Tuesday’s Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

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Maersk Kiera. Picture: Trevor Jones

A new ‘face’ in the port is the oil products tanker MAERSK KIERA (39.724-dwt, built 2011) seen arriving in Durban at the recent weekend. The 183-metre long x 28m wide vessel is owned by Maersk Tankers of Singapore and managed out of Maersk’s Copenhagen office. She was built by the Guangzhou International Shipyard at Guangzhou in China. This picture is by Trevor Jones

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APL Austria. Picture: Shipspotting

The 6,350-TEU container ship APL AUSTRIA (72,807-dwt, built 2007) which suffered damaged after a fire among her cargo of containers while sailing along South Africa’s south coast, will shortly be heading for Durban where repairs are to be carried out. The ship is due to arrive at the KZN port next Tuesday, 21 March.

The fire began in a container or containers as the ship was passing Jeffreys Bay, west of Port Elizabeth on Sunday, 12 March. As crew sought to contain the fire, South African authorities [restrict] advised the ship to turn about and proceed to nearby Algoa Bay where there was a sheltered anchorage.

Once in Algoa Bay, several harbour tugs from Port Elizabeth assisted in trying to extinguish the fire, while unnecessary crew were taken off and fire fighting teams from Port Elizabeth went aboard. When it became obvious that the fire was too intense the decision was taken to take the container ship into the shelter of the port of Ngqura, some 22km from Port Elizabeth, where shorebased fire fighters could work at extinguishing the blaze.

Once it was possible, a number of containers were taken off the ship to allow access to where the fire had broken out in number 4 hold. Eventually, after several days the fire was put out and the clean up began.

With hatch clovers having been damaged by the intense heat and other associated repairs also necessary, the ship is now to head for Durban where she will go alongside at berth 104 to undertake repairs to make her seaworthy.

Swells close port
The port of Durban was closed yesterday afternoon when heavy swells made navigation in the entrance channel dangerous. According to a port report the swells were reaching 9 metres outside the entrance channel and were made worse by strong gusting winds.

Along the Durban beachfront the famous Golden Mile was hammered by wave surge which flooded the North Beach, crossing the boardwalk and damaging nearby restaurants. The strong swell coincided with a strong Spring tide and once the tide began to go down conditions began to improve.

Cape Town gale force winds
Operations at the port of Cape Town were also affected on Sunday by gale force winds which struck the Cape Peninsular. The port was closed for some hours as a result of the South Easter – the infamous ‘Cape Doctor’.[/restrict]

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US group ExxonMobil and Italy’s Eni last Thursday signed a sale and purchase agreement to enable ExxonMobil to acquire from Eni a 25 percent indirect interest in the natural gas-rich Area 4 block, offshore Mozambique. Eni currently holds a 50 percent indirect share in the block through a 71.4 percent stake in Eni East Africa, which owns 70 percent of the Area 4 concession.

The agreed terms include a cash price of approximately US$2.8 billion. The acquisition will be completed following satisfaction of a number of conditions precedent, including clearance from Mozambican and other regulatory authorities.

Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi said, “This deal represents [restrict] material evidence of our exploration strategy based on the early monetisation of our exploration discoveries, as a part of our ‘dual-exploration’ model. Through this strategy, Eni has been able to cash in more than $9 billion in the last four years. Moreover, the agreement confirms the world class quality, production potential, technical and financial robustness of the entire project.”

Darren W. Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, said the asset is a major addition to the company’s global development portfolio.

“This strategic investment will enable ExxonMobil’s LNG leadership and experience to support development of Mozambique’s abundant natural gas resources,” said Woods. “Our industry-leading project execution, advanced technologies, financial strength and marketing capabilities will help deliver reliable, affordable energy to customers and create long-term economic value for the people of Mozambique, project partners and ExxonMobil shareholders.”

Eni will continue to lead the Coral floating LNG project and all upstream operations in Area 4, while ExxonMobil will lead the construction and operation of natural gas liquefaction facilities onshore. This operating model will enable the use of best practices and skills within Eni and ExxonMobil with each company focusing on distinct and clearly defined scopes while preserving the benefits of a fully integrated project.

Following completion of the transaction, Eni East Africa S.p.A. will be co-owned by Eni (35.7 percent), ExxonMobil (35.7 percent) and CNPC (28.6 percent). The remaining interests in Area 4 are held by Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos de Mozambique E.P. (ENH, 10 percent), Kogas (10 percent) and Galp Energia (10 percent).

Natural gas is projected to be the world’s fastest-growing major fuel source, and Mozambique is well-positioned to supply LNG customers around the world. The deepwater Area 4 block contains an estimated 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which will provide resources for a world-class liquefied natural gas project, in which the partners expect to invest tens of billions of dollars, working in close collaboration with the government and local communities.[/restrict]

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Conti Lyon in Cape Town. Picture: Ian Shiffman

Claus-Peter Offen is taking over the Munich-based Conti Group, the Hamburg shipping company said on Friday.

The announcement said that the shareholders of both companies have come to an agreement in this respect.

Offen is taking over 100% of the corporate shares of the Conti Group and the [restrict] qualified majority of shares in the Bremer Bereederungsgesellschaft BBG. Following the takeover, the Conti Group will continue as an independent company.

“For us, this takeover is a further step in our growth strategy,” said Claus-Peter Offen. “Conti is an excellent name and is an optimal fit for our group.”

Following the takeover, the Offen Group, together with its subsidiaries, will solidify its position as one of the largest and most stable German shipping companies in the face of a continuing shipping crisis, with 95 container ships with 631,000 TEU/ 7.8 million dwt, 37 bulkers with 3.0 million dwt and 37 product tankers with 1.8 dwt, for a total of 169 ships.

The Offen Group is a German shipping company based in Hamburg. The company was founded in 1971 by Claus-Peter Offen and operates one of the world’s most significant container ship fleets with around 70 ships with a total of 417,000 TEU capacity, including 33 large post panamax ships with up to 14,000 TEU. The company’s ships are employed primarily in scheduled services by the large charter companies such as MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag Lloyd and Hamburg Süd, predominantly in the context of long-term time charter agreements.

Since 2007, the company has also been involved in product tanker shipping (around 30 units), as well as in bulk shipping (8 units). With 101 ships and 3,500 employees, it is one of the leading German shipping companies, and, with an EBITDA of around €480 million (2015), it is also one of the most profitable in Germany.

The Conti Group is also a German shipping company, based in Munich. It was founded in 1970 and also operates a large and modern container ship fleet with 30 ships for a total capacity of 207,712 TEU, as well as 8 product tankers and 29 bulk carriers.

With a total of 68 ships and around 2,000 employees, it is one of Germany’s most renowned shipping companies, and has a solid financial base.

The BBG in Bremen was also founded in the 1970s, and today is in charge of the technical management of 35 bulk carriers including the afore-mentioned 29 Conti vessels. With around 600 employees, it is one of the large bulk shipping companies in Germany.[/restrict]

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Mr Yaw Kyei

An Association of Customs House Agents Ghana (ACHAG) has been established in Ghana to act as the authority in the country’s freight forwarding industry and will be seeking to gain official recognition.

ACHAG intends taking the initiative in creating, setting and seeing to the maintenance of industry high standards and integrity and of gaining the public confidence.

According to the Ghana News Agency, the chairman of ACHAG and managing director of Integral Freight Services, Mr Yaw Kyei, described [restrict] the new association as a federation of freight forwarding companies who have come together to champion their common interests in the industry.

“Members will use their collective knowledge and skills to determine and recommend practical and effective solutions to the many challenges facing the customs clearing industry and its resultant impact on the commercial interests of their clients,” he said.

The association intends drawing on the available expertise and experience of seasoned retired customs officers and port officials.

“This association would be the body through which members can, in a cost effective manner, secure consistent and effective representation on forums with the view to position their business so that legislation and technological policies and developments do not compromise service quality and delivery but enhance it,” Kyei said.

ACHAG will also provide training and refresher courses to members and will seek to promote the interests of its members and the profession in all aspects at national and international level. It will likewise collect and disseminate information to members on subjects of common interests.

The association has its offices in Tema. source: bftonline[/restrict]

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Capt. Rufus Lekala

The whereabouts of South Africa’s Chief Harbour Master remained a mystery last night with nobody at Transnet seemingly willing to answer the question. Attempting to find out ought to have been a simple matter but it hasn’t been so.

Capt Rufus Lekala is officially absent from his office in Durban where a replacement, [restrict] Capt Brynn Adamson, has taken up the position of acting chief harbour master. Trying to find out why however has not proven to be an easy matter, leaving the thought that his absence could be a long one. Enquiries to the Port of Durban haven’t helped. Capt Lekala, we were told, is an executive, and no-one below executive level may respond to queries about him.

We’re still waiting for the executive level to get back to us.

Capt Lekala became South Africa’s first chief harbour master in 2011, seven years after having been appointed as what was said to be the youngest harbour master in the world. More importantly, Tau Morwe, the then Chief Executive of Transnet National Ports Authority described his appointment as one of the most crucial in the port authority’s programme of transformation.

Rufus Lekala was the country’s first black chief harbour master, succeeding Capt Mike Brophy.

“He will be responsible for strategic thinking around maritime projects in South Africa, setting maritime policy, implementing international best practice and acting as Transnet’s liaison with entities such as the Department of Transport, the International Maritime Association and the International Lighthouse Association,” Morwe said at the time.

Capt Lekala was last seen by africa PORTS & SHIPS in February during the naming and launching of Transnet’s latest tug.

“Come and see me, and let’s have a talk,” he said. Now we’re not sure when that might be.[/restrict]

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The KaTembe Bridge at Maputo when completed

The ceremony marking the beginning of the laying of the metallic cables supporting the stays of the Maputo-Catembe bridge has been postponed to a day yet to be announced. Noticias reports that bad weather is the main cause of the postponement.

The Maputo-South Development Company is the public entity in charge of the works that are being carried out by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CBRC).

The installation of the first cable linking the south and north footings of the KaTembe Bridge was [restrict] due to be erected on Saturday this week.

A statement from the KaTembe municipal district administration said that the cable would be laid across the channel by boat, after which it will be lifted up to the towers.

With the completion of the bridge, companies and tourist areas in the southern part of Maputo province will benefit.

Folha de Maputo

Meanwhile, a temporary suspension of maritime traffic had been announced.

The bridge will have a span of 680 metres in length with a height of 60 metres above the waters of the harbour, in order to ensure navigability to the Maputo and Matola ports.

The construction of the Maputo-KaTembe Bridge is part of a project that includes connecting roads to the southernmost part of the province of Maputo, with an estimated final cost of US$785 million, an amount financed through loans contracted by the Government of Mozambique with the Exports and Imports Bank of China (Exim). source: Noticias and Folha de Maputo.[/restrict]

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A 263-metre barge carrier has been rescued from a dangerous situation on the Norwegian coastline after the vessel dragged anchor due to engine failure and was in danger of going aground.

The Comoros-flagged TIDE CARRIER was towed to safety with the help of Norwegian Rescue Coordination Centre and was later anchored south of Bergen, Norway.

Reports said the vessel moved dangerously close to the rocky shores of Feistein Fyr in the bad weather, reaching within 100 metres of the shore at one point of time.

The vessel was carrying twenty crew members when it met with the incident and one crew member suffered a minor leg injury. Meanwhile, during the rescue mission, five non-essential personnel were evacuated while the remaining crew helped prepare the ship for towing.

No other injuries or water pollution were reported.

Local authorities despatched tugs and rescue boats immediately after the alert was sounded. Initial attempts to attach a towing line failed as high waves and strong winds with rain hampered the operation.

However, the tugs were eventually successful in attaching a line to the barge carrier and the stricken vessel was pulled free from the shallow water by the Norwegian tug BB SERVER. Other vessels involved included the coast guard patrol vessels KV Bergen, KV Sortland and KV Tor.

Local authorities have launched an investigation into the accident. It has been reported that the operators of the vessel had earlier been instructed to have repairs undertaken, after Tide Carrier failed several inspections.

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Sabelo Mzimela

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has strengthened the Engineering department for the KZN region, which includes Richards Bay and Durban terminals, by appointing a Chief Engineer and Engineering Managers. They have been appointed to look after the welfare, service and maintenance of TPT’s multi-million rand specialised equipment that is stationed at the various terminals.

TPT has appointed Mr Sabelo Mzimela to the position of Chief Engineer responsible for engineering function for Durban and Richards Bay terminals in the Kwazulu-Natal region. On top of his new regional responsibility Mzimela will carry on directly managing Durban Containers Terminal (DCT) (Pier 2) until a new engineering manager has been appointed by TPT.

Mzimela completed his studies in B.SC degree in Mechanical engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology in the USA in 1987. He also holds a Master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Pretoria as well as two Government certificates of competency, one for factories and the other for mines. He has a wealth of experience and has worked in engineering maintenance roles for many years within Transnet and externally.

Lewis Takundwa

Other new appointments within the TPT Kwazulu-Natal region include Mr. Lewis Takundwa, who has been appointed as the Engineering Manager: Plant Maintenance for Richards Bay terminals; and finally, Shane Narainsamy has been appointed by Transnet Port Terminals as the Engineering Manager for DCT Pier 1, Bulk, Break-bulk & Cars (BBC) terminals (which entail Maydon Wharf, Agri Bulk, Multi-Purpose Terminal and Car terminal). His role at the DCT Pier 1 and BBC terminal as the Engineering Manager will include supervising engineers, project management and working with clients.

Shane Narainsamy

“To further grow our operations in Richards Bay while raising our current level of efficiencies in 2017, we felt it was necessary to not only rely on the investments in infrastructure and equipment being made available by Transnet through the Market Demand Strategy, but it was also vital to investigate alternative organisational structures within our own setup,” stated Amanda Siyengo, TPT General Manager: KZN Operations, Bulk, Break-Bulk & Cars.

“We have always believed that our staff are our greatest assets. We believe that the recent changes in our engineering department are going to capitalise on the multi-skilled and competent work-force we have in place while further complementing the continuous investment in infrastructure and equipment needed to offer a superior service to our customers that is benchmarked against the best operators in the world.”

“We believe that these appointments will strengthen our engineering department and ensure equipment availability and reliability in our terminals”, added Siyengo.

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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.


Bonita. Pictures: Keith Betts

We commenced the Maritime News today with a products tanker, and now we end it with another, the BONITO (16,500-dwt, built 2012), seen sailing from Durban for the coast, the vessel being due in Cape Town later today. Bonito is owned and operated by Alison Management of Athens, Greece and was built in China at the Sanfu Ship Engineering shipyard in Taizhou Jiangsu. These pictures are by Keith Betts


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