Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 11, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Mozambique: Six dead as category three cyclone hits northern coast

  • Kenya promises Uganda a smooth cargo flow

  • Tanzania opens inland container depots to relieve pressure on port

  • SA, Russia examine bilateral relations

  • Comoros island braces for massive pollution after tanker sinks

  • Pic of the day – MKHUZE and STELLENBOSCH


    Mozambique: Six dead as category three cyclone hits northern coast

    Johannesburg, 10 March 2008 (IRIN) - Tropical cyclone Jokwe killed six people and destroyed several thousand homes as it hit the northern coast of Mozambique on 7-8 March, according to a senior disaster management official.

    Bonifácio Antonio, director of the relief coordination department of the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC) said at least 9,000 houses and more than 200 small boats were destroyed in Nampula Province, and the strong winds accompanying the cyclone blew off the roofs of at least 80 schools.

    “At least 25,000 families live in the risk area, in the coastal areas in the north; we are still trying to assess the damage and the number of people who have been left homeless,” he said. The impact of Jokwe, a category three cyclone, was not as severe as Favio in 2007, a category four cyclone that destroyed the coastal town of Vilanculos, killing 10 people in the southern province of Inhambane.

    Antonio said tents and food had been dispatched to the affected areas, while the army was helping to clear roads blocked by trees struck down by winds that reached speeds of around 200km per hour.

    Jokwe has continued to move in a southwesterly direction down the Mozambique Channel. Mussa Mustafa, head of Mozambique's Meteorological Institute (INAM), told IRIN the impact of the cyclone was felt on 10 March in Zambezia Province, which received some rainfall, and that the windstorm was due to reach Sofala and Inhambane provinces, further south, on 11 March.

    The cyclone season is expected to last until April. “So we are bracing ourselves for more - there is one already forming on the other side of Madagascar,” said Antonio.

    According to meteorologists, the 2008 cyclone season in the southwestern Indian Ocean has delivered what might be the highest number of cyclones in a decade because of the climate phenomenon called La Niña.

    La Niña is characterised by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, recorded every three to four years, which cause a ripple effect felt across the globe, making wet regions wetter and dry ones drier.

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)

    Jokwe was situated opposite the port of Beira at 11am yesterday and midway between the Mozambique mainland and Madagascar. At that stage the storm was rated as a Category 2 storm with maximum winds of 95 mph gusting to 120 mph. Jokwe was tracking south-south-east at 9 mph.

    Meanwhile, the second tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean, Cyclone Kamba was reported as being situated at 18.1S, 78.6E at 5pm yesterday when it was rated as a Category 3 storm, with maximum winds of 125 mph and gusts reaching 155 mph. This is in an area of open ocean although a change of direction westward could bring the storm towards Rodrigues. As of yesterday (Monday) the storm was moving south-south-west at 18 mph and was expected to gradually lose intensity.

    Kenya promises Uganda a smooth cargo flow

    Kenya has declared its entire northern corridor to be secure for the movement of cargo between the port of Mombasa and neighbouring Uganda.

    Transport Minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere also gave the assurance that operations at the port of Mombasa had returned to normal and cargo was being moved on a 24-hour day basis. He said Kenya regretted the interruptions resulting from the recent unrest, which had inconvenienced Ugandan importers and exporters and called on other top Kenyan stakeholders to provide assurances of normal trading and safe cargo passage.

    Mwakwere was leading a Kenyan delegation in Uganda to consult on trade and transport matters between the two countries and described the unrest as a severe wake-up call for Kenya and the region. Kenyans were now more than aware that any unrest caused disruption not only to Kenya’s economy but also to Kenya’s landlocked neighbours.

    Uganda’s Acting Transport Minister John Byabagambi emphasized the effect that the cutting off from a principal port in the region could have on its neighbours, saying this was now a big concern but welcomed the peace deal reached in Kenya and the assurance that normal business could now continue.

    Tanzania opens inland container depots to relieve pressure on port

    The Tanzanian Ports Authority (TPA) has established six inland container depots (ICDs) as part of its emergency plan to relieve pressure on the port of Dar es Salaam.

    Along with the setting up of the ICDs eight private companies have been authorised to transport containers between the port container terminal and the depots. No charges for the transfer will accrue to container owners.

    The effect of this and other measures to reduce the congestion at Dar es Salaam, which saw shipping lines bypassing the port in favour of Mombasa, can already be seen with container levels at the Tanzania International Container Terminal (TICTS) yard having decreased from 11,000 to 8,900.

    TICTS has a handling capacity of 7,500 containers per day.

    Apart from complaints and pressure from local Tanzanian importers and exporters, neighbouring countries reliant on Dar es Salaam as the gateway to the international market have sent delegations to Tanzania asking for solutions to the congestion at the port. Countries that use Dar es Salaam include Zambia, Malawi, the DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

    The TPA is reported to be looking at a second container terminal for Dar es Salaam but is also looking at improving operational issues, such as reducing the dwell-time in the port.

    Later this month a dredging programme for Dar es Salaam is scheduled to begin involving improving the draught alongside berths 1 to 11 – the dredging will take 32 weeks to complete. A second dredging programme is scheduled for the port of Kigoma (on Lake Tanganyika) later this year.

    Tanzanian annual port volumes are as follows: Dar es Salaam – 2.7 million tonnes, of which 722,793 tonnes was transit cargo; Tanga – 212,294 tonnes; Mtwara 28,512 tonnes; combined smaller lake ports 177,660 tonnes. The TICT-operated container terminal at Dar es Salaam handled 142,538 TEUs last year.

    source - East African Business Week

    SA, Russia examine bilateral relations

    by Michael Appel (BuaNews)

    Pretoria, 10 March - Political, economic and trade issues were high on the agenda when Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov met yesterday (Monday).

    With the trade balance sheets firmly in Russia's favour with USD2.3 million imported from Russia in 2007, South Africa will be looking to place emphasis on utilising the vastly diverse Russian market.

    In 2007, South African exports to the Russian Federation only totalled some USD240,000 compared to the year before in which exports to Russia totalled USD675.8 million.

    Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka will host Mr Ivanov within the context of South Africa's priority to strengthen bilateral political, economic and trade relations with the Russian Federation.

    “South Africa's trade with Russia does not reflect its potential and there is much room for expansion.

    “The Joint South Africa-Russia Business Council provides an opportunity to achieve greater trade and economic co-operation between the business sectors of both countries,” reported the department in a statement.

    Mr Ivanov is expected to be accompanied by Russian Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev who, together with South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, co-chairs the South Africa-Russia Intergovernmental Trade and Economic Committee (ITEC).

    Discussions between the Deputy President and Mr Ivanov will also include the status of bilateral political, economic and trade relations; preparations for the ITEC that will be hosted by Russia in May 2008; developments in Russia following the elections which were held on 2 March 2008 and developments within Africa's regional multilateral bodies.

    The recent election of Dmitry Medvedev to replace current Russian President Vladimir Putin, will also likely to form part of the discussion.

    South Africa's major imports from Russia are comprised of the nickel group of minerals, accounting for over 65 percent of imports.

    SA multinationals Anglo American, Standard Bank, De Beers, JCI, Barlowworld, Capespan and Bateman have substantial interests in Russia.

    Standard Bank also has a growing presence in Russia along with SAPPI, Protea Hotels and Sun International.

    While in South Africa, First Deputy Minister Ivanov is expected to pay a courtesy call on President Thabo Mbeki.

    First Deputy Prime Minister Ivanov is expected to depart from South Africa on 13 March 2008.

    Comoros island braces for massive pollution after tanker sinks

    A small tanker which caught fire in the port of Moroni on Grande Comore last week while delivering fuel to federal forces who are preparing for an invasion of the rebel island of Anjouan, has sunk leading to fears of an ecological disaster along the island’s pristine coastline.

    The tanker TAURUS was delivering fuel to the Comoron army in the port of Moroni on 2 March when it caught fire and sank. Port authorities immediately placed floating booms around the site to prevent the spread of leaking fuel and were hopeful of being able to pump fuel from the vessel’s tanks at low tide.

    However, the port director Mohamed Said Slim Dahalani said there were fears of oil polluting the coastline if it escaped the ship. He said that despite inadequate equipment port officials would attempt to open the ship and pump out its cargo instead of waiting for the oil to leak by itself.

    The Taurus is said to be registered to a Tanzanian company and is chartered to a company named Oceanis. Moroni is the largest town in the Comoros and lies on the west coast of the island of Grande Comore.

    Pic of the day – MKHUZE and STELLENBOSCH

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    It can be a pleasant surprise what can be observed and enjoyed in Durban Bay while lazing over a cup of coffee on a quiet Saturday morning. That’s what the photographer experienced recently on a visit to Wilson’s Wharf waterfront when the MACS line general cargo ship STELLENBOSCH came down the adjacent channel, a little more than a stone’s throw away and being ably assisted by the harbour tug MKHUZE.
    Picture by Steve McCurrach

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