Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 25, 2008
Author: P&S

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Monday 29 April is a public holiday in South Africa. Our next News Bulletin will appear on Tuesday morning


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  • An Yue Jiang on way back to China

  • Mombasa commissions new port equipment

  • Ramos presents her ‘State of Transnet’ review

  • Durban and Mossel Bay affected by load shedding – other ports nor affected

  • NSRI called out for ill chokka fisherman

  • NPA lifts fishing ban from boats on Durban Bay

  • Pic of the day –MAERSK DERINCE


    Watch a short 4.5 minute video clip about ship stowaway searches CLICK HERE and follow the link

    An Yue Jiang on way back to China

    Picture by Clinton Wyness

    Durban, 24 April 2008 - The COSCO general cargo ship An Yue Jiang, together with her cargo of arms and ammunition for Zimbabwe, has been recalled to China.

    Announcing this yesterday a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, Jiang Yu said the Chinese company (Cosco) had, to her knowledge, decided to “recall the ship and the relevant goods bound for Zimbabwe”.

    The ship has spent the best part of a week sailing along the South African coast, first towards Mozambique and later, so it was surmised, towards Angola. During this period a number of African countries made it clear the vessel and its cargo was not welcome.

    Ms Yu said that the cargo of arms was part of normal arms trade between China and Zimbabwe. “The relevant contract was signed last year and has nothing to do with the latest developments inside Zimbabwe.” She also denied that Chinese soldiers were active on the streets of Harare, saying that “several Chinese professors are teaching at Zimbabwe military schools (and) what you mention might be some teaching activities conducted by the schools”.

    In a statement issued last night Satawu, the South African transport trade union that helped bring the matter to an end, called the decision to return the ship to China a “major victory for the collective strength of organised transport workers and workers in general acting strategically in pursuit of democracy, peace, human and trade rights, economic and social justice.”

    “This victory is a small but yet significant contribution for creating the possibilities of a return to genuine democracy and the legitimate expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people who seek only peace, stability and social and economic dignity. We therefore remain convinced that our action was both politically and morally correct. Should SATAWU not have acted we believe that such lethal weapons in an already volatile situation could have been used against the people to impose an undemocratic outcome underpinned by violence and intimidation.”

    Despite the above report some analysts believe the ship remain unconvinced that the ship is returning to China. This belief is made stronger by the ship having apparently turned off its transponder.

    Mombasa commissions new port equipment

    Twelve new reach trucks and several lorries were commissioned this week by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) at the port of Mombasa.

    The reach trucks and two lorries are part of an equipment renewal programme initiated by the KPA as its seeks to upgrade the respective port terminals.

    Joseph Atonga, terminal services manager at Mombasa said the additional vehicles would boost the port’s capacity to handle client’s cargo and to help provide improved service reliability.

    The new machines will be used in the port’s general cargo (breakbulk) section.

    Ramos presents her ‘State of Transnet’ review

    Transnet’s service delivery was being adversely affected by power cuts, says chief executive Maria Ramos.

    She said the load shedding was impacting particularly on expansion projects currently underway. South Africa was not unique in having these power cuts, she pointed out, but it was impacting on volumes and the quality of service.

    Ramos was speaking at a media conference on Transnet’s growth strategy. She detailed Transnet’s planned capital expenditure programme for the next five years, during which the company will make investments worth R80 billion.

    The largest share will go into Freight Rail (Spoornet) – R38 billion, with R16bn being expended on the National Ports Authority (TNPA), R9.6bn on Port Terminals (TPT) and R11.9bn on new pipelines.

    She claimed the company was well on its way to being fully transformed into a world-class transportation, infrastructure and logistics company.

    Durban port entrance channel widening project – picture by Steve McCurrach, http://www.airserv.co.za/maritime.htm

    Among the major port works currently underway Ramos detailed the Durban Harbour entrance widening project, in which the entrance channel is being increased from 122m to 225m and deepened between -19m in the outer channel and -16m in the inner section. Some six million cubic metres of sand is being dredged. The project is scheduled for completion by March 2010.

    Inside the port the Durban Car Terminal is having its capacity increased to 14,000 bays to provide an annual throughput of 600,000 motor units (the port already handles more than 400,000 units annually). Additional rail lines at the Kaalfontein railhead and new car wagons are under construction – the latter by way of converting modified container units. Upgrading of the Isipingo and Kaalfontein rail yards is underway and is due for completion in September 2009.

    The Durban Pier 1 Container Terminal with a capacity of 720,000 TEU was completed on time and R200 million below budget and is now fully operational. The 3-berth terminal has been equipped with six ship-to-shore gantry cranes, 18 Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) while a new rail terminal is under construction.

    The 2nd phase of the Pier 1 project, still in its feasibility stage will see Salisbury Island converted to create an additional capacity for 800,000 TEU, with berths 101 to 103 being deepened to between -12.5m and -16m.

    Capacity of the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) is being increased from 2.3million TEU to 2.9m TEU and is scheduled for completion by December 2009. This will be achieved by way of reconfiguring existing stacks, creating additional stacking capacity, a new truck staging area and A-check and the relocation of workshops to non-productive sites. This project is scheduled for completion in 2010.

    Various other feasibility studies for the port of Durban are underway or have been completed, including the proposed (but now provisionally shelved) Bayhead Container Terminal with a capacity of 6 million TEU by 2014 and deepening of existing container berths to -16m and access channels.

    At the Port of Richards Bay a feasibility study is underway to increase the multi purpose terminal capacity by extending the 700 series with two additional berths and converting the 600 series berths for container handling to provide container capacity of 3 million TEU. An EIA is underway for the above at Richards Bay. Also at the port an additional liquid bulk berth construction has been approved and tender adjudication is scheduled for May 2008.

    The new port of Ngqura phase 1 is rapidly nearing completion and will have container capacity for 700,000 TEU from February 2009. The scope of this project – an extension of the original – includes the upgrade of the rail link to Gauteng and an additional two berths for container ships bringing the total to four. The first two berths will be available for the commencement of operations from the first quarter of 2009. Two harbour tugs have been ordered from a Durban shipyard and rubber tyred gantry cranes and ship-to-shore gantry cranes from overseas suppliers. Phase 2 will include equipment for the additional two berths, increasing capacity to 2 million TEU.

    The Cape Town Container Terminal project entails increasing the capacity of the port to 1.4 million TEU by 2012. Work includes deepening the Ben Schoeman Basin to -15.5m and quay widening by 10m including refurbishment of berths 601 to 604. Eight new ship-to-shore cranes have been ordered along with 32 RTGs. Dredging of the basin has already commenced.

    Transnet’s full Growth Strategy can be seen HERE

    When the page opens click on the LINK to go to the full document - this is quite large and may take a while to download

    Durban and Mossel Bay hit by load shedding – other ports not affected

    Transnet chief executive Maria Ramos said this week that service delivery was under threat from load shedding, which was impacting on expansion projects currently underway and on volumes and quality of service.

    Due to decisions taken by the eThekwini Municipality (Durban) and authorities at Mossel Bay, these two ports are taking the brunt of power load shedding while other ports currently remain unaffected.

    With effect a week ago both Durban and Mossel Bay have begun experiencing power cuts for 2.5 hours a day as scheduled:


    City Terminal (Point Breakbulk Berths)
    Monday 10h00 to 12h30.
    Wednesday 14h00 to 16h30
    Friday 12h00 to 14h30

    Bayhead (Container Terminals)
    Monday 06h00 to 08h30
    Wednesday 18h00 to 20h30
    Friday 08h00 to 10h30

    Maydon Wharf – South (Leasehold, Bulk, Breakbulk)
    Monday 18h00 to 20h30
    Wednesday 08h00 to 10h30
    Friday 16h00 to 18h30

    Maydon Wharf
    Tuesday 18h00 to 20h30
    Thursday 08h00 to 10h30
    Saturday 20h00 to 22h30:

    Island View Tanker and oil terminals are excluded from the load shedding programme

    MOSSEL BAY Quay 4 and Vintcent Jetty

    Mondays – 08h00 to 10h00
    Tuesdays - 1800 to 20h00
    Wednesdays – 08h00 to 10h00
    Thursdays – 18h00 to 20h00
    Fridays – 08h00 to 10h00
    Saturdays – 08h00 to 10h00

    Mossel Bay has no load shedding on Sundays.

    East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town are unaffected by load shedding. No details available for Richards Bay and Saldanha.

    NSRI called out for ill chokka fisherman

    St Francis Bay, 23 April 2008 – The NSRI went to the aid of a sick deepsea fisherman on Wednesday. Bob Meikle, NSRI St Francis Bay Station Commander reports.

    “At 15h45 NSRI St Francis Bay were activated following a request for urgent medical assistance from the Chokka fishing vessel Camanga reporting a 43 year old male Port Elizabeth crewman collapsed from unknown causes on-board, 22 nautical miles off-shore of St Francis Bay, in 15 to 20 knot South Easterly winds and a 1.5 metre swell.

    “We launched our NSRI rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II to rendezvous with the Chokka boat which was making her way, at best speed, towards St Francis Bay and Private Care Ambulance Services and our NSRI station doctor, Dr Trevor Robarts, were activated to stand-by at our rescue base.

    “On arrival on-scene our NSRI medics were put aboard the Chokka boat and the patient, found to be conscious but anxious following a reported unconscious spell and complaining of a feeling of temporary immobility to his extremities was stabilised and transferred onto our rescue craft and brought to our rescue base while full medical treatment continued and while we continued to monitor his vital signs en-route as a precaution.

    “Although found to be in a stable condition the patient has been transported to hospital by Private Care Ambulance Services for further tests.”

    NPA lifts fishing ban from boats on Durban Bay

    PORTS & SHIPS has learned that the ban of fishing from boats on Durban Bay has been rescinded.

    The ban of fishing from all boats within the harbour area was originally announced via a letter to the fishing clubs on Easter Monday, 25 March, saying that it was in the interests of ‘safe, orderly and efficient port working.” Law enforcement agencies had been notified and had immediately begun enforcing the ban, said the port manager Mr Ricky Bhikraj.

    Yesterday’s announcement follows discussions between the National Ports Authority and representatives of the respective fishing clubs and is subject to a number of conditions.

    A spokesperson for the clubs told PORTS & SHIPS last night that they were satisfied and grateful about the outcome and were in full agreement regarding the various conditions required by the NPA.

    With a long weekend looming Durban Bay can probably expect a large number of boats to be out on the water. The harbour is home to an estimated 2,500 boats including yachts, ordinary ‘bay boats’ and fishing boats.

    Pic of the day – MAERSK DERINCE

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The container ship MAERSK DERINCE in Cape Town harbour this week. Picture Aad Noorland

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