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Ports & Ships Maritime News

26 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 Singapore-owned and flagged offshore tug VARADA QUEEN (1292-gt, built 2011) in Cape Town harbour earlier in June. Pictures by Aad Noorland

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State-owned transport and logistics company Transnet SOC Ltd, has appointed Mr Anoj Singh as Chief Financial Officer with effect from 1 July 2012.

Mr Singh, who is a chartered accountant, will also be an executive director of the company together with the Group Chief Executive. He holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of Durban Westville – now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

In addition to attending various committees of the Board, he will lead all aspects of the company’s financial strategy, including adherence to the highest standards of governance and internal controls, manage all financial risks and oversee the company’s funding and capital investment programmes. As CFO, he will also be responsible for the procurement function which includes Transnet’s supplier development initiatives and broad-based black economic empowerment.

He has been Acting Chief Financial Officer of Transnet since 2009.

Singh joined Transnet in 2003 as a Senior Financial Manager at Freight Rail – the company’s biggest division – before moving on to become General Manager: Group Finance.

Before joining Transnet, he worked for food retail group Spar and the auditing firm, Deloitte & Touche where he was accountant in charge of some of the firm’s biggest accounts, including Tongaat Hulett, Sappi, and McCarthy Motor Holdings.

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Green intervention at Port of Richards Bay

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The pontoons in place near the liquid bulk berths at the Port of Richards Bay. Picture TNPA

With the ongoing implementation of the environmental strategy of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), the Port of Richards Bay is taking the lead as the first port in South Africa with the largest floating breakwater system (pontoons) constructed within its harbour.

These pontoons are erosion-control structures that usually run parallel to the shore to protect the area from the full force of incoming waves. The system is designed to achieve 70% to 80% wave reduction efficiency.

“This initiative forms part of TNPA’s mandate to enhance South Africa's global competitiveness by facilitating the expansion of the economy through socially and environmentally sustainable port development,” said Tau Morwe, TNPA Chief Executive.

“This strategy also complies with health, safety and environmental legislation and regulations as well as international protocols and codes ratified by SA.”

During the construction phase of the Bulk Liquid Berth in 2009, a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment revealed that an endangered area had developed on the south side of the Richards Bay harbour. Erosion of beach sand and soil had affected the natural habitat of the Mangrove swamps.

These swamps form the basis of a complex marine food ecology and their coverage of coastal shorelines and wetlands provides a unique habitat for many diverse species of birds, mammals, crustaceans and fish.

Following this assessment, mitigation measures were identified to preserve the area. These studies considered all the variables and impact of the proposed structures on the shoreline.

“We looked at three key environmental performance criteria and found that the floating breakwater systems (pontoons) allow sufficient tidal exchange between the mangrove and open port waters; it allows faunal migration between mangroves and open tidal waters; and the helix anchors on the seabed will also allow for the establishment of an artificial habitant which invertebrates, fish and birds will likely colonise.

“Hence the implementation of the pontoons was the preferred option, as it met with the specified requirements,” said Brahma Naidoo, project leader from Transnet Capital Projects.

Construction and installation of the pontoons between the beach along the Heritage Site and the Bulk Liquid Berth 208 at Spinach Point in the Port of Richards Bay has now been completed.

“There will be constant monitoring of the area and we feel confident that in the long term, these pontoons will rehabilitate the mangrove ecology by reversing the damage caused by the waves, inevitably enabling the restoration of the natural habitat for plant and animal life,” said Morwe.

TPT appoints new executive for Port of East London operations

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Khethokuhle Nyawose, TPT asst executive manager at East London MPT

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has announced the appointment earlier this month of Khethokuhle Nyawose as Assistant Terminal Executive Manager for the East London Multi-Purpose Terminals.

Nyawose fills the position left vacant by Robert van Rooyen, who was promoted to Assistant Terminal Executive Manager for the Port Elizabeth Multi-Purpose Terminals last year.

With his extensive background in business management, Nyawose will be responsible for overall management of the terminal, which comprises automotive, multi-purpose and agricultural cargo handling facilities.

Of the challenges ahead, he says: “The East London Terminal is at the cusp of a new chapter in its history. The exciting economic developments within the province, coupled with Transnet's Market Demand Strategy, will present the East London Terminal with invaluable volume growth and diversification opportunities.”

Nyawose’s career has spanned years of progression at South African Breweries, his final role being that of Operations Services Manager for the Central Region. He has also worked as a Project Manager for an electrical construction company. His academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Management Accounting and he is presently completing his final year of an MBA degree at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

Röhlig-Grindrod acquires Sturrock’s Clearing & Forwarding division

Röhlig-Grindrod, a joint venture between Grindrod Limited and Röhlig International, has concluded an agreement to acquire the empowered Sturrock Group Clearing & Forwarding division in return for a 15% equity interest in the merged business.

The agreement took effect from 1 June 2012 and results in a dilution of Röhlig-Grindrod shares for the existing shareholders to 42.5% each. The minimum BEE score achieved is a level 3 which is in line with Röhlig-Grindrod’s stated objectives.

“We are very pleased with the merger of the businesses and the introduction of the empowerment partners,” said Hylton Gray, CEO of Grindrod Logistic. “Calulo, a partner in the Sturrock Group, already have a stake in Grindrod’s South African operations and have contributed significantly by way of existing relationships and experience in niche markets. We believe our synergies can be further developed for the benefit of our customers”.

Jürgen Möller, Director of Sturrock Shipping described Röhlig-Grindrod as a well-established global player in the industry enjoying strong buying and negotiating power. As a direct consequence of the transaction, the business will be in a position to provide its customers with both an enhanced service offering and the most competitive rates.

“The merged businesses have all developed from family owned organisations, with similar cultures, values and ethics but with a passion to drive the business forward expanding into new markets and adapting to the ever changing requirements of our customers,” said Kuben Reddi, Röhlig-Grindrod’s Managing Director.

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New Beira tug named

The newest addition to the SMIT Amandla Marine fleet, the tug SAVE RIVER, was named at an informal naming ceremony held at Springbok Quay, Port of Cape Town last Tuesday evening (19 June).

Save River has since left on her maiden voyage to the Mozambique port of Beira where she will commence work for SMIT Amandla Marine’s client, Vale, together with another tug named SOFALA – the former Durban-based tug Pentow Service (736-gt, built 1983).

Braving the cold and windy conditions were the master, officers & crew, shore-based SMIT Amandla Marine personnel and representatives of the shipyard Damen - and Lady Sponsor for the vessel Mrs Pumla Jikela (representing the employees of SMIT Amandla Marine, where she is Human Resources Manager).

The champagne bottle smashed spectacularly - a celebration of another significant milestone for the company! Representing an investment of R41 million, the Save River becomes a welcome addition to SMIT Amandla Marine's fleet of specialist vessels.

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from left, Captain Dawie Erasmus (Master, Save River), Paul Maclons (MD, SMIT Amandla Marine), Mrs Pumla Jikela (HR Manager, SMIT Amandla Marine), Sam Montsi (Chairperson, Damen Shipyards) and Bongumusa Mthethwa (Chief Engineer, Save River).

Pakistani freight forwarders vote for Safmarine

The Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA) has chosen Safmarine Pakistan as its choice for the ‘Friendly Line’ award.

More than 500 freight forwarders took part in the online voting poll, with the award being presented to Safmarine Pakistan at PIFFA’s inaugural Excellence Awards 2012 event. “This award is a reflection of the strong bond Safmarine maintains with the PIFFA community and is an acknowledgement of Safmarine’s relationship-focused business approach,” said PIFFA Chairman Asim Saeed.

The PIFFA Excellence Awards 2012 took place at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi on June 16, 2012.

The award “recognises our teamwork and is proof that by working together, we can win together and make the difference, the Safmarine Way,” said Hasan Faraz, Commercial Manager for Safmarine Pakistan.

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From left to right: Mr. Asim Saeed (Chairman, PIFFA), Mr.Hasan Faraz (Commercial Manager, Safmarine Pakistan), Mr.Mohammad Shafi (Chairman, Port Qasim)

Another at sea medivac for NSRI

On Sunday morning, 24 June, the NSRI Station 11 crew at Port Alfred was called out to evacuate a yachtsman at sea who was suspected of having suffered a heart attack.

Juan Pretorius, NSRI Port Alfred station commander, takes up the narrative: “At 07h43 (Sunday, 24th June) NSRI Port Alfred volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the Port Elizabeth 11 metre yacht Mr. Noah, six nautical miles off-shore of the Kowie river mouth.” The yacht had a crew of four on board, all from Uitenhage and one of them an NSRI Port Elizabeth trainee crewman. They reported that their skipper, 69 year old David van Wyngaard, appeared to be suffering a heart attack.

“NSRI Port Elizabeth trainee crewman, Francis Jacobs, who happened to be sailing on board the yacht, initiated the call to his NSRI colleagues to come and assist,” said Pretorius.

“Our NSRI Port Alfred volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft Lotto Challenger and responded to rendezvous with the yacht six nautical miles off-shore, in rough seas, a three metre swell and 20 knot south easterly winds. On arrival on-scene the patient was stabilised by our NSRI medics and transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought to our harbour in Port Alfred and he has been transported to hospital in a stable condition by Guardmed ambulance.”

The matter didn’t end there. “NSRI then re-launched our sea rescue craft and delivered 100 litres of diesel to the yacht so that they would have sufficient fuel and we have instructed them to head to the lee of Bird Island to escape the rough sea conditions. They are making slow progress of two knots and are expected to shelter at Bird Island to wait out the unfavorable weather and may only reach Port Elizabeth tomorrow (last) night.

“They were on a roundabout sailing trip from Port Elizabeth. Two of the remaining three crew onboard are competent skippers.”

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Loco number 3103 comes over the side of Clipper Amber to join sister units 3101 and 3102 already on the dockside, with a blue TFR class 36 shunting loco ready to haul them away. This was the scene at Maydon Wharf 14 on Sunday 24 June. Picture courtesy of Charles Baker

The 33 former Queensland Rail National locomotives being imported by several buyers were successfully discharged in Durban harbour over the weekend and by now some of them are on their way to Pretoria.

The locos (see our report of Friday Clipper Amber due in Durban with large loco load - use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page - arrived on Friday on board the general cargo ship Clipper Amber from the Port of Brisbane and their discharge was completed yesterday (Monday).

The largest number of the locomotive shipment has been ordered by Grindrod RRL, with remainder going to the firm of Surtees which is an affiliate of African Rail & Traction Services (AR&TS), and one other company.

Some of the locos are said to be in poor condition and could have been purchased for spares. According to an Australian report one loco is reported to have a cracked frame.

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The general cargo ship Clipper Amber that carried the Australian locomotives to South Africa. Picture courtesy of Charles Baker

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United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk says he welcomes news of an agreement in Congress to advance legislation making critical updates and improvements to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), America’s trade preference program for sub- Saharan Africa, and the Central America – Dominican Republic – United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).

“If our trade partnerships with Africa and Central America are going to provide the economic boost they’re meant to provide to these developing regions, and benefit American businesses and consumers as well, these critical fixes to AGOA and CAFTA-DR need to pass,” said the Ambassador.

“So the agreement to move this legislation now is a very welcome step,” he said. “We look forward to working with Congress in any way we can to ensure the renewal of AGOA’s third-country fabric provision and the implementation of technical changes to CAFTA-DR’s textiles and apparel provisions as soon as possible.”

The extension of AGOA’s third-country fabric provision was a critical issue raised by trade ministers during the recent AGOA Forum in Washington, DC. US orders for shipment of African exports after the slated expiration date of September 2012 are down 35 percent; African textile exports have already dropped by 27 percent in the last year.

Benefits of Extending AGOA’s Third-Country Fabric Provision

Critical to AGOA’s performance: AGOA is the cornerstone of America’s trade and investment policy with sub-Saharan Africa. AGOA’s performance and effectiveness are closely tied to its Third-Country Fabric (TCF) provision, which is set to expire in September 2012.

The TCF provision is crucial to the continued survival of Africa’s textile and apparel industry – it has generated hundreds of thousands of jobs in sub-Saharan Africa, including in least developed countries, and has helped American retailers reduce their costs, diversify their supply chains, and provide greater low-cost apparel options for US consumers.

Swift passage of legislation extending AGOA’s TCF provision is necessary to ensure AGOA’s continued success – and the stability, development, and economic growth of sub-Saharan African countries. Congress has extended the TCF provision twice with bipartisan support.

The key to the African apparel industry’s development: Apparel trade under AGOA depends on the TCF provision. Global sourcing decisions for apparel are typically made up to nine months in advance, so failing to extend the TCF provision now means that apparel buyers are preparing to move production out of AGOA beneficiary countries, which will likely result in significant job losses and factory closures in Africa.

The potential collapse of AGOA apparel exports – if third country fabric is not extended – will also have a negative impact on the cotton and textiles inputs, and would significantly weaken the prospects for the development of a viable and more vertically integrated African cotton-to-apparel value chain. Source: fibre2fashion.com

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The 8,400-TEU Panamanian-registered container ship MSC Rania (94,489-gt, built 2005) arrives in the Port of Durban with a large load of containers, earlier in June. Picture by Trevor Jones

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video hosting by TinyPic The Dutch chemical tanker STOLT SNELAND (44,080-dwt, built 2008), flagged in the Cayman Islands, enters the port of Durban for a berth at the Island View complex. June 2012. Picture by Trevor Jones

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