Ports & Ships Maritime News
Dec 13, 2005
SOUTH AFRICA – gas oil remains in short supply
The shortage of fuel is continuing to impact on ships bunkers, with gas oil remaining unavailable in Cape Town and Durban experiencing periodic shortages. According to sources Durban was expecting a supply of gas oil this afternoon.
Meanwhile the Sapref Refinery in Durban has issued a press release saying it is operating at normal production capacity and is already producing cleaner fuels in line with new specifications, ahead of the 1 January 2006 government deadline for all refineries to phase out the use of lead in petrol and lower the sulphur content in diesel. During the year Sapref received funding from its shareholders, BP and Shell to the amount of a R700 million investment to produce lead-free petrol and reduce the sulphur levels to 500ppm of petrol and diesel.
The shortage of gas oil to the shipping industry is more serious in the Cape Town area which is largely reliant on supplies from the Caltex refinery in that city. Caltex closed for its annual shutdown recently which is thought to have contributed to the current shortages which have also resulted in Cape Town International Airport running out of aviation jet fuel and petrol stations across the province putting up ‘no petrol’ signs.
DJIBOUTI – port gets tough on overstayers
The Djibouti Port Administration has halved the time allowed for free storage of cargo at the harbour to 15 days. Cargo arriving at the port will now have to be moved within the 15 day period failing which importers will be billed for warehousing services.
Importers and clearing and forwarding agents say the new regulation is going to create problems as it is difficult to clear the paperwork and find enough transport to move the cargo within 15 days. They intend asking the port administration to reconsider the new regulation but a ministry of trade and industry spokesman said that the port should not be used as a warehouse and goods would have to be cleared as soon as possible.
- source The Reporter (Addis Ababa)
INTENATIONAL – Maersk builds the big one?
There is a mounting conviction that construction has begun at the Odense Shipyards of the first of a new class of 15,000-TEU container ships for Danish container carrier Maersk Line. Such a vessel will have more than 50% additional capacity than anything already in service.
The rumours have been further strengthened by reports that the port of Bremerhaven, Maersk Line’s German hub is widening its turning basin to accommodate ships of up to 400m in length.
Officially, the largest container ship currently in service is MSC Pamela, which is 321m long with a beam of 45.6m and a gross tonnage of 107,200 and a listed capacity of 9,200-TEU. In terms of length the longest container ship in service is the 367m long Gudrun Maersk, which AP Moller describes as simply an updated version of previous ships. Since her launch in May this year another three G class ships have been ‘presented’ – the latest, Gjertrud Maersk as recently as 3 December - but as with other new ships, AP Moller-Maersk remains reticent about the carrying capacity and is inclined to understate such detail. Nevertheless these new ‘G’ class ships are thought to be capable of at least 9,000 TEU and quite possibly even more.
Last year Maersk placed an order for 110,000bhp engines but has never revealed which vessels they were for – by way of comparison the G class use 93,300bhp engines.
CLIPPER RACE UPDATE
Tuesday 13 December 2005
There’s no change in position from yesterday, with Durban Clipper still in the lead and only 540 miles to go to the finish line at Fremantle. That was at 17.00 today, but with about two days racing still ahead, anything can happen – the second yacht, Victoria is only 31 miles behind and sailing on a very similar course which means she is presumably experiencing much the same wind and sea conditions. So it looks like it will all come down to tactics and skill in the final dash for the winner’s ribbon. All ten yachts are now striking straight for Fremantle and the days of some yachts trying a more northerly of southerly route are history, although Singapore remains out there on her own to the north of the pack.
In third place and still with a good chance of gaining ground is Westernaustralia.com – given her record so far in this race don’t rule her out.
Meanwhile final preparations will be underway in Fremantle to welcome the ten yachts and the crews, with intentions of doing an ‘aussie’ and outdoing Durban and Salvador in the welcome they intend to give.
Race position at 17.00 today (with distance to finish)
New York (777)
- source http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk
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