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GPHA: Four Firms in Race for Takoradi Dry Bulk Terminal Concession

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  • As Chinese firm to establish multi-million dollar feed mill in Calabar

Four companies have been shortlisted to take part in the next stage of the concession award process for the proposed Takoradi Dry Bulk Terminal, according to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

The shortlisted firm are the South African shipping and freight company Grindrod Limited, the Morocco-based port operator Marsa Maroc, Belgium’s terminal operator Sea-Invest Corporation, and freight transporter Transnet SOC Limited, South Africa.

Twenty-seven entities, made up of individual firms and various joint ventures, showed interest for the concession, however, only nine entities responded to the request for expression of interest by the closing period of June 30, 2016.

In May 2016, GPHA invited parties to submit their expression of interest for the concession of the dry bulk terminal, set at a period of 20 years, or more, depending on the level of proposed investment. The concession provides the right and obligation to complete the development, operate and transfer back the dry bulk terminal.

GPHA earlier said that the objectives of the concession are to introduce an independent terminal operator into the port to handle bulk ore cargo and to generate the necessary incentives for the development of ore mines, to increase the bulk ore cargo throughput capacity and the operational efficiency of the port, and to increase employment opportunities for Ghanaians.

Upon the completion of the Takoradi Port Expansion Program, which was launched in 2014, the new terminal is expected to handle capesize vessels, as well as export of manganese and bauxite, and import of clinker among others.

In the meantime, a Chinese firm, Wuhan Longfecund Agricultural Development Company Ltd., is set to establish a feed mill and maize farm in Cross River State.

Chairman of the Company Yongsheng Cao stated this during a visit to Governor Ben Ayade at the Government House in Calabar.

Cao said: “I am happy to be in Calabar and indeed, Nigeria, to set up a feedmill and a maize farm. Cross River State and China share same topography and land fit for such production.”

Explaining that Wuhan province has the largest farm and a major maize grower in China, the Chairman maintained that “my preference will be on sweet corn as it is going to work well here.”

He applauded the relationship between Cross River and China, pointing out that he would invest $8million in the project.

Governor Ayade who urged the Chinese firm to swing into action with the establishment of a maize farm said: “Cross River State is expanding the horizon in agriculture and taking a leap into agricultural phase to ensure a leading direction,” adding that, “we don’t come in as traditional farmers but industrial standard and as the benchmark.”

The governor explained that as government, “we must focus on maize because other than producing feeds, one of the particular species we are going to grow here which is sweet corn, is to provide Gluck syrup.”

According to Ayade: “what you will see here is a true reproduction of the true history of the natural wealth that Nigeria has in agriculture as we are going to have maize for export, sweet corn for salads, Gluck syrup for our industries and the feed mills to produce feeds for our poultry and other related products.”

Affirming that parts of Akamkpa, Uyanga, Obubra and Yala were suitable areas for maize farming based on soil studies earlier conducted, Ayade reasoned that “the partnership between Cross River State government and the maize centre in China will provide the state with a first class knowledge, first class technology, first class farming and first class mill as all sweet corns used in our salads were imported.”

The governor said the state has over 21,000 square kilometers of land, enjoined the firm managers to move to field immediately as Cross Riverians expect to see the outcome of their harvest after six months..

World Maritime News with additional report from Nation

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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