Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 12, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • SA Port Statistics for May 2008
  • CSCL brings in newbuilds and adds another Durban call
  • Review of SAECS bunker surcharge
  • News from the shipping lines
  • Two brothers rescued from sinking fishing vessel
  • Hungry mouths bring uncommon shipping to African shores
  • Uganda budgets to replace sunken lake ship Kabalega
  • SADC transport heads inspect port of Walvis Bay
  • We have to create capacity ahead of demand, says Morwe
  • Namibian railway not a white elephant, says minister
  • Sena railway reopens
  • Uganda railway reopens on Friday
  • Criticism of Rift Valley Railway growing
  • Nigeria’s east-west railway to cost USD 5 billion
  • Siemens to open electrical facility at Durban shipyard
  • Piracy update
  • Mombasa to go live with Kwatos operating system
  • South Africa and France prepare for SA/EU Summit
  • HMS ENDURANCE arrives in Simon’s Town
  • Shell kicked out of Ogoniland
  • Pic of the week – MSC TOBA


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    SA Port Statistics for May 2008

    Port cargo figures for May 2008 are now available, courtesy of Transnet Ports Authority.

    The figures indicate a slackening of activity at all ports both in terms of ship calls and cargo worked, with containers decreasing in total by nearly 60,000 from 359,870-TEU to 300,668 for the month.

    This drop is also reflected in gross tonnages handled at the ports, with only the two minor ports of East London and Mossel Bay showing an increase for the month. Richards Bay came close to parity with the month of April in total tonnages, indicating steady coal exports although it appears unlikely that RBCT will be able to achieve record growth in coal exports this year

    As is customary the figures shown here reflect an adjustment on the overall tonnage to include containers by weight – this is necessary because Transnet NPA no longer measures containers by weight, but does so by measuring the number of TEUs - for which PORTS & SHIPS makes an estimated weight adjustment of 13,5 tonnes per TEU to reflect tonnages. This figure may however be considered as conservative with 14 tonnes perhaps being a more realistic figure.

    During May 2008 the respective ports handled the following (with April figures between brackets for comparison):

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay                       7.072 million tonnes (Apr 7.117Mt)
    Durban                               5.738 Mt (Apr 7.514)
    Saldanha Bay                      2.755 Mt (Apr 3.915)
    Cape Town                         1.150 Mt (Apr 1.412)
    Port Elizabeth                      0.815 Mt (Apr 1.086)
    Mossel Bay                          0.325 Mt (Apr 0.027)
    East London                        0.224 Mt (Apr 0.212)

    Total monthly cargo in April 18.080 million tonnes (April 21.283 Mt)

    Containers (measured by TEUs)
    (TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Tranship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA)

    Durban 194,677 TEU (Apr 241,966)
    Cape Town 66,176 (Apr 79,183)
    Port Elizabeth 32,558 (Apr 34,053)
    East London 5,775 (Apr 4,218)
    Richards Bay 1,482 (Apr 450)

    Total handled 300,668 TEU (April 359,870)

    Ship Calls

    Durban:              351 vessels 8.608m gt (Apr 378 vessels 9.018m gt)
    Cape Town:        262 vessels 4.411m gt (Apr 250 vessels 4.321m gt)
    Port Elizabeth:      97 vessels 2.730m gt (Apr 103 vessels 2.615m gt)
    Richards Bay:      138 vessels 4.424m gt (Apr 146 vessels 4.858m gt)
    Saldanha:            27 vessels 1,845m gt (Apr 45 vessels 2,229m gt)
    East London:        26 vessels 0.854m gt (Apr 29 vessels 0.795m gt)
    Mossel Bay:        158 vessels 0.322m gt (Apr 287 vessels 0.233m gt)

    - source TNPA, with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container weights

    CSCL brings in newbuilds and adds another Durban call

    CSCL Panama prepares to come alongside berth 107 at Durban’s Pier 1 Container Terminal on the occasion of her maiden voyage, 7 June 2008


    A new five-ship container service between the Far East and West Africa via Durban was introduced in South Africa this past weekend with the arrival in Durban on her maiden voyage (7 June) of the 2,500-TEU capacity China Shipping Container Lines CSCL PANAMA.

    According to Seaclad Maritime, CSCL’s agent in South Africa, the CSCL Panama will be joined on the service by the HANSA CALYPSO which departed from Port Kelang on 6 June and another newbuild, the CSCL MONTEVIDEO which is expected in Durban in September. Two additional ships, one from CSCL and the other from Maruba are still to be announced.

    The five ship joint service is operated by CSCL (three ships), Maruba (one ship) and Hapag Lloyd (one ship) using vessels of between 2,100 and 2,500-TEU and a rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Shekou, Port Kelang, Durban, Lagos, Lome, Tema, Durban, Port Kelang, Shanghai.

    Until now CSCL has operated by itself on the Far East – South Africa – West Africa service. Maruba and Hapag Lloyd are newcomers to this service which provides additional tonnage in east and westbound directions.

    SEAS Revamp

    In another development the revamped SEAS service which is shared between CSCL, CMA CGM and Maruba gets underway this month (June) with the departure of the CSCL KELANG from the Far East to South America before returning via Durban on or about 9 August, 2008.

    The revamped service will continue with 10 x 2,500-TEU vessels but from an eastbound calling at Durban point of view, the direct ports of Rio Grande & Itajai in Brazil are being replaced with a call at Sao Fransisco do Sul and Chiwan & Busan in the Far East will be replaced with a direct call at Shekou. CSCL is providing five of these ships.

    CSCL Panama alongside berth 107 at Pier 1 Container Terminal

    Review of SAECS bunker surcharge

    MOL CULLINAN, deployed on the SAECS first string service between South Africa and northern Europe, seen under the gantries of the Durban Container Terminal. Picture Terry Hutson

    MOL, one of the member lines of SAECS (South Africa Europe Container Service) has announced that with effect 1 July it is introducing a revision to the present bunker surcharge on the Europe South Africa trade. It can be anticipated that the other lines in SAECS will be doing likewise.

    With effect on 1 July 2008 the revised bunker surcharge becomes:

    USD 535.00 per TEU for General Purpose Cargo
    USD 755.00 per TEU for Reefer Cargo

    The revised bunker surcharge will be effective as of the B/L date and will remain in force until further notice.

    News from the shipping lines

    MSC introduces Canada Express

    Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) will shortly introduce its ‘Canada Express’ service between Spain (Valencia) and Canada (Montreal) by way of two ships, the 2,680-TEU MSC ENDURANCE and the 2,000-TEU HAMBURGO. The service will operate with a frequency of 11 – 12 days and aims at providing transhipment opportunities to and from West and North Africa as well as the Indian Ocean and other regions, using Valencia as the hub. MSC also has a slot arrangement with Hapag-Lloyd and Hanjin-Senator on their Mediterranean – Montreal service.

    New ship for PIL

    Pacific International Lines (PIL) has taken delivery of the 1,802-TEU KOTA NAGA from the Dalian shipyard. The newbuild enters service on PIL’s South East Asia – South Africa – West Africa service.

    SAILS MD suspended

    Reports circulating within the local shipping industry say that Ian Wicks, founder and managing director of South African registered container line operator SAILS (SA Independent Liner Services) is under investigation and has been suspended from duties. SAILS is controlled by Lonhro which recently acquired a majority interest in the line. The company operates a container service between South Africa, West Africa and Europe, using four 1100-TEU vessels ORINOCO RIVER, EL LOBO, TAGA BAY and VAAL RIVER.

    VAAL RIVER, one of four 1100-TEU capacity container ships in service between Europe and West and South Africa with SAILS. Picture by Robert Ravensberg

    Two brothers rescued from sinking fishing vessel

    Two brothers from Port Elizabeth had a narrow escape from drowning last week when their fishing vessel began to sink about 17 n.miles off the Storms River Mouth in the southern Cape.

    The 14m fishing craft Ichabo was on its way from Cape St Francis to Gansbaai when it began taking on water in seas of 3 to 5m swells and a strong wind. Once a mayday went out the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) at Plettenberg Bay launched their Plett 14 and headed for the sinking vessel, arriving on the scene about 90 minutes later.

    According to NSRI station commander Ray Farnham the Ichabo had taken on plenty of water and the rescue was made more difficult by the wind and rain. Once the two brothers, Johan and Pieter du Preez were safely on board the rescue craft it took another three hours to return to Plettenburg Bay, such were the deteriorating conditions.

    One of the brothers had injured his back when they tried to launch a life raft, which failed to inflate. The owner of the fishing boat said later he could not understand why the raft failed to inflate as the life rafts are serviced regularly. He said he would try to salvage the drifting Ichabo which was worth R3,5 million.

    Hungry mouths bring uncommon shipping to African shores

    The American tug/tanker barge combo PHILADELPHIA which called at Durban at the weekend for bunkers while returning from Mombasa. Picture by Trevor Jones

    The unannounced arrival of an American pusher tug and tanker barge in Durban last weekend did not go entirely unnoticed.

    The vessel was the tug and barge PHILADELPHIA, both bearing the same name, which called to take bunkers and supplies, berthing at Pier 1’s 104. Although listed as a pusher tug and tanker barge, it is believed the barge had carried a cargo of food aid (grain) from the United States to Mombasa, the vessel’s last port of call.

    At first appearance this might have appeared to be a normal tanker calling to bunker, but the eagle eye of Prof Trevor Jones spotted some anomalies including the telltale join where the tug notches into the stern of the barge and immediately got to work with his camera.

    Can you find the join where the tug connects with the barge? It’s clearly visible in this picture by Trevor Jones

    The barge is 213m in length and has a beam of 28m with a loaded draught of 8.9m, making her ideal for the purpose of carrying dry bulk cargo to African ports instead of operating as a tanker in US waters, where she is no doubt no longer too welcome as an oil tanker because of her single skin hull.

    A number of tug/barge combinations have appeared on the African coast in recent years, including the Janis Guzzle / Marie Flood and Betty Wood / Pat Cantrell combos.

    Another somewhat unexpected caller in recent weeks has been the Maersk Nebraska, normally a cellular container ship but which has been turned into a dry bulk carrier also for delivering World Food Aid parcels.

    The 31,920-gt ship called at Durban for bunkers.

    MAERSK NEBRASKA, with only a few containers at the stern but loaded well down to her marks, in Durban while en route from Houston for Mombasa with a cargo of food aid grain. Picture Trevor Jones

    Uganda budgets to replace sunken lake ship Kabalega

    Uganda’s Minister of Finance Dr Ezra Suruma will announce in his budget this year that the government intends replacing the lake ferry MV KABALEGA, which sank in a collision with another ferry in May 2005.

    According to The Monitor in Kampala Dr Suruma has allocated Shs 14 billion (USD 8.883m) for the purpose of acquiring another vessel, which the Uganda government sees as imperative after a number of political and weather dramas effectively closed the direct rail connection between Uganda and Mombasa port for several months (see article below). The Monitor says the National Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2008/09 describes the ferry replacement as “a matter of urgency”.

    Earlier this year Uganda abandoned plans to salvage the sunken vessel.

    The lake ferries on Lake Victoria provide an alternative route to the coast with a rail connection at the southern end of the lake at Mwanza port in Tanzania, from where a railway operates to Dar es Salaam.

    Uganda currently has a single ship plying the lake, the repaired MV KAAWA which is not able to cope with normal cargo requirement on the lake, let alone an increased demand arising from political upheaval and rail washaways.

    During the current crisis brought about by the washaways along the railway line to Mombasa oil companies in Uganda have had to hire expensive alternate lake ferries from Tanzania to carry urgently required fuel, raising the cost of landbased transport in the landlocked country. Food supplies have also experienced shortages arising from the broken link with the coast.

    The MV Kabalega, which was named after the Kabalega Falls - better known as the Murchison Falls on the River Nile, was not insured when she collided with the MV Kaawa on 8 May, 2005. She was carrying some 800 tonnes of wheat at the time The Ugandan ferry sank in 150 ft of water some 10 n.miles south of Ssese Island and about 60 n.miles from Port Bell.

    There has been much conjecture as to the cause of the accident with accusations of arms smuggling and sabotage as well as drunkenness among the crew. A commission of enquiry however subsequently placed the blame on possible mechanical failure arising out of years of neglect, which seems the most likely cause. The ship was owned and operated by the Uganda Railways Corporation.

    Not only were the lake ferries allowed to deteriorate with little maintenance and care subsequent to the disbanding of the former East African Railways Corporation in 1977, but the country’s rail network also suffered from neglect. Prior to the handing over of a concession awarded to the South African-backed company Rift Valley Railways, the only remaining sections of rail in use were the 8km section between Port Bell and Kampala and the 120km section from Kampala to the Kenya border at Tororo.

    The latter section was closed recently after flooding washed away culverts and bridge approaches near Jinja, leading to added pressure on the need for lake steamers. The rail section is due to be reopened shortly (see report below).

    SADC transport heads inspect port of Walvis Bay

    Trans Kalahari highway under review as SADC officials visit

    Transport ministers and other officials from SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) visited the town and port of Walvis Bay last week while reviewing transport infrastructure across the region.

    The inspection included a visit to the port of Walvis Bay where they were provided details of ship turnaround time and cargo working, They were also brought up to date with the port expansion programme which is due to commence later this year.

    Walvis Bay is a key roleplayer in plans to develop and augment the various transport corridors, in particular the Trans Kalahari, Trans Caprivi and Trans Cunene corridors leading to Botswana and South Africa, to Zimbabwe, Zambia and the DRC, and to southern Angola.

    Chief Director of the SADC Secretariat, Remmy Makumbe commended Namibia on progress with its transport and corridor network and urged delegates to take a close look at trade facilitation with particular emphasis on transit times between the respective SADC borders.

    Makumbe also commended Namport for its success in raising the profile of the Walvis Bay port.

    In a related issue the governments of Namibia and Zimbabwe have signed a memorandum of understanding over the lease of land at the port of Walvis Bay on which it is proposed to build a dry port for Zimbabwe.

    According to the newspaper New Era this follows the offer by Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe to make use Walvis Bay for the import and export of goods. Zimbabwe currently uses the ports of Durban, Maputo and Beira for its import or export requirements.

    Namibia has also entered into a similar MoU with Botswana regarding the use of Walvis Bay as a port.

    sources Namib Times and New Era

    We have to create capacity ahead of demand, says Morwe

    Transnet intends spending R10.3 billion over the next five years on improvements to equipment and infrastructure at the major ports.

    This was the message delivered to the recent Africa Ports and Harbours congress held in Sandton by Tau Morwe, chief executive of Transnet Port Terminals. Morwe said spending this amount was necessary to increase capacity at the ports and improve efficiencies and productivity. By comparison, R400 million had been invested in port infrastructure in 2001, he said.

    R3 billion would be spent in the current year which began in April. This includes deepening the berths in Durban and installing new cranes at Cape Town. This investment will ultimately increase capacity and reduce freight costs at South Africa’s ports.

    African ports had to stay ahead of the game to avoid congestion, Morwe pointed out. “We have to create capacity ahead of demand. At Transnet level the emphasis is on investment on infrastructure, both on the rail side and on the port side.”

    He said there was also a focus on ensuring adequate integration between rail and the ports as well as adequate investment to meet the growth. In Durban it could be seen that a number of shipping lines were moving containers across from road onto rail and to ensure the success of this Transnet needed to provide a reliable supply chain.

    Morwe said that Transnet was currently conducting a study to determine where new container capacity could be located to meet increasing demand. The port of Durban, he pointed out, was experiencing growth in the region of between 10 and 12 percent.

    He said that a comparison between 2001 and now would show that Transnet was beginning to meet that demand. “The key is ensuring that adequate capacity is created ahead of demand,” he emphasised.

    Namibian railway not a white elephant, says minister

    Windhoek, 9 June – Extending the northern corridor railway from Tsumeb to Ondangwa will not become a white elephant, Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Works and Transport says.

    Paul Smit told Namibia’s parliament last Thursday that the first phase which has already been inaugurated had cost ND 858.9 million (R858.9m). He said government had contributed ND 505.3 million, the African development Bank ND 202.3m, the Kuwait Development Fund ND 102.7m and the Arab Development Bank ND 50.3 million. He did not say whether these were grants or loans that had to be repaid.

    The second phase of the railway will extend to the Oshikango border port with Angola and has so far cost ND146 million with a further ND300m required to complete the job. Between April 2007 and February 2008 only 118,874 tonnes of cargo was transported along the railway from Tsumeb to Ondangwa but this was nevertheless regarded as a success, given that only 38,911 tonnes of goods was transported during roughly the same period a year earlier.

    Cargo moving in the other direction is even less – 1,711 tonnes between April 2007 to February 2008. The number of passengers using the train, which runs once a week, was 3,017 between Windhoek and Ondangwa in 2006/07 while 2,683 passengers used the train for the period April 2007 until February 2008.

    He described the railway as an instrument for economic prosperity. An oil company was setting up an oil storage facility at Ondangwa and oil would be carried by train. A second oil company was interested in establishing a similar depot, he said. Currently between 15 and 20 freight trains run each month in each directions, which Smit said contributed to much less traffic on the roads.
    source The Namibian

    Sena railway reopens

    Maputo, 6 June (AIM) – The reconstruction of a 265 kilometre railway between the towns of Dondo and Marromeu, in the central Mozambican province of Sofala, has been completed, reports Friday’s issue of the Maputo daily ‘Noticias’.

    This line is a spur off the Sena railway that runs from Beira to the Moatize coal mines in the western province of Tete, and was rebuilt as part of the overall effort to reconstruct the Sena line, as a crucial component in the economy of central Mozambique.

    The line is to be handed over for official reopening before the end of this month, after completing the repair of two culverts on the final stretch of the railway between Inhaminga and Marromeu.

    This line will be used mainly to transport the sugar produced at Marromeu for export through the port of Beira, limestone from Muanza to the cement factory in Dondo, and timber from Cheringoma.

    The Sofala Provincial Director of Transport and Communications, Manuel Guimaraes, told ‘Noticias’ that at the current pace the rehabilitation of the entire Sena line will be complete by May 2009. Work on rebuilding the main Sena line has now reached a point just 15 kilometres from the town of Caia, on the south bank of the Zambezi.

    The work is in the hands of the Indian consortium Rites and Ircon International (RICON), which won the lease on the entire Beira rail system. Progress on the Sena line was slowed by the heavy rains in central Mozambique at the start of the year, and by the late reception of some equipment.

    Guimaraes lamented the fact that thieves have been attacking the Sena line, even before reconstruction is complete. Thus, at the partially rehabilitated station at Savane, thieves have stolen the newly installed doors and windows.

    Guimaraes urged local communities to be more vigilant to try and check such acts of sabotage, warning that those involved will be severely punished.

    The last time a train ran along the Sena line was in September 1983. It became impossible to use the line because the rebel movement Renamo not only ambushed trains, but ripped up huge stretches of the track. Renamo delivered the coup de grace in 1986, when it blew up the Dona Ana bridge, the longest rail bridge in Africa, that carried the Sena line across the Zambezi. (AIM)

    Uganda railway reopens on Friday

    The railway from Mombasa to Kampala is expected to reopen on Friday (13 June) after repairs to washaways near Jinja are completed.

    The line was damaged by heavy rains more than three weeks ago, leaving Uganda stranded by rail for the second time this year. Earlier the landlocked country had been isolated from the Kenyan port due to political unrest following the election campaign.

    Because of the washaway, which occurred inside Uganda near the northern banks of Lake Victoria, freight had to be offloaded at Iganga and transported by road the rest of the way to Kampala.

    Glen Kleyn, project manager for Rift Valley Railway which holds the concession to operate the railway and which has been carrying our repairs told New Vision newspaper that a new culvert had been built to provide a new outlet for swamp water to drain into the lake, some half a mile away. He estimated the new culvert, which is built of corrugated iron will last more than 50 years.

    Repair work is being undertaken at mile 323 and RVR is also investigating whether repairs are necessary at mile 289. Kleyn said the latter was not in immediate danger but RVR was drawing up plans to repair the section. – source New Vision

    Criticism of Rift Valley Railway growing

    Coming so soon after the political upheaval in Kenya which disrupted the transport of cargo to and from the port of Mombasa, the washaway of a section of railway near Jinja in Uganda has resulted in additional congestion concerns for the Mombasa port.

    The railway washaway resulted in a build up of freight at the port which is adding to frustration and concern by rail and port users. Rift Valley Railway, which owns the concession to manage and operate the former Kenya government and Uganda government railway systems, has come under increasing criticism from people inside Kenya, including those in government, who want the company headed by South Africa’s Sheltam Rail to relinquish the concession.

    The claim is that there has been little or no improvement to the rail network since RVR took over in November 2006, with claims that the productivity of the rail operator has dropped below that of the government-run railway before the concession.

    The national chairman of the institute for freight forwarders association (Kifwa), Gerald Kagumo said his association has written to Kenya’s transport minister asking for an immediate intervention because of what he called creeping congestion at the Kenya Ports Authority container yard.

    Others, such as the chairman of the Kenya Shippers Council accused RVR of simply managing the former Kenya Railway Corporation instead of introducing improvements.

    Rift Valley Railway’s managing director Roy Puffet said major rehabilitation of the railway could only take place within realistic timelines. Addressing the complaints with a paid advertisement in local newspapers, Puffet admitted that performance levels of RVR were below expectations, as also is the injection of capital into more resources.

    “The financing structure of loans required for a concession that is inherently complex by nature and which are compounded by the fact that the concession involves two governments and two international financiers - all of whom have unique requirements - have resulted in unexpected delays in accessing the required funding to start the required capital expenditure programmes that are vital for this type of project,” he said.

    According to Puffet RVR inherited 100 locomotives from the former Kenya Railway Corporation, of which only 50 were operational on the Kenya side. Of 40 locomotives inherited from Uganda only 24 were in serviceable condition. In addition only 46 percent of the 7,400 rail wagons were operational and the engineering workshop in Nairobi was unable to facilitate rapid rehabilitation works.

    He said that RVR was expecting the delivery of additional locomotives from Sheltam Rail in South Africa.

    In a subsequent development RVR is reported to be holding talks with an Australian logistics specialist, PDL Toll Inc with regards to additional investing in the railway’s infrastructure needs. PDL Toll’s strategy and development manager told East Africa’s Business Daily that his company saw great opportunities to invest in infrastructure in Africa. At a meeting held in the offices of the Kenya Ports Authority more than 100 stakeholders welcomed the possible involvement of another operator to help improve efficiency levels on RVR.

    Nigeria’s east-west railway to cost USD 5 billion

    A 1,500km railway linking Nigeria’s major states in an east-west configuration is likely to cost USD 5 billion, says the MD of Rail-net Incorporation, Larry Esin.

    Talking with Leadership Weekend (Nigeria) Esin said the railway, which will begin in Lagos will extend through the eastern states and the Niger Delta and terminate at Akwa Ibom.

    The railway will be built on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis and be run as a public-private partnership for between 28 and 30 years before reverting to the Federal government.

    He said the railway would benefit the multi billion Naira Ibaka Liquefied Natural Gas LNG project being undertaken by the Mbo local government and would also have tourist appeal.

    Siemens to open electrical facility at Durban shipyard

    The harbour tug MKHUZE being lowered into the water for the first time in 2003, having been built at the Southern Africa Shipyards in Durban where five new and more powerful tugs are under construction for the TNPA. Siemens was the electrical sub contractor on the earlier tug buildings as well. Picture Terry Hutson

    Durban, 11 June - Siemens is a subcontractor to Southern African Shipyards in its R400 million contract to build five harbour tugs simultaneously for Transnet and the National Ports Authority (NPA).

    Ian Morris, acting regional director for Siemens KwaZulu-Natal, says the company would open a fully functional electrical facility in the ship building yard at Durban harbour in support of the project.

    Siemens will undertake all the electrical and electronic design and installation with their subcontractors on the tugs which will stand 18 metres high, be 31 metres long and 11, 5 metres wide, and have a 70-ton and 65-ton bollard pull respectively.

    The Siemens contract includes the design and installation of 15 kilometres of cable, installation of the radar, communication and alarm monitoring systems.

    This is the first time in South Africa that five boats are being built in tandem, said Jürgen Cobarg, General Manager: Shipbuilding Southern African Shipyards. The first tug destined for Ngqura is expected to be launched in July 2009.

    Locally designed, the physical size and capability of these tugs makes them the most powerful harbour tugs in the country and will enable the NPA to meet the needs of the larger container ships that will enter Ngqura as well as Durban when the harbour mouth is widened.

    The five tugs make up two contracts – three 70-ton bollard-pull tugs for Ngqura and two 65-ton bollard pull tugs for Durban.

    The shipyard is currently involved in an open tender for another eight 70-ton bollard pull tugs for various ports around the coast. “If that comes off it will keep us building until the end of 2012,” said Prasheen Maharaj, financial director Southern African Shipyards.

    Since the reopening of the mothballed shipbuilding yard last year 210 jobs have been created, and this is expected to rise to 260 with the tug contract. It is anticipated that as many as 60 apprentices will eventually be employed.

    “This is considered a bold move but it makes business sense to train artisans now in preparation for further contracts,” said Maharaj.

    Piracy update

    In an incident this week at least one Nigerian Navy marine was killed and several injured when militants attacked a security vessel in the employ of Canada’s Addax Petroleum in southern Nigeria. The vessel was carrying eight Nigerian Navy personnel at the time.

    The Addax vessel was traveling from the Calabar region near southeastern Nigeria and was close to the Cameroon border on a heading for the Rivers state in the Niger Delta.

    According to the Nigerian Navy about 56 militants stormed the vessel but were later repelled when reinforcements arrived. The militants then dispersed into the surrounding creeks.

    In a separate attack on another Addax vessel, the oil supply vessel Seacor Macor came under attack in the Niger Delta this week, leaving nine Nigerian Navy personnel dead and four civilians injured.

    In other related incidents of piracy and theft on the Africa coast, the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre has issued the following bulletin:

    07/06/08: Lagos tanker berth, Nigeria

    Robbers boarded a chemical tanker at berth from the outboard side. They attempted to open an inerted cargo tank. Duty AB spotted them and the robbers immediately jumped overboard and escaped. At the time of the incident, there were no shore guards as there were no cargo operations in progress.

    05/06/08: 0415 LT: Pointe Noire Anchorage, Congo

    Two robbers in a canoe approached a refrigerated cargo ship at anchor. One robber attempted to board the ship with a long pole attached with a hook. As the robber reached the main deck level, the duty AB hit him and he fell overboard. Port control responded after nearly two hours, but was not interested in the incident.

    03/06/08: 0705 UTC: Position: 12:43.8N – 049:51.5E, Gulf of Aden

    Two pirate boats opened fire on a container vessel underway. Two coalition warships, in the vicinity came to assist the vessel. The pirates aborted the attack. All crew safe.

    Piracy prone areas and warnings

    Mariners are warned to be extra cautious and to take necessary precautionary measures when transiting the following areas:

    Africa and Red Sea

    Lagos (Nigeria) : Pirates are violent and have attacked and robbed vessels/kidnapped crews along the coast and river, at anchorages and ports. A total of 42 incidents have been reported in Nigeria since 08/01/07. Twenty five attacks alone for Lagos and seven for Bonny River. Generally be vigilant in other areas in Nigeria.
    Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) : Twenty incidents have been reported since 05/06/06. Pirates are targeting ships in port and anchorages.
    Gulf of Aden / Red Sea : Numerous pirate attacks have been reported by ships and yachts in the Gulf of Aden/Red sea. In the past, some of the vessels were fired upon.
    Somalian waters : The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has received 31 actual and attempted attacks in 2007. Many more attacks may have gone unreported. Some pirates are dangerous and would fire their automatic weapons at ships to stop them. Occasionally, they would use their RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) launchers at ships. Pirates are believed to be using ‘mother vessels’ to launch attacks at very far distance from coast. These mother vessels are able to proceed very far out to sea to launch smaller boats to attack and hijack passing ships. Eastern and north-eastern coasts are high risk areas for attacks and hijackings. Vessels not making scheduled calls to ports in Somalia should keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast, ideally more than 200 nautical miles. Mariners are also advised to report any suspicious boats to the Centre.

    Mombasa to go live with Kwatos operating system

    A new upgraded IT system, the Kilindini Waterfront Operations System (Kwatos) is about to come into operation at the port of Mombasa, after more than two years of development.

    The fully computerised port operating system covers container terminal operations, conventional (non-container) terminals, marine operations as well as the inland container depots at Nairobi and Kisumu.

    Developed for the Kenya Ports Authority by South Korean company Total Softbank, the system is due to come into operation from 1 July 2008. All KPA staff, Kenya Revenue Authorities, Kenya Bureau of Standards personnel and clearing and forwarding agents have undergone training with Kwatos and the KPA intends introducing the system into the curriculum at the Bandari College for the training of new staff.

    Like other port operating systems Kwatos operates on a real time process of tracking containers and documents and it is hoped that once in service the system will assist in improving efficiencies and productivity at the terminals, where bureaucracy has often been held responsible for delays and congestion.

    The Kenya Port Authority has placed several notices to advise the requirements of the new system on its website at http://www.kpa.co.ke/

    Enquiries can also be made by email to Kwatos@kpa.co.ke

    South Africa and France prepare for SA/EU Summit

    by Luyanda Makapela (BuaNews)

    Paris, 11 June - Bilateral political and economic discussions are to be held between Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and her French counterpart Minister Bernard Kouchner.

    According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the visit on Wednesday will focus on preparations ahead of the Inaugural Summit of the South Africa - European Union scheduled to take place on 25 July in Bordeaux.

    President Thabo Mbeki is expected to lead the South African government delegation to this landmark event.

    South Africa is one of the few countries which have established a strategic partnership with the EU aimed at advancing and strengthening economic relations between the two countries, the department said.

    With regards to the Economic Partnership Agreement, both ministers have reaffirmed their commitment to continue negotiations with a view to reaching a mutually beneficiary agreement on financial South African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreements.

    France is South Africa’s eighth largest trading partner and they are important investors in the South African economy.

    Bilateral trade totalled R25 billion in 2007, with the trade balance in France’s favour.

    South African exports were minerals, metals and other commodities while imports from France included machinery, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

    “The SA-French Business Forum has provided an opportunity for South African and French businesspeople to exchange their views on doing business in Africa while exploring possible joint partnerships on the continent,” the department said.

    There are 160 French companies operating in South Africa currently, including several French multinationals such as Total, Alcatel, Renault, Lafarge, Danone and Peugeot-Citroen.

    On Thursday last week, Minister Dlamini Zuma concluded economic bilateral discussions with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos in Madrid aimed at boosting economic ties between South Africa and Spain.

    Economic relations between the Spain and South Africa countries have grown at a rapid pace recently.

    The total trade between the two countries amounts to R19 billion - meaning it has doubled over the past four years and it is heavily in South Africa's favour.

    The two ministers agreed that this bodes well for the future development of economic relations and that concrete steps to further enhance this growing relationship would be mutual benefit.

    It was also agreed that the two governments would actively encourage visits by business delegations to the respective countries, as a result of the positive economic growth in both countries in recent years.

    HMS ENDURANCE arrives in Simon’s Town

    – picture story from David Erickson

    HMS ENDURANCE (A171), a Royal Navy icebreaker patrol ship arrived in Simon’s Town Naval harbour this week for an unspecified stay.

    Displacing 6,500 tons when fully loaded the vessel, which was built as the POLAR CIRCLE in 1990 for civilian purposes before being taken over by the Royal Navy, carries a crew of 116 personnel and is utilised for patrols in the South Atlantic. The ship carries two Lynx helicopters and is homeported at Portsmouth.

    A171 HMS Endurance makes her approach to Simon’s Town Naval Harbour, with tugs ZTRF Indlovu and ZTTS Tshukudu in attendance.
    On the extreme left, the Museum Ship CS Cable Restorer and the Environmental Protection vessel Ruth First. On the other side of the quay from these are the Hydrographic Survey vessel A324 SAS Protea (white hull) and the Uruguay frigate ROU-1, Uruguay.
    Three of the four South African ‘Valour’ class frigates are visible (the fourth is in the dry dock): Left to right these are F145 SAS Amatola, F146 SAS Isandlwana and F147 SAS Spioenkop.
    The South African Combat Support vessel A301 SAS Drakensberg lies across the quay from F145/F146.
    Mine Hunter vessels M1212 SAS Umhloti and M1142 SAS Umzimkulu, with the P1552 SAS Tobie, P1553 SAS Tern and the Sealab 1 in the still water basin.
    Other vessels in the still water basin are (L-R) the tugs De Neys and ZTAG Umalusi, the distinctive ‘horns’ of the oldest SA Navy vessel in active service, Yard Craft 221, otherwise known as the ‘Mooring Lighter’ dating from 1901, two brand new Police Sea Border Patrol Vessels ZR7322 Inkosazana and ZR7401 Indlovukazi, and the new type 209 submarine SAS S103 Queen Modjadji I.
    Picture by David Erickson

    A171 HMS Endurance enters the harbour. Below her is the buckled bow of the Uruguay frigate ROU-2 Comandante Pedro Campbell, awaiting repair following a collision with her sister frigate ROU-1 Uruguay during the recent ATLASUR exercises off the South African coast Picture by David Erickson

    A171 HMS Endurance moves to her berth on the West Wall; S103 Queen Modjadji I sports an (almost) matching orange coloured access platform that is temporarily placed over the conning tower, complete with an external staircase down to the afterdeck. Picture by David Erickson

    Shell kicked out of Ogoniland

    Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has issued instructions to Shell Petroleum Company (SPDC) to vacate Ogoniland in Nigeria by the end of this year, saying that another oil operator will have to take Shell’s place.

    The drastic action follows years of strife involving Shell and the local communities in the region, which claimed that the oil company was polluting the countryside. President Yar’Adua made his announcement while in South Africa on a state visit last week, saying that it was clear “there is a total loss of confidence between Shell and the Ogoni people.”

    He said a stalemate had been reached and nothing was being gained from the conflict. He said that agreements had been reached for compensation to be paid out by the oil company for the environmental degradation resulting from ongoing spillages of crude petroleum arising from Shell’s operations.

    Pic of the week – MSC TOBA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The container ship MSC TOBA seen sailing from Durban with containers for Mauritius and the Far East. Picture by L Rip Riphagen

    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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