Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 14, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • This is our final News Bulletin for 2007

  • In brief from the African ports

  • Golden Nori freed as authorities hunt down Somali pirates

  • Swift expands its African network

  • East London IDZ offers aquaculture opportunities

  • NSRI in long range Southern Ocean rescue

  • Pic of the day – SUN PRINCESS


    Ports & Ships may experience some downtime between the hours of 8am and 1pm on Tuesday, 18 December, during a period of necessary maintenance. We apologise if this causes any inconvenience

    This is our final News Bulletin for 2007

    It’s that time of year when many people are taking off for the holidays and this year we are doing the same. This is our final daily News Bulletin until 2008 and also the final Newsletter. Thank you to our growing number of readers, now approaching 30,000 each month – its amazing to think that we’ve almost doubled in readership since November 2005 and that it keeps climbing. Such is the power and reach of the woldwide web. Hopefully it also means PORTS & SHIPS is providing the sort of stuff that most readers want – if not then please don’t hesitate to tell us.

    Next year will be more of the same plus some new refinements with strong attention given to providing news and information about the maritime world, trade and transport as it affects Africa. We intend extending our reach with Ships in Port and ETA reports from the various harbours along with other background.

    In closing here’s something we borrowed from this week’s edition of Cape Business News – that by the way is another highly useful website providing plenty of good information (http://www.cbn.co.za)

    Here are some key findings from a recent European study:

  • 169 million people are now online in Europe

  • Internet use stretches ahead of TV amongst youth audience

  • Fastest growth is among ‘silver’ surfers and women

  • Internet users on average spending nearly 12 hours per week online and nearly a third spending upwards of 16 hours online

  • Internet users access the internet 5.5 days per week

  • 8 out of 10 Europeans connect to the internet via a broadband connection

    In Africa we may not be there with those numbers but it’s coming.

    To all readers a happy and very blessed festive season and a safe and prosperous 2008

    In brief from the African ports

    The Port of Durban has reminded port users that berth 2 at Island View has been closed to all traffic as from yesterday (13 December) until next Friday, 21 December.

    The port of Richards Bay will have no marine services available from 18.00 on 24 December until 06.00 on 26 December – however a standby crew will remain available for any emergencies.

    The Multi Purpose Terminal at the Port of Saldanha Bay has announced the appointment of Edwena Coetzee as the new Customer Services Manager for the MPT with effect as from 3 December 2007.

    The Japanese government has finally agreed to finance the Mombasa Port Development Project to the amount of roughly US$250 million, which includes the construction of a second container terminal as well as extensive dredging of the harbour - see PORTS & SHIPS’ related report

    Dubai-based logistics provider has further expanded its operations in Africa by opening two additional offices. One is at Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the other at Maputo in Mozambique. Swift now has 24 offices throughout Africa and 44 across 19 countries worldwide.

    India’s largest steel producer Tata Steel has linked with listed Australian company Riversdale Mining to develop a hard coking and thermal coal project in Mozambique. The project involves mining prospects in the Benga and Tete areas in central Mozambique and aims at producing 10 million tonnes of coking and thermal coal from 2010. The project is expected to provide a further boost for the port of Beira which already stands to benefit from the reopening of the Moatize coal mines in Tete Province, which the Mozambique government has announced will use Beira for export purposes.

    Golden Nori freed as authorities hunt down Somali pirates

    Two pirates involved with the seizure of the Japanese products tanker GOLDEN NORI have been captured by authorities in Puntland, the semi-autonomous region of northern Somalia.

    Their capture follows the release of the Japanese ship together with its crew of 22, which has been escorted away from the coast near the port of Bossaso by Coalition warships. The highjackers had been demanding US$1 million in ransom money for the ship and crew release but it is not known whether any part of this was paid.

    At least 12 other pirates evaded capture and are being hunted by the Puntland soldiers and police. The pirates abandoned the ship on Tuesday night and made their escape ashore – Coalition warships had blockaded the tanker. The Japanese owner said yesterday that his ship was released after strenuous negotiations and with the assistance of the US and British navies.

    Critics have spoken out against the paying of ransom for captured ships and crew, saying that this perpetuates the problems by encouraging further acts of piracy. It is believed that further south in Somalia some clan leaders have actively encouraged the acts of piracy by arming and giving shelter to pirates.

    With the release of the Golden Nori there are now no ships being held hostage by pirates off the Somali coast for the first time since the Islamists were overthrown by the Ethiopian army and Somali interim government earlier this year. During 2007 more than 20 ships were taken hostage off the Somali coast.

    Meanwhile the IMO secretary-general Efthimios Mitropoulos has once again spoken out against piracy off the Horn of Africa, pointing out that it damages the ability of the UN and other aid bodies to deliver humanitarian assistance.

    New undersea cable project gets underway

    Construction of the new US$650 million Seacom undersea fibre-optic cable that will link Africa eastwards through India and westwards through Europe by 2009 and is aimed at boosting Africa’s broadband connectivity with high bandwidth at low prices, is set to begin in earnest, it was announced this week.

    In June this year the survey vessel FUGRO GAUSS arrived in Durban to begin surveying the route of the cable from where it will come ashore at Mtunzini on the KZN north coast.

    The contract, awarded to Tyco Telecommunications, will complement existing cable systems and overcome an international infrastructural bottleneck. Tyco says the increased capacity of the cable compared with existing infrastructure will enable a greater availability and lower the cost of high-demand services.

    South African companies will own half of the private equity funded undersea cable and total African ownership will reach 75 percent. This puts to rest any doubts remaining about the future of the 15,000km cable after Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri said earlier in 2007 that any cable coming ashore in South Africa would have to be majority South African owned.

    South African investment groups including BEE houses have since put up 50 percent of the finance and East African interests the other 25 percent.

    South Africa’s second national operator Neotel owns the landing rights to the cable as part of its licence and will contribute towards the project.

    The cable will extend from Mtunzini in South Africa along Africa’s eastern coast via Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania and Kenya to Mumbai in India and Marseilles in southern France.

    East London IDZ offers aquaculture opportunities

    The East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) is looking for investors to become involved in a marine aquaculture project opportunity at East London.

    The IDZ says the coastline off East London offers ideal opportunities for the development of a ‘vibrant aquaculture cluster’ and points out that this is one of the fastest growing food production systems in the word with an average growth rate of 8.8 percent per annum between 1950 and 2004.

    ‘South Africa’s aquaculture production has shown an increase over the last decade, with abalone farming the biggest to grow in terms of net gain. It has grown from a total production of farmed abalone of less that 100kg in 1996, to approximately 900 tons produced in 2006, with an export value of US$25-million (R175-million). The profitability of, and demand for the product has led to this massive growth. Today South Africa is regarded as the leading producer of cultured abalone in the world,’ the report says.

    According to the East London IDZ investors in a marine aquaculture cluster will have an unparalleled site to locate their enterprises. The area earmarked for the marine aquaculture cluster is less than 100 metres from the shore, with already one investor established. Access to good quality sea water and seclusion from bathing beaches ensures high levels of bio-security.

    For more information contact Ayanda Ramncwana at East London IDZ on +27 43 702 8200 or at ayanda@elidz.co.za or go to the website http://www.elidz.co.za

    NSRI in long range Southern Ocean rescue

    Two NSRI members, Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simonstown Station Commander and Clive Mortimer, NSRI Kommetjie Coxswain, have joined the crew of the 115 metre Power Tri-Maran The Adventurer Ocean 7 which sailed from the Port of Table Bay yesterday afternoon en-route to assist the 68 foot yacht Delta Dore and her two crew who were at that point lying West of Prince Edward Island group (Marion Island) approximately 900 nautical miles South of Cape Town.

    The Adventurer Ocean 7 has on-board skipper Dave de Villiers and nine crew (including the two NSRI members).

    Delta Dore was dismasted in heavy seas in the deep Southern Ocean while taking part in the Barcelona World Race.

    At 01:20 on 11 December Delta Dore’s mast reportedly fell backward and her two crew cut away the mast to avoid damaging the vessel. At the time of the incident they were 47 degrees 00 South and 33 degrees 25 East.

    Her crew, skipper Jeremie Beyou and Sidney Gavignet, have their vessel currently under motor heading North towards South Africa with fuel reserves at her current speed of 3 knots to take her approximately 180 nautical miles. The vessel is otherwise structurally sound.

    Barcelona World Race coordinators appealed to the South African Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) to assist with a rescue operation and ships in the area have been requested by MRCC to stand-by to lend assistance if and when required.

    The option for the yacht to head for Marion Island was explored but fears of further damage to the yacht led her crew and race coordinators to opt that she remain in open water and head in the direction of South Africa and a rescue operation was launched from Cape Town under the guidance of MRCC.

    The Adventurer Ocean 7 is due to rendezvous with Delta Dore within 48 hours of her departure from Cape Town. The Adventurer Ocean 7 departed from the Port of Table Bay at 15:10 on Wednesday 12 December (estimated time of rendezvous is at approximately mid to late afternoon on Friday 14 December) and the intention is to deliver fuel and if necessary take up a tow to bring Delta Dore to safe port, most likely Port Elizabeth, although the decision of which port to head for will only be decided depending on the nature of assistance required once on-scene.

    The Adventurer Ocean 7 has a top speed of 24 knots.

    The Adventurer Ocean 7 is also carrying spare rigging that has been taken along in order to assist the Delta Dore crew to rig a jury rig to sail the yacht further if the option to do so allows.

    Once the rescue vessel rendezvous with the yacht a more accurate estimated arrival time in South Africa and at which port they will head to will be available.

    The yacht’s two crew sustained no injuries in the incident and are reported to be in good spirits.

    At 20:00 last night (Thursday 13 December) The Adventurer Ocean 7 reported being at position 43 degrees 05 South and 33 degrees 05 East and the rendezvous coordinates are estimated to be at approximately 40 degrees South and 30 degrees East.

    source – NSRI

    Pic of the day – SUN PRINCESS

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    Not an ‘African’ picture but an attractive scene to bring the year to an end. The cruise ship SUN PRINCESS began a season of Australasian cruises recently and at Lyttelton, New Zealand earlier this week (11 December) when Alan Calvert took the picture

    Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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