Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 6, 2006
Author: P&S


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  • Project manager sought for East London harbour expansion

  • Madagascar: So far, so good in presidential election

  • UN humanitarian needs envoy takes farewell trip

  • Maersk and Teejay set up Swift Tankers

  • Norway – the ship that refuses to die

  • Pic of the day

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

    Project manager sought for East London harbour expansion

    In an indication of their seriousness in the matter, the Buffalo City Municipality (East London) this week began advertising for a project manager who will head the city’s drive towards having the port upgraded (see our article dated 22 November 2006).

    According to the East London newspaper Daily Dispatch the project manager will be tasked with ‘impress(ing) the importance of the port expansion upon the national and provincial governments and relevant port stakeholders.’

    “Also, the manager will need to ensure that the port starts enjoying national priority in the Asgisa and National Spatial Framework perspectives,” Buffalo City general manager Quinton Williams is quoted as saying.

    Part of the project manager’s tasks will be to advise the Expansion Committee on an action plan to secure national funds for the project, estimated at R5 Billion.

    The city’s mayor added his voice saying that port expansion was critical for the city’s future growth.

    The project calls for the port to be deepened as well as having the turning basin widened. It also calls for the expansion of the container terminal and the introduction of ship-to-shore gantry cranes.

    Source – Daily Dispatch

    Madagascar: So far, so good in presidential election

    Antananarivo, 4 Dec 2006 (IRIN) - Only inclement weather disrupted Madagascar's first round of presidential elections on Sunday, but it also helped to defuse one of the few election-related disturbances.

    "I am very, very proud to see the Malagasy wisdom. It is a big challenge for us, in Madagascar, to organise democratic, free and transparent elections. Thank you, Malagasy people!" incumbent president Marc Ravalomanana told the media after voting at a polling station in the capital, Antananarivo.

    Fears that the presidential poll might rekindle the political animosities of the previous presidential election, which plunged the island into a near civil war, have so far proved unfounded.

    About seven million registered voters - around 800,000 more than participated in the disputed 2001 election - had a choice of 14 presidential candidates, although Ravalomanana, 57, a "self-made man" who began his career as a milkman before becoming one of the country’s richest businessmen and the mayor of the capital, remained the favourite for a second presidential term.

    If one candidate does not obtain more than 50 percent of the vote, a second round run-off between the top two contenders will follow. But most analysts believe Ravalomanana will secure the required mandate in the first round of voting, which was overseen by 14,000 local and 150 international observers.

    Ravalomanana's achievements in his first term of office, such as the rehabilitation of roads, schools and health centres, have been lauded, but inflation, the weakening of the local currency, the Ariary, and the rise in fuel prices and the cost of rice, a staple food, have weighed most heavily on the poorest. Madagascar is rated as the ninth poorest country in the world and the UN estimates that 85 percent of its 18 million people live on two dollars or less a day.

    "Life is harder now than before, because food is more expensive and we don't eat roads. But maybe roads will make us eat one day, and we can't afford another crisis, so I vote for Ravalomanana to keep on developing the country," a teacher in the capital, who declined to be named, told IRIN while waiting to cast his vote.

    Final results of the ballot should be known by 23 December.

    "Ravalomanana is not ready, psychologically, to go to a second round, and his supporters are deeply convinced that he will win at the first round, like in 2002. But his opponents argue that with the number of candidates, it is impossible for him to win at the first round, adding that such a victory would indicate a fraud, especially with all the mistakes on the electoral list. They warned they would contest the results if this was to happen," a local political analyst told IRIN.

    Malagasy authorities said that if a second round of voting were required, it would be expected to take place before the end of January 2007.

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)

    UN humanitarian needs envoy takes farewell trip

    Johannesburg, 5 Dec 2006 (IRIN) - Outgoing United Nations special envoy for humanitarian needs in southern Africa, James T Morris, will embark on his eighth and final trip to the region on Thursday to urge governments and donors to take decisive action to tackle long-term development issues.

    Morris, who will also retire from his position as the executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP) early next year, will visit Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe during his nine-day tour, and is scheduled to meet with various donors and government representatives.

    Mike Huggins, a WFP spokesman based in Johannesburg who will accompany the envoy, told IRIN that "the over-arching problem [in the region] is HIV/AIDS and chronic food insecurity, which is compounding poverty."

    Outgoing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Morris to the humanitarian post in July 2002 and since then, according to his UN biography, Morris has raised "awareness of the 'triple threat' of food insecurity, weakened capacity for governance, and the HIV pandemic by creating the platform for humanitarian coordination in the region".

    Huggins said the issues Morris would raise on his visit included the provision of clean water, sanitation, healthcare, crop diversification and agricultural reform.

    In October this year, WFP warned that a $ 60 million funding shortfall was forcing food aid cuts to as many as 4.3 million people across southern Africa who remain chronically vulnerable despite this year's reportedly good harvests across the region.

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)

    Note: Food aid provided y the WFP and other donor bodies leads to large volumes of foodstuff and other commodities having to be shipped to Africa each year.

    Maersk and Teejay set up Swift Tankers

    A. Moller - Maersk A/S and Teekay Shipping Corporation (Teekay) announced on Monday an agreement to form Swift Tankers, a Pool of Intermediate Product Tankers.

    The management company, named Swift Tankers Ltd (Swift Tankers), will provide safe and flexible solutions to customers by offering a large, homogenous fleet of double hull, ice class Product Tankers of 10,000 to 20,000 DWT.

    Swift Tankers will undertake all daily commercial and operational tasks, including fixing vessels, voyage execution, post-fixture operations, and demurrage and claims procedures.

    “With an initial combined fleet of more than 20 vessels, Swift Tankers will meet the immediate needs of our customers for quality tonnage that carry a broad range of cargoes from petroleum products to chemicals, and with the planned growth by both partners, we will be able to offer a uniquely flexible transportation solution,” said Kristian Morch, Group Senior Vice President, AP Moller - Maersk.

    “Swift Tankers will offer a high degree of versatility through an interchangeable and reliable fleet, matching preferred dates and positions for spot business and tailor-made volume contracts.”

    Paul Wogan, President of Teekay Tanker Services, said the joint venture will be dedicated to strengthening service to both long standing and new customers while exploring global trading opportunities.

    Swift Tankers will be managed and staffed jointly by employees from AP Moller - Maersk and Teekay. The Pool will be headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark at Maersk Tankers’ existing premises supplemented by a regional office at the Teekay offices in Stavanger, Norway. It is expected that Swift Tankers will be fully operational in January 2007. The Managing Director of the Pool will be Kristian Lohmann.

    Norway - the ship that refuses to die

    The former cruise liner SS Norway, once the pride of the French fleet when she sailed the Atlantic as SS France, is now firmly aground off the beaches of India but still is refusing to die.

    A one-month stay of execution has been granted as lawyers acting on behalf of environmentalists argue that Indian shipbreakers will be exposed to toxic substances if the shipbreaking goes ahead.

    This week the Indian Supreme Court issued a one-month delay before cutting can begin to hear argument. These relate to claims from environmentalists who say the ship should never have left Europe. They cite European law which bans European countries from exporting ships containing hazardous wastes to third world countries.

    The Indian court has now ordered the Gujarat Pollution Control Board to review the demolition plan for the ship.

    While this is taking place a French consortium is desperately trying to raise 100 million euro to repurchase the ship from the Indian breakers and return her to France for restoration. Calling the ship a ‘French monument’ the organisation hopes to return the ship to Honfleur in France where it can be turned into a hotel, restaurant, casino and special seamen’s school.

    In another matter concerning cruise ship scrapping, the former MSC Monterey, which was scheduled to spend the summer and winter months cruising out of Durban and Cape Town, has fallen to the scrap torches at Alang in India.

    The ship experienced boiler problems while completing her Mediterranean cruise season, which saw one of her boilers taken out of service. On completion she was sold to a Dubai-based company that specialises in shipbreaking, renamed Monte and sailed to India.

    Picture of the day

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    A scene of activity at the Durban Car Terminal (R berth) is dominated by the NYK car carrier Tigris Leader, one of the older generation pure car carriers in service, having been built in 1983. Owned by Maiesta Shipping and flying the Singapore flag, the ship was the former Maersk Crest. Picture Dick Vashan.

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

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