Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 8, 2005
Author: P&S

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

SOUTH AFRICA –BEE company charters two vessels

Black Economic Empowered shipping company Marine Bulk Carriers (MBC), which is based in Cape Town, today announced the conclusion of charter arrangements for two Sanko ships to Kumba Resources and BP Shipping respectively.

Describing the charter agreements as ground breaking for a South African BEE company, MBC director Jan Rabie revealed that the 150,960-dwt Sanko Spark had been chartered on a fixture basis to Kumba Resources, the South African iron ore producer and exporter, while the 298,920-dwt Sanko owned VLCC Sanko Unity has gone to BP Shipping for 12 months.

The fixture charter to Kumba Resources involves the export of 150,000 tonnes of iron ore from Saldanha Bay to China in early 2006.

The VLCC Sanko Unity will be employed on BP Shipping’s worldwide trades, and includes South African cadets provided by MBC’s sister company Marine Crew Services.

Sanko and MBC are committed to jointly develop their presence in South Africa and this latest initiative reflects both companies commitment to support black economic empowerment in South Africa, said Rabie. This included the employment of newly trained seafarers and follows closely on the success in entering into a service agreement with PetroSA for the supply of an anchor handling tug supply vessel earlier this year.

Earlier in 2005 Sanko Steamship acquired a 20% stake in MBC in what Sanko chairman and CEO Steve Mitsui described as the expansion of its investment in South Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Town holiday times

The port of Cape Town has announced that it will not be performing marine operations in the port on Christmas Day (25 December 2005) and New Year’s Day (1 January 2006) between the hours of 11.00 and 16.00, except in the case of emergencies.

SOUTH AFRICA – BEE coal mine near Richards Bay

Coal mining company Petra Mining (Petmin) confirmed this week that it intends developing a R114 million anthracite mine at Somkhele near Hluhluwe to the immediate north of Richards Bay.

The go-ahead follows approval having been granted by Petmin’s shareholders earlier this week and confirmed reports carried in this and other publications on 19 September. The mine is expected to produce up to one million tonnes of export anthracite annually by 2010. Somkhele is an old mine which first produced coal in the late 1800s.

It was reported in September that the coal will be exported through the port of Richards Bay

Petmin is 52% owned by black economic empowered partners.

MOZAMBIQUE – Mozal grows its profits

The Mozal aluminium smelter near Maputo, which is owned by a consortium consisting of BHP Billiton, Mitsubishi Corporation, Industrial Development Corporation of SA and the Mozambique government has announced a 26.5% growth in net profits of R275,633 million during the fiscal year ended June 2005. This compares with the US7,887 million profit generated over the same period ending June 2004.

Mozal currently produces in excess of 500,000 tonnes of aluminium each year.

- source MCLI (Mozambique Corridor Liaison Initiative)

GENEVA – appeal to WTO to protect food aid

The heads of three of the largest UN agencies, UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP (World Food Programme) today called upon negotiators at the World Trade Organization to protect food aid donations through the United Nations to cope with emergencies and feed vulnerable groups. Global food aid is already under threat and slipped dramatically last year, dropping to 7.5 million metric tons from 10.2 million metric tons in 2003.

"We strongly believe reform of international agricultural trade is vital and can help overcome poverty in the developing world. This may well include disciplines on some types of food aid. But reforms should be carefully designed to protect millions of the world's children, refugees and malnourished people who count on donations of food aid for their survival, nutrition and health," said James Morris, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF.

"We ask that WTO negotiations recognize the crucial role that United Nations food aid plays in humanitarian operations and reaching out to the poorly nourished. Under-nutrition remains the greatest threat to health worldwide (WHO, 2002) and there are chronic shortfalls in food rations for refugees, especially in Africa," the three agency heads said.

Food-aid donations have come under scrutiny at the Doha Round of trade negotiations. One proposal seeks to ban donations of food in kind or restrict them to major emergencies, allowing donor governments only to give cash for the purchase of food aid, even through the United Nations. But globally, more than 90 percent of deaths from hunger and malnutrition occur outside classic emergencies like Darfur or the Pakistan earthquake.

Last year, three out of four tons of food donated worldwide were purchased in donor countries and essentially made in kind: gifts of wheat, maize, rice, beans, vegetable oil and other foods specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of malnourished populations. Based on past donor behaviour, it is unlikely that equivalent levels of cash could be made available by donor governments, especially new developing country donors with limited cash resources.

"The needs of hungry people already exceed donations available," said WFP chief James Morris. "Any decision that might reduce the food available to them through the United Nations would be very hard to understand."

Of particular concern is the fact that some 45 percent of food aid delivered in 2004 went to citizens of countries who are not even members of WTO, and therefore have no one representing them in ongoing trade negotiations.

"The needs of hungry women and children should take priority if the Doha Round is to be the pro-poor trade round we all hope for," said Guterres, Morris and Veneman. "We appeal to negotiators at the World Trade Organization to put humanitarian considerations first when they address food aid."

WFP is the world's largest international food aid organization, and the United Nations' frontline agency in the fight against hunger: each year, it gives food to an average of 90 million poor people to meet their nutritional needs, including 61 million hungry children, in at least 80 of the world's poorest countries. Much of this food aid is shipped internationally. WFP -- We Feed People.

Visit the websites: www.wfp.org, www.unhcr.org, www.unicef.org


Thursday 8 December 2005

Not much in the way of change since our last report, with Durban Clipper covering the greatest distance over the 12 hours ending at 17.00 today – a run of 117 n.miles, which helped maintain her pole position. Singapore and Glasgow have meanwhile sailed further north of the pack with Singapore skirting the southerly side of the island of Amsterdam. Liverpool seems to be edging southwards from her previous path.

There’s still very little in it and apart from the two more northerly yachts mentioned above, the remainder are sailing fairly close together – a total of 215 miles separates yachts 1 and 10 (Durban and Glasgow) and a 30 miles gap between first and second placed (Victoria).

At 17.00 today the lead yacht had 1696 miles to go to the finish at Fremantle.

- source http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk

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