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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Matuku in Dunedin November 2017, picture by Alan Calvert, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Matuku in Dunedin harbour, New Zealand. Picture by Alana Calvert, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Matuku. Pictures: Alan Calvert

The New Zealand flagged coastal tanker MATUKU (IMO 9657806) sailing from Dunedin in ballast to the refinery at Marsden Point. Built in South Korea in 2016, Matuku is named after an Australasian wetland bird species. The 165-metre long chemical products and oil tanker, 50,143-dwt, is owned by Grindrod Maritime LLC and is under charter to Coastal Oil Logistics Limited (COLL) and managed by Silver Fern Shipping of Wellington, New Zealand, where the vessel is also registered. These pictures were taken earlier in November by Alan Calvert


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containers of logs detained in Beira harbour, story appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Mozambique authorities have intercepted another 100 containers of logs that were on their way to the port at Beira for export to Asia.

Containing an estimated 2,000 cubic metres of wood, the shipment was stopped on the basis of irregularities with the paperwork, reports AIM Moçambique.

The logs originated from the central provinces of Manica and Tete and were all destined for export to Asia.

Authorities made up of a multi-sectoral team composed of…[restrict] the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER), the National Quality Control Agency (AQUA), customs and the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM), conducted a sudden and unexpected operation involving the inspection of 400 containers intended for the port at Beira, reports the Portuguese language newspaper Notícias.

Irregularities detected included the transportation the export of species such as mondzo, black chacate, sandalwood and others that are prohibited by law.

AQUA’s Arsenio Chelengo told reporters that the seized wood reverts to the state and the company involved will be fined in accordance with the law.

“All forestry operators know that the law in force in the country prohibits the export of timber in log form,” Chelengo said. Mozambique has imposed a ban on the export of logs until further notice in an attempt at stemming the illegal cutting of trees for export.

MITADER inspector-general Emília Fumo headed the team that intercepted the shipment, and was accompanied by the director general of AQUA, Eduardo Samuel. The containers were stopped at the port where the inspectors ordered the opening of more than 400 containers carrying wood to check the legality of the contents.

Notícias reports that the operation was triggered by a tip-off from a reliable source, though some of the containers did contain sawn wood and could accordingly be exported.

Port authorities said the owners of the timber could also be fined for having made false statements about the legality of the product being exported.

The Port of Beira receives forest products from almost all provinces in the centre of the country. The seized timber comes from the provinces of Manica and Tete, and the owners are Asian.

On 1 March this year ‘Operation Tronco’ was launched by the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development, with the aimed of curbing the rapid depletion of forest resources. Considerable quantities of illegally felled wood were detected and confiscated as a result.

Wood seized during the operation is being used for the manufacture of school desks, for which a distribution campaign has been launched by President Filipe Nyusi. Source: AIM Moçambique & Notícias[/restrict]


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Port of Mossel Bay Acting Port Manager Vania Cloete, Lynde Minnie of Interwaste, Danie Otto of Swift Engineering, Michael Nene of Petro SA, Jethro Moses of Grindrod Sturrock Shipping, TNPA National Key Accounts Manager Ndubulu Ndlovu and Port of Mossel Bay Acting Port Manager Shadrack Tshikalange, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Mossel Bay Acting Port Manager Vania Cloete, Lynde Minnie of Interwaste, Danie Otto of Swift Engineering, Michael Nene of Petro SA, Jethro Moses of Grindrod Sturrock Shipping, TNPA National Key Accounts Manager Ndubulu Ndlovu and Port of Mossel Bay Acting Port Manager Shadrack Tshikalange.

Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Mossel Bay hosted a Golf Day and Customer Awards at the Mossel Bay Golf Club on Monday (27 November) to acknowledge the valuable role of clients in the port’s successes and growth.

Acting Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange, thanked nominees for their contribution to the Port of Mossel Bay and the economic growth of the city, region and country.

“Your contribution and investment to the economy cannot be undermined or taken lightly as it ensures that people have jobs, people have food, skills are developed and our country is positioned and recognised for trade excellence in a very challenging world economy,” he said.

Tshikalange said it had been a challenging year for the port, which had shown consistency in performance and innovation, despite a decline in fishing activity and liquid bulk and break-bulk volumes which form the backbone of the region’s economy.

“The Port of Mossel Bay has declared this year as ‘The Year of the Customer’,” he added. “This theme is underpinned by our commitment to not only meet but exceed customer requirements and expectations.”

He also thanked the port’s leadership and employees for their unity, agility and innovation, which continued to delight the customer and helped position Mossel Bay as a region worth investing in. The port is amongst the best performing ports within TNPA’s system of eight commercial ports.

Clients recognised in various categories at the Port of Mossel Customer Awards 2017 were:

* Petro SA – Best Performing Tenant/Operator (2016/2017) – recognised for its financial year end performance, volume growth and revenue generation.

* Swift Engineering – Best Performing Ship Repairer – recognised for its safety record for year end 2017, investment, job creation and skills development

* Grindrod/Sturrock Shipping (Pty) Ltd – Best Performing Shipping Line (2016/2017 – recognised for its volume growth, revenue generated for TNPA and TOPS.

* Interwaste – Best Safety Performer (2016/2017) – recognised for its adherence to reporting requirements, quality of reporting and implementation of corrective action

* Petro SA for Best SHE Compliance Audit (2016/2017 – recognised for its management of audit findings

Director of Swift Engineering, Danie Otto, said: “Thank you. It was a really great day and a bonus with the award that came unexpected.”


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Iranian Navy frigate ALVAND, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Iranian Navy frigate ALVAND

The Iranian Navy in the form of the frigate ALVAND and the support vessel LAVAN was able to prevent armed pirates from boarding an Iranian merchant ship, the general cargo vessel CASPIAN HARMONY (IMO 9766645) near the Gulf of Aden, according to news agency Shabelle.

The attempted act of piracy took place south of Ras Sharbitat off the Oman coast. The merchant ship has since passed through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea.

Details of the attempt are sketchy and have not been confirmed by other organisations operating in the region. The Iranian Navy has maintained a naval presence in the area of the Gulf of Aden since 2008 in ord3er to undertake escort duties for Iranian merchant ships sailing through the region.

Iran has reported a number of pirate attacks…[restrict] in the past which have not always been verified by outside sources but in the latest incident the ship under threat from pirates has been identified, adding to the authenticity of the claim.


ITS Virginio Fasan, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
ITS Virginio Fasan

In related news, EU NAVFOR reports that Rear Admiral Fabio Gregori, EU NAVFOR Force Commander, who is currently embarked on the flagship ITS VIRGINION FASAN, took the opportunity during the transfer of six suspected pirates to the Seychelles authorities on 26 November, to strengthen the relationship between the Seychelles and Operation Atalanta.

The six suspected pirates have been transferred to the Seychelles authorities where they will stand trial on charges of piracy. They were arrested by the Italian navy, deployed as part of the European anti-piracy Operation Atlanta, after being spotted by a military helicopter while attacking a container ship and a fishing vessel on 17 and 18 November – see the report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS CLICK HERE

One of the vessels attacked, GALERNA III is flagged in the Seychelles.

On leaving Victoria, the Italian crew of Fasan took the opportunity to conduct Search and Rescue exercises with Seychelles Coast Guard patrol ship ANDROMACHE and the Seychelles Air Force. The establishing of good communications and coordination activities remains a vital aspect of saving life at sea and responding to incidents in a competent and professional way.

“Key relationships between the Seychelles authorities and EU NAVFOR enabled a very smooth transfer of suspects. Ongoing engagements such as these recent discussions following the transfer remain vital for future success in the management and suppression of pirate acts,” said Admiral Gregori.

Operation Atalanta’s primary task is to ensure the safe delivery of food aid to the people of Somalia, by providing escorts to ships otherwise vulnerable to pirate attack. So far over 1.6 million tonnes of food aid has been shipped to the people of Somalia while under the watchful eye of the EU NAVFOR warships and aircraft….[/restrict]


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Coast of Ocean Destructio report by Greenpeace, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Vessels arrested for illegally fishing in West African waters are still carrying on with business as usual, said a Greenpeace Africa report released recently on World Fisheries Day.

The report, ‘The Cost of Ocean Destruction’, details how West African fishermen and communities continue to suffer from the consequences of overfishing and illegal fishing in this region and it provides specific recommendations for Governments on how to solve the crisis.

Greenpeace ( is calling upon West African governments as well as nations fishing in, or importing seafood from the region, to stand together to protect millions of Africans against the unceasing onslaught of industrial fishing fleets.

Greenpeace is also demanding that authorities provide follow-up information on fishing vessels and crews that were arrested during a joint patrol by Greenpeace and African fisheries inspectors last spring.

According to Pavel Klinckhamers, project leader in Greenpeace Netherlands, “The current situation…[restrict] in West Africa is a result of decades of overfishing and inaction, but it is also a result of commitments from West African governments and foreign fishing nations, like China, South Korea and the EU, that were simply never translated into reality. Coastal communities are the ones paying the price and they cannot wait any longer. African states and foreign fishing nations in the region have to change course and put in place the policies that these communities need in order to survive.”

In only twenty days, Greenpeace and fisheries inspectors from Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Senegal came across 17 vessels contravening applicable rules, while 11 of these vessels were arrested for infractions which included involvement in illegal transshipment, fishing in breach of their license conditions, using illegal nets and shark finning.

However, only 6 months later, all 17 vessels are still licensed to fish in West African waters, and in most cases, local authorities are not responding to requests from Greenpeace to clarify what legal steps were taken after the arrests.

Chinese authorities have ordered provincial authorities to punish the captains of some of the Chinese vessels involved in infringements, while specific subsidies to their operations have also been cancelled. The general lack of information on each case is symptomatic of the lack of transparency and accountability of governments when it comes to fisheries policies.

“West African countries keep signing new and opaque fishing agreements with foreign countries without putting in place the means to monitor their activities and sufficiently take the interests of local small-scale fishermen into account. This kind of practice has disastrous consequences for the marine environment, for local fishermen and hence for African communities as well,” says Klinckhamers.

One of the main fishing players in the region, China, is currently conducting a revision of its Provisions for the Administration of Distant Water Fishery. The review will include new sanctions for IUU fishing, however it is still crucial to ensure transparency, effective implementation, and the strengthening and effective enforcement of punishment measures by coastal West African countries, when vessels break the law.

Also, a number of new fisheries agreements are currently in the making. Last month China signed long term fisheries agreements with Sierra Leone ( and Mauritania ( and the EU is working on a fisheries agreement with Guinea Bissau, since the current protocol will expire later this month. According to unconfirmed information, Senegal and Russia are also holding conversations around reintroducing Russia’s industrial fishing fleet, that was kicked out of Senegal back in 2012.

“This is not a quick fix, and we need everyone involved in West African fisheries to cooperate. For African states in particular, they need to manage shared resources jointly and ensure priority is given to the labour intensive, small-scale sector. This sector which directly employs one million people and generates €3 billion annually. At the same time, we need foreign fishing nations to ensure their fleets do not undermine the sustainability of fisheries in the countries they operate in,” said Ibrahima Cisse, senior oceans campaign manager in Greenpeace Africa.

For more than 15 years, Greenpeace and other NGOs have warned against overexploitation of fish stocks in West African waters and its serious impacts on livelihoods, food security and employment for millions of people in this region. It has also outlined how substantial progress can be made through strong cooperation and harmonisation of West African fisheries policies and legislation. In fact, regional cooperation has been at the core of an already established mandate for West African countries of the Sub regional Fisheries Commission, SRFC, since 1985.

Still, very little has been done in reality to turn the tides for West African waters, and the situation out at sea in West Africa and the consequences on land, are alarming.[/restrict]


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MSC Seaside entered service this week, story appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Seaside

MSC Cruises took delivery yesterday of its latest cruise ship, the 4,134-passenger MSC SEASIDE at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone in Italy.

It was also confirmed that Fincantieri is to build two Seaside Evo (Evolution) ships which will be larger than MSC Seaside and her sister MSC Seaview – the latter is due for delivery in May 2018.

The new class of Seaside Evo ships are scheduled for delivery in 2021 and 2023 and will be longer than the two Seaside ships.

“It’s an evolution of the Seaside platform, an extension,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, chairman of MSC Cruises, who added that they will each have 2280 cabins and a gross tonnage of 169,380 gross tons. The order is worth €1.8 billion, compared to the €1.7 billion that MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview have cost.

But the day belonged to MSC Seaside, and following the blessing, Gianluigi Aponte’s granddaughter Asya Aponte cut the ribbon that brought a bottle of champagne to break against the ship’s hull in time-honoured fashion. The Fincantieri flag was then lowered and replaced with that of MSC Cruises, marking the official handover of the ship.

Now complete, MSC Seaside has departed to nearby Trieste from where on Friday she will set off on her maiden voyage, a 22-night cruise to Miami where she is to be based.

MSC Seaside is also the first MSC Cruises ship designed and built specifically for the American market. All other ships have targeted the European market where MSC Cruises grew its support and success.

In addition to MSC Seaview now nearing completion, MSC Cruises also has MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa under simultaneous construction at the French St Nazaire shipyard. By 2023 MSC Cruises will have built 12 new ships and will have doubled its fleet.


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IMO general assembly this week in London, story appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

South Africa will continue to play a meaningful role in addressing the maritime related challenges facing the global community.

That assurance was given on Tuesday by the Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, at the 30th Regular Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) which commenced on Monday, 27 November 2017 at the IMO Headquarters in London in the United Kingdom.

She is being supported by officials from the Departments of Transport (DoT) and International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO), the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and Transnet.

“We will continue to put together our collaborative efforts and…[restrict] work with all relevant stakeholders in contributing towards the sustainable green economy, Chikunga said.

The Deputy Minister and her delegation are in London gathering support from member states in anticipation of being re-elected into the Category C of the Council.
“South Africa will continue to play an active and supportive role in the affairs of the IMO, and wishes to retain her seat in the IMO Council,” the deputy minister said.

On Monday Chile was appointed as the newly elected President of the IMO, with Cyprus and Georgia taking up the roles of First and Second Vice Presidents.

Deputy Minister Chikunga commended the Secretary-General of the IMO, Mr Kitack Lim for his indelible contribution and leadership that he has demonstrated in advancing the objectives of the IMO.

Chikunga highlighted the importance of shipping as it continues to play a critical and prominent role in connecting people from different corners of the world through global trade.

“This phenomenon places the IMO at the epicentre to ensure that such global activities are accomplished seamlessly and without unnecessary hindrances,” she said.

The Deputy Minister also commended the IMO for its valuable contribution towards the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially on climate change and gender equality.[/restrict]


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IMO Awards night in ondon, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2016 has been presented to Mr Koji Sekimizu, former Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), for his contribution to the work of IMO over many years.

Current IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim presented the prize on Monday (27 November) at the IMO awards ceremony.

“Mr Sekimizu has dedicated his career and his lifetime to promoting safety of life at sea and protecting the marine and atmospheric environment. He is truly deserving of the International Maritime Prize, Mr Lim said.

The IMO Council unanimously decided in July to…[restrict] award the Prize to Sekimizu, IMO Secretary-General Emeritus, in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the work and objectives of the IMO and the international maritime community as a whole. A Japanese national, Sekimizu had a long and distinguished career with IMO, culminating in his four-year stewardship as Secretary-General for the four years from 2012 to 2015.

Accepting the prize, Sekimizu expressed his gratitude for the honour and reflected on more than a quarter of a century spent working at IMO.

“I spent the whole of my professional life in the development of international rules and regulations at IMO for the safety at sea and prevention of pollution from ships and ensuring maritime security. It was a great honour for me to serve IMO and the international maritime community as the Secretary-General and I am proud of my life totally devoted to IMO,” he said.

Sekimizu was nominated for the prize by the Government of Japan, who highlighted his contribution as director of both the Maritime Safety and Marine Environment Divisions, and as IMO Secretary-General. Sekimizu oversaw the adoption of a number of key instruments, including the amendments to make the IMO Member State Audit Scheme mandatory, the Polar Code, and the Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety. He pushed forward with the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from ships. He also contributed greatly to the enforcement of anti-piracy measures, including setting up the Djibouti Regional Training Centre.

As Secretary-General, he worked to strengthen the governance and capacity of IMO’s educational institutions, and the financial sustainability of the World Maritime University. Within IMO, Mr Sekimizu initiated a review and reform process.

Mr Koji Sekimizi (left) with current IMO secretary-general, Kitack Lim, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mr Koji Sekimizi (left) with current IMO secretary-general, Kitack Lim

Koji Sekimizu was elected Secretary-General of IMO in 2011, assuming that role at the beginning of 2012 for a four-year term.

A naval architect by training, with a Master’s Degree in engineering from Osaka University, Koji Sekimizu joined the Ministry of Transport of Japan in 1977 as a ship inspector. He was promoted to various posts in the Ministry, including Deputy Director of the Environment Division and Deputy Director, Safety Standards Division, Maritime Technology and Safety Bureau. Sekimizu was involved with IMO meetings for the Government of Japan for some years before he joined IMO in 1989. He was involved in the development of many important Conventions and Codes, with responsibility for maritime safety, security, anti-piracy measures and marine environment issues.

He served as Director of both IMO’s Marine Environment Division and Maritime Safety Division before becoming Secretary-General of the Organization.

International Maritime Prize

The International Maritime Prize is awarded annually by the IMO to the individual or organization judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work and objectives of the Organization. It consists of a sculpture in the form of a dolphin and includes a financial award, upon submission of an academic paper written on a subject relevant to IMO.[/restrict]


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Statement from the Chennai Six and their families

Guard ship Seaman Guard Ohio, detained in India since October 2013, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Guard ship Seaman Guard Ohio, detained in India since October 2013

From the freedom of their hotel in India yesterday Billy Irving, John Armstrong, Nicholas Simpson, Ray Tindall, Nick Dunn, and Paul Towers – collectively known as the Chennai Six – have issued this joint statement on behalf of themselves and their families.

“After four long years, we, along with the 29 crew of the SEAMAN GUARD OHIO, have been cleared by the Appeal Court. We want to thank the court for reaching this decision. We are all in good health and eager to return to our families and friends. Whilst we wait for permission to leave India and come home, we ask the media to respect our privacy and that of our families during this process.

“We want to thank our legal counsel, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Mission to Seafarers for helping us reach this point. We have been glad to receive the many messages of support and care packages during our time in prison, and ask for time to reflect on our experience and to prepare for home.

“We kindly ask that any individuals or media interested in our story do not contact us or our families directly at present. Please respect our collective wish for privacy at this time.”

Please contact the Mission to Seafarers if you have any further enquiries at


Vale announces the signing of the Project Finance for Nacala Logistic Corridor

Nacala and Sena Railways. map: Mitsui, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Nacala and Sena Railways. map: Mitsui

Brazilian mining company Vale S.A. advises that the Nacala Logistic Corridor (NLC) companies have this week signed the binding financing contracts in the form of a project finance, through which NLC will raise US$ 2.730 billion, broken down as follows:

* US$ 1.030 billion from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

* US$ 1.000 billion loan insured by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) from the following institutions: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd; Mizuho Bank Limited; Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited; Nippon Life Insurance Company and Standard Chartered Bank

* US$ 400 million loan insured by Export Credit Insurance of South Africa Limited (ECIC) from the following institutions: ABSA Bank Limited; Investec Bank Limited; Rand Merchant Bank and The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

* US$ 300 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB)

The project finance facility will be repaid in 14 years with the proceeds generated from the tariff related to the coal transportation services and from general cargo services provided by NLC. The tariff was introduced in April 2017 upon the completion of the equity transaction with Mitsui and the subsequent deconsolidation of NLC.

The Nacala project finance completes the investment structure devised to support the ramp-up of the logistic corridor until its full capacity utilization.

The completion of the transaction and the drawdown of the proceeds are subject to usual conditions precedent for a project finance and are expected to happen shortly. The funds received will be mostly paid to Vale to take out part of Vale’s shareholders loans conceded for construction of NLC, but will also be used to support the ramp up of the corridor.

The project finance also demonstrates the institutional maturity and the government support in both Mozambique and Malawi. The authorities at all government levels fully cooperated and enabled all the regulatory, financial and legal frameworks that support the Project Finance, for which Vale and Mitsui are deeply thankful. Vale wishes that the Nacala Project Finance becomes a postcard and a benchmark for the attraction of other large scale investments in both countries.


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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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{ekin at Durban by Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Pekin arriving in Durban. Pictures: Trevor Jones, asppearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pekin. Pictures: Trevor Jones

The latest ship to carry the name PEKIN (IMO 9721576) arrived in Durban earlier in November to take bunkers. Built in 2016 the 180 metre long, 30m wide bulker has a deadweight of 39,777 tons and sails under the Hong Kong flag. The bulker is owned and managed by China Navigation Co Pte Ltd of Singapore, better known as CNCo, which is the deepsea shipping arm of the British Swire group of companies. These pictures are by Trevor Jones



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