Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 24, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Mombasa’s container overload increases

  • Details of new Unicorn bunker barge

  • German Navy ships head south

  • WEF talks African governance, stability

  • South Africans win trans-Atlantic rowing race

  • Pic of the day – RITA KNUTSEN


    Mombasa’s container overload increases

    With more ships arriving at the port each day Mombasa’s problems of an over supply of containers and other cargo looks set to get worse before it gets better.

    According to reports yesterday the terminal had over 18,000 boxes waiting collection, an increase of 27 percent over the maximum number of container the terminal should normally have, 14,300. What is causing the problem is that too few containers are leaving the terminal each day - 400 at present compared with a norm of 600 a day - and with additional container ships scheduled for arrival experts see the congestion remaining at crisis point for several weeks at least.

    At a media conference in Kampala, Uganda, the port’s representative William Mtengo told reporters that about 10,000 containers were expected over the next 10 days, of which a high percentage is for Uganda and other neighbouring states.

    He said the containers for the neighbouring states were being transferred to freight stations (container depots) outside the Mombasa terminal in order to relieve the congestion. Kenya Ports Authority staff personnel have even had to make sacrifices by vacating their staff car park to allow containers to be stored there.

    "We appeal to all key stakeholders to make fervent efforts to start speedy clearance and transportation of cargo from the port into the hinterland," Mtengo said.

    He anticipated the disruptions to last between four and six weeks.

    source – New Vision

    Details of new Unicorn bunker barge

    SOUTHERN VALOUR, the first of three new bunker barges on order for Unicorn Tankers was launched in China in December and will, along with barge no.2 SOUTHERN VENTURE, be delivered to Durban in May this year. Picture courtesy Unicorn Shipping

    Unicorn Shipping has provided additional information about the bunker barge that has been ordered from a Durban shipyard (see our News Bulletin for yesterday).

    The 4,250 ton capacity barge will be identical to two barges nearing completion at a Chinese shipyard – the latter are named SOUTHERN VALOUR and SOUTHERN VENTURE and were ‘launched’ in December 2007 and on 16 January 2008 respectively and are expected for delivery in South Africa during May. Delivery will be carried out by heavylift or barge.

    The new Unicorn barge is costing in the region of R80 million.

    The Durban contract was awarded to Dormac which has already completed a slightly larger barge for Smit Amandla (SMIT LiPUMA) of 5,000t capacity and is embarking on double skinning the Durban barge PENTOW ENERGY, also for Smit Amandla.

    Laurence Stuart-Hill, Unicorn's MD and director of Grindrod, said yesterday that Unicorn has ordered 11 ocean-going ships in the past from Durban shipyards and expressed a desire to support local industry and provide jobs for South Africans.

    According to Hilton Stroebel, Unicorn Shipping’s commercial manager, the logistics of keeping technical personnel stationed in China for the building programme for a single barge was not justifiable, which helped rationalise the higher cost of building locally.

    “It is better to have them back here operating in Durban,” he said referring to the site engineers.

    Stroebel said there was also the cost of transporting a single barge to South Africa on completion, which would obviously be double that of shipping the two newbuilds.

    “With two barges coming into service shortly the pressure on us is off and we can start fulfilling our contractual obligations. We can afford to wait a little longer for the third barge.

    The two newbuilds will be stationed in Durban and Cape Town and the third is destined at this stage to go to Durban. All three barges will be operated by the BEE joint venture Unicorn Calulo Bunkering Services.

    This will give Cape Town a newly built barge of 4,250t capacity, able to deliver at a rate of 1,000t an hour, and Durban will have four barges – two of 4,250t capacity provided by Unicorn and two by Smit Amandla – the newbuild Smit LiPuma and the smaller and double-skinned Pentow Energy.

    German Navy ships head south

    Four ships of the German Navy are en route to South Africa to take part in a joint exercise with the South African Navy named ‘Good Hope 2’. The four vessels which have already left Germany are as the follows:

    F220 FGS HAMBURG – a type 124 destroyer
    F209 FGS RHEINLAND-PFALZ – type 122 frigate
    A1411 FGS BERLIN – type 702 replenishment vessel
    A1435 FGS WESTERWALD – type 760 ammunition ship

    The task force’s first port of call in southern Africa is at Walvis Bay, where the replenishment vessel FGS Westerwald arrives ahead of the other three on 30 January.

    The other three ships are due at the Namibian port on 13 February, arriving at 10h00. Westerwald will return to Walvis Bay on 28 March. At least one of the ships will be open to the public on 14 and 15 February between 15h00 and 18h00. They sail on 17 February.

    Dates of arrival in Simon’s Town have not been announced (in fact we are unaware of any announcement regarding the visit to South Africa) but can be roughly deduced from the above.

    FGS Hamburg and FGS Berlin both last visited South Africa in March 2006.

    In addition to visiting African countries the German Navy task force will call at ports in South America.

    WEF talks African governance, stability

    Davos, 23 January (BuaNews) - The annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland opened on Wednesday with sessions on African governance and stability planned for the week ahead.

    Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa are expected to attend the forum to represent South Africa at the high level meetings with business and political leaders.

    This year the overall theme is "The Power of Collaborative Innovation" and events are made accessible to viewers across the globe on the video sharing website, Youtube at www.youtube.com/davos

    On Wednesday delegates are to discuss which leaders and institutions are leading the way in Africa, in one of the dozens of sessions scheduled.

    The session brief asserts that "Good governance is beginning to pay dividends in some African countries in the areas of infrastructure development, improved human security and expanded social services."

    Thursday's session on Africa will ask leaders to ponder: What the international community and African leaders foresee as a way to move the region towards stability.

    The session brief says while both West and East are competing for influence and resources in Africa, many of the global challenge fault lines run across the continent -- climate change, security, income inequality, natural resources -- calling for a global consensus on Africa's development agenda.

    When the WEF meeting draws to a close on Sunday various world issues discussed over its course will be further explored.

    The WEF states:

    "Across multiple domains, humankind faces troubling contradictions about its future. The number of poor has fallen dramatically in Asia, but nearly doubled in Africa; the cold war has ended, but civil conflicts and nuclear powers have increased; and the more technology connects us, the less united we appear to act.

    "What are the elements necessary to rebuild confidence in the future and to promote collaboration across economic, religious and political fault lines?"

    In collaboration with CNN, the public have been invited to "join a conversation that looks to the future and spans generations, interests and cultures to capture the insights, debates and discoveries of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008."

    South Africans win trans-Atlantic rowing race

    by Brad Morgan (BuaNews)

    East London, 23 January - Two East London residents have made history by rowing their way to victory in the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race.

    South Africans Bill Godfrey and Peter van Kets not only completed the trans-Atlantic crossing, but when they rowed into English Harbour in Antigua in the early hours of Tuesday morning, it was as the winners in the pairs division of the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race, reported Southafrica.info.

    This comes only a week after Michael Mbanjwa became the first black winner of South Africa's Dusi Canoe Marathon. The canoeing challenge sees participants paddling from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.

    This is confirmation of the development of water sports in the country.

    Only 300 people have rowed the 2,500 nautical miles covered in the Atlantic Rowing Race. This is roughly one-fifth of the number of people who have reached the top of the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest.

    The event began on 2 December 2007 from San Sebastian, La Gomera in the Canary Islands.

    After 51 days at sea in their seven-metre boat, Gquma Challenger, ("gquma" in isiXhosa means the roar of a lion or the sound of a breaking wave) the two East Londoners completed their epic voyage.

    They were second only to the fours boat Pura Vida, which crossed the finish line in first place overall on Saturday.

    Beside from contending with varying weather conditions, assistance in all it's forms is prohibited during the competition.

    All food and drinking supplies, including a desalinator to produce drinking water, had to be carried on board along with a satellite phone, a laptop computer for monitoring weather patterns and other sophisticated instruments.

    Both Godfrey and van Kets brought strong pedigrees into the race, although nothing they had previously done could have prepared them for task they faced.

    Godfrey was previously a member of the South African national rowing squad. He lived in the United Kingdom for some time and while there competed at Henley and other major UK events.

    On the Team Gquma website, he explained why he decided to take on the Atlantic Rowing Race, saying: "It's there and it has to be done."

    Van Kets, a relative newcomer to ocean rowing, has a background in kayaking and surf ski racing, which stood him in good stead for the Atlantic crossing.

    He twice contested the 255 kilometre Port Elizabeth to East London Surf Ski Challenge, which gave him some idea about the demanding test he and Godfrey would face.

    The last words about Godfrey in his profile on the website read: "He will do everything in his power to prove his worth and make South Africa proud".

    Pic of the day – RITA KNUTSEN

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    An unusual view of the Norwegian shuttle tanker RITA KNUTSEN (70,434-gt, 124,472-dwt, Teekay Marine), in Cape Town harbour. Picture is by Aad Noorland

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