South African naval exercises a success

July 30, 2008

The seventh series of naval exercises between South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, called Atlasur VII, took place over two weeks ending in June.

Since 1993, the bi-annual series of exercises has existed between these countries, and this year it was South Africa’s turn to play host. According to Lieutenant Commander Greyling van den Berg, Media Liaison Officer at the Naval Base Simon’s Town, some twelve ships took part in the exercises, and the aim of which was to improve relations between the different countries and also to improve the professionalism and competency of all the sailors involved. Some of the exercises that were conducted include live weapons firings (at both air and ground targets), helicopter exercises, anti-submarine exercises, communications exercises and Officer of the Watch maneuvering. The exercises were held off the Cape of Good Hope and saw see nearly 900 foreign sailors visiting Cape Town. Although they had a very busy time during the exercises, the sailors still had the opportunity to see the sights and sounds of the host city while the ships were in Cape Town Harbour. The Argentinean Navy deployed two MEKO 140 corvettes, the ‘ARA Rosale’s and ‘ARA Robinson’, both with helicopters. The Brazilian Navy had two NITEROI Class frigates, the ‘BNS Independencia’ and the ‘BNS Defensora’, with one Lynx and one general purpose helicopter. The two Uruguayan Navy frigates were the ‘ROU Uruguay’ and the ‘ROU Commandante Pedro Campbell’.

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Captains of regional shipping industry to steer maritime event

July 30, 2008

A steering committee of major Middle East shipping industry leaders has been formed by the region’s premier maritime event to focus on the challenges faced by the rapidly expanding sector in Dubai.

The steering committee has been formed for Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2008, which runs from 14-16 December at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The committee will help direct the high level conferences alongside Seatrade Middle East Maritime which will examine the implications of the upsurge in maritime activity and the challenges presented by the global economic climate. ‘The maritime industry in the Middle East is growing rapidly, not only in the UAE but throughout the region. It is vital that we adhere to international standards and employ industry best practice. By bringing key figures together to form a steering committee for Seatrade Middle East Maritime, the event will ultimately provide a platform for all maritime professionals to network and examine the issues that confront the industry today and the challenges that we will all face in the future,’ said Captain Jitendra Misra, – General Secretary, UAE Shipowners Association. Besides Captain Misra, the committee is made up of other senior executives of Vela International Marine; Dubai Maritime City; Topaz Energy and Marine, one of the leading marine oil and gas fabrication companies in the Middle East; Mideast Ship Management, a subsidiary of the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia; Quadrant Marine Consultancy; Det Norske Veritas, the maritime classification and risk management company and Drydocks World. The Seatrade Middle East Maritime exhibition and conference is held every two years and has evolved into one of the world’s fastest-growing maritime events, ranking among the industry’s Top 10 largest.

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IMO calls for increased damage stability of cargo and passenger vessels

July 30, 2008

The International Maritime Organization has resolved to step up protection of new cargo and passenger vessels in the case of accident at Hamburg.

 

Accordingly, all new vessels built from 1 January 2009 will be governed by new technical design regulations to ensure a higher level of stability in a damaged state. In the recently revised SOLAS regulations, the previous concept of risk assessment has been extended. On the basis of current average statistics, IMO saw itself obliged to devise a better method of assessing the residual stability of damaged vessels. This now applies not only to cargo vessels, but also to passenger vessels. The new regulations clearly stipulate that these vessels must have a double bottom that extends over their entire breadth. Vessel designs without a double bottom are only permitted if a comparable level of safety in the event of grounding is proven by means of additional calculations. No exceptions apply to lubricating oil circulation tanks arranged under the main engine. With regard to their arrangement, it is important that a minimum distance of 500mm to the keel line of the vessel is always ensured. The specification in the new SOLAS 2009 regulations has been agreed in order to prevent lubricating oils from escaping or the engine from sucking up seawater in the event of a vessel striking the ground. The IMO committees have been working since 2005 on improving the technical protective measures with regard to damage stability. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is a UN convention governing ship safety. The convention creates international minimum standards on merchant vessels and stipulates binding rules governing all conceivable preventive measures.

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Security drill at SPM in Cochin Port

July 30, 2008

A mock security drill was carried out at the Single Point Mooring (SPM) of BPCL Kochi Refinery in the Cochin Port area to check the security preparedness and alertness at Cochin Port.

 

The drill was performed jointly by Cochin Port Trust, BPCL-Kochi Refinery and Coast Guard. The procedure of the drill was as follows. On receiving information that one suspicious boat was intruding into the security zone of the SPM facility located about 20 kms off Cochin Port, a team of Officers from the Marine Department of Cochin Port and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at Cochin Port Unit set out to the SPM in the Tug Ocean Symphony at 8 AM. Meanwhile the Maintenance Vessel manned by the staff and security personnel of Kochi Refinery, positioned at SPM had chased the intrusion boat away from the security zone. Later another boat was found to be intruding into the security zone and since that boat refused to move away from the area irrespective of the efforts made by the Maintenance Vessel and the security personnel who reached there in the Tug. Then the Coast Guard station was informed about the situation and the Coast Guard swung into action immediately by sending one Helicopter and a ship to the SPM. On reaching the location, the Coast Guard helicopter took measures to keep the boat away from the SPM installations. The Coast Guard vessel reached the location and Commandos from the vessel apprehended the boat and the crew immediately. The drill was successfully completed by 1 PM.

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Profit surge for Bharati Shipyard

July 30, 2008

India’s Bharati Shipyard announced a substantial 33.5% increase in net profits for the quarter ended June 2008 to Rs. 296.8m ($6.9m).

The increase is as a result of increased orders and income from its new operations. Its new Rs 6bn ($140m) plant at Dabhol in Maharashtra is slated to be fully operational by 2010 and will feature both rig-making and ship-repair facilities. The yard has already begun filling its orderbook and has substantially contributed to the company bottom line. Total income for the quarter also saw a 41.6% increase to Rs 2,225.16m. 

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Famous Pacific Shipping Expands in Zhongshan

July 30, 2008

Fast-growing Asia Pacific-based NVOCC and freight services provider, Famous Pacific Shipping has established a new office in Zhongshan, a leading industrial city which hosts some of the world’s largest shoe factories.

“Famous Pacific Shipping has branch offices throughout China and has developed into a leading provider of international freight forwarding and NVOCC services. The increase in demand for our services has meant that we have had to open this office in Zhongshan,” says Benny Ling, Director of Famous Pacific Shipping Hong Kong. “All of our offices are strategically placed, with direct connections to the main trading areas of the world. We will continue developing our transport hubs throughout South East Asia for the benefit of our customers,” adds Mr Ling. Zhongshan is close to Hong Kong and Macau, which it has used to its advantage in its economic development, especially in the manufacturing industries. It has a good reputation for production in the electronic acoustics sector and has 400 sq km of land available for further industrial expansion. Says Mr Ling: “China is fast cementing its reputation as a major player on the world market. Its dedication to industrial added value, low labour costs, access to quality materials, stable freight infrastructure and geographic location are driving and supporting its strong export performance.

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