Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 2, 2007
Author: P&S





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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Mombasa wins port surcharge delay


  • US destroyer rescues Tanzanian ferry


  • CFM reveals plans for Beira coal terminal


  • Deadly sea exodus from Somalia to Yemen gains momentum


  • Container ships diverted as Cape Town upgrade commences


  • Pic of the day – BW COLUMBIA






  • Mombasa wins port surcharge delay

    Following high-level negotiations, the port of Mombasa has earned a two month extension before shipping lines begin imposing a vessel delay surcharge.

    A vessel delay surcharge (VDS) of $ 200 per TEU for southbound and $ 100 per TEU for northbound containers handled at the port was announced by member lines of the East African Conference (EACL) and was due to be implemented yesterday (1 October). Kenya Ports Authority has in the meantime been seeking ways to relieve the pressure of container overstays at the port and thus avoid the VDS.

    The two-month extension follows a series of meetings between officials of the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya’s Ministry of Transport and various port stakeholders and conference line members. This included a visit to Geneva to the headquarters of Mediterranean Shipping Company as well as a meeting with Maersk Shipping Line.

    The port and government delegation, led by Transport Permanent Secretary Dr Gerishon Ikiara, KPA Managing Director Abdalla Mwaruwa and Harbour Master Capt Twalib Khamis sought and gained an extension until December this year.

    During this period they hope that measures taken to relieve the pressure on the port terminal will take effect. These include creating several bonded container depots outside the port to which containers are being transferred as well as incentives to cargo owners to clear their boxes.

    Dr Ikiara said that most of the security problems raised by the Kenya Revenue Authority regarding the bonded depots and road transport have been resolved, which should see cargo beginning to be cleared from the depots and also moving out by road in addition to rail.

    source – East African Standard



    US destroyer rescues Tanzanian ferry


    USS STOUT – US Navy picture

    The US destroyer USS STOUT (DDG55) went to the rescue of a Tanzanian passenger ferry in international waters off the Somali coast last week after the ferry called for assistance.

    The Tanzanian vessel named SPICE ISLAND was en route from Oman to Tanzania when it ran out of fuel resulting in engine problems. Coalition naval forces in the area responded with the USS Stout providing assistance by way of fuel, water and food and also took the Tanzanian vessel, which had no passengers on board, under tow until power could be restored.


    CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
    The Tanzanian-flagged ferry SPICE ISLAND being assisted at sea by the destroyer USS STOUT. US Navy picture

    USS Stout is operating under Command Task Force (CTF) 150 and is conducting maritime security operations in international waters off the Horn of Africa. The destroyer is deployed to the region as part of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group and is temporarily a part of CTF 150.

    CTF 150 is commanded by a Pakistan Navy Commodore, Khan Hasham Bin Saddique and is responsible for military security operations in the Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, North Arabian Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

    source – US Navy



    CFM reveals plans for Beira coal terminal

    Mozambique’s state-owned transport company CFM has disclosed plans to build a US $ 180 million coal terminal at the port of Beira.

    The announcement made at the weekend said that discussions were being held with financial institutions regarding the funding of the development, which would be completed in two years.

    The spokesman said the terminal would have a capacity to export 18 million tonnes of coal a year. He said that most of the design work was complete. However there was no mention made of the size of ships that would use the terminal. Beira is built on a river and is notoriously subject to silting, with narrow and lengthy channels providing access to the port.

    Earlier this year Mozambique’s state-owned dredging company took possession of a new dredger donated by Japan, which has already commenced work at deepening and maintaining the channels. A second dredger is believed to be on order.

    The railway between Beira and the coal field at Moatize in Tete Province is already under reconstruction, with the Indian Rites group having been awarded the contract to refurbish the railway and operate it thereafter. Both the railway and the Moatize coal mines were destroyed during the long civil war.

    The Moatize coal field has an estimated coal reserve of 2.4 billion tonnes and production is due to begin by 2010.



    Deadly sea exodus from Somalia to Yemen gains momentum

    The deadly drama involving people-smuggling across the Gulf of Aden continues apace, with at least 89 confirmed deaths and 154 missing and presumed dead so far this month as traffickers reportedly stabbed passengers, beat them with iron bars and plastic tubes and threw some overboard, the United Nations refugee agency said this week.

    Between 1 and 26 September, 50 smuggling boats, nearly two a day, arrived on Yemeni shores from Somalia with 4,741 people, mostly Somalis and Ethiopians fleeing conflict and drought - an increase of 70 per cent over last year when 30 boats arrived with 2,961 people for the whole of the month, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told a news briefing in Geneva.

    UNHCR is strengthening its operations to deal with the crisis with plans to open a second reception centre along the Yemeni coast to provide medical care and other support.

    Several new arrivals reported that Yemeni armed forces opened fire when they spotted the boats, shooting a 70-year-old Somali man in the heart and killing him, she said.

    Since the beginning of the year, 13,897 people have arrived in Yemen after making the perilous voyage across the gulf, while at least 356 have died and 272 remain missing and are presumed dead. The exodus eased off in the summer due to rough seas but resumed again at the beginning of September.

    Five boats arrived on Wednesday alone with 600 migrants. Four Ethiopians died in the hold of one of the boats due to asphyxiation, while 18 people were thrown overboard while still at sea, passengers said.

    "Survivors told us that they had been violently treated by the smugglers, who beat them with iron bars, belts and plastic tubes and stabbed them with daggers," Ms Pagonis said.

    Two boats arrived last Sunday with 98 Somalis and 135 Ethiopians, she added. Two Somalis died during the voyage in the hold of one boat from asphyxiation and two drowned while trying to reach shore from deep water.

    UNHCR is discussing the shooting incidents with Yemeni authorities, who have expressed their concern that some smugglers arrive with weapons and drugs, and later this month will provide training to Yemeni coast guards and immigration officials on refugee law, humanitarian law and rescue at sea.

    The second reception and registration centre UNHCR is planning along the Yemeni coast will include a health post run by the non-governmental organisation Medecins sans Frontiers (MSF) and more staff and vehicles from the agency and its partners to speed up support for new arrivals. MSF has also set up three out of four planned health posts along the coast and UNHCR also intends to have two registration centres in Sana'a, the Yemeni capital, and Aden.

    The agency at present has 61 staff in Yemen and plans to bring in reinforcements in the months to come.

    Somalis registered at the UNHCR's reception centre say they left due to conflict, arbitrary killings, threat of detention, drought and lack of work. Somalis account for half the migrant flow and most have fled conflict in southern and central parts of the country, including Mogadishu, the capital. There are nearly 90,000 registered refugees in Yemen, almost all of them Somalis.

    source - UN News Service, New York



    Container ships diverted as Cape Town upgrade commences

    With the arrival of the container ship MOL SPRINGBOK at Cape Town harbour, all South Africa Europe Container Service (SAECS) Intermediate (or second string) vessels will berth at the port’s Multi Purpose Terminal in future instead of at the container terminal.

    According to an announcement from SAECS this change in berth planning is due to the upgrading of Cape Town Container Terminal, which will result in fewer berths being available for the period of reconstruction.

    In an announcement made by MOL South Africa, “All documentation (CTO’s / ICL’s) for vessels calling at the Multi Purpose Terminal (MPT) will be stamped by MOL with an MPT stamp to indicate that the units can delivered into stack and collected from stack without hindrance. It is critical that all documentation is processed correctly to avoid confusion and/or delays.”



    Pic of the day – BW COLUMBIA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice



    The Panamanian-flagged products tanker BW COLUMBIA (43,815-gt), seen in Cape Town harbour on 25 September 2007. Picture by Ian Shiffman



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