HAROPA, the biggest French port complex

Grouped together within the ‘GIE HAROPA’ (Economic Interest Group) since the beginning of 2012, the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris today constitute the fifth-largest North- European port complex. The total tonnage of the goods having passed in transit, since January 1st, 2013, through the maritime terminals of Le Havre and Rouen exceeds 67.5mt (million tonnes), a 5% increase against the same period of the previous year.

The rise in tonnage of HAROPA joint venture especially relies on that of dry bulks: cereals, but also aggregates and coals, while liquid products are stable (35.6mt) under the influence of a

downturn (–4%) of refined petroleum products. It should be noted too that new services have set up in the Port of Rouen, in particular to the Baltic and Africa. It is in this context that HAROPA has launched a public consultation on its strategic discussion paper on the port of future: HAROPA by 2030.


Over the first nine months of the year 2013, container traffic handled by HAROPA registers a 7% growth (19.3Mt) with regard to the same period in 2012, despite a relatively strained world economic situation. 

Cereals: the strong beginning of the season in Rouen silos The 2012/2013 grain campaign, ending in late June, was marked by an 8% increase, with 6.6mt, tonnages of wheat and barleys were loaded in bulk from the silos of Rouen and its neighbouring area. For the year 2013, 7mt should be reached.

Coals: recovery in Le Havre and good activity in Rouen The HAROPA joint venture registers a strong upturn of trades in Havre, as well as stability in Rouen and in industrial coal.A strong proportion of coal was handled by Gennevilliers (HAROPA-Ports of Paris).

Aggregates: all active terminals

The traffic of aggregates is globally good, this year, at HAROPA terminals, increasing by 8%. HAROPA-Port of Rouen terminals registered, in July, its second best monthly sea traffic (118,000 tonnes) in 12 years. Aggregates of massive rocks from Scotland and Norway and marine aggregates are regularly received in: Honfleur (Lafarge), Saint-Jean-de-Folleville (SPS constituted by Cemex and GSM),Vatteville-la-Rue (Cemex Casema), Saint-Wandrille (Holcim Yeoman/ Eurovia Yeoman/Eurovia) and Rouen (Stema) with new unloading of Norwegian aggregates. Over 9 months, traffic reached 600,000 tonnes, that is a 36% rise, with regard to the same period in 2012. In Le Havre, tonnages were more or less stable, with 930,000 tonnes. 


Refined petroleum products: a relatively slight downturn Over the first nine months of the year 2013, refined petroleum products, at the terminals of HAROPA-Port of Rouen, suffered a 7% drop, to 5.2mt at the end of September, 2013, against 5.6mt at the end of September, 2012. Although the actors of the energy sector record a slight increase of their traffic, the latter does not make up for the loss of sea traffic caused by the stoppage of the Petroplus refinery in Petit-Couronne which accounted for 2.4 Mt in 2011. In Le Havre terminals, crude oil traffic is stable, and the drop in refined products is limited to 3%. 

River: stable traffic

The waterway traffic of HAROPA seems stable over the same period of the year compared with 2012: –2 % with 15.9mt tonnes of goods. The consumption of aggregates globally remained stable over the first six months of 2013 with regard to the same period in 2012. The activity suffered bad weather during the first half of the year and was booming during the second half. The tonnage of aggregates carried by inland waterway increased by 2.6% over the first seven months of 2013. The construction of important logistics platforms in the ‘Ile-de-France’ area (Paris region) may favour an increase in medium-term trades as well as the upgrading of urban ports (Point du Jour, Javel,Victor, Issy-les-Moulineaux,Alfortville and Choisy). Container traffic for the first nine months of year 2013 is marked by an increase of 2% (123,000 TEU). 
Bureau Veritas leads on Chinese-built eco bulkers 

Paris-based Bureau Veritas is a leading classification society in bulk carriers with 984 ships totalling 75m dwt in its classed fleet, writes Konstantinos Chatzitolios, Manager Bulk Carriers, Bureau Veritas.

It is a young fleet with an average age of 8.3 years. Another 129 ships are currently under construction in various shipyards in six shipbuilding countries. More than half of these ships will be delivered from Chinese yards to various owners from China, Greece, France and Japan. BV has a long presence in China and a strong position in classing ships in Chinese yards. Over the past decade China has dominated in the construction of bulk carriers, taking the lead from Japan and S. Korea. As a consequence, the first eco-bulk designs were built in China with optimized hull forms, electronic engines and other energy saving devices. These new designs can obtain a 15–20% lower fuel consumption and have a better CO2 footprint compared with the majority of bulk carriers built between 2006 and 2008.

Since 1 January 2013, CO2 emissions for new ships have been regulated by the EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) of MARPOL Annex VI. Some of the recently built eco bulk carriers have achieved an EEDI value which is phase 2 compliant. Phase 2 will enter into force on 1 January 2020 so these ships are future-proofed. BV classes a significant number of these new vessels including the Crown 63 Supramax bulk carriers designed and built by Sinopacific and the first vessels of the new 38,000dwt Green Dolphin SDARI series.

Bureau Veritas has launched its new software VeriSTAR-HLC to assist ship owners with the maintenance of their ships and to better plan their vessel’s dry-docks.VeriSTAR-HLC uses a 3D representation of the ship which helps monitor its actual structural condition. Thickness measurements are entered in the model’s database and the vessel’s condition is displayed in colour codes. This enables a more efficient preparation of steel repairs by the owner because areas to be repaired are automatically displayed by the system. Data remains in the database forever and access to all ship’s data, including historical data, is simple.

In case of damage, the current structural condition of the ship is made available without delay making VeriSTAR-HLC an essential tool in an emergency. This kind of structural monitoring is especially important for bulk carriers due to their demanding service life with rapid loading of heavy cargoes and grab damage.VeriSTAR-HLC is also fully integrated with BV classification surveys and the tool is used by BV surveyors for the assessment of the ship’s structure and repair decisions.

The new harmonized Common Structural Rules (CSR-H) covering bulk carriers are expected to be adopted by the IACS council in December 2013. The CSR-H will have to comply with IMO’s Goal Based Standards which will enter into force in July 2016, but the implementation of the CSR-H is expected a lot earlier than this date. Bureau Veritas has already updated its software VeriSTAR Hull and MARS with the new CSR-H requirements. These software tools are used for the structural assessment of the ship. Bureau Veritas has committed substantial resources to the IACS efforts to finalize the common rules and in that way it has unrivalled knowledge of how the rules work. It has used that to update its tools and to assist shipyards in China, S. Korea and Japan in the development of their new CSR-H compliant designs.

New Feldspar traffic via the Port of Dunkirk 

After a complete programme of renovation and the creation of storage areas, the former Silonor quay was delivered by the Port of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) in November 2012 and has been handling new types of traffic since the beginning of the year. In September, a cargo of 7,500 tonnes of feldspar was delivered at the site, whose storage yards and facilities are operated by DMT (Dunkerque Multibulk Terminal).

The cargo, imported from Gulluk in Turkey by Esan Italia Minerals for Céramiques Desvres, arrived during the night of 18 to 19 September on board the Romy Trader (132m × 20m). Feldspar is a dense product (1.5) but not dusty; it was discharged by the handling teams of Barra SNM, stored under cover in the DMT installations and used to supply the factory in Maubeuge (Nord département) at a rate of 600 tonnes a week. The ship also carried big bags of fine sand for testing in the region’s glassworks.

This activity was started up last June with a ship of 6,500 tonnes, which had to be discharged at the Freycinet 12 quay because DMT’s installations were being used for other traffic and were therefore unavailable. Other ships associated with this activity are expected shortly, including a cargo of 4,000 tonnes of bentonite and another ship carrying 12,000 tonnes of feldspar.

Benoit Masure, Director of DMT in Dunkirk, says: “The DMT quay has received this first shipload of feldspar which will supply the Desvres factory in Maubeuge, for the production of tiles and adhesives. The annual traffic volume is approximately 40,000 tonnes, including some cargoes of bentonite in the near future. So we are consolidating our weekly deliveries to Desvres, which began in June, at 600 tonnes a week. This product is imported from Turkey by Esan Italia Minerals. This operator is demonstrating its confidence in DMT and is planning rapid developments to supply the region’s glass factories.We would like to point out that this traffic, initiated by DMT in Dunkirk, was previously imported via The Netherlands.”

Jean-Frederic Laurent, Strategy and Development Director of Dunkerque-Port, adds: “With the creation of DMT and the additional 15,000 square metres of wharfside storage yards, we can offer new, competitive logistics solutions within the port. This recent extension will reinforce the position of Dunkerque- Port in the small solid bulks sector.” 
First French grain ship to China for nine years 

Nord Ceréales and the Port of Dunkirk have re-launched the grain trade between France and China. The Moon Globe, a Panamax ship 225m long and 32.26m broad, called at the Port of Dunkirk during the last week of August to load more than 60,000 tonnes of wheat from the Nord Pas-de-Calais, Somme and Aisne regions, bound for Guangzhou in China.

France had not shipped any grain to China since 2004. The quality of the wheat offered is highly satisfactory and opens up new opportunities for trade with Chinese buyers. With its outstanding access for shipping, its draught, and the handling facilities available, the Port of Dunkirk can accommodate very large ships for the loading of grain. The Moon Globe called at the Nord Cereales terminal and was loaded at a rate of 1,800 tonnes per hour, by using two gantry cranes simultaneously. Nord Cereales recently acquired a second loading gantry to double its handling capacities. Joel Ratel, General Director of Nord Cereales, said: “The 2013/2014 season looks promising, in terms of both quantity and quality, and gives us good prospects for the coming weeks and months.” Christine Cabau, Chair of Dunkerque-Port’s Executive Committee, added: “The investments made by Nord Cereales in the Port of Dunkirk are bearing fruit: we are able to berth and load extremely large ships with a high level of productivity to satisfy the most demanding clients.We are delighted with this result which rewards the efforts made by the sector.”

The Nord-Cereales terminal is located in the Port of Dunkirk and offers all the facilities needed for berthing ships with a capacity of 110,000 tonnes. The terminal has 222,000 tonnes of vertical storage, 110,000 tonnes of horizontal storage, and a 3,000-point dryer.

France’s third-ranking port, Dunkirk is well known as a port handling heavy bulk cargoes for its numerous industrial installations. It has also built its reputation in other sectors such as cross-Channel RORO traffic to Great Britain, containers, fruit, etc.

Classified as the seventh port of the North Europe Range which extends from Le Havre to Hamburg, Dunkirk is also the leading French port for ore and coal imports, France’s leading port for containerized fruit imports, and the country’s second- ranking port for trade with Great Britain.