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Ports & Ships Maritime News

3 January 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

Ports & Ships Maritime News

3 January 2012
Author: Terry Hutson



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A Chinese dredger JIN HANG BO 53, which is under contract to Transnet National Ports Authority, sank inside Ngqura Harbour on New Year’s Day close to the extensions to the port’s container terminal.

There were no injuries and all of the crew on board at the time were rescued and taken ashore. A boom was placed around the vessel which us lying in a semi-submerged position inside the harbour but not in a position to interfere with port workings.

According to Port Harbour Master Captain Neil Chetty everything was under control and there was no risk of pollution. SAMSA later said that the vessel was carrying 72 cu.metres of gas oil and 6 cu.metres of hydraulic oil – the latter was in a sealed tank and is not considered a danger to pollution.

Captain Nigel Campbell, executive manager, Southern Region, SAMSA said that pumping of the gas oil was due to commence at 14h00 on Tuesday (3 January) and should be completed by 17h00 the same day. He said an investigation into why the dredger sank had commenced.

He said that at this stage it appeared that the cable supporting one of the after spud legs had parted causing the dredger to list. “There appears to be a hole in the hull, the cause of this is still being investigated.”

He indicated that the firms of Smit Amandla Marine and Extreme Projects had been appointed to container the oil on-board the dredger and that booms had been placed around the vessel.

“Preparations are on-going to commence attempting to float the dredger tomorrow morning (Wednesday, 4 January),” he said.




A Chinese bulker, the 50,700-dwt JIN FU (built 2001, IMO 921 4111) has gone aground on a sandbank in the Maputo entrance channel. According to sources the ship, which is owned and managed by a Hong Kong-based firm, was one of the first Chinese ships to load coal for China from Maputo.

It appears that at the time the ship went aground the port pilot had already handed back control of the ship to its master and departed. For reasons as yet unknown the vessel subsequently went aground on a sandbank between buoys 5 and 6 but fortunately is in a position that is not interfering with other vessels from entering and leaving the port.

It appears that Captain Nick Sloane, MD of Sloane Marine Ltd has been awarded the salvage contract and is on site overseeing the operation. Capt Sloane is the former MD and senior salvage master of Svitzer Africa. With a spring tide expected over the Christmas weekend this is possibly the best opportunity that the salvors will have to refloat the grounded ship.

It is also reported that efforts are being made to lighten the ship by transferring several thousand tons of coal to another vessel. We have not been able to confirm this.

Jin Fu is owned by Jinfen Marine Inc and managed by Goldbeam International Ltd, both of the same address in Hong Kong.

Map of Maputo Harbour - click to enlarge

The approaches to the port of Maputo, showing buoys 5 and 6

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The service vessel NORTH STAR heads out into Table Bay to attend another vessel off Cape Town. Picture by Glen Kasner


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Jorge Ferraz, who has resigned as CEO of the MPDC. Picture by Terry Hutson

Jorge Ferraz, chief executive officer of Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) has resigned and will be leaving the port company at the end of December 2011.

Ferraz has been associated with the Port of Maputo for many years having previously been in charge of the then P&O Ports-operated Maputo Container Terminal (MIPS). He was subsequently appointed to head P&O Ports in Southern Africa, taking charge of all port stevedoring and operating functions for the company in Mozambique and South Africa.

With the sale of P&O Ports to DP Ports and its subsequent partnership with the Grindrod Group as the joint concession-holder to manage and operate the Port of Maputo (MPDC), Ferraz was appointed as CEO of the company.

In a statement issued by the MPDC it said the board of MPDC acknowledges and thanks Ferraz “for his contribution to the accomplishment of key operational and financial objectives including traffic and cargo volumes which have increased significantly during his tenure as CEO.

“MPDC is currently implementing its Port Master Plan as presented to the public in Maputo in June 2011. The Port Master Plan outlines an investment plan, of around 1 billion dollars, to upgrade and develop port infrastructure, specifically the expansion of the coal, container and car terminals. The first major capital project, the dredging of the Port’s access channel, was successfully completed in January this year, allowing larger vessels to access the port.

“Jorge Ferraz’s charismatic management style consolidated the team spirit amongst all the workers. Mr Ferraz now leaves Port Maputo to embrace new personal challenges.”

The announcement said that MPDC will soon announce Jorge Ferraz’s successor.

The Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) said in a statement that Ferraz’s resignation from MPDC was the end of an era in the Port of Maputo and that MCLI has worked very closely with him since its inception in October 2003. “His vision, support and leadership has been immensely beneficial to the Maputo Corridor, and has brought significant benefits to the region while giving the growth in the Port of Maputo a considerable profile. We will sorely miss this direct interaction with him.”

The MCLI said it wanted to pay tribute to Jorge Ferraz for his foresight and vision in being a key partner in the establishment of MCLI and for his consistent support of the organisation both as CEO of the MIPS Container Terminal and as CEO of the Maputo Port Development Company.

“We have come to know Jorge as a man of integrity and sincerity and the results he obtained from the teams under his leadership speak volumes of his direct interest in people and the value placed in the human element of management. We wish him every success in his new venture and look forward to his continued contribution to this region.”


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Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and Toyota SA Motors (TSAM) announced yesterday (Wednesday) that the Container & Automotive Business Unit of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) will handle transportation of all Toyota vehicles directly without the use of a ‘middle-man’.

The contract was signed in Durban at a function in the Toyota SA plant by Dr Johan van Zyl, Chief Executive of TSAM, and Mr Siyabonga Gama, Chief Executive of TFR.

Gama said that negotiations had begun about four years ago which were based on TFR’s rail strategy of contracting direct with cargo owners. With this new contract TFR will now have a direct relationship with one of the strategic and leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), Toyota SA and a direct influence in the logistic chain. This, he said will inevitably increase the rail market share, volumes and revenue.

Under the previous arrangement the commercial relationship between TSAM and TFR was through a logistics service provider which was a ferry agent and whose first priority was to optimise his fleet of road carriers and only thereafter was rail considered.

Toyota last used rail on a consistent basis between the Point and its factory in the 1990s when it withdrew and turned to road transport because of poor delivery service from the then Spoornet.

The implementation of the agreement will be in three phases. The first phase involves the transportation by rail of domestic vehicles from Isipingo (adjacent to the TSAM plant at Prospecton, Durban) to Kaalfontein in Gauteng.

Phase 2 will see the transportation by rail of import units from the Durban Point Car Terminal to Kaalfontein, followed by Phase 3 which entails transporting export cars from Isipingo to the Point Container Terminal and harbour.

Phase 1 commenced on 17 October this year when the first batch of cars was loaded onto the train from Isipingo Car Terminal to Kaalfontein. Phase 2 is expected to follow soon.

Gama said there will be a further investment with the upgrading of TFR’s terminal in Kaalfontein for the storage of import and domestic vehicles as well as providing a bonded warehouse facility. TFR was also increasing the number of suitable rail wagons for the Toyota contract.

Benefits for Toyota are said to include a leaner and more efficient supply chain eliminating unnecessary waste. By utilising rail TSAM will be able to reduce its carbon footprint as one consignment of vehicles by train is equivalent to 10 road car carriers. There is also a benefit from relieving road traffic congestion and the number of associated road accidents.

TFR said it views this deal as a major breakthrough considering that TSAM is the leading car manufacturer in the country. It added that similar business arrangements with other car manufacturers such as Ford were in the pipeline.


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The plaque commemorating the importance of Cape Town and the V&A as the Gateway to Antarctica. Picture by Pat Downing

Cape Town’s world famous V&A Waterfront is noted for its special and unique atmosphere and in particular for being a waterfront within a working harbour. But what it hasn’t so far capitalised on and marketed to its full potential is its great historical background and heritage, which is something that Captain Steven Bentley, the V&A Harbour Master, and the new owners of the V&A are keen to change.

What they apparently have in mind is the creation of a heritage trail through the waterfront, set out with a series of plaques in relevant places around the V&A, which would be used to help change this lack of historical information and local knowledge. The plaques could be connected to any interesting or important historical event or occasion that either Cape Town in general or the V&A in particular has been party to.

With this as a background, Captain Bentley in his capacity as V&A Harbour Master asked that an Antarctic Gateway plaque be unveiled to coincide with the final sailing of the South African Polar Supply ship, SA AGULHAS, which sailed on Thursday 8 December at 14h00 for the SANAE base Antarctica for the last time before being retired early in 2012.

The plaque unveiling ceremony took place just prior to the sailing of SA Agulhas, preceded by opening comments from the Director Southern Oceans & Antarctica Support of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Henry Valentine, who opened proceedings by talking about the importance of modern day South Africa’s place in Antarctica.

He was followed by the DEA’s director-general of Oceans & Coast, Dr Monde Mayakiso, who enlarged on the importance of Antarctica’s heritage before Captain Bentley outlined what the V&A wanted to achieve in this respect. It was then the turn of Jay Gates, vice-chairman of the SA Ship Society in Cape Town, a man with an expert knowledge of Antarctic expeditions. Gates was asked to present a suitable speech for the occasion which he did by way of a 5 minute talk on how special and important Cape Town was as an Antarctic Gateway, both historically and in present times.

This, he said, was unknown to most Capetonians and to virtually the whole of South Africa due to it having been of little interest and of no significance to previous administrations. Yet, Cape Town is the single most important city in the world in respect of its record of supporting exploration and research expeditions from 1739 onwards.

This applied especially in the opening up of Antarctica, including the epic voyages of Capt James Cook, the greatest maritime navigator and explorer of all time, who called at the Cape on no less than four times during his voyages of exploration.

He said that two of the greatest Antarctic seafarers of the ‘Golden Age’ of Antarctic exploration, John Fion MacLear and John King Davis, were themselves Capetonians.

Gates pointed out that the City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee has its own ‘Antarctic Gateway’ portfolio which is actively promoting Cape Town as the Gateway to Antarctica, along with the Department of Environmental Affairs and its Antarctic Division.

He then handed over to Captain William Leith, a retired SA Agulhas captain who served on her for 21 years, who unveiled the plaque.

The day on the East Pier had been special, with the ship being loaded with last minute stores and expedition members boarding the ship and an atmosphere that was charged with excitement and emotional farewells as some members of the expedition are to spend three months down at the base and others all of 14 months. The speech and unveiling of the plaque proved most informative as the history it revealed was not known by most people present on the dockside who were there to wave goodbye to the SA Agulhas as she set out on her final voyage down to the ice.

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Jay Gates giving his speech before the unveiling of the plaque. Picture by Pat Downing


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President Jacob Zuma

Pretoria - Promoting intra-Africa trade and investment must be a matter of urgency, says President Jacob Zuma.

More importantly, Zuma says there is a need for the private sector to now pay more attention to African markets in order to be competitive and sustainable.

“The continent is rich in natural resources but above all, it has the resourcefulness of its people. The focus, therefore, must be on creating conditions that will release the creativity and productivity of the African people,” Zuma told the South Africa–Mozambique Business Forum in Maputo on Wednesday.

The President is in that country for a state visit aimed at further strengthening the existing bilateral co-operation between the two countries in areas including trade and investment, energy, mining, agriculture, communications, water, environmental affairs, arts and culture as well as science and technology.

African leaders have been talking about promoting intra-African trade in recognition of the fact that the African market of one billion consumers can be a powerful engine for growth and employment for the continent.

Yet, despite the introduction of free trade areas, customs unions and common markets within the regions, the level of intra-African trade remains relatively low.

Infrastructure was a key enabler of trade and economic integration in Africa but was severely lacking.

“What is required is that we do things that go beyond the ordinary. It cannot be business as usual on the African continent. In this regard, our continent needs to not only be characterised as a potential consumer market, but also ensure that we are at the forefront of production and innovation on our continent,” said Zuma.

He called for international collaboration in tackling Africa's infrastructure deficit and partnerships with established economies and the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (Brics) group of countries.

He also believed in the approach of "Developmental Integration” with countries in the SADC region, so as to create sustainable economies of scale and productive economies in our region.

Developmental Integration, according to Zuma, places importance on building productive and industrial capacity in economies and addressing supply-side constraints such as limited road, rail, ports and energy infrastructure.

Turning his focus to South Africa’s relations with Mozambique, Zuma said that although the relations were strong, the trade level was still low. He said the two countries were prepared to tackle the bureaucratic red tape that businesses encounter so as to create a conducive environment for trade and investment to flourish.

He said business must take opportunities in the two economies innovatively, while encouraging investments on both sides to create jobs and help to improve the quality of life of the people.

“These must be partnerships that ensure skills development, innovation, capital investments and technology transfer towards positive outcomes for our two economies. The infrastructure is being created for these opportunities to be utilised.”

The President commended projects such as Sasol’s R9.2 billion 865-km gas pipeline that ferries natural gas from the Temane and Pande fields in Mozambique to a distribution network in Secunda. – BuaNews


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Appropriate to the story above of the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Cape Town as the ‘Antarctic Gateway’ is this picture of the polar research vessel of the British Antarctic Survey, ERNEST SHACKLETON (4028-gt, built 1995), seen in Cape Town this week. The research ship is flagged in the Falkland Islands. Picture by Aad Noorland

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The 6,200-TEU container ship MAERSK KENSINGTON (74,642-gt, built 2007) seen at anchor off Cape Town recently. Picture by Ian Shiffman


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Please note that we will be taking a break from the end of this week until early January 2012. This is therefore our final daily news bulletin of the year. If however there is any important breaking news this will be reported as it happens, so do keep checking in. We would like to take this opportunity of wishing all our readers a very blessed and peaceful Festive Season.


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