Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 29, 2006
Author: P&S

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Surprise as Grindrod’s Ivan Clark steps down

  • Mombasa becomes oil response base

  • SOMALIA: Tentative calm reported in Mogadishu after bloody battle





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    Surprise as Grindrod’s Ivan Clark steps down

    The announcement by Murray Grindrod on Friday (26 May) that CEO Ivan Clark was to step down with effect from the end of the year has taken many people by surprise, particularly in view of the spectacular success of the group since Clark took the helm in 1999.

    At that time the company was struggling after some rather unremarkable years including several with losses under its belt. Grindrod was then a small company with a fleet of between 15 and 20 ships either owned or on charter.

    It had been thought that Clark would carry on until age 65 in another two years. He would however not be lost to the company and on 1 January 2007 would take on the role of non-executive deputy chairman of the group.

    Clark’s appointment as MD and CEO in 1999 coincided with the takeover of Island View Shipping (IVS) and the turnaround in the company’s fortunes. Six years later by the end of the 2005 financial year that had changed dramatically and Grindrod was riding the crest of a wave that may still have not reached its pinnacle. By the end of the most recent financial year (for 2005) Grindrod announced earnings of R851 million and was operating with a fleet of close to one hundred ships.

    More importantly, for the future the company had diversified by way of a number of important acquisitions and buy-ins particularly on the landside, including warehousing, terminals, railways, road transport, and commodity trading in addition to its more traditional activities such as ships agency. These moves were aimed at ensuring that profits from new investments together with contracted shipping profits based on low fleet cost will see continued growth in spite of any cyclical change in the shipping markets.

    In his formal announcement last week Grindrod said that Clark had reached retirement age of 63 and that following seven years of success, Clark felt that it was in the group’s interests that a new CEO takes over.

    “With Mr Clark taking on the role of deputy chairman he will continue to be of great value to the company and will allow a smooth transition of the chief executive role,” said Grindrod, adding that Clark had been a most successful CEO who had taken Grindrod to a much bigger and stronger company which had reached new heights and continues to operate most successfully.


    Alan Olivier – CEO designate of Grindrod Group

    Clark's successor as chief executive designate is Alan Olivier, who takes up the position with immediate effect and will succeed Clark on 1 January 2007. Olivier, who has been with the group since 1986 is currently an executive director of Grindrod and managing director of Unicorn Shipping. He will continue in his current role with the latter.


    Mombasa becomes oil response base

    Mombasa 26 May, 2006 – The port of Mombasa in Kenya will become the east African centre for preventing and handling oil spills in East African waters. This follows a deal between Kenya Ports Authority and Vikoma, the UK specialist oil spill equipment company.

    Vikoma will undertake the modernisation of Mombasa’sspill-handling equipment as well as provide training both in Kenya and the UK.

    Mombasa will as a result be upgraded from the port’s current status as a Tier One facility (handling spills up to 2,000 tonnes) to Tier Two (handling spills of 5,000 tonnes or more).

    According to the East African newspaper it also means that Mombasa will act as a regional centre capable of assisting other ports in the region including among the Indian Ocean islands.


    SOMALIA: Tentative calm reported in Mogadishu after bloody battle

    Nairobi, 26 May 2006 (IRIN) – Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, was quiet but tense on Friday, following two days of heavy fighting between militia allied to the city's Islamic courts and those loyal to a group of faction leaders, residents said.

    "Today, the situation is calm, but there are no [ceasefire] negotiations going on," said Abdullahi Ali Hassan, executive director of the Centre for Education and Development, a Mogadishu-based nongovernmental organisation.

    Local media reports said at least 30 people were killed on Tuesday, including a mother and two children whose home was hit by a mortar shell. An estimated 100 people were wounded in the fighting, which began on Tuesday night. Thousands of people have fled the city.

    Hassan said militia loyal to the Islamic coalition appeared to be in control of much of south Mogadishu and had even captured the Sahafi Hotel in the Kilometre 4 area. The hotel is owned by Abdulrashid Ilqayte, who is part of the newly created Alliance for Peace and the Fight Against International Terrorism.

    "Displaced people are still out of their homes because they fear that more fighting will happen," Hassan said, adding that some people had sought refuge in the suburbs of Mogadishu, while others had headed south towards the Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions. "Somalis help each other, but you know people here live from hand to mouth, so the fighting has made life very difficult," he said.

    Francois Lounseny Fall, United Nations envoy for Somalia, has condemned the fighting and demanded an immediate and unconditional end to the violence. "Somalia is already at war with nature and poverty," Fall said in a statement released in Nairobi. "The last thing this country needs is for its leaders to be fighting among themselves. This is a time for pulling together, not for pulling further apart."

    The latest bout of bloodletting broke out in Mogadishu on 7 May and continued for a week, killing almost 200 people. Both the anti-terror coalition leader Nur Daqle and Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmed, the chairman of the Islamic courts, belong to the Agoon Yar subclan of the Abgal community. What started as an internal feud between members of the subclan soon became a battle between the Islamic courts and the anti-terrorism alliance that comprises several Mogadishu-based faction leaders.

    The Horn of Africa state has had no functioning government since 1991, when the administration of President Muhammad Siyad Barre was toppled. Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which was created in Kenya in 2004 following lengthy reconciliation talks between representatives of the country's numerous clans and political factions, is still struggling to overcome internal divisions and establish its authority. The TFG is currently based in the south-central city of Baidoa.

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)

    Update

    Later reports received at the weekend indicate that fighting has again broken out in the city with 13 reported killed in clashes that took place on Saturday (27 May).



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