Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

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Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


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The container ship HAMMONIA AMERICA (IMO 9622019) heads out to sea after calling at the Durban Container Terminal. This was on Friday, 27 April, with her cargo appearing to consist entirely of Maersk boxes. She is bound for Jebel Ali, her next port of call. The 56,620-dwt ship has a length of 250 metres and is 37.4m wide and was built in 2014 at the Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding yard in Zhoushan, China. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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Maputo Container Terminal. Picture courtesy DP World, appearing in a rport in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maputo Container Terminal

DP World Maputo achieved its highest recorded productivity to date on 22 April 2018, when it handled 57.47 Berth Moves per hour (BMPH).

Making use of mobile harbour cranes, 1278 TEUs were handled on the 260-metre Maersk Line container ship ROSA.

According to DP World this latest performance further underlines its offering as a world class gateway to the Southern African market.

Through the terminal’s Fixed Berthing Window program and available berth capacity, zero vessel waiting time is being consistently achieved. This in turn translates to maximum schedule reliability for importers and exporters.

In February this year, the terminal completed the first phase of expansion, increasing the terminal capacity from 150,000 TEU to 350,000 TEU per annum. The investment is a key step in offering the services of Port Maputo to the hinterlands of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland as a superior supply chain solution.

About DP World Maputo

DP World Maputo has the concession to manage, develop and operate the Maputo container terminal until 2043. The Maputo Container Terminal in the Port of Maputo is strategically located between the industrial areas of Southern Africa and the major economic and industrialised regions of Eastern and Southern Asia.


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McDermott's pipelay and construction vessel Amazon in Durban in April/May 2018, appearing with a story in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: Trevor Jones
Amazon in Durban. Picture: Trevor Jones

The multi-functional pipelay and construction vessel, AMAZON (IMO 9698094) which is currently at Pier 1 in Durban harbour for minor repairs and maintenance after arriving from the Middle East, will on completion of these repairs perform diving services to the single buoy mooring (SBM) and pipeline end manifold (PLEM) for the SAPREF refinery.

According to McDermott it has been awarded the contract to remove and replace a single 24 inch (61 centimetres) subsea hose string to the single buoy mooring (SBM) and pipeline end manifold (PLEM) for…[restrict] Southern Africa’s crude oil refinery operated by SAPREF, located about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometres) off the coast of Durban.

The scheduled critical saturation and air diving campaign will get underway in early May from the multi-purpose vessel, Amazon, which will function as a diving support vessel for the project. The project marks an operational return to Africa for McDermott.

“McDermott has a superb safety diving record with a strong reputation for delivery and outstanding results,” said Scott Munro, McDermott’s Vice President of Americas, Europe and Africa.

“While we progress the project to upgrade the Amazon to support the ultradeepwater market with planned modifications to its pipelay system, the SAPREF project was a great opportunity to use the versatility of the Amazon and our diving teams to meet a critical need for the South African refinery.”

Built in 2014 at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany and completed early the following year, Amazon’s design is based on that of a drill ship and among other refinements she comes equipped with a DP2 dynamic positioning system.

Her hull was built at the Crist Gdynia yard in Poland after which it was towed to Lloyd Werft for final outfitting where the pipeplay equipment was installed by the Dutch specialist firm of Huisman. The 31,240-gt ship’s original name was Ceona Amazon, which became shortened after Ceona went into financial difficulty, enabling her present owner and operator, McDermott International, to acquire her at a bargain basement price.

Prominent on the ship are her two 400-tonne heave-compensated masthead cranes, situated aft and in the centre of the ship and a 30-tonne heave-compensated knuckleboom crane. Her 18-metre diameter carousel can handle equipment weighing up to 3,500t.

With this and other equipment Amazon is designed to lay rigid and flexible umbilicals (pipes) as well as other large subsea structures in depths of up to 3,000 metres. Other interesting equipment on board includes two remote-controlled operated vehicles (ROVs) that can operate in waters to the required depth, along with the necessary launch and recovery systems, plus a helideck able to handle a Sikorsky S-92 type helicopter.

Amazon has accommodation for up to 200 personnel in 88 double cabins and 26 single cabins of high-standard comfort class.[/restrict]


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Beira's old fishing port befre restoration recently carried out and now completing, from an article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Beira’s fishing port

Following an inspection of the work being undertaken on the new Beira fishing port, it has been revealed that the work is now almost complete.

The inspection was conducted by Mozambique’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Ragendra de Sousa on Wednesday last week when the work was declared to be 97% finished.

Reconstruction of Beira’s fishing port became necessary after the old fishing port was wrecked…[restrict] in a cyclone in early 2000.

The reconstruction and rehabilitation of the fishing port is costing an estimated US$120 million and is being funded by the Chinese government. Work began in mid-2017 and is expected to be complete in June this year.

With the new facilities, Beira will be able to harbour 16 industrial fishing vessels at the same time, rather than the current eight, according to a report on the independent television station STV.

The old Beira installations can only handle 300 tonnes of fisheries produce a year, but the rehabilitation of the port includes a state-of-the-art cold store complex whose facilities will enable the fishing port to handle 70,000 tonnes of produce a year.

Sousa said he was impressed by work on the new port. “We will have many economic gains from this port, including the creation of new jobs,” he said. The preservation facilities, Sousa added, meant that the produce handled in Beira could be exported to markets in Asia and Europe.

“Large ships, and also cargo planes, will stop at Beira to transport our fisheries produce. This will bring foreign currency to the country. As for ourselves, we will be able to eat tuna and other high quality fish.”

The minister noted that in September last year a business delegation from Thailand had visited the port of Beira and had promised that Thai companies will invest in Beira.

The visit, not only to Beira but with Sofala province in general, led the Thai delegation to believe there are investment possibilities in agriculture and tourism, as well as fisheries. source: AIM[/restrict]


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Operation Atalanta naval forces intercept suspect pirates in Gulf of Aden, from an article appearing with Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Operation Atalanta naval forces intercept suspect pirates in Gulf of Aden

Earlier in April 2018, the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) co-chaired the 42nd Shared Awareness and De-confliction (SHADE) conference in Bahrain alongside EU NAVFOR.

Over 110 people attended the conference including representatives from maritime shipping partners alongside the independent maritime naval force representatives from Russia, China and India.

The SHADE conference occurs twice yearly in the Kingdom of Bahrain with chair responsibilities rotating between CMF and EU NAVFOR. The main purpose of the conference is to offer delegates the chance to discuss and understand issues surrounding maritime security in the region and to ensure de-confliction between navies when conducting operations. A diversification of threats in…[restrict] recent years including piracy, terrorism and narcotic smuggling has seen a need for all maritime agencies to work more closely to ensure freedom of navigation.

Opening the conference, Deputy Commander of CMF, Commodore Steve Dainton CBE, said: “As threats have changed so has the way we need to work. It is impressive that we are now working more closely, more clearly and more collaboratively than ever before….a huge amount of effort between military and civil agencies and communities continues as witnessed here in SHADE today. There is perhaps one main focus that we need to have – that international shipping can go about its business unhindered.”

CMF has been conducting counter-piracy operations since 2009 and EU NAVFOR from December 2008, with much success. However, the suppression of piracy remains an on-going effort with all military and industrial partners playing their part – SHADE has remained an on-going key focal point for this activity to be coordinated. Chief of Staff EU NAVFOR, Colonel Rich Cantrill, stated: “… that we need to be more organised and transparent, to share plans for tactical operations with our military partners in order to allow cooperation, coordination and collaboration for greater success.

“Operation Atalanta will continue to sail on with its mandate and continue to play its part in the broader maritime security architecture,” he added.

Perspectives were heard from the independent deployers Russia, China and India. Each nation declared their intent to remain firm partners in maritime security operations in the region and whilst their specific mandates differed, they shared a common goal – the free flow of commerce. Director of CMF Operations, Captain Andrew Quinn, said: “Real world events are as complex as ever but we are now working more closely than ever before. Our differences can be seen as complementary using the different tools of our forces as a tool kit to meet our common goals.”

CMF’s counter piracy mission will remain in the future but it will aim to have closer coordination, cooperation and collaboration to support EU NAVFOR and partners across the diverse range of maritime threats. This will assist EU NAVFOR and independent deployers to deliver effect within their respective mandates so that together they can use all available means to ‘find, fix and finish’ against a range of threats to the free flow of commerce. With organisations working in this complementary way, sharing information will act as a force multiplier in these endeavours.

HSAD Caonference, recently held in Bahrain and reported in an article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SHADE Conference participants

Keynote speakers included retired Indian Navy Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan who discussed his views on the geo-political regional situation and focusing on Somalia, he commented: “Security is more than just maritime security and the maritime is more than just the navy and the coast-guard. There is a need to rebuild the Somali maritime and fishing capability in order to ensure regional stability. “To do this we must avoid failures of imagination, looking to develop a comprehensive approach to solutions.”

A delegation from EUCAP reinforced the need to grow the maritime capabilities in Somalia and outlined some of the EU efforts that are partnered with international organisations.

The United Nations Somali and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) were represented by Dr Charles Cater and Jay Bahadur who discussed the need to interdict charcoal, narcotics and arms smuggling, which support piracy and terrorism. Interdiction of these illegal assets relies on effective information sharing amongst all partners.

They outlined a recent example of weapons smuggling interception which was ‘found, fixed and finished’. A CMF Maritime Patrol Aircraft identified the consignment moving from Yemen to the Puntland Coastline; the information was shared via EU NAVFOR’s Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) and passed to Somali officials and regional maritime law enforcement entities (fixed) who were then able to conduct arrests as the smugglers came ashore, with the SEMG then able to inspect the seized weapons (finished). This excellent example demonstrates the cooperation, coordination and collaboration concepts now being used in action across the organisations in the region.

As the 42nd SHADE closed the maritime community was charged with continuing its on-going and combined efforts to remain vigilant, to apply Best Management Practices, to continue with information sharing and collaboration to ensure maritime security. CMF and EUNAVFOR will remain firm partners in these efforts. The 43rd SHADE is planned for the end of 2018. source: CMF[/restrict]


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The UK registered bulk carrier Ocean Prefect. Photo taken from Report No 8/2018 kindly provided by MAIB. Crown Copyright 2018 ©, rported in an article appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The UK registered bulk carrier Ocean Prefect.   Photo taken from Report No 8/2018 kindly provided by MAIB. Crown Copyright 2018 ©

Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report issued


On 10 June 2017, the UK-registered bulk carrier OCEAN PREFECT grounded when approaching Ahmed Bin Rashid Port, in Umm Al Qaywayn, United Arab Emirates. The vessel was not damaged and was re-floated 12 hours later.

During a second attempted entry into the port the following day, Ocean Prefect again grounded but, despite the breaching of three ballast tanks, the vessel continued to its berth. Two harbour pilots were on board during the groundings. There were no injuries or pollution.

Safety lessons

  • The pilots had very limited local knowledge.
  • The effect of a tidal set was contributory to both groundings.
  • Tidal stream data for the port’s approaches was very limited.
  • The positions of the navigation marks used to indicate the limits of the
    port’s approach channel were potentially misleading.
  • The port in Umm Al Qaywayn lacked resource and marine expertise.

Action taken

The MAIB has presented the safety issues identified in Ocean Prefect’s groundings to the Director of Maritime Transport Affairs of the UAE Federal Transport Authority (FTA).

The Government of Umm Al Qaywayn has awarded a concession to the Hong Kong-based port operators, Hutchison Ports, to operate the container and bulk terminal facility at Ahmed Bin Rashid Port in Umm Al Qaywayn (UAQ).

The Port Authority has agreed with the UAE Transport Authority that:

  • Pilotage for vessels calling at the container and bulk terminal facility will be arranged only through the port authority.
  • The port authority will provide navigational information to visiting vessels.
  • Leading lights will be established in the approach channel.
  • Vessel movements will be controlled and a port control facility will be established.
  • A hydrographic survey of the port and its approaches will be conducted.
  • Aids to navigation will be upgraded.

V Ships (Asia) Private Limited has issued a safety bulletin detailing the circumstances of Ocean Prefect’s groundings in Umm Al Qaywayn, which included lessons for Masters / Bridge Teams.


In view of the actions already taken, no recommendations have been made.

The MAIB Report

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report was issued on 25 April 2018 and is available by CLICKING HERE here:

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Photo Id 393025: ESA ©ernicus Sentinel 3 rocket Photo Id 393025: ESA ©, from a news report appearing with Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Photo Id 393025: ESA ©

The second Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, Sentinel-3B, lifted off on a Rockot from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 1757 GMT (1957 CEST) on 25 April.

Sentinel-3B joins its twin, Sentinel-3A, in orbit. The pairing of identical satellites provides the best coverage and data delivery for Europe’s Copernicus programme – the largest…[restrict] environmental monitoring programme in the world.

These satellites carry the same suite of advanced instruments to measure oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. While these data are fed primarily into the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, all the Copernicus services benefit to produce knowledge and information products in near-real time for a wide range of applications.

It is reported that the Sentinel-3 mission is essential for applications for ocean and coastal monitoring, numerical weather and ocean prediction, sea-level change and sea-surface topography monitoring, ocean primary production estimation and land-cover change mapping.[/restrict]

There is film of the space vehicle’s liftoff CLICK HERE

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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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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MNG Tahiti, from a report appearing with Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

MNG Tahiti departing from Cape Town, her former homeport and featurd in a rport in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Pictures: Ian Shiffman
MNG Tahiti. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

MNG TAHITI ex ST.HELENA (IMO 8716306) departed from Cape Town around 15h00 yesterday afternoon (29 April). Her next port of call is listed as Madagascar. The former mailship is now registered in Basseterre, in the Caribbean Islands of St Kitts and Nevis and her new classification is listed as a Troopship. She will be initially deployed in the Gulf of Aden as a supply ship servicing ships acting as anti-piracy vessels, reports photographer Ian Shiffman who has recorded many of her arrivals and departures from the Mother City over the years.



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