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Ports & Ships Maritime News

13-14 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 – ANNIKA N

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The recently completed Hong Kong-flagged, Greek-owned bulker ANNIKA N (55,768-dwt, built 2011) arriving in Durban on Tuesday to work cargo at Maydon Wharf 10. Picture is by Trevor Jones

News continues below…

NEWS OF SHIPS AND SHIPPING LINES

EUKOR opens up Richards Bay

Ro-Ro specialist EUKOR will be including its first cargo discharge call at Richards Bay at the end of next week, when Eukor’s Ro-Ro vessel ALIOTH LEADER (53,240-gt, built 1998) calls to discharge wheeled heavy mining equipment originating in the United States. The Ships Agent facilitating this call is Durban-based Diamond Shipping Services, who advises that operations and costs will be closely monitored as they anticipate placing a monthly service to Richards Bay from the US east coast provided all goes well.


Hamburg Süd names next Santa Rosa

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Santa Clara arriving in Durban earlier this year where the ship was to be officially named. She is a sister ship to Santa Rosa which was named in Argentina this week. See below. Picture by Trevor Jones

On Monday this week German container carrier Hamburg Süd named one of their latest container ships at a ceremony held in Buenos Aires. The 7,100-TEU vessel was named SANTA ROSA (85,676-gt, 93,430-dwt), the sixth of her class. The Santa class are the largest box ships currently in Hamburg Süd’s service.

Santa Rosa, which is named after an Argentinean town in the province of La Pampa, was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea and entered service with Hamburg Süd in July this year.

As with her sister ships, she is deployed on the company’s New Good Hope Express service between Asia, South Africa and east coast South America. The vessels are 286.8m long, have a beam of 42.8m and a draught of 13.5m. Their operating speed is 22 knots.


Maersk sells LNG fleet

Danish shipping company Maersk LNG has been sold to TEEKAY LNG and Marubeni for a figure of US$1.402 billion.

In a statement AP Moller-Maersk said “Maersk LNG does not in itself have the necessary scale to significantly influence the overall development of the industry. And as Maersk LNG is not within those core business areas where the group intends to invest, the conclusion is that Maersk LNG would benefit from a different ownership.”

Maersk LNG operated a fleet of eight LNG tankers of which six were owned. APM-M has previously sold two other non-core businesses, the Norgolkline ferry business and its fleet of 12 auto carriers which were sold to Hoegh Autoliners.

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CREDIT CRUNCH HITS SA AGRICULTURE MARKETS ABROAD

by Francis Hweshe

Cape Town, 12 October – The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has indicated that the current worldwide credit crunch was affecting South Africa’s major agriculture markets in Europe.

It said that the financial and economic uncertainty and debt crisis in Europe “continue to keep global markets jittery with talk of another global recession gaining momentum.”

The department’s Director-General Langa Zita announced this while presenting their unqualified annual report to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Tuesday.

He said that last year, agricultural commodity markets experienced “significant volatility as the balance between demand and supply and weather conditions occurred.”

Gross farming income from all agricultural products for 2010/11 was estimated at R131.7 billion, which was 0.4 percent lower than the previous corresponding period.

Gross farming income from field crops decreased by 12 percent, amounting to R27.6 billion.

Income from horticultural products rose by 0.6 percent from R35.3 billion to R35.5 billion. Income from animal products amounted to R68.6 billion, showing an increase of 4.7 percent.

Zita said the forestry industry was showing “steady recovery” from the 2008 recession, which resulted in pulp and paper demand.

On the fisheries industry, about 27,000 people were directly employed in the sector and 81,000 jobs were also dependent on the industry.

The biggest challenge which the department faced was the integration of forestry, fisheries and agriculture into one big department.

Another hurdle, Zita said, was the delay by the National Intelligence Agency and SA Qualifications Agency in checking personnel suitability as it posed a challenge in terms of filling up vacant posts.

While he highlighted the successes and challenges of the department, the committee was not pleased with his presentation. Some MPs charged that it lacked depth.

They complained that the department was hiding reports from them and it was difficult for them to get responses to their queries, and alleged that they were being “kept in the dark” and had to rely on media reports to understand what was going on.

They said the department should release the findings of an investigation into irregular activities, which some reports say include wasteful and fruitless expenditure, as cited in the Auditor-General’s report. – BuaNews

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JUDGE ALBERT HOFFMANN APPOINTED VICE-PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL

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Exterior of the courtroom

Pretoria, 12 October – International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has congratulated Judge Albert J Hoffmann on his appointment as Vice-President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

Members of the Tribunal appointed the South African to the position for the period 2011-2014.

“Judge Hoffmann brings to the Tribunal vast knowledge and experience of international law and, in particular, experience as a member of the Tribunal,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.

Hoffmann has been a member of the Tribunal since 2005 and takes over the vice-president’s role from Judge Helmut Tuerk.

The vice-president is elected for a period of three years and assumes the functions of the president in the event of a vacancy in the presidency or of the inability of the president to exercise the functions of the presidency.

The newly elected President of the Tribunal, Judge Yanai, conducted the election. – BuaNews

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention of the Law of the Sea. The Tribunal is composed of 21 independent members, elected from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and integrity and of recognised competence in the field of the law of the sea.

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TRANSNET FREIGHT RAIL PLANS HEAVY-HAUL LINE FOR WATERBERG

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Transnet Freight Rail’s chief executive Siyabonga Gama says the proposed railway to the Waterberg coalfields in northern Limpopo will be a heavy-haul line capable of carrying 80 million tonnes a year if necessary.

Gama said the project was “to all extents and purposes going ahead” and would be built in stages. He said a feasibility study on the expansion of the line would be completed by next April which will determine the dates and costs of the project.

The Waterberg region of northern Limpopo province is likely to become South Africa’s next coal hub once the Witbank area nears depletion.

The line to Waterberg would be 460-km long and would connect with the existing Richards Bay coal line at Ermelo. Current estimates put the cost of building the line to Waterberg at R37 billion.

Gama said the Richards Bay coal line could be expanded beyond the 81 million tonnes that TFR hopes to reach by 2015. The line carried 63mt last year. He said TFR intended going to 97mt with the Richards Bay line and that studies had shown it could reach 120 million tonnes a year, although there were no timelines as yet. source – Mining Weekly

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MSC SINFONIA READY TO HEAD BACK TO SOUTH AFRICA

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MSC Sinfonia arriving in Durban from Europe in 2010. Picture by Trevor Steenekamp

MSC Sinfonia, which has enjoyed several successful summer seasons sailing in South African and Mozambique waters, is about to head back south for what MSC Cruises hopes is another record season.

The nine-deck, 58,600 ton ship with capacity for 2,100 passengers departs Livorno, Italy, on Saturday 22 October for the popular 17 night cruise through the Mediterranean Sea, into the Atlantic Ocean and down the West Coast of Africa to the continent’s most southerly tip.

“En route the ship will make six ports of call, including Villefranche sur Mer (France), Valencia (Spain), Casablanca and Agadir (Morocco), and Walvis Bay (Namibia) plus 10 days at sea before docking in Cape Town on Tuesday 8 November - her first port of call in South Africa” notes Allan Foggitt, Marketing Manager of MSC Starlight Cruises in South Africa.

The return of MSC Sinfonia marks the opening of the 2011/12 Southern African cruise season and will be celebrated again this year by MSC Cruises in Cape Town hosting a special onboard charity luncheon in aid of Building Blocks Children’s home with foster homes in Pinelands and Observatory CT, for abandoned and abused children. The initiative is part of the cruise company’s long term international commitment to support community projects for less advantaged youth. The event will follow on last year’s successful fund raiser for the home. Information regarding tickets for the event can be found at www.bbch.co.za.

MSC Sinfonia departs Cape Town at sunset on the 8th November, for her opening cruise of the local season, and will follow a route round Cape Point and the southern and eastern shores to the final destination of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, which will be her home port through to end March 2012.

MSC Sinfonia will once again have Captain Ciro Pinto at the helm and a vessel with the trademark Italian design and style of all MSC Cruises’ ships. This combined with the most contemporary infrastructure, accommodation, fine cuisine in a range of restaurants, top class around the clock entertainment as well as sport and leisure options distinguishes her as the finest floating hotel ever to operate out of a South African port.

MSC Sinfonia has a full schedule of cruises out of Durban and will continue to offer the popular three-night cruises to the uninhabited pristine beaches of Mozambique’s Portuguese Islands. Also on offer are the four-night cruises that include stops in the bustling capital city of Maputo and the trendy Barra Lodge water sports resort, near Inhambane. New this season is the addition of Bazaruto as a port of call along with a four-night cruise to this unspoilt beach destination.

One of South Africa’s holiday favourites, MSC Sinfonia will embark on the popular 5-night Christmas Cruise to the sandy beaches of Barra Lodge and the ever popular Portuguese Island. Guests will spend Christmas Eve in Italian hospitality sailing from Barra Lodge, and will celebrate the festive cheer whilst docked at the popular Portuguese Islands. The Ship’s chef will prepare a true Christmas menu to the delight of guests. This cruise departs Durban on 22 December, returning to Durban on 27 December 2011.

MSC Sinfonia will welcome in the new year under the Mauritian skies of Port Louis with guests treated to an exciting new year’s extravaganza on deck. The celebrations are part of the 11-night Festive Cruise, departing Durban on 27 December and sailing to Pointe des Galets, Reunion and a three-day stopover in Port Louis, Mauritius.

DAVIES COUNTS MOTOR INDUSTRY GAINS

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SA Minister of Trade & Industry, Rob Davies

Pretoria - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has commended the multibillion rand contribution made by the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP) into the sector over the years.

The MIDP will be replaced by a new programme - the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) - in 2013.

“Still under MIDP, a total investment of at least R4 billion is to be made during 2011, whilst more than R32 billion has been cumulatively invested since year 2000,” said Davies at the launch of the Johannesburg International Motor Show on Monday night.

The motor industry is a substantial employer in South Africa, contributing at least 6 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, and the sector exports constituting almost 12 percent of total exports. Despite the knock the industry took as a whole due to the recession, with at least 20,000 jobs lost since 2008, many more still benefit from employment opportunities.

“An estimated 90,000 people are directly employed in automotive manufacturing, whilst about 200,000 are employed in retail and aftermarket,” explained Davies.

The APDP aims to pick up where the MIDP will leave off by stimulating the expansion of automotive vehicle production to 1.2 million vehicles per annum in 2020. Davies said the sector will benefit with the new preferential procurement regulations that come into effect on 7 December. The regulations will empower the Trade and Industry Department to designate specific industries where tenders should prescribe that only locally manufactured products will be considered or that only locally manufactured products with a prescribed minimum threshold for local content will be considered.

“Government is also embarking on a procurement effort in support of local production. In the automotive industry, we are looking at designating buses for local procurement, wherein we would seek for government and state agencies to buy locally manufactured buses. We may also include other categories of vehicles,” said Davies. – BuaNews

PICS OF THE DAY – TAKING A STERN VIEW OF THINGS

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Hamburg Süd’s container ship BAHIA NEGRA (41,483-gt, built 2007) preparing to sail from Durban harbour Picture by Trevor Jones

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Another ship also presenting her stern as she prepares to sail from the container terminal is MAERSK BROOKLYN (48,853-gt, built 2007). Picture by Trevor Jones

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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