Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 7, 2007
Author: P&S


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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Cruise ship SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE cancels cruise after being caught in cyclone


  • Coega Development Corp distances itself from oil refinery announcement


  • Phosphoric acid spill at Richards Bay harbour


  • Nigeria’s Federal Government gets tough with Delta militants


  • SA business confidence high, but sensitive to outside forces


  • Pic of the day – SEA POWER






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    Cruise ship SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE cancels cruise after being caught in cyclone

    Living up to its name, the cruise ship SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE had an adventurous time of it when caught in cyclone Gamede east of Madagascar last week. This turned out to be not an adventure that many of the passengers on board would have greatly appreciated – from all accounts the storm tossed the ship about to the extent that furniture and even a grand piano were thrown loose in the public areas.

    The SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE is now owned and managed by UK-group Saga Cruises and is the former BERLIN of Peter Deilmannn Reederei, the German cruise operator who also owns and operates the DEUTSCHLAND.

    SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE’s current cruise in the Indian Ocean ended abruptly as the ship was caught on the fringes of the cyclone resulting in a decision to make for the shelter of the nearest appropriate port – in this case Antsiranana in northern Madagascar.


    Spirit of Adventure at Istanbul in January this year, photographed by Brian Fisher and courtesy www.shipspotting.com

    It was discovered here that rope had entangled the propeller resulting in some underwater complications. The ship has now been booked into the Durban dry dock where she is due tomorrow (Thursday).

    Meanwhile with the cruise officially cancelled Saga Cruises made arrangements to fly the 250 passengers to the capital Antananarivo from where they could return to the UK. This proved quite a difficult task in itself as there are no large aircraft in the port city of Antsiranana and passengers had to be ferried in relays using smaller airplanes.


    Coega Development Corp distances itself from oil refinery announcement

    The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has taken the unusual step of distancing itself from an announcement planned for yesterday that Bidevco, a local empowerment company in partnership with an international company, intended building a multi-billion rand oil refinery at Coega near Port Elizabeth.

    An article in the EP Herald newspaper said that Bidevco would make an announcement of a pre-feasibility study on the project at 16.00 yesterday. The announcement was to be made from the offices of CDC, said the report.

    “The CDC will neither be making an investment announcement, not will there be an announcement of any kind at its Humerail offices today,” said the CDC in its statement.

    It said the company, as an investment promotion agency was having ongoing discussions with a wide range of potential investors across a range of various industry sectors, including oil refining.

    “The company that is the source of the story in the Herald today, Bidevco, which is planning to make an announcement of a pre-feasibility study of their project today, is one of many other companies the CDC engages with on possible investment projects. The CDC is in discussions with a number of other companies that, similarly to Bidevco, are also looking at possible oil refining projects in the Coega IDZ. None of the discussions on these projects have reached a stage where the CDC would want to make an announcement on them. In addition, the Coega IDZ is only one of a number of sites that Bidevco is looking at for a potential location.”

    According to the newspaper report Bidevco has reached agreement with several international investors including K Inada of Japan.


    Phosphoric acid spill at Richards Bay harbour

    Richards Bay, 6 March - At approximately 10.15, during the loading of a phosphoric acid ship, the pipeline that transports Foskor’s phosphoric acid to the harbour for export, developed a leak inside a manhole where two sections of pipe are joined with a butt-weld.

    The leak was reported to Foskor’s Material Handling section that was stationed at the Port during loading of the acid, who immediately stopped the operations, investigated the area of the leak and cordoned off the area. Foskor’s Proto Team was immediately notified and responded to the scene.

    Foskor’s Proto Team arrived at 10.40, further cordoned off the affected area and neutralised the acid with lime and created a berm. The stormwater drains were blocked-off to recover the acid and to prevent acid entering the harbour. The line was “stripped” of acid and brought back to Foskor by tankers.

    A Supersucker was also at hand to remove residual acid from the line and drains and brought back to Foskor. The neutralised acid was manually cleaned and placed into skips and will be disposed off to the WasteMan Bul-Bul Landfill site.

    Approximately fifty five (55 m3) cubic meters of phosphoric acid was spilled onto the roadway and drain. All the regulatory authorities were telephonically notified. The National Ports Authority Emergency Services and Environmental Section were at hand to monitor the clean-up operations.

    “Our team of experts are assessing the situation and will advise us about what caused the leak and how to improve safety in our plant. As an organisation, the safety of our staff, community members and the environment remain our top priority. We are happy that no person was hurt or affected during the incident. A detailed report will be submitted on completion of the incident investigation” said Mr Neel Naidoo of Foskor.

    source – Foskor press release


    Nigeria’s Federal Government gets tough with Delta militants

    Nigeria’s Federal Government, fed up with repeated attacks on oil installations and personnel in the Niger Delta, this week confirmed the acquisition of new gun boats and other weapons to be used in eliminating the risk of further attacks.

    According to Defence Minister Thomas Aguyi-Ironsi, the Federal Government would no longer tolerate what he called criminals masquerading as militants who attack and disrupt economic activity in the region.

    He was speaking from the Joint Task Force headquarters in the port city of Warri, Delta State and gave his assurance to oil companies of adequate security in future. He added that local people need not think the increased military presence was directed against them but was there to safeguard life and property and to prevent the actions of criminals.

    Nigeria is losing a considerable proportion of oil revenues each month from operations that have been shut down because of militant activity.

    In December PORTS & SHIPS announced that Nigeria had procured four fast attack patrol boats, four armed catamarans, two inshore patrol boats and five US Defender patrol boats which were, along with a frigate to be deployed to the Delta region as a deterrent against continued militant attacks on oil installations. In addition helicopters were to be sent to assist with patrols.

    Our article said that an exercise would first be held off the Guinea coast ahead of the Delta deployment, which has now presumably been concluded.

    source – Daily Champion and own sources


    SA business confidence high, but sensitive to outside forces

    by Themba Gadebe, BuaNews

    South Africa's business confidence remains high but could be volatile due to its sensitivity to the international influence of price movements and the balance payment position, says the South African Chamber of Business (SACOB).

    "Business confidence can even become erratic if the sectors that drive the economy are largely sensitive to the abovementioned issues," SACOB said Tuesday, after releasing the Business Confidence Index (BCI) for February 2007.

    The February BCI registered 100.5, a decline compared to January's 101.5 and the record high of 103.5 of December 2006.

    SACOB said six of 13 sub-indices contributing to the overall figure had a negative effect on the BCI during February, while seven had a positive influence.

    "Compared to the BCI figures for January and February 2006, the 2007 January and February levels were the worst annual start for business confidence since 2002.

    "It seems that business confidence has tilted towards a more volatile course," the chamber said.

    The BCI is a composite, weighted index of thirteen sub-indices compiled by various economic indicators.

    The indicators are monitored and judged to assess the mood of businesses operating in South Africa.

    SACOB warned that business confidence may experience more volatility in the process of moderating to lower levels over the short term.

    "Due to global uncertainty, however, care should be taken that local issues and approaches thereto do not add to already fragile and sensitive conditions that affect business confidence."

    The chamber said the uncertainty that began with developments in the Chinese economy and related future and past corrections to this, could play a profound role in a global context.

    SACOB further noted that the recently tabled national budget for 2007/8 did not have discernible effect on business confidence.

    "The changes to Secondary Tax on Companies (STC) and the abolishment of taxes on savings were corrections that were long overdue," it said.

    While SACOB welcomed additional measures to combat crime, it said results in the immediate future were of greater concern to business confidence.


    Pic of the day – SEA POWER

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice


    The general cargo ship SEA POWER in Durban harbour, proceeding along the Maydon Channel towards her berth on the wharf. Picture Terry Hutson

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

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