Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 12, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Navy Festival weekend’s big attraction

  • Namport rolls out its Master Plan

  • Lake Victoria to get new water service

  • AU troops head for Comoros

  • SA port news: Cape Town tanker berth to be out of service

  • Cyclone update

  • Pic of the day – SAGA ROSE


    Navy Festival weekend’s big attraction


    The annual South African Navy Festival will be held this weekend, from Friday 14 through to Sunday 16 March at the Simon’s Town Naval Base.

    This is the time when the navy literally opens its doors to the public, to come and see what the navy is all about and an opportunity to see at first hand just how our tax rands have been spent. On display will be ships of the fleet, which will be joined this year by the ships of the German Navy task force that has been in our waters for about a month undertaking exercises with the SAN.

    But it’s not only about ships – it’s also about people with a variety of events that are aimed at keeping everyone, of all ages, entertained, excited and enthralled throughout the three days.

    The gates of the naval base will open at 10h00 each day and close at 18h00. Entrance is free but parking is going to be at a premium and visitors should be prepared for a long walk. Alternately consider using the Simon’s Town train service which leaves from Cape Town main station throughout the day and evening.

    Among the many attractions are the following:

    * Ships of the SA and German Navies will be dressed (flagged) and open to the public.
    * Tug rides and tug ballets
    * Flea Market
    * Children’s activities
    * Gun Run
    * Navy Band performances
    * Fire Fighting displays
    * Naval Dog displays
    * Air Sea Rescue exercises
    * Super Lynx and Oryx helicopters on display
    * Live Cannon firing
    * Diving displays by the divers of the navy
    * Various static displays and exhibits

    On the evening of 14 March (Friday) there is a concert in the dry dock - free entry

    On Saturday morning 15 March a Right of Entry Parade through the streets of Simon’s Town, commencing at 10h00.

    On Saturday evening a performance by the Navy Choir in the SAS Simonsberg Cinema starting at 18h45 (free entry).

    Later that evening (at 20h00) there will be a Night Gunnery Shoot from Lower North.

    On Sunday a Retreat Ceremony will be held between 16h15 and 16.30.

    Namport rolls out its Master Plan

    A number of far-reaching and ambitious plans were revealed by Namport with the unveiling of its Port Master Plan this week.

    The developmental programme promises to bring about major changes for the port of Walvis Bay, including further deepening of the harbour.

    Walvis Bay was dredged to a depth of over 12m just a few years ago, to enable ease of access for Panamax class ships. In the future ships with a draught of 15m will be able to make use of the port.

    Another of the major developments planned for the port is to increase the capacity of the container terminal through the use of rubber tyre gantry (RTG) cranes able to stack boxes five high and increasing the terminal’s annual capacity to 500,000 TEU. The use of RTGs will also help improve handling performance.

    The Master Plan spans the period 2008 to 2012, which is a short period in terms of what is achievable. But, says Namport, the improvements are necessary because of the increasing demand on port services from both Namibia and the adjacent region.

    Included in the plan is a new breakbulk and bulk terminal facility and on the ship repair side a syncrolift capable of lifting 2,000 tonnes to compliment a second 8,500t floating dock which is already on order. As with the first floating dock, the second dock is a joint venture involving Namport and the Durban-based ship repair company Elgin Brown & Hamer.

    Namport also plans a new fishing quay and cold storage facility with a capacity of 25,000m³ while existing general cargo berths 0, 1, 2 and 3 are to be expanded and upgraded and fitted with ship-to-shore cranes for container handling.

    But it’s not all work and no play. Namport says it is planning a waterfront development together with the Walvis Bay municipality, which will include facilities for cruise ships, hotels, shopping malls and a small craft basin.

    Tenders for the ambitious project are to go out in June this year with contracts to be awarded in time for a start in August 2008.

    source - New Era

    Lake Victoria to get new water service

    A new ferry service has been introduced on Lake Victoria. Operated by Kamanga Ferry Ltd (KFL) and using three small vessels with a combined capacity of 270 tonnes, the service commenced last week with a shipment of coffee being delivered to Mwanza on the southern Tanzanian end of the lake. The coffee will be railed from Mwanza to the port at Dar es Salaam at what is said to be a fraction of the cost of road transport to Mombasa.

    According to the Chairman of the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association it costs over USD2,600 to move a 20ft container by road between Kampala and Mombasa.

    Operating between Port Bell (Kampala) in Uganda and Mwanza on the southern end of the lake in Tanzania, KFL, which was established in 1952, is providing the three vessels to carry cargo between Port Bell and Mwanza for onward delivery by rail to the port of Dar es Salaam.

    A spokesman for KFL said the company would initially operate one sailing a week –“this is a good, cheap and safe transport alternative that (local) business should utilise,” he said.

    The service commenced on 7 March just as the region came out of a transport crisis in which landlocked countries like Uganda found themselves cut off from the port at Mombasa because of internal unrest in Kenya.

    Lake Victoria has been without a reliable passenger and cargo ferry service since the accident in 2005 that saw two of the former lake vessels collide and sink. The Uganda government subsequently commissioned the building of a replacement vessel by a Dutch company which was also licensed to operate the vessel on the government’s behalf. However escalating costs have caused a rethink and Uganda says it intends taking back and privatising that particular service.

    It is also reported that two other lake vessels, the MV PAMBA and MV KAWA that have been grounded for some time are to be repaired and returned to service.

    source – The Monitor

    AU troops head for Comoros

    African Union troops are expected to begin arriving in the Comoros overnight to take part in a possible invasion of the island of Anjouan to help reinstate union government on the rebel island,

    The AU contingent is made up of 200 Tanzanian soldiers already in the Comores, plus 600 Sudanese and 150 Senegalese troops supported logistically by Libya. France agreed recently to help transport the troops to the Comoros.

    Anjouan’s leader, Mohammed Bacar has successfully resisted incorporation of Anjouan, one of three islands making up the union of Comoros. The other islands are Grand Comore and Moheli. Comoros has seen 19 coups since taking independence from France in 1975.

    Following succession bids by Anjouan and Moheli in 1997 a union was established in which the three islands were to take turns leading the union government.

    In 2007 Mohammed Bacar held elections for Anjouan against the wishes and orders of the Comoros government and the African Union. He has openly defied the AU and the Comoros to invade his island, saying they have tried before and will be unsuccessful again.

    Yesterday however the Comoros President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi said that within the next 24 hours soldiers and military equipment will begin arriving at the islands airports.

    SA port news: Cape Town tanker berth to be out of service

    The Port of Cape Town’s Harbourmaster Captain DD Naicker has advised that Tanker Berth 2 at the port will be taken out of commission from 7 April 2008 until 16 May 2008 to enable the replacement of fenders.

    In Durban repairs to the Transnet National Ports Authority floating dock will be undertaken with the dock scheduled to enter the dry dock (graving dock) on 18 April until approximately 8 May, during which some extensive repairs and maintenance will be undertaken.

    Although no public announcement has been made it is believed that the dock has corrosion problems, which some port observers consider is the result of a lack of adequate and timeous maintenance.

    The floating dock was acquired second-hand and arrived in Durban shortly after another slightly larger floating dock owned by Elgin Brown & Hamer, known as Eldock. The latter was also acquired second-hand but has remained in service continuously since arrival. Eldock differs from the TNPA floating dock by having a concrete base – the port authority dock is an all steel construction with resultant maintenance challenges.

    Cyclone update

    Tropical Cyclone Jokwe yesterday moved south-south eastwards at 9 mph and at 11am the storm’s centre was situated at 23.4S 41.2E, which is roughly in the centre of the Mozambique Channel slightly north of the town of Inhambane (but about 550km out to sea). The cyclone was rated as a Category 1 storm at that stage with maximum winds of 90 mph gusting to 115 mph and was expected to track westward while moderating to a Tropical Storm status later in the day and overnight.

    The second cyclone in the Indian Ocean, Kamba was also downrated to a Category 1 cyclone and was moving southward at 13 mph while being expected to moderate to a Tropical Storm status overnight. At 5pm yesterday the storm was at position 23.1 S 78.0 E

    Pic of the day – SAGA ROSE

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The elegant cruise ship SAGA ROSE, no stranger to South African ports but in Lyttelton on New Zealand’s South Island on this occasion. Picture by Alan Calvert

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