Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 8, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • New man in charge at East London port terminals

  • First ship lined up for Coega harbour

  • Bunker fuel back in production at Cape Town

  • Kenya: Security Council voices concern over continued post-election violence

  • DEAT approves KwaZulu-Natal power plant

  • Pic of the day – THE WORLD


    New man in charge at East London port terminals

    East London has a new man in charge of Port Terminals – Robert van Rooyen has taken over from Pieter Klinkradt who retired recently as Business Unit Executive for Transnet Port Terminals.

    Van Rooyen is a graduate of the Rand Afrikaans University where he completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1994 before joining Anglo Platinum as a financial manager. He moved to Transnet Port Terminals (then known as SAPO – South African Port Terminals) in 2006, being appointed financial manager at the Saldanha terminal, where he was exposed to the operations side of the business when he acted as business unit executive at the iron ore terminal.

    Van Rooyen’s new appointment places him in an oversight position of the East London Car Terminal as well as the container terminal and other terminal facilities at the port. The port’s car terminal in particular rates as world class and is shortly to be expanded by way of additional berthing.

    First ship lined up for Coega harbour

    Fresh in her new position as port manager at the port of Ngqura, a position she holds jointly with Port Elizabeth, Ester Goosen says that Ngqura, some 20km from Port Elizabeth and adjacent to the Coega Industrial Development Zone, will open officially in June 2009.

    However the first ship will enter the port this year, she told the Port Elizabeth newspaper EP Herald.

    “Ngqura is fully on schedule to open officially by June, 2009, but it will be in use as a working harbour up to a year before that,” she said.

    The initial ship which she referred to will be the first of several to deliver special equipment for the port, including container cranes and other cargo handling equipment. A number of ship-to-shore cranes and rubber tyre gantry cranes are already on order for the Ngqura Container Terminal.

    Goosen pointed out that a harbour needs tugs and two of the four stationed at Port Elizabeth will be transferred to Ngqura during this year, in time to handle the first ships as they arrive. Transnet has also placed orders with Southern African Shipyards in Durban to build three large tugs for the new port. These will be propelled by Voith Schneider propellers, similar but more powerful to others in service at Durban and other ports. The first of these is scheduled for delivery in late 2009.

    She revealed that marine services personnel were undergoing training for deployment to the new port, including pilots and tug-boat officers and crew. Altogether a total of between 400 and 500 new personnel will be recruited between now and mid 2009 to work at Ngqura, all of them requiring specialised training.

    She said the various Transnet divisions involved will be recruiting staff ranging from matriculants with maths and science to engineers, and from crane operators to truck drivers, but the only major challenge was in finding the necessary number of skilled and qualified people, “because staff like harbour pilots, tug masters and marine engineers are in short supply all over the world,” said Goosen.

    Nevertheless she expressed optimism that the personnel would be found and trained in time for the port’s opening.

    On the question of the provision of rail and other services, Goosen said the construction of infrastructure by Transnet Freight Rail, the work on the container terminal by Transnet Port Terminals, and the investment by Transnet Capital Projects were all on stream.

    Turning to speculation that Ngqura was destined to become a white elephant she said Ngqura will be the only port in South Africa capable of handling the new generation of mega ships, which required specialised facilities.

    “They need special facilities and we will be ideally positioned to meet the requirements of these,” she told the EP Herald.

    source – EP Herald

    Bunker fuel back in production at Cape Town

    Production of liquid petroleum gas, ship gas oil fuel and jet fuel resumed yesterday, says a statement issued by the Chevron refinery in Cape Town.

    The Chevron refinery was forced to shut down because of power outages last week but had begun the process of starting up production after the unplanned shutdown.

    The statement said that these products will be available for sale by the end of the week, presumably meaning today (Friday).

    “Chevron currently has sufficient stocks of petrol and diesel, and expects to resume production of liquefied petroleum gas and bunker gas oil (for ships) from tomorrow evening. Jet fuel production will also resume late tomorrow and, with contingency plans already in place to source additional product from other suppliers, Chevron expects jet stocks to normalise soon,” the statement issued on Wednesday said.

    “The refinery also starts planned maintenance on some of its production units from the end of this week until the first week of March. This planned work will not affect fuel supply as contingency plans are already in place to ensure fuel is available during the maintenance period,” it said.

    The situation at two refineries in Durban does not appear to be at risk, owing to the Sapref and Engen refineries being regarded as industry key points and therefore ‘immune’ from load shedding. A similar situation exists at the Natref refinery at Sasolburg where no load shedding has taken place.

    The energy crisis in South Africa, brought about by a shortage of power station capacity is heightening fears that South Africa may be heading towards a recession.

    See also story below…DEAT approves KwaZulu-Natal power plant

    Kenya: Security Council voices concern over continued post-election violence

    United Nations, New York, 6 February 2008 – Despite the announcement of progress in negotiations between the Government and the opposition, the Security Council today expressed its concern over the continued violence in Kenya which first broke out after last December’s contested polls.

    “The Council deplores the widespread violence following the elections, which has resulted in extensive loss of life and serious humanitarian consequences,” the 15-member body said in a presidential statement read out by Ambassador Ricardo Alberto Arias of Panama, which holds the rotating presidency this month.

    It also noted that “civilians continue to be killed, subjected to sexual and gender-based violence and displaced from their homes.”

    According to the Kenya Red Cross Society, more than 1,000 people have lost their lives and over 300,000 have been displaced since the 27 December 2007 elections in which President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner over opposition leader Raila Odinga.

    Wednesday’s statement underlined the need for “dialogue, negotiation and compromise” as the only avenue by which to resolve the current crisis. It also urged the East African nation’s leaders to promote reconciliation.

    Welcoming the 1 February announcement of advances – such as the adoption of a road map and an agenda – towards finding a solution, the Council expressed its full support for the Panel of Eminent African Personalities, led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    The body called for all parties to “meet their responsibility” to resolve the crisis, as well as taking immediate measures to curb the violence, which includes ethnically-motivated attacks, and to restore human rights.


    DEAT approves KwaZulu-Natal power plant

    by Gabi Khumalo (BuaNews)

    Pretoria, 7 February 2008 - Appeals lodged by environmental groups and citizens against building a peaking power plant in KwaZulu-Natal have been dismissed by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

    These were lodged after the department's Director-General Pamela Yako on 14 September 2007, authorised the Department of Minerals and Energy to proceed with preparations for building a peaking power plant at the Avon site in Shakaskraal.

    Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said he was satisfied by the Director-General's decision in the original record of decision.

    He said the decision made was correct, as she adequately considered the major anticipated environmental impact of the proposed development before making the decision.

    Mr van Schalkwyk emphasised that there was a dire need for developing the peaking power plants to ensure a stable supply of electricity to the country as a whole.

    The department explained that a peaking power plant was generally run only during periods of peak demand for electricity. It may also be activated when other power plants were under maintenance or in exceptional circumstances when the security of the grid supply was threatened.

    Some of the reasons for the appeal were that:

    * as an industrial undertaking which will be privately operated for profit, the plant should be located within an officially designated industrial area;

    * the provisions for the control of emissions are insufficient. Stack emissions should be continuously monitored;

    * the plant should have been located closer to the fuel source or, alternatively, within close proximity to a rail link to allow fuel delivery by means of rail transport. This will alleviate the impact of heavy duty traffic on affected residential areas;

    * an increase in criminal activities especially during the construction phase was anticipated and

    * the large quantity of highly combustible fuel stored on the site will represent a severe hazard in an area where sugar cane is regularly burned under controlled conditions.

    Regarding the concerns on the location of the plant, the minister said it was a planning decision which would have to be taken in terms of planning legislation based on physical planning considerations.

    “This falls outside the purview of environmental impact legislation and is beyond my decision making competence, in my view, the proposed location is fully acceptable in terms of the relevant environmental considerations,” he said.

    The department explained that generators of a peaking power plant are driven by Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGT) which is fuelled by either diesel or kerosene and at full load, it is expected to produce 900 MW of electricity.

    At this production rate, it is anticipated to consume approximately 225 tons of fuel per hour, a plant of this nature is expected to operate on average only 10 percent of the time during its life span.

    The department said it is imperative that peaking power plants be situated at as low an altitude as possible to allow the plants to operate at maximum efficiency, the department said.

    The close proximity to existing Eskom infrastructure and to sources of fuel are also important considerations in the location of these plants. Thus, the plant will be located approximately 65km north of Durban and about 8km inland from the coastline, adjacent to Eskom's existing Avon substation.

    “The peaking power plant will be operated by an independent power producer who will be decided upon by means of competitive bidding processes,” the department said. - BuaNews

    The availability of an additional source of electrical energy is regarded as significant in the province especially in view of the requirements of the various smelters at nearby Richards Bay, and where the massive Hillside aluminium smelter has reportedly had to reduce its production.

    Pic of the day – THE WORLD

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The traveling apartment block THE WORLD which is currently in South African waters. Yesterday the luxurious ship completed a visit to Port Elizabeth, where Alvin McLoughlin 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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