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Ports & Ships Maritime News

13 July 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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News continues below...

 

FIRST VIEW – BAVENIT

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The sophisticated drill ship BAVENIT which called in Cape Town harbour and Table Bay recently. Built in 1986 the 'Bavenit' has recently undergone an extensive upgrade for operations in up to 3,000m of water. Bavenit, which is part of the Fugro fleet of geotechnical ships, was built in Finland and flies the Russian flag. The vessel displaces 5,300 tonnes. Pictures by Aad Noorland (above) and Fugro.

 

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TRANSNET REPORTS LARGE JUMP IN REVENUE AND PROFITABILITY

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Port of Durban. Picture by Steve McCurrach www.airserv.co.za

OVERALL HIGHLIGHTS

 

  • 10,4% growth in rail volumes to an unprecedented 201 million tons
     
  • Operational efficiencies and productivity up 18,0%
     
  • Revenue up 20,9% to R45,9 billion
     
  • EBITDA up 19,8% to R18,9 billion
     
  • Capital investment up to a record R22,3 billion (excluding DIA acquisition)
     
  • Safety performance up, disabling injury frequency rate down from 0,82 to 0,65
     
  • 3 159 new jobs created

    DIVISONAL HIGHLIGHTS

    Transnet Freight Rail

    Revenue for the year increased by 22,3% to R27,7 billion compared to R22,6 billion in the previous year.

    Transnet Rail Engineering

    Rail Engineering’s internal revenue increased by 13,0% to R9,8 billion compared to R8,7 billion in the previous year.

    Transnet National Port Authority

    Revenue increased by 2,4% to R8,3 billion compared with R8,1 billion in the 2010/11 financial year.

    Transnet Port Terminals

    Revenue was up by 11,1% to R7,1 billion against R6,4 billion previously as a result of higher volumes handled and improved operational efficiencies.
    Container volumes increased by 7,2% to 4,305,066 TEUs, up from 4,016,564 TEUs.
    Bulk and break-bulk volumes rose 6,6% to 82,9mt against 77,8mt previously.
    Automotive volumes improved by 8,9% to 672,536 units compared with 617,588 units in the previous year.

    Transnet Pipelines

    Revenue for the year increased by 85,7% to R2,1 billion compared with R1,1 billion in the previous year. This is mainly due to the 59,0% increase in allowable revenue including the F-factor granted by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa in its 2011/12 Tariff Determination. Volume performance is 7,1% below the prior year. The combination of supply and demand challenges contributed significantly to the underperformance for the year. However, Pipelines met 98% of all orders placed on the pipeline system for delivery.

     

    General Overview

    Transnet has reported a 20.9% increase in revenue to R45.9 billion for the year financial ended in March -- up from R38 billion in the previous period, the company said on Tuesday.

    The growth, it said, was due to growth in volumes in the general freight, export coal, export iron ore and container volumes as well as an 18% improvement in productivity.

    The logistics company has seen a 10.4% growth in rail volumes to 201 million tons. This, it says is the highest tonnage moved in Transnet's history. In October 2011, TFR ran the highest number of trains per day at 1,444, up from about 800 trains per day in the previous period.

    General freight volumes on rail rose 9,9% to 81,0mt from 73,7mt in the previous financial year, while containers on rail increased 21,5% to 762,760 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) up from 627,825 TEUs, indicating a growth in market share and significant strides in taking rail-friendly cargo off the roads.

    Export coal volumes increased by 8,8% to 67,7mt up from 62,2mt, while iron ore volumes jumped by an impressive 13,2% to 52,3mt from the previous year’s 46,2mt. Both heavy haul lines achieved record weekly throughput (productivity) levels of 1,7mt and 1,2mt, respectively. TFR’s new railways operating strategy is beginning to pay off, said Transnet, with on-time departures and arrivals for General Freight Business improving by 18,9% and 17,7% respectively, compared to the previous year.

    Regarding ports, Transnet Port Terminals continued to boost its efficiency levels with average moves per gross crane hour (GCH) increasing by 8,1% to 26,6 GCH from 24,6 GCH in the previous period. In addition, average tons loaded per hour at the Saldanha iron ore terminal improved by 4,1% to 7,242 tons per hour, and the Richards Bay dry bulk terminal’s loading rate was up 2,7% to 678 tons per hour.

    Transnet also celebrated the official opening of the Port of Ngqura, just outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape in March 2012. “This, we plan to develop into a transshipment hub for the Southern Africa region,” the company said.

    Capital investment for the year increased to R22.3 billion (excluding capitalised borrowing costs) with R11.6 billion being invested in capacity expansion and R10.7 billion in maintenance of existing capacity.

    The utility is investing R300 billion over the next seven years to expand its capacity.

    The year's investment lifts the total amount spent over the last seven years to R115.5 billion.

    Operating costs increased by 21.8% to R27 billion from R22.2 billion in the previous period.

    “The main drivers of the higher expenses were a 46.4% increase in material costs, an 18.8% increase in personnel costs as well as a 31.4% jump in energy prices.

    “These increases were in line with our rising activity levels accompanied by higher maintenance costs to support volume growth, costs of improving safety in the workplace - a key priority - as well as higher electricity tariffs and fuel price increases," said Transnet.

    During the year, Transnet acquired 43 locomotives from the United States’ General Electric. The agreement included CSDP (Competitive Supplier Development Programme) obligations of 65% of the total value of the contract – up from 25% in the previous agreement for the purchase of 100 locomotives from the same supplier.

    Transnet has since shifted to include port-handling equipment in its CSDP programme. The following key port-handling equipment transactions were concluded during the year:

    7 tandem lift cranes
    6 mobile harbour cranes
    28 straddle carriers
    1 pneumatic ship un-loader
    1 ship loader
    33 haulers
    8 reach stackers.

    The total contract value since the inception of the CSDP amounts to R14,1 billion. To date, R3,0 billion or 55,0% of total supplier development obligations have been executed.

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    Port of Cape Town. Picture by The Aerial Perspective aerialphoto.co.za

     

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    PORTWATCH: TPT CALLS ON SHIPPING LINES TO DIVERT TRAFFIC FROM DCT

    Crane collision involving the K Line ship at 205 – follow-up

    Following up on our report over the past days about the Buster that struck Durban and the KZN coast on Wednesday, 4 July (see our last two news bulletins), the following letter headed ‘Repercussions from gale force winds on 4 July’ which has gone out to Transnet Port Terminal stakeholders gives further background to the incident:

    The damages to our cranes 517 and 518 are still being assessed and we are awaiting the report from a Structural Engineer. The two damaged cranes have been moved off berth 205 and placed on berth 204. Early indications are that we will have crane 518 back in operation within the next few days (this was dated 9 July 2012), but 517 will have to remain immobolized at 204 in the current position, until such time as repairs have been effected. The repairs to 517 are expected to be quite lengthy and could take anything up to 3 months.

    This is going to have a profound effect on berthing delays at DCT, as we are severely restricted due to berth 203 currently being out for the crane rail construction and with these two cranes damaged, there are very few vessels that would fit onto the remainder of 204 berth.

    We urge Shipping Lines with suitable vessels and call-sizes to look at making use of alternative terminals including the Agri-RoRo terminals at Point and Maydon Wharf, as well as consider using terminals outside of Durban – including Ngqura and Cape Town, until such time as these cranes are back in operation and delays have been eradicated.

    We assure you that we will make every effort to avoid berthing delays and minimise the effect on vessel operations.

    We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused and thank you in advance for your understanding and co-operation.

    Hector Danisa
    Terminal Executive, Durban Container Terminal

     

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    SMIT LAMNALCO BRINGS SIERRA LEONE ORE TO MARKET

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    Smit Lamnalco operations along the Port Loko River

    Report sent by Paul Ridgway, London

    Smit Lamnalco has played a pivotal role in bringing two export projects to fruition that will see Sierra Leone’s re-emergence as a key global source of iron ore.

    The marine support and logistics specialist has provided the turnkey services to assist African Minerals Limited (AML) in exporting ore from its Tonkolili mine. The mine has a life expectancy in excess of 60 years, with resources of an estimated 12.8Bn tons.

    Smit Lamnalco has been contracted for an initial five years to support AML’s fully integrated mine-rail-port transport system connecting Tonkolli to the port of Pepel.

    On the shoreside, Smit Lamnalco has deployed four Damen-built 3212 terminal and towing tugs to ensure that ships enter and exit the port’s challenging approaches safely. AML already plans to develop a new rail spur from the existing railway, connecting Tonkolili to a new large deep water port at Tagrin.

    Major Chinese investors include Shandong Iron and Steel Group, and China Railway Materials Commercial Corporation, and the exporter expects the operation to ramp up initially to 20 million tons pa (mtpa) in its Phase 1 operations, and become by far the largest contributor to GDP in Sierra Leone.

    In a second deal, London Mining Plc contracted Smit Lamnalco to provide a complete logistics and marine package to support exports from the upriver Marampa mine. London Mining plans to develop a production rate of 5mtpa of premium sinter concentrate by the end of 2013; this will further increase to 17mtpa in Phase 2 developments of the mine’s 25 year life.

    The support package includes on-transit tug and barge services along 40km of Port Loko River from the Thofeyim River Port to Freetown Harbour. The waterborne transit involves four bespoke shallow draft Smit Lamnalco river tugs towing four 93m long barges to the coast.

    Shoreside in Freetown, Smit Lamnalco has provided logistic support to the commissioning of London Mining’s Pride of Marampa transhipment vessel, operated by Bernhard Schulte, to load Capesize ships.

    Both contracts have involved extensive training of ship’s masters, officers and crew for challenging waters, operational procedures including safe vessel loading and discharge, and dedicated onshore management.

    “These are prestigious clients looking for logistics solutions and the type of integrated marine package that we specialise in,” said Smit Lamnalco Regional Director, Ian Hugo. “We do not simply provide ships, we provide a full marine package and expertise which is local, regional and draws on our global reach.

    “Smit Lamnalco worked closely with both customers to develop operational procedures drawing on our strong SHE-Q culture, extensive experience in Africa and expertise in delivering international best practice in challenging business and operating environments.”

    Hugo said it had been imperative that Smit Lamnalco deliver assets and services to international standards to match the exporters’ aggressive gearing up schedules.

    “That has demanded a completely open exchange of views that does not shy away from critiquing each other’s operations. We pride ourselves on developing relationships with our clients that allow frank feedback in both directions.”

    To support both enterprises, Smit Lamnalco has established a nationally-registered operation in Sierra Leone to offer vessel management, engineering and financial services support.

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    Transhipper in Freetown Harbour. Pictures courtesy Smit Lamnalco

     

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    NEW FISHERY RESEARCH VESSEL FOR NAMIBIA

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    RV Mirabilis at her fitting out berth in Rauma, Finland

    The latest research vessel to arrive in southern Africa, RV MIRABILIS is due to arrive in Walvis Bay, Namibia at the end of July, following her recent handing over ceremony at the STX Rauma Shipyard in Finland.

    The function was attended by representatives of Namibia’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, invited guests and members of the press.

    “We are very satisfied to deliver the RV Mirabilis to the customer on schedule and as agreed. Cooperation both at the national level and between the project groups has been extremely good and close through the whole process,” said Toivo Ilvonen, Director of STX Rauma Shipyard. He said that together with the Agulhas II, the Antarctic research and supply vessel completed in April for South Africa, the RV Mirabilis constituted an excellent reference in the STX Finland’s research vessel segment. “Both vessels have attracted a lot of international attention,” Ilvonen said.

    RV Mirabilis was launched on 3 April this year since when she has completed fitting out and has undergone her sea trials before being commissioned. The ship was built at a cost of €35 million with the help of an interest-free loan from the Finnish government.

    Once she enters service with the Namibian Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the 62.5m long RV Mirabilis will replace a smaller and older vessel, the WELWITSCHIA.

    Also see our initial report of this new vessel dated February 2011 Fishery patrol vessel for Namibia. Use your BACKSPACE button to return to this page.

     

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    TRADE NEWS: AU MULLS NEW AFRICA GROWTH PLAN

    by Chris Bathembu

    Addis Ababa - The Africa Union Commission (AUC), an administrative branch of the African Union (AU), will push leaders at the bloc's summit in Addis Ababa this week to adopt the final implementation of the development Strategy Plan (SP) for the continent.

    This is because the AUC three-year Strategic Plan developed in 2009 expires this year and a new one needs to be implemented. The AU has had two plans since it was transformed from the Organization of African Union 10 years ago.

    The SP 2009-2012 came as a result of African leaders' vision to set the path towards Africa's integration and sustainable development. They agreed to achieve this vision and several organs would be established and mandated to develop and implement priority strategies and programmes.

    Officials say the first SP, which covered the period 2004 - 2007, was both a major instrument and a roadmap that served as a basis for the implementation of various programmes aimed at tackling poverty, corruption and reducing conflicts on the continent.

    AUC Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha, who addressed reporters in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, said that the new plan needed to build on the achievements of the previous two strategies. Discussions will be tabled at the executive meeting of ministers scheduled for Thursday and adoption by Head of State summit later this week.

    "What the strategy says is that by 2030, we should have achieved a prosperous Africa. What this means is that by that time, a minimum of 30 countries should have achieved middle income status and that Africa should occupy its rightful position in the world economy," Mwencha said.

    Through the plan, the bloc envisages actions that address four strategic objectives through different programme areas. Successful implementation of the plan, say officials, will help create enabling conditions to improve regional integration, agricultural productivity, and economic development as well as to ensure sustainable management of natural resources and the environment.

    Experts say regional integration has been part of Africa's strategy for economic transformation for decades now but one common criticism is that it lacked coherence. With the organisers choosing intra-trade as a theme for the summit, leaders are expected to engage in protracted debates as to the real cause of the stumbling blocks in the continent's economic integration.

    Mwencha suggested the vision for the continent stretching to 2030 should have a number of features ranging from peace and security and an economy that was able to create jobs and financially viable states.

    He advocated for a robust debate on how Africa saw itself among the nations of the world.

    "In other words, we should look at our trade with the rest of the world, we should look at Africa's participation in other global fora like the World Bank and the UN, Africa should be adequately and equitably represented, that's what we will be pushing for," he said.

    Mwencha stressed the importance of Africa to have peace with itself. By pursuing a common vision, the continent would be able to see that if one state failed the rest were affected.

    He said the AU has recorded a number of achievements since it was transformed a decade ago and these could be seen in the area of peace and security, poverty alleviation and democratic practices.

    Its 15-member Peace and Security Council had managed to reduce the number of conflicts from no less than 20 10 years ago to very low numbers.

    "Today we have less than three active conflicts and that is not by chance," he said.

    In the new strategy plan the AU would be working on programmes to reduce maternal deaths, strengthen education, better relations with Europe, China and other regions, Mwencha said. – SAnews.gov.za

     

    CMA CGM AND MAERSK INTRODUCE JOINT FAR EAST-WEST AFRICA VIA CAPE TOWN SERVICE

    CMA CGM and DELMAS has announced the launching of a new, direct, fast weekly service on the Asia-Africa route: ‘New Africa Express’ (AFEX) service. Ships will call at Cape Town in both directions.

    The service, which commences on 24 July is to be dedicated to South Asian and West African trades and will replace the existing Maersk operated FEW3 service. However, as a replacement, there will be no additional capacity injected to the market.

    AFEX will operate under a Vessel Shared Agreement between CMA CGM and Maersk with 10 vessels, of which CMA CGM will supply two and Maersk eight, ranging from 4,000 to 4,500 TEU.

    The rotation will be: Yantian (YICT) - Nansha - Tanjung Pelepas - Port Kelang (West Port Terminal) – Cape Town - Pointe Noire (Congo Terminal) - Tema (MPS) – Cape Town – Yantian.

    The key aim of this product will be to develop a new direct link from Asia to Ghana, being the 2nd largest market in West Africa, said Ludovic Rozan, Vice-President CMA CGM Africa, Indian Ocean and Oceania Lines. The new service will ensure schedule reliability as well as fast transit time with, for example Yantian - Tema in 37 days.

     

    News continuesbelow…

    PICS OF THE WEEK – SUMMER WIND and SEA MOON

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    The smart looking refrigerated palletised reefer vessel SUMMER WIND (12,660-gt, built 1985) arrives to load citrus at the Durban Fresh Produce Terminal on a fine clear winter’s day. Not bad looking for a 27-year old ship! Picture Trevor Jones

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    The smart looking Greek bulker SEA MOON (57,012-dwt, built 2009), photographed on her way up to Maydon Wharf on Tuesday afternoon, 10 July. 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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