Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jul 21, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • SAS Isandlwana heading for Durban to be commissioned
  • Safmarine Agulhas – waiting for the end?
  • South African port statistics for June
  • Labour dispute places Cape Town at odds with the oil industry
  • China now world’s third largest food aid donor

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    SAS Isandlwana heading for Durban to be commissioned

    SAS Isandlwana (F146), the navy’s latest frigate of the Meko class will be commissioned into service at a ceremony at the Salisbury Island Naval Station in Durban next week.

    The frigate is due to arrive in port in the company of another of the class, SAS Amatola (F145). The commissioning will take place on either Wednesday 27 July or possibly a day earlier, Tuesday 26 July. The actual date is dependant on the availability of the Minister of Defence and was not known when this was published.

    SAS Amatola (F145), the first of the class was commissioned into service at Simon’s Town on 16 February after being handed over to the navy by the contractors. All four frigates have arrived from Germany and final fitting out has been taking place at Simon’s Town. The two ships still to be commissioned are SAS Spioenkop (F147) and SAS Mendi (F148).

    Each ship displaces approximately 3,500 tonnes and has a length of 121 metres with a beam of 16.34m. They are fitted with CODAG-WARP propulsion systems consisting of diesel and gas turbine engines powering a waterjet and twin-shaft refined propellers. Weaponry consists of a 76mm main gun, a 35mm dual purpose gun, 16 surface-to-air missiles and 8 Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missiles (with provision for 16), plus decoy rockets. The high degree of stealth technology in the design makes the ships extremely difficult to detect by radar and other electronic methods.

    It has also been learned that the two Pakistani Navy warships, the Type 21 frigate Badr (F184) and her accompanying oiler Nasr (A47), will exercise with the two SAN frigates off the KZN coast but will not be entering Durban. The two Pakistani ships have been on an official visit to Simon’s Town and following the exercise will return to Pakistan.

    Safmarine Agulhas - waiting for the end?

    All that matters now is whether salvors can retrieve all containers from the stricken container ship Safmarine Agulhas, hard aground against the East London breakwater and at the mercy of the seas and weather.

    By yesterday afternoon about 150 containers remained on board the vessel in the flooded numbers 2 and 3 holds. The race is against bad weather or heavy seas that may break open the ship, spilling the containers into the ocean to become a navigational hazard.

    Earlier the tug Smit Amandla, which for almost three weeks has been holding the container ship away from the breakwater, was reported to have re-entered harbour where she is on 20 minutes standby.

    Safmarine Agulhas’ condition is steadily deteriorating and few people now hold out much hope that the ship can be saved and returned to service. Last Friday’s heavy seas and fractures in the ship’s hull appear to have put that beyond question.

    South African port statistics for June

    South Africa’s ports handled a total of 14.330 million tonnes of cargo during the month of June (May 13.669Mt). This figure excludes containers which the National Ports Authority no longer records by weight.

    However, if a calculation is made allowing for the containers handled, the figure handled by all ports would be 18.883 million tonnes (May 17.580Mt).

    Including containers the respective ports handled the following:

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay       7.250 million tonnes (May 6.559)
    Durban               5.110 Mt (May 5.930)
    Saldanha Bay      3.350 Mt (May 2.597)
    Cape Town         1.286 Mt (May 1.307)
    Port Elizabeth      0.928 Mt (May 0.869)
    East London        0.184 Mt (May 0.159)
    Mossel Bay          0.165 Mt (May 0.153)

    Containers measured by TEUs

    Durban            178,889 TEU (May 183,039)
    Cape Town        71,145 (May 70,779)
    Port Elizabeth     36,477 (May 34,437)
    East London         5,041 (May 3,270)
    Richards Bay           403 (May 458)
    Total handled   291,955 TEU (May 291,983)

    Ship Calls

    Durban: 387 vessels 7.927m gt (May 364 vessels 7.706m gt)
    Cape Town: 275 vessels 4,200m gt (May 233 vessels 3.606m gt)
    Port Elizabeth: 135 vessels 2.325m gt (May 162 vessels 2.315m gt)
    Richards Bay: 118 vessels 4.356m gt (May 120 vessels 4.025m gt)
    Saldanha: 43 vessels 2.488m gt (May 39 vessels 1.499m gt)
    East London: 27 vessels 0.575m gt (May 29 vessels 0.847m gt)
    Mossel Bay: 318 vessels 0.351m gt (May 289 vessels 0.260m gt)

    Labour dispute places Cape Town at odds with the oil industry

    Walvis Bay ship repairers might be forgiven for smiling as labour disputes at Cape Town delay maintenance repairs to an oil rig in the harbour.

    The Cape Town contract has ground to a virtual halt following a labour dispute over a number of issues including the hiring of additional workers plus overtime and rates of pay and several other factors. The dispute which has left the rig literally high and dry caught the consortium of local ship repairers including Dorbyl DCD, Globe Engineering and SA Five by surprise after they had negotiated the terms of the contract with the union members.

    The rig was previously employed off the Angolan coast and will be going to Nigeria on contract to Shell once the Cape Town maintenance has been completed.

    By contrast, earlier this year a similar maintenance contract involving another Transocean oil rig was completed successfully at Walvis Bay to the satisfaction of everyone. Ship repairers received the utmost cooperation from the port of Walvis Bay and the Namibian government assisted with permits for specialist workers that were ‘imported’ for the duration of the contract.

    China now third largest food aid donor

    Rome: In the same year it stopped receiving food aid from the World Food Programme (WFP), China emerged as the world's third largest food aid donor in 2005, according to the latest annual Food Aid Monitor from INTERFAIS, the International Food Aid Information System.

    Global food aid grew by 10 percent to 8.2 million tonnes in 2005, a slight upturn in an overall declining trend, according to the INTERFAIS database, which is hosted by WFP to track all donations of food aid, not just those handled by the agency.

    China accounted for more than half of the rise in overall food aid donations in 2005, with a 260 percent increase compared to the previous year. Donations from China totalled 577,000 tonnes and were mostly directed to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), with small quantities donated to Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Sri Lanka and a dozen other countries.

    Canada increased its donations by 42 percent, to 275,000 tons. Other relatively new donors, such as the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, doubled or even tripled their support from 2004 to 2005. Donations from non-governmental organisations, such as the American Red Cross, increased by 64 percent.

    The United States remained the world's most generous food aid donor, providing 4 million tons, or 49 percent of all donations. Overall donations from the European Union totalled 1.5 million tons, with the European Commission, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden significantly increasing their support.

    "Donations of food made the difference between life and death after the tsunami, the Pakistan earthquake and in Sudan, so we are extraordinarily grateful to all who gave last year," said James Morris, Executive Director of the World Food Programme which delivered 54 percent of the world's food aid in 2005, reaching some 97 million people.

    "Sadly, there is still not enough to meet the most basic needs of millions of individuals. When Official Development Assistance (ODA) is at its highest level in history, it is hard to understand why there still is not enough food aid to feed everyone who needs it. The number of hungry is rising by more than 4 million people a year in the developing world, even though poverty is declining. We need a food first policy," added Morris.

    For the first time on record, more than half of all food aid was sent to sub-Saharan Africa, which received 4.6 million tons of food aid. Ethiopia again topped the list of countries receiving food aid, with 1.1 million tons of food aid, or 13 percent of all food aid delivered in 2005. Other major recipients in Africa included Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea and Kenya.

    Food aid to Asia increased by 14 percent, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea received the second-highest amount of food aid worldwide, with 1.1 million tons – most of it bilateral aid donated from China and the Republic of Korea. Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka were also among the principal recipients.

    Food aid destined for Latin America and the Caribbean increased 8 percent against 2004, while deliveries to the Middle East and North Africa dropped 53 percent and to Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States fell by 30 percent.

    The nature of food aid is also changing. Food aid for emergencies increased by almost 1 million tons, and accounted for 64 percent of all food aid deliveries. Project food aid, which directly targets poor and hungry people, increased slightly to 2.1 million tons, however most of the increase was intended to be sold, and the income used to fund other activities rather than given directly to beneficiaries. 'Programme food aid' – given mostly from one government to another for sale on the market – continued a long decline and dipped to just 11 percent of overall food aid deliveries.

    More than two thirds of all food aid originated in the donor country, with just 15 percent of donations purchased in the country for which the food was intended. The remainder – 16 percent – was purchased in a third country.

    Wheat and wheat flour were the main commodities donated, followed by coarse grains (mostly maize and maize meal) and rice.

    N.B. A large percentage of the food aid is delivered by ship - P&S

    Top food aid recipients (metric tons)

    1. Ethiopia         1,097,240
    2. DPRK             1,079,560
    3. Sudan              877,590
    4. Uganda            309,125
    5. Eritrea             272,042
    6. Bangladesh       271,807
    7. Kenya              231,533
    8. Afghanistan      204,058
    9. Indonesia         197,113
    10. Sri Lanka        158,344

    Top food aid donors (metric tons)

    1. US                4,026,382
    2. EC                   623,231
    3. China               576,582
    4. Japan               402,868
    5. RO Korea           393,221
    6. Canada             275,498
    7. Netherlands       151,674
    8. Australia           151,476
    9. Germany           132,421
    10. Sweden          124,606

    WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: each year WFP gives food to an average of 90 million poor people to meet their nutritional needs, including 58 million hungry children, in at least 80 of the world's poorest countries. WFP -- We Feed People.

    - source WFP

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