Ports & Ships Maritime News
Oct 5, 2005
MSC brings in larger container ship
MSC Gina will become Mediterranean Shipping Company’s largest container ship in regular service on the South Africa trades when she arrives in South Africa later this month. The 4,056-TEU ship, which replaces MSC Korea on the named-day UK and Northern Continent – South Africa service, will conclude her first voyage to South Africa at Durban on 20 October.
MSC Gina was built in 1999 and is 259m in length with a beam of 32.2m and has a displacement of 72,335 tonnes. Her gross tonnage is 40,631. The gearless vessel is powered by a single Sulzer 8 RTA84Cu main engine and has a speed of 23 knots. She is a sister vessel to MSC Aniello, MSC Diego and MSC Regina.
Also due in Durban on 20 October is the vessel she replaces, MSC Korea, which will be discharging her final cargo on this particular service at that time. MSC currently has seven ships deployed on the weekly service between Northern Europe and South Africa.
Nigeria pledges ISPS compliancy this year
Nigeria expects all its major ports to be ISPS compliant by the end of December this year. This was the assurance given this week at a training course being held in Abuja under the auspices of the IMO (International Maritime Organisation).
The Nigerian minister of transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo said it had become imperative that Nigerian ports met with international security standards, particularly since the oil industry in Nigeria was already compliant with the ISPS code. “We cannot afford to be complacent in this period of heightened maritime and transport security across the world,” he said.
Durban helicopter out for inspection
The Port of Durban helicopter that is used to ferry marine pilots to and from ships arriving off the port will be withdrawn for routine inspection from 10 October. The 6,000-hour maintenance service is a major one which is expected to take about 6 weeks, during which time the port will have to go without the services of a helicopter and will instead revert to the time-honoured use of marine pilot boats.
A new pilot boat named Tsitsikama arrived in the port last week to supplement Ballito, which has been in service for a number of years.
Since introducing the helicopter service some years ago Durban has ‘borrowed’ another helicopter from its neighbour port of Richards Bay whenever necessary; however this particular helicopter was involved in a fatal crash on 3 September and is therefore not available.
(See also PORTS & SHIPS News reports dated 3, 7 and 16 September)
French Navy pays a visit to Simon’s Town
Unconfirmed reports indicate the French Navy frigate FNS Nivose is on the South African coast at present heading for an official goodwill visit to Simon’s Town, where she may in fact arrive as a early as tomorrow (Thursday, 6 October).
FNS Nivose normally carries a compliment of between 80 and 90 ratings and officers and is based at La Reunion in the Indian Ocean. In July 2004 this vessel underwent dry docking at the Eldock floating dock in Durban. The ship is one of six Floreal class small patrol frigates built according to commercial ship standards for low-cost operation. She displaces 2,950 tons fully loaded and is powered by four diesel engines driving twin shafts at a speed of 20 knots. The ship is armed with Exocet surface to surface missiles and light guns.
Chinese satellite tracking ship goes on station
Expect the announcement of the second manned space launch by the Chinese within the next week. This follows the sailing from Durban this week of the Chinese satellite tracking vessel Yang Wang 3, bound for the South Atlantic Ocean and her rendezvous with the course of a space rocket that will be launching two Chinese astronauts into a planned five day orbit around the earth, any day from Saturday 8 October.
On completion of the orbits the ship, which has accommodation for over 500 scientists and technicians is expected to call at Cape Town for a few days. Yang Wang 3 last called in Durban and Cape Town in October 2003 when the Chinese launched their first and successful manned orbit.
Let’s keep all fingers crossed for the safety of the two space explorers.
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