Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

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 2019



These news reports are updated on an ongoing basis. Check back regularly for the latest news as it develops – where necessary refresh your page at www.africaports.co.za

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MOL Endowment. Pictures: Keith Betts, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

MOL Endowment. Pictures: Keith Betts, featurig in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MOL Endowment.     Pictures: Keith Betts

Preceded by the harbour tug UMBILO (which provided a fountain of water to welcome the ship) is the Mitsui OSK Line / ONE vessel MOL ENDOWMENT (IMO 9333852). Built in 2007 the 62,949-dwt, 294-metre long by 32m wide ship may have been making a maiden visit to the port. MOL Endowment was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries at Ulsan, South Korea. The above pictures are by Keith Betts


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Image released 17/06/2019 featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news4:18 pm. Id 422545. Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO. ESA ©, featured in Africa
Image released 17/06/2019 4:18 pm. Id 422545. Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO. ESA ©

On 17 June ESA marked the 25th anniversary of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCD*). Under its theme ‘Let’s grow the future together,’ the initiative celebrates the 25 years of progress made in sustainable land management.

One ambitious project – the Great Green Wall** – aims to improve life in Africa’s desert regions by planting a belt of trees across the entire width of the continent.

Once completed, the wall will be the largest living structure on the planet stretching across 20 countries – from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east.

By 2030, the initiative aims to have restored 100 million hectares of degraded land, sequestered 250 million tonnes of carbon and created 10 million green jobs.

Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, the image (processed by the European Space Agency-ESA) shown here is of the edge of the dry desert in west Africa contrasted with vegetated land.

Signs of land degradation can be seen as brighter “islands” around villages and to a lesser extent along roads and rivers showing bare soil and degraded vegetation.

ESA informs us that the image which they kindly have distributed shows parts of three African countries: Senegal, The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.

Since the Green Wall started in 2007, progress has been made in restoring the Sahelian lands. In Senegal alone, almost 12 million trees have been planted, and 25,000 hectares of degraded land restored.

Desertification is the degradation of dry land ecosystems, owing to overexploitation through human activities and climate change. According to the UN, 12 million hectares of land is lost yearly because of desertification and drought, and 75 billion tonnes of fertile soil is lost due to land degradation.

Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission. Each satellite carries a high-resolution camera that images Earth’s surface in 13 spectral bands. The mission is mostly used to track changes in the way land is being used and to monitor the health of vegetation.

*See: https://www.un.org/en/events/desertificationday/


Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Dar es Salaam

The Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam is now able to accommodate larger container ships following the reconstruction of berth 1 at the port.

The 191-metre long berth, which was officially inaugurated last week by Works, Transport and Communications Minister, Isack Kamwelwe, will now be able to accommodate ships of up to 6,000 TEU capacity.

A total of eight berths are under reconstruction in the programme aimed at improving facilities and port capacity, with the intention of…

Dar es Salaam port diagram with berths, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dar es Salaam port diagram with berths


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Adonia. Picture: Terry Hutson
Adonia.   Picture: Terry Hutson

Preliminary results of an independent study presented by CE Delft, a research organisation in the Netherlands specialising in environmental issues, has indicated that accumulated concentrations of exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS, or “scrubbers”) wash water components are at very low levels and well below applicable regulatory limits.

The study, presented to international delegates of the 74th session of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) held in May in London, will help inform the current debate regarding the environmental impact of open loop scrubbers on the marine environment, and particularly on ports and harbours, says the Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020.

Along with a similar study conducted by…

Additional studies may be found Carnival/DNVGL 2018 Assessment of Washwater Quality


Japan MLIT 2018 “Impact of Open Loop EGCS on the Marine Environment”


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Picture: SAMSA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The democratization of South Africa’s ports space is among key goals of the establishment of the country’s Ports Consultative Committee (PCC).

The PCC is a statutory structure set up by the national government with a view to ensuring that all economic participants at the country’s major ports have equal access and contribution to management of the ports infrastructure and associated resources.

This is according to the PCC Secretariat, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) during the holding of the first ever meeting of Gauteng based ports stakeholders in Johannesburg recently.

Johannesburg is South Africa’s financial capital with several investors in the country’s ports based on or operating from the inland city.

The PCC was established by the Department of Transport in terms of sections 80(1)(a), (c), (d) and (g) of the National Ports Act, 2005 and has been operational in the country’s nine commercial ports for some time since.

The PCC’s presence and role also fulfills part of the mandate of the Ports Regulator of South Africa which requires that the regulator “must conduct a public participation process as part of the economic review in each of the ports, including conduct one or more public hearings in the manner set out in the Directives issued by the Regulator in terms of the Act.”

In this year’s round of ports stakeholder consultations involving roadshows from Richards Bay in the east coast through to Saldanha Bay in the west coast, the PCC for the first time included Gauteng based ports stakeholders, with a meeting held at a venue near O.R Tambo international airport.

Also attending the meeting was Mr Mahesh Fakir, Chief Executive Officer of the Ports Regulator of South Africa. He explained his role in the National Ports Consultative Committee which he described as that of an observer who contributes in discussions if requested to do so, but “is not be permitted to participate in any voting or raise any objections to any action, decision, or advice proposed to be taken or given by the Committee.”

Visit the SAMSA blog for video links to speeches by SAMSA’s Ms Selma Schwarz-Clausen and the Ports Regulator, Mr Mahesh Fakir CLICK HERE


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Test ship at the new MPS Terminal 3. All pictures courtesy MPS, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Test ship at the new MPS Terminal 3.     All pictures courtesy MPS

In a real-life simulation Meridian Port Services (MPS) Limited has successfully docked a test vessel alongside the Quay at the new Tema MPS Terminal 3.

The ship is the first container vessel to be handled at the new harbour basin in Ghana’s main container port of Tema. She was smoothly brought alongside by the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA) Harbour Master and his pilots with the support of the harbour crafts, navigating through the newly dredged entrance channel and safely alongside the first of the new berths.

In attendance to witness the occasion were the various port and related authorities including Customs, Immigration, Health etc.

Meridian’s state-of-the-art terminal is fully equipped with different infrastructure and equipment to ensure smooth and efficient handling of vessels.

The principal objective for operating the simulation was to run a full-scale test of the port and its services while providing training for the staff in readiness for the Go-Live on 26 June.

The Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Port Services Ltd, Mohamed Samara explained that the MPS Operations Team are shifting gears from systems and equipment commissioning to integrated testing and now simulating a full-fledged container terminal operation between yard and vessel.

Mr Cyrille Lemee who is the Head of Business Transition said that the overall scope of the test will involve testing not just operations at the waterfront and yard but also more importantly the Terminal Operating System (TOS) and the full planning process of receipts and delivery. “Subsequently, we would put together results from this trial operations, analyse them, identify all gaps and prepare for the next vessel call.”

Operations manager Emmanuel Ohene Addo said there would be further simulated tests ahead of the Go-Live although so far the training process has yielded the expected results. “We expect more improvements going forward especially during this time when we run simulations using test vessels.”

Project Director Mark Nolet that the construction process was ongoing and would continue beyond the Go-Live of 26 June. The testing and Go-Live will not have any impact on construction, he said. “We hope to achieve our targets of completing the 2nd Phase of the project in record time as we are already two years ahead of schedule.”
CEO Mr Samara said the cost of chartering vessels for the testing process among other costs came to almost US$250,000. “That being said, when it comes to training, the cost involved cannot be compared to the benefits that would be gained.”

The Tema Port Expansion Project is spearheaded by MPS and aims at becoming the biggest and most efficient container terminal on the Western Coast of Africa. With a deep water draft of 16 metres, it has the potential to catapult Africa (and particularly West Africa) into a different level in the world shipping industry by creating new service routes & connections and opening up the market for Africa.

It would also reduce freight costs and position Ghana as a model maritime nation.

The terminal will have the capacity for a throughput of 2 million TEUs upon opening of phase 1 and 3.7million TEUs upon its full completion.


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Pictures of Family Fun Day taken at Tema MPS Terminal 3:  courtesy MPS, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictures of Family Fun Day taken at Tema MPS Terminal 3:  courtesy MPS

On Saturday 8th June, with 20 days to Go-Live at the new Tema Port Terminal-3, Meridian Port Services Ltd held a Family Fun Day in which the day was set aside for members of staff to bring their families to the new port for a first-hand experience of the operations of the port. The Fun Day also provided an opportunity for family to experience and better understand what their family members do on a day-to-day basis.

A total of about 1500 family members were taken on specialised tours to see the newly completed berths of Phase 1 with the sophisticated quay cranes engaged in test operations. They were also taken round the yard where the electronic rubber tyre gantry cranes (e-RTGs) have been installed and they also had a full appreciation of the ancillary buildings and technology that has been deployed at various parts of the Port.

“This is an eye opener for me. I know my husband works in the Harbour but this family day has afforded me the opportunity to really see how port operations in motion,” said the spouse of one of the employees. “Today is my first time of seeing these huge cranes and how containers are loaded and discharged from a ship. I have gained some knowledge of what goes on in the Tema Harbour and so I would say this event is really worth it,” she said.

“We wanted to have a day where the team at MPS could have a time with their family as well as for them to familiarise with the New Port before we kick-start activities on 28 June. It’s so important that families are aware of what goes on in here, where their loved ones work which is the main reason for planning this event. We believe everyone who attended is having a never experienced time in their lives.

“It’s about connecting all the people that work together at MPS and preparing for a thriving future.”

Tema Terminal 3 Family Fun Day at the port, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news, picture courtesy MPS


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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

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.

Naval News

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.



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– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943.



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