Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 1, 2007
Author: P&S


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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Look to India, South African coal exporters told

  • Mossel Bay cannery gets effective go-ahead as action group pulls out

  • Tanzanian railway concession hits a stop block

  • Pic of the day – AFRICAN IMPALA





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    Look to India, South African coal exporters told

    India is emerging as potentially South Africa’s next major buyer of steam coal, primarily to feed a number of new thermal power stations including four of 4,000 MW in India.

    This was one of the messages coming from the McCloskey 2nd Coal Export Conference which concluded in Cape Town yesterday (Wednesday).

    The conference heard that during 2006 India imported 3.5 million tonnes of steam coal through Richards Bay an amount which analysts at the conference said is expected to increase as the new power stations come on stream.

    According to Gerald McCloskey, chairman of the McCloskey Group, India will become a major force in the future with demand for up to 100mt of imports annually. During the coming year he forecast that India will export about 10mt less coal while importing an additional 10mt. Richards Bay was strategically well placed to fill some of this market and he advised exporters to begin talking now to the Indian traders.

    He also cautioned South African producers that they would face competition from Indonesia and possibly Mozambique.

    “India will demand a long term supplier,” he said while raising the question as to whether Richards Bay and South Africa can guarantee any increase in exports.

    Richards Bay Coal Terminal is currently gearing up to increase its capacity from 72mt/pa to 91mt/pa but there are concerns about the ability of rail to absorb this increase. At the same time Eskom (the national electricity utility) is increasing its demand on coal supplies to meet South Africa’s surging economy and is returning a number of mothballed power stations back into service to meet the demand.

    Rob Lines, Eskom GM, Generation Primary Energy said Eskom would diversify in the long term in what he described as a subtle move away from coal towards cleaner energy sources. He said that 86 percent of Eskom’s power was currently being generated from coal but environmental demands required the utility to reduce this to 70 percent by 2025. Nevertheless Eskom’s demand for more coal was increasing and placing added strain of South Africa’s ability to supply.

    It was also revealed that during January (2007) Richards Bay exports were down by over 400,000 tonnes from anticipated figures. No reason has been given for the shortfall but some analysts point out that the demand from Europe, South Africa’s main market, was low at the time.

    During January the Richards Bay coal line also experienced its first derailment of the year. In 2006 the line suffered from a number of accidents that disrupted deliveries to the port and may have played a part in the downturn in exports for the month.


    Mossel bay fish cannery gets effective go-ahead as action group pulls out

    After having threatened legal action to halt the construction of a fish factory within the Mossel Bay harbour precinct, the community Action Now group has pulled out and disbanded.

    According to a report in the newspaper EP Herald the group’s decision was the result of the high costs of litigation – said to be as much as R500,000 if it were to pursue the matter as far as the Supreme Court.

    The group said in a statement to the newspaper that they did not have that sort of money and were now attempting to obtain baseline data on noise and pollution before the factory starts production. This would enable it to have accurate information to assist with monitoring any deterioration in the environment.

    The action group concerns centred around the positioning of the cannery which it said would lead to additional traffic through the centre of the town and to pollution in Mossel Bay itself, particularly from blood water being washed into the bay which it feared would attract sharks.

    Action Now had hoped to receive support from government officials but when this was not forthcoming – which they took as an indication that government supported the building of the factory within the harbour - it was realised that only litigation through the courts could halt proceedings.

    Earlier the group emphasised it wasn’t against building the factory in Mossel Bay provided it was located away from the town centre and harbour.

    The company building the factory, Afro Fishing Company is relocating from the west coast as a result of lower pilchard catches in those waters. The factory is now expected to be completed by mid 2007.


    Tanzanian railway concession hits a stop block

    An air of uncertainty hangs over the signing of the concession to operate the Tanzanian Railways Corporation (TRC) after it transpired that a member of the consortium awarded the concession may be placed in receivership.

    The railway concession has been awarded to the Rites Consortium of India and was due to be signed in two month time. Now it turns out that a member of the consortium faces being placed in receivership after two creditors brought action against the company in the Tanzanian High Court.

    The partner facing the legal complication is Gapco Tanzania Ltd, a subsidiary of Mauritius-based Gulf Africa Petroleum Co (Gapco). Together with Rites it holds 51 percent of the shares in the concession to operate the railway company for a period of 25 years.

    TRC operates 2,715km of railway track plus locomotives and rolling stock and other infrastructure and serves not only Tanzania but also links the port of Dar es Salaam with landlocked countries Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

    Gapco Tanzania has large oil and petroleum interests in East Africa with a wide network of petrol stations in a number of countries in the region, but less than three weeks ago Barclays Bank Plc and Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania Ltd filed an application in the High Court of Tanzanian seeking detention and preservation of the assets of Gapco Tanzania Ltd and associated company Gapoil Tanzania Ltd’s.

    Source - East African


    Pic of the day – AFRICAN IMPALA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice


    Scenes like this are soon to disappear for ever as the widening and deepening of the entrance channel at the port of Durban gets underway, taking with it’s the old King’s Battery emplacements dating back to World War II, which has more recently been used as restaurants and pubs with grand close-up views of ships entering or leaving the port. The ship approaching is AFRICAN IMPALA. Picture Terry Hutson

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

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

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