Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 15, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • SAMSA chief says SA lacking in maritime basics

  • Kalmar to supply another 30 straddle carriers for Durban Container Terminal

  • Regional: The Indian Ocean islands ports bet on co-operation

  • Floods cut Uganda – Mombasa railway

  • Angola reports economic growth of 15 percent

  • SAA committed to growth in Africa

  • Pic of the day – MSC BREMEN


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    SAMSA chief says SA lacking in maritime basics

    South Africa lacks the capability of monitoring and tracking ships along its coastline, parliament has been told.

    In a frank and revealing report to parliament’s Transport Portfolio Committee, the Chief Executive Officer of SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority), Tsietsi Mokhele said that the recent incident involving the Chinese general cargo ship An Yue Jiang had brought this home when the Cosco ship, carrying a consignment of arms and ammunition for Zimbabwe that was the subject of an arrest order from the Durban High Court, was able to switch off its transponder and ‘disappear’.

    “Our capacity to track and monitor vessels at sea is non-existent,” he pointed out.

    Mokhele added that South Africa was behind other maritime nations in installing a Long Range Identification Tracking system (LRIT). In terms of an international agreement South Africa is required to install a LRIT system by 1 January 2009 which would enable the monitoring of shipping passing within 1,000 n.miles of the South African coastline.

    The cost of installing the system involving 150 base stations would amount to R75 million, he said. “As a country we haven’t done the basic work and don’t have the technology.” Nevertheless SAMSA was addressing the matter and hoped to have a proposal to place before the government by August.

    Mokhele also highlighted the shortage of skills in the local maritime industry, which he described as having reach crisis point. The problem was worsening with many highly-skilled marine personnel reaching retirement age and little coming through by way of replacements, with the result that South Africa has become more dependent on expensive expatriate labour.

    This is resulting in South Africa spending two to three times more than it should be paying to provide the necessary services. A lack of transformation initiatives also meant there hasn’t been an infusion of skills into the industry.

    He pointed to a lack of policy on the maritime industry, as well as a lack of incentive programmes for key maritime industries, such as ship repair and building.

    Kalmar to supply another 30 straddle carriers for Durban Container Terminal

    Kalmar Industries has revealed details of a further contract to provide 30 CSC440 straddle carriers for the Durban Container Terminal.

    The straddles will begin delivery from July 2008 through until January 2009.

    According to the Kalmar statement the CSC440 straddle carriers being supplied to Port Terminals will feature Kalmar's proven 7th generation technology consisting of an enhanced CAN-bus PLC diagnostics system, fly-by-wire controls and directly PLC controlled engines, and a hydrodynamic drive system.

    The new machines will enable Transnet Port Terminals, operator of the Durban Container Terminal to stack boxes higher than before. The machines will be capable of stacking 1-over-3 high and lifting 40 tonnes which will have the effect of quickly increasing the terminal’s stacking density and improving productivity levels.

    “With container traffic in South Africa on the rise, we needed a fast and cost-effective solution to accommodate the demand for more storage capacity at Durban Container Terminal,” said Logan Naidoo, Capital Projects General Manager, Transnet Port Terminals.

    Transnet Port Terminals currently operates a fleet of over 140 Kalmar straddle carriers at DCT, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town container terminals. The company recently received an order for a fleet of 22 Rubber Tyre Gantry carnes (RTGs) for the new and yet to be opened container terminal at Ngqura in the Eastern Cape and has also supplied a number of RTGs for operation at the Pier 1 Container Terminal in Durban, with others to follow at Cape Town.

    Kalmar RTGs being prepared for service at the then new Pier 1 Container Terminal in Durban

    Regional: Indian Ocean islands ports bet on co-operation

    report by Alain Malherbe (AeroShip - Port Louis)

    Port Louis, 14 May - The ports of the islands of the Indian Ocean must be organised to face the challenges of globalisation by the means of the establishment of new sectors of co-operation. Such is the wish emitted by the president of Mauritius Ports Authority, Sidick Chady, at the time of the opening of the Meeting of the Leaders of the Ports of the Indian Ocean last Wednesday.

    Sidick Chady estimated that this meeting would allow participants to study the axis of a more thorough regional co-operation whose repercussions will be mutually beneficial for the development of the respective ports. It would also provide new foundations for the future of the Association of the Ports of the Islands of the Indian Ocean.

    “With the globalisation of world trade, the Indian Ocean zone will become a crossroad of these large maritime axis whereas the ports which are located there must seize opportunities which are offered to them to develop further and to pay special care to the development of the cruise-tourism market '”, underlined Sidick Chady.

    According to him, one cannot be unaware of today’s deficiencies relating to the limit of financial resources or the gaps in human capacities and competencies. “The purpose of our respective plans for investment is for a better performance. The pooling of our resources and our experiences acquired over last few years will enable us to avoid pitfalls,” he said.

    At this two-day meeting, the sectors of co-operation were discussed in detail by harbour specialists of regional islands. The activities relate to the inter-island coastal traffic, pleasure cruising and the development of the seafood industry.

    The director of the Mauritius Ports Authority, Shekar Suntah, identified other sectors of co-operation such as training, exchange of information and experiment to promote the durable development of facilitation of the inter-islands maritime trade.

    Floods cut Uganda – Mombasa railway

    Kampala and much of Uganda has been cut off by railway from the port at Mombasa after heavy flooding damaged a bridge across swampland near the town of Jinja on Lake Victoria.

    As a result more than 20,000 tonnes of cargo from Mombasa is being prevented from reaching its destination while Ugandan exports scheduled to be railed will be delayed or will have to go by road.

    The bridge that collapsed was damaged in the early 1990s and received temporary repairs described as patchwork, because the Uganda Railways Corporation which was then managing and operating the railway lacked funds to rebuild the bridgeworks.

    The railway is currently operated by Rift Valley Railway (RVR) under a concession awarded about 18 months ago. Earlier this week RVR workers began removing sleepers from the damaged section to prevent them from being stolen.

    Heavy rains are continuing to fall across large parts of northern Uganda.

    Angola reports economic growth of 15 percent

    Luanda, 14 May - The annual average rate of growth of Angola's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 15 percent over the last eight years, the Angolan Deputy Minister of Planning Carlos Alberto Lopes has said.

    The country has one of the world's fastest growing economies.

    Addressing a seminar on the funding of big projects, Mr Lopes said in 2007 the rate of inflation recorded a steep fall to 12 percent, compared with 2002, when it was above 100 percent.

    During the 2002 to 2007 period, demand deposits at banks rose 13 times, reaching the amount of 624 billion Kwanza (one USD is equal to about 80.58 Kwanza) in 2007.

    This reflects the trust of Angolans in the functioning of the economy and the financial system.

    According to data supplied by him, the credit to the economy multiplied by about 20 times.

    He considered this as the main factor behind the relevant growth in the country's non-oil sector.

    Private consumption rose from 26 percent in the 2000 to 2003 period to 39 in 2004 to 2007.

    It is estimated that the school population grew to nearly six million students, which represents a 75 percent rise in four years and means that more children are being educated in the country.

    After 2002, he added, it was possible to resettle more than four million people and about 400,000 refugees, while special attention was also paid to the sectors of health, education, supply of drinking water, basic sanitation and the creation of jobs.

    Organised in panels on World Bank Group funding, bank-offered products, investment benefits and public-private partnerships, the seminar seeks to present large projects in the sectors of infrastructures, energy and transports.

    The purpose of the meeting is to publicise the various large projects’ funding options, the instruments of international financial cooperation and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). - BuaNews-NNN

    SAA committed to growth to Africa

    SAA – spreading its wings

    by Nthambeleni Gabara

    Johannesburg, 14 May - South Africa Airways has reiterated its commitment to growing its presence in Africa.

    SAA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Khaya Ngqula said Africa remained the main focus in terms of growth.

    Briefing members of the media at SAA's headquarters in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Dr Ngqula said the key to the network strategy was building Johannesburg as the strongest hub in Africa.

    “We will ensure that additional capacity is continuously placed on new and existing routes into the continent,” he said.

    These new routes are to be added to the regional and internationals network by October this year, starting with Maun in Botswana.

    Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and is one of the most significant tourist attractions in Africa, drawing over 30,000 international tourists per year.

    The new route would therefore hold huge growth potential for SAA as customers coming from international destinations will be able to connect their flights through Johannesburg to Maun.

    SAA Head Business Development, Jason Krause said the airline was working towards replenishing and modernising its existing fleet to take advantage of network growth opportunities and to improve operating cost efficiencies.

    “We need to remain competitive to ensure that we operate as efficiently as possible from a cost and fuel efficiency point of view, particularly in light of the soaring oil price,” he said.

    Mr Krause said the SAA Board had approved a new fleet plan for additional wide and narrow body aircraft which will be rolled out in three phases.

    As part of the immediate term, six aircraft will be leased and will have an immediate impact on the airline's growth plans and will be used in on existing and start-up routes.

    On the medium term fleet plan that spans from 2010 to 2014, SAA will conduct an aircraft competition for Airbus and Boeing aircraft this year.

    SAA's Head of Flight Operations, Captain Johnny Woods said SAA's working relationship with Swissport with regard to change-over of ground handlers had already seen a sharp decline in theft of baggage.

    Dr Ngqula said the initial problem of bags being left behind had also largely been resolved.

    “SAA is working together with Swissport and the Airports Company of SA to tackle all baggage-related challenges,” he said. – BuaNews

    Pic of the day – MSC BREMEN

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The 2820-TEU container ship MSC BREMEN (originally Northern Vision, later renamed CMBT Erebus, then Safmarine Erebus, then Lykes Innovator) off the berth at Port Elizabeth. Picture by Alvin McLoughlin

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