Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 18 February 2019

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

Intermodal Djibouti March 2019, featured on Africa PORTS & SHIPS

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Boundary sailing from Durban. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Boundary.     Picture: Trevor Jones

BOUNDARY (IMO 912 6998) is a well-preserved name in local South African shipping, being perpetuated by a number of small to medium sized freighters and later container ships in the service of South Africa’s coastal service. Today that service is carried out by Ocean Africa Container Lines (OACL), which is a division of Grindrod or Unicorn Shipping, the current ship being under charter from Jebsen Shipping of Niederelbe in Germany. The 14,587-dwt Boundary is 157 metres in length and 24 metres wide and was built in 1996. She flies the flag of Antigua-Barbuda. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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SAS Spioenkop departs from Durban. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
SAS Spioenkop. Picture: Trevor Jones

It’s all systems go for this year’s Armed Forces Day which will be taking place this week in Cape Town.

According to the Department of Defence, the mobilisation phase of Armed Forces Day 2019 is well underway and final on-the-ground preparations are nearing completion.

The Armed Forces Day main event will take place on Thursday, 21 February, marking the sinking of the SS Mendi in the English Channel in 1917 when over 600 SA Native Labour Corps members and 33 crew members died.

It has evolved into a week-long event with the national defence force using it to honour men and women in uniform, bring the…


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Ankoveld, which sank on Saturday 16 February 2019 off Saldanha Bay. Picture: Jaco Louw, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Ankoveld.     Picture: Jaco Louw

Ten crew members of the fishing vessel ANKOVELD (ZR4388) were rescued this morning (Saturday, 16 February 2019) when their vessel sank off the West Cape coast near Saldanha Bay.

According to the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) based in Cape Town, the sinking took place in position 28.5 nautical miles west-north-west of Cape St Martin and some distance from the nearest land point.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) reported that the Ankoveld’s skipper was among those rescued after he reported that the vessel was taking water in the engine room. Shortly afterwards the vessel capsized and sank.

Meanwhile, on being alerted to the unfolding drama, the MRCC through the sub-rescue centre in Saldanha mobilised a vessel nearest the incident, the Atlantic Leader, which successfully rescued the sunken fishing vessel’s 10 member crew who had already abandoned ship into life rafts.

The MRCC reported that a navigational warning had been promulgated warning other vessels sailing in the vicinity of the sunken vessel. SAMSA officials in Saldanha Bay were preparing to conduct an investigation into the incident.

It has subsequently been learned that the 10 crewmembers of the sunken fishing vessel have been taken by the Atlantic Leader and safely landed at Laaiplek Harbour.

Both Ankoveld and Atlantic Leader are owned by the firm of Eigelaar Group of Laaiplek. Ankoveld was built in 1969 by Louw & Halvorsen in Cape Town harbour and was named for the two sons of founder Mnr Johnnie Eigelaar – Andre and Kobus Eigelaar.

Atlantic Leader was built in 1971 also in Cape Town harbour but by Globe Engineering.

Source – SAMSA (news of sinking). Pictures: Jaco Louw of Trawler Heritage
Atlantic Leader, which rescued to crew from the sunken Ankoveld off Saldanha Bay on Saturday, 16 February 2019. Picture: Jaco Louw, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Atlantic Leader, which rescued the crew from the sunken Ankoveld off Saldanha Bay on Saturday, 16 February 2019. Picture: Jaco Louw



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Fire on the tawler TROPICAL I in Durban harbour, Thursday 14 February 2019, picture courtesy Rescue Care, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Picture: Rescue Care

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has launch an investigation into the background and cause of the deadly fire on a Mozambican trawler, TROPICAL I, on Thursday afternoon, in which six people have been confirmed to have died.

Five of the men who perished in the fire were from Mozambique, the sixth person was a Portuguese citizen. All were crew or working on the vessel which was undergoing a maintenance repair. Three of them died from burns and the other three from inhaling the intense smoke.

In addition to the deceased, who are understood to have been in the accommodation area when the fire started, a large number (initially reported as 80) received treatment for smoke inhalation.

It is widely speculated the the fire began as a result of welding taking place on the vessel, but this has not been confirmed.

SAMSA said today (Friday) that it was in the process of making formal contact with the Mozambican authorities to inform them officially about the incident. The Mozambicans have been briefed by telephone of the details.

The bodies of the six who died were recovered in the early hours of Friday morning once the fire had been put out and the ship sufficiently cooled down for rescue teams to go on board. There are a further 12 crew members in Durban who are being attended to and a SAMSA team was scheduled to meet with them earlier today.


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Poposed extensions and developments at Saldanha Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Proposed extensions and developments at Saldanha Bay

The Western Cape Government has unlocked R1.8 billion in provincial and private sector infrastructure funding for the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) since 2014/15.

Presenting her final State of the Province (SOPA) address in Cape Town today (Friday), Western Cape Premier Hellen Zille said there are currently eight confirmed major investors in the IDZ, with a total investment value of R3 billion.

“We were also instrumental in establishing the Atlantis Special Economic Zone for Greentech. It is projected to attract R3.7 billion in investment, create nearly 3,000 direct jobs by 2030… At local level, we’ve helped municipalities create 15-year infrastructure investment plans through our local government department.

“Wesgro, our world-class trade, tourism and investment promotion agency, has secured…


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Scene from Huletts sugar estates in KZN, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Scene from Huletts sugar estates in KZN

South Africa’s struggling sugar industry has come under scrutiny in Parliament, with the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry now engaging the industry to alleviate the plight of local sugarcane farmers.

In a statement issued on Thursday by committee chairperson Joanmariae Fubbs, the committee said challenges range from a lack of transformation and drought, to concerns around pricing, imports and the implications of the recent tax on sugary beverages.

“Many of these matters came to the fore when they were highlighted to the committee by the South African Development Farmers Association (Safda) in late 2017. The committee immediately prioritised the matter and…


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Thursday 14 February 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS. Picture: Rescue Care
Picture: Rescue Care

Three people are missing,* feared dead from a fire that broke out on a fishing trawler at Durban’s Ship Repair Jetty No.2 this afternoon (Thursday, 14 February 2019).

* It has since been confirmed that six people died as a result of the fire on the fishing trawler yesterday LATEST

The name of the vessel appears to be TROPICAL I, not one of the Krustamaroc trawlers as suggested in our Newsletter of earlier today. Her number is as stated below, 402 C05.

A large number of people, thought to be between 70 and 80, were treated on the quayside for smoke inhalation.

According to acting port manager Nokuzola Nkolwane, emergency services rushed to the scene to attend to the fire.

The fire did not spread to other vessels sharing the quay which is used for lay-by and for repair purposes.

The trawler is believed to be one of the Mozambique prawn trawlers that spends the summer off-season months in Durban each year – vessel No. 402 C05.

Durban harbour has had its share of drama this week. On Tuesday morning the driver of a large truck inadvertently reversed his lorry into the harbour while loading cargo at M-Shed.

The deceased’s body, identified as Mr Sifiso Dladla, was later recovered from the wreckage of the truck’s cab at a depth of about 12 metres. A large crane was employed to pull the vehicle from the bay after police divers secured heavy duty rigging to the truck.

An inquest docket has been opened.

Picture: SA Police Services via Twitter
Picture: SA Police Services via Twitter



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Our photograph shows, left to right: Jason Rhee, Senior Engineer and OMC UKCM Support Manager, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, OMC International CEO Peter O’Brien and Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Our photograph shows, left to right: Jason Rhee, Senior Engineer and OMC UKCM Support Manager, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, OMC International CEO Peter O’Brien and Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack has welcomed the opportunity to learn more about another great Australian business success story, OMC International, with its award-winning e-Navigation technology designed to improve transits for large commercial ships.

McCormack visited the Australian-owned maritime engineering company’s Melbourne HQ and was shown in detail how its innovative navigation software technology is helping to ship more cargo, more safely, more often.

“OMC International is an impressive, family-owned maritime business being used by ports and waterways serving the world’s largest mining, oil, gas and grain companies,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

He continued: “It was fantastic to meet with Executive Director and Founder Dr Terry O’Brien, his wife and company director Pauline O’Brien and their son and CEO Peter O’Brien.

“OMC’s advanced under keel management system monitors the under keel clearance of ships in real time which means they can sail up to one metre deeper allowing them to carry significantly more cargo while maintaining the highest safety standards.

“This impressive technology improves port efficiency and brings huge economic benefits. For example, at ports throughout the Pilbara in Western Australia, the technology has allowed miners including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and FMG to ship out $5 billion in extra iron ore revenue each year.”

Executive Director and Founder Dr O’Brien said it was a great honour for OMC to host the Deputy Prime Minister at its head office.

He reflected: “As maritime safety policy falls within his portfolio, it was an excellent opportunity to provide a live demonstration of the Torres Straits UKCM system. In doing so, our team was able to demonstrate to Mr McCormack the collaborative and successful journey AMSA and OMC have been on and how this has significantly enhanced both the safety and productivity of shipping through this sensitive area.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is expected to reach a roll-over agreement with the United Kingdom post Brexit.

Brexit logo, featuring with Africa PORTS & SHIPS

The department briefed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on Wednesday on developments made by its negotiating team regarding preferential trade arrangements after the British exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU).

Brexit is expected to occur on 29 March, while the negotiating team expects to reach the agreement by 21 February.

Committee chairperson Joan Fubbs commended the department and…


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Port statistics for the month of January 2019, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority, are now available.

The port with the highest turnover throughput in terms of tonnages handled in January was….. Saldanha Bay. This is the first time in recollection that Saldanha has been top in the rankings so well done to all concerned. For the record Saldanha handled a total of 9.381 million tonnes of cargo, consisting almost exclusively of dry bulk exports.

Not too far behind was the port that usually occupies top position in such terms, Richards Bay, with a total cargo handled of 8.341 million tonnes, followed by Durban with 6.645 million tonnes. The Durban cargo was made from 2.9mt of liquid bulk (mainly petroleum products) and a similar volume of containers, with dry bulk and breakbulk covering the rest.

Details of the port throughputs, ships berthed and containers numbers handled are in the Tables below.


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Map of Lamu archipelago courtesy Lamu Holiday Homes, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Map of Lamu archipelago courtesy Lamu Holiday Homes

As elements of the new Lamu port in Kenya move forward (see below) the government has commissioned the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Phase 1 involving two jetties in Lamu County.

The two jetties concerned are the Mokowe Customs Jetty in Lamu West on which approximately US$ 6 million is being invested and another, the Mtangawanda Jetty in Lamu East costing $720,000.

Phase 2 will see construction of the Manda Airport Jetty and…

Long term Great Equatorial Land Bridge, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Long term LAPSSET Great Equatorial Land Bridge


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Design study of Sea Cloud Spirit. Source: Acubens, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Design study of Sea Cloud Spirit. Source: Acubens

​DNV GL has been awarded a contract for the classification of the passenger sailing ship SEA CLOUD SPIRIT, built by Metalships & Docks in Vigo, Spain.

Representatives from both companies came together in Vigo, Spain this week to sign the agreement. Ordered by the Hamburg-based operator Sea Cloud Cruises, the vessel is designed to meet the increasing demand from both independent travellers and the charter market, mainly in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

“Sea Cloud Spirit will offer a new level of comfort to sailing cruise passengers. In addition to beautiful views from private balconies, it will have the first elevator ever to be installed on a large sailing ship that will connect its five different decks. DNV GL has unrivalled competence in the passenger ship sector, and both our companies have a long history of working together, so the selection of class was a natural choice,” says Alberto Iglesias, Managing Director at Metalships & Docks.

“We are very pleased that Metalships & Docks has chosen DNV GL as the preferred classification partner for this high-end sailing ship. The yard specialises in the construction of technically sophisticated ships, and we look forward to continuing our close collaboration on this exciting project,” says Torgeir Sterri, Regional Manager West Europe at DNV GL – Maritime.

“Sea Cloud Spirit will become the third addition to our fleet of luxury sailing vessels. She will offer a unique combination of luxury accommodation, technologically advanced amenities and traditional sailing, and we look forward to welcoming our first guests on board in 2020,” says Daniel Schäfer, Managing Director of Sea Cloud Cruises GmbH.

“Knowing that both DNV GL and Metalships & Docks are working on this project, gives us confidence that it will be an outstanding vessel, delivered on time with the highest level of quality and safety,” he said.

Measuring 138 metres, Sea Cloud Spirit will be equipped with 69 outside cabins, 25 of which will have a private balcony. The vessel is a full three-masted sailing ship, able to carry up to 136 passengers on luxury cruises, with 85 crew members on board. The planning firm Partner Ship Design from Hamburg will be responsible for the design of the ship’s interior. Sea Cloud Spirit is scheduled to set sail in the summer of 2020.

Length overall: 138m
Width: 17.20m
Draught: 5.65m
Air draught: 57.70m
Sail surface overall: 4,000m²
No. of sails: 27
Propulsion: Sails + diesel-electric engines (2 x 1,700 KW)

(Left to right): Alberto Iglesias, Managing Director at Metalships & Docks, Jorge Dahl, Business Development Manager Iberia at DNV GL, and Vicente Santiago, Commercial Manager at Metalships & Docks (Source: DNV GL), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
(Left to right): Alberto Iglesias, Managing Director at Metalships & Docks, Jorge Dahl, Business Development Manager Iberia at DNV GL, and Vicente Santiago, Commercial Manager at Metalships & Docks (Source: DNV GL)



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Tanzania Railways forging ahead wuith new SGR, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

Tanzania’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) (not the above) is making steady progress and has reached the 42 per cent stage on the Dar es Salaam to Morogoro section earlier this month.

Meanwhile construction on a second section between Makutupora-Tabora stands at 6 per cent.

The SGR will ultimately extend to the Lake Victoria port of Mwanza with future sections to Rwanda and Uganda and to the eastern DRC, according to plans discussed between the various political leaders.

Unlike the Kenyan SGR the Tanzania equivalent is not being built by Chinese contractors…


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NSRI Port Alfred Lotto Challenger

On Monday evening the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Station 19 Richards Bay was alerted by the ship’s agent of a bulk carrier approaching Richards Bay and due to arrive on Tuesday. On board was a male Filipino crewman requiring patient evacuation because of a hand injury.

The evacuation was co-ordinated by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) who alerted NSRI Station 19 to prepare for a rendezvous with the bulk carrier at 14h00 on Tuesday.

Bernard Minnie, NSRI Richards Bay station commander reported that at 13h30 on Tuesday, 12th February, the sea rescue craft Spirit of Round Table II was launched accompanied by FEMS ambulance services paramedics. The NSRI rendezvoused with the ship at the 7 nautical mile marker buoy.

The paramedics on board the NSRI vessel were transferred onto the ship where they assessed the patient who was found to be in a stable condition. He was transferred onto the sea rescue craft and taken to shore in the care of the paramedics.

Once ashore he was taken to hospital by FEMS ambulance in a stable condition.

Malaria patients medi-evacuated off Durban ship  UPDATE

In a later incident the NSRI at Durban Station 5 was called on by Transnet National Ports Authority to assist at a container ship at anchorage off Durban.  The ship was reporting two crew members who had fallen ill suffering from malaria.

The sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II was launched accompanied by Netcare 911 rescue paramedic.

Clifford Ireland, NSRI Durban duty coxwain reports that the rescue craft rendezvoused with the ship some 3 to 4 nautical miles offshore and transferred the two ill crewmembers,  a 22-year old South African and a 28 year old Ukrainian, who were brought ashore and taken by ambulance to hospital. Both patients were reported to be in a stable condition.

Port Alfred crew called out

Further south at Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, Juan Pretorius, NSRI Port Alfred station commander reported that the NSRI Station 11 Port Alfred duty crew were activated following a request for medical assistance from a Chokka fishing boat which was reporting a 31 year old male crewman, from Lesotho, suffering chest pain.

“The sea rescue craft Lotto Challenger was launched and we rendezvoused with the Chokka Boat and the patient was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought to shore and he has been transported to hospital by Gardmed ambulance in a stable condition,” said Pretorius.


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Port Maputo, with a section of the new Maputo-Catembe suspension bridge in the background
Port Maputo, with a section of the new Maputo-Catembe suspension bridge in the background

The news that the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative has shut its doors will come as a shock to many. The MCLI was an integral part of the re-development of the port of Maputo, including road and rail initiatives which ensured that cargo moved freely between the port and South Africa, and general marketing of the Mozambique port as a viable alternative to either the port at Durban or at Richards Bay.

Over the years the MCLI took a leading role in marketing and promoting the port especially among farmers, mining concerns and general importers and exporters in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, with considerable success.

The port recently reported that in 2018 it handled a cargo throughout of 19.34 million tonnes, an increase on the 18.2mt achieved in 2017.

The MCLI says that this is due, in great measure, to the partnership approach which has become its trademark. “We have been able to partner with the public and private sector, understand the dynamics and demands of both, and provide clear and pertinent information to all stakeholders across the spectrum.  This has been crucial in clearing the negative perceptions which dogged the Port of Maputo at the start of its historic concession period in 2003.”

The port is confidently forecasting a cargo throughput for 2019 of 26.5 million tonnes.

Part of the reason for this confidence is a result of improvements completed recently at the port, which include a dredging programme in which Transnet National Ports Authority dredgers took part. The port is meanwhile proceeding with the rehabilitation of berths 6 – 9 that will result in a depth alongside of -15 metres to enable the use of bigger ships. This is expected to directly impact on containers and bulk commodity products.

In the past week a ship that called at Durban to take bunkers was seen carrying two new mobile cranes destined for the port of Maputo. These will further improve the ability of the port terminals to achieve ambitious targets.

The port of Maputo is to all extents and purposes a privately concessioned port, with the state-owned company, Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) all but a silent participant in the ongoing development of the port.

The main private stakeholders in the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) are South Africa’s Grindrod Group and the UAE’s DP World together with a local concern known as Mozambique Gestores. These form a holding company Portus Indico which partners with CFM and holds a series of concessions giving MPDC occupation and operation of the port until 2033, plus an option for a further 10 years.

Among other ‘partners’ in the success of Port Maputo are Transnet Freight Rail which is overseeing improvements to the rail system and TRAC – the latter a road corridor developer responsible for the upkeep of the N4 national road between Gauteng and Maputo.

TRAC holds a 30-year concession with the South African and Mozambican national road agencies (SANRAL and ANE) to develop, manage and maintain the N4 road corridor from Gauteng to Maputo. This was purposed for the stimulation and facilitation of trade and investment in the three economical regions of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Mozambique.

MPDC acts as a port authority in a similar fashion to South Africa’s Transnet National Ports Authority and is responsible for all maritime operations including the marine side (tugs, piloting etc), stevedoring, terminal and warehousing operations.

With the departure of the MCLI it remains to be seen whether this will have any effect on targets set for the current year.

According to the MCLI the decision to close came after several years of “unrelenting pressure” and a thorough examination of the options available.

“The Board has stated emphatically that the closure in no way whatsoever reflects on the work of the organisation, but is the result of some very difficult decisions around the texture of the economic landscape and the sad reality that neither the Port of Maputo, nor TRAC for that matter, have fully appreciated the value of MCLI. Much effort, by many, has been put into attempting to address and resolve these differences, but to no avail. The closure of MCLI is the sad but inevitable outcome.

“In the past three years, however, the struggle has escalated with the staff complement reduced from four to just two, and we have really battled to do justice to our mandate and to ensure that we cover all the bases. The withdrawal of key infrastructure investors such as TRAC and the Port of Maputo in 2014 and 2016 respectively has been examined from many angles based on the benefit that has accrued to these companies through the untiring work of MCLI. The financial risk has been considerable, and far too much time has been spent in the pursuit of funding rather than effectively fulfilling the actual mandate of the organisation.

It will be extremely difficult to quantify the impact of the MCLI’s work over the years, but it is clear that without the organisation’s ability to harness and exploit every available platform for highlighting the benefits of the Maputo Corridor and its growth in capacity and throughput, the Maputo Corridor would not have achieved the status it has as one of Africa’s leading transport corridors.


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Port of Matadi under reconstruction, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Port of Matadi under reconstruction

The recent arrival in the port of Matadi of the SAFMARINE NUBA was an auspicious occasion for one particular reason – this was the first gearless container ship to work cargo at the DRC port.

The 210-metre long, 30m wide Safmarine Nuba (IMO 9356115) has a deadweight of 35,144 tons and was built in 2008. Her arrival in January marked a turning point in the DRC supply chain.

The 350,000-TEU capacity Matadi Gateway Terminal (MGT) is operated by ICTSI which has..


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Saudi Arabia and the new King Abdullah Gateway Port opens, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

The new Saudi Arabian King Abdullah Port on the Red Sea coast has been officially inaugurated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon.

King Abdullah Port is the country’s latest mega-infrastructure project and has a capacity of 20 million TEU.

The inauguration took place at a ceremony in the Red Sea city of Rabigh, where the…

Video clip of the King Abdullah Port {3:50}


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Professor Zhi Ning from HKUST explains how drones can be used to monitor clean fuel use by the shipping sector. Picture courtesy HKUST, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Professor Zhi Ning from HKUST explains how drones can be used to monitor clean fuel use by the shipping sector. Picture courtesy HKUST

Hong Kong is readying itself for the use of drones that will be used to ‘sense’ the emissions coming from a ship as it enters the harbour, according to a report just released.

Highly efficient sensors developed by a team of researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) after a series of extensive trials, have been fitted on the drones. In real time, they accurately measure the pollution content present in the smoke plume released by a ship.

The drones scan emissions by hovering over ships for just…


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Bakkedal, one of Torvald Klaveness bulker vessels, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Bakkedal, one of Torvald Klaveness modern bulker vessels.   Picture courtesy of Shipspotting

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has partnered with Norwegian shipping giant Klaveness to provide skills training to and create jobs for South African seafarers.

The partnership, which was officially launched today (Tuesday, 12 February 2019) in KwaXolo in Ugu District Municipality, Port Shepstone, entails providing training and placements for South African seafarers on Norwegian vessels owned and operated by Klaveness.

So far, the partnership – which was rolled out as a pilot in 2013 – has created about 35 jobs, targeting learners from Mthusi High School in KwaXolo (southern KZN). Most of the positions created have been ratings, a general term for a wide variety of skilled support roles on vessels.

SAMSA Chief Operations Officer, Sobantu Tilayi says partnerships such as the Klaveness joint venture are instrumental in helping SAMSA fulfil its mandate to transform the maritime sector in South Africa and create jobs and opportunities for South Africans.

“Through the partnership with Klaveness, we are creating much-needed jobs for South Africans. But even more importantly, we are creating jobs in areas where there are few to no jobs, and we are opening up opportunities in the maritime economy to those who traditionally cannot access this sector.

“We are delighted to be cementing our partnership with Klaveness and look forward to expanding it so that more South Africans can benefit,” he says.

picture courtesy of Torvald Klaveness

Klaveness adopted the community of KwaXolo in 2013 with the intention of recruiting learners from the area and training them to work on their vessels. After finding success in this endeavour, the programme has been expanding gradually to accommodate all South African seafarers.

As part of the partnership agreement, Klaveness will open an office in KwaXolo in three years.

At least 10 youth from the KwaXolo area will be employed by the company every year.

* It surely isn’t by accident that Klaveness’ recruitment of seafarers involves the Port Shepstone district, for this is where one of the first Norwegian settlements in KZN took place. Descendants of those early Norwegian settlers have made their mark in South African history and are to be found throughout KZN and wider South Africa – editor


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President Cyril Ramaphosa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has handed over South Africa’s deposit of instruments on the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on the sidelines of the 32nd Ordinary Session of Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The development came after Parliament in December ratified the agreement of the establishment of the AfCFTA. The agreement will come into effect once 22 member states have deposited their instruments of ratification.

South Africa, alongside Senegal, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, who will also deposit their instruments, brings the number of countries…


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RMS St Helena in her heyday at Cape Town, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS. Picture by Ian Shiffman
RMS St Helena in her heyday at Cape Town-picture by Ian Shiffman

One of the intriguing mysteries that emerged in 2018 revolved around the sale of the former Royal Mail Ship RMS St Helena.

Readers will recall how the ship was pressed back into service when it was found the newly built airport on the island was subject to a severe wind shear that made landing and take-offs dangerous.

For a period the ship continued providing the only regular link with St Helena, until the South African Comair airline was able…


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Ports such as Banana in the DR Congo ought to be expanded, suggests AfDB, from a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Ports such as Banana in the DR Congo ought to be expanded, suggests AfDB

The Commissioner for Economic Affairs at the African Union Commission, Victor Harison, has described the 2019 African Economic Outlook (AEO), which is now available, as an important forecast for African policy makers to build their yearly economic projections and planning.

Among the conclusions and recommendations the African Development Bank (AfDB) says that coastal African countries should expand their port infrastructure as a means of improving integration on the continent.

The AfDB recommendation is contained in the “Integration as a pathway to economic prosperity in Africa” dossier, which was part of the African Economic Outlook 2019 report, which sets out a set of policy responses to maximise the benefits of regional integration and mitigate potential risks for each type of economy.

The African Economic Outlook is published yearly by the African Development Bank, and bridges a significant knowledge gap in African economies through regular, rigorous, and comparative analysis.  It highlights economic prospects and…


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In February 2019, the Supreme Court of Appeal held that a claimant is not entitled to arrest a ship sold to a third party, even if the claimant issued a summons before the sale took place. The judgment has resolved a 30 year debate in South African maritime legal circles. It brings considerable relief to ship purchasers who find it difficult to determine, when purchasing a ship, whether proceedings have been commenced against the ship in any of the 100 or so maritime jurisdictions around the world.

Malcolm Hartwell, directro, Norton Rose Fulbright, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
By Malcolm Hartwell

However, celebrations at this stage may be premature as the losing claimant has applied for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court. For now, shipowners can safely trade to South Africa in the knowledge that their ships will not be arrested for claims against previous owners.

The debate arises from the practice in Admiralty Courts around the world of allowing claimants to commence proceedings against a ship in rem where the claimant has a claim against the owner of that ship. This peculiarity of admiralty law is because a ship is usually a company’s only asset available to meet the claim. As the ship is constantly in movement, claimants do not know where or when she may turn up in a particular country. The practice is for claimants to issue in rem summonses in countries where the ship might trade. The summonses are then held and if the ship calls at one of those countries, the summons is served and it is arrested in rem.

The question was whether the initial issue of the summons in rem protected the claim against any subsequent change of ownership. The English courts held in the Monica S that by issuing the summons, an action commenced against the ship and her owner. Any subsequent change of ownership did not affect that commencement. The ship could be arrested even if it is sold to an innocent third party.

Until 1983, when South Africa passed the Admiralty Jurisdiction Regulation Act (Act) to govern admiralty proceedings in this country, it was generally accepted that our courts would follow the Monica S approach. The Act, however, heralded two changes to the legal position under English law. The first was that the Act dealt differently with when an admiralty action commenced. The second was that it introduced the revolutionary notion of a claimant being able to institute proceedings not only against the ship that had caused harm, but against any ship associated with the wrongdoing ship.

In dealing with the alternative of proceeding against the wrongdoing ship or an associated ship, the Act applied a different test to when the action commenced. This created the anomalous situation that led the drafter of the Act, Douglas Shaw QC, to concede that the Monica S may apply to associated ships but did not, in his view, apply to the wrongdoing ship.

In the current case arising from the collapse of the Hanjin shipping empire, the shipowner had chartered its ships to Hanjin which failed to pay charter hire. The shipowner issued summonses in the Durban and Cape Town Admiralty Courts against various ships owned or controlled by Hanjin. After those summonses were issued, the company was liquidated in Korea and all of the ships were sold to third parties. Two of those ships subsequently arrived in our waters and one was arrested in Cape Town and the other in Durban.

On application by the new shipowners, the ship’s arrest in Cape Town was set aside on the basis that the Monica S principle did not apply in South Africa. However, the arrest in Durban was upheld on the basis that the Monica S principle applied. The Supreme Court of Appeal held that the issue of a summons in rem does not protect the claimant against a change of ownership either of the wrongdoing ship or the associated ship. This is because it would be unjust to allow a claimant to arrest an innocent third party’s ship and cause its new owner to deal with a claim it knows nothing about and is not liable for.

In some jurisdictions it is possible to carry out a search in the Admiralty Courts to see whether any summonses have been issued against a ship one intends to purchase, but not all allow for searches.

The English courts held that a summons creates a special form of maritime claim known as a lien which survives ownership changes. Our courts effectively only recognise three maritime claims that are liens – Master and crew wages, collision damage and salvage. The Supreme Court of Appeal did not view it appropriate to extend the special protection offered by a lien to every single maritime claimant particularly where, under South African law, claims against both the wrongdoing ship and the associated ship are possible.

It is not yet clear whether the Constitutional Court will hear this matter. Given the protection offered by section 25 of the Constitution, our view is that the court would be reluctant to allow the claimant to arrest an innocent third party’s ship and hold it. The reason being that this would effectively deprive the owner of their property, for a claim they knew nothing about and were not liable for.

We will however have to wait for a decision in this regard before the issue is finally determined.

Malcolm Hartwell
Norton Rose Fulbright SA


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Fruit Logistica 2019 banner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

South African exporters should take advantage of new initiatives introduced by Germany.

South Africa’s Foreign Economic Representative in Germany, Jacob Moatshe, last week urged local companies to take advantage of new initiatives which the western European country has introduced for Africa.

The initiatives he said are geared…


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Photographed in Djibouti on 28 January the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) departs the port and naval base, following a scheduled port visit during exercise Cutlass Express. Chung-Hoon is deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U Kledzik/Released. USN ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Photographed in Djibouti on 28 January the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) departs the port and naval base, following a scheduled port visit during exercise Cutlass Express. Chung-Hoon is deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U Kledzik/Released. USN ©

Regional cooperation: East Africa and Western Indian Ocean

Exercise Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities between the US, East African and Western Indian Ocean nations to counter illicit maritime activity.

Prior to the exercise’s opening ceremonies, USS Chung-Hoon hosted a reception in Djibouti then set sail to the Seychelles to complete integrated training with the African nation.

US Navy

Commander Brent Jackson, CO of USS Chung-Hoon said: “Chung-Hoon is here to facilitate the enhancement of maritime security operations through integrated training events. Part of that integrated training is to provide a platform that can improve training for our partner nations’ boarding teams.

“It feels incredibly gratifying to train alongside our East African partners because we appreciate the necessity for increased proficiency in maritime security operations. This is all a part of the bigger picture of many nations working together as one force for the greater good.”


Mauritius Coast Guard ship BARRACUDA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Mauritius Coast Guard ship BARRACUDA

Mauritius Coast Guard Ship Barracuda is participating in Cutlass Express for the first time, and is operating out of Pemba, Mozambique. The multi-purpose platform has been used to further visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training for the participating nations.

Commander Kunal Bharadwaj, CO of Barracuda commented: “Training is, of course, the most important requirement, but it also builds up the camaraderie between the nations that are present in this area. It also lays the foundation for building up a security framework in this area. This exercise provides a good platform for interacting with other countries in this region, and this will pave the way for what we’d like to achieve in the future where we are carrying out operations in conjunction with other countries in the area.”


FS LE MALIN Picture courtesy: Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
FS LE MALIN      Picture courtesy: Shipspotting

Like Barracuda, the French warship Le Malin (a converted trawler) is in Pemba for the exercise, focusing on interoperability and trading VBSS tactics among the participants.

“It is exciting to participate with our partners to enhance that partnership,” said Lieutenant Juni Qua, CO of La Malin. “It was very beneficial for us to train with the Barracuda. The lead VBSS instructor said he also learned a lot. I hope in the future we will have other opportunities to train with them.”


Indian Navy frigate INS Trikand. Picture courtesy: Indian Navy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Indian Navy frigate INS Trikand.   Picture courtesy: Indian Navy

Trikand of the Indian Navy is also participating in Cutlass Express for the first time and is acting as a target vessel for further VBSS operations in a realistic maritime environment out of Djibouti.

Lieutenant-Commander Shirrish Pavale, VBSS officer-in-charge in Trikand said: “Our first time participating in Cutlass Express was very successful. It was a valuable experience and I think that every nation involved was able to learn a significant amount of information from each other.”

Participating nations boarded the ships to train on practical scenarios such as defensive tactics, boarding team communications, maritime tactical egress tactics and procedures, judgmental use of force, decision-making, and tactical combat casualty care.

The 15 participating nations in this series of Exercise Cutlass Express are: Canada, Comoros, Djibouti, France, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Portugal, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, The Netherlands and the United States.

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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GB Railfreight's latest loco, featured with article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
GB Railfreight’s latest loco

A new intermodal rail freight service connecting the UK’s East Coast port of Felixstowe* with the Birch Coppice terminal in the Midlands has been launched by GB Railfreight.

The first locomotive on the service left Birch Coppice (Staffordshire) at 14h14 on 23 January 2019 and arrived at Felixstowe at 20h14, having passed through Hams Hall (Birmingham), Leicester, Peterborough and Ipswich along the way. Made up of 33 waggons, the service transports a mixture of intermodal containers, and will initially run five days a week. Felixstowe is one of the UK’s leading ports for African import and export cargoes.

Commenting on the new service, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe and…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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NSRI logo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

On Saturday, 9 February at 23h30 the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) at Port Elizabeth received a call that resulted in Station 6 (PE) launching their sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft to go to a rendezvous with a 299-metre bulk carrier and to evacuate a make crewman suffering from an abscess on the hip.

According to Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, they rendezvoused with the bulker 5 miles offshore of the port at Port Elizabeth.

Two NSRI rescue swimmers went on board to assist placing the patient and themselves on board the NSRI rescue craft which then returned to base. Once ashore the patient was taken to hospital by the ship’s agent.

“Just after 01h00 while recovering our sea rescue craft one of our crew noted a 10 metre fishing boat appearing to have run aground in the harbour,” said station commander Ian Gray.

“On further investigation it was found to be three fishing boats that had run aground. None of the boats were manned.

“The sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft and JLK Rescuer launched and the owners of the fishing boats were contacted.

“NSRI rescue swimmers checked for damage before the boats were towed back to their moorings at their Quay about 300 metres away.”

It was then discovered that another five fishing boats were partially loose from their moorings from unknown causes.

Due to a combination of light winds and the quick NSRI response no serious damage to the fishing boats was caused after they gently drifted away from their moorings and only lightly grounded on the beach south of the Port Elizabeth Angling Club, avoiding colliding with any other craft and no pollution spills were caused.

The owners are investigating the circumstances.


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Dropsafe Net secures ABS type approval

Dropsafe Net, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

It was reported from Hong Kong on 7 February that Dropsafe Net                        (, a pioneering preventative to dropped objects in the offshore energy industry, has received type approval recognition from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) in accordance with the new ABS Guide for Dropped Object Prevention on Offshore Units and Installations. This equipment certification scheme is set to complement continuous safety improvements in the offshore and maritime sectors.

The Dropsafe Net is a stainless-steel mesh net (see illustration) which securely encloses and tethers overhead fixtures to prevent them falling from height and threatening the safety of personnel. With Dropsafe Nets already in use by over 300 companies in the oil and gas sector worldwide, achieving the new ABS Type Approval validates the safety approach taken by many of the major stakeholders in the offshore industry.

At ABS the Dropped Object Standardisation Scheme was developed in 2017, following…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Map of the Mascarene Islands, showing Rodrigues to east of Mauritius, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Map of the Mascarene Islands, showing Rodrigues to east of Mauritius
TC Funani and TC Gelena 9 February 2019. Map courtesy Joint Typhoon Warning Center, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
TC Funani and TC Gelena 9 February 2019.        Map courtesy Joint Typhoon Warning Center

It looks like Mauritius and Reunion, to say nothing of Madagascar, are to be spared the wrath and fury of the two cyclones, 12S Funani, and 13S Gelena that at one stage threatened all three islands.

Mauritius may be experiencing the effects of Gelena (13S) slightly today as the cyclone passes to the west, although the island of Rodrigues will not have been as lucky and is almost directly in the path of the tropical storm.

Cyclone Gelena (13S)

The second and earlier storm named Funani (12S) is likely to blow itself out away to the southwestward after threatening the Mascarene Islands briefly until the storm’s path was clearly determined – see graphic.

The route expected of Cyclone Gelena, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The route expected of Cyclone Gelena, courtesy JTWC

Earlier today this storm, Funani 12S was in position near 28.8S 75.0E approximately 1056 nautical miles east-southeast of Port Louis and was being tracked south-eastward at 15 knots. Studies showed a raidly weakening system with wind speed intensity estimated at 60 knots. The forecast is that Funani will continue to weaken but will remain an expansive storm with frontal characteristics and a broad wind field.

Maximum wave height at 06h00 today (Saturday) was 42 feet.

Cyclone Gelena (13S)

Situated near 18.2S 59.5E at 09h00 this morning (Saturday 9 February), Cyclone Gelena was located approximately 157 nautical miles north-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius and had tracked east-southeastward at 19 knots over the past six hours. Satellite imagery shows a robust deep convection surrounding a small eye. Wind intensity is 115 knots and will peak at 130 knots according to the forecast.

Gelena is forecast to track east-southeastward to eastward throughout the day as it tracks and is expected to gradually weaken steadily due to increasingly westerly vertical wind shear. Maximum wave height this morning at 06h00 was 37 feet.

The island of Rodrigues to the east of Mauritius is more in the path of TC Gelena and will be affected by the storm although no information is currently available.


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The SafeSeaNet Ecosystem Graphical User Interface (SEG) is the common web interface providing access to EMSA's maritime applications and data sets including SSN, IMS, LRIT and CSN, featued in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The SafeSeaNet Ecosystem Graphical User Interface (SEG) is the common web interface providing access to EMSA’s maritime applications and data sets including SSN, IMS, LRIT and CSN.

From EMSA based in Lisbon we learn that on 29 January, a kick-off meeting got underway for the development of a Handbook on European Cooperation on Coast Guard Functions.

Further, it was reported that EMSA and the EU agency for law enforcement cooperation, Europol, are to cooperate more closely together following the…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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BREXIT — IN THE EVENT OF A NO DEAL. British International Freight Association speaks out

BIFA speaks out on Brexit, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS


Yet more on Brexit…

       In the event of no deal…
Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) should be for all involved in visible international trade movements, including freight forwarders

Commenting on the recent announcement by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for Customs in the case of no deal on 29 March, Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association, said: “As the trade association for freight forwarders, which are responsible for managing the supply chains that underpin the UK’s visible international trade, we have long campaigned for frictionless borders post Brexit.

“We note the publication of these Transitional Simplified Procedures by HMRC in the event of a non-deal Brexit, and are led to believe that they are aimed at making importing easier by simplifying the declarations at the border and postponing the payment of import duties that would otherwise be due.

“However, having reviewed the documentation that has been released, BIFA believes that they are aimed solely at those traders, which have not been previously engaged in international trade, giving an overview of the procedures available to those traders.

“Whilst some of the easements that they contain regarding simplifications and special procedures may make it easier for new applicants to obtain these authorisations, there does not appear to be equivalent liberalisation of the regimes for existing holders, such as freight forwarders.

“In many ways the documentation appears skewed in favour of new applicants for authorisations and actually discriminates against existing holders, particularly relating to special procedures.

“It appears to us that TSP allows traders without any customs expertise, and tried and tested systems, to by-pass the strict authorisation requirements which otherwise apply to freight forwarders and customs agents.

“If the above are the case this will be highly unpopular amongst freight forwarders and customs agents as they appear to be excluded from them and no-one seems willing to say why this is so. That is something on which we will be seeking clarification from HMRC.”

BIFA says that the TSP appear to confirm that if the UK leaves without a deal, the country will revert to trading with the EU on a third country basis, acceding to the CTC Convention, which may help goods move across frontiers. It notes that some BIFA member companies are already basing their post-Brexit planning on this model.

Keen added: “If this is a true picture of the situation, we question whether the preparations are far enough advanced and whether the systems that will be needed are fully tested.”

He concluded by saying: “It is all very well to write down these procedures, but the unanswered question is will they work when systems are largely untried, communication links between the parties involved on the processes are not established, many will be unaware of their responsibilities, and the freight forwarding companies that are at the heart of international trade movements appear to be excluded from them.

“TSP should be for all involved in visible international trade movements, including freight forwarders.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway

BIFA speaks out on a No Deal Brexit, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS


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Sturrock Dry Dock with the newly repaired floating caisson in position. This will soon be replaced by a brand new caisson., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Sturrock Dry Dock with the newly repaired floating caisson in position. This will soon be replaced by a brand new caisson


Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has revealed that a new, R98 million floating caisson is to be fabricated for the Sturrock Dry Dock in the Port of Cape Town which will enable one of the biggest dry dock facilities in the Southern Hemisphere to improve its productivity.

The new caisson forms part of a multimillion-rand overhaul taking place at the port’s ship repair facilities under South Africa’s Operation Phakisa programme, through which ship building and ship repair have been identified as a strategic competence for the port.

The caisson is a large steel gate structure (gate) that acts as a…


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Namports's retiring CEO, Mr Bisey /Uirab, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Namports’s retiring CEO, Mr Bisey /Uirab

Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) chief executive officer, Mr Bisey /Uirab is set to retire from his position within a few months time, the Board of Namport announced yesterday.

/Uirab has been CEO for the past ten years during which period he steered the port authority from a fairly medium sized public enterprise into a regionally acclaimed logistics and maritime industry leader.

During his term of office from 2009 onwards /Uirab and his leadership team helped place the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz as among the most efficient on the Atlantic seaboard of Africa. A rolling five year plan was re-introduced and a number of significant milestones were achieved.

With the port operating in a complex and highly competitive environment, Namport has delivered relatively good results with…


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Total’s discovery of gas condensate off the coast of South Africa will have significant consequences for the country’s energy security and the development of the industry, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Total announced yesterday (Thursday) that it had made a significant gas condensate discovery on the Brulpadda prospects, located on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin, 175 kilometres off the…


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Deepsea Stavanger, drillling and discovering oil and gas off the South African coast, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Deepsea Stavanger, drillling and discovering oil and gas off the South African coast

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has welcomed Total’s significant gas discovery in the Outeniqua Basin off the southern coast of South Africa.

The French oil and gas company made the announcement on Thursday (7 February 2019).

Following this discovery and confirmation of its potential, the company has indicated it will follow up with 3D seismic tests to be followed up by four exploration wells.

Mantashe visited the rig last Saturday to receive an update on the drilling project.

“It is exciting for our country that this discovery has been made. It is potentially a major boost for the economy, and we welcome it as we continue to seek investment to grow our economy.

“It further confirms that our decision to separate legislation for oil and gas from traditional minerals, so that we can support this sector in realising its full potential, is the correct one,” said the Minister.

Mantashe said government is moving with speed to finalise legislation to ensure that it’s presented as soon as the sixth Parliament sits. –


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Deepsea Stavanger now stationed in the Brulpadda field off the South African south coast, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Deepsea Stavanger now stationed in the Brulpadda field off the South African south coast

In what is being described as ‘catalytic’ and a ‘game changer’ Total SA has announced that it has opened up a new world class oil and gas play off the South African south coast in the Outeniqua Basin south of Mossel Bay.

Total says it is well-positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block. The discovery includes some light oil.

The first clue of the discovery came with the sudden visit to the site last week by Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe who led a delegation from the Department of Mineral Resources on a visit to the Total Exploration and Production Southern Africa’s Deepsea Stavanger Rig operations, situated 180km off the shore of Mossel Bay. See that report here MANTASHE SAYS OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION OFF CAPE SOUTH COAST EXPECTED TO BOOST ECONOMY

It also seems likely that Thursday’s announcement has been delayed to coincide with the State of the Nation Address to be delivered this evening (Thursday) by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In its announcement Total SA’s Kevin McLachlan, senior vice president of exploration said: “We are very pleased to announce the Brulpadda discovery, which was drilled in a challenging deep-water environment. Total has opened a new world-class gas and oil play and is well-positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block.”

Gas has previously been extracted in the Outeniqua Basin but not previously from a deepwater well. That ‘discovery’ which dates back several decades has all but been expired leaving the Mossgas refinery at Mossel Bay having to import product.

South Africa also processes oil from coal, a process that has continued since 1955 when Sasol began producing synthetic oil from coal at its Sasolburg plant near Johannesburg. Apart from these relatively small efforts South Africa has remained dependent on imported oil.

Total said today that the next step would involve acquiring 3D seismic date before commencing the drilling of possibly another four exploration wells at its license in the Brulpadda field. Total has a 45% working interest in Block 11b/12b with Qatar Petroleum owning 25%, CNR International 20% and Main Street, a local South African consortium 10%.

The drilling area is about 100 nautical miles offshore in the Outeniqua Basin and was drilled using the rig DEEPSEA STAVANGER to a depth of 3,633 metres.

The potential of the new exploration area is regarded as excellent for further discoveries which may now attract other companies that hold licences but have shied away from making commitments. Total SA describes the area as quite difficult to operate, with huge waves and dicey weather.

South Africa is expected to introduce new legislation later this year which aims at attracting further oil and gas exploration.


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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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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