Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 16, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – GILAVAR

  • SAMSA issues statement about ship collision

  • Piracy update: Japan enters the arena with two destroyers

  • Namport announces new CEO

  • Five more years of shipping downturn, fears DNV

  • AP Moller Terminals commissions new Apapa RTGs

  • Pic of the day – CLEVELAND


    First View – GILAVAR

    The Azerbaijan-owned research ship GILAVAR (3,779-gt, built 1981)which arrived in Cape Town at the weekend, is owned by Caspian Geophysical and managed by WesternGeco of London. Picture is by Aad Noorland

    SAMSA issues statement about ship collision

    Last Tuesday Ports & Ships reported on the collision between the South African registered fishing trawler MONIE MARINE and a Singapore-registered bulker MARITIME MASTER off Cape Recife, in which the trawler subsequently sank. You can read the original report HERE

    The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has since issued a press release concerning the accident and detailing some follow ups, which is reproduced here in full:

    At approximately 20h30 SAST on 8 March 2009 the South African registered fishing vessel MONIE MARINE and the Singapore registered bulk carrier MARITIME MASTER were involved in a collision approximately 11 miles south of Cape Recife.

    The Monie Marine sank while under tow to Port Elizabeth. The four crew members onboard were taken off by the tug prior to the vessel sinking.

    The Maritime Master has been detained as unseaworthy due to the damage sustained to her hull from the collision. The vessel will be released from detention when her flag State confirm that she is in a seaworthy condition to continue the voyage.

    The initial interviews of the relevant officers, of both vessels, have been completed. The electronic tracking data received from two sources is currently being collated and will be used to confirm the veracity of the statements made to the investigating officers. In the event that the electronic data confirms the statements made regarding the movement of the vessels prior to the collision, this part of the investigation process will be completed.

    The electronic navigation equipment of the Maritime Master has been tested by a SAMSA Radio Surveyor to confirm that the various items e.g. radars, gyro compass, radios and the automatic identification system were performing to the required standards.

    Capt NT Campbell
    Regional Manager: Southern Region SAMSA

    Piracy update: Japan enters the arena with two destroyers

    Japan gave orders on Friday (13 March 2009) for two Maritime Self-Defense destroyers to proceed to the waters off Somalia and take part in anti-piracy patrols along with warships from a number of other nations.

    It was expected that Japan’s cabinet would lay the groundwork on Friday for the actual orders which will accompany the ships on their mission, which is regarded as unusual in that it departs from Japan’s normal role for her navy of being defensive weapons in home waters. The rule has been stretched in the sense that Japan regards attacks on ships under Japanese register or carrying cargo to or from Japan as being in the same category as being an attack on the country’s integrity. This becomes the nation’s first policing action abroad for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces since the end of World War 2.

    The cabinet had specifically to invoke the law’s Article 82, which stipulates that the Self-Defense Forces may take necessary actions at sea to safeguard Japan’s lives and property in situations that exceed the capacity of the Japan Coast Guard.

    The two vessels that are expected to take up station off Somalia are the destroyers SAZANAMI and SAMIDARE, both of the 8th Escort Division of the 4th Escort Flotilla, based in Kure. They sailed on Saturday.

    Each destroyer carries two SH-60K patrol helicopters which will prove invaluable in combating piracy in the area under patrol. The vessels also carry a number of commando-style special forces who will be involved in any actual missions against pirates.

    Their mission begins in early April. Japan is also reported to be considering sending P3C patrol aircraft to assist with anti-pirate patrols.

    Meanwhile reports indicate an escalation in violence involving pirate attacks off Somalia, with two seafarers being shot and wounded in recent attacks. The shooting took place when pirates attempted to stop the North Korean cargo ship CHONG CHON GANG (9,147-gt, built 1977) in an unsuccessful attack about 400 n.miles from the Kenya coast. The vessel was sprayed with automatic gunfire and one seafarer was slightly injured. This is thought to be the first time that someone has actually been shot during a pirate attack and if correct marks a worrying new development.

    A second ship, a Japanese-managed bulk carrier also came under gunfire about 550 miles east of Somalia, well away from the heavily patrolled areas. Pirates in a small boat chased the larger ship and opened fire when the vessel began manoeuvring to evade capture. The Japanese vessel eventually outran the pirates and there were no injuries reported.

    There have been concerns that the increasing militarization of anti-piracy patrols, including the use of armed guards on board ships and attacks on pirate strongholds after the release of ships and crew could lead to a tendency of the pirates to use their weapons more freely. Until now shots have been fired against the ships with no reports of any injuries to crew.

    Namport announces new CEO

    Namport, the authority which administers the Ports of Walvis Bay and Luderitz last week announced the appointment of Gerson Adolf Bisey Uirab as its new Chief Executive Officer. His appointment is for five years.

    Uirab, who holds a Master degree in Business Administration from Edinburgh Business School (Herriot-Watt University), will take up his position from 8 April 2009.

    The 42-year old Namibian worked in senior and executive management capacities over the past seven years in the mobile telecommunications environment at MTC, Namibia’s leading mobile telecommunications provider, and at Somali Telecoms Group, the oldest private telecommunications provider in the greater Somalia Region, where he was most recently based. He was responsible for the human resources function in both these institutions.

    Prior to joining the telecommunications industry, Bisey worked for Bank of Namibia as Human Resources & Training Manager and for the Legal Assistance Centre, as Paralegal & Office Manager. Bisey’s first exposure to working life was as a teacher at Martin Luther High School (Okombahe) and AME Private School (Gibeon).

    Over the years, Bisey served on the Boards of several institutions, including Institute of Bankers, Namibia Employers Federation, Employment Equity Commission, Namibia Qualifications Authority (alternate) and Namibia Red Cross Society.

    In its statement announcing the appointment Namport says Bisey’s passion lies in the empowerment of human capital to achieve their maximum potential and in ensuring equity, fairness and justice, amongst the peoples of Namibia, whilst contributing to ethical, professional and acceptable behaviour amongst the corporate citizenry.

    Uirab’s predecessor was Sebulon (Sebby) Kankondi who resigned recently.

    Five more years of shipping downturn, fears DNV

    Analysts from classification society DNV say the current shipping downturn could last another five years although they admit the outlook is very uncertain.

    The classification society says that 434 firm ship contract cancellations have already taken place out of an orderbook of 10,400 and as many as 300 of DNV’s 1,500 new ship contracts could be cancelled, many of these in Asia, with the figure climbing even higher. But these figures do not take into account that approximately 400 container ships are already laid up or idle and that the move to slow steaming has effectively taken another 10% of capacity out of the market.

    DNV believes that the current orderbook could well result in a tonnage surplus amounting to 5,000-8,000 ships. It says that so-called warm lay-ups or idling anchorages in Singapore are already full while space at other locations in Hong Kong and Fujairah is limited. – source Seatrade Asia Online

    AP Moller Terminals commissions new Apapa RTGs

    AP Moller says it has invested more than US$100 million on port infrastructure and other developments within the Nigerian port industry in the last three years.

    Micheal Lund Handsen, AP Moller’s managing director in Nigeria revealed this last week while commissioning four new Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) cranes at the company’s port terminal in Apapa. He said that since APM had taken over operations at the Apapa Port Complex three years ago it had honoured its agreement regarding infrastructure and human resource development with a resultant increase in cargo throughput and productivity.

    This was the first time that sophisticated shoreside cranes have been deployed in Nigeria and it was expected that port productivity would improve even further as a result. Handsen said he was also please to announce that besides the increase in investment, the number of Nigerians employed by APM had also seen an increase and now stood at 820.

    The RTG cranes had been ordered more than a year ago, he said and were specially manufactured for the Apapa terminal. Each RTG had the capacity of four or five reach stackers, and could operate on block stacks seven containers wide and five high. “This sets the pace for modernisation of the Nigerian ports,” he said.

    “APM Terminals Apapa Ltd today reaffirms its commitment to investment in Nigeria, four brand new Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes at a value of more than $7 million have arrived, marking a new chapter in the history of Container Terminals in Nigeria. APM Terminals took over operations at the Apapa Container Terminal three years ago and have since then invested $100 million in equipment, construction, works, IT systems and training.”

    "As a result of this huge investment, Nigeria today profits from a modern container terminal with three times the throughput capacity it has at the time APAM Terminals took over,” said Handsen.

    The Nigerian Minister of Transport, Alhaji Ibrahi Bio said the APM investments gave the Federal Government reason to hope that its port concessioning programme would succeed in the long term. He called on other terminal operators to expand their own investment programmes in accordance within their concession agreements.

    Meanwhile, Nigerian Ports Authority MD, Malam Abdul Salam Mohammed says that if the tempo of decongesting the ports of Lagos is maintained, then all the overtime boxes should be evacuated within the next 30 days.

    He said that progress as being made with the Apapa and Tin Can Island terminals to reduce the overstays which had congested the ports but stressed that continued action was required and that every effort to check the annual congestion rate should be taken.

    The minister was addressing an interactive meeting with members of the House Committees on Marine Transport and Customs and Excise in Abuja.

    Pic of the day – CLEVELAND

    The American steamship CLEVELAND (16,563-gt, built 1969), which together with her near sister ship WILSON has been a regular caller at Durban and other ports on the East African coast for many years, delivering mostly American and UN food aid parcels on behalf of the US Sealift Command and various aid agencies, made her final call this weekend, sailing yesterday afternoon in glorious Durban sunshine. Trevor Jones was on hand to record the final moments of the graceful old ship along side at the T-Jetty. Both pictures by 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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