Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 2, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson


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  • First View – MSC SANTHYA

  • Seychelles to seek India’s help with piracy

  • Mombasa to unveil plans for second container terminal

  • YESTERYEAR: those classic ships: BLOEMFONTEIN

  • South Africa faces another year of disappointing coal exports

  • Trade News: Basic ship paint technology course offered by SAMTRA

  • Maputo container terminal receives new equipment

  • Trade policies and the global economic crisis: the Sub-Saharan perspective

  • Pics of the day – SCF BYRRANGA and INGWEGWE


    First View – MSC SANTHYA

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    The 3,000-TEU container ship MSC SANTHYA (37,071-gt, built 1991) arriving at Lyttelton, New Zealand. Santhya is a sister ship to MSC Atlantic, MSC Jordan, MSC Mary, MSC Nederland, MSC Shannon and MSC Suez, all currently in the service of the Swiss/Italian container company. Picture by Alan Calvert

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    Seychelles to seek India’s help with piracy

    Durban, 1 June - India is receiving visits by two African leaders this week, presidents James Michel of the Seychelles and Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who each have matters of mutual defence, security and the economy on their respective agendas.

    Seychelles’ President Michel, who meets today with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will look for further assistance from India in dealing with the greatest security threat facing the island group, that of increasing piracy in its waters. India has already provided the Seychelles with patrol boats and has seconded naval personnel to assist the fledgling Seychellois naval force.

    “No country has been as affected by piracy as we have,” the Seychelles High Commissioner said to an Indian news agency ahead of the visit. Seychelles has a population of only 84,000 people and consists of 155 islands scattered over 1,374,000 km².

    He said that Seychellois fishermen were no longer able to go to sea. “Piracy is threatening our very way of life. It is a matter of survival.”

    Tuna fishing is one of the Seychelles main employment generators which has seen exports go down 30 percent since the Somali pirates widened their scope of influence to include the islands. Another sector to be severely affected is that of cruise ship visits and cruising yachts.

    When President Zuma arrives from South Africa he will be accompanied by about 200 South African businessmen and more than six government ministers. Among those taking part in joint meetings will be Tata’s Rajan Tata and Patrice Motsepem, executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals.

    Approximately 35 joint agreements between South Africa and India are currently under review.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Zuma last met in April for the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) summit in Brasilia.

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    Mombasa to unveil plans for second container terminal

    Detailed designs for the second container terminal at the Kenyan port of Mombasa are due to be revealed this month, the port says in a statement.

    This will pave way for actual construction work for the new terminal, west of Kipevu at a total cost of Kshs 16 Billion (USD 201.8m). The project which will convert Mombasa into a hub port is being financed through bilateral soft loans from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA). The new terminal will double the port’s handling capacity with a first phase capable of handling 450,000 TEUs and becoming fully operational by 2013. The ultimate capacity of the terminal will be 1.2 million TEU.

    Kenya Ports Authority has witnessed increased growth in container traffic over the years leading to the need for a second facility to meet the demand. In 2009 the port handled a record 618,816 TEUs while overall throughput increased by 16.1 percent to a total cargo of 19.06 million tonnes, in spite of poor global economic conditions.

    One quarter of the total cargo handled was transit freight (4.98mt) of which almost 80 percent was for Uganda.

    It is intended that the second container terminal will be operated by a private concessionaire, bringing a sense of competition to the port. This, the KPA believes, will enhance efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery at the port of Mombasa.

    The main container terminal handling equipment such as ship-to-shore gantry cranes and rubber tyred gantry cranes among others are being provided by the Japanese as part of the loan agreement.

    Other facilities in the project include the extension of the rail line that currently serves the Mombasa container terminal, building of a new access road and installation of new buoys and markers in the maritime access channels.

    To cope with the continuing container growth before the second terminal enters service, Kenya Ports Authority says it plans to upgrade and convert berths 11 - 14 in the present harbour to become another container terminal which will be offered on a concessionary basis to a private operator. Ships currently use their own gear to load and offload containers on these berths.

    This additional capacity is intended to help attract transshipment traffic for Mombasa to act as a feeder port for the Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar and Zanzibar.

    At the same time, an additional berth 19 is to be constructed at the main container terminal to handle container vessels.

    The KPA says it is in the tendering stage of dredging the channel and widening the turning basin to allow for the latest generation of container ships.

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    YESTERYEAR: those classic ships: BLOEMFONTEIN

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    The first of Holland Africa Line’s ships to carry this name, the BLOEMFONTEIN (4055-gt, built 1899) spent a good deal of its eventful career on the African coast, entering service originally as the ANVERSVILLE with Cie Maritime Belge du Congo in 1899. Seven years later the ship was renamed DAKAR. In 1915 she caught fire at Forcados and sank, but was subsequently salvaged and returned to service, before being sold again in 1920 when Holland Africa bought her from African Steamship Company, the original Elder Dempster company. Holland Africa renamed her BLOEMFONTEIN but after a mere four years with the Dutch company the vessel was sold to British/Chinese interests, once again being renamed, before being scrapped in 1947 after a long 48-year career. Who said renaming a ship always brought bad luck?

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    The second company ship to carry the name BLOEMFONTEIN (10,081-gt, built 1934) was built by Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Mij. in Amsterdam in 1934. Her typical rotation during the later 1930s was Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dover, Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), Beira, returning Beira, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Southampton, Antwerp and Amsterdam.

    The vessel survived World War 2 and was eventually scrapped at Hong Kong in 1959. The picture seen here was taken in Cape Town harbour.

    Both pictures from the collection of Willem Kruk

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    South Africa faces another year of disappointing coal exports

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    RBCT coal stockpile. Picture TNPA

    South Africa is not likely to achieve its target of exporting even 65 million tonnes of coal this year, according to Raymond Chirwa, CEO of Richards Bay Coal Terminal.

    He said this in the aftermath of the long Transnet strike that crippled deliveries of coal to the Zululand port. Although RBCT carries stockpiles of coal it is understood that exports were affected by the railway strike which saw little coal traffic reaching the port.

    Chrirwa said that on average RBCT received between 1.3 and 1,4 million tonnes of coal each week. It would now be very difficult to catch up for the year, he said.

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    Trade News: Basic ship paint technology course offered by SAMTRA

    SAMTRA, the Cape-based maritime training academy, in conjunction with Jotun Paints, recently conducted a Basic Paint Technology course. The course was facilitated by Daron Havemann of Jotun Paints, assisted by SAMTRA instructor Dean Wilson.

    The course was attended by a number of students from various African countries who are currently living and working in South Africa. The feedback received from the students was very positive - all of the comments suggest that this course is invaluable to anyone who will be required to do any form of marine maintenance and according to the participants, comes highly recommended.

    A recent study conducted by a European body demonstrated the benefits of a well trained maintenance crew. The study, which was conducted over the course of a year, compared two vessels of the same age and condition. One of the vessels was maintained by a crew whiich had undergone a similar Paint Technology course and the other by a crew which had no exposure to training of this nature. The vessel which was maintained by the crew who had not undergone training required an additional 30,000 litres of paint during the year in which the study was conducted. This reiterates the need for well trained personnel no matter what the task involved.

    The objectives of the course are to provide the participants with a better understanding of the different paint types, their compatibility and the need for adequate surface preparation. Other modules covered are Quality Control, Health and Safety, Paint Film Defects and General Paint Application. On the 2nd day of the course the students are taken on a tour of the Jotun Paint Factory in Blackheath, Cape Town.

    Information of this and other courses available at SAMTRA can be obtained by emailing pmaurer@samtra.co.za

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    Maputo container terminal receives new equipment

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    DP World Maputo, which manages and operates the Maputo port container terminal, has announced the arrival and commissioning of six new Linde reach stackers.

    These will complement the existing fleet of Kalmar tractor trailers already in operation at the terminal.

    Trade policies and the global economic crisis: the Sub-Saharan perspective

    By Willemien Denner (tralac researcher)

    The World Trade Organisation (WTO) estimates that world trade will expand by 9.5 percent during 2010 as the global economy starts to recover from the global financial and economic crisis. Exports from developed countries are expected to increase by 7.5 percent and exports from the rest of the world, including developing countries, by 11 percent in value terms. Although it is expected that it will take another year before world trade values reach, and even surpass the high trade values recorded for 2008, the expected recovery is a significant improvement over the 12.2 percent decline in value terms and 23 percent decline in terms of US dollars recorded for world trade in 2009.

    It has been determined that the sharp decline in trade values during the global recession has not been due to an increase in protectionist measures, but rather due to a major decline in global demand. This was exacerbated by the type of products for which demand fell and the fact that the decrease in demand happened across countries and regions. However, some countries implemented more trade restrictive than trade liberalising policy measures and African countries have implemented more post-financial crisis protectionist policies than China. Thus far discriminatory measures have remained the most prominent post-crisis policy response for most African trading partners in 2010.

    The 5th Global Trade Alert Report focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa and argues that most African countries have been successful in resisting the temptation to implement protectionist policies, while many of their trading partners have implemented trade restrictive and distortive measures. These include various policies ranging from financial bailouts and export subsidies to government procurement and local content requirements. However, relatively developed African countries, like South Africa, have been able to retaliate against these measures.

    Although many developed countries, like Japan and the United States implemented trade restrictive and distorting policies, many emerging countries like Brazil, China and India followed suit. For the G8 countries alone there are 226 trade restrictive measures indicated in the Global Trade Alert database. These measures affect 181 trading partners and 674 tariff lines. In comparison less developed countries implemented only 21 trade restrictive measures which affect 31 trading partners and only 15 sectors.

    Some African countries have also implemented fiscal stimulus plans, following in the footsteps of their developed and emerging counterparts. In Mauritius the Government provided a stimulus package for the increase in domestic demand and job creation, while Nigeria provided bailouts for 5 banks. In South Africa the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) made loans available to distressed manufacturing sectors, including automotives and clothing and textiles while the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) made funds available to firms in different sectors and approved loans to various companies. Some countries did not have the necessary funds available to provide fiscal packages, rather focussing on the revision of their budgets to generate additional revenue or targeted assistance programs to support only those sectors of economic importance.

    Of those trade policy measures which were implemented by African countries, most have been highly discriminatory with South Africa being one of the most protectionist African countries. 65 percent of the measures South Africa implemented during and after the financial crisis have been highly discriminatory policies. Other African countries which are relatively protectionist include Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Kenya. What is worrying is that Africa’s traditional trade partners implemented more discriminatory and less liberalising measures. Discriminatory measures were also applied by emerging African countries and other emerging trade partners like Brazil. This can disrupt the sustainability and the real and potential benefits for African countries from their trading relationships with traditional and emerging country trading partners.

    The restrictive and protectionist policies which have been followed by most of Africa’s trading partners have indicated that African countries need to broaden their production and exports. African countries were mostly affected by those measures which discriminated against their agricultural commodities entering the markets of their trade partners and third countries. The continuation and increased production and exportation of primary commodities will intensify the competitiveness problems African countries are already experiencing, while building capacity and diversifying exports to higher value products will provide countries with policy space to adapt to the impact of a financial and economic crisis and improve negotiating power in their trading relationships.

    Another important consideration for African countries is the need to reduce supply-side and cost constraints. These constraints limit the ability of African countries to participate in international trade by increasing the cost of production and thus worsening the competitiveness of African countries in the global market. To increase the competitiveness of African countries urgent attention needs to be paid to infrastructural deficiencies, including roads, railroads and electricity. A reduction in these constraints can decrease the cost of production which in turn will improve market access for African goods and services.

    Source: tralac Newsletter and WTO; 5th Global Trade Alert

    Pics of the day – SCF BYRRANGA and INGWEGWE

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    The Capesize Crude oil tanker SCF BYRRANGA (159,062-dwt, built 2005) arrived in Durban yesterday afternoon, additional proof of the advantages of having widened and deepened the harbour entrance channel (even though the tanker was light in the water). Picture by Dave Sievwright

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    At the other end of the extreme, the Durban harbour launch INGWEGWE makes its way busily down the Maydon Channel, heading presumably for another task involving the berthing or unberthing of a ship. One the other side of the launch, five pelicans continue in the waters of the bay quite unconcerned with the activity of Africa's busiest port.  Picture Terry Hutson

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