Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 5, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – MSC MAUREEN

  • Piracy: Hansa Stavanger released - ship off Nigeria attacked

  • Dar es Salaam port drops container handling and transfer charges

  • DRC ports reopen as strike ends

  • Trade News – Arlona delivers 20 new pitch coke skips to Richards Bay terminal

  • US military harbour security force for Djibouti

  • SAMTRA contracted by Stena Marine to manage cadet training

  • Pic of the day – KAPITAN PASTUSHENKO


    First View – MSC MAUREEN

    The impressive looking 6,750-TEU container ship MSC MAUREEN (75,590-gt, built 2003) seen in Cape Town harbour. MSC Maureen is one of six sister ships in the Mediterranean Shipping Comapny fleet – the others being MSC Florentina, MS Ludovica, MSC Laura, MSC Luisa, and MSC Vanessa. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Piracy: Hansa Stavanger released - ship off Nigeria attacked

    Somali pirates have released the German-flagged container ship HANSA STAVANGER (15,988-gt, built 1997) along with her crew of 24, which have been held in captivity since 4 April. The crew is made up of 11 Tuvaluans, five Germans, three Russians, two Ukrainians, two Filipinos and one Fijian.

    According to reports a ransom of US$2.7 million was paid over to the pirates before the ship was released on Monday. A European warship is escorting the container ship away from the Somali coast.

    On Saturday Somali pirates also released the Malaysian tug MASINDRA 7 (262-gt, built 1975) which has been held for ransom since December last year. The 11 Indonesian crew members are all reported to be in good health and the tug is on its way to Male in the Maldives. The tug had completed a contract for French oil company Total in the Yemen and was returning to Malaysia when it was seized.

    From Nigeria comes reports of an attack by pirates on a Turkish bulk carrier, the DUDEN (16,211, built 1981) last Sunday (2 August). Several crew members were reportedly injured in the attack although the vessel was able to make an escape before pirates could go on board.

    The ship was carrying a cargo of rice from Lagos to Port Harcourt.

    In another attack off the Nigerian coast, this time on Monday night, the Lithuanian reefer SATURNAS (3,252-gt, built 1982) was attacked and seized by armed pirates. The attack was made from a speedboat and involved gunfire before the pirates boarded the ship. Five crew members were taken hostage and negotiations for their release are believed to have begun. Another nine crew members remained with the ship after the pirates/militants left.

    Dar es Salaam port drops container handling and transfer charges

    Port of Dar es Salaam.  picture: TPA

    Tanzania’s port regulator body, Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) has lifted handling and transfer charges on containers transferred from the seaport to inland container depots.

    Until now the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS), which operates the concession for the port’s container terminal, has levied a storage and movement charge on boxes stored at the container depots. However, Clearing and Forwarding agents complained about the charges saying they were being raised because of congestion at the port terminal which should not apply at the inland depots, some of which are situated up to ten kilometres from the port and were created for the purpose of relieving the congestion.

    Transporters were not responsible for the port congestion, argued the freight forwarders, and the port regulator agreed.

    “In view of consolidating and harmonising of the Tanzania Ports Authority, TICTS, and ICD [inland container depot] tariff, ICD handling and container transfer charges are hereby abolished,” the authority has declared.

    DRC ports reopen as strike ends

    The strike which has all but crippled cargo movement at the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ports has ended.

    The dispute over wages and management issues has been ongoing at the ports of Matadi, Boma and Banana since 20 July after workers at ONATRA, the state-owned port and transport company, went out on strike.

    A union representative said the industrial action had been suspended following the intervention of senior government officials. Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito requested the Minister of State Enterprises Jeanine Lioko to call a general assembly of ONATRA and to appoint a new management team, which was due to be held yesterday (Tuesday).

    The management issue at stake in the dispute concerned calls from workers for the resignation of a Frenchman, Claude Ponson who was appointed ONATRA’s chief executive last year as part of an initiative to restructure the company.

    Trade News – Arlona delivers 20 new pitch coke skips to Richards Bay terminal

    Arlona Engineering has manufactured ten 20 T pitch coke skips for Transnet that have recently been delivered to Richards Bay. These robust 20 m³ skips are used for the loading of pitch coke into the hull of vessels at the Port of Richards Bay for export

    Arlona Engineering has manufactured ten 20 T pitch coke skips for Transnet that have recently been delivered to Richards Bay.

    “These robust 20m³ skips are used for the loading of pitch coke into the hull of vessels at the Port of Richards Bay for export,” says Steve Christy, managing director of Arlona Engineering. “The prototype of these Arlona designed skips, which was originally manufactured for Transnet in 2005, has been so successful that a further 19 skips have been specially manufactured – nine in 2007 and another ten now.”

    Special materials are used in the manufacture of the skips to ensure high strength and extended service life. Hardox 450 is a wear-resistant steel that has a useful life up to five times longer than ordinary structural steel. Although this material has a hardness of 450 Brinell - that is three to four times harder than structural plate - its excellent forming and welding properties make it an ideal manufacturing material for this demanding application.

    Before the skips were delivered to Richards Bay, they were load tested at Arlona’s specialised proofloading facility which is equipped with a test rig certified to proofload up to 100 tons.

    US military harbour security force for Djibouti

    by Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Rockwell-Pate (US Navy)

    A ribbon-cutting ceremony last week celebrated the establishment of a US military harbour security force at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.

    Officials from United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), the Djiboutian government and US and Djiboutian military personnel attended the ceremony at Port de Djibouti.

    Commander of US Africa Command, General William 'Kip' Ward, CJTF-HOA Commander Rear Admiral Tony Kurta, Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Djibouti, Eric Wong, and Camp Lemonier's Commanding Officer, Captain William Finn were in attendance to witness the historic step toward enhancing the security operations for the port.

    The new harbour security force was established after many months of coordination between the US Navy's Camp Lemonier leadership and the Djiboutian Navy. The establishment of the harbour security force will enable increased capabilities to protect maritime vessels transiting through the port in addition to providing training and operational opportunities between US and Djiboutian personnel.

    The harbour security force will consist of personnel from other US Navy installations throughout the Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia region. The diverse group of harbour security professionals will ensure the port is and will stay a secure environment for conducting maritime operations.

    Finn said this diverse group of harbour security professionals will ensure the port is and will stay a secure environment to conduct maritime operations.

    “I am honoured to recognize and commemorate the efforts made between US and Djiboutian forces in support of our harbour security force,” said Finn.

    “Working together to compliment each other's capabilities, we have increased our ability to protect our ships as well as provide training and operational opportunities between US and Djiboutian personnel. I sincerely appreciate the great support from our Djiboutian hosts.”

    Camp Lemonier, Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa and is the only US military infrastructure located in Africa to provide a base of operations for support services.

    The camp has approximately 2,500 US, joint and allied military forces, civilian personnel, Department of Defence contractors and 1200 local and third country nation workers.

    The camp is the primary base of operations for US Africa Command in the Horn of Africa and supports more than 23 tenant commands, including Commander, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa; US Army 218th Field Artillery Regiment; and naval mobile construction battalion detachments. - source: US Navy

    SAMTRA contracted by Stena Marine to manage cadet training

    Simon’s Town-based South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) has been contracted by Stena to manage cadet training on their behalf, with the first of the new Stena cadets beginning their training process in February 2009.

    Stena Marine Management is one of the latest maritime companies joining a number of international companies which are looking to South Africa as a source of cadet officers for the maritime industry. Although Africa is not traditionally considered a source of maritime crew, South Africa is able to provide a viable source of cadet officers due to the low cost operating and training environment.

    SAMTRA is a non-profit maritime training academy, currently involved in simulator based training for numerous sectors of the maritime industry as well as providing cadet administration and management services to a number of international companies who employ South African cadets.

    SAMTRA’s cadet management services include arranging courses and training both in accordance with STCW requirements and international and national legislative requirements and the scheduling and clearing of cadets for experiential training on board vessels, which involves the planning and appointment of cadets to and from the vessel, arrangement of all necessary pre-engagement procedures such as medical examinations, documentation and any official permits the cadets may require when joining the vessel.

    The client has no need to be involved in the day-to-day administration of cadets such as daily allowances, accommodation and transport of cadets or arranging of disciplinary actions and is able to monitor the performance of any of the cadets through the SAMTRA office.
    The high quality simulation training SAMTRA offers to sea going staff, which is included with the theoretical requirements of a tertiary institution, ensure that cadets receive the best possible training. – source Cape Business News

    Pic of the day – KAPITAN PASTUSHENKO

    A once proud ship’s final voyage! The still quite handsome Ukrainian Ro-Ro vessel KAPITAN PASTUSHENKO (8,466-gt, built 1981) seen sailing from Cape Town harbour on Sunday for the breakers in Chittagong. Pictures 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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