Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 26, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Coega smelter now looks more promising

  • Japanese bank to help finance Nacala special economic zone

  • CMA CGM expands with two new cruise ships

  • Port News: Cape Town readies to sail oil rig



    Coega smelter now looks more promising

    Just as things were beginning to look dark for the planned aluminium smelter at Coega, which has been left reeling from the body blows of the electricity crisis, the project has been thrown a lifejacket in the form of a R11.5 billion liquid gas terminal to be built at Coega.

    Mineral and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica announced on Friday that the liquid gas terminal would be built at the Coega industrial development zone (IDZ) which he said would in turn provide the energy source for powering two open-cycle gas turbine power plants to be built in the IDZ.

    The electrical power generated by the IPSA gas turbine would ultimately be sufficient for the first phase of the proposed Rio Tinto / Alcan aluminium smelter. Doubts had been raised over the feasibility of the smelter in the wake of Eskom’s generating problems but the IPSA and now a second plant will provide more than a capable stopgap. The IPSA plant is scheduled to come on line as early as mid 2009 with full capacity available in 2011.

    Ipsa says the gas turbines it will install will provide 1,600MW, enough for the initial energy needs of the aluminium smelter. It will also be the first public/private partnership in South Africa for an integrated liquid fuel and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to electricity project (see our report of 28 January Coega thrown a lifeline past the energy impasse).

    According to media reports from the Eastern Cape a second open-cycle plant is planned for the Coega IDZ – the other being US company AES Pacific Ocean Holdings, which is in partnership with three South African firms to build an open gas turbine peaking plant that will generate 330MW.

    In its initial stages the IPSA plant will run on more expensive liquid fuel but will convert to LNG once the re-gasification terminal for the LNG is built at Coega, probably by 2011.

    Japanese bank to help finance Nacala special economic zone

    Mozambique sources report that a Japanese bank is willing to fund the development of the proposed Nacala Special Economic Zone in northern Mozambique.

    An assurance of funding was apparently made in Maputo recently when representatives of the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) confirmed the availability of money for the project.

    Mozambique’s special economic zones are similar to South Africa’s IDZ projects in which economic development across various sectors is encouraged in addition to the creation of a duty free zone.

    The Nacala special economic zone is based on utilising existing infrastructure including the port and railway corridor and other regional infrastructure.

    CMA CGM expands with two new cruise ships

    French shipping company CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping line behind Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), is extending its position in the cruise business with two luxury cruise ships for delivery in 2010.

    CMA CGM signed a memorandum of understanding this month with Italy’s Fincantieri shipyards for two ‘luxuriously intimate cruise ships’ which will be operated by the group’s subsidiary Compagnie des Iles du Ponant (Ponant Cruises) and specialising in ‘cultural enrichment and discovery cruises’.

    The two cruise ships are described as mega-yachts of 140m length that will each accommodate a limited number of guests – 130 outside cabins and suites of which 75 percent will have balconies. The ships will be equipped with the latest advances in environmental protection including a dynamic positioning system that enables them to avoid damaging the sea floor during mooring.

    As new additions to the existing Ponant fleet (the other ships are Le Ponant, Le Levant, and Le Diamant), the new ships will offer a unique cruise experience and first-class quality service sailing to uncommon destinations, says CMA CGM. Guests will be able to take advantage of theme cruises as well as adventure itineraries in a highly personal setting designed to pamper passengers.

    The two ships will operate in new geographic areas for the line. The first will sail to Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia), Alaska, Polynesia and Oceania, while the second ship will travel to South America, including Antarctica, and the Mediterranean. Because of their size both ships will be able to visit quaint harbours and destinations inaccessible to larger cruise ships.

    Port News: Cape Town readies to sail oil rig

    Port authorities at Cape Town have advised that the oil rig PRIDE SOUTH SEAS is expected to sail tomorrow (Wednesday, 27 February), weather permitting.

    According to harbourmaster Captain DD Naicker shipping delays will be kept to a minimum during the sailing of the rig, which has been in Cape Town for repairs and maintenance.

    In other port news from Durban, the bunker barge BLACK EGRET operated by KZN Oils remains fully operational but suspended pending SAPREF approval. The suspension relates to a problem that arose with the building up of pressure in the barge’s tanks, which increased the risk of spillages.

    The tanks have had to be vented, declared gas free and inspected.

    One theory as to the cause of the problem looks at the method of loading in which air pockets were created causing a build up of pressure and increased danger of spillage. As a result less cargo will in future be carried and gauging systems altered accordingly.


    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    Construction work concerning the widening and deepening of the port entrance to Durban harbour is progressing and according to reports remains largely on schedule. This picture was taken in the last week and shows the current state of progress, where a mini ‘harbour’ appears to have been created using the ‘bones’ of the old north pier (on the left) and the foundation of the new pier about 100m to the north. We hope to feature regular images showing how this major project is faring.
    Picture by Steve McCurrach http://www.airserv.co.za/maritime.htm

    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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