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Cepheus Leader in Durban harbour. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cepheus Leader. Picture: Keith Betts

NYK Line’s Ro-Ro car carrier CEPHEUS LEADER (62,571-GT) is seen in this picture on her berth at Durban’s car terminal, berth R, which lies at the base of the T-Jetty. NYK operates with a fleet of 119 Ro-Ro car carriers and carries more than 3.6 million motor cars around the world each year of which the Leader class forms a prominent role within the fleet. Cepheus Leader was built in 2006 at the Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding yard in Toyohashi, Japan. The 200-metre long ship as a maximum capacity of 6,200 motor cars. This picture is by Keith Betts

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Cosc Asia, appearing in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
Cosco Asia. Picture: Shipspotting

China has ambitious plans of including three ocean-based ‘blue economic passages’ that will connect Asia with Africa, Oceania, Europe and beyond, in a bid to advance maritime cooperation under the Belt and Road [New Silk Road] Initiative.

The proposal is included in “Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative,” which was released on Tuesday this week by the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Oceanic Administration, reports Xinhua.

China is willing to engage in…[restrict] all-dimensional and broad-scoped maritime cooperation and build open, inclusive cooperation platforms with countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, promoting mutually beneficial “blue partnerships” and forging a “blue engine” for sustainable development, according to the document.

The three blue economic passages will be priority maritime cooperation tasks.

China's One Belt, One Road, appearing in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
China’s One Belt, One Road

The China-Indian Ocean-Africa-Mediterranean Sea blue economic passage, will run westward via the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, and link with the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, and connect with the China-Pakistan, and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridors.

The China-Oceania-South Pacific passage will run southward via the South China Sea into the Pacific Ocean, while another economic passage is also envisioned linking Europe via the Arctic Ocean.

The document called on countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to focus on “sharing blue space and developing the blue economy,” which will target issues such as marine environment protection, marine interconnectivity, maritime security and common oceanic governance.

China will adhere to the Silk Road Spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefits, shelving differences and building consensus, said the document, which was an outcome of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in May.

The nation also promised to abide by market rules and international norms, giving play to the primary role of enterprises.

The document stressed joint development and benefits sharing among participating countries. “We will plan together, develop together and share the fruits of cooperation,” it said. Source: Xinhua[/restrict]

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GPHA's new Board of Directors,appearing in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
GPHA’s new Board of Directors

Ghana’s Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah has inaugurated and sworn-in an 11-member board of directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), the authority has announced.

Members of the Board include Paul Asare Ansah, Director General, GPHA, Edward Osei, Director of Tema Port, Capt Ebenezer Afadzi, Director of Takoradi Port and Twumasi-Ankra Selby, Chief Director, Ministry of Transport.

Other members include [restrict] Ms Benonita Bismarck, CEO of Ghana Shippers Authority, Nana Dr Appiahagyei Dankawoso I, John Essel, Ghana Railway CEO, Hon. Eunice Jacqueline Buah, a Member of Council of State and Samuel Arhin, representing the Staff Union of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

Peter Mac Manu, the former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party and immediate past chairman of the NPP campaign team was appointed as the Chairman of the Port Authority’s Board of Directors.

The Minister of Transport instructed the new board to play its role in ensuring that the the timely intervention of the ongoing expansion projects at the ports of Tema and Takoradi to cater for the increasing volumes of cargo as well as handle bigger vessels.
The Transport Minister entreated the board to come up with policies to improve doing business at the ports.

Peter Mac Manu, the Board Chairman of the GPHA Board of Directors said on behalf of the Board that they will strive to initiate policies and programmes that will reduce turnaround time of vessels, speed-up cargo clearing and improve general efficiency at the Port. source: GPHA[/restrict]

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CMV's Columbus, appearing in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
CMV’s Columbus

After spending three weeks in the Damen dry dock Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has welcomed their new flagship COLUMBUS into the fleet.

The ship was launched from the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in 1988 as Sitmar’s FAIRMAJESTY but entered service with Princess Cruises as STAR PRINCESS the following year. In 1997 she transferred to P&O Cruises who renamed her OCEAN VILLAGE. When the cruise company Ocean Village ceased operating the ship went back into P&O service, this time with P&S Australia who renamed the ship PACIFIC PEARL.

Now she has been transferred to CMV and renamed once again, this time as COLUMBUS. Last week CMV said they were thrilled to welcome her as their new flagship. In service she will cater for up to 1,400 people. Her renaming ceremony saw godmother to the ship Angela Rippon CBE performing the honours.

She reminded everyone present that Columbus discovered the New World of the Americas on 12 October 1492. “12th October is also my birthday,” she said.

Columbus pool deck. in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
Columbus pool deck

Columbus will cruise year round from Tilbury. She sailed in glorious sunshine on 11 June on her maiden three night cruise with CMV to Amsterdam and Antwerp, with a brass band and confetti cannons to bid her bon voyage before taking up her schedule of cruises to the Norwegian Fjords, British Isles, Iceland, Baltic Cities, Canary Islands & Madeira, Scottish Highlights & Faroes, Spain, Portugal, France & Gibraltar and a spectacular 46-night voyage to Cuba, Central America & the Caribbean.

Triton Cape Sea Travel, who represent CMV in South Africa, says there is limited availability on these cruises but invites readers to enquire HERE for details.

Columbus joins the CMV fleet that includes the cruise ships Magellan, Marco Polo, Astor and Astoria giving CMV’s lower bed ocean fleet capacity to almost 5,000 berths.

Triton Cape Sea Travel booking hotline is 021 443 9030

“Book before 1st July 2017 and take advantage of our Buy One Get One Free deals for Summer 2018 cruises.”

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DEME dredger at Monrovia, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Liberia’s National Port Authority (NPA) announced this week that dredging of the Freeport of Monrovia has been completed to a depth of 13.5 metres, and in some places to 14.5 metres.

The port will now be able to handle much…[restrict] larger ships and increased cargo levels, while providing safer navigation.

The dredging contract was handled by a Norwegian company, Nordsee, which is a subsidiary of the Dredging Environment Marine International (DEME Group).

The port previously underwent dredging in 2012 to a depth of 11.5 metres, thus demonstrating how rapidly the requirements of a modern port in the West African region have changed. Silting of the entrance channel had also occurred, narrowing the channel and further limiting vessels that could call. This has been restored to the correct width.

Also dredged is the water alongside the new Fuel Unloading Facility (FUF) which is nearing completion.

The NPA’s managing director, David F William said that maintenance dredging will take place every two years in future, instead of the five years observed until now. He said that as a consequence of the recent dredging programme, cargo throughput at the port was expected to rise, with bigger, wider ships calling safely at the port.[/restrict]

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Naval visits in Cape Town

INS Tarkash, London, May 2017, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
INS Tarkash in London in May this year

Two naval visitors to Cape Town are currently in port, though at different locations. The Chinese naval research ship DENG JIAXIAN is berthed at F berth and is due to sail today (22 June), while the Indian frigate INS TARKASH (F50) has gone to the V&A where she will be more easily available to the visiting public.

INS Tarkash arrived this week from Walvis Bay. The vessel is equipped with…[restrict] anti-ship missiles, advanced surface-to-air missiles, 100-millimetre medium range guns, close-in weapons systems, torpedoes and rocket launchers. INS Tarkash is attached to the Indian Navy Western Fleet based in Mumbai under the Western Naval Command.

Her current deployment is for two months sailing in the Atlantic and Western Indian Oceans. Her name Tarkash is Sanskrit for ‘Quiver’.

Chinese survey ship

Deng Jiaxiang, appearing in Afria Ports & Ships maritime news
Deng Jiaxiang

The Chinese Navy vessel in Cape Town, DENG JIAXIAN (874) is China’s latest hydrographic survey vessel, commissioned into service last year. She is 129 metres long and 17m wide and has an economic range of 15,000 nautical miles (at 15 knots). This is her first visit to South Africa. Deng Jiaxian is due to sail at 16h00 today (22 June).


Durban Pilot Helicopter sent to Richards Bay

Durban port helicopter. Picture: Terry Hutson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Durban port helicopter. Picture: Terry Hutson

The Durban port helicopter used to transfer marine pilots to ships arriving or departing has been relocated to Richards Bay and until further notice the Port of Durban will be making use of its pilot boat on a 24/7 basis. This action took place yesterday.

No explanation was provided for the move but the transfer of marine pilots (and ship surveyors) to vessels outside involves a greater distance than is the case in Durban. It is presumed that the Port of Richards Bay helicopter is down for maintenance.

Of a possible related issue, it is notable how few ship movements have been taking place in recent days at Durban. There are also a great many more ships in the outer anchorage off Richards Bay than off Durban, which is a complete reversal of roles.

Matola Terminal Upgrade

Subtech at Matola. appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Subtech has advised that they are involved with the Grindrod Matola terminal upgrade project at Maputo which is currently underway. The project will see the Grindrod terminal shut down for 19 days to allow Subtech to install new fender systems. Subtech is working on a 24/7 basis on this project. The photograph shows a few members of the Subtech Team standing on the first deck slab – a historic moment![/restrict]

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Svitzer Hermod, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Svitzer Hermod

Rolls-Royce and global towage operator Svitzer have successfully demonstrated the world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel in Copenhagen harbour, Denmark.

Earlier this year, one of Svitzer´s tugs, the 28m long Svitzer Hermod, safely conducted a number of remotely controlled manoeuvres. From the quay side in Copenhagen harbour the vessel’s captain, stationed at the vessel’s remote base at Svitzer headquarters, berthed the vessel alongside the quay, undocked, turned 360°, and…[restrict] piloted it to the Svitzer HQ, before docking again.

The companies have also signed an agreement to continue their cooperation to test remote and autonomous operations for vessels. The primary systems involved will be autonomous navigation, situational awareness, remote control centre and communication.

Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce, President – Marine who witnessed the event said; “It was an honour to be present at what I believe was a world first and a genuinely historic moment for the maritime industry. We’ve been saying for a couple of years that a remotely operated commercial vessel would be in operation by the end of the decade. Thanks to a unique combination of Svitzer’s operational knowledge and our technological expertise, we have made that vision a reality much sooner than we anticipated.”

world's first remotely-controlled commerical vessel, appearing in Africa PORTS 7 SHIPS maritime news
A remotely-placed captain demonstrates world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel

Kristian Brauner, Chief Technology Officer, Svitzer said; “Disruption through innovation is happening in almost every industry and sector and technology will also be transforming the maritime industry. As the largest global towage company, Svitzer is actively engaging in projects that allow us to explore innovative ways to improve the safety and efficiency of towage operations to benefit our customers and our crews. With its direct impact on our customer performance, operational cost and environmental footprint vessel efficiency remains a main driver now and going forward. We are proud to be partnering with Rolls-Royce in this high-level research and development of systems for remote operation.”

The Svitzer Hermod, a Robert Allan ship design, was built in Turkey at the Sanmar yard in 2016. It is equipped with a Rolls-Royce Dynamic Positioning System, which is the key link to the remote controlled system. The vessel is also equipped with a pair of MTU 16V4000 M63 diesel engines from Rolls-Royce, each rated 2000 kW at 1800 rpm.

The vessel also features a range of sensors which combine different data inputs using advanced software to give the captain an enhanced understanding of the vessel and its surroundings. The data is transmitted reliably and securely to a Remote Operating Centre (ROC) from where the Captain controls the vessel.

The Remote Operating Centre was designed to redefine the way in which vessels are controlled. Instead of copying existing wheelhouse design the ROC used input from experienced captains to place the different system components in the optimum place to give the master confidence and control. The aim is to create a future proof standard for the control of vessels remotely.

Lloyd’s Register’s Marine & Offshore Director, Nick Brown, commented: “Working on this project with Rolls-Royce and Svitzer and supporting them on the safe demonstration of the Svitzer Hermod is truly a landmark moment for LR and the industry. With autonomous ships likely to enter service soon, we have already set out the ‘how’ of marine autonomous operations in our ShipRight procedure guidance as it is vital these technologies are implemented in a safe way and there is a route for compliance.

“Lack of prescriptive Rules was no barrier for “de-risking” the project and we provided assurance against LR’s Cyber-Enabled Ships ShipRight Procedure, whilst considering the safety implications associated with the first closed demonstration. We are honoured to be working as partners on this ground-breaking project in the industry’s journey to autonomous vessels.”

Throughout the demonstration the vessel had a fully qualified captain and crew on board to ensure safe operation in the event of a system failure.[/restrict]

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World's largest container ship (for now), OOCL Hong Kong, Picture: Shipspotting, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
World’s largest container ship (for now), OOCL Hong Kong, Picture: Shipspotting

Speculation is mounting that the Chinese state-owned shipping group Cosco is poised to take over Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Ltd, the parent company of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL).

Amid the usual denials from both parties the stock is moving in accordance with the rumours and reports, the share price of Orient Overseas Ltd rising more than 9% in just two days this week. Reports suggest an announcement of the takeover will be made on 1 July, when China’s President Xi Jinping makes his first official visit as president to Hong Kong.

The speculation is accompanied by comments that mid-size OOCL will have little chance of competing with the giant groups now shaping in world container shipping and that consolidation with another group or groups is inevitable.

Should such an amalgamation take place, French shipping giant CMA CGM could find itself pushed out of third position in the unofficial rankings of container liner companies, making the Cosco/OOCL group next largest in capacity at 3.1 million TEU behind Maersk (number 1) and MSC.

In May this year OOCL, which is a member of the Ocean Alliance along with Cosco, CMA CGM and Evergreen, took delivery of the world’s largest container ship, the 21,413-TEU OOCL HONG KONG, which was described by chairman CC Tung as a bold step of operating bigger ships in order to stay relevant and to compete in terms of quality and efficiency. OOCL is a family-led container shipping company.

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While Africa’s cities are growing rapidly in population, they are developing informally as current urban planning has proven to be ineffective, and private development is often deterred by opaque or inappropriate regulations

Johannesburg — Researchers predict that in 2030, Lagos, Cairo and Kinshasa will each have to cater for over 20 million people, while Luanda, Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg will have crossed the 10 million mark. By 2035, close to 30 million people could live in Lagos alone, turning Nigeria’s commercial hub into the largest megacity on the continent.

While Africa’s cities are growing rapidly in population, they are developing informally as current urban planning has proven to be ineffective, and private development is often deterred by opaque or inappropriate regulations.

When it comes to investments in infrastructure, industrial and commercial structures, and affordable formal housing, African cities have, until now, failed to keep pace with the concentration of people. In Dar es Salaam, 28% of residents live at least three to a room; in Abidjan, that number rises to 50%; And in Lagos, Nigeria, two out of three people dwell in slums.

The World Bank’s African Cities report has also found that in cities like Antananarivo, Madagascar; Brazzaville, the Republic of the Congo; and Harare, Zimbabwe, non-contiguous built-up areas are scattered throughout the centre, with more than 30% of land within 5 kilometres of the city centre still left unbuilt.

In Ghana, buying land has often proved difficult when people often try and sell land that may not even be theirs. Others even end up building on land thinking they own it; only to find out when they need a loan that the land is not theirs.

Tackling the problem with land registration, Benben is a digital land registry and transaction system that was designed to solve a number of the inefficiencies in land administration currently experienced in Ghana, aiming to promote investment and encourage transparent property management in the region in future.

“With the inevitable population growth, African cities have an exciting opportunity to embrace technology to leapfrog ahead of the world in terms of affordable services and smart cities. Through adopting innovative technologies such as blockchain and AI there is the potential to uplift millions of people into prosperity and the formal economy,” comments Daniel Bloch, Co-founder, BenBen.

Springing African cities from this low development trap, how else can governments and institutions begin to properly address Africa’s need for better urban infrastructure and affordable housing? Are developers involved in real estate development in Africa looking at the right solutions, using architectural and planning approaches that are more than just mere carbon copies of cities elsewhere in the world?

“The problem of rapid urbanisation is a wicked problem that requires developers and their professional teams to think more systemically. We still find too many examples of Western products, systems and technology been implemented in Africa that is not appropriate for our conditions. We need to ensure that whatever we implement has an African lens applied to it. We need to have empathy and place our people at the centre of everything we do. We call this African design innovation.” Abbas Jamie, Director Innovation and Transformation Aurecon Africa

Over the next 20 years, the rapid growth of Africa’s urban populations is expected to thrust new demand for infrastructure, housing and other physical structures, and amenities. To meet this new demand, city leaders and planners need adaptable strategies.

Providing a forum for experts, town planners, city municipalities and Africa’s largest real estate and built environment developers and investors to debate and craft a vision of what an African city should look like, the API Summit & Expo 2017 ( Future Cities Africa sub-conference will look at how African governments and institutions can help formalize land markets, clarify property rights, and better leverage off land values to finance Africa’s urban development.

“As Africa faces a new reality, we must accept that the continent cannot move forward without proper discussions around the planning, infrastructure and urban development requirements of African cities in order for them to thrive and grow. New to the API Summit & Expo 2017, the Future Cities Africa sub-conference will take an in depth look into how African Cities can better open its doors to the world while creating more economically dense and inclusive urban areas,” says Kfir Rusin, Managing Director for API Events (

“In order for African cities to bridge the economic, socio-political gaps they currently face, we need to pay special focus on how we can create sustainable, connected cities. Without them, Africa’s growth and development will remain sluggish, and uncertain. The answers to these key issues will not only help to develop Africa’s future cities, but will ultimately have a positive influence on the growth of the real estate market for the rest of the continent,” Rusin concludes.

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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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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Josco Dezhou arriving in Durban. Picture by Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Josco Dezhou. Picture: Keith Betts

The bulk carrier JOSCO DEZHOU (61,657-dwt) arrived in the Port of Durban earlier this month. Built in 2014 the bulker is owned and operated by Josco, based in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Josco is an acronym of Jiangsu Ocean Shipping Company, an ocean shipping and international forwarding company since 1980, which operates with a fleet of a little more than 20 ships. Josco Dezhou was built at the COSCO Nantong Shipyard in Nantong, China and flies the flag of Hong Kong. This picture is by Keith Betts



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