zoom Oslo-listed gas carrier owner Solvang ASA and partners have signed a contract with Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of two 78,700 cbm Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) carriers.The vessels will be Panamax VLGC vessels, with the feature of being able to transit both the new and old Panama canal, Solvang said in a stock exchange filing.The new vessels are scheduled for delivery in Q2 and Q3 2017 respectively and will, upon delivery, enter 10 year timecharter contracts with an undisclosed oil major.Solvang will be the managing owner of the newbuilds and the vessels will be placed into one of the existing shipowning companies where Solvang has 30% ownership.The order follows delivery of the third and last of the three Large Gas Carriers (LGC) constructed at HHI in August. The first vessel from the batch was delivered on April 8th, and the second vessel was delivered on June 1st.Solvang currently owns 50% of the existing global Panamax VLGC fleet.World Maritime News Staff
Over the weekend, fighting between Nigeria’s military and Islamic extremists caused the deaths of at least 185 people in the northeastern town of Baga, media sources have reported.“The Secretary-General reiterates his firm conviction that no objective sought can justify this resort to violence,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement. “He expresses his condolences to the bereaved families and calls on all extremist groups to cease their attacks.”Violence fuelled by sectarian motives is not uncommon in Nigeria where the Islamist group, Boko Haram, has frequently resorted to targeting civilians. Last year, over 100 people were killed when the radical group attacked churches in Kaduna State, drawing widespread condemnation from the UN. Mr. Ban “underscores the need for all concerned to full respect human rights and safeguard the lives of civilians,” the Secretary-General’s statement added.
Readers unable to view the Soundcloud file above can click here to listen to the audio.Dear Brothers and Sisters,I offer a warm and affectionate greeting to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors who have joined me for this, my last General Audience.Like Saint Paul, whose words we heard earlier, my heart is filled with thanksgiving to God who ever watches over his Church and her growth in faith and love, and I embrace all of you with joy and gratitude.During this Year of Faith, we have been called to renew our joyful trust in the Lord’s presence in our lives and in the life of the Church. I am personally grateful for his unfailing love and guidance in the eight years since I accepted his call to serve as the Successor of Peter.I am also deeply grateful for the understanding, support and prayers of so many of you, not only here in Rome, but also throughout the world.The decision I have made, after much prayer, is the fruit of a serene trust in God’s will and a deep love of Christ’s Church. I will continue to accompany the Church with my prayers, and I ask each of you to pray for me and for the new Pope.In union with Mary and all the saints, let us entrust ourselves in faith and hope to God, who continues to watch over our lives and to guide the journey of the Church and our world along the paths of history.I commend all of you, with great affection, to his loving care, asking him to strengthen you in the hope which opens our hearts to the fullness of life that he alone can give.To you and your families, I impart my blessing. POPE BENEDICT XVI has held his final public event before stepping down as pontiff, using his final general audience to further explain his reasons for deciding to step down.Thousands turned out at St Peter’s Square in Rome to mark the 85-year-old pope’s final public event, before he retires to his summer residence outside Rome tomorrow and ends his pontificate at 7pm tomorrow evening.The Wednesday morning general audience usually offers a platform for the pope to give lectures on the nature of Christianity – but today Benedict instead used the opportunity to elaborate on his reasons for his retirement.Benedict said he did not have the “strength of mind or body” to continue leading the Catholic Church’s 1.2 billion followers.“To love the church means also to have the courage to take difficult, painful decisions, always keeping the good of the church in mind, not oneself,” he said, further recalling the doubts he had about his ability to rise to the role when he was appointed pontiff in April 2005.“I have had moments of joy and light, but also moments that haven’t been easy … moments of turbulent seas and rough winds,” he added.At the conclusion of his remarks, Benedict toured the square in the ‘Popemobile’, greeting well-wishers in what amounted to his final public appearance as head of the Roman Catholic Church.Most of the 115 cardinals who will vote in next month’s conclave, appointing a successor to Benedict, were present for the audience – which had an expected attendance of about 50,000, but an actual turnout of nearly double that much.Tomorrow morning Benedict will hold a meeting with the cardinals, before flying to Castel Gandolfo – about 40 minutes away by road – to see out the last hours of his pontificate.At 8pm Roman time (7pm Irish time) the doors of the residence will close, and the Swiss Guards protecting him will stand down – their job of protecting the head of the Catholic Church over for the time being.In full: Pope Benedict XVI’s final address Read: Benedict changes rules to allow Conclave to start earlierExplainer: How is a new Pope chosen?