Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 17, 2007
Author: P&S


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  • Dredgers hard at work in SA ports

  • Records galore for Durban car terminal

  • Survey vessel MANTA 3 arrives to assist with Mossel Bay pipeline

  • Oil companies evacuate three Nigerian oilfields and tensions rise in Ivory Coast

  • Ships attacked off Boma and Lagos Roads

  • Pic of the day – PEACE IN AFRICA

    EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
    WEB SITE: www.hugheship.com

    Dredgers hard at work in SA ports

    No less than three dredgers are currently at work in the port of East London, undertaking both maintenance dredging of the channels and assisting with preparation for extensions at the car terminal.

    The Durban-based dredger Crane, named for the bird and not the bucket crane on its foredeck, is busy on the West Bank helping clear rock and silt from the area close to the car terminal, where additional berths are to be provided.

    The second departmental dredger in port is the hopper dredger INGWENYA, also owned by the National Ports Authority Dredging Services and usually based at Richards Bay, although she has become something of a wanderer during the past year or so, with contracts as far away as Walvis Bay and sojourns in the Durban dry dock in between.

    INGWENYA was involved in the collision with the coaster UMFOLOZI in Walvis Bay harbour, in which she sustained minor damage.

    The third dredger is the Danish hopper dredger FREJA R which has been commissioned to do maintenance dredging outside the port and in the entrance channels as well as excavating the sand trap outside the western breakwater. The sand trap is common to a number of South African ports and is designed to trap sand being borne along by the littoral drift which would otherwise silt up the harbour entrances.

    FREJA R (1,865-gt) was built in 1982 and is owned by RN Shipping in Vedbaek, Denmark.

    According to NPA spokesman Terry Taylor the dredging is not related to the hoped-for port expansion project but is aimed at maintaining East London’s draught while increasing the depth alongside the car terminal from 9.3 to 10m.

    VOLVOX IBERIA at work off the port of Richards Bay – picture courtesy Chris Jenkins

    In other dredging work an non-departmental dredger VOLVOX IBERIA was commissioned to maintain the sand trap at the port of Richards Bay and also to transfer sand taken from this area along the city’s beaches, which have been eroded by recent strong seas and storms.

    Records galore for Durban car terminal

    Records are there to be broken, and no sooner do we learn, belatedly, of a record number of vehicles discharged and loaded off one ship at the Durban Car Terminal, than along comes another to wipe out the record by over a thousand cars.

    The first record to be set came in the form of MOL’s FREEDOM ACE, which last week called at Durban to discharge 3,658 motor units (Toyotas) and load another 284 for export, giving a total of 3,942 units before the ship sailed. This is the largest number of motor units handled off one ship at any South African port.

    The operation took approximately 29 hours before the ship was freed to sail on to Maputo in Mozambique.

    FREEDOM ACE was built for MOL and entered service in February 2005. She has a gross weight of 60,175t and 13 decks along her 200m length. The ship is capable of a speed of 20 knots.

    But her record is going to be short-lived – barely ten days in fact for next week on 22 January Ukor’s MORNING CALM (57,692-gt) is due to discharge no less than 5,176 motor units at the same terminal. Diamond Shipping are the local agents for this vessel.

    The dramatic number of motor units for both import and export reflects the growth pattern of the Southern African motor industry. During 2006 the Durban Car Terminal was expected to handle over 400,000 units, well in excess of the 340,000 originally anticipated. No wonder that the move to Salisbury Island in Durban Bay. where a much larger car terminal is to be built, is receiving such urgent attention.

    Survey vessel MANTA 3 arrives to assist with Mossel Bay pipeline

    A Dutch cable-laying ship MANTA III has arrived at East London to undertake survey work off Mossel Bay in the Southern Cape.

    The 2,723-gt ship, managed by Dutch company Allseas Engineering, will undergo routine maintenance in East London before embarking on a survey operation of the seabed for an underwater pipeline to be laid off Mossel Bay on behalf of the oil industry.

    The pipeline will be 100km in length and the primary survey will be assisted by a modern state-of-the-art remotely operated vehicle (ROV) controlled from the ship. The ROV will also assist by monitoring the actual laying of the pipeline in depths of up to 100m as far as the offshore gas field. The operation will last for approximately three months.

    MANTA III carries a crew of 20.

    Oil companies evacuate three Nigerian oilfields and tensions rise in Ivory Coast

    Oil companies are reported to have begun evacuating three Nigerian oilfields in the Niger Delta after an attack on a commercial riverboat left 12 people killed at the weekend.

    The attack took place in Rivers State and is thought to be the result of a dispute between rival factions over the distribution of oil money. The next day one of the groups believed to be involved raided a houseboat at Shell’s Ekulama Two oil facility, vandalizing the boat.

    Shell says it has evacuated two of its sites but does not expect any loss of production.

    In nearby Ivory Coast tensions are rising as security in the country deteriorates even further, according to the UN news agency which described the country as being torn apart.

    Five people are reported to have died in an ambush near the border with Ghana, which led to the border being closed for several days. Last Wednesday the UN Security Council approved an extension of 11,000 UN and French peacekeeping troops in the troubled country until the end of June.

    According to the US State Department criminal activity remains the major security threat to foreigners in Ivory Coast. One of the economic effects of the unrest is a reduction in the country’s cocoa crop, on which Ivory Coast largely relies for foreign exchange.

    Ships attacked off Boma and in Lagos Roads

    The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia reports that thieves went on board a Ro-Ro ship at Boma anchorage on the night of 10 January, boarding the vessel from several boats. The men were armed with long knives and wooden staves and attempted to attack the duty crew, which retreated to the ship’s bridge where they raised the alarm.

    After breaking open two containers and stealing some contents the thieves made off in their boats. Port control at Boma failed to acknowledge appeals for help from the ship.

    Armed robbers bearing guns and knives boarded a products tanker during STS cargo operations at Lagos Roads on 8 January, the IMB reports.

    This attack took place during the night, also shortly before midnight. The duty officer managed to raise the alarm despite receiving injuries to one of his hands. Port control was advised of the attack but the robbers made their escape.

    Pic of the day – PEACE IN AFRICA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The De Beers diamond recovery vessel PEACE IN AFRICA (former Dock Express 20) arrived in Cape Town harbour yesterday (Tuesday) after her conversion at a UK shipyard (see our news report dated 3 January). The ship will continue fitting out in Cape Town. Ian Shiffman was on hand to photograph her arrival

    NB Shipping pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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