Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002
Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


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Yantar arriving at Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffmn, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Russian research ship Yantar in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Russian research ship Yantar in Cape Town. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

A Russian Navy ship arrived in Cape Town harbour with little or no fanfare last week. This was the oceanographic research vessel, YANTAR, which names means AMBER in English. The vessel comes with two self-propelled autonomous deep submergence vehicles named RUS and KONSUL, which are reported to be for deep-sea research and rescue operations. During her acceptance tests Konsul dived safely to 6,270 metres. Yantar is 108 metres long and 17.2m wide and is the product of the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau in St. Petersburg, but was built in Russia’s Baltic shipyard in Kaliningrad which also carries the name of Yantar. The research ship displaces 5,200 tons, has a maximum speed of 15 knots, a range of 8,000 nautical miles and can accommodate a crew of 60 members. These pictures were taken by Ian Shiffman


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Angolan fishery vessel Baia Farta on slipway at Damen Galati, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Angolan fishery vessel Baia Farta in the water at Damen Galati shipyard, November 2017, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIP maritime news
Pictures courtesy: Damen Shipyards

Damen Shipyards Galati has launched a Fishery Research Vessel (FRV) 7417 named BAIA FARTA for the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries.

The launch took place on 9 November with sponsor of the vessel, Dra. Isabel Cristóvão, director of Gabinete de Estudos, Planeamento e Estatística performing the honours.

The Angolan Ministry is a long-standing client of Damen, having previously taken delivery of two 62-metre Fishery Inspection Vessels 6210 and a smaller FRV 2808.

According to Damen the new vessel boasts a number of state-of-the-art features. Baía Farta has Silent A/F/R Class notation. Close attention has been paid to the design, construction and outfitting of the vessel in order to minimise noise and vibration both on board and underwater.

The vessel is suited for multi purposes, including hydrographic operations, acoustics research, pelagic and demersal trawling, plankton, water, environmental and geographical sampling, oil recovery and emergency towing operations.

“This vessel represents the future of fishery research, featuring cutting-edge technologies to make operations both sustainable and comfortable,” said Friso Visser, Damen Regional Director Africa. “She will enable the Angolan Fisheries Ministry to carry out research into its fishing grounds that will help to develop and preserve the nation’s industry and environment.”

Baía Farta features a basic design from Skipsteknisk. Her construction has been an international project, involving input from Damen Shipyards Gorinchem and Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands, with building taking place at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania.

For the benefit of our Portuguese speaking readers……

Baia Farta prior to being launched at Damen Galati shipyard November 2017, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictures: Damen Shipyards

Estaleiros Damen lançam à água Navio de Investigação Pesqueira, de ponta, para o Ministério das Pescas de Angola

No dia 9 de Novembro, os Estaleiros Damen Shipyards Galati lançaram à água ou um Navio de Investigação Pesqueira (FRV) 7417 para o Ministério das Pescas de Angola. A Dra. Isabel Cristóvão, Directora do GEPE-Gabinete de Estudos, Planeamento e Estatística, foi a madrinha do navio, de nome BAIA FARTA.

O Ministério é um cliente de longa data de Damen, tendo-lhe anteriormente sido entregue dois navios de Fiscalização Pesqueira de 62 metros e um outro mais pequeno, um FRV 2808. Este novo navio possui um número de características de estado-da-arte.

O FRV 7417 ‘Baía Farta’ tem notação de Classe “Silent A/F/R”. Especial atenção está a ser dada ao projecto, construção e aprestamento do navio de forma a minimizar quer o ruído quer a vibração a bordo e na parte submersa.

O FRV 7417 “Baía Farta” é adequada para diversos fins, incluindo operações hidrográficas, pesquisa acústica, arrasto demersal e pelágico, amostragem de plâncton, água, ambiental e geográfica, recuperação de hidrocarbonetos e operações de reboque de emergência.

Friso Visser, Director Regional África dos Estaleiros Damen, disse: “este navio representa o futuro da investigação pesqueira, apresentando tecnologias de ponta para fazer operações sustentáveis e forma confortável. Permitirá ao Ministério das Pescas de Angola realizar a pesquisa nas suas zonas de pesca, o que vai ajudar a desenvolver e preservar o ambiente e indústria do país.”

O projecto base do “Baía Farta” é da Skipsteknisk. A sua construção tem sido um projecto internacional, envolvendo os estaleiros Damen Shipyards Gorinchem e Damen Schelde Naval, na Holanda, com a construção a decorrer nos estaleiros Damen Shipyards Galati, na Roménia.


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Port Nolloth. Pictures courtesy: TNPA, as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port Nolloth. Pictures courtesy: TNPA

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has completed its rehabilitation of the infrastructure of Port Nolloth on the north-western coast of South Africa.

The R39 million infrastructure upgrade was carried out over 14 months by contractor Steffanuti Stocks Marine Pty Ltd, with 25% of the contract value ploughed back into local companies – predominantly black-, women- and youth-owned businesses, which is in line with Transnet’s Supplier Development requirements.

The port, founded in the late 1800s as an export facility for copper from mines located in the Springbok and O’Okiep area, is now used as…[restrict] an offshore supply base of De Beers Group Services.

Port of Cape Town Port Manager, Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana, whose portfolio includes Port Nolloth, said the port would continue to serve as a support facility to the fishing and offshore mining industries.

“The completion of this rehabilitation project is part of a longer term plan to develop Port Nolloth into a port that offers greater economic opportunities for the people of the area. It is one of several projects that we as TNPA are proud to be fulfilling as an implementing agency in the Marine Transport and Manufacturing (MTM) delivery unit of the South African government’s Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy initiative,” she said.

The purpose of Operation Phakisa is to fast-track and unlock investments across South Africa’s maritime sector.

Dweba-Kwetana said the improved port infrastructure would better enable Port Nolloth to support offshore activities. De Beers Group Services has held a five-year lease agreement to use the port as an offshore supply base for conducting diamond prospecting activity in Namibia, with Smit Amandla supply vessels stationed at the port used to transfer supplies to De Beers’ offshore prospecting vessels.

Transnet’s infrastructure at the port comprises an L-shaped concrete deck on pile jetty with a 67-metre landing quay and a useable area of 1450 m2. Work completed since August 2016 included refurbishment of the jetty structure, refurbishment or replacement of concrete where required, refurbishment of quay infrastructure, replacement of quayside fender systems and revetment works to address erosion of the shore line.

Port Nolloth is also one of six development nodes identified by the South African government to be developed over time into a world-class and sustainable coastal and marine tourism destination under Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy.[/restrict]


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One of Winning Logistics’ four floating cranes transshipping bauxite from barges to oceangoing vessels off the coast of Guinea. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
One of Winning Logistics’ four floating cranes transshipping bauxite from barges to oceangoing vessels off the coast of Guinea

Konecranes has received a repeat order for two Konecranes Gottwald Model 8 Floating Cranes from Winning Logistics Company Limited which are to go into service transshipping bauxite off the coast of Guinea on the open sea.

Winning Logistics, a member of the Singapore-based Winning International Group, has been operating Konecranes Gottwald Floating Cranes since 2015 when it began its bauxite transshipment activities. Since then its off-shore bulk handling activity has grown and…[restrict] the company has ordered two more Konecranes Gottwald Floating Cranes.

“With the new delivery, our fleet will consist of six Konecranes Gottwald Floating Cranes, helping Winning Logistics to reach its growth objectives. The cranes play a key role in the supply chain of Guinea,” said Wang Chuanyang, General Manager, Winning Logistics.

Bauxite is shipped from the mining regions on river barges to the open sea where the floating cranes load the product onto oceangoing vessels heading for Asia.

Giuseppe Di Lisa, Sales and Marketing Director, Mobile Harbor Cranes, Konecranes Port Solutions, said that Konecranes was proud to have received a repeat order from Winning Logistics. “This is a clear expression of the customer’s satisfaction with the performance and efficiency of the Konecranes Gottwald Floating Cranes in operation off the coast away from quay infrastructure.”

Built for the open sea, Konecranes Gottwald Model 8 Floating Cranes are designed in accordance with the Lloyd’s Register Code for lifting appliances in a marine environment. They are able to operate at wind speeds up to 24 m/s and maximum wave heights of 2.5 m. The new machines feature 63-t grab curves and a maximum lifting capacity of 100 tons, allowing the customer to lift project cargo such as heavy machinery.[/restrict]


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BRICS banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

President Jacob Zuma says manufacturing forms the backbone of South Africa’s economy and is an integral element in addressing some of the challenges facing the country.

The President said this on Thursday during question time in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Parliament.

It was his last session in the NCOP according to the Parliamentary programme for the year.

He said collaboration with BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – with regards to manufacturing is ongoing and includes inward foreign direct investment and outward export promotion of South African products, trade relations and technical cooperation, including training programmes.

The manufacturing sectors of both India and China continue to…[restrict] be key drivers of broader economic and industrial growth in the global economy, he said.

South Africa benefits considerably from the exports of primary commodities and intermediate goods to both these economic powerhouses that are also BRICS members.

“We are keen to further promote foreign direct investment, particularly from manufacturing companies in BRICS member States,” the president said.

Significant progress has been registered in this regard, and a good example is the number of investments made by Chinese companies into the automotive sector, which are estimated to be in the region of R8 billion.

Government has been engaging the BRICS Think Tank Council in order to identify concrete areas of cooperation that South Africa can take forward during the country’s BRICS presidency in 2018.

A BRICS Network of Smart Manufacturing Hubs has been recommended and it is expected to pool together knowledge, technology and new ideas on the identification of new and interconnected value chains.

“We will indeed seek to implement the declaration as it relates to the fostering of partnerships for cooperation in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) hardware, software and skills through developing the next generation of innovative solutions in the areas of smart cities, health care and energy efficient devices, amongst others,” said Zuma.

Enhanced support for the manufacturing sector will be set out in the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2018-2019 which will be announced by the Minister of Trade and Industry.

The President said South Africa looks forward to hosting the BRICS Summit next year. He said the summit will enable South Africa to take the cooperation further and enhance benefits for the country. –[/restrict]


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The late Captain Mike Brophy, former chief harbour master, South African ports. Picture: Terry Hutson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The late Captain Mike Brophy, former chief harbour master, South African ports. Picture: Terry Hutson

A former Chief Harbour Master at Transnet National Ports Authority, Captain Mike Brophy, has passed away after an illness.

Captain Brophy retired in 2010, handing over the reins of chief harbour master to Captain Rufus Lekala. Brophy had more than 30 years of service with Transnet and had been based in Durban since 2004 following his appointment as port captain (later renamed harbour master) of that port.

In 2006 he succeeded Captain Eddie Bremner as chief harbour master.

Although Capt Brophy hailed from a small Irish village called Crosshaven and spoke with a soft Irish brogue, he spent much of his life either on ships or helping making them safe in harbour. He finally came ashore in the land of his adoption after falling in love and marrying a Port Elizabeth lady, and joining the harbour service in the process.

The young Mike Brophy went to sea in 1963 when he signed on as an apprentice deck officer with Irish Shipping, working up the ranks to 2nd Mate with a Mate’s certificate before seeking a change of scenery with Ocean Fleets (Elder Dempster Line and Blue Funnel Line) which took him on the run to West Africa. “Not a good place at that time, with the Biafran war underway,” he recalled in an interview in 2010.

One day in the early 1970s while back in London he was passing the Safmarine offices and ‘popped in’ to enquire about a job. In the 1970s ships officers were in demand and he was soon in contact with South Africa, a country he immediately liked.

This fondness grew even stronger when he met a young lady from the Eastern Cape who agreed to become his wife, a decision that led Brophy to realise that it was time to ‘go aground’ as he put it. As a result he applied to and joined the South African harbour service.

The first posting for the married couple was to Mossel Bay, an interesting little port for any harbour man where he had to double his duty as both tug master and pilot at times, while acting as harbour master on other occasions.

In his first night at the little town and barely a week after getting married the Brophys were woken at 2 am by a loud knocking on the door. It was a messenger from the harbour.

“Kaptein… Kaptein, kom gou-gou, daars ‘n skipper van in die moeilikheid by Knysna is…”

“What on earth’s he talking about?” demanded Brophy of his sleepy wife of just seven days.

Fortunately Mrs Brophy, who came from Port Elizabeth, both understood and spoke Afrikaans and was able to translate for her husband.

“They want you to come quickly, there’s a ship in trouble somewhere at sea near Knysna and they need a tug,” she explained.

It turned out that one of the Unicorn coasters, the Barrier, was in difficulty off Knysna that night and urgently required a tug to assist. So off Brophy went with the port’s only tug, the little pilot tug ALWYN VINCENT, motoring eastward from Mossel Bay to bring the Barrier to safety. Later the coaster was taken to Durban for repairs behind one of the large steam tugs but the episode served as a sudden introduction to the harsh realities of harbour service although it later offered a lucrative reward from the salvage money.

After four pleasant years at Mossel Bay, where to his amusement the Irishman was constantly referred to as ‘die Engelseman’, [the ‘Englishman’] the Brophys were transferred to Durban. “For my wife it was a good move to a big city but for me coming from a small village anywhere, even Mossel Bay or Richards Bay, was large. Besides, as a seaman I was used to making do wherever I was.”

After nine years in harbour service in Durban, during which he underwent training to become an acting pilot, he was transferred to Richards Bay, which was to become his home for the next 17 years. Promotion in those days was slow, which was something the men of the marine service understood and accepted, and if they were anxious for quick promotion they would look for transfers between the ports. Nevertheless, Brophy became a pilot while at the Zululand port and later acting port captain, before being appointed harbour master, succeeding Captain Neil Brink.

In 2004 came his transfer to Durban as harbour master of the country’s premier port, followed two years later by his appointment as chief harbour master of South Africa. For one year he performed the chief harbour master duties jointly while remaining harbour master of Durban, before handing over the reins of the port to Captain Rufus Lekala and concentrating on his position as chief harbour master.

His duties in this post included many top level meetings and negotiations but also included the opportunity of helping pass on marine skills to young men and women joining the harbour service, something he said he has been passionate about.

“These skills were passed to me, now it was my turn to pass them on to others,” he said simply.

He also acted as mentor to other harbour masters in addition to being available to provide maritime input to the National Ports Authority executive when required. Captain Brophy said he regarded it as rewarding that, having worked in an organisation for so many years he was later considered for the highest post, something for which he felt both grateful and honoured.

Captain Mike Brophy’s funeral was held this week on Monday at the Westville Catholic Church. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, four children and a grand-daughter.


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Photo kindly provided by TERMA©, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Terma Scanter radar system. Photo kindly provided by TERMA©

It was announced from Aarhus, Denmark on 15 November that Danish aerospace, defence, and security company Terma, in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), India, as Prime contractor, has been awarded a contract to execute the Indian Navy’s Surface Surveillance Radar (SSR) project for 31 radars.

It is understood that the SSR programme is the first procurement by the Indian Ministry of Defence under the Buy and Make (Indian) category of the Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP).

This project involves…[restrict] delivery, installation, and commissioning of radar systems in Indian Navy vessels as well as delivery of simulators, establishment of depot- level facilities, and integrated logistics support with deliveries spread over ten years.

Furthermore, the radar is being manufactured in India with Transfer of Technology from Terma, Denmark.

Terma’s SCANTER 6002 (illustrated) is an advanced high-performance solid state radar capable of round the clock operations, year-in-year-out.

Terma reports that it exhibited at the 4th Ship Technology (Shiptech) event held from 15-17 November at the Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall in Thailand.

This year’s Shiptech coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of ASEAN* as well as the International Fleet Review in Pattaya, Thailand.

More information can be found here:

* The Association of South East Asian Nations, see here:[/restrict]

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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People tour the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka’s annual Friendship Day celebration. More than 50,000 people participated in the open base event highlighting the friendship between the U.S. Navy and the host nation of Japan. FLEACT Yokosuka provides, maintains and operates base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet's forward-deployed naval forces, 71 tenant commands, and 26,000 military and civilian personnel. Picture: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart/Released), appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIP[S maritime news
People tour the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka’s annual Friendship Day celebration. More than 50,000 people participated in the open base event highlighting the friendship between the U.S. Navy and the host nation of Japan. FLEACT Yokosuka provides, maintains and operates base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet’s forward-deployed naval forces, 71 tenant commands, and 26,000 military and civilian personnel. Picture: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart/Released)
Another US Navy destroyer has been involved in a collision in Asian waters, although nothing too serious this time and more importantly, with no loss of life.

The Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) received light damage after a Japanese tug drifted onto it. The tug was involved in a towing exercise…[restrict] at the time when things went horribly wrong.

USS Benfold sustained minimal damage with scrapes along the side and some slight denting but a full assessment will determine the extent of any damage.

“Benfold remains at sea under her own power. The Japanese commercial tug is being towed by another vessel to a port in Yokosuka. The incident will be investigated,” the U.S. Seventh Fleet said in its statement.

Two other incidents of far greater magnitude have involved Arleigh Burke-class destroyers of the Seventh Fleet this year. USS Fitzgerald collided with a containership outside a port in Japan in June and in August USS John S McCain collided with a commercial vessel in the approaches to Singapore. Seventeen sailors lost their lives in the two accidents, which led to a shake-up of those in command and a series of reforms aimed at restoring basic naval skills and alertness at sea after a review indicated that sailors were under-trained and over-worked.[/restrict]


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DNV GL: Standardisation can help enable the digital transformation of shipping

appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Classification society DNV GL has released a new position paper setting out the importance of standardisation in enabling the growth of digital applications in the maritime industry.

Drawing from the experiences gained from digital pilot projects focused on ship sensor data, the paper examines how standardisation can enable the effective collection, storage, exchange, analysis and use of data, while contributing to improved data quality and sensor reliability.

Whether for operational optimisation, model calibration for digital twins, design optimisation or other applications, the maritime industry is exploring the opportunities offered by digital technologies. The first demonstration and pilot projects are already well underway and the industry is asking what is needed to transform these into fully scalable products. The answer could be a greater emphasis on standardisation.

“Standards are used in many industries to advance efficiency, safety and environmental performance,” says Pierre Sames, Group Technology and Research Director, DNV GL. “With the rise of the Internet of Things in shipping, we believe that many stakeholders can benefit from developing a standardisation strategy to take advantage of a more digital maritime industry.”

DNV GL’s new position paper focuses on the collection of ship sensor data, as increased sensor availability lets us collect both existing and new types of data more efficiently, with the result that more data is available than ever before. But as more data is being collected, exchanged and prepared for use, the origin, quality level, context, and legal status can become less transparent – the result being that end users are less likely to trust and therefore use the data.

“At DNV GL we have been involved in many digitalisation pilot and demonstration projects,” says Steinar Låg, Senior Researcher in Maritime Transport at DNV GL. “By looking at the results of these projects we identified several technical barriers that are hampering the data flow and usage. Too much time is spent matching and structuring different systems, while data collection products from different vendors often have incompatible outputs – making it difficult to combine the data of multiple systems. This makes the processes less efficient and more difficult for shipowners to obtain a complete picture of a vessel or their fleet.”

The report discusses the need for standardisation in six key areas: Ship data models, sensor naming and referencing, maritime taxonomies and code books, sensor metadata, shipboard data recorder, as well as sensor quality and reliability. However, as future technologies develop, there may be a need for new standards to support other applications, such as model-based simulations and autonomous ships.

“At DNV GL we will continue to work with industry stakeholders on new standards at the same time as we develop new rules, class notations, recommended practices and type approval programmes,” says Pierre Sames. “Standards are a key factor in removing barriers and enabling the growth of digital applications in the maritime industry and we hope this study will inspire others to invest in the development and adoption of standardisation.”

The full report can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE


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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

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Naval News

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Galerna II arriving in Durban, November 2017. Picture by Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Galerna II in Durban harbour, S Africa, November 2017, by Keith Betts. Pictures appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Galerna II. Pictures: Keith Betts

A rather interesting yet puzzling fishing vessel entered port in Durban at the recent weekend. This was the Spanish-owned GALERNA II (IMO 9663154) of 3,540 gross tons with her port of registry rusted out of sight but which happens to be Victoria in the Seychelles. The ship is owned by Albacora of Madrid, Spain and was built at the Astilleros Armon Gijon shipyard at Gijon, Spain in 2014. Galerna II is 96 metres long and has a beam of 15 metres and she joined a second similar vessel on berth at the Point, ALBATUN TRES (4,406-gt) which is even bigger than Galerna II, being 115m in length by 16.6m wide. They are tuna freezer fishing vessels and judging by the sophistication on board, said to be the best in the world, these two vessels one can only imagine the devastation they bring to the stocks of tuna along the East Africa coast. These pictures by Keith Betts



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