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Ports & Ships Maritime News

31 August 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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Namport’s latest harbour tug ONKOSHI (294-gt, built 2012) which is shown here in Cape Town prior to her delivery voyage to Walvis Bay. The tug which will be managed by Damen was built in the Dutch company’s Chinese shipyard. Picture by Aad Noorland

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It’s all red for China’s COSCO

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It isn’t good news for China Cosco after net losses for the first half of 2012 deepened to RMB4.87-billion (US$766-million) compared with a loss of RMB2.76-billion for the same period of 2011. This was despite revenue remaining stable at RMB42.56-bn.

According to China Cosco excessive shipping capacity and a continuing imbalance between demand and supply is continuing to haunt the company. “In particular, freight rates in the dry bulk shipping market remained low, while other related costs, such as bunker costs, further increased,” the state-owned shipping line said.

Nor is the outlook much better, says China Cosco, which expects an oversupply in container shipping an dry bulk to not only continue but to worsen.


CSCL losses increase

Another Chinese shipping company not enjoying the fruits of its labour is China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) which saw its losses increase by 103 percent for the first six months of this year compared with 2011.

Losses amounted to US$200-million for the six months ended 30 June 2012 despite revenue increasing nearly 10 percent to $2.4-billion.


Another delay for MSC Flaminia

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Although the fire damaged container ship MSC FLAMINIA has been granted a safe haven in the German port of Wilhelmhaven, the ship faces further delays and is maintaining position 30 n.miles south of Lands End in the UK while SMIT Salvage seeks to stabilise the vessel, which developed a 10 degree list from all the water used to fight the fire in mid- Atlantic.

The ship is being held in position at the request of the UK’s Secretary of State Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP), Hugh Shaw, who wants an international inspection team to board the ship and carry out an assessment before allowing MSC Flaminia to be taken through the English Channel into German territorial waters.

Salvors are meanwhile working to reduce temperatures on board the ship to improve the safety of the vessel ahead of her channel transit. “Until the coastal state inspection has taken place, and the results passed to the other coastal states en-route, the MSC Flaminia will not be given approval to proceed to Germany,” Shaw said. “SMIT Salvage will inform the UK and German authorities when they are satisfied that any risks have been reduced to an acceptable level and that it is then safe for the UK, French and German team to board the casualty and carry out the inspection.”


SAS AMATOLA returns to South African waters

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SAS Amatola outward bound from Durban on Monday this week. Picture by Clinton Wyness

The South African Navy frigate SAS AMATOLA, which sailed from Durban on Monday heading north to what was thought to be Dar es Salaam, has returned to South African waters and last night (Thursday) had arrived off Port Elizabeth.

It was thought that the ship was en route to Tanzanian waters on anti-piracy deployment. Instead the ship reappeared off Durban on Wednesday but did not enter port. Instead two inflatable craft were seen leaving the ship to enter port after which the frigate headed off along the KZN South Coast, arriving off Port Elizabeth early last night.


Detained ship renamed

The former detained tanker GANDARI has been renamed SAFFRON I in Durban harbour and appears to be readying for departure.

See earlier report on this ship’s arrest SA Dept of Immigration clamps down of seafarers shore leave


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Dumisani Khuzwayo

South African port operator Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has appointed Dumisani Khuzwayo as its new GM: Human Resources. The appointment comes after the company reviewed its organisational and executive leadership structure to better support Transnet SOC Limited’s seven year Market Demand Strategy (MDS).

Khuzwayo will steer the organisation in pursuit of its job creation and skills development agenda under the MDS, which aims at seeing TPT increase its headcount from 6,410 in 2011/12 to 9,446 in 2018/19 according to the 7 year MDS strategy projections.

Significant investments will also be made on training to up-skill the workforce and increase the intake of apprentices. The MDS will make the Transnet Group one of the largest employers in South Africa.

Khuzwayo’s career has included a 15-year tenure at Colgate-Palmolive in senior Human Resources roles in South Africa and in New York, USA, as well as work at Alpha Group, Eskom and Smith & Nephew.

TPT has also made management changes in its operational management structure, where the two sector-based positions of Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Container Sector and COO for the Bulk and Agri-RORO Sector, have been replaced by three Regional General Managers: Operations.

The position of GM: Operations in KwaZulu Natal will be filled in due course, while Velile Dube has assumed the position of GM: Operations in the Western Cape and Siyabulela Mhlaluka the same in the Eastern Cape. Each GM: Operations will be supported by their regional executive committees.


Ngqura port manager announced

As forecast in PORTS & SHIPS on Friday 17 August 2012 More Management Changes for SA Ports, the new port manager for the Port of Ngqura is a woman, Mpumi Dweba who succeeds Captain Neil Chetty of Port Elizabeth who has been acting port manager at Ngqura for some time.

Dweba was previously employed with the Department of Transport and is currently completing a dissertation towards a Masters in Maritime Economics from the University of Stellenbosch, based on an economic evaluation of the port of Ngqura.

She assumes office on 1 October 2012. Chetty, like several other redeployed port managers in Durban and Cape Town, has had a new position created in which he will oversee improved operations and performance in the three Eastern Cape ports.


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Ship-to-Shore cranes being delivered to Manila

Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS), which operates the Port of Dar es Salaam Container Terminal, this week received a new US$9 million Ship-to-Shore (STS) crane and a new Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) crane as part of the company's on-going efforts to boost operational efficiency, reports the Tanzania Daily News.

“The new Panamax quay crane and rubber-tyre gantry crane are the most modern container-handling equipment in the world and form part of TICTS' commitment to invest in the expansion of its operations with new equipment, civil work projects and IT systems.” said Neville Bissett, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of TICTS.

“The inauguration of these cranes consolidates TICTS' position as the preferred port-of-call on the east coast of Africa and the gateway to landlocked African countries. TICTS will continue to invest in and upgrade facilities to meet the needs of our operations and to facilitate the increase in trade from the Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.”

The new STS quay crane has the ability to extend across 14 container rows, has a heavy lift capacity of 35 tonnes and can lift two empty TEU simultaneously (twinlift). It brings to five the total number of STS quay cranes at TICTS.

The investment is part of the firm's commitment to moving ahead and strengthening its role as the country's premier maritime gateway to Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. – source Tanzania Daily News


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A Greek-owned, Isle of Man-flagged tanker ENERGY CENTURION (74,995-dwt, built 2008) was seized by pirates on Tuesday off the coast of Togo in West Africa. Energy Centurion has a crew of 24 and was at anchor about 17 n.miles off Lome when highjacked.

The highjacking of the ship took place despite the attentions of a Togolese patrol boat which responded to the attack and exchanged fire with the pirates who nevertheless made their escape with the captured ship and crew. The crew are reported to be Russians while the ship’s master is Greek.

The ship has since been tracked off the coast of Nigeria but is still under pirate control. The crew are all believed to be safe and unharmed. It is thought that the pirates intend stealing the cargo, which is the normal modus operandi in West Africa, in which case the crew are later released with the ship. A French navy ship is monitoring the situation.


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P&O at 175: a world of ships and shipping since 1837
By Philip Dawson and Bruce Peter
Hardback, £24.50, 192 pages, published by Ferry Publications,
PO Box 33, Ramsey, Isle of Man IM99 4LP
British Isles
(ISBN 978 1 906608 39 2)
Reviewer: Paul Ridgway

This year sees the 175th anniversary of P&O and the milestone was celebrated with a steam past and salute by elements of the fleet in the waters of the port of Southampton on 3 July. As the company’s publicity material said of the event, “175 years, seven ships, 15,000 passengers, one port, one day - a Grand Event.” Certainly a momentous occasion which brought the entire P&O cruise fleet of seven ships together for one day and was said to be the first time in the company’s history such a meeting had taken place.

According to the historians P&O Cruises, now part of Carnival Corporation, can trace a colourful history back to 1837 when Arthur Anderson and Brodie McGhie Wilcox, founders of the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company, were awarded a contract to carry mails from London to the Iberian Peninsula. Passengers were also carried and, clearly, the business developed with the company setting standards for service, reliability, comfort and so forth such that today P&O Cruises’ ships sail throughout ports in Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, to the Atlantic islands and, of course, on round the world cruises. Transport by sea, what was once a national necessity, is now a national pastime. Today, it is said of P&O Cruises that the company carries more British passengers than any other line.

Well illustrated P&O at 175:A world of ships and shipping since 1837 has been written by Philip Dawson and Bruce Peter who bring together the full history of this magnificent company, from its roots in the Shetland Isles off Scotland’s northern edge to the current P&O operation under the ownership of Dubai Ports World. This work provides an insight to P&O Cruises’ and P&O Ferries’ operations today. It is richly illustrated throughout with more than 250 high quality photographs in colour and black and white with some of A4 format. It chronicles the acquisition and diversification of the P&O Group in peace and war with, of course, the early passages to the Iberian Peninsula, thence to India and trades out East and Down Under during two centuries which also saw the extension then the dismantling of an Empire.

At the book’s closing pages partial fleet lists are provided of what the authors select as the key passenger ships and ferries discussed in the book, for example Viceroy of India (1929 to 1942), Oriana (1960 to 1986) and Canberra (1961 to 1997). To close there are two pages of referenced footnotes followed by a valuable bibliography.


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Matola Terminal nearest to the Mozal aluminium smelter at Maputo

The Mozal aluminium smelter, located on the outskirts of Maputo, still accounts for almost half of Mozambique’s exports, according to the figures provided by the government’s Export Promotion Institute (IPEX), at the start of this year’s edition of the Maputo Trade Fair (FACIM).

The total value of Mozambican exports in 2011 was US$2.776-billion, a 19 percent increase on the 2010 figure of $2.333-billion. The aluminium ingots produced at Mozal accounted for $1.357 billion of this total – 48.88 percent of total 2011 exports.

The value of Mozal’s exports rose by 17 percent between 2010 and 2011, largely due to a sharp recovery in the world aluminium price in the first half of 2010.

The recession of 2008-2009 hit many commodities hard, and the aluminium price collapsed from over $3,000 a tonne in July 2008 to $1,340 a tonne in February 2009. Recovery followed, and in April 2011 the price was $2,670 a tonne. Subsequently it has fallen again, and in July this year, aluminium was selling at $1,880 a tonne.

Mozambique’s second most important export is the electricity produced by HCB, the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River. Exports of electricity in 2011 were valued at US$299.5-million, an increase of 8.3 percent on the 2010 figure and 10.8 percent of total exports.

Tobacco produced by the company Mozambique Leaf Tobacco was in third position at $179.5 million (a rise of 17.7 percent on the previous year’s figure and 6.5 percent of 2011 exports).

In fourth position comes the natural gas exported from the Pande and Temane gas fields in Inhambane province by the South African petro- chemical giant Sasol. Gas exports were $153.1 million (an increase of 14.4 percent on 2010, and accounting for 5.5 percent of the 2011 exports).

Thus just four products – aluminium ingots, electricity, tobacco and natural gas – account for over 73 percent of Mozambique’s exports.

Back in the 1980s, Mozambique’s most significant export was prawns. But in 2011, prawns brought in only $38.4 million (a decline of 15.1 percent on the previous year).

Sugar exports were $87.9 million, slightly higher than the 2010 figure of $87.5 million. Cotton exports rose by 27.2 percent, from $29.1 to $36.9 million, but timber exports fell sharply from $65.6 to $42.5 million (a decline of 35.2 percent).

There was also a rise in cashew nut exports – but a much sharper rise for the raw nuts than for the processed kernels. Raw nut exports more than doubled – from $14.9 million to $34.1 million, while the rise in the export of processed kernels was a more modest 56.5 percent, from 10.8 to 16.9 million dollars.

Coal does not figure in the IPEX list, since coal exports only began in August 2011. But given the size of the coal mines in Tete province, coal is likely to dislodge electricity as the country’s second largest export in the near future.

Mozambique’s largest export market is Holland, which accounts for 48.88 percent, because Dutch concerns purchase all the Mozal aluminium. South Africa takes 22.22 percent of Mozambique’s exports (mostly Cahora Bassa electricity and Sasol gas). Zimbabwe takes 3.58 percent of exports, Malawi 3.57 percent, Portugal 2.87 percent and Spain 2.76 percent.

The overall picture is stark – just two countries, Holland and South Africa, buy over 70 percent of Mozambique’s exports.

The balance of trade is heavily in deficit. In 2011, the value of Mozambican exports was $4.605 billion. So exports covered only 60 percent of imports.

The largest supplier of imports was South Africa (37.03 percent), followed by Holland (9.7 percent), China (6.37 percent), United Arab Emirates (4.56 percent) and India (3.99 percent). source: AIM


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The container ship VICTORIA (22,506-gt, built 2004), managed by Peter Doehle Schiffahrts is seen heading for the Maydon Wharf multi-purpose terminal on 14 August 2012. Pictures by Terry Hutson

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