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9400-TEU Maersk Skarstind at DCT. Maritime News Picture by Ken Malcolm
Maersk Skarstind. Picture: Ken Malcolm

MAERSK SKARSTIND at the Durban Container Terminal, North Quay, Pier 2, working cargo in this shot taken earlier in May. Maersk Skarstind (111,614-dwt) was built in 2017 and is 300 metres long and 48m wide. The ship has a container capacity of 9,473 TEU. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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Kenya's new SGR railways service commences, in Maritime News

Kenya’s new standard gauge railway was officially inaugurated on Wednesday ushering in a new era of modern rail transport to the wider East African region. But as the first train set off on its journey inland to the capital, Nairobi, it wasn’t without a degree of controversy.

During his speech ahead of the train departing the terminus at Mombasa, President Uhuru Kenyatta warned that anyone convicted of vandalising the new railway would face the hangman’s noose!

“I want to announce today that…[restrict] those who will be prosecuted for destroying Kenyans’ property, for destroying what belongs to our children, I pray for forgiveness from God, but I will sign their death sentence for them to be hanged,” he said.

His warning echoed that of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko, who advised that those arrested for vandalism would be regarded as belonging to organised gangs of criminals and economic saboteurs.

Kenyatta, in Africa PORT & SHIPS maritime news
President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Kenyatta said that there were some people who didn’t want anything successful and good to occur. “They want the government or Uhuru to look bad so that it looks like we have been overwhelmed. But this railway does not belong to Uhuru, Ruto or the government. It has been constructed using money from 45 million Kenyans. It belongs to Kenyans. There is a provision of the law for those who destroy any critical infrastructure and that is economic sabotage which falls under a capital offence. If prosecuted, you go to the death row.

“Be supportive and help with constructive criticism, so that we can improve and ultimately have what we want which is a world class working railway,” President Kenyatta said.

Earlier, the governor of Mombasa, Hassan Ali Joho, was prevented from attending the opening ceremony, with Kenyan security officials turning him away as he arrived at the railway terminus.

Governor Joho has been loudly critical of cost overruns for the SGR, which has amounted to a reported Sh327 billion – more than Sh100 billion over budget. A Chinese company has built the railway and will operate it for a set period of time, and Chinese loans have financed the entire cost. On Monday Governor Joho said he intended to prevent the launch of the new service until he received answers.

Meanwhile, it was announced that the cost to transport a container along the SGR will be Sh50,000 (US$485) per TEU, while other freight will be billed at 0.07 per ton kilometre, equal to Sh32,800 per ton for the journey from Mombasa to Nairobi.

Regarding the the passenger train now in service, it will cost Sh700 (US$6.79) to travel the entire distance economy class, or Sh3,000 (US$29.1) for first class passengers.

Watch new this Al Jazeera (YouTube) video of the new Kenyan SGR[2:58]

Followed by a 30 minute video from New China: Bridges: My Railway, My Story – Documentary about Mombasa-Nairobi Railway

The exchange rate yesterday was one Kenyan Shilling equals 0.0097 US dollars.[/restrict]

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Robben Island, featured in Maritime News
Robben Island in Table Bay

Five vessel owners, who ferry passengers between the Robben Island Museum and the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, have been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of price fixing and collusive tendering.

This follows an investigation by the Competition Commission, after it received a complaint from the Robben Island Museum against the five respondents. The respondents are all vessel owners who provide chartering services to the Museum’s clients from the V&A Waterfront to Robben Island and vice versa.

The operators implicated in the charge are: Thembekile Maritime Services (Pty) Ltd (Thembekile); Silverbuckle Trade 21 CC t/a Yacoob Yatch (Silverbuckle); Nauticat Charters (Pty) Ltd (Nauticat Charters); Ferry Charters (Pty) Ltd (Ferry Charters); and Tigger 2 Charters (Pty) Ltd (Tigger 2 Charters).

The Commission’s investigation found that around 22 September 2015, the respondents met at the Cape Town Fish Market Coffee Shop, where they discussed and agreed to increase the prices they would charge the Museum when responding to a tender. The tender was for bidders to be listed on the Museum’s database as preferred service providers for a 12 month period.

The Commission’s investigation also found that subsequent to the agreement reached at the coffee shop meeting:

“Thembekile and Nauticat Charters increased their prices to R18,000 per trip for 140 passengers. Ferry Charters did not alter their prices as it was already charging R18,000 per trip for 140 passengers and this resulted in all three quoting the same price of R18,000 for per trip for 140 passengers.

“Silverbuckle and Tigger 2 Charters also increased their prices as agreed during the coffee shop meeting, but not to the same extent as that of the other respondents as their vessels are smaller.”

The Commission said that this conduct constitutes price fixing and collusive tendering in contravention of the Competition Act and it has therefore referred the complaint to the Tribunal for adjudication.

The Commission is seeking an order from the Tribunal declaring that the five respondents have contravened the Competition Act and that they are liable to pay an administrative penalty equal to 10% of their annual turnover.

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Proposed San Pedro container terminal development, in Maritime News
Artist’s impression of San Pedro after development of the container terminal

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has signed a 35-year concession with Côte d’Ivoire’s second port of San Pedro to expand, develop and operate the San Pedro Container Terminal which will then be capable of handling ships up to 14,000 TEU capacity.

An investment of € 460 million (CFA 300 billion) will introduce new shipping technologies, facilitating transhipment operations and generating opportunities to foster development. MSC says that…[restrict] the Port of San Pedro will become one of the most competitive transhipment hubs on the West African coast.

“The signing of this agreement today will further strengthen the strong links between MSC and the government of Côte d’Ivoire. It also confirms our long-term engagement to contribute to national efforts in supporting the country’s growing position on the international scene,” said Mr Diego Aponte, MSC President and CEO.

Port San Pedro, in Maritime News
Current view of Port San Pedro. Image: Bollore

“Our structural investment and operations will allow San Pedro to become a state-of-the-art terminal, increase trade relationship with new and traditional business partners as well as enhance its competitiveness at both the national and global levels. We are also extremely proud to generate inclusive growth through job creation and vocational training, as the Terminal is expected to employ hundreds of people directly and a larger number of people indirectly,” Aponte said.

The Port of San Pedro currently handles large exports of cocoa, the Ivory Coast being the world’s largest producer. The country’s biggest port is at Abidjan.

MSC also operates a container hub at Lomé in Togo, from where it operates feeder services to other ports across the region. The MSC Group is present in 40 African countries across the continent and employs over 8,000 people. It operates 50 weekly services connecting Africa with the rest of the world.[/restrict]

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Mozambique’s National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH) has set up two subsidiaries to represent it in the natural gas projects in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, reports AIM.

The first of these subsidiaries, ENH Rovuma Area Um, will hold and manage the ENH participation in Rovuma Basin Area One, where the operator is…[restrict] the American company Anadarko. ENH has a 15 percent holding in Area One. The other shareholders are Anadarko itself with 26.5 percent, the Japanese company Mitsui (20 percent), PTTEP of Thailand (8.5 percent), and the Indian companies ONGC (16 percent), Bharat (10 percent) and OIL (four percent).

Mozambique Rovuma Basin, in Maritime News
Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin

To date, US$ 4.7 billion has been invested in Area One. Anadarko’s project envisages setting up two factories (known as “trains”) in the Afungi Peninsula, in Palma district, that will each produce six million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year.

The second subsidiary is ENH FLNG Um, which will represent ENH in the projects in the Coral Sul gas field in Rovuma Basin Area Four. Here the operator is the Italian energy company ENI, through its subsidiary ENI East Africa, which has a participation of 70 per cent. 10 per cent of the remainder is held by ENH, and ten per cent each by the Portuguese company Galp, and Kogas of Korea.

The ENI East Africa stake is divided into 20 percent for the Chinese company CNPC, and 50 percent for ENI, which has signed an agreement to sell half of this to the US company ExxonMobil for 2.8 billion dollars – which is almost exactly what has already been invested in Area Four.

ENI plans to set up a floating LNG plant above the Coral Sul field to produce about 3.3 million tonnes of LNG a year. A deal has already been signed with the company BP to buy all the LNG produced at this floating facility.

An ENH press release says that the constitution of these two subsidiaries “complies with the international standards of the petroleum industry which demand the creation of specific vehicles to make operational each project finance, so as to isolate the financial risk of the project. Only the revenues generated by the undertaking should be called upon to service the debt”. Source: AIM[/restrict]

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Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced this week that it has received Japanese government funding to develop its project for autonomous ocean-going ships.

MOL, together with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co, Ltd will proceed with developing a technological concept for autonomous ocean transport system, with the support of…[restrict] Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT).

The research consortium comprises MOL, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), Japan Ship Technology Research Association, and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc.

The consortium members will develop the technological concept for autonomous vessels, drawing upon the strengths of each participating company and organisation, setting a course toward development of the technology needed to realise autonomous vessels that can provide reliable, safe, and efficient ocean transport.

In addition to promoting technology for autonomous ocean transport systems, the project will foster a movement to develop the required infrastructure and win public support for implementation of these advanced technologies by sharing the results with society and the maritime industry as the research progresses.

The project will also examine ties to R&D on business concepts, systems, infrastructure, and societal implementation related to autonomous ocean transport, which is being planned by the Japan Ship Technology Research Association.

MOL and autonomous ships in Maritime News

MOL study into autonomous vessels, in today's Maritime News


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IAPH banner, in Maritime News

30th IAPH World Ports Conference – Members recognised for their excellence in Port Management and Operations

At the Annual General Meeting held on the last day of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) World Ports Conference in Bali, Indonesia, held from 7-12 May, IAPH recognised and honoured two individuals for writing a distinctive essay on their home port operations and eight ports for presenting their innovative and exemplary port projects.

Originally started almost four decades ago with IAPH Essay Contest where personnel of IAPH developing member ports competed to write an essay on the subject of port efficiency and productivity, IAPH’s biennial awards program has…[restrict] gradually been expanded and now includes five award categories to compete for excellence achieved in port communications, environment and IT. This traditional and prestigious award program has long been appreciated by the IAPH members as a means to enhance human resource development and, more importantly, share best practices.

New Sri Lankan tugs, in Maritime News

New tugs commissioned by Sri Lanka Ports Authority, March 2017 (left). Pramithodha Chiranthaka Halpe, Junior Manager (Terminal Systems), Sri Lanka Ports Authority won the IAPH Akiyama essay competition award with his entry titled: Sri Lanka Ports Authority: Moving towards an exemplary green environmental footprint of the South Asian region. Picture: ©



Recipients of the 2017 awards were as follows:

Akiyama Award – an essay contest named after the late Toru Akiyama (IAPH Secretary General (1967-193)

Awarded to: Pramithodha Chiranthaka Halpe, Junior Manager (Terminal Systems), Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Sri Lanka.
Entry: Sri Lanka Ports Authority: Moving towards an exemplary green environmental footprint of the South Asian region.

Bali Open Award – an essay contest commemorating the Bali Conference

Awarded to: Giyeul Jang, Manager, Port Engineering, Incheon Port Authority, Korea
Entry: STEP-CAR, Easier and Faster walking down from the Cruise ship.

Port Communications Awards
Gold plaque

Awarded to: Port of Rotterdam Authority, The Netherlands
Entry: Havenkrant – the Port’s Newspaper that has been delivered to the residents in the Port of Rotterdam area four times a year since 2009

Silver plaque

Awarded to: Adani Petronet Dahej Port Pvt. Ltd, India
Entry: Effective Stakeholder (Community) Engagement – What are the greatest communication challenges your organization has faced when trying to garner support from community stakeholders?

Information Technology Awards
Gold plaque

Awarded to: MGI and Port of Marseilles, France
Entry: Marseilles-Fos : The SMART Port 2.0” – Port Spirit attitude for more collaboration and communication to improve the port’s competitiveness and productivity.

Silver plaque

Awarded to: National Ports Agency, Morocco
Entry: Safety and Security Management System (SM 25).

Bronze plaque

Awarded to: Israel Ports Company, Israel
Entry: Digitalization of containerized dangerous goods declaration process.

Port Environment Awards

Gold plaque

Awarded to: Port of Los Angeles, USA
Entry: San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan

Silver plaque

Awarded to Bremenports GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
Entry: LUNEPLATE – A unique natural paradise and valuable green port infrastructure.

Bronze plaque

Awarded to: Hamburg Port Authority, Germany
Entry: Virtual Depot.

To see the winning entries for the above readers are invited to visit the IAPH website at:

About IAPH
Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a non-profit global alliance of approximately 180 ports and 150 maritime companies and institutes representing about 90 countries.

The IAPH is dedicated to fostering cooperation among ports and harbors and promoting the vital role they play in creating a peaceful, more prosperous world. Based in Tokyo and recognised as the only voice speaking for ports around the globe, the IAPH has Consultative NGO Status from the United Nations and is active in developing international trade and maritime policy. IAPH member ports handle about 80 percent of world container traffic and more than 60 percent of all international maritime trade.

South Africa’s Transnet National Ports Authority and Transnet Port Termianls are members of the IAPH.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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new floating pontoo, Malta. In Maritime News

Grupo Lindley has completed another emblematic project in Malta, with the collaboration of its local partner, Boat Maintenance Malta.

At the end of last year (2016) Almarin delivered 20 buoys to various ports in Malta. Now their Portuguese partner, Lindley, has carried out the supply and installation of a pontoon (see illustrations) for the berthing of Armed Forces of Malta patrol boats, at the Maritime Base at Haywharf, near Valletta, the island’s capital. This was achieved through a public procurement issued by Transport Malta, the local public authority which regulates Malta’s maritime activities.

side perspective of floating pontoon. In Maritime News

The floating pontoon with dimensions of 30m x 5m and freeboard of 1m, has been positioned perpendicular to the existing jetty, allowing the berthing of a vessel on each side to improve and extend naval base capabilities.

It is understood that this asset was custom designed, with a modular galvanized and painted metal structure and GRP mesh deck supported by concrete floats. Complying with the tender specifications, the pontoon is prepared to withstand a live load of 15 tonnes or 500kg/m2 at any point and to receive a vehicle of up to 2.5 tonnes.

Additionally, the pontoon is equipped with emergency ladders, bollards and fenders.

About Grupo LINDLEY
Lindley and Almarin specialise in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of floating equipment for marinas and docks, as well as buoys and beacons as aids to navigation.

Based in Cascais, Portugal, they form part of the Lindley Group, a holding company with more than 85 years of experience in the maritime sector. See also:

Paul Ridgway

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SAMSA at Nor-Shipping, in Maritime News
SAMSA stand at Nor-Shipping

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) is leading South African delegates in one of the most prestigious international shipping events for maritime experts, the Nor-shipping Conference in Oslo, Norway. With the week-long symposium already on its way, SAMSA has been using the opportunity to showcase the vast potential that lies within South Africa’s fast-growing oceans economy. Leading the delegates is acting CEO for SAMSA, Sobantu Tilayi.

The South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) and SAMSA have already presented profiles of various SA seafarers and the current position of SA’s maritime sector as Norway represents a world leading maritime cluster that delivers leading edge innovation, technology and commercial solutions. The conference features exhibitions, debates, product launches, and attracts ship owners, shipbrokers, ship financers, ports and port technology representatives, cargo handlers, maritime and training institutions, research organisations. This year, Nor-Shipping 2017 has committed itself to not only showcasing industry actors, services and innovations – across five themed halls and 45,000 m2 of exhibition space – but also providing a pro-active platform for future solutions.

South Africa is a maritime country endowed with just of over 3200km of a coastline on which sits eight commercial ports, and some 1.6-million square kilometres of an Exclusive Economic Zone spread over three oceans from the Atlantic in the west, the Southern Ocean in the south and the Indian Ocean to the east.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), is a South African government agency responsible for the implementation of current International & National Regulations regarding the Maritime industry. It advises Government on maritime issues relating to or affecting South Africa, including but not limited to providing a search and rescue capability, and conduct accident investigations and provide emergency casualty response.

Presentations Today – Southern African Shipyards
Among the proceedings taking place today (Thursday), Mr Prasheen Maharaj, CEO of Southern African Shipyards will be making a presentation on South African shipbuilding.

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in partnership with – APO

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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 Star in Esplanade Channel, Durban. Picture by Terry Hutson, in Maritime News

Ocean Star turning towards Fish Wharf, Durban. Pic by Terry Hutson, in Maritime News
Ocean Star. Pictures: Terry Hutson

We admit to harbouring a fascination for the many varieties of workboats that can be found employed in any busy harbour, and Durban being one of the bigger and busiest ports is no exception in terms of how many such vessels can be found. Unfortunately there is often a lack of technical information available about these small but busy little craft which may be an indication that our interest is not shared quite so enthusiastically by those who would otherwise be compiling such records. A visit to the Wilson’s Wharf waterfront area this week resulted in an opportunity to watch this workboat, OCEAN STAR, a crewboat by all appearances, returning to base at the fish wharf situated between Wilson’s and Maydon Wharf berth 1. The vessel is part of the Servest fleet of crewboats that serve in many of the ports along the south and east coasts, extending even into Mozambique. Here the vessel appears to have returned from a ship at the outer anchorage with what looks like a number of ship’s crew coming ashore, possibly to return home having been replaced by new arrivals. Without the facts it is a case of joining some dots and hoping the result is correct – if in this instance we have this wrong someone can please tell us. In the meantime here are two views of the vessel to enjoy. Pictures by Terry Hutson



“The classroom within is where the true learning takes place.”
― Samantha Storsberg


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