Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 17, 2006
Author: P&S


  • Mixed reaction to new Kenya port boss

  • Fighting eases in Somali port

  • COMESA wants its own shipping line

  • Lake traders call for ship on Lake Victoria

  • EU gets down to discussion as port workers strike

  • No sign of hostages as Nigerian Navy talks tough

  • Clipper Race update

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

    Mixed reaction to new Kenya port boss

    Kenya’s government has bowed to pressure from regional interests and appointed a local coastal man as the new managing director of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

    That was the reaction today from a number of port users who suggested that the post should have been more widely and competitively advertised.

    The new MD is Abdalla Hemed Mwarua, an assistant senior commissioner with Kenya’s Revenue Authority. His contract is for a period of three years and according to transport minister Ali Mwakwere may be extended or shortened, depending (presumably) on how he performs. Mwarua replaces Brown Ondego who completed two consecutive terms of office totaling six years. Ondego’s contract expired on 5 December but he was asked to remain on until a new appointment was announced.

    Mwarua’s appointment has generally been welcomed by shippers and the maritime industry in Kenya, but also with muted criticism. The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya told the Kenyan newspaper The Nation that giving the job to a man from the coast was a ‘step in the right direction’ but voiced concern that the appointment might be seen as ethnic.

    Some shipping representatives described the appointment as unfair and based on ethnic and political considerations. They described Ondego’s two terms as having been generally successful and said that under his leadership the KPA had turned from being a loss-maker into a profit-making company with improved efficiencies.

    Shipping agents have already called on the new MD to reduce port fees, describing Mombasa as one of the most expensive ports to use.

    Fighting eases in Somali port

    Clashes between rival armed gangs in the Somali port town of Kismayo began to ease today after three days of bloody fighting among rival militia groups.

    The fighting in Kismayo in the south of troubled Somalia apparently broke out after the Somali transitional government attempted to impose a new governor to the district, but the response of rival warlords in the port was to begin fighting using heavy weapons to make their point.

    COMESA wants its own shipping line

    COMESA, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa says it is concerned with the high cost of sea transport involving Africa and is looking to resolve this by establishing its own regional shipping line.

    A call has gone out for proposals from potential consultants within the Comesa region to undertake a feasibility study aimed at the creation of a new regional shipping line.

    In May 2005 Comesa was told that Africa, although a part of the global village,experienced the highest of transport costs. A study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) also showed that freight costs in Africa were as high as 48% to 56% of the total cost of goods, well above anywhere else. The cost of sending a container from Mombasa to North Africa was said to be more than the cost of sending it to a port in northern Europe.

    Comesa believes that having its own shipping line will also promote regional trade.

    Lake traders call for ship on Lake Victoria

    A group of Ugandan importers have called on the Ugandan government for a ship to transport their cargo between Mwanza and Port Bell on Lake Victoria.

    The importers say it has become more difficult to import cargo via Dar es Salaam in Tanzania since the collision in May last year of the mv Kabalega and mv Kaawa, which led to the loss of both vessels. Importers claim they are forced to use the lake as roads to the south are in poor condition.

    Currently only one vessel, the mv Umoja belonging to the Tanzanian Railways Corporation, is reported to be in service, but Ports & Ships has previously reported on a contract issued to Dutch shipbuilder Damen to operate a new vessel named mv Kalangala. The contract, issued by the Ugandan government, is for one year, after which the operation would go out to tender. The new ship will operate a passenger and cargo service.
    -source The Monitor (Uganda) and Ports & Ships own articles

    EU gets down to discussion as port workers strike

    The European Union got down to serious discussion today over the controversial port services directive while thousands of dock workers throughout Europe continued their programme of disruption and stoppages.

    The dock workers are concerned over job security arising from the legislation, which was originally rejected by the EU in 2003. Last week workers in a number of countries began striking and this has continued this week particularly in Belgium, where Antwerp is severely affected, the Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark and Sweden.

    No sign of hostages as Nigerian Navy talks tough

    With no sign of rescue for the four men kidnapped last week by militants off the Shell Sea Eagle oil platform, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Ganuyi Adekeye says the navy is taking back control of the creeks making up the delta.

    He said he had information that the four men, one each from the UK, Bulgaria, the USA and Honduras were in good health and not in any immediate danger. He blamed the success of the raid on the navy’s lack of equipment saying that the incident demonstrated the need for navy vessels to carry weapons on board and to have operational bases along the coastline.

    Following the kidnapping and a related explosion of a pipeline leading to the Forcados export terminal, Shell declared force majeure and withdrew all its personnel from the Delta area.

    Clipper race – all yachts in Singapore

    With the completion of Race 5 (Fremantle to Singapore), which was shortened owing to a general lack of wind, the competitors now have time to relax and enjoy the hospitality of Singapore before Race 6 gets underway on 27 January. This next leg goes as far as Qingdao in China and during the race the halfway point around the world will be achieved. The ten yachts are expected to begin arriving in Qingdao on or about 13 February.

    Ports & Ships also takes a break from the race and will resume reporting on its progress once the next leg gets underway on 27 January 2006.

    Westernaustralia.com 41.5 points
    Durban Clipper 33.0
    Liverpool 08 30.5
    New York 30.5
    Victoria 22.5
    Cardiff 22.0
    Qingdao 22.0
    Uniquely Singapore 21.0
    Jersey 15.0
    Glasgow 6.5

    - source and further details of this round the world race can be found at http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk

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