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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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 Tanker Sanchi  –  A message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (see below)(br)


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8 January 2018
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

Our thoughts and prayers are with the seafarers still missing from the oil tanker Sanchi, following a reported collision off the coast of China. I send my deepest sympathies to all their families and loved ones.

I would like to commend all those who have been involved in the international search and rescue operations so far and in the efforts to battle the fire and contain pollution from the ship.

 This is an ongoing situation which we are monitoring. IMO stands ready to offer any technical assistance that may be needed. In the longer term, it is expected that there will be a full investigation into this incident and that the results and findings will be brought to IMO so that we can do whatever may be necessary to reduce the chances of such an incident happening again.”


News was received of the collision between the vessels Sanchi and CF Crystal over 7 / 8 January in the East China Sea.

A report from Reuters is to be found by CLICKING HERE

Reported by Paul Ridgway



Wolverine departing Durban, November 2017 Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Wolverine. Picture: Trevor Jones

The bulk carrier WOLVERINE (IMO 9711327) is shown here sailing from Durban on 19 November 2017. The 61,292-dwt bulker is owned by Greek interests and managed by Starbulk SA shipmanagement of Athens, Greece. The 200-metre long, 32m wide Ultramax was built in 2015 and is flagged in the Marshall Islands. Many of the ships within Starbulk’s fleet of over 70 ships are prefixed with the name Star but several others have names as equally appealing as Wolverine – Honey Badger, Big Fish, Goliath and Leviathan are some examples. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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A container ship was attacked and boarded in the Gulf of Guinea last week just 10 miles from Bonny River.

The attack on the ship was made by eight pirates in a fast skiff fitted with twin outboards. The pirates appeared to be armed although there are no reports indicating if shots were fired.

The vessel remains unidentified except that it is noted as a Singapore vessel.

It appears that Nigerian naval forces responded and secured the release of the vessel. All crew are reported to be safe.

The attack took place last week Friday (8 December) at approximately 15h00 local time.

One of the crew of the container ship videoed the approach of the pirates which has since been posted on YouTube. Watch it here.

See the article in yesterday’s Africa PORTS & SHIPS regarding the effect that ongoing piracy in Nigerian territorial waters is having on the West Africa country Debate over why Nigeria wasn’t elected onto IMO Council

Map courtesy security broker Asket Ltd, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Map courtesy security broker Asket Ltd


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Container terminal scene. Picture: Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Container terminal scene. Picture and report: Terry Hutson

With little more than a fortnight available in the calendar year South Africa’s ports are on the way to recording a growth of over six percent in containers handled, and are likely to complete the year having handled around 4.627 million TEUs.

We base this prediction on the 11 full months completed so far where an overall percentage increase of 6.23% increase has been noted, and the country’s ports having handled 4.296 million TEUs for the year up to end November.

At first appearance this may appear a comfortable conclusion to what has otherwise been a difficult year, and in a modest manner complies with the latest Drewry Container Report which suggests that global volumes in loaded container TEUs are on course to break the 200-million TEU threshold for the first time.

Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama picked up on this at the recent Terminal Operators Conference Africa 2017 which was held at the ICC in Durban last week, saying this was not only good news but came on the back of an improving macroeconomic scenario in which the IMF was making a small upgrade of 0.1 points for both the 2017 and 2018 forecasts.

While globally there may be reason for optimism, particularly in respect of freight rates in the short term, how does this outlook affect South Africa and the rest of the continent for that matter.

Unfortunately container and port statistics for many African countries are difficult to come by but as far as South African ports it is pertinent to compare the predicted 4.627 million TEUs with previous years? We looked back over the past 10 years and this is what we found – it makes interesting, but also sobering, reading.

    • 2017 4.627m TEUs predicted
    • 2016 4.355m TEUs
    • 2015 4.598m TEUs
    • 2014 4.588m TEUs
    • 2013 4.694m TEUs
    • 2012 4.309m TEUs
    • 2011 4.393m TEUs
    • 2010 4.012m TEUs
    • 2009 3.645m TEUs
    • 2008 3.900m TEUs

What you see above is a pattern of no growth – our ports have been going backwards since 2013 although in 2017 this situation appears to have been reversed.

Based on these statistics Transnet would have no reason to reflect urgency with further container terminal development. The proposed dig out port immediately south of Durban has already been a victim after rapidly becoming a non-subject – at least for now – while even the Salisbury Island extension appears to be receiving no urgency, although preparations are certainly going on in the background.

As a result there is no longer any reason for Transnet to be issuing progress reports on these supposed developments given that there is no real pressure for them at present.

Considering the adverse publicity that projects like the dig out port has attracted, it’s likely that Transnet is more than happy to have this out of the news.

If the 6%+ growth rate can be sustained and even grow to the magical 8 percent mark in future years then expect these plans to be dusted off and have them re-emerge but for now the pressure of stakeholders ought to be on having the berths and channels deepened for the size of ships already calling (up to 14,000 TEU).

Final figures for the 2017 calendar year can be expected at around the time Africa PORTS & SHIPS resumes in mid January.


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The guard ship Seaman Guard Ohio, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The guard ship Seaman Guard Ohio

US security company AdvanFort, which was operating the guard vessel SEAMAN GUARD OHIO at the time of her detention by Indian authorities, has issued a statement following the release of the crew and security personnel from custody in India.

The statement reads:

On November 27, 2017, the Maduria bench of the Madras High Court of India acquitted and ordered the release of the 35 crew members and security personnel who were aboard AdvanFort’s MV Seaman Guard Ohio when it was illegally seized by the Indian Government on October 12, 2013.

The Sierra Leone-flagged ship, which provides anti-piracy services to merchant vessels, was anchored lawfully in international waters when it was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard and commanded to travel to India’s port of Tuticorin for inspection.

Once the ship entered Indian territorial waters, Indian authorities unlawfully arrested the 35 men aboard and impounded the ship and its cargo, citing violations of Indian firearms laws. The men remained imprisoned for over four years during a prolonged legal battle over their innocence, despite international outcry from a multitude of human rights organizations.

“The unlawful seizure of the Seaman Guard Ohio and imprisonment of these men on unfounded charges for more than four years was a gross violation by the Indian Government of international law and basic human rights,” said Ahmed Farajallah, AdvanFort’s president. “We are very glad that justice finally has prevailed.

“The men of the Seaman Guard Ohio have demonstrated incredible strength and resilience during their prolonged captivity under horrific conditions. AdvanFort sincerely hopes that these courageous men and their families now can begin to heal and rebuild their lives.”

Read our earlier reports Statement from the Chennai Six and their families
…… and

Mission to Seafarers Expresses Delight and Relief at Release of Chennai Six


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Completion of the training course in Port of Aden, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Completion of the training course in Port of Aden

The Port of Aden is one of the five best natural ports in the world and has a unique strategic geographical location linking East and West.

On 3 December a ceremony was held at Ma’alla Wharves to honour 51 participants in a training course at the Port of Aden, in the presence of Dr Mohamed Alawi Amzerbah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports’ Corporation (YGAPC), and Brigadier Shalal Ali Shayea, the Director of Aden Governorate Security, on the occasion of the conclusion of the course which covered the International Code of Security on Ships and Water Facilities (ISPS).

The Executive Chairman of YGAPC Amzerbah and Shalal Ali Shayea spoke of the importance of rehabilitation and training for security officers in the port.

Coordination and joint cooperation between the Port of Aden and the security branch of Aden Governorate continues in all joint aspects, the most important of which is the training of individuals and security officers. This is considered the first step on the path to raising the level of readiness of security for staff dealing with local and foreign companies and institutions at the Port of Aden.

Mention was made that the Port of Aden was supported with modern systems including fingerprint and a monitoring network.

Such training courses provide participants with new skills that contribute to the port’s success. Thanks were expressed to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of YGAPC and the Director of Aden Security for their efforts in making the session a success. A vote of thanks went to Captain Riyad Baajaman, Director General of Maritime Safety at the Department of Maritime Affairs, Aden and Afif Mehdi, Deputy General Manager of the Port Corporation’s Maritime Training Centre.

Aden Security Director, Brigadier Shalal Ali, also honoured Dr Mohammed Alawi Amzerbah, Chairman of YGAPC with a certificate of thanks and appreciation for his efforts to train individuals and security officers in the Port of Aden.

New trailers

newly arrived trailers on the wharf at Aden, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
newly arrived trailers on the wharf

A few weeks earlier at the end of October the port announced the arrival of twelve new trailers at Aden Container Terminal

In line with modernisation and development plans for the Terminal’s equipment and machinery, Aden Ports’ Development Company received twelve trailers with modern and international specifications capable of carrying two containers with a total load of 85 tons.

In a statement, Dr Mohamed Alawi Amzerbah clarified that the leadership of the port has been able, with the efforts of its dedicated staff, to turn words into deeds by the arrival of the second batch of container terminal equipment, which was preceded by the arrival of Reach Stackers with a maximum load of up to 50 tons.

It is understood equipment is expected to arrive at the beginning of 2018 including a generator for the power station at the container terminal as well as a gantry crane with modern specifications to keep pace with marine industry services developments, bringing the number of gantry cranes to eight.

Amzerbah stressed that the management of the port is pursuing a policy of silence in order to let achievements speak for themselves about port management performance.

The Executive Chairman received the new equipment discharged from MSC Clementina. With the arrival of those twelve trailers, the equipment fleet rises in the container terminal to thirty trailers, ready and able to serve all types and sizes of containers.

reported by Paul Ridgway


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Glomar 4-Winds. Picture courtesy: Glomar Offshore, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Glomar 4-Winds. Picture courtesy: Glomar Offshore

Dutch offshore support vessel operator Glomar Offshore will be sending one of its offshore standby support vessels, the 1986-built GLOMAR 4-WINDS on a contract to act as the seismic guard and chase duties off the coast of Gabon.

A report in Offshore Energy Today quoted Glomar as saying on Monday that the standby vessel had been hired by the company’s partner Rederij Groen B.V. for a seasonal term contract in Gabon.

Glomar said this will be Glomar’s first deployment in Sub-Saharan Africa during which it will assist Rederij Groen’s clients for the next five months.

Rederij Groen has also hired a second Glomar vessel, the 2012-built standby vessel GLOMAR LINDE for work outside the North Sea market, making this the second contract in under a week for the Dutch company.

In terms of that contract Glomar Line will operate for Rederij Grown outside Europe for between 12 and 24 months.

“Together with our current contract outside of Europe, this marks our second deployment outside our familiar field of action and offers us seasonal coverage on the usually subdued winter market in the North Sea,” the company said.

As for Glomar 4-Winds, the vessel headed for Gabon, she was built in 1986 and rebuilt in 2012. She is 45.7 metres long and 9m wide and has a maximum speed of 10.6 knots. Glomar 4-Winds has accommodation for up to 19 people and is flagged in Panama.


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area to be seismically mapped, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
area to be seismically mapped

New Spectrum 2D Seismic to Refine Understanding of Hydrocarbon Potential Offshore Mozambique

Spectrum is set to bolster its extensive Multi-Client library offshore Africa through the commencement of a 2D seismic survey offshore Mozambique on behalf of the Institute of National Petroleum (INP) and in anticipation of future license rounds.

This new 2D seismic programme of up to 19,000 kilometres will be undertaken utilising a 10,000 metre offset with continuous recording to enable extended recording lengths and high fold data. It is being acquired to complement existing 2013 seismic located in the Mozambique Channel area which is also available through Spectrum.

Gravity and magnetic data will be acquired in conjunction with seismic data to allow for independent verification of structure.

The survey is specifically designed to image the subsurface potential in the southern Rovuma Basin and the western flanks of the Kerimbas [Querimbas] Graben, west of the Davie Fracture Zone, providing a more detailed understanding of the prospectivity in this region. Potential targets, identified following recent studies in the area, include Cretaceous and Tertiary turbidites and buried canyon plays.

The survey will also image the syn-rift structures and Late Cretaceous pro-delta stacked turbidite sequences in the northeast Zambezi Depression.

“This new Multi-Client survey will play a key role in refining our understanding of the hydrocarbon potential offshore Mozambique between the Southern Rovuma Basin and the North-East of the Zambezi Delta, and accelerate exploration in an area considered to be significantly more oil-prone,” said Spectrum EVP of the Africa Region, Graham Mayhew.

“In addition the data will also provide the basis for future license rounds as planned by INP.”

The data will be processed with PSTM, PSDM and Broadband products with first deliveries in early second quarter 2018. This survey will be carried out in partnership with Western Geco and is supported by Industry funding.


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new RR gas engine, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
mobile MTU gas engine from Rolls-Royce

Friedrichshafen – The first two pre-production units of the new mobile MTU gas engine from Rolls-Royce successfully completed their performance tests and were accepted by the customer at the beginning of December. MTU had presented its new marine propulsion units for the first time at the SMM International Maritime Trade Fair in September 2016. The engines have meanwhile completed well over 5,000 hours on the test bench.

Paul Melles, Managing Director of Rederij Doeksen, said: “We are very happy with the test run. All the key engine parameters, such as the extremely dynamic acceleration behaviour, have now been verified by MTU.”

As the year 2017 comes to a close, MTU has delivered the first two of a total of four 16-cylinder Series 4000 gas engines, each with an output of 1,492 kW, for two new catamarans. From 2018, the two aluminium vessels will operate ferry services on the Dutch Wadden Sea. They are currently being built by Strategic Marine’s shipyard in Vietnam for the Dutch shipping company Doeksen.

In the course of the factory acceptance test, a wide range of performance tests were carried out. Besides the shipping company and the shipyard, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping staff were also impressed by the characteristics of the new mobile gas engine. An integral part of the test involved verifying the performance data, the fuel consumption and the engine’s safety features, such as the emergency stop. The emission measurements, as expected, demonstrated compliance with IMO III emission standards with no additional exhaust gas aftertreatment.

new Doeksen ferry in which the RR as engines will operate
new Doeksen ferry in which the RR as engines will operate

During the factory acceptance test in Friedrichshafen, Paul Melles said: “We decided in favour of a gas propulsion system, because we will be operating our ferries on the Wadden Sea, a World Heritage Site that has been declared a particularly sensitive area worthy of protection. MTU, with the appropriate pure gas engine, is the right partner for us.”

The new 16-cylinder gas engine from MTU will be available as of 2018 as a certified series production engine covering a power range from around 1,500 to 2,000 kW. An 8-cylinder version will follow with a rated output of approximately 750 to 1,000 kW. The new gas engine is ideally suited to tugboats, ferries, push boats and special purpose vessels such as research vessels.

By comparison with a diesel engine without exhaust gas aftertreatment, the gas engine emits no soot particles and no sulphur oxides, 90 per cent less NOx and 10 per cent less greenhouse gas. It thus meets the IMO III emission standards in force since 2016 with no additional exhaust gas aftertreatment.

Watch short video about the new mobile gas engine [2:31]


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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

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.



Fairchem Kiso arriving at Durban Picture: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Fairchem Edge departing from Durban. Picture, Keith Betts appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Fairchem Kiso, Fairchem Edge. Pictures: Keith Betts

We complete this edition with two Fairchem chemical and oil products tanker, FAIRCHEM KISO (IMO 9527075, top) and FAIRCHEM EDGE (IMO 9788954) showing the former arriving in port at Durban and the latter departing. Actually, the order in which you are seeing these ought to be reversed, as Fairchem Edge departed from her berth at Maydon Wharf before proceeding down the entrance channel to the open sea as seen above, and was immediately replaced by another company vessel, Fairchem Kiso. How often does that occur? Fairly frequently as it happens. Both tankers are similar in size – 147 metres long and 24m wide and built to similar designs but in different yards, some six years also separating them. The older Kiso, was built in 2011 at the Usuki Shipbuilding yard in Usuki, Japan and has a US owner while being managed (ISM) by Anglo Eastern Shipmanagement of Singapore and US-based Fairfield Chemical Carriers as her commercial ship manager.

Fairchem Edge is a fairly new tanker having emerged from the Fukuoka Shipyard in the town of Fukuoaka, Japan in February this year. She is owned by US interests and managed in the same way as Kiso. Both ships are flagged in the Marshall Islands. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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