Ports & Ships Headline News
Sep 22, 2005
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Fourth patrol vessel enters service tomorrow<.B>
The fourth and final new environmental protection vessel, Victoria Mxenge, will be handed over to the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism at a ceremony on Quay 500 in Cape Town harbour tomorrow (Friday, 23 September, 2005).
Victoria Mxenge is the third locally built patrol vessel to be completed at the Farocean Marine shipyards in Cape Town – the others being Lilian Ngoyi and Ruth First which have already entered service and have been instrumental in a number of successful apprehensions along the southern African coast.
The fourth new patrol vessel is the larger Sarah Baartman, which was built at the Damen Shipyards in Romania and the Netherlands and which entered service late last year. This ship is capable of deep ocean patrols including among South Africa’s Prince Edwards group of islands in the Southern Ocean, which is a favourite area for foreign fishing fleets.
The function tomorrow morning, beginning at 08.00 also marks the official introduction of the whole new fleet.
The contract awarded to Farocean Marine, a black empowerment company, was the largest ever awarded by South Africa to a South African shipyard. The three vessels have a 60% local content and contributed significantly to the creation of employment in the Western Cape as well as providing skilled training for a number of people.
The four vessels including Sarah Baartman were designed by Damen, a Dutch company.
The three smaller vessels are 47m in length and carry a crew of 14 for inshore patrol work. The first vessel, Lilian Ngoyi was launched in 2004 and Ruth First in May this year.
The larger vessel, Sarah Baartman carries a crew of 18 and is 87m in length and has a range of 7,500 nautical miles at 15 knots, with a top speed in excess of 20 knots.
In addition to fishery patrol duties the four vessels are equipped for oil and other anti-pollution countermeasures.
Lake Victoria ships losing money
Two ships chartered by the Uganda Railways Corporation for passenger and cargo work on Lake Victoria are losing money, reports a Kenyan newspaper. According to an article in The East African, the vessels mv Uhuru, which was chartered from Kenya Railways, and mv Umoja on charter from Tanzania Railways, are losing up to US ,000 a month.
The ships were chartered after two Ugandan vessels, mv Kabalega and mv Kaawa were involved in an accident in May this year – a third vessel owned by Uganda Railways is reported in a poor condition and unable to earn insurance cover. Uganda Railways says it doesn’t have the money to effect the necessary repairs to its own three vessels, although the Uganda minister of finance says his department was not made aware of the priority to repair these vessels.
The ships make an average of 10 trips per month between Mwanza, Kisumu and Port Bell, earning about 0,000 against a charter cost of US 0,000.
Uganda Railways is due to be privatised in then near future.
Nacala Railway rehab begins
Rehabilitation of the strategic Nacala – Malawi railway, Malawi’s sole rail link to the sea, is due to begin next week, reports the CDN (Corredor de Desenvolvimento do Norte), the private company operating the concession for both the railway and the deep water port of Nacala. The work is being done at a cost of US million. Rehab work is required over a 77-km section between Cuamba and Entrelagos near the Malawi border.
The four Sheltam diesel-electric locomotives that were shipped from Durban to Nacala recently – picture Terry Hutson
The SDN recently hired of four diesel electric locomotives from South Africa’s Sheltam Locomotive & Rail Services, a Port Elizabeth-based company in the Grindrod stable. These are pending delivery of new locomotives on order for SDN and were to supplement the company’s small fleet of three serviceable locos.
The railway has become subject to ongoing theft of equipment along large sections of the route, further hampering improvements to the service.
MSC reinvests in Port Elizabeth
Mediterranean Shipping Company has opened a R45 million container depot near Port Elizabeth to service its growing client base in the Eastern Cape. The depot is situated in Uitenhage, a town just outside Port Elizabeth proper but on the main rail route between the port and Gauteng and strategically close to the giant Volkswagen South Africa factory with its significant exporting of motor vehicles and importing of parts. General Motors also has its plant nearby.
MSC recently invested in a new office complex in the city, taking over an historic building which has been restored to its former glory. Centrepiece of this building is a magnificent stained glass window depicting the history of the Italian shipping line, designed by the chairman of MSC in South Africa, Captain Salvatore Sarno.
MSC also has container depots at Durban (two), Johannesburg and Cape Town.
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