Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 4, 2007
Author: P&S


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  • ISS-Voigt gains Höegh Autoliner agency

  • Coastwatch: Kismayo port reopens

  • Durban harbour company resumes operations

  • Safmarine containers converted into cultural centre

  • Seafarers mission elects new Co-ordinator

  • Pic of the day – IVS NIGHTJAR

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    ISS-Voigt gains Höegh Autoliner agency

    Durban-based ISS-Voigt, part of the Grindrod Group has successfully tendered for the Höegh Autoliners agency for Southern Africa. The appointment took effect last Friday, 1 June.

    “We now have a total of 15 port calls per month at Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London,” explained Per Folkesson, general manager for Höegh Autoliners in Africa.

    “We were looking for an agent that could provide strong focus on port operations, and ISS-Voigt Shipping is a specialist in that area. We evaluated a number of other agencies in a competitive tender process, and are delighted to now be working with ISS-Voigt Shipping.”

    Paul Voigt, ISS-Voigt Shipping managing director said his company has taken on more staff and has assembled a dedicated team to handle the Höegh ships.

    “As the vessels often turn around in under 24 hours, we work on the ‘one operator, one ship’ principle to provide optimum service and handle the specialised and diverse requirements that car carriers have. This appointment will serve to enhance our already good reputation in port operations.”

    He said that ISS-Voigt Shipping has opened a branch office in East London to handle the car carriers there, and will be acting as agents for maize and other imports to the port.

    A Norwegian company, Höegh Autoliners were the first car carriers to enter the local market post-sanctions. The company controls a fleet of 67 vessels worldwide and has 15 more ships on order. During 2006 Höegh carried approximately 160,000 car equivalent units in and out of South Africa, bringing cars from Europe and America to South Africa and carrying export vehicles from South Africa to Australia and the Far East.

    One of Höegh’s typical ro-ro car carriers has the capacity to load up to 6500 cars.

    Shaking on the appointment of ISS-Voigt Shipping as agents for Höegh Autoliners are Paul Voigt, managing director, ISS-Voigt Shipping (left) and Per Folkesson, Höegh Autoliners general manager for Africa. Looking on are Ashley Cage, manager operations, Höegh Autoliners Africa (left), and Tony Schillaci, financial director, ISS-Voigt Shipping. Picture by Chris Hoare CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

    Coastwatch: Kismayo port reopens as pirates strike again

    The port of Kismayo in southern Somalia has been reopened by clan leaders after armed military forces occupied the port and closed the harbour to all shipping.

    The militia claimed to be protesting against not having received any pay for six months but according to reports coming from the clan leaders they had been promised money to hand over control of the port to the community so that port operations could proceed normally.

    The Shabelle news service in Somalia reports that this is not the first time that militia has extorted money by seizing control of the port. The first occasion was shortly after Ethiopian troops pulled out from Kismayo earlier this year when they closed the port to shipping and demanded payment to have it reopened.

    Meanwhile the French Navy reports that a 997-gt Danish cargo ship, DANICA WHITE was highjacked off the Somali coast last week. The vessel was en route from Dubai bound for Mombasa when pirates attacked and took control. The ship was apparently loaded with construction materials.

    Danica White is owned by a Danish company listed as Invest VI and managed by another Danish firm H Folmer of Copenhagen. There is no information as to the current whereabouts of the vessel or the status of its crew.

    In West Africa four US nationals taken hostage by militants off a pipelaying barge on 8 May have been freed and handed over to Rivers State officials in Nigeria – it is speculated that a ransom may have been paid for the Americans.

    Another six workers also taken hostage more recently have not as yet been released

    In Walvis Bay the arrested bulk ship LAMO which was placed under judicial arrest in April shortly after arriving from Liberia with a cargo of scrap metal, has been moved to an anchorage outside the harbour. The ship is carrying a crew off 11 and is reported to be low on fuel.

    When the judicial order was made against the vessel creditors were owed a total of N28 million for maintenance work done on the unseaworthy vessel, which was en route for India after having reportedly left Liberian waters illegally.

    A Namibian patrol vessel intercepted the ship off Walvis Bay and escorted her into harbour on 14 April.

    Durban harbour company resumes operations

    by Edwin Tshivhidzo, BuaNews

    Department of Labour inspectors on Thursday (31 May) gave harbour contractors the go-ahead to resume work (on the sub-aqueous tunnel) at Durban's North Pier harbour.

    This comes after the company was given a prohibition notice to prevent it from operating, pending investigations into a fire that gutted the north side of the old tunnel at the site recently.

    The decision to revoke the prohibition notice came after the company brought their operations up to code.

    An on-site physical inspection was conducted and found the company had installed extractor fans to provide fresh air circulation; placed fire extinguishers throughout the tunnel; completed an internal investigation; and established emergency evacuation procedures.

    "Following the incident, no injuries were reported, but the investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing," said Department of Labour spokesperson Zolisa Sigabi.

    "The department is awaiting a report from the Fire Department as well as a Temporary Certificate of Compliance for the temporary electrical installation which is now nearing completion."

    A planned follow-up inspection is scheduled for 12 June.

    Note This report relates to the construction and removal of the sub-aqueous tunnels under the entrance channel and falls under the jurisdiction of the municipal engineers. The actual widening of the entrance channel which comes under the direction of the port authority and its contractor is not connected with the tunnel fire – editor, Ports & Ships

    Safmarine containers converted into cultural centre

    The new Cultural and Learning Centre constructed from three Safmarine shipping containers CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

    There was much excitement last week (30 May, 2007) when the Kalksteenfontein Primary School near Cape Town celebrated the opening of a new Cultural and Learning Centre constructed from three Safmarine shipping containers.

    According to the school principal, Mr Jeffrey Arendse, “The new Centre offers a safe, structured environment for learners wanting to work on school projects after hours. This type of environment is sadly lacking in a community faced with a high rate of poverty and unemployment.”

    Arendse said the Centre’s library was a welcome and much-needed addition to the school as it would allow young children to focus on developing their education, despite the socio-economic conditions prevalent in their community.

    Commenting on the opening of the new Centre, Fred Jacobs, Safmarine’s Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “A child’s ability to learn is enhanced when he or she spends time in a secure, creative environment and Safmarine is pleased to have provided such an environment.”

    The Kalksteenfontein Primary School was established in the 1960s and currently accommodates 380 learners and 15 teachers.

    The new Cultural and Learning Centre - the third ‘Containers in the Community’ project to be opened by Safmarine this year - will be able to accommodate 60 pupils at any given time.

    Safmarine first introduced the ‘Containers in the Community’ programme 15 years ago and 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 launching 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.

    Seafarers mission elects new Co-ordinator

    by Yvonne de Kock

    Revd Boet van Schalkwyk, Principal Chaplain/National Secretary of the International Sailor’s Society has been unanimously elected as the new Co-ordinator of the South African Region at the Second Conference of the International Christian Maritime Association, Southern Africa Region (ICMA-SA), recently held in Cape Town.

    Van Schalkwyk, who works from the ISS office in Durban, South Africa, has been involved with seafarers’ ministry for several years. He was instrumental in setting up the ICMA-SA Region and is a staunch supporter of approaching seafarers ministry ecumenically. He already has strong ties with all the ICMA-member organisations in the region, hence his unanimous election.

    He was elected to lead the ecumenical effort among the member organisations in the region. He takes over the position previously held by Revd Hennie la Grange who has been appointed as ICMA General Secretary, who takes up his position in London this month (June).

    ICMA is an association of port and seafarers’ ministry societies worldwide to which is affiliated 28 member organisations including the International Sailors Society of SA. The Southern Africa Region of ICMA covers the African coastline from Angola and Namibia in the west, all the ports of the Republic of South Africa in the south, up to and including the ports of Mozambique on the east coast.

    More than fifty chaplains, ships’ visitors and managements of these organisations attended the Cape Town Conference, the second to be held in the region after the inauguration of ICMA-SA in April of 2005.

    The region is united behind its new co-ordinator and has great confidence that Rev. Van Schalkwyk will add value to each of our ministries where it counts the most: when meeting seafarers face to face on visits to ships in ports.

    Pic of the day – IVS NIGHTJAR

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    IVS NIGHTJAR (32,316-dwt) along with two sisters operates on a service from Australian and New Zealand ports to the Persian Gulf. The ship is shown arriving at Lyttelton, New Zealand on Saturday 2 June 2007 to discharge a cargo of urea. IVS Nightjar, which was built at the Naikai Zosen shipyard in 2004, is one of 18 Island View Shipping (IVS) Handysize bulkers operating in the joint venture service with Lauritzen Bulkers from a joint fleet of 49 ships. Picture Alan Calvert

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

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