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Ports & Ships Maritime News

2 June 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 – DIRK DIEDERIK

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The Dutch super trawler DIRK DIEDERIK (5,099-gt) seen at the repair quay undergoing repairs in Cape Town this week. The 100-metre long trawler belongs to the Dutch Pelagic Freezer Trawler Association (PFA) and has been identified by the Greenpeace organisation as being one of the giant trawlers responsible for overfishing off West Africa at the expense of local communities. Greenpeace maintains that fishing capacity of many stocks must be reduced in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of West Africa’s marine resources. It says that European fishing vessels such as Dirk Diederik are heavily subsidised by the European Union and are thus able to operate on the scale that they do. Greenpeace says it is campaigning in West Africa for the establishment of a sustainable, low impact fisheries policy that takes into account the needs and interests of small-scale fishermen and the local communities that depend on healthy oceans. Picture: Aad Noorland

News continues below…

SENA LINE DERAILMENT – 1638 TONS OF COAL LOST

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The worst ever derailment on the Sena railroad in Mozambique has resulted in two locomotives being derailed, 26 rail cars destroyed, 150 metres of damaged rail line, 50 metres of platform removed and the loss of 1,638 tons of coal.

The train was travelling from the Moatize coal basin to the port of Beira with 2,386 tonnes of coal in 42 wagons, 32 of which derailed, blocking the line. Both locomotive drivers were reported to have been injured, though no details of the extent of their injuries are available.

A team from CFM, the state-owned rail company, went to the scene to investigate the cause of the accident. However, the director of the Sena Line Reconstruction Brigade (BRLS), engineer Elias Xai-Xai, told Mozambican newspaper Notícias that the ballast, sleepers and rails were all affected by the derailment and that extensive compaction of the soil was necessary before rail repairs can be carried out.

The Sena line carries an average of 12 trains every day, six in each direction, from Vale and from the Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto both near Moatize to the port at Beira.

CFM also runs one goods train per day carrying molasses from the sugar town of Marromeu, limestone from Muanza, and timber from Doa. There are also two passenger trains a week – one from Beira to Marromeu, and the other from Beira to Moatize.

The line from Beira to Moatize is 575 kilometres long, and is currently being upgraded so that it will be able to handle about 20 million tonnes of coal a year. - Noticias, O Pais, AIM

Meanwhile, the recently arrived director of Vale Moçambique, Pedro Gutemberg, announced that the company has posted a loss of US444 million in the first quarter of 2014.

He noted that the losses were due to high operating costs in the coal sector in Mozambique and a sharp drop in coal prices on the international market.

Two years ago coal was priced at US$250 per ton, but at the moment the price stands at around US$100, he said.

Gutemburg noted that it was necessary to ensure maximum efficiency throughout the coal production value chain in Mozambique, and added that if this was not possible, “results will remain negative and we will find it hard to attract further investments.” - macauhub

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SA SAYS IT WILL MEET EU MEASURES FOR CITRUS BLACK SPOT

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Pretoria - The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says it will continuously strive to ensure compliance with the current measures for citrus black spot (CBS) set out by the European Union.

The phytosanitary (relating to measures for the control of plant diseases) measures for CBS on fruit imported from South Africa have been a point of discussion in the EU by the Standing Committee on Plant Health (SCPH) over the past few weeks.

Departmental Chief Director: Stakeholder Relations and Communications, Makenosi Maroo, said the measures are aimed at preventing the introduction of the fungus Guignardia (Phyllosticta) citricarpa, which causes lesions (black spots) on the citrus fruit.

“The EU market remains an important market for South African citrus and therefore, this department will continuously strive to ensure compliance with the current measures.

“The key instrument in achieving this compliance goal remains the CBS-risk management system, which aims to prevent the occurrence of CBS in consignments destined for the EU and other CBS-sensitive markets,” she said.

Within the risk management service, Maroo said control measures (including registration of orchards and fields, mandatory spraying regimes and inspections pre and post-harvesting) are carried out to minimise the risk.

“We also continue to ensure that sufficient information is shared with the EU regulatory authorities on any matter concerning the risk management risk.

“The new measures currently being proposed by the SCPH require the sampling of fruit (600 fruit per 30 tons) and, where any symptoms are found, confirmatory tests to be undertaken.

“This will mean that the producer will incur additional costs for compliance and the department will have to bear the costs for an additional regulatory burden,” she said.

Maroo said the department maintains its position that the commercial fruit does not pose a risk to the EU in terms of the introduction and establishment of CBS into the territory of the EU.

“However, we are committed to ensuring compliance and acknowledge the open channels of technical communication with the EC affording us opportunities to make inputs,” she said. – SAnews.gov.za

News continues below...

NSRI MEDIVACS ILL SEAFARERS FROM SHIPS AT SEA

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MAR Caroliner seen from the Port Alfred NSRI rescue craft Lotto Challenger. Picture: NSRI

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was kept busy over the past week with a number of emergencies.

Port Alfred
At Station 11, Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, the NSRI volunteers were activated following a request from the 185 metre bulk carrier MAR CAROLINER sailing from Buenos Aires to the Far East via Durban as her next port of call. The ship was reporting a sailor onboard who was suspected of suffering from hepatitis.

“The Department of Health and SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) were notified and it was authorised for the patient to be brought ashore and transported to hospital,” reports Juan Pretorius, NSRI Port Alfred station commander.

“Our NSRI Port Alfred volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft LOTTO CHALLENGER and rendezvoused with the ship three nautical miles off-shore in calm sea conditions with a 3 metre swell.

“On arrival on-scene NSRI rescue medics were transferred aboard and medical treatment was rendered to the semi-conscious patient, a 55 year old male from the Philippines, and he was secured to a trauma board and lowered to our sea rescue craft and brought to shore where a Gardmed ambulance transported the patient to hospital for further treatment.”

East London
Just along the coast from Port Alfred, NSRI East London volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated last Thursday by the Transnet National Ports Authority following a request for medical assistance from the 207 metre bulk carrier CHIOS, sailing from Walvis Bay to Sri Lanka, reporting a 45 year old crewman onboard to be suffering a high temperature.

“Our NSRI East London volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF LOTTO accompanied by EC Government Health EMS rescue paramedics and responded,” reports Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander.

“On arrival on-scene, five nautical miles off-shore of the East London Port, an NSRI rescue crewman and EMS rescue paramedic were transferred aboard the ship and the patient, a Filipino, was found to be in a stable condition. He was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought to shore where an EMS ambulance has transported the patient to hospital for further treatment.”

Cape Town
Pat van Eyssen, NSRI Table Bay (Cape Town) station commander, reports: “At 20h30, Wednesday, 28th May, NSRI Table Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following a request for medical assistance from the 177 metre bulk carrier STRATEGIC ENCOUNTER, sailing from Durban to Argentina, reporting a 28 year old crewman onboard suspected to be suffering an asthma attack and short of breath.

“Our NSRI Table Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF VODACOM accompanied by WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedics and responded.

“On arrival on-scene, five nautical miles off-shore of the Table Bay Port, an NSRI rescue crewman and an EMS rescue paramedic were transferred aboard the ship but sadly the man, believed to be from Myanmar, was confirmed to have died.

“The owners of the ship and their ships agents are arranging transportation and care of the body of the deceased,” van Eyssen reported.

News continues below…

MAURITIUS ORDERS NEW PATROL BOAT FROM INDIA

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Interceptor fast patrol boat

Mauritius has placed an order with an Indian shipyard for a 50 metre fast patrol boat, complete with weapons and ammunition, including body armour. Also on order are ten interceptor boats as the island country gears up in a re-equipment drive.

The US$ 20.5 million patrol boat will be 50.4 metres in length and will have a top speed of 35 knots. The boat will be used for offshore defence work and other duties, including coastal patrolling, pollution control, surveys, anti-smuggling work, anti-poaching, fisheries protections, search & rescue, and the monitoring of foreign trawlers.

The patrol boat can also come in useful for counter piracy operations

The order for the 10 interceptor boats is worth $6 million and was signed earlier this year. Each 14.5m long boat will have a top speed of 35 knots but will cruise at 20 knots. They will be used primarily in close inshore operations.

An additional order for one extra interceptor boat has been signed on behalf of the Mauritian Revenue Authority who will use it for coastal patrols and harbour and anchorage duties. The vessel is costing $600,000.

This is the largest ever order placed by Mauritius and is an indication that the island nation is acknowledging its responsibility to reinforce maritime security, in particular with the threat of piracy not very far away from its waters. source - defenceWeb

News continues below…

COSTA CRUISES ABSORBS IBERO CRUISES

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Grand Celebration, soon to transfer to Costa Cruises as the Costa Celebration

Ibero Cruises, Carnival Corps’ Spanish subsidiary and the second largest cruise operator in Spain, is to be absorbed into Costa Cruises, another Carnival subsidiary which already has executive control over it.

The move will enable Costa to expand into the Spanish market, in which Royal Caribbean’s Pullmantur Cruises is currently the biggest cruise operator.

The absorption will take at least the remainder of this year during which Ibero will continue to operate their two ships, GRAND CELEBRATION (47,262-gt, built 1987) and GRAND HOLIDAY (46,052-gt, built 1985) . Grand Celebration is to undergo refurbishment that will see her emerge more in line with other Costa ships.

This includes a new hull colour design with which she will blend in with the other Costa ships. Her new name is to be Costa Celebration. She will also lose her distinctively Carnival whale funnel and swap it for the plain and rather ugly Costa version. Her current passenger capacity is 1,896 with 670 crew.

Grand Holiday meanwhile is being reported as a candidate to be sold or transferred from the Ibero and Costa fleet – transferred to where is not indicated.

Both ships originally operated within the Carnival Corporation fleet, Grand Celebration as Celebration and Grand Holiday as Holiday.

Costa Cruises hopes that by absorbing the Ibero brand it will strengthen its own position in the Spanish cruise market, where it intends increasing its calls in Spanish ports by six percent this year. Additionally, Costa will devote a number of docking slots in the port of Barcelona to its news ship, COSTA DIADEMA throughout 2015.

Costa’s main competition in the Mediterranean is another European cruise line, Swiss-based MSC Cruises. - cruisecurrents

COSTA CONCORDIA WILL BE SCRAPPED IN GENOA

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Concordia in Palma, Majorca, Spain 4
Costa Concordia in her prime. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

According to Italian media reports, the ill-fated cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA, which capsized after hitting a rock near the island of Giglio off the Italian mainland coast in January 2012, is to be towed to the Italian port of Genoa for dismantling (scrapping).

The ship was righted and refloated in September last year in a salvage operation led by South African salvage master, Captain Nick Sloane. The ship was subsequently submerged again in an upright position with her superstructure clear of the water, to wait out the winter and to prepare the ship for the next stage of the salvage, of towing her away to a place where she could be dismantled for recycling.

Weather permitting, the operation of moving her is to commence on 20 July. It is said the operation will cost in the region of €100 million. Reports say that a consortium made up of Saipem, and Genoa-based Mariotti and San Giorgio have been awarded the contract for this stage of the salvage.

Meanwhile, a total of 15 sponsons are being fitted to the ship to refloat her prior to the tugs taking over the delicate operation.

Altogether 32 people died in the sinking of the cruise ship. The ship’s captain and some of his officers are facing trial in an Italian court.

MAERSK ORDERED TO FIND 500 MISSING CONTAINERS

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Svendborg Maersk in port after losing 517 containers overboard during a storm. Picture: P Canela/Shipspotting

Denmark’s Maersk Line, the biggest container line in the world, has been ordered to find about 500 missing containers that fell off one of the company’s ships, the SVENDBORG MAERSK during a storm in the Bay of Biscay in February this year.

Of those that were lost overboard, 13 were found floating and were picked up by French support vessels shortly after the incident. Altogether a total of 517 containers were lost overboard and many, if not most have been assumed to have sunk. But now French authorities say they want those sunken containers recovered even though they lie in international waters.

The French authorities say they want Maersk to draw up a detailed map indicating the exact position where the containers were lost and where they are likely to be found on the sea bottom. The requirement means that Maersk will most likely have to charter a ship capable of carrying out sonar surveys of the ocean bed.

France’s State Office for Maritime Affairs said that although the request is an unusual one, Maersk had indicated its readiness to meet it.

The purpose of the survey is not to recover the lost containers but to map the area so that fishing fleets would have an idea where the boxes are lying to help prevent the entanglement of their nets.

Of the 517 containers that went overboard, the majority were empties. The balance carried no hazardous goods. A number of containers were washed up along the coastline of south-west England.

EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT

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Gateway port

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 container 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 – BOURBON LIBERTY 161 and BEETHOVEN

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Upper Picture: The French-owned, Dubai-managed, St Vincent and Grenadines-flagged offshore supply tug BOURBON LIBERTY 161 (1764-gt) paid Cape Town a visit earlier in May when it was recorded photographically on her berth. The tug was built this year and this was her maiden visit to the Mother City. Picture: Ian Shiffman

Lower Picture: The container ship BEETHOVEN (25,360-dwt, built 2012) was another visitor to the Cape Town port during May. The ship which has a capacity of 1908 TEU is a reminder that in this time of everything being bigger and larger, that there still remains a place for smaller container ships. Beethoven’s owner is Laisz Reederei of Germany. Picture: 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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