Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 8, 2006
Author: P&S


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  • Tariff increase by SA National Ports Authority

  • Dredgers arrive in Durban

  • Nigerian militants blow up pipeline

  • Austrians here to check out Coega

  • New publication on the history of the South African Navy

  • Over 50 Clandestine migrants feared dead off West Africa

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    Tariff increase by SA National Ports Authority

    The National Ports Authority of South Africa will increase tariffs as from 1 April 2006.

    The following apply from that date:

    Cargo dues – 2.8 percent average increase
    Marine services – 4.5 percent increase
    Port and Berth dues – 4.5 percent increase
    VTS and other services – 4.5 percent increase
    Ship repair facilities – 4.5 percent increase
    Lighthouse services – 4.5 percent increase

    According to the NPA this amounts to a net average increase of 3.2 percent across all port services.

    The full tariff book will shortly be available on the NPA website - www.npa.co.za (it’s not up as yet).

    Dredgers arrive in Durban

    It’s unusual to have a large number of dredgers in port at the same time unless there is some construction or maintenance work, yet Durban has managed to have five in port together.

    Three of these are harbour craft belonging to the National ports Authority and employed on keeping Durban free from silt and migrating sand (littoral drift along the coastline). These are the trailing suction hopper dredger Piper, the bed leveller Impisi and the grab dredger Crane.

    The other two are ‘visitors’ and both are most interesting in their own right. The first to arrive in port came in packing cases, in a manner of speaking, having been cut into sections and shipped to Durban for re-assembly. This is the dipper dredger Toshka, which later this week will undergo the rather quaint renaming and handover under a new guise with the name Pinocchio, presumably after the little wooden boy with the long nose.

    The dredger was built by a Dutch company in Egypt a few years ago to work on the Toshka Canal in the south-western desert area near Lake Nasser. This is part of an ambitious project by Egypt to open the western desert region for cultivation and the resettling of people from its overpopulated cities.

    With the completion of this part of the project and need for the dredger over, Toshka was cut up into sections and shipped to the Elgin Brown & Hamer shipyards in Durban for re-assembly. After the hand-over on Friday (10 March) Pinocchio will take up residence in Richards Bay where a new contract awaits.

    The second visiting dredger in port is Francis Beaufort, which looked most familiar on arrival last week. A little research showed her to be the sister ship of Filippo Brunelleschi, a trailing suction dredger that came to southern Africa in 2003 initially to dredge the Walvis Bay channels. This contract was suddenly cut short (that story was covered in PORTS & SHIPS – see Ports & Ships News for 2 December 2003). Subsequently Filippo Brunelleschi arrived in Durban to undertake the major dredging operation involved with the new Point docks, during which the vessel created a reputation for having something of a jinx because of the various mishaps (also covered in News reports early in 2004).

    After completing the Durban contract Filippo Brunelleschi transferred to Coega where she took on the task of deepening the basin for the new port of Ngqura, and immediately ran into yet another mishap, requiring a quick return visit to Durban for repairs. Ultimately she was able top complete her contract most successfully and today the fledgling port of Ngqura has a deepwater basin waiting for its first ship.

    Now her sister vessel Francis Beaufort has arrived in Durban for repairs and maintenance and is currently tied up at the ship repair jetty at Bayhead awaiting a vacant set of blocks in the dry dock.

    Nigerian militants blow up pipeline

    Not letting up on their campaign to make it impossible for oil companies, and Shell in particular, to extract oil from the Niger Delta, militants have blown up another pipeline on a Shell installation near the Forcados export terminal.

    Although the damage to the pipeline is serious its effect is negligible because Shell’s output from the region has already been shut down following previous militant activity, which included the kidnapping of nine workers recently. Six of the men have since been released but the other three, two Americans and one from the UK) remain in custody.

    Austrians here to check out Coega

    A delegation of potential investors from 11 Austrian automotive companies will visit the Coega Industrial Development Zone near Port Elizabeth tomorrow (Thursday) while on an investment mission looking into possible expansion sites for their companies.

    The delegation will also visit the Volkswagen and General Motors plants in Port Elizabeth.

    Stefan Pistauer, Austria’s commercial counsellor in South Africa said the aim of the visit is to explore business investment opportunities with South African companies. He said one Austrian company was already setting up an operation in South Africa at Durban and he foresaw increased interest in the South African market from Austrian companies, because of the growth prospect of the motor industry.

    He said that half of Austria’s exports are with the South African motor sector. “This is likely to grow over the years, considering the kind of interest that our companies have in South Africa.”

    The delegation has also visited China and the United States and for six of the companies this is their first visit to South Africa.

    New publication on the history of the South African Navy

    South Africa's frigates and destroyers 1944-1985 has been published by the Naval Heritage Society of South Africa as their Naval Digest number 11. The author is André Wessels, a Professor of History at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. Professor Wessels was born in Durban, grew up in the city, and matriculated at the Port Natal High School. Although he has been working away from Durban for more than two decades, he retains a keen interest in the history of and developments in Durban, and naval history is one of his fields of research.

    In South Africa's Frigates and Destroyers 1944-1985 the service lives of the South African Navy's "Loch" class frigates (HM)SAS Good Hope, (HM)SAS Natal and (HM)SAS Transvaal are reviewed, as well as that of the Type 15 frigate SAS Vrystaat, the Type 12 frigates SAS President Kruger, SAS President Steyn and SAS President Pretorius, and the "W" class destroyers SAS Jan van Riebeeck and SAS Simon van der Stel.

    Copies of André Wessels' South Africa's Frigates and Destroyers 1944-1984 can be purchased at the South African Naval Museum, St George's Street, Simon's Town; or ordered from the Naval Heritage Society of South Africa, P.O. Box 521, Simon's Town, 7995; telephone 021-7874635; fax 021-7873999. The publication comprises 94 pages, including 24 pages of photographs. Several photographs have never before been published. Price: R75 per copy

    Over 50 Clandestine migrants feared dead off West Africa

    Nouakchott 7 March 2006 (IRIN): More than 50 Africans clandestinely trying to reach Europe drowned off the coast of West Africa in two separate accidents at the weekend, witnesses said.

    The migrants were travelling in wooden canoes toward Spain's Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean, when the vessels capsized. Most of the would-be migrants were Senegalese, Malian, Bissau-Guinean and Gambian.

    On Sunday a Mauritanian fisherman rescued 28 people found hanging on to their capsized canoe some 100 kilometres from the northern coastal city of Nouadhibou, Mauritania's economic capital. The survivors said 62 people had been on board. On Friday Moroccan authorities had plucked to safety 20 clandestine migrants who survived after their boat carrying 43 sank.

    Even as authorities were recovering bodies on a beach near Nouadhibou, another boat reportedly carrying illegal migrants signaled problems in the same waters on Tuesday, according to a local authority in Mauritania who declined to be named.

    Migration via northern Mauritania is a growing phenomenon with a new trans-Saharan route from the capital Nouakchott to Nouadhibou. The local authority said at least 200 illegal migrants arrive in the economic capital every week - most of them in an effort to get to the Canary Islands. "They disguise themselves as fisherman, with fisherman's capes and life jackets. But we know that a fishing boat takes off with between six and 10 people. When there are 20 or 30 or even 50, clearly we are dealing with clandestine migrants."

    He added, "Nearly every day there are bodies recovered from the waters either on the high seas by large fishing boats or by canoes near the coast."

    Willing to risk everything to escape crushing poverty, every year thousands of West Africans brave hazardous conditions on land and at sea to reach Europe, but hundreds die in the attempt. In October 2005 the problem of illegal migration out of Africa made international headlines when several young men were killed and injured trying to clear a wall separating Moroccan territory and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

    [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

    - source http://www.IRINnews.org

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