Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 2, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Durban’s Pier 1 Container Terminal reopens today

  • East African business forum to follow COMESA summit

  • Evergreen comes under one flag and simplifies name

  • Drama off Eastern Cape coast

  • New SAPO appointments

  • Safmarine donates more containers

  • Pic of the day – TIAN BAO HAI

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    Durban’s Pier 1 Container Terminal reopens today

    Durban’s Pier 1 Container Terminal is due to reopen the first of its three berths to shipping this morning (Wednesday), after having closed in December 2006 to enable the conversion of the terminal – Durban’s second – into a rubber tyre gantry-operated (RTG) terminal.

    The extent of Pier 1 has been completely relaid with heavier concrete and other infrastructure installed to handle the new machinery. Five ship-to-shore gantry cranes have been ordered from the German company Liebherr and in addition 12 RTGs are being supplied by Finland’s Kalmar. All the above are being assembled in Durban.

    The redevelopment programme costing R2 billion aims at turning Pier 1 into a high performance terminal with a capacity of 720,000 TEUs by the end of this year.

    Phase 1 which ends today will see one berth reopen with two STS cranes and six RTGs in service. It will be followed by a second berth in August and will be fully operational by December.

    SA Port Operations has been appointed by Transnet to operate the terminal.

    ‘When the terminal re-opens it will be in Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) mode to optimise efficiency and space utilisation – a first for South African terminals,” said a SAPO spokesman.

    Terminal operators have been undergoing extensive training in anticipation of the opening which has included a team of operators from Sri Lanka while some of the Pier 1 personnel have also travelled to Antwerp for specialist training.

    The redevelopment of Pier 1 and recent confirmation that Transnet/National Ports Authority intends excavating a new basin at Durban’s Bayhead where additional container terminals can be built (see our News Bulletin for Monday, 30 April 2007), comes in the face of unprecedented growth in the container industry. In the last financial year concluded at the end of March 2007 the port of Durban recorded growth of 19.4 percent in container handling and in the past five years Durban’s container volumes has increased by 75 percent.

    The need for improved port facilities is universal. This week the British journal Fairplay reported that Nicola Arena, chairman and CE of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) in the USA said he expects seaborne trade to double every seven years unless there is a recession in one of the major countries.

    Arena apparently expressed his concern at the ability of ports, particularly in the USA, to cope with this increase in volumes, pointing out that without modern ships and efficient ports there would be no globalisation.

    East African business forum to follow COMESA summit

    BuaNews, Nairobi - The 12th Summit of Heads of State of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), will also witness a gathering of about 500 leaders from the region to attend a business forum.

    The COMESA summit will be held on 17 and 18 May.

    The business forum, which will take place on May 22 and 23, will include a round-table meeting with the COMESA Council of Ministers, after which Kenya will take over the Chairmanship of COMESA Policy Organs.

    The Business Forum will be part of meetings of the COMESA Policy Organs scheduled for 11 to 19 May at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi.

    During the Business Forum, businessmen from COMESA member states will discuss issues of common interest regarding the strengthening, deepening and expansion of trade and investment in the region.

    COMESA is Kenya's leading export destination accounting for 36.6 per cent of its total exports in 2005 compared with 25.4 per cent to the European Union EU in the same period.

    The Business Forum presents a great opportunity for Kenya to showcase itself as the dominant economy in the region.

    The 20 member COMESA region has an estimated combined population of 400 million people and covers an area of over 12 million square kilometres, compared to the Southern African Development Community's estimated 9.8 million square kilometre area and 233 million people.

    The two organisations have overlapping memberships.

    COMESA member countries are Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    SADC's 14 member countries are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    The main focus during the Nairobi meeting will be to strengthen and consolidate the Free Trade Area, push forward the agenda of deepening integration through the Customs Union and consider progress on Economic Partnership Agreement Negotiations with the European Union (EU).

    Evergreen comes under one flag and simplifies name

    Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Marine has announced that it and the various shipping divisions, Hatsu Marine Ltd, Italia Maritime SpA, and Evergreen Marine (Hong Kong) have united under the single name Evergreen Line as from yesterday (1 May 2007).

    "Evergreen is a more widely recognised and accepted name in the global marketplace. Building efficiency and streamlining paperwork will ensure a more effective relationship with our customers.

    “There will be no effect on the services previously provided by the four carriers, which will continue as independent companies involved in ship owning and operating activities,” an Evergreen communiqué stated.

    It added that there will be a single front office sales department rather than several in each country.

    Ships of Evergreen Marine and Italia Maritime SpA are well known in South African ports – the latter better known as Lloyd Triestino.

    Drama off Eastern Cape coast

    As this issue went ‘to press’ news began emerging of a drama taking place off the Eastern Cape coast involving a yacht in difficulties. Reports indicate that one person may have died and another has been seriously injured.

    Little other information is available at this time but we will update in our next Bulletin.

    In another piece of drama off the same coast last week, the Herald newspaper in Port Elizabeth reported that a Chinese chef on board a Korean fishing vessel accidentally stabbed himself in the abdomen with a kitchen knife.

    The ship was operating in rough seas about 500km off Port Elizabeth seas at the time of the accident. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) reacted to a call for assistance from the vessel, the O Ryong 353 and provided facilities for a medical doctor to give advice on treatment for the 39 year old chef as the vessel headed towards Port Elizabeth.

    On Wednesday a NSRI rescue boat rendezvoused with the O Ryong 353 about 60km off the port and transferred a medic and a NSRI volunteer on board the Chinese vessel. It was subsequently decided to leave the injured man on board his own ship until Port Elizabeth was reached the next morning, where he was transferred to a local hospital. His condition is reported to be satisfactory but surgery was required.

    New SAPO appointments

    Several new appointments within South African Port Operations (SAPO) have taken place, although no official announcement has been made.

    Ricky Govender, who was the business unit executive at the Dry Bulk Terminal at Richards Bay, has been transferred to Durban head office where he takes up the position of chief maintenance manager.

    Govender had a background in engineering before he joined SAPO several years ago.

    Seleko Mametsi has been appointed in Govender’s place as chief operations manager at the Dry Bulk Terminal in Richards Bay.

    Safmarine donates more containers to schools

    Education at Mohlalamorudi Senior Secondary School in Limpopo Province was given a boost last week (Thursday, 26 April), when the school and its principal, Elvis Tlomotsana, celebrated the opening of two additional classrooms constructed from four containers donated by shipping company Safmarine.

    The school, established in 1962, is situated in the Diphale Village in Driekop which is located approximately 50km west of Burgersfort and 148km west of Polokwane, the capital city of Limpopo. It is estimated that 60 percent of learners have unemployed parents.

    According to headmaster Tlomotsana, “The container classrooms will go a long way to alleviate the cramped conditions at the school by providing much-needed space for computers and learners.”

    Despite its lack of facilities, Mohlalamorudi has shown significant potential by producing a number of top students. Two of the school’s ex-pupils are currently studying Bachelor of Commerce and Chemical Engineering degrees at the Universities of Limpopo and Cape Town and, given the improved conditions, Mr Tlomotsana is confident more learners will excel academically in the years ahead.

    Safmarine’s Corporate Affairs Director, Fred Jacobs, paid tribute to the school’s spirit of excellence.

    “As a company committed to upliftment, Safmarine is pleased that our contribution has made a real difference to this community. We believe the improved facilities at the school will further strengthen the will and determination of these learners, making the future of this school, and indeed South Africa, that much brighter.”

    Being a good corporate citizen is central to the way Safmarine does business, Jacobs said.

    “The re-deployment of retired seafreight containers on land is important from a ‘recycling’ perspective, particularly when one considers an estimated 90 percent of the world’s goods are transported in seafreight containers and predictions are that the global container fleet will continue to grow.”

    Jacobs said Safmarine – which first introduced the ‘Containers in the Community’ programme 15 years ago – has to date donated more than 8000 containers to needy communities. The containers are given new life as permanent structures in schools, crèches, clinics and job creation projects.

    Since it launched its Containers in the Community Programme in the early 90s, Safmarine has built more than 200 container classrooms and schools, benefiting over 50,000 learners.

    source – Safmarine

    Pic of the day – TIAN BAO HAI

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The 88,856-gt bulker TIAN BAO HAI called at Cape Town in February this year. The 2004-built vessel is owned by COSCO Qingdao and flies the Chinese flag. Ian Shiffman was the photographer.

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

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