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Prime Lake: Study of wastewater treatment from scrubbers paves way for sustainable usage | Brazil Modal

Prime Lake Technology Sweden AB has successfully completed a pilot test for the elimination of harmful contaminants found in wastewater generated from open-loop scrubbers. The study paves way for sustainable usage amid concerns around direct ocean discharge, according to the company.

The test results, obtained by ALS Scandinavia, verify a significant reduction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and sulphur (S), improved turbidity and pH-levels, as well as a dramatic increase of dissolved oxygen (DO).

Prime Lake is now moving ahead with its partner, one of Europe’s largest shipowners, to assess and optimize the onboard technical implementation for seaborne trials. Eventually, revised policy recommendations from relevant government entities and maritime bodies can be anticipated, according to the company.

“Coinciding with the new IMO 2020 framework we early on identified treatment of wastewater from scrubbers as a priority, with so-called open-loop scrubbers being especially problematic from a marine pollution perspective as they discharge wastewater straight into the ocean,” Victor Chang, CEO of Prime Lake, said.

“Although further tests are required for optimization it is safe to say that our Electro-Aeration solution transforms the wastewater from open loop scrubbers into a ‘product’ that can be discharged with minimal impact on the marine environment, falling well within acceptable limit,” he added.

”Working closely with ship owners and maritime associations around this issue has been a key aspect for us since inception. As a response to the IMO 2020 framework owners globally rushed to install scrubbers in order to be compliant with the sulphur cap, with an estimated 85% of owners opting for open loop scrubbers,” George Kinigalakis, Chief Compliance Officer at Prime Lake and former expert advisor on EU programs around ship recycling, commented.

“However, wastewater generated from scrubbers caused several key ports to enact ECAs, which over time would create a challenging environment – for liners in particular – to operate key routes. Consequently, it is satisfying that we are now able to present a possible solution for these owners, and we are looking forward to seaborne trials to advance this technology further.”

Prime Lake is a spin-off from Medi Metal, a Swedish research-oriented company from Uppsala. The company provides technology to globally address the need for providing access to clean water and has together with its strategic partners developed and patented an eco-friendly, scalable and cost effective alternative to chemical based methods.


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Economic Watch: China’s foreign trade beats estimate in H1 as economy recovers – Xinhua

BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) — China registered better-than-expected foreign trade performance in the first half of the year, with exports and imports both rising in June, as the country’s economic recovery gathers momentum amid further containment of COVID-19.

The country saw its foreign trade rise 5.1 percent year on year in June, with exports and imports up 4.3 percent and 6.2 percent respectively, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Tuesday.

Following the turbulence in the first quarter, imports and exports of the second quarter showed signs of recovery and stability, and the exports have risen for three consecutive months, said GAC spokesman Li Kuiwen at a news conference.

Foreign trade of goods went down 3.2 percent year on year in the first half of this year to 14.24 trillion yuan (about 2 trillion U.S. dollars), narrowing by 1.7 percentage points compared with the decrease for the first five months.


China’s effective COVID-19 control and early business resumption have been solid support for the rebound in imports, according to Li.

In the first half, China’s imports of mechanical and electrical goods increased by 1.2 percent year on year, among which the imports of electronic components, as well as automatic data processing equipment and components, jumped 14.1 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.

China has also paid particular attention to helping foreign trade enterprises in times of difficulties, especially the smaller firms, by cutting or deferring fees and taxes and supporting them with sales in the domestic market, according to Li.

To combat COVID-19, exports of medical supplies grew rapidly, with sales of textile products including face masks, pharmaceutical products and medical equipment expanding by 32.4 percent, 23.6 percent and 46.4 percent, respectively.

Driven by the stay-at-home economy springing up amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the exports of laptops and mobile phones went up by 9.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, China has actively expanded imports by allowing the purchase of more commodities from more countries.

In the first half of the year, China imported 109.5 billion yuan of meat and 154.2 billion yuan of grain, up 107.3 percent and 18.1 percent, respectively.

Noting that China’s exports and imports continue to face a grim and complicated situation in the second half of this year, Li said the country’s foreign trade is resilient and has more leeway. He assured that a raft of pro-trade policy measures will take effect to ensure stable and high-quality foreign trade.


During the January-June period, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) became China’s largest trading partner with trade up 5.6 percent year on year to 2.09 trillion yuan, accounting for 14.7 percent of China’s total foreign trade.

The expansion was partly buoyed by growing interconnectivity in electronic manufacturing between China and countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore along the global supply chain, said Li. Integrated circuits, for instance, saw imports from and exports to ASEAN grow 23.8 percent and 29.1 percent, respectively, in the period.

China has also made substantial headway in sharing high-quality development with countries along the Belt and Road (B&R), said Li.

Trade with B&R countries accounted for 29.5 percent of the total trade in the first six months, up 0.7 percentage points year on year, driven by active cooperation in COVID-19 control, setting up smart customs, as well as the China-Europe freight trains, as anchors of stability for the global supply chain.

During the same period, trade with the European Union and the United States decreased 1.8 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively, GAC data showed.

Experts believed that it is only a matter of time before China’s foreign trade recovers to the normal level of the past as some countries loosened trade restrictions and domestic demand increased quickly.

In the second half, China’s foreign trade recovery will accelerate, with players boasting high efficiency in their industrial and supply chains likely to secure better performance, said Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. Enditem


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TraPac LA: 1st California terminal to join Green Marine | Brazil Modal

TraPac Los Angeles is Green Marine’s newest participant and the first terminal operator in California to join the voluntary environmental program for North America’s maritime industry.

With terminals in Los Angeles, Oakland and Jacksonville, TraPac LLC has been described as “a sustainability pioneer” that already shares Green Marine’s focus on continuous improvement.

TraPac’s Los Angeles terminal was the first North American container terminal to be fully automated and the first in the world to offer an automated on-dock rail facility.

“Our automated cargo handling equipment reduces emissions of particulate matter and NOx by more than 99% and GHG emissions by over 90% per TEU when compared to competing terminals,” Stephen Edwards, TraPac CEO, noted.

“We are determined to continue improving our environmental performance, and participating in a rigorous and transparent environmental initiative such as Green Marine complements the sustainable development approach adopted by TraPac.”

“TraPac’s commitment to the environment is exemplary,” David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director, stated.

“Having this champion of innovation as a participant will no doubt enhance Green Marine’s knowledge pool to continually improve maritime transportation’s overall sustainability.”

Specifically, TraPac has implemented a number of programs and technologies at its Los Angeles terminal to mitigate vessel emissions, including automated straddle carriers – low-emission hybrid-electric vehicles that move containers between the waterside transfer area, container stacks, the U.S. Customs radiation scanner and the on-dock rail area. Alternative maritime power (AMP) and bonnet capture — a system for ships that are not equipped for shore power — permits every single vessel calling at TraPac to shut down its auxiliary engines while at berth to reduce pollutants, greenhouse gases and noise.

The Green Marine environmental program addresses a number of environmental priority issues through its 13 performance indicators, including greenhouse gases, air emissions, leak and spill prevention, waste management, and underwater noise. Some indicators apply to landside operations and others to shipping activities.

The certification process is rigorous and transparent, with the results independently verified every two years and the individual performance of each participant made public annually. So far, more than 145 shipowners, port authorities, terminal operators and shipyard managers throughout Canada and the United States have joined the program.



Source: World Maritime News


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U.S. remains India’s top trading partner in 2019-20

The US remained India’s top trading partner for the second consecutive fiscal in 2019-20, which shows increasing economic ties between the two countries. According to the data of the commerce ministry, in 2019-20, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at USD 88.75 billion as against USD 87.96 billion in 2018-19.

The US is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. The trade gap between the countries has increased to USD 17.42 billion in 2019-20 from USD 16.86 billion in 2018-19, the data showed.

In 2018-19, the US first surpassed China to become India’s top trading partner.

The bilateral trade between India and China has dipped to USD 81.87 billion in 2019-20 from USD 87.08 billion in 2018-19. Trade deficit between the two neighbours have declined to USD 48.66 billion in 2019-20 from USD 53.57 billion in the previous fiscal.

The data also showed that China was India’s top trading partner since 2013-14 till 2017-18. Before China, UAE was the country’s largest trading nation.

India is also considering certain steps like framing technical regulations and quality control orders for host of items with a view to cut import dependence on China and boost domestic manufacturing.

Trade experts believe that the trend of widening trade ties between New Delhi and Washington will continue in the coming years also as both the sides are engaged in further deepening the economic ties.

Presence of Indian diaspora in the US is one of the main reasons for increasing bilateral trade, Biswajit Dhar, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said.

“Presence of Indian diaspora is creating demand for Indian goods such as consumer items and we are supplying that. A balanced trade deal will further boost the economic ties,” Dhar said.

India and the US are negotiating a limited trade pact with a view to iron out differences at trade front and boost commercial ties.

Professor at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Rakesh Mohan Joshi said that although the trade pact will be mutually beneficial for both the countries, India should be a bit cautious while negotiating the pact with the US in areas such as agriculture, dairy and issues related intellectual property rights.

Ludhiana-based Hand Tools Association President Subhash Chander Ralhan said there is huge potential to boost bilateral trade between the countries on account of increasing anti-China sentiment in both the nations.

“Because of the anti-China sentiment, several US companies are exploring news suppliers in countries like India to cut dependence on China and if it will happen, then it will greatly help India to boost exports to the US,” Ralhan said.

India is seeking relaxation in US visa regime, exemption from high duties imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products, and greater market access for its products from sectors such as agriculture, automobile, automobile components and engineering.

On the other hand, the US wants greater market access for its farm and manufacturing products, dairy items, medical devices, and data localisation, apart from cut on import duties on some information and communication technology products.


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Zvezda starts work on another LNG-powered Aframax | Brazil Modal

Russian Zvezda shipyard has started building another liquefied natural gas-powered Aframax tanker for compatriot Rosneft.

The yard held a keel laying ceremony for the LNG-powered vessel on Monday, according to a statement by Russian state-owned energy company Rosneft.

The vessel will be named after Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first President of Kazakhstan.

The 114,000 dwt tanker will be 250 meters long and 44 meters wide.

Zvezda has in total twelve Aframax tankers on order out of which five are under construction.

Rosneft’s unit Rosnefteflot will use these five tankers for crude oil transportation.

These are first Russian-builit Aframax tankers and they will all feature LNG propulsion.

Zvezda launched the first vessel Vladimir Monomakh in May. This tanker started its sea trials last month.

The Zvezda shipyard is a large shipbuilding complex located in the town of Bolshoy Kamen in the Russian Far East.

It is a run by a consortium consisting of Rosneftegaz, Rosneft, and Gazprombank.

The yard’s order portfolio currently amounts to 39 vessels including 59 options, according to Rosneft.



Source: World Maritime News


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Foreign Trade Statistics: April 2020 (final data)…

The Statistical Service of Cyprus announces the release of final data on the foreign trade of Cyprus for April 2020 and of provisional data for May 2020.

Foreign trade statistics, April 2020

The main developments in the foreign trade of Cyprus in April 2020 were:

(a) Total imports of goods (from EU


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COSCO to develop blockchain solutions with Alibaba group | Brazil Modal

China COSCO Shipping Corporation has signed a collaboration agreement with compatriot e-commerce giant Alibaba and the latter’s fintech affiliate, Ant Financial Services Group (formerly Alipay), pledging to work together to develop blockchain shipping logistics solutions.

Ant is known for its e-wallet solution Alipay, which is widely used in retail outlets globally.

Under the agreement, China COSCO and Ant will jointly research and promote blockchain shipping logistics solutions in China, using blockchain techniques as a strategic connection between shipping, ports, logistics and finance.

China COSCO and Ant will also strengthen their cooperation in the areas of smart shipping, smart ports and supply chain financing, in order to promote the digitisation of shipping operations.

Ant chairman Jing Xiandong said that he looks forward to the integration of logistics and technology, noting that digitisation is accelerating in many societies. Blockchain technology can therefore become a key infrastructure in the digitisation of assets.

China COSCO chairman Xu Lirong said that as the world’s largest integrated shipping enterprise group, his corporation is committed to building a large integrated logistics supply chain service platform, while actively grasping digitisation, using data technology, blockchain, super-computing and other new technologies.

He said, “Integrating logistics with digital technology improves the safety and efficiency of services and provides reliable digital services to our customers.

“I hope that with the help of blockchain, Internet of Things, 5G and other technologies, China COSCO will continue to deepen cooperation with all parties and promote the seamless integration of cargo, capital and information in the supply chain.”



Source: Container News


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Where does the Syrian regime get foreign currency from?

Enab Baladi – Zeynep Masri

The Syrian Pound (SYP) has not seen a significant drop in its value, maintaining the limits it was fluctuating at, since the entry of the first package of economic sanctions against the Syrian regime under the Caesar Act into effect on 17 June. 

The value of the SYP plummeted to historic lows, exceeding SYP 3,000 to the US dollar (USD) on 8 June. Then, the SYP recorded an exchange rate of 3,000 against the US dollar on the day the first package of sanctions came into force. Then, the SYP bounced back on 15 June from its recent plummet, to reach 2,500 SYP per 1 USD, according to the website of Syrian Pound Today (a Syrian Pound tracking website.)

Unofficial analysts attributed this local-currency price stability to the fact that the Syrian regime has received foreign exchange without mentioning its source. The supporters of the Syrian government, including Omar Rahmoun, a member of the National Reconciliation Committee, and the journalist Shadi Helwa confirmed these speculations via their social media accounts, publishing photos showing large amounts of USD, next to a photo for the leader of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad. 

With no official announcement of the source of this foreign currency, the question arises about how the Syrian regime was able to obtain millions of USD and how it could circumvent the sanctions aimed at isolating it economically. 

Drain on the Syrian Central Bank’s reserves 

The Syrian regime used to earn foreign currency through export sales, foreign currency remittance transfers from abroad, and net foreign investment flows, according to Muslim Talas, assistant professor of economics at Mardin University, Turkey, in an interview with Enab Baladi.

Talas said that to know the sources of foreign exchange earnings in Syria, we must understand the Balance of Payments (BOP), noting that there are three main categories of BOP: the current account, the capital account, and the official reserve account. He added that the BOP should be zero, meaning that assets (credits) and liabilities (debts) should balance, in the sense that the country does not have a deficit or a surplus.

According to the latest available statistics on the national BOP in Syria, which was issued by the “Syrian Statistical Group” for the year, 2011, Syria has a deficit in its current account of the BOP, which amounted to 9.8 billion SYP ( around196,000,000 USD), meaning that the regime consumed that amount of foreign exchange.

The current remittance account amounted to one billion and 219 million SYP (4,380,000 USD), the capital account of the BOP was one billion and 914 million SYP (821,459.227 USD).

According to the available figures, there is a current account deficit of six billion and 739 million SYP ( nearly 14,780,000), which was covered by the government of the Syrian regime via withdrawing from the reserves of the SCB, Talas said.

According to the figures currently available, issued by the “unified Arab economic report,” the Syrian trade deficit reached in 2017 5.5 billion USD, meaning that the government drained that amount of foreign currency.

According to the currently available figures issued by “the Unified Arab Economic Report,” Syria’s trade deficit reached in 2017 USD 5.5 billion. This suggests that the government spent the entire foreign currency reserves of the SCB, and thus the regime has to obtain foreign exchange through other means.

What are the other sources?

Talas believes that the private sector cannot make direct or indirect investments in Syria in the current circumstances. Thus, the investments and loans by the Iranian government could be the primary source of foreign currency for the Syrian regime alongside what is left of the old foreign currency reserves in the SCB.  

Since sanctions were imposed on Iran, in 2019, it is no longer a source of foreign currency for the Syrian regime.

However, Iran had already brought several investments into Syria, bought real estate, and obtained substantial trade concessions, according to Talas. 

 Muhammed Mousa, an economic researcher, said that in addition to the revenues from exports and money remittances from abroad, the Syrian regime depends on its allies, Russia and Iran in acquiring foreign currencies, as well as incomes of Syrian consular transactions, and the support granted to the international organizations operating in the Syrian regime-controlled areas. International organizations generate considerable amounts of foreign exchange, reaching the SCB, they change their foreign currencies to the Syrian currency to purchase products, logistical tools, or foodstuffs.

 Besides, the Syrian regime also borrows in the financial markets by selling bonds. The bonds are a promise to make the payments on certain dates and with a specific interest rate. 

The Syrian regime also gets foreign currencies from the revenues of the land, sea, and air borders, which are very few, due to the absence of tourists the weak movement of air transport and the lack of an air fleet, with Russia and Iran seizing seaports, and the ineffectiveness of land crossings, except those connecting between Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

Mousa told Enab Baladi that the “Caesar” Act will impose a complete blockade against Syria, preventing import, export and bank transfers, which might lead to the regime’s inability to sell treasury bonds again, and the failure of one of the allied countries to lend it or the central bank in Syria.

The Iranian government stopped providing aid to the Syrian regime, including oil derivatives and foreign exchange, due to the sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union countries, prompting it to spend what it has left in its reserves to purchase wheat and oil from Russia because Russia is no longer lending it but rather selling the regime grains for cash.  

Mousa added that Lebanon has also become unable to provide the regime with foreign exchange due to Lebanon’s monetary and financial crisis, specifically in the banking sector, “which are involved in laundering the money of the regime,” according to Mousa. 

Mousa pointed out that the areas controlled by the Syrian opposition factions are considered a “primary source” of funding for the Syrian regime. The SYP is being exported to the northern regions in Syria, and the Syrian government buys the USD, which is brought from Turkey through “great traders,” who are carrying out commercial transactions through the crossings between Turkey and the northern regions of Syria. 

Mousa believes that requiring money transfer and remittance companies and merchants to use the Turkish Lira (TL) or USD in cities of northern Syria, and to avoid dealing in the SYP “will deliver a devastating blow to the Syrian regime,” as Mousa put it. 

The SCB is also planning to obtain billions of Syrian pounds via the issuance of the certificate of deposits by eight banks.

According to a statement released by the SCB, a day after the implementation of the first package of “Caesar” sanctions, the total nominal value of certificates subscribed to was estimated at 74.3 billion SYP (around 31,888,412 USD) with a maturity of six months and an annual interest rate of 6.5 percent.

The SCB launched the first version of the certificates of deposit in SYP for the year 2020, on 9 March,  according to the standardized price auction method for traditional banks operating in Syria.

 The nominal value of the single certificate of deposit amounted to one hundred million SYP (42,918.455 USD), with a maturity of six months, starting from the settlement day specified on 25 March.

The government uses the certificates of deposit, treasury bills, and bonds, as one of the essential means of covering the financial deficit in the state’s general budget.

The bank’s move aims to withdraw excess liquidity from the Syrian pound from the markets and direct it towards the bank in order to bridge the budget deficit, in addition to preventing these funds from entering into speculation on the dollar.

The SCB also raised the price of remittances received from abroad from 700 to 1,250 SPY per USD, intending to “bridge the gap between the market price and remittance prices, thus attracting them through secure official methods,” as it put it.

The Head of the Public Debt and Securities Directorate at the SCB, Mohamed Zain El-Din, told the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), last February, that “certificates of deposit help to control liquidity in a way that achieves the stability of the general level of prices.”



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Singapore: Maritime technology startups to benefit from new initiative | Brazil Modal

More than 50 promising Singapore-based startups will get liquidity boost thanks to the new initiative by SEEDS Capital.

SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore (ESG), has appointed six co-investment partners to provide the maritime ecosystem a strong leg-up by catalysing a combined S$50 million of investments into maritime technology startups.

The six partners are Innoport, KSL Maritime Ventures, PSA unboXed, Rainmaking, ShipsFocus-Quest Ventures and TecPier.

Supported by ESG and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), this latest initiative by SEEDS Capital aims to drive the growth of the maritime sector through technology and innovation. Strengthening the capability of the sector is expected to enhance in turn the resilience of key economic pillars such as the logistics, manufacturing, and wholesale trade sectors which are reliant on smooth and efficient global supply chain routes.

The appointment of the six partners is announced at Deal Friday today, a platform which connects companies with venture capitals (VCs) and corporates. Since the start of 2020, four virtual sessions have been held profiling Singapore based startups to 240 investors and corporates in Southeast Asia, China and Europe, facilitating over 120 unique connections.

As informed, SEEDS Capital and the appointed partners will invest in early-stage maritime technology startups to develop innovative and sustainable solutions that improve operational efficiency and safety across the different segments of the maritime sector. The partners will provide hands-on assistance in helping early-stage startups to fast-track commercialisation, with mentorship and connection to potential clients through their networks.

“As a global hub for trade and connectivity, we have continually leveraged technology and innovation to develop and facilitate efficient, resilient and secured trade flows. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to accelerate the transformation of our industries. We look forward to working closely with our six co-investment partners to harness their expertise and networks to further strengthen Singapore’s innovation and startup ecosystem,” Ted Tan, Chairman of SEEDS Capital and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore said.

Specifically, Innoport will team up with startups to speed up development of solutions that will push the sector to relook processes, increase efficiency and accelerate digitalisation. This includes conducting pilot test within Schulte Group’s business units, facilitating connections with experts across fields and more.

Additionally, KSL Maritime Ventures will pursue sustainable shipping solutions with a focus on renewables, fintech and vessel technologies, taking a long-term view towards creating new global maritime platforms.

PSA unboXed will work with startups in the maritime, ports and logistics supply chain spaces and potentially deploy their solutions in PSA International’s operations if proven successful.

The fourth partner, Rainmaking, will work with its corporate partners in the next two to three years to drive the growth of more than 100 startups with solutions focusing on decarbonisation, supply chain resilience, artificial intelligence (AI) and deep tech. By working with corporate partners and private equity firms through its platform, Rainmaking aims to accelerate the adoption rate of technology at scale.

What is more, ShipsFocus-Quest Ventures will work with startups to scale development of technology that meets the needs and addresses challenges in the maritime sector. It will focus on solutions broadly in digitalisation, sustainability and deeptech for maritime commerce.

Finally, TecPier will partner with startups developing smart, data-driven solutions to transform global shipping. This includes improving efficiency and transparency in areas such as ship operations and maintenance, port management, and supply chains.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many business operations and global supply chains. Maritime technology startups will play an important role in accelerating digitalisation and innovation efforts to prepare the maritime industry for a new normal. The combined resources of the six co-investment partners will help catalyse these efforts,” Tan Beng Tee, MPA’s Assistant Chief Executive (Development) said.



Source: World Maritime News


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Foreign currency hedge accounting example

1 Foreign exchange risk; 2 Hedge; 3 Accounting for Derivatives For example, if a United States company doing business in Japan is 4 Sep 2019 …


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