Monday’s Maritime News

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Insignia at Akaroa, New Zealand. Picture: Alan Calvert

The cruise ship INSIGNIA, sailing for Oceania Cruises is seen here at Akaroa on Banks Peninsular, which lies south of Christchurch in New Zealand. Passengers are taken ashore by ship’s tender – one of these can be seen loading passengers for the short journey. The ship carries up to 684 passengers, cared for by a crew of around 400. This picture taken by Alan Calvert

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Brazilian mining company, Vale Moçambique, shipped a total of 8.7 million tons of coal from the two Mozambique ports of Beira and Nacala, in 2016.

A total of 8.8mt of coal was railed from the mines at Moatize in Tete Province.

The shipped volume was 136% higher than the 3.7mt shipped in 2015, Vale said in its annual report.

The increase was possible thanks to the ramped up Nacala Logistics Corridor.

The Moatize mines extracted a total of 5.5 million tons of metallurgical coal (3.5mt) and thermal coal (2mt) during the year just over, slightly more than half of the 10mt that had been budgeted. The reports don’t say but the difference had to come from stockpiles accumulated during the period when Vale was experiencing logistical challenges particularly with the Sena Railway to the port of Beira.

In December 2016 Vale’s logistical operations reached all-time records, with railed volumes of 1,097,000 tons of coal while the shipped volumes from the two ports was 1,071,000 tons.

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Vard 9 105 Hydrographic survey vessel

Vard Marine, the Norwegian-based Fincantieri shipyard says that its Vard Marine 9 105 hydrographic survey ship design will be the vessel offered to Armscor for the South African Navy’s ‘Project Hotel’ by the preferred bidder, Southern African Shipyards.

According to Vard Marine it is partnered with the Durban shipyard to develop a design for the program and the final configuration results in a PC7 ice strengthened vessel of 95M in length with approximately 12.24MW installed diesel electric power plant and a maximum speed of 18 knots.  The vessel has a 10,000 nautical mile range with 44 days endurance; incorporates the latest hydrographic and oceanographic sensor suite and will be manned by a total crew of 120 persons comprising ships’ crew and scientists.

Vard Marine says it will be responsible to produce the Basic Design for the vessel and to provide support for the shipyard during the detailed design and construction phase of the project.

“Final contract signing is expected in the next few months with construction scheduled to begin in 2018,” says Vard in a statement.

The design was previously chosen by the Royal Navy for its two multi-role hydrographic survey ships, HMS ECHO and HMS ENTERPRISE which have since been commissioned by the Royal Navy, forming the Echo class.

Those vessels have a length of 90.6 metres and a waterline length of 86m. The breadth of each ship is 16.8m and depth 9.1m with a design draught of 5.5 metres. The ships have a cruising speed of 16 knots.

The Royal Navy ships were built at the Appledore Shipbuilders yard in Devon in 2002 and were the first RN ships to be fitted with azimuth thrusters. Both azimuth thrusters and bow thruster can be controlled through the Integrated Navigation System by a joystick providing high manoeuvrability.

These ships are designed to conduct survey operations in support of submarines or amphibious operations. They can provide almost real-time tailored environmental information, and also have a secondary role as Mine Countermeasure Tasking Authority platforms, for which they are capable of embarking a dedicated Mine Counter Measures command team.

Vard Marine is a subsidiary company of the Italian Fincantieri group, better known for building cruise ships but which also builds a range of naval vessels. Vard has a total of nine shipyards – five in Norway, two in Romania, and one each in Brazil and Vietnam.

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Navis is venturing into new waters by installing its MACS3 loading computer across eleven mega-ships, all 20,000 TEU or more, being constructed in China, according to a Port Technology report, as referenced by Navis.

The system has never been used to load cargo on vessels of this size before.

The first order announced is for three 20,000 TEU China Cosco Shipping (CCS) Group vessels, currently under construction at Shanghai Wai Gao Qiao shipyard in China and scheduled for completion between April 2017 and February 2018.

A second contract covers six sister vessels being built at the same shipyard with a capacity of 21,000 TEU and scheduled for delivery between May and December 2018.

The final contract revealed is for another MACS3 installation on two 20,000 TEU container vessels under construction at Dalian shipyard, China, which are scheduled for delivery in March and June 2018.

The MACS3 covers a wide range of calculations relating to hydrostatics, intact and damage stability as well as the ship’s longitudinal strength.

MACS3 also connects with XVELA, a cloud-based stowage collaboration platform to connect with a network of ocean carriers and terminal operators.

In addition to the hardware, the software includes online interfaces to tank gauging and hull stress monitoring systems, the container management modules BELCO, the dangerous goods module DAGO I, the lashing functionality Sealash (GL 2013), the trim optimisation module TROP and performs squat calculation.

All of this functionality allows the vessel’s trim to be optimised for reduced fuel consumption based on its current loading condition.

MACS3 has an upcoming release in April 2017 that contains new improvements to the stowage and segregation requirements of the latest IMDG code and emergency schedules. It will also include the latest dangerous goods amendments DAGO 38.

Since the Chinese shipping container line CSCL and Cosco merged, a total of 158 vessels in the new combined fleet use the onboard loading computer MACS3.

Dr Selke Eichler, the Head of Customer Relation Management MACS3 at Navis Carrier Solution in Flensburg, Germany, said: “We are proud of the long-term relationship with China Cosco Shipping Group that is based on providing consistently reliable software technology in compliance with the latest safety regulations.”

The MACS3 loading computer has been sold since 1994 and has since become the leader in the container ship segment with a market share of approximately 65%.

MACS3 is also connected with the stowage planning solution StowMan, which is used by several liner operators, including COSCO.

In addition to its usage onboard container vessels, MACS3 also offers ship type specific editions for bulk carriers, multipurpose vessels and tanker vessels.

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Fugro Discovery. Picture: Shipspotting

Fugro has been awarded a contract by Shell/BG Kenya for the execution of a seabed survey to detect natural leakages of hydrocarbons.

Announcing this by way of a statement, Fugro said that the seeps survey complements a seismic exploration programme that was completed recently offshore Kenya.

Undertaking a four-week campaign of multibeam data acquisition and precise sampling, Fugro will mobilise its specialised survey vessel, FUGRO DISCOVERY (2018-gt, built 1998), to Kenya in March. Seabed sampling will be carried out using a drop corer and multibeam data will be acquired with the latest deepwater high resolution multibeam echo sounder, installed in a newly designed gondola on the vessel hull.

The project is one of many seeps campaigns completed in the world’s oceans for Shell by Fugro and demonstrates the added value of consistent execution of site works and standardised deliverables. Managed under a joint Fugro-Shell Safety Leadership programme, the project optimises both companies’ expertise in efficient and safe delivery, Fugro said.

Peter Boon, Regional Business Development Manager for Fugro in Africa comments, “Seeps surveys are an important part of Fugro’s site characterisation services and we’re very pleased to reintroduce the Fugro Discovery to African waters, where she will demonstrate the excellent value they represent when exploration budgets are limited. These important seabed surveys support the decision making process for drilling operations, especially in frontier regions like East Africa.”

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A reminder that the Southern African Branch of The Nautical Institute will be presenting their 2nd Command Seminar at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Granger Bay Campus in Cape Town on the 10th & 11th April 2017.

This seminar is one in an international series of Command Seminars to be arranged by The Nautical Institute in Cape Town and in other maritime centres during 2017 – namely: Singapore; London; Cork and Limassol (Cyprus).

The chosen theme of the seminar is ‘Navigational Accidents and their Causes’ which is a subject of critical concern to the industry at the moment and is an area in which the NI has done considerable work.

Papers focusing on this theme as well as issues such as the following will be presented by leading authorities in these disciplines:

    • Navigational Accidents & their Causes
    • Preparing for Command
    • Navigational Assessments/Audits
    • Mentoring
    • ECDIS
    • Ice Navigation and Polar Operations
    • Near Miss Reporting
    • Registration booking forms as well as other details of the seminar are available by emailing the Nautical Institute Southern Africa at or contact Sandy Leech at (031) 2061861.

* This announcement also appeared in our 13-14 February edition of Maritime News

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Damen Stan Patrol vessel 4207

Netherlands-based Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) has announced a reorganisation at three Dutch yards within its group.

Staff members of Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (DSR), Damen Shiprepair Van Brink (DSVB) and Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen (DSVl) were informed that the overall number of staff will be reduced by approximately 150 employees.

“Unfortunately, DSC has been forced to take these measures due to continued adverse market conditions. Large-scale market fluctuations are common for the ship repair sector – within which the Damen Shipyards Group has been active for over 40 years,” the company said in a statement.

The strategy of DSC focusses on diversification as well as developing new product/market combinations. However, the oil and gas market has decreased in such a way that has left DSC unable to fill the void with other activities.

“The market expectations for the short and medium term are not positive. There is no recovery in sight for commodity prices in general and oil and gas prices in particular and the resulting reduction in ship repair projects forces DSC to review its situation.

“Unfortunately, one of the consequences of this, is downsizing the number of permanent staff in all layers of the organisation, as well as reducing facility costs.”

Damen Stan Patrol 1605

Damen said that the strategy of DSC towards the future remains focused on expansion and further diversification of its product range, where it will continue to offer solutions matching the changing requirements of customers and markets. All employees at the three locations, as well as the workers’ council and trade unions, have been informed about the intention to reorganise.

It said that it is the intention of DSC to complete the reorganisation before [Europe’s] summer 2017. “DSC will continue to offer all customers the high levels of service and quality they are used to receiving at DSC yards. DSC is convinced that, as a result of these measures, it will reinforce, and where possible even extend, its position within the worldwide ship repair market.”

Damen Cape Town, which is not affected by the above measures, was identified recently as the preferred bidder to build six offshore patrol boats for the SA Navy.

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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.


Conti Lyon, Cape Town. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

Every now and then we get to see a ship from one of the international lines that wouldn’t ordinarily appear in our waters. When they do it is often a matter of vessels being released from charter and getting ‘snapped up’ by other lines and pressed into service ahead of any thought of changing names. Or maybe there are other reasons, as there probably are. Conti Lines is a relatively new container carrier, having been founded just 20 years ago in Belgium, where it is registered. CONTI LYON (77,946-dwt, built 2001 at the Hanjin Shipyard) is registered in Madeira (Portugal) and is 300 metres in length with a 40m beam. Her nominal container capacity is 6,700 TEU and she is currently in service with the French line, CMA CGM on their South East Asia service. These pictures taken in Cape Town are by Ian Shiffman



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