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Ports & Ships Maritime News

6 August 2013
Author: Terry Hutson

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

 

 

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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News continues below...

 

FIRST VIEW – BLUE MASTER II

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MACS Line’s newly built general cargo ship BLUE MASTER II which is due in South Africa on her maiden visit later this month. Details of this ship and her sister GOLDEN KAROO was published in these columns on Monday - use your BACKSPACE key to return to this page. The ships are noteworthy for having six cranes along the main deck. Blue Master II is expected in the port of Ngqura on 22 July 2013.

 

News continues below…

 

CHINESE COMPANY FINED US$3.5 MILLION FOR MOZAMBIQUE SMUGGLING

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Pacific International Lines (PIL) ship KOTA MAWAR which was involved inadvertently with containers of contraband cargo bound for China. Picture by Terry Hutson

A court in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado has ordered a Chinese company to pay US$3.5 million to its Mozambican partners, because of the damages they suffered due to the Chinese involvement in smuggling ivory, rhino horns, pangolin shells, artwork made from ivory, and even elephant excrement, according to a report in Friday’s issue of the independent weekly Savana.

The case dates back to January 2011, when the Chinese company, Mozambique Tienhe Trading Development Ltd, was found to have included wildlife products in a rented container that ought to have been full of nothing but timber.

The discovery was part of a swoop on containers carried by the Antigua registered ship KOTA MAWAR in the northern Mozambican port of Pemba. There were 121 containers (20ft) on board, loaded with timber owned by several Chinese companies.

Eighty-nine of the containers were carrying goods belonging to the company Mofid, 30 to Tienhe, 20 to Pacif, 15 to Sinlian, and seven to Alphaben.

The Kota Mawar had received the go-ahead from customs and from the provincial agriculture services to depart for China when officials from the defence and security forces received a tip-off that some of the containers were carrying illicit goods.

As a result the containers were unloaded and checked. In a container belonging to the company Miti, 126 elephant tusks and one rhino horn were discovered, as well as unspecified amounts of elephant dung and pangolin shells. The pangolin’s protective armour consists of large scales which, like rhino horns, and human fingernails, are made of keratin.

The managing partner of Miti, Mohamed Faruk Jamal, declared that his company had nothing to do with the smuggling, and had been betrayed by its Chinese partner, Tienhe. Jamal said that Miti authorised Tienhe to use its containers to transport timber, and not forbidden wildlife products.

Miti demanded compensation of five million dollars from Tienhe because of the damage done to its good name. Jamal said that Miti had become associated with ivory smuggling, when in reality the prohibited goods were placed in the container without its knowledge.

He said that the suspicion that Miti was involved in smuggling had led several of its partners to cancel business deals, causing serious financial losses for Miti.

Judge Luis Khavinha, of the Cabo Delgado Provincial Court, found in favour of Miti, but scaled back the amount Tienhe must pay Miti from five to 3.5 million dollars. Tienhe must also pay all the legal costs of the case.

However, it is not clear whether Miti will ever see any of this money. According to Savana, the Tienhe representative, Qiuhua Yan, has left the country, taking with him some of the company’s assets.

Meanwhile, the police in Nampula province announced on Thursday the arrest of a Congolese citizen who was in possession of six elephant tusks.

According to a report on Radio Mozambique the man was arrested on a minibus that was travelling from Montepuez, in Cabo Delgado, to Nampula city. The search of the vehicle was part of a joint operation between the police and the customs service.

According to the Nampula provincial police spokesperson, Miguel Bartolomeu, the Congolese is a man who has applied for political asylum, and is currently living in the Marratane Refugee Centre in Nampula. He has refused to provide any information about the origin or destination of the ivory. source – AIM

 

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SHIPWATCH: NEW SHIP FOR ETHIOPIAN LINE

Partners reduce India East Africa loop to three ships

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Simatech’s container vessel Sima Saman, now the Sima Sapphire (15,995-gt, built 2006). Picture courtesy Simatech

The weekly service between India, the Middle East and East Africa offered by partners Evergreen, Hanjin and Simatech has been reduced to a nine-day frequency as from this week.

When introduced in March this year it operated with four ships on a 28-day rotation providing a weekly service to ports in the designated regions. Simatech’s CAPE MARIN has now been withdrawn leaving each partner to provide one ship but offering the same port rotation - Mundra, Karachi, Jebel Ali, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Mundra.

It is thought that the reduced service is a result of MSC ramping up two services which are now in direct competition.

See related story HERE

 

New ship for Ethiopian Shipping Lines

Ethiopian Shipping Lines has taken delivery of a new 28,000-dwt multi-purpose ship, JIGJIGA. This is the fifth in this class of vessel to have been ordered from the Chinese Shandong Huanghai Shipyard.

The ship is 166.5m long, has a beam of 27.4m and a capacity of 1,735 TEU, although containers are not her primary cargo as the ship will carry mostly breakbulk and general cargo.

Jigjiga is named after a small city in eastern Ethiopia. The other ships in thee series are named FINFINE, ASSOSA, GAMBELLA and HARAR. They are deployed on the company’s South East Asia – Red Sea service.

 

Third Cap San class ship for Hamburg Süd

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Hamburg Süd’s class leader Cap San Nicolas in the South China Sea. Picture courtesy Hamburg Süd

German line Hamburg Süd has taken delivery of the CAP SAN LORENZO, the third 9,669-TEU container ship from a planned series of ten being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

A further order of three large ships may prove to be sister ships to this class, although this hasn’t yet been confirmed.

They are designed for the company’s South American services, with the first two having been included in the Far East – East Coast South America service. Although these navigate via the Cape the ships do not call at South African ports.

The ships are distinguished by having generators to provide electricity for 2,100 temperature controlled 40ft reefer containers, making them the largest reefer container ships currently in service.

Cap San Lorenzo is named after the Cape of San Lorenzo in Ecuador.

 

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NAUTIC TO BUILD SEVEN PATROL BOATS FOR WEST AFRICA

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Cape Town-based shipbuilding company Nautic Africa will be building seven new 35-metre Fast Multi Role Patrol Vessels for West African clients, the first in their class to be designed and built in South Africa.

The order has a total value in excess of R600 million.

The keels of five of these vessels have already been laid and Nautic expects to make its first deliveries next year and to complete the contract early in 2015.

The orders are a result of the company’s collaboration with West African navies, as well as oil and gas companies, to develop an effective way of counteracting illegal fishing, piracy and other illicit offshore activities.

“The orders reflect our customers’ confidence in our ability to deliver solutions-based products, coupled with unparalleled on-the-ground service and support,” said James Fisher, Nautic Africa CEO.

Plans are now also well underway with the expansion of Nautic Africa’s second West African base in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, which will focus exclusively on vessel life-cycle support and servicing. The company already has a base in Takoradi, Ghana.

A spin-off of the orders is that Nautic Africa expects to create 100 jobs over the next two years in the Cape Town area. To ensure that its workforce has the requisite skills to meet the global standards expected by its clients, Nautic Africa will embark on an aggressive apprenticeship programme to train fabricators, welders and general artisans.

While tackling the challenge of designing a vessel with the ability to address the current offshore security issues in the Gulf of Guinea, Nautic Africa’s in-house design team collaborated with a Cape Town-based naval architect. The new 35 metre Fast patrol Vessels will have the capability of much larger, more expensive vessels.

The patrol boats will utilise the South African-developed Nautic ‘Super Shield’ Ballistic Protection system and will be sold with a multitude of role capabilities, key being the smaller Nautic Fast Deployable Interceptors (FDI), vessels known as Guardians.

These interceptors incorporate a beyond-horizon, mother/daughter communication interface with the mother ship. They will be powered by a Swedish Marine Diesel 500HP inboard engine, coupled to either a surface-piercing MSA propeller drive, or a jet drive, that is capable of powering the 9-metre craft up to speeds of more than 50 knots.

“The majority of territorial water off-shore threats are from largely indistinguishable craft less than 12 metres in length,” said Fisher. “The FDIs, which are deployable in minutes, enhance the patrol effectiveness of offshore assets and enable personnel to communicate with small fishing boats and/or make arrests at sea level. This makes policing safer and more effective.”

The new class of vessel that is being built to meet the West African order represents the first of various Proudly South African vessel developments at Nautic Africa. The project also demonstrates real activity and growth between South Africa and the rest of Africa.

 

News continues below…

 

 

TURKISH POWER SHIP COULD BE HEADING FOR AFRICA

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The next Turkish powership vessel to be built could be heading for Africa or possibly a Middle Eastern country, according to reports from the world’s only power station ship builder, Karadeniz Holding.

Chief executive Orhan Karadeniz said at a press conference recently that the next ship would be completed in six months time and would be heading for either an African or a Middle Eastern country to provide electrical power.

Karadeniz Holdings has so far delivered seven of these self propelled floating power stations which are already at work producing electricity for Iraq and for Lebanon. They have a combined capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

Karadeniz said that affluent countries in South America with a strong manufacturing base requiring excessive power were among future targets.

“Britain is among the target countries for 2016, amid concerns there that the closure of coal-fired plants could leave it without [sufficient] power,” he said.

The powerships are built on converted general cargo or container type ship hulls and are aimed at providing electrical power in developing countries that typically face inadequate supply from their home-grown infrastructure.

Does South Africa spring to mind?

 

 

EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE - remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

 

 

NAVY CRIPPLED BY MANPOWER SHORTAGE

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SAS MENDI, one of the four frigates in the South African Navy. This ship is due to have one of her main engines replaced shortly.  Picture by Clinton Wyness

As the much delayed Arms Deal Inquiry fails to get off to a scheduled start this week, reports are surfacing once more of a navy that is crippled by a lack of qualified personnel so serious that only half of the fleet of four frigates and one out of three submarines are able to go to sea at any one time.

On top of that the mainline ships and submarines of the navy are hampered by technical problems including having to replace engines in the frigates while one submarine, SAS MANTHATISI, remains under repair.

SAS Manthatisi was the subject of much publicity after her batteries were reportedly damaged in 2007.

According to reports at the time, which subsequently ended up being discussed in parliament, a seaman plugged the submarine’s power system into an incorrect shore system, damaging the batteries. Ever since this occurred back there have been either denials or different versions of what happened, made difficult by some navy obfuscation over the details. Whatever the real background of that matter, we’re now told that the submarine is due for a refit in 2014 when the matter (and new batteries one assumes) will be settled.

One of the frigates has meanwhile had a main engine replaced and it is understood that others will undergo the same treatment. South Africa’s sea conditions are often given as the reason for the frigates experiencing engine failure such that one vessel, SAS AMATOLA had to return from anti piracy patrol in the Mozambique Channel (Operation Copper) using its water jet engines, after the second main engine failed. The frigate had deployed to take part in Operation Copper with only one main (diesel) engine operable.

For the continuation of Operation Copper, the navy has been able to fall back on a tried and tested vessel type, the three remaining locally built former strike craft that have been converted into offshore patrol boats (OPV). The first of these, SAS GALASHEWE has just completed its deployment and has been replaced by a second OPV, SAS ISAAC DYOBHA.

While it seems that the navy has been able to rise to each occasion as required, especially in terms of providing the ships to go to sea when needed, the drain on manpower must remain the main worry and concern, especially with the new ships of Project Biro on the horizon. It will be interesting to see how the navy responds to this latest challenge.

 

 

MOZAMBIQUE FISHING PRODUCTION TO HIT 100,000 TONS THIS YEAR

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The PAYAM, an Iranian registered fishing vessel arrested by Mozambique authorities for fishing illegally in Mozambique territorial waters in 2010.

Mozambique’s fishing production is expected to rise by 4 percent this year to 100,000 tons, the Fishing Minister, Victor Borges said in Jangamo, Inhambane province recently.

Noting that shrimp fishing in 2012 had seen a substantial drop, which was unusual as conditions were considered to be good to meet the quota set, the minister said that ‘campeta’, a fish that is caught in the Cahora Bassa reservoir, was one of the species that had contributed most to fishing production in the last year.

Borges also said that the fishing sector was posting considerable growth in Mozambique, and that in 2012 the sector accounted for 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

In terms of inspection of the fishing sector, which is not carried out with the strictness required as Mozambique does not have the resources to do so, the minister said that society needed to be involved in this process.

“We have a 2,700 kilometre coastline and just two inspection ships, which is very little for our ambitions, and we are therefore asking for more involvement by society as a whole, as most of the violations do not only happen out at sea,” he said.

Borges noted it was necessary to focus in on the fishing methods used by operators and to respect closed seasons as well as the species of fish that are caught and to check if fishing is carried out in prohibited areas. source – macauhub

 

 

PICS OF THE DAY – HYUNDAI SINGAPORE

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Despite her name, the container ship HYUNDAI SINGAPORE (74,651-gt, built 2006), which was seen sailing from Cape Town one day last week, is UK-flagged and owned. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

 

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