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Ports & Ships Maritime News

21 April 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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

WHY ADVERTISE?

Here’s something pertinent and interesting! Ports & Ships’ monthly readership has soared to over 50,000 readers, despite our news reports having gone from daily to weekly from March. That, we think, is because Ports & Ships is much more than just a news site, it carries regularly updated ship movement reports and lots more and remains up for repeated visits.

But here’s a little story to show the power of advertising with a banner on this site, a banner that builds brand awareness. We regularly receive phone and email requests for the contact number for Magnum Shield Security, a security company which last advertised with us in 2007 after they closed their maritime stowaway security division.

These enquiries are generated by people doing a ‘google’ search for the security company, who are directed to pages that carried Magnum’s adverts and banner five and more years ago. This is possible because once you advertise on Ports & Ships your advert remains up, working for your company or product year after year, even if you decide to stop advertising.

When Magnum began advertising on Ports & Ships our monthly readership averaged less than 15,000. It is now over 50,000 each month – thank you readers – and is another good reason why you should consider building brand awareness for your company by having a banner or button placed prominently on this site. Our rates are extremely affordable.

Contact us atinfo@ports.co.za for details

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return

SEND NEWS REPORTS AND PRESS RELEASES TO info@ports.co.za

News continues below...

FIRST VIEW – AKIBA

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View from the top – the bulker AKIBA (57,257-dwt, built 2011) which was also featured last week, arrives in Durban harbour under tow behind the offshore tug FAIRMOUNT GLACIER, assisted through the harbour entrance by several harbour tugs. The bulk ship went aground in Maputo Bay and was taken to Durban for dry docking and possible repair. In the distance is the expanse of Durban Bay, with the container terminal just out of sight on the left and with two car carriers at the car terminal while on the right is the slowly developing Point Waterfront. The picture was taken with a Blackberry mobile phone from the Millennium Tower, home of Durban Port Control. Picture by John Coetzee

News continues below…

SPECIAL REPORT: THE PASSING OF SHIPOWNER MAERSK McKINNEY-Møller

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AP Møller-Maersk has announced the passing away of partner and shipowner Mærsk McKinney-Møller who died on 16 April 2012 at the age of 98.

“On behalf of the entire family, I wish to express our deep sorrow at the loss of our father, grandfather and great grandfather, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. My sisters and I have lost a father who never failed neither his family nor his business,” said Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla.

“We are grateful that our father lived a long and eventful life. In his never failing wish to do good, together with many and great initiatives, he has left a significant mark on our time.”

With the death of Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, the AP Moller-Maersk Group has lost a businessman of international format and the man who, if any, can take credit for the Group being among the world's leading and Denmark's undisputed largest business with activities in a number of areas such as shipping, oil and retail.

At the time of his death, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was chairman of the Board of the AP Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation, the AP Møller Relief Foundation, and the Maersk Employee Foundation, all of which are significant shareholders of AP Møller-Mærsk A/S.

Shortly after the announcement of his death, Michael Pram Rasmussen, chairman of the AP Moller-Maersk Group issued the following statement:

“A long and active life has come to an end, and Denmark has lost one of the few truly international businessmen that this country has produced. For more than 70 years, shipowner Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller has worked for the company and the country with the purpose of creating additional value and was a leading figure in the working of the company as well as in society.

“Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller became joint owner of the company ‘Firmaet AP Møller’ in 1940. Since his father’s death in 1965 he was director and chairman of the most important companies in the AP Moller – Maersk Group. Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller undertook the daily management until 1993 and served as chairman of AP Møller – Mærsk A/S until 2003.

“Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller’s role encompassed a wide scope, and as a responsible leader and citizen he was interested in things great and small in society. Mærsk Mc- Kinney Møller commented on national as well as international political issues when the interests of the company were at stake.

“Until the end, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller remained strongly committed on a personal level in the company’s business. Every week you would meet him on his way up the stairs to the sixth floor at the Esplanaden headquarters in Copenhagen, where he followed developments closely. Should issues in the business require an opinion or comment, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller always made his position clear in no uncertain terms accompanied with wit and always based on thorough knowledge of the company and the history. Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller often had a twinkle in his eye, and both I and many employees have experienced a humorous remark when meeting Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller in the corridors of Esplanaden.

“Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller’s strong presence in the company made a significant difference to us all, both professionally and personally. His presence was a strength to the board, to the business and the employees and will be strongly missed.”

For a full and personal tribute to this remarkable man, go HERE - use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page.

News continues below…

NEWS FROM THE PORTS

TPT to invest R33-billion on port infrastructure over next 7 years

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) says that over the next seven years it has committed R33-billion on capital expenditure to encourage economic growth and efficiencies in its port terminal management.

“The Market Demand Strategy (MDS) has major implications for our division’s responsibility to facilitate unconstrained growth, unlock demand and create world-class port operations through improved efficiencies,” says TPT Chief Executive, Karl Socikwa.

“It entails an acceleration of our capacity creation programmes at all our major terminals, to ensure that we are able to grow the economy and make the ports as competitive and efficient as possible.”

The bulk of TPT’s spend – 71% of the R33 billion – will be focused on expansion projects and creating capacity to meet projected demand, while the remaining 29% will go towards capital sustaining projects aimed at achieving operating norms and upholding service delivery. The latter includes the replacement of aged equipment as well as the refurbishment of existing equipment.

Some of the major capacity creating projects to be embarked on by TPT until 2018/19 will include:

  • Durban Container Terminal Pier 1 expansion which will increase the capacity of the terminal from 700,000 TEUs to 820,000 TEUs by next year and eventually 1.2 million TEUs by 2016/17

  • Extension of the North quay at DCT Pier 2 which will help increase the capacity from 2.1 million TEUs in 2011/12 to 2.5 million TEUs by 2013/14 and 3.3 million TEUs by 2017/18

  • Container capacity is also being created in other terminals such as the Durban Ro-Ro and Maydon Wharf Terminal through the acquisition of new equipment, such as mobile cranes, and various infrastructure upgrades

  • Expansion of Ngqura Container Terminal, which has been earmarked as a transshipment hub and will be expanded from 800,000 TEUs to 2 million TEU’s by 2018/19 to meet anticipated volumes

  • Expansion of the iron ore bulk facility in Saldanha, which has undergone significant expansion in recent years. Phase 1 C of the terminal’s expansion project increased the capacity to 60mtpa. TPT’s capital investment plan includes funds to expand the terminal to 82mtpa, which caters for the projected volume demand

  • Creation of additional manganese capacity by relocating the current export facility in Port Elizabeth (5.5 million tons capacity) to a newly created two berth manganese facility at the Port of Ngqura by 2015/16, creating capacity of 12 million tons per annum from 2016/17

  • Sustaining capex of R3.7 billion has been set aside for the ageing Richards Bay Terminal after minimal investment over the last 10 years. Investments fast- tracked in the 2012/13 financial year include mobile equipment, quayside equipment and weighbridges. Also included are safety critical projects as well as environmental and legal compliance projects

  • Approximately R1.2 billion will be spent on capacity creating projects in Richards Bay, such as storage areas. TPT will also pursue reengineering of the port to create additional capacity for bulk products at the terminal.

  • Commenting on the seven year capital expenditure programme, Socikwa says: “These investments into South Africa’s commercial port operations will continue to provide a springboard for growth. We will implement specific initiatives to grow volumes and use capacity as it comes on stream, while improving operational efficiencies and growing personnel, thus ensuring the success of the Market Demand Strategy.”

    More labour strikes on the way

    COSATU has advised that it will be mobilising its two million members nationwide to protest against the e-tolling in Gauteng province and the continued practice of labour broking. The actions planned will take place later in April.

    The protest actions that will involve time away from work are:

  • Rallies, marches and demonstrations at or near the SANRAL and Department of Transports’ national and provincial offices from 23 April 2012.

  • A national stay-away or socio-economic strike on 30 April 2012.
  • KZN premier gives new Durban dig-out port the thumbs up

    KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize has welcomed the signing of a deal between Transnet and the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) for the purchase of the old Durban International Airport for R1.8 billion.

    Transnet clinched the deal to buy the old Durban International Airport site for a reported cost of R1.8-billion. The site will be turned into a multibillion-rand dig-out port that is envisaged to create hundreds of direct jobs. The dug-out port is expected to be ready by 2019.

    Mkhize said the port will give the province a competitive edge.

    “We have Durban as the busiest port on the continent and Richards Bay managing the biggest volumes of cargo in South Africa. With the addition of the dig-out port, we have an important strategic asset,” said Mkhize.

    He said their base of transportation and freight logistics facilities will also provide an effective platform for forging trade linkages between provinces within the country, with neighbouring states and the rest of the world, particularly the Asian and South American sub-continents, offering the province considerable investment spin-offs and opportunities.

    “KZN’s competitive edge is thus greatly enhanced and the speed in the roll-out of these developments is encouraging,” said Mkhize, adding that they are planning an Automobile Supplier Park around the dig-out port. The park will be a strategic site for the production of vehicle components and will improve production and competitiveness of the automotive industry.

    Maritime cluster for Port Elizabeth/Ngqura

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Port Elizabeth Container Terminal – maritime cluster to be formed for the region

    Plans have been revealed of creating a dedicated maritime cluster for stakeholders in the area of Nelson Mandela Bay (Algoa Bay) including the Port Elizabeth, Ngqura, Coega and Uitenhage regions.

    The project is an initiative of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (Port Elizabeth) and the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, which held its first meeting in Port Elizabeth during February at which 80 invited participants took part.

    “Port Elizabeth is historically a maritime city and yet for some reason it has never developed a maritime industry,” says Peter Myles, coordinator of the interim task team elected at the inaugural meeting to look into the viability of the venture.

    Myles is also chairman of the NMB Tourism Industry Association and a lecturer at NMMU in marine tourism and coastal recreation. He said he saw the maritime sector as a leading contributor to a sustainable provincial economy.

    “International experience indicates that the level of business formation tends to be higher in clusters,” says Myles. “Start-ups are more reliant on external suppliers and partners, all of which they find in a cluster, so clusters reduce the costs of failure, as entrepreneurs can fall back on local employment opportunities in the many other companies in the same field.”

    Clusters also encourage knowledge-sharing and innovation and in these areas NMMU has the potential to play a critical role, he pointed out.

    “Nelson Mandela Bay is a region where small-scale businesses and disadvantaged coastal communities could largely benefit, improving their job opportunities and their lives through application of a proposed micro-enterprise promotion strategy.”

    It is hoped that the cluster will stimulate the growth of smaller companies offering services such as boat building and repairs. It could also enhance the existing coastal and marine tourism sector and even, perhaps, encourage the creation of a maritime university.

    “In a nutshell, the expectation is that a maritime cluster will uncover Port Elizabeth's competitive advantage and, with collaboration, will assist in the growth of this sector,” says Myles.

    For the full report go to BizCommunity - use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page

    Cape Town’s bunker barge breakdown

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    Southern Valour. Picture by The Aerial Perspective aerialphoto.co.za

    The Port of Cape Town has been without the services of its bunker barge, Southern Valour, after the barge lost propulsion of her aft starboard thruster and had to be dry-docked.

    As a result of the breakdown bunker deliveries were confined to the port’s pipeline service. While the barge was in the dry dock its damaged thruster was removed and will undergo repair with a full repair planned for mid-May subject to availability of parts. Following the emergency repair GAC reported that bunker operations by barge would continue during daylight hours only and in wind conditions not exceeding 15 knots. Bunker supply will be restricted to vessels with a minimum LOA of 100 metres and tug assistance will only be utilised in case of emergencies. Barge masters have been instructed to thoroughly access each situation and use their discretion, always applying the principle of “doing it safely or not at all – there is always time to do it right”.

    Transnet issues tender for 18 RTG and 4 STS cranes

    Transnet Port Terminals has issued a tender for the design, manufacture, delivery, erection, testing and commissioning of 18 rubber tyre gantry (RTG cranes and four twin-lift ship-to-shore cranes (STS) for the port of Ngqura.

    A compulsory briefing session and site visit will take place at the port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape on 24 April and the tender closes on 8 May 2012 at 10am local time.

    Transaction Advisor required for Durban dig-out port

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    Durban’s dig-out port site. Picture Transnet

    In another notice, Transnet SOC Ltd has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) document for the appointment of a Transaction Advisor for the proposed dig-out port at Durban. Suitable qualified service providers may submit proposals for the appointment by 12h00 on 11 May 2012.

    Cape Town ban on vehicles in terminal

    Following an unpopular ban on private vehicles in terminals that has been imposed at Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) in Durban and Richards Bay, TPT in Cape Town has announced a similar ban on motor vehicles in the agri, ro-ro and multi-purpose terminal of the port.

    Clients of TPT are requested to park their vehicles in the parking zone near the Culemborg entrance from where a TPT shuttle bus will take them to the various terminal points. The move is expected to prove equally unpopular at Cape Town, particular as the port currently has only two shuttle buses available to launch this new service.

    Better than expected profit for DP World

    Dubai’s DP World says that better than expected profits of US$751 million from its maritime terminals during 2011 – 67 percent up year of year – is largely a result of emerging markets.

    “This improvement in profitability is a reflection of our strategy, which sees us focus on the faster growing emerging markets and more profitable origin and destination and gateway cargo,” said DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

    The company said in a statement posted on its website that profit attributable to shareholders was $683 million as strong profit growth from operations was supplemented with a one-off gain, including the profit on the monetisation of 75 percent of its Australian terminals.

    Each of the group's three regions delivered a superior performance when compared with the prior year. In the Middle East, Europe and Africa region, EBITDA grew nine percent year on year to $861 million. In the Asia Pacific and Indian subcontinent, EBITDA increased by 26 percent to $322 million. The Americas and Australia region delivered EBITDA of $203 million or, excluding the deconsolidation of the five Australia terminals, on an underlying basis, delivered an EBITDA growth of 37 percent.

    News continues below...

    NEWS OF SHIPS AND SHIPPING LINES

    Maersk wants to roll out ‘daily’ ships on other services

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Estelle Maersk 9170,794-gt. Built 006), one of the E-class container ships of Maersk Line, leaving Algeciras on her maiden voyage in 2006. Picture courtesy Maersk Line

    Maersk Line is looking to further develop its Daily Maersk Asia-Europe service concept across more tradelanes, says the carrier’s Chief Commercial Officer, Lucas Vos, who was giving a presentation to delegates at Containerisation International’s 14th Global Liner Shipping Conference in London this week.

    “We would like to take this concept to other places as well. Our ambition in 2012 is to achieve a rate of 95% of on-time delivery on the major east-west tradelanes and also in some Oceania and Latin America markets,” he said.

    According to Vos Maersk’s ‘Daily Maersk Europe’ service had achieved an average rate of 99 percent for containers arriving on time in February. He said this had helped increase Maersk’s market share from 21 percent to 25 percent.

    Newlead Gujarat to be sold at auction

    The Liberian-flagged bulker NEWLEAD GUJARAT (79,200-dwt, built 2011) is to be sold by judicial auction on 3 May 2012.

    The auction of the Greek-owned bulk ship will take place in the offices of Durban maritime attorneys, Cox & Yeats, at 11am on Thursday 3 May, under the hammer of Capt Roy Martin of Admiralty Ship Sales.

    Repair completed

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    The Singapore-owned offshore supply vessel and tug WISE TIDE II (2308-gt, built 2009) departing the EBH Repair Quay for sea trials before departing Durban this week. Picture by Damian Carrington/DNV

    Vale refuses delivery on three super bulkers

    Brazil’s giant mining group Vale has refused to take delivery on three ultra large ore carriers that it has on order from the Chinese shipbuilding firm of Rongsheng Heavy Industrial Group Holdings, which is China’s second largest shipbuilder.

    The dispute is unlikely to have anything to do with the technical problems that Vale or other owners have experienced with six of the vessels it already has in service, which saw side plating peel away on one vessel, VALE BEIJING.

    Instead it appears that Vale is using the vessels to influence China into allowing the giant ships to dock at Chinese terminals. So far Chinese ports have turned away the Brazilian ULOC’s, which have the capacity to carry 400,000 tonnes of iron ore in a single delivery. As a result Vale has been forced to divert ships to the Philippines where the cargo has been transhipped into Capesize bulkers for delivery to China.

    CMA CGM and Maersk reshuffle Asia-South Africa and Mozambique services

    According to CMA CGM the services it operates with Maersk Line between Asia and Southern Africa are undergoing a reshuffle as from next week.

    As from 24 April the new Asia-South Africa service is to be covered by the following loop:
    New Shaka 2 – service to be jointly operated by Maersk and CMA CGM using eight ships of 6500-TEU capacity. This replaces the current CMA CGM Shaka Service.

    The port rotation of this will be Shanghai, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Louis, Durban, Port Elizabeth/Ngqura, Port Louis, Singapore, Nansha New Port.

    On 8 May CMA CGM’s new Asia – Mozambique service will emerge, the New Mozex2, also with Maersk Line as a partner and using seven ships of 2200-TEU capacity. This replaces the current Mozex Service operated by the French line.

    The port rotation here is Tanjung Pelepas, Port Kelang, Pointe Des Galets, Toamasina, Maputo, Beira, Nacala, Port Louis.

    Evergreen goes big

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Evergreen’s EVER GIVEN in Cape Town harbour. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Taiwanese container line Evergreen said this week that it has placed an order for ten 13,800-TEU container ships with Korean shipowner, Korea Infrastructure Investments Asset Management Co (KIAMCO).

    The ten ships will be built by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries for delivery from the fourth quarter of 2013, with Evergreen chartering the ships from KIAMCO. This is the first time that Evergreen has ventured into the realm of the mega size container ships.

    “Evergreen Line is strengthening its cooperation with strategic partners,” Evergreen said in a statement. “Based on the tonnage demand needed to launch joint services with vessels of similar sizes, Evergreen Line decided to charter the gigantic vessels. With the delivery of these new ships, Evergreen Line will concurrently return chartered vessels upon their expiration dates.” Evergreen said that the new ships, which will be more fuel efficient, will most likely be deployed on Evergreen’s joint services in the Asia – Europe and Asia – Mediterranean trades. “The strategic cooperation will enable Evergreen Line to increase sailing frequency, add more direct calling ports and offer high-quality shipping service to its customers,” the statement said.

    In 2011 Evergreen placed orders for 35 new container ships, representing more than 300,000 TEU of capacity. This was the first time in a number of years that Evergreen had sought to increase its fleet.

    Analysts in commenting on the news suggest that Evergreen has been forced to build ships of over 10,000 TEUS in order to keep pace with its competitors.

    Hapag-Lloyd and partners split WAX service in two

    Hapag-Lloyd says that as from May it will be upgrading its West Africa service network with a modern and homogenous fleet. The West African, Mediterranean and European service structure will be covered with two slings.

    The West Africa Express (WAX) will sail with six vessels weekly and an improved transit time of 42 days round voyage instead of 49 days.

    The new WAX service will no longer call at Lagos but Tangier has been added on the southbound leg with the following new rotation:
    Antwerp - Amsterdam - Hamburg - Thamesport - Antwerp - Tangier - Dakar - Tema - Abidjan - San Pedro – Antwerp.

    In addition the new complementary West Africa Mediterranean Express (WMX) service will commence its voyage in Tangier and as of May 2012 will provide coverage for Lagos-Apapa cargo ex North Europe and Mediterranean. The weekly service operates three vessels with a round voyage time of 21 days. The rotation of this service will be as follows:
    Tangier – Lagos/Apapa – Tangier.

    Both services offer an improved connectivity to other trades via transshipment at Tangier, connecting with US West Coast, Caribbean, South America East Coast, North Europe and Mediterranean ports.

    This week Hapag-Lloyd announced that in light of these enhancements is was discontinuing its current Mediterranean West Africa Express (MWX) effective mid-May 2012, which currently connects Algeciras and Tangier with Tema, Lagos/Apapa and Cotonou. The last southbound voyage will be with the CONTI SEATTLE, Voy 00W, ETS Tangier 20 May 2012. Last northbound sailing is again the CONTI SEATTLE, Voy 002E, ETS Tema 30 May 2012.

    Hamburg Süd names seventh Santa class 7,100-TEU ship

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Taking part in the naming ceremony were, from left: Hans Smits (Port of Rotterdam), Peter Frederiksen, Albrecht Meeusen, captain Torsten Peisker, Prince Floris of Oranje-Nassau, sponsor Dr. Angela Stieglitz, Joachim A Konrad, Uwe Gaede, Rajiv Ghose, Benito Renfurm.

    Germany’s Hamburg Süd has named its seventh out of ten 7,100-TEU containerships SANTA TERESA in a ceremony held at the Cruise Terminal in Rotterdam.

    The Santa class of containership is the largest ever built for Hamburg Süd and is the only ship so far to have been named in Europe. The company has adopted a policy of naming these ships in the different ports to which they call. On 28 February 2011 the 7,100-TEU SANTA CLARA was named at a ceremony held in Durban. You can read that account SANTA CLARA NAMED IN DURBAN - use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page.

    Emirates jacks up its rates to east Africa

    As from 15 April Emirates Shipping Lines has increased its rates between the Far East/South East Asia to East Africa. The current rates have been increased by US $250 per TEU. Emirates also increased its rates between Asia and the Indian sub-continent by $300 also from 15 April.

    Fairmount Summit completes tow of Acergy Polaris to Gabon

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    The pipelaying barge Acergy Polaris under tow behind the Fairmount Summit. Picture Fairmount Marine

    The Dutch offshore towing tug FAIRMOUNT SUMMIT has completed the tow of the pipe laying and heavylift barge ACERGY POLARIS from Brazil to Gabon. The barge, which is owned by Subsea 7, is a multipurpose barge for pipelaying and heavylift activities in deepwater fields. Equipped with a pipelay tower, heavylift crane and accommodation quarters, Acergy Polaris is 137 metres long and almost 40m wide.

    Fairmount Summit, owned and operated by Fairmount Marine, had just completed the delivery of the semi-submersible drilling rig DELBA III in Brazil when she was mobilised towards a location offshore of Rio de Janeiro. After taking on supplies, bunkers and a crew change, Fairmount Summit hooked up Acergy Polaris and sailed for Africa, arriving safely in Port Gentil, Gabon.

    News continues below…

    GOVERNENCE ISSUES: GOVERNMENT READY TO ROLL OUT INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN

    Govt identifies shortage of engineers

    Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says government is ready to roll out the country’s infrastructure plan announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address earlier this year.

    Government last week unveiled its infrastructure plan for the country, which it hopes to take to the provinces and various other stakeholders for implementation. It lists 17 strategic integrated projects that cut across from rail, road, schools and hospitals construction. The projects cover a range of economic and social infrastructure across all nine provinces with emphasis on poorer regions.

    Investment in rail, water pipelines, energy generation and transmission infrastructure have been identified for Limpopo. Officials say the emphasis here will be on coal and platinum mining for local use and export, with the region’s rail capacity expected to be extended to Mpumalanga power stations.

    “The infrastructure programme has two components; there is a component that we are implementing now and construction is commencing. The second part deals with plans that have not been implemented because … of lack of clarity over which sphere of government has the responsibility and … lack of coherent business plans to unlock the finance from Treasury for these projects,” said Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel.

    However, he said government was worried about the insufficient number of engineers which could threaten the speedy implementation of some of the projects. Several strategies were being explored to address this including entering into deals with universities and Further Education and Training colleges to ensure the expanded supply of engineers to the economy.

    “The broader principle is that as our infrastructure programme gathers pace, one of the key bottlenecks we are going to hit is the shortage of engineers, so we have to now ensure that there is appropriate development of new skills commensurate with the ambition of our plan… We think it’s about time we encourage the number of engineers to come back to South Africa through the programme of work we have for them.”

    Patel said with regard to the infrastructure programme that was commencing across the country, the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission - chaired by the President - was working on guidelines to ensure clear coordination among different provinces as they embark on various infrastructure programmes.

    Motlanthe said government would engage the private sector on the plan, adding that there was the possibility of mutually enriching partnerships between government and the private corporate world.

    In KwaZulu-Natal, the plan identifies the need to strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between South Africa’s main industrial hubs including beefing up access to Durban’s export and import facilities. In the Western Cape, work will focus on strengthening maritime capacity in the Saldanha-Nothern Cape linked region.

    Energy projects will focus on supporting sustainable green energy initiatives nationally through a diverse range of clean energy options as outlined in the country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010. Through the IRP, it is envisaged that electricity distribution would be expanded to address historical imbalances. - BuaNews

    KZN premier woos Japanese business

    KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize visited Osaka earlier this month on an official visit aimed at getting companies in Japan to invest in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

    Mkhize, who was accompanied by Economic Development and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, said meetings had been lined up with companies involved mainly in the automotive manufacturing sector.

    “We are on a drive of attracting leading manufacturers from Japan because the manufacturing sector has served as a driving force for economic growth in Japan. The labour productivity growth in the sector has been far greater in all sectors since the 90s,” said the premier.

    He announced recently that around R80 billion would be invested in the refurbishment of the provincial ports in the next seven years.

    “The Ports of Richards Bay and Durban are important contributors to international trade and a significant enabler for South Africa and the province’s economic development. Some funds will be dedicated towards the implementation of the Durban Dig-Out port. The Dig-Out port will accommodate the increased capacity for automotive export market.”

    The province was also planning an Automotive Supplier Park around the Dig-Out port. Mkhize said this park would be a strategic site for the production of vehicle components and would improve production and competitiveness of the automotive industry.

    KwaZulu-Natal is the biggest manufacturing exporter, with the automotive sector playing a key role in the provincial economy.

    About 45.3% of all passenger vehicles and bakkies (pick-up trucks) exported from South Africa came from KwaZulu-Natal in 2008.

    The province’s trade index grew by 8.3% year-on-year, its strongest growth since last February. This was driven partly by the 25.3% increase in vehicle sales.

    “Our main strategic goal is to ensure that the province’s automotive industry doubles its size in the next decade and that we become a leading exporter of vehicles. Thousands of jobs will be created in the process,” said Mkhize. – BuaNews

    SAMSA marine notice on reporting of pollution incidents

    The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has issued Marine Notice No. 10 of 2012 (issued 12 April 2012) regarding the establishing of reporting requirements for pollution incidents. Reports should contain as much of the following information as possible:

    - Name of the person reporting the incident
    - Telephone number (work/home) or other means of contact
    - Date and time of observation
    - Details of observation
    - Location (e.g. latitude and longitude or the position relative to the coastline)
    - Source and cause of pollution (e.g. name and type of vessel, collision or grounding)
    - Type and estimated quantity of oil spilled and the potential and probability of further pollution
    - Weather and sea conditions
    - Action taken or intended to respond to the incident

    SAMSA, DEA (Department of Environmental Affairs) and Smit Amandla Marine are all concerned with the prevention, containment and cleaning up of oil spills at sea. The organisations should be informed as soon as possible whenever there is an oil spill or a threat of oil spill. source SAMSA

    News continues below…

    RAIL NEWS: TRANSNET PLANS TO UPGRADE SISHEN-SALDANHA IRON ORE LINE

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    Class 15E electric locomotives of Transnet Freight Rail. Picture Col Andre Kritzinger/Wikepedia Commons

    Transnet Freight Rail, the rail division of Transnet says that it plans to increase the capacity of the iron ore railway between Sishen in the Northern Cape and the port of Saldanha on the West Coast to 82 million tonnes over the next seven years.

    TFR expects to move 59.5 million tonnes this year which is an increase on the 52.3mt carried in the most recent financial year that ended 31 March 2012.

    To achieve the planned increase TFR will run 40 loaded trains a week, up from the current 33 trains a week and close to the line’s present capacity of 43 loaded trains weekly. The present trains operate with 342 wagons drawn by eight electric and diesel-electric locomotives spread over the length of each train, totalling 3.9km in length and carrying 41,000 tonnes of iron ore.

    TFR will shortly be replacing all the diesel-electric locomotives with the new class 15E electric locos which are now being delivered, with 44 having already entered into service and another 32 due by August this year. A total of 30 new diesel-electric locomotives will also be delivered for service on the iron ore line. It is planned to use the diesels during periods of maintenance or when electric transmission is interrupted for any reason.

    News continues below…

    SHIPPING IMAGES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

    Enjoy these ship photographs from around the world, courtesy of the photographers. You are invited to submit your photographs of ships at work or rest from anywhere in the world, to help remind us that shipping is truly a global industry extending to all corners of the earth including the inland seas and waterways. Please email them toinfo@ports.co.za

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    The Russian-flagged research ship PROFESSOR KHROMOV (1759-gt, built 1983) spends the summer months of the Southern Hemisphere cruising with passengers among New Zealand’s sub Antarctic Islands. At the completion of this season’s cruise's she dry-docked at Lyttelton for survey and painting before taking passengers on a cruise to Norfolk Island on her way home. This image shows her leaving the Lyttelton dry-dock. Picture by Alan Calvert

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic The Greek bulker AGONISTIS (59,000-dwt, built 2010) in Santos harbour, Brazil. Picture by R Smera

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    The Brazilian Navy replenishment fleet oiler ALMIRANTE GASTÃO MOTTA (displacing 10,300-ton when fully loaded) heads out to sea from the port of Santos. Picture by R Smera

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    The New Zealand Navy inshore patrol ship HMNZS PUKAKI departs from Lyttelton harbour after an operational visit. Picture by Alan Calvert

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    Such is the nature of shipping that many of the ships photographed in far away ports are also seen in South African or other African harbours. One of these is the container ship LIMARI (42,382-gt, built 2005) which is a regular South African visitor. This shouldn’t be surprising as Durban, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth or Cape Town are on the routes of a number of shipping lines that trade on the Far East – South Africa – South America (east coast) lanes. Linari is managed by Southern Shipmanagement of Valparaiso, Chile. Picture by R Smera

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    Above and below: The Cement carrier WESTPORT (4081-dwt, built 1986) seen just after leaving her berth. The mast above the bridge points to where the Lyttelton Timeball Station stood before being destroyed in the February 2011 earthquakes. Westport is owned and operated by Holcim Cement and flies the New Zealand flag. Picture by Alan Calvert

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    News continues below…

    MOZAMBIQUE: SMIT AMANDLA MARINE SCORES WITH R300-MILLION VALE CONTRACT

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    Pentow Service, which is thought to be one of the two service vessels to be deployed by SMIT Amandla Marine at the port of Beira. Picture by Terry Hutson

    South Africa’s marine services provider SMIT Amandla Marine (Pty) Ltd has announced the finalisation of a three year contract with Vale in Mozambique for specialised marine services out of the Port of Beira, with two x one year exercisable options.

    The significant contract consists of the provision and maintenance of an offshore mooring buoy for the coal transhipment operation, two vessels - a newbuild 2000 bhp general purpose tug/workboat and a 3000 bhp offshore support workboat - and the technical and contractual management of this key marine logistics export activity, representing a total asset investment of some R60 million.

    Preparatory work is underway in anticipation of export activities planned for commencement in June 2012.

    Mozambique is set to become a major exporter of coking coal in the region, with Vale holding two significant coal mining concessions. The company is the second biggest mining house in the world and is headquartered in Brazil.

    SMIT Amandla Marine will employ 40 South Africans for the operation, and will work closely with both Vale and the Mozambique government on skills transfer as well as training and development for Mozambique nationals, an important contractual performance area.

    Rio Tinto goes ahead with plans to use Zambezi River to export coal

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    Coal mining at Benga, central Mozambique. Picture Rio Tinto

    Rio Tinto is sticking to its plan of barging three million tonnes of coal a year down the Zambezi river from two mines in Mozambique by 2015 and to increase this to more than 20 million tonnes, despite reports that the Mozambique government will not allow it, reports The Australian.

    Rio appears to have missed previous targets of first-quarter production from its more advanced Benga project.

    In presentation slides lodged on its website earlier in the month, the mining giant has stuck with its plans for first production from its Zambeze coking coalmine in 2015.

    The slides made no mention of a reported rejection of Rio's plans to barge coal down the Zambezi on the grounds that dredging could worsen flooding. A Melbourne- based spokesman for the Anglo-Australian miner said he could not comment on the slides or the Mozambique plans.

    The reports, which came out in early March, were joined by later ones that quoted government sources saying barging down the river could be allowed if the environmental issues could be overcome.

    Rio bought the Zambeze coalmine and a controlling stake in Benga through the $4 billion cash acquisition of Australian-listed Riversdale Mining early last year.

    A barging study, prepared by Riversdale, was submitted in May.

    Rio says it is targeting first coal from the US$ 516 million Benga project early this year, backing off from previous first-quarter targets. At Benga, 1 million tonnes a year of coking coal is planned to be railed this year, growing to 1.5 million tonnes next year, while 900,000 tonnes of thermal coal is targeted.

    A second-stage mine plan is targeting 6 million tonnes of coking coal and 4 million tonnes of thermal coal a year, with a gradual ramp-up starting in 2014.

    At the Zambeze mine, Rio is targeting first production in 2015, and a ramp-up by 2019 to a mine that would produce 10 million tonnes of hard coking coal a year and 6 million tonnes of thermal coal.

    In the slides, Rio says it has submitted a mining concession application to the Mozambique government and that environmental and social impact assessments are under way.

    Rio says it has plans to lift its Mozambique exports beyond 100 million tonnes a year after 2018, using rail and barging. source: The Australian

    NAVAL NEWS: SAS DRAKENSBERG HELPS CAPTURE PIRATES

    SAS Drakensberg becomes the first SA Navy ship to capture pirates

    The South African Navy combat support ship SAS DRAKENSBERG has chalked up another distinction by being the first South African Navy ship to be involved in the capture of Somali pirates.

    The incident is thought to have taken place earlier this week offshore of the border of Mozambique and Tanzanian territorial waters, with a patrol vessel or vessels from the Tanzania Navy, a Spanish naval ship and the South African ship taking part in the capture of a boatload of suspected pirates.

    SAS Drakensberg is currently the South African Navy vessel deployed on anti-piracy patrol in northern Mozambique and is based at Pemba.

    Although details are sketchy (an announcement is expected from the navy once it has been cleared for publication) it appears the naval vessels acted in a pincer movement by converging on a skiff or other vessel occupied by about 12 pirates – the number of pirates has to be confirmed. After taking the pirates prisoner they were transferred ashore and are in custody in Tanzania where they are expected to go on trial.

    Full details will be published as soon as they become available.

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    SAS Drakensberg

    Draft Defence Review report released

    Pretoria – The Defence Review Committee, appointed by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu last year to look into updating the policy of the South African National Defence Force, last week handed over a Draft Defence Review report to the minister.

    According to the Committee Chairperson, former Defence Minister Roelf Meyer, the 14-member committee is to hold a number of public consultations in June to familiarise communities with the report.

    This, he said, would be to establish the needs of South Africans.

    In accepting the draft report, Sisulu said the old report was no longer relevant to the current situation, a new policy that would be responsive to the country's developmental requirements was needed.

    She said the draft report will be presented to Parliament, where she hoped it would be approved.

    At the time of the appointment of the Committee, Sisulu said there was a need to review all legislations, programmes and policies in order to answer the important question of what the role of the SANDF was in a developing state facing a number of developmental challenges.

    According to Sisulu, the last policy update and review was done in 1998. The 1998 Defence Review was preoccupied with the integration of both the statutory and non-statutory armed forces after the negotiated transition in 1994.

    It addressed matters of transformation and the normalisation of security relations in the Southern African region and attempted to provide the first policy foundations for a ‘Defence in a Democracy’.

    The 1998 Review further took a conservative approach to the deployment of the Defence Force in pursuit of regional security envisaging that South Africa would only contribute a single battalion to peace keeping operations.

    Meyer explained that the committee, in the draft document, had unpacked five strategic defence goals including the defence and protection of South Africa, the safeguarding of South Africa and its people, Defence’s contribution to South Africa’s international agenda and promotion of regional and continental peace and stability, supporting civil authority in times of crisis and civil control over defence and accountable utilisation of defence resources.

    The Committee met for the first time in July last year when the minister briefed them about their mandate.

    It also comprises former Defence Force Minister Charles Nqakula, North West Premier Thandi Modise – who is the Deputy Chair, Tony Yengeni, Dr Moses Khanyile, Dr Phandelani Motoma, Dr Gulube, Nonkonzo Molai, Colonel G Seape, Nick Sendall, Helmoed Heitman, Admiral Philip Schoultz, Ambassador Thenjiwe Mtintso and Godfrey Giles. – BuaNews

    Honorary Doctorate for Admiral Mudimu

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    Vice Admiral Johannes Refiloe Mudimu, chief of the SA Navy

    On Thursday afternoon, 19 April the Durban University of Technology (DUT) conferred on Vice Admiral Refiloe Johannes Mudimu, the chief of the South African Navy, an Honorary Doctorate.

    The honorary degree was conferred during the DUT’s graduation ceremony and was followed later that evening by a celebratory dinner to invited guests. Admiral Mudimu has been in the navy since 1998 and holds a Masters Degree in Military Science and an Honours Degree in Public Management and Governance. He also holds an Associate Degree in Safety and Security, a Diploma in Human Resource Management and a Diploma in Personnel and Training, a Certificate in Journalism and other management qualifications.

    He received military training in Angola, East Germany and the USSR, including completing the commander course in 1977. He later served in various posts and positions including in the underground units of MK in the Transvaal. In 1998 he was appointed to the South African Navy where he successfully completed the Navy Senior Command and Staff Course as well as the Senior Management Programme at the University of Stellenbosch.

    Canada: Troubled submarine back in the water after five years

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    HMCS Windsor back at sea. Picture Canadian Navy released

    HMCS WINDSOR, one of Canada’s troubled submarines that were acquired from Britain’s Royal Navy in 1998, has finally gone back into the water after five long years of costly repairs.

    HMCS Windsor is one of four Upholder class submarines of her class bought from the Royal Navy. They were sold to Canada after South Africa was offered the four boats at a fraction of their cost. Local reports at the time said South Africa turned them down in favour of the German type 209 submarines that are now in service with the SA Navy, but other reports suggest that Canada held the right of first refusal which was exercised.

    In any event, it appears that South Africa had a lucky escape, judging by the troubled history of the subs both before and after they went to Canada.

    One of the subs, HMCS CHICOUTIMI caught fire while on her delivery voyage to Canada in 2004, resulting in the death of one officer. The boat is not in service and is not expected back for another two years.

    A second submarine, HMCS CORNER BROOK ran aground in June 2011 during manoeuvres off Vancouver Island. She too will remain out of service for several more years.

    The fourth submarine, HMCS VICTORIA has managed to go to sea but has only spent 115 days at sea between 2000 and 2010. She was the first submarine to undergo a refit.

    The submarines have been subject to all sorts of faults, including rust problems and tiles that fell from the boat’s topsides. Windsor has experienced a faulty rudder. Documents obtained by CBC News in Canada last year itemised a list of problems with the British-built sub, including bad welds in the hull and broken torpedo tubes.

    And some of us South Africans were critical of the German submarines!

    CRUISE NEWS: GENERAL NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF CRUISING

    Accolades for Cape Town

    This report comes from an Isle of Man reader, Terry Toohey, who some will remember as the head of the Durban Publicity Association between 1976 and 1986. Before that he was the PRO for Union-Castle in Durban. He is now associated with the Cruise Indian Ocean as a sort of overseas agent.

    He sent the following report and photograph:

    “Cruise Insight, a respected UK based international cruise industry publication annually announces Ports and Destinations awards in a number of categories. These awards are based on feedback from cruise line executives.

    For 2011 the Best Destination Experience (Organised Tours) has been presented to a Cruise Indian Ocean Association member, Cape Town. Well done Cape Town!”

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    Photographed on the CIOA Booth at Cruise Shipping Miami last month, presenting the award is Chris Ashcroft, the Publisher and Editor of Cruise Insight. Accepting the award on behalf of Cape Town is Thomas Mathibela of CIOA's secretariat.

    News from the world of cruising

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    Hapag-Lloyd’s COLUMBUS 2

    German cruise operator Hapag-Lloyd this week (Tuesday 17 April) commissioned their latest ship, COLUMBUS 2. Wasting no time Columbus 2 has immediately entered service with a cruise from Mallorca to Malta.

    The ship, which was taken over from Oceania Cruises where she sailed as their INSIGNIA, has 11 decks and 349 cabins for a maximum of 698 passengers. Her conversion in Barcelona included the addition of a Kids and Teens area meaning that Hapag-Lloyd can now attract families onboard their latest ship.

    According to managing director Sebastian Ahrens, the family oriented ship is positioned in the four-star segment and will offer a range of German-language cruises.

    Columbus 2 is on a two-year charter with an option for a third and replaces Hapag-Lloyd’s earlier COLUMBUS which moves to Plantours & Partner of Bremen in May to become their MS HAMBURG.

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    EUROPA 2, due in service May 2013

    Hapag-Lloyd will turn their attention now to their newbuild, the much-anticipated EUROPA 2 which enters service in May 2013. The new ship will be positioned in the five star segment and is aimed at being a modern lifestyle-oriented version of the fleet’s current flagship, MS EUROPA. What this means is that the ship will be less formal than the Europa, offering shorter cruise packages to suit younger people including those with families. They will also target first-time cruisers who are used to staying at resort hotels.

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    All cruises on the new EUROPA 2 will be fully bilingual and will cater specifically for the English-speaking market. The ship will cater for 516 passengers

    Hapag-Lloyd says that the ship, which is under construction at St Nazaire in France, will have the largest space per passenger ratio in the cruise industry, with 11 decks and all suites with their own outdoor verandas (not balconies!). An English language brochure can be expected from the Northern Hemisphere autumn of this year.

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    Blues for Saga Sapphire It hasn’t been a good start for the SAGA SAPPHIRE, Saga Cruises’ latest ship which broke down on her maiden voyage for her new operator. This was after the ship had been delayed by a strike at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sicily where Saga Sapphire had undergone a four-month conversion from her previous guise as Croisières de France’s BLEU DE FRANCE.

    Resulting from the breakdown, passengers on her maiden voyage were flown home from Valencia and her next voyage is now scheduled to start from Marseilles on 25 April, after repairs have been completed.

    Technical safety training on MSC DIVINA taking place

    Safety at sea depends on knowledge and certainty, training, and state-of-the-art equipment. According to MSC Cruises, its fleet is designed and operated in compliance with the highest requirements and standards contained in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) as developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and which is why MSC Cruises ensures that every member of crew and staff on board an MSC ship receives frequent training to ensure an effective and precise performance and use of equipment.

    MSC DIVINA, which is due to be named on 26 May 2012 in Marseille, will be equipped with two special lifesaving devices - Marine Evacuation Systems (MES) - which complement lifeboats and life preservers by adding additional capacity. The MES is an inflatable slide or chute from which 1,514 passengers can be directly evacuated into waiting life rafts. The crew is instructed in the full use and handling of this system, from deployment to evacuation procedures.

    MSC Divina’s sisterships, MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida, are also equipped with two Marine Evacuation Systems (MES) each.

    Watch construction phases of MSC Divina CLICK HERE - use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page

    News continues below...

    PIRACY: JETS ATTACK VILLAGE IN PUNTLAND

    There appears to be little clarity over reports that jet aircraft attacked a suspected pirate base on the Somali coast, wounding at least two civilians.

    The attack reportedly took place earlier this week but no details such as identifying the aircraft have been made available. The aircraft struck at the village of Gumah, which is about 220km east of Bossaso in Puntland, firing several missiles. An elder in the village said two aircraft were involved. “It came from the sea and I think they were targeting pirates,” he said.

    Other witnesses confirmed his account but were unable to shed any light on the aircraft. It is also considered possible that the attack may have been carried out with unmanned drones.

    Spanish Marines free Somali hostages

    On Saturday 14 April the Spanish warship ESPS REINA SOFIA, who is now operating as part of the EU’s counter-piracy mission, Operation Atalanta, stopped a Yemeni dhow that was suspected of carrying armed Somali pirates. The French Air Force Awacs E3F, the French dock landing ship FS DIXMUDE and her helicopters, as well as an Australian Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) contributed to this operation. As a result they were able to successfully release 4 innocent Somali crewmen who were being held as hostages onboard.

    Spanish Marines boarded the dhow that was believed to have been used as a mother ship and related to several pirate attacks in the area. After transferring the 20 men from the dhow to ESPS Reina Sofia, four of them were quickly identified as innocent Somali crewmembers and they are now being cared for by the Spanish crew. Two Yemeni crew had reportedly already been let go by the suspect pirates after the dhow was pirated in late March.

    As a result of her actions, ESPS Reina Sofia took out the threat of 16 pirates and their use of the dhow as a mother ship to attack merchant shipping in the Indian Ocean. The dhow and the Somali crew can now return safely to the homeport in Yemen.

    As the crew of the dhow did not file a complaint and no clear evidence could be secured to identify the suspect pirates that carried out the attack on the merchant vessel, the 16 suspected pirates will be released. Source EUNAVFOR

    NATO extends anti-piracy mission until 2014

    Brussels, 19 April 2012 - NATO agreed on Monday to extend its anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia until the end of 2014, stressing that foreign navies are helping to reduce the number of hijackings.

    Operation Ocean Shield, which currently has four warships at sea, has patrolled the Horn of Africa and acted to disrupt armed robberies on the high seas while also escorting UN ships bringing aid to Mogadishu since 2008.

    The international efforts are “making a difference, with the number of successful pirate hijacking down significantly in 2012,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen wrote on Twitter.

    “Our message to the pirates is clear, your ability to threaten shipping is diminishing and NATO’s resolve is not going away,” he said, announcing that NATO's decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, had extended the mission.

    The European Union, which has deployed its own counter-piracy operation, was to consider this week whether to allow its warships to fire at trucks, supplies, boats and fuel stocked by pirates on the beaches. It was expected to extend the mandate to continue with Operation ATALANTA until December 2014.

    NATO, however, has decided to continue limiting its mission to sea operations. Source EUbusiness

    South Africa warns on guards on ships

    South Africa required a ‘drastic restructuring’ of its statutes if Pretoria was to allow armed guards on foreign ships that call at South African ports.

    This was the message given to last week’s Third Indian Ocean Naval Symposium held in Cape Town, by the South African defence minister, Lindiwe Sisulu. She advised that certain European countries had asked Pretoria to allow their ships to call at South African ports with armed guards on board. She declined to identify those countries.

    Sisulu said that any pirate captured in South African waters would be sent to Kenya or Tanzania for trial. A number of pirates – thought to be about 12 - captured with the help of the South African Navy combat support ship, SAS Drakensberg, have been sent to Tanzania where they are being held in custody awaiting trial – see report above in the NAVAL section.

    South Africa and Oman agree to boost anti-piracy efforts

    Cape Town – South Africa wants to learn how Oman has been able to protect its coastline, given the threat of piracy in the Mozambican Channel, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu said after the signing of a defence co-operation memorandum with Oman’s Minister of Defence Sayyid bin Saud bin Harib al-Busaidi.

    The Memorandum of Understanding, signed at the Castle in Cape Town, includes an agreement on technical co-operation, an agreement to share lessons around peace- keeping operations and the sale of military hardware to Oman by South Africa.

    Sisulu said Oman had vital lessons to share with South Africa around maritime protection and pointed out that both countries were strategically placed on international sea routes between Asia and the rest of the world.

    Oman was the first country in the Gulf to acquire military hardware from South Africa, and Sisulu encouraged her counterpart for Oman to continue doing so.

    She said she was confident that with South Africa’s large military industry, the country would be able to sell what Oman required.

    She also invited her counterpart to the upcoming air force exhibition at Waterkloof to take place in September.

    The signing of the agreement today follows the state visit by President Jacob Zuma to Oman in November last year.

    Sisulu, who accompanied Zuma on last year’s visit, thanked her counterpart for his hospitality while on last year’s visit there and for taking time to explain to her Oman’s military history.

    Oman and South Africa have enjoyed good relations with one another since 1995 and in 2002, the embassy in Muscat was established and in 2003, the Oman embassy was set up in Pretoria.

    Her Omani counterpart expressed his deep thanks and gratitude to the hospitality that Sisulu had extended to his delegation.

    “I am confident that what is in this memorandum will enhance the co-operation between the two countries in the military field,” he said. – BuaNews

    PICS OF THE WEEK – NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER, ARCADIA, MAERSK SEMAKAU

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    The cruise ship NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER (6471-gt, built 1982) was a recent visitor to Cape Town. Here she is seen arriving in the Mother City. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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    Another recent passenger ship was P&O Cruises’ ARCADIA which called at Durban and Port Elizabeth en route to Cape Town, where she is seen arriving with the glint of early morning sunlight painting her in a golden glow. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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    Before we forget that Cape Town is a commercial port and is used by a variety of ships and not only cruise ships, we’ll complete this week’s edition with two images of the container ship MAERSK SEMAKAU (79,702-gt, built 2007), seen arriving in port where she was to be taken to the container terminal. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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    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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