Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News — 11 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


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MSC Musica sailing from Durban. Picture: Clinton Wyness, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Musica.      Picture: Clinton Wyness

MSC Cruises’ 92,400-gt cruise ship MSC MUSICA  which arrived in Durban on Wednesday at the completion of her positioning voyage from Italy, sailed yesterday from her summer homeport bound for Mozambican waters.  This morning the ship was off Portuguese Island adjacent to Inhaca Island off the Ba of Maputo, where sea conditions permitting, passengers will go ashore to enjoy the amenties and fcailities of both islands. This picture show the cruise ship on departure from Durban on Thursday afternoon and is by Clinton Wyness



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Rob Davies, SA minister of trade & induatry, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Rob Davies

Twenty-seven South African organisations were hoping to clinch trade deals at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) last week.

The organisations, from agro-processing, footwear and…[restrict] leather, engineering, petrochemicals, railway components, defence, and information and communication technology sectors, took part in a number of platforms to promote the country’s trade and investment capabilities.

“The focus will be to address potential investors and importers of finished products manufactured in South Africa,” said the Department of Trade and Industry spokesperson Sidwell Medupe ahead of the expo.

The South African delegation was led by Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, who addressed a South African investment forum on the margins of the CIIE.

The CIIE was held in Shanghai from last Monday. More than 3000 companies from over 130 countries and regions attended the event. – Xinhua[/restrict]



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Picture: Deutsche Welle / R da Silva, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture: Deutsche Welle / R da Silva

The delayed opening of Africa’s longest suspension bridge across Maputo Bay, connecting the Mozambique capital with the town of Catembe on the opposite side of the wide estuary forming Maputo Bay, was officially opened on Saturday, 10 November 2018.

The bridge, which is claimed to be the longest suspension bridge in all of Africa, was designed and built by…[restrict] the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) with quality monitoring coming from the German engineering firm Gauff.

With a span of 680 metres the bridge stretches across Maputo Bay and harbour, high enough above the water for large ships to travel beneath while on the way to a berth at Matola or in Maputo itself.

The bridge has two 141-metre pylons with anchor blocks weighing 170,000 tons balancing the bridge on either side to counter the weight of the suspension cables.

The bridge will not only link the city of Maputo with the town of Catembe (also spelled Katembe) but becomes the preferred route from the capital to the town of Ponto do Ouro on the Mozambique / KZN (South Africa) border. The bridge avoids a long 100-km detour around the headwaters of Maputo Bay.

This road which parallels the coastline was upgraded from gravel to asphalt in anticipation of increased traffic from South Africa.

The bridge which cost US$720 million, had its roadway built in China in 12 metre segments that were then shipped to Maputo. The width of the bridge is 25 metres and sits 40 metres above the water. The total cost of the project is said to be US$720 million.

As a result of the bridge’s successful construction, lengthy ferry journeys will no longer be necessary. These vessels are elderly and were frequently out of commission for maintenance or repairs. When that happened commuters were forced into a 100-kilomtre detour by road around the bay.

One of the Maputo ferries. Picture: Deutsche Welle / R da Silva, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
One of the Maputo ferries. Picture: Deutsche Welle / R da Silva

The ferries accommodated both passengers and vehicles and were not considered as being particularly safe. Only passenger cars and light utility vehicles (bakkies) were allowed on for safety reasons while trucks and buses had to make the longer road journey. These will all now benefit from having the bridge opened.

The bridge is being tolled to assist with paying for its construction. Local residents from either side will pay lower fees than visiting vehicles or commercial traffic. The cost of the toll is set at the equivalent of US$ 2.60 for motorcycles and small vehicles, rising to $ 19.25 for heavies. Minibus taxis receive a 75% discount.

Maintenance costs are expected to be in the region of US$ 1.2 million a year and whether the operating company will recover this amount from tolls alone is questionable.

Apart from construction delays, the opening of the bridge was set back several times on account of a marketplace and vendors who refused to be relocated from under the northern side of the bridge (in Maputo). There was also a conflict between the state-owned construction company Empresa de Desenvolvimento Maputo Sul and the city of Maputo over who would cover compensation costs.

The bridge like most such large infrastructure projects is not without some controversy with claims that other more pressing projects deserved attention. Nevertheless, the Maputo-Catembe Bridge has been built and opened and will no doubt prove a boon to travellers and business people alike, while also making a difference in opening up the south of the capital to development and greater prosperity.[/restrict]



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Fort of San Sebastian defends the island of Mozambique. Picture: Terry Hutson , featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Fort of San Sebastian defends the island of Mozambique.   Picture: Terry Hutson

Researchers and historians have been able to share experiences and deepen knowledge about the Indian Ocean at the International Seminar on Indo-Portuguese History which was held on the Island of Mozambique in Nampula province between 31 October and 3 November.

This was the fifteenth seminar on the Indian Ocean – chosen because of its importance in socio-economic and cultural relations between Portugal and India – and was organised by Universidade Lúrio and Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

The rector of the Lúrio University, Francisco Noa, was the first speaker and looked at the dimension of knowledge in the imagery of the Indian Ocean.

Island seminar held in November 2018 on Mozambique Island, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Island seminar held in November 2018 on Mozambique Island

The Island of Mozambique, the island city that gave its name to the country, celebrated its bicentennial anniversary this year. In centuries past it was one of the main stopovers in the round trips of the ships plying between Lisbon and Goa, as well as an important trading hub. The island was also an important trading hub in the days pre-Portuguese with ships from India and Oman making regular calls.

The East African coast was part of the state of India until 1752, in continuation of relationships forged in previous centuries and projected to the present day. The border of the Western Indian Ocean has long been a meeting point for Africans, Indians and Europeans, providing rich human and cultural exchange in an atmosphere of intense commercial activity.

The island of Mozambique became the centre of the Portuguese presence and one of the main planks of the intercontinental voyage, and where India shaped its longest-lasting territorial presence in the Zambezi basin.

This was the focus of the 15th International Seminar on Indo-Portuguese History, in the year in which this forum celebrates 40 years of existence and marks the second centenary of the island’s elevation from Mozambique to the city.

Themes during the seminar included:

– Mozambique – bicentennial city
– Mozambique and the India Route
– African, Indian and European: migrations and commercial networks
– Religious identities, territories and political configurations on the East African coast
– Material and visual culture in the Indian Ocean

For more information on the papers presented (mostly in Portuguese) visit CLICK HERE

1598 map of Ilha de Mocambique, featured n Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
1598 map of Ilha de Mocambique



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HNoMS HELGE INGSTAD 8 November 2018

It was reported from NATO MARCOM in Northwood, NW London that the Norwegian Navy’s HNoMS HELGE INGSTAD was involved in a collision with the Malta-flagged oil tanker SOLA TS in Norwegian waters at around 04h00 on 8 November while sailing inner Fjords for navigation training.

Due to the damage to the frigate it was moved to a safe place and the crew was evacuated in a professional manner. There are no reports of damages or leaks from the oil tanker and no report of serious injuries, though eight crewmembers are being treated for minor injuries.

The Norwegian Armed Forces are working with the Norwegian Coastal Authority to address the situation. HNoMS Helge Ingstad is part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1). The group was sailing in and around the Fjords, following their participation in exercise Trident Juncture 2018 which concluded on 7 November.

The rest of SNMG1’s ships are understood to be positioned nearby at sea in the event that further assistance is required.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Video of the action taken to save the frigate.


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This is thought to be the type of Interceptor patrol boat being donated to Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
This is thought to be the type of Interceptor patrol boat being donated to Mozambique

A group of Mozambique Navy officers and personnel are undergoing a two-week training course at Chennai in India in preparation of India donating two Interceptor patrol boats to the African country.

A statement issued by the Indian Navy said that India and Mozambique had started…[restrict] working closely together on issues of security, in particular regarding maritime safety and security in the Indian Ocean. Both countries which share a long mutual history have stepped up joint co-operation in economic and political relations and this is now being taken to the next level of military training together.

The patrol vessels that will be donated to Mozambique were built in India and serve with the Indian Coast Guard. They form part of an agreement reached between India and Mozambique.

The two-week training course is being held at the Coast Guard Region HQ (East) in Chennai, India and is being conducted in two groups for 14 personnel each. The first group of seven officers and seven personnel are undertaking the course which continues until 16 November.

The second group will be arriving for training in the first week of December.

The training scheduled for the Mozambicans is specially formulated to give hands-on-experience in handling the Interceptor patrol boats by the Indian Coast Guard who has considerable experience in this class of vessel.

The training curriculum enables the Mozambique Navy personnel to become acquainted with the operation of the highly versatile boats which are fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and sensors.[/restrict]


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Ematum fishing trawlers that helped to collapse the Mozambique economy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ematum fishing trawlers that helped to collapse the Mozambique economy

Creditors and Mozambican government agree new bond loan restructuring

Mozambique has been able to come up with a plan to exchange US$726.524 million in bonds for new debt and a percentage of profits from natural gas exploration.

This is in relation to the 2016 debt crisis that the current government ‘inherited’ from the previous government involving US$1.4 billion of unauthorised debt arising from the procurement of 30 fishing and security vessels that the country neither wanted nor needed.

The order for the 24 trawlers and six patrol vessels was…[restrict] placed with the French shipbuilder CMN, with the compliance and awareness of the then French government.  The then French president Francois Holland attending the signing of contracts along with his Mozambique counterpart.

The plan now hatched between creditors and the Mozambican Ministry of Economy and Finance means investors will receive almost all of the capital invested as well as interest on the issue of bonds whose coupons offered an interest rate of 10.5% and maturity in 2023.

The plan represents 60% of the debt and includes Farallon Capital Europe LLP, Greylock Capital Management, LLC and Pharo Management LLC.

The principal organisers of the loan to Mozambique were Russia’s VTB and Credit Suisse.

Mozambique was unable to pay the coupons related to the issue of bonds in January 2017. The disclosure of the debt resulted in the International Monetary Fund and foreign donors cutting off support which led to a currency collapse and debt default.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, current bondholders will be able to exchange their bonds for new ones.

The statement said that there will be a new issue of unsecured bonds with a face value of US$900 million, at an interest rate of 5.875% and repayment until 2033 with principal repayments due to commence in 2029.

Creditors would also receive 5% of future financial revenues from the Area 1 and Area 4 natural gas projects in the Rovuma Basin. Payments from gas revenues would be capped at $500 million a year.

The Mozambican parliament, which was bypassed when it came to the contracts being signed for building the vessels, is one of the entities that have to approve the agreement reached, but the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced that it intends to conclude this deal as soon as possible, probably in early 2019.[/restrict]


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Drawing of Damen Sea Fisher stern trawler, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Drawing of Damen Sea Fisher stern trawler

Damen intends presenting its new vessel leasing fund which is specifically designed for African shipowners when it stages the first Damen Fishing Seminar* in Cape Town on 22 November. *See that announcement HERE

“The new fund is particularly interesting for smaller, private fishing vessel owners,” says…[restrict] Damen Finance Manager, Francesco Verschuren, who will speak at the Seminar and is a specialist in financing in Africa.

“We are using our years of experience to support them with their vessel financing based on a leasing agreement,” he added.”

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

Damen has delivered more than 1,200 vessels to customers in Africa over the years. The Cape Town Damen shipyard has built over 40 vessels for Africa in the relatively few years it has been in operation in South Africa.

Each lease agreement is tailormade for the customer, Verschuren stresses. The customer begins by chartering the vessel for a certain number of years, while at the same time repaying the loan and the applicable interest. They then have the option to purchase the vessel during the tenor of the agreement and the obligation after the repayment period.

The Damen fund, ‘Africa Ship Leasing’, gives shipowners an option when they don’t necessarily have the cash to make a large down payment on a vessel which is the case in traditional financing arrangements with a bank, or when local financing solutions are not available.

Flexible & tailormade

Damen longliner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Damen longliner

“By making use of the Africa fund, customers can own a state-of-the-art Damen vessel in just a few years and tap into new business opportunities straightaway. Financing a new vessel from the fund has the advantage of being both very flexible and each lease agreement is custom-made to the shipowner’s requirements,” Mr Verschuren says. The vessel can be built locally at Damen Shipyards Cape Town or at one of Damen’s shipyards worldwide.

Africa Ship Leasing was established in May 2018 and is already assisting owners in both Nigeria and Angola. Financing is available in both Euros or USD Dollars, and Africa Ship Leasing is partnering first class Dutch banks.

Mr Verschuren will be available to answer any questions during the conference and to explain the possibilities in more detail on a one-to-one basis.

Additionally, he can outline more traditional financing arrangements. Damen works closely with Atradius DSB, the official Export Credit Agency of the Netherlands.

Through holding the first Fishing Seminar Damen is aiming to create a platform whereby the industry can 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.

Leading industry figures and representatives from the Department of Trade & Industry and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will be attending the event.

The programme kicks off at 09h00 hours on 22 November with guest registration 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.[/restrict]



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Australia’s Syrah Resources has entered into a binding agreement to supply graphite extracted in Mozambique to China’s Qingdao Taida-Huarun New Energy Technology Co Ltd under a binding contract, the company said in a statement just released.

In terms of the agreement which enters into force immediately, the agreement with…[restrict] Syrah Resources stipulates that the Australian company will supply 20,000 tonnes of graphite which is to be extracted from the Balama mine in the Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado by 31 August, 2019.

“All other details of this contract of sale are confidential,” the statement said.

Taida-Huarun New Energy Technology Co Ltd, which is based in Qingdao in China’s Shandong Province, develops and manufactures carbon-based products including graphite beads for battery production.

Syrah Resources is involved in a graphite extraction project in Balama, Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, which since the beginning of exploration and processing in November 2017 has produced more than 160,000 tons of graphite, much of which has already been exported through the port of Nacala. source macauhub[/restrict]


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MSC Musica arriving Durban Pictures taken shortly before sunrise by Clinton Wyness (05h40) and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

MSC Musica arriving Durban Pictures taken shortly before sunrise by Clinton Wyness (05h40) and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

MSC Musica arriving Durban Pictures taken shortly before sunrise by Clinton Wyness (05h40) and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Musica arriving Durban. Pictures taken on a cell phone by Clinton Wyness (05h40), shortly before sunrise

The cruise ship MSC MUSICA (IMO 9320087) arrived in Durban at dawn this morning to kickstart a six-month summer cruise season sailing out of Durban and Cape Town.

The 294-metre long, 92,409-gt MSC Musica has replaced the slightly smaller MSC SINFONIA that handled MSC’s recent previous South African cruising calendar. Normally structured for 2,550 passengers in 1275 cabins and suites, the ship will carry over 3200 while cruising locally because many South Africans cruise as a family group, with additional beds/bunks installed in the cabins.

Most of Musica’s cruises will be out of Durban on 3, 4 and 5-night cruises to Mozambique destinations. Longer cruises are available to Mauritius and the ship will also undertake a short season cruising from Cape Town to Walvis Bay in Namibia.

MSC Musica remains in Durban overnight before beginning her cruises tomorrow (Thursday).



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The development of a group of knowledgeable personnel with high expertise in the management of illegal fishing in South Africa and in the rest of the continent has been given a further boost with the allocation of an additional financial support of about R1-million by the Norwegian government.

The additional funding confirmed earlier this week will go to the Nelson Mandela University (NMU)’s Fisheries Law Enforcement Academy (a.k.a FISHFORCE) which…[restrict] was established in 2016.

The academy was set up at the NMU through the financial support of Norway amounting to R50-million over five years. This was with the goal of establishing a core of graduates with knowledge and expertise in the management of illegal fishing as well as to contribute to the development of effective strategies.

On Monday, Norway’s Minister of Research and Higher Education, Ms Iselin Nybø in the company of South Africa’s Minister of Tourism and acting Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mr Derek Hanekom, visited the NMU for the signing of a bilateral agreement cognisant of the additional R1-million funding.

Ahead of the signing ceremony, during the launch of an African Youth Waste Network early on Monday, Mr Alf Yngve Frisso, Counselor of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in South Africa said the additional funding would go towards training of port security officers – a category of key personnel that was not covered in the initial funding bilateral agreement with the NMU.

“These people work 24 hours a day at the ports and a lot of them do not have training in identifying fish species and different types of fishing crimes. The additional funding will go to the NMU FishForce Academy in order to increase and enhance these officials level of knowledge and expertise.” he said.

The beneficiaries of the Norwegian government support would not be limited to South Africans only, but would include other African countries, he said. source: SAMSA[/restrict]


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Cyclone Alcide 03S imagery, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cyclone Alcide 03S    imagery

A Tropical Cyclone, identified only as TC 03 at this stage (has been named Cyclone ALCIDE overnight), has developed rather quickly to the north-east of Madagascar and was yesterday (15h00 local time) located near position 9.6S 59.3E which is approximately 640 nautical miles north of Port Louis in Mauritius.

Over the previous six hours the storm tracked west-southwestward at 8 knots.

The storm’s updated position this morning (7 November) at 03h00 is 9.9S 57.5E with winds of 50 knots gusting to 65 knots (update immediately below).  

Alcide’s position at 12h00 today (7 November) was 10.4S 56.0E with sustained winds of 75 knots gusting to 90 knots. The cyclone was then situated approximately 587 n.miles north of Port Louis and was tracking southwestward at 9 knots over the previous six hours.  Satellite imagery shows the storm system has continued to deepen and maintained a smaller 10 n.mile ragged eye.

Maximum significant wave height of noon today was 29 ft (8.8 metres)

The cyclone is tracking toward Madagascar along the northwest periphery of a subtropical ridge to the southeast.   source JTWC &



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SA Passports, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. source: Wikipedia Commons

Plans are underway for South Africa and Kenya to introduce a 10-year multiple entry visa for businesspeople to ease movement between the two countries.

If all goes according to plan, the two countries will, with effect from 1 December 2018, introduce the…[restrict] multiple entry visa for business.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba made the announcement yesterday (Monday) after meeting with his Kenyan counterpart, Fred Matiang’i, at the Lindela Repatriation Centre in Krugersdorp, Gauteng.

Addressing media after their meeting and walkabout at the centre, Gigaba and Matang’i said the two countries are working on a visa exemption framework.

“We want to ensure free movement for the purposes of promoting tourism and business in our countries,” said Gigaba.

The Minister said the South African government will be working together with visa facilitation services in Kenya for the implementation of the visa framework.

“We also reaffirmed the commitment of both governments to further discussing any additional impediments of migration that may arise.”

Gigaba said the visit by Matang’i followed his visit to Kenya. Matang’i described the meeting as “very successful and historic”.

“All that we discussed and agreed upon is intended to improve relations between the two countries. South Africa is one of our critical partners and today we have made a huge achievement,” Matang’i said.

It is envisaged that the two countries will eventually become visa-free. source:[/restrict]




An RAF Chinook helicopter refuels on HMS Albion during the final Fire Power Demonstration of Exercise Saif Sareea 3 in Oman, where Royal Marines from 40 Commando fast-roped as part of a beach assault. During the exercise the aircraft have been training in a variety of roles, moving 40 Commando Royal Marines and Omani troops, as well as taking part in deck landings on HMS Albion in the Indian Ocean. 27 Squadron have utilised the exercise to carry out vital environmental training for pilots and aircrew, and the support staff accompanying the aircraft. Photos: MoD Crown Copyright 2018 © as feastured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
An RAF Chinook helicopter refuels on HMS Albion during the final Fire Power Demonstration of Exercise Saif Sareea 3 in Oman, where Royal Marines from 40 Commando fast-roped as part of a beach assault. During the exercise the aircraft have been training in a variety of roles, moving 40 Commando Royal Marines and Omani troops, as well as taking part in deck landings on HMS Albion in the Indian Ocean. 27 Squadron have utilised the exercise to carry out vital environmental training for pilots and aircrew, and the support staff accompanying the aircraft. Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2018 ©

The UK is cementing its deep and special relationship with Oman for generations to come with the opening of a new Omani-British Joint Training Base, the Defence Secretary announced in Muscat. This was reported by the (UK) Ministry of Defence on 5 November.

As part of his visit to Oman for the culmination of Exercise Saif Sareea 3, the UK’s largest exercise in 17 years, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson underlined the UK’s enduring commitment to Oman and highlighted the importance of protecting peace and stability in the Gulf.

He said: “Our relationship with Oman is built on centuries of cooperation and we are cementing that long into the future with the opening of our new joint base.

“We stand as a beacon of stability in the region. This has never been more important as malign activity by hostile states and violent extremist organisations seek to undermine stability and subvert the rules-based order on which we all rely.”

Troops will deploy to the joint training base in March 2019 to work and train alongside the UK’s Omani partners, building on the successes of Exercise Saif Sareea 3. For decades to come, it will support a variety of combined and joint training activity in the challenging and austere environment that 5,500 UK personnel have experienced in the month of October.

This exercise also tested the interaction and collaboration between civilian and military structures, providing valuable lessons about ensuring the deployment of the right combination of assets to tackle complex threats. It goes without saying that there has needed to be a vast surface logistics operation in support of the exercise and this will continue during future collaboration.

Williamson also attended the Exercise Saif Sareea Fire Power Demonstration which involved both UK and Omani personnel who have been living and exercising side-by-side for the past five weeks. The exercise’s culmination saw thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen from both nations execute a set piece battle across the desert.

In a meeting between Williamson and the Sultan of Oman and Omani Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs the former signalled his intent to sign an agreement of enduring defence commitment early next year, reflecting on wider cooperation beyond defence and reaffirming the deep cultural links and economic ties.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson meeting soldiers and officers from The Royal Tank Regiment. On 3 November 2018, British and Omani armed forces worked together on the Fire Power Demo, the culmination and final element of Ex Saif Sareea 3. In the space of an hour guests witnessed a range of military capabilities from armoured assault and artillery bombardments to air despatch and helicopter assaults. Also being demonstrated was the military interoperability which both countries have been working towards during Exercise Saif Sareea 3. Visitors included the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sir Philip Jones. The MoD has deployed over 5500 troops to Oman for Exercise Saif Sareea 3 (SS3). This is the third time that the British and Omanis have trained together, SS1 was in 1986 and SS2 in 2001. SS3 is the British Army’s largest exercise of its kind in 17 years and tested the UK’s and the Sultanate’s ability to operate together in austere conditions through the deployment of a Coalition Joint Task Force (CJTF).  Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2018 © as featured in report carried by Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson meeting soldiers and officers from The Royal Tank Regiment. On 3 November 2018, British and Omani armed forces worked together on the Fire Power Demo, the culmination and final element of Ex Saif Sareea 3. In the space of an hour guests witnessed a range of military capabilities from armoured assault and artillery bombardments to air despatch and helicopter assaults. Also being demonstrated was the military interoperability which both countries have been working towards during Exercise Saif Sareea 3.
Visitors included the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sir Philip Jones. The MoD has deployed over 5500 troops to Oman for Exercise Saif Sareea 3 (SS3). This is the third time that the British and Omanis have trained together, SS1 was in 1986 and SS2 in 2001. SS3 is the British Army’s largest exercise of its kind in 17 years and tested the UK’s and the Sultanate’s ability to operate together in austere conditions through the deployment of a Coalition Joint Task Force (CJTF).  Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2018 ©


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Doraleh Multipurpose Port, Djibouti, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Doraleh Multipurpose Port

Lawsuit for unlawfully procuring and inducing the Republic of Djibouti to breach various agreements between the African country and DP World

United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) DP World Limited and its subsidiaries has taken the threatened legal action against China Merchants for building an international free zone on a terminal being disputed with Djibouti.

The lawsuit was filed in the High Court of Hong Kong for unlawfully procuring and inducing the…[restrict] Republic of Djibouti to breach various agreements between the African country and DP World.

In the lawsuit, DP World sought damages, interest, and a declaration that China Merchants unlawfully procured and/or induced Djibouti’s breaches of its agreements with DP World.

When the contract between DP World Limited and the Republic of Djibouti was signed, both parties seemed happy and satisfied with the business deal and pledged to respect the terms of the agreement.

Under these agreements, Djibouti granted DP World Limited exclusive rights over port and free zone facilities within Djibouti, including container handling facilities, and DP World constructed, developed, and managed a state-of-the-art container terminal at Doraleh (‘Terminal’) that is jointly owned by DP World (33,34 per cent) and a Djibouti state-owned entity, PDSA (66,66 per cent).

In 2013, China Merchants bought 23,5 per cent of PDSA from Djibouti.

China, which has the only foreign military base near the Red Sea terminal, developed and financed the free trade zone as it considers Djibouti an important part of its $1 trillion ‘Belt and Road global investment initiative.

DP World said its concession agreement over the terminal “remains in force” and warned that the “illegal seizure of the facility does not give the right to any third party to violate the terms of the concession agreement.”

DP World Limited, operates 78 ports in more than 40 nations and has vowed to continue defending its rights as a shareholder in Djibouti’s Doraleh Container Terminal, after it was nationalised.

In a statement the government of Dubai said: “DP World will continue to pursue all legal means to defend its rights as a shareholder and concessionaire in Doraleh Container Terminal in the face of Djibouti’s blatant disregard for the rule of law and respect for commercial contracts.”

The president of Djibouti enacted a decree on 9 September purporting to transfer the private entity Port of Djibouti’s shareholding in the Doraleh terminal to the country’s government.

The move to nationalise the terminal and escalate the battle with the UAE company comes after a UK tribunal ruled that Djibouti’s cancellation in February of DP World’s contract to run Doraleh terminal was unlawful.

On 31 August, the High Court of England and Wales issued an injunction against the Port of Djibouti ordering it not to wrest control of the terminal from DP World, or act as if the joint venture agreement with the port operator had been terminated.

DP World said the transfer of ownership to the government of Djibouti appeared to have been made in an attempt to “flout” the injunction.

“Investors across the world must think twice about investing in Djibouti and reassess any agreements they may have with a government that has no respect for legal agreements and changes them at will without agreement or consent.” said the Dubai company.

In ‘violation’ of DP World’s exclusivity rights, Djibouti has in recent years partnered with China Merchants to construct, develop, and/or operate six new ports and free zones within Djibouti.[/restrict]

By Paul Nyakazeya


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Tau Morwe, acting group CE of Transnet, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tau Morwe

Tau Morwe has returned to the fold as Acting Group Chief Executive of Transnet.

This was announced last night by Dr Popo Molefe, Transnet Chairperson.

Morwe had a long career in top management with Transnet, during which he served as CE of three of the Transnet divisions: National Ports Authority, Freight Rail and Port Terminals. He will also serve as a member of the Transnet Board.

His appointment is for the period from 1 November 2018 to 30 April 2019 as he fills the position left vacant by the dismissed former CE, Siyabonga Gama.

The appointment of Mr Morwe was approved by Transnet’s shareholder minister, Mr Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises.

Morwe joined Transnet in 1997 and spent the next 17 years of service with the company. His initial position was as chief executive officer of the then South African Port Operations (now Transnet Port Terminals) during which he was tasked with preparing the terminal operating division with its 16 terminals for concessioning. Before the end of his contract the decision was taken that TPT would not be concessioned but would remain as a part of Transnet as a state owned company. He remained with TPT building the division into a successful operation.

He subsequently headed up both Transnet Freight Rail during the period when the then CEO of that company, Siyabonga Gama was under suspension and after Gama’s return from suspension Morwe was appointed to head up Transnet National Ports Authority.

In addition to these roles, Mr Morwe led the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) from 2011 to 2014. He strengthened relations among member ports and promoted regional cooperation and integration. His service was invaluable to the country, ensuring that South Africa continues to play its role in growing regional economies.

He has also served as a board member of several entities, including KwaZulu-Natal Trade and Investment, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Agriport Partnership. He is a BA Economics graduate from Howard University in the USA and also holds qualifications from the National University in Singapore.

Following his departure from Transnet in 2015, Mr Morwe has served extensively as a transport and logistics consultant in South Africa as well as on the rest of the continent.


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featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Illustrations kindly provided by IMO ©


On 1 November IMO reported that Libyan port and maritime security officers had been receiving training on IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (the ISPS Code) a few days before.

The ISPS Code sets out preventive security measures to detect and deter threats to ships and port facilities. CLICK HERE

Participants in the training course are in charge of port security…[restrict] throughout the country. Others delegates were members of the national committee responsible for oversight of compliance in Libya and they took part in a special session so dedicated.

From 27-31 October this training workshop focused on equipping the officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to plan and conduct effective self-assessments of compliance with relevant IMO regulations/guidelines. Those under training studied the documentation, particularly SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code, as well as taking into account MSC.1/Circ.1192 on Guidance on Voluntary Self-Assessment by SOLAS Contracting Governments and by Port Facilities.

It is reported that the workshop was also conducted in neighbouring Tunis, Tunisia, and follows initial training of the same group of Libyan officers in April this year.


featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

As we well know maritime security is a key element of IMO’s work and, over many years, the Organization has developed a number of measures to help promote and sustain it.

Focus is now on helping countries build their capacity to put these measures into practice. IMO regularly partners with other agencies to do this. As part of a continuing collaboration with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a national contingency-planning exercise for the government of the Philippines was held in Manila on 18 / 19 October. Here the objective was to help them implement and enforce maritime safety and security legislation, with an emphasis on countering terrorism, piracy and armed robbery against ships.

The so-called table top exercise was designed to highlight the importance of co-operation among different government departments and agencies.

Through a range of evolving scenarios the two-day course enabled roles, responsibilities, processes, procedures – and how these may develop – to be determined.

Gaps in current policies, plans, processes and procedures were identified, as well as areas where IMO, UNODC and other agencies might be able to help in the future.

The exercise in the Philippines followed a 2014 assessment by the UN Counter Terrorism Committee.

Three other countries in South East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam) will host similar exercises during the coming months.

Training of this type is a splendid example of IMO’s priorities being delivered.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Moscord banner: Engine room, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Moscord, the online platform for the purchase of ships supplies, has recruited Lars Rosenkrands, former CEO of SevenSeas Group and CEO and founder of Wave Shipping, as Commercial Director as it looks to accelerate its drive to become ‘the Amazon of shipping’.

According to Moscord it aims to disrupt established, inefficient and expensive procurement practices by creating a direct connection between manufacturers/suppliers and their customer base.

This, it says, is achieved through an online maritime market place where users browse, assess and order the exact type and quality of product they need (ranging from consumables, to engine parts, safety equipment, tools and uniforms) without the need to go through traditional ship supply firms.

Moscor banner appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The result it claims is significantly cheaper products for customers, direct links to the market for suppliers, and a simplified, efficient and highly transparent procurement process for all parties.

According to Moscord Founder and CEO Freddy Ingemann, Rosenkrands can be a key figure in realizing the huge potential of this transformative market concept.

“Lars has over 30 years of high profile experience within the shipping and maritime service industry, and I’ve known him personally for much of that time,” Ingemann comments. “He has proven expertise of logistics, business development, procurement processes and much more, backed up by an intimate understanding of the needs of both suppliers and customers.

“We’re assembling a team of senior, ambitious and respected industry executives to demonstrate that there’s ‘a better way’ to conduct shipping supply procurement. Lars is exactly the calibre of individual we need to help take us on to the next stage of development and truly maximize industry impact.”

Moscord’s maritime retail platform already offers over 100,000 quality products, a number that Rosenkrands will be seeking to multiply through the expansion of both the supplier and customer network. By eradicating the need for ‘middlemen’ through a direct selling channel, costs can be greatly reduced (by around 20%) and significant efficiencies achieved, as Ingemann explains:

Moscord banner appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

“Aside from the financial benefits, there’s also no need to obtain quotes from multiple suppliers – suddenly everything is online, accessible and completely transparent in pre-priced catalogues. This means customers, and suppliers, can focus their time and resources on conducting core activities, rather than wasting it on administration.

“This is nothing necessarily ‘new’,” he adds, “it’s how we buy more and more of our everyday products, but that isn’t the case in the needlessly complicated and opaque world of shipping procurement. Until now that is. We aim to revolutionize the market and transform standard practices. We see this as an inevitable step forward for our industry and, with the people, products and infrastructure now in place, we’re determined to lead the way.”

Moscord is headquartered in Singapore with offices in Copenhagen and the Philippines. Rosenkrands, who has also worked for Maersk, Incrementum Capital Partners, Inchcape Shipping Services, Wilhelmsen Ship Services, ShipServ and Sinwa, will be based out of the firm’s Singapore hub.

Moscord’s cutting edge supply and logistics solutions allows chosen products to be delivered worldwide at times and locations to fit vessel schedules, minimizing any potential downtime. The team has targeted seizing 10% of the entire global ship supply sector, within its relevant categories, over the course of the next five years. See

Provisions banner for Moscord appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news



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Mozambique will issue a two-billion-US dollar sovereign guarantee to enter the gas sector and this will be valid for five-years, according to Augusto de Sousa Fernando, deputy minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (pictured below).

He said that the sovereign guarantee is different in every respect from the state backing provided in the hidden debt (Ematum) case.

“These are totally different things, as this is…[restrict] very well studied and we have to find a way to explain it publicly,” he said, admitting that whenever there is talk of sovereign guarantees there is ‘panic’ among the Mozambican population.

He said that all investments required to begin producing liquefied natural gas in about four years are underway.

Augusto de Sousa Fernando, Mozambique dep minister of energy & min eral resources, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Augusto de Sousa Fernando

Speaking to Lusa, the deputy minister said that the South Coral floating platform, to be positioned in Area 4 of the Rovuma basin and owned by a consortium led by Eni and Exxon Mobil, will be the first to extract natural gas from wells at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

The necessary platform is being built at a shipyard in South Korea.

The Exploration of Area 1, which is right next door, is scheduled to begin by 2025, but the industrial processing zone for that area will be onshore, and is already being prepared on the Afungi peninsula, Cabo Delgado, by a consortium led by Anadarko.

The final investment decision (FID) of this consortium is scheduled for “the first half of next year”” de Sousa said, but works underway on the ground indicate that the investment is irreversible.

He said that nothing was delaying the progress towards seeing gas flow from the north, not even the year-long wave of violence in remote villages that has cost the lives of 100 civilians and military personnel. The villages are in the region where the investments are taking place.

“Nothing has been delayed. At the moment, everything is on schedule, the deputy minister said.

“We will make a qualitative leap with this gas. Our enemies are always attentive and want to go in the opposite direction, but it is up to us to be able to react. In the business area, it is always like this,” he said without disclosing who these ‘enemies’ are.

The Area 4 platform will produce 3.4 million tons of liquefied gas per year, but the Area 1 plant will triple that, and will supply fuel domestic projects as well as for export.

De Sousa Fernando said that the use of gas to produce electricity would be a priority because “all other industries need energy.” source: Lusa[restrict]


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Anuket Amber Picture by Dave Leonard - Baltic Shipping, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Anuket Amber.      Picture: Dave Leonard/Baltic Shipping

Piracy and armed robbery has reared its head again in West African waters, with 12 seafarers taken hostage from a bunker tanker and an offshore tug.

Reports vary as to the location of the affected vessels when under attack, with one report saying the tanker was at anchor in the Lome outer anchorage and other reports claiming the attacks took place off Pointe Noire which is some considerable distance away. The attack occurred on either Friday 2 November 2018 or according to…[restrict] a second report, on 29 October.

The tanker is the ANUKET AMBER (IMO 9395733) and eight of the crew were taken away when the pirates left the scene. The 9,500-dwt, 122-metre long tanker is currently at anchor off Lome and this is possibly where the confusion arose as it appears almost certain that the attack was 100 nautical miles off Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, with the tanker having moved to Lome afterwards.

The crew from Anuket Amber are reported to be made up of Latvian, Filipino, Russian, Ukrainian and Indonesian seafarers. Included among those kidnapped are the ship’s master, while two officers and two engineering crew were left with the vessel. The tanker was ransacked and crew robbed of their valuables and belongings leaving them only lightly dressed as all clothing was also taken.

Part of the reason for the confusion is that the remaining crew have been kept incommunicado by the ship’s agents/owner as soon as the tanker arrived at Lome.

Ark Tze. Picture: Martyn Geddes / MarineTraffic, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ark Tze.     Picture: Martyn Geddes / MarineTraffic

The second vessel involved is the 2,319-dwt Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) ARK TZE (IMO 9418767) which was attacked on the same day while at anchor off Pointe Noire. There the pirates, who seemed to have all the time in the world to go about their unlawful business, abducted three Indonesian crewmen and one Ukrainian national and transferred them to the Anuket Amber, making it more clear as to where the attack actually took place.

In a statement issued by the Director of Indonesian Citizen Protection and Legal Aid (PWNI) of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, it was reported: “The hijackers kidnapped four ship crewmembers (one Ukrainian citizen and three Indonesian citizens) and transferred them to the Panama-flagged tanker Anuket Amber, which was [also] controlled by the hijackers.”

The Ark Tze had a crew of 15 seafarers – a Ukrainian and the remainder Indonesians and was reported to be at anchor off Pointe Noire when this report was uplifted.

Attempted robberies

Pointe Noire is becoming something of a hot spot in West African waters. Earlier in October a landing craft which was at anchor off Pointe Noire became the scene of an attempted robbery when two robbers armed with long knives were seen lowering mooriing ropes to their accomplice in a wooden boat. The alarm was raised and the crew alerted, resulting in the robbers escaping in their boat. The vessel’s master contacted port control via VHF to request for assistance. Upon checking, several mooring ropes were found missing from the poop deck.

In another incident the IMB reports on 22 October that at 23h10 UTC in position 04:46.7S – 011:47.0E, in the Pointe Noire anchorage, the duty AB on routine rounds onboard an anchored crude oil tanker noticed three armed robbers on the forecastle deck. The Alarm was raised and the crew mustered. Seeing the crew alertness, the robbers escaped. A search was made throughout the tanker and ship’s properties were reported as missing. The incident was reported to Pointe Noire port control who dispatched a police boat which searched the waters around the tanker but without success.

On 28 October at 02h30 UTC in position 04:56.4N – 001:42.0W, at Sekondi Port in Ghana, a berthed AHT without being noticed, where he stole ships property and made his escape. His visit was only noticed during routine rounds when crew noticed the padlock to the deck container was damaged and on reviewing the CCTV recording the theft was identified. The incident was reported to local authorities.


Finally, and to demonstrate that these things do not only happen off the west coast, the IMB reports an attempted robbery in the Nacala Outer Anchorage off Northern Mozambique. This was on 29 October at 18h30 UTC in position 14:22.75S – 040:42.05E. During the security round, the duty crew onboard an anchored tanker noticed a boat tied up to the anchor chain and a robber trying to board via the anchor chain. The alarm was raised and all crew mustered but hearing the alarm the robber jumped aborted his attempt to board and made his escape. A search was carried out but nothing was reported stolen.[/restrict]


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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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MSC Musica. Picture: Clinton Wyness
MSC Musica sails from Durban on Thursday 8 November 2018, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news.     Picture: Clinton Wyness

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