Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 26, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Navy names new submarines

  • West African congestion reports

  • MOL names its largest ever iron ore bulker

  • Eastern Cape train service reinstated this month

  • Derailment along Mozambique – Zimbabwe rail line

  • Pic of the day – MSC GINA

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    Navy names new submarines

    The combat support ship SAS Drakensberg with the first of three new submarines built in Germany for the South African Navy, SAS Manthatisi (S101) en route to South Africa last year. SAS Drakensberg is again escorting a submarine back home, this time SAS Charlotte Maxeke (S102). Picture courtesy SA Navy

    It was expected that the South African Navy would wait until they arrived home in Simon’s Town before revealing the names of the next two new submarines, as happened with the first boat, SAS Manthatisi (S101).

    Instead the navy both commissioned and named the next two submarines in Emden, Germany this past week, shortly before SAS Manthatisi and her escort SAS Drakensberg slipped their moorings and headed out into the North Sea bound for South Africa.

    The names given to S102 and S103 are SAS Charlotte Maxeke and SAS Queen Modjadji respectively. The commissioning took place on 14 March before the Deputy Minister of Defence Mluleki George, the Ambassador to Germany Moss Chikane and the two sponsors, Mrs Mittah Seperepere and Mrs Rita Ndzanga who named S102 and S103 respectively.

    Other South African dignitaries in attendance included the chief of the navy Vice Adm Johannes Mudimu, the flag officer Rear Adm H v E Bester and the chief of naval staff R Adm M Magalefa.

    With the commissioning of SAS Charlotte Maxeke (S102) the chief of the navy charged the officer commanding, Cdr Roland Shortt to officially take command of the submarine as from 14 March. Two days later SAS Charlotte Maxeke and SAS Drakensberg sailed from Emden on their way home (see our earlier News report dated 22 March)

    source – SA Navy

    West African congestion reports

    The French shipping company OT Africa, which has a strong presence in West Africa reports the following conditions regarding berthing delays in West Africa ports.

    Luanda, Angola – berthing delays of 20 plus days
    Matadi, Democratic Rep of Congo – berthing delays of between 2 and 3 days
    Cotonou, Benin – berthing delays of 2 days
    Tema, Ghana – berthing delays of 2 days
    Takoradi, Ghana – berthing delays have reduced, following a number of measures introduced to ease the situation. These include companies trading in cocoa being allocated set days on which to dispatch trucks with the produce. After parking at approved open spaces trucks can be offloaded in the harbour on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    Conakry, Guinea - Due to the national strike and port closure OT Africa recommends utilising the alternative ports of Dakar, Lome or Tema for CTBL containers to Mali until the situation improves.

    source - OT Africa Line

    MOL names its largest ever iron ore bulker

    Tokyo - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd 23 March - MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida announced on Friday that the company has decided on the BRASIL MARU as the name of the world's largest iron ore carrier, which will sail under a long-term transport contract with Nippon Steel Corporation.

    The new ship will be the third generation of MOL vessels to carry the Brasil Maru name. The first-generation Brasil Maru, built in 1939, featured state-of-the-art marine technologies of the day as a cargo and passenger liner, and boasted a top speed of 21 knots. It served on the Japan-South America route as the fastest ship representing Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK Line, one of MOL's corporate predecessors).

    The second-generation ship, built in 1954, was also an advanced cargo and passenger ship that symbolised Japan's economic growth. It served on the South America route via Panama and carried many Japanese emigrants to Brazil. After the retirement, it stayed at Toba port (Mie Prefecture in Japan) as Toba Brasil Maru for about 20 years. It has attracted thousands of visitors, especially cruise ship enthusiasts who enjoyed her elegant lines.

    Like the first and second generations, the third-generation inherited its name with "Brasil" spelt in Portuguese, with wishes for further friendship between Japan and Brazil. The vessel will be launched in December 2007 and will provide shuttle transport of Brazilian iron ore for Nippon Steel starting 2008, the centennial anniversary of Japanese emigration to Brazil. MOL will be the first Japanese shipping company to enter the very-large (over 300,000 MT DWT) iron ore carrier market with the third-generation Brasil Maru. Currently, five carriers including this vessel are under construction.

    MOL says it continues to push forward to expand its resource transport business to meet increasing needs for iron ore transport.

    Some statistics of the new ore ship:

    Length overall – 340m
    Breadth – 60m
    Draught – 21m
    Deadweight tonnage – 323,000-dwt (metric tonnes)
    Builder – Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd
    Launch date – December 2007
    Contract – Contract of Affreightment (COA)
    Cargo – Iron ore in bulk
    Loading port – main iron ore loading ports in Brazil
    Unloading port – Nippon Steel Corporation major mills (Oita, Kimitsu etc)
    Annual transport volume – About 14 million tonnes a year

    Kenyan Government rallies behind Rift Valley Railway

    Kenya’s Transport Ministry permanent secretary Dr Gerrishon Ikiara says that it is too early to start pointing fingers at the Rift Valley Railway company over a lack of improvement in moving cargo from the port of Mombasa.

    Ikiara was speaking after mounting criticism over what is seen as a lack of progress by RVR, which took over the railway networks of Kenya and Uganda in early December. Cargo has continued to build up in Mombasa port and critics are suggesting that the new railway operator is proving incapable of making progress.

    The permanent secretary said that businessmen, particularly those in Uganda should be patient and give RVR a fair chance to get the railway sorted out and more efficient. It was far too early to suggest the company has failed, he said.

    Ikiwara pointed out that in terms of the concession agreement RVR would be assessed after a period of two years. He disagreed with those who claimed RVR was not performing saying that the problems facing the railway operator included having to obtain hard to find spare parts for locomotives and other rolling stock. In the next eight months it will have received new equipment after which there should be an improvement.

    Meanwhile the Kenya Ports Authority has lifted storage charges on Uganda cargo that is to be transported by road from the port of Mombasa. The port authority says it is waiving the charges in an effort to help reduce the backlog of cargo lying in the port.

    In addition the KPA has introduced a 24-hour operation at the port and is negotiating with the Kenya Revenue Authority to phase out cargo verification in Kenya, leaving it to be performed only by Uganda.

    Derailment along Mozambique – Zimbabwe rail line

    Mozambique railway sources confirmed that the railway line between the port of Maputo and Zimbabwe, known as the Limpopo line has been closed since Thursday following a derailment.

    The Limpopo railway is operated by the state-owned railway company CFM. According to the company there were no casualties from the accident which took place near Chicualacuala in Gaza Province.

    The train that derailed was en route towards Maputo at the time with a cargo of Zimbabwe sugar and ferro chrome for export.

    Pic of the day – MSC GINA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The 40,631-gt container ship MSC GINA enters Durban harbour. The 259m long ship, a sister vessel to MSC ANIELLO, MSC DIEGO and MSC REGINA, displaces 72,335 tonnes and can carry up to 4,056-TEU. Each of the four ships have an operating speed of 23 knots. MSC Gina was built in 1999. Picture Terry Hutson

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

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