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K-Line's Astoria Bridge in Durban, 30 May 2017 picture by Terry Hutson
Astoria Bridge. Picture: Terry Hutson

K-Line’s 4,300-TEU container ship ASTORIA BRIDGE (51,314-dwt) approaches her berth at the Durban Container Terminal yesterday morning, accompanied by two of the port’s harbour tugs. She had just crossed inside the harbour with the departing Maersk La Paz and was about to take up the now vacant berth at 106/7. Astoria Bridge is 262 metres in length with a beam of 32.2m and was built in 2009 at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Ltd Co shipyard in South Korea as hull number 1976. This picture is by Terry Hutson

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new KwaZulu Cruise Terminal at Durban, in today's maritime news
Artist’s impressions of the new Durban Cruise Terminal, to be designed, financed, constructed, operated, maintained and transferred by KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Pty Ltd (KCT)

A joint venture headed by MSC Cruises SA has been announced as the preferred bidder for the long-awaited Durban Cruise Terminal.

The JV is made up of MSC Cruises SA, a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company South Africa (70%) and black empowerment partner Africa Armada Consortium and will be known as KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Pty Ltd (KCT).

The announcement was made in Durban yesterday by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) chief executive Richard Vallihu. He said the bidder will be responsible for the design, financing, construction, operation, maintenance and transfer of a Cruise Terminal Facility for a…[restrict] 25 year concession period in the Port of Durban.

Vallihu said the plan is to position Durban as a world-class cruise capital.

“Despite the pressures of the global economic climate on disposable incomes, the global luxury cruise sector remains one of the fastest growing segments in the tourism industry and has the potential to grow the economy and create jobs,” Vallihu said.

“The Durban cruise market had grown from 75,947 passengers ten years ago to 191,412 passengers last season. Already we have at least 20 international cruise liners operated by 14 cruise lines calling at South Africa’s ports,” he said.

TNPA was striving to work more closely with municipalities, provinces and the tourism sector to ensure alignment between goals and planning to cater for this fast growing market. Currently vessels have been using the port’s N-Shed, which was last upgraded ahead of the 2015/16 season. TNPA’s position in terms of its cruise strategy was to offer new and modern cruise terminals that would provide an ideal gateway to a unique South African experience.

Vallihu said the preferred bidder, KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Pty Ltd (KCT), had put together an exciting concept and had the experience to deliver a facility that would be the jewel in the crown of the Port of Durban. It would be an asset within Durban’s “Smart People’s Port” that would create more opportunities for surrounding communities to participate in the local economy.

“Ports are a catalyst for growth, and as the national ports authority, we have a responsibility to the country to help address the three scourges plaguing South Africa – unemployment, poverty and inequality by making business opportunities available for businesses owned by previously disadvantaged individuals to operate within the port environment,” he explained.

Section 56 projects, such as the Durban Cruise Terminal, which encourage private sector participation, are a key element of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy. With these projects TNPA enters into an agreement for the operation of a facility, in accordance with a procedure that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective, as stipulated in the National Ports Act.

Vallihu said this called for collaboration of role players to develop inclusive models, in the spirit of the National Ports Act before sharing facts about the bidder.

KCT’s equity is currently divided into 70% ownership by MSC Cruises SA and 30% ownership by Africa Armada Consortium. It is classified as an EME (Exempted Micro Enterprise) and is anticipated to grow into a QSE (Qualifying Small Enterprise).

Geneva-based MSC Cruises SA is the world’s leading privately-held cruise company and the fourth largest overall. It is the market leader across the whole of Europe, including in the Mediterranean, South Africa as well as South America and operates globally with direct offices in 45 countries and over 180 ports.

The company operates one of the more modern and technologically advanced fleets at sea. Its 12 cruise ships cruise year-round in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Seasonal itineraries cover Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, Cuba and the French Antilles, South America, Southern Africa, China and Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In 2014, MSC Cruises launched an investment plan to support the second phase of its growth through the order of a total 11 new, next-generation MSC Cruises ships through 2026 for a total investment of €9 billion.

The company is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude, spanning a horizon of over ten years. MSC Cruises feels a deep responsibility for the environments in which it operates, and was the first company ever to earn the Bureau Veritas ‘7 Golden Pearls’ for superior management and environmental stewardship.

MSC Cruises SA has over 13 years’ experience of operating Cruise Terminals and has international experience in operating Cruise Terminals around the world including the following: Marseille (France), Genoa (Italy), Civitavecchia (Italy), and Naples (Italy).

Africa Armada Consortium Pty Ltd is a black economic empowerment investment company aimed at empowering its black investors through participation in economic activities, in particular port and logistics developments.

ground view of the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal, Maritime News
another view of the planned KwaZulu Cruise Terminal at Durban


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Senior Minister in Government, Yaw Osafo Marfo, in Maritime News
Yaw Osafo Marfo

Senior Minister in the Ghanaian Government, Yaw Osafo Marfo, has paid the ports of Tema and Takoradi a visit to check out the readiness of port communities ahead of the implementation of a 100% paperless system and the removal of all customs barriers along the country’s transit corridors, which comes into effect on 1 September this year.

Accompanied by the Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Commissioner General of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), his first calls were on the GRA’s customs division and the Bureau of National Investigations.

Marfo urged the security agencies to move away from the notion that their sole purpose at the ports and along the transport logistics corridors is to harass and extort monies from traders.

He said the ports have the potential to transform the national economy by performing at the highest levels of efficiency and capacity.

“So far the port is doing well but there is room for improvement,” he said.

Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the GRA, the two stakeholders most involved with ensuring that the ports remain efficient and that revenue levels are maintained and strengthened, shared their thoughts on measures necessary to realise the government’s vision.

The Director General of the GPHA, Paul Asare Ansah said the ports and harbours constitute the heartbeat of the economy and for that matter all those who operate within the port would have to work in harmony to ensure that “the activities at the port are very smooth and the ports do not pose any bottlenecks to trade facilitation and growth of business.”

For his part the Commissioner General of the GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti said his organisation was working seriously to ensure that the compliant officers do the right things and in line with discipline that will be fused into the system.

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Hapag-Lloyd's Colombo Express, in Maritime News
Hapag-Lloyd’s Colombo Express. Picture: Hapag-Lloyd

The merger between Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) is now complete. With 230 vessels and a shared fleet capacity of approximately 1.6 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is now the fifth-largest liner shipping company in the world.

Hapag-Lloyd will remain a publicly traded company registered in Germany with…[restrict] its headquarters in Hamburg.

“This is an important strategic milestone and a big step forward for Hapag-Lloyd,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd. “We now not only have a very strong market position in Latin America and the Atlantic, but also in the Middle East, where we will become one of the leading carriers. Our priority now is a smooth and fast integration of UASC and Hapag-Lloyd.”

The business combination agreement (BCA) had already been signed in Hamburg in July 2016. Since then roughly a dozen competition authorities across the world had to grant their approval. In addition, changes in the corporate legal structure were made and the consent of several banks was obtained.

At the centre of the integration is the combination of 118 Hapag-Lloyd services with the 45 services making up UASC’s network. This process will start in roughly eight weeks and will take until the end of the third quarter, once the new employees from UASC have been trained to use the Hapag-Lloyd systems. After that UASC’s present transport volume will be handled on Hapag-Lloyd’s IT platform. The combined entity will thereby carry an estimated annual transport volume in excess of 10 million TEU.

UASC ship transiting the Suez Canal, in Maritime News
UASC container ship Al Zubara in Suez Canal. Picture UASC

UASC’s 58 vessels will be integrated into the fleet of Hapag-Lloyd. The combined fleet will then include a total of 230 vessels and be one of the youngest in the industry, with an average ship age of only 7.2 years. The average size of the vessels in Hapag-Lloyd’s new fleet will be some 6,840 TEU/vessel, approximately 30 percent larger than the average of the top 15 in the industry (5,280 TEU/vessel).

Hapag-Lloyd plans to achieve annual synergies of US$ 435 million as a result of the merger. A significant portion of these savings should be realised in the course of 2018, while the full amount is expected to first be reached in 2019. In addition to the synergies Hapag-Lloyd expects that it will not be necessary to make sizeable investments in newbuildings over the next few years.

Hapag-Lloyd will establish a new regional headquarters for the Region Middle East. This will add a fifth Region to the existing Regions North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

“Hapag-Lloyd has long-term and extensive know-how when it comes to acquisitions. By merging with the Canadian shipping company CP Ships in 2005 and, more recently, with CSAV in 2014, we have demonstrated that we are able to combine businesses and integrate them quickly, efficiently and profitably,” said Rolf Habben Jansen. “We are optimistic that we will be able to complete the integration of UASC by the end of this year.”

The two majority shareholders of UASC, Qatar Investment Authority, through its subsidiary Qatar Holding LLC, and the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PIF), will become new key shareholders of Hapag-Lloyd. The other UASC shareholders are the Kuwait Investment Authority on behalf of the state of Kuwait, the Iraqi Fund for External Development (IFED), the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which will be reflected with a combined 3.6% of the shares of Hapag-Lloyd as free float shares. The ownership structure of Hapag-Lloyd AG before the forthcoming cash capital increase, planned after the merger, is as follows (figures rounded): CSAV (22.6%), HGV (14.8%), Kühne Maritime (14.6%), Qatar Holding (14.4%), PIF (10.1%) and TUI (8.9%). The free float will amount to roughly 14.6%.

Within six months after the closing, a cash capital increase by way of a rights issue is planned for Hapag-Lloyd AG in order to strengthen the company. This will be secured via a backstop commitment in the amount of US$ 400 million that some of the controlling shareholders have agreed to. At the Annual General Meeting of Hapag-Lloyd, which was held on 29 May in Hamburg, shareholders were asked to approve a corresponding appropriate authorised capital.[/restrict]

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SACU logo, in maritime news

South Africa recently hosted the inaugural Joint Administration Committee (JAC) for the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) and the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) in Johannesburg.

During the recent meeting, the parties agreed to jointly consider opportunities to use various channels to promote the MERCOSUR-SACU Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) by including their trade promotion agencies, chambers of commerce, private sector, and their respective embassies and foreign missions.

The PTA aims to promote trade between MERCOSUR and SACU regions. It offers preferences on over 1000 tariff lines from each side at the Margins of Preference ranging between 10% and 100%.

“The PTA covers products such as agricultural and agro-processed products; mineral and chemical products; plastics and rubbers products; textiles and clothing products; precious and metal products; machinery and electrical products; transportation products; and miscellaneous products,” said MERCOSUR and SACU in a joint statement.

Mercosur banner, in maritime newsThe agreement was signed on 15 December 2008 in Salvador, Brazil, by MERCOSUR member states, and on 3 April 2009 in Maseru, Lesotho, by SACU member states. The ratification process was concluded in February 2014 and December 2015 by the SACU and MERCOSUR member states, respectively.

In accordance with Article 36 of the PTA, the Agreement entered into force on 1 April 2016.

“The entry into force of the Agreement marks an important milestone in South-South cooperation and provides an opportunity to enhance bilateral trade between the parties.”

The inaugural meeting of the JAC was Co-chaired by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Deputy Director General: International Trade and Economic Development on behalf of SACU Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, and Ambassador Roberto Salafia, National Director for Economic and Commercial Issues of MERCOSUR in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentina, on behalf of MERCOSUR.

The responsibilities of the JAC, are to ensure administration and full implementation of the agreement.

The JAC envisages to establish working groups and committees.

At the meeting, the JAC assessed progress towards full implementation of the agreement and noted various opportunities presented by the agreement, challenges encountered by the parties to operationalise the PTA, and further agreed on the timelines for completion of outstanding work.

The next meeting of the JAC will be held in MERCOSUR in 2018. –

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Oil platform off the coast of Brazil, in maritime news
An oil platform off Brazil. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

The Brazilian federal police have launched an operation into bribes allegedly received by former Petrobras executives when buying an oil well in Benin, West Africa.

Dubbed Pozo Seco (Dry Well), the investigation seeks to identify who received these bribes.

It is thought that the illicit money received by…[restrict] former Speaker Eduardo Cunha, who has now been jailed for 15 years for corruption, came from these bribes.

Cunha, who began the impeachment trial against former president Dilma Rousseff in December 2015, was accused of receiving US$ 1.5 million in bribes. According to investigators, the bribes were paid to hidden accounts in Switzerland and the United States.

The list of those being investigated include former Petrobras senior executive, Pedro Augusto Xavier Bastos, the former owner of the BVA Bank, Jose Augusto Ferreira dos Santos, and Fernanda Luz, daughter of lobbyist, Jorge Luz, who was arrested in February for corruption and money laundering.

These suspects, among others, are thought to have shared US$ 10 million in bribes from the Benin contract, Brazil’s prosecutor-general stated.

The new operation is part of the sweeping inquiry into the Petrobras corruption ring as Brazil’s political crisis worsens with President Michel Temer fighting off claims of bribery. Source : Xinhuanet[/restrict]

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maritime news

The oceans in the Southern Hemisphere play a crucial role in the climate system, absorbing more heat and carbon dioxide than any other region in the world. Picture: Stuart Wilde.CSIRO©.
A new research centre focussed on the role of the Southern Hemisphere oceans in the global climate was opened on 22 May in Hobart, bringing AUS$ 20 million dollars of funding over five years.

Tasmania’s Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research (CSHOR) is a collaboration between CSIRO, China’s Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (QNLM), with support from…[restrict] the University of Tasmania and the University of New South Wales.

Appearing at the launch via video, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos said the centre would play a vital role in climate science in the future.

Minister Sinodinos reflected: “The Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research represents a significant commitment to improving our understanding of the current and future role of southern hemisphere oceans in the climate of Australia, China, and the world.”

Argo floats used to build up better understanding about our oceans, in today's maritime news
Robotic Argo floats will be used to understand more about ocean warming. Picture: CSIRO©. (

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said CSHOR would study the oceans from the tropics to Antarctica, and would tackle fundamental questions about the future climate of Australia, China and the rest of the world.

Marshall added: “The oceans in the Southern Hemisphere play a crucial role in the climate system, absorbing more heat and carbon dioxide than any other region in the world. Improving our understanding of the complex science at play in this system, will help us better manage the impacts of climate variability and change at a regional and global scale. CSHOR will complement climate research within CSIRO and will sit within our recently announced Climate Science Centre.”

He concluded by saying: “It is also an exciting opportunity to work with China’s leading marine science and technology organisation, and cultivate our close research relationship with China, which has been going strong for more than 40 years. Often in answering some of science’s biggest questions, you need to take a global approach, and that is why as part of our Strategy 2020, CSIRO is working towards becoming a hub for more global collaboration like this.”

CSHOR will be based at CSIRO’s Marine Laboratories in Hobart and will support seven new research positions, primarily based in Hobart.

Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology Director Professor Lixin Wu said China, just like Australia, was exposed to risks from the changing climate, including future sea level rise.

ice bergs in the Antarctic, in maritime news
The melting of Antarctic ice sheets and how this impacts future sea level rise will also be investigated. Picture: CSIRO©. (

Professor Lixin stated: “Although China and Australia are not close geographically, many of the southern oceans processes that influence Australia’s climate, also influence China’s climate. Importantly, CSHOR will also look at the impact that melting Antarctic ice shelves will have on global sea level rise. Since climate change is a great challenge to the whole world, we have to rise to it hand in hand in collaboration.”

Finally, Professor Lixin said: “QNLM is committed to bringing benefits to our community and people through advancing science and has been focused on its strategy of strengthening coordination and cooperation with scientists around the globe. Since both QNLM and CSIRO are two of the world’s leading climate research agencies, QNLM expects to work together with CSIRO, in helping China, Australia and the rest of the world to better tackle and adjust to climate changes.”

CSHOR will also investigate climate phenomena such as the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which have a strong influence on the climate of both Australia and China.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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artistic impression of Ecoship, in today's maritime news

Oslo, 30 May 2017: Peace Boat, Japan’s largest cruise organisation, has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the Finnish shipbuilding company Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc., to construct the Ecoship, the world’s greenest cruise ship. Peace Boat director and founder Yoshioka Tatsuya, Esko Mustamaki, CEO from Arctech and Jon Rysst, Regional Manager North Europe, from Classification Society DNV GL, announced the agreement during Nor-Shipping, the biggest maritime trade fair in Scandinavia.

Yoshioka said: “We have agreed with Arctech to build the Ecoship, the most innovative and ecologically friendly cruise vessel ever. We believe this ship will be a game changer for the shipping industry and will contribute to the protection of the environment. It will be a flagship for climate change. We are…[restrict] very happy to work together with a Finnish shipyard, and look forward to exploring clean and sustainable technologies with partners throughout this region, which is known for its environmental leadership.”

Esko Mustamaki, from Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, added: “We are very excited to work with Peace Boat in the construction of this very special vessel. Arctech has a long experience in design and construction of special products. Ecoship will combine Arctech’s know-how in technically advanced and environmentally friendly vessels with the well-established expertise of the Finnish shipbuilding network in designing and building of high-class cruise vessels and other special products. Arctech is a forerunner in developing and applying technological innovations, including LNG propulsion.”

Peace Boat signing, maritime news
The signing at the DNV GL booth at Nor-Shipping. (L to R) Esko Mustamaki, CEO from Arctech, Peace Boat director and founder Yoshioka Tatsuya, and Jon Rysst, Regional Manager North Europe, DNV GL – Maritime.

Before the event, the CEO DNV GL – Maritime, Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, said: “It’s really nice to see this innovative and exciting project proceed, this is a very positive development for Peace Boat. For us at DNV GL, it is always wonderful when such impressive projects using environmentally friendly technology take one step further towards being realized and we will continue to support this project.”

A final contract for the 2,000-passenger and 750-cabin 60,000-gt vessel is expected to be signed shortly. The new ship is scheduled for delivery in spring 2020.

Ecoship, with its nature-inspired architectural design by Spanish company Oliver Design, will be the platform for Peace Boat’s round-the-world cruise carrying 6,000 people per year; host exhibitions on green technology in up to 100 ports per year; and serve as a floating sustainability laboratory contributing to research on the ocean, climate and green marine technology. The ship also will create awareness and encourage active engagement with the challenges embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Related stories:


About Peace Boat

Peace Boat, Japan’s largest cruise organisation, is a social business that combines the four pillars of Education, Business, Advocacy and Travel. Peace Boat’s world cruises offer a unique programme of activities centred on experiential learning and intercultural communication. Peace Boat began sailing in 1983, and today sails for 80-100 day global voyages three times every year, carrying approximately 1000 passengers per voyage. Peace Boat is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations and was nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.[/restrict]



ClassNK's head of EEDI department, Takeshi Shimada, in Maritime News
Takeshi Shimada, GM ClassNK EEDI Department

Athens – World’s largest private weather service company Weathernews Inc (WNI) and leading classification society ClassNK welcomed over 100 shipping personalities to their first joint seminar for Monitoring, Reporting, Verification (MRV) held at Glyfada Golf Gardens on 27 April.

EU MRV is an EU regulation on the monitoring, reporting, and verification of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from vessels, which first entered into force…[restrict] on 1 July 2015. This regulation lays down rules for developing Monitoring Plans and for submitting the Emission Reports to the verifiers accredited by a national accreditation body in the EU for ships above 5,000 gross tons which arrive at or depart from ports under the jurisdiction of an EU member state. In accordance with the timeline of the regulation, shipping companies are required to submit a Monitoring Plan to a verifier by 31 August 2017, and to monitor CO2 emissions for developing the Emission Report in accordance with the assessed Monitoring Plan from 1 January 2018.

At the joint seminar, Mr Takeshi Shimada, General Manager ClassNK EEDI Department explained the EU MRV requirements and its service for shipping companies’ compliance to EU MRV as ClassNK has become one of the world’s first classification societies to receive an EU MRV verifier accreditation from the UK-based national accreditation body UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). Mr Shimada also outlined ClassNK’s verification scheme for the reports generated with WNI’s solution.

Mr Jesse Vecchione, Operations Leader of WNI Europe, presented the newly launched Emission Status Monitoring solution as well as its Service Model of Fleet Performance Management. WNI’s Emission Status Monitoring Report consists of four steps/service menu as [1. Monitoring Plan Support, [2. Ship Reporting Support, [3. Data Gap Control Support, [4. Emissions Report Support.

WNI and ClassNK have shared the goal to keep their customers familiar and updated on the new and old challenges and the two organisations feel confident this target was successfully achieved through the seminar.[/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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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dredger Ilembe at Durban. Picture Keith Betts, in Maritime News
Ilembe. Picture: Keith Betts

Transnet National Ports Authority’s largest dredger, the 5,500 cubic metre capacity trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) ILEMBE re-enters Durban harbour after a spell of dredging outside port. Ilembe can be considered the flagship of the dredging fleet and is kept constantly at work, either dredging in or outside Durban harbour or at one of the other South African ports. She was built by Royal IHC in The Netherlands and officially launched on 9 May 2015, arriving in Durban on 20 January 2016 after completing her fitting out at the shipyard. This picture is by Keith Betts


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