Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 14, 2008
Author: P&S









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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Navy gets its choppers at last

  • New ships make acquaintance with South Africa

  • Nearly million required because of floods in Southern Africa – UN

  • Southern Africa: Thirty percent less maize by 2030

  • Pic of the day – BLACK RHINO




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    Navy gets its choppers at last


    CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
    a computer-generated image of the first Super Lynx helicopter, aircraft 192 flying over the first of the Valour class frigates, SAS Amatola off Cape Town. Image Agusta-Westland

    The South African Navy is to obtain officially the long awaited Super Lynx helicopters at an official handover ceremony tomorrow (14 February).

    The official handover marks the ‘completion’ of delivery of the four frigates SAS Amatola, SAS Isandlwana, SAS Spioenkop and SAS Mendi.

    For budgetary reasons the Agusta Westland Super Lynx 330 Mark 64 were ordered subsequent to the placing of orders for the four frigates and three submarines in the original order. Once in service with the ships the Super Lynx helicopters will however deliver a much-needed surface search capability in anti-surface warfare roles, search and rescue, maritime patrol and other utility duties.

    The four helicopters arrived in South Africa as cargo carried in the belly of Antonov An-124 transport aircraft last year and were delivered to the Ysterplaat Air Force Base in Cape Town. Flying and navigation crew were sent to the UK to undergo specialised training with the aircraft while maintenance crew underwent training in South Africa.

    Although adorned with SA Navy insignia and serving on the Valour class frigates the helicopters will be flown by airmen of the South African Air Force as the navy does not have an air arm.

    In other navy news the German squadron of four ships is expected in Simon’s Town on Monday. The four ships are the frigates FGS Hamburg and Koeln and support ships FGS Berlin and Westerwald.



    New ships make acquaintance with South Africa

    The largest pure car carrier to visit South Africa arrived in Durban to discharge vehicles yesterday. Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s FIDELIO is the second of five sister ships being built by South Korea’s Daewoo shipyard and has a capacity for an impressive 8,000 cars or a combination of 3,484 cars and 468 buses.

    As far as we are aware the largest car carrier previously in a South African port could carry around 6,000 cars.

    Fidelio was named in September 2007, becoming the sistership to FAUST with three similar ships due to follow this year. She is 227.8m in length overall with a beam of 32.2m and a height to upper deck of 34.7m. Her maximum draught is shown as 11.3m. Fidelio has a deadweight of 30,137t at maximum draught and a gross tonnage of 71,853t, which gives some idea of how ‘massive’ the upper structure is. The bridge which is totally enclosed and airconditioned provides 360º visibility around the ship.

    There are 13 decks, of which five are hoistable, giving the ship a deck area capacity of 67,300 m² for store those 8,000 motor cars. For all this the ship requires a crew of 15.

    Fidelio uses a state of the art ballast water treatment system that places the ship in compliance with the new IMO convention on ballast water treatment. According to the builders specifications the engines put out low NOx emissions.


    CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
    At a function held on board the IVS Cabernet in Richards Bay last night for ships agents, stevedores, port officials and other involved personnel the two masters of the Capesize IVS Cabernet received several commemorative plaques marking the ship’s first visit in South Africa. Seen with Tim McClure (right), managing director of Island View Shipping are Captain Pillai, who takes command of the ship from tomorrow and Captain Eapen who leaves the ship on leave. Picture Terry Hutson

    A second ‘maiden arrival’ in South African ports this week is the 180,000-dwt IVS CABERNET which is operated by Durban-based Island View Shipping. The Capesize ship berthed at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal this week to load coal for Le Havre – this being her first visit to South Africa.

    The 289m long, 45m wide bulker with a draught of 18.15m fully laden was launched in October 2007 as one of five Capesize bulkers in the growing IVS fleet. IVS Cabernet’s maiden voyage from the builder saw her load iron ore at Cape Lambert in Australia for discharge in Redcar, UK and this has been her first opportunity of visiting ‘home’ in South Africa. The ship is flagged in Singapore and was delivered from the Japanese Imabari shipyard in August last year.

    While loading coal at Richards Bay her owners Island View Shipping used the opportunity to host a small function on board during which several commemorative plaques were presented to the ship’s master and crew to remind them of their first visit to South Africa.



    Nearly $ 89 million required because of floods in Southern Africa – UN

    11 February 2008 (UN News Service) – The international relief aid community is seeking nearly $89 million to help hundreds of thousands of people in flood-hit parts of Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

    The appeal aims to respond to floods that have destroyed thousands of homes, devastated crops and left some 449,000 people in immediate need of humanitarian assistance. With fears that continued rains could cause even worse flooding, the funds will also be used to prepare for a possible deterioration of the situation.

    “The governments have done an excellent job. And they urgently need the support of the international community to ensure that all those displaced by the floods receive the food, shelter, water, medicine and other basic necessities they require to survive,” said John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

    “We are only halfway through the rainy season and with more heavy rain expected, we must be able to assist potentially hundreds of thousands more people,” he added.
    In Mozambique, the hardest hit country, the international humanitarian community requires more than $35 million to respond to the needs of 258,000 people affected by the floods, including more than 90,000 who have been displaced during the past month and are now living in resettlement areas.

    In addition, about 90,000 hectares of crops have been swamped, destroying the livelihoods of many subsistence farming families. The funds will be used to support the relief effort being led by the Government of Mozambique by providing vital food, water and sanitation supplies, shelter, family kits, medicines and education materials.

    In Malawi, international partners are seeking about $17 million as a result of heavy rains and subsequent floods that affected more than 152,000 people. Already more than 700 cholera cases have been reported and the situation will likely worsen in the coming weeks, OCHA warned.

    Nearly $18.5 million is needed in Zambia to respond to the needs of more than 20,000 affected people. Floods have caused extensive damage to infrastructure and ruined large areas of crops, which could drastically reduce this year's harvest in many areas.
    International responders in Zimbabwe are seeking nearly $15.8 million following localized flooding that began in mid-December 2007, affecting more than 15,000 people.

    The Government is leading the response to the floods with support from humanitarian partners, who have already distributed shelter items, food, water and sanitation supplies.

    The flood-affected regions in the four countries have some of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, and OCHA noted that the displacements and losses caused by floods will have deeper consequences on HIV-affected households by disrupting health services.

    “Despite the scale of these floods, the governments and the international humanitarian community have so far prevented this crisis from becoming a catastrophe,” said Mr. Holmes. “Without additional funds, we might not be able to cope if the situation does get worse – and that would leave large numbers of people at greater risk,” he added



    Southern Africa: Thirty percent less maize by 2030

    Johannesburg, 8 February 2008 (IRIN) - As global warming pushes temperatures up and droughts become more intense, the production of maize, southern Africa's staple food, could drop by as much as 30 percent in another two decades, according to a new study.

    The study by a group of Stanford University researchers calls on countries to opt for long-term measures like the development of new crop varieties and investment in irrigation, which could help lessen the impact on food production more substantially than shifting planting dates.

    "Adaptation is a key factor that will shape the future severity of climate change impacts on food production," said David Lobell, the lead author of the report on the study. "These adaptations will require substantial investments by farmers, governments, scientists and development organisations, all of whom face many other demands on their resources."
    The impact on food security by 2030 was estimated by looking at changes in both temperature and rainfall, as large agricultural investments "typically take 15 to 30 years to realise full returns." Lobell said there was little money and time available to invest in the affected communities.

    The Stanford researchers based their analysis on a synthesis of information on what poor people eat, observed relationships between historical harvests and climate variability in poor regions, and various projections of climate change by 2030 to inform investment decisions. A total of 94 crop-region combinations, including rice in South Asia and groundnuts in East Africa, were evaluated for the study.

    There are drought-resistant crop varieties available in world's 1,500 genebanks, according to Luigi Guarino, Senior Science Coordinator with the Global Crop Diversity Trust. "Unfortunately, we don't know which ones they are until they are evaluated. This study [by Lobell et al] highlights how urgent it is that the contents of genebanks are evaluated and the resulting information be readily accessible to breeders in affected countries".

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that food production in Africa could halve by 2020, while a 2006 climate change study coordinated by the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA), based in Pretoria, South Africa, warned that African governments and farmers should anticipate the need to change crops rather than holding on to traditional crops that often failed.

    CEEPA's study report, Crop Selection: Adapting to Climate Change in Africa, strongly suggests that agricultural analyses of climate change impacts take crop selection into account. The research was part of a project implemented in 11 countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Niger and Senegal in West Africa; Egypt in North Africa; Ethiopia and Kenya in East Africa and South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in southern Africa.

    Researchers discovered that African farmers adapted crop choice to climate. "There is every reason to believe that they will continue to adapt in the future," said authors Pradeep Kurukulasuriya and Robert Mendelsohn.

    The study found that farmers sometimes chose to grow only a single crop, such as sorghum, cowpea or maize, but often selected a crop combination that would survive the harsh conditions in Africa, like maize-beans, cowpea-sorghum, and millet-groundnut. These combinations gave farmers more flexibility across climates than growing a single crop.

    "Future research into new crops that are more suitable for higher temperatures could dramatically improve farmers' welfare, especially in hot locations such as Africa," the study noted. "Although a great deal of progress has been achieved in making existing crops more productive, future research efforts need to move towards making them more resilient to higher temperatures."

    According to another study in the CEEPA project, Africa is expected to lose 4.1 percent of its cropland by 2039, and 18.4 percent is likely to have disappeared by the end of the century. Cropland loss is likely to occur at a much faster rate some parts of Africa, with northern and eastern Africa losing up to 15 percent of their current cropland area within the next 30 years or so.

    A recent survey by Action Aid, a global anti-poverty agency based in South Africa, found that changes in rainfall patterns have affected the growing seasons and the type of crops planted in Malawi: long-season local maize varieties, which take longer to grow, are no longer a preferred option, and maize normally planted in November is now being planted in December.

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)



    Pic of the day – BLACK RHINO

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice



    The project cargo type vessel BLACK RHINO of MACS line seen in Durban at the recent weekend. The ship is deployed on the east coast service between Durban and east coast and island ports and anchorages. Picture Trevor Jones


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