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Ports & Ships Maritime News

23 March, 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

 

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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First View – VIKING BAY

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The Spanish long liner VIKING BAY, 43.5 metres in length and a gross weight of 626 tons, seen alongside L-berth in Cape Town harbour. The vessel was built in 1999. Picture by Aad Noorland

 

News continues below...

Smit Amandla arrives at Tristan da Cunha – oil seeping from wrecked Oliva

The South African salvage tug SMIT AMANDLA arrived off Tristan da Cunha on Monday mid afternoon and those on board have begun an immediate assessment of the situation regarding the wreck of the bulker OLIVA.

The 75,000-ton Greek bulker, loaded with 60,000 tons of soya beans, ran onto the rocky shore of Nightingale Island a few miles south of Tristan da Cunha last Wednesday. With signs that the ship was breaking up the crew were removed to the fishery and supply vessel Edinburgh which was on station at the islands, with the assistance of the cruise ship Prince Albert II which arrived shortly after. All 22 of the Oliva’s crew are safe on Tristan da Cunha.

Meanwhile arrangements were made for the tug Smit Amandla to leave Cape Town for the island, with an arrival date of Monday afternoon. Personnel included on the tug are Captain Nick Sloane, a former master of the tug and now P&I representative, Captain Ralph Laing, the salvage master, and Estelle van der Merwe, an environmental adviser and seabird specialist.

The main concern now will be on preventing any further oil from escaping from the ship and its subsequent recovery, while on shore attention will turn to the threat of pollution among the various islands’ rich sea and marine life. An initial inspection by those on the tug on Monday afternoon reported no oil visible around the ship or nearby, suggesting that the large slick reported earlier has either gone ashore or been washed away from Nightingale Island by the sea currents. However by early Tuesday oil was once again noticed on the surface and leaking from the ship. The vessel is calculated to have 800 tons of fuel oil remaining on board.


A press release issued by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) on Monday refers below:

A grounded cargo vessel wrecked on Nightingale Island – part of the Tristan da Cunha UK overseas territory in the South Atlantic - threatens to create a twin environmental disaster for the island’s wildlife, which includes nearly half of the world population of northern rockhopper penguin; one of the world’s most threatened species of penguin.

The concerns of the Tristan Islanders, the Tristan Association and the RSPB include the threat of oil pollution from the MS Oliva’s fuel and partial cargo and also the risk of any rats on the vessel colonising the island, potentially placing the island’s internationally-important seabird colonies in immense jeopardy. The fuel oil and cargo of 1500 tonnes of heavy crude oil is already leaking into the sea, posing a major hazard to the island’s tens of thousands of pairs of penguin as well as the economically-vital rock lobster fishery. Oil now surrounds Nightingale Island and extends into a slick 8 miles offshore from the wreck. Hundreds of oiled penguins have already been seen coming ashore.

The Tristan Conservation Department which has quickly deployed a team of nine to the island, has already placed baited rodent traps on the shore in the vicinity of Spinner’s Point, the headland on the north-west of the island where the bulk carrier has grounded. A salvage tug has arrived from Cape Town with an experienced crew and an environmental expert. The ship has already broken in two, but all of the 22-strong crew are safe. As this is no longer a salvage operation we understand that the operators/insurers are now looking to charter a second vessel which will be going to Nightingale to clean up the oil and with the help of the Tristan conservation department, clean the birdlife.

Richard Cuthbert is an RSPB research biologist who has visited Nightingale Island. He said: “How a modern and fully-laden cargo vessel can sail straight into an island beggars belief. The consequences of this wreck could be potentially disastrous for wildlife and the fishery-based economy of these remote islands. The Tristan da Cunha islands, especially Nightingale and adjacent Middle Island, hold millions of nesting seabirds as well as four out of every ten of the world population of the globally endangered Northern rockhopper penguins. Over 200,000 penguins are currently on the islands and these birds will be heavily impacted by leaking oil.

“If the vessel happens to be harbouring rats and they get ashore, then a twin environmental catastrophe could arise. Nightingale is one of two large islands in the Tristan da Cunha group that are rodent free. If rats gain a foothold their impact would be devastating. Fortunately, the Tristan da Cunha Conservation Department has already done a brilliant job in placing rodent traps in the vicinity of the wreck, with the hope these will intercept any rats getting ashore.”

Meanwhile the Tristan authorities have announced that the fishing grounds around Nightingale and Inaccessible Islands have been closed until further notice.

 

News continues below…

Fred Jacobs takes over as chairman of SAASOA

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SAASOA Executive Board

The South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents (SAASOA) recently held its third AGM at which members confirmed the election of a new chairman and vice chairman for the next 12 months.

Fred Jacobs of Safmarine takes over the position of chairman from Paul Scannell while Grant Stevenson of Rennies Ships Agency was elected vice-chairman for 2011.

Thato Tsautse remains in her current position as CEO of the association.

Two new members on the board were welcomed, being Fred Jacobs of Safmarine and Mahomed Kajee of King & Sons. Other members are Messrs Athol Emerton of Tall Ships, Andrew Thomas of Ocean Africa Container Line, Felix Dieter-Bieschin of MACS Line, Paul Scannell of Seaclad Maritime and Rosario Sarno of MSC.

SAASOA says it is in the process of setting its priorities for the year, which will include a greater focus on engagement with its members and the urgent need to ensure that decisive action is taken to bring about meaningful productivity improvements in the ports. This, says SAASOA, will be addressed by continued collaboration with all stakeholders, as well as other initiatives that are under consideration. “SAASOA intends continuing its healthy relationship with Transnet and its operating divisions, following top management changes and the appointment of a full-time Transnet Group Chief Executive.”

SAASOA is a Section 21 Company constituted as such by the Association of Shipping Lines and the Association of Ships Agents and Brokers, and which represents local and foreign stakeholders including all classes of vessel operators. SAASOA is the authoritative representative of its 90 members including shipping lines, ship owners, disponent owners and their agents calling on the Southern African seaboard.

The Association has a fully operational Board of Directors and an active National Executive, which interacts at a high level with its various stakeholders in the following sectors:

  • Containers – championed by Andrew Thomas
     
  • Automotive – championed by Clint Carmichael
     
  • Breakbulk – championed by Earl Caswell
     
  • Bulk – championed by Grant Stevenson
     
  • Liquids – championed by Nils Warner
     
  • Bunkers – championed by Dean Fraser
     
  • SARS/Customs/Immigration – championed by Alex Hill
     
  • Marine – championed by Jonathan Whittington


    SAASOA maintains active chapters in the following ports:

  • Richards Bay – chaired by Adrian Smith
     
  • Durban – chaired by Malte Kersten
     
  • East London – chaired by Chris Croney
     
  • Port Elizabeth – chaired by Victor Dallacqua
     
  • Cape Town – chaired by Ryan Margot
     
  • Saldanha Bay – chaired by Sydney Booth

     

    News continues below...

    Davies calls for Cape to Cairo Free Trade Zone

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    South African trade and industry minister, Rob Davies last week raised the possibility of establishing a continent-long Cape To Cairo Free Trade Zone at some point in the future, saying that such a proposal could be tabled at the Southern Africa Development Community conference in mid 2011.

    The mammoth undertaking, involving 29 countries and 700 million people would require the buy-in from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the East African Community (EAC).

    According to Davies, who was speaking at a media briefing in Cape Town, Africa needs the strength of a large regional market to stimulate growth. He said African countries needed to learn to stand together at international level and extract greater economic benefit for the continent.

    He pointed out that India’s growing economic strength is a result of growth in its domestic market. South Africa needed to add value to its exports, especially where these were to fellow Brics countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). He gave as an example how South Africa exported mineral heavy sands at an average of US$ 400 a ton, whereas if it built a plant to convert the mineral sands into titanium alloys, it could easily earn $100,000 a ton.

    Certain niche industries, such as those involving financial services, the medical industries and information technology also stood to benefit.

    The proposed Free Trade Zone could be started with the involvement of just 12 nations situated along the Indian Ocean east coast between South Africa and Egypt in the north, but considerable work on upgrading and improving transport infrastructure in these regions would be required.

    Currently only about 12 percent of African trade is intra-regional.

     

    News continues below…

    Cruise lines show commitment to developing Africa into a world-class cruise destination

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    Holland America’s more than elegant Westerdam. Top officials from H-A and other leading lines will be visiting SA for the Seatrade Africa Cruise Forum this May

    Top decision makers from the world's cruise lines plan to be in Durban this May to discuss the way forward for Africa's developing cruise market.

    Claudius Docekal, Deployment & Destinations, Azamara Club Cruises; Simon Douwes, Director, Deployment & Itinerary Planning, Holland America Line; Allan Foggitt, Marketing Director, Starlight Cruises; Matthew Grimes, Planning, Ports & Logistics Director, Fred. Olsen; Bruce Krumrine, VP, Shore Operations Europe & Exotics, Princess Cruises; Darius Mehta, VP, Air & Land Programs, Silversea; Craig Milan, SVP, Land Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. & President, Royal Celebrity Tours, Inc; David Vass, Director, Destination & Enrichment Programs, The World; Stefano G.V. Vigoriti, Managing Director, MSC Cruises South Africa - these cruise line decision makers and more like them will meet at the Seatrade Africa Cruise Forum for tailored conference and workshops, during which regional destinations will have a rare opportunity to talk one-to-one with these industry key players to promote their product.

    Africa's cruise map is changing as more cruise lines tap into the massive potential around the continent for new guest experiences. This in turn is resulting in many opportunities for destinations and suppliers to benefit from the considerable economic impact of increased cruise calls. Collaboratively, there is also great scope for cruise lines and regional stakeholders to work together to ensure that all cruise calls to the region are a first-class experience.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Through the restaurant window. Spectacular scenes such as this are possible from cruise ships visiting Africa’s ports

    The Seatrade Africa Cruise Forum will take place from 10-12 May 2011 at the elegant Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort, just north of Durban. Organised by Seatrade and held under the auspices of the Cruise Indian Ocean Association (CIOA) and the Province of KwaZulu Natal, the forum will provide participants with invaluable insight into the issues facing the region in terms of port operations, infrastructure, hospitality, shore excursions and regulatory environment as well as examine the region's own potential as a source market for cruise passengers.

    Following the conference, regional destinations will have a chance to meet one-to-one with the cruise lines at pre-scheduled workshop sessions to promote their services.

    The cruise forum has been carefully planned to take place straight after INDABA, Africa's top travel show, enabling delegates to attend both events with one trip. More information on how to participate can be found at www.africacruiseforum.com

    Alternately you can go direct to the site by clicking on the Seatrade Africa banner on the top of our Home Page each day or that which is on top of this and other daily news pages.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCCL) magnificent Oasis of the Seas, the world biggest cruise ship. RCCL has confirmed that its senior personnel will be attending the Durban Cruise Forum

     

    News continues below…

    TNPA 2011 tariff book is now available

    Transnet National Ports Authority has just made available the latest tariff book for 2011, with rates and charges that will become effective on 1 April 2011.

    The tariff book, which comes in hard copy or as a pdf file, is issued in terms of National Ports Act regulations, and is based on an average 4.49% increase in tariffs compared with the 2010 fiscal year. This is in accordance with the ruling from the Ports Regulator who made the determination.

    Hard copies of the Tariff Book are being sent to TNPA clients and the pdf file is available on the TNPA website at www.transnetnationalportsauthority.net

    Tariff enquiries can be directed to the following:

    011 351 9262 - Head Office
    011 351 9251 – Johannesburg Revenue Office
    035 905 3202 – Port of Richards Bay
    031 361 8865 – Port of Durban
    043 700 1034 – Port of East London
    041 507 1846 – Port of Port Elizabeth/Ngqura
    044 604 6272 – Port of Mossel Bay
    021 449 5293 – Port of Cape Town
    022 703 5401 – Port of Saldanha

     

    News continues below…
     

    Pics of the Day – VENETIA

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    The Greek-owned, operated and flagged Capesize tanker VENETIA (149,997-dwt, built 1995) which called at Cape Town last week to take bunkers. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

     

    Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

     

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