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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Clara Maersk. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Clara Maersk. Picture: Trevor Jones

Maersk Line’s container ship CLARA MAERSK (IMO 8820016) which is shown arriving in the port of Durban during December 2017. The 162-metre long, 28m wide, 25,575-dwt ship was built in 1992 at the company’s own Odense Steel Shipyard AS, in Odense, Denmark as yard or hull number 139. Sadly that shipyard has since closed, after having built many ships in-house for the AP Moller-Maersk group. Clara Maersk has a 1394-TEU capacity. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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Port of Cape Town. Picture: courtesy TNPA, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Cape Town. Picture: courtesy TNPA

Port statistics for the month of January 2018, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority, are now available.

Total cargo handled at all eight ports during January 2018 amounted to 35.842 million tonnes, compared with December 2017 when 25.854 million tonnes of cargo was handled, an expected decrease for the month in question.

Please note there is a query against this figure – the port of Saldanha is reflected to have handled 15.088 million tons of cargo for the month, approximately 10mt above what the port usually achieves. If correct this is extraordinary. We have been assured by TNPA that this is so but remain for now a little sceptical, the other numbers including ships in port don’t add up!

The Port of Richards Bay was another shown to have been busy but with figures that do not raise question marks – 10.057mt…


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Port of Namibe, formerly Moçâmedes, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Namibe, formerly Moçâmedes

Japan’s TOA Corporation has been hired to conduct the second phase of the Namibe port modernisation project in Angola, and work is scheduled to begin in March, the Transport Ministry said in a statement released on Thursday last week in Luanda, reports Macauhub.

This project, the contract for which was signed during a recent visit to Tokyo by a delegation led by Victor de Carvalho, the director general of the Maritime Port Institute of Angola (IMPA), consists of the recovery of 240 metres of dock as well as the paving of the container park.

The work will be financed by a US$20 million grant from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In February 2017 JICA and IMPA signed a financing agreement for the second phase of this project, which was part of the Angola recovery, expansion and modernisation programme adopted a year earlier by the governments of Angola and Japan.

The agreement between the two governments covers the full refurbishment of the 480-metre dock at the port of Namibe, with the first phase completed in 2011 and focused on an extension of 240 metres in operation under Angolan company Sogester.

The Angolan government intends to turn the port of the city of Namibe (formerly Moçâmedes) and one of the most dynamic and competitive in southern Africa, into an industrial, logistics and services hub in Southern Angola and a benchmark port for that African region. macauhub


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Mozambique's Rovuma Basin and Area 1, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin and Area 1

Anadarko Petroleum’s development plan for the LNG project in Mozambique has been approved by the Mozambique Council of Ministers (parliament), reports Petroleum Africa.

The project will come with a price tag estimated at around US$20 billion.

The US independent’s next major hurdle is to…


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Grateful teachers of the Enqileni Primary School in Motherwell are from the left Zodwa Andrias, Mpumelelo Koom, Elliot Mfecane, Vuyiswa Nzube (principal) and Thando Dikeni. This group of learners shared their excitement on the day that the equipment was handed over to the school recently. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Teachers of the Enqileni Primary School in Motherwell are from the left Zodwa Andrias, Mpumelelo Koom, Elliot Mfecane, Vuyiswa Nzube (principal) and Thando Dikeni. This group of learners shared their excitement on the day that the equipment was handed over to the school recently.

Eight Primary Schools to benefit from Transnet National Ports Authority Adopted Schools Project

With the start of the new school year, Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA’s) journey to ignite a love for science and mathematics among 1,600 intermediate phase learners, is in full swing.

Initiated in January 2017, the Mathematics and Science Primary School Project is a joint initiative between TNPA and the Johannesburg-based maths and science education company, SCIMAT Education and Disposals.

A Level one B-BBEE company, SCIMAT focuses on teacher and pupil development through equipment provision, practical training workshops and school-based support within the mathematics and science fields.

As with TNPA’s original adopted schools programme for high schools, this intermediate phase programme derives…


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South Africa Block 11B/12B, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
South Africa Block 11B/12B

Qatar Petroleum has entered into an agreement with Total to acquire a 25% stake in Total’s interest in Block 11B/12B which is located in the Outeniqua Basin, around 175 kilometres off the southern coast of South Africa.

Total already partners with Qatar Petroleum in various international oil and gas projects and enjoys a long-term relationship with Qatar having had a continuous presence in that country since 1936.

Block 1B/12B covers an area of…


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When mariners test the service the no-go zones will be highlighted in red to mark areas in which it is unsafe to navigate. Picture: EfficienSea © appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
When mariners test the service the no-go zones will be highlighted in red to mark areas in which it is unsafe to navigate. Picture: EfficienSea ©

Latest Efficiensea2 advance

A new digital test service could make it easier for mariners to assess how tidal level and weather affect their plans to pass through challenging fairways or hazardous shallows. Initially, for trial purposes, the service covers the Sound between Sweden and Denmark.

When taking passage in shallows navigators have to manually determine the best time to sail through, taking into consideration such factors as tidal levels, weather impact and the vessel’s under keel clearance. Soon, however, this may change as more data is collected and made available digitally.

This is the result of a new digital test service combining detailed bathymetry, constantly updated tide tables and weather reports to show ‘comfort zones’ and areas to be avoided for vessels with different draughts. The service has been developed by the EU-funded project EfficienSea2 and can be accessed on both computers and tablets by those with a login to the web platform BalticWeb — see:

Christopher Saarnak, Project Leader for EfficienSea2 and Chief Adviser at the Danish Maritime Authority, says about the test service: “It is all about making life more efficient for the navigator so that he or she can focus on manoeuvring the vessel. Rather than asking them to combine data from sea charts, tidal tables, weather forecasts and the vessel’s draught, all while navigating the ship, our service would offer a way to do it automatically. In the end, it could free up valuable time for the crew.”

Automated safety feature

At first, navigators have to check the platform BalticWeb, which is a demonstration platform used to test digital services, on their computer and/or tablet when using the Under Keel Clearance Service. The relevant data will then be added as another layer on charts of BalticWeb, clearly showing where it is unsafe to sail.

With time, however, Saarnak sees potential for making the service even more useful than it would be currently. He commented: “The future perspectives for this kind of service are great. The better the data becomes, the less stress will be put on the navigators when sailing. This kind of service will also need to be thoroughly implemented if autonomous ships are ever to truly take off, and we are happy to help them do so.”

The data for the service is delivered by the Danish Meteorological Institute, the Danish Geodata Agency and the Swedish Maritime Administration.

Enhanced safety with global possibilities

The new test service covers the Danish/Swedish waters surrounding the Sound, but could potentially be adjusted to include other parts of the Baltic Sea and potentially the world.

The service is being delivered to BalticWeb through the Maritime Connectivity Platform (the MCP – previously known as the Maritime Cloud) which makes it possible for other nations to make their own bathymetric, weather and tidal data more readily available for use in similar services.

Saarnak concluded by saying: “While knowing your no-go zones is advantageous when just covering the Sound region, it is our ambition to expand the concept to other waters. A wide use of dynamic under keel clearance will give mariners an extra assurance when sailing through passages they are not intimately familiar with.”

The work carried out on the new service draws inspiration from the International Hydrographic Organization working on a production specification (S-129) for Under Keel Clearance as well as from around the world, where a group of countries, perhaps most notably Australia, are investing in similar services.

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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The EBRD/IMO MoU was signed by IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim (right) and EBRD first vice-president Phil Bennett. Picture: courtesy IMO, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The EBRD/IMO MoU was signed by IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim (right) and EBRD first vice-president Phil Bennett. Picture: courtesy IMO

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support the growth of sustainable shipping.

A variety of safety and environment related capacity-building activities will be carried out in the maritime and port sectors as part of the initiative.

Countries such as Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey are…


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University of Kent partnership helps the Port of Dover cut queues and boost efficiency

Port of Dover. Picture: courtesy Port of Dover, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Dover. Picture: courtesy Port of Dover

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Kent and the Dover Harbour Board has achieved the highest possible rating from Innovate UK, the UK’s technology strategy agency, after it helped reduce traffic congestion, boost efficiency and cut costs for the Port.

The project started in 2016 when the Port of Dover, which handles £122bn-worth of UK trade annually, appointed a graduate of the Kent Business School (KBS), Dr Cliff Preston, to work within the organisation to help it use data modelling and simulation software to operate more effectively.

The work focused on several strands, the most notable of which has been improving how the Port predicts likely traffic volumes to ensure it has enough staff on hand to process vehicles through the port and so minimise the risk of queues forming in and around Dover.

By improving its use of data from various sources, such as live traffic data on the motorways and past traffic levels at similar times, it has drastically reduced the use of Traffic Assessment Project (TAP) that sees freight traffic held outside Dover by a series of traffic lights.

This has not only reduced the impact that freight traffic has on Dover and its residents, but it also means one of the UK’s key import-export hubs is able to ensure goods can move into the UK, or over to Europe, more efficiently.

The traffic simulation model is now also used to help predict the requirement of the French border authorities operating in Dover to ensure traffic through the port is kept moving at all stages.

The quantitative methods used in the Knowledge Transfer Partnership have also been applied in part of the port’s substantive Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) project, in analysing the space and plant requirements of the new Cargo terminal and helping the port increase its efficiency and effectiveness.

These successes have seen the project awarded a grade of ‘Outstanding’ by the KTP Grading Panel. Only 10% of KTP projects achieve this grade, underlining the impact the project has had.

The KTP between the University and Dover Harbour Board was set up by Kent Innovation and Enterprise (KIE). Spurred on by the success of the partnership, the Port has sponsored an MSc graduate in the School of Physical Sciences to work for their organisation over the next 12 months.


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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.



Hawke Bay. Picture: Alan Calvert, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Hawke Bay. Picture: Alan Calvert

The bulk carrier HAWKE BAY (IMO 9242546) arriving at Lyttelton, New Zealand to discharge gypsum loaded in Thevenard, South Australia. The 28,460-dwt, 170-metre long, 28m wide ship, built in 2001, is owned by Hong Kong-based interests and managed and operated by Pacific Basin Shipping also of Hong Kong. Pacific Basin Shipping operates with a fleet of over 250 owned and managed modern Handysize and Supramax dry bulk ships, making this one of the leading ship operators in this field. This picture is by Alan Calvert



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