Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 12, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • Navy, Security Forces and MCM engage in joint borderline patrol

  • Cruise ships avoid Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya because of piracy

  • Ford announces massive vehicle export investment programme

  • South Africa asks the US to roll over AGOA programme

  • Evergreen again talking of 100 new ships

  • DCD-Dorbyl upgrades blast shop near Sturrock dry dock

  • Pics of the day – CAMOCI



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    The Russian oceanographic research vessel AKADEMIK ALEKSANDR KARPINSKIY (4,430-gt, built 1984) which was in Cape Town recently. Picture by Aad Noorland

    Navy, Security Forces and MCM engage in joint borderline patrol

    Pretoria (BuaNews) - The South African security forces, in conjunction with other government departments, have launched a maritime borderline patrol of the South African East Coast from Cape Agulhas to Kosi Bay.

    The operation will focus on locating, stopping and searching vessels and crews and if necessary, seize vessels transgressing South African law.

    “The main focus will be the search for drug trafficking, smuggling of humans, weapons and counterfeit goods and fishery transgressions.

    “The South African Navy frigate, the SAS AMATOLA, sailed from Simon's Town accompanied by the Marine and Coastal Management's fisheries protection vessel, the Lilian Ngoyi,” the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) said in a statement.

    Various members of the South African Police Service and members of the intelligence agencies, as well as customs officials from the South African Revenue Service, representatives of the Departments of Home Affairs and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries are on board the SAS AMATOLA with the S A Navy crew in this inter-departmental law enforcement project.

    A South African Air Force Lynx helicopter is lending aerial assistance in locating and identifying vessels to board.

    Boardings will be conducted mainly on vessels up to and including 500 gross tonnes which includes coasters, fishing vessels, yachts and leisure craft.

    During the trip, the vessels will visit the ports of East London, Port Elizabeth and Durban. The SAS UMZIMKULU, a Navy mine counter-measures vessel, will join the operation in Durban.

    Cruise ships avoid Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya because of piracy

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    Seven Seas Voyager seen at Lyttelton, New Zealand. Picture by Alan Calvert

    One of the more exotic and interesting places for cruise passengers to visit, Zanzibar is now off limits to several cruise ships as operators avoid the region because of piracy.

    Regent Seven Seas is the latest cruise ship to bypass a scheduled call at Zanzibar. SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER is currently on a cruise from Hong Kong to Cape Town and was scheduled to visit Mombasa and Zanzibar after calling in the Seychelles but instead was diverted to Mauritius and Reunion, before sailing on to South Africa, where the ship arrived in Richards Bay yesterday (Sunday).

    According to cruise director Jamie Logan, writing in his blog, Regent Seven Seas wasn’t prepared to take any chances despite having several security officers on board. “We don’t want to increase our chances of having to use them,” he said, explaining that the surge in pirate activity between the Seychelles and Kenya was in the direction the ship was heading.

    Regent Seven Seas in the latest cruise operator to skip calls at Tanzania and Kenya ports because of rampant piracy off those coasts. MSC ships now sail via Cape Town and the Atlantic Ocean on their positioning voyages to and from South Africa. This followed the attempted highjacking of one ship, MSC Melody, which was pursued by Somali pirates a year ago while returning to Italy.

    Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has also cancelled calls in the north western Indian Ocean as has Star Clippers.

    Another cruise line, P&O Cruises requested guests on board the AURORA and the ARCADIA to help keep the ships safe against pirates by drawing their curtains and assisting with darkening the ship while both vessels sailed through the Gulf of Aden, according to a report in the Telegraph (UK). Passengers were also asked not to use the promenade deck but were otherwise free to roam the ship.

    The newspaper quoted a spokesman for the IMO as saying it was an anti piracy measure that he had never heard of before. The Aurora visited South African ports recently and is now heading back to the UK through the Atlantic.

    Meanwhile the South Korean VLCC SAMHO DREAM has arrived off the coast of northern Somalia and has gone to anchor near Hobyo, 180 n.miles north of Mogadishu. The tanker arrived at Hobyo, a noted pirate lair, despite the attentions of an escorting South Korean warship. The supertanker was highjacked last weekend by pirates almost one thousand miles from Somalia while en route from Iraq to the United States.

    The European Naval Forces (EU NAVFOR) reports that a Seychelles-owned, St Vincent and Grenadines-flagged cargo ship, RAK AFRIKANA (7,561-dwt) was highjacked on Saturday approximately 280 n.miles west of the Seychelles. Although the pirates from three small boats have taken control of the vessel, the cargo ship has apparently stopped in the water due, it is thought, to engine problems. A NATO warship, ITS SCIROCCO is heading towards the position to investigate.

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    RAK Afrikana

    Ford announces massive vehicle export investment programme

    Ford SA has announced a massive R3 billion investment for its plants at Rosslyn (Pretoria) and Port Elizabeth, in a programme that will also see R6.5-bn invested in domestic parts manufacture.

    The large investment involves production of the new global one-ton bakkie (pic up truck), of which 75 percent of the production is expected to be exported. Engines for the new vehicle will be manufactured at the company’s Struandale engine plant at Port Elizabeth.

    With a local content in the order of 60 percent, production of the new truck, code-named T6, will commence from the second half of 2011 with planned volumes of 110,000 units a year initially. Exports are expected to go mainly to Europe and Africa.

    The investment will also result in a ramp up in component manufacture, mostly in the Eastern Cape.

    “The next generation pick-up truck will be on a global platform and will make the Ford Motor Company South Africa a volume based exporter,” said Minister of Trade & Industry Rob Davies. “Currently, the operating environment is tough but we are confident that export orders will grow. Certainly, the automotive industry as a whole will derive benefit in this regard from the favourable market access arrangements that South Africa enjoys with the European Union, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and United States of America amongst other destinations.”

    He said these investments demonstrate the confidence which global automotive producers have in South Africa as an investment destination and the supportive policy environment which it offers. “These investments bring to R9 billion recent commitments to production that will straddle the transition from the Motor Industry Development programme (MIDP) to the Automotive Production and Development programme (APDP).”

    South Africa asks the US to roll over AGOA programme

    South Africa has suggested to the United States that it roll over the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for a “reasonable time” after it is supposed to end in 2015.

    Speaking last Thursday, Trade & Industry Minister Rob Davies said the South African government was grateful for the access that AGOA provided and said that this had become vital in SA’s automotive industry exports. He said it would create a difficult situation should there be a ‘big departure’ from the current AGOA programme.

    AGOA allows for the duty free entry into the United States of around 7,000 product lines from 37 designated sub-Saharan African countries, according to AGOA.info. These product lines included vehicle and component exports, such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, produced in East London.

    AGOA.info said on its website and quoting US ambassador to South Africa, Donald Gips, that automotive exports to the US numbered USD 2-billion in 2008, slipping to USD 1,4-billion in 2009, owing to the global economic crisis diminishing demand.

    According to AGOA.info, US total trade with Sub-Saharan Africa (exports plus imports) increased 28.0 percent in 2008, as both exports and imports grew. US exports increased by 29.2 percent to USD 18.5 billion, driven by growth in several sectors including: machinery, vehicles and parts, wheat, non-crude oil, aircraft, and electrical machinery (including telecommunications equipment).

    US imports in 2008 increased by 27.8 percent to USD 86.1 billion. As has been the case throughout 2008, this growth continued to be due to a significant increase of 31.9 percent in crude oil imports (accounting for 79.5 percent of total imports from Sub-Saharan Africa).

    Evergreen again talking of 100 new ships

    Evergreen’s chairman Chang Yung-Fa has again raised the issue of the Taiwanese shipping line placing orders for 100 new ships.

    Just over one year ago he made similar comments which were quickly denied emphatically by the company in a seeming repudiation of its chairman, but now he has reintroduced the topic by telling the media that Evergreen is planning a massive expansion of ships this year.

    Evergreen is believed to have weathered the economic storm thanks to a conservative approach and the fact that the company, Asia’s largest container line, had not invested too wildly in large new container ships ahead of the October 2008 economic downturn.

    According to Japan’s Kaiji press, Evergreen intends building 32x 8,000-TEU container ships, 20-S-type (7,024-TEU), 20 U-type (5,364-TEU), and 20x 2,000-TEU feeder type vessels.

    US reports appear to have confirmed the story, saying that shipyards will be selected and orders placed from May this year.

    Evergreen, which currently operates a fleet of 149 container vessels with a container capacity of 551,490-TEUs, recorded a loss of USD 300 million last year, it’s first ever.

    DCD-Dorbyl upgrades blast shop near Sturrock dry dock

    After identifying a need to offer its customers a faster turnaround on blast and paint jobs, DCD-Dorbyl Marine has revamped and upgraded the old National Ports Authority (TNPA) blast shop opposite the Sturrock dry dock in Cape Town.

    “We started work on the facility in December 2008 and completed the revamp in May 2009. The revamp required both structural and cosmetic work, including roof repairs as well as redoing the side wall cladding. In addition, we also built a wall in the centre of the building to create separate, but linked operations for blasting on the one side and spray painting on the other,” says Mark Sylvester, manager – industrial and offshore for DCD-Dorbyl Marine.

    Extraction fans have been installed to ensure compliance to health, safety and environmental requirements.

    In addition the four existing blast pots have been upgraded and two new hoppers have been added.

    “The new facility offers a number of benefits to our marine and fast growing industrial customer base. First, and foremost, is the fact that we are able to provide customers with a much faster turnaround on work without compromising on quality,” Sylvester says.

    “The arrangement means that we can prioritise work scheduling based on specific customer and project requirements which could change at short notice.” Source Cape Business News

    Pics of the day – CAMOCI

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    The Brazilian oil products tanker CAMOCI (18,900-dwt, built 1986) in Cape Town harbour at the recent weekend after calling for bunkers. The ship, owned and operated by Transpetro, is en route to the breakers. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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