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Ports & Ships Maritime News

6 July 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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The little 14m Belize-registered tug SVITZER QUEST seen at Batam in Indonesia on 20 June 2011. Picture by Piet Sinke

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Kenya Navy patrol ship UMOJA

The Kenyan Navy has taken delivery of two patrol ships, the NYAYO and UMOJA from the Italian shipyard of Fincantieri.

The two vessels, which have undergone midlife refits at Fincantieri’s La Spezia yard in Italy, were built by Vosper Thornycroft in the UK and delivered in 1988. Acquired by the Kenyan Navy the tender for the refits was issued and duly won by Fincantieri in 2008 against competition from the UK, the Netherlands and South Africa.

Fincantieri said in a statement that the order is indicative of the company’s interest in the African market where there has been a significant increase in demand for new vessels for navies and coast guards. “This is in response of the need to guarantee a greater control of territorial waters and to effectively combat terrorist attacks on maritime traffic, piracy and illegal fishing activities.”

Classified as ‘fast attack craft’ the work carried out by Fincantieri on both vessels involved the reconstruction of the hull with a replacement of approximately a third of the structure on each ship, the propulsion (maintenance of the engines, reduction gears and shaft lines), work on the propellers, the electrical and automation plant, and complete replacement of all the command and control equipment, repairs to the conditioning plant and replacement of much of the piping, full reconditioning and partial replacement of the furnishings, insulation and flooring in addition to maintenance work on all auxiliary plant and the installation of new equipment.

Each ship is 56.7 metres in length and displaces approximately 450 tonnes. They have a top speed of almost 40 knots and can accommodate a crew of up to 45.

In June Kenya took delivery of the former French patrol ship La Rieuse after the ship had been donated by France – see that report HERE. Use your Back Button to return to this page.

The Kenyan Navy also possess two ex-Spanish navy patrol ships, the SHUJAA and SHUPAVVU which were acquired in 1997. With the latest delivery Kenya now has the most potent naval presence of any African nation in the Indian Ocean save South Africa.

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The Kenya Navy patrol ship SHUPAVVU arriving in Durban in December 2004. Picture by Terry Hutson

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APL follows Maersk Line lead by imposing no-show fees

APL has followed the example set by Maersk Line of introducing no-show fines for containers that have been booked but do not arrive on schedule. APL will in turn pay a penalty to the customer for any containers short loaded at the port terminals.

The initiative by Maersk was announced last month and was seen in some quarters as one of the measures being encouraged by Maersk to find ways of doing business better than before, as announced by chief executive Eivind Kolding who appealed to the maritime industry to “Let’s change the way we think about shipping” – see HERE. Use your Back Button to return to this page.

“There are a number of contracts this year where we wrote service guarantees into the contract, where we have a certain on-time performance guarantee and a certain space allotment by customers,” said APL vice president Bob Sappio.

Maersk and Safmarine bow to pressure on Iranian boycott

Both Maersk Line and associate company Safmarine have issued statements saying they are committed to complying with all relevant foreign trade controls and sanctions programmes including those related to US and EU sanctions against Iran.

“We have a comprehensive compliance programme in place and continue to take all actions necessary to comply with all US and EU trade regulations. In this connection, Maersk Line has decided to cease acceptance of business to and from the Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas, Bandar Khomeini and Asaluyeh,” said Maersk.

Safmarine announced that it too was complying with the sanction against Iran. “We regret to inform you that with immediate effect we will have to stop cargo acceptance to and from the following ports: Bandar Abbas, Assaluyeh, Khorramshar, Bandar Imam Khomeini.

Safmarine said it had taken this decision due to the fact that the company that operates the terminals in these ports has been added to the list of companies on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list.

OFAC is part of the US department of the treasury and administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against various countries as well as against individuals and companies owned or controlled by such targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities that are involved in terrorism and/or other illegal activities.

“The policy of Safmarine Container Lines has always been that we will not do business with companies or individuals who appear on the SDN list and so we have taken the decision to immediately stop offering services to and from these ports.”

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KRUSTAMOZ III, one of eight Mozambican trawlers that sit out the cyclone season every year in Durban harbour, seen here sailing back to Quelimane for another season of fishing. Picture by Terry Hutson

The international financial crisis is directly affecting production and exports of Mozambican fishing products to its usual markets of the European Union, South Africa and others, particularly because of continual fuel price rises, said Mozambique’s deputy Fishing minister.

Gabriel Mathisse said that as well as the price of fuel, another constraint affecting Mozambique’s fishing production was related to the amount of fish and other products caught, as this largely depended on export markets.

Speaking in the city of Beira at the start of a working visit to Sofala province the minister announced that at the moment fishing exports, mainly of shrimp, totalled an average of 7,000 tons, which provides income of some US$100 million per year.

Annual fishing production in the country totals around 160,000 tons, and 86 percent of this is provided by artisanal fishing mainly from the provinces of Sofala, Zambezia and Nampula. Despite this, overall, production and productivity levels of small-scale fishing needs to increase.

Over 70 percent of the Mozambican fishing industry is focused in the city of Beira and Sofala province produces 21,000 tons of fishing products each year. source: macauhub

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Nigeria's economy is robust and growing at a GDP of six percent since 2005 but obstacles are hampering progress in its transport and logistics sector, says the latest trade policy report from the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Corruption is a key factor preventing private investor confidence, said the review, and legislative measures by the Nigerian government and foreign governments cracking down on international companies own practices are already in place.

Since 2000, the country has made progress with privatisation resulting in concessions for operating ports which now number 25 in six ports, and in simplifying customs procedures and replacing out of date legislation, the report said.

But cargo facilities are not adequate to justify high costs, which means overland transport is favoured rather than importing directly into the country by sea, reported the UK's Transport Intelligence. Its inconsistent tariff system of different rates on imports and domestically-produced goods and its rule which prevents imports entering by road in containers does little to ease port congestion, said the report. Its roads and vehicles lack safety and would be much improved by the introduction of toll concessions and attracting private investment.

Regulatory compliance in the country has made companies such as global freight forwarder Panalpina withdraw its business from the country following its US$85 million payout in a bribery fine from the US Justice Department. source - HKSG

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British mining company Beacon Hill Resources said this week in London it had started mining coking coal for export at its open air mine in Moatize, in Mozambique’s Tete province.

In a statement issued about its general shareholders’ meeting, the company’s chairman, Justin Lewis, said that the coal being mined would be transported to Beira from this month, where it would be stored ahead of being loaded onto ships.

Mining at the Minas de Moatize mine initially focused on an underground mine that produced small quantities of coal for domestic use and sale in neighbouring countries, particularly Malawi.

However, since Beacon Hill Resources’ acquisition of Minas de Moatize, the company has re-focused its business on exploration of a large open cast mine, which is expected to produce 2.35 million tons of coal per year, of which 900,000 tons will be coking coal.

Although the first shipments of coal to Beira will be by road, the company plans to use the Sena railroad to carry coal in future.

The statement added that the company did not want to be entirely dependent on the railroad and thus it had organised road transport capable of carrying 500,000 tons of coal per year. (macauhub)

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Once again the South African Navy has honoured an assurance given when Knysna ceased being a commercial port in 1954, that ships of the navy would continue to visit the Knysna Lagoon on a regular basis. The mine warfare vessel SAS UMKOMAAS (M1499) fulfilled that promise this year when she sailed through the imposing Knysna Heads to represent the navy at the annual Knysna Oyster Festival. Pictures by Mike O’Neill

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