Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 29, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Chinese ship An Yue Jiang seen in Luanda

  • French to launch fleet of commercial sailing ships

  • Somalis free Spanish tuna boat after payment of USD1.2 million

  • Pic of the day – BOURBON ALTAIR


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    Chinese ship An Yue Jiang seen in Luanda

    Conflicting reports are still being received concerning the Cosco ship An Yue Jiang regarding its whereabouts, with indications at the weekend that the vessel has managed to dock in Luanda.

    Eyewitnesses said they saw a ship resembling An Yue Jiang sailing from Luanda on Saturday (26 April) and said the ship appeared heavily laden with cargo.

    Earlier the Angolan authorities said the ship would be permitted to enter the port but only to discharge cargo intended for that country, while the arms and ammunition intended for Zimbabwe was to remain on board.

    The latter is thought to be a result of calls by international trade union movements to workers throughout Africa to not handle the ship.

    Adding to Cosco concerns must the legal action being taken by a German bank over unpaid loans owed by Zimbabwe with the bank’s intention of seeking recompense by way of seizing any Zimbabwe-bound cargo. To this end the bank obtained a court order in Durban at the same time as the order obtained by civil action groups, with both orders targeting the arms shipment ordered by the Zimbabwe government.

    Whether the Angolan authority’s statement regarding the Zimbabwe cargo is worth anything is still to be seen. It read “The weaponry that the ship brings destined for Zimbabwe is not authorised to be unloaded on national territory,” but those with experience of doing business in Angola remain sceptical of Angola’s real intentions.

    While the doubling back of the ship towards Angola appears to go against the spirit of a statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry that Cosco was considering returning the ship with its cargo to China, the Chinese did not say that the vessel would return immediately; only that it would return the arms shipment to China.

    French to launch fleet of commercial sailing ships

    by Alain Malherbe (AeroShip - Port Louis)

    At a time when the planet is continuously facing problems of durable development, a French company is to revive the old days of sailing ships for the export of home produced wine.

    This ambitious project is being taken forward by the very young ‘Compagnie de Transport Maritime à la Voile’ (CTMV or in English, Cargo Ships Wind Sailings). At the end of July, the CTMV will place orders for its first two ships - several bidders have already tendered among which are CIB in Brest, SMCN in Saint-Nazaire and CNOI in Mauritius.

    CNOI, a subsidiary company of the Breton (France) group Piriou, is in the best position to win the tender. The first vessel is expected to be launched and delivered in September 2008 and her sistership six months later. Four other units could follow in the five next years.

    The order was made possible due to the engagement of seven wine importers present in the Irish and British markets. The latter confirmed their interest for this concept at the time of the recent Vinexpo (the world’s biggest wine fair), which was last held in Bordeaux.

    a sketch of the two-masted sailing ships that could soon be delivering wine across Europe. The vessels could be built in Mauritius

    Four associates including the creator of the Compagnie Des Iles Du Ponant.

    From Bordeaux, the boats will load wine for ports in Northern Europe, with the first call being at Dublin, Ireland.

    “It is about a single step which combines the tradition, a product of quality and a respect of the environment. The vessels will be fully ecological and we wish to develop this mode of transport and get our customers accustomed to it,” explains Frederic Albert, one of the four founders of the CTMV.

    To conclude their project, Frederic Albert and David Girard have formed an association with two experienced sailors: Michel Pery, one of the captains of the sailing ship the ‘Belem’ and Philippe Videau, creator of the “Compagnie Des Iles Du Ponant”

    Wine will not be affected by sea transport. Technically speaking, transport of wine requires a specific cooling system which uses the temperature of the sea itself to keep the temperature in the holds at a constant temperature of 15 degrees.

    Ships of 47 metres loaded with 200 tons of wine

    For the young ship owners, the ecological approach is a priority. The CTMV, whose project is supported by the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), could be the first European company operating ships which are certified ‘durable transport’ by ECOCERT (the French certifying agency).

    “How can one not react to the fact that such a quality product is still being delivered as in the olden days by ships under sail in total respect for the environment? All the goods transported will receive a specific label, guaranteeing the consumer that the product traveled with clean transport,” says Albert.

    Eleven million euros will be invested in the construction of the first two sailing ships each of 47.7 meters length and a width of 10.1 meters. The ships will carry a crew of eight men. Each vessel will have two masts of 47 metres, 900 square metres of sail and will have a maximum capacity of 210 deadweight tonnage.

    “Within the framework of our activities as ship-owner, CTMV has engaged in the transport of the goods entrusted to us to make exclusive use of ships using renewable energies,” says Albert. He said that on those occasions when it would not be possible to make use of sails, CTMV has committed to use ecologically-friendly propulsion products such as oil of colza, which does not eject CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Somalis free Spanish tuna boat after payment of USD1.2 million

    Somali pirates have freed the crew of the Spanish tuna boat Playa de Bakio after a ransom, reported to be USD1.2 million was paid by the vessel’s owners.

    The 76-metre tuna boat and its crew of 26 was seized some 450 kilometres from the Somali coast on 20 April, after which the vessel was taken to a position along the Somali coast. Negotiations for the release of the vessel began almost immediately with a ransom of USD1.55 million being initially demanded. Negotiations are reported to have taken place in a hotel in London.

    Spanish authorities have denied that discussion with the pirates have taken place. They said that a Spanish frigate, Mendez Nunez, which was on patrol with the UN Coalition forces in the Red Sea had been dispatched to the area. However they did acknowledge that the fishing boat was owned by Basque interests who they said may have been involved in negotiating with the pirates.

    The 1600-ton fishing vessel has now been released and is under way and heading towards Victoria in the Seychelles, under the escort of the Spanish frigate.

    Pic of the day – BOURBON ALTAIR

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    Bourbon’s latest offshore handling tug supply vessel BOURBON ALTAIR has stopped over in Durban en route to West Africa. The tug is on her maiden voyage from the builders in India and stopped to have adjustments and repairs made to the vessel’s crane. Picture Terence Chapman, Dormac

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