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Ports & Ships Maritime News

19 June 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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The Chinese semi submersible heavylift vessel TAI AN KOU arrived off Durban on Friday and initially went to anchorage outside port. On Monday the vessel entered port to load bunkers at R-shed, a berh that is normally used for loading and discharging motor vehicles. Because of her overhang Tai An Kou had to be moored 'Mediterranean' style - stern first before bunkering from the barge could begin. Picture by Terry Hutson

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Co-sponsors of proposal recommend a legal requirement that port terminal operators and ships must have a verified container weight in order to export a loaded container.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has received a formal proposal co-sponsored by a broad array of industry organisations, labour, and governments to require loaded containers to be weighed to determine their actual weight.

The proposal was submitted by Denmark, The Netherlands, the United States, BIMCO, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), and the World Shipping Council (WSC). The IMO’s Subcommittee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers will consider the proposal at its next meeting in September.

“Misdeclared container weights are a recurring safety problem on shore, on ships, and on roadways. It is time to fix that problem. We are pleased that there is such a broad cross-section of industry and government agreement on a specific and effective remedy,” said Torben Skaanild, Secretary General of BIMCO.

“The co-sponsors of this proposal are recommending a legal requirement that port terminal operators and ships must have a verified container weight in order to export a loaded container. This will protect workers in the port, on the ship, and other cargo owners against the various risks created by misdeclared containers,” said Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General of ICS.

“The major players of the industry dealing with the handling of containers have chosen to make the transport of the "box" even safer than before. The ITF, representing more than 4.6 million workers, welcomes this initiative and will continue to work for a safe, productive and sustainable transport industry,” said Frank Leys, secretary of the ITF dockers’ section. “For years, the United States has required all its export containers to be weighed. This has not impaired supply chain efficiency, and it has improved safety. The technology exists to weigh containers accurately and efficiently, and it should be a universal, required practice,” said Dr. Geraldine Knatz, president of IAPH and executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.

“The governments that have co-sponsored this proposal have been leaders at the IMO on the issue of maritime safety. Industry and labor are very pleased to have their support in the efforts to amend the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and establish an effective solution to this safety issue,” said Christopher Koch, president and CEO of the World Shipping Council.

SOLAS currently requires the shipper (the cargo interest that loads its goods into the container) to provide an accurate container weight declaration, but this requirement is often not met, is not enforced by SOLAS parties, and there is no requirement to actually weigh a loaded container. To remedy the problem, the co-sponsors propose a legal requirement, not only that the shipper provides an accurate weight declaration, but that the port facility and the ship have a weight verification certificate obtained by weighing the container. This will ensure that the actual weight of all loaded containers is received prior to stowing the container onto a vessel for export.

The proposal and supporting paper is available CLICK HERE - use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page.

Additional information, including recent examples of incidents involving misdeclared container weights is available at CLICK HERE.

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Quadrant House, head office of Grindrod Limited. Picture by Terry Hutson

Grindrod Limited, the Durban-based, JSE listed logistics and shipping business, has finalised the transaction to purchase a 75.5% interest in the Botswana based fuel logistics company, Petrologistics.

The interest, currently held by Imperial Holdings, Transport Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Botswana citizens, and the Citizen Empowerment Development Agency Venture Capital Fund (CEDAVCF), will be acquired for an undisclosed amount and the agreement effective from 1 January 2012. Grindrod’s 100% owned subsidiary Fuelogic (Pty) Ltd owns 24.5%. The current managing Director Mr Todd Mangadi will purchase a 5% share in Petrologistics from Grindrod.

Grindrod first entered the Petrochemical industry in 2008 with the acquisition of WM TransLogistics and in 2010 concluded the acquisition of Fuelogic, a bulk liquid transporter operating in Southern Africa.

Petrologistics is a bulk liquid fuel transporter operating in Botswana under long term contracts with customers such as Puma, Engen and Shell. The fleet of 114 specialised road tankers provide a primary and secondary distribution service. Primary distribution is the transportation of fuel from refineries/import terminals to inland terminals, depots and large customers. Secondary distribution is the transportation of fuel from inland terminals and depots to retail/smaller wholesale customers.

Hylton Gray, CEO Grindrod Freight Logistics said that this transaction was in line with the group’s strategy of investing in assets that are an integral part of the supply chain. “Providing transportation and other integrated services for specific commodities along import and export corridors, is key in Grindrod’s service offering,” he said.

Fuelogic and Petrologistics will operate as one business operating a fleet of 380 road tankers servicing Sub-Saharan Africa. The business will trade as Grindrod Petrologistics.

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Approaching the oil tanker SAIQ off Cape Recife. Picture NSRI

Port Elizabeth volunteers were placed on alert on Friday, 15 June to be ready for a pending call-out following a request for medical assistance from the 320 metre long oil tanker SAIQ (299,999-dwt, built 2011), sailing from Angola to Mauritius, reports the NSRI.

The ship’s 25 year old 2nd Officer, Akshan Kapur, from India was reported to be suffering abdominal pain and needed to be evacuated from the ship.

Justin Erasmus, NSRI Port Elizabeth deputy station commander said that they were placed on alert by the Transnet National Ports Authority following a request for a medical sea rescue extrication from MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre). The MRCC, following monitoring of the patients condition by the Government Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) duty doctor, activated the casualty extrication operation for the officer to be removed from the ship and transported to the nearest appropriate hospital as soon as possible.

NSRI said that the sea conditions at the time were calm with no wind.

“At 14h50 our NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched Spirit of Toft and responded to rendezvous with the ship 8 nautical miles off-shore of Cape Recife,” reported NSRI Port Elizabeth deputy station commander, Justin Erasmus.

On arrival on-scene NSRI medics went aboard the ship and the patient was transferred onto the waiting sea rescue boat before being brought to the sea rescue base. The patient was then transferred into a Guardmed private ambulance services ambulance and taken to hospital in a stable condition for further treatment.

The operation was completed by 16h00.

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The oil tanker SAIQ against the western horizon. Picture by NSRI

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Pretoria – It was through intense negotiations that South Africa was exempted from the US crude oil sanctions on Iran, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, said on Friday.

Briefing reporters on Friday after Cabinet’s meeting this week, Chabane confirmed that the country, together with six other countries, had been exempted from the sanctions imposed on Iran.

The US on Monday said that South Africa had significantly reduced its oil imports and that it would be exempted.

At the end of 2011, US President Barack Obama signed a bill expanding US sanctions against Iran to cover its central bank and financial sector; a move that allows penalties on foreign banks that settle oil imports with the Iranian central bank.

The European Union followed suit and put a ban on the provision of insurance and reinsurance by EU insurers to Iran and Iranian- owned companies. Additionally, the EU decided to ban new contracts to import petroleum and petroleum products from Iran and to end existing contracts by 1 July 2012.

“The sanctions impact negatively on the long term sustainability of South Africa’s refining sector due to increases in both the capital and operational costs to alter the crude diets for the respective refineries,” noted Chabane.

The Department of Energy’s Director General Nelisiwe Magubane said there was no indication of compensation required by South African companies as a result of the sanctions.

South Africa applied for an exemption from the US government and on Monday the US Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton announced that South Africa, together with countries like Malaysia, Sri-Lanka and India had been granted the exemptions by the US from the sanctions.

The sanctions will not apply to South African financial institutions which transact with the Islamic Republic of Iran for the 2012 fiscal year. The exemption period is a 180 days and is potentially renewable. Additionally, the exemption is only applicable to petroleum based transactions.

“This followed intense negotiations between South Africa and the United States of America,” noted the minister.

Adding to the minister’s comments, Magubane said the sanctions would not only impact the South African economy but would also impact on South Africa’s neighbours.

She said South Africa will be looking to the African continent to source oil while Chabane said the country was working on alternatives to diversify South Africa’s sourcing of oil. “That programme is still continuing,” said Chabane.

South Africa sources about 30% of its crude oil from Iran.

When coming to the EU, similar discussions are being held. “On the EU, similar discussions are taking place in Moscow … we are hoping for a breakthrough,” said Magubane.

On Wednesday (13 June), the Department of Energy said the EU sanctions against Iran were a hurdle because unlike the US, the EU legislation did not give provision for any exception.

“Although the US granted the exception, the EU sanctions will make it impossible for importation of crude oil from Iran due to the ban on the provision of insurance and reinsurance by EU insurers to the State of Iran and Iranian owned companies," said the department.

Magubane explained further that the EU did not have a clause for exemption. “Most of the companies that offer insurance are within the EU. There is no provision for that in their legislation,” said Magubane. – BuaNews

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The historic tug ALWYN VINCENT which in her latter days was frequently used for carrying sightseers around the port of Cape Town. The tug had by then been converted for diesel operation. Picture from a postcard provided by G Bashford

The long anticipated move of the former SAR&H (later renamed Transnet) tug ALWYN VINCENT from the Cape Town Waterfront to a final resting place at Villiersdorp, can be announced, says Steven Bentley, the Waterfront’s Harbour Master.

Reporting in the news bulletin of the Cape Town-based Ship Society of South Africa, Captain Bentley says:

“Hopefully we can announce the move of the Alwyn Vincent (AV) to Villiersdorp, and please understand that much of this work is by volunteers, so we can expect some slippage.

“However, they still need a few thousand Rands to pay the road haulage a distance of 420 km! Look at Monday 18 June below (a schedule of the planned movements involved in transferring the tug onto cradles, etc – see below) and you will see why the cost is R500,000. That is R1200 per kilometre, so come on let’s give the AV a good home, and find those small amounts.”

He said that the latest donation was R3000 which came from the Traditional Boat Association, and a burgee to be flown on the mast at Villiersdorp. “And a huge support from the Transnet National Ports Authority for all the activity on the Syncrolift, in lifting the old tug and the use of the dollys, then ATLATECH who have cleaned the hull, and International Paints who have donated all the paint that has been applied to the hull and substructure,” Bentley said. He said he stands in awe at what the ‘Farmers from Villiersdorp’ have achieved. “I am grateful that the AV is in safe hands even if ashore in the town of Villiersdorp,” Bentley said.

“The Town Mayor has already asked what traditional days he must add to the Town Calendar to recognise significant maritime days! It just shows the enthusiasm amongst these folk.

The schedule to move the Alwyn Vincent is as follows:

Wednesday 13 June 2012: MME will start with the manufacturing of the 2 x support cradles (6m wide).
Friday 15 June: The transport trailer from ALE arrive in Cape Town.
Monday 18 June: MME will fit and weld the cradles to the AV on Monday (+/- 3 days).
Thursday 21 June: The AV will be shifted, jacked up and the syncrolift dollies removed from underneath.
The plan is to take the trailer through to the Port of Cape Town on the same day.
Friday 22 June: The trailer will be positioned underneath the AV and secured.
Saturday 23 June: The wheelhouse and other top structures will be removed with a 180ton crane and loaded onto lowbed trailers. The volunteer and sponsor banners will be fitted to the side of the vessel (there is still space to donate and have your name on the hull).
Monday 25 June: The AV will leave the Waterfront and Port and arrive in Villiersdorp on Thursday, 28 June or Friday 29 June 2012.

The Route: Cape Town – Saldanha – Malmesbury – Mooreesburg – Riebeeck West – Hermon – Gouda (Nuwekloof Pass) – Wolseley – Worcester – Villiersdorp (+/- 420km).

The Alwyn Vincent will be staged onto 1m high steel support stools at Dennis Viljoen Ingenieurswerke and the trailer removed from underneath. She will be lowered and positioned on the ground.

Acknowledgements to Ship Society of SA and Captain Steven Bentley

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Mozambique showing the Rovuma area where frequent oil and gas strikes are being recorded

Anadarko Mozambique Area 1 is expected to drill more prospecting wells after its oil and gas prospecting activities in the Rovuma basin, in northern Mozambique, a director of the Mozambique National Oil Institute said last week in Maputo.

Cited by daily newspaper Notícias, director Carlos Zacarias also said that the company was preparing to start detailed engineering studies on the model of exploration to be adopted for the reserves that have so far been found.

The study is expected to establish the number of wells needed to bring the gas to the surface, its transport to the industrial processing complex, as well as the size of the processing unit to be installed in Palma area, the northernmost district of Cabo Delgado province.

So far, the subsidiary of US group Anadarko Petroleum has drilled 13 wells that led to discoveries of large natural gas reserves, which are considered to be world class.

The latest well, called ‘Atum’, was finished this month and resulted in the discovery of natural gas 16.5 kilometres northeast of the ‘Golfinho’ well where natural gas was also discovered in May, although it is thought that the two wells have found the same reserve of natural gas.

Zacarias gave no figures for the amount of investment needed to implement the liquefaction project for the natural gas found so far by Anadarko, but the group is expected to invest up to US$15 billion. (source: macauhub)

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The German-owned, Liberian-flagged container ship FRISIA KIEL (25,406-gt, built 2004) which was in Cape Town earlier this month. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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