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Bow Triumph at Durban's Island View. Picture: Ken Malcolm, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Bow Triumph. Picture: Ken Malcolm

Set against a backdrop of the Vopak tank farm at Island View on Durban’s Bluff is the Odfjell oil and chemical products tanker BOW TRIUMPH (49,600-dwt). Built in 2015 at Hyundai Mipo Shipyard as their hull number 2380, Bow Triumph is one of about 76 tankers in the Odfjell fleet. Bow Triumph is registered in Bergen, Norway. Picture is by Ken Malcolm

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Transnet banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Transnet’s positive results announced yesterday (Monday 3 July) have confirmed the company’s sound financial position and strength in a subdued economic environment.

The results are largely driven by strong volumes in general freight, export coal and manganese, giving some indication that Transnet’s road-to-rail drive is enjoying success.

The results are for the year 2016/17 ended 31 March 2017.

Revenue for the year increased by…[restrict] 5.3% to R65.5 billion (2016: R62.2 billion), spurred by a 4.9% increase in general freight to 881 million tons (mt) (2016: 84 mt), a 2.4% increase in export coal volumes to 73.8 mt (2016: 72.1 mt) and a 24.3% jump in automotive and container volumes on rail to 9.2 mt (2016: 7.4 mt).

In addition, the company moved a record 12.1 mt in manganese volumes, a 17.5% jump from 10.3 mt in the previous year. This was driven by significant improvements in operational efficiencies, including creation of new loading and off-loading zones and a recovery in manganese prices.

The increase in revenue was dampened by price reprieves in excess of R600 million to struggling customers in an effort to stimulate the economy.

The volumes growth is a firm indication of Transnet’s progress in gaining rail market share, while continuously improving operational efficiency through the deployment of new generation locomotives and technological interventions.

Volumes on the iron ore line were affected by lower demand and equipment failure at the port.

Encouragingly, demand for Transnet Engineering’s products resulted in a 19.6% increase in external revenue to R1.6 billion (2016: R1.4 billion) despite a deteriorating economic outlook both locally and in the rest of the continent. The increase in revenue is in line with Transnet’s efforts to diversify sources of revenue into the rest of the African continent and beyond. The company is currently aggressively marketing its recently-launched Trans Africa locomotive which was designed, engineered and manufactured locally and is tailored for African conditions.

Port containers increased marginally by 0.7% due to weak consumer demand, while automotive export volumes went up 3%.

Management continued to proactively manage costs through limiting overtime, reducing professional and consulting fees and imposing a limit on discretionary costs. This resulted in a R2.4 billion saving in planned costs.

Transnet’s key measure of profitability, earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), increased by 5% to R27.6 billion (2016: R26.3 billion), surpassing the country’s economic growth rate, for the Transnet financial period, by more than seven times.

Cash generated from operations after working capital changes rose 16.4% to R32.8 billion (2016: R28.2 billion) reflecting the company’s strong cash generating capability. The Company’s ability to service debt remains secure with the cash interest cover ratio at 2.9 times (2016: 3.1 times) due to an increase in net finance costs. This is, however, significantly above the triggers in loan covenants.

A well-defined and diversified funding strategy enabled the Company to raise R17 billion for the year without government guarantees. Transnet has not tapped into government guarantees since 1998.

The funds were raised from the following sources:

* Development finance institutions – R5.5 billion

* Commercial paper and call loans – R7.6 billion

* Export credit agencies – R2.9 billion

* Domestic bonds – R1 billion

The company borrows debt on the strength of its financial position. During the year, Transnet renegotiated R29.1 billion of debt to lower and relax the credit rating default triggers to below sub-investment grade, in view of expected rating agencies’ downgrades.

In April 2017, Standard & Poor’s reviewed the company’s foreign currency rating to BB+ from BBB- and the local currency to BBB- from BBB, both with a negative outlook. This followed a similar action on the sovereign as Transnet is viewed to be closely linked to the Government. S&P however, maintained Transnet’s stand-alone credit profile at ‘bbb’, reflecting the company’s strong financial metrics as the company executes its multi-billion rand infrastructure investment programme.

The Group evaluated the potential impact of the credit ratings downgrade on its financial position, liquidity and solvency and expects no significant negative effect compared to previous estimates, as the probability of a credit ratings downgrade had already been considered.

The gearing ratio increased marginally to 44.4% (2016: 43.1%) due to the execution of the capital expenditure programme. This level is significantly below the triggers in loan covenants, reflecting available capacity for Transnet to continue with its investment strategy. The gearing ratio is not expected to exceed 50% over the medium term.

Transnet continued to execute its infrastructure investment programme, spending R2.4 billion in the year under review. This takes total investment under the Market Demand Strategy (MDS) to R145 billion in the past five years. Transnet expects to invest a further R229.2 billion, including R20 billion earmarked for mergers and acquisitions to diversify revenue streams through geographic expansion over the next seven years to 2023/24. The ten-year expectation, dependant on validated demand, is capital expenditure of between R340 billion and R380 billion.

Among the company’s significant investments is the acquisition of locomotives to modernise its fleet in anticipation of a rise in general freight volumes in the coming years. Transnet concluded locomotive acquisition contracts in 2014, which resulted in the acquisition of approximately 1,319 new locomotives for the general freight business and coal business over the MDS period. Overall, 452 locomotives have been accepted and contracts have been concluded as follows:

95 class 20E electric locomotives;

* 60 class 43 diesel locomotives;

* 100 class 21E electric locomotives; and

* 197 locomotives from the 1,064 locomotive programme have been accepted into operations, whilst four are currently undergoing acceptance testing.

Class 21E locomotive. Picture: Wikipedia Commons, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Class 21E locomotive. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

Other infrastructure investment highlights

* R2 billion invested in rail infrastructure

* R2.3 billion invested in the wagon build programme

* R137 million invested in expanding capacity for manganese beyond 5.5 mt, taking total investment to R811 million so far.

* R145 million invested in the coal line expansion to 81 mt, including the upgrade of yards, lines and electrical equipment.

* R28 million investment in the Waterberg upgrade Stage II to grow rail capacity to 6 mt through incremental upgrades of the existing rail networks and yards using additional loops, while maintaining the existing axle loads, electrical upgrades and improved train control systems.

* R1.5 billion investment in the New Multi-Product Pipeline. The 24″ main pipeline and 16″ inland pipelines have been fully commissioned and are operational, having transported 15 billion litres of diesel from Durban to the inland region since commissioning.

* R1 billion in the maintenance and acquisition of cranes, tipplers, dredgers, tugs, straddle carriers and other port equipment.

dredger Ilembe at work off Durban, picture by Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Dredger ILembe at work. Picture: Keith Betts

Transnet uses its capital investment programme to advance South Africa’s developmental objectives which include Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, supplier and enterprise development and skills development.

In the year under review, Transnet’s total recognised B-BBEE spend was R37 billion or 103.1% of Total Measured Procurement Spend of R35.8 billion (2016: R43.5 billion or 100.6% of R43.2 billion).

Regarding corporate social investment, R234 million was committed to sustainable community development programmes across the rural and needy communities of South Africa, in areas such as health, education, rural sports development and through grants and donations. More than 438 000 individuals benefitted from the health programme.

The Company spent 3.1% of its labour cost on training during the year, focusing on artisans, engineers and engineering technicians. Overall, 173 full-time engineering bursaries were awarded in various disciplines and 229 engineering technician trainees were given workplace experience opportunities. Sector-specific skills development continued to focus on maritime, rail and port terminal operations, with 1 813 learners participating in these programmes.

Going forward, Transnet says that management has adopted a new business model, Transnet 4.0, designed to reinvent the Company’s existing business model and operational philosophy to include expansion into the rest of Africa, Middle East and South Asia; to grow into a fully integrated logistics service provider with integrated solutions; and to strengthen manufacturing capability, while positioning Transnet as an Original Equipment Manufacturer in Africa.[/restrict]

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FAR, Gambia, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

3 July 2017: The Government of The Republic of The Gambia in West Africa has approved the assignment of an 80% interest in offshore Blocks A2 and A5 in The Gambia to FAR Limited (ASX: FAR) from the New York and Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed ERIN Energy Corporation.

The acquisition is a significant expansion of FAR’s exploration portfolio in the rapidly emerging offshore Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau Basin in West Africa.

The farm-in deal requires FAR to fund ERIN up to US$8 million through an exploration well expected to be drilled late in 2018.

Blocks A2 and A5 are adjacent to and on trend with FAR’s world class SNE oil field discovery and have significant exploration potential. The blocks cover an area of approximately 2,682km2 within the rapidly emerging and prolific Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau (“MSGB”) Basin and lie approximately 30km offshore in water depths ranging from 50 to 1,200 meters.

In combination, Blocks A2 and A5 have potential to contain prospective resources in excess of one billion barrels of oil (on an unrisked, best estimate, 100% basis).

From 1,504km2 of modern 3D seismic data acquired in the blocks, FAR says it has identified large prospects similar to the “shelf edge” plays FAR is targeting in Senegal. FAR has mapped three potentially drillable prospects and leads.

FAR and ERIN expect to undertake 3D seismic reprocessing and interpretation during 2017 in order to mature prospects for drilling in late 2018.

FAR will make an upfront payment of US$5.18 million and fund up to US$8.0 million of ERIN’s share of the cost of an exploration well. If ERIN’s share of the exploration well costs is less than US$8.0 million then the balance is to be paid in cash. FAR’s share of the cost of the exploration well is expected to be in the order of US$25.0 to US$30.0 million.

The well when drilled will satisfy the current period work commitments for Blocks A2 and A5. FAR has issued a parent company guarantee in favour of the Government of The Gambia in accordance with the Blocks A2 and A5 licence terms. ERIN will retain a 20% working interest in Blocks A2 and A5. The well, to be funded by FAR, is to be drilled before 31 December 2018 or such later date if the current licence periods are extended. The well can be carried out in either Block A2 or Block A5.

“FAR is very grateful to have received formal approval from the Government of The Republic of The Gambia for this assignment of interest to FAR,” said managing director Cath Norman. “We look forward to working with the government and our joint venture partner ERIN Energy to carefully and thoroughly explore these highly prospective offshore blocks.

“Our discoveries immediately to the North in offshore Senegal provide significant encouragement for the future discovery of oil and gas in Blocks A2 and A5 in The Gambia. The significant prospectivity that we have identified in Blocks A2 and A5 are analogous play types to those successfully drilled by FAR in Senegal providing high potential to create value for both the people of The Gambia and FAR shareholders.”

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DP World Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem (left) and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
DP World Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem (left) and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar

Port operator DP World and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore areas of collaboration on clean energy solutions for DP World’s portfolio of ports and freezones in the Middle East and Africa.

Masdar said it will work with DP World to address challenges related to the delivery of sustainable, reliable and cost effective power generation, with a particular focus on areas that are remote or off-grid. Masdar will provide specialist project management services, from concept to implementation, including community projects to support DP World’s operations.

The first collaborative activity will be to…[restrict] review DP World’s operations at the Port of Berbera in Somaliland, focusing on hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV) – diesel plants, water treatment and other technical advisory services for power generation. The agreement will also look at increasing energy efficiency across the company’s ports and terminals in the region.

“We strive to integrate sustainability into everything we do and I believe it is essential to modern business practice,” said DP World Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem. “We look forward to this partnership with a world leader in renewable and clean energy that will help reduce our carbon footprint in the region and to develop long term energy solutions for the communities in which we operate. This collaboration is an important step in contributing towards achieving the UAE 2021 vision and implementing the Dubai 2021 plan as well as the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which is focused on developing the UAE into a knowledge-led economy.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “We are delighted to be working with DP World to explore the potential for commercially viable renewable energy across its operations in the Middle East and Africa. Masdar has vast experience of delivering projects in off-grid locations around the world, and we fully understand the transformational benefits that access to reliable, cost-effective clean energy can bring to both businesses and local communities. We are excited by the opportunity to realise these benefits through this important new partnership.”

Masdar’s work to bring renewable energy access to remote locations ranges from Pacific island micro-grids and rural solar home systems in Afghanistan and Morocco, to onshore wind in the Republic of Seychelles and off-grid community solar PV projects in Egypt.

Masdar’s activities in the Pacific Islands included 11 highly customised renewable energy projects designed to drive economic growth and sustainable development by increasing energy resilience, bolstering job creation and contributing to renewable energy targets. The projects have replaced the need for approximately 3.2 million litres of imported diesel fuel, saving in excess of US$3.7 million per year in fuel costs.[/restrict]

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The Ematum fleet consisted of over 20 tuna fishing vessels, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Ematum fleet numbered over 20 tuna fishing vessels

The audit by the company Kroll Associates of Mozambique’s “hidden debts” has divided Mozambique’s creditors, with holders of the bonds initially issued in the name of Ematum (Mozambique Tuna Company) now urging the government to revoke its guarantees to the other two controversial loans, issued to the security-related companies Proindicus and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management), reports AIM.

Ematum, Proindicus and MAM are all part of the same package – a programme supposedly to…[restrict] boost maritime security in Mozambique’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The main mover in this package was the State Security and Intelligence Service (SISE), and GIPS, a company run by the social services of SISE, is the determinant shareholder in Ematum, Proindicus and MAM.

Loans for Ematum (850 million US dollars), Proindicus (622 million) and MAM (535 million) were obtained from the European banks Credit Suisse and VTB of Russia in 2013 and 2014. The banks lent the money because the Mozambican government, then headed by President Armando Guebuza, issued guarantees. These guarantees were illegal because they violated the ceiling on loan guarantees in the 2013 and 2014 budget laws, and also violated a clause in the Mozambican constitution under which only the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, can authorise such debts.

The same contractor, the Lebanon-based group Privinvest, supplied assets and services to all three companies. But Ematum was different in that its existence was publicly known, since the loan took the form of a bond issue on the European market, while the very existence of Proindicus and MAM was kept secret.

The Ematum fleet included these sleek patrol boats, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Ematum fleet included these sleek patrol boats

In early April 2016 the Mozambican government ratified a deal under which the bonds issued by Ematum were replaced by sovereign government bonds with a longer repayment time, but at a higher interest rate.

The bondholders, who claim that their bonds are of “unquestionable” legality, now demand that repaying them must take priority, and urge the government to cancel the Proindicus and MAM guarantees.

The bondholders argue, that once the damning findings of the Kroll audit and of last year’s Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry are taken into account, “It is evident that there is no basis — in either Mozambican or English law — for the Mozambique government to honour the purported guarantees of the Proindicus and MAM loans. Disavowal of those purported guarantees and the liquidation of Proindicus, MAM, and Ematum is the appropriate restructuring that needs to take place to clean up the system, to insulate the government balance sheet from further liabilities, and to restore access to external financing at the lowest cost to Mozambique.”

The bondholders mention English law because the initial loans were arranged with the London offices of Credit Suisse and VTB, and any attempt to enforce the guarantees would go through an English court.

The statement was issued on Thursday [last week] by the Global Group of Mozambique Bondholders (GGMB), which was set up last year by investors holding most of the bonds. According to a report from the Bloomberg agency, the GGMB is advised by Thomas Laryea, a lawyer at the Washington-based law firm Cooke Robotham, and former International Monetary Fund official Charles Blitzer.

The GGMB last year refused to start talks with the Mozambican government on restructuring the Ematum debt, until the Kroll audit was published and a new programme was drawn up between Mozambique and the IMF.

Thursday’s statement looks like an opening gambit in restructuring talks. It stresses the “broadly positive economic developments” that have taken place since the government’s meeting with its creditors in London in October, when Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane had explained the impossibility of honouring the Ematum, Proindicus and MAM loans, and hence the need to restructure all of them.

The GGMB noted the appreciation of the Mozambican currency, the metical, by about 34 per cent since October as a result of “sound monetary policies and a recovery in exports”. Net international reserves had increased substantially, and there was now the prospect of the payment of massive capital gains tax resulting from the sale by the Italian energy company ENI of a large stake in the Rovuma Basin gasfields to the US hydrocarbon giant ExxonMobil.

Ematum longliners in port at Maputo, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ematum longliners in port at Maputo

Taking Maleiane’s October briefing as a basis, the GGMD calculates that the government’s debt repayment capacity over the next five years has improved by some 850 million dollars (which, coincidentally or not, is exactly the size of the initial Ematum loan).

“Furthermore”, the statement adds, “the contingent liabilities on the government balance sheet would be substantially reduced by disavowal of the purported guarantees”.

“The combination of the improved economic trajectory and an appropriate response to the findings of the Kroll report provide a path for Mozambique to re-establish credibility in the international financial markets”, the GGMD argues.

The proposal from the bondholders is essentially very simple – they are urging “pay us, and disavow the other debts”. This could be very tempting, since it would amount to cancelling between 50 and 60 per cent of the debt.

On the other hand, the Ematum loan suffers from exactly the same kind of illegalities and financial abuses as Proindicus and MAM. The Kroll report points to massive discrepancies between the price of assets as stated on invoices, and as estimated by an independent valuation, and this affects all three companies.

Certainly civil society bodies in Mozambique are calling for the cancellation of all the debts and not just some of them. Source: AIM[/restrict]

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Caroline Barber, Transaid's new chief executive, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Caroline Barber, Transaid’s new chief executive

Cycle Zambia 2018 launched

Transaid ( is an international development charity with HQ in London. It identifies, champions, implements and shares local transport facilities to improve access to basic services and economic opportunities for people in Africa and in developing countries.

In addition, the charity partners with local communities, governments, donors and other organisations to achieve its aims and to facilitate the exchange of skills and knowledge gained from its projects.

One of its sayings is: “Every driver should be able to leave for a day’s work without the fear they may not come home because of a lack of training, or dangerous vehicles and roads. Every family should be able to access vital healthcare; nobody should be left behind. Every person should have the opportunity to build the skills they need to transform their future.”

New Chief Executive

On the last working day of June Transaid announced the appointment of Caroline Barber as Chief Executive with effect from 1 August 2017.

She will replace Gary Forster who is stepping down after eleven years, including the last six as Chief Executive.

Caroline first became involved with Transaid while on secondment as a Project Manager for the well-known British and international logistics company, Wincanton. She undertook four overseas visits for Transaid between 2005 and 2008, helping to share best practice from the private sector with key programmes in post-tsunami Sri Lanka and in Ghana.

In 2008, she joined Transaid full-time, initially as Country Programme Manager in Zambia, where she led a project to develop the capacity and capability of the Industrial Training Centre in Lusaka. Three years later, in 2011, she was promoted to Head of Programmes with direct responsibility for managing a portfolio of projects in sub-Saharan Africa – primarily focused around rural transport, transport management for health fleets, and professional driver training in the commercial vehicle, passenger transport and materials handling sectors.

Commenting on her appointment, Caroline said: “In my 12-year engagement with Transaid I have developed a strong technical understanding of the many issues relating to transport and logistics in Africa and I am excited about the opportunity to lead a fantastic team which is deeply committed to the people Transaid exists to support.

“I am incredibly lucky to be taking over an organisation which enjoys unprecedented levels of industry backing, and which has proven to be an essential ingredient in our success. Today our projects are transforming lives daily and attracting significant attention from international donors.”

Commenting on the appointment, Jo Godsmark, Chair of Transaid, commented: “Gary’s hard work has transformed Transaid into a very strong organisation, which has the systems, processes and people in place to deliver enormous impact. We wish him every success for the future.

“We are extremely fortunate that in Caroline we have the ideal person to lead Transaid as we approach our 20th anniversary next year. She brings the ideal blend of experience, having spent time in the field and managed our entire project portfolio. Plus, Caroline enjoys excellent relationships with our member base and within the development sector.”

Gary joined Transaid as a volunteer from Procter & Gamble in 2006 and spent his first two years in Zambia, followed by two years in Northern Nigeria. He took over as Chief Executive in April 2011 and is stepping down to go travelling, whilst considering his next career move – possibly back into the field, working with the people and organisations making change happen on the frontline.

He reflected: “I would like to express my gratitude to the UK transport and logistics industry which, through their cycling, fundraising and corporate donations, have changed the lives of tens of thousands of people whom they will almost certainly never meet.

“The success we have enjoyed has been a true team effort, for which I would like to thank my colleagues for their dedication, long hours and sheer energy – together with the amazing support from our partners across Africa.”

Transaid Cycle Zambia 2018 launched

Earlier this year Transaid announced that its next African cycle challenge has been launched.

Taking place between 21 September (Friday) and 30 September (Sunday) 2018, this amazing challenge sees cyclists take on a 490 kilometre ride from Lusaka to the breath taking Victoria Falls in Zambia.

See also:

This 480 kilometre ride will see cyclists riding on dirt tracks, over undulating terrain, through tiny villages and open bush, to finish at the Victoria Falls.

Transaid has been running African cycling challenges since 2006 with the last, Cycle South Africa 2017, raising over £227,000 for the charity’s essential road safety and access to health care programmes.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Illustration kindly provided by CSIRO©, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Illustration kindly provided by CSIRO©

Science is joining the fight against illegal fishing, with the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)** developing a world first notification system that alerts authorities when offending vessels arrive in port.

This web-based reporting tool identifies and ranks vessels across the globe based on a list of behaviours associated with illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.

CSIRO senior scientist and co-designer of the platform Dr Chris Wilcox said the tool…[restrict] used data collected by satellites to monitor and report suspiciously behaving vessels: “Almost all vessels are equipped with anti-collision devices that can be detected by satellites. Using data from these systems, we can shine a spotlight on vessels acting suspiciously based on factors including the vessel’s history, movement and whether its transmitter has been intentionally disabled. Countries will be able to sign-up to receive notifications, or directly access the portal to search for vessels and then be provided with a report which highlights the suspicious behaviours involved.”

The announcement follows the execution of the first international treaty aimed at eradicating IUU fishing, coordinated by the United National Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and agreed to by 29 countries.

Wilcox added: “As well as costing tens of billions of dollars each year, IUU fishing leads to overfishing and depletion of stocks which has the greatest impact on developing countries whose people rely on fish as their primary source of protein and income. As global population numbers continue to grow, combatting IUU fishing is becoming even more important to ensure future food security for the world.”

The CSIRO team led by Dr Wilcox has also been working closely with the Indonesian government to address the problem.

The project is part of a collaboration with Microsoft co-founder Paul G Allen and his US-based company, Vulcan Inc.

Dr Mark Powell, illegal fishing program officer for Vulcan added: “This valuable tool will enable enforcement agencies to identify and locate suspicious vessels all over the world. Countries that use this new tool will now be able to reverse the tide of illegal fishing and help rebuild depleted fish stocks.”

In October the platform will be officially launched and is already anticipated by a number of national and international surveillance agencies, including the UN FAO, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation funded Global Fishing Watch.

In answer to a question into the size of the problem CSIRO has pointed out that:

* Illegal fishing is the third most lucrative crime in the world, after weapons trafficking and drug smuggling.

* It is estimated there are 26 million tons of illegal fish caught each year, worth approximately US $23 billion.

* Illegal fishing takes place in all parts of the world but is particularly problematic in the developing world where low capacity and funding make it difficult to fight.

* One third of fish in US and Australian markets appears to be illegal.

* Globally 120 million people depend on fishing for their livelihood.


** With HQ in Canberra, ACT, Australia.[/restrict]

Paul Ridgway

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APM Terminal, Los Angeles, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
APM Terminal, Los Angeles. Picture: APM Terminals

Barcelona, 3 July, 2017: Online freight forwarding company iContainers has warned that the ocean freight and freight forwarding industries are ‘ill-prepared’ for cyber attacks.

In the wake of last week’s ransomware virus attack on Maersk, iContainers reported being left temporarily limited in terms of taking bookings and managing operations related to merchandise on the Danish shipping giant’s vessels. Two days after the attack, as Maersk struggled to regain some form of normalcy, freight forwarders continued to work on getting releases for import containers.

The Petya virus not only…[restrict] crippled Maersk’s booking system and slowed down its tracking of containers, it also caused congestion at nearly 80 ports around the world operated by its subsidiary, APM Terminals. The carrier was only able to resume accepting bookings nearly three days after the attack, and had to be done through a third party provider.

“Considering the importance and value of what the industry does, it is ill-prepared for an attack such as this. One would have thought that Maersk was perhaps the carrier with the highest level of protection,” says Klaus Lysdal, Vice President of Sales and Operations of iContainers.

More attacks expected

Experts have warned to expect more hits over the next six months as affected organizations try to dig at the root of the problem. According to global advisory firm AlixPartner, most of these attacks originate from an ‘initial email’.

As news of the attack made its way across the industry on Tuesday, iContainers was quick to alert its employees, warning them to take extra care in opening emails, attachments, and external links.

“All we can really do is protect our systems. Between the carriers, rails, and terminals, there really isn’t much that can be done from a third party,” adds Mr Lysdal.

Researchers say the organizations that were hit tend to be those in industries with fewer investments into cyber security. While the ocean freight industry has been relatively slow in adopting much-needed security measures to fend off attacks such as these, recent maritime conferences have put much emphasis on cyber security.

‘A healthy reminder’

According to iContainers, this attack should serve as a warning of the increasing vulnerabilities of the industry as it shifts towards automation and digitalization.

“For the industry as a whole, this attack probably comes as a healthy reminder. With global coverage and more and more features being made available online, carriers are facing increasing exposure to such attacks,” explains Mr Lysdal.

“After years of low earnings and huge losses, some may not have been as diligent on their security as they perhaps should have been. Maersk stands to lose a substantial amount of money from this current attack, which hopefully will spur every carrier to intensify their security measures.”[/restrict]



picture: Seatrade Cruise News
picture: Seatrade Cruise News

London/Hamburg, 3 July 2017: With cruise ship orders increasing and the current orderbook value standing at US $47.6 billion*, the cruise shipbuilding sector still continues to be dominated by three main shipbuilders which are all in Europe: Fincantieri, Meyer Werft and STX France. Fincantieri (including Vard) is building 29 of the 75 due for delivery by 2025, Meyer Werft is contracted for 17, STX France for 12, and the new grouping owned by Genting Hong Kong – MV Werften – for six.

The result is that the current orderbook already represents another 250,000 berths being added to the global cruise fleet in the 10 years to 2025, increasing capacity by 40%. Some analysts are predicting that, with further orders inevitably to be placed for deliveries within the second half of that 10-year span, fleet capacity will probably grow at least 50% and push the global passenger total up from 24m last year to 30m by 2022, towards 35m by 2026 and then 40m by 2030.

In addition to the ever increasing number of cruise ships on order, the cruise lines are also investing heavily in refurbishment of their existing ships, with US $1.5 billion spent on cruise ship refurbishment in 2016 alone.

Cruise industry analyst Tony Peisley says: “One innovation stands head and shoulders above all others when it comes to explaining the improved profitability of the cruise sector and its relentless drive for growth and that is the creation of the ‘mega-ship’. We can expect to see plenty more – and probably even larger – cruise ships in the future.”

Peisley also commented on the shipbuilding sector in Germany in particular: “Genting Hong Kong’s purchase of four German yards was driven by its need to find capacity for the ambitious expansion plans it has for its own three brands – Crystal Cruises, Star Cruises and Dream Cruises – but it will also eventually offer a welcome new option for other companies frustrated by the full or fast-filling orderbooks of the other European shipbuilders.”

Kyriakos Anastassiadis, Chairman, CLIA Europe and CEO, Celestyal Cruises added: “The European shipbuilding industry remains the global leader in the construction of complex liners and vessels, such as cruise ships, mega-yachts, and others. It is important that European shipyards – and their unique expertise – continue to grow alongside our fast developing cruise sector, for the prosperity of the cruise industry and its communities.”

And what about new technologies? In total, 11 of the 75 ships on order will use LNG fuel at sea as well as in port: two for Royal Caribbean International, two for MSC Cruises, and seven for Carnival brands.

Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer, MSC Cruises, said: “Today’s order book reflects our industry’s expectation for long-term sustainable growth, with additional capacity coming in to match stronger demand for cruise holidays. Never before have cruise lines committed to new ship orders spanning over such a long period of time. With up to ten additional new cruise ships to join out fleet by 2026, MSC Cruises looks to contribute to the overall growth of the appeal of this industry and the product that it offers. And, with four of these vessels to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), we are also proud of being part of the collective effort to reduce the cruise industry’s environmental footprint even more.”

The future of cruise ships, the orderbook and new technology will be amongst some of the topics discussed in the opening session at Seatrade Europe, taking place which is being held at Hamburg Messe und Congress in Hamburg, Germany. This session, entitled ‘The Future of the Cruise Industry in Europe’ will take place on Wednesday 6 September from 1030-1200 hrs. Kyriakos Anastassiadis, Chairman, CLIA Europe and CEO, Celestyal Cruises will lead the discussions. He will then be joined on stage by David Dingle, Chairman, Carnival UK; Felix Eichhorn, President, AIDA Cruises; Capt Michael McCarthy, Chairman, Cruise Europe and Commercial Manager, Port of Cork; Wybcke Meier, Chief Executive Officer, TUI Cruises GmbH; Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer, MSC Cruises; Neil Palomba, President, Costa Crociere; Karl J. Pojer, Chief Executive Officer, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Chairman, CLIA Germany; and Richard J. Vogel, President & CEO, Grupo Pullmantur.

To download the Seatrade Cruise News cruise ship orderbook, please CLICK HERE

To find out more about the full programme, and for regular updates, please CLICK HERE

*Source: Seatrade Cruise News cruise ship orderbook as of 27 June 2017.

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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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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Bremen Reefer, by Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Bremen Reefer. Pictures: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Bremen Reefer. Pictures: Keith Betts

The refrigerated cargo ship BREMEN REEFER (12,890-dwt) arrived in Durban last week to load citrus fruit at the citrus terminal. Clearly visible under the current name is the ship’s former identity, CHIQUITA BREMEN. Built in 1992 and registered in the Bahamas, Bremen Reefer is owned and managed by Greek interests. The ship was built at the SSW Schichau Seebeck Shipyard at Bremerhaven, Germany. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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