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Ports & Ships Maritime News

31 May, 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002

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The Taiwanese-owned, British-managed (V Ships) LNG carrier BLUE SKY (97,754-gt, built 2006) which called in Cape Town at the end of last week. Picture by Aad Noorland

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The Tata Nano which could be assembled in Mozambique if plans for a new plant are realised. Picture by Wikipedia Commons

Indian businesspeople plan to build a plant to assemble Tata branded vehicles in Mozambique’s Zambézia province, Mozambique’s minister for Industry and Trade, Armando Inroga said cited by Mozambican daily newspaper, Notícias.

The minister said that talks were underway and were at “a very advanced stage,” with the businesspeople and added that the government was looking into the facilities of the former Mocuba Textiles Factory, which was built after independence, to house the vehicle assembly plant.

According to preliminary information it will be possible to set up the car assembly plant in the former textile factory, as there is electricity and water available there.

Asked about when the plant would start operating, Inroga noted that there were stages that the project needed to go through but said that Indian group Tata had already sent an example of its Nano model that was currently being assessed by technical staff at the ministry, mainly to see if it is compatible with Mozambique’s roads.

Zambezia Province is on the central coast of Mozambique with the Zambezi River forming the southern boundary and is the country’s most populous province. It is served by the small port of Quelimane.(macauhub)

Riversdale Moçambique to start receiving railway equipment in July

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Maputo 30 May – Riversdale Moçambique is expected to start receiving railway rolling stock during July, including 11 locomotives and 200 trucks for transporting coal from Benga along the Sena railroad which links the Moatize mining region to the port of Beira, said a company source as quoted by the Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

The subsidiary of Australia’s Riversdale Mining has invested US$ 50 million in the equipment, which will be delivered between July and October.

According to the company source quoted by the newspaper, the equipment is enough for transporting initial coal production, estimated at 2 million tons of coal per year at the Benga mine alone, via that railroad.

The start of coal mining at Benga was initially scheduled for 2012, but the company brought the date forward following requests from its main international customers.

Studies presented by the company show that, in its full operating phase, the Benga mine is expected to produce 20 million tonnes of coal per year, mainly for foreign markets.

The project is considered to be a valuable asset for the Mozambican economy taking into consideration not only the amount of investment involved, but also the potential it has for creating 1,500 direct jobs and a further 4,500 indirect jobs, as well as tax revenues for the state.

Riversdale Moçambique currently has 22 mining licenses in Tete, of which Benga will be the first to start operating and production is expected to start producing exports in the third quarter of this year. (macauhub)

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The pirated merchant ship Orna, which is thought to be in use as a pirate mother ship

NATO reports that in the past week piracy activities have continued in the region affected by Somali pirates, which includes the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the areas around the Seychelles and south towards Kenya, Tanzania and the northern approaches to the Mozambique Channel.

“Although no successful act of piracy has been committed, there have been two attacks, one approach and one suspicious incident in total. Two attacks and one approach were reported in the Southern Red Sea (SRS)/Bab El Mendeb (BAM). It is assessed that with the onset of the South Westerly monsoon the piracy activities within the SRS/BAM may increase as it did between June and August last year. Pirates are currently assessed to be operating within the SRS/BAM area and may be blending into local fishing activity/traffic.

One of the incidents referred to above involved the US Navy destroyer USS BAINBRIDGE which is reported to have recaptured a merchant ship AL SHAMS, which had been highjacked by Somali pirates three weeks previously off the coast of Yemen. Fifteen Indian crewmen were rescued in the operation. The pirates were placed on their dhow and escorted to a safe position.

“Within the Gulf Of Aden (GOA) it is assessed that sporadic acts of piracy will continue in this area,” NATO said. “One attack and suspicious incident were reported within the Arabian Sea. It is assessed that a probable dhow Pirate Action Group (PAG) is operating within area 10 and 20N and 60 and 65E. The fishing vessel PRANATALAY 12 is still considered under pirate control and has not been released yet, however she is considered no longer seaworthy.

“At 1258 UTC / 30 MAY / a previously hijacked ship MV ORNA was reported in position 11 41 N 062 24 E course 328 / 1.6 kts. It is likely that this ship is being used as a pirate mother vessel.”

Gulf of Aden/Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC)

NATO says that although no incidents were observed in the central Gulf of Aden within the past week, it continues to assess that the IRTC continues to be a high threat area. The judgement that pirate skiffs may blend into local traffic and commence an attack at any time without any warnings remains valid.

Arabian Sea/Greater Somali Basin

The activities shown during the last week highlight that the Arabian Sea still remains a high threat area and NATO assesses that one pirated dhow may be operating within the area. With the onset of the South Westerly monsoon now imminent the weather window for addition dhow PAG/mother ship operations is rapidly closing.

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Pretoria - Africa and India have pledged to further strengthen their cooperation in regional and global peace and security, as well as economic and trade areas.

In the fields of economic cooperation, the two sides underlined the importance of supporting stable, long-term capital flows to developing countries to stimulate investment.

They envisaged a widening of the partnership to areas such as civil society and governance, science and technology, social development, health, culture, tourism, sports, infrastructure and media and communications, in order to achieve inclusive growth, social-economic development and self-reliance.

This forms part of the deceleration made at the second Africa-India Forum Summit, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to the Addis Ababa Declaration, India and Africa also committed to deal with a number of political issues, including piracy off the coast of Somalia, terrorism and UN reform.

Specifically, the summit emphasised the need for countries to exert utmost effort on UN Security Council reform during the current session of the UN General Assembly.

The two sides underscored the need for urgent and comprehensive reforms, saying they must reflect contemporary realities.

India supports Africa’s claims for permanent membership of Security Council. On its part, Africa backs India’s claim to a permanent seat with full rights in an expanded Security Council.

Amid growing regional and international concerns about the conflict in Libya, where NATO has intensified its bombing campaign in recent days, India joined Africa in calling for an immediate ceasefire and for a negotiated end to the violence there.

The declaration took note of the UN resolutions under which NATO is using military force against Libya and stressed that efforts to implement them should be within the spirit and letter of those resolutions.

They urged parties in the conflict to strive for a political solution through peaceful means and dialogue.

India and the 15 African governments including South Africa and Libya, which took part in the summit also expressed their support for the African Union High-Level Ad Hoc Committee initiative and the AU roadmap for the peaceful and consensual resolution of the conflict.

Both sides called on all countries to ensure that acts of cross-border terrorism do not occur and that their territories are not made a base for terrorists. They unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. An act of terrorism anywhere is a threat to the entire international community, they said.

“We recognise the need to further strengthen international cooperation to combat global terrorism and for compliance of all member states with all international terrorism conventions and related protocols and United Nations Security Council’s resolution on counter-terrorism,” the declaration said.

Taking note of the African position on the condemnation of the payments of ransom to terror groups, the leaders called for the urgent need to address the issue.

The next Africa-India summit will be held in New Delhi in 2014. – BuaNews

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Suhanra Conradie

The Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum (WCCPF) has announced the appointment of Suhanra Conradie as its new chief executive officer. Ms Conradie replaces Joretha Geldenhuys, who served as the Forum’s CEO since August 2009.

“Suhanra brings a wealth of knowledge in dealing with foreign markets, as well as expertise in all aspects of growth, distribution, and supply in the fruit export industry,” said Gerrit van der Merwe, chairman of the WCCPF. “With her in place, we expect to continue the development, expansion, and success of our position in US market.”

Conradie, who received a Bachelor’s of Commerce degree in accounting and economics from the University of Stellenbosch, most recently directed marketing, finance and sales efforts for Oceanic Fruit Exports in South Africa. Her role focused on bringing fruits from the farm, to packing house, to the final market destination, with daily interaction in various foreign markets in Europe, the UK, and the Middle East. Prior to joining Oceanic, she held marketing and finance roles with Sunny Fruit Export Company and Kromco. In her role as CEO for the WCCPF, she will be based in Wellington, South Africa.

“I am very excited to accept this role, which will enable me to fulfil a long-held professional desire to market South African citrus fruits in the United States, the most important market in the world,” Conradie said. “Consumption of South African summer citrus continues to grow as a welcomed category by US consumers – something attributable to the high quality and delicious flavour consistent with fruit produced by our growers.”

South African citrus exports to the US began in 1999. All citrus bound for the US from South Africa undergoes USDA inspections to ensure compliance with all US regulations.

South Africa is the second largest exporter of citrus in the world and produces 60% of all citrus grown in the Southern Hemisphere. Fruit bound for US consumers comes mostly from the region near Citrusdal and Clanwilliam, the Northern Cape near Kimberley and in the northwest along the Orange River near Upington.

The WCCPF is a consortium of 350 South African growers eligible to export summer citrus to the United States. Its purpose is to facilitate logistical, marketing and sales support coordination of their products. The consortium’s mission is to maintain and expand its role as the preferred supplier in the US and to grow and ship the best summer citrus in the world to US consumers.

The WCCPF’s summer citrus growers only ship products to the US that meet and exceed USDA and USFDA protocols by rigorously adhering to self-imposed Seal-of-Approval Guidelines, guaranteeing their citrus fruits provide superior quality that is easy to peel, seedless, nutritious and safe.

Meanwhile, Western Cape citrus growers have started packing their first Clementines of the season for export to the United States. The first container ship of the season was due to depart from Cape Town in mid May and is due in Philadelphia in early June.

“We have had excellent growing conditions and the first fruit smoothly passed the USDA pre-departure inspections,” says Jaco Burger from Market Demand Fruits.

The second container vessel has also sailed and was due to be followed shortly after by the first of the regular Seatrade conventional reefer vessels which will ship fruit throughout the season from South Africa to the United States.

Meanwhile grape fruit growers in the Orange River region are anxiously waiting for the conclusion of the last administrative arrangements between the South African and US authorities before they can start packing their first fruit for the US market.

“The fruit is ready and growers are keen to start their first season,” says Joretha Geldenhuis, former CEO of the Western Cape Citrus Producers’ Forum. The Orange River has recently been cleared as a disease free area for the first time and it is expected that some 50,000 cartons of Star Ruby grape fruit will be shipped this year. source: WCCPF and Summercitrus.com


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Study in contrasts. The Belgian Ro-Ro car carrier SARDAUNA (16,947-gt, built 1979) in Cape Town harbour in mid May where she docked to undergo repairs. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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Grimaldi’s passenger-carrying Ro-Ro car carrier REPUBBLICA DI VENEZIA (48,622-gt, built 1987) which arrived in Durban at the end of last week. As with the smaller Sardauna seen above, both ships are thought to be heading for the breakers or recycling yards in Asia. Picture by Trevor Jones

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