Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 19, 2007
Author: P&S


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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • SAPO takes delivery of new hi-tech equipment for Durban’s second container terminal

  • IMO secretary-general visits South Africa

  • Search for missing seamen off Cape coast continues

  • US 9/11 Bill deemed unworkable

  • SOMALIA: UN calls for immediate re-engagement

  • MSC ship abandoned by crew in channel

  • Pic of the day – ORIBI




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    SAPO takes delivery of new hi-tech equipment for Durban’s second container terminal


    Although operations at South African Port Operations Pier 1 terminal temporarily closed in December last year, the terminal is currently a hive of activity in keeping with a R2-billion development plan to establish Pier 1 as a high performance container terminal.

    The drive by SAPO is intended to create additional capacity and ensure readiness before the peak period and ultimately handle 720,000 TEU's by the end of 2007. Pier 1 is to become Durban’s second container terminal.

    The acceleration plan is in line with SAPO’s strategic objective of creating capacity before demand as Transnet has earmarked Pier 1 as a high performance terminal. This will be achieved by capacity migration which includes enhancing infrastructure, superstructure, recruitment and training.

    Pier 1 Container Terminal has been temporarily closed from 29 December 2006 until May this year. No operations are possible at the terminal during this period as the entire area will be under construction in order to ensure completion of the new upgraded terminal.

    To date 30 percent of the civil works have been completed including the RTG and STS erection sites between Berths 105 and 103 and quayside of Berth 104. In addition, preparation has also begun at the rail terminal to ensure seamless operations between the landside and rail operation.

    When operations resume at the end of the first phase in May 2007, Pier 1 will start up with one berth, 2 ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes and 6 Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes.

    This is the first time SAPO is utilizing the RTG operations and the equipment is the first of its kind in SA, with ergonomic features to enhance comfort and productivity.

    SAPO has taken delivery of 4 RTG's and 2 STS gantry cranes which are currently being assembled in the newly constructed erection yards. The first two RTG's will be commissioned at the end of the month and the first two STS cranes will be commissioned by the end of April.

    By the end of August 2007, the terminal will have 3 berths, 5 STS cranes and 12 RTGs. An additional 6 RTGs and 1 STS crane will be delivered at the end of 2007. The terminal has already received 33 tractor trailers, 2 Reach Stackers and 2 Empty Container Haulers (ECH).

    The recruitment and selection process of critical appointments such as RTG and STS operators, planners and operational managers has been completed and these candidates will embark on intensive on-site training from February.

    Hamilton Nxumalo GM: Equipment, Engineering and Asset Management said the development at Pier 1 is very exciting and ground breaking. “We are creating a completely new terminal with brand new equipment and new skills.

    “Another exciting and new development is that SAPO is installing a new IT system, Navies a world leader in logistics and operations which is expected to enhance flexibility for RTG's and promote automation and integration.

    “A SAPO delegation is currently receiving training on the system in the US and will train the operational planners when they return.”

    He added that the two terminals, Durban Container Terminal and Pier 1 Container Terminal will have a capacity in excess of 3 million TEU's by December 2007.

    Nxumalo added that he was confident that the current integrated approach would assist SAPO in meeting and exceeding customer expectations.


    IMO secretary-general visits South Africa

    Secretary-general of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Efthimios Mitropoulos has arrived in South Africa to hold talks with local maritime and other authorities.

    The IMO is the official maritime body of the United Nations and the laws and regulations it brings into force are generally binding on all UN member nations.

    This is the first time Mitropoulos has visited South Africa since his appointment several years ago.

    One of his first functions in the country has been to commission the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre) in Cape Town as one of three regional MRCC centres for Africa (see our News report of yesterday 18 January).


    Search for missing seamen off Cape coast continues

    A search for two crewmen off a tuna fishing boat that sank on Wednesday night off Cape Point was continuing late yesterday, despite fading hope that the men had survived the sinking.

    The 40ft tuna boat named SHAKA experienced sudden flooding of its engine room and sank shortly afterwards. The crew of four managed to send off flares and another fishing vessel named GROWLER hurried to the scene and picked up two crewmen in a life raft.

    However the survivors reported that two others including the skipper of the vessel had drowned.

    The sinking took place about 20 n.miles off Cape Point. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) immediately sent several lifeboats from Hout Bay and Simon’s Town and the search continued for most of the day. An aircraft from 35 Squadron and a helicopter from 22 Squadron of the South African Air Force also took part in the search.


    US 9/11 bill deemed unworkable

    An increasing number of critics including US Customs brokers have reacted negatively to the so-called 9/11 Bill by saying it will simply not work.

    The Bill, passed recently by the US House of Representatives, provides for 100 percent of incoming (import) containers to be inspected on arrival at US ports.

    However critics say it will impact negatively on efficiencies at the container terminals and will drastically slow the flow of commerce while increasing the cost of goods and services.

    World Shipping Council president Chris Koch told the British shipping journal Fairplay yesterday that he doubted the House version of the Bill would ever become law as it still had to receive approval of the Senate, which he felt confident would take a more studied approach to the issue.


    SOMALIA: UN calls for immediate re-engagement

    Nairobi, 18 Jan 2007 (IRIN) - The United Nations wants the international community to re-engage in Somalia to take advantage of a "window of opportunity", the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Eric Laroche, said.

    "The people are war-weary after more than 15 years of conflict, instability and insecurity," said Laroche on Wednesday. "We need to resume as soon as possible high-impact projects in the capital that support stabilisation and make a visible difference in peoples’ lives."

    A western diplomat involved in Somalia, who requested anonymity, told IRIN that "although the timing may not be perfect, re-engagement must begin now and the UN is right to take the lead".

    He said the UN may have "some problems in the beginning but that should not stop the initiative."

    Philippe Lazzarini, who heads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Somalia, said some of the programmes expected to take priority were "back-to-school programmes, sanitation, income-generation activities and resettling internally displaced people, most of whom occupy government buildings, and the demobilisation and reintegration of militias".

    Lazzarini said it was time "to be positive about Somalia and support any initiative that would contribute to the stabilisation and improvement of the daily lives of people".

    "If we don't act quickly though, this opportunity may pass," Laroche said. "It's imperative that we act now so as not to lose the momentum for reconciliation that currently exists in Somalia."

    In the capital, Mogadishu, civil society welcomed the UN's call, saying "the time was right".

    "Their [UN] presence will contribute to stability and reconciliation and will help the economy," said a source. An estimated 1.4 million Somalis need humanitarian aid.

    He said priority should be given to job creation. "We need to immediately create employment for the thousands of young unemployed people in Mogadishu. If they are not given an alternative to the gun, they will return to it, with all the consequences that entails."

    Meanwhile, there have been negative reactions to the removal of Hassan Sheikh Adan as speaker of the transitional parliament.

    At a news conference on Wednesday in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, the United States ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, questioned the legality of the speaker's removal. He asked whether the decision complied with parliamentary procedures and whether the requirements of the transitional federal charter, Somalia's interim constitution, were observed.

    "Was there a proper forum of parliament? Were the stated procedures of parliament followed? Were the procedures and parameters of the transitional federal charter followed?" Ranneberger asked.

    Another western diplomat said the action "was likely to be an obstruction to national reconciliation. It was done under questionable legality given the state of emergency."

    Members of civil society in Somalia decried the move, saying it was "likely to create new divisions. The government should have taken steps to promote national reconciliation rather than create more divisions," said the source.

    The Somali parliament, meeting in the town of Baidao on Wednesday, said it had ousted Adan, who has clashed with President Abdullahi Yusuf and Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Gedi over his efforts to broker peace with the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC). Ethiopian-backed government troops ousted the UIC from Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia in late December.

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


    MSC container ship abandoned by crew in channel - UPDATED

    The crew of 26 from the 4,700-TEU container ship MSC NAPOLI have been rescued after their ship began listing dangerously yesterday in the English Channel.

    The UK-registered ship (53,409-gt), which was built in 1991, is managed by Zodiac Maritime Agencies in London and on charter to MSC.

    According to reports the vessel began taking water in the engine room shortly after sustaining damage to the hull from an undisclosed cause. The ship then began to list and a distress signal was issued before the crew took to the lifeboats. Reports that the MSC NAPOLI sank shortly afterwards proved premature and the latest news is that the vessel has been taken under tow. The entire crew was hoisted from the lifeboats by rescue helicopters.

    MSC NAPOLI sailed from Antwerp bound for the Far East but had experienced a heavy storm with force 9 winds and a swell of between 8 and 9 metres. Her immediate previous voyage was to South Africa, the ship having sailed from SA ports during December 2006.


    Pic of the day – ORIBI

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice


    The 4,700-gt Unicorn Tankers ORIBI sailed from Durban yesterday afternoon, bound for the coast. The ship, the former MARBELLA, replaced a 30-year occupant on Unicorn’s coastal tanker service, the ORANJEMUND, in early 2006. Picture Terry Hutson


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

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