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Ports & Ships Maritime News

15 July 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

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

News continues below...
FIRST VIEW – PACIFIC PEACOCK & TAI SHAN TOW

Pacific Peacock Tow 035 July 

2014 470

Later this morning Swire Pacific Offshore’s diminutive offshore supply tug PACIFIC PEACOCK (1329-gt, built 2011), with a bollard pull of just 65 tons, is due to arrive at the pilot station outside the port of Durban, towing a bulky 48,000-ton car carrier, TAI SHAN (48,676-gt, built 1986). The tow commenced a thousand nautical miles out in the Southern Indian Ocean after a fire on board the car carrier, which was safely extinguished, incapacitated the ship and leaving the engineering crew unable to restart the engines. With the ship at the mercy of the seas and requiring assistance, it was fortunate that Swires’ little offshore supply tug Pacific Peacock (5,000 bhp) was not too far away. Despatched to the scene, she took the big car carrier in tow for the long haul to Durban, 1,000 n.miles away, for repairs. The tug and tow are expected outside Durban between 10h00 and 12h00 today (Tuesday, 15 July) after which they will enter port where Tai Shan can have repairs undertaken, while for the crew of Pacific Peacock it will be the chance for a day or so of rest and taking on fuel and supplies. The accompanying picture, taken from a passing ship, shows the incongruity of the two vessel sizes.

News continues below…

ABIDJAN SECURES €200 MILLION FACILITY FOR PORT EXPANSION

Abidjan File0004 OTAL 470
Port of Abidjan container terminal

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has arranged a €200 million syndicated bridge financing facility for Cote d’Ivoire’s state-owned Port Autonome d’Abidjan (PAA) to enable the company expand facilities at the Abidjan Port.

According to the agreement signed by PAA and the participating banks in Cairo and Abidjan, Afreximbank and Société Générale Cote d’Ivoire will each provide 50 million Euros while Banque Atlantique, through its group across Africa, will participate in an amount of 100 million Euros. Banque Atlantique will also serve as the local agent bank for the transaction.

Information made available by the banks shows that the funds would be used by PAA to finance advance payment and related costs for the expansion of the Abidjan Port, including the enlargement and deepening of Vridi Canal as well as the construction of Container Terminal 2 and a RoRo terminal by China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd.

“By increasing the port’s handling capacity for containers, this project should enhance the position of the Abidjan Port as the gateway that connects the nearby hinterland West Africa countries to international markets,” said Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Afreximbank, after signing the agreement on behalf of the Bank.

PAA, which began operations in 1951 following its creation in 1950, is responsible for the management of the Port of Abidjan. One of Africa’s busiest ports in terms of volume, the Port of Abidjan serves as a major international transshipment and transit traffic hub through which 70 percent of the foreign trade of hinterland countries passes (Burkina Faso, Mali, etc.).

Afreximbank:

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is the foremost Pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organisation, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, Afreximbank has approved almost US$30 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $3.5 billion in 2013. Afreximbank is headquartered in Cairo.

News continues below…

PRESIDENT ZUMA IN FORTALEZA FOR BRICS SUMMIT

BRICS

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Fortaleza, Brazil, where he will attend the sixth Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit.

South Africa will be handing over the chair to Brazil at the two-day summit themed, BRICS - Inclusive growth: Sustainable solutions.

“The Summit will emphasise social inclusion and sustainable development. It will also provide the opportunity to reflect on areas of cooperation and showcase BRICS accomplishments,” Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said on Monday.

During its tenure as chair, South Africa has fully implemented the eThekwini Action Plan that BRICS leaders had tasked the country to carry out at the 5th BRICS Summit held in Durban last year. This by hosting key ministerial meetings such as the BRICS National Security Advisors, trade, finance, agriculture and agrarian affairs, education, health, social security, and science.

Maharaj says the country also inaugurated the BRICS Business Forum and established its operational procedures as well as identified priority focus areas. The BRICS Think Tanks Council was also established to provide critical analysis and policy advice to BRICS leaders.

The five economies are expected to sign off on the new institutions at this summit- after two years of tough negotiations.

BRICS will pool an initial $50 billion dollars for the bank, with each country contributing an equal amount, and seek to gain influence by offering developing nations an alternative to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The leaders are also expected to set up a $100 billion contingency pool, which could be available by 2015 to help any of its members if they are hit by a sudden loss of foreign capital.

Since its first Summit in 2009, BRICS has consolidated its position as a positive force for the democratisation of international relations and the countries have forged an impressive partnership carrying out cooperation initiatives in more than 30 areas between themselves.

“BRICS membership advances South Africa's national interests through pursuing key economic priorities related to poverty alleviation, job creation and reducing inequality,” Maharaj said.

Boosting intra-BRICS trade
However, boosting intra-BRICS trade remains a key objective, which will in turn improve the lives of ordinary citizens.

In this regard, progress is being made -- South Africa's total trade with the BRICS countries recorded at R380.4 billion, which is 27.5% higher than the 2012 figure of R298.2 billion.

Total trade with Brazil grew from R20.1 billion in 2012 to R21.8 billion in 2013, representing a growth of 8.46%.

With Russia, total trade increased from R5.1 billion in 2012 to R7.5 billion in 2013, representing growth of 47.06%, with India it also grew substantially from R68.3 billion in 2012 to R80.8 billion in 2013, representing growth of 18.3%.

China ranks first among the BRICS partners and is South Africa's largest bilateral trading partner, with total trade expanding from R204.6 billion in 2012 to R270.1 billion in 2013, representing a growth of 32.01%.

Regional level
At a regional level, Maharaj said South Africa seeks to gain tacit support from BRICS partners on a regional level for the promotion of the African Agenda.

“Another key advantage for Africa in particular, is that the BRICS-Africa cooperation will support Africa's efforts to diversify and modernise its economies through infrastructure development, knowledge exchange, increased access to technology, enhanced capacity-building and investment in human capital,” Maharaj said.

International level
On the international level, it seeks to obtain increased support for the reform of International Financial Institutions (IFIs), the revival of the Doha Development Agenda, as well as the reform of the United Nations (UN) including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), among others.

President Zuma is accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Finance, Trade and Industry, State Security, Energy together with a business delegation.

The business delegation will participate in the BRICS Business Council meetings scheduled to take place on the side-lines of the summit. - SAnews.gov.za

News continues below...

LIBERIA TRUCKERS TO STAGE GO SLOW OVER LACK OF TERMINAL SERVICES

IMG 2041adj 470
Port of Monrovia, Liberia

The Port Truckers’ Association of Liberia (PTAL) drew attention at the weekend to a lack of effective services being provided to its members by the APM Terminal in the Freeport of Monrovia.

Calling a press conference to announce their grievance, president of PTAL William Dewact said that cargo handling equipment at the terminal was constantly breaking down and was negatively impacting on his association’s revenue generating capacities.

Dewact said that for the past two weeks, PTAL members had been arriving at the port to load cargo only to find that the necessary equipment and infrastructure was not available. This was due to mechanical breakdowns, he claimed.

Resulting from the delays in clearing the cargo, APM Terminals had begun charging storage fees for overstays, when in fact the terminal was responsible for the delays.

Describing the situation as alarming, Dewact said that APM Terminals must ‘rise to the challenge” by acquiring the necessary reliable equipment necessary to perform its function as the port terminal operator.

On being questioned, he said APM Terminals was aware of the problem and has promised to upgrade and improve its services.

He said that as a result of the dissatisfaction caused by this, his members have decided to stage a ‘go slow’ action tomorrow (Wednesday, 16 July 2014) unless here is a sudden improvement in services provided at the port.

News continues below…

GUINEA BISSAU SUSPENDS EXPORTS OF WOOD

logs

The export of wood through the port of Bissau has been suspended to give priority to the export of cashew nuts.

This follows a decision made by the council of ministers meeting held in Bissau.

Making the announcement the government indicated the move was aimed at reducing congestion at the port and to enable ships arriving to load cashew nuts to enter port instead of being forced to wait outside.

The announcement said that the suspension would also allow ships carrying food products for the capital, which have been waiting long periods outside port, to enter and begin discharging much needed cargo.

Shortly after the decision was announced trucks carrying logs for export began moving out of the area around the port of Bissau, causing initial increased road congestion but which would eventually disperse to reduce the level of road congestion that was preventing trucks loaded with cashew nuts from gaining access to the port.

It is not clear what exporters of logs and wood from Guinea Bissau will do now or to which port they will take their cargo to.

There has been much concern over over-zealous exports of timber and logs from a number of Central and West African countries, with concerns that endangered species of hardwood was being smuggled out in large quantities and making use of containers to hide the type of wood being exported, mainly to the Far East but also to Europe and the Americas.

News continues below…

TUG CONTRACT AWARDED TO DURBAN’S SOUTHERN AFRICAN SHIPYARDS

ORCA Jurgen Cobarg 470
The Port of Ngqura tug ORCA, one of the last to be built at SA Shipyards in Durban in 2010, goes through her paces on Durban Bay, shortly after launching. As with her two sisters, she has a bollard pull of 70 tons to cater for the larger ships expected in Ngqura once manganese is handled, involving Capesize ships. Picture: Jurgen Cobarg

The much awaited contract for nine new tugs for Transnet National Ports Authority was finally signed last Thursday (9 July 2014), with the contract going to Durban’s Southern African Shipyards.

The contract was first awarded almost two years ago but for various reasons has never been signed off until now, leaving the shipyard on a sort of ‘standby’ mode that couldn’t have been easy to manage. However, that is all in the past now and work will shortly commence on cutting the first steel and beginning the tugs’ construction, although first there’s a little matter of the NUMSA steel strike finding settlement.

In January 2013 when the order was first ‘awarded’ but not signed off, it was reported to be a contract worth R1.2 billion. Escalation including the dollar/rand exchange rate will have affected this figure however.

The new tugs will replace older tugs in service at various ports but will also increase the overall fleet, particularly at Durban. One of the tugs has an intended bollard pull of 100 tons and will be delivered to the Port of Saldanha. The other tugs will have bollard pulls of 70 tons, matching the three at the Port of Ngqura which were also built at SA Shipyards.

By way of comparison, older generation tugs in service with the TNPA have bollard pulls varying between 32.5 and 40 tons. More recent tugs have a bollard pull of around 50 - 55 tons.

The design work of the tugs is also being undertaken in Durban by the firm of Naval Africa Design, which was involved with previous contracts. The general appearance of the new tugs is not expected to vary too much from their earlier cousins apart from a few modifications. The main difference will be in the engine room where increased engine power is being provided.

Southern African Shipyards has been building tugs for Transnet since the 1990s, continuing a long tradition of harbour tugs being built in Durban for the harbour service. The new tugs will follow their predecessors by having Voith Schneider propulsion and will be in the region of 30m in length. They will be virtually maintenance free for the first five or seven years, rendering huge cost and availability savings for Transnet.

The contract for the tugs will lead to an increase in labour at the shipyard, after several years of austerity when the shipyard has had to make do with ship repair and the occasional building contract. When first ‘awarded’ nearly two years ago the contract called for the tugs to have all been delivered within 42 months. This timeframe is not likely to have been changed.

Southern African Shipyards occupies some 11 hectares of prime land in the Bayhead of Durban Harbour, with its own quay or almost 300 metres and a 5 000 ton capacity floating dock which can be used to launch the tugs on completion. The main construction halls are 320m x 46m in extent, allowing the tugs to be built under cover in series until ready to roll out for launching. The yard employs about 400 people but this number will swell with the new contract and doesn’t take into account the many sub-contractors that will be involved.

Southern African Shipyards operates with the Quality Assurance accreditation to ISO 9001:2008.

* This article appeared in Monday’s News Bulletin

SA ECONOMY BATTLES TO GET OUT OF THE WOODS

south africa map[1]

South Africa’s economy has battled to fully recover from the impact of the 2009 recession due to low productivity in the mining and manufacturing sectors.

The sluggish growth has mainly been attributed to the bruising strikes in both sectors that have led to contractions in the first quarter.

This is according to Statistician-General Pali Lehohla, when briefing journalists at Tshedimosetso House, in Pretoria, on the impact of the losses in production in manufacturing and mining on the economy.

The briefing was also a microscopic view of data that Lehohla released when he announced the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2014 in June.

“After the 2009 recession, the economy has battled to get out of recession and there has been a negative impact both on mining and manufacturing.

“Strikes also have shown that they have got a negative impact, particularly in terms of motoring production in September 2013,” he said on Monday.

Lehohla was referring to industrial action in the automotive sector, late last year, where work stoppages cost the country’s auto makers 50,000 units in loss of production, which resulted in exports declining by 75% year-on-year.

Lehohla said between September 2006 and March this year, 188,000 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector, which was a decrease of 14%.

He said the mining sector shed 48,000 jobs between June 2012 and March 2014, which was a decrease of 9%.

The mining sector took several knocks to production, Lehohla said, citing the Marikana strike in August 2012 and the AMCU platinum strike in January 2014 -- a strike that recently ended after dragging out for more than five months.

He said, however, that it was too soon to indicate the impact that the ongoing two-week strike by the National Union of Metalworkers SA (NUMSA) would have on the economy.

During the first quarter of 2014, the annualised GDP slowed to -0.6%, forcing the Reserve Bank and other forecasters to revise the country’s growth downwards.

The manufacturing and mining sectors experienced a contraction of -4.4% and -24.7% respectively.

“A number of commentators are asking a question after the first negative growth in the GDP of -0.6%. They are asking [if] we are likely to see more losses in jobs?

“Well, on the 26th of August we are releasing our GDP and we will see then if there has been losses of jobs,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT

Gateway port 470
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 – PACIFIC SHARAV

Drillship 

PACIFIC SHARAV and AHS PANTHER off Gre

The US-company Pacific Drilling Services’ drill ship PACIFIC SHARAV (60,939-gt, built 2014) was seen at anchor off Cape Town’s Green Point yesterday morning taking fresh supplies. The recently delivered (May 2014) drill ship is being attended by the German-owned anchor handling vessel OOC PANTHER (2596-gt, built 2011). Pacific Sharav is currently en route to the US Gulf of Mexico where she will enter into a five year contract with Chevron. Picture: Bert Hofhuis

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