Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 2, 2005
Author: P&S







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RBCT announces expansion plans

A R1.1 billion expansion for the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) was announced earlier today. The 27-month project will increase the terminal’s capacity by 20 million tonnes to 92Mt pa from the existing 72Mt while opening the door to qualifying black economic empowered (BEE) mining houses. This includes the original Phase 5 expansion and is due to be completed by July 2008.

Some of the key highlights are:

  • Special provision will be made to encourage a new generation of coal exporters by earmarking up to 4Mt by April 2006 for emerging BEE exporters


  • South Dunes Coal Terminal will take up 6Mt pa of the expansion


  • 10Mt pa of the expansion capacity will be opened up for subscription to all with an emphasis on empowerment to facilitate the transformation of RBCT, in line with the continuing transformation of South Africa’s coal industry under the mining charter


  • The subscription capacity of 10Mt pa will be made available through new shareholding or through commercial usage arrangements at internationally competitive rates, as this expansion is in line with lowest cost coal port expansions globally, said RBCT in a statement today.

    “We are excited about the expansion and believe it reflects the spirit of transformation in South Africa,” said Tony Redman, chairman of RBCT. He said the additional tonnage will be mostly allocated to BEE companies and opens up opportunities for BEE coal mining companies who have not previously been able to export coal.


    Durban oil spill update

    Most of the bunker oil that spilled from the damaged container ship Doria in the Eldock floating dock on Monday night has been contained in a small area surrounding the dock and is in the process of being recovered by pollution specialists. (See our News report dated 1 November 2005.)

    According to the National Ports Authority pumps and skimmers have been utilised to remove the oil, which is estimated at 80 tonnes. The NPA says it hoped the operation will have been completed by Thursday. There has been no apparent environmental damage in the harbour, so far as can be ascertained.


    AP Moller’s takeover of P&O Nedlloyd gets SA go-ahead

    The South African Competition Tribunal yesterday (1 November) gave its blessing to the acquisition of P&O Nedlloyd by the Danish shipping group AP Moller-Maersk.

    This follows soon after the European Union gave a similar blessing to the merger of all P&O Nedlloyd interests within AP Moller-Maersk, which will trade from February 2006 as Maersk Line.

    The nod from South Africa’s competition commission means the integration of the two groups can begin in South Africa, where both companies have large interests.

    “We are pleased by the Competition Tribunal’s confirmation of the merger,” said Flemming Dalgaard, managing director of Maersk Sealand South Africa and team leader of the merger process in South Africa.

    “The coming months would see an intense integration of the two teams as we capitalize on our synergies to develop the most effective, efficient door-to-door transport solution for our customers.”

    Background to AP Moller in South Africa

    AP Moller re-entered South Africa in 1992 after a number of year’s absence with a single service to Asia, which was followed in 1997 with the introduction of a liner service between South Africa and Europe. Since then the company has developed further services to North America, South America, the Far East, East Africa, West Africa, the Middle East and India, many of them in conjunction with sister company Safmarine.

    In 1998 AP Moller-Maersk established a separate Africa Region in Copenhagen. The following year the group acquired Safmarine, which was continued as a separate brand and since then the group’s business in the region has grown substantially. The Africa Region head office moved to Cape Town in 2002.

    In South Africa Safmarine (Pty) Ltd is the holding company. The portfolio of companies includes container businesses Maersk Sealand, Safmarine and Ocean Africa Container Lines (the latter is a joint venture with Grindrod). Landbased operations include Southern Africa Transport Investments Incorporating Roadwing and International Delivery Company, the supply chain management company Maersk Logistics, and AP Moller Terminals.

    Internationally, Maersk Sealand operates in more than 125 countries and has an operating tonnage of over 300 container ships with a combined capacity in excess of 850,000 TEUs. Of the 300 vessels more than 100 are owned. The name Maersk Line was first used in 1928.


    Coega’s big light up

    It was ‘lights, action’ last night at the industrial development zone of Coega in the Eastern Cape when the electricity supply system was symbolically lit up in conclusion of the R194 million contract by Eskom to provide power for the IDZ and port.

    Chairman of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) Moss Ngoasheng said that while the IDZ project embraced black economic empowerment, it did not mean that the quality of the project would be sacrificed in any respect. He warned there was a tendency by some in the project and in government of wanting to secure personal gain through contracts for themselves. “A conflict of interest will not be tolerated in the Coega IDZ,” he said.

    Meanwhile it is learned that the CDC has at least 14 investments in its sights for the zone that if secured could attract another R28 billion while creating up to 8,000 jobs over a five year period.

    This is in addition to the three investment projects previously announced – a Belgian textile manufacturer, Ferrostaal who intend opening a stainless steel plant, and Straits Chemicals who will open a factory to produce chlorine and byproducts.

    The ‘big fish’ on the horizon is undoubtedly Alcan, the Canadian aluminium producer which is considering Coega as a future site for a new smelter. A decision in this regard is now expected early in 2006.


    Tanker attacked 250 miles off Somalia

    According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau an unidentified tanker successfully evaded capture by Somali pirates while sailing past the Somali coast more than 250 miles out to sea.

    The IMB also reported than six ships are still being detained by Somali pirates. It said there have been 25 attacks since March this year and has issued the following alert “Ships are advised to keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast.”

    In a further report concerning African waters, a bulk carrier outside Nouadhibou in Mauritania was approached last week by eight robbers in a wooden boat fitted with an outboard motor. Two of them boarded the ship via the anchor chain but fled when the duty officer sounded the alarm. Port control was advised of the incident.


    Mombasa container terminal to be expanded

    Mombasa Container Terminal is to embark on an expansion programme aimed at eliminating the congestion currently being experienced at the Kenya port.

    The aim is to quickly increase the terminal’s stacking capacity from the existing 12,000 containers by an additional 1,000 boxes by means of tearing down a number of existing sheds and old office blocks within the complex.


    Clipper Race update 2 November

    The crews and skippers, as has been mentioned before, live in a world governed by the 04.00 GMT and 16.00 GMT scheds. These two points in the day are the only times when they get to hear where the rest of the fleet are, and whether their tactical decisions are bearing fruit. These two times are also the best time to actually make a change to your own boat’s course, as this will give you a full 12 hours before anyone else finds out what you’ve done.

    The fleet is experiencing headwinds right now, rotating anticlockwise off the high pressure cell to the south of the fleet. This means that the boats have to tack towards the destination, effectively zig-zagging down their desired course.

    This is illustrated nicely by comparing Jersey Clipper and New York Clipper. Both Joff Bailey on New York and Mark Taylor on Jersey have been aiming for roughly the same patch of water over the last couple of days, but over the last 12 hours Joff has zigged while Mark has zagged.

    Western Australia Clipper seem to have had a short run directly into the wind – David Pryce has probably been tacking back and forth during the night to take advantage of local wind shifts, giving him a shorter 12 hour run but a better overall direction.

    Perhaps the most dramatic change in course is from Cardiff, who are diving south. Conor Fogerty assures me that he has a plan, and has a certain latitude that he wants to be at in three days time. With Glasgow, Qingdao, Singapore and Liverpool heading in the same direction it looks like the Welsh Wizards will have company on their southerly quest.

    Over the next two to three days the high pressure cell should move to the east, being pushed along by a depression approaching from the south west. This will hopefully allow the wind to back round to the north, which will allow the yachts to make direct course again. As always, the transition between weather systems will give the best opportunities for gains and losses to be made, and the decisions that the skippers take now will directly affect where they are to take advantage (or not!) of the changing wind.

    Following on from Liverpool’s removal of an old mooring line off their keel, Graeme Johnston on Glasgow has reported that he is keeping someone up forward constantly at the moment specifically to look out for debris in the water. They have seen old 44 gallon drums, more thick lines, and ship debris around them. The route that the fleet is taking is approximately on the great circle route from South America to the Cape of Good Hope, and as such is on the main shipping route, but it is still unusual to see that much rubbish around.

    - this report courtesy Clipper Ventures


    Today’s seaside giggle

    A captain's wardrobe

    One day, while sailing the seven seas, a look-out spotted a pirate ship, and the crew became frantic. Captain Bravo bellowed for his red shirt. The First Mate quickly retrieved the captain's red shirt, and, after donning the shirt, the captain led his crew into battle and defeated the pirates.
    Later on, the look-out spotted not one, but two pirate ships. The captain again howled for his red shirt and once again vanquished the pirates. That evening, all the men sat around on the deck recounting the day's triumphs, and one of them asked the captain: "Sir, why did you call for your red shirt before each battle?" The captain replied: "If I am wounded in the attack, my crew won't notice my bleeding and will continue to fight, unafraid." All of the men sat in silence and marveled at the courage of their captain.
    As dawn came the next morning, the look-out spotted not one, not two, but TEN pirate ships approaching. The rank and file all stared at the captain and waited for his usual request. Captain Bravo calmly shouted: "Bring me my brown pants!"
    Acknowledgements MyBoatClub.com

    p.s. know a good nautical joke? Please share it with us by emailing to info@ports.co.za


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