Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 7, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Durban’s south pier to be closed to public

  • Pier 1 Container Terminal reopening - update

  • Private operators may still get a slice of Coega

  • Pilotage problems cause delays at Tincan Island and Apapa

  • Maputo rail corridor receives ‘new’ locomotives

  • CSAV upgrades Asia – South Africa – S America service

  • Pic of the day – MAURITIUS TROCHETIA

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    Durban’s south pier to be closed to public

    Access to the south breakwater, Port of Durban, will be closed-off from 1 June 2007 as part of the entrance channel widening and deepening project. The widening and deepening also requires substantial upgrading of the south breakwater, which includes raising the deck and complete re-armouring of the structure.

    In addition, there is the construction of a fixed sand bypass system at the root of the breakwater on the seaward side.

    The project entails the demolition of the existing north breakwater and the construction of a new north breakwater, other demolitions, excavation, dredging and construction work on the south pier. In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, members of the public cannot be allowed access onto a construction site due to safety reasons.

    Fencing off of the area is expected to commence by mid May 2007 with construction starting at the beginning of June. The fencing off of the north pier was recently completed and the area is no longer accessible to the public.

    The entrance channel must be widened and deepened to improve the safety of navigation for ships currently calling at the port and to cater for the future needs of the port.

    source - NPA

    Pier 1 Container Terminal reopening - update

    Ports & Ships may finally get the date right! In recent News Bulletins concerning the reopening of the Pier 1 Container Terminal we’ve twice been wrong.

    It’s now reliably learned that the first ship to come alongside is due this Wednesday, 9 May. The ship will be the CSCL KELANG of China Shipping Container Line (CSCL) and interestingly this company also provided the last vessel, CSCL YANTIAN to work at Pier 1 before its temporary closure.

    Wednesday’s ship will work a total of 255 container moves, which is not a great number but provides an excellent way to start a new operation with new personnel manning the shoreside, where inevitably there will be one or two teething problems to deal with.

    Export stacks for CSCL Kelang opened on Friday 5 May at 06.00 and will close on Tuesday 8 May at 06.00.

    CSCL Kelang is operated by Seaclad Maritime as agents for China Shipping Container Line and is one of ten ships in the SEAS service linking the Far East, Durban and the South American east coast.

    Coinciding with the introduction of the first ship at Durban’s second container terminal is the introduction of the new Navis computer operating system, which Seaclad general manager Paul Scannell says looks very user-friendly and has done away with a lot of email and paper-based information.

    “For us as agents, access to information is also expected to be far quicker and more reliable than before.”

    Referring to the terminal’s re-opening Scannell said that without any doubt Transnet and its subsidiaries together with the construction companies involved have done a great job so far on this project.

    “There has been a good interaction with us as industry players and they have met nearly all the deadlines set so far. The deepening of the berths which was also expected to be completed this year has been put back to at least coincide with the deepening of the entrance channel but this will not be a major setback for us right now. Whilst the real test will be when the first vessel arrives, in light of the efficient and effective handling of the project so far, we are optimistic that the vessels call will be a success.”

    Private operators may still get a slice of Coega

    Private involvement in the terminal operations at the new Eastern Cape port of Ngqura, situated about 20km northeast of Port Elizabeth, has not been ruled out, a senior SA Port Operations manager said while visiting the United States this week.

    Nosipho Damasane, SAPO’s general manager for sales, logistics and commercial interests was in Houston, Texas to attend the 2007 IAPH Conference (International Association of Ports & Harbours). She said there were ongoing discussions with international terminal operators which could affect how the new container terminal at Ngqura is operated when the first phase opens at the end of 2008.

    Until now Transnet and government have resisted efforts by private operators to gain a share of South Africa’s container terminals at the respective ports but according to Damasane the chances of a joint venture of some other form of participation is now a possibility – nothing has been ruled out she stated.

    The container terminal at Ngqura was planned initially as a medium size terminal with a capacity of around 500,000 TEUs (twenty foot container equivalents) and operating with two berths (since raised to 700,000 TEUs). Other sections of the new harbour will handle bulk cargo (manganese will be exported through the port and iron ore is a possible future commodity) plus a petroleum products berth with tank facilities for storage. The port will be capable of taking large ships up to Capesize and will have a depth in the entrance of 18m and alongside of 16.5m.

    Phase 2 of the port project will see an additional two berths provided at the container terminal with the capacity increasing to 1 million TEU by 2012, 1.25m in 2015 and 1.5m by the time a third phase is completed in 2022. It is likely that construction of phase 2 will have begun even before the port opens with phase 1 next year.

    The terminal will be operated with rubber tyre gantries (RTGs) similar to Durban’s Pier 1.

    According to current thinking the port of Ngqura is seen as a transshipment port for containers, in which shipping lines operating liner services will be able to make a single call in South Africa using large container ships while smaller vessels will operate a feeder service to other ports and to the neighbouring region.

    This at least appears to be the theory – in practice market forces have a way of making their own determinations and several other scenarios may develop by the time the port is in operation. There has also been some talk of a new rail line between Coega and Gauteng to handle the anticipated increased traffic, which will have to be built at an enormous cost and no doubt Spoornet will expect some guarantee of line traffic before any commitment.

    Pilotage problems cause delays at Tincan Island and Apapa

    A large number of ships – reported to be as many as 60, are waiting outside Nigeria’s port of Lagos because pilot boats are not available to deliver marine pilots to take the ships to available berths.

    The Lagos newspaper Vanguard reported on Friday that Nigeria’s National Ports Authority (NPA) has been unable to provide the pilot boats necessary for the transfer of marine pilots to the waiting ships.

    It said all four pilot cutters had broken down or were unserviceable. As a result ships waiting to go to berth at Tincan Island or Apapa have been unable to move from where they are at anchor outside.

    All that is known is that the NPA, which holds the responsibility for marine activity at the two ports, including the provision of pilotage, is experiencing ‘problems’ with the pilot boats and the exact nature has not been disclosed.

    Maputo rail corridor receives ‘new’ locomotives

    Mozambique railway company CFM-Sul (Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique-Sul) has taken delivery of another five locomotives which arrived recently from India.

    The new diesel-electric locomotives will enter service on the Maputo Corridor between the port and the border at Ressano Garcia as CFM-Sul gears up to increase capacity along the corridor.

    An additional five locomotives are due to arrive in Maputo next month, which according to the Maputo newspaper Noticias will swell the current fleet to 22 locos.

    The ‘new’ locos ex India were acquired secondhand and have been reconditioned and re-gauged to operate on the 1067mm Cape gauge of the southern African region. According to the newspaper the ten locos are costing a total of US 7.2 million whereas CFN-Sul has said new locos would cost them US$ 5m each.

    In addition to 22 diesel-electric locos mentioned above CFM-Sul has a further 45 locos undergoing refurbishment – some at Bloemfontein and others it is thought in Maputo.

    CSAV upgrades Asia – South Africa- S America service

    CSAV (Compania Sudamericana de Vapores), the large Chilean shipping company has revealed it will be increasing services to South Africa as from next month (June) with the introduction of a weekly service known as the Discovery Service.

    The Discovery service will operate in conjunction with Japan’s ‘K’ Line offering a rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, Shekou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Klang, Colombo, Durban, Cape Town, Colombo, Port Klang, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

    This is in addition to the existing ASAX (Asia Atlantic Express) service between Asia and the east coast of South America which calls at Durban on the eastern leg. As from early June the rotation of the ASAX service will be Ningbo, Shanghai, Chiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Santos, Buenos Aires, Paranagua, Itajai, Santos, Durban, Singapore and Ningbo.

    Pic of the day – MAURITIUS TROCHETIA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The combined cargo/passenger ship MAURITIUS TROCHETIA seen in this picture taken in May 2003 while the ship was on the Eldock floating dock in Durban, undergoing a general maintenance and survey. The 5,492-gt vessel usually operates out of Port Louis in Mauritius sailing to the adjacent Indian Ocean islands including La Reunion, Rodriguez and Madagascar. Picture Terry Hutson

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

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