Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 23, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • SAPO on aggressive drive to turn Richards Bay around

  • Boat Building Industry continues to grow in KZN

  • Kingsley Holgate plans his next adventure

  • Farewell to old stalwart

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    SAPO on aggressive drive to turn Richards Bay around

    South African Port Operations’ (SAPO) drive to restore the Dry Bulk Terminal at Richards Bay to peak capacity shifted into high gear following the arrival of a Liebherr Mobile Crane on Friday, 18 August 2006.

    The new Liebherr mobile crane arriving Richards Bay on Friday 18 August on board the heavylift vessel Patria. Click image to enlarge. Picture courtesy SAPO

    SAPO, which is one of the country’s key drivers of the government’s export-led growth strategy, has stepped up efforts to implement its strategy which includes an expanded management team, a focus on supply chain management and customer service.

    This together with implementation of the capital expenditure plan will improve efficiencies and enable SAPO, a division of Transnet to compete globally. SAPO is expected to spend R11 billion over the next five years to upgrade its operations.

    Hamilton Nxumalo, SAPO’s GM: Equipment, Engineering and Asset Management said the Richards Bay DBT was build around 1976 and was designed as a 14m ton export and import facility.

    “Efficiency levels currently are about 60 percent of this target which is below world standards compared to similar terminals of the same size. SAPO’s priority for this terminal therefore is to restore the terminal to its former operational capacity.

    “The current refurbishment of plant and equipment will restore the terminal to the original design capacity and to this end an approximate R800m has been set aside for this work.”

    Nxumalo said the port was previously dubbed the ‘Singapore of South Africa’ based on its thriving performance and productivity rates and SAPO is determined that it would live up to its nickname.

    He said the new Liebherr crane will ensure continuous productivity on the quay while an aggressive programme is driven to repair and refurbish several ship loaders and unloaders.

    The estimated duration of the refurbishment programme is expected to be 24 months.

    “The next development phase will increase the capacity from the 14m tons per annum (tpa) to 28m tpa in conjunction with the reconfiguration of various berths to ensure optimal productivity at the port of Richards Bay.”

    He said present activities on phase 1 include the refurbishment and rebuild of conveyors, repair and refurbishment of Calliard 6 and Nelcon cranes all with short durations and fast track programmes.

    Further equipment that has arrived for neo bulk operations include

  • First 2 dumpers (out of 5) which arrived on 15 August 2006

  • First 2 (out of 5) new pay loaders

  • 5 (out of the 10) new haulers

  • 14m trailers

  • Separation blocks - delivery 25 per week starting 18 August (200 on order)

  • - source SAPO

    Boat Building Industry continues to grow in KZN

    Royal Cape Catamarans, one of a number of boat builders in KZN, launched one of it's Majestic 500 sailing catamarans destined for a foreign customer, last week.

    These 6 en suite cabin, luxury catamarans are made in Mahogany Ridge, Pinetown and transported to the harbour where, with the assistance of Dormac, they are launched before the mast is stepped, sails installed and sea trials conducted.

    Toro Yaka settles in the water for the first time. Click image to enlarge

    The industry is growing and presently employs in excess of 650 people directly in the manufacturing process while many more are employed in businesses that supply the industry with their electrical, stainless steel, furnishing, hydraulic etc and also those in the supply of raw materials, equipment and services.

    Over 1300 boats of various shapes and sizes are produced in the province annually and this contributes well over R200million in sales each year.

    As the industry has developed and grown various common challenges have become evident and a boat builder's association has been formed to address these. One such major constraint facing the industry is the lack of moorings and marinas because without a valid mooring the boats cannot be launched. This prevents the industry from producing boats either for the local market, as the owners will have no moorings, or for exports as the boats need to be launched and sea trialed before delivery.

    Safely in the waters of Durban Bay – Toro Yaka, a Majestic 500 sailing catamaran. Click image to enlarge

    An exciting development has been the link with Coastal College who are setting up a boat building training facility to ensure that the workforce is adequately skilled to produce to the quality standards and service levels expected by foreign customers.

    Surveys have recently been conducted by local and foreign consultants and there are very positive indications for growth of this industry in KZN. It has been identified by the Department of Trade and Industry, Wesgro (Western Province), and the Cape Town City as an industry for support and it is encouraging to report that promising discussions have been held with Trade and Investment KZN to address the potential here.

    Kingsley Holgate plans his next adventure

    Fresh from his successful adventure by wooden dhow and Land Rover up the East African coast distributing mosquito nets to isolated rural areas along the coast, South African adventurer Kingsley Holgate announced yesterday (Tuesday) that his next adventure will set off from Cape Point next April and take him and his party of fellow travellers on a circumnavigation of Africa.

    The latest adventure will be dubbed ‘Saving Lives through Adventure’ and will again involve bringing to isolated areas health care and the knowledge that preventative care can save lives.

    Full details have still to be revealed but at a function held in Durban on Tuesday (22 August) Holgate mentioned that Durban-based shipping and logistics group Grindrod would once again play an important role as a sponsor of the adventure. Grindrod helped sponsor the most recent journey that took the party by Land Rover from Durban to Pemba in Mozambique, from where they continued by dhow and Land Rover all the way to the Somali border, helping distribute something like 240,000 mosquito nets in the process.

    The return journey followed a similar path.

    So successful was the latest adventure in attracting attention and placing focus on the scourge of malaria. especially with regards how it affects mothers and young children that the USAid Programme, which was involved from the beginning, has pledged its support once again and will continue the distribution of nets in East Africa this coming year.

    Malaria is Africa’s biggest single killer and is a far more dangerous illness than HIV/Aids or any other single disease. The tragic irony is that malaria can be prevented relatively easily and has been stamped out in many parts of Africa where it was once prevalent.

    The Holgate family, Kingsley (Nondwayiza), his wife Gill (Mashozi) and son Ross have become well known internationally through the successful National Geographic television series covering their several adventures and have authored several books. When not out in the ‘wilds of Africa’ they live on the KwaZulu Natal North Coast.

    Farewell to old stalwart

    Kevin Naidoo, Chairman SAAFF KZN (South African Association of Freight Forwaders) and Dennis Moran (on right), taken at a lunch to bid farewell to Dennis Moran recently.

    By Phil Edwards, IPC SAAFF KZN

    Dennis who has just retired was a member of SAAFF KZN Executive for 25 years. Chairman of Warehouse Division for 16 years as well as Chairman of The Maydon Wharf Leaseholders Forum.

    He has worked in Maydon Wharf for 30 years and has an intimate knowledge of the area. He is held in high esteem by leaseholders, SAPS, NPA, SAPO and conservationists alike.

    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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