Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 15, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – IRIS

  • APM Terminals named preferred bidder for Monrovia

  • QUEEN MARY 2 to dock at O shed in Durban

  • Shipping line news – MOL revises Asia-South Africa-South America service

  • Shipping line news - CCNI, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, Wanhai and Zim in new service alliance

  • Warning of al-Qaeda attempts on shipping in Red Sea

  • Eight Somali pirates sentenced to 20 years for piracy

  • NATO extends its mandate to perform anti-piracy missions off Somalia

  • Singapore extends its port dues moratorium

  • Today’s recommended Read – Africa’s new oil hotspots

  • Pics of the day – MARY THE QUEEN and ORCA


    First View – IRIS

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    The container ship IRIS (36,452gt, built 1983) in Cape Town harbour. Picture by Aad Noorland

    APM Terminals named preferred bidder for Monrovia

    The Liberian government has identified APM Terminals as its preferred bidder to operate a 25-year concession at the port of Monrovia. In terms of the concession, the successful bidder will have to revamp the existing Marginal Wharf, improve and develop cargo handling facilities and operate the port marine services.

    In its bid APM Terminals indicated it was prepared to invest USD120 million to develop the container and breakbulk cargo facilities at the port over the period of the concession.

    “Our aim is to improve the port infrastrutcure and create a a much stronger economic engine for the national and regional market,” said APM Terminals chief executive Kim Fejker.

    Once the concession is awarded APM says it will commence immediately on building a new quay wall. It added that a new berth, more effciient yard handling procedures and the installation of new equipment will help transform Monrovia into a more competitive world class port capable of handling modern deep draught vessels.

    APM Terminals also operates the Apapa container terminal at the Nigerian port of Apapa.

    QUEEN MARY 2 to dock at O shed in Durban

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    Queen Mary 2 in Sydney harbour – picture Cunard

    Queen Mary 2 will arrive in South Africa next Tuesday, 23 March when she visits Durban for a 12-hour call, arriving at 6am and sailing that evening at 6pm.

    The 345m long, 151,400-gt ship will be berthed on the T-jetty at O and O/P berths where she will be highly visible to an interested audience. As this report was being prepared there is no clarity however as to whether the public will be given access to the North Pier, which remains a construction site until the end of March.

    According to three separate reports made to Ports & Ships, the contractors involved have withheld permission for the pier to be used and have instead issued instructions that additional security be placed on duty that day to prevent the public from finding a way onto the breakwater.

    The R4-billion contract is virtually complete apart from a few minor bits and pieces.

    The public will nevertheless be able to see the ship from quite close up by going to Festival Island jetty near the maritime museum while a longer range view will also be possible from Wilson’s Wharf as well as from most of the Esplanade.

    Port manager Ricky Bhikraj told Ports & Ships on Sunday that he was still hopeful that a good vantage point would be made available for the public. He confirmed that the contractors were not keen on giving the public access to the North Pier and that the port harbour master was worried about security, but said the matter was still under consideration and that it was possible that alternative vantage points might be found. An announcement would be made in this regard, he said.

    The ships agent for the Queen Mary 2, King & Sons have arranged for a plaque to be presented to the ship’s master on the occasion of the vessel’s visit. A spokesman for King & Sons said the ship would revisit Durban again on 7 February 2011.

    Following her visit to Durban Queen Mary 2 will sail along the South African coast with a next call at Cape Town on Thursday, 25 March. The ship is reported to be fully booked for the cruise between Durban and Cape Town.

    Shipping line news – MOL revises Asia-South Africa-South America service

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    MOL Honor in Cape Town – Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Tokyo - Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd (MOL) has announced revised coverage on its Asia-East Coast South America Service (CSW).

    The revised coverage will make a total of five additional calls at Xingang, Dalian, Qingdao, Pusan and Shanghai and will call at South Africa in both directions.

    The revised port rotation is Xingang, Dalian Qingdao, Pusan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Durban, Santos, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Paranagua, Sao Francisco Do Sul, Santos, Rio De Janeiro, Cape Town, Ngqura, Singapore, Hong Kong and Xingang. It will be noted that the Port Elizabeth call has been substituted by a call at the new port of Ngqura on the eastbound leg.

    The new service rotation will go into effect with the MOL DIGNITY, Voyage 4510AB which is ETD Xingang 25 March 2010.

    MOL General Manager, Liner Division T.K. Konishi said, “This change is in line with MOL's strategy of expanding one of its core trade lanes. We are pleased to announce that MOL covers Bo Hai Bay ports, Pusan and Shanghai by the revamped CSW. Not only our customers in East Coast South America trade lane, but also in Europe, North America as well as Intra Asia trade lanes, will benefit from the transport from / to these ports, which have growth potential, by our faster transit and punctual service via CSW.”

    The service is currently operated with nine MOL ships of 4,136-TEU capacity and a round trip frequency of 63 days. With five additional calls added it would appear likely that more ships will have to be added to maintain the weekly schedule.

    Shipping line news - CCNI, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, Wanhai and Zim in new service alliance

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    Monte Alegre in Durban - Picture by Trevor Jones

    CCNI, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, Wanhai and Zim have announced they will co-operate on a new Asia - South America East Coast service via South Africa with effect from April.

    The new service will employ eleven vessels each of 4,200-TEU capacity, with Hanjin providing three, Zim three, CCNI and Wanjin two each, and one from Hapag-Lloyd. Each line will purchase slots on the other vessels.

    Although the exact rotation has not been announced the weekly service will service ports in South Korea, Central and South China, Singapore, South Africa, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

    Warning of al-Qaeda attempts on shipping in Red Sea

    Vessels using the Red Sea are being advised to take extra care when transiting the Bab-al-Mandab Strait as well as along the Yemen coast in the Gulf of Aden.

    This repeated warning comes from the Kenya-based East African Seafarers Assistance Programme (SAP), which is known to have better-than-usual intelligence regarding Somali piracy. Warning that al-Qaeda affiliated groups are interested in making maritime attacks, the head of SAP, Andrew Mwangura said that although it is unclear how they would proceed, it may be similar in nature to the attacks against the USS Cole in October 2000 and the M/V Limburg in October 2002, where a small to mid-size boat laden with explosives was detonated. “Other more sophisticated methods of attack could include missiles or projectiles,” he said.

    According to SAP there is an increasing level of violence preparedness in the area and involving all sides. It said ships are most vulnerable in the narrow constraints of the Strait or near ports or at anchor.

    Eight Somali pirates sentenced to 20 years for piracy

    Eight Somali pirates on trial in a Kenyan magistrates court after being captured at sea while attempting to highjack a Danish ship in the Gulf of Aden, have each been sentenced to 20 years in a Kenyan jail for piracy.

    The men were captured in November 2008 and taken to Mombasa where Kenyan authorities agreed to hold them for trial.

    The attorney acting on behalf of the eight said he intended appealing against the verdict and sentence, saying that the court had no jurisdiction on the matter. “I will file an appeal against the judgement and I am confident that the high court will correct the errors,” said defence lawyer Jared Majolo.

    He said the Somalis had been in detention for two years in very difficult circumstances in a foreign country.

    More than 200 Somali piracy suspects are in detention awaiting trial in Kenyan courts. They were captured at sea by foreign navies and brought to Mombasa where Kenya has agreed to hold them for trial.

    NATO extends its mandate to perform anti-piracy missions off Somalia

    NATO announced last week that it was extending its mandate for anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia until the end of 2012. NATO’s spokesman on the matter said the decision was based on “the assessment that this mission is making [a] demonstrable contribution to increased safety for shipping and reduced success rates for pirates.”

    NATO’s existing mandate is due to expire in August this year. The announcement was made as five new warships from the UK, USA, Turkey, Italy and Greece headed for the region to take over the patrols from the existing fleet under the command of the Danish vessel HDMS Absalom.

    The new warships took over the mission on Friday. They are HMS Chatham (flagship, Royal Navy), USS Cole (US Navy), TCG Gelibolu (Turkish Navy), ITS Scirocco (Italian Navy), and HS Limnos (Greek Navy).

    The commanding officer of NATO’s Maritime Group 2 is Commander Steve Chick of the Royal Navy.

    Singapore extends its port dues moratorium

    The port of Singapore has extended its port dues concessions on all ocean-going ships and commercial harbour craft for a further six months from 1 April until 30 September.

    The 10 percent concession applies to ocean-going ships that stay in port for less than 10 days while a 20 percent dues concession is applicable for harbour craft engaged in commercial activities within the port.

    The concession is over and above any existing port dues concession currently enjoyed by the maritime industry. The concessions were introduced last year to help alleviate the difficulties the maritime industry was experiencing as a result of the economic downturn.

    Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority chief executive Lam Yi Young said the extension would help the shipping industry to lower the costs of doing business while boosting Singapore’s attractiveness as a hub for maritime business.

    Today’s recommended Read – Africa’s new oil hotspots

    The power balance in Africa's crude oil production landscape is set to shift in the near future as a number of new oilfields come online. Crude oil has in recent years been discovered in countries such as Sierra Leone and Ethiopia but it is currently the nations of Ghana and Uganda that are attracting the most attention.

    Ghana's offshore Jubilee Field, situated approximately 60 kilometres from the mainland, is thought to have oil reserves of 1.8 billion barrels as well as significant gas deposits. Production is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2010.

    Interested? You can read more on this HERE.

    If you have any suggestions for a good read please send the link to info@ports.co.za and put GOOD READ in the subject line.

    Pics of the day – MARY THE QUEEN and ORCA

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    One of the more interesting ships to arrive off Durban so far this year is the passenger/Ro-Ro ship MARY THE QUEEN (11,513-gt, built 1984), which has been in the Durban outer anchorage for more than a week. The ship is currently registered with Romblom Shipping of the Philippines but was originally one of the Canguro class of ferries operated by Spain’s Transmediterraneá when she was named CIUDAD DE VALENCIA. Quite why the ship is at anchor outside Durban and for such a long period is unclear and if any reader has the answer it would be appreciated. Picture taken in Tarragona by Frank Lose and made available courtesy Trevor Jones.

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    The newly built tug ORCA, which is intended for the port of Ngqura, heads out down the Durban entrance channel to undergo sea trials ahead of her delivery to the Eastern Cape. The tug was built at the Southern African Shipyards at Bayhead, Durban and is number two of three 70t bollard pull tugs being built for the new port. Picture by Trevor Jones

    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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