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Ports & Ships Maritime News

21 September, 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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News continues below...

FIRST VIEW – ANATOKI

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The former Japanese coaster ANATOKI arriving in Lyttelton to load fertiliser for another New Zealand port. Picture by Alan Calvert

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SOGESTER INVESTS US$ 155 MILLION IN LUANDA CONTAINER TERMINAL

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Luanda, 20 September – Sogester, the container terminal management company has invested US$155 million in modernising and upgrading the Port of Lunada’s container terminal.

Sogester (Sociedade Gestora de Terminais), which is a consortium formed in 2007 to manage the terminal under a 20-year concession has as its shareholders the Angolan state pension fund company, Gestao de Fundos (49% stake), APM Terminals (40%), and Maersk (11%).

Sogester’s deputy director Patrick Anderson said the $155 million had been spent on new equipment, including 20 trucks and four cranes, a computer operating system, and the training of staff.

Previously attention had focused on repairing the terminal’s quays and dockside and laying asphalt throughout the facility. “We started operating in 2007 and are trying to set up conditions to make the port of Luanda more efficient,” Anderson said, adding that the small size of the port was one of the challenges facing Sogester.

Nevertheless, he claimed that the competitiveness and efficiency of the port had improved dramatically since 1007, when ships had to wait for up to 500 hours to berth. Now, he said, they were delayed by no more than 10 hours.

Luanda handles up to 85% of Angola’s imports every year.

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GRINDROD TO FUND PORT AND TERMINAL EXPANSION BY SELLING R2 BILLION IN NEW SHARES

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Transaction would support our growth plans – Olivier

Shipping and logistics company Grindrod said yesterday that it intends selling R2 billion in new shares to South African investment company Remgro Ltd.

Remgro’s R2 billion will buy a 22% share in Grindrod based on R15 a share. Existing shareholders of the Durban-based shipping and logistics company may however also buy stock on the same terms, thereby lowering Remgro’s stake.

Grindrod said in a statement that the transaction is in line with its strategy of diversifying its portfolio of businesses and transforming into an integrated logistics service provider.

It said it wanted to accelerate the group’s pipeline of strategic capital projects in Southern Africa and will require raising in excess of R10 billion over the next five years to expand port and terminal capacity, particularly at the Maputo Coal Terminal.

“Grindrod’s strategically located assets in Southern Africa positions Grindrod for exciting growth,” said CEO Alan Olivier. “The transaction will support our growth plans and further reinforces Grindrod’s strong financial position. Importantly, we will achieve further flexibility to respond to new opportunities as and when they arise.

“We are delighted that Remgro is supporting the transaction, which we see as a strong vote of confidence in Grindrod and our stated strategy.”

News continues below...

EAST AFRICA: TANGANYIKA EXPLORER TO BE CONVERTED INTO A SURVEY VESSEL

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Tanganyika Explorer. Picture World Maritime News

After an extensive feasibility study, WGP Exploration Limited has been awarded a contract by Surestream Petroleum to convert a vessel to carry out 2D acquisition on Lake Tanganyika in Burundi, Africa.

WGP will be converting the TANGANYIKA EXPLORER, an ex-UN fisheries vessel originally designed for environmental and pelagic zone studies on behalf of the UN, into a 2D survey vessel. The vessel will be upgraded to meet all accepted marine and geophysical operating standards and requirements.

The conversion includes vessel stability works, and seismic outfitting, with the final objective of achieving a vessel capable of acquiring 2D reflection seismic with a 3,000m streamer and 500 cu.in source array. The procurement phase of the project has commenced in August 2011 and first acquisition projected for the first half of 2012.

Lake Tanganyika is one of Africa’s Great Lakes, it is the longest fresh water lake in the world and the second deepest after Lake Baikal in Russia.

WGP has over 20 years of experience project managing and operating small vessels in restricted and difficult areas of operation. WGP also has a proven track record for taking clients ideas and turning them into safe and achievable operations, this fits the new challenges being found on inland lakes.

“This is an excellent opportunity for WGP to once again demonstrate our prowess in providing acquisition solutions in challenging areas. Lake Tanganyika is a highly prospective region and we believe our conversion will provide the best technical solution on the lake for our client,” said James Pryor, WGP Sales & Business Development Executive.

“In continuing our global policy WGP will be involving and training local personnel as far as possible,” added Terry Hibben, WGP, Engineering Manager. source - World Maritime News


Kenya plans five one-stop customs posts to speed up trade

Kenya intends issuing tenders for the construction of five one-stop border posts with the aim of speeding up transit cargo in the East African region.

The locations of the five one-stop border ports are on the Uganda border at Lunga Lunga, Malaba, Busia, Taveta and Isebania. The project falls under the control of the Kenya Highway Authority (KNHA). The one-stop borders will be manned by Kenyan and Ugandan customs officers and border controllers who will occupy the same offices and handling the documentation together, thus helping to speed up the movement of people and freight. It may also go a long way towards eliminating another curse in Africa – the payment of bribes by truckers and impatient cargo owners anxious to hurry through their cargo.

A pilot scheme has been running at Malaba where it has demonstrated that container trucks which normally would have taken two days to be processed were handled in less than three hours.

Kenyan authorities say the tender documents will be issued on 21 October and successful bidders will have 15 month to complete the work.


Mozambique plans to repair Salamanga branch railway

Mozambican railroad company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) plans to spend US$8 million on repairing the railway branch line that links the industrial city of Matola to Salamanga, said the company’s Communications director.

Quoted by Mozambican newspaper O País, Alves Cumbe said that the branch line, which has been out of use since 1976, will be repaired so that it can receive trains carrying limestone to the Cimentos de Moçambique cement plant and to another plant under construction in Salamanga.

The Salamanga branch line, which is around 54 kilometres long, runs from Boane on the Maputo – Goba mainline to the south of Maputo Bay as far as Salamanga. Once work is finished the line will have an annual capacity of around 600,000 tons of cargo. Source – macauhub

News continues below…

NEWS OF SHIPS AND SHIPPING LINES

Gioia Tauro is MSC’s new transhipment hub for Indian Ocean Islands

Mediterranean Shipping Co’s (MSC) new Lion Service between the UK and Northern Europe and the Indian Ocean Islands and Australia will tranship cargo through southern Italy’s Port of Gioia Tauro.

The changes are intended to improve transit times. Cargo from Europe and the UK will be transhipped at the Italian port where another ship will take the containers on to Mauritius and Australia, with calls at Pointe-Des-Galets, Port Louis, Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.


Double Insult

Malaysian authorities say they have detained the crew of a North Korean-registered freighter after the vessel anchored illegally in the nation’s waters while flying the Malaysian flag upside down.

Officials say maritime enforcement officers investigated the MT Yong An after spotting it anchored off Malaysia’s southern coast Saturday with the improperly flown flag. They said the ship’s crew had failed to inform authorities that they were passing through Malaysian waters.

Officials said the ship was manned by 10 Indonesians, one Sri Lankan and one Chinese. They said the captain could face up to two years in prison if it is found that he flew the flag upside down deliberately. – shiptalk


Safmarine shows why it is wise to stay clued up IT-wise

Smart phone applications have made it easy – and convenient - for shippers to track their containers 24/7.

But why should a shipper want to know where his container is at a certain point in time?

CLICK HERE to find out.

News continues below…

CRUISE NEWS: CARNIVAL BREEZE LAUNCHED

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Carnival Magic, sister ship to the new Carnival Breeze

Carnival’s latest cruise ship the 130,000-gt CARNIVAL BREEZE was launched with all due ceremony at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard last Friday (16 September).

Included in the ceremony was the traditional placing of a coin, in this case a silver dollar which was welded to the base of the ship’s mast. The sponsor who ‘named’ the ship was a yard employee, Monica Conte.

Following the naming the dock was flooded so that Carnival Breeze could be floated out and positioned alongside the fitting out quay.

Carnival Breeze has a length of 306 metres and a beam of 37m and is a sister ship to Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic, which were delivered in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Carnival Breeze will enter service on 3 June 2012.

The ship will have 1,845 cabins, plus another 746 for the crew and will include cabins that cater for families of five people in addition to the traditional two person cabins. When fully booked the ship is designed to have a maximum capacity of over 6,000 people on board.

Interior décor will be done out in soft warm pastel colours. The ship’s first cruise will be a 12-day positioning cruise from Venice to Barcelona followed by a season of 12 -day Mediterranean cruises. Later in November Carnival Breeze will cross the Atlantic to begin a series of all-year-round six and eight-day cruises from Miami beginning 24 November 2012.


Refurbishment and upgrade for Minerva

Swan Hellenic’s 350-berth MINERVA is to receive a £10 million refurbishment when she dry docks between November 2011 and end February 2012. In addition, Swan Hellenic has had the lease extended by another eight years to take her through to 2021.

Swan Hellenic describes this as a “visionary multi-million pound upgrade which will take Swan Hellenic and Minerva forward into the next era. Without increasing the number of berths or the number of passengers on board, innovative design will give added space and comfort. The new specification will feature an increased number of balcony cabins raising the number from 12 to 44, and an upgrade of all 181 en suite passenger cabin facilities.” Unusually, the refurbishment includes the removal of six cabins to free up extra space, giving the ship a total of 181 cabins. The ship will have 44 cabins with balconies, up by eight from before. Another refinement is that all cabins will be upgraded with new bathrooms and the public rooms will also receive attention, with a new forward observation lounge added. There will be a full walk-around promenade deck on the level above the new balcony cabins.

From 2 March next year Minerva will re-enter service on Swan Hellenic’s all-inclusive Discovery Cruises, which include shore excursion programmes, talks by eminent guest speakers, all gratuities and port charges.

In other guises Minerva has been the Saga Peral, Explorer and Alexander von Humboldt.

PICS OF THE DAY – ATHENS BRIDGE

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K-Line’s container ship ATHENS BRIDGE (40,839-gt, built 2009) seen in Cape Town yesterday. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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