Mammoet turns Venezuelan Local Port into Heavy Lift Terminal


Mammoet, world leader in Engineered Heavy Lifting and Transport, has effectively turned the port of Güiria, Venezuela into a temporary Heavy Lift Terminal by employing its new Mammoet Terminal Crane, the MTC-15. The port of Güiria saw its need for heavy lifting increased after PDVSA, the Venezuelan National Oil Company, decided to build a new power plant 20 kilometers further inland. Continue reading “Mammoet turns Venezuelan Local Port into Heavy Lift Terminal”

OMA to design Axel Springer’s new media centre in Berlin

omaberlinOMA’s design for Axel Springer’s new media centre in Berlin has been chosen as the winner in the final round of a public design competition. The building will embody Axel Springer’s corporate shift from print to digital media, and will create a new hub in the existing Axel Springer campus in central Berlin. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer: “We are very happy to be able to build the new building of our publishing house together with Rem Koolhaas. He presented the conceptually and esthetically most radical model. The fundamental innovation of working environments will support the cultural transformation towards a digital publishing house.” Continue reading “OMA to design Axel Springer’s new media centre in Berlin”

Vopak acquires two terminals in Canada

logo_vopakRoyal Vopak announced the acquisition of a company with two distribution terminals for the storage and handling of refined products in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada. With the acquisition, Vopak Canada’s storage capacity increases with 509,000 cbm to 712,000 cbm, while strengthening Vopak’s presence in all strategic distribution market locations in eastern Canada. Continue reading “Vopak acquires two terminals in Canada”

U.S. Unemployment Will Remain High So Long As The Dollar Remains Wobbly

by Ralph Benko

uscapitolThe Republican National Committee recently passed a resolution, by the unanimous vote of its National Committeepeople, calling for the creation of a national Monetary Commission.  This legislation is prime sponsored in the House of Representatives by Joint Economic Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tx) and in the US Senate by Republican whip John Cornyn (R-Tx). Cato, with a representative from Heritage, recently conducted a panel on Capitol Hill on this same proposed Commission. Continue reading “U.S. Unemployment Will Remain High So Long As The Dollar Remains Wobbly”

Van Oord has 30% more profit

logo-vanoordVan Oord had a better year in 2013 than in 2012. The year closed with an almost equal turnover of EUR 1,641 million (2012: EUR 1,676 million). At EUR 130 million, the net profit was considerably higher than in 2012 (EUR 98 million), and the company’s order portfolio was similar to the previous year. The net profit was positively affected by the settlement of a number of outstanding claims in Dubai from 2005-2008. Higher operating revenues considerably decreased the net debt. Continue reading “Van Oord has 30% more profit”

Van Oord awarded large dredging contract in Kuwait

logo-vanoordVan Oord has been awarded a land reclamation project in Kuwait. The client is the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC). The contract value amounts to approximately EUR 500 million. The project involves the reclamation of land in a ‘sabkha area’ (a salt plain near the coast) for the construction of a new refinery. Continue reading “Van Oord awarded large dredging contract in Kuwait”

Damen receives large Mexican order

damenmexMexican offshore company Naviera Integral and Damen Shipyards Group signed a contract for four more Damen Fast Crew Suppliers 5009 (FCS 5009). The first two vessels will be delivered from stock and will be handed over in Vietnam on April 16th of this year. The other two vessels will start construction soon, with their delivery planned for July 2015. All four vessels will operate in the Gulf of Mexico, under a direct contract from PEMEX, the Mexican state oil company. Continue reading “Damen receives large Mexican order”

Unilever to acquire majority stake in the Qinyuan Group

unilever logoUnilever announced that it has acquired a majority stake in the Qinyuan Group, a leading Chinese water purification business for an undisclosed amount. Qinyuan generated sales approaching €140 million (c. 1.2 billion RMB] for the 12-month period ending 31 December 2013. Continue reading “Unilever to acquire majority stake in the Qinyuan Group”

Vopak acquires 30% in new terminal in Gulei, China

logo_vopakRoyal Vopak announced it has signed an Equity Transfer Agreement with Xianglu Petrochemical (Zhangzhou) Co., Ltd. (Xianglu) in Fujian province, China. The agreement comprises Vopak’s acquisition of a 30% equity interest in Zhangzhou Gulei Haiteng Jetty Investment Management Company Limited (Haiteng). Continue reading “Vopak acquires 30% in new terminal in Gulei, China”

Chuck Hagel Propels Barack Obama Into History

By Ralph Benko

chuckWith his thoughtful restructuring of America’s military, secretary of defense Chuck Hagel — a Republican — has cemented Obama’s signature  legacy: restoring America to a peacetime footing. Obama’s bringing  American troops home from two wars, and, now, reducing the military to a strong, but proportionate, peacetime footing, was not easy. Doing so required something of a political miracle. Obama, with a critical assist from Hagel, is pulling it off. Continue reading “Chuck Hagel Propels Barack Obama Into History”

Chinese COFCO takes controlling stake in Nidera

nideraCOFCO Corporation, the largest grain, oil and foodstuff company in China, and Nidera, a global commodity trader and agribusiness company headquartered in the Netherlands, signed an agreement, pursuant to which COFCO will acquire 51% of Nidera to establish a strategic partnership with this major player in the agricultural market with an annual turnover in excess of USD 17 billion. The envisaged transaction will provide Nidera with great potential for growth in the Chinese market and also strengthen COFCO’s position as a key player in the global agricultural industry through access to Nidera’s global origination and trading network and its fast growing seed business. Continue reading “Chinese COFCO takes controlling stake in Nidera”

Vitol, Sunoco to build new Texas pipeline

vitollogoSunVit Pipeline LLC, a newly formed joint venture between Vitol Inc and Sunoco Pipeline L.P. is set to build a pipeline to connect the Midland Texas market with Sunoco’s recently announced Permian Express 2 pipeline. SunVit will provide enhanced logistical flexibility for crude oil exiting the Midland, Texas market.  The 20” crude oil pipeline will run from Midland, Texas, to Garden City, Texas, where it will connect to Sunoco’s Permian Express 2 pipeline, as well as other existing Sunoco pipelines, enabling it to access U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Continue reading “Vitol, Sunoco to build new Texas pipeline”

Norway’s success in generating inclusive growth can ensure future prosperity

norgeflagThe Norwegian economy is performing well, generating inclusive growth, strong social mobility and low unemployment. But to ensure future prosperity, Norway must continue with growth-enhancing reforms while ensuring financial stability, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Norway. General Angel Gurría and Norway’s Finance Minister Siv Jensen, highlights how appropriate use of wealth from petroleum resources and counter-cyclical monetary policy insulated Norway from the worst of the financial crisis-induced recession and put it on a sound footing for recovery. Continue reading “Norway’s success in generating inclusive growth can ensure future prosperity”

P&O Ferrymasters extends LTL range by focusing on Germany

poferrymastersIn a further expansion of its pan-European LTL service, supply chain solutions specialist P&O Ferrymasters has introduced daily each-way trailer departures on the Benelux-Germany and  UK-Germany trade lanes. The company launched a similar daily service between the Benelux/Ruhr areas and Estonia in January.  Continue reading “P&O Ferrymasters extends LTL range by focusing on Germany”

Boskalis acquires Fairmount

logoboskalisRoyal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) reached an agreement to acquire Fairmount Marine B.V. and Fairmount Ocean Towage Company B.V. (Fairmount) from the French group Louis Dreyfus Armateurs. The transaction values the company at an average multiple of approximately 6 times EBITDA. Fairmount is a leading global provider of long distance ocean towage services operating fiv e 205 tonnes bollard pull towing vessels with anchor handling capabilities.  Continue reading “Boskalis acquires Fairmount”

What Facebook’s 56 New Genders Mean For Politics

by Ralph Benko

facebook logoFacebook very recently introduced a drop-down menu with 56 gender identity choices to embellish the classic Male and Female.  It includes arcane categories such as “neutrois” amd “two-spirit” and takes one over the 6-colored rainbow Gay Pride flag.  Facebook now takes us somewhere very far over the rainbow. This columnist fully shares Alex Schultz’s, Facebook’s director of growth, aspiration to contribute to “a more understanding and tolerant world.” Still, this caused a brief splash of national incredulity. Brilliant cultural critic Steven Colbert, for instance, reportedly skewered it.  Understandably so. Continue reading “What Facebook’s 56 New Genders Mean For Politics”

The Asian Status Quo

By Robert D. Kaplan and Matt Gertken

kaplanArguably the greatest book on political realism in the 20th century was University of Chicago Professor Hans J. Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, published in 1948. In that seminal work, Morgenthau defines the status quo as “the maintenance of the distribution of power that exists at a particular moment in history.” In other words, things shall stay as they are. But it is not quite that clear. For as Morgenthau also explains, “the concept of the ‘status quo’ derives from status quo ante bellum,” which, in turn, implies a return to the distribution of power before a war. The war’s aggressor shall give up his conquered territory, and everything will return to how it was. Continue reading “The Asian Status Quo”

Portugal economic recovery strengthening

portflagPortugal’s economic recovery is strengthening, the IMF reported. Led by investment and exports, economic growth is somewhat ahead of projections, employment is increasing, and the unemployment rate is continuing to decline from very high levels. GDP is now expected to rise by 1.2 percent in 2014—an upward revision of 0.4 percentage points—while unemployment is projected to decline to 15.7 percent — a downward revision of 1.1 percentage points. The current account balance, which moved into surplus in 2013, is expected to improve further, although at a more moderate pace than before. Continue reading “Portugal economic recovery strengthening”

Port of Rotterdam Authority profit down

portofrotterdamThe result of the Port of Rotterdam Authority for 2013 was €227 million. This is €1 million less than the result for 2012. Large investments, especially in Maasvlakte 2, pushed the interest charges and depreciation up considerably. The revenue from port dues decreased. On the other hand, the revenue from the lease of sites increased, in particular due to the allocation of new sites and the integration of the sea port of Dordrecht. Continue reading “Port of Rotterdam Authority profit down”