Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 18, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Walvis Bay to expand bulk liquid facilities

  • Naja Arctica poser is answered

  • Business as usual as coal terminal equipment goes down for maintenance

  • India calls for Indian Ocean naval alliance

  • German Navy arrives in Cape waters

  • latest update from Kingsley Holgate Africa, the Outside Edge is now on site

  • Pic of the day – ANGELA STAR


    Walvis Bay to expand bulk liquid facilities

    The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) plans to build a bulk fuel storage terminal (BFST) at Walvis Bay, reports the New Era newspaper.

    It says the terminal is in anticipation of increased imports as the country’s economy expands over the next 20 years and will carry a government mandate allowing it to import about half of all fuel products for Namibia.

    Namcor has identified three sites around the port of Walvis Bay for the proposed terminal, which will store bulk shipments of petrol, diesel, paraffin and heavy fuel oil. The tank farm will be fed from the port via pipeline.

    The bulk fuel storage terminal is expected to be operational by mid-2010 but remains subject to a number of conditions, including completing the necessary environmental impact assessment process. Some community concerns including noise pollution and quality of air have already been expressed and will need to be addressed.

    However the local community would be able to look forward to a number of socio-economic benefits arising from the development, including employment during the building phase and later permanent positions. Outside contractors for the building and engineering aspects and provision of road and rail facilities would also benefit.

    Namcor was established under Namibia’s Petroleum Act of 1991 and is tasked with creating an integrated oil company capable of competing on an equal basis with the global oil industry.

    Naja Artica poser is answered

    CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE – pic by Aad Noorland

    We had a swift response from an unexpected quarter to our picture and query on Friday (15 February) asking what Greenland’s Royal Arctic Line ship NAJA ARCTICA was doing in Cape Town. Included in the question was the additional poser about the word Ant that has been slipped between the words Royal and Arctic on the ship’s side (see picture).

    Thanks to Jay Gates, Airfield Operations Manager at Humberside International Airport in the UK for the following interesting response:

    “Just to fill you in on the reasons for the Naja Arctica being in Cape Town.

    She was chartered by the Alfred Wegener Institute of Bremerhaven, Germany, to carry the new 'Neumayer 3' research station to Antarctica. The old station is now well below the surface and in dire need of replacement. Naja Arctica loaded all the new station components in Bremerhaven and sailed from there on 7 November 2007 bound for Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, arriving in Atka Bay on 16 January 2008.

    The ice conditions have been quite severe this year in the Weddell Sea and the POLARSTERN, which has left Cape Town on 28 November 2007 for Neumayer had to spend eight days breaking out a channel at Atka Bay in order for the Naja Arctica to come along the ice shelf for discharge. The mission was a success and Naja Arctica left Atka Bay for Cape Town arriving on 11 (?) February 2008.

    The crew addition of 'ANT' to the ROYAL ARCTIC LINE logo on the ships hull is in deference to this 'one off' voyage to Antarctica. Naja Arctica will be back in her normal Arctic waters next month as she is due to sail on a scheduled voyage from Aalborg, Denmark, to ports in Greenland on 5 March 2008. Let's hope she makes it in time!!

    I hope this all helps to clear the mystery up. If you are wondering why an Airport Operations Manager in the UK knows this, it is because I was the Operations Controller for CHC Helicopters (Africa) in Cape Town until 2005, and long before that I was Radio Officer on both SA AGULHAS and AFRICANA for many years. I still maintain my interest in all things linking the many maritime and aviation activities in Antarctica, especially out of Cape Town.

    Cheers, etc
    Jay Gates
    Humberside International Airport, UK

    Business as usual as coal terminal equipment goes down for maintenance

    Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) has announced that two machines at the terminal have been placed out of service for urgent technical and structural maintenance.

    The machines are one reclaimer and one stacker reclaimer and RBCT advises that the technical problems were proactively picked up during routine inspections. “To minimise the risk, a proactive technical decision was taken to take the machines out of service for immediate repairs.”

    This brings the total number of RBCT machines out for maintenance to three, as one stacker machine has been out of service since January 2008 and is only due back on line in May 2008. Currently, 6-yard machines are fully operational at the terminal.

    “A competent team of engineers and management is working on the recovery plan. The root cause of the technical failure is currently being investigated and thereafter-necessary corrective action will be implemented. The stacker reclaimer will be back in operation within the next seven days. This will ensure that at least all stockpiles can be reached by a machine for either stacking or reclaiming. Currently, only three lines are inaccessible for reclaiming,” said Kuseni Dlamini, Executive Chairman of RBCT

    The reclaimer is due back in service within 6 to 7 weeks

    Delays on the loading of vessels are not an issue at this stage as all ship loaders are
    fully operational and other 6-yard machines are available to be utilised while the other three are being repaired.

    RBCT says that teams are working hard to turn around the situation quicker and minimise the impact on coal exports.

    It advises that total stocks at RBCT are at a comfortable 2.7million tons which is still the acceptable level for RBCT operations

    India calls for Indian Ocean naval alliance

    India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has spearheaded calls for an alliance of Indian Ocean Rim navies to take control of security throughout the Indian Ocean region and to ensure the safety of the region’s sea lanes.

    Singh was speaking at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium in Delhi and Goa which ended last week. Twenty-six countries bordering on the Indian Ocean sent representatives to the symposium during which Indian naval chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta called for a loose military alliance of regional navies to keep the busy sea lanes secure.

    According to the prime minister there has been a rise in crimes such as terrorism, smuggling, drug running, arms dealing and piracy and robbery in recent years.

    “The perpetrators of these crimes are well-organised and well-funded transnational crime syndicates who take full advantage of the vastness of the oceans. The need for cooperation among the navies of the region in preventing such crimes is therefore of paramount interest,” said Mr Singh.

    Admiral Mehta said the threats of intra-state turmoil as well as a variety of security threats that are short of state-on-state conflict, remain “a grim reality, presenting a significant risk to peace and stability.”

    “The threat from malevolent non-state actors presents a clear and present danger to not just one or some, but to all of us,” the admiral said.

    India’s Defence Minister AK Antony said that although some Indian Ocean littoral states had kept out for reasons (of their own), “we have kept places reserved for them.”

    German Navy arrives in Cape waters

    The German Navy Frigate 211, FGS Köln, photographed as the vessel arrives outside Simon’s Town Naval Harbour at 08h50 this morning (Sunday 17 February 2008). In the background is the German Navy Transport vessel A1435, Westerwald, which arrived in Simon’s Town last week, and on the left is the white-hulled South African Hydrographic Survey vessel SAS Protea.
    FGS Köln is one of eight Bremen class frigates that were commissioned between 1982 and 1990. The ships are based at Wilhelmshaven, forming the
    4. Fregattengeschwader (4th Frigate Squadron) of the German Navy. Picture and description by David Erickson

    The following notice concerning the forthcoming naval exercises between the South African and German Navies has been released by the South African Navy:

    From 18 February to 18 March the seas and skies surrounding Cape Town will be used to conduct military exercises between South Africa and Germany. This series of exercises will be called EXERCISE GOOD HOPE III.

    This will be the third time that military exercises will be conducted in South African waters between the two countries, with the last exercise taking place two years ago. During this year’s exercise there will be more than 1,800 personnel, 15 ships and 16 aircraft from both countries taking part.

    The “theatre of operations” will be around Cape Town and some exercises will be conducted at the Overberg Military Test Area near Bredasdorp and Arniston/Waenhuiskrans. Some of the types of exercises will include live missile and gun firings, anti-submarine warfare with mock torpedo attacks, anti-aircraft drills, fleetwork and manoeuvring and more.

    The objectives that both countries want to achieve with these exercises are:

    * To enhance and maintain the comprehensive defence capabilities of the two armed forces.
    * To develop a common understanding of military interoperability and foster mutual trust, respect and co-operation between the German Armed Forces and the SANDF.
    * To upgrade operational means and methods of multi-national conventional forces by employing different types of equipment whilst conducting and exercising according to a common set of guiding principles.

    The German Defence Force will be represented by two Frigates (FGS HAMBURG and FGS KÖLN) and two Combat Support Vessels (FGS BERLIN and FGS WESTERWALD), six Tornado Fighter Aircraft and two Lynx Helicopters.

    The SANDF will send three Frigates (SAS AMATOLA, SAS ISANDLWANA and SAS SPIOENKOP), one Submarine (SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE) two Strike Craft (SAS GALESHEWE and SAS ISAAC DYOBHA), two Minehunters (SAS UMZIMKULU and SAS UMKOMAAS), two Inshore Patrol Vessels (SAS TERN and SAS TOBIE) and the Combat Support Vessel SAS DRAKENSBERG. In addition to this there will also be six Cheetah Fighter Aircraft and two Oryx Helicopters (of the SAAF).

    The public of Cape Town will be invited to view the German vessels at the V&A Waterfront on Saturday 1 March to Sunday 2 March 2008. Thereafter the public can view most of the SA Navy and German vessels during the annual Navy Festival from 14 -16 March 2008 in Simon’s Town.

    The navy has confirmed that the German ships will not be visiting any other South African ports during their visit.

    latest update from Kingsley Holgate Africa Outside Edge is now on site

    The latest episode of the Kingsley Holgate Africa, the Outside Edge expedition is now available on this site and can be found in our SEA STORIES section.

    Follow the entire journey around the coast of Africa including Kingsley’s most recent travels through West Africa and into Morocco and North Africa HERE

    Pic of the day – ANGELA STAR

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The bulker ANGELA STAR arrives in Lyttelton harbour, New Zealand on 14 February (Valentine’s Day) to load coking coal for Richards Bay. Less than romantic readers may recall another picture featuring this particular ship which we published on 28 March 2007, taken as the ship arrived in Durban following a collision with the THEARESTON (also a regular caller to these parts). Both ships entered Durban for damage assessment and repairs. Picture by Alan Calvert

    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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