Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 24, 2005
Author: P&S

EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
WEB SITE: www.hugheship.com

SOUTH AFRICA – 1200 Kiperousa logs still unaccounted for

Almost 1200 large logs from the shipwrecked bulker Kiperousa remain unaccounted for, according to the salvage team handling the removal of the cargo.

The total recovered cargo of about 20,000 tonnes of hardwood logs from Gabon in West Africa will become available for sale at an auction to be held at East London in the near future. The original buyers of the logs, 20 Chinese importers have so far shown little interest in the recovery of the cargo which has been salvaged from the ship and beaches along the Eastern Cape coast. The original value of the cargo is believed to be in the region of US million and comprises about 14 varieties of West African timber that were destined to be reduced to veneer in China. Now it appears the timber will be sold to anyone with an interest and the right price.

However according to the ship’s manifest 1197 logs remain unaccounted for and are believed to be either in the ship’s holds and under water, or they may have sunk at sea. It is thought that all the ‘floaters’ that washed overboard have been recovered although there are reports of some logs floating perpendicular in the water or slightly below the surface, which makes them difficult to see and a navigational hazard to ships and small boats operating anywhere along the coast from north of East London to Cape Agulhas.

The shipwreck itself has been declared a hazard and should be marked on all charts.

ANGOLA – Start to be made on Benguela railway

A start on the rehabilitation of the Benguela Railway from the port of Lobito in Angola to Luau on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border is expected to get underway early in January 2006.

The railway offers a main gateway to the copper and other mines of northern Zambia and the DRC but hasn’t been operational since early in the Angolan civil war. A total of 1,345km of railway has to be rebuilt or restored. The financing of the reconstruction is being made possible with loans from China.

In addition to reopening channels for the mines of Central Africa, the railway is expected to rejuvenate the economy of the Angolan highlands on either side of the Lobito – Luau corridor.

NAMIBIA – New heavy-haul railway planned for Namibia

The New Era in Windhoek reports that a new heavy-haul railway will be built from the Morupule Colliery in central Botswana to the deepwater Shearwater Bay, 30km south of Luderitz.

The line will be fully electrified and will pass through a Namibian colliery planned for 60km south of Aranos, to the east of Mariental. With a length of over 1,600km the railway will be one of the longest dedicated railways in Africa. A new deepwater industrial port will have to be built at Shearwater Bay to cater for the coal ships.

According to New Era the railway will pass from Morupule and Kang on the Trans Kalahari Highway in Botswana and traveling via Mariental, Maltahohe and Aus to about 30km south of Luderitz at Shearwater Bay, where there is a natural draught of 14m. It is thought that the new port can be marketed as an oil hub on the West Coast.

So far only an economic assessment has been completed but consultants are due to begin detailed planning from December.

SOUTH AFRICA – Unicorn orders new tankers

According to Lloyds Register Fairplay, South African shipping company Unicorn Shipping has placed orders with South Korea’s Shina Shipyards for two 40,000-dwt product carriers for delivery in mid-2007 and early 2008.

CONGO – congestion surcharge for Matadi

Members of the Europe West Africa Trade Agreement (EWATA) today announced a port congestion surcharge of EUR 50 / GBP 35 per TEU and EUR2 / GBP 1 per ft for conventional cargo at Matadi port effective from 14 December 2005.

The surcharge is a result of continued congestion which is causing delays at the Congo River port, the main port for the DRC and its capital city Kinshasa.

Ship operating at the Matadi Container Terminal has slowed down dramatically due to extreme congestion on the terminal and the lines intend also implementing an emergency terminal congestion surcharge here, effective also from 14 December 2005. The surcharge will be EUR275 / GBP 185 per TEU and EUR2 / GBP 1 per ft for conventional cargo.

These surcharges will be cancelled once the situation returns to normal at Matadi, says EWATA.

The nine members of EWATA are: CSAV, Delmas, Libra, Lykes Line, Maersk Sealand, Nile Dutch Africa Line, OT Africa Line, Safmarine and TMM Lines.

Clipper Race – R&R in Durban

Thursday 24 November

With the conclusion of the 3rd leg of the Clipper Race at Durban, competitors are now relaxing in the sun and surf of South Africa’s favourite holiday playground and enjoying a well-earned rest. The race resumes on 14.00 local time Sunday, 27 November – until then if any reader wants to stay in touch with what is happening during the Durban stopover please go to http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk/plc/index.php for a daily update.

Ports & Ships will pick up the race again from Sunday.

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