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Ports & Ships Maritime News

21 September 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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The Russian research vessel AKADEMIK NIKOLAJ STRAKHOV (2318-gt, built 1985) seen shifting berth in Cape Town harbour last week. The ship belongs to the Geological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (GINRAS) which is based in Moscow and carries a crew of 33 plus up to 34 passenger/scientists. The ship is named for a Russian geologist and sedimentologist, who died in 1978. Picture by Aad Noorland


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Dar es Salaam

A ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 17 September 2012 marked the completion of the installation of an integrated radar and automatic identification system (AIS) coastal surveillance system in Tanzania.

The function was attended by Tanzanian Government officials, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the IMO for Maritime Security and Anti-Piracy Programmes, Mr Hartmut Hesse, and senior US and Japanese diplomats.

The IMO, in partnership with the Governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and the United States of America, has spent the last 12 months delivering this system which provides a coastal picture to the Tanzanian Peoples' Defence Force as well as the civilian authorities at the Dar es Salaam Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre and the integral Information Sharing Centre.

Conceived as a bi-lateral military project between the United States and the United Republic of Tanzania, the IMO joined the project to integrate the system for civil and maritime law-enforcement use in order to bring all maritime agencies together to counter the maritime security threats such as piracy that threaten the coast of Tanzania.

The ceremony marks the completion of the first phase of a wider programme to provide similar systems in states bordering the Mozambique Channel and its approaches.

The work is being undertaken as part of the IMO’s counter-piracy programme under the Djibouti Code of Conduct, which is funded by contributions to the Djibouti Code Trust Fund from its donors: France, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia and The Marshall Islands. Source GAC and the International Maritime Organization (www.imo.org) Briefing No.37 dated 18 September 2012


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Pres James Michel

President James Michel of Seychelles has called for more attention to be given to Africa's ocean and its islands, adding that problems such as piracy came about because of Africa’s lack of capacity and lack of will to secure this oceanic space.

In his remarks to the 19th Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, President Michel said: “It is time that Africa redefines its relationship with its oceans. Our oceanic space is currently not given enough attention. Piracy profits from the fact that we, as African Governments, have not done enough to secure this developmental space.”

He added that while most efforts for regional and continental integration had brought about tangible infrastructure in terms of roads or bridges, there was not enough done to connect Africa through its oceans and its islands, the guardians of these maritime highways.

“We will not succeed fully…if we fail to harness the true potential of our oceans, to connect us with each other, and to connect us to other continents.

“Africa's islands are critical to facilitate these connections.”

The President said that the potential of Africa's ocean was boundless, but in the majority this wealth was exploited by external parties: “It is OUR wealth. We must work together to ensure that we are the ones to mobilise it for the benefit of our children.”

The President cited the example of the recent ground breaking agreement between Seychelles and Mauritius on a shared extended continental shelf as an illustration of states working together to mobilise the true potential of the Blue Economy.

The Seychelles delegation also took the opportunity to call for an acceleration of the process to resolve the crisis in Madagascar through full implementation of the SADC Roadmap. As chairman of the Indian Ocean Commission, President Michel called on all partners to strengthen the support to Madagascar to prepare the way for free and fair elections to mark the conclusion of the crisis.

The President stated that Seychelles was seizing the moment to re-engage with the African Union, to contribute towards a second liberation for Africa – that of ‘true economic liberation.’ As part of this process, the Seychelles government has announced its decision to open an Embassy in Addis Ababa. – source PMAESA Newsletter No.42


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Don’t reach for your Blackberries to point out the spelling. The ship in this picture is indeed named SANSIBAR (6478-gt, built 2008) and has recently been deployed on a new service between Durban and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), operating a monthly rotation with calls at Boma and Matadi with Walvis Bay on inducement. Judging by her cargo as she sailed from Durban it seems the operators may have a way to go before declaring the new service a success. Picture by Trevor Jones

IMO Secretary-General launches ‘Accident Zero’ initiative

IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu, during his closing address to the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) VTS (Vessel Traffic Services) Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey, (14 September 2012), praised the safety record of the Turkish Straits VTS, which came into service in 2003, and encouraged IALA and VTS operators to undertake an initiative in which ports, harbours, straits and sea areas with VTS would count, and publicise, the number of consecutive accident-free days.

Mr Sekimizu said that since the introduction of the advanced VTS in the Strait of Istanbul, the Strait of Canakkale, and the Marmara Sea, there had been no major accident and it had been a significant achievement to maintain such a record over nearly a decade. He added that, in order to promote safety and encourage all parties involved, a clear concept – akin to a corporate safety culture – for all those with an interest in safe navigation in the Straits, and in areas covered by VTS, should be created to ensure that everybody is working together to achieve a common objective....

....Mr. Sekimizu asked IALA to consider this concept and develop, together with him, an 'Accident Zero' campaign worldwide, and to start this campaign from Istanbul.... Source: Extracts from International Maritime Organisation (www.imo.org) Briefing No.36 dated 18 September 2012 and GAC


Barloworld Logistics says it is well placed to help Asia develop trade with Africa

According to South African logistics company Barloworld Logistics, it is well placed to help Asia with its trade across the African continent. “Barloworld is well placed to help with the opportunities that will develop across the continent and on key trade lanes.”

The statement followed China’s announcement to 48 African nations that it plans new measures to promote further co-operation with Africa. China’s statement came in Beijing at the 4th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), when a Chinese spokesman described initiatives that include development assistance, credit and financing, training and trade co-operation.

Trade between China and Africa reached a record high of US$166.3 billion in 2011, an increase of 83% from 2009. China's direct investment in Africa in 2011 reached $14.7 billion, up 60 per cent when compared to 2009.

“China is Africa's largest trading partner after the EU, and demand and the new initiatives announced at FOCAC demonstrate the country's long-term commitment to supporting development across the continent,” said William Tang, managing director for Barloworld Logistics' Far East business. Chinese companies are investing in projects across a range of industries including energy, aviation, construction and manufacturing throughout Africa. Demand for Chinese goods and products has also grown among African consumers, Tang said.


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Learnership programmes commence in Western Cape

The School of Ports (a division of Transnet National Ports Authority) in conjunction with the S.A. Maritime School and Transport College has embarked on learnership programmes in Cape Town and Saldanha Bay.

Learners from the Cape Town Container Terminal are completing a National Certificate in Freight Handling and simultaneously being trained as operators of empty container lifters. They may then progress to straddle carrier operators amongst and/or other specialised lifting equipment. Ms Linda Chonco (Training Governance and Skills Development Manager - School of Ports) initiated the programs in line with ensuring a skilled workforce and continuity in meeting critical skills within operational commitments.

Mr Francois Verwey, Training Manager – Transnet Port Terminals, mentor and responsible for the learners in Cape Town, remarked “We take development of our staff seriously and understand the need of a modern and professional seaport”.

The same programme is to be rolled out in Saldanha Bay.

Peter Fitt, Chairman of the S.A. Maritime School and Transport College, said that Transnet National Ports Authority has approached its training commitments with intent and a modern degree of professionalism. “It could be said that the operators of the STS and straddle cranes located within the container terminals are the lifeblood of our economy,” he pointed out.


Durban’s Pier 1 still hurt by labour disturbances

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According to sources the disturbances that have affected productivity at Durban’s Pier 1 section of the Durban Container Terminal have not returned to normal more than a week after Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) was forced to declare force majeure at Pier 1.

A subsequent letter to customers dated 17 September said that while productivity rates had improved, they were still not at the required levels and that management engagement with staff to resolve the situation was continuing.

Road hauliers say that the disturbances affecting the terminal have been ongoing for a number of weeks and had reached new lows by mid month when several companies advised that they would not be sending their trucks to uplift containers from the terminal. They complained of having incurred huge losses with trucks standing at the terminal throughout the day waiting to be loaded. They later took decisions to pull out the vehicles empty.


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The first 208-wagon manganese train has journeyed between the Tshipi Borwa mine in the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape’s Port Elizabeth.

Described by Tshipi é Ntle CEO Finn Behnken as the manganese train of the future, the test train, which is twice as long as a standard manganese train intended for the Eastern Cape, left the mine on 13 September. It consisted of four test coaches and 208-loaded CR wagons, with a net cargo mass of 13,104 tons. The length of the train came to 2,230 metres and had a gross mass of 16,640 tons.

This was probably the longest ever train to run on the Eastern Cape railway. Motive power consisted of 18 diesel locomotives, distributed at the head of the train, in its middle and at the rear. Control was effected by means of radio distributed power (RDP) from the lead loco using a system which until now had only previously been used of the Sishen-Saldanha iron ore line.


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The general cargo ship LOWLANDS BRABO (20,238-gt, built 2010) moving in Durban harbour on 9 September. Picture by Trevor Jones

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The container ship SAFMARINE LUALABA (9772-gt, built 2009) in Durban on 16 September 2012. Picture by Trevor Jones


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