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MSC Jasmine. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime and shipping news
MSC Jasmine. Picture: Keith Betts

A geared container ship always serves as a reminder that not all container shipping involves large cellular ships sailing to ports with fully equipped container terminals. Instead these self-geared ships are a reminder of the time when many of the ports and harbours along the African coast had only the basic cargo handling equipment, requiring ships to ‘bring their own’ as it were. Fortunately for the romantic among us there are still a number of such basic ports of call that remain, although they are becoming less every year. MSC JASMINE (41,771-dwt) seen above approaching Durban harbour is nevertheless quite a fair-sized ship, built in 1988 and owned, managed and operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company. She was built in France at the Normed Construtions Navales du Littoral shipyard at La Ciotat and over her long time at sea (29 years and counting) has had the following names: OAXACA until June 1996; CONSHIP HOUSTON until August 1997; TMM OAXACA until August 2000 and since then MSC JASMINE. On 5 January 2013 MSC Jasmine was involved in a real-life adventure when she was attacked by armed pirates while sailing between Salalah and Mombasa. By taking evasive action she was able to outsmart and avoid being boarded by the Somali pirates. The ship has also issued a distress signal saying she was under attack which was picked up by the USS HALYBURTON on patrol some 80 miles away. The American navy ship launched a helicopter which went to investigate and lend support for the container ship. The following day the French patrol frigate FS SURCOUF, which is based at Reunion, intercepted the suspect pirates in their two skiffs and with the assistance of a British Lynx helicopter and the French ship’s own chopper, the suspected pirates were captured and placed under arrest. The pirates were later put ashore in Mauritius where they appeared in court on charges of piracy. Initially acquitted of their charges due to a lack of evidence the Mauritian Supreme Court subsequently overturned the earlier decision in December 2015 and in a third trial in August last year they were each sentenced to five years in jail, of which three years already spent in jail awaiting trial was to be reduced from their sentence. This picture is by Keith Betts

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Nozipho Sithole, new CE of TPT, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shipping news
Nozipho Sithole

Following the unexpected resignation of Karl Sokicwa as chief executive of Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), Themba Gwala has been acting in that capacity but now we learn that TPT has a new chief executive, and matching that of Transnet National Ports Authority CE, the new person in charge of the state-owned terminal operator is a woman.

She is Nozipho Sithole, who is no stranger to Durban, having previously been port manager of the country’s leading port between 2000 and 2003, following which she served another three years as General Manager: Operations at TNPA.

After leaving the company for a spell she re-joined Transnet in 2011 in the Freight Rail division as a General Manager at the National Command Centre and from April 2014 was General Manager of the Iron Ore and Manganese sector within TFR.

Whilst we are not sure when she was officially appointed it is possible that today is her first day in office as the new head of TPT, based at the division’s head office in Durban.

Sithole has a Degree in Law (LLB) from Wits University and a MBA in Operations Management and Supervision.

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BRICS banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shipping news

South Africa will participate in the upcoming BRICS Summit, which will take place in China in September.

Reporting on work it has done in the first quarter of 2017, the International Cooperation, Trade and Security (ICTS) Cluster said the country will partake in the summit scheduled to take place in Xiamen from 3 -5 September.

“We look forward to assuming the chair next year (2018). During our tenure, we will focus on deepening BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] cooperation for common development, enhancement of global governance to jointly meet our shared challenges, carrying out people-to-people exchanges to…

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Map of Yemen, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shipping news
Yemen, showing location of Mokha (Mocha). Picture: CIA Fact File

Houthi forces in conflict with Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen blew up a pier at the port of Al-Mokha (Mocha) using a boat loaded with explosives.

The attack took place at dawn on Saturday with the boat exploding against the pier close to a group of ships, but is reported to have caused little damage and no casualties.

Authorities said the target was a military ship of…

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Revd Boet van Schalkwyk and Chaplain Steve van Schalkwyk, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shipping news
Revd Boet van Schalkwyk and Chaplain Steve van Schalkwyk

“I was trapped under the capsized boat for seven hours. It was dark and cold and I thought I was going to die. I wanted to move but could not get up; I could not move my legs.”

These were the words of one of the crew members who were rescued when the chokka [squid] fishing vessel, the Maredon, on her maiden voyage, capsized off St. Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape on 16 July 2017.

According to the NSRI rough sea conditions with six metre swells and a gusting to 50 knots westerly wind and rain prevailed, which made rescue efforts difficult. An intensive sea, air and shore search, with several search and rescue organisations participating was instituted. The NSRI and the Megalodon, one of two other chokka vessels which took part in the rescue, managed to bring a few survivors to shore.

Of the 16 crew members, seven crew members were rescued including…

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Benguela Railway in Angola, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shipping news
Benguela Railway in Angola

The Chinese construction company involved with rebuilding the 1,344-kilometre Cape-gauge (1067mm) railway from Lobito on the Atlantic coast to the DRC border last week delivered a 400-km section between Cuito and Luena.

Angolan news agency Angop reports the chairman of the Benguela Railway Company, José Carlos Gomes, as saying that the delivery, which marked the handing over of the management of the railway to CFB, represents the end of the contract awarded to China Railway 20 Bureau Group Co (CR20), which began in January 2008.

Included in the construction of the completed length of railway were…



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The high-performance Series 4000 engines for yachts are modified slightly to meet IMO Tier III and launched on the market with MTU’s SCR system. The engines will be available as 12, 16 and 20-cylinder versions for a power range extending from 1,920 to 3,900 kW.  appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shipping news
The high-performance Series 4000 engines for yachts are modified slightly to meet IMO Tier III and launched on the market with MTU’s SCR system. The engines will be available as 12, 16 and 20-cylinder versions for a power range extending from 1,920 to 3,900 kW.

The high-performance Series 4000 engines for yachts are modified slightly to meet IMO Tier III and launched on the market with MTU’s SCR system. The engines will be available as 12, 16 and 20-cylinder versions for a power range extending from 1,920 to 3,900 kW.
Rolls-Royce is showing off its latest state-of-the-art propulsion systems and service solutions from MTU for motor and sailing yachts at this year’s yacht shows in Cannes and Monaco. At the Festival de la Plaisance in Cannes, which takes place from 12 to 17 September, MTU will be presenting a new close-to-production prototype hybrid system based on its 16-cylinder Series 2000 engine on Stand Jetee 179. The focus will also be on models of the Pininfarina bridge components and MTU’s Premium Yacht Service.

The latest MTU propulsion solutions for mega yachts will be on display from 27 to 30 September at the Monaco Yacht Show. On Stand QC8, MTU will be presenting its advanced-design Series 4000 engines for IMO III, including MTU’s SCR system. The MTU brand is part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

Close-to-production prototype hybrid propulsion system for superyachts

A model of the new close-to-production prototype MTU hybrid system based on the 16V 2000 M96 engine will be on display. Yacht owners will benefit from the combination of high performance and efficiency in addition to the sheer comfort and luxury of silent, low-vibration cruising. The MTU hybrid propulsion systems are designed on a modular basis and, depending on the diesel-engine series, will cover various electrical outputs within series solutions.

At the Monaco Yacht Show Heesen will present its new yacht “Home” (2 x MTU 12V 2000) with hybrid propulsin system. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shipiing news
At the Monaco Yacht Show Heesen will present its new yacht “Home” (2 x MTU 12V 2000) with hybrid propulsion system.

Stefan Müller, Head of Application Center Marine & Offshore at MTU, said; “Electric motors and hybrid propulsion systems from MTU will be an important mobility component for marine propulsion systems of the future. MTU offers a proven, series solution, which combines the mechanical and electrical components to provide optimum performance through MTU’s automation system.”

Yachts with MTU hybrid propulsion

MTU has delivered an innovative hybrid propulsion system designed to meet the client’s specific requirements for “Sailing Yacht A”, the world’s largest sailing yacht, which was commissioned in spring 2017. This is a combined diesel-electric propulsion system, which offers seven different propulsion modes. When needed, a high speed can be reached using the combination of both diesel and electric propulsion, but can also provide slow, extremely efficient cruising with very low vibration levels and reduced fuel consumption.

In addition to this exceptional project, MTU has also completed additional hybrid projects, in partnership with the Heesen Yachts shipyard, for example. With its “Nova Hybrid” project, Heesen is offering a 50-metre fast displacement luxury yacht in its portfolio, which features a combination of 1,200 kW of diesel power (2 x MTU 12V 2000 M61) and 2 x 110 kW of electrical output. The all-aluminium yacht can travel at a speed of 9 knots on its electrical power source alone, while offering completely silent cruising.

MTU propulsion systems for megayachts (IMO III + II)

MTU will be showcasing its latest generation of Series 4000 engines at the Monaco Yacht Show, which comply with IMO III emission regulations when combined with MTU’s SCR system. The high performance engines for yachts will be available as 12, 16 and 20-cylinder versions covering the power range from 1,920 to 3,900 kW. MTU will still include IMO II engines in its range.

Flexible operation: MTU’s new SCR system

With the new integrated solution for IMO III, consisting of MTU’s propulsion system and SCR exhaust gas aftertreatment system, the customer benefits from an optimally matched system. Taking up little space and offering flexible installation, it features an excellent power to weight ratio. The SCR system from MTU is also flexible in operation: depending on the area (IMO II or IMO III) in which the yacht is sailing, the SCR system can be switched on or off as required.

The “Sunseeker 131” from Sunseeker (2 x MTU 12V 4000) will be launched at the Festival de la Plaisance in Cannes., appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shippin news
The “Sunseeker 131” from Sunseeker (2 x MTU 12V 4000) will be launched at the Festival de la Plaisance in Cannes.

MTU’s SCR system is a fully controlled system, with real-time nitrogen oxide (NOx) measurement upstream and downstream of the SCR. This also regulates the amount of reactant injected to ensure that it is precise and ideal regardless of the operating conditions. The first IMO III yacht propulsion system with two 16V 4000 M73R MTU engines will be used in a new 80-metre megayacht built by the Bilgin Yachts shipyard in Istanbul.

MTU on board new yachts at the tradeshows

There will be a number of yachts on display at the shows in Cannes and Monaco fitted with MTU engines. In Cannes, they will include the 38-metre long “Skyler” from Benetti (2 x MTU 12V 2000), the “Sunseeker 131” from Sunseeker (2 x MTU 12V 4000). In Monaco, visitors will also have the opportunity to look around Heesen’s “Home” (2 x MTU 12V 2000), for example, and Mangusta’s “165 E series” (4 x MTU 16V 2000).

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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.


MSC Ambition in Durban, picture by Trevor Jones and appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shippin news

MSC Ambition. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime shipping news
MSC Ambition. Picture: Trevor Jones

Another ‘new’ ship to call at Durban during July was this former Hyundai Merchant Marine vessel, now renamed MSC AMBITION (previously Hyundai Ambition). A ‘sistership’ to another regular caller, MSC Benedetta, as well as a rising number of other MSC ships – MSC Topaz, MSC Ruby, MSC Perle, MSC Christina, MSC Renee, MSC Altair, MSC Regulus, and for a brief time MSC Margrit (now a CMA CGM ship). Maersk has also invested heavily in this 13,100-TEU standard type of container ship with at least 15 ships in service. The 366-metre long, 48m wide MSC Ambition was built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea in 2012 (builder’s number S460) at a time- just five years ago – when 13,000 TEU was considered the norm – nowadays this size vessels are being cascaded onto secondary North-South routes in favour of the realy big ships, the 18,000+ TEU vessels that themseves are being supplanted by new ships of 20,000 TEUs. These pictures of the ship departing from Durban are by Trevor Jones



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