Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 30, 2007
Author: P&S


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  • Dig out of Durban’s Bayhead to go ahead – new basin is planned

  • Dredger Rovuma sinks in Beira harbour

  • SAS Charlotte Maxeke arrives

  • DEAT acts against coastal degradation

  • Sturrock Shipping opens office in Tanga

  • Pic of the day – ROTORUA

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    Dig out of Durban’s Bayhead to go ahead – new basin is planned

    What the new basin at Bayhead might look like with a new container terminal ‘dug out’ in the Bayhead area of Durban Bay – construction of this mammoth project is expected to get underway by 2010 but first a series of public meetings must take place. Picture courtesy NPA

    Regular readers of the News Bulletin and our SHIPPING WORLD column (26 October 2006) will recall that we disclosed last year that the National Ports Authority and parent body Transnet were considering plans to dig out a section of the Bayhead for a new basin around which a new container terminal and car terminal would be built.

    Those plans are now beginning to come together and on 10 May this year the first public meeting to consider these proposals will be held at the Jewish Club in Durban between 5.30pm and 7.30pm which will be used to create the forum for discussing stakeholder involvement.

    The meeting and way forward is being co-ordinated by the firm of Commonground which can be contacted at 031 304 9323 or by email at
    info@commonground.co.za. People intending to attend the public meeting are asked to advise Commonground of the fact.

    Transnet’s intention of increasing the capacity of container handling at the port of Durban will involve major structural changes to Durban Harbour. In brief these include digging out an entire new basin at the Bayhead, roughly in the area occupied at present by the railway marshalling yards to the south of Bayhead Road. This will necessitate Spoornet relocating these yards elsewhere and then an enormous excavation of the area – originally a floodplain for the bay and the river systems feeding into it.

    The land is currently owned by Transnet but a number of private tenants who operate businesses in the area will be affected.

    Access by ship to the new basin will most likely be down the existing Maydon Channel, which requires widening both the Esplanade and Maydon channels by dredging into the adjacent central sandbank, something that is likely to attract debate

    Apart from Spoornet the Bayhead ship repair yards will be the most affected parties and it appears little or no provision is being made for their relocation and the future of shipbuilding in Durban would appear to be completely ruled out by these developments.

    Bayhead Road is another important cog and will be cut in two by the new basin, although there has been talk of diverting the road by way of a tunnel underneath the basin. The proposals also refer to a new link road extending along the base of the Bluff and connecting the Bayhead and harbour region with Edwin Swales Drive, which in its current configuration could have a severe impact on Bluff residents. Edwin Swales Road which is the suburb’s main access route is already heavily trafficked.

    During the financial year 2006/07 just ended the port of Durban recorded a total of 73 million tonnes of cargo handled (all products including oil and containers) and 2.335 million TEUs (twenty foot container equivalents). Containers showed an increase of 19.4 percent on the previous year, which goes to explain precisely why the port is rapidly running out of container space.

    Durban also handled a total of 4,545 ships with a gross tonnage of 97.45 million tons, making it the busiest port in Africa on all counts. Without continued growth however the port is certain to stagnate and with it the economy of the city will suffer.

    Dredger Rovuma sinks in Beira harbour

    The Beira dredger ROVUMA which sank near the harbour last week (Saturday 21 April), is thought to have hit a submerged wreck. There were no injuries or loss of life in the accident.

    Rovuma, which is owned and operated by the Mozambique port company Emodraga has operated in Mozambique harbours since 1970, when she was purchased from India. The accident leaves Emodraga with a single dredger in service, the ARUANGUA which is also in service at Beira.

    However the port of Beira is expecting a new dredger to arrive from Japan by June this year and Rovuma was expected to go to for scrapping shortly thereafter.

    A South African salvage team has arrived on site and by Tuesday was at work attempting to salvage the vessel.

    Rovuma has been in the wars before, having sunk in Maputo harbour back in 1975. On that occasion she was successfully refloated and repaired.

    A team consisting of technical personnel from Emodraga, CFM Maritime Administration and the National Hydrography and Navigation Institute (INAHINA) has been established to determine the cause of the accident.

    SAS Charlotte Maxeke arrives

    SAS Charlotte Maxeke in False Bay shortly after arriving on her delivery voyage from Germany. Picture Clinton Wyness

    At first they were just specks on the horizon but as the strike craft, SAS ISAAC DYOBHA came closer two black conning towers emerged from the rain and mist and took the shape of the submarines SAS MANTHATISI (S101) and SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE (S102).

    The place was False Bay and the time last Thursday, April 26 when the second new submarine of the South African Navy arrived home after her long delivery voyage from Germany.

    The South African Navy flew a small group of journalists, including from Ports & Ships to Simon’s Town to witness the arrival and despite the adverse weather a strike craft and one of the new frigates, SAS MENDI were laid on to welcome the navy’s latest arrival and to take the journalists to sea. And as we made our way back to Simon’s Town the subs and frigate manoeuvred for photographers to record the moment.

    Of significance that morning was that this was the first time in many years that the navy had not one but three submarines at sea on the same day - the third boat was undergoing sea trials off Germany with a German crew on board.

    S102 has been named Charlotte Maxeke in honour of a Griqualand West woman born in the 19th century who earned a degree in the United States and later returned to South Africa where she later became head of the Women’s Missionary Society. She went on to become involved in politics, becoming the first president of the Bantu Women’s League (BWL) which was formed in 1918. She was eventually honoured as ‘Mother of Black Freedom in South Africa.’

    The submarine which carries her name is the second of three 209 class type 1400 MOD boats built in Germany for the SA Navy – the 1400 denoting their displacement. They are 62m long and 7.5m wide and diesel-electric driven with four diesel engines giving each a speed of 10 knots surfaced and 21.5 knots dived. The submarine is armed with 14 torpedoes.

    She was commissioned in March 14 this year and sailed shortly afterwards for Simon’s Town in the company of the combat support ship SAS DRAKENSBERG, making a single stop along the way in Spain.

    According to Captain Jorrie Jordaan, the Project Officer for the submarine project, ‘Charlotte’ (as the submarine is likely to become known – the submariners are already calling her that) sailed submerged for much of the journey, providing the crew of 30 much practice and underwater experience.

    The third submarine (S103), which has been named SAS QUEEN MODJADJI (Queenie?), is due to arrive in South Africa in April 2008.

    DEAT acts against coastal degradation

    The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) has commenced the process to develop a National Programme of Action for the protection of the marine environment from land-based activities, through establishing a National Advisory Group. The group held its inaugural meeting in Cape Town last week.

    The National Programme of Action forms part of the Global Programme of Action (GPA) launched in 1995 by UNEP which recommends that countries develop national plans to address coastal and marine degradation from key land-based activities. South Africa is one of 108 countries that adopted the GPA and last year also adopted the Beijing Declaration on furthering implementation of the GPA, at the conclusion of the GPA's Second Intergovernmental Review Meeting.

    The development of national plans to protect marine environments is crucial as some 80 percent of all marine pollution and degradation originate from land-based sources. A recent review of emerging trends issues indicate major sources in Southern Africa include untreated sewage, coastal mining, inappropriate agricultural practices, industrial wastewater discharges and contaminated storm water. In South Africa specifically, there has been a significant increase in sewage discharges to sensitive estuaries and nearshore coastal waters.

    Land-based activities and sources of marine pollution are often inexorably linked, while control measures are found in different sectors. The South African NPA is intended to link and integrate already existing strategies, arrangements and activities within difference sectors, into a coherent framework that would stimulate cooperation. The Programme document will identify priority issues for intervention and promote the establishment of partnerships. The National Programme of Action will draw from the recommendations of a number of technical studies commissioned under the West Indian Ocean Land-based Activities (WIO-LaB) Project to identify concrete solutions for highlighted problems.

    At its inaugural meeting, the Advisory Group discussed a suitable approach for the drafting of a National Programme of Action programme document, and for a consultative process to be lead by the Department. The group agreed to a programme of consultative meetings scheduled for stakeholders within the four coastal provinces. The main objectives of these meetings would be to identify specific land-based activities impacting on the marine environment at a local and provincial level, and to gather input on potential solutions.

    The working group comprises of key representatives in government, technical experts and representatives from NGO's and the private sector and is given until February 2008 to finalise South Africa's National Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.

    source - DEAT

    Sturrock Shipping opens office in Tanga

    South African ships agency company Sturrock Shipping has opened a branch office in Tanga, Tanzania with effect 15 March 2007.

    Sturrock Shipping, which has its head office in Cape Town and has offices at most South African ports, has been represented at Dar es Salaam for a number of years.

    The branch manager of the Tanga office is Mr Alfred Lawa, who has been in the shipping industry since 2002. He is fully conversant with the port of Tanga and all the relevant Tanzanian authorities.

    Sturrock’s first vessel, the ESHIPS COBIA called on 27 March to discharge 10,000 mts of Gasoil at the Tanga mooring point, a facility that is owned by Gulf Bulk Petroleum (GBP) who presently have a storage capacity of 12,000mts. According to Sturrocks this will shortly increase to 24,000mts.

    The mooring facility is capable of handling vessels with a LOA of up to 165 metres and a draught of 9.5m

    Sturrock Shipping in Tanga can be contacted at sturflextanga@hotnet.co.tz or contact the branch manager on tel +255 27 264 6571 or his mobile +255 784 288301.

    source - Sturrock Shipping

    Pic of the day – ROTORUA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The 16,075-gt general cargo container vessel ROTORUA which is deployed on Hapag Lloyd’s South Africa – North America liner service (replacing the former service of Lykes Lines and CP Ships taken over by Hapag Lloyd) is seen at Cape Town in this picture, taken by Ian Shiffman. Taking into account the lineage of CP Ships and Lykes Lines this particular service has continued uninterrupted for almost 60 years.

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

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