Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 11, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – TALISMAN

  • SA port statistics for May 2009

  • Namibia commissions new patrol ship NS BRENDAN SIMBWAYE

  • News from the world of shipping

  • Transnet responds to weekend report on succession and audit leaks

  • Search & Rescue specialists in Cape Town conference

  • Pics of the day – DREDGER DI 68 AT WORK


    First View – TALISMAN

    The heavylift submersible TALSIMAN (42,515-gt, built 1993) arrived in Cape Town harbour this week to be met by a bevy of tugs waiting to escort the large vessel into port. Also on hand to ’capture’ the scene was photographer Aad Noorland

    SA port statistics for May 2009

    The latest statistics for the month of May 2009 are now available.

    There has been a general decrease in volumes across the country’s ports during May as compared with April with only Durban and Mossel Bay showing small increases. At Durban this was by way of an increase in the number of containers handled.

    During the month the number of ship calls at all South African ports was 1,244, compared with 1,394 in April. As there is an increase in ships calling for bunkering purposes only – a number having been diverted from the Suez Canal – this suggests an actual decrease in ships working cargo.

    The port of Saldanha continues to enjoy significantly higher volumes of cargo than for the equivalent periods in preceding years. Of significance is that the highest percentage of this lies with bulk exports.

    As is customary the figures shown in this report reflect an adjustment on the overall tonnage to include containers by weight – an adjustment necessary because Transnet NPA measures containers in terms of the number of TEUs and no longer by weight - for which PORTS & SHIPS makes an estimated weight adjustment of 13,5 tonnes per TEU to reflect estimated tonnages. This figure is considered to be on the conservative side with 14 tonnes or even more being a more realistic figure, particularly in view of the increasing quantity of bulk cargo which is now being handled in containers.

    For comparative purposes readers can see statistics from 12 months ago, ie May 2008 by clicking HERE
    Figures for the respective ports during May 2009 were (with April 2009 figures shown bracketed):

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay                  4.990 Mt million tonnes (Apr 6.296Mt)
    Durban                          5.760 Mt (Apr 5.179)
    Saldanha Bay                 4.323 Mt (Apr 5.750)
    Cape Town                    1.156 Mt (Apr 1.198)
    Port Elizabeth                 0.520 Mt (Apr 0.586)
    Mossel Bay                     0.218Mt (Apr 0.99)
    East London                    0.171 Mt (Apr 0.193)

    Total monthly cargo in May 17.139 million tonnes (Apr 19.300 Mt)

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

    Durban                          204,430 TEU (Apr 180,585)
    Cape Town                      70,941 (Apr 66,431)
    Port Elizabeth                   22,235 (Apr 21,021)
    East London                      2,654 (Apr 2,562)
    Richards Bay                          33 (Apr 67)

    Total containers handled during April 300,293-TEU (Apr 270,666)

    Ship Calls for May 2009

    Durban:                        425 vessels 10.952m gt (Apr 422 vessels 10.593m gt)
    Cape Town:                  257 vessels 4.291m gt (Apr 377 vessels 4.482m gt)
    Port Elizabeth:                82 vessels 2.279m gt (Apr 101 vessels 2.556m gt)
    Richards Bay:                126 vessels 3.918m gt (Apr 157 vessels 4.748m gt)
    Saldanha:                       41 vessels 2.454m gt (Apr 46 vessels 3.432 gt)
    East London:                  20 vessels 0.494m gt (Apr 26 vessels 0.658m gt)
    Mossel Bay:                  293 vessels 0.347m gt (Apr 175 vessels 0.187m gt)

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

    Namibia commissions new patrol ship NS BRENDAN SIMBWAYE

    The Namibian Navy’s new patrol ship, the NS BRENDAN SIMBWAYE, has been commissioned at a ceremony held at the Naval Base in Walvis Bay.

    The new patrol ship was built for the Namibian Navy at the Industrial Naval de Ceara (Inace) shipyard at Fortaleza, Brazil and underwent sea trials on 30 April 2008, before being handed over to Namibian Defence officials at Inace on 16 January 2009 and delivered to Walvis Bay in April this year. The vessel is named for a Namibian liberation hero who was a founding member of the Caprivi African National Union, which later merged with SWAPO. He died in custody in 1972 during the struggle for liberation.

    According to Brazilian sources the new ship is the lead vessel in a class of five which has been designed for the patrolling and monitoring of Namibia’s coastline. The ship, which displaces 217 tonnes loaded is 46.5 metres in length, has a beam of 7.5m and a draught of 2.3m. Propulsion consists of two MTU 16V 396 TB94 diesel engines rated at 2,740 bhp each, coupled to two shafts with fixed pitch, three blade propellers. The ship’s speed is indicated as 26,5 knots maximum with a cruise speed of 22kn and the vessel has a range of 2,200 n.miles at 12 knots, or the equivalent of ten days at sea. Armament consists of a single 40mm cannon and several machine guns. The ship has a crew of 31 officers and ratings.

    The five patrol ships were budgeted to cost N$24 million (R24m) when ordered in 2004 as part of a trade agreement between the two countries. The NS Brendan Simbwaye is the first vessel to be exported by the shipyard, which will also provide logistical support to the Namibian Navy. Brazil has also been providing training for the Namibian Navy for the past 15 years.

    According to the Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS) Namibia has a fleet of six patrol vessels, one coastal Oryx class patrol ship of 406 tons, the NS ORYZ, and two ex-SA Navy Namacurra harbour patrol boats, while the Haze Gray website lists Namibia as also having an Osprey class patrol ship of 506 tons, the NS TOBIAS HAINYEKO. Namibia also has three unspecified offshore vessels – one is thought to be a former trawler now used for sea fishery patrols. Another patrol vessel, the NS DIMO HAMAMBO was delivered from Brazil in 2004 (details required).

    Namibian Navy personnel have been undergoing training in Brazil prior to the delivery of the new patrol ships.

    Photographs also required please!

    News from the world of shipping

    OT Africa Line intends calling at the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) port of Banana as from 18 June, the company has announced. The DRC port is being included with its feeder service between Pointe Noire in Congo (Brazzaville) and the port of Soyo in Angola. Other regional ports in the service include Matadi and Boma. According to OT Africa Line the transit time from Banana to European ports via transshipment will be between 23 and 32 days.

    HKSG reports a group of analysts from Nikko Citigroup as forecasting that the downturn in shipping is bottoming out although they suggest losses in the industry to continue for some little while, with suggestions that containership supply and demand imbalance will remain throughout 2011.

    “For containers in particular, we think it will be hard over the next two to three years to forecast how far losses will widen as a supply correction will be difficult to engineer for large ships as they are relatively new and the segment is vulnerable to shipping companies lowering freight charges just to win market share, even if this means that they operate in the red,” said the Nikko Citigroup analysts.

    Other specialists in the maritime field have expressed confidence that an upswing lies ahead, although they believe it will be a slow growth, aided by freight rate adjustments now being introduced on the Asia – Europe and Asia – USA services. These increases are likely to be introduced on other services as well.

    Transnet responds to weekend report on succession and audit leaks

    The Transnet Board has issued the following statement, which is published here without alteration:

    Johannesburg, 10 June 2009 - A weekend newspaper published a story, “Transnet in stormy waters” (June 7 2009), which conflated two unrelated issues: first, the process to appoint the new group chief executive (GCE); and second, a leaked internal audit report on the control environment in one of our business units.

    We think there is no public interest to be served by commenting on leaks of internal working documents or rumour and speculation. However, when these are presented as facts to the detriment of the Company’s reputation our fiduciary obligation warrants a response.

    A. GCE Succession

    This is a corporate governance issue driven by the non-executive and independent members of the Board.

    Last March, we issued a statement (this is available on: www.transnet.net), updating Transnet’s stakeholders on the progress being made in the GCE succession issue. This statement made clear the role of the Board and the Shareholder in the GCE selection.

    In the same statement, we made clear that the candidate who had obtained our unanimous recommendation for the position of GCE, and who had participated in the selection process, had withdrawn his candidature after his name was recommended to the Minister of Public Enterprises by the Board. Subsequent to this, the process was re-launched, and its outcome will be announced at the appropriate time.

    For the record, the Board is united on the succession process.

    Transnet is a public institution. And, as such, South Africans have a legitimate right to know about its affairs. As far as possible, we have sought to conduct a transparent succession planning process; one that is characterized by integrity and fairness to all participants.

    Meantime, we reiterate that the Company is in safe hands under the leadership of Mr Chris Wells, the acting GCE. He retains the unqualified support and respect of the Board and the executive team.

    B. The leaked internal audit report

    Three years ago, we appointed Ernst & Young as our internal auditors. One of Ernst & Young’s reports has maliciously been leaked to a Sunday newspaper. The leaked report is part of a continuous internal process aimed at ensuring efficient and cost-effective delivery of the capital investment programme by helping us spot discrepancies and areas for focused management attention before they impact the cost or delivery of the projects. Like all internal audits, this report has to go through a strict governance process set up by the Board. However, it is important to note that whilst all deviations are reviewed carefully, the cases cited need to be considered in relation to the approximately R19,000 million spent on capital projects in the year ended in March 31 2009.

    One of Ernst & Young’s duties is to assist executive management with improving the internal control environment. This typically includes a rigorous assessment of major projects, including capital projects. Findings are reported to various governance structures that review remedial actions undertaken by the Company’s management.

    Ernst & Young’s involvement has been enormously beneficial to Transnet. The financial internal control environment, which in 2004 was regarded as very weak, has significantly improved to a level where today it is regarded as very effective by both internal and external auditors.

    Any control weaknesses that have hitherto been reported on the capital projects have either been addressed or, are in the process of, being addressed. Significantly, none of these are of such a nature as to have negatively impacted the delivery of the projects. Obviously, there is room for improvement.

    Finally, we have to point out that the issues raised in the report have no bearing whatsoever on the succession issue. They concern procedural shortcomings and are not in any way suggestive of mismanagement. To the contrary, they reflect an effective and robust internal control management process, directed at identifying shortcomings and rectifying them.

    Issued by: Mr Fred Phaswana (Chairman of the Board of Directors of Transnet Limited) and Prof Geoff Everingham (Chairman of the Audit Committee of Transnet Limited, Emeritus Professor of Accounting)

    Search & Rescue specialists in Cape Town conference

    Specialists and delegates of COSPAS-SARSAT, (the Space System for the Search of Vessels in Distress and the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking) will converge in Cape Town next week for the 23rd special meeting.

    The meeting, taking place at the Cape Town International Conference Centre from 15-23 June 2009 is chaired by the Department of Transport, South Africa and will be attended by over 250 designated search and rescue specialists, invited international and local delegates.

    The Cospas-Sarsat satellite system was initially developed under a Memorandum of Understanding among Agencies of the former USSR, USA, Canada and France, signed in 1979. Following the successful completion of the demonstration and evaluation phase that started in September 1982, a second Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 5 October 1984.

    The satellite system provides distress alert and location information to search and rescue services throughout the world for maritime, aviation and land users in distress and comprises:

    * satellites in low-altitude Earth orbit and geostationary orbit, capable of processing and relaying signals transmitted by distress beacons;
    * ground receiving stations called Local User Terminals, capable of processing the satellite signals to locate the beacon; and
    * Mission Control Centres set up in most countries operating at least one Local User Terminal which collects, stores and sorts the data from Local User Terminals and other Mission Control Centres.

    Search and rescue initiatives, particularly in the African Continent will come under the spotlight during the meeting. Prior to South Africa’s installation of the Local User Terminal (LUT) and the establishment of a Mission Co-ordination Centre (MCC) in Cape Town in 1999, there was a huge void in the Cospas-Sarsat coverage of the African continent particularly in the Southern Africa region.

    The meeting will also address the efficiency and effectiveness of Search and Rescue and developing comprehensive work programmes for the implementation thereof in the region. This Session will serve as a platform for cooperation, bringing together States at decision making and technical levels. source Cape Business News

    Pics of the day – Dredger DI 68 at work

    The dredger hopper DI 68 (860-gt, built 1978), accompanied by the little work boat MISS ELLY, takes a load of sand from the Bluff sandtrap out to a prescribed dumping ground out at sea. Pictures by Steve McCurrach

    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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