Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 18, 2005
Author: P&S







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SOUTH AFRICA – SvitzerWijsmuller sets up in Southern Africa

The international salvage firm of SvitzerWijsmuller launched its Southern African Region operation this week with functions held in Cape Town and Durban.

Headed by well-known and respected Captain Nic Sloane, who has been joined by an experienced team of salvage experts from Smit Salvage, where Sloane was himself a former Salvage Master, the company will operate from its headquarters in Safmarine House in Cape Town and a warehouse for equipment and supplies.

An office and warehouse in Durban will also be established shortly. In addition the firms salvage capability has been enhanced with the arrival of a large salvage tug on station in Southern African waters, the modern offshore tug Zakher Delmon (built 2005).

Since opening the Southern African office on 1 July the local SvitzerWijsmuller team has already operated successfully on five international salvages in addition to salvaging the cargo from the shipwrecked Kiperousa off the South African Eastern Cape coast.

SvitzerWijsmuller is part of the AP Moller Group of companies.


SOUTH AFRICA – MOL becomes new SAECS partner

Japanese shipping major Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) is to acquire the existing P&O Nedlloyd operations on the South Africa – Europe trades.

The takeover becomes effective from 1 February 2006 when MOL acquires the right to enter the South Africa Europe Conference Service (SAECS) alongside Safmarine, Maersk Line and Deutsche Afrika Linien (DAL), operating with two ships on the SAECS service and a third vessel on the intermediary or 2nd loop.

The divestment of the P&O Nedlloyd interest forms part of a commitment from AP Moller to the European Commission, after the latter expressed concern that the acquisition of P& O Nedlloyd by AP Moller-Maersk would create a monopoly on the Europe-South Africa service.

On the main SAECS loop MOL will take over the ten year charters of two 4,920-TEU newbuilds from P&O Nedlloyd - P&O Nedlloyd Heemskerck and P&O Nedlloyd Livingstone. MOL will also take over the single 1,730-TEU container vessel currently deployed by P&O Nedlloyd on the intermediary loop.

According to Maersk Line the two services between Europe and South Africa will continue otherwise unchanged using the same vessels and same port rotation and capacity.

MOL already has a strong presence in South Africa with an Asia–South Africa–West Africa service, and an Asia– South Africa–East Coast South America service.


NIGERIA – another three terminal concessions signed

Eight port terminal concessions have been successfully concluded at Apapa, Onne and Calabar each for a period of 25 years, according to Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises. The total amount realized from the bids amounted to US3 million.

The Dangote Group was the successful bidder for the Apapa Terminal E.

Flour Mills put up the successful bid for Terminals A and B at Apapa.

Intels Nigeria Ltd successfully acquired the concessions for Onne’s Federal Lighter Terminal B, Onne’s FOT A, Warri Old Terminal A and Warri New Terminal B, and Calabar New Terminal A.

Earlier this week the Nigerian Federal Government had to step in to persuade concessionaires at Lagos and Port Harcourt who had been reluctant to take possession of the terminals they successfully bid for, after a dispute over severance packages for former employees of the terminals (see News Report dated 16 November).


KENYA – insurance hikes over piracy

Mombasa’s harbour master, Captain Twahir Khamis says that marine insurers are already looking to hike premiums for ships calling at Mombasa because of rampant piracy in Somali waters.

Speaking in Nairobi Khamis said the insurers were talking of raising a war surcharge on vessels that would result in an increase in the cost of cargo entering or leaving Mombasa.


INTERNATIONAL – Hutchison to operate Omani terminal

Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) is planning to operate a container terminal, the Oman International Container Terminal (OICT), in the Oman port of Sohar, after having reached an agreement with the Sohar Industrial Port Authority, reports Schednet.

The terminal with a depth alongside of 16m at the first phase and 18m in phase 2, is to be equipped with post panamax gantry cranes to accommodate the latest generation of large container ships.


Clipper Race update – Durban Clipper still battling the conditions

Friday 18 November

Victoria crossed the finish line in 7th place at 02.02 GMT on Friday 18 November after a 25 day crossing from Salvador in Brazil. The crew finished in light airs off Durban just before dawn and join the six boats that are already moored up in the Yacht Mole alongside the bustling Clipper Race Village.

As Victoria coasted in with the sun towards the Durban dockside, the Zulu warriors chanted and the drums sounded out across the still waters. Windows opened in the surrounding apartments and heads appeared to see the cause of this early morning alarm call. The local residents must now be getting used to the sights and sounds of a Clipper arrival as for the third morning in a row dawn was accompanied by a yacht crew eager to step ashore. Despite the hour there was a good show of Victoria supporters and a number of local well-wishers joining in the spirit of this event that has brought a carnival feel to the Durban waterfront.

Sadly 100 miles down the coast, a second Durban was experiencing a very different kind of dawn. Beating into 20 knot head winds and 2 knots of tide, Craig Millar and his crew must be wondering exactly what sort of reception they should expect when they finally reach their “home” port. The combination of adverse winds that built over the course of yesterday, and the strong southwest going current that seems to reach right to the beach have proved a major obstacle and are ensuring that both Durban and Glasgow are having to fight for every last mile as they struggle towards the finish line.

Yesterday we were predicting an early afternoon finish for Durban, with Glasgow coming in a few hours later, but at 6 o’clock this morning (local time) it became evident that a 12 hour run of just over 40 miles had done little to reduce the distance to go and that the 100 miles still remaining would take several more hours than predicted. It now seems likely that tomorrow’s dawn (Saturday) will bring with it yet another race finish as 4-6am has now replaced the earlier estimate, with the second boat following about three hours later.

Meanwhile this weather will at least be testing Jersey’s newly tensioned rig as they too sail into strong headwinds. With the current low pressure system that is driving this clockwise air stream well established over the African continent, it looks likely that there will be little change over the next few days and so it will probably be Tuesday or Wednesday before they too can experience the vibrant welcome that awaits.

- this report courtesy Clipper Ventures


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