Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 14, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – HMAS MANOORA

  • Full scale Search & Rescue exercise scheduled for end October

  • Huge interest in MSC SINFONIA - over 46,000 bookings a month ahead of ship’s arrival

  • Kenya calls for greater international support against piracy

  • Wappen von Bremen completes 100th call at Richards Bay

  • Trade News – Cummins for Africa

  • News clips – Keeping it brief



    First View – HMAS MANOORA

    The Australian Navy amphibious helicopter support ship HMAS MANOORA (L52) which called at Lyttelton, New Zealand to load army trucks for a joint military exercise with New Zealand armed forces near Napier last year. Picture by Alan Calvert

    Full scale Search & Rescue exercise scheduled for end October

    By Nokuthula Msomi (Dept of Transport)

    Over 2.7 million fans are expected to criss-cross South Africa’s provincial boundaries while watching the 64 FIFA World Cup soccer matches being played around the country next June and July. An estimated audience of 28 billion people will be watching the soccer spectacle on television and also South Africa as host of the event. It is also expected that some of these fans will extend their stay beyond the soccer world cup to experience and explore both South Africa and its neighbouring countries.

    Air and maritime traffic is likely to increase during this period as a significant number of these fans opt to use these modes of transport to take them from point A to point B. What if a potential search and rescue catastrophe develops? Will the country be ready to deal with any search and rescue scenario that might develop during this one-month long event? Will South Africa’s neighbours be ready?

    The Department of Transport in partnership with the SA Search & Rescue (SASAR) organisation and the Kwa-Sani Local Municipality are planning a regional field search and rescue exercise to be held from 26 – 31 October 2009 in Himeville Underberg in KwaZulu Natal.

    The main purpose of the exercise is to evaluate the effectiveness of the SAR system as well as those of neighbouring countries, and take corrective action where necessary.

    SADC is playing a pivotal and active role to ensure compliance and adherence to common procedures by our regional counterparts.

    The week-long exercise commences with discussions and lectures at various centres on Monday and Tuesday, 26 – 27 October, followed by the Opening Session on Wednesday 28 October presided over by the South African Minister of Transport at Inqgiya Village, Himeville/Underberg in KZN.

    On Thursday and Friday 29 – 30 October the full scale exercise takes place followed by a debriefing session on the Saturday.

    Full details are available from Princess Msomi at 012 309 3411 (Department of Transport)

    Huge interest in MSC SINFONIA - over 46,000 bookings a month ahead of ship’s arrival

    First cruise departs Durban 14 November

    A bumper summer cruise season is forecast for Southern Africa as passenger bookings for the largest and most modern ship ever to operate out of a local port have already soared to over 46,000 even though the ship’s arrival is still a month away.

    The nine storey, 58,600 ton MSC SINFONIA with a capacity for 2,100 passengers, docks in Durban for the first time on 13 November after a maiden southbound cruise from the Mediterranean and a one day stop-over in Cape Town.

    Described as the finest floating hotel ever to visit South Africa, MSC Sinfonia opens the season with a two day cruise out of Durban on 14 November. A full schedule of long and short cruises to Mozambique and the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar, Comores, Mauritius and Reunion continue through to April 2010.

    You can see the full cruise schedule for southern Africa HERE. Use your back button to return to this page.

    “Over 46,000 passengers have already booked cruises on MSC Sinfonia which makes it quite obvious that the ship has proved a major hit with the South African travelling public,” said Allan Foggit, director of Starlight Cruises, the general sales agents for MSC Crociere in South Africa.

    MSC Sinfonia is one of 10 ships in the MSC Crociere fleet. As leaders in the Mediterranean cruise market, the MSC cruise ships - with their distinctive Italian design, style and service - represent the most modern cruise fleet in the world and operate in top destinations around the globe.

    Mr Foggit said sales for MSC Sinfonia are currently 20% ahead of the combined sales at the same time last year for the two cruise ships, MSC Melody and MSC Rhapsody, operated out of Durban last year. This is in spite of the current trying financial times.

    “We attribute this phenomenal response to the fact that MSC Sinfonia represents exceptional value especially with the option of up to two children under the age of 18 being able to cruise free if accompanied by two adults. It is certainly the most affordable, exotic, romantic and exciting local holiday option,” he said.

    Taking over the helm of MSC Sinfonia on 16 October for the upcoming season will be the well known and highly respected Captain Ciro Pinto who has come to think of South Africa as a second home after some 30 years of regular sailing off her shores.

    “I’m honoured to be captaining MSC Sinfonia during her maiden cruise season in Southern Africa. For me it will be like a proud home-coming to bring such a beautiful ship to a country that I’ve got to know so well as captain of MSC Melody and before that on MSC container vessels.

    “South Africans can look forward to an entirely new floating resort experience on MSC Sinfonia. She is a newer and bigger ship and without doubt the best local hotel afloat. I am very excited about it and can’t wait to show her off.”

    MSC Sinfonia sets a new standard in South African cruising by offering an extensive range of onboard facilities in an elegant, contemporary environment. It features 777 cabins, of which 132 are suites with private balconies, three restaurants and a buffet, seven bars, a cigar lounge, disco, casino, business and conference centre. There is also a Spa and beauty centre, two swimming pools, a sports centre, golf simulator, library, card room, children’s playroom, teenagers club, a shopping area with duty free shops and boutiques, an internet cafe and a medical centre.

    Visit: www.msccruises.com or www.starlight.co.za for more information

    Kenya calls for greater international support against piracy

    Kenya has spoken out about what it says is a lack of international support in combating piracy in the Indian Ocean.

    The country’s Internal Security Minister, George Saitoti said during the 78th Interpol-United Nations ministerial meetings being held in Singapore that the transfer of a disproportionately large number of pirate suspects to Kenya for trial has overstretched his country’s judicial and law enforcement resources. So far 10 pirates had been convicted and sentenced to jail terms while another 101 cases are ongoing in the Kenyan courts.

    He said the international community was under an obligation to share Kenya’s burden. “In order to confront piracy and other security threats, concerted and deliberate efforts towards increased international co-operation and collaboration need to be embraced. Similarly, effective international policing strategies must be developed and employed at the national, regional and international levels,” the minister said.

    At sea international forces have provided a significant number of ships to help patrol the affected region and to escort merchant ships while in high-risk waters. However there has been very little if any naval support from African bloc countries that have maintained an aloof stance to the problem. The Seychelles and Kenya are two notable exceptions – both countries are directly affected by the actions of the pirates while Djibouti has been used as a base from which armed forces, mainly French have operated against the pirates on occasion.

    South Africa continues to remain silent on its position regarding the provision of naval or other support in the war against piracy on the African coast.

    Wappen von Bremen completes 100th call at Richards Bay

    Wappen von Bremen at the Mayotte SBM. Picture Sturrock Shipping

    The arrival in Richards Bay of the products tanker WAPPEN VON BREMEN (5145-gt, built 2003) on Saturday 10 October marked the little ship’s 100th call at the Zululand port, and to celebrate this milestone, a presentation was made to the ship’s master, Captain Hugo Schuitemaker, by Transnet National Ports Authority. Captain Schuitemaker is a South African.

    Wappen von Bremen is owned and managed by Wappen Reederei GmbH of Hamburg, Germany although the ship flies the flag of the United Kingdom. She made her first call at Richards Bay in September 2005, her master then being Captain J Kodatko. In the intervening years the ship has been employed carrying bunker fuels, petrol and diesel from the refinery in Durban to Richards Bay as well as to the other ports along the South African coast. She occasionally carries molasses.

    On her 100th call to Richards Bay Wappen von Bremen was carrying a cargo of bunker fuels.

    A second company ship WAPPEN VON MUNCHEN (also 5145-gt, built 2003) which is a sister ship to Wappen von Bremen, is also deployed on the South African coast on similar duty. The two ships are operated in South Africa by Calulo Shipping of a Cape Town, part of the large Calulo Investments which is one of the major BEE companies with interests in mining shipping, petrochemicals and oil and gas exploration.

    The vessel agents are Sturrock Shipping, the well-known shipping company that celebrated its 40th year in the ships agency business this year.

    Wappen von Bremen is 116.9m long, has a beam of 18m and a deadweight of 8,211t and carries up to approximately 7,500 tonnes of cargo.

    Acknowledgement to Rob Bevan of Sturrock Shipping for above news.

    At the handing over of a commemorative plaque to the master of the Wappen von Bremen in Richards Bay on Saturday were Captain Hugo Schuitemaker, master of the vessel, Vernal Jones of TNPA who made the presentation, and Ron Bevan of Sturrock Shipping, Richards Bay. Picture courtesy Sturrock Shipping

    Trade News – Cummins for Africa

    The Cummins-engined Durban pilot boat LUFAFA undergoing sea trials in Cape Town. Picture Ian Shiffman

    When Transnet National Ports Authority awarded the contract to Paarden Eiland based Veecraft Marine for the building of two pilot boats for the Durban port, they chose Cummins power.

    Two heavy duty rated Cummins KTA19 M4 (700 hp at 2100 rpm) engines, fitted with Reintjes gear-boxes (WAF244, 2.5391:1 ratio) offer the main propulsion solution for each vessel with 115 ton full load capacity. Electrical power on each vessel is supplied by two 50 Kva generating sets fitted with Cummins 4BT3.9 D (M) (42kwe @ 1500 rpm) engines and Stamford alternators. All items were supplied to LRS requirements.

    “On the delivery from the Port of Cape Town to Durban, we recorded a fuel consumption of 50 lt/hr per main engine and 4lt/hr per generator set,” says Gerhard Potgieter, divisional manager marine, Cummins South Africa. This was achieved at 1650 rpm with an average speed of 11.8 knots. Russel Patience, applications engineer marine, Cummins South Africa, performed engine installation inspections and confirmed 14 knots at rated speed during sea trials.

    Potgieter says more marine services companies demand Cummins power for the lowest cost-of-operation and the highest availability. Cummins power solution projects include the supply of 100 Kva, 6BT 5.9 D(M) generator sets for the five harbour tugs being built in Durban by Southern African Shipyards, QSK19 M (660 hp at 1800 rpm) main propulsion engines for the fuel bunker barge for Unilog that is being built in Durban by Dormac, a NTA855 D(M) (385hp at 1800 rpm) engine and a 480 Kva generator set with a KTA19 D(M1) (386 kwe at 1500 rpm) engine to re-power a bow thruster for Smit Amandla Marine in Durban on the MV Pentow Service and MV Smit Madura respectively.

    The MV Santa Monica owned by SA Tuna Exporters in Cape Town is now powered by a KTA19M3 (640 hp at 1800 rpm) engine and fitted with a Twindisc MG5071 gearbox. – source Cape Business News

    News clips – Keeping it brief

    Congestion at the port of Dar es Salaam is being held responsible for a 14.7% decrease in earning at the port for the year ended June 2009. According to statistics provided by Tanzania Ports Authority transhipment cargo (for neighbouring landlocked countries) dropped from 708,311 tonnes in 2008 to 533,381 tonnes for the year. At the height of the congestion a number of shipping lines diverted vessels to Mombasa and other ports and shippers took to importing via other ports.


    France is proposing to train another 3,000 Somali security forces to assist in curtailing piracy by helping ensure stability in pirate-held areas of Puntland and Somalia. France is already training a small number of Somali security forces at a French Army training camp in Djibouti. “A robust training of Somali security forces could lead to an efficient action to stabilise the area,” France’s Defence Minister Herve Morin said.


    Mining Weekly reports that Australia’s Riversdale Mining, which is developing coal reserves in Mozambique’s Moatize district, is to submit a feasibility study and an environmental impact study to the Mozambique government for a proposal to ship coal to the coast on barges along the Zambezi River. It says some sections of the river would require dredging but there were otherwise no impediments to barging the coal down 560km of river to the coast where the coal would be transshipped onto ocean-going bulk vessels. The company has access to reserves of 1.7 billion tonnes of coal in the Moatize area.

    Today’s Good Read – recommended as a worthwhile read

    Today’s recommended good read, which comes courtesy of Alex van Heerden, is a photo essay aboard the ship that keep South Africa connected, the cable ship CHAMAREL CLICK HERE. To return to Ports & Ships use your Return or Back Button.

    If you have a suggestion for an interesting or thought-provoking read please send the link to info@ports.co.za and put GOOD READ in the subject line.


    Several ships of the same class as Wappen von Bremen have appeared in South African waters, one of them being WAPPEN VON MUNCHEN (5,145gt, built 2003) which has remained on charter along the South African coast for several years. Here she is seen in Cape Town harbour, with the Unicorn Tanker vessel SOUTHERN UNITY in the background. Picture is by Aad Noorland

    Another of this distinctive class of small products tanker, WAPPEN VON HAMBURG (5,145-gt, built 2002) made a brief call at Durban in October 2006. Picture by 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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