Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 8, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Coega smelter back in the melting pot

  • New access control system at Durban Container Terminal

  • Mozambique port news

  • Support for Operation Cleanup at Durban Bay

  • Pic of the day – JUTHA SIAM

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

    Coega smelter back in the melting pot

    The long-running saga of an aluminium smelter as the anchor tenant for the fledgling port of Ngqura, situated within the industrial development zone of Coega, took another turn this weekend with the news that US aluminium producer Alcoa is making a bid for its former subsidiary, Canada’s Alcan.

    Alcan finally indicated its willingness earlier this year to erect a smelter at the Eastern Cape site, ending years of protracted negotiation initially involving the French producer Pechiney which was subsequently taken over by Alcan. The French company’s take-over came about just as contracts were being finalised with the South African government and everything went back into the melting pot for yet another couple of years.

    The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) said yesterday (Monday 7 May) that it was aware that Alcoa intends making an unsolicited US $ 33 Billion bid for Alcan but said that CDC and Alcan were still holding talks.

    “The CDC and Alcan negotiation teams are still meeting for discussions on technical issues for the location and operation of the Coega Aluminium Smelter (CAS) in the Coega IDZ,” said a spokesman for the Port Elizabeth-based corporation.

    “The business case for the smelter in the Coega IDZ has been proven beyond reasonable doubt as sound and still remains solid,” he said. “It was on this basis that in 2003 Alcan continued the negotiations with the CDC for the Coega IDZ as the ideal location for the new CAS after they (Alcan) had taken over Pechiney.”

    He said the CDC was watching the take-over bid with great interest.

    Alcan once formed a part of the US company Alcoa’s empire with responsibility for all non-US markets. Following a celebrated anti-trust action in which Alcoa was labled as a US monopoly, Alcan was hived off as an independent Canadian operator, becoming in the process the world’s third largest aluminium producer behind Russia’s Rusal and Alcoa.

    New access control at Durban Container Terminal

    Durban 7 May - South African Port Operations (SAPO) said today (Monday) that it has implemented immediately a new access control system at the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) which would enhance ISPS code compliance.

    The system installed at DCT is being treated as a pilot project with the ultimate intention of rolling it out at other terminals and ports.

    The system manages access into the terminal by introducing a shuttle service for all terminal users with the exception of truck drivers.

    According to Pru Archary, SAPO general manager for corporate governance and legal, the access control in intended to create a safe environment for all terminal users.

    “The new shuttle service will enhance security checks by restricting illegal access to the terminal as all visits will now have to be pre-announced at the security check point where permits will be issued to terminal visitors.”

    Pick up and drop off zones at DCT will be clearly signposted for the various terminal users and demarcated into two broad categories i.e. stevedores, customers and other terminal users.

    Archary said the shuttle service vehicles will transport terminal users to their various destinations within the terminal and pick them up again at regular intervals.

    Mozambique port news

    A consortium of Mozambique private investors and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) will finance the construction of a new fresh produce terminal for the port of Maputo.

    The R30 million project, which involves two major shareholders – Port Elizabeth Cold Store and a Mozambique company Fidelity Investments, will have a capacity to handle 70,000 tonnes of citrus during the six month harvesting season (roughly May to October) as well as 10,000 tonnes of frozen fruit juice.

    The terminal will also have container loading facilities and a steri capacity for the Chinese and Korean export markets.

    The terminal facility is being built 500m from the quayside in Maputo harbour and will handle 3200 pallets at a time, employing 60 people of whom 95 percent will be Mozambican. The terminal is expected to be completed in time for the 2008 season.

    Construction of the new Beira fishing harbour is due to get underway in July and tenders are reported to be ready for issuing. The project includes provision of a cold storage facility and processing plant.

    The small port of Pemba in northern Mozambique, photographed through the windows of an LAM B737-200 aircraft. Picture by Terry Hutson CLICK TO ENLARGE

    Moving further north along Mozambique long coastline, the port of Pemba usually manages to stay out of the news but according to reports the little port situated in one of Africa’s largest and most magnificent naturally enclosed bays has been receiving some rehabilitation work by CFM, the Mozambique port and railway company.

    In addition new handling equipment including fork lifts to handle 6m and 12m containers has been acquired with, apparently, more to come.

    Apart from a few containers Pemba handles mainly cotton and timber for export.

    The town is also beginning to attract a respectable number of tourists who are able to fly in on the national airline LAM (Linhas Aeras de Moçambique) and take advantage of the Pemba’s pristine and truly magnificent beaches and coral reefs and those of neighbouring islands of the Querimba group. A number of luxury and semi luxury lodges and hotels are also available for the discerning tourist but Pemba has plenty of cheaper backpacker type accommodation, plus some excellent eateries.

    source – Mozambique Investors Intelligence and own

    Support for Operation Cleanup at Durban Bay

    Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has arranged a big cleanup for Durban Bay for Saturday 19 May between 08.00 and 14.00, in which more than a thousand school children and adults will step out onto the sandbanks armed with refuse bags and gloves to clean up some of the tonnes of rubbish that enters the bay.

    The Durban Bay Clean Up is an annual event held during Environment Week to help create awareness of the environment among schoolchildren. Last year about 850 school kids from 15 schools took part and in the process about 1200 bags of rubbish weighing seven tonnes was collected from the sandbanks between Wilson’s Wharf and the Bat Centre.

    In the process the kids, between the ages of 10 and 18 and under the supervision of teachers and other voluntary personnel, end up getting dirty and hungry but having a great time together.

    Lunch is provided at the end of the session and group prizes awarded for the most refuse collected.

    Most of the refuse entering Durban Bay comes not from ships or the quaysides but from storm water drains and rivers feeding into the bay. There are something like 52 of these outlets and refuse dropped in the centre city and even on the Berea will find its way into the waters of the harbour. What the kids do is just a token on one day in the year but does help and assist by creating greater awareness.

    Now, after this story appeared in the morning newspaper The Mercury, a ship agency company Alpha Shipping has taken the lead in also becoming involved on behalf of the shipping industry which makes its living from the harbour.

    Richard Brook-Hart, director of Alpha Shipping writes:

    ‘After reading your article in the Mercury last Wednesday, Alpha Shipping has been encouraged to make a contribution towards the clean up.

    ’By far the worst polluted area in the harbour is the shoreline close to Bayhead between the Bluff Yacht Club, and the Bayhead Road. There are mangroves and reeds on either bank of the channel, which attracts a wide variety of bird-life such as kingfishers, pelicans, herons, bishops, water dikkop etc.

    ’The garbage amongst the mangroves and reeds is knee deep in places, and consists of plastic bottles, polystyrene foam, broken bottles, cans and every imaginable throw away item from our consumer society. This detritus extends between the high and low water marks on each shore and covers an area of about 5000 square metres. The litter is almost indescribable and is a blot on our society; it is a small example of what we are doing in South Africa to destroy the natural habitat, and contribute to global pollution.

    ‘Much of this rubbish washes from the storm drains into the harbour and onto our beaches, but much remains as residue in the mangroves, and will remain there for generations unless we act together and do something.

    ‘We need to draw attention to our children and their teachers and parents of what is happening, and try to educate everyone not to discard their litter indiscriminately.

    ’Alpha Shipping Agency is happy to support and assist Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Durban Marine honorary officers to clean up this eye-sore. We have been assisted by Dormac, Thekwini Marine and South African Container Depots who will provide financial and logistic support.’

    The clean up will be from 08.00 on Saturday 19th May. Schools and other groups such as scouts, church youth and even the general public can all join in – it’s also a wonderful way to get to know the Bay’s environment a little better. Bring a hat, sun screen and shoes suitable for getting wet and muddy and meet at the Rod & Reel on the East Hard (near Gardiner St Jetty).

    Contact James Wood Tel 031 –2741151, Fax: 031 –2741174, Cell: 082 559 2845 or email him at woodj@kznwildlife.com  Alternately contact Ameen Seedat Fax: 031 2662506 or Cell 083 407 5806.

    Pic of the day – JUTHA SIAM

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The 10,337-gt multi purpose freighter JUTHA SIAM looks good as she sails out from Durban on 21 April, 2007 with the imposing green-clad Bluff overlooking the scene. These general cargo ships, self-geared and often, as in this instance with a miscellany of cargo on board, are in many ways far more interesting than many of the others that call.
    The Thai company that owns and manages Jutha Siam also owns a couple of other vessels currently on charter to Safmarine.

    Photograph copyright SHIPHOTO INTERNATIONAL (Email:  shack@iafrica.com)

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

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