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Ports & Ships Maritime News

24 August 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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News continues below...

FIRST VIEW – RAINBOW WARRIOR

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Greenpeace’s latest RAINBOW WARRIOR, the thid vessel to carry the name, arrived in Durban harbour on Thursday (23 August) and proceeded directly to the ELDOCK floating dock owned and operated by Messrs Elgin Brown & Hamer. The small vessel is to undergo minor repairs and adjustments befoer being made ready for action once more. On completion of her repairs on or about 6 September Rainbow Warrior is due to move to the N-Shed Passenger Terminal where she will be opened to the public, before sailing the following day. Picture by Clinton Wyness.

News continues below…

SHIPWATCH: SHIPS AND SHIPPING LINE NEWS

New PSV for West Africa

Malaysian-based offshore support vessel builder Nam Cheong has confirmed receiving a contract to build a Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) for a West African operation.

The PSV in on order for an emerging offshore marine services and construction company and will be built in Nam Cheong’s subcontracted yards in China. The 3,000 dwt ABS Class PSV is 75 metres long and equipped with Dynamic Positioning 2 system. Once completed the PSV will be deployed in West Africa.

UAFL plans new Mozambique service

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UAFL’s Captain Costas

United Africa Feeder Lines (UAFL) intends launching a Mozambique coastal service from Durban as from October this year.

The service will call at Mozambique and neighbouring ports of Beira, Nacala, Pemba, Mtwara (Tanzania) with calls at Dar es Salaam and Mombasa on inducement.

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SAFE HAVEN AT LAST FOR MSC FLAMINIA

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The badly burned 6,732-TEU container ship MSC FLAMINIA has been granted a safe haven in a German anchorage or harbour still to be identified.

The ship, which caught fire while in mid-Atlantic on 14 July has been drifting under tow several hundred miles off the English Channel while waiting for a decision on whether an European authority would grant permission for the vessel to be taken into an area safe enough for salvage work to begin.

The ship caught fire in one of her midship holds while MSC Flaminia was in mid-Atlantic, heading for the UK. With the fire rapidly spreading crew initially fought the fire but were forced to abandon ship after an explosion that led to the disappearance of one of the crew and serious injuries to a number of others. A second crewman later died before he could reach hospital.

With the ship abandoned and without power, salvage tugs that reached the vessel eventually got the fire under control and finally extinguished, although the vessel had taken on a 10 degree list from all the water pumped on board. About 1000 of the 2876 containers on board at the time are estimated to have been damaged or destroyed by the fire and water.

The ship is owned by Germany’s Reederei NSB and was under charter by MSC. On 8 August MSC declared a general average with Hamburg-based Schlimme & Partner being appointed as average adjusters in association with Rogers Wilkin Ahern in London.

One final hurdle has to be overcome before the stricken vessel can be towed to a German safe refuge is that British, Dutch and French authorities will have to determine whether the ship may be brought into the English Channel.

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SHIPWATCH: FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR DEBMARINE

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!Gariep, one of the Debmarine diamond mining vessels previously laid up but now back in service. Picture by Aad Noorland

When the world diamond market crashed in 2008/2009 its ramifications were felt almost immediately in the marine engineering sector of Cape Town.

All of the diamond mining vessels belonging to the De Beers Group including the GRAND BANKS, DEBMAR ATLANTIC, DEBMAR PACIFIC, !GARIEP and YA TOIVO (all Debmarine Namibia vessels) as well as the De Beers Consolidated Mines vessel, the PEACE IN AFRICA, tasked to operate off the South African coast as well as two sampling vessels, the DOUGLAS BAY and the CORAL SEA, were put at anchor in the Port of Saldanha to ride out the price collapse storm.

As De Beers Marine in Cape Town provides operational and technical support to all the vessels its call on the products and services of the Cape Town marine engineering sector almost completely fell away. In the good times of the early 2000’s capital expenditure on these vessels ran well over R400 million a year, it is estimated.

Now, it seems, the sparkle is brighter for the diamond market. Prices are up by more than 30 percent (for sizes 1 to 2 carats) compared to 2007 for example and the indications are that the mid- to long-term outlook remains positive due to constrained supply and strong demand growth from emerging markets.

And while rough diamond prices are likely to remain flat at current levels, this year they are good enough for De Beers Marine to have gone full steam ahead with its sea diamond mining effort off the coast of Namibia.

Stella Auala, spokesperson for Debmarine Namibia, tells Cape Business News (CBN) the company is currently operating at 100 percent of its fleet capacity with a total of five mining vessels. The Grand Banks, which was on a lay-up period of three years has now been re-commissioned. With the increase in the production fleet, Debmarine Namibia is also focusing on increasing resource development capacity, according to Auala.

Debmarine mines in the off-shore mining license area off the southern coast of Namibia in water depths of between 70 and 140 metres. Since 2006 a million carats per annum were mined until the 2008 slump.

The company’s mining license area cover a total area of about 6,000 square kilometres and since mining commenced in the early 90’s, some 74 square kilometres have been mined to date, Auala says.

Last year Debmarine Namibia produced 990,000 carats and the indications are that the one million carat mark will easily be surpassed this year.

The Peace in Africa, originally tasked to mine the South African deposits just south of the Namibian treasure chest (it is owned by De Beers Consolidated Mines) is proving to be the star performer. The vessel is expected to produce an estimated 330,000 carats annually, equating to around 30 percent of Debmarine Namibia’s total production.

The Peace in Africa is currently the largest mining vessel in the fleet, and the only vessel using the crawler-mounted dredge technology. The Peace in Africa mines in Namibia’s Atlantic 1 mining license, on a six year charter, from De Beers Consolidated Mines as from October last year.

Those knowledgeable of the marine mining sector speculate that the De Beers effort has changed with a move from maximum production to focus on improved productivity – that is, improved profitability per carat produced.

That would explain the hard-working Peace in Africa’s move from the South African waters to those of Namibia, where the diamonds are reputed to be of better quality and in more abundance.

Originally built with a capacity of close 240,000 carats a year, its current production rate of 330 000 carats is breathtaking and an indication that De Beers quickly want to make good for earlier poor results. - source CBN

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CRUISE NEWS: CUNARD OFERS THREE WORLD CRUISES IN 2014

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Cunard’s 2014 World Voyage programme offers a choice of all three ships, QUEEN MARY 2, QUEEN VICTORIA and QUEEN ELIZABETH making World Cruises in 2014, visiting six continents and 85 destinations.

Embarkation points for the three Queens are Southampton (where else), New York, Fort Lauderdale and San Francisco, depending on the voyage. Altogether the three ships will cover a total of 116,808 nautical miles and providing destinations that even the most jaded passenger will enjoy. These include circumnavigating Australia, visiting Japan, South-East Asia, South America and South Africa.

“For nearly a century, Cunard has served the adventure-seeking traveller with unrivaled access to the world's most storied regions since the advent of our World Voyage Programme in 1922,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Such an experience is heightened only by Cunard's reputation in superior service and world-class amenities, and is why we see so many return guests year upon year.”

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Queen Mary 2 in San Francisco harbour

Flagship Queen Mary 2 will celebrate her 10th anniversary season with an exciting 119-day World Voyage, commencing from Southampton and visiting 30 ports of call in 19 countries. Guests have the option to return to Southampton, or to New York via an iconic Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing.

Destination highlights will include Namibia and the spectacular sculpted dunes; Cape Town and beautiful Table Mountain; plus the ship’s second, full circumnavigation of Australia with calls in Cairns, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. On her return route home from Sydney, guests will be treated to an impressive range of exciting Asian sights and cultures before transiting the Suez Canal and cruising the Mediterranean.

Overnight calls will include Cape Town, Hong Kong and Dubai.

Queen Victoria's epic 116-day World Voyage will sail roundtrip from Southampton and visit 40 ports in 19 countries, including an extended trip around South America and a much-anticipated overnight call in San Francisco.

Guests can begin their journey in Southampton or Fort Lauderdale and experience everything from joyful samba displays in Rio and silent turquoise glaciers in Chile, to the mystery and legend of remote Pacific isles. Cape Horn, Amalia Glacier, Pio X Glacier, Easter Island, Pitcairn Island and breathtaking Milford Sound are just some of the voyage's iconic and dazzling destinations. Other highlights will include seven calls in New Zealand and visits to American Samoa, Tonga and Hawaii.

Queen Victoria will make 10 maiden calls during this World Voyage: Fortaleza (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo (Uruguay), Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), Punta Arenas (Costa Rica), Puerto Montt (Chile), Moorea (French Polynesia) and Suva (Fiji).

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Queen Victoria sailing from Lyttelton harbour, New Zealand. Picture by Ala Calvert

Queen Elizabeth will return to the World Voyage with an enthralling 118-day circumnavigation of the globe featuring embarkation points in Southampton, New York, Fort Lauderdale or San Francisco. The ship will visit 41 ports in 24 countries and feature a first-ever visit to Japan where she will make four maiden calls: Kochi, Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki. Additional highlights include a dramatic passage of the Panama Canal, the beauty of Hawaii and Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Overnight calls will include San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. Additional maiden calls will include Busan (South Korea), Shanghai, Xiamen (China) and Abu Dhabi.

News continues below…

PICS OF THE WEEK – RAINBOW WARRIOR

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Another view of the Greenpeace vessel RAINBOW WARRIOR arriving in Durban on Thursday, 23 August 2012. This picture by Trevor C www.nauticalimages.co.za

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