Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 22, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • FPSO departs Cape Town - finally

  • Two Unicorn ships acknowledged by US Coastguard with Amver Awards

  • US $ 62 million Nigerian port facility commissioned

  • Ethiopia – Djibouti railway rehab a step closer

  • SENEGAL: Spain offers helicopter, two patrol boats to curb illegal migration

    EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
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    FPSO Dalia departs Cape Town - finally

    After more than two months in port the FPSO Dalia and her three tugs finally sailed from Cape Town on Sunday, 20 August, and are now on their way to Block 17 off Angola. The departure was delayed for two weeks waiting for a suitable window in the weather patterns but at last the four vessels were able to get underway and make their escape from the port where they, or the FPSO at any rate, have dominated the local scene since arrival.

    Judging from the response of our readers the vessel has taken over many a dinner table conversation as well, which is well. Long may shipping matters have such a role over dinner.

    FPSO Dalia departs from Cape Town harbour on Sunday, 20 August 2006, on a heading for Angola. Picture by Ian Shiffman – click image to enlarge

    Dalia has some impressive dimensions. She is 300m in length and has a massive width or beam of 60m, while her main deck area stands 32m proud of the waterline. The superstructure above this weighs in at 29,400 tonnes. The Floating Production, Storage & Offloading (FPSO) vessel can store 2 million barrels of oil while processing 240,000 barrels of oil a day. Her living quarters can accommodate 120 people while in service or 190 during shutdown. She is expected to remain in service for the next 20 years.

    The tug Fairmount Sherpa, one of three engaged with the tow of the FPSO Dalia from South Korea to Angola. The tugs and the FPSO took up residence in Cape Town in early June with the FPSO quickly becoming a dominant feature in Cape Town docks. Picture Ian Shiffman. Click to enlarge

    Two Unicorn ships acknowledged by US Coastguard with Amver Awards

    by Sandile Qwabe, Media Assistant, US Consulate General

    The United States Consulate last week congratulated the ships Stolt Ntombi and Stolt Ntaba of Unicorn Shipping Company for their participation in the United States Coast Guard’s Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) System during 2005.

    Richard Snook, Unicorn Shipping Marine Manager, Robert Young, Unicorn Shipping Marine Director, U.S. Consul General Eugene Young, and Basil Ndlovu, Durban Port Manager at the Amver Award function held in the offices of the US Consulate, Durban. Picture courtesy US Consulate. Click image to enlarge

    Each day, AMVER tracks an average of 3,100 ships on voyages all around the world. If a ship reports an emergency, rescue coordinators can query the AMVER computer and identify AMVER ships in the area which can be diverted to assist. Oftentimes, in the middle of the ocean, another ship is the only rescue resource available. Some 10,000 ships from over 90 nations participate at no cost in this comptuterised system.

    From a business standpoint, South African companies involved in the AMVER safety network are providing additional ‘free’ insurance for their vessels, since the AMVER computer’s sophisticated software can determine their position at any given time.

    During 2005, the AMVER system was activated 295 times, which resulted in 122 ships diverting to assist those in distress at sea. The AMVER system was directly responsible for saving 177 lives and assisting 90 more. The types of emergencies included fire, taking on water, and medical evacuations.

    During the awards ceremony, US Consul General Eugene Young said, “It is through the dedication of shipping companies like Unicorn Shipping that these survivors can tell their stories. Unicorn Shipping and the crews of Stolt Ntombi and Stolt Ntaba can be proud of their participation in this life saving program.”

    US $ 62 million Nigerian port facility commissioned

    A multi purpose terminal at the port of Lagos, built under the build, operate and transfer principal by Italian-based Ports & Terminal Multi Services Ltd (PTML), has been commissioned by Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo. He praised the management of PTML for the successful completion of the first phase and said he hoped the second phase would also be completed as scheduled.

    Responding to complaints from PTML’s managing director, Adriano Geretto about the close proximity of shanty towns to the port terminals, President Obasanjo gave instructions for their immediate removal, not only at Lagos but also those in the vicinity of Tin Can Island and Apapa as well.

    Geretto had complained of the security risk posed by having the shanties so close to port terminals and structures, which he said obstructed port access roads. The Italian also called for the Federal Government to ensure offshore and onshore security for the ports and terminals.

    Obasanjo said there was no reason for the people to be occupying space so close to the ports, no matter what they claimed. “We will not relent on security, security onshore and security offshore. This is very important because if we do not ensure security on-shore, it will endanger lives and goods off-shore. On the miscreants and shanties in the ports, I have already given directive to the Managing Director of NPA and it will be carried out," he said.

    The President said the government was working on a multi-modal transport system in the country that would ensure access to and from the ports. “We expect Nigerian ports to compete favourably with any other port in Africa. Otherwise, we cannot achieve our set goals," he said.

    Ethiopia – Djibouti railway rehab a step closer

    The rehabilitation of the main railway between landlocked Ethiopia and the port of Djibouti on the Red Sea has been advanced with the provision of an additional € 10 million grant from the European Union to repair and rehabilitate the worst sections of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway.

    This is an increase on the original € 40 million grant by the EU bringing the total grant to € 50 million and takes into account inflationary effects on steel and fuel since the initial financing was completed at the end of 2003.

    The rehabilitation of the railway is regarded as a necessary precursor to the privatisation of the railway. The railway was built 106 years ago and has previously been managed by French interests.

    In March this year it was announced that a South African railway consortium consisting of Comazar and Sheltam has been awarded the contract to operate the Ethio–Djibouti railway for the next 25 years.

    Comazar, which currently operates in more than 15 other African countries, dubs itself as a private Pan African railway operator, and consists of strong South African (Transnet and Sheltam) and French (Bollore) interests. Sheltam, which has a 47 percent shareholding in Comazar is half owned by South African shipping and logistics group Grindrod and is due to take over the concession for the Kenya and Uganda railway network later this year.

    SENEGAL: Spain offers helicopter, two patrol boats to curb illegal migration

    DAKAR, 21 Aug 2006 (IRIN) - Spain on Monday said it would provide a helicopter and two patrol boats to Senegal to help the country patrol its coastline to curb illegal migration to the Spanish Canary Islands.

    In recent months, there has been a large increase in illegal migration from Senegal. Authorities say some 17,000 illegal migrants have turned up on the Canary Islands this year; last weekend alone, they intercepted 1,200 illegal migrants as they arrived on the archipelago’s shores.

    Spain has already provided 20 pick-up trucks, 50 computers, 50 infrared goggles and 50 walkie-talkies to help the gendarmes, police and the marines conduct patrols as more and more Senegalese and other West Africans choose to make the 1,500 km sea journey.

    “We agree on the philosophy and the policy to confront the urgent situation,” Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said after meeting with Senegalese officials. “We have taken great measures to reinforce Senegal’s means of surveillance.”

    “Senegal has more than 700 km of coast that is not easy to monitor,” said Senegalese Interior Minister Ousmane Ngom. “We [Senegal and Spain] have the same visions and the same policy against illegal immigration - It is zero tolerance.”

    While Senegal said it agreed with the essential mandate of Frontex [the EU border control mechanism], Dakar has not yet signed the accord that would allow European vessels to patrol Senegalese waters as they do along the coasts of Mauritania and Cape Verde.

    Frontex coordinates the activities of national border guards to ensure the security of the EU’s borders with non-member states. It became operational last year.

    Spain has no formal repatriation agreement with Senegal. As a result, Spanish authorities in the past were forced to release illegal Senegalese immigrants and others with no identity papers at all, on the Spanish mainland.

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)

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