Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 25, 2007
Author: P&S






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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Dredger arrives to start work on widening Durban port entrance

  • Government urged to come clean on Coega electricity

  • Somali fishing boats missing

  • UN Appeals to Govt to Allow Food Into Somalia

  • Maersk fires CEO Soederberg

  • 2nd Annual Container & Freight Logistics Conference – 27, 28, 29 August 2007

  • Pic of the day – SEA PROSPECT


    Dredger arrives to start work on widening Durban port entrance



    The trailing suction hopper dredger MARIEKE arrived in Durban last week as a tangible pieces of evidence that work on widening and deepening the port entrance is about to get underway.

    Once the dredger goes to work facing Durban’s beachfront perhaps even the most ardent of sceptics will accept that the channel widening is now happening.

    According to the National Ports Authority the contract has been awarded to the consortium of Dredging International and Group Five, the latter a leading South African construction company.

    The initial work will take place on the north side of the Pier 1 breakwater, which will later be broken up with materials re-used in the construction of a new breakwater about 100m further north.

    Later the dredger will commence cleaning and deepening the channel where the old breakwater now stands and later still will dredge the existing channel to the required depth.

    The project is expected to continue until early 2010 with Marieke remaining in Durban for at least two years. Various channels within the harbour will also be dredged both wider and deeper to accommodate the larger ships that shipping lines, in particular container lines, have indicated they want to introduce.

    By 2010 the NPA expects to have been given the go-ahead for the construction of a new container basin at Bayhead on the south of the harbour, which will also require extensive dredging.

    The dredger Marieke was built in 2006 and is one of the more modern vessels in the Belgian company fleet. With a length of 97.5m and a beam of 21m the vessel is capable of dredging to a depth of 33m – the maximum dredge in Durban however is expected to be about half that.



    Government urged to come clean on Coega electricity

    Surprise has been expressed at the revelation that only 5.5 percent of the production rate of 720,000 tonnes of aluminium from the proposed smelter at Coega in the Eastern Cape will be for local consumption, with the balance being exported.

    The reason for the surprise is the huge amount of electricity the smelter will consume at a time when South Africa is experiencing ongoing shortages of energy due to under-capacity.

    A report in Business Day says that the Coega smelter will consume 675 MW of electricity, or the equivalent of what is used by a modern city such as Port Elizabeth.

    “With the bulk of its production destined for the export market, it means SA will be exporting its scarce, increasingly expensive, electricity as the country is facing an energy crunch,” the newspaper commented.

    According to an analyst who wished to remain anonymous, it was government’s desire to persist with the project that ought to be questioned. He asked whether this was the most effective use of scarce electricity for South Africa.

    The article concludes with the comment that the smelter will employ only a thousand people.

    The deal with Alcan is said to have hinged on the price that the Canadian company secured for the supply of electricity. Since then both Eskom and the government have refused to divulge the rate which Eskom will charge Alcan. The energy will be conveyed to the Eastern Cape along a thousand kilometres of overhead wires from power stations in Mpumalanga and the Free State, as the Eastern Cape has no generating power stations at present.

    While Ports & Ships shares the criticism over how government has gone about securing a deal with a smelter operator at any price, we don’t necessarily see a problem with exporting 94.5 percent of the production, provided competitive rates apply. South Africa already has three aluminium smelters in production plus another at Maputo and the local requirement is more than met with ample stocks available for export. So the issue comes down to what price Eskom is charging Alcan for its supply. It’s time for more transparency on this, particularly at a time when the country is again being asked to brace for further outages.



    Somali fishing boats missing

    Shabelle Media Network reports that several Somali fishing boats have gone missing off the Merca coast, which is about 100 km south of the port city of Mogadishu.

    The fishing vessels would have encountered strong winds in the area in which they were operating. “We suspect they have sunk because of the strong winds and the frail boats,” said Abdirahman Ismail, head of the Merca fishing association.

    Ismail said that another boat had sunk in the area but the four men on board had managed to make it to shore in safety.



    UN Appeals to Govt to Allow Food Into Somalia

    UN News Service (New York) 22 June 2007 - The United Nations food relief agency has appealed to Kenyan authorities to allow assistance for more than 100,000 people to be trucked into Somalia, where piracy is hampering deliveries by sea.

    One hundred and forty WFP-contracted trucks carrying the food left the Kenyan port of Mombasa and were unexpectedly stopped at the Northeast Kenyan border crossing of El-Wak since they first started arriving there on 25 May.

    “The Kenyan overland route was chosen because of major problems with sea routes to Somalia plagued by pirate attacks,” said WFP Somalia Country Director Peter Goossens.

    ”Delays in distributing food this month to 108,000 people in Gedo district risks further aggravating the alarming rates of malnutrition that are already reported there,” he warned. The supplies in the trucks are intended to last for three months.

    “We are in intense contact with Kenyan authorities to facilitate the passage of this cargo into Somalia so that food distributions can urgently resume in southern Gedo,” he said, recalling that Kenya had allowed the agency to use El-Wak since January “because it is the most direct route to southern Gedo, where food assistance is urgently needed.”

    Many of the 140 WFP-contracted trucks had waited so long at El-Wak that they were unloaded in recent days and the food assistance moved to a local warehouse, the agency said.

    The Nairobi Government has closed its border with Somalia since January to people and commercial traffic, but humanitarian assistance was previously allowed across into the war-ravaged country, where fighting between the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and anti-TFG factions caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes earlier this year.

    In the coming days, a third round of WFP food distributions to people driven from their homes by fighting in Mogadishu is due to start, with a total of 150,000 people slated to receive food.



    Maersk fires CEO Soederberg

    AP Moller-Maersk has dismissed its chief executive Jess Soederberg after poor results last year. AP Moller-Maersk profits decreased by 23 percent in the last financial year.

    Soederberg (62) has been chief executive since 1993. He has been replaced by Nils Smedergaard Andersen (48), the present chief executive of the Danish brewery Carlsberg. Andersen has headed the brewery since 2001 during which period Carlsberg profits increased by more than double.

    In the past few years AP Moller-Maersk has felt the pinch with shipping rates coming under pressure and strong competition from other liner operators, particularly on the China trades. The liner company has begun introducing the world’s largest container ships but any benefit from this has yet to come through.

    Andersen moves to AP Moller-Maersk on 1 December 2007 and will lead a company five times the size of Carlsberg.

    Two other senior executives will also be leaving the Danish shipping group after having submitted their resignations. Their names have not been revealed.



    conference announcement....
    2nd Annual Container & Freight Logistics Conference – 27, 28, 29 August 2007

    Is Bayhead congestion a regular frustration for you?
    Is your freight turnaround time slower than normal?
    Are you overspending on budget?
    Are bottlenecks in the supply chain one of the reasons that you are experiencing delays?
    The ripple effect will detrimentally impact SA’s potential of growing as a regional hub.
    Can you afford for this to happen?


    Containerised freight is fast becoming a global trend and it is up to the industry at large, including government to ensure that South Africa and Africa as a continent can compete on a global scale and emerge as the leaders in the containerised freight industry.

    Strategies and Solutions To Be Discussed At This Event:

  • Outlining components that hamper capacity building at ports
  • Discussing protocol for how containers should be handled at ports
  • Optimising material handling and what security measure will be taken to enhance safety and security of containers
  • Seeking innovation in maximising space usage at ports and terminals
  • Contracting of containers and the effect it has on cargo being moved
  • Assessing future participation from the public and private sector in regulating the industry
  • Synchronising intermodal connectivity in South Africa

    Do Not Miss This Event... From gaining an understanding of RFID tagging to alleviating capacity and infrastructure challenges, this event is not to be missed! It is the perfect knowledge sharing opportunity to ensure that you are equipped to overcome the challenges facing the freight industry. Do not delay… Register today for Container Logistics 2007!

    For more information or to RESERVE YOUR PLACE NOW…
    Contact GRANT STROUD on +2711669-5088 or email:
    grant.stroud@iqpc.co.za
    Visit us: http://www.iqpc.com/za/container/p&s

    IQPC provides business executives around the world with tailored practical conferences, large scale events, topical seminars and in-house training programs, keeping them up-to-date with industry trends, technological developments and the regulatory landscape. IQPC’s large scale conferences are market leading “must attend” events for their respective industries.

    IQPC produces more than 1,500 events annually around the world, and continues to grow. Founded in 1973, IQPC now has offices in major cities across six continents including: Berlin, Dubai, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, and Toronto. IQPC leverages a global research base of best practices to produce an unrivalled portfolio of conferences and training events.



    Pic of the day – SEA PROSPECT

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice



    The general cargo vessel SEA PROSPECT moves down the Esplanade Channel towards Durban’s Maydon Wharf in April 2004. The 10,511-gt vessel is again calling on the South African coast in 2007 but this time she sails under the name PHOROS. The ship is owned by Shipforum Shipping of Cypress and was built in 1984. Picture Terry Hutson


    NB Shipping pictures and comment on the articles are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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