International freight news – January 2023

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The hydrogen pipeline between the ports of Barcelona and Marseille officially launched

Source : Le journal de la marine marchande

On 9 December, a Euro-Mediterranean meeting took place in Spain. The meeting was attended by President Emmanuel Macron, the leaders of Spain and Portugal, and the President of the European Commission. The aim was to officially launch the hydrogen pipeline project between Barcelona and Marseille. According to the French head of state, the project will make the French port “one of the major hydrogen centres in Europe”. 

The pipeline project to transport green hydrogen between Spain and France by 2030 took another step forward at the 9th Euro-Mediterranean Summit (EU-MED9). The meeting was held on 9 December in Alicante, in south-east Spain.

French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen officially launched this hydrogen corridor between the Iberian Peninsula and France, called H2Med.

The project includes the development of an interconnection between Portugal and Spain (Celórico-Zamora). And a maritime gas pipeline (known as “BarMar”) between Barcelona and Marseille. The aim is to transport renewable hydrogen from the Iberian Peninsula to Central Europe.

Capacity of 2 Mt per year at a cost of €2.5 billion

With an initial capacity of 2 Mt per year. That’s 10% of Europe’s projected consumption at that time. The Spanish leader claims that the “big pipe” will require an estimated investment of some €2.5 billion. Which is supported by his colleagues, who are hoping to get Brussels to fund part of it (50% at least).

The other half would be financed by public funds from the three countries. But it will also be supplemented by private investment. A modus operandi to which public policies are increasingly resorting.

Why Marseille?

In an interview with La Provence published on Saturday 10 December, the Head of State explained that the choice of Marseille Fos as the network’s landing point “is one of the concrete implementations” of the “Marseille en grand” plan. The plan was presented just over a year ago, and is a concrete expression of the “environmental planning” he is promoting. “Marseille is a natural gateway, thanks to its geographical position and the presence of its forward-looking industries”.

A corridor between Algeciras and Rotterdam

In October, another port-to-port corridor project came to light. Spanish oil and gas company Cepsa and the Port of Rotterdam have agreed to launch the “first green hydrogen corridor” in 2027. This will link the Spanish port of Algeciras with the Dutch port.

The two partners are expecting to export around 4.6 Mt of low-carbon (grey) hydrogen by 2030. Allard Castelein, Director of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, estimates that 20 Mt of hydrogen will pass through its facilities by 2050. Only 10% could be produced locally.

BERD : Un prêt de 100 millions d’euros pour la construction du port Nador West Med 

Source : MaritimeNews  

Nador West Med has just secured a €100 million loan. The aim is to build the port of Nador West Med. The loan is from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). A €1 million technical cooperation programme is also proposed for the development of the hydrogen value chain.

On Monday 12 December 2022, the EBRD announced that it was granting an additional loan of €100 million (nearly MAD1.10 billion) to Nador West Med. This is for the construction of the port of the same name in the Oriental region.

In a press release, the Bank emphasised that this loan represents a second and new tranche granted by the EBRD. It is part of the initial €200 million financing signed in 2015 for the Nador West Med port project.

Economic development

The port of Nador West Med is part of a wider development plan for the Oriental region. It will contribute directly to reducing regional disparities and supporting the economic development of the Oriental region, while improving the region’s access to infrastructure”.

The new funding will unlock the economic potential of the Oriental region. The port will attract foreign direct investment (FDI). The port will promote the development of markets and be a direct source of investment opportunities for the private sector. This will be achieved through the operation of port terminals and will encourage the creation of local industries.

The EBRD is also proposing a €1 million technical cooperation (TC) programme. The aim is to identify the role that the port could play in the hydrogen value chain. This TC package will also support the Nador West Med company. It will also be used to implement a skills development initiative in the industrial port sector.

Maritime transport: CMA CGM acquires two terminals in the Port of New York

Source : CMA-CGM 

The Marseille-based group, the world’s third largest shipping company, has just announced the signature of an agreement to acquire two terminals in the United States.

The Port of New York-New Jersey is a strategic area serving the supply chains of the northeastern United States. It is also CMA CGM’s main gateway to the US East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The Bayonne and New York terminals have an overall capacity of 2 million TEUs per year, with the possibility of almost doubling their capacity.

The Bayonne terminal has the highest level of automation. It has the fastest truck turnaround times, the closest access to the ocean, and the capacity to handle 18,000 TEU vessels. The New York terminal benefits from extremely high productivity at the Port of New York-New Jersey. It is also connected to the dense New York hinterland, with direct access to road and intermodal transport.

A strategic investment to support CMA CGM’s ambitions in the US market

Following the closing of the transaction, the CMA CGM Group will operate the two strategic facilities as multi-user terminals under the leadership of the current management team. The Group will continue to focus on improving its quality of service to satisfy its customers in the United States. Investments will be made in infrastructure. In order to meet both CMA CGM’s environmental, social and governance objectives and those of local communities.

The CMA CGM Group intends to continue to develop its shipping lines in the New York area thanks to the future capacities of these terminals. The Group plans to accelerate the development of the Bayonne and New York terminals through significant investments. The aim is to increase their overall capacity by 80% over the coming years. This major acquisition will enable the CMA CGM Group to support supply chain growth on the East Coast of the United States. It will also enable the Group to improve its efficiency to and from international markets.

Air cargo for European shipping giant MSC to be based in Liège

Source : L’Echo

The Italian-Swiss container shipping company MSC has chosen Liège Airport as the European base for its new cargo airline.

Maritime logistics giant MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) has decided to locate the European hub of its new cargo airline at Liège airport. MSC Air Cargo aims to complement its parent company’s maritime container transport service.

New Boeing 777-200F

The Italian-Swiss shipowner, also known for its subsidiary MSC Crociere, recently took delivery of the first of its four Boeing 777-200Fs. The flights will be operated by Atlas Air. The airport claims that this cargo aircraft “consumes less fuel and makes less noise”.

Having more recent aircraft is essential for reducing noise pollution from cargo operations at airports. The majority of cargo aircraft are former airliners that have been converted. The first MSC aircraft will pass through Liège four times a week. This figure should be put into perspective in view of the 38,393 cargo aircraft movements last year.

Three further aircraft are due to join the fleet in 2023. This could increase the number of stopovers via Liège Airport.