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Ports & Ships Maritime News

8 August 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

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Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return

 Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a public holiday in South Africa. The next News Bulletin will appear on Wednesday.


News continues below...


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In Cape Town port last week was this vessel, which we think is a fishery factory vessel – can someone confirm or correct please? The ship appeared to the photographer to be quite new. Picture by Aad Noorland


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South African port statistics for the month of July 2011 that are to hand courtesy of Transnet NPA, show that total cargo handled at all ports amounted to 21.533 million tonnes (21.289mt for June) while containers totaled 393,795 TEUs, up from 366,336-TEUs in June.

The number of containers handled in July decreased slightly from June’s 393,795-TEUs to 388,069 but is still among the largest monthly container volume so far recorded for South Africa. Of this quantity 190,700 TEUs were exported, compared with 197,369 TEUS imported during the month.

To compare the 2011 July figures year on year with July of 2010, when a total of 20.715mt of cargo was handled (333,559-TEUs), go to the following link CLICK HERE. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

In July the number of containers handled at Ngqura increased to 48,705-TEU, while nearby Port Elizabeth handled 32,948-TEU.

Of the country’s two bulk ports Richards Bay increased its cargo handled from 5.773mt in June to 6.680 million tonnes while Saldanha had a small increase to 4.950mt (up from 4.892mt in June).

As is standard with figures reported in PORTS & SHIPS, they reflect an adjustment on the overall tonnage to those provided by Transnet to include containers by weight – an adjustment necessary because Transnet NPA measures containers by number of TEUs and no longer by weight.

To arrive at such a calculation, PORTS & SHIPS has used an average of 13,5 tonnes per TEU, which may involve some under-reporting but until the IMO enforces the weighing of containers at all ports we will have to live with these estimates. Nevertheless, we continue to make this distinction to prevent South African ports from being under-reported internationally.

Figures for the respective ports during July 2011 are (with June 2011 figures shown bracketed):

Cargo handled by tonnes during July 2011

PORT July 2011 mt June 2011 mt
Richards Bay 6.680 5.773
Durban 6.830 7.538
Saldanha Bay 4.950 4.892
Cape Town 1.088 1.138
Port Elizabeth 0.947 1.157
Ngqura 0.660 0.428
Mossel Bay 0.180 0.122
East London 0.199 0.241
Total all ports mt 21,533 million tonnes 21.289 million tonnes


Containers (measured by TEUs) during July 2011
(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA


PORT July 2011 TEUs June 2011 TEUs
Durban 242,805 254,618
Cape Town 57,223 60,545
Port Elizabeth 32,948 38,919
Ngqura 48,705 31,736
East London 4,649 4,675
Richards Bay 1,739 3,302
Total all ports 388,069 393,795


Ship Calls for July 2011

PORT July 2011 vessels gross tons June 2011 vessels gross tons
Durban 350 10,140,758 374 11,039,791
Cape Town 229 3,851,884 214 4,071,827
Richards Bay 140 4,639,208 157 5,216,347
Port Elizabeth 112 2,644,850 104 2,480,007
Saldanha Bay 48 2,754,493 45 2,842,973
Ngqura 30 1,549,698 33 1,230,590
East London 27 561,831 27 685,595
Mossel Bay 152 234,332 131 165,781
Total ship calls 1,086 26,377,054 1,083 27,732,911


- source TNPA, but with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container tonnages



Month Months exports YTD exports Annualised M/T/a Ships Trains
January 4,389,925 4,389,925 51.55 45 597
February 4,567,950 8,957,875 55.27 44 705
March 5,364,674 14,322,549 57.93 57 710
April 4,807,041 19,129,590 58.03 53 689
May 3,572,127 22,701,717 54.72 41 560
June 4,776,609 27,478,326 55.26 42 435
July 4,362,979 31,841,305 54.67 45 734

RBCT shipped about 1.3 million tonnes less coal during July than what was received from Transnet Freight Rail and at the current rate the terminal is falling well behind on last year’s turnover. During the month TFR ran 734 trains to RBCT.


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Port of Richards Bay scene

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has made application to the Ports Regulator for an increase in tariffs of 18.06% for the fiscal year 2012/13.

This compares with a tariff increase of 4.49% granted by the Ports Regulator against a request of 11.91% for the current financial year which ends on 31 March 2012.

For the year ending 31 March 2011 the tariff increase applied for was 10.62%, for which the Ports Regulator granted an increase of 4.42%.

The rate applied for in the coming year 2012/13 is approximately three times the rate of inflation during July 2011. The Ports Regulator is expected to make his ruling later this year.


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by Kemantha Govender

Durban – If Sub-Saharan Africa is to benefit from the huge economic and social benefits brought by transport infrastructure, upgrade and maintenance of the transport network system must be carried out.

“Transport infrastructure allows people to reach water, fuel, schools, clinics and jobs... without infrastructure, connectivity suffers,” said Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele at the African Renaissance Conference which was held in Durban.

He said that a World Bank study on road conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa indicated that the region needs a specific connectivity standard to occur.

“There must be permanent regional infrastructure to connect the national capitals of all countries in a given region. We should engage in promoting and facilitating rural transportation infrastructure,” said Ndebele.

During his address, he gave his interpretation of the conference theme, Connecting Africa, which Ndebele said should be about connecting the people of Africa across the continent largely through transport.

“The goal of providing transport infrastructure should be to facilitate the emergence of an Africa which routinely trades with itself. Connecting Africa should be about re- establishing the African consciousness that once characterised the African personality,” the minister said.

The issue of development is still a massive problem in the world, with only a quarter of the world’s population living in developed countries in the North.

A third of the world’s population is said to be living in China and India.

“Unless India and China are developed, there will be no Asia century. Almost one billion people live in Africa. Every day, new networks of the world show these people suffering from hunger, poverty and underdevelopment.”

Infrastructure investment through private equity is fast becoming the new way of doing business in the infrastructure development sector.

“For transport investments to become the way of doing transport business in South Africa and the rest of Africa, there is going to be an urgent need for public authorities to be realistically aware of what it takes to attract private investments – in terms of confidence in the process and deal structures,” said Ndebele.

Africa, over the past three decades, has made strides in connecting the continent through transport. Ndebele listed the Trans-Africa Highway System, NEPAD short term action programme, and the Consensus Transport Master Plan as examples of such connections.

“Africa is putting an emphasis on placing environmental issues at the centre of every development programme,” the minister said.

Ndebele called for the spirit of Ubuntu to start at the conference.

“The African personality is about empathy, and being available for others. As one of the resolutions of this conference, we must pledge our support for the people of Somalia,” he said.

He called for donations of any kind and said the national Transport Department will ensure it gets to the Somali people. – BuaNews


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Having made three abortive attempts to refloat the grounded bulker PHOENIX, the salvors Smit Amandla Marine and SAMSA have decided to abandon attempts until the next high spring tide on 30 August.

According to SAMSA two attempts were made last week on the rising spring tide but unfortunately heavy swell conditions, which ordinarily would have been welcomed as an assistance in lifting the ship from the rocks, resulted instead in the tow gear parting. During the third attempt on the falling tide the swell was insufficient to assist in lifting the vessel as the two tugs, SMIT AMANDLA and SMIT SIYUNDA commenced pulling. Capt. Nigel Campbell, SAMSA’s Regional Manager for the Southern Region said that on the last attempt maximum power restrictions of the tugs were exceeded in the attempt.

The KZN High Court on Thursday confirmed its ruling that the ship may be sold to the party submitting the highest bid, with a requirement that the ship be afloat for onward towage to India for scrap. The fuel recovered from the vessel may also be sold. Funds realised from the bunker fuel and the ship, assuming it is refloated, will be used to offset a small portion of the expenditure incurred by the state.

Capt. Campbell said that planning has commenced on the steps that may need to be taken to ensure the removal of the vessel should further re-floating attempts be unsuccessful. He said that to this end Smit Amandla Marine has brought in experts from Holland who have undertaken many such operations previously. These options will be presented to SAMSA and DEA on 12 August. An Environmental Impact Assessment will be undertaken as part of the process.

Meanwhile Smit Amandla Marine is keeping a team on site to monitor the integrity of the ship and regular patrols will be undertaken to monitor and respond to any traces of oil found on the beach.


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Carnival orders three more

Carnival Corp. said last week that it had placed orders for three new cruise ships for its European brands, Aida and Costa Cruises. The value of the orders amounts to almost €1.5 billion.

Interestingly, two of the ships are to be built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The two 125,000-gt ships are intended for the German brand Aida Cruises. Each vessel will be able to carry 3,250 passengers and are due for delivery in March 2015 and March 2016. Each will cost €455 million.

A third ship will be built for Costa Cruises and will be 132,000-gt and capable of carrying 3,700 passengers. This ship has been ordered from Italy’s Fincantieri for delivery to Costa in October 2014.

They will become the largest ships respectively in both fleets.

STX aims to build environmentally friendly cruise ship

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Allure of the Seas

STX Europe says it has begun working on an initiative aimed at building the world’s first fully environmentally friendly cruise ship.

Known as Eoseas, the idea forms part of STX’s Ecohorizon project, which aims at developing practical solutions for building more environmentally friendly sustainable ships.

STX Europe was responsible for building the world’s largest passenger ships, OASIS OF THE SEAS and ALLURE OF THE SEAS.



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Amendments to IMO's MARPOL Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships entered into force on 1 August 2011, banning heavy fuel oil from the Antarctic and creating a new North American Emission Control Area (ECA).

A new MARPOL regulation to protect the Antarctic from pollution by heavy-grade oils is added to MARPOL Annex I (Regulations for the prevention of pollution by oil), with a new chapter 9 on Special requirements for the use or carriage of oils in the Antarctic area.

Regulation 43 prohibits both the carriage in bulk as cargo and the carriage and use as fuel, of: crude oils having a density, at 15°C, higher than 900 kg/m3; oils, other than crude oils, having a density, at 15°C, higher than 900 kg/m3 or a kinematic viscosity, at 50°C, higher than 180 mm2/s; or bitumen, tar and their emulsions.

This means, in effect, that ships trading to the area, whether passenger or cargo ships, would need to switch to a different fuel type when transiting the Antarctic area, defined as “the sea area south of latitude 60°S”.

An exception is envisaged for vessels engaged in securing the safety of ships or in a search-and-rescue operation.

Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI (Prevention of air pollution from ships) will formally establish a North American Emission Control Area, in which emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter from ships will be subject to more stringent controls than the limits that apply globally. The ECA will take effect 12 months after the amendments enter into force on 1 August 2012.

The entry into force will mean there are currently three designated ECAs, the other two being sulphur oxide ECAs: the Baltic Sea area and the North Sea area.

In July 2011, IMO adopted MARPOL amendments to designate certain waters adjacent to the coasts of Puerto Rico (United States) and the Virgin Islands (United States) as another ECA (United States Caribbean Sea ECA).

The MARPOL amendments adopted in July 2011 are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013, with the new ECA taking effect 12 months later. source IMO Media Briefing 44 and GAC.



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The recently renamed Ro-Ro cruise ferry STENA SCANDINAVICA seen in the Kieler Foerde on 7 July 2011. The ferry was built in 2003 and was originally named Stena Britannica II, later changed to Stena Britannica. Pictures by Trevor Jones

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