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Ports & Ships Maritime News

10 October 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 – DAMEN TUGS

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Two newbuild tugs under construction at Damen’s Shipyard in Cape Town, nearing completion in the small outside yard and appearing to be almost ready for launching. Picture by Aad Noorland

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RBCT’S CEO RAYMOND CHIRWA RESIGNS

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Raymond Chirwa, former RBCT chief executive

Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) chief executive officer Raymond Chirwa has resigned, chairman Imogen Mkhize confirmed late last week.

According to Mkhize, Chirwa had resigned for personal reasons to pursue other ventures. She said that RBCT’s management team was in place and would continue to build on Chirwa’s efforts.

She announced that the terminal general manager Alan Waller is to act as RBCT chief executive until further notice. Before his appointment as CEO in 2009 Raymond Chirwa was general manager at RBCT.

In September RBCT’s exports for the month showed a 7.5% decrease in volumes compared with the same period of 2010. The terminal shipped 4.956 million tonnes of coal this September while having received 6.25 million tonnes from the mines via Transnet Freight Rail. In September 2010 RBCT shipped 5.36mt of coal.

Sources said the reason for the decrease was that of a lack of demand. “If there are no buyers then we cannot ship the coal and the producers are not prepared to discount the price.”

On an annualised basis RBCT at the current rate will export less coal this year than last. In 2010 a total of 63.43 million tonnes of coal was exported through Richards Bay, where the coal terminal has been upgraded to handle up to 91 million tonnes a year. Based on these sort or figures it is hardly surprising that Transnet Freight Rail has expressed some reluctance at increasing the capacity of the railway unless some guarantees from the mine producers are in place. With exports through Mozambique ports increasing (Beira as a coal exporting port came on stream a month ago) this places additional pressure on the performance of the Richards By Coal Terminal.

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SALDANHA IDZ TO BE DECLARED EARLY IN 2012

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The Port of Saldanha iron ore terminal. Picture by Terry Hutson

The declaration of the Saldanha Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) should be made early in 2012, according to South Africa’s trade and industry minister, Rob Davies.

According to Davies a review of the country’s four other IDZs was being concluded and the emergence of a fifth IDZ at Saldanha was expected to follow after the conclusion of a review conducted into IDZs at Coega in the Eastern Cape, the Johannesburg airport zone and at Richards Bay.

Davies was addressing a seminar organised by a delegation from the Southern African Netherlands Chamber of Commerce.

The review is examining the interaction between the IDZs and the adjacent ports and airports which has led to new legislation yet to be published as the Dedicated Special Economic Zones Act. The Bill will allow government to create special economic zones not necessarily associated with a seaport or airport.

The establishment of IDZs in several South African centres hasn’t exactly created much excitement or industrial and economic activity and should be seen as having had a moderate success rate so far.

The port of Saldanha and the town itself is largely dependent on the export of iron ore, the production of steel and on the local fishing industry. Industry that has developed around the deepwater port is largely related to steel production and iron ore exports but more recently the port and harbour has been targeted for the servicing of oil rig vessels specifically for the West African oil and gas industry. In 2007 a R200 million fabrication yard for offshore oil and gas platforms was completed. The next phase of the development was said to be dependent on feasibility studies and the declaration of the Saldanha IDZ.

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KPA ORDERS TWO DEMAG MOBILE CRANES FOR PORT OF MOMBASA

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Port of Mombasa

Düsseldorf, 5 October 2011: Crane manufacturer Demag has confirmed having received orders for two Gottwald HMK 170 E mobile cranes from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) for delivery to the Port of Mombasa.

In a statement Demag said that the KPA is making this investment in line with increasing the capacity and modernisation of a terminal in the Port of Mombasa. Delivery of the cranes is planned for later this year.

“The two Mobile Harbour Cranes operate flexibly and, in addition to general cargo, also handle containers,” said Abdullahi Samatar, Technical Services Manager at Kenya Ports Authority. “With this modernisation of our machinery, the cranes form an essential component in order to further increase productivity in the Port of Mombasa and develop the port into an even more efficient handling location.” Samatar said that the KPA has worked successfully with a Gottwald Mobile Harbour crane since 2010.

Demag describes the Gottwald HMK 170 E Mobile Harbour crane as best suited to terminals frequented by feeder vessels, particularly feeder ships carrying container and motor vehicles as well as bulk material with motor grabs. The all-purpose crane has a loading capacity of up to 63 tonnes and a maximum radius of 36 metres. In the four-rope-grab design, the HMK 170 EG Mobile Harbour Crane is designed for professional handling of bulk material and has a grab curve of 25 tonnes in A8 classification.

Since August 2011, the Terex Group in the United States (www.terex.com) has held a majority share in the Demag company.

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BEIRA PORT SET TO DOUBLE CARGO HANDLED BY 2015

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Port of Beira

Maputo, 7 Octber 2011 – The port of Beira is set to double the cargo it handles over the next few years after dealing with 1.29 million tonnes of general cargo in 2010, a source from Cornelder Moçambique said.

Cited by Mozambican newspaper Notícias, the source from the company that manages the port said that by the end of the year the amount of general cargo processed would exceed 1.4 million tons.

In terms of container cargo, in 2010 more than 105,000 TEU were handled at the port and between January and June of this year over 67,000 containers have been handled.

The source from Cornelder in Mozambique said that processing general cargo had been on the upturn, which pointed to cargo doubling by 2015. Officials from the management company, which is a partnership between Rotterdam-based Cornelder Holding, with a 67 percent share and Mozambican state company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique, with 33 percent, are currently considering investing in new docks, fertiliser, sugar and tobacco terminals and the physical separation of general and container cargo terminals.

Cornelder in Mozambique also plans to launch a tender for acquisition of two more cranes to handle containers at the port, and which are due to arrive in Beira at the end of 2012. (macauhub)

The report in Notícias describes general cargo and appears to not include coal exports through the port of Beira, which by itself will more than double Beira’s annual throughput. The first shipment of coal sailed from Beira recently. Additionally the figures appear not to include containers measured by weight, which if included would roughly double the figure given.

News continues below…

DURBAN CONTAINER TERMINAL CRIPPLED BY WILDCAT STRIKE

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Operations at Durban’s busy container terminal were brought to a halt at the weekend when workers embarked on Saturday on what appears to have been a wildcat strike.

According to Transnet the strike affected Pier 1 but casual observation indicated that there was little container working at Pier 2 for much of Sunday.

It would appear that the workers were striking over changes made to their incentive scheme but this could not be confirmed last night.

Whatever the reason for the stoppage, talks were apparently continuing overnight with a possible resolution by the time of today’s shift change at 6am. Last night there were 11 container ships at anchor outside the port, with another 10 on berths inside the port of which six were at DCT.

The strike could not have come at a worse time given the weather and other stoppages experienced by DCT in recent weeks as well as this being peak season.

PICS OF THE DAY – WARNOW TRADER and INUYAMA

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Two Durban ship movements from Saturday afternoon. Above is the German-owned container ship WARNOW TRADER (16,165-gt, built 1996) arriving in port to work her containers at the Point multi purpose terminal. Picture by Trevor Jones

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The NYK-Hinode general cargo vessel INUYAMA (13,668-gt, built 2009) seen sailing from port. Picture by Trevor Jones

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