Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 3, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

Reach out to this dedicated maritime audience by advertising here with your Banner - contact info@ports.co.za



Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return

  • First View – SEVEN NAVICA

  • South Africa’s road network is deteriorating - Cronin

  • Piracy - Danish warship sinks pirate mother ship

  • Transnet may develop LPG facility at Saldanha

  • Finland helps fund Walvis Bay Corridor Group

  • New SA polar supply and research vessel to have Wärtsilä engines

  • News clips – Keeping it brief

  • Pics of the day – POLARIS LEADER


    First View – SEVEN NAVICA

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    On 18 January this year PORTS & SHIPS featured several pictures of the pipe layer SEVEN NAVICA (6,083-gt, built 1999) on arrival in Cape Town. Here is another view of the vessel arriving off the port, this picture by Shane Swartz

    South Africa’s road network is deteriorating - Cronin

    South Africa’s road network is slowly being destroyed by heavily-laden trucks, parliament was told this week.

    “A key problem on our roads is the massive migration of freight, very heavy freight, onto the road system. That’s freight that should be on the rail system,” Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin said later at an infrastructure development cluster meeting.

    According to Cronin the Department of Transport is working closely with the Department of Public Enterprises on this matter.

    Cronin stressed the need to get more freight back on rail and that this meant ensuring that Transnet’s fright rail system was significantly improved.

    In a briefing document distributed to journalists, the DoT described the rail freight system as ‘fraught with serious performance challenges’. The single-most important cause of this was an historical under-investment in infrastructure, rolling stock and operating equipment. As a result freight rail was unable to meet current freight demand.

    The document pointed out that Transnet has embarked on massive infrastructure and operational investments aimed at improving service levels. “Transnet will in the next five years invest about R93,4-billion into ports, rail and pipelines infrastructure and operations to improve efficiencies in these areas of the freight logistics sector,” it said.

    In the previous five years from 2005/6 Transnet spent R75.3 billion on new infrastructure and equipment for its ports, rail and pipelines.

    The document said that South Africa has an estimated total proclaimed road network of 535,000km, and acknowledged that the R18 billion earmarked for national road building and maintenance for the current year is not enough.

    Piracy - Danish warship sinks pirate mother ship

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    HDMS Absalon – picture Naval Technology

    A Danish Navy warship attached to NATO forces operating off the Somali coast in support of anti-piracy measures, HDMS ABSALON, last week sank a pirate mother ship.

    The sinking took place on 28 February, says a NATO statement just issued. The pirates on board the mother ship were sent ashore in a small skiff. The report does not say exactly where the confrontation took place other than stating the larger vessel was fully laden with pirate equipment and supplies and had left a well-known pirate lair off Eastern Somalia.

    The attack signals a new and more aggressive approach by NATO naval forces in the region, of intercepting pirate ships as they embark on their voyages out into the Indian Ocean.

    “Disposing of their vessels before they can head to sea hits the pirates before they can present a threat to merchant shipping," said Danish Commodore Christian Rune, NATO Commander.

    NATO has four ships on patrol off Somalia, consisting of the combat support ship HDMS Absalon (L-16), the Canadian Halifax-class frigate Fredricton (FFH-337), the Royal Navy type-22 frigate HMS Chatham (F87), and the US Navy Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate, USS Boone (FFG-28).


    It is now confirmed that the Singapore-flagged tanker PRAMONI has been released along with its crew of 24 seafarers. The vessel was captured by Somali pirates on 1 January. Earlier reports indicated that a ransom had been paid but the ship did not appear to have been released. According to reliable reports the ship has sailed away from the African coast.

    In another incident the Greek-owned but Panama-flagged bulk carrier 57,073-ton NAVIOS APOLLON, which was seized by pirates in late December, has also been released following the payment of a ransom. The ship, which has a crew of 19 seafarers on board, was apparently released on Sunday 28 February and by Monday was sailing towards Oman.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    The South Korean general cargo ship THOR WINNER (6381-gt, built 2002) in Cape Town harbour during February. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Transnet may develop LPG facility at Saldanha

    According to Engineering News, Transnet National Ports Authority is looking into the feasibility of building a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) handling facility at the port of Saldanha.

    The report quotes port manager Eugene Kearns as saying the TNPA has for several years been receiving requests from industry and other interested parties for LPG imports. The port authority hasn’t been able to handle the product because of a lack of appropriate facilities and infrastructure, he said.

    Resulting from these enquiries, the TNPA has issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the establishment of a LPG-handling facility at the port “to gauge the demand for LPG handling in the market, as well as to determine if and how this should be developed in the port of Saldanha.”

    Interested parties have until 15 April to submit EOI’s for the funding, development, design, construction, installation, maintenance and operations of an LPG-handling facility at the port. – source Engineering News

    Finland helps fund Walvis Bay Corridor Group

    Finland’s Embassy in Windhoek has provided the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) with a grant of €50,000 (approximately 500,000 Namibian dollars) as technical and financial assistance.

    The grant follows a series of discussions and consultations between the Finnish Embassy and WBCG on future partnerships and other synergies with the development of the Walvis Bay Corridor as an alternative trade route for southern Africa.

    The technical and financial assistance provided by the Embassy of Finland includes the gathering of data from existing sources and utilising this information on how the growth along the transport corridors is affecting and improving economic conditions along the corridor. This takes into account that some of the corridor distances involve more than 2,000 kilometres from the Port of Walvis Bay to the hinterland of the SADC region in Angola, Botswana, DRC, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    The grant will also include the funding of a fact-finding mission to Helsinki, Finland which members of the WBCG will undertake for further in-depth discussions and site visits to relevant institutions in Finland.

    In terms of infrastructural development along the Walvis Bay Corridors, one of the WBCG’s core business areas is to actively promote 21 corridor projects which include a combination of infrastructural, soft infrastructure and support projects with the aim of promoting regional integration and facilitating cross border trade in the SADC region.

    New SA polar supply and research vessel to have Wärtsilä engines

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    South Africa’s new polar supply and research vessel, to be built by STX Finland Oy shipyard in Rauma, will be equipped with four Wärtsilä 32 engines.

    Wärtsilä has signed a contract with the STX Finland Oy shipyard in Rauma, Finland, to deliver four Wärtsilä 32 engines for South Africa’s new Polar Supply and Research Vessel.

    The owner of the vessel will be South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs, although the ship, which replaces the 33-year old SA AGULHAS, she will be operated by SMIT Amandla Marine, of South Africa. The vessel’s crew is to be trained at the Wärtsilä Land and Sea Academy in Turku, Finland.

    “This vessel order is one of the biggest single trade agreements ever between Finnish industry and South Africa, and we hope it will lead to additional business. We believe that by providing reliable technology and the highest levels of quality and service, we will benefit also in the future,” says Mr Timo Suistio, Director, Rauma shipyard of STX Finland Oy.

    The ice-strengthened vessel will be powered by four 6-cylinder in-line Wärtsilä 32 engines. She will be approximately 134 metres long and will have accommodation for 45 crew and about 100 researchers and passengers. Construction of the vessel began in January 2010 and is due to be launched in March 2012. Wärtsilä’s engine deliveries are scheduled to take place in February 2011.

    The vessel is being built for research activities and expeditions, but since she will be used to carry equipment and scientists working on the South African National Antarctic Programme, the ship will also have ice-breaking capabilities. Expeditions will take place during the Antarctic summer, starting at the end of December and continuing until the beginning of March. During the remainder of the year, she will serve as a supply vessel for three research centres located on Antarctic islands.

    As a mobile research facility, the new vessel will be equipped with a laboratory so that scientists can conduct marine research while on board. Weather data for meteorological institutes around the world will also be collected. Classified as a passenger ship, the new vessel will feature some of the facilities found on cruise ships, including comfortable passenger accommodation, a gym, a library and a small hospital. The ship will also have a shelter and landing area for two Puma class helicopters.

    “As it will be operating in extreme conditions, the new vessel will need to be very reliable. It will also have to act as a tanker, because it will need to carry fuel oil for use at the Antarctic base. Every drop of fuel oil in the consumption chain will count. Wärtsilä 32 engines offer both low rates of fuel consumption and low levels of emissions, an important consideration when operating in the Antarctic’s vulnerable natural environment,” says Jukka Paananen, Business Manager, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

    News clips – Keeping it brief

    New MIPS General Manager appointed

    Following the appointment of Jorge Ferraz as Chief Executive Officer of Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC)* (See that report HERE), Mr Ricardo Schlechter has been appointed as the new General Manager of MIPS - Maputo International Port Services (the port’s container terminal). Schlechter has worked with DP World since 2007 as DP World Country Manager in Venezuela and has also been involved with other DP World Americas projects. He has over 20 years experience in the maritime and port industry.

    Pics of the day – POLARIS LEADER

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    The Singapore-owned and flagged car carrier POLARIS LEADER (51,917-gt, built 2009) made a colourful sight in Cape Town harbour on her visit during February. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    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

    Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all southern African ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Mombasa on the East Coast?

    Colour photographs and slides for sale of a variety of ships.

    Thousands of items listed featuring famous passenger liners of the past to cruise ships of today, freighters, container vessels, tankers, bulkers, naval and research vessels.


    South Africa’s most comprehensive Directory of Maritime Services is now listed on this site. Please check if your company is included. To sign up for a free listing contact info@ports.co.za or register online


    Web ports.co.za

    Click to go back

      - Contact Us

      - Home