Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 29, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • SMIT Amandla Marine names bunker barge today

  • Shipping line news

  • Four African countries voted onto IMO Council

  • Oxfam warns Africa about rushed trade deals

  • Pleasure boat disaster on Pretoria dam

  • Pic of the day – NORD VISION

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    SMIT Amandla Marine names bunker barge today

    artist’s impression of the new bunker barge SMIT LiPuma which is being named today

    SMIT Amandla Marine’s new and technologically advanced bunker barge will be officially named this morning (Thursday) at a formal naming ceremony and celebration at the Dormac Shipyard at Bayhead, Durban.

    A statement issued by Smit Amandla says the investment and decision to build locally in South Africa has had an ‘enormous impact on renewed confidence in the South African Shipbuilding industry, contributing to the local economy and facilitating the employment of South African expertise in the conceptualisation, design and building phases of this project.’

    “The new bunker barge matches any internationally built vessel on cost, value for money and quality and we have played our small part in rejuvenating the South African shipbuilding sector – directly and indirectly through Dormac creating more than 100 jobs and training and developing black female artisans and barge masters,” said SMIT Amandla Marine Managing Director Paul Maclons.

    “This project reinforces our company’s commitment to transformation and economic growth in support of the objectives of AsgiSA.”

    The choice of the bunker barge’s name rested with SMIT Amandla Marine’s Chairman Manana Nhlanhla. “We decided to name her the SMIT LiPuma. LiPuma refers to the emergence of something that has meaning to life, as in the arrival of a son or the rising of the sun. For the team at SMIT Amandla Marine, this is very symbolic. The Smit LiPuma heralds the dawn of a new era in the business of building and operating bunker barges in this country.”

    In line with maritime tradition the barge is to be named by a sponsor, Dr Xoliswa Poswa.

    The SMIT LiPuma, which is scheduled to be launched in mid December and in operation in early January 2008, will join an existing SMIT Amandla Marine barge fleet of three including the PENTOW ENERGY, MARINE EXCELLENCE and SMIT BONGANI currently in service to the industry in the ports of Richards Bay and Durban.

    A key feature of the project has been the adopted partnership approach with SMIT Amandla Marine clients, ensuring throughout the design and building process that they have had the opportunity to provide input as appropriate. The SMIT LiPuma has been designed with maximum fuel carrying requirements in mind and will be able to deliver bunkers at rates of up to 1,000 tonne/hr.

    Characterised by marine fuel (fuel oil, gas oil and diesel oil), the SMIT LiPuma epitomises the latest in international barge design. Features inherent in the design of the barge include diesel-electric propulsion, closed loop loading, a bunker gantry and wheelhouse control of the whole cargo operation.

    Shipping Line news

    In a recent article (1 November) PORTS & SHIPS reported that the first of the Big Whites, SA HELDERBERG had gone off charter from Safmarine and would be followed in due course by the remaining three container ships. (See related article of 1 November Safmarine bids farewell to SA HELDERBERG

    It turns out the life of this fine ship is not yet over as far as the company of AP Moller is concerned. The 30 year old ship has been re-chartered by MCC Transport Singapore, another AP Moller-Maersk subsidiary which operates on Asian trade routes. The ship’s name will now be shortened to HELDERBERG and replaces the slightly smaller MAERSK PETERSBURG on the Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Thailand feeder service.

    Maersk Line’s WAF 5 service to Angola has been shortened with the removal of calls at Portugal and Algeciras and introducing Las Palmas as a secondary hub. The WAF 5 service now calls only at Mindelo, Luanda and Walvis Bay. Cargoes for Europe can be transshipped at Las Palmas onto SAECS vessels and a new dedicated feeder service between Algeciras and Las Palmas provides connectivity into the Mediterranean. The move follows other lines that have similarly uncoupled Luanda from their main service owing to chronic congestion at the Angolan port.

    Hamburg Süd's latest ship, MONTE TAMARO was christened on Tuesday at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering yard in Okpo, South Korea but will initially enter service on short term charter to CMA CGM who will use the vessel on their Asia – Europe service. The 5,552-TEU vessel is the first of a second series of 10 ‘Monte’ class ships and by mid-2008 will return to Hamburg Süd to enter that company’s Asia – South Africa – East Coast South America liner service.

    Monte Tamaro will also continue the tradition of CAPE FINISTERRE which was the company’s training ship for 16 years. Monte Tamaro is named after a mountain in the Swiss canton of Ticino. The 64,370-dwt ship has a container capacity of 5,552-TEU and carries 1,365 reefer plugs. She has an overall length of 272m and a beam of 40m with a maximum draught of 12.5m. The ship’s main engine output is 45,765 kW and the vessel can operate at a speed of 23.3 knots. She goes into service tomorrow (Friday).

    The 3,534-TEU newbuild GABRIEL SCHULTE has entered service with the Schulte Group, the first of four similar ships of the Shanghai 3500 class. Schulte has chartered the new vessel to Hamburg Süd as CAP MORETON and they have subsequently sub-let her to Maruba who have renamed her MARUBA CHRISTINA (hope you followed all that). Maruba will employ the ship on the joint Asia – South Africa – East Coast South America service (SEAS) operated by themselves with CSCL and CMA CGM. She becomes the largest container ship in service with the Argentine carrier.

    Sources – AXS-Alphaliner, Hamburg Süd

    Four African countries voted onto IMO Council

    Four sea-going African nations, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa were elected onto the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council which met in London at the weekend, giving each a direct voice in the world’s maritime regulatory body for the next two years.

    The IMO Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organisation. Between sessions of the Assembly, the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.

    The following 40 states were elected in three categories, as follows:

    Category A – 10 states with the largest interest in providing international shipping services – China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.

    Category B – 10 other states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade - Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden.

    Category C – 20 states not elected under A or B above which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas in the world – Australia, Bahamas, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.

    The IMO consists of 167 member states all of whom with voting rights. Two other African countries, Angola and Liberia, failed at the poll for Category C, as did Bulgaria, Iran, Kuwait, Poland, and Ukraine.

    Oxfam warns Africa about rushed trade deals

    Oxfam has expressed concern that signing temporary ‘framework agreements’ which have been put forward to African countries by the European Commission (EC) will have profound negative impacts on the economies of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and undermine regional economic integration.

    West African states have indicated they do not intend signing any deal until at least the end of the year, while President Wade of Senegal has warned that EU-African relations are “broken” and in need of a new partnership. However, some Eastern and southern African nations have split any previous unity with some going it alone and agreeing to the EU deal. (see related article ‘Reluctant Kenya signs EU Trade Agreement’

    Last Friday Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland initialled a free trade agreement with Europe as have Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. South Africa and Namibia have not as yet signed.

    Luis Morago, head of Oxfam’s EU office said it suited the European Commission to spread the impression that regions are falling into line and others should do so too.

    "EU Development Ministers must address the fact that the pressure caused by uncertainty over what will happen next year to ACP exports puts ACP countries between a rock and a hard place: either sign a deal you don’t believe to be in your interests or risk losing your exports to the EU,” he said.

    “The talks need more time and so Ministers must demand that the EC looks at other options whether that be continuing of current preferences or offering an enhanced version of the GSP scheme."

    According to Oxfam the European Commission’s determination to conclude the deals, even if this means signing a jumble of bilateral arrangements with individual countries or sub-regions, raises serious doubts about its commitment to existing regional economic integration progresses. As African Heads of State prepare for next month’s EU-Africa Summit, EPAs threaten to dominate talks, particularly on trade.

    Morago said the EU-Africa Summit is meant to herald the start of a new partnership. “Most African countries are not convinced that what the EU has put on the table is worth signing. European and African leaders should take this opportunity to step back, rethink their approach and focus on creating a truly development-focused partnership.”

    Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 organisations operating in more than 100 countries that seeks solutions to poverty and injustice.

    Pleasure boat disaster on Pretoria Dam

    A pleasure boat named PISCES, described as either a ferry or a floating restaurant (we suspect a booze cruise vessel would be more apt) capsized on Roodeplaat Dam near Pretoria yesterday (Wednesday), throwing an estimated 80 people overboard.

    Emergency services responding to the accident described the scene as confusing because no record had been kept of who was on board the double decked boat and it was therefore impossible to know if anyone is missing. Those on board were apparently strangers to each other and not part of a single group. The owner was reported on radio as saying he did not know who or how many were on board.

    The vessel struck an object thought to be a rock in the water which caused it to capsize. Police and emergency service claimed the boat was not equipped with life jackets. By the time they arrived at the scene most of the passengers had swum ashore and it is thought that some had left the scene, making it even more difficult to discover if anyone was missing or trapped under the boat.

    Divers and a rescue dog were called in to begin a search under the vessel and in its immediate vicinity and continued until darkness fell. The accident occurred about 40m from the dam wall and approximately 150m from the shore, which ordinarily would be one of the deepest spots on the dam.

    Pic of the day – NORD VISION

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The Japanese bulk carrier NORD VISION (30,053-gt) leaving Durban harbour. Picture Terry Hutson

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