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Ports & Ships Maritime News

22 May 2012
Author: Terry Hutson


57,105 readers and over one million hits were recorded on PORTS & SHIPS during January 2012 and 55,000 readers in February, the shortest month – thank you readers.

Yet another excellent reason why your company banner appearing on these pages will bring you benefit.info@ports.co.za for details

Improve your branding with your banner on this site and tap into our large readership - contact info@ports.co.za


As from next week (29 May 2012) PORTS & SHIPS will begin publishing twice a week, instead of the single appearance of once a week or so as has been the practice in recent months. The News Bulletins including the Newsletter will now appear on Tuesday and Friday mornings and if for any reason there is a delay then every endeavour will be made to appear the following morning.

Please remember that SHIP MOVEMENT reports continue to be updated on a regular basis on Ports & Ships. Contact Sheila@ports.co.za for any queries regarding ship arrivals and movements.



Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return



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One of the world’s largest seismic vessels, the GEO CARIBBEAN (12,108-gt) was purpose-built in 2008 and is a high capacity 3D/4D seismic vessel and a key asset in Fugro’s fleet. This C-Class vessel is outfitted with the highest class equipment available and is capable of deploying up to fourteen 8,000-metre long streamers, which are fully steerable using DigiFIN technology. The vessel has an overall length of 101 m and is 28 m wide at the stern. She called briefly at Cape Town in the past week. Picture by Aad Noorland


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New class 15E electric locomotive procured by Transnet Freight Rail as the state-owned transport company moves to increase capacity in the ports, rail and pipelines. Picture by Col A Kritzinger/Wikipedia Commons

Cape Town - Transnet is looking towards creating at least 200,000 jobs over the next six years, the Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba said last week.

Presenting his Budget Vote in Parliament, the minister said Transnet's total contribution to employment was expected to be increased by 54.8% - from 368,450 in 2011/12 to over 570,000 by 2018/19.

The additional jobs would be created as Transnet embarks on a R300 million market demand strategy over the next seven years, to roll out new infrastructure across the country.

Gigaba said state-owned enterprises would also ratchet up training, pointing out that in the last financial year more than 15,000 learners were trained in various scarce and critical skills learning programmes.

This year an extra 5,500 learners would be enrolled in training programmes.

Added to this, Eskom had helped 6,130 learners acquire training as part of supplier contracts and the building of power stations, with some getting on-the-job experience abroad.

He said Eskom's training budget had increased from R998 million in 2011 to R1.2 billion this financial year, while Transnet's training budget had risen from R670 million last year to R870 million this year.

President Jacob Zuma had announced over R1 billion in cuts to port charges and since 1 April, and Gigaba said the Ports Authority had already processed R52.9 million in rebates.

Gigaba called on manufacturing exporters to take advantage of this incentive.

He said the coming on line of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) the previous Friday (11 May) linked South Africa with 10 other African countries and would reduce the costs of broadband.

Eskom will next month conduct a pressure testing exercise on the first boiler at Medupi, and the minister said this would be a key milestone in ensuring the unit is completed by next year.

The country's power supply would continue to remain constrained until the first unit of Medupi comes on line, he said.

By 2020 an additional 11,719MW will have been added to the electricity system, while, 6,500km of transmission network would have been laid, he said.

Also by 2020, 1317 locomotives and 25,000 wagons would be procured by Transnet, while 6405km of rail will be replaced for general freight, coal and ore lines to increase capacity by 149.7 million tons.

To improve the country's broadband network, by 2020 a further 13,000km of fibre-optic cables would be refurbished and strengthened to ensure that the network is expanded to include both metros and under-served areas.

The department is also looking to create a new remuneration model that is fair and transparent, and the framework would be finalised soon.

The minister said he was glad that the chief executives of state-owned enterprises had accepted the need for a review, adding that the moratorium on salaries remained.

He described the decision to set a moratorium as a brave move, but said high pay packages by the private sector were driving up public sector remuneration.

The timeframe for the completion of the remuneration model had been shifting, but Gigaba said the department hoped to complete it by this year. – BuaNews


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The two Liebherr mobile cranes (red) that arrived in Durban recently for service at the Durban RoRo Terminal A total of six have been ordered for Durban’s multi-purpose terminals. Picture by Roy Reed/TPT

Transnet Port Terminals in Durban has taken delivery of two new mobile harbour cranes ordered from Liebherr Werk Nenzing in Austria. The LHM550C cranes are part of a R438 million programme to beef up container handling capacity at the Durban RoRo and Maydon Wharf Terminal, which have been earmarked to handle some of the 400,000 TEUs that will be diverted from Durban Container Terminal (DCT) on Pier 2, where berths will undergo deepening and refurbishment over the next 74 months.

Six cranes in all have been ordered, with the two referred to above being the first to be delivered. Another two are scheduled to arrive in June and the final pair in November.

Each mobile crane has a lifting capacity of 140 tonnes and are the first TPT cranes able to handle 18 container rows across deck through a 54 metre long boom. Other equipment on order to boost container handling at the Durban RoRo and Maydon Wharf Terminals include reach stackers, haulers and trailers.


DCT delays are over – TPT

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TPT says delays and outages from the Navis SPARCS terminal operating system at DCT Pier 2 have been minimised and says that it is now focusing on sustaining employee performance and cementing correct business processes at the cargo facility.

Speaking to journalists last week, TPT’s terminal executive for the Durban Container Terminal, Hector Danisa, said that TPT had now switched its attention on what he called ‘softer issues’, which involved intensifying efforts to improve employee productivity, boost morale, reduce absenteeism, improve safety and inculcate a real performance culture across the terminal.

He said that DCT has seen improvements in its container handling rates, berthing times, truck turnaround time and the degree of congestion in the stacking yard.

It has taken more than a year since the launch of Navis but DCT has finally improved its productivity beyond the pre-Navis launch levels. “The challenge now is to build sustainable processes to ensure continued performance and to make DCT competitive at international norms,” Danisa said.

TPT would now address its own human resource challenges with the following initiatives:


  • The establishment of Mission Directed Work Teams at DCT, spearheaded by TPT’s new People Transformation and Development Unit. These teams are essentially ‘mini businesses’ grouped within the operation according to type of work and each must focus on quality, speed, cost, safety and people as work is carried out.


  • A mentorship programme for operators of lifting equipment (OLE’s) to improve crane handling.

    DCT has recently introduced into service 28 new diesel-electric straddle carriers, of which 14 have twin-lift capability. Of the older fleet, 24 straddle carriers have been refurbished, with another six due for refurbishment by end May 2012. Four ship-to-shore cranes will have been refurbished by the end of May 2012 and seven new tandem lift ship-to-shore cranes will be delivered towards the end of the year.

    The terminal will introduce around 200 new employees into its operations, including new crane drivers and DCT says it will be able to field a total of 15 operational gangs in place. On the landside a pre-advice system has been launched for both Pier 1 and Pier 2 which aims at improving planning of work and enhancing security in managing containers in the port.

    Finally, and not before time as many of it clients will say, a truck appointment or booking system is being piloted at DCT and will be tested initially with four trucking companies with the intention of extending this later.

    Under the new appointment system transporters will schedule their container collections or drop-offs via the Navis terminal operating system. They will then be allocated a time slot of about 90 minutes within which to arrive at the terminal. This would enable TPT and transport companies to deploy resources more efficiently and effectively, and could also lead to minimising truck congestion on Bayhead Road.


    Transnet issues tender notices for cruise terminals at Durban and Cape Town

    Transnet National Ports Authority has issued tender notices calling for expressions of interest (EOI) from interested parties to fund, build and operate cruise terminals at the ports of Durban and Cape Town.

    The inclusion of a proposed cruise terminal at Cape Town comes as something of a surprise but will nonetheless be welcomed by the tourism and cruise industries as long overdue. The proposed Durban terminal has been known about for some time and a dedicated site at A/B berths has been set aside for its development ever since the harbour widening project commenced.

    The real surprise with the announcement is that TNPA has moved its position from that of at least partially funding and operating the terminal, to calling for outside stakeholders to undertake the funding, design, building and operation.

    With the local cruise season lasting a maximum of six months between November and April each year, whoever expresses interest in the project or projects will have to take into account a multi-purpose terminal in which other activities can take place. One of these, in Durban in particular, will likely be the establishment of restaurants and pubs which will overlook the working harbour.

    EOI documents have to be submitted to TNPA at either the Port of Durban or Port of Cape Town, whichever is appropriate, by 6 June 2012, with tender submissions to be handed in by 10am on 29 June 2012. See Cruise News section below for further details.


    TPT’s Nosipho Damasane resigns

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    Nosipho Damasane. Picture by Terry Hutson

    News has been received of the unexpected resignation of Transnet Port Terminals long-serving chief operating officer (COO) in the Bulk, Breakbulk and RoRo sections, Nosipho Damasane.

    While TPT has made no official announcement of her resignation, it is believed that the well-respected Damasane intends moving into the private sector. And so the malady continues, said one industry consultant, who said that one of the challenges constantly faced by Transnet was that of retaining people with experience and ability.

    “There are many highly competent managers employed within Transnet,” he said. But those with real ability are often head-hunted by outside industry and they leave for greener pastures, which leaves Transnet with an ongoing problem of replacing them with inexperienced people still learning the business. That’s no way to run a successful company,” he exclaimed.

    Damasane first worked with TPT in the Eastern Cape before moving up the corporate ladder including her transfer some years ago to head office in Durban.


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    Maersk’s Nils Andersen returns to work

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    Picture AP Moller-Maersk

    AP Moller-Maersk chief executive Nils Smedegaard Andersen (53) has returned to work after heart surgery late last year. Andersen was taken ill while holidaying in Switzerland in December and after being admitted to hospital faced surgery for a cardiac valve replacement.

    Although he was expected to return to duty in mid February he suffered a set-back followed by further surgery and has been convalescing since.

    “Having participated in a number of meetings and having been updated on our activities during the last couple of weeks, I am now ready to return to work,” Andersen said.


    New West Africa service starts up

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    Ever Given at Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Evergreen Line, Hanjin Shipping and UASC are starting a new service between Algeciras and ports in West Africa.

    The service, which Evegreen refers to as WAF kicks off with a first sailing from Algeciras on 30 May, using four ships in the 2800 -3000 TEU range and a 28-day rotation of Algeciras – Lagos – Tema – Abidjan – Algeciras.


    Latest Wafmax joins Safmarine fleet

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    Safmarine Chachai – latest Wafmax vessel in the AP Moller-Maersk/Safmarine fleet

    SAFMARINE CHACHAI, a new 4500 TEU, Safmarine-branded WAFMAX containership, was delivered to Safmarine this week, Monday 21 May, 2012.

    Safmarine Chachai joins her sister-ships, the Safmarine Chilka and Safmarine Chambal, in the AP Moller-Maersk fleet.

    “Not only has this modern new vessel been purpose-built for the growing trade with Africa, but it is yet another example of the AP Moller-Maersk Group's commitment to investing in modern, more environmentally-friendly vessels and in growing and strengthening the Safmarine brand,” said Safmarine CEO, Grant Daly.

    The Safmarine Chachai and her sister ships were built by Hyundai Heavy Industries and are fitted with super long-stroke main engines and a waste heat recovery system to reduce emissions and save fuel.


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    Port of Maputo from the air

    Three investment projects to expand basic infrastructures in the port of Maputo should be completed this year, according to the schedule approved for the respective 2012-2030 development programme, reports the Maputo-based daily Notícias.

    Budgeted at about US$4 million, the projects include enlarging the port’s main access gate, through which over 600 trucks pass every day on their way to and from the various terminals, transporting cargo in transit and to neighbouring countries.

    Figures released at the port of Maputo’s recent annual conference indicate that this component should consume about US$1 million and be finished in September.

    Another ongoing investment at the port is budgeted at US$2 million and involves conducting a study on eventual renovation of docks at the port terminals.

    The recent completion of dredging work in the access channel, whose maximum depth is now 11 metres, means the port is now able to receive large-tonnage ships. But new infrastructure is required to handle such vessels.

    The projections presented at the conference indicate that the study should be completed by December of this year.

    Warehouse renovations should be finished by this September, an initiative involving an estimated investment of around US$1 million.

    Plans call for phase two of the vehicle terminal expansion project to be completed in 2013, with US$20 million applied to up its capacity to 100,000 units. (macauhub)


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    Transnet issues tender notices for cruise terminals at Durban and Cape Town

    Transnet National Ports Authority has issued tender notices calling for expressions of interest (EOI) from interested parties to fund, build and operate cruise terminals at the ports of Durban and Cape Town.

    The inclusion of a proposed cruise terminal at Cape Town is a little unexpected as this hasn’t been spoken of previously but will be welcomed by the tourism and cruise industries as something long overdue, particularly since immigration authorities prevented cruise ships from using the V&A Waterfront. The decision to go for a private developer and operator probably made the decision to include Cape Town a lot easier. The proposed Durban terminal has on the other hand been known about for some time with a dedicated site at A/B berths on the Point having been set aside for its development.

    The real surprise with the announcement however is that TNPA has moved its position from wanting to partially fund and operate the terminal itself, to calling for outside stakeholders to undertake the funding, design, building and operation.

    With the local cruise season lasting a maximum of six months between November and April each year, whoever expresses interest in the project or projects will face the challenge of having to go the route of a multi-purpose terminal in which other activities can take place. In Durban this could take the form of restaurants and pubs that will overlook the working harbour – something the port last enjoyed prior to the harbour entrance widening project of a few years ago.

    EOI documents have to be submitted to TNPA at either the Port of Durban or Port of Cape Town, whichever is appropriate, by 6 June 2012, with tender submissions to be handed in by 10am on 29 June 2012.


    MSC DIVINA officially handed over to MSC

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    MSC Fantasia, the lead ship in the class of which the MSC Divina is the latest

    MSC Divina has been officially delivered to MSC Cruises at the STX France shipyard at St Nazaire.

    During the traditional flag ceremony, the shipyard’s pennant and the French flag were lowered, accompanied by the French national anthem, before Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France, formally handed the ship over to MSC Cruises’ owner Gianluigi Aponte. Mr Aponte then gave command of the ship to Captain Giuliano Bossi, and the flags of Italy and MSC Cruises were raised to the sound of the Italian national anthem.

    The honour of cutting the ribbon fell to Ela Aponte, wife of MSC Vice-President Diego Aponte, who was also in attendance. After the traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne, three blasts from the ship’s siren signalled the end of the ceremony.

    “I am very proud of MSC Divina, the 12th addition to our wonderful fleet and our third Fantasia-class ship,” said MSC Cruises CEO Pierfrancesco Vago. “I believe she is the most beautiful ship in our fleet and that her innovations and polished features bring this successful class to perfection.”

    Vago said that each Fantasia-class ship represents five million working hours and an average investment of €550 million, over 70% of which directly benefits the French economy in terms of both employment and the procurement of goods and services in support of the ships’ construction. “We believe that the success of a country’s economy relies on such investments in its unique industrial traditions,” he said.

    “MSC Divina is the 11th ship in just over 10 years that our shipyard has built which is operated by MSC Cruises, said STX France's General Manager Laurent Castaing. “Her sistership MSC Preziosa, currently under construction, will become the 12th ship. Throughout our 150 year history never before have so many vessels been built for one ship builder, and this is a record which deserves to be highlighted today. I myself have even had the opportunity to participate in the construction of a good number of these vessels during my previous roles at the St Nazaire shipyard.”

    Mr Castaing obviously needs to go and read up on his shipyard’s history for he may find that this statement is not quite correct.

    MSC Divina is 333 metres long, 38 metres wide, and has a registered gross tonnage of 140,000 tonnes. The 4,345 guest luxury ship cruises at speeds of up to 23 knots.

    Her elegant design is once again the work of award-winning naval architects De Jorio Design International. New features to MSC Divina’s 30,000 square metres of public areas include the Garden Pool, an ‘infinity’ style pool with a chic and minimal design and its four ‘resounding sculptures’, to the Galaxy restaurant in the disco with its Mediterranean fusion cuisine and its chic décor, based around the theme of light.

    After the closing of the flag ceremony, MSC Divina began her pre-christening cruise from Saint-Nazaire, where calls were scheduled at Lisbon, Portugal, on Monday 21 May, Cadiz, Spain on Tuesday 22 May, and Valencia, Spain on Thursday 24 May. She will reach the port of Marseille on Friday 25 May, ready for her official christening ceremony the next day. The highlight of the event will of course be the cutting of the ribbon and the naming of the ship by screen legend Sophia Loren.


    Fancy a change of climate – try cruising in Alaska

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    Getting up close – Bremen in among the ice

    As the southern winter sets in you might be excused for letting your minds drift to places far afield, or rather, over the water. Alaskan waters, for instance.

    German cruise operator Hapag-Lloyd offers two expedition cruises through Alaskan waters in the northern summer months of 2012 and 2013, on board the world’s only 5-star expedition ship MS HANSEATIC and the 4-star MS BREMEN. Both ships have been regular visitors to South African waters in recent years.

    Hanseatic carries a maximum of 184 guests while the Bremen carries up to 164 guests.

    The Hanseatic sets sail in July 2012 through the legendary Inside Passage of Alaska, considered one of the most beautiful waterway passages in the world. Guests can experience the following optional excursions on this trip: a glacier flight, a dogsled trip, a boat trip and hike in the rainforest, a helicopter flight over the glaciers and a ride with the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Railway. Guests will encounter Tracy Arms along the route, a secret known only to insiders and perhaps Alaska's most beautiful fjord, with fabulous views of her steep rock walls.

    The Hanseatic will also travel through the Kingdom of Bears and Bald Eagles, where guests may be able to catch sight of whales and sea lions in an impressive natural setting. Additionally, an excursion to Tongass National Park will offer guests insight into the flora and fauna of the largest national park in the USA.

    The cruise is from 14 – 20 July 2012, sailing from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver in Canada. Rates for this cruise start at US$8,060 per person.

    If that’s too short a notice then consider making the following cruise in June 2013 on board the MS Bremen, with a shorter trip through the Inside Passage, highlighting more of the Alaskan islands along the route. Guests will be able to observe colonies of fur seals, while kittiwakes and guillemots circle the endless sky over the solitary waters on this itinerary.

    Guests may also catch a glimpse of the impressive bald eagle along the route. An optional excursion to Dutch Harbour is also offered, where passengers can visit the oldest Russian Orthodox church in North America. The Brmen will get close to the wonders of Alaska, in Amalik and Kukak Bays, where powerful brown bears hunt for food. An overwhelming world of ice awaits guests in front of the still active Hubbard Glacier, as well as magnificent landscape views and whale spotting when the Bremen sails through the Inian Pass. This voyage concludes with two days through British Columbia’s Inside Passage.

    The cruise is from 19 June to 7 July 2013, joining the ship in Nome, Alaska and sailing to Vancouver in Canada. Rates begin at $8,790 per person based on double occupancy for an outside cabin.

    Being shallow draft and capable of high manoeuvrability the ships are able to enter waters that larger cruise ships cannot reach. Both vessels hold the highest ice class ranking for passenger vessels. Guests will explore using 12-seat zodiacs while having had the benefit of experts on board including a team of experienced scientists, expedition leaders and specialists who guide landings and offer guests the rare opportunity to observe plant and animal life up close.


    Costa Concordia wreck removal plan revealed

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    The American/Italian salvage team of Titan-Micoperi has made public its plan to remove the wrecked cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA from the coast of Giglio Island.

    Titan Salvage is an American-owned marine salvage company while Micoperi is an Italian marine contractor with experience in underwater construction and engineering.

    They revealed that the plan is to remove the ship in one piece in order to minimise the environmental impact and once the wreck has been removed, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted. Measures will also be taken to protect Giglio’s tourism industry (although one might be excused for thinking that having a cruise ship wrecked in plain sight adds to the attraction of the place).

    The actual salvage of the ship will take place in four stages. After stabilising the ship, a subsea platform will be built and caissons that can be filled with water will be fixed to the side of the ship that is out of the water.

    Stage 2 will see two cranes fixed to the platform that will be used to pull the ship upright, helped by the caissons, which will be filled with water. Stage 3 involves, once the ship is upright, fixing caissons to the other side of the hull. In Stage 4 these caissons will be emptied and after treating and purifying the water to protect the environment they will be filled with air.

    The ship will then be taken to an Italian port and dealt with according to the instructions of Italian authorities.


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    South Africa has become the 19th state to sign the Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden (Djibouti Code of Conduct).

    The document was signed on behalf of South Africa by the South African High Commissioner in London, Dr Zola Skweyiya, who was attending an IMO Conference on Capacity Building to Counter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

    The Code of Conduct was set up by IMO to develop regional capacity to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Western Indian Ocean. The other signatories are the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, the Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.

    Signatories undertake to co-operate in a variety of activities, including:


  • the investigation, arrest and prosecution of persons reasonably suspected of having committed acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, including those inciting or intentionally facilitating such acts
  • the interdiction and seizure of suspect ships and property on board such ships
  • the rescue of ships, persons and property subject to piracy and armed robbery and the facilitation of proper care, treatment and repatriation of seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to such acts, particularly those who have been subjected to violence, and
  • the conduct of shared operations – both among signatory States and with navies from countries outside the region – such as nominating law enforcement or other authorised officials to embark on patrol ships or aircraft of another signatory.

    The Code also provides for the sharing of related information, through the three Information Sharing Centres in Sana’a, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam which have been established under the Code.

    Signatories to the Code also undertake to review their national legislation with a view to ensuring that there are laws in place to criminalise piracy and armed robbery against ships and to make adequate provision for the exercise of jurisdiction, conduct of investigations and prosecution of alleged offenders. source - World Maritime News


    EU Naval Force carries out counter piracy operation

    EU NAVFOR, the European Naval Force operating anti piracy measures off the coast of Somalia said last week that it had conducted an operation to destroy pirate equipment on the Somali coastline.

    EU NAVFOR said the operation had been conducted in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1851 and had the full support of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. “The focused, precise and proportionate action was conducted from the air and all forces returned safely to EU warships on completion. Whilst assessment is on-going, surveillance of the area during the action indicates that no Somalis were injured ashore as a result of EU action.”

    Speaking about the operation, the Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Duncan Potts said “We believe this action by the EU Naval Force will further increase the pressure on, and disrupt pirates’ efforts to get out to sea to attack merchant shipping and dhows. The local Somali people and fishermen – many of whom have suffered so much because of piracy in the region, can be reassured that our focus was on known pirate supplies and will remain so in the future.”

    EU NAVFOR stressed that at no point did any EU Naval Force ‘boots’ go ashore. “The EU Naval Force action against pirate supplies on the shoreline is merely an extension of the disruption actions carried out against pirate ships at sea, and Operation Atalanta remains committed to fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa and the humanitarian mission of protecting World Food Programme ships that bring vital aid to the Somali people,” said Admiral Potts.


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    Maersk/Safmarine switch loop from Mombasa to Dar es Salaam

    The Maersk Line service between the Middle East and East Africa, which the carrier operates with subsidiary company Safmarine, has had its rotation changed and slowed, with the Mombasa call switched to Dar es Salaam – the latter being a new call on this service.

    The rotation now takes 35 days against the old 28 days.



    Botswana talking to TFR about coal exports

    First it was Namibia and a new railway and new port, then it was Mozambique and the talk became that of using an existing railway through Zimbabwe, with a new extension in Mozambique from Maputo to a new port south of the capital. Now it’s South Africa’s turn as Botswana talks to Transnet Freight Rail about moving its export coal to the coast.

    That’s the deduction to be made from ongoing talks between the two countries concerning Botswana’s need to find a route to the sea for its coal exports. The close proximity of South Africa’s emerging Waterberg coal mining area, said to house the country’s largest coal reserves, and the knowledge that TFR will in any case be building a railway to link with its existing coal line to Richards Bay, suggests another option for Botswana to consider.

    A spokesman for TFR said last week that a feasibility study for a heavy-haul rail link between South Africa and Botswana was underway and would be complete by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2013).

    TFR’s heavy-haul railway from the Waterberg in Limpopo Province to Ermelo in Mpumalanga, where it will link with the existing coal line will have a length of over 560km. The line is being planned initially as a single track railway with a capacity of around 23 million tonnes a year, but TFR says it would consider adding a second line from 2026 onwards and increasing the capacity of the line to 112 million tonnes a year.


    Exxaro plans new coal exports of up to 15 million tonnes

    South African mining house Exxaro says it intends developing a new coal mine in the Waterberg with a capacity of between 13 and 15 million tonnes of export coal a year.

    A spokesman said recently that the planned mine was a Greenfields project geared for exports.

    Exxaro is one of the largest coal producers in the country, supplying coal to power utility Eskom and for exports. “It will give us the opportunity to export between 13-million and 15-million tons,” Mxolisi Mgojo, the head of Exxaro's coal unit, said at a coal conference being held in Gauteng. He said the project was targeted at between 2018 and 2025.



    New West Africa service starts up

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    Ever Given at Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Evergreen Line, Hanjin Shipping and UASC are starting a new service between Algeciras and ports in West Africa.

    The service, which Evegreen refers to as WAF kicks off with a first sailing from Algeciras on 30 May, using four ships in the 2800 -3000 TEU range and a 28-day rotation of Algeciras – Lagos – Tema – Abidjan – Algeciras.


    Lekki deepwater port contract signed

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    artist’s impression of what the new port will look like

    China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and Lekki Port Company have completed the formalities of signing a contract in which CHEC will commence building Nigeria’s new deepwater port at Lagos.

    CHEC’s vice president, Lin Yichong, attended the meeting to sign the contract. Phase 1 of the new port will cost approximately US $679 million and will take 42 months to complete. This covers construction of the 2.2km long breakwater, a 6km long navigation channel, a multi-purpose quay, another quay with three berths to accommodate container ships with a maximum capacity of 8,000-TEUs, berths for workboats, storage yards, and a retaining wall.

    The project will see Nigeria having one of the largest deepwater ports in West Africa.


    DP World top brass on Senegal inspection

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    Port of Dakar, Senegal, with West Africa’s largest container terminal. Picture by Ji-Elle

    DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and his vice chairman Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah have completed a tour of inspection of their DP World Dakar terminal in Senegal, the company reported in a statement.

    They also toured Terminal Conteneur, which is West Africa’s largest and most modern container terminal, managed and operated by DP World Dakar.

    The terminal opened last November after DP World carried out an expansion programme that effectively doubled the terminal’s capacity to 600,000 TEU. The terminal recently took delivery of four rubber quay cranes and 10 rubber tyre gantries (RTG) which completed the upgrading programme. Included is a new gate complex and a new reefer storage facility.

    “As the most modern and efficient terminal in western Africa, DP World Dakar acts as a growth engine in a rapidly developing emerging market region,” said Bin Sulayem.



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    The Japanese long line fishing vessel EIHATSU MARU which ran aground on Saturday, 12 May has been safely refloated and is now in port at Cape Town where two investigations are underway. One is to determine how the ship managed to find the rocky beach at Clifton in Cape Town instead of the port, and the other will investigate what damage, if any, is there to the ship’s hull, rudder, etc. A third ‘inquiry’ may said to be for the purpose of answering the question about who is going to pay for yet another shipwreck on the South African coast.

    This picture (above) shows the Smit Amandla Marine tug taking up the strain as the pull begins. Picture by Glen Kasner

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    With a groan or two the ship begins to ease back into her natural habitat, apparently not in any danger of sinking. Picture by Glen Kasner.

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    Under tow the Eihatsu Maru and accompanying tugs head for the Port of Cape Town. Picture by Glen Kasner

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    Safe in port at last, where the Eihatsu Maru was photographed by Aad Noorland


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