Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 19 February 2020

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002
Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


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Come with us as we report through 2020



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Themis. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Themis.        Picture:  Trevor Jones


The hull colour look severely faded almost disguising the ship but the car carrier THEMIS (IMO 9722314) is a regular caller at the port of Durban where she is seen in this picture earlier in February, having arrived from the ports of Zeebrugge, Southampton, Le Havre and East London. Built in 2016 the ship is 200 metres in length and 37m wide and flies the flag of Singapore. Themis is one of the Hero class and one of the larger capacity vessels in Wilhelmsen Wallenius service, capable of carrying 8000 vehicles and boasts five moveable decks. Having departed from Durban Themis is now sailing in the Indian Ocean. Picture is by Trevor Jones



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Floods over Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

South Africa, as a responsible global citizen, will not shrink from its responsibility to address the important tasks that lie ahead to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

That’s the assurance given by the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy on Tuesday.

“We have a common moral responsibility to future generations to honour our mutual commitments, and our differentiated responsibilities to fight the causes and consequences of climate change,” Creecy said…..


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Integrated offshore company with global operations DOF operates the multi-purpose offshore vessel Skandi Africa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Integrated offshore company with global operations DOF operates the multi-purpose offshore vessel Skandi Africa


Ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist Optimarin has signed a fleet agreement with DOF Group for the installation of 16 Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS), with an option to extend the contract to 50 vessels in total.

This deal, Optimarin’s biggest single agreement in the offshore segment, will see the USCG approved OBS installed across a range of advanced Platform Supply Vessel (PSV), Subsea and Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels.

DOF, a leading integrated offshore company with global operations, will take delivery of three systems this year, with the remainder following in 2021 and 2022.

Flexibility of Optimarin’s modular system allows for easy retrofitting, giving DOF the opportunity to install some systems under scheduled sailings with the crew undertaking all fitting, while Optimarin handles commissioning.

Remaining units will be installed during planned dry dockings and International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) certificate renewals, it is understood.

Speaking about the agreement, Lars Njåstad, Chief Procurement Officer, DOF ASA, indicated that DOF’s team went through a very thorough evaluation and tendering process before reaching their decision.

He explained: “It was crucial to get a proven, trusted and globally compliant system that would provide optimal long-term value for DOF and its stakeholders. Technology that was simple to retrofit, given the commitments and limited space on these state-of-the-art vessels, was also a determining factor. OBS ticked these boxes.”

Increasing opportunity

The contract follows Optimarin’s best ever annual results, with 2019 sales and revenues roughly double that of 2018, while the number of units now sold approaches 1000 (with over 650 installed and operational).

Tore Andersen, EVP Sales and Marketing, Optimarin, commented that the DOF agreement is indicative of accelerating sales and opportunity within the niche BWT segment: “DOF is a world class ship owner and operator, which, like Optimarin, has forged a reputation for itself through dedicated, high quality service within a core specialism. We’re delighted to sign a contract of this scale, with a name that commands so much respect throughout the industry.”

He continued: “As the need for final regulatory compliance grows we’re seeing an increased interest in fleet agreements of this nature, with forward-thinking owners looking to guarantee global flexibility and secure trusted systems ahead of the retrofit wave.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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MV Khajan after launching earlier in February 2020. Picture: Nautic Africa

Earlier this month Cape Town-based Nautic Africa announced the launch of the first model of a new and innovative design of the 35-metre Sentinel class vessel at a naming ceremony in Cape Town.

Nautic Africa is a subsidiary of Paramount Maritime Holdings and Paramount Group, the African-based global aerospace and technology company,

Named MV KHAJAN, the Sentinel class, multi-purpose maritime vessel sets…


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Weapons discovered and seized on board a stateless dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the US Fifth Fleet area of operations on 9 February 2020. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H Lehman/Released, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Weapons discovered and seized on board a stateless dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the US Fifth Fleet area of operations on 9 February 2020. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H Lehman/Released


The US Navy guided missile cruiser USS NORMANDY (CG 60), which was conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea, boarded…

Short video clip of the boarding of the dhow in the story above.


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Artist impression of the completed FLNG Coral Sul, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Artist impression of the completed FLNG Coral Sul


With the final arrangements being made for installing the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platform CORAL SOUTH in position in the Rovuma Basin offshore of northern Mozambique, it has been announced that ALP Maritime Services will provide five vessels for the project.

This includes towing Coral Sul (South) into position from the builders in South Korea.

Coral Sul has a length of 432 metres and a width of 66 metres. The Coral Sul LNG project has a capacity of around 3.4 million tonnes per year and is targeted to start production in 2022.

Construction of the hull began on 6 September 2018 whilst construction of the floating platform began in March 2018 in Singapore.

Three of the ALP vessels will be involved in the tow utilising 300-ts bollard pull ALP FUTURE class vessels.

On arrival at the Rovuma Basin and site, the three ALP Future class vessels will be joined by two more vessels from the ALP 19,000 BHP fleet.

The five vessels will then combine to maintain the FLNG accurately in position while a mooring vessel is used to connect the pre-laid mooring chains to the Coral Sul.

Once completed, two of the five ALP vessels will remain to continue supporting further operations on site.

Shortly after the ENI operation in Block 4 of the Rovuma Basin will be able to go into production of gas.
On completion of the mooring operation, two of the five ALP vessels will continue to support further operations on site.

Video of the ALP Future class vessels [3:05]


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Without a pragmatic agreement, UK consumers face higher costs and reduced availability of goods

UK Government must establish import/export processes and all necessary infrastructure now

On 17 February the British Retail Consortium (BRC) launched its report: A Fair Deal for Consumers: EU Trade Roadmap, outlining the retail industry’s priorities for…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Duinesig Combined School Received a Donation from Namport Social Investment Fund (NSIF), Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Duinesig Combined School Received a Donation from Namport Social Investment Fund (NSIF)


On Friday, 14 February 2020, the Namport Social Investment Fund (NSIF) handed over books to the value of N$50,000 (R50,000) to the Duinesig Combined School library in Walvis Bay.

The intention of the donation of books is to encourage and cultivate a practice of reading among learners at the school. The books covered various genres, from contemporary to basic, mainly focusing on literature that accommodates the school’s curriculum.

The principal of Duinesig Combined School, Mr Uri-khob, thanked the NSIF for the donation. “These books will serve our library for the next three years.” he said, while noting that the school has other pressing needs as well, such as a shortage of school desks for learners.

Duinesig Combined School Received a Donation from Namport Social Investment Fund (NSIF), Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

Shortage of Desks

A shortage of desks in 2020!   Perhaps another of the  maritime organisations reading this can come forward to help provide extra desks for the children?

NSIF was established in late 2006 to position Namport as a responsible corporate citizen who is committed to making a meaningful contribution to the development and upliftment of the people of Namibia.

The Fund wants to become a partner together with Namport’s stakeholders, and other relevant parties with a proven track record in the development and upliftment of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in Namibia.

NSIF has four critical areas – Education, Health, Entrepreneurship and community development and Environment as its main focus.


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Maersk Tema departing from Durban June 2018. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk Tema departing from Durban June 2018. Picture: Trevor Jones


On Friday, 14 February 2020 and on Monday Africa PORTS & SHIPS reported an apparent attack by pirates on the container ship MAERSK TEMA, sailing at that time – see that report byCLICKING HERE.

The ship was underway having sailed earlier from…


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LBH Ikuru at anchor with the LBH owned and operated support vessel, SEA FEVER. Pictures courtesy Rob Dean, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
LBH Ikuru at anchor with the LBH owned and operated support vessel, SEA FEVER. Picture courtesy Rob Dean


LBH IKURU arrived at the outer anchorage of Mocimboa da Praia (MDP), Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique on 8 February 2020 after a 1328 nautical mile tow from Durban.

To see our report of her departure from Durban CLICK HERE

MDP will be her new home as a specialised Jack Up barge capable of handling project related cargo arriving by sea for discharge at MDP outer anchorage from vessels onto flat deck barges which will then be towed into the port and placed alongside the LBH Ikuru for landing at the jetty.

LBH Ikuru was towed into the port of MDP on Saturday, 15 February 2020 where she was positioned next to the jetty.

LBH is handling daily port operations in Mocimboa and rotating landing craft and barges through the port to maintain cargo flows.

The significant jack up barge LBH Ikuru investment by the company will increase capacity to keep and increase the local supply chain capacity and reflects LBH’s commitment to the projects and the region.

LBH Ikuru at the MDP outer anchorage. Picture courtesy Rob Dean, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
LBH Ikuru at the MDP outer anchorage.    Picture courtesy Rob Dean



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Aspiration of becoming world’s leading end-to-end logistics provider


DP World banner, featured in Aferica PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

DP World’s parent company Port and Free Zone World has offered to acquire the 19.55 per cent of DP World’s shares traded on Nasdaq Dubai, returning the company to private ownership.

The move will enable DP World to focus on its medium-to-long-term strategy of transforming from a global port operator to an infrastructure-led end-to-end logistics provider. Upon successful offer acceptance, DP World will be 100 per cent owned by Port and Free Zone World, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai World.

The Board of Directors of Port and Free Zone World and the Independent Directors of DP World have reached agreement on a cash offer for the shares, which…


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with latest figures on European shipping

ECSA banner flying on Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


The European Shipping Week 2020, the biggest shipping event in Brussels and the flagship event of ECSA*, opened on 17 February with the release of the latest figures on European shipping by Oxford Economics.

According to the latest information from 2018, European shipping directly contributed € 54 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the EU. Taking into account the spill over effects to other sectors of the EU economy, the total contribution stands at €149 billion.

The European shipping industry directly employs 685,000 people. In total, taking into account the effects on other sectors of the EU economy, the European shipping industry is supporting 2 million jobs.

A direct comparison with the previous 2015 figures is difficult, due to changes in methodology and data sources. However, the trends are clear. The European shipping industry, with a few exceptions, is still under severe pressure from difficult market conditions, leading to a decline of the contribution to the EU’s GDP. As a result also the number of jobs created by the European shipping industry remains under pressure.

In the words of Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General: “Shipping is and should always remain one of the most valuable assets of Europe, economically, socially and culturally.

“There are many opportunities as well as challenges facing the sector. Especially the continued depressed market conditions for many EU shipowners pose extra challenges for the industry that wants to decarbonise as quickly as possible and to contribute to safe and highly skilled jobs in Europe.

“For European shipping to stay in business, regulators have to adopt a global perspective and ensure a global level playing field. The current tensions between the global trading powers, the rise of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the insecurity along the Gulf of Hormuz all contribute to difficult and uncertain market conditions.”

Dorsman also added that Brexit is a contributing factor to the uncertainties faced by the European shipping industry.

The 2020 update of the Economic Value of the EU Shipping Industry by Oxford Economics is available for download HERE

About ECSA 

The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) was founded in 1965 and represents the national shipowners’ associations of the EU and Norway.

European shipowners control 40% of the global commercial fleet, contribute €147 billion to the EU GDP and provide 2.1 million Europeans with careers both on board and ashore.

ECSA promotes the interests of European shipping so that the industry can best serve European and international trade in a competitive free business environment to the benefit of shippers and consumers.

See also: www.ecsa.eu

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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A convoy on the road near Manica on the EN6 in Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A convoy on the EN6 road near Manica in Mozambique


After a gap of several years, military escorts have returned to central Mozambique roads, following a spate of ambushes.

According to a report in Lusa, this has been in place for several weeks. When cars no longer stop to buy cucumbers at the side of the road, it’s because they are travelling in escort and local farmers, who used to wave cucumbers at passing motorists, lose out.

Lusa reports that the defence and security forces reactivated mandatory escorts on…


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An artist’s impression of the future USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS 7). US Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paul L Archer/Released USN ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
An artist’s impression of the future USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS 7). US Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paul L Archer/Released USN ©


A keel laying ceremony was held on 12 February for the future USNS CHEROKEE NATION (T-ATS 7), the second ship of the Navy’s Navajo class of Towing, Salvage, and Rescue vessels. The ceremony was held near Gulf Island Shipyard at the Houma Terrebonne Civic Center, Louisiana.

The keel laying ceremony formally marks the start of a ship’s life and…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Safmarine Meru, appearing in an article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Safmarine Meru


Following news reports that Maersk and Safmarine had withdrawn their ships from calling at Tin Can Island or Apapa in Lagos or the other Nigerian ports, the companies have issued statements saying that calls to Lagos and other Nigerian ports were continuing.

The news reports said that because of ongoing severe congestion at Lagos, Maersk and Safmarine had decided to stop calling. Now in a Customer Advisory issued separately in Lagos, the two sister companies were…


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Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway map. National Parks & Railway Gazette
Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway map. National Parks & Railway Gazette


Tanzania has secured a loan from 17 lenders valued at US$ 1.46 billion to be used to further extend the standard gauge railway (SGR) being built from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma.

The loan was signed on Friday 14 February 2020 with the lead lender, Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania.

To be repaid over 20 years, the loan will enable construction of the SGR to be speeded up along phases one and two. Phase one, which involves 250-km of railway track between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, is now 70 per cent complete. Phase two sits at 30 per cent and involves a 422-km section from Morogoro to Dodoma.

Details of all the lenders were not disclosed during the announcement but Minister of Finance and Planning, Philip Mpango said the government and people of Tanzania would remain grateful.

“With this, you are leaving a great legacy to Tanzania and neighbouring countries which are also going to benefit from this railway,” he said of the donors.

“Our national debt is still sustainable, and we must take a loan because this railway will change the economy of the country for the next generations since the life span of this railway is 200 years,” the minister stated, adding that the construction of the railway was significant with regards the transformation of Tanzania’s economy.

The new SGR when complete will link the port at Dar es Salaam with the port of Mwanza on the southern shores of Lake Victoria. There are also intentions of connecting the standard gauge line with Lake Tanganyika at the port of Kigoma, both of which are currently connected by rail via the colonial-era metre gauge railway.

Tanzania is also in discussion with Uganda and Rwanda about extending the SGR to connect with both those landlocked countries, providing them with direct rail access to the port at Dar es Salaam.

Thus far Tanzania has undertaken construction of the railway without turning to Chinese finance sources, hoping to retain full control for the entire project.

CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania, Sanjay Rughani described the project as historic and something that will change the lives of many people.

“There is no better legacy that you can leave than constructing infrastructure for the country,” he said.


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A written statement* to the UK Parliament
(House of Commons, Lower House)
Rate of light dues payable to support the work of the General Lighthouse Authorities

One of Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani’s last duties before leaving office on 13 February was to make a written statement on Light Dues, the means of financing the marine aids to navigation services of the United Kingdom.

In the document she said: “A strong and growing maritime industry is vital to the economy of the United Kingdom and it is critical that we treasure and protect this vital artery if we are to remain a world-leading maritime centre.

“The work of the General Lighthouse Authorities**, which provide and maintain marine aids to navigation and respond to new wrecks and navigation dangers in some of the busiest waters in the world, is crucial to underpinning that vision whilst maintaining our vigorous safety record and continuously improving standards of safety.

“Reductions in the three General Lighthouse Authorities’ running costs have enabled the UK to reduce light dues on four occasions since 2014. For 2020 to 2021 I intend to freeze light dues rates at 37½ pence per net registered tonne. This will mean that light dues will have fallen by 30% in real terms since 2010.

“Light dues rates will continue to be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that the General Lighthouse Authorities are challenged to provide an effective and efficient service which offers value for money to light dues payers.”

The General Lighthouse Authorities of these islands are:

Trinity House

Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses (Northern Lighthouse Board)

Commissioners of Irish Lights (Irish Lights)

* A similar statement was made the same day in the House of Lords (Upper House) by Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Transport.
** Explained HERE

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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Scarlet Lady, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Scarlet Lady


Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has delivered the first of four Virgin Voyages’ cruise ships, SCARLET LADY, at a ceremony held at the Ponente yard near Genoa.

Following the ceremony the 110,000-gt ship, with a length of 278 metres and accommodation for 2,770 sailors, as Virgin wants to call passengers, plus a crew of 1,160, set off to Dover in the UK ahead of the vessel’s first official cruise.

While the Scarlet Lady is unlikely to win any beauty awards…



Maersk Tema departing from Durban June 2018. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk Tema departing from Durban June 2018.     Picture: Trevor Jones


Dryad Global reported this afternoon (Friday 14 February 2020) that suspected pirates were in the process of boarding the container ship MAERSK TEMA in position 01 33.0N 005 33.0E at 08h12 UTC Friday.

The 255-metre long, 37m wide ship was in location 200 nautical miles southwest of Bonny, Nigeria, and 90nm northwest of Sao Tome.

The report said the ship was underway from Pointe Noire to Lagos when two unknown men boarded the vessel while two skiffs were seen in the vicinity of the ship. Initial reports suggest the crew of the Maersk Tema had reached the ship’s citadel, leaving the vessel to drift some 40 nautical miles southeast of the Eastern fringe of the Nigerian EEZ.

This is a similar position to a pirate attack on 31 December 2019 when the bulk carrier VINALINES MIGHTY was boarded by three pirates.  See that report HERE

It is also the fifth incident to occur within the Nigeria – Sao Tome JDZ since November 2019, according to Dryad Global.

“It is assessed that after a brief hiatus, pirates have returned to an area that saw considerable success within 2019. Pirates operating within this area are assessed to be seeking to exploit the relative lack of established security presence in the waters beyond the Nigerian EEZ. Pirates have shown a capability and intent to attack large vessels underway indicating a high degree of confidence and capability.

“It is assessed as highly likely that pirates operating within this area have originated from within Nigeria and are likely to do so with support from a larger vessel. The conduct of deep offshore pirate operations beyond the Nigerian EEZ was a significant feature of West African piracy throughout 2019,” said Dryad.


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An Oryx helicopter of 15 Squadron, SA Air Force at Air Force Base Durban, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
An Oryx helicopter of 15 Squadron, SA Air Force at Air Force Base Durban


A bulk carrier sailing off the South African east coast made an emergency docking in the port of Richards Bay on Thursday after the ship’s master suffered a traumatic fall seriously injuring himself.

The emergency unfolded following the injury suffered by the ship’s captain with a number of rescue agencies becoming involved. These included…

NSRI Station 19, Port of Richards Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
NSRI Station 19, Port of Richards Bay



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Port Louis – Indian Ocean 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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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