Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 3, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Poland to fund Angolan fisheries academy

  • News from around the ports

  • Wine ship opens new markets to Western Africa

  • NSRI rescues stranded worker from crane barge

  • French Pres Sarkozy promises review of French defence agreements with Africa

  • Pic of the day – INGENUITY


    Poland to fund Angolan fisheries academy

    Luanda, 29 February 2008 (BuaNews/NNN) - Poland will finance the estimated USD22 million construction of a fisheries academy in the southern Angolan province of Namibe, says its ambassador to Angola, Piotr Mysliwiec.

    He disclosed this to the media here Thursday after calling on Angolan Prime Minister Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos.

    Mr Mysliwiec, who did not reveal the date for the start of works, declared that the agreement for the setting up of the academy included the construction of the academy, supply of equipment, as well as the curriculum and teachers to guarantee the training of Angolan staff.

    The diplomat, who presented his credential letters in November 2007, said there was a possibility of increasing the amount of the project, depending on the demands.

    The ambassador considered the political relations between the two countries as good, adding that “there is a lot of work to be done in order to develop the economic ties.”

    Concerning the health sector, he said there had been co-operation in various provinces of the country and pointed out the extending of co-operation to other fields, mainly the technological one, as one of the main challenges of his mission to Angola.

    On the other hand, he said Poland was interested in obtaining Angolan energy resources.

    News from around the ports


    Bonga Terminal: Cargo lifting operations at the Nigerian Bonga Terminal has been suspended while routine maintenance is carried out, reports GAC World. Maintenance commenced on Saturday 1 March and will continue until 16 March.

    Container handling charges at Nigerian ports have been increased sharply by 300 percent to discourage overstays at the terminals. The new charges introduced by shipping lines and terminal operators are contrary to the federal government’s advertised plan of lowering port charges by an average of 30 percent

    AP Moller Terminals says it has invested USD235 million in the development of Nigerian ports, with the principal sum (USD140m) going into an upgrade of port facilities at Apapa.

    USD90 million has been spent so far on the Onne port at Port Harcourt and USD5m at Lilypond, an off-dock terminal in Lagos. APM’s chief executive officer Nils Anderson said his company wanted to help build logistics and ensure that more ships called in Nigeria. He claimed that waiting time for ships and congestion had been reduced – “there is no more lack of equipment to handle cargoes as it used to be before,” he said.


    Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has appointed another consultant to draw up a new port master plan after the initial plan was discovered to be inconsistent with the KPA’s expansion proposals. The disputed master plan was drawn up by a Dutch company in 2003/04.

    Included in the port master plan are proposals to build a second Mombasa container terminal at Kipevu with an annual capacity of 1.2 million TEU and consisting of three berths along a 900m quay on reclaimed land, for completion by 2020. The terminal should be capable of handling deep draught vessels.

    However merchants in Mombasa say the port should focus on improving existing facilities such as road and rail access to the port and parking before embarking on large-scale developments. Likewise they say that both the existing terminal and facilities inland should be upgraded to competently handle existing volumes arriving off bigger ships, pointing out that Mombasa will face ongoing congestion if this is not first attended to.

    The KPA is expected to commission the dredging of the Likoni Channel later this year with construction of the second container terminal to commence shortly afterwards, financed by loans from a Japanese bank sponsored by the Japanese government.


    Ghana’s Gateway Project is on track and is 85 percent complete, says Ghana Ports & Harbours’ Authority chairman Brian Adomako. The ambitious project, launched by President John Agyekum in 2004, aims at reducing the cost of doing business in Ghana by streamlining the movement of cargo through the country’s ports as well as increasing the volume handled, particularly through the port of Tema.

    Adomako reiterated his conviction that the initiative would turn Tema Port into the true gateway to the West African sub-region.

    Wine ship opens new markets to Western Africa

    One of the more unusual shipping services between the Cape and Angola has had a successful start, reports Cape Business Report.

    The ship involved is SEA STAR 1, a 75m long tanker operating between Cape Town and Luanda transporting red wine with a total export volume targeting 20 million litres.

    The ship, arranged by Meiheizen International, is a wine vessel that visits the port of Cape Town once a month to procure wine from various farms. The ship mainly focuses on bulk (access) wine as there are various opportunities in the market for this type of wine. The wines are transported to the port by road in tanker trucks.

    The aim of this contract is to penetrate the African market with African wine, and the exporting of wine to Angola is seen as the first step to penetrate the Western African market, says Meiheizen’s Mike Finn.

    With a monetary value of about R45 million flowing into the Western Cape economy, this deal may become an unexpected boon to the local economy. The service commenced in July 2007.

    Meiheizen also acts for Angola South Line, offering a multi-purpose independent shipping service between South Africa and Angola, including refrigerated cargoes. The company, which is owner managed, is associated with SMI-ASL, an Angolan company with well established links in the local industry.

    NSRI rescues stranded worker from crane barge

    Cape Town, 29 February 2008 – The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) undertook several unusual rescues in the past few days. Brad Geyser, NSRI Hout Bay Station Commander reports:

    “We launched our rescue craft Queenie Payne and MTU Nadine Gordimer following reports from police that a man they had in custody at the Hout Bay Police Station had told them that one of his workers was stranded on the Boss 400 Crane Barge, a crane barge that ran aground many years ago lying on a shelf between Llandudno and Hout Bay.

    “On arrival at the Crane Barge a cold, tired and hungry 25 year old Nyanga man was recovered off the barge and brought to our NSRI rescue base where he showered, was fed by our NSRI duty crew and sent on his way after the duty crew rounded up a kitty to give the man some money.

    “The man told us he had been on the barge for the past 3 weeks and said he was supposed to have been paid R70.00 per week but said he hadn’t received his pay.

    “We found him with only some uncooked maize meal as food and he was supposed to be stripping scrap metal from the barge. He appeared to not have eaten for a while and he was dehydrated when we found him.

    “The employer had been held at Hout Bay harbour earlier on Friday by the Harbour Master and was arrested by police for allegedly working on the crane barge without a permit but he only told police later in the day that one of his workers was still on the barge and police asked us for assistance to bring the man off the barge.”

    “On Thursday evening, 28 February, 2008, NSRI Hout Bay’s rescue craft MTU Nadine Gordimer, while on a routine night exercise, responded to reports of a 57 year old St Helena Bay fisherman suffering a heart attack aboard the St Helena Bay fishing vessel Toliko which was five nautical miles off-shore of Kommetjie.

    “Metro Control dispatched Dr Cleeve Robertson and a Metro paramedic who were taken out to the Toliko aboard our rescue craft but on arrival on-scene the man was declared dead.

    A Ukrainian seaman on board the bulker ALFA was evacuated to hospital by the East London NSRI at the weekend. Geoff McGregor, Station Commander at the port reports:

    “At 07h30 1 March we launched our rescue craft Acsa Rescuer I following a request for assistance to the National Ports Authority to casualty evacuate a Ukrainian sailor suffering suspected appendicitis off the 179 metre bulk carrier ALFA sailing from Cape Town to Durban.

    “A Netcare 911 paramedic was activated to join in the operation and a Netcare 911 ambulance was placed on stand-by at our rescue base.

    “On arrival on-scene an NSRI rescue medic was put aboard the vessel to stabilise the patient, 21 year old Sdratiyewsky Oleksandr, who was then transferred onto our rescue craft and treatment continued to our rescue base where the patient was transferred to the awaiting ambulance and transported to hospital in a stable condition.”

    On Saturday, 1 March NSRI St Francis Bay was called into action to a chokka (squid) fishing boat. “At 09h00 NSRI St Francis Bay volunteers launched our rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II following a request for urgent assistance from the chokka fishing boat Virago reporting a 25 year old Port Elizabeth fisherman suffering a suspected heart attack off-shore of Oyster Bay, 20 nautical miles from our rescue base in flat, calm sea conditions,” said Bob Meikle, NSRI St Francis Bay Station Commander.

    “On arrival on-scene the patient was treated by our NSRI medics and brought aboard our rescue craft and taken to our NSRI rescue base where he was transferred into a Private Care ambulance and transported to hospital in a stable condition.”

    French Pres Sarkozy promises review of French defence agreements with Africa

    Three-part initiative to spur economic growth in Africa

    by Shaun Benton (BuaNews)

    Cape Town, 29 February 2008 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday promised a wide-ranging and comprehensive review of France's defence agreements with several African countries as he addressed a joint sitting of South Africa's Parliament.

    The French President, elected to power in May last year, made the announcement during a state visit to South Africa and after holding talks with President Thabo Mbeki.

    Such a major review of France's defence agreements - the country maintains a military presence in several former colonies – “must reflect Africa as it is today and not as it was yesteryear.”

    Because of this updating of policy to match the 21st century, he said, he refused to allow “a single French soldier to fire a single shot against an African” during the recent rebel-inspired turbulence in Chad.

    New defence agreements “must rest on the strategic interests of France and its partners”, President Sarkozy said, adding that new agreements would be made after dialogue that takes full account of the wishes of African states for a “new strategic partnership”.

    Another central plank of France's new approach would be one of transparency and openness, he said, which serve to dismiss “misapprehensions and misunderstandings.”

    As a result, “all defence agreements between France and African countries must be made public in their entirety,” he said, with such publication signalling a major shift towards openness in France's relations in the 21st century.

    The French parliament would also become more closely involved in setting out the major guidelines for French policy in Africa, and that any French military presence in Africa would serve “first and foremost” to help Africa achieve its own collective security arrangements.

    This comes as South Africa itself has been moving over the past few years towards building up Africa's capacity for regional and continent-wide peacekeeping, in an effort to end the conflicts that have stunted development and made life miserable for whole populations dealing with conflict.

    The African Union intends having standby forces by 2012, he said, adding that France would be willing to assist with that objective.

    However, any possible downgrading of France's military presence in Africa would be more than matched by an increase in economic capacity-building assistance.

    The French president announced a three-part initiative to spur economic growth in Africa that will be led by the Groupe Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) - the French Development Agency - which will be open to other partners.

    The first component of this would be a Euro 250 million investment fund that will acquire holdings in other funds, in order to develop African companies.

    Another element, also amounting to Euro 250 million, will be a guarantee fund which will provide for risk-sharing as emerging, small African companies access bank credit, and is likely to be implemented by AFD's private sector arm, Proparco.

    The third element would be a doubling of the activity of the French Development Agency in support of the private sector, with a Euro two billion commitment over five years, said President Sarkozy.

    While these three elements amount to Euro 2.5 billion over a five-year period, that combines with other commitments to bring total French bilateral commitment to sub-Saharan Africa to Euro 10 billion over the coming five-year period.

    With this and the possible downgrading or at least re-organisation of France's military presence on the continent, "Who can then say that France is pulling out of Africa?" asked President Sarkozy rhetorically.

    Another key issue raised by the French president is that of immigration, which he said was not a "satisfactory" reality, adding that South Africa itself is also experiencing large and often uncontrolled inflows of migrants.

    With as many as 500 000 people entering Europe illegally each year, the French president proposed an African-European partnership on migration, saying that "we cannot handle migratory flows on a one-sided basis".

    France will be preparing an annual quota of migrants who will enter France, which will be debated and voted on each year in the country's parliament, he said, and will be negotiated with countries of origin as part of agreements covering coordinated flows of people.

    The French president said this could also help to counter the brain-drain, saying that there are more doctors from Benin working in France than there were Benin doctors actually working in their home countries.

    The situation where African elite emigrate on a permanent basis must be avoided, he added, pointing out that this disturbed the development of African nations themselves while sometimes placing a burden on the receiving countries.

    Finally, he praised South Africa as a beacon of hope, with the country emerging relatively peacefully as a non-racial, non-sexist, progressive democracy with an emphasis on human rights at the close of a century that was plagued by vicious wars.

    As such, he said, South Africa's message of humanity and reconciliation must serve to guide the world and the current generations who bear a heavy responsibility to ensure that the humanitarian disasters of the previous century are never again repeated.

    Pic of the day – INGENUITY

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    This fine aerial shot was taken of the diminutive Japanese general cargo ship INGENUITY off the KZN coast during February.
    Picture by Steve McCurrach

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