Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News 18 March 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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Angra Pequena sailing in Durban Bay. Picture by Ken Malcolm, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Angra Pequena.      Picture: Ken Malcolm

The research vessel ANGRA PEQUENA heads out from Durban Bay towards the open sea as she departs on another research mission off the east coast. Based in Durban and operated by Sea Quests, the vessel is available for and used as a research platform or purpose-designed expedition vessel for marine research and scientific training. Built as a wooden yacht in Lüderitz, Namibia in 1959 as a fisheries patrol vessel in the then-South West Africa (Namibia), she is 72 feet in length (99 ton)and with a fuel range of over 3,000 n.miles she is able to comfortably remain at sea for up to 30 days. Angra Pequena (the original Portuguese name meaning ‘small cove’ for Lüderitz) is equipped with a 5 MT Palfinger crane, a water-maker, dive compressor, satellite communications, storage freezers and a semi-rigid inflatable boat with 2 x 40HP engines. When not at sea Angra Pequena can be found at the fishing wharf in the Silt Canal at Bayhead, Durban. This picture is by Ken Malcolm


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A fine book describing some of the perils of seafaring

Beyond the Harbour Lights
By Chris Mills

Published by Whittles Publishing
Latheronwheel, Caithness, KW5 6DW, Scotland
166 pages; price £15.95
ISBN 1 870325 64 8

There is a phrase in English: ‘Worse things happen at sea’ and they do and many of them are recorded here in 26 chapters demonstrating bad fortune from groundings or strandings to mechanical failure, fire and piracy. Here are true stories of crisis afloat. In the majority voyages from harbour to harbour were uneventful but, with so many ships plying the world’s trade routes, it was inevitable that sometimes an ordinary voyage became dramatic and full of incident.

Looking back a generation it will be recalled that newspapers generally had a shipping correspondent who provided a daily report of ships’ movements. If a ship entered harbour with the news of an unusual voyage, details were quickly given space in the newspaper. In those times, the shipping news was avidly read and reports often included photographs of ships in distress along with first-hand accounts from those on board. Such was the news machine before the digital times in which we now find ourselves.

Chris Mills, the author, has supplemented a selection of contemporary newspaper articles, mainly from the 1920s and 1930s, with background information from other sources such as the reports of Marine Courts of Inquiry, extracts from ships’ logs, and references to crew agreements, law reports and published narratives by ship masters. A few imaginative details have been added, but the stories are all firmly based on true events as reported and recorded at the time.

Each of this book’s chapters describes an incident from the period which was something of a golden age for British shipping. These incidents affected vessels of the Red Ensign going about their business.

The author, a merchant seaman from the 1960s, has taken newspaper references from around the world describing groundings, fires and other calamitous events at sea. With the use of well researched supplementary sources he has pieced together details of how the weather or sea conditions led to a stranding or total loss.

Incidents are well chronicled and include grounding off Boston with a cargo of zoo animals, loss of the ship. Fire in oil bunkers in Rangoon, loss. Fire in a cargo of copra in Vavau, Fiji, loss of ship. Turning the tables on pirates in the South China Sea, success. Fire in a cargo of explosives in Buonaventure, Colombia, loss of life, loss of ship. Stranding on a reef, SE of Hong Kong, a ships’ graveyard. Grounding, hull damage, ship repaired, saved. Contact with an uncharted reef in the Singapore Strait, vessel badly holed. Blame on the Master, an appeal, upheld. Propeller shaft snapped, propeller lost 700 miles west of Java, open boat sailed 650 miles to seek assistance, vessel saved. Fire in a cargo of maize and bunker coal, ship saved with much cargo. Malicious opening of sea water valve, valuable cargo of Persian carpets damaged, Master dismissed. Yet another grounding and sailing of a ship’s boat many miles to seek help. And more of the same, but never dull or boring.

Bad luck, errors, extreme weather, many of the perils and dangers of seafaring are in this excellent record painstakingly assembled by Mills. In many cases there were awards for salvage, for rescues and for saving ship and cargo or for acts of bravery and duty above and beyond the normal call.

As for the ships, nearly all are of companies long gone, or absorbed into large conglomerates: Australian Union Steam Navigation Company, Avenue Shipping Company, Blue Funnel, Blue Star, British India Steam Navigation Company, Brocklebank, China Navigation, Clan Line, Common Brothers, Currie Line, Donaldson, Ellerman, Eskside Steam Shipping Company, Gow, Harrison & Company, Hain Steamship Company, Henderson, Joseph Constantine Line, Natal Line, Reardon Smith, Sussex Steamship Company, Tatem Steam Navigation Company, Tempus Shipping of Cardiff, Watts, Watts & Company Limited and W S Miller & Company,

Mills portrays what conditions were like on board British merchant vessels of the time and has made his subject a most readable one.

As well as being an ideal read for anyone interested in true stories of ships and the sea, maritime history or wishing to enjoy a good read it would provide good background for those planning a career in marine insurance for it shows risk in its many forms and the dogged determination of ships’ staff to save their charges in the face of adversity…and thus provide their owners a chance of recovery.

Such tales of the perils confronted by seafarers in our times (or those of the previous generation or two) used to be the stock in trade of Brown, Son and Ferguson with their Nautical Magazine (which flourished 1832-2011), Blackwood’s Magazine (1817-1980) and George Newnes’s Wide World (1898-1965), the latter with the motto ‘Truth is stranger than fiction’. From time to time this reviewer had the good pleasure of reading these especially when far from home.

Reviewed by Africa Ports & Ships London Correspondent, Paul Ridgway.


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The Marine equipment manufacturer and developer Martek Marine has announce the development of the world’s first maritime anti-drone detection system, the Marine Anti Drone System (MADS).

Erik van Wilsum, Head of CUAS (Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems, left) with Stuart Ovington, Head of Global Sales at MADS, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Erik van Wilsum, Head of CUAS (Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems, left) with Stuart Ovington, Head of Global Sales at MADS

MADS provides the latest technology aimed at combating the increasing threat of unmanned aerial systems.

Martek Marine is a UK-based manufacturer and supplier of marine equipment with an extensive and wide-ranging portfolio that includes gas and water ingress detection equipment, emissions monitoring systems and potable water test kits.

“We’re really excited to add the MADS drone detection system to our revolutionary product portfolio. With over 20 years in the maritime industry, this new product will provide the next level of ship safety protection for the growing threats that drones have on commercial ships.” says Stuart Ovington, Head of Global Sales, Martek Marine.

MADS identifies drones within a range of five kilometres, giving GPS positioning of drones and pilots, coupled with drone speed and direction. A series of alarms allows its users to quickly assess a threat and take action. On identifying a threat, MADS can create an exclusion zone, stopping a drone’s signals and forcing it to land or go back to its controller.

Drones are being increasingly used in the commercial and civilian sectors, and over the next five years, their worth is estimated to reach a staggering US$127 billion. While many are used legitimately in the marine industry to provide essential information about safety, structural issues and cargo, the threat of them being used for disreputable purposes such as hacking or stealing data or terrorism is real and increasing.

Speaking about the agreement, Erik van Wilsum, Head of CUAS (Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems) at MADS said: “I am excited to be working alongside Martek, a company with vast experience in the maritime industry and with a deep understanding of the latest security issues facing anyone in this sector. Use of MADS will provide operators with the information they need to make the shipping world a safer place, now and in the future.”


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Oil pollution recovery vessel Ria de Vigo is on station assisting with the oil slick from the sunken car carrier Grande America. Picture courtesy Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Oil pollution recovery vessel Ria de Vigo is on station assisting with the oil slick from the sunken car carrier Grande America. Picture courtesy Shipspotting

Following the fire on board the vehicle carrier GRANDE AMERICA which subsequently sank on 12 March in the Bay of Biscay, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has been providing emergency assistance at the request of the French authorities.

It was reported that Grande America, a vehicle carrier with container capacity (IMO 9130937, 56 642 gt, built 1997, Italian flagged) had been carrying 15,000 tons of cargo (860 tons of which were dangerous goods) and approximately 2,478 tons of bunkers (comprising 197 tm gas oil / 2,211 tm fuel oil / 70 tm lube oil).

EMSA received a report alerting it of…

The platform supply vessel VN PARTISAN which carries equipment for the mechanical collection of an oil slick. Picture courtesy Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The platform supply vessel VN PARTISAN which carries equipment for the mechanical collection of an oil slick. Picture courtesy Shipspotting


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Cyclone Idai comes ashore near Beira, losses of life reported
Tropical Cyclone Idai moves over Beira heading inland.  Picture Cyclocane

Cyclone Idai TC18S has come ashore near the port of Beira as expected and is steadily moving away from the coast in the direction of the Zimbabwe border.

Heavy rain accompanied by strong 100-knots winds lashed the coast and adjacent inland areas, bringing flooding across the low-lying countryside and flash floods as rivers fill up and burst their banks.

Reports of loss of life exceeding a hundred people across both Mozambique and Malawi have been received, although this was a result of the storm that heralded the development of the cyclone. The storm originated in central Africa and crossed Malawi and northern Mozambique before moving over the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel where it built strength until reaching cyclone strength – Cyclone Idai.

The rains, which have brought floods sweeping flat terrain and flooding rivers, have affected 843,000 people across Southern Africa, acciording to loacl authorities and the UN. These reports prompted yesterday’s calls for emergency aid.

The effect of the cyclone coming ashore last night (Thursday) has still to be measured but is expected to be severe with loss of property and life.

TC Idah moving inland, with rains already far across Zimbabwe., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
TC Idah moving inland, with rains already far across Zimbabwe.

The Mozambique government issued a Red Alert ahead of the cyclone and has appealed for help and assistance. Several South African rescue organisations have responded and re already in Mozambique and are currently travelling by road towards the Beira region where their help and assistance will be required.

Shipping appears to have given Beira a wide clearance but AIS records a number of local and foreign fishing vessels having taken shelter in the river port.

Cyclone Idai, having come ashore will, provided it continues to move inland, rapidly lose intensity below that of cyclone strength to that of a severe storm and reducing further, while still continuing to deposit large amounts of rain throughout, accompanied all the time by strong winds.

With the countryside being low-lying a significant amount of casualties are now possible.


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Ghana Maritime Authority banner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

Ghana Maritime Authority’s Deputy Director General, Daniel Appianin, has called for a ‘conversation on maritime issues’ of which he said the most critical was that of a maritime transport policy for the West African country.

He said this was critical in order to address regulatory and safety issues.

Appianin made his remarks while opening a three-day workshop on the National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) in Accra.

He pointed out that the maritime industry was facing…


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Captain Brynn Adamson (TNPA Harbour Master) welcomes Captain Richard Lambert (Captain of the Saga Pearl II) with the exchanging of plaques commemorating the visit to Port Elizabeth. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Captain Brynn Adamson (TNPA Harbour Master) welcomes Captain Richard Lambert (Captain of the Saga Pearl II) with the exchanging of plaques commemorating the visit to Port Elizabeth. Picture: TNPA

The port of Port Elizabeth (PE) welcomed the cruise ship SAGA PEARL II on Wednesday 13 March, this being the first time – and also the last time as Saga Pearl II – that she will call at PE. On previous visits to South Africa the ship has missed making a call at the Eastern Cape port, at least while bearing her current name.

Saga Pearl II is being withdrawn by her owners Saga Cruises at…

Saga Pearl II on her berth at Port Elizabeth. Picture: TNPA
Saga Pearl II on her berth at Port Elizabeth. Picture: TNPA


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Cycline Idai on 14 March 2019, image: Cyclocane
source: Cyclocane

Malawi and Mozambique have requested assistance from the South African government following destruction caused by Cyclone Idai in the two neighbouring countries.

The cyclone, which has already claimed 10 lives in Mozambique, comes with the warning of dangerously high seas; extreme flooding; strong, damaging winds; storm surges and significant rainfall.

Idai is expected to weaken into an overland depression on Friday but is still expected to result in significant and torrential rainfall and widespread flooding over the Sofala and Manica provinces of Mozambique.

South Africa has, through President Cyril Ramaphosa, received humanitarian and search and rescue requests from his counterparts in Malawi and Mozambique.

A light aircraft has been dispatched with a team of specialists to Malawi to establish the exact humanitarian assistance required.

“South Africa remains committed to offer whatever assistance within its capacity to SADC member states,” Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has extended its appreciation for the support from NGOs, who have joined forces with government in dispatching aid during the recent floods experienced in some parts of the country.

“In minimising the impact of the recent flash floods in KwaZulu-Natal, government continues to provide aid and support to affected families. Disaster teams and officials are assessing the damage.

“Cabinet urges the public to exercise extreme caution during storms and heavy weather, and not attempt to cross flooded roads, bridges and rivers,” Cabinet said. –

* Cyclone Idai, now a category 3 cyclone, is expected to cross into central Mozambique later tonight (Thursday 14 March) slightly to the north of the port city of Beira, Mozambique’s second largest city. The destruction referred to in the above report relates to storm damage when the forerunner of Idai arrived overland crossing Malawi and northern Mozambique from central Africa and later developed into a full-scale cyclone once it crossed over the coast and entered the area of the Mozambique Channel. The cyclone then changed direction heading slowly southwest and gaining strength over the warm waters of the channel. – AP&S


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Fishing trawler 12 n.miles of Cape Point. Picture: NSRI Simon's Town Station 10, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Fishing trawler 12 n.miles of Cape Point. Picture: NSRI Simon’s Town Station 10

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) duty crew at Simonstown Station was called out on Tuesday morning (08h06, 12 March)) by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) with a request for medical assistance to be provided to a crew member on board a fishing trawler,WESTERN EXPLORER some 16 nautical miles south of Cape Point.

NSRI station commander Darren Zimmerman reported that the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) had arranged for a Government Health EMS duty doctor to evaluate the patient condition and it was…


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Late on 12 March…

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) commented:
“Enough is enough. Time for Parliament to stop the circus”

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, commented:

“Enough is enough. This must be the last day of failed politics.

“A new approach is needed by all parties. Jobs and livelihoods depend on it.

“Extending Article 50 to close the door on a March no-deal is now urgent. It should be as short as realistically possible and backed by a clear plan.

“Conservatives must consign their red lines to history, while Labour must come to the table with a genuine commitment to solutions.

“It’s time for Parliament to stop this circus.”

On Tariffs and Northern Ireland

On 13 March CBI NI Director Angela McGowan said:

“The Government’s proposals are confused at best, disingenuous at worst.  There are serious questions over deliverability, and potentially consequences for the island of Ireland on smuggling and tariff proposals.

“Today’s announcement on emergency tariff measures is totally contradictory to previous UK government promises to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland, leaving this region highly exposed both economically and politically.

“This latest proposed tariff scheme would leave Ireland with no option but to apply EU tariffs on all goods coming from the UK and therefore would require substantive checks to take place at the Irish border.  Therefore, this desperate and ill-thought through trade measure will create all the conditions for a hard border in Northern Ireland.

“Today’s proposed policy also contradicts previous government promises to deliver a trade policy that works for all UK regions.  The government has acknowledged that this policy will not work for Northern Ireland – leaving local industry at a huge disadvantage, creating an unlevel playing field in terms of competitiveness and leaving the region with all the problems associated with border checks and delays on exports into the Republic of Ireland.

“Reducing import tariffs so radically in just two weeks’ time will turn many businesses upside down with no time to prepare. Such a desperate trade policy proposal only serves to warn MPs across Parliament that they must immediately take a no-deal Brexit off the table and rally behind some type of EU deal fast.

“It’s quite startling that these proposals have been devised with little regard to Northern Ireland’s economy and living standards.”

More on 13 March
From the British Chambers of Commerce on the no-deal Brexit vote

“It’s all well and good that Parliament has said it doesn’t want a no-deal exit, but without concrete action, its gestures are meaningless for business. A messy and disorderly exit on March 29th is still a clear and present danger.

“The reality is that without action, businesses still face an uncontrolled exit that they neither want nor are ready for.

“Extending Article 50 is now a necessity, but it’s no silver bullet for businesses, many of whom fear endless uncertainty. A deadline that is continuously pushed back isn’t a deadline, it’s an invitation to cancel investment, stop hiring, or move UK operations somewhere else.

“Firms are already feeling hung out to dry. Business needs concrete action to avoid a messy and disorderly exit in 16 days, a clear timeline for what happens next, and reassurances that preparations continue for all possible outcomes.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Nigerian pirates, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

On 9 March armed pirates off the coast of Nigeria attacked an offshore support vessel that was underway abducting five of the crew.

The attack took place in position 03:57.2N – 006:39.0E, around 32 nautical miles SE of Brass, Nigeria, at 11h15 UTC.

The pirates were in two speed boats and were reported to be…


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Commenting on the parliamentary defeat of the meaningful vote on the Brexit agreement on the night of 12 March, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Businesses have warned time and again that the United Kingdom is not ready to face the consequences of a messy and disorderly exit from the European Union.

“Government agencies are not ready, many businesses are not ready, and despite two and a half years passing since the referendum, there is no clear plan to support communities at the sharp end of such an abrupt change.

“Parliament must demonstrate that it will heed these repeated warnings. It is profoundly obvious that neither government nor many businesses are ready for a disorderly exit – and this must not be allowed to happen on 29 March whether by default or by design.

“Businesses have been failed over and over again by Westminster in recent months, but allowing a messy and disorderly exit on 29 March would take political negligence to new extremes.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway

N.B. This evening (Wednesday evening, 13 March at 21h00 SA time) MPs in the House of Commons voted to reject a no-deal Brexit by the close vote of 312 to 308 – editor


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Sandra Opoku, Tema port's new acting GM fatured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Sandra Opoku, Tema’s new acting GM

Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo has announced the appointment of Sandra Opoku as the acting Director of Tema port.

Sandra Opoku becomes the first female Director of the port of Tema, Ghana’s main port, where she takes over from Edward Kofi Osei who has reached retirement age.

This is the first time in Ghana’s history that a female has been appointed to head any of the ports of Ghana.

Until her appointment Sandra Opoku was the General Manager in-charge of Legal Affairs of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

She joined the GPHA in 2003 as a lawyer.

A year later she was admitted into the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta where she obtained her Masters in International Maritime Law.

Prior to serving as General Manager of Legal Affairs of GPHA, Sandra Opoku was the General Manager in charge of Administration after having occupied positions including Legal Manager and Board Secretary of GPHA.

Opoku is married with three children.


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One of the passenger transfer vessels for MSC Cruises being tested at Ngqura. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
One of the passenger transfer vessels for MSC Cruises being tested at Ngqura

Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Ngqura recently hosted the testing and launch of the first ever locally manufactured aluminium vessels by PE-based boat builder, Legacy Marine.

As the company’s ship yard is based in Perseverance, the low bridges blocked the route to the Port of PE in the past, restricting the building of larger vessels. When the new Port of Ngqura stepped up as an alternative port, it contributed to the expansion of boat building in the Eastern Cape.

Sea trials take place outside the harbour of Ngqura, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Sea trials take place outside the harbour

“Now that the port is available for new vessel launches, we can build larger vessels, providing a…

Delivering one of the dive support vessels to the harbour at Ngqura, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Delivering one of the dive support vessels to the harbour at Ngqura



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Cyclone Idai at 17h00 Wednesday 12 March. Illustration courtesy Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Cyclone Idai at 17h00 Wednesday 12 March. Illustration courtesy Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)

Cyclone Idai 18S which is currently still in mid Mozambique Channel, has the potential of becoming one of the biggest and worst cyclones to hit the Mozambique coast when it does so as expected tomorrow (Friday).

The Mozambican Government has already issued a Red Alert for the central provinces of Sofala, Manica, Zambezia, and Tete due to the flooding and damage caused by heavy rains over recent days and the expected arrival of the tropical cyclone.

Red Alert

The Red Alert activates the regional Emergency Operational Centres (COEs) and releases emergency funds. Appeals have been issued stressing the…


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At the signing of the MOU were (left to right) Transnet Board Member Ramasela Ganda, Buffalo City Manager Andile Sihlahla, Transnet National Ports Authority Acting Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer Nozipho Mdawe, CEO of East London IDZ Simphiwe Kondlo and East London Port Manager Sharon Sijako, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
At the signing of the MOU were (left to right) Transnet Board Member Ramasela Ganda, Buffalo City Manager Andile Sihlahla, Transnet National Ports Authority Acting Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer Nozipho Mdawe, CEO of East London IDZ Simphiwe Kondlo and East London Port Manager Sharon Sijako.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed yesterday (Tuesday 12 March) between the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM), Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the East London Industrial Development Zone Company (ELIDZ), seeks to harness the potential of the Port of East London and the IDZ to foster economic growth in East London.

The MoU will remain in place for a period of five years. It will establish a framework for the parties to engage with one another on strategic issues of mutual significance for the metropolitan area.

“This collaboration emanated from engagements we have had with…

Port of East London, with plenty of potential, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Port of East London, with plenty of potential


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© Illustration courtesy ONE line, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
© Illustration courtesy ONE line

On 11 March ONE (Ocean Network Express, the integrated of ‘K’ Line, MOL and NYK) informed shippers about the security filing requirements in a Short Sea environment if the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal on 29 March next.

It is understood that the European Commission (EC) has confirmed that as from this date, the UK will be treated as any other non-EU country for security filing purposes. EU export cargo that is currently loaded on a service not affected by the EU24hr rule, will become subject to ICS filing, depending on the vessel rotation.

Port call example
Example: Rotterdam – Hamburg – Southampton – Le Havre – Singapore

In the above example, cargo loaded at Southampton as well as cargo loaded at prior EU ports, e.g. Rotterdam and Hamburg and remaining on board the vessel while calling at Southampton, will require an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to be filed in advance of vessel’s entry into the EU e.g. at Le Havre.

This is not limited to cargo discharged in an EU port later in the rotation, but also includes FROB cargo (Foreign cargo Remaining On Board) transiting the EU and destined for subsequent non- EU ports.

In order for ONE to satisfy these EU24hr filing guidelines, ONE advises that it will still require complete and correct Shipping Instructions, and in some cases, will require this earlier.

ONE will send a documentation cut-off date and time on the PDF booking receipt notices and in EDI confirmations.

It is understood that this can also be found through the ONE Point to Point schedule page, by searching for route, selecting vessel, and using the ‘detail’ button.

A reminder to its customers has been issued by ONE that its documentation cut offs must be adhered to in order to ensure that cargo is loaded as per booking requirements.

Failure to submit shipping instructions in time, will result in a ‘Do not load’ order being issued, it is understood.

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Last week’s International Women’s Day was marked in Walvis Bay by Namport under the theme ‘Let’s build a gender-balanced world’, with Chief Executive Officer Bisey /Uirab adding his own advice of trusting in oneself in order to trust your peers to become meaningful to others.

Life is an engagement with people, he reminded his audience.

Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane, Chairman RBCT

Guest speaker at the event was Ms Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane (pictured), an award-winning CEO and logistics expert in South Africa, Africa, East Asia and Middle East, who was inducted in the Hall of Fame for ‘Women in Logistics 2017’. She is a John Maxwell and Les Brown certified professional speaker and executive coach who has delivered keynote addresses and research papers globally, focusing on port and rail logistics, and skills development.

Siwisa-Damasane is…


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Nozipho Mdawe, acting chief executive of TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Nozipho Mdawe, acting chief executive of TNPA

Further to our report of the suspension of Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Chief Executive, Shulami Qalinge, (see report just below), Transnet SOC Ltd has appointed the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for TNPA, Nozipho Mdawe to the position of Acting Chief Executive.

Ms Mdawe’s appointment is with immediate effect.

Members of the Transnet Board and other personnel were in the port of East London earlier this week where Mdawe had assumed her new role to present the background to the port and issues in the immediate area.

Transnet is looking to transform the Port of East London by investing in modern Port infrastructure, terminals and equipment.
11 March 2019 – see separate article in this edition.


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Transnet banner, featuredin Africa PORTS & SHIPS

As the ongoing saga of State Capture unravels, involving several of the state-owned companies (SOEs) and starring many of the top people in those organisations, came the news that on Friday another four senior Transnet people had been suspended with immediate effect.

These included the chief executive of Transnet National Ports Authority, Ms Shulami Qalinge who has been in the job for less than two years, and Mr Ravi Nair, the boss man at Transnet Freight Rail, Transnet’s largest division.

Also sent home on Friday were Group HR Officer Nonkululeko Sishi and Group COO Mlamuli Buthelezi.

In its statement Transnet said the suspensions were a step towards ensuring improved corporate governance and to restore public and investor confidence in the state-owned company.

It said the suspensions were necessary to aid in investigations into their alleged misconduct without interference.


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The rigid hull inflatable boat of HMS Argyll (right), pushed the lifeboat (left) of Grande America towards Argyll, as the cargo ship burned in the background, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The rigid hull inflatable boat of HMS Argyll (right), pushed the lifeboat (left) of Grande America towards Argyll, as the cargo ship burned in the background

27 souls saved

It was reported by the Ministry of Defence on 11 March that 27 people had been evacuated by HMS ARGYLL from a fire-stricken Italy-flagged roll-on/roll-off container (ConRo) vessel in the Bay of Biscay off the French coast.

Apparently the 56,642 grt GRANDE AMERICA (IMO 9130937) had caught fire some 150 nautical miles SW of Brest the previous day.

At the time of the incident Grande America was en route from Hamburg to Casablanca, Morocco. Grande America, built in 1997, is owned and operated by the Grimaldi Group.

It is understood that the ship’s company of Argyll spent eight hours saving all on board the cargo ship after Grande America’s cargo of containers and cars caught fire.

Argyll, on her way home to Plymouth after nine months away in the Asia-Pacific region, responded to a Mayday from the merchant ship.

Grande America ablaze, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Grande America ablaze

Grande America’s crew were fighting a losing battle against the flames and were abandoning ship into 5-6 metre seas at night. All 27 crammed aboard the single lifeboat which smashed into the heavy seas as it launched, damaging the craft which was unable to make headway.

Despite very difficult sea conditions, Argyll succeeded in launching her sea boat which kept the lifeboat in contact with the frigate’s side so the Grande America’s crew could be brought aboard.

All illustrations MoD Crown Copyright 2018 ©

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Argyll’s RIB pushed the stricken cargo ship’s lifeboat against the warship’s side to enable survivors to board. Story reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Argyll’s RIB pushed the stricken cargo ship’s lifeboat against the warship’s side to enable survivors to board



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Histria Ivory attacked by West African pirates. Picture: courtesy Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Histria Ivory.     Picture: courtesy Shipspotting

West African pirates have struck again, this time intercepting and boarding the products tanker HISTRIA IVORY and taking away three seafarers for ransoming.

The latest pirate attack happened on Sunday at 19h30 while the tanker was underway approximately 20 miles off the coast of Togo.

While most of the crew were able to take shelter in the ship’s citadel, three seafarers, all Romanian nationals, were captured and later taken with them when…


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Port statistics for the month of February 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 February reverted to Richards Bay after Saldanha Bay surprisingly led the way in January. The Western Cape iron ore port nevertheless recorded impressive throughput figures for the second month running as exports of iron ore and manganese are ramped up.

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


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Details of that order for over a thousand locomotives

In the wake of further suspensions involving senior management at the Transnet group of companies, including that of the CEOs of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), this revealing SABC interview adds important background as well as rivetting viewing for anyone following this ongoing South African drama on State Capture. [18:10]


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Mobile crane will increase productivity

Mobile crane being discharged at Nacala. Picture: CDN, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Mobile crane being discharged at Nacala.    Picture: CDN

The port of Nacala in northern Mozambique has just acquired a new mobile crane.

The crane has been installed by the private-led consortium Northern Development Corridor (CDN), which operates the port of Nacala.

Having a mobile crane available will strengthen the port’s ability to handle goods and to improve customer service.

According to a statement from the company, the crane has…


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CYCLONE IDAI 18S LATEST UPDATE (Tuesday 12-03-2019)

Cyclone Idai at 05h15 Monday 11 March 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS. Image by JTWC
Cyclone Idai at 05h15 Monday 11 March 2019.    Image courtesy JTWC

In the latest update at 03h00 Tuesday 12 March, Cyclone Idai (18S) is shown in position 18.2S 42.0E, approximately 276 n.miles northeast of Europa Island and tracking southwestward at 4 knots.

Cyclone Idah is forecast to come ashore north of Beira, either on Thursday or possibly Friday, and as it moves inland the storm will weaken though shedding large amounts of rain.

The wind intensity at present is recorded at 100 knots and wave height is 35 feet.

Previous report:

The Tropical Cyclone previously referred to as 18S has now been given the name IDAI and is still in the process of developing into a fully fledged tropical cyclone situated at present in the northern Mozambique Channel, about 339 n.miles northeast of Europa Island.

At 12h00 on Sunday 10 March the cyclone was situated at position near 17.2S 43.0E over the waters on the channel and was moving in an easterly direction at a slow speed of 4 knots. Maximum sustained winds were at 55 knots with gusts up to 70 knots and this is likely to increase in intensity reaching 115 knots by Thursday.

Although Idai is tracking slowly eastward under the influence of the near-Equatorial ridge to the north and northeast, a subtropical ridge is building to the south and the storm is expected curve gradually southwestward toward Mozambique.

Under favourable conditions for the storm to continue developing, Cyclone Idai will reach a peak intensity of 115 knots around Thursday but after making landfall the storm will rapidly weaken.

Maximum wave height at 12h00 Sunday was 18 feet.     Source Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)


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Trading dhow about to be intercepted, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS. Picture: CTF150
Trading dhow about to be intercepted

Further to our recent reports detailing the successes of HMS Dragon whilst on operations with the Combined Task Force (CTF 150) in the Arabian Sea, FIFTH DRUG STRIKE FOR HMS DRAGON UNDER CTF 150 COMMAND, comes news that another CMF warship has also seized quantities of narcotics from dhows heading for either the African coast or to Yemen.

Dragon’s haul of hashish totalled 2,040kg being smuggled in 100 bags. This was all destroyed after completion of the board and search action.

We now learn that on the following day, the Australian ship HMAS BALLARAT, which was also…


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What the completed new Team container terminal will look like, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
What the completed new Team container terminal will look like

Further to our report on 4 March TEMA’S NEW CONTAINER TERMINAL MEANS LAYOFFS AT THE INLAND CONTAINER DEPOTS, SAYS GHANA PORTS AUTHORITY, APM Terminals now reports that all seven ship-to-shore and 20 RTG ultra-modern gantry cranes have arrived for installation in the Port of Tema, Ghana.

These are among the final pieces of a US$1 billion investment by APM Terminals and its partners in Meridian Port Services (MPS), Bolloré Africa Logistics and Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority.

With crane commissioning and operator training now taking place, the port is…

   Source: APM Terminals, referred by Theo Strauss

Tema port expansion - pictures earlier, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Tema port expansion – pictures earlier


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Vide BMP5

From USN news archive of 2010 the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) passes by the smoke from a suspected pirate skiff it had just destroyed. At the time USS Farragut was part of Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task force established to conduct anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Photo: Cassandra Thompson, US Navy. Image released by the United States Navy, USN ©. ID 100331-N-8959T-308, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
From USN news archive of 2010 the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) passes by the smoke from a suspected pirate skiff it had just destroyed. At the time USS Farragut was part of Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task force established to conduct anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Photo: Cassandra Thompson, US Navy. Image released by the United States Navy, USN ©. ID 100331-N-8959T-308

The Round Table of international shipping associations plus the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) representing the global shipping and oil industry have announced the geographic boundaries of the High Risk Area for piracy in the Indian Ocean have been reduced, with new advice issued to merchant ship operators. This was reported on Friday, 8 March.

The High Risk Area reflects the area where the threat from piracy exists, whilst recognising the ongoing containment of pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean. The industry group of shipping and oil industry organisations BIMCO, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) responsible for…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has reached out to offer his warm congratulations to Mpumi Madisa on her appointment as Bidvest Chief Executive Officer designate.

Mpumi Madisa

Bidvest, a leading South African services, trading and distribution group which is deeply involved with the maritime sector, announced last week that Madisa would succeed Lindsay Ralphs who was retiring.

The announcement that Madisa was CEO-designate was made on the eve of International Women’s Day, which was being observed on Friday (8 March 2019).

“The emergence of Mpumi Madisa as Chief Executive of a major corporation in our economy is a significant personal achievement that also signifies a new advance in gender transformation in business,” the President said.

He described her appointment as an inspiration that sets an example for many companies, especially at the level of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Top 40, in the development of human capital and the transformation of society.

“Ms Madisa’s appointment is therefore an occasion for celebration and for renewed commitment to accelerated change and progress in the highest echelons of our economy,” President Ramaphosa said.

Lindsay Ralphs

Madisa will head the trading and distribution company from July 2020, when the current CEO Lindsay Ralphs retires.

She becomes the first woman to lead this major industrial group which employs 137,000 people and has a market capitalisation of R72 billion.

Madisa joined Bidvest in 2003 and has held various senior management and executive board director positions such as general manager business development, divisional director business development, corporate affairs director and sales and marking director.

Madisa is a Board Director of 16 Bidvest subsidiaries, a board director of Adcock Ingram and a board director of Business Leadership South Africa.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and Investment from the Wits Business School as well as a BComm Honours Degree in Economics and a BSc in Economics and Mathematics from Wits University.


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Henry Harwood, Hero of the River Plate
By Peter Hore

Published by Seaforth Publishing, a division of Pen & Sword Books Ltd
To order see:
Hardback; 244 pages; price £20.00
ISBN 978 1 5267 2529 5

This is the latest title by Captain Peter Hore and issued by Seaforth Publishing / Pen & Sword of Barnsley, S Yorkshire.

Book Review: Henry Harwood, Hero of the River Plate, by Peter Hore. Picture credit: Seaforth Publishing ©
Picture credit: Seaforth Publishing ©

The foreword is by Admiral Sir Jock Slater, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from 1995 to 1998.

Henry Harwood Harwood (1888-1950) is best known for his actions which led to the destruction of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee at the Battle of the River Plate in December 1939. Of this success Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, said: “This brilliant sea fight takes its place in our naval annals and in a long, cold, dark winter it warmed the cockles of the British hearts…it was a flash of light and colour…a great action which will long be told in song and story.”

Admiral Sir Henry Harwood’s wider naval career was remarkable and epitomised the Royal Navy in the first half of the 20th century. He became a naval cadet in 1903, specialised as a torpedo officer in 1911, and for his services in the First World War was appointed OBE in 1919. He was one of the Navy’s intellectuals, it has been said gaining first class passes in all his examinations and, during his interwar service on the South American station, learning Spanish.

During his service in important staff appointments and at the Imperial Defence College, he made a particular study of international relations and, in the light of perceived failings at sea in the First World War, of naval tactics and command. He was thus well-qualified when in 1936 he became Commodore-in-Command of the South American division of the America and West Indies Station, and well prepared to meet and defeat the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee with his inferior force of cruisers in 1939. More than 50 pages are devoted to what became known as The Battle of the River Plate, from the outbreak of war with its preparations to the eventual scuttling of Admiral Graf Spee off Montevideo and death by his own hand of her CO, Captain Hans Langsdorff.

Harwood was promoted Assistant Chief of Naval Staff at the Admiralty, and, in 1942, appointed Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, in succession to Sir Andrew Cunningham (incidentally, great-uncle to Admiral Sir Jock Slater who writes the book’s foreword)

Then, with a land and air forces’ HQ in Cairo and naval HQ in Alexandria, commanding a fleet too enfeebled for its tasks, Harwood found General Montgomery plotting against him and Churchill losing confidence in him before being relieved of his command. Invalided out of the Navy in 1945, he was wrongly blamed by some for the Navy’s perceived failings in the Mediterranean, a grossly unfair testament.

This is not only a fine biography but it gives valuable insight into respect for Britain in South America. Here, between the wars, there was huge investment from London in railways, mines, sheep and cattle ranches and meat canneries. Uruguay, for example, had sent the Allies in France in the First World war over 250 million tins of bully beef.

Hore most capably sets out some of the complex structure encountered in tri-service command in the Middle East in 1940-1943 with particular regard to the political and strategic aspects of the effort to drive Axis forces out of North Africa, with its huge Allied supply line, much of it routed around the Cape. Of course, there was inter-service rivalry and the Staffs in London with which he had also to contend. As one with family ties to each of the Royal Navy and the Army of this theatre this reviewer found these chapters particularly relevant especially as he had heard handed down many of the stories of the time.

In early summer of 1943 he was due to be appointed Second-in-Command of the Eastern Fleet but ill health, most likely stress-related, followed and after a year’s sick leave he was appointed vice-admiral and Commander, Orkneys and Shetlands. After a short retirement he died in 1950 at the comparatively young age of 62.

No fewer than 15 pages of sources are provided indicating considerable depth of research by the author who gives six further pages of bibliography for additional reading.

Peter Hore has been given exclusive and unique access to the extensive Harwood family archives and, in the light of these previously unpublished papers, has set about rehabilitating the character, career and achievements of this great British admiral.

Hore is a former Head of Defence Studies for the Royal Navy. He is the author of numerous books, and is currently Associate Editor of Warships: International Fleet Review. He is also a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Vice-President of the Royal Naval Museum. He recently edited Nelson’s Band of Brothers for Pen & Sword.

Reviewed by Africa Ports & Ships London Correspondent, Paul Ridgway.


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Tropical Cyclone 18S has formed over the northern Mozambique Channel and is expected to turn and track southeastward. Image: JTWC, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Tropical Cyclone 18S has formed over the northern Mozambique Channel and is expected to turn and track southeastward. Image: JTWC

Tropical Cyclone 18S, which we reported on in an earlier news report CYCLONE HALEH CONTINUES TO WEAKEN BUT NEW STORM IN MOZ CHANNEL THREATENS, is developing into a full cyclone in the Mozambique Channel following a weather system that arrived off the landmass of northern Mozambique and central inland Africa before moving offshore and intensifying as it moves over the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel.

This was previously been noted as a potential cyclone and earlier today (06h00, Saturday 9 March) Cyclone 18S (as yet not named) was in position near 17.0S 40.2E, approximately 312 n. miles north of Europa Island (French weather station) in southern Mozambique Channel.

As it arrives over the ocean the tropical storm system is consolidating, currently with 25-30 knot winds gusting to 35 knots. Although the storm system is still tracking eastwards at 12 knots towards northern Madagascar, it is expected to slow and turn south-eastwards as a subtropical ridge builds to the south. This will lead to a slow and possibly stationary track motion but it will then accelerate west-south-westward toward Mozambique.

At that stage the winds are expected to have reached a peak intensity of 115 knots with a maximum wave height of 10 feet (3 metres). After reaching the land the cyclone is likely to weaken rapidly over Mozambique.


Tropical Cyclone Haleh (17S) in mid-Indian Ocean is weakening as it tracks southwestwards into cooler waters. At 03h00 Saturday morning (9 March) the cyclone was in position near 35.3S 65.0E approximately 1,000 nautical miles south-southeast of Mauritius, with winds of 35 knots gusting to 45 knots. Wave height was at 31 feet.

As Haleh moves deeper into colder waters the Joint Typhoon Warning Center will no longer issue reports on this cyclone but will continue to closely monitor the system in case of regeneration.


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Norwegian Escape, Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Norwegian Escape

Passengers on board the 164,600-gt cruise ship NORWEGIAN ESCAPE had an unexpected mid-ocean as they relaxed over their drinks and other activities earlier this week, with the ship gliding through the waters of the east coast of the United States.

The ship had sailed from New York on a cruise to the Caribbean when on Sunday night and without any warning the ship suddenly began to heel over to one side.

What was at first a curious affair quickly became alarming as the list worsened and resulted in furniture sliding across the floor and bottles and glasses falling off the shelves in the bars, crashing onto the floor.

What had happened was that the giant ship, with a passenger capacity of almost 4300 people plus 1700 crew had been struck by an unexpected 115 mph wind gust.

There had been no prior warning and although the gust of wind was the equivalent speed of those in a category 3 hurricane, this came seemingly out of nowhere and moved on just as suddenly, leaving behind a shipload of nervous passengers and a vessel rocking in the water as it regained an even keel.

Reports said that a few passengers and crew had been injured as a result of the sudden drama. The wind blast lasted less than 30 seconds after which things rapidly returned to normal, but with plenty of cleaning up to do by the crew.

Norwegian Escape, which was built in 2015, suffered no damage to the vessel but it was noted that about a dozen ambulances were on the dockside at Port Canaveral when the ship docked on Tuesday morning.

In a statement NCL said the ship had encountered a gust of wind of about 100 knots. Those passengers and crew who were injured received immediate treatment by the medical staff on board the vessel. The ship remained fully operational and was able to resume her voyage from Port Canaveral on schedule. The ship will return to New York on Sunday.


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Seen here the Military Sealift Command (MSC) expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) departs Naval Base Guam, passing USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) and marking the start of Pacific Partnership 2019. Pacific Partnership, the 14th exercise in a series is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region. Each year the mission team works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security and stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships in the Indo-Pacific. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Carpenter/Released, USN ©, Freatured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Seen here the Military Sealift Command (MSC) expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) departs Naval Base Guam, passing USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) and marking the start of Pacific Partnership 2019. Pacific Partnership, the 14th exercise in a series is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region. Each year the mission team works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase security and stability in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships in the Indo-Pacific. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Carpenter/Released, USN ©

Enhancement of disaster response cooperation

On 4 March the (US) Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific Public Affairs reported from Singapore that the US Navy was about to join allied and partner nation forces for the 14th Pacific Partnership mission commencing that day.

This annual maritime operation will help improve disaster response preparedness, resiliency and capacity while enhancing partnerships with participating nations and civilian humanitarian organizations throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual, multilateral disaster response preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific.

Multi-national participants

This year’s mission will be led by Commander, Destroyer Squadron 1, embarked in the expeditionary fast transport ships…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Yara Marine scrubber in the workshop, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Yara Marine scrubber in the workshop

A growing number of countries and regions around the world are introducing bans on open loop scrubbers that utilise seawater in the exhaust cleaning process. What are the ambitions behind the bans, what are the consequences for stakeholders along the entire value chain, and what are the options? The debate is open.

“Some studies have shown that open loop bans have no real environmental impact, while others maintain that the effects of wash water on marine life have yet to be assessed or may even be harmful,” says R&D Manager Shyam Thapa of Yara Marine Technologies.

Regardless, he says, there are different reasons for…


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The blue ship near the port entrace is on the affected tanker berth. Picture: TNPA, Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The blue ship near the port entrace is at the affected tanker berth.     Picture: TNPA

Repairs to the Port Elizabeth tanker berth in the harbour is progressing well, according to a TNPA statement just issued.

Readers will be reminded that an announcement was made several weeks ago that the berth was being taken out of commission pending necessary repairs. Adequate arrangements had been made to ensure that PE motorists and other users of fuel would not be inconvenienced during the shutdown.

The berth has been closed since 18 February 2019 for repairs to the corroded steel structures supporting the berth’s access walkway. The berth is planned to re-open once it has been recertified by the structural engineer, targeted for 25 March 2019.

The repairs entail strengthening of the vertical columns by installation of additional vertical I-sections connected to the existing steel piles. The new I-sections will be bolted at intervals on either side of the flanges for the full length of each pile. A total of nine columns will be strengthened both above and below the water.

“TNPA is very pleased with the progress that the contractor has made, despite some delays experienced due to weather conditions affecting the ability to complete underwater works,” said port manager Rajesh Dana.

“Our weekly meetings with the oil companies have ensured that they are kept abreast of progress. This enabled them to keep measure of their stock in the port, thus ensuring that the promise made to the public of uninterrupted fuel supply to Nelson Mandela Bay during the shutdown is kept.”

Siganeko Magafela of the South African Petroleum Industry Association, said: that SAPIA can confirm that the closure of the berth has resulted in no negative impact to the fuel supply into Nelson Mandela Bay. “The oil companies have ensured that contingencies were in place to deliver continual supply to the region.”

Dana commended the manner in which the oil companies have supported TNPA in its work to ensure that the tanker berth complies with the required safety standards for optimum operation. He added his assurance that the repairs were receiving priority attention from TNPA and the contractor would endeavour earlier completion if possible, considering unpredictability of weather conditions.


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Wallenius Wilhelmsen car carrier Tortugas in Durban harbour. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Wallenius Wilhelmsen car carrier Tortugas in Durban harbour.    Picture: Trevor Jones

Wallenius Wilhelmsen is the latest shipowner to join the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020), increasing the organisation’s membership to 35 shipowners operating a combined fleet of almost 2500 vessels.

Other companies to have recently joined the Alliance include Hammonia Reederei, International Seaways, Chandris (Hellas) and Genco Shipping & Trading.

Roger Strevens, Vice President, Global Sustainability, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, said: that the implementation of the IMO 2020 0.5% global sulphur cap is supported by the company, but it does represent a…


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Image: Joint Typhoon Warning Center, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Image:   Joint Typhoon Warning Center

In the most recent update available on Tropical Cyclone Haleh, situated now at position 25.1S 68.1E approximately 669 nautical miles east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, the storm is continuing to track in a south-southwestward direction at 9 knots.

Maximum wind speeds are recorded as 70 knots, gusting to 85 knots and the maximum wave height is 26 feet.

Cyclone Haleh is forecast to continue weakening as it tracks towards the south-southwest over the the coming 24 hours.

New possible Tropical Storm

A new tropical storm is ‘brewing’ in the Mozambique Channel close to the coast of central Mozambique, identified at present as 98S. No further details are available at present (Thursday 06h00) but the storm will require watching.


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MSC Bettina on her berth at Ngqura Container Terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
MSC Bettina on her berth at Ngqura Container Terminal

The Ngqura Container Terminal, which is operated by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT,) has just handled yet another big ship.

The vessel, MSC BETTINA arrived on Sunday, 24 February 2019 where TPT was engaged with loading and off-loading 2,697 TEUs (twenty foot container equivalent units).

MSC Bettina is registered under the flag of Panama and has…


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Port of Berbera. Picture: Wikipedia, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Port of Berbera.     Picture: Wikipedia

A new strategically important US$400 million road is to be built linking Somaliland’s Berbera port with Ethiopia has been launched, it was reported this week.

According to the Africa Daily Voice, the road is being built jointly by both countries with the aim of providing a reliable road linking…


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Nigerian pirates attack tanker underway off Lagos, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

There has been another pirate attack on a ship in the Gulf of Guinea. According to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) armed pirates on board a speed boat chased and succeeded in boarding a tanker that was underway in position 04:30.57N – 03:14.30E, which is around 113 nautical miles south of Lagos, Nigeria.

This particular incident took place on 2 March at 12h25 UTC. After sounding the alarm the crew of the tanker took refuge in the vessel’s citadel.

On receiving the message of this attack the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre immediately informed the Nigerian authorities.

The Nigerian Navy responded by sending out a patrol boat which on arrival found the pirates to have departed. After boarding the tanker the navy was able to confirm that all crew were safe and unharmed.

The tanker, which has not been identified by the authorities, subsequently continued her voyage.

Another drug haul by the Dragon

HMS Dragon off the island of Tristan da Cunha, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
HMS Dragon off the island of Tristan da Cunha

Over on the other side of the continent, in the Arabian Sea the Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS DRAGON has made its 6th drug haul in three months.

This came about after the naval ship intercepted and stopped a dhow that was found to be carrying over two tons of hashish. A few days earlier the ship made another seizure of 49 kilos of heroin.

The dhow, which was spotted at sea during a night-time sortie by the ship’s Wildcat helicopter. The ship was directed to the scene to take a closer look and on approaching the dhow HMS Dragon launched two sea boats, each with a boarding team of sailors and marines, to board the dhow and conduct a search.

After questioning the master and crew of the dhow, during which suspicions were aroused, the officer in charge decided to carry out a full search of the vessel, during which the 2,000kgs of hashish was discovered.

After documenting the haul the navy destroyed the narcotics before returning to patrolling as part of Combined Task Force 150, a multinational group which works to disrupt piracy, drug smuggling and terrorism.


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Port Maputo, featured ith Grindrod results for 2018 and appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Port Maputo

Earlier today (Wednesday 6 March) Grindrod released its final results for the year ended 31 December 2018, saying that renewed focus on Freight Services, following Shipping’s spin-off in June 2018, has yielded positive results for the Durban-headquartered group.

Furthermore, while its repositioning is ongoing, earnings growth generated by Financial Services is pleasing.

Performance from continuing operations – Freight and Financial services

Earnings from continuing operations for the year ended 31 December 2018 are R803.4 million, an increase of 24% compared to earnings of R646.3 million achieved in 2017. Headline earnings from continuing operations are R716.6 million compared to headline earnings of R570.8 million achieved…


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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.


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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.


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