Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 8, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson


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  • First View – ANTWERP

  • Gama found guilty of charges brought by Transnet

  • Nigeria nabs more toxic waste being shipped in from Europe

  • YESTERYEAR: Those classic ships: SIR WILLIAM HOY

  • GAC Group receives IFC funding to support oil operations in Africa

  • New container ports planned for Angola

  • Piracy: Dutch to extradite Somalis to Germany

  • Pics of the day – RBO FIUGGI and BLACK MARLIN


    First View – ANTWERP

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    Banana Boat! The reefer vessel ANTWERP (7,307-gt, built 1994) arriving outside Lyttleton harbour, New Zealand with a cargo of bananas from the Philippines. Picture by Alan Calvert

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    Gama found guilty of charges brought by Transnet

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    Siyabonga Gama. Picture by Terry Hutson

    Pretoria - Suspended Transnet Freight Rail CEO Siyabonga Gama has been found guilty of each of the charges leveled against him.

    Transnet spokesperson John Dludlu said in a detailed 200-page report that Gama was found guilty of each of the charges, including the irretrievable breakdown in his relationship with the parastatal.

    The findings of the independent chairman of the disciplinary hearing of Gama were delivered to the parties on Saturday morning.

    “In the final stage of the proceedings, the chairperson will be requested, after hearing further submissions from the parties, to recommend an appropriate sanction,” said Dludlu.

    Last September, Transnet suspended Gama pending the outcome of an internal disciplinary process. The hearing related to alleged serious breach of governance requirements in respect of two procurement contracts. - BuaNews

    With this finding it can be expected now that Transnet will be able to take steps towards making appointments to the senior posts currently led in acting capacities. These include Transnet’s acting board chairman, Geoff Everingham, acting CEO Chris Wells, Transnet Freight Rail’s acting CEO Tau Morwe who moved across from TPT, and TPT’s acting CEO Karl Socikwa.

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    Nigeria nabs more toxic waste being shipped in from Europe

    Nigeria’s Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has intercepted another consignment of toxic materials being imported into the country by sea.

    The latest intercept took place at the weekend in Tin Can Island, Lagos when a Ro-Ro ship, MV GUMEL arrived from Europe and discharged banned substances carried in eight trucks. This followed an alert from NESREA’s counterparts in Antwerp in Belgium, from where the ship is believed to have loaded the toxic cargo.

    The cargo consisted of used television sets, batteries, fridges and compressors each of which containing chloroform carbons (CFCs), indicated in environmental pollution. All of the items are listed in the Basel Convention, and are coded as hazardous wastes banned from being exported from European countries. The Basel Convention, which came into effect in 1992, relates to the control of cross-border movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, and is the most comprehensive global environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes. The Convention has 172 parties as signatories and aims to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects resulting from the generation, management, trans-boundary movements and disposal of hazardous and other wastes.

    A NESREA spokesperson in Lagos said the cargo was being immediately shipped back to Antwerp.

    According to Nigerian sources Belgian authorities succeeded in preventing 33 other containers from being shipped to Nigeria, but the eight found on the Gumel slipped past them.

    The latest arrest of toxic cargo at a Lagos port follows several weeks after another consignment was prevented from being landed off the MAERSK NASHVILLE and was similarly returned to Europe.

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    YESTERYEAR: those classic ships: SIR WILLIAM HOY

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    One of Africa’s truly classic harbour tugs, SIR WILLIAM HOY (786 tons, built 1928) which David Reynolds in his definitive book ‘A Century of South African Steam Tugs’ rightly described as Durban’s most famous tug. After 50 years of service in the port, Sir William Hoy was broken up at Durban’s Bayhead in 1979. Picture by Trevor Jones

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    GAC Group receives IFC funding to support oil operations in Africa

    IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced yesterday (7 June) that it is investing in the GAC Group to help the global shipping, logistics and marine services provider acquire new vessels to support offshore oil operations and to spur economic development and better employment opportunities in a number of emerging markets, including in Africa.

    Infrastructure is a global priority for IFC and the USD 35 million loan to GAC will finance the group's purchase of up to six supply vessels to support offshore oil rigs, said the GAC Group in a statement. Three vessels will operate in Kazakhstan, while the others will operate in Africa and the Middle East.

    GAC is one of the first international marine operators in the Caspian. The company has more than 10 years of experience in the region, and is today the largest international operator in Turkmenistan.

    Anita George, IFC Director for Infrastructure, said that IFC was pleased to support the GAC Group, a reliable marine services and offshore supply vessel operator, to expand its services in Kazakhstan and in other markets. “The project will have significant development impact in terms of greater efficiency, safety and training and transfer of industry best practices to local staff,” she said.

    Erland Ebbersten, GAC Group Vice President for Europe, Africa, Mediterranean, Black & Caspian Sea, said: “GAC's expansion underlines the group's commitment to the Caspian region. We believe we can contribute significantly to development of the energy infrastructure in the Caspian, and we welcome IFC's support in making this meaningful task possible for us.”

    Kazakhstan has been unable to exploit its large reserves of oil and gas largely because of a lack of infrastructure, support services, and equipment. Financing for new vessels and equipment has been difficult in the country and the wider region, as entry and exit costs are high, because the only route out of the area is frozen for up to 6 months of the year. The global financial crisis has exacerbated this challenge.

    IFC's support for GAC will also help improve employment prospects in a number of emerging markets as the majority of the GAC Group's employees will be hired locally and will benefit from the company's training programs.

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    New container ports planned for Angola

    Angola’s National Demining Institute, formed in 2004 to clear the thousands of munitions left scattered around the country after the debilitating civil war which wracked the nation between 1975 and 2002, has announced progress toward ensuring the safety of the area designated for a new port at Barra do Dande, just north of Luanda.

    According to GAC Angola, the head of the Institute’s office in Bengo province recently told a delegation from the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI – a US non-governmental organisation) that a target of 2,400 acres needed to be cleared and 400 acres had so far been made safe with the removal of hundreds of explosive devices. The MLI has determined it will introduce a mine detection dog (MDD) programme into the country this year.

    Angola is Africa’s fastest growing economy having received USD 2 billion in aid from China with additional Japanese funds recently refurbishing the country’s third largest port, Namibe and plans to build a new container terminal there, plus Indian investment in the rail system.

    Despite this apparently rosy picture the rate of growth is not being achieved without massive problems for the man in the street. The rural poor are being forcibly relocated all around the country to make way for redevelopment, much of which they cannot afford, even at USD 250 for a building plot. Recently a Reuters report focused on the situation of hundreds of thousands of Luandan merchants who will see the open market at Roque Santeiro closed next month and relocated.

    Angola has doubled its population in twenty years and, at twice the size of Kenya and even larger than South Africa, is being viewed as an expanding market by many. However, with Chinese and independent money limiting the influence of the International Monetary Fund the social cost of developing the transport infrastructure in a state with appalling life expectancy and infant mortality rates needs to be carefully assessed. - Handy Shipping Guide

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    Piracy: Dutch to extradite Somalis to Germany

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    The French patrol frigate FNS Nivose on an earlier visit to Durban. Picture by Terry Hutson

    A Dutch court has ruled that 10 Somalis accused of piracy must be extradited to Germany to face trial on charges of having highjacked a German-owned ship two months ago.

    The suspects were taken into custody on board a Dutch warship on patrol with the EU NAVFOR forces after they had reportedly attacked the German vessel. The ten Somalis were subsequently flown to the Netherlands to stand trial.

    In its statement the Amsterdam court said that it assumes that Germany has jurisdiction over the offence, an argument that lawyers acting on behalf of the suspects have argued against, saying that the Netherlands should try them.

    Meanwhile the French patrol frigate FNS NIVÔSE has completed a four month deployment as part of the EU NAVFOR Somalia Task Force, reports the EU naval group.

    During her deployment she disrupted numerous pirate action groups (PAGs) operating in the Indian Ocean, detaining many pirates and contributed extensively to the security and co-ordination of the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor (IRTC) within the Gulf of Aden.

    EU NAVFOR Force Commander Rear Admiral (LH) Jan Thörnqvist said the co-operative spirit and prompt attitude of the crew of FNS Nivose constituted an outstanding example for all EU NAVFOR crew.

    Pics of the day – RBO FIUGGI and BLACK MARLIN

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    The RBO FIUGGI in Cape Town during January 2009. Details of this vessel required please. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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    The heavylift BLACK MARLIN (37,938-gt, built 1999) was another vessel to call at Cape Town that January. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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