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Ports & Ships Maritime News

12 June 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002

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.

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The Dutch-owned and flagged offshore supply tug BLUSTER (2311-gt, built 1988) which has been a recent visitor in Cape Town. Pictures by Aad Noorland

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an impression of the new Damen Stan tug type 2006 for Saldanha

The Port of Saldanha is to benefit from a new pilot boat and a new harbour tug that have been ordered by Transnet National Ports Authority from Damen Shipbuilding Cape Town (DSCT).

The Stan tug 2006 is a more powerful and enlarged version of the standard Damen Stan tugs of type 1906. This vessel, which Damen no doubt hopes will be a prototype for further TNPA orders, was adapted to the specific needs of South African harbour services and that of Saldanha in particular, with increased payload and hull speed as well as increased stern gear protection while handling submerged equipped.

Although no specifics are provided, it is estimated that this tug will have a bollard pull well in excess of 80 tons. Many of the ships handled at Saldanha are either Cape size (+150,000 dwt) dry bulk ships or even larger oil tankers.

The new pilot boat has been designed by DSCT in conjunction with Triton Naval Architects, and is customised to South African conditions. Among these modifications is a specific hull shape capable of handling the adverse sea conditions experienced offshore of the port while still maintaining the required speed. Because of her particular harbour entrance marine pilots are required to board vessels up to 10-15 miles out thus requiring the pilot boat to travel some distance at sea.

According to DSCT the pilot boat’s interior design – her bridge, propulsion, HVAC, etc is based on long-standing and proven technology of Damen pilot boats.

The tug is due for delivery in March next year and the pilot boat in May 2013.

DSCT recently commenced an expansion programme with the building of a new vessel construction shed and office/workshop building to cater for increased demand and a growing work force. The shipyard has also established its own Apprentice Training Centre to provide government recognised training and qualification for welders and boiler makers so as to add capacity and to create sustainable employment opportunities.

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Damen type 2706 pilot boat for Saldanha

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TNPA appoints new GM for Port Operations

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Herbert Msagala, new GM of TNPA Port Operations

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has appointed a new man at the helm of port operations in South Africa – he is Herbert Msagala who has assumed his role as General Manager: Port Operations with immediate effect.

Msagala is tasked with the responsibility of providing effective and efficient, safe and affordable port services in support of TNPA’s strategic objectives, and will focus specifically on improving port operations in close conjunction with both the Chief Harbour Master responsible for Marine Services and the GM: Infrastructure and Port Planning who is tasked with driving capital investment and infrastructure developments.

Msagala says that his experience at Transnet Freight Rail since 2000 where he eventually rose to the position of General Manager: Resource Management has afforded him the skills, experience and industry knowledge to successfully fulfill the requirements of the position.

“Spending more than a decade at TFR allowed me to develop overall, especially in terms of the development of my leadership skills as well as being a strategic change agent within the organisation. I hope to put all this knowledge in experience in driving TNPA towards greater efficiency and profitability,” he said.

Msagala holds a diploma in national mechanical engineering from the Mangosuthu University of Technology and is presently studying for a MBA through Mancosa.

Nigeria plans new deepwater seaports

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River Port of Calabar – to undergo dredging in the channel

The Nigerian Federal Government has unveiled plans to develop a number of deep seaports to ease the pressure on existing ports facilities in the country, reports pmnewsnigeria.com

The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, made the announcement last week during a three-day 12th Maritime Seminar for Judges which opened in Abuja.

“There is equally great potential in the development of Olokola Deep Seaport in Ogun and Ondo states. The government was also committed to the dredging of the Calabar Channel, Cross River State,” Umar said, adding that the contract for the dredging will be awarded this year.”

Umar commended the maritime sector for judges having received international acclaim and acknowledgment.

“This enduring partnership between the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the National Judicial Institute had become a veritable forum for updating the knowledge of our judges and lawyers on contemporary and sometimes recondite issues of admiralty law,” the minister said.

DCD Marine completes second intake of learners for apprentice school

Cape Town-based DCD Marine recently completed its second intake of learners since the opening of its training centre. “We have qualified 30 coded welders, as well as 38 learners for gas cutting, 198 for grinder training and we have undertaken 793 assessments for coding,” said Rene Van Den Heever, DCD Marine’s HR manager.

The shipyard and service provider to the international oil and gas industry says it recognises the need for adequate training that is aligned with recognised Unit Standards. The DCD Marine Training Centre of Excellence was opened in May 2010 and comprises of a welding school, pipe welding area, grinding and gas cutting (burning) assessment and training area, and a classroom area for the theoretical component of the courses. A blasting & coating simulator has also been built to re-enact confined spaces onboard vessels and rigs.

“In addition, the facilities include 20 individual welding cubicles, each fully equipped with high-tech equipment. Of these cubicles, 15 are occupied by the learners while the remaining five are utilised for coding purposes,” says Van Den Heever. Facilities to accommodate four gas burner students and five grinder students are also available.

“Our courses are aligned with SAQA’s Unit Standards and we are currently undergoing a full accreditation process. In the interim, we utilise an approved and accredited third party training provider to ensure that we adhere to the required industry standards,” she says.

Another tool of the training arsenal is DCD Marine’s Blasting & Coating simulator. The main focus of this tool is to train and upskill men and women to blasting and coating standards, efficiencies and techniques. The simulator provides invaluable training when working in confined spaces onboard a vessel or rig. “We are training our people to be world class in this competitive blasting and coating market in order to work safe, with a good quality and on-time delivery job,” Van Den Heever says.

“All of these competent learners are placed on a labour database within DCD Marine’s recruitment centre and they are continuously used as contract workers. In addition, we train and multi-skill unemployed people who are paid for the 40 to 80 hours that they receive training or assessments. This enables each learner to become employable, not only within DCD Marine, but within the industry in general.”

“The benefit to DCD Marine’s clients is exhibited by employees who are multi-skilled to the highest levels. Since skills are constantly being refreshed and upgraded, all employees working for DCD Marine are able to easily undertake even the most difficult tasks with zero defect as the end result,” says general manager Gerry Klos. Earlier this year DCD Marine completed the acquisition of Durban-headquartered ship repair company Elgin Brown & Hamer – the oldest ship repair firm in South Africa. The sale was however left subject to approval by the Competition Commission. Apart from its ship repair facilities in Durban and Walvis Bay, Elgin Brown & Hamer operates three floating docks – two in the Namibian port and one at Durban.

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South African coast left exposed as ship trails oil slick

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Two of DAFF’s coastal patrol vessels, the offshore Sarah Baartman in the foreground and the inshore patrol vessel Lilian Khoyi in the background. Both are locked up by red tape and bungling in Simon’s Town harbour.

With South Africa’s fleet of coastal patrol ships stuck in Simon’s Town Harbour while the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) comes to grips with the bureaucratic requirements of transferring them from the SAMSA register into the control of the navy, the seriousness of the ugly spat between DAFF and the previous operator of the fleet, SMIT Amandla Marine was brought into focus at the weekend when a container ship, CONTI HONG KONG began trailing a long oil slick while off the Eastern Cape coast.

With no patrol or coastwatch vessel available to monitor the oil slick and the culprit ship, it was fortunate that little or no damage to the coastal damage appeared likely from the 4 mile long oil slick, which happened when crew on the ship began transferring bunker oil from one tank to another and allowed it to overflow.

Later the salvage tug SMIT AMANDLA was reported to be on scene doing the necessary monitoring.

The slick was noticed by a coastal patrol aircraft as it overflew the ship off the coastal village of Hamburg. The ship is on a voyage to West Africa from South East Asia.

With the coastal patrol ships unmanned and tied up in Simon’s Town as much by red tape as by their mooring ropes, the extensive waters of the country’s economic zone remain unguarded and unprotected.

Some serious questions need to be asked in parliament concerning this debacle, but don’t anyone hold their breath for any meaningful result to ensue.

Meanwhile, the navy is reported to have said that the commissioning of the coastal patrol vessels should be completed within two weeks or so. Once again, don’t hold your breath over this meaning much, as the navy will then have to find and commission suitable crew.

Fairmount Fuji assists Stena Icemax

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Fairmount Fuji

Fairmount Marine’s multipurpose support vessel FAIRMOUNT FUJI recently assisted the drill ship STENA ICEMAX while making a stop- over at Cape Town.

On request of the owner of Stena Icemax the Fairmount Fuji carried out several cargo runs from the port of Cape Town to the anchorage outside port. Stena Icemax was under way from the Far East to French Guiana and was required to make a stop-over at Cape Town for crew change and replenishment purposes.

Stena Icemax is a 228 metre long new build drill ship designed for deep water operations in harsh environments. Fairmount Fuji is a multipurpose support vessel with a spacious aft deck of 280 square metres and with towing capabilities.

Directly after assisting Stena Icemax the Fairmount Fuji was prepared for her next assignment in West Africa region, where she will act as a accommodation and general support vessel for an offshore operator.

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Tanker and crew freed by pirates

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Liquid Velvet

The Greek chemical tanker LIQUID VELVET (5,998-dwt, built 1994) and her crew of 21 has been released by Somali pirates seven months after the ship was seized while sailing 58 n.miles south-east of Aden.

The ship was captured by Somali pirates operating from a single skiff on 1 November 2011 while the ship was en route from Morocco to Goa. The crew sought shelter in a safe room or citadel but the pirates managed to break in and take full control of the ship, before forcing the crew to sail the ship towards Puntland. There were subsequent reports of the tanker being used as a mother ship.

In December it was being reported that the pirates were demanding a ransom of US$8 million. It is however not known whether any ransom was in fact paid although that is assumed to be the case.

Mozambique Govt Adopts Code of Conduct on Piracy

The Council of Ministers (Cabinet) last week Thursday approved Mozambique's adoption of the Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, also known as the ‘Djibouti Code of Conduct’.

The Djibouti Code facilitates the sharing of information among countries in the region and actions to repress maritime piracy.

Speaking to reporters shortly after the Cabinet meeting, government spokesperson Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources Abdul Razak explained that Mozambique's accession to the Code “will allow Mozambique to share information among member countries in the region and will give access to technical training and support for the purchase of equipment for the fight against piracy.”

The Djibouti Code, which became effective on 29 January 2009, promotes the implementation of a number of United Nations Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions which fall within the competence of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

So far 19 out of 21 eligible countries have signed the Djibouti Code of Conduct. Mozambique and France are yet to sign the Code but with Mozambique adopting the Code, France is now the only eligible country yet to join.

During the meeting, the Cabinet also ratified an agreement by which the Exim Bank of China will finance the building of a bridge across Maputo Bay linking the centre of the capital city with the district of Catembe. source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (AIM)

Mauritius signs agreement with Britain to prosecute pirates

The UK and Mauritius have signed an agreement whereby pirates captured by the Royal Navy may be brought to Mauritius for prosecution.

According to Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, the agreement was an indication how the Indian Ocean states are stepping up the battle against piracy. The UK already has similar agreement with Tanzania and the Seychelles.

“Piracy is a violent crime and pirates should be in no doubt that they will be arrested at sea, prosecuted in regional states and imprisoned,” said Cameron.

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Latest Aida Cruises’ ships will float on air

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It’s not an entirely new concept but Aida Cruises, the Carnival Corporation’s German subsidiary will introduce two new 125,000-gt ships currently under construction that will float on bubbles of air.

The two ships, each with a capacity of 3,250 passengers are being built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard for delivery in 2015 and 2016. They will make use of the Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS) which uses patented technology involving the injection of air bubbles through small holes in the ship’s hull which are designed to reduce friction.

The MALS system was first used by Mitsubishi in 2010 on the NYK heavylift ship YAMATAI - see the PORTS & SHIPS report dated 5 April 2010 NYK bubbles with excitement as ship is named with graphics showing how the system works. Use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page.

In tests involving the Yamatai, which has a wide hull shape, a saving in fuel of around 13 percent was achieved but the designers expect a savings of 7 percent with the two cruise ships. The Aida ships, which have yet to be named will make use of a diesel electric propulsion system driving two ABB Azipod azimuth thrusters each with rated outputs of 14mW.

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The Ahrenkiel owned and operated container ship AS SCANDIA (19,131-gt, built 2000) Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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