Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 1, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • China, Mozambique boost trade, economic ties

  • Cape Town expansion welcomed by Chamber

  • Island View berth 7 closes for maintenance

  • Seaman killed on supply ship

  • Nigerian railway goes ahead next month

  • Pic of the day – SA AGULHAS

    China, Mozambique boost trade, economic ties

    Maputo (BuaNews-Xinhua) - The Mozambique and China governments have signed an agreement in Maputo on bilateral cooperation for the period 2008/2009, aimed at strengthening bilateral trade and economic relations.

    The document was signed last week by Mozambique's Deputy Foreign Minister, Eduardo Koloma and the Chinese Assistant Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying during the third meeting of the joint Commission for Technical, Economic and Trade Activities, quotes the Xinhua news agency.

    At the signing ceremony, the two sides drew up a balance sheet of their activities since the last session held in April 2004, and made work plans for the period until the next meeting, scheduled for 2009.

    Having concluded that this cooperation was positive during the last few years, they agreed as priorities the areas of education, health, agriculture, infrastructures and sports.

    It was in this context that the Chinese government has pledged $55 million dollars for the building of an Agricultural Technology Centre, a project that was announced during the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Mozambique in February.

    China is also granting $300,000 to support the rehabilitation of infrastructures destroyed by natural disasters in the country.

    Speaking on the occasion, Fu Ziying described the signing of these agreements as a moment to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the two countries and renew the Chinese commitment to support Mozambique in the fight to reduce poverty and underdevelopment, and in all efforts to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the Mozambican people.

    Mr Koloma stressed the importance of the 30 years of cooperation between Mozambique and China, and claimed that, at international level, the two countries harmonise common strategic positions for the preservation of peace, defence and security, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    Cape Town expansion welcomed by Chamber

    The Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the decision to go ahead with work on the port container terminal to increase the handling capacity by nearly threefold over the next six or seven years.

    This will mainly be achieved by installing new cranes, equipment and stacking systems to increase efficiency.

    In addition the berths and the Ben Schoeman basin will be deepened to accommodate a new generation of larger container ships which will be worked by as many as five cranes at a time. The tender for the dredging is expected to be awarded next month and the work will take place over five years.

    “This is good news for Cape Town and the Province as the port plays a huge role in the economy of the Western Cape,” said Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber. She said that without the ability to accommodate bigger vessels more shipping would by-pass Cape Town.

    The development decisions follow the approval of the expansion plans by the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Marthinus van Schalkwyk. The new developments will not increase the footprint of the port and this is seen as a major concession to environmentalists.

    At present the port handles about 700,000 container units a year and the changes will increase this capacity to two million units.

    New equipment has already been ordered and should be operational by the time work starts on deepening the first berth. The port authorities believe that this equipment will enable more efficient loading and unloading of vessels to compensate for the loss of a berth during dredging.

    The developments plans will also see some re-organisation of the port with some activities moving to areas outside the port precinct in order to create more stacking space for containers.

    Ms Myburgh said the decisions on improvements had been delayed for far too long and the Chamber was delighted that work would begin in the next few months.

    source – Cape Business News www.cbn.co.za

    Island View berth 7 closes for maintenance

    The Port of Durban has advised that berth 7 at Island View will be closed for maintenance and refurbishment for much of October.

    The actual closure is scheduled for between 8 October and 2 November but may be extended if the work is not completed.

    Island View berths are undergoing systematic upgrading and are being taken out of service generally one at a time.

    Port users are reminded that the widening of the entrance channel is underway at present with a dredger at work in the channel inside the port and also outside the entrance.

    In addition Transnet National Ports Authority advised earlier that the tug jetty situated at the Point next to the NSRI station is in the process of being demolished. This involves slicing the jetty into approximately 30 pieces with each section being towed to a pre-selected dumping ground out at sea.

    The operation of securing the tow and taking each section through the channel takes about an hour, during which the channel is closed to other traffic but the TNPA has given the assurance that the activity will take place with the least amount of disruption to shipping.

    Seaman killed on supply ship

    The Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEAT) patrol vessel SARAH BAARTMAN has sailed from Cape Town to rendezvous with another departmental vessel, the supply vessel SA AGULHAS, to take off the body of a seafarer who was killed while off-duty on board the ship in the early hours of Friday morning (28 September 2007). The two ships will rendezvous sometime during this week.

    The 22-year old seaman, Edward Robert Hulley, an ordinary seaman on board the SA AGULHAS was apparently stabbed to death while off duty and his death has become a matter for investigation by the South African Police Services.

    Hulley’s family in Brooklyn, Cape Town has been informed of the tragedy.

    SA Agulhas was en route to the island of Tristan da Cunha in the mid South Atlantic and is only due back in Cape Town later in October.

    Nigerian railway goes ahead next month

    Construction of the new Lagos – Kano railway, which will be built to the European broad gauge (1435mm) as opposed to the Cape gauge (1067mm) currently in use in Nigeria, is due to commence next month (November), according to Jing Wenchang, the chief engineer of China Civil Engineering Construction.

    Wenchang was addressing a group of tribal leaders in Nigeria whom he met to discuss the effect the building of the railway will have on tribal areas.

    The railway project involves building a new railway from Lagos on the coast to Kano in the north via Abuja, the federal capital, on a double track line replacing the old Cape gauge track. The 1010km line will link six major centres – Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano.

    The line has been designed to operate passenger trains at speeds of up to 150 km/h over the double-tracked Lagos – Kano section and 80 km/h for goods trains.

    Pic of the day – SA AGULHAS

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The departmental supply ship SA AGULHAS seen in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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