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…


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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…


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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…

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…


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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…

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…


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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…

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…



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…



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…


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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…


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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:…


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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…


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…

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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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in partnership with – APO

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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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