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Ports & Ships Maritime News

4 March 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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 – SPIRIT of SINGAPORE

Spirit of Singapore, Port Chalmers 09 02 14 470

Here’s a ship we don’t see in South African waters – ER Shiffahrt’s 2,800-TEU container ship SPIRIT of SINGAPORE (ex Bahia Blanca, now on charter to Hamburg Süd, 34,500-dwt, built 2007). She was sailing from Port Chalmers in the deep south of New Zealand’s South Island, where incidentally, snow was being forecast. Winter is on its way! Picture: Alan Calvert

News continues below…

GHANA’S TEMA PORT SET FOR EXPANSION

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The Port of Tema and plans for further developments

Efforts to boost capacity at Ghana’s largest sea port signal the government’s willingness to invest in transport infrastructure as it looks to keep up with increasing volumes of commodity exports and processed imports.

In early February, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) said it had received seven bids for the expansion project at Tema Port, the country’s busiest port. The authority first called for expressions of interest from contractors last March, with more than 50 firms responding, of which 21 – including two domestic firms – were pre- qualified to submit tenders.

Shipments through Tema have increased significantly in recent years. According to GPHA data, total cargo traffic jumped 31% between 2008 and 2012, from 8,727,049 tonnes to 11,451,005 tonnes. This was in part due to an increase in economic activity – annual GDP growth averaged around 8% over the period. However, political instability in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire during 2010-11 saw the diversion of some Abidjan-bound trans-shipment traffic to Ghana, with cargo shipments at Tema swelling 24% between 2010 and 2011.

The expansion works at Tema, which are expected to ease congestion and long wait times, will be carried out in five phases. The first stage will comprise basic infrastructural developments: breakwater, dredging and the construction of quay wall foundation trenches. At least five new berths will also be constructed during Phase 1. According to the GPHA, these will include two for containers, two for multipurpose and roll-on/roll-off vessels, and one for passenger and cruise vessels.

The second, third and fourth phases will add more terminals for containers and food and fruit transport to the port. Phase 5 will aim to target the oil rigs that travel along the West African coast.

Port to accommodate larger vessels

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The harbour tug TT ADDY which recently entered service in Tema. Picture: Aad Noorland

James Owusu-Koranteng, director of the port of Takoradi, the second-largest in Ghana, told reporters in early February the expansion would enable Tema to receive larger vessels beyond the current WAFMAX size – the new berths will be 16 metres deep, compared to the current 11.5 metres. The port will also provide dedicated space for cruise ships, with an eye toward boosting the tourism sector.

“This is a major development agenda for the port of Tema,” he said. “It is borne out of the GPHA’s sustained effort to keep up the pace of development and expansion of our ports ahead of the rapid population and socio-economic demands of the country.”

The seven companies that placed bids were required to submit engineering plans estimating the cost of the expansion, in addition to details of how they would secure the necessary credit facility to complete the projects, and proof of their ability to construct the works in conjunction with the GPHA.

New roadway to boost connections
Given the rapid expansion of both the port and the economy as a whole, better inland transport will be necessary to ensure efficient shipment of goods to and from the port. According to Owusu-Koranteng, the only two access roads that connect the port to the motorway are inadequate to deal with current traffic volumes.

Plans are therefore under way to link the port to the motorway with a four-lane dual carriageway. In February the GPHA awarded a $400,000 contract to French consulting firm Messrs Louis Berger SAS to design the road, with a report due in July. The road works are expected to be carried out at the same time as the port expansion project.

According to Owusu-Koranteng, the new port and roadway will provide a boost to the economy both during the construction phase and in the longer term.

“Aside from improving business at the port, the expansion works will obviously translate into more job opportunities for Ghanaians; more stevedoring jobs; and more jobs for agents and various stakeholders engaged in the sea-trade industry,” he said.

The GPHA is not expected to choose a winning bidder to complete the port expansion until it has completed detailed evaluations of all proposed plans – a process set to take up to four months. A rapidly growing economy, however, ensures that these expansion plans are likely to turn a profit in the long term as better infrastructure and connectivity improve the efficiency and speed of the country’s trade and logistics services. source: Oxford Business Group

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BAGAMOYO PORT DEVELOPMENT SIGNED AND SEALED

signing ceremony for Bagamoyo port dev 470

Earlier this year the Tanzanian Minister of State (Investment and Empowerment) Dr Mary Nagu and the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Amb Lv Youqing were witnesses to the Tanzania Bagamoyo port and industrial zone project Implementation Agreement signing ceremony held in Dar es Salaam.

The signing ceremony brings the development of the new port at Bagamoyo, a little to the north of Dar es Salaam, another step closer.

One year ago on 24 March 2013 the Bagamoyo project framework agreement was signed in front of the Chinese President Xi Jinping and President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete. Since then, a joint task force working group has been formed to develop the roadmap and work plan for implementing the framework agreement.

“The development of Bagamoyo Seaport and the industrial zone project will not only accommodate future trends such as the increasing size of container vessels and the trend for shipping lines to form alliances, but also greatly enhances the competitive advantages of the Tanzanian port in the future.” said Dr Hu Jinhua, assistant president of CMG cum managing director of CMHI. He said that the new port at Bagamoyo will decongest Dar es Salaam port and the city. It will ease the social pressures between the old port and urban development and will help to promote Tanzania in becoming East Africa’s leading regional shipping and logistics centre.

Tanzania, he said, will be equipped to take advantage of a new round of global industrial migration, leading to the formation of new growth engines. “It will repeat China's success story of reform and development and opening up over the past 30 years, and will promote both regional and national economic development of Tanzania,” Dr Hu said.

CHEC WINS DOUALA DREDGING CONTRACT

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Port of Douala, Cameroon

China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) recently won the bid for the channel dredging project of Port of Douala in Cameroon, with a contract value of some 28 million euros and a construction period of 24 months.

This is the first project signed by the Central Africa Regional Management Centre in 2014.

As Cameroon’s largest port and an estuary port, Port of Douala needs to be maintained and dredged annually to ensure the channel’s navigable depth.

The work was previously undertaken by big-name dredging companies like Jan De Nul.

The owner released an announcement of the public tender on 9 October 2013, attracting world-class dredging companies such as Jan De Nul, Boskalis and Dredging International.

The successful bid marks the first time that CHEC has successfully entered the Cameroonian dredging market and plays a significant role in consolidating CHEC’s position in the Cameroonian water transport market. source – Dredging Today

News continues below…

INCREASE IN DRC CARGO AT PORT OF DAR ES SALAAM

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Port of Dar es Salaam

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is now the second largest destination of transit cargo through Dar es Salaam port after Zambia. Cargo to or from the DRC has kept on increasing year after year.

The Minister for Transport Dr Harrison Mwakyembe said in Dar es Salaam on Saturday that DR Congo transit cargo had increased from 170,600 tonnes in 2004 to 1,117,200 tonnes last year.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Business Congolese International (BCI), Dr Mwakyembe said that in 2013 Congolese transit cargo constituted 23 percent of the transit cargo and nine percent of the total cargo handled by the Port of Dar es Salaam.

The opening of a BCI office in Dar es Salaam emphasised an increased interest by the DR Congo business community to continue using the Dar es Salaam port.

Dr Mwakyembe said the government as well as all transporters recognises their responsibilities and challenges in dealing with the increasing volume of Congolese transit cargo. He said the goal is to increase the capacity of the facilities, infrastructure, technology and human resources to increase efficiency at the port. The government had begun to work on the recommendations of the DR Congo business community on how to improve services at the port.

"We ask for your patience while we work on your suggestions," Dr Mwakyembe told BCI members.

On his part the president of Business Congolese International in the DR Congo, Mr Mukendi Kabobu Godefroid thanked the Tanzanian government for facilitating the opening of the BCI office in Dar es Salaam.

He described the Dar es Salaam port as the most efficient in the region which he said provided them with economies of scale. source - Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

News continues below…

LESS SHIPS USE SUEZ CANAL IN 2013; PANAMA BACK ON TRACK

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Suez Canal – less traffic in 2013

Less ships used the Suez Canal last year than in the previous year. According to the Canal Authority, the Suez Canal received 16,596 ships in 2013, compared with 17,224 the previous year – a decrease of 3.6 percent.

The same statistics just made available indicate that the canal saw a decrease also in cargoes that transited the waterway – 915,500 million tonnes as against 928,500 tons in 2013.

Panama expansion back on track

Panama Canal 

Expansion 470
Construction work on the Panama Canal

After a two-month standoff the Panama Canal Authority and a consortium of European contractors have reached a ‘conceptual agreement’ to end their dispute over US $1.6 billion cost overruns from the contract to widen the canal.

The deal struck by negotiators calls on arbitrators to rule on who has to absorb the additional costs for the project, which it is hoped can now be completed within two years.

Both parties agreed to provide for more than $1 billion needed to complete the job, which came to a stop when contractors downed tools over the dispute.

The original cost of the project was given as $5,2 billion, a figure that has already been reached although the job is far from complete. In January the Grupo Unidos por el Canal consortium, headed by Spain’s Sacyr Vallehermoso, S.A and Italy’s Salini Impregilo S.p.A., and with Jan de Nul and Panama’s Constructora Urbana, S.A. as junior partners, asked for an additional $1.6 billion to build a third set of locks at each end of the canal, which Panama balked at.

When the new deal is signed this week both sides will put up $100 million to jump-start the project. Another $400 million is said to be coming from surety performance bonds issued by Zurich North America.

The widened canal is now expected to become available sometime in early 2016, instead of the planned end 2015 completion date.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A POD MAKES!

by Vernon Buxton

Most of the latest cruise liners have revolving pod engines. The ‘azumithing’ pod propulsion system is a relatively recent high-tech installation. It replaces conventional propeller shafts, propellers and rudders, negates the need for stern thrusters and saves valuable machinery space. The ‘pods’ (typically two for most ships, but some have four), resemble huge outboard motors with an externally mounted propeller. They are compact, self-contained units powered by an internal electric propulsion motor. Each pod typically weighs about 170 tons (the four pods attached to the QUEEN MARY 2 weigh 250 tons each – more than an empty Boeing 747 jumbo jet.)

POD1 400

One of the two pod units (above) as they are on MSC OPERA and MSC SINFONIA, two vessels that have been cruising in South African waters. Although they are at the stern, pod units pull rather than push a ship through the waters, thanks to their forward-facing propellers that can be turned through 360 degrees, providing maximum manoeuvrability. Ships with pod propulsion system should have no noticeable vibration or engine noise at the stern. Different manufacturers have different names for their pod systems (Azipod, Mermaid.)

POD2 400px

The double bow thrusters on each side of the bow provide full stem movement to port or starboard, virtually negating the need for a harbour pilot boat, other than in extreme weather. The modern cruise liner is indeed a masterpiece of engineering.

POD3 400px

Enormous diesel engines provide power for the ship and also for the electric-driven pods that propel the ship in any direction. Early versions of these pods led to considerable technical failure – like burnt bearings – leading to several lawsuits between manufacturer and ship owner. These setbacks have been minimised with later models and today few cruise liners are built without pod propulsion technology. Pods cut vibration to almost zero, making for very comfortable cruising.


Vernon Buxton for Ports & Ships

SEAFARERS WIN MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

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Seafarers secured a minimum wage increase following talks at the International Labour Organization last week.

ITF (International Transport Workers Federation) representatives met with maritime employer representatives from the International Shipping Federation (ISF) at the ILO last Thursday and Friday (27-28 February).

The sub-committee on wages of seafarers of the joint maritime commission agreed to increase the ILO monthly minimum wage from US$585 to US$592 from 1 January 2015. On 1 January 2016, this will increase to US$614.

Henrik Berlau, national secretary of Denmark’s Fagligt Faelles Forbund (3F), was one of the ITF representatives in attendance. He spoke on behalf of the ITF seafarers’ group during the two-day meeting.

Berlau said that shipowners and the ILO had worked with the unions to reach this decision, further saying: “We believe this demonstrates the social partners’ commitment to the provisions of the MLC on the minimum wage.”

The MLC finally came into force in August 2013, after almost a decade of work by the ITF, shipping organisations, the ILO and governments worldwide.

Analysts believe that the real significance is likely to be the effect the above agreement has on collective wage-bargaining negotiations, currently coming to a head under the International Bargaining Forum (IBF), where the ITF has called for a 15% pay rise. source – ITF

EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT

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East London harbour

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to Stack dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE - remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

PICS OF THE DAY - KORONI

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koroni== 470

The 3,842-TEU container ship KORONI (48,244-dwt, built 1998) sailing from port after working cargo at Cape Town this week. Koroni is the former BUNGA RAYA DUA of PIL lines. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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