Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jul 26, 2007
Author: P&S





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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Eastern Cape to have another go at reopening East London – Mthatha rail link

  • Grindrod Bank ties up BEE deal

  • New twin-lift spreaders introduced by MICT

  • SA plays host to international waters conference

  • Line briefs – news about the shipping lines

  • Pic of the day – KOLMANSKOP




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    Eastern Cape to have another go at reopening East London – Mthatha rail link

    by David Masango (BuaNews)

    The Eastern Cape Department of Transport is hard at work to start passenger operations along the Kei Rail between East London and Mthatha for the first time in years.

    As part of the preparations for the Kei Rail passenger services, the department is using track-measuring machinery and track trolleys to test the condition of the line.
    The much anticipated unveiling of Kei Rail passenger services was planned for March but had to be postponed due to the shortage of experienced train drivers.
    In order to get the launch back on track, the department has employed a number of retired drivers who have undergone three month training courses including:

    * a refresher course in East London;
    * train handling on a train simulator at Esselenpark in Kempton Park;
    * safe working training on, over, under, or adjacent to railway lines near high voltage equipment;
    * depot induction and standard operating procedures; and
    * practical training and certification on locomotives on the line, which will commence as soon as the Testing and Commissioning Permit has been granted by the Rail Safety Regulator.

    The department will operate the line, after it concluded a lease agreement with Spoornet* in April this year.
    * Spoornet was this week re-branded as Transnet Freight Rail

    In line with the national government's strategy of transferring branch lines back from state-owned transport giant Transnet to the National Department of Transport, the department said it was pursuing ownership of the Kei Rail line.

    To ensure smooth operations, the department has leased 20 coaches from Shosholoza Meyl to operate the service and is also concluding further acquisition of coaches which can be refurbished.

    The Sheltham Grindrod Group has also provided two Class 33-200 General Motors Diesel locomotives.

    The department is also currently concluding the acquisition of additional Class 33 Diesel locomotives, for refurbishment with the latest technology available internationally.

    A private siding was also being designed at Zamakulungisa at Mthatha and that tenders would be called for its construction, which would serve as a transfer point for goods that would be transported on the Kei Rail line.

    The department has also embarked on a rail safety awareness campaign for communities living along the line to ensure that they were aware of the dangers associated with an operational railway line.

    The objectives of the safety awareness campaign are to:

    * raise awareness that there will be trains running on the line before the service begins;
    * inform communities along the line of the dangers associated with an operational railway line;
    * create awareness of safe rail behaviour in the communities along the line;
    * encourage communities to ensure that their livestock is kept away from the tracks;
    * raise awareness of the role of flag men at level crossings.

    It also includes a poster campaign; radio and newspaper advertising; informative pamphlets; and radio and print publicity and school and community outreach activities.

    Imbizos (sic) have already taken place in certain communities along the line and industrial theatre groups have visited a number of schools in the area to drive home the importance of rail safety, the department said.

    Note: The intention is to introduce a passenger service followed by freight services, with general goods and timber identified as likely traffic.
    – P&S



    Grindrod Bank ties up BEE deal

    Grindrod, the listed shipping and logistics business, yesterday announced the sale of 18 percent of its subsidiary, Grindrod Bank, to three independent BEE entities. This follows an announcement at the end of last year that all regulatory requirements had been met for Grindrod to acquire the bank formerly known as Marriott Corporate Property Bank.

    Alan Olivier, Grindrod Limited CEO said that the vision of Grindrod Bank was to become a meaningfully empowered bank and that these black empowerment deals were the first steps in this process.

    The black empowerment participants include Mawavune Women’s Investments, whose shareholders comprise of 10 professional black women. They will be represented on the Grindrod Bank board by Thina Siwendu, an attorney with property expertise, extensive involvement in public private partnership initiatives and corporate governance.

    The second BEE entity is a partnership between Dr Sivi Gounden and Hassen Adams, current Grindrod Limited directors with the third entity being a BEE trust. Dr Gounden will also be appointed to the Grindrod Bank board. The BEE shareholders are based in all major centres where the bank has offices, being Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

    In addition to the above sale, a further 6.9 percent of Grindrod Bank has been sold to a management group led by Grindrod Bank Chairman Ivan Clark and Managing Director David Polkinghorne. Ivan Clark, also deputy chairman of Grindrod Limited said; “it is exciting to be involved in a business with enormous potential and, in the staff and their relationships with clients I see the same potential for significant growth that the Grindrod Group has shown over the past eight years.”

    David Polkinghorne said the transaction brings to a conclusion a deal which has been worked on for some time. “The bank is looking forward to working with its new shareholders. Their ability to add value to our traditional business is enormous and there are also a number of new initiatives where the networks of our shareholders will play a key role.”



    New twin-lift spreaders introduced by MICT


    CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

    International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) recently installed new twin lift spreaders for three quay cranes (QC) at its flagship, Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), marking another milestone in Philippine port operations.

    ICTSI acquired three units of Bromma STR 40 twin lift spreaders, each composed of two regular twin lifts and one separating twin lift. Each spreader has a lifting capacity of 40.6 tons, and can handle two 20 footer container or one 40 footer container in one lifting.

    The twin lift spreaders are the first of its kind to be installed in the country.

    With the acquisition of the new twin lifts, the MICT is expected to further improve productivity and serve clients better. Photo shows one new Bromma twin-lift spreader already in use at the MICT, the Philippines’ leading international trading gateway.

    ICTSI is a leading developer in international container terminal operations with an experience record that spans in six continents, including the container terminal at Toamasina, Madagascar.



    SA plays host to International Waters Conference

    Cape Town 25 July 2007 (DEAT) - South Africa will be hosting the Global Environment Facility's (GEF's) Fourth Biennial International Waters Conference from 31 July - 3 August 2007 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.

    The primary objective of the conference is to foster knowledge sharing and collaboration between participating governments, GEF funded projects and agencies, and private and non-profit sectors. The conference further seeks to highlight crucial international waters challenges, celebrating achievements, highlighting successful scientific and technical tools and financing international waters partnerships.

    International waters is one of the GEF focal areas and targets marine ecosystems bounded by more than one nation, transboundary water systems such as river basins with water flowing from one country to another and groundwater resources shared by several countries. Through its international waters projects it provides support to countries to strengthen transboundary collaboration in addressing key transboundary concerns such as water pollution, protection of fisheries habitats and unsustainable exploitation of fisheries.

    One of the successful transboundary marine programmes in the SADC region is the Benguella Current Large Marine Ecosystems (BCLME) programme which is aimed at facilitating transboundary cooperation in the management of shared fish stocks, marine pollution and coordination of regional efforts to mitigate impacts of marine mining and oils and gas production on the environment.

    The conference is further expected to set a platform to share and highlight the role of marine and coastal resources in contributing towards tackling socio- economic challenges in developing countries.

    Other key GEF funded waters projects in the region are:
  • Toward an Ecosystem Approach to the Sustainable Use of the Resources of the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem (A&S LME Program)
  • Western Indian Ocean Marine Highway Development and Coastal and Marine Contamination Prevention Project
  • Development and Protection of the Coastal and Marine Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Project (SWIOFP)

    The conference will officially be opened on Tuesday 31 July 2007 by the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk and be closed by South Africa's Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi.

    This is the second GEF international gathering hosted by South Africa. The first was the GEF Third Assembly held in August 2006.

    350 delegates from over 100 countries are expected to attend. Participation in the conference is by invitation only.

    source - DEAT – Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism



    Line briefs – news about the shipping lines

    The Maruba – Clan consortium has announced an interesting new service between the Far East, South Africa and the West Coast South America which includes a call at Ushuaia in southern Argentina. The service has been branded the ‘Ushuaia Express’ and provides the first direct link between the most southerly container port in the world and the Far East. This is probably also the first Far East – West Coast South America service coming from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

    The first sailing has already taken place involving the 1732-TEU newbuilding MARUBA ALDEBARAN (the former HANSA PAPENBURG), which was initially thought to have been a positioning voyage. She has been joined by a second vessel, the 1808-TEU CLAN LEGIONARY (former SANTA MARGHERITA) which has been displaced from the ACSA service by the 2078-TEU MARUBA IMPERATOR (former MASTER 1).

    The service becomes Maruba’s second Far East – South Africa – South America service, the other being the SEAS service to South America East Coast which is operated by Maruba, CMA CGM and CSCL. Interestingly SEAS recently announced that it is to drop the Durban call on its westbound service because of delays at the South African port, with the last call to be made at Durban on 31 July by CMA CGM L’ETOILE.


    Madagascan service dropped - It lasted longer than some critics anticipated, but SMTM, the Madagascan national shipping line (Societe Nationale Malgache de Transports Maritimes) has ended its service between South Africa and the island of Madagascar which began in November 2005. (see our News Bulletin for 10 November 2005 -
    http://www.ports.co.za/news/article_2005_11_11_0052.html)

    At that time the service was inaugurated with the 3,820-gt, 350-TEU vessel CEC VISION with the ship calling at Mauritius and Le Reunion in addition to Durban and Madagascan ports. CEC Vision was more recently replaced by TOPAS. At this stage there’s no indication of which companies might be vying to pick up this trade.


    VLCS for Tangier - In a recent News Bulletin we reported the opening of APM Terminal’s new container terminal at Tangier (see News Bulletin 24 July 2007 -
    http://ports.co.za/news/article_2007_07_23_2414.html#four)

    APM now announces that the first two Maersk Line VLCS (Very Large Container Ships) will soon call at the Morocco port – the 8,650-TEU ANNA MAERSK on the eastward leg this weekend followed by the 14,280-TEU EVELYN MAERSK later in the week but on the westward leg.



    Pic of the day – KOLMANSKOP

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice



    The fishing trawler KOLMANSKOP, aground between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund in Namibia since last year, as photographed by DARRYL SWART. Note the line ashore. According to reports the fishing vessel was ripped from her mooring at Walvis Bay by strong winds and then drifted unmanned some 40km northwards before going aground onto a rocky shelf at a place called Vierkantklip. Read our report of this incident in the News Bulletin for 20 August 2006
    http://www.ports.co.za/news/article_2006_08_20_0216.html#four



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