Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 11 August 2019

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Niledutch Antwerpendeparting from Durban.. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Niledutch Antwerpen.    Picture: Trevor Jones

Dutch shipping company Niledutch container vessel NILEDUTCH ANTWERPEN (IMO 9612791) heads out from Durban in this recent afternoon shot. The 48,044-dwt vessel, built in 2015, is managed by Marlow Shipmanagement of Hamburg, Germany and to add to the cosmopolitan nature of international shipping, Niledutch Antwerpen is flagged in Cyprus.    This picture is by Trevor Jones



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SAS Drakensberg returning to Durban this morning from Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
SAS Drakensberg returning to Durban this morning from Mozambique (see story below)    Picture: Allan Stevani

Durban: A report from Andre Fletcher, the NSRI Durban station 5 commander, informs that this Friday morning (9 August) a 46 year old Romanian crewman was safely patient evacuated off a crude oil tanker.

The transfer of the seriouslty ill patient took place six nautical miles off-shore of the Port of Durban, involving NSRI Durban rescue swimmers, Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and an SA Air Force Flight team in a SA Air Force 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter.

The patient, suffering a medical emergency, was airlifted to hospital in a serious but stable condition for further medical treatment.

The Airborne Sea Rescue operation had been initiated on Thursday night to be carried out at first light Friday morning.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with marine radio communications.


In other Durban port related news, the SA Navy combat support ship SAS DRAKENSBERG A301 returned to the Durban Naval Base at 09h00 this morning, (Friday) after having delivered relief aid donated by the navy to the cyclone relief in central and northern Mozambique, eastern Zimbabwe and southern Malawi.

SAS Drakensberg sailed from Durban a week ago with a full cargo of relief products – at the time it was intimated that a further aid delivery voyage might be necessary.

See our earlier report CLICK HERE


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Teesport on the northeast coast of the UK, where the concept of being a Freeport is being championed, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Teesport on the northeast coast of the UK, where the concept of being a Freeport is being championed… Picture: Wikipedia

London: Earlier this month the UK’s International Trade Secretary, the Rt Hon Liz Truss, announced that the first new Freeports will be established after the UK leaves the EU at the end of October. It is understood that these will speed growth and ensure towns and cities across the UK benefit from Brexit trade opportunities.

UK ports and airports will be invited to bid to become one of up to ten Freeports and a Freeports Advisory Panel, to include Ministers from the Department for International Trade and HM Treasury, is to be established (see below).

Freeports are expected to transform the country’s ports and airports and it is reported that details on how business across the country will be able to bid for Freeport status will be announced shortly.

Such zones are anticipated to reduce costs and bureaucracy, encouraging manufacturing businesses to set up or re-shore (the practice of bringing manufacturing and services back from overseas).

Britain’s decision to leave the EU on 31 October will mean it can operate an independent trade policy for the first time in 45 years, setting its own regulations and developing its own policies to boost economies up and down the country.

Benefits to the North East

As part of the launch of the UK scheme the Secretary of State indicated how becoming a Freeport could benefit one of the UK’s major ports in the Northern Powerhouse, Teesport, (England, NE Coast). When in the area for the launch she met PD Ports staff and toured Teesport to learn more about operations there, priorities and plans for the future and she saw first-hand the port’s size and scale.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has championed Freeports, and a report commissioned by his authority indicated a Freeport could provide a significant boost to his region and the UK area’s GDP – See PDF CLICK HERE

Other ports which have expressed an interest in the bidding process include the Port of Tyne, Milford Haven and London Gateway.

Comment from the Minister

At the scheme’s launch International Trade Secretary Liz Truss MP commented: “Freedoms transformed London’s Docklands in the 1980s, and Freeports will do the same for towns and cities across the UK. They will boost onshore enterprise and manufacturing as the gateway to our future prosperity, creating thousands of jobs.

“We will have a truly independent trade policy after we leave the EU on 31 October. I look forward to working with the Freeports Advisory Panel to create the world’s most advanced Freeport model and launch the new ports as soon as possible.”

The Treasury view…

Chief Secretary to HM Treasury Rishi Sunak added: “We are exploring freeports as an innovative way to drive growth and support thousands of high-skilled jobs across the UK.

“We will focus on those areas that could benefit the most, as we look to boost investment and opportunity for communities across the country.”

…and that of His Worship the Mayor

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen reflected: “Teesport played a crucial role in this nation’s historic trading past, and is key to our great trading future.

“Creating a Freeport right here would turbocharge jobs and growth, bringing investment into the region and making us a global hub of enterprise and innovation.

Freeports Advisory Panel Members

The Freeports Advisory Panel Members are:

Tim Morris, CEO of UK Major Ports Group
Richard Ballantyne, CEO of British Ports Association
Dr Meredith Crowley, Trade Economist, University of Cambridge
Henry Overman, Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics
Dan Korski, Founder, Public
Dr Eamonn Butler, Director, Adam Smith Institute
Tom Clougherty, Head of Tax, Centre for Policy Studies
Emma Jones, Enterprise Nation Founder
Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor

A Case Study: USA

The US pioneered the creation of over 250 free trade zones, employing 420,000 people, many in high-skilled manufacturing jobs.

One such port is in Miami, which sees over seven million tons of cargo pass across its wharves every year.

Businesses within the zone can import, warehouse and re-export products duty-free. This cuts down costs for businesses, helping them become more globally competitive. Businesses can also defer paying tax on their products while they are stored on site, adding peace of mind for businesses looking to manage cash flow and respond more quickly to spikes in demand for their products.

Edited and written by Paul Ridgway


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Wallenius Wilhelmsen's RoRo vessel TOLEDO. Picture: Ian Shiffman, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s RoRo vessel TOLEDO. Picture: Ian Shiffman

Sandefjord: Jotun has signed an agreement with Wallenius Wilhelmsen to provide its Hull Performance Solutions (HPS) anti-fouling coating system across 42 vessels in the leading shipowner’s advanced RoRo fleet.

HPS combines premium SeaQuantum X200 antifouling with technical and digital solutions to accurately measure hull performance. The antifouling works to increase vessel efficiency, cut fuel costs and reduce CO2 emissions.

By utilising HPS across its fleet Wallenius Wilhelmsen will have a powerful tool to optimise environmental performance and deliver enhanced stakeholder value.

“This is a major contract with a true global leader within this industry…

Jotun is the world’s major supplier of marine coatings, its HPS concept was launched to the market in 2011 and has now been delivered to close to 1000 vessels.

Jotun is represented in South Africa with its own offices.


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Coastal scene near Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Coastal scene near Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape

Pretoria: South Africa, geographically located at the southern tip of the African continent bordering on three vast oceans to the east, south and west, is on course to become one of the world’s maritime centres of excellence by 2030, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

Key drivers towards this goal, according to the agency’s acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, include an entrenched and sustained good governance of the oceans, and development and growth of the maritime economic sector, the latter which in turn requires extensive education and skills development.

Mr Tilayi made these remarks while addressing about 2,000 high school pupils during a one-day Maritime Education Expo held at the King Sabata Dalindyebo Technical and Vocational Education and Training (KSD TVET) College in Coffee Bay (Eastern Cape) last Thursday.

The event, jointly organised by SAMSA’s Corporate Social Investment unit, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the KSD College was held to mark the launch of the celebration of the TVET Month (August) – an annual event now in its sixth year aimed at raising greater public awareness technical and vocational education and training as a viable, if important, alternative to academic university education.

Some of the students attending the event in Coffee Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Some of the students attending the event in Coffee Bay

Maritime education and skills development has yet to fully impact the country’s 50 TVET college network, however, and SAMSA took the opportunity to also raise awareness among high schools pupils about South Africa’s maritime status, the country’s maritime and marine sector generally and the opportunities that lie therein for both business investment, education and training, and economic development in general.

The event – the second of its kind in two weeks in the Eastern Cape – attended by also by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Buti Manamela, had also found a match with SAMSAs rural maritime programme.

The programme is focused currently on rural coastal areas which, although with total access to the 3,200 kilometre coastline of the country’s three oceans, lack the wherewithal to make use of it for economic and social benefit. Attached to which is a 2.5-million squares kilometre area of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) at sea.

The SAMSA rural programme pursued in strategic partnerships with issue relevant stakeholders both in government and the private sector, involves awareness promotion, industry and basic skills development and jobs creation particularly in the marine tourism sub-sectors.

Sobantu Tilayi, Acting CEO, SAMSA, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sobantu Tilayi, Acting CEO, SAMSA

Mr Tilayi said South Africa’s Vision 2030 envisaged the country becoming one of the world’s maritime centres of excellence based both on its strategic geographical location as well as its vast knowledge and expertise on maritime issues. However, he said, good governance was a key tool towards the goal, as would be mass education and skills development.

Towards this goal, and as a means to incentivise young school pupils, he offered the eight schools that released its pupils to attend the expo on Thursday, one bursary each, which would be fully funded by SAMSA.

For Mr Tilayi’s full remarks, click on the video below. [15:18] (Predominantly Xhosa)

Meanwhile, in the main address of the event, Mr Buti Manamela emphasised the importance the country now attaches to technical and vocational education and training as both a viable and crucial alternative route to the development of young people with skills they use almost immediately to gain meaningful employment.

He said that one of the success stories of the department of the training section of the department’s portfolio was the expansion of the number of TVET colleges and the restoration of their reputation as institutions of education and training excellence.

Manamela said for SA young people keen on education and skills development, distinct advantages of TVET colleges included they did require Grade 12 for admission, tuition was offered for free and skills acquired could be immediately applied either through industry employment or entrepreneurship.

For his full remarks, click on the video below: [21:23] (English language)


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Station 6's Spirit of Toft with a ship on another occasion when the NSRI was assisting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Station 6’s Spirit of Toft with a ship on another occasion when the NSRI was assisting

Port Elizabeth: Four seafarers were injured, quite seriously, when a freak huge wave struck a bulk carrier off the coast of Port Edward in southern KZN on Tuesday 6 August.

The bulker, which as appears to be the policy involving NSRI reports lately, has not been named, was sailing south off Port Edward when the wave crashed across the vessel, injuring four Filipino seafarers seriously enough that expert medical attention was required.

Initially the NSRI Durban Station 5 was alerted but with the ship continuing southward the NSRI at Station 7, East London were alerted to be ready. However, a decision was subsequently made for the ship to continue further south towards Port Elizabeth where the NSRI Station 6 would rendezvous with the bulker to transfer the injured men ashore.

As a result the Port Elizabeth NSRI duty crew, accompanied by the station doctor and rescue paramedics, launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft at 09h20 on Wednesday (7 August) to rendezvous with the approaching ship in Algoa Bay outside the port of PE.

On meeting the ship the NSRI medical team transferred onto the ship to assess and render further medical treatment to the four injured seamen.

It was found that one man had suffered critical injuries with fractures to the jaw, hip, clavicle and a suspected neck fracture, a second man suffered a fractured Femur and hip, a third a fractured Tibia and the fourth man sustained bruising to the head.

Such were the injuries and with unfavourable sea conditions the decision was taken for the medical teams to continue treatment on the ship while arrangements were made with Transnet National Ports Authority for the ship to enter port.

The patients were stabilised and on entering port the ship was able to dock while NSRI rescue crew and additional medical teams assisted in ongoing medical care before transferring the injured patients on stretchers and then to ambulances that transported them to hospitals for further treatment.


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Takoradi - the grey area adjacent to the container terminal is where the Multi-Purpose Terminal is to be developed,featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Takoradi, the Ghanaian port where the Multi-Purpose Terminal is to be developed

Ghana: Coming not long after the opening of the new Meridian-operated Container Terminal at the Port of Tema, Ghana’s second major port project, a multi-purpose terminal at Takoradi has commenced.

Phase One of the US$475 million Atlantic Terminal Services project began with the ceremonial laying of the first block on Friday last week as a sign that the project is now underway.

Phase One includes a 600-metre quay wall with water alongside dredged to…


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Railway map which shows the likely route also of the new four-lane highway from Adama to Awash, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Railway map which shows the likely route also of the new four-lane highway from Adama to Awash

Addis Ababa: The government of Ethiopia and the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group have signed a US$98 million grant agreement from the African Development Fund (ADF) to help finance phase one of the Ethiopia–Djibouti Road Transport Corridor Project, the AfDB has announced.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Shide, the Minister of Finance, on behalf of the government of Ethiopia, and Abdul Kamara, the African Development Bank Group’s country manager in Ethiopia.

The total cost of the project is $255 million, comprising an ADF grant of $98 million to the government of Ethiopia, an ADF grant of $5.3 million to the government of Djibouti and a…


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Locomotive from Kenya's SGR, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Locomotive from Kenya’s SGR

Nairobi:  The Kenya government has hurriedly backtracked on a directive issued that cargo bound for Nairobi from the port at Mombasa must be sent by standard gauge railway (SGR).

The controversial ruling met with stiff opposition from many quarters. On Tuesday night the National Assembly directed Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia to appear before the Transport Committee on Thursday to explain the directive issued last week, and which was set to take effect today (Wednesday 7 August 2019).

“The order has been suspended to pave way for…


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Launch of Intelsat satellite from Guiana, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Launch of Intelsat satellite from Guiana

Will provide connectivity to service providers in Africa, Asia, Europe & Middle East

Intelsat S.A. announced today (Wednesday) the successful launch of Intelsat 39, which will provide video distribution and connectivity services for mobile network operators, enterprises, governmental entities, as well as aeronautical and maritime service providers operating in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Manufactured by Maxar Technologies and launched aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, Intelsat 39 lifted off at 03:30 pm EDT. The satellite separated from the rocket’s upper stage at 03:59 pm EDT. Signal acquisition has been confirmed.

Designed with wide-beams and high-powered steerable spot beams, Intelsat 39 will deliver high-speed agile connectivity services. The steerable beams will provide additional flexibility, enabling customers to rapidly reposition their service to respond to changing application or geographic requirements.

The satellite’s C-and Ku-band capabilities will add scale to existing Intelsat Flex managed services, enhancing mobile connectivity for aeronautical, maritime, enterprise, and government customers operating across these geographies. Intelsat 39 will replace Intelsat 902 at the 62ºE orbital location.

“Intelsat 39 adds to the breadth of services and vast geographic reach that our global network provides,” said Stephen Spengler, Intelsat’s Chief Executive Officer. “Businesses and communities across three continents will have greater access to robust, reliable and resilient connectivity services whenever and wherever they need it.”

Intelsat 39 is expected to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2019.


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The Deepsea Yantai, a semi-submersible rig platform vessel which arrived in Mossel Bay on Monday this week. Picture: Port of Mossel Bay, Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Deepsea Yantai, a semi-submersible rig platform vessel which arrived in Mossel Bay on Monday this week. Picture: Port of Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay:  The DEEPSEA YANTAI, a semi-submersible rig platform vessel arrived in Mossel Bay on Monday, 5 August 2019. The rig arrived from Singapore and has gone to anchor just outside of Port of Mossel Bay port limits, where she will undergo services and crew change before departing for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

Built in in the Bahamas in 2019 by Chinese rig builder CIMC Raffles, the Deepsea Yantai, previously called Beacon Atlantic, is managed by the Norwegian Odfjell Group. The vessel has a gross tonnage of 24,000 and a summer deadweight of 17,670 tonnes.

Earlier this year, Neptune Energy, one of Europe’s largest independent exploration and production companies, announced that the rig will be used for up to 16 wells offshore Norway as part of the Duva (PL636) and Gjøa P1 (PL153) projects in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Mossel Bay Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange said the Port of Mossel Bay is well-equipped to service the needs of large vessels like the Deepsea Yantai despite being the smallest of TNPA’s commercial ports along the South African coast.

“We commend the efforts of all role-players in ensuring the safe arrival of the Deepsea Yantai. TNPA values the opportunity to assist vessels of this nature and size in the future, which will earn us the trust of international organisations,” he said.

Another vessel owned by the The Odfjell Group, DEEPSEA STAVANGER, is penned to work on the next exploration phase of the Brulpadda project in the Outeniqua Basin situated off the coast of Mossel Bay, where energy giant, Total, discovered gas condensate earlier this year. See our report of 21 July CLICK HERE

Mossel Bay is the only port that operates two off-shore mooring points within port limits. TNPA’s investment into the oil and gas industry ties into government’s efforts to develop the “oceans economy” through its Operation Phakisa programme.

Deepsea Yantai off the port of Mossel Bay. Picture courtesy Port of Mossel Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Deepsea Yantai off the port of Mossel Bay.     Picture courtesy Port of Mossel Bay



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Durban Station 5 deepsea rescue craft Alick Rennie. Picture: Paula Leech, featured in a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Durban Station 5 deepsea rescue craft Alick Rennie.     Picture: Paula Leech

Andre Fletcher, NSRI Durban station 5 commander, reports that at 04h30 on Tuesday this week (6 August), the NSRI Durban duty crew, accompanied by ER24 rescue paramedics, launched the sea rescue craft Alick Rennie to rendezvous with a crude oil tanker approaching off-shore of the Port of Durban, in order to patient evacuate a Russian crewman, age 60, on the ship in what was reported to be a medical emergency.

The NSRI had been alerted just before midnight by TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) to prepare for the operation on the tankers arrival off-shore of Durban at 04h30.

“On arrival on the scene an NSRI rescue swimmer and an ER24 rescue paramedic were transferred onto the ship and the patient was stabilised and secured into a Stokes basket stretcher and in a technical rescue operation using the ship’s crane the patient was transferred (hoisted) onto the sea rescue craft,” reported Fletcher.

In order to ensure additional patient safety the ER24 rescue paramedic was also hoisted onto the sea rescue craft from the ship attached to the Stokes basket stretcher.

Once onboard the sea rescue craft the patient, in the care of the ER24 paramedics, was brought into the Port of Durban to the NSRI Durban Station 5 Sea Rescue base from where he was transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a serious but stable condition for further medical care.

The operation was completed at 07h30.


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African map featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The African Development Bank Group on Monday signed a US$4.8 million institutional support grant to the African Union (AU) for implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The grant, approved by the Group’s Board of Directors on 1 April 2019, forms part of a series of interventions by the Bank in its lead role to accelerate implementation of the Free Trade Agreement, seen as a major force for integrating the 55-nation continent and transforming its economy.

Albert Muchanga, AU’s Commissioner for Trade and Industry, initialed for the continental body, and Obed Andoh Mensah, representing the Bank’s Director of the Industrial and Trade Development Department (PITD), signed…


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RT Kuri Bay, one of the three vessels used by KOTUG to serve the Shell Prelude FLNG facility, as reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
RT Kuri Bay, one of the three vessels used by KOTUG to serve the Shell Prelude FLNG facility

On 30 July it was reported that successful trials of Inmarsat Fleet Xpress had taken place off Western Australia and enabled global tug operator KOTUG International to select this high-speed broadband in part of the Asia Pacific region.

This marks a significant workboat breakthrough for Fleet Xpress we have been informed.

Following trials in the 100-ton bollard pull tug ROEBUCK BAY, the towage service company confirmed that the unique Fleet Xpress combination of Ka-band, continuously backed up by FleetBroadband, has significantly enhanced both the stability of communications and availability.

It is understood that KOTUG will now phase in Fleet Xpress connectivity to cover towage services supporting Shell’s Prelude floating LNG platform by way of a flexible plan agreement that includes Confirmed and Maximum Information Rates for data transfer and crew connectivity. This package also incorporates a comprehensive onboard movie/sports/news content entertainment package.

KOTUG Corporate IT Manager Hans Boele examined requirements and assessed feedback on the trials over a six-month period. He commented that the long-term company commitment to Western Australia demands a lasting connectivity provision that is future proof and scalable.

In his words: “It is our mission to provide sustainable towage services that exceed clients’ expectations and people are our greatest strength when it comes to achieving that. Equipping our vessels with well-functioning broadband supports our crew because it enables them to keep in contact with their relatives and our HQ and it provides uninterrupted access to the onboard entertainment system.

“We also needed terms that took account of flexibility on usage, because the demands placed on the service can vary as towage assistance, personnel transfer and standby duty needs change. In addition, KOTUG’s vessels provide medical support and facilities.”

Shell Prelude, the world's largest floating liquefied natural gas platform (FLNG). Picture: Shell, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Shell Prelude, the world’s largest floating liquefied natural gas platform (FLNG), with gas tanker alongside.  Picture: Shell

It is further understood that Fleet Xpress connectivity will also pave the way to deploy vessel management efficiencies taking advantage of the group’s wider information and communications strategy.

In the words of Gert-Jan Panken, VP of Merchant, Inmarsat Maritime: “We are delighted to build on our relationship with KOTUG International as an Inmarsat client of many years standing. KOTUG already deploys Fleet Xpress off West Africa, and this new commitment confirms that vessels anywhere in the world and of all sizes can secure the operating efficiency and crew welfare gains available from Fleet Xpress with our global, reliable coverage.”

KOTUG uses its own antennas and smart boxes on board, while its business critical decisions are supported by IT tools that manage the business from its HQ in The Netherlands.

On Shell

In June this year Shell, along with its Joint Venture Partners INPEX, KOGAS and OPIC, announced that the first shipment of LNG had sailed from Shell’s Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility located 475kms North East of Broome in Western Australia.

On Prelude

The Prelude FLNG facility is 488 metres loa and 74 metres wide, making it the largest offshore floating facility ever built.

Shell videos on the construction are to be found CLICK HERE

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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map showing location of Comoros islands in the Indian Ocean, featured in a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

UK-based Tullow Oil which announced last November that it had agreed a deal with Discover Exploration Ltd’s affiliate, Discover Exploration Comoros, to acquire a 35 per cent working interest in the Comoros Island’s Blocks 35, 36 and 37, has now completed its entry and that a 3D seismic contract award had been approved by Tullow’s JV partners and the Comoros government.

As a result and with the necessary Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) now approved, the acquiring of…


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artist drawing of the new container terminal at Walvis Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
artist drawing of the new container terminal at Walvis Bay

The Port of Walvis Bay’s new container terminal in Namibia was officially opened on Friday, 2 August, with the country’s President Hage Geingob marking the opening by referring to the new facility as a milestone and another indication that Namibia continues to make great strides towards achieving its developmental objectives as outlined in its national development plans.

The new container terminal has been developed on what was a sandbank facing the port and has increased Walvis Bay’s container capacity from 350,000 to 750,000 TEU. In addition much larger container ships will be able to come alongside than has previously been possible. The terminal now occupies 40 hectares of land basically reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean in under five years since the project was commenced.

In providing this new terminal Namport, which administers Namibia’s two ports, is reaffirming the intention of attracting regional traffic from neighbouring and even some distant countries. Already the port is enjoying some success with the trade corridor projects with cargo to or from Zimbabwe, Zambia, the DRC and Botswana making increased use of Walvis Bay as the port of entry.

Walvis Bay is the closest southern African port to the Americas and to Europe.

The new terminal was developed mainly by China Harbor Engineering Company whose representative said at the function to mark the opening that while the company has participated in more than 100 projects across 90 countries, the Walvis Bay container terminal had been one of the most challenging.

Some of these challenges included the very soft soil that presented unique problems, and the underwater hydrogen sulphide gases also ‘tricked’ the project – although the presence of these gases has been known since the days when South Africa administered the port of Walvis Bay.

Nevertheless the construction of the terminal including new quays and much reclamation of land from the sea went off with more than 2,000 people working on the project over five million man-hours and and without any lost time owing to injury.

Something like N$2.1 billion (R2.1bn) was spent in the local economy.

North Port

Walvis Bay North Harbour (future view), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Walvis Bay North Harbour (future view)

Meanwhile it was announced that construction of the Gateway Port to the immediate north of Walvis Bay port has commenced where a fuel jetty is almost complete along with storage facilities. The area allocated to the North port covers more than 1,400 hectares.


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AfCFTA map of the African continent, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Trade partnerships should be aligned to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said yesterday (Monday).

“This is the first AGOA Forum since the launch of the operational phase of the ACFTA, the potential economic game changer for our continent and the realisation of the decades old dream of the African economic unity.

“It is our ‘Made in Africa’ initiative and we have the opportunity in these proceedings to align AGOA and all our…


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L’Astrolabe. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
L’Astrolabe entering the port of Durban.     Picture: Trevor Jones

The French Navy’s ice-breaking patrol vessel L’ASTROLABE, which is based at La Réunion, arrived in Durban late last week for what is believed to be about 10 days of R&R, during which time the ship will take on supplies and equipment.

The 72-metre long L’Astrolabe entered service in 2017 based at her homeport in Port des Galets in La Réunion and…


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Students, from left, Erenique Solomon, Masibulele Rixana, Izandry Mabotja, Siyamthanda Faliso and Mihlali Mfana, practice the correct position for sitting in a life raft. They were part of a group of female high school learners and university students who got a practical taste of the maritime working world and gained vital sea safety skills in a short course sponsored by Siyaloba Training Academy and the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI). Picture: Sinomtha Gede, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Students, from left, Erenique Solomon, Masibulele Rixana, Izandry Mabotja, Siyamthanda Faliso and Mihlali Mfana, practice the correct position for sitting in a life raft. They were part of a group of female high school learners and university students who got a practical taste of the maritime working world and gained vital sea safety skills in a short course sponsored by Siyaloba Training Academy and the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI).   Picture: Sinomtha Gede

Female high school learners and university students received a practical taste of the maritime working world and gained vital sea safety skills in a short course sponsored by Siyaloba Training Academy and the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) recently.

The group of grade 11 and 12 learners from Hillside Senior Secondary School in Bethelsdorp and Woolhope Secondary School in Malabar, Port Elizabeth, and marine engineering students from Nelson Mandela University literally “dived in” when they donned life jackets and jumped in the water for a practical water safety drill, albeit in a swimming pool rather than the open ocean.

The course involved a classroom day at Siyaloba’s training facility in the Port of Port Elizabeth, where participants learned about safety at sea, emergency signals and procedures, and practiced what actions to take in the case of shipboard fire, medical emergencies and accidents.

On Day 2, they experienced safety procedures and the operation of safety equipment such as watertight doors in action aboard one of Talhado Fishing’s squid fishing vessels in the port, and then underwent practical training in water safety and abandoning ship in the training pool at Marine Training & Consulting.

Summing up her experience, Hillside grade 12 pupil Siyamthanda Faliso, 18, said: “It was an amazing, eye-opening two days. I have always been interested in the oceans, and I’m even more so now. I can’t wait – I want to just do it!”

Mandela University student Adelaide Karomo, 23, who is studying for her Master’s in the Law of the Sea, said the course had brought her studies to life and the practical safety training and certificate would assist in her future work as she planned to combine her legal, ocean governance and science interests in doing research work at sea.

Learners [with faces visible], from left, Thimna Katikati, Mihlali Mfana, Masibulele Rixana and Anelisa Sani practice the buddy position to stay together and await rescue after abandoning ship. Picture: Sinomtha Gede, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Learners [with faces visible], from left, Thimna Katikati, Mihlali Mfana, Masibulele Rixana and Anelisa Sani practice the buddy position to stay together and await rescue after abandoning ship. Picture: Sinomtha Gede
The participants received accredited certificates in Safety Familiarisation Training from the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), which are recognised in terms of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers (STCW).

Siyaloba Training Academy managing director Karen Reid said the course had provided the young women with “a practical outcome, in that the certificates received mean they have completed the first step in the training required for anyone working at sea.”

According to SAIMI operations director Soraya Artman, the initiative came about from a SAIMI women-in-maritime career information and networking event that the learners and students had attended, where Siyaloba had offered to present the free course in order to further enhance their exposure to the world of work at sea.

“Siyaloba has been providing maritime training and related skills development to improve lives in coastal communities for 20 years, and we saw this as a way to add value in a practical, experiential way to what the learners had gained from the SAIMI women’s event,” Reid said.

“SAIMI’s role in enhancing maritime skills development to help grow South Africa’s oceans economy, includes promoting maritime careers and, especially, improving participation in the maritime economy for those previously lacking access, such as women who are globally under-represented in work at sea.”

This week’s course is one of several SAIMI events this year focused on empowering women to participate in the maritime economy, including a seminar held in June to mark the international Day of the Seafarer, and an upcoming women’s maritime career info and networking event in Cape Town later this month.


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Praveen Mishra, IRClass’ Vice President & Regional Manager (EU & Americas)[left], and Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Costas Iacovou show the signed the RO agreements, as reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Praveen Mishra, IRClass’ Vice President & Regional Manager (EU & Americas)[left], and Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Costas Iacovou show the signed the RO agreements

On 30 July it was reported from Mumbai that the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), has signed a Recognised Organisation, or RO, agreement with the Republic of Cyprus. This impressive ceremony was held at the Crown Plaza hotel in Limassol on 23 July.

The Cypriot Deputy Minister for Shipping, Natasa Pilides, delivered the ceremony’s opening address which was followed by the signing of the agreement by the Shipping Deputy Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Costas Iacovou and IRClass’ Vice President & Regional Manager (EU & Americas), Praveen Mishra.

Earlier this year, IRClass had announced its plans for…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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AGOA states, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

South Africa is participating in the 18th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum currently underway in Cote d’Ivoire.

The AGOA Forum is an annual meeting held alternately in Africa and in the United States (US) between the Ministers of Trade of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries and their US counterparts to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel and his deputy Fikile Slovo Majola are attending the meeting that got underway in Abidjan on Saturday.

AGOA is a unilateral US trade preference programme that provides duty-free quota-free treatment for over 6,400 tariff lines from 40 AGOA-eligible sub-Sahara African countries, including South Africa into the United States market.

AGOA banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

“The United States is the world’s largest economy and access to the US market and to American investment in our economy are important ways of addressing job creation and the elimination of poverty. We look forward to a constructive and positive discussion with the United States Trade Representative,” said Minister Patel.

The forum is being held under the theme: ‘AGOA and the Future: Developing a New Trade Paradigm to Guide US – Africa Trade and Investment’.

The meeting will conclude tomorrow (Tuesday).

The AGOA Forum is an annual forum taking place on an alternating basis between Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States. The 17th edition was held in Washington DC in the US.


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AAL Bangkok (IMO 9521564), one of the AAL fleet of general cargo ships managed by Columbia Shipmanagement. Picture courtesy: AAL, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
AAL Bangkok (IMO 9521564), one of the AAL fleet of general cargo ships managed by Columbia Shipmanagement.   Picture courtesy: AAL

The Dutch multipurpose breakbulk shipping company now based in Singapore, AAL has clarified its position and plans for the coming weeks and months as it prepares for the imposition of the IMO 2020 sulphur cap regulation on 1 January 2020.

“AAL has served the multipurpose heavy lift sector for 25 years and we welcome the positive global impact it will have on our environment and the health of current and future generations,” says AAL managing director Kyriacos Panayides.

“The purpose of the new regulation is to reduce sulphur oxide (SOx) levels produced across the…


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Getting the docs in a row

As one shipping business paper warned last week, UK hauliers need to have all their documentation in order in advance of movements planned to follow the Brexit date of 31 October.

Queues in Kent

Furthermore, clear instructions were needed by importers and exporters as to how and where tariffs and documentation need to be declared before the queueing system in Kent (SE England), the hinterland of two of the Channel ports, Dover and Folkestone. This waiting scheme is known as Operation Brock and could be implemented in the event of extensive queues for the ferry ports and Eurotunnel at Brexit, deal or no deal.

Put simply, lorries heading for Port of Dover will be directed to Manston Airfield, while the M20 is used to hold traffic for Eurotunnel. Traffic lights on the A256 after Manston Airfield will help to manage traffic arriving at the port. If the M20 holding area and Manston become full, the M26 could be used to hold additional lorries heading for Eurotunnel.

The plan is well outlined CLICK HERE. It was indicated as inactive as at the beginning of July but one expects implementation to be a swift matter. We shall see.

A welcome and a wake up call

On 25 July, by which time Boris Johnson had been in office as PM for barely a day the FTA’s (Freight Transport Association) James Hookham, who as well as being Deputy CEO is head of Brexit readiness, wrote to Michael Gove the Cabinet Minister responsible for co-ordinating No Deal preparations. He urged rapid completion of the outstanding procedures and extension of concessions. FTA also encouraged high level co-ordination with the logistics sector to protect the economic health of the UK and the welfare of consumers.

Hookham reflected: “…while these discussions are ongoing with government, exporters, importers, freight forwarders and logistics operators in the UK and those working internationally should be taking steps to understand what they may have to do, how it should be done and who they need to deal with to keep their operations flowing.


“The UK’s supply chains are highly interconnected and complex and need to be protected if Britain is to keep trading efficiently with its biggest export markets in Europe. We would still much rather the UK leaves the EU with an Agreement that assures the continuity of frictionless trade but if this is not possible, then as an industry we will need to be ready for the challenging and complicated task of navigating the requirements that will apply.”

On 1 August Hookham commented on the UK Government’s funding for business to prepare for a No Deal Brexit: “The government’s No Deal funding for business, announced today falls well short of what will be required to ensure that all those organisations which currently trade with the EU will be able to continue operating smoothly and efficiently in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

“Five per cent of the fund allocated by the Treasury today equates to only £745 per business – far less than will be needed for each business to understand and implement the procedures, staff and systems required for routine No Deal trading.

“The allowances announced may enable the government to say they have helped business, but the reality once again leaves logistics operators carrying the burden of adapting to and adopting new operating procedures at the last minute (many of the industry’s issues are still to be answered by government), and potentially carrying the can for a lack of government planning. Industry deserves and needs the appropriate boost, rather than the damp squib promised today.”


In the run up to the 29 March Brexit date, FTA lobbied the UK and the EU to obtain important temporary easements and contingency measures which will assist the industry to keep trading links open.

It is understood that many of these will expire, or lapse shortly after the new 31 October Brexit deadline. FTA has urged the new ministerial line up to prioritise extending or re-establishing the necessary measures to ensure that trade can continue to flow freely to and from British industry.

Not a good week

All this in a week which saw the ruling Conservative Government lose a by-election in Brecon Radnorshire (mid-Wales) to the Liberal Democrats and thereby had its working majority reduced to one.

But happy time in prospect

On 25 July both Houses rose for the Summer recess and are due to return on 3 September. Then follows the political party conferences with a return to parliamentary business at the end of the month.

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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Doraleh Container Terminal, Port of Djibouti, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Doraleh Container Terminal, Port of Djibouti

A decision that was due to be taken last week by the government of Djibouti to apply to the country’s high court to rule all previous international adjudications null and void is a complete disregard for and contravention of the global legal system and existing contracts, says Dubai-based port and terminal operator, DP World.

According to DP World the move is proof of Djibouti’s complete disregard for recognised legal practice and respect for contracts which it says calls into question any investment in the country both…


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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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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

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