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Ports & Ships Maritime News

July 27, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

Shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa


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First View – LYTTELTON


The steam tug LYTTELTON seen 24 July 2010 just after leaving dry-dock on completion of her annual survey. Lyttelton was built in 1907 by Fergusson Brothers, Port Glasgow for the Lyttelton Harbour Board of New Zealand. Leaving Glasgow on 2 July 1907 with a crew of 15, she rock hopped over a period of 69 days to arrive at Lyttelton on 10 September 1907.

The tug served the Lyttelton Harbour Board until she was retired in 1971. After a period of being laid-up the tug was purchased for a small sum of money by The Tug Lyttelton Preservation Society for the purpose of running public cruises around Lyttelton Harbour during the summer months. A loyal group of supporters still operate and maintain the tug today.


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AU Summit could see Nepad integrated into AU

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has joined more than 30 Heads of State in Uganda for the 15th Ordinary Session of African Union (AU) Summit which commenced on Sunday.

The summit, which is taking place under the theme ‘Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa’, is expected to deal with some of the issues that were raised during the 17th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU held last week.

The meeting of Africa's leadership takes place just two weeks after Uganda was hit by terrorist acts which killed more than 70 people. Ugandan authorities have, however, assured the country is ready to host a safe summit despite the recent suicide bombings.

South Africa’s Department of International Relations (foreign affairs) said Zuma would also participate in the 23rd Summit of the NEPAD Heads of States and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) and the 13th Summit of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) of Heads of State and Government.

During the session, issues to be discussed will include the outcome of the integration of NEPAD into the AU, the strategic direction and operating model for the NEPAD agency and the promotion of Regional Infrastructure in Africa.

There will also be an expected strong focus on resolving the conflicts in Sudan and Somalia. The AU last week appealed to the UN Security Council and international community to help in capacity building and resources mobilisation to stabilise the war-torn Somalia.

South Africa will also invest time in discussions on this aspect of climate change - in the run-up to the Conference of the Parties 16 (COP-16) to be held in Mexico. South Africa will host COP 17 next year.

Matters relating to the Committee on Scale of Assessment, which is chaired by South Africa and looks into the review of the AU member-states' financial contributions to the budget of the AU, would also be looked at.

Meanwhile the chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping says the peace and security in the continent is still tenuous and fragile. He cited Guinea Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire and Central African Republic where the peace process and reconstruction necessitates additional effort.

“2010 has been declared the 'Year of Peace and Security in Africa'. On the ground, we cannot but admit the persistence of certain conflicts, the eruption of crisis linked to elections and the resurgence of the scourge of coup d'etat,” said Ping.

He said the fragility of the situation in war torn Somalia remained a concern and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISON) forces faced real challenges. He announced that Guinea was to deploy a battalion of troops for a peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

“We should welcome the arrival of the next Guinean battalion and the urgent contributions of troops that IGAD (The Intergovernmental Authority for Development) has decided to make to reach and even surpass the authorised troop limit of 8,000 soldiers,” he said.

Uganda and Burundi are the only countries currently contributing about 6,000 peacekeepers to Somalia under AMISOM. Security experts have recommended a 27,000 strong peacekeeping force to pacify the situation in Somalia. – BuaNews


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Oil leak near Dar es Salaam port sealed

A leaking submarine pipeline used for carrying oil and other products at Dar es Salaam has been sealed after threatening an ecological disaster for the port and area.

Thousands of litres of diesel spilled into the sea before technicians could find the fault and seal it. The operation was handled by personnel from the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and from the Tanzania Ports Authority.

A undersea pipeline from the TIPER reserve storage facilities at Kigamboni leading to the Oryx facilities on the opposite side burst. Immediate reaction was to pour foam on the leaking diesel while shutting all pipelines to ascertain which was leaking.

Police were called in the prevent looting of the spilled diesel after youths began collecting the diesel and selling it to dala dala drivers (similar to South African combi taxis).

It was estimated that several tonnes of diesel had spilled into the sea before the pipeline was shut off and sealed. Source The Citizen (Tanzania)


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News from the Piracy Reporting Centre

by Paul Ridgway

 On 15 July the latest report issued by the Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) recorded 196 incidents worldwide in the first six months of 2010. A total of 31 vessels were hijacked, 48 fired upon, 70 boarded and 47 vessels reported attempted attacks. Guns were used in 100 incidents and knives in 35. During this period one crew member was killed, 597 were taken hostage and 16 injured.

A total of 240 incidents were reported in the corresponding period of 2009 to the 24 hour manned PRC based in Kuala Lumpur.

Decline in the number of attacks in 2010 is believed to be due to the reduction in incidents in the Gulf of Aden with 33 incidents in 2010 compared to 86 in 2009. Attacks in the Somali basin and the wider Indian Ocean have however increased from 44 in 2009 to 51 in 2010.

IMB Director, Captain P Mukundan stated, “The actions of the navies in the Gulf of Aden have been instrumental in bringing down the attacks there. The Indian Ocean poses a different challenge. Nevertheless naval initiatives to target and disrupt pirate action groups in the Indian Ocean should be applauded and sustained. It is vital that the naval presence continues. The other important factor in the attacks being brought down is the actions taken by vessels themselves and the adoption of the Best Management Practices put out by industry bodies and the naval co- ordination groups.”

In 2010, Somali pirates have successfully hijacked 11 vessels in the Gulf of Aden and 16 in the wider Indian Ocean region, with a total of 544 crew taken hostage.

“Somali pirates have also continued to demonstrate their increased capability by hijacking vessels beyond longitude 69° east,” continued Mukundan. “An attempted attack was also reported as far south as 12° south. The commencement of the SW monsoon has impacted upon their area of operations resulting in increased attacks taking place in the southern part of the Red Sea – an area not directly affected by the SW monsoons.”

West Africa

There has been a marked decrease in the number of reported incidents in Nigerian waters. Only six incidents have been reported in this area. IMB is aware of at least ten other incidents which have not been reported by masters and owners to the PRC. It is vital that these attacks are reported to the PRC and then presented to the Nigerian authorities so that they can respond appropriately.

Attacks in the South China Sea have more than doubled during this period compared to last year. Fifteen vessels reported incidents in which one vessel was hijacked, two vessels fired upon, nine boarded and three attempted attacks as compared to seven attacks in 2009 of which one was hijacked and six boarded.

IMB has congratulated the Indonesian Navy for taking positive action in this area which resulted in the cessation of the attacks. The IMB continues to monitor the situation. There has also been an increase in the number of incidents reported in Indonesian waters with 16 attacks reported in 2010 compared to three in the corresponding period in 2009. Although most incidents are low level attacks carried out on vessels either at anchor or while carrying out cargo operations at berth, the risk to the seafarer remains high.

Chittagong port has also seen a slight increase in the number of reports. A total of eight successful incidents were reported in this period. In a similar period last year five incidents were reported of which four were successful. Callao anchorage in Peru has shown a decrease in incidents from five in 2010 compared to three in 2009. Incidents continue to be low level.

IMB strongly urges all Shipmasters and Owners, to report all incidents of actual and attempted piracy and armed robbery to the IMB PRC. This is the first step in the response chain and vital in ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by governments to deal with the problem. A set of transparent statistics from an independent, non-political, international organisation such as the IMB PRC acts as an effective catalyst to achieve this goal. Reports may be sent to IMB PRC in Kuala Lumpur by telephone on: +60 3 2078 5763; fax: +60 3 2078 5769; telex: MA34199 IMBPCI; e-mail: piracy@icc-ccs.org

There is a 24 hour anti-piracy HELPLINE on telephone: +60 3 2031 0014.

In closing its recent report IMBPRC acknowledges the assistance and vital co-operation provided by the Coalition naval forces / EU naval force (EUNAVFOR ATALANTA) / MSCHOA / USNavy / French Alindien / NATO / Indian Navy / Malaysian Navy / Russian Navy / Chinese Navy / South Korean Navy / Japanese Maritime SDF and Yemeni Coast Guard / Navy for assisting the many vessels that have been attacked by suspected Somali pirates both in the Gulf of Aden and off eastern / southern Somali coast and other areas. Although regrettably some vessels have been hijacked, many have managed to deter the pirates due to timely intervention of the navies.


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Cape Town Port Terminals restructure bears fruit

Industrial action backlogs cleared

South African port operator Transnet Port Terminal (TPT) says the recent merger of its Cape Town container and multipurpose terminals, and the restructuring of its planning and operations structures in the Western Province, should receive the credit for an increase in productivity and performance in the Cape Town Terminal since the end of June.

The changes have assisted in recovery plans after the three week industrial action in May of this year, which affected operations in ports across the country.

It took the terminal two weeks from the end of the strike to clear the backlog of vessels.

Gross Crane Hours (GCH) which is the common measure of productivity in the container handling business, has improved from an average of 22 to 25GCH, with a peak in performance during the week ending 16 July when the terminal achieved 28 GCH.

GCH is a crucial factor in container shipping, which requires fast and efficient movement of containers by crane operators to reduce the overall cost of doing business.

Transnet has set a target of 28 GCH for all container terminals as part of its quantum leap strategy, which calls on employees to make massive improvements in their performance to meet customer and shareholder expectations.

Ship Working Hours (SWH) has improved from an average of 39 to 42 SWH. Ship Working Hours is the number of containers that have been moved by the number of cranes working on the vessel in one hour. It is a key performance indicator for customers.

Stack occupancy at the terminals has stabilised at 50 percent, which is a reflection of good throughput control of containers handled. A figure below 65 percent signals efficient operations. This is significant considering the terminal’s current refurbishment programme which has put pressure on its stack capacity.

Truck turnaround times had improved from over 30 minutes on average to 23 minutes to enter and exit the terminal for loading or offloading of containers.

Velile Dube, the new Western Province Terminal Executive responsible for all TPT terminals in Cape Town and Saldanha, has been credited for a number of the changes. Dube brings solid experience to his position, having served as TPT’s general manager for total quality management and continuous improvement until recently.

Dube said the merger of the Cape Town container and multipurpose terminals, which always operated as separate entities in the past, now allowed TPT to plan holistically, make better use of infrastructure, equipment and facilities, and ensure that customer service and performance across the port were consistent.

“We are now looking at berth availability and available infrastructure for the entire Cape Town Terminal, rather than at two separate terminals. So a container vessel can now come into the port and be berthed at either terminal, with the same TPT management and operations teams working to serve customers across the port,” he said.

The Cape Town Container Terminal has been under pressure during its R5.6 billion, five-year expansion and construction programme which commenced in January 2008. The multipurpose terminal is able to handle containers diverted from the container terminal and also boasts bulk and cold store facilities.

News continues below…

Changes in personnel at TPT Cape Town

Velile Dube, Transnet Port Terminals Western Province Terminal Executive responsible for all TPT terminals in Cape Town and Saldanha has introduced a number of changes to personnel at the two ports.

He has also separated the Cape Town planning and operations departments, which were previously the responsibility of one individual.

Brenda Maqgwaka is now chief operations manager for the container and multipurpose terminals. Until recently she was responsible for operations and planning only at the container terminal.

Hector Danisa, who served as business unit executive at the Cape Town multipurpose terminal a few years ago, has now returned to Cape Town as Assistant Terminal Executive for the Cape Town Terminal, reporting to Velile Dube. Danisa brings a wealth of experience in terminal management, having worked in various terminlas including Durban Car Terminal, Port Elizabeth terminals and the Ngqura Container Terminal.

Oscar Borchards, formerly in charge of the Cape Town container terminal as Business Unit Executive, now heads up planning for the Western Province terminals of Cape Town and Saldanha as Regional Business Planning and Performance Manager.

In Cape Town, Verdus De Jongh has been appointed as Acting Chief Planning Manager for Cape Town Terminal. He boasts 35 years of experience in the field.

Female engineer Babalwa Mandla is also the new project manager overseeing the expansion project at the Cape Town container facility.

The three week strike in May saw management and non-bargaining employees going beyond the call of duty, swapping their normal work for other duties to keep operations moving and the wheels of the economy turning.


News continues below…

Recommended read: World Bank says Africa on the road to recovery

Nairobi(East African) - Africa is on the road to economic recovery because of a growing and dynamic labour force in the cities, an improving technology base and a diversifying agricultural sector, according to the World Bank.

Vice president Obiageli Ezekwesili told the inaugural Africa Singapore Business Forum held in Singapore on 14 July that "Africa is turning the corner... it is on the path of an economic rebound."

Read the remainder of this article by Paul Redfern HERE

Pics of the Day – SHIRAZ


Remember the SHIRAZ, which called briefly under tow in Cape Town last year befor heading for an unknown destination? There was talk of the ship reappearing in service, but most people knew this was just fanciful and the former Australian Navy WESTRALIA was on her last voyage to the breakers. Shiraz duly arrived in Aliaga, Turkey on 16 January this year, where she was lined up ahead of her ‘recycling’. These pictures were taken in Aliaga by Selim San and come courtesy of Robert de Lange. Pictures of the Shiraz in Cape Town last December can be seen HERE



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