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Ports & Ships Maritime News

31 August, 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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We recently showed a picture of the oil rig Pride South Seas departing from Cape Town under tow behind this tug, the large offshore vessel ALDEN J LABORDE (4544-gt, built 2006). Here we see the impressive tug as the tow proceeded out of Cape Town harbour. The tug and rig were proceeding to an offshore site in the Congo. Picture by Aad Noorland

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Durban Container Terminal, with the 9200-TEU MSC Chicago in the centre foreground. If proposed tariff increases are granted, port users could be paying an average increase of over 18% from next year. Picture by Clinton Wyness

The Ports Regulator of South Africa has called for comment from port users and other interested parties at a series of public meetings to be held around the country.

In a notice issued yesterday the Ports Regulator said an invitation has been extended to port users and interested parties to attend public hearings on the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) proposed tariff increases for 2012/2013.

The hearings will be held as follows: 26 September 2011: Sandton Convention Centre, Maude Street, Sandton at 09h00
27 September 2011: Southern Sun Hotel, North Beach, Durban at 09h00
28 September 2011: Garden Court Hotel, Humewood, Port Elizabeth at 09h00
29 September 2011: Royal Cape Yacht Club, Duncan Road, Cape Town at 10h00

Copies of the proposed tariff increases can be obtained from any office of the TNPA or on the TNPA website or on the Ports Regulator website.

The Ports Regulator says that all persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed tariff increase by 21 October 2011.

Written submissions should be sent to: The Chairman, Ports Regulator, Private Bag X54322, Durban 4000, or by email to tariffcomments@portsregulator.org or by fax to 031 365 7858.

The Ports Regulator is a Public Entity established in terms of the National Ports Act (Act 12 of 2005) and is mandated to provide economic regulation for the ports industry and to hear complaints and appeals with respect to the industry.

TNPA has proposed that port tariffs should increase by an average of 18.06 percent for the 2012/2013 financial year commencing on 1 April 2012.

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Sunrise over the grounded Phoenix. Picture by Sharon Scott

Phoenix and Durban’s No Entry sign

Some interesting observations and comments Phoenix Refloating Delayed. However, I have a somewhat different viewpoint!

I believe that the port authorities were correct in refusing entry - but not for the reasons given. I believe she should have been refused entry purely on the basis that she was a hazard to shipping and port operations. Manoeuvring a derelict vessel within the approaches and confines of a congested port is never an easy operation and the potential for a major disaster is very real. Once the seizure order had been granted she should have been towed to a chosen area and scuttled.

In addition, I do not believe that attempting to repair vessels destined for scrapping and sending them on their way can ever really be a viable and cost effective option - unless the owners are prepared to lodge a fairly hefty security deposit.

Alan H.
(full name and contact provided)

Phoenix refloating delay confirmed

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Eastern Division has confirmed that the attempt to refloat the grounded tanker Phoenix has been delayed until Friday, 2 September (see yesterday’s report Phoenix Refloating Delayed.) The situation is dependent on weather conditions based on a required stronger swell than is currently being experienced. Long-range weather forecasts suggest Friday as the first day likely to have ideal conditions and the attempt will be made at high tide around 17h00.

If successful the tanker will be towed to a selected position off the coast in deep water and scuttled.

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Rob Davies, dti minister

Pretoria - South Africa, which is not a developed country, faces development challenges, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

Speaking at the second session of the South Africa-India CEOs Forum in New Delhi, the minister said although South Africa has institutions that are comparable to those of developed countries, the country faces several challenges.

“The challenges that we are faced with are definitely of development. We have huge inequalities, poverty, and we have a glaring significant problem of unemployment in our country,” Davies told delegates on Monday.

The minister highlighted that other developing nations, when engaging with trade and cooperation arrangements, should know that they will often have similar manufacturing sectors and complimentary aspects.

“There are things that you (India) can do better than us, that we won’t be doing, and also there are things that we (SA) do, that you won’t be doing as India. So, we must decide whether we want to build our corporation on the basis of the things that we are directly competitive, or where we are complimentary,” said the minister.

Davies also expressed concern that the over-valued rand is a big barrier to the manufacturing sector.

The forum resolved to further enhance cooperation in the financial services, pharmaceutical and health, mining, manufacturing and infrastructure and energy sectors.

Yesterday Davies urged the private sector to come up with projects that will enhance South African exports to India. The minister told South African CEOs that government is committed to support them in becoming more involved in India.

The SA-India CEOs Forum is a platform for business community interaction between the two countries.

Today Davies travels to Oslo, Norway, to take part in President Jacob Zuma’s state visit.

Last month, Oslo was rocked by a bomb blast in front of the Norwegian prime minister's office and a shooting incident in nearby Utoya Island. – BuaNews

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SAS Amatola entering Durban Harbour. Picture by W/O Manny Gounden

Pretoria, 30 August - Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu today announced a 14-member Defence Review Committee, which will look into the policy of the South African National Defence Force.

The committee will be chaired by former Defence Minister, Roelf Meyer.

Announcing the committee members in Cape Town, Sisulu said she firstly consulted with the Commander-in-Chief, President Jacob Zuma, and decided to appoint the committee to assist with the coordination and facilitation of a draft Review Policy for the country. The committee is expected to complete its work before the end of the year.

Sisulu explained that there was a need to review all legislation, programmes and policies in order to answer the important question of what the role of the SANDF is in a developing state facing a number of developmental challenges.

“In essence, the national defence policy of a country defines the strategic intent of government regarding defence, including the utilisation of the defence force,” Sisulu said.

The review of the South African defence policy seeks to update the current policy in line with defence challenges and opportunities of the 21st century in Southern African Development Community (SADC), Africa and across the world.

It will also look at how the SANDF policy can respond to challenges of the 21st century and the role of the SANDF in a developing state with many developmental and social challenges.

According to Sisulu, the last policy update and review was done in 1998.

“We have to align ourselves with what is happening around us,” Sisulu said, adding that the review of the defence policy was long overdue.

As part of their responsibility, Sisulu instructed the committee to look at lessons learnt from other countries.

Asked about the appointment of two former ministers into committee, Sisulu said they brought a wealth of experience with them.

With regards to the appointment of Tony Yengeni, the minister said he was the right man for the job as he was once Chief Whip in Parliament Meyer said as the committee, they will follow the mandate given to them and that he hoped they would finish the task set for them before the end of the year.

“One of our first tasks will be the development of an understanding of the nexus between national security, foreign policy and the defence policy. The struggle for a better life in South Africa is intertwined with the pursuit of a better Africa in a better world,” he said.

The committee comprises two former Defence Force Ministers, Charles Nqakula and Roelf Meyer, North West Premier Thandi Modise (Deputy Chair), Tony Yengeni, Dr Moses Khanyile, Dr Phandelani Motoma, Dr Gulube, Ms Nonkonzo Molai, Colonel G Seape, Mr Nick Sendall, Mr Mr Helmoed Heitman, Admiral Philip Schoultz, Ambassador Thenjiwe Mtintso, and Mr Godfrey Giles.

As part of their duties, committee members will be travelling to other countries to look at their defence forces. – BuaNews

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The seismic research vessel POLARCUS ASIMA (7894-gt, built 2010) which is fitted with Cathelco corrosion protection systems

Cathelco is supplying hull corrosion protection systems and marine pipework anti-fouling systems for two new Ulstein X-Bow vessels which are being built for Polarcus, the marine geophysical company.

The systems will be installed on the newbuilds NB292 and NB293 which are being constructed by Ulstein Verft AS of Norway.

This follows the successful installation of similar equipment on the POLARCUS ASIMA and POLARCUS ALIMA which were launched in 2010.

The distinctive Ulstein X-Bow hull configuration provides the advantages of smoother acceleration and more stable towing power for the high ice class, 3D seismic vessels which have the capability to deploy up to 14 solid streamers.

Throughout their operational life, the hulls of the vessels will be protected from corrosion by Cathelco impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) systems.

The 200 amp systems will consist of four elliptical anodes mounted port and starboard and two reference electrodes connected to a control panel.

In operation, the reference electrodes measure the electrical potential at the hull/seawater interface and send a signal to the control panel which raises or lowers the anode output to provide the optimum level of corrosion protection at all times.

In addition, the vessels will be supplied with shaft earthing systems which protect against ‘spark erosion’ to the bearings and potential damage to the propellers.

Cathelco is also supplying marine pipework anti-fouling systems for the two new vessels which will protect four seachests on each against blockages caused by mussels and barnacles.

The engine room and auxiliary seachests will be fitted with copper and ferrous anodes which are wired to a control panel. In operation, the copper anodes produce ions which are carried through the seawater pipework system and create an environment where mussels and barnacles do not settle or breed. At the same time, the ferrous anodes produce ions which help to maintain a protective oxide layer on the internal surfaces of the cupro-nickel pipework to suppress corrosion.

Cathelco claims to be a world leader in the manufacture of marine pipework anti-fouling systems with a record of more than 30,000 installations on vessels of every type.

The company has also developed a range of ICCP hull protection systems which are used on commercial vessels, high speed ferries and the warships of over 30 navies.


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The Italian owned and flagged bulk carrier SIDER TINO (25,011-dwt, built 2010) arriving in Durban harbour on 21 August. Picture by Trevor Jones

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Russian/Canadian shipping company CSAL’s (Canada States Africa Line) ATLANTIC NYALA (16,075-gt, built 1990) which trades between the east coast of North America/Gulf ports and southern Africa, seen arriving in Durban this August. Although a fairly recent name on the South African shipping calendar, CSAL’’s antecedents operated a continuous service between the east coast of North America including Gulf ports to southern Africa since 1956. CSAL took over the service in 2008 and currently operates with a fleet of four Astrakhan Mark III multipurpose RoRo vessels, some of which once bore the prefix of Lykes (Line) as part of their names. CSAL’s South African agents are Mitchell Cotts Maritime. Picture by Trevor Jones

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