Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 15, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Fifth year expansion present for Pretoria's Automotive Supplier Park

  • Shuttle train service to ease Mombasa port congestion

  • Mauritian trade outlook is good - Standard Bank

  • Maputo news

  • Coega budgets R110 mil developing skills

  • Pic of the day – NAJA ARCTICA


    Fifth year expansion present for Pretoria's Automotive Supplier Park

    Pretoria (BuaNews) - As part of celebrating its fifth anniversary, major plans are underway for South Africa’s first Automotive Supplier Park (ASP), in Rosslyn, to expand a new service provider to supply the recent Ford expansion.

    ASP chief executive Papi Mphahlele said 80 hectares have already been earmarked for further developments over and above 50 hectares that have already been developed at the site, north of the capital.

    “This will lead to an increase in demand for industrial space by component manufacturers who supply these original equipment manufacturers in the area,” said Mr Mphahlele.

    The ASP is a R300 million investment which now contributes R714 million to Gauteng’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP).

    Mphahlele said the new plant will contribute towards the reduction of production costs by bringing component manufacturers closer to Ford.

    “Our mission of the park is to crease an environment that fosters high levels of productivity by bringing services together services, suppliers and their major stakeholders,” he said.

    He said the first five years were positive as all key players threw their weight behind the achievements the company has accomplished.

    The ASP, which brings automotive component suppliers close to the manufacturers such as BMW, Nissan, Ford and Fiat has contributed 10 000 jobs in the development phase.

    “I think this bodes well for the future. We will continue to build on our formula for success and ensure that our environment is one that is adaptive, responsive… and visionary in its scope,” said Mphahlele.

    Two more motor manufacturers, Tata and Renault, are expected to come on board by establishing production facilities in the area while joining existing Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as BMW, Nissan, Fiat and Ford.

    Shuttle train service to ease Mombasa port congestion

    Mombasa, 14 February 2008 - The Kenya Port Authority (KPA) and the Rift Valley Railways have started a shuttle train service between Mombasa and Nairobi to try to ease congestion at the Port of Mombasa.

    The move will shift containers destined for Nairobi, western Kenya and beyond to a more Nairobi-based container facility with more capacity.

    Port operations have been affected adversely by recent chaos in Kenya following its disputed elections. Prior to that, it had a congestion problem and the KPA was devising innovative ways to try to ease the congestion and resultant financial problems that imports and exporters were facing.

    The problems have also had a devastating effect on neighbours such as Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which are reliant on the Northern Corridor for their imports and exports. - corridornet

    In South Africa Sheltam Rail has 10 new diesel-electric locomotives lined up for shipment from Durban to Mombasa to help out of the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) network. Sheltam Rail is the principal shareholder in the RVR concession which was, before the current political upheaval in Kenya, coming under increasing pressure to deliver an improved rail service, with those critical of the concessioning process claiming that little improvement had taken place in the year since the concession was awarded.

    RVR countered by saying it needed time to restore the necessary infrastructure. One of the items needing ‘bolstering’ was the provision of adequate locomotive stock. Parent company Sheltam Grindrod in South Africa had meanwhile placed orders with GE in Brazil for the locomotives intended for service in South Africa, of which the final delivery was made this month. The decision has since been made to transfer 10 of the locos to Mombasa to work on the Kenya and Uganda system but one of the stumbling blocks is finding 10 sets of metre gauge bogies for the East African railway - the locos are equipped with the 1067mm Cape gauge common to southern Africa. – Ports & Ships

    Mauritian trade outlook is good - Standard Bank

    Mauritius’s ambitious plan to revive and open its economy is starting to show encouraging signs of recovery.

    Facing the end of trade preferences and increasing global competition in its sugar and textile sectors, Mauritius began reforms in 2006 - to improve the business environment, move towards fiscal consolidation, simplify the tax system, eliminate some subsidies, liberalise trade, open air access and advance the restructuring of the economy and the development of new sectors.

    Since then, it has been ranked by groups including the World Bank as Africa's top country for economic freedom, ease of doing business and good governance. By encouraging development of emerging and performing sectors, unemployment came down from a historic high of 10.8 percent in 2005 to 8.8 percent in 2007, giving considerable credibility to the redevelopment drive.

    Broad-based reforms supported an upturn in GDP in 2006 (at 5 percent, from 2.3 percent in 2005) and 2007 (estimated at 5.8 percent). Government has also made good progress in its move towards fiscal consolidation and managed to post a budget deficit of 4.1 percent of GDP (2006/07), lower than the target of 5.3 percent announced the year before. Government now aims at containing the budget deficit further to 3.7 percent of GDP (2007/08).

    Although the country remains vulnerable to the adverse shifts in the international trading environment - being a small, open economy - economic prospects for 2008 are positive with economic growth predicted at around 6 percent.

    source - Standard Bank

    Maputo news

    Earlier this month the first tanker berthed at the port of Maputo and discharged 5,000 tonnes of liquid vegetable oil by pipeline into the port’s newly rehabilitated bulk liquid storage tanks under the supervision of the Maputo Liquids Storage Company Lda’s tank farm manager, Rui Vieira. - MCLI

    And in yet another first for the rapidly growing Maputo Corridor, Matola Gas Company has commissioned a 100,000 GJ per annum ‘virtual pipeline’ daughter station at the ArcelorMittal Maputo-Laminaria site in Maputo.

    This is the largest such installation in Africa. Using this supply network was deemed to be the only supply alternative to meet tight delivery schedules - corridornet

    Coega budgets R110 mil developing skills

    Port Elizabeth, 14 February - The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has secured over R110 million for skills development programmes, as part of its job creation campaign for investment projects in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).

    The focus has primarily been on learnerships and apprenticeships in the mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering fields, where, by 2010, approximately 2,796 learnerships would have been created.

    “This is very good for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape. We will continue working with government and industry to fight against poverty and unemployment through skills development,” said Zuko Mapoma, Executive Manager for Human Capital Solutions at CDC.

    Employment opportunities in the Coega Project range from construction, production, information technology, human resources, engineering and maintenance among others.

    To date nearly 22 000 employment opportunities have been created as a result of the infrastructure development for the Coega project - which incorporates both the Coega IDZ and the deep water Port of Ngqura.

    With the number of investors set to commence building their plants in the next two years, it is estimated that a further 16 000 construction job opportunities would be created.

    Investment in the Coega IDZ has and will in future create a significant number of indirect job opportunities in the Eastern Cape - not only in the Coega IDZ.

    There are currently 11 signed investors and their investments are worth nearly R30 billion.

    All of these are new projects which will require the building of new factories and plants. This will create further employment opportunities for both the construction and operational phases of these new factories and plants.

    It is estimated that by 2010, direct operational jobs created by investors will have amounted to 2 400. This will grow to over 9 000 beyond 2012, as more investors start operating from within the Zone.

    The planned Coega Skills Development Centre (SDC) will address the skills shortages in the metro and province through training and further education.

    The focus will be on mid- to high-level skills with programmes offered based on short, medium and long term basis, predominantly in the engineering and production related sectors.

    The SDC will also play a key role in developing the skills specifically required by investors.

    A key element of the SDC will be the establishment of a science and technology centre.

    This will provide an interactive experience for school-going learners to get an understanding of what opportunities will come from the Coega IDZ and its investors.

    It is hoped that this will enable learners to make informed decisions about their career choices.

    Over and above the SDC, the CDC is expanding its recruitment and induction centre in the IDZ to include a construction skills training centre to address the needs in the construction industry in the unskilled and semi-skilled trades.

    This is aimed at providing training and employment opportunities for those people in Nelson Mandela Bay who may not have had an opportunity to acquire tertiary education.

    Pic of the day – NAJA ARCTICA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    Resplendent in crimson paintwork, the Danish-owned container ship NAJA ARCTICA of Royal Arctic Line is seen in Cape Town harbour yesterday – half a world away from what is regarded as her normal area of operation. Ships of Royal Arctic Line are uncommon visitors in these parts – Royal Arctic Line being essentially the Greenland national shipping line which holds sole rights to operate containerised services among Greenland ports and to Iceland and Denmark. The twist in the tale lies possibly in the little addition of ‘Ant’ to the company name along the ship’s hull, cleverly added to Arctic. Perhaps a reader can fill in some details of her arrival in Cape Town. Picture by Aad Noorland

    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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