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Ports & Ships Maritime News

10 August 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic The freighter CAP SAN DIEGO (IMO 5060794) in the Kiel Fjord, described by the photographer as coming up the fjord like a white swan, out of a thunderstorm and into soft sunshine. Picture by Trevor Jones

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A loaded MSC Vanessa in Cape Town. Economists warn that South African exports are at risk. Picture by Ian Shiffman

Pretoria - The downgrading of the US government's top-notch credit rating will have an impact on South Africa and its exports, economists said on Monday.

“South African exports are dependent on global growth going forward,” Standard Bank economist Michael Keenan said.

He added that intensifying strike action also has an impact on South African exports remaining competitive.

On Friday, rating agency Standard & Poor downgraded the US credit rating, down from the highest possible rating (AAA) to AA+, for the first time in history.

The downgrade comes at a time when the world is slogging through a sluggish recovery from the global economic meltdown.

Recent weeks have made for much drama as the US Congress engaged in what many viewed as a game of political brinkmanship while the clock ticked toward the August 2 deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Amid fears that failing to meet the cut-off date would result in the first-ever downgrade of the federal government's credit, a breakthrough was reached at the last minute as both parties scrambled to agree on a bill that raised the debt limit by $2.4 trillion.

“The big issue here is around the question of where global growth is going with the current aggravating growth outlook,” noted Keenan.

Keenan said the US treasury market has always been regarded as risk minimal. “It now creates uncertainty for South Africa and global growth in general,” said Keenan, adding that the downgrade could lead to other downgrades by other agencies.

“The US will probably have to implement austerity measures more. We've seen the US agreeing to cut back on debt levels and this was not enough to satisfy (the) rating agency. The matter could jeopardise the global recovery,” he explained.

Nedbank economist Isaac Matshego said: “Markets are responding. The JSE was down by 1% at 9:30am. Markets are weak, [this is] ... quite serious. Exports respond to conditions and in the short term, this is not a good picture... The economy is going through a soft patch. The situation is not positive for our exports. The impact of the rating is a sharp increase in risk aversion.”

"We are facing the possibility that we will bear the brunt of global concerns. Emerging markets tend to underperform to risk aversion," said Keenan. - BuaNews-Xinhua

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Port of Richards Bay finger jetty

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.

This report appeared in Monday’s News Bulletin 8 August 2011 but is being repeated because of the holiday this week.

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Picture by Aad Noorland

On Monday we showed Aad Noorlkand’s picture of a vessel in Cape Town named JUPITER which we said we thought might be a fishing factory ship. Readers were asked if they could confirm this.

We now have a wealth of information about this ship and realise we were scarcely on the right trail.

Thanks go to Katja Glöditzsch of KLD Ships Agency in Walvis Bay, Paul van der Merwe of Walvis Bay Diving, Tim Edwards of GUD Filters and Jay Gates for filling in the answers and gaps.

Here is the response from Jay Gates:

Jupiter is definitely a fisheries factory vessel.

For those interested, Jupiter is one of the 37 Soviet ‘Moonzund’ (Atlantik 488) class of trawler. She was built in 1990 by the VEB Volkswerft Shipyard in Stralsund, in the former East Germany and was completed as Yard No. 830 on 11 December 1990 and originally named Kapitan Labunets with her port of registry being in Ilyichevsk, Ukraine.

Prior to becoming Jupiter, she was the Otaman Kalnishevskiy, operated by JSC Antarktika of Odessa, Ukraine.

Her specifications are 120m x 17m x 7m, with a DWT of 3347 tons and a BRT of 7765 tons.

She is currently registered in Belize (hence her call sign V3OF4 shown on her upperworks) and is operated by Namsov Fishing Enterprises (Pty) Ltd., which is part of the Bidvest Namibia Group, with its head office in Walvis Bay, Namibia. She uses her single 7,200 BHP engine to conduct midwater pelagic trawling for Horse Mackerel within the Namibian EEZ. She has a storage capacity of 2,000 tons and a freezing capacity of 170 tons per day.

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Angel 1 aground off the coast of Mauritius. Picture from Maryse Hurot

by our Mauritius correspondent Maryse Hurot

Following a main engine failure which occurred on 5 August at 22h24 local Mauritius Time, the ANGEL 1 flying the colours of Panama went aground on the reefs on the North- East coast of Mauritius.

The 197m long vessel has a cargo of approximately 32,000 tons of bagged rice on board due to be discharged in Cote d’Ivoire.

Although the Master tried to drop his anchors so as to hold the vessel against strong winter south-eastern winds, the vessel was literally thrown on the reef at about 2.7 nautical miles off the North-Eastern coast of the island.

It is reported that at daybreak on the 8th instant, the Master found out that the vessel was sitting on her stern with her propellers out of the water level. He further discovered water ingress in the engine room.

The National Coast Guard (NCG) went on the scene with a team of divers who failed to establish from where the water was entering the ship’s engine room.

Currently there appears to be no precise information on what action will be taken by the owners of the Angel 1 to refloat the vessel. It would appear that a salvage team is expected early in Mauritius today (Wednesday) in order to evaluate the situation and take appropriate action.

Needless to say the main concern of the Mauritius Government is to avoid by all means possible an oil spillage from the Angel 1 which if it did occur would prove to be an environmental disaster for the island.

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The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has said that the maritime administrations of Nigeria, Togo and Benin Republic will meet soon with relevant stakeholders to deliberate on ways to enhance maritime safety in the sub-region.

The Sub-regional Representative for Anglophone African countries at the IMO, Mr Michael Luguje, in a statement in Lagos recently pointed out that the meeting had become necessary in view of the increasing economic activities on the territorial waters of the three countries.

He commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for reducing the level of crime on the West and Central Africa sub-regional waters.

Luguje lauded NIMASA for effectively opening a Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RMRCC) at Kirikiri, Lagos, and the agency's collaboration with the Nigerian Navy to ensure safety on Nigerian waters.

“I think that NIMASA's example of fruitful collaboration with the Nigerian Navy is a good example worthy of emulation by other neighbouring countries,” the statement quoted Luguje as saying.

He noted that NIMASA had expanded its operations to include the provision of weather forecast services to all vessels in Nigerian waters through the Global Maritime Distress Safety System.

Luguje added that the agency had also effectively carried out a successful medical and stowaway evacuation on vessels within the nation's maritime waters.

The centre at Kirikiri covers Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The centre is equipped with an automatic identification system, radar and a camera to identify all vessels within the territorial waters of the three countries. – Ghana Nation

FS Surcouf joins EU NAVFOR Task Force

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FS Surcouf, now with the EU NAVFOR forces off Somalia

On 9 August the French frigate FS SURCOUF (F-711) joined the EU NAVFOR Task Force, reports EU NAVFOR.

The frigate is commanded by Captain Marc-Antoine de Saint Germain, and after intense training her crew is fully prepared to undertake their duties as a Task Force 465 unit. FS SURCOUF is a modern multi-purpose frigate fitted with an AS 565 PANTHER helicopter and capable of accomplishing a wide series of missions.

Her contribution constitutes a significant effort to enhance the effectiveness of TF 465 in all its tasks and will increase EU NAVFOR’s skills to protect vulnerable shipping, in particular World Food Program (WFP) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) vessels, as well as to deter and prevent acts of piracy, and to contribute to the monitoring of fishing activities off the coast of Somalia.

Commissioned to the French Navy in 2000, FS SURCOUF has a displacement of 3200 tons, is 124.3 metres long and has 168 crew members onboard.


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The newbuild heavylift project cargo ship HAPPY DRAGON (13,400-gt, built 2011) made an attractive sight as she entered the Durban entrance channel towards a berth at the Point yesterday morning. Picture by Trevor Jones

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Unusual sight! MSC ADRIATIC (66,289-gt. Built 2001) in Durban harbour yesterday afternoon minus any cargo. The container ship has since moved onto her berth at Durban Container Terminal. Picture by Trevor Jones

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