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Ports & Ships Maritime News

31 October 2011
Author: Terry Hutson


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Hoegh Maputo outside Durban. Picture by Steve McCurrach www.airserv.co.za

Höegh Autoliners held a naming ceremony at the port of Maputo recently to officially name their latest pure car carrier, the 4,900-vehicle HÖEGH MAPUTO. Lady sponsor of the ship was Mozambqiue’s First Lady, Mrs Maria Da Luz Dai Guebeza, wife of the president of Mozambique Armando Emilio Guebeza, who was also present. The new 183m long ship flies the Norwegian flag, and is, in the words of Höegh Autoliners, an example of the strong relationship between Norway and Mozambique.

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News of ships and shipping lines Passenger ship DISCOVERY SUN en route to breakers

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The passenger ship DISCOVERY SUN, which lately ran ferry cruises out of Fort Lauderdale, is due in Durban on Friday (4 November) for bunkers. The ship, which is the former cruise ship ISLAND PRINCESS, was sold earlier this year to Dubai investors and is believed to be on her way to the breakers in the Indian sub-continent and will make for an interesting arrival in port. Thanks to Trevor Jones for this alert.

Before her sale the 700-passenger Discovery Sun offered daily 5-hour ferry cruises to the Bahamas.

Höegh Autoliners name new ship HÖEGH MAPUTO

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Höegh Autoliners chose the Mozambique capital city and main port of Maputo to carry the name of their latest car carrier, the 4,900-vehicle Höegh Maputo, which was named in the port of Maputo on 21 October 2011.

The ceremony was attended by the president and first lady of Mozambique and hosted by Höegh Autoliners chairman Leif O Høegh, with Mrs Maria Da Luz Dai Guebuza, Mozambique’s First Lady having the honour of naming the ship.

The Höegh Maputo is a 182.8 metre long pure car truck carrier (PCTC) and was delivered from Xiamen Shipbuilding Industries in China in July 2011, becoming the third in a series of four built for Höegh Autoliners. She flies the Norwegian flag and being named after the capital of Mozambique she acts as a symbol of the strong relationship between Norway and Mozambique.

“We are extremely pleased that Her Excellency Mrs Maria Da Luz Dai Guebuza honoured our company by acting as godmother to this magnificent ship,” said Leif O. Høegh. “We have over the years developed close relations and important activities in Mozambique, witnessed here at our joint venture car terminal. The presence of Her Excellency and the President at this event is a welcome demonstration that our activities are appreciated by the leadership in Mozambique.” A statement issued by Höegh Autoliners said that the Maputo Car Terminal will be an important hub for Höegh Autoliners’ car carrying activities in Mozambique and the southern African region and as a transshipment terminal linking the company’s Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean trade systems.

China Shipping Container Lines to buy 12 giant containerships

China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) has revealed that it is about to order 12 containerships each of 10,000-TEU capacity from two Chinese shipyards, the Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) and Dalian Shipbuilding Heavy Industries.

The order is subject to approval at CSCL’s general board meeting.


Safmarine moves from Tangiers to Algeciras

Safmarine will be suspending its service to the Moroccan port of Tangiers and will relocate to the Spanish ports of Algeciras and Malaga, because, it says, these two ports are more efficient that Tangiers.

The Belgian-based company indicated that repeated disruptions and a lack of any guarantee of improvements in the near future had prompted the decision to relocate its business away from the North African port. Instead it will now make use of sister company APM Terminals-operated facilities in Algeciras, which lies just across the Strait of Gibraltar.


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A recent view of Dormac Marine at Bayhead in Durban

Dormac (Pty) Ltd said this week that its Durban branch has been awarded two internationally recognised Det Norske Veritas accreditations, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, while in addition the Cape Town and Saldanha branches each achieved additional accreditation of DNV ISO 9001.

The Durban branch of the company has been ISO 9001 accredited for some years.

With the establishment of the Dormac Offshore division, management and the board reiterated our objectives of obtaining an internationally recognised Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental system and subsequent accreditation, said Dormac Marine & Engineering managing director, Chris Sparg.

He said that these accreditations, together with Dormac’s long established ISO 9001 – 2008 accreditation, will help accelerate Dormac’s goal of becoming the preferred engineering solution provider in Southern Africa to the Marine, Offshore Oil and Gas and Industrial Engineering sectors.

“Whilst Dormac has maintained a high level of Health, Safety and Environmental awareness throughout, a need for a first-rate system which was recognised globally, was fundamental,” Sparg said.

He said that recent achievements such as the refurbishment of the Oil Rig ‘Celtic Sea’ in Saldanha Bay for international rig owner/operator Transocean, saw Dormac successfully complete the 5 month (one million man hour) project without injury. “Transocean stated this to be the best result for this type of project that they have executed in the last 10 years, worldwide.

“This achievement also applies to a number of other significant projects, including the Subsea 7 vessel ‘Seven Seas’ and the Solstad vessel ‘Normand Installer’ and Technip’s Deep Constructor.

Sparg said that Dormac can be proud to have been awarded ‘The Green Passport’, and a prestigious international accreditation for facilities with world-class safety and health management systems.

“We are fully committed to minimising the impact of our operations on the environment. Thanks go to our management team together with Det Norske Veritas, who have been a valuable partner in helping us achieve this milestone,” he said.

“The ship repair, offshore and industrial engineering sectors are vital contributors to the creation of employment opportunities in Southern Africa. We are committed to perform this service in a manner which preserves both the environment and the wellbeing of all stakeholders.”


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Volumes along the Trans Kalahari Corridor for the Botswana market have hit a record high of more than 2000 tonnes, which has shown a significant growth month on month, with much more consumables and especially a steep increase in motor vehicles being transported via the Port of Walvis Bay.

The company marketing the corridor, Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), says that some of the Botswana importers and exporters have opted for the Trans Kalahari Corridor because it provides a real alternative for time critical cargo.

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“We have also experienced that more than 70% of the road transporters previously using the traditional trade route via the South of Namibia to Johannesburg have now opted for the Trans Kalahari Corridor, which is 400 km shorter via Botswana from Walvis Bay. The Trans Kalahari route is also a much faster route for road transportation, as it saves about 5-7 days in transit for Botswana imports and exports compared to some of other ports in the region for cargo from European and American markets, said the WBCG.

Botswana is currently in the process of developing a dry port at the port of Walvis Bay. The dry port will be developed on a 36,233-square metre piece of land granted by Namibia under a 50-year lease which was signed in September 2009. The facility is situated within the port precincts with the main objectives being to consolidate maritime goods in intermodal short and long distance transport flows, to improve cargo processing through co-ordinated operations, to reduce transport costs and journey time and to strengthen the role of the Walvis Bay Port in transport chains.

WBCG said that within the medium to long term, the opportunity also exists for the construction of a railway line, the Trans Kalahari Railway, which will connect Botswana's Mmamabula coal field with the Namibian coastline.

“Construction of the railway is expected to take approximately five years at a cost of approximately N$9 billion (SA R9 billion). As a result of this construction, the Trans-Kalahari line would stretch over 1,500 km from Mmamabula to Walvis Bay.”

The Trans Kalahari Corridor Management Committee is a joint regional committee established by Namibia’s Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication in conjunction with the Botswana and South African Governments as well as private sector transport representatives. Its purpose is to address issues that affect the flow of trade on the Trans Kalahari Corridor. Much has already been accomplished such as the harmonisation of border operating hours from 22h00 to 00h00 along the entire corridor; the harmonisation of axle load limits; the adoption of a common through bond replacing the multi-bond system; and the reduction of border clearance (dwell time) from more than several hours to a maximum of 1 hour and a minimum of 30 minutes on the Trans Kalahari Corridor.

WBCG says that the Trans Kalahari Corridor provides an ideal opportunity to add economic value to Botswana coupled with the economy of Botswana that has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966, and is now a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $13,100 in 2010.


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Cape Agulhas Lighthouse

Maritime technology provider, Marine Data Solutions of Cape Town, has begun implementing an Automatic Identification System (AIS) coastal network with Aids to Navigation (AtoN) capabilities along the South African coast.

The company, which specialises in Vessel Traffic Management and Information Systems and other maritime domain awareness solutions, was awarded the turnkey contract by Lighthouse Services, which operates as a business unit of Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA). The scope of work includes installing new base stations and AtoN AIS at selected lighthouses along the South African coastline.

Steve Nell, Marine Data Solutions’ managing director says the AIS coastal network will bring South Africa in line with many other coastal countries worldwide and will greatly enhance South Africa’s current maritime domain awareness capabilities.

Marine Data Solutions previously played the crucial role of systems and display integrator for the South African Maritime Authority’s (SAMSA) Satellite AIS initiative, which is proving to be of great value.

AIS was first introduced as a mandatory carriage requirement for ships in July 2002, and under the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) SOLAS Convention, all ships on international voyages were compelled to have been fitted with AIS by the end of 2004. AIS, utilising maritime VHF frequencies, provides real time automatic transmission and reception on suitably equipped ships with a range of information relating to course, speed, position and other important data.

AIS information can also be received ashore for the purpose of vessel tracking and management but availability of the information received remains dependent on ships keeping the system switched on.

Although AIS started off as an anti-collision ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore system, it has now taken on many more applications in addition to supplementing existing marine Aids to Navigation (AtoN) systems.

This technology is essentially a business intelligence tool, offering VTS management, vessel tracking, search and rescue and virtual AtoN, etc.

A feature of AIS allows for AtoN functions where the Aid to Navigation is fitted with an AIS AtoN unit. Applications include complementing the existing AtoN service such as positively identifying a lighthouse in inclement weather; providing back up to an AtoN monitoring system to enable faster repairs; remote control manipulation; gathering real-time information such as traffic patterns for better future planning; monitoring and tracking the position of floating equipment such as buoys; and automatic alerts by being able to track and trace ships fitted with AIS and identifying cargoes, notifying port control of safety threats, and providing accurate estimated time of arrival information.

AIS can also be used to monitor particularly sensitive sea areas and messages can be generated to let ships know about these areas, and about traffic routing systems and areas to be avoided. AIS data can be made available to third parties, amongst them the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Department of Transport, the Hydrographic Office, and National Intelligence.

“AIS will serve to increase South Africa’s Vessel Traffic System (VTS) footprints which means that a VTS operator will be able to ‘see’ vessels anywhere along the coast of South Africa should it be within the VHF range of an AIS base station,” says Nell. “It will also help with search and rescue operations and identification and tracking, as well as future planning.”

Some of the projects Marine Data Solutions has completed include the supply and commissioning of a VTS, AIS, and a Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GDMSS) for the port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and more recently two VTS systems, including thermal cameras, at Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia.

A different project was the installation and commissioning of a laser docking aid system at the oil terminal in Saldanha Bay earlier this year, which was done in partnership with Australian company, Trelliborg Marine. source - CBN


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Milan, Italy, 28 October – The natural gas reserves discovered in the Mamba Sul 1 prospecting area, Area 4, off the coast of Mozambique, are thought to be 50 percent larger than previously announced, Italian oil group ENI said in Milan on Thursday.

On 20 October Italian oil and gas group ENI – Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi said it had discovered estimated reserves of natural gas of 15 trillion cubic feet (424.7 billion m³).

According to a statement issued Thursday, this estimate has risen to 22.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, following the discovery of a new reserve with potential of up to 7.5 trillion cubic feet.

The concession holders of area 4 of the Rovuma basin, for which the production contract was signed in 2006, are ENI East Africa – Moçambique, which is the operator and has a 70 percent stake, Mozambican state company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), with 10%, and Portugal’s Galp Energia and South Korea’s Kogas, each with 10 percent. (macauhub)



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The container ship MAERSK ABERDEEN (14,063-gt, built 1999) which operates a feeder service between Australia and New Zealand, seen arriving recently at the port of Lyttelton in New Zealand. Picture by Alan Calvert

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The reefer vessel ANTWERP (7307-gt, built 1994) sailing from Lyttelton, New Zealand recently, after discharging a cargo of bananas. Picture by Alan Calvert


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