Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 26, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • New NEMO service incorporates Port Louis and Djibouti

  • National power alert

  • Historic change of command for navy frigate

  • South Africa ready to assist with flood relief in Mozambique

  • Port Louis to privatise port operations

  • Pic of the day – FREJA R

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    New NEMO service incorporates Port Louis and Djibouti calls

    CMA CGM, together with its subsidiary Delmas, and German carrier DAL plus ANL, has introduced a new 91-day rotation Indian Ocean service between Europe, Australia and South East Asia that incorporates Djibouti on the Red Sea, Pointe des Galets (Reunion) and Port Louis (Mauritius).

    The service has already commenced with the sailing of CMA CGM COPERNIC from Hamburg on 23 February, which will be followed at fortnightly intervals with departures from Tilbury, then Hamburg etc of HERMES on 9 March, CMA CGM LAVENDER on 23 March and CONTI SALOME on 6 April.

    From May the service, which involves 13 ships (CMA CGM – 9 ships, Delmas – 3 ships, DAL – 1 ship and ANL – slots) each of 2,800-TEU, will become a weekly service. Known as NEMO – North Europe Mascarene Oceania, the rotation is as follows:
    Tilbury, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Fos, Le Spezia, Damietta, Suez Canal, Djibouti, Pointe des Galets, Port Louis, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Lyttleton, Melbourne, Adelaide, Jakarta, Port Kelang, Chennai, Colombo, Djibouti, Jeddah, Suez Canal, Damietta, Malta, Le Spezia, Tilbury.

    The new NEMO service has replaced the former Indian Ocean service operated by the respective lines.

    National power alert

    Eskom is alerting (South African) consumers to the current electricity supply situation, which is currently stable but tight due to a high demand for electricity and unplanned outages at a number of generating units.

    Due to the power system management being such a dynamic process there is always a possibility of interruption to supply. The current prognosis is that if there are any further unplanned plant and network outages, or a further increase in demand, the possibility of load shedding will increase for the next week.

    “The electricity demand and supply situation is being closely monitored and is currently under control. We however, appeal to all consumers to switch off non-essential electrical equipment such as air-conditioning, geysers and swimming pool pumps in order to reduce the demand of electricity and to assist in minimising the possibility of load shedding” says Jacob Maroga, Eskom’s Managing Director.

    Eskom will provide regular updates on the situation.

    For further information please contact:

    Eskom’s Media Desk
    011 800 5550
    011 800 5310
    011 800 4539

    Historic change of command for navy frigate

    An earlier picture of SAS ISANDLWANA before the fitting of her weapons and other equipment, seen with several strike craft in line astern and a Shackleton coastal reconnaissance aircraft of the South African Air Force Historic Flight patrolling overhead. Picture SAN

    Simon’s Town - At a change of command parade held in Simon’s Town last Thursday, Captain Bubele ‘Bravo’ Mhlana took command of SAS ISANDLWANA, the second of four new frigates in the South African Navy, becoming in the process the first former Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) operative to assume command of a major warship.

    Captain Mhlana had previously commanded the minesweeper SAS Kapa and also served in other ships since joining the navy in 1994. In 1999 he attended Officers Course at the SA Naval College where he achieved Student of the Course and SA Legion Trophy for Leadership awards.

    His later training included nine months attending the International Principal Warfare Officer (A) course with the British Royal Navy. For the past months he has served on SAS Isandlwana as Officer Commanding Designate during which he sailed with the ship on deployment to South America to take part in Exercise Atlasur VI involving the navies of Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina and later to take part in Expo Navale in Valparaiso, Chile.

    Last Thursday he took command from Captain Karl Wiesner, the previous Officer Commanding SAS Isandlwana who went to Germany in 2002 to work with the ship and crew at the German shipyards. Captain Wiesner has previously commanded strike craft and attended the Naval Command Course at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island where he earned a diploma in National Security and Strategy and was awarded the Vice Admiral Doyle prize for International Law and Peacekeeping. He now deploys to Naval Headquarters in Pretoria to work in the field of combat capability.

    Addressing the media before the parade, Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu refuted claims that there is a shortage of people and skills in the modern navy. The claims had apparently been made recently in Cape Town and other newspapers suggesting that the navy was short of personnel to man its growing fleet.

    Mudimu said that 650 recruits began their training at SAS Saldanha each year, which he said was in excess of the navy’s requirements.

    “We have focused extensively on the development of competence and capacity in the South African Navy and of retaining such resources,” said Mudimu, adding that it was in support of this requirement that the navy had introduced incentive schemes for both technical and combat personnel.

    Referring to the 650 recruits who begin their training at SAS Saldanha each year, “Here we equip matriculants with life skills and maritime competencies. These recruits are then utilised on our ships and within our shore bases, gaining valuable experience and expertise, able to serve them well both within the South African Navy, and more broadly in the formal and informal business communities.”

    He said that on completion of their training those personnel that the navy requires are offered further contracts within the navy and others who don’t or choose not to sign up again have the benefit of the SA Navy Re-Deployment Agency with its established links with a number of largely maritime industries. “This has proven to be most successful, with our recruits obtaining employment in a range of sectors and departments, including the South African Police Services.”

    South Africa ready to assist with flood relief in Mozambique

    Beira, 23 February 2007 (IRIN) - Mozambican disaster response teams on Friday began the job of assessing the damage caused by Cyclone Favio, 24-hours after it tore through the central town of Vilanculos.

    Winds reaching 180km/h ripped off roofs and destroyed perhaps hundreds of homes when the storm made landfall. At least 70 people were injured, reported Casimiro Abreu, who is leading relief efforts in the area. As many as 93,000 in Vilanculos and nearby districts have been affected.

    Power is still out in Vilanculos, and with it the city's main water pump. The hospital is roofless, as is the jail, and according to one report prisoners escaped during the storm.

    Favio lost much of its lethal strength after slamming into Vilanculos. It continues to bring rain to other parts of Mozambique, but the rainfall is not expected to worsen the situation further north in the Zambezi Valley, where the worst flooding in six years has displaced more than 120,000 people over the last two weeks, said Paulo Zucula, head of the government's disaster agency (INGC).

    "For the next five days I don't see problems," commented Zucula. But the INGC is aware another storm is forming off the eastern coast of Madagascar, which could threaten Mozambique next week.

    Relief efforts in the Zambezi Valley have gained speed as logistical wrinkles have been smoothed out. Speaking in Caia, the base of all flood relief operations, Zucula said that relief workers recently reached seven accommodation centres in the isolated Mutarara district, which the INGC learned of only days before.

    Aid supplies have been dropped at least once at each of the more than 50 sites where some 70,000 people have sought refuge, Zucula said. "They are not getting three meals a day, but they are getting one or two."

    When relief efforts began, some centres were only reachable by helicopter, and only one helicopter was available. A second helicopter is now in use, and Zucula said his staff was mapping maze-like waterways by air to aid boat operations.

    "My biggest worry is providing water, and basic sanitation," he said. "It is something more basic than food. It will kill you right away if you get cholera."

    Every accommodation centre will have received water treatment supplies by next week, said Miguel Freitas of the United Nations Children's Fund. Mutarara, cut off by river waters, remains the least served area.

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

    In Pretoria it has been announced that Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi has gone to Mozambique to assess disaster relief measures necessary from South Africa. He left on Friday with a delegation to determine the extent and nature of South African government support – not before time in our opinion.

    At the same time the SABC reported that the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), a volunteer organisation, has volunteers on standby ready to go and assist authorities with rescuing stranded citizens in Mozambique.

    On Thursday Foreign Affairs spokesmen Ronnie Mamoepa denied that South Africa had turned a blind eye to Mozambique’s plight. He said South Africa was monitoring the situation and shared in the pain and suffering of Mozambique. But when asked why SA didn’t take the initiative by offering help he is reported to have said “You don’t do that, you have to be requested.”

    Presumably this means that if your neighbour’s house is on fire you don’t interfere even by offering a hose pipe unless first asked.

    In 2001 South Africa was the first foreign country to go to the aid of Mozambique which had suffered severe flooding, and air force helicopters plucked large numbers of people to safety out of trees and off roof tops. Even then our help was slow in being offered, as was the response from the rest of the world which is always quick to respond to crisis in Asia or elsewhere. On the day that Mr Mamoepa was making his statement the chief of the navy was telling the media that part of the justification for an expensive fleet of modern ships is to go to our neighbour’s assistance in times of trouble. On that day most of the fleet was sitting in port at Simon’s Town.

    Nor have South Africa’s helicopter squadrons, which played such a pivotal role in similar floods during 2001, been sent to Mozambique to assist in logistical supply. But at least now a provincial minister has gone to see if he can help.

    Port Louis to privatise port operations

    Port Louis port operations, Cargo Handling Corp, are to be separated by the port authority (Mauritius Port Authority), it was announced last week.

    Cargo Handling Corp is currently owned by State Investment Corp (53 percent), the Mauritius Port Authority (40 percent) and the Mauritius Government (7 percent), which essentially means the government owns the entire company. But now it has been decided that the port authority and port operations should be more fully separated with operations being privatised fully.

    According to the Port Authority there are several foreign port operators interested in the venture and an international bidding contest will soon be introduced.

    The chairman of the Port Authority said earlier in the week that the port is looking for an investment of about US $ 400 million over the next five years, of which $ 245 was expected to come from India.

    Like other ports of the Indian Ocean Rim Port Louis has shown steady container growth in recent years, registering a modest 5 percent growth only in 2006 to achieve 266,425-TEU. However transshipment containers have shown the most growth at 14 percent (see our previous news report dated 22 February 2007)

    Pic of the day – FREJA R

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The hopper dredger FREJA R at work off Durban doing maintenance dredging of the port approaches. The Danish vessel has been on contract to the National Port Authority to assist with maintenance dredging and has been at work in East London and Durban - on Friday (23 February) she sailed for Port Elizabeth. Picture Terry Hutson

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

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