Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 20, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Transport companies given 21 days to remove manganese ore dump near Port Elizabeth

  • Too many govt agencies in our ports, says Nigeria’s Public Enterprise DG

  • Transnet calls for someone to develop tank farm at Port of Ngqura

  • Study shows European environmentalism hurts African exports

  • Study finds large global barriers to trade in raw materials

  • East African Community EPA negotiations unlikely to be finished by December

  • Indian Navy frigate sinks Somali pirate ship

  • Pic of the day – TERN and SAFMARINE TEXAS



    WESTERN TRIDENT        picture by Terry Hutson

    One of the more unique and unusual ships to call at Durban in a long time, the seismic research vessel WESTERN TRIDENT, arrived in port on Tuesday to undergo maintenance at the port’s repair yards. Western Trident (8,369-gt) was built in 1999 by Ulstein Verft AS for US-company Western Geophysical, a division of Baker Huges, and is owned by Seismic Shipping Inc and is managed by WesternGeco AS.

    Fitted with state-of-the-art streamer recording technology, the ship comes with 16 seismic streamer winches for 3D seismic data collection.

    Because of the nature of her operation the ship is fitted for silent operation and possess an arrangement of seismic technology, computer processing facilities and a highly flexible and powerful propulsion system. To maintain silent operation all shipboard and hydroacoustic noise is carefully controlled, with all major rotating machinery installations resilliently mounted. The ship also provides hotel class accommodation for up to 68 persons and is equipped with a helipad for a Super Puma or Sikorsky S61 type helicopter.

    The ships is 92.5m in length and has a moulded width of 23m with a draught of 9m. Two main engines each of 3,970 kW drive two main propellers in nozzles and give the ship a speed of approximately 15 knots and a bollard pull of approximately 140 tonnes. Western Trident flies the Panamanian flag.

    Berthed opposite Western Trident on the Dormac quay is the pipe layer vessel DEEP CONSTRUCTOR (formerly CSO CONSTRUCTOR), which is employed in the oil industry laying pipes in waters up to 2,500m deep. The ship has undergone a major refit including having a new accommodation section added by the Dormac team. She sails tomorrow (Friday) after a successful 2.5 month project costing USD10 million.

    PORTS & SHIPS hopes to have a separate article on this vessel and the work completed in Durban in a future edition.

    DEEP CONSTRUCTOR          picture by Terry Hutson

    Transport companies given 21 days to remove manganese ore dump near Port Elizabeth

    The EP Herald reports that Nelson Bay Municipality (Port Elizabeth) has given two transport companies 21 days in which to remove an illegal dump of manganese ore.

    The ruling follows complaints from nearby residents in the Swartkops area of Port Elizabeth and relates to a stockpile of export manganese ore intended for the harbour. According to residents the use of the two sites began nine months ago with hundreds of ore-bearing tipper trucks arriving both day and night, causing dust clouds to form and raising health fears.

    One of the sites is at the old Swartkops power station and the second at a former truck stop.

    There is some dispute over the ownership of the truck stop site, with Transnet saying it is not involved with stockpiling manganese ore there.

    The municipality has confirmed that samples taken from the grime coating nearby houses contains manganese.

    The question of the continued use of the manganese dump site at the Port Elizabeth harbour continues to cause controversy with the tenants refusing to move to a site at the new port of Ngqura nearby because of the cost of moving and also being required to clean the existing site on departure in terms of environmental laws. At present the harbour facility is the only site in the area with a registration certificate for the purpose.

    Too many govt agencies in our ports, says Nigeria’s Public Enterprise DG

    Nigeria’s port congestion problems are the result of too many government agencies operating – in other words too much red tape or dare we say it, Africa’s bogie, too much bureaucracy.

    That’s the forthright view of Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterpises’ (BPE) Director General, Mrs Irene Chigbue, who said this week that congestion at the ports is, in her view, not the fault of the terminals but that there are over 20 government agencies all operating at the ports.

    She said this at a two-day World Bank Privatisation Support Project Stakeholders Workshop being held in Abuja.

    The BPE had undertaken study tours of successful ports in other parts of the world and what was noticeable, she said, was that there was no country with such a plethora of (government) agencies active in the ports.

    Transnet calls for someone to develop tank farm at Port of Ngqura

    A call has gone out for expressions of interest in funding, developing and operating liquid bulk products on a tank farm at the new port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape.

    The new port some 20km from Port Elizabeth is nearing completion and the first ship which is expected to be a container vessel is scheduled to enter port before the middle of next year. The port however was also designed to handle both dry and liquid bulk, hence the call by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) for interested parties to apply.

    The tank farm could operate in tandem with a 400,000 barrel a day oil refinery costing R110 billion that the South African national oil company PetroSA intends to have in operation by 2014. It is also intended to replace an ageing tank farm handling petroleum products at Port Elizabeth harbour, where there is already some concern about ground pollution. Leaks of petroleum products into the harbour have recently been reported from under the oil tanker jetty and tests are being carried out to determine the origin and nature of the leaks, with all evidence so far suggesting the existing tank farm to be at fault.

    The current age of the existing tanks at the Port Elizabeth tank farm is 45 years and older.

    Study shows European environmentalism hurts African exports

    By Ranier Chr Hennig, Global Research (Tralac)

    As European nations work to curb CO2 emissions and reduce the effects of climate change, they implement policies advocating the principle “buy local” rather than imports from other continents. Europe is the major market for African exports, and thus African goods will suffer the effects of this emphasis on environmentalism.

    Two especially hard-hit industries are tourism and agriculture. Since these two industries rely on emissions-heavy intercontinental flights for their success, greater awareness of carbon emissions in Europe hurts their economic viability.

    One successful campaign in Germany uses the catchphrase “Sylt instead of Seychelles” to advocate local tourism to avoid emissions-heavy intercontinental flights.

    A British supermarket, Tesco, has begun disclosing the “carbon count” of its products to shoppers; this supermarket is a major channel of agricultural goods from Kenya.

    Some environmentalists advocate charging consumers the externality price of CO2 emitted in the production of goods, which would make African goods far more expensive than their European counterparts.

    The study argues that this environmentalism will be detrimental to African goods entering European export markets.

    Study finds large global barriers to trade in raw materials

    By Wiley Rein (Tralac)

    A new study by Wiley Rein LLP finds that governments are using trade barriers and subsidies on raw materials to unfairly benefit their local industries. The study focuses on the policies used by China, Russia, Ukraine, India, and other fast-growing nations to gain an advantage in the battle for raw materials.

    The study finds that such trade barriers create distortions not only in the raw materials trade, but also in investment and competitiveness in manufacturing industries. These barriers include export bans, export quotas, and export licensing restrictions as well as bans on foreign investment in local raw materials sectors. The study says that these countries use state-owned enterprises, banks, and sovereign wealth funds to “subsidise the acquisition of raw material production assets abroad.”

    The impact of this is that manufacturers who “play by the rules” face lower supply and higher prices for raw materials. Many of these barriers violate the WTO and other trade agreements and distort trade, and stakeholders in the study hope to bring the issue before the WTO.

    East African Community EPA negotiations unlikely to be finished by December

    By George Omondi (Tralac)

    A key negotiator for Kenya recently warned that the EAC would probably not meet the December deadline for negotiating its EPAs with the EU. Contentious issues include the most-favored nation (MFN) clause and the import taxes.

    The negotiations thus far have yielded important concessions from the EU, including the creation of “disease-free zones” within a country for livestock exports rather than requiring that all livestock within that country are healthy.

    However, the EU expectation that the EAC liberalise over 82% of regional economies seems to be a bit ambitious. Some trade experts warn that negotiations could continue through next July unless regional governments are not included in the discussion process.

    Indian Navy frigate sinks Somali pirate ship

    The Indian Navy frigate INS TABAR yesterday opened fire on and sank a suspected pirate mother ship operating in the Arabian Sea. Tabar is part of the multinational naval task force operating in the area on anti-terrorist and anti-piracy patrol.

    The action took place 285 n.miles south-west of Salalah in Oman near the approaches to the Gulf of Aden. This is the third engagement involving INS TABAR which has been instrumental in assisting two merchant ships under attack by pirates in the past week.

    In the latest incident the frigate encountered the mother ship with two smaller speed boats in tow. The mother vessel matched the description given for a pirate vessel mentioned in various bulletins. The navy ship then closed with the other vessel ordering it to stop, however the crew on board the mother vessel responded by instructing the Indian ship to stand clear or they would blow up the warship. Men were observed on the deck of the vessel armed with rocket launchers and automatic weapons.

    INS Tabar subsequently opened fire on the other vessel.

    "Fire broke out on the vessel and explosions were heard, possibly due to exploding ammunition that was stored in the vessel," the Indian navy said in a communique.

    There are no reports of survivors although several pirates were observed trying to escape in the speed boats.

    Pic of the day – TERN and SAFMARINE TEXAS

    The heavylift TERN (22,788-gt, built 1982) arrived in Cape Town yesterday morning for a bunker call. Picture by Aad Noorland

    One of Safmarine’s more elderly charted vessels bedecked in a not very attractive black and red livery. SAFMARINE TEXAS (13,688-gt, built 1988) was in Cape Town recently. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    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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