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Ilembe-27 April 2017
Ilembe. Picture: Trevor Jones

Transnet’s trailing suction hopper dredger, the biggest in the fleet (5,500m3) enters Durban port at the weekend after a spell doing maintenance dredging outside. The dredger was built for Transnet by IHC Merwede in 2015 and can be considered the ‘flagship’ of the fleet responsible for maintaining navigation levels at South Africa ports. Transnet dredgers also handle contract work at other African ports. This picture is by Trevor Jones

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Maputo port
Port of Maputo

The dredging contract at the Port of Maputo in Mozambique has been completed, the government announced last week in a statement advising that the access channel, now deepened from 11 to 14 metres, allows the port to receive considerably larger vessels.

“The Port of Maputo has become more competitive in regional and international markets with the recent completion of the dredging of the access channel, allowing the access of cargo ships up to 120,000 tons,” it said in a statement sent to Lusa.

Dredging commenced…[restrict] in 2015 and has cost Euro 77 million. The work is part of a strategy “that will allow the port to reach the goal of handling 40 million tons by 2020,” the government said.

The government has also revealed details of an associated investment of Euro 110 million in the existing railway linking the port to the border with South Africa at Ressano Garcia. This is taking place this current year.

Included in the investment is the installation of a centralised circulation control system, increasing the length of crossing points from 1,000 to 1,500 metres, the reinforcement of three bridges to handle heavier loads and the replacement of some rails and concrete crossbeams.

As demand increases, three 3,000 horsepower locomotives and a further 100 wagons are expected to be purchased.

A train transporting magnetite ore from South Africa to be exported via Maputo port has been running on a test basis since 1 April. It comprises 75 wagons, carries 4,500 tons of magnetite per trip and is reducing the number of trucks travelling on National Highway 4 from Ressano Garcia to Maputo (as well as on roads within South Africa).

The train is currently running five times a week and any increasing of the frequency depends on improving the condition of the railway itself.

According to the Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita, “rail transport is contributing to the decongestion of National Highway 4 and is also improving the logistics chain in general”. Source: Lusa and Club of Mozambique[/restrict]

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ICC Durban
International Convention Centre, Durban

Africa is facing a mixed outlook for growth. The economic growth forecast for the continent over the coming year is expected to be lower than the 5% average of the past decade. This is largely due to the dip in commodity prices and the economic slowdown in China. That said, a number of countries are growing above 6% per annum and foreign direct investment inflows continue to rise. Overall, the divergence of Africa’s economies makes it imperative to address the challenges posed by a growing unemployed youth population and climate change, among others.

The impact of the headwinds for commodity-dependent countries has refocused attention on the urgency of economic diversification, revitalization of manufacturing and harnessing of human innovation in order to weather the economic storm. The Fourth Industrial Revolution offers new opportunities to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth by fast-tracking market integration in Africa through industrial corridors.

In partnership with the Government of the Republic of South Africa, the World Economic Forum on Africa is being staged in Durban, South Africa, this week from Wednesday, 3 May until Friday, 5 May 2017. The meeting will convene regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to explore solutions to create economic opportunities for all.

As host country – the only African G20 economy- South Africa is championing reforms to eradicate extreme poverty and promote shared growth nationally, regionally and globally. The host city, Durban, which has the busiest industrial port in sub-Saharan Africa, offers insights on how trade in regionally manufactured goods can strengthen economic resilience and create jobs. source: International Convention Centre (ICC), Durban

As part of the event a number of delegates will go on a boat trip across Durban Bay to see the various sections of the sub-continent’s busiest port. Later the delegates will visit Transnet’s School of Excellence at the Bayhead and will witness a number of simulators in action.

For more information regarding the event, please go HERE

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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Port of Dar es Salaam

Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS) has announced its support for a Tanzania government agricultural mechanisation and development project in the form of a TSh 327 million (approx. US$146,400) storage charge waiver for a shipment of unassembled tractors.

The shipment includes 204 tractors, 180 disc harrows and 40 disc ploughs, which will be…[restrict] assembled at the Tanzania Industrial Park (TAMCO) in Kibaha, Coastal Region. The assembly will be performed by National Development Corporation (NDC) in collaboration with RUSUS Company of Poland. The waived charges were to be paid by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment through the state-owned National Development Corporation (NDC).

NDC Acting Managing Director, Godwill G Wanga has thanked TICTS for its contribution.

Agriculture is the foundation of Tanzania’s economy and as such, development of this sector is important for alleviating poverty, enhancing social development and fostering economic growth. Agricultural mechanisation plays a role by generating feedstock for industrialisation while supporting technological innovation and sustainable development.

“As the main objective of the project is to provide tractors to farmers at affordable prices, thereby supporting modernisation of agricultural development, TICTS has waived the storage charge to reduce clearance costs,” said TICTS CEO Jared Zerbe.

“We will continue to support this project by facilitating priority clearance for future government-ordered shipments,” he said.

In total, the Government of Tanzania through the National Development Corporation (NDC) expects to import an additional 2,400 tractors, 2,400 disc harrows and 2,400 discs ploughs together with prefabs for assembling holes, machines, equipment and tools.[/restrict]

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Lamu in Kenya
The picturesque waterfront at Lamu, soon to have major new port built nearby. Picture: Jimmy Kamude/IRIN

A funding boost from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for feasibility studies on Kenya’s Lamu Port development will help advance a key component of the country’s proposed multi-billion-dollar logistics project, says a report prepared by the Oxford Business Group.

On 7 March the AfDB announced plans to make available a US$1.93m grant to fund advisory services and technical support for a full transaction study on the development of Lamu Port. The facility is located 340 km north-east of the Port of Mombasa, which currently serves as Kenya’s primary maritime hub.[restrict]

Regional gains

The new port represents the cornerstone of a significantly larger infrastructure development, the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor – a combined road, rail and pipeline network – linking Kenya’s eastern seaboard with its landlocked neighbours. The cost of the total cost of the project has been estimated to be in excess of $24.5bn.

The Lamu Port transaction plan will detail the key factors relating to project financing options, which include defining the feasible transaction structure, funding arrangements and scope, alongside its risks and other factors, according to Benson Thuita, corporate affairs officer for LAPSSET.

Commenting after the AfDB’s announcement, Thuita said that the plan would also outline the investment advantages and bankability of the project. He added that the new port would be instrumental in easing congestion at other hubs in the region, including Kenya’s own Port of Mombasa. The project is also set to benefit from other maritime infrastructure projects already operating in the region, Thuita noted.

“The establishment of such a trans-shipment port at the Lamu site on the Indian Ocean coastline at the time when the Suez Canal is undergoing expansion will also enable the new port to play a significant regional role,” he said.

The throughput of imports via the expanded Suez link to the west and the markets of Asia to the east is proving to be a major draw for investors keen to meet rising demand in expanding regional economies.

However, Lamu Port’s potential as an export hub is also expected to generate interest among industry players eyeing shipments in the other direction, providing increased access to the agricultural and mineral wealth held by states set to be linked to the facility by LAPSSET.

Building connectivity

Map showing Lamu

According to the project’s blueprint, Lamu Port will house 32 berths, with a projected cargo-handling capacity of 13.5m tonnes by 2020, rising to 23.9m tonnes by 2030.

The Kenyan government has already broken ground on three of the port’s berths, with the first set to be operational by the third quarter of 2018, while the second and third are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020. Along with the roll-out of the first loading facilities, the initial $689m stage of the development includes extensive dredging to create a deepwater basin, land reclamation, road links and construction work.

The government is looking to the private sector to finance the development of the remaining 29 berths and much of the supporting infrastructure. Its plans include a proposed public-private partnership system based on the build-operate-transfer model.

Potential challenges

However, enthusiasm for the LAPSSET development has dampened recently, influenced by the fall in energy prices, instability in South Sudan and competition from another pipeline running through Tanzania.

Aside from reducing potential earnings from the pipeline component of the LAPSSET corridor, weaker oil and gas prices also risk weighing on the broader economies of the upstream states, putting revenue projections under pressure. The conflict in South Sudan could also drive down revenue flows, affecting a potential source of energy shipments.

In the longer term, competition for regional trade is likely to become the main challenge faced by Lamu Port. Ethiopia already has a rail link to Djibouti’s main deepwater port, which has a container-handling capacity of 2 million TEUs, while a $1.6bn pipeline project between the two countries is also under development.

A $3.5bn pipeline agreement between Uganda – another target market for the LAPSSET project – and Tanzania may also impact traffic to Lamu Port.

However, plans to focus on dry cargo and energy, rather than containers, would give Lamu an edge on both Mombasa – which is currently Kenya’s largest maritime facility, and is being developed primarily as a container trans-shipment hub – and the port of Djibouti. source: Oxford Business Group[/restrict]

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Bidfreight Bulk Connections Bluff coal loading installation
The coal loader at the Bluff after being struck by the vessel Julian. Picture: Ken Malcolm

We’re scant on details, partly because yesterday was a public holiday and most folk were away from work. However, during the early evening of Sunday night, 30 April 2017, the LIberian-flagged bulk carrier JULIAN (73,613-dwt, built 2003) ran into the quayside at the Durban Bulk Connections terminal on the Bluff, previously known as the coal terminal…[restrict]

Confirmation of what happened is not available but the accompanying image taken from MarineTraffic and showing the track of the ship as she entered port indicates the intended and unintended movements of the ship. The bulker was due to go on berth at the terminal but not quite in the manner that she did.

Julian's path into Durban port
MarineTraffic’s track showing Julian’s entrance to Durban

Severe damage was done to one of the ship loaders on the wharfside, which was pushed off its mountings and back against other infrastructure behind the giant machine. Damage to the ship is not known at this stage but there will obviously be some.

The reason why the ship suddenly veered into the quayside is not yet known. The ship will have had a pilot on board at the time and tugs were in attendance but it seems likely that there was a navigational failure as the ship neared the quayside.

Julian is owned by German interests based in Hamburg and managed by Ernst Komrowski Reederei KG, also of Hamburg, Germany.[/restrict]

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P.E. aquaculture

P.E. fish farming proposals
Fish farming ventures proposed for offshore of Port Elizabeth

South Africa’s cabinet has approved the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to co-host the World Aquaculture Society conference in Cape Town from 26 to 30 June 2017.

“This contributes to…[restrict] Operation Phakisa Aquaculture Lab, which aims to increase aquaculture growth by fivefold in the next five years from 4,000 tons to 20,000 tons, to create 15,000 jobs and increase the contribution of aquaculture towards GDP,” said Minister Dlodlo.

Aquaculture presents a good opportunity to diversify fish production to satisfy local demand, food security, export opportunities and create jobs.

“Hosting the conference will promote the sector, enhance investment by private sector and donors, and assist in fast-tracking aquaculture development locally through insights from aquaculture strategies from other nations,” the Minister said. source: SANews.gov.za[/restrict]

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USN Eagle Salute 2017
Guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103). Official US Navy file photo©.

Exercise Eagle Salute 2017

Naval forces from the US and Egypt and several other countries completed the multilateral training exercise Eagle Salute 2017 on 27 April after beginning the exercise in the Red Sea on 23 April.

Participating US military forces included representatives of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50/ Task Force (TF) 55, guided missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG* 103) embarked detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70, US Coast Guard Maritime Engagement Team and explosive ordnance disposal personnel.

Egyptian military forces included the guided-missile frigate…[restrict] ENS Taba (F 916), fast missile boat FMB 21st October and F-16 fighter aircraft. Representatives from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan and Italy were present to observe the exercise.

In the words of Captain Chase D Patrick, commander, DESRON 50/CTF 55: “We are grateful for this opportunity to bolster relations with our Egyptian partners in a region the US has been operating in for over 60 years. The events we conducted during Eagle Salute 2017 afforded us the chance to improve interoperability and build confidence in freedom of navigation and the flow of international commerce.”

Eagle Salute highlighted various aspects of maritime security operations through a series of events including an air defence drill, live-fire gunnery exercise, coordinated ship manoeuvrings, and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exchanges. Such engagements reaffirmed that the partnering maritime forces will maintain a robust naval and air presence in the region. Ultimately, maintaining these critical relationships enhance the overall regional security to preserve the free flow of commerce in the maritime domain.

The exercise also incorporated Eagle Response 2017, an explosive ordnance exercise, to provide opportunities for participating nations to collaborate on a broader range of maritime security operations. These exercises focus on sharing knowledge and experiences in order to further strengthen partnerships.

US Naval Forces Central Command conducts more than 25 bilateral and multilateral exercises with partner nations throughout the region each year. Exercise Eagle Salute is one of numerous exercises vital to the US Navy’s theatre security cooperation efforts in building and enhancing solid regional and international relationships.
*Guided Missile Destroyer[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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TOC Asia 2017 banner

The chances of a creating a fourth container trans-shipment hub in south-east Asia appear to be growing increasingly slim, delegates at last week’s TOC Asia Container Supply Chain event in Singapore were told.

Carrier consolidation, in terms of the new alliance structure, merger and acquisition activity and the increasing propensity to take equity stakes in existing terminals to secure port capacity, mean that plans to build new port facilities in the Straits of Malacca were unlikely to be commercially viable.

Jason Chiang, director of consultancy Royal Haskoning, said that with the huge expansion ongoing…[restrict] in Singapore, which is building the vast 60 million TEU-capacity terminals at Tuas, as well as third development phase of Malaysia’s Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and possibly a third container terminal in Port Klang, the need for a fourth port was virtually non-existent.

“A fourth entrant to the south-east Asia trans-shipment business is completely unwarranted. All the major lines in the region have their own facilities with equity takes in them, while volume growth in the region has stalled in recent years,” he said.

Last November the Malaysian government, with Chinese backing, began building a new US$3 billion port at Kuala Linggi in Malacca, around 200km north of Singapore, which is initially slated to receive oil imports from the Middle East, and plans to build container handling facilities have also been tabled.

“There is a geopolitical element to this – the real concern for the Chinese is what would happen to their oil supplies if the Malacca Straits were closed to shipping. An oil pipeline is being built across Malaysia to a port at Kuantan on the eastern coast of the country.

“But a container terminal is not commercially viable,” he said, adding that most business cases for a trans-shipment port contained a strong element of gateway cargo. Port Klang’s throughput consists of 31% gateway cargo and 69% trans-shipment while Singapore’s is 15% gateway and 85% trans-shipment.

TOC Asia 2017 conference

PTP, built less than 20 years ago, is the exception to this rule – it is 94% trans-shipment traffic and just 6% gateway, but its construction was partially funded by Maersk line after the world’s largest carriers failed to secure a dedicated terminal in Singapore.

Tan Hua Joo, executive consultant at Alphaliner, said: “It’s simply not possible to have that many trans-shipment hubs in this region; there just aren’t the volumes to justify all these hubs.”

He argued that carrier consolidation is set to “significantly change the port landscape”, and called on south-east Asian governments to take a coordinated approach to port planning.

“Even the third terminal at Port Klang is highly likely to fail,” he said, explaining that the Malaysian port stood to lose the most out to the recent alliance reshuffling.

“Port Klang is set to lose five calls which will translate into 15-20% of its volumes – they will find it very difficult to replace that in the short-term and it is a direct result of the creation of three alliances.

“Singapore is the winner as it takes a chunk of CMA CGM and Cosco volumes, which were the first and second largest customers of Klang, while the reshuffle is neutral for PTP, as its carriers – Maersk and Evergreen – are not moving,” he said.[/restrict]

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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.


Ocean Spray fishing trawler

Ocean Spray and Ocean Surf in Durban harbour

Two local Durban-based stern trawlers, engaged in trawling for prawns (crustaceans) off the KZN coast. They operate primarily along the Tugela Bank off the KZN North Coast, an area rich in nutrients brought down by the uThukela and other North Coast rivers. Among the prawns caught in their nets are the well-known ‘LM prawns’ which might come as a surprise to some who thought these only occurred in Mozambique – hence the name (Lourenco Marques = LM). Unfortunately we don’t have too much information about the two vessels other than they operate with Spray Fishing – we welcome any input. The top picture is of OCEAN SPRAY, the lower OCEAN SURF. These pictures are by Keith Betts


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