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Ports & Ships Maritime News

17 August 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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The container ship MOL CULLINAN (53,453-gt, built 2005) passes Schoenmakerskop yesterday morning while on route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. MOL Cullinan entered service under a ten year charter as P&O Nedlloyd Heemskerck and this was taken over by the Japanese company MOL in 2005 following the absorbtion of P&O Nedlloyd into Maersk Line, with the ship’s name being changed in January 2006. Anti-monopoly conditions attached to the sale of the Anglo-Dutch company had precluded the two P&O Nedlloyd ships deployed on the SAECS (SA Europe Container Service) trade from being ’inherited’ by Maersk, which together with sister company Safmarine already accounted for three of the six ship service. See story HERE. Picture by Luc Hosten

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Thami Ntshingila, Durban’s new port manager

Management from Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) this week embarked on a countrywide tour of ports to announce the appointment of several new port managers.

Having already announced changes at the ports of Saldanha and Mossel Bay - see Ports & Ships for 3 July 2012 Mossel Bay and Saldanha port managers redeployed , this week it was the turn of the ports of Richards Bay, Durban and Cape Town.

According to TNPA chief executive Tau Morwe, this week’s appointments are in keeping with TNPA’s organisational transformation which is geared to align human resources competencies to ensure delivery on Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS). While not stated it is clear that the reorganisation is also geared to addressing certain demographic inequalities in terms of senior managers at the port company.

The new appointments are as follows:

  • Thami Ntshingila, previously Port Manager at Richards Bay is re-deployed as Port Manager, Durban

  • Preston Khomo, previously in charge of Ship repair/Dry Docks at Durban is re-deployed as Port Manager Richards Bay

  • Sipho Nzuza is the new Port Manager at Cape Town. Nzuza was until recently the market manager at the Port of Durban where he acted as port manager on several occasions
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    Sipho Nzuza, new Cape Town port manager

    An announcement concerning the appointment of a port manager at the Port of Ngqura is also expected shortly. Although this has not been announced, Ports & Ships understands that the new port manager, who will be Ngqura’s first permanent appointment, is a woman currently employed at the Department of Transport.

    Morwe said the appointments come at an exciting time for Transnet. The new managers each have crucial roles to play to contribute to the building of economic infrastructures that will facilitate the movement of goods and reduce the cost of doing business, he said.

    “I have every confidence that they will bring to the jobs their passion, experience and skills within an environment which is conducive to development,” said Morwe.

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    Preston Khomo, new Richards Bay port manager

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    A call has been made for the establishment of a specialised Pan African financial institution, dedicated to infrastructure and skills development in the continent’s maritime, as well as the oil and gas sectors.

    Various speakers at the recently held 2nd Africa Shipping and Oil Roundtable in Ghana’s capital city of Accra, described as unacceptable the present state of maritime and energy infrastructure in the continent despite the huge revenue being generated each year from oil production and its support services including shipping.

    The two day event with the theme ‘Sustainable Local Content Development in Africa’s Shipping and Oil Industry’ was attended by high level government functionaries and leading players involved in shipping, oil and gas, logistics, trade and banking across Africa.

    Guest of Honour and Ghana’s Transport Minister, Alhaji Dauda Collins, commended the initiators of the roundtable and described it as a laudable platform for industry stakeholders to brain storm and put together ideas that would lay a strong foundation for local content development, enhance skills and build industrial capacity, which in turn will spur economic and better living standards.

    The Minister in his keynote remarks spoke on the need for oil producing African countries to develop and push through local content policy, to maximise the benefits of a depleting resource like oil to the country, her people and future generations.

    “We are challenged now more than ever before to enforce the local content policy, come up with good legislations and robust guidelines,” he concluded.

    The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Representative for Anglophone West and Central Africa, Michael Luguje, observed that port authorities in Africa have responded rather slowly to the demands of the oil and gas industry. As more African countries join the league of oil and gas producers, our port authorities should come up with the right strategies to meet the requirements of the oil and gas industry, he said.

    Luguje who was recently elected Secretary General of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA), harped on increased co-operation and collaboration by the critical actors in the maritime, oil and gas industry, in addition to the adoption of common procedures and practices in line with internationally accepted standards.

    Chief Executive Officer of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, called for the development of a focused and resourced regional strategic partnership for the oil and maritime sectors that addresses; business to business (B2B) – to enhance African and regional business leadership and companies to create critical mass for industry development; Government to Government (G2G) – to establish bilateral arrangements, to enhance country to country relationships; Institution to Institution (I2I) – to accelerate capacity building, skills development and to create dynamic engagement platform; and roadshows to mobilise capacity and interests in the oil and gas industry of African countries.

    Earlier in her welcome address chairperson of the roundtable organising committee, Mrs Remilekun Rasaq, said the transport, oil and gas industry hold a lot of promise for the continent, “thus addressing the deficiencies in these critical sectors would reverse the fragile health of most African countries and position them to compete effectively in an increasingly globalized world”, she said. She charged participants to come up with cost effective solutions which could be easily implemented across the continent.

    The Africa Shipping and Oil Roundtable is an annual platform for decision makers and government functionaries in the maritime, oil and gas industry, to discuss, review and proffer solutions that would guarantee sustainable growth of the African economy as well as enhance trade connectivity between African countries and to international markets. - source: Vanguard

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    by Chris Bathembu

    Maputo - The SADC Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, is expected to approve the regional infrastructure development master plan which aims to deal with the region’s underperformance in road, rail, ports, energy, communication and water infrastructure. The deficit is estimated to be about US$100 billion.

    South Africa’s Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa confirmed to SAnews in Maputo on Thursday that the matter had dominated the council of ministers meeting which began earlier in the day.

    This follows the finalisation of the master plan by ministers responsible for regional infrastructure who met in Luanda, Angola in June.

    “We had very good discussions on the infrastructure matter and there are strong views that it is something that needs to be done. The regional plans for water and energy had been agreed to because we are of the view that this infrastructure is very central to our development,” said Molewa.

    President Jacob Zuma was due to arrive in Mozambique later on Thursday (16 August) to join other Heads of State from the region ahead of the SADC Summit on Friday.

    Molewa said South Africa would be entering into new agreements with Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia as part of ensuring that these countries shared their water resources as part of a wider infrastructure integration.

    South Africa has an existing water treaty with Lesotho that comprises a system of several large dams and tunnels throughout the two countries.

    The purpose of the project is to provide Lesotho with a source of income in exchange for the provision of water to central Gauteng, to support the industrial and mining activity there as well as to generate hydroelectric power for Lesotho. It is Africa's largest water transfer scheme.

    “We want to expand this to other regions [and it] really speaks to the infrastructure integration which is really what SADC is about. As we speak right now, we have a project that is going on that analyses how much water comes into South Africa from Lesotho and how much can be allowed to pass through Namibia and to Botswana using the same tunnel,” Molewa said.

    The ambitious regional infrastructure plan has been widely welcomed, with some saying it could ease trade significantly among the SADC countries. Strict customs regulations, coupled with inefficient bureaucracy and infrastructure were said to be major constraints for customs union states.

    Unnecessary red tape has been identified as number one bottleneck in achieving an Africa that trades freely with itself.

    “The issue of integration of infrastructure is a very important issue if we are to take this region and indeed the continent forward. We are hoping that the Heads of State in their meeting will be able to endorse the plan,” said Molewa.

    If endorsed by the leaders, the master plan, which Pretoria supports, would guide development in key infrastructure critical to the development of the SADC member states. The SADC plan is closely linked to the African Union’s decision in Addis Ababa in July to reaffirm the commitment to the acceleration and deepening of Africa’s integration by approving a continental action plan and setting timelines.

    SADC leaders’ objectives are to promote sustainable economic growth and development through regional integration while ensuring enough support for the economically and socially disadvantaged members.

    The master plan will be implemented over three five-year intervals from 2012-2017.

    A draft treaty which emerged out of the ministers meeting on Tuesday also sets out a strategy to achieve ‘complementarity’ between national and regional strategies and programmes. These, among others, include promoting and maximising the use of natural resources and the abundant raw material and minerals found in the region and creating appropriate institutions for the development of policies that would ensure free movement of capital and labour, goods and services among SADC member states.

    Leaders also want to hammer out an idea to help each other increase exports to European and Asian markets. The plan is geared towards ensuring that they export not only raw material and minerals but establish factories and create beneficiation possibilities. - SAnews.gov.za

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    Pretoria - State oil company, PetroSA, and Indian oil and gas exploration company Cairn India Group on Thursday signed a farm-in agreement for crude oil and natural gas exploration in the Orange Basin on the west coast of South Africa.

    The agreement is in the offshore Block 1 in the Orange Basin on the west coast. It covers a large area of 19,922 square km and is currently in the initial stages of exploration.

    Cairn India will hold a 60% interest in the block, through a wholly-owned South African subsidiary and will be the operator, with PetroSA holding the remaining interest.

    “We are delighted to join hands with one of Asia’s most successful exploration companies. Cairn India brings with it extensive geo-technical and operating capabilities that will combine very well with our experience and understanding of the region. We have a shared mindset, and together are extremely well placed to realise the full potential of Block 1,” said Everton September, PetroSA Vice President for New Ventures.

    Cairn India Director for Strategy P. Elango said his company was pleased to partner with PetroSA.

    “This is an important first step for the company’s growth beyond the Indian subcontinent. We see an attractive opportunity to leverage our capabilities in a rapidly emerging area and aspire to build a wider business in the region,” said Elango. - SAnews.gov.za

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    The speed at which the Angolan railroad system has been rebuilt is a first for the African continent, said Angola’s transport minister, Augusto Tomás, quoted by Angolan news agency Angop.

    Speaking in the city of Lubango, the minister noted that in just a few years 2,700 kilometres of railroads were rebuilt and over US$3.3 billion was spent on the three main lines – Luanda, Benguela and Namibe (formerly Moçâmedes).

    Tomás pointed out that the reconstruction programme for the railroads included the lines themselves and 148 stations, and that 243 units of rolling stock had been purchased, including locomotives, wagons and coaches, and that workshops and professional training centres had been built.

    “The three railroads have altogether consumed US$3.3 billion, but there are still other tasks to be carried out and thus modernisation of the railroads will continue,” he said.

    Work on rebuilding Angola’s three railroads is being carried out by Chinese companies with funding from Beijing. (macauhub)

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    Maersk Line’s newbuild container ship MAERSK CUANZA (50,869-gt, built 2012) arriving in Cape Town during July. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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