Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 4 August 2019

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Come with us as we report through 2019



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Hoegh Osaka arriving at Durban and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news Picture: Trevor Jones
Hoegh Osaka.    Picture: Trevor Jones

The RoRo vehicle carrier HOEGH OSAKA (IMO 9185463) arrives in Durban with a cargo of vehicles to discharge and others to load. The 51,770-gt car carrier, built in 2000, is owned and managed by Hoegh Autoliners Management of Norway, with the ISM management handled by the company’s Philippines office. In 2015 Hoegh Osaka gained unwanted attention when she grounded on the Bramble Bank off the Isle of Wight before settling on her side with a list of more than 50 degrees. According to the company the ship was intentionally grounded after she began an uncontrollable list. After salvage operations corrected most of the list the vessel was taken to Falmouth for repairs, before returning to service.    This picture is by Trevor Jones



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MAIB 2018 Report, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

This 104-page annual report issued on 17 July provides information on the branch’s activities during 2018 and is available as a pdf HERE


As well as a report for 2018 from the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents this document includes:

* An overview of accidents reported.

* A summary of investigations started.

* Details of investigation reports published.

* Responses to recommendations issued.

* Marine accident statistics.

In the Chief Inspector’s foreword he writes:

“2018 was a challenging year for the MAIB, though to some extent it was business as usual. The year saw 1227 accidents reported, just a few less than the previous year; and 23 investigations started, up from 21 in 2017 but still lower than 2016 when the Branch started 29 investigations. In fact, it looked like being a very quiet year for investigations until December when in the space of four days we commenced five investigations, three of which can be attributed to the heavy weather hitting the UK at that time.

“For the ninth successive year there were no UK merchant vessels of >100gt lost. The overall accident rate for UK merchant vessels >100gt continues to fall at 64 per 1000 vessels, down from 75 per 1000 vessels in 2017. There was no loss of life to crew or passengers due to accidents on board UK merchant vessels >100gt during 2018. Three UK registered small commercial vessels were lost in 2018. There were two reported deaths of crew working on foreign flag vessels while in UK ports: one fell through an open hatch cover, the other was working under an unsecured hatch cover that fell on him.

“Eight commercial fishing vessels were lost in 2018 compared with six in 2017. The loss rate of fishing vessels remains low at 0.14% of the fleet. Six fishermen lost their lives in 2018 compared with five lives lost in 2017. But more of this below.

“The investigations started were the usual mixed bag. Merchant vessel accident investigations included four groundings and five collisions, but notable this year was the number of catastrophic failures of propulsion machinery. Two investigations, involving propulsion failures on Wight Link ferries in the latter part of the year caused us to review some previous investigation reports and to widen the scope of the investigation to encompass everything from design and installation to maintenance and operation. While this is taking some time, what has been heartening is the way that the manufacturers, operators, regulators and Class have collaborated with the Branch to identify the underlying safety issues.”*

MAIB banner logo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

MAIB Annual Reports from 2011 to 2017 are available HERE

Annual reports from previous years and pre-MAIB statistics of casualties to vessels and accidents to men 1973 to 1988 are available from the National Archives’ website by CLICKING HERE

The MAIB was established under Section 33 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988, to investigate marine accidents involving UK vessels worldwide and all vessels in UK territorial waters. Characteristically the task is to help prevent further avoidable accidents from occurring, not to establish blame or liability.

Each year the Branch receives between 1500 and 1800 reports of accidents of all types and severity each year. On average this leads to 30 separate investigations being launched.

Edited by Paul Ridgway
with material kindly provided by MAIB and otherwise available at:

* Reproduced by kind permission. MAIB Crown Copyright 2019 ©


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Ghana and its offshore oilfield, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ghana and its offshore oilfield

Navy to receive six new offshore patrol vessels
The Ghanaian government has signed a contract worth US$200 million for the construction of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Edzinlibo in the Western Region for the protection of the country’s oil and gas infrastructure.

The contract will enable the Ghana Navy to receive associated offshore patrol boats for effective maritime patrols while another contract has been signed with Gulf Frontiers for procurement of…


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SAS Drakensberg. Picture: SA Navy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SAS Drakensberg.   Picture: SA Navy

After returning to the Durban Naval Base late last week following a deployment on patrol in the Mozambique Channel under Operation Copper (counter piracy, the SA Navy combat support ship SAS DRAKENSBERG (A301) has sailed once more back into Mozambique waters.

This latest journey that commenced yesterday (Wednesday) however is about delivering donated relief supplies to areas such as Beira and parts of eastern Zimbabwe and southern Malawi that were devastated by Cyclone Idai earlier this year.

Drakensberg’s latest deployment with Operation Copper, which involves patrolling the Mozambique Channel as part of a SADC counter piracy initiative, as well as guarding against human and drug smuggling, was one of the shortest lasting several weeks only during July.

The navy remains hard pressed to provide ships for Operation Copper, leaving the channel exposed for increased lengths of time.

The SA Air Force at one stage positioned a maritime reconnaissance aircraft at the disposal of Operations Copper, which was based at the Pemba airport but that was withdrawn several years ago.

The current cargo of donated goods for the cyclone relief was collected by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the current voyage of SAS Drakensberg is apparently the first of two or possibly further shipments as the vessel was unable to load all the donations available.

The donated relief cargo being sent to Mozambique follows financial support from the SA government as well as the deployment of air force helicopters and army engineers to assist with immediate relief work almost as soon as the cyclone came ashore.


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Area of the Rovuma Basin LNG development featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Area of the Rovuma Basin LNG development

Matters are quickly coming to a head with the extraction and production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in northern Mozambique, after years of preparation and exploration. On Monday 5 August construction of Anadarko Petroleum’s onshore processing units for the LNG being extracted in the Rovuma basin is due to commence.

This was announced this week by Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi.

The president was presenting Mozambique’s ‘State of the Nation’ to the country’s parliament, when he included the news that he…


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According to a report in the Angolan media, the state has assumed control of the multi-purpose terminals at the ports of Luanda and Lobito that were previously under the management of Soportos – Transporte and Descarga, SA.

Quoting the Jornal de Angola, the media reports say that Soportos is owned by the “former head of the Security House of the President of the Republic, General Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias ‘Kopelipa’, and his family.

The Luanda multi-purpose terminal is one of five…


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Damen-built Ocean Warrior at sea off the coast of Namibia. Picture: Sea Shepherd, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Damen-built Ocean Warrior at sea off the coast of Namibia.    Picture: Sea Shepherd

Africa is home to some of the world’s richest tuna grounds and is also home to over 25 species of sharks, including the critically endangered smalltooth and largetooth sawfish and the endangered whale shark, zebra shark, and hammerhead shark, as well as the blue whale, the West African manatee, and the Atlantic hump-backed dolphin.

More than 50% of the fisheries resources in the stretch of coast ranging from Senegal to Nigeria alone have already been overfished according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Many of the Coastal States in that stretch of coast do not have patrol vessels of their own.

Given that in many African countries, fish provide more than 60% of animal protein and in coastal communities almost 100% of these proteins, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing is a serious threat to the people who depend on the sea for their survival.

There are four IUU issues of special concern for Africa: unlicensed foreign industrial vessels; fishing in prohibited areas,…


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Transnet banner featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Transnet has been made aware of a smear campaign that has been launched in an attempt to discredit the ongoing clean-up of corrupt activities at the state-owned company, says Transnet Chairperson Dr Popo Molefe.

In a statement he said the smear campaign hinges on a supposed conflict of interest with the legal firm that is assisting with forensic investigations, prosecutions and recovery of monies.

The firm, MNS, is one of many corporates that sponsored a golf day run by the Popo Molefe Foundation to raise funds for disadvantaged young South Africans. There is absolutely no conflict of interest in this. MNS publicly declared its support for the event, and announced it in line with its corporate social investment programme. Its support is listed on the Popo Molefe Foundation’s website, along with other supporters.

It is also a matter of record that MNS was appointed by Transnet in the year 2017, whereas Mr Molefe was appointed Transnet board chairperson in May 2018 – making any suggestion of an untoward motive completely ridiculous.

Transnet Chairman Dr Popo Molefe, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Transnet Chairman Dr Popo Molefe

Those behind the smear campaign have also tried to suggest that the board is directly involved in managing the MNS contract, whereas it is a matter of record that the legal team’s work, invoicing and payment is handled by Transnet management.

It is deeply irresponsible, yet not surprising, that these insinuations will be put into the public domain in a bid to cast aspersions on the leadership of Transnet, which has taken firm action against those involved in state capture. These typically involve allegations of bribery and/or corruption, and are completely false.

Clearly, there is a broader “fight back” campaign underway by those who have been unseated by the revelations of state capture at the Zondo Commission, where MNS’ work formed the basis for four weeks of disclosure in relation to the state capture project.

Transnet also puts on record that it has no involvement in the affairs of the Popo Molefe Foundation, although the chairman has briefed the board of its existence. The Foundation is above board, has been declared as required, and there are no conflicts in its operation.

Commenting, Mr Molefe says: “The Foundation has been doing charitable work for more than 20 years, during which a lot of young people acquired access to education they would otherwise have been denied. It is registered with the Department of Social Development and its finances are audited on an annual basis.

“The beneficiaries of this Foundation do not include the Molefe family – it is purely targeted at children from disadvantaged points – and it is an insult to the Foundation and all its beneficiaries to suggest there has been any impropriety.

“These attempts to smear my character follow a similar pattern to the one pursued when I was chairman of PRASA – all of which turned out to have no substance and did nothing to deter me from completing a massive clean-out of corrupt activity.

“Now, it seems, when the Transnet board is having similar success in cleaning up Transnet, baseless and defamatory allegations are floated by those clearly involved in a fight-back against state capture. We can expect similar attacks of this nature going forward, given the environment in which we are working.

“They are unsubstantiated and unfounded allegations and should be treated with extreme circumspection. I reject them with the contempt they deserve – and, if published, they will result in legal action.” source: Transnet


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Image courtesy: SMMT, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Image courtesy: SMMT

In the UK the automotive industry, represented by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has been consistent and united. It has been said that a no deal Brexit would have a devastating impact on the sector and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports. It would end frictionless trade, add billions to the cost of importing and exporting and put jobs at risk. This was made clear in a statement from the Society as July came to an end with Parliament in recess and a new PM outlining his party’s policies.

Before the No 10 appointment the Society drew Whitehall’s and Downing Street’s attention to these facts:

* New calculations reveal a potential £50,000-a-minute cost of hard Brexit border delays to UK automotive manufacturers.

* Loss of an automotive lead would force UK out of the top ten global exporter rankings behind Belgium, Mexico, Canada and Russia.

* The right deal, the right business environment and an auto-friendly trade strategy could deliver £20bn boost as industry maximises potential.

Off the table

In the words of the Society it believes that a no-deal should be taken off the table for good to end damaging uncertainty that has undermined investor confidence and forced companies to spend millions on no deal contingency planning.

The Society went on to say that Government must: (a) secure a future deal with the EU which guarantees frictionless trade and the free movement of goods between the UK and the EU; (b) retain the UK’s preferential trading relationships with third countries such as Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea and Turkey; and (c) maintain the sector’s ability to access EU talent and move employees freely across sites in the UK and EU.

Production down in April

UK car manufacturing plummeted in April as the Brexit shutdowns struck.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented: “Today’s figures are evidence of the vast cost and upheaval Brexit uncertainty has already wrought on UK automotive manufacturing businesses and workers. Prolonged instability has done untold damage, with the fear of no deal holding back progress, causing investment to stall, jobs to be lost and undermining our global reputation.

“This is why no deal must be taken off the table immediately and permanently, so industry can get back to the business of delivering for the economy and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global technology race.”

SMMT’s priorities focus on five areas:

Single Market
To achieve automotive priorities on tariff-free trade and avoiding non-tariff barriers, Government must demonstrate how it intends to secure a future trade agreement with the EU that affords the automotive industry the benefits currently enjoyed as members of the Single Market.

Under a new customs agreement with the EU, Government should prioritise the free-flow of automotive goods at the border to avoid costs, maintain competitiveness and support the just-in-time manufacturing process. Key issues include continued application of common customs rules and procedures without burdensome checks or reporting.

Government must address the needs of the automotive industry in its ability to recruit and access talent when assessing how the UK ends freedom of movement and implements new immigration controls. Key issues include access to labour to fill skills gaps and the current ability for automotive companies to quickly and easily move employees to address operational issues or support project teams.

Government should demonstrate how existing automotive regulation fits within plans for the ‘Repeal Bill’ and work through options for how future EU regulation affecting the UK automotive industry can be effectively implemented. Key issues include future influence on regulations affecting the UK automotive industry, the potential to create non-tariff barriers through regulatory divergence and the ability for the UK to type approve vehicles for the European market.

Clarity is needed on how the UK will treat both existing EU Free Trade Agreements and those currently under negotiation. Key issues include establishing solutions to issues around Rules of Origin, understanding how existing preferential access to markets can be secured as well as benefits from regulatory discussions between the EU and other key markets.

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London (with material kindly provided by media staff at SMMT and ©. )


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Gas pipeline, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

According to consultancy Fitch Solutions the construction of a gas pipeline between northern Mozambique and South Africa is increasingly unlikely because neither market generates sufficient demand to justify the investment.

“The proposed pipeline, which would run from northern Mozambique to South Africa, crossing Mozambique from north to south, faces considerable risks as neither the Mozambican domestic market nor the destination South African market offer sufficient levels of demand to sustain the viability of the projects,” the consultant’s analysis of the Mozambican gas and oil sector cited by Lusa reads.

In the analysis of the outlook…


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Xenata banner appearing with Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Look beneath the surface of a relatively calm month for long-term contracted ocean freight rates and, says Oslo-headquartered Xeneta, industry observers will see a maelstrom of activity, adjustments and market uncertainty.

According to the latest XSI® Public Indices report from Xeneta, the leading ocean freight rate benchmarking and market analytics platform, July saw a marginal decline in rates of 0.4%, with a marked fall in the Far East export benchmark. Meanwhile US exports and European imports performed well.

The global index has now fallen by 2.4% since its all time high in May this year, but remains 1% up year-on-year.

Detailed analysis

XSI® provides a unique real-time picture of ocean freight rate developments, with the report complied from the very latest crowd-sourced shipping data, covering over 160,000 port-to-port pairings, with over 110 million data points.

In July that snapshot has to be studied carefully to capture the key details, says Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund.

“On the face of it a fall of 0.4% is ‘nothing to write home about’,” he notes. “It is in keeping with an overall trend of mid- to long-term rates decline that we have seen since this time last year, excluding May’s unexpected upwards surge. However, if we get the magnifying glass out and start examining individual corridors we can see a complex cast of characters playing out an increasingly high stakes game, with the potential for widespread market impact.

“This is definitely something stakeholders in the shipping value chain need to keep abreast of to ensure they get optimal value for their assets, cargoes and businesses.”

Trade war impact

Of particular interest, Berglund observes, is the growing fallout from the US-China trade war.

The XSI® Far East import index dropped by just 0.1% in July, but has now fallen by 12.6% since the end of 2018 and 15.5% year-on-year. The Far East export figure for the month declined 4.8%. This can be seen in the context of Chinese import and export trade figures for the first half of 2019, revealing exports to the US slumped by 8.1% to USD 199.4 billion, while imports collapsed, dropping 29.9% to USD 58.9 billion.

“There is a real impact on volumes here,” the Xeneta CEO explains, “and that has obvious ramifications upon rates for the Far East trades. On the face of it the US indices appear to be enjoying better fortunes – with a 2.9% rise for imports (up 12% year-on-year) and a 6.6% boost for exports – but look at the updates from major US ports for the first six months of the year and a more telling picture develops.

“For example, import volumes at San Pedro Bay ports declined by 3.3% year-on-year, while exports through Los Angeles and Long Beach, the key hub for Asia cargoes, are reported* to have fallen by 7.1% for the same period. That suggests we are not at a time of ‘business as usual’ and the container shipping industry has to make adjustments to adapt.”

European moves

Such adjustments are already being made in Europe, he notes. Here carriers are taking action to compensate for poor demand-supply fundamentals, with ‘blanked sailings’ in July and early August set to account for the withdrawal of more than 150,000 TEU during what is traditionally a peak sailing season.

The XSI® European figures reveal a rise in import rates of 5.7% for July (up 3.9% year-on-year) with a small gain of 0.7% on the exports benchmark (a 1.5% year-on-year increase).

Interestingly, although the spot market remains under pressure carriers have announced rate increases effective from 1 August on the Far East – North Europe trade. Hapag-Lloyd is introducing an all-in rate of USD 840 per TEU, along with a marine fuel recovery charge of USD 226 per TEU, and CMA CGM is applying an FAK rate of USD 1,150 TEU on the trade.

Positioning for success

“It really is an interesting time,” Berglund says, “with actors at a myriad of levels – from the geopolitical to individual carriers – jockeying to position themselves favorably to survive and prosper in the uncertain times ahead. This will continue to feed into a fluctuating rate marketplace, making it imperative for everyone with a stake in the industry to avail themselves of the very latest market data, insight and intelligence.

“Stay informed and stay ahead, that’s the only way forward.”

To get the full XSI® Public Indices report, please visit:

* Reported figures CLICK HERE


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Rovos Rail train on the Victoria Falls bridge, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Rovos Rail train on the Victoria Falls bridge

Having just completed the first Indian Ocean-Atlantic Ocean rail crossing between Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Lobito in Angola, the owner of Rovos Rail, South Africa’s super luxury passenger train, says he is interested in bringing investments to Angola.

Rohan Vos was speaking to media in the Angolan country town of Huambo while en route to Lobito, after the Rovos Rail train had crossed from Tanzania into Zambia, from there into the DRC and finally into Angola at the border crossing at Luau.

Local media quoted Vos as saying that his interest in possibly investing is a result of the country’s potential in several areas, with one of those being tourism. He would be speaking to potential South African investors on his return from this inaugural train journey.

While in Huambo the 56 tourists on board the train went on a walking tour of the town, including a visit to the war tank zone in the Chiva district, the Nocebo Cuca brewery, the parish of Our Lady of Fatima, the Constantino Camôli Library and the Culatra garden, among other sites.

The tourists were made up of South Africans, Americans, English, Swiss, Dutch, Australians and New Zealanders, and had embarked on the journey of a lifetime, being the only possible ‘first cross-Africa’ rail journey across central Africa for passengers.

Dar es Salaam to Lobito rail journet with Rovos Rail, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maaritime news

Despite the civil war that engulfed the country for about 30 years, the authorities’ efforts to “turn the country into the lands of a fresh start” are visible, which is why it has to further spread its image internationally, Vos said.

After being bid farewell by the governor of Huambo province, Joana Lina, the tour train continued westward for the Atlantic coast and the port city of Lobito, once the busiest port in Angola. With the reopening of the Benguela Railway through into the DRC and the Zambian Copperbelt, there are hopes that some of Lobito’s glory days may soon return.

The Rovos Rail train left Dar Es Salaam on 14 July, bound for Angola as part of a trans-African safari called ‘The Two Oceans’, with visits to several game parks and other scenic attractions en route.

Having completed its first journey the Rovos Rail train will retrace its steps back to Dar es Salaam after which it returns to South Africa via Zambia, the Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe.

Rovos Rail has been operating between Cape Town and Dar es Salaam for a number of years – no doubt the East-West rail journey just completed will not be the last.


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Kenya Railways Madaraka Express, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Kenya Railways Madaraka Express and country town station. Picture: KR

Kenya’s Mombasa to Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has established a new half-year record for containers handled between January and June.

For the first six months of 2019 the SGR handled 197,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEUs) containers compared with 77,020 TEU for the same period of 2018, an impressive 155 per cent increase half-year on half-year.

The SGR operator attributes this growth to an aggressive marketing strategy targeting importers and exporters in Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to use the Mombasa – Nairobi SGR freight services as their preferred logistics partner.

“We have also set up our marketing team and provided practical and feasible advice to Kenya Railway Corporation and relevant authorities for incremental freight transportation,” said Dai Yunjie, spokesperson for Africa Star, the operator of the SGR.

In addition a total of 764,000 passengers used the Madaraka Express during the period, recording no change from a number gathered a year before. The Madaraka Express operates between Mombasa and Nairobi.

Admittedly the SGR is a new innovation and such first year growth could be expected, nevertheless 155 per cent increase is a most positive position for the railway to be in. source: Capital FM


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Some of the delegates to the Cape Town meeting on IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap implementation, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: SAMSA
Some of the delegates to the Cape Town meeting.    Picture: SAMSA

South Africa will be ready to implement new global ships fuel regulations aimed at prevention of air pollution by ships at sea, but may have to pick up pace putting in place prerequisite legislation to legalise the process.

This was the general consensus view of more than 100 industry and government delegates to a purpose fit two day national consultative workshop in Cape Town last week.

Among those attending were representatives of various sub-sectors of the maritime transport industry, fuel producers and distributors, bunkering services providers, ship owners and shipping agents, cargo owners, academics, various government departments representatives including the Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fishing ministry, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transport, as well as the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

Dr John Calleya. Technical Officer: IMO Sub-division for Protection Measures Marine Environment Division, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dr John Calleya. Technical Officer: IMO Sub-division for Protection Measures Marine Environment Division

Also attending was an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) senior official to provide guidance and insight into the global implementation of the new 0.50% sulphur limit in ships fuel come 1 January 2020.

The new regulations are in terms of the IMO’s MARPOL Convention (Annexture VI) whose goal, according to the IMO is to further reduce air pollution by ships through emission.

The revised regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships under the MARPOL (Annex VI) were adopted in October 2008 and ratified by more than 65 countries including South Africa.

In terms of this, all sizes of ships sailing on the world’s oceans will need to use fuel oil that meets the 0.50% limit from 1 January 2020. The 0.50% sulphur limit extends to carriage of bunker fuel with sulphur content of more than 0.50% for vessels not fitted with Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGSC). The carriage ban will come into effect on 1 March 2020.

According to SAMSA, ships must operate using compliant fuels of 0.50% sulphur or less from 1 January 2020 unless they are provided with an approved ‘equivalent’ means of compliance.

In part preparation for the implementation of the new regulations, next January, SAMSA had issued two Marine Notices (Marine Notice No. 8 of 2019 and Marine Notice No. 9 of 2019) to industry, and may yet issue another soon.

At the two day workshop in Cape Town on Wednesday and Thursday last week, among issues discussed by the delegates were matters concerning; the availability of fuel that meets the new requirements, the proper handling of ships coming into South African ports without the compliant fuel, the availability of facilities to test fuels in use by ships, the handling of vessels using non compliant fuel but fitted with sulphur reducing equipment.

Delegates also explored the subject of the coming implementation of the new ship fuel requirements both in its environmental and economics perspectives. All agreed that from an environmental context, these were necessary measures, but with possible economic implications that were not all too rosy, at least in the short term.

Crucially, by the time they dispersed on Thursday afternoon the attendees were generally confident that all key role-players were well positioned and prepared to contribute to the success of the implementation of the regulations from the set launch date of 1 January 2019.

However, a key instrument to knead it all together would be a yet non existent but crucially important piece of legislation to legalise the implementation of the new regulations – a task that is the responsibility of the Department of Transport along with SAMSA.

All delegates were agreed that this is needed to be expedited without further delay and South Africa’s Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO, Mr Sipho Mbata said he believed crafting the legislation would be achievable as it only required the Minister of Transport to facilitate the enactment process.

Mr Sipho Mbata. South Africa’s Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO, London, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mr Sipho Mbata. South Africa’s Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO, London

According to Mr Mbata, the most viable approach to passage of the necessary legislation would be in the form of an annexture to already existing law, rather the a bill process that would take anything up to two years prior to enactment.

He expressed confidence that this would not present a problem as facilitation for passage of the necessary legislation only required the Minister of Transport.

Meanwhile, SAMSA acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, described the gathering and consensus seeking two day workshop for the maritime transport sector in Cape Town as a crucial step towards an ensuring that all role-players were singing from the same hymn book. source: SAMSA

For Mr Tilayi’s full remarks, click on video below [7:30].


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Adonia off Durban. Picture Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Adonia off Durban.    Picture Terry Hutson

With 1 January 2020 less than five and a half months away, INTERCARGO, the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners has expressed its growing concern in view of the magnitude of the challenge lying ahead for the industry and the need for a smooth transition.

The global availability of safe compliant fuels remains a key question largely unanswered, says INTERCARGO. The requirement for the sulphur content of fuel oil used by ships operating outside designated emission control areas not to exceed 0.50% as of 1 January 2020 marks a sea change in the marine fuels’ supply chain.

“It is extremely worrying that compliant fuels have so far been made available only in a limited number of ports and under unfavourable terms for voluntary early testing by ships, as Charterers/Operators are not currently obliged to purchase future compliant fuel. Hence, the practical testing of new fuels and crew training, which is only possible under real conditions aboard ships, is very limited and pushed to the end of year – this situation creates significant safety implications for the operation of ships, which could eventually threaten the safety of seafarers, ships, and cargoes, as well as the marine environment.

“In anticipation of the new fuels made available for practical testing aboard ships well before the end of 2019, it is urged that:

* “the fuel supply industry provides the market with significant volumes of compliant fuels at many ports around the world, so that all sectors can be serviced, including the dry bulk sector
* “the Charterers/Operators start purchasing these fuels
* “the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) related to the 0.50% limit is made available as soon as possible to provide guidance on the application of the existing ISO 8217 specification for marine fuels
* “the ship Owners/Operators enhance crew training. Seafarers deserve our special consideration, as the industry will largely rely on their skills for managing the new compliant fuels aboard ships on the high seas to ensure a smooth implementation of this drastic change.”

About INTERCARGO: The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), which convened for the first time in 1980 in London and has been participating with consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) since 1993, represents the interests of quality dry cargo shipowners, with 2,200 registered ships out of 11,000 ships in the global dry bulk fleet, corresponding to 25% of the global dry bulk fleet basis deadweight. The dry bulk sector is the largest shipping sector in terms of number of ships and deadweight.


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Port and city of Cotonou, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port and city of Cotonou

French oil major Total SA has entered into an agreement with the Republic of Benin and the Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique (SBEE) for the development of a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) terminal to be positioned off Benin.

The FLNG will supply up to 0.5 million tonnes per annum of regasified LNG from Total’s global portfolio to Benin for 15 years, starting in 2021.

Total will develop and operate the regasification infrastructure comprising a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) located offshore Benin and an offshore pipeline connection to…


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Modern standard gauge railway train of Kenya Railways, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Modern standard gauge railway train of Kenya Railways    Picture: KR

Although construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) is continuing in Tanzania, that country too is turning back to the revamping of its old colonial-era metre gauge railway network built over a hundred years ago.

The so-called narrow gauge railways of Africa have been the subject of strong comment, even criticism in recent years for having been imposed on Africa by the former colonial powers as a cheap means of transport in order to exploit the wealth of the continent.

Such sentiments were expressed when explaining the urge to build new (and expensive) standard gauge railways (SGR) in countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria. In the main China has provided the finance and building expertise, as well in some instances the operator of these new shiny rails extending across the African landscape, bringing modernity and efficiency to outmoded transport networks.

Uganda Railways RVR metre gauge diesel locomotive, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Uganda Railways RVR metre gauge diesel locomotive

But now the reality that faced those colonialists of more than a century ago is making itself felt in the present day. Standard gauge railways are enormously expensive to build and costly to operate, particularly if the volume of freight and passengers to be carried remains relatively small. It was so in the 1800s and it is so in the 21st Century!

In each of the four countries mentioned a re-examination of the narrow gauge railways – metre gauge in East Africa and Cape gauge (3ft 6in or 1067mm) in Nigeria – is receiving serious attention.

The real pity of all this is that those self-same ‘colonial’ railways were never properly maintained after the colonial powers left, thus leading to them now having to be extensively refurbished and in some cases rebuilt.

Unable to raise further financing in China for the extension of its SGR, which is now snaking towards the central town of Naivasha west of Nairobi, Kenya has been required to place further construction of the SGR on hold and is undertaking the urgent refurbishment of its metre gauge railway that extends to the Uganda border and to the Lake Victoria port of Kisumu.

Uganda for its part, while in talks with Tanzania over a SGR linking the landlocked country with the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, is likewise revamping its old internal colonial railway, now a part of the Rift Valley Railway. This will reconnect with that on that Kenya side of the border.

Similarly Tanzania, while continuing with construction of its SGR from Dar es Salaam inland, intends upgrading its quite extensive metre gauge railway that connects as far as Lake Tanganyika in the west. It has also engaged with the refurbishment of the northern railway from the port of Tanga to Moshi station some 353 km to the west, which is now reported as complete.

Map showing present configuration of Tanzania Railways, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Map showing present configuration of Tanzania Railways

Tanzania financed the necessary US$2.1 million for the northern railway revamp, a much lower figure than had it gone for an entirely new SGR.

There’s no question that the SGR programme presents a much more marketable and ‘sexy’ image for railway transport while having to compete often on unequal terms with road transport. Nevertheless, in Kenya the government found it necessary to resort to imposing quotas for the transporting of containers between the port of Mombasa and the inland terminal near Nairobi, despite complaints from the road lobby.

Even then it remains doubtful that the volume of traffic being carried on this modern example of railway construction comes even close to helping Kenya Railways break even. For the Chinese that is not necessarily a problem. There are other ways to be paid.   – Terry Hutson


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ZEA FOCUS (IMO 9813230), Zeamarine's  2019-built 14k-900 project cargo vessel, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
ZEA FOCUS (IMO 9813230), Zeamarine’s  2019-built 14k-900 project cargo vessel

ZEAMARINE has successfully been awarded a large ocean transportation contract from Schenker Australia Pty Limited for the BHP South Flank Project in Western Australia. The project scope encompasses the transportation of approximately 450,000 freight tons from China to Port Hedland, Western Australia, with the majority of the cargo being heavy and oversized modules.

ZEAMARINE will be utilising its newly-built ZEA 14k-900 vessel type for the execution of the project. The F-900 vessels were delivered between 2018 and 2019 and are among the most fuel-efficient and technologically advanced multi-purpose tonnage on the water today.

“We are extremely proud of this major award, which represents the largest contract awarded to ZEAMARINE since its inception. The ZEA 14k-900 vessel class has proven again to be a valuable asset and we are pleased that our clients recognize the value of these modern and ecologically-friendly vessels,” said Dominik Stehle, Chief Commercial Officer at ZEAMARINE.

The BHP South Flank Project is located in the Pilbara, Western Australia and will become one of the largest integrated mine sites in the world.

“After an extensive and competitive RFQ process, we selected ZEAMARINE due to its brand new fleet of environmentally friendly vessels that will be utilised for the project, as well as the overall execution proposal offered by ZEAMARINE,” said Frank Vogel, Director Projects at Schenker Australia Pty Limited.


ZEAMARINE is one of the leading providers of global tramp and liner services for the ocean transportation of heavy lift, breakbulk and project cargoes. Services include chartering activities, cargo operations, technical supervision, and engineering solutions. A team of over 250 highly skilled employees secure smooth transportation and cargo operation from 21 offices around the globe. With an operating fleet of about 90 multipurpose heavy lift vessels with capacities ranging between 6,300 and 30,000 dwt and a combined lifting capacity of up to 1,400 metric tons, ZEAMARINE provides the full bandwidth from standard transportation to custom made engineering and transport solutions.



One of the two fast Inshore Patrol Boats donated by India to the Mozambique Navy. Picture Indian Defence Ministry, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
One of the two fast Inshore Patrol Boats donated by India to the Mozambique Navy. Picture Indian Defence Ministry

India has delivered two fast inshore patrol boats (IPV) to Mozambique’s fledgling navy, for use on close inshore patrol work along the African country’s long coastline.

The handover took place in Maputo on Monday 29 July during the visit to Mozambique of the Indian Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh.

The patrol boats can remain at sea for up to 72 hours and are suitable for operations of up to 50 miles from the coast.

The IPV’s have been named NAMITILI and UMBELUZI, after local rivers. Mozambique Defence Minister Atanásio M’tumuke described the two boats as being suitable in helping combat smuggling, arms trafficking, terrorism and piracy.

Although no details have been provided the boats appear to be from the L&T Shipyard in India which supplies similar fast interceptor boats to the Indian Coast Guard.

A team from the Indian Coast Guard is to remain behind in Mozambique to help train personnel and provide support for maintenance and operation of the two boats.

Personnel from the Mozambique Navy have been undergoing training at Chennai in India since November 2018 ahead of the handing over of these two vessels.

The handover of the patrol boats followed a meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Mozambique Prime Minister, Carlos Agostinho do Rosario in which ways of boosting defence and security cooperation between the two countries was explored.

This is Singh’s first overseas visit since taking office as Defence Minister of India.

Earlier Minister Singh and his Mozambique counterpart M’tumuke signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) concerning the strengthening of defence cooperation, the sharing of white shipping information and of cooperation in hydrographic matters – see our report dated Monday 29 July India and Mozambique to monitor ships in Mozambique waters

“The defence minister discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations while meeting the Mozambican leaders and noted the excellent government-to-government ties, strong business exchanges, vibrant development partnership, and long-standing people-to-people links between the two countries,” the Indian Ministry of Defence of India said in a statement.

Discussions also concerned the growing menace of terrorism and radicalisation, towards which Singh offered all possible assistance.

Defence Minister Singh is accompanied in Mozambique by a high-level delegation including the Indian Defence Secretary, Director-General, Coast Guards and senior officials of Ministries of Defence and External Affairs.


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Saldanha Port Manager Vernal Jones accepts his Best Port Manager Health and Safety Award from TNPA Acting Chief Executive Nozipho Mdawe (left) and Transnet SOC Ltd TIMS Director and GM CCRO Office Mirriam Tenyane (right). The Port of Saldanha was also recognised for achieving OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certification and was one of three ports to scoop the Silver Membership Award for achieving a disabling injury frequency rate (DIFR) of zero for one year. The port’s lobster mascot, Rooy, also won the Best Safety Mascot award, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Saldanha Port Manager Vernal Jones accepts his Best Port Manager Health and Safety Award from TNPA Acting Chief Executive Nozipho Mdawe (left) and Transnet SOC Ltd TIMS Director and GM CCRO Office Mirriam Tenyane (right). The Port of Saldanha was also recognised for achieving OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certification and was one of three ports to scoop the Silver Membership Award for achieving a disabling injury frequency rate (DIFR) of zero for one year. The port’s lobster mascot, Rooy, also won the Best Safety Mascot award

Over 400 employees of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) congregated at the Port of Richards Bay for the TNPA National Safety Competition last Thursday, 25 July.

An action-packed programme kicked off with a fun-filled welcome dinner on Wednesday evening where participating teams attempted to intimidate their opponents with their war cries. Nine TNPA safety mascots from head office and the ports helped to spread the team spirit and fire up participants, while TNPA employees from across the country donned both their kit and cheer spirit to show support for their squads.

On Thursday morning it was down to the serious business of the day, as Fire, SHE (safety, health and environmental) and First Aid representatives from all eight commercial ports as well as the Lighthouse and Navigational Systems and Dredging Services divisions battled it out in challenging exercises throughout the day.

Pic 4757 - The Port of Durban’s Zamajama Mthembu retained the title of top SHE Representative, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Port of Durban’s Zamajama Mthembu retained the title of top SHE Representative

Transnet’s Safety Competitions aim to enhance a safety culture in the working environment. This is aligned to one of the pillars of the Transnet Culture Charter, which states ‘We have a safety mindset’.

“We want our employees to feel safe in the workplace, because every single person within our organisation is important to us,” said TNPA’s Acting Chief Executive, Nozipho Mdawe.

“This is why we are striving to ensure that our safety initiatives are always followed through by our executive and senior management. Across Transnet there is a corporate commitment to safety procedures.”

The First Aid category was won by the Ngqura Ambassadors with 97%, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The First Aid category was won by the Ngqura Ambassadors with 97%

The first segment of the awards ceremony on Thursday evening recognised the excellent performance of individuals and teams for safety performance in 2018/19 across five categories.

The Best Port/Business Manager Health and Safety Award was scooped by Captain Vernal Jones, Port Manager of the Port of Saldanha, for his outstanding commitment to health and safety and the positive impact of his leadership style on his team.

The Silver Membership Award for a port or business unit that has achieved a disabling injury frequency rate (DIFR) of zero for one year was clinched by three ports – the ports of Ngqura, Mossel Bay and Saldanha.

Under the banner of the ‘Zero Harm’ slogan adopted by Transnet, TNPA is on a serious quest to eliminate safety incidents and maintain employees’ safety as its highest operational priority.

Winners in the Fire Fighting category were Richards Bay Rhinos from the Port of Richards Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Winners in the Fire Fighting category were Richards Bay Rhinos from the Port of Richards Bay

The Port of Port Elizabeth was recognised as the first TNPA port to receive ISO 45001 certification, while the Port of Saldanha was acknowledged for achieving OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certification.

The TNPA Safety Competition also recognised the top performing TNPA teams for 2018/19 in the Transnet Golden Safety League and Platinum Safety League which are based on a soccer league model wherein points are allocated for adhering to various safety measures.

Three of the top four teams in the Golden Safety League were from TNPA. Top honours in this category went to Depth Raiders from the Dredging Services business unit, while the other TNPA teams in the top positions were Ihawu from the Port of Durban in third place and the Black Eagles from the Port of Mossel Bay in fourth place.

Among teams representing TNPA in the Transnet Platinum Safety League is Inkwazi Warriors from the Port of Richards Bay who scooped 10th position.

An award was also given to the most enthusiastic safety mascots for their participation in this year’s safety competition. First place went to Rooy, the lobster from the Port of Saldanha, introduced earlier this year and named after the infamous red iron ore sand of Saldanha Bay. Second place went to Mkhuseli, the cat from Port Elizabeth, and third place to Phephani, the eagle from the Port of Mossel Bay.

Winning performance

In the second segment of the awards ceremony, the best performers were recognised from the safety competition earlier in the day.

The Port of Durban’s Zamajama Mthembu retained the title of top SHE Representative with a score of 96%. Errol Ballabio from Lighthouses placed second with 93% and the Port of Ngqura’s Lumkile Mvelase came third with an impressive 90%.

The First Aid category was won by the Ngqura Ambassadors with 97%. Team Ubomi from the Port of Port Elizabeth placed second with 88% and third place went to the Port of Saldanha’s Pearls with 87%.

The Fire Fighting category was a tough contest with 21 teams participating. Winners were Richards Bay Rhinos from the Port of Richards Bay who won in a time of 4 minutes and 45 seconds, beating their closest rivals Water Pistols from the Port of PE who came in at 5 minutes and 32 seconds while Port Elizabeth’s Marine Fire Phoenix team took third place again this year with a time of 5 minutes and 38 seconds.

The formal proceedings closed with a vote of thanks from Ms Mdawe who said: “Congratulations to all our winners tonight. You are the standard-bearers and we call upon you to keep rising to the challenges of an ever-evolving port landscape. I hope that we can take this performance to the next level as we continue our journey to world-class excellence.”

She also announced Nelson Mandela Bay as the port city that would host the next TNPA Safety competition.


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HMS Duncan. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©
HMS Duncan. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©

Freedom of navigation is crucial for the global trading system and world economy, and the UK Government has committed to doing all it can to defend it.

In week ending 27 July the Government confirmed that the Royal Navy has been tasked to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait, to provide reassurance to the shipping industry.

It was announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 29 July that the Type 45 Destroyer, HMS DUNCAN, will work with the Type 23 Frigate HMS MONTROSE until she comes off duty in late August, ensuring the …

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Brexit flag

A new 128 page report issued by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on 28 July put forward 200 recommendations to help accelerate no deal preparations for the UK, the EU and companies. These points are based on a comprehensive study of existing plans laid out by the UK government, the European Commission, member states and firms.

The CBI document What comes next? The business analysis of no deal preparations is available as a pdf HERE

Of particular interest to the shipping community will be pages 31, Movements, and 39, Haulage.

With the likelihood of no deal increasing, the CBI has backed up government efforts to help prepare for a no deal exit by publishing practical steps the UK, the EU and businesses can take to reduce the worst effects.

Recommendations from the report, What comes next? The business analysis of no deal preparations, are based on a comprehensive study of existing plans laid out by the UK government, the European Commission, member states and firms.

The analysis shows that neither side is ready for no deal on 31 October. While the UK’s preparations to date are welcome, the unprecedented nature of Brexit means some aspects cannot be mitigated. The report also highlights how – contrary to many claims – the EU lags behind the UK in seeking to prevent the worst effects of a no deal scenario.

Although businesses have already spent billions on contingency planning for no deal, they remain hampered by unclear advice, timelines, cost and complexity. Larger companies, particularly those in regulated areas such as financial services, have well-thought through contingency plans in place, though smaller firms are less well prepared.

It is understood that the business group is using the report to urge the UK and the EU to capitalise on the new political dynamic presented by the appointment of a new Prime Minister to work toward agreement on a deal that would be a catalyst for future growth and prosperity, as well as step up no deal preparations.

This report is based on thousands of conversations with firms of all sizes and sectors, including no fewer than 50 trade associations, spanning all areas of the UK economy.

Overall, it illustrates that even with mitigation, 24 of 27 areas of the UK economy would experience disruption.

Josh Hardie, Deputy-Director General, commented: “Businesses are desperate to move beyond Brexit. They have huge belief in the UK and getting a deal will open many doors that have been closed by uncertainty. There is a fresh opportunity to show a new spirit of pragmatism and flexibility. Both sides are underprepared, so it’s in all our interests. It cannot be beyond the wit of the continent’s greatest negotiators to find a way through and agree a deal.

“But until this becomes a reality, all must prepare to leave without one. It’s time to review outdated technical notices; launch an ambitious communications campaign for every firm in the country and rigorously test all Government plans and IT systems.

“The EU must come to the table and commit – at the very least – to matching the UK’s sensible mitigations. Failure to do so will hurt all our economies. While the UK’s preparations to date are welcome, the unprecedented nature of Brexit means some aspects cannot be mitigated. We can reduce but not remove the damage of no deal.

“It’s not just about queues at ports; the invisible impact of severing services trade overnight would harm firms across the country.

“Preparing for no deal is devilishly difficult. But it is right to prepare. The CBI will continue to support its members to get ready for no deal, as it has for been doing for over a year, but it will need all parties to raise their game.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway
(with acknowledgements for CBI assistance gratfully received)


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The port of Mossel Bay in the southern Cape may not see a large enough number of ship calls in order to term it as a busy port, nor indeed because of natural restrictions can Mossel Bay receive any big ships – the largest vessels anchor outside in the bay where there are two offshore moorings for the use of tankers and a safe anchorage for those cruise ships that include the Garden Route in their itinerary.

In other respects too the port, administered by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), punches above its weight when interacting with the local community.

One such interaction took place earlier in July, on the 22nd to be exact when the port and local community helped commemorate Nelson Mandela Month with the theme of The Garden Route Careers Exhibition.

Mossel Bay Careers Expo featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Job creation and fair access to employment opportunities is regarded as some of the primary ways in which to tackle poverty. Following this idea, TNPA partnered with Nestlé South Africa and the Mossel Bay Municipality Bay by calling on more than 30 public and private exhibitors to directly interact with attendees and showcase their career, study and bursary opportunities to more than 700 grade 9 to 12 youth and the Garden Route community.

Of the local high schools attending were Sao Bras Secondary, Hillcrest Secondary, Point High, Groot-Brakrivier Secondary, Indwe Secondary and South Cape College.

Addressing the expo launch, Mossel Bay’s Harbour Master, Captain Vania Cloete, acknowledged the country’s high unemployment rate and said how difficult it was for many South Africans, particularly the previously disadvantaged youth, to access opportunities in a tough economic climate.

“We as TNPA know that we cannot take action against poverty without creating jobs and enabling people to access economic opportunities,” she said.

Mossel Bay Careers Expo featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

“People need platforms like the Garden Route Careers Exhibition to give them access to potential employers and job opportunities.” Cloete added that the exhibition was also part of TNPA’s activities geared toward promoting awareness of port activities and career and business opportunities offered by the maritime industry.

Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange, provided words of encouragement to the youth when it was his turn to speak. “Young people, it is important to have an idea of the path you want to take. Your presence here today is a first step in figuring out possible routes to explore in your future life and career. As learners you need to make yourselves attractive to employers and desirable in a competitive marketplace,” he pointed out.

“That means gaining qualifications and skills to better enable you to find jobs. I also want to encourage you not to view your circumstances as a deterrent. Economic hardship can be a stumbling block, but it can also be a stepping stone if you are willing to dig deeper and work harder to overcome these personal challenges and put in the work to seek out opportunities.”

Mossel Bay and its port in the middle distance, situated in the heart of South Africa's Garden Route, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mossel Bay and its port in the middle distance, situated in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route

According to Tshikalange companies also have to make an equal effort to attract the best learners and graduates, and to spread opportunities to all levels of society.

“This is why programmes like graduate recruitment initiatives, bursaries, workplace experience programmes and Young Person in Training initiatives are in place in a number of companies, including Transnet. And career exhibitions like this one, put companies in touch with a pool of potential talent, while also showcasing information and opportunities related to careers, bursaries, employment, mentorship, graduate recruitment, internships, training and skills development, he said.

In other activities aimed at commemorating Nelson Mandela Month the port involved itself in the launch of a Literacy Centre at Isalathiso Primary, one of TNPA’s adopted primary schools. To promote literacy, TNPA employees volunteered to teach children how to read, and the Port of Mossel Bay donated much needed stationery for the new centre.

Nationally, TNPA encourages employees who volunteer for causes in their personal time to nominate organisations they wish to support through the company’s Mandela Day activities. Across the country charitable causes that benefitted ranged from youth centres, schools, children’s and old age homes, to palliative care organisations, informal settlements and more.


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The lake vessel UHURU at Port Kisumu, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The lake passenger and cargo vessel UHURU at Port Kisumu

Following promises that Kenya’s port at Kisumu on Lake Victoria would be returned to service after having stood largely idle for several years, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has begun transporting vital equipment to the port.

The equipment includes 15-tonne mobile cranes, forklift trucks and tractor-trailers that will enable efficient cargo handling.

This new determination to return Kisumu to ‘working condition’ follows an increase in interest by all four countries bounding on the lake – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the eastern DRC.

According to the KPA manual labour is currently all that is available at Kisumu, a city that will be linked with Nairobi and Mombasa by standard gauge railway once construction of the SGR is complete.

President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the port several weeks ago and this past week other visitors included the Opposition leader Raila Odinga and Transport Cabinet Secretary, James Macharia.

Shipping on the lake is also undergoing something of a revival with several existing vessels being returned to service and at least one new ship expected in the near future.

The SGR railway to Naivasha and Nairobi/Mombasa may take a little longer than originally intended owing to uncertainty over financing, after China opted out of lending more money. However, if lake transport traffic increases the respective ports in each country will have to gear themselves to handle cargo more efficiently and promptly, and road transport will no doubt move in to take the place of the planned rail at least until the SGR reaches Kisumu.

Lake Victoria and the Kenyan port of Kisumu, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Lake Victoria and the Kenyan port of Kisumu

In addition to acquiring new cargo handling equipment, the government is attending to paving the open areas of the port, improving drainage and access for trucks, tractors and trailers.

The port of Kisumu consists of three berths and a single warehouse. According to the KPA managing director the single warehouse is sufficient for now, or until the SGR reaches Kisumu when increased volumes may necessitate a new warehouse.

On the waterside as reported previously in Africa PORTS & SHIPS, dredging to a depth of six metres alongside the berths and 8 metres in the access channel is necessary in addition to improved navigational aids.

The KPA intends improving the ship repair facilities at the port but it will be left to private enterprise to operate.


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WACT, Onne port featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
WACT, Onne port

The West Africa Container Terminal at the Nigerian port of Onne has been strengthened with the acquisition of two new mobile cranes at a cost of US$10 million (N3.6 billion).

Their purchase comes following an increase in vessel traffic at WACT and other Nigerian eastern ports following the diverting of ships and their cargoes because of the traffic gridlock affecting the Lagos ports.

Ahead of the acquisition of the two mobile cranes, WACT has taken delivery of ten new specialised terminal trucks and two new reach stackers, which are expected to increase the…


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Indian Naval ships. Picture: Indian Navy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Indian Naval ships.   Picture: Indian Navy

According to a report by Russia’s Sputnik news agency, India intends further strengthening its already dominant position in the Indian Ocean by signing an agreement with Mozambique for a round-the-clock monitoring of ships passing through the Mozambique Channel.

It is believed that this is aimed specifically at the challenge that China is setting for India by a growing presence in the Indian Ocean.

This understanding came ahead of a three-day visit to…


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The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr BE Nzimande, together with the Governing Council and Management of uMfolozi TVET College in KZN will on 6 August officially launch the Maritime Academy at eSikhawini Campus, which is outside Richards Bay.

Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology who is expected to officiate at the opening of the academy next week, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology who is expected to officiate at the opening of the academy next week

The academy boasts state-of-the art training equipment imported from Sweden and Norway, while the renovated facility, refurbished classrooms, learning material, training equipment and capacity building have been enabled by funding support from the National Skills Fund and TETA for equipment.

The first group of 68 students commenced with training in April 2019 with up to 240 students to be enrolled in the coming semesters. The academy will primarily target local unemployed youth with an interest in maritime studies and the oceans economy.

The qualifications – 20 short courses, 14 certificate programmes and 18 diploma programmes – will be accredited by the South African Maritime Safety Authority.


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USNS Carson City T-EFP 7, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
USNS Carson City T-EFP 7

The US Military Sealift Command Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship, USNS CARSON CITY (T-EFP 7) has arrived at the Ghanaian port of Tema to help mark the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Ghana Navy and to enhance maritime security in Africa through partnership with African states.

See our earlier report referring to this visit In These Waters 1: West Africa

US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S Sullivan, said at a welcoming reception held for the vessel, “Everyone’s presence here this evening clearly conveys that…


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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

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

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

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

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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

Naval News

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.



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