Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 29, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson


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  • First View – STEN IDUN and PUJAWATI

  • UN Security Council calls for international piracy tribunals

  • Container scanner installed at Nacala port

  • NYK Logistics offers reefer and dry sailings from Europe to South Africa

  • Suez Canal Container Terminal takes four more supersize STS cranes

  • Trade News – Nigeria LNG commences live ops with Navarik Vetting™

  • Japan opens military base in Djibouti

  • Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offers young musicians the chance to compete for €15,000 prize

  • South Africa economy recovers, but risks remain - bank

  • SAGA ROSE remains in port at Richards Bay

  • Pics of the day – TOISA PUMA


    First View – STEN IDUN and PUJAWATI

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    At a quick glance readers might be excused for thinking that the picture here is of two sister tankers, however a closer examination shows this is not so. The vessel closest to the camera is the Norwegian owned but Gibraltar-flagged products tanker STEN IDUN (16,613-dwt, built 2002), while the vessel further along the quay is the Indonesian owned, Singapore-flagged products tanker PUJAWATI (19,966-dwt, built 2006) Picture by Aad Noorland

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    UN Security Council calls for international piracy tribunals

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    New York - The Security Council has put forward the possibility of establishing international tribunals to try pirates, as its members called for tougher legislation aimed at prosecuting and jailing suspects caught off the coast of Somalia.

    In a resolution unanimously adopted on Tuesday this week, the 15-member body appealed to all States “to criminalize piracy under their domestic law and favourably consider the prosecution of suspected, and imprisonment of convicted, pirates apprehended off the coast of Somalia, consistent with applicable international human rights law.”

    The Security Council also requested that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon present a report within three months on possible options for prosecuting and imprisoning suspects in connection with piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Horn of Africa.

    In its resolution, members noted efforts by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other international organization and donors, including the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), “to enhance the capacity of the judicial and the corrections systems in Somalia, Kenya, Seychelles and other States in the region.”

    They also highlighted the role of the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other partners in bringing suspects to justice, in cooperation with Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

    Ongoing violence between the TFG, heavily backed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other supporters, and rebel groups in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu prevents piracy suspects from being tried or imprisoned there. Some of the burden has shifted to neighbouring Kenya's justice system.

    The Security Council acknowledged “difficulties that Kenya encountered, encouraging its Government to continue prosecuting suspects and imprisoning convicted persons.”

    Tuesday’s meeting came just days after B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and chair of the Board of the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, unveiled USD 2.1 million worth of projects planned to tackle the scourge.

    The five projects being backed by the UN Trust Fund, which was set up in January by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, are focused largely on efforts to prosecute piracy suspects.

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    Container scanner installed at Nacala port

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    The northern Mozambique port of Nacala is now equipped with a scanner enabling port authorities and revenue services to inspect containers passing through Nacala in a non-invasive manner.

    According to Rosário Fernandes, the president of the Mozambican Tax Authority, the scanning equipment, worth USD 4 million, has the capacity to inspect one container per minute, as compared with the 12 hours it previously took to do the same job manually.

    Fernandes said that the choice of installing the equipment at the port of Nacala was due to its strategic location in relation to hinterland countries such as Malawi, Zambia and the Congo.

    Ghassan Amad, chairman of Kudumba Investimentos, the concession-holding company for the equipment, said that the inauguration of the scanner at Nacala-Porto marked the beginning of a programme to install similar equipment at the ports of Beira, Maputo and on the Nacala railway line and the airports at Beira and Nampula. - macauhub

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    NYK Logistics offers reefer and dry sailings from Europe to South Africa

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    Picture by Terry Hutson

    NYK Logistics North Continent says it is now offering weekly dry freight and reefer services between northern Europe and South Africa, via its less-than-container load (LCL) reefer department for both dry and reefer loads.

    All container types are catered for – 20ft, 40ft, 40ft hi-cube reefer and 20ft reefer.

    The service is a further stage in the consolidation of NYK and LauritzenCool operations following NYK’s acquisition last year of LauritzenCool’s 50% share in the former joint business, which also marked the end of the Danish company’s involvement in reefer business.

    NYK Logistics said that within its South African facilities, it provides cold storage monitored facilities, fumigation and a full door-to-door service, in addition to a NVOCC/ship's agency function.

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    Suez Canal Container Terminal takes four more supersize STS cranes

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    APM Terminals-operated Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) said last week it has taken delivery of four ship-to-shore cranes and 10 yard cranes as part of its ongoing expansion.

    The four ZPMC super post-Panamax cranes are able to tandem lift boxes and bring the total number of super post-Panamax gantries at SCCT to 16. The new cranes are designed to serve containerships carrying up to 12,000 TEUs and have the capability to handle two 40-foot or four 20-foot containers at a time.

    “This is rare in the Mediterranean market,” said Jens Floe, the terminal’s chief executive. “As a big player in transshipment business on the east/west trade lane we have been dealing with more and larger vessels over the past few years than ever before.”

    SCCT also said shipping line UASC has started calling the terminal from mid-April.

    “Although the ports and shipping industry was quite severely affected by the global crisis, it is important that we continue to increase the service to our customers and prepare for the future,” Floe said. “Besides the transshipment market we are serving, we believe there is also high potential in Egypt for an increased local product, which further strengthens us as a hub.”

    The expansion will take capacity at SCCT from 2.5 million TEUs per year to 5.1 million TEUs by 2012. COSCO Pacific holds a 20 percent stake in SCCT. - American Shipper

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    Trade News – Nigeria LNG commences live ops with Navarik Vetting™

    Navarik, a global leader in cargo inspection management software for petroleum trade and operations, announced on Tuesday that Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has commenced live operations with Navarik Vetting™ - an application which helps reduce risk by enabling the user to identify and assess vessels that meet NLNG's vessel Quality Assurance Policy requirements and hence reduce the risk to the Company associated with their maritime business requirements.

    “We needed a system that could provide fast and reliable shipping assurance and compliance,” said Captain Temilola Okesanjo, General Manager of NLNG's Shipping Division. “What Navarik delivered is a comprehensive solution that enables us to make quicker, more informed vetting decisions and dramatically reduces the time required to retain an up-to-date audit log of all vessel clearance requests, responses and Terminal Assurance.”

    “Navarik has really enjoyed helping NLNG develop a strong shipping assurance capability in Nigeria,” said Patrick Rooney, CEO of Navarik. “We are very confident that Navarik Vetting will enable NLNG to realize their goal of having a complete, easy-to-use system that ensures vessel safety and suitability commensurate with NLNG's Vessel Quality Assurance Policy.”

    Navarik Vetting™ is a hosted software application that provides a central repository of relevant vessel, terminal, and vessel manager information to enable quick and well informed decisions when clearing vessels for specified voyages. In addition, it enables all parties involved to instantly obtain status updates and track changes to vetting requests.
    Navarik is the leader of on-demand software services that automate shipping logistics and physical trade operations in global crude oil, refined products and bulk commodities.

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    Japan opens military base in Djibouti

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    map – CIA Factbook

    Japan has opened its first overseas military base at Djibouti, near the northern entrance to the Gulf of Aden.

    Japanese sources emphasized however that the purpose of the base is to help curb piracy in the region.

    “We are deploying here to fight piracy and for our self-defense,” Keizo Kitagawa, Japan's navy force captain and coordinator of the deployment, told the French news agency AFP. “Japan is a maritime nation and the increase in piracy in the Gulf of Aden through which 20,000 vessels sail every year is worrying.”

    He said that 10 percent of the Gulf of Aden's traffic comes from Japan and 90 percent of Japanese exports depend on passage through the lane.

    Japan previously stationed soldiers - part of the country’s self-defense army since it has no standing army and cannot wage war according to a post-World War II agreement - at an American base in the region. Kitagawa said Japan scouted locations in Yemen, Oman and Kenya before deciding last year on Djibouti, a tiny nation on the Horn of Africa. - American Shipper

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    Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offers young musicians the chance to compete for €15,000 prize

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    Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa. Picture by Terry Hutson

    Following last year’s major success, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ flagship, MS EUROPA in cooperation with eight prestigious international opera houses, will be hosting their second annual classical music competition at sea.

    The ‘Stella Maris’ International Vocal Competition will bring together up-and-coming young singers from the most renowned opera houses in the world, which include: the Royal Opera House London, Bavarian State Opera Munich, The Canadian Opera Company Toronto, Accademia Teatro alla Scala Milan, Hamburg State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Merola Opera Program San Francisco Opera and the Zurich Opera House. ‘Stella Maris’ is the highlight of a total of 11 music cruises aboard the EUROPA this year. The competition will occur on board a 10-day Middle Eastern cruise departing from Istanbul, Turkey on 6 November and ending in Aqaba, Jordan on 16 November 2010.

    Under the direction of Canadian tenor Michael Schade, a jury of famous personalities in the classical music field has been compiled for the 2010 competition.

    The distinguishing feature of ‘Stella Maris’is that the audience determines the winner of the cash prize worth € 15,000. This prize, generous compared to others in the world of classical music, is provided by the cultural foundation Hauck & Aufhaeuser. The jury will decide on the recipients of the additional prizes, which include: a guest engagement at the Washington National Opera, a concert at the Verbier Festival and a test recording with Deutsche Grammophon.

    While the performances are the highlights of this itinerary, guests will also enjoy excursions and stops in the following ports along the musical route: Istanbul/Turkey, Antalya/Turkey, Paphos/Cyprus, Tartus/Syria, Beirut/Lebanon, Port Said/Egypt, Hurghada/Egypt, and Aqaba/Jordan. This 10-day itinerary starts at € 5,900 per person.

    For more details on this itinerary visit HERE

    South Africa economy recovers, but risks remain - Reserve Bank

    The South African economy is gradually recovering from its first recession in 17 years, but risks remain, the deputy governor of the South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB), Xolile Guma, said yesterday.

    He was speaking in Pretoria at the release of the SARB's Financial Stability Review, March 2010 which focuses mainly on the six month period ending December 2009. The main risk facing Africa remains a stalling of the global economic recovery, he said.

    “This could place downward pressure on commodity prices which could also undermine government revenues and raise public debt to unsustainable levels.”

    According to the South African Press Association (SAPA) Guma said in South Africa, economic performance started improving in the third quarter of 2009 and continued at a markedly stronger pace in the fourth quarter.

    “Confidence in the financial services sector increased further in the fourth quarter of 2009, boosted mainly by higher levels of confidence among investment managers and life insurers,” he said.

    The South African banking sector continued to maintain levels of capital well above the minimum prudential requirement, he said.
    However, despite the recovery in real economic activity, bank loans and advances contracted during the period under review.

    Guma said the contraction in credit extension had both demand and supply side elements, SAPA reported.

    “On the demand side, it would appear that households continued to be reluctant to incur more debt, while on the supply sidelending standards have remained tight.”

    Guma said the financial strength of long term insurance in South Africa was assessed as being generally sound, based on the capital-adequacy levels.

    However, he said other financial soundness indicators for typical long term insurers suggested that this sector “continued to experience some strain.”

    Guma said although the quality of loans and advances had been deteriorating consistently over the past two years, the pace of deterioration had moderated during the second half of 2009.

    “Banking profitability dropped somewhat during the second half, but efficiency has remained fairly stable.” – Xinhua

    SAGA ROSE remains in port at Richards Bay

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    Picture by Terry Hutson

    The saga of the SAGA ROSE mystery voyage continues. Late last night (Wednesday) the cruise ship was still in the Zululand port of Richards Bay, after having arrived there on Tuesday afternoon to load bunkers.

    Pics of the day – TOISA PUMA

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    The Greek-owned, British managed offshore supply tug TOISA PUMA (2,906-gt, built 1985) on arrival in Cape Town during April. Pictures by Aad Noorland

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