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MOL Presence, by Keith Betts in Maritime News
Picture: Keith Betts

Mitsui OSK Line’s container ship MOL Presence (72,912-dwt) arrives off Durban to work cargo at the Durban Container Terminal in March this year. MOL Presence is owned by Singapore interests and is managed and operated by Mitsui OSK Line of Tokyo, Japan. The ship, which was built in 2008 has a container capacity of 6,350 TEU and a length of 293 metres and a width of 40m. She was built at the Mitsui & Co shipyard in Japan as hull number 2230. MOL Presence flies the Singapore flag at her stern. This picture is by Keith Betts

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Rickmers Singapore, in maritime news
Rickmers Singapore in Houston Channel.  Picture: Rickmers

German ship owner and operator Rickmers Group says it remains hopeful of being allowed to restructure under self-administration.

A week ago Rickmers was forced to seek the protection of the court by submitting an application for…[restrict] insolvency in the Hamburg District Court, but this was for Rickmers Holding AG only and does not affect its operating subsidiaries – in particular Rickmers Shipmanagement Hamburg and Singapore which are not affected and are working normally.

“Business and shipping operations are continuing,” Rickmers says.

Rickmers was forced into taking this action after HSH Nordbank, its leading lender, rejected the planned financial restructuring.

Rickmers now says that it will be working out a new restructuring solution together with the creditors and making use of the tools of insolvency law. Banks, bondholders and the workforce will be represented on a temporary committee of creditors.

Rickmers operates a fleet of 114 ships, which includes 80 container vessels with a total capacity of almost 425,000 TEU. Of these 21 container ships are owned, as are two car carriers and nine general cargo ships.

Rickmers was founded in 1834 and in 2016 posted a loss of EUR341 million. It is said to have debts totalling US$1.7 billion, with the bulk of that owed to HASH Nordbank and Unicredit.[/restrict]

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Jindal's Chirodji coal mine in Tete, featured in Maritime News
Chirodzi mine, Tete Province

A Mozambique court has ordered that the JPL Mozambique Minerais coal mine at Moatize be closed in accordance with an earlier decision by the Tete Judicial Court to shut down operations on account of an environmental dispute.

Despite this earlier order, the Indian JSPL Mozambique Minerais kept the mine in operation.

A spokesman for the company, a subsidiary of the Jindal Africa group, which is controlled by Indian conglomerate Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), told Radio Moçambique that he could not comment because the company needed time to study the court ruling.

The dispute arose from more than 2,500 people living close to the Chirodzi open cast mine who began to complain of health and other complications arising from the coal being mined and stored pending its transportation along the Sena Railway to the port at Beira. The company had been in talks about re-settling the people but this has not transpired and the communities say they have not received any form of compensation or offers of alternative land.

The local communities live close to the area where coal is stored.

JSPL Mozambique Minerals acquired the mine in 2011 but has had a stop/start operation. After the court action it resumed coal mining on 1 October 2016, based on the price of coking coal or metallurgical coal rising by more than 150% since August.

In March this year Jindal declared force majeure at its Wongawilli coking mine in New South Wales, Australia after flooding resulted from Cyclone Debbie. To compensate it began processing coal from its Mozambique mine where it was reported in mining circles to be producing about 250,000 tons a month.

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Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, in maritime news
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto

Ghana’s minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, says stern action must be taken against port stakeholders who bend the rules with regards the export of goods to foreign markets.

He identified Freight Forward Operators, Customs Officers as well as individuals and institutions as the culprits who should face sanction.

Two years ago the EU imposed…[restrict] a ban on the export of some food items to its market because of what it said was the failure on the part of Ghana adhere to international standards and protocols involving the export of food items to the EU market.

Since the ban Ghana currently exports less than 200 metric tonnes of food items to the EU, just 10% of what the country used to export to that market.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said that he believes this unfortunate situation can be reversed provided all stakeholders commit themselves to abide by the rules and procedures involved in the export of food items.

He cautioned that any institution that fails to rigorously adhere to rules and protocols will be severely dealt with.

The minister was particularly critical of some officers of the Custom Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS) as well as Freight Forwarders, who he said deliberately allow items to pass through without proper certification.

Dr Akoto said the government was very much concerned about this and would be putting in place measures to rectify the situation.

The technical meeting, which was attended by representatives from the National Security, Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Association of Freight Forwarders and some selected Airlines, is expected to address the various challenges and fashion out modalities that will help ensure the lifting of the EU ban.

The Food and Agriculture ministry will also adopt several measures, including the empowerment of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Division (PPRSD), in order to make its regulatory operations more efficient.

Dr Afriyie Akoto charged those participating at the meeting to discuss the issues and produce recommendations that will help address the bottlenecks.

It was revealed that Ghana has another chance to review the ban in September this year. source: bftonline[/restrict]

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Nacala rail corridor in maritime news
Nacala Rail Corridor

Freight trains are running again as of this week between the port at Nacala, and Nampula, Cuamba and Lichinga.

This became possible after an understanding was reached between the government, local business people and the Northern Development Corridor company (CDN).

The news was first…[restrict] announced a week ago by President Filipe Nyusi at a rally in the village of Maleme, Sanga district, marking the beginning of his three-day working visit to Niassa province.

High prices charged by the Northern Development Corridor (CDN) had meant that only passenger services were operating on the Lichinga line, forcing businesses to use road transport between Cuamba and Lichinga, which is costly due to poor road conditions.

As for rail transport, the CDN was charging the equivalent of US$75.53 per tonne between Nacala Porto in Nampula province, and the city of Lichinga in Niassa province, a distance of about 795 kilometres.

Truck drivers were charging US$50 per ton on the same route.

After negotiations, the rail price has been set at US$47.54 per tonne.

A total of 15 wagons of 35 tonnes each will be mobilised in the first phase, the number is expected to rise gradually depending on demand, according to Niassa Provincial Director of Transport and Communications António Mateus.

At the end of 2016, President Nyusi re-inaugurated the 262-kilometre Cuamba-Lichinga railroad after several years of it being out of service due to disrepair. After operations on this section restarted, business people and the population in general had hoped that life in Niassa, characterised by high prices for even essential products, would improve, but transportation costs prevent this.

“We promise to do everything to develop Niassa. One of the big problems, when we started our term in office, was to extend rail freight services to Lichinga. This means of transportation already reaches the city, but just carrying passengers,” Nyusi said at the rally.

As part of the effort to improve roads in the area, President Nyusi also broke ground for the construction of the N13 between Cuamba and Lichinga. source: Almiro Mazive, AIM & Notícias[/restrict]

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As this year’s first winter storm rolled in from the South Atlantic and living up to the forecasts of this being the worst in more than 30 years, operations at the Port of Cape Town were adversely affected.

Strong gusting winds reaching [restrict] between 60 and 90 km/h caused havoc across the city and adjacent regions, with the rooves of houses being blown off and several properties collapsing. At least eight fatalities were recorded by last evening.

All schools across the city were closed for the day and people were told to remain inside their homes if at all possible.

The port meanwhile was closed and remained windbound for the remainder of the day.

Limited train services operated but the Cape Town International Airport remained open with no flights affected during the day. However, as the storm was expected to intensify later in the day (yesterday) those intending to fly were being advised to check with their airlines.

The Cape Town Container Terminal was unable to continue with container movement operations owing to the gusting winds which prevented the cranes from operating. Operations on the landside continued as best as possible but were made difficult by the driving rain.

Port tugs were on standby throughout the day to go to the aid of any ships in port in need of assistance.

Outside the harbour the swells, made worse by the full moon and spring tides, were forecast to reach up to 12 metres.

The rain and winds are expected to drop today and the extreme weather should begin improving, according to the SA Weather Service.

stormy seas approaching Cape Town in maritime news


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The Navigator, in Maritime News

The Nautical Institute is focusing on the vital subject of mentoring in the latest edition of The Navigator.

This issue explores how mentoring can, and has, enhanced careers and best practice.

Author of The Nautical Institute’s publication Mentoring at Sea – the 10 minute challenge, Captain Andre Le Goubin, contributes an article on how mentoring complements training and why the tradition must be continued.

To encourage others to engage in practical mentoring, The Nautical Institute is asking readers to share their stories by e-mailing:

Emma Ward, Editor of The Navigator, commented: “Life works better when…[restrict] we all pull together, and life at sea is no exception. Being able to share and benefit from each other’s knowledge for the good of the entire crew is a wonderful thing and should be encouraged. That is why we are focusing on this important topic in this issue of The Navigator.”

David Patraiko, Director of Projects for The Nautical Institute, added: “Mentoring at sea doesn’t just improve safety and better commercial services, it also improves life on board. This simple act of kindness can reduce social isolation, help overcome language and cultural barriers and generally improve your working and living environment.”

The Navigator is produced by The Nautical Institute with support from the Royal Institute of Navigation. It is available free in print, as a digital magazine or on The Navigator App. A supporting blog can be found at

Printed copies are currently distributed alongside The Nautical Institute’s membership magazine, Seaways, as well as through missions and maritime training establishments.

Readers are invited to sign up their organisation as a distributor at[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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map:, in maritime news

Exports of Nigerian Forcados crude oil has recommenced for the first time in 16 months, boosting the country’s total exports to around 1.8 million barrels a day.

This follows…[restrict] the lifting by Royal Dutch Shell of force majeure on the Forcados exports, meaning that the West African country has a further 200,000 – 240,000 bpd being exported.

Nigeria is at present exempt from OPEC output cuts and Nigerian officials say they want to have returned to the 1.8 million bpd level before joining those cuts. OPEC ad a number of other oil exporting countries not members of the organisation have extended output cuts of 1.8m bpd until March next year.

Shell’s Forcados has been under force majeure since February 2016 following a series of militant and criminal attacks on the export pipeline.[/restrict]

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South Korean Navy destroyer ROKS CHOI YOUNG in maritime news
South Korean Navy destroyer ROKS CHOI YOUNG DDH981

Brussels — The Republic of Korea warship, ROKS Choi Young, has been deployed as part of EU NAVFOR off the coast of Somalia. The invaluable cooperation between the Republic of Korea and European Union warships is helping to strengthen maritime security to keep seafarers safe as they transit the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

ROKS Choi Young is a Sun-sin class destroyer and entered service in September 2008. Equipped with the latest military and surveillance technology, she is perfectly suited to counter-piracy operations.

Commenting on what was the second integration of ROKS Choi Young to EU NAVFOR, Operation Atalanta’s Force Commander, Rear Admiral Rafael Fernández-Pintado Muñoz-Rojas said “By cooperating with the Republic of Korea Navy, we were able to show how EU NAVFOR develops its understanding of the maritime security situation off the coast of Somalia by talking to local coastal communities and conducting surveillance at sea. This in turn enabled the Republic of Korea Navy to assess how their capabilities can be best employed to contribute to Operation Atalanta’s counter-piracy efforts and importantly, to pass this knowledge on to the next Republic of Korea warship that will participate in EU NAVFOR.”

During the last week ROKS Choi Young and EU NAVFOR warships cooperated at sea to carry out combined operations and training.

The commander of the Republic of Korea fleet, Vice Admiral Jung Jin-sup stated: “The first combined operation between the Cheonghae unit and EU NAVFOR at the end of February was highly successful and this further coordination has taken our cooperation a step further.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of EUNAVFOR Atalanta.

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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.


Fairmaster. Picture: Trevor Jones, in maritime news
Fairmaster. Picture: Trevor Jones

The heavy-lift carrier vessel FAIRMASTER (16,200-gt) sails from Durban with an impressive-looking load on her deck, making for the high seas after a bunker call at the port this week (next port is Vitoria). Fairmaster is 153 metres long and 27.4m wide and is, as her hull marking indicates, operated and managed by JUMBO Shipping Co SA of The Netherlands. The remarkable ship was built at the Brodosplit shipyard in Croatia in 2015. Together with her sister ship JUMBO KINETIC, they form Jumbo’s K-class of heavlift specialist ships each having two Huisman mast cranes with a lifting capacity of 1500 metric tons, giving each ship a combined lifting capacity of up to 3,000 metric tons. The ship’s design features rotating remote-operated mast cranes, bridge forward, shallow draught, twin propellers for enhanced manoeuvrability, floatable hatch covers and ice classed Finnish 1A. This picture is by Trevor Jones



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