Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News – 3 November 2018

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


These news reports are updated and added to on an ongoing basis.  Check back regularly for the latest news as it develops – where necessary refresh your page at  Our next Newsletter is distributed on Monday  29 October 2018.

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Richards Bay ship repair wharf. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Richards Bay ship repair wharf. Picture: TNPA

The small craft and tug basin at the Port of Richards Bay with the small craft wharf in the left foreground. This latter berth is to be strengthened and deepened from about -8m to -18 metres to accommodate large Capesize ships for repair. Away to the left of the picture in the Casuarina forest is where the actual ship repair facility will be developed, including a Capesize floating dock. This picture is by TNPA



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Vale opencast mine, Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Vale opencast mine, Moatize, Mozambique

Vale Moçambique has lowered its forecast for coal production at the Moatize coal site in quite dramatic fashion.

The Mozambique division said this downward review is a result of the subsidiary company reviewing processes and plans for the Moatize mine in order to make…[restrict] 2018 the ‘year of stabilisation’.

The new report sees Vale’s coal production in Mozambique having been revised down from 15 million to 12 million tonnes for 2018, according to the Brazilian group’s production and sales report for the third quarter of 2018.

Earlier this year, in May, Vale announced that it forecast production of 15 million tonnes of coal, against the 16 million mark it had set previously, due to bad weather in the production zone.

Some of the actions that will make 2018 ‘the year of stabilisation,’ thus ensuring a production increase in 2019 and the following years, include the removal of unusable material, opening up of new mining sections, preparation of new wells, ‘activities that resulted in a reduction in production.’

In August, the chief executive of the Mozambican subsidiary of Brazilian group Vale announced that it had ended the first half of the year with debt of US$7.9 billion, or an increase of US$100 million compared to the amount recorded at the end of first quarter.

Marcelo Tertuliano also reported that the company’s net income in the second quarter remained negative at minus US$193 million, higher than the negative result of US$139 million in the first quarter.

Rains, high operating costs and appreciation of the Mozambican currency, the metical, are among the main negative influences on the performance of the company in the second quarter. source: macauhub[/restrict]


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IMB Report Infographics, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
IMB Report Infographics

Record low hijackings yet danger persists in Gulf of Guinea, shows latest global piracy report  SEE HERE

By 29 October a total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships had been reported to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 121 for the same period in 2017.

The 2018 figure is broken down as: 107 vessels boarded, 32 attempted attacks, 13 vessels fired upon and four vessels hijacked—although no vessels were reported as hijacked in the third quarter of 2018. This is first time since 1994 when no vessel hijackings have been reported in two consecutive quarters.

Nevertheless, incidents of this crime persist, with the number of crew members held hostage increasing in comparison to the same period in 2017—from 80 incidents to 112 by the third quarter of 2018.

Of these figures Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, commented: “While the record low number of hijackings in the second and third quarters of 2018 is of course to be celebrated, incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery remain common. ICC urges governments to leverage the timely data available from the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre to concentrate resources in these hotspots.”

Shifting piracy trends in the Gulf of Guinea

Statistically, the Gulf of Guinea accounts for 57 of the 156 reported incidents. While most of these incidents have been reported in and around Nigeria (41), the Nigerian Navy has actively responded and dispatched patrol boats when incidents have been reported promptly. There has also been a noticeable increase in the number of vessels boarded at the Takoradi anchorage, in Ghana.

It is noted that 37 of the 39 crew kidnappings for ransom globally have occurred in the Gulf of Guinea region, in seven separate incidents. A total of 29 crew members were kidnapped in four separate incidents off Nigeria—including a 12-crew kidnapping from a bulk carrier off Bonny Island, Nigeria in September 2018.

In other regions of the world incidents of piracy and armed robbery are comparatively seldom. No new incidents have been reported off the coast of Somalia in the third quarter of 2018, while two fishermen were reported kidnapped off Semporna, Malaysia in September 2018.

Incidents in the remaining regions, including some Latin America countries, border on low level opportunistic theft. Nevertheless, the IMB continues to encourage all masters and crew members to be aware of these risks and report all incidents to the 24-hour manned PRC. The Centre will ensure that reported incidents are relayed without delay to the appropriate response agency and will liaise with the ship, its operators and the response agency until the vessel is deemed safe.

Since 1991, the IMB’s PRC has provided the maritime industry, governments and response agencies with timely and transparent data on piracy and armed robbery incidents—received directly from the master of the vessel or its owners. The IMB PRC’s prompt forwarding of reports and liaison with response agencies, its broadcasts to shipping via Inmarsat Safety Net Services and email alerts to company security officers—all provided free of cost—have helped the response against piracy and armed robbery and the security of seafarers globally.

A message for shipmasters and owners

IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB PRC.

See here: CLICK HERE

This first step in the response chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle piracy.

Transparent statistics from an independent, non-political, international organisation can act as a catalyst to achieve this goal.

The full report can be requested : HERE

About the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world’s largest business organization with a network of over 6.5 million members in more than 130 countries. It works to promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation through a unique mix of advocacy and standard setting activities—together with market leading dispute resolution services. Members include many of the world’s largest companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce.
See also:

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Scarlet Lady, the first ship of four under construction at Fincantieri's Genoa shipyard, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Scarlet Lady, the first ship of four ships under construction at Fincantieri’s Genoa shipyard

Virgin Voyages has yet to enter the cruise ship parade although Richard Braxton’s venture into this ‘virgin’ domain has yet to take place, has placed an order for a fourth ship with Italian cruise ship specialist builder, Fincantieri.

The contract, said to be worth about US$795 million, will…[restrict] result in the ship entering service toward the end of 2023.

Get used to seeing red! with Virgin Cruises, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Get used to seeing red!

The ship will become a sister vessel to three others currently under construction by Fincantieri at the Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa. The other three ships are due to enter service in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The first ship in the line has already been given a name, which will be SCARLET LADY.

The new ship will be approximately 110,000-g, 278 metres in length and a beam of 38 metres. Boasting slightly more than 1,400 cabins she will cater for around 2,770 passengers catered for by a crew numbering 1,100.

As with her sisters the ship will be equipped with Wärtsilä 46F engines, Wärtsilä’s hybrid scrubber system and selective catalytic reduction systems for exhaust gas cleaning. They will also be outfitted with Wärtsilä’s Nacos Platinum integrated bridge systems.[/restrict]


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Helsinki-based Containerships has inaugurated a second weekly service from London Thamesport, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Helsinki-based Containerships has inaugurated a second weekly service from London Thamesport

International News

Hutchison Ports London Thamesport’s growing reputation as a short-sea container hub has been further enhanced by Helsinki-based Containerships plc’s introduction of a second weekly service from Gdynia, Poland.

Helsinki-based Containerships (illustrated) has inaugurated a…[restrict] second weekly service from London Thamesport.

Containerships has chosen the Kent-based port for its second direct service to and from the southern part of the UK. This offers regular and fast connections with Poland, with improved service and transit times from Gdynia of 3-4 days and 4-6 days for the return passage.

Mark Taylor, on behalf of London Thamesport, said: “We are delighted to welcome Containerships’ second weekly service to London Thamesport. Containerships’ port of choice reflects the growing interest we are seeing for short sea container services into London Thamesport. This additional direct service from Gdynia provides a reliable, cost effective short sea alternative to road transport from Poland. This will provide a welcome option for UK importers struggling with driver shortages and higher haulage rates on the continent.

“As Brexit draws nearer, an increasing number of importers and exporters are reviewing their supply chain strategies, looking for routes that offer high resilience whatever the Brexit outcome. Working with our partners at Hutchison Logistics, and utilising London Thamesport’s locational advantages, we are ideally placed to help in that process.”

London Thamesport can handle a variety of deep and shallow-drafted vessels carrying a broad range of cargoes including, containers, break-bulk and project cargoes. Efficient shipside operations, fast turn-around of vessels and road vehicles allows London Thamesport to provide its customers with a cost-efficient service in the heart of south-east England.

Containerships is a leading short sea, end-to-end operator providing full service logistics from producer to consumer. It is present in 21 countries and operates a fleet of 14 ships across the North Sea and the Baltic Sea as well as the Mediterranean. Containerships’ services offer a competitive, environmentally friendly alternative to road transport through frequent departures and the use of 45-foot containers.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Oceanos with SA Air Force helicopters arriving to pluck passegers from the sinkling ship. Picture: East London Museum, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Oceanos with SA Air Force helicopters arriving to pluck passegers from the sinkling ship. Picture: East London Museum

–4 August 1991 —
Rescue ship to a person on the bridge of the fast sinking OCEANOS

“Where are you?”
“I don’t really know, somewhere between East London and Durban.”
“Can you give me your actual position?”
“What is your rank?”
“I’m the guitarist”

Transkei stamp of the Oceanos sinking, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Unbelievable but true – an account of the terrifying conditions on the OCEANOS on 4 August 1991 when it became obvious that not only was the position of the ship unknown, but the whereabouts of the captain and some crew as well.

Most have heard the story, the sinking of the OCEANOS with 571 passengers and crew on board, none of whom suffered fatalities or serious injury.

It was then up to the Tour Director and members of the entertainment group having to take over the task of getting passengers off the vessel into lifeboats and rescue helicopters.

This account was brought to life by Andrew Pike, a maritime lawyer (Bowmans)  who was involved in what he termed as the biggest case he had dealt with in his career.

Andrew was the speaker at a recent well-attended fund-raising breakfast of the Sailors’ Society in Durban.

Principal Chaplain Revd Boet van Schalkwyk introduced the work of the Society by means of a short video and description of the situations encountered by chaplains who go on board vessels, in short, how the Sailors’ Society cares for seafarers ecumenically and materially. Seafarers are at sea for lengthy periods by the very nature of their work, away from families, also with limited time ashore. Others find themselves in the unfortunate position of their vessel being arrested resulting in lengthy times in ports without being able to go ashore. Here chaplains ensure they have sufficient food and necessities on board.

Three years ago the Crisis Response Network was formed. Headed by Revd Van Schalkwyk, CRN Co-ordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa, this service focuses on trauma counselling of seafarers after suffering events such as piracy attacks, disasters at sea and also death and illness of their families back home when they are thousands of kilometres away. The Sailors Society steps in and through the network is able to ensure that chaplains are able to render trauma counselling and help no matter where they are.

Those on the OCEANOS also suffered indescribable trauma. Many organisations played vital roles in the rescue; the SAAF, NSRI, Ports Authority amongst others. Passengers were airlifted from the ship which had been disabled and was sinking near Coffee Bay in the then Transkei and were taken to the Haven Hotel.

Andrew related the story of a two week old baby having been placed in a bucket and hoisted from the sinking ship onto a passing bulk carrier. Children had also been separated from their parents in the haste of the rescue with the parents not knowing their whereabouts.

Andrew Pike of Bowmans attorneys and Revd Boet van Schalkwyk of the Seamens Society, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Andrew Pike of Bowmans attorneys and Revd Boet van Schalkwyk of the Sailors’ Society

The Port of Durban, where a crisis centre had been set up, received vessels which had been contacted to rescue passengers. A captain of one of these ships reported 30 metre waves. Although trauma counselling was arranged at the time, it is ironic that the very work done by the CRN team could have been so appropriate then.

All were spellbound listening to Andrew’s vibrant account of this disaster, sharing with us details we either have forgotten after having read reports or didn’t know. He, by the nature of his work, had to interview many role players regarding claims and other legal aspects and so could give a profound insight into the situation.

There are always some humorous vignettes even in the face of tragedy.

“I didn’t know so many people went on this voyage wearing Rolexes”! he said.

Andrew Pike has written a book on this miracle so many may also shortly be able to share this remarkable rescue – which he correctly described as “worthy of a Hollywood movie”.

He concluded: “It was the greatest maritime rescue in history, in fact a miracle, – a miracle where there were no fatalities or serious injuries.”

The Sailors’ Society requires donations without which their work would have to be curtailed. Andrew’s contribution to the fundraising effort so as to continue with the vital services is highly appreciated.

by Yvonne de Kock
Public Relations Co-ordinator
Sailors’ Society SA

  • This article will also appear in the FEATURES column


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Capt Sloane (on left), Ms Charo Coll (ISU President) and Capt Rob Whitehead. Pictures: SOMMSA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Capt Sloane (on left), Ms Charo Coll (ISU President) and Capt Rob Whitehead. Pictures: SOMMSA

Faced with a reluctance by the South African state to grant any sort of official recognition of the achievements of South African salvage master Captain Nick Sloane in leading the team that raised the capsized cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA, the Society of Master Mariners South Africa decided to initiate a unique gold medal as its highest honour to a fellow mariner.

The gold medal was awarded to Capt Sloane in the presence of a large group of international salvage delegates attending the International Salvage Union’s AGM that was being held in the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town on the evening of 23 October 2018.

The citation awarded to Cape Nick Sloane together with a gold medal award given by SOMMSA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

In making the presentation the Society’s President, Capt Rob Whitehead, told those assembled that, as a result of the state’s reluctance to recognise the significant achievement and international recognition generated by Captain Sloane’s leadership in the successful salvage of the Costa Concordia, the Society had created this gold medal award as its highest honour to a fellow mariner.

The laid down criteria for making the award is as follows: “Certificated Master Mariner or Deck Officer who, by an exceptional action, has brought the highest honour to our profession by him or her exercising the pinnacle of marine skills acquired as a result of their qualifications and experience”.

Full marks to the Society for taking the lead in granting this overdue recognition of a true South African hero and an example to old and young alike. That a South African was chosen to lead the international team that successfully raised and refloated the cruise ship is a factor that should never have been overlooked and does no credit to those in the South Africa government and state organisation that deliberately or otherwise neglected this.


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Maersk Kolkata. Picture courtesy: Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk Kolkata.      Picture courtesy: Shipspotting

AP Moller – Maersk, so often the pioneer in container logistics, has become the first container shipping company to launch instant booking confirmation.

The initiative offers significant improvements to customer experience as booking a container with Maersk becomes as easy as booking a flight ticket.

Maersk customers can now complete their bookings within seconds compared to…[restrict] previous waiting times of up to two hours.

Maersk says that eliminating this delay has been a top priority for Maersk as the delay triggers uncertainty and extra workloads in managing supply chains for the customers.

Vincent Clerc, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Vincent Clerc

“We are now making it as easy for our customers to book a container as booking a flight ticket. Instant booking confirmation makes it faster, easier and simpler for our customers to interact with Maersk,” says Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer, AP Moller – Maersk.

“It is a milestone for the entire industry and a concrete example of how we are bringing our strategy to life when we improve the customer experience through seamless digital offerings,” he says.

With the new system, customers get visibility of sailing options with available vessel space, a list of depots with empty containers to choose from and a choice of relevant value adding services.

More importantly – they get certainty that a booking will not be cancelled at a later stage.

Due to e.g. lack of vessel space or equipment availability, around 10% of bookings placed in Maersk’s systems were previously either rejected or confirmed for an alternative sailing, often spurring customers to follow up with questions and requests for changes. Such follow-up inquiries have accounted for 15% of all Maersk customer service calls and chats – and close to 200,000 emails every month.

Instant bookings on-the-go

Maersk containers, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

With the release of instant booking confirmation, Maersk is also introducing online booking via the Maersk App. Enabling instant bookings directly from the mobile phone is another functionality that has long been high on Maersk customers’ wish-lists, especially in emerging markets, says Sonny Dahl, AP Moller – Maersk’s global head of Customer Experience & Service.

“Maersk operates in several markets where mobile phones make up the primary working tool for the workforce. Here, Instant Booking Confirmation straight from the mobile phone will be a huge improvement for our customers’ supply chain managers – it will further enable trade in these markets,” Dahl said.

Instant booking confirmation is available in beta for all customers through the online booking modules of the Maersk Line, SeaLand and Safmarine brands. The functionality currently covers dry cargo shipments. Refrigerated cargo, dangerous cargo (IMDG) and inland container yards are expected to be added during 2019.[/restrict]


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IMPSA xrane collapsed at Port Elizabeth 30 Oct 2018, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture TNPA

Following the collapse of the ship-to-shore (STS) crane at Port Elizabeth on Tuesday morning – *see that report HERE – Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at Port Elizabeth advised this evening (Thursday 1 November) that the crane boom (jib) has been successfully floated, brought alongside and secured to the quay wall of the berth opposite the breakwater in the port entrance channel.

“The debris on the seabed will now be removed and a final dive inspection conducted ahead of the Harbour Master declaring the port safe for shipping. Subject to good weather conditions and no uncontrollable salvage variables, shipping movements have started and will continue from 16h00 today (Thursday).

“Notice has been given to vessels to prepare themselves for shipping. Three pilots, a berthing crew and our two tugs will be deployed to expedite the recovery of the shipping backlog,” said Rajesh Dana, PE Port Manager.

The collapse of the IMPSA crane on berth 103 at the PE Container Terminal left a part overhanging into the port entrance channel. As a result of this and in the interest of navigational safety, all commercial shipping movements in the Port of Port Elizabeth were suspended until the port entrance channel has been cleared.

Transnet immediately appointed a contractor to assist with the salvage and recovery of the crane.

Meanwhile Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) proceeded with terminal operations. The cargo of four vessels were successfully handled leaving them ready to sail while another five vessels were expected to dock once the entrance was reopened.


In an update TNPA reports that “all port operations (including, but not limited to Shipping operations and terminal operations) have returned to normal. The commercial shipping backlog has been recovered and depending on good weather conditions it is anticipated that the terminal operations should be fully recovered by next Wednesday [7 November].”


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Bulk loading at Richards Bay. Picture: Port of Richards Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Bulk loading at Richards Bay.       Picture: Port of Richards Bay

The bulk sector is navigating its way out of the doldrums but market correction has come at a price, delegates attending Bulk Terminals 2018 learned last week.

Speaking in Hamburg at the annual conference of the Association of Bulk Terminal Operators (ABTO), Frachtcontor Director Frank Grone said that while the bulk segment is slowly but steadily working its way out of the doldrums with a positive cash flow, he reminded delegates that 60mdwt was scrapped in 2015 and 2016 at “ridiculous prices”, while financing banks took serious “haircuts” leaving bulk carrier owners faced with a complete wipe out of their invested capital.

The trigger for recovery, he said, has been a healthy growth in demand, which in 2017 was in order of 4% with 3% expected for this year. Fleet growth was moderate in 2017.

Congestion and slow steaming have been two ingredients for recovery as it kept tonnage off the market. Slow steaming is still the flavour of the month, but a 3 to 4 knot increase in speed could kill the upturn, Grone warned.

As far as bulk commodities are concerned demand for iron ore has been the major driver and the iron ore market should increase by about 2% this year and continue upwards with suppliers in Brazil and Australia ramping up production. Demand from the Chinese market is still there he said, and locally produced product is nowhere near the quality of imports. Coal is also a market driver with a 7% increase in Chinese imports and Indian imports up 6%.

The overall increase in seaborne coal trade is 3-4% which is in stark contrast to Europe where imports have fallen. China, India, Japan and Korea import approximately 900mt of coal per year compared to the two biggest importers in Europe – the UK and Germany – which import approximately 110mt annually. The music, he said, is “clearly being played in the Pacific Rim”.

The challenge for European terminal operators is the fact that Germany now uses 36% energy derived from renewables. The fact that Australian coal port Newcastle is now planning an ultra large container terminal to cater for a projected massive increase in movement of containerised cargo may be an indication of market attitudes going forward.

In summary, Grone said growth looks positive and fleet growth manageable but there are a number of challenges.

These include the trade conflict between China, the US and EU, which, he said, will affect the shipping market negatively. “The market is not only driven by hard facts, but also by sentiments”.

While the immediate impact of restrictions on soya bean trades may be positive in the short term for South American suppliers, ultimately China will have to turn to the US for supplies, Grone believed. Trade barriers are generally negative in the longer term, he added.

Another area of uncertainty is what will happen as a result of the global sulphur cap due to come into force in 2020.

Commenting on the options available to meet the requirement, Grone estimated, on the basis of current use, that 66% of all fuel burned will have to be switched by 2020 to comply with the rules.

ABTO banner appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Owners can either continue to burn high sulphur fuels and risk fines and port state control detentions and trade bans, or install scrubbing technology or switch to gasoil, he said, adding that scrubbing technology is expensive while switching to gasoil may also be expensive as the price will be substantially higher.

Grone told ABTO delegates that suppliers are likely to reduce stocks of high sulphur fuel because of falling demand.

Only 1200 owners have decided to retrofit scrubbers and there are 60,000 vessels that need to be dealt with. For the remainder of vessels needing to move to low sulphur products, delivery can be expected to be tight. The upside for tanker owners is that there is likely to be movement of gasoil from the Middle East, he said.

The challenge for shipowners will be how to pass the costs on to charterers and to realise the competitive advantage of installing scrubbers. Another strategy may well prove to be partnerships between charterers and owners of ships with scrubbers.

Grone’s market appraisal followed a key note speech from Axel Mattern, CEO of the Port of Hamburg Marketing Association, who informed attendees that Hamburg has now received the green light to dredge and rebuild the entrance channel to the port.

He explained it has taken 17 years and “many battles with regulators” to get the go ahead for work on the Elbe, which up until now has meant ships with a beam of 15m or more have been unable to pass each other and have had to wait to enter the port. “Hamburg is back in the game”, he said.

In his closing remarks, Ian Adams, ABTO Chief Executive, commented: “Bulk Terminals 2018 had a very broad agenda, but a common theme running throughout the two-day conference was that market near-term prospects appeared to be positive, which is good news for everyone involved in the bulk industry. ABTO continues to provide a valuable service to its members and to the industry as a whole.”

About ABTO

The Association of Bulk Terminal Operators provides a service to bulk terminal operating companies by helping to establish a favourable operating environment. As a forum for discussion on non-competitive issues, and by providing up-to-date information and market intelligence ABTO can help strengthen and support business development strategies, lobby governments and administrations to ensure operators are aware of the issues affecting the transportation of bulk cargoes and, consequently, global trade.


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The site of the proposed Richards Bay ship repair facility with floating dock. The small craft quay that will be strengthened and deepened is on the right, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The site of the proposed ship repair facility with floating dock. The small craft quay that will be strengthened and deepened is on the right.

It has been well over 20 years but at last the green light of official approval has been given to the building of floating dock infrastructure at the Port of Richards Bay.

Since the mid 1990s and the aspirations of a local businessman, Rowley Morgan, there has been one obstacle after another standing in the way of providing ship repair facilities at the Zululand port.

Now that wait appears to be over, with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) giving Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Richards Bay the go ahead to construct its long-awaited R1.4 billion rand floating dock infrastructure.

The new floating dock facility, which will be located in the vicinity of the port’s Small Craft Harbour, forms part of the R4.4 billion capital investment plans announced by TNPA in 2017.

The consent from DEA followed a drawn-out rigorous process, which included a series of specialised studies, impact assessments and consultations with various environmental and industry stakeholders, including the South African Heritage Resources Agency, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, DEA: Coastal Pollution Management as well as the local municipalities among others.

Market studies and Expressions of Interest confirmed an appetite for a Floating Dock in the region.

Local stakeholders have been saying this since the days of the late Mr Morgan.

Port manager Thami Sithole, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port manager Thami Sithole

The implementation of a floating dock has been in the pipeline for a number of years, gaining traction in 2016 when an expression of interest was issued, said Richards Bay Port Manager, Thami Sithole.

“At the time, 23 interested parties attended the site briefing, while 11 submissions were received, including ship / rig repair players, consulting firms and entities interested in being service providers or sub-contractors to the potential sponsor. Respondents were favourable towards mobilising a floating dock provided that certain risks were addressed.

“TNPA will approach this project in two streams, namely the infrastructure development and a concession to a private sector operator to supply and operate a floating dock. As the Port of Richards Bay we are extremely excited about moving forward with this long-awaited project,” Sithole said.

TNPA will be supporting this initiative by undertaking the dredging, marine infrastructure and bulk landside infrastructure developments.

The project is expected to create approximately 1000 direct and indirect jobs, with a current targeted operational date of April 2022. Once complete, the facility will be capable of accommodating Capesize vessels. This will require upgrades to the existing Small Craft quay and extensive deepening of the berth from its current 8.5 metres to a planned -18 metre depth.

The floating dock project represents one of the initiatives of Operation Phakisa, a government-driven programme aimed at unlocking the potential of South Africa’s Oceans Economy. Of a total of 18 Marine Transport and Manufacturing (MTM) Initiatives under Operation Phakisa, TNPA is directly associated with eight of them of which four involve infrastructure developments. Other initiatives address operations, skills and capacity building as well as market growth.

TNPA has specifically identified ship building and repair as strategic competencies towards the growing of GDP and creation of jobs in the Richards Bay region.

Ricky Bhikraj, TNPA Operation Phakisa director, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ricky Bhikraj

Ricky Bhikraj, Operation Phakisa Programme Director said that the new development would ensure that the Port of Richards Bay was able to enter the ship repair market for typical vessels that call at Richards Bay and grow a base for wider marine manufacturing at Richards Bay.

“Former Richards Bay Port Manager, Preston Khomo, has been appointed as the TNPA Ship Repair Executive. He will lead the creation of an enabling environment for wider marine manufacturing at our ports to enable this industry to thrive and to contribute towards the nation’s prosperity,” Bhikraj said.

“Across our ports, we are making steady progress on the upgrades at our ship repair facilities to ensure they are internationally competitive and capable of attracting more business to South Africa. Having addressed the start-up and planning issues, it remains for us to accelerate delivery of these projects in consultation with port users. This is in line with our role as a lead implementer of the Operation Phakisa initiative,” Bhikraj said.


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Tema Shipyard and two dry docks, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tema Shipyard and two dry docks

Ghana’s transport ministry recently held a pre-proposal conference aimed at prospective investors in the Tema Shipyard.

This follows the departure of a Malyasian investor which the ministry describes as having left the dockyard and ship repair facility in an almost dilapidated state.

Addressing a media conference in Accra, Transport Minister Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said the meeting with potential investors was…[restrict] intended to identify and short-list suitable ship repair firms as a potential strategic investor in helping develop and operate ship repair, fabrication and ship building at Tema.

He said this was in line with Section 40 of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Act to solicit a private sector partner to upgrade and develop the shipyard.

“It is the expectation of Government that the private partner that is selected at the end of the solicitation processes will partner Government to bring about the needed technology and investment that will eventually lead to the *scale-up facility at the yard,” the minister said.

Tema dry dock, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The larger dry dock

He said that the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Tema Shipyard and Dry-Dock would help in the effective execution of the integrated bauxite and Aluminium project, as well as oil and gas industry.

“Government therefore considers the shipyard as a strategic national asset and seeks to rehabilitate and upgrade into a modern fully equipped shipyard to ensure that it contributes significantly to the integrated bauxite industry as well as the oil and gas industry,” he said.

According to Transaction Advisor, David Ofosu Dorte, stage one of the selection processes had involved the evaluation of the investor qualification statement had been completed with six out of 20 initial prospective investors qualifying to the second stage.

Following the departure of Malaysia PSC, the previous investors in the Tema Shipyard, Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA) has been steering affairs at the shipyard to keep the company afloat and active.

Capt. Francis KB Micah, CEO of Tema Shipyard and Drydock said that it is the vision of the Ghana government to transform the Tema Shipyard to a world class standard to serve the growing demands of the sea trade and oil & gas industry. He said that if the Shipyard is positioned to serve to its full potential, turnaround time for vessels would increase, revenue would be generated to the state, and significant employment would be created.[/restrict]

Tema Shipyard and dry dock, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


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Transnet banneer, appearing with Africa PORTS & SHIPS MARITIME NEWS

Transnet has suspended another of its top officials on allegations of impropriety involving a number of controversial contracts.

The latest official to be ‘fingered’ in the developing saga of corruption and graft at the state-owned rail, ports and pipelines logistics company is group general financial manager…[restrict] Edward Thomas, who joins chief procurement officer, Thamsanqa Jiyane, and Transnet’s supply-chain manager, Lindiwe Mdletshe, on suspension pending further investigation.

This was announced yesterday by way of a statement issued by the board chairman, Pop Molefe.

Transnet Group chief executive Siyabonga Gama has been dismissed from his post but is in the process of challenging this.

The “impropriety” revolves around certain contracts that were issued to rail manufacturers for 1,064 electric and diesel-electric locomotives, in which it is alleged that massive kickbacks were paid with some of the money ending up with Gupta-related companies.

Transnet board also announced disciplinary action against its group treasurer, Phetolo Ramosebudi, who was issued with a notice to suspend him but who subsequently resigned.

These developments follow the appointment of a new board as the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa seeks to root out corruption and graft in state-owned enterprises.[/restrict]


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Mozambique map ex Google Earth, featured in African PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Mozambique’s economy is more stable, but with reduced capacity for growth, a World Bank assessment on the country being presented yesterday in Maputo reads.

“Mozambique is emerging from the recent episode of macroeconomic volatility with a reduced capacity for growth. GDP growth dropped to an average of 3.8 for 2016 and 2017, down from 8% on average over the preceding decade, and is expected to…[restrict] attain the slightly lower rate of 3.3% in 2018 as the economy continues to confront the downturn that followed the debt crisis in 2016,” the document reads.

The analysis, entitled ‘Mozambique Economic Update – Shifting to More Inclusive Growth’, emphasises that the need for state financing and the risks posed to foreign trade cloud the economic outlook.

“A weaker price setting for Mozambique’s main exports coal, aluminium and tobacco is a source of risk to the external outlook, especially if demand for consumer imports recovers.”

Mozambique Economic Update, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The situation could put pressure on the central bank’s reserves and motivate imbalances. “A recovery in import demand, if not accompanied by an improved performance in exports from key sectors such as agriculture and energy, and an increase in investment, is likely to widen the economy’s external financing needs and raise pressure on central bank reserves.”

“At the level of public accounts, the gradual decline in the primary deficit has coincided with an increase in domestic debt, exacerbating debt levels and reflecting the public sector’s persistent financing needs, including those linked to under-performing state-owned enterprises,” the World Bank notes.

These needs are associated with the “poor performance of state-owned enterprises”, it adds.

“Rising domestic debt levels are of concern considering the high cost of domestic credit, and the potential for public sector financing to crowd out the private sector’s access to credit,” the report points out.

On the other hand, “the wage bill, which is typically a rigid expense, is beginning to slow at a gradual pace but continues to be a significant source of fiscal pressure. In addition, the ongoing electoral cycle and the emerging decentralisation arrangements could have significant budgetary implications that condition the pace of fiscal adjustment in the medium-term”, the report reads.

The government of the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo), the party in power since Portugal’s independence in 1975, and the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the main opposition party, this year achieved agreement on decentralisation, which will be put into practice with the general elections of 2019.[/restrict]

You may read the World Bank’s ‘Mozambique Economic Update – Shifting to More Inclusive Growth’ CLICK HERE Source: Lusa / World Bank


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Maputo-Catembe Bridge under construction. Picture: Noticias, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maputo-Catembe Bridge under construction.     Picture: Noticias

After several delays and cancellation of openings, the new Maputo-Catembe Bridge across Maputo Bay is set to open on 10 November 2018.

This was announced officially by Mozambique’s Minister of Public Works, Joao Machatine.

The significance of this date is that…[restrict] it marks the anniversary of Maputo’s elevation to the status of a city.

The opening of the bridge, built by a Chinese contractor and using a Chinese bank loan, was delayed by about a year because of several reasons, the most important of which was the refusal of informal stallholders at an informal market who blocked the northern access to the bridge because they were not receiving adequate compensation.

The suspension bridge will make it easier for Maputo and Catembe residents to cross the bay, avoiding a long detour around the headwaters of Maputo Bay or a reliance on an often unreliable ferry service. The bridge is sufficiently high enough over the waters of Maputo Bay to allow shipping to pass beneath while proceeding to Matola and other berths.

The bridge will also shorten the time taken to drive between Maputo and the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.

In order to facilitate the latter the roads south of Katembe (Catembe) to the tourist resort of Ponta de Ouro and the South African border are being upgraded as part of the bridge contract. There will be four toll gates on the road, but Machatine recently told the local television station STV that only two are ready – at the bridge itself, and at the town of Bela Vista.

The tolls charged for using the bridge have not yet been announced, but Maputo-Sul, the state company operating the bridge, says they will be cheaper than the ferry, and will be “socially bearable”.

Machatine also blamed overloading of trucks for the deterioration in the quality of Mozambican roads. He accused truck drivers of avoiding weighbridges, and promised that his Ministry is working with the police to catch overloaded trucks which were having “an incalculable impact on our roads”. source: AIM[/restrict]



CMA CGM Bianca in Cape Town. Picture: Ian Shiffman, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CMA CGM Bianca in Cape Town.       Picture: Ian Shiffman

French shipping line CMA CGM has announced updates for the WAX 3 and MIDAS 1 services that CMA CGM operates to West Africa.

The company said in a statement that it was introducing the updates in a challenging operational environment and situation in Nigeria. The WAX 3 service services the Asia to Nigeria route, while the MIDAS 1 service operates between the India sub-continent, Middle East Gulf to Nigeria.

“To continue delivering the…[restrict] premium quality service in Nigeria with high reliability and service continuity you expect from us, CMA CGM will make the following changes with immediate effect and until further notice,” the statement read.


CMA CGM'C WAX 3 rotation featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Effective the sailing of m/v SAFMARINE CHACHAI on voyage 08W1RW1MA.

WAX 3 serves two ports in Nigeria : Apapa and Onne on a direct and weekly basis from Asia.

Tincan continues to be promoted. It is routed through Pointe Noire WB in relay on the company’s MIDAS 1 service.

The Port rotation is: Xiamen – Shanghai – Ningbo – Nansha – Singapore – Tanjung Pelepas – Walvis Bay – Pointe Noire ( hub for Tincan) – Apapa – Onne – Pointe Noire – Tanjung Pelepas – Xiamen


CMA CGM's MIDAS 1 rotation as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

With effect the sailing of m/v HAMMONIA AMERICA on voyage 0MS1NW1MA.

MIDAS 1 serves Tincan Lagos on a direct and weekly basis from the India Subcontinent Middle East Gulf.

Cargo bound to Apapa will be routed in relay through Pointe Noire on the WAX 3 service.

To Onne, there is no change to the present routing, it is loaded on the Onne feeder service.

The MIDAS 1 port rotation is: Jebel Ali – Khorfakkan – Mundra – Nhava Sheva – Colombo – Durban – Pointe Noire (hub for Apapa) – Tincan – Cotonou – Tema – Port Elizabeth – Durban – Jebel Ali [/restrict]



pirate whaler being destroyed, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

On Sunday morning, 28 October 2018, EU NAVFOR military personnel seized an active Pirate Action Group (PAG) whaler and destroyed it. This followed a sustained period of surveillance after a piracy attack was conducted against the Hong Kong-flagged Bulk Carrier KSL SYDNEY.

EU NAVFOR remains committed to disrupting…[restrict] PAG’s wherever and whenever the opportunity arises and says that Sunday 28 October was one such occasion.

The attack against the KSL Sydney took place on 16 October 340 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. Rear Admiral Alfonso Perez de Nanclares, the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, ordered counter-piracy forces to the area for further investigation.

EU NAVFOR Spanish Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) flew over the area to gain as much detailed information on suspected pirate activity as they could. The ability to deploy aircraft and ships immediately to this area proved vital in identifying this latest PAG. The information the MPRA provided made it apparent that PAG whalers were active in the area, which would be used to launch further attacks on maritime shipping transiting the area.

The suspicious whaler identified by the MPRA was later tracked down by the crew of ESPS Castilla to a small bay just off the Somali coast. The Force Commander then ordered it to be seized and towed out to sea where it was safely destroyed.

“Using the resources of Op Atalanta we were able to identify, track and destroy the equipment of a Pirate Action Group making it harder for them to attack maritime shipping in the future,” said Admiral Nanclares. “We will continue to deter and prevent acts of piracy with every chance we get in order to ensure vulnerable shipping and their crews remain safe while they transit the Western Indian Ocean.”[/restrict]


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STS gantry crane collapsed at Port Elizabeth

Durban is not the only South African port affected by inclement weather, in particular strong winds and sea swells.

At Port Elizabeth one of the container terminal’s ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes was blown off its rails and has ended up partially in the sea at the harbour entrance. While no official comment or confirmation has been received (written Tuesday mid-morning), reports indicate it was the crane closest to the harbour entrance that is affected.

UPDATE:  A statement issued by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA Port Elizxabeth and received shortly after 17h00 reads:  “Port Elizabeth experienced winds in excess of 50 knots per hour on Tuesday morning. This resulted in the damage of a Transnet Port Terminals ship–to–shore crane on the quayside. No employees were injured. The Engineering team is currently assessing the extent of the damage however, the crane has been secured. The Port Elizabeth Container Terminal is currently wind bound. A business continuity plan has been implemented in an effort to limit any further impact on operations.”
At this stage there is no information about injuries to personnel. The accident occurred around about 07h30 or slightly earlier as far as we can ascertain. The port is meanwhile shut both on account of the strong winds and also because of the crane wreckage lying across part of the entrance channel.

A gale is blowing along the South African South and East Coast and is expected to continue throughout the day. In Durban the winds of last night dropped during the morning but are strengthening as this is being written (12h30) – weather reports suggest the gales may return this evening (Tuesday).   At 17h00 TNPA advised that they were “currently only servicing vessels at DCT and Point Berths, all other berths are wind bound or due to swell cannot be serviced.”

 UPDATE In the latest communique  at 22h30 Tuesday night TNPA advises that the port has reopened for selected incoming vessels, with Island View shipping (liquid bulk berths) being given preference to be followed by container ships.

There is a strong sea swell along the entire south and east coasts, making shipping movements into and from the harbour challenging.

This is not the first time that a gantry crane has been blown over at Port Elizabeth – under similar circumstances with a strong wind blowing – for which Algoa Bay has earned its own reputation, another of the STS cranes was blown free of its rails some years ago, before crashing into the side of a ship on the berth and leaving the crane to collapse to the quayside.


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Pomerenia Sky pirated off Nigeria. Picture courtesy: Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pomerenia Sky.      Picture courtesy: Shipspotting

After a short lull Nigeria pirates have struck again, attacking the container ship POMERENIA SKY (IMO 9339583) in waters off Nigeria and taking 11 crew hostage.

The attack occurred on Saturday 27 October as the container ship was sailing towards Onne

Pirates boarded a container ship off the coast of Nigeria, seizing 11 crew including eight from Poland, the vessel’s management firm and Polish state media reported.

Confirming the attack ship Isle of Man shipmanager Midocean said…[restrict] in a statement that nine of the crew were left behind on the ship and were able to report the attack to management and the local authorities. Midocean said the families of all concerned were being kept informed of the situation.

The Nigerian Navy responded to the attack on the ship and is carrying out patrols although as usual these are after the event and too late with little chance of success.

Eight of the crew abducted are from Poland. The other three are two Filipinos and a Ukrainian.  Pomerenia Sky is flagged in Liberia.

The Polish Foreign Ministry meanwhile has said it is looking into the matter.

In other related news, 12 crew members from a Swiss bulk carrier GLARUS (IMO 9220471) abducted over five weeks ago have been released, presumably after a ransom was paid by the ship management/owner. See report PIRATES RAID BULKER GLARUS OFF BONNY ISLAND, TAKE 12 HOSTAGES

The ship’s manager Massoel Shipping said the crew, seven Filipinos, a Slovenian, a Ukrainian, a Romanian, a Croatian and a Bosnian were freed on Saturday in Port Harcourt. While no other details have been provided, the released crew are being described as “as well as can be expected”.

The bulker was carrying grain when attacked around 51 nautical miles South West of Bonny Island, Nigeria while on a voyage between Lagos and Port Harcourt.[/restrict]


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Port of Durban, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The Port of Durban was closed this evening (Monday 29 October) on account of strong winds of 37 – 40 knots being recorded. Swell of up to 5 metres were being recorded at the harbour entrance.

According to the TNPA a decision on opening the port will be taken after midnight* when it is forecast that the wind will subside. A total of nine out of 11 ship arrivals have been delayed due to the inclement weather.

*This was later amended to 03h00 and then 06h00 as conditions were not improving.

UPDATE In a further update at 22h30 Tuesday night TNPA advised that the port has reopened for selected incoming vessels, with Island View shipping (liquid bulk berths) being given preference to be followed by container ships.

Durban has been buffeted by strong winds for much of the day on Monday and during the afternoon the port advised that it was not seriving any Bluff, Island View and Maydon Wharf vessels due to the wind condition and the strong swell.


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Tanzanian Central Corridor featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The respective infrastructure ministers of Tanzania and Rwanda met last week to discuss and agree on fast-tracking the construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) from the port at Dar es Salaam to Rwanda, in particular the section between Isaka in Tanzania and Kigali in Rwanda.

In a statement issued following the meeting, the two parties said:…[restrict] “The two ministers held an official meeting to review progress and agree on major policy and strategic actions to be taken by respective governments to facilitate and expedite implementation of the Isaka-Kigali Railway project.

“The ministers reiterated the commitment of both countries to this important project and their desire to fast-track the implementation of the project towards the directive of Heads of State to make the two countries connected by the standard gauge railway to facilitate transport and trade along the corridor.”

The statement said that the ministers had agreed on also speeding up the process of paying outstanding amounts due to consultants working on the project.

Permanent Secretaries responsible for transport and finance were directed to meet and discuss the financial model before the ministers next meet to finalise the matter “not later than” 15 November 2018.

The section between Isaka and Kigali is expected to cost US$2.5 billion.

Truck operators told there is no cause for alarm over railway project

In a related matter Tanzanian Industry, Trade and Investment minister Charles Mwijage has told members of the Transporters Association of Tanzania at its annual general meeting last week that road freight had little to fear from the advent of the standard gauge railway now under construction.

Tanzanian SGR under construction, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tanzanian SGR under construction

The SGR would complement the transport business and not kick other operators out of the field, he said.

Once the SGR becomes operational, the economy would be stimulated and efficiency enhanced, leading to more business for transporters, he said.

“Don’t fear. Just be innovative, increase your efficiency and be prepared for more business when SGR becomes operational.”

Road freight currently handles about 75% of trade in Tanzania and 90% of passengers. This was largely because of the poor state of the existing railway network, which, with the exception of the TAZARA railway to Zambia, operates on the narrow metre gauge. The TAZARA line is built to a gauge of 3ft 6ins (1067mm) better known as ‘Cape Gauge’. This links with railways into the DRC, throughout Zambia, into Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa.[/restrict]


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Artist's depiction of what Nuyina will look like on completion, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Artist’s depiction of what Nuyina will look like on completion

Unique Group’s Buoyancy & Ballast division has recently facilitated a high-profile dry dock project in Romania, involving the supply and operation of 840 tonnes of Seaflex inflatable buoyancy.

The hull and lower decks of the Australian Antarctic Division’s (AAD) new icebreaker Nuyina (which means “Southern Lights” in…[restrict] palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines) were constructed in the dry dock at Damen’s Galati Shipyard. For the next phase of construction to take place of the installation of the upper decks, the dry dock needed to be flooded and the hull then towed to the wet dock.

Detailed engineering discussions took place over 18 months ahead of the work to determine the sizing, positioning and securing of the buoyancy units to the hull, so as to ensure sufficient clearance between the sill of the dry dock and the keel of the vessel when the dry dock was flooded. 42 x 20t Seaflex Inflatable Buoyancy Units and a system of hoses and manifolds were supplied to Damen on a rental basis, and two Seaflex technicians were deployed to offer on-site support throughout the two week operation which took place during the early autumn of 2018.

“Our Buoyancy & Ballast division is truly unique within the market and we consistently bring added value to our clients, working in partnership,” said Chris Sparrow, Global Sales Manager, Buoyancy & Ballast at Unique Group.

“We get right up to speed early on in a project during the initial engineering phase and give technical assistance to clients without cost or commitment at that point. We are then able to offer clients the option of renting or purchasing equipment, according to their preference and business needs.

“We continue to set ourselves apart on an operational level, as we help our clients with method statements and offer Unique Group’s technicians, if required, to provide on-site support for their more complex projects.”

“Having worked with Unique Group on a similar, if smaller-scale, application in the Netherlands a few years ago, we were confident in the company’s ability to ensure a successful outcome on a much greater scale for the Nuyina project” said Mark De Wolf, Project Manager at Damen Shipyards. “We have been delighted with the level of support Unique Group provided to us through the full project lifecycle.”


Nuyina, Drawings courtesy: Damen Shipyards, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Drawings courtesy: Damen Shipyards



Port of Mombasa Container Terminal 2 (envisaged) featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Mombasa Container Terminal 2 (envisaged)

Kenya’s Port of Mombasa has set a new performance record at the container terminal with 1,450 container moves within an eight-hour shift.

The record was set after one of the biggest ship yet to visit Mombasa called at the container terminal, the 110,629-dwt MSC MAXINE (IMO 9720287) which made her…[restrict] maiden call at the Kenya port last week. Earlier in the month she call at South African ports and loaded among her other cargo transit containers for Mombasa. See Africa PORTS & SHIPS for 23 October CLICK HERE

The 1,450 container moves reflects the total container movement (on loading, offloading and repositioning) divided by the number of hours for which the vessel is at berth. The previous best productivity level at Mombasa Container Terminal was 1,265 moves performed in June this year.

MSC Maxine sailing from Durban earlier in October. Picture: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Maxine sailing from Durban earlier in October. Picture: Keith Betts

MSC Maxine is 300 metres in length and 48m wide and has a container capacity of 9,400 TEU.

Kenya Ports Authority Acting Managing Director Dr Arch. Daniel Manduku said the performance result was thanks to well-coordinated operations and diligence from the workforce.

This is the third container operations record set within this year. The new record is an improvement of 20 per cent from the prior record at the Mombasa Port set in June 2018, the KPA said in a statement.

The Port of Mombasa is Kenya’s main international seaport linked by standard gauge railway to Nairobi and rail and road connections with Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern DRC and South Sudan.[/restrict]

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ITS Montenegro helicopter on patrol off Bosaso coast, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
ITS Montenegro helicopter on patrol over motorised dhow

Keeping in touch with Somali fishermen remains key to maintaining maritime security around the Horn of Africa, says EU NAVFOR.

In doing so, EU NAVFOR hopes to build trust in the local communities, contributes to their wellbeing and assures the people that matter that the EU is here to help. By regularly approaching small fishing vessels and dhows, EU NAVFOR continues a dialogue with local people, which started almost 10 years ago.

To continue the valuable work of Operation Atlanta, the crew of ITS Federico Martinengo recently carried out multiple friendly approaches off the coast of Bossasso. Medical aid, food and support was given to the fishermen, where it was warmly appreciated during this hot inter-monsoon period.

ITS Martinengo was also able to observe the artisanal fishing boats donated by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (UNFAO) now employed at sea by a local fishing school. These boats were introduced in alignment with the integrated approach of the EU, as EU NAVFOR and EU CAP Somalia work together with the UNFAO to improve the livelihoods of local people.

EU NAVFOR is committed to deter, prevent and suppress piracy off the coast of Somalia in order to ensure the free movement of trade through this high-risk area. There is also the matter of winning the hearts and minds of the Somalis that use the sea to make their living.

Assisting the fishermen of the Bosaso coast, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news, pictures by EU NAVFOR
Assisting the fishermen of the Bosaso coast


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Trinity HOuse poster regarding the commemorating of the end of the First World War, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

On 24 October Trinity House London announced that lighted beacons will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War which falls on Sunday 11 November, Armistice Day.

By way of tribute a series of unique events are being organised, including what are known as WW1 Beacons of Light in which Trinity House is proud to take part.

At 19h00 over 1,000 gas-powered Beacons of Light will be lit up and down the land, symbolising an end to the darkness of war and here a number of Trinity House lighthouses and locations will play a part and be lighted by volunteers from Trinity House.

Members of the public have been invited to join at the locations listed below to take part in this unique event.

Those wishing to attend are advised that they need only visit on the day. However, it is important to note that access to these locations is often difficult and there are no comfort facilities on site.

Trinity House will light beacons at the following locations:

• Heugh Hill Lighthouse (Holy Island, Northumberland)
• Flamborough Head Lighthouse (Yorkshire)
• Harwich Pier (Essex)
• North Foreland Lighthouse (Kent)
• St Catherine’s Lighthouse (Isle of Wight)
• Portland Bill Lighthouse (Dorset)
• Lizard Lighthouse (Cornwall)
• St Annes Head Lighthouse (Pembrokeshire)
• Start Point Lighthouse (Devon)
• Cromer Lighthouse (Norfolk)

Organised by Pageant Master Bruno Peek, Battle’s Over (of which Beacons of Light is part) takes place on 11 November 2018, with events throughout the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and at scores of locations overseas, including New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Bermuda, France, Belgium, Canada, the United States and Germany.

For more information, readers are invited to visit the Pageant Master’s website:

This event is inspired by a comment made on 3 August 1914 by Foreign Minister Sir Edward Grey. He was looking out of his office window at dusk as gas lights were being lit along London’s Mall when he remarked to a friend “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

About Trinity House

The safety of shipping and the well-being of seafarers have been the prime concerns of Trinity House since being incorporated by Royal Charter in 1514 when a charter of incorporation was granted by Henry VIII on 20 May that year.

The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond, to give it its ancient title, has a long and dedicated history of service of the mariner. See also:

Paul Ridgway


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Bidvest banner feaured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Construction of a R1 billion LPG import and storage facility has got underway at Richards Bay.

The developer and operator of the tank facility, Bidvest Tank Terminals, is a unit of the Bidvest Group and is in partnership with the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) logistics firm Petredec to operate a 22,600 tonne facility that…[restrict] marks a significant increase in supply of LPG to South Africa, which has the continent’s most industrialised economy.

In addition to catering for the South African requirements the Richards Bay facility will allow for exports to neighbouring countries, according to a joint statement.

Until now South Africa’s use of LPG has been relatively low on account of a constrained domestic supply plus a lack of sufficient import and storage capacity.

Petredec banner featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Storage capacity for the importation of LPG is now being taken care of with the Richards Bay facility as well as another under development by a separate company at Coega next to the port of Ngqura.

Resulting from the lack of suitable storage Petredec’s ships which trade, transport, store and distribute LPG to industrial, commercial and domestic users, have had to remain on layby outside the harbour at Richards Bay for months, while incurring costs, the firm’s Director Lee Furby said.

He said that there will be huge efficiencies when the Richards Bay terminal opens, “not only for us but also for the end users.”

The demand for LPG in South Africa is around 400,000 tonnes annually but with access to the new import and storage facilities this is expected to increase this by 200,000 tonnes a year.

“An increased LPG supply will result in the fuel becoming a significant alternative to South Africa’s current energy supply, with little additional infrastructure required,” said Bidfreight Tank Terminal’s Managing Director David Leisegang.

The storage facility will consist of four 5,650 tonne tanks surrounded by a concrete case. The tanks are being made in China and are expected to be completed in April 2019, with the facility becoming operational in 2020.

Petredec owns more than 30 ships with in excess of 60 on time charter at any one time and is one of the world’s largest ship owners and charterers of LPG vessels.[/restrict]


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Intermodal Africa continues to be the biggest annual Maritime Ports Shipping and Transport Logistics Exhibition and Conference in Africa now in its 20th successful year!

The 20th Intermodal Africa 2018 Exhibition and Conference will take place in Ghana from Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 November 2018 at the 5-star Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra.

The event is being hosted by Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

A two days Conference Programme will feature 30 world-class conference speakers addressing topical issues and challenges on global transportation and logistics attended by a gathering of 400 senior government officials, industry principals, academics, senior executive harbour masters, harbour engineers, port engineers, maintenance supervisors and procurement decision makers together with the region’s leading shippers, cargo owners, importers / exporters, shipping lines, freight forwarders, logistics companies, ports, terminal operating companies, railway operators, port equipment and services suppliers from countries throughout Africa.

There will be the commercial opportunity for 50 exhibitors and sponsors to network directly with the delegates at this major annual international maritime transport Exhibition and Conference trade event for Africa.

Reservations are still available for a choice of exhibition stands from the Exhibition Floorplan. Likewise conference delegates can be registered while there is still availability!

Intermodal Africa 2018 is the biggest annual Maritime Ports Shipping and Transport Logistics Exhibition and Conference in Africa and is taking place in Ghana from Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 November 2018 at the 5-star Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra. Exhibition Opening Times Are: Wednesday 28 November 9am – 5pm, Thursday 29 November 9am – 3 30pm.

You can use the banner at the head of this report for enquiries and to make reservations.


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African savannah scene, soon to become Africa's breadbasket, featured in article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

The African Development Bank is championing a new regional and global effort to transform the African Savannah from a ‘Sleeping Giant’ to the cradle of the continent’s green revolution.

“This sleeping giant needs to wake up,” the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, told an audience at a 2018 World Food Prize side event in Des Moines, Iowa last week. Blanke described Africa’s nearly 400 million hectares of…[restrict] Savannah zones as “the world’s largest agricultural frontier,” and if a small fraction of that cultivatable land – some 16 million hectares – is transformed, it could well set Africa up to decrease dependence on food imports, feed itself and contribute to feeding the world.

Africa is host to 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, but currently spends an estimated US$35 billion per year on importing food. This figure is projected to shoot up to US$110 billion by 2025. Africa is importing what it should actually be producing: 22 million metric tons of maize, two million metric tons of soybean, one million metric tons of broiler meat and 10 million metric tons of milk product each year.

This situation is made worse when African countries export raw goods outside the continent to be processed into consumer products imported back into Africa for purchase. In essence, Africa is exporting jobs outside the continent, and contributing to Africa’s poverty challenges.

The African Development Bank has determined that the African Savannah can support the production of maize, soybean, and livestock, and transform the continent into a net exporter of these commodities. Only ten percent of the African Savannah is under cultivation – better utilized, small sections of Africa’s grasslands could provide direct jobs for tens of millions of young people and indirect jobs for many more.

Blanke, who spoke on behalf of African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, noted that all of Africa’s Savannah is more than twice as large as Brazil’s ‘Cerrados’ that launched that country’s farming economy success. She said transforming a small part of Africa’s mixed woodland grasslands, in a smart and sustainable way, can produce enough to supply all the continent’s maize, soybean, and livestock requirements.

Brazil transformed its tropical Cerrados into a US$54 billion food industry within two decades through skillful development of production technologies for new crop and livestock varieties; innovative soil and crop management programs adapted to the tropics; wide-scale dissemination of new agricultural technologies; low interest loans, and ambitious rural development programs.

The Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation for the Savannahs (TAAT-S) initiative seeks to transform 16 million ha out of Africa’s 400 million ha of Savannah into an agribusiness hive for the production of maize, soybean, and livestock. That is just about four percent of the continent’s mixed woodland and grassland areas. If African countries can harness the available technologies with the right policies, they will rapidly raise agricultural productivity and incomes for farmers, as well as assure lower food prices for consumers.

Vice President Blanke led a Bank delegation selling the merits of its TAAT-S initiative at the World Food Prize gathering. The Bank’s TAAT-S session discussed training, innovation, entrepreneurship, and policy support for transformation of African Savannahs.

To ensure effective implementation, the Bank has looked to Brazil’s agri-business success story to engage with organizations with proven track record in tropical and conservation agriculture. These include the Brazilian Research Corporation and the Agricultural Corporation of Brazil, the Argentine Association of Zero-tillage, and the Argentine Agricultural Research Institute – all part of a systematic effort at technology introduction and adaptation.

TAAT-S was launched in October 2017 in Ghana and has since been operating in Zambia, Guinea and Gabon. The Bank expects to launch TAAT-S in Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Mozambique next year.

When TAAT-S is fully implemented, Africa can expect to double its maize production from a current 50 million metric tons per annum to 100 million metric tons, to triple soybean production from less than three million metric tons to nine million metric tons, and to double livestock production from 8.5 million metric tons to 16 million metric tons by 2025.

The TAAT-S session was part of Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, held in conjunction with the World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony. The US$250,000 World Food Prize recognizes accomplishments of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world. African Development Bank President Adesina is the 2017 World Food Prize laureate.[/restrict]


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Rufus Lekala, Chief Harbour Master TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Rufus Lekala, Chief Harbour Master TNPA

Following our report of last Thursday (18 October) CLICK HERE advising that the suspended Chief Harbour Master (CHM), Captain Rufus Lekala had returned to duty with his suspension lifted, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) issued a statement today (Thursday 25 October) stating that TNPA “can confirm that Captain Rufus Lekala has returned to his position as Chief Harbour Master. Captain Lekala had been on precautionary suspension since March 2017.

“Captain Thulani Dubeko, who has most recently served as Acting Chief Harbour Master, will continue to act in the position until the end of December 2018 to ensure the appropriate onboarding of Captain Lekala.”

Our article of a week ago was incorrect in reporting that Captain Naresh Sewnath was still the acting CHM.

The TNPA statement continued: “We would like to thank all the colleagues who acted in the position. We wish to take this opportunity to welcome Captain Lekala back and wish him well.”


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Eikos Rescuer II. Picture: NSRI, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Eikos Rescuer II.     Picture: NSRI

The duty crew of the National Sea Rescue Institute at Durban, Station 5, was called into action shortly after 13h00 earlier today (Thursday) with a call from the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA).

The emergency was a request for medical assistance for a crewman suffering a medical emergency on a ship at anchorage off-shore of the Port of Durban.

The sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II was launched accompanied by Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and Police Search and Rescue officers.

On arrival on the scene an NSRI rescue swimmer, a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic and a Police Search and Rescue officer boarded the ship.

After the patient was stabilised a high angle extrication device was rigged and the patient, secured into a Stokes basket stretcher, was hoisted onto our sea rescue craft, reported Lorenzo Taverna-Turisan, NSRI Durban deputy station commander.

“In the care of paramedics the patient, a foreign adult male, was brought to our sea rescue base and he has been transported to hospital by Netcare 911 ambulance in a serious but stable condition.”

The name of the ship has not been made available.


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Genco Brittany at Ngqura, discharging cement. Picture: LBH, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Genco Brittany.      Picture: LBH

Not long after LBH Southern Africa handled the very first manganese bulk export vessel through the Port of Ngqura, LBH is celebrating another first.

This is after successfully facilitating the first import bulk shipment for the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and received in the Port of Ngqura.

LBH attended as Ship’s and Cargo Agents for the vessel GENCO BRITTANY which arrived on 6 September 2018 to discharge 55,410 metric tons of cement clinker and gypsum in bulk, destined for the new Osho Cement factory in the Coega SEZ.

The raw materials were successfully discharged at the deep-water port’s multipurpose terminal by utilising the ship’s own cranes and then road transported to Osho Cement’s nearby storage facility, making this yet another LBH first – the first shipment managed on behalf of Osho Cement.


LBH Southern Africa managed and supervised the entire operation, liaising closely with the port authorities (TNPA), Stevedores, Osho Cement (Coega) and various other role players in order to ensure a smooth and efficient discharging operation, as well as the safe movement of the cargo from the berth to the factory.

Osho Cement plans to officially open their doors later this year, and the establishment of the factory has brought significant investment into the Coega SEZ.


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Maydon Wharf opposite the sugar terminal. Picture is by Chris Hoare / <a href=""></a>, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maydon Wharf opposite the sugar terminal. Refurbishment of the berths was underway when this photo was taken.  Picture is by Chris Hoare /

Africa PORTS & SHIPS reported yesterday that the Port of Durban had been closed to all shipping early on Tuesday night (23 October) because of strong winds of between 30 and 35 knots, combined with a swell of 3 to 5 metres outside the entrance channel.

Although the winds abated during the night the swell remained and shipping was barred from entering or sailing until yesterday morning, when conditions had improved and the sea gone down.

Meanwhile the Durban port helicopter had flown to Richards Bay to transfer marine pilots at that port, ensuring the use of the pilot boat at Durban for the rest of the day.

At 14h30 yesterday (Wednesday) the Port of Durban advised that the Maydon Wharf channel was closed until further notice due to heavy winds.


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Port of Namibe, southern Angola, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Namibe, southern Angola

There are plans for Angola’s Port Namibe to become a regional logistics hub development for southern Angola, according to the chairman of the port management company, António Samuel.

Samuel said this would follow the…[restrict] completion of phase two of the port modernisation which is due in 2019.

Phase one of the project cost US$24 million and according to Samuels, phase two is likely to require a similar amount.

Phase two commenced last June and ends in August 2019 and involves the recovery of 240 metres of quayside and the paving of the port container yard.

The project is being financed by way of a donation of US$20 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The contract was awarded not surprisingly to Japan’s TOA Corporation, and was signed during a February 2017 visit to Tokyo by a delegation led by the managing director of the Maritime Port Institute of Angola (IMPA), Victor de Carvalho.

The contract forms part of the Angola recovery, expansion and modernisation programme adopted a year earlier on 15 January, 2016, by the governments of Angola and Japan.

This covers the full refurbishment of the 480-metre quayside at the port of Namibe, where the first phase was completed in 2011, and focused on an extension of 240 metres in operation under Angolan company Sogester.

The port, which was built by the Portuguese in 1957 to serve four southern provinces, is located in the city of Moçâmedes, the town that between 1985 and 2016 was called Namibe.[/restrict]


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Damen fishing trawler, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Damen, the Dutch shipbuilder will be holding its first Fishing Seminar in Cape Town on 22 November

The seminar, which will be held at Damen Shipyard Cape Town, will bring together leading companies, the government and other stakeholders and is intended as recognition of the importance of the fishing industry.

By this means Damen is aiming to create a platform whereby the industry can…[restrict] come together with the government and exchange information about the latest developments in the sector and the new technologies and innovative ideas driving the growth of a sustainable fishing industry.

Other major topics to be addressed include the progress of the fleet renewal programme and available financing vehicles for the industry.

Representatives from the Department of Trade & Industry and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), and leading industry figures will take part.

“As it is clearly indicated in the White Paper for National Management of the Ocean, South Africa is a maritime nation with jurisdiction over one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world,” said Sam Montsi, Chairman of Damen Shipyards Cape Town. “Our ocean space is resource-rich and relatively pristine environment.

“We have seen an increase in the usage of our maritime resources in our ocean space over time, and this is a good indication of the potential maritime economic opportunities that can be unlocked in the future. Additionally, the challenge of our aging fishing fleet as stipulated by Operation Phakisa is a concern for the future of the industry and needs to be addressed, for both the survival of the fishing industry and for the retention of the jobs it creates.

He said there is a need to be innovative in order to address these challenges and continuous engagement between the industry and government is of paramount importance in order to ensure the continuous growth of the industry. “Damen Shipyard Cape Town is well positioned to support industry and government players in this sector.” Montsi said.

South Africa has a vibrant fishing industry boasting 22 commercial, fish-related sectors. The fishery sector employs more than 26,500 people in the commercial sector, and the industry is estimated to be worth R6 billion per year (Sea Harvest Report May 2017).

Given the important role the fisheries industry plays in the South African economy, Damen says that it believes its first seminar is a great opportunity for the various stakeholders to network with plenty of interesting debates and new ideas to be discussed. Damen will present its own vessel financing solutions, which includes a dedicated lease fund specifically designed for the African market.

Registration for the event is at Damen Shipyards Cape Town. After the speeches there will be time for questions and the afternoon session will be followed by a tour of Damen Shipyards Cape Town and a cocktail hour.

Damen Shipyards South Africa is situated on the corner of Duncan and Eastern Mole Roads in the Port of Cape Town, South Africa.[/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.

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.



Green Karmoy. Pictures: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Green Karmoy. Pictures: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Green Karmoy.      Pictures: Trevor Jones

In choppy waters the refrigerated cargo ship (reefer) GREEN KARMOY (IMO 8804531) is shown heading towards the channel leading to the open sea (upper pic) with the forested Bluff forming its typical backdrop to shipping in Durban. In the lower photo seafarers can be seen hauling in the pilot ladder, indicating that the pilot has left the ship and she is on her own as she heads towards the high seas. Quite small in size with a length of 109 metres and a width of 18m Green Karmoy is nevertheless well equipped with four on-board cranes for whatever kind of port that she might call at. From Durban the 6,120-dwt ship has sailed to Port Victoria in the Seychelles, where she is currently at anchor. Built in 1989, Green Karmoy has also carried the former names of ERIKSON ARCTIC, BELINDA, WISIDA ARCTIC, GREEN KARMOY (briefly) and ARCTIC ICE. As with many of the reefers that call in South Africa she is registered in the Bahamas. Incidentally, Karmoy is the name of an island off Norway. Her owners are Green Shipping of Gydnia, Poland. These pictures are by Trevor Jones



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