Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 13, 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 – ZUI YOH

  • South African Port statistics for March

  • New harbour tug for Port of Lobito

  • Piracy update: Turkish ship released and US Navy ship blasts pirate boat

  • YESTERYEAR : those classic ships – ARYA SEP

  • Nigerians nab crude oil thieves

  • Louis Dreyfus pulls out of discussion to invest with CMA CGM

  • HMS SCEPTRE sails from Simon’s Town

  • MAILBAG – readers write

  • Pics of the day – HELLESPONT DIONE


    First View – ZUI YOH

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    The Philippines woodchip carrier ZUI YOH (38,844-gt, built 1990) arriving in Newcastle, Australia on 3 April 2010. Picture Alan Calvert.

    South African Port statistics for March

    South African port statistics for the month of March 2010 are now to hand, courtesy Transnet.

    As is customary the figures shown in this report reflect an adjustment on the overall tonnage to include containers by weight – an adjustment necessary because Transnet NPA measures containers in terms of the number of TEUs and no longer by weight - for which PORTS & SHIPS estimates an adjustment of 13,5 tonnes per TEU to reflect tonnages. This figure is on the conservative side with 14 tonnes or even more being a more realistic figure, particularly in view of the increasing quantity of bulk cargo which is now being handled in containers.

    For comparative purposes readers can see statistics from 12 months ago (March 2009) by clicking HERE Use your BACK button to return to this page.

    Figures for the respective ports during March 2010 are (with February 2010 figures shown bracketed):

    Cargo handled by tonnes during March 2010

    Richards Bay                   7.307 Mt million tonnes (Feb 5.600Mt)
    Durban                           5.658 Mt (Feb 7.040)
    Saldanha Bay                  4.404 Mt (Feb 4.282)
    Cape Town                     1.134 Mt (Feb 1.224)
    Port Elizabeth                  0.662 Mt (Feb 0.868)
    Ngqura                           0.466 Mt (Feb 0.255)
    Mossel Bay                      0.150 Mt (Feb 0.214)
    East London                    0.171 Mt (Feb 0.247)

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Port Elizabeth Harbour

    Containers (measured by TEUs) during March 2010
    (TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Tranship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA)

    Durban                                  187,075 TEU (Feb 222,412)
    Cape Town                              63,676 (Feb 73,903)
    Port Elizabeth                           20,834 (Feb 26,788)
    Ngqura                                    34,533 (Feb 18,881)
    East London                              3,448 (Feb 5,582)
    Richards Bay                             1,776 (Feb 1,619)

    Total containers handled during March 311,342-TEU (Feb 349,185)

    Ship Calls for March 2010

    Durban: -       330 vessels 9.527m gt (Feb 361 vessels 9.920m gt)
    Cape Town:    204 vessels 4.215m gt (Feb 203 vessels 4.105m gt)
    Port Elizabeth:  91 vessels 2.084m gt (Feb 85 vessels 2.088m gt)
    Ngqura: -        23 vessels 1.086m gt (Feb 21 vessels 0.962 gt)
    Richards Bay:  163 vessels 5.167m gt (Feb 146 vessels 4.842m gt)
    Saldanha: -      39 vessels 2.577m gt (Feb 44 vessels 2.596 gt)
    East London:    20 vessels 0.564m gt (Feb 23 vessels 0.633 gt)
    Mossel Bay: -   59 vessels 0.245m gt (Feb 47 vessels 0.232m gt)

    Total ship calls for March 2010: 906 ships for 24,379,835-gt
    (Feb 909 ships for 24,414,933-gt)

    - source TNPA, with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container weights

    News continues below....

    New harbour tug for Port of Lobito

    The Angolan port of Lobito has taken delivery of a new harbour tug sourced from a European builder.

    Only basic details of the new tug are available including that the vessel has been named CALAI. She is highly maneuverable, 30m in length, 10m wide and is capable of handling vessels of up to 300m length, so presumably has a sizeable bollard pull. The Callai’s service speed is given as 14 knots and the cost as € 7 million.

    Any further details of this vessel including the name of the builder and a photograph would be welcome.

    Until now the port of Lobito previously operated with a fleet of just two tugs. In 2009 the port handled just over 2 million tonnes of cargo, a steady improvement on recent years but still considerably short of Lobito’s inherent potential as the leading port of Angola.

    Lobito is also the ocean terminus of the Benguela Railway which is currently under refurbishment by Chinese contractors. When completely refurbished the 1,344-km long Cape gauge railway from Lobito will extend to the DRC border town of Luau, where a connection with other SADC and Central African countries, in particular the DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe, will once again become a reality.

    The railway was originally constructed by European interests from 1903 and had an extensive locomotive fleet of Garratt and straight steam locomotives, later partially replaced by diesels until the outbreak of the civil war when large parts fell into disuse.

    Speaking during the handover of the tug at Lobito, the port’s director-general, José Carlos Gomes, said the port was geared to handle any influx of trade arising from the construction of an oil refinery in the region. He said Lobito possessed the resources to meet the challenges of reviving the national economy and that of the wider southern African region.

    A new quay to handle dry bulk commodities is under construction in Lobito and is due for completion by the end of this year. Two new terminals, one a dry port and the other for mineral products are also under construction on the opposite side of the bay

    News continues below…

    Piracy update: Turkish ship released and US Navy ship blasts pirate boat

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Yasin C. Picture EU NAVFOR

    Turkish ship released

    The European Naval forces operating off the Somali coast (EU NAVFOR) reports that the Turkish bulk carrier YASIN C (36,318-dwt), which was highjacked on 7 April while 250 n.miles east of Mombasa, has been suddenly released.

    The vessel developed unexplained ‘technical’ problems on board which left the vessel drifting without power. It appears the crew had managed to lock themselves in the engine room where they were able to shut down the engines and prevent the ship from being sailed towards Somalia. At this point the pirates abandoned the ship, effectively handing back control to the 25 crew, of whom all are thought to be Turkish, but only after trashing the accommodation and bridge area of the vessel. The Port of Mombasa has sent a vessel to assist the Yasin C into Mombasa harbour. As far as is known all crew are safe and well.

    Pirates attack US Navy ship

    In another incident at the weekend the US Navy ship USS ASHLAND (LSD48) found itself in the unusual position of coming under fire from a pirate skiff containing six pirates some 330 n.miles off the coast of Djibouti. The American warship returned the fire with two shots from her MK-38 MOD 2, 25mm gun, causing the skiff to catch fire and the pirates to rapidly abandon ‘ship’.

    After verifying that the pirates had disposed of their weapons, all were recovered from the sea and taken into custody on board the Ashland. The dock landing ship is the second US warship to come under attack by pirates in the past fortnight. On 31 March the frigate USS Nicholas came under fire from a pirate group also in skiffs, which resulted in five pirates being captured.

    USS Ashland is operating in support of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Djibouti.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    USS Ashland with the burned out hull of the pirate skiff that initiated an attack on the navy dock landing ship. Picture MSC 2nd class Jason R Zalasky, US Navy

    Asian Glory used again for piracy

    The highjacked car carrier ASIAN GLORY, which has been in the hands of Somali pirates for the past three months after being captured about 1000 miles from the Somali coast, has again been used by pirates to attack commercial shipping. According to unconfirmed Russian reports the vessel, which is manned by a crew of Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Indians and Rumanians was used to attack the container ship MSC ANAFI. After a fierce gun battle using machine guns and other automatic weapons the container ship evaded capture and made its escape.

    According to the Russians, international naval forces in the area have managed to keep the matter under wraps until now.

    It is believed that the Asian Glory has been used on two previous occasions to go to sea with pirates in command. When it was captured the vessel held a cargo of 2405 motor vehicles bound for Saudi Arabia.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Asian Glory

    Puntland forces blockade pirate lair

    From sketchy reports it appears that Puntland Government forces have been deployed against the coastal town of Bargal, which is about 400km from Bossasso, the commercial capital of semi-autonomous Puntland in northern Somalia. An Italian ship is being held by pirates off the coast of Bargal and the Puntland forces are apparently engaged in blockading the town and preventing pirate reinforcements from reaching the area. All communication with the town has been cut off.

    News continues below…

    YESTERYEAR : those classic ships – ARYA SEP

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    A classic ship with a difference this time. The Iranian general cargo ship ARYA SEP (9,292-gt, built 1962), ex-Clan Farquharson, sailing from Durban in early-1979 at the very time of the Iranian Revolution. She turned out to be last ship with the Arya name and distinctive colours to call at Durban. The ship was built for Clan Line in 1962 and was sold to Iran in 1968. Picture by Trevor Jones

    Pictures of classic ships from yesteryear are welcome for this space. Please email in jpeg format to info@ports.co.za

    News continues below…

    Nigerians nab crude oil thieves

    A Myanmar national discovered on board the bunker supply tanker MT GLORY is to be handed over for prosecution. The man, identified as Minzaw Tinmaungyaw confirmed to authorities that the Glory had been used to load 800 tonnes of stolen crude oil for transfer to a second vessel outside Nigeria’s territorial waters.

    The latter ship is said to be manned by Myanmars (Burnese) seafarers.

    Tinmaungyaw claimed that he was a mere passenger on board the Glory and played no part in the loading of stolen oil. Other members of the ship’s crew jumped overboard when authorities were seen approaching and made their escape. Authorities claim the Glory, which is owned by a Greek company identified as Blossom SA, was being used to ferry stolen crude to waiting vessels offshore.

    The ship was intercepted by a special Nigerian Joint Task Force while loading the stolen fuel from a facility operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC on the night of 31 March this year. Security forces said afterwards they had been offered a bribe to release the Myanmar national and the ship. The alleged bribe involving a Nigerian is being investigated by police. Source Vanguard

    News continues below...

    Louis Dreyfus pulls out of discussion to invest with CMA CGM

    Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) says it is no longer interested in investing in the French shipping group CMA CGM. LDA said in a statement that CMA CGM had failed to provide sufficient information to questions asked.

    The decision came as no surprise to French observers who remained skeptical of the offer initiated by LDA. Meanwhile CMA CGM is continuing in discussion with the Qatari sovereign fund with regards an offer to lend the troubled shipping company the amount of USD 1 billion.

    news continues below…

    HMS SCEPTRE sails from Simon’s Town

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    HMS Sceptre is lined up for the harbour entrance ready to depart. The contrast between the nuclear vessel and the South African diesel-electric powered Heroine class submarine S102, SAS Charlotte Maxeke, in the foreground, is noteworthy. Picture David Erickson

    The Royal Navy nuclear submarine HMS SCEPTRE departed from Simon’s Town yesterday (Monday) after a short five day visit, bound for the UK and a final decommissioning at the end of this year. The Swiftsure class submarine arrived in South Africa on 6 April on a goodwill visit to the South African Navy. No joint exercises took place and the submarine remained in Simon’s Town throughout the period.

    According to British media reports the submarine has just concluded a deployment to the area of the Falklands following a spell of renewed tensions between the UK and Argentina.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    HMS Sceptre prepares to cast off from the naval tug De Neys after exiting the harbour at Simon’s Town. The decommissioned Daphne class submarine S99, SAS Assegaai, is in the foreground. Picture by David Erickson

    MAILBAG – readers write

    Dear Sir.

    I refer to the continuing piracy in the seas and oceans. Whilst other seafaring countries are diligently effecting their responsibilities towards the scourge of the pirates, we South Africans, as a member of the African Union and [a participant in] the UN’s World Food Aid programme, seemingly do absolutely nothing in deploying our very expensive navy. Some time ago [09/04/2007] SAS MANTHATISI (S101) whilst involved in maritime exercises with NATO off the Cape successfully ‘destroyed’ the whole NATO squadron. Yes incredible but true, but surely with our four Meko Type Frigates these could engage the pirates and therefore contribute a naval presence that is mandated to routinely make patrols in regard to piracy, drug smuggling, poaching and illegal fishing.

    So where are our ships? The answer is very simple – they’re in port. The reason yes, take a guess, there’s 'no money' to put our controversial fleet to sea.

    Why then were these purchased, along with the aircraft?

    John Parkinson

    Pics of the day – HELLESPONT DIONE

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    The UK-owned and managed offshore supply tug HELLESPONT DIONE (2,175-gt, built 2010) which arrived in Cape Town this past week on her maiden visit to South Africa. Pictures by Aad Noorland

    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