Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News 25 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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Tropical 1 arriving in Durban 18 December 2018. Picture: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Tropical 1.     Picture: Keith Betts

The Mozambican fishing trawler TROPICAL I  (402 C05) which caught fire at Durban’s bayhead reapir quay last week, with the tragic death of six persons on board (details in story below). The trawler arrived in Durban from Mozambique on 18 December and is seen here entering the port. The picture is by Keith Betts


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African Harrier, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS. Picture by Keith Betts
African Harrier.     Picture by Keith Betts

The bulk carrier AFRICAN HARRIER (IMO 9700794) seen arriving in Durban harbour recently. These MUR-operated and managed ships are regular callers at the port as they have been over many years, carrying steel products and other cargo types away for export. Most of the MUR ships are prefixed with the word African as in this instance. The 37,707-dwt bulk carrier was built in 2014 at the Imabari Shipbuilding yard at Imabari in Japan. This picture is by Keith Betts


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Palma, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Palma, northern Mozambique

Jihadists operating in northern Mozambique have for the first time (as far as is known) attacked personnel of the American oil company Anadarko Petroleum Corp. It was reported on Friday that one of the Anadarko men working on developing a new airport near the port town of Palma was killed by a group of the Islamist terrorists.

According to sources the man was beheaded, which is becoming a symbol of the Jihadists who have been roaming across the district and making their attacks for more than a year and with apparent freedom. Until now no one connected to any of the oil companies preparing to go into production offshore and on land in the Rovuma Basin and adjacent land area has been reported as having come under direct threat. This latest atrocity marks an escalation of the insurgency.

The Mozambique government in far-off Maputo has responded by clamping-down of all journalists…


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Representatives of the visiting French Port of Dunkerque and from the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) after the signing of a MoU at Walvis Bay on Thursday, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Representatives of the visiting French Port of Dunkerque and from the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) after the signing of a MoU at Walvis Bay on Thursday

The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its counterpart the Dunkerque Port in France.

The signing took place on Thursday 21 February in the Namport Executive Boardroom at the Port of Walvis Bay, attended by a visiting delegation from the Port of Dunkerque and senior representatives of Namport. The MoU is to foster a stronger relationship between the two ports.

France’s third-ranking port, Dunkerque or Dunkirk as it is more commonly recognised in English, is a well known heavy bulk cargo port catering for its numerous industrial installations. It has also built its reputation in other sectors such as cross-Channel Ro-Ro traffic to the UK, containers, fruit, etc.

Classified as the 7th port of the North Europe Range which extends from Le Havre to Hamburg, it is also France’s leading port for ore and coal imports; France’s leading port for containerised fruit imports; France’s leading port for copper imports; and France’s second-ranking port for trade with the UK.

The port extends along a frontage of 17 km and has two entries for shipping : the older, to the east, which is restricted to ships with draughts of 14,2 metres (Eastern Port), and the other to the west, which is more recent and can accommodate ships with draughts of up to 22 metres (Western Port).


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Vehicle carrier Torrens at Fremantle. Picture: Wikiwand, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Vehicle carrier Torrens at Fremantle. Picture: Wikiwand

Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA, the shipping group which does extensive business in South African and other African ports with its vehicle carrying fleet, has recorded a 5% increase in top line earnings for the 4th quarter 2018.

Maritime services also noted a positive development in EBITDA, the announcement stated. The fourth quarter, however, ended at a net loss due to a substantial change in fair value evaluation of the group’s investments.

It said the market prospects for 2019 call for a…


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SA Navy frigate SAS Amatola under refit at SA Shipyards repair quay in Durban, Picture: Steve McCurrach, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
SA Navy frigate SAS Amatola under refit at SA Shipyards repair quay in Durban, section of the floating dock at far left (blue, with tug under repair) Picture: Steve McCurrach

Southern African Shipyard (SAS) ship repair division was strengthened when it recently welcomed a trio of experts with some 120 years of experience in the industry between them.

John Coetzee, SAS Sales Manager, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
John Coetzee, SAS Sales Manager

John Coetzee, the sales manager, has notched up a wealth of knowledge in various companies during his 47 years in shipping, while Louis Maujean, the project manager has 38 years behind him and Derek Kurten, the national sales manager for the division, has 35 years under his belt.

Coetzee’s long stint in the industry started out in Durban and his career also involved working as an independent in Johannesburg, before he returned to Durban to work for another company in Durban’s Bayhead area. As well as running contracts for the company, he was also involved in marketing.

Louis Marjean, project manager at SA Shipyards, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Louis Marjean, project manager at SA Shipyards

Maujean’s previous job involved looking after 13 ships and doing all the technical work and running the South African operation for a a German-based maritime carrier.

“I used to work for shipping owners; now I’m working for owners’ contractors, so I can see both sides of the story and that’s to my advantage,” he said.


Derek Kurten, national sales manager at SA Shipyards, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Derek Kurten, national sales manager at SA Shipyards

Kurten has experience in vessel operations, chartering and ship brokering and he previously worked for a ships agency and logistical services company.

“We are thrilled to have assembled such a talented team,” said Charles Maher, who heads up the division.

SA Shipyard is based at the Bayhead in the Port of Durban, where it operates its own floating dock and ship repair quay.



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Site of the future Port of Ngqura liquid bulk terminal (tank farm) near Port Elizabeth, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

At a sod-turning ceremony held yesterday work officially commenced on the Port of Ngqura’s future liquid bulk terminal, which is being developed and will be operated by Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (Pty) Ltd (OTGC).

The Ngqura liquid bulk tank farm will replace the existing facilities at the nearby port of Port Elizabeth which will then be decommissioned.

The two ports are in close proximity a mere 22km apart in Nelson Mandela Bay (Algoa Bay).

According to a statement issued yesterday the Ngqura terminal will pave the way for Ngqura’s establishment as a new petroleum trading hub for Southern Africa.

The new tank farm is expected to provide…


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What the energy barge will look like, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
What the energy barge will look like

Southern African Shipyards (SAS) is gearing up to produce a unique state-of-the-art barge which will be the only one of its kind in the world.

The company, based at Bayhead in the Port of Durban, has been commissioned to build a R700-million energy barge for visionary entrepreneur Aldworth Mblati, the chief executive of DNG Energy, who is at the forefront of the Liquefied National Gas (LNG) revolution.

The first piece of steel was cut for the barge-to be called DNG Genesis- at the same ceremony at the end of last year when the first piece of steel was cut for SAS’s other mega contract, the SA Navy’s hydrographic survey ship.

Some 650 people will eventually be employed on both projects, while thousands of other indirect jobs will be created over the years.

Mblati has said that he could well have turned to China to have the barge built but that he wanted in built at SAS in Durban.

“I want it built in South Africa as it is important to create jobs. The money that is being kept in the country will allow South Africa to achieve a higher economic growth,” he said.

“Our success must be South Africa’s success,” he added.

Prasheen Maharaj, SAS’s chief executive, said the company was very grateful to DNG Energy and the patriotic leadership of its chief executive in entrusting SAS to build such a complex barge.

“The obligation upon us now as black industrialists is to ensure that local jobs are created and maintained and that smaller and emerging BEE enterprises benefit,” he said.

The barge, which is currently in the design stage at SAS, will be 143m-long and 34m-wide and will be 8,000 tons, which is predicted to be the largest vessel by weight ever to be built in Africa.

DNG Energy aims to invest more than R69-billion in creating a Pan African LNG supply network over the next five years.

It has a floating storage terminal and LNG will be stored at the terminal and then offloaded onto the SAS-built barge, which will act at a work horse, operating in Southern African waters and transporting energy to South African and SADC customers.

The exact location of the storage terminal will be revealed in March.

Mblati points out that liquefied natural gas is between 25 and 40% cheaper than other fuel and is also cleaner, and that his company aims to supply the country’s mining and trucking industry as well as industrial and commercial users.

It has the potential to become a prominent fuel in the petroleum industry with fuel stations of the future having natural gas at the pumps.

He says that LNG will dramatically improve the economy, reasoning that if the country stopped spending large amount of money importing refined gas, the rand will grow stronger and the country’s GDP will improve.


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IRClass vessel

Since opening its Greek office in 2010, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has made inroads into the Greek shipping market. Based in Piraeus, the IRClass office has been actively engaged with Greek shipyards and owners to offer its full range of classification services.

It has recently certified three ro-ro vessels in Greece for the Theodoropoulos shipyard and has also…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Doraleh Multipurpose Port, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Doraleh Multipurpose Port

A year ago, on 22 February 2018, the State of Djibouti prematurely terminated the concession for the Doraleh container port, awarded in 2006 to Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT), a company essentially controlled by DP World, a minority shareholder.

A year after the termination, motivated by the country’s development imperatives and the necessity to control its strategic infrastructure, the Doraleh container terminal has established itself as an efficient structure, operated by a wholly publicly owned Djiboutian company, SGTD, which works for the public interest, say the Djibouti authorities in a statement issued today (Thursday 21 February 2019).

According to the statement, this has happened despite the ‘fake news’ campaigns, the multiplication of legal proceedings, and other attempts by DP World to intimidate the Djibouti State and its strategic partners.

Located at the mouth of the Bab el Mandeb Strait, at the intersection of the world’s main trade routes, the port clearly has multiple vocations: to serve its region, and in particular its Ethiopian sister nation, while positioning itself as a major transshipment platform, in direct alignment with Asia.

In early February, before members of the US Senate Committee on Armed Forces, General Thomas Waldhauser, Commander-in-Chief of AFRICOM (United States Africa Command), pointed out that the Doraleh container port had provided better services since DP World’s departure.

He also stated that the Republic of Djibouti, through the logistical and strategic platforms that it provides American forces in the region and in Africa, was an important strategic partner of the United States.

The US military base at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The US military base at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti

However, Djibouti’s ambitions extend beyond the port of Doraleh. The container terminal is one of the cornerstones of an ambitious national development project: to make Djibouti a major commercial and logistics hub between Asia, Africa and the rest of the world. In addition to Doraleh’s development, a new multi-purpose port was set up on the same site (DMP, May 2017) and the Goubet and Tadjourah ports were opened (June 2017).

Boosting this expansion even more is the new free zone, expected to be the largest in Africa (opened in July 2018), and the launch of the new rail link between Djibouti and Addis Ababa (January 2018).

More recently still, an agreement with global scope in the energy sector was concluded on 17 February between Ethiopia and Djibouti. It provides for the commissioning of a gas pipeline between the natural gas fields of the Ogaden Basin in Ethiopia and the Djibouti coast. This will be followed, in a second phase, by the construction and operation of a natural gas liquefaction plant and a gas terminal in the Damerjog area, all with total private financing of around US$4 billion from POLY-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings Limited (China), the developer of this mega project.

The Ethiopian economy is on a long-term upward trend. The links between the two nations – strategic, commercial and cultural – are deep and long-standing. The spectacular regional “detente” enhances opportunities for all. For its part, Djibouti has invested heavily over the years in the establishment of enabling infrastructure and a legal framework that is strongly favorable to the private sector and service companies. This increase was highlighted by its 55-position leap in the 2018 Doing Business ranking.

map of Djibouti, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
map of Djibouti

Djibouti’s development project is therefore clearly underway. The major investments and amounts committed reflect the confidence of international partners in Djibouti’s long-term vision.

The Republic of China has actively participated in this effort either in terms of direct investment or through the financing of Djibouti projects. And as part of the new Silk Roads and its African strategy, China has established itself as an essential partner.

This “great Djibouti ambition” is supported by a constant geostrategic balance. Located on a maritime route vital to world trade, Djibouti fully assumes its role in maintaining security in the Gulf of Aden and in the fight against terrorism. The country has also established itself as a key humanitarian hub, in particular to assist civilian populations affected by the conflict in Yemen.

“The Republic of Djibouti, mindful of its responsibilities and alliances, would like to assure its friends around the world of its commitment to openness and its willingness to defend the interests of all, while upholding Djibouti’s rights and ensuring equity.” source: Government of Djibouti


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Port Elizabeth tank farm. There is a scheduled five-week shutdown of the tanker berth in the Port Elizabeth harbour from Monday, 18 February until Monday, 25 March 2019 to effect repairs, however the tank farm landside operations will still continue during the berth outage. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
There is a scheduled five-week shutdown of the tanker berth in the Port Elizabeth harbour from Monday, 18 February until Monday, 25 March 2019 to effect repairs, however the tank farm landside operations will still continue during the berth outage

Transnet National Ports Authority says it gives its full assurance that contingency plans are in place to avoid disruptions to fuel supplies during a scheduled five-week shutdown of the tanker berth in the Port Elizabeth harbour. The shutdown commenced on Monday this week, 18 February and will continue until Monday, 25 March 2019.

The berth outage will enable repairs to be carried out on the corroded steel structures supporting the berth’s access walkway.

“TNPA made the decision to temporarily close the Port of PE’s tanker berth after extensive consultation with the oil companies, namely liquid bulk terminal operators operating out of the PE Tank Farm and the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA),” said PE Port Manager Rajesh Dana.

“In our engagements with the oil companies, TNPA both advised and encouraged them to ramp up on the stock holdings at the PE harbour ahead of this shutdown and they have assured us that they have mitigation measures in place to ensure uninterrupted fuel supply to Nelson Mandela Bay. TNPA will meet them weekly during the repair period to share progress and address any challenges.”

During the repair period, fuel trucks will be redirected to the Port of East London’s Liquid Bulk Terminals, where there is sufficient capacity to manage the temporary diversion.

The tank farm landside operations of supplying local fuel outlets will still continue during the berth outage. No negative impact is anticipated for the port’s other operations including marine operations, the fishing industry, bunkering and more.

According to Dana there is no need for panic. “Whilst we appreciate isolated concerns regarding the closure, we have been assured by the oil companies that they have mitigation measures in place to ensure uninterrupted fuel supply to Nelson Mandela Bay. This matter is receiving our priority attention and weekly meeting on progress of the works will be held to ensure the timely completion of the repair works.”

Aerial view of the Port Elizabeth harbour and tank farm as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Aerial view of the harbour and tank farm


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Germany's Port of Hamburg, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Germany’s Port of Hamburg

Germany’s largest universal port, Hamburg, handled 135.1 million tonnes of cargo in 2018, (down on 2017 by one percent) and is asserting itself in a difficult environment. What is quite significant is that Hamburg has achieved a distinct advance on railborne seaport-hinterland transport.

In 2018, railborne traffic in and out of the port accounted for 46.8 million tonnes – up 2.7 percent – and 2.44 million TEU – up 4.7 percent.

In total more than 60,000 freight trains with around 1.6 million freight wagons were handled during 2018 on the Port Railway network alone. This topped the record total set in 2016 and extended Hamburg’s position as Europe’s leading rail port.

“The positive figures for the Port Railway are a success that we achieved together with our partners last year. We can be justly proud of this performance,” said Jens Meier, CEO of Hamburg Port Authority.

To a large extent this strong position is based on the large number of over a hundred liner services linking Hamburg with the great majority of the 1,000 seaports worldwide.

“Right at the outset of the new year, the Port of Hamburg is off to a flying start as it accepts four new liner services. With weekly sailings from Hamburg, these four Transatlantic container services also link ports on the US East Coast plus others in Mexico,” said Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM).

“With the transfer of these, ‘THE Alliance’ liner services additional throughput volume of the order of up to 500,000 TEU is arriving on the Elbe.”

Port of Hamburg, important link in South Africa-Europe trade, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Port of Hamburg, important link in South Africa-Europe trade

In container transport with China, along with the ocean-going vessel as the main carrier, a distinct increase is occurring in transport by rail. China again remained the Port of Hamburg’s largest trading partner in 2018. One in three of all containers handled in the port are for, or from, China.

Complementing the excellent seaborne services, more than 235 connections by rail are now offered from Hamburg along the New Silk Road.

“Having handled around 4.8 million TEU for or from China, compared to other locations in Europe Hamburg is the main hub for China freight by a wide margin,” says Mattern. Hamburg is the central freight handling hub for transport along both the maritime and overland Silk Road. “We shall be further strengthening and expanding our location in terms of transport geography for the benefit of our worldwide port customers,” he adds.

Hamburg is also an important port of call on the liner services between South Africa and northern Europe.

Looking at this report from a purely South African perspective one can draw a few comparisons with the admittedly much smaller Port of Durban. To compare cargo volumes, Durban handled 83.161 million tonnes of cargo all types but remains well behind Hamburg’s 135.1 million tonnes. Likewise with container volumes where Hamburg handled close to 9 million TEUs last year (Durban 2.956 million TEU). Ship calls Hamburg around 9,000 (Durban 3000), berths Hamburg almost 300 (Durban just over 50).

The figure that really stands out for us is that Hamburg received or dispatched no less than 2.44 million TEU by rail – a number that must leave Transnet and in fact all local port stakeholders feeling envious.


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Mozambique's controversial Ematum trawlers,featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

No, not a South African scandal this time. The former Mozambique president Armando Guebuza’s son, Ndambi Guebuza, was arrested in Maputo at the recent weekend with regard loans worth something more than two billion US dollars. These concern the firm of Proindicus, the infamous EMATUM (Mozambique Tuna Company), and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management) and taken out in 2013 and 2014 when Guebuza Snr was in power.

The loans were acquired with illicit government guarantees, it is alleged.

ex-President Armando Guebuza, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
ex-President Armando Guebuza

Regular readers will recall that arrangements were made for EMATUM to acquire 24 tuna fishing trawlers and six patrol boats that were built in France. Both Presidents Guebuza and the then President François Hollande attended the signing of the contracts in France, which we reported at the time.

Since then the fishing vessels and patrol craft have arrived in Maputo but remained largely unused, with only a few having ventured out to sea and very little revenue being earned.

ex-PresidentFrancois Hollande of France was another that witnessed the signing ceremony of the Ematum vessels, festured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
ex-PresidentFrancois Hollande of France was another that witnessed the signing ceremony of the Ematum vessels

It is widely believed that the whole deal was a scam that involved a Swiss and a Russian bank in making the money available, a French shipyard and even the acceptance of the French government, in addition to senior people in the Mozambique government and security services.

According to Mozambique news agency AIM Ndambi Guebuza was detained by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday, becoming the ninth person to be detained in connection with Mozambique’s biggest financial scandal, which because the loan became a sovereign debt, has all but crippled the country’s finances with Mozambique unable to repay the interest owing. That matter was subsequently resolved only after renewed financing arrangements.

According to AIM, Ndambi Guebuza is a close friend and business colleague of …


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Murjan 19m Multicat featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Murjan 19m Multicat

James Fisher and Sons plc has extended its capabilities in the Middle East with the acquisition of Murjan Al-Sharq Marine Contracting LLC.

Murjan is an established service provider based in Saudi Arabia, with a 10-year track record of successful projects with Saudi Aramco. The acquisition brings a wealth of local expertise into the JFS group – in particular the move adds strategically important…


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RCL's Symphony of the Seas, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
RCL’s Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd announced this week that it has entered into an agreement with French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique to order a sixth Oasis-class ship for delivery in the fall of 2023.

“It is such a pleasure to announce the order of another Oasis-class ship,” said Richard D Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “This order is a reflection of the exceptional performance of this vessel class and the extraordinary partnership between Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.”

“This is the twenty-third cruise ship that RCL will be building at our shipyard, and we are especially proud of it,” said Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “The order reflects the confidence our customer puts on us, based on the exceptional quality of our long-term co-operation between the two companies and on our capacity to bring innovative solutions to meet our customer’s expectations.”

The order is contingent upon financing, which is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of this year.

Of the existing Oasis class cruise ships, four are in service with a fifth, as yet unnamed, due from Chantiers in 2021. The earlier ships were OASIS OF THE SEAS (2009), ALLURE OF THE SEAS (2010), HARMONY OF THE SEAS (2016) and the latest SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS that entered service last year.

To provide a sense of the size of the Oasis class, the latest and biggest, Symphony of the Seas has a maximum capacity of 5,518 passengers at double occupancy in 2759 staterooms, or 6,680 passengers maximum. The crew count is 2,200. The 228,081-gt ship is 362 metres in length and cost US$1.35 billion.

Royal Caribbean Cruises controls and operates four global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises and Silversea Cruises.

It is also a 50 percent joint venture owner of the German brand TUI Cruises and a 49 percent shareholder in the Spanish brand Pullmantur Cruceros. Together these brands operate a combined total of 60 ships with an additional 16 on order as of 31 December 2018. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on all seven continents.

Take now a video tour of the amazing Symphony of the Seas [24:01] – Click the YouTube Full-Screen tab (bottom right) for viewing


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The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) today (Wednesday, 20 February 2019) expressed strong concerns about a proposal submitted by the European Commission (EC) which urges the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to change its Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (‘scrubber’) guidelines.

The proposal, which the Commission submitted to IMO on the 8 February deadline, calls for “evaluation and harmonization” of scrubber discharges across all ports, world-wide. The proposal is intended for consideration by the 74th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) which meets in May in London.

Bunker fuel emission debate over scrubbers, is featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

“This proposal is an attempt by the European Commission to push forward restrictions on scrubbers, which are accepted globally by the IMO, EU and others as acceptable means of improving air emissions quality in controlled areas,” said CSA 2020 Executive Director Ian Adams.

“Within two weeks of a draft surfacing, the Commission had taken the proposal to a one-day Working Party review and then submitted it to IMO,” he said. “Clearly this was planned to avoid the open discussion and deliberation that a proposal with such far-reaching impact requires. In the absence of credible evidence to justify such a major departure from the existing rules, the proposal is instead based mostly on speculation.

“CSA 2020 members, who represent…



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Banner of 22nd Wall Street Project Economic Summit, dti,

Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe is highlighting trade and investment opportunities in South Africa at the 22nd Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit in New York.

Magwanishe will outline trade and investment opportunities at the summit that gets underway in the United States today (Wednesday).

Globally, the US accounts for 7% of South Africa’s total exports to the world and is ranked second as an export destination for South African export products in 2018.

“Bilateral trade between South Africa and the US has shown tremendous growth in the past few years. Total trade has increased from R141 billion in 2014 to R161 billion in 2017 but declined slightly to R157 billion in 2018,” said Magwanishe.

Bilateral trade between the US and South Africa is almost balanced with South Africa mostly enjoying a trade surplus against the US mainly due to exports of primary products and commodities.

However, Magwanishe said in terms of manufactured exports, the US continues to enjoy a trade surplus.

The Deputy Minister said the US remains as one of the key sources of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for South Africa, with bilateral investments at approximately R2.2 trillion in 2016.

In addition, there are about 800 US companies doing business in South Africa with an increasing number of South African companies also investing in the US.

Of the $4.2 billion foreign direct investment stock in the USA from Sub-Saharan African, $3.1 billion originated from South Africa.

The three-day summit is focused on how to expand wealth opportunities; supplier diversity opportunities; and diversity and inclusion for minorities and women.

It brings together entrepreneurs, corporate executives and leading US members of Congress. Speakers at the summit include the host, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver and Gregory Meeks as well as Reverend Al Sharpton, among others.

The summit is being held under the theme: ‘400 Years Later: Closing the Wealth Gap, Expanding Opportunity’.

Market access through the AfCFTA

While in the US, Magwanishe will also meet with existing and potential investors into South Africa that are looking to take advantage of the market access created by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Last week, on the sidelines of the 32nd Ordinary Session of Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President Cyril Ramaphosa handed over South Africa’s deposit of instruments on the ratification of the AfCFTA.

The AfCFTA, as one of the flagship projects of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, aims to build an integrated market in Africa that will see a market of over one billion people with a combined GDP of approximately US$3.3 trillion. source:


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Cosco Shipping and Bollore Transport & Logisticshave signed a MoU
The Cosco and Bolloré participants at the signing of the MoU in Shanghai

COSCO Shipping Lines, which is among the world’s largest container carriers, has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with Bolloré Transport & Logistics.

The two companies, partners for over 20 years, said the intention is to densify their commercial relations while exploring new opportunities for cooperation in transport, logistics and port infrastructure.

Through this agreement, signed in Shanghai, Cosco and Bolloré Transport & Logistics have agreed to explore the possibilities of commercial collaboration in order to develop their respective activities and satisfy the needs of their customers, particularly in terms of digitalisation.

The companies said they share a common ambition to intensify international flows, particularly on the African continent, where Bolloré Transport & Logistics is well established and regarded for its expertise and has a large network of maritime agencies and also a unique know-how in corridor management.

“This new agreement signed with COSCO SHIPPING Lines is the result of our common desire to develop synergies between our businesses,” said Cyrille Bolloré CEO of Bolloré Transport & Logistics. “It also illustrates our ambition to continue the development of our international network by promoting cooperation with strategic partners, recognised for their excellence and performance.”

Wang Haimin Managing Director of Cosco Shipping Lines said the new agreement has significant meaning to both of the two companies to further develop global business. “Thanks for the support of our old friend in the past 20 years, he added.”

About COSCO Shipping Lines

Cosco Shipping Lines, headquartered in Shanghai, is engaged in international and domestic container shipping and related services. By the end of December 2018, the company has a total of 376 container vessels, with a total capacity of 2.1 million TEUs. Cosco Shipping Lines operates 362 international and domestic shipping routes, consisting of 228 international services (including international feeder services), 47 domestic services, 87 Yangtze River and Pearl River shipping services, covering 329 ports in 100 countries and regions worldwide.


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The 2,500-TEU Safmarine Nuba alongside at the Matadi Gateway Terminal which is progressively facilitating larger vessel calls and unlocking the associated scale economies, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The 2,500-TEU Safmarine Nuba alongside at the Matadi Gateway Terminal which is progressively facilitating larger vessel calls and unlocking the associated scale economies

The recent call of the 2,500-TEU capacity Safmarine Nuba at the Matadi Gateway Terminal (MGT) opens the door to major new shipping system benefits for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) says the ICTSI Group company which operates the terminal.

The call, which took place at the end of January (if you missed that report you can see it by CLICKING HERE ), marked the first call by a gearless containership and the first by a vessel with a capacity as high as 2,500 TEUs.

The deployment of a vessel of this size unlocks economies of scale…

Congo River Schematic: Matadi, located on the left bank of the Congo River, 92 miles upstream, is the closest port gateway to the DRC capital of Kinshasa and offers major savings in overland transportation, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Congo River Schematic: Matadi, located on the left bank of the Congo River, 92 miles upstream, is the closest port gateway to the DRC capital of Kinshasa and offers major savings in overland transportation


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Rovuma Basin in Northern Mozambique where ENI says it will commence LNG exports from late 2022, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Rovuma Basin in Northern Mozambique where ENI says it will commence LNG exports from late 2022

The Italian oil company ENI said on Monday that everything was on schedule with the Mozambique Rovuma basin project and that the first export should take place in the second half of 2022.

“The development scheme envisages the construction of a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) platform with a production capacity of 3.4 metric tons of liquefied natural gas per year, powered by six production wells connected to an underwater production system,” ENI told the Portuguese news service Lusa.

“Progress in the implementation of the activities [for the South Coral field] is on schedule and…


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Saldanha Bay from the air, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Saldanha Bay from the air

The Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has signed new investment agreements, which bring the total number of signed investors to eight and investment value to over R3 billion, it has been reported.

These investors include international stakeholders from the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with the rest being local companies.

All these investors are investing in a variety of fabrication workshops for steel and other metals, equipment and marine repair facilities, oil lubricant and fuel plants, as well as…


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Seabed Constructor in Durban, December 2017. Picture: Trevor Jones, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Seabed Constructor in Durban, December 2017. Picture: Trevor Jones

Next generation AUVs Discover Wreck of Korean Vessel

Ocean Infinity, the next generation seabed survey and ocean exploration company, reports that it has successfully located the wreck of the lost South Korean tanker, STELLAR DAISY (266,141-dwt, built 1993), at a depth of 3461 metres in the South Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1800 nautical miles due west of Cape Town.

Stellar Daisy sank on 31 March 2017, transporting iron ore from Brazil to China. Tragically, 22 of the 24 crew were lost. See our report of this LARGE ORE CARRIER STELLAR DAISY MISSING IN SOUTH ATLANTIC

Working from the research vessel SEABED CONSTRUCTOR, the search operation involved the deployment of four Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), which, over 72 search hours, explored approximately 1,300 km2 of seabed.

Representatives of both The Government of South Korea, who awarded Ocean Infinity the contract to conduct the search, and the families of Stellar Daisy’s crew, were present throughout the operation. It is understood that the voyage data recorder (VDR) has been recovered from whar remains of the Stellar Daisy.

The AUVs emloyed to find the missing Stellar Daisy, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The AUVs emloyed to find the missing Stellar Daisy

Ocean Infinity’s AUVs are the most technologically advanced in the world. They are capable of operating in water depths from 5 metres to 6,000 metres. The AUVs are not tethered to the vessel during operations, allowing them to go deeper and collect higher quality data for the search.

They are equipped with a side scan sonar, a multi-beam echo-sounder, a sub-bottom profiler, an HD camera, a conductivity / temperature / depth sensor, a self-compensating magnetometer, a synthetic aperture sonar and a turbidity sensor.

Stellar Daisy, featuring again in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Stellar Daisy, the giant bulker that disappeared

“We are pleased to report that we have located Stellar Daisy, in particular for our client, the South Korean Government, but also for the families of those who lost loved ones in this tragedy,” said Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity’s CEO. “This operation is further testament to Ocean Infinity’s leading, technology led, search capability. Through the deployment of multiple state of the art AUVs, we are covering the seabed with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

“I would like to thank the Government of South Korea for their support, as well as all of the team onboard Seabed Constructor,” he added.

Ocean Infinity is a seabed exploration company. Based in Houston, Texas, it was founded in July 2017, and is led by CEO Oliver Plunkett and COO Melanie Smith.

The research vessel Seabed Constructor underwent maintenance and equipping for this voyage in the Cape Town dry dock before heading out into the South Atlantic.

Recovering one of the AUVs used to discover the missing bulker. Picture: Ocean Infinity, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Recovering one of the AUVs used to discover the missing bulker. Picture: Ocean Infinity


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The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering: The creators of GPS awarded The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, from left to right: Richard Schwartz, Bradford Parkinson, James Spilker and Hugo Fruehauf, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering: The creators of GPS awarded The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, from left to right: Richard Schwartz, Bradford Parkinson, James Spilker and Hugo Fruehauf

Benefits for the whole world

It was announced from London on 12 February 2019 that this year’s Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize) has been awarded to four engineers responsible for creating the first truly global, satellite-based positioning system – GPS.

The QEPrize is the world’s most prestigious engineering accolade, a £1 million prize that celebrates the global impact of engineering innovation on humanity.
The 2019 winners are Dr Bradford Parkinson, Professor James Spilker, Jr, Hugo Fruehauf, and Richard Schwartz – announced on 12 February by Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation, in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal in London.

The QEPrize, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

As we know the global positioning system represents a pioneering innovation which, for the first time, enabled free, immediate access to accurate position and timing information around the world. Today, an estimated four billion people around the world use GPS, and its applications range from navigation and disaster relief through to climate monitoring systems, banking systems, and the foundation of tomorrow’s transport, agriculture, and industry.

Reintroducing GPS as a concept

Bradford Parkinson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Bradford Parkinson

To remind our readers GPS uses a constellation of at least 24 orbiting satellites, ground stations, and receiving devices. Each satellite broadcasts a radio signal containing its location and the time from an extremely accurate onboard atomic clock. GPS receivers need signals from at least four satellites to determine their position; they measure the time delay in each signal to calculate the distance to each satellite, then use that information to pinpoint the receiver’s location on earth.

The basic tracking required for GPS dates back to the start of the space race, when radio operators tracked Sputnik I on its groundbreaking flight in 1957. Sputnik’s radio signals appeared to drop in frequency as it passed overhead, a phenomenon known as the Doppler shift that allowed the satellite’s position to be determined.

GPS has had a revolutionary impact upon modern society. At just $2 per receiver, GPS provides an accessible service and a powerful tool that people can integrate with their own applications. Simple smartphone apps can track disease outbreaks, self-driving tractors can optimise crop harvests, and sports teams can improve team performance. New applications for GPS continually appear, and its annual economic value has been estimated to be $80 billion for the USA alone.

The chief architect, Bradford Parkinson, is often called the ‘father of GPS’ after successfully building upon several separate systems to create the current GPS design. Parkinson directed the programme and led the development, design, and testing of its key components. He insisted that GPS needed to be intuitive and inexpensive, which later made navigation accessible to billions.

James Spilker, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
James Spilker

To realise the project, Parkinson recruited James Spilker to design the signal that the satellites broadcast. This type of ranging signal is critical to the success of GPS for civilian use; it is resistant to jamming, precise, and allows multiple satellites to broadcast on the same frequency without interfering with each other. Spilker’s team also developed and built the first receiver to process the GPS satellite signals; his delay-locked loop process, used for tracking code division multiple access (CDMA) signals, is essential to GPS accuracy.

GPS receivers rely on accurate timing information, broadcast from satellites, to determine their position on earth. Each satellite uses multiple atomic clocks – accurate to within billions of a second – to ensure consistent timing. Hugo Freuhauf, then Chief Engineer at Rockwell Industries, led the development of a miniaturised, radiation-hardened atomic clock – the heart of the GPS satellite. Its accuracy is the backbone of communications systems, power grids, financial networks, and other critical infrastructure.

Hugo Fruehauf, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Hugo Fruehauf

For the GPS programme to be affordable, each satellite had to be long-lived. Richard Schwartz, the Programme Manager at Rockwell during the development of these satellites, was tasked with ensuring a three-year life span. His design was resistant to the intense radiation from the upper Van Allen belt, and it also lasted over nine years.

How GPS changed the world

When asked whether the winners knew that GPS could change the world, Dr Bradford Parkinson said: “One of the most important things we had when the project started was a vision of world impact. Without that inspiration, it would have been difficult for us to weather the storms of doing something for the first time. Back in 1978, I made a few drawings that depicted GPS applications that I could personally foresee; they included an automobile navigation system, semi-automatic air traffic control, and wide-area vehicle monitoring, and seem to be rather accurate 41 years later. That said, none of us could fathom the sheer breadth of GPS applications – the many ways that it would become a System for Humanity.!

When asked which GPS applications surprised him the most, Hugo Freuhauf said: “What surprised me the most was the general response from industry – it blew me away. The world’s tech industry reduced a 40lb (18kg), $100K backpack-sized GPS receiver into a fingernail-sized chip receiver that now costs less than $2. Because of that, GPS is everywhere; it is part of the global economic engine and key to global safe-keeping. It’s had an almost unimaginable impact on the globe.”

Richard Schwartz, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Richard Schwartz

When asked about his future predictions for GPS, Richard Schwartz said: “It’s hard to imagine what young and creative engineers will come up with next – it’s such a rapidly developing world. That said, in the not too distant future I think I will be able to step into a driverless car, tell the car where I’d like to go, and then sit back and enjoy the ride.

“The second prediction relates to farming, as we are already starting to see rapid innovation in agriculture. If farmers can precisely tend to their fields around the clock – at low cost – then food supply around the world will significantly increase, providing the next step towards ending world hunger.!

Lord Browne of Madingley

Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation, said: “The 2019 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering recognises the four engineers responsible for providing accurate position and timing information for billions of people around the world. Their revolutionary work epitomises the excellence in engineering that the QEPrize both recognises and celebrates, and we hope that it continues to inspire the next generation of engineers to take up the challenges of the future.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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SADC Logo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

South Africa will today (Tuesday 19 February 2019) host the first European Union (EU) – Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) joint council meeting.

The meeting which is being held in Cape Town will provide an opportunity for the ministers of the SADC EPA states and the EU to discuss the state of play in the trade between the parties and how the EPA can contribute to inclusive and sustainable development.

The ministers will also consider a…


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NATO Ex Dynamic Move: In early February more than 160 naval personnel from 21 NATO and Partner nations met at the NATO Mine Countermeasures School (EGUERMIN), in Oostende, Belgium to practice large scale mine clearance operations in the computer-aided exercise Dynamic Move. Picture: NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) Northwood UK ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
NATO Ex Dynamic Move: In early February more than 160 naval personnel from 21 NATO and Partner nations met at the NATO Mine Countermeasures School (EGUERMIN), in Oostende, Belgium to practice large scale mine clearance operations in the computer-aided exercise Dynamic Move. Picture: NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) Northwood UK ©

As we well know the sea lanes are vital to the health and wellbeing of a nation. These strategic byways allow trade, travel and the movement of resources.

NATO maintains two groups of mine countermeasures ships ready to respond to a crisis if needed. In order to maintain a high level of readiness, NATO conducts training exercises to keep sailors skills sharp.

In the first half of February more than 160 naval personnel from 21 NATO and Partner nations met at the NATO Mine Countermeasures School (EGUERMIN), in Oostende, Belgium to practice large scale mine clearance operations in the…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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QGA watervtesting kit for LuminUltra, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Water testing kit

EXMAR Ship Management, which is headquartered in Belgium, says it has selected the LuminUltra Quench-Gone Aqueous (QGA) test kit to monitor the quality of the drinking water produced onboard the LPG FSO NKOSSA II.

The decision follows the success of the QGA solution in analysing the quality of the water produced by reverse osmosis aboard accommodation barges operating in offshore waters of West Africa.

“We cannot emphasise enough the importance of testing the quality of our drinking water on a regular basis,” said Paul-Philippe Halleux, who is a Technical Superintendent from EXMAR Ship Management’s Offshore Services division. “We produce drinking water through reverse osmosis and with…


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Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, reported on 18 February that it has developed a smelting process to produce soluble phosphate for fertiliser from low value ores, eliminating hazardous waste and making production more economically and environmentally sustainable.

Phosphate is a key ingredient in fertilisers and essential for plant health and growth. The AUD$73 billion global phosphate market continues to grow as demand for fertiliser increases to meet food production needs.

CSIRO team leader, Keith Barnard, said the CSIRO-developed PyroPhos process offers a simpler, safer and more efficient alternative to conventional phosphate production processes.

In his words: “The PyroPhos smelting process uses high temperature to extract phosphate from ores, producing prized phosphate feedstock and a glassy gravel that can be used in road base construction and Portland cement.”

“A major benefit of the process is that is can be used on lower grade ores giving phosphate miners and processors the opportunity to increase their productivity in an environmentally sustainable way.”

The PyroPhos process is exclusively licenced to PyroPhos, a subsidiary of Process Capital and its technology has emerged out of decades of research from CSIRO’s award-winning Sirosmelt innovation and pryometalurgical expertise, it is reported.

Paul Ridgway


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Mombasa container terminal port scene, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Mombasa container terminal port scene

The Kenya Port of Mombasa says that it is targeting greater efficiency in order to increase container handling capacity to 1.6 million TEU per year by 2022.

Mombasa is currently handling a throughout of just over one million TEU – one of the few ports in sub-Saharan Africa to do so, although growth has been static for several years.

Kenya Ports Authority managing director Daniel Manduku said they were…

Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway

Kenya Standard Gauge Railway container train under the gantry at Mombasa container terminal
Kenya Standard Gauge Railway container train under the gantry at Mombasa container terminal    Picture: KPA

Concern over the mounting debt owed by Kenya to the Chinese banks for the construction (and operation) of the SGR is continuing to be expressed within Kenya, where it is reported that the debt has risen to approximately 1.9 billion Euros (KSh227 billion).

A recent report on the front page of Daily Nation claimed that Kenya could lose control of the Port of Mombasa if the country is unable to service the SGR debt, which is continuing to grow as the line is further extended.

The report stated that a…


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Two new offices in Paradip and Guwahati

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), a leading classification society, has opened two new offices in India – one located in Paradip, a major port town on the east coast of India, and another in Guwahati, the largest city in the northeast Indian state of Assam.

Strengthening IRClass’ service network, these new offices join an existing… network of 24 offices in India.

Opening of an office in Assam’s Guwahati follows the recent announcement on a joint initiative with the Assam Government in further developing the state’s inland water transport (IWT) system to improve commuter safety.

Mr K Bhardwaj, Head (Operations) IRClass, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Mr K Bhardwaj, Head (Operations)

Paradip is amongst the leading ports in the country and several infrastructure projects under the Sagarmala programme are planned around the port. The Paradip office was opened against long standing demand from the industry, it is understood. This office will serve ship owners, ports and drydocking repair facilities within proximity, as well as neighbouring ports including Dhamra and others in the region.

Pictured is Mr K Bhardwaj, Head (Operations) who commented on 11 February: “Establishing a presence in both Paradip and Guwahati has been a key part of our strategic development priorities, and this underlines IRClass’ commitment towards servicing its clients in the eastern part of India as we strive to provide high quality classification services to the maritime community in this region.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) ships conducting a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Turkish Navy while performing their Force Integration Training (FIT) in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Photo credit: MCPL Manuela Berger, Royal Canadian Navy © featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) ships conducting a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Turkish Navy while performing their Force Integration Training (FIT) in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Photo credit: MCPL Manuela Berger, Royal Canadian Navy ©

Mine Counter Measures Exercise Dynamic Move

On 13 February it was reported that Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) ships are taking their at sea training to an advanced level, performing Force Integration Training (FIT) while patrolling in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to maintain the high readiness level required of the NATO Standing Naval Forces.

Composed of four frigates, NATO ships in SNMG2 TU02 are the Royal Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen, as Flagship, the Royal Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto, the Turkish Navy frigate TCG Gelibolu and the Spanish Navy frigate Santa Maria. In addition to their FIT, NATO Groups regularly conduct exercises with various NATO Allied navies.

On 21 January SNMG2 conducted an in-depth air defence exercise with the Hellenic Navy with warships HS Psara, HS Ritsos and twelve aircraft from the Hellenic Air Force.

SNMG2 then conducted an advanced air defence exercise with the Turkish Navy on 8 / 9 February and the Turkish Air Force. Similar training was conducted on 1 February with the Turkish Navy ships TCG Barbaros, TCG Bafra and TCG Akar approximately 250 kilometres south of Antalya in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The exercises included manoeuvring, seamanship, helicopter operations and various synthetic serials.

Exercises between NATO and Turkish units contribute to the Tailored Assurance Measures for Turkey, as agreed on the NATO Summit in Warsaw, 8 and 9 July 2016 in support of Turkey as part of NATO.

SNMG2 is one of four Standing Maritime Groups (two destroyer/frigate groups and two mine countermeasures groups) which are multinational, integrated maritime forces made up of vessels from allied countries. These vessels are under continuous NATO command to perform a wide range of tasks ranging from deterrent presence and situational awareness to exercises and the conduct of operational missions.

These groups provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability both in peacetime and in crisis. They demonstrate Alliance resolve and foster solidarity, as well as enhance the Alliance’s relations with Partner nations through visits and exchanges.

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Mixing football with ship supply may not be an obvious choice unless you are ISSA* Executive Vice President Mr Kouame Aduo Luc (pictured) who has seen his love of the game result in him being elected as a senior member of the Ivory Coast team organising the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

ISSA Executive Vice President Mr Kouame Aduo Luc featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

Apart from overseeing ISSA’s interests in Africa, Kouame Aduo Luc is also President of the Ivory Coast Premier Division club Stade d’Abidjan, and it is the sterling work he has undertaken here that has seen him elected as a Vice President of Cocan 2021, organisers of the football tournament.

The Ivory Coast was awarded the 2023 tournament instead of 2021 after Cameroon, which was stripped of the right to hold this year’s tournament, was chosen to…

*ISSA, the International Ship Supply Association ( )

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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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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