Maritime and transport news from Ports & Ships

Apr 10, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Work begins on double hulling Pentow Energy bunker barge

  • Interesting naval manoeuvre in Simon’s Town

  • MOL Springbok port omission and rotation change

  • Two SAECS ships to be replaced

  • Mauritius prepares to adhere to Hydrographic Commission of the Indian Ocean

  • Now it’s India’s turn to show interest in Coega

  • India offers trade privileges to African countries

  • Pic of the day – JIN RONG


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    Work begins on double hulling Pentow Energy bunker barge

    a view of the double-hulling of the bunker barge PENTOW ENERGY now taking place on the Dormac Marine slipway in Durban. Picture Terry Hutson

    It was a tense few moments in the early hours of Monday morning, 7 April when at peak spring high tide the ‘mating’ took place of SMIT Amandla Marine’s bunker barge PENTOW ENERGY with her new bottom (if one may be so indelicate).

    In the event the operation at the Dormac Shipyard in Durban went off without a hitch – quite a feat considering this is the first time such an operation has been attempted in South Africa and it was also the first time since the slipway was built well over 30 years ago that a vessel came ‘up’ the slip instead of going down.

    The project to double hull the barge known as Pentow Energy was awarded to Dormac Marine shortly after the Durban-based company won the contract to build SMIT Amandla Marine’s new barge, SMIT Li Puma. Once the new barge had been completed (on the same slipway) launch preparations for the double hulling exercise were able to begin.

    First the lower section of the double hull was constructed on blocks on the slipway waiting for the ‘mating’ with the barge itself. This was a very delicate operation in which the barge had to be positioned exactly in the right place above the new lower hull whilst the tide still permitted some manoeuvring. In the event everything went off like clockwork and with the gate closed and the slipway drained artisans could get on with fitting the sections together.

    Side sections and at the stern will be fitted once the bottom section is complete, and the barge is expected to be back in action by late June or early July.

    Once Pentow Energy has been completed as a double-hulled bunker barge she will transfer to Richards Bay to relieve the SMIT Bongani which in turn will come down to Durban to also undergo double-hulling. By September/October Bongani should be completed after which she will be taken back to Richards Bay and SMIT Energy will return to Durban to continue operations.

    Only then will Dormac Marine commence building another new bunker barge, this time for Unicorn Shipping which in turn will enter into service with that company’s bunkering division, Unicorn Calulo Shipping.

    Interesting naval manoeuvre in Simon’s Town

    story and pictures by David Erickson

    An unusual and interesting manoeuvre was carried out in Simon’s Town Naval Harbour last week, when two of the Valour Class Frigates were berthed side by side – so close that officers on the navigating bridge could lean over and touch the bridge parapet of the neighbouring vessel.

    It is the first time that this has been carried out at Simon’s Town, and the operation was performed flawlessly. According to Captain Glen Knox, the Naval Harbourmaster, the double banking was a ‘dry run’ for a visit by two of the Valour Class frigates to the V&A Waterfront at Cape Town scheduled for May, when they will be required to double bank.

    F145 SAS Amatola lies alongside the West Breakwater, with Yokohama fenders deployed on both sides, whilst F146 SAS Isandlwana is gently propelled sideways across the harbour by the tugs Umalusi (partly hidden) and Tshukudu.

    the gap closes….

    F146 SAS Isandlwana is now firmly moored alongside F145 SAS Amatola

    MOL Springbok port omission and rotation change

    Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) in South Africa has announced a change to port rotation for its container ship MOL SPRINGBOK on voyage 804A between Europe and South Africa, in which the vessel will call at Bremerhaven before calling at Thamesport. The reason provided is a lack of berth availability.

    The same ship will omit calls at Lisbon and Cape Town First Call (imports) on the southbound leg in order to make up on her schedule as a result of delays in preceding ports. The revised schedule is:

    CPT 26/03/08
    LIS 07/04/08 07/04/08
    BRV 10/04 /08 11/04/08
    ANR 12/04/08 13/04/08
    THP 14/04/08 14/04/08
    LEH 15/04/08 15/04/08

    Two SAECS ships to be replaced

    The South Africa Europe Container Service (SAECS) has announced that two of the container vessels deployed on the SAECS Service, MAERSK VIGO and MAERSK VERA CRUZ will be phased out during May 2008.

    Maersk Vigo will be phased out from the service in Durban on 14 May and is to be replaced by the vessel MAERSK ORION.

    Maersk Vera Cruz will be phased out also in Durban on 24 May and is to be replaced by the MAERSK HONG KONG.

    In an unconnected matter, sister company Safmarine has taken on charter the 1,708-TEU container ship SAFMARINE BIA, the third ship of the Japanese Imabari 1700 class to be accepted by Maersk/Safmarine and the 14th of her class.

    Safmarine Bia will be deployed on the EAF service operated between Salalah and Mombasa jointly by Safmarine and Maersk Line.

    Mauritius prepares to adhere to Hydrographic Commission of the Indian Ocean

    Report by Alain Malherbe (AeroShip - Port Louis)

    Mauritius will shortly adhere to the Hydrographic Commission of the Indian Ocean (CHOIS).

    Being already a member of the Hydrographic Commission of Africa and Southern Islands, this adhesion will grant Mauritius several benefits. Initially, it will increase opportunity for the Mauritian authorities to engage in mutual exchanges in terms of products and hydrographic services for more maritime safety. The island’s technicians will have also more opportunities to follow formations and to take part in technical workshops of improvement.

    CHOIS is a member of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), which was created by a convention signed in Monaco on 3 May 1967 and came into effect on 22 September 1970. Succeeding the International Hydrographic Office founded in 1921 by nineteen states, the organization coordinates the establishment of standards for the production of hydrographic data and the supply of hydrographic services. The new constraints, being legal, technical or of environmental nature place the IHO at the crossroads of any maritime policy.

    In terms of maritime safety, the essential role of the Hydrographic Services is underlined with maritime law recognising its function and importance. The SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Convention of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) imputes all signatory states to provide navigation and hydrography services to ships sailing within their respective local waters.

    These signatory states have an obligation to give special attention to all questions raised or treated by the IHO. Within this new framework, the IHO has the complete and full support of the regional hydrographic commissions and of the neighboring member states sharing the same navigational basin. The purpose of these commissions is to improve regional coordination, to develop the exchanges of information and to encourage the formation of technical aid.

    The following commissions are currently listed: Hydrographic Commission of the Baltic; Hydrographic Commission of Eastern Asia; Hydrographic Commission of the Eastern Atlantic; Hydrographic Commission of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea; Hydrographic Commission of the Mesoamerica and the Caribbean Sea; Scandinavian Hydrographic Commission; Hydrographic Commission of the Septentrional Indian Ocean; Hydrographic Commission of the North Sea; Hydrographic Commission of the Maritime Zone of the Regional Organization for the Marine Environmental Protection (Coastal states of the Arabian-Persian Gulf); Hydrographic Commission of Africa and the Southern Islands; Hydrographic Commission of the South-Eastern Pacific; Hydrographic Commission of the South-Western Pacific; Hydrographic Commission USA/Canada.

    Now it’s India’s turn to show interest in Coega

    Three large Indian companies have expressed an interest in investing in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), says the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).

    According to the CDC the three companies, which were not identified, are still at the feasibility stage with a final decision not likely until the end of the next financial year.

    The only clue as to their respective interests is that one is involved with the telecommunications industry, another in auto parts production and the third in property development.

    There has also been talk of Indian involvement in the field of a steel and foundry mill and an iron ore pellet and ferromanganese plant.

    The CDC said it was expecting visits from the respective companies in the near future.

    India offers trade privileges to African countries

    by P. Vijian

    New Delhi, 9 April - Recognising the importance of market access to ensure the development of international trade, India is engaging the African states and offering trade privileges to the continent which has more than 900 million people.

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his government would offer a duty-free tariff preference scheme for the least developed countries (LDCs) to spur trade and commerce.

    “The objective of our partnership is to co-operate with all African countries, within the limits of our capacities and capabilities, in their efforts towards achieving economic vibrancy, peace, stability and self-reliance.

    “Towards this end, it is our intention to become a close partner in Africa's resurgence,” he said in his opening address at the two-day India-Africa Forum summit in New Delhi on Tuesday.

    Under the scheme, India will unilaterally provide preferential market access for exports from all 50 LDCs, 34 of which are in Africa. The scheme will cover 94 percent of India's total tariff lines.

    Mr Singh said the scheme would offer preferential market access on tariff lines that comprised 92.5 percent of global exports of all LDCs.

    Some of the products of immediate interest to Africa that are covered include cotton, cocoa, aluminium ore, cashew nuts and ready-made garments.

    He said India would also undertake the development of critical projects over the next five to six years, against grants in excess of USD500 million.

    The Prime Minister said India would also strengthen local capabilities by creating regional and pan-African institutions of higher education, especially in sciences, Information Technology and vocational education and investment in research and development in renewable forms of energy, and agricultural development.

    “We will enhance opportunities for African students to pursue higher studies in India.

    “As an immediate measure, we propose to double our long-term scholarships for undergraduates, post graduates and higher courses and increase the number of training slots under our technical assistance programme from 1100 to 1600 every year,” he said.

    Africa-India trade has surged significantly, from USD5.5 billion in 2002 to USD30 billion last year.

    Leaders of 14 African countries, including several presidents, are in India to explore deeper trade relations with India, which is now the world's fourth largest economy. - BuaNews-NNN

    Pic of the day – JIN RONG

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The 27,986-gt bulk carrier JIN RONG in Cape Town on 30 March 2008. The ship was built in 2000 and is owned and managed by Hong Kong interests, being also flagged there. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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