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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Leonora Victory in Durban, June 2018.   Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Leonora Victory.       Picture: Trevor Jones

The Norwegian-flag products tanker LEONORA VICTORY (IMO 9283784) shown arriving at Durban to load bunkers on Thursday 14 June. The 46,889-dwt tanker was built in 2005 and is 183 metres in length and 32m wide. Owned by Norwegian interests, the vessel is managed by Champion Tankers A/S of Paradis, Norway. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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Impression of Lekki port as when completed, featured in Africa PORTS
Lekki port as when completed

As progress on the development of the long-awaited deepwater port at Lekki in Nigeria moves ahead, concerns have been raised about an apparent lack of a rail connection with the rest of the country.

The matter was raised recently by the Senate Committee on Marine Transport whose chairman, Senator Ahmed Yerima has made the point that the development lacked rail transportation links in its overall plans. This, he suggested, was imperative if the port is to avoid gridlocks along the port access roads.

Failing this, Yerima warned, the new port would see a repeat of the same challenges currently being faced by operators at the Lagos port of Apapa.

“We will not want what we are experiencing along the port access roads in Lagos to occur in the Lekki/Epe area, because it is really affecting the system,” Yerima said.

Several months ago the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello also warned about the need for rail connectivity to the new port.

Dangote Refinery under construction, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dangote Refinery under construction

Bello pointed out the chaotic congestion that was occurring out the Apapa port and also at Tin Can Island where there was an historic reliance on road transport to handle port traffic.

The Shippers Council said that a rail line to the new port of Lekki was required if the Apapa and Tin Ca Island experience was not to be repeated.

It is generally a problem obtaining accurate estimates let along official statistics showing port throughout among the West African ports. However, while discussing the economic prospects for the nation’s seaports, the CE of Ships and Ports Communications, Mr Bolaji Akinola said recently that the record year for container handling in Nigeria was 2014 when 1.6 million TEUs were handled at all ports. “This has been the highest so far in the history of this country. Since then, we have had a plunge, but I see this year matching the 2014 records,” he is quoted as saying.

“The records are already there because the throughput in the first quarter of 2018 is as good as what was recorded in the same period of 2014, which means that our economy is rebounding.” source: Punch, Ships and Ports


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SA Agulhas in Cape Town, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SA Agulhas in Cape Town

The South African Maritime Safety Authority’s (SAMSA) dedicated training vessel, the SA AGULHAS is back in Cape Town after a successful scientific voyage off the East coast with 20 newly skilled rating trainees who are part of a new pilot programme aimed at increasing the number of employable South African seafarers.

The SA Agulhas arrived at Cape Town Port on Wednesday (13 June 2018).

The ship which was captained by Captain Daniel Postman, left Port Elizabeth on 31 May 2018 on a charter off the East coast of South Africa for scientific research as part of the SA Environmental Observation Network (SAEON).

The mission was to retrieve data from a number of…[restrict] scientific buoys deployed in coastal waters to monitor the Agulhas current and its role in climate change.

On board were 20 deck and engine rating trainees plus three cadets, all of whom were gaining practical sea-time experience towards their international seafaring qualifications. This was the first exposure for the trainees to the maritime sector who have not had any formal training prior to embarking on the vessel.

The trainees described their mission as being successful and an eye opener to the possibilities that lie within the maritime sector for employment and experience.

The 20 rating trainees are part of a group of 45 candidates in a pilot project facilitated by the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) and funded by the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA).

The scientific mission was successful and according to SAMSA COO Sobantu Tilayi, the research obtained would assist in critical experimental analysis.

On board the vessel, the scientific crew, accompanied by a select group of scientists from the United States of America, were supported by the Department of Environmental Affairs.

“The experience of the ratings trainees has fortified their wish to be gainfully employed. This exercise undertaken using young people with no formal education allows us to entrench the ethos of Operation Phakisa to boost the oceans’ economy.”

Some of the trainees were as young as 19 years old, having completed matric last year.

The trainee ratings on board SA Agulhas, as featured in an article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The trainee ratings on board SA Agulhas

“We are serious about addressing the high unemployment rate in this country and offer the maritime sector as a viable employer. No job proved too hard or too menial for these trainees. They starting at the bottom of the ladder and can work their way up.

“Their actions on board in the past two weeks showed us there is a clear resolve to beat the odds, roll up their sleeves and work for a living. We at SAMSA are proud of these young people,” said Tilayi.

Steven Paulse, training officer on board the SA Agulhas and representing the South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) applauded the young trainees on board the mission.

“They were hungry to learn, for education and experience. Captain Postman was very impressed with this intake. They have kept the ship nice and tidy and having just been part of the scientific mission, they supported the crew and the scientists themselves.”

From here onwards the rating trainees will undergo further training on board the vessel and also in classrooms.

“The trainees attitude was brilliant. They knew people don’t come on board to waste their time. It was easy to work with them as they came knowing nothing of the vessel, and this hands on experience catapulted them into becoming responsible and hardworking young men and women,” Paulse said.

Deck rating trainee, Lihle Hlongwane (25), sharing her excitement said: “My experience on board was amazing. It was weird in the beginning because it was my first time being exposed to the sea and I got sea sick for two days, due to change of environments. We were taught about ship maintenance, how to tie the ship for gang way access and were given tasks such as taking shifts to control access on the decks and controlling outsiders from disturbing proceedings inside.”

Hlongwane added she was confident that she will be a great seafarer and her determination will take her far. “The fact that I am interested and committed to this training even when I am miles away from home gives me great confidence that I will excel in my job and become a great seafarer.”

Deck rating trainee, Thabile Mkhize (19), who studied maritime in High school and matriculated in 2016, said there has been a lot of amazing experiences. “My biggest highlight was getting the opportunity to be on board a ship at sea for the first time in my life. This was the best experience for me. The training didn’t feel like we were at work, it was too much fun and learning. This made the whole expedition priceless and life changing.”[/restrict]


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African Blue Econo0my Forum banner, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Launch event attracts international experts to debate ways to harness Africa’s oceans

The African continent needs to work together on a country and regional level to put in place and, more crucially, implement a sustainable maritime governance system that will benefit the whole continent, concluded delegates at the first Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF). This was reported from London on 14 June.

ABEF 2018 took place in London on 8 June, to coincide with World Oceans Day and attracted international experts and African government ministers to debate the economic contribution of oceans in the context of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Paul Holthus, CEO of the World Ocean Council and keynote speaker at ABEF 2018, remarked: “Africa presents major blue economy investment opportunities and also…[restrict] sustainable development challenges. We are working to bring together ocean business community leadership and collaboration in Africa to address both these opportunities and challenges.”

Speaking on the panel discussing ‘The blue economy and ocean financing’, Gregor Paterson-Jones, an independent expert on renewable energy investment, said: “The blue economy is not a uniform theme. The green economy is more easily defined, because it relates to ‘clean’ energies. The blue economy has multiple sectors with different types of investment opportunities. I always say blue is the new green.”

A strong focus on action was prevalent throughout discussions at ABEF. David Luke, Coordinator, African Trade Policy Centre, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, remarked: “Because the blue economy is such a broad concept, we need to bring coherence to it. As far as Africa is concerned, we need to be part of the change we see happening on the continent for the blue economy to have traction.”

Stanislas Baba, Minister-Counsellor to the President of the Togolese Republic, added: “Trade is an unexploited resource in Africa, but the blue economy has to be handled carefully. US$350 million is lost each year in Africa due to illegal fishing. We can combat poverty by using our seas.”

ABEF 2018 banner featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Achieving a regional approach will not be easy, noted Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director General, World Trade Organisation. “One of the problems we have in Africa is that we don’t like ideas,” he remarked and concluded by saying: “Blueprint programmes are lying on the shelf. Integration means letting go of certain things.”

Speakers and delegates at ABEF 2018 agreed on the need for innovative financing to start developing the Africa blue economy on a wider scale, not only from governments, but also the private sector. Relevant data and more research is required to shape policies, especially with regard to climate change. Focusing on educating Africa’s youth is also key to shaping the blue economy, which has the capacity to provide desperately needed jobs for the younger generation across the continent.

Leila Ben Hassen, Founder and CEO of ABEF organiser, Blue Jay Communication, commented: “The blue economy is not simply the responsibility of the 38 African coastal countries, but is also highly relevant to their landlocked neighbours. We must all contribute to put the blue economy into action, to help reduce poverty, improve livelihoods and assure sustainable socio-economic development.”

It is recognised that the blue economy is a major source of wealth and prosperity for the continent. The forum brought together government officials, high-level experts, investors, businesses, policy leaders, international organisations, civil society, public institutions and other opinion leaders, to highlight and debate on the wide range of opportunities emerging from Africa’s aquatic and marine spaces. The Forum featured panel discussions, case studies and networking opportunities.

To see video highlights of the first ABEF 2018 readers are invited to CLICK HERE

Details of ABEF 2019 will be available on the website:[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Port of Mossel Bay trainees appearing ina story in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mossel Bay trainees

Embodying the Youth Month theme for 2018 of ‘Live the Legacy Towards a Socio-economically Empowered Youth’, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at the Port of Mossel Bay is running a special two-year marine training programme to upskill local youth.

The young adults are receiving training as either Deck Trainees working towards becoming Skippers, or Engine Trainees pursuing a Motorman Grade 2 qualification.

The programme is being facilitated by the port’s marine department under the stewardship of Marine Operations Manager, Captain Dave Keller. The majority of the group are from the Mossel Bay satellite centre of Sea Safety Training Group (Pty) Ltd, or SSTG, which is a SAMSA Accredited Training Organisation offering approved Maritime Training Courses recognised by the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

“Thus far, nine candidates are being trained by the Skippers, Engineers and crew in the Port of Mossel Bay according…[restrict] to their training and succession plans,” said Keller. “This will create a marine pool of skills for them to pursue careers in the Deck and Engineering fields of the maritime industry.”

The six Engine Trainees are Akona Nobomvu, Chriscendo Smith, Herswin Swartz, Lucien Coetzee, Bulelani Yawa and Esethu Myali, while the three Deck Trainees are Mornich Simon, Marco Moolman and Chante Miller.

They have been exposed to quayside berthing operations, operational equipment on vessels including the main engine and auxiliary equipment, operations at the slipway, Single Point Mooring (SPM) and the Cardinal Buoy Mooring (CBM) offshore terminals, as well as marine tools and general craft maintenance.

The candidates have also become involved in the port’s safety programmes by conducting job observations and observing good safety practices within the port.

“The training gives me on the job exposure in the career that I am currently pursuing,” said Trainee Mornich Simon, 26. “I find the training provided by TNPA to be extremely professional and relevant to my career as a Skipper. I also get exposure to other departments in the port environment and how they work.”

Twenty-eight year old Lucien Coetzee said that Port Operation Engineering allows him to develop an understanding of almost all operational equipment and machinery in the port. “I get a better understanding of all the different tools to use and how to use them. I am taught how to work safely and the best practices to follow for me and my colleagues as the Port of Mossel Bay is one of the safest ports in the country.”

“Acquiring such skills will ensure that these young people can participate meaningfully in the economic development of the country,”| said Mossel Bay Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange.

As an agency of the state TNPA has a responsibility to provide proper skills development programmes, develop technical skills, train artisans and develop engineers to ensure the sustainability of its ports and to stimulate growth of the marine economy.

The authority runs several programmes including the Maritime School of Excellence and is introducing training centres at certain ports that will develop skills to support the government’s Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy plans. Learnerships also exist and TNPA has an ‘adopted schools’ programme that fosters the development of maths and science in learners from historically disadvantaged primary and high schools, with a view to creating a pipeline of students that qualify for tertiary education for careers in the maritime and engineering fields.[/restrict]


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TFR class 44 locos at the Transnet workshops, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
TFR class 44 locos at the workshops

Transnet Freight Rail’s (TFR) has set a goal of being a freight railway capable of satisfying the needs of its customers, and in this it appears well on track, judging by the two awards the organisation received at the Transport Africa Awards held last week (13 June).

Every year the Transport Africa Awards create a platform to recognise and reward companies who have demonstrated an unparalleled ability to succeed and have continually set standards of excellence. In line with Transnet’s objective to transform freight logistics through technology, partnerships and collaboration TFR entered three projects…[restrict]

The two awards – African Transport Operator of the Year (Postmasburg common user Iron Ore loading facility project) and Freight Company of the Year (Ceres Railway project) were the winners in their respective categories. TFR says that these awards positively support the organisation’s objective to transform freight logistics through technology, partnerships and collaboration.

The development of the Postmasburg common user Iron Ore loading facility enabled junior/emerging Iron Ore miners in the Northern Cape precinct to have their product loaded in Postmasburg and transported by rail. In order to bridge the capacity gap for manganese off-loading an additional facility was created in the Salkor Yard, just outside the Port of Saldanha, mitigating the potential volume loss and industry demand not being fulfilled.

In line with the company’s objective to revitalise branch lines and proactively grow the fruit export market through logistics solutions and actively promote road to rail, the Ceres Railway project was initiated in co-operation with Ceres Rail Company and at the same time lead to tourism industry development.

General Manager: Commercial Ms Phumzile Sithole applauded the teams involved. “Congratulations to the teams on winning these prestigious awards. It is not just about adding trophies to the TFR cabinet, but more importantly the positioning and support of the bigger Transnet mission of Linking Economies, Connecting People and Growing Africa.”[/restrict]


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Multi-purpose research and resupply vessel, Aurora Australis arriving at Totten Glacier. Photo: Paul Brown, Australian Maritime College, © appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Multi-purpose research and resupply vessel, Aurora Australis arriving at Totten Glacier. Photo: Paul Brown, Australian Maritime College, ©

News from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Choices made in the next decade will have long-term consequences for Antarctica and the globe, according to research published on 14 June by the journal Nature.

The study explores how Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will change over the next 50 years, and how those changes will impact the rest of the globe. This was reported by CSIRO on 14 June.

Two scenarios are considered: one in which greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked, and one in which strong action is taken to limit emissions and to manage increased human use of Antarctica.

In the high emissions narrative, by 2070 major ice shelves have collapsed, sea level rise has accelerated to rates not seen in 20,000 years, ocean acidification and over-fishing have altered Southern Ocean ecosystems, and failure to manage increased human pressures has degraded the Antarctic environment.

In the low emissions narrative, Antarctica in 2070 looks much like it does today.

The ice shelves remain intact, Antarctica makes a small contribution to sea level rise, and the continent remains a ‘natural reserve, dedicated to peace and science’ as agreed by Antarctic nations in the late 20th century.

Lead author and senior scientist with CSIRO’s Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart, Dr Steve Rintoul commented “Continued high greenhouse gas emissions risk committing us to changes in Antarctica that will have long-term and far-reaching consequences for Earth and humanity.

“Greenhouse gas emissions must start decreasing in the coming decade to have a realistic prospect of following the low emissions narrative and so avoid global impacts, such as substantial sea level rise.”

Totten Glacier. Photo: Esme van Wijk ©, appearing with Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Totten Glacier. Photo: Esme van Wijk ©
Totten ice front. Photo: Esme van Wijk ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Totten ice front. Photo: Esme van Wijk ©

The scenarios, based on the best available science, represent plausible futures rather than predictions.

The high emissions narrative assumes that little action was taken to respond to environmental and human pressures on Antarctica.

As a result, the Antarctic environment was hit by the combined effects of warming, ocean acidification, spread of invasive species and unrestricted growth in human activities, resulting in a degraded environment and altered ecosystems.

The low emissions narrative assumes that Antarctic nations worked together to establish policies to manage the environmental and social pressures on the continent.

Antarctic ecosystems remained largely unscathed, as warming and ocean acidification were kept in check, and growing human use of Antarctica for tourism, fisheries and bioprospecting was managed sustainably.

Co-author Professor Steven Chown of Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences and President of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research added: “The message from this work is clear. Global sustainability depends on a rapidly closing window of opportunity. If we take action now, to limit greenhouse gas emissions, Antarctic environments will remain much as we have come to know them over the past 200 years.”

He concluded by saying: “If we do not, they will change dramatically, and through their connections to the rest of the Earth System, result in global impacts with irreversible consequences.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Collecting data. Photo: Steve Rintoul ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Collecting data. Photo: Steve Rintoul ©


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Silver Wind in Cape Town December 2008. Silversea ships have been regular visitors in South African ports since inception. Picture: Ian Shiffman, featured in article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Silver Wind in Cape Town December 2008. Silversea ships have been regular visitors in South African ports since inception. Picture: Ian Shiffman

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is heading seriously upmarket with the news that it is acquiring a 66.7% stake in the privately owned Silversea Cruises.

Silversea owner Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio made the announcement last week that an agreement had been reached for RCL to acquire a share in Silversea Cruises, bringing together two companies with bold, long-term visions for the cruise industry.

Under the agreement, Royal Caribbean will acquire a 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruises based on an enterprise value of approximately $2 billion. The purchase price of the equity being acquired is approximately $1 billion.

RCL intends financing the purchase through debt. In addition, Lefebvre will qualify…[restrict] for an estimated contingent consideration of approximately 472,000 RCL shares, payable upon achievement of certain 2019-2020 performance metrics.

“Silversea is a crown jewel, and the acknowledged leader in luxury and expedition cruising, two key markets that are poised for growth,” said Richard D Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Uniting our two companies presents an extraordinary opportunity to expand vacation options for guests and create revenue in strategic growth areas.”

Fain added: “We are proud to welcome aboard Manfredi Lefebvre, a visionary leader whose high standards and history of innovation we deeply respect. Manfredi will remain Executive Chairman of Silversea, continuing to lead its strategy long term.”

“This partnership will bolster the growth of this exceptional brand founded by my father,” said Lefebvre. “I have always been kindred spirits with Richard and we share a vision of offering excellence and leadership to our guests. This new partnership gives Silversea the opportunity to accelerate the growth of the most successful luxury and expedition cruising brand in the world.”

The strategic rationale for the partnership includes:
* Driving long-term capacity growth in the burgeoning luxury and expedition segments at a much larger scale than what Silversea would achieve independently;

* Diversifying Royal Caribbean’s portfolio and increasing its expedition offerings by adding a premiere ultra-luxury brand;

* Leveraging the global footprint of the combined companies to generate demand and increase vacation and destination options for the guests of both companies;

* Realizing significant synergies related to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and other economies of scale.

Silver Shadow at Lyttelton, New Zealand in 2011. Picture: Alan Calvert, as appearing in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Silver Shadow at Lyttelton, New Zealand in 2011. Picture: Alan Calvert

According to Lefebvre he is confident that the significant investment stake he is retaining will sizably increase its value through the growth this long-term partnership will enable.

Lefebvre and Fain also confirmed that Silversea’s CEO Roberto Martinoli will continue in his role, working with the existing Silversea management team.

Silversea, with its intimate, all-suite ships, full spectrum of global cruise offerings sailing to more than 1000 global destinations, and unique luxury expedition vessels, adds a pioneering ultra-luxury brand to RCL’s industry-leading brand lineup.

RCL’s largest brand, Royal Caribbean International, is a contemporary brand focused on adventure-seeking families, Celebrity Cruises is a premium brand providing a modern luxury experience to discerning global travellers, and Azamara Club Cruises is a destination immersive brand offering luxury voyages to unique ports.

The company also operates the regional TUI Cruises and Pullmantur brands as part of long-term joint ventures.

The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.[/restrict]


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Doraleh container terminal port, Djibouti, as appearing in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Doraleh container terminal port, Djibouti

Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 16 June 2018: DP World issues the following statement.

It has been noted in some reports that DP World ( may consider an out of court settlement with respect to the dispute with the Djiboutian government over their illegal action in taking control of the port at Doraleh.

A DP World spokesperson said that the concession agreement remains in place, and the action taken by the Djiboutian government is subject to legal process in the International court of Arbitration in London.

“We await the outcome of this process. We remain committed to operating Doraleh port as per original agreement of the concession, and we will not consider any other alternative settlement option.”


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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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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HMS Protector arriving in Durban June 2018, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: Keith Betts

HMS Protector in Durban harbour, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: Keith Betts
HMS Protector. Picture: Keith Betts

The Royal Navy’s ice-strengthened Southern Ocean patrol ship HMS PROTECTOR (ex Polarbjorn) has arrived in Durban for a one week stayover during which a crew change is to be effected and minor repairs and maintenance carried out while the ship is at the Salisbury Island Naval Base. HMS Protector was built in Norway and completed in 2001 as the research ship POLABJORN. She entered Royal Navy service initially as a chartered vessel named HMS Protector until being purchased outright and absorbed fully into the navy fleet. In recent years she has been a regular visitor to South Africa though not to Durban and this visit and stayover is unusual and perhaps a sign that the South African Naval Base at Durban is again coming into its own. The ship displaces 5,000 tons, is 89 metres long and 18 metres wide and has a ship’s complement of 88. The vessel is lightly armed, mainly with machine guns and so-called mini guns but has a helicopter deck that adds to her ability for carrying out long-range patrols. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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