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Peristil at Durban's Maydon Wharf. Picture: Terry Hutson in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Peristil. Picture: Terry Hutson

Jadroplov’s bulk carrier PERISTIL (52,113-dwt) at Durban’s Maydon Wharf berth 12. The Croatian company’s ships were once regular callers at Durban but of late their visits have become rarer, thus the sight of one of their ships working cargo on ‘the wharf’ was a most welcome one. Built in 2010 the bulker’s homeport is Split, where Jadroplov International MTME has its office. The 199-metre long, 32m wide bulker was built at the Brodosplit shipyard in Split as hull number 466 with the Handysize vessel being delivered to Jadroplov at the beginning of May 2010 and named three days later, 3 May of that year, the first of two sister ships. This picture is by Terry Hutson

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the future Porto Caio, appearing in Afria PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
artists impression of the Port of Caio


Construction of the Angolan port of Caio is proceeding to schedule and will be completed by 2020, according to the president of the management company Caio Porto, Jack Helton.

Helton explained to the Angolan news agency Angop that construction was still busy with the first phase, which consists mainly of dredging the area where the port will be built.

He said the deep-water port will…[restrict] consist initially of a 1,130-metre long quay capable of berthing up to four ships. Water depth alongside will be 16 metres to enable se of the larger container ships to make use of the port and container terminal.

The container terminal will have a quay 630-metres long for handling large size container ships. This will be connected with the mainland by a 2-kilometre long bridge.

The port will occupy an area of 2,500 hectares and will include warehouses, customs facilities, commercial establishments and workshops and ship repair services.

The port of Caio has been funded by a US$180 million loan from the Angolan Sovereign Fund and $600 million from the Chinese Export and Import Bank (Exim). Construction is being undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBD).[/restrict]

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Sutton Pride detained crew. Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Some of the crew of the Sutton Pride. Picture: Nautilus

Six seafarers who have been held in Angolan custody for three months on charges of fuel theft, have been released after a judge said there was no evidence against them.

The six men were detained in the port of Soyo in March this year. Two of the men are Croatians, while the others came from the Philippines, Russia and Ukraine. They were serving as seafarers on board the offshore service vessel SUTTON TIDE and were detained for being complicit in the theft of fuel, despite their not being officially charged.

The offshore vessel is owned by Sonatide, a joint venture between Tidewater and Angolan oil company Sonangol.

The men were denied…[restrict] legal representation and denied proper access to justice. Although not formally arrested they were denied leave to move around or to leave the country.

Nautilus International, an international trade union and professional organisation representing more than 22,000 maritime professionals, wrote to the Angolan ambassador to the UK to protest about the unjust treatment of the crew. General secretary Mark Dickinson said he was profoundly concerned at the plight of the Croatian, Filipino, Russian and Ukrainian seafarers, who were serving on the Vanuatu-flagged vessel Sutton Tide, and have been accused of being involved in the theft of fuel and held in the country since 5 March 2017.

In a letter to the Angolan embassy in London, Mr Dickinson appealed for action to end the ‘shocking’ ordeal of the crew as soon as possible. The seafarers say they fear for their lives, and one has attempted to commit suicide.

Mr Dickinson said there was ‘deeply disturbing’ evidence that the crew had been denied a wide range of fundamental human rights. “In particular, Nautilus is concerned by the evidence that the crew have not had the right to independent legal advice and representation and have not been given adequate information about the basis on which the investigation is being conducted,” he wrote. “Also very disturbing are the complaints that crew members have been pressured to sign documents which were not in their own language and that their vessel was searched under duress, with no explanation or justification given to them.”

The letter points out that criminalisation of merchant seafarers is a very important issue around the world, and there have been many incidents in recent times where the ship masters, officers and other crew members have been treated as scapegoats for accidents that have been far outside of their control or responsibility.

Nautilus said that against this background, the International Maritime Organization and the International Labour Organization had developed guidelines for the fair treatment of seafarers following maritime incidents. Countries around the world have been encouraged — since 2006 — to support the active implementation of these principles. “In the case of Sutton Tide, the information we have received indicates that the IMO/ILO guidelines have not been adhered to,” Mr Dickinson added.

“The guidelines state that investigations should be conducted in a ‘fair and expeditious manner’ — something which cannot be said to describe the course of this incident.

“In the absence of effective support from the ship’s owner and flag state, it is left to organisations representing seafarers to highlight this case and to appeal for justice to prevail,” he told the ambassador.

He said that as a country which is heavily reliant upon shipping and seafarers, Angola should be in the forefront of upholding international regulation and global principles.

“The shocking treatment of seafarers in such circumstances has a profoundly adverse impact on the recruitment and retention of maritime professionals and it is essential — given the multiple jurisdictions under which seafarers work — that they are recognised as a special category of worker entitled to fair treatment, protection against coercion and intimidation, and given access to legal, welfare and consular support.” source: Nautilus[/restrict]

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MV Kalangala on Lake Victoria. appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
MV Kalangala, one of the Lake Victoria ferries

Uganda has opted in favour of using Lake Victoria and water transport for moving fuel in future.

President Museveni said the transportation of fuel using barges to move fuel across Lake Victoria from Kisumu to Kampala would help bring down the cost of fuel by a substantial amount.

The president was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a fuel storage terminal at…[restrict] Bugiri-Bukasa in Wakiso District. He maintained that this would help reduce fuel costs by as much as 50%, thereby reducing the cost of doing business in Uganda.

“Investing in transporting fuel by water rather than road, these people have already calculated their equation that they will use only 50% of the costs spent on road,” Mr Museveni said.

He said that the terminal’s developer and investor, Mahathi Infra Uganda Limited (MIUL), will build the ships at Bugiri-Bukasa which will enable residents to acquire skills and employment.

Water transport is the cheapest means of transport, followed by rail transport, then the roads, he said.

“On land, we are working on the rail,” Museveni said, referring to several projects involving the construction of standard gauge railway lines to Mombasa and to Dar es Salaam.

Lake Victoria oil terminal project, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Lake Victoria oil terminal project

Uganda currently transports fuel by road from Mombasa to Kisumu and Kampala. Ravi Sankar Yandapalli, Mahati’s managing director said this comes with costs such as expensive fuel, road congestion, damage to roads requiring repairs, pollution, traffic accidents and uncertain supplies.

He maintained that transporting fuel by barges across the lake was much cheaper and safer and would help reduce road congestion.

The company will be building four vessels each capable of carrying 4.4 million litres of fuel which he said was the equivalent of using 200 trucks on the road. The vessels and terminal will be ready for business by September this year.

It was also pointed out that the majority of the road vehicles came from either Kenya or Somalia and that taxes paid by Shell and Total would in future be paid in Uganda.

In terms of the agreement with the Uganda government, MIUL has exclusive rights for the transport by barge across the lake for the next 10 years plus two years of implementation. source: The Monitor[/restrict]

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Rob Davies, SA minister of trade & industries, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
dti Minister Rob Davies

Pretoria – The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will lead an Outward Selling and Investment Mission to Kenya and Tanzania with the aim of increasing trade and investment between South Africa and the two countries.

A total of 27 local companies in the agro-processing, automotive, infrastructure, mining and capital equipment, chemicals, plastics and cosmetics sectors will be part of the mission that will get underway from next Monday, 26 June.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the mission will strengthen the already existing cordial relations between South Africa and both Kenya and Tanzania, respectively.

“Furthermore, the missions will honour commitments made by President Jacob Zuma during the State Visits to Kenya in October last year, and Tanzania last month to strengthen relations and explore investment and trade opportunities in two countries,” said Minister Davies.

He added that the investment mission is also in line with the dti’s strategic outcome-oriented goal of building mutually beneficial regional and global relations, in order to advance South Africa’s trade, industrial policy and economic development objectives.

Of the 27 companies that will partake in the investment mission, 20 have received assistance from the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme.

One of the objectives of the scheme is to increase export market access for South African products and services. The programme for the mission will include business seminars, site visits, mini exhibitions, and business-to-business meetings.

The other seven companies are funding themselves on the trip to Nairobi in Kenya, as well as to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The programme for the mission will include business seminars, site visits, mini exhibitions, and business-to-business meetings.

The mission, which will conclude on 30 June, will also enable South African companies to identify trade and investment opportunities in Kenya and Tanzania.

The mission will also provide a platform for South African companies to interact with businesspeople and consider ways in which cooperation, partnerships and joint-ventures could be established in order to explore these opportunities.

“The mission is also part of the dti’s integrated national export strategy aimed at developing new markets for South Africa’s value-added and manufactured goods, and services with an emphasis on Africa and the emerging markets.

“The dti is happy to be providing a platform that will bring businesspeople from South Africa with their counterparts from the two countries together to discuss ways in which they can contribute meaningfully in increasing trade and investment between our countries,” said Minister Davies. source:

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NRZ DE10 locomotives. Appearing if Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
NRZ DE10s on the Bulawayo-Mpopoma section.

Potential investors in the recapitalisation of National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) have carried out a four-day due diligence inspection of RZ’s various assets, reports The Herald.

The tour of assets follows a recapitalisation pre-bid conference held in Bulawayo last month.

According to NRZ public relations manager, Mr Nyasha Maravanyika, the inspection showed the investors’ seriousness in the parastatal’s US$400 million turnaround initiative.

“The potential investors visited various NRZ installations in Bulawayo, Sawmills, Dete and Gweru to…[restrict] familiarise themselves with the organisation’s operations as part of the recapitalisation bid process,” said Mr Maravanyika.

The Herald reported that the pre-bid conference was attended by more than 80 investors from various countries, including China, India, United Kingdom, Belgium, Malaysia and Dubai.

Maravanyika said NRZ technical staff were on hand to answer questions and queries from the potential investors as well as providing clarification. He said the tour began with a visit to the Bulawayo mechanical workshops, the central mechanical workshops, Mpopoma diesel running maintenance depots and Mpopoma repair siding.

“The Bulawayo mechanical workshops boast of the largest factory space in Zimbabwe and serve as the hub for repair of the organisation’s locomotives and wagons.” He said the investors were able to see the human skills at work within NRZ as they witnessed locomotives and wagons being repaired and refurbished in the workshops. “The next day, the visitors went to the central maintenance vehicles workshop, the bridge and structural workshop and the materials yard to see workshop facilities and their capabilities,” Maravanyika said.

The group also took a special train on the north section up to Dete, with stops at Sawmills to see areas that they may have interest in investing in including a re-railing (laying of a new rail) project on a section of that corridor rail. They also visited the centralised train control at Sawmills, which offers potential to investors interested in providing signalling equipment. “The last day saw the investors at Dabuka marshalling yards, near Gweru to inspect the track condition and the electrified section,” said Maravanyika.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is reported to have ordered police to reduce the number of roadblocks, which put off tourists and anger local Zimbabweans because of the demands for bribes and fines.

Not all in Zimbabwe are convinced however.

Home Affairs Deputy Minister Obedingwa Mguni has been quoted as saying, “Two weeks ago, President Mugabe chaired a meeting that resolved that roadblocks must be reduced… … but we said it is not easy to balance quality service versus compliance because we need not loosen our security when giving services.”

Some think these comments will be taken as approval for the traffic cops to carry on with their roadblocks, in which ordinary road users, including long-distance transport vehicles, are regularly fleeced.

Meanwhile, the railway is a pale shadow of the once highly efficient and admired NRZ of earlier times and Zimbabwe desperately needs the financial input and knowhow of these potential investors if it is to return to even a semblance of its past glory.[/restrict]

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Ballast Water treatment. Picture: IMO, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Picture: IMO

The global shipping industry – as represented by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – has urged its global regulator, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to back a carefully crafted proposal, from a broad coalition of governments, concerning the implementation dates for installing complicated new ballast water treatment systems.

“If this pragmatic proposal is agreed, this would allow shipping companies to identify and invest in far more robust technology to the benefit of the marine environment” said ICS
Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.

ICS says that this IMO decision on dates, to be taken by…[restrict] a meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee during the first week of July – just two months before the entry into force of the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention on 8 September 2017 – will be critical, having significant implications for around 40,000 existing ships.

The BWM Convention, as currently drafted, requires existing ships to retrofit the complex new systems by their first International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) survey following the global entry into force of the new regulations.

Under a proposal by Brazil, Cook Islands, India, Norway, Liberia and United Kingdom, implementation would be delayed for existing ships by pushing back the date they are required to start fitting ballast water management systems by a further two years to the date of their first IOPP renewal survey on or after 8 September 2019. This would extend the date by which all ships must have installed a system to 2024 from 2022.

This proposal is fully supported by ICS and its member national shipowners’ associations.

ICS insists there is no logic, from an environmental protection standpoint, in requiring thousands of ships in the existing fleet to comply until they can be fitted with systems that have been approved under the more stringent type-approval standards which were only adopted by IMO in 2016 (and which are about to be included in what will soon become a mandatory Code for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems).

ICS notes that these more environmentally robust standards will not become mandatory for new system approvals until October 2018 and that only systems being installed into ships from October 2020 will be required to have been approved in accordance with the new Code.

Additionally, because of a lack of confidence in the existing IMO type-approval process, and the previous uncertainty as to when the Convention would enter into force, very few existing ships have so far been retrofitted with the required treatment systems, creating a log jam in available yard capacity.

ICS says that apart from the possible shortage of shipyard and manufacturing capacity to retrofit around 40,000 systems, many shipping companies – through no fault of their own – face difficult decisions. They will potentially be required to install expensive new equipment that may not be guaranteed to operate correctly in all of the normal operating conditions they would reasonably be expected to face when ballasting and de-ballasting during worldwide service. These decisions are all the more difficult if the ships are approaching the end of their typical 25 year life.

“It is vital that IMO makes a definite decision about the implementation schedule at its meeting in July so that shipping companies have absolute clarity and can take sensible decisions about when to install these high cost systems in the best interests of the environment,” said Peter Hinchliffe.

ICS fully supports the intention of the BWM Convention, which is to address the problem of invasive marine organisms having damaging impacts on local ecosystems through their unwitting transportation in ships’ ballast tanks. But the Convention’s imminent entry into force presents ship operators with serious challenges because systems approved in accordance with the more stringent IMO standards adopted in 2016 are not yet available. source: ICS[/restrict]

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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Ria Mar arriving at Durban. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Ria Mar. Picture: Keith Betts

It is not only the giant ships that can attract attention on our coast and in our ports. Smaller, even quite diminutive vessels each have their own uniqueness and interest, as with this fishing vessel from Mozambique which arrived suddenly in Durban. Surprisingly for a fishing vessel, quite a lot of information is available for this vessel, such as her having Portuguese registration and been built at the Desconhecida Shipyard in Portugal in 2001. Ria Mar is 33 metres long and a gross tonnage of 353 tons. She is designed for trawling and long line fishing and normally operates out of Maputo in Mozambique. This picture is by Keith Betts



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