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Ports & Ships Maritime News

15 October 2013
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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News continues below...


LNG TAURUS aad noorland (3) 470

The US-owned, UK-managed liquid nitrogen gas tanker LNG TAURUS (95,084-gt, built 1979) at the bunker berths in Cape Town harbour this past week. Picture by Aad Noorland

News continues below…


Ship sinks in Bay of Bengal after being caught up in fierce storm

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Cyclone Phailin bearing down on West Bengal

The Panama-registered general cargo cargo ship BINGO (8,733-dwt, built 2007) is thought to have sunk in the seas off West Bengal after being caught up in Cyclone Phailin, one of the strongest cyclonic storms ever recorded in the region.

At its peak the storm was said to be the size of India. Bingo was carrying 8,000 tons of iron ore and had a crew of 20 seafarers. When last sighted on Saturday they were in a lifeboat east of Sagar Island. An aircraft and a hovercraft have been sent to search for the missing men.

The ship sailed from Sagar anchorage on 11 October, bound for China. It is thought she may have turned back after suffering damage as the ship was caught up by the storm.

Hapag-Lloyd increases SE Asia-Red Sea rate

German container line Hapag-Lloyd has announced it will be increasing freight rates on all cargo and container types between east Asia (excluding Japan) and the Red Sea as from 1 November 2013.

The rate increase of US$500 per TEU affects services to the ports of Aqaba, Hodeida, Jeddah, Port Sudan and Sokhna.

Italy to step up patrols following deaths of hundreds of migrants

Following the deaths of hundreds of migrants heading for Europe from North Africa in overcrowded boats, Italy is responding by stepping up patrols from the air and sea in the area south of Sicily.

Earlier, Italy called for help from the European Community in dealing with thousands of migrants who arrive by boat on Italian beaches every year, seeking a new life in Europe. Many of them are fleeing from war and poverty in Africa.

It remains unclear what the purpose of the stepped up patrols is but the recent spike in loss of life has seen increased calls on the EU for assistance.

The Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino however says the patrols will be to rescue migrants rather than “telling them to stay where they are.”

In addition to coastguard vessels, the Italian Navy has placed three ships and four helicopters at the scene south of Sicily to assist with the patrols.

Boskalis awarded contract to remove Costa Concordia wreck

State of the Art Heavy Lift Vessel Dockwise Vang
Dockwise Vanguard, the world’s largest heavylift vessel

Royal Boskalis subsidiary Dockwise has been awarded the contract to load and move the shipwrecked COSTA CONCORDIA from the island of Giglio in Italy.

This follows the successful operation of righting the ship which had capsized onto her side, coming to rest on several giant rocks. The salvage operation was undertaken by American salvage company Titan Salvage, with South African Nic Sloane in charge as the salvage master.

The ship is currently resting on a steel cradle in an upright position and once loaded onto the giant heavylift semi-submersible DOCKWISE VANGUARD, she will be taken away to an as yet unconfirmed location for breaking up. The operation is expected to cost in the region of US30 million, adding further to what is already the world’s most expensive salvage.

With a width of nearly 80 metres and length of 275 metres, Dockwise Vanguard is the first semisubmersible heavy lift vessel to be built in accordance with DNV’s new class rules for this type of ship. The vessel has no forecastle, which allows it to carry cargo of ‘unlimited’ length. Its deckhouse is mainly positioned outside its hull, allowing it to carry cargo up to 70 metres wide.

News continues below…


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Dirty dealings over dredging contract at beautiful Port Louis

Dutch dredging group Boskalis escaped lightly with a fine of 20,000 rupees (US$660) issued by a court in Port Louis, Mauritius, after being found guilty of corrupt dealings involving Mauritian officials in obtaining a dredging contract at the island.

Among those accused of having been bribed by the Dutch company was the former chairman of the port authority.

Subsequent to the court’s sentence of a paltry fine, the case has gone on appeal with the Mauritius justice department arguing that the sentence was too lenient. A new hearing is to be held today (Tuesday).

According to Mauritian corruption laws, an accused faces either a mandatory prison sentence, or if he is found innocent he will be set free. The law doesn’t cover the possibility of a corporate company being involved and it is not possible to imprison a firm, let alone a foreign one.

Boskalis was found guilty of having made illegal payments of 3 million rupees ($98,500) during 2006 and 2007 to the port chairman to ensure it was awarded the $14.4 million dredging contract at the port of Port Louis, which has since been carried out.

Demands are being made in Mauritius for the legal loophole to be closed and the director of public prosecution has pledged to challenge the court’s decision and press for Boskalis director Jan Cornelis Haak to be jailed.

A lengthy trial of the former chairman of the Mauritius Port Authority, Siddick Chady and former director-general Prakash Maunthrooa is continuing. Both have pleaded no guilty to bribery and corruption charges.

News continues below...


IMG 00000008 Graeme Clemitson as ANON adj

The Port of Saldanha on the South African west coast has been a hive of activity recently with several oil rigs or drill ships dominating the harbour skyline.

The picture above shows the oil rig ENSCO 5000 being manoeuvred by four harbour tugs and other TNPA craft onto the general maintenance jetty in the port of Saldanha.

The size of the rig can be judged by the tugs doing the hauling.

The general maintenance jetty has recently been upgraded by TNPA. It was previously used for the storage of buoys and other marine equipment, and for scrapping of small ships, but these activities have been relocated to other areas to create space for vessels and/or rigs to berth alongside.

The jetty is only 100 metres long, but has a depth alongside of 10 metres. There is a sizeable landside laydown area and the area is suitable for the operation of cranes and other heavy lift equipment.

The entrance channel to this berth is only 110 metres wide but a carefully managed berthing of the almost 90 metre wide rig was safely accomplished.

ENSCO 5000 will remain alongside in Saldanha for at least six months, possibly longer. It is anticipated a contract will be signed with PetroSA for a drilling operation off the South African coast.

The Drillship MYLOS has meanwhile sailed from Saldanha after having spent a week at the multi-purpose terminal loading 1,000 pieces of drill piping.

In November the semi-submersible rig, SEDCO 702, will berth at the multi-purpose terminal for at least 65 days. DCD Marine has been awarded the contract to undertake the special periodic survey (SPS).

The owners of the rig, Transocean, the largest rig owner/operator in the world, have sent one of their senior project managers to ensure the project is professionally handled. At a rate of US$400,000 per day, no time can be lost.

As a deepwater port, Saldanha is ideally suited to service rigs requiring deepwater conditions. Meanwhile, the port authority is becoming far more flexible in its approach, allowing rigs such as the ENSCO 5000 to be accommodated at berths with a relatively shallow draft.

Funding for additional quaysides is only budgeted for in 2017, but stakeholders are hoping that President Zuma, when he visits Saldanha Bay to launch the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone at the end of this month (31 October), will see the need for construction of more infrastructure and will agree to the funding being advanced.

News continues below…


Sea Princess for Trudon 006 470
Sea Princess is the luxury catamaran and Queen of the fleet. She can take up to 145 passengers and is ideal for larger groups and functions

Waterfront Charters has been offering scheduled cruises from Cape Town’s Victoria and Alfred Waterfront for the past 23 years. This family run business was among the first tenants of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

The original owners, Nelson and Maureen Girdlestone, were instrumental in pioneering the boat trip and yacht charter industry from the very inception of the Waterfront. With an undying passion for boating in general, the Girdlestones have been pivotal in the development of this industry and by using their vessels and the ocean, have created an extension of the Waterfront, moulding it to what it is today.

Well respected in the tourism and marine sectors, brothers Craig, Charles and Geoff Girdlestone continue this ethos in their father's name, striving to offer the best in all areas of the business and taking the business to its optimum level.

The company has been operating under the name of Waterfront Boat Company since 2001, but as from 1 October 2013 the company has reverted to its original name of Waterfront Charters and continue to trade with four vessels - a total passenger capacity of 285.

Waterfront Charters is continuing to operate from its premises at Shop 5, Quay 5 in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town right next to Sevruga Restaurant. The company operates with three boats plus an adrenalin pumping jet boat that offers speed of up to 80km/h. Tel 021 418 3168 or email info@waterfrontcharters.co.za .

Esperance sailing 470
The Esperance is the classic sailing 54ft schooner holding up to 45 passengers

Southern Cross 1 470
Southern Cross , a comfortable and stable Cape Trawler hull offers regular harbour tours



Experts in economics, commerce and industry, banking, port operations, technology and innovation are lined up for Africa’s Maritime Economic Integration conference being held between 4 and 5 November at Durban’s International Convention Centre(ICC).

The conference, under the auspices of the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) and hosted by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), celebrates PMAESA’s 40th anniversary as the largest most pertinent international maritime association in sub-Saharan Africa.

Maritime issues affecting the African continent, particularly sub-Saharan Africa will be the focus of deliberations during the two-day conference. An action plan to facilitate the continent’s economic integration and exploit its maritime wealth in line with the African Integrated Maritime Strategy, (AIMS) 2050, will be a key outcome.

Developed economies are achieving regional economic integration. The European Union has policies in place and voluntary cross border trade free of tariff barriers. Experts at this conference will look at the lessons that Africa can learn from Europe and how the region can leverage these.

Delegates will be able to contribute to the debate on issues delaying regional integration. These include inadequate financial resources and expertise; countries’ membership of more than one port organisation; the duplication of mandates; poor co-ordination and harmonisation of policies between the organisations; weak infrastructure and the inconsistent policies of Pan-African institutions.

The African Union (AU), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Development Bank (AfDB) and other regional economic communities Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC) are trying to tackle these challenges. They are working on eliminating trade barriers, improving economic integration, promoting free movement of people as an important element of cross-border trade, and harmonising policies and programmes.

In addition the AU, regional groups and national governments are seeking to improve and strengthen financial markets. At a continental level the AU is working on setting up the African Investment Bank, the African Central Bank, and the African Monetary Fund.

Despite this African products are not competitive globally due to factors such as high transport costs, storage and handling charges and customs procedures. African traders face transport problems, unsanctioned fees, harassment and corruption along trade and transit corridors.

As the maritime industry plays a significant role in facilitating efforts to resolve trade challenges on the continent the conference will debate the state of the sector, look for contemporary approaches and map out a strategy for the sector that will speed up integration.

High profile delegates are expected to attend Africa’s Maritime Economic Integration conference. These include representatives from the African Union, UNCTAD, International Maritime Organisation; PMAESA member countries and several West and Central Africa Port Authorities.

Also on the list of delegates is the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa who were the PMAESA founding fathers; COMESA, SADC, EAC, Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS); Corridor Transport Authorities; Port Management Associations of Africa – Pan African Ports Co-operation (PAPC), Port Management Association of Western and Central Africa (PMAWCA), Union des Administration Portuaries du Nord de l’Afrique- (UAPNA).

From the private sector delegates will be drawn from the World Bank, international financial institutions, global investment banks and regional reserve banks and shipping companies, cargo owners, freight forwarders and logistics operators.

For further details of this conference, go to our EVENTS DIARY – see strip on left of this page.


Saldanha Bay

Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL) has opened a new base in Saldanha Bay to support regional and global response operations.

The base houses cutting-edge well capping equipment designed to shut-in uncontrolled subsea wells. The establishment of the base in South Africa marks a major advancement in Africa’s oil spill response capability.

The Saldanha capping stack is available to oil and gas companies across the industry through OSRL’s Subsea Well Intervention Service (SWIS) which provides for swift subsea incident response around the world.

The integrated subsea well intervention system includes four capping stacks suitable for international use and two hardware kits for debris clearance, BOP intervention and the subsea application of dispersant at a wellhead. The equipment can be used for the majority of known subsea wells in water depths up to 3,000 metres.

The SWIS equipment is currently stored in three international locations – Stavanger, Norway; Singapore; and Saldanha Bay, South Africa, and is maintained ready for immediate mobilisation and onward transportation by sea and/or air in the event of an incident. Further capping and dispersant equipment will be delivered for storage in Brazil by the end of this year.

A global containment solution is also being developed to supplement the intervention system and will be ready for use by the end of 2014.

In 2011, nine international oil and gas companies formed the Subsea Well Response Project (SWRP), pooling resources to develop equipment that could enhance subsea well control capability. OSRL collaborated with SWRP to make this equipment available for the benefit of the wider industry, and companies can now subscribe to SWIS to incorporate this essential subsea well contingency into their own incident response plans.

“SWIS represents a transformational addition to OSRL’s portfolio of services, helping our members prepare for, and handle, potential subsea well control incidents on a global scale,” said Robert Limb, chief executive of Oil Spill Response Ltd.

“Members benefit from world-class capping capability, supported by OSRL’s industry-leading response and preparedness expertise. Our new facility at Saldanha has strategic significance in that we are now able to deliver an enhanced service in this region – a development that is wholly consistent with our mission to enable the most efficient, safe and effective response to oil spills wherever they may occur.”

Keith Lewis, project manager, Subsea Well Response Project, commented: “The oil and gas industry faces continuous challenge to improve safety and must be in a position to respond effectively to a subsea well incident, wherever in the world subsea well operations take place. The delivery of world-class intervention equipment to Saldanha represents a major advancement for the region. As part of a package of measures, it is designed to enhance the international industry’s capability to respond to a subsea well incident. Collaboration across the industry and around the world has made this possible.”

Michael Engell-Jensen, executive director, International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, who attended OSRL’s inauguration event at Saldanha Bay, added: “The industry must be prepared to control a flowing well with ever greater speed and efficiency in the unlikely event of an incident. The continuing collaboration between SWRP and OSRL to develop subsea well response capability through the provision of capping and related systems is of paramount importance both for the oil and gas industry and environmental protection.”


jolly roger jpeg 250

EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) reports that on Friday (11 October) a fully laden super tanker, or Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), came under fire from eight armed men in two skiffs 230 miles off the Somali coast.

The attack was successfully repelled by the Armed Security Team on board the super tanker, which was not identified, and the vessel is now safe.

The Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa), based at the EU Naval Force Operations Centre, Northwood, UK, has issued an alert about the whereabouts and nature of the attack, to warn other ships transiting the area to be vigilant.

Speaking about the incident, the Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant said: “The attack demonstrates that there is still a clear and present danger from pirates off the Somali coast. It is crucial that naval counter-piracy forces maintain pressure on these criminals and that the maritime industry remains vigilant, taking appropriate precautions to deter an attack.”


DCT berth 203 Zhen Hua 27 bmp image 2 470
Picture by Steve McCurrach www.airserv.co.za

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE - remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.


CAP SAN LORENZO 11 October 2013 1 cr 470

The latest in the impressive Cape San class ships of Hamburg Süd to call at Durban arrived in port earlier in October on the ship’s return voyage from South America to the Far East. Here the ship is seen entering the harbour with a significant load of containers. Pictures by Trevor Jones.

CAP SAN LORENZO 11 October 2013 3 adj 470

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