Ports & Ships Headline News
Sep 20, 2005
SA ports to remain under state control
South African minister of public enterprises Alec Erwin said in Durban today that the railways, ports, pipelines and Transwerk would remain state owned, although he left the door open to joint ventures with private enterprise including the possibility of the second Durban container terminal being concessioned. Addressing a maritime breakfast in Durban hosted jointly by the Mercury newspaper and Safmarine, Erwin confirmed large scale investments by state-owned Transnet amounting to approximately R40 Billion over the next five to seven years but then warned that further investments would only take place when the respective city authorities also agreed to invest in redeveloping adjacent areas.
He said that an efficient railway between the new port at Ngqura (Coega) in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng would be built in order to ensure the port was competitive and announced a program of looking at all land surrounding the existing ports to identify badly utilised facilities. He said there was a need to redesign these areas particularly in Durban and Cape Town.
The national Port Master Plan, which looks ahead at the next 20 years of harbour development, has gone through its preliminary stages and would be presented to the cabinet before the end of the year.
AP Moller handed Apapa terminal
Concessioning transactions for the Apapa Container Terminal were finalised this week when the Nigerian government and AP Moller signed off on an agreement to place the terminal in the hands of AP Moller Terminals for a period of 25 years. In terms of the agreement AP Moller has paid a signing fee of US million and will pay a further US .6Bn over the period of the lease.
Nigeria’s minister of transport Dt Abiye Sekibo praised the professional manner in which the transaction was negotiated.
Hostage ship reaches Al Ma’an
The Kenyan ship Semlow reached the anchorage of El Ma’an yesterday, raising hopes that the crew being held hostage on board will finally be given their freedom. The Somali highjackers of the ship, which is carrying a cargo of World Food Aid rice, had held the ship and its crew captive for almost two months, demanding at first a huge amount of money and later amending their demands to the handover of the food aid to a destination of their choosing. The rice was originally intended for tsunami victims in the Horn of Africa.
According to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur there has been 21 incidents of piracy or attempted piracy in Somali waters since 15 March of this year and ships are being advised to keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast.
In another incident unrelated to Somalia but also report by the IMB, eight thieves boarded a tanker on its berth at Mahajunga, Madagascar and stole ships stores from a bosuns’ locker. They made their escape in a boat.
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