Monday’s Maritime News

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


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First News Item ……


Glovis Champion. Picture: Keith Betts

We continue our series of featuring pure car carriers that call in South African ports and this week we have the GLOVIS CHAMPION (59,060-gt, built 2013), shown here on her berth the R berth, the dedicated car terminal berth in Durban harbour. Glovis Champion can carry up to 6,664 motor vehicles and is owned and operated by Hyundai Glovis of Seoul, South Korea. The 200m long, 32m wide ship was, perhaps as may be expected, built by Hyundai Heavy Industry Engine & Machinery, Ulsan South Korea as yard number S-651. She has a draught of 10.1 metres and can operate at a speed of 20.4 knots. The ship is registered in Majuro and flies the flag of the Marshall Islands. This picture is by Keith Betts

Next News Item ……


Deepsea Stavanger: Picture: Odfjell

Norway’s Odfjell Drilling has signed a conditional letter of award with an unnamed oil major to drill a single well offshore of South Africa.

The one-well contract will see the 6th generation semi-submersible drill vessel DEEPSEA STAVANGER deployed to South Africa for the contract.
<p<> The commencement of the contract is back to back with the completion of the upcoming contract with Wintershall Norge on the Maria field, which is offshore of Norway.

The location of the well offshore of South Africa has not been disclosed.

The contract value which includes the cost of mobilising and demobilising is estimated at US$55 million. Mobilisation and demobilisation involves moving the Deepsea Stavanger from Norway to South Africa, and to return her afterward.

The overall figure is based on a day rate of between US$687,500 to $916,000 for a 60-80 day duration.

“We are very pleased to receive this sign of commitment and confidence,” said Odfjell CEO Simen Lieungh.

“The companies have collaborated closely on this challenging project for many months and believe together we have a technical and operational solution to meet the unique combination of harsh environment conditions encountered on site.

He described the project, with its technical complexities, deepwater and harsh environment, as an “ideal match for Odfjell Drilling as we strengthen our position as contractor of choice for challenging harsh environments.”

The semi-submersible Deepsea Stavanger was built at the DSME shipyard in South Korea and can operate in water depths up to 3,000 metres (10,000 feet). She has accommodation for 190 on board.

Next News Item ……


Nacala train

Vale Moçambique, the Mozambique subsidiary of Brazil’s Vale group, has posted an operating loss of US$105 for last year, 2016, which it says compares better with the US$508 million loss it recorded in 2015.

The results were released as Vale published its accounts for both the fourth quarter 2016 and the full year.

The statement issued said the improvement compared to 2015 was mainly a result of the reduction of costs and expenses in the amount of US$344 million, along with an increase in prices, which increased the company’s turnover by US$140 million.

Coal exported through the port of Nacala along the Nacala Railway corridor which travels from the mine at Moatize, through Malawi and back into Mozambique before reaching the port of Nacala. This generated revenue of US$110 million, compared with a loss of US$215 made on coal exported along the Sena Railway to the port at Beira, where it is transhipped to vessels waiting outside port.

Vale railed 8.8 million tonnes of coal along both the Nacala and Sena Railways, which is more than double the 4.1 million tonnes railed in 2015.

Coal shipped at both ports totalled 8.7 million tonnes, again an improvement of more than double the 3.7 million tonnes shipped in 2015.

Next News Item……


Oiltanking MOGS says the decision has been taken to proceed with the construction of a crude oil storage and blending terminal in Saldanha Bay, South Africa.

Environmental approval for the construction of the facility was granted in 2014 and a construction licence has been issued by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).

Oiltanking MOGS is a partnership between Oil Tanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC) and Saldanha Crude Oil Storage and Blending Facility – Mining, Oil and Gas Services (MOGS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH).

The facility is for a 13.2 million barrel concrete storage and blending facility in Saldanha, consisting of 12 interconnected tanks and will be targeted at global traders, producers and refineries. The tanks will be in-ground concrete tanks, connected to the port’s existing jetty capable of handling VLCCs.

The first phase of the terminal will comprise eight tanks with a total capacity of 1.4m m³ which is scheduled to come on-stream in the second half of 2018. A second phase is planned that will increase capacity by 50%.

According to the joint venture, Saldanha Bay is an excellent location for a crude oil hub as it is close to strategic tanker routes from key oil-producing regions to major consuming markets, making it ideally situated for the blending of west African and South American crude oils. The port has the potential to establish itself as a global crude trans-shipment hub.

Oiltanking MOGS will carry out the development, construction, management and operations of the new terminal.

News continues below


TFR class 43 diesel-electric locomotives. Picture: Col. Andre Kritzinger/Wikipedia Commons

Class 43 type ES40ACi General Electric diesel-electric locomotives of Transnet Freight Rail, similar to six recently supplied to TransNamib. This picture by Col Andre Kritzinger/Wikipedia Commons

TransNamib, the Namibian state-owned railway operator, has taken delivery of six new diesel-electric locomotives from Brazil, along with 90 tanker wagons and two reach stackers.

The new rolling stock was proudly unveiled at Windhoek’s railway station, reports the Namibian

The six locomotives manufactured by General Electric in Brazil cost TransNamib about N$360 (R360 million). The locos are similar to the class 43 type ES40ACi being built in South Africa and others supplied from the United States to Angola and Mozambique.

TransNamib acting CEO Hippy Tjivikua said they are similar to previous 50-year old GE locomotives that TransNamib acquired from Transnet in South Africa. They conform to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) standards, he said.

Not all of the tanker wagons, which cost N$132 million, have arrived in the country. The reach stackers cost N$ 14 million.

“The funding for all locomotives, acid tankers and reach tankers was made possible by government, and it should be noted that the integrity of the procurement of this equipment was done above board and transparently, without state capture,” he said.

Works minister Alpheus !Naruseb said the locomotives and tankers were to transport sulphuric acid between Tsumeb and the port at Walvis Bay on behalf of Dundee Precious Metals, as per a 10-year agreement signed with TransNamib back in 2012.

!Naruseb said the N$1 billion agreement was concluded to achieve compliance with environmental standards for the transportation of sulphuric acid.

According to General Electric Transportation Africa’s CEO Thomas Konditi, the locomotives were the best in Africa and are expected to last more than 30 years.

TransNamib’s board chairperson, Paul Smit, said the rail company has begun modernising equipment and rolling stock, as well as streamlining operations. There was, however, concern about the financial state of TransNamib.

“Running TransNamib unprofitably and contrary to well-established business principles cannot continue, and has to change. Thus, the board has made special resolutions to implement its business plan with immediate effect, and appoint a new CEO as soon as possible,” he said.

Smit added that TransNamib will also appoint a chief operations officer once the CEO position has been filled. The two senior executives would be required to identify market opportunities, implement cost-saving measures and address operational inefficiencies at TransNamib. Source: Namibian

News continues below


Delegates at Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) HQ for the Maritime Operational Commanders Conference (MOCC) on 1 and 2 March. MARCOM Commander, Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone, is centre of the front row (i.e. seventh from left). Photo kindly provided by NATO©.

It was announced from Northwood, NW London, on 3 March that 39 Fleet Commanders and senior NATO command representatives from Allied and Partnership for Peace nations met at Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) Headquarters there for a Maritime Operational Commanders Conference (MOCC) on 1 and 2 March.

The conference served as a platform to openly discuss maritime topics to enhance cooperation across the maritime domain and increase cohesion of effort.

Here also was an opportunity for MARCOM to update naval leadership from across the Alliance on how NATO is using the ships, aircraft, submarines and sailors, contributed by the nations, to support collective defence of all Allied nations while at the same time providing value back to individual navies.

In describing his role as MARCOM Commander, Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone, stated: “I am your maritime commander. I am your supplier, you are my customer, tell me what more you want me to do.”

The conference covered topics ranging from the development of the new NATO Operation Sea Guardian which focuses on Maritime Security Operations in the Mediterranean, to coordination and cooperation across the NATO area of responsibility on Maritime Situational Awareness development and maintenance.

Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone, centre stage, at the Maritime Operational Commanders Conference (MOCC) on 1 and 2 March, Northwood, NW London. Photo kindly provided by NATO©.

Participants used the opportunity to inform the continued progress of MARCOM, to develop future plans and to be more responsive to national needs while maintaining a highly capable force continuously ready to provide collective defence.

MARCOM is the maritime operational commander for NATO and serves as NATO’s principal maritime advisor. The command leads four standing maritime groups, Operation Sea Guardian, and additional assets as assigned by nations.

Furthermore, MARCOM maintains linkages with commercial shipping through the NATO Shipping Centre and NATO’s maritime situational awareness across the region.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

News continues below



The Indian Navy frigate INS Betwa, which capsized in a dry dock accident at the navy shipyard in Mumbai last December, has been salvaged and refloated by US salvage company, Resolve Marine Group.

The frigate was a victim of what appeared to be incorrect docking technique on 5 December 2016. According to some reports a miscalculation of the load distribution equilibrium was to blame. The warship fell over on her side, killing two people on board and injuring another 14.

The salvage firm of Resolve Marine Group was brought in to do a survey ahead of stabilising, blocking and supporting the ship in order that the dry dock could be completely emptied.

This entailed inspecting all the compartments in the ship, patching and repairing damage found and securing the openings.

With repairs to various internal tanks as well as side shell plating, INS Betwa was righted by means of flooding various compartments while pumping others. The ship was righted thus without any use of external lifting apparatusand is now expected to return to service by April 2018.

News continues below


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80m Pelagic Trawler. Picture: Vard

Vard Holdings Limited, one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels, has secured a contract for the construction of one pelagic trawler for the Research Fishing Company, based on Shetland. The contract value is approximately NOK 350 million.

In close cooperation with the ship owner, the trawler is being designed by Skipsteknisk in Ålesund, Norway. It will also be built, equipped and completed in Norway. Delivery is scheduled from Vard Langsten in the 3Q 2018.

The 80 metre long vessel will be a modern pelagic trawler with the latest technology onboard. It will be equipped with entirely electrically powered winches to reduce oil spills and pollutions, and will have the world’s first electrically operated fish pump onboard. Other features are a main engine based on common rail technology, and a cooling system and pumping systems arranged for rapid, efficient and smooth handling of fish to ensure premium product quality.

The trawler will also be equipped with VARD’s SeaQ Bridge, an integrated bridge solution including monitoring, alarm and automation systems designed with the operator in mind and organised to achieve a clean and efficient workspace with focus on ease of operation, safety and ergonomics. The bridge is designed with large seamless multifunctional displays. The SeaQ Bridge solution is developed by Vard Electro in Norway.

CEO and Executive Director Mr Roy Reite commented, “I am pleased to welcome Research Fishing Company’s team and crew to VARD. Our history started with small family-owned shipyards, building fishing boats for ship owners around the edge of the North Sea. This heritage has been passed down through generations, and we are proud to be the trusted partner in the new fleet investment on Shetland.”

Research Fishing Company Ltd is a family-owned enterprise located in Lerwick on the Shetland Islands.

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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.


Atlantic Spirit. Pictures: Keith Betts

It seems to be ‘logging season’ at present, with one logger after another calling at Durban for bunkers, loaded meanwhile with what we presume are African hardwoods and all obtained legally, we trust, on the coast of Africa and destined in the main, for China. Lots of suppositions in that statement but the logging industry between the two continents is mired in controversy and condemnation of the wanton destruction of natural forests. In South Africa’s neighbour Mozambique, for instance, a ban on the export of logs was in the process of being introduced last year in an effort of getting on top of unscrupulous traders who are unconcerned with the indiscriminate pillage of the shrinking forests. Many of those illegal logs are taken out of the country hidden in containers and not open to view such as with a ship like this. And that’s not to suggest anything untoward with this scene, of the 180-metre long bulker/logger ATLANTIC SPIRIT (33,427-dwt, built 2007) arriving in Durban with a loaded cargo of cut logs, the second such type that day, to take bunkers and supplies. These pictures are by Keith Betts


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