Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 25, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson




















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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • First View – QUEEN MARY 2

     
  • Maiden voyage of QUEEN MARY 2 to a South Africa port – Durban’s does her proud

     
  • Orthodox economics failing South Africa - Patel

     
  • CPI falls to 5.7 percent in February

     
  • Strong punt to make Dar es Salaam the East African Community port

     
  • MOL introduces diesel particulate filter to ships using MFO

     
  • Concern over Nigerian port congestion

     
  • Annual Chevron maintenance shutdown at Cape Town

     
  • Arlona completes new equipment for Durban Container Terminal

     
  • Piracy – Two more ships, Frigia and Talca highjacked while pirate dies from gunshot in third attack

     
  • MOL adjusts rotation on West African (ARN) service

     
  • Pics of the day – QUEEN MARY 2 in Durban




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    First View – QUEEN MARY 2

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    Coming out of the the early morning mist, QUEEN MARY 2 approaches her first ever South African port of call, at Durban on Tuesday, 23 March 2010. To welcome the Cunard flagship are five harbour tugs which made liberal use of their water cannons, while a number of small craft paid homage nearby. Large crowds lined the North Pier, beachfront and other vantage points to witness her arrival and even greater numbers watched her departure later in the day. Full credit goes to the Port of Durban management for organising a temporary ’handover’ of the north breakwater to provide the public with convenient access. Later that evening the pier reverted to being a construction site, until the formal handover on 31 March. Picture by Trevor Jones



    Maiden voyage of QUEEN MARY 2 to a South African port – Durban’s does her proud

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    Queen Mary 2 alongside the fruit terminal on Durban’s T-Jetty and in glorious sunshine. Picture by Trevor Jones

    It was a day of which Durban can be proud. People turned out in their thousands to welcome the ship and visit vantage points around Durban Bay simply to gaze in awe and admiration on the largest cruise ship ever to visit Durban and a South African harbour.

    It was all made possible by the timeous completion of the harbour widening and deepening project, which has widened the port entrance by a further 100 metres and deepened the channel to 19m, shallowing to 17m further into the harbour. Not that her draught was a problem – Queen Mary 2 draws just on 10m but the ship’s width of 41m would have exceeded the old entrance channel limitation of 32m.

    Queen Mary 2 is on her 2010 World Cruise which has taken the Cunard flagship from New York to Southampton, through the Mediterranean to Dubai and on to India, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore before visiting Vietnam, Hong Kong and Shanghai and then to Japan. From Yokohama the ship visited several Pacific island destinations before reaching New Zealand and Australia.

    From Fremantle the ship began her crossing of the Indian Ocean for Mauritius, where something like a hundred South African passengers joined her for the voyage to Durban and Cape Town. Among them is Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on board to deliver several lectures on the future of South Africa which have been to fully packed theatres on board ship.

    Queen Mary 2’s arrival in Durban is her first visit to a South African port and Durban didn’t let the side down. Transnet National Ports Authority rose to the occasion by making arrangements for a premature opening of a section of the North Pier which enabled the public to greet and bid farewell to the ship. That they did in their thousands. Other vantage places such as the nearby uShaka Beach also felt the weight of large numbers of people, while Festival Island and the Wilson’s Wharf waterfront complex saw considerable numbers of visitors. The ship was berthed alongside berths O and P, next to the fruit terminal, which was about the best position that Queen Mary 2 could have had for onlookers and admirers.

    Purists may argue that the ship is not the most elegant or beautiful of a long line of Cunard vessels, and they may be right. But Queen Mary 2 has just the same pulling power to attract attention no matter where she sails of any predecessor, and Durban proved this week that South Africa is no exception. No doubt Cape Town will later today provide exactly the same welcome as the ship arrives for a two-day visit to enable a segment change. Some 500 South African passengers are joining the ship in Cape Town for the next leg of the journey across the South Atlantic to the island of St Helena and then on to Rio de Janeiro, before heading back into the Northern Hemisphere to Barbados and Port Everglades and finally to New York and the completion of this year’s ‘World Cruise’.

    Queen Mary 2 will revisit Durban and Cape Town in reverse order in February 2011.

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    Queen Mary 2 arriving off Durban in the early morning. Picture by Trevor Jones



    Orthodox economics failing South Africa - Patel


    Cape Town - South Africa needs to break away from orthodox economic models and start focusing on policies that will respond to the country's development needs, says Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel.

    Speaking at the launch of the Next Economy National Dialogue on Tuesday night, Patel said the success of countries like China, Malaysia, Japan and even Brazil were proof that orthodox economics was not the only way to go.

    The project, which is an initiative of Patel's department, Cape Times and the SA New Economic Network, aims at driving economic debate around the country and to get ordinary South Africans involved in economic development.

    Patel told the audience of about 200 that there was a picture in South Africa that many chose to ignore.

    "If you look at this picture, you see this wide gap between the poor and the rich, rising unemployment, and we continue to follow orthodox (economics) instead of looking at what is working for us," he said.

    Patel argued that for South Africa to grow the economy and address issues of inequality, ordinary citizens needed to have a say in the formulation of economic policy. He said South Africa's uninterrupted growth before 2008 was based on unsustainable ways and mainly fueled by credit consumption.

    "We can't keep on like that; we need growth that is sustainable and that can only be achieved through descent and sustainable jobs and the work we do now should be inspired by a new growth path," he said.

    "If we are to have real dialogue to build consensus, can we find ways to explore new ideas to do what China has done? China has not followed a book nor has Malaysia... South Africans must be able to find answers to their problems," added Patel.

    Cosatu General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said South Africa has been sitting on a "time bomb" for a very long time.

    "This inequality and joblessness is not something that has been brought by the recession, it's been there for years. Let us not blame the recession - it just made things worse.

    "Before the recession, South Africa was already in deep structural unemployment. The dialogue signaled hope as it would allow South Africans to be part of a solution because in a revolution you do not sideline the masses or the revolution will fail," said Vavi.

    Business Leadership South Africa Chairman, Bobby Godsell, said South Africans must be honest enough to debate even the most sensitive issues in the economy.

    "We need to talk about transformation and entrepreneurs. We need to develop a shared dream and for us to do that we need rules that celebrate people who get rich justifiably and we need rules that act against people who get rich unjustifiably," said Godsell. - BuaNews



    CPI falls to 5.7 percent in February

    Pretoria - The Consumer Price Index for February fell to 5.7 percent, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced on Wednesday (24 March 2010).

    "It is a surprise seeing that inflation is falling more rapidly than anticipated. It is good news that the cost of food and clothing has decreased. It is a fairly widespread decline," Standard Bank senior economist Dr Johan Botha told BuaNews.

    Market expectation was that it would fall to 5.9 of the Reserve Bank's inflation target of between three and six percent.

    February's figure was 0,5 of a percentage point lower than the 6.2 percent recorded in January.

    According to Stats SA the food and non-alcoholic beverages index decreased by 0.4 percent between January 2010 and February 2010 with the annual rate decreasing to 1.8 percent in February 2010 from 2.4 percent in January 2010.

    The monthly decrease in the food and nonalcoholic beverages index was largely driven by monthly decreases in fruit, vegetables, meat, bread and cereals among other things.

    The clothing and footwear annual rate decreased to 3.1 percent in February 2010 from 4 percent in January 2010 while the monthly index was unchanged.

    Stats SA released the data early to accommodate the deliberations of the Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) regarding rates. The committee's two day meeting will conclude with the seven member committee making an announcement on whether to keep interest rates as they are or to raise them.

    The start of the MPC meeting follows the release of the central bank's March Quarterly Bulletin on Tuesday indicating improvement in the country's economy.

    "I don't think we will see a change in interest rates. Yesterday's positive (Quarterly) bulletin shows that the economy is starting to grow. We think the bank will sit tight on this one," explained Botha.

    "Our view is that they are not going to cut but there is a 45 percent chance that they could cut especially looking at the new mandate in the minister's (Finance minister Pravin Gordhan) letter to the governor," said Nedbank economist Isaac Matshego.

    The letter sent to Gill Marcus in February included that job creation and growth as well as inflation be part of policy formulation at the central bank. The letter did not change the Bank's mandate but it shifted the inflation matter to a broader perspective.

    The decision on whether to keep rates unchanged or not will be made known tomorrow afternoon. The repo rate currently stands at 7 percent.-BuaNews



    Strong punt to make Dar es Salaam the East African Community port

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    Dar es Salaam – ready for port business

    Tanzania has begun a campaign aimed at enticing other East and Central African countries to use the port of Dar es Salaam by choice, reports The Monitor.

    Tanzania’s High Commissioner to Uganda, Mr Rajab Gamaha told a meeting of the business community in Kampala that Dar es Salaam has the capacity to serve not only Tanzania but the surrounding region and even beyond. He said the port was ready for new challenges.

    “We don’t want to be seen as an alternative but as a trade route that is not only reliable but one that (users) can be comfortable with our services,” he said.

    According to the Tanzanian Minister in Charge of EAC Affairs, Diodorus Buberwa, in the last two years more than USD 40 million has been injected into container handling infrastructure at the port of Dar es Salaam to help make it suitable for all forms of cargo and transportation.



    MOL introduces diesel particulate filter to ships using MFO

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    MOL Dedication (39,906-gt, built 2008) in Cape Town, March 2010. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Tokyo — Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd (MOL) has announced the joint development, along with Akasaka Diesels Limited of a diesel particulate filter (DPF) for vessels that use marine heavy fuel oil.

    Tests showed that the device removed more than 80 percent of particulate matter (PM) from diesel emissions. In the test, a DPF was installed on the main engine of an MOL Group-operated coastal ferry, the SUNFLOWER KOGANE. This test marked the first successful use of a self-regenerating DPF on a large vessel using marine heavy fuel oil. The Sunflower Kogane (9,710 gt, main engine: 9,267kw) is operated by the Diamond Ferry Co, Ltd, an MOL Group company.

    The DPF includes filters made of silicon carbide ceramic fibers, which remove PM from the exhaust. An internal heating system automatically burns off accumulated PM in the filter to eliminate clogging. This eliminates the necessity for cleaning by seafarers and allows the filter to be used continuously.

    Installation of the new DPF will potentially reduce soot emissions from vessels on ocean cargo routes as well as those entering and leaving ports and operating their engines while at berth, thus helping curtail possible effects of exhaust emissions.

    Following the success of the experiment, MOL and Akasaka Diesels will further upgrade the DPF to ready the device for practical installation on diesel main engines and auxiliary engines of large-scale ocean-going vessels.

    Meanwhile, MOL Europe has announced that it has received its authorized economic operator (AEO) certificate from Dutch Customs, which makes MOL the first shipping company to be certificated at all of its European offices – 13 offices in 10 countries.

    Having a AEO certificate makes the holder less liable for physical inspection and documentation checks.



    Concern over Nigerian port congestion

    Concern is being expressed over the possibility of congestion at the Lagos port terminals despite recent efforts to avoid such an occurrence.

    According to media reports over 50 ships are queuing to enter the various terminals with over a hundred other ships expected to arrive in the next fortnight. Ongoing congestion at the Lagos ports has serious connotations for Nigeria and in the past the Federal Government has been forced to create a special task force to deal with delays.



    Annual Chevron maintenance shutdown at Cape Town

    Oil major Chevron has announced that its annual scheduled shutdown for maintenance will take place between early April and mid May.

    A spokesman for the company said that, as part of extensive planning for the routine inspection period, sufficient supplies of Caltex fuel have been stockpiled. This will ensure that customers and consumers have adequate supplies of fuel and other refined petroleum products.

    No mention was made of bunker fuel supplies.

    The Chevron refinery outside Cape Town produces 110,000 barrels of fuel a day and is one of five South African refineries.



    Arlona completes new equipment for Durban Container Terminal

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    Durban-based Arlona Engineering recently completed the design and fabrication of a new mobile bowser for Transnet Port Terminals at the Port of Durban Container Terminal. Arlona was also responsible for the upgrade of two existing mobile bowsers that could no longer cope with increased fuelling demands at the Durban Container Terminal.

    Arlona Engineering, specialists in fabrication, machining, proofloading and maintenance, has recently completed the design and fabrication of a new mobile bowser for Transnet, which is used at the Port of Durban’s Pier 2 container terminal (DCT).

    “The expansion of Pier 2 at the Durban Harbour has seen the number of straddle carriers increasing to 100, with the introduction soon of another 120 machines. Transnet needed to introduce an efficient new system to provide fuel to the large fleet of straddle carriers and gantry cranes operating in the stack area,” says Steve Christy, managing director of Arlona Engineering. “Durban Container Terminal (DCT) which is the largest container terminal in the southern hemisphere, requires efficient fuelling methods to optimise productivity and ensure safety.

    “Arlona Engineering was awarded the contract to design and manufacture a new mobile tanker bowser to service these machines on site. Arlona was also responsible for the upgrade of two existing mobile bowsers operating in the terminal which were in poor condition and could no longer cope with increased fuelling demands.

    “The successful design of this innovative fuelling equipment, which involved close team work and impeccable manufacturing standards, is likely to be introduced at other ports and terminals in Africa.”

    The challenge was to utilise the basis of the original design to produce a new bowser, with the introduction of modern features and improved performance standards. The two existing bowsers were subsequently refurbished to the same design and impeccable standards.

    The new mobile tanker comprises a single axle bathtub type trailer, onto which a 25,000 litre stainless steel tank was mounted. The terminal uses an average of 30,000 litres of diesel a day and because only two tankers work at a time, the size of these bowser tanks needed to be large. In spite of the enormous tank capacity, the bowsers are filled from the stationary storage fuel holding tanks at least once a day.

    These fuel bowsers are used in the operating area and therefore had to have an independent power source, which is provided by a 5 Kva generator. To ensure reliable operation at all times and for the supply of smooth power to the automated fuel system digital control cabinet, a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) was also installed, complete with deep cycle batteries. Mechanical type fuel pumps were selected because they can withstand harsh operating conditions.

    A cab provides the operator with comfort and safety, also protecting the electrical cabinet and Fuel-o-Mat processor from adverse weather conditions. The cab also provides an extendable platform for the attendant to easily reach the straddle carrier fuel tank inlet.

    This project, which demanded a highly efficient and safe fuelling facility in an arduous environment where machinery and equipment are subjected to abnormal demands, was timeously completed. (The contract was awarded to Arlona Engineering at the end of 2008 and the project was completed early in 2010).

    Arlona Engineering specialises in the design and manufacture of grabs, hoppers, container spreaders and lifting equipment, as well as a wide range of cargo handling equipment.



    Piracy – Two more ships, Frigia and Talca highjacked while pirate dies from gunshot in third attack

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    FRIGIA, which was highjacked on Tuesday 1,000 miles from Somalia. Picture from EU NAVFOR

    Two more ships have been highjacked by Somali pirates, while in another incident involving armed guards on board a third vessel, a pirate has been killed.

    On the morning of 23 March, the Malta flagged Turkish owned (Garanti Finansal Kiralama) cargo ship FRIGIA, deadweight 35,000 tonnes, was hijacked in the Indian Ocean.

    The hijacking took place approximately 1,000 nautical miles east of the northern coast of Somalia. This position is closer to India than Somalia and is approximately 400 n.miles outside the normal EU NAVFOR operation area. The ship was heading from Port Said to Kaousichang in Thailand. MV Frigia has a crew of 21 (19 Turkish and 2 Ukrainian). The ship was heading east but has since turned around, is heading west and appears to be heading for one of the known pirate ports off the coast of Somalia. EU NAVFOR says it is continuing to monitor the situation.


    In the second successful highjacking by Somali pirates, the Bermuda flagged British Virgin Islands owned cargo ship TALCA (11,055-dwt) was also reported hijacked on Tuesday, 23 March.

    The hijacking took place approximately 120 nautical miles off the coast of Oman and 180 miles south of Mazera. Talca was heading from Sokhna in Egypt to Busheir in Iran. The ship had already passed through the International Recommended Transit Corridor, which is patrolled by warships and maritime patrol aircraft from EU NAVFOR, NATO, Combined Maritime Forces and other navies.

    Twenty-three of the crew are from Sri Lanka, one from the Philippines and one from Syria. EU NAVFOR says it will continue to monitor the situation.


    In yet another occurrence on this eventful Tuesday, an EU NAVFOR warship received a distress call from a merchant ship off the Somali coast and proceeded at high speed to assist.

    The Panamanian-flagged cargo ship, ALMEZAAN, en route to Mogadishu, came under attack from pirates. An armed private vessel protection detachment on board the ship returned fire, successfully repelling the first attack, but the pirates continued to pursue. A second attack was repelled and the pirates fled the area.

    The EU NAVFOR frigate ESPS NAVARRA, from the Spanish Navy, was dispatched by the Force Commander, Rear Admiral Giovanni Gumiero of the Italian Navy, and raced to the scene of the incident. She launched her helicopter, quickly locating the ALMEZAAN and the pirates’ boats, known as skiffs. When the suspects failed to heed the helicopter’s instructions to stop, warning shots were fired by the aircraft, after which a team from NAVARRA boarded a skiff.

    There were three boats, comprising one mother ship and two pirate skiffs. In the first skiff they found three suspected pirates and, in the second, three suspects and a fourth individual, who had died. The body has been transferred to NAVARRA, and an investigation indicated that the individual had died from small calibre gunshot wounds. The mother ship has now been destroyed and the remaining six suspects have been taken onboard the NAVARRA.


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    The Spanish frigate ESPS NAVARRA with the Iranian dhow UAID400

    Earlier this week the Spanish ship provided assistance to the crew of an Iranian dhow, UAID400, who had been attacked and robbed by pirates. An EU NAVFOR boarding party found that the Iranian crew had been attacked several days earlier, during which they had been kept tied up without food and water for two days before the pirates left, taking all their possessions. The dhow’s radio and portable phones were broken, rendering them useless and the dhow was without water, food and fuel and was drifting helpless.

    When the Spanish navy ship arrived the dhow’s crew had already resorted to drinking sea water. The navy ship provided water, food and fuel to enable the crew to return home safely.



    MOL adjusts rotation on West African (ARN) service

    Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) has announced it intends adjusting the rotation of port calls on the Africa Rainbow Northern loop known as ARN, which connects with New World Alliance’s Asia Europe Express service (AEX).

    In future MOL ships on the ARN service will call at London’s Thamesport instead of Felixtowe. Using three 2,100-TEU container ships the revised rotation is now London Thamesport, Tangier, Abidjan, Tema, Lagos, Abidjan, Vigo, Antwerp, Zeebrugge and London Thamesport.



    Pics of the day – QUEEN MARY 2 in Durban

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    Two further pictures of QUEEN MARY 2 on her arrival in Durban on Tuesday, 23 March 2010. Both Pictures by Trevor Jones.

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