volunteer opportunities at two homes for the elderly and a visit to Tenshin-ryo Children’s Home.
“COMREL’s offer an opportunity for Sailors to gain experience and exposure to various cultures and customs of our host nations,” said Religious Programs Specialist 3rd Class Kassandra Castaneda, from San Antonio. “Everyone who participates has the chance to leave a lasting impression upon those whom may have little firsthand experience understanding the United States and its people.”
MWR also organized four friendship-building sporting events with Japanese nationals as well as multiple tours for Sailors to enjoy, including a trip to Kashima Shrine, which is largely considered one of the three great shrines in Japan; a Sasebo city tour to give Sailors a small sampling of what the Sasebo area has to offer; and a day trip to the historical city of Nagasaki, nicknamed the “city of peace.’”
“It’s rare that we get an opportunity to visit a city with such historical significance as Nagasaki,” said Momoyo Harris, George Washington’s MWR director. “About 150 Sailors signed up for the tour and I’m certain it will be one to remember.”
Many GWCSG Sailors are looking forward to going ashore to enjoy some much-needed time off and travel opportunities.
“I’m excited to be able to visit Sasebo and get a break from the routine of life underway,” said Logistics Specialist Seaman Vincent Snyder, from Fayetteville, N.C. “I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends, talking with my family back in the U.S., and checking out the Mitsui Green Land Amusement Park to ride the roller coasters.”
The GWCSG includes the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Shiloh (CG 67), and the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and USS Stetham (DDG 63).
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Press Release, August 1, 2014; Image: US Navy

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Canadian Warships to Train with NATO Allies

Canadian Warships to Train with NATO Allies

Posted on Aug 1st, 2014 with tags .
Canadian Warships to Train with NATO Allies

Five Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warships and four Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft will participate alongside NATO allies in a multinational fleet exercise that is taking place off the Atlantic Coast beginning August 5, and continuing throughout the month.

 
“This is an exciting opportunity for participating members of the RCN to work with our allies in NATO. The high-tempo, joint training strengthens ties and understanding amongst global partners, improving our ability to successfully work together on multinational operations and missions”, said Vice Admiral Mark Norman, Commander Royal Canadian Navy
The Canadian contribution consists of five warships, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Athabaskan, Fredericton, Halifax, Glace Bay and Shawinigan, and four aircraft, three CH-124 Sea King helicopters from 12 Wing Shearwater and one CP140 Aurora from 14 Wing Greenwood.
This exercise aims to enhance combat readiness and improve interoperability and tactical excellence of the participating forces in an area of the ocean that provides a challenging learning environment. The participation of Canadian Armed Forces personnel in this exercise enhances Canada’s ability to operate with NATO Allies and enables CAF personnel to contribute to contemporary activities like Operation REASSURANCE that illustrate todays’ evolving and challenging global security environment.
“Exercises such as this are important for maintaining a standing maritime force that is ready to meet the challenges of an ever evolving landscape. The RCN and RCAF members are excited to be working with our allies in order to meet the challenges posed by complex warfare scenarios, finding innovative solutions to the tasks at hand”, Rear Admiral John Newton, Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic
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