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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Cap Cortes arriving in Durban, November 2017. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cap Cortes. Picture: Trevor Jones

Over the years we’ve seen many Hamburg Süd container ships passing through the ports of Durban and Ngqura and occasionally Cape Town, many of them on their delivery voyages to South America to take up service between that continent and Europe or elsewhere. We even had one ship named at a lavish ceremony in Durban – SANTA CLARA in March 2011. Invariably smart looking in their orange/red livery the Hamburg Süd ships always brightened the scenery as they arrived, berthed at the container terminal and sailed from port. With the merging of the German company into that of Maersk and talk of Hamburg Süd concentrating on the South America – Europe trade in future, does this mean we will have less calls by this line whose ships were a feature here for so long? This past week one of the smaller ships in the fleet called at Durban, the 3,820-TEU CAP CORTES (52,065-dwt) and proceeded to the container terminal. Built in 2013 at the Taizhou CATIC Shipbuilding Heavy Industry yard in China as hull number UN 01, the 228-metre long, 37-m wide ship is under charter to Hamburg Süd from the German owner Rehder Carsten and has also operated with the name OSAKA STRAIT. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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The Spanish-owned, Seychelles-flagged fishing vessel Galerna II arriving at Durban at the weekend. This is a very similar vessel to the Galerna III that was under pirate attack also at the weekend. This picture is by Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Spanish-owned, Seychelles-flagged fishing vessel Galerna II arriving at Durban at the recent weekend. This is a very similar vessel to the Galerna III that was under pirate attack also at the weekend. This picture is by Trevor Jones

EU NAVFOR has confirmed that two vessels were attacked in separate incidnets by pirates over the weekend of 17-18 November 2017. The first was the container ship EVER DYNAMIC and the second a large Spanish fishing vessel Galerna III. Although both vessels were fired on there are no injuries reported.

EU NAVFOR believes the larger vessel, a motorised whaler was being used as a mother ship to another smaller skiff to launch an attack on the 52,000-ton container ship and the fishing vessel in separate attacks.

These events took place over a 24 hour period on 17 and 18 November in the Southern Somali Basin, in an area notorious for piracy incidents. During the incidents a number of rocket propelled grenades were fired against the container ship. However, adherence to BMP4 (Best Management Practices), the presence of a security team on one of the vessels, and good seamanship avoided any damage or injuries.

The container ship involved was the Evergreen Line ship EVER DYNAMIC while the second vessel was a sister fishing vessel to Galerna II that was featured yesterday in Africa PORTS & SHIPS. GALERNA III came under attack by the pirates while operating out of Victoria in the Seychelles.

Ever Dynamic was on a voyage between Colombo and Mombasa.

EU NAVFOR reports that the suspected pirates were apprehended by the Italian Marines from ITS Virginio Fasan after their vessels were located using Fasan’s SH-90 helicopter. This followed initial searches by a Spanish Cisne Maritime Patrol Aircraft.  This search for the suspected pirates was coordinated with partners and from information provided by the masters of the vessels concerned. Positive visual verification was made which allowed this to take place.

A legal process has now begun for the suspected pirates to be transferred to the appropriate authority for prosecution. EU NAVFOR was able to respond rapidly and successfully to these incidents due to the combined efforts of all involved, maximising synchronisation with all EU NAVFOR partners and forward deployed capabilities.

A reminder is made to all seafarers that adherence to BMP4 and registration with MSCHOA will help to overcome further illegal acts at sea. The presence of international counter-piracy forces in the area will continue to act as a deterrent to further incidents.


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Port of Mombasa's two container terminal sites. Map courtesy: JICA, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Mombasa’s two container terminal sites. Map courtesy: JICA

Kenya’s Port of Mombasa will acquire 16 new cranes from Japan for the second phase of Mombasa’s port project.

Finance for the cranes has been made possible through collaboration between Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding to the amount of ¥7.2 billion (US$ 64 million).

Mombasa's second container terminal site, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mombasa’s second container terminal site

Mombasa’s Second Container Terminal, which will confirm the role of Mombasa as…[restrict] the largest commercial port in East Africa, is expected to be completed in 2020 and is being funded through the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) loan program.

Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of the Toyota Group, signed the contract with the Kenya Ports Authority, which operates under the Republic of Kenya’s Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development.

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding will be in charge of manufacturing four ship-to-shore gantry cranes for quayside operations and 12 transfer cranes (RTGs) for yard operations.

RTG cranes for the Port of Mombasa, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
RTG cranes for the Port of Mombasa

The crane types are the same as those delivered in Phase 1 of the port development project, which expanded the port’s goods handling capacity from 720,000 TEU to 1.3 million TEU in 2016. The gantry cranes employ eco-friendly hybrid technologies to realise greatly reduced CO2 emissions in comparison to similar cranes.

Work on the second phase of the terminal project aims to expand the port’s capacity by 450,000 TEU. Last year the port handled just over one million TEUs. It is expected that by 2025 the port will be handling 2.4 million TEUs annually.

In 2012, Toyota Tsusho became the first Japanese company to sign a comprehensive memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kenya to support its Kenya Vision 2030, a long-term national planning strategy for industrial development, and has since signed contracts on a number of initiatives to contribute further to advance Kenya’s economy.[/restrict]


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Abidjan, capital and chief port of Ivory Coast, through which much of the country's imports will pass, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Abidjan, capital and chief port of Ivory Coast, through which much of the country’s imports will pass

The Government of Côte d’Ivoire has appointed Bureau Veritas, Intertek and Cotecna for the implementation of the Verification of Conformity Programme.

The programme requires that goods exported to Côte d’Ivoire have to comply with applicable standards, shall be…[restrict] verified in exporting country and shall be accompanied with a Certificate of Conformity issued by one of the selected company.

The Programme comes into effect on 1 March 2018. The list of goods concerned will be published in December but exporters are advised to be aware that proscribed articles with a shipping date after the first of March will require a suitable Certificate of Conformity.

The programme requires that goods exported to Côte d’Ivoire have to comply with applicable standards, shall be verified in the exporting country and shall be accompanied with the Certificate of Conformity issued by one of the selected companies.

Certificates are needed to ensure customs clearance of shipments of listed goods and any shipments arriving without the Certificate of Conformity will be rejected and penalties applied.

This VoC Programme is a CBCA (Consignment Based Conformity Assessment) service and was announced at a ceremony in Abidjan on 8 November.[/restrict]


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Pretty Scene at anchor outside Durban, will be sold by public uction on 5 December. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pretty Scene at anchor outside Durban

An oil tanker valued at approximately US$ 15-million, arrested in June 2016 in Durban, will be sold on auction on 5 December. The Korean vessel, built in 2006 and named PRETTY SCENE, currently belongs to the Parakou Group in Asia. The auction, set to take place in Durban, comes following a court order.

Measuring 183m in length, 32.2m in breadth and with a deadweight tonnage of 51,255t, the oil tanker is the fourth vessel of similar scale and nature to make its way to a South African auction floor in the last 18 months. Last year, the Sadan K and Zeynep K were successfully disposed for a combined $20 million in Durban, on behalf of UniCredit in Germany. In November 2016 the Mv Maverick Guardian, anchored in Namibia, was successfully auctioned for $14.94 million on behalf of Credit Suisse.

The auction will be conducted by online auctioneering company Clear Asset. “A decision was taken by the applicants not to conduct any dry dock repairs prior to sale, which in turn means her special survey is over-due and she will require a re-classification before the successful purchaser is able to trade with her. Despite this, her overall condition is strong,” said Clear Asset’s managing Director and Auctioneer, Ariella Kuper.

A dispensation from the USA has granted the Ballast Water Treatment System (WBTS) extension to the vessel further to 30 July 2020. This is an additional value add on a commercial level.

The auction for the vessel will take place on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 at 10h00 at Bowman’s premises in Durban. Bowmans are the Correspondent attorneys acting for Credit Agricole Asia Ship Finance Ltd.

Full information can be found on or contact or +27 79 8999 998 (mobile)/ +27 21 418 2630 (office).

A report of this auction was first published in Africa PORTS & SHIPS on 8 November – see that HERE


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Africa and Europe, neighbours, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Africa and Europe, neighbours

The European Parliament’s ambitious EU-Africa strategy contains ambitious elements which aim to strengthen the future partnership between the two continents. The strategy holds positive market liberalisation initiatives and investment in maritime infrastructure which will improve trade and make market access easier for the maritime industry, says a report by Danish Shipping.

The European Parliament has this month…[restrict] adopted a report on an EU-Africa Strategy. The strategy states that the political dialogue between the EU and Africa should be strengthened in order to reduce migration and boost investments in a future EU-Africa partnership.

According to the Parliament’s strategy, a new collaboration should lead to an Economic Partnership Agreement, which will contribute to sustained growth on the African continent. In this context, market liberalisations and increased trade between the two continents are key factors as measures to boost the overall development in Africa.

One key factor in the report is maritime infrastructure, which will enable the shipping industry to operate more easily in the African countries.

“The EU-Africa Strategy is a clear signal to push for an increase in international trade. I believe that this strategy will be important to secure a positive impact on the maritime sector, because of the focus on prioritising investments in ports and other necessary maritime infrastructure,” says Casper Andersen, Director of EU Affairs at Danish Shipping.

Focus on sustainable development

The strategy stresses that a new partnership should build on the promotion of sustainable development, human rights and fair and ethical trade.

The opening of markets and sustainable development through trade goes hand in hand, says the Parliament’s rapporteur of the EU-Africa Strategy, Mr Maurice Ponga (FR) from the European People’s Party, who recognises that maritime transport is a key enabler of development through trade.

“This strategy will strengthen our neighbouring continent, which both the African and European citizens will benefit from. Open markets are a prerequisite to achieve the full potential of international trade and a stable framework for private investment, such as those in infrastructure. Therefore, maritime transport plays an important role in the eradication of extreme poverty and the pursuit of a substantial development,” says Maurice Ponga, MEP from the European People’s Party.

Danish Shipping says it is very satisfied with the European Union’s focus on a new EU-Africa framework. Non-discriminatory conditions and a stable legal framework are key for a maritime industry that has a long history of investment on the African continent, and as such Danish Shipping will continue to push for maritime transport to have a key role in future EU-Africa agreements. source: Danish Shipping[/restrict]


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Vale coal mine at Moatize, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Vale coal mine at Moatize

A report in the Mozambique Portuguese language newspaper Notícias states that the production of coal at the Vale Moatize mine in Tete Province reached almost to 10 million tons for the period between January and October.

This is almost double the 2016 figure of 5.9 million tons.

The report says that Vale’s goal is to produce 13 million tonnes of thermal metallurgical coal by…[restrict] December, an increase of about 120 percent on last year’s results.

The figures were released by the Brazilian mining company in Moatize during a visit by journalists to the project, which has a holding area of 23,700 hectares.

Vale’s Rogério Sendela was confident of achieving the goal, explaining that the increase in production was due to the fact that the company has been operating a second processing plant since the end of 2016, and a railway line with capacity and operational safety levels far above the one it had been using since the beginning of operations has come online. The activation of a second mine has also contributed to the results.

The company was now able to process 22 million tons of coal per year, against the 11 million installed capacity in each of the plants.

Similarly, with the Northern Logistics Corridor (CLN), which includes a railroad linking Moatize to the Nacala port via Malawi, Vale no longer uses the “fragile” Sena line linking the coal region of Tete to Beira. CLN’s capacity is 18 million tons of cargo per year, compared to about 6 million tons that the Sena line could support, according to data released by Vale.

Sendela said that despite having produced about 5.9 million tons of coal last year, export volumes were well above this number because of processed coal awaiting shipment to Beira.

Currently, five 120-wagon trains depart for Nacala daily, a journey of about 30 hours. Each train carries 7,560 tons of coal, which is then exported to India, Japan, Brazil and elsewhere. source: Notícias[/restrict]


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Photo: US Navy photo / Released USN©, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Photo: US Navy photo / Released USN©

From Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, we learnt on 20 November that Argentine rescue commanders gathered to discuss current operations with US Navy Commander Michael Eberlein, commanding officer of Undersea Rescue Command (URC).

URC is based in San Diego and is mobilising two rescue assets to assist in search and rescue efforts for the Argentine navy submarine ARA San Juan (S-42).

Reported from US Navy sources by Paul Ridgway

Editorial Note: Up until late last night no sign of the missing submarine has been reported, amidst fears that all the available air will have been used up on board ARA San Juan by later today (Wednesday) unless the submarine had managed to surface or go to snorkel depth.


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Optimarin shakes up BWT sector with unique five-year guarantee

Seatruck ferry fitted with Optimarin ballast water treatment equipment, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Seatruck’s own crews installed five Optimarin systems themselves while their ferries were undertaking operations, with no need to dry-dock 

Seatruck’s own crews installed five Optimarin systems themselves while their ferries were undertaking operations, with no need to dry-dock
Optimarin is announcing another first for the ballast water treatment (BWT) segment. The Norwegian-headquartered BWT specialist, which has focused exclusively on the development of environmentally friendly systems since its foundation in 1994, has become the first manufacturer to offer a five-year parts and servicing guarantee.

It’s a move that, according to CEO Tore Andersen, has the potential to redefine what shipowners expect from suppliers in this ultra-competitive sector.

Optimarin has a unique track record in BWT. It was the first firm to install a commercial system, back in 2000 on-board the cruise ship Princess Regal, and the first to attain full USCG approval. It now boasts more than 330 installed units worldwide, of which over 150 are retrofits, with more than 520 confirmed orders. It’s this history of operational success that has prompted the innovative move.

“We thought it was time to demonstrate our long-term faith in our system and absolute commitment to this segment,” Andersen explains.

“No other manufacturer offers a guarantee of this nature, but we can. So, if a shipowner signs a framework agreement with Optimarin for installation on multiple vessels, we will provide them with a five-year contract that covers all parts and servicing, worldwide. This is our promise of reliable, safe and effective operations, and, with our total regulatory compliance, complete peace of mind.”

Optimarin’s powerful UV-based system is simple to maintain, with no moving parts, and easy to install on almost any vessel, thanks to its modular nature. In fact, just last month freight ferry operator Seatruck revealed its own crews had installed five systems themselves while its vessels were undertaking operations, with no need to dry-dock.

Optimarin banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

“That’s the essence of Optimarin,” Andersen comments, “we’re here to make life as simple as possible for shipowners. And that’s exactly what this guarantee offers.”

He continues: “It also comes down to delivering the best value. We know our system is significantly cheaper to design for vessels than competing technology. Similarly, due to its simplicity, there are minimal maintenance requirements, and it is considerably cheaper to install – full stop. We have fast track deliveries available for many sizes, meaning reduced waiting time, and we can’t be beaten in terms of global compliance. As an all round proposition – taking into consideration reliability, simplicity, installation, track record, price and service – we believe we offer something no one else comes close to. The guarantee is, quite simply, ‘the icing on the cake’.”

Optimarin has the backing of a stable group of investors, which, together with its considerable orderbook, allows it to implement such long-term plans. Its system (OBS – Optimarin Ballast System) is widely acknowledged as setting the standard for the industry. As proof of this, global ship management services and training provider Anglo Eastern has installed two OBS at its training facilities, one in Manila and one in Mumbai, to train crew members ahead of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention coming into widespread force in 2019.

Optimarin customers include names of the order of The Royal Netherlands Navy, Saga Shipholding, Technip, GulfMark, MOL, Solstad Farstad, and Hapag Lloyd, amongst others. Its technology is fully approved by both IMO and USCG, with certification through DNV GL, Lloyd’s, RINA, Bureau Veritas, MLIT Japan, and American Bureau of Shipping.


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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

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

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

The Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier GUO SHUN (IMO 9157349) which arrived in Durban in early November to take bunkers. The 28,437-dwt bulk carrier was built in 1997 and is 169 metres in length and 27m wide. The ship is owned by Chinese interests and managed by Shanghai Vasteast International of Shanghai, China. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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