Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jul 27, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • More Richards Bay stowaways nabbed

  • Winds buffet Cape Town shipping

  • Coega ore railway gets timeline

  • Zambia’s donation brings relief to WFP programme

  • SA to host largest ever Indian trade delegation

  • Pic of the day – LMS RAMBODA

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    More Richards Bay stowaways nabbed

    Stowaways appear to be targeting the port of Richards Bay in preference to Durban at present, judging by the number being caught by at least one stowaway search company.

    Ports & Ships recently (16 July 2007) highlighted the apprehension of eight East African stowaways during June, discovered hiding on board ships prior to their departure by a specialist team from Magnum Shield Security.

    Since then the searches of ships in the port have continued with, according to Ernst Venter, shipping manager at Magnum Shield, stowaways being found on an average of one out of three ships examined.

    On Saturday (21 July) a record (for Magnum) six stowaways were discovered hiding on one ship in port. Two were in the chain locker and the rest had smuggled themselves into number 1 hold. They told the security officers they had climbed on board the vessel via the stern mooring ropes between the hours of 2 and 4 am of the previous night.

    “We are currently doing seven to eight vessels a week at Richards Bay and find stowaways on every third ship on average. Most of the stowaways are from Tanzania.

    According to Venter, Magnum Shield has had an excellent response to the special offer advertised in PORTS & SHIPS on 16 July, with enquiries coming in from all over the world (indicating the wide outreach of PORTS & SHIPS).

    The offer runs until the end of August and reads:

    Calling all agents and ship owners! Magnum Shield Shipping Security has a discounted special offer available for the port of Durban during the months of July and August.

    “Our offer is to search the first four vessels at a rate of US$600 (to agents account or cash) and then the fifth vessel will be searched for free including with full insurance cover,” says Ernst Venter, shipping manager for Magnum Shield Security.

    He said that in addition Magnum would provide three security guards on the vessel to ensure greater safety 12 hours before sailing.

    Full details are available from Magnum Shield Security at 031 314 3300.

    Winds buffet Cape Town shipping

    Citade de Vitoria arriving in Cape Town. Yesterday three tugs were required to hold the ship on her berth against the strong winds – picture Ian Shiffman

    As further cold fronts approach before launching themselves across the southern Cape coast strong winds affected harbour working at Cape Town yesterday.

    According to the deputy harbourmaster Karl Otto winds gusted to 75 knots at one stage and caused some problems for at least two vessels in port. One was the FPSO CITADE DE VITORIA on the Eastern Mole in an exposed position which required three tugs to assist in holding the vessel in position on her berth.

    The FPSO, which fortunately has its own engine is in port to take supplies and bunkers and attend to a few minor items before heading for Brazil. The giant vessel arrived from West Africa earlier this week.

    Cape Town also has a couple of oil rigs in port which required some close attention but fortunately there was no drama involving either of them. Another ship that did however need some attention was the container vessel NORTHERN DIVINITY which was on berth 603 and also required assistance from the fury of the winds.

    By late afternoon the winds were reported to be swinging to the west and dropping slightly and port officials were hoping that the worst was over. Although the harbour wasn’t closed only a few small vessels were able to sail.

    Coega ore railway gets timeline

    Cape Town – The railway between the manganese and iron ore deposits in the Northern Cape and the new port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape is to be completed during the second half of 2009, says Minister of Public Enterprises Alec Erwin.

    Speaking in parliament this week Erwin said the upgrade is linked to the port development and phasing will be determined by demand on freight volumes.

    “The programme includes electrification of the second line between Kimberley and De Aar, increase of energy supply to the Spoornet network, and extension of crossing loops between Hotazel and Ngqura.”

    Manganese ore is currently railed from the Hotazel region to the port at Port Elizabeth from where it is exported in raw condition. There has been some talk of beneficiation by way of a manganese smelter in the Coega Industrial Development Zone and of seeking increased exports of the product. There is likewise speculation that iron ore will be shipped via Ngqura in addition to Saldanha, although this has not, as far as is known, been confirmed.

    If the ramping up of the railway denotes an expected increase in volumes then it is also likely that bridges and culverts on the existing railway may have to be strengthened in addition to increasing the number and size of the crossing loops.

    According to Erwin work began in January this year on the rail terminal for the Ngqura Container Terminal and the construction of marshalling yards and the electrification programme would commence in January and July next year.

    The removal of manganese exports from the dump at Port Elizabeth harbour, close to Humewood Beach, and the transfer of petroleum storage tanks both to Ngqura will also speed up the development of a waterfront development for Port Elizabeth. The manganese dump has been the subject of some concern over the long-term effects of manganese dust in the soil at the harbour and in close proximity to a large recreation area.

    Zambia’s donation brings relief to WFP programme

    Johannesburg, 26 July 2007 (WFP) – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today warmly welcomed its first ever contribution of food from the Zambian government, a donation of 10,000 metric tons of maize worth US$2.5 million that will allow hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Zambians to keep receiving crucial food assistance beyond September.

    “WFP is extremely grateful for this very generous and very timely donation from the Zambian government, which will avert any immediate cuts to our assistance operations in Zambia,” said David Stevenson, WFP Country Director in Zambia. “The contribution provides a lifeline for vulnerable people across the country, including thousands of AIDS patients, orphans and their families,”

    While Zambia has enjoyed good harvests for the past three years, a combination of localised crop failures, crippling poverty and the impact of HIV/AIDS has left hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people in need of food assistance.

    Without this substantial donation, WFP would have been forced to halt its remaining food assistance programmes for 370,000 Zambians by the end of September. Funding constraints already forced WFP to reduce the number of beneficiaries in Zambia from 500,000 to 370,000 in June.

    Further cuts would have left patients on anti-retroviral therapy or enrolled in home-based care programmes without the food that they need to survive and left their families – as well as many households caring for orphans – with no way of providing enough food for themselves.

    WFP would also have been unable to resume its critical school feeding operation when the new term kicks off in September, leaving 126,000 orphans and vulnerable children without access to sufficient food and with no extra incentive to turn up for class.

    However, WFP still needs another US$10 million for its operations to continue until the end of 2007.

    “The Zambian government has always valued WFP's work and this donation will help to keep our food aid flowing for a couple more months,” said Stevenson. “Together with the Zambian government, we urge other donors to come forward urgently so WFP is not forced to make huge cuts later in the year.”

    Needed cash donations will be used to purchase food within Zambia wherever possible. Local procurement assists small-scale farmers and stimulates the local economy as well as helping WFP cut costs and speed delivery of food aid to the most vulnerable across the country.

    This Zambian donation will also boost local food markets because the Zambian government buys its maize from small-scale farmers.

    So far in 2007, WFP has bought 34,000 tons of food in Zambia valued at US$7.3 million. Over the past six years, WFP purchased 295,000 tons at a cost of US $ 63 million in Zambia while globally it bought 1.5 million tons of food valued at US$460 million from developing countries.

    SA to host largest ever Indian trade delegation

    BuaNews 26 July 2007 - South Africa's official body for organised business, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is to host the largest Indian trade delegation yet to visit the country.

    Next month on 2 and 3 August, (BUSA) will host a meeting known as India Calling, which forms part of the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) centenary celebration.

    “India Calling is a very important date on South African business' calendar; we look forward to hosting our Indian counterparts and believe the conference will be educational and fruitful for all attending,” said Jerry Vilakazi, chief executive officer of BUSA.

    The event endeavours to promote and build business relations between India and South Africa and will in particular focus on the infrastructure, Information and Communication Technologies, pharmaceuticals, skills training, financial services, mining and media industries.

    India Calling is to be addressed by President Thabo Mbeki, said the organisers, as well as India's Minister of State for Industry and various local and Indian government and business delegates.

    The event is to take place in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre.

    South Africa has been chosen by the sub-continent's powerhouse as a strategic investment destination.

    India, Brazil and South Africa are partners in the IBSA forum, which is aimed at promoting closer cooperation between the three nations, particularly in stimulating economic growth and promoting co-ordination on global issues.

    The partnership also seeks to advance the developmental agenda of the South and promote closer coordination on global issues among the three nations.

    Trade between the three nations has risen sharply over the past few years and is expected to grow even more significantly once a formal trade agreement is in place between the IBSA partners.

    Trade between Brazil and South Africa rose to more than R10 billion in 2005 from R6.6 billion two years earlier.

    Trade between India and South Africa totalled more than R14 billion last year, more than double that of 2003.

    In November last year, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) Commissioner Pravin Gordhan hosted his Indian and Brazilian counterparts, KM Chandrasekhar and Jorge Rachid respectively at the Union Buildings.

    The IBSA partners agreed to streamline issues of tax and customs administration, to enhance cooperation on tax and customs among themselves.

    The revenue heads of the three nations signed a joint declaration, committing their organisations to closer ties across a wide range of areas on both the revenue and customs fronts.

    The countries agreed to boost trade and economic development while also seeking to thwart smuggling, drug trafficking, fraud and tax avoidance in the three nations.

    Pic of the day – LMS RAMBODA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The diminutive Sri Lankan-flagged tanker LMS RAMBODA of 737-gt seen on the Durban floating dock of Messrs Elgin Brown & Hamer, known as ELDOCK. The tanker is currently employed on the East Africa coast and usually found in such ports as Mombasa. Picture Terry Hutson

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