Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 11, 2007
Author: P&S


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  • Flood warnings for central Mozambique

  • Richards Bay coal line fully reopened after derailment

  • Kenya Ports plans new security control tower

  • Nigerian militants seize 9 South Korean oil workers

  • Pic of the day – SAFMARINE NOKWANDA

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    Flood warnings for central Mozambique

    Flood warnings have been posted for the lower Zambezi River region of central Mozambique after heavy rains resulted in the river rising almost 5m between Sunday and Monday this week.

    Much of the additional water is coming into the Zambezi from the Shire River, a major tributary.

    Mozambique National Water Board (DNA) also issued warnings of flooding in the Pungue valley to the west of Beira, in which it said the river was expected to break its banks near the Mafambisse sugar plantation.

    Although the Limpopo River in the southwest of the country near the South African border is also rising it is not in any danger of flooding at present.

    Richards Bay coal line fully reopened after derailment

    Following last Friday’s derailment of a fully loaded coal train on the Richards Bay coal line near Vryheid, in which about 30 wagons came off the tracks spilling coal, Spoornet has succeeded in clearing and reopening both directions to traffic (see our News Report dated 8 January 2007).

    According to Spoornet the line was fully reopened on Monday after one set of tracks was cleared during the weekend. The accident has not impacted on loading operations at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal thanks to a healthy stockpile of coal maintained at the port.

    The derailment is the latest accident to occur along the strategic coal line which effectively led to the terminal taking a significant dip in its export programme for 2006, although official figures have not been made available.

    Another reason for the dip in exports is the heavy rains experienced in the vicinity of some of the export mines during the year.

    The coal terminal is gearing up to increase its capacity from the present 72 million tonnes to 91mt by 2009 in order to cater for emerging black empowerment mining groups, which have previously had only limited access to the export market.

    Southern Africa’s other coal export ports are at Durban and Maputo, but both have been adversely affected by Spoornet’s inability to deliver large volumes of coal to the terminals. The Durban terminal which is operated by the Bidvest Group in any case specialises in sized and specialised coal.

    Spoornet is increasing its investment in locomotives and rolling stock both for the Richards Bay coal line, for which it will acquire 110 new electric locomotives, and a further 212 electric locos for the general freight traffic on the Durban-Gauteng mainline and elsewhere. The Durban coal terminal, Bluff Connections can be expected to benefit from this acquisition.

    Kenya Ports plans new security control tower

    Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) intends constructing a modern security control tower at the port of Mombasa which it says will assist with crime detection at the port.

    According to KPA managing director Abdallah Mwaruwa and quoted in the East African, the tower is part of the security preparedness measures being taken as the threat of militia from Somalia infiltrating the country becomes more real.

    The MD said the new equipment will take the port of Mombasa to a new level placing it among the most secure ports in the world.

    He was speaking at a ceremony to mark the destruction of counterfeit pens seized recently by the Kenya Revenue Authority. Mwaruwa said the installation of scanners at the port was paying dividends, such as the seizing of counterfeit goods that would otherwise help undermine Kenya’s economy. He said he hoped that two additional scanners would soon become available for use at the port as this would assist with hastening the clearance of cargo

    "We know the impact of counterfeit goods on our economy and that is why we shall continue improving security measures to ensure that such commodities do not find their way into the local markets," he said.

    Source – East African

    Nigerian militants seize 9 South Korean oil workers

    Nine South Korean workers employed on a Daewoo Construction & Engineering site in Bayelsa State have been kidnapped by Nigerian militants in the latest attack on oil installations and sites.

    The militants attacked the construction site using dynamite to destroy installations. There were outbursts of gunfire between guards and the militants who nevertheless managed to seize nine of the South Korean workers.

    The attack took place at Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State which is in the troubled Niger Delta.

    Five Chinese telecommunication workers who were seized about a week ago remain as hostages with another group of militants after being taken captive in Rivers State. In addition a Lebanese and three Italian workers taken hostage from Brass oil terminal a month ago also remain in custody.

    Pic of the day – SAFMARINE NOKWANDA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The 50,700-gt, 3,700-TEU container ship SAFMARINE NOKWANDA in Cape Town harbour. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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

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