Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 15, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • South African port statistics for July

  • Sea Consortium enters East Coast trades

  • Coastwatch: Piracy attacks

  • Go-ahead to extend Port Ngqura

  • SABS is new regulator for cement industry

  • North Sea oil platform on fire

  • Pic of the day – THORSCAPE

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    South African port statistics for July

    There has been an increase of 17 percent in volumes handled at South African ports during July, compared with the previous month of June. The increase is reflected at all ports with the exception of Cape Town, Mossel Bay and East London which showed small decreases but the hikes at Durban, Richards Bay and Saldanha were quite considerable. Compared with July 2006 the ports in general showed an increase of 14 percent this July – however container volumes were slightly down (314,083 for 2007 compared with 325,733 – a 3.5 percent drop.

    The figures quoted in this report have been adjusted to include container volumes as these are no longer measured by Transnet National Ports Authority by weight. This adjustment is based on an estimated average weight of 13.5 tonnes for each TEU (which is conservative).

    The respective ports handled the following:

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay                8.475 million tonnes (June 7.449Mt)
    Durban                        7.555 Mt (June 5.640)
    Saldanha Bay               3.553 Mt (June 3.074)
    Cape Town                  1.228 Mt (June 1.305)
    Port Elizabeth               0.973 Mt (June 0.908)
    Mossel Bay                  0.133 Mt (June 0.227)
    East London                 0.127 Mt (June 0.205)

    Total cargo by tonnes 22.044 million tonnes (June 18.808mt)

    Containers measured by TEUs
    (TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Tranship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA)

    Durban                        203,714 TEU (June 189,126)
    Cape Town                    66,602 (June 65,500)
    Port Elizabeth                 41,134 (June 37,008)
    East London                    2,235 (June 1,388)
    Richards Bay                     398 (June 204)

    Total handled 314,083 TEU (June 294,376)

    Ship Calls

    Durban:               368 vessels 7.847m gt (427 vessels 8.718m gt)
    Cape Town:         278 vessels 4.449m gt (274 vessels 4.243m gt)
    Port Elizabeth:       93 vessels 2.635m gt (107 vessels 2.927m gt)
    Richards Bay:       137 vessels 4.784m gt (150 vessels 5.180m gt)
    Saldanha:             42 vessels 2,395m gt (39 vessels 1,782m gt)
    East London:         23 vessels 0.695m gt (27 vessels 0.781m gt)
    Mossel Bay:         141 vessels 0.225m gt (191 vessels 0.241m gt)

    - source NPA plus adjustments by Ports & Ships to include container weights

    Sea Consortium enters East Coast trades

    Singapore-based Sea Consortium has announced its entry into the South Africa, East Africa and Red Sea trades with the commencement of its EAX (East Africa X-Press) service starting this month (August).

    The service will operate a rotation of Durban, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa, Djibouti, Mombasa, Durban using slots on three vessels on a 36-day round voyage giving a 12-day frequency.

    Red Sea connections to Jeddah, Aqaba, Port Sudan, Hodeidah, Massawa and Aden will be available via Djibouti.

    The Sea Consortium service is designed to serve transshipment cargo from main lines calling at Durban, East Africa ports and Djibouti, and regional African cargo and Africa/Red Sea cargo.

    The next sailing from Durban will be with the m/v JOHANNA RUSS sailing on 22 August, followed by DURBAN STAR III on 7 September and RED SEA on 15 September.

    Full details are available from the Durban agents, Bridge Marine – tel 27 31 460 0700 or email seacon@bridgeshipping.co.za

    Coastwatch: Piracy attacks

    The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which reported a spike in worldwide piracy in its quarterly report, particularly along the Somali coast, highlights a fresh outbreak of piracy or apparent piracy attacks off the African coast.

    The first incident occurred off Port Matadi in the DRC on 5 August when a reefer vessel at anchor at Ango-Ango reported that armed robbers approached the vessel in two wooden canoes and managed to board the vessel where the deck watchman was threatened by pirates armed with knives. Although the watchman was able to make his escape and sound the alarm other robbers proceeded to rob ships stores before leaving the ship. There were no injuries in this incident.

    In a second incident this time off the Somali coast on 7 August a ship which was underway some distance from the Somali coast was approached by another smaller craft acting suspiciously which crossed the bow before changing course and heading directly for the merchant ship. A second craft then appeared on the scene and also began pursuing the ship, which increased speed and took evasive action. After about an hour the pursuing craft gave up the chase and left the scene. This incident took place in position 01:24S – 050:45E.

    Four days later on 11 August in position 01:13N – 052:38E pirates in a fishing trawler attempted to attack a refrigerated cargo ship underway. The larger ship altered course and the trawler altered onto a collision course. The reefer vessel then took evasive action, increased speed and attempted to contact the trawler on VHF, but without any response. After following the ship for one hour, the pirates aborted the attempt and moved away.

    The IMB, which reports these incidents in its weekly bulletin, warns all shipping of the resurgence of piracy off the Somali coast. The IMB also urges shipping everywhere to maintain a strict anti-piracy watch and to report all cases of suspicious pirate activity.

    The IMB issues the following report for Africa and the Red Sea:

    Lagos (Nigeria): Crew kidnapped and robbed. Generally be vigilant in other areas in Nigeria.
    Dar es Salaam (Tanzania): Sixteen incidents reported since 5 June 2006. Pirates targeting ships in port and anchorages.
    Gulf of Aden / Red Sea: Numerous pirate attacks have been reported by ships and yachts in the Gulf of Aden. Some of the vessels were fired upon.
    Somalian waters: Piracy has made a come back in Somalia. Pirates fire automatic weapons and on one occasion, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired forcing the ship to stop. Eastern and North eastern coasts are high risk areas for attacks and hijackings. Ships not making scheduled calls to ports in Somalia should keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast, ideally more than 200 nautical miles.

    Ships are advised to maintain anti-piracy watches and report all piratical attacks and suspicious movements of craft to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia . The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre can be contacted at email IMBKL@icc-ccs.org and by telephone + 60 3 2078 5763, fax + 60 3 2078 5769. The 24-hour anti-piracy helpline is + 60 3 2031 0014 and the bureau’s website is at http://www.icc-ccs.org

    Go-ahead to extend Port Ngqura

    Authorisation has been given to extend the container terminal at the new port of Ngqura by a further two berths and to construct a marine tug basin on the northeast side of the harbour.

    The record of decisions granted by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) remains subject to a 30-day appeal process and carries several conditions.

    The proposal to extend the container terminal from two to four berths, making a total of 1,340 metres of quay for this purpose, arose after it became apparent that having just two berths would not be sufficient for an efficient port operation, particularly in light of anticipated congestion at Durban ahead of extensions at that port.

    The marine craft basin was not in the original plans for the harbour, left off it is believed as a cost saving exercise but always intended to be included at a later stage. The basin will be home to harbour tugs and a pilot boat as well as other administration craft.

    The conditions on the approval granted include an environmental management plan to be submitted by Transnet regarding the rehabilitation of areas disturbed by construction, measures to be taken to control loud noises such as blasting during the breeding season of sea birds on the neighbouring islands, and details of how Transnet intends taking care of waste disposal. In addition construction has to be undertaken in such a manner as not to limit the visual impact of the Greater Addo National Park which lies adjacent to the port and industrial development zone.

    Transnet has also to appoint an environmental officer to monitor compliance of these factors.

    SABS is new regulator for cement industry

    by Michael Appel (BuaNews)

    Pretoria, 14 August - The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) is to take over as the regulator in the cement industry from the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

    This announcement was made at a cement industry meeting held in Pretoria, Tuesday.

    The Director of Legal Support and Prosecutions at the dti, Sipho Tleane said: "We have been regulating cement for the past 10 years, now the dti is giving the regulatory function over to the SABS."

    Mr Tleane explained the department had been using the Consumer Affairs Act of 1988 to regulate unfair business practices within the cement industry, but conceded the department has been struggling to regulate cement.

    "We found the way we were regulating cement just wasn't working."

    Later this month a new Bill will be placed before parliament which will see the splitting of the three organisations within the SABS tasked with performing regulatory duties.

    The new regulations will require industry stakeholders to provide proof of compliance with regulatory specifications and go through a process of applying for approval from the SABS, as well as pass surveillance inspections from SABS regulatory inspectors.

    In South Africa, cement is subjected to the provisions of the Standards Act of 1993, which provides for the promotion and maintenance of standardisation and quality in connection with commodities, such as cement, and the rendering of services.

    Importers and manufacturers of cement will have to comply with the requirements of the Compulsory Specification for cement as from 6 September 2007, as published in the Government Gazette on 6 July 2007.

    Furthermore, manufacturers and importers will also be required to apply to the SABS Regulatory Chemicals, Mechanical and Materials Department (CMM) for the approval of all types of cement, whether common or masonry, and its factories.

    All importers will be expected to obtain a Letter of Authority before importing any cement into the country.

    If manufacturers or importers are found to be non-compliant with regulations, the SABS will conduct an investigation into the suspected non-compliance and can take legal action, said Technical Specialist with the CMM, Simon Odendaal.

    SABS Approvals Manager at the CMM Department Thando Magolego, agreed saying, "If non-compliance is found, then sanctions against the manufacturer can be enforced."

    The announcement of the new cement regulator comes amidst a shortage of the commodity in the country.

    The Cement and Concrete Institute in July reported the demand for cement in South Africa and its neighbouring countries had increased by 13 percent since the beginning of the year.

    Construction projects linked to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as well as the Gautrain and boom in commercial property development has led to the short supply of cement in the country.

    North Sea oil platform on fire

    Breaking news as this news bulletin was put together last night involved a fire raging on board the oil platform OCEAN GUARDIAN in the North Sea, some 125 miles from Aberdeen in Scotland.

    According to early reports there were 87 people on board the platform and rescue helicopters from Norway and the UK had begun evacuating them. By 9pm South African time last night about 35 had been lifted off to safety.

    A spokesman described the fire as “not under control” at that stage.

    Pic of the day – THORSCAPE

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    Another picture of one of the lovely Thor Dahl ships of CCAL – Canadian Christensen Africa Line – sent in by New Zealand reader Jack Moorhead who served on her (see News Bulletin PIC OF THE DAY for 13 August) This time the ship is THORSCAPE, seen here in Singapore, at berth 4 according to Mr Moorhead.

    Send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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