Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 22, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • New river ports planned for Nile

  • Coega could get major new manganese smelter

  • New man at the helm of Grindrod Intermodal

  • Greenpeace tracks Japanese whaling fleet

  • Maersk Line takes top award for 9th time

  • Maintenance shutdown tonight

  • Pic of the day – MAERSK DELLYS

  • New river ports planned for Nile

    Egypt has announced it intends holding an auction for the rights to build eight river ports along the Nile River which will operate on a franchise-style basis, reports Business Today (Egypt).

    According to Transport Minister Mohamed Mansour, the eight ports are to be located at Beni Sueif, Minya, Sohag, Qena, Assiut and Dekheila and will provide greater flexibility to those using the Nile for transportation.

    He said at a meeting with the Alexandria Chamber for Shipping that it was also intended to create a connection between the ports of Alexandria and Damietta via the Nile. Studies had shown that land transport was 15 percent more expensive than river transport, yet despite this 95 percent of goods transported between Alexandria and Damietta goes by land.

    Mansour said he has asked the Arab Academy for Sciences to undertake a study of how to develop Nile transportation facilities and improve river transport generally. He also said there were ample opportunities for private investors in the country’s port and docking services.

    Port Said is now the third busiest port in the Mediterranean region, said Mansour, and a three-year plan intended to turn it into number one.

    According to the paper development is being extended to Egyptian seaports along the Red Sea in order to provide low-cost transportation for an estimated 1.5 million passengers annually.

    This included new safety measures that has reduced the maximum passenger load for sea-going ferries from 2,700 to 1,200, while eleven ferries have been decommissioned, leaving only 12 which are currently licensed to carry passengers. An additional nine ferries will however soon be added to the fleet.

    Source – Business Today (Egypt)

    Coega could get major new manganese smelter

    Assuming the project comes to fruition, the fledgling port and Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) of Ngqura / Coega is set to score with a massive joint venture involving South African BEE company Kalagadi Manganese and India’s ArcelorMittal.

    Kalagadi Manganese is 80 percent owned by Kalahari Resources, a black-owned and controlled group, while the balance of 20 percent is held by the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

    Providing the deal currently under discussion and evaluation comes off this would provide Coega with a second major anchor investment project next to the multi-billion rand Alcan aluminium smelter now being readied for construction, and would be an additional industrial boost for the Eastern Cape and the new port.

    The R4.2 Billion project calls for the development of a new manganese mine and sinter plant near Hotazel in the Northern Cape, which would produce up to 2.4 million tonnes of ore annually. The new mine near Hotazel would become the first new major Greenfield development in the manganese mining industry for 30 years.

    The smelter at Coega would produce up to 320,000 tonnes of ferromanganese alloy annually, which is used in the steel industry and would be an important step in the country’s beneficiation programme.

    Manganese ore from the Northern Cape is currently railed to Port Elizabeth, adjacent to the new port of Ngqura, for export purposes, with between 1 and 2 million tonnes exported annually. There are moves to relocate the port’s export facility from Port Elizabeth to Ngqura but this has been delayed over the question of who pays for the transfer and subsequent cleaning up of the ore dump at Port Elizabeth harbour.

    New man at the helm of Grindrod Intermodal

    Richard Foulds (Left), which retires shortly from 19 years with the firm he co-founded, and Jan Nair, his replacement as managing director of Grindrod Intermodal. Picture supplied

    Grindrod Intermodal emerged this year as a one-stop service provider for the movement of containerised cargo in Southern Africa. This had been made possible by consolidating three businesses within the Grindrod Group - Cross Country Containers, CMC Grindrod and Grindrod J&J.

    “The consolidation of the three businesses was bedded down fairly quickly, without too many major disruptions”, said Richard Foulds, managing director Grindrod Intermodal.

    Foulds co-founded Cross Country Containers in 1988 together with his partner Grant Wells, who died tragically in a car accident 10 years ago.

    “The business was very different 19 years ago and we battled to keep our heads above water,” he said. “We marketed ourselves as the 1st independent rail operator, but since rail rates were calculated on volumes we struggled to compete with the ‘big boys’. Fortunately the business slowly grew and we further progressed by opening a container depot and warehouse known as CMC. This was later merged with Grindrod Container Services to become CMC Grindrod.”

    Grindrod Intermodal today is a far cry from the early days, with 500,000m² of depot and warehouse space and R90 million worth of handling equipment.

    In almost 2 decades, Foulds has seen many changes as the business evolved to what it is today. A share of Cross Country Containers and CMC was sold to P&O Nedlloyd about 10 years ago and for a while was owned by Maersk when they acquired P&O Nedlloyd. Grindrod, as part of its expansion strategy bought the remaining shares in CMC Grindrod and Cross Country Containers in 2006.

    “We are very proud of what we have achieved over the last year”, Foulds said. “I will be retiring at the end of 2007 at which time Jan Nair, who has been closely involved in the consolidation, will take over as Managing Director of Grindrod Intermodal.”

    Asked about the future plans for Grindrod Intermodal, he mentioned that Unitainer, another business within the Grindrod Group, would be consolidated within Grindrod Intermodal.

    “Unitainer’s container depots will complement the existing depots and the container trading area of the business provides synergies and added value for clients. Michael Fry, the current General Manager of Unitainer, will continue running this business and will be appointed a director of Grindrod Intermodal.”

    Jan Nair has been in the industry for 30 years and with Cross Country Containers for the last 10 years.

    “I am very excited about Grindrod Intermodal’s future prospects. As has been mentioned in the press, Grindrod have made significant investments in infrastructure development and terminals specifically in Maputo and Richards Bay. There is obviously going to be an opportunity for Grindrod Intermodal to expand its operations into these areas.”

    Asked if he would be doing anything differently, Nair said that he would continue to roll out the strategy put in place by the management team under Fould’s leadership. “We believe in developing our people, recognising and rewarding their individual strengths and making them accountable for their actions.”

    Richard and I have always shared the philosophy that management should run the business as if it was their own and I believe this is one of the secrets to our success. I certainly have every intention to continue this philosophy.”

    Greenpeace tracks Japanese whaling fleet

    by Lavinia Mahlangu

    Pretoria (BuaNews) - A Japanese whaling fleet hunting protected humpback whales sailed toward Antarctica's waters Monday, while the fleet itself is the object of a hunt by Greenpeace.

    Greenpeace said its protest ship Esperanza (a Spanish word meaning Hope) was searching for the fleet south of Japanese territorial waters and would shadow the ships to the South Pacific to try to curtail their catch.

    South Africa's policy on management of the whale population visiting its shores is one of non-consumptive use within the overall policy of sustainable use.

    Whale hunting took place along South Africa's shores in the past, but the country has no intention of returning to whale hunting, as it reiterated in 2002 after the 54th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Japan.

    The Japanese fleet was embarking on the country's largest whaling expedition, targeting protected humpbacks for the first time since the 1960s, reports Xinhua News.

    Japan says it needs to kill the animals in order to conduct research on their reproductive and feeding patterns. While scientific whale hunts are allowed by IWC, critics say Japan is simply using science as a cover for commercial whaling.

    South Africa's Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism says whales have become a valued and precious part of South African biodiversity and its tourism industry.

    According to the Ministry, our country is ahead of the rest of the world in the management of this resource in order to ensure that there is minimal impact on whales visiting our shores.

    Coastal towns such as Hermanus and Knysna have built their tourism industries around their natural beauty, with activities such as whale watching being pivotal to their local economies.

    The Japanese whalers plan to kill up to 50 humpbacks in what is believed to be the first large-scale hunt for the once nearly extinct species since a 1963 moratorium in the Southern Pacific put the giant marine mammals under international protection.

    The mission also aims to take as many as 935 minke whales and up to 50 fin whales in what Japan's Fisheries Agency says is its largest-ever scientific whale hunt. The expedition lasts through April 2008.

    In a farewell ceremony Sunday for the four-ship expedition, officials told a crowd at the southern Japanese port of Shimonoseki that Japan should preserve its whale-eating culture.

    The Japanese hunt, which puts meat from the whales on the commercial market, is growing rapidly despite an increasingly vocal anti-whaling movement.

    The northern hemisphere winter season's target of up to 1,035 whales is more than double the number the country hunted a decade ago.

    Japan argues that it should have the right to hunt whales as long as they are not in danger of extinction.

    South Africa believes firmly that the IWC is the appropriate and legal body to manage the whale resources of the world and will continue to support it.

    In 2004 the country was chosen to host the International Whale Watching Workshop, which took place in Cape Town.

    South Africa was chosen as host country because of its vast experience in shark cage tourism as well as whale watching.

    Maersk Line takes top award for 9th time

    Maersk Line has been awarded ‘Container Shipping Line of the Year’ at the prestigious Lloyd's List Asia Awards 2007 event. The award demonstrates the wide recognition of Maersk Line as a benchmark within the industry.

    "We appreciate the massive support from our customers and their confidence in our services [and] are committed to strive even higher, meeting the needs of our customers and their businesses, and develop high quality and reliable transport solutions," said Thomas Orting Jorgensen, Global Head of Sales and Marketing in Maersk Line.

    The Lloyd's List Asia Awards 2007 ceremony was held in Hong Kong on 15 November 2007. Maersk Line has won the ‘Container Shipping Line of the Year’ award for nine years in a row.

    Maintenance shut down tonight

    Please note that PORTS & SHIPS will be offline for approximately one hour between the hours of 4am and 6am (SA Time) tomorrow morning (Friday 23 November).

    Pic of the day – MAERSK DELLYS

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The container ship MAERSK DELLYS seen in Cape Town harbour during November. Picture Ian Shiffman

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