Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 2, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Dar es Salaam crisis – need for increased terminal capacity

  • Transnet Freight Rail to remain unified

  • Ghana looks to develop its ports and rail

  • SA yacht in difficulty off Reunion

  • Water Conference highlights transboundary work

  • Pic of the day – MSC GINA

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    Dar es Salaam crisis – need for increased terminal capacity

    The port of Dar es Salaam is fast running out of container terminal capacity and an additional berth made available recently will soon no longer be sufficient.

    In a newspaper article quoted by the East African, David Cotty, chief executive officer of Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS) said that the present terminal would soon be unable to handle the steadily increasing volumes of containers.

    Annual growth at TICTS for the last year was 15 percent and with the additional berth allocated to TICTS the port’s current capacity was in the region of between 450,000 and 650,000 TEU, a figure that largely depended on dwell times. Before TICTS took over the operation of the Dar es Salaam terminal the growth rate had been 4 percent. By the end of this year the terminal will handle 340,000 TEU and will further increase to 525,000 by 2010, by which time the port will be running out of capacity.

    In addition to acquiring and additional berth and relocating port infrastructure, TICTS has modernised one of the gate areas. The company intends spending $ 60 million on new terminal equipment and is spending another $ 13 million on civil works, which includes the demolishing of old sheds, the refurbishment of the Ubongo inland depot, new fenders and crane rails.

    On top of this Tanzania Ports Authority has allocated nearly $ 33 million for port infrastructure during the 2007/08 fiscal year and will spend nearly $ 6m on building and repairing jetties.

    source - East African

    Transnet Freight Rail to remain unified

    Transnet Freight Rail (formerly Spoornet) has abandoned ideas of splitting the company in two with one division responsible for operations and the other focusing on infrastructure.

    The decision to divide the company was first announced several years ago and follows patterns adopted by a number of foreign rail networks, in particular in the UK and Europe. This week however chief executive Siyabonga Gama announced that the infrastructure and operating divisions within Transnet Freight Rail would remain unified in one company.

    He said this followed a rethink in the UK and elsewhere where it had been shown that dividing the rail networks had not proven successful.

    In the UK a number of rail accidents that resulted in the loss of life had been blamed in some quarters on the breakup of British Rail into infrastructure and operating divisions. It was said that maintenance programmes under the infrastructure division had been neglected. Largely as a result of these incidents there is a rethink taking place in the UK including calls for the re-nationalisation of railways in that country.

    According to the previous proposed model Spoornet was to handle the operation of trains while another unnamed division would have taken responsibility for the maintenance and building of railway lines and other infrastructure.

    Whether the Spoornet model would have included privatising operating divisions of the rail utility, as happened in the UK and Europe, is extremely doubtful, given the strong history of union pressure against any such moves and government’s susceptibility to that pressure.

    In addition Spoornet has always shown a strong reluctance to relinquish even disused branch or secondary lines to private operators, despite this having been mooted by the government as long ago as 2001 and earlier.

    Ghana looks to develop its ports and rail

    Ghana’s Ministry of Harbours and Railways is intensifying its focus on infrastructural development, the provision of a necessary regulatory framework, and setting of standards for the operation of the different modes of transport within the country, says a report in the Ghanaian Chronicle.

    The report says that the ministry has instigated initiatives aimed at developing the country’s ports as the major container hubs in the West African region.

    Among these initiatives announced by the ministry are the dredging of the ports of Tema and Takoradi and the completion of quay extensions, electronic data interchanges, waste reception areas and access roads to both ports.

    In addition new modern tugs are being acquired for the two ports and Takoradi is to get a new fruit terminal as well as having its slipway and ship repair facilities rehabilitated.

    The Minister for Ports, Harbour and Railways, Prof C Ameyaw Akrumfi also announced that Ghana’s railway network is to undergo rehabilitation. He said that efforts to attract investors to the railway network had been successful and an agreement had been signed for the rehabilitation and extension of the Eastern Rail line. Negotiations were underway for a similar rehabilitation of the Western Rail system.

    Turning to inland waterways Prof Akrumfi said measures had been introduced to reduce the number of boat accidents on Lake Volta. These included the creation of four boat landing and disembarking stations at Tapa Abotoase, Kete Krachi, Dambai and Yeji, where overloading, improper loading, drunken and unruly behaviour by boat operators and the sailing in dangerous weather conditions would be policed.

    Lake Safety Regulations had been introduced and educational programmes on boat safety, boat surveys and inspections introduced. An effective flag and port state security programme would ensure compliance with the provisions of the Ghana Maritime Security Act (GMSA) and an Automated Identification System (AIS) and other electronic surveillance systems along the Ghana coastline was being introduced to monitor shipping activities and check acts of piracy and other illegal acts in the country’s territorial waters.

    SA yacht in difficulty off Reunion

    A South African yacht named CLANDARA with a crew of four on board has been dismasted in a storm in the Indian Ocean about 1,200km south-east of the island of Reunion.

    According to reports the 45ft yacht had sailed from Durban and was en route to Australia where it ran into the storm during which the mast was lost. The yacht began motoring for Mauritius but has since run out of fuel and subsequently a call for assistance was issued.

    Shipping in the area has been alerted and a French naval vessel has sailed from Reunion to render assistance.

    The rescue is being co-ordinated by Mauritian maritime authorities.

    Water Conference highlights transboundary work

    by Shaun Benton (BuaNews)

    Cape Town, 31 July 2007 - The International Water Conference, organised by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has highlighted the importance of working across state boundaries for a greater end.

    Opening the four-day conference on Tuesday in Cape Town, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk said: "The success of international water programmes and projects must lie in the ability of the implementers to work across state boundaries with various configurations of government agencies and portfolios."

    With over 350 delegates from 135 countries attending, the conference is also an opportunity for delegates to "allow lessons learned across continents to be crystallised into universal good practice", the minister said.

    The GEF - which itself held a major assembly in Cape Town last August, where it raised over $ 3 billion - is the largest funder in the world of projects to improve the global environment through sustainable development initiatives.

    At the GEF's Fourth Biennial International Waters Conference, delegates gathered to discuss pressing environmental issues ranging from concepts around coral reef restoration to international partnerships to protect marine environments.

    The GEF and its leading implementing agency, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have been providing support to over 100 countries in working together to identify and address transboundary environmental issues around water resources for the past 15 years.

    Together, the UNDP and the GEF provide about $ 200 million in grant funding, while leveraging a further 0 million in co-financing arrangements, with the largest package of about million being spent on strategic programmes around depleted fisheries.

    Other GEF-UNDP strategic programmes focus on nutrient over-enrichment, conflicting water uses, reducing ‘persistent toxic substances’ as well as learning programmes.

    Africa gets the lion's share of GEF-UNDP regional spending in its international waters portfolio, with $ 98.53 million - out of a total of $ 340.64 - while $ 18.51 million goes to the Latin America and Caribbean region.

    South Africa alone has a coastline that stretches over 3 000 kilometres, with an array of interlinking marine ecosystems that are not limited to its borders.

    This has led to the country entering into multilateral arrangements such as the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem, one of richest and most productive marine ecosystems on earth, linking South Africa, Namibia and Angola.

    Delegates at the GEF conference included specialists from the United Nations Environment Programme, UNESCO, the organisation of American States, the World Bank, research centres and government agencies.

    In his address, Mr Van Schalkwyk said that developing countries are acknowledging that the environment "must be managed at the appropriate scales if we are going to have a measure of success that stands the test of time".

    Also of importance - perhaps especially for developing nations - is an understanding, he said, of the socio-economic impacts in managing ecosystems.

    "With each coastal state exercising its right to use the ocean services at its disposal, we must acknowledge that there are threshold limits that exist at the ecosystem scale," the minister said.

    Mr Van Schalkwyk added: "The true value of international waters programmes, like those facilitated through the GEF, is that they engage management agencies on these large-scale limits.

    "These programmes encourage states to look at environmental impacts and influences outside their jurisdictional boundaries and across ecosystem scales."

    Pic of the day – MSC GINA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The container ship MSC GINA arriving at Durban with an impressively large cargo of containers. A sister ship to MSC ANIELLO, MSC DIEGO and MSC REGINA, the ship has a length of 259m and a beam of 32.2m and can load up to 4,056-TEU. The four ships are each engined with a single Sulzer 8 RTA84Cu main engine, displace 72,335 tonnes and have a speed of 23 knots. Picture by Terry Hutson

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