Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 18 August 2019

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related maritime news of interest for Africa since 2002
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Come with us as we report through 2019



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

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  • MSC AINO named in Durban Harbour: exciting SA job creation venture announced
  • Detention of Grace 1. The end of a saga, or is it?
  • Coega creates 120,000 jobs, says CDC
  • New Walvis Bay Container Terminal to be commissioned Saturday 24 August
  • Indian Register of Shipping forges Indian Coast Guard training partnership
  • Damen Shipyards Cape Town joins WISTA
  • Collision between USS John S McCain and Alnic MC: NTSB Findings
  • NEWS from earlier …….(Headlined in Blue)
  • Pipelay and accommodation vessel Jascon 30 docks in CT for refurbs
  • 23,756-TEU MSC Gulsun videos of first voyage to Europe
  • Lamu New Port Update: First berth complete & ready for business
  • Mozambique to concession another five national roads to private operators
  • SAIMI sets new initiative to grow South Africa’s maritime culture
  • Douala Autonomous Port planning a second container terminal
  • Maersk includes vessel calls at Kribi in Cameroon
  • Cameroon think tank rates Kribi port over regional competitors
  • Anadarko takeover concluded: Total to be new operator of Rovuma Basin
  • Another Royal Navy frigate HMS Kent heads for Gulf escort duties
  • STERNPOST: Another view from London
  • Bonus for port of Lüderitz as 520 tonnes of manganese arrives by rail
  • Kenyan truckers faced with container embargo turn to specialised cargo
  • Trends: Remote surveys inspecting ships
  • US$432 million investment arranged for Owendo port in Libreville, Gabon
  • Celebrating the fourth anniversary of the New Suez Canal Inauguration
  • Durban News: NSRI & Air Force evacuate patient from tanker: SAS Drakensberg returns
  • UK Trade Secretary announces Freeports Advisory Panel
  • Jotun signs 42 vessel HPS contract with Wallenius Wilhelmsen
  • South Africa can become one of the world’s maritime centres of excellence, says SAMSA
  • Saturday’s masthead is the Port of Apapa, Lagos
  • ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦



    News continues below


    HMS Westminster in London, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    HMS Westminster in London, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    HMS Westminster in London, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    HMS Westminster arriving at West India Dock at the beginning of last week. She is en route to HM Naval Base Portsmouth. Photos: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©

    Five-month NATO deployment completed

    HMS Westminster, a Type 23 frigate, recently an element of Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1), has been taking part in an intensive programme of exercises. This included Exercise Baltic Protector, in the Baltic region in which Westminster joined warships from Poland, Turkey, Spain, Denmark and Germany.

    On her passage back to UK waters from the Arctic Circle, the Type 23 frigate shadowed a Chinese warship through the English Channel.

    Westminster’s arrival in London this week marked five years since she last visited her affiliated city of Westminster. Her ship’s company exercised their Freedom of the City when 130 sailors marched through the streets of Westminster, from Horse Guards Parade, along Whitehall, past Downing Street and thence to the Houses of Parliament.

    Edited by Paul Ridgway



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    Captain of the MSC Aino Aleksandr Lebedev, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Nomusa Dube – Ncube, Director of MSC Depots Mrs Sandra Sarno and Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala at the naming ceremony of the vessel in the Port of Durban. Picture: Val Adamson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Captain of the MSC Aino Aleksandr Lebedev, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Nomusa Dube – Ncube, Director of MSC Depots Mrs Sandra Sarno and Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala at the naming ceremony of the vessel in the Port of Durban. Picture: Val Adamson

    Durban: At the naming ceremony for the new 12,108-TEU MSC AINO (IMO 9770751) container ship in Durban today (16 August), MSC South Africa announced the formation of its new training facility, the Shosholoza Ocean Academy, which will begin to operate from November 2019.

    It was also announced that construction of the new Durban Cruise Terminal would commence in early November this year.

    Speaking at the ceremony attended by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala and other dignitaries, Captain Salvatore Sarno, Chairman of MSC SA, said that this was the first time a MSC container vessel has been named in the Port of Durban. He said that MSC had specifically chosen to name the ship here as it demonstrates the company’s commitment to this country by creating jobs and growing the economy.

    Referencing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address earlier this year, in which he stated that government would create “no less than two million new jobs for the youth in the next decade”, Captain Sarno said, “Our intention is to actively demonstrate our confidence in the country and by extension the economy, as we have put plans in place to train and create jobs for 5000 people on both our cruise and container vessels.

    Shosholoza Ocean Academy

    “We have formed the Shosholoza Ocean Academy, as a non-profit company in response to the urgent need for young people to be employed in South Africa,” said Sarno. “Last year in October, our Managing Director Rosario Sarno met with the Department of Trade and Industry to formulate its development and we have the full backing of government going forward.”

    KwaZulu Cruise Terminal

    Captain Sarno explained that KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) was recently awarded the contract for the development of the new Passenger Terminal. KCT is a partnership between MSC cruises and African Armada, a black empowerment company headquartered in KZN. The Shosholoza Ocean Academy will be housed on one level of this building.

    Durban Cruise Terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    “It has always been a dream of ours at MSC to have a passenger terminal in Durban which affords our guests a sense of dignity as they disembark and embark on voyages with our liners,” said Sarno. “Utilising the building as both a commercial space and training environment will have great synergies going forward, as trainees will have real-time and practical experiences of working in this sector, developing their understanding and confidence prior to graduating.”

    Training will be provided by expert and qualified personnel in many forms of hospitality that are relevant to the cruise sector, as well as technicians, welders, boilermakers, maintenance and repair personnel for the container and cargo sector. Students would be required to do theoretical training and also serve on either a cruise or container vessel on any of MSC’s vessels globally to gain hands-on experience and expertise whilst studying towards their chosen area of interest.

    Details of recruitment and enrolment will be communicated at a later stage.

    Challenge to other commercial companies

    “It is part of our company’s long-term vision to support the President’s call for job creation by creating 5000 more jobs within five years,” said Captain Sarno. “We would like to challenge other commercial companies and ventures in South Africa, to look internally to their own businesses to see how they can support this call for job creation too.”

    Reaffirming the Port of Durban and the City of Durban’s unique capability to support the shipping industry and create opportunities for economic growth, Captain Sarno said, “Durban recently showed the country and the world that we are able to be more actively involved in the global shipping sector, when we did repair work on the MSC Ines, the 300m container ship that was damaged in the storm in 2017. The entire rudder was damaged and had to be replaced. Instead of towing it to Singapore technicians and experts from Durban were able to do the job. Now that is a great indication of how we can grow an economy around repairs and building in the sector as well.”

    MSC Aino has been named after Aino, a daughter of a MSC manager, in the tradition of naming ships after female family members of people working at MSC.


    IMO 9770751
    GT: 112,695-gt
    DWT: 128,688-dwt
    Built: 2019
    Length: 328 metres
    Width: 48m
    Entered Service: 15 July 2019
    Maiden arrival Durban: 15 August 2019
    Naming Ceremony at Durban: 16 August 2019
    Godmother (sponsor): Mrs Sandra Sarno
    Ship owner & manager: c/o MSC Shipmanagement Cyprus
    Flag: Liberia


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    Grace 1 as seenin Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    To recap

    Gibraltar: Readers will recall the news of 4 July that a tanker had been arrested in Gibraltar waters. This was the crude oil tanker Grace 1, (IMO 9116412) Panama-flag, believed to be managed by iships Management Pte Ltd of Singapore. (Previous names found to have been: Meridian Lion (2013) and Overseas Meridian (2011) both on the Marshall Islands’ Register.

    This 330 metres loa, 300,579 dwt crude oil tanker was understood to have been carrying a cargo of crude from Iran to a Syrian refinery in contravention of EU sanctions. The vessel was boarded by Royal Marines with the support of the Royal Gibraltar Police and HM Customs and she was detained.

    The latest Gibraltar Government statement

    At 14h39 GMT on 15 August a statement was received from the Chief Minister’s Office of HM Government of Gibraltar and we are privileged to reproduce it here.

    In this document The Hon Fabian R Picardo stated:

    “On the 3 July I specified the very large crude carrier, the Grace 1, under the Sanctions Regulations.

    “The designation of the vessel arose from information providing Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar with reasonable grounds to suspect that the Grace 1 was being used in breach of applicable EU Sanctions against Syria.

    “The information suggested that the vessel was bound for the Baniyas Oil Refinery in Syria where it would supply its cargo of 2.1m barrels of crude oil to the Assad regime.

    “At 02h00 on 4 July 2019, the Grace 1 was detained by the Gibraltar law enforcement agencies with the support of the Royal Marines, upon having freely navigated out of the Straits and into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

    “The detention was subsequently confirmed and extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court until a hearing earlier today (15 August).

    “In this time, investigations have been conducted which have produced evidence confirming that at the time of its detention the Grace 1 was indeed carrying its cargo to the Baniyas refinery in Syria.

    “This was in contravention of Article 14 of the EU Regulation on Sanctions on Syria. Full details of that evidence are in the Legal Notice I have published today.

    “Given the surrounding political tensions that arose in respect of this matter, on the 19 July I met with Iranian officials in London in the spirit of seeking to de-escalate all aspects of the issues arising from the detention of Grace 1.

    “The meeting was both positive and constructive.

    “I made clear that our detention of the vessel related exclusively to the implementation of sanctions against Syria.

    “In the weeks that followed, we have continued to have constructive discussions with representatives of the Republic of Iran to facilitate the release of Grace 1 pursuant to the satisfaction of all legal requirements.

    “In that time, the owner of the cargo has been confirmed to be the National Iranian Oil Company and the vessel has been re-flagged under the flag of Iran itself and re-insured.

    “On 13 August, I received written assurance from the Republic of Iran that, if released, the destination of Grace 1 would not be an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions.

    “I welcome that assurance.

    “This is an important material change in the destination of the vessel and the beneficiary of its cargo.

    “Indeed, this assurance has the effect of ensuring that we have deprived the Assad regime in Syria of more than $140 million of valuable crude oil.

    “Subsequently, a direct request was made to me by the Islamic Republic of Iran on 5 August for the release of the Grace 1 under Sections 38 and 39 of our Sanctions Act.

    “In light of the assurances we have received, there are no longer any reasonable grounds for the continued legal detention of the Grace 1 in order to ensure compliance with the EU Sanctions Regulation.

    “With effect from today I have therefore revoked the Specification of the Vessel.

    “Separately, the United States Department of Justice has requested that a new legal procedure for the detention of the vessel should be commenced.

    “That is a matter for our independent Mutual Legal Assistance authorities who will make an objective, legal determination of that request for separate proceedings.

    “The Grace 1 is therefore now released from detention under the Sanctions Act by operation of law as confirmed this afternoon by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    “The net effect is that this operation has become the most successful implementation of the European sanctions regime to date.

    “It also amounts to a demonstration that Gibraltar is a jurisdiction that acts in keeping with the law and is committed to the rules-based, international legal order.

    “Gibraltar can be proud of the role it has discharged in guarding the entrance to the Mediterranean and enforcing EU sanctions.”

    According to the Gibraltar Chronicle it is not clear when the vessel will sail or if the US will apply to the court for a further detention. Neither is it clear for which port the vessel will be bound once she sets sail.

    It is understood that the Gibraltar authorities have now released the Master of Grace 1 and three officers who had been arrested and bailed pending the outcome of enquiries.

    Edited by Paul Ridgway


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    Coega Development Corporation (CDC) headquarters building at Coega, near the port of Ngqura, Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Coega Development Corporation (CDC) headquarters building at Coega, near the port of Ngqura

    Port Elizabeth: The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) on Thursday (15 August) announced that it had created more than 120,000 jobs through its programmes across the country.

    CDC’s Head of Marketing, Brand and Communications, Dr Ayanda Vilakazi said Coega continues to serve as the leading pioneer for socio-economic development through ground-breaking efforts that ensure standards of sustainable growth are met.

    As the CDC celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, a total of…


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    Drawing of the new Walvis Bay Container Terminal. Image: Namport, fetaured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Drawing of the new Walvis Bay Container Terminal.   Image: Namport

    Durban: We recently reported that construction of the Port of Walvis Bay new container terminal had been completed earlier this month. See that report Walvis Bay new container terminal opens.

    “From today, Walvis Bay becomes a strategic gateway to the emerging markets of southern and west Africa as well as those of Latin America,” said the President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Hage G Geingob, who officiated at the opening of the terminal.

    Situated at Latitude 22° 56′ 26″S Longitude 14° 28′ 30″E the new container terminal will propel…


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    TP Sadanandan, ICG Inspector General, Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    TP Sadanandan, ICG Inspector General

    London: One of the world’s leading classification societies, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), recently launched a bespoke training course for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at IRClass’ head office in Mumbai, India. This was reported on 15 August.

    Welcoming senior officers of the ICG, Suresh Sinha, Managing Director of IRClass, lauded the close collaboration between IRClass and ICG in co-creating course material relevant to ICG’s training needs.

    In Sinha’s words: “IRClass, through its training arm, IRClass Academy, worked under the auspices and guidance of ICG Inspector General TP Sadanandan, and ICG Deputy Inspector General Sudhir Sahni to curate course material that will help the ICG maintain their ships at high standards.”

    He added that IRClass had been providing services to the ICG for over three decades and the training programme prepared for this course has been developed primarily to cover the Coast Guard Rules developed by IRClass and the application of these Rules during the construction and service life of ICG ships.

    Senior ICG officers at IRClass’ head office in Mumbai, also in attendance are Suresh Sinha, MD of IRClass and Vijay Arora, Joint MD of IRClass, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Senior ICG officers at IRClass’ head office in Mumbai, also in attendance are Suresh Sinha, MD of IRClass and Vijay Arora, Joint MD of IRClass

    This two-week course covers a wide range of topics including onboard inspection work and issues relating to material, welding, non-destructive testing, safety- related matters, statutory requirements and so forth. It is understood that the faculty has been drawn from an experienced pool of surveyors having domain knowledge in areas such as engineering, ship building, electrical engineering, hull structure, stability and more.

    KK Dhawan, Head, Defence at IRClass, brought out the tailor-made training programme for Coast Guard personnel which will ensure that all aspects related to class, inspection and maintenance of ships are discussed in detail. He also mentioned that this training continues to ensure close cooperation between IRClass and the Coast Guard.

    IR Class banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    Established in 2014 as IRClass’ maritime training and education wing, IRClass Academy, disseminates industry knowledge to various stakeholders through courses in areas such as ship operations, maintenance and surveys, ship design and shipbuilding, ports and terminals and marine management systems.

    Edited by Paul Ridgway


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    Cape Town: Damen Shipyards Cape Town reports that it has joined the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) in South Africa. The yard is represented in the Association by Transformation and ESD Manager Eva Moloi.

    WISTA is an international networking organisation whose mission is to attract and support women, at the management level, in the maritime, trading and logistics sectors.

    Transformation and ESD Manager Eva has been…


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    USS John S McCain. Picture: USN ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    USS John S McCain.   Picture: USN ©

    Insufficient training, inadequate bridge operating procedures, lack of operational oversight

    London: On 12 August the (US) National Transportation Safety Board announced that the 21 August 2017 collision between the USS John S McCain and the tanker Alnic MC was caused by insufficient training, inadequate bridge operating procedures and a lack of operational oversight.

    Ten sailors aboard John S McCain died in the accident and 48 were injured when the ships collided in the Middle Channel passage of the Singapore Strait Traffic Separation Scheme. There were no injuries to the crew of Alnic MC. Property damage resulting from the collision exceeded US$1.2 million. There was no report of pollution associated with the accident.

    This collision happened when John S McCain, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer with a crew of 280, homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, and Alnic MC, a Liberian-flagged chemical tanker carrying a partial load of cargo with a crew of 24, were transiting towards Singapore in the westbound lane of the Singapore Strait Traffic Separation Scheme. The Singapore Strait is one of the busiest waterways in the world, with more than 83,700 vessels of more than 300 gross tons transiting the strait in 2016.

    Marine Accident Report

    In its Marine Accident Report (No 19/01) the NTSB determined the probable cause of the collision was a lack of effective operational oversight of the destroyer by the US Navy, which resulted in insufficient training and inadequate bridge operating procedures. Contributing to the accident were the John S McCain bridge team’s loss of situation awareness and failure to follow loss of steering emergency procedures, including the requirement to inform nearby vessel traffic of their perceived loss of steering. Also contributing to the accident was the operation of the steering system in backup manual mode, which allowed for an unintentional, unilateral transfer of steering control.


    As John S McCain entered the Singapore Strait, steering and thrust were being controlled by a single watchstander – the helmsman – from the helm station. The commanding officer directed the lee helm station be manned as well and the crew took actions intended to transfer propeller thrust control from the helm to the lee helm station. The NTSB concluded that during the process of shifting thrust control, a John S McCain watchstander unintentionally transferred control of steering from the helm to the lee helm station which resulted in a perceived loss of steering by John S. McCain’s helmsman, however, steering control was available at all times in the accident sequence. The NTSB further concluded the unintentional transfer was possible because the system was being operated in backup manual mode, which removed a safeguard against inadvertent transfer of steering control.

    Loss of steering

    It is reported that the NTSB also concluded in its report that the inability to maintain course due to a perceived loss of steering, the mismatch of port and starboard throttles producing an unbalanced thrust, and a brief but significant port rudder input from after steering combined to bring John S McCain into the path of Alnic MC. The decision to change the configuration of John S McCain’s critical controls while the destroyer was in close proximity to other vessels increased the risk of an accident, according to the NTSB’s report.

    Safety Recommendations

    Based upon its investigation of the collision, the NTSB issued seven safety recommendations to the US Navy seeking:

     Issuance of permanent guidance directing destroyers equipped with the Integrated Bridge and Navigation System to operate in computer-assisted steering modes, except during an emergency.

     Issuance of guidance to crews emphasizing the importance of appropriate use of very high frequency radio for safe navigation.

     Ensuring design principles in ASTM International Standard F1166 are incorporated when modernizing complex systems such as steering and control systems within the Integrated Bridge and Navigation System.

     Revision of written instructions for bridge watchstanders on destroyers equipped with the Integrated Bridge and Navigation System to include procedures for shifting steering and thrust control between all bridge stations.

     Revision of Integrated Bridge and Navigation system technical manuals to include a description of and procedures for ganging and unganging throttles.

     Revision of training standards for helmsman, lee helmsman and boatswain’s mate of the watch for destroyers equipped with the Integrated Bridge and Navigation System to require demonstrated proficiency in all system functions including transfer of steering and thrust control between all bridge control stations.

     Instituting Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code rest standards for all crewmembers aboard naval vessels.

    It is understood that the US Navy is acting on a number of its own measures to address safety issues identified in the wake of the John S McCain accident and other recent western Pacific region accidents.

    NTSB Marine Accident Report 19/01 is available online at:

    Edited by Paul Ridgway


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    Jascon 30, a DP3 pipelay and accommodation vessel, recently docked at Sturrock Dry Dock for refurbishments. Picture TNPA, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    Jascon 30, a DP3 pipelay and accommodation vessel, recently docked at Sturrock Dry Dock for refurbishments. Pictures: TNPA, Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Jascon 30, a DP3 pipelay and accommodation vessel, recently docked at Sturrock Dry Dock for refurbishments. Pictures: TNPA

    Cape Town: The Jascon 30, a DP3 pipelay and accommodation vessel owned by the Dubai-based Telford Offshore, recently underwent refurbishment and refabricating work at Transnet National Port Authority’s Port of Cape Town Sturrock Dry Dock. The work was carried out by repair company, Dormac Marine & Engineering.

    Ship repair manager at the Port of Cape Town, Zwelisha Khuzwayo, said employees went the extra mile to dock the vessel, which is an essential asset in subsea pipe laying exercises for oil companies.

    “It was docked safely using an alternative mechanism as the port is intensifying its maintenance programme on the Capstans and going ahead with the replacement of Capstans in all dry docks as part of Operation Phakisa,” he said.

    Following repairs the vessel will be deployed for use across the globe under its new name. Until earlier this month it was known as Telford 30.

    TNPA says it is investing significantly to restore ship repair facilities with the intention of stimulating the repair sector to accommodate a greater volume of work and position its ship repair facilities to be globally competitive.

    The port authority’s Operation Phakisa investments in Cape Town include R950 million allocated to modernise the port’s ageing facilities including the Robinson Dry Dock, the Repair Pier and Sturrock Dry Dock, and the Syncrolift.

    TNPA also announced earlier this year that the Sturrock Dock would receive a new floating caisson as part of the overhaul, which will enable one of the biggest dry docks in the Southern Hemisphere to improve efficiency.


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    Courtesy of YouTube, here are two videos taken during the first voyage of MSC GULSUN from Asia to Europe. The above video shows the 23,756-TEU vessel, the biggest container ship afloat, with a record-breaking 19,574 TEUs loaded on her decks at the port of Tanjung Pelepas.

    We recently recorded the transit of this huge ship through the Suez Canal and featured  a video showing this ship preparing to load her first cargo at Tianjin in north China – you can see that video clip CLICK HERE

    The second video clip on this page shows the huge vessel, still on her first voyage to Europe, at the Spanish port of Algeciras. Enjoy!  Spanish sub-titles.


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    Lamu new port in an earlier stage of construction, phase one., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Lamu new port in an earlier stage of construction, phase one.

    Lamu: The LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority (LCDA), which has responsibility for developing the new Kenyan port of Lamu, says that the first berths of Phase One is now 100% complete.

    The Lamu port development project, a part of the greater Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor, calls for a deepwater port with 32 berths once all phases are completed.

    Lamu port: Phase One consists of the first three berths, with berth 1 now complete, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Phase One consists of the first three berths, with berth 1 now complete

    Phase One of a US449 million contract awarded to China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC), required the construction of three berths. With berth 1 now complete, berths 2 and 3 are expected to be completed by December 2020. Each berth will occupying a 400 metre length and a depth alongside of between 17.5 to 18 metres.

    Certain necessary infrastructure such as the Port Headquarter Building, Port Police Station, Electric Power Connection to the National Grid and Water Reticulation Network have been undertaken and are also complete. Construction of the Port Management Housing Scheme is also ongoing.

    Dredging commenced in December 2016 and the total cost of construction of phase one will be $689 million, including dredging and reclamation, construction of the berths and yards, revetment work, causeway and roads, construction of buildings and utilities, procurement of equipment and tug boats, and others.

    Financing of Phase One has been the responsibility of the Kenya Government. The other 29 berths are intended to be financed by private sector investors.

    The plan is to concession the first three berths to the Private Sector with operations at the first berth commencing this year (2019). The remaining 29 berths will be concessioned to the Private Sector for both construction and operation.

    The success of the new Lamu deepwater port is mostly dependent on the successful delivery of the other components of LAPSSET – a transport corridor linking Kenya with several neighbouring states – specifically of South Sudan and Ethiopia but also to possibly include Uganda and the eastern DRC. The corridor will include oil pipelines to South Sudan and Kenya’s own oil producing region.

    The overall LAPSSET project, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


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    Mozambique roads to be concessioned. Picture: ANE, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Picture: ANE

    Maputo: Mozambique’s National Roads Administration (ANE) has revealed that five of the country’s national roads are to be concessioned to private operators as a means of creating permanent maintenance capacity and consequent improvements in road safety and usability.

    The report published by Noticias states that included are the 185 kilometre-long Marracuene-Xai-Xai stretch of the EN1, 65.9 km of the EN2 Matola-Boane-Namaacha, 31 km of the EN3 from Impaputo to Goba
    Nampula- Namialo- Lúrio- Metoro on the EN1, and Nacala to…


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    Maritime awareness campaign partners announced the launch of the national campaign that will take place in East London on 4 September. From left, Keagan Halley, aquaculture advisor, Department of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries; Colonel Vusumzi Zondi, SAPS Border Policing; SAIMI acting CEO Odwa Mtati; Noma Marambana, Director: Professional Services, Dept of Public Works; Lulamile Stuurman, Deputy Director: Tourism Human Resource Development, Department of Tourism, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Maritime awareness campaign partners announced the launch of the national campaign that will take place in East London on 4 September. From left, Keagan Halley, aquaculture advisor, Department of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries; Colonel Vusumzi Zondi, SAPS Border Policing; SAIMI acting CEO Odwa Mtati; Noma Marambana, Director: Professional Services, Dept of Public Works; Lulamile Stuurman, Deputy Director: Tourism Human Resource Development, Department of Tourism

    Port Elizabeth: Few South Africans realise that their country is a maritime nation – with control over sea territory greater than its land mass, and the bulk of its trade conducted by sea – but a new initiative by the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) is set to change that.

    SAIMI, the national institute tasked with advancing skills development to support growth of South Africa’s oceans economy, has partnered with a team of maritime stakeholders to launch a national Maritime Awareness Programme aimed at growing a national maritime culture and pride in the country’s oceans environment.

    The campaign, with the theme ‘Dive In’, will be launched at a national Maritime Careers Expo at the…


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    Douala Container Terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Douala Container Terminal

    Douala: A second container terminal for the Port of Douala in Cameroon is under serious consideration.

    Faced with localised competition from the new deepwater port at Kribi (see reports in this edition), the Port autonome de Douala, also known as PAD or in English as Douala Autonomous Port, which is the port authority at Douala, has apparently come to the realisation that in order not to lose ground to Kribi it requires a second container terminal.

    According to the reports the terminal would be funded and built under the familiar Build Operate Transfer (BOT) scheme and be either an extension of the existing container terminal on the left bank of the harbour, or on a new site on the right bank.

    It is understood that feasibility studies as well as concession agreements could be completed by the end of this year.

    Douala’s existing container terminal has been operated on a concession by Douala International Terminal (DIT) since 2005. DIT is controlled by the consortium Bolloré-APM Terminals but was not shortlisted at the end of the international call for expressions of interest for the extension of the concession.

    Instead five candidates were shortlisted of which two have already submitted offers for the restricted tender procedure.

    Douala port director Cyrus Ngo’o featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Douala port director Cyrus Ngo’o

    The managing director of PAD was anxious to emphasise that the exclusion of the Bolloré-APM Terminals had not been an “eviction”. In an interview with Jeune Afrique Cyrus Ngo’o said that Bolloré-APM Terminals had freely participated in the competition but had not been shortlisted among the top five following an appraisal of the respective candidates, based on strict criteria by the ad hoc internal commission, he said.

    Nevertheless, the holder of the current concession for the past 21 years has filed an action before the Douala administrative court. In the event that that this filing fails to bring a satisfactory result, the consortium is understood to be considering calling for international arbitration.

    Alternately it may demand that the concession process be terminated.

    In January this year we reported that the Bolloré-APM Terminals consortium had failed to be listed for the renewal of the concession on the container terminal. See that report HERE


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    Maersk Newport. Picture courtesy: Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Maersk Newport.    Picture courtesy: Shipspotting

    Douala: Maersk ships are reported to be making regular a number of exploratory calls at the Cameroon port of Kribi, according to a report in Business in Cameroon.

    The first vessel, the 35,205-dwt MAERSK NEWPORT (IMO 9356127) arrived at the Cameroonian port earlier in August from Pointe Noire in the Congo and Durban.  According to the report Maersk vessels previously called at the port of Douala in Cemeroon on the South Africa – Cameroon and West Africa service.

    A statment issued by the Kribi port management said “these exploratory stopovers, which announce the opening of new maritime lines both for imports and exports, show the attractiveness of Kribi port platform and its position as a reference maritime logistics platform in the Central African region and even beyond.”

    There are at least another three stopovers at Kribi planned, it is learned.

    Reports say that in the first 12 months of operation, the Kribi container terminal handled 165,000 container TEUs.

    The Kribi multi-purpose termimal is now operated by the Philippine’s International Container Terminal Services which recently took over the concession previously held by the French company Necotrans until that company went bankrupt.

    In the interim a group of local operators jointly managed the terminal until the new concession was finalised.


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    Port of Kribi, Cameroon, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Port of Kribi, Cameroon

    Douala: A Cameroonian government think tank, the Centre d’analyses et de recherche sur les politiques économiques et sociales (Camercap), has issued a study listing the advantages of the Kribi port over its regional competitors.

    The study comes at a time when a number of ports in West Africa are proceeding with improvements aimed at increasing cargo capacities and ship turnround time.

    These range from Dakar in the west to ports such as Abidjan, Lomé, Cotonou, Tema and Apapa among others.

    In each case Kribi enjoys the advantage of being an ultra deep port with a 16.1 metre draught alongside.

    More locally the Congo Brazzaville port of Pointe Noire has a restriction of an 11.5 metre draught, the report points out.

    On the other hand the new Terminal 3 at Ghana’s port of Tema offers a draught alongside its berths of 16 metres, the otherwise deepest in West Africa.

    Kribi remains best served to handle domestic cargo for Cameroon and for its landlocked neighbours of Chad,the Central African Republic and even further afield to Sudan.

    To maximise of these Cameroon authorities need to look at new railway construction, Camercap suggest a railway linking Ngaoundéré in Cameroon with Moundou in Chad and possibly further to the CAF and Sudan.


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    Total will become new operator of the Anadarko Block 1 natural gas reserves in the Rovuma Basin, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Total will become new operator of the Anadarko Area 1 natural gas reserves in the Rovuma Basin

    Following the completion of the takeover process of the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation group by the Occidental Petroleum Corporation on Friday, it has been announced that in terms of a prior agreement the French oil company Total is to become the operator of the Area 1 block in the Rovuma basin, northern Mozambique.

    The takeover of Anadarko by the Occidental Petroleum Corporation received a 99% approval of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation group shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting, for an amount of…


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    HMS Kent F78 seen in operations off Djibouti. Picture: Wikipedia Commons, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    HMS Kent F78 seen in operations off Djibouti.      Picture: Wikipedia Commons

    Portsmouth: The Royal Navy frigate HMS KENT F78 has departed from her homeport in Portsmouth to take up escort operations in the Persian Gulf.

    The Type 23 frigate is to relieve HMS DUNCAN which is currently on duty in the Gulf providing safe escort functions along with another frigate, HMS MONTROSE which is…


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    STERNPOST: Another view from London

    Paul Ridgway, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Sternpost

    by Paul Ridgway

    No leccy, no trains, no hols

    At going home time at the end of the last working day of the week just gone there was a widespread powercut across much of England with an estimated million users without power. Many more were travelling (we are now in the popular holiday month) with, particularly, trains in and out of London being hit with loss of power. Signals and other electronic equipment remained in a failed state for many hours as equipment had to tripped back into commission, an enormous technical evolution it transpired.

    Apparently two generating systems had failed. One is gas-powered, the other by wind. What is maritime in all of this one may ask. Well the windfarm is on England’s East Coast 70 nautical miles off the Humber and this day had ceased to bring ashore enough electricity. Here was the Hornsea Wind Farm of more than 3GW. Construction is underway but some power is being fed into the National Grid before completion in 2022 when it will be the world’s largest wind turbine array.

    As one would expect other power generators on the network immediately responded to the loss by increasing their output. However due to the scale of loss this was insufficient.

    Naturally, inquiries into the losses have been promised and the newspapers on the Monday following (12 August) had many letters criticising the UK’s emergency policy as being poor, some speaking up for nuclear, others for less dependence on green energy.

    How vulnerable can a nation be in peacetime? It reminds this commentator of the days in 2005 when a petrol tanker drivers’ strike nearly brought the country to its knees without a shot having been fired.

    Brexit, more

    In the week ahead we learn that Michael Gove (Cabinet coordinator no deal planning in the Cabinet Office) is to launch what has been labelled as a ‘rapid rebuttal unit’ at the heart of Government to provide instant responses to the bane of No 10, media myths and half-truths about the risks of a no-deal Brexit.

    The new Response Unit is understood to be run by staff in the Cabinet Office to ensure that “the public and businesses are not being alarmed by scare stories or falsehoods”. This was reported by The Sunday Telegraph as apparently the Cabinet has become frustrated over the anti-no deal stories delivered by some quarters in the press and in broadcasting with a memorable suggestion that cows could be slaughtered in Northern Ireland after a no deal exit and high tariffs being applied to imports into the EU. Lawks.

    Those who need to keep up to date with HMG’s Brexit activities could do no worse than take a look here from time time:

    The case for free ports

    Much has been written about the potential for these in the UK and it was interesting to note that a Freeports Advisory Panel will be established to ensure the UK is ready to trade post-Brexit, that is from 1 November next.

    One or two points are unclear. Where is the gift going to come from delivering warehouse space in or near the ports as they exist today one wonders? Presumably TEU storage space within a port will be freed up as so many boxes are transferred out, under HMRC* supervision, to within the new freeport’s boundaries.

    My experience of a free port, Singapore, is that you need an awful lot of barbed wire, many customs officers and big sheds. Surely, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will decide if these ventures are to exist or are a success. He stands to lose on the duty due if goods escape in the hands of the light-fingered or dacoits.

    From a political angle so much of this looks not unlike window-dressing by a government facing a no-confidence motion against it. This is expected when parliament returns from the long Summer recess on 3 September. Others close to Westminster forecast an early general election if the government is defeated.

    NATO keeping the sea lanes safe. Photo: NATO ©, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    NATO keeping the sea lanes safe. Photo: NATO ©

    NATO advice

    The Mediterranean Sea is one of the world’s busiest bodies of water; from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Levant coast, a distance of approximately 2,500 nautical miles and covering an area of nearly 970,000 square miles.

    While the region offers safe transit to commercial traffic and entry to the Middle East and beyond via the Suez Canal, regional instability in certain areas such as the waters of Libya and Syria have the potential to spill over delivering a possible threat to commercial traffic.

    We learn from NATO after a general assessment on the threat posed to commercial shipping while transiting the Mediterranean in open waters that between 18 March and 19 July GPS jamming or interference was reported in the East Mediterranean region. Vessels reported a loss of GPS/ GLONASS signal, incorrect locations, or no location at all.

    Now NATO’s Allied Maritime Command, known as MARCOM, would appreciate if companies and / or ship masters would report all instances of GPS interference, reactions taken, and the overall impact (if any) to vessel transit.

    A reporting signal form is available on the NATO Shipping Centre website to be found at:

    MARCOM added in a communiqué: “We have also noted reports that ships are suppressing their static AIS data (name, next port of call, etc.) and switching to ‘receive only.’

    “While there may be valid reasons for masters doing this, overall it means a loss of situational awareness in the area. Commercial vessels operating in the Mediterranean are likely to receive special attention by warships in the region if adopting this practice.”

    Ships should expect to be queried to ascertain why AIS is off or switched to inhibit. It is important to note that AIS suppression is a ploy often used by vessels to hide suspicious movement, therefore MARCOM advises against this practice.

    The sea in print


    Mawdsley The War for the Seas appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    At the end of last week I saw a copy of The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War II by Evan Mawdsley, former professor of international history at Glasgow University. Of 557 pages; published by Yale University Press; ISBN 978 0 300 19019 0; price £25.00 this provides a penetrating insight into the war for the seas. One reviewer labelled this book as a powerfully argued reappraisal (that) establishes command of the sea as the critical issue that shaped and defined the war. Contains a valuable bibliography. We look forward to bringing you a review in due course.

    *Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.


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    Port of Lüderitz. Picture by Theo Strauss, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Port of Lüderitz. Picture by Theo Strauss

    Lüderitz: A noteworthy cargo arrived by rail in the Namibian port of Lüderitz earlier in August being the first shipment of manganese mined in the northern Cape for export from the Namibian port.

    The consignment of manganese ore was railed on TransNamib rails from Ariamsvlei near the Northern Cape border with South Africa.

    It follows the rehabilitation of the railway to the port between Aus and Lüderitz, which has been out of commission for 21 years.

    The train carrying the 520 tonnes departed Ariamsvlei on 1 August and arrived in Lüderitz two days later on 3 August.

    Lüderitz railway scene, maintenance train at work in the desert. Picture by Theo Strauss and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Lüderitz railway scene, maintenance train at work in the desert. Picture by Theo Strauss

    Previously small consignments of manganese ore had been sent to the port from the Northern Cape by road transport. Part of that purpose was to engage with environmental requirements regarding the storage of the manganese while at the port.

    *See our January 2019 report Namibian environmental ministry puts a stop to South African manganese exports through Luderitz

    Among the environmental requirements were enclosed storage warehouses at both Ariamsvlei and Lüderitz.

    “TradePort Namibia approached TransNamib in 2018 to start shipping their bulk manganese originating from the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, by rail through the Port of Lüderitz, for export to various overseas markets,” said Hippy Tjivikua, TransNamib’s Commercial and Marketing Executive.

    “This is part of the solution to provide the required Pit-to-Port logistics solution and gave an undertaking to provide a minimum of 30,000 metric tons of manganese concentrate per month for this route,” he said.

    According to Tjivikua the first rail shipment of manganese involved a train consisting of 20 wagons each loaded with 26 tonnes of manganese, hauled by two diesel-electric locomotives. Existing railway infrastructure limitations prevent larger trains at present.

    By meeting its undertaking to provide a minimum of 30,000 tonnes of ore each month, the Lüderitz railway has been thrown a lifeline as has the port. The contract has already seen 150 people employed by TransNamib and other spin-off business is likely to benefit the communities of Ariamsvlei, Keetmanshoop, Aus and Lüderitz. sources: Africa PORTS & SHIPS & Namibia Economist


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    Kenya SGR freight train lined up and ready to roll, as reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Kenya SGR freight train lined up and ready to roll

    Kenya: Despite reports that the Kenyan government has backtracked on its directive that containers arriving at the port of Mombasa must travel to the inland depot at Nairobi by standard gauge rail (SGR) for clearing purposes (see our report Kenya government backtracks on SGR directive ) trucking companies in that country are reported to be refocusing on the carriage of specialised type cargo.

    The directive, though reported to have been hurriedly withdrawn by authorities, was sufficient for trucking companies to understand that the days of carrying almost all container and general cargo from the port to inland destinations, is at an end.

    Faced with mounting losses Kenya is thought likely to return to at least a modified version of the directive forcing importers to use the SGR and trucking companies wanting to remain in business are wise to be looking at alternative type cargoes – especially of types not easily or conveniently carried by Kenya Rail.

    Reports say that increased numbers of road vehicles are being adapted to carry wide load and bulk cargo including clinker that requires…


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    All DNV GL classed vessels are now able to utilise the possibility of remote surveys for some inspections. By using an online connection or video streaming link, a dedicated team of remote surveyors can provide support to vessels anywhere in the world.

    Høvik: “It’s all about doing things faster and more efficiently, but still doing them well,” says Stener Olav Stenersen, Head of Services at the DNV GL Maritime Operational Centre in Høvik.

    Sending a surveyor to a vessel site costs time and money, and waiting time impacts the vessel’s operational availability. With travel time eliminated and waiting times reduced, remote surveys can conclude faster than traditional surveys, and the results can be shared immediately through DNV GL’s electronic certificate and documentation system.

    The right expertise at the right time

    Another advantage of remote surveying is access to a broader range of competencies, regardless of location.

    “Remote surveys allow us to apply expertise as needed from anywhere the experts are located,” Stenersen points out. And because the same remote survey teams review all types of cases, greater consistency of results is achieved, at same level of assurance as on-board surveys.

    “So far, customers have been very happy with the results,” says Stenersen. And with the crew, owners and captains all eager to use the system, another added value feature has emerged: “The threshold for requesting assistance is lower because the turn around time can be quicker, and the logistical costs are lower.”

    DNV GL started offering remote surveys in October of 2018. In the spring of 2019 they are up to full speed, performing around 35 surveys a day, with 45 active surveyors. “The initial intention was to cover the smaller surveys that are needed in between periodical surveys, but our customers have been asking us to expand the scope,” Stenersen reports.

    But even with growing enthusiasm from customers, not everything can be done remotely, explains Stenersen. “Some things are just too critical to determine without an expert being there to physically verify the situation,” he says. “Whether we can conduct a survey remotely is evaluated case by case. Here our on-board experience is critical for helping us to determine from the office whether a remote inspection is sufficient.

    “In addition, some statutory items may require authorisation by the flag administration to be done remotely.”

    Around 85 per cent of requests for remote surveys are accepted, with the remaining 14 per cent passed on to the on-site survey process.

    There are many different ways to streamline surveys through shore-based remote management, from interfacing with machinery monitoring data to interacting directly with the crew during specific inspections. Featured in a report appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    There are many different ways to streamline surveys through shore-based remote management, from interfacing with machinery monitoring data to interacting directly with the crew during specific inspections.

    Consolidating surveying competence

    Most of DNV GL’s remote surveys are performed from the Maritime Operational Centre in Høvik, which opened in December 2018. Other units with remote survey experts are located in Hamburg, Singapore, Houston and Piraeus.

    Senior surveying personnel have taken the lead in implementing the Høvik centre, Stenersen says. “They have long experience, and they know the work. We recognise the importance of bringing people in from the field and transitioning them into remote surveys. We will always require that hands-on experience.”

    To complement experience from the field, the centre in Høvik also has access to specialists with technical expertise to support the surveys.

    “Access to technical experience and expertise is critical for verifying the results of the survey,” Stenersen confirms, adding that the secret to success lies in a combination of knowledge: “Experts work according to the book. They are used to looking at drawings and not steel. But with the practical perspective of the surveyors, we are able to strike the necessary balance.”

    Surveyors at the on-shore Operational Centre can track numerous processes and parameters on board for evaluation and decision-making. Expert staff can be consulted at any time, ensuring fast, highly specific instructions in any situation. Featuredin Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Surveyors at the on-shore Operational Centre can track numerous processes and parameters on board for evaluation and decision-making. Expert staff can be consulted at any time, ensuring fast, highly specific instructions in any situation.

    Establishing a role for remote surveying

    A key goal with remote surveying is to minimise disruption to operations, says Stenersen. “Vessels can be held in ports for relatively minor issues. With easier access to surveying, we hope that the number of such cases can be lowered. The point is to try to find a solution, not to cause a problem. Class is part of the maritime ecosystem, and our goal is to keep vessels operative if technically possible.”

    And while the maritime industry continues to adjust to a new digital reality, Stenersen and his team aim to keep remote surveying personal and human. “At the end of the day, whether it’s via a digital connection, over the phone or in person – it’s all about building and maintaining relationships. This is something we still believe in, even in the era of digital class. Whether it’s in person or remote, we are there to provide trust.”


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    Owendo container terminal. Picture: GSEZ, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Owendo container terminal. Picture: GSEZ

    Libreville: The Owendo port near the Gabonese capital Libreville is the beneficiary of investments amounting to US$432 million for the expansion of port and terminal facilities.

    $342 million of this is coming from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), with EAIF also advancing a loan of $45 million over 15 years to the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) Ports.

    GSEZ has also received another $45 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB), which has been responsible for the structuring of the finance.

    GSEZ is in possession of a 30-year concession to build and operate the new Owendo port.

    “The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund immediately saw the strategic economic development potential for Gabon of our new port,” said Théophile Ogandaga, GSEZ Deputy General Director.

    “GSEZ Ports has benefitted from the expertise, experience and skill of EAIF and from the PIDG focus on special enterprise zones. Our state-of-the-art port has been angular and critical for Gabon’s economy during the last two years and this new funding will help us elevate it even further.

    map showing port of Owendo, Gabon, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    New infrastructure being acquired and built will help double the capacity of the Owendo port, which is already at maximum capacity, with a further 4 million tonnes of additional capacity.

    Among the improvements is a new 500-metre long quay with a water depth alongside of 14 metres, enabling the port to handle bigger ships. The added infrastructure will benefit the port with the handling of general bulk and liquid cargoes and container traffic.

    GSEZ Ports is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gabon Special Economic Zone. Shareholders include Olam International (40.5%), Gabonese Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) owned by the Republic of Gabon (38.5%) and Africa Finance Corporation (21%).

    “GSEZ Ports is a powerful example of public and private capital working in partnership to create a development that will benefit Gabon for decades to come,” says EAIF executive director Emilio Cattaneo.[/restrict]


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    Illustrations reproduced by courtesy of the Suez Canal Company ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
    Illustrations reproduced by courtesy of the Suez Canal Company ©

    London: On 6 August news was received from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) that the financial year of 2018/2019 recorded the highest annual revenue of US$300 million, an increase of 5.4% compared to the previous year reported.

    In the year under review the Canal saw a record breaking number of 81 vessels in transit in one day totalling 6.1 million tons. At the time of writing preparations were made for the world’s largest container ship, of the Megamax 24 class at 23,756TEU. MSC GULSUN (IMO: 9839430) made her first transit through the Suez Canal on 9 August with customary ceremony and presentations.

    Gulsun is one of eleven MSC sister vessels all constructed since 2017. These are set for operations between the Far East and NW Europe via the Suez Canal as part of the AE 10/SILK service in collaboration with Maersk Line.

    Video clip of her delivery see below [0:46]:

    It was further reported that $25 billion of investments in 192 projects in the Suez Canal Economic Zone will be increased by $55 billion in the forthcoming 15 years, providing one million job opportunities for youth.

    Four years ago

    6 August 2015 saw HE President Abdelfattah El-Sisi inaugurate the New Suez Canal and the project saw the light in less than a year to facilitate world trade and increase capacity of the Suez Canal.

    The New Suez Canal project

    The main goals behind the project are to:

    * Prepare the Canal to cope with the growth in world trade, and the increase in the size and tonnage of transiting vessels.

    * Raise the competitive edge of the Canal and its world ranking with the increase in doubled parts and significant decrease of the transit time from 22 to11 hours.

    * Raise the safety rating of the waterway with the presence of a parallel canal which has proved extremely useful over the past four years.

    * Eliminate competition from alternative maritime routes.

    * Provide a corner stone in the Egyptian national project to get the economy back on track and increase the Canal’s foreign currency revenues.

    The Suez Canal achieved new records of revenues, numbers of transiting vessels and tonnage after the inauguration of the New Suez.

    Other achievements

    Illustrations reproduced by courtesy of the Suez Canal Company ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    The financial year 2018/2019 recorded 70,679 transiting vessels carrying 4,268 billion tons of cargo.

    Progress in urban development has transformed the region with four huge tunnels and five floating bridges connecting the two banks of the Canal, and a large fish farming project for sustainable development.

    In April of 2017, the Egyptian president appointed Admiral Mohab Mameesh as chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone, and since that day the developmental projects witnessed leaps forward with $25 billion of investments in 192 projects, to be increased by $55 billion in the coming 15 years, providing one million job opportunities for the youth.

    The first fruits can best be seen in the partnerships with international companies such as the founding of The Challenge – Egyptian Emirates Marine Dredging Company, an Egyptian joint stock company that was the result of collaboration between Canal Harbor and Great Projects Company (CHP) and National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC). This company’s aim is to work on developing Egyptian ports and raising their efficiency, and to meet regional needs in dredging.

    To serve the three cities on the waterway 36 ferries operating from eight terminals locations along the Canal, including 13 new ones, have been provided.

    With regard to service craft there has been upgrading the SCA’s fleet with the addition of the multi-purpose service vessel AHMED FADEL currently working on the Zohr natural gas field in the Mediterranean on a two-year contract with Petrobel. The latest fleet addition was the oil services vessel AMAN said to be one of the largest in the Middle East.

    East Port-Said Port development project aims to transform it into a hub port for world trade. It is understood that five kilometres of quay walls have been constructed with 18.5m draught to accommodate Triple E vessels.

    SCA dredgers have engaged in a number of national projects, for example the East Port-Said Port development project, dredging the strait of Damietta, dredging Gargoob Port, the waters of Lake Manzala and working with the Ministry of Transport to establish aids to navigation on the Nile to help re-establish river transport, as well as dredging the waterway to promote navigation.

    Finally, assistance is reported with upgrading of the Egyptian fishing fleet with 100 boats to be constructed by SCA-affiliated companies. Serious steps have been taken towards implementing a development strategy for the SCA shipyards and related companies through adopting new activities and the best use of their potential as part of the Suez Canal region’s development.

    Illustrations reproduced by courtesy of the Suez Canal Company ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

    On reflection

    To sum up, in the words of an SCA spokesman in early August: “And finally, we would like to extend our deepest appreciation for the continuous support of HE Abdelfattah El-Sisi, the president, to the SCA projects of development and for holding the country’s best interest at heart. Thanks to the Egyptians for their trust in a wise leader, and funding the New Suez Canal project.

    “Thanks to the Egyptian Armed Forces for their invaluable role protecting the Canal and world trade to ensure the delivery of vital goods all over the world in the shortest time possible.

    “We pledge to spare no effort here in the SCA with all its men and women working day and night, and in the Suez Canal Economic Zone to see that Egypt is back in its leading position once more, and for the Canal to remain, as it has always been, the lifeblood of world trade.”

    For an informative video with contributions from ship masters [3:09]:

    An example of a SCA Monthly Report can be found CLICK HERE

    For back number Annual Reports: CLICK HERE

    Edited by Paul Ridgway

    Maritime News


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

    Durban: A report from Andre Fletcher, the NSRI Durban station 5 commander, informs that on 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…


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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

    Maritime News


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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.  Maritime News[/restrict]


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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.  Maritime News.

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


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