Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jul 6, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson















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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • First View – CAP PRESTON

  • Senior appointment and retirement announcements

  • Report from the Great Lakes area - Victoria

  • Derailments and sabotage along Mozambique’s rail network

  • It’s on again - Mauritius to Durban yacht race announced

  • Brazil promises to assist Africa’s economic growth

  • Pic of the day – MEXICAN BAY




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    First View – CAP PRESTON



    The German-owned container ship CAP PRESTON (22,914-gt, built 2007) seen departing the port of Lyttelton, New Zealand on Sunday 5 July 2009. Picture by Alan Calvert



    Senior appointment and retirement announcements

    A number of retirements and new appointments have been announced in the last week.

    Fresh Produce Terminals (FPT)

    In Durban, Fresh Produce Terminals’ Durban General Manager Neville de Klerk is going on retirement at the end of August. De Klerk has been the mainstay of the Durban citrus terminal for a number of years even in those days when he did not hold the position of general manager.

    He is being succeeded by Paulo Franco, previously general manager at Fresh Produce Terminals’ Maputo branch. In keeping with similar changes in the Cape where the Port Elizabeth and Cape Town terminals now come under a single general manager, Franco has assumed the position of GM for both Durban and Maputo terminals as from 1 July 2009.


    Maputo Port Development Company

    On the subject of Maputo, Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) which manages and operates the port has announced the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer Ron Herman, which appears to have already taken effect.

    According to the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative, MPDC will be managed jointly by Jorge Ferraz, MPDC chairman and Ronnie Holtshausen of Grindrod, a MPDC board member.


    K Line launches own SA shipping agency

    Japanese shipping company K Line, which has been represented for many years in South Africa by the Rennies Ships Agency, a division of the Bidvest Group, has announced the establishment of its own shipping agency in South Africa in the form of a joint venture with the Bidvest Group.

    The new company assumes control of all K Line agency activities in South Africa. Head office is based in Durban, with branch offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The changeover took effect on 1 July 2009.



    Report from the Great Lakes area - Victoria

    There has been a general improvement in shipping activity on Lake Victoria, reports Brian Power, managing director of Power Marine, which operates a cargo shipping service from Uganda.

    Power says that the wagon ferry UMOJA, which was built in 1961 is now doing a regular run between Tanzanian ports and Uganda, three times a week.

    “This is going to have a great impact on the movement of imports and exports between Dar es Salaam and the Ugandan ports of Jinja and Port Bell, thus easing the load on the road network. This has coincided with the Tanzanian government announcement of the opening of the trade routes for Ugandan goods, an anticipated eight million tons of cargo is expected to be moved on these routes.

    See related story HERE

    “It must be understood that these are the major ports for goods moving to Dwarfu, Southern Sudan and Eastern DRC.”

    Power says that the irony of this is that Umoja’s sister ship, UHURU, is laid up in dry
    dock in Kisumu having become a part of the Rift Valley Railways dispute. The ship is in
    good condition and is operational, he says.

    “The other wagon ferries KAAWA and PAMBA are laid up in Port Bell, part of the same dispute. However they are not operational and in a poor state of disrepair.”

    He adds that it would be incredible to see these great Ladies of the Waters operating again, “This is our plan”.

    Mr Powers is looking for a copy of the book ‘The Lake Steamers of East Africa’, author LG ‘Bill’ Dennis. ISBN 0952304716, which contains an interesting documentation of the history of water transport on the Lake. If any readers know of a copy for sale please contact info@ports.co.za and we will pass the details on.



    Derailments and sabotage along Mozambique’s rail network

    The recently reopened Marromeu railway line which branches away from the Sena mainline at Inhamitanga and runs to the sugar producing centre of Marromeu on the southern banks of the Zambezi, became the victim of what authorities described as sabotage recently.

    Five local Marromeu people have been arrested following damage caused to the track by the removal of tie bolts used to secure the rail to sleepers. Without the bolts the rail would move apart as a train passes over the affected section, causing a derailment at the very least.

    Local newspaper reports said some of the bolts were being sold for as much as 1,000 meticais, the equivalent of about R300 each, while others were being used by local fishermen as weights for their nets. About 175 bolts in total were removed before the police swooped. One of those arrested said he got the bolts from children who were playing with them. He swapped them for a packet of biscuits, but police were not so convinced. They have handed the matter over to the public prosecutor and the accused are to be presented to local communities along the railway, with messages about not sabotaging the railway.


    Highlighting the seriousness of the Marromeu sabotage or theft, on a nearby section of the Sena line, about 8km from the junction of Inhamitanga a freight train came off the tracks near the bridge over the Chitsadze River, resulting in three deaths and another four people receiving serious injuries.

    The 21-wagon train was carrying materials for use with the refurbishment of the railway to the Moatize coal mines near Tete. Nineteen of the wagons and the locomotive came off the rails. The cause is being investigated.



    It’s on again - Mauritius to Durban yacht race announced

    Inserted on behalf of the Royal Natal Yacht Club and Point Yacht Club

    Durban has just one long distance race on its calendar each year - that being the Vasco da Gama Race.

    However this is about to change as the two senior Durban yacht clubs, the Point Yacht Club and the Royal Natal Yacht Club, have joined forces to re-establish the tough Mauritius to Durban yacht race on a regular basis.

    This 1,690 nautical mile race is scheduled for September 2010.

    “We intend to revive this race and make it a regular feature on the South African sailing calendar,” said Chris Frost, Commodore of the Royal Natal Yacht Club. “It’s a classically tough race which needs to regain the momentum it had in the ‘80s.”

    Campbell Alexander, Commodore of the Point Yacht Club said, “It is great to see that PYC and RNYC will jointly host this intrepid Ocean race. Harmony between the clubs is so important when preparing and planning for this race. A lot needs to be done and I wish Richard Crockett and his organising committee all the best for the event. He and his committee have the full support of PYC.”

    The Clubs have appointed Richard Crockett as Chairman of the organising committee, and Jimmy Melville as the Race Officer.

    One of the unique selling points of this race is that it starts on the idyllic tropical island of Mauritius, and more specifically off Grande Baie where the race will be based. The Grand Baie Yacht Club is the friendliest spot where families can relax amongst the palms on the water’s edge, on the open verandah of the yacht club where the tropical gently breeze blows, or simply explore the surroundings of the Grande Baie village and island.

    “It is with great pleasure that I can confirm that the Grand Baie Yacht Club will be happy to host this proposed Mauritius to Durban yacht race,” said Philippe Lenoir, Commodore of the GBYC.

    “All the GBYC sailing community is eagerly awaiting this event. We have a fantastic setting here and I am sure all the crew members, their friends and families will enjoy our famous Mauritian hospitality,” he said.

    “There is a lot of interest for the race from around the country” said Richard Crockett. “But before we turn this interest into entries there is a lot of work the organising committee and members of both clubs have to do,” he said. The organising committee is being considered, and will be appointed as decisions on every aspect of the race are taken - including securing an overall sponsor.

    Details available from Richard Crockett, Tel. 031-709 6087, 083 265 3885 email sailing@iafrica.com



    Brazil promises to assist Africa’s economic growth

    Brazil, one of South America’s expanding economies, is planning to spread its growing influence across Africa, with projects ranging from industrial plants which will produce ethanol, motor-vehicle assembly plants (in Mozambique) and a drug-manufacturing plant in Africa.

    Brazilian President Lula da Silva, the chief guest at this year’s Summit of the African Union (AU, which was held last week, said his country was ready to engage with African leaders in projects aimed at boosting Africa’s food production and was already in the process of implementing its own versions of the ‘Brazilian green revolution’ in West Africa, including Ghana, which has benefited.

    “Brazil is committed to helping Africa to promote a green revolution. We have in Ghana a similar project aimed at creating Africa’s Savannah such as the ones that we have created in Brazil,” the Brazilian president told the leaders.

    Brazil is investing in ethanol production plants in West Africa and parts of North Africa in an effort to expand Africa’s own industialisation dreams.

    The South American state is currently undertaking pilot projects in Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad.

    Brazil is working towards the signing of some specific agreements with African countries for the implementation of projects aimed at improving Africa’s agriculture, health and environment.

    President da Silva said Brazil would invest in Africa’s sugar sector and had identified some countries, including Mozambique, where it planned to invest in a motor vehicle assembly plant.

    He said plans were underway to install a pilot ethanol plant to harness energy in Africa and increase alcohol production within the continent.

    “These projects have been identified in Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad,” he said, adding “We will extend this initiative to all African countries after signing agreements on some of these issues.”

    African leaders gathered in the Libyan city of Sirte, 600 kilometres outside the capital, Tripoli, where they debated on agriculture and its effects of Africa’s economic revolution.

    President da Silva said Brazil, like several African countries, still faced challenges related to poverty and food insecurity and was ready to exchange views with African leaders on how to conquer some of the challenges.

    Brazil is also building an industrial plant in Mozambique, where it plans to begin the large-scale production of life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs, used to prolong the lives of people affected by HIV/AIDS.



    Pic of the day – MEXICAN BAY



    Seatrade’s reefer ship MEXICAN BAY (10,203-gt, built 1994) in Cape Town harbour recently. Note the containers on deck – increasing quantities of citrus and other fruit are now being containerised as opposed to palletized cargo. Picture by Ian Shiffman




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