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Ports & Ships Maritime News

14 October 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

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

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return

SEND NEWS REPORTS AND PRESS RELEASES TO info@ports.co.za

News continues below...
FIRST VIEW – RB3 and EHOALA TROZO

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The Madagascan tug EHOALA TROZO, which is nearing completion after a major refit before returning to Port d’Hoala at Fort Dauphin in southern Madagascar, takes up the foreground with Southern African Shipyards’ floating dock beyond, on which can be seen RB3, one of the Port of Richards Bay tugs. This must be the first time in a long while since a harbour tug was last seen on a privately owned floating dock and comes about as a result of the Durban dry dock being occupied by the SA Navy frigate, SAS AMATOLA. Even then SAS Amatola requires only the inner section of the graving dock, leaving the other half free for harbour tugs or other vessels if needed, but with the gate or caisson that divides the dock in two being out of commission, and this having been so for some time, this is not possible hence the use of Sasdock. Picture: Terry Hutson

News continues below…

NAUTIC SA TO TRANSFER DAFF VESSELS TO SAMSA

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The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) patrol vessel Sarah Baartman. Picture: Ian Shiffman

South African shipbuilding and maritime solutions company Nautic South Africa has confirmed it will transfer the operation of the six Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) research and patrol vessels currently under its management to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA’s) Special Marine Projects Division at the end of October 2014.

SAMSA’s current mandate is to ensure safety of life and property at sea, prevent and combat pollution from ships in the marine environment, and to promote the Republic’s maritime interests.

Nautic South Africa, a 100% local maritime company, was initially awarded a six-month interim contract by the DAFF in August 2013 to manage the return of the research and patrol vessels from the SA Navy back to the DAFF.

Since Nautic South Africa restored the DAFF vessels to operational fitness in August 2013, the vessels have had significant success patrolling and monitoring local waters and protecting South Africa’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and have continued their vital role in the fight against maritime-related crimes such as piracy, drug smuggling, human trafficking, illegal and unregulated fishing and oil pollution abatement.

“Although DAFF had twice extended the initial six-month interim contract with Nautic South Africa, the contract could not be extended any further due to supply chain management regulations and while a decision on the long-term management tender for these vessels remains outstanding,” said Eddie Noble, Project Director: Vessel Operations for Nautic South Africa.

According to Noble, DAFF hopes to make a decision on the long-term management of the vessels during the next 12 months, while the vessels are under the management of SAMSA, a state-owned entity.

“While Nautic South Africa is understandably disappointed that these vessels will no longer be under our management as of end October, we wish SAMSA every success with the continued operation of these vessels,” he said.

“It has been an honour and a privilege for Nautic South Africa to support these vessels for the past 18 months and to ensure that the service we provided - which included bunkering, crewing and logistic services and technical management - allowing the vessels to spend as much time as possible at sea and participate in a number of patrol and research duties.”

Noble said that as a result of Nautic South Africa’ s efforts, the patrol vessels, RUTH FIRST, VICTORIA MXENGE and SARAH BAARTMAN have enjoyed successes in the various coastal patrols undertaken, and the research vessel ELLEN KHUZWAYO has conducted many valuable fisheries research surveys.

“The research vessel, AFRICANA, has also undergone major repair and refurbishment and is due to return to operational duty early January 2015. The LILIAN NGOYI is about to be fully commissioned.”

He said the focus during the past 18 months has been on providing the DAFF with optimal long-term support and reducing vessel down-time as much as possible, as well as passing on any cost reductions as a result of vessel efficiencies, to the DAFF.

“We also successfully crewed the vessels for their required operations, implemented a Lloyds approved Safety Management System, conducted vessel support in conjunction with Damen Shipyards and managed all aspects of the vessels while they were in operation.

News continues below…

PORT OF CALABAR REOPENED TO SHIPPING AFTER DREDGING

ADOBIA
The Ghanaian-registered container ship Adobia (8,728-dwt, built 1998) which called at Calabar recently

The first container ship in some time to call at the port of Calabar in Nigeria has delivered cargo to the port after attempts to dredge the port approaches had been abandoned.

African Independent Coastal Services (AICS) container vessel ADOBIA arrived in Calabar last week to discharge containers after importers and exporters had all but given up hope of ever seeing a ship in the port again. The draught in the approaches to the Calabar channel has been reduced by silting to -6.4 metres at high tide and -5.4m at low, well below the concession agreement stipulated by the Federal Government of 9.5 metres. Despite efforts by the government to have the port approaches dredged, shallow water has remained a stumbling block for the river port.

Earlier, Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar established a committee under the leadership of Mrs Dabney Holma of the Nigerian Shippes Council to examine the reasons for the low patronage of the Eastern ports comprising Onne, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Warri, Sapele and Koko and to look for measures necessary to stimulate their greater utilisation.

Poor roads leading to Calabar didn’t help importers r exporters either and businessmen in the Calabar Free Trade Zone and Tinapa and cocoa merchants were forced to look for other alternatives.

Shippers described how containers on trucks literally fell off the lorries due to the condition of the roads.

All this changed recently following the arrival in Calabar of the feeder vessel ADOBIA. “For the past four years, there was no cargo vessel coming to Calabar,” said Mrs Iton Aniefiok, MD of Right Flow Logistics, after the feeder vessel arrived with her containers on board last week.

article continues below …

Calabar Port 470
Port of Calabar

“We used to bring in our consignments from Lagos and Onne seaports, and because of the nature of the roads connecting Port Harcourt to Calabar, we had difficulties getting those containers to their destination.” She said that on many occasions the containers fell from the trucks, damaging the contents. “We spent a lot of money lifting the containers when they fell,” she added.

Executive chairman of African Independent Coastal Services, Mr Stanley Ahorlu said the voyage of the Adobia was a first. “This is a maiden voyage. There was an absence of confidence and belief that it could ever happen. When we came saying that we are bringing a direct service to Calabar the market was very sceptical.”

He said this was understandable because several shipping lines had promised such services but had not delivered, forcing customers to import and export overland through Onne, Lagos and others. “Now they have a direct service and this direct service is here to stay,” he promised.

The feeder vessel Adobia is 100 metres in length and has a container capacity of 650 TEUs, and is self-geared allowing it to discharge and load its own containers.

Ahorlu said that …
… AICS had initially investigated the potential of a service to Calabar in November 2013 with a view of introducing a service with a suitable ship. Now the maiden voyage has been successfully completed and customers are happy with the service, Ahorlu said.

“Some major lines — even though it is not an issue — have cited the draught through the channel as excuse for not ever calling at Calabar. But we have shown that it can be done and that the service can be sustained.” He said AICS would start off with a monthly call but was prepared to increase this to fortnightly or even weekly if necessary, depending on the volumes.

“What we are doing is part of our business strategy of developing our shipping with regards to our ‘need’ ports, and Calabar is an example of that need port. We choose a port along the West African coast which is not actually being served by the multinational lines for one reason or the other, which has business that Africans are yearning to ship out.

“We, as an indigenous African company, chose these ports. Our business strategy is to link ports in West Africa. So we move cargo from hard ports to minor ports like Calabar.”

He added that AICS used the Ghanaian port of Tema as its transhipment port for international cargo and that it had links with several major shipping lines.

General manager of ECM Terminal, Kingsley Iheanacho confirmed that Calabar was affected by a shallow draught and that a recent attempt to dredge the approaches had been abandoned. He said major shipping lines were reluctant to call at the port on account of this shallow channel.

He said that what was happening now is a good reason for the government to jump-start the project of dredging and to make repairs to the road network. “We are not losing faith in Calabar Port, but taking the bull by the horn,” he said. – rewritten from the Nigerian Guardian

* See related articles: New West African line gets the go-ahead
and
Dredging of Calabar top of the agenda, says NPA (June 2013)

News continues below...

PRESIDENT ZUMA TO RELEASE OCEAN ECONOMY DELIVERY PLANS

4 Indonesia Mendukung Bumi Tersenyum Kembali den

President Jacob Zuma will release the results of work done to explore the potential of the country’s ocean economy at the first Operation Phakisa open day in Durban on Wednesday (tomorrow).

“Operation Phakisa is designed to answer that fundamental question, how do we turn our good plans into action to improve the lives of our people and to make the National Development Plan come alive,” President Zuma said.

Four priority sectors have been selected as new growth areas in the ocean economy, which include aquaculture and offshore oil and gas exploration.

The other priority areas are marine transport and manufacturing and marine protection services and ocean governance.

“We have constantly lamented that we have good plans but the implementation part is a challenge. We are now focusing intensively on implementation,” President Zuma said.

Operation Phakisa is an adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology that was successfully applied by the Malaysian Government in the delivery of its Economic and Government Transformation Programmes.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said South Africa must explore the potential that comes from being bordered by the ocean on the east, south and west.

“This vast ocean space is relatively unexplored in terms of its economic potential. In 2010, the ocean contributed approximately R54 billion to South Africa's gross domestic product and accounted for approximately 316,000 jobs,” Maharaj said.

He said an analysis was conducted of nine sectors that comprise South Africa's ocean economy.

The ocean had a potential to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product up to R177 billion.

“It also has a potential contribution of between 800 000 and one million direct jobs,” he said.

Operation Phakisa was first launched in Durban in July with a segment focusing on unlocking growth and jobs in the country's ocean economy.

Ocean economy teams from government, labour, business and academia are tasked with working on Operation Phakisa. – SAnews.gov.za

News continues below…

LATEST CRUISE SHIP MEIN SCHIFF 4 FLOATS OUT

Mein Schiff 4 being floated out at Turku Oct 201
Mein Schiff 4 being floated out of the dock where she was laid down

TUI Cruises’ newest cruise ship MEIN SCHIFF 4 has been floated out of its hangar at the Finnish Meyer Turku Oy shipyard (former STX Turku shipyard).

The new ship with the uninspiring name (she follows on from her earlier sisters, distinguishable in name only by the numeral) tasted water for the first time last week when Wybcke Meier, the new CEO of TUI Cruises was joined by Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku Oy, in opening the valves to admit water into the dock.

The Finnish shipyard had changed hands only three weeks earlier. The same yard will build Mein Schiff 5, which will commence next month and will be followed by Mein Schiff 6 a year later.

“This day is special in many ways. We have the opportunity to witness the float-out of the first new-build of Meyer Turku. I am very pleased that Mein Schiff 4 is right on schedule. It is good to continue from here and proceed to outfitting and commissioning phases,” said Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku Oy.

“As my first official act in my new role at TUI Cruises, setting a well-being ship afloat is a fantastic beginning,” noted Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises.

The 99,500-gt Mein Schiff 4 and her later sisters are said to be environmentally friendly and highly advanced. Each ship is 294 metres in length and 35.8m wide and boasts 1,250 cabins offering 2,500 lower beds. The ships will each have a crew of 1,000 providing for a high passenger/crew ratio.

With 15 decks, the ships boasts having 80% of the cabins with balconies.

On completion in the second quarter of 2015 Mein Schiff 4 is scheduled to cruise in the Baltic Sea and among the Norwegian fjords. Come the northern winter the ship will transfer to the Canary Island for seven-day cruises that include Morocco and Madeira.

News continues below…

LET’S BUILD THE SMART PORT CITY

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Durban, city and port. Picture by Steve McCurrach www.airserv.co.za

The last three decades have seen the appearance of spectacular changes in port cities as they face the increasing globalisation of trade and the economy: relocation of port functions and the generalisation of container transport, redevelopment of Port-City interfaces and waterfronts, renewed dialogue with the city’s inhabitants…

More recently, under the combined effects of economic, ecological and resource crises, port-cities have developed innovative new strategies. They have sought to ensure their own economic competitiveness in order to respond to the diverse demands formulated by local – and also national and global – political and economic players.

Thus port-city territories have been progressively invested by new economic players in the domains of renewable energy production, tourism, environmental management, etc.

They have therefore quickly become highly complex spaces, where conflicts of use between city and port, tourism and industry, natural and built-up areas need to be settled.

Today, the world ecological and climatic context brings yet another dimension to this structural and functional complexity already facing port-cities. It burdens them with new concerns.

The strategies drawn up within the fragile Port-City "ecosystem" must be ever more demanding in terms of sustainable development. The efforts of the interested parties – private and public players and the city’s inhabitants – must be conducted in harmony in the collective interest of all.

Through its search for greater organisational efficiency and by sharing the flows of value, energy, data and people, the ambitions of a Smart Port thus fall into line with those of a Smart City, giving birth to the Smart Port City!

And tomorrow? As the economic crisis drags on in many developed countries, and growth in emerging countries is marking time, port-cities and world trade players are wondering about the strategic directions adopted in recent years.

In today’s situation, would it be best to validate them completely, reorient them or even abandon them? In a changing world, where the pace is set by technological revolutions, easy access to data and the vital need to optimise resources, can port-cities assume their natural role as players in the global economy while at the same time pursuing constant improvement in the quality of life of their inhabitants?

How can they anticipate the new challenges of a world with a population of eleven billion people at the turn of the century, introducing mechanisms today to ensure a future for everyone in every port-city? How can cooperation and collaboration be improved between supportive port-cities to meet the demands of sustainable world development?

At Durban, in the heart of a changing port-metropolis in one of the countries which is shaping the contemporary world, the aim of this 14th World Conference Cities and Ports from 3 to 6 November 2014 is to help the players in each city and each port to question the present in order to construct a better future, to build together tomorrow’s Smart Port City!

More information on www.citiesandports2014.com

A LITTLE KNOWN TITBIT OF NAVAL HISTORY

USS Constitution 470

We’re not sure where this somewhat apocryphal story originated but its current journey along the internet is a result of the actions of one Carlos Possolo, a former ship’s captain who many will remember from his days ashore in Maputo and later in Durban. Thanks to Courtney for forwarding it for our attention:

The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), as a combat vessel, carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men.

This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea.

She carried no evaporators (i.e. fresh water distillers).

However, let it be noted that according to her ship's log,

“On July 27, 1798, the USS Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men,
48,600 gallons of fresh water,
7,400 cannon shot,
11,600 pounds of black powder
and 79,400 gallons of rum.”

Her mission: “To destroy and harass English shipping.”

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on
826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November.
She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England.

In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war ships,
and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships,
salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted.

Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland.

Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred
40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn.

Then she headed home.

The USS Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799,
with no cannon shot,
no food,
no powder,
no rum,
no wine,
no whisky,
and 38,600 gallons of water.

GO NAVY!

EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT

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Gateway 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.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

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

PICS OF THE DAY – MOL PRECISION

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mol precision 470

Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) container ship MOL PRECISION (73,069-dwt, built 2002) arriving at Cape Town earlier this month. The ship, which was built at the Koyo dockyard in Japan, has a container capacity of 4,495 TEU including 500 reefers. The ship is capable of operating at a speed of 25 knots. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

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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