Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 11, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Durban container expansion gets first public hearing

  • Contract to rebuild Lagos harbour seawalls awarded

  • New RBCT coal exporters revealed

  • Integration promises stronger, renewed Africa

  • Pic of the day – CSCL KELANG

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    Durban container expansion gets first public hearing

    The first step in a process of preparing for a radical expansion of Durban harbour aimed at increasing container handling capacity got underway last night (Thursday) at a public meeting in Durban in which the proposals for a new container basin at Bayhead was tabled.

    More than 300 stakeholders attended the meeting and heard that at the estimated rate of growth the port was going to run out of container capacity by 2010. It was said that that Durban’s container capacity currently sits at 3.7 million TEU – three million TEUs at Durban Container Terminal and 720,000 TEU at Pier 1 and this figure will have been reached by 2010.

    At the same time came the news that the actual construction of the new basin, which will create two new terminals with ten berths and additional capacity in excess of 5 million TEUs is unlikely to get underway before 2010, once the necessary environmental impact assessment (EIA) and other regulatory matters had been taken care of.

    According to Transnet the new container terminal at the port of Ngqura, which is being designed primarily as a transhipment facility, will have to act as a safety valve for the lack of capacity at Durban between the critical years 2010 and 2014, by which time the first phase of the new basin on the west side should be complete. The second phase on the east side of the basin will follow by 2017.

    The project is to commence with dredging of wider channels along the Esplanade and Maydon channels leading to the Bayhead and excavation and dredging of the basin itself.

    Interested stakeholders raised a number of concerns and suggestions, which have been recorded for followup. High among these are concerns about the future of Bayhead tenants including the ship repair and shipbuilding industry, yacht marinas and recreational clubs that have their home in the affected area or the Silt Canal adjacent to the proposed basin.

    Also of concern was road congestion around the harbour which is already critical. It was pointed out that a detailed study of traffic requirements needs to be made before additional cargo is placed on the network. A spokesman for Transnet, Mario Steyn said that Transnet intends diverting container traffic from the road to rail, a suggestion that met with some scepticism.

    Wildlife and ecological concerns were also raised and are likely to become more contentious as the process unfolds, with Durban’s famous sandbanks again being the centre of attention as the port authority seeks to erode their size and position in the harbour.

    In the late 1990s after a lengthy drawn-out EIA process surrounding proposals to build a new container terminal on the central sandbank, the whole process was eventually derailed as a result of the reaction of environmentalists.

    The facilitator for last night’s meeting emphasised that other public meetings will take place before the EIA process begins probably in June. In the meantime stakeholders have been asked to consider appointing representatives to sit on a stakeholder forum to help take the matter forward.

    Contract to rebuild Lagos harbour seawalls awarded

    The contract to rebuild the east and west moles at the port of Lagos was awarded this week by Nigeria’s Federal Government to China Engineering Construction Co (CCECC).

    The moles or breakwaters protecting the harbour and city from the open sea have been neglected in recent years and have become unsafe and dilapidated and earlier this year the Federal Government approved an estimate of US $ 24 million to rebuild and repair them. The moles were originally built in 1903.

    Because of their poor condition heavy seas wash over and through them and flooding has occurred at Victoria Island within Lagos harbour.

    New RBCT coal exporters revealed

    Richards Bay Coal Terminal Company Limited (RBCT) disclosed yesterday (Thursday) the results of the adjudication process of tenders in respect of 9 million tons of additional coal export throughput capacity that will be made available on completion of the Phase V expansion.

    RBCT’s capacity will be increased by 19 million tons to 91mt per annum by the Phase V expansion.

    Allocation of the expansion volume:

  • 9 million tons per annum of the expansion capacity was open for tender with specific emphasis on black economic empowerment (“BEE”) in order to facilitate the transformation of the South African coal export industry.

  • Special provision was made to encourage a new generation of coal exporters by earmarking 4 million tons per annum for emerging BEE exporters.

  • South Dunes Coal Terminal Company (Pty) Limited (SDCT), a BEE-controlled company, will take up 6 million tons per annum of the expansion which was funded by it.

    The results were presented to the Directors at an RBCT Board meeting yesterday morning in a joint presentation by Alexander Forbes Risk Management Services (the Independent Adjudicator) and RBCT Management.

    In the final analysis of the process:

  • 51 sets of application documents were issued
  • 26 completed applications were received
  • 26.85 million tons per annum of export coal allocation was applied for
  • of the 26 completed applications, 18 met all the pre-qualification criteria, accounting for 19.05 million tons per annum of export coal allocation

    Final outcome:

  • 8 successful applicants
  • 6 of the 8 applicants as shareholders (8.15 million tons per annum)
  • 2 of the 8 applicants as long term commercial users (0.85 million tons per annum)
  • 7 of the applicants are linked to existing Quattro users
  • 3 of the applicants are associated with existing RBCT shareholders

    The successful applicants are:

    Yomhlaba Resources Limited - 0.5 m/ton pa - shareholder
    Mbokodo Mining (Pty) Limited - 0.5 m/ton pa - long-term commercial user
    Umcebo Mining (Pty) Limited - 1.0 m/ton pa - shareholder
    ARM Coal (Pty) Limited - 3.2 m/ton pa - shareholder
    Tumelo Coal Mines (Pty) Limited - 0.6 m/ton pa - shareholder
    Mmakau Mining (Pty) Limited - 0.35 m/ton pa - shareholder
    Exxaro Coal (Pty) Limited - 2.5 m/ton pa - shareholder
    Worldwide Coal Carolina (Pty) Limited - 0.35 m/ton pa - long-term commercial user

    “The outcome of the process is firmly in line with our vision of enabling as many BEE players as possible to have access to the global coal market,” said RBCT executive chairman Kuseni Dlamini. “We believe this will contribute to South Africa’s growth and development while enabling South Africa to increase its share of the global coal market. The process undertaken is the first clear indication of what the real South African coal export capacity demand is and this has definitely exceeded our expectations.”

    Integration promises stronger, renewed Africa

    by Lavinia Mahlangu, BuaNews

    Durban 10 May - On the fringes of the African Union (AU) Ministerial retreat in Durban, prominent African leaders have spoken of a stronger, renewed continent following its integration.

    African ministers of foreign affairs from 52 AU member states have been meeting just outside the continent's largest port city since Monday, in preparation for the AU Heads of State and Government Summit set for Ghana in July.

    The hot button issue on their agenda has been the so-called Grand Debate on an AU Government, representing a unified, fully integrated continent.

    Addressing a gala dinner Wednesday, hosted by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbusiso Ndebele, AU Executive Committee Chair Nana Akufo-Addo and Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma spoke of a more prosperous Africa in full control of its own destiny and resources, following its integration.

    Integration, in the form of an African Union Government said Mr Akufo-Addo, would place Africans "in a position to exploit the great resources both in people and matter that Africa has."

    The AU Executive Committee chair, who is also Ghana's Foreign Minister told his fellow ministers and other honoured guests that "it is up to us, the leaders of the continent to manage the resources" and in so doing enable Africans to "see relief...find dignity in this world which has so consistently sought to demean us."

    The chairman repeatedly took the opportunity to drive home the historical significance and importance of the AU's decision to "make an important determination to collaborate and work together" to alleviate the problems faced by the continent.

    This was a pertinent statement as the AU Peace and Security Council had been meeting until late on Wednesday afternoon, deliberating on the continent's various conflicts, and their resolution, at Zimbali Lodge outside Durban.

    A unified Africa said Mr Akufo-Addo, would be fully enabled to determine its own destiny and solve its own problems,

    Further to this, integration would create an Africa which could empower its citizens to "look at other people in the world with dignity and respect and most importantly, in absolute equality," the Ghanaian foreign minister said.

    Regarding progress made thus far towards achieving continental integration, Minister Dlamini Zuma used the majority of her speech to heap praise on AU Commission Chair Alpha Konare.

    "Professor Konare is the person who has been driving the AU since its inception. It was born here five years ago and he is here to take stock," said the minister.

    "Professor Konare is the former president of Mali, a scholar in his own right and is passionate about integration.

    "If he had his way," said Minister Dlamini Zuma "we would have integrated yesterday."

    The dinner's host, Premier Ndebele emphasised that the week's discussions symbolised an undertaking of such scale and historical significance, that present generations may only be able to appreciate it with the passage of time.

    "While we are carrying out the Grand Debate, we may be too close to see the greatness of our intervention," the premier said.

    Never in the history of humankind, he observed, had the odd been stacked so heavily in Africa's favour for the continent to transform itself and rise from the tragedies of its past.

    Pic of the day – CSCL KELANG

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    CSCL KELANG under berth 105’s ship-to-shore gantries at the re-opened Pier 1 Container Terminal in Durban. The Chinese ship was the first to work cargo at the terminal since its reopening a couple of days earlier. Coincidentally a CSCL (China Shipping Container Line) vessel was also the last to be worked here when the terminal closed for rebuilding last December. Picture courtesy of ships agents Seaclad Maritime.

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

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