Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 15, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson


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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • First View – ATLANTIC ELAND

     
  • MOL introduces changes to Africa trade network

     
  • High speed Durban-Johannesburg train again under consideration

     
  • Maersk adds Tincan Island to FEW1 service

     
  • Portugal to send aircraft, troops to counter Somali pirates

     
  • PetroSA begins preliminary work on its refinery

     
  • Watchdog releases list of 78 renamed Iran ships

     
  • Trade & Investment KZN inspired by Miami Boat Show

     
  • New generation of pirates fan out

     
  • DHL focuses on North Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa

     
  • Australian police arrest Shen Neng 1 master and watch officer

     
  • Pics of the day – TASCO 1, NEPTUNE FINDER and SALVERITAS




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    First View – ATLANTIC ELAND

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    In January PORTS & SHIPS featured a picture of this ship, the Astrakhan type Ro-Ro multi-purpose freighter ATLANTIC ELAND (16,075-gt, built 1990) arriving in Durban on her first visit to South Africa wearing the colours of Canada States Africa Line (CSAL). Along with three sister ships, the Russian-owned Atlantic Eland operates a service between Canada and South Africa, with a rotation of Montreal, Baltimore, Savannah, New Orleans, Houston, Walvis Bay, Durban, Richards Bay and Cape Town.

    In this picture, taken on Tuesday, 14 April, the ship was seen arriving once again at Durban, en route to her regular berth at Maydon Wharf. Picture by Trevor Jones



    MOL introduces changes to Africa trade network

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    Ngqura Container Terminal – catalyst for MOL to bring about signifcant shipping changes. Picture Terry Hutson

    Tokyo, 14 April 2010 — Mitsui OSK Lines today announced changes in its services related to the Africa trade.

    Aiming for more stable service and schedule integrity, Mozambique Zuid Africa Service (MZX) will cover Durban, which is currently covered by Asia / East Coast South America Service (CSW). MZX will also be upgraded from 10 days interval to weekly service, but will suspend port calls at Indian Ocean Islands, which will be covered by a new dedicated service, Indian Ocean Islands Express (IOX).

    South bound CSW service will call at Ngqura (South Africa) instead of Durban. In addition, MOL has set up a new Angola Shuttle service (AOS) to cater to the growing trade requirements to and from Angola.

    “One of major objectives in MOL's new mid-term management plan, GEAR UP! MOL, is to focus on emerging trades and countries,” said MOL General Manager of the Liner Division TK Konishi.

    “We are the only Asian carrier that calls at the port of Ngqura as a hub port, which not only accommodates much larger ships but also is designed to offer efficient transship operations. These features help MOL enhance its network, with Ngqura as a strategic hub port. All of our customers will benefit in transporting their cargoes on these routes through our new high-quality service network.”

    Transnet Port Terminals COO Nosipho Damasane commented, "MOL development of these service changes are exactly what Transnet is looking for in the development of the Ngqura terminal, namely volume growth of transshipment cargo from other regions. Transnet Port Terminals looks forward to MOL's development in Ngqura and to the growth of partnership to both companies' mutual benefit."


    Details are as follows:

    REVISED SERVICES

    Asia / East Coast South Africa service (CSW)

    New Service Rotation Xingang - Dalian - Qingdao - Pusan - Shanghai - Hong Kong - Singapore - Ngqura - Santos - Buenos Aires - Montevideo - Paranagua - Sao Francisco Do Sul - Santos - Rio De Janeiro - Cape Town - Ngqura - Singapore - Hong Kong - Xingang

    New Service commencement Departure of MOL Strength Voy. 4928AB, 7 May 2010 at Singapore

    Mozambique Zuid Africa Service (MZX)

    New Service Rotation
    Singapore - Durban - Maputo - Port Kelang – Singapore

    New Service commencement
    Departure, 8 May 2010 at Singapore

    Frequency : Weekly service

    South / West Africa Service (SWX)

    New Service Rotation
    Durban - Ngqura - Cape Town - Walvis Bay - Abidjan - Tema - Lome - Cotonou - Douala - Ngqura – Durban

    New Service commencement
    Departure of MOL Heritage Voy. 0902A, 21 May 2010 at Durban


    NEW SERVICES

    Indian Ocean Express (IOX)

    Service rotation
    Singapore - Port Louis - Reunion - Tamatave – Singapore

    New Service commencement
    Departure of MOL Silver Fern Voy. 0101A, 17 May 2010 at Singapore

    Frequency: Fortnightly service

    Angola Shuttle Service (AOS)

    Service rotation
    Ngqura - Luanda – Ngqura

    New Service commencement
    Departure of MOL Silver Fern Voy. 0011A, 4 June 2010 at Ngqura

    Frequency : 21 days interval service



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    High speed Durban-Johannesburg train again under consideration

    The South African government has indicated that a high speed train service between the port city of Durban and Johannesburg is again under consideration, with the intention of taking a feasibility proposal to the cabinet by the end of this year.

    The idea was mooted some time ago, and now transport minster and former premier of KwaZulu Natal, S’bu Ndebele wants to see it back on the agenda.

    According to Ndebele, the national road between Durban and Johannesburg (N-3) is the busiest in the country and is severely congested at times, leading to delays in deliveries and for commuters.

    He accepted that a lot of planning and a great deal of finance would be required for a new railway but indicated his desire that the project be taken forward.

    Despite the minister’s enthusiasm for the project, a high speed railway between the two cities is likely to encounter strong opposition including within government. Already the transport ministry faces a backlog in maintenance of national roads of something like R75 billion and someone will no doubt point out that the delays with rail freight lie not with the 12 or 15 hours a train takes now to complete the journey, but with delays at delivering door to door at each end.

    Ndebele is correct in saying that a faster delivery by rail will entice more people away from the road onto rail, but unless some way is found to improve the clearing of goods at either end, any speeding up in the middle will simply be a waste of time.

    As a mover of people however a high speed train has plenty of merit, especially over a medium-distance journey like Durban and Johannesburg. But then this will detract from the airlines, in addition to the road, and the question of fare subsidies will also have to be considered.



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    Maersk adds Tincan Island to FEW1 service

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    Picture by Aad Noorland

    In an effort to continuously adapt its network to offer the best possible coverage between the Far East and West Africa, Maersk has adjusted the port rotation of its FEW1 service.

    The weekly call to Apapa will be replaced with a direct call at the TICT terminal in Tincan Island.

    This rotation change enables Maersk to offer direct weekly departures from the Far East to Tincan Island whilst maintaining a weekly service to Apapa on its FEW2 service.

    The new FEW1 service offers direct coverage from Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Nansha and Tanjung Pelepas to Tincan Island, with transhipment from other Far East origins via Tanjung Pelepas.

    The new rotation will include: Shanghai (China), Ningbo (China), Hong Kong (Hong Kong), Nansha (China), Tanjung Pelepas (Malaysia), Lome (Togo), Cotonou (Benin) and Tincan Island (Nigeria).

    - Eye for Transport



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    Portugal to send aircraft, troops to counter Somali pirates

    Portugal says it intends sending military personnel by way of a patrol aircraft and 42 troops to assist international military forces already operating in the Indian Ocean against Somali pirates.

    Portugal’s Supreme Defence Council said the mission would last for up to four months.

    During 2009 Portugal stationed a frigate among other international naval forces to help with anti-piracy patrols. The frigate was attached to the European Union mission.



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    PetroSA begins preliminary work on its refinery

    Cape Town – PetroSA, South Africa’s National Oil Company, says it intends starting borehole drilling work later this week, as part of a geo-technical investigation at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), the proposed site of the Port Elizabeth crude oil refinery.

    The purpose of the borehole drilling is to ascertain the underlying geological structure of the area and will provide valuable data for possible future civil design work. Close to 110 holes of varied depths will be drilled in Zones 11 and 6 of the Coega IDZ site. The drilling will last for a period of about six months.

    According to Vukani Khulu, PetroSA’s Business Integration Manager, the drilling was not an indication that a decision has been taken to build the refinery.

    “This is purely exploratory work and is primarily aimed at ascertaining the geological structure of the area. Before we undertake anything a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study would need to be done. It is also important to note that the site is not being cleared for construction, but for the exploratory work,” he said.

    PetroSA said it intends commissioning a full EIA study of the IDZ refinery site once approval has been obtained from Government to continue to the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) of the project. A leading South African scientific and research foundation, the Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been appointed to conduct the EIA study, which will run parallel to the FEED phase of the project.

    The Coega refinery is one of the most important investment projects to be undertaken by a South African company. It is estimated that the project will generate about 27,500 jobs during construction and over 18,000 vacancies during operation, due to the direct and indirect impacts of the refinery. These are much-needed jobs that are important for the regeneration and sustainability of the Eastern Cape economy.

    A final investment decision on the refinery will be taken in 2012. (CBN)



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    Watchdog releases list of 78 renamed Iran ships

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    The IRISL freighter AQUARIAN in Durban harbour late last year, not long after being renamed from DIGNIFIED

    A watchdog run under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin has released a list of 78 Iranian ships said to have assumed new identities in an apparent bid to sidestep US sanctions imposed in September 2008.

    Parties doing business with these ships, now registered in places such as Hong Kong, Malta and Germany, are at risk of “taking part in an illegal transaction”, even if ignorant of the sanction, the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control said in a communiqué.

    The communiqué appears equally aimed at the State Department and the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which released the International Maritime Organization numbers and other identifying details of 123 ships when Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and 18 affiliates were blacklisted in 2008.

    US authorities had promised to update the list to provide for counter-moves but this has not been done, the Wisconsin Project said.

    “The US blacklist has not kept up with the large-scale re-labelling of ships, so it is being circumvented by Iran with relatively little effort,” the communiqué stated.

    Under the sanctions, US banks were asked to reject funds transfers involving any of the 123 ships. Freight forwarders and shippers were forbidden from chartering, booking cargo on, or otherwise dealing with the vessels.

    At least 80 of these vessels were renamed as of 17 March, the watchdog said.
    IRISL has transferred their nominal ownership to shell companies, mainly in Malta, Germany, and Hong Kong, places where IRISL already has operations thus making it easier to start “new front companies”.

    To further distance itself from the vessels, IRISL is said to have transferred shipmanagement on “more than half” the sanctioned fleet to Tehran-based Soroush Sarzamin Asatir SSA.

    The statement added: “The combined effect of all these changes is to make it harder for honest companies to comply with US sanctions. A compliance check on a transaction involving one of these ships in late 2008 would have raised several red flags, but changes since then mean that the same transaction today would probably appear clean.

    “Only each ship’s IMO number is unchanged. But these numbers do not always appear on cargo documents, such as letters of credit. So any US company that screens a vessel against Treasury’s sanctions list without checking the IMO number is at risk of taking part in an illegal transaction.”

    Wisconsin Project research associate Matthew Godsey said: “We hope OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) adds the new names to the blacklist as soon as possible, to make the sanctions as effective as they can be.”

    OFAC could not be contacted by press time.

    - Turkish Maritime



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    Trade & Investment KZN inspired by Miami Boat Show

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    Durban Marina. Picture by Terry Hutson

    Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) is the official Investment Promotion Agency for the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. Its mandate is to promote foreign direct investment into the province as well as to assist local companies to access international markets.

    In line with this mandate, TIKZN is actively involved in promoting the KwaZulu-Natal boat building sector through various initiatives including the co-sponsorship of the annual Durban International Boat & Lifestyle Show.

    In view of this sponsorship, Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal embarked on a fact-finding mission in February to one of the world’s greatest boating events - the Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail.

    The objectives of the trip was to view a boat show of this magnitude to see what elements could be used to make the Durban International Boat & Lifestyle Show bigger and better, to promote Kwazulu-Natal as a premier investment destination and to explore the possibilities of offering a platform to BEE boat builders in KwaZulu-Natal at the Miami show in the future.

    The South African Pavilion to Miami was organised by the Department of Trade & Investment, representatives from the South African Consulate in New York and The South African Boat Builders Export Council. This year’s show marked South Africa’s 5th participation with the Pavilion including two well known KZN boat-building companies, namely Royal Cape Catamarans and Afri-Cat Marine, which gave KwaZulu-Natal a powerful presence in Miami.

    Although the Miami Show saw a decrease in the number of visitors this year, it was reported that those who attended were more prone to buying compared to last year. Despite the recession, companies supplying boating accessories, clothing and fishing gear reported an increase in sales of between 20 to 30 percent according to Cathy Rick-Joule, vice president of the southern show division of the National Marine Manufacturer's Association and also producers of the Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail.

    A great achievement for the South African Pavilion was their success in winning the "Best of Show Award for In-Water Display", which was rated on stand design, graphics, professional handling of enquiries and outstanding display of boats.

    The South African boat-building industry has a high degree of international credibility, with KwaZulu-Natal being the second most productive boat-building province in South Africa. To continue promoting the growth of this business sector, TIKZN endeavours to play an active role in encouraging more boat builders to manufacture boats in KwaZulu- Natal.

    “Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal is a proud co-sponsor of the Durban International Boat & Lifestyle Show and has been actively supporting this event for the past few years. We are also very proud of the South African presence at the Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail and hope to have an even stronger KZN presence at this event in 2011. Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal is committed to supporting the boat building industry and to creating a conducive environment for boatbuilding and allied industries,” commented Mr Zamo Gwala, Chief Executive Officer of Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal.

    For further information about TIKZN and its involvement in the boat building industry, please contact Ms Praline Ross, Project Manager, Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal on (031) 368 9600 or email praline@tikzn@co.za



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    New generation of pirates fan out

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    Turkish bulker Yasin C, highjacked by pirates on 7 April and later abandoned

    A new generation of well-organised Somali pirates is targeting ships and aims to use ransoms from hijackings for further criminal activities, a senior ship industry official said on Tuesday.

    Seaborne gangs have already increased their attacks in recent months, making tens of millions of dollars in ransoms from seizing ships, including tankers and dry bulkers, in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.

    Better weather is expected to lead to further attacks.

    Jan Kopernicki, president of the UK Chamber of Shipping industry association and also vice president of Shell Shipping, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell, told Reuters an “industrialisation of piracy” was taking place.

    “It certainly seems from the shipping industry point of view that it’s a more structured and organised approach that is developing and that is worrying because it’s much more in the area of solid criminality,” he said in an interview.

    Kopernicki, who was appointed UK Chamber of Shipping president last month, said there had been a “substitution” of groups involved.

    “The first generation pirates have been succeeded by a second generation which are different and from different groups and from what I understand connected differently,” he said.

    “I absolutely don’t want to suggest this is linked to terrorism from what I am aware of.”
    The previous generation of pirates had divided up ransoms to fund their villages in Somalia, Kopernicki said, adding there was better-organised use now of mother ships and small speed boats known as skiffs.

    “We are now seeing structured organisation with material apparently being brought down a supply line to supply these boats and skiffs,” said Kopernicki, who leads Shell’s shipping business.

    “The impression we have is that the money flows are leaving Somalia and going into criminal elements.”

    West Africa

    Foreign navies have been deployed off the Gulf of Aden since 2009 and have operated convoys, as well as setting up a transit corridor across dangerous waters. But their forces have been stretched over the vast waterways, leaving ships vulnerable.

    While West African pirates have not attracted the same amount of international attention as their Somali counterparts, maritime analysts say they pose an increasing risk in a region with weak surveillance and a growing number of oil finds.

    Cameroon’s state oil company said last week crude oil production fell by 13 percent last year in part because piracy off the coast cut investment.

    “The situation in West Africa is beginning to have the elements that would give concern of a copy cat developing more generically in that area,” Kopernicki said.

    Shell declined to comment on how many vessels the group had operating off East and West Africa citing “security reasons”.

    Kopernicki said consultation on “an urgent basis” was needed between governments, the military and industry to review plans for protecting merchant traffic off West Africa to ensure the situation did not escalate. “We are early enough in the piece to be able to do something constructive.”

    - SHIPTALK



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    DHL focuses on North Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa

    DHL is concentrating on opportunities presented by the growing trade between North Asia Pacific (NAP) and emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa (EMA).

    Boosted by the growth in exports in the chemicals and life science sectors, the airfreight traffic from NAP to EMA is expected to grow at 8.3% a year and ocean freight by 7.1% a year by 2015.

    According to DHL Global Forwarding CEO (North Asia Pacific) Kelvin Leung, China is Egypt's top trading partner in NAP. Together, South Korea, Japan and China accounted for between 75% and 85% of all air and ocean freight volumes from NAP to Egypt last year.

    Enver Moretti, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding (emerging markets region) said that the life science & chemicals, fashion, automotive and electronics sectors are highly relevant to trade between NAP and Egypt, accounting for more than 60% of ocean freight exports from Egypt into NAP, and 20% of exports from NAP into Egypt with an industry projected growth of 8.7% per year until 2015.

    The fashion and apparel sector continues to be China's largest export into Egypt, while the electronics goods sector is projected to grow by more than 12% a year until 2015.

    Apparel and footwear account for the largest share of airfreight exports between NAP and EMA; followed by engineering and manufacturing. By 2015, apparel and footwear is expected to grow by 6%, engineering and manufacturing by 7% and consumer goods by 11%.

    Similarly, in ocean freight, export growth is expected to be driven by manufactured goods, life science & chemicals, and engineering & manufacturing commodities. Each sector is expected to grow by between 7% and 8% by 2015.

    DHL has a well-established network of DHL Competence Centres around the world, each with a dedicated industry sector focus, including:

     
  • Sixteen DHL Life Sciences & Healthcare Competence Centres
     
  • Six DHL Fashion & Apparel Centres of Excellence
     
  • Eight DHL Oil & Energy Centres of Excellence

    “We see opportunities for increased trade between EMA and North Asia Pacific, with China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan continuing to dominate as the largest exporters and importers for Egypt,” added Joseph Mishriky, country manager of DHL Global Forwarding, Egypt.

    - Eye for Transport



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    Australian police arrest Shen Neng 1 master and watch officer

    Gladstone, 14 April 2010 - The master and chief officer-on-watch of the Shen Neng 1, the ship that ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, have been arrested. The Australian Federal Police said the arrests followed a joint investigation along with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

    Investigations showed that the Shen Neng 1 failed to turn at a waypoint required by the intended course of the ship. The two seafarers will appear in Gladstone Court tomorrow where it will be alleged in court that the men were the master and chief officer-on-watch of the vessel that caused damage to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

    The master, a 47-year old Chinese national, faces a fine of up to AD 55,000 if found guilty, while the watch officer, a 44-year old Chinese national faces a maximum penalty of up to three years in prison and/or a AD 220,000 fine.

    - Seatrade Asia



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    Pics of the day – TASCO 1, NEPTUNE FINDER and SALVERITAS

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    The Thai-flagged and owned products tanker TASCO 1 (4,685-dwt, built 1995) seen exiting the Maydon channel in Durban harbour en route for the open high seas. Picture by Terry Hutson

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    After delays because of thick fog, the oil rig NEPTUNE FINDER was finally able to leave Cape Town harbour yesterday morning but only after the early morning mist had lifted. The rig was on tow behind the tug SALVERITAS and assisted by several TNPA harbour tugs. Picture by Aad Noorland



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