Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 24, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Africa acts as magnet for project cargo, says German shipping specialist

  • Demand sees NileDutch increase West African feeder frequency

  • SAPO’s new Pier 1 Container Terminal training pays off

  • Singapore President witness to R5, 8 billion Coega investment signing

  • Navy submarine now due on Thursday

  • Pic of the day – CAPE KNOX

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    Africa acts as magnet for project cargo, says German shipping specialist

    Africa is fast becoming a magnet for project and breakbulk cargoes, says a leading project cargo specialist.

    Kai-Stefan Vogel, sales director for Bremen-based Beluga Chartering, who visited South Africa recently, said at a conference in Germany last week that a rising demand for equipment for the energy sector in particular had resulted in a strong demand for heavy-lift tramp ships which he said were more likely to capture the majority of the market than container lines.

    “The lack in infrastructure in Africa requires new solutions with geared ships and an ability to reach the small ports and landing places,” he said.

    Vogel revealed that there are nine large projects, including power plants and refineries, that are due to be awarded across Africa in 2008, plus another 96 tenders with a contract value of US $ 19.5 Billion waiting to be issued.

    He said that Beluga intends increasing its maximum lifting capacity on two ships to 700 tonnes through lengthening and retrofitting this (European) summer.

    Beluga operates a fleet of 40 ships with an average age of three years and has another 16 on order. Each ship carries its own heavy lifting gear with a current lifting capacity of up to 500 tonnes.

    Bremen-based Beluga is represented in South Africa by Mainport Africa Shipping, tel 031-202 9621 and has branch offices in six different countries.

    A typical Beluga vessel is BELUGA RECOMMENDATION, seen here coming alongside. Built in 2005 and equipped with two 250t cranes the 135m long ship can also carry up to 547-TEU and cruises at a speed of 18 knots. This particular vessel is also believed to be the largest vessel ever to enter Mossel Bay harbour. Picture courtesy Mainport Africa Shipping

    Demand sees NileDutch increase West African feeder frequency

    NileDutch, the independent Dutch operator which has specialised in West African shipping for over 25 years, has increased the frequency of its feeder service along the West African coast, according to the company.

    The increase in frequency, which commenced in mid-April, comes about from greater demand causing NileDutch to respond with a 5,500-dwt ship, the CHRISTIAN D which has entered the WAF Feeder service in tandem with the NILEDUTCH NORDICA already on the service.

    The new Ro-Ro vessel has a capacity for 400-TEU and together with NileDutch Nordica will provide four calls each month for all destinations, resulting in a doubling of the frequency between Pointe Noire, Cabinda, Soyo, Boma and Matadi.

    "For shippers this will mean an improved transit time and reduction in the risk of any undue dwell time," the NileDutch statement reads.

    In addition to West African services the line also connects with Europe, Asia, South Africa and South America. A new vessel the NILEDUTCH PRESIDENT has recently been introduced on the South Africa – West Africa service.

    NileDutch is represented in South Africa by Nile Dutch South Africa, tel 031-301 2280 with offices also in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

    SAPO’s new Pier 1 Container Terminal training pays off

    DURBAN 23 April - Pier 1 Container Terminal employees have gone back to the classroom in preparation for its reopening as a high performance terminal which will feature Navis, a new computer system and Rubber-Tyred-Gantry (RTG) operations.

    South African Port Operation’s (SAPO) Pier 1 terminal temporarily closed in December last year to accelerate the R2-billion development plan to create additional capacity, ensure readiness before the peak period and ultimately handle 720,000 TEUs by the end of 2007.

    The acceleration plan is in line with SAPO’s strategic objective of creating capacity before demand. This will be achieved by capacity migration which includes enhancing infrastructure, superstructure, recruitment and training.

    When operations resume at the end of the first phase in May 2007, Pier 1 will start up with one berth, 2 ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes and 6 RTG cranes.

    This is the first time SAPO is utilising the RTG operations and the equipment is the first of its kind in SA, with ergonomic features to enhance comfort and productivity.

    The new equipment has already been commissioned and has been “tested” by the respective operators.

    Trained by a team of Sri Lankan experts, the team of 42 RTG operators and 15 STS operators has undergone extensive academic classroom and practical training on the new equipment.

    Specially constructed training grounds and situations were simulated at Pier 1 terminal to ensure that the operators received the best possible hands-on experience under the watchful eye of the Sri Lankan experts.

    In addition, training has been completed with more than 20 planners who have been exposed to Navis, the new IT system. Navis is a world leader in logistics and operations and is expected to enhance flexibility for RTGs and promote automation and integration as well as promote customer centricity due to its easy access and paperless operations.

    Employees are also receiving training at the recently constructed Y-site stacking area on using the Reach Stackers and Empty Container Haulers.

    Another development that will add to the terminal’s increased efficiency is the establishment of a new rail terminal which is currently under construction. The rail terminal will promote seamless operations between sea and rail transport.

    Issued by: Lunga Ngcobo, SA Port Operations

    Singapore President witness to R5, 8 billion Coega investment signing

    Port Elizabeth, 23 April - The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has signed a R5,8billion investment in a chlorine manufacturing and water desalination plant today (23 April 2007), marking he first investment signed by the CDC in the 2007-2008 financial period and the 10th investor into the Coega IDZ in total. In the first phase the investment will total R1,1 billion.

    The signing will be followed by a ceremony to unveil a plaque for Straits Chemicals by the President of Singapore, Mr S R Nathan and Mr Eric Lim Yew Tou, a director of Straits Chemicals. Both events form part of the Singaporean presidential visit which started in Gauteng, continued to Cape Town and will culminate in Durban after the Port Elizabeth leg today.

    Mr Nathan will be accompanied by a Singaporean business delegation which includes potential investors in property development, energy, automotive, fishing and other industries. The Straits Chemicals deal has been in the pipeline for more than three years. Straits Chemicals will construct a leading technology plant with a capacity to produce 600-tons of chlorine per day to supply to both foreign and domestic markets.

    This project is expected to create 600 jobs during construction and once operational will employ about 250 people on a three shift basis, excluding management positions. Construction is expected to take between 18 - 24 months. The plant will be officially commissioned in mid 2009.

    “Although this is the first investor to be signed in the current financial year, the total number of investors signed in the Coega IDZ now stands at a total of 10 with a value of about R20,8 billion and with the creation of thousands of both short-duration and more permanent jobs. This is further poof that the Coega IDZ is establishing itself as the preferred investment destination on a global scale, and that will play a key role in contributing to changing the economy of the Eastern Cape for the better and creating positive socio-economic impacts that will improve the material conditions of South Africans where that is most needed”, says CDC spokesperson Vuyelwa Qinga Vika.

    Straits Chemicals will introduce a new state-of-the-art membrane technology that is cleaner and friendlier to the environment. The signing ceremony will be taking place at Vulindlela Coega Construction Village in the Nzululwazi Hall and will include business-to-business meetings between Singaporean business and local business.

    Issued by Coega Development Corporation

    Navy submarine now due on Thursday

    South Africa’s latest navy ship, the submarine SAS Charlotte Maxeke (S102) is due to arrive in Simon’s Town on Thursday (26 April) and not Wednesday as reported in yesterday’s News Bulletin.

    The reason for the delay is not clear and may be as simple as having to coincide with the availability of some dignitary (which of course won’t be the first time).

    SAS Charlotte Maxeke is sailing from Emden in Germany in company with the navy combat support ship SAS Drakensberg, which also accompanied the first submarine, SAS Manthatisi (S101) back to South Africa on 7 April last year.

    The remaining submarine, SAS Queen Modjadji (S103) will no doubt also journey to South Africa with the Drakensberg as escort.

    Question for the navy watchers – which SAN ship has travelled the most in service with the South African Navy? No prizes for the correct answer - we don’t know but would take a guess and suggest it could be either SAS Drakensberg or SAS Tafelberg.

    Pic of the day – CAPE KNOX

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    This USNS ship CAPE KNOX (AKR 5082) arrived in Durban on Saturday, 21 April, for bunkers, etc and presumably a bit of R&R for the crew. She was previously the Nedlloyd Lines' Ro-Ro cargo ship NEDLLOYD ROUEN before her purchase in 1995 by the US government.

    The ship was built in Japan in 1978 and displaces 36,450 tons fully loaded. Picture copyright SHIPHOTO INTERNATIONAL email

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

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