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St Tropez 1. Picture: Terry Hutson, appearing n Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
St Tropez 1.   Picture: Terry Hutson

The d’Amico chemical and oil products tanker SW TROPEZ 1 (46,992-dwt) eases along the Esplanade Channel towards Maydon Wharf where she was to berth at number 9. Owned and managed by the Irish company Amico Tankers, the Liberian-flagged tanker was built by STX Shipbuilding of South Korea in 2004. The tanker’s previous name was HIGH ENDEAVOUR. This picture is by Terry Hutson

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SAS Isaac Dyobha (P1565) before conversion from a missile strike craft to an offshore patrol vessel, mainly with the removal of her missiles. This picture by Terry Hutson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SAS Isaac Dyobha (P1565) before conversion from a missile strike craft to an offshore patrol vessel, mainly with the removal of her missiles.  This picture by Terry Hutson

In a surprise development, Armscor has revealed the cancellation of the three offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).

Cape Town-based Damen Shipyards had been identified as the preferred bidder for this contract, along with three inshore patrol vessels. The latter order remains intact.

On 15 February this year Armscor appointed Damen Shipyards of Cape Town to…[restrict] build the six patrol vessels, while Durban-based Southern Africa Shipyards was appointed as the preferred bidder for Project Hotel – the design and construction of a hydrographic survey vessel to replace SAS PROTEA.

This Request for Offer, to use the jargon, remains in place, though no date for the commencement of what is now only three patrol vessels and the hydrographic survey vessel has been indicated.

The Requests to Offer contained a critical criteria including meeting the imperatives of Operation Phakisa, namely in respect of local content.

The unexpected cancellation of the contract for three offshore patrol vessels means an extension to the life of the former strike craft since converted as OPVs. These are based at Durban’s Salisbury Island Naval Base and continue to provide reliable service in respect to their revised duties, which have included extended patrols of the Mozambique Channel on counter piracy duty.

Other ships to have been included in these deployments have been the Valour class frigates and the combat support ship SAS DRAKENSBERG.

Offshore patrols are also conducted by the submarine fleet. [/restrict]


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Maputo Corridor map, as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Map: Sojitz Corporation

South African Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi and his Mozambique counterpart, Minister of Roads and Communication, Carlos Alberto Fortes Mesquita, met on Friday (25 August 2017) in Maputo during the Bi National Commission between the two countries.

“The Ministers discussed issues pertaining to the N4 Maputo Corridor between South Africa and Mozambique with the objective to address cross border road transport operational constraints and the improvement of the flow of transport and traffic between the two countries,” the Department of Transport said on Friday.

The two principals also discussed challenges regarding inadequate overload and access control along the Corridor and the possible adverse financial impact this could result into.

The N4 Maputo Corridor forms an important link in the promotion of trade relations between the two countries. It is also the main access to the South African market for the Port of Maputo.

The two Ministers also deliberated on issues relating to aviation and the maritime sector.

Minister Maswanganyi was accompanied by board members of the department’s entities, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL), Cross-Border Roads Transport Agency (C-BRTA) and senior officials from the department. –


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Port of Aden, as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIP maritime news
Port of Aden.  Pictures YGAPC

The Executive Chairman of YGAPC inaugurates the Corporation’s Maritime Training Centre

On 15 August the Executive Chairman of YGAPC Moh’d Alawi Amzerbah, inaugurated the Maritime Training Centre after its rehabilitation at a total cost of YR 12,000,000 ($48,000*).

In the ceremony, the Chairman indicated that the Maritime Training Centre is one that should be considered as a training unit for all staff in the maritime field. He pointed out that the centre had been affected and damaged by current hostilities in the province of Aden.

Chairman Moh’d Alawi expressed his…[restrict] thanks and appreciation for the efforts by employees of the Corporation in the rehabilitation process. He also confirmed that the Centre will, in future, provide courses in marine, technical, engineering and many other subjects. Accompanied by officials he inspected the Centre’s buildings and its various sections and departments.

Prime Minister Dr Ahmed Obaid bin Daghar laid the foundation stone of strategic projects for the Aden Computer Terminal (ACT) access road expansion and the paving of the Ma’alla berths.

Port of Aden, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

These strategic projects are government funded, at a cost of more than YR 500 million ($1.9 million) and will be implemented by the Roads and Bridges Public Authority.

Bin Dagher stressed the importance of the project in the rehabilitation of infrastructure services of Aden Container Terminal, for which the President of the Republic HE Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi gives his support and attention as the port of Aden is considered one of the most important shipping places not only in Yemen but in the region confirming the government’s keenness to provide all the services for the port city of Aden**.

For his part Executive Chairman Mohamed Alawi Amzerba, pointed out the importance of the implementation of the ACT road expansion project as well as the paving of Ma’alla berths in facilitating the movement of truck traffic with imports and exports.

Eng Sami Salem Baharmz, Director General of the Roads and Bridges Authority clarified that the road will be of three kilometres in length, with a width of 31 metres and reclamation works two and a half metres deep. He added that the road will be adequately paved to take large trucks and to eliminate congestion.

The Prime Minister and his companions were received at the project site by YGAPC Executive Chairman, Mohamed Alawi Amzrabeh, Hassan Haid, Free Zone Manager, Hussein Akerbino Ali Amer, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Public Works, Fadhl Ahmed Al-Hugaili, Deputy Director of Aden Ports Development Company.

Port of Aden Annual

Readers who remember Aden in earlier times may be amused to read the attached pdf (see link below) showing the life of the Port in 1949.

This document was discovered on the Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation Website and is reproduced here with grateful thanks.

*1USD = 250 YER (Yemeni Rials)

**Aden Container Terminal (ACT), the largest container terminal in the Republic of Yemen, has been operated by the Aden Ports Development Company since 20 September 2012.[/restrict]

PDF. Link to Port of Aden Annual for 1949 (slow to load but worth the wait)


Paul Ridgway


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Port of Saldanha, as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Saldanha, Southern Africa’s iron ore and oil products port. In view is a Capesize bulk carrier on berth with a ULCC tanker closest to camera

As National Women’s Month draws to a close, comes news that a female Saldanha marine pilot has made history by becoming the first female to hold an Open Licence certification to guide ships of any type and size in and out of South African ports.

Salmaa Vincent was able to apply her newly acquired Open Licence certification in July 2017, which enables her to guide a 350 metre long vessel with a deadweight tonnage of 300,000-DWT expertly into the port.

Open Licence certification is one of the most coveted qualifications in the field and permits qualified marine pilots to guide ships of any type and size in and out of the ports, from the very smallest vessels to the gigantic super tankers and container ships.

Aged 30, Vincent received…[restrict] a bursary from Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) in 2005, which allowed her to pursue one year of Maritime Studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, followed by 18 months at sea with Safmarine (now Maersk).

In 2008, she went on to pass her oral exam with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), and was issued with a Deck Officer certificate of competency.

Transnet then enrolled her in a tug master programme which she completed in January 2009. This was followed by oral exams at SAMSA, before obtaining her Master Port Operations certificate.

She further went on to do a year of marine pilot training, which included a two weeks practical ship handling in Rotterdam. Upon her return, she completed simulation training in Durban at the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence.

Vincent completed her practical pilot training in Cape Town in September 2011 and qualified as a marine pilot. She first served at the Port of Cape Town for three months before returning to the Port of Saldanha.

Sharing her first experience of guiding the biggest ship, Vincent said it was nerve wracking at first, but “this was soon overtaken by exhilaration and excitement at my ability.”

“Throughout the experience I concentrated and exercised caution to ensure that I was successful,” she said.

She attributes her success to TNPA’s efforts to empower women in its environment, which she said she has witnessed through her journey.

“I read a lot about women within TNPA doing remarkable things, making a difference and taking on senior and leadership roles which inspire me,” Vincent said.

She also thanked her mentors including retired Captain Brian Radford, Captain Ahmed, as well as her father who encouraged her to continue her studies, and to obtain various qualifications while she climbed the ladder of success in her industry.

She further thanked her husband, Wahseem Vincent, whom she said has been a “true rock”, supporting her in her career and was always behind her.

Be determined and have strong character

Her advice to other women interested in breaking through the glass ceiling is: “You have to be determined and have strong character. Be clear about what you would like to get out of your career. You also need perseverance because you have to work with Mother Nature, and you must be physically fit.”

In her spare time, Vincent enjoys spending time with her 16-month-old daughter, travelling and going to the beach.

Although juggling everything can be a handful at times, Vincent said she cherished the strong support system that is always there to back her up.

She said she was excited about the future of South Africa’s ports, adding that while her dream is to obtain pilot licences in other ports, there are exciting things happening at the Port of Saldanha.

“Transnet is developing new infrastructure and expanding and stimulating the economy. With the development of Saldanha port infrastructure to support the oil and gas sector, the towns of Saldanha and Langebaan will be the jewels of the West Coast with overseas companies establishing businesses here and totally new and bigger vessels visiting our ports. There is lots to look forward to,” she said.

Vincent, who completed her Harbour Master Diploma in October 2016, through the IBC Academy in London, said she would like to pursue her MBA in the near future. –[/restrict]


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Operation Atalanta’s latest Maritime Protection Team (MPT) from Serbia has now arrived in Djibouti. Photo: EUNAVFOR ©. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Operation Atalanta’s latest Maritime Protection Team (MPT) from Serbia has now arrived in Djibouti. Photo: EUNAVFOR ©

On 12 August 2017 Force Commander of the European Naval Force Somalia Operation Atalanta (EU NAVFOR), Rear-Admiral Fabio Gregori, met with the Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs of Oman, HE Yousuf Bin Alawi Abdullah in Salalah to deepen the excellent cooperation between Operation Atalanta and Oman.

HE the Italian Ambassador to Oman, Giorgio Visetti, HE the Ambassador of Oman in Kuwait, Hamed al Ibrahim and the son of the minister, Shihab Yousuf Alawi were also welcomed on board the Italian warship ITS Virginio Fasan* by the Force Commander.

Admiral Gregori explained the activity, role and mandate…[restrict] of Operation Atalanta and the cooperation framework that is in place between the multinational missions and nations currently operational in EU NAVFOR’s area of operations.

There was then a tour of ITS VIRGINIO FASAN where the Minister spoke with members of the Force Headquarters including the Chief of Staff, Captain Jose Maria Fuente de Cabo and Commanding Officer, Commander Michele Orini.

Italian Ambassador addresses Omani Foreign Minister and Force Commander in ITS Virginio Fasan in Salalah. Photo: EUNAVFOR ©, as apearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Italian Ambassador addresses Omani Foreign Minister and Force Commander in ITS Virginio Fasan in Salalah. Photo: EUNAVFOR ©

The Deputy Governor of Dhofar (one of the four governorates of the Sultanate of Oman) Sayyid HE Abdullah bin Aquel Al Ibrahim also received Force Commander Rear-Admiral Gregori and Captain Fuente during the three-day port visit.

Admiral Gregori and his HQ staff are currently embarked in ITS Virginio Fasan. The Force Commander’s role is to work with counter-piracy partners to assess the piracy threat and to deploy EU NAVFOR’s warships and aircraft to sea areas that are deemed to be at the highest risk of an attack and to respond to piracy incidents wherever possible.

Serbian team in Djibouti

A few days later, on 17 August, Operation Atalanta’s latest Maritime Protection Team (MPT) from Serbia arrived in Djibouti to take over the protection of World Food Programme (WFP) vessel, mv ESBJERG, from the team from Montenegro.

The highly-trained Serbian team was welcomed to the EU’s counter-piracy operation by the Support Element Atalanta Officer-in-Command, Commander Jean-Marc Stervinou (French Navy). After embarking in mv Esbjerg the team will provide round-the-clock protection to the ship as it transports vital WFP food aid to Somalia.

Serbia provides a MPT to Operation Atalanta as part of its contribution to the EU Naval Force’s fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Operation Atalanta is a multinational naval force that has helped to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean since 2008.

*ITS Virginio Fasan (F591) is the second ship of the FREMM (European Multipurpose Frigate)-class frigates and the first of the series in anti-submarine warfare configuration. It was built by Fincantieri in Riva Trigoso and commissioned to the Italian Navy on 19 December 2013. Displacing 6,700 tons, she is 144 metres loa and capable of a top speed of 27 knots.

The ship’s flight deck is able to embark 1 EH-101 and 1 SH-90 or 2 SH-90 ASW helicopters.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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CMA CGM places orders for nine new mega ships, as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CMA CGM places orders for nine new mega ships  Picture: CMA CGM

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has become the latest container carrier to opt for additional mega ships, with reports surfacing of an order about to be placed for 11 mega container ships each capable of carrying up to 22,000 TEU.

The order is believed to be worth US$1.5 billion meaning a unit price of just over $136 million per ship. The vessels will be placed with…[restrict] Samsung (six ships) and with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) (five ships) and are expected to make use of exhaust-gas scrubbers on each vessel.

It is also reported that MSC may lengthen a number of its 14,000-TEU ships as it seeks to increase capacity.

CMA CGM recently placed an order with Chinese shipyards for nine ships each with a capacity of 22,000 TEU. That order was said to be worth US$1.4 billion and went to two Chinese shipyards.[/restrict]


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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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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Naval News

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African Turaco in ADurban. Picture by Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
African Turaco. Picture: Keith Betts

MUR’s bulk carrier AFRICA TURACO (60,075-dwt) sails from Durban, one of a significant number of MUR ships calling at the port. The shipping company is majority owned by Macsteel International Holdings B.V. which operates with up to 150 ships owned and time-chartered. The other partner in the line is ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd, the country’s leading steel producer, while Macsteel is probably the biggest steel merchant operating in southern Africa. According to MUR it operates over 900 sailings a year and carriers 45 million tonnes of cargo, giving some idea of the size and depth of the shipping line. Africa Turaco was built at the Onomichi Dockyard in 2016 as hull number 706. This picture is by Keith Betts



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