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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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FIRST VIEW: UACC IBN AL ATHEER

UACC Ibn Al Atheer arrivin Durban July 2017. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
UACC Ibn Al Atheer. Picture: Trevor Jones

The oil products tanker UACC IBN AL ATHEER (45,994-dwt) enters Durban harbour earlier in July headed for a berth at Island View, the port’s giant petro-chemical complex. Built in 2003 the tanker is owned by Dubai-based interests and managed by United Arab Chemical Carriers, also of the UAE. The vessel, which was previously named PACIFIC SUNSHINE until 2008, was built in Japan at the Shin Kurushima Onishi Shipyard in Imabari. The double-hulled vessel flies the flag of Panama. This picture is by Trevor Jones

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AGOA: ALWAYS A POISONED CHALICE FROM THE US?

Africa's AGOA states map, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The AGOA states – question marks surface again

Was the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) always a poisoned chalice from the United States of America, asks an editorial in The East African. The Kenya newspaper suggests it appeared to be so after the US allowed a petition that could see Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda lose their unlimited opening to its market.

This follows the US Trade Representative assenting last week to an appeal by Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association, a used clothes lobby, for a review of the three countries’ duty-free, quota-free access to the country for their resolve to ban importation of used clothes, the The East African continues.

The US just happens to be the biggest source of used clothes sold in the world. Some of the clothes are recycled in countries like Canada and Thailand before being shipped to markets mostly in the developing world.

In East Africa, up to $125 million is spent on used clothes annually, a fifth of them imported directly from the US and the bulk from trans-shippers including Canada, India, the UAE, Pakistan, Honduras and Mexico.

The East Africa imports account for 22 percent of used clothes sold in Africa. Suspending the three countries from the 2000 trade affirmation would leave them short of $230 million in foreign exchange that they earn from exports to the US.

That would worsen the trade balance, which is already $80 million in favour of the US. In trade disputes, numbers do not tell the whole story. Agoa now appears to have been caught up in the nationalism sweeping across the developed world and Trumponomics.

US lobbies have been pushing for tough conditions to be imposed since it was enacted, including the third country rule of origin which would require that apparel exports be made from local fabric.

The rule, targeted at curbing China’s indirect benefits from Agoa through fabric sales, comes up for a legislative review in 2025, making it prudent for African countries to prepare for the worst. Whether that comes through a ban or phasing out of secondhand clothing (the wording that saved Kenya from being listed for a review) is immaterial.

What is imperative is that African countries have to be resolute in promoting domestic industries. In textiles and leather, for instance, that effort should include on-farm incentives for increasing cotton, hides and skins output, concessions for investments in value-adding plants like ginneries and tanneries and market outlets for local textile and shoe companies.

The world over, domestic markets provide the initial motivation for production before investors venture farther afield. Import bans come in handy when faced with such low costs of production in other countries that heavy taxation still leaves those products cheaper than those of competitors in the receiving countries.

The US has also been opposed to heavy taxation of used clothes, which buyers say are of better quality and more durable. For Kenya to be kept out of the review, it had to agree to reduce taxes on used apparel.

These factors have left Agoa beneficiaries in a no-win situation: Damned if you ban, damned if you do not. With their backs to the wall, beneficiaries like Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda have to think long term in choosing their industrial policies and calling the US bluff.

Beneficiaries must speak with one voice to effectively guard against trade conditions that over time hamper domestic industrial growth. Source: The East African

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UGANDA SGR RAILWAY TO GO AHEAD

Newly arrived locos and coaches for Kenya's SGR. The locos on front of the trains are construction locos, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Newly arrived locos and coaches for Kenya’s SGR. The locos on front of the trains are construction locos

With the long-awaited approval of President Yoweri Museveni to Uganda taking out a US$2.9 billion loan from China’s Exim Bank, the construction of a standard gauge railway from the Kenya border at Malaba to the Ugandan capital, Kampala, can now go ahead.

At the same time, the Ugandan decision to proceed with the 273-km SGR railway means that…

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SA’S TONGAAT HULETT TO BUILD SUGAR REFINERY IN MOZAMBIQUE

sugar mill scene in Mozambique, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cane cutting plant at Xinavane. Picture: Tongaat Hulett

South Africa’s Tongaat Hulett Group, a JSE company, has begun construction of a sugar refinery on the premises of the Xinavane sugar mill to the north of Maputo in Mozambique, which will enable Mozambique to avoid having to import sugar in future.

Tongaat Hulett said in a statement that it is investing R500 million (US$39 million) in the…

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SAMSA INVESTS IN SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AT PORT ST JOHNS

Port St Johns, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port St Johns from the air

It’s been many years since Port St Johns last saw an ocean-going ship in the river that made the ‘port’ a possibility in the first place.

Since then Port St Johns has enjoyed mixed fortunes, first as a part of the Western Cape and later incorporated into what was then known as Transkei, and since 1994 as an integral part of the Eastern Cape.

The harbour catered for trade with Pondoland and with East Griqualand, and this continued until 1901 when the railway reached Port Shepstone in southern Natal (now KZN) which saw much of this trade drawn away.

Recently the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) embarked on a project of bringing about an awareness of the value and potential of the ocean to rural people and young folk living in small towns and villages who are…

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CAMEROON’S KRIBI PORT CONCESSION SIGNED

Kribi port and container termina in Cameroon, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Artist’s view of Kribi port and container terminal in Cameroon

The concession to construct and operate the new container terminal at the Cameroon port of Kribi was signed yesterday (25 July).

Those signing the 25-year Public/Private concession were the Cameroon Minister for Transport, Mr Edgar Alain Mébé Ngo’o, and representatives of the consortium consisting of French groups CMA CGM and Bolloré Transport & Logistics and the Chinese construction group CHEC, who have provided the funding and will undertake…

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HMS ALBION REDEDICATED BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT

HMS Albion fires a salute to welcome HRH The Princess Royal. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2017 © appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
HMS Albion fires a salute to welcome HRH The Princess Royal. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2017 ©

The Royal Navy’s Amphibious Assault Ship is rededicated by Royal Appointment

On 21 July Plymouth-based warship HMS ALBION welcomed her sponsor HRH The Princess Royal, as guest of honour for the ship’s re-dedication.

This was an auspicious day for the Royal Navy, for Albion and the City of Plymouth, marking the beginning of the next chapter in the ship’s life as she becomes the UK’s very high readiness amphibious assault ship.

Following tradition, the Captain, Officers, and ship’s company of 350 Royal Marines and sailors paraded before…

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS: IS PIL THE NEXT TARGET FOR ABSORPTION?

PIL container ship KOTA ARIF in Durban. Picture: Terry Hutson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
PIL container ship KOTA ARIF in Durban. Picture: Terry Hutson

Is PIL the next shipping line to be merged or purchased outright for absorption into another group? Shipping analyst Alphaliner thinks so, saying that PIL’s niche status, particularly on the Africa trades, might make it an “attractive target for buyers” and possibly “the only unencumbered candidate.”

PIL, which is well represented here in South Africa where it has large offices in Durban, comes free of government links, unlike other similar sized mid-sized carriers – Zim, HMM and Yang Ming.

PIL is privately owned and is…

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PRESS RELEASES

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banner appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

SA’s potential to become international gas hub

The International Gas Cooperation Summit (IGCS) evolves from the ‘South Africa: Gas Options’ meetings held in Cape Town in 2015 & 2016

LONDON, United Kingdom – A conference taking place in Durban from 9-11 October is set to explore South Africa’s aspirations to build an energy hub for gas cooperation with international partners along the value chain. The International Gas Cooperation Summit (IGCS) www.IGCS-SA.com evolves from the ‘South Africa: Gas Options’ meetings held in Cape Town in 2015 & 2016.

This meeting will bring together principal government and public sector, gas developers, institutional investors and technology providers to explore how natural gas can play a greater role in South Africa’s energy mix and support the industrial and economic development goals of the country.

EnergyNet’s www.EnergyNet.co.uk Anna Gorzkowska commented, “When we launched IGCS at the South Africa: Gas Options meeting last year in Cape Town, we knew that the landscape was changing and the discussion going forward would be broader to incorporate the DTI’s gas utilisation programme. We’re therefore delighted to have got the timing of this meeting right – there is so much interest not only in the gas for power programme, but the massive infrastructure and energy projects happening as a result of those anchor discussions.

The conversation in October is also not squarely about South Africa, but its relationship with international partners and Southern Africa’s ability to develop gas based projects to electrify and empower the region. Similarities must be drawn with the UAE 20 years ago and how they leveraged gas as the foundation of their now unimaginably rich economies. We’re looking forward to taking this discussion to the next level with our partners.”

The next opportunity

IGCS will showcase gas procurement and utilisation projects and strategies, bringing together decision makers who can lay the cornerstone of the region’s success and enable South Africa to become an energy hub to support industrial development across the region. The agenda will focus on the global gas outlook for Southern Africa, case studies on modelling a gas economy, South Africa’s gas market in the context of the SADC region, how to accelerate gas infrastructure and the cost of diving into downstream.

A special conference for the Black Industrialists Programme with its major stakeholders will take place alongside the broader meeting, drawing on partners from the last two Gas Options meetings to continue to support the crucial objectives for both international and national investors.

Meeting dates: 9-11 October 2017
Venue: Southern Sun Elangeni Maharani
Website: www.IGCS-SA.com

 

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EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT


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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CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES


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.

PIC OF THE DAY : UNION TAYLOR

Union Taylor, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Union Taylor. Pictures: Alan Calvert, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Union Taylor. Pictures: Alan Calvert

The bulk carrier UNION TAYLOR (37,693-dwt) seen arriving in Lyttelton harbour, South Island, New Zealand earlier this month. She had arrived from Adelaide with the third and final shipment of pipes for the Central Plains Water Scheme, which aims at irrigating the Central Canterbury Plains with water drawn from rivers in the Southern Alps. The bulker was built in 2014 and is owned by Greek interests and managed by Union Commercial Inc of Athens, Greece. The 180-metre long x 30m wide ship is flagged in the Marshall Islands. These pictures are by Alan Calvert

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”
― Anne Lamott

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