Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 6, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • Somali pirates threaten crew and evade two pursuing navy ships

  • ICTSI welcomes first MOL vessel at Toamasina

  • SAS Drakensberg docks with much needed nuclear part

  • PIL expands with new tonnage

  • Images of the Argentinean loco loaded in Durban

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    WEB SITE: www.hugheship.com

    Somali pirates threatened crew and evade two pursuing navy ships

    After highjacking a South Korean trawler off the Somali coast on Tuesday, Somali pirates brazenly made their escape from a pursuing American guided missile destroyer and a Dutch frigate. When the trawler was intercepted the pirates responded by issuing threats to shoot the crew.

    The Dong Won 628 reported that it was under attack by Somali pirates operating from two boats at 15.40 local time on Tuesday. The pirates subsequently seized control of the vessel while approximately 70 miles from the coast. When the USS Roosevelt and the Dutch frigate Zeven Provincien attempted to intercept the pirates issued the threats that they would shoot the captured crew. The two warships then withdrew and later issued a statement saying that their top priority remained the safety of innocent lives.

    The Dong Won 628 was operating well within the area regarded as high risk, which ships are warned to stay clear of. However the lure of the inshore fishing grounds no doubt outweighed such safety measures and as a result the crew are now contemplating their immediate future in custody in Somalia, where they will probably become the target of ransom demands.

    A large fleet of Dong Won vessels operates extensively along the east African coast, as far south as South African waters. In June last year a sister trawler, Dong Won 630 was in trouble with South African authorities and was later arrested with the master being heavily fined for illegal fishing off the South African coast despite having an official of the Marine and Coastal Management on board. The trawler’s master was later fined in a Port Elizabeth court - see our news report dated 25 June 2005.

    The two warships are on patrol off the East African coast in conjunction in response to a request from the UN Security Council for navies of UN member states to assist with anti-piracy patrols. Several successful arrests and interventions have so far taken place.

    ICTSI welcomes first MOL vessel at Toamasina

    Madagascar International Container Terminal Services, Ltd. (MICTL), operator of the Madagascar International Container Terminal in Toamasina, recently welcomed several ships of Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL).

    The container vessels, which made their maiden calls at the Madagascar terminal, were the 2,470-TEU capacity MOL Dream and the 2,135-TEU capacity MOL Volta. The Toamasina call is part of MOL’s WA1 Asia - South Africa - West Africa service, which primarily services the Asian – African trade with a call rotation of Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Louis, Toamasina, Durban, Tema, Lagos and Lome.

    Other MOL vessels on this particular service are MOL Niger, MOL Sassandra, MOL Callao, MOL Oueme, and MOL Mono.

    In an announcement this week MICTL says that since taking over the Madagascan terminal in October last year, it has begun implementing systems and procedures aimed at increasing vessel calls with a world-class and efficient container handling service.

    In addition, key investments are being made to boost capacity and operational efficiency, including expanding the quay infrastructure and handling capacity. Plans are also underway to develop and equip the container handling area at the rear of the two berths, C2 and C3.

    MICTL is a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. ICTSI is a Philippines-based developer in international container terminal operations which operates container terminals in six continents.

    SAS Drakensberg docks with much needed nuclear part

    The South African Navy combat supply ship SAS Drakensberg docked in Cape Town yesterday morning carrying a cargo that will affect the lives of most Capetonians in a positive manner – the ship is carrying a large and heavy secondhand rotor for the damaged Koeberg nuclear power station outside Cape Town.

    The rotor is on loan to South Africa’s Eskom from France as a temporary replacement for a generator rotor damaged by a loose bolt amidst controversy over whether it was accidental or intentional. As a result The Western Cape has experienced large and regular disruptions to the supply of energy that has extended at times to the Eastern Cape. The public has been warned that these disruptions will continue for some months.

    SAS Drakensberg was due to ‘pass France’ en route back to Simon’s Town while accompanying South Africa’s new submarine, S101 when the offer from France was received. At one stage it was intended to airfreight the generator rotor via the world’s largest air freighter, but this became unnecessary following the navy’s availability.

    Meanwhile the whereabouts of S101 remained a small mystery last night – on Monday the submarine was in convoy with SAS Drakensberg in a position opposite the Orange River mouth and less than two days sailing from her future home base. It is likely she may be arriving in Simon’s Town today.

    PIL expands with new tonnage

    Pacific International Lines (PIL), a regular caller on the African coast in recent years has confirmed orders for an additional two 30,000-dwt container ships with China’s Dalian Shipyard for delivery in October and December 2009.

    This brings to six the number of similar container ships now on order for PIL with the yard. Each of the six vessels will have a container capacity for 1,800 TEU. PIL also has orders with Dalian for a further eight larger ships with a capacity for 4,250-TEU which are being delivered between 2006 and 2008.

    The Singapore-based company also has several other vessels on order with other yards. The new 1800-TEU ships will very likely be employed on the African trades.

    Images of the Argentinean loco loaded in Durban

    Due to technical problems with the Durban Telkom server we were unable to load images of the Garratt steam locomotive that was loaded on board the Maruba vessel Clan Amazonas on Saturday, 1 April (see yesterday’s News Bulletin). (This was also the reason for a several hours delay in publishing the news bulletin yesterday.)

    Instead we are publishing the images today, showing the assembled locomotive at the Port Shepstone workshops and the disassembled main frame, boiler and cab on board a low bed used to transport the locomotive to Durban.

    We also received further information about the locomotive – it is built to a 500mm gauge (the South African narrow gauge on which this loco appears to be styled is 610mm) and has a wheel arrangement of 0-4-0+0-4-0 – steam enthusiasts will understand the meaning of that.

    The pictures are courtesy Alpha Ships Agency. Click on images to enlarge.

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