Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 2, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • SAPO introduces weighbridge facility at Maydon Wharf

  • Coega secures R70 million biomass fuel plant

  • Dar es Salaam container ship hit for second time

  • Conference of maritime ministers lines up

  • South Africa's trade deficit down in December

  • Pic of the day – NEPTUNE

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    SAPO introduces weighbridge facility at Maydon Wharf

    Durban - South African Port Operation’s Maydon Wharf Terminal has installed a high-tech weighbridge facility that repositions the terminal as a one-stop shop facility.

    Tracey Neat, Maydon Wharf Business Unit Executive said yesterday that the new facility is line with SAPO’s strategic objective to meet and exceed customer expectations by providing highly advanced systems and equipment to promote efficiency and high performance.

    The terminal now offers a one-stop service which includes weighing, storage, handling and loading/offloading.

    The following benefits will now be available to customers using the weighbridge:

    * A 24 hour one stop shop facility
    * Transparency in declaring cargo
    * Quick turn around time as the weigh-in is a 3 minute process
    * The system is GCOS compliant and therefore enables the terminal or cargo owner to track the cargo
    * The facility guarantees accurate weighing of cargo at point of loading/off loading
    * Accurate weighing reduces risk to equipment, people and the environment.

    In addition, Neat said further that the new weighbridge facility would be an effective monitor for cargo leaving the terminal to trucking companies and the department of transport as it would reduce the risk of overloaded trucks thus preventing damage to the roads.

    Neat said that the terminal was determined to drive the delivery of excellent customer service and this new facility is an indication of SAPO’s commitment to deliver value plus.

    Source - SAPO

    Coega secures R70 million biomass fuel plant

    Port Elizabeth - The Coega Industrial Development Zone in Port Elizabeth has secured a R70-million investment into a Biomass fuel project which will supply 10,000 tons of the product per month to European markets. The plant will be one of the largest among the 285 operations of this product globally.

    The Eastern Cape Biomass Fuel Pellets (Pty) Ltd will create about 100 jobs during the construction of the plant, which is currently underway. An additional 60 direct jobs and about 3,000 indirect jobs in backward linkages to the Eastern Cape rural areas will be created. A transport company that will move the material between the sources of supply, the factory and the harbour will employ a further 40 people.

    The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Willie Claassen, says the company has already secured off-take agreements with the Nordic countries where the entire product will be exported to. Production is scheduled to commence in August 2007, with the first product due for export in November.

    The Coega IDZ was chosen as the location for the plant because of the coastal position and the fact that the Eastern Cape is a source of the raw materials that are used in processing the pellets. “The aspect of creating jobs where they are most needed and the opportunity to design and build a plant from scratch without the constraints of legacy also counted in the favour of the Coega IDZ,” says Claassen.

    Biomass is an environmentally friendly alternative source of energy used to fire power-stations, and for private homes in Europe. A total of 285 plants globally produce a combined four million tons of biomass pellets per year. The Coega plant will use forest residue, sawmill waste and alien vegetation from the Eastern Cape and part of the Southern Cape as well as some of the scrap-wood from the government’s ‘Working for Water’ programme.

    Eastern Cape Biomass Fuel Pellets has set aside about five per cent of the ownership for its workers and another five per cent for rural communities that have been roped in to provide the raw material. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has 10 per cent equity with a 30 per cent stake still under negotiation for a black economic empowerment partnership.

    The CDC says it is on track to achieve its target of signing 10 investors within the current financial period which ends on 31 March. The Biomass project is the fourth investor to be announced by the CDC after Cerebos, Dynamic Commodities and Alcan in 2006. Although four other investors who have signed agreements with the CDC to locate their investments in the Coega IDZ have still not been announced, due to investor confidentiality agreements, the Biomass investment brings the total number of investment projects signed to eight against the set target of 10.

    The projects are in the logistics, concrete/brick-making and automotive component supply sectors, and are ready to be announced as soon as the investors are ready. The combined value of investments into the Coega IDZ to date far surpasses the initial R2-billion investment that government has ploughed into the project to create the necessary infrastructure in the Coega IDZ.

    Three other foreign projects that have chosen the Coega IDZ for a location and are currently undergoing an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) process have a combined value of R10-billion. They are the Singaporean Straits Chemicals, Southern Cross Precision Strip Mill from Germany and Sea Ark from the United States of America, which will produce shrimps for mainly the foreign markets.

    Dar es Salaam container ship hit for second time

    Dar es Salaam – The port of Dar es Salaam has taken another body blow to its reputation after reports of a container ship, which was first raided by ‘pirates’ (or thieves) while sailing off the Tanzanian port during December, being hit for a second time this week.

    The first incident took place on 29 December while the ship was underway about ten miles off the port. Robbers who went on board broke into a container and stole items before the alarm as given. This week’s robbery took place in port with the shoreside watchman being threatened with a knife.

    Robbers ignored an additional three crewmen placed on deck watch that evening (Monday 29 January) plus five local security guards. They helped themselves to mooring lines and two lifebuoys, which were used to move the mooring ropes underneath the pier.

    The shoreside watchman alerted the port security authorities and about half an hour later a patrol boat arrived on the scene to find that the robbers had already departed.

    Earlier this week we reported how ships were bypassing Dar es Salaam because of congestion and as a result the container terminal at Mombasa was becoming clogged with the diverted cargo accumulating while awaiting a feeder ship to take it to the Tanzanian port.

    Source - Bimco

    Conference of maritime ministers lines up

    Abuja - A conference of maritime ministers is to be held in Abuja, Nigeria later this month which will examine the role of maritime transport in Africa’s development.

    The motivation for the conference arose at the African Maritime Advisory Group (AMAG) at IMO when it was suggested at a meeting held in London. The Nigerian conference will review the security, safety and environmental aspects of the maritime sector.

    Among topics to be included are presentations on port development and management, maritime transport and shipping capacity, maritime safety and security and marine environment security.

    Source - Fairplay

    South Africa's trade deficit down in December

    by Oupa Segalwe, BuaNews

    South Africa's trade deficit figures for December 2006 reduced to a surplus of R388 million, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) reported on Wednesday.

    "The decrease in the deficit is mainly as a result of month-on-month decrease in the imports of machinery and appliances and mineral products," SARS said.

    Imports showed a decrease of about R15, 7 billion (- 30 percent) from R51, 86 billion to R36, 16 billion while exports went down by R4, 8 billion (-12 percent from R41, 35 billion to R36, 55 billion.

    The November to December change in imports of goods reflected decreases mainly in machinery and electrical appliances.

    These showed a decrease of R3, 7 billion as well as the mineral products, particularly crude oil which went down by R3.6 billion.

    The change in exports for the same period reflected a decrease in exports of vehicles, which was about R1.8 billion; base metals at R1.4 billion and machinery, mechanical appliances and electrical equipment at R755 million.

    Partly offsetting the effects were increases in exports which occurred in vegetable products by up to R230 million, SARS said.

    SARS said the trade deficit with Asia decreased from R9.4 billion in November to R5, 4 billion in December 2006.

    Exports to the world's biggest continent (Asia) decreased by R2, 3 billion to R9.7 billion, while imports decreased by R6, 3 billion.

    This was primarily due to reduced imports of crude oil and chemical products to R21, 4 billion.

    The deficit with Europe decreased to a surplus of R832 million in December from R2, 8 billion in November.

    Exports, primarily base metals, vehicles and machinery and mechanical appliance, increased by R1, 7 billion to R12,98 billion, while imports, which were primarily machinery, mechanical and electrical appliances, vehicles and original equipment components, also decreased R5,3 billion to R12 billion.

    Month-on-month the trade deficit with America declined from R1,1 billion to R758 million. Exports decreased by R1.07 billion to R4, 6 billion, while imports decreased by R1, 4 billion to R5.4 billion.

    The trade surplus with Africa increased from R84 million to R2,28 billion. Exports decreased by R443 million to R4,7 billion, while imports, primarily crude oil, decreased by R2, 6 billion to R2,45 billion.

    Pic of the day – NEPTUNE

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The VLCC NEPTUNE arrived in Richards Bay last week to load bunkers while en route from Sandheads, India for Girassol, the FPSO stationed off the Angola north coast. The impressive ship is 333m in length and 319,360-DWT – one of the bigger ships to call at the KZN port. She berthed at the coal terminal while taking bunker fuel. Picture Chris Jenkins

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

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