Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 22, 2006
Author: P&S

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Please note this is our last daily news bulletin for 2006. The news service will resume on 2 January 2007 but in the meantime if anything of significance occurs it will be reported individually. Our regular Ships in Port reports will however continue as usual next week. We wish all our readers a joyful holiday and a peaceful and prosperous New Year

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • More Niger Delta attacks force evacuation of families

  • Atlantic Shipping starts new South America - West Africa service

  • Shipping is part of the solution, not the problem

  • CPIX unchanged at 5 percent

  • Surprise new role for former SAS Outeniqua

  • DRC says pay in advance for cargo inspection

  • Pic of the day – HMS Scott




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    More Niger Delta attacks force evacuation of families

    Shell began evacuating the families of foreign workers in the Niger Delta yesterday following the latest attack by armed militants on a flow station in Rivers State, during which three guards at the installation are reported to have been shot and killed.

    The evacuation involves at least 400 families in Port Harcourt, Warri and Bonny.

    The Shell communications manager Bisi Ojediran confirmed the pullout saying it was a precautionary measure involving the families of workers and not actual staff of the company. He said that oil and gas operations at the plants were not affected.

    “The safety of our staff and their families is our primary concern and we are taking appropriate security measures at all our facilities,” he told the British shipping publication Sea Sentinel yesterday.

    Meanwhile the BBC quoted news agencies as reporting that three guards had been killed when militants attacked Total’s Obagi station in Rivers State. The plant which has a production rate of 35,000 bpd has been shut down, according to the BBC. (see also Ports & Ships News Bulletin dated 18 December 2006.)

    In another incident reported by GAC, Brass Offshore Terminal was evacuated on Wednesday after threats by militants to overrun the terminal.

    A ship was still loading at the facility but at a very slow rate. According to the report it is not certain whether another force majeure would be declared – a force majeure is already in place here following previous incidents.


    Atlantic Shipping starts new South America - West Africa service

    Atlantic Shipping recently signed an agreement with Tecon Suape SA (TSSA), operator of the Suape Container Terminal (SCT) in Pernambuco, Brazil, to commence a new service connecting north and south Atlantic ports.

    The new service has the following port rotation: Suape-Cape Verde-Gambia-Guinea-Guinea Bissau-Liberia-Mali-Mauritania-Senegal-Sierra Leone-Boston.

    It is expected to intensify Brazil’s trading with the lucrative West African market and the United States mainland. Last year, Brazil contributed US $ 290 million of the total US $ 12 billion import goods of the West African countries.

    The new trade route agreement was signed by Vitor DePina, President and CEO of Atlantic Shipping, and Sergio Kano, TSSA CEO. Initiated by the state government of Pernambuco and TSSA to facilitate the regions trade export, the new service has lined up at least 10 calls for the first year of the agreement.

    The service officially took off with the 294-TEU capacity and general cargo ship AS AFRICA making its maiden call at the SCT. Total value of merchandise shipped amounted to US $ 500,000.

    SCT is the largest and the most modern facility for container operations in north and northeastern Brazil. Operated by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) since April 2002, the terminal services the world’s leading shipping lines and continues to post robust container volume growth. In 2005, TSSA registered over 25 percent increase in container volume handled.

    Atlantic Shipping Company Inc was established in 17 February 1995 to respond to the increasing need for a regular and reliable maritime link between the United States and Cape Verde. The company launched its first voyage to West Africa in May of the same year. In May 1999 Atlantic Shipping also began regular services to the port of Ponta Delgada in Sao Miguel, Azores.

    TSSA is a subsidiary of ICTSI, a leading developer in international container terminal operations. Headquartered in the Philippines, ICTSI has container terminal operations in six continents.


    Shipping is part of the solution, not the problem

    The International Chamber of Shipping and the International Shipping Federation have jointly called for greater recognition of the maritime industry’s role in minimising transport-related pollution.

    The shipping industry lobby groups were responding to a maritime policy paper from the European Commission (EC). They said that too little emphasis had been given to “the extent to which shipping is part of the solution, rather than the problem, with regard to concerns about global warming.”

    In a formal reaction to the paper, they said that although CO˛ emissions from shipping were greater than from aviation, this had to be seen in the context of shipping carrying 90 percent of the European Union’s (EU) external trade.

    The two shipping groups also questioned the policy of seeking full EU membership of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). They warned it might weaken the influence of individual EU member states.

    The EC policy paper was originally published in June.

    Source - Oceanintelligence.com


    CPIX unchanged at 5 percent

    by Oupa Segalwe, BuaNews

    Year-on-year consumer price inflation excluding mortgage costs (CPIX) has remained unchanged at 5 percent in November from October 2006, Statistics South Africa revealed on Wednesday.

    The CPIX is a yardstick used to measure changes in the price of a given "shopping basket" of goods and services of an average South African household, excluding inflationary effects of interests rates on mortgage bonds.

    This "basket" consists of about 1,500 different consumer goods and services, which are classified into more than 40 groups and sub-groups, for which separate indices are constructed.

    Stats SA again attributed the annual increase to price indices for food (+2.3 percentage points), housing (+ 0.6 of a percentage point), medical care and health expenses (+ 0.6 of a percentage point), and education (+ 0.4 of a percentage point).

    Fuel and power also contributed with an increase of 0.3 percentage point), transport (+ 0.3 of a percentage point), alcoholic beverages (+ 0.2 of a percentage point) while household operations and personal care all increased by 0.2 of a percentage point.

    These increases were however slightly counteracted by an annual decrease in the price index for clothing and footwear which decreased by 0.3 percent.

    The headline inflation (CPI), which includes mortgage costs, also remained unchanged at 5.4 percent in November from October this year.

    Stats SA said this was due to relatively large annual contributions in price indices for food (+2.1 percentage points), housing (+1.6 of a percentage point), medical and health care expenses (+ 0.5 of a percentage point), fuel and power (+ 0.3 of a percentage point), transport (+ 0.3 of a percentage point) and education (+ 0.3 of a percentage point).

    These were slightly counteracted by an annual decrease in the price indexes for clothing and footwear which showed a decrease of a 0.3 percentage point.

    Gauteng-based economist Simon Mohapi told BuaNews the figures indicated that South Africa still had a problem regarding food inflation.

    "It looks like inflation will be outside the [South African Reserve Bank] target. In the first quarter of 2007, we are likely to be in excess of 6 percent inflation, falling outside the target," he projected.

    The Reserve Bank has set an inflation target range of between 3 and 6 percent.

    Mr Mohapi warned that if inflation could fall outside the target range, it could necessitate an increase in the prime lending rate.

    Earlier this month Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni indicated that inflation had continued its upward trend but also said it was still within the target range.

    "Food price inflation increased from a year-on-year rate of 7.2 percent in August 2006 to 7.9 percent and 9.4 per cent in September and October respectively," Mr Mboweni said.

    He was speaking during the announcement of the repo rate following the meeting of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

    The MPC had hiked the repo rate by 50 basis points to nine percent.

    The repo rate is the rate at which the Reserve Bank lends money to commercial banks.

    Mr Mboweni named inflationary pressures as one of the major contributing factors to the hike.

    Last week the National Agricultural Marketing Council reported that based on the 75 food products it monitored at retail level, the cost of the basket of food was R934.61 by October this year.

    This indicated a 7.3 per cent increase (R63.39) compared to R871.22 it had cost in the same month last year.


    Surprise new role for former SAS Outeniqua


    SAS Outeniqua seen sailing from Durban harbour on one of her final operational cruises to East Africa to participate in joint exercises with navies of France and East Africa. Picture Terry Hutson. Click image to enlarge

    The former South African Navy fleet replenishment ship SAS OUTENIQUA, which was decommissioned several years ago after only 11 years with the navy, has been sold once again and is to become a floating hotel (or flotel) for the North Sea oil industry.

    This follows her acquisition by Scotland’s C&M Marine Services who are investing US $ 100 million in the purchase and conversion of the former Russian and South African navy ship, which since her decommissioning has operated with the name PAARDEBERG.

    In this guise and as a cargo vessel operating along the African coast which apparently included one or two trips to the Antarctic, the ice-strengthened ship has nevertheless not been a success and her further disposal comes as no real surprise.

    When she is re-commissioned as the construction vessel ICE MAIDEN it will be to transport and house a workforce of about 400 oil workers, hopefully in the North Sea say the new owners who intend chartering her to one of the major North Sea operators. The 14,000-ton Class AAA ice ship is currently undergoing conversion in Mobile, Alabama.

    C&M Marine, which was recently the subject of a management buy-out, says it intends becoming one of Scotland’s largest marine engineering companies.


    DRC says pay in advance for cargo inspection

    According to a report from the French West African shipping specialist OT Africa Line, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) requires that all cargo entering the country as from 1 January 2007 should first have been inspected by Bureau Veritas ahead of departure.

    The requirement is in line with DRC ministerial decree no.106 and stems from earlier regulations that were put in place to stem smuggling and trade fraud.

    Source: OT Africa Line


    Pic of the day – HMS Scott

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice


    The Royal Navy survey ship HMS Scott (H131) seen arriving in Cape Town yesterday morning. Displacing 13,000 tons, the 131m long ship is the only one of her class in the British Royal Navy and is powered by twin diesels driving a single shaft for a speed of about 17.5 knots. The ship is crewed by up to 42 civilians. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    NB Pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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