Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 29, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • Grounded container ship Safmarine Agulhas update

  • Transnet begins the big cleanout

  • Maputo Port boss slates proposed scanning charges

  • Tug arrives at Tristan to attempt salvage of oil platform Petrobas XXI

  • Total Coal confident about increased coal exports through Richards Bay

  • Maersk Line shock

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

    Grounded container ship Safmarine Agulhas update

    The salvage tug Smit Amandla was due at East London this evening after a voyage delayed by bad weather but will be available to begin preparations for pulling the grounded Safmarine Agulhas off its sandbank outside the harbour entrance.

    The container ship lost power shortly after sailing from the port of East London on Tuesday evening and was blown back towards the western breakwater before settling on a sandbank on the western side of the port entrance. Efforts by two harbour tugs assisted by the restarted ships engines failed to move the ship and a decision was made to await the arrival of the large salvage tug which was on its way from False Bay.

    Smit Amandla had been on standby in False Bay with the ore carrier Setsuyo Star, which is undergoing repairs to damaged shell plating in one of the holds.

    Arrangements have also been made for a Sikorsky S61 helicopter to be available at East London to assist with the salvage. The S61 will be able to transfer personnel on board the container ship and to remove large numbers of crew at a time should this become necessary. However this type of machine is not likely to be able to assist with lifting full containers from the ship should it become necessary to lighten the vessel.

    Meanwhile the Department of Environmental Affairs has sent its inshore patrol vessel Victoria Mxenge to assist and the department has mobilised oil spill abatement equipment and a team of experts to East London. In addition the oil pollution patrol aircraft Kuswag VIII will overfly the area daily to assist with monitoring the situation. At present no oil spills or other pollution problems have been reported.

    evidence that the ship has lost its bulbous bow in the grounding outside East London – click image to enlarge

    Although the available reports indicate the ship lost power and drifted down onto a sandbank, photographic evidence shows the vessel as having lost its bulbous bow which indicates there may have been a collision with something a bit harder than sand.

    Further reports on this casualty can be seen on the SMIT Amandla Profile pages of Ports & Ships – refer to the menu bar on the right of the Home Pages.

    Transnet begins the big cleanout

    With trade union objections safely out of the way, Transnet has begun the process of restructuring the company in order to focus more closely on the business of ports, rail and pipelines.

    Earlier this week Transnet took out full page advertisements in the national business papers calling for expressions of interest in Freightdynamics, Transnet’s road freight division that handles short and long haul plus cross-border road transportation, and Viamax Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary operating as a fleet management business.

    Next week Transnet is expected to release details of its 2005/06 financial results at which time it is also likely to divulge further information about its restructuring process.

    Companies intending providing the so-called ‘expression of interest’ to acquire Freightdynamics and Viamax will be required to submit details of ownership which must include the company’s compliance with the Broad-Based BEE Act and the Codes of Good Practice on Broad-based BEE. They will also need to show qualifications by way of its management team and technical ability.

    Successful bids will be judged against a balanced scorecard on 20 percent for the profile and background; 50 percent for financial and technical capability; and 30 percent for BBBEE.

    Interested parties have until 12 July to make their submissions

    Maputo Port boss slates proposed scanning charges

    The Maputo Corridor Liaison Initiative (MCLI) has issued an erratum to a notice it previously issued concerning container scanning tariffs, pointing out that these have not been accepted or approved by either Alfandegas or the Mozambique Minister of Finance.

    The rebuttal was accompanied by a response by the CEO of Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), Peter Lowe, who said the charges proposed (and distributed by the MCLI) were ‘entirely unrealistic’ and had not been approved by either Alfandegas or the Minister of Finance. He pointed out that they were proposals by the BOT operator for Alfandegas, a company called Kudumba.

    “MPDC, CFM and the Port users have met the Director General of Customs and the Minister of Transport and Communications to make it known to them that the proposed charges are ridiculous, unsustainable and are not imposed in any other port in the world and that if any tariffs are to be imposed it should only be after consultation with the port operators and users.

    “This initiative by MPDC, CFM and the Port users is also supported by the ports of Beira and Nacala where these machines are to be installed next year.”

    The proposals made by the BOT operator include (in US dollars):

    Import containers $ 100
    Export containers $ 70
    Empty containers $ 20
    Transit containers $ 45
    Bulk cargo $ 2.50 a ton
    Airline passengers Regional & International $ 10 per passenger
    Airline passengers Domestic $ 5 per passenger

    Tug arrives at Tristan to attempt salvage of oil platform Petrobas XXI

    The Cape Town-based salvage tug Zouros Hellas has arrived off the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha to begin the salvage of the Petrobas XXI, an oil platform that went missing for a number of weeks after breaking its tow in mid-Atlantic with another tug, Mighty Deliverer.

    After a fruitless search of the ocean the platform, which was being towed to Singapore, was found by islanders on the south-east side of Tristan da Cunha near Trypot Bay, firmly aground on either a reef or a sandbank.

    The platform’s owners subsequently issued salvage forms to Smit Salvage in Cape Town to recover the platform and Zouros Hellas was sub-contracted for the job. The tug arrived off the island on 22 June where it proceeded to the anchorage on the island’s north.

    The salvage team on board Zouros Hellas has since completed a rig inspection although bad weather has disrupted further salvage operations.

    The tug Zouros Hellas arrived on station in South Africa in 2005 with a barge for the transfer of logs from the bulker Kiperousa, which had gone aground south of East London and which subsequently broke up. The tug subsequently remained on station in Cape Town on behalf of SvitzerWijsmuller which had opened an office and operation in Cape Town last year.

    Total Coal confident about increased coal exports through Richards Bay

    Total Coal SA says it is unable to increase coal exports through the port of Maputo on account of port and rail capacity issues.

    Total Coal A, which is a minor shareholder in the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (5.7 percent) is however keen to support the expansion of RBCT, according to managing director Jean-Marc Otero del Val. He said he was confident the announced export expansion by 20 million tonnes to 92Mt by 2008 was achievable and sad that Total Coal intended applying for more than its current export capacity.

    Maersk Line shock

    The world’s largest container shipping line, Maersk Line has issued a warning that reduced results will adversely affect the results of AP Moller for the full fiscal year by as much as 40 percent on the previous year profits.

    It appears the company’s problems stem from not having achieved as much growth in the container trades as anticipated and on top of that the company has had to outlay large sums to cover the purchase of the Royal P&O Nedlloyd group and new IT systems.

    It appears that other non-container shipping interests have however performed well.

    The company intends extending its depreciation period from 12 years to 20 years for ships and oil rigs, which is expected to have a positive effect on the company’s bottom line.

    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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