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

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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FIRST VIEW: USIBA

tug Usiba in Cape Town waters. Picture: Ian Shiffman, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Usiba.   Picture: Ian Shiffman

Cape Town’s newest tug USIBA going through her paces in Table Bay harbour earlier in January. The Voith-Schneider-propelled tug entered service with Transnet National Ports Authority in Cape Town as recently as November 2017, after completing her fitting out at the Southern African Shipyards in Durban where she was built as number 7 in a series of nine 70-ton bollard pull tugs. She was originally intended for the port of Richards Bay, hence her chosen isiZulu name which in English means Feather (or Plume). During her fitting out period between the launch date in August and the handing over in November the decision was taken that she would rather enter service at Cape Town owing to an urgent requirement there for a new and more powerful tug. Cape Town’s tugs are traditionally named after wine cultivars, save for one, Palmiet, which was transferred from the port of Durban and in keeping with that port’s tradition, is named for a river in KZN. The Palmiet runs through the Pinetown and Westville areas of greater Durban and is a tributary of the Umgeni, although perhaps appropriately, there is also a Palmiet River in the Western Cape. This picture is by Ian Shiffman

 

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CREW OF THE MISSING TANKER MARINE EXPRESS RECOVER THEIR VESSEL FROM PIRATES

Marine Express. Picture: Shipping Database E Korpan, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Marine Express. Picture: Shipping Database E Korpan

The crew of the tanker MARINE EXPRESS, which has been missing since 1 February when it was reported that pirates had seized her off the Benin coast near Cotonou, have retaken the ship according to the vessel’s management company.

Anglo-Eastern of Hong Kong reported last week that it had lost contact with Marine Express and the crew of 22 Indian seafarers while the tanker was at anchor off Cotonou. Requests were made to regional authorities for help in trying to locate the missing vessel and it was feared that pirates had seized her.

Marine Express is carrying a cargo of 13,500 tonnes of gasoline.

Anglo-Eastern reports that contact was re-established with the captain and crew of the ship on Monday this week (6 February) who reported that they had retaken the ship. All 22 crew members were reported safe and in good health and the tanker’s cargo was intact.

Details of how the crew managed to regain control of the ship have not been disclosed at this stage but Anglo-Eastern has confirmed that the tanker was “the subject of a pirate attack and seizure in the Gulf of Guinea”.

“A complete investigation will be carried out into the hijacking,” Anglo-Eastern said while applauding the crew and their families “for their courage and fortitude in dealing with this difficult situation.”

The seizure of the tanker was the second in a matter of weeks. In January the British products tanker BARRETT was similarly highjacked while at anchor off the coast of Benin. This ship was released a short while later but no details of whether a ransom was negotiated have been disclosed, although it is assumed that something like this must have occurred.

 

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CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE COMPANY PLASSER TO PAY R8 MILLION FOR COLLUSION

Lennings tamping machine. Picture: Wikipedia Commons, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Lennings tamping machine. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

Plasser South Africa, (Pty) Ltd, a company specialising in railway construction and maintenance has admitted to collusion and agreed to pay R 8.4 million as a settlement penalty.

The Competition Commission reached a settlement agreement with Plasser, a company which provides railway line track construction and maintenance services in South Africa. Plasser admitted to participating in collusion with Lennings DEC Rail Service (Pty) Ltd (Lennings), a division of Aveng (Africa) Ltd in respect of tenders for railway construction and maintenance issued by Transnet (SOE) Limited between 1997 and 2013.

Lennings and Plasser agreed to allocate…

 

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CMA CGM IMPROVES ITS EURAF 5 SERVICE OFFER BETWEEN EUROPE & WEST AFRICA

EURAF 5 service rotation, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
EURAF 5 service rotation

New call at Kribi from March – transit times shortened by up to 10 days

The French container group, CMA CGM, has announced that it is reinforcing its service from Europe to West Africa through a new call at the port of Kribi in Cameroon and has shortened transit times from North Europe on its EURAF 5 service.

The new service started in January 2018. The direct weekly call at Kribi, a major hub in West and Central Africa, will commence in March 2018.

Located in Cameroon, a growing market, Kribi terminal, which is managed in partnership with the State of Cameroon by a consortium comprising CMA CGM, is a logistical hub offering the Cameroonian supply chain a modern infrastructure, adapted to the new generation of ocean vessels, and allowing all of Western Africa to redirect containers towards countries in the sub-region.

By improving its service between Europe and West Africa, CMA CGM says it is reaffirming its commitment towards this developing area.

From March EURAF 5 (Europe-West Africa) will have the following port rotation:

Antwerp, Le Havre, Lisbon, Algeciras, Pointe Noire, Luanda, Kribi, Douala, Abidjan, Algeciras, Antwerp.

Shortened transit times

Transit times will be shortened by up to 10 days from Northern Europe to Douala with a weekly direct service. In addition, the ports of Lobito and Namibe in Angola will be served in relay via Pointe Noire.

 

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MARITIME WORKERS UNION OF NIGERIA (mwun) CALLS OFF PLANNED PORT STRIKE

Apapa terminal, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Apapa terminal

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has called off the planned general strike that was aimed at shutting down the country’s seaports because of a lack of initiative from the federal government in finding solutions to the poor state of roads leading to the ports.

See our report dated 30 January 2018 Union threatens strike to cripple Nigerian ports by 5 February.

MWUN said then that it was…

 

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KENYA ENFORCES USE OF RAIL FOR ALL IMPORTS THROUGH PORT OF MOMBASA

A pair of Kenya's freight train locomotives, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A pair of Kenya’s freight train locomotives

In a development that appears to be aimed at ensuring the viability of the recently introduced standard gauge railway (SGR) freight service, the Kenya government has taken a unilateral decision that all imports through the port of Mombasa to the inland Embakasi container depot for Nairobi, will have to go by rail.

The move has immediately locked out truckers in favour of…

 

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** INTERNATIONAL NEWS **
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STENA IMPERO NAMED IN GUANGZHOU

Stena Imper launch.  Illustrations kindly provided by Stena Bulk: www.stenabulk.com ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Illustrations kindly provided by Stena Bulk: www.stenabulk.com ©

The chemical and product tanker STENA IMPERO (illustrated) was named on 31 January in a chilly and drizzly Guangzhou, SE China. She is the last in a series of thirteen sister ships ordered by Stena Bulk at the shipyard GSI (Guangzhou Shipbuilding International) in 2012 and represents an investment of SEK 4 billion.

Many guests, customers, partners, employees and representatives of the shipyard and corporate management, gathered at the shipyard to attend the solemn ceremony. The naming began with traditional Chinese dancing and music after which godmother Jean Mulholland swung the bottle of champagne against the newbuilding’s bow. Stena Impero’s captain, Vinay Singh, then gave guests a guided tour of the tanker. After her delivery…

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

 

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CHINESE BULKER OPERATOR SIGNS FOR TWO CRUISE SHIPS WITH CHINESE YARD

AIDAprima, AIDA's flagship, built in Japan, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
AIDAprima, AIDA’s flagship, built in Japan

A Chinese bulk ship owner and operator, Fujian GuoHang Ocean Shipping, has signed orders with Chinese shipyard Wuchang Shipbuilding, to build two 70,000-ton cruise ships.

The order is significant both for the decision by a Chinese owner of bulk carriers to enter the cruise market, and for a Chinese shipyard to take on the building of a complex cruise ship.

Wuchang is a unit of the state-owned conglomerate…

 

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PRESS RELEASES

Send your Press Releases here info@africaports.co.za and marked PRESS RELEASE. Provided they are considered appropriate to our readers we will either turn them into a story, or publish them here.

Unique Group Restores Middle East Key Dealership Agreement with Kongsberg Maritime

Konrad Mech (left and Harry Gandhi, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Konrad Mech (left and Harry Gandhi

Unique Group, one of the world’s most prominent integrated subsea and offshore solution providers, has re-established a dealer agreement with Kongsberg Maritime AS for the Middle East region.

Under the business cooperation agreement, Unique Group’s offices in the region will offer sale and service of KM’s wide range of underwater mapping, navigation, acoustics and camera solutions to customers in the territories of Bahrain, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE.

The two companies presently have an agreement in place for Nigeria and Kenya.

The Kongsberg Maritime range of underwater mapping products includes the EM 712RD®, EM 2040C® and 2040P®, EA440/EA640, and the Geoacoustics range among others. The underwater navigation products include the HiPAP® range of underwater positioning systems and the cNODE® underwater positioning transponders.

KONGSBERG also provides a range of products and solutions for underwater acoustics that help with search and recovery, marine engineering, security and surveillance and various other underwater applications. The KONGSBERG range includes solutions for positioning, GPS tracking, and motion monitoring among others.

On account of this partnership, Konrad Mech, Director Subsea Channel Management at Kongsberg Maritime AS commented, “We’re pleased to reappoint Unique Group as a market representative of our range of solutions in the GCC. Kongsberg have had a long-standing association with Unique Group for the Middle East region in the past that spanned over two decades. With interesting projects lined up for the Middle East over the next few years, the move is strategic for Kongsberg in strengthening its presence in the region which is also supported by a joint venture in the UAE. We value their seamless sales support and service structure and are confident that their team can provide the same, consistent level of first hand assistance to customers using our product lines.”

“As a company seeking to deliver world-class underwater solutions to customers, we’re excited at the opportunity to partner with Kongsberg once again,” said Harry Gandhi, CEO of Unique Group. “The partnership will allow Unique Group’s Survey Equipment division to add a wide range of underwater mapping and navigation products to its extensive line of superior quality equipment.

“The move is also strategic for Unique Group as we’re committed to building long-term relationships with global industry leaders. We look forward to building a successful business relationship and extending our partnership to a few more countries in the region over the next couple of years”, he further added.

Headquartered in Norway, Kongsberg Maritime AS has been delivering systems for dynamic positioning and navigation, marine automation, handling systems, safety management, cargo handling, subsea survey and construction, among many others.

On the back of this partnership, Unique Group also hosted its Survey Technical Conference recently which showcased live demonstrations of Kongsberg’s Unmanned Surface Vehicle.

 

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GENERAL NEWS REPORTS – UPDATED THROUGH THE DAY

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EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT


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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CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES


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.

 

PICS OF THE DAY : AFRICAN EGRET

African Egret arriving in Durban, January 2018, picture by Keith BNetts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

African Egret arriving in Durban, January 2018, picture by Keith BNetts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
African Egret. Pictures: Keith Betts

Ships of the MUR line have been regular callers at Durban over many years, handling steel and other bulk commodities. MUR Shipping, which is majority-owned by Macsteel International Holdings BV, hails out of offices in the World Trade Centre in the Netherlands and her approximately 150 ship fleet trades across a wide spectrum of the globe. AFRICAN EGRET (IMO 9749996), seen arriving in Durban in January this year, is becoming a fairly regular caller at South African ports, visiting Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Saldanha and Durban. Built in 2016 the 180-metre long, 30-m wide, 34,370-dwt bulker is registered in the Bahamas. These pictures are by Keith Betts

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.”
– Max Ehrmann, ‘Desiderata

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