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Ports & Ships Maritime News

1-2 December 2011
Author: Terry Hutson


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See BREAKING NEWS below....(Sunday)


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BREAKING NEWS..... SUNDAY 4 December 2011

Fire on ship closes Cape Town Container Terminal

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Picture by Glen Kasner

A fire that has been burning for several days on board the South Korean fishing trawler DONGSAN has resulted in an ammonia gas leak that has forced the closure of the nearby Cape Town Container Terminal.

The fire on board the ship, which is moored in the Ben Schoeman dock at Quay 501, began on Friday and by that evening was thought to be under control with the fire isolated just aft of midships. However around midnight Friday night the fire flared out of control with flames visible as firefighters fought to control the blaze. Soon the ship was burning from stem to stern.

One of the harbour tugs has been spraying water onto the ship’s hull and fire fighters are working from the dock to keep the blaze under control.

A statement issued by the TNPA on Sunday confirmed reports received that the Cape Town Container Terminal has been closed temporarily due to an ammonia gas leak caused by the fire. CEO Tau Morwe said that the necessary measures and precautions had been put in place to contain the situation. Access to the site has been restricted to disaster management personnel only.

The TNPA said that operations outside the Ben Schoeman dock were continuing as normal and the situation regarding the container terminal is due to be reassessed at 17h00 today (Sunday, 4 December 2011).


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The semi-submersible heavylift ship TRIUMPH (42,515-gt, built 1992) seen at anchor in Table Bay recently. Picture by Alan Goldberg


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At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17) taking place in Durban between 28 November and 9 December, the global shipping industry, Oxfam and WWF have joined forces to suggest to governments how the further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping might best be regulated.

Oxfam, WWF and the International Chamber of Shipping (which represents over 80% of the world merchant fleet) called on delegates to COP17 to give the International Maritime Organization (IMO) clear guidance on continuing its work on reducing shipping emissions through the development of Market Based Measures (MBMs).

The organisations maintain that an effective regulatory framework for curbing emission of CO2 from international shipping must be global in nature and designed so as to reduce the possibility of 'carbon leakage', while taking full account of the best interests of developing countries and the UNFCCC principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities' (CBDR).

This includes the possibility of the adoption by IMO of a compensation mechanism through which a significant share of any revenues collected from international shipping could be directed to developing countries and provide a new source of finance to support their efforts to tackle climate change. Such revenues could be directed through an appropriate channel, such as the Green Climate Fund, which will be discussed by governments in Durban.

While there are some differences over the detail of such an approach, both the civil society and shipping industry organisations emphasise that the immediate priority for governments meeting at COP 17 in Durban is not to work on technical details for shipping, but to provide the signals needed to allow resolution of the key political question of how to apply CBDR in the shipping sector, and assist the speedy completion of the IMO's work.

With respect to any carbon charges that might be proposed by governments, they agree that the recent IMO agreement on technical and operational measures to reduce shipping emissions demonstrates that the IMO is eminently capable of developing a further international agreement for shipping on MBMs. In light of the urgency required to avoid catastrophic climate change, they called on all governments to take all steps necessary to expedite such an agreement at the IMO.

ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, said the shipping industry welcomed the recognition by these important actors from the environment and development fields that it is in the best interests of both the environment and developing nations for shipping to be regulated via shipping’s industry regulator, the IMO, with the same rules for carbon reduction applying to all internationally trading ships, but in a manner which respects the principles of the UN climate convention.

“If governments decide that shipping should contribute to the UNFCCC 'Green Climate Fund', the industry can probably support this in principle as long as the details are agreed at the IMO, with the industry's clear preference for a Market Based Mechanism being a compensation fund linked to the fuel consumption of ships, rather than an emissions trading scheme,” he said.


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CMA CGM and MSC sign partnership agreement

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CMA CGM’s giant 14,000-TEU Christophe Colomb (153,022-gt, built 2009)

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and French carrier CMA CGM, the world’s second and third largest container lines respectively, have announced a major broad-based operating partnership across several trades, including Asia/Southern Africa.

The agreement, which covers Asia/Northern Europe, Asia/Southern Africa and all of the South American markets, is designed to improve the two partners’ respective performance and to enable the groups to deploy the best ships in each of their fleets, while increasing the number of ports of call and frequency of sailings.

“We are very happy to have signed this broad-based partnership, which will unite our two family-owned companies in the years ahead,” said Diego Aponte, MSC vice president. “The agreement offers us new opportunities to optimise the use of our respective fleets, improve our transit times and increase our performance.”

Rodolphe Saadé, Executive Officer of CMA CGM Group, said that for more than 30 years the two companies have followed the same trajectory and for a number of years have cooperated on a few lines. “Based on this experience and our shared vision of the shipping industry, we have decided to step up our partnerships, which reflect a commitment to long-term cooperation and will enable us to offer customers improved solutions and services.”

Safmarine and Maersk rationalise Prime 2/ Icon service

Safmarine says it intends rationalising its Prime 2 service - which connects the South and East of the Indian Subcontinent with North Europe - into that of the AP Moller- Maersk Group’s Asia–Europe network, effective early February 2012. According to Kris van den Brande, Safmarine’s trade director, the move will result in improved port coverage and reliability of Safmarine’s services out of South India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The service which was only introduced in February this year is operated together with sister company Maersk, where it is known as the Icon service.

“Our customers in the Indian Subcontinent will benefit from improved transit times on the AE7 service’s new direct call in Colombo (transit time between Colombo and North Europe will improve by two to three days), while Safmarine’s Northern Europe export customers to the Indian Subcontinent will be covered by a direct call in Colombo (on the AE6 service),” said van den Brande.

”These changes aim to help establish a more balanced supply/demand scenario within the Far East to North Europe trade,” he said.


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Benguela Railway between Lobito and Luau on the DRC border

Lobito, Angola – Angola’s Benguela railroad is due to arrive at the Zambian border in 2012, the Angolan Transport Minister said in Lobito this week, adding that it was necessary for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia, “to do their work,” to have “links between the railroad networks.”

In his turn, Aquiles de Carvalho the commercial director of Caminho de Ferro de Benguela, the company that manages the railroad line, announced that a test journey would be made from Lobito to Cuito municipality, in Bié province in January of next year.

Carrying out a technical journey using a CFB engine to Cuito is part of the programme to expand the train’s route, the director told Angolan news agency Angop at the firm’s stand at the International Transport and Logistics Fair (Expotrans 2011).

The CFB train currently travels between Lobito and Huambo. Every Tuesday it travels from Lobito to Huambo and does the return journey from Huambo to Lobito on Thursdays.

de Carvalho said that the company had been buying new equipment, using funding from the Transport, Economy and Finance Ministries, with a view to recovering its potential in terms of workshops and maintaining the line.

After being disused for 27 years due to the civil war, the Lobito-Huambo rail line was re-opened on 30 August 2011.

The Benguela Railroad begins at the port of Lobito (Benguela) and extends over 1,348 kilometres to the East, crossing the provinces of Huambo and Bié to Moxico province, at the border with Zambia. (macauhub)

Among the equipment acquired by the CFB are 18 former Kei Rail railway coaches and two power cars recently shipped to Lobito. See details in our report of 3 August 2011 HERE


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MSC Melody returns

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The popular MSC Melody, will arrive in Cape Town on Tuesday 6 December 2011 to start her 2011/12 season of cruises out of Cape Town to Walvis Bay, Mossel Bay and from Durban to the exotic Indian Ocean cruise destinations of Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion.

The classic 1,500 passenger cruise ship which has proved so popular in South Africa during previous cruise seasons because of her elegance and luxuriously intimate appeal, left Genoa, Italy on 18 November for the start of her 18 night southbound cruise. Cape Town will be her first port of call in South Africa.

MSC Melody departs the same day on her opening cruise of the South African season which is a 2 night Fun Cruise to Nowhere .

Her calendar will then feature both Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean itineraries out of Durban and Cape Town through to 20th February 2012 when she returns to the Mediterranean, on a 18 Night cruise, visiting Walvis Bay, Jamestown [St Helena] Dakar [Senegal], Arrecife de Lanzarote [Canary Islands] , Cadiz [Spain], Palamos [Spain] and finally arriving in Genoa Italy.

Twenty-two Cruise ships on order

Cruise Industry News reports that there are 22 cruise ships on the order books at present, including options and memoranda of agreement, for deliveries from 2012 through 2016.

While all the new ships are trending larger, they are not going anywhere near the size of the Oasis class. Instead, Royal Caribbean International’s new so-called Sunshine class is the largest among the next generation of ships at 158,000 tons with a double-occupancy passenger capacity of 4,100. They are slated for deliveries in 2014 and 2015.

At present there is more cruise-ship building capacity than there is demand, the publication reported.

Fincantieri has the lion’s share of orders, but has spare capacity. Meyer Werft also has a solid order book, which industry sources suggest is partially due to Germany being able to offer better export financing with its stronger economy.

The new ship orders from Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean went to Meyer. Meanwhile, STX France is completing one ship for MSC Cruises, the MSC Divina, which is on schedule for May 2012 delivery, and the Europa 2, which will be operated by Hapag-Lloyd. Delivery is slated for 2013. In addition, the yard is completing the ship ordered by Libyan owner, although that contract was cancelled. Instead, STX France is negotiating a sale to a new owner.

STX Finland has one cruise ship for TUI, plus an option, on its orderbook.

Carnival chairman and CEO Micky Arison has stated several times that the company intends to build two to three ships per year going forward. Royal Caribbean Cruises’ chairman and CEO Richard Fain has indicated that future buildings would be at a slower pace. MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have also built regularly, and Norwegian has two ships on order. In addition will be the occasional orders from premium and luxury lines.

What it boils down to is a future near-term building pace of six to eight ships per year. source - Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine, Fall 2011


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The container ship KARIN RAMBOW (9957-gt, built 2005) in Cape Town harbour in late November 2011. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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