Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 1 July 2019

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Come with us as we report through 2019



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Santa Clara. Picture by Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictures: Keith Betts

Accompanied by one of the port’s two pilot boats the Hamburg Süd/Maersk container ship SANTA CLARA (IMO 9444716) departs the port of Durban earlier this month. Built in 2010 the 95,551-dwt ship is operating in a Maersk service following the takeover of the former German shipping company by Denmark’s Maersk. The above pictures are by Keith Betts



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Richards Bay Coal Terminal, fed by TFR's coal line, will have sufficient coal in its stockpile to seeout the ten-day shutdown of the railway. Report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Richards Bay Coal Terminal, fed by TFR’s coal line, will have ample coal in its stockpile to see out the ten-day shutdown of the railway network.

Transnet Freight Rail has announced that the entire rail network transporting coal from pits to the port at Richards Bay will shut down for the annual 10-day maintenance period in July.

The annual shutdown this year takes place between 2 – 11 July and will cover the entire coal railway which has flows originating from Ermelo, Vryheid, Richards Bay, Witbank, Ladysmith and Isando.

“The shutdown is an annual scheduled maintenance that is carried out to ensure that the company catches up on maintenance backlog, replaces old, obsolete and problematic infrastructure as part of sustainability of the business,” the state-owned company said on Friday.


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The city of Marseilles has paid tribute to one of its special citizens and the founder president of the CMA CGM shipping and logistics group, by renaming one of its emblematic boulevards in his honour.

Jacques R Saadé, founder chairman of French shipping group CMA CGM, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Jacques R Saadé

Jacques R Saadé passed away last year but now the Boulevard Jacques R Saadé has been inaugurated in his honour by the mayor of Marseilles, Jean-Claude Gaudin, in the presence of the Saadé family and many employees of the CMA CGM Group and other dignitaries  including a representative of the French state and the Ambassador of Lebanon in France.

The boulevard renamed in respect of the man who founded France’s most important shipping group is described as “one of the city’s most emblematic…. stretching along the Mediterranean Sea from the MUCEM, the city’s most famous museum, to the Group’s head office.”

An exceptional visionary and unique entrepreneur, Jacques R. Saadé made the CMA CGM Group a world leader in container shipping while maintaining its family dimension, its human values and a strong anchorage in Marseilles.

It was here that he arrived from Lebanon in 1978. Believing in the city’s unique potential, he dared to make it the starting point for an exceptional global entrepreneurial adventure. For over 40 years, The Group has been constantly involved in the region’s development in many fields, particularly in architecture, with the construction of a Tower which has become a symbol of the reconquest of the Euroméditerranée district.

The Group is are also fostering multiple educational and entrepreneurial initiatives to raise the awareness of youth in shipping and logistics and to help local businesses by offering them the benefits of CMA CGM’s international network.

Today led by Rodolphe Saadé and with 110,000 employees worldwide, the Group continues to invest in Marseilles and its region with the aim of making them a major economic centre.

At the inauguration of Boulevard Jacques R. Saadé, Rodolphe Saadé, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, declared: “You have honoured a man and a company by naming a boulevard after him. Jacques Saadé demonstrated that, from France, from this city, you could be an entrepreneur and build a world leader. He gave this country one of its finest industrial flagships. Rest assured that we will always remain committed to Marseilles, for a stronger, more dynamic and more inclusive territory.”

Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseilles, responded: “By giving the name of Jacques Saadé to one of Marseilles’ boulevards, we show that the 21st century is rich in great men that our city wants to honour, that Marseilles does not forget him, and that in the decades to come, many will remember him. With the Jacques Saadé Boulevard, of which the Tower is the lighthouse, Marseilles indelibly inscribes his masterful work, which is exemplary for many ambitious entrepreneurs, in the urban history of our city.” source: The Medi Telegraph & AP&S

Jacques R Saadé in front of one of his container ships, the Christophe Colomb, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Jacques R Saadé at the naming of one of his container ships, the Christophe Colomb


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São Tomé and Principe, beautiful islands in the Atlantic, but deep in debt, says the IMF, report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
São Tomé and Principe, beautiful islands in the Atlantic, but deep in debt, says the IMF

The public debt of São Tomé and Principe is “virtually uncontrolled” and “has reached a point so serious” that “very difficult measures” must be urgently implemented to control it, the representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated on Thursday, reports Macauhub.

Xiangming Li had earlier met with Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus in São Tomé to discuss matters concerning “major challenges confronting the country, namely the debt situation,” reports Lusa news agency.

The government of São Tomé and Principe has various solutions for reining in government debt, the IMF representative said. The first is to increase revenue to cover spending; another is to end subsidies for fuel prices and for the state-controlled EMAE water and electric power utility.

Last May, after talks between delegations from Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe, it was made public that the island country owes more than US$187 million to Angola for fuel supplies alone.

Nearly four months ago the IMF proposed to the government of São Tomé and Principe a set of measures as a condition for signing a new credit facility worth $6 million.

Xiangming Li stated on Thursday that the new support programme depends on implementation of the steps needed to better control both spending and revenues, and on resolution of the question of EMAE’s debt and an end to fuel subsidies. source: Macauhub


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Mocimboa da Praia in northern Mozambique is experiencing repeated terror attacks, report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mocimboa da Praia (circled) in northern Mozambique is experiencing repeated terror attacks

In the latest attack by Islamic fundamentalists in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, the insurgents killed seven people in the Dacia administrative post, in Mocimboa da Praia district, reports AIM.

The Defence Minister, Salvador M’tumuke, confirmed the attack to the independent newssheet Carta de Mocambique, saying the raid took place before dawn on Monday (24 June), but gave no further details.

That’s how much time it takes…[restrict] for such news to get out of northern Mozambique.

As for the claim by the self-styled “Islamic State” that it had attacked a position of the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) in Mocimboa da Praia, M’tumuke said this was no more than an allegation.

“There are people who want to destabilise the country, just as was the case during the 16 year war,” he added – the reference is to the war waged by the Renamo rebels between 1977 and 1992.

Claims by the insurgents is a newish development and suggests another stage has been reached in their activities in the north of the country.

M’tumuke stressed the need for the population of Cabo Delgado to denounce the movements of the insurgents to the authorities. He guaranteed that the defence and security forces will continue to defend national sovereignty.

The insurgency began in October 2017, with attacks against police positions in Mocimboa da Praia. It subsequently spread to adjacent districts such as Palma, Nangade and Macomia.[/restrict]


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Bryde's whale off New Zealand. Picture: Wikipedia, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Bryde’s whale off New Zealand. Picture: Wikipedia

Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy has temporarily suspended exploratory fishing for octopus in False Bay.

In a statement issued on Friday, the department said the decision came after consultation with operators in the False Bay area.

“Our decision is taken following widespread public concern regarding recent whale entanglements in the False Bay area which has resulted in the untimely and cruel death of these magnificent creatures,” said Creecy in the statement.

During a recent engagement with fisheries stakeholders in Cape Town, the Minister indicated that she is seeking independent scientific advice on practical measures that can help prevent entanglement incidents in the future.

“Since then, the department has engaged with operators and agreed that the suspension will remain until such time as scientists can investigate the matter further and explore possible mitigation measures to reduce entanglements,” the department said in the statement.

In 2014, the department established an octopus exploratory fishery that is operating in Saldanha, False Bay and Mossel Bay. This programme, said the department, aims to gain scientific knowledge regarding octopus harvesting, with a view to enhancing job creation and economic development in coastal areas.

“Meaningful data has been collected between 2014 and 2018, and will continue until 2021 in order to ensure a solid statistical time series of catch and effort data,” said the department.

Bryde's whale featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The department added that once enough data has been collected, it will be analysed and subjected to proper scientific scrutiny and review, after which a recommendation will be made regarding the viability of establishing a new commercial fishery. Such a recommendation will also consider mitigating measures in the operations of octopus fishery.

“During the course of the exploratory fishery for octopus, the department has been working with Permit Holders and other stakeholders to implement measures to minimise the entanglement of whales in fishing gear.

“Many practical suggestions made by various stakeholders have been implemented through the permit conditions for octopus fishery,” said the department.

After special sinking lines with extra weights were introduced in 2017, there were no recorded whale fatalities in 2018.

Currently, discussions have been initiated to investigate the possible use of ‘acoustic release buoys’ or ‘time release buoys’ to minimise the need for vertical lines.

These options still require testing, but offer hope of dramatically reducing or eliminating whale entanglements in octopus fishing gear. Further work still needs to be done to assess commercial viability of these solutions.

Following the Friday meeting, the department said operators will commence removing the gear from False Bay, focusing initially on those areas identified as most sensitive and with the highest number of interactions. source:


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Blue Economy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The prospect of a fully sustainable Blue Economy for Africa gathered significant momentum following the second Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF2019) held in Tunis earlier this week.

Fishing, aquaculture, shipping, ports, energy and finance industries all came under the spotlight at ABEF2019, which drew in Government ministers, business leaders, international investors, academics and environmental organisations from across the globe.

The need for direct action to deliver the environmental, economic and social benefits for Africa, and particularly its coastal nations given 90 per cent of Africa’s trade is conducted by sea, was stressed during the two days of insight.

Speakers at ABEF2019 agreed on the urgent need for better cooperation between the ocean stakeholders, better governance and law enforcement. Regional, national and local strategies are required to build a long-term plan and develop partnerships that are beyond short-term projects. Engaging with new technologies and innovative financing mechanisms are also key to shaping a sustainable Blue Economy in Africa.

“We can no longer just dip our toe in the water, we must dive in and be decisive in making and delivering change that will serve Africa for many years to come,” said Leila Ben Hassen, ABEF founder and CEO of Blue Jay Communication, which organised the forum. “It is no longer business as usual. Africa must have a sustainable Blue Business plan which will have a positive impact on the environment, on the economy and on society.”

A sustainable Blue Business plan will accelerate Africa’s transformation, create jobs, sustain livelihoods and empower communities, while offering impactful climate change measures.

This was acknowledged at ABEF2019 across a range of panels with topics that explored how governments and private sectors can collaborate; tackling ocean pollution; innovative funding solutions; enhanced food security and sustainable growth for the fishing industry; sustainable ocean energy; how to engage more women to work in the maritime value chains and the opportunities to embrace the youth generation in the Blue Economy.

Key outcomes from ABEF2019 saw the World Ocean Council, Tunisian Maritime Cluster and SETAP Tunisia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a platform to connect, share information, scientific research and technologies between the Mediterranean and the coastal African countries.

In addition, WIMA Africa (Women in Maritime Association) launched the Tunisia Chapter with the objective of empowering women and reinforcing collaborations between Tunisian and African women in the maritime industry.

The event attracted a significant number of high-level speakers, who can drive change and opinions, including government ministers Samir Taieb, Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, Republic of Tunisia; Mokhtar Hammami, Minister of Environment, Republic of Tunisia; Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Republic of Ghana and Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister of Transport, Republic of Ghana.

Information on ABEF2019 can be found HERE

From left to right: Henry Bonsu, Journalist and broadcaster; Torsten Thiele, Founder and Managing Partner, The Global Ocean Trust; Angelique Pouponneau, CEO, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT); James Maton, Partner, Cooley LLP; Marc Naidoo, Sustainable Finance Secondee, Standard Chartered Bank; Dr Frannie Léautier, Chief Operating Officer, Trade and Development Bank (TDB). Picture: Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF), Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
From left to right: Henry Bonsu, Journalist and broadcaster; Torsten Thiele, Founder and Managing Partner, The Global Ocean Trust; Angelique Pouponneau, CEO, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT); James Maton, Partner, Cooley LLP; Marc Naidoo, Sustainable Finance Secondee, Standard Chartered Bank; Dr Frannie Léautier, Chief Operating Officer, Trade and Development Bank (TDB). Picture: Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF)



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Kenya/Somalia marine border dispute, map East African
Map source: East African

The maritime dispute hearing between Kenya and Somalia will be heard at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Netherlands between 9 and 13 September.

This was announced by the court on Tuesday. The hearing will be streamed live.

According to the announcement each country will have two days each to present and defend their arguments – one country on the Monday and Tuesday and the other on Thursday and Friday.

The dispute centres around who owns the sea off the coast opposite the land border between the two countries.

Kenya meanwhile is continuing to search for an out of court settlement.

At stake is an area of 100,000km2 thought to possess large amounts of hydrocarbons, although this has not been demonstrated.

Somalia is arguing that the border be extended south of Kiunga and not eastwards as is currently regarded and which is argued by Kenya.

In August 2014 Kenya’s outgoing Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai said in response to Somalia’s suit at the ICJ that: “Kenya asserts that all her activities, including navy patrols, fisheries practice, marine and scientific research and oil exploration are within the marine boundary established by Kenya and recognised and respected by both parties since 1979.”

More recently, in December 2017 Kenya filed an argument before the ICJ arguing that the best way to handle the case was through the United Nations Convection on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).


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Port of Tema's new Terminal 3, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tema’s new Terminal 3

EU Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen visited the new state-of-the-art Meridian Port Services (MPS) Container Terminal in the port of Tema during his recent visit to Ghana. He was accompanied to the port by Prof Joe Amoako-Tuffuor, member and secretary of Ghana’s economic management team.

MPS is joint venture company between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and APM Terminals and Bollore transport & Logistics, both of which are leading European companies.

The two European shareholders have provided much of the…[restrict] funding for the new port development.

Ghana has a unique status when it comes to trade in West Africa. Not only does Ghana export and import more than most of its neighbouring countries, Ghana, unlike others, manages to diversify its exports with cocoa, gold, oil and gas.

This diversification protects Ghana from drops in prices of a single raw material, which can have devastating effects on a country’s economy. Nevertheless, Ghana’s cocoa exports are the most important job generator and livelihood guarantee in the country’s rural areas.

The new Tema Port is expected to increase Ghana’s connectivity, shorten transit times and lower its transport and logistics costs as well as the prices of imported goods. This is expected to increase import, export and domestic production and in turn increase jobs and GDP.

It s being forecast that the new Tema port has the potential of increasing Ghana’s exports by approximately 15%, which is associated with an approximate 2% increase in GDP and creating about 4% more jobs.

MPS chief executive Mohamed Samara said that Ghana’s agricultural sector stands to benefit most from the increased exports from the new Tema port.

He said that according to the UN COMTRADE statistics, Ghana’s exports primarily consist of gold (around 42%), petroleum (around 26%) and agricultural products (around 23%).

EU Commission vice president Jyrki Katainen 'trying out' the new equipment, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mr Jyrki Katainen ‘trying out’ the new equipment

Together, these three product groups are responsible for around 91% of Ghana’s exports. However, while petroleum and gold create very few jobs, around 3% and 1% respectively, agriculture production is responsible for around 31% of Ghana’s total employment. Therefore, if the new Tema Port boosts the competitiveness of Ghana’s export, it is Ghana’s agricultural export that will create most jobs.

“Ghana’s agricultural sector is paramount for the country’s employment and poverty reduction,” Mr Samara said.

He pointed out that Terminal 3 will boost the national and regional trade, generating significant revenues for Ghana’s economic and social development and employment, with thousands of jobs created and opportunities for high-skilled employment and for the benefit of the whole economic dynamism and development of Ghana.
“Ghana is a cutting edge nation and will thrive with the connectivity of MPS Terminal 3,” Samara said.[/restrict]

The full delegation from the European Commission that visited the new Tema Terminal 3


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Transnet National Ports Authority's Port of East London, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Transnet National Ports Authority’s Port of East London

East London Port Manager, Sharon Sijako is one of three finalists in the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s (BWASA) Eastern Cape Regional Businesswomen of the Year Awards 2019 in the category of Women in Government.

The winners will be announced on 27 July.

Sijako is only the second female Port Manager in the Port of East London’s 120-plus year history. She has over 20 years of operational experience and a track record of strong leadership, critical problem-solving and strategic thinking.

Sharon Sijako, port manager at East London, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sharon Sijako

“My greatest priority is the development of the Port of East London,” she says. “This will create jobs and assist in growing not only our Metro, but the entire eastern half of the Eastern Cape.”

As Port Manager at South Africa’s only river port in December 2017, Sijako has led with distinction, overseeing a staff complement of 159 including an executive leadership team of 12. Prior to that she held senior leadership roles at both Transnet Port Terminals and Transnet National Ports Authority.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, but Sijako has taken it all in her stride, developing a deep understanding of the port system and the challenges and opportunities faced by the maritime industry.

“The maritime industry is largely male dominated and I had to contend with the fact that some business leaders did not take me seriously. This resulted in me having to work twice as hard, and give more than 100% to the job,” she says.

Her personal and professional resilience, coupled with a solid work ethic and a strong sense of accountability, have helped her to achieve numerous successes in her current role.

Under her leadership the port has developed and presented a strong socio-economic case to the Transnet Board for a major, long overdue port expansion in East London to stimulate greater economic opportunities and investor confidence for the region.

Sijako also spearheaded the introduction of an expansive stakeholder engagement strategy both internally and externally, with the key objective of informing stakeholders of developments and soliciting support for the proposed port expansion.

The successful implementation of this strategy has ensured that the port’s key customers, stakeholders and employees have bought into the strategic direction of the Port of East London, thus ensuring long term financial viability for the port and its customers.

Sijako is passionate about women’s development and has actively championed for women to be fully developed in various positions inside and outside of the organisation.

“I am a firm believer in mentoring women in the workplace and continually seek out opportunities to steer and assist women in developing their skills and furthering their careers,” she says.

“I also place a high premium on self-belief, remaining true to myself and never compromising on my values of mutual respect. Even in the face of adversity, I have never deviated from these core principles, which have allowed me to prove that I am indeed capable of performing to the highest standards,” she says.

Sijako holds a BA (Social Sciences) and an Honours Degree in Business Administration from the University of the Western Cape. She has benefited from numerous leadership training initiatives throughout her career and is currently enrolled for a post graduate certificate in Business & Strategic Leadership with the University of Cranfield.

Port of East London Corporate Affairs Manager, Terry Taylor, said her colleagues are holding thumbs for her leadership gains to be acknowledged at this prestigious platform.


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Conditions close Durban port to incoming shipping, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Conditions close Durban port to incoming shipping

The Port of Durban has issued a notification on Thursday morning that it is closed to all incoming shipping as a result of high swells outside the entrance and adverse weather conditions.

It remains sunny over Durban on Thursday morning (27 June 2019) and the adverse weather condition presumably refers to a strong wind that has been blowing since early last night (Wednesday night). During the night the wind reached gale force with gusts.

There is no indication when the situation will improve (or deteriorate) although the port marine department usually undertakes regular inspections of conditions off the entrance channel to reassess the current position.

Western Cape & Cape Town

As a cold front approaches the Western Cape where it is expected to make landfall on Thursday night, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) is warning of gale-force north-westerly winds of between 65km/h and 70km/h that can be expected along the coast.

The seas will be quite rough between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas with wave heights of 6 metres high.  On the west coast north of Slanjkop waves of between 4 and 5 metres can be expected.


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Port of Mombasa, featured in report carried by Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Mombasa

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is looking for a new Terminal Operating System (TOS) to be installed at the Port of Mombasa and at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) outside Nairobi.

The new TOS will manage operations at the two facilities and help eradicate inefficiencies in cargo processes.

The KPA has recently issued a call for expressions of interest…[restrict] in this regard.

“The scope of the new TOS specification covers container operations in Port of Mombasa, ICD and marine operations. Apart from the existing systems such as KPA finance system, EDI messaging to port community, the new TOS will also be integrated with following systems…” the notice reads.

Systems to be integrated include truck appointment system, optical character recognition system for gate, rail and STS crane and radio frequency identification system.

Equipment positioning system, reefer management system and bar coding systems will also be assimilated in the new TOS, which will automate all KPA departments, including the Standard Gauge Railway which is now in full operation.

The call for expressions of interest follows the government ridding the port at Mombasa of more than 20 state agencies, saying that they were delaying the cargo clearing process. source: Business Daily Africa[/restrict]


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Anadarko vice president John Grant says that while he acknowledges the importance of the public sector to business sustainability, he stressed that this is a competence of governments. The private sector must prioritise shareholders, he said.

“It is unrealistic to expect that private companies will not give priority to the interests of their shareholders. This may seem like a crude and harsh statement, but it is the nature of the economic system that we have and companies will continue to defend it.”

Anadarko vice president, John Grant, who featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritie news

Grant (pictured here) was giving a speech at a conference on fragile states in Lisbon.

Anadarko has extensive interests in the development of the gas fields in Mozambique.

Nevertheless, he said, companies must create value “in the long run and realistically”, and that they must be required to comply with legal obligations in the country in which they operate, he told his audience.

Anadarko, a multinational operating in the United States, the Gulf of Mexico and Africa, has recently announced that…[restrict] it will invest more than US$20 billion in a natural gas project in the Rovuma basin Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, an amount equivalent to twice the country’s gross domestic product.

John Grant felt that companies “should realise what it takes to successfully run a successful long-term business in a developing country,” and that this means taking local interests into account.

“If shareholders and investors want a long-term, sustainable and successful business that manages risks effectively and at the same time protects shareholders, they have to realise that their presence in any country has to be aligned with the interests of people living in that country,” whether at the level of local businesses, local communities or citizens in general.

He stressed that companies should establish relationships of trust with governments and local communities, as this “is important to create value for shareholders in the long term”.

For the Anadarko vice president, an ethical and sustainable management is compatible with the interests of the shareholders and desirable.

“Ethically reprehensible behaviour can generate such strong political and popular opposition that it can threaten operations and change things in a meaningful way,” he warned, pointing to factors of change such as citizen power, social networks and the distance between politicians and their voters.

He recalled, however, that many decisions are within the ambit of governments.

“The key to all this is good governance in the public sector, and it is not the companies that do this. We run businesses, we do not run governments,” said Grant, who is also the head for International Government Relations at Anadarko. source: Lusa[/restrict]


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Map showing existing and proposed Tanzanian railway network. Map Railway Gazette & US National Parks, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Map showing existing and proposed Tanzanian railway network.    Map Railway Gazette & US National Parks

Discussions have been held with a view to extending the standard gauge railway (SGR) that is being built between Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Kigali in Rwanda as far as Rubavu on the eastern DRC border.

This follows a visit to Tanzania and Dar es Salaam by the DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi’s, with approval for a feasibility study subsequently coming from Kinshasa.

There was talk of such a connection earlier but this has now been given fresh impetus with the DRC president’s visit and approval. The move would open up and encourage additional trade routes from the DRC being connected with a high-speed modern railway to the Indian Ocean port of Dar es Salaam.

As a result of poor transport connections within…[restrict] the DRC and ongoing strife across parts of the eastern DRC, the region has until now depended almost entirely on the two ports of Dar es Salaam and Kenya’s Mombasa, although some road transport to the south does occur. There are however no working rail facilities linking the two ports with the DRC.

Reports say the cost of building the SGR from the Tanzanian junction of Isaka to Kigali in Rwanda, a distance of 575 kilometres, is US$2.5 billion, of which Tanzania will pay $1.3 billion and Rwanda $1.2bn.

Rwanda would be faced with an additional cost for an extension of the line to Rubavu.

While visiting Tanzania President Tshisekedi apparently assured President John Magufuli of Tanzania of increased volumes of his country’s exports and imports through Dar es Salaam, once the SGR is completed.

The port of Dar es Salaam port currently handles an annual average of 1.76 million tonnes of goods to and from the DRC.

Tanzania’s ambitious SGR will also extend to the southern shores of Lake Victoria, with a possible further extension to Lake Tanganyika as an additional extension. The current plan is for a 1,457km standard gauge railway from Dar es Salaam to the Lake Victoria port of Mwanza. source: East African and AP&S[/restrict]


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The SKD Jaya rig project is the latest in a series of high-level repair projects for Namport, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The SKD Jaya rig project is the latest in a series of high-level repair projects for Namport

The years 2018 and 2019 have been strategically momentous ones for ship repair company EBH Namibia. From the previous position of having South African shareholding, the company has moved to become a wholly Namibian-owned company, with 100% of the shareholding jointly held by the EBH Consortium and the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport).

The company has also taken the opportunity to rebrand itself, and is changing its name to NAMDOCK. The stated objective is to be the preferred marine repair partner on the West African coast, with the tagline ‘Our Strength is Local’.

The year began on a high note with a major repair project from Sapura Energy, a completely new addition to Namdock’s customer base.

“We were delighted to be able to announce the successful conclusion of the agreement with Sapura Energy, as it acknowledges EBHN’s high levels of expertise and experience in servicing the maritime oil and gas industry,” explains EBHN Acting CEO Heritha Nankole Muyoba.

The new project involved the reactivation of the SKD Jaya rig, a semi-submersible tender assisted drilling unit.

This vessel had been cold-stacked offshore of Trinidad for the past few years. “Even though the rig had a skeleton crew on board maintaining it, in the tropical maritime environment, a certain amount of deterioration was inevitable,” explains EBH Namibia Project Manager William Diamond, who was responsible for managing the SKD project.

A four-man EBHN team flew to Trinidad to carry out a rapid but thorough assessment of the scope of work needed on the SKD Jaya, after which the rig was transported to Walvis Bay on the heavy-lift vessel, the Hua Hai Long.

The complexity of reactivating a rig such as this is considerable as, at 94 metres long, 36m wide and more than 20m high, it is a very large structure.

An indication of its size are its main power-units consisting of six Caterpillar diesels, with further power supplied by two 2000 kVA generators; while the two cranes on its superstructure have 170 foot and 140 foot booms respectively.

The Namdock team were charged not only with restoring this vessel to a seaworthy condition; but also with ensuring that it was safe and fully compliant with maritime legislation. To do this required adhering to a scope of work that was highly complex and involved a range of disciplines including rigging, fabrication, electrical and mechanical work, carpentry and painting.

“Having high levels of expertise in all these different areas makes us highly competitive in the international ship repair arena,” says Diamond.

To complete the scope of work, the EBHN team essentially had to examine every square metre of the SKD Jaya; and then carry out maintenance, replacement or repair as required.

Diamond explains that this involved some 17 different ‘sub-projects’ – such as ensuring that the accommodation and catering facilities were all in good order – as the rig could have as many as 160 workers on board at one time.

Other sections of the project that needed to be carried out included:

  • * The refurbishing and testing of drilling equipment
    * Checking the operability of all lighting, signal and fire safety equipment
    * The removal/rehabilitation of the anchors and anchor wires
    * Removal and load testing of the deck crane cables
    * Servicing and repairing the engines, generators and heat exchangers
    * Calibrating the fog and weather monitoring systems
    * Replacing all anodes

“The future safety of the SKD Jaya crew is critically important, so we oversaw the re-certification of the life boats, the servicing and load testing of all davits, and the replacement and drop-testing of the helideck perimeter netting,” Diamond said.

In addition to the above, further tasks included:

  • * The removal and lab testing of the blow-out preventer test pump
    * Overhauling all valves on the rig
    * Assisting RigNet technicians with all satellite antenna connections
    * Supplying and reinstalling radio survey and satellite compass equipment

The project illustrates that Namdock has the ability to subcontract out specialist functions and see these through to completion. In addition, it also demonstrated the company’s excellent project management and problem-solving ability as, with a project of this scale, there are often unforeseen circumstances which need to be managed correctly.

For example, with the SKD Jaya project, it was necessary to offload a very large item of drilling equipment.

The challenge was that the quayside was never designed to handle a piece of equipment this heavy. To avoid damage to the quayside and Sapura Energy’s equipment, the item was offloaded directly onto two unsynchronised flatbed units, which then successfully transported it – with great care – to a destination where it could be repaired.

What pleases Nankole Muyoba particularly is that the entire project was completed without any incidents.

“Considering the number of people, the hours worked, and the challenges we faced, this was a truly notable achievement,” she says.

Namport's three floating docks and ship repair facility at Walvis Bay,featured at Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Namport’s three floating docks and ship repair facility at Walvis Bay.   Picture: Namport/Volker

At the end of the project, in its Project Closure Report, client Sapura Energy stated that it was “very impressed and happy with EBH Namibia’s service.”

The company’s BBLT Project Manager Olivier Le Touzo explains that the ‘sail-away’ date for the completed project was 11 May 2019.

“The day before, we carried out our final inspection and found that everything was to our satisfaction. We were impressed, because EBHN needed to use the services of a number of subcontractors and it managed this aspect exceptionally well.”

In addition, Sapura Energy had many requests for tools, consumables and local repair services, to which EBHN was able to respond quickly and efficiently.

“All in all, I have to say it was a great job by EBH Namibia,” says Le Touzo.

The SKD Jaya project is the latest in a series of high-level repair projects, which includes the replacement of the bulbous bow of the ship HUASCAR and the repair of the Angolan floating dock among other projects.

“The company’s long history of unrivalled experience and expertise, as well as our streamlined processes and procedures, means we are ideally placed to provide the highest standard of service in line with the clients’ requirements,” asserts Nankole Muyoba.

“We anticipate that this rig project is the first of a number that will provide Namdock, as well as our relevant stakeholders – and the Walvis Bay community – with strong sustainable revenue into the future,” she says.

About Namdock

Namdock (formerly known as EBH Namibia), is strategically located on the west coast of Africa in Walvis Bay, Namibia, to provide a holistic service solution in all aspects of marine engineering and ship repair to the local and international shipping and offshore industry.

Underpinned by a long history of experience and expertise in the offshore repair sector, the company owns and operates three floating docks – including a Panamax-sized dock – in Walvis Bay.

SKD Jaya alongside at Namport'sberth in Walvis Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SKD Jaya alongside at Namport’s berth in Walvis Bay



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NYK Eagle Picture: NYK, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
NYK Eagle Picture: NYK

One of ONE’s (Ocean Network Express) container ships, NYK EAGLE (IMO: 9741396), was in the right place at the right time to become involved in a rescue operation involving Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) and regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres.

In the process NYK Eagle safely rescued six crew members from a sinking coastal vessel (probably read merchant dhow) in the Eastern Gulf of Aden.

The 144,284 ton NYK Eagle was…[restrict] navigating the ocean when it received a request from CMF to assist a small sinking coastal vessel, as NYK Eagle was closest to the affected vessel.

Following a thorough and cautious approach the rescue was carried out by ONE’s NYK ship on the small sinking coastal vessel, with six crew members safely taken on board.

A further two crew members were airlifted by a Japan Navy helicopter and taken to the Japan naval vessel on patrol in the area.

NYK Eagle then sailed to Djibouti to disembark the six rescued crew members, arriving there on Saturday, 22 June 2019 before resuming her sea passage to Rotterdam.

NYK Eagle was built in 2016 at the JMU Kure Shipyard in Japan. The Panamanian-flagged vessel which has a container capacity of 14,026 TEU, is 364 metres in length and 50.6m wide.

The master of the NYK Eagle is Captain Noel Fernandes. The ship is under NYK Shipmanagement Pte Ltd.[/restrict]


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East London harbour entrance, Eastern Cape. Picture courtesy: SAMSA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
East London harbour entrance, Eastern Cape.      Picture courtesy: SAMSA

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) is unapologetic about the approach of its contribution to economic development in the Eastern Cape insofar as it is consistent with its legislated mandate to, among other things; promote South Africa’s maritime economic interests.

This is according to the agency’s acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi in response to mounting criticism levelled against the agency with regards to its role in the attraction of investment into bunkering services now operational in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth in Algoa Bay, as well as its rural maritime economic development projects involving the basic skilling and recruitment of rural coastal youths into cruise tourism globally.

The latter initiative which has seen more than 300 youths trained and found employment in MSC cruise ships across the world was launched in the province in 2017 with the financial backing of the Office of the Premier, Eastern Cape, and technical and administrative support by Harambe.

Sobantu Tilayi, SAMSA's acting CEO, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sobantu Tilayi, SAMSA’s acting CEO

It was initiated in Gauteng in 2016 with the support of Gauteng provincial government and is open to all provinces keen on it.

The bunkering services – essentially an international fuel services station established in the port of Port Elizabeth ocean precinct at the initiation of SAMSA – also began operations in 2016.

Recently, certain groupings, involving mainly environmentalists, have mounted opposition to the venture – now involving three services providers inclusive of a black owned all women company – on fears of possible environmental degradation due to possible oil spillages.

In response during a formal function to mark the registration of a fifth vessel under the South African flag in the port of Port Elizabeth a week ago, Mr Tilayi said the introduction of the bunkering services in the city had been undertaken following careful assessment of its suitability for the international service to merchant vessels passing along the southern coast of Africa.

Lefkas, one of the bunker tankers now registered in and operating at Port Elizabeth, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Lefkas, one of the bunker tankers now registered in and operating at Port Elizabeth.  Picture: courtesy Shipspotting

In addition, he said SAMSA was the country’s agency tasked with prevention of pollution by ships along the country’s three oceans, and also responsible for ensuring the safety of people and property at sea. Therefore, it was incumbent upon SAMSA to make sure there was no environmental threat of the seas by the bunkering services.

Working jointly and closely with the Department of Environmental Affairs, SAMSA had ensured that no danger would be posed by the bunkering services in the Port Elizabeth coastal region beyond pure accidents and which, if experienced, would be managed according to approved safeguard processes already in place.

However, consistent with both SAMSA’s mandate as well as objectives of the Operations Phakisa (Oceans Economy) initiative launched in 2014, crucially, a major consideration was that the investment into the bunkering services was a necessary economic intervention for especially the region of the Eastern Cape province that had historically been ignored by previous government policies and initiatives.

He said contrary to claims by critics, the bunkering services had yielded positive results as it had to date generated sizeable financial income for the Nelson Mandela Bay region running into millions of rand and created employment for about 300-500 people directly and in downstream businesses.

But in addition, broadly, SAMSA had directed its efforts towards rural coastal areas in the Eastern Cape province to contribute to both skills development as well as jobs creation for youth. This was undertaken through two projects, the SAMSA Rural Maritime Development Programme as well as the Maritime Youth Development Programme.

The RMDP involves three broad areas, basic maritime skills development, fishing and marine tourism. The MYDP is focused on basic skills development and placement of youths on cruise vessels.

Eastern Cape coastal scene. Picture courtesy: SAMSA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Eastern Cape coastal scene.      Picture courtesy: SAMSA

According to Mr Tilayi, the targeting of rural coastal areas of the Eastern Cape for these services as opposite to hinterland areas, was deliberate and informed by a defined need to ensure direct participation and beneficiation of the communities closest to the oceans on oceans economy development that was right at their own doorstep.

“It is a great pity, and regrettable that some in the Eastern Cape are finding reasons to look down on and denounce our efforts. But we are not apologetic about our approach to contribution to development of the region and frankly, we would prefer partnerships and collaboration to ensure that people of this region participate and benefit,” he said.

“But we are grateful and encouraged that many others in this region, including especially the Eastern Cape provincial government, are giving full support to our endeavours.”

For Mr Tilayi’s full remarks on the issues, click on the video below. [9:36]


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Le Cerf, built by Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Le Cerf undergoing sea trials off the Cape. Pictures: Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing

Cape Town yacht and boat builder Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing has launched South Africa’s biggest composite and leisure catamaran, the Two Oceans 110 Day Charter Catamaran, named LE CERF.

The new vessel is owned by Mason’s Travel, a leading destination management company in Seychelles. Le Cerf will be based in Mahé.

The Two Oceans 110 Day Charter Catamaran is designed for commercial day charters and for large groups of people and can carry 275 people. The catamaran is the biggest composite and leisure catamaran ever to be launched in South Africa.

She has both an upper and lower deck and a flybridge. The upper deck has…[restrict] plenty of casual seating as well as a bar and dining seating for 60 guests and storage space for snorkeling gear. The lower deck has dining seating for 90 guests as well as casual seating. The lower deck also has a bar and a dance floor, storage lockers, fridges, freezers and chilly bins. All stairways and walkways have blue effects LED lighting, and she has a Fusion sound system.
The galley is housed in the starboard hull and can cater for 250 guests onboard. The starboard hull also has many storage lockers and a crew rest area, and bunks for the crew if needed on a delivery. The port hull houses the guest WC facilities – three ladies’ heads and wash up basins fore of the companionway and two gents’ heads and two urinals and wash up basins aft.

Le Cerf off Cape coast, picture by Two Oceans Marine, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Le Cerf

On her transom, she has a six metre tender on a fixed davit that can ferry 20 people to and from the boat.
The front deck has trampolines, more seating and a beach ladder.

The Two Oceans 110 Day Charter Power Catamaran is another successful collaboration between Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing and South African naval architect Anton du Toit of Du Toit Yacht Design. She is the 11th large custom catamaran that the partnership has launched, with an 82-foot carbon performance sailing catamaran and an 85-foot power catamaran due to be launched later in the year.

Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing has also recently launched the Two Oceans 700 Day Charter Sailing Catamaran, also designed by Du Toit Yacht Design. She is bound for Jamaica, where she will accommodate 170 people on day charters. source: Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing[/restrict]


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Indian Navy destroyer INS Chennai D65, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Indian Navy destroyer INS Chennai D65

The Indian Navy has deployed two ships to the Gulf of Oman to re-assure Indian flagged vessels operating or transiting through the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.

This follows recent maritime security incidents in the region which included four ships being damaged by objects placed on the hulls and then more recently the attacks on two underway tankers, leaving both damaged and one with a fire blazing, that was later successfully extinguished.

In both cases the crews of thee two ship were forced to evacuate to safety from their vessels.

The United States says it holds Iran responsible and has provided video evidence of what it says are Iranian forces seen removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the tankers.

Iran has denied the charges.

According to he Indian Navy its two ships, the destroyer INS CHENNAI D65 and patrol ship INS SUNAYNA P57 will undertake maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

In addition, aerial surveillance by Indian Navy aircraft is also being undertaken in the area. The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region which was launched by the Indian Navy in December 2018 at Gurugram, is also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region.

The navy said that after a holistic review of the situation, two advisories on 13 and 16 June 2019 were issued to all Indian flagged vessels operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian/ Arabian Gulf region advising them to undertake appropriate protection measures.

Indian Navy patrol ship INS Sunayna P57, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: Wikipedia
Indian Navy patrol ship INS Sunayna P57     Picture: Wikipedia



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Impalila Island, Namibia, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Impalila Island

A former South African Defence Force (SADF) naval base covering the region of the Zambezi, Chobe and Okavango rivers in that part of Namibia once known as the Caprivi Strip, has been commissioned into service by the Namibian Navy as Naval Base Impalila.

Since the SADF (now renamed SANDF) left Namibia the base has fallen into disuse but with the growing importance of the region following the emphasis on the Trans Caprivi Corridor connecting the port of Walvis Bay with the Zambian and Botswana borders, the Namibian defence ministry was charged with rehabilitating the base in 2014.

This was completed only in October 2017 and has included the construction of a new jetty that commenced in April 2016 and was completed in October the following year.

Map of Namibia and Caprivi Strip, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Map of Namibia and Caprivi Strip

Apart from the importance of securing a strategic border crossing and transport corridor, other security challenges such as illegal border crossing, unregulated fishing, poaching, theft and drug smuggling occurred at Impalila Island.

According to defence minister Penda Ya Ndakolo,the navy has carried out individual and joint operations with the Namibian Police Force, Impalila Conservancy Authority, the local community, Botswana Defence Force and police. “These operations reduced the threat of crime in the area and made the local community safer,” the minister said.

The new base consists of accommodation facilities, a sewage treatment plant, an electricity generating plant, and a floating jetty for docking with a slipway for launching and removing boats from the water.

Ther commanding officer who was recently commissioned as first CO of Naval Base Impalila is Commander Christian Keendjele. source: Nampa


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1 July 2019 Theme: Successful Voyages, Sustainable Planet

World-Marine-Aids-to-Nav-Day-banner, as featured in an article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Events are being organised through the world and reports indicate that events will be held in Vanuatu, Japan, Argentina, Australia, Spain and Denmark

Readers are invited to see the programme for the event organized by Puertos del Estado, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, HERE.

This theme: Successful Voyages, Sustainable Planet serves to encompass the suggestions proposed by Members of IALA and accommodates all aspects of each of IALA’s Technical Committee.

The theme reinforces the mission of IALA in the maritime arena for worldwide harmonisation of aids to navigation standards, the facilitation of the safety and efficiency of navigation and protection of the environment.

At IALA the aim is to promote greater awareness of its technical work in enhancing safety of navigation world-wide. At the same time it is to improve society’s perception of modern, technologically advanced marine aids which, alongside traditional lighthouses, embrace the latest digital developments and support new developments in all fields, including Vessel Traffic Services⸸.

Using this broad approach the IALA Maritime Buoyage System, could serve as a means to highlight to the wider public the important role aids to navigation play in society.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

* The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities
10 rue des Gaudines
78100 Saint Germain en Laye

Telephone +33 1 34 51 70 01
Fax +33 1 34 51 82 05

The IALA VTS Manual 2016 is available HERE:
further, The IALA Navguide 2018 is available HERE


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AMSOL vessel and SA flag, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Around 370 employees of specialist marine solutions provider, African Marine Solutions (AMSOL), are reaping the benefits of a payout created through the company’s employee share ownership scheme (ESOP), with many owning shares for the very first time.

The scheme, introduced in 2016, has developed into a catalyst for economic empowerment and shared value creation within the maritime industry, with around 84% of the beneficiaries being black employees.

It is a key element of the company’s employee value proposition, according to AMSOL Chief Executive Officer and company appointed Employee Trust representative, Paul Maclons.

AMSOL MD Paul Maclons featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
AMSOL CEO Paul Maclons

“From the outset, great care was invested to ensure that permanent employees at sea and ashore, who are the backbone of our business, share equally in its success, irrespective of position and background. This is the second dividend pay-out employees have received since AMSOL acquired the business of SMIT Amandla Marine in December 2016. Our employees place a high value on being able to improve their financial circumstances through the trust, which is managed by trustees elected by the employees,” he said.

AMSOL’s shareholding includes employees and management who together own a significant minority shareholding, as well as Pan-African Capital Holdings, the Mineworkers Investment Company and RMB Ventures. The company is 100% South African owned and 59% owned by Black South Africans, with a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment rating of Level 3.

Maclons said the Trust’s formation and impact were about creating value for employees and shareholders who have gained a defensive cash generative company into their portfolio.

Championing Empowerment

Maclons said AMSOL had gone to great lengths to champion the empowerment agenda and play a leading role in boosting South Africa’s economic growth and equity in the economy.

“At the time we bought into the business, it was majority-owned by foreign owners, and the staff owned around 12%. We decided to retain the employee’s Trust at the same level of shareholding and we continued with the employees as a key component of our shareholder body,” he said.

“Being 100% South African owned enables AMSOL to achieve its government and private sector clients’ imperatives in terms of preferential procurement and enterprise and supplier development – an important factor, considering that about 20% of our business is with government, as well as clients such as Shell, BP, De Beers and Sapref, amongst others,” he added.

“Our transformation journey has also been about aligning ourselves to do business in Africa. We’ve been able to change the profile of our suppliers quite significantly and more than 60% of local procurement is with black owned businesses and 24% with black female owned suppliers in our supply chain, which is transformation in action,” says Maclons.

Deliberate interventions over the last three years have also seen women in the AMSOL workforce increase from 8% to 14% – now comprising a third of the Senior Management team and 25% at Board level.

These efforts had been recognised through various accolades such as scooping the 17th Oliver Top Empowerment Awards in the category of Skills Development in 2018

About African Marine Solutions (AMSOL)

AMSOL is a specialist marine solutions provider with clients in the Energy, Ports, Mining and Maritime sectors. It was formed in 2016 when a consortium of dealmakers together with Smit Amandla Marine employees acquired Smit Amandla Marine from a foreign maritime group and other local shareholders. Today it is a 100% South African owned, medium-sized company with approximately 550 people, 18 assets and a footprint across all of Sub-Saharan Africa.
For more information, visit

The Port Nolloth crew, featured with an article about AMSOL in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Port Nolloth crew



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by Carol Holness
Senior Associate

A recent judgment of the English courts clarified how contractual terms in charterparties are to be interpreted in relation to background, context, wording and commercial common sense and held that the particular contractual obligation to maintain a vessel’s classification status and certificates was absolute in nature.

In Silverburn Shipping (IoM) Ltd v Ark Shipping Co LLC[1], the court dealt with an appeal against a partial final award of a London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) tribunal. The Owners of the mv Arctic had bareboat chartered the vessel to the Charterers for 15 years on an amended BARECON ’89 form. Clause 9A of the charterparty provided that: “The Charterers shall maintain the Vessel, her machinery, boilers, appurtenances and spare parts in a good state of repair…and they shall keep the Vessel with unexpired classification of the class indicated in Box 10 and with other required certificates in force at all times.”

Carol Holness, NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT in South Africa, featuring in her article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Carol Holness, Norton Rose Fulbright in South Africa

During the course of the charterparty, the vessel’s class certificates expired. The Owners terminated the charterparty, partly on this basis, and demanded that the Charterers redeliver the vessel to the Owners. The Charterers resisted the demand, denying that there had been any breach of the charterparty or that the vessel had factually been out of class.

One of the key issues to be determined by the court was whether the obligation to have the Vessel’s classification certificates up to date at all times was an absolute obligation or an intermediate obligation (requiring the Charterers to reinstate expired class certificates “within a reasonable time”).

The court confirmed the approach to be adopted by courts (and presumably other legal forums) when interpreting contractual terms in charterparties:

1. A court should identify the intention of the parties by reference to what a reasonable person having all the background knowledge which would have been available to the parties would have understood them to be using the language in the contract to mean;
2. It does so by focusing on the meaning of the relevant words in their documentary, factual and commercial context;
3. That meaning has to be assessed in the light of the natural and ordinary meaning of the clause, any other relevant provisions of the contract, the overall purpose of the clause and the contract, the facts and circumstances known or assumed by the parties at the time that the document was executed and commercial common sense, but disregarding any subjective evidence of the parties’ intention;
4. While commercial common sense is a very important factor to be taken into account, a court should be slow to reject the natural meaning of a provision as correct simply because it appears to be a very imprudent term for one of the parties to have agreed to; and
5. The meaning of a clause is usually most obviously to be gleaned from the language of the provision.

The court considered the meaning of Clause 9A of the charterparty and held that it contained two distinct obligations: firstly, an obligation to maintain the vessel (which was an intermediate obligation requiring the exercise of due diligence) and, secondly, an absolute obligation to keep the vessel with unexpired classification and with other required certificates in force at all times. The question of a vessel’s classification status was judged as a question of fact: the vessel was either in class or it was not.

The court found that the vessel’s class certificates had expired and that the Charterers had breached their absolute obligation to ensure that the vessel remained in class. The court ordered that, in principle, the tribunal’s award should be varied to reflect that the Owners were entitled to terminate the charterparty and were entitled to redelivery of the vessel.

In practice, it is not always as simple to determine whether a vessel is factually in class or not as in this judgment. The expiry of certain class certificates does not always result in the automatic suspension of a vessel’s class. The vessel’s classification society’s rules may provide that a failure to timeously renew certain class certificates may result in the vessel being subject to a class suspension procedure (where the class surveyor may recommend that the vessel remain in class) rather than an automatic withdrawal of class.

The judgment confirms the importance of the correct approach to the interpretation of contractual terms. The judgment underscores the importance of complying with an absolute obligation – in this case, an obligation to keep a vessel in class.


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Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director Nigerian Ports Authority, who features in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director Nigerian Ports Authority

The Nigerian Ports Authority has announced the redeployment of a number of port managers and senior personnel within the the NPA.

Making this announcement was the Head of Corporate & Strategic Communications Department, Engr Adams Jatto, who said the moves were aimed at repositioning the nation’s seaports for improved service delivery.

Included among the moves is the immediate appointment of a new Administration Technical Assistant to the Office of the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman.

Jatto said that the Port Manager of the…[restrict] Lagos Port Complex (LPC) Mrs Aisha Ali Ibrahim has been moved to the headquarters as Assistant General Manager Operations.

Taking over as Port Manager at Lagos Port Complex is Mrs Olotu Bolanle Funmilayo, Port Manager Calabar Port.

“Umar Abubakar Garba has become the new Port Manager Tin Can Island Port (TCIP); he was Port Manager at the Rivers Port Complex,” said Jatto.

Simon Okeke remains Port Manager, Delta Ports.

Alhassan Ismaila Abubakar retains his position as Port Manager Onne Port.

Mrs Asien Marie Ehemeiri replaces Mrs Olotu Bolanle Funmilayo as the new Port Manager for Calabar Port.

“Engr Akporherhe Emmanuel moves to Corporate headquarters as Principal Manager Safety.

Engr Yunusa Ibrahim Anji Principal Manager Environment moves to Rivers Port as the new Port Manager.

Isah Idris Danazumi becomes the new Technical Assistant (Administration) to the Managing Director. He takes over from Musa Shehu Yaro who now moves to Procurement Division as Assistant General Manager.

MD Ms Hadiza Bala Usman called on the new appointees to rise to the challenge in their respective roles, saying that the NPA is poised to deliver on its mandate of facilitating international trade in a safe and secured environment. source: Maritime First[/restrict]


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Port of Mombasa second container terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Mombasa second container terminal (computer impression)

In a move intended to help curb illicit trade at the port of Mombasa, the US has made available funds which will be used to provide equipment and systems of upgrading security.

This has included a central alarm station together with monitors able to detect and analyse radiological or nuclear materials.

Quoted by Capital News, US Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter, said the special equipment provided to the port of Mombasa will…[restrict] help in detecting material or chemicals used in manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction and other illicit goods.

The installation of the equipment is US’ support of Kenya’s effort in countering terrorism, smuggling of drugs, illicit goods and wildlife trophies through the port of Mombasa, the ambassador said.

Last week he handed over a modern server that will be installed at Kenya Ports Authority’s Central Alarm Station and connected to the 11 radiation portal monitors.

“Today, what we are seeing here at the port of Mombasa is very costly technology. However, it is not about the technology alone, but the partnership we have created with Kenya,” said McCarter.

US officials have helped train the port’s multi-agency team on how to detect and prevent a proliferation of conventional weapons, drugs and other illicit goods from passing through the port. Included in the training is knowing how to analyse shipping documents to assess any potential security risk associated to strategic goods.

In conjunction with the international IMO ISPS Code, the US has provided support over the past decade to the port of Mombasa for the purpose of bolstering security and boosting trade.

The ambassador said that is Kenya succeeded in growing its economy the whole East African region would benefit. source: Capital News[/restrict]


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(UK) Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report published 20 June 2019

Summary – Man Overboard in Indian Ocean

Illustration: MAIB Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Illustration: MAIB Crown Copyright 2019 ©

On 18 November 2017 a crewman fell overboard from the foredeck of the Clipper Ventures’ yacht CV30 1500 nautical miles west of Fremantle, Australia.

The accident occurred following an accidental gybe in very rough seas while the crew were lowering the headsail. The crewman was initially secured to the yacht by his tether, but before the crew could recover him on board his tether hook distorted and released. After the fall overboard, the skipper, who was on the helm, tried to slow the yacht and manoeuvre to recover the crewman but his ability to do so was limited as a result of damage sustained during the gybe. The crewman was recovered 32 minutes later but sadly with no signs of life.

The MAIB document outlines several safety issues, makes recommendations and draws attention to related publications

Safety issues

*The dangers of lateral loading of tether hooks and the importance of tether securing points arrangement to ensure tether hooks cannot become entangled.

*The importance of adequately risk assessing foredeck operations to ensure sufficient control measures are put in place to keep crew safe.

*Ensuring tethered man overboard recovery procedures are effective and regularly drilled.

*Minimising yacht defects to avoid undue workload for the crew, contributing to their fatigue, lowering morale and increasing the chance of mistakes


*Safety recommendations (2019/110, 2019/111 and 2019/112) have been made to the British Standards Institution (BSI) Committee, World Sailing and Spinlock regarding updating guidance to raise awareness of the dangers of laterally loading safety tether hooks.

*Safety recommendations (2019/113 and 2019/114) have also been made to Clipper Ventures to review and update its risk assessments and procedures particularly for foredeck operations and methods for recovery of both tethered and untethered man overboards, as well as yacht maintenance and repair aspects.

A statement from the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, Captain Andrew Moll RN:

“Today’s report provides a balanced and accurate account of what happened on that tragic day. Those who were there have confirmed this.

“Nobody sets out to be involved in a serious accident. In all of our investigations, it is our role to examine the events themselves, but also the wider circumstances, processes and culture that have led to an accident so that we can make recommendations to prevent the same happening again.

“Over the course of four investigations my inspectors have gained significant insight into the challenges faced by the skippers and crews of Clipper Ventures’ yachts. Today’s report highlights further areas in which safety improvements can be made to make the race safer for all future participants.

“There is an important lesson for the wider yachting community too. Safety tethers form an invaluable defence against falling overboard, but care must be taken when deciding where on board to secure them.”

The MAIB report is available HERE

with annexes CLICK HERE

Related publications concerning earlier large yacht investigations by the MAIB 2012-2018

MAIB safety bulletin 1/2018: use of safety harness tethers on sailing yachts. See HERE

MAIB report 12/2018: investigation of the ground and loss of the Clipper Ventures’ yacht CV24.

MAIB report 7/2017: investigation of two fatal accidents on board Clipper Ventures’ yacht CV21.

MAIB report 4/2012: investigation of a fatal man overboard from the Reflex 38 yacht Lion,

Edited by Paul Ridgway
(based on material kindly provided by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch).


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Maersk offering carbon-neutral transport to customers, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

A new carbon neutral product – the first of its kind in the industry – is being piloted with select Maersk customers who are strongly engaged in sustainable solutions for their supply chain.

H&M Group is the first company to trial it as part of the shift towards carbon-neutral transportation.

The biofuel in the pilot project is the same blend of used cooking oil and heavy fuel which has been tested and successfully validated in a trial driven in collaboration with the Dutch Sustainability Growth Coalition (DSGC) and Shell this year. It is certified as a sustainable fuel by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) body.

“The biofuel trial on board the container ship METTE MAERSK has proven that decarbonized solutions for shipping can already be utilized today, both technically and operationally. While it is not yet an absolutely final solution it is certainly part of the solution and it can serve as a transition solution to reduce CO2 emissions today. With the launch of this product, Maersk seeks to help our customers with their goal of moving to sustainable supply chains,” said Søren Toft, Maersk COO.

The biofuel to be utilized is carbon neutral and provides H&M Group with the ability to reduce their transport and logistics emissions towards their aspiration of carbon neutrality, when accounting for only the emissions from the vessel.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) will provide a procedure to ensure carbon savings are accredited appropriately to Maersk’s customers. When taking a full lifecycle view including also all emissions from upstream production and transportation, the fuel entails savings of 85% compared to bunker fuel.

The goal of such pilot projects is to unlock the potential of sustainable fuels so they become a commercial reality.

“Our ambition to become climate positive by 2040 requires cooperation and engagement from all parties in the supply chain. We want to use our size to be a force for good and enable scaling innovative solutions, such as the carbon neutral ocean product, for a greener commercial transport,” says Helena Helmersson, COO H&M Group.

Maersk will use the biofuel project learnings to support a broader product offering and says it will continue to co-develop and facilitate the uptake of solutions that will help bring about more cost-efficient carbon-neutral options for the carbon neutral transportation.

Today the shift away from fossil fuels can be expensive for shippers. Ensuring the wide-scale adoption of carbon-neutral solutions therefore requires technical innovation and supportive global policies.

“We believe this is the only commercially viable path to make the required investments our industry requires to reach the carbon neutral target. We are so pleased to see a significant shift in sentiment and involvement from customers, fuel suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and competitors towards sustainable solutions,” emphasises Toft.

Shipping remains the most carbon-efficient means of global transport today, but accounts for 2-3% of global emissions. This number will continue to grow if left unchecked by industry leaders and policy makers.

According to Maersk it will continue to facilitate, test, and develop low-carbon solutions on its journey to 2050.


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Map of Barr do Dande in Angola, featured in Africa PORTS& SHIPS maritime news

Construction of the delayed Barra do Dande Ocean Terminal in Angola’s Bengo province, which is designed to store about 1.2 million cubic metres of fuel, is expected to recommence again soon after a two-year shutdown, reports newspaper Jornal de Angola as quoted by Macauhub.

This was according to information provided by Sonangol Logística’s director of engineering and projects, Joaquim Kiteculo to the Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources, Diamantino Azevedo. The minister was paying a visit to the site of the project that is intended to provide Angola with…[restrict] greater onshore fuel storage capacity.

Existing construction of the terminal at Barra do Dande, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Existing construction of the terminal at Barra do Dande

No indication was provided as to when the work might resume.

According to Angolan news agency Angop, the project currently stands at a physical execution of around 25% and by 20 August 2016 when the the Sonangol board of directors suspended all work it had cost more than US$23 million.

The planned investment for the Barra do Dande Ocean Terminal was US$1 billion.

Initial work on the project began in 2013 to initially store 641,500 cubic metres of refined fuel. On completion the facility would become the largest reservoir on land in Angola, covering an area equivalent to 220 football fields.

The 29 tanks designed for the first phase are expected to store 360,000 cubic metres of diesel, 160,000 cubic metres of gasoline and 80,000 cubic metres of Jet-A1.

Barra do Dande lies just to the north of Angola’s capital, Luanda, across the Bay of Bengo.[/restrict]

This was an earlier projection of what the terminmal might look like on completion. Acknowledgements: Skyscrapercity


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HMS Enterprise on arrival, 19 June. MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
HMS Enterprise on arrival, 19 June.   MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©

On 19 June HMS Enterprise commenced a rare visit to London and was berthed in West India Docks.

While alongside in the Capital the Echo Class Multi-Survey Vessel usually based in Plymouth will carry out a number of ceremonial roles as well as providing the public with an opportunity to visit.

One of those roles is the Ceremony of the Constable’s Dues at HM Tower of London on 24 June. This ancient custom originated in the 14th century in the reign of King Richard II who decreed that…[restrict] any large navy vessel passing upstream was to pay a levy to the Tower of a barrel of Navy rum.

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin speaking, 20 June. MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin speaking, 20 June. MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©

On 20 June, Enterprise hosted the newly-appointed First Sea Lord, the Head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Tony Radakin.

In the words of Commander Cecil Ladislaus, CO of Enterprise: “I am delighted to have had the chance to bring Enterprise to our great nation’s capital. This is a unique opportunity and it is an honour to represent the RN at a number of high-profile events.

“My team are looking forward to the visit and are excited about performing the Ceremony of the Dues at the Tower of London. Many members of the Naval Service will go their entire careers without being able to march a barrel of rum to the Tower of London – I am thrilled that the current ship’s company will have this rare privilege. So far, the City has made us exceptionally welcome, and we look forward to the rest of our port visit.”

On 24 June the ship’s company of Enterprise will also attend the Flag Raising ceremony at the City of London’s Guildhall for National Armed Forces Day as well as the launch of London International Sea Week and London Armed Forces week.

Primary role of Enterprise is to conduct hydrographic and oceanographic survey which contributes to the safety of mariners both in and out of defence. Primarily a survey ship she is armed with two 20mm cannons, three Mk44 miniguns and four General Purpose Machine Guns.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway

A Bugler from the Royal Marine Band in HMS Enterprise. MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A Bugler from the Royal Marine Band in HMS Enterprise. MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©


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The interview that follows was given as part of a preview of the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC) that is taking place on 24-25 July 2019 at the Kempinski Gold Coast in Accra, Ghana. Amongst other events the conference will feature a two-day strategic gathering of global maritime leaders and Africa’s Chiefs of Naval Staff as they commemorate Ghana’s 60 years of Naval excellence.
Admiral James G Foggo, III, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa will be among the speakers joining IMDEC to address the attendees of the conference.
James G Foggo III, Commander US Naval Forces Africa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
James G Foggo III, Commander US Naval Forces Africa
Please tell us about yourself- your current role as the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa?

I have been in my role as commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFC Naples) and commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (CNE-A) since October 2017. My previous tours in Naples, Italy, include serving as commander, Submarine Group 8, deputy commander, U.S. 6thFleet; and commander, U.S. 6thFleet and Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO.*

*Adm. Foggo’s full biography is available CLICK HERE

CNE-A operates in one of the most kinetic, dynamic, and operational theaters in the world, and we are in a unique position where our missions directly support two U.S. combatant commanders: U.S. Europe Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

The security environment has significantly changed over the past few years, and we are now in an era of great power competition, with U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, led by me, and U.S. 6thFleet, led by Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, playing a critical role ensuring stability and security across the maritime domain and actively participating in NATO and interacting with partner nations.

Specifically, in Africa, our focus centres around working with our African partners to help them enhance their maritime security. The maritime domain has strategic security implications; not only do piracy and other illicit maritime activities threaten development efforts, weaken state security, and rob states of precious resources required for greater economic growth and effective governance, they can easily destabilize region and create pockets for terrorism to thrive.

We work by, with, and through our African partners through joint engagements such as the African Partnership Station exercises like Cutlass Express, Obangame Express, and Phoenix Express and operations like Junction Rain. We train side-by-side to enhance their capabilities and inter-country communications. With 38 of Africa’s 54 nations being coastal, maritime domain awareness plays a key role in the overall security and stability of the continent. Naval efforts of CNE-A, through the relationships we are building and our engagements in the Horn of Africa, Gulf of Guinea, and North Africa, are helping to create security that leads to economic and social development, which provides opportunities for our African partners to prosper.

A key focus of the event is to enhance maritime security and stability within the Gulf of Guinea. What are the key initiatives, exercises and/or programs in the region that you believe are best aiding maritime security?

In 2010, the 10 countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea operated independently. One country would detect a small boat carrying illegal drugs or a ship boarded by pirates. The country would deploy forces with the goal of tracking down and boarding this vessel, but the moment the vessel crossed into another country’s jurisdiction, efforts were often hampered, as information was not being passed from country to country. Countries did not have the key contacts of their neighboring country leadership, the technology to track maritime activities, or the agreements in place to share this information. They were making the effort but were losing resources as threats crossed from one territorial body of water to the next.

At around this time, CNE-A began hosting an annual exercise series. This includes Phoenix Express in North Africa/the southern Mediterranean Sea, Cutlass Express in East Africa/Western Indian Ocean, and Obangame Express, which is held in the Gulf of Guinea. These exercises followed several years of training under the Africa Partnership Station initiative and are designed to provide necessary focus and engagement opportunities for the U.S. Navy to work with our African partners while incorporating European, North and South American, and other regional allies and partners. The primary goal of these exercises is to focus on maritime domain awareness and law enforcement while promoting national and regional maritime security.

As an example, Obangame Express 2019 (OE 19) had 33 nations participating from the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa, Europe, and North and South America. It was the largest iteration of the exercise to date and included more than 2,500 personnel, 95 ships, and 12 aircraft. More than 80 scenarios were worked across the five maritime zones of the Yaounde Code of Conduct, utilizing seven national military command centers and 19 Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs). OE 19 was the first time a USCG cutter (USCGC) participated, and their unique capabilities allowed them to conduct specialized joint training with our partners on law enforcement.

Along with USCGC Thetis’ (WMEC 910) participation in OE 19, there were many other firsts at the exercise:

Ivorian naval forces incorporated drug-detecting dogs for the first time, working to search a simulated narcotics smuggling vessel to find hidden contraband.

Members of the Nigerian Navy’s special boat service fast-roped from a helicopter onto the deck of a Nigerian warship, conducting the first vertical visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) of a simulated non-compliant vessel during OE.

Nigeria opened its Maritime Domain Awareness Training Centre, which now serves as a training hub for West African countries and contributes to improved communications between partner nations in the region. The center will also increase the frequency at which training can occur and will cut down on cost for African maritime nations, who now no longer need to travel to Europe or North America for training; they can get the same great training much closer to home!

Thetis also conducted joint operations with the Nigerian Navy and the Cabo Verdean Coast Guard during Operation Junction Rain (OJR). USCG law enforcement personnel acted in an advise and assist capacity to the partner nation aboard their ships to help counter illicit trade and criminal activities, providing guidance and training to the Nigerians and then the Cabo Verdeans in their respective territorial waters. U.S. Navy forces continued OJR with Ghana and Togo in June and will continue the operation later this year with Seychelles.

During my many engagements with the African Heads of Navy, I hear about their issues keeping aging ships operational, which prevents them from properly employing them to protect their coasts. One other great initiative we are undertaking this year – which is actually happening right now – is the USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) deployment to the Gulf of Guinea to conduct maintenance engagements with several nations in the region to conduct side-by-side assessments and workshops to address best practices and preventative maintenance.

Our European partners are also working with African partners to enhance their capabilities. The French Navy hosts exercise series African Naval Exercise Maritime Operations (NEMO), which provides further training and operationalization of the Yaounde Code of Conduct in the Gulf of Guinea. Last year, the U.S. Navy supported the inaugural Grand African NEMO, the capstone of the exercise series, by deploying a P-8A Poseidon for the first time ever in the Gulf of Guinea.

These great exercises, operations, and initiatives have led to real-world success:

Rescue of two fishermen off the coast of Sierra Leone. Picture: US Coast Guard, gfeatured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Rescue of two fishermen off the coast of Sierra Leone. Picture: US Coast Guard

In March, Thetis conducted a rescue-a-sea of two fishermen, who were presumed dead, approximately 40 miles off of Sierra Leone. The crew spotted a fishing vessel adrift and proceeded to render assistance. The fishermen had been lost at sea for three days and had run out of food, water, and fuel. Thetis provided necessary supplies and safely transferred the fishermen and their vessel to the Sierra Leone Maritime Authority to be brought ashore.

In May, the Togo Navy successfully intervened and captured pirates attempting to hijack a tanker at an anchorage in Togo’s territorial waters. The MOC received a call from the owner of the tanker reporting that his ship had been attacked at the Lomé anchorage. The Togo Navy and MOC worked quickly to intervene with simultaneous deployment of a fast patrol craft and two patrol boats along with a VBSS team. The ship was stopped approximately 25 nautical miles from the port and diverted back to the anchorage. The ship’s crew of seven was released without any injuries, and the eight pirates handed over to investigating authorities for further processing. The Togo Navy, like many other regional partners, has made significant progress throughout the past decade, and they will only continue to improve.

How do you foresee the regions’ nations working together to curb illegal activity on the Gulf of Guinea? What are some of the challenges and requirements to improve regional coordination in the maritime domain?

We have gone from a time when African partners either didn’t have the facilities, capacity, ships, or MOCs to actually monitor what was going on in their coastal domains to where they not only have those abilities, but they also have the desire and agreements to share maritime matters with one another. One great example of this in the Gulf of Guinea is the Yaounde Code of Conduct, an agreement which shows that these nations can facilitate a coordinated, cooperative, and effective approach to maritime law enforcement.

Another example of how far our African partners have advanced in the maritime domain is the success story of Motor Vessel Maximus. Back in 2016 when I was the U.S. 6th Fleet commander, I received a call from Capt. Heidi Agle, then-commodore of Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa and Task Force 63. She was in charge of our Africa Partnership Station activities in the Gulf of Guinea. Heidi called me from aboard USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1) to report piracy activities in the gulf of Guinea near her ship. She was instructed to find the pirates’ “mother” vessel.

The next morning, she reported pirates had taken over Maximus. Her mission was to find the ship, establish a safe stand-off range, and then call our African partners, starting with Ghana, to let them know that their assistance was needed to monitor the vessel and pass its position to other regional navies and coast guards. The Ghanaians did just that, and as Maximus transited through the waters of Togo and Benin, information was efficiently relayed through each of the MOCs. When the pirates aboard Maximus entered Nigerian waters, the Nigerian Navy was ready for them. NNS Okpabana, a former USCGC, with an embarked Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service VBSS team, challenged the pirates by coming alongside Maximus and stating their intention to board. The pirates claimed to be legitimate businessmen carrying petroleum into port, a statement contradicted by the facts passed to the Nigerians from their neighbors. The Nigerians conducted a non-compliant boarding, apprehended the pirates, and returned Maximus and crew safely to port.

These stories, the Togo Navy’s piracy rescue and the Nigerian Navy’s rescue of Maximus are just a couple of examples of how far our African partners have advanced their cooperation and capabilities in the past decade. The first was a successful and rapid response to a shipboard report, showcasing the collaboration between the MOCs and the forces responding to calls. The second was a complex, multilateral mission that demonstrated the successful hand-off of a pirate vessel from the U.S. Navy to security forces in Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria, respectively. Our Gulf of Guinea partners, through their hard work and perseverance, as well as training by Western and European maritime teams, have increased their maritime domain awareness and ability to share information. They are able to take increasingly more effective actions against security and economic threats, such as piracy and other types of illicit maritime activity. Training, exercises, and operations in the region are paying off.

Define the increasing importance of interagency (including navies, coast guards, marine police, customs and ports) collaboration in securing regional seas? How has the 6thFleet helped spearhead these joint operations within Africa’s coastal waters?

A safe, stable, and secure Africa is in the interest of the global community. Not only do piracy and other illicit maritime activities threaten development efforts, weaken state security, and rob states of precious resources required for greater economic growth and effective governance, they can easily destabilize regions and create pockets for terrorism to thrive. Our shared goals of a secure, stable, and prosperous Africa benefits not only our African partners and the U.S., but also the international community.

Our efforts at CNE-A in the maritime environment help strengthen the defence capabilities of African states and regional organizations to enable them to address regional security threats more effectively, ultimately reducing threats to our citizens and interests abroad and at home. Working to enhance maritime security in Africa’s coastal waters is vital to ensuring our partners in Africa can control their exclusive economic zones against illegal activities and resource exploitation. Through improved partnerships and integrated efforts, we work together to disrupt illicit trafficking, counter piracy, and protect fisheries.

Without interagency cooperation and understanding, criminals are often not held accountable due to lack of communication between local law enforcement agencies and the judicial systems.

CNE-A is and will continue working with our allies and partners to support not only the individual countries but also with Africa’s regional initiatives to build their security and law enforcement institutions to counter piracy, illicit drug trafficking, illicit fishing, arms trafficking, and other illegal and illicit activities occurring in African waters. Through continued training and collaboration, there will continue to be steady improvement in security and stability in the region.

In your opinion, which are the key maritime technologies and systems introduced that best increase maritime security?

Maritime Operations Centers are some of the greatest assets to African coastal nations. They enable a country to not just command and control their own forces but also to easily and rapidly communicate with their neighbors, improve joint capabilities and enhance interoperability between their navies and coast guards. As noted in the Maximus and Togo Navy stories (A4), they are a great tool for our partner nations to use in combatting illicit activity in their waters.

The Maritime Domain Awareness Training Center opened in Nigeria earlier this year is also a key tool for our African partners. It serves as a training hub for West African countries and contributes to improved communications between partner nations in the region. The center will also increase the frequency at which training can occur and will cut down on cost for African maritime nations, who no longer need to travel to Europe or North America for training.

The most recent Africa Combined Force Maritime Component Command (CFMCC) course was hosted by U.S. 6thFleet in Naples, Italy, in December 2018. It brought together more than 40 African, European, and North and South American flag officers and centered on maritime challenges in the African theater. Immediately following the course, a Security Force Assistance (SFA) roundtable was implemented for the first time with participating African and European nations. The roundtable identified specific areas where our Euro-Atlantic allies and partners can assist. The initiatives discussed during the CFMCC course and SFA roundtable will continue to be tracked, implemented through 2019, and readdressed during the next CFMCC course in 2020. These are both excellent opportunities for us to meet and address concerns in the region to better increase maritime security.


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Economic Outlook

Map pf South Africa. Mape: CIA featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
South Africa.     Map: CIA

World economic growth weakened in 2018 with notable weaker performances in economies such as Europe and Asia. Global economic growth was 3,6 per cent in 2018, a 0,3 percentage point below what was initially projected. This slow economic growth was partly due to the escalation of US-China trade tensions, macroeconomic stress in Argentina and Turkey, disruptions to the auto sector in Germany and tighter credit policies in China.

With this economic weakness expected to persist through the first half of 2019, global economic growth is projected to decline further in 2019 to 3,3 per cent. Key risks remain the prolonged trade agreement from engagement between the US and China and the “no-deal” withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, which is a major risk for global expansions for short-term projections.

Despite weakened global economic performance, the South African economy experienced a further dis-connection from global developments. Domestic economic growth has weakened progressively for almost a decade from the 3,3 per cent seen in 2011. A combination of factors has contributed towards this economic slowdown. This prolonged low growth rate is an indication of an economic performance which continues to struggle under a string of mostly domestic structural constraints coupled with key policy uncertainties.

South Africa’s real GDP narrowly escaped recession in 2018 after recovering from two consecutive quarters of contraction. Domestic economic activities improved by 0,8 per cent compared to an upwardly revised 1,4 per cent growth (previously 1,3 per cent) seen in 2017. South African economic performance is expected to remain at low levels in 2019 after a further downward revision. However, the country’s real GDP is forecast to recover gradually over the next three years. Domestic economic activities are expected to improve by 1,2 per cent in 2019 and grow to 1,5 per cent and 1,7 per cent in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

A number of factors, mainly due to slow economic growth, had adverse effects on volume growth performance for commodities passing through our port system.

In the last financial year (FY2018/19), a number of commodities experienced volume contraction compared to the previous financial year. The most affected commodities were break-bulk and liquid bulk.

With anticipated persistent slow economic growth coupled with some global uncertainties, it remains unlikely that we will see any significant recoveries in volumes for FY2019/20.

Both break-bulk and liquid bulk are likely to remain at low growth levels, while other commodities are expected to show some improvement in the second half of the year. However, any significant recoveries across the port system are only likely to be seen once the domestic economic performance achieves a consistent convincing growth rate.

Figure 1: SA’s economic growth and outlook, featured in Africa PORTS &SHIPS maritime news
Figure 1: SA’s economic growth and outlook
Figure 2: Global economic growth and outlook, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Figure 2: Global economic growth and outlook



Contributed by Vukani Nkasa
Economic Analyst
Transnet National Ports Authority


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Post-Brexit hard choices

Samskip containes, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Pan-European multimodal service provider Samskip have indicated experience gained up to 31 March 2019 find it fully prepared for a North Sea container traffic surge, as attitudes harden in the run up to October’s revised UK Brexit deadline. (An illustration of Samskip’s traffic is provided here with thanks ©)

Europe’s largest multimodal transport group by freight volume reports that it expects UK exporters and importers to start switching away from trailers and towards containerisation, repeating a trend established in the run-up to the original deadline for Brexit of 31 March this year.

David Besseling, Samskip UK Trade Manager commented: “We saw a significant push in container volumes up to March 2019, especially into Hull, as decision-makers facing uncertainty opted for…[restrict] the reliability and proven procedures of container shipping. Concerns over supply chain security are fast re-emerging.”

Besseling reflected that stockpiling contributed to the earlier traffic surge, but added that the experience also confirmed robustness in new Hull-Ghent and Hull-Amsterdam links established by Samskip at the end of 2018. The services add to existing high-frequency connections between Rotterdam, Tilbury, Hull and Grangemouth.

He continued: “These additions brought more than simply shortsea capacity. Ghent and Amsterdam have brought multimodal head to head with trailers in new regional markets and opened longer distance routes across Europe.”

Samskip services to Rotterdam are supported by 70 trains a week to destinations throughout the EU and beyond, as well as by regular barge connections but Ghent opens up northern French and Belgian markets traditionally feeding ferries into Zeebrugge. Besseling says the added dimension of low emissions, congestion-free barge connections have also proved an attraction for the Belgian port.

Meanwhile, Amsterdam has brought new flexibility and cost-efficiency, with rail services running into the port’s TMA Logistics shortsea terminal and space available to launch cross-docking services for customs-friendly containerisation.

Furthermore, Besseling said that the period after March has allowed Samskip to refine post-Brexit arrangements and lay down plans for new rail links eastward from Dutch ports to Berlin and Poland, adding to a previous focus on Duisburg and Mannheim.

He concluded by saying: “We have been able to demonstrate performance levels to UK importers and exporters where mutlimodal options have been added and fully deploy the people, resources and IT that will enable seamless customs clearance. We are also confident that cross-docking services in Amsterdam will persuade more shippers of conventional wagon loads from Germany, Austria, Poland and Italy to containerise.”

Finally, Samskip Chief Executive Diederick Blom says that EU parliamentary elections, entrenched views from UK and EU politicians and the contest to become UK prime minister feed a deadlock that points to a ‘hard’ Brexit.

“We comment as logistics professionals not politicians but managing the supply chain is core to meeting the expectations of business and consumers alike,” he said. “In the run up to the original Brexit date, container transport proved reliable and efficient, and that it could handle far more freight without the risk of terminal gate tailbacks, customs red tape, driver shortages or industrial action.”[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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

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