653 - 8/09 - Cement & Issues - Luanda - Angola
The Association would like to inform its members about the issues associated with cement cargoes in the port of Luanda, Angola. Problems have been noticed with the carriage of cement and other materials. These are required as part of large scale on-going construction programme in Angola that has been funded by outside investment.
Due to the need of the construction programme in Angola, large numbers of vessels are carrying cement into the country, especially through the port of Luanda. The cement is carried in large bags, pallets or slings and is often stowed in the hold with other heavy construction material on top or as deck cargo.
A wide variety of problems can exist when carrying cement. When vessels have sailed around the Cape, the cement cargo stored underneath other cargoes is often damaged in the bad weather as it has not been adequately protected or packed. Cement cargoes also run the risk of becoming caked due to water ingress. One of the major causes of cargo damage in Luanda itself is due to improper handling of the cargo by stevedores; this results in torn cement bags spilling cargo in the hold. Problems often occur due to mismanagement of the cranes and machinery, meaning bags are dropped, which could be very dangerous and can result in cargo being lost over the side. Additionally, theft is a noticeable problem in Luanda and Members are reminded to remain vigilant.
Due to the high number of vessels in comparison to the available facilities in Luanda, large delays are experienced by vessels waiting in the anchorage. This is common amongst all vessels, regardless of the cargo type and sometimes waiting times can be as much as three months. Recently a new pier has been constructed specifically for use by vessels carrying construction products and cement, but the turnaround is still very slow with some vessels being diverted to Lobito in an attempt to resolve the problem.
Members should be aware of the problems mentioned in this bulletin but should also be aware that these are common problems in this area and they often apply regardless of the cargo being carried.
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