Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 28, 2007
Author: P&S


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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Arrests made but UN ship still in pirates’ hands


  • Maputo bunker barge update


  • Conakry reopened to shipping


  • Durban’s Pier 1 Container Terminal on target for May deadline


  • Tanzania to export textiles duty free to Southern Africa


  • Pic of the day – BBC ECUADOR






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    Arrests made but UN ship still in pirates’ hands

    UN News Service (New York) February 27, 2007 - Authorities in northern Somalia today arrested four men alleged to be part of a group that hijacked a United Nations-contracted food aid ship, although the vessel itself and its 12-member crew still remained in the hands of the pirates six miles off the coast.

    "The arrest is welcome news, but the safe release of the crew and the vessel remains our chief concern," UN World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director Peter Goossens said. "We very much hope this ordeal will finish soon."

    The four men were arrested when they went ashore to buy supplies in the town of Bargal in Puntland, but four other hijackers remain in control of the MV Rozen, which was seized by the pirates on Sunday shortly after it unloaded 1,800 metric tonnes of food aid and equipment - the fourth such attack on UN supply vessels off the strife-ridden East African country in 20 months.

    The ship, with its crew of six Sri Lankans, including the captain, and six Kenyans, is now reported to be surrounded by five of the Puntland authorities' police and sailing southward.

    "We are appealing for the safe return of the crew and the vessel as soon as possible, and for people to respect the need for humanitarian delivery corridors," Mr. Goossens said. "Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, and there are families whose lives depend on our ability to get food aid through."

    In 2005, after two earlier hijackings, WFP temporarily suspended deliveries of food aid by sea for some weeks, but since then sea deliveries have been uninterrupted, even during the worst days of the conflict between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) at the end of last year. The MV Rozen itself escaped an attempted hijack in southern Somali waters last year.

    In 2006, WFP delivered some 78,000 metric tonnes of relief food to 1.4 million people affected by drought and floods in southern Somalia.


    Maputo bunker barge update


    Fuel Barge 1 in Maputo Harbour. Picture Sturrock Shipping

    Ports & Ships reported earlier (on 16 February) the arrival of a bunker barge service at the port of Maputo, the first such barge to enter service in the Mozambique port.

    Now, courtesy of Sturrock Shipping ENews we can provide a little more information about the barge and the service offered.

    The vessel, operated by Kangaroo Bunkers Mocambique Limitada is the FUEL BARGE 1, a self-propelled double bottom vessel with a 3,000 tonne capacity.

    According to Sturrock Shipping the barge will be able to supply 180 cst Fuel Oil RME 25 with intermediates from 30 cst to 120 cst, volumes up to 2,000 mt. “The barge will also be able to supply Gasoil, up to 1,000 mt, as well as freight water. The idea is to be able to deliver lub oil in drums as well, however sufficient advance notice will be required in order to arrange this.”

    The intention is to offer a top-up service to ships already calling at Maputo but will also be available for bunker-only vessels capable of entering the port’s inner anchorage.

    Until now the nearest bunker supplies have been at Richards Bay or Durban – bunker deliveries at Maputo were only available by road delivery.

    Sturrock advises that enquiries can be directed to Alan Bremner at the Sturrock Shipping Maputo office, as follows:
    Tel: +258 (0)21 315153 / Fax: +258 (0)21 306098
    Email: agency.maputo-mozambique.com or
    alanb@sturrock-mozambique.com

    source – courtesy Sturrock Shipping ENews


    Conakry reopened to shipping

    Guinea, 27 February 2007 - Amidst reports from the UN Regional Information Networks (IRIN) that Guinea’s union leaders have lifted the strike that paralysed the West African country, including shutting the port of Conakry, come separate indications that the port has reopened although it remains heavily congested.

    It is anticipated that it will take several weeks or longer to clear the backlog of cargo that was discharged hurriedly in the port shortly before the state of emergency was imposed earlier in February

    From all accounts the country’s parliament voted against extending the state of emergency.

    The dispute leading to the strife concerned the appointment by President Lansana Conte, of a new prime minister. His initial choice, close friend Eugene Camara sparked the riots but Camara has now been replaced by a former diplomat Lansana Kouyate – an appointment that appears to have been more favourably accepted.

    Kouyate was one of four candidates proposed by civil leaders throughout the country. Until this week he has been executive secretary of ECOWAS, the West African regional body


    Durban’s Pier 1 Container Terminal on target for May deadline

    SAPO, Durban, 27 February - While 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, says SA Port Operations in a statement issued on Tuesday.

    ‘The drive by SAPO, a core division of Transnet is intended to create additional capacity, ensure readiness before the peak period and ultimately handle 720,000 TEU by the end of 2007.

    ‘The acceleration plan is in line with SAPO’s strategic objective of creating capacity before demand. This will be achieved by capacity migration which includes enhancing infrastructure, superstructure, recruitment and training.

    ‘When the terminal re-opens it will be in Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) mode to optimise efficiency and space utilization – a first for South African terminals.

    ‘Pier 1 will start up with one berth, 2 ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes and 6 RTGs. 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.

    ‘Four RTGs have already been assembled and are currently being commissioned to ensure that they are operational by the May go live deadline.

    ‘The RTG is an impressive 13.7metres wide (or seven lanes wide i.e. across six containers and one lane for a truck) and 26 metres high.

    ‘It has numerous benefits namely the driver’s cabin is extremely hi-tech featuring a computerised system that is able to detect its own faults.

    ‘In addition it has been designed to take into account the operator’s comfort and ergonomic consideration as it has an air conditioner and heater installed.’

    source – South African Port Operations


    Tanzania to export textiles duty free to Southern Africa

    In terms of a deal struck with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Tanzanian textiles and garments may again be exported duty-free into the region.

    According to a report published by the East African newspaper, Tanzania has been granted a five-year license to export to SACU member states. The new license comes shortly after a six-month interim agreement expired – this in turn followed an earlier agreement struck in 2001.

    The report says that the agreement allowssd Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia (MMTZ countries) to export textile products to SACU member states on an export quota basis for five years.

    source – East African


    Pic of the day – BBC ECUADOR

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice


    Project cargo vessels are always interesting because of the cargo they carry – very often heavy machinery of factory parts to be assembled in some remote part of the world far from the place of manufacture – adding to the romance that makes up shipping. The project cargo ship here is BBC ECUADOR in Cape Town harbour with just such a cargo. Mainport Africa are the agents for the BBC vessels. Picture by Ian Shiffman


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

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