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Ports & Ships Maritime News

8 December 2015
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 : SANTA ISABELLA

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The Japanese-operated bulk carrier SANTA ISABELLA (55,862-dwt, built 2006) in Cape Town harbour this past weekend. The ship is registered to a Chinese entity but her beneficial owner is Japanese. The ship flies the flag of Panama. Picture by Aad Noorland

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CMA CGM SEALS DEAL TO BUY NOL

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French shipping line CMA CGM said yesterday that it has made an offer to buy loss-making Neptune Orient Line (NOL) for US$2.4 billion, which will create a container line much closer in size and influence to its two main competitors, Maersk and MSC.

While expecting regulatory approval for the bid by mid-2016, the deal will give CMA CGM a capacity of 2.3 million TEU from a combined fleet of 563 ships, a market share of 11.5 percent and an annual turnover of US$22 billion.

The French company, based in Marseilles in the south of France, will pay S$1.30 a share, which amounts to 6.1 percent more than Neptune Orient's closing price last Friday, noted Bloomberg News.

According to CMA CGM, shareholders have approved the takeover, including Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings, which owns 67 percent of NOL and its principal holding, its APL container shipping arm.

The merger of the two companies will bring strong synergies together. APL, formerly American President Lines, has a strong presence on intra-Asia and transpacific trades, while CMA CGM has a leading position in Asia-Europe routes, the companies said.

For NOL the offer is a good one, according to Drewry analyst Rahul Kapoor who described it as a very good price. He said that anything more would have been hard to get and that CMA CGM is taking a calculated risk. For five of the past six years NOL has posted losses.

CMA CGM said it would establish its regional head office in Singapore, which will reinforce Singapore's leadership position in the shipping industry.

"This transaction will represent a significant milestone in the development of CMA CGM," said Rodolphe Saade, Vice-Chairman of CMA CGM. "Leveraging the complementary strengths of both companies, CMA CGM will further reinforce its position as a leader in global shipping with combined revenue of US$22 billion and 563 vessels."

Saade said that by bringing together the know-how of both teams, the enlarged group will be even better positioned to provide premium services to its customers across all markets. At a time when the shipping industry is facing strong headwinds, scale is more critical than ever to capitalise on synergies and capture growth opportunities wherever they arise.

"I firmly believe CMA CGM will enable NOL to address the industry's new challenges. We recognise the strategic importance of Singapore as a key hub for the maritime industry and we are committed to reinforcing its regional leadership," he said.

The deal is the largest for the container shipping industry since Maersk bought Royal P&O Nedlloyd NV for the equivalent of US$2.96 billion in 2005. Germany's Hapag-Lloyd AG merged last year with CSAV and Beijing has been working Cosco and China Shipping Container Lines towards merging their operations.

As of 18 September NOL was operating with 89 vessels. It has five container terminals in the US, Japan and Taiwan and has stakes in terminals in Vietnam, China and Thailand.

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DORMAC MARINE'S NEW FLOATING DOCK FOR DURBAN

Dormac 14 6 2007 1 114 new floating dock site 48
XX marks the spot where Dormac Marine's new floating dock will be situated at Durban's Bayhead. On the left is the Dormac Marine shipyard, on the right is EBH's Eldock.

Construction of a new floating dock for the port of Durban is well underway.

The new floating dock, which will bring the number of floating docks in the port to four, is being built in the Ukraine and is expected to be delivered by June next year.

In the meantime, Dormac Marine has awarded the contract for a new quay against which the dock will be moored when it arrives in Durban. This is on an unused part of the Dormac property at Durban's Bayhead and opposite Eldock, EBH's dock, and the smaller Transnet-owned floating dock that has been out of commission for at least five years.

Dormac's new dock is of similar proportions to Eldock and will be able to accommodate vessels up to 155m in length. The dock will provide Dormac with scope to expand its business through having its own exclusive floating repair dock facility over and above having access to Transnet's large graving dock.

Dormac Marine's new floating dock will provide a much needed service capability for the port which will then have three serviceable floating docks and one dry or graving dock available for ship repair.

Meanwhile, there is no news concerning the availability of the Durban dry dock, which was undergoing a refurbishment that included repairs to one of the caissons. The dock was supposed to become available to ship repairers on 25 November but according to industry reports it is not quite ready for this.

The dock has been unavailable for large parts of this year. Firstly due to the SA Navy frigate SAS Amatola which occupied the dock for about three months forcing other repair companies to turn away potential ship repair contracts. In September the current repair job on the caisson has seen the dock out of commission for another three months. Dirban ship repair companies claim to have lost millions of dollars in contracts because the dock was unavailable.

On the other hand the overhaul of the dry dock facilities including the repair to the caisson will have been welcomed, after many years of maintenance neglect by the port authority.

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SUPPORT FOR CONDITIONAL ALLOCATION OF MOMBASA PORT REVENUE

Mombasa Port container terminal 470
Port of Mombasa -- Kenya's cash cow

Kenya's Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has recommended a conditional allocation of revenue generated at the port of Mombasa to the host county government, a move likely to re-ignite a long-running row over resources generated at the gateway facility, reports Business Daily.

CRA chairman Micah Cheserem told the Finance committee of the Senate that the county is entitled to a share of the revenue because of its investment in key infrastructure such as roads.

"There is need for a conditional revenue allocation to Mombasa County from funds collected at the Port of Mombasa," he said. Currently, all revenue collected by the port handlers -- Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) -- is channelled to the national government. In the financial year 2013/14, KPA realised about Sh30.7 billion in revenues. The county government of Mombasa has been pushing for sharing of revenue generated at the port, a proposal the national government has opposed citing provisions of the Constitution which left key facilities such as the port under its control.

The county had this financial year projected to collect about Sh7 billion, partly from revenues collected at the port. The Senate Finance committee chairman Billow Kerrow urged the CRA to step in the deliberations between the government of Mombasa and the national government over sharing of revenues. The Mombasa county government recently slapped container freight stations (CFS) and fuel depots with higher inspection fees, a move that has already triggered fresh protests over the increased cost of business.

The CFSs now face a five-fold increase in annual inspection fees, from Sh4,000 to Sh20,000, according to the county Finance Bill covering the financial year to June 2016. The county government has also hit petroleum depots with a levy of Sh30,000 per year, up from Sh7,500 paid last year. Cooking gas depots and dealers will now pay an annual charge of Sh10,000 up from the Sh4,000 paid in the fiscal year ended June. Fuel tankers parked at marshalling yards have seen their daily charges doubled to Sh1,500 compared to the current Sh800 a day.

The raft of charges are part of a plan to raise nearly Sh60 billion, mainly from port services, to boost Mombasa county's coffers and fund maintenance of infrastructure. But cargo owners have warned that the new levies will be a pain to consumers as they will be passed on to them. Two weeks ago, the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa, a cargo owners lobby, said it had written to the county government highlighting the negative effects of the proposed hefty fees on services around the sea port.

"The cost to the economy is enormous. It will raise the cost of doing business and discourage investments," said Gilbert Langat, the group's chief executive. "This will discourage transit containers from using the port. Shippers will now begin looking at Djibouti and Dar es Salaam," he said in an interview with Business Daily. There are about 24 CFSs [container freight stations] in Mombasa, which ordinarily hold containerised cargo leaving or heading into the port.

Mombasa governor Hassan Joho attempted to introduce the new charges in the first year of his term in 2013 but KPA and the national government opposed the move. The central government had opposed the new levies proposed by the county government, warning that they could undermine recent reforms to speed up the clearance of goods through the port. The higher port user charges come as an added burden for investors who are already paying a 1.5 percent railway levy charged on all imports through Mombasa port.

For instance, ships will be required to pay a permit fee of US$20 (Sh2,040) per tonne of exports and $20 per tonne to clear imports. Each ship will also pay $60 (Sh6,120) and $300 (Sh30,600) for inspection depending on its size, $60 per square metre for compulsory spraying against disease and $40 per container for verification. The county will charge $20 for supervision and destruction of condemned goods. Passenger ships carrying between 50 and 100 people will be charged $300 (Sh30,600) while those carrying more than 1,000 people will pay $500 (Sh51,000).

Mr Joho's administration has also proposed to levy Sh40,000 per year on every branded container that runs through Mombasa county, up from Sh30,000 being levied at the moment. Similarly, any branded vehicle will pay an annual fee of Sh15,000, up from Sh12,000. The port received 1,012,002 containers last year, which stood to earn the county Sh4.2 billion from the verification levy. source: Business Daily

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NORWEGIAN ESCAPE SETS SAIL WITH WORLD'S BIGGEST SCRUBBER SYSTEM

Norwegian Cruise Line Takes Delivery of Its Larg

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The scrubbers in production, and Norwegian Escape

On a sunny day in the German harbour city of Hamburg, Norwegian Cruise Line's NORWEGIAN ESCAPE, a brand new cruise ship, sets sail for the first time. On board are five Yara SOx scrubbers -- one for each engine. The scrubbers ensure that the cruise is not just pleasurable, but also environmental friendly.

Yara Marine Technologies has developed a simple and cost-efficient solution to fight air pollution at sea: the inline scrubber. An inline scrubber is basically a 'gas washing machine.' A simple cylinder that replaces the silencer of a ship engine and cleans the exhaust gas, reducing SOx emissions by up to 99 percent.

To make her voyages from Miami (US) to the Caribbean and beyond as environmental-friendly as possible, the owners of the Norwegian Escape teamed up with Oslo-based Yara Marine Technology to install the world's biggest marine SOx scrubber system, with a capacity to clean emissions from 76.8 MW engine power. She has of course also additional environment protection systems onboard for other pollutants (e.g. ballast, waste and bilge water).

"This particular delivery of our small, lightweight scrubber system was special as it is the biggest operating marine scrubber system in the world so far," said Kai Latun, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer in Yara Marine Technologies. "The customer is happy and the environment is protected, and those are our two ultimate goals," he added.

Norwegian Escape is the newest fleet member of one of the world's largest cruise ship operators: Norwegian Cruise Line. She can carry up to 4,248 passengers and 1,731 crew members. Diesel consumption at full cruising load is about 11 tons per hour, fueling an engine capacity equivalent to about 1,000 cars.

"We are very satisfied with the scrubber system delivery from Yara Marine Technologies. The system performs as guaranteed, compliance test was passed with flying colors and we had full support from Yara Marine Technologies during installation, commissioning and start up," said Christer Karlsson, Senior Vice President Newbuilding, Norwegian Cruise Line. "Yara Marine Technology also provided expert personnel onboard during Norwegian Escape's maiden voyage from England to USA in case more support should be needed. Their customer support is impeccable," he stated.

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WORLD BANK SUPPORTS MOZAMBIQUE FORESTRY REFORM

Logging and charcoal F Mozambique Barbee 480

The World Bank has granted aid of US$50 million to Mozambique to help the country to reform the forestry sector under an agreement signed in Paris, Mozambican daily newspaper Noticias reports.

The agreement, signed by the Minister of Land, Forestry and Rural Development of Mozambique, Celso Correia and the Director of the World Bank for Climate Change, John Roome, is intended to finance the reforms that the Mozambican government will begin to apply from 2016 including in-depth changes to exploration of forest resources.

The current scenario, according to the newspaper, is characterised by excesses that lead to deforestation, insignificant gains for the state and the communities and especially the deterioration of the local and global environment due to destruction of forests.

The reform the Ministry of Land, Forestry and Rural Development has prepared will cost an estimated US$85 million, with the World Bank pledging an immediate contribution of US$50 million.

The reform presented about two weeks ago in Maputo provides, among other things, for more criteria in issuing operating licenses, immediate suspension of unprocessed timber, forcing the creation of facilities for local processing.

The timber operators must introduce actual reforestation programmes and national and international investors may invest in factories to produce furniture and other goods from wood.

Mozambique currently has a deforestation rate of 0.58 percent, which means the loss of an area of ​​forest equivalent to 219,000 hectares every year. The reform drafted by the government aims to lower that rate to 0.2 percent per year.

Mozambique's forests cover around 51 percent of the total 800,000 square kilometres of the country's area. -- macauhub

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ICHCA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 2016

ICHCA Conf design 480

The International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA), founded in 1952, is an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving the safety, security, sustainability, productivity and efficiency of cargo handling and goods movement by all modes and through all phases of national and international supply chains.

ICHCA International's privileged non-government organisation (NGO) status enables it to represent its members, and the cargo handling industry at large, in front of national and international agencies and regulatory bodies. Its Expert Panel provides technical advice and publications on a wide range of practical cargo handling issues.

ICHCA International operates through a series of autonomous national and regional chapters -- including ICHCA Australia, ICHCA Japan and ICHCA Canarias/Africa (CARC) -- plus Correspondence and Working Groups to provide a focal point for informing, educating, networking, shaping and sharing industry views to improve knowledge and best practice across the global cargo chain.

The ICHCA International Conference 2016 will be held in Barcelona, Spain from 29 February to 2 March 2016. Details may be found HERE The theme of the conference is:

Bigger Ships, Greater Challenges;
Rising to new challenges in global cargo operations;
Safety, security & efficiency in the era of scale

Topics will include:

  • Dangerous goods management & incident response – strategies for the big ship era

  • Container weighing, packing & securing – new rules, new realities

  • Global maritime cargo operations – risks, responsibilities & responses

  • Improving safety, security & efficiency in container operations

  • Bigger ships, greater challenges – best practices in safe container operations explored

  • Operational best practice for safe, secure & efficient maritime trade
  • Speakers will represent ICHCA and other organisations from around the world including:

    Sergio Galvan Montesdeoca, General Secretary, Las Palmas Port Foundation & Canaries and West Africa Chapter of ICHCA, Director, ICHCA International

    Richard Anamoo, Director-General, Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority

    Gregory Krief, Director General, MSC Togo

    Nadia Laraki, Director-General, Agence Nationale des Ports du Maroc

    Michael Luguje, General Secretary, Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa

    Paul Ridgway
    London

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    DURBAN NAVAL BASE UPGRADE BEGINS

    Salisbury Island & Island View Pic 528 2007 crop
    Salisbury Island with the the naval station in the foreground

    The upgrading of Naval Station Durban on Salisbury Island to return it to the status of a full Naval Base is set to commence today (Tuesday, 8 December) when President Jacob Zuma performs a sod-turning ceremony on the island.

    The ceremony marks the upgrading of Naval Station Durban to Naval Base Durban, which will also provide a maritime capability on the east coast that will ensure the realisation of the Maritime Security Strategy as well as contributing to the enhancement of the maritime economy within the region, said the SA Navy on Monday night.

    Salisbury Island has been a naval base since the Second World War years when it formed a naval supply base for the Royal Navy followed by the main naval base of the young South African Navy -- Simon's Town then being a naval base of the Royal Navy.

    In 1957, when the British vacated Simon's Town and the SA Navy took its place, Durban continued to serve as a naval base despite the transfer of numerous naval staff and ships to the Cape. In 2002 as a cost cutting exercise Salisbury Island was downrated to the status of a naval station, and even more staff and personnel were either transferred or left the service. The missile carrying strike craft were also transferred to the Cape, leaving Durban with a solitary small inshore patrol boat and several Namacurra harbour patrol boats as representatives of a naval power in the region.

    Several of the remaining strike craft, since stripped of their missiles and converted to patrol boats, have since returned to Durban and the navy says that Naval Station Durban will become the home to Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) once it has been upgraded to a full naval base. Navies are by their nature critical in ensuring an effective maritime security, therefore the presence of OPV's in Durban will offer a deterrent element off the east coast, it said in a statement this week.

    News continues below

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    PIC OF THE DAY : TIJUCA

    Car carrier at East London 480

    Wallenius Wilhelmsen's car carrier TIJUCA (71,763-gt, built 2008) arriving in the Eastern Cape port of East London. On the occasion of this visit in 2011 the 8,000-unit capacity Tijuca was the biggest car carrier to have called at East London. The port's efficient car terminal is a short distance upriver from this scene; in the foreground is East London's small container terminal. This is South Africa's only true river port, the river being the Buffalo. Picture : TNPA

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