Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 18, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – CAVOUR

  • Tau Morwe moves to Transnet Freight Rail – Socikwa to lead TPT

  • Piracy - Netherlands to continue off Somalia: Admiral defends EU record

  • Cape Town’s new cold storage facility a success

  • Hamburg Süd names new Rio class ship

  • UK’s All Leisure Group buys ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT

  • News clips – Keeping it brief

  • Pics of the day – SAFMARINE ASIA


    First View – CAVOUR

    Recently (3 November) we showed a picture taken by Ian Shiffman of the new Italian aircraft carrier CAVOUR in Civitavecchia harbour, Italy. Here is another view showing off the 27,500-ton navy ship alongside. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Tau Morwe moves to Transnet Freight Rail – Socikwa to lead TPT

    Tau Morwe, chief executive of Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) since the creation of a separate port terminal division within Transnet in 2000 has been appointed as acting CE of Transnet’s rail division, Transnet Freight Rail. He fills the position on an interim basis while the drawn-out disciplinary process involving the suspended CE, Siyabonga Gama, runs its course.

    In his place at TPT comes Karl Socikwa, Transnet’s Group Executive: Commercial also in an acting capacity.

    TFR has been without a chief executive since September 2009, which Chris Wells, acting Group CE for Transnet said was not ideal for the rail division, its stakeholders or its customers. “We need to focus on our customers’ needs and to provide effective leadership. It has become necessary to appoint an interim CE to oversee the day-to-day responsibility of this important division,” said Wells.

    He added that against this backdrop he was glad that Morwe had agreed to shoulder the responsibility and challenge of the rail division. “I am very grateful for his support and dedication.”

    Wells said that Socikwa, who will act as interim head of TPT in Morwe’s place, brought with him a wealth of commercial experience and energy and that his knowledge and understanding within Transnet would allow for a smooth transition.

    He described Morwe and Socikwa as committed and experienced executives who are very well regarded in and outside Transnet.

    “They enjoy my utmost respect, full confidence and unqualified support as well as those of the Chairman and the Executive Committee of the Company,” said Wells.

    Piracy - Netherlands to continue off Somalia: Admiral defends EU record

    The Dutch government says it has decided to prolong its participation in EU anti-piracy operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia.

    In a statement the Dutch Foreign Ministry said anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden were starting to pay off.

    “While the number of incidents involving pirates has grown since the operation started in December 2008, the number of successful attacks has decreased. This is why the Netherlands will prolong its participation in Operation Atalanta,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen.

    “There is an undiminished need to provide maritime protection to convoys carrying humanitarian aid for Somalia, aid on which millions of people depend. What’s more, safe, free shipping routes around the world are vitally important to the Netherlands for economic, strategic and security reasons.”

    From the middle of February 2010 to the end of June 2010, the Netherlands will deploy HNLMS Tromp, an air defence and command frigate, and the amphibious transport ship HNLMS Johan de Witt. The Netherlands has provided four frigates to the Operation since 2008, including HNLMS Evertsen which is currently in command of this first EU maritime operation, until December 2009.

    The ministry said that through its participation in Operation Atalanta, the Netherlands has responded to the UN Security Council’s call to the international community in 2008 (resolutions 1814, 1816 and 1846) to take coordinated action off the coast of Somalia to safeguard humanitarian aid and combat piracy.

    Meanwhile, the commander of the EU Naval Force, British Royal Navy Rear Admiral Peter Hudson has also defended the EU’s record of anti-piracy action. He told members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that the EU's anti-piracy escorts off Somalia have sunk ships, destroyed weapons, intercepted vessels and thwarted direct attacks.

    Admiral Hudson said that no escorted ship has been successfully attacked by pirates, but warned that vessels should register before crossing the Gulf of Aden.

    In response to calls for more effective protection for European fishing vessels active in the region, the admiral said the pirates were resourceful and they were not always easy to distinguish from ordinary Somali fishermen. He advised that with existing resources NAVFOR Atalanta “couldn't provide individual coverage without compromising elsewhere.” Nevertheless, Atalanta had good links with European fishermen and provided as much coverage for them as it could.

    Admira Hudson reminded MEPS that the EU forces were not alone in trying to combat piracy off Somalia but had the support of naval forces from China, Russia and India. Their presence was essential, he said, saying that co-ordination had improved, especially with the Chinese. NATO remained a key player in the region as well, he added.

    Cape Town’s new cold storage facility a success

    One of the country’s most technologically advanced cold storage facilities, built by Transnet at a cost of R45 million, was officially launched last month at the Cape Town Multipurpose Terminal, with a firm commitment from port operator Transnet Port Terminals to add value to fresh produce exporters throughout the Western Cape.

    Construction of the new, multimillion rand facility commenced in November 2007 and was completed in stages. Final commissioning and testing took place earlier this year.
    The multi-dimensional repository is Transnet’s solution to the outdated cold stores in the fruit export logistics chain, many of which are being withdrawn from service.

    The 24-hour facility is situated in the most convenient place in the logistics chain – directly on the quayside – and is therefore in an ideal position to reduce the cost of doing business by shortening the export route and eliminating additional handling.

    The cold store is located at the Port of Cape Town’s E–Berth where the draft of approximately 10.4 metres caters for most conventional vessels in operation today.

    While the high-tech facility was initially introduced as a fruit only storage facility and handled citrus, grapes and small consignments of avocadoes this year, it has since broadened its services to offer storage facilities for all perishable goods.

    The cold store features 24 hour monitoring of the entire cold system and tracking of all cargo under the protection of the Paltrack tracking system throughout the export journey.
    Continuous quality inspections are carried out by the Perishable Product Export Control Board in order to maintain high quality service standards and compliance with world standards.

    The new cold store offers product-specific pre-cooling of conventional palletised cargo to required protocols, containerisation of cargo for the export market and shipping of cargo directly from the cold store into vessels.

    It also provides specialised pre-cooling services for fruit sterilisation, which is a requirement by certain world markets such as the Far East and USA.

    The cold store’s port-to-road linkages include five loading bays to ensure quick loading and offloading of cargo, with a turnaround cycle of ten containers per hour. The facility’s courtyard, which is situated adjacent to the cold store, is canopied to ensure safe loading and unloading of cargo during inclement weather.

    Port-to-rail connectivity includes a rail siding adjacent to the cold store, where palletised fruit is then transferred from or onto internal road transport vehicles for fast delivery in or out of the cold store.

    The cold store has three floors, each with cold storage capabilities. The ground floor, which can cater for the handling of 2,229 pallets is for storage only, the 1st floor is for pre-cooling and has a 740 pallet capacity, while the second floor, which can handle 486 pallets, is for pre-cooling and storage. – source www.cbn.co.za

    Hamburg Süd names new Rio class ship

    The RIO BRAVO is the latest container ship to be christened on behalf of owner and operator Hamburg Süd. The ceremony took place in Antwerp last Thursday (12 November 2009) and was witnessed by numerous national and international guests. She is the fifth newbuilding in a series of six identical Hamburg Süd container vessels, each with a slot capacity of 5,900 TEU.

    Sponsor (godmother) of the Rio Bravo was Laura Madeleine von Schubert, daughter of Roland Oetker, Managing Partner of ROI Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH and Member of the Advisory Board of the Oetker Group.

    Following the ship’s delivery on 18 August 2009 at Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries (DMHI), the she was first deployed in the service between Asia and South America East Coast via South Africa before being phased into the Europe - South America East Coast Service in mid-October. The ship called at Antwerp for the first time for the christening.

    The final newbuilding of this series, the RIO MADEIRA will also see service in Hamburg Süd's Europe - South America Service and is due to be delivered before the end of November 2009.

    The Rio Bravo is named after the "Rio Bravo del Norte", the Spanish name of the river Rio Grande, which flows through the USA and Mexico.

    Technical specifications of the Rio Bravo:

    Capacity: 80,115 tdw
    Container capacity: 5,900 TEU
    Reefer plugs: 1,365
    Length overall: 286.45 m
    Length: 273.45 m
    Breadth: 40.00 m
    Max. draft: 13.50 m
    Speed: 23.0 kn
    Main engine output: 45,760 kW

    UK’s All Leisure Group buys ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT

    UK-based All Leisure Group has announced the acquisition of the cruise ship ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT (15,396-gt, built 1990). The cruise ship was previously operated by Phoenix Reisen on charter from Dutch owners.

    All Leisure Group, the holding company for All Leisure Holidays owns the tour operators Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic, Hebridean Island Cruises and Discover Egypt.

    Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic and Hebridean provide destination-led cruises to a number of countries, including southern Africa and focuses on the market for mature passengers. Discover Egypt offers package holidays to Egypt, including cruises and excursions on the River Nile.

    Among other acquisitions, Voyages of Discovery, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of All Leisure Group that owns and operates the cruise ship DISCOVERY, added a second ship, EXPLORER II in November 2007 which was subsequently renamed MINERVA in March 2008.

    On Monday (16 November) the group announced it has been successful in acquiring the ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT at an auction and would be putting the 1990-built ship, with 250 passenger cabins for 500 lower berths, through an extensive technical upgrade, bringing the total cost of the ship to around £20 million.

    “This will be met from the Group’s existing cash resources,” said All Leisure in a statement.

    The plan is to have the refurbished cruise ship ready from the northern summer of 2011 when she will join Discovery, Minerva and Hebridean Princess in the All Leisure fleet, making this one of the larger British-owned cruise ship operators.

    The directors of the Group said they anticipate the acquisition will enhance earnings in financial year 2010/11.

    “We have been particularly patient and prudent in deploying our cash resources in order to meet with our strict investment criteria, but I believe that the wait has been worthwhile,” said executive chairman Roger Allard.

    “Our latest acquisition fits perfectly with both the profile of our fleet and our destination-led product offering, especially given the high numbers of outside cabins. Most importantly, we believe that this asset has been acquired at a cost that is highly commercial. This acquisition underpins the confidence that we have in the potential of our destination-led small ship niche cruise offering.”

    News clips – Keeping it brief

    Nigeria closes Duncan Bonded Terminal

    Nigerian Customs Service has closed down the Duncan Bonded Terminal in Lagos after discovering that containers had been illegally diverted. According to a Customs comptroller all activities at the terminal have been stopped and a number of officers are under investigation. He said management will have to “come forward and give account.” This follows a crackdown on corruption in Nigeria in which former chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority Olabode George was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to a term in jail.


    Ethiopia opens maritime training institute

    Ethiopia’s first maritime training institute has been opened at Lake Babogay, Bishoftu. The Chairman of Ethiopian Shipping Lines Share Company (ESLSC), Getachew Belay who opened the institute said there was a critical shortage of seafarers which his company also experienced. The college would go a long way in alleviating this problem, he believed. In addition the college would provide mandatory and relevant training to seafarers as well as those hoping to make a career at sea. He urged the college to upgrade to a higher level of maritime academy training.

    Pics of the day – SAFMARINE ASIA

    Safmarine’s container ship SAFMARINE ASIA (21,887-gt, built 1985) which called at Cape Town on Monday this week. 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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