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Ports & Ships Maritime News

2 November 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

 

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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News continues below...

 

FIRST VIEW – SA FORTIUS

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SA Marine’s bulker SA FORTIUS (171,509-dwt, built 2001), with Safbulk funnel colours still prominent, seen leaving Port Hedland in Australia, fully loaded. The ship is managed by Enterprise Shipping & Trading, the Greek company that bought the bulk division of Safmarine (Safbulk) on the breakup and sale of the former South African company.

This picture was taken by Captain Ferdinand Bernath, master of MV PERCIVAL and is provided here by Captain Doug Young, a former master of SA Fortius during which time Capt Bernath was then the 2nd officer on the ship, when they collected the new ship from the HHI shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea in 2002.

 

News continues below…

 

NEWS OF SHIPS AND SHIPPING LINES

Losses force Japanese lines to cut back services

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NYK Paula (27,051-gt, built 2009) in Durban during December 2010. Troubled times right now for the three big Japanese lines. Picture is by Trevor Jones

As Japan’s three major shipping lines, Mitsui OSK Line (MOL), NYK, and ‘K’ Line post substantial losses during the first half of the current financial year, comes news that two of them are reducing container services.

MOL reported a loss of US$214.7 million for the six months on sales that dropped 11.9%. For NYK the reported loss is $150 million. Both lines said that weak rates, a strong Japanese yen and flooding in Thailand and the Japanese tsunami which for a time damaged much of the Japanese motor industry, all contributed to the losses. They pointed out that the majority of expenses had to be dealt with in local Japanese currency.

‘K’ Line, the third container and bulk carrier is reported to be facing heavy losses for the financial year which the line is forecasting as a group-wide loss of $417 million.

While reduced volumes are being carried at falling rates, another aspect affecting the downturn in profitability is the rising number of larger ships coming into service which is leading to over-capacity.

“While the economies of the developed countries weakened, high growth continued in the emerging economies despite there being a slowing of growth stemming from monetary tightening amid concerns of inflation,” MOL said in a statement accompanying its results.

According to ‘K’ Line the dry bulk trade has remained sluggish as a result of an increase in the number of newbuildings, compounded by rising bunker costs. Its LNG carrier business remained strong but car carrying ro-ro services also felt the strain following Japan’s tsunami disaster. “Demand remained strong in China, India and other emerging economy countries but economic growth is starting to lose momentum,” said ‘K’ Line. “We anticipate that demand in the containership segment will remain uncertain for the time being because of financial instability in Europe, sluggish consumer spending, and the slow recovery of unemployment in the United States.”

Since the economic downturn of 2008 ‘K’ Line has maintained a conservative approach with a reduced fleet of ships.

On top of this bleak outlook, the US line Horizon Lines, itself dealing with financial challenges, has announced a reduction of some of its services. These involve trans- Pacific container services between Asia and the United States. source – Port Technology, HKSG and Ports & Ships


Maersk Line adjusts service out of Tin Can Island

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Tin Can Island, Lagos

Maersk Line has decided that ships calling in Lagos at Tin Can Island will now call at the newer PTML terminal instead of the Sifax terminal.

The reason for the switch is to help reduce congestion at the Sifax terminals.

The first vessel to be affected by this switch is the MICHAELA S, which is scheduled to depart the Algeciras trans-shipment hub on 7 November and is due to arrive at Tin Can Island on 18 November.

Service rotation is not affected.

 

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MOZAMBIQUE COULD BECOME A SIGNIFICANT NATURAL GAS PRODUCER

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Rovuma Basin region of northern Mozambique. Picture Rigzone

London – Mozambique may soon become one of the main producers of natural gas in Africa due to natural gas reserves found in the ‘Camarão’ well, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Located in the Rovuma Basin, on the coast of Cabo Delgado province, the feasibility of the ‘Camarão’ well was confirmed by its operating company, Anadarko Petroleum, with the discovery of new large natural gas deposits estimated at 10 trillion cubic feet, according to the latest EIU report on Mozambique.

Following the discovery, the EIU said, the estimate of the natural gas reserves will be “substantially higher” than the 12 trillion cubic feet previously identified in the whole area.

Excluding Nigeria, which has natural gas reserves of an estimated 187 trillion cubic feet, total proven reserves in sub-Saharan Africa totalled 41 trillion cubic feet at the end of 2010, according to BP.

“This means that Mozambique can soon become one of the main producers in sub-Saharan Africa,” noted the EIU.

“As the state oil and gas company, Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, has a 15 percent stake, which means it is not responsible for initial exploration costs, the benefit to the public coffers could be significant as soon as production begins,” it said.

After the discovery Anadarko ordered feasibility studies for development of a liquid natural gas (LNG) unit in the area and engineering projects can go ahead at the beginning of 2013.

The unit can start production in 2018, according to the EIU, and become, “the biggest capital investment in Mozambique to date, establishing hydrocarbons as large new sector of the economy.”

Currently, the only gas fields in production in the country are located in Inhambane province, to the south, from where the gas is exported along a pipeline to South Africa.

Concessions on exploration areas along the coast of Cabo Delgado were granted by the government in 2008 and involve several multinational oil companies such as Petronas of Malaysia, which is now launching its drilling programme.

The EIU forecasts that the Mozambican economy will post growth of 7.3 percent this year, accelerating to 8 percent in 2012 and 8.5 percent in 2013.

The economy will start to feel the effect of the start of coal exports from the country’s largest coal project in Moatize, run by Brazilian company Vale.

The first coal shipment, of 35,000 tons, left Tete on 9 August on the recently rebuilt Sena railroad headed for the port of Beira, from where it was shipped to its final destination.

However, the EIU noted, infrastructures are the biggest challenge to the future development of the country’s mining industry, both in terms of transport, and storage at ports before being exported. (macauhub)

 

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CRUISE NEWS: CUNARD REVEALS DETAILS OF QUEEN MARY 2 REFIT

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Queen Mary 2 in Durban in February this year. Picture by Steve McCurrach www.airserv.co.za

Cunard’s flagship, the 150,000-gt Queen Mary 2 will undergo a refit ahead of the ship’s 8th birthday which takes place in January 2012, a month before the ship visits Durban and Cape Town.

While the outward appearance of the ship will remain unchanged, apart from being spruced up with a new coat of paint and of course that change of homeport painted on the stern, it is inside that the refurbishment will take place. These include carpets, curtains, bedcovers and bed linen and other enhancements to the interior.

The equivalent of nearly 10 football pitches of carpet and the manufacturing of about 18 square miles of fabric in to over 6,000 individual items, gives some indication of the magnitude of the refit.

The refit takes place at the Blohm + Voss Shipyards in Hamburg, Germany between 24 November and 7 December. Cunard has partnered with the noted Tillberg Design AB of Höganäs, Sweden, the company that was involved in Queen Mary 2’s original design.

According to Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line, Queen Mary 2 is an iconic leader in the world of luxury ocean travel and continues to receive high ratings by guests and the cruise industry.

“A ship that still turns heads everywhere she goes, she is unquestionably the pride of our fleet. We are committed to maintaining that impeccable reputation, and this significant refurbishment is an important investment on behalf of our guests,” he said.


MSC Sinfonia en route for Cape Town

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MSC Sinfonia arriving in Durban Harbour. Picture by Trevor Steenekamp

MSC Cruises’ 58,600-gt ship MSC SINFONIA sailed from Livorno in Italy of 22 October and is now well on her way to South Africa, where she arrives in Cape Town next Monday, 8 November at approximately 13h00.

“The arrival of the ship will be a treat for all Capetonians as her 9 storeys grace the E berth in Duncan Dock and can be seen from around the harbour” says Allan Foggitt Marketing Manager of MSC Starlight Cruises. “Her one-day stop marks the start of her South African summer season where she will operate cruises out of Durban up the Mozambican coast.”

MSC Sinfonia departs Cape Town at 22h00 that night for Durban, where she will be based until the end of March 2012. She will arrive in Durban early on 11 November and will later leave for a series of popular three and four night cruises to Mozambique with stops in the bustling capital city of Maputo, the trendy water sports resort of Barra Lodge and Portuguese Islands. The ship will once again call at Bazaruto, after an absence of two years, offering three and four night cruises during the season to the idyllic destination.

One of South Africa’s favourites is the popular 5-night Christmas Cruise to the sandy beaches of Barra Lodge and the ever popular Portuguese Island. Guests will spend Christmas Eve enjoying Italian hospitality and Christmas day on Portuguese Island .The Ship’s Chef will prepare a traditional Christmas menu and the ship will be decorated in the true spirit of Christmas. MSC Sinfonia departs Durban on 22 December, returning to Durban on 27 December 2011.

The New Year will be rung in with the biggest deck party in the southern hemisphere under the Mauritian skies of Port Louis The celebrations are part of the 11 night New Year festive Cruise, departing Durban on 27 December and calling at Reunion and a three-day stopover in Port Louis, Mauritius before returning to Durban on 7 January.

MSC Sinfonia provides an extensive range of top class facilities in an elegant, contemporary environment. The ship features 777 cabins, of which 134 are suites with private balconies and 503 are outside cabins, three restaurants and a buffet out on deck, seven bars, a cigar lounge, disco, casino, business and conference centre. There is also a Spa and beauty centre, two swimming pools, a sports centre, golf simulator, library, card room, children’s playroom, teenagers club, a shopping area with duty free shops and boutiques, an internet cafe and a medical centre.

 

News continues below…
 

NEW PILOT BOAT FOR MOMBASA

A new pilot boat for the port of Mombasa has been completed at the UK shipyard of Mustang Marine.

The new pilot boat, named NAHODA II goes into service with the Kenya Ports Authority at Mombasa. The craft has been designed with an operating speed in excess of 20 knots and to operate for up to 3,000 hours a year in most weather conditions.

The Nahoda II is equipped to carry up to 12 people including crew.

Kevin Lewis, managing director of Mustang Marine said this was the fourth pilot boat they had built for the export market - the other three are already operational in China.

The logistics of moving the 22.4m pilot boat from Pembrokeshire to Kenya was left in the hands of the firm of Cory Brothers with the boat being ‘piloted’ to a position where it could be lifted onboard an OXL heavylift ship using the vessel’s onboard 300 ton crane. source - marinelink.com

 

News continues below…

 

SAMTRA ADDS ABLE SEAMAN COURSE TO LIST OF COURSES ON OFFER

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Able Seamen from Anglo-Eastern Group Ltd and Shell Ship Management Ltd show off their prowess. Picture supplied

Simon’s Town-based South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) has added the recently SAMSA accredited Able Seaman’s Course to a range of courses available.

The course, which is STCW compliant, is aimed at cadets and ratings applying to SAMSA for Able Seaman certification.

The first group of trainees, comprising Nigerian ratings from Anglo–Eastern Group Ltd and Shell Ship Management Ltd, recently completed the course.

SAMTRA says it has received very positive feedback and is looking forward to the next course, which is scheduled for 14 - 25 November 2011.

Potential applicants who find themselves in a knot, bind or hitch should contact SAMTRA for further course information and bookings: Tel (27)021 786 8421, Fax (27)021 086 249 1052 or email cbenson@samtra.co.za

 

PICS OF THE DAY – DEBMAR PACIFIC and SMIT AMANDLA

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The diamond mining ship DEBMAR PACIFIC (10,288-gt, built 1977) make a bright picture in Cape Town harbour. Picture is by Ian Shiffman

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The South African salvage tug SMIT AMANDLA enters Cape Town harbour after towing the crippled bulker MAGSENGER 2 from near Saldanha. Picture is by Ian Shiffman

 

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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