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Ports & Ships Maritime News

11 November 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

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


Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return


News continues below...

DSCF0345 Flintstone 470

The mysterious little vessel named FLINTSTONE arrived in Durban a couple of weeks ago and took up a mooring at the far extent of the yacht basin, close inshore to the Port Natal Maritime Museum from where this picture was taken.

We are obliged to the blog ‘Boats we didn’t buy’ for the following information: “Flintstone was originally built by the Dutch Navy as a hull to support a 2 megawatt generating plant for use in Indonesia. About the time she was done, the political situation changed and she never left Holland. She served there as a generator in several dockyards. The name "Flintstone" came from the fact that a generating plant makes sparks...

In the nineties, she was purchased by a Dutch tugboat captain, who completely rebuilt her from the bare hull up, adding twin engines and the deckhouse. He did a very high quality job on her, using stainless steel everywhere on deck, even where painted, and his experience at sea shows in her details, but the original hull is shaped more like a barge than a seagoing ship, and a significant area below deck has only 66" headroom.

The name may have originated as described above, but today the vessel carries the cartoon character on her twin smokestacks.

Any additional information on Flintstone would of course be welcome. Picture: Terry Hutson

News continues below…


Deutschland moored London Olympic Games July 201

Two German cruise ship operators have gone insolvent, placing some questions over the future of scheduled cruises by the two ships, DEUTSCHLAND and ASTOR.

The luxury ship Deutschland has been under financial difficulty ever since the founder of Reederei Peter Deilmann died in 2003. The company also ran luxury river cruise ships on the European waterways but the whole operation failed as Deilmann’s two daughters failed to provide the same passion and expertise as their father.

The river operations shut in 2009 and restructuring including change of ownership of the Deutschland operation has been unable to stave off bankruptcy. The current operating company, MS Deutschland Beteiligungsgesellschaft (MSDB) filed for insolvency with the German courts on 29 October 2014.

Deutschland is due to enter drydock later this month and MSDB says it hopes the ship and company will have been refinanced sufficiently to depart on her world cruise in December.

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ASTOR is the second German cruise ship whose owner is in trouble with the banks. Picture: Trevor Jones

The fund that owns the Astor filed for insolvency in Bremen last week. The ship is chartered and operated by the UK’s Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) which is otherwise not involved.

CMV also provides river cruises across Europe in addition to cruising at sea on the Astor, which is currently on her way from the UK to Australia via South Africa. She is due to arrive in South Africa later this month and will return via South Africa next March.

According to the respective operators of both ships, they will continue to operate normally despite the problems affecting their owners. It turns out that CMV had to act smartly a couple of weeks back by paying the bunker costs and crew wages, which it hopes to recover against her charter rates.

News continues below…


takoradi port Sekondi 470

Takoradi’s port director, Captain James OIwusu-Koranteng has called for support from port stakeholders and even the public for the port expansion programme.

“Ghanaians should keep an open mind and allow the port to be expanded; we should not allow foreigners to take over the job,” he warned. “We need locals to take over the oil and gas business so that the droppings or revenue from the business will stay within the country.”

His comments come on the back of plans by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to reposition the Takoradi Port to support the country’s offshore oil and gas production.

“The future is bright for Takoradi Port, the Takoradi metropolis and the country as a whole provided we are given a free hand to operate and also given the support both internationally and locally to churn out the ideas, the dreams and the vision of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority,” he said.

“We are progressing steadily on plans to turn Takoradi Port into an oil and gas hub to support offshore exploration activities in the country. The breakwater and a desalination plant to supply clean water to the platform have been completed.”

Takoradi Port is expected to meet the demands of the growing international market once the expansion is complete.

It will also be able to reduce ship turnaround time to ease congestion and accommodate larger vessels.

The entire platform at Takoradi port is expected to be fully operational by mid-2016. - Port Technology

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Port of Saldanha from the air

The final scoping report for the Environmental Impact Assessment for a proposed oil and gas offshore service complex at the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone is now available.

Notice is hereby given in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (No. 107 of 1998), as amended, that the Final Scoping Report (FSR) is available for a 21-day review and comment period from 6 November to 27 November 2014.

Copies of the report have been made available at the Langebaan, Saldanha and Vredenburg public libraries, at the CCA offices as well as on the CCA website at www.ccaenvironmental.co.za

Written comments should be submitted directly to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP), and copied to CCA Environmental by no later than Thursday 27 November 2014.

Please include the DEA&DP Reference Number in your correspondence. Contact details of both DEA&DP and CCA are presented below.

Submit comments to: Copy comments to:

Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
Land Management Region 2
Private Bag X9086, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 483 8349; Fax: 021 483 4372
E-mail: melanese.schippers@westerncape.gov.za> for attention Melanese.

Project Background

Saldanha Bay’s deep-water port, neighbouring industrial areas and undeveloped land present important resources for economic growth in the West Coast region and the area has been recognised as an important node for development at both a national and provincial level.

Over the period 2008-2009, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, together with the Saldanha Bay Municipality and the national Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), commissioned a pre-feasibility study to investigate the potential of establishing an IDZ within the Saldanha Bay area. This was followed by a feasibility study undertaken between 2010 and 2011. On 31 October 2013 the Saldanha Bay IDZ was officially designated by the Minister of Trade and Industry, in Government Gazette 36988.

The oil and gas and marine repair industries were among several clusters identified for the IDZ during the pre-feasibility and feasibility stages. This cluster was selected for priority due to, inter alia, its comparatively lower environmental impact, lower energy and water requirements, the suitability of the Saldanha Bay port and the demand for such an industry in the region.

The Saldanha Bay IDZ Licensing Company (hereafter referred to as LiCo) was jointly established by the DTI, the Western Cape Government and the Saldanha Bay Municipality for the implementation of the Saldanha Bay IDZ Programme. To this end, LiCo is seeking the necessary environmental authorisation for the development of an oil and gas OSC within the Saldanha Bay IDZ. Development rights are already in place for Portion 1 of the IDZ development and as such, the Portion 1 site falls outside the scope of this S&EIA process. This S&EIA process thus considers Portion 2.


Eirado do Costal shipspotting 470
Eirado do Costal – named by Greenpeace as one of the ‘monster’ fishing vessels. Picture: Shipspotting

Five fishing vessels from Spain are among the 20 most destructive community fishing vessels in the European Union, according to a new report from the environmental organisation Greenpeace. Out of the five, two are from Galicia:

EIRADO DO COSTAL, with home port in Cangas, and PLAYA DE TAMBO, based in Marin. The other three vessels are from the Basque Country: Albacora Uno, Albatún Tres and Txori Argi.

With the release of the report, “Monster boats, the scourge of the oceans”, Greenpeace intends to warn on overfishing issues and protect the oceans through sustainable fishing.

Then organisation details other ships that belong to the following countries

Netherlands: 2; Portugal: 2; Sweden: 1; UK: 2; France: 1; Germany: 2; Denmark: 1; Lithuania: 2; Poland: 1 and Vanuatu, 1.

The only vessel flagged outside the EU is operated by a Greek-registered company.

Greenpeace says the aim is that the publication of the report forces the vessels mentioned, to eventually be withdrawn from the oceans. “European countries, particularly Spain, have a fishing capacity that is higher than that the oceans can tolerate, and the only solution is to reduce the fleet, so when the time comes to do so, we urge the governments to start with the most harmful boats as those in the list,” points out Marta Gonzalez, head of the Greenpeace’s Oceans campaign.

The publication of the list of vessels was criticised by the secretary general of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA), Javier Garat, believing that the NGO launches baseless attacks to larger vessels that operate “legally”. Garat insisted it is a distortion of facts that Spanish tuna boats are contributing to the depletion of resources, because they are catching species “in good health, supported by scientific data.”

On the other hand, Nina Thuellen, EU fisheries project coordinator, stated: “A relatively small number of industrial fishing barons are recklessly making huge profits from our oceans, with little respect for environmental and social considerations. They use tricks – like changing the identity and flag of their vessels or using front companies and tax havens to increase their access to fishing grounds or, blatantly circumvent rules and regulations.”

For that reason, she urged Governments “must stop turning a blind eye to overfishing by taking action on monster boats and support low-impact fishers instead.”

For her part, Gonzalez stressed that “it is time the Spanish Government took firm steps to comply with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)” and implement concrete measures to solve the overcapacity issue. – mercopress

News continues below…


PS Constant 470
PS Constant at the handing over ceremony

India has donated a second vessel to the Seychelles Coast Guard.

The vessel, PS CONSTANT, is 46 metres in length and 7.5 metres wide, displaces 319 tonnes and can travel at a maximum speed of 28 knots with a cruising speed of 18 knots. The vessel requires four officers and a crew of 20. Her new commanding officer is 28 year old Captain Ivel Ernesta, the youngest commanding officer in the Seychelles Coast Guard.

The name Constant is taken from one of the main fishing banks in the southern part of the Seychelles archipelago.

The patrol boat is the former INS TARASA and the donation has been described by Seychelles President James Michel as another milestone in the relations between the countries which he says will allow the island nation to build its capacity to defend its sovereignty, economic zones and resources while also playing a greater part in sustaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean.

“India and Seychelles are partners in the Indian ocean and in the context of the security in our ocean we are ready to work together to take ownership of our ocean, of our security and also to develop and protect and reap from the potential that exists in our oceans in the context of the blue economy,” said Michel.

The Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy Admiral Robin K Dhowan who travelled expressly to Seychelles for the handing over of the new patrol vessel said that Seychelles and India share vast maritime interests while they also have common security concerns.

“The seas around us are gaining newfound importance as each day goes by because of their linkages with the blue economy. And there is no doubt that the current century is the century of the seas. The Indian Ocean which has emerged as the world’s centre of gravity in the maritime domain washed the shores of both our countries and makes us maritime neighbours, linked with the same ties, currents and winds that connect us. The people of the two countries have stretched their hands over the Equator to build bridges of friendship. With the handing over of INS Tarasa today, these bridges of friendship will be strengthened further and will pave the way for opening up of further avenues of cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces,” he said.

Dhowan added that India feels it has a duty to help sister countries secure the seas that surround them.

The handing over of the vessel follows an earlier donation of another patrol vessel, PS TOPAZ in 2005. India also gifted a Dornier 228 Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft to the Seychelles Defence Forces last year which is also involved in patrolling the Seychelles 1.3 million square kilometres of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Earlier this year China donated a purpose built patrol vessel PS Etoile’ to the Indian Ocean island nation. Apart from Etoile and Constant there are four other patrol vessels in the Seychelles Coast Guard's fleet; Topaz, Andromache (built in Italy in 1982 and funded by the Seychelles government) and La Flèche and Le Vigilant (both gifted by the UAE).

The handling over ceremony took place in the presence of three other Indian Navy ships, the destroyer INS Mumbai, frigate INS Talwar and the supply vessel INS Deepak, which arrived from Kenya. – Seychelles News Agency


Looking across Nacala Bay

The expansion and modernisation of the port of Nacala, in Mozambique’s Nampula province, is being carried out at a fast pace despite starting with a month-long delay, said Lucas Cipriano, the representative of port management company Portos do Norte.

Costing an estimated US$24 million, the work is still in its first phase, which began last March and is scheduled for completion in June 2015. Current work focuses on the reconstruction of the north pier, according to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

Cipriano also said the planned work, of which around a quarter of the specifications have been carried out, includes a new container park that is almost complete and new roads have yet to be finished.

Later the work will continue on docks three and four, where the pier for large draft ships will be built.

Cipriano said with the work now underway, the port has halved its cargo processing capacity, as only two of four berths are being used at the North Pier, as is also the case with the South Pier, which was originally only used for containers and is now being used for liquid cargo. - macauhub


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Gateway port

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.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

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


msc rita bow cro 470

msc rita rotcro 470

Mediterranean Shipping Company’s 8,089-TEU capacity container ship MSC RITA (100,870-dwt, built 2005) seen at the Cape Town container terminal earlier in November. The ship was built at the Hanjin Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea as hull number 130. The ship is 325 metres long overall, 42.8m wide and has a maximum draught of 14.5 metres. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

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