Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 12, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Boskalis dredger URSA docks in Durban

  • Lack of progress with Richards Bay dry dock decried

  • Maiden visit for NYK car carrier

  • Things looking up for SA motor vehicle exports

  • The marine month of April – courtesy of Bow Wave

  • Beira dry dock back in service

  • Pic of the day – BAHIA NEGRA


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    Boskalis dredger URSA docks in Durban

    The cutter dredger URSA arriving in Durban on a previous call in July 2007. Picture by Rip Riphagen

    The Boskalis cutter dredger URSA docked on Eglin Brown & Hamer’s ELDOCK in Durban on Thursday (8 May).

    The contract entails the removal and refitting of the Cutterladder which weighs in at 800 tonnes net.

    Ursa was built in 1986 by the German shipyard of Orenstein & Koppel and is a self-propelled heavy rock cutting dredger designed for operations in coastal and sheltered waters. The vessel has an overall length of 115 metres and a beam of 20m.

    Royal Boskalis Westminsiter nv Dredging and Earthmoving is one of the leading international dredging and construction companies and has worldwide interests. The Dutch company was founded in 1910 and began to make its name post World War I with the Zuider Zee project. Today the company operates a fleet of about 300 vessels including auxiliary equipment and is involved with projects all round the world.

    URSA on the Eldock floating dock in Durban, 8 May 2008. Picture Willem Kruk/EB&H

    Lack of progress with Richards Bay dry dock decried

    Speaking of dry and floating docks, the Zululand Observer this past week noted in an article by editor David Savides that the proposed dry dock for Richards Bay appeared to have come to a standstill.

    Pointing out that it was now four years since it was announced that a Memorandum of Understanding on building a R2 billion dry dock was ‘imminent’, Mr Savides wrote that the developers, Imbani Construction was under pressure to keep the Chinese shipbuilding consortium and its financial investors interested.

    “They are still 100 percent on board and the project is as viable as ever, but they do pressure us for progress reports and it’s getting harder to reassure them after four years of waiting,” said Imbani Construction director - Ebenezer Moahloli.

    The proposal envisages a 260m long dry dock plus a 760m long repair quay and another 300m of quayside for materials and work boats.

    A Transnet National Ports Authority spokesman told the Zululand Observer that meetings were continuing behind closed doors with another scheduled for 19 May but could not promise that a statement would be issued at that time.

    Maiden visit for NYK car carrier

    Trans Leader at G berth, Durban Car Terminal on 1 May

    There has been no shortage of newbuilds making their maiden port call visits to Durban and other South African ports recently, with yet another due later this week (Thursday, 15 May) when the 48,425-gt LPG tanker THETIS GLORY calls at Durban to load bunkers. More of this particular visit in a later News Bulletin.

    In the past week (1 May) the NYK pure car carrier TRANS LEADER (43 810-gt) arrived in Durban to discharge 1,200 new motor cars and load another 2,500 new vehicles plus seven pieces of used construction machinery for North Africa and Northern Europe.

    Trans Leader has been deployed on the South Africa – Europe new car service.

    As is normal with a maiden call at the car terminal, a plaque commemorating the event is presented to the ship’s master, which is usually placed in a prominent position within the ship to remind seafarers of the welcome they received on their first visit to Durban.

    The pleasant tradition of presenting a plaque to the Trans Leader’s master on the occasion of her maiden call was performed by Transnet Port Terminal’s (TPT) Car Terminal Manager Graham Henry (centre). Receiving the plaque from him was Captain Jeremias Corbita Somosot, the master of Trans Leader, with Adrian Moorgas, NYK Toyota Coordinator (left in picture) on hand to ensure that everything goes to order.

    Things looking up for SA motor vehicle exports

    Uitenhage-based Volkswagen SA says it plans on exporting more than 40,000 motor vehicles from its factory outside Port Elizabeth this year. This includes an order for over 10,000 fifth-generation Jettas that will be sold in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, UK and Ireland.

    In addition to the Jettas VWSA will export 21,000 fifth-generation Golfs and 8,800 Polos to countries in the Asia Pacific region with most of these cars going to Japan. By the end of April this year VWSA had exported over 350,000 motor vehicles into the world market.

    The news from VWSA comes soon after NAAMSA (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers in South Africa) revealed figures showing a 45.5 percent increase in vehicle exports for the first four months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.

    According to NAAMSA Executive Manager Norman Lamprecht much of this growth is the result of export programmes implemented by the industry, in particular Toyota and Mercedes Benz. Lampreht said that Toyota is committed to exporting 147,000 Toyota Corollas during 2008 – “and that’s just one manufacturer,” he said, adding that exports would reach record heights every month this year.

    He forecast that total exports of South African produced motor vehicles for 2008 would be in the region of 285,000 units, up from last year’s 171,238 vehicles.

    The motor industry has become one of South Africa’s biggest business and foreign trade successes.

    The marine month of April – courtesy of Bow Wave

    A look at the international marine month of April 2008, courtesy of Sam Ignarski’s BOW WAVE (sam@wavyline.com)

    1 Apr. Not a joke, the British cruise ship Van Gogh, headed home with around 460 passengers from a round the world trip, is arrested in Madeira over a dispute with the vessel's new owners.

    3 Apr. Good news for Hyundai Heavy Industry's new Gunsan shipyard, it reports a full order book for its first year in operation with orders for 12 vessels worth a total of USD 1.3 bn

    3 Apr. Bad news from the North - Cefor's Annual General Meeting produced some disappointing news of the state of the Hull market with indications that claims frequency and severity is rising for all types of vessels, repairs costs are increasing and the premium level being generated in this class of business remains insufficient. The average hull claim has risen 86 percent over the last 5 years. Full statistics are available on Cefor's website at www.cefor.no This should be compulsory reading for all H&M underwriters.

    4 Apr. French cruising yacht Le Ponant is attacked and seized by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. Le Ponant was cruising with a 30 strong crew.

    4 Apr. The ISN (international Security and Relationships Network) publishes an article discussing the involvement of private enterprise in providing security for ships to combat piracy, full details here:

    7 Apr. Pakistan's chief of the naval service, Admiral Tahir performed the launching ceremony of the first of 4 new frigates for the Pakistan navy. The sword class vessels are being built at China's Zhonghua shipyard and will carry modern weapons and be equipped with Chinese built helicopters.

    7 Apr. The official National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the Cosco Busan contact with the Bay Bridge (7 November 2007) takes place in Washington.

    7 Apr. The International Maritime Organisation invites proposals from countries to limit the environmental impact of the rising numbers of ships entering the area.

    8 Apr. Japanese shipbuilders IHI Corporation and JFE Holdings Inc announce that they are holding merger talks - if the two companies do marry, this will create Japan's largest shipbuilder

    8 Apr. Passenger paddle steamer Queen of the West (1994) suffers an engine room fire in the Columbia River and is subsequently beached. All crew and passengers safely disembarked.

    9 Apr. Two Chinese shipbuilding landmarks took place today with the first Chinese built LNG vessel being delivered from Hudong Zhunghao to China LNG Shipping (International) Ltd. The Dapeng Sun has a capacity of 147,000 cubic metres. The second milestone was the delivery of the 10,000 TEU container ship Cosco Oceania from Nantong shipyard - this is the largest container vessel so far built in China.

    10 Apr. Shell, Qatargas and PetroChina sign a binding agreement to supply China with 3 million tons of LNG for a long term period of 25 years.

    10 Apr The MSC Napoli long running saga (now rivalling The Onedin Line) is drawing to a close as the removal operation of the remaining stern section gets underway.

    11 Apr. Container vessel Anne Sibum (blt 2007, 1,036-TEU 10,585-dwt) arrives in Bremerhaven after having run ground off Finland and sustaining bottom damages.

    11 Apr. French security forces track the pirates responsible for the seizure of the yacht Le Ponant and arrest 6 pirates and also recover part of what was presumably ransom paid for the release of the 30 hostages.

    11 Apr. stumbled across an interesting website with impressive pictures of vessels such as the Emma Maersk - go here for more research:

    14 Apr. Hancock's Contractors - the company given the contract to dismantle the Riverdance inspect the vessel's sistership to find out how best to tackle the task. Riverdance was beached in January and is now laying on a Blackpool beach, slowly settling into the sand and after a lengthy process it was decided to dismantle the vessel in situ.

    16 Apr. Piracy is on a continued rise with a reported 49 attacks since the start of the year - up from 41 for the same period in 2007. Nigeria now overtaking Indonesia as the country most affected by pirates. More details here:

    16 Apr. The hull substructure for Aker's H-6 advanced semi-submersible drilling platform begins its 50 day tow-voyage from Dubai to Norway. Aker claims this structure represents the world's most advanced design. The vessel is due to be completed in Norway for delivery in late 2008.

    17 Apr. Brazil reports that it may have found a major deepwater oil field in the Carioca field with an estimated 33bn barrels of reserve - all yet to be proven, meanwhile oil hits a new all time high trading at USD 118 per barrel.

    17 Apr. A bad time to get into trouble off the Pembrokeshire coast as volunteer coastguard teams covering a 30 mile stretch of the coastline go on strike in a protest over injury compensation.

    18 Apr. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines take deliver of their latest newbuilding. The Independence of the Seas was built by Aker Yards and measures 339 metres long, 38.6 metres wide and can accommodate up to 4,375 passengers and 1,365 crew. ‘Independence’ is the third in the Freedom series of vessels for RCCL and it is currently the world's largest cruise vessel.

    20 Apr. Typhoon Neoguri makes landfall in China causing widespread disruption, damages and some loss of life. This is the earliest known arrival of a typhoon and comes several weeks before the start of the ‘official’ typhoon season with the average first landfall dates at the end of June.

    20 Apr. Spanish fishing vessel Playa de Bakio with 26 crew members is reportedly captured by Somali pirates.

    21 Apr. Heel Dragging and Channel Dredging: Van Oord revalidates its bid for the channel dredging at India's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust but asks for a pricing review. The contract was awarded a year ago but no work has been done so far pending government approval, full details here:

    21 Apr. Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries will construct the country's first Korean designed LNG carrier for a Russian customer. Although Korea is the market leader in LNG construction, up until now it has had to pay royalties to foreign companies for the design rights, now Korea can build to its own design and save royalty payments.

    21 Apr. Japanese oil tanker Takayama is attacked and damaged by heavily armed pirates some 275 miles east of Aden. The vessel suffered small holes and lost a small quantity of oil.

    22 Apr. It's here at last, the awaited Marine Accident Investigation Branch publishes the report on the MSC Napoli loss. Full report available to download here:
    Doubtless the loss will be discussed for some time yet but the initial reaction to the apparent cause of the loss has already triggered inspections of other container vessels to prevent hull failure due to design failure similar to that responsible for the MSC Napoli loss.
    Amongst other contributory factors the report lists overloading of containers and short-cut taking in the style of container vessel operations with vessels sometimes putting to sea with incorrect ballast loading to save valuable time.

    22 Apr. A Royal occasion in Southampton as the three Queens meet for the last time - Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth 2 all arrive at the port. More details and pictures here:

    22 Apr. Somali forces storm the UAE flagged Al Khaleej which was hijacked by pirates on 21 April. Seven pirates were arrested.

    23 Apr. Yet more underwriting capacity arrives in Singapore as QBE announces that it is increasing its operations there to boost Marine and Energy business in the region.

    24 Apr. The race for Brazil continues as Everest Re announces plans to enter the market - reinsurers that have already announced plans for Brazil include Lloyds, Swiss Re, Munich Re, Hannover Re, Partner Re, SCOR, Transamerica Re, Transatlantic Re, Mapfre and XL. It could be quite a party down there.

    25 Apr. JNPT is in the news again (see 21 Apr above) but with news of a cancelled contract. Lloyds List reports that the crane supplier, Malaysia's IMPSA has backed out of the contract claiming that it would be unable to meet delivery deadlines set before the start of the monsoon season and is now demanding an increased price.
    The port already suffers from serious delays due to frequent breakdowns of the older cranes at the port and the too shallow port channel.

    29 Apr. The Royal Navy continues to search for a lost Second World War bomb which was lost as it was being towed out to sea for safe detonation. The1,000 lb bomb was washed ashore near Felixstowe and was attached to a frame for towing.

    List compiled by Jason Copland

    Beira dry dock back in service

    Beira’s dry dock is back in service after years of being out of use.

    The dock which can accept ships up to 110m OAL was built in the 1960s but for the past 20 years has suffered leaks and other malfunctions. Additionally the approaches to the dock had become badly silted.

    Now after some USD 2.5 million has been spent on repairing the leaks and other parts requiring attention, Beiranave, which runs the Beira Naval Dockyards has been able to announce that dredging of the approaches has been completed and the dock is once again 100 percent operational.

    The reopening of the dock is expected to be of be benefit in particular to the fishing fleets of the Mozambique coast and channel.

    Pic of the day – BAHIA NEGRA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    Any ship painted in such a photogenic red livery is likely to be well documented by ship photographers, but when a ship such as those in service with Hamburg Süd are maintained in such immaculate condition, that likelihood is bound to increase. Thus we make no excuse for again featuring one of the Bahia class of Hamburg Süd container ships, in this case the 3,752-TEU capacity BAHIA NEGRA currently deployed on the Asia – South Africa – East Coast South America service but soon to be replaced by larger capacity ships. Bahia Negra was in Durban on 8 May 2008. Picture Trevor Jones

    Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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