Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 10, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Mozambique: La Niña triggers record number of cyclones

  • Two cyclones in western and mid Indian Ocean

  • Lüderitz under threat

  • Eskom says it won’t halt projects already approved

  • ICTSI makes some changes

  • NSRI evacuates sailor from bulk carrier off Cape Recife

  • Pic of the day – ASHA MANAN


    Mozambique: La Niña triggers record number of cyclones

    Johannesburg, 8 March 2008 (IRIN) - The 2008 cyclone season in the southwestern Indian Ocean has recorded the highest number of cyclones in possibly a decade because of the climate phenomenon called La Niña, according to meteorologists.

    “The tropical cyclone Jokwe, which is expected to hit the northern coast of Mozambique on 8 March (Saturday) will be the twelfth this season,” said Mussa Mustafa, head of Mozambique's Meteorological Institute (INAM). “We normally record an average of nine cyclones per season.”

    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.

    The higher frequency of the cyclones could also partly be linked to climate change, said Mnikeli Ndabambi, senior manager for forecasting for the South African Weather Service. Scientists have warned that global warming could amplify the existing natural climate variability and its associated weather phenomena.

    Jokwe, which has now moved past the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar is expected to cause moderate to heavy rain in the coastal districts of Nampula and Zambezia provinces in Mozambique, said Mustafa. “There are no plans to evacuate coastal residents, but ships plying down the [Mozambique] Channel face more of a threat right now.”

    Zambezia and Nampula provinces had been affected by heavy flooding earlier in 2008. Mustafa said since the coastal areas were likely to be affected there was no risk of flooding as the water would drain into the ocean.

    Ivan, the last cyclone to hit southwestern Indian Ocean, killed at least 84 people and affected more than 322,000 in Madagascar in February, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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

    See following associated article

    Two cyclones in western and mid Indian Ocean

    Tropical Cyclone Jokwe in the Mozabique Channel on 9 March 2008

    Two tropical cyclones are currently being reported in the Indian Ocean, one inside the Mozambique Channel and the other in mid Indian Ocean south-east of Diego Garcia.

    Tropical Cyclone Jokwe, referred to in the UN report above, was situated near position 17.4S 39.3E, approximately 450 n.miles west-northwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar at 9am yesterday (Sunday 9 March) and has been tracking south-southwest-Ward at 05 knots over the past 06 hours.

    The public advisory says the cyclone is continuing to track along the northwestern periphery of a subtropical steering ridge to the southeast. The storm centre has reemerged over the Mozambique Channel after moving over northeastern Mozambique for about 18 hours.

    “Passage over warm water and good poleward outflow ahead of a developing mid-latitude trough to the southwest have allowed the storm to nearly maintain intensity despite the continued interaction of land with the northwestern periphery of the storm circulation. The system is expected to continue tracking along the current steering ridge toward a developing upper level low to the southwest. This low pressure area is expected to cut off from the mid-latitude flow pattern and loiter in the southern Mozambique Channel during the next several days.”

    The forecast expected Cyclone Jokwe to gradually move closer to this low during the forecast period, inducing some cyclonic movement in the storm track as the two circulations interact. “Good poleward outflow and favourable along-track ocean heat content will allow Jokwe to intensify a bit over the next 24 hours, but enhanced upper level westerlies along the northern periphery of the developing low to the southwest will result in some weakening. Interaction between the tropical cyclone and non-tropical cutoff low to the southwest may lead to eventual merger of the two circulations, which should further weaken the tropical cyclone. However, this merger will probably not be complete until after the current forecast period. The track and intensity forecasts remain close to their respective numerical and statistical model consensuses. Maximum significant wave height on Sunday at 06h00 is 32 feet.”

    A second tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean, Cyclone Kamba (Tc23) was located yesterday near 15.0S 81.6E approximately 715km south-east of the island of Diego Garcia and has been tracking west-southwestward at 12 knots over the past six hours.

    The forecast is for the cyclone to continue to move southwestward for the immediate reporting period but satellite intensity estimates from several reporting agencies indicate the system has intensified over the past 12 hours (as of Sunday morning) and was expected to continue. It was expected to later encounter cooler water and increasing westerly vertical wind shear associated with a mid-altitude trough which on Sunday was located southwest of the storm.

    Maximum wave height was being reported at 32 feet.

    Source and updates here -

    Lüderitz under threat

    Lüderitz, 8 March – Lüderitz town mayor has warned that the economy of the town was at risk owing to the decrease in activity by a number of fishing companies, some of which have threatened to leave the area because of high operational costs.

    Mayor Emilia Amupewa called on the intervention of the Namibian government to prevent Lüderitz from returning to a ghost town status (which it had largely become in the last years before independence). She said the situation was so bad that the town’s people would be forced to return to the streets because of unemployment.

    She said she had recently briefed Namibia’s President Pohamba about the situation and had advised him that some fishing companies have migrated to Walvis Bay because the cost of doing business in Lüderitz had become unbearable.

    The Namibian newspaper New Era reported on the matter saying that the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources had visited the town in late February where he called a meeting that was attended by the town’s leaders, the fishing industry and officials from Namport. At this meeting the fishing industry claimed the high cost of doing business was a result of high fuel prices.

    “Government, Namport, the fishing industry and the Lüderitz leadership all agreed that the cost of doing business at Lüderitz far exceeds that of Walvis Bay,” the minister said. He said that the town’s remoteness increased the cost of transporting goods and fuel, while fishing operators at Lüderitz lacked the harbour facilities that Walvis Bay enjoyed. He suggested a study be undertaken to determine the number of businesses that had moved to Walvis Bay and their reasons.

    The minister said that what was required was a holistic look not only into Namport and the fishing industry but developmental challenges faced by the town.

    source - New Era

    Eskom says it won’t halt projects already approved

    by Luyanda Makapela (BuaNews)

    Johannesburg, 7 March 2008 - Projects such as the Gautrain and those surrounding the preparations towards the 2010 FIFA World Cup will not be affected by Eskom's decision to halt new construction projects for the next four to six months.

    This is because these projects had already been approved by Eskom before the power shortage crisis hit the country.

    The state utility's spokesperson Sipho Neke said only projects such as new townhouse developments, petrol stations and factories, which needed to obtain electricity certificates from Eskom in advance, would be delayed by up to six months.

    “Eskom finds itself in a stage where it has run out of excess generating capacity and having a low reserve capacity of between 8 and 10 percent against the aspiration of 15 percent,” Mr Neke said.

    Under normal circumstances the process followed for new connections is that developers have to apply submitting details of connection required and Eskom will provide quotes.

    This takes 30 days for smaller loads, but may take longer for bigger loads.

    “Once the developer accepts the quote, Eskom will issue an electricity certificate and the developer can start construction,” said Neke.

    However, Eskom has now taken the decision that those applications greater than 100 kVA will be delayed by approximately four to six months

    All developments that have already applied and have quotations will be honoured and will not be affected by this decision, Neke reiterated.

    He further said Eskom was engaged in a number of projects to increase its capacity.

    “This is with the aim of expediting the process of ensuring supply to new development,” he said.

    Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said on Thursday, government was committed to working with mining and other industries to ensure that industry challenges that emerged from the electricity emergency were addressed without any job losses.

    He was speaking about large electricity consumers having to cut their usage by 10 percent, putting strain on businesses such as mining companies.

    Mr Maseko also said that Cabinet had resolved that concrete steps should be taken by Eskom and municipalities to accelerate the maintenance of the electricity infrastructure to secure the distribution and transmission side of the electricity supply chain.

    “However, the main message is that we must continue to save energy and not become complacent because no extensive load shedding took place over the past few weeks,” said Maseko.

    ICTSI makes some changes

    International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) recently announced several new appointments, including that of Antonio Andrade as Chief Finance Officer for Madagascar International Container Terminal Services Ltd (MICTSL).

    MICTSL operates Madagascar International Container Terminal in the port of Toamasina.

    Andrade was previously Finance Manager of RSH Marketing Philippines since 1999. Before that, he was Financial Controller of Allied Botanical Corporation from 1994-1999, and was Regional Controller of Industrial Materials and Services Co in Saudi Arabia from 1987-1993. He was Senior Auditor of Carlos J. Valdes & Co, CPAs from 1981-1987.

    Andrade, 50, completed his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration majoring in Agribusiness (cum laude) in 1980, and Accounting in 1981 from Aquinas University in Legaspi City in the Philippines. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

    Meanwhile, Jay Valdez, who had been Operations Manager in Madagascar (MICTSL) since 2006, has been appointed the new Operations Manager for the company’s flagship, Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

    NSRI evacuates sailor from bulk carrier off Cape Recife

    Port Elizabeth, 6 March 2008 – A 40 year old Chinese sailor from the 250m bulker SHIRAOI MARU 5 has been evacuated to a hospital in Port Elizabeth after becoming ill.

    According to Ernest Schnetler, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) duty coxswain at the Port Elizabeth NSRI Station, the rescue vessel Eikos Rescuer was launched after the NSRI received a request to assist with a sailor on board the ship who was suffering from dehydration.

    Accompanied by a Netcare 911 paramedic, the rendezvous was made with the ship five nautical miles off Cape Recife and the ill sailor transferred using a stokes basket stretcher, after which the Eikos Rescuer returned to base and the sailor was transferred to a Port Elizabeth hospital where his condition is described as stable.

    The Shiraoi Maru 5 is believed to be en route from Argentina to Malaysia.

    Pic of the day – ASHA MANAN

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    Trevor Jones describes the 1981-built, 12,648-gt ASHA MANAN, pictured here on berth at Durban’s Maydon Wharf, as one of the few surviving conventional products of a traditional British shipyard, having been completed at the Pallion yard of Sunderland Shipbuilders as VISHVA PRAFULLA for the Shipping Corporation of India, as one of a class of six similar vessels completed on Wearside for the state-supported Indian carrier. “To my knowledge, only two of the class survive, both now operated by Ashapura Shipping Limited of Mumbai,” he writes. “ASHA MANAN now flies the flag of St Vincent & the Grenadines, but beneficial ownership still surely vests in India. The ship still looks to be in decent enough condition, and provided a welcome variation from the staple fare of cellular container vessels, car carriers and handy-sized bulk carriers that now dominate the landscape in the port of Durban.”
    Asha Manan was in port last week
    Picture by Trevor Jones

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