Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 20, 2005
Author: P&S

Saldanha port notice

SA Port Operations at the Port of Saldanha Bay has requested all port users to refrain from using the BTS Plant Area administration building this Saturday, 22 October between the hours of 10.00 and 13.00.

The reason for this request is because of project activities at the old stacker reclaimer No.1, where a portion of the haul road and other roads within a radius of 500m from SR1 will be closed off. Nobody will be allowed within this area between 11.00 and 12.15 on that date.

Coega secures a second tenant

The fledgling port of Ngqura and adjacent industrial development zone of Coega has secured its second tenant – a R1.6 billion stainless steel precision mill. That’s according to the Eastern Cape newspaper EP Herald, which was however unable to reveal the identity of the company because the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has yet to sign off on the matter.

The IDC is a 26% partner in the project. The plant will form part of the offset programme required of German manufacturer Ferrostaal, which is committed to providing offsets in terms of its contract to supply warships for the South African Navy.

In an announcement last week (see our News Bulletin for 17 October) it was revealed that Ferrostaal would build the precision steel mill in the Eastern Cape as well as an oil rig manufacturing plant at Saldanha combined with an oil rig repair facility at Cape Town.

Chinese have first bite at the Tazara cherry

China will be given first option on the privatisation of the Tazara Railway linking the port of Dar es Salaam with Zambia. The 1,860-km railway is due to be concessioned separately from the remainder of Tanzania Railways, but the preference being shown towards the Chinese is in respect for them having built Tazara in the first place. As yet Tanzania has not fully repaid the interest free loan of US0 million used to build the line in 1974.

Only if the Chinese turn down the opportunity will the railway go to an open concessioning process.

In terms of the proposed concessioning of Tanzania Railways Corporation (which has been placed temporarily on hold), the successful bidder would operate the railway as a private company for a period of 25 years under a performance contract signed with the government’s Rail Asset Holding Company and regulations set by the state regulator. The World Bank is understood to be willing to provide financial support to the successful concessionaire.

Scanners beef up port security

The Port of Mombasa has commissioned two cargo X-Ray scanners as aids to deterring international terrorism and to look for contraband and intends importing additional scanners from China in the near future.

According to Kenya’s finance minister the scanners will assist tax collection while deterring drug smuggling and international terrorism.

Further south the ports of South Africa and border posts are to receive additional scanners in 2006 to supplement the single X-Ray scanner in service at the Durban Container Terminal. The Durban scanner has become a part of the Container Security Initiative involving close collaboration between South African and US Customs but was capable of scanning only a minute portion of the 1.6 million TEUs handled at the port in 2004.

Given the large volume of containers moving through Durban and other container handling ports it has been something of a mystery why South African Revenue Services (SARS) has remained so lax in installing this type of equipment, which theoretically would pay for themselves within short periods.

The single scanner now in use was provided by the then Portnet (now NPA) but was even allowed to fall into disuse at one point before the security shake-up following 11 September 2001 and the subsequent attention given to port security worldwide.

Another African country to recently install a scanner at its seaport is Sierra Leone where earlier this month a scanner was commissioned at the Freetown Queen Elizabeth II Quay. The West African country’s president said earlier this month that his government had authorized a port security assessment for the Quay, Kissy Oil Jetty and at Natti I and Natti II.

Africa to speak with one voice in maritime circle

The African Union (AU) intends to speak as one unified body at the next Committee of Maritime International (CMI) conference, which is due to take place in South Africa in February 2006.

According to the AU this is to ensure that African cargo interests are protected in future legislation under preparation by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

UNCITRAL is a UN organisation whose business is described as being the modernization and harmonization of rules on international business.

IMB calls for naval action off Somalia

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) says the unprecedented increase in the number of serious attacks of piracy off Somalia requires stern action by outside naval forces.

“These waters have become a pirate’s charter and unless the international community takes action against these criminals, vessels passing the coast face considerable danger,” said Captain Pottengal Mukundan, director of the International Chamber of Commerce IMB.

Mukundan called on all naval vessels in the region to come to the assistance of the highjacked ships. “At the very least they can prevent the highjackers from taking these ships into Somali waters. Once the vessels have entered these waters the chances of any law enforcement response is negligible. There is no national law enforcement infrastructure in Somalia.”

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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