Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 25, 2007
Author: P&S


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  • Tugs to come under the hammer in South African ports

  • Local bunker trader enters into joint venture with US supplier

  • Mega ships set to dominate Asian container trades

  • Delmas purchase by CMA CGM proves beneficial to both parties

  • Second ship stolen from Monrovia

  • Pic of the day – OVERSEAS RIMAR

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    Tugs to come under the hammer in South African ports

    Three tugs – two in Cape Town and one in Durban – are expected to come under the auctioneer’s hammer in the near future unless the vessels are sold out of hand.

    The three tugs, RIG DELIVERER which is under arrest in Durban, and MIGHTY DELIVERER and RUBY DELIVERER also under arrest in Cape Town are to be sold following a series of claims brought against the owner which includes non-payment of crew.

    Local ITF (International Transport Federation) representative Sprite Zungu told PORTS & SHIPS that crew on board the RIG DELIVERER were owed outstanding wages extending over a long period. He said that something similar applied to the two tugs being held in Cape Town harbour although he thought that one of these vessels might already have been sold.

    Mighty Deliverer was in the news during 2006 when the tug mislaid an oil rig in mid South Atlantic which it was towing from Brazil to Singapore. The rig, Petrobas XXI which was later renamed A TURTLE was detached and lost in mid ocean in March 2006 but later drifted down onto the shores of Tristan da Cunha where it grounded. During the subsequent search for the rig the tug Ruby Deliverer was also despatched to assist in looking although neither were successful. They later put into Cape Town and have since been arrested.

    Mighty Deliverer is a pusher tug of 1724-gt and was built in 1981. The other two tugs are offshore supply tugs each of 1360/1380-gt and were built in 1974.

    According to Mr Zungu an arrest order is about to be brought against a foreign fishing vessel currently berthed at Durban’s berth 100. He said that some of the crew were asking for payment of wages and had also complained of having been forced to sail into dangerous weather during which one of their shipmates was lost overboard. Twelve of the crew of about 21 are demanding to be released of their contracts and paid for months worked without pay.

    Local bunker trader enters into joint venture with US supplier

    South African bunker supplier Vunani Bunkers has entered into a joint venture agreement with US-based bunker broker and trader, Bunkers International Group.

    Vunani Bunkers will act as South African representative of the American company in South Africa and for much of the African region. The local bunker company is a division of Vunani Capital Holdings, which is already trading in crude oil and product trading through Vunani Energy. The company has plans to invest further in the South African oil industry.

    According to Vunani’s Mark Wild the company intended expanding into physical supply in the South African ports.

    "When we combine the global reach of Bunkers International with the local market knowledge of Vunani Bunkers, our worldwide customers will benefit from the strengths of both companies," he said in a statement, adding that they intended acquiring tank storage facilities in local ports and time chartering an offshore tanker to meet demand off Namibia and the Angolan coasts.

    In his announcement of the joint venture John Canal, president of Bunkers International Corp said Vunani made a great partner for the US company.

    "As we expand our operation globally, we are forming partnerships in local markets with the very best companies. Vunani Bunkers fits into that category and we are very excited to have the chance to work with them."

    source – Ocean Intelligence

    Mega ships set to dominate Asian container trades

    Asian shipping is set to be dominated by mega ships in the very large and ultra large categories (VLCS and ULCS), says the head of Singapore’s Pacific International Lines (PIL), Teo Siong Seng.

    Interviewed by the British shipping journal Fairplay, Seng said the Asian market already had 164 ULCS and VLCS vessels operating primarily on the east-west trades.

    PIL’s deputy general manager RS Minhas told Fairplay that the popularity of the mega ships was boosted by rising costs and freight rates. He said that many Asian ports have the capacity to handle these vessels (compared with elsewhere).

    He forecast that as a result of these developments Panamax and even some post-Panamax container ships will be switched from east-west trades to north-south and intra-Asian routes, which will help cut costs and improve profitability of these other routes.

    PIL operates liner services to South Africa in partnership with ‘K’ Line and MISC on an upgraded rotation of Shanghai – Ningbo – Kaohsiung - Shekou - Hong Kong – Singapore – Port Klang – Colombo - Durban – Cape Town – Colombo - Port Klang – Singapore - Hong Kong – Shanghai, in which the seven ship service has been upgraded with vessels with a capacity of between 3300 and 3800-TEU.

    Pacific International Lines’ KOTA ARIF which has been a regular caller to South African ports in recent years. Picture Terry Hutson CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

    Delmas purchase by CMA CGM proves beneficial to both parties

    The French container carrier CMA CGM says the acquisition of Delmas a year and a half ago, which gave it access to the African trades, has proved to be the correct choice.

    Not only did it help propel CMA CGM into becoming the third largest container line after Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company, but from the Delmas perspective it has presented wonderful opportunities for growth.

    The smaller line remains a separate operation within the group along similar lines to that of Safmarine within the AP Moller group, and has also seen investment in additional vessels for the Delmas fleet. Since the takeover the number of ships in the Delmas fleet has increased and new services opened.

    At the same time CMA CGM has gained access to the West African market including through a network of agencies with Bollore, the former owner of Delmas.

    source – International Freighting Weekly (IFW)

    Second ship stolen from Monrovia

    A second ship has been spirited away from the port of Monrovia in Liberia and Liberian authorities say they have no idea where the ship has gone.

    The latest vessel to disappear is the general cargo ship AIMI which was loaded with scrap metals and berthed at the pier in Freeport. According to the port office the ship sailed on Wednesday (23 May) without a port clearance and without having settled outstanding amounts owed to the port authority.

    According to a Liberian newspaper report the ship had been clandestinely loaded at night with scrap metal prior to the ship’s disappearance.

    Less than a fortnight ago another ship, the fire damaged reefer TAHOMA REEFER was boarded by pirates and towed away from its anchorage in Freeport. The ship was last seen being towed in the direction of the Ivory Coast (see Ports & Ships News Bulletin dated 18 May 2007).

    In July last year the former South African coaster UMFOLOZI, by then renamed MICHAEL S, was stolen by a crew placed on board the vessel while it lay at berth in Walvis Bay harbour, and has not been seen since.

    It is thought that the ship was ‘stolen’ by its East European owner to avoid a legal claim from South Africa’s National Ports Authority over the collision involving the former Umfolozi and a South African dredger, the INGWENYA outside Walvis Bay harbour. As a result of that collision the Umfolozi sank inside the harbour but was later refloated, sold, renamed and repaired (see reports in Ports & Ships dated 17 September 2005 and 24 July 2006).

    Pic of the day – OVERSEAS RIMAR

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The 28,357-gt products tanker OVERSEAS RIMAR seen in Cape Town harbour during May and photographed by Ian Shiffman

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

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