Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 3, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Kingsley Holgate reaches the halfway point round Africa

  • IMO delays ballast deal

  • African port news

  • Mitropoulos re-elected head of IMO

  • Maersk posts increased profits but container trades still a concern


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    Kingsley Holgate reaches the halfway point round Africa

    A new blog or message from Kingsley Holgate, the modern day African explorer has been received and posted in our SEA STORIES column.

    Kingsley Holgate and his team have just passed the halfway or 20,000km mark on his Africa, the Outside Edge expedition in which he is circumnavigating Africa by Land Rover and boat along the outer edge of the continent. During the journey the team is distributing anti-malari mosquito nets by the thousand as well as other educational and medical advice and equipment.

    You can read the latest (and all previous blogs) here on PORTS & SHIPS

    IMO delays ballast deal

    The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) says it welcomes the delay announced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in enforcing a requirement for new ships to have ballast water treatment equipment.

    The IMO agreed to postponing the regulation on account that the 2004 Ballast Water Management Convention has not yet entered into force and there is also a lack of type-approved equipment.

    “We are very pleased that the compromise proposal put forward by ICS, with helpful support from Intertanko and OCIMF, has been agreed by governments and that new ships constructed from 2009 will not be required to have the new equipment fitted until their second annual survey or end 2011, whichever is the sooner,” said David Tongue, ICS Marine Manager who headed the ICS in complex negotiations at IMO.

    The IMO also agreed that the Marine Environment Protection Committee should revisit the question of ships constructed in 2010 and according to Tongue a major obstacle to ratification by governments of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention “has thus hopefully been removed, and ICS will continue its campaign to see that this important Convention enters into force as soon as possible. In the meantime, ICS members will remain committed to performing deep water ballast exchange, whenever it is safe to do so, and co-operating with voluntary coastal state requirements.”

    In July this year the ICS expressed its disappointment at the failure then of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to agree to a delay to the introduction of new ships’ ballast water treatment equipment.

    “ICS has been seeking a solution to an impossible dilemma confronting shipowners currently placing orders for many new ships, which under the terms of the 2004 Ballast Water Management Convention will be required to be fitted with special treatment equipment to eliminate nuisance aquatic species if constructed after 1 January 2009. MEPC confirmed that once the Convention enters into force this date will apply regardless of the time when it actually comes into effect. The problem, quite simply, is that there is still no equipment available that is officially proven to comply with the required IMO standards for treatment systems,” said Peter Hinchliffe, ICS Marine Director.

    sources – Marine Global Net, ICS and IMO

    African port news

    The port of Tanga, although it is Tanzania’s second largest port, is not normally associated with large cargo shipments, which makes a consignment of 40,000 tonnes of cement clinker somewhat remarkable.

    The clinker arrived on board the 190m long bulker NORD VOYAGER from Singapore recently, reports the East African Business Week. The newspaper comments that Tanga suffers from being positioned midway between Dar es Salaam and Mombasa, which have effectively ‘siphoned’ off traffic from the northern Tanzanian port.

    The report says that Tanga aims at handling soda ash from Lake Natron, bauxite from Lushoto and woodchips for export with a combined potential capacity of three million tonnes annually. The port currently handles in the region of between 550,000 and 700,000 tonnes of cargo annually.

    As has been reported in PORTS & SHIPS on a previous occasion, Tanzania Ports Authority hopes to build a new port facility at Mwambani Bay about 8km from Tanga where deepwater berths can be constructed. The port is currently operated by lighters loading and discharging from ships in the anchorage.

    Nigeria’s port concessioning policy is coming under further scrutiny following the decision by the recently elected federal government to overturn the splitting of Nigerian Ports Authority in two sections.

    Although it is more than a year since Nigeria’s port terminals were concessioned criticism of the decision has not died down. Reasons given for the decision to concession was to reduce the cost of doing business in Nigeria and to stem the movement of cargo being diverted to ports in neighbouring West African countries.

    Critics have pointed out rising costs at the terminals and a lack of improvement or progress at some of the terminals. The federal government is being called on to review the process and if necessary take steps to return the terminals to state control and operation.

    A number of Cameroon ports have been placed on the blacklist by the US Coast Guard on account of the West African country’s lapses in port security. As a result ships calling at some of the country’s ports as from Wednesday (5 December 2007) will have to undergo strict procedures before they can visit any US port.

    According to the US Coast Guard only the ports of Ebome Marine Terminal, the Quai Getma (Lamnalco) and the Société Nationale de Raffinage (SONARA) terminal are in compliance with effective anti-terrorism measures in place. However, any ship that now calls at the other Cameroon ports and terminals, within five port calls ahead of any US visit, will have to undergo a regimen of procedures in compliance with US anti-terrorism laws.

    Mitropoulos re-elected head of IMO

    The 25th biennial meeting of the IMO Assembly (International Maritime Organisation) has unanimously confirmed the decision of the Organisation's Council to extend the appointment of Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos for a further term of four years, for the period 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2011.

    Mr Mitropoulos thanked delegates for the continuing trust they had placed in him and for their unfailing understanding and co-operation during his first four years as Secretary-General. He also thanked the Secretariat for its hard work and support.

    In sharing with the IMO Members his vision for the future, he said that, in the years to come, the focus of the many challenges facing the Organisation should be on:

    * Keeping alive the spirit of this year's World Maritime Day theme, on responding successfully to environmental challenges. "We should," he said "intensify our efforts to improve, implement and enforce all the marine environment-related instruments we have put in place; and to bring those in the pipeline (especially the measures we are contemplating to reduce shipping's contribution to atmospheric pollution) to a successful conclusion within the agreed timeframe or, wherever possible, even sooner. In being pro-active in this respect, not only will we be sending a strong message about our commitment to a cleaner environment, we will also state, unequivocally, that we are driven by our own green agenda out of our own concern and sensitivity about the environment."

    * Retaining the safety of life at sea as IMO's principal objective. In this respect, he highlighted the importance of work to "further progress the 'goal-based standard' concept, in anticipation of the beneficial impact it will certainly have, among other things, on overseeing the performance of recognized organizations. Apace with that, we should seek progress on the comprehensive review of the STCW Convention and on all matters pertaining to seafarer safety."

    * Continuing to address maritime security. This was an issue, he said, that "allows for no complacency in the prevention and suppression of unlawful acts (including piracy and armed robbery against ships) that may cost dearly in terms of human lives, property and the environment". At the same time, efforts would continue to bring the LRIT system to successful fruition.

    * Consolidating and further promoting the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme, which, Mitropoulos emphasised, "has had a very successful initial implementation phase during the current biennium".

    * Giving emphasis, he said, in line with the Organisation's Strategic Plan and High-level Action Plan, to IMO's "ongoing efforts in areas such as the safety of non-Convention ships; the outcome of marine accident investigations; the role of the human element; improving the port State control non-compliance rate by promoting greater efforts by all parties in the chain of responsibility; and promoting and raising the profile, environmental consciousness and, thus, the quality of international shipping".

    * Continuing "to support fully", he concluded, "those entrusted by the Membership to lead the Organisation's various bodies; and also for the Secretariat, who spare no effort to provide sound advice and assistance".

    Appealing to Members to continue working together, Secretary-General Mitropoulos expressed confidence in IMO succeeding in its efforts to respond to the expectations of the maritime community and, thus, ensuring that the Organization would remain relevant now and in the future.

    source - IMO

    Maersk posts increased profits but container trades still a concern

    AP Moller-Maersk Group, which is the parent company of Maersk Line and Safmarine, last week announced an unaudited net profit of US$2.85 Billion.

    The results indicate a 27 percent increase over the previous year and the Group’s new Chief Executive, Nils Andersen says the container business (Maersk Line is the world’s largest container carrier) is showing increased profitability but remains far from satisfactory.

    In the first half of 2007 Maersk Line carried 3m FEU (forty foot equivalents) which was an increase of 3 percent on the same period for 2006 and was well below that of the rest of the industry.

    Safmarine carried 295,000 FEU for the six months of 2007, an increase of 14 percent on 2006.

    The Group made $25 million net profit from container shipping activities, including APM Terminals, compared to a loss of $698m for the first nine months of 2006.

    Results for tankers and other shipping and offshore activities were considerably above that of the same period for 2006, mainly due to sale of ships and rigs.

    The company expects to improve its results for the full year by 20 percent over 2006 which was US$2.7 Billion. Previous forecasts were for a result of $3 Billion.

    The company says that in the first half of 2007 global growth in container trade has been 9 percent above the same period for 2006 but with considerable regional differences. Growth was particularly strong between Asia and Europe.

    Pic of the day –KAPITAN MARTYSHKIN and OCEAN ORC

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The tug KAPITAN MARTYSHKIN arrived in Table Bay on Friday towing the pontoon OCEAN ORC. Both vessels sailed later at the weekend. Picture Aad Noorland

    Don’t forget to 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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