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Grande Spagna by Keith betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Grande Spagna. Picture: Keith Betts

On a recent visit to Europe, Durban ship enthusiast and avid photographer Keith Betts took time off from other purposes to capture some of Europe’s shipping on film. One of these shots is Grimaldi Line’s Ro-Ro vehicle carrier GRANDE SPAGNA (37,726-gt) resplendent in her company colours. This was at Teneuzen in Holland on 3 June 2017 at 12h42 as the ship was sailing for Antwerp. She returned the following day at 20h00 with the sun still shining bright but low directly on her bow – the ship being one of a group of five approaching from Antwerp. The times are given to demonstrate the turnaround time in port. Grande Spagna was built in 2002 at the Uljanik Shipyard in Pula, Croatia as hull number 439. As appropriate to her owners, the ship is flying the Italian flag, her registry port being Palermo. She is 176 metres long and 31m wide and her carrying capacity is 4,500 motor cars. This picture is by Keith Betts

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Theresa Arctic aground off Kenya coast 20 June 2017, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Theresa Arctic, aground on Kenya coast

MOMBASA, Kenya: Salvage efforts are underway to first lighten and then refloat a products tanker that has gone aground off the Kenya coast.

The 84,000-dwt THERESA ARCTIC (built 1988) ran aground last week Tuesday off the Kenyan Kilifi coast in position 03 39S 039 53E and is caught firmly on a reef, according to reports. This is opposite the Kilifi Creek and approximately 55 nautical miles from Mombasa.

Dutch salvage firm…[restrict] Smit Salvage has been appointed to help refloat the tanker and has been working at removing the vessel of her cargo of vegetable oil (27,500 tons, but some reports say 46,000 tons). Smit is being assisted by local Kenyan firm Alpha Logistics.

Theresa Arctic, aground off Kenya coast, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Theresa Arctic seen from the coast

Four tugs have been in attendance.

According to a Kenya Ports Authority spokesman, Bernard Osero, an attempt may be made today (18 June) to refloat the tanker. So far no spillage has been reported.

As far as is known the crew has remained on board – there are no reports of any injuries.

Theresa Arctic, owned by Singapore interests and managed by Raffles Shipmanagement also of Singapore, was sailing from Port Klang when she went aground, and was heading for Mombasa.

The tanker is a regular caller at East African ports.[/restrict]

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eMendi, admin buiklding for Port of Ngqura, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
New admin building at Port of Ngqura

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa: Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at the Port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape has officially opened its new administration building, which represents an investment of R255 million into the economy of the Eastern Cape Province.

The name of the new five storey administration building was revealed by TNPA Chief Executive Richard Vallihu, Chief Operating Officer Phyllis Difeto, and Ngqura Port Manager Tandi Lebakeng at a special event on Friday, 23 June 2017 attended by port employees.

The building is to be known as eMendi, in reference to the SS Mendi troopship that sunk in the English Channel 100 years ago carrying well over…[restrict] 800 servicemen, the majority of whom were black South Africans.

Vallihu said the new 10,000m2 building would cater for Ngqura’s growing human resources as the port continues to expand. Ngqura is positioning itself as a major container transhipment hub for sub-Saharan Africa and an important link connecting trade between South America and Asia.

Such capital expenditure forms part of TNPA’s contribution to Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy which is now in its fifth year of implementation.

Left to right: Velile Skosana from Transnet Group Capital hands over a symbolic key to Tandi Lebakeng, TNPA’s Ngqura Port Manager, Richard Vallihu, Chief Executive of TNPA, and Phyllis Difeto, Chief Operating Officer of TNPA.appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Left to right: Velile Skosana from Transnet Group Capital hands over a symbolic key to Tandi Lebakeng, TNPA’s Ngqura Port Manager, Richard Vallihu, Chief Executive of TNPA, and Phyllis Difeto, Chief Operating Officer of TNPA.

“This is not just a staff building but a platform for us to provide effective, efficient and economic port services at the Port of Ngqura. Transnet builds localisation into each of its contracts in order to foster economic growth and create jobs, and this project has certainly done so in the Eastern Cape,” he said.

Other projects within a recent R700 million capacity installation investment at Ngqura included construction of the port’s administration craft basin for pilot boats and tugboats, and the vacuum based automated mooring system which was introduced as a first for an African port.

Ngqura Port Manager Tandi Lebakeng said the new administration building was still on track for a 4-star green rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

“We are very proud of this truly world-class building that is poised to become one of the premier ‘green’ buildings in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, [Port Elizabeth]” she said.

Green building concepts incorporated in the design including rainwater harvesting, solar panels and light motion sensors in certain areas. The building’s large window areas allow it to take advantage of the port’s panoramic views and natural lighting flowing into the building thereby reducing the need for electrical lighting.

A lime kiln, dating back some 65 years is located outside the port side of the atrium and has been declared a heritage site. As such the lime kiln has been protected against damage during construction.

All Ngqura projects are subject to lengthy environmental assessment, design and tender stages to ensure that they comply with the strict conditions governing Ngqura’s operations in this environmentally sensitive area. TNPA controls and administers the port on behalf of the State.

With capacity to house 205 staff, the administration building is divided into east and west wings, separated by an atrium which extends the full height of the building and is serviced by two circular scenic lifts. An impressive Porte Cochere at the entrance welcomes both staff and visitors. Quality internal finishes and fixtures can be seen throughout.

newadmin building at Port of Ngqura, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

In each wing are offices, as well as other facilities such as a gymnasium, canteen, boardrooms, training rooms, a Port Operations Centre and staff rest areas. The building includes a basement comprising parking bays as well as storage and plant rooms. There is also an open parking area outside.

Lebakeng said 154 jobs had been created during the construction phase of the admin building and admin craft basin. Forty eight of these jobs have been created for Black youth, while 285 skills Eastern Cape employees are also benefiting from skills development programmes associated with these projects.

“In addition, 15 SMMEs in the Eastern Cape have been engaged to provide materials, equipment and services which is a further injection into the local economy,” she said.

The next milestone at the port would be the opening of its R332 million administration craft basin scheduled for completion later in 2017. This new facility at the root of the eastern breakwater in the port basin will allow for docking of marine craft such as pilot boats and tugboats, as well as various vessels belonging to SAPS and SANPARKS.[/restrict]

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Maersk IT systems at Rotterdam among those affected by Petya virus, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk IT systems at Rotterdam among those affected by Petya virus

DENMARK: Maersk has confirmed that its IT systems are down across multiple sites and business units after a cyber-attack that swept across large parts of Europe and elsewhere.

It appears that certain large international companies were targeted, and have included…[restrict] Russia’s biggest oil company Rosneft and metals giant Evraz, the Ukraine central bank and that country’s airport and power utility, and Ukraine government departments, the UK advertising company WPP, a French construction firm Saint Gobain, and businesses in Spain. The Russian Home Credit Bank has been forced to close all its branches because of the Ransomware attack.

It is being reported that more and more companies are acknowledging that they too have been targeted in one of the most devastating cyber attacks.

Maersk said in a statement that: “We can confirm that Maersk IT systems are down across multiple sites and business units due to a cyber-attack. We continue to assess the situation. The safety of our employees, our operations and customer’s business is our top priority. We will update when we have more information.”

According to other unconfirmed reports Maersk and APM Terminals operation in the UK, Venezuela, Panama and New York and New Jersey are affected – the attack may have affected other Maersk operations elsewhere and at least one claim of Ransomware demanding payment by Bitcoin from an US East Coast APM Terminal has been made.

The attack commenced in the Ukraine and by Tuesday (yesterday) was still spreading across the world. It is believed to be composed of Ransomware – malicious software that shuts down a computer system before making exorbitant demands, usually in Bitcoin, to restore the affected systems.

A screenshot posted by a Ukraine TV station, Channel 24 carried an image claiming the following: “If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible, because they have been encrypted. Perhaps you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but don’t waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.”

A similar message is reported as having appeared on computer screens at Maersk’s Rotterdam offices.

The cyber-attack, which appears to be a modified form of the ‘Wannacry’ virus, has been dubbed ‘Petya’. The ‘Wannacry’ virus is said to be a derivation of code developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and subsequently leaked. [/restrict]

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Columbus at Damen Rotterdam, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Columbus at Damen Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, 26 June 2017: Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (DSR), part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has completed maintenance and repair works on the newest member of CMV’s fleet, the cruise ship COLUMBUS.

The full scope of works was concluded within a tight timescale, thus ensuring that the vessel could sail to the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury, UK in time for her naming ceremony and inaugural cruise.

Several CMV vessels – the Astor, Marco Polo and the Magellan, for example – have made calls at various Damen repair yards in the past. The sheer size of the Columbus, however, meant that DSR was the suitable yard of choice in this instance.

“Not only is the Columbus 245 metres long, she also has a draught of 8.2 metres,” explains DSR Project Manager Vincent van Rulo. “For such vessel dimensions, the facilities that we have here at DSR are ideal. We feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to work with CMV’s latest addition to the fleet.”

All-round maintenance

Columbus arrived at the Rotterdam yard on 13 May and departed just over three weeks later on 5 June. With the overall aim of bringing the vessel into line with CMV’s high operational standards, Damen carried out a comprehensive scope of maintenance and repair jobs. “After docking, we started straight away with a complete painting programme. This included the application of the company logos and markings of the new owners.”

Technical aspects included maintenance of the main engines, generators and thrusters as well as polishing of the ship’s propellers. Numerous valves and pipelines of various ship’s systems were maintained and renewed or modified if required. The work also included maintenance of all lifeboats, tenders and davits in addition to cleaning and repair of ship’s tanks.

Crew cooperation

“The key part of this contract was that we had a fixed timescale – Columbus had to be in Tilbury for her naming ceremony and then to receive her first guests on 11 June,” Mr van Rulo notes.

“This called for anticipation and fast reaction to all issues that we came across.” Such issues were diverse in nature; ranging from organising the repair of the ship’s washing machines to the inspection and calibration of the passenger embarkation security and detection systems.

The complexity of the project was heightened due to the fact that up to 700 crew members were staying on board while the ship was docked at the yard. This substantial team of people was carrying out refitting and refurbishment of the vessel’s accommodation, shops, restaurants and recreational areas. Their work also included handling the final supplies and other preparations for the vessel’s first cruise.

“While this added to the logistical challenges of the project, we had good communication and organised everything with the ship’s crew so that we all could get the job done within the timeframe,” says Mr van Rulo.

Opening cruise

Since leaving Rotterdam, Columbus is currently sailing on her first cruise under the CMV flag. “We are very pleased with this new addition to our fleet – Columbus has been well received by her first guests and the industry as a whole,” says CMV Chief Executive Officer Christian Verhounig. “And, once again, we are very happy with the work that Damen Shiprepair has achieved in such a short space of time.”

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Rob Davies, Trade & Industry Minister, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Rob Davies, Trade & Industry Minister

PRETORIA, 27 June 2017: The newly launched Musina Intermodal Terminal (MIT) is expected to be a huge boost to the regional economic integration and to the Special Economic Zones Programme.

The terminal, which was launched on Monday, is aimed at the containerised cargo market and the transportation of mineral ores such as coal, iron ore, chrome, copper and sulphur, maize and tomatoes, as well as citrus which contributes immensely to the regional economic integration in the SADC region.

The MIT is also one of…[restrict] the key support facilities for the newly designated Musina-Makhado SEZ, especially the Energy and Metallurgical Cluster with an investment of over R40 billion in at least eight large scale industrial projects including a power station, a coking coal plant, ferrosilicon plant, a steel plant, and a stainless steel plant.

Once fully implemented the zone is expected to create a total employment of more than 20,000.

Speaking at the launch, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the MIT speaks to a number of policies of government and the promotion of regional economic integration.

“The SEZ will significantly increase industrial production in the region. This will include steel and related inputs for producing steel and stainless steel, as well as increasing mining development and production. The SEZ will thus increase trade between South Africa and its neighbours. Regional integration will also be deepened,” said Minister Davies.

He said the project was designed to improve trade which is key to the regional integration agenda.

According to the Minister, it further speaks to the goals of moving up the value chain and industrialisation of the country.

Minister Davies also announced that the Southern African Development Community tariff agreement with the east corridor would be finalised in July 2017, adding that it was going to present new trading opportunities and open new markets for trading.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of MIT Morley Nkosi described the project as that which will accelerate economic growth and development in the region, driving increased foreign and domestic direct investment, increased value-added exports, creation of jobs, and the building of industrial clusters and regional industrial hubs.

He added that the intermodal movement of cargo from road to rail and vice versa will result in reduced carbon emissions, logistics costs and road congestion, as approximately 62 000 vehicle trips per annum are removed from the region’s roads. source:[/restrict]

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HMS Protector. Picture: Crown Copyright, MoD, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
HMS Protector. Picture: Crown Copyright, MoD

GHANA: The Royal Navy Antarctic patrol ship HMS PROTECTOR, which recently spent several months on lay-by in Cape Town harbour, has completed a seven-day visit to Ghana during which sailors and Royal Marines demonstrated both the ship and her hi-tech equipment to various interested parties, government officials, young people and Ghanaian military personnel.

Assisting with the demonstrations was a UK Border Force contingent that took part in the…[restrict] assisting of training of Ghanaian maritime security forces.

The UK Border Force has a squad based in the West African country and the arrival of the naval ship enabled authentic board and search instruction for members of the Ghanaian Joint Port Control Unit.

The underlying factor in this training is the threat of piracy which occurs in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Ghanaian maritime security forces were able to conduct exercises involving scrambling up the sides of the vessel to commence a systematic search of the ship.

HMS Protector’s 1st Lieutenant, Lt Cdr Matt Lindeyer described the exercise as unusual for the ship. “We are far more used to the cold and desolate environment of Antarctica,” he said.

HMS Protector has been away from the UK for 18 months and won’t return to the UK until she has completed a third season in the Antarctic in 2018. Her crew however is rotated on a regular basis, one third of them at a time.

The ship will be continuing operations off the west African coast but mostly south of the Equator.[/restrict]

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SAMSA Chief Operating Officer, Sobantu Tilayi, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SAMSA Chief Operating Officer, Sobantu Tilayi

PRETORIA, 27 June 2017: On Sunday, 25 June 2017, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) in partnership with the Department of Transport (DoT) marked the international Day of the Seafarer (DotS) in the rural town of Bizana in the Eastern Cape to empower more than 1,000 high school learners from the area with information of how they can enter the maritime economy.

The DotS, marked by the International Maritime Organisation, seeks to recognise and celebrate seafarers worldwide. This year was its 7th anniversary.

SAMSA in partnership other transport stakeholders including the DoT, eThekwini Maritime Cluster (EMC), South African International Maritime institute (SAIMI), Road Accident Fund (RAF), and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) set up a special exhibition on the day to expose the learners to the various career opportunities available in the maritime industry and the broader transportation industry.

The exhibition was followed by a Day of the Seafarer main event which was characterised by a series of moving lectures which sought to present the maritime industry as a viable career option to the learners.

Among the maritime sector stakeholders in attendance were Clement Manyungwana, Acting Deputy-Director General of the DoT; Phumlani Myeni, SAMSA Acting Chief Executive Officer and Sobantu Tilayi, SAMSA Chief Operating Officer.

In his address SAMSA Chief Operating Officer, Sobantu Tilayi, sought to inspire the learners in attendance to consider joining the more than 1,5 million community of seafarers worldwide.

“Life as we know it depends on shipping. At the core of the formation of civilization there has always been a need for transportation. This is an important career field for you to consider as the future generation of professionals.

“Seafarers are responsible for transporting about 90% of commodities – such as food items, clothing, cars – which we use in our everyday lives. Seafarers are a pivotal asset in the global trade economy,” continued Tilayi.

Tilayi added that benefits of seafaring could be lucrative.

“Seafarers don’t pay tax. Not only do they get to perform the admirable task of transporting important cargo which contributes in our daily living, they also get paid in dollars.”

At a press conference which followed the main event, Tilayi assured the media that current maritime jobs were sustained in the foreseeable future as the international maritime community, persuaded by the ‘African bloc’, recognised risks such as increased unemployment and piracy if they allowed the commercialisation of unmanned ships solely controlled by technology or robots and without any seafarers on board.

Clement Manyungwana, Acting Deputy-Director General of the DoT said that the aim is to make some contributions that can have an impact to the community here in Mbizana and outlying areas. “We would really like to make an impact on the livelihoods of young people through educational initiatives, maritime heritage, skills development and training opportunities that will ultimately make an impact in your lives,” continued Manyungwana

“To you, learners from the greater Alfred Nzo Education District under the Mbizana Local Municipality, you may have heard about the sea, maybe not, but I want to say to you today, the sea is a vibrant economical hub waiting to be explored.

“I invite you to go around the exhibition stalls here today to have a better understanding what the sea – the blue oceans economy stands to offer you,” asserted Manyungwana.

SAMSA activated this year’s social media campaign which can be accessed through the following social media platforms.

Page: Day of the Seafarer & South African Maritime Safety Authority

@SAMSAMARITIME under the hashtag: #SeafarersMatter #SAMSACares #OceansEconomy #SASeafarers

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The MBR antennae (in the red circle) is shown here on board the KV Bergen. Picture: Norwegian Coastal Administration, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The MBR antennae (in the red circle) is shown here on board the KV Bergen. Picture: Norwegian Coastal Administration

Norway is the first nation in the world to implement maritime broadband communication on ships and planes in public service. The system enables exchange of information that can be crucial in limiting damage when accidents occur.

The Norwegian companies Kongsberg Seatex and Radionor have teamed up to develop Maritime Broadband Radio (MBR). In contrast to previous systems, MBR is highly stable and with extensive reach. Among other capabilities, MBR enables streaming of HD-video.

MBR does not require an Internet connection to connect units in the network, though it is possible to transfer data from the network using Internet.

On board ships and aircraft

Maritime Broadband Radio, MBR, is also installed on the Coastal Administration’s surveillance plane LN- KYV. Picture: Kongsberg Seatex AS, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maritime Broadband Radio, MBR, is also installed on the Coastal Administration’s surveillance plane LN- KYV. Picture: Kongsberg Seatex AS

The Coastal Administration and NOFO (Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies) are the first in the world to deploy the Norwegian-developed and produced innovation. The Coastal Administration will install MBR on all its oil recovery vessels, and on 10 additional vessels with oil recovery equipment on board. NOFO will do the same with all its oil recovery vessels.

MBR is already installed on the surveillance aircraft LN-KYV, a joint initiative between the Coastal Administration, NOFO and the Norwegian Coast Guard.

Stronger oil recovery preparedness

appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

In the event of a critical oil spill, MBR will enable significantly faster and higher quality exchange of information between the various units engaged in a response effort. Images, maps and video can be transferred instantaneously, and response can be initiated based on a shared, real-time awareness of the situation.

“This is a significant improvement that allows us to communicate with all units participating in an oil recovery mission, and share the data without an Internet connection. MBR allows us to respond faster with the right actions,” says Kjetil Aasebø, senior advisor in the Coastal Administration.

For more information on Maritime Broadband Radio, contact Henning Langlete in Kongsberg Seatex:

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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.


Yu Peng by Trevor JOnes, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Yu Peng. Pictures: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Yu Peng. Pictures: Trevor Jones

We recently featured YU PENG (29,775-dwt, built 2016) (on 21 June) in our News Bulletins so before anyone rushes to remind us of this, we make no apologies for including another two images of this ship before she departs, for Yu Peng is an unusual and certainly a notable visitor, being a working training ship operating out of Dalian Maritime University in China. The 199.8-metre long ship is also China’s most modern training ship, of which that country employs several, and on this particular voyage to Africa was carrying 87 students.

Among the cargo carried by the ship to South Africa were four class 45 diesel-electric locomotives for Transnet Freight Rail, the second batch of a class which has received more than its fair share of publicity over perceived technical problems and accusations of possible corruption. The majority of this class of loco, numbering in the hundreds, will be built locally in South Africa, by the way.

These pictures were taken by Trevor Jones



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