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Ports & Ships Maritime News

28 June 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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This dramatic picture, which comes courtesy of Ian Hamilton of the Mossel Bay NSRI, shows the stricken trawler EMMANUELLE that went onto the rocks at De Bakke, Mossel Bay in the early hours of Sunday morning. See our report of the rescue of all 12 crew in Monday’s Maritime News Fishing trawler aground near Mossel Bay. Use your Back Button to return to this page.

During the rescue operation, four (not three as described yesterday) NSRI swimmers went out from the beach and through the surf to take a rope to the ship. Once the four, Ian Hamilton, Judd Smook, JC Roos and Danie Trosky reached the trawler, three of them remained on board to assist the crew with their evacuation while the fourth swimmer, Ian Hamilton, took a thick rope from the trawler and swam it back to shore to complete the securing of the vessel.

Ian Hamilton, by the way, has been a volunteer with NSRI Mossel Bay for 40 years. He also took the picture.

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Ship on fire in Luanda Harbour

A ship in the port of Luanda, Angola is on fire and Angolan firefighters were yesterday struggling to contain and extinguish the blaze.

According to reports from RNA and other sources the fire started on the 70 metre vessel on Saturday, 25 June. Although the ship’s name has not been mentioned it appears to be a tanker or at least is carrying petroleum products.

CSAL adds Charleston to port rotation

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Atlantic Impala (16,075-gt, built 1993), the former Rotorua

Canada States Africa Line (CSAL) has added the US port of Charleston to its North America – Southern Africa service rotation for its bulk, breakbulk, roll on-roll off, heavylift and oversize cargo service, the port authority has announced.

CSAL’s regular calls in southern Africa are Walvis Bay, Cape Town, Durban and Richards Bay, with calls at other African ports including Madagascar (Tamatave) and West African ports on inducement. The line uses three multi-purpose ships fitted with stern ramps and heavylift gear. The three vessels are ATLANTIC IMPALA, ATLANTIC ELAND and ATLANTIC INYALA.

“We look forward to serving accounts through the Port of Charleston and building a solid base of cargo,” said CSAL line manager Eugene Nutovych. “Our vessels are very flexible, giving us the opportunity to handle just about any shipment.”

Surge in giant container ship orders

There’s a surge in orders for supersize container ships, as the following reveals.

Maersk Line said yesterday that it was exercising options for another 10 container ships of 18,000-TEU – the largest ever to be ordered. This follows an order for 10 of the same size ships from DSME in February this year.

“We now have 20 triple-Es on order. We believe the Triple-E ships with their record capacity and energy efficiency will enable us to deliver on the commercial and environmental expectations of our customers and also give us a significant competitive advantage in the market,” said Maersk Line CEO Eivind Kolding, who added that the order underlines Maersk’s strong commitment to the Asia-Europe trade and fit well with its current ambitions and expectations for the future development of the trade.

Maersk has gone on record saying that it believed the Asia to Europe trade would increase at an annual rate of between 5% and 8% annually between now and 2015. The new Triple-E class is designed to meet that demand. Delivery of the first batch of ten ships is for 2013-2014 with the second batch between 2014-2015.

For the technically minded, each ship will be 400m in length, 59m wide and will produce a remarkable 20% less CO² than the company’s previous largest ship, the E-class EMMA MAERSK. Maersk has an added option ending this December for a third batch of 10 Triple-E class ships.

In another order confirmation Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) said it has signed contracts with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Daewoo for ten 14,000-TEU and two 9,200- TEU container ships respectively. The cost of the 12 ships is in the order of US$1.54 billion.

Japan’s Mitsui OSK Line (MOL), not to be outdone has placed an order for two 8,600-TEU container ships with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, delivery date 2013. These will join the eight existing 8,100-TEU vessels already in operation on MOL’s Asia-Europe services.

MOL will also be taking on charter five 14,000-TEU container ships from Neptune Orient Line once they are delivered in 2013 and 2014.

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Maersk Evora, launched as Tauro Rickmers

German ship owner Rickmers Group recently took delivery (31 May) of two 13,100-TEU container ships that were built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries yard in Ulsan, South Korea. The ships were named TAURO RICKMERS and LIBRA RICKMERS and will be going on long-term charter to Maersk Line, for whom they have already been renamed MAERSK EVORA and MAERSK ESSEX respectively. Each ship is 366m long and has a beam of 48 metres with a draught of 14.5m, making them able to use the Panama Canal once its new locks are complete.

SMIT Amandla Marine wins award

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The South African salvage tug Smit Amandla (former John Ross) seen on berth 500 with Cape Town’s Lion’s Head forming a backdrop. Picture by Aad Noorland

SMIT Amandla Marine has been honoured with a Top Performing Company Award for Diversity in the workplace at the 2011 National Business Awards which was held in Sandton last week. Saying that he accepted the award on behalf of the 700 men and women working for SMIT Amandla Marine at sea and on shore, managing director Paul Maclons said it was significant in light of the International Day of the Seafarer (last Saturday, 25 June).

“We will be celebrating the contribution our seafarers make to the South African economy and to our organisation tonight. Thank you for acknowledging our company and the maritime industry, and the important role we play in driving transformation and empowerment,” he said.

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Transnet’s annual results, which have just been released, indicate a healthy 38.2% increase in profit to reach R4.2 billion for the 2010/11 financial year ended 31 March 2011.

The record profit was realised on a turnover of R37.9 billion, an increase of 6.6% and amidst claims of improved port and pipeline efficiencies and despite, says Transnet, despite a challenging operating environment characterised by a three-week long industrial action, significant derailments and rising input costs.

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) freight volumes increased 2.2% to 73.7 million tonnes while the number of containers handled at all ports rose 12.5% to 4.1 million TEU. Iron ore exports rose 3.4% to 46.2mt, despite some serious derailments during the year, while coal volumes increased only marginally from 61.8mt to 62.2mt.

Transnet’s rolling five-year capital investment plan has been revised up to R110,6 billion from the previous five years’ R93,4 billion. This is to meet the required volumes and to support the growth initiatives embarked on, especially in the later years of the programme.

Divisionally, Transnet reported as follows: Transnet Freight Rail recorded an 8,6% increase in revenue to R22,6 billion (2010: R20,8 billion). Internal revenue at Transnet Rail Engineering was up 24,8% to R8,7 billion (2010: R6,9 billion).

Revenue at Transnet National Ports Authority rose 8% to R8,1 billion (2010: R7,5 billion).

Transnet Port Terminals recorded a 23,2% increase in revenue to R6,4 billion (2010: R5,2 billion).

Transnet Pipelines achieved a 1,5% growth in petroleum volumes in a constrained system, revenue for the year decreased by 3,6% to R1,13 million (2010: R1,17 million) mainly due to the revenue clawback of R264 million.

More details of the annual report can be found HERE. Use your Back Button to return to this page.

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Richards Bay Coal Terminal

The feasibility study into a proposed second coal line from the Mpumalanga coalfields to the port of Richards Bay should be completed by October, says a TFR spokesman.

According to Divyesh Kalan, Transnet Freight Rail’s GM Coal Division, the feasibility study is looking into the building of a second coal line to the port which would go through Swaziland and bring relief to the existing coal line that runs through Vryheid.

This would be achieved by the new line taking all the general freight off the dedicated coal line, which currently handles up to 15 million tonnes a year of general freight. Partly as a result the coal line has been consistently underperforming and currently carries a little over 60 million tonnes of coal each year, almost 30 million tonnes below the Richards Bay Coal Terminal capacity of 91 million tonnes.

It doesn’t follow, however, that the deliveries of coal were held up because of the general freight.

TFR is investing heavily in new locomotives and rolling stock in an attempt to recover lost volumes along the line – a decade ago the line carried close to 70mt annually. This year TFR says it expects to rail 70mt along the line, which many analysts and observers regard as unlikely. RBCT itself believes a figure of less than 64mt is the most likely scenario.

At the end of May RBCT had exported 22.701 million tonnes of coal, which if annualised would amount to just 54.72mt for 2011. There would have to be a remarkable improvement for TFR to catch up the shortfall.

Increased interest in SA steam coal from Chinese coal buyers

British maritime publication Fairplay reports that Chinese buyers are showing increased interest in buying South African steam coal from Richards Bay, despite this being more expensive than from Indonesia or Australia.

An IHS McCloskey analyst told Fairplay that the Chinese were now going for coals of higher calorific or heating value as this gives them more value and they need to buy less for the same amount of energy. He indicated the Chinese coal buyers are interested in discharging Richards Bay coal at Qingdao and Lianyungang, which are less congested for Capesize vessels than Xiamen. The coal is then railed or re-shipped to South China.

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HMS Protector at commissioning. Picture courtesy MoD Crown Copyright

by Paul Ridgway – UK Ministry of Defence statement

HMS PROTECTOR – the Royal Navy’s new ice patrol ship – has been formally commissioned into the fleet on the 50th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty. The new warship will help enforce the treaty which was put in place to ensure that the Antarctic environment is fully protected from exploitation and that scientific research has priority.

Britain’s Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, who was the principal guest at the ceremony on 23 June said, “The commissioning of HMS Protector reaffirms our commitment to maintaining the Ice Patrol capability which demonstrates the UK’s commitment to helping preserve the Antarctic as a natural reserve. She will carry out important work supporting the hydrographic and oceanographic work conducted in the region, which complements the international effort to continue to assess the impact of climate change.”

The 5,000-tonne vessel has been leased from Norwegian company GC Rieber Shipping for three years while the future of HMS Endurance is being considered. Protector will undergo further sea trials over the next few months and will deploy on the Navy’s Antarctic task in November for seven months.

“This is a landmark and very proud day for the ship’s company of HMS Protector and the Royal Navy, said HMS Protector’s Commanding Officer, Captain Peter Sparkes. “We have much to achieve in the coming months, but we will be ready in every respect to resume the UK’s sovereign presence in the British Antarctic and South Atlantic Territory during the 2011/12 austral summer.”

During the ceremony, Captain Sparkes read a Commissioning Warrant and the event was rounded off in traditional Royal Navy fashion with the cutting of a commissioning cake. Performing the honour was the Commanding Officer’s wife, Karen and AB (Seamen Specialist) Nathan Turnbull, aged 21, who is the youngest member of the ship’s company.

Other guests were Beverley Mathews, the ship’s sponsor who named the ship in a small ceremony on 1 June, and Vice-Admiral Andrew Mathews, the Navy’s Chief of Materiel (Fleet). The ceremony was conducted by the Venerable Scott Brown, Chaplain of the Fleet.

Mrs Mathews inspected some of the ship’s company on parade and also the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Portsmouth, which provided musical accompaniment for the hour-long ceremony. The ceremony also included the naming of the ship’s survey motor boat James Caird IV by Mrs Sparkes and The Hon Alexandra Shackleton – granddaughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

“Who knows, HMS Protector may be a visitor on the way south before the austral summer and I expect will not be unfamiliar in time to staff of SANAP,” writes Paul Ridgway, who adds:

The Antarctic Treaty was born out of the International Geophysical Year in 1957-8 (an international effort to understand the Polar Regions better) with the 12 countries who were active on the continent at the time being Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Treaty was a diplomatic expression of the operational and scientific co-operation that was achieved ‘on the ice’.

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Maersk Dryden. Picture by Ian Shiffman

Maersk Line has advised shippers that a levy will apply in future for cargo that does not appear in time for shipment. It will however compensate cargo owners for cargo not loaded.

The new fee has already been introduced in Sweden and in some German and South American ports. “We have not had any adverse customer reactions that I know of,” said Maersk charge management director John Nielsen.

The move is the first manifestation of Maersk CEO Eivind Kolding’s recent call to the maritime industry to find new and better ways of doing business. Maersk will now charge US$100 per dry container and $500 per reefer as no-show fees, according to IFW, which quoted Nielsen as saying that as many as 20% of containers fail to arrive after booking and on some sailings this increases to 40%.

Maersk says it will pay the same amount to customers if the line fails to load because of overbooking, operational constraints or equipment shortages. Maersk is also expected to introduce a mechanism to enable its customers to pay for cancellation or postpone bookings seven days ahead of a booked sailing. Nielsen said the charge was designed to change customer behavior and was not seen as a revenue source. “Some customers pay for others' mistake. We want to make sure that when they have a booking confirmation, then we will load it. Then customers can plan their supply chain better.”

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Where are they now? This is a question one might ask of these two ships which haven’t called in South Africa, or Durban specifically for several years. Gone to other trades would be the obvious answer regarding BAHIA NEGRA (41,483-gt, built 2007) which is seen here in Durban harbour in May 2008. Picture by Trevor Jones

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The second vessel is another container ship, CAP PALMAS (25,709-gt, built 2003) shown here in Durban in June 2008, which has most likely also gone to other trades and possibly other charters. Picture also by Trevor Jones

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