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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Bluff Bulk Connections shiploader at Durban's Bluff. appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news.        Picture: Ken Malcolm
Bluff Bulk Connections shiploader.        Picture: Ken Malcolm

Eighteen months after being severely damaged when a ship, the German bulk carrier JULIAN collided with it while berthing on 30 April 2017, the giant shiploader at Durban’s Bulk Connections at the Bluff is nearing completion. The accident occurred when the 73,613-dwt bulker named Julian, built in 2003, collided with the quayside at the Durban Bulk Connections terminal, or what used to be called the Durban coal terminal. Nowadays the terminal handles a variety of ores, including magnetite and manganese. Julian was entering port with a marine pilot on board and tugs in attendance when she suddenly veered off course into the quayside. The shiploader was unfortunately in the way as well and took considerable damage, being pushed off her rails. Now nearing completion of her repairs the shiploader will again become a valuable tool in the efficient handling of bulk products at the terminal.     This picture is by Ken Malcolm


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The first two class 45 diesel locomotives shown here rolling out at the CRRC factory in Dalian, China in March 2016. The order for this clas totals 232, of which 20 are supposed to be built in China with the rest built in Durban. All 232 are to have been delivered by 2019, fatured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The first two class 45 diesel locomotives shown here rolling out at the CRRC factory in Dalian, China in March 2016. The order for this clas totals 232, of which 20 are supposed to be built in China with the rest built in Durban. All 232 are to have been delivered by 2019

Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama is not giving up the fight to keep his job as head of the giant Transnet parastatal following the Transnet Board having given him ten days in which to provide reasons why he shouldn’t be dismissed. The ten days expired last week.

Later today Gama takes himself before the Labour Court in an effort at preventing his dismissal from being made final.

He is accused of misconduct and maladministration regarding the acquisition of locomotives from a Chinese and other manufacturers. On 27 September the Transnet board issued a statement saying that it had served Gama with a letter informing him of the intention to dismiss him but gave him ten days in which to respond with reasons why this should not happen.

Siyabonga Gama. Picture: Terry Hutson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Siyabonga Gama. Picture: Terry Hutson

According to Transnet chairman Popo Molefe, “The board had lost trust and confidence in Mr Gama’s ability to lead Transnet as group chief executive.”

The statement said that Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Public Enterprises under which portfolio Transnet falls, had been informed of the board’s decision.

The controversy around the purchase of 1064 locomotives from several manufacturers has simmered on for a considerable time without anyone as yet appearing in a court of law over alleged bribes, illegal kickbacks or other wrongdoings that have been attached to their purchase. The previous Transnet board declined to take any action on the matter, despite evidence piling up that showed overpayments had occurred and kickbacks paid out to individuals connected with the Gupta family.

Leaked Gupta emails contain claims that the Gupta brothers or their associates received kickbacks totalling billions of rand as part of the locomotive deal. The Guptas have since left the country and have declined a request to return.

Gama will be claiming before the court today that he has been wrongfully and unlawfully terminated from his contract of employment.

He said previously that he was not in the position of CEO when the purchases were made and could not therefore be held responsible.

That’s part of the problem. Nobody wants to accept responsibility for the corrupt locomotive deal, yet it seems inconceivable that with all the experience at hand among the personnel within Transnet, no-one appeared to have taken a stand by saying that Transnet was paying too much for the Chinese locomotives. that the price being paid was abnormally high and that something appeared to be wrong – something that by itself should have rung some bells.


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The Port of Berbera in Somaliland, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The expansion of the Somaliland port of Berbera has begun with a ceremony held to mark the occasion.

The port was concessioned to DP World in May 2017 at a cost of US$442 million. DP World is to rebuild the infrastructure and other features and will also manage and operate the port on behalf of the autonomous Republic of Somaliland.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 although this is…[restrict] rejected by the Somali government in Mogadishu.

The ceremony to mark the start of the work at Berbera was attended by the President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, and DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

The expanded Port of Berbera brings a range of opportunities and represents a new era of growth for the country which faces into the Gulf of Aden.

Among the opportunities is increased trade with neighbouring Ethiopia, which acquired a 19% share in the port that in turn provides the landlocked country with an alternative gateway to international trade. At present almost all of Ethiopia’s international trade is handled through the port at Djibouti, although this is set to be diluted as Berbera comes into the picture. Eritrea likewise now provides a similar alternative route to the sea for Ethiopia.

This follows an extended state of war that has existed ever since Eritrea declared itself independent of Ethiopia and which led to several skirmishes between the armed forces of each country.

At Berbera the first stage of construction involves building a quay wall of 400 metres backed by a 250,000 square metre yard extension. In addition a new regional trading hub is to be developed by way of a free zone.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem called the event to mark the start of construction of the extended port “a landmark” in the history of Somaliland and for DP World.

“We are delighted that construction work has begun and over the next few years we will see a transformation in the capacity of this major infrastructure asset that will benefit people both here and across the Horn of Africa, providing an alternative gateway to international markets and providing jobs to the people of Somaliland,” he said.

“This is all part of our vision to act as an enabler of trade and to encourage growth by helping African countries develop their economies with access to global markets.”

Muse Bihi Abdi referred to it as an historic day. “As we mark another major milestone in the development of our economy and by investing in our infrastructure we will be able to grow for the benefit of our people, the region and beyond,” he said.

“Connecting to landlocked countries such as Ethiopia and the rest of the region will reinforce the firm relationships that now exist and make Somaliland an important player in regional economic integration and growth.”[/restrict]


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MV Glarus, attacked by Nigerian pirates in late September and 12 crew abducted, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MV Glarus, attacked by Nigerian pirates in late September and 12 crew abducted

Nigeria is ramping up its defence against piracy in the aftermath of the attack on the bulk carrier GLARUS, during which 12 seafarers were abducted as hostages for ransom.

The size of the attack and the ease with which the pirates conducted the raid and later made their escape appears to have shaken the Nigerian authorities and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in particular.

NIMASA Director General Dr Dakuku Peterside said last week that NIMASA had opened a greater sense of collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) that should lead to an increase in…[restrict] the protective measures taken on foreign vessels trading in Nigerian waters.

NIMASA's Dr Dakuku Peterside, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dr Dakuku Peterside

He revealed this during a visit to NIMASA by the Consular-General of the South Korean Embassy in Nigeria, Kim In-Taek, who asked Peterside specifically about the Glarus raid.

Peterside said that NIMASA was investing heavily in surveillance measures aimed at guaranteeing the safety of vessels and their crew and that seafarers and other members of the international community may rest assured of safety within the country’s borders.

He said that Nigeria was aiming to completely rid its coastal waters of pirates and other criminals.

On strengthening the relationship between Nigeria and Korea, Dakuku said Nigeria was taking steps to establish new synergies with other countries and further existing ones, such as its relations with Korea; adding that Nigeria cherished its relationship with Korea and would encouraged a mutually beneficial working relationship between both countries in ship building, shipping development as well as human capacity development and other aspects of the maritime industry. source: Maritime First[/restrict]


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SA Agulhas, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SA Agulhas

The training ship SA AGULHAS set sail from Cape Town yesterday (Monday 15 October) carrying a record 48 trainees to measure radio signal strengths along South Africa’s coast.

The two-week voyage along the West and East coasts of South Africa is a partnership between the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Telkom and the Department of Transport.

The SA Agulhas, a South African…[restrict] ice-strengthened training ship and former polar research vessel, is SAMSA’s training vessel.

The 48 trainees (cadets and ratings) – who will be accompanied by four training officers – are part of SAMSA’s National Cadetship Programme who need experience at sea to complete their course.

“Without time at sea the cadets cannot graduate and it is very hard for cadets to get berths on ships or boats, so this is an important Maritime Youth Development and employment initiative for both SAMSA, its partners in the maritime sector and the country,” says Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operations Officer of SAMSA.

SA Agulhas is due to return from its 2,850 nautical mile coastal voyage on 30 October 2018.

The ship was used to service South Africa’s three National Antarctic Programme research bases as well as research voyages before she was retired from service in April 2012 and transferred to SAMSA as a training ship.[/restrict]


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Cape Pioneer Trek, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The route of the highly anticipated Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek is set to journey through Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Mossel Bay with key points including the Cape St Blaise Lighthouse (above), the famous Mossel Bay Cave and the Point area.

The seven-day event is being held between 14 and 20 October 2018 and involves about 300 pro-riders racing around the Klein Karoo while…[restrict] raising much-needed funds for local schools.

Cape Pioneer Trek, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

With five years of involvement in the race, the Port of Mossel Bay’s participation in the event is highly significant for several reasons, says Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange.

“TNPA is focused on transforming South Africa’s ports into ‘people’s ports’ that benefit and uplift their communities through tourism, leisure, recreation, sport, careers and business opportunities. The future Mossel Bay Waterfront development will one day allow us to host even more events of this nature,” he said, adding that the employment opportunities from the race, which stands at approximately 400 jobs created, was an important driving factor for the port’s involvement.

The fact that this race also benefits local schools appealed to the port. “Education and youth development are key pillars within TNPA’s own corporate social investment strategy. We are committed towards supporting initiatives and events that are in line with our strategy. In and around Mossel Bay we have programmes in place to support our own adopted schools which include Indwe High School, Hillcrest High School, Garden Route Primary, Isalathiso Primary and Imekhaya Primary,” Tshikalange said.

Cape Pioneer Trek, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

For more information on the route, visit[/restrict]


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Video shows CMA CGM Mumbai about to strike the quay at Mumbai port [0:51]

Something went horribly wrong for the container ship CMA CGM MUMBAI (IMO 9778131) as she prepared to berth in the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Mumbai) on Saturday (13 October 2018).

The recently launched ship, under pilotage at the time, struck the quayside head-on, damaging the ship’s bulbous bow, her upper bow while damage to the quay wall appeared to consist of a deep cut or scour into the wall from the force of the 10,100-TEU ship.

CMA CGM Mumbai was delivered to her owner, Seaspan Corporation on 21 May this year and was immediately charted out to the French line CMA CGM for a three-year period, with an option for a further three years.

The cause of the accident was not immediately made known but it appears to have been the result of a steering malfunction.

CMA CGM is deployed on the company’s Asia-Europe (FAL) service.


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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the joint press conference with Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Curtis Scaparrotti addressed sailors in USS Harry S Truman on 12 October. Photo: NATO Copyright. Image kindly provided by
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the joint press conference with Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Curtis Scaparrotti addressed sailors in USS Harry S Truman on 12 October. Photo: NATO Copyright.      Image kindly provided by

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (pictured centre) visited the aircraft carrier USS HARRY S TRUMAN in the North Sea on 12 October, together with the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti (right).

USS Truman is en route to participate in Trident Juncture 2018, joining around 60 other warships from across the NATO Alliance*. It is understood that the exercise with run until 7 November.

The Secretary General thanked the…[restrict] ship’s company of USS Harry S Truman for their service, emphasising that the carrier delivers deterrence every day, and helps keep sea lines of communication open. He further noted that the carrier has been crucial in helping defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Stoltenberg welcomed Truman taking part in Exercise Trident Juncture, marking the first visit by a US carrier group to Norwegian waters since 1987. He added that Trident Juncture will send a clear message of Allied solidarity – that NATO is ready to respond to any threat from any direction.

Highlighting the key role of maritime power in NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence, Stoltenberg stressed that the Atlantic Ocean is a bridge between North America and Europe which needs to be protected. He welcomed that fact the Alliance is stepping up its efforts to this end, including establishment of a new Joint Force Command for the Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia.

On the day of his visit the Secretary General and General Scaparrotti also boarded the Royal Danish Navy’s Esbern Snare– flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1.

*At present, NATO has 29 members.
In 1949, there were 12 founding members of the Alliance: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. The other member countries are: Greece and Turkey (1952), Germany (1955), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), and Montenegro (2017).[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Class 43 GE-type locomotives of the TFR. Picture by Col Andre Kritzinger.Wikipedia Commons, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Class 43 GE-type locomotives of the TFR.      Picture by Col Andre Kritzinger.Wikipedia Commons

Transnet Freight Rail’s journey of being a freight railway that satisfies the needs of its customers is well on track. This has been affirmed by the three awards the organisation received at the Logistics Achiever Awards (LAA) ceremony on 11 October, 2018. The LAA recognise excellence and innovation in logistics and supply chain management.

In line with Transnet’s objective to transform freight logistics through technology, partnerships and collaboration TFR entered three projects. All three…[restrict] nominated projects won in their respective categories.

The Maputo Corridor Optimisation – Platinum Award

The Maputo Corridor Optimisation was conceptualised as an alternative exit port for commodities such as Magnetite, Coal and Rock Phosphate. TFR, Cavinhos de Ferro de Mozambique (CFM), Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) and Terminal de Carvão da Matola (TCM) worked jointly on this project to migrate the aforementioned commodities back to rail. As a result, the Corridor has increased rail volumes between South Africa and Mozambique.

The Afrimat Iron Ore Loading Facility – Gold Award

The Afrimat Iron Ore Loading Facility repositioned Transnet in logistics value chain as the solution provider that enabled both new and empowerment entrants to access the export markets in a sustainable manner. The facility responded to export capacity requirements of new entrants on the iron ore market. In collaboration with Afrimat, TFR established an iron ore loading facility at Sishen which new entrants use for the export market. Export Iron Ore loaded from this facility has exceeded the Year to Date target by 108%. In addition, this facility has created some 18 employment opportunities for the Sishen community.

The Mandlazini Chrome Hub – Bronze Award

The Mandlazini Chrome Hub is a back of port off-loading facility located next to the Port of Richards Bay. The Hub is Transnet’s response to increased chrome demand, storage capacity limitations at the Port and the need to improve efficiencies at the Dry Bulk Terminal (DBT) and trains turn-around-times. Transnet designed the Mandlazini Back of Port facility together with Unathi Siyanda Logistic Services (ULS). Although commissioned at the end of 2017, TFR had railed 39,150 tons by March 2018 and customers exported 12,300 tons. This solution took 1,151 trucks off the road. Close co-operation between exporters, shipping lines, Transnet Freight Rail and Transnet Port Terminal was the key success factor of the project.

Transnet Freight Rail Chief Executive, Mr. Ravi Nair applauded the teams involved.

“Congratulations to the teams for winning the awards and for your innovative thinking! These projects are clear evidence of what is possible if we collaborate with customers and strategic partners. Collaboration enables us to design and implement superior and industry recognised solutions with social impact such as local job creation and contributing towards reducing the carbon footprint by switching from road to rail transport.”[/restrict]


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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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Naval News

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Green Guatemala. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Green Guatemala.    Picture: Trevor Jones

The all-white (bar the funnel) reefer GREEN GUATEMALA (IMO 8912144) enters port at Durban recently. Flying the flag of Bahamas, Green Guatemala was built in 1992 at the Boelwerf Vlaanderen shipyard in Temse, Belgium. The 131-metre long, 20m wide 7,726-dwt ship is owned by Norwegian interests and is managed by Green Management SP of Gydnia, Poland. As with a number of ships of her vintage she has had several names and changes of ownership, having been named CRYSTAL PRIMADONNA until 2004 and for a period until December 2005 the ship was simply PRIMADONNA, under which names she called at Durban on several occasions. Green Guatemala is currently en route to Bandar Abbas in Iran. Picture is by Trevor Jones



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