Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 10 May 2020

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002
Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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 www.africaports.co.za

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FRONT PAGE: LA TONDA

La Tonda departing from Durban Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
La Tonda       Picture: Trevor Jones

The Belgium-flagged bulk carrier LA TONDA (IMO 9748485) departs from the port of Durban earlier this year. The 61,241-dwt vessel was built in 2016 and is owned and managed by EBE NV Belgian with ISM mangement by Anglo-Eastern Antwerp NV. There’s a certain Moroccan influence with this ship – her launch name was Western Casablanca but changed immediately to Glory Casablanca followed one year later by her present name La Tonda in 2017. La Tonda has a length of 199 metres and a beam of 32m.     Picture: Trevor Jones

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POSSIBLE BOARDING AND KIDNAPPING FROM SHIP IN LUBA ANCHORAGE

Research ship Djibloho. Picture: Baltic Shipping, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Research ship Djibloho. Picture: Baltic Shipping

Dryad Global reported on Saturday evening (SA time) the possible/probable boarding of a research ship in Luba anchorage, which may be the MV DJIBLOHO (IMO 8724494, 4502-gt).

The boarding and possible kidnapping of two Russian seafarers from the ship took place in position 03°28’03”N; 008°33’12”E on Saturday, 9 May 2020, time not available.

The 104-metre long, 16m wide vessel is owned and managed by the Equatorial Guinea Govt Marina in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea and flagged in that country.

This report remains unconfirmed at this stage. Dryad reports that across the last 48hrs there has been an increase in reporting concerning suspicious activity involving vessels reported to have acted in a suspicious manner. In another report a speedboat was sighted circling an offshore platform in waters off Mayumba, Gabon.

Vessels operating in this area are advised to maintain the highest levels of vigilance and to ensure the vessels are adequately hardened when required.

Updates on this report from Dryad may be expected.

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BUNKER ONE STRENGTHENS BUNKER FLEET IN WEST AFRICA

The bunker tanker Barbarica which is on duty with Bunker One in the US Gulf. Picture: Bunker One, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The bunker tanker Barbarica which is on duty with Bunker One in the US Gulf. Picture: Bunker One

Bunker One intends expanding its fleet across several regions including West Africa, the Caribbean and US Gulf.

The Danish bunker fuel supplier said this week Thursday the new expansions are a part of Bunker One’s overall strategy to increase its activities and investments around the globe.

“In a climate of uncertainty and tightening credit we are leveraging our strong liquidity and expanding our operational reach to meet our customers’ requirements,” said Peter Zachariassen, Bunker One’s Chief Executive Officer.

“The current downtrend in the market is not effecting our entrepreneurial spirit, and we continue to execute on our strategy for growth looking for more business opportunities at a global scale.”

It was only earlier this year that Bunker One established itself in West Africa. During the first months in the new market, the operation performed very well experiencing strong commitment from its customers and business partners.

As a result the company is now adding further to its portfolio of tankers by employing the 16,866-dwt bunker tanker vessel ENFORD (IMO 9475428), bringing the operating fleet in the region to three tankers.

With three fully equipped and fully operational tankers in the area, Bunker One will cover the major shipping lanes supplying vessels going East-West via the Horn in addition to the traffic in and around the West African Coast.

HSFO, VLSFO and MGO will be available on the full stretch of the African coast.

These additional high spec tankers are fully retrofitted as bunker vessels and perform with the highest standards of safety, according to Bunker One.

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NEED FOR CREW CHANGEOVERS IS OF UTMOST URGENCY, SAYS IMO

IMO bannerfrlying in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Need for crew changeovers is of utmost urgency, says IMO
Urgent need for crew changeovers to support safe flow of commerce by sea
IMO and Industry highlight their appreciation for seafarers working throughout the pandemic.
150,000 seafarers are trapped at sea

The need for crew changeovers to take place is of the utmost urgency, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and shipping industry representatives said in London this week.

This was agreed by the UN’s International Maritime Organization and the shipping industry representatives taking part in a virtual IMO-industry meeting hosted at the IMO in London.

Many seafarers on board ships (and personnel in the offshore industry) have been…[restrict] on enforced extended contracts during the COVID-19 pandemic, with restrictions on travel making it difficult for crew to leave ships and for new crew to join ships. These extended stays on board could have significant repercussions for crew wellbeing as well as for ship operations, several NGOs said.

Representatives of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) highlighted their work in leading a call for “hub” airports and seaports to be established, so that crew changes could take place more easily.

Work is ongoing with governments, port authorities, health authorities and others to develop protocols for crew changes and crew movements. ICS said they estimated that 150,000 seafarers were trapped at sea and needed to change over as soon as possible.

IMO Secretary-General Lim and industry representatives highlighted their appreciation for seafarers working on the front line to keep trade of essential goods flowing during the pandemic. They reiterated the need for seafarers, port workers and related personnel to be designated as key workers.

The meeting was updated on ongoing collaborative work underway to address specific issues during the pandemic. IMO has been working with other UN agencies and bodies to issue joint guidance and statements, and to disseminate communications received from Member States detailing their arrangements for issues such as certificate extensions. These are available on the IMO website

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) highlighted the efforts of IACS member surveyors to continue to certify ships for compliance with international treaty and class requirements, sometimes using techniques such as remote surveying where this was feasible. When surveyors do go on board, provision of personal protective equipment is critical.

There are legal questions over what happens when or if extensions of certificates need to go beyond the three months permitted extension in exceptional circumstances provided for under IMO treaties. The IMO Secretariat noted that this issue was under active consideration.

NGOs were invited to submit their views and updates on survey and certification, seafarer changeover and other concerns, including the prioritisation and rescheduling of IMO meetings to the forthcoming thirty-second Extraordinary Session of the IMO Council, which is being held by correspondence from May to mid-July.

IMO Secretary-General Lim pledged to continue to collaborate and cooperate – including diplomatic consultations with Member States – to tackle the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular to address the issues faced by seafarers.

The protocols for crew change and repatriation were drawn up by IMO; BIMCO; Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA); International Association of Classification Societies (IACS): International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH); International Chamber of Shipping (ICS); International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA); International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA); International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO): INTERFERRY; International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO); International Parcel Tanker Association (IPTA); International Transport Workers Federation (ITF); Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF); World Shipping Council (WSC).

IMO Trade banner flying in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

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NSRI PORT ELIZABETH EVACUATE PATIENT FROM SHIP PASSING SOUTH AFRICA

Spirit of Toft, NSRI Station 6 rescue craft. Picture: Dirk Erasmus - NSRI, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Spirit of Toft, NSRI Station 6 rescue craft. Picture: Dirk Erasmus – NSRI

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI Station 6 at Port Elizabeth was called into service this week to rendezvous with a bulk carrier that was sailing past South Africa, which reported having a seafarer in need of urgent medical attention.

As a result, at 13h00 on Thursday, 7 May the NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft and accompanied by an EC Government Health EMS rescue paramedic, set off the meet with the bulker and evacuate a 25 year old Myanmar sailor.

Justin Erasmus, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, reported that…[restrict] on the day previous the NSRI had been placed on alert after the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) advised that a bulker currently deep sea and passing the South African coastline, was diverting towards the coast as the seafarer was in need of urgent hospital care.

“Our NSRI sea rescue craft rendezvoused with the ship 10 nautical miles off-shore of Port Elizabeth and an NSRI rescue swimmer and the EMS rescue paramedic boarded the ship,” Erasmus said.

On board the paramedic took over care of the patient from the ships medical crew while the NSRI crewman set up a technical extrication platform which was used to transfer the patient onto the sea rescue craft.

Once this was achieved and the seafarer taken safely onto the rescue craft, the Spirit of Toft returned to the NSRI PE rescue base from where the patient was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance.

Erasmus said all Covid-19 precautions and protocols had been observed during the operation, which was concluded by 14h20.[/restrict]

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KENYA’S RIFT VALLEY RAILWAY GETS A SECOND CHANCE

Metre gauge goods train operated by Rift Valley Railway, with RVR given a new breath of life as the SGR project stalls, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Metre gauge goods train operated by Rift Valley Railway, with RVR given a new breath of life as the SGR project stalls

With construction of Kenya’s standard gauge railway (SGR) at a premature end due to financial constraints, still a long distance from the intended destination of Malaba on the Uganda border, attention has turned towards rehabilitating sections of the colonial-built metre-gauge Rift Valley Railway (RVR).

A second section of the proposed SGR extension is to the city of Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria. Kisumu is Kenya’s third largest city after Nairobi and Mombasa and most importantly, is…[restrict] an important cog in lake transport across Africa’s largest lake.

Now, with little hope that the completion of the SGR to the Uganda border and to Kisumu, the RVR has a chance of proving its undoubted worth, particularly as long sections of metre gauge track remain in service, albeit in need of proper maintenance.

The RVR metre-gauge line extends even beyond Kampala reaching almost to the eastern DRC border, a length of about 1600 kilometres from the port of Mombasa.

Another branch line extended from Nairobi to the town of Nanyuki, some 240 kilometres to the north and almost directly on the equator. Rehabilitation of this branch is reported to be underway and nearing completion, according to Phillip Mainga, the managing director of the Kenya Railways Corporation, which now operates the RVR.

East African railway map. featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
East African railway map

Mainga said the line should be operational by June this year, which is only a month away. The line covers Kenya’s rich agricultural region that produces much of the country’s agricultural exports.

To hasten the completion of the branch’s rehabilitation Kenya Railways Corporation has dispatched several locomotives and wagons to operate a construction type train, including a passenger coach for workers. The branch has been inactive for more than 20 or 30 years, no-one seems to remember.

In March Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a visit to witness the re-development of the branch. He said its completion will see agricultural produce such as coffee, tea, miraa, macadamia and rice being railed to the port at Mombasa.

“Towns on which the line passes will regain economic vibrancy and that means more business opportunities for the people. That is the Kenya we want,” he said.[/restrict]

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GLOBAL STUDY REVEALS MISMATCH BETWEEN LAND AND SEAFLOOR DEBRIS*

Fishing wire is one of the hazards facing seabirds like this pelican from Bribie Island, Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Pelican and Seabird Rescue Inc ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Fishing wire is one of the hazards facing seabirds like this pelican from Bribie Island, Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Pelican and Seabird Rescue Inc ©

The Journal of Environmental Pollution has published a study by scientists at three organisations: (i) CSIRO**, Australia’s national science agency; (ii) Project AWARE, a global non-profit connecting community action and policy; and (iii) Ocean Conservancy, a US-based advocacy non-profit organisation, that evaluated the relationship between land-based debris and what is found on corresponding seafloors.

In the first global analysis of its kind drawing on data obtained from two global, volunteer-based surveys, Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris seafloor survey and Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup of beach and nearshore debris, the research showed a general mismatch between what is located on shorelines and what remains on the seafloor.

Statistical analysis by CSIRO scientists suggests that buoyancy, as well as the tendency to snag, most closely predicts whether an item found on the beach will also appear under the water.

Comment by the experts

In the words of CSIRO Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Lauren Roman, who led the study: “Many of the items recorded on land – such as cigarette butts – are rarely seen on the seafloor; our analysis shows that this is likely because certain items are simply more likely to ‘swim away’ than sink.

“Conversely, items that sink or entangle like fishing line and plastic bags were found in comparable amounts on both land and underwater.”

Chief Scientist at Ocean Conservancy Dr George Leonard added: “Both plastic bags and lost or abandoned fishing gear, also known as ghost gear, are among the top five deadliest forms of marine debris to marine wildlife.

“It is troubling that these items are similarly prevalent on shorelines as well as in coastal waters. These are habitats where the majority of marine organisms make their home.

“Our study makes a strong case that not only do beach and underwater cleanups provide critical, complementary data about the extent of debris in the ocean, but that concerted action is needed on those items common to both habitats.”

Policy Lead for Project AWARE Hannah Pragnell-Raasch said the research demonstrated the critical need for empirical debris data from both land and seafloor surveys: “Land data are not a proxy for seafloor debris and vice versa. If we are to succeed in strengthening waste management policies to prevent debris from entering the ocean, we must have both types of data to guide our decision making.”

CSIRO scientist Dr Denise Hardesty, who oversaw the analysis at CSIRO, said the research highlighted the valuable role that citizen science can have in providing scientifically robust data with real management and policy implications. She commented: “This complements the work being done by academic scientists around the world.”

The data used in the research was collected by volunteer citizen scientists between 2011 and 2018, spanning 86 countries and covering over 19,000 land and seafloor sites.

Over 32 million debris items were recorded through Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) surveys and more than 915,000 items were recorded through Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris seafloor surveys.

Most common items found

On the seafloor the most common items found through Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris surveys were fishing line, plastic fragments, metal cans, plastic beverage bottles, glass bottles, food wrappers, rope, plastic bags and construction waste.
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Along coastlines the most common items found through the ICC included cigarettes, plastic fragments, food wrappers, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bottle caps, synthetic foam, plastic bags, metal cans, and glass bottles.

Collectively, the analysis found that the ten most common items across both habitats are: cigarettes, fishing line, plastic fragments, food wrappers, plastic bottles, glass bottles, plastic bottle caps, metal cans, plastic bags and synthetic foam.

Of these, seven items are wholly or partially made of plastic, while five are directly tied to the food and beverage industry.

Paul Ridgway, London correspondent for Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

 

* www.sciencedirect.com

** Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation: www.csiro.au

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MSC GRANTS GO TO SOUTH AFRICA FISHERIES & RESEARCH PROJECTS

MSC fisheries banner, displayed in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has awarded grants totalling around R15 million (£650,000+) to fisheries and research projects working to protect oceans and safeguard seafood supplies, with three of these projects being implemented on South African waters by WWF and BirdLife.

The projects generally aim at tackling ghost gear, protecting threatened species and supporting improved fisheries sustainability.

Inaugural awards include grants to WWF South Africa, BirdLife South Africa, the Zoological Society of London, and to fisheries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, with each organisation receiving up to £50,000 each (R1.145 million) from MSC’s Ocean Stewardship Fund.

MSC’s certification and eco-labelling programme recognises and rewards sustainable fisheries and incentivises improvements in the way oceans are being fished. Through the leadership of its partners, MSC is dedicated to ending overfishing and to increase the number of sustainable fisheries around the world.

The Ocean Stewardship Fund grants in 2020 focus on reducing impacts on threatened species and tackling abandoned fishing gear, known as ‘ghost gear’.

This initial round of funding is supporting seven scientific research projects looking into reducing the impacts of fishing on endangered, threatened and protected species. The ecological data gathered will improve understanding of some of the world’s most vulnerable habitats and species.

MSC logo featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Eight fisheries at different stages of sustainability will also receive funding. They include fisheries in the early stages of improving their sustainability – particularly those in the Global South – as well as fisheries that have already achieved MSC certification.

Six of the awardee fisheries are part of the Dutch Postcode Lottery funded Fish for Good project which supports fisheries in South Africa, Indonesia and Mexico in improving their fishing practices. It is anticipated that future rounds of OSF funding will enable more fisheries that demonstrate a commitment to work towards achieving MSC certification to be eligible to apply for funding.

“We are living through extraordinary times as the world reacts and responds to the health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The need for humanity to maintain and enhance global food security for all has never been more apparent or acute,” said MSC Chief Executive, Rupert Howes.

Among the Ocean Stewardship Fund 2020 awardees are:

*Innovative methods reducing seabird bycatch
BirdLife South Africa and the South African hake trawl fleet, £49,949
Research aims to develop bespoke bird mitigation plans using bird barriers, structural alterations, and the installation of electronic monitoring devices to monitor bird bycatch.

*Strengthening sustainability of wild mussel harvesting
WWF South Africa and the Rope Grown Mussel Fishery, £49,993
The fund will assist to transition the rope grown mussel fishery to becoming MSC certified by developing ETP management strategies, monitoring risks and devising a biofouling management disposal strategy to minimise ecosystem impacts.

*Maintaining South African albacore tuna stocks
WWF South Africa and the Albacore Tuna Pole and Line Fishery, £50,000
The fund will assist to transition the albacore tuna pole and line fishery to becoming MSC certified by developing well defined Harvest Control Rules – that is actions to changes in management in response to stock status and training fishers in species identification, develop a system to collect at-sea catch information and strategies to minimise impacts on endangered, threatened and protected species.

About MSC

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation. Its vision is for the world’s oceans to be teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations. The ecolabel and certification program recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices and is helping create a more sustainable seafood market. The MSC ecolabel on a seafood product means that:

* it comes from a wild-catch fishery which has been independently certified to the MSC’s science-based standard for environmentally sustainable fishing.
* it is fully traceable to a sustainable source.

Currently, 395 fisheries in 36 countries are certified to the MSC Fishery Standard. For more information visit msc.org

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WHARF TALK
Shipping and Port activities around the coast

MSC Gulsun, the first of the company's 23,000 TEUers. Picture courtesy: Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Sailing via the Cape of Good Hope

One of the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic drop in price of oil has been the return to sailing back to Asia by container lines using the longer route via the Cape of Good Hope.

CMA CGM appears to have begun the trend and has since been followed by MSC and Maersk Line each with some of their return sailings from Europe to China. Other lines may yet adopt this policy.

It would appear that by going back to the Far East along the much longer route – an additional 3,500 nautical miles and around five days extra sailing, and in the process bypassing the costs of transiting the Suez Canal, a savings is being made.

There is also the factor that an additional ship or two is necessary to maintain the integrity of the service, and with the surfeit of ships at present – another consequence of COVID-19 – this becomes an added bonus.

When the CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt sailed between Europe and Port Klang in Malaysia earlier in late March, the 21-day journey became a 26 day transit, even with he ship’s speed increased by 2 knots.

The Suez Canal Authority is understood to have responded to this latest development by providing additional discounts to container ships using the shorter faster canal route. The cost of travelling though the canal could cost hundreds of thousands of US dollars, plus there are other considerations.

Vessels have to agree to taking on a Suez crew for the transit, then there is another $500 – $600 dollars for cigarettes, in addition to boxes of chocolate bars from the bond locker.

Container vessels sailing towards Europe are continuing via Suez, here the priority is getting to the destination as quickly as possible and on schedule.

Another consequence of the pandemic is that, while China is busy coming out of isolation, and manufacturers are back in business, in Europe everyone remains in lockdown and demand for new goods remains inhibited. Things will not return to what is being referred to as the “new normal” until both continents, and North America, have all overcome the challenges and been able to ‘go back to work’.

MSC Gulsun, the first of the company's 23,000 TEUers. Picture courtesy: Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Gulsun, the first of the company’s 23,000 TEUers. Picture courtesy: Shipspotting

MSC provides Suspension of Transit” to shippers

Another result of the coronavirus crisis that has crippled industries across the world, temporarily at least, is with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) offering a flexible ‘Suspension of Transit’ (SOT) cargo service in which cargo can be stored in six transshipment hubs across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

By doing so shippers cargo can be shipped close to their ultimate destinations and providing easier cargo flow for customers. MSC says the new SOT programme will help avoid high storage costs at ports of discharge. This applies to all types of cargo except reefers, dangerous goods and project cargo (such as large, out-of-gauge pieces of heavy equipment that do not normally fit into containers).

“While positive signs of recovery have begun to emerge in Asia and factories have restarted production, major ports of destination may still not be ready to discharge containers. MSC’s new SOT programme aims to fulfil the resuming demand for raw materials and finished products from Asia by providing yard storage at major strategic points around the world: Bremerhaven in Germany, Busan in South Korea, King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia, Lome in Togo, Rodman PSA Panama International Terminal in Panama, and Tekirdag Asyaport in Turkey.

The programme provides potential cost savings for customers faced with high warehousing storage costs at destination, demurrage, per diem and other charges. It will also free up space at origin factories and warehouses and avoid excess inventory at site, bringing cargo closer to destination markets and alleviating the risk of congestion or closure at ports of discharge.

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FILIPINO SEAFARER AIRLIFTED TO HOSPITAL FROM BULKER OFF KZN COAST

15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, Durban,featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, Durban

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) last night reported a 43-year old Filipino seafarer had been airlifted to hospital by a South African Air Force Oryx helicopter. The patient was on a ship approaching Durban and then off the KZN South Coast.

The 15 Squadron helicopter from the Durban Air Force base rendezvoused with the bulk carrier 7 nautical miles off the coast of Park Rynie, south of Umkomaas.

The two SAAF pilots and a flight engineer were….[restrict]accompanied on the rescue flight by a ShipsMed doctor, two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and two NSRI rescue swimmers.

Once overhead of the ship, a rescue swimmer, the doctor and a paramedic were hoisted onto the vessel to take over the care of the patient from the ship’s medical crew. They were joined by the second NSRI swimmer who accompanied the Stokes basket stretcher onto the deck of the vessel, in which the patient was hoisted into the aircraft hovering overhead.

With the doctor, paramedics and NSRI swimmers back on the Oryx, the patient was flown directly to a Durban hospital for treatment and care. His condition was described as non-COVID-19 related, but all necessary precautions and protocols were observed.

Involved in this rescue operation were the NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, WC Government Health EMS, Netcare 911 ambulance services, ShipsMed, Transnet National Ports Authority and the Port Health Authorities who assisted Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in communications, coordination and logistics during the operation.

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, reported the operation as completed at 17h20.[/restrict]

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HAPAG-LlOYD ADJUSTS ROTATION OF WORLDWIDE SERVICES

Hapag-Lloyd's New York Express, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Hapag-Lloyd’s New York Express

Due to the current situation and the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hapag-Lloyd advise that they have changed the rotation of some of their services or decided to discontinue them.

However, it is Hapag-Lloyd’s highest priority to provide shippers with best-possible services in order to carry cargoes to their destinations.

To get an overview about all changes on the Far East, Transpacific, Middle East, EMA and IRT Asia trade, Hapag-Lloyd has created a brochure, which includes all details.

This brochure provides a concise overview of all the structurally adjusted services in the Hapag-Lloyd global network as well as some alternative routes. It is understood that the Hapag-Lloyd will update the brochure on a regular basis.

The brochure can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE

For detailed information regarding a specific departure, readers are invited to check the Hapag-Lloyd online schedule and subscribe to CustomerNEWS to stay up-to-date HERE

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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PEMBA PORT LOGISTICS BASE TAKES SHAPE

Port of Pemba showing the new oil jetty at centre right and the general cargo quay with a ship at berth., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Pemba showing the new oil jetty at centre right and the general cargo quay with a ship at berth.

According to a report on Radio Mozambique last week, Phase 1 of the Pemba logistics Base has been concluded.

The Pemba Logistics Base (BLP) at the northern Mozambique port of Pemba in Cabo Delgado province, is being developed in support of the gas and oil industry.

The construction consists of a 300-metre long pier and the production and assembly of underwater equipment facilities. Included is a warehouse and 13 hectares of fenced-off plot of land.

The project falls under Portos de Cabo Delgado (PCD) – consisting of state-owned ENH (Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, Mozambique’s national oil and gas company) and state-owned port and rail company CFM.

PCD holds the rights to manage the Pemba Logistics Base.

Marking the completion of Phase 1, Armindo Ngunga, Secretary of State for the Cabo Delgado province, paid an official visit to inspect the works on Thursday 30 April 2020.

Another view of the small port and new oil jetty making up the Pemba Logistics Base, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Another view of the small port and new oil jetty making up the Pemba Logistics Base

“The technicians told us that the work is ready – only the customers are missing. The mission is already accomplished. Now all that remains is to advertise, so that they use it,” he is quoted as saying.

He said that some facilities such as for customs, police, immigration etc remain to be provided, but the project is fundamentally complete.

The project was launched in the final quarter of 2014 but has been delayed for various reasons including the reluctance of the oil companies to commit to making use of the base. At the time Italy’s Eni and the US company Anadarko, which has since sold its interests in the gas fields covering the Rovuma region and which are now held by Total, indicated their intention to develop independent infrastructure centred on Palma, 400km to the north.

See our related report in yesterday’s News at CLICK HERE

Pemba is the capital of Cabo Delgado province and apart from the town it has a port with a single quay for general cargo and containers, and facilities for fishing vessels. These are situated in the massive and deep waters of Pemba Bay. Pemba was known as Porto Amelia in Portuguese colonial days.

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COVID-19 ACCELERATES ADOPTION OF TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED SMART CITIES APPROACH
Robotics, Digital Twins, and Autonomous Freight

Waymo (formerly known as Google self driving unit) vehicle, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Waymo (formerly known as Google self driving unit) vehicle

City governments are adjusting to a new reality, with COVID-19 driving urban resilience and digital transformation strategy agendas. That is the finding of global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research.

This, says ABI, is reflected in the deployment of a range of technologies for new use cases during the current emergency.

* Drones: Communication and enforcement of social distancing rules; delivery of medical supplies
* New types of surveillance: AI-based remote temperature sensing (Kogniz Health)
* Autonomous freight: Autonomous last mile delivery (Beep, Navya, Nuro, Waymo, Postmates)
* Digital Twins: Holistic, transversal, real-time visibility for resources, assets, and services (Siradel)
* Real-time dashboards: (City of Boston) and data sharing including the use of smartphone data crowdsourcing for location tracking.

“While many of the measures taken by city governments during COVID-19 are decided…[restrict] on the fly requiring high levels of improvisation, it has resulted in a rich laboratory type learning experience in terms of how to take advantage of the inherent flexibility of technologies to address emergency situations and challenges linked to demand-response management of assets and services,” says Dominique Bonte, Vice President End Markets at ABI Research.

“This will have a lasting impact, coming out of COVID-19 during and after the drawn-out recovery period, in the form of a step change in how resilience is approached and generalised, allowing to prepare better for future calamities, a distinct silver lining on a very dark COVID-19 cloud.”

At the same time cities are reaping the benefits of a digital only lifestyle in the form of the sudden adoption of e-Government services, e-Health and teleconsultation, remote work, online education, and e-Commerce resulting in huge drops in traffic levels.

These, in turn, are dramatically decreasing congestion, fatalities, and air pollution. Importantly, post-COVID-19 traffic levels are expected to only reach between 80% and 90% of the pre-COVID-19 levels, as digital lifestyles take hold more permanently, driven by both public and private initiatives and incentives. The result will have lasting positive effects on the environment.

LINKS HERE – These findings are from ABI Research’s Smart Cities and Smart Spaces Quarterly Update report. This report is part of the company’s Smart Cities and Smart Spaces research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

About ABI Research

ABI Research provides strategic guidance to visionaries, delivering actionable intelligence on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces across the world. ABI Research’s global team of analysts publish groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms, empowering our clients to stay ahead of their markets and their competitors. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com

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COVID-19 HAND SANITIZER SAFETY WARNING

Hand sanitizer warning, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

A report was received from the UK Chamber of Shipping on 5 May with regard to an injury suffered by staff of a member organisation of the Chamber.

An individual had used alcohol-based hand gel sanitiser in compliance with current recommendations for COVID-19 personal hygiene requirements.

After application of the liquid sanitiser but before it had fully evaporated and dried, the individual touched a metal surface where a build-up of static had created an ignition source and the sanitiser ignited, resulting in an almost invisible flame on both hands.

It was reported that the individual managed to extinguish the flames but was left with first and second degree burns (see illustration here taken from www.ukchamberofshipping.com © ).

Alcohol present

The notice emphasised that hand sanitiser gel contains concentrations of alcohol and once applied it is essential that suitable time is given for this to dry.

Furthermore, it was made clear that in the interest of safety alcohol vapours can ignite if exposed to a source of ignition such as, for example, light switches or cigarette lighters.

Recommendations

The Chamber’s notice went on to provide recommendations.

* When using alcohol-based hand gel sanitisers one should ensure the gel is given suitable time to fully dry or evaporate.

* Avoid touching any surface until the gel has fully dried. Any form of ignition source has the potential to cause the same issues as experienced by the individual reported here.

* If unsure about using alcohol-based sanitisers, washing hands with hot soapy water has the same effect as the hand gel.

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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SALDANHA’S OILTANKING MOGS TAKES ITS FIRST SHIPMENT OF CRUDE OIL

Oiltanking tanks, referred to in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The Port of Saldanha’s Oiltanking MOGS terminal ‘came alive’ recently with the first delivery of crude oil brought to the port and pumped from there into the terminal from the 157,747-dwt crude oil tanker SONANGOL CABINDA (IMO 9575589).

It is understood that 900,000 barrels of oil, approximately 143,000 m3, was transferred ashore, making use of the existing port VLCC jetty.

Sonangol Cabinda is owned by Angolan-registered interests and managed by Sonangol, the Angolan state-owned oil company.

Sonangol Cabinda. Picture: courtesy Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sonangol Cabinda.   Picture: courtesy Shipspotting

It is also understood this is the first time that a shipment of oil has been pumped ashore into the newly developed Oiltanking MOGS terminal at Saldanha. The terminal is a joint venture between Oiltanking MOGS and Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.

The first phase of the terminal consists of none tanks with a total storage of 9.9 million barrels, or 1,6 m3 and is being brought into service in stages, with the final stage expected by the end of 2020, although the COVID-19 pandemic may push that timetable out a bit.

Future stages could see the terminal being extended by a further three tanks that would add a further 1.1 million barrels of capacity (175,000 m3), giving a total terminal capacity of 13.2 million barrels or 2.1 million m3.

The terminal is being equipped to blend crude oil and has been constructed as a state-of-the-art facility to the highest safety and environmental standards.

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NEWS FROM THE AUSTRALIAN MARITIME SAFETY AUTHORITY (AMSA)

Australia’s DGPS. Illustration to be found at: HERE Reproduced with thanks. AMSA ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Australia’s DGPS. Illustration reproduced with thanks. AMSA ©

Shutdown of AMSA’s differential global positioning system (DGPS) service from 1 July 2020

AMSA established its radiobeacon DGPS service in the 1990s, to improve the accuracy and integrity of global positioning system (GPS) information for ships navigating off the coast of Australia. This was announced by AMSA from Canberra on 5 May.

At the time, the publicly available GPS signal was intentionally degraded, resulting in large position errors of up to 200 metres. Augmentation was necessary to correct for these errors and meet minimum requirements for maritime positioning and navigation.

In the year 2000, the intentional error in GPS positioning was removed. Since then system technology has improved and the GPS constellation has been modernised. Observed positional accuracy for unaugmented GPS now consistently meets IMO requirements for accuracy in harbour / harbour-approach navigation.

How will the discontinuation impact mariners?

For the vast majority of maritime users, the discontinuation of AMSA’s DGPS service will not impact the accuracy of satellite positioning or safe navigation, it is understood.

DGPS receivers will no longer receive the AMSA radiobeacon DGPS signal in areas where it was previously available. This may generate a ‘lost signal’ alarm, but a receiver will still provide a GPS derived position.

Alternate sources for high accuracy positioning

Other options are available for obtaining higher accuracy positioning in Australia.

For more information see the following:

* Australia’s differential global positioning system (AMSA)
CLICK HERE

* Summary of feedback on the discontinuation of the AMSA DGPS service
CLICK HERE

* AUSPOS – Online GPS Processing Service (Geoscience Australia)
CLICK HERE

* AUSCORS NTRIP Broadcaster
CLICK HERE

For further information readers are invited to contact: StandardsSSNav@amsa.gov.au

Paul Ridgway, Londn correspondent for Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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RWANDA TIGHTENS CONTROLS OVER TRUCKS ARRIVING AT BORDERS

Trucks at the Rwanda border with Uganda, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Trucks at the Rwanda border with Uganda

Rwanda has remained resolute in not allowing foreign truck drivers arriving at the borders of the East Central African country to enter Rwanda. Instead they have to hand over their cargo to local Rwandan drivers for onward carriage.

This measure is being taken in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus into the country.

The matter was reiterated in a virtual session of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) by Ms Odda Gasinzigwa, a legal representative in EALA, who was speaking via…[restrict] a video conference connection, who pleaded with the neighbouring countries to understand and accept the reasons for the move.

Ms Odda Gasinzigwa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Odda Gasinzigwa

“We need goods and services and appreciate the truck drivers. But we have to take restrictions against the virus,” she said.

Rwanda is the second country in the region to adopt this measure, the other being Uganda. The two nations are totally dependent on Kenya and Tanzania for access to the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam for their imports and exports. Both countries have imposed similar restrictions, in which an arriving truck driver has to dismantle his load, which will probably be in the form of containers on a trailer or two.

These will be carried to their final destination in either country using local drivers and rigs.

Drivers who are not citizens of Uganda and who test positive at the border are turned away. Trucks arriving at the Rwanda border however have to hand over their cargo load or will be turned away.

There has been criticism of a lack of common agreement in handling the COVID-19 crisis across the East African states. Burundi, another landlocked country, is continuing to allow trucks hauling cargo for the country to enter without taking strong measures of preventing the spread of the virus.

“Life cannot stop due to Covid-19. We need these trucks to bring goods and take out export commodities,” said Ms Leontine Nzeyimana, a Burundian cabinet minister.[/restrict]

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NIGERIA’S PORT CONCESSIONAIRES DIG DEEP TO FIGHT COVID-19

Port of Apapa container terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Apapa container terminal

Members of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) have rallied around an appeal by the Federal Government to assist with the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

Port concessionaires have collectively donated N700 million to the COVID-19 Relief Fund organised by the Federal Government. According to STOAN chairman, Vicky Haastrup, there should be no effort spared in helping to curtail the pandemic.

“The world is facing its worst public health crisis in more than 100 years. This fight is not for the Federal or State Governments alone. The virus is an enemy that all of us must join hands together to fight.”

She commended the government and…[restrict] the Nigerian Ports Authority for facing up to the challenges posed by the pandemic. “I pray that very soon, we will all sing songs of victory. Nigeria will triumph, humanity will triumph against this virus.”

Details revealed by Haastrup showed that APM Terminals Apapa Limited donated N150 million, Apapa Bulk Terminal donated N70 million and ENL Consortium 10 million. These three terminals are situated at Apapa in the port of Lagos.

At Tin Can Island also in the port of Lagos Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) and Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) each made donations of N100 million while Port & Cargo Handling Services and Five Star Logistics each gave N75million, while Josepdam Port Services donated N60 million.

At the Port of Onne the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) provided N50million and at the Port of Calabar the ECM Terminal donated N10 million.

In addition to these donations, Haastrup said that the terminal operators had also provided items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consisting of items such as face masks, hand gloves, coveralls, hand sanitizers and infrared thermometers.

These were for the use of Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Customs Service and other government agencies at the various port locations across the country.

She thanked her colleagues for their support and generosity. “The times are hard, shipping and port operations are badly affected by the pandemic but we cannot close our eyes to the needs of the society, hence we tasked ourselves and made this sacrifice.”

She also thanked the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, and all other relevant stakeholders for sustaining port operations during this crisis. “Operations at the port are crucial to ensuring uninterrupted supply of food, medicine and other essentials to Nigerians,” she said.     source: This Day[/restrict]

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CONTRACT SIGNED TO CONSTRUCT PIER AND LANDING FACILITY AT MOZAMBIQUE’S PALMA

An outdated Anadarko image of the proposed pier and jetty facility at Palma, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
An outdated Anadarko image of the proposed pier and jetty facility at Palma

Portugal’s Mota-Engil and Belgium’s Besix have secured a contract involving the Total LNG project in northern Mozambique.

The project involving both companies on a 50/50 basis will see construction of a pier bridge and and an offloading facility in the Palma district in the extreme north of the country. Palma is a natural harbour close to the Rovuma river mouth and the border with Tanzania.

The project with a value of about US$365 million is on behalf of the CCS joint venture between McDermott, Saipem and Chiyoda, the…[restrict] nominated Engineering, Procurement, Construction contractor for the Mozambique Area 1, Lda (AMA1) Mozambique Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Project.

map showing location of Palma, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

A statement issued by Mota-Engil reads “This new project in Mozambique, which will be one of the largest LNG projects worldwide in the next decade, confirms this country as one of the main axes of Mota-Engil Africa’s commercial dynamics on the continent.”

The contract is expected to last 32 months after commencing in the first half of this year.

The confirming of the contract runs contrary to the hesitancy displayed by ExxonMobil as reported in yesterday’s News. See lower down this page.

Area 1 in Cabo Delgado province contains a reported 60 trillion cubic feet of gas resources. Total expects to commence production in 2024.[/restrict]

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WORKERS EVACUATED FROM FPSO SERPENTINA OFFSHORE EQUATORIAL GUINEA

FPSO Serpentina. Picture: Pinterest, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
FPSO Serpentina.    Picture: Pinterest

Thirty workers on the ExxonMobil-operated FPSO (floating production storage and offloading unit) SERPENTINA were evacuated after proving positive with the coronavirus.

The 307,000-dwt offshore oil platform is situated on the Zafiro oilfield off the coast of Equatorial Guinea with 475 metres of water beneath. The outbreak on board the isolated FPSO highlights the risk that similar offshore vessels pose, with…[restrict] personnel coming and going on a regular basis, while those stationed on board remain confined in a relatively restricted space.

The workers evacuated ashore have been placed under quarantine while ExxonMobil is working with government officials to have the platform thoroughly disinfected.

The Serpentina FPSO handles the production and export of the majority of Equatorial Guinea’s largest crude stream, Zafiro. Serpentina as a daily oil production capacity of 110,000 barrels and 185,000 barrels of oil imports. A barrel is equivalent to 159 litres.

The outbreak is reported to have no impact on production of oil at the Zafiro oilfield.

Several FPSOs in various parts of the world have been similarly affected, forcing some to be shut down temporarily.[/restrict]

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REPORTS OF CHANGES AND NEW APPOINTMENTS WITHIN TRANSNET DIVISIONS

Transnet banner, displayed in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

According to reports surfacing yesterday, sweeping changes are in the process of being made within the Transnet group of companies.

These involve middle managers as well as senior executives who were implicated in State Capture, reported the Daily Maverick.

The changes also sought to reorganise top leadership within the group and to remove redundancies.

These are the first indications of changes…[restrict] being brought about since Portia Derby was appointed by the cabinet as group executive of Transnet in January this year.

While Transnet has yet to make a public announcement of these changes, DM says it has had sight of an internal memo to staff dated 30 April 2020.

The changes involve top management within the group’s port, freight rail and engineering companies and became effective on 1 May. These fill vacancies that have existed for months, with each position having been led by acting managers, for which Transnet has received considerable criticism.

Earlier, Transnet announced the appointment of four senior managers as from 1 April, including Siza Mzimela to head Transnet Freight Rail, Transnet’s biggest division. Mzimela was previously CEO of the now shut down SA Express.

The memo reveals that Ralph Mills is the new CE of Transnet Engineering, Sandra Coetzee becomes the Transnet chief legal officer, Yolisa Kani is the new chief business development officer, and Dr Andrew Shaw becomes the chief strategy officer. Pertunia Mohlabi becomes the company secretary.

There are a large number of other key appointments to be made in the coming weeks, says the report, ranging from middle management to senior executive positions across Transnet’s five divisions.

The positions of Transnet group chief operating officer and chief capital officer have been scrapped.

Read the Daily Maverick report HERE

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NSRI CALLED OUT TO PERFORM OFFSHORE MEDICAL EVACUATIONS

Spirit of Toft, the Port Elizabeth Station 6 deepsea rescue craft, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Spirit of Toft, the Port Elizabeth Station 6 deepsea rescue craft

At 08h50 on Saturday 2 May the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Station 6 at Port Elizabeth was activated by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to rendezvous with a bulk carrier approaching Port Elizabeth from her last port at Cape Town. This concerned a 52 year old Iraqi seafarer onboard who had suffered a medical emergency since the ship began its coastal journey. The emergency was not COVID-19 related.

According to Justin Erasmus, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, the sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft was launched accompanied by…[restrict] an EMS rescue paramedic and rendezvoused with the ship seven nautical miles East of Cape Recife.

The EMS rescue paramedic and an NSRI rescue swimmer were transferred onto the ship where the patient was found to be in a critical condition.

The paramedic took over emergency medical treatment from the ships medical crew and the patient, secured into a Stokes basket stretcher, was transferred onto the sea rescue craft where the medics continued with medical care. Once the sea rescue craft reached the NSRI base in PE harbour, the patient was transferred to an ambulance and taken to hospital.

The NSRI reports that despite extensive efforts by hospital medical staff sadly the patient passed away.

Station 5 at the Port of Durban deepsea rescue craft Alick Rennie, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Station 5 at the Port of Durban deepsea rescue craft Alick Rennie. Picture by Paula Leech

On the following day Station 5 at the Port of Durban was also called into action to transport a ShipsMed doctor to a bulk carrier at anchor in the outer anchorage offshore of Durban.

Durban station commander Jonathan Kellerman reports that the sea rescue craft Alick Rennie was launched and made a rendezvous with the bulker. One of the seafarers on board the vessel was suspected of having contracted the coronavirus.

As a result Port Health officials had arranged for the doctor to take sample swabs from the crewman onboard the ship, for Covid-19 laboratory testing prior to the bulker being granted permission to enter Port.

Kellerman said that observing all Covid-19 Department of Health and Port Health Authority safety regulations and protocols, the doctor was transferred onto the vessel and sample swabs were collected from the crewman.

The doctor returned to the sea rescue craft together with the samples that he had collected and was brought into Durban Port without incident.

Port Health Authorities are evaluating the samples to determine safe passage for the ship to enter Port.[/restrict]

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USNS COMFORT RETURNS TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA

The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) returns to homeport of Naval Station Norfolk after treating patients in New York and New Jersey in support of the COVID-19 pandemic. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D Sheppard/Released USN ©, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) returns to homeport of Naval Station Norfolk after treating patients in New York and New Jersey in support of the COVID-19 pandemic. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D Sheppard/Released USN ©

Prepared for Future Tasking

US Navy’s Commander, Second Fleet Public Affairs writing from Norfolk, Virginia on 1 May advised that the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) was being prepared to sail to Naval Station Norfolk on 2 May after supporting the Department of Defense response to New York and New Jersey during the coronavirus outbreak.

It is understood that on arrival at Naval Station Norfolk, Comfort will return to…[restrict] a Ready 5 status to remain ready for future tasking for COVID-19 operations in support of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Comfort spent 31 days at Pier 90 in New York City, providing relief to a healthcare system stressed by the surge of COVID-19 patients.

The ship, which arrived in New York City on 30 March, was originally tasked with providing care to non-COVID patients, bringing the first aboard on 1 April.

It quickly became apparent that in order to be of help to the city, Comfort needed to treat all patients, regardless of their COVID status.

On 6 April the ship began accepting COVID-positive patients following a thorough assessment of the existing design of the ship. Military Sealift Command’s civil service mariners physically separated the hospital from the rest of the ship by cordoning off doors and ladder wells on the main deck, reconfiguring the ship to admit and treat all patients.

During the transit from New York City to Norfolk, all personnel involved in the mission aboard USNS Comfort were due to be tested for COVID-19, and to execute a 14-day restriction of movement (ROM) following completion of the mission. The purpose of the ROM is to separate personnel who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, but are not yet symptomatic, from personnel who have not been exposed.

As part of this ROM they will be isolated by either remaining on the USNS Comfort, in their own homes, or in other lodging accommodation where their movement will be restricted to their immediate area. Personnel will also be tested for COVID-19 a second time at the end of their 14-day ROM period.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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ABUNDANT SA GRAIN HARVEST MEANS SUFFICIENT STAPLE GRAIN SUPPLY

Maize farming, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maize farming

South Africa will have sufficient staple grains supply in the 2020/21 marketing year, which starts in May 2020 and ends in April 2021, reports Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza.

Didiza said that amid the unprecedented uncertainty and the collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africans are assured of sufficient food supply at reasonable price levels.

The data released by the department showed that this year’s summer grains harvest could amount to 17.5 million tonnes, which is a 31% increase from 2019 and the second biggest harvest in the history of South Africa.

“This is a testimony to the hard work and resilience of the South African farming community and investments made in the sector,” Didiza said.

Maize, featured in news report carried by Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The Minister said South Africa’s agricultural sector will also continue to export agricultural commodities and products, which are crucial for generating much needed foreign exchange.

According to the department over 2.5 million tonnes of maize (white and yellow maize combined) are likely for exports in the period between May 2020 and April 2021. According to Grain SA South Africa consumes an average of 10,5 million tonnes of maize per year, meaning a significant surplus.

“We are committed to support export-led growth and will continue working with private sector in unblocking bottlenecks to support further space for enterprise development and growth. We do this, while continuously monitoring the food supplies for the country,” Didiza said.

The next question is whether the logistics industry will be up to the task of handling any record export of maize that might result? Alternately, is there sufficient storage in the nation’s silos?

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MOZAMBIQUE CLAIMS SUCCESSES IN DEALING WITH ISLAMIC INSURGENTS
says over a hundred killed

LNG-rich troubled Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
LNG-rich troubled Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado

The Mozambique government has claimed some major successes in its dealings with the Islamic insurgents that have carried out attacks in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

According to the Minister of the Interior, Amade Miquidade, and the Minister of National Defence, Jaime Neto, Mozambique defence and security forces (FDS) have carried out several offensives against the insurgents who now identify with the Islamic State and carry out their attacks in the name of Islam.

The government ministers say…[restrict] that a total of 129 terrorists have been killed in four operations in the districts of Muidumbe, Ibo and Quirimba Island.

These are the same districts where we reported attacks by insurgents against towns and villages, forcing local inhabitants to flee in fear of their lives.

“On 7 April 2020, 39 terrorists were killed while attempting to attack the village of Muidumbe,” Minister Miquidade said.

He said the second offensive took place three days later (10 April) which resulted in the death of 59 terrorists. This was the attack by Islamists on Quirimba Island that we reported.

On the night of 11 to 12 of April another 30 insurgents were killed while attempting to take Ilha do Ibo,” the minister said.

A fourth operation took place on 13 April during a routine FDS patrol.

“On 13 April, during a Defence and Security Forces patrol mission, a sailing vessel and various military and communication material were captured, and an insurgent was put out of action while trying to escape,” the minister said.

No mention was made of any casualties among government forces. The minister claimed however that the excessive losses the terrorists had suffered may have been the reason behind the massacre of 52 civilians in Chitaxi village in the Muidumbe district, also reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS.

He announced that a team had been deployed to Chitaxi village to detail the circumstances of the massacre.

According to Minister Miquidade, the FDS has the situation under control and had located the terrorist bases in advance of yet another offensive. “The situation in Cabo Delgado, at this moment, is under control, meaning we have identified the location of the enemy – his bases, camps and movements. Meanwhile, the Defence and Security Forces are strategically preparing for yet another offensive,” Miquidade revealed.

Why he would announce this and provide advance warning to the terrorists is not clear.

However, the government is highly sensitive to any reporting of the attacks carried out by the Islamist group or groups and complains of disinformation.

“Some media outlets and spokespersons have been reporting or disseminating information that calls into question the credibility of the Defence and Security Forces’ combative missions, by disseminating distorted information about the real situation from non-credible sources about their [FDS] actions, thus misinforming Mozambican society and the world in general,” the minister claimed.

Mozambique security forces, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

He specifically referred to opposition spokesman José Manteigas, warning that subversive acts would not be tolerated.

The minister’s outburst comes at a time when the once bright future centred in Cabo Delgado seems to be coming apart.

The province was experiencing much progress with the development of a world-ranking natural gas (LNG) production capacity, which could take Mozambique out of being poverty-stricken. This followed discoveries in the Rovuma Basin, both offshore and onshore and the involvement of three of the world’s major oil producers, ExxonMobil, Total and Italy’s Eni.

Since then three calamities have fallen across this northern province. The rise of Islamist terrorism from October 2017 had reached alarming levels by the end of 2019 and now threatens any further investment. The sudden fall in the price of oil and oil-related products has impacted existing and future development, and the equally sudden arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a stopper and question marks on future progress.

Almost all of Mozambique’s known exposure to the virus has been through the LNG construction camps, where there was a significant movement of personnel arriving in the country from affected lands elsewhere.

The cumulative effect of these three has seen a once thriving and busy landscape now quiet without the sounds of rigs and earthmoving equipment tasked with the construction of new wells, a new airport and new roads.

ExxonMobil has delayed a final investment in the project, Total where the majority of Mozambique’s coronavirus positive cases have been recorded, is all but deserted to allow government to disinfect thoroughly, leaving only Eni, which is involved offshore, going ahead with its plans and scheduling.

How long will it take for the province to recover is now up for speculation. source: O País and AP&S[/restrict]

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PIRACY: CREW KIDNAPPED OFFSHORE OF LIBREVILLE, GABON

Map of Gabon in West Africa, where the latest act of piracy has taken place., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Map of Gabon in West Africa, where the latest act of piracy has taken place.

Dryad Global reports another act of piracy in West Africa waters, this time involving two fishing trawlers at sea 22 and 36 nautical miles Northwest of Libreville in Gabon,

These latest acts of piracy occurred in positions 00° 30.50’N 009°06.21’E and 00° 55.24N 009° 08 09E and involved two fishing trawlers named AMERGER II and AMERGER VII – the first taking place 20 nautical miles off Libreville and the second 36 n.miles off Libreville.

Dryad Global reports that it appears both incidents involved a single speedboat described as a skiff powered by three engines and having 13 pirates on board. The pirates were reported as being English-speakers which gives rise to suspicions of them being of Nigerian origin, despite this being some distance from Nigeria. There are several other English-speaking regions of West Africa.

The boarding of each trawler resulted in three of the crew from each vessel being kidnapped. The nationalities of those kidnapped are reported as three Indonesian, two Senegalese, and one South Korean.

This is the second act of piracy to have been committed in the waters off Libreville this year while on 19 December 2019 three attacks took place also off the same coast. On that date two of the three vessels attacked involved fishing vessels which were boarded resulting in four Chinese crew being kidnapped. source: Dryad Global

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MAERSK LINE-OPERATED SANTA CATARINA SETS NEW PORT MAPUTO CONTAINER RECORD

Santa Catarina coming alongside the container berth at Port Maputo, the biggest container ship and TEU interchange so far. Picture: DP World, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Santa Catarina coming alongside the container berth at Port Maputo, the biggest container ship and TEU interchange at the terminal so far.    Picture: DP World

On Wednesday last week, 29 April 2020, the Port of Maputo and the DP World-operated Maputo Container Terminal welcomed Hamburg Süd’s container ship SANTA CATARINA, operated by Maersk Line, which set a new record for not only becoming the biggest container ship to call at the Mozambique port, but having the highest TEU interchange per single vessel of 3,310 TEU.

The 7154-teu (nominal) Santa Catarina (IMO 9444730) was built in 2011 and has an impressive 1600 reefer capacity, one of the highest reefer connection ratios of any container ship. The ship was named for the Brazilian Federal State in which she was christened on 16 September 2011. With the absorption of Hamburg Süd into the Maersk Line company, a number of Hamburg Süd ships including Santa Catarina are now operated by Maersk.

Mark Neel, General Manager – Commercial at DP World Maputo points out that this latest record set at the terminal demonstrates that DP World Maputo is a world-class gateway to Mozambique and the Southern Africa market.

He says the terminal throughput has been growing exponentially, with 2019 volumes rising by 53% compared to the previous year. This, he says, is as more and more hinterland exporters/importers are benefitting from the excellent supply chain solution via the Maputo corridor.

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EXXONMOBIL ROVUMA LNG PROJECT SLOWS DOWN DUE TO COVID-19 & LOW OIL PRICES

Rovuma Basin offshore LNG , featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic together with non-economic oil prices are the factors in an expected slowing of the Rovuma LNG project, which aims to produce from a deepwater block off Mozambique containing more than 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

ExxonMobil announced that it is reducing its 2020 capital spending by 30 per cent and lowering…[restrict] cash operating expenses by 15 per cent in response to low commodity prices resulting from oversupply and demand weakness from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rovuma LNG project was expected see its Search Results Final Investment Decisions (FID) in the first half of 2020, but in March when the supermajor initially indicated Capex cuts were coming, that go ahead suddenly became unlikely.

Capital investments for 2020 are expected to be about US$23 billion, down from the previously announced $33 billion.

Reduced spending is being achieved through increased efficiencies, lower market prices, and slower project pace including the U.S. Permian Basin, Rovuma LNG in Mozambique, and expansions of downstream and chemical facilities.

The 15 percent decrease in cash operating expenses is driven by increased efficiencies, reduced activity, and lower energy costs. ExxonMobil continues to monitor market developments and evaluate additional reduction steps. source: Petroleum Africa[/restrict]

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ICS CALL ON SHIPS HORNS TO BE HEARD: WATCH AND LISTEN

The international call on ship’s horns to be heard at 12h00 local time across the world, in order to highlight how important is the contribution of seafarers to keeping supply chains open during the COVID-19 pandemic, met with mixed fortunes at various ports.

We can’t say what success this met with in South African ports due to lack of current reporting capability, although from where our offices are on Durban’s Bluff, we can’t say we heard anything.

However, other ports across the world did mark the occasion by encouraging ships in port at that time, 12 noon local time Friday 1 May and we have been able to find several examples of this.

NOTE: Three of the videos open new windows so use your RETURN button on videos for Malayasian port, Denmark and Singapore as each completes.

Watch and listen:

and in Malaysia [1:00]:

CLICK HERE ON MALAYSIAN PORT

in Denmark to show that size is not a deterrent [0:09]:

CLICK HERE ON DENMARK

in Singapore [0:58]

CLICK HERE ON SINGAPORE

and finally, for a general selection of ships horns covering a variety of vessels [12:32]

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USN AND RN EXERCISE IN ARCTIC WATERS

The US Navy guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78), left, and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), right, replenish from the fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) while operating with the Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Kent (F 78), not pictured, above the Arctic Circle during a bilateral anti-submarine exercise in the North Sea. US Navy photo courtesy of the Royal Navy by Royal Navy Photographer Dan Rosenbaum/Released. MoD Crown Copyright 2020 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The US Navy guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78), left, and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), right, replenish from the fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) while operating with the Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Kent (F 78), not pictured, above the Arctic Circle during a bilateral anti-submarine exercise in the North Sea. US Navy photo courtesy of the Royal Navy by Royal Navy Photographer Dan Rosenbaum/Released. MoD Crown Copyright 2020 ©

On 1 May US Naval Forces Europe-Africa, 6th Fleet Public (C6F) Public Affairs announced that it had conducted a bilateral naval anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise with the Royal Navy above the Arctic Circle.

Four ships from the two nations, a US submarine, and a US P8-A Poseidon multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft worked together, in the Norwegian Sea, to conduct…[restrict] training in challenging Arctic conditions.

For the exercise, Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Porter (DDG 78), and fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), were joined by the Royal Navy’s HMS Kent (F 78). Additionally, a US submarine, as well as a P8-A Poseidon from Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 supported the training. This exercise reinforces the combined training that the nations received in April while participating in the Royal Navy’s Submarine Command Course (SMCC).

The guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conducts a replenishment at sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6). US Navy photo Yeoman 3rd Class Anthony Nichols/Released USN ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conducts a replenishment at sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6). US Navy photo Yeoman 3rd Class Anthony Nichols/Released USN ©

In the words of Vice-Admiral Lisa Franchetti, Commander, US 6th Fleet: “For more than 70 years, 6th Fleet has operated forces across the region in support of maritime security and stability. Our regional alliances remain strong because of our regular operations and exercises with partner navies, and we welcome this opportunity to work collaboratively at sea, while enhancing our understanding of Arctic operations.”

The multinational antisubmarine exercise in the High North, made up of approximately 1,200 sailors from the US Navy and Royal Navy, is the latest in a series of US ships operating above the Arctic Circle.

In 2018, elements of the USS Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group and the USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group operated above the Arctic Circle in support of NATO exercise Trident Juncture.

The following year the forward deployed destroyer USS Donald Cook and a SAG from US 2nd Fleet led by USS Normandy (CG 60) and USS Farragut (DDG 99) also operated separately above the Arctic Circle.

Franchetti added: “We are working with our partners to enhance our combined capabilities as we conduct maritime security operations and training in the Arctic region. Our ships must be prepared to operate across all mission sets, even in the most unforgiving environments. This is especially critical in the Arctic, where the austere weather environment demands constant vigilance and practice.”

The US is an Arctic nation and has enduring security interests in the Arctic Region. It works with Arctic and European partners to ensure an open Arctic by continuing freedom of navigation and overflight through the region, as well conducting land, air, and sea operations required for deterrence, presence, and Arctic security.

C6F forces deploy throughout the European and African theatre and continue to operate above the Arctic Circle to support a secure and stable region, working cooperatively with other nations to address shared challenges.

Two US destroyers, based in Rota, Spain, support NATO’s integrated air missile defence architecture. These forward deployed naval forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.

To quote Captain Joseph A Gagliano, Commander, Task Force 65, commander, Destroyer Squadron 60: “One of the best attributes of our surface force is that we can aggregate at will, transitioning seamlessly from independent ships to coordinated operations. Our interoperability with our allies is so good that we can deploy multinational naval forces with minimal notice. That’s the real power of NATO.”

With HQ in Naples the US 6th Fleet conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance US national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

The multinational antisubmarine exercise in the High North, made up of approximately 1,200 Sailors from the US Navy and the Royal Navy, is the latest in a series of exercises operating above the Arctic Circle. US Navy photo Yeoman 3rd Class Anthony Nichols/Released USN ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The multinational antisubmarine exercise in the High North, made up of approximately 1,200 Sailors from the US Navy and the Royal Navy, is the latest in a series of exercises operating above the Arctic Circle. US Navy photo Yeoman 3rd Class Anthony Nichols/Released USN ©

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EXPORTS OF SA CITRUS TO JAPAN AND CHINA WELL UNDERWAY]

The reefer Baltic Patriot at the Fresh Produce Terminal on the Durban T-Jetty in July 2018. On this latest occasion the ship loaded her cargo at the Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal. This picture is by Ken Malcolm, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The reefer Baltic Patriot at the Fresh Produce Terminal on the Durban T-Jetty in July 2018. On this latest occasion the ship loaded her cargo at the Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

South Africa’s first break-bulk vessel shipment of citrus departed on Thursday (30 April) for China and Japan amid restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development said this is the first break-bulk vessel shipment in the 2020 export season, adding…[restrict] to the similar shipments that were exported in the 2019 season.

The shipments of citrus to Japan is not unique and has continued for many years, whereas China is an emerging new market for South African citrus growers. Citrus comprises oranges, lemons, grapefruit and soft citrus (naartjies/mandarins a.k.a. easy-peelers).

Last year also saw the first break-bulk shipment of citrus through a specialised reefer vessel to China.

According to the department the reefer vessel BALTIC PATRIOT would leave South Africa with 4,521 tons of grape fruit and lemons destined for the Japanese and Chinese markets. The expected date of arrival in Japan is 18 May 2020 while for China it is 26 May 2020.

Loading of the vessel commenced on 25 April 2020 at Durban’s Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal under thorough inspections, and was concluded yesterday (Thursday, 30 April 2020).

The fruit harvesting, sorting, washing, transportation, inspection, loading and related aspects was conducted by essential workers during the lockdown, the department advised.

“The citrus industry continues to be one of the critical industries that creates 160,000 direct jobs and earns approximately R20 billion from exports only. South Africa exports two million tons of citrus annually, making it the second highest global exporter of citrus,” the department said.

Given the challenges posed by COVID-19, the department said it continued to engage with trading partners to ensure that, where possible, export programmes would proceed as planned.

The department also called upon all farmers, farmworkers, pack house workers, inspectors, drivers and everyone in the agriculture and food value chain to observe the COVID-19 hygiene and social distancing measures in the quest to grow the country’s economy and feed the people, both local and internationally.[/restrict]

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TRANSAID: RESPONDING TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN AFRICA

Transaid responds to the Covid-19 crises, read all about this in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

 

A message from Caroline Barber, CEO, Transaid

All over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption and uncertainty across all aspects of life. However, countries in sub-Saharan Africa will face significant additional challenges in the fight against the coronavirus.

Health systems in many African countries are already overstretched and there is a worryingly small number of ICU beds and respiratory treatment devices in the countries where Transaid works. In rural areas, limited access to running water will inhibit basic sanitation practices such as handwashing, whilst lockdown measures will hit low-income workers hardest.

Transaid believes that every community matters and we are working round the clock to try and support the COVID-19 response and help with preparedness planning and community resilience. In each of the countries we are working in, we are following national government advice and adapting to the ever-changing situation.

In Zambia, our MAMaZ Against Malaria at Scale team is helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in rural communities through a variety of activities including raising awareness, establishing handwashing stations, and provision of basic PPE for community health volunteers.

Continuing our commitment to making roads safer

Whilst the pandemic is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, we must not pause our work to make the world’s roads safer. No matter how far lockdown measures extend, trucks will continue to be on the roads, and warehouses will still need to be staffed. Road safety therefore continues to be a priority for us, especially as drivers facing economic hardship may be pressured to cover longer distances or work longer hours.

Whilst our partner driver training centres in Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda have suspended practical training for now, the teams are still hard at work. We are prioritising the health and well-being of everyone involved in our programmes, but we are also exploring new avenues, such as distance learning and using this time to review training materials.

I look forward to keeping you updated as the situation develops. In the meantime, I wish you all the best in these uncertain times.

Join the Transaid webinar

On 5 May at 11h00 BST (GMT +1) Transaid is hosting a webinar to update readers on how the charity is responding to the pandemic.

Readers will be able to hear from the MAM@Scale team as they share how they are combatting COVID-19 in Zambia.

To find out more and register SEE HERE

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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PIRATES RAID PRODUCTS TANKER VEMAHOPE OFFSHORE LAGOS, KIDNAP 10 SEAFARERS

Vemahope, carrying the name she was launched with, CF Christchurch. Picture by John Regan / MarineTraffic, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Vemahope, carrying the name she was launched with, CF Christchurch. Picture by John Regan / MarineTraffic

Dryad Global is reporting a raid on the 6,152-dwt products tanker VEMAHOPE (IMO 9477751) as the Greek-owned and managed, Panamanian-flagged vessel was in position 03° 30.0’N 003°49.0’E, 116 nautical miles west of the Agbami Terminal, 178 n.miles South South-East of Lagos, Nigeria.

The attack on the tanker by a single speedboat with an…[restrict] unknown number of armed men on board, took place yesterday, 30 April. time not given.

Not much is yet known about the attack apart from the above and the fact that when they left the tanker the pirates kidnapped 10 members of the tanker’s crew, presumably for ransoming.

Vemahope has a length of 102.7 metres and a beam of 17.8m and is managed by Queensway Navigation Co Ltd of Athens, Greece. The vessel is owned by another Greek company listed through Queensway. The ship was built in 2009.

Thus far in 2020 a total of 42 seafarers have been kidnapped by pirates operating in West African waters. Dryad Global points out that there has been a gradual increase in incidents involving pirates occurring beyond traditional maritime crime heartlands. If the above is conformed, this becomes the 7th deep offshore incident involving piracy within the Nigerian EEZ within 2020.  source: Dryad Global[/restrict]

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GENERAL NEWS REPORTS – UPDATED THROUGH THE DAY

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EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT


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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CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES


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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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Begin at the beginning… and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

 

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