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Ports & Ships Maritime News

16 November 2012
Author: Terry Hutson



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The Chinese derrick crane barge vessel WEI LI (25,390-gt, built 2010) of Shanghai Salvage Co seen in Cape Town this week. The 140m long 40m wide Wei Li has accommodation for up to 240 personnel and a lifting capacity of 3000 tons. Picture by Aad Noorland


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Mozambican oil company Oilmoz – Investimentos e Participações has reached an agreement with a ‘sovereign fund’ investor to finance construction of a refinery in Mozambique costing an estimated US$12 billion, reports Macauhub.

Oilmoz chief executive Fausto Cruz said that the agreed funding was for a maximum of $17 billion and added that construction of the refinery, which will have a capacity to process 350,000 barrels of oil per day, would begin in the summer of 2013.

In addition to the refinery, Oilmoz is looking into building a natural gas-fired power plant, fuel storage tanks and a factory to produce oil derivatives as well as a sea terminal for oil tankers.

Cruz also said that the agreement, including financing terms, would soon be made public via a joint statement.

How this project would affect PetroSA’s plans of building a 400,000 barrels a day refinery at Coega in South Africa’s Eastern Cape is not known, but one of the criticisms of the South African proposal is that the new refinery at Coega, if built, will create a large surplus that South Africa will have difficulties in selling on the world market.


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Ghanaian cadets who joined the ship at Tema. Picture by SAMTRA

The dedicated training vessel, SA AGULHAS, has been active with new cadets joining the National Cadet Training Programme and preparing for a voyage to London as part of the preparation for the ship’s Antarctic voyage on charter.

The scope of the vessel’s training objectives has been expanded to include allowing trainees from other African countries the opportunity of acquiring seatime in a controlled learning environment that is not normally afforded them and also providing work place experience and training for catering students from South Africa as a basis for securing employment in the catering industry.

The South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) training manager, Pieter Coetzer, recently visited the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Accra, Ghana, on behalf of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the National Cadet Training Programme, to select ten West African trainees to join the SA Agulhas on 12 November 2012 when the vessel called at Tema, en route to London.

The Dean and HOD of RMU attended the SAMIC Conference in October 2012, where they were made aware of the Maritime Sector Development in SA and the opportunities it will afford to young seafarers.

It is estimated that only 5 - 10 people out of an entire class are afforded training berths in their region, and are able to obtain their COC.

Full induction & orientation was completed and the group of students were very excited to join the vessel on her arrival. The Tema Harbour Master, Capt. Quayson, is a previous student of RMU, and proved to be supportive of the project.

catering ladies

SAMSA has further extended the opportunity of in-work place training to a group of four catering students. According to the ship’s purser, they have been positive and eager to learn, fulfilling every task as expected and are fitting in well.

During the current voyage they concentrate on menu planning and stock control, but will be allowed to prepare some meals.

an Arctic voyage

At the end of this month SA Agulhas will dock in Canary Wharf, London. While there, she will be visited by many companies and ministers of various nationalities in an effort to showcase the SA Agulhas as a dedicated training vessel. SAMSA hopes to gain more participation and support for this government initiative by showcasing the impact that the National Cadet Training Programme is having on South African youth.

The vessel will then depart on a scientific expedition in an effort to document the impact of global warming in the Arctic. The expedition is funded by TAWT Trust Limited.

Many lives have already been changed by the National Cadet Training Programme and will continue to do so through the voyages of this dedicated training vessel, and thanks to all the participating companies that have afforded berths to these cadets.


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Argentina Takes ARA Libertad Case to UN Tribunal

Argentina lodged a complaint against Ghana with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea this week, and has demanded that Ghana immediately release the Argentine Navy training vessel ARA LIBERTAD which was detained in October because of claims by US creditors.

A week earlier sailors on board the sailing ship brandished weapons to prevent a docking party from the port from boarding the ship in preparation of moving the Libertad to another, less busy berth.

Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman said this week that Ghana had violated international law protecting the immunity of warships. He demanded that Ghana provided indemnity for the damages caused and should publicly apologise.

When detained Libertad had on board a crew including about 200 cadets from a number of countries including South Africa, Namibia and Morocco.

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea which sits in Hamburg, Germany is responsible for settling disputes under the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea.


More losses ahead for Odfjell

Norwegian tanker company Odfjell has warned of fourth quarter losses and says that problems with its tank terminal business were responsible for a poor third financial quarter.

Net losses in the third quarter reached US$39 million, down from a profit of $261m for the same period of 2011, the company revealed.

It wasn’t all gloom however. In the nine months ending 30 September 2012 Odfjell made a profit of $277m, a small increase of $8m over the first nine months of 2011.

“The market remains low as we enter a seasonally busier period. There is still little encouragement from product trades, but we are beginning to see positive impacts from increased chemical production. The supply-demand balance continues to develop favourably,” Odfjell said in a statement.

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Cape-based Nautic Africa has secured a contract to build two patrol vessels for the Nigerian Ports Authority, reports defenceWeb.

The boats are based on the new Nautic 17 m hull platform and fitted with SuperShield ballistic protection. They will be powered by two MTU 8V2000M84L engines, producing 895kW at 2,450 rpm and giving a top speed of more than 45 knots.

The keel laying ceremony of the first two vessels will take place in January 2013. The first vessels will be completed, commissioned and delivered in the third quarter of next year.

“Nautic will provide training for the client’s representatives in Cape Town as it does with all vessels manufactured by the yard. Nautic have developed specialist high performance bespoke vessels for African tropical conditions with several deliveries of larger vessels over the last few years,” Nautic said. – source defenceWeb


US offers to provide Mozambique Defence Ministry AIS

The US government last week offered the Mozambique Defence Ministry a maritime Automatic Identification System, otherwise known as AIS, to enable Mozambique to better monitor ship movements off its long coastline.

The AIS will assist with having a more efficient control of maritime traffic along the coast and should also assist in the fight against piracy, illegal immigration, illegal fishing and drug and human trafficking.

Defence Minister Filipe Nyussi said the donation was a continuation and consolidation of the co-operation and friendship that exists between Mozambique and the United States and particularly between the navies of the two countries.

“The technical military cooperation between the United States and the Mozambican navy is of great importance since it strengthens the capacity of the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) by providing the ability for national maritime surveillance,” he said.

He urged the Mozambican navy to make the best use of the equipment and ensure that it is strictly and regularly maintained. – source AIM


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Kenya has indicated that it expects to take a bigger slice of the profits from the oil and gas boom currently taking place within Kenya.

Reports say that Kenya wants its share of the profits to be increased to 25% in future. The East African country has also raised the fees for petroleum exploration and has introduced new rules for capital gains tax and a more competitive licensing process.

Kenya’s current stake in existing oil exploration consists of a 10% share in the initial stages, rising to 25% once production is underway.

The Kenyan oil rush now underway has been enhanced by new discoveries of gas off the Tanzania and Mozambique coasts to the south of Kenya and oil discoveries in neighbouring Uganda in the west.

The considered opinion is that it will be another five years before the first oil is produced but the Kenyan government is wasting no time in setting new parameters regarding exploration and what is will cost the explorers.

Observers say it is unclear whether these demands will chase away prospective developers. Rajesh Shah of PricewaterhouseCoopers said it will depend on how everything is structured and whether people see it as something reasonable.


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hosting by TinyPic The Dutch shipping company’s container ship NILEDUTCH GUANGZHOU (27,100-gt, built 2006) seen arriving in Cape Town during November. The ship is owned and managed by German shipowner Ahrenkiel Reederei and Shipmanagement companies respectively. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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