Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

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Transporter. Picture: Ken Malcolm, Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Transporter. Picture: Ken Malcolm

Simunye’s crew supply boat TRANSPORTER heads off across Durban Bay with a heavy load of supplies and what look like several crewmen for a ship or ships outside port in the anchorage. Ports with anchorages outside rely heavily on supply vessels without the necessity of them having to enter port – an expensive exercise at any time. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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Mussel farming at Walvis Bay, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mussel farming at Walvis Bay

An outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) has forced the closure of Walvis Bay’s Aqua Park 1 mussel farm.

Namibia’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources confirmed the closure after testing mussels in the production area this week. As a result mussels grown in the park may not be harvested for human consumption, according to the notice issued.

This followed specimens that were tested for biotoxins and levels of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) which were found to be above the maximum permissible levels by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) as part of the National Shellfish Sanitation Programme.

The testing was conducted on mussels only but oysters and clams may also be affected.

According to the notice, the ban remains in place until the results of two consecutive tests taken 48 hours apart show levels below the maximum permissible level. Only then will harvesting be allowed to continue, it states, adding that the industry will be informed accordingly.

DSP absorbed by humans can cause intense diarrhoea and severe abdominal pains, while nausea and vomiting may also occur. The symptoms reveal themselves within half an hour after eating affected shellfish and will take a day or more to dissipate. It is not normally life-threatening but a doctor should be consulted.

Shellfish farming is carried out in several centres in Namibia, namely Walvis Bay, Lüderitz, Swakopmund which is about 30km from Walvis Bay, and Henties Bay about 100km from Walvis Bay. The nutrient-rich Benguela upswelling system of the South Atlantic Ocean provides the Namibian coast with a competitive advantage over other areas practising shellfish farming across the world.

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Pipeline leak at Tema dockyard, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pipeline leak at Tema dockyard. picture: GPHA

Pipelines belonging to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and located at the Valco berth near the Dry Dock in the port of Tema are posing serious threat to the port following some serious leakages, says a report made available by the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA).

The pipelines are laid for the transmission of crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas, gasoline, among other highly inflammable products, to the refinery and other critical installations in the Tema metropolis.

A visit to the site revealed persistent leakage of petroleum products from the pipelines which is…

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Durban tugs Pholela and Lotheni. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Durban tugs Pholela and Lotheni. Picture: Trevor Jones

The Port of Durban was yesterday experiencing technical problems with its tug fleet which was affecting incoming ship movements only, said a communique from the Harbour Master, Capt Alex Mia.

The precise nature of the technical problem is not known to us nor has Transnet National Ports Authority chosen to reveal it. However, Capt Mia said the port was “working on it”.

As the port has a fairly large fleet of harbour tugs it seems inconceivable that the technical problem relates to mechanical problems alone incapacitating most of the fleet at once, which leaves us to ‘thumbs-suck’ a guess that the port may have experienced a sudden shortage of available tug crew – engineers or tug masters – while possibly coinciding with some tugs with mechanical problems.

Any further news or confirmation from readers will be appreciated.

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MSC Benedetta in Durban, by Trevor JOnes. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The 366-metre MSC Benedetta is an example of a large container ship cascaded onto the North-South trades, in this case to South Africa. The time will come however when she and sister ships like her in size arrive with a gretaer loads, placing port terminal facilities under strain. This picture is by Trevor Jones

With more than two thirds of the world’s container capacity in the hands of a smaller number of consolidated shipping lines, and the possibility that one or two more mid-range companies may also be swallowed by the big groupings, speculation is rising over the possibility of port terminal operators being forced into adopting similar mergers or consolidations.

In the United States South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has opted to close its Los Angeles container terminal which it says is a result of the new shipping alliances that have cost it volumes it can no longer afford to lose.

Details of how HMM will vacate its 91-acre Pier 400 California United Terminals are not clear. The property was sublet to HMM by APM Terminals and with the agreement of the port.

While terminals can’t be disposed of as easily as container ships, some face a…

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Seismic survey ship at work, appearig in Africa PORTS 7 SHIPS maritime news
Seismic survey ship at work

Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) has entered into a data sharing agreement with the South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (SAMREF) for use of surplus data to improve understanding of the oceans.

Data recordings like temperatures and salinity through the water column, currents and weather observations are collected as a part of the PGS seismic acquisition process in order to improve seismic imaging.

This activity has created an extensive MultiClient data library with corresponding surplus data. In late March 2017 PGS announced its intention to open the Company’s surplus database for research on the ocean. The database dates back to 1991.

“We have just signed an agreement with the Institute of Marine Research in Norway and I am pleased to announce that we now have an agreement with another institution, the South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum,” says Jon Erik Reinhardsen, President & CEO of PGS.

“We will contribute where we can to increase our collective understanding and knowledge of the oceanic environment and we are hopeful that more institutions will respond to our invitation to access our surplus database for research purposes.”

The South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (SAMREF) is enthusiastic about the agreement.

“By leveraging the data collected by commercial ocean-going industries it becomes less costly to collect information on the marine environment for research purposes,” says Nicole du Plessis, SAMREF Project Coordinator.

“This is an idea that is gaining more traction with various marine stakeholders globally and will hopefully lead to research of benefit to both academia and industry. We are excited for this partnership with PGS to help gain further information on South Africa’s marine environment,” she said.

About PGS

PGS Petroleum Geo-Services is a focused marine geophysical company that provides a broad range of seismic and reservoir services, including acquisition, imaging, interpretation, and field evaluation. The Company’s MultiClient data library is among the largest in the seismic industry, with modern 3D coverage in all significant offshore hydrocarbon provinces of the world. The Company operates on a worldwide basis with headquarters in Oslo, Norway.


The South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (SAMREF) is a product of the South African Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy programme; sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology and hosted at the SAEON Egagasini Node for Marine-Offshore Systems. The goal of the Forum is to identify and take advantage of opportunities provided by marine industries to gather important marine ecosystem data to increase South Africa’s state of knowledge of the offshore marine environment related to renewable energy potential, marine biodiversity and ecology, climate change and ecosystem functioning.

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Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

By Amorina Kingdon – Hakai Magazine

And the more we learn about them, the weirder they get.

The word virus conjures up hard-to-shake colds and swine flu, but these tiny microbes are far more than just the culprits behind annoying human ailments. They play an integral role in life on the planet, and a new study has shown that for marine viruses, that role is more complex than we thought.

Viruses are the most numerous life forms on Earth. And in the ocean, they outnumber bacterial cells a staggering 10 to one. But what exactly causes them to thrive or die? Since viruses reproduce by…

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autonomus technology changing our lives. Apeparing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The following is not directly a marine-related report, but demonstrates the advances being achieved, in Australia this time, with autonomous technology and how it is about to transform our lives.

AUSTRALIAN tech firm Cohda Wireless has trialled its vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) technology on city streets for the first time.

The technology was originally designed to allow cars and motorcycles to avoid collisions by talking to each other.

In collaboration with Telstra and the South Australian Government, Cohda Wireless has conducted the first test of V2P technology over a mobile network in South Australia’s capital, Adelaide.

The system uses mobile technology to provide an early-collision warning to a driver and also alerts a pedestrian or cyclist via a smartphone application.

This innovation could become available in the 16 million smartphones in use in Australia and could potentially be extended to the two billion smartphones worldwide.

Cohda Wireless CEO Paul Gray said the trials highlighted the impact of Vehicle-to-everything communications on community safety.

“Giving vehicles 360-degree situational awareness and sharing real-time driving information is the only way we can create safer roads for the future,” he said.

“Cohda’s ongoing partnership with Telstra also demonstrates Cohda’s ability to deliver Cellular- V2X (C-V2X) solutions, an important part of the complete V2X system.”

The technology makes use of available 4G networks to allow riders, drivers and pedestrians who are further away to reliably receive necessary information.

Before a driver turns a blind corner the system will notify them of any pedestrian or cyclist crossing the adjacent street.

It was tested using other common scenarios, such as a car and a cyclist approaching a blind corner, a car reversing out of a driveway, and a car approaching a pedestrian crossing.

The trial was funded in part by the South Australian government’s AU$10 million Future Mobility Lab Fund to boost local testing, research and development of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

Cohda commands about 60 per cent of the global vehicle-to-vehicle communication market.

It previously developed a “digital protective shield” system, which transmitted information such as vehicle types, speed, position and direction of travel between cars and motorcycles, at a rate of up to 10 times per second to ensure a high level of accuracy.

This service could be transmitted to any device within a several hundred-metre radius.

Telstra Chief Technology Officer Håkan Eriksson said the technology would make Australian roads safer, more efficient, and better-prepared for the future of autonomous vehicles.

“The most important outcome of V2X technology is the increased safety for road users, as the impact of human error can be minimised by helping vehicles communicate with each other and react to their surroundings,” he said.

“This is the first time V2P technology has been trialled in Australia on a 4G network, and is an important step on the journey to fully-autonomous vehicles on Australian roads.”

South Australia has a history of involvement with autonomous car research and in 2015 held the first driverless car trials in the Southern Hemisphere.

It hosts a number of leading autonomous car companies including Cohda Wireless and its innovative V2X (Vehicle to everything) technology and RDM Group, which opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Adelaide earlier this year.

South Australia is also a leading driverless car research hub and earlier this week the University of Adelaide managed to improve artificial vision systems by studying dragonflies and other insects.

Watch now the related video clip [2:07]. German is used but the story can easily be followed (just watch the pictures…)

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autonomous shipping, on the horison. Picture: Rolls Royce, appering in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
autonomous shipping, on the horison. Picture: Rolls-Royce

In a related story to the one immediately above, ABS (American Bureau of Shipping), a leading provider of classification and technical services to the offshore and marine industries, says that it has joined the Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance to work with industry partners, including class organizations, shipyards, equipment manufacturers and designers to advance autonomous shipping.

The design will integrate features of independent decision-making, autonomous navigation, environmental perception and remote control.

“Increased digitization, advanced technologies and new levels of connectivity are changing the way the maritime industry operates,” says ABS Greater China Division President Eric Kleess.

“In the coming years, we will see significant changes in the way ships are designed and built, with a strong drive to develop autonomous vessels especially in China. As a key member of this alliance, ABS is aligned closely with industry to support safer and more sustainable maritime operations.”

The Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance, chaired by HNA Technology Group Co, Ltd, was formed with nine members, including ABS, CCS, China Ship Research & Development Institute, Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute, Ltd, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co, Ltd, Marine Design Research Institute of China (MARIC), Rolls-Royce, and Wartsila. The alliance officially launched at the end of June and expects to deliver the unmanned cargo ship by October 2021.

“Through this collaborative effort, we will apply the latest technologies to develop a new autonomous ship concept,” says HNA Technology Group Vice Chairman Li Weijian. “The newly formed alliance is advancing new innovations in ship design and operations, and also working to promote the safe adoption of these assets in the market.”

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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.


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

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

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

Coming and going! The bulk carrier LOZA (33,240-dwt) is seen arriving in port at Durban on a Wednesday during July and sailing on the Friday. The bulker is owned by Greek interests and managed by Dalex Shipping of Piraeus, Greece. She was built in 2011 and has previously operated for the first year of her service with the name NORD DUBAI. Loza flies the flag of Malta, being registered in Valetta. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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