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Ports & Ships Maritime News

10 January 2012
Author: Terry Hutson


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Yesterday we featured several pictures of the Hurtigruten passenger ship FINNMARKEN taken on arrival in Durban, where she spent a number of hours on New Year’s Day before sailing for Cape Town, her next port of call. The ship is on a re-positioning voyage and carries no passengers. This picture of the ship arriving in Cape Town later in the week was taken by Aad Noorland.


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South African port statistics for the month of December 2011 that are now to hand and courtesy of Transnet NPA, reflect a typical end of year drop in port activity. The one exception to this rule was Richards Bay which has finished the year with high volumes of coal thanks to increased deliveries by TFR and more determined sales by coal owners.

Saldanha also performed well with almost 5 million tonnes of dry bulk (iron ore) exports listed. Cape Town achieved over a million tonnes worth of total cargo (63,000 TEUs) while Durban recorded 206,318 TEUs for the month, bringing its total monthly tonnage handled to 5.812 million tonnes. Total containers handled by all ports for the month reached 337,928 TEUs during December, a decrease on November but overall the South African ports have finished the year strongly.

Coal exporters will look to Transnet Freight Rail and Richards Bay Coal Line to continue with the surge in coal exports that was experienced during the fourth quarter of 2011 in particular, with the terminal finishing the year strongly having handled 65.512 million tonnes of export coal during 2011. This is an improvement of recent years but still well below the terminal’s capacity of 91mt. Nevertheless it is a welcome indication that TFR is capable of railing the required volumes of coal to the port.

To compare the 2011 December figures year on year with those of 2010, go to the following link HERE for last year’s figures. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

As is standard with figures reported in PORTS & SHIPS, these reflect an adjustment on the overall tonnage to those provided by Transnet. This is to include containers by weight – an adjustment necessary because Transnet NPA measures containers only by number of TEUs.

To arrive at such a calculation, PORTS & SHIPS uses an average of 13,5 tonnes per TEU, which may involve some under-reporting but until such time as the IMO enforces the weighing of containers at all ports we will have to live with these estimates. Nevertheless, we continue to make this distinction lest South African ports continue to be under-reported internationally.

Figures for the respective ports during December 2011 are (with November 2011 figures shown bracketed):


CARGO HANDLED by tonnes during December 2011

 PORT December 2011 mt  November 2011 mt 
Richards Bay 8.306  8.210 
Durban  5.812  7.253 
Saldanha Bay  4.977  5.022 
Cape Town  1.084  1.340 
Port Elizabeth  0.961  0.898 
Ngqura  0.583  0.531 
Mossel Bay  0.216  0.131 
East London  0.178  0.250 
 Total all ports 22.12 million tonnes  23.635 m.tonnes 


CONTAINERS (measured by TEUs) during December 2011
(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA

 PORT December 2011  November 2011 
Durban  206,318 TEU  251,753 
Cape Town  62,696  75,888 
Port Elizabeth  21,424  24,495 
Ngqura  43,204  39,350 
East London  4,078  5,461 
Richards Bay  208 
 Total all ports 337,928 TEU  386,361 TEU 

SHIP CALLS for December 2011

 PORT December 2011 vessels  gross tons  November 2011 vessels  gross tons 
Durban  338  9,762,568  355  10,775,519 
Cape Town  218  4,066,107  187  4,282,581 
Richards Bay  146  6,011,773  146  5,775,106 
Port Elizabeth  86  1,945,586  95  2,052,309 
Saldanha Bay  48  3,154,140  42  2,887,185 
Ngqura  28  1,462,671  28  1,587,143 
East London  21  534,613  24  526,581 
Mossel Bay  50  402,943  32  244,746 
Total ship calls  934  27,340,401  908  28,131,170 

- source TNPA, but with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container tonnages



 Month Month's exports  YTD exports  Annualised M/T/a  Ships  Trains 
January   4,389,925 4,389,925  51.55  45  597 
February  4,567,950 8,957,875  55.27  44  705 
March  5,363,674  14,322,549  57.93  57  710 
April  4,807,041  19,129,590  58.03  53  689 
May  3,572,127  22,701,717  54.72  41  560 
June  4,776,609  27,478,326  55.26  42  435 
July  4,362,979  31,841,305  54.67  45  734 
August  6,986,627  38,827,932  58.16  60  856 
September  4,956,556  43,784,488  58.38  50  796 
October  7,381,461  51,165,949  61.26  66  833 
November  6,261,833  57,427,782  62.59  55  737 
December  8,084,058  65,511,840  65.51  78  761 

source: RBCT


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Statistics for the calendar year 2011 which are now available courtesy TNPA indicate a small but steady increase in volumes over the previous year.

Total cargo handled at the combined ports amounted to 264.469 million tonnes, up 6.3% on the previous calendar year 2010. These total tonnages include the calculation made for container weights, based on an average of 13.5 tonnes per TEU.

Container volumes increased to 4.393 million TEUs, an increase of 9.5% on 2010’s 4.012m TEU. Details are set out below.

Figures for the respective ports during calendar year 2011 are (with 2010 calendar year figures shown bracketed):


 PORT 2011 mt  2010 mt 
 Richards Bay 86.627  85.466 
 Durban 80.764  76.120 
Saldanha Bay  59.697  53.789 
Cape Town  13.875  13.239 
Port Elizabeth  11.864  11.080 
Ngqura  7.112  4.795 
Mossel Bay  1.923  1.834 
East London  2.607  2.463 
 Total all ports 264.469m.tonnes  246.787m.tonnes 


CONTAINERS (measured by TEUs) during 2011
(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA

PORT  2011 TEUs  2010 TEUs 
Durban  2,712,975  2,553,392 
Cape Town  755,306  708,526 
Port Elizabeth  326,313  325,212 
Ngqura  523,597  348,811 
East London  56,060  52,956 
Richards Bay  18,540  23,578 
Total all ports 4,392,791 TEUs  4,012,475 TEUs 

SHIP CALLS for 2011

 PORT 2011 vessels  gross tons  2010 vessels  gross tons 
Durban  4273  129,636,262  4645  130,131,953 
Cape Town  2782  51,296,414  2727  49,835,536 
Richards Bay  1800  64,644,763  1880  63,107,994 
Port Elizabeth  1211  27,956,190  1111  26,006,643 
Saldanha Bay  534  34,934,072  487  32,297,313 
Ngqura  377  17,720,687  325  14,483,668 
East London  298  6,936,985  302  7,423,161 
Mossel Bay  1081  3,118,439  995  2,796,766 
Total ship calls  11,979  318,523,125  12,147  311,599,366 

- source TNPA, but with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container tonnages


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Salvage of giant ore carrier VALE BEIJING delayed

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Vale Beijing being towed away from the loading port of San Luis after cracks in her hull were discovered.

Work on salvaging and repairing the stricken Vale Beijing, the giant 400,000-dwt bulk ore carrier that developed cracks along her hull and inside a ballast tank while ore was being loaded at a Brazilian port were called off late last week owing to adverse weather and sea conditions.

Vale Beijing was on her maiden roundtrip voyage at the time and was loading iron ore when cracks were detected in the ship’s hull and a ballast tank. Authorities immediately ordered that the ship be taken away from her port of loading, which doesn’t have facilities to remove the cargo.

The ship is at anchor at sea in open water off the Brazilian port of San Luis and because of rough seas is experiencing problems with trying to bring vessels alongside to remove the bunker fuels.

STX Pan Ocean which owns and operates the ship has sent a salvage team from Korea to examine the ship and determine the cause of the cracking and also to decide where and how the repairs will be carried out. According to Asian sources STX Pan Ocean says that the problem on Vale Beijing is an isolated one that would not be repeated, although it admits it won’t be able to determine the cause of the cracking until the vessel is dry docked.


Ethiopian monopoly

The Ethiopian Ministry of Transport has directed that with effect from 1 January all state-owned cargoes have to be transported by Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Enterprise (ESLE) and may only delivered to ports and warehouses that are recognised by the country's customs service.

The directive also covers vehicle shipments of more than three tons, requiring them to be delivered to ‘dry’ ports and warehouses that meet the same customs criteria. Private importers that open letters of credit from state banks will also have to use these facilities.

Ethiopian regulators apparently hope that the directive will have the effect of reducing the cost of foreign currency being spent on warehouse fees at the Port of Djibouti, which handles about 98% of all Ethiopian imports and exports.

ESLE is a recent merger of Ethiopian Shipping Lines, Dry Port Services Enterprise, and Maritime & Transit Services. Source American Shipper


Maersk Supply Service orders two vessels in Chile

Maersk Supply Service has signed a contract with Chilean shipyard Asenav for two innovative new offshore vessels and an option for up to four additional vessels.

The project value for the two vessels is close to US$200 million. The vessels will replace existing vessels operating in the Canadian offshore market.

“We are very pleased with this order for new vessels which as far as working environment for the crew onboard and as a green operational profile will be a substantial improvement from today’s standards,” says CEO of Maersk Supply Service, Carsten Plougmann Andersen.

The vessels with a designed bollard pull of 150 tons are expected to be delivered in February 2014 and January of 2015, respectively.


HHI wins contract to build offshore platforms for West Africa

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HHI offshore gas producing platform

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world’s biggest shipbuilder and a leading offshore facilities contractor, has been awarded US$900 million contract from a major oil company to build gas-producing offshore platforms offshore of West Africa by the end of 2014.

Under the contract, HHI will build two offshore gas platforms; one weighing 11,000 tons and producing 120 million cubic feet of gas per day. The second platform will weigh 5,000 tons and will be able to produce 300 million cubic feet of gas per day.


Ghana now a net oil exporter

Some 23.5 million barrels of crude oil have been shipped from Ghana’s Jubilee oilfield in its first year of production.

Reports in Ghana’s newspapers indicate that the exports involved approximately 24 separate shipments from the oilfield which lies about 70km off Ghana’s west coast.


Maersk Line head wants more consolidation

The newly appointed chief executive of Maersk Line, Søren Skou says there is a need for more consolidation among smaller container shipping lines to enable them to better withstand the economic pressures now facing the industry.

Skou took charge of Maersk and Safmarine as from 1 January, following the resignation of former CEO Eivind Kolding who has moved to Danske Bank as its chief executive. AP Moller-Maersk holds a 20% shareholding in the bank.

Skou comes to the shipping lines from being head of logistics company Damco, another Maersk subsidiary, as well as head of Maersk Container Industry, from which positions he has resigned.


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The Maltese-registered tanker OLIB G and her crew which were released by Somali pirates after more than a year in captivity. Picture EUNAVFOR

Somali pirates have released the Maltese-flagged tanker M/V OLIB G and her crew of 18, after a ransom was paid by the owners.

The ship and her crew of 15 Georgians and 3 Turks, was hijacked on 8 September 2010 while sailing in the Gulf of Aden through an Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor, an area set up by EU NAVFOR, NATO and the Combined Maritime Force.

According to Somalia Report the ship was released after a ransom of US$3 million was paid, which was substantially less than the $9 million originally demanded by pirate negotiators.

The crew is reported to be safe and in satisfactory health.


Puntland police arrest 43 pirates on land

Police in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland have raided an area frequented by pirates and made 43 arrests, reports Somalia Report.

The raid took place in the village of Garacad and was made possible with the assistance of village elders. Police seized guns and the pirate boats used for raiding at sea.

“We succeeded at clearing the pirates from the coasts around the Garacad village, we seized 43 pirates, some weapons and a number of boats. The operations are now ongoing,” Jama Mohamoud, commander of Police in Jariban District, told the press. Following a number of regional meetings elders and traditional leaders from Garacad and Jariban areas have declared that they are ready to support operations against the pirates.


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Ernst & Young’s 2011 Africa attractiveness survey released earlier this year reflected that Africa’s economic output has doubled over the past decade, and six African economies were among the fastest-growing in the world for the 2001-10 period. And African economies generally proved resilient through the financial crisis, with the International Monetary Fund forecasting Sub-Saharan growth rates of 5.5% in 2011 in 6% in 2012.

Its recently released report, “Africa oil and gas: a continent on the move”, confirms that resources generally, and oil and gas in particular, have played an important part in this growth. Nineteen African countries are significant producers of oil and gas, with significant new discoveries in Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda adding some new names to the established producers like Libya, Nigeria, Angola, Egypt, Algeria and Sudan.

“Investors are seeing huge potential in the African oil and gas,” says Elias Pungong, African Oil and Gas Sector Leader for Ernst &Young. “There are some risks in Africa, we all know that, but the returns are commensurately high.”

“And what’s particularly exciting is the steady stream of new discoveries in countries like Uganda and Ghana, and prospected fields in others, including Mali, Sierra Leone and Kenya.”

African oil supply, including crude oil, lease condensates, natural gas liquids and other liquids, has increased sharply over the past years, averaging just less than 11 million barrels per day in 2010.

Conventional forecasts see this growth being maintained, albeit more slowly, over the coming 25 years. Gas growth is predicted to be even stronger, with supply possibly set to double to about 15 trillion cubic feet (tcf) by 2035.

“Less conventional estimates predict that the likely growth in the African oil and gas industry could be five times the current level, based on what remains unexplored in Africa versus currently known sub-soil assets,” Pungong adds. “Whatever view one takes, it’s clear that this is a sector with tremendous potential.”

This potential can be seen in the International Energy Agency’s recent World Energy Outlook, which estimates that African oil and gas supply infrastructure will require $2.1 trillion between 2010 and 2035 - outstripping what will be invested in the Middle East, Latin America or even Asia during the same period.

The focus of this investment is likely to be in the upstream sector, where profits are highest, Pungong believes.

“Africa’s increasing attractiveness as a growth investment is enhanced by the vigour of its burgeoning oil and gas sector,” says James Newlands, who heads up Ernst & Young’s Africa investment team.

“It’s significant that a professional services firm like Ernst & Young, who have been operating in Africa for more than 160 years, is also investing heavily in its African business network - we’re doing so to meet a growing demand for our services as clients move into this new market or expand existing operations.” Source Ernst & Young


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The Singapore offshore supply vessel and tug LEWEK FULMAR (6776-gt, built 2011) arriving in Cape Town this month. Picture by Ian Shiffman

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The crude oil tanker ICE TRANSPORTER (146,270-dwt, built 2006) was another arrival in the Mother City in the past week. Picture is by Ian Shiffman


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