The Istanbul Canal: Plans Unveiled

This week, detailed plans were released for the proposed ‘Istanbul Canal’, an artificial waterway linking the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea and flowing 45 kms through Turkey’s largest city Istanbul.


The plan includes three underwater tunnels for road vehicles.

Turkey’s President has now announced that construction will begin this year, with the end product linking Lake Buyukcekmece, adjoining the Sea of Marmara, with the Black Sea at the other end, just north of Durusu.

The shipping world is extremely excited about these proposals which should reduce congestion in the Istanbul Strait – currently one of the busiest waterways in the world with over 50,000 vessels passing through each year.

The long-awaited canal should also enable Turkey to respond positively to the international pressure to increase crude oil tonnage.

The Gambia – One Year after Yahya Jammeh

One year on from the end of the leadership of Yahya Jammeh in Gambia, after his exile to Equatorial Guinea, citizens say they are starting to feel safe again and reports predict that the Gambian economy is beginning to stabilize.

In December 2016, Jammeh had refused to step down and accept his election defeat to the new President, Adama Barrow. With the help of the united support of the governments in a number of African Nations such as Senegal, Guinea and Mauritania, Jammeh finally agreed to step down and to flee to the control of Equatorial Guinea, encouraged by its long-term leader, Theodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

Barrow is a much more popular President, and freedom in the country is beginning to return.

“Among other openings associated with the departure of former president Yahya Jammeh, exiled journalists and activists returned, political prisoners were released, ministers declared their assets to an ombudsman, and the press union began work on media-sector reform.”

This week, however, the army reported that two of Jammeh’s Generals were found back within Gambia borders and were arrested, proving how difficult it has been and will continue to be for President Barrow to regain full control of the country after 22 years of Jammeh’s rule and influence.

With the social and economic climate of Gambia in slow recovery, and investors returning to the nation, business will hopefully grow and trade will likely increase significantly in the coming years.

VIDEO -Watch to hear the testimonies of the youngest generation in Gambia, who finally feel hope for the future of their country.


BREXIT on the British Port Association’s 2018 Agenda

As Theresa May announces plans for the completion of the BREXIT negotiations by 2019, the British Port Association has declared that throughout 2018, it will be working to influence the discussions on the issues which will affect business in ports in the future, e.g. changes in Customs regulations and new environmental policies.

Chief Executive of the BPA, Richard Ballantyne, comments “A number of ports, particularly the UK’s network of Roll-on Roll-off ferry ports, are concerned that following the UK’s departure from the Customs Union and the Single Market, new bureaucratic border checks could slow down trade. As phase 2 of the Brexit negotiations begin, we will be pressing the UK Government to ensure that trade facilitation is given a much higher prominence in the discussions”.

Ballantyne voiced his disappointment that the proposed “free ports policy” is not on the government’s agenda for the time being.

It is also a priority of the BPA to ensure that port funding is not threatened, freight transportation costs remain at a reasonable level, and that legislative updates are made to some areas of maritime safety law. For example, the BPA recommends updating UK harbour and shipping legislation to improve safety.  According to the BPA, changes should include the definition of certain leisure craft as “ships” and alcohol limits for those sailing non-professional vessels.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from all at the Budd Group. Wishing all our clients and friends a prosperous and successful 2018!

We are looking forward to exciting new opportunities this year and to continuing to serve the maritime community as Correspondents to the world’s leading insurers and their insured.

2018 will see this blog continue to grow and deliver information from our offices in France, Africa and Asia, keeping our clients in touch with what’s happening both in those countries in which we operate and beyond.

Specific maritime alerts are to be found on our website – – along with additional information about our network and services.

If you are on the move, the Budd App (search for “budd group”) provides quick and easy access to the full coordinates of all our staff from your smart phone, along with a vessel tracking facility.  There is no charge for the App.

For 24/7 assistance, or a quotation, please do not hesitate to call us on +33 (0)491 33 58 33 or +33 (0)184 88 08 41 (AOH Emergency no.) or email

World’s Largest Floating Solar Panel Project to be Developed by Indonesia

Indonesia and Abu Dhabi have signed a joint project development agreement for the world’s largest floating solar plant.

“With a capacity of 200 megawatt (MW), the plant will cover an area of 225 hectares atop the Cirata Reservoir in the West Java province of Indonesia. The 6,000-hectare Cirata Reservoir already powers a 1GW hydroelectric power station. The planned 200MW floating PV project will be mounted on 700,000 floats moored to the bed of the Cirata reservoir and connected by electrical cables to an onshore high-voltage substation.”


Indonesia in particular has announced its intentions to replace 31% of its energy used with renewable energy by 2050.

Plans to Expand Abidjan Port by August 2019

Scheduled to complete by August 2019, the Port of Abidjan is to be expanded to allow it to hold vessels holding up to 14,000 TEU of cargo.

There is also a project underway to allow larger ships to dock in Abidjan by widening the Vridi channel to the main port and constructing a new terminal.

The largest port in the Ivory Coast, Abidjan is already a business hub for shipping in West Africa, and the country’s role in developing and expanding the trade opportunities for the entire continent is clearly expected to be vital.

Bali Volcano Eruption Closes Airport

The volcanic eruption of Mount Agung in Bali caused large amounts of disruption in the area due to the cloud of volcanic ash reaching as high as 3 km above the summit. People have been evacuated from their homes and many encouraged to wear face masks to protect them from ash in the air and atmosphere.

The Transportation Ministry also closed the Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) airport on Monday morning for 24 hours, in order to prevent flying in poor visibility or ash from getting into plane engines. More than 400 flights were cancelled, stranding 59,000 travellers. The airport has now been re-opened, just this morning (29/11/2017).

Activity in Bali’s ports has not been affected to date but the incident is expected to have repercussions on trade across Indonesia.