Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 26, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • First View - LIKOS

  • PPPs bear fruit on Maputo Corridor, says Sturrock boss

  • Diamond sampling vessel DP THE EXPLORER ready to sail for Cape Town

  • Piracy update – Yemeni ship latest to be seized as India lines up more warships

  • Coega’s anchor tenant saga - another chapter opens

  • Shipping lines news

  • Pic of the day – KOTA AZAM and SEA LIFE


    First View - LIKOS

    The stern trawler LIKOS heads off down the Esplanade Channel in Durban harbour shortly after entering port from the fishing grounds. Picture Terry Hutson

    PPPs bear fruit on Maputo Corridor, says Sturrock boss

    Andrew Sturrock, MD of Sturrock Shipping

    The public/private sector partnership for shipping and freighting via the Maputo Corridor is bearing fruit and SA ports should not be complacent or they could lose market share to their competitive neighbour.

    So says Andrew Sturrock, Managing Director of Sturrock Shipping, one of South Africa’s largest regional freight, forwarding and ships agency companies, who blazed a trail in setting up operations in both Mozambique and Komatipoort three years ago.

    Sturrock says the success of the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI), a non-profit organisation made up of infrastructure investors, service providers and stakeholders from Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland has significantly exceeded expectations.

    In addition, Maputo port’s recent privatisation and subsequent ownership by a joint venture between Grindrod and Dubai World, who hold 51%, and the Mozambique government, which holds a 49% share, has delivered significant entrepreneurial efficiencies, which are adding to the attraction of Maputo as a complementary port for South Africa.

    “Maputo is starting to be far more cost effective and wonderfully less bureaucratic. The partnership between the key players is hugely advantageous for operators in the region and we believe it will start becoming more and more the preferred gateway for the Gauteng and Mpumalanga areas.”

    Nissan recently took the plunge as the first motor manufacturer to start exporting its cars through this port.

    And major road works are underway from the Lydenburg/Sabie and Nelspruit intersections to widen the roads to three lanes on each side, to enable high occupancy vehicles to occupy one of the three lanes for easier traffic flow.

    Following its success in Mozambique, Sturrock Shipping became the first SA shipping services company to announce the opening of offices in Luanda, Angola earlier this year, and predicted the move would double the company’s existing South and East African ship’s agency business.

    Sturrock says the decision to expand into West Africa was prompted by the booming economy in Angola and the experience and success of the company’s recent forays in other countries in the southern African region.

    “Currently the Angolan economy, as measured by per capita GDP, is experiencing growth in excess of 20% per annum. Much of the growth can be attributed to oil revenues. As Sturrock Shipping has specific expertise in the handling of bulk liquid tankers, we are very well placed to take advantage of this growth phenomenon.”

    Moves are afoot to position South Africa as a new maritime force and government, private sector players and organisations like the SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) have proposed the formation of a strong regional maritime cluster. Some forces believe the Shipping Industry needs the same fillip as the SA motor industry whose development programme was launched 13 years ago.

    Government’s draft white paper on the maritime transport policy is intended to grow SA’s Maritime presence and proposes protective regional transport restrictions, a ship’s register and establishing coastal corridors.

    But Andrew Sturrock believes that SA does not need protectionist legislation or ship ownership in order for it to become stronger in the lucrative seaborne cargo sector.

    “We need to look at regional efficiencies in terms of our ports and road and rail freighting services before we can grow local ship ownership. In addition, the massive skills shortage and lack of training for seafarers in the industry needs to be addressed.”

    Diamond sampling vessel DP THE EXPLORER ready to sail for Cape Town

    Montreal, 24 November 2008 - Afri-Can Marine Minerals Corporation (Afri-Can) reports that the conversion of the contracted sampling vessel MV DP THE EXPLORER is complete and that the vessel will set sail from Singapore for Cape Town shortly.

    The ship is currently under inspection by the RINA Classification Society in order to receive its final sailing and insurability certificates, with the survey nearly complete and the vessel having already received approval on many of the systems inspected. The MV DP The Explorer will leave the JSML Shipyard in Singapore immediately after receiving its final inspection approval.

    The MV DP The Explorer will then sail to Cape Town where she is expected to arrive on or about 5 January 2009. The ship will stay in Cape Town for about 2 months in order to install the sampling tool and the mineral recovery plant and to carry out some sampling and recovery tests. The sampling tool and the recovery plant are completed and ready to be mounted on board the vessel.

    Afri-Can presently expects sampling on Block J to commence approximately two months after DP The Explorer’s arrival in Cape Town and will provide investors with a detailed time schedule following the vessel’s departure from the shipyard in Singapore. The aim of the complete surveying and sampling program is to delineate diamond resources on Block J in compliance with National Instrument 43-101.

    “We are happy to see that the vessel conversion is nearly completed and we are confident that despite the delays, we have followed the right path in chartering this vessel as it will provide the best means to meet our goal of delineating a world class diamond resource,” said Pierre Léveillé, Afri-Can’s President and CEO.

    “Very few alternative vessels are available and certainly none match the specifications of this vessel. This will ensure that our sample results will be of very high quality and reliability.”

    Afri-Can is a Canadian company, actively involved in the acquisition, exploration and development of major mineral properties in Namibia.

    Piracy update – Yemeni ship latest to be seized as India lines up more warships

    As news comes in of another ship seized by Somali pirates – this time a Yemeni freighter, ADINA carrying a cargo of steel – Indian Navy officials and the Indian government are considering sending up to four warships to patrol the Somali waters.

    The attack on the Adina, which is owned by Yemeni shipping company Abu Tala, was en route to the island of Socotra with a cargo of about 500 tonnes of steel. The ship has a crew of seven, including two Panamanians, three Yemenis and three Somalis.

    It appears the ship was attacked and taken for ransom last week with news only now leaking out.

    Meanwhile as India reflects with some pride the exploits of its stealth frigate INS TABAR which sank a pirate mother ship last week, its navy is giving consideration to sending four ships to help patrol the region. The matter has been referred to India’s Defence Minister AK Antony and a UN mandate will be sought.

    The frigate INS TABAR has already returned home after completing its mission in Somali waters and has been replaced by a destroyer which has as yet not been indentified. The destroyer carries two Sea King and one smaller Cheetah helicopters, as well as a normal array of weapons.

    Coega’s anchor tenant saga - another chapter opens

    The yo-yo effect of finding an anchor tenant for Coega continues.

    BHP Billiton yesterday withdrew its offer for control of rival mining group Rio Tinto, saying that it no longer believes that completion of the offer would be in its own best interests.

    According to BHP Billiton chairman, Don Argus, yesterday’s decision was first and foremost about BHP Billiton shareholder value and risks to that shareholder value.

    "We have said that we would only seek to complete the transaction if it was in the best interests of BHP Billiton's shareholders. While we have not changed our view of the basic industrial logic of the combination, or of the longer term prospects for natural resource demand growth driven by emerging economies, we have concerns about the continued deterioration of near term global economic conditions, the lack of any certainty as to the time it will take for conditions to improve and the risks that these issues imply for shareholder value."

    In the year since the USD57 billion takeover bid was made BHP Billiton has successfully cleared regulatory hurdles in South Africa, Australia, Japan and the US.

    Rio Tinto holds the option to build an aluminium smelter at Coega although this has been placed in abeyance because of concerns over the provision of electricity by Eskom. BHP Billiton already operates three aluminium smelters elsewhere in southern Africa – two at Richards Bay and one outside Maputo.

    Shipping lines news

    CSCL is to introduce its latest newbuild charter vessel, CSCL SANTIAGO (2,544-TEU) on the SEAS 2 loop between the Far East and West Africa via South Africa. CSCL operates the weekly service with Maruba, CMA CGM and K Line with a rotation Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Shekou, Port Kelang, Santos, Buenos Aires, Sao Francisco do Sul, Paranagua, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Durban, Port Kelang, Hong Kong, Shanghai.

    This week sees Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) take delivery of the first of its VLCC – very large container ships, MSC SOLA which is the first of a series of ships under construction at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard whose capacity is thought to be 11,660-TEU. MSC Sola will enter service on the company’s Jade service operating between the Far East and the Mediterranean. The Jade service provides MSC with a transshipment service for North and West Africa via Valencia in Spain.

    In December MSC will introduce a really mega sized container ship – one that could perhaps be dubbed a ULCC for ultra large container ship - when the first of a number of 13,300-TEU ships is taken into service. It appears this ship has been named MSC DANIELA (150,000-DWT, 135,000-gt).

    The new ship has an overall length of 380m, a beam of 51m and a draught of 15m fully laden.

    South African shippers will recollect the original MSC Daniela, a diminutive geared vessel of 403-TEU capacity (26,962-gt), based out of Durban and utilised on the Indian Ocean island services.

    Pic of the day – KOTA AZAM and SEA LIFE

    Pacific International Lines (PIL) container ship KOTA AZAM (17,652-gt, built 1999) sails into port at Durban.          Picture Terry Hutson

    Above and below, the rather interesting Georgian-registered general cargo ship SEA LIFE (17,200-gt, built 1984) sails from the port of Durban.        Picture Terry Hutson

    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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