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Ports & Ships Maritime News

7 June, 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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The Durban-based dive support vessel DEEPWORX of Professional Diving Centre, a company that provides specialist diver training, seen in Durban harbour. Picture by Terry Hutson

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Maersk and Hamburg Süd second sling commences July

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Santa Isabel leaving Durban earlier this year. Picture Terry Hutson

Just a reminder that the Maersk Line/Hamburg Süd’s second sling service between Asia – South Africa – East Coast South America comes into effect from July. This after the two partners had earlier reduced their joint service to a single sling on account of the slack season. However, with heightened demand anticipated in the coming peak season the second sling is to be restored.

The two strings of the service are designed to be mutually complementary and provide the comprehensive service package in this trade – with a broad array of connections to both company’s networks in Asia, South Africa and South America.

Sling 1 will offer the following port rotation: Busan – Shanghai – Ningbo – Yantian – Hong Kong – Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Santos – Itapoa – Buenos Aires – Montevideo – Rio Grande – Itapoa – Paranagua – Santos – Singapore – Hong Kong – Busan.

Port rotation in Sling 2 is: Shanghai – Nansha – Hong Kong – Singapore – Tanjung Pelepas – Durban – Suape – Sepetiba – Itajai – Santos – Port Elizabeth – Durban – Hong Kong – Shanghai.

In Sling 1 Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line will be providing a total of twelve ‘Santa’ class (Hamburg Süd) and ‘Sammax’ class vessels (Maersk Line): the ships have a capacity of between 7,100 and 7,500 TEU (nominal) and 1,600 to 1,700 reefer plugs. Sling 2 will see the deployment of eleven Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line Panamax ships, each with a capacity of 4,200 TEU (nominal) and 500 reefer container slots.

European Shippers’ Council not joining Global Shippers’ Forum

The European Shippers’ Council says it has declined to join the restructured Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF), which announced recently that it was moving towards becoming a non- governmental organisation in order to speak on behalf of other shipper groups at UN organisations such as the IMO.

The decision was taken after a concerted effort from the GSF to reach agreement with the European Shippers’ Council.

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Maersk implements piracy surcharge

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Maersk Duisburg. Picture by Trevor Jones

Maersk Line has implemented a US$ 70 per 40-foot container ‘emergency risk surcharge’ on containers carried on its ships sailing between the Indian subcontinent and various Middle East countries and passing through waters frequented by Somalia pirates.

According to Maersk, the surcharge is to mitigate expenses such as sailing at faster speeds, sailing greater distances, having to increase the number of vessels on its services, and having to equip its vessels with extra safety measures and devices.

The surcharge became effective last Wednesday and covers containers moving to and from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Dammam, Saudi Arabia and Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia and India, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Supertanker avoids highjacking after Iranian Navy intervention

The timely intervention by an Iranian Navy ship has prevented an Iranian-owned supertanker, the 297,013-dwt DAMAVAND from being highjacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

The Damavand, flying the Maltese flag came under attack from seven pirates in a fast skiff, but the arrival on scene of an unidentified Iranian warship was enough to drive the pirates away.

According to Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, “Iran's navy has escorted almost 1,000 Iranian commercial ships and oil tankers in the Gulf of Aden ... over the past two years.”

South Korea to attend counter-piracy meeting in Rome

South Korea says it will take part in a counter-piracy meeting in Rome this week, the foreign ministry said at the weekend. Tomorrow’s meeting (Wednesday) which is being hosted by Italy will also be attended by representatives from the United States, Britain, France and Norway and will examine methods of intercepting and cutting off illicit financial flows linked to piracy. The meeting will also provide an opportunity for participants to share information in their fight against piracy.

South Korea will later this month (29 June) host the second meeting on illicit funding for the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), to which about 40 nations will be attending. A ministry official said the Rome meeting will help about 10 key participants prepare for the CGPCS gathering.

The CGPCS was established in January 2009 under a UN Security Council Resolution to coordinate actions among some 50 nations and organisations to combat Somali pirates. – source Seatrade Asia

Spanish Air Forces aircraft complete 2,000 hours in support of Operation Atalanta

The Spanish Air Force P-3 Orion and CN-235 Vigma maritime patrol aircraft that are based in Djibouti in support of Operation Atalanta – the European Union naval force (EU NAVFOR) operating off the Somali coast to escort vessels carrying aid to the region – have completed 2,000 hours of reconnaissance involving more than 330 missions, EU NAVFOR has announced.

Since the beginning of the operation, Spain has permanently contributed a Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance (MPRA) capability, performing surface search and scans to locate designated or suspected vessels, mother ships and skiffs. The P-3 Orion has also been used to assist vessels under pirate attack, alone or in coordination with other assets, such as helicopters and warships, EU Navfor said in its statement.

The ‘ORION’ Detachment is an Expeditionary Tactical Unit, and comprises 52 members drawn from different Spanish Air Force units.

In response to the EU NAVFOR’s announcement of the contribution of the Spanish Air Force to anti-piracy patrols, Ecoterra Intl, an independent ecological and human rights organisation, says that EU taxpayers are being duped into paying for what are in fact Spanish tuna spotters. It says that Spanish and Japanese spotter planes are being used to track the endangered Blue Fin tuna shoals, with the public paying in the guise of ‘pirate-spotting’.

In a Status Summary, Ecoterra reports that as of 4 June 2011, “at least 43 foreign vessels plus one barge are kept in Somali hands against the will of their owners, while at least 664 hostages or captives - including a South-African yachting couple as well as a Danish yacht-family with three children and two friends - suffer to be released.”

Ecoterra has accused military groupings such as EU NAVFOR of having fudged the actual number of ships captured by pirates and seafarers in captivity, saying that EU NAVFOR mostly only counts high-value, often British insured vessels, but has been forced on several occasions to admit that many other vessels have been highjacked despite the multi-million Euro efforts by the European navy ships to protect shipping.

“EU NAVFOR also admitted in February 2011 for the first time that actually a larger number of vessels and crews is held hostage than those listed on their file. Since EU NAVFOR's inception at the end of 2008 the piracy off Somalia started in earnest and it has now completely escalated. Only knowledgeable analysts recognised the link,” Ecoterra states.

Turning to US military involvement in anti-piracy activity, the organisation says that US naval forces have allegedly killed over a dozen presumed pirates in the Gulf of Aden and have captured several Somalis. “However, the reports transpiring from Somalia were so far not officially confirmed, which is not unusual given the secrecy of the recent navy killings on these waters. Non- reporting is a clear violation of the UN Security council resolutions on which the navies base their actions. Also the Somali government focal points have not been informed yet.”

It quoted a recent incident where it says the US Navy killed the captain of a Taiwanese vessel who was being held hostage by pirates, and that the Taiwanese government had officially protested and that the American government has promised a full investigation. “In such cases, however, the navies sailing under UN or NATO oversight often quickly switch to national command and refuse to respond to requests for post-incident reports,” Ecoterra says.

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Njabulo Hlengwa has been appointed by port operator Transnet Port Terminals as GM: Strategic Marketing and Corporate Communication, based at the company’s head office in Durban.

Ms Hlengwa succeeds Ms Lunga Ngcobo who held the position for many years before her transfer to sister division Transnet National Ports Authority earlier this year.

Her appointment comes as the corporate affairs portfolio is adapted to include a stronger focus on strategic marketing and brand development.

With a strong creative background Ms Hlengwa has served on the Executive Committee of the Loerie Awards and as national co-ordinator and lecturer for the Imagination Lab at Vega Brand Communication School in Johannesburg. She was also the founder of Seed Creative Services in Johannesburg.

A graduate of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal with a Bachelor of Social Science degree, Ms Hlengwa’s postgraduate studies were pursued at the AAA School of Advertising, Harvard Kennedy School and Wits Business School.

She is also the founder of Mashasha Leadership Kraal, an African focused leadership development vehicle. Its aim is to nurture African leaders by focusing on values linked to education, community-focused entrepreneurship and leadership development.

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As a sign of the growing strength of the British and European cruise markets, Carnival Corp has announced that it has placed an order with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build a 141,000-ton cruise ship for its P&O Cruises brand, specifically for the British market.

The new ship will enter service in March 2015 and will carry 3,611 passengers. The as yet unnamed ship will become the largest cruise ship built specifically for the UK market (Queen Mary 2 being regarded as a liner rather than a cruise ship, and not specifically catering for the British passenger).

The cost of the ship is expected to be US$ 807 million, or €559 million. She will be homeported in Southampton and according to Carnival, will “offer an innovative new design and unprecedented number of passenger facilities.” “The UK continues to be a key growth market for Carnival and innovative vessels such as this new P&O Cruises ship - targeted specifically to British clientele - underscore our commitment to this important cruise region,” said Carnival’s chief executive Micky Arison.

The ship will have a length of 330m, a maximum breadth of 43.2m, a height to top deck of 47.3m, 17 decks and 1,812 cabins.

The order marks Carnival Corporation & plc's first ship delivery for 2015, aligned with the company's strategy to construct two to three ships per year. It currently has seven additional ships on order - one ship scheduled for delivery for the remainder of 2011, three for 2012, two for 2013 and one for 2014.

Hanseatic returns to South Africa in 2012

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Hanseatic in the Panama Canal

German cruise operator Hapag-Lloyd has announced that its cruise ship HANSEATIC will be returning to southern African waters in the late 2012. The 184-passenger ship, which during June next year will circumnavigate the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia’s Far East, will cruise for 16 days through Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa from 3 December 2012 on a cruise that introduces six new ports to Hapag-Lloyd guests.

Record numbers for Barcelona

The Spanish port of Barcelona on Friday last week had seven cruise ships in port at the same time, bringing 27,200 passengers to the Catalonian capital. And if that sounds impressive, consider that on 20 August this year the port is expecting nine cruise ships to dock, along with 31,000 passengers. And we thought Durban was busy this year when Queen Mary 2 and MSC Sinfonia occupied the T-Jetty with just over 4,000 passengers at once!

In Barcelona three of the cruise ships last Friday were over 300m in length and three are using the port as a terminus port, meaning that passengers are joining and leaving the ship in the port. These were Costa Serena, Carnival Magic, and MSC Splendida. The other four ships, that were ‘just passing through’ were Noordam, Aidvita, Thomson Dream and Independence of the Seas.

Barcelona is rated as the world’s fourth busiest cruise port, being at the western end of the Mediterranean. But if we think these numbers are impressive, which they are, then consider also what happens in Miami, Port Everglades and Canaveral which rank above Barcelona. In 2010 no less than 2,347,976 passengers passed through the Spanish port, which was a 9% increase on 2009. It is being forecast that the increase this year will be double that, at 18% up on last year with more than 50 cruise ships making use of the port.

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Riversdale Mining is taking delivery of six 1067mm gauge GT26CW diesel locomotives for the Benga coal project. The 3,300 hp locomotives with EMD 16-645E3B engines were ordered from National Railway Equipment Company (NREC) and are being built by Croatian supplier TZV Gredelj, which delivered the first to the port of Rijeka by road in late May. Arrival of the first unit in Beira, Mozambique is due for July. Riversdale has an option for a further five locomotives. Picture by T Bacic, courtesy John Batwell

Maputo – The two main groups involved in coal mining in Mozambique, Brazil’s Vale and Australia’s Riversdale Mining, have so far invested US$2.1 billion in the country, according to the Mozambican press.

Last week an official from Riversdale Moçambique told Mozambican financial newspaper, O País Económico that US$450 million had been invested in the Benga project, in addition to the US$1.7 billion announced in May by the Brazilian group.

However, these figures are expected to be even higher, as Riversdale has already announced it plans to invest a further US$350 million by the end of the first phase of the project and Vale has said it plans to spend another US$4 billion in Mozambique on a number of projects.

Riversdale Moçambique recently said it would start taking delivery of locomotives and rail trucks to transport the coal mined at Benga along the Sena railroad to the port of Beira. (macauhub)

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EMD-built DDM 45 loco no 855, one of two units that have already headed to Vale Mozambique for export coal haulage on the Sena Railway. Picture courtesy John Batwell

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The Russian Ro-Ro general cargo vessel ATLANTIC NYALA (16,075-gt, built 1990) of CSAL in Cape Town last week. Port watchers will have recognised her as the Lykes Winner that previously called in South Africa for a number of years while also on the North America – South Africa service. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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