Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 18, 2006
Author: P&S


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  • Dredging news – Port of Beira dredging postponed

  • Mozambique border news - Maputo railway nears completion

  • Never mind the navy – attacks in Nigeria continue

  • Car carrier rescues yachtsmen off west coast

  • German entrepreneur takes controlling interest in Germanischer Lloyd

  • Pic of the day - Volvox Iberia

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    Dredging news - Port of Beira dredging postponed

    According to Mozambique news agency Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (AIM) the much anticipated ‘emergency’ dredging of the channels leading into the port of Beira has been postponed until 2007 because none of the tenders received met with the terms of the official tender.

    The dredging, which was planned to take place during 2006 was apparently rejected when all three bids received exceeded the amounts specified on the tender, according to Mozambique transport minister Antonio Mungwambe. He told parliament that a new tender would be issued in 2007.

    He pointed out that routine maintenance dredging by the government dredging company Emodraga continued to be carried out at Beira although one of the two dredgers in services was now over 50 years old and was no longer reliable.

    The minister announced that Mozambique plans to acquire another larger capacity dredger in the near future.

    Meanwhile the Dutch-owned hopper dredger VOLVOX IBERIA has been noticed at work off the South African port of Richards Bay. It is not known at this time why the dredger INGWENYA, which is normally based at Richards Bay but also works at other southern African ports, is not engaged with this operation or what has made the dredging by an outside dredger necessary.

    Mozambique border news - Maputo railway nears completion

    Mozambique’s CFM, the government-owned national port and rail company says it is in the final stages of rehabilitating the railway from the port of Maputo to Ressano Garcia on the South African border.

    Ten new diesel-electric locomotives are expected to arrive in Maputo from India during January and will immediately be put to work on the Ressano Garcia main line. Other locomotives are being reconditioned both in Mozambique and in South Africa and will rejoin the locomotive fleet later on.

    Meanwhile roadworks along the N-4 highway leading from Pretoria in South Africa to the Mozambique border at Ressano Garcia (Lebombo on the South African side) are not complete, says Trans African Concessions (TRAC) which maintains and operates the highway.

    A section between Machadorp and Belfast in Mpumalanga Province will not be completed this week and motorists are advised to take care and to allow additional time with their planned journeys.

    The border crossing at Lebombo/Ressano Garcia is remaining open 24 hours a day between 7 December and 8 January to accommodate high traffic levels but is still expected to be extremely busy. Motorists are advised to consider using the Swaziland entry points into Mozambique if at all possible.

    The call centre number for all queries relating to border posts is 0860 267337.

    source – MCLI

    Never mind the navy – attacks in Nigeria continue

    The Nigerian Navy may be deploying ships to the Delta to counter acts of piracy and terrorism but the attacks still continue.

    Last week armed militants attacked and kidnapped three more workers from a Shell oil facility at Nun River in troubled Bayelsa state. In the latest incident, the three men taken hostage were all Nigerians, who were seized by about 14 militants when they stormed the flow station, taking hostage an armed Nigerian soldier, an administrative worker and a chef. Another soldier was shot, according to local reports.

    Local military called the attack a ‘community affair’, which it said stemmed from a dispute between Shell and the local community over an amount of US $ 1 million, which the community says is owed by Shell. The oil company has meanwhile shut down the 12,000 bpd facility.

    The Nigerian Navy recently announced it was deploying 16 vessels to the Niger Delta to try and bring the situation there under control and to protect the Delta’s waterways.

    Car carrier rescues yachtsmen off west coast

    Four crewmembers on the Scandinavian yacht Felicia were rescued off the west coast late last week by a Wallenius Wilhelmsen car carrier, Don Pasquale.

    The yacht got into difficulties and sent out a Mayday call which was picked up by the Cape Town-based Maritime Rescue Co-ordinating Centre (MRCC), which asked the car carrier and another ship in the vicinity to go to the yacht’s assistance.

    The rescue took place about 700km off the Namibian coast and all four people on board the Felicia were safely taken on board the Don Pasquale.

    Pure car carriers, not the most agile of ships owing to their shape and size, have performed an inordinaate number of rescues off the southern African coast in recent years.

    German entrepreneur takes controlling interest in Germanischer Lloyd

    German entrepreneur Gunter Herz has acquired a controlling interest in Germanischer Lloyd, the German classification society that has been the subject of takeover bids by French society Bureau Veritas and other interested parties.

    Although a number of shareholders are still undecided whether to sell, Herz has effectively acquired 40 percent of the shareholding, following a meeting held in Hamburg on Friday. It is now confidently believed that the entrepreneur will be successful in acquiring 60 percent of shares in the company.

    Herz estimated the company to have a value of around euro 550 million, euro50 million more than that offered by Bureau Veritas.

    The bid has been welcomed by GL’s management which called it a solution that would cement the society’s independence.

    "This is the best solution for all our maritime and industrial clients who can now continue to rely on our high safety and quality standards and allow us to concentrate on the society’s actual day to day work again," said senior board executive Ranier Schöndube.

    Pic of the day - Volvox Iberia

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The Dutch hopper dredger VOLVOX IBERIA (built 1993) at work off the entrance to the port of Richards Bay at the weekend. Picture by Chris Jenkins

    NB Pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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