Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 29 September 2019

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Torm Eric in Durban, picture by Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Torm Eric arriving in Durban. Pictures: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Torm Eric.    Pictures: Trevor Jones

The chemical products and oil tanker TORM ERIC (IMO 9304590) enters the port of Durban in these two pictures. Built in 2006 the 51,266-dwt tanker is Danish owned and managed by Torm A/S of Hellerup, Denmark. The vessel is flagged in Singapore. The pictures are by Trevor Jones



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Images of the mv Stena Impero, seen here sailing from Bandar Abbas (Iran), en route to Dubai after being released by Iranian officials on 27 September. These images were taken on board a Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter patrolling the Gulf as part of the International Maritime Security Construct. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Images of the mv Stena Impero, seen here sailing from Bandar Abbas (Iran), en route to Dubai after being released by Iranian officials on 27 September. These images were taken on board a Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter patrolling the Gulf as part of the International Maritime Security Construct. The second vessel in the lower picture is the service vessel Mubarak Spirit. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Images of the mv Stena Impero, seen here sailing from Bandar Abbas (Iran), en route to Dubai after being released by Iranian officials on 27 September. These images were taken on board a Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter patrolling the Gulf as part of the International Maritime Security Construct. The second vessel in the lower picture is the service vessel Mubarak Spirit.  Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©

It has been announced that the products tanker STENA IMPERO (IMO 9797400), which has been detained by the Iranian authorities since 19 July has been released. *See HERE for details of the detention.

Yesterday (Friday 27 September) Erik Hanell, President and CEO, Stena Bulk commented: “The Stena Impero has now left Iranian waters and is on route to Dubai. The Master has reported that all crew members are safe and in high spirits following release. Upon arrival, the crew will receive medical checks and de-briefing by the Company, following which arrangements have been made for them to return directly to their families in their respective countries.

“Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management would like to take this opportunity to praise the crew for their professionalism in the handling of this difficult and stressful situation. Also, to their families who maintained a caring and supportive role throughout.  The importance of their support cannot be over stated. The crew will have a period of time to be with their families following 10 weeks of detainment on the vessel. Full support will be offered to the crew and families in the coming weeks to assist with their recovery.

“We also wish to take this opportunity to thank all authorities who have assisted over the past 10 weeks in securing the release of the vessel.  In particular we would like to recognise the efforts of the Swedish Foreign Ministry throughout this incident and also the support from various UK Government departments, coordinated by the Department for Transport’s maritime division. In addition we are grateful for the Consular visits on board from the embassies of India, Russia, Latvia and the Philippines.”

Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management will not release the names of the crew members and have asked their privacy be respected at this time.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The Stena Impero was unlawfully seized by Iran. It is part of a pattern of attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation. We are working with our international partners to protect shipping and uphold the international rule of law.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Xenata banner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Demand and overcapacity concerns compound uncertainty

Long-term contracted ocean freight rates for carriers continued their downward trend through the month of September, albeit falling by just 0.1% globally, reports leading ocean freight rate benchmarking and market intelligence platform, Xeneta.

Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund

Although the decline, disclosed in the latest XSI® Public Indices report from Oslo-based Xeneta, is slight it comes against a backdrop of increasing overcapacity, widespread blanked sailings and on-going concern over US-China relations, adding to industry uncertainty.

According to Xeneta’s unique XSI® indices, which utilises the very latest crowd-sourced shipping data – covering over 160,000 port-to-port pairings, with over 110 million data points – long-term rates have followed a pattern of decline since (northern) Summer 2018 (excluding an unexpected rise in May).

Cause for concern?

Both individual carriers and carrier alliances have been utilising the full range of tools at their disposal – including the extensive use of blank sailings – to counter this trend, but with limited success.

It’s a situation that, says Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund, will undoubtedly concern the segment’s shipowners and operators.

“There’s a number of factors creating unease,” Berglund comments. “Some are of the industry’s own making, while others certainly are not. For example we have Evergreen pushing ahead with an order for ten 23,000-TEU vessels in a market that is already awash with overcapacity (hence the growing phenomenon of blanked sailings). This is understandable when The Ocean Alliance, of which it is a member, wants to challenge 2M for ULCV strength – and therefore economies of scale – in an ultra competitive market, but it doesn’t help rebalance the supply-demand scales.”

Complex factors

He continues: “Then we have the ongoing saga that is the trade war. The US recently announced a delay in its next wave of tariff increases, but there is zero certainty of what comes next for industry players. For example, will be there be more front-loading of cargo to avoid further tariffs – bolstering demand and rates – or has the necessary stockpiling already transpired?

“And of course we have the IMO regulated move to more expensive 0.5% low sulfur fuel oil for 2020. This will have obvious bottom line ramifications.

“It is, without doubt, a high pressure situation for carriers at present. But, as we’ve seen in the past in this dynamic sector, things can change very quickly!”

September snapshot

In terms of September’s activity, the XSI® Public Indices develops an industry snapshot showing mixed regional fortunes.

The European import benchmark recovered some of the ground lost last month – when it fell 1.4% – increasing by 0.2%. However, the export index declined by 1.1%. Nevertheless, European exports remain 4.2% up year-on-year and are up 3.5% since the end of 2018.

Imports on the Far East XSI® registered their third consecutive month of declines, falling by 0.8%, but the export index showed signs of improvement, edging up by 0.3%. It has now risen by 5.1% since the end of 2018.

Developments in the US were contrasting, with the import benchmark rising by 0.3% and the export figure falling by the same margin. Both benchmarks are up year-on-year however, with imports up 20.3% and exports rising 3.7% against September 2018.

The need for intelligence

“The figures may seem somewhat erratic, but the established long-term decline is a reality for the increasingly competitive carrier market,” Berglund says. “The uncertainty here reflects more widespread economic and geopolitical unpredictability, and that is difficult – if not impossible – to control.

“As such, all players within the shipping value chain must continue to follow the very latest market intelligence to get the best value for their businesses. That is the only way to keep pace with fluctuating rates, the supply-demand dynamic and the almost daily developments impacting upon this complex, demanding and fascinating industry sector.”


Oslo-based Xeneta provides unique insight into ocean freight rates by crowdsourcing the very latest rates from leading global shippers. The companies feeding data into the unique software platform include names such as Electrolux, Continental, Unilever, Lenovo, Nestle, L’Oreal, and Thyssenkrupp, amongst others.

To get the full XSI® Public Indices report, please CLICK HERE

About Xeneta

Xeneta is a leading ocean freight rate benchmarking and market intelligence platform transforming the shipping and logistics industry. Xeneta’s powerful reporting and analytics platform provides liner-shipping stakeholders the data they need to understand current and historical market behavior – reporting live on market average and low/high movements for both short and long-term contracts. Xeneta’s data is comprised of over 110 million contracted container rates and covers over 160,000 global trade routes. Xeneta is a privately held company with headquarters in Oslo, Norway and regional offices in New York and Hamburg. To learn more, visit


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Wallenius Wilhelmsen plaing sailing featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Thursday was the celebration of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) World Maritime Day, where the 2019 theme is ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’.

This raises awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and highlights the important – yet under-utilised – contribution of women within the maritime sector.

Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) promotes diversity in the maritime, trading and logistics sectors. The vision of WISTA is to empower women to lead, with the conviction that gender diversity is key in providing a sustainable future for the shipping industry internationally.

Some 3,000 female professionals form the majority of WISTA members, however male members are also accepted is several national WISTA Associations, like in Norway.

“To bring the discussion on gender equality and diversity from the problem definition phase to finding good solutions, we need to invite men to the table – and especially the male leaders of our industry,” says Pia Meling, President of WISTA Norway.

“WISTA Norway therefore encourages both female and male maritime professionals to become members, the main criteria being they want to drive diversity.”

Wallenius Wilhelmsen CEO now a WISTA member

With this as the background, Wallenius Wilhelmsen says it is pleased to announce that Craig Jasienski, CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen, is now a WISTA member.

“To build a sustainable future of shipping and logistics, we need to bring together diverse views, experiences and perspectives in a workplace where everyone can thrive,” says Jasienski. “I hope to see many more men join me as members of WISTA, to join the conversation and together build a truly inclusive industry.”


WISTA has a consultative status in IMO and has since its inception in 1974 participated in a number of global initiatives aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in the shipping industry. WISTA has partnered with organizations like the European Commission, International Chamber of Shipping, InterManager, INTERTANKO, World Maritime University, ISWAN, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and YoungShip to increase women’s participation in the maritime industry in line with the UN’s sustainable Development Goal 5, (Gender Equality and Empowerment for all Women and Girls)

More than 40 countries support a National WISTA Association (including South Africa), each of which is guided by WISTA International and provide in-country and regional networking, business and skill building opportunities as well as mentoring programs for its members.

For more information about WISTA, CLICK HERE


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The Port of East London’s activities included boat trips around the harbour for 200 young future captains of industry, courtesy of TNPA and Southern Cross Cruises, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Port of East London’s activities included boat trips around the harbour for 200 young future captains of industry, courtesy of TNPA and Southern Cross Cruises

Durban: South Africa’s ports under the custodianship of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) rolled out an array of activities to mark yesterday’s World Maritime Day (Thursday, 26 September).

Created by the United Nations (UN), via the International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Maritime Day celebrates the international maritime industry’s contribution towards the world’s economy, especially in shipping.

This year’s theme globally, ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’, provided an opportunity for the South African port landlord to reflect on the contributions of women in the sector and to promote its achievements in terms of gender equality in an industry historically dominated by males.

East London activities

The Port of East London’s industry gathering at Latimer’s Landing included participation from the Buffalo City Maritime Cluster, African Marine Solutions, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the South African Maritime Safety Authority. Representatives of companies such as Safmarine, Mercedes Benz South Africa, BLG Logistics and TNPA shared their experiences as women working in the maritime industry. Guests then enjoyed a short cruise aboard one of the harbour tugs. TNPA and Southern Cross Cruises also provided boat trips for around 200 future captains of industry – local East London children.

Keeping women’s empowerment on the table

“The International Transport Workers’ Federation estimates that women make up just 2% of the global maritime workforce,” said TNPA’s Acting Chief Executive, Nozipho Mdawe. “For Transnet, as the largest and most crucial part of the freight logistics chain that delivers goods to each and every South Africa, women’s development is a priority.

“Today women occupy half (50%) of the top management positions nationally within TNPA, three of our eight commercial ports have female port managers and women now fill 36% of all jobs across TNPA, bringing their unique characteristics to the workplace,” she said.

Ms Mdawe said TNPA would continue to keep the women’s empowerment agenda on the table, as encouraged by the IMO Secretary-General at the International Maritime Organization’s 2019 World Maritime Parallel Event in Colombia recently, which she attended alongside the Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula and industry principals.

She said it was also an exciting development that South Africa would be hosting the 2020 World Maritime Parallel Event in the port city of Durban next year during Transport Month in October. The South African chapter of the Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa (WOMESA), would also be relaunched by the Deputy Minister of Transport by the end of this year, to spearhead the advancement of women as a key resource in the maritime sector.

“TNPA will be calling for membership soon and will be closely involved in the re-establishment of WOMESA to promote gender equity, improve women’s access to maritime training and technology and promote their advancement to key decision-making levels in the maritime sector in Eastern and Southern Africa,” she said.

Maritime Heritage

In further celebration of national Heritage Month, World Maritime Day and National Tourism Month, TNPA also participated at the inaugural Maritime Heritage Institute Conference at Vaal University of Technology this week, held under the theme, ‘Reclaiming our future, advancing our past.’ The event from 25 to 27 September explored and showcased our country’s maritime heritage and related economic opportunities.

TNPA’s Captain Naresh Sewnath, Senior Manager Pilotage & Vessel Traffic Services, addressed the event with a message of support and a presentation on the topic ‘Port Maritime History – Legacy, Challenges and Future Prospects’.

Speaking during the busy week for the port authority, Acting CE Ms Mdawe said, “We are reminded of the important role we play as custodian of the South African port system in preserving and building upon the strong history of shipping in South Africa. Yet at the same time, we are focused on carving out a new maritime future that is more inclusive and accessible to all South Africans. This ‘new’ maritime outlook includes a strong focus on the development of women and other previously disadvantaged groups.”

In line with this focus, TNPA’s ports and business units nationally hosted various programmes with key role players in the industry.

Other ports

At the Port of Durban, GM: Port of Durban Moshe Motlohi unveiled #WomeninMaritime floor decals and Wall of Anchors portraits beautifully drawn by the port’s very own Samukelo Gasa, a Civil Engineer at TNPA.

The Port of Durban also supported the inaugural annual Invest in Maritime South Africa Summit held in partnership with SABBEX and other emerging maritime enterprises. The event from 26-27 September in Durban provided an investment platform to potential enterprises to present bankable projects ready for investor consideration.

At the Port of Richards Bay, the programme included a panel discussion on Transformation in the Maritime Sector, featuring the perspectives of Harbour Master Captain Gugu Dube, Tracy Leah of Sturrock Grindrod Maritime, and commercial fisherman Sherief Khan. Wendy Van Blerk of Bidfreight Port Operations also presented a master class on safety in maritime.

In Cape Town, the Lighthouses and Navigational Systems unit welcomed visitors free of charge to a public open day at Slangkoppunt Lighthouse on Wednesday, 25 and Thursday, 26 September 2019, allowing them to climb the tower and learn more about the rich history and continued importance of this majestic lighthouse that celebrates its centenary this year.

The Port of Mossel Bay hosted a Women in Maritime Business Breakfast, which featured a panel discussion on Opportunities within the Oceans Economy, Engineering, and Oil & Gas Sector, as well as a presentation on Port of Mossel Bay Port Development Future Plans. This was followed by a Port Open Day featuring waterside demonstrations and a port tour.

The Port of Ngqura held a business breakfast and round table discussion on challenges facing women in the maritime industry, led by female industry professionals. Local learners were also treated to maritime career presentations and port tours.

At the Port of Port Elizabeth, TNPA hosted an event at which industry representatives explored topics such as Women in the Bunkering Industry and A Seafaring Career within SAMSA. Various TNPA women spoke about their vocational experiences in roles previously dominated by males, such as marine safety, marine engineering, berthing and vessel traffic control. Bayworld and Extreme Projects presented insights on pollution and its effects on marine life.

A selection of pictures capturing the moments of Thursday’s IMO World Maritime Day with TNPA

TNPA’s Captain Naresh Sewnath, Senior Manager Pilotage & Vessel Traffic Services, with learners at the careers exhibition held as part of the inaugural Maritime Heritage Institute Conference at Vaal University of Technology from 25 to 27 September. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
TNPA’s Captain Naresh Sewnath, Senior Manager Pilotage & Vessel Traffic Services, with learners at the careers exhibition held as part of the inaugural Maritime Heritage Institute Conference at Vaal University of Technology from 25 to 27 September.
Port of Durban's Wall of Anchors portraits, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Durban’s Wall of Anchors portraits
Port of East London speakers, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of East London: speakers who shared their experiences of working in the maritime industry
Port of Mossel Bay Boz Breakfast, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIS maritime news
Port of Mossel Bay Biz Breakfast
And tug trips around the harbour, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
And tug trips around the harbour


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World Maritime Day, Thursday 26 September 2019

World Maritime Day: Women Gender Equality featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

IMO is inviting the entire maritime world to highlight and showcase their commitment to empowering women in the maritime community to support SDG 5 on gender equality.

Today, Thursday 26 September, IMO and the global maritime community celebrate the annual World Maritime Day, under the theme Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.’

In the words of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim: “Gender equality has been recognised as one of the key platforms on which people can build a sustainable future. It is one of the 17 goals that underpin the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda, which countries all over the world have pledged to implement.”

Mr Lim continued: “Helping our Member States achieve the SDGs and deliver the 2030 Agenda is one of our key strategic directions. Gender equality and decent work for all are among those goals – SDGs 5 and 8- and, although we are highlighting the role of women in the maritime community this year, I want to stress that this is part of a continuing, long-term effort in support of these objectives.”

Numerous activities throughout 2019 have helped support the message that, for sustainability and success in the modern world, empowering women in the maritime community makes sense. Shipping needs diversity in the workforce. (A list of activities which IMO has been directly involved in can be found CLICK HERE )

This year, IMO is inviting the entire maritime world to highlight and showcase their commitment to empowering women and to supporting SDG 5 on gender equality. Join us by posting your photos, stories and messages of support on social media, using the hashtags, #WorldMaritimeDay and #WomeninMaritime.

IMO’s Women in Maritime programme will continue to support the empowerment of women in the maritime sector in years to come, through gender specific fellowships; by facilitating access to high-level technical training for women in the maritime sector in developing countries; by creating the environment in which women are identified and selected for career development opportunities in maritime administrations, ports and maritime training institutes; and by facilitating the establishment of professional women in maritime associations, particularly in developing countries.

In conclusion Mr Lim said: “Women in the maritime world today are strong, powerful and constantly challenging old-fashioned perceptions. Experience tells us that diversity is better; it’s better for teamwork, better for leadership – and better for commercial performance. The maritime world is changing. And for the better. With help from IMO, and other organizations, exciting and rewarding career opportunities are opening up for women. And a new generation of strong and talented women are responding. They are proving that in today’s world the maritime industries are for everyone. It’s not about your gender, it’s about what you can do.”

Finally, Mr Lim urged all stakeholders to continue to work to break down barriers and empower women in the maritime community.

2019 events and activities marking World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day is an official United Nations day. Every year, it provides an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shipping and other maritime activities and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO’s work. Each year has its own world maritime theme, which is used to steer events and activities throughout the year.

Governments, individually, jointly and regionally are encouraged to mark World Maritime Day on a date of their choosing but usually in the last week of September.

A series of activities and events have already been held during 2019 related to the theme, Empowering Women in the Maritime Community. Many maritime stakeholders have enthusiastically taken up the theme, which has been highlighted at seminars, conferences and panel discussions.

IMO has been directly involved in numerous events

Amongst other activities, an IMO film Turning the Tide (see here: , showing how IMO’s Women in Maritime programme is helping to support gender diversity in the maritime sector, premiered earlier this year.

World Maritime Day Parallel Event


The World Maritime Day Parallel Event was held in Cartagena, Colombia from 15-17 September.

Social Media

Governments, organisations, companies and training institutes, as well as individuals, are encouraged to let IMO know how World Maritime Day is being celebrated, and to highlight initiatives they have been undertaking or are planning to support gender equality in their country, organisation or other entity.
Hashtags #WorldMaritimeDay #WomeninMaritime @IMOHQ

World maritime theme for 2020

For 2020, the world maritime theme is “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet,” with a particular emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 5.

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Coal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina on Tuesday unveiled ambitious plans to scrap coal power stations across the continent and switch to renewable energy at United Nations climate talks on Monday.

Addressing a gathering of leaders and officials from almost 200 countries in New York, Adesina outlined efforts to shutter coal-fired power plants and build the…[restrict] “largest solar zone in the world” in the arid Sahel belt.

“Coal is the past, and renewable energy is the future. For us at the African Development Bank, we’re getting out of coal,” Adesina told delegates to the Climate Action Summit in Manhattan this week.

The Bank’s US$500 million green baseload scheme will be rolled out in 2020 and is set to yield $5 billion of investment that will help African countries transition from coal and fossil fuel to renewable energy, said Adesina.

Adesina also talked about plans for $20 billion of investments in solar and clean energy that would provide the region’s 250 million people with 10,000 MW of electricity.

Solasr energy farm, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Solar energy farm

“There’s a reason God gave Africa sunlight,” said Adesina.

Presidents, princes and government ministers from around the world attended the UN’s climate summit, as they faced mounting pressure to reduce heat-trapping gas emissions and slow the global rise in temperatures.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres also took a swipe at the “dying fossil fuel industry” and said it was still not too late to keep the global rise in temperatures below the benchmark figure of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“But it will require fundamental transformations in all aspects of society — how we grow food, use land, fuel our transport and power our economies,” said Guterres.

“We need to link climate change to a new model of development — fair globalisation — with less suffering, more justice, and harmony between people and the planet.”

The UN says mankind must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to about 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures to stave off the worst-case predictions of scientists.

The meeting was part of the run-up to the international climate talks in 2020, which is the next deadline for countries to make significant emissions reduction pledges under the 2015 global warming deal.[/restrict]

*Now see article South Africa committed to climate change interventions below.


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CMA CGM banner appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

French shipping company CMA CGM has announced a general rate restoration (GRR) on several of its services to Africa.

On the trade lane from Asia to Tamatave (Madagascar), Port Louis (Mauritius), Mozambique and South African ports, and with effect 14 October 2019 (B/L date):

From Asia, including China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia

To Tamatave (Madagascar), Port Louis (Mauritius), Mozambique (all ports) and South Africa (all ports)

Quantum: US$ 200 per TEU – All cargo dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk.

On the trade lane from Asia to Kenya and Tanzania ports, with effect 15 October 2019 (B/L date):

From Asia including China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia

To Kenya and Tanzania (all ports)

Quantum: US$ 300/TEU – All cargo dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk.


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CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the first in a new fleet of nine French-flagged, 23,000-TEU, LNG-powered containerships, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the first in a new fleet of nine French-flagged, 23,000-TEU, LNG-powered containerships

French shipping giant CMA CGM has become the world’s first maritime shipping company to choose liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power its ultra large 23,000-TEU containerships.

This became fact this week with the launching of the world’s largest containership (23,000 TEU) powered by LNG.

The new vessel, named CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE in honour of…[restrict] the founder of the company, the late Jacques Saadé, becomes the CMA CGM flagship and the first of a fleet of nine 23,000-TEU capacity container ships.

The ship was launched earlier today (Wednesday 25 September) at the Shanghai Jiangnan-Changxing Shipyard in China, attended by Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, French and Chinese officials, business leaders and CMA CGM Group customers.

First in a new fleet of French-flagged LNG-powered vessels

In 2017, Rodolphe Saadé announced his decision to order a series of nine 23,000-TEU containerships that would be the world’s first ever to be powered by liquefied natural gas. Through this strategic choice, the CMA CGM Group reaffirmed its commitment to safeguarding the environment and leading the industry’s energy transition.

As a clean energy, LNG helps to reduce emissions of sulphur oxides and fine particles by 99%; nitrogen oxides emissions by up to 85%; and carbon dioxide emissions by around 20%.

These new vessels will join the Group’s fleet in 2020 on the French Asia Line (Asia-Northern Europe) and will be registered in the French International Register (RIF), confirming the Group’s commitment to operating under the French flag.

CMA CGM Jacques Saade, the first of nine new 23,000-TEU LNG containerships, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


In addition, the nine newbuilds will feature a state-of-the-art bridge design, the world’s first to deliver four major innovations to assist the Captain and crew:

* a tactical display offering enhanced map views for more dynamic navigation briefings
* a path prediction system optimised to display the ship’s predicted position in the next three minutes
* a smart eye system projecting a bird’s-eye view of the ship’s surrounding area augmented reality screens offering the crew precise information on the ship’s rate of rotation, distance from the wharf and transverse speeds.

The first vessel in this new class of 23,000-TEU LNG-powered containerships, the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE will also be equipped with a smart system to manage ventilation for the reefer containers carried in the hold.

To further improve the environmental performance of the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE and her sisterships, their hull forms have been hydrodynamically optimised. The bulb has been seamlessly integrated into the hull profile and the bow is straight. The propeller and rudder blade have also been improved, along with the Becker Twisted Fin®.

The exceptionally large vessels (400 metres long and 61 metres wide) will be distinguished from the rest of the fleet by a special livery displaying an ‘LNG POWERED’ logo, attesting to the major worldwide innovation that LNG propulsion represents on ships of this size.

Tribute to founder of the CMA CGM Group

By naming the world’s first LNG-powered, 23,000-TEU container ship CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the Group has symbolically given the name of its founder to its future flagship. A visionary entrepreneur, Jacques Saadé built CMA CGM into one of the world’s leading maritime shipping companies, while maintaining its family dimension and strong values. In this way, he left a lasting mark on the entire shipping industry.

During the launch event, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, said: “With the launching of the first 23,000-TEU ship powered by Liquified Natural Gas, we demonstrate that energy transition can be effectively successful in our industry if all the players work together. It paves the way to a global shipping approach where economic growth and competitiveness can coexist with sustainability and the fight against climate change.”[/restrict]

Watch the YouTube time-lapse construction of this ship.


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Coal stacks at the Port of Richards Bay Coal Terminal, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Coal stacks at the Port of Richards Bay Coal Terminal

The South African government has pledged to continue contributing positively to address the climate change emergency.

This was the subject of a statement to the United Nations Secretary-General on the occasion of the Climate Summit in New York, in which President Cyril Ramaphosa said that although developing countries historically contributed the least to global emissions, they will continue to be the most affected by climate change and its impacts.

“The world depends on us. We have seen the disastrous effects of climate change across the globe in the increased incidence and severity of extreme weather events such as flooding and droughts.

Climate Change Science

“Climate change science is clear that the risk for flooding originating from intense land falling tropical cyclones and for prolonged drought in Southern Africa is increasing under continued global warming,” said the President in the statement.

He said extensive research is ongoing in South Africa to quantify the likelihood of major climate change impacts occurring in the region over the next several decades, including multi-year droughts that compromise water security and heatwaves impacting on human health, livestock production and crop yield.

“The view of South Africa and Africa, as developing countries and as global citizens, is that the climate crisis cannot be solved outside of a development context. We see the crisis as an opportunity to strengthen global governance and that in addressing the crisis, we can meet the aspirations of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals,” the President said.

South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 identifies poverty, inequality and unemployment as the most serious national development challenges. Overcoming this triple challenge fundamentally informs South Africa’s approach to addressing climate change, President Ramaphosa said.

Building Resilience

He said building resilience must strengthen development.

“In shifting to a low-carbon, inclusive, climate change resilient development path and embracing the global energy transition, we must ensure that we leave no one behind. At the same time, we must create new opportunities for all in our economy.”

South Africa considers itself a good global citizen and its National Climate Change Response Policy requires the country to make a fair contribution to the global effort in the context of its national development priorities. This, the President said, is what informs SA’s Nationally Determined Contribution.

The mitigation challenge posed to South Africa is considerable, with 80% of the country’s emissions from its energy sector. President Ramaphosa said South Africa recognises the urgency with which it must reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and move towards a carbon-neutral future.

“The rapid fall in prices of renewable energy technologies, coupled with our immense renewable energy resources, has created a massive opportunity for us to make this shift. We are already doing so. South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPP) is considered one of the world’s leading Renewable Energy programmes,” said President Ramaphosa.

Arnot Power Station near Middelburg in South Africa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Arnot Power Station near Middelburg in South Africa

An energy secure future

South Africa’s blueprint for energy security, the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), will soon be finalised. The IRP calls for an energy mix that includes a significantly increased component of energy from renewable sources, as well as from traditional sources such as coal, natural gas and nuclear energy.

“As many other countries around the world, including developed countries, are experiencing, we have to minimise the impact of such a transition on workers, communities and our economies as a whole,” President Ramaphosa said.

He said the country, as part of ensuring a just transition, will need to put measures in place that plan for workforce reskilling and job absorption, social protection and livelihood creation, incentivising new green sectors, diversifying coal dependent regional economies, and developing labour and social plans as and when ageing coal-fired power plants are decommissioned.

“Taking all of these factors into consideration, it is clear that strong and durable social compacts will need to be forged between government, labour, business and civil Society,” he said.

South Africa has introduced a Carbon Tax and the implementation of the voluntary carbon budgets systems for large emitters.

As of end of March 2019, the country had procured 6,422 Megawatts of electricity from 112 renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects, including from wind, solar PV, concentrated solar power, landfill gas, hydro and biomass.

“We are also pursuing a large-scale energy and climate change research and development programme geared towards mitigation solutions such as the use of fuel cells, using South Africa’s abundant platinum resources,” the President said in the statement.

Coal Facts

According to Eskom South Africa produces an estimated 225 million tonnes of coal each year. Other sources estimate the production at around 260mt annually.

Approximately 70 million tonnes of coal are exported each year through the port of Richards Bay, with India and South East Asia as the main destinations. A substantially smaller volume is also exported through the ports of Maputo and Durban.

According to Eskom, about 77% of South Africa’s primary energy needs are provided by coal.

South Africa is the fifth largest coal producing country in the world and the third largest exporter of coal. South Africa’s coal reserves are estimated at 53 billion tonnes, and with its present production rate there should be almost 200 years of coal supply left.

There-in lies the rub surrounding the president’s statement.


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Improvements in space weather forecasting

Forecasts for accuracy of GPS-type services

UK Met Office report, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

On 24 September the UK Government announced £20 million pounds of new funding to help the nation cope with the potential impacts of space weather events.

This funding, from the Government’s Strategic Priorities Fund, will support research projects aimed at improving the ability of the Met Office to predict space weather events and therefore reduce their potential impact.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented: From solar flares to magnetic storms, space weather can have a massive impact on mobile phones, transport, GPS signals and the electricity networks we rely on every day at home.

“The funding announced today will help…[restrict] turn Britain’s pioneering research into practical solutions that will protect against any adverse disruption.”

It is understood that this funding will help transition UK world-leading space weather scientific knowledge into operational use at the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre (MOSWOC) leading to an improvement in space weather forecasts for a range of users.

Of global benefit

Furthermore, this new programme will be of benefit not just to UK infrastructure operators but will also make additional forecast information available to international partners.

Head of MOSWOC, Mark Gibbs, has welcomed the funding announcement saying: “It will help to upgrade UK capabilities in space weather modelling and measurement. This is an important milestone in the development of space weather forecasts here in the UK and will see the biggest change in MOSWOC capability since the majority of services were introduced in 2014. We look forward to working with UK universities and research institutes to maximise the return on this investment.”

A key outcome of the programme will be forecasts that are much more specific to individual users, for example better services will be provided to support future UK space launches and forecasts of the accuracy of GPS-type services (GNSS).

This project, it is reported, will bring together researchers funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), with teams at the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre (MOSWOC) – supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Defence.

European contribution

STFC’s RAL Space department already works alongside MOSWOC to conduct research and provide instruments to study the Sun from space, including the development of a proposed European Space Agency space weather monitoring mission.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore added: “I am deeply impressed by the incredible strength of the UK space industry and the contribution it makes to life across the country, providing us with innovative solutions to complex problems and creating high-skilled jobs for more than 40,000 people.

“A truly strategic approach to space is needed now more than ever, to protect us from threats like space weather and to ensure we seize new opportunities such as satellite launch from the UK.

“The UK is looking to make an even more ambitious investment in European Space Agency programmes later this year, which will help develop our national capabilities and play a leading role in exciting, global efforts in space science and exploration.”

This new national funding comes ahead of the European Space Agency Council of Ministers meeting in November, where space weather programmes will be a key priority for the UK.

The UK government has also confirmed it will establish the country’s first National Space Council, with further details of the chair and membership of the Council to follow in coming weeks.

The Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre (MOSWOC) is funded by UK Government to provide space weather forecast services to protect national infrastructure and space based capabilities.

One of three

MOSWOC is one of only three space weather forecast centres globally that is manned around the clock, day-in-day-out, year round by expert forecasters.

It works closely with the other two centres in the United States:

NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre

US Air Force Space Weather Operations CLICK HERE

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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SeaBird's Nordic Explorer, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SeaBird’s Nordic Explorer

SeaBird Exploration, the Norwegian-listed, Cyprus-based seismic survey company, has announced that the company has signed a contract to acquire a 2D seismic survey for an international oil & gas company in the Africa region.

The survey is due to commence towards the end of the month (September) and is estimated to run for approximately three weeks. The company will be using,,,[restrict] their own vessel NORDIC EXPLORER for the work.

According to SeaBird, the 2D survey in the Africa region fits well with the previously reported 10,000 km 2D contract in Australasia region securing back-to-back utilisation of the Nordic Explorer in the fourth quarter of 2019 and for most of the first quarter of 2020.

SeaBird is a global specialist provider of marine 2D and 3D seismic data for the oil and gas industry and claims market leader position in the high-end 2D seismic services segment.

The company is also a leading provider of niche 3D and source vessel solutions. SeaBird concentrates on contract seismic surveys, but is also actively engaged in the multi-client sector.

With headquarters in Cyprus the company operates regional offices in Limassol, Oslo, Houston and Singapore.

Nordic Explorer

The seismic survey vessel selected for the Africa region contract is a 2D/3D Shallow Water Vessel, which joined the SeaBird fleet in August 2011. Built in 2005 and rebuilt in 2006, Nordic Explorer has an overall length of 67.81 metres, a beam of 16m and a draught of 4.65m. She has a transit speed of 10 knots.

SeaBird has a fleet of five vessels.[/restrict]


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The Trinity House Vessel Patricia, built 1982, to be replaced by new tonnage. Photo: Trinity House London ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Trinity House Vessel Patricia, built 1982, to be replaced by new tonnage. Photo: Trinity House London ©

On 9 September at the start of this year’s London International Shipping Week Nusrat Ghani, Maritime Minister on behalf of HMG, confirmed that it will enable construction of a new advanced ship for the General Lighthouse Authority, Trinity House*, to replace the ageing THV PATRICIA, built in 1982 by Henry Robb of Leith.

The vessel, yet to be named, will establish and service aids to navigation in some of the most dangerous waters of NW Europe, marking channels and hazards and using the latest technology.

Of this provision Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani, said: “Our maritime sector is crucial to UK trade with 95% of our imports and exports transported by sea. With our waters becoming busier all the time, dealing with incidents quickly and efficiently is more important than ever. This new ship will support the General Lighthouse Authority to help future-proof their fleet and continue to support maritime safety and trade for generations to come.”

I understand that an invitation to tender has now been launched for the shipbuilding industry to further develop plans for the new vessel, which will join the existing Trinity House fleet.

Regarding the proposed new build Captain Ian McNaught, Trinity House Executive Chairman said: “We are pleased to hear that the Maritime Minister is content for us to move the vessel replacement project closer towards the design and build phase.

“While we must ensure that value for money is central to the design, we will also be looking for new, tested and robust technologies in the vessel design; these technologies will need to offer high performance and resilience and also reduce our environmental impact.”

This investment is the latest move by the government to future-proof the UK’s maritime sector, supporting innovation and ensuring competition thrives.

*With responsibility for the waters of England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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Ship emissions, article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

* International shipping carries 80% of global trade and accounts for 2%-3% of greenhouse gas emissions annually though emissions are projected to grow by up to 250% by 2050 if no action is taken
* Getting to Zero Coalition will lead push to see commercially viable zero-emission vessels operating along deep-sea trade routes by 2030
* Follow the 2019 Sustainable Development Impact Summit at

The World Economic Forum, the Global Maritime Forum and Friends of Ocean Action on Monday (23 September) launched the Getting to Zero Coalition at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, with the goal of decarbonising the international maritime shipping sector by 2030.

The coalition represents leaders from across the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors and is supported by decision-makers from government and international organisations.

International shipping carries…[restrict] around 80% of global trade and accounts for 2%-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. Emissions are projected to grow by between 50% to 250% by 2050 if no action is taken. The Getting to Zero Coalition is committed to addressing this by getting commercially viable, deep-sea, zero-emission vessels into operation by 2030.

The demand for zero-emission fuels derived from renewable resources also has the potential to drive substantial investment in clean energy projects in developing countries with a large untapped renewable energy potential.

The Getting to Zero Coalition is part of the Mission Possible platform, an alliance of experts, businesses and policy partners focused on helping seven key sectors – shipping, aviation, heavy-duty road transport, aluminium, chemicals, cement and concrete, and iron and steel – achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

“The Forum is committed to helping those industries that face the greatest challenges in meeting the Paris Climate Goals achieve net zero emissions,” said Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, Head of the Centre for Global Public Goods, World Economic Forum.

“This goal will only be achieved if we can adopt a system-wide approach, and through the commitment of both the public and private sectors to prioritise long-term vision of short-term expedience,” he said.

The ambition of the Getting to Zero Coalition is closely aligned with the UN International Maritime Organization’s strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gases. The strategy prescribes that international shipping must reduce its total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050, while pursuing efforts to phasing them out as soon as possible this century.

This will align greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping with the Paris Agreement targets.

“A healthy ocean is key to achieving the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and the Getting to Zero Coalition is an important move in the right direction,” said Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean and Co-Chair, Friends of Ocean Action.

“Business as usual will not get us where we need to be to achieve sustainability – so it is very encouraging to see hard-to-abate sectors like global seaborne trade boldly stepping up to chart this new course. Let us all support the continued development of cleaner technologies and new fuel solutions.”

Industry partners of the Getting to Zero Coalition range from Mærsk and Shell to Citigroup and Cargill, while knowledge partners include Environmental Defense Fund, University College London and the Energy Transitions Commission.

“Energy efficiency has been an important tool which has helped us reduce CO2 emissions per container by 41% over the last decade and position ourselves as a leader 10% ahead of the industry average. However, efficiency measures can only keep shipping emissions stable, not eliminate them,” said Søren Skou, Chief Executive Officer, A.P. Møller-Mærsk.

He said that getting to Zero Coalition members to take the next big step change towards decarbonisation of shipping, a shift in propulsion technologies or a shift to clean fuels is required which implies close collaboration from all parties. “The coalition launched today is a crucial vehicle to make this collaboration happen,” Skou said.

Coalition members: Cargill, Lloyd’s Register, Trafigura, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Anglo-Eastern, Berge Bulk, Caravel Group, Danske Bank, Gard, Forward Ships, KC Maritime, Kuehne + Nagel, MAN Energy Solutions, Marine Capital, MISC, Port of Aarhus, RightShip, Siemens Gamesa, Skuld, Snam, The China Navigation Company, Torvald Klaveness, Tufton Oceanic, Unilever, Vestas, World Fuel Services, Wärtsilä Corporation, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services.[/restrict]


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UN Climate Change Summit 2019 banner featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

According to a statement from IMO on 24 September Secretary-General HE Kitack Lim reported on the solid progress being made by the Organization to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping, in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular SDG 13 on Climate change.

The UN Climate Action Summit in New York the previous day gave global leaders the chance to…[restrict] show the world concrete proposals and tangible actions being taken in the fight against climate change.

Secretary-General Lim delivered a keynote address at the opening of the World Economic Forum event on decarbonising shipping. He then delivered a presentation at the launch of the Sustainable Ocean Principles, under the banner of the UN Global Compact.

The Global Compact provides a tangible and practical way for the corporate world to embrace values that go beyond simply generating profits for their shareholders.

Finally, he delivered a keynote address at the side-event organised by the Government of Belgium entitled ‘Actions speak louder than words’.

Bilateral meetings

It was further reported that he also took the opportunity for bilateral meetings with several key figures in the fight against climate change, including Ms Inger Andersen, who was appointed Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme in February this year.

Mr Lim also met senior officials of the World Bank to discuss areas of common interest and to explore possible future collaboration to support the decarbonisation of international shipping and its associated infrastructure, as well as marine plastic litter and waste management.

Throughout the event, Mr Lim highlighted IMO’s initial greenhouse gas strategy, adopted in 2018. This envisages a total annual GHG emissions reduction of at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, and eventually phasing them out as soon as possible in this century. This means that individual ships currently at sea would have to reduce their emissions by more than 80%.

IMO’s initial GHG strategy has sent a clear signal to the shipping industry of the way forward and there are already strong signs that it is being embraced by both industry and financial institutions.

Battery powered and hybrid ferries, ships trialling biofuels or hydrogen fuel cells, wind-assisted propulsion and several other ideas are now being actively explored.

Alongside this, Mr Lim spoke of several major, global projects being led by IMO. These bring Member States and the industry together to promote implementation of all the various IMO measures related to GHG reduction.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Cleaning up at the Durban Bayhead Heritage site, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cleaning up at the Durban Bayhead Heritage site

Hundreds of volunteers supported various programmes hosted by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to mark International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, 21 September.

Over 200 volunteers participated at the Port of Richards Bay on Saturday, including TNPA employees, local learners and strategic partners who cleaned up Naval Island, Pelican Island and the casuarina area. Other participating organisations included…[restrict] the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, King Cetshwayo District Municipality, City of uMhlathuze, Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, Mondi, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, WILDLANDS and mpact recycling.

Clean-up on Richards Bay's Naval Island, featurd in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Clean-up on Richards Bay’s Naval Island

The Port of Mossel Bay hosted a beach cleanup in partnership with Stranded Marine Animal Rescue Team (S.M.A.R.T) and involving learners from TNPA’s adopted schools in the area. For an account of TNPA Mossel Bay’s Clean-up operations SEE HERE

On Friday, 20 September employees at the Port of Durban banded together in an effort to clean the shores of the Bayhead Natural Heritage site, focusing on recyclable materials, and collecting plastic separately from the other litter lining the shore – to be recycled and re-used in the future. The Durban harbour is an estuary to many of the rivers branching off into the KwaZulu Natal hinterlands – and with heavy rainfall, it becomes the gathering point for much of the province’s trash.

Thousands of tons of garbage end up in the oceans every year and International Coastal Clean-up Day encourages people to get out to the beaches to help to limit this problem by cleaning up the garbage that has washed up on shore. It is only through collective efforts to educate South Africans about reducing waste, and by teaming up to collect trash, that people can make a difference.[/restrict]


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UN Climate Action Summir 22 September 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

In the face of worsening climate crisis, the UN Summit will deliver new pathways and practical actions to shift global response into a higher gear.

Leaders from government, business, and civil society announced in advance potentially far-reaching steps to confront climate change at the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York.

As carbon pollution, temperatures, and climate destruction continue to rise, and public backlash mounts, the Summit has offered a turning point from inertia into momentum, action, and global impact – if everyone gets on board.

An extract from the event’s opening communiqué is here (below):

Leaders from government, business, and civil society today announced potentially far-reaching steps to confront climate change at the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York.

As carbon pollution, temperatures, and climate destruction continue to rise, and public backlash mounts, the Summit has offered a turning point from inertia into momentum, action, and global impact – if everyone gets on board.

The UN estimates that the world would need to increase its efforts between three- and five-fold to contain climate change to the levels dictated by science – a 1.5°C rise at most – and avoid escalating climate damage already taking place around the world.

However, the Paris Agreement provides an open-door framework for countries to continuously ratchet up their positive actions, and today’s Summit demonstrates how governments, businesses, and civilians around the world are rising to the challenge.

“The best science, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, tells us that any temperature rise above 1.5 degrees will lead to major and irreversible damage to the ecosystems that support us,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “Science tells us that on our current path, we face at least 3-degrees Celsius of global heating by the end of the century.”

“The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.

“This is not a climate talk summit. We have had enough talk. This is not a climate negotiation summit. You don’t negotiate with nature. This is a climate action summit.”

He said: “Governments are here to show you are serious about enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. Cities and businesses are here showing what leadership looks like, investing in a green future. Financial actors are here to scale-up action and deploy resources in fundamentally new and meaningful ways. Coalitions are here with partnerships and initiatives to move us closer to a resilient, carbon-neutral world by 2050.

“And young people are here providing solutions, insisting on accountability, demanding urgent action.”

A full list of the announcements and commitments made at the Climate Action Summit can be found: HERE

The day’s agenda is CLICK HERE

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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workboat Kestrel at Cape Town port, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) will secure two new workboats by 2022 to boost marine operations at the Port of Cape Town and to improve general efficiency.

The more powerful workboats are expected to improve the port’s ability to maintain marine operations during challenging weather conditions. The engines will be approximately 20% more powerful on the new workboats and the bollard pull will be 80% greater as a result of advanced propeller and rudder designs.

The Port of Cape Town presently has two workboats, the Kestrel and the Blue Jay, which have been plagued by breakdowns and technical problems arising from their advanced age.

Cape Town Port Manager, Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana, said: “We’ve now concluded the 12-month long procurement process and are in the process of awarding the R85 million contract for the building of the two workboats to the successful bidder with an anticipated delivery date of 2022.

“This is part of the port’s craft replacement strategy through which we are responding to industry calls for a more reliable and efficient fleet of marine craft. Acquiring these new workboats will help to reduce vessel service delays and the overall efficiency and competitiveness of our port.”

Under the port’s Craft Replacement Strategy a request has also been made to bring forward the replacement of two tugs and two [motor] launches to 2019/20 instead of 2020/21 in order to meet industry needs.

The port will also be introducing a helicopter service in 2021 to transfer marine pilots onto and off visiting vessels, after the traditional method of using pilot boats has become ill-suited to Cape Town’s more frequent weather-related disruptions and high swell conditions.

It was not possible to have confirmed in time for today’s publication whether the two new workboats in the report above will be locally procured. We hope to clarify this in a later news report.

The reference to two new tugs for the Cape Town port being brought forward into this financial year raises another unanswered issue. The previous order for nine tugs was placed with Durban-based Southern African Shipyards where the final tug of that series remains undelivered over a year after its practical completion. It is understood that a financial dispute has resulted in the tug not undergoing its official handover.

Will this matter now find settlement, or will a new contract for the two above-mentioned tugs be issued elsewhere? And if so would this mean a possible departure from the use of Voith Schneider propulsion?


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Alick Rennie rescue craft of NSRI Stn 5, by Paula Leech, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Alick Rennie rescue craft of NSRI Stn 5, by Paula Leech

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Station 5 at Durban was called into action on Friday, 20 September to evacuate a patient off a ship approaching the port.

According to the NSRI Durban station commander, Jonathan Kellerman, the NSRI Durban duty crew was called out at 05h41 on that morning to launch the sea rescue craft Alick Rennie to rendezvous with a bulk carrier that was heading for Durban with a 32 year old Indonesian crewman on board suffering a medical complaint and requiring evacuation.

The NSRI duty crew was accompanied by Netcare 911 rescue paramedics.

The patient had been monitored by a Government Health EMS duty doctor over the previous two days with the the patient evacuation being arranged for Friday morning as the ship approached closer to her next port of call, which was Durban.

MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) and Telkom Maritime Radio Services all assisted in coordination and communications during the operation.

“We rendezvoused with the bulk carrier 10 nautical miles off-shore of the Port of Durban and the patient, in a stable condition, was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and taken into the care of the Netcare 911 rescue paramedics,” said Kellerman.

He advised that patient was taken to the NSRI rescue base, Station 5, which is in the Port of Durban, from where he was transported to hospital by ambulance for further care.


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A consignment of elephants being tranquilised before delivery to the port at Walvis Bay for shipment to the DRC. Picture courtesy: Namport, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A consignment of elephants being tranquilised before delivery to the port at Walvis Bay for shipment to the DRC. Picture courtesy: Namport

The Port of Walvis Bay is excited about the opportunities presented by the multipurpose terminal at berths 1 – 8, following the commissioning of the New Container Terminal.

The commissioning of the new container terminal has has freed up space at the previous container terminal site, with the freed up space being utilised for…[restrict] multipurpose cargo vessels.

This, says the port authority, allows for an increase in the trade of certain commodities such as salt, bulk sulphur/fertiliser imports with bagging plant, vehicles, fish and fish products.

Namport can handle approximately 700,000 tons of general cargo on a monthly basis at the existing terminal.

Loading crates of live elephants onto the ship at the port of Walvis Bay. Picture: Namport, featured in Afric PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Loading crates of live elephants onto the ship at the port of Walvis Bay. Picture: Namport

The Port has also seen an increase in project cargo, with the recent discharge of 6600 tons of railway tracks, which is part of a consignment of 20,000 tons, as well as 10,720 tons of cargo for the construction of the Mohembo bridge in Botswana.

In addition to project cargo, the export of live animals has been on the rise as well. On Thursday, 5 September another consignment of 202 live animals were shipped to the Democratic Republic of Congo. These are wild animals being transferred to a wild animal reserve in the DRC.

According to Executive: Commercial, Immanuel Tino !Hanabeb, the idea of creating a car terminal for new vehicles is under consideration. He further said that “we not only offer our clients a good customer experience but our prices remain affordable.”[/restrict]


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A new history reviewed by Paul Ridgway
London Correspondent

Cover of book for reviews title Pirates, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

It is unbelievable that the scourge of piracy is still with us and to set the scene past and present has come Pirates: A New History, from Vikings to Somali Raiders by Peter Lehr, published by Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

With 261 pages, 20 colour and 6 monochrome illustrations with maps, this is priced at £20.00 (ISBN 978 0 300 18074 9) and tells the story from AD 700 in a well-arranged volume considering the subject in three parts: to 1500; to 1914 and to the present).

There is a useful glossary (remember the Barbary Coast from our history books, corsairs, Drake, privateers and more) and a huge set of more than 500 endnotes and a bibliography of more than 300 references to books, papers, media and other sources. All this adds up to a scholarly work upon which one reviewer reflected as: “…the most comprehensive history of piracy,” he had ever read.

Here is a global account of pirates and their methods and where in our century piracy has gained a central place in our entertainment thanks to Pirates of the Caribbean. Then there is the huge rise of modern-day piracy in the waters of the Horn of Africa, Indonesia and the Gulf of Guinea, reports of which are the stuff of our daily news and which has been reported regularly in

As if to demonstrate these workings for many years I have kept in touch with the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and received reports issued by its noteworthy Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, the link for which can be found HERE: They maintain a round-the-clock watch on the world’s shipping lanes, reporting pirate attacks to local law enforcement authorities and issuing warnings about piracy hotspots to shipping.

The narrative to be here illustrates some of the recent attacks:

Peter Lehr, a maritime terrorism and piracy expert, casts fresh light on pirates and delves deep into what motivates them and how they operate. He also illuminates the state’s role in the development of piracy throughout history: from privateers sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth I to pirates operating off the coast of Africa taking the law into their own hands. After exploring the failures which create fertile ground for pirate activities, the author evaluates the success of counter-piracy efforts—and the reasons behind failures.

I remember hearing a lecture on the subject 20 years ago when the speaker said that as long as life on land was tough, piracy would be profitable, improve the lot of those ashore and there would be no need to go a-pirating.


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Durban container terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Durban container terminal

Problems at the port terminals operated by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) in Durban only got worse this week with a terminal operating system ‘glitch'(don’t use the word ‘crash’ we were requested) that brought things to a sudden halt.

The container terminal has already been under strain resulting from delays in clearing containers in and out of the terminal, so much so that the minister of public enterprises, Pravin Gordhan and Transnet chief executive Popo Molefe had to step in with a special visit to Durban that ended up in the reported suspension of TPT chief executive, Nosipho Sithole.

That serious step was a result of a fracas of a meeting between TPT top officials including the CEO and transport companies and this followed the issuing of interdicts against some transporters whose drivers and vehicles had been involved in the blockading of the terminal gates.

Transport company owners claimed they couldn’t be held responsible for the unauthorised actions of their drivers and according to several reports, the meeting became so intense that Sithole walked out saying that the transporters had been negotiating in bad faith. Transporters say they want the interdicts rescinded and legal costs reimbursed.

An ongoing problem and challenge

These problems involving the road delivery to and from the port terminals are not new and over the years no real solution has been found, although there have been long periods where things ran reasonably smooth. It is when things gets busy though, such as at this time of year, that a build-up of trucks on the road culminates in congestion outside the gates of in particular the container terminal but also to other areas of the port.

The problems are exacerbated by equipment shortages and breakdowns within the terminals, an issue that TPT says it is addressing but never quite seems to get on top of the problem.

The Cutler complex at the Bluff is another area that adds to the overall problem facing the port of Durban – an inadequate road network leading to the container and liquid and dry bulk products terminals at the Bluff (Island View included), Piers 1 and 2 (containers) and Maydon Wharf (liquid and dry bulk).

Arriving trucks often park indiscriminately on the roadsides waiting their call to the terminals which then on access to the roads and neighbouring areas for other drivers. Truck drivers are accused of taking the law into their own hands by ignoring local bylaws while SA Police Services are also accused of not assisting by ignoring the obvious transgressions of laws.

Matters will get worse

In fairness to the transporters there is often no where else they can go and until the city and port authorities make a serious attempt at finding a solution, the matter will simply get worse.

This week matters did just that and deteriorated even further when the operating ‘glitch’ occurred, apparently on the weekend or Monday and preventing any semblance of efficient cargo handling at the terminals. The breakdown/glitch/crash resulted in a further accumulation of trucks and vehicles blockading the Durban South roads.

Once again no long-term solutions, statements or answers are forthcoming.


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VARD stern trawler design for Lunto, featured in article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
VARD stern trawler design for Luntos fishing company

On 19 September it was announced simultaneously in Ålesund, Norway and in Vũng Tàu, Vietnam, that VARD, one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialised vessels, had signed an agreement to provide an advanced design of stern trawler to Russian deepwater fishing company Luntos Co Ltd.

It is understood that this vessel, a VARD 8 02 design, will feature a range of innovations to ensure optimal productivity, sustainability and operational efficiency, delivering high performance in the most demanding environment.

The new vessel, of 80.4 metres loa with a beam of 16.7 metres, has been specially tailored for Luntos, based on the proven VARD 8 02 design.

Luntos operates out of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the Far Eastern Russian Economic Fishing Zones and Bering Sea.

Scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2021, the trawler’s design combines a safe, comfortable, and modern working and living environment for crewmembers, and a high focus on quality of the pelagic catch handling, keeping the fish in healthy condition until processing and storing to maintain premium quality.

Key features include efficient deck equipment, an advanced fish factory, two separate cargo holds for palletised, refrigerated and frozen fish, with a freezing capacity of 170 tons per 24 hours.

Working in partnership with Luntos, VARD has focused on incorporating the latest, most efficient technology to ensure the catch can be brought ashore with the minimal environmental footprint. The vessel hull has been designed for optimal efficiency during both trawling and transit, and an environmentally friendly propulsion and power solution optimises energy consumption for all operational needs.

The newbuilding project makes use of VARD’s network of specialised international facilities. Vard Design in Ålesund has developed the VARD 8 02 design, while the build itself will take place at Vard Vũng Tàu in Vietnam.

A range of leading firms within the fishing industry are operating fishing vessels developed and built by VARD.

About VARD

Vard Holdings Limited, otherwise known as VARD, together with its subsidiaries, is one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialised vessels.

With HQ in Norway and approximately 8,600 employees, VARD operates nine strategically located shipbuilding facilities, including five in Norway, two in Romania, one in Brazil and one in Vietnam.

Through its specialised subsidiaries, VARD develops power and automation systems, deck handling equipment, and vessel accommodation, and provides design and engineering services to the global maritime industry.

VARD’s long shipbuilding traditions, cutting-edge innovation and technology coupled with its global operations and track record in constructing complex and highly customised vessels have earned it recognition from industry players and enabled it to build strong relationships with its customers.

The majority shareholder of VARD is Fincantieri Oil & Gas Sp A, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fincantieri Sp A. With HQ in Trieste, Italy, Fincantieri is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and has, over its 200 years of maritime history, built more than 7,000 vessels.

About Vard Vũng Tàu

Vard Vũng Tàu is an advanced and fully-integrated facility designed to undertake the entire shipbuilding process, from hull construction to final vessel outfitting. The company was established in 2007, with the grand opening in 2010. Since that point it has delivered a broad range of offshore and specialised vessels and an expedition cruise vessel, with all projects completed to agreed schedules.

The Vietnam-based shipyard complies to the same high, international standards as VARD’s other shipbuilding facilities, with the in-house equipment, expertise and resources to handle complex project management for the most demanding vessel builds.

The African link

Vard is involved with the design of the South African Navy’s hydrographic survey vessel currently under construction by Southern African Shipyards in Durban.

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

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

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

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

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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

Naval News

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



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