Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 22, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • Higher fuel costs divert ships back to the Suez Canal route

  • Oil refinery planned for Kenya’s new Lamu port

  • Nigeria’s Apapa terminal breaks productivity record

  • Naval News – US Navy destroyer arrives in Mombasa - to visit South Africa

  • Fire on ROYAL PRINCESS cancels cruise

  • Pic of the day – USS ARLEIGH BURKE



    The Dutch dredger PRINS DER NEDERLANDEN (18,091-gt, built 2004) at work in Cape Town harbour during the weekend dredging the container terminal channels. Picture by Aad Noorland

    Higher fuel costs divert ships back to the Suez Canal route

    An increase in the cost of bunker fuel is most several shipping lines reversing their policy of routing lightly laden eastbound container ships around the Cape of Goof Hope. The lines started using the longer Cape of Good Hope route earlier this year to avoid paying Suez Canal fees and high insurance surcharges for sailing through the pirate-ridden Gulf of Aden.

    Maersk Line was the trend-setter in using the longer Cape of Good Hope route and is also among the first to revert to returning to the considerably shorter and quicker canal route, with its AE-6 service reinstated as from the end of May.

    AXS-Alphaliner reports that the decision on using the Cape of Good Hope route was based on a bunker fuel price of below US$350 per tonne. With prices having risen to above the $400 mark, despite an abundance of fuel, the shorter route becomes the better choice once again for the Maersk service. The AE-6 service uses vessels in the 9,500 to 10,000-TEU range with a call now reinstated at Salalah.

    The company’s AE-7 service using the larger 14,000-TEU range vessels was due to return to the Suez route during June.

    French carrier CMA GGM has also announced a similar return to the canal route on its FAL-2 service making use of nine 9,500-TEU ships – as a result the rotation drops from nine weeks to eight with this resumption.

    Likewise Swiss/Italian line MSC has also returned to the canal route for its Lion service and its loop and Taiwanese carrier Evergreen and China’s CSCL which have developed a joint service (CEM) say they will be creating a new routing via the canal.

    The only service remaining around the Cape at present is the Grand Alliance on its EU-3 service using 9,000-TEU ships, although Alphaliner forecasts that this will also change if the bunker prices remain above $ 350 per tonne.

    In an unrelated matter Swire Shipping’s Eastabout Round the World multi-purpose monthly service, making use of four multi-purpose ships, each with a capacity of 1,800-TEU, has begun doubling back via the Cape of Good Hope, directly from Singapore and Jakarta to the East Coast of North America, reports the American Shipper.

    Oil refinery planned for Kenya’s new Lamu port

    Kenya says it intends building an oil refinery at Lamu, north of Mombasa where a new port is also being planned.

    According to the announcement the refinery will have a capacity of 120,000 barrels a day to cater for increasing demand in the East African region. Crude oil will be sourced from Southern Sudan via a pipeline to the Kenyan port.

    A consultant with the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Second Transport Corridor, Dr Mutule Kilonzo said Southern Sudan was no longer keen to continue its dependence on the north, where it exports crude oil along a 1,600-km pipeline to Port Sudan in the Red Sea.

    “An alternative oil pipeline is needed and Kenya will be the place to put up that pipeline,” he said. Included in the proposals is a second pipeline from the Lamu refinery to Addis Ababa in neighbouring Ethiopia.

    A new railway is also planned to connect South Sudan with Lamu, which would operate as a free port.

    The Qatar government has expressed interest in funding the development of the new port at Lamu in exchange for land to grow fruit and vegetables, but the Kenyan government says other options are also being explored.

    Nigeria’s Apapa terminal breaks productivity record

    According to APM Terminals a new Nigerian terminal record of 47.26 container moves an hour was set last week at its Apapa container terminal.

    The impressive increase in productivity was achieved while working the 2,890-TEU MAERSK PEMBROKE, during which 2,249 container moves were made in 47.3 hours.

    In addition the Maersk Pembroke was the 14th consecutive ship at the terminal in which productivity exceeded 30 moves an hour and was the third ship in that week to surpass 40 moves an hour.

    APM Terminals acquired the concession to operate the Apapa container terminal three years ago. The terminal has four berths with a total length of 1005 metres and 290,000 square metres of yard space. Dredging of the berths has been underway, with one berth being taken out at a time, while onshore APM has replaced older equipment with newer more modern machines, including 34 new trucks and four rubber tyre gantries (RTGs).

    Throughput at the Apapa terminal in 2008 reached 542,379-TEUs, up from 409,751-TEUs the year before. Investments have exceeded US$100 million and container capacity tripled to 600,000 TEUs a year. source Journal of Commerce

    Naval News – US Navy destroyer arrives in Mombasa - to visit South Africa

    by Africa Partnership Station Arleigh Burke Public Affairs

    US destroyer USS ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG 51) arrived in the port of Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city on 17 June 2009 for a six-day port visit as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS).

    APS is an international initiative led by US Naval Forces Europe - US Naval Forces Africa.

    The initiative is aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and other collaborative activities with African partners with the ultimate goal of improving maritime safety and security for the continent of Africa.

    During USS Arleigh Burke's visit to Mombasa and additional ports in the region, the ship and crew will host a combination of classroom and hands-on practical applications. Training teams will work with local partners in cooperative training events such as search and rescue, small boat maintenance, hydrology and visit, board, search and seizure exercises.

    “I'm thrilled to have our dynamic team here in Mombasa, and I'm looking forward to continuing the great partnerships we have here,” said Captain Jim Tranoris, commodore of APS Arleigh Burke. “The cooperative activities we have planned with our African partners will continue to aide the capacity of theatre security cooperation and reinforce the
    groundwork of maritime safety and security in the region.”

    Arleigh Burke, a guided missile destroyer homeported in Norfolk, Va., is the second APS platform to visit South and East Africa, and is scheduled to make additional stops in Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles and South Africa. – USN courtesy story, Africa Partnership Station

    N.B. USS Arleigh Burke is the lead vessel in the class of multirole missile destroyers which were designed to be the mainstay of US Navy surface vessel into the 21st Century. The class of ship displaces 9,200 tons fully loaded and has a length of 155 metres. The ships normally carry a crew of around 362 plus the aviation component for the twin helicopters also carried. Propulsion is from four gas turbines driving two shafts and producing 100,000shp to provide a top speed in excess of 30 knots.

    Details of the South African visit have not yet been announced.

    Fire on ROYAL PRINCESS cancels cruise

    A fire broke out in the engine room of the Princess Cruises’ cruise ship ROYAL PRINCESS last Thursday, shortly after the 30,277-gt, 2001-built ship sailed from Port Said in Egypt.

    The ship is carrying 733 passengers and has a crew of 393 and was in the midst of a 12-night cruise in the eastern Mediterranean, having sailed from Rome to Athens. From Port Said her next port of call was Ashdod in Israel for excursions to Jerusalem.

    Passengers were mustered and fire teams deployed, said a Princess Cruise spokesman. There were no reports of any injuries and passengers later returned to their staterooms and cabins.

    The ship went to anchor off Port Said and was due to re-enter the port yesterday (Sunday). The ship was able to provide essential services using emergency power.

    Princess Cruises said that after an assessment of the damage it turned out the damage was more extensive than originally thought and that the ship will have to go to a shipyard for necessary repairs.

    “We regret that the remainder of the current cruise and the following cruise departing 25 June must be cancelled. We understand that this is a disappointing development, and we sincerely apologise to our passengers for the disruption to their vacation.”

    Princess Cruises said it would be providing the affected passengers on both voyages with a full refund of their fare, plus a future cruise credit equal to 25% of the cruise fare paid for these sailings.

    “We are currently securing flights home for all passengers currently onboard Royal Princess and they will be returning home over the weekend,” the company said on Friday.

    Passengers' homeward flights, transfers and associated hotel accommodations were to be at Princess' expense.

    Pic of the day – USS ARLEIGH BURKE

    The US Navy multirole missile destroyer USS ARLEIGH BURKE (9,200-tons displacement) which arrived in Mombasa last week for a six-day visit. The ship will also visit ports in the Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion and South Africa on her current deployment. Picture courtesy US Navy

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