Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 15, 2007
Author: P&S





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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • SA port statistics for May

  • Cape Town to host some interesting ships

  • Transnet plans new inland container terminal

  • Mozambique Nacala railway under new threat from theft

  • Getting on top of Saldanha port dust problem

  • SAECS vessel omits Las Palmas

  • Pic of the day – NORILSK




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    SA port statistics for May

    In May South African ports experienced an upturn in total cargo handled compared with the previous month. The improvement is due mainly to improved ore exports from Richards Bay and Saldanha.

    The figures mentioned above do not include tonnage for containers which the National Ports Authority no longer records by weight whereas the more detailed figures shown below includes an estimate of container tonnages based on a conservative figure of 13,5 tonne per TEU to arrive at the adjusted total.

    Taking this container adjustment into account therefore the figure handled by all ports during May becomes 20.713 million tonnes (April adjusted was 18.398Mt).

    Including the re-calculated figure for containers, the respective ports handled the following:

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay                 8.282 million tonnes (Apr 5.916Mt)
    Durban                         6.247 Mt (Apr 6.683)
    Saldanha Bay                3.601 Mt (Apr 3.349)
    Cape Town                   1.328 Mt (Apr 1.158)
    Port Elizabeth                0.922 Mt (Apr 1.015)
    East London                  0.161 Mt (Apr 0.157)
    Mossel Bay                    0.172 Mt (Apr 0.120)

    Total cargo by tonnes 20.713 million tonnes (April 18.398mt)

    Containers measured by TEUs
    (TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Tranship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA)

    Durban                         201,324 TEU (Apr 222,448)
    Cape Town                     66,905 (Apr 68,607)
    Port Elizabeth                  35,794 (Apr 37,538)
    East London                      1,272 (Apr 3,001)
    Richards Bay                        620 (Apr 938)

    Total handled 305,915 TEU (Apr 332,532)


    Ship Calls

    Durban:               381 vessels 8.210m gt (364 vessels 8.352m gt)
    Cape Town:          273 vessels 3.996m gt (280 vessels 4.368m gt)
    Port Elizabeth:       104 vessels 2.469m gt (127 vessels 2.604m gt)
    Richards Bay:        126 vessels 4.275m gt (148 vessels 5.338m gt)
    Saldanha:               35 vessels 1,925m gt (38 vessels 1,800m gt)
    East London:           25 vessels 0.666m gt (24 vessels 0.652m gt)
    Mossel Bay:           183 vessels 0.308m gt (235 vessels 0.237m gt)

    - source NPA plus adjustments by Ports & Ships to include container weights


    Cape Town to host some interesting ships

    The Dockwise semi-submersible heavylift vessel MIGHTY SERVANT 3 is due in Cape Town this Sunday 17 June under tow behind the Chinese offshore tug DE HONG (3170-gt) following the heavylift’s successful salvage by SMIT Salvage off Luanda.

    Mighty Servant 3 developed a list on the morning of 6 December 2006, shortly after floating off the drilling platform ALEUTIAN KEY. The crew of 21 was able to leave the ship in safety as their ship sank in a depth of 52 metres.

    The exact ETA in Cape Town is difficult to predict as the speed of the tow is subject to weather conditions.

    Following a complete diving survey and the removal of the vessel’s bunker oil and pollutants, SMIT Salvage was contracted to salvage the sunken vessel and ‘give her a second life.’

    This was achieved by means of bringing in the sheerlegs TAKLIFT 7 and pressurising various compartments in the vessel with compressed air. Initially the bow was refloated and stabilised after which the stern was lifted off the ocean bed.

    According to the salvors the vessel will be inspected in the dry dock at Cape Town and options reviewed to refurbish and reinstate the vessel as soon as practically possible. From Cape Town she will move onwards to whichever yard that is awarded the contract to perform the refurbishment.

    Another arrival of interest for Cape Town is the French Navy amphibious dock landing ship FNS Tonnerre (L-9014). As far as Ports & Ships is aware this will be her first visit to South Africa (we will be happy for any correction).

    The ship, which was completed in 2005 and displaces some 20,000 tonnes and can carry a flight of between 16 and 20 helicopters as well as two hovercraft, arrives in the Mother City on 25 June for a short stay.



    Transnet plans new inland container terminal

    Transnet says it is undertaking a feasibility study for a new logistics hub that will complement City Deep outside Johannnesburg and become part of a new Gauteng freight rail ring.

    The idea behind the rail ring is to overcome existing problems with a dedicated rail line. Freight trains in the metropolitan areas are frequently delayed by having to play second fiddle to Metro suburban trains which have priority on the lines (most railway lines in the metropolitan areas of South Africa are ‘owned’ by Metro Rail and scheduled passenger services have priority).

    The proposal is looking at building a new logistics hub, or inland container terminal in the Springs area on the East Rand, where Transnet has extensive property.

    Transnet says that Spoornet is focusing on container and motor vehicle cargo for the main railway line between Durban and Gauteng, the country’s busiest general cargo line. Much of the containerised rail traffic is taken to or departs from City Deep.

    It is estimated that 50.1 million tonnes of cargo will be conveyed by road and rail between Durban and Gauteng by 2009, of which maybe 25 percent will be on rail. This figure will increase to 69.4mt in 2019 and 84mt by 2025. At current rates an estimated 20mt of cargo moving between the two centres is containerised cargo and Spoornet operates with a service average of two block trains a day.

    Transnet is investing large amounts of capital in new locomotives and other rolling stock including 220 electric locomotives for the general freight lines, of which the majority are expected to go into use on the Durban-Gauteng corridor.



    Mozambique Nacala railway under new threat from theft

    Thieves have struck again on the railway between the port of Nacala and the Malawi border in northern Mozambique, removing screws and supports from railway sleepers supporting the railway track, reports the Maputo newspaper Noticias.

    The paper says the theft is costing the railway operator, CDN an estimated US $ 90,000. More than 9,000 screws and supports have been taken and to show just how cheeky the thieves are proving, most of the missing supports have been taken within two kilometres of the Nacala port, just outside the town.

    In past years theft of screws and other supporting material including whole sleepers led to the deterioration of the line but in most instances this was far inland and away from any town or city. The matter was brought largely under control after measures were introduced involving the local communities.

    Most of the missing components will have to be replaced with imports as local supplies are not available. A CDN spokesman told the newspaper the stolen screws were mainly new and would cost the company an estimated ,000 to replace.

    The theft was noticed in time to avert any problems or possible derailments but is causing delays with train services.

    As in many other parts of Africa including South Africa the theft of metal components and particularly copper cable has become a major headache particularly to the electrical supply companies and to railway operators. The trade in scrap metal is rife in the Nacala district.



    Getting on top of Saldanha port dust problem

    Over the past years much progress has been made with dust mitigation at the Saldanha Bay iron ore terminal. This was due largely to technological advances and resulted in reduced deposition of heavy metals around the terminal. However, more improvements are underway.

    In February last year Transnet promised that it would reduce dust emissions to internationally accepted levels, rather than the less stringent national guidelines. To achieve this Transnet says it has already allocated a preliminary budget of more than R100 million towards a comprehensive dust mitigation programme.

    According to a recent CSIR study, the ship loader generates the most dust. Not surprisingly, the first steps aimed at suppressing dust in this sector are:
  • Upgrading of the water sprayers on the conveyor belts: Contract was awarded in December 2006 and is currently being implemented. The new sprayers are linked with an on-line moisture analyser which ensures that the moisture content of the ore is kept high enough to suppress the dust.
  • Starch sprayers on two conveyor belts: Starch sprayers have been installed. The starch mixture binds dust particles to the ore and has been effective beyond expectations, according to Transnet.

    These first two measures have drastically reduced dust generation at the shipsloaders. Other important sources are:
  • Tarring of roads and sealing of other surfaces: Contract awarded in January and construction started in middle February.

    Dust covers on the ore conveyor belts: Eleven local companies participated in the tender for the construction of the covers. The winner will commence soon and the caps are expected to be installed by July this year.
  • Dust plant upgrade at tippler no. 1: Upgrade complete, plant operational and compliant with environmental standards (the tippler tips the ore trucks upside down and the plant sucks up the dust generated in the process).
  • Installation of dust monitoring stations in Saldanha and Vredenburg: Altogether 10 dust monitoring stations have been erected since October 2006. Results from these stations are analysed independently by the CSIR.

    A process of continuous improvement aims at automating all of these systems and ensuring faultless operation. Transnet says it is satisfied with the first measurements from the dust monitoring stations and will soon present a proper series of independently audited results

    source - Cape Business News www.cbn.co.za



    SAECS vessel omits Las Palmas

    Independent of the recent announcement that Cape Town will be excluded as a port of call on southbound sailings as from 16 June (see Ports & Ships News Bulletin dated 12 June 2007), a decision has been taken to omit the port of Las Palmas both southbound and northbound for the voyage of the container ship LARS MAERSK (in addition to Lars Maersk omitting Cape Town on the southbound leg).

    The Las Palmas omission is only for this single ship voyage both ways and is to enable the vessel to catch up on her schedule. The ship is running late due to her engine breakdown earlier this year (see Ports & Ships 18 April 2007).

    The ship’s revised schedule is as follows:

    Arr. Arr Site Dep.. Dep. Date Voy Name Voy Date

    omit 705A Cape Town 705A omit
    omit 705A Durban 705B omit
    070604 705A Port Elizab 705B 070605
    070607 705A Cape Town 705B 070610

    070617 705B Las Palmas 705B 070618
    070621 705B Rotterdam 706A 070622
    070622 705B Tilbury 706A 070623
    070624 705B Bremerhaven 706A 070625
    omit 706A Las Palmas 706A omit

    omit 706A Cape Town 706A omit
    070707 706A Port Elizab 706B 070708
    070709 706A Durban 706B 070712
    070714 706A Cape Town 706B 070716
    omit 706B Las Palmas 706B omit
    070729 706B Rotterdam 707A 070730



    Pic of the day – NORILSK

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice



    The interesting stern view of the 18,627-gt ice-strengthened Ro-Ro ship NORILSK, seen on her berth at Durban’s Maydon Wharf in June 2004. Built in 1982 Norilsk was the first of a series of ice-breaking class multi purpose vessels built for Russia’s Murmansk Shipping Company. Several of these Arctic-21 class ships have since graced our ports including the MAGDALENA OLDENDORFF which in 2002 was trapped in ice off the Antarctic coast and forced to overwinter being eventually freeing herself with the aid of the Argentine ice breaker ALMIRANTE IRIZAR. Picture by Terry Hutson



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