Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 7 June 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: GSL CHRISTEL ELISABETH

GSL Christel Elisabeth. Picture by Trevor Jones, Durban, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
GSL Christel Elisabeth. Picture by Trevor Jones

Entering the port of Durban is the container ship GSL CHRISTEL ELISABETH (IMO 9280641). Built in 2004 and sailing until 2019 under the name CMA CGM STRAUSS, the 73,235-dwt vessel is owned by Greek interests. The ship’s ISM manager is Technomar Shipping Inc of Athens, Greece and commercial manager Conchart Commercial Inc of the same address. GSL Christel Elizabeth flies the Liberian flag. This picture is by Trevor Jones

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TPT SAYS CAPE TOWN TERMINALS REMAIN OPERATIONAL

Cape Town Container Terminal, hampered by COVID-19 pandemic, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cape Town Container Terminal, hampered by COVID-19 pandemic

In a statement issued earlier today (Friday) Transnet Port Terminals responded to reports concerning the Cape Town port terminals, saying the Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT) and the Cape Town Multi-Purpose Terminal remain operational.

This, said TPT, is despite the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Western Cape. These terminals have been moving import and export cargo since Level 5.

“As a responsible employer vested in the health and safety of our employees, we continue to ensure adherence to all health protocols to ensure the wellbeing of those waking up daily to serve South Africa,” said Acting Terminal Manager, Oscar Borchards.

Despite allowing periods of self-quarantine while awaiting results, the loading and offloading of cargo continues, TPT continued.

The terminal operator said the terminals have maintained communication with all its customers since the beginning of the national lockdown and will continue to engage them on day-to-day matters.

We continue to monitor on a daily basis shift performance as well as compliance to standard COVID -19 preventative measures that the terminals have put in place, the statement concluded.

Earlier Africa PORTS & SHIPS reported that the port terminals at Ngqura and Cape Town have had operations severely hampered by closing the port (Ngqura) for disinfection and lack of sufficient staff (Cape Town), all related to the COVID-19 pandemic. – See that report immediately below this article.

Port stakeholders complained of a lack of communication saying they were being left in the dark and that Transnet ought to communicate better with its customers. They maintain skeleton staff are struggling to handle the work load and that berthing delays of between 13 and 15 days have resulted, while the container terminal has a plug point capacity and reefer occupancy both at 100%.

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CAPE PORTS CRIPPLED BY CLOSURES AND STAFFING ISSUES

Port of Cape Town Container Terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Cape Town Container Terminal

Two of the three container ports in the Cape, Ngqura and Cape Town have had operations severely hampered by closing the port (Ngqura) and lack of sufficient staff (Cape Town), all related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday (Thursday 4 June) the port of Ngqura container terminal closed between the hours of…

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SA SEAFARERS MAY NOW FREELY JOIN OR LEAVE SHIPS IN LOCAL PORTS

Picture: SAMSA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture: SAMSA

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has issued a statement regarding COVID-19 Lockdown regulations under Level 3, which is now in effect across the country.

“Consistent with revised Government regulations for the national lockdown for Level 3 announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa a week ago, and effective on 01 June 2020, South African seafarers are now allowed to freely embark and disembark vessels in South Africa or abroad.”

In addition, clarity has also been provided on restrictions under national lockdown under the different levels, affecting the operations of small vessels.

This is according to two Marine Notices No.30 and No.31 issued by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) in Pretoria this week as promised by Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula at the weekend.

According to SAMSA in terms of Marine Notice No.30 (Crew Changes) “All South African seafarers will be permitted to embark or disembark vessels either in South Africa or Internationally. Returning seafarers will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

“South African seafarers wishing to join a vessel, should preferably self-quarantine for 14-days prior to embarking. It is further recommended that seafarers undergo a Covid-19 test prior to joining a vessel.”

Giving context to the periodically revised regulations SAMSA says: “Shipping is vital to the world supply chain. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that all personnel involved are protected from infection, including those onboard ships and shore personnel who may need to temporarily go onboard ships or interact with seafarers.

“Many seafarers on board ships (and personnel in the offshore industry) have been 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 safe ship operations.”

Restriction on foreign seafarers remains

However, with South Africa effectively still under national lockdown due to the global war against the Covid-19 pandemic, according to SAMSA, foreign seafarers continue to be prohibited from disembarking on South African soil in terms of the newly revised regulations.

The Marine Notice reads: “No foreign Seafarers will be permitted to embark or disembark vessels in South Africa, unless prior arrangements have been agreed upon between the seafarers’ Embassy and Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Department of Home Affairs and Department of Health.”

The notice further sets out guidelines on various other aspects relevant to the national lockdown such as medical evacuations, health declarations and international travel regulations, and about which the shipping community is urged to closely study for understanding and compliance with.

Fishing vessels in Port Elizabeth harbour, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Fishing vessels in Port Elizabeth harbour

Small and fishing vessel regulations

Meanwhile, Marine Notice No.31 SAMSA’s risk-based response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Small Vessels and Essential Fishing Vessels brings about clarity on regulations governing the activities of small vessels during the national lockdown, according to the five levels.

According to SAMSA: “This Marine Notice covers the services that will be provided to vessels under the survey region by SAMSA. This does not preclude any operations which may be prohibited by other Government Departments and Disaster Management Regulations (DMA).

“Owners and vessel operators are to ensure that they have a full understanding of any DMA regulations issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).”

In a table containing a list of 13 vessel operations related activities, the notice outlines which of these permitted under each of the national lockdown five levels.

In addition, it also gives clarity on regulations with respect to certificates of fitness, safe manning, and related matters: “SAMSA requests all stakeholders within the small boating fraternity to abide by the lockdown protocol as detailed in this Marine Notice and any regulations published in terms of the DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACT, 2002. The relevant risk level will change as determined by the DMA and may be different in the various provinces depending on the spread of the virus,” states the notice.

Short Video showing the towing of the COSCO tanker Yuan Hua Hu away from the beaches of the Wild Coast [1:34]. Source: SAMSA

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ANGOLA EXTENDS CONCESSION TENDER FOR LUANDA MULTI-PURPOSE TERMINAL

Luanda Multi-purpose Terminal - concession bids wanted, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Luanda Multi-purpose Terminal – concession bids wanted

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the tender for the concessioning of the Luanda Port Multi-purpose Terminal has been extended until 30 June.

This was announced by the country’s Concession Evaluation Commission which said this was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which has restricted travel between countries and disrupted business plans.

See our earlier report on this tender process by CLICKING HERE

The winning concession is…

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INFECTION PROTECTION FOR THE MARITIME INDUSTRY
DNV GL launches new certification

Explorer Dream under the Dream Cruises brand is the first cruise vessel undergoing DNV GL’s new certification in infection prevention. Image courtesy of Genting Cruise Lines, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Explorer Dream under the Dream Cruises brand is the first cruise vessel undergoing DNV GL’s new certification in infection prevention. Image courtesy of Genting Cruise Lines

* Genting Cruise Lines is the first customer working towards certification for its Explorer Dream vessel under the Dream Cruises brand

* New CIP-M programme is built on DNV GL’s healthcare expertise in infection risk management and accrediting and certifying more than 640 hospitals worldwide

On 2 June DNV GL announced from Hamburg that it had launched a new certification in infection prevention for the maritime industry.

Release of this custom certification aims to help the maritime industry resume operations better prepared for COVID-19 or other emerging pathogens.

Genting Cruise Lines – www.gentingcruiselines.com – is the first client working towards the CIP-M certification for their vessel EXPLORER DREAM under the Dream Cruises brand.

As the COVID-19 crisis begins to recede, the world was looking to return to business. For the cruise industry, passenger safety has always been the priority and the current pandemic has sharpened this focus. To help vessel owners and operators resume safer operations, DNV GL has developed CIP-M certification, which enables them to demonstrate they have procedures and systems in place for the proper prevention, control, and mitigation of infection, to protect their customers and crews.

“The COVID-19 crisis has been unprecedented in its impact on the maritime industry, and on the cruise lines in particular,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime. He added: “But I hope that with innovative ideas like CIP-M we can help the industry get moving again in a way that gives passengers and crew confidence that exacting measures are in place to enhance the cruise industry’s already rigorous health and safety standards.”

Infection risk management

CIP-M builds on DNV GL Healthcare’s work in infection risk management in which it has been operating since 2008. With more than 4,000 audits performed in US hospitals, this work, which is inherent to the company’s accreditation program, helps organisations improve their management of infection risk.

Experts from DNV GL’s Cruise Center in Miami customised the healthcare CIP for use in a maritime setting in cooperation with DNV GL – Business Assurance.

CIP-M also integrates maritime specific standards, such as the US CDC Vessel Sanitation Program, as well as incorporating national and industry guidelines. The certification surveys and audits are performed by DNV GL surveyor teams comprised of DNV GL – Healthcare infection prevention and control experts together with experienced maritime auditors.

In the words of Luca Crisciotti, CEO of DNV GL – Business Assurance: “The ability to demonstrate trusted infection risk prevention and mitigation is a must to win back trust from consumers.

“Building organisational vigilance against infection risk today requires a level previously common to hospitals only. CIP-M is unique in that it builds on proven hospital standards but is specifically tailored to the context of passenger vessels, while incorporating national requirements to enable a robust immediate and long-term response.”

“At Genting Cruise Lines, the safety and well-being of our guests and crew are of paramount importance to us.” said Mr Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines.

He added: “From the onset of the pandemic, Genting Cruise Lines has been at the forefront in enhancing its preventive and safety measures with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind. We were the first in the industry to launch and introduce our enhanced measures, which we will adopt as the new safety norm for our fleet and we hope for the industry too.”

DNV GL surveyor onboard a vessel. The CIP-M surveys and audits are performed by surveyor teams comprised of DNV GL – Healthcare infection prevention and control experts together with experienced maritime auditors, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
DNV GL surveyor onboard a vessel. The CIP-M surveys and audits are performed by surveyor teams comprised of DNV GL – Healthcare infection prevention and control experts together with experienced maritime auditors

Certification procedure

As part of the CIP-M certification, DNV GL assesses vessel operations, including enhanced sanitation procedures, food preparation and handling, physical distancing requirements, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by crew members, maintenance of public health essential systems, emergency response plans, pre-boarding screening, embarkation and debarkation processes, and itinerary or port planning protocols.

Annual surveys onboard and company audits ashore are conducted to verify continued compliance and improvement.

The CIP-M assessment of Genting Cruise Lines has already commenced with a pre-assessment of the company’s management system, to be followed by a certification survey of Explorer Dream. The company is targeting successful completion of the certification programme by the end of June.

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

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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CANADIAN SATELLITE SYSTEM SUPPORTS CMF OPERATIONS

URSA CMF satellite system featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Satellite imagery is sent to Combined Maritime Forces (CMF*) Headquarters from ‘URSA’ (the Unclassified Remote-Sensing Situational Awareness system).

Since being deployed in Bahrain in 2016 URSA continues to provide CMF with valuable, strategic-level information used to ensure maritime security across the area of operations, including…

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STOLEN RAILWAY MATERIEL FOUND IN BEIRA FOUNDRY

Railway materiel believed stolen from the Beira railway system, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS, PIicture O Pais

According to a report in O País a large quantity of stolen railway materiel has been discovered in a Beira foundry.

Some of the items at the Beira foundry allegedly stolen from the Machipanda or Sena railways
Acting on a tip-off Mozambican authorities went to the Beira foundry owned by Chinese interests, and after some difficulty gained access to the site where they discovered large amounts of railway items that they believe to be stolen from the Beira-Machipanda and Beira-Sena railways.

The Machipanda railway is the strategic line from…

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South Africa must get ready for an inevitable loosening of trade ties with the US 

AGOA states, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Mills Soko, University of the Witwatersrand

In six months’ time the world’s gaze will be trained on what is gearing up to be a contentious and hotly contested presidential election in the US. Irrespective of who emerges victorious between the incumbent President Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee Joe Biden South Africa needs to start thinking about what it stands to lose – or gain – from the new administration’s stance.

This is especially so in the area of economic relations. Since 1994, trade and investment ties between the US and South Africa have evolved against the backdrop of a complicated political and diplomatic setting. This has ranged from:

  • US disagreements with the Mandela government over its links with Cuba, Libya and the Palestine;
  • to the huge promise of the binational commission chaired by Al Gore and Thabo Mbeki;
  • to the bitter rancour over the Mbeki government’s HIV/Aids policies;
  • to the deadlock over government-sponsored land invasions in Zimbabwe; and
  • to the rifts over United Nations resolutions against Israel.

In 2003, the two countries failed to conclude a trade agreement amid mutual recriminations.

There have been successes along the way. These include America’s support of South Africa’s breakthrough in preventing bloodshed in Burundi and Pretoria’s leading role in the establishment of the African Union. But these have been outweighed by the low points.

Economic cooperation is the linchpin of the bilateral relationship. South Africa is America’s largest trade and investment partner in Africa. Over 600 American firms operate in South Africa. In 2017, US direct investment to South Africa was $7.3 billion, while the latter’s outward investment to the US amounted to $4.1 billion.

Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), trade between the two countries has thrived. Introduced by the Clinton administration in 2000, it allows African countries to export duty-free to the US market, provided these countries meet certain governance criteria. In 2018, total two-way trade was $18.9 billion, with South Africa recording a trade surplus of $2.1 billion.

But these fair winds might not blow forever. In light of the global shifts since the inception of Agoa two decades ago, US policy towards South Africa might in future be less generous and accommodating. South Africa would do well to make wise use of the remaining years of Agoa, which expires in 2025, to diversify its export markets and retool its economy.

Tetchy trade links

Agoa has been a boon for South African exports. Before its implementation, South African exports to the US consisted mainly of minerals and metals. Under Agoa exports have become diversified, including platinum, aluminium, steel, vehicles, wine and beer, fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, and essential oils.

Despite this progress, trade links have remained tetchy. The fractious relationship came under scrutiny when then Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies met with his American counterpart, Michael Froman, in Paris in 2015 to seek a solution to a dispute that represented a litmus test in the changing trade dynamics between the two countries.

Dubbed the “chicken wars” the dispute centred on a demand by American chicken producers for their government to withdraw South Africa’s participation in Agoa. The call had been in response to the imposition by Pretoria of anti-dumping measures on US imports of chicken portions. Such measures are allowed under World Trade Organisation rules and are designed to protect domestic industries from unfairly priced imports.

Despite vociferous lobbying by chicken farmers against South Africa’s inclusion in a renewed Agoa agreement, the US senate approved a bill extending Agoa for 10 years, with South Africa included. In return, South Africa agreed to allow 65 000 tonnes of poultry imports from the US. Excluding South Africa from the new Agoa dispensation could have harmed the country’s trade.

Washington’s belligerent stance

Yet America’s trade policy towards South Africa is changing. This is underscored by the fact that although the US included South Africa in the revised Agoa it did so with stringent conditions. These included a stipulation that South Africa’s trade and investment policies would be subject to a review within 30 days of Agoa’s implementation. If the review found that the South African market was not sufficiently open to US products, the US could limit South Africa’s Agoa benefits or suspend its participation in the scheme. Significantly, the revised Agoa did not provide for increased access for South African products to the US market.

Washington’s increasingly belligerent stance had also been reflected in the array of demands it had made in its trade talks with Pretoria. Besides the row over chicken exports, the US pushed strongly for the withdrawal of the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill. The bill required foreign-owned security companies to sell at least 51% of their domestic businesses to South Africans.

The change in America’s trade posture towards South Africa is a consequence of global shifts as well as factors specific to South Africa. Agoa came into existence during globalisation’s finest hour and at the height of US economic boom. Since then, the global economic environment has deteriorated, and this has strengthened the influence of trade protectionists in the US.

Also, the US has been shaken by the rise of China as a formidable competitor. The US has used trade as a tool to reassert its position as the pre-eminent global economic power. The Trump administration’s debilitating trade war with Beijing should be viewed within that context.

In the case of South Africa, the Clinton administration’s rationale for including the country in the original Agoa scheme was to support its democratic consolidation and integration into the global economy. The US has, however, historically never regarded South Africa as a developing country in the same way it has viewed other African countries. This American view of South Africa dates back to the post-war years when the country was seen as a part of the developed “western bloc” that shaped the new world order. It is for this reason that when South Africa, in the early 1990s, applied to the World Trade Organisation for reclassification as a developing nation the US, supported by the European Union and Japan, objected.

Early this year the Trump administration revived this historical position on South Africa and revoked the country’s “developing country” status. This followed a similar decision by the US in respect of China and India. It means that these countries will no longer enjoy the preferential trade treatment extended to poor nations. A Biden electoral victory is unlikely to deviate from the path set by the current administration. Trade is one of the very few areas on which there remains strong bipartisan support.

Even self-proclaimed democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders have opposed free trade deals. Hilary Clinton, who lost against Trump in the 2016 poll, has a history of espousing inconsistent and ambivalent positions on trade. The outbreak of the coronavirus global pandemic, and the resultant damage it has inflicted on the US economy, will most likely reinforce bipartisan consensus on American trade policy.

What this means is that South Africa can no longer rely on Agoa as the centrepiece of its economic partnership with the US. Agoa is not a negotiated, reciprocal agreement: it is an American initiative that provides non-reciprocal trade preferences to African countries. The US can arbitrarily suspend or withdraw its benefits to participating nations.The Conversation

Mills Soko, Professor: International Business & Strategy, Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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AMSOL COMPLETES ANCHOR LEG REPLACEMENT AT DURBAN SBM

Pacific Dolphin with the end of Durban’s Bluff in the background. The tug was then completing her tow of the Chinese tanker Yuan Hua Hu. Picture by Keith Betts

In a recent account concerning the towing of the COSCO tanker Yuan Hua Hu to Durban it was reported that the tug involved, PACIFIC DOLPHIN, had just completed a project at the Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) off Durban’s Isipingo Beach and had gone on to Cape Town when the call to return to KZN came.

The SBM is where AMSOL provides specialised marine and terminal management services at the offshore terminal for client SAPREF- a joint venture between Shell Refining South Africa and BP Southern Africa; the largest crude oil refinery in the country.

Earlier in May, AMSOL completed an Anchor Leg Replacement Project at the SBM for which project preparations had been underway over a 12 month period.

Routine diver inspections of the chains indicated that a replacement of components of the mooring system was necessary. A replacement plan, which included the use of local SBM expertise to minimise costs and maximise existing resources, was drafted in 2018. Part of this plan included initially replacing the four northerly and southerly legs as these lie in the direction of the most environmentally induced stress in the mooring system.

According to AMSOL’s Terminals, Harbour Towage & Subsea Executive Norman Jensen, the planning and preparation work the project team conducted was vital in ensuring the successful completion of the project

“The project methodology was developed in early 2019 and finalised at a joint operations workshop in July last year. May 2020 was identified as the best time to do the replacement project as it is statistically the best weather month for marine operations offshore Durban.”

The project included several local subcontractors and suppliers to ensure maximum local content, with engineering consultants ‘ZAA EPNA’ engaged to design working platforms for the SBM, which were cast in Durban. Glass reinforced plastic members were extruded in Tshwane, and the steel elements were fabricated in Durban.

In October of 2019, a Hazard And Operability (HAZOP) study workshop was held at the SAPREF Training Centre, bringing together key project stakeholders to ensure alignment and understanding of the complex nature of the project in the offshore environment; ensuring that safety standards were met to prevent harm to people, assets and the environment.

Pacific Dolphin at the Durban SBM. Picture: AMSOL, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pacific Dolphin at the Durban SBM. Picture: AMSOL

A few months later in March of 2020, a Methods Workshop was held and attended by the full Project ensemble of Client SAPREF, Contractors and Subcontractors, including representatives from Swire Pacific Offshore, EBH Shipyard and AMSOL.

SAPREF then took on the responsibility for the procurement of the anchor and chain, assisted in system design by Shell technical authorities in The Hague. Shell requirements for Marine Assurance, Project Methodology Assurance, Diving Assurance and Dynamic Positioning Operational Assurance were successfully met thereafter. Activity Specific Operational Guidelines and Activity Marine Operational Guidelines were also developed and implemented on board the Project Vessel Pacific Dolphin.

After COVID-19 Lockdown began in South Africa on 27 March 2020, the Project was declared an ‘Essential Service’, supporting the Transport, Energy and Oil Refining industry.

Despite constraints, the project was able to commence after all personnel involved were tested for the virus and were thereafter subject to strict hygiene and safety protocols

The fleet, which included the chartered DP2 anchor handling vessel Pacific Dolphin and AMSOL’s tug Siyanda, were mobilised and sailed for the SBM field on 26 April to begin the execution phase of the project. For the duration of the replacement works, the Siyanda managed the hoses and supported the day shift SBM team whilst the Pacific Dolphin accommodated the night shift dive team.

A priority for AMSOL’s Norman Jensen was completing the project safely and within the scheduled time frame to meet client expectations.

“We were extremely fortunate that from 1 May and for the next eight days we had very favourable weather and sea conditions. The old chains and anchors were recovered to the Pacific Dolphin and the new ones installed. The fourth anchor leg was safely secured in the SBM stopper on 8 May, and the project was safely completed to client satisfaction ahead of schedule.” source: AMSOL – read original article by CLICKING HERE

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SHIPPING LINES CONTINUE WITH CAPE SEA ROUTE

CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt set the pattern of using the Cape route as the COVID-19 crisis reduced cargo volumes. Picture: Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt set the pattern of using the Cape route as the COVID-19 crisis reduced cargo volumes. Picture: Shipspotting

In spite of the reaction by large-scale shippers like IKEA in Europe concerning the re-routeing of container ships around the Cape in avoidance of Suez Canal fees, even more shipping lines have adopted the practice.

See our report concerning shipper IKEA’s objection HERE

The container lines are…

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INDIAN NAVY SHIP INS KESARI L15 VISITS MADAGASCAR AND COMORES

INS Kesari L15. Picture: Indian Navy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
INS Kesari L15.   Picture: Indian Navy

An Indian Navy tank landing ship INS Kesari (L15) has paid visits to Antsiranana, Madagascar and the Port of Moroni in the Comores.

INS Kesari is a Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessel and was deployed on the navy’s Mission Sagar. As part of this mission the ship delivered a consignment of COVID-19 related essential medicines for the people of Madagascar.

An official ceremony was held on 29 May for the handing over of the medicines from the Government of India to the Government and people of Madagascar, attended by…

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MSC SIXIN (23,656-TEU) MAIDEN CALL AT BARCELONA

Illustrations reproduced by kind courtesy of Hutchison Ports © , featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Illustrations reproduced by kind courtesy of Hutchison Ports ©

The largest ship to berth at any Barcelona terminal

“The arrival of MSC Sixin at Barcelona is the start of a new era in our container sea trade,” said Guillermo Belcastro, CEO of Hutchison Ports BEST*.

He continued: “MSC Sixin operating at BEST is symbolic of the effort of both shipping lines and port operators who continue to work together, in spite of the current social and economic world situation, pushing efficiency levels to even higher standards to enable goods to arrive at their destination.”

This was…

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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UGANDA BACKS AWAY FROM MANDATORY USE OF STANDARD GAUGE RAILWAY

Container train to Naivasha, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Container train to Naivasha

After initially having gone along with the decision that all cargo coming from the port at Mombasa must be railed as far as the standard gauge railhead at Naivasha, Uganda now says this should not be mandatory but optional to cargo owners.

The move was touted as a means of preventing socialising or interfacing along the route by truck drivers in view of COVID-19 concerns, but the more cynical believe…

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ANOTHER WILD COAST ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER AVERTED AS GIANT TANKER ARRIVES IN DURBAN

Yuan Hua Hu arriving in Durban under the tow of AMSOL's chartered tug Pacific Dolphin, assisted by AMSOL's Smit Siyanda and four harbour tugs. All pictures by Kevin McGregor featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Yuan Hua Hu arriving in Durban under the tow of AMSOL's chartered tug Pacific Dolphin, assisted by AMSOL's Smit Siyanda and four harbour tugs. All pictures by Kevin McGregor, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Yuan Hua Hu arriving in Durban under the tow of AMSOL’s chartered tug Pacific Dolphin, assisted by AMSOL’s Smit Siyanda and four harbour tugs. All pictures by Kevin McGregor

The disabled VLCC tanker YUAN HUA HU has been safely towed to Durban, arriving on Monday and entering port during the morning of Tuesday, 2 June 2020. No less than four harbour tugs turned out to assist in the operation of bringing the 308,663-dwt tanker into port without mishap.

The tanker has been berthed on Pier 1, berth 103 where repairs to her engine and stern tube will be carried out.

The tow along the Wild and KZN South Coasts was carried out by the AMSOL chartered tug PACIFIC DOLPHIN assisted by a second AMSOL anchor handling tug, SIYANDA, with the tow being picked up from a position just to the north of Port St Johns. Yuan Hua Hu was sailing in ballast bound for Kaombo off the coast of northern Angola when she experienced her problems.

The tanker will go down as one of if not the biggest ships to have entered Durban harbour – all depending on how you do your measuring! If length is considered important then she remains down the list at a mere 333 metres loa (mere being used tongue-in-cheek), but on the other hand she’s 60 metres wide and that takes some beating. For most people her deadweight is the deciding factor although some may even think in terms of gross weight, although we won’t go there.

In terms of length we’ve seen a number of 366-metre long container ships in Durban port – the 14,694-TEU MSC RAVENNA in December last year currently tops that list, but her deadweight is 165,517 tons, putting her well down on that criteria. We’ve even seen a cruise ship in Durban that exceeds her length, Queen Mary 2 has about 12 metres over the Chinese tanker but the Queen’s deadweight is one of her unmentionables – cruise and passenger ships are measured by gross weight and QM2’s gross tonnage is 149,215 tons for those interested.

So what is, or perhaps that should be ‘was’, the biggest ship to enter Durban? The late Capt Tony Pearson in his book ‘African Keyport’ quotes the 230,284-dwt FINA BRITANNIA which took repairs in Durban in January 1977. Two other tankers came close to this but none of them are anywhere near the 308,630-dwt of Yuan Hua Hu.

As a matter of interest the Shell tanker MACTRA, which suffered an explosion in one of her tanks during cleaning in December 1969 and was towed to Durban for repairs, is often uppermost in the minds of many when on this topic – perhaps a result of the publicity the Mactra attracted at the time – but she remains a little down the list at around 210,000 tons deadweight.

We cannot leave this subject without another reminder of a record that is beyond dispute, the world’s largest (then) tanker, the 506,000-dwt Norwegian giant of a ship, JAHRE VIKING, which twice sheltered in the Durban outer anchorage for lengthy periods, during some onboard repairs and maintenance. The late Durban businessman, agent and shipping representative Mr Thorleif Lunde had a part in the decision for Jahre Viking to remain off Durban on each of those occasions.

Pictures are by Kevin McGregor

Yuan Hua Hu, Pictures are by Kevin McGregor, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictures are by Kevin McGregor

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YUAN HUA HU BERTHS SAFELY IN DURBAN – SAMSA

Yuan Hua Hu safely arriving in Durban. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Yuan Hua Hu safely arriving in Durban.    Picture: Keith Betts

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) confirmed yesterday (Tuesday) that the VLCC YUAN HUA HU has been successfully berthed alongside Pier 1 in Durban.

The Safety Authority said that on Tuesday morning (2 June 2020) at 05h00 a chemist attended the vessel offshore and completed a gas-free test to ensure that the tanker posed no risk to the port. The chemist cleared the vessel and the tanker was allowed to approach the pilot boarding station with the tugs Pacific Dolphin and Siyanda in tow.

The towing tugs subsequently handed the tanker over to four Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) tugs, and two TNPA marine pilots who executed the berthing of the tanker.

The tanker ran into difficulties off Port St Johns on 27 May 2020 and was immobilised. She was unable to use her engines while drifting towards shore and her drift was arrested when 0.4 nautical miles from the beach. The vessel was not carrying any cargo and all 27 crew on-board the casualty vessel are reported to be safe and no injuries were reported.

Yuan Hua Hu safely arriving in Durban. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Yuan Hua Hu safely arriving in Durban behind the tug Pacific Dolphin.    Picture: Keith Betts

Since berthing at 103 the vessel has been boomed off to prevent any pollution while she undergoes repairs by a team of specialists. To ensure that due diligence is carried out, a SAMSA Port State Control Inspector conducted an inspection on the tanker later on Tuesday to verify that the tanker complies with all international regulations.

SAMSA said it would like to specifically thank the master and crew of the Siyanda and the Pacific Dolphin who successfully towed the vessel to Durban from Port St Johns.

“SAMSA also acknowledges the exceptional teamwork displayed among the multi-disciplinary team, comprising some of South Africa’s top maritime experts, including the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), AMSOL, Transnet National Port Authority(TNPA), Smit Marine South Africa, P&I Associates, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) and SAMSA first responders.

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INTRODUCING THE (UK) RAIL ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION BRANCH (RAIB)

An example of asymmetric loading of heavy scrap electrical machinery. RAIB Crown Copyright 2020 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
An example of asymmetric loading of heavy scrap electrical machinery. RAIB Crown Copyright 2020 ©

In the UK the purpose of a Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) investigation is to improve railway safety by preventing future railway accidents or by mitigating their consequences. It is not the purpose of such an investigation to establish blame or liability.

Accordingly, it is inappropriate that RAIB reports should be used to assign fault or blame, or determine liability, since neither the investigation nor…

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

Collated by Paul Ridgway
London based on material at www.gov.uk/government/news/

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SVITZER ANCHORS POSITION IN AFRICA
Port of Nacala and Egyptian LNG contracts strengthen position

Svitzer tug NACALA operating in Nacala port, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Svitzer tug NACALA operating in Nacala port

Svitzer has taken an important couple of steps towards strengthening its presence in Africa by signing a five-year contract with Nacala Logistics in Mozambique for harbour towage, occasional pilot transfer and potential salvage work in the Port of Nacala.

At the same time, Svitzer also secured a five-year extension of its current contract with Egyptian LNG assisting the land-based Idku LNG plant with four tugs, two mooring boats and one pilot boat.

In 2019 Svitzer also secured a 10-year contract, its second in Egypt, with Suez Canal Authority and managed to do a quick turnaround with start-up within 9 months of contract signing.

Svitzer’s towage services are very much a local service, delivered with the high standards, competency and professionalism of a global organisation. With its global network, a strong presence on the African continent and years of expertise and experience, Svitzer is able to offer solutions tailored to local conditions and customer needs in Africa.

“We see great potential and opportunities on the African continent and I am therefore very pleased that we succeeded in securing the contracts with Nacala Logistics and Egyptian LNG,” said Nicolai Vinther Friis, Managing Director of the AMEA region for Svitzer.

Svitzer at work at the Egyptian Idku LNG plant, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Svitzer at work at the Egyptian Idku LNG plant

“We have had close collaboration and strong relations with both Nacala Logistics and Egyptian LNG and the contracts are of great strategic importance to us and will support our efforts and ambitions to further strengthen our presence and operations on the continent.”

Friis said a key priority for Svitzer is to ensure that its operations contribute to growth and prosperity in the communities in which Svitzer operate – meaning investing in local communities by providing training and professional development for members of the local workforce.

“We understand that with size and scale comes responsibility; responsibility to all those we engage with, especially our employees and customers. We therefore go to great lengths to ensure that our operations bring jobs and long-term prosperity to the communities in which we operate.”

On the African continent, Svitzer is now operating in Egypt, Angola, Morocco, Liberia and Mozambique.

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OSI’s REMOTE SERVICES KEEP EAST AFRICA CABLE PROJECT ON TRACK

OSI banner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Ocean Specialists, Inc completes Phase 1 (Engineering) for Speedcast Communications cable project

It was announced from Stuart, Florida, on 27 May that Ocean Specialists, Inc (OSI)’s Project Management Team, in partnership with Speedcast Communications, Inc had completed Phase 1 (Engineering) for a private communication cable system offshore East Africa. This marks an important milestone for the Speedcast communications project.

Speedcast awarded the Master Services contract and the release of the Phase 1 work order to OSI in early January.

This work order included…

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NGQURA HELPING MAKE GREEN ENERGY POSSIBLE

Wind turbine tower components (top) and blades (bottom) stored in the Port of Ngqura before being transported by road and assembled at various wind farms throughout the country. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Wind turbine tower components (top) and blades (bottom) stored in the Port of Ngqura before being transported by road and assembled at various wind farms throughout the country. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Wind turbine tower components (top) and blades (bottom) stored in the Port of Ngqura before being transported by road and assembled at various wind farms throughout the country. Picture: TNPA

The Port of Ngqura, as the only port with a green status in the Southern African port system, has established itself as the ideal partner for bringing green energy to the country by providing a safe gateway, temporary storage and an accessible distribution point for wind turbine components imported from Spain.

Since 2012 these components – consisting of wind turbine tower parts, blades, etc – have been destined for various windfarm projects throughout the country. They include…

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STUDY SHOWS RATE OF IMPROVEMENTS THROUGH ICT AT THE PORT OF COTONOU

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

Maritime and port activities are becoming increasingly facilitated by communication and information technologies (ICT).

This is equally true in sub-Saharan Africa where ICT contributes to ensure security and the ease of traffic through the port system.

The port of Cotonou in Benin, in competing with other West African ports, has engaged in reforms in which the communication and information systems occupy a vital role in ensuring safety requirements and the facilitation of an efficient flow of cargo.

A recent study* has been carried out in Cotonou with the objective of providing an overview of the ICT and an analysis of ICT’s impact on port operations, using Cotonou as an example of what is happening in African ports.

According to the studies, from 2007 to 2016 the average stay of container vessels decreased from 46 hours to 23 hours, while for RoRo vessels the average stay decreased from 35 hours to 15 hours.

Similarly, studies show that from 2010 to 2017 the average time spent by these ships at the outer anchorage went from 46 to 16 hours for container vessels, and from 36 hours to 8 hours for RoRos.

In addition, says the study, from the fourth quarter of 2012, the period of passage of a container to the port of Cotonou has decreased from 19 days on average to less than 6 days with better visibility for transshipment operations.

None of these results would have been achieved and observed without ICT, the study says.

*Les TIC et la facilitation des opérations au port de Cotonou (Bénin): In M Lihoussou, Gouverner ports, transports et logistique, Edition EMS, France, 2020, pp 69-90

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NAVIES STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIPS THROUGH STRATEGIC PLAN

US Coast Guard, US Navy, and Royal Canadian Navy strengthen partnerships through strategic plan

The three services working together will see a perfectly well-oiled operation provided by US and Canadian logistics experts.Photo: USN ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The three services working together will see a perfectly well-oiled operation provided by US and Canadian logistics experts.Photo: USN ©

The US Coast Guard, US Navy, and Royal Canadian Navy signed a five-year strategic plan on 26 May, laying the foundation for future coordination and joint operations. This news was released by the US Coast Guard the same day from US Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, California.

Vice-Admiral Linda Fagan, Commander Coast Guard Pacific Area; Vice-Admiral Scott D Conn, Commander Navy Third Fleet; Royal Canadian Navy Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific; and a…

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IMPERIAL RENEWS MAJOR AUTOMOTIVE LOGISTICS CONTRACT

Imperial Logistics banner featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Imperial, whose origins are in South Africa, has announced that Imperial Logistics International, one of three divisions alongside the South Africa and African Regions divisions, has been appointed through its UK organisation to to provide JIT (just in time) and JIS (just in sequence) logistics for a major car manufacturer.

The renewed contract comprises three elements: nationwide transport, collecting components and assemblies from 19 suppliers and delivering to a central storage facility; operating shuttles between the remote body panel production site and the main assembly location; and the management and operation of 51,500 sqm of component warehousing, along with sequenced supply of parts to the assembly track.

TO read the rest of this article turn to our new TRADE NEWS section.

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THE LATEST FROM TRANSAID
Heroes and Hostility

In the UK, COVID-19 highlighted the importance of truck drivers as key workers
In East Africa, the pandemic is having the opposite effect

In the UK, HGV drivers are being rightly praised as heroes for keeping shelves stocked and delivering vital supplies amidst a nationwide lockdown. In East Africa, however, truck drivers are facing increasing hostility as they are blamed for the spread of the virus. This was reported from London by Transaid* on 29 May.

In an article published in the CILT** COVID-19 Bulletin 04, Transaid explored the effects of national governments’ travel restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. The article is available CLICK HERE

In East Africa with reports of drivers being turned away from their usual rest stops, one concern is that these restrictions could lead to drivers taking fewer breaks, increasing the likelihood of fatigue. Limited access to basic wash facilities could also affect drivers’ ability to regularly wash their hands in compliance with national guidelines.

Transaid and local partners, Safe Way Right Way, are developing driver specific sensitisation materials to ensure that drivers and their employers have access to guidance on how to limit the threat of exposure. This will be combined with the provision of hand-washing equipment and masks to protect drivers. The charity is are also partnering with transporter associations to extend the reach of these messages.

Transaid has been working to improve professional driver training standards in the EAC since 2010 in both Tanzania and more recently in Uganda, having also supported the development of the EAC standardised curriculum for drivers of large commercial vehicles.

The charity’s supporters were instrumental to the success of Transaid’s MAMaZ Against Malaria (MAM) programme, helping the charity’s efforts expand into a fifth Zambian District.

Help is needed to enable the charity to rise to the new challenge of COVID-19. Communities like those in rural Zambia are likely to be amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic.

Readers may help them prepare for COVID-19 by DONATING HERE

Paul Ridgway, London correspondent for Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime newsEdited by Paul Ridgway
London

 

* Transaid transforming lives through safe, available and sustainable transport. For more details see: www.transaid.org

** Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

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SHIP MOVEMENTS OF SOUTH AFRICAN COAST

One can tell these cruise ships are no longer catering to a paying clientele, as rust marks show along the hull. These would ordinarily be painted out at port calls. This is Carnival Dream arriving in Durban on Sunday morning. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

One can tell these cruise ships are no longer catering to a paying clientele, as rust marks show along the hull. These would ordinarily be painted out at port calls. This is Carnival Dream arriving in Durban on Sunday morning. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
One can tell these cruise ships are no longer catering to a paying clientele, as rust marks show along the hull. These would ordinarily be painted out at port calls. This is Carnival Dream arriving in Durban on Sunday morning. Pictures: Keith Betts

The movement of the passenger ships along the South African coast continues to attract much attention in a manner seldom seen even in those days of open cruise ship arrivals. For example the arrival of CARNIVAL DREAM in Durban at the weekend attracted a fair number of excited onlookers out for their morning exercise along the beach promenade, which incidentally offers a grand view of the harbour entrance.

Earlier the residents of Port Elizabeth were able to witness the unusual but pleasing sight of three large cruise ships riding their anchors in Algoa Bay, where they had…

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WHARF TALK: NEWS & VIEWS FROM ALONG THE COAST

The lobby on Carnival Conquest, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The lobby on Carnival Conquest

It has certainly been a week of interest and some drama along the southern Africa coast, with cruise ships keeping us all guessing as to their movements and intentions, a fire on the Cosco container ship SÃO PAULO (IMO 9484388) – a very frightening occasion for those onboard, and a 360,000-dwt supertanker becoming immobilised along the Wild Coast of all places.

Whilst not all of the above scenarios have as yet played out, it appears that there are happy or pleasing endings ahead thanks to efficient systems in place to deal with these unexpected developments.

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TANKER YUAN HUA HU ADRIFT ON WILD COAST

Yuan Hua Hu - Screenshot from the Facebook page of Spotted Grunter Resort, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape.featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Screenshot from the Facebook page of Spotted Grunter Resort, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape

As has been previously reported HERE and CLICK HERE, the Chinese VLCC YUAN HUA HU (IMO 9723588), owned and operated by COSCO Shipping, suffered main engine and stern tube failure, leaving the tanker close to the coast opposite Dome Bluff, which is a little to the north of Port St Johns, where she went to anchor one nautical mile offshore.

Fortunately the weather and sea conditions were fair and the 333-metre long, 60-metre wide tanker was in no immediate danger. With the MRCC and SAMSA having been alerted, arrangements were made with AMSOL for the offshore supply tug Pacific Dolphin (IMO 9631400), which has a bollard pull of 220 tonnes, to proceed to the scene from Cape Town and to tow the tanker to Durban for repairs.

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Pacific Dolphin. Picture: Hannes van Rijn / Baltic Shipping, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pacific Dolphin. Picture: Hannes van Rijn / Baltic Shipping

Ironically, Pacific Dolphin had only recently been working in Durban where she assisted with the single buoy mooring (SBM) opposite Isipingo Beach.

A second smaller anchor handling tug, AMSOL’s Smit Siyanda was meanwhile despatched from Durban to hurry to the stricken tanker and to assist until the larger tug could arrive.

Smit Siyanda arrived on Thursday evening and was able to place a line aboard the tanker and take up a static tow, with the tanker at anchor and being held steady.

AMSOL tug Smit Siyanda, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
AMSOL tug Smit Siyanda

On Saturday 30 May Pacific Dolphin arrived on the scene and has connected a towline to the tanker and is now towing the VLCC tanker to Durban, accompanied by Smit Siyanda. The tow is taking place between 10 and 20 n.miles offshore.

According to SAMSA which is coordinating the operation, arrangements between the owner and insurer are underway to enable Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to berth the tanker on arrival, which is expected to be either later today or Tuesday 2 June. The weather remains favourable.

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SA AMANDLA IN RESCUE OF ABANDONED FISHING VESSEL IN SOUTH ATLANTIC

SA Amandla in Durban harbour. Picture: Roy Reed, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SA Amandla in Durban harbour. Picture: Roy Reed

In related news the DoT Emergency Towing Vessel, AMSOL’s supertug SA AMANDLA (IMO 7385215) has been deployed to the middle of the Atlantic to tow the abandoned 1,353-dwt fishing vessel KOSTAR (IMO 9202687) to Cape Town. Kostar, owned and managed by Sunwoo Corp of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, suffered a rudder and mechanical failure 2,200 nautical miles SW of Cape Town.

Due to the exceptionally bad weather conditions in the South Atlantic, the crew of the fishing vessel transferred to a sister ship, leaving the Kostar to drift in the South Atlantic.

SA Amandla and her tow of the fishing vessel Kostar are expected to reach Cape Town on 5 June.

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UNPRECEDENTED INCREASE IN MARITIME CASUALTIES

Top Grace, the Chinese vessel from which two Tanzanian stowaways were put overboard off th KZN coast, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Top Grace, the Chinese vessel from which two Tanzanian stowaways were put overboard off th KZN coast.   Picture: Keith Betts

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) points out that since March this year, South Africa experienced an unprecedented increase in maritime casualties, more so than any other previous year during the same period.

The MRCC conducted 59 Medical Evacuations from ships, which is a 150% increase over the same period last year. At the same time, SAMSA responded to two near groundings, one abandoned vessel (see story above), one container ship fire, one fishing vessel grounding, and the infamous attempted murder of two stowaways THE TOP GRACE STOWAWAY AFFAIR – SEQUEL.

As the safety authority points out, this once again shows the urgent need for South Africa to have a modern multi-resourced maritime rescue response and monitoring capability to enable it to respond to any type of emergency and pollution incident along the South African coast.

The 360,000-dwt Very Large Crude Carrier Yuan Hua Hu required one tug from Durban and one tug from Cape Town to respond to the casualty in order to prevent it from running aground (story above).

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CARNIVAL OF CRUISE SHIPS & OTHERS

Holland America's Zuiderdam departed from Cape Town, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Holland America’s Zuiderdam departed from Cape Town on Friday 29 May 2020.  Picture: YouTube

The parade of cruise ships along the southern Africa coast continues to fascinate (no pun) and intrigue. Two of the eight ships in last week’s Wharf Talk have now left our shores, Holland America’s ZUIDERDAM and VEENDAM, which departed from Cape Town on Friday evening half an hour apart and are now on their way east with Reunion listed as their next stop and where they are due on the early morning of 5 June 2020.

Which leaves us with five Carnival Cruise ships to account for. CARNIVAL DREAM was the first to arrive and continues to lead the flock. Having called at Algoa Bay with CARNIVALS CONQUEST and LIBERTY, we were surprised when Dream, after remaining at anchor in Algoa Bay for several days, suddenly entered the harbour at Ngqura, not previously known as a cruise ship port of call or attraction for that matter. Now Ngqura is about to have multiple cruise ship visits!

Carnival Liberty, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Carnival Liberty

On Saturday Carnival Dream departed the port and headed along the Wild Coast bound for Durban to take supplies, where she arrived early Sunday morning 31 May. After a quick turnaround the ship sailed early Sunday evening, bound for Jakarta. Meanwhile, Carnival Liberty has taken her place in Ngqura after which she too will sail for Durban, leaving Carnival Conquest to move behind her in sequence.

Carnival Fascination, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Carnival Fascination

The next two Carnival ships, FASCINATION and ECSTASY also kept us guessing. Sailing several days behind the other three, they never left the Atlantic for the Indian Ocean, with Fascination unexpectedly altering course and sailing up the Namibia coast almost to the Angolan border before reversing direction and coming to anchor outside the port of Walvis Bay.

Carnival Ecstasy meanwhile took up shelter in St Helena Bay, adding to the bright array of night lights out on the water of the sheltered bay, which has dozens of fishing vessels at anchor, as well as several cargo vessels. When last did St Helena Bay play host to a large modern cruise ship, one wonders?

A further surprise was in store when Carnival Fascination left the outer anchorage and entered the port at Walvis Bay. This indeed was a mystery but all was soon revealed following information received from the Namibian Ports Authority explaining the unexpected behaviour.

It turns out that Fascination was carrying 182 Zimbabwean and seven Namibian nationals who had been employed among the Carnival cruise ships. It therefore made sense, that with delays anticipated in Algoa Bay where weather conditions were not helpful to a speedy bunkering of ships, to call at Walvis Bay and disembark not only the Namibians but those staff from Zimbabwe as well.

Carnival Ecstasy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Carnival Ecstasy

This required arranging for suitable aircraft to be available to fly them to their respective destinations. The first 100 Zimbabweans disembarked at 12h00 on Friday 29 May and were escorted to the Walvis Bay Airport for their flight at 13h00. The remaining personnel disembarked later for a 17h00 flight.

Stringent conditions applied to this process, including those disembarking having to wear full protective clothing and gear, consisting of masks, goggles, gloves and full body suits. Buses to carry them to the airport had to be in the port prior to the ship entering harbour; likewise at the airport the aircraft had to be ready ahead of their arrival at the airport. Buses were completely disinfected afterwards, all this despite the departing ‘passengers’ having been in effective quarantine for more than 14 days before arriving in Walvis Bay.

All went as planned including Fascination being required to sail as soon as all those disembarking had left the ship. By Saturday evening she had reached South African waters and was heading along the West Coast towards the Cape of Good Hope, with her destination showing as Durban and an ETA of 3 June.

Carnival Ecstasy has also left her anchorage at St Helena Bay and on early Saturday evening was passing Cape Town, with her ETA at Algoa Bay showing as 1 June.

Carnival Dream, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Carnival Dream

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POLLUTION IN THE V&A WATERFRONT HARBOUR

Cape Town's V&A Waterfront with litter polluting the waters of the tourist harbour, featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront with litter polluting the waters of the tourist harbour

The pictures show a portion of the V&A Waterfront on Saturday morning, 30 May, with evidence of the litter that is casually tossed aside at tourist attractions and beauty spots by a careless population, despite there being ample bins available.

Recently we featured pictures showing an oily sludge that appeared to have been deposited in the same V&A harbour from the Robinson dry dock. Queries sent to Transnet National Ports Authority received a response that the area had been inspected ONE WEEK LATER and nothing was found to be amiss.

With the port authority seemingly not too concerned we may expect that this further example of disrespect for our environment will be similarly ignored however the V&A is one port area in South Africa where the public continues to have free access and, armed with the ubiquitous smart cell phone camera, has also the means of recording what is seen.

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NSRI IN MEDICAL EVACUATION FROM SHIP

NSRI rescue craft Spirit of Toft based at Station 6, Port Elizabeth. Picture: NSRI, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
NSRI rescue craft Spirit of Toft based at Station 6, Port Elizabeth. Picture: NSRI

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), a purely voluntary organisation, is owed a huge debt by the people of South Africa for the unstinting service provided to those venturing out on the ocean or the inland waters of the country. In respect for the work they do all we can do is publish just a few of the many acts of assistance and rescue carried out at all hours by the men and women of this organisation.

On Wednesday, 27 May 2020 Port Elizabeth Station 6 was called out to launch their sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft and rendezvous with an ore carrier vessel passing along the coast and there to evacuate a 25-year old Indian seafarer with a medical condition requiring hospitalisation. This was not COVID-19 related.

Station 6 had been alerted the night before to prepare for the arrival of the bulk carrier which had altered course and was approaching the coast.

According to station commander Justin Erasmus, the rendezvous was made in Algoa Bay in swells of between 3 and 4 metres and a 12 to 15 knot South Westerly wind, which required the ship to provide a lee against the swells and wind.

An EMS paramedic and a NSRI swimmer went on board the vessel where they took over care of the patient from the ship’s medical crew.

The patient, in a stable condition and ‘walking wounded’, was secured into a harness and supported by a safety rope line as he walked down the gang plank and climbed down a ladder to the sea rescue craft. He was then taken to the sea rescue station and transported to hospital for further medical care.

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HAPAG-LLOYD’S MONTPELLIER COMPLETES HER QUARANTINE

Hapag-Lloyd's Montpellier sailing as CMA CGM Lavender featured in Afcrica PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Hapag-Lloyd’s Montpellier sailing as CMA CGM Lavender

The Hapag-Lloyd container ship MONTPELLIER (IMO 9314973), on which two seafarers tested positive for the coronavirus, will complete a 14-day period of quarantine at the Durban outer anchorage on Sunday, 31 May and be allowed to enter port, which is scheduled for 2 June.

Montpellier is deployed on Hapag-Lloyd’s Middle East India Africa Express (MIAX) service and is on voyage 2017w. See our original report HERE

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ONE VIEW OF SOUTH AFRICAN PORT TERMINALS

This update issued by Ocean Network Express (ONE), the unified Japanese carrier consisting of NYK Line, K Line and Mitsui OSK (MOU) Line, reflects their experience of the South African port terminals as it was on Friday 29 May 2020.

CapeTown Container Terminal. Picure: TNPA featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cape Town Container Terminal, where force majeure has been declared from today. Picure: TNPA

Force Majeure declared at Cape Town

Durban and Ngqura/Port Elizabeth terminals continue to perform well with no significant delays, although increased vessel deployment and move count volume is starting to increase with strong export volumes.

Cape Town Container Terminal continues with reduced resource and limited night shifts. Transnet have declared force majeure effective 1 June for this terminal due to the increasing numbers of Covid-19 related infections. This will mean, all vessels will berth on a first arrived – first served basis with berthing windows suspended. Berthing delays are now increasing to 8-12 days.

On Friday 29 May this was how ONE reported the terminal situation:

 

TERMINAL Berths Gangs
Cape Town Container Terminal 3 3-4, Force Majeure in effect 1 June
Cape Town Multipurpose Terminal 1 2
Ngqura Container Terminal 2 5-6
Port Elizabeth Container Terminal 1 2
Durban Pier 1 Container Terminal 2 4
Durban Pier 2 Container Terminal 4 12
Durban Multi-Purpose Terminal 2 4

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Compiled from reports by Keith Betts, John Hawkins, NSRI, Richard Crockett, Richard Vashan, Terry Hutson.

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GENERAL NEWS REPORTS – UPDATED THROUGH THE DAY

in partnership with – APO

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More News at https://africaports.co.za/category/News/

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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

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TABLE BAY UNDERWAY SHIPPING
SHIP PHOTOGRAPHERS
Colour photographs and slides for sale of a variety of ships.
Thousands of items listed featuring famous passenger liners of the past to cruise ships of today, freighters, container vessels, tankers, bulkers, naval and research vessels.P O BOX 809, CAPE TOWN, 8000, SOUTH AFRICA
snai@worldonline.co.za
http://home.worldonline.co.za/~snai

 

 

South Africa’s most comprehensive Directory of Maritime Services will shortly be listed on this site. Please advise if you’d like your company to be included. To sign up for a free listing contact info@africaports.co.za or register online