Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 4-7 February 2021

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The Saturday masthead is of the Port of Tema (Ghana).  On Sunday it will be of the port of Saldanha (futuristic)




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Lake Fuxian at the Durban entrance channel, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Lake Fuxian at the Durban entrance channel
Lake Fuxian by Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Stern view of Lake Fuxian.   Pictures by Keith Betts

The RoRo vehicle carrier LAKE FUXIAN (IMO 9494905) recently called at Durban to work her cargo of motor vehicles at the Durban RoRo Terminal. Possibly a first-time caller at the port, the ship was previously named CSAV RIO GREY until 2016. Lake Fuxian was the first of two car carriers to arrive in port that day, the other being a regular caller, HOEGH TRAPPER which we’ll feature at some other time. As if in honour of the arrivals, Durban put on some nice sunny weather – not too frequent an event this summer. The 60,387-gt Lake Fuxian was built in 2009 and is owned by Japanese interests and managed by Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping. Lake Fuxian is 200 metres in length and 32m wide and has a capacity of 6,302 vehicles. The ship is named for the lake in Yunnan province in China and is currently en route to the port of Magellan.

Above pictures are by Keith Betts



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Air Cargo Demand Drops 10.6 per cent in 2020

SAA Air Freight at OR Tambo Airport, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


2020 worst year since performance monitoring began in 1990

From Geneva on 3 February the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand for air cargo decreased by 10.6% in 2020, compared to 2019.

This was the largest drop in year-on-year demand since IATA started to monitor cargo performance in 1990, outpacing the 6% fall in global trade in goods.

Other statistics show:

* Global demand in 2020, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs*), was 10.6% below 2019 levels (-11.8% for international operations).

* Global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres (ACTKs), shrank by 23.3% in 2020 (24.1% for international operations) compared to 2019. This was more than double the contraction in demand.

* Due to the lack of available capacity, cargo load factors rose 7.7% in 2020. This contributed to increased yields and revenues, providing support to airlines and some long-haul passenger services in the face of collapsed passenger revenues.

* Improvements towards the year-end were demonstrated in December when global demand was 0.5% below previous-year levels (-2.3% for international operations). Global capacity was 17.7% below previous-year levels (20.6% for international operations). That is much deeper than the contraction in demand, indicating the continuing and severe capacity crunch. With the stalling of the recovery in passenger markets, there is no end in sight for the capacity crunch.

The Air Cargo Analysis is to be found in pdf form HERE

Covering notes in support of the Analysis document indicate that economic conditions are picking up as we move into 2021.

The new export orders component of the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI prepared by IHS Markit) is in growth territory in both developed and emerging markets. And global industrial production has also recovered.

To quote Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO: “Air cargo is surviving the crisis in better shape than the passenger side of the business. For many airlines, 2020 saw air cargo become a vital source of revenues, despite weakened demand.

“But with much of the passenger fleet grounded, meeting demand without belly capacity continues to be an enormous challenge. And, as countries strengthen travel restrictions in the face of new coronavirus variants, it is difficult to see improvements in passenger demand or the capacity crunch. 2021 will be another tough year.”

IATA performance stat 2020, appearing in repport in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

2020 Regional Performance

Strong variations were evident in the regional performance of air cargo in 2020. North American and African carriers reported an annual gain in demand in 2020 (+1.1% and +1.0%, respectively), while all other regions remained in negative territory compared to 2019. International demand fell in all regions with the exception of Africa which posted a 1.9% increase in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Middle East

Middle Eastern carriers reported a decline in demand of 9.5% in 2020 compared to 2019 (-9.5% for international operations) and a fall in capacity of 20.9% (-20.6% for international operations). After a slight slowdown in recovery in November, carriers in the region performed well in December, posting a 2.3% increase in international demand. International capacity decreased by 18.2% in December, unchanged from November.


African airlines saw demand grow by 1.0% in 2020 compared to 2019 (1.9% for international operations) and a fall in capacity of 17.3% (-15.8% for international operations). African airlines posted the strongest international growth of all regions in 2020 as well as in December. International demand in the month grew by 6.3% year-on-year. The airlines of Africa now have the same share of the global international cargo market as carriers from Latin America (2.4%). International capacity decreased by 21.6% in December, a steepening of the 18.6% fall in November.

Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

About IATA

The International Air Transport Association represents some 290 airlines comprising 82% of global air traffic.

Terminology and Explanation of measurement terms

Terminology of the industry tells us that there has been a change in nomenclature from ‘Freight’ to ‘Cargo’, the corresponding metrics being FTK (changed to ‘CTK’), AFTK (changed to ‘ACTK’), and FLF (changed to ‘CLF’), in order to reflect that the series have been consisting of Cargo (Freight plus Mail) rather than Freight whereas:

* CTK: cargo tonne-kilometres measures actual cargo traffic

* ACTK: available cargo tonne-kilometres measures available total cargo capacity

* CLF: cargo load factor is % of ACTKs used.

Total cargo traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of cargo tonne-kilometres (CTK) are: Asia-Pacific 34.5%, Europe 23.6%, North America 24.3%, Middle East 13.0%, Latin America 2.8%, and Africa 1.8%.

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


Edited by Paul Ridgway


Added 4 February 2021


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Bowmans expands its Shipping Practice in Durban with the addition of Michael Asherson

Leading African law firm, Bowmans, on Thursday announced the appointment of Michael Asherson as partner in its Durban office Shipping Practice with effect from 1 February 2021.

Michael Asherson, featuring in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Michael Asherson

Asherson – an admitted English solicitor and a South African attorney – is a veteran of the P&I industry with 18 years at the North of England P&I Association in Newcastle where he reached the position of Group Claims Director, before resuming a career in private practice in South Africa.

His wealth of experience in the sector covers marine casualty litigation and investigations, cargo claims, ship arrests, arbitrations and charterparty disputes.

Craig Cunningham, head of Shipping, Aviation and Logistics at Bowmans says, “As we look ahead, Michael’s appointment is integral to the growth and development of our Durban office and we are delighted to have him come on board. His skills and experience will enhance the breadth of services available to our shipping and logistics clients, particularly in the area of emergency response and casualty management.”

Asherson has strong relationships with international P&I insurance groups in the UK, Greece, the Middle East, South Korea and India, and is also well established in the South African maritime law fraternity. In August 2020, he was elected to the Executive Committee of the South African Maritime Law Association.

Added 4 February 2021


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DIGITILISATION: Most ports still using manual & paper-based processes

Digitilosation ports report featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

80% of ports missing out on the benefits of digitalisation, creating ‘last mile’ risks

Most ports still using manual and paper-based processes without access to digital technology, creating a polarised ports environment and risks in the last mile of a voyage – says Innovez-One

According to Innovez One, a leading provider of port management software for the world’s busiest ports and towage operators, the majority of the world’s 4,900 ports are still not using digital technology for even the most basic processes.

The report said that 80% of ports continue to rely on manual, legacy solutions such as whiteboards or spreadsheets to manage critical marine services such as towage, pilotage and launch boats. This leaves many ports commercially vulnerable and less able to compete in an increasingly digital world.

While the phrase ‘smart ports’ has been banded about within the maritime industry for a number of years, the benefits of digitalisation remain the preserve of only a few, large ‘Tier 1’ ports that have the profile and financial muscle. This, the report says, has created a polarised landscape within the port sector.

Many ‘Tier 2 and below’ ports still use manual, paper-based processes or Excel spreadsheets to arrange and execute jobs and rely on personal interaction and paper-based transactions as the norms for shipboard, ship-port interface and port-hinterland-based exchanges. Innovez-One says this leads to a range of inefficiencies in ordering, execution, and billing, as well as a lack of sustainability and competitiveness.

Alarmingly, this dynamic makes the ‘last mile’ of a journey at sea a weak link in the global logistics chain, opening up risks of delays, late payments, increased fuel consumption and emissions, reduced revenues, and even safety concerns stemming from a lack of traceability. For the 20% of ports where this is not the case, they have often been able to rely on their own in-house software.

“The current dynamic reflects the often-messy reality of port operations, which is a blend of high-tech digital and paper-based, manual processes sitting side-by-side,” says David Yeo, CEO, Innovez-One.

“This causes issues in relation to interoperability, where systems are not talking to each other properly, which is impeding effective execution. However, it also highlights the fact that while global supply chains are becoming increasingly automated, of which ports are an integral part, the majority of ports still overwhelmingly rely on person-to-person systems.”

According to Yeo, the ramifications and missed opportunities for ports from increased efficiencies, revenues, sustainability and competitiveness are significant. In particular, towage operators are missing out on the opportunity to make substantial savings of their annual fuel costs by reducing the mileage of tugs while saving yearly maintenance costs and personnel cost savings of their towage vessels.

He points out that this current dynamic does not need to continue, and that the vast majority of ports are unnecessarily missing out on the opportunity to reap the benefits of digitalisation; particularly when affordable technology, with a fast return on investment, exists and is readily available. Specifically, utilising smart technology and AI models to optimise and solve complex last-mile towage and pilotage challenges, and in doing so, creating a fair and level playing field within the global ports’ marketplace.

Digitilisation of the ports, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

“Critically, as ports digitise, the solutions developed must be based on a strategic port framework with a set of common criteria. One of the core elements will be to consistently ensure that management systems are based on common design criteria to support an open architecture, enabling different solutions and applications from various suppliers and vendors to co-exist and be interoperable with each other, in real-time.

“This must be handled in an agile way to secure compatibility, so that port management services can continue to provide services without interruption 24/7/365.”

According to Yeo it is staggering that digitalisation seems to have only been reserved for the larger top-tier ports and established towage operators. He said it was Innovez-One’s mission to readdress the imbalance, because there is no reason why every port cannot be a smart port; digitalisation should be for the many, not the few.

“There are software and technologies that exist and are proven, like our marineM platform, which can help ports increase the efficiency, sustainability and profitability of their operations as well as improve their commercial success, and competitiveness, right now and for the future.

“Innovez-One designed and engineered its proprietary software, marineM, an AI-powered platform for managing sea ports and nautical services operators’ entire operations, linking together each stage of the towage and pilotage chain. This includes job management, planning & dispatch, tracking & monitoring and billing, creating an ecosystem that integrates the whole process, from booking berths to billing. This revolutionises ports’ planning and management of pilotage and towage services, and significantly reduces the workload for operations and billing departments.”

marineM has been used in some of Asia’s busiest ports, such as Singapore and Tanjung Priok in Indonesia, for over a decade in some cases, enabling hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings per year. In Tanjung Priok, marineM has saved $155,000 in annual fuel costs, by reducing mileage by 20%, as well as $90,000 in annual maintenance costs, and $150k per year in reduced incidents.

For more information about Innovez-One, CLICK HERE

Added 4 February 2021


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The 15 Squadron Oryx from Air Force Base Durban with the NSRI at Rixchards Bay featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The 15 Squadron Oryx from Air Force Base Durban with the NSRI at Richards Bay

Richards Bay

The NSRI Station 19 at Richards Bay was called out this week to evacuate an injured from a ship off the coast.

Jacques Kruger, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain, reported that at 18h00 on Tuesday, 2 February, NSRI Richards Bay duty crew were placed on alert to prepare to evacuate a 29 year old Syrian male who had been injured onboard a bulk carrier vessel that was heading towards Richards Bay from deep sea.

The patient had fallen on board and in communications between a WC Government Health EMS duty doctor and the ship’s medical staff it was deemed necessary to evacuate the patient to hospital as soon as possible.

Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre coordinated the operation assisted by NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), WC Government Health EMS, Netcare 911 ambulance services, NSRI Richards Bay and NSRI Durban duty controllers, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, Port Health Authorities and Transnet National Ports Authority.

Station 19’s sea rescue craft Spirit of Richards Bay was placed on alert and MRCC arranged for a SA Air Force 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter to carry out this patient evacuation operation.

The SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter departed Durban AFB (Air Force Base) accompanied by three NSRI Durban airborne rescue swimmers and two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics.

The helicopter landed in Richards Bay to collect additional gear and to collect an additional Netcare 911 rescue paramedic.

On arrival at the vessel, 20 nautical miles off-shore, one NSRI rescue swimmer and two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics were hoisted from the helicopter onto the deck of the ship, where they stabilised the semi conscious patient and had him hoisted into the helicopter while secured in a Stokes basket stretcher.

The rescue crew were recovered into the helicopter and in the care of the Netcare 911 paramedics the patient was taken to a hospital in Richards Bay where he is receiving medical care. NSRI Richards Bay crew assisted with establishing the landing zone at the hospital.

The operation was completed just after midnight.

Port Elizabeth

Kevin Warren, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty coxswain, reported on a patient evacuation involving Station 6.

This was on Wednesday, 3 February when at 06h00 the PE duty crew were alerted by the SA Air Force who had been tasked to prepare for a patient evacuation operation from a fishing trawler that was heading towards Port Elizabeth from deep sea.

The 59 year old Chinese skipper of the vessel was reported to be in a serious condition with a medical complaint.

A WC Government Health EMS duty doctor had liaised with the ship’s crew and it was deemed necessary to evacuate the patient to hospital as soon as possible.

Once again Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre coordinated the operation assisted by NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), WC Government Health EMS, EC Government Health EMS, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty controllers, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, Port Health Authorities and Transnet National Ports Authority.

A SAAF 15 Squadron Charlie Flight BK-117 helicopter departed Port Elizabeth accompanied by two NSRI Port Elizabeth airborne rescue swimmers and an EMS rescue paramedic.

On arrival at the vessel, 42 nautical miles from Port Elizabeth and 18 nautical miles off-shore of Woody Cape, the two NSRI rescue swimmers and the rescue paramedic were hoisted onto the deck of the ship, where they stabilised the unconscious patient after which he was hoisted into the helicopter secured into a Stokes basket stretcher.

The rescue crew were recovered into the helicopter and in the care of the EMS rescue paramedic the patient was brought to a hospital in Port Elizabeth where he is receiving medical care.

The operation was completed just after midday.

Added 4 February 2021


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WHARF TALK: Watching a ship movement at Cape Town

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

Earlier this week we reported on ship delays resulting from Cape Town’s ‘Cape Doctor’ easterly wind, that blasted its windy way on Monday and again later in the week, bringing stoppages or delays to terminal work.

An example of just one of the ships affected was the container vessel ANTON SCHULTE that arrived in Table Bay from Las Palmas on Friday 29 January and was due to be berthed on Monday, 1 February.

What followed with this ship became, as Alice said in Lewis Carrol’s ‘Alice in Wonderland, “Curiouser and Curiouser”, with reasons that are not exactly clear.

Resulting from the delays of Monday, the ship was re-scheduled to berth at 08h00 on Tuesday 2 February. However, later on Tuesday she remained at sea some distance from the port with her ETA showing as 18h00.

That ETA was also missed but at 21h00 Anton Schulte was passing Three Anchor Bay on a heading for the port and a berth in the Ben Schoeman Container Basin, where she was now booked for a 21h15 arrival. Her berth appeared to be that previously occupied by the vessel ITAL LIBERIA but later in the evening that berth was registered as being vacant, with Anton Schulte shown as departed at 22h32.

Anton Schulte returned to her offshore anchorage and at 02h00 on what was by now Wednesday 3 February she had obviously ‘refrained’ from dropping the anchor and was continuing her former activity of sailing up and down along the Atlantic coast.

Her ‘new’ ETA was then given as 18h00 for Wednesday 3 February.

This left the berth standing vacant with a build up at anchorage in Table Bay of five container vessels, with the sixth the EXPRESS KARAKORAM heading for the Duncan Dock Berth, vacated earlier by the BARRIER, which sailed at 12h31 bound for Walvis Bay.

Meanwhile, Anton Schulte was given a revised ETA of 05h00 on Thursday 4 February. At 08h00 on the appointed Thursday the container ship was on the move, scheduled for a another revised berthing time of 08h30.

Another strange factor is that Anton Schulte finally berthed where the MSC FLAMINIA had undocked from, not the berth she went into on Tuesday night, Only two berths are currently being used, SANTA RITA being on the other, leaving questions of what the problem is with the third? Another victim of the ’19’ perhaps?

On Thursday there were now six container ships waiting outside and at anchor – Northern Jupiter, Cosco Izmir, Kota Lawa, Santa Isabel, Navios Spring and Yangtze Shanghai.

by John Hawkins
Cape Town

Added 4 February 2021


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Three Seatrade reefer vessels loading citrus in this earlier view of the Durban Fresh Produce Terminal at the T-Jetty. The port has two fruit terminals, the other being on Maydon Wharf, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Three Seatrade reefer vessels loading citrus in this earlier view of the Durban Fresh Produce Terminal at the T-Jetty. At times there were four vessels at FTP together, the other berthng at N berth, the current passenger terminal berth., while a fifth might be at the Maydon Wharf  Fruit terminal loading for Japan.  More recently much of this freight is containerised, and while reefer vessels continue to call, a high proportion of citrus is exported in containers. 

South Africa has become the second largest exporter of fresh citrus in the world, after record-breaking exports that delivered 146 million cartons of citrus in 2020.

Citrus is one of South Africa’s most important subsectors in the agricultural sector that provides a significant contribution to job creation and economic activity in South Africa’s rural communities.

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza has commended the citrus industry on the record exports they made.

“The industry has expanded notably over the past decade, and we thank the farmers for showing confidence and increasing the investments. The industry’s investment is starting to pay off, as the Citrus Growers Association reported (on Tuesday) that South Africa exported a record 146 million cartons of citrus in 2020; which means we are still the world’s second-largest exporter of fresh citrus after Spain,” Didiza said.

Didiza added that the challenge going forward is ensuring that, “as a government, we open more export markets for the industry, as the estimates suggest, there will be roughly 300,000 tons added into the current volumes in the next three years that require an export market.”

She said the government has committed to working with the industry and other stakeholders to expand the market access to destinations such as the United States, China and India, and the European Union and other countries that already enjoy the South African citrus. “In the process, we will work with relevant stakeholders in improving logistics for export activity.

“Agriculture is part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan that the president announced late last year; to this end, we will continue working with all stakeholders to ensure that we provide a policy environment conducive for all subsectors to prosper. Part of the growth-enhancing interventions is detailed in the Sector Master Plan, which will be announced within the first quarter of the year,” the Minister said.

The growth projections for soft citrus, lemons and Valencia oranges alone indicate an expected additional R6.8 billion in foreign exchange earnings and the creation of 22,250 sustainable jobs over the next three years. –

Reefr containers, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Reefer containers at the Cape Town container terminal
Added 3 February 2021


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Rampant piracy in Gulf of Guinea, Europe acts; Nigeria makes more promises

The introduction of two elements is widely agreed to have brought about a drastic reduction if not elimination in piracy incidents in the Gulf of Aden/Somalia region of the Indian Ocean. These were the escorting and protection of merchant ships along designated 'safe' sealanes by naval vessels, and the use of armed guards on board merchant vessels sailing into these waters. There's a widespread conviction that only with the introduction of similar actions will piracy and criminal activity be brought under control off the coasts of West and Central Africa, but for as long as certain West African nations resist this, piracy will continue., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The introduction of two elements is widely agreed to have brought about a drastic reduction if not elimination in piracy incidents in the Gulf of Aden/Somalia region of the Indian Ocean. These were the escorting and protection of merchant ships along designated ‘safe’ sealanes by naval vessels, and the use of armed guards on board merchant vessels sailing into these waters. There’s a widespread conviction that only with the introduction of similar actions will piracy and criminal activity be brought under control off the coasts of West and Central Africa, and for as long as certain West African nations resist this, piracy will continue.

Faced with little else than empty promises, the European Union has approved a pilot case of the Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) concept for the Gulf of Guinea.

The West African Gulf of Guinea has developed into the number one hotspot for piracy across the world, with rampant piracy, kidnapping of crew and demands for ransom and the involvement of organised crime.

Despite assurances by the respective governments to address this, piracy and crime has escalated.

On 25 January 2021 the European Union (EU) Council approved the Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) tool which will increase the EU’s capacity to act as a reliable partner and maritime security provider in the Gulf of Guinea (and worldwide), with the primary goal of combating piracy in the area.

Approval by the EU of the CMP tool allows EU Member States present in areas of maritime interest to share awareness, analysis and information.

More importantly, it ensures a permanent and visible European maritime presence and outreach. Unlike the situation in the Gulf of Aden, coordination will take place on a voluntary basis, with ships and aircraft remaining under their national chains of command.

The pilot that has been approved refers to the Gulf of Guinea where it will contribute to addressing the security challenges in the region, in particular the tackling of piracy and criminal activity at sea.

In 2019 the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) hosted a Global Maritime Conference attended by around 30 countries, including most if not all the states facing the Gulf of Guinea.

The purpose of the conference was to facilitate a clearer understanding of the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea region and to develop specific solutions.

Two years later, piracy in the Gulf has increased and become more violent, culminating this year in the use of explosives by pirates on board a Turkish-owned container ship and the death of one seafarer and kidnapping of 15 other crew, who remain held by pirates at an unknown position.

The EU statement says specifically: “The West and Central African States, which bear the primary responsibility for combating maritime crime in the region, made political commitments already in June 2013 in the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity in West and Central Africa.”

A sight no seafarer wants to see, armed Nigerian pirates approaching in a fast skiff, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A sight no seafarer wants to see, armed Nigerian pirates approaching in a fast skiff

It described these commitments as having been pivotal in the progressive establishment of the Yaoundé Architecture to improve coordination and cooperation on maritime security.

“Nevertheless, the Gulf of Guinea continues to face a challenging environment in which piracy, armed robbery at sea, kidnapping of seafarers, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, smuggling and trafficking of drugs and arms, as well as transnational organised crime pose a major and increasing threat to maritime security, affecting freedom of navigation, thus endangering major trade routes, jeopardising the sustainable development of the entire region and the economic livelihood of the population, and leading to the deterioration of the environment and biodiversity.”

It said the pilot case of this new EU initiative, reflecting the Union’s growing role as a maritime security provider, can provide a substantial contribution to addressing the security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea.

More promises to tackle maritime crimes

Nigerian safety authority, NIMASA, has promised to work with the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to combat piracy and other maritime crimes.

Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, emphasised the importance of collaboration, saying “Security problems more often than not have a local content. So, as the country’s maritime regulatory agency, we want to partner the amnesty programme, which interfaces with the littoral communities, to nip the security challenges in the bud.

“We cannot proffer solution to the issues and crisis in the Niger Delta without the collaboration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”

He said NIMASA had recently established a Maritime Intelligence Unit to help in the identification of early warning signs in order to prevent security breaches in the littoral areas.

Added 3 February 2021


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Kenya introduces lighthouse upgrades

The Sealitre lantern on Shela Island in the approaches to the new port of Lamu, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Sealitre lantern on Shela Island in the approaches to the new port of Lamu

Kenya has introduced lighthouse upgrades at the ports of Mombasa and Lamu, the latter being at the new port still under construction.

The firm of Sealite was selected with a time frame of between 2019 and 2020 for completion, with the products being the following:

• SL-300 Long Range Solar Marine Lanterns (single and two tier)
• SL-155 Mid Range Solar Marine Lantern, single tier

The upgrades form part of a heavy investment by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to upgrade marine infrastructure. These include the expansion of the Port of Mombasa as well as the construction of a second commercial port, the Port of Lamu.

As a result of these overall upgrades KPA’s handling capacity at both ports will increase from 30.92 million tonnes in 2018 to an estimated 61.4 million tonnes by 2027.

Challenge facing KPA

Part of the challenge facing the KPA is to manage and secure the safety of vessels entering their ports. The region has many abandoned vessels and an abundance of low-lying coral reefs. The protected Mombasa Marine Park is located at the entry to the Port of Mombasa.

Without adequate marking there was a substantial risk for an incident or collision to occur. A decision was made to mark these port entries with leading lights for the safety of mariners, vessels, important cargo and to protect the marine habitat.

The KPA required a solution with low operating and maintenance costs. Funding for the initial project investment was granted, however ongoing budget to power and maintain the assets long term was limited.


In response to these requirements Sealite’s SL-300 long-range solar marine lanterns in a single tier configuration were chosen. The first lantern replaced the rear leading light at Ras Serani, and in combination with the front leading light, it creates an accurate bearing to direct vessels into the extremely busy port of Mombasa.

In addition, the port is supported by a SL-155 mid-range marine lantern. The lantern is on the headland of Chale Island, located at the Northern end of Msambweni Bay in Kwale County, southeastern Kenya. It highlights the entry way to Mombasa Port from the south and Shimoni Port located on the South Coast. The SL-155 is single tier and has a range of 6-13 nautical miles.

The second SL-300 marine lantern was installed at Shela Island in a similar configuration as the asset mentioned above. The SL-300 lantern assists with creating bearing lines for marine traffic entering the Port of Lamu. This port is currently under construction.

The SL-300 in white as a single tier configuration has a range of 13-19 nautical miles. The units in Kenya were supplied complete with AIS and solar panels, allowing them to be remotely monitored on the international VHF channel.

They were installed by Sealite’s authorised distributor Industri-Tech under the guidance of Sealite’s technical team based in Australia.

Sealite SL-300 in Kenya

The SL-300 was chosen because of its small form factor design and ease of installation. The lantern design incorporates a heat sink to protect the unit from overheating.

The system included a 280-watt power supply for the lantern; 2 x 140-watt solar panels; 3 x 110Ah batteries (complete with weatherproof housing and a lockable battery cage). The batteries provide power for the high intensity lantern and the housing and battery cage protect against theft or vandalism.

The lanterns are non-intrusive and were installed without impacting the current lighthouse building and beacon infrastructure.

The Advanced PC tool was used on site to configure the lanterns, their flash character, intensity settings and alarm conditions. It was also supplied with an IR programming tool that will allow maintenance staff that visit the sites to make any adjustments if required.

Sealite is an Industrial Member of IALA and has supported and provided solutions for customers in Africa for over thirty years.

Added 3 February 2021


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Visit, board, search and seizure sailors assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea board a dhow suspected of carrying narcotics in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea on 31 January. U.S. Navy photo released, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Visit, board, search and seizure sailors assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea board a dhow suspected of carrying narcotics in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea on 31 January. U.S. Navy photo released


USS Philippine Sea seizes over $2.8 Million of heroin in North Arabian Sea

Report by Combined Maritime Forces

The guided-missile cruiser USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CG 58), deployed to U.S. Fifth Fleet and operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), interdicted a shipment of more than 600 lbs (275 kg) of suspected narcotics from a dhow in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea on 30 January 2021.

Seven bags of suspected narcotics were seized and tested, resulting in a seizure of approximately 600 lbs (275 kg) of suspected heroin, worth US$2.89 million wholesale. This seizure, conducted in direct support of CMF’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, marks the seventh CMF drug seizure since October 2020.

To mitigate against the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, the boarding team undertook carefully executed precautionary measures during and after the boarding, to include decontamination of all seized contraband.

CTF-150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf to disrupt criminal and terrorist organisations, ensuring legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats. CTF-150 is currently commanded by the Royal Canadian Navy, now leading the task force for the fifth time.

Added 3 February 2021


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The fully restored Daniel Adamson, now equipped with Thordon SXL propeller shaft bearings and soon tor return to public service, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The fully restored Daniel Adamson, now equipped with Thordon SXL propeller shaft bearings and soon tor return to public service

One of the world’s oldest tugboats, the 117-year-old, steam-driven DANIEL ADAMSON, is set to return to service offering short cruises along the River Weaver, a tributary of the Mersey River in England, after the completion of a project to install new propeller shaft bearings.

The 1903-built steamship, rescued from scrap merchants 15 years ago, was fully restored in 2016 at Birkenhead’s Cammell Laird yard, the original builder of the vessel. Thordon Bearings’ SXL water lubricated propeller shaft bearings were installed last year after competitor bearings failed.

According to Thordon, they were invited to visit the yard to investigate the potential to retrofit with a Thordon bearing solution following the loss of the starboard propeller.

“There seemed to be a lot of damage compared to the other journal positions and it appeared the bearing had suffered from hydrolysis,” said Chris Simmons, Sales Manager, Duwel Group, Thordon Bearings’ distributor for the UK. “I could see that some areas of the inside diameter surface had deteriorated and were missing.”

Thordon SXL water lubricated bearings were supplied in April of 2020, but due to the COVID-19 crisis, the project was delayed until November. The coal-fired tug, currently in winter lay-up, is expected to resume service in the spring.

“Initially, we were only going to replace the bearing on the starboard shaft but as the project progressed, it was agreed that the port propeller shaft bearing should also be changed. So, we ended up supplying 203mm (8in) diameter SXL bearings for each shaft,” said Simmons.

Andrea Ward, Director, Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, said that as a charity, supported by volunteers, they didn’t have a big budget available for the docking and bearing replacement so soon after the restoration three years ago. “But after evaluating the reliability and robustness of the SXL bearings we believed it would be prudent to the life of the vessel to replace the existing shaft components with the more reliable, robust Thordon SXL solution.

Thordon Bearings’ Regional Manager, George Morrison said that despite the stringent safety and social distance measures in place they have been able to continue production throughout the pandemic as an essential supplier, offering better lead times than our competitors.

He said it also appears that Duwel is the only original bearing manufacturers’ representative in the UK providing comprehensive sizing dimensions for the machining/installation processes.

“Boarding this remarkable vessel is stepping back in time,” said Chris Simmons. “Many of the volunteers are septuagenarians but they’re carrying out all of the tasks required to operate a steam engine, including the ‘fireman’ role, shoveling coal. Tough work. I’m not sure I would be able to keep that up for too long – apparently there is a knack!

He said it was a privilege to be involved in this project and wonderful to see skilled craftsmanship combined with modern bearing upgrades to ensure many more years of service.

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Airfreight in the ascendancy


As I write the first million doses of Covid-19 vaccine were delivered in South Africa, sent from India via Dubai, and they arrived at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, on the afternoon of 1 February.

For a minute it is worth taking a look at the vast global air freight business.

On airfreight internationally at this time, when the word vaccine is on everybody’s lips, it is important to appreciate what the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is doing with regard to air freight of this precious cargo.

Today’s airfreight logistics capacity is designed to meet planned programmes of vaccination distribution in designated countries. In order to now upscale to the capacity required to address global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines adapting infrastructure, processes and resources will be critical to respond effectively to the huge global logistical challenges.

COVID logo used in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Governments, supply chain partners, humanitarian organizations and pharmaceutical manufacturers are expected to collaboratively prepare themselves for a widespread global coordinated response to distribute vaccines to where they are needed in a timely, safe and secure manner.

IATA has now issued the second edition of its publication: Guidance for Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Logistics & Distribution. This is available here: Guidance for Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Logistics and Distribution

In its preparation IATA collaborated with leading authorities and organisations to facilitate full preparedness for COVID-19 vaccines transportation. The document summarises all the considerations to be taken into account for large-scale handling, air transport and distribution of vaccines.


Since the COVID-19 crisis began, air cargo has been a vital partner in delivering much-needed medicines, medical equipment (including spare parts/repair components), and in keeping global supply chains functioning for the most time-sensitive materials.

This has been done through dedicated cargo freighter operations, utilisation of cargo capacity in passenger aircraft, and relief flights to affected areas.

IATA COVID Guidance booklet cover, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

About IATA

IATA’s mission is to represent, lead, and serve the airline industry.

IATA was founded in Havana, Cuba, on 19 April 1945. It is the prime vehicle for inter-airline cooperation in promoting safe, reliable, secure and economical air services – for the benefit of the world’s consumers. The international scheduled air transport industry is more than 100 times larger than it was in 1945. Few industries can match the dynamism of that growth, which would have been much less spectacular without the standards, practices and procedures developed within IATA.

At its founding, IATA had 57 members from 31 nations, mostly in Europe and North America. Today it has some 290 members from 120 nations in every part of the globe.

Today IATA’s HQ is in Montreal and there are Executive Offices in Geneva.

Representing the airline industry

It aims to improve understanding of the air transport industry among decision makers and increase awareness of the benefits that aviation brings to national and global economies. Advocating for the interests of airlines across the globe, IATA challenges unreasonable rules and charges, holds regulators and governments to account, and strives for sensible regulation.

Leading the airline industry

For over 70 years, IATA has developed global commercial standards upon which the air transport industry is built. Its aim is to assist airlines by simplifying processes and increasing passenger convenience while reducing costs and improving efficiency.

Serving the airline industry

IATA helps airlines to operate safely, securely, efficiently, and economically under clearly defined rules. Professional support is provided to all industry stakeholders with a wide range of products and expert services.

Enabling global trade

On air freight generally, airlines transport over 52 million metric tons of goods a year, representing more than 35% of global trade by value but less than 1% of world trade by volume. That is equivalent to US$6.8 trillion worth of goods annually, or $18.6 billion worth of goods every day.

To find out more interesting air cargo facts readers are invited to see CLICK HERE

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


Reported by Paul Ridgway


Added 2 February 2021


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WHARF TALK: Cape Town’s ‘Doctor’ departs

The container ship Anton Schulte which was delayed outside Cape Town by the Cape Doctor. Picture by Hannes van Rijn / Vesseltracker, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The container ship Anton Schulte which was delayed outside Cape Town by the Cape Doctor. Picture by Hannes van Rijn / Vesseltracker

Cape Town’s notorious ‘Cape Doctor’, the easterly wind died down in the early hours of Tuesday, enabling the discharge and loading at the container terminal to resume.

One vessel that has been effected while at anchorage is the container ship ANTON SCHULTE ex Las Palmas. The ship’s berthing date and time has been updated and she will now berth at 08h00 on Wednesday 3 February 2021, 48 hours after her original ETA in port.

Report by John Hawkins
Cape Town

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WHARF TALK: Durban memories of a windstorm day


FS Nivôse which called at Durban on Monday this week. Picture: Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
FS Nivôse which called at Durban on Monday this week, has called regularly over many years. Here the frigate is being escorted  to the port’s drydock on one of the rare occasions when one of the French Navy ships from the Indian Ocean base of Reunion undertook such maintenance repairs in South Africa , this scene being back in 2004.  . Picture: Terry Hutson

In what turned out to be a surprise, the French frigate, FS NIVÔSE, made an earlier than expected departure from the port of Durban on Monday, instead of remaining in port for several days as had been originally expected.

Earlier it was reported that Nivôse would arrive on Thursday last week, 28 January, but this was postponed by a day. Then came news that the frigate, which was on patrol in the Mozambique Channel, had been delayed and would arrive on Monday this week, 1 February, and it was assumed that she would leave around Wednesday.

Assumptions of this nature ought not to be made, as was demonstrated when the frigate sailed again late on Monday afternoon, heading south along the coast in continuance of her patrol.

With strong winds blowing along the KZN coast and buffeting the harbour at Durban, perhaps the French had unpleasant memories of 10 October 2017 when a certain container ship was blown off her berth and into the side of the French frigate in port, which was also preparing to sail on patrol, similarly to Nivôse this week.

The frigate on that occasion, FS FLOREAL, was consequently delayed while repairs were carried out, which messed badly with her patrol schedule.

Also on that memorable day, the entrance channel to the port was temporarily closed by another container ship blocking it, while another box ship went aground on a sandbank and others had to be escorted back to their berths.

Windy days and nights are not enjoyed when it comes to port activity. – trh

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The FLNG vessel Hilli Episeyo as it left the Keppel Shipbuild yard in Singapore in July 2017, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The FLNG vessel Hilli Episeyo as it left the Keppel Shipbuild yard in Singapore in July 2017

The floating natural gas liquefaction vessel, HILLI EPISEYO, exported over 14 million BTU (British thermal unit of heat) of liquefied natural gas as at 18 December 2020, after having commenced production off the Cameroonian coast in March 2018.

This was revealed by Cameroon’s National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH). The LNG was exported to several European countries, to Asia and to South America.

Several new destinations for the export of LNG have been found, including to Thailand, Pakistan, Kuwait, South Korea and Turkey, as the SNH broadens its customer base and reconfigures the geography of Cameroon’s LNG market.

Initially, Cameroon’s LNG exports were mainly for the dynamic and ever expanding Asian markets of China, India, and Taiwan, which account for a massive 73% of the global LNG demand.

This demand for LNG is being driven by the above countries as they shift away from coal to a gas powered economy. source: Business in Cameroon (BRN)

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Ford Silverton Plant modernisation programme underway, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ford Silverton Plant modernisation programme underway

Ford Motor Company today (Tuesday, 2 February 2021) announced an investment of US$1.05 billion (R15.8 billion) in its South African manufacturing operations – marking the biggest investment in Ford’s 97-year history in South Africa. It also represents one of the largest-ever investments in the South African automotive industry, boosting Ford’s production capability and creating new jobs.

“This investment will further modernise our South African operations, helping them to play an even more important role in the turnaround and growth of our global automotive operations, as well as our strategic alliance with Volkswagen,” said Dianne Craig, president, Ford’s International Markets Group.

“Ranger is one of our highest volume, most successful global vehicles. This investment will equip our team with the tools and facilities to deliver the best Ford Ranger ever, in higher numbers and with superior quality.”

With this investment, Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant is expected to generate revenues exceeding 1.1 percent of South Africa’s gross domestic product.

All-New Ranger & Volkswagen Pickups

The annual installed capacity at the Silverton plant will increase to 200,000 vehicles from 168,000, supporting production of the all-new Ford Ranger pickup truck for the domestic market and export to over 100 global markets. The plant also will manufacture Volkswagen pickup trucks as part of the Ford-VW strategic alliance.

The expanded production will help create 1,200 incremental Ford jobs in South Africa, increasing the local workforce to 5,500 employees, and adding an estimated 10,000 new jobs across Ford’s local supplier network, bringing the total to 60,000.

The Ford New Ranger pickup, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Ford New Ranger pickup

The overall investment includes US$686 million (R10.3 billion) for extensive upgrades to the Silverton Assembly Plant that will increase production volume and drive significant improvements in production efficiency and vehicle quality.

Ford also will build new vehicle modification and training centres – the latter developed to ensure all Ford employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to maximise the efficiencies of the enhanced Silverton facilities.

“The extensive upgrades and new state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies will drive efficiencies across our entire South Africa operation – from sequenced delivery of parts direct to the assembly line, to increased vehicle production line speeds and precision of assembly to ensure the world-class quality that our customers expect,” said Andrea Cavallaro, director of Operations, Ford’s International Markets Group.

Island mode

The new investment program builds on the recently announced Project Blue Oval renewable energy project, which aligns with the company’s global target of using 100-percent locally sourced renewable energy for all its manufacturing plants by 2035 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The first phase of Project Blue Oval already is underway with the construction of solar carports for 4,200 vehicles at the Silverton plant.

“Our aim is to achieve ‘Island Mode’, taking the Silverton Assembly Plant completely off the grid, becoming entirely energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2024,” Cavallaro said. “It will be one of the very first Ford plants anywhere in the world to achieve this status.”

Ford Ranger, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Modernising the supplier base

Ford also will invest US$365 million (R5.5 billion) to upgrade tooling at the company’s major supplier factories.

“Supporting our suppliers with this new tooling will ensure we modernise together to deliver world-class quality for the all-new Ranger at higher volumes for our domestic and import customers,” Cavallaro said.

Economic growth

“As part of our extensive investment in the Silverton plant, we also are building a new Ford-owned and operated chassis line in the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) for this new vehicle programme,” said Ockert Berry, vice president, Operations, for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

“Having this new line and our major component suppliers located adjacent to the Silverton plant in the TASEZ is key to expanding our production capacity, as parts will be sequenced directly onto the assembly line,” Berry added. “This will significantly reduce logistics costs and complexity, improve efficiency and allow us to build more Rangers for our customers.”

GP-EC High Capacity Rail Freight Corridor

In addition to its representation on the TASEZ board, Ford also is working closely with all three spheres of government and relevant state-owned entities such as Transnet, in developing the Gauteng Province – Eastern Cape Province High Capacity Rail Freight Corridor. This will be a full-service line linking the Silverton Assembly Plant and the TASEZ with Port Elizabeth, which is home to Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant and the Coega Special Economic Zone.

The GP-EC High Capacity Rail Freight Corridor will channel all of Ford’s inbound and outbound logistics exclusively through Port Elizabeth to support the higher production volumes. It is projected to create thousands of jobs within the value chain.

“Ford’s investment in our South Africa manufacturing operations underscores our ongoing commitment to deliver ever-better vehicles to our customers in South Africa and around the world, while providing opportunities for our own employees, new team members and our communities,” said Neale Hill, managing director, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

Added 2 February 2021


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IN CONVERSATION: Why ocean pollution is a clear danger to human health

Plastic waste is the most visible component of ocean pollution.  Maxim Blinkov/Shutterstock

Jacqueline McGlade, UCL and Philip Landrigan, Boston College

Ocean pollution is widespread, worsening, and poses a clear and present danger to human health and wellbeing. But the extent of this danger has not been widely comprehended – until now. Our recent study provides the first comprehensive assessment of the impacts of ocean pollution on human health.

Ocean pollution is a complex mixture of toxic metals, plastics, manufactured chemicals, petroleum, urban and industrial wastes, pesticides, fertilisers, pharmaceutical chemicals, agricultural runoff, and sewage. More than 80% arises from land-based sources and it reaches the oceans through rivers, runoff, deposition from the atmosphere – where airborne pollutants are washed into the ocean by rain and snow – and direct dumping, such as pollution from waste water treatment plants and discarded waste. Ocean pollution is heaviest near the coasts and most highly concentrated along the coastlines of low-income and middle-income countries.

Infographic showing how sources of ocean pollution
The ‘pollution-berg’.    Will Stahl-Timmins/Boston College/Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Author provided

Ocean pollution can also be found far beyond national jurisdictions in the open oceans, the deepest oceanic trenches, and on the shores of remote islands. Ocean pollution knows no borders.

The most hazardous ocean pollution

Plastic waste is the most visible component of ocean pollution. More than ten million tonnes of plastic enter the seas every year. The majority of this breaks down into microplastic particles and accumulates in coastal and deep-sea sediments.

Some large pieces float in the water for decades ending up as massive concentrations where currents converge and circulate. The Pacific Ocean’s so called “garbage patch” is a well-known example.

Read more:
It might be the world’s biggest ocean, but the mighty Pacific is in peril

Microplastics contain multiple toxic chemicals that are added to plastics to make them flexible, colourful, waterproof or flame-resistant. These include carcinogens, neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors – chemicals that interfere with hormones, and can cause cancer, birth defects, and reduced fertility.

These chemical-laden particles enter the food chain and accumulate in fish and shellfish. When humans eat seafood contaminated with these materials, we ingest millions of microplastic particles and the many chemicals they carry. Though there is still debate on the harm to humans from microplastics, exposure to these chemicals increases the risk of all the diseases that they cause. Virtually all of us have microplastics in our bodies today.

Mercury is widespread in the oceans, and the major culprit is coal burning in homes and industry. All coal contains mercury, and when it burns, mercury vaporises, enters the atmosphere, and eventually washes into the sea. Gold mining is another source, as mercury is used to dissolve gold from the ore.

Mercury can accumulate to high levels in predatory fish such as tuna and swordfish, which are in turn eaten by us. Contaminated fish can be especially dangerous if eaten by expectant mothers. Exposure of mercury to infants in the womb can damage developing brains, reducing IQ and increasing risks for autism, ADHD, and other learning disorders. Adult mercury exposure increases risks for heart disease and dementia.

Petroleum pollutants from oil spills threaten the marine microorganisms that produce much of the Earth’s oxygen by reducing their capacity for photosynthesis. These beneficial microorganisms use solar energy to convert atmospheric CO2 into oxygen and are also affected by organic pollutants and other chemicals. When there is a major oil spill, the impact can be huge.

Coastal pollution from industrial waste, agricultural runoff, pesticides, and sewage increases the frequency of harmful algal blooms, known as red tides, brown tides, and green tides. These blooms produce powerful toxins like ciguatera and domoic acid that accumulate in fish and shellfish. When ingested, these toxins can cause dementia, amnesia, paralysis, and even rapid death. When inhaled, they can cause asthma.

Dangerous microorganisms result from a combination of coastal pollution and warming seas, which encourages their spread. Harmful bacteria such as the vibrio species – found in warmer waters and responsible for vibriosis, a potentially fatal illness – are now appearing further north and causing life-threatening infections. There’s a high risk that cholera, caused by vibrio cholerae, could spread to new, previously unaffected areas.

And the health impacts of ocean pollution fall disproportionately on indigenous peoples, coastal communities and vulnerable populations in the Global South, underlining the planetary scale of this environmental injustice.

Political will and scientific evidence

While the findings in this report are alarming, the good news is that ocean pollution, as with all forms of pollution, can be controlled and prevented. Bans on single-use plastics and better waste sorting can curb pollution at its source, especially plastic waste, both on land and at sea.

Wise governments have curbed other forms of pollution by deploying control strategies based on law, policy, technology, and targeted enforcement. The US, for example, has reduced air pollution by 70% since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970. They have saved thousands of lives. They have proven highly cost-effective.

Countries around the world are now applying these same tools to control ocean pollution. Boston Harbour in Massachusetts and Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong have been cleaned. Estuaries from Chesapeake Bay in the US to the Seto Inland Sea in Japan have been rejuvenated. Some coral reefs have been restored, such as those in American Samoa, where vigilance, protection and quick response have happened in relation to various pollution threats.

These successes have boosted economies, increased tourism, restored fisheries, and improved health. They demonstrate that broad control of ocean pollution is feasible and their benefits will last for centuries. Our study offers some clear recommendations for preventing and controlling ocean pollution, including transitioning to cleaner energy, developing affordable alternatives to fossil fuel-based plastics, reducing human, agricultural and industrial discharges, and expanding Marine Protected Areas.

Protecting the planet is a global concern and our collective responsibility. Leaders who recognise the gravity of ocean pollution, acknowledge its growing dangers, engage civil society, and take bold, evidence-based action to stop pollution at source will be essential for preventing ocean pollution and safeguarding our own health.The Conversation

Jacqueline McGlade, Professor of Natural Prosperity, Sustainable Development and Knowledge Systems, UCL and Philip Landrigan, Professor and Director, Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory, Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society, Boston College

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

Added 2 February 2021


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Tidal platform developed by Sustainable Marine and installed in Nova Scotia. Picture courtesy Sustainable Mariine ssnd featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tidal platform developed by Sustainable Marine and installed in Nova Scotia. Picture courtesy Sustainable Mariine

Africa PORTS & SHIPS has written presviously about the potential of tidal and ocean current energy-producing platforms and is interested to receive news of what is claimed to be the world’s first floating tidal energy array. This came about after Sustainable Marine unveiled its next-generation platform in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Construction of the pioneering new 420kW PLAT-I 6.40 floating tidal energy platform was recently completed at A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd in Meteghan, Nova Scotia and launched yesterday (1 February) in the Bay of Fundy, which experiences the highest tides on earth.

The platform will undergo commissioning and testing in Grand Passage and will then be moved to the FORCE (Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy) site as part of the first phase of the ground-breaking Pempa’q In-stream Tidal Energy Project. The Pempa’q Project takes its name from the Mi’kmaq First Nation word ‘Pempa’q’ meaning ‘rise of the tide’, in honour of the Bay of Fundy’s Indigenous communities.

Generating up to 9 MW of electricity

The total in-stream tidal energy project will deliver up to nine megawatts of electricity to the Nova Scotia grid. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and power approximately 3000 homes in Nova Scotia.

“This tidal technology is the result of a tremendous international effort combining world-class scientific and engineering expertise from our German, Scottish and Canadian teams, and is the culmination of a decade of research and development,” said Jason Hayman CEO of Sustainable Marine.

“We are very fortunate to have such strong support from our major shareholders, SCHOTTEL and Scottish Enterprise, the Government of Canada, and a wide range of partners and collaborators. The PLAT-I 6.40 has been designed specifically for the Pempa’q Project – where we will deliver the world’s first floating tidal array – in Nova Scotia, which has the best natural resources in the world to produce clean renewable tidal energy.”

Ground breaking initiative

The Pempa’q Instream Tidal Energy project is a ground-breaking initiative and is being supported by the Government of Canada with $28.5million in funding– one of Canada’s largest-ever investments in tidal energy.

Tidal platform developed by Sustainable Marine and installed in Nova Scotia. Picture courtesy Sustainable Mariine and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Another view of the tidal platform developed by Sustainable Marine and installed in Nova Scotia. Picture courtesy Sustainable Mariine

“We are harnessing the power of our tides to power our homes, our businesses and our communities,” said Seamus O’Regan Jr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “This is how we build our clean energy future.”

Elisa Obermann Executive Director of Marine Renewables Canada, described the construction and launch of Sustainable Marine’s floating in-stream tidal technology as a significant milestone for Canada’s marine renewable energy sector.

“The project has engaged many local suppliers and offers a sustainable and clean solution for electricity production using a local resource. Projects and innovation like this are central to building Canada’s Blue Economy,” she said.

The PLAT-I 6.40 launched yesterday builds on the lessons learned and experience gained from Sustainable Marine’s previous successful deployments in Scotland and Nova Scotia. It was designed specifically for the FORCE site, and produces 50% more power than its predecessor, the PLAT-I 4.63, which has undergone rigorous testing since 2017, firstly in Scotland before relocation to Grand Passage, Nova Scotia, in 2018.

During testing the system has successfully produced power and has demonstrated it can operate in adverse weather conditions. It is also measuring crucial environmental effects and has not recorded any evidence of adverse impacts on fish or marine animals.

The innovative tidal platform only requires two metres of water for launching and towing and is moored with a turret configuration allowing it to align with the tide or the river flow. It has been designed so its easy to install and is accessible for maintenance and servicing, addressing one of the key challenges experienced by earlier tidal energy developers.

This new technology was originally developed in Scotland with support from Scottish Enterprise’s WATERS funding, before arriving in Nova Scotia.

Added 2 February 2021


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WHARF TALK: Port Beira increases volumes for 2020


An interesting view of the Port of Beira.   Picture: Cornelder, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
An interesting view of the Port of Beira.   Picture: Cornelder

Mozambique’s port of Beira, which is managed and operated by the Dutch port operator, Cornelder, enjoyed a good 2020 if cargo figures are anything to go by.

Thanks mainly to fertiliser imports through the general cargo terminal – mostly for the neighbouring countries of Zimbabwe and Malawi, for which Beira is a convenient gateway port, the port was able to increase port volumes by 46 per cent to reach a total of 3.1 million tonnes.

Another commodity that helped increase volumes was clinker, which is used in cement production.

On the flip side container volumes did not fare quite as well, decreasing to 255,459 TEU compared with 259,938 TEU in 2019 – a small decrease of just 1.7% which might otherwise be considered a good result taking into account the affect the COVID-19 pandemic is having on various industries.

Another commodity that experienced a reduction in volumes was that of timber, though volumes have not been revealed.
<p|> In a statement Cornelder said that for 2021 it will continue with its investment plan, including the dredging of the port to open more access channels to ships with deeper draught requirements.

“We will also expand storage facilities, both container terminal and general cargo, invest in the acquisition of modern handling equipment and introduce new management operating systems,” Cornelder stated. source: Lusa & Cornelder

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WHARF TALK: Cape Town ‘doctor’ returns


Hamburg Süd's Santa Ursula sailing from Durban in October 2019. Picture by Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Hamburg Süd’s Santa Ursula sailing from Durban in October 2019.    Picture by Trevor Jones

Cape Town (and its port) awoke on Monday morning to howling gales and the possibility/probability of more delays at the Container Terminal.

One direct casualty, the planned docking of the SANTA URSULA ex Algeciras in Spain has been affected.

The SAECS vessel is now rescheduled to arrive in Port Elizabeth at 03h00 on Wednesday, 3 February 2021.

This is the second direct arrival from Algeciras that has been rescheduled and directed to the Eastern Cape. On 25 January the SANTA BARBARA, also on the SAECS service between Northern Europe and South Africa, was diverted to Port Elizabeth.

Report by John Hawkins
Cape Town

Durban update


The French reconnaissance patrol frigate arrived in Durban for a few days R&R before continuing her patrol of the French possessions in the Indian Ocean. This picture is by Clinton Wyness, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The French reconnaissance patrol frigate arrived in Durban for a few days R&R before continuing her patrol of the French possessions in the Indian Ocean. This picture is by Clinton Wyness

The port of Durban has also been affected by strong winds that arrived in the early hours of Monday, 1 February. This far we’ve had no reports from the port but container and other terminal working may have been impacted. – trh

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Transaid congratulates Bernard and Sebastian


Transaid image featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

At the end of 2020 Transaid, introduced Bernard Mpande and Sebastian Simpasa, Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) officers for the highly successful MAMaZ Against Malaria (MAM) programme and the first winners of the Victor Simfukwe Award.

The Victor Simfukwe Award, supported by BigChange, is the charity’s way of honouring their friend and colleague’s legacy by recognising those who have made an extraordinary contribution to Transaid’s mission over the past year.

Bernard and Sebastian stood out for their outstanding work on the MAM at Scale programme, supporting ETS riders in three districts, setting up food banks, and sharing COVID-19 prevention messages to help the programme reach over 400,000 people.

In Sebastian’s words: “When I heard about winning the award, it was wonderful. It means a lot to me because it makes me think of my late friend, Victor Simfukwe, as we laboured together to make sure this intervention works so that children don’t die from severe malaria.

“It means a lot to me,” Bernard added. “It has pushed me to work even harder so that my contribution and the project will succeed… Together we are saving lives.”

About MAM

Transaid reported that it had ended 2020 by sharing the news that its highly successful MAM programme was set to reach one million more people this year.

MAM’s innovative approach tackles severe malaria through community-led sensitisation and improved access to healthcare through bicycle ambulances. In 2020 the team adapted the initiative to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to malaria. Originally launched as a pilot in Serenje District, the programme is set to expand to cover ten Zambian districts in 2021.

About Transaid

Founded by Save the Children, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), and its Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, the international development organisation with a London HQ shares 25 years’ worth of expertise in 23 countries with partners and governments – empowering people to build the skills they need to transform their own lives.

The charity operates here:
* Ghana
* Kenya
* Madagascar
* Namibia
* Nigeria
* Sierra Leone
* Tanzania
* Uganda
* Zambia

A concise report of the charity’s activities and achievements with a full set of audited accounts can be found here:  TRANSAID WORLDWIDE SERVICES LIMITED – 1072105

Pau Ridgway, Africa PORTS & SHIPS London correspondent


Reported by Paul Ridgway


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TOTAL denies intending to relocate operations to Mayotte


Total's development on the Afungi peninsula, early workings, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Total’s development on the Afungi peninsula, early workings

French oil & gas company Total says it is not intending to relocate operations to the island of Mayotte in the Mozambique Channel, and will base its operations at the Mozambique port of Pemba.

This follows reports, including those carried CLICK HERE, that Total was looking at setting up its logistics base on the island of Mayotte (a French possession).

Instead, Total says that while it may use infrastructures on the French island of Mayotte for some of its offshore operations to support the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in northern Mozambique, it will continue to base these logistical operations in the Port of Pemba.

The Mozambique government together with a local partner initiated the project of developing the Pemba Logistical Base to cater for the US company Anadarko,’s logistical requirements. The ambitious base involves the construction of a new pier and ultimately a deepwater quayside and landside facility in support of the two gas liquefaction plants under construction on the Afungi peninsula some 30km south of Palma.

The Anadarko project in the Rovuma Basin was subsequently taken over by a consortium headed by Total. Construction of the Afungi site is well underway, although concerns over terrorist insurgency in the immediate area have resulted in disruption to some operations.

In its denial of the move to Mayotte, Total said it will run its offshore operations from Pemba, and that the London-based company Technip FMC, the major offshore contractor to the project, will share the facilities in both the Total logistical base and the port of Pemba, operated by Mozambique’s port and rail company, CFM.

Total said that the LNG Project “remains focused on the delivery of its local content objectives, including the ambitious goal of awarding 2.5 billion US dollars in contracts to Mozambican owned or registered companies.

“Our contractors have a central role in this, and our focus is on ensuring all contractors meet all legal and contractual obligations and take appropriate steps to support and develop local businesses and the local workforce, while also advancing the project on time and within budget,” the Total statement concluded.

However, Total acknowledged that it “is investigating options to carry some offshore support operations in the region to optimise part of its logistical chain and planning including in Mayotte by using existing infrastructures.”

Mayotte lies nearly 500 miles offshore of the Mozambique coast and a slightly longer distance from the port of Pemba. source: AIM

Added 1 February 2021


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Sultan, one of Karpowership's 15 floating power stations, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sultan, one of Karpowership’s 15 floating power stations

The Turkish company Karpowership has offered to produce 300MW of electricity for use in the Cameroon port of Douala.

The electricity would be generated on board one of Karpowership’s floating power plants, a converted cargo ship now carrying an electrical power station.

If approved the vessel would be moored in the harbour at Douala, where there is a shortage of electrical power. The electricity generated on board could be provided at less than XAF40 (US $0.072) per kilowatt, according to Zeynep Harezi, Karpowership’s commercial director.

“We offered to develop, in less than a month in Douala, a 300 MW electricity generation project, which will immediately start producing electricity at less than XAF40 per kilowatt,” he is reported as saying.

Reports say that these discussions began a year ago involving the Ministry of Water and Energy and the Port Authority of Douala (PAD). The proposal is that electricity produced by Karpowership will be supplied to companies in the port area and also injected into the national electricity grid.

Karpowership is the world’s largest and most equipped company operating a fleet of 15 Powership vessels with over 2,800MW installed electricity generation capacity.

Karpowership is not new to African ports, having powerships in place at eight African ports including the port of Nacala in Mozambique and several in West Africa.

Cameroon has the capacity to produce around 1,650MW of electricity at present, and has a target of producing 5,000MW by 2030. source: Business in Cameroon

Added 2 February 2021


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The planned new berth 4 and landworks of MPS Terminal 3 in the port of Tema, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The planned new berth 4 and landworks of MPS Terminal 3 in the port of Tema

Meridian Port Services (MPS) has reached agreement with civils contractor EIFFAGE Génie Civil to extend the original contract so that the berth number 4 can be included as part of Phase 2 of the Tema Ports Expansion Project.

As Phase 1 nears completion, with EUFFAGE currently laying pavement blocks on the 127 hectares of land reclaimed from the sea, MPS has its eyes on the future with the AfCFTA providing growth.

In July 2020 the marine works were completed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) two years ahead of schedule and the land civil works are set to be completed in September 2021 which is nine months ahead of the MPS contractual commitment.

Apart from the paving of the 127 ha, other works included drainage, waste-water treatment plant, water & fire hydrants, electrical and IT fibre networks, 1400 reefer container plugs and a 12 MW back-up power plant.

The Land Works of the new contract covers 4.2 ha right at the terminal’s waterfront, 400m along the quay wall by 105m deep into the yard, stretching the MPS Terminal 3 quayside to 1,400 metres at dredged level of -16.90m CD which will make the 4th New Berth fully operational at 400m long.

On completion the total annual handling capacity of the MPS Terminal 3 will be in the range of 2.5 million TEUs whereas the actual volume handled in 2020 is in the range of 1.2 million TEUs.

Boosting terminal capacity for transshipment

Transshipment remains a key goal for ports in the region as West Africa still lacks a well-developed transshipment hub. MPS Terminal 3 of Tema Port has set its eyes firmly on catering for this need.

“This state-of-the-art terminal and its enhanced capacity are purposely aimed at catering for the anticipated volumes increase (AfCFTA & Transhipment) that will come in as more shipping lines realise the added value that MPS Terminal 3 contributes to their market range and share of the West African trade volume,” says MPS’ CEO, Mohamed Samara.

He says that with trading shortly to commence on the AfCFTA platform, Ghana is ready in the area of logistics and specifically port infrastructure. The added capacity that will be present by the completion of the 4th New Berth during the 2nd half of 2021, a year ahead of schedule, will further boost Tema Port’s capabilities to contribute to the success of AfCFTA.

Added 1 February 2021


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WHARF TALK: Mombasa busy as ships arrive


Mombasa's second container terminal, catering for increasing traffic, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mombasa’s second container terminal, catering for increasing traffic at the Kenya port. The first container terminal is to the left in this view, with the tanker berth in between

The Kenyan port of Mombasa is showing signs of a recovery in business with as many as 10 ships docking on one particular day during the previous week.

A routine AIS check on Saturday, 30 January revealed 10 large cargo ships docked along with a total of 16 of all types. Meanwhile the anchorage outside revealed 20 vessels altogether, including a number of container ships and a few tankers.

According to the Nation newspaper this is a similar number to what the port experienced prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March last year.

Kenyan port authorities and terminal operators have worked hard to improve efficiency at the port, which is the largest and busiest along the east coast apart from Durban further south.

Container Terminal

The Mombasa container terminal has in recent years exceeded one million TEUs handled in each year, the second highest volume behind Durban. However it needs pointing out that Nigeria’s Lagos ports are counted separately as two (Apapa and Tin Can Island), whereas if combined the number probably well exceeds that of Mombasa.

Be that as it may, Mombasa is experiencing improved trade conditions with the Kenya Ports Authority recording an average ship working time of 3.19 days while the import container dwell time was 4.69 days. This was for the week ending 20 January 2021.

On the landside of container operations for that week, road transport handled 6,324 TEUs compared with 5,024 that were transported by standard gauge railway.

According to the port authority, in 2019 transshipment containers numbered 211,604 TEUs, up from 121,577 in 2018. With the onset of COVID-19 in 2020 this number slumped to 175,827 but is now beginning to show an improvement.

Containerised import cargo for the week ending 20 January 2021 including to neighbouring countries were as follows:

* Kenya – 5,457 TEUs
* Uganda – 4,758
* DRC – 239
* South Sudan – 219
* Rwanda – 126
* Tanzania – 103
* Somalia – 9
* Burundi – 3

Added 31 January 2021


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WHARF TALK: Car inspection at Dar es Salaam will not interfere with clearing

The port of Dar es Salaam, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The port of Dar es Salaam

Inspection of imported motor vehicles at the Port of Dar es Salaam will not interfere with clearing service. That is the assurance given by the Tanzanian Bureau of Standards (TBS) amid concerns by importers.

The inspection will now take place at the Dar es Salaam port yards. According to TBS they will introduce a system involving the vehicles being offloaded from the ship in the normal fashion, with the vehicles being taken immediately to four separate yards for clearing by the Clearing agents that will include the vehicles being inspected prior to release.

This new system, said TBS Director of Quality Control Lazaro Msasalaga, will come into effect as from 1 March 2021.

Prior to this inspections of imported vehicles were performed by agents appointed by way of a tender process.

Added 31 January 2021


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WHARF TALK: Maersk applies export detention on Kenyan & Ugandan empty containers

Harbour tugs giving a show in Mombasa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Harbour tugs giving a show in Mombasa

Maersk Line has announced that as from 1 March 2021, it will charge ‘Detention’ rates on all empty export containers returned to Maersk upon booking cancellation. This applies to Kenya and Uganda customers.

In its communiqué Maersk says “The ‘Detention’ of Export to Empty Container will be calculated from the date of removal of the empty container from any of our depots, until the date on which the container is returned to us, not used for export.

“As the contracted export service did not materialise, free time will not be considered. Detention days will be charged according to standard per diem rates.”

Customers are invited to refer to their local sales or customer service representative for any queries or to find contact details on the Maersk website.

Added 31 January 2021


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WHARF TALK: CDC welcomes TNPA move to Ngqura port

The eMendi Building with the port of Ngqura beyond, TNPA's future head office. Picture TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The eMendi Building with the port of Ngqura beyond, TNPA’s future head office. Picture TNPA

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), developer and operator of the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ), has welcomed the move by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to relocate its head office to the Port of Ngqura.

“It’s a much-welcomed move and one the CDC looks forward to with keen interest bearing in mind the symbiotic economic enabling relationship the CDC and Port of Ngqura have enjoyed over a long period of time,” CDC Unit Head of Marketing, Brand and Communications, Dr Ayanda Vilakazi said.

He said the decision of the TNPA shows the commitment to be closer to clients, ensure the unblocking of projects, and facilitate further the competitiveness of ports, impacting positively on the various port users.

With the establishment of the Coega Project as far back as 1999, the Port of Ngqura has added tremendous value to the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) due to its strategic location.

According to the CDC, the relocation of the head office to the Port of Ngqura is a critical enabler in tapping into the raw potential of the Eastern Cape economy, its role in improving the overall competitiveness of South Africa, and unlocking opportunities in the coastal regions, further realising the country’s strategy on the Oceans Economy.

“It is worth mentioning that there are various national strategic projects on which we are already collaborating with the TNPA, including the proposed Gas to Power Programme, following a declaration by national government that the CDC will be the location for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) through the allocation of 1000MW,” said Vilakazi.

“The Port of Ngqura is required to play a pivotal role in laying the groundwork in preparing for the project.

He said the CDC is particularly keen to advance the Coega SEZ’s Transhipment-Hub strategy, with Zone 1 (back of Port operations) set aside as a maritime and logistics area that is integrated with the deep-water Port of Ngqura.

Added 31 January 2021


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WHARF TALK: APM Terminals blots its Liberian copybook

APM Terminal at the port of Monrovia, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
APM Terminal at the port of Monrovia

APM Terminals, which manages and operates the container terminal in the port of Abidjan in Liberia, has upset the nation’s House of Representatives after raising port tariffs by 9.67 per cent.

The increase saw the cost of clearing a 20-foot container at the port rise to US$207, up from US$189.

Not only has the House voted to cancel the increase but has called for the concession agreement between APM Terminals and the Liberian Government to be reviewed and possibly cancelled.

Members of the House voted to formally write to the Executive branch of the Liberian government informing it of its decision on the reversal of the tariff.

This was after the National Port Authority (NPA) and APM Terminals appeared before the House before them last Tuesday to explain how the increase in tariffs were justified.

NPA Managing Director, Bill Tweahway wasn’t there in support of APM Terminals either. He told lawmakers “The concession agreement of APM Terminal is a bad agreement and should be amended.”

The plenary session mandated its committees on Judiciary, Commerce and Trade and Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning to review the 25-year APM Terminal concession agreement and report within two weeks.

Added 31 January 2021


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WHARF TALK: Durban port talk


MSC Capri, the container ship that was working cargo at Durban's MPT berth D on Sunday 31 January 2021. This picture was taken in May 2018 is by Trevor Jones, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Capri, the container ship that was working cargo at Durban’s MPT berth D on Sunday 31 January 2021. This picture was taken in May 2018 is by Trevor Jones

On Sunday 31 January the ship numbers at the port of Durban were as follows. Vessels outside port – 21; Vessels at dock inside port – 26. These included vessels at Island View & Bluff – 6; Container Terminal – 7 plus 1 at Point; Ship Repair – 3 including dredger ISANDLWANA in dry dock; Maydon Wharf – quiet with just 4; T-Jetty – 3; City Terminal MPT at Point – 3. This was observed at around 11h00.

All berths at the container terminal were occupied with an eighth container ship, MSC CAPRI handling cargo at the Multi-purpose City Terminal on the Point. MSC Capri operates on the South Africa – West Africa service and was built in 1998 at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering at Geoje in South Korea.

The 34,051-dwt ship is 208 metres in length with a beam of 29 metres and a container capacity of 2,456 TEUs, and has an interesting operator background.

MSC Capri, has carried the following names: Conti Valencia at launch in 1998; Sea Tiger until Aug 1998; Ivarian Hunter until 1999, Lykes Hunter until 2001, Conti Valencia (again), until 2003, MSC Spain until 2005, Conti Valencia until 2006, MSC Malaga until 2008, Conti Valencia (her original name) until 2014, MSC Capri current. MSC now owns and operates the ship.

On Sunday the port had a single car carrier in port, GLOVIS SPRING (IMO 9749594), occupying berth M on the T-Jetty. On occasion the port can have up to three and sometimes four car carriers working at the respective RoRo berths, R, M and G, but at other times there might be none in port. These vessels both discharge and load cargo, Durban being one of South Africa’s four vehicle RoRo ports – the others are East London, Ngqura and Port Elizabeth.

In February 2018 this vessel was in the news for all the wrong reasons – Glovis Spring had run aground in the area of the disputed Paracel Islands while sailing between Singapore and Hong Kong with 3,400 new EU-manufactured vehicles for discharge. This was a serious matter, as car carriers have a reputation for capsizing in such circumstances. Making additional news was the claim that the ship probably ran aground on a sandbank artificially formed by Chinese landfill methods, and therefore uncharted. China has controversially created islands using dredging and sandfill methods, on which to build military bases as a means of claiming the Paracels as part of China.

The ship was subsequently refloated some four days later without further drama.

French patrol frigate FS Nivôse, due in port on Monday 1 February. This picture taken in 2004 when the ship was drydocked in Durban. Picture: Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
French patrol frigate FS Nivôse, due in port on Monday 1 February. This picture taken in 2004 when the ship was drydocked in Durban. Picture: Terry Hutson

The French patrol or reconnaissance frigate, FS NIVÔSE is due in Durban port on Monday, 1 February, having been delayed in the Mozambique Channel when the ship intercepted a stateless dhow carrying nearly half a tonne of narcotics destined for Mozambique, from where they would most likely have been smuggled into South Africa.

These stateless and registered dhows are fascinating examples of ancient or at least historic seafaring that continues into modern times, except that the craft are mostly now motorised. The subject is well worth some lines for a future report.

Meanwhile, the frigate will be calling at Durban for supplies and a few days of R&R before continuing her patrol of the French overseas departments or dependencies in the Indian Ocean. The patrolling of the Mozambique Channel has been specifically a South Africa task involving the navy as well as air force, but sadly, in recent times South Africa appears to lack the financial ability to continue with regular patrols, now being filled on occasion by the French.

Considering that much of what is smuggled down the Mozambique Channel is intended for South Africa, it seems inexcusable that South Africa is unable to carry out this sovereign duty. Of equal concern must be the possible relationship to these vessels and the ISIS-inspired insurgency taking place across northern Mozambique.

Terry Hutson

Added 31 January 2021


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WHARF TALK: Cape Town port talk


The container ship Anton Schulte which arrived in Table Bay from Las Palmas on Friday (29 January) and is due to be berthed at the container terminal tomorrow (Monday). Picture:, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The container ship Anton Schulte which arrived in Table Bay from Las Palmas on Friday (29 January) and is due to be berthed at the container terminal tomorrow (Monday). Picture:

The Tavern of the Seas was mostly hidden by heavy mist and a hazy rain that made shipwatching a bit difficult on Sunday morning (31 January), when this report was compiled.

The South Easter round the middle of the week again caused delays to the movement of cargo and shipping. It is only now in the past two days, that movements from the container dock are catching up to date but some of the vessels at anchor in the inner bay, have been there for nearly a week.

KOTA LAWA from Durban arrived 24 January 2021; SANTA RITA from Durban arrived 25 January; COSCO IMIIR from Durban arrived 29 January; ANTON SCHULTE from Las Palmas arrived 29 January and is due to be berthed on Monday, 1 February; FRIEDERIKE from Port Louis anchorage arrived 30 January and was being berthed as this report was made ready; BARRIER from Durban arrived on 31 January.

In addition there are two tankers at anchorage: YAMILAH 111 from Al Ruwais in the UAE; and MAERSK CYPRUS also from Al Ruwais.

The above shows just how 24/36 hours of the ‘Cape Doctor’ can cause havoc in the Cape Town shipping pattern.

Two other interesting vessels are the CAPE PROVIDENCE (a bulk carrier) which arrived in Table Bay on 29 January from anchorage in St Helena Bay and has gone to anchorage off Woodbridge Island.

The other is the supply vessel THANDS that departed Gibraltar on 20 December 2020 and is showing her final destination as Alang India with an ETA of 10 March 2021. Alang in India is the( beach) destination where so many vessels go to be beached and demolished.

John Hawkins
Cape Town

Added 31 January 2021


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DP World banner accompanying a story within Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

World Logistic Passport initiative to remove impediments to South-South trade

DP World is proud to be part of Dubai’s initiative to remove impediments to South-South trade and increase prosperity, building on the city’s position as a global logistics hub.

That was the word from Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, after three leading UAE institutions announced they have joined the World Logistics Passport (WLP), a major initiative established to increase trading opportunities between developing markets.

The WLP is helping to re-imagine how goods and services move around the world, increase resilience in global supply chains and remove the barriers that prevent developing economies from trading as freely as they might.

The new joiners are Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and flydubai.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, appearing with a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World

Unlocking these benefits allows nations and regions to gain access to new markets, diversify trade in existing products towards new markets, and increase market shares in key export products in developing economies. The WLP aims to tap into over 20 markets, representing 54% of Global GDP. By 2023, the WLP is projected to have about 2% impact on global trade.

Colombia, Senegal and Kazakhstan have formally joined the initiative. Brazil, Uruguay and South Africa have also registered as partners.

“South-south trade has substantial potential for generating more growth as developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America move to bolster their trade volumes with each other,” said Sultan bin Sulayem.

“DP World is proud to be part of Dubai’s initiative to remove impediments to South-South trade and increase prosperity, building on the city’s position as a global logistics hub. We welcome ECI, DMCC and flydubai to the WLP team, mobilising infrastructure and expertise to make trade quicker, easier and more cost-effective.”

The WLP was launched at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, and bringing together Dubai Customs, DP World, Emirates and Dnata. Over 65 benefits will be available to members and partners, ranging from increased trade revenue for businesses, increased fee generation for state trade authorities, tax revenues, connection of customs departments, to global knowledge sharing networks.

A pilot project, operational since July 2019, has already increased trade between members by more than 10 percent.

Added 31 January 2021


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BEAST MEETS GIANT: Jumbo Kinetic Transports 1435-tonne Shiploader


The heavylift Jumbo Kinetic in this earlier photo of the ship unrelated to the accompanying report., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The heavylift Jumbo Kinetic in this earlier photo of the ship (unrelated to the accompanying report)

Jumbo Shipping recently handled an impressive shipment consisting of a 1435-tonne shiploader, measuring 135 x 25 x 43 metres, which it moved from Vietnam to Canada for the machine’s manufacturer Tenova.

After almost two years of engineering, the Jumbo Shipping team saw their hard work come to life when the JUMBO KINETIC lifted and shipped this gigantic shiploader from Phu My Port, Vietnam to Vancouver, Canada.

Jumbo Kinetic's 1,435 ton load from Vietnam for Vancouver, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Jumbo Kinetic’s 1,435 ton load from Vietnam for Vancouver

Heavy Lifting

Having conducted a final loading simulation, the time had come for the engineers to put Jumbo Kinetic, a K-class vessel with 3,000t dual lifting capacity, to the real test by loading this super-heavy shiploader onboard.

Jumbo Kinetic arriving in Vancouver, as featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Jumbo Kinetic arriving in Vancouver

Lift On

Based on the size of the unit and the length of its boom, loading this shiploader at Phu My Port, Vietnam was a formidable task, but the dual lift went without a hitch. With stage one of the lifting operation complete, the next step was to temporarily suspend the unit above the deck so that the boom could be retracted to change the centre of gravity position.

This enabled the vessel’s team to re-rig and then perform a single lift to shift the shiploader to its final stowage position where it could be secured for the sea voyage to Canada.

This video shows the spectacular sight of the Jumbo Kinetic arriving in Vancouver with the shiploader stowed on deck as well as the masterful loading and discharge operations:

Video [2:30]

Lift Off

After a 20 day ocean voyage the Jumbo Kinetic arrived safe and sound at the Neptune terminal in Vancouver and discharge operations got underway. If the engineering work at Phu My Port was not already impressive enough, our client raised the bar even further for the offloading operations with the team needing to discharge the shiploader while it was half suspended over the water.

The shiploader was then steadily manoeuvred onto the pivot point at the quayside and onto the semi-circle shaped rails above the water. Now in its final position at the Neptune Bulk Terminals in North Vancouver, this shiploader is reshaping the landscape of the port.

Preparations involving all parties lasted two years but has now come to a successful completion.

Added 31 January 2021


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The 8,000-TEU MSC Beijing, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The 8,000-TEU MSC Beijing

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has joined with other shipping groups across the maritime chain for action to be taken to end the unprecedented crew change crisis caused by COVID-19.

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers (an estimated 450,000 +) are stuck at sea since crew changes were banned by many governments to help curb the spread of COVID-19. This has led to serious consequences for seafarers’ physical and mental well-being, as well as risking serious disruptions to global trade.

In order to accelerate action to solve the issue that has spiralled into a humanitarian crisis at sea, MSC has signed the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change. The declaration defines four main actions to facilitate crew changes and keep global supply chains functioning:

Recognise seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to COVID-19 vaccines
Establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice
Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes
Ensure air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers

“As we move in to the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and well-being of our seafarers is at the top of our minds. The urgent matter of facilitating seafarer repatriations and crew changes is a vital one that needs immediate attention,” said Soren Toft, CEO MSC.

Soren Toft, MSC Chief Executive Officer, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Soren Toft, MSC Chief Executive Officer

Toft said that on top of MSC’s efforts last year to bring the critical issue of crew changes to the attention of governments, “we believe it is more important than ever to appreciate the valuable contribution that seafarers bring to the global economy and to ensure that these people are recognised as key workers.

“Seafarers and shipping have kept the world moving amid COVID-19 lockdowns and it is imperative that governments give full support to alleviate the crewing crisis and keep trade flowing unhindered,” Toft said.

Toft said MSC’s crewing offices have been in close contact with seafarers and their families to provide support since the issue began. he said that in addition to working collectively through industry associations to improve the situation for the seafarers, MSC has also engaged directly with intergovernmental bodies and officials in certain countries to address specific situations and as a result some have agreed for allowing crew change in their countries and have approved a standard of protocols to be followed.

“MSC stands by its seafarers and continues to work hard to ensure they are given the support and good treatment that they deserve.”

Despite all these significant efforts by shipowners, international organisations and some governments, the situation is only getting worse as new travel bans are implemented. To seek a solution to this humanitarian crisis, it is crucial that national governments recognise seafarers as keyworkers, strict health protocols are followed onboard and onshore, and the air links between crew change hubs and major seafaring nations are restored.

To learn more about the Neptune Declaration and see the full list of undersigning companies and organisations CLICK HERE.

Added 31 January 2021


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Liberian Government speaks out strongly against Gulf of Guinea piracy


Turkish owned containership Mozart, which was attacked by pirates and one crewman killed and 15 others abducted. Here the ship is seen arriving on an earlier voyage in Durban. Picture Barend J van Rensburg / MarineTraffic, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Turkish owned containership Mozart, which was attacked by pirates and one crewman killed and 15 others abducted. Here the ship is seen arriving on an earlier voyage in Durban. Picture Barend J van Rensburg / MarineTraffic

The Liberian Government has strongly condemned the increasing incidents of piracy an abduction of seafarers taking place in the West Africa region, and is calling for urgent multilateral action to address what it calls a menace to the Gulf of Guinea.

This call for action, which was expressed through the Liberian Maritime Authority (LIMA), followed the pirate attack on the Turkish-owned container ship, Mozart, a week earlier, in which pirates escalated their activities with the use of explosives to breach the ships’ citadel. Following this one crew member was killed, another injured and 15 others were abducted.

Liberia is the second largest flag state, behind Panama.

Mozart was sailing between Lagos and Cape Town at the time and was about 100 miles from Sao Tome when four armed pirates boarded the ship.

Liberia’s Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, Lenn Eugene Nagbe said that as the flag state for the Mozart, Liberia had initiated an investigation into the latter, “pursuant to Article 94 of the United Nations Law of the Sea.”

Eugene Nagbe, Liberia's Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Eugene Nagbe, Liberia’s Commissioner of Maritime Affairs

He said Liberia looked forward to cooperating closely with the coastal and port states involved, as well as representatives from the governments of the seafarers.

It was revealed that the ship and its cargo, with just three crew remaining on board, has been safely moved to Gabon for further instructions. The vessel received damage to navigational systems before the pirates departed from the scene, which will require extensive repairs, according to the ship operator.

Commissioner Nagbe said that “it is now even more urgent for the industry to acknowledge that protocols and procedures will not prevent a piracy attack, papers cannot stop an RPG or an AK47, a merchant marine seafarer should not be left with no other option other than hide in the citadel counting minutes to get kidnapped. We need to come with a stronger approach to the problem which just keeps escalating.”

He called for practical and urgent solutions, saying that the problem of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is only worsening.

“As an African country and leading maritime state, we will work closely with our local allies to find a solution, we must take greater action to face this threat in a practical and efficient manner. The lives of the seafarers that trade within our waters and carry out our commerce depend on it.” source: New Dawn

Added 31 January 2021


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Bulk Carrier Rowayton Eagle which has been boarded earlier on Saturday, 30 January, by pirates 200 nm off Ghana. Picture courtesy Peter Ferrary / Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Bulk Carrier Rowayton Eagle which has been boarded earlier on Saturday, 30 January, by pirates 200 nm off Ghana. Picture courtesy Peter Ferrary / Shipspotting

Saturday, 30 January 2021:  Security intelligence company Dryad Global reports that another ship, the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier, ROWAYTON EAGLE (IMO:9575216), has been boarded 200 nautical miles off the coast of Accra, Ghana.

The 200-metre long bulker, operated by Eagle Bulk Shipping, acquired the vessel earlier in 2020 from Greenship Bulk Trust, the seventh of nine Crown Ultramax dry bulkers. Eagle Bulk Fleet operates with a fleet totalling 47 ships.

The boarding by pirates took place in position 02 55.0N 001 56.6E at 04h24 UTC on Saturday, 30 January 2021 and the situation on board remains unclear, although it is reported that all crew have mustered in the vessel’s citadel.

However, as was shown last week with the boarding of the Turkish container ship, MOZART, the pirates were able to breach the ships citadel using explosives. One seafarer was killed and 15 others abducted by the pirates, leaving a crew of just three on board. See that report HERE“>.

AIS tracking suggests that Rowayton Eagle had been stationary in that position since 27 January and is now underway. It is unclear why the vessel was stationary at the time, but  the vessel was en route from the Canary Islands bound for Lagos and was most likely awaiting clearance to proceed to the Nigerian port.

As Dryad Global reports in its analysis of this latest pirate attack is the 7th offshore incident this year (less than one month) and the third recorded offshore boarding. Total incidents throughout West Africa in 2020 showed a partial increase of 12% on those of 2019.

“Incidents involving failed approaches showed a significant increase within 2020 with 25 such incidents recorded against 10 in 2019. Unsuccessful attempts at boardings are likely to increase desperation, particularly with incidents deep offshore distant from shore lines,” Dryad says.

Added 30 January 2021


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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.

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