Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 4, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • First View – STX ROSE I


  • Subtech tug REIER plays critical role in search for ship’s captain and wife


  • BIMCO calls on African countries to help with fighting piracy


  • Moatize and Benga coal mining to start in July


  • YESTERYEAR: Those classic ships - SA ORANJE


  • Trade News: Anchor Industries signs landmark distribution agreement


  • Safmarine recycles SAFMARINE COTONOU the green way


  • Liberia ships first logs after forestry ban is lifted


  • Pics of the day – RT ADRIAAN





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    First View – STX ROSE I

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    The heavylift submersible vessel STX ROSE I (17,824-gt, built 2008) which arrived in Durban to take bunkers and supplies at the beginning of May. The ship is carrying what appears to be a a number of motorised river barges and coastal vessels. Picture is by Trevor Jones


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    Subtech tug REIER plays critical role in search for ship’s captain and wife

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    Subtech’s tug REIER at sea. Picture by Grant Bairstow

    Additional details of the tragic death of two people from a Eukor car carrier at anchor off Durban can now be revealed. The South Korean couple who died were the master of the ship, the car carrier MORNING COMPOSER (57,542-gt, built 2008) and his wife and died as a result of what appears to be a family disagreement.

    Shouting “You don’t love me anymore” the woman threw herself overboard late on Sunday night. The ship’s master sounded the alarm and according to witnesses jumped overboard as well, in what appears to be an effort to rescue his wife. The ship at the time was approximately six miles from the port entrance lying at anchor.

    Following the alarm crew mustered and a call was sent to port control advising them of the drama, which was followed by an appeal for assistance from the search and rescue authorities who quickly responded. This included deploying the port marine helicopter and two rescue boats of the National Sea Rescue Institute.

    Another vessel to respond was the Subtech tug REIER which was on a return voyage from Richards Bay, when at 02h30 she overheard the Morning Composer reporting to Durban port control that they had a Man Overboard situation.

    Captain Pieterse, the master of Reier immediately altered course towards the vessel and informed Port Control that as they were the nearest vessel able to respond he would begin the surface search while assisting with the co-ordination of the search. All the crew were posted as lookouts and searchlights were deployed. The Reier made contact with the car carrier to determine how many people had gone overboard, when this had occurred and what clothing and floatation devices they had on.

    On closing the vessel Capt Pieterse slowed down and after determining the set and drift in the area continued with a search pattern. At this stage the NPA helicopter joined the search with the Reier providing a datum and the helicopter covering the outer search grid.

    At 03h30 a number of lifejackets were found which the Reier recovered. The helicopter then had to return to the port while the Reier continued the search and maintained a datum for the helicopter’s return. On the return of the helicopter the first body was spotted 70m from the Reier which is testimony to the accuracy of the datum provided by the tug.

    The NSRI was then called in to recover the body. Shortly thereafter the second body was discovered which the NSRI subsequently also recovered.

    The professionalism of Capt Pieterse and his crew on the Reier can only be commended.



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    BIMCO calls on African countries to help with fighting piracy

    Many wonder how countries in the closer proximity of this area can remain less engaged than those far away.

    A leading shipping industry body urged Somalia and other African countries to cooperate in fighting piracy off their shores, noting that multilateral efforts in Asia had restored security for merchant ships in the region. “We know the problems in the Gulf of Aden and in the Indian Ocean can be solved because anti-piracy multilateral initiatives have worked in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore,” said Robert Lorenz-Meyer, president of the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO).

    Lorenz-Meyer, head of a global group of 2,720 shipping companies, was speaking at an anti-piracy conference in Singapore, organised by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (RECAAP).

    Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand had set the stage for cooperation between states, both in terms of information exchange and mobilization of resources, he said.

    RECAAP's assistant director for research Lee Yin Mui gave the case of the hijacked Singaporean tugboat ASTA as an example of effective cooperation in fighting piracy.

    The tug was hijacked by pirates on 6 February off Malaysia's Tioman island and recovered three weeks later in the southern Philippines, due to “good inter-agency coordination” in the region, she said.

    The pirates had been arrested, and all 12 crew members rescued, Lee said.

    In contrast, not all states bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean had the capacity to provide protection for merchant ships, nor were they collating information, Lorenz-Meyer said.

    While the situation might not be exactly the same, “this cannot be used as an excuse for failure,” he said.

    Asian countries were even contributing to the multinational naval presence off Africa's shores, Lorenz-Meyer said. “Many wonder how countries in the closer proximity of this area can remain less engaged than those far away.”

    “As the waters of Asia became safer, the situation off Somalia as well off the West Coast of Africa worsened,” he said.

    In the first quarter of 2010, 20 actual and five attempted incidents of piracy and armed robbery were registered in Asia, up from 14 and one in the same period a year ago, respectively, according to RECAAP's Singapore-based Information Sharing Centre.

    However, it said, the overall rise could be attributed to an increase of low-level attacks mainly against ships at ports and anchorages in Indonesia, which rose to 17 in the first quarter, up from nine a year earlier.

    The London-based International Maritime Bureau said earlier the number of piracy incidents worldwide dropped in the first quarter of 2010, but it warned that Somali pirates were widening the scope of their attacks.

    From January to March, 18 pirate attacks were reported off Somalia, the highest number worldwide, followed by the Gulf of Aden with 12 cases.

    “Governments of the world must get their act together,” Lorenz-Meyer said, adding that adequate national legislation was needed to prosecute pirates.

    “Continuing a catch-and-release approach will not solve this problem,” he said, “We must see this change to catch-and-prosecute.”

    Pursuit, arrest, prosecution and punishment had to be part of the solution, he said, because “If there are no consequences for the pirates, they will continue to attack ships.”

    However, some anti-piracy tools remained still out of reach due to regulatory limitations, Lorenz-Meyer said. For example, Interpol databases to identify pirates were still only available to police officers.

    “We hope that one solution that could be instrumental in arresting pirates, namely the placement of police officers on the patrolling naval ships, will in the not so distant future result in more arrests and fewer cases of catch and release,” he said. - Hellenic Shipping News



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    Moatize and Benga coal mining to start in July

    Maputo, Mozambique, 3 May – Coal mining in the Moatize and Benga concession areas of Brazilian company Vale and Australia’s Riversdale Mining, is due to begin in the third quarter of the year, the assistant national director of Mining, Obede Matine said in Maputo.

    With the launch of mining operations, Matine said, the first exports will begin in the second half of 2011 at the latest.

    In Riversdale’s case, the start of mining this year gives it a head start on the schedule initially set out by the company, which set 2011 as the start of activities.

    The company has said that starting early is due to the need to respond to a number of requests from potential consumers of the coal.

    In Benga, the area on which Riversdale has a concession, according to figures established thus far, there are reserves of 4.4 billion tons, whilst at Moatize, in the area on which Vale Mozambique has a concession, around 2 billion tons are available.

    Matine noted that in Moatize three other companies were carrying out economic feasibility studies; ETA Star, Zambeze Energy and ETA Recursos, with known reserves in these areas of 975 million tons of mineral coal.

    If the studies show exploration to be viable, the three companies may begin operating within three or four years. - Macauhub



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    YESTERYEAR: Those classic ships - SA ORANJE

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    Safmarine’s SA ORANJE (28,705-gt, built 1948 as Pretoria Castle) departs Cape Town on 3 October 1975 on her last voyage. Eight days later, after a final visit to Durban where the ship was emptied, SA Oranje left behind the shores of Africa for the breakers yard in Taiwan. Photographer not known – picture submitted by Ken Malcolm



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    Trade News: Anchor Industries signs landmark distribution agreement

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    Viking Moorings, a global leader in mooring solutions leader, is forging a long term relationship with Anchor Industries by delivering over 1,000 tonnes of equipment to Cape Town worth in excess of USD12 million.

    As the sole provider of mooring equipment in Southern Africa, Anchor Industries’ clients will receive additional benefits which include mooring analysis and specification of needs based on the analysis, delivery, loading and inspection of the equipment. They therefore effectively provide a Total Mooring Solution to the marine and offshore markets.

    Viking Moorings provides mooring solutions for semi-submersible drilling rigs, floating accommodation units and other key resources that play a critical role in the offshore oil and gas industry.

    “In developing our strategy for entry into the marine equipment rental market in Southern Africa, we identified Anchor Industries as our ideal service partner and are pleased to announce that we will supply our equipment to them exclusively. We are confident in our choice of partner and look forward to working with them to expand and improve the range of services and equipment which can be offered in their local market,” says Duncan Cuthill, Viking Moorings UK Manager.

    “This agreement allows us to replace our existing rental stock with modern equipment that is better suited to our clients’ needs and the local conditions and the additional equipment on hand will enable us to service a greater number of clients over a larger geographical area,” says Dale Hutcheson, Anchor Industries Managing Director. “Our clients are able to rely on our combined international experience that was gained over more than 30 years on various mooring projects in international locations ranging from the United Kingdom to Norway, Singapore and West Africa.”

    The equipment includes anchors, shackles, buoys, stud link chain, and pennant wires which will enable the supply of complete sets for piggyback moorings as well as spooling and recovery gear. All equipment is strictly controlled through a DNV approved ISO9001:2008 Quality Management System.

    The agreement was strengthened with a visit from Viking Moorings’ management and staff during the recent Oil and Gas Africa exhibition in Cape Town, while the shipment is expected to arrive at the end of April. The equipment will be stored locally and will be available to clients shortly thereafter.



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    Safmarine recycles SAFMARINE COTONOU the green way

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    Safmarine Cotonou in Durban in 2008. Picture by Rip Riphagen

    Environmentally-responsible shipping lines are not only improving their 'green credentials' through slow steaming and the introduction of more fuel-efficient tonnage, they're also choosing greener and cleaner methods for the disposal of vessels.

    A recent example is Safmarine's conscious decision not to sell the 24 year old SAFMARINE COTONOU when she reached the end of her service, but instead, to opt for the vessel's 'green recycling' at the ISO 14001-accredited Changjiang Ship-breaking Yard in Jiangyin, China so that a significant portion of the vessel could be reused.

    Watching a ship being 'green' recycled is much like watching a ship being built - only in reverse - for the same care and attention to detail which would accompany the construction of a vessel, is applied to its deconstruction, says Filip Geerts, Safmarine's Antwerp-based Health, Safety and Environment Manager.

    “Green or clean recycling of ships is a trend which is definitely gaining favour as ship owners show increased responsibility towards the environment and the cost gap between 'clean' and 'traditional' recycling continues to narrow,” explains Geerts.

    He says ship owners - initially opposed to the idea because of the perceived, significantly higher cost - are now realising the value, both economically and environmentally, of dismantling and disposing of the vessel in a 'green way'.

    “Green recycling of ships needn't be cost prohibitive. As Safmarine we were kept informed, at all times, of the costs associated with the recycling of the vessel and there were no hidden costs or surprises, a refreshing change from using the traditional beaching method where shipbreakers often 'reopen' negotiations after the vessel has been grounded and can no longer be moved.”

    He says Safmarine also appreciated the transparency of the process. “All the materials removed from the vessel can be traced, something which is beyond the current international requirements for shipbreaking, although we expect this will become a future requirement.”

    Geerts explains several steps were involved in clean recycling of the Safmarine Cotonou, a process which took three months from start to finish.

    “After the crew disembarked, the vessel underwent a pre-inspection to obtain her Green Passport. This involved establishing an inventory of all materials, operationally-generated wastes and stores on board.

    “Several 'surveys' were then conducted with a focus on identifying any 'toxic' materials. Every loose item was collected and disposed of in an environmentally-sensitive manner. Food, perishables and medicines were incinerated, cables were cut, oil removed to an oil treatment zone, refrigerants recovered and all materials, panels and insulation etcetera were removed, as were all fixtures in the accommodation. Safe access was created after fumigation of the vessel to ensure sufficient light and ventilation holes and only when all items were safely removed and the vessel pre-cleaned, was it time to cut the steel structure.”

    Shipbreaking is often regarded as 'dangerous and dirty' work, but Geerts says safety and protection of the environment were high on the agenda in the green recycling of the Safmarine Cotonou.

    “There were no injuries and no spillages thanks to the careful way in which the recycling was conducted and managed, and the site was completely cleared before the recycling of the next vessel began.”

    Geerts says the recycling of the Safmarine Cotonou was overseen and conducted by a team appointed by Maersk Ship Management (MSM).

    “The entire process was documented with Safmarine receiving extensive supporting information, including photos, certificates, permits and the like. We really were most impressed with the way in which the project was managed. Not only were we kept fully informed every step of the way, but all those involved in the recycling showed high levels of commitment to the recycling process. It was very clear that doing what was right was meaningful to them and in our view, it definitely pays to deal with a reputable, professional organisation,” says Geerts.

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    Safmarine Cotonou being recycled. Picture Safmarine



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    Liberia ships first logs after forestry ban is lifted

    The first shipment of logs from Liberia since the lifting of UN sanctions against the West African country, left the port of Buchanan last week, bound for Europe.

    The consignment consisting of 1, 917 logs cut in the Southern Rivercess area of Liberia, is being shipped into France. The ban on cutting and exporting indigenous timber from Liberia was imposed in 2003 after widespread violations occurred in the sector, including the illegal cutting of trees and using the proceeds to fuel armed conflicts in the country.

    Madam Eliza DJ Kronyanh, CEO of the logging company involved with the export said she was grateful to the Liberian government for facilitating the lifting of sanctions and making it possible for exports to Europe and elsewhere to recommence. She said her company, EJ&J had complied with all appropriate laws and reforms that Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority has introduced.



    Pics of the day – RT ADRIAAN

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    The newbuild harbor tug RT ADRIAAN arrived in Cape Town earlier this week en route from the Japanese builders to Bremerhaven, Germany, where she will take up duties with Kotug. Two other tugs have already entered service with the Dutch tugboat company Kotug GmbH and have been deployed in Bremerhaven, Germany, where they are named RT ROB and RT PETER. A fourth tug remains on order. The tugs were built at the Niigata Shipbuilding and Repair yard in Niigata, Japan.

    The 32m long tug has a beam of 12m and is propelled by three Caterpillar 3512C diesels producing a total of 7,200bhp (1,765kW) to power three fully azimuthing Schottel SRP1215 propulsion units via TwinDisc 3000LD slipping clutches. This unique propulsion system gives the Rotor Tug RT80-32 exceptional manoeuvrability, a bollard pull of 85 tons and a free running speed of 13.5 knots. On the aft deck is installed a heavy duty, twin drum Plimsoll hydraulic towing winch with a brake force of 200 tons. Pictures and facts by Aad Noorland

    While in Cape Town the tug was inspected by a marine delegation from Port Maputo.

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    For the record When the Ro-Ro vessel SERPENTINE, pictured here yesterday, sailed from Cape Town for the breakers yard she already carried the name WINNER XI although readers will be excused if they could not notice it. As might be expected with a vessel en route to the breakers, the crew expended very little effort in painting in the new name which appears in small print high up on the hull, barely noticeable.



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