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Stolt Selje on berth at Durban's Island View. Picture: Ken Malcolm, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Stolt Selje.   Picture: Ken Malcolm

Set against a backdrop of the Island View terminal with its tank farm and warehouses, also known as the Cutler Complex, is the Stolt products tanker STOLT SELJE (36,778-dwt). The chemical and oil products tanker is owned and managed by Stolt Tankers of Rotterdam, Netherlands and was built in 1993. She flies the Liberian flag. Stolt Tankers is a division of Stolt-Nielsen. This picture is by Ken Malcolm


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Höegh Target in Durban in February 2017. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Höegh Target in Durban. Picture: Keith Betts

Höegh Autoliners has become the second car carrying shipping company to face charges of collusive action, price fixing and market division.

This was after the Norwegian shipping line was referred to the Tribunal for prosecution by the Competition Commission of South Africa.

The Commission said the charges stem from a probe into widespread anti-competitive conduct in the market for the transportation of motor vehicles, equipment and machinery by sea to and from South Africa.

Höegh Autoliners Holdings AS (Höegh) stands accused of colluding with a Japanese car shipping company, Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd (MOL), the Commission said. From around 2009, MOL and Hoegh engaged in prohibited practices in that…[restrict] they agreed and/or engaged in concerted practices as competitors to fix prices, divide markets and tender collusively. The seven charges entail the following:

* Collusive activities from around 1997 involving a tender issued by Auto Alliance Thailand to transport Mazda motor vehicles from Thailand to South Africa;

* Collusive activities from around 2004 involving tenders issued by Toyota South Africa to transport vehicles from South Africa to Europe and North Africa;

* Collusive activities from around 2008 involving tenders issued by Daimler AG to transport Daimler motor vehicles from South Africa to North America and vice versa;

* Collusive activities from around 2009 involving a tender issued by the Ford Motor Company to transport vehicles to Europe;

* Collusive activities from around 2010 involving a tender issued by Renault-Nissan Purchasing Organization to transport Nissan motor vehicles from India to South Africa;

*Collusive activities from around 2010 involving a tender issued by Maruti Suzuki to transport Suzuki vehicles from India to South Africa; and

*Collusive activities from around 2010 involving tenders issued by Japanese manufactures such as Mazda, CAT, Hitachi and Komatsu to transport motor vehicles and construction machinery from Thailand and Japan to South Africa.

MOL previously approached the Commission in terms of its Corporate Leniency Policy and was subsequently granted leniency for its involvement in the cartel conduct in exchange for information and full cooperation in the matter.

In referring the matter against Höegh to the Tribunal for adjudication, the Commission is seeking an order declaring that the company is liable for the payment of an administrative penalty equal to 10% of its annual turnover on each of the charges.

The Commission said its investigation found pervasive anti-competitive conduct in the market, in contravention of section 4(1)(b)(i) and (ii) of the Competition Act.

In a separate but related matter, the Commission earlier this year referred 15 charges to the Tribunal against ‘K’ Line for prosecution for price fixing, market division and collusive tendering.

Two other firms, also listed as respondents in the ‘K’ Line matter, made admissions and concluded settlement agreements with the Commission.

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha Ltd (NYK), paid an administrative penalty of R103,977,927 and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL) paid an administrative penalty of R95,695,529.[/restrict]


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coal mining in Tete province's Moatize district, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

When the coalfields of Mozambique’s Tete province, said to hold the largest undeveloped coal deposits in the world, were first opened to mining one of the major stumbling blocks that mining houses faced was that of getting the coal to a port on the coast.

An existing rail link from Tete to the port at Beira, known as the Sena Railway, had been severely damaged during the civil war and required extensive rebuilding and refurbishing. This was initially undertaken by an Indian company but was later taken over by CFM, the Mozambique rail and port company, after the Indian company failed to perform to CFM’s satisfaction.

These delays led to initial complications involving the mining companies – the main ones at that time being…[restrict] Vale of Brazil and Rio Tinto – in getting their export coal to the port at Beira, with road transport having to be resorted to.

Shortly after the 550-km long Sena Railway was reopened to traffic and the first coal trains, together with passenger services, began moving the line was quickly shown to have limitations in terms of potential volume. While utilising the railway almost to its full capacity, Vale Moçambique sought an alternative route to the sea by constructing a rail link to connecting the Moatize district with Malawi’s Central South African Railway, itself a subsidiary company of the Brazilian firm. This provided Vale with a new connection to the deepwater port of Nacala along the so-called Nacala Corridor, with a new coal terminal being built on the inland side of Nacala Bay, known as Nacala-a-Velha.

In the meantime, Rio Tinto sold out at a bargain basement price to an Indian consortium, International Coal Ventures Private Limited (ICVL) which continued investigating whether coal could be shipped to the coast on barges using the Zambezi River. This was ultimately ruled out for what the Mozambique authorities said were environmental reasons. Coal mining groups involved in the Moatize basin by now included Vale Moçambique, International Coal Ventures Private Limited (ICVL) of India and Minas Moatize.

The next development has seen Thai Moçambique Logistica sign contracts with Portuguese construction group Mota-Engil and the China National Complete Engineering Corporation, to build a 500 kilometre railway from the Moatize coal basin to a new mineral port to be built at Macuse, in Zambezia province.

Tete railways, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Macuse lies to the north of the Zambezi River and is south of the small port of Quelimane. With its construction the coal mines of Tete province will have three rail outlets to the sea, but will still, at least for the foreseeable future, face security issues from bandits or guerrillas (take your pick) who have ambushed trains on both the Sena and Nacala lines.

These ambushes are not unique to rail transport in the region – road transport has to travel in convoys along certain sections and even that is no guarantee they won’t come under fire.

As a result the rail companies are resorting to armour-plating their trains.

Provincial Director of Transport and Communications Romeu Sandoca told Mozambican national news agency AIM recently that a branch line is to be built from Moatize to Chiúta further inland to connect with the Nacala railway. It appears the branch line to Chiúta will extend even further west to the small town of Chitima, the district headquarters of Cahora Bassa, where there are two mining companies, namely JSPL Mozambique Minerals and ENRC Mozambique, a subsidiary of the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation of Kazakhstan, although the latter has yet to begin mining.

The Sena Railway has a capacity of 12 million tons a year whereas the 902-km Nacala Railway can carry up to 20 million tons a year. From Chiúta the route to the port at Nacala will be 1,070-km and will mainly transport iron ore mined in the Chiúta and Moatize basin.

The Macuse line extending to Moatize and Chitima will haul both iron ore and coal. The extension to Chitima adds a further 125 kilometres to the 520-km line as planned.

AIM reported being told by the director that an inland dry port was planned for Cateme in the Moatize district, over an area of 100 hectares and sited next to National Highway 7. This will be offered on concession to any interested party, either domestic or foreign, he said.

Armour plating 110 locomotives

In other related news, the Pretoria firm of SVI Engineering is engaged currently in armour-plating 110 Vale Moçambique locomotives which are operated by CLN (Corredor Logístico Integrado do Norteand) and CDN (Corredor de Desenvolvimento do Norte) on the Nacala Corridor.

This follows a spate of attacks on trains operating out of Tete province, on both the Sena and Nacala Railways. Vale has been forced to suspend rail operations on occasion because of these attacks.

CLN, which is owned by Vale and Japan’s Mitsui as main shareholders and CFM as a third shareholder, operates the Nacala railway and port of Nacala. Several other specialised concession holders are also involved in the operation of this railway.



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NSRI Port Elizabeth Station 6, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The rescue of a couple of surf-ski paddlers off the beach at Port Elizabeth might not sound too out-of-the-ordinary under usual circumstances, but read on.

Ian Gray, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) station commander at the Eastern Cape port city reports that his duty crew was activated on Monday following reports from the mother of a paddler reporting her son and his friend to be overdue from a paddle on surf-ski’s in the Summerstrand vicinity.

Before the NSRI had a chance to respond, she phoned back to say the two paddlers were safe in Port Elizabeth harbour, having been rescued at sea by the commercial fishing trawler, Sea Lion.

The NSRI confirmed this to be the case and then investigated the circumstances.

It turned out that the two paddlers, one a local and the other visiting from Zimbabwe, were paddling behind the backline when strong winds swept them out to sea. That was when the trawler Sea Lion got into the action. In the words of the skipper of Sea Lion, Steven Benade:

“Yesterday (Monday) at around 12 midday one of my crewman alerted me to a paddler in possible distress one mile off Kings Beach, Port Elizabeth. We were on anchor sheltering from the wind. After picking up anchor and reaching the paddler we were surprised to see a second man hanging onto the back of the paddle ski.

“The story goes that the two guys went for a paddle just behind the breakers when the wind started to pick up. Before they knew it they were being blown further away from shore. The one guy was not a confident paddler and was definitely not going to make it back to shore alone. His friend made the call for him to abandon his ski and for the two of them to try to paddle back to land.

NSRI logo, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

“Unfortunately that plan did not work as the wind increased in strength and ended up blowing them further out to sea. By this stage they had been in 16 degree water for over an hour and were very cold and tired. They then made the choice to turn around and paddle out to sea to using the wind to try get to one of the vessels lying on anchor.

“They made a very brave choice, one that ended up saving their lives in my eyes. In saying that it could have gone horribly wrong if they were not spotted as by then the wind was gusting 30 knots and they would have been blown far out to sea before any help was sent to find them.

“First of all I would like to thank all of my crew onboard the f/v Sea Lion for getting them out the water quickly and safely. By the time they were taken out the water, both paddlers were on the first stages of hypothermia. My crew acted fast by supplying both guys with dry clothing, blankets and a hot cup of coffee. Secondly I want to say to that even though we picked them up, the true hero of the day was the one guy (whose name I forget). Faced with a life and death situation, he stayed calm, assessed the situation and made a call that saved his friend’s life.

“The sea can be a dangerous place as we all know but staying calm and not panicking could save your life. I’m just thankful that this story had a happy ending.”

The NSRI’s Ian Gray said the NSRI commends the skipper and crew of the f/v Sea Lion for the rescue of the two men and for saving their lives. One paddle board was not recovered and the NSRI have been made aware that the white paddle board remains adrift at sea.


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Tazara bridge crossing scene, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

TAZARA (Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bombardier Transportation to explore investment opportunities.

This is one of the strategies for repositioning ourselves towards boosting our haulage capacity, said Conrad K Simuchile, TAZARA’s Head of Public Relations.

TAZARA operates an 1860-km railway service between Zambia and the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, and…[restrict] caters for traffic from inland Central Southern African states including the DRC.

Tazara route map, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Bombardier, the Montréal, Canada- HQ’d manufacturer of aircraft and trains, has offered a preliminary turnkey solution for TAZARA to increase efficiency and capacity in the areas of track, rolling stock, signalling and telecommunications. This apparently comes “with access to possible international funding options to support the revitalization of TAZARA”.

Following the signing of the MoU, both groups will establish a joint team to undertake a feasibility study to define and agree on the scope of the partnership, after which Bombardier Transportation will submit a full technical and financial proposal for TAZARA’s consideration.

“We are delighted to welcome Bombardier Transportation, an acclaimed global leader in rail and aircraft technology, as one of the key partners in our quest to attain medium to long-term aspirations that include investing in rolling stock and infrastructure,” said TAZARA Managing Director, Eng. Bruno Ching’andu.

He said TAZARA remained “open to all possibilities for introducing investments in rolling stock and infrastructure, which is essential for uplifting our capacity and instilling confidence in our customers,” said Eng. Ching’andu.

According to Bombardier Transportation Director for Sales and Business Development, Nazif Tasci, who signed the MoU on behalf of Bombardier, a turnkey solution including very attractive funding arrangements via Sweden, could be arranged.

“In the past, we have successfully closed transactions based on support from the European-based Export Credit Agencies, Export Development Canada, the Swedish Export Credits Guarantee Board, and the Swedish Export Credit Corporation to extend financing to our customers and we strongly believe this is also possible in the case of TAZARA,” said Mr. Tasci.[/restrict]


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Namibian fishery research vessel RV Mirabilis, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Namibian fishery research vessel RV Mirabilis

Namibia’s fisheries ministry has complained to Angolan marine authorities about five foreign fishing vessels that have been entering Namibian waters under cover of darkness from Angolan waters to fish illegally inside Namibian territorial waters.

Namibian Fisheries permanent secretary Moses Maurihungirire is quoted in The Namibian as confirming reports by the newspaper of the illegal fishing activity, during which…[restrict] tens of thousands of tons of fish, especially horse mackerel, is trawled.

The theft is said to be costing the Namibian industry millions in lost revenue, and has been going on for a long time, according to industry sources.

“The government is doing everything in its power to arrest the suspected illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing vessels along our northern border,” said Maurihungirire. “We are also intensifying both sea and air surveillance. In addition, we are also busy engaging other stakeholders in order to arrest the situation,” he told the paper.

Namibia does not condone illegal fishing, and the ministry would thus do everything in its power to bring culprits to book, he added.

The report said that the foreign trawlers hide their identification signs and symbols, and use radar to detect if Namibian patrol vessels are approaching. If they detect patrol vessels, they quickly sail back into Angolan waters.

According to industry sources, the vessels came as far as 110 kilometres into Namibian waters to catch horse mackerel.

Namibia’s annual total allowable catch for horse mackerel is 320,000 tonnes. source: The Namibian[/restrict]


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HMS Ocean at Gibraltar to take on humanitarian supplies for Caribbean. Picture : © MoD Crown Copyright 2017 islands devastated by Hurricane Irma, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
HMS Ocean at Gibraltar to take on humanitarian supplies for Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma. Picture : © MoD Crown Copyright 2017

Gibraltar Naval Base was a hive of activity on 11 September as HMS Ocean berthed to prepare herself to provide hurricane aid to British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean. Ocean was operating in the Mediterranean Sea as Flagship for the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 when Hurricane Irma struck, causing untold damage to islands in the Caribbean.

Ocean, or the Mighty O as she is known, was re-tasked to…[restrict] head out to the area to join RFA Mounts Bay which has been in the region since July. Ocean will provide humanitarian relief and help the islands affected by carrying out repairs to infrastructure.

During her time alongside in Gibraltar Ocean was due to load over 200 pallets of aid which includes items such as timber, buckets, potable water, bedding, clothing as well as food and milk for babies which is in short supply.

In addition approximately 350 extra personnel will be joining the ship for passage to the Caribbean.

During the cargo uplift CO of HMS Ocean Captain Robert Pedre explained: “In the 72 hours that it has been announced we were being re-deployed to assist British Overseas Territories there has been a huge challenge in getting all the equipment where we need it. Gibraltar is well-placed for this as a forward operating base. We will be loading approximately 200 pallets in the next 24 hours as well as around 350 extra personnel who will be assisting in the rebuilding task. My ship’s company are fully trained to conduct relief operations; we have engineers, medics, Royal Marines and logisticians on board who will all contribute to the relief effort.”

Complementing stores being loaded on 11 and 12 September the warship will be carrying two Chinooks from 18 Squadron RAF Odiham, two Merlin helicopters from RNAS Yeovilton and Wildcats from 820 NAS based at RNAS Culdrose.

Meanwhile in the British Virgin Islands…

Sappers offloading supplies in the British Virgin Islands. Picture : © MoD Crown Copyright 2017, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sappers offloading supplies in the British Virgin Islands. Picture : © MoD Crown Copyright 2017

59 Commando Squadron from 24 Commando Royal Engineers and Royal Marines from Alpha Company, 40 Commando are supporting the communities of the British Virgin Islands with the disaster relief effort.[/restrict]

Reported and edited by Paul Ridgway


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Autonomous ships and the human element

The Nautical Institute banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

As vessels become more and more autonomous consideration has to be given to the human element of future vessel operations, according to David Patraiko FNI, Director of Projects at The Nautical Institute.

Speaking on Monday at the Autonomous, robotics and loT – exploring the potential and human impact conference organised by WISTA-UK (Women in Shipping and Trading Association) as part of London International Shipping week, he said the human element in developments could not be ignored.

“Although some might be surprised that the leading maritime professional organisation that is so well recognised for its commitment to the human element should be involved in the autonomous vessel debate, there are some very good reasons,” he explained.

The Nautical Institute, London - David Patraiko, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
David Patraiko

Pointing out that the existence of autonomous vessels is a ‘reality’ with hundreds working today, Mr Patraiko said they will be increasingly interacting with manned vessels. The NI’s work was of importance in ensuring relationships between the autonomous vessels and humans.

“NI members are already dealing with many autonomous systems onboard, including machinery, cargo, communications and navigation,” he told the conference. “Understanding and refining the interaction between the human and these systems is a priority as we move into the future.”

The NI is dedicated to ‘supporting those in control of seagoing craft’ and has opened its membership to all maritime professionals accepting the need of those in autonomous ship operations to embrace professional development.

It will be essential to ensure the competencies of all involved in controlling autonomous vessels, whether onboard or ashore, are maintained, he added.

About The Nautical Institute

The Nautical Institute is an international representative body for maritime professionals involved in the control of sea-going ships. It provides a wide range of services to enhance the professional standing and knowledge of members who are drawn from all sectors of the maritime world.


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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

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.


Naval News

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Themis Leader sailing from Durban, by Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Themis Leader sailing from Durban, by Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Themis Leader. Pictures: Keith Betts

NYK’s car carrier THEMIS LEADER (61,804-gt), sailing from Durban earlier in August. The NYK car carriers are among the most attractive of these vessels on account of their eye-catching livery and generally smart appearance. Themis Leader is no exception. The 200-metre long, 32m wide Ro-Ro vessel was completed in July 2010 at the Imabari Shipbuilding Co, Ltd Marugame Headquarters shipyard in Marugame, Japan as hull number 1522. The ship is owned by a Panamanian-registered company and operated by Nippon Yusen Kaisha Line (NYK) of Tokyo, Japan. The ship has 12 decks and a capacity of 5,400 motor cars and is manned by a crew of 22. She flies the Panama flag. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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