Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 19 May 2019

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Come with us as we report through 2019



These news reports are updated and added to on an ongoing basis. Check back regularly for the latest news as it develops – where necessary refresh your page at

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Bochem Oslo. Picture: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Bochem Oslo.     Picture: Keith Betts

The chemical and oil products tanker BOCHEM OSLO (IMO 9420710) glides toward the entrance channel as she sails from Durban earlier in April this year, after working her cargo at the Island View liquid bulk terminal. The 33,655-dwt tanker is, as her name would suggest, owned by Norwegian interests and is managed by Hansa Tankers of Bergen in Norway. The small vessel alongside is one of the Durban port’s pilot boats, Ballito, in position to take off the harbour pilot. Bochem Oslo was built in 2010. This picture is by Keith Betts


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Nijinsky sailing from Durban, picture by Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

Nijinsky.    Picture: Keith Betts

The LPG carrier NIJINSKY (IMO 9364966) seen departing from Durban earlier this month. Built in 2008 the 16,800-dwt (and gt) vessel is in the commercial management of Bermuda-based Petredec Ltd and ISM managers Anglo-Eastern Shipmanagement of Singapore. The tanker flies under the flag of Singapore. The above pictures are by Keith Betts


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The flag of a pirate ship of old might not be seen today but acts of piracy are almost as common as ever, from a feature in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The flag of a pirate ship of old might not be in use today but acts of piracy are almost as common as they ever were

Several more acts of piracy or attempted piracy have been reported from the Gulf of Guinea region.

On 5 May it is reported that armed pirates attacked a tug that was underway approximately 41 nautical miles south-west of Luba in Equatorial Guinea.

This was in position 03:04N – 007:59E at 12h00 UTC and not far from where just more than a week ago the semi-submersible heavylift ship BLUE MARLIN was boarded by pirates. You can read that report HERE

After taking the crew of the tug hostage the pirates used the vessel to attack and board another ship. Details of this ship and that of the tug, their names etc have not become available but with the attacks having been reported in time to authorities in Equatorial Guinea two naval vessels, a Spanish patrol ship and another from Equatorial Guinea responded with the result that both captured ships were released by the pirates.

It is not reported what happened to the pirates and it appears they may have escaped before the captured ships were re-taken by naval forces.

Moving further into the Gulf, and a week later on 12 May at 01h00 UTC pirates attacked and successfully boarded an anchored chemical tanker in the Lome, Togo anchorage.

The alarm must have been transmitted because the Togo Navy received a call for assistance from the tanker’s owners. The navy responded by sending a patrol vessel which intercepted the tanker 25 nautical miles from the anchorage area and forced the ship to return to the Lome port.

All crew were reported to be safe and the armed pirates on board were taken into custody and handed over to the Togolese authorities. Once again no details of the tanker or her owners have been released.


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SS Nujoma, another fairly recent Debmarine Namibia diamond recovery newbuild, built by Klevens Verft and completed in Cape Town in June 2017 at a cost of US$157 million. Reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SS Nujoma, another Debmarine Namibia diamond recovery newbuild, built by Klevens Verft and completed in Cape Town in June 2017 at a cost of US$157 million.

Debmarine Namibia announced yesterday (Thursday 16 May) the construction of the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery ship.

The new vessel is expected to cost US$468 million and represents the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry.

The ship will be the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022. On completion the ship is expected to add 500,000 carats annually to Debmarine Namibia’s production, an increase of approximately 35% on current production.

Following an extensive global tendering process, Damen Shipyards were selected to build the ship which was based on Damen’s strong track record for delivering quality vessels and their advanced technological capabilities.

The new ship will incorporate the latest marine technologies that will drive improved safety performance while optimising efficiency and utilisation rates.

“We note and appreciate the investment announced today by Debmarine Namibia,” said Tom Alweendo, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy. It is through investments like this we can continue to develop Namibia’s economy.”

He said the government will continue to do what it can to promote and encourage investment in the mining sector.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of the De Beers Group said that some of the highest quality diamonds in the world are found at sea off the Namibian coast. “With this investment we will be able to optimise new technologies to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand across the globe.”


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Map showing location of village of Anga near Mocimboada Praia in northern Mozambique, the scene of the latest atrocity, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi says he is concerned that armed violence in the north of Mozambique could spread.

He was speaking in an interview with the Canal de Moçambique newspaper and said that the government was anxious to discover the reason for the armed attacks on civilians in the very north of the country, because he said there are fears that they could spread.

Meanwhile on Monday this week yet another attack took place in Cabo Delgado province in the village of Anga, which is just seven kilometres from the official residence of the District Administrator of Mocímboa da Praia, reports the independent newssheet A Carta de Moçambique.


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Maersk Logistics & Services image, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

APM Terminals Inland Services is to be integrated into Maersk Logistics & Services as from 1 August 2019.

Announcing this yesterday (Thursday 16 May) Maersk said the integration was aimed at providing customers with seamless access to a wider range of logistics & services offerings and was the next step in the implementation of A.P. Moller – Maersk’s strategy of offering customers’ end-to-end solutions.

The Inland Services portfolio consists of a network of inland terminals around the globe made up of 36 business units with over 100 locations. By bringing together all operations skills and capabilities within logistics, Maersk says it creates a base for growth and enables Maersk to excel in the execution within Logistics & Services products.

“APM Terminals can fully focus on becoming a world-class port operator, while Maersk, with the integration of Inland Services, will continue to focus on ocean transportation as well as logistics and services product development and delivery,” said EVP and Chief Operating Officer, Søren Toft.

“By structurally adding Inland Services to Maersk, customers will have a seamless access to a wider range of logistics and services offerings. It puts Maersk in an even better position to differentiate its offering and scale the Logistics & Services portfolio to an even broader customer base,” he said.


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Port of Richards Bay multi purpose and dry bulk terminals, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Port of Richards Bay multi purpose and dry bulk terminals

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

Leading port by way of cargo throughput measured in tonnes was Richards Bay, which was followed by Durban and then Saldanha Bay.

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

Total cargo handled for the month of March amounted to…


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Pollution from the sea. Image: YouTubefeatured in report carried in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Pollution from the sea.    Image: YouTube

A report that follows a roundtable discussion hosted by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) together with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), has been published.

Seen as an industry-level response to marine plastic pollution, the discussion looked to gauge a wider industry perspective into the challenges, management practices and attitudes of professionals across the marine industry.

The subsequent report is now available to download and gives an overview of the discussion and recommendations directly from industry on how the IMarEST can support education efforts targeted across marine sectors.

IMarEST logo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

Marine activities, although proportionately lower contributors than other industries, are acknowledged contributors to marine plastic litter and an estimated 5.2 trillion pieces of plastics are circulating in the oceans.

By making their way into marine life, plastics are responsible for the deaths of over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals yearly, amongst a tidal wave of other environmental issues. The report seeks to investigate how the marine industry can reduce its environmental footprint when it comes to ocean plastics.

Given the plethora of environmental risks and consequences for marine services, the report suggests that a robust review of common practices and of the infrastructure to support proper disposal and management of plastics is required – one that considers the needs of different marine sectors and the drivers for plastic generation in order to identify new solutions.

Readers can download the report CLICK HERE to open, then click on VIEW to open pdf file (confirm agreement for tracking).


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The tongue-in-cheek-named Lavender Creek which is a drain leading from Durban's CBD, does not only discharge sewage into Durban Bay but at time other matter. On this occasion a few years ago it was an unknown substance that turned the area near the Durban Marine into a blood-red colour. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The tongue-in-cheek-named Lavender Creek which is actually an underground drain leading from Durban’s CBD, does not only discharge sewage into Durban Bay but at time other mysterious matter. On this occasion a few years ago it was an unknown substance that turned the area near the Durban Marina, home to international and local yachts, into looking as though it came from a slaughter-house

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) yesterday (Wednesday) cautioned the public to avoid contact with the water in Durban Bay (harbour). See our report of Monday this week TNPA BANS ALL DIVING AND FISHING IN DURBAN HARBOUR DUE TO SEWAGE

The port authority issued this further warning after water quality monitoring commissioned by TNPA that was conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and which has revealed widespread fecal contamination.

Sewage has been discharging into the port for what appears to have been several weeks due to the failure of pumps at the eThekwini Municipality’s Mahatma Gandhi Pump station.

The municipality has had to order parts from overseas which have apparently arrived, only for another pump or pumps to fail, necessitating the urgent ordering of additional parts.

According to a spokesman for the municipality, they will now be ordering a wider range of spares to cover any additional problems that may arise.

Meanwhile, TNPA’s Port of Durban environmental department has confirmed that the contamination levels represent a risk to human health. TNPA says it will undertake another round of sampling once the municipality has fixed the pumps and the outflow of sewage into the port has been halted.

As a result the port authority’s suspension of all diving operations and fishing activities within the Port of Durban remains in place until further notice.

According to the port’s environmental dept there will be no improvement in the water quality until the discharge has been stopped, and even then it will take several days before a difference can be noticed.

As a result of the discharge into the bay swimming at a number of Durban’s main beaches was banned, although unconfirmed reports said that some of these had been lifted yesterday – but that appear to have been prior to the second breakdown reported above.


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Durban Container Terminal North Quay (Pier 2), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Durban Container Terminal North Quay (Pier 2)

As angry truckers use their vehicles to blockade entry to the Durban Container Terminals on Piers 1 and 2, Transnet Port Terminals management says it is working closely to find a solution.

The truckers complaint is an old one and concerns the delays that truckers have to experience in collecting containers at the country’s leading container terminals.

The action taken by the truckers, many of whom are owner/drivers, has severely impacted the receiving of trucks and landside operations at DCT.

TPT said that waterside operations are not…

Durban's Langeberg Road leading to the gates of DCT, on a non-congested day. Picture: Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Durban’s Langeberg Road leading to the gates of DCT, on a non-congested day. Picture: Terry Hutson


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Glovis Cougar IMO 9451898, which is scheduled to call at Walvis Bay this month. Picture by Balticshipping

The port of Walvis Bay is not generally thought of as a port with a car terminal which is why it becomes noteworthy when four Roll-on, Roll-off (RoRo) vehicle carriers are lining up to call at the Namibian port during the second half of this month.

In reality more car ships than ever before are now calling at the port with vehicles not only for Namibia but also the neighbouring countries.

The first such ship is due in port on 20 May with a 12h00 ETA and the last of the four due on 31 May, arriving from….


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Israel's Naval Dome CEO warns of possible excalation after attacked on four VLCCs off Fujairah, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

A former senior officer in the Israeli military has expressed concern with the attack on four tankers operating outside the strategically important Strait of Hormuz near the bunkering port of Fujairah.

Naval Dome CEO Itai Sela called the attacks “deeply worrying” and said that there are indications that these incidents could lead to include cyber-attacks on vessels operating in the region.

“It is highly likely that vessels operating in…

VLCC featured in article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


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A section of the Durban Car Terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
A section of the Durban Car Terminal

The Durban Car Terminal has broken a South African record by handling over half a million fully built units (FBU) in the 2018/19 financial year.

According to Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) General Manager for Bulk, Break Bulk and Car Operations Amanda Siyengo, “a combination of a shift in the operating model, improved planning, dedicated operational teams and collaboration with customers and shipping lines have seen the terminal exceed its annual average of 480,000 FBU.”

This has resulted in the terminal handling 510,936 FBU which comprises of passenger, commercial, static mafi cargo and high and heavy vehicles.

Operating model change

The terminal had undergone an operating model change which entailed taking over the outsourced driving service function which is now handled internally. Siyengo added that this achievement had not been an easy task. She commended terminal management for improving efficiencies such as units handled and ship working hours.

Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

“Facilitating seamless logistics planning and operational execution for original equipment manufacturers plus collaboration with shipping lines is very critical in eliminating bottlenecks and ensuring that automotive exports and imports are handled efficiently for the South African economy, “she said.

The Durban Car Terminal is also focusing on creating more storage capacity to meet industry demand, driving a high performance culture and being innovative in the solutions it provides. Introducing the automated service instruction entry (SIE) to over 100 customers, supply chain partners and various other stakeholders is an initiative that is a ‘work in progress’ but which however has improved the SARS clearance process from 72 to 24 hours.

Significant investments

There have also been significant investments in the SA automotive sector that supported higher production capacity which led to better than expected export volumes countrywide.

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Automotive Production and Development Plan incentivising the industry for increasing local content from 38% to 60% ex-factory price has also played a significant role in increased numbers after its introduction in 2013.

SA’s motor industry currently builds about 600,000 vehicles per annum, which is 0.7% of the global consumption. The SA government would like to see this grow to about 1% in 2035 when the SA Automotive Masterplan expires.

TPT’s Durban Car Terminal is the single largest car terminal in Africa.


TPT has previously created a web-based, general cargo operating system called GCOS which enhances security of break bulk cargo and automotive, offering simple user interface and greater data integrity compared to the old manual method.

GCOS is a commercial product that some of the West African terminals are already utilising and one of these is the Port of Cotonou in Benin.

Another view of the City Terminal (Point Docks) side of the Durban Car Terminal which operates off of four berths on either side of the T-jetty. Picture by Steve McCurrach<a href=""></a>, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Another view of the City Terminal (Point Docks) side of the Durban Car Terminal which makes use of four berths on either side and on the T-jetty.   Picture by Steve McCurrach



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US Postal Service new Forever stamp featuring the battleship USS Missouri on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of that ship's commisioning, from a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritimenews online
U.S. Postal Service new Forever stamp featuring the battleship USS Missouri on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of that ship’s commisioning

The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will celebrate the USS Missouri (BB-63) with a Forever stamp.

The famed American battleship is being honoured to coincide with the 75th anniversary of her commissioning on 11 June 1944. The battleship was affectionately nicknamed “Mighty Mo,” and had one of the most historic roles during World War II. On 2 September 1945, military officials from the Allied powers and imperial Japan convened on her deck and signed the documents confirming Japan’s surrender and ending the war.

News of the stamp is being shared with the hashtags #USSMissouriStamps.

The stamp art depicts Missouri from a low vantage point almost at sea level, cutting through the water at a moderate speed commensurate with entering or leaving port. Large and imposing in the frame, Missouri is shown in the disruptive camouflage she wore from her commissioning until a refit in early 1945. Clouds loom in the background, tinged with gold and rose from the sun’s rays.

Designed by art director Greg Breeding, the stamp features a digital illustration created by Dan Cosgrove.

The USS Missouri stamp is being issued as a Forever stamps and will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the U.S. Postal Store at, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic or at U.S. Post Office locations nationwide.

The dedication ceremony will take place at 11h00 (HST) on Tuesday, 11 June at the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbour, Honolulu, USA.

Dedication ceremony attendees are required to RSVP and determine access requirements at


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New mobile cranes from Liebherr arriving at Maputo, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
New mobile cranes from Liebherr arriving at Maputo

The port of Maputo has just taken delivery of another two new Liebherr mobile LHM 550 harbour cranes with the objective of improving productivity and in response to increasing demand.

This is particularly evident with bulk minerals such as ferrochrome, which is one of the main products being handled at Maputo Ports.

In 2015 the port also took delivery of two LHM550 Liebherr mobile cranes each with a lift capacity of 144 tons. The latest delivery are of similar machines.

Two new mobile harbour cranes that arrived recently have already joined Maputo Port Development Company’s (MPDC) operational fleet - report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Two new mobile harbour cranes that arrived recently have already joined Maputo Port Development Company’s (MPDC) operational fleet

“In addition to the two mobile harbour cranes, we have recently acquired 14 payloaders, 8 tractors, 8 forklifts and 2 rail excavators (for wagon unloading operations),” said said Chief Operations Officer, Marla Calado.

“This investment is in line with the need to improve the berth usage and the rehabilitation and deepening works that are taking place at the moment.”

The acquisition of this new equipment represents a total investment of about US$19 million. The new fleet – larger and more modern – will allow higher productivity rates to be achieved, given the large vessels (capesize ships) that have been calling the port more frequently since the dredging of the access channel completed in January 2017.

“Our turnaround times have been improving (and are often faster than in the region). We believe this new equipment will enable us to further increase our operational efficiency, our competitiveness and our volumes in terms of cargo handling,” the COO explained.

The investment in equipment also includes the training of several operators and technicians for the handling and maintenance of the new machines, as well as the maintenance contracts with the manufacturer, which will guarantee greater reliability and availability of the equipment.

In 2019 the port expects to increase its handling capacity with the completion of the rehabilitation works of berths 6, 7, 8 and 9. The rehabilitation will not only create berths with a depth of up to -15 metres, but will improve the occupancy rate of the berths by creating a larger mooring area. The completion of the works is scheduled for the last quarter of this year.

Liebherr mobile cranes at the port of Maputo, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online



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Port Sudan harbour, Picture: CHEC, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Port Sudan harbour, Picture: CHEC

Sudan’s Radio Dabanga has reported that the current port workers strike at the Red Sea Port Sudan is to be lifted.

Workers had been assured that a number of them would be employed on a permanent or ongoing basis. Whether this is partly the effect of the political developments in Sudan is not clear, but it led to the former temporary workers agreeing to making the port accessible once more.

At a press conference last Thursday the acting Red Sea Governor, Maj Gen Esameldin Abdelfarraj agreed to…


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Zambezi Rover Delta and Chinde, featured in story in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Zambezi River Delta and Chinde

Seventeen people are confirmed to have died when a passenger boat sank in the Zambezi mouth, Mozambique authorities report.

One passenger remains unaccounted for and may add to the death total. Another 34 passengers survived and made it ashore.

The passenger boat named JULIA 1 was attempting a crossing from Chinde which is on Pambane island at the mouth of the Zambezi and were headed for the town of Marromeu on the…


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Royal Princess on a visit to Cape Town in 2013. Picture: Ian Shiffman, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Royal Princess on a visit to Cape Town in 2013.    Picture: Ian Shiffman

Two sightseeing floatplanes, one carrying passengers from a visiting cruise ship, have collided near the Alaskan town of Ketchikan, killing at least four people, possibly five and injuring a number of others, some critically.

The two aircraft, a small single-engine de Haviland DHC-2 Beaver carrying a pilot and four passengers, and the other a larger de Haviland DHC-3 Otter with either 10 or 11 people on board, collided about eight miles from Ketchikan.

The larger aircraft was returning from a sightseeing tour of Misty Fjords National Monument.

Passengers on the smaller plane were from the cruise ship ROYAL PRINCESS which was berthed at the town. Those on board the larger aircraft were from a separate independent tour group.

Royal Princess, which can carry up to 3,560 passengers, was on a seven-day cruise from Los Angeles.

Conflicting reports say that either four or five people died in the accident. A local hospital centre, the PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, said ten patients had been admitted to the hospital. “We have one in critical condition, three in serious condition, and six in fair condition,” said a spokeswoman.

A statement issued by Princess Cruises said: “A small float plane operated by Taquan Air that was flying a shore excursion sold through Princess Cruises was involved in an accident approximately eight miles from Ketchikan.”


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Kota Bistari at Durban, one of PIL's container ships.  Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Kota Bistari at Durban, one of PIL’s container ships.  Picture: Trevor Jones

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), China’s state-controlled shipping line COSCO is considering making a bid for Singapore shipping group Pacific International Line (PIL).

The aim behind this move would assist COSCO to expand its presence in emerging economies, the report pointed out.

PIL has a strong presence in African trades and most of its ships are deployed in the trans-Pacific and north-south trade lanes.

PIL is the world’s tenth largest container carrier.

PIL chairman SS Teo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
PIL chairman SS Teo

Such an acquisition would strengthen China’s Belt and Road Initiative (New Silk Road) ambitions that include a trillion dollar development of ports, rail and road infrastructure all directed at strengthening China’s ability to trade with the world.

The report of COSCO’s interest in acquiring PIL is not new and PIL has denied on several occasions that it is is selling its shipping unit. Chairman Teo Siong Seng has repeatedly declared that he’s not selling his family-owned liner shipping business. But he has also said the same about his container manufacturing business, Singamas.

A week ago Singamas agreed a deal whereby COSCO is to acquire Singamas’ Chinese box-making subsidiary companies in a deal valued at $565 million.

In difficult trading conditions PIL had losses of $140 million for the first half of 2018.


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Beira's general cargo terminal scene, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Beira’s general cargo terminal scene

Beira’s fuel terminal, which suffered damage in March during Cyclone Idai, is set to resume operations later this month, according to Cornelder Mozambique managing director, Jan de Vries.

Cornelder Mozambique is the concession holder for the port’s general cargo terminals including that…


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Cargo ship on fire in Sharjah's Port Khalid, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Cargo ship on fire in Sharjah’s Port Khalid.   Picture: YouTube

A small and so far not named cargo ship caught fire in Sharjah’s Port Khalid last week (8 May) creating a spectacular blaze as the vessel’s cargo or reportedly motor vehicles and tires burned fiercely.

The 13 seafarers on board the vessel, all from India, were safely rescued as the fire began to spread out of control, but one of the crew suffered burns and had to be treated in hospital.

Port and city firefighters were able to eventually extinguish the blaze but not before much of the ship had been destroyed.

The fire is the latest to engulf ships involved with the carrying of motor vehicles. The previous incident was the fire in March this year that engulfed the Grimaldi RoRo vessel GRANDE AMERICA in the Atlantic Ocean.

The short [0:52] video is courtesy of the YouTube network.


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Banner for Agility Mozambique Logistics, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

“Agility is a long-term sustainable investor and is a strong advocate of the future of Mozambique,” says Deanne De Vries, Senior Vice President for Agility Africa, a global warehousing and logistics multinational that is rapidly expanding across the continent.

She made these comments ahead of the second annual bilingual MozamReal Property Forum taking place on 5 June in Maputo, where De Vries will present a detailed view, and site tour, of the warehousing giant’s first phase of 32,000 square metres of A-grade warehousing space suitable for storage, distribution, packaging, processing and light industrial work.

De Vries’ views are shared by the host of…


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article and pics on expansion of Egypt's Farm Fresh operation , with Illustrations per ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Illustrations per ©

EBRD, EU and Italy assist

On 9 May the City of London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced that it had facilitated a loan and an EU grant to help export-oriented Farm Fresh build a new factory in Egypt. This investment is expected to improve the company’s efficiency and competitiveness in the global market and additionally provide for a youth employment programme to support training and recruitment.

EBRD is owned by 67 countries from five continents, as well as the European Union (EU) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Family-owned Farm Fresh, which employs around 200 people, will use a €7.3 million funding package to build a modern factory in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, with advanced technology in production lines, new machinery and equipment for sorting, blanching, freezing and packaging fruit and vegetables.

It is understood that this modernisation will make Farm Fresh more efficient. Its expanded capacity is expected to permit it to triple its production of frozen fruit and vegetables, the vast majority of which are exported to the EU and the US. In turn this financing will support the businesses of local farmers who provide all the company’s fresh produce. In the US Farm Fresh is marketing under the Montana label.

EBTD Egyptian fruit, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
EBTD Egyptian fruit

Loan + grant + loan + equity

The €7.3 million financing package is made up of a €2.1 million loan from the EBRD, a €0.3 million investment grant from the EU, a €2 million loan from Ahli Bank of Kuwait and a €2.9 million equity contribution from existing shareholders.

Farm Fresh was established in 1987 by the Boulos family and is an Egyptian joint-stock form. It started by producing and exporting frozen molokhia (a relative of jute) and okra.

Now its wide range of products includes peas, spinach, sweet corn, green beans and strawberries for an expanding global market with consumers increasingly oriented towards healthy food.

With improved competitiveness, companies such as Farm Fresh have an opportunity to commence cooperation with corporates and multinationals in EU and other markets.

EBRD’s programme for widespread improvement

This operation is supported by the EU through an EBRD programme specifically designed to strengthen value chains and competitiveness in SMEs in Egypt as well as in Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. In addition Italy, through the Small Business Impact Fund (funded by Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the United States of America), provided investment support and will help Farm Fresh to implement a work-based learning programme and increase its capacity to recruit and retain young skilled labour.

Signing of the loan took place in the presence of EBRD Managing Director for Industry, Commerce and Agribusiness, Jean-Marc Peterschmitt and the Chairman of the American Egyptian Frozen Food Company and vice-Chairman of Farm Fresh, Joseph Boulos, during the EBRD’s Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Sarajevo, Bosnia, held on 8 / 9 May (see more HERE).

The EBRD works in Egypt to support sustainable energy, direct and indirect financing of private enterprises and the promotion of infrastructure reform. The Bank has invested over €4.9 billion in the country since it started operations there in 2012.

SEMED, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

Getting to know the SEMED

The Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, known within the EBRD as SEMED, is the latest region in which the bank is working to boost economic growth and develop open and sustainable market economies.

Since late 2012 the EBRD has been investing in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia and it rolled out its first investments in Lebanon in 2018 and in the West Bank and Gaza. In their different ways, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia emerged from the Arab uprising of 2011 with different political systems and a new determination to reform their economies.

These four countries, the European Council and the G8 all called on the EBRD in 2011 to extend its mandate to include the SEMED region and apply to it the lessons learned during the transition in central, south-eastern and eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Egypt and Morocco originally joined the EBRD as shareholders in 1991. Jordan and Tunisia became members at the end of 2011. Lebanon joined as a shareholder in July 2017.

See the video CLICK HERE

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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Map showing Styrait of Hormuz and locality of Fujairah, which features in news report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

Saudi Arabia has claimed that two of its oil tankers at anchor off Fujairah were targeted in a sabotage attack, leaving both vessels with significant damage. The UAE meanwhile says that four ships were hit in the attack.

The accusation came as tensions in the area hotted up between the United States and its allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE nations, and Iran.

While details of the reported attacks are not clear, the Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih issued a statement this morning (Monday) saying that one of the tankers, which was en route to Saudi Arabia to load oil, had on Sunday suffered “significant damage to the structures of the two vessels,” but that there were no casualties among the crew and no spillages.

The minister said the attack was designed to undermine the freedom of maritime navigation, and the security of oil supplies to consumers all over the world.

No detail of the second tanker was provided or the names or details of any of the vessels but reports say that four small boats were used in the attacks.

The reported attack comes at a time when tensions are rising in the region as the US tightens the sanctions belt against Iran.

Iran responds

Iran has responded to the incident by calling for an investigation into the alleged sabotage attacks on four ships.

“Such incidents will have a negative impact on the security of shipping and maritime transport in the region,” said ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency.

He called on the Middle East states “to be alerted about the conspiracies orchestrated by ill-wishers to undermine the stability and security in the region.”

The port of Fujairah is within one hundred miles of the Strait of Hormuz, the natural choke-point that connects the Persian Gulf with the Arabian Sea. Over 20 percent of all world oil is at times traded through this narrow passage, with Iran on one side of the strait and the UAE on the other.


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The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) reports that quick action and a well coordinated response by the South African Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) saw about 16 crewmen of a Taiwanese vessel rescued successfully from the stricken vessel in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday morning (7 May).

SAMSA logo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

According to the MRCC the vessel had experienced difficulties sailing before catching fire and was slowly sinking some 1100 kilometres south east of Durban.

The dramatic rescue of sailors off the vessel, the TENG MING YANG No 268, according to the MRCC, ensued from about 06h45 (South African Time) after the centre picked up a distress signal from the vessel.

“At 06h45 local time MRCC Cape Town was alerted via the COSPAS SARSAT system (EPIRB detection) of the Taiwanese fishing vessel Teng Ming Yang #268 possibly needing assistance.

“The distress position as per the…


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An all-out alert was sounded on Friday that continued through until Sunday following a distress call from a catamaran yacht with five crew on board (three men and two women), that had sailed earlier from Richards Bay bound for Madagascar.

NSRI logo featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The NSRI report from Jacques Kruger, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain said the yacht was taking on water from “unknown causes”.

At the time of the distress call the yacht was 150 nautical miles from Richards Bay. It was 09h23 on Friday 10 May when NSRI Richards Bay was placed on alert.

Jacques Kruger, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain’s report continues:
They confirmed that they had turned around, heading back towards Richards Bay, they were under motor power and water pumps were maintaining against an ingress of water but they could not identify the cause of the water intake.

Fearing that rough sea conditions may cause a sudden change for the worse NSRI Richards Bay duty crew prepared to launch our sea rescue craft Spirit of Richards Bay, NSRI St Lucia were placed on alert and NSRI Durban helicopter rescue swimmers were placed on alert and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) confirmed that a 15 Squadron SA Air Force Oryx helicopter would be available from Durban if required.

The situation was monitored and after it appeared that the catamaran was maintaining under the circumstances NSRI instructed the yacht to send a VHF Marine Radio Pan-Pan urgency message to assist with communications. A ship at sea in the vicinity reacted to the Pan-Pan which was relayed to Telkom Maritime Radio Services and confirmed that the crew of the catamaran would continue under motor power and provide a situation report every three hours by satellite phone and failing to give a situation report attempts would be made on VHF Marine Radio and if necessary by relay.

Sea Rescue Richards Bay, St Lucia and Durban remained on high alert.

At 01h26, Saturday, 11 May, it was confirmed that the catamaran continued without any changes and by first light on Saturday morning, in improving sea conditions, the crew identified a hole in the hull and repairs were underway and although still taking water they were maintaining and had reduced water intake.

Sea conditions during Saturday improved tremendously and the crew of the catamaran confirmed the hole, the size of a R5 coin, may be suspected to have been caused by bumping into a solid object afloat, possibly during Thursday night. Temporary repairs continued to be conducted at sea reducing the intake of water and NSRI remained on alert and in contact with the casualty crew although at ease that they were out of any imminent danger or threat.

TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) arranged a berth for them at Zululand Yacht Club.

On Saturday afternoon our NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of Rotary East London and Spirit of Richards Bay, on routine training with crew onboard from NSRI Ballito, rendezvoused with the casualty catamaran five nautical miles off-shore and they motored to the Zululand Yacht Club escorted by NSRI and berthed and could finally get some well deserved rest.

NSRI stood down.

Kruger’s report continued:
NSRI commend Telkom Maritime Radio Services for their assistance with communication and their liaison with NSRI throughout the operational stand-by.

NSRI commend the skipper and crew of the casualty catamaran for taking all necessary precautions and alerting rescue authorities immediately.    source: NSRI


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Time-lapse YouTube Video [1:35]


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Indonesia recently sent a stern message to all illegal fishing boats with the drastic action of sinking no less than 51 fishing boats…


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[1:21] YouTube video clip showing arrival of Maersk Hamburg in Haifa harbour
News from the Mediterranean recently included a report that the Israeli port of Haifa has just received what was said to have been the biggest ever ship to arrive in Israel.

This was the container ship MAERSK HAMBURG – a 15,300-TEU container ship with a length of 354 metres and a beam of 54 metres plus a draught of over 15 metres when loaded.

It has been assumed that such large ships would only be seen in Israel after new terminals at Haifa and Ashdod had been completed. However, the Haifa Port Company had other plans that included the acquisition of two new STS cranes ale to reach across 21 rows and dredging the areas adjacent to the quayside of the Carmel Terminal in the port in order to meet the deep draught of a ship such as Maersk Hamburg.

The vessel is deployed with the Maersk Line, MSC 2M Asia-Adriatic service and is the first of a number of similar large ships that will now make Haifa one of their weekly calls. The following ship was MAERSK HAVANA which was only launched into service in January this year.


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Walvis Bay land corridors and sea routes, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Walvis Bay land corridors and sea routes

According to the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) it is continuing to promote Namibia as a logistics hub by means of the logistics hub project.

The project implements strategies and plans detailed in Namibia’s logistics hub master plan.

In a e-newsletter the WBCG says it has intensified efforts to…


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Nothing new - this was taken in July 2016 after heavy rains filled the Bayhead area with the rubbish of surrounding districts that washed into one of the rivers flowing into Durban Bay. Picture: Terry Flynn, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Nothing new – this was taken in July 2016 after heavy rains filled the Bayhead area with the rubbish of surrounding districts that washed into one of the rivers flowing into Durban Bay. Picture: Terry Flynn

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has suspended all diving operations within the Port of Durban and is prohibiting all angling activities.

The reason is a severe sewage discharge that poses a risk to diving personnel and marine life.

The discharge stems from the failure of pumps at the eThekwini Municipality’s Mahatma Gandhi Pump station.

The municipality has taken the pumps out of commission and is currently awaiting the arrival of spare parts from overseas in order for repairs to be effected.

TNPA’s environmental department is engaging with the municipality and is appealing to port users for their cooperation as the City acts to repair the pumps.

In particular the suspension of diving will have an impact on companies using the repair quays within the port’s ship repair precinct.

The Port of Durban is unfortunately on the receiving end of the large volume of litter, effluent and sewage that is discharged via the storm-water reticulation system from a catchment area of over 200km2 in size.

Nothing new! This was the scene at Easter this year after heavy rains filled the harbour with rubbish that flowed into the bay from three rivers and countless drains that spill into sub-Saharan Africa's most important economic harbour. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Nothing new! This was the scene at Easter this year after heavy rains filled the harbour with rubbish that flowed into the bay from three rivers and countless drains that spill into sub-Saharan Africa’s most important economic harbour. Picture: TNPA

Editorial Comment: Turning Durban Harbour into a Cesspool

The situation expressed in TNPA’s announcement carried above is serious enough and is yet another indictment on service delivery failure by a leading municipality in South Africa.

How is it that a city like Durban allows a situation where repairs to pumps at a vital sewer pump station is delayed because parts have to come from overseas. What happened to the principal that municipal stores should carry a stock of essential spares and more importantly, how regular was maintenance carried out at the pump station?

On the strength of numerous other examples in Durban and elsewhere in the country, it would be an easy bet that this factor was frequently neglected.

But the real question we ask as a maritime-related publication is how it is that untreated sewage can be expelled into the country’s leading harbour, presumably through overflowing municipal drains? We recently carried a report where TNPA stated it was in discussions with the city about the pollution that spills into the bay along municipal drains – over 50 of them it seems.

To our knowledge these discussions have been carrying on for years without any finality. Perhaps the matter needs to be taken now to a higher level and the municipality simply ordered to stop allowing its so-called stormwater drains to flow freely into the harbour and associated rivers.


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New LNG-powered RoRo vessels for Wallenius-SOL designed by KNUD E. HANSEN,featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

KNUD E. HANSEN has designed the first generation of LNG- powered ultra-large RoRo vessels for the newly- established Swedish company Wallenius-SOL.

Up to four vessels have been ordered at Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore Ltd, China, for whom Knud E. Hansen will provide the engineering package for the construction and approval by classification and flag state authorities.

This is the 4th series of ultra-large RoRo vessels designed by Knud E. Hansen since 2016, resulting in…

New LNG-powered RoRo vessels for Wallenius-SOL designed by KNUD E. HANSEN and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
New LNG-powered RoRo vessels for Wallenius-SOL designed by KNUD E. HANSEN


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Lake Victoria showing location of Jinja wher the new ferry in under construction, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Lake Victoria showing location of Jinja where the new ferry in under construction

A new ferry on Lake Victoria is nearing completion at the Masesse landing site shipyard in Jinja in Uganda.

To be named MV SIGULU, the ferry was ordered by the Ugandan government in order to provide a lake service for the Lolwe and Sigulu sub-counties in Namayingo District.

According to the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), construction of MV Sigulu has reached the 95% stage.

UNRA executive director Ms Allen Catherine Kagina inspected the progress of the ferry this week to satisfy herself that the construction was going according to schedule.

Construction of MV Sigulu began in September 2018 by the Danish firm that was awarded the contract, JGH Marine A/S.

JGH Marine has a solid track record in East Africa and has built Alu Patrol Boats for Tanzania, a RoRo ferry and a dredger for Uganda and an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for Kenya, as well as a number of tourist boats that operate on Lake Victoria.

The media relations manager for UNRA, Allan Sempebwa said the ferry would become one of the largest to operate on the lake, with a capacity of 300 people.

A delegation of residents from the Namayingo District, who also went on a site tour of the ferry’s construction said they welcomed its progress because they had been forced to endure a poor and even lack of service delivery for a long period of time.

After visiting the shipyard site Ms Kagina and a team of technical staff began a four-day inspection of road projects in eastern Uganda.


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new container handling equip,emt at Port of Tema. Picture Konecranes, featuring in Africva PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Picture: Konecranes

Konecranes has secured another order for port terminal equipment in West Africa with the supply of 11 container handling units for Meridian Port Services at its new Terminal 3 operation in Tema, Ghana.

Each of the new units will be equipped with the TRUCONNECT Remote Monitoring system.

The order has been brokered by the UK firm of Paterson Simons, which operates extensively in sales and service throughout large parts of West Africa, and…


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ABEF banner flying on the site of Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

African businesses are being challenged to wake up to the economic, social and environmental power of the Blue Economy.

This comes as momentum is gathering for companies based in Africa’s coastal nations to fully recognise and understand the benefits of backing a Blue Economy, which covers a wide range of productive sectors that are crucial for the continent’s sustainable development, including fisheries, aquaculture, transport, energy, trade and tourism as well as extractive industries.

Research indicates that the Blue Economy has the potential to be a major source of wealth and prosperity for the continent and help advance the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Businesses interested in learning how they can be part of the rising tide involved in the Blue Economy will be able to attend the second Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF), which is being held in Tunisia on 25-26 June.

This year’s ABEF2019 to be held in Tunis on 25-26 June 2019 builds on the inaugural event in London last year which explored what the Blue Economy was. This year’s forum aims to take it a stage further and explore how business and government can implement actions that will proactively boost the economic, social and environmental welfare of the continent.

According to ABEF the importance of a cohesive strategy that will protect and utilise Africa’s coastal waters cannot be overstated:

* 70 per cent of Africa’s nations are coastal
* 90 per cent of the continent’s imports and exports are done via sea transportation
* Africa’s maritime industry is estimated to be worth US$1 trillion per year
* The asset value of ocean economy eco-systems is valued at US$24 trillion
* Plastic pollution costs $13 billion per year due to damage caused to marine ecosystems

ABEF2019 will deliver a strong focus on business and government collaboration, highlight investment opportunities and reveal environmental and social impact. Discussions will explore the opportunities and innovations in emerging and frontier sectors of the blue economy and how they can help accelerate Africa’s transformation, create jobs, sustain livelihoods and communities and offer low cost but impactful climate change measures.

Government ministers and officials from Gabon, Ghana, Morocco, Somaliland, Tunisia and Seychelles already confirmed speakers whilst more official delegations from other African countries are also expected to be present.

Leila Ben Hassen, Founder of ABEF, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Leila Ben Hassen, Founder of ABEF

They will be joined on the platform by business leaders, international investors, ocean innovators and environmental organisations from across the globe, who will share the importance of the Blue Economy in advancing Africa’s development agenda.

“There needs to be more awareness of the Blue Economy and a realisation of how important it is to the future of Africa,” said Leila Ben Hassen, organiser and founder of ABEF2019.

“Governments are beginning to understand this and beginning to implement policies but it still needs the private sector to grasp this and to look at how they can work in partnership with governments and other organisations to make this succeed.”

She said that collaboration was necessary to make this work and deliver huge benefits for the continent enabling it meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. “ABEF2019 will begin to lay the foundations for this collaboration process,” she said.

Those wanting to attend this year’s event can do so by registering online at

ABEF forum to be held in Tunis 25-26 Junes 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online


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* Barcelona Europe South Terminal

Automated shipping cranes at Hutchison's BEST terminal (Barcelona), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Automated shipping cranes at Hutchison’s BEST terminal (Barcelona)

In March 2019, BEST container terminal in the Port of Barcelona, received six new automated cranes (ASC) from the Finnish supplier Konecranes, thereby increasing its storage capacity from 24 to 27 automated blocks. Currently, these blocks are being assembled and tested and they are expected to be fully operational in June this year. This was reported by BEST on 6 May.

These electric rail-mounted cranes are complimentary to Hutchison Ports Group’s commitment to building an efficient and environmentally sustainable terminal in the Port of Barcelona. (See illustration here.)

Guillermo Belcastro, Hutchison Ports BEST CEO stated: “This investment will result in…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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in partnership with – APO


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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

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

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

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

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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

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