Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 31, 2006
Author: P&S

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Car carrier becomes unexpected dry dock visitor

  • Durban port closures suspended because of container backlogs

  • Richards Bay bridge gets go ahead

  • Probo Koala toxic cargo heads back to Europe

  • SA Navy arrives in La Reunion

  • Picture of the day

    Ports & Ships has introduced a new column called The Shipping World which will carry comment and analysis, as well as a collection of interesting facts, figures and explanations about shipping and transport in general and of the people who make it tick. In fact anything that goes into making up the Shipping World. The topics are not news as such, more the background to the news.
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    Car carrier becomes unexpected dry dock visitor

    The car carrier Morning Rose (45,000-gt|), owned and managed by Norwegian car carrier specialist Hoegh, limped into Durban with a broken propeller blade at the weekend, having lost about 80 percent of one of the propeller blades after it sheered off, forcing the ship to reduce speed on a heading for Durban and its available dry dock.

    The ship went into the outer chamber of the dry dock on Sunday where the spare propeller is being fitted by ship repair company Elgin Brown & Hamer. Elgin Brown & Hamer is also having a new blade manufactured for the original propeller.

    The contract could be completed by the weekend provided the shaft doesn’t require balancing – which is however a strong possibility since the ship was forced to operate with an unbalanced propeller for part of its voyage to Durban.


    Durban port closures suspended because of container backlogs

    The intended port closures at Durban to permit geotechnical drilling of the entrance channel has been placed on hold because of the already congested situation at the Durban Container Terminal, Ports & Ships has learnt.

    The closures were to have taken place over three weekends during the hours of darkness and it was feared this would have exacerbated existing container delays.

    Port Manager Basil Ndlovu told Ports & Ships today that it had been decided to suspend the drilling until the current terminal delays have been overcome.

    He said by postponing the drilling it would not affect the timetable for the widening of the entrance channel, which is on target with construction work likely to commence in the first half of 2007. The new sub-aqueous tunnel being drilled by the eThekwini Municipality (Durban) has been completed although services such as cables and pipes still have to be installed. The new tunnel which goes underneath the channel is considerably longer and much deeper than its predecessor which will be demolished once the channel widening gets underway.


    Richards Bay bridge gets go ahead

    According to a report in the Zululand Observer, tenders are about to be issued for a 28-span bridge crossing the Nseleni flood plain between Empangeni and the port of Richards Bay.

    The bridge is the next step and also the most costly section of the John Ross Highway linking the N-3 highway to Durban and Empangeni with the port and town of Richards Bay. When completed the bridge will be almost a kilometre in length and will stand on pilings up to 80m deep, according to the Observer.

    The issuing of the tender has been delayed due to a clash between national and provincial procurement policies which has now been resolved.

    The John Ross Highway is probably the busiest section of road north of the Tugela River and is vital to the economy of the port and region.


    Probo Koala toxic cargo heads back to Europe

    A cargo consisting of 3000 tonnes of toxic chemicals packed in over 140 containers and 28 tanks is one its way back to Europe from Abidjan in the Ivory Coast.

    The toxic cargo, which led to the death of 10 people in Abidjan and medical treatment for about 100,000 people, was originally shipped in the Probo Koala to the West African city on behalf of a Dutch chemical company. This was after the Dutch company reportedly declined to have the chemicals processed in the Netherlands on account of a price that it considered too high. A deal was then struck with an Abidjan waste treatment company but instead of treating the chemicals the Ivory Coast company dumped it in the city sewers, lakes and rubbish dumps.

    Meanwhile the ship Probo Koala had returned to Europe where it was detained for a period in Estonia to allow local authorities to conduct tests within the ship to determine the nature of the chemicals.

    French authorities subsequently agreed to assist by sending personnel to Abidjan to supervise the cleanup and return the chemical to Europe for treatment. The first load was loaded in the Ro-Ro vessel Toucan on Friday and will be taken to Le Havre for discharging and treatment.

    Two French executives of the company which owned the chemicals, Trafigura Beheer were arrested shortly after they arrived in Abidjan to investigate the matter and another five people have also been placed under arrest in Ivory Coast.


    SA Navy arrives in La Reunion

    Three ships of the South African Navy, the hydrographic survey vessel SAS Protea and two strike craft SAS Isaac Dyobha and SAS Galeshewe have arrived in La Reunion to take part in joint exercises with ships of the French Navy. The joint exercise is dubbed Exercise Bourbon.

    The three ships of the task force took a week to make the crossing from Mombasa in Kenya, where they had completed a three port East African visit.

    The ships went alongside in the port aptly named Le Port which is also the base for the French Navy Indian Ocean fleet. France maintains a fleet of seven patrol ships here, of which some will take part in the joint exercises.

    French possessions in the Indian Ocean, consisting of islands in the Mozambique Channel and in the southern Indian Ocean such as Kerguelen and St Paul, provide the French Navy with a vast territory of some 6.5 million square kilometres to patrol.


    Picture of the day
    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice


    The Ro-Ro vessel Lykes Raider arrives in Durban against the rising sun. Picture Terry Hutson

    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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