Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 14, 2005
Author: P&S

Another investor lines up for East London IDZ

East London is setting the early pace when it comes to attracting investors for the country’s fledgling industrial development zones (IDZ). The East London IDZ (ELIDZ) announced today its fourth foreign investment in as many months.

The latest deal involves German automotive parts manufacturer Otto Fuchs, which has teamed up with local black economic empowerment (BEE) group Ikhwezi Investment to build a R112 million plant for the manufacture of automotive parts.

East London’s IDZ is strategically positioned close to both the DaimlerChrysler plant on the West Bank and to the port, each of which are proving beneficial to the success of the IDZ venture. Otto Fuchs/Ikhwezi is the second component manufacturer to take advantage of the ELIDZ but there are indications that several others are ready to follow, particularly as DaimlerChrysler gears up for production of the new C Class Mercedes Benz that will be manufactured in East London from 2007.

By contrast the Coega IDZ adjacent to the emerging port of Ngqura has so far attracted only a single investor despite many years of vigorous marketing.

Two proposed IDZ’s in KwaZulu Natal are yet to be formulated. One which is proposed for Richards Bay has a number of prospective investors lined up. The other is intended for the Dube Tradeport to the north of Durban, adjacent and integral to the proposed King Shaka International Airport.

Beira railway struck by theft

The Beira railway system, which forms a principal transport link between the Mozambique port and neighbouring Zimbabwe, has become the latest victim of scrap metal thieves, according to the Maputo newspaper Noticias.

The report says that over 6,000 tonnes of railway track, broken down locomotives, rail wagons and other equipment has been stolen. Police have made some arrests and recovered at least six wagon loads of scrap material in Beira, Dondo and Manica – the latter town is on the border with Zimbabwe – as well as on the branch line to Marromeu.

Theft of railway material has also become a problem in the north of the country, particularly along unused sections of the railway near Cuamba on the Nacala – Malawi section.

Somalia calls for naval assistance

Faced with mounting piracy in its waters and an inability to prevent further attacks, the interim Somali government, which has yet to take effective office in Somalia, today issued an appeal to any country having an interest in Somalia’s shipping lanes to help form what it called an ‘interim force’ to protect the country’sealanes.

This week alone two Kenyan ships – one carrying food aid on behalf of the United Nations - have been seized by highjackers. More than 22 incidents have been recorded in recent months and Kenya took the step yesterday of advising its citizens to avoid sailing anywhere near the Somali coast.

Unfortunately, with Somalia strategically positioned on the Horn of Africa and facing the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, it becomes difficult for ships, even large commercial vessels to avoid the area other than by sailing several hundred kilometres away from the coast.

New Durban terminal takes shape

Work on the new multi purpose terminal at the Durban Point is approaching the halfway point as construction teams concrete a 20 hectare cargo working area behind the new quay wall.

The Point docks is Durban’s oldest harbour working area but now boasts the most modern facilities including a new 1.2km long deepwater quay wall backed by a huge cargo working space. Where the previous quay wall had an average depth of -8.5m, the new quay has a draft alongside of -13.5m.

The reconstruction of the area became necessary after it was decided to convert Pier 1 on the south side of the bay as a second container terminal, forcing the port authority to find a new location to handle general breakbulk. The rundown Point seemed a logical position, although it now turns out the city wants the area for recreational purposes.

Whatever gets decided regarding the future of the Point, the multi purpose terminal will gradually be transferred from Pier 1 to the Point as each section becomes available. According to the contractors on site, Protekon Port & Pipeline Solutions, the new terminal will be completed by late 2006.

Meanwhile thee same company is rapidly constructing a new rail terminal behind the multi purpose terminal, which will have five sets of tracks each able to take 25 rail wagons, which is half a block train in length on each track. The rail terminal is due for completion in March 2006.

Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Beira on the East Coast

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