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Ports & Ships Maritime News

25 July 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

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The privately owned guard ship FLEUR DU CAP (former SAS Fleur) in Durban harbour. Picture by Terry Hutson


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Captain Alex Miya, new harbour master at the Port of Saldanha

Captain Alex Miya has been appointed as the new Harbour Master of the Port of Saldanha as from the beginning of July. His appointment follows the recent retirement of Captain Peter Stowe, a Transnet veteran of 20 years who had been harbourmaster at the West Coast port since 2004.

With a varied and fruitful career with Transnet spanning 26 years in the ports of Richards Bay, Mossel Bay and Saldanha, Captain Miya is now responsible for enforcing the regulations of the Port of Saldanha to ensure safe navigation of vessels, the security of the harbour and the correct operation of the port facilities.

“It has been a rewarding journey and I have developed a deep love for the maritime environment in various roles,” he said recently. “In this new position I am looking forward to working with our local community and stakeholders to realise the potential of the Port of Saldanha to act as a strategic lever in countering the economic challenges prevalent here on the West Coast.”

Miya said the port, the biggest and deepest natural harbour in South Africa and which serves predominantly bulk cargo imports and exports, had immense potential for infrastructure development that could effect business growth.

He said this could create economic opportunities and employment for the communities of the West Coast especially young people.

His first exposure to the maritime environment was in 1985 as a shorehand and marine motorman at the then Railways and Harbours department in the Port of Richards Bay. He subsequently pursued studies in electrical and mechanical engineering before embarking on maritime studies at the then Technicon Natal college.

His first sea time came during practical training served with shipping line Safmarine. He obtained his class 3 ticket to serve as a deck officer in 2000 before proceeding to a marine pilot training programme in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and completing practical training and qualifying as a tug master the following year.

Captain Miya holds a Diploma in Maritime Studies from the Technicon Natal and a Diploma in Port Management from Lloyd’s Maritime Academy in the United Kingdom. He is now pursuing a Diploma for Harbour Masters with the same institution and also intends completing a degree in Maritime Law in the future.

He holds an Open Licence allowing him to navigate vessels of any size in and out of the Port of Saldanha. These range from the smallest to VLCC class and Cape size supertankers in excess of 250,000 metric tons deadweight, which regularly call at the Port of Saldanha. These vessels are up to two to five times the size of vessels one would find in other South African ports.


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New SA Antarctic research vessel named

South Africa’s new Antarctic research and supply ship has been named SA AGULHAS II in a ceremony held in the STX shipyard in Rauma, Finland where the vessel is being built.

The research ship, which replaces the ageing SA Agulhas (6,122-gt) that entered service in 1978, has been designed to have a significant research capacity, says Nosipho Ngcaba, Director-General, Department of Environmental Affairs.

“As South Africa, this represents a major investment and signals our commitment and intent in contributing to the understanding of the earth as a functioning, integrated unit,” Ngcaba said in a statement.

In addition to its research capability, SA Agulhas will perform supply ship functions to the South Africa Antarctic Station and to weather stations on Southern Ocean islands including Marion and Gough Islands.

MSC announces general rate increases

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MSC Laura. Picture by Ian Shiffman

MSC has announced a general rate increase on all cargoes for its Cheetah service between the Far East and South Africa, Indian Ocean Islands, Mozambique and East Africa of US $250 per TEU, with effect 1 August 2011.

A general rate increase will also apply on all MSC cargoes between Asian ports and the East Coast South America, of $500 per TEU also with effect 1 August 2011.

Safmarine honours Madiba

Safmarine personnel paid honour to former President Nelson Mandela and the ‘67 Minutes for Mandela’ campaign last week when 100 volunteers spent Saturday, 16 July doing community work at the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy, a Safmarine Containers in the Community project in Khayelitsha near Cape Town.

The Safmariners spent the morning interacting with the Velokhaya children and painting and decorating the container-based Academy, which has been given a 'designer makeover'.

Tui backs away from selling 38% stake in Hapag-Lloyd

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Colombo Express

German leisure group Tui is reported to have postponed its planned sale of the 38% stake it still holds in container carrier Hapag-Lloyd, with it appearing unlikely that any deal can take place before 2012.

Tui’s original plan to disinvest from the container line was originally delayed by the economic downturn of 2008/09, after it had disposed of some of its shares. More recently it was reported that interest was again being shown by various groups including those in Singapore, China and Oman, but these have all come to nothing.

Analysts suggest that it requires a more stable market before any firm offers can be expected.


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Japanese shipping giant Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) has revealed plans for a hybrid car carrier that aims a zero emissions while berthed in port. The project to develop such a ship has benefited from a Japanese government subsidy as part of a ‘project that develops systems to reduce CO2 emissions from ocean-going vessels,’ MOL said in a statement.

The first hybrid vessel will be launched at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Kobe in June 2012, and will be equipped with a hybrid electric power supply system that combines solar power panels for generation with lithium-ion batteries for power storage.

The system is the result of a cooperative study group of experts from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sanyo Electric Group, and MOL. With solar panels on every bit of flat, exposed upper deck space, this system generates some 160kW, more than ten times as much as current systems on other ships, making it the most powerful system of its type in the world.

The lithium-ion batteries can store some 2.2MWh of electricity, and the power generated by the panels while the ship is under way is stored in the batteries and used to power the ship’s systems while it is berthed. The system eliminates the need for diesel-powered generators, enabling the ship to achieve zero emissions at the pier. In addition, the lithium-ion batteries are placed in the bottom of the vessel, taking the place of fixed ballast, so they have no effect on the number of vehicles the vessel can carry.

The logo SOLAR HYBRID will be painted on the sides of the vessel near the stern to identify its hybrid system and its use of natural energy.

The ship will have a length of 199 metres, a beam of 32,26m and a draught of 9.725m. She will be able to carry up to 6,400 motor vehicles at a time. MOL says the power supply system represents a significant step forward in realising ISHIN-I, the concept for the next-generation car carrier that was announced in September 2009. “MOL will continue our aggressive development of technologies that will help reduce the burden on the environment caused by ocean-going vessels,” the company said.


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Business Daily Africa reports that Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has stopped the dredging of Likoni channel (Mombasa), after accusing the contractor of breaching terms and putting aquatic life in danger.

The report by Nema says that the contactor, Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors, has “dumped debris on the shores, affecting how fish feed.

“We have stopped the exercise for two weeks to assess the implications because opinion from marine experts is split,” said Mr Ben Wemali, Nema’s compliance and enforcement officer.

The two weeks commenced on 12 July, and the order is contained in a letter from the Provincial Director of Environment, Martine Shimba.

The Likoni channel is being dredged to a depth of 15 metres at an estimated cost of US$60 million and is supposed to run concurrently with the development of a second container terminal. Sand dredged from the channel was to have been used as infill for the new terminal.

Concerns raised by the Coast Development Transparency Initiative (Codeti) and the Kenya Wildlife Service are said to have brought about the stop order. Codeti chairman Iddi Mambo said waste from the site had been seen floating on the sea, a situation he said was detrimental to aquatic life.

He attributed the overflow to failure by the contractor to adhere to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) master plan, prepared by Royal Haskoning Maritime of the Netherlands. The master plan says debris is to be disposed of at least 50 nautical miles from the port. “Though the ongoing exercise is important, the country cannot wish away environmental concerns being raised by Mombasa residents, beach lovers, and fishermen,” he said. The waste also attracts sharks, he claimed. – source Benard Sanga (businessdailyafrica)


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Image and video hosting by TinyPic The Italian cable layer TELIRI (8345-gt, built 1996) seen here in Cape Town last week. The cable layer has since sailed for Durban where it berthed at the weekend. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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