Ports & Ships Maritime News

Sep 7, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • Tanzania Ports Authority now in charge of inland ports

  • Massive capital expenditure roll out for SAPO terminals

  • Richards Bay coal exports take a dip

  • Underwater cultural heritage workshops scheduled

  • SA and Russia share common economic vision

  • First food aid ship reaches Mogadishu

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    Tanzania Ports Authority now in charge of inland ports

    According to a report in the East African this week, the operation of seven inland ports has been taken over by Tanzania Ports Authority.

    The seven affected ports are Mwanza, Kemondo Bay and Musoma on Lake Victoria, Mbamba Bay on Lake Nyasa and Kigoma and Kasanga on Lake Tanganyika.

    Previously the seven inland ports were run as divisions of Tanzania Railways Corporation under the guise of a company known as Marine Services Company Ltd. The coastal ports were owned and operated by the port authority.

    The change comes ahead of the concessioning of Tanzania’s railway network, which would have left the authority and operation of the inland ports in the hands of an outside private company.

    The Nairobi newspaper reported that wharf fees and wharfage, jetty fees and rent were already being collected in conformity with Customs rules.

    The Marine Services Company Ltd, which operates a fleet of 16 vessels on all lakes, will continue operating passenger and cargo transport. Ten of the vessels are on Lake Victoria (the world’s second largest lake), four on Lake Tanganyika and two on Lake Nyasa.

    - source The East African

    Massive capital expenditure roll out for SAPO terminals

    Plans by South African Port Operations to upgrade efficiency levels in line with world standards are gaining momentum as terminals at SAPO’s six commercial ports take ownership of new equipment from the R1.8 billion capital expenditure plan aimed at enhancing operations.

    SAPO, a core operating division of Transnet manages 14 terminals at six commercial ports at Richards Bay, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Cape Town and Saldanha.

    The drive by SAPO is intended to make its major ports keen competitors in the global market with R11 billion being set aside for the next five years' upgrading operations.

    Hamilton Nxumalo GM: Equipment, Engineering and Asset Management said: “SAPO has a capital expenditure plan of R1.8 billion for this year to drive optimal efficiencies at the various terminals in the six ports around the country.

    “SAPO is determined to improve operational performance, service to customers and lower the cost of doing business.

    “We are aggressively implementing our capital expenditure plan to create capacity to meet and exceed demand.”

    The arrival of a mobile crane in Richards Bay dry bulk terminal last week is set to impact on operations as the terminal embarks on an R800 million expansion and refurbishment programme that will see operating capacity double from 14 million tons per annum to 28 million tons per annum at the Dry Bulk Terminal.

    Other new equipment includes:

    Cape Town

  • 1 Cherry Picker at the Cape Town Container Terminal, which is responsible for the maintenance of equipment such as the new 1-over-3 Straddle Carriers which cannot be accommodated in the workshop
  • 3 x 3 ton forklifts at the Cape Town MPT
  • 3x 5 ton forklifts at the Cape Town MPT
  • Sweeper at the Cape Town MPT


  • 4x 60 ton Tractor Haulers at Saldanha MPT
  • Sweeper at Saldanha MPT
  • 4x 60t Multi-Purpose Trailers at the Saldahna MPT

    Port Elizabeth

  • Sweeper at Port Elizabeth Container Terminal


  • 17x 60 ton Tractor Haulers at the Durban MPT
  • Sweeper at Durban MPT, Sweeper at DCT
  • 17x 60t Multi-Purpose Trailers at the Durban MPT

    Richards Bay

  • 2 Sweepers at Richards Bay DBT
  • 10x 66ton 5th Wheel Type CVS Ferrari Haulers (ETIS) at the Richards Bay MPT
  • 7x 66ton Skip Trailers at the Richards Bay MPT
  • 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 since 18 August (200 on order)

    - source SAPO

    Richards Bay coal exports take a dip

    Hopes of seeing coal exports through Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) increase above the 70 million tonnes pa mark appear to have been dashed for 2006, following underperformance by the mines, Spoornet and the coal terminal.

    Analysts say the principal reasons why the ambitious targets are not going to be met this year are delays caused at the mines by bad weather and by a large number of derailments along the railway.

    Last month RBCT announced that it planned to increase throughput at the terminal from the current 72 million tonnes pa capacity to 91Mt/pa. The increased throughput would cater for emerging miners and the terminal was to embark on the much delayed phase five expansion programme to accommodate these aspirations.
    However, an annualised figure for 2006 based on exports up to and including August suggest that exports via RBCT is going to record one of its lowest turnovers in recent years of not much above 60 or 61 Mt, which is well below the target of 76 Mt set for this year. In 2005 the terminal exported 69.2 Mt.

    Although Spoornet has announced a programme of reinvestment of infrastructure for the Richards Bay Coal Line, including the acquisition of 110 new locomotives and additional wagons, it will be some years before these begin rolling off the factory floor.

    Underwater cultural heritage workshops scheduled

    In November 2001, UNESCO adopted the convention on the protection of underwater cultural heritage. The (South African) Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) is the lead department in the preservation and protection of South African underwater cultural heritage through the South African Heritage Resource Agency (SAHRA).

    A consultative workshop is to be held between 5 – 6 October 2006 in Cape Town at the International Convention Centre. The purpose of the workshop is to develop and adopt a South African position on the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage.

    Details and registration to attend the workshop are available from Corry.Masilela@dac.gov.za before 30 September 2006. There is no registration fee, but people/organisations wishing to attend will be responsible for any travel and/or accommodation costs incurred.

    SA and Russia share common economic vision

    (BuaNews): President Thabo Mbeki says South Africa and Russia need to use their common vision to harness their relative strengths for the benefit of the two countries.

    He said the two countries had a common vision to modernise their economies, address inequalities, fight corruption - both in government and in business as well as to create conditions necessary for the realisation of a better life for its citizens.

    Among other things, Mr Mbeki said the two leaders had agreed on improving and strengthening bilateral economic relations by enhancing cooperation among business people and increasing trade and investment between South Africa and Russia.

    President Mbeki made these remarks on Tuesday, in honour of Russian President Vladimir Putin who is in the country for a historic two-day visit aimed at strengthening ties with South Africa, particularly in economics.

    Both have held talks and signed a number of agreements on Tuesday prior to Mr Putin's scheduled meetings with other prominent figures yesterday (Wednesday).

    The two leaders also participated in a Round Table Business Meeting yesterday.

    Speaking at the banquet, President Mbeki highlighted ties that the current government had with Russia, dating back to the days during the struggle against apartheid; and also more than a hundred years ago when the Russians supported the Afrikaners during the Anglo-Boer War.

    He explained that after South Africa attained freedom in 1994, it entered into a new strategic partnership with Russia dedicated to the achievement of "mutually beneficial progress".

    "This is a partnership whose vision is informed by the same historical and political perspective of how humanity should confront various global challenges, including those of poverty and underdevelopment, and the need to build a peaceful world, free of the threat of terrorism and annihilation through weapons of mass destruction," said Mr Mbeki.

    He added the two governments should work to encourage people-to-people contact, including culturally, through scientific and educational exchange programmes as well as promoting two-way tourism.

    "We must work together to unlock the secrets of nature through scientific inquiry, and use such new knowledge for the all-round development of all humanity," he said.

    He expressed appreciation for the work done by the Joint Inter-Governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation (ITEC), which he said had established its place as a vitally important mechanism for the further strengthening of the two countries' economic relations.

    "We are very pleased with the progress we have made through our bilateral ministerial meetings, which provided the basis for the agreements that we signed today and others that will soon be concluded," said the president.

    First food aid ship reaches Mogadishu

    Further evidence that things may be returning to some degree of normalcy following the assumption of political power over much of Somalia by the Union of Islamic Courts, came with the docking in Mogadishu harbour this week of a UN Food Agency ship.

    The motor vessel Redline berthed at Mogadishu, the country’s capital and principal port which for more than a decade has been in the hands of warring bands of warlords. The ship discharged 3,300 tonnes of food aid parcels sent by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to help alleviate suffering caused by drought.

    The food will be trucked to the drought stricken regions of Bay and Bakool in the south.

    Rival claims by competing warlords closed Mogadishu port in February 1995 until the Union of Islamic Courts seized the capital in June. The port was reopened to shipping in August.

    "Mogadishu is once again a key entry point for getting food stocks into the country. The reopening of the port makes it easier for us to reach more than one million people across the country who rely on our assistance," said WFP Somalia Acting Country Director Leo van der Velden.

    A spate of pirate attacks in Somali waters in 2005 forced WFP to bring food aid to the drought-stricken south by road because shipping companies were unwilling to risk voyages to Somalia. Two WFP-chartered ships were seized by pirates in 2005 and one escaped a pirate attack in March 2006.

    WFP needs a total of US $ 37 million to assist 1.1 million people in Somalia until July 2007

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