Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 22, 2006
Author: P&S

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Grindrod scoops Marine Money Company of the Year award for 2nd year running


  • NIGERIA: Attackers abduct more oil workers in volatile delta


  • LIBERIA: Lifting of UN timber ban gives hope for economic revival


  • Departments join forces to raise awareness on Antarctica


  • Chinese premier in SA to talk trade


  • Delmas begins new SA – India service


  • Tanker explodes in Lagos harbour – two injured






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    Grindrod scoops Marine Money Company of the Year award for 2nd year running

    Grindrod, South Africa’s leading shipping and logistics group again swept aside the field to win Marine Money International Listed Shipping Company of the Year Award at a gala function held in New York on Tuesday (20 June 2006).

    Grindrod beat some 150 shipping companies listed throughout the world as ranked by Marine Money International, America’s largest shipping finance publication.


    Left to right are: Jim Lawrence (Chairman Marine Money), Alan Olivier (CEO designate Grindrod), Ivan Clark (CEO Grindrod), Tim McClure (Managing Director Island View Shipping), George Weltman (Vice-President Marine Money) – click image to enlarge

    Speaking from New York yesterday, Ivan Clark, Grindrod CEO, said it was a feather in the cap for both Grindrod as a company and South Africa as a country that a South African based shipping group could beat the best in the world.

    “And to top it all it was great to win the award race for the 2nd consecutive year.”

    Clark attended the award winning function hosted by Marine Money and the world top shipping banks along with Alan Olivier, Grindrod’s CEO-designate and Tim McClure the Managing Director of Island View Shipping.

    The two day shipping event attracts over 500 of the world’s shipping fraternity to New York each year.

    The rating is based on a number of financial achievements including growth on earnings, return on shareholders funds, growth in shareholders equity and other factors and reflects the remarkable performance of Grindrod, not only on the JSE Securities Exchange but on the world shipping arena, where it is seen as one of the world’s blue chip shipping companies.

    Clark went on to say, “And I don’t think it is over yet, although we have advised investors that our earnings growth will be at lower levels in 2006 and 2007. We are sitting on a wonderful base of low cost ships, very little debt and a transport logistics platform of companies which have not yet reached their full potential. We will continue to create shareholder growth.”

    According to Alan Olivier, the executive of Grindrod now has a first class world player with a substantial portfolio of ships and logistics businesses. He said the executive was confident this will grow better and bigger going into the future.

    Tim McClure the MD of Island View Shipping said he could see no reason why dry bulk shipping markets wouldn’t maintain good levels and therefore the outstanding performance of Island View Shipping would be repeated in the future.


    NIGERIA: Attackers abduct more oil workers in volatile delta

    Port Harcourt, 21 Jun 2006 (IRIN) - Gunmen in a speed boat seized two Filipino oil workers in the latest in a spate of attacks targeting oil installations and workers in Nigeria’s oil rich but impoverished Niger delta.

    Norway-based oil services company Petroleum Geo-Sciences said the two contract workers hired by the firm were abducted around noon on Tuesday while in a small boat near a jetty used by the company.

    “They drove (them) off in a boat and we’ve had no contact with them,” said company spokesman Ola Bosterud.

    The security forces have mounted a search to trace the missing oil workers and their abductors, said Navy Captain Obiora Medani, spokesman for the Nigerian navy.

    “I can confirm that the incident took place and we’re searching for them,” he said, declining to give any further details.

    It is the latest incident in a rash of kidnappings and attacks in the oil-rich Niger Delta that have cut Nigeria’s substantial oil exports by 20 percent. Despite producing nearly all the oil that is the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, the delta is one of the most impoverished regions in Africa’s most populous country.

    The militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which has claimed most of the attacks since the beginning of the year, said it was not responsible for the latest attack.

    Several other armed groups are also active in the Niger Delta, with some of them linked to criminal gangs that kidnap oil workers for ransom. Hostages are usually released unharmed.

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


    LIBERIA: Lifting of UN timber ban gives hope for economic revival

    Monrovia, 21 Jun 2006 (IRIN) - The UN Security Council has lifted a ban on Liberian timber exports and the government has promised to harness earnings from the multi-million dollar trade for reconstruction and development of the war-wearied country.

    Liberia’s logging industry, focused on the southeast and northwest regions, has been off-limits since the UN banned its member states from buying Liberian logs in 2003. The Security Council said the government of former Liberian president Charles Taylor was using the US $ 15 million industry to fuel war in the region.

    But Liberia now has an elected peace-time government, headed by Africa’s first female President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

    The resolution lifting the sanctions, passed unanimously on Tuesday, said the 15-member Council recognised her new government’s ‘commitment to transparent management of the country’s forestry resources for the benefit of Liberians, and its reforms in the timber sector.’

    However, the resolution warned that its decision would be reviewed in 90 days, and urged speedy adoption of forestry legislation.

    In February, just one month after she took office, Sirleaf nullified 70 forest concession agreements, the majority of which were signed by Charles Taylor. Information Minister Gabriel Williams told IRIN that new agreements will guard against ”the criminality that once robbed the country’s resources.”

    He added that, “the government expects to generate substantial revenues to be able to be meet our reconstruction needs.”

    The managing director of the Liberian government-run Forestry Development Authority, John Woods, estimated in April that the forestry sector could generate up to US $ 20 million for the government, and put 7,000 people back into work.

    Though the lifting of the ban was widely welcomed in Liberia, Natalie Ashworth of Global Witness, an organisation in the UK that monitors natural resources in conflict zones and campaigned for the timber ban to be slapped on in 2003, said the move came too soon.

    ”Reforms are definitely moving in the right direction. But it would be unrealistic to say that just six months after the new government came in everything could be in place,” she said.

    But Mike McGovern at the conflict prevention NGO International Crisis Group said that even if systems were not 100 percent secure, the anticipated revenue would be welcome.

    ”It is a question of how high you set the bar - you have to think about the need for revenue streams that will benefit ordinary Liberians. If you have got 20 percent leakage and 80 percent going to the right places, then that is probably good enough,” he said.

    Last week, the UN Security Council partially lifted a 16-year ban on arms sales to Liberia to allow the security forces to carry guns.

    A separate ban on trading Liberian diamonds, dubbed blood diamonds since the UN found in 2001 that Taylor’s government was exchanging the precious stones for arms, has been extended until the end of the year, pending Liberia’s meeting the conditions to join the Kimberly Process, an international diamond tracking system.

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


    Departments join forces to raise awareness on Antarctica

    The departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Science and Technology have declared June National Antarctica Month to raise awareness on the scientific and environmental importance of the continent.

    "South Africa, as the only Africa signatory of the Antarctic Treaty, maintains a permanent presence in Antarctica. South Africa's presence places it in a unique position to participate in the decision-making processes that affect the future of the continent," the departments said yesterday in a joint statement.

    A permanent ice sheet covers 95 percent of the continent with an average dept of 2.2 to 5 kilometres. This ice sheet plays a crucial role in controlling the earth's heat balance as it reflects more than 80 percent of the sun's rays.

    As climate change becomes one of the foremost challenges facing the world, the necessity to gather more information and conduct more research on mitigating measures to respond to this phenomenon, becomes a worldwide priority.

    "On a scientific level South Africa supports a diverse scientific programme in Antarctica as well as on the sub-Antarctic Islands. Because weather conditions on the Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean have an influence on the weather of South Africa, an understanding of the influence of Antarctica weather phenomena on South Africa weather is crucial for management and predictive purposes," the statement said.

    To this end, South African scientists undertake important meteorological observations in the Southern Ocean, at Antarctica and on the sub Antarctic islands.

    Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean provide natural laboratories in which to study climate change and the likely impacts that this change will have on the earth and the life its supports. This highlights one of the important roles of the South African presence on the icy continent.

    "South Africa's base in the Antarctica, the SANAE IV, which can accommodate up to 80 people, was the first base in Antarctica to undergo a comprehensive environmental assessment which was conducted in accordance with strict international guidelines, which were adopted as benchmark for construction of new bases in Antarctica," the departments said.

    South Africa is in the process of constructing a new base on Marion Island, which is expected to be completed in 2007.

    Due to extreme weather conditions, scientific research, which often involves the use of delicate and highly sophisticated equipment, requires intricate logistical support and infrastructure.

    The Department of Science and Technology are responsible for managing South Africa's scientific research on Antarctica.

    The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism provides logistical and infrastructure support for South Africa's scientific missions to the Antarctica and sub-Antarctica islands.

    A learner programme is to be held during Antarctica Month, aimed at encouraging more students to enter science disciplines.

    - BuaNews


    Chinese premier in South Africa to talk trade

    Chinese premier Wen Jiabao arrived in South Africa yesterday afternoon on a two-day visit during which he will hold trade talks with President Mbeki and other members of the South African government.

    Among the trade agreements expected to be discussed and signed into agreement is a trade pact on the level of Chinese textile exports to South Africa.

    China is expected to agree on capping future textile exports to South Africa and will assist the local industry to become more competitive by improving its productivity.


    Delmas begins new SA – India service

    Delmas, which is part of the CMA CGM group of companies has announced the commencement of a direct container service between India, Durban and northern Mozambique commencing on Monday, 26 June.

    The new service from India, known as DINSAS (Delmas India South Africa Service) makes use of a 16-day rotation encompassing Nhava Sheeva, Port Louis, Durban, Nacala, Port Victoria (Seychelles), Cochin (cashew season only), Nhava Sheeva.

    The two vessels deployed on the service are Delmas Komati and Delmas Kaveri.


    Tanker explodes in Lagos harbour – two injured

    Two crewmen were injured when the Nigerian-registered products tanker Tutuma (9,810-dwt, built 1978) exploded while undergoing repairs in the port of Lagos on Tuesday (20 June).

    The vessel which is used for lightering purposes was transferring PMS – premium motor spirits ashore when the explosion occurred. The vessel had apparently experienced engine problems at the weekend and repairs were being undertaken at the time.

    Harbour tugs rushed to the scene and hauled the tanker away from the quay before the fire could spread and also assisted with putting out the blaze.

    The two injured personnel were taken to hospital where their condition was described as serious.


    Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Beira on the East Coast?



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