Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 6-7 November 2021

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The Monday masthead shows the Port of Cape Town
The Tuesday masthead shows the Port of East London West Bank
The Wednesday masthead shows the Port East London
The Thursday masthead shows the Port of Durban Container Terminal by night
The Friday masthead shows the Port of Tin Can island (Lagos)
The Saturday masthead shows the Port of Tema
The Sunday masthead shows the Port of Saldanha (futuristic)




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Picture by Keith Betts
Bahri Jazan appearing off the harbour entrance at Durban from what appears to be a southerly direction, as opposed to the more easterly direction that might be expected of a ship arriving from India.  That’s the end of the port’s South Pier above the Pedestrian sign.   Picture by Keith Betts
Picture by Keith Betts
Bahri Jazan is now beginning the short journey down the entrance channel to Durban harbour.  Picture by Keith Betts


Picture by Keith Betts
Having safely navigated the entrance channel, Bahri Jazan is entering  the harbour in Durban Bay, with the Bluff on her port side side providing shelter.   Picture by Keith Betts

We’re gradually accumulating a photographic record of all six of the ConRo ships owned by the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and managed for them by the Dubai-based shipmanagement company, Mideast Ship Management. The latest to appear in the Port of Durban at the recent weekend was BAHRI JAZAN (IMO 9620970), built in 2013 at the at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD).

She is the fourth of six ordered from this shipyard by Bahri in 2011 for a total value of around US$411 million, with specifications that included a loading bridge with a capacity of 250 tons and heavy lift cranes with a capacity of 240 tons enabling them to load different types of goods. A factor setting them apart from larger cousins includes more cargo lifting capability and having a saving of up to 45% in fuel consumption.

That’s not so say that Bahri Jazan and her five sister ships are small vessels. They have a length of 225 metres and a width of 32m and a gross tonnage of 50,714 gt. She arrived in Durban from Ennore in India, and prior to that Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), and Taicang in China. After a stay of 1 day and 14 hours, Bahri Jazan departed on Sunday, 31 October for Salvador in Brazil where she is due on 11 November 2021.

These Bahri ships appear to be operating to a monthly schedule. – trh

The above pictures are by KEITH BETTS

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Added 4 November 2021


Photographs of shipping and other maritime scenes involving any of the ports of South Africa or from the rest of the African continent, together with a short description, name of ship/s, ports etc are welome.





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DP World Maputo opens new trade opportunities for South African commodity importers

DP World's Maputo Container Terminal
DP World’s Maputo Container Terminal    Picture DP World

DP World Maputo, which has the concession to manage, develop, and operate the container terminal at the Port of Maputo, has introduced a new and unique supply chain solution that provides Southern African importers of fertiliser and similar commodities, an effective and reliable option of using the Maputo Corridor.

The new solution provides hinterland customers with an efficient and reliable trade route that promotes economic development in the region.

The Port of Maputo is already established as an important export gateway for various bulk mineral commodities, which are currently delivered from South Africa. This factor presents a unique opportunity for South African fertiliser importers to take advantage of the high trucking capacity that returns empty to South Africa.

Working with the Maputo Intermodal Container Depot (MICD), DP World Maputo has implemented a solution where transit import containers are unloaded at DP World Maputo’s container terminal, the cargo de-stuffed and cross docked into waiting tipper trucks at MICD. It is then moved in bond to South Africa, with final clearance done en route at Lebombo/Komatipoort, and moved directly to the customer’s door for final delivery.

“The successful implementation of this new transit import product highlights our commitment to providing the South African hinterland an efficient and reliable logistics gateway,” said DP World in a statement. “Through the ongoing investments in our Maputo Container Terminal, Komatipoort Dry Port, and MICD, DP World is actively promoting trade with its ability to provide dynamic end-to-end logistics solutions.”

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Added 4 November 2021


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WHARF TALK: in port for an emergency – KIRAN EUROPE

The supertug SA Amandla leads in her charge, the bulker Kiran Europe, to be assisted in port by three harbour tugs. Picture is by 'Dockrat'
The supertug SA Amandla leads her charge, the bulker Kiran Europe, into port at Cape Town with the assistance of one of three harbour tugs in attendance. As an interesting aside, all four tugs involved in these scenes, including the Z TUG SA Amandla in this picture, were built locally, at two shipyards in Durban.   Picture is by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

The Cape of Storms, or Cabo Tormentosa, has a reputation worthy of its descriptive name. The number of vessels that have come to grief off the Cape Coast, both West, South and East, is well known. That said, not all incidents are as a result of bad weather, with some due to simple mechanical failure, and some are as a result of some pretty horrific incidents concerning tankers, and the resulting threats of oil pollution along a world famous coastline.

The outcome of these incidents, was that it was decided a Salvage Tug should be placed on permanent stand-by at Cape Town, in readiness for any future incident. In the last three months, that very salvage tug, AMSOL’s SA AMANDLA, has been called out three times to go to the aid of vessels that have lost propulsion off the Cape coast, and required towage support to reach a port of refuge.

This was the scene as SA Amandla arrived off port with her tow, the bulker Kiran Europe. Three Cape Town harbour tugs are ready to assist. Picture by 'Dockrat'
This was the scene as SA Amandla arrived off port with her tow, the bulker Kiran Europe. Three Cape Town harbour tugs are ready to assist. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The third vessel to require this crucial assistance was the Supramax bulk carrier KIRAN EUROPE (IMO 9491197). In the last week of October, she was underway, and fully laden, on a voyage from Tianjin in China, to Aratu in Brazil. Whilst southeast of Plettenberg Bay, and heading for Cape Agulhas, she became disabled for reasons yet unknown.

Another view. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Another view. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Now adrift, and with no apparent immediate fix available to the onboard crew, SA Amandla was dispatched from Cape Town to take Kiran Europe in tow, and bring her back to Cape Town, for repairs to be carried out. The tow was at a speed of 5.5 knots, and they arrived off Cape Town on 1st November.

Picture by 'Dockrat'
Tug and tow.  Picture by ‘Dockrat’

However, inclement weather meant that the tow was held offshore, until weather conditions had improved. The next day, just after 10h00 on the morning of 2nd November, SA Amandla led her charge into Cape Town harbour. For manoeuvring within the port, SA Amandla was aided by three Cape Town Transnet harbour tugs, Umbilo, Usiba and Merlot.

SA Amandla in full frame. Picture by 'Dockrat'
SA Amandla in full frame. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

To hold Kiran Europe stable, Umbilo was connected astern, with the other two tugs connected on either side of the vessel. The whole collective proceeded to the Landing Wall in the Duncan Dock. Once alongside, work could begin to fix her problem and allow her to continue her voyage to Brazil.

The rescued bulk carrier, Kiran Europe. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The rescued bulk carrier, Kiran Europe, entering the safe waters of Cape Town harbour.. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2010 by Wujiazui Shipbuilding at Nanjing in China, Kiran Europe is 190 metres in length and has a deadweight of 56,666 tons. She is powered by a single STX MAN-B&W 6S50MC-C 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, providing 12,880 bhp (9,840 kW) to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14.2 knots.

SA Amandla can be proud of herself - how many times has this scene been repeated, of the tug arriving in port with a rescued vessel in tow? Picture by 'Dockrat'
SA Amandla can be proud of her achievements – how many times has this scene been repeated, of the tug arriving in port with a rescued vessel in tow? Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Daihatsu generators providing 750 kW each, and a Cummins emergency generator providing 100 kW. With five holds, served by four 35 ton hydraulic cranes, complete with 12m3 remote controlled grabs, Kiran Europe has a bulk cargo carrying capacity of 71,634 m3.

Kiran Europe and the harbour tug, Umbilo. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Kiran Europe and the harbour tug, Umbilo. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Nominally owned by Harvest Shipping of Valetta in Malta, Kiran Europe is operated and managed by Pasifik Gemi Isletmeciligi (Pacific Shipmanagement) of Istanbul. According to Clarksons research, Kiran Europe spent 73% of the first ten years of her service life (2010-2020) trading in the Indo-Pacific geographical region, and only 26 per cent trading in the Atlantic geographical region.

The accommodation section of the bulker Kiran Europe. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The accommodation section of the bulker Kiran Europe. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

One of two sisterships built for the same company, Kiran Europe is one of the ubiquitous SDARI Dolphin 57 class of bulk carrier. Designed by the Shanghai Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI), the first of the Dolphin class was built in 2005. There are now more than 400 in service around the world, with all of the class having been built at numerous government owned shipyards around China.

The bulk carrier Kiran Europe. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The bulk carrier Kiran Europe. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Aratu, her original destination port is located in the Brazilian state of Bahia, and is located 11 miles north of the city of Salvador. It was first constructed in 1971, to specialise in solid bulk and liquid bulk cargoes. Its major solid bulk imports include copper concentrate, caustic soda, sulphur, phosphatic rock, fertiliser and coal.

Table Mountain overlooking the successful end to another coastal drama. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Table Mountain overlooking the successful conclusion of another coastal drama. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Tianjin, her original port of departure, is located in Northern China and is considered to be the maritime gateway to Beijing, which lies 105 miles to the Northwest of the port. It is the largest man-made port in China, and is considered to be the fourth largest port in the world in terms of cargo throughput, and the ninth busiest in the world in terms of container traffic movements. Its major solid bulk exports include pig iron, coke, ores, minerals, agri-products, and coal.

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Added 4 November 2021


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Hospital ship Global Mercy: Mercy Ships looks to Nor-Shipping 2022 to boost support

Global Mercy – the world’s largest NGO hospital ship due to carry out a mission to Senegal early in 2022. Here she is while still under construction. Picture: Mercy Ships
Global Mercy – the world’s largest NGO hospital ship due to carry out a mission to Senegal early in 2022. Here she is while still under construction. Picture: Mercy Ships

Campaigning medical charity Mercy Ships is looking to Nor-Shipping 2022, taking place from 10 to 13 January next year, to build support ahead of the commissioning of Global Mercy™, the world’s largest NGO hospital ship.

This was reported on 4 November and it is understood that the organisation has secured a place as Nor-Shipping’s official Charity of Choice and will use the part of the conference and exhibition space set apart as ‘Your Arena for Ocean Solutions’ devoted to the recruitment of industry sponsors, to raise much-needed funds and to drive awareness of its crucial mission.

Mercy Ships on a mission to help those in need
Mercy Ships on a mission to help those in need

With the 174-metre loa 37,000 gt addition to its fleet, Mercy Ships faces a challenge to recruit marine crew where the ship will more than double the charity’s requirement for volunteers and generate continuing operational funds.

Sustainable care; mission to Senegal

Roger Vassnes, National Director, Mercy Ships Norway, believes Nor-Shipping is a perfect arena to connect with potential supporters. He commented: “This is where the maritime and ocean industries gather. For four days Oslo and Lillestrøm will be the hub for industry leaders – alive with opportunity, full of energy, and the ideal platform for Mercy Ships to build its network and engage with people that can help us help others.

“With the Global Mercy set to begin its mission in Senegal in spring next year, the timing of Nor-Shipping – and its focus on taking positive #ACTION within the ocean space – couldn’t be better.

“With the help of Nor-Shipping and its audience we can optimise our impact, helping the poorest communities in Africa gain access to first class care, while also training local medical personnel to permanently improve conditions. This is a long-term, sustainable and critically important undertaking… and we need all the support we can get to carry on changing lives and delivering opportunities.

Since launching in 1978, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 countries, providing services valued at US$ 1.7 billion, and directly benefitting almost three million people. The charity originally partnered with Nor-Shipping’s summer 2019 outing, which attracted some 50,000 participants from across the globe.

For 2022, the first ever winter Nor-Shipping, Mercy Ships will connect with visitors through an exhibition stand and with a seminar focused on the plans for its new vessel.

Unique opportunity

Per Martin Tanggaard, Nor-Shipping Director External Relations added: “I cannot think of a more worthy cause to support. Mercy Ships offers people that have no, or extremely limited, access to medical amenities state-of-the-art facilities, expert care and, in many cases, the chance of a new life. The addition of the Global Mercy is a huge boon for the organisation, but it also creates a new set of demands. That is why they need our help now more than ever.

“Nor-Shipping is a networking paradise for maritime and ocean stakeholders, so this is a great opportunity for the charity to come face-to-face with the decision makers that can make a difference. This is the epitome of taking positive business #ACTION and I hope Mercy Ships can really capitalise on this unique gathering. I’d encourage everyone to offer whatever support they can.”

Ongoing impact

Mercy Ships is funded entirely by charitable donors and volunteers. As well as providing hospital ships and training to local people, the charity also renovates medical facilities to ensure ongoing benefits for communities. Mercy Ships concentrates on the sub-Sahara region of Africa, where over 93% of the population have no access to safe and timely surgical procedures.

Nor-Shipping in 2019, bringing the world of ocean business together
Nor-Shipping in 2019, bringing the world of ocean business together

About Nor-Shipping 2022

Nor-Shipping 2022 will feature six themed exhibition halls across a total of 22,500 m2 of space at the Norges Varemesse facility in Lillestrøm, Norway.

Almost 900 exhibiting companies are expected, from around 50 countries. A range of knowledge sharing and networking activities – including the high-profile Ocean Leadership Conference – will take place across the week, with the After Work at Aker Brygge social scene centring on one of Oslo’s most celebrated city centre locations.

For more information: Nor-Shipping and Mercy Ships

For further details of the Nor-Shipping activity programme readers are invited to see here:

To find out more about Mercy Ships please see here:

Reported by Paul Ridgway

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Added 4 November 2021


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Ghana’s proposed Keta port is “not dead” says D-G

The proposed port of Keta near the town of Kedzi in the Keta municipality of Ghana is again becoming an issue, with Director-General of the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA), Michael Luguje, making a case in its favour but cautioning patience.

Ghana has two sea ports, Tema and Takoradi of which the latter caters more for bulk and breakbulk commodities (although there are proposals to create a container terminal facility), while Tema handles containers and breakbulk in general.

The initial idea for a port named Keta came via Diamond Cement Ghana Limited which saw the need for a jetty that could be used for the shipping of its raw materials and products.

Opponents of the Keta idea say there is no need for another port and that Keta would never be cost effective.

Not so, says Mr Luguje, who suggests that the Port of Keta would indeed be economically viable, due to the commercial dynamics in the maritime trade.

Expressing his views to a delegation of stakeholders from the Keta township and region, who visited the GPHA to acquaint themselves with the Keta Port project, Luguje said the project was not dead.

“Trade is not conservative,” he told the delegation. “Trade is always looking for access, facilitation, competitiveness, and convenience.

“That is why at the everyday market, you will find many stalls selling the same product and being successful despite being next to each other. In that same way, a shipping line investing its own resources in a port, like Lomé for example, is still interested in investing in other neighbouring ports.

“This means they have worked out the economics and realised that concentrating in just one port would not be the best economically. They would rather be present in each port. Because each country has its special advantage.”

Aerial view of the Keta revetment
Aerial view of the Keta revetment

Luguje said that Ghana’s economy is much bigger than Togo, “so if a shipping line is present in Lomé, they’d probably be looking at cargoes not only coming to Lomé, but to other regions. “But for Ghana, you would have the opportunity of having way more cargoes bound for Ghana in addition to ones bound for other countries. From the economic point of view, there are a lot of positives that prove Keta is viable.”

The D-G also explained the events surrounding the initial proposal that Diamond Cement presented for the development of a port facility in Keta.

“Diamond wanted to get a jetty in Keta with a deeper berth to accommodate bigger vessels than what they use in Lomé and even cart the clinker by road to the factory, it would be more profitable. That is why despite their investment in rail, they were prepared to come and invest in Keta.”

However, he said, GPHA could not have given Diamond Cement the right to operate and own a private port, per the laws of Ghana, hence that deal was not able to go through as initially envisaged by the company.

“They thought with the level in investment they were going to make, they had to own the port as a private facility.

“We told them that they can invest in the port, and based on the size of their investment, we could give a longer concession term that would give them all the protection they need. That delayed the MOU we signed with them.

Explaining that the idea is not dead, Luguje said that during the feasibility studies, Diamond had been engaged extensively to let them know that government would invest in the fundamental port works, and the Keta Port Master Plan could accommodate a Diamond Cement Terminal, “so it is not dead”, he emphasised.

The Director in Charge of the Keta Port Project, Dr Alexander Yaw Adusei said the port project remained of utmost priority to the GPHA, but asked interest parties to exercise patience as such a mega project required calculated processes to be successfully executed.

“The major part of a port project is planning. At this point we are willing to listen to all suggestions that can help make the project a success for the people of Keta and the Volta and Oti regions. So, we need to unite as a family to get this project done. This is the closest we have come to realising this project,” he said.

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Added 4 November 2021


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Hidden Debts scandal: viability study was “unrealistic”, says witness – AIM report

Mozambique’s ‘State Capture’ commission, by way of a criminal trial taking place in a Maputo prison, and dubbed the ‘Hidden Debts’ trial for fairly obvious reasons, is continuing. The reason why the Maputo prison is being used is on account of the large number of accused, as well as the large number of journalists and others wanting to observe the emerging developments.

The following appeared this week in Mozambique’s AIM.

The viability study for the Mozambique Tuna Company (Ematum), one of the three fraudulent companies at the heart of the “hidden debts” scandal was “unrealistic”, a former Ematum director, Henrique Gamito, told the Maputo City Court on Tuesday.

Gamito had once been the adviser on defence and security matters to former Finance Minister Manuel Chang, who sent him to Ematum as the company was being set up, in 2013. Technically, we was appointed to the Ematum board by the majority shareholder, IGEPE (Institute for the Management of State Holdings), but in reality Chang put him there, Chang told him that the real owner of Ematum was the Mozambican Security and Intelligence Service (SISE).

Between August 2013 and January 2016, he was an executive and then a non-executive director of Ematum. He knew nothing about the company before Chang sent him there, and had no say in the viability study.

It was the chairperson of the board, Antonio Carlos do Rosario, former head of economic intelligence in SISE, who gave him the study. Gamito found it was written in English, a language he did not master, and he never knew who had written it.

It soon became clear that the study had little to do with the realities of fishing for tuna in the Mozambique Channel. The tuna prices mentioned were inflated, and the tuna that abounds in Mozambican waters is of lower quality than that mentioned in the study. Furthermore the processing facilities did not meet internationally required standards – although Gamito did not know whether this had improved after he left the company in January 2016.

The Ematum fishing boats, produced [in France on behalf of] by the Abu Dhabi based group, Privinvest, arrived late, and “they had operational defects which had to be corrected”, said Gamito. The crews for the vessels were only trained after the boats had arrived.

Ematum was always in financial difficulties. An audit by the company Ernst & Young, in 2014, reported losses of over 1.1 billion meticais (17.2 million dollars at today’s exchange rates, but much more at the 2014 rates). The auditors said the situation was only likely to worsen in later years.

Gamito insisted that, in addition to fishing, Ematum had a hidden security component. Chang had told him, he said, that the purpose of setting up Ematum was to raise money by selling tuna which would then be ploughed into the defence and security forces. This could not be admitted publicly, however, for fear of scaring off the banks from whom Ematum hoped to obtain loans.

When prosecutor Sheila Marrengula asked if there was any evidence for this security component, Gamito replied that many of the Ematum staff had formerly been SISE agents. But the public deed announcing the creation of Ematum gave considerable detail about the purposes of the company, none of which had anything to do with defence or security. Asked if there were any practical examples of Ematum security activity, Gamito could not reply.

He did, however, claim that, of the 850 million dollars which the bank Credit Suisse had lent to Ematum, 500 million was spent on defence equipment. This equipment was in addition to the boats and other assets that Privinvest had sent.

Gamito declined to give any details about this. The Defence Ministry has always denied receiving any military equipment paid for by the Ematum loan, and it seems impossible that Credit Suisse would knowingly have allowed the greater part of its loan to be diverted to the Mozambican military.

All the loan money was sent, not directly to the Mozambican companies, but to Privinvest – and Privinvest insists (apparently truthfully) that it does not supply military equipment. So how was the 500 million dollars channelled to whoever was supposedly supplying military gear? Since no credible answer has been forthcoming to such questions, perhaps the money never left Privinvest accounts.

How did Gamito know about the 500 million dollars? “It was mentioned in our meetings at Ematum,” he replied.

Gamito signed the supply contract with Privinvest – but his signature was a mere formality. He told the court that in reality everything was handled by Rosario.

During his lengthy testimony in October, Rosario had claimed that all the assets ordered from Privinvest had arrived, but Gamito could not confirm this. In particular, he knew nothing about the Onshore Coordination Centre promised by Privinvest, and at no time did he attempt to see whether this Coordination Centre was operational. source: AIM

Follow the ‘Hidden Debts’ trial here in AIM

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Added 4 November 2021


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Final drilling of Rovuma Basin Area 4 taking place ahead of FLNG arrival

image of FLNG Coral South as she may look when on site off the northern Mozambique coast in Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin
Image of FLNG Coral Sud as she may look when on site off the northern Mozambique coast in Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin  Eni

Final drilling of the last of six wells in Mozambique’s Area 4 block of the Rovuma Basin is taking place ahead of the arrival of Eni’s Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Platform (FLNG), Coral Sud (South). The drilling is expected to be completed within one week.

Construction of the FLNG in South Korea is also expected to be completed next week, following which Coral Sud will be towed to Cabo Delgado province in time to commence production next June.

See the YouTube video below on this topic – note this is in the Portuguese language and lasts 4 minutes 38 seconds.

Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Max Tonela, visited the offshore drilling site recently, together with several senior managers of the National Company of Hydrocarbons.

In 2016, the Italian oil major Eni and its Area 4 partners signed an agreement with BP to take the entire volume of LNG to be produced by Coral Sud for a period of 20 years.

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Added 4 November 2021


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Botswana commences iron ore shipments to China

A Botswana Railways goods train in action. The export of iron ore from this country also means additional business for the national railway. Picture: Botswana Railways
A Botswana Railways freight train in action. The export of iron ore from this southern African country also means additional business for the national railway.    Picture: Botswana Railways

Botswana has become an exporter of iron ore following the first 50,000 tons of ore which was shipped to China in September.

The ore was produced at the Vision Ridge Investments mine near the village of Ikongwe in central Botswana, from which the mine takes its name.

Vision Ridge Investments is a unit of India’s Yashomann Industries, which received its mining licence in April this year.

Botswana is better known for the export of diamonds, which provides the country with more than 70 per cent of its foreign currency revenues. The Ikongwe mine alone could help change that perception as it expects to produce one million tons of iron ore annually.

Vision Ridge director Chetan Patil, one of three Patil partners in Yashomann Industries, said they had an order for 50,000 tons of the iron ore per month from a state-owned steel manufacturing company in China.

The mine has an initial 10-year lifespan, with a grade of up to 65 per cent.

The new mine, said to be the first in the country, has commenced operations at a time when metals and ore prices are at a peak. The mine has the potential of providing a big boost to Botswana’s economy as well as influencing its foreign exchange.

The mine could also be beneficial in establishing a pig iron plant in Botswana and assisting with a revival of Botswana’s steel industry at Selebi Phikwe.

The first shipment of 50,000 tons went off as containerised cargo via South Africa. Vision Ridge is reported as being in negotiations with Botswana Railways about bulk shipments via the port of Maputo in Mozambique.

Interestingly, as Botswana becomes an exporter of iron ore, and as reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS – SEE HERE -, the country recently became the latest member (175th) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

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Added 3 November 2021


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Decarbonisation of shipping: World Shipping Council calls on the EU to step forward

Inclusion of shipping in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) will encourage shipping’s journey towards decarbonisation, but EU action threatens to undermine broader international progress if the ETS extends outside of the EU, says the World Shipping Council (WSC).

WSC member companies represent over 90% of global liner shipping industry container and roll-on roll-off carriers.

“The EU can lead global climate action, but it can’t succeed alone. Advancing fuel-technology pathways in global shipping requires the shared commitment and cooperation of industry, governments and international regulators. Through the ETS, the EU has a unique opportunity to strengthen, motivate and complement global policy for reducing greenhouse gas emission in international shipping,” says John Butler, President & CEO.

In its statement, WSC said it supports inclusion of the maritime sector in the EC’s proposed regional market-based approach, including both vessel owners and operators as responsible entities.

The liner shipping body said that as detailed in the WSC EU ETS position paper, this design can reduce regional shipping greenhouse gas emissions by about 42% and accelerate emission reductions among non-maritime sectors as well.

WSC banner

However, an intra-EU scope rather than the extra-regional one proposed by the Commission, would increase the EU’s influence on the global stage. It would provide a decisive EU example about the need to introduce a carbon price for shipping without complicating that pathway for others by overlapping with their trade. An intra-EU scope would:

* Strengthen economic incentives for climate action and minimise the potential for carbon leakages that would undermine EU Green Deal goals.
* Position the EU as frontrunners with the ability to drive global policy through the IMO to reduce shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions internationally.
* Enhance Member State competitiveness internationally.
* Maintain coherence with the necessary supply side requirements for production and distribution of low-carbon marine fuels proposed in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFIR).

“If the EU goes ahead with an ETS that reaches outside its borders, it runs a serious risk of alienating non-EU countries and making it more difficult to establish global market-based measures at the IMO. Why not instead take this opportunity to both achieve the Green Deal goals and drive faster international progress through strong European leadership?” asks John Butler.

Liner shipping is committed to working with the EU Institutions to achieve the Green Deal’s goals through good policy that will help achieve industry GHG reduction targets and move as fast as possible to zero emissions from international shipping.

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Added 3 November 2021


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WHARF TALK: petrol from Amsterdam – AZURITE

The LR1 Panamax tanker Azurite manoeuvres in Cape Town harbour in order to be posittioned on her berth at the port's tanker basin. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The LR1 Panamax tanker Azurite manoeuvres in Cape Town harbour in order to be posittioned on her berth at the port’s tanker basin. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

The steady stream of product tankers that are arriving daily in South African ports to ensure that fuel is available to keep the country moving, normally arrive with a mix of essential products in their cargo tanks. Rarely does a tanker arrive carrying a single cargo of fuel.

On 30th October at 14h00, the LR1 Panamax tanker AZURITE (IMO 9327011) arrived off Cape Town from Amsterdam and, after holding off the port for less than two hours, entered Cape Town harbour and berthed at the long tanker berth in the Duncan Dock, where she started her offload of a cargo of 51,000 tons (70.29 million litres) of unleaded petrol.

Here the ship is in the tanker basin and about to go alongside. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Here the ship is in the tanker basin and about to go alongside. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2008 by New Century Shipbuilding at Jingjiang in China, Azurite is 229 metres in length and has a deadweight of 73,948 tons. She is powered by a single HHI MAN-B&W 5S60MC-C 5 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, producing 13,831 bhp (11,300 kW) to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots.

Almost there, with the friendly assistance of one of the port tugs, Usiba. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Here the tanker is being lined up to go alongside the tanker berth.  Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Taiyo FE553B-10 generators providing 900 kW each. She has a single Alfa Laval Aalborg Mission OM exhaust gas boiler, and two Alfa Laval Aalborg Mission OL oil fired boilers. She has 14 cargo tanks, and a cargo carrying capacity of 81,517 m3.

Owned by Black Pearl Shipping of Valetta in Malta, Azurite is operated by Hanseatic Chartering Ltd. of Limassol in Cyprus, and managed by the UK office of Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement GmbH of North Shields, which is located close to Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Almost there, with the friendly assistance of one of the port tugs, Usiba. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Almost there, with the friendly assistance of one of the port tugs, Usiba. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

In May 2019, Azurite was en-route from Antwerp to Lagos, and sailing in the westbound lane of the English Channel Traffic Separation Scheme, when she experienced an engine malfunction. With the co-operation of the UK Coastguard Service, who manage the traffic scheme, she arranged to come to a stop in an agreed safe area. After engine repairs were affected by the ship’s engineers, she resumed her voyage to West Africa.

The view of Azurite's accommodation block. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The view of Azurite’s accommodation block. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Later that year, in December 2019, Azurite was again under way from Antwerp, bound for Lagos, and proceeding down the Wester Scheldt River towards the open sea, when she suffered an engine failure. As she lost way, she overran one of the channel buoys and was in imminent danger of running aground. Five Multratug harbour tugs were quickly on scene (Multratug 1, 9, 13, 17 and 19) and secured Azurite.

Azurite on the larger of the Cape Town tanker berths. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She was then towed down river to the Terneuzen Port Roadstead, where she anchored to effect repairs to her engine. Whilst at anchor, three of the Multratug tugs remained with her, until her engine was repaired. On sailing, she was accompanied by two of the Multratug tugs as far as Flushing (Vlissingen) Roads, where she entered the North Sea, and recommenced her voyage back to West Africa.

She has undergone twenty Port State Inspections in her career to date, with one ending up with a detention order set against her. In September 2009, Azurite was detained in Murmansk, in Russia, with seven deficiencies. Her detention was under the auspices of the Paris MoU, and included a missing Vessel Data Recorder (VDR), plus missing and out of date nautical publications. She was released after two days to continue her voyage.

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Fishing for solutions – the climate catastrophe: the time for action is now

Powerful new short film highlights stark impact of climate change on seafood and the fishing industry

With COP26 in full swing, hear voices from across the globe call for international action to protect precious marine resources

A powerful new documentary released by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) highlights the stark reality of the impact of climate change on the fishing industry, and the previously under recognised role of sustainable seafood in climate policy.

Fishing for solutions – the climate catastrophe: the time for action is now‘, is a Farelight Productions creation, commissioned by the MSC – the not-for-profit responsible for the world’s largest sustainable seafood certification programme.

As well as providing first-hand accounts of the impact of climate change on fishers across the globe, the film contains a powerful rallying call to policy makers to tackle the causes of climate change, and agree adaptive, resilient solutions for managing shared fishery resources in the face of profound climate driven shifts in ocean ecosystems.

Fish accounts for about 17 percent of animal protein consumed by the global population and provides employment for almost 60 million people. Concerningly, hazards presented by climate change pose a major challenge to the businesses, economies and communities that rely on fishing as a source of income and nutrition.

Sustainable fishing has the potential to make fishing operations more resilient to climate change.

Many of the key components of sustainable fisheries management also set fisheries up to be more

adaptable to change. They also have the potential to help reduce carbon emissions by increasing the efficiency with which fish are caught. Although individual fisheries have an important role to play in implementing sustainable practices, international cooperation is vital to ensure shared stocks are managed in way that ensures their long-term sustainability.

“Climate change is here, it’s real, and it’s impacting our oceans and marine life,”  said Dr Rohan Currey, Chief Science & Standards Officer at the Marine Stewardship Council. “The way that we manage fisheries has for so long assumed that the world is static, that’s no longer the case. The world is changing. We can’t keep doing what we have been doing before if we want to ensure there are oceans teaming with life for future generations.

“Sustainable management of fisheries is part of the solution, however it isn’t enough on its own. Fish don’t follow national boundaries and therefore international cooperation is required. Governments urgently need to set-aside short term self-interest and agree resilient, adaptive management solutions which safeguard our fish stocks and those who rely on them. The time for talking is over, the time for action is now.”

Artemio Rodriguez Ornela, Sea Urchin Fisher in Mexico speaks in the film about how increased water temperature has impacted the health and density of the sea urchin stock in his fishery. He adds – “If climate change were to end the sea urchin fishery, it would be a catastrophe. Governments need to listen to and analyse different positions so that management plans and official regulations are realistic and are not fixed, so they can be modified in the face of new findings.”

David Carter, CEO of Austral fisheries, the first seafood business in the world to be certified as Carbon Neutral, says in the film: “For fishers, climate change is something we live with practically daily. We are seeing first-hand the changes that are taking place in our oceans. It’s just impossible for us just to be watching this and not want to do something about it. We choose to offset all of our emissions through nature-based solutions, but the real game needs to be around reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, and findings ways to use other than crushed up dinosaurs to run our boats.”

The YouTube video ‘Fishing for solutions – the climate catastrophe: the time for action is now‘ [16:22]. It may be found on the YouTube website under : ‘Fishing for Solutions – the Climate Catastrophe: The Time for Action is Now’

…. or watch below:

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IMO at COP 26: Updates on work to cut GHG emissions from shipping

Picture: IMO ©
Picture: IMO ©

IMO reported on 2 November its latest progress and achievements in addressing GHG emissions from international shipping at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26), in Glasgow currently running to 12 November.

We learnt from the excellent IMO news service that in a statement to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 52-55), the IMO Secretariat highlighted recent developments. These included the adoption in June this year, following a comprehensive assessment of its possible impacts on States, of mandatory short-term measures to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030.

It is understood that this important achievement will be implemented from 2023 and will drive further energy efficiency improvements in the global fleet, which is also expected to reduce GHG emissions from shipping.

In accordance with a Work Plan approved in June 2021 by its Member States, IMO has started to consider concrete proposals for mid- and long-term GHG reduction measures, including potential market-based measures, which will further reduce GHG emissions from shipping. Subsequently consideration will be given to further progress work on impact assessments.

IMO adopted the first global mandatory energy efficiency requirements for an entire sector in 2011.

Since then, IMO Member States have continuously intensified their efforts to address GHG emissions from the maritime sector through the development of a consistent regulatory framework which applies to ships engaged in international trade.

In 2018, the IMO adopted its Initial Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships to enhance IMO’s contribution to global efforts. The Initial Strategy, which is due to be revised by 2023, sets out a vision and ambitions for the maritime sector in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

At IMO the Secretariat also highlighted a range of range of projects, partnerships and initiatives on which the Organization is working, to enable a just and smooth transition towards zero carbon shipping, emphasising the continuing work to ensure no one is left behind in shipping’s decarbonisation passage.

COP 26 Side events

It was reported that IMO will participate in a number of side events during COP 26 to promote its work. SEE SCHEDULE HERE

The Department of Projects and Partnerships will showcase its engagements with stakeholders from the maritime, port, financial and energy sectors to support developing countries, particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

An IMO-hosted event on ‘IMO’s commitment to decarbonise shipping through concerted international action’ will be held on 9 November from 17h00 at the Riverside Campus, City of Glasgow College.

Additional resources

The full statement to SBSTA readers is available HERE.

To learn more on IMO’s work to cut GHG emissions readers are invited to CLICK HERE

Reported by Paul Ridgway

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Port Sudan port temporarily reopened

The High Beja Council tribal authority on Monday caused the blockade around Port Sudan – Sudan’s principal port, to be reopened after weeks of closure.

The head of the Supreme Council of the Beja Tribes, Al-Nazir Muhammad Al-Amin Turk, the move was in appreciation of the exceptional circumstances the country is going through.

Turk said that the protesters are still sticking to their demands, including their protest against the government’s marginalisation of eastern Sudan.

The official Sudanese TV confirmed the news, saying, “The Chairman of the Supreme Council for Beja Opticals and Independent Verticals, Muhammad Al-Amin [Turk], announced the removal of all barriers placed on main roads and port entrances in the eastern Sudan region in honour of the Sudanese people and in support of the decisions of the Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Abdul Al-Fattah Al-Burhan.”

It appears the move may be of a temporary nature after six weeks of unrest in which the roads leading into Port Sudan were blocked, followed by the port gates being locked and ships turned away.

During this period the Sudanese military staged a coup, taking effective control of the country.

Opponents of the military takeover accuse the army of engineering the port closure to place pressure on civilian leaders, leading towards the take-over by the military. The army has denied this.

The High Beja Council has indicated the port will remain open for a period of one month.

As a result of the blockade, the country’s already damaged economy has been all but paralyzed, denying the people of basic commodities including wheat and fuel which are now in short supply.

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WHARF TALK: container ship – MSC ARICA

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

An unusual view of MSC Arica arriving in port at Cape Town. Picture is by 'Dockrat'
An unusual view of MSC Arica arriving in port at Cape Town. Picture is by ‘Dockrat’

Another day, another container ship, and another stranger in town. A second container ship, in as many days, has made a ‘one-off’ visit to Cape Town, but instead of being used to transfer thousands of empty containers to China, where they are in dreadful short supply, this one is transferring from one company service, to another.

However, the two services in question are on opposite sides of the world, and rather than a costly empty positioning voyage, she is being fully utilised by the charterer, by operating her on a ‘one-off’ commercial positioning voyage using an existing third service, to carry containers and, thus, reduce costs of switching between the two.

On 26th October at 09h00 the Neo Panamax container ship MSC ARICA (IMO 9619452) arrived off Cape Town from Las Palmas, operating on the MSC North West Continent to South Africa (NWC-SA) scheduled service. She entered Cape Town harbour and went to berth 601 in the Ben Schoeman Dock to begin cargo work at the Cape Town Container Terminal.

MSC Arica. Picture by 'Dockrat'
MSC Arica. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Unusually, it turns out that MSC Arica is not a regular on MSC’s NWC-SA service, and this was a southbound rotation only, with no return northbound rotation scheduled by MSC. The start of the southbound voyage for MSC Arica started at Thamesport in late September. However, her arrival there was from Pecem, in Brazil.

Pecem is a port on the MSC North West Continent to South America East Coast (NWC-SAEC) rotation, where SAEC is not to be confused with Maersk Lines’ South Africa Europe Container Service (SAECS). Pecem is a seasonal port rotation on the NWC-SAEC service, and acts as a kind of reverse of the port rotation of Philadelphia, which is on the Maersk Line AMEX service to the USA East Coast.

Just as Philadelphia is added only for a six month period to the AMEX rotation, purely for the purposes of tying up with the South African Citrus Fruit export season to the USA and Canada, so Pecem is added to the NWC-SAEC port rotation for six months only, purely for the purposes of ensuring that the seasonal requirements, for the export of Brazil’s soft fruit crops, to Europe are met.

MSC Arica. Picture by 'Dockrat'
MSC Arica. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The European ports for the NWC-SAEC rotation are identical to that of the NWC-SA rotation, with the addition of Hamburg on the South American route, and so it was a simple matter of dovetailing the two services during the turnaround of MSC Arica in Europe, including an 18 hour Hamburg call, to enable her to discharge her South American containers.

Built in 2012 by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, at Mokpo in South Korea, MSC Arica is 299 metres in length, and she has a deadweight of 112,516 tons. She is powered by a single HHI MAN-B&W 9S90ME-C8.2 9 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, producing an impressive 64,443 bhp (47,430 kW), to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 22 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes four generators providing 900 kW each, and an emergency generator providing 300 kW. She has a single Kangrim auxiliary water tube, oil fired boiler, and a single Kangrim EGE economiser, exhaust gas boiler. Her container carrying capacity is 8,886 TEU, for which 1,000 reefer plugs are provided.

Originally built as ‘Jacob Schulte’, she is owned by Bernhard Schulte GmbH of Hamburg, managed by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement GmbH, also of Hamburg, and operated by MSC Shipmanagement, of Limassol in Cyprus.

MSC Arica. Picture by 'Dockrat'
MSC Arica. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

One of three sisterships, all of whom were chartered straight from shipyard delivery by MSC, MSC Arica has now sailed from Cape Town to Ngqura and from there to Durban, where her NWC-SA voyage will terminate. She will then switch to the MSC India-Gulf-West Africa service (INGWE). Although the service description of INGWE is a misnomer, as the port rotation turnaround is at Durban and the service goes no further west than Ngqura in South Africa.

The service was launched by MSC in 2017, as a weekly service, using nine vessels with a container carrying capacity of 9,000 TEU or more. The INGWE port rotation from Durban is Durban – Ngqura – Salalah (Oman) – Jebel Ali (UAE) – Port Qasim (Pakistan) – Mundra – Hazira – Nhava Sheva (all India) – Colombo (Sri Lanka) – Ningbo – Shanghai – Shekou (all China) – Singapore – Colombo – Port Louis (Mauritius) – Durban.

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First new SMH H10 diesel locomotive for Tanzania Railways Corporation handed over

The first H10 locomotive ready to be shipped to Dar es Salaam. Picture: SMH
The first H10 locomotive ready to be shipped to Dar es Salaam. Picture: SMH

The first Malaysian-built diesel-electric locomotive, SMH’s H10 series, has been handed over to Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) to be deployed on the metre gauge railway network in the East African country.

The loco, one of three in the initial order, has been specially designed for African conditions and for use by African operators by the Malaysian manufacturer.

The first loco was unveiled at a virtual ceremony on 20 August, when SMH Rail Chairman & Managing Director PK Nara explained that the H10 Series was designed to haul long-distance heavy freight trains. Designed to be ‘practical’ incorporating ‘innovative engineering and technology’ to ensure high reliability and availability across challenging terrain and weather, the new loco series will enable TZR to increase its haulage capacity and reduce maintenance requirements.

This, he said, would lower the life-cycle costs of environmentally-friendly rail transport and would be instrumental in helping attract traffic from the roads.

“We are proud to handover the first batch of the ‘H10 Series’ locomotives to our partner, Tanzania Railways Corporation and are confident that these locomotives will bring positive enhancements to the African Rail cargo industry,” said PK Nara.

“SMH Rail is fully appreciative to EXIM Bank of Malaysia for its relentless support in financing the project despite the challenging pandemic conditions,” he added. It is understood the World Bank was also involved with the financing.

“SMH Rail shares this achievement with everyone involved in this project especially our partners and local SMEs for their immense efforts towards the successful completion and delivery of these locomotives. I believe as we move forward with concerted efforts, we will not only be able to boost the Malaysian-African relations but further drive economic empowerment through export.”

The H10 series is said to be a ‘green ‘loco design that will reduce carbon emissions by up to 75 percent, and would be four times more fuel-efficient than road freight transport on average.

According to PK Nara, the future of rail, driven by innovation in engineering and technology will enable the railways achieve safety milestones whilst maintaining a competitive edge in today’s fast paced global economy to be amongst the most energy efficient modes of transport for freight and passengers.

YouTube video [2:05] of the first H10 loco for Tanzania being tested on short section of metre-gauge rail.

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Maersk expands logistics network with acquisition of Senator International

Star Air Cargo, a division of Maersk

Maersk CEO Søren Skou confirmed today (Tuesday 2 November) that Maersk was was expanding its multi-logistics offering by way of the acquisition of Senator International Freight Forwarding Group, a German company strong in air freight.

Skou added the ordering of additional aircraft, the building on existing Air Freight capabilities, and increasing more flexibility to customers’ supply chains.

“Given the significant progress of our transformation into a logistics integrator and the continued commitment to shareholder returns, the Board of Directors has decided to extend the current share buy-back programme by an additional US$ 5 billion over the years 2024 and 2025,” he said.

The announcement comes at a time when the Clearing & Forwarding sector has become concerned at shipping companies extending their activities for the same market share in which C&F companies operate. Maersk’s takeover of Senator International won’t help in alleviating this concern.

Maersk said that it was constantly working towards creating opportunities to bring further ease, flexibility and speed into its customers’ logistics network.

“We at Maersk deeply value your partnership and engagement with us, and we continue to look for ways to enhance the resilience and agility of your supply chain,” the statement said.

It went on that Maersk was increasingly seeing the knock-on effects of the pandemic in the world of logistics with widespread port congestion and production issues. “Other factors, such as the Suez channel blocking and the current limitations on inland haulage options, further underlines the need for resilience and agility in logistics and supply chains.

“Coupled with increasing consumer demand, we have received more and more requests from customers for alternative means of cargo transportation. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that we have acquired Senator International Freight Forwarding Group, a Hamburg-based global freight forwarder.

“Senator is a noted industry partner, by both customers and carriers, and brings with it a solid network of own controlled flights, intercontinental rail, warehousing, distribution and packaging across the Americas, Asia, Europe and South Africa.”

Maersk said that as a recognised player in the logistics industry, Senator will add their broad expertise to Maersk’s existing widespread logistical network.

“Senator’s services and controlled capacity will provide customers increased flexibility to shape their supply chain, allowing them to build robustness through streamlined solutions, as well as allowing customers to be even more adaptive to fluctuating market trends and lack of predictability by utilising rail, shipping and air freight with ease when designing their supply chain.”

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022.

“In addition to Senator’s strong air freight offering, we are also expanding our own-controlled fleet with three leased cargo planes operational from 2022 and purchasing two Boeing aircraft newbuilds to be deployed by 2024.”

The aircraft Maersk is buying are two new Boeing B777F and those being leased are three B767-300 cargo aircraft. These aircraft will be operated and managed by the cargo airline, Star Air A/S, the internal air cargo operation of Maersk established in 1987, which already operates with a fleet of 14 B767 aircraft.

According to Maersk, the intention is to become a considerable player in the air freight industry.

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Maersk records record 3rd Quarter, in line for record full year result

AP Moller-Maersk has delivered record earnings in the third quarter of 2021 to go with two earlier high-achieving quarters in 2021. According to the company, revenue grew 68 per cent to a total of US$ 16.6 billion in Q3, EBIT was up almost five times to $5.9 billion and EBITDA tripled to $6.9 billion. Return on invested capital (ROIC) increased to 34.5 per cent over the past 12 months.

“In the ongoing exceptional market situation, with high demand in the US and global disruptions to the supply chains, we continued to increase capacity and expand our offerings to keep cargo moving for our customers,” says says Søren Skou, CEO of AP Moller-Maersk.

“Our integrator strategy is key to supporting our customers’ end-to-end logistics needs by designing a more stable Ocean business, strongly growing our logistics offering and relying on automated and efficient terminals.”

In Ocean transport, results in the third quarter were driven by high freight rates in an exceptional market situation with revenue almost doubling to $13.1 billion from $7.1bn. EBITDA increased by USD 4.4bn to $6.3bn and EBIT improved by $4.4bn to $5.3bn.

To further guarantee reliable transportation, the share of long-term contracts was increased even further and now accounts for 64 per cent of long-haul volumes, compared to 50 per cent a year ago.

It advises that Ocean is now expected to grow below the global container demand, which is now expected to grow 7-9 per cent in 2021 (it was previously forecast as 6-8 per cent for 2021). This is subject to high uncertainties related to the current congestion and network disruption in the Northern Hemisphere.

The company adds that Logistics & Services continued the positive momentum with revenue increasing 38 per cent to $ 2.6bn of which 33 per cent was organic. This growth was driven by strong activity increase across all products and strong commercial synergies to Top 200 Ocean customers.

EBIT increased to $194 million from $100m in the same quarter of last year and with an EBIT margin of 7.5 per cent well ahead of their mid-term target of above 6 per cent.

AP Moller-Maersk’s Gateway Terminals also had a strong Q3 with revenue growing to $1bn from $816m last year as volumes increased by 9.6 per cent. This mainly came from North America, Latin America and Asia as opening times were expanded and capacity utilisation increased, the company said. Together with underlying efficiency improvements, Terminals achieved a ROIC of 10 per cent.

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CEVA deploys new fish loaders to Ivory Coast port of Abidjan

One of the new fish loaders at the docks in the port of Abidjan
One of the new fish loaders at the docks in the port of Abidjan.   Picture Ceva

CEVA Logistics, the specialist in third-party logistics and a member of the CMA CGM Group, has expanded its African operations and services with the acquisition of two fish loaders for use at the port in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The new loaders enable CEVA to offer a full end-to-end solution for frozen tuna exports from the West African country. These are expected to exceed 150,000 tons by 2023.

The CEVA Logistics team in Ivory Coast has a long history in fish loading and will use the new equipment to further expand its capabilities, which also include stuffing, handling and managing all Customs formalities.

The fish loaders were imported from Spain, assembled at the docks by technicians and wheeled into position. They replace rented equipment that was not solely dedicated to CEVA. Within two days of setup, the new fish loaders had filled more than 10 40-foot reefer containers with minimal handling, while protecting the delicate cargo against degrading natural elements such as sun, heat and humidity.

CEVA says that by directly owning the new loaders it is able to deliver increased reliability and performance in fish loading, avoiding costly downtime.

The net result is that exports destined for key markets, such as Spain and Ecuador, can be delivered with the highest degrees of quality. Customers, such as Grupo Albacora, are already benefitting from the improved efficiency and quality offered by the new equipment, said Hakim Hadji, MD for West and Northern Africa.

He said the new fish loaders will support port’s ability to welcome a greater number of trawlers through reduced turnaround times. “The loaders are now fully operational and delivering improved throughput results on a daily basis.”

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Transnet records hefty R8.4 billion loss for financial year

Port of Durban Container Terminal, handling more than half of South Africa's container movements
Port of Durban Container Terminal, handling more than half of South Africa’s container movements.  Picture:  Transnet

Following a difficult year in which port and rail operations were severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Transnet has announced via its annual financial results a performance which group CEO, Portia Derby described as “reflective of economic circumstances”.

It amounts to just about the worst result that Transnet has yet had to announce. There are however, certain mitigating factors, with the pandemic being the principal factor, affecting the operational performance, financial results and workforce of the state-owned company.

The group also suffered disruption to operations during periods of unrest in parts of the country as well as acts of vandalism and sabotage that interfered with rail and port performance.

In the 2021 financial year, Transnet incurred a financial net loss of R8.4 billion, which it describes as mainly a result of the Covid-19 impact on operations plus other abnormal expenses. Transnet said these included:

• Unusual environmental management expenses of R1.2 billion
• Provision for unusual third party claims of R3.6 billion
• Impairments of R1.6 billion

Without the above expenses, Transnet’s net financial loss would have been R3,8 billion instead of R8,4 billion.

The R8.4 billion loss is compared to a R7.9 billion profit in the 2020 financial year.

Transnet banner

Salient Features and Performance Highlights

• Revenue decreased by 10.5% to R67.3 billion
• EBITDA decreased by 42.8% to R19.5 billion
• Net Loss for the year of R8.4 billion
• Cash generated from operations decreased to R24.4 billion
• Gearing of 48.7% and cash interest cover at 2.0 times
• Capital investment of R15.9 billion
• Debt Service of R29 billion in capital repayments and interest paid

A positive aspect is that throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Transnet continued to meet its financial commitments without requiring any debt service relief from its lenders. Transnet stressed that it remains cash generative and has not required government support during the 2021 financial year.

Segment strategy

In response to the long-term socio economic shifts and structural changes in the economy, the company has adopted a segment strategy. This represents a fundamental change for the group, away from a divisional, modal service offering to strategic participation and structured collaboration in integrated commodity supply chains.

“The new strategy will include partnership models to deliver on the Transnet shareholder mandate and build resilience in a post-COVID-19 world,” Transnet said.

Revised focus

Transnet’s operational and investment focus in the coming years will be on the following segments, which account for 80% of the group’s revenue:

• Iron Ore
• Manganese
• Coal
• Chrome
• Magnetite
• Automotive
• Containers
• Agriculture
• Fuel & Gas

Adequate resources

The company advised that the Board has every reason to believe there were adequate resources and facilities in place to continue in operation for the foreseeable future.

“The Board is satisfied that Transnet is a going concern and has continued to adopt the going concern principle in preparing the Annual Financial Statements.”

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The LPGC tanker Perseverence V alongside at Cape Town's Eastern Mole, taking bunker fuel from the resident Al Safa. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The LPGC tanker Perseverance V alongside at Cape Town’s Eastern Mole, taking bunker fuel from the resident Al Safa. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

Being universally known as a port of necessary ship services such as engineering, victualing, chandling and bunkers, and especially being located on the crossroads of virtually every shipping route that traverses Africa, gives clarity as to why Cape Town is known as ‘The Tavern of the Seas’.

That it is also one of the very few ports of refuge in Southern Africa, capable of providing for all the aforementioned needs of the shipmaster and shipowner, means the port gets to see many types of vessel that would not ordinarily call in on normal commercial voyage requirements. That ‘out of the ordinary’ reason alone, is why Cape Town always gives ship observers the occasional thrill, when something very different passes inbound through the outer breakwater.

On 26th October at 05h00 the Very Large Liquid Petroleum Gas Carrier (LPGC) PERSEVERANCE V’ (IMO 9730139) arrived at Cape Town, from Port Neches in Texas, and entered the Duncan Dock, going alongside the Eastern Mole.

Perserverence V was en-route to Zanzibar on the east coast when she called at Cape Town to take bunkers. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Perserverance V was en-route to Zanzibar on the east coast when she called at Cape Town to take bunkers. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The arrival of a large, fully laden, LPG tanker in Cape Town is an unusual event, mainly as there are no offloading facilities for such a vessel at the port, and by going directly to the Eastern Mole it was obvious that the stopover was merely a requirement for bunkers. Shortly afterwards, to confirm the reason for her arrival, the bunker tanker Al Safa drew up alongside Perseverance V and proceeded to transfer fuel across to her.

Built in 2015 by Hyundai Heavy Industries at their, now closed, Gunsan Shipyard, at Gunsan, in South Korea, Perseverance V is 225 metres in length and has a deadweight of 54,669 tons. She is powered by a single HHI MAN-B&W 6G60ME-C9.2 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, producing 16,859 bhp (12,400 kW), to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 16.8 knots.

The accommodation block of the tanker. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The accommodation block of the tanker. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Hyundai-Himsen 6H21/32 generators providing 1,200 kW each, and a Doosan AD/L086 emergency generator providing 220 kW. She has an Alfa Laval Aalborg exhaust gas boiler, and an Alfa Laval Aalborg oil fired boiler. She has four cargo tanks, with a cargo carrying capacity of 82,451 m3 of liquid petroleum gas.

Owned by Transpetrol Ltd. of Hamilton in Bermuda, Perseverance V is operated by Transpetrol Maritime Services of Brussels, and managed by Transpetrol TM AS of Asker in Norway. Her current call at Cape Town is not her first call at a South African port this year, as she spent 24 hours at Island View Berth 9, in Durban Harbour, back in July. After a short twenty hour stay, and on completion of her bunkering operation, Perseverance V sailed at 01h00 on 27th October, bound for Zanzibar in Tanzania.

Another view of the accommodation block with the ship's bridge above. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Another view of the accommodation block with the ship’s bridge above. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her place of loading was at the Sun Marine Terminal, operated by Sunoco Logistics, at Port Neches in Texas. Port Neches is located 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, on the border with Louisiana, and is situated halfway between the large industrial complex of Port Arthur, and the Port of Beaumont. The inland port is accessed via the Sabine Pass, and the Neches River.

From this complex, the Sunoco Logistics refined products pipeline system operates about four thousand kilometres of pipelines for refined products in the US Northeast, Midwest, and Gulf Coast States. The refined products include many grades of petroleum, middle distillates like heating oil and jet and diesel fuel, and liquefied petroleum gasses, such as butane and propane.

LPGC tankers are not frequent callers at South Africa's ports, arriving mainly for refueling purposes, as shown her with the bunker tanker Al Safa alongside. Picture 'Dockrat'
LPGC tankers are not frequent callers at South Africa’s ports, arriving mainly for refueling purposes, as shown her with the bunker tanker Al Safa alongside. Picture ‘Dockrat’

There are eight loading jetties at Port Neches, with five for ocean going vessels, and three for river and coastal barges. The whole facility has twelve pipelines connecting the port with the local storage tank farms, and the nearby Port Arthur refinery.

The Port Arthur refinery is the largest in the USA. On 27th November 2019, two explosions shook one of the petrochemical complexes within the sprawling refinery, which injured eight people. Many homes and buildings in Port Neches were damaged, and 60,000 residents from Port Neches, and the surrounding area, had to be evacuated. The resulting fire burned for six days, before being brought under control, and finally extinguished, on 3rd December.

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IMO-Singapore and Lobito, Angola: Maritime Single Window project

Picture: IMO ©
Port of Lobito in Angola.  Pcture: IMO ©

In a news item from IMO on 28 October we learn of an IMO-Singapore project to implement a digital ship clearance system in the Port of Lobito, Angola, with the aim of supporting more ports in future.

The SWiFT Project

Originally, the Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWiFT) Project was launched in March 2021.

For more information on this topic readers are invited to CLICK HERE

There was a call for expressions of interest to participate. Following overwhelming response received from applicants, the project will now begin its pilot phase with the Port of Lobito, before being scaled up to benefit more countries in the next phase.

The Maritime Single Window

It is understood that the SWiFT Project will develop a system for the pilot port to allow electronic submission, through one single portal, of all information required by various Government agencies when a ship calls at a port. This concept is known as the Maritime Single Window (MSW) system.

Electronic exchange of data

Regulations in IMO’s Facilitation Convention require electronic exchange of data, to ensure the efficient clearance of ships.

For more information on this topic readers are invited to  SEE HERE

The single window concept is recommended, in order to avoid duplication of effort. Individual data elements should only be submitted once, electronically, through a single point of entry, to the relevant regulatory agencies and other parties.

The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the value of digitalisation. Electronic exchange of required data is speedier, more reliable, efficient and Covid-secure, since face-to-face contact is minimised.

Advice and training

Regulations in IMO’s Facilitation Convention require electronic exchange of data, to ensure the efficient clearance of ships.

For more information on this topic readers are invited to  SEE HERE

The single window concept is recommended, in order to avoid duplication of effort. Individual data elements should only be submitted once, electronically, through a single point of entry, to the relevant regulatory agencies and other parties.

The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the value of digitalisation. Electronic exchange of required data is speedier, more reliable, efficient and Covid-secure, since face-to-face contact is minimised.

Under the pilot project, the selected country will be advised on the necessary legal, policy and institutional requirements for the MSW system. The port will then be provided with functional MSW software, hardware and/or IT services, configured to the country’s needs.

Training will also be provided, as well as advice on policy reforms required to successfully implement an MSW, it is understood.

IMO’s ITCP Programme

The pilot will be supported by Singapore by way of in-kind contributions and by IMO using its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).

In the words of Julian Abril, Head of IMO’s Facilitation Section: “Increased digitalisation supports greater efficiency which benefits the ship, the port and wider supply chain.

“We want to support countries that may be having difficulties in implementing the FAL Convention requirements for electronic data exchange, by supporting a pilot project which will show the way and result in know-how which can then be shared with others.”

Following the initial pilot and subject to funding availability, the aim is, it is understood, to replicate the pilot project in other IMO Member States in need of similar technical assistance.

Remembering past support to Antigua and Barbuda

The IMO-Singapore SWiFT project builds upon an earlier successful project that delivered a maritime single window system in Antigua and Barbuda with in-kind and financial support provided by Norway.

For more information on this topic readers are invited to CLICK HERE

Singapore will bring in its experience to cater to the technical requirements for ports that would like to incorporate port-to-port communication protocols in such a system.

Located on the west coast of Angola, the Port of Lobito is a gateway port for West Africa. It handles containers, dry bulk and mining materials, serving the economic development of the central and southern regions of Angola. Through the Benguela Railway, the port also serves countries of the Southern African Development Community ( *) that do not have access to the sea.

“Having successfully implemented digitalPORT@SG™ our national MSW, Singapore stands ready to do our part, and we look forward to partnering IMO Member States such as Angola on this digital journey to prepare for the future of shipping together,” commented Tan Suan Jow, Dean of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) Academy.

It is understood that implementation of specific activities of the Pilot Project will commence by 15 November 2021.


The work on maritime single window implementation will support achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9, which seeks to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.

More efficient shipping, working in partnership with the port sector, will be a major driver towards global resilience and sustainable development for the benefit of all.

* For a list of Member States of SADC SEE HERE

Reported by Paul Ridgway

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Xeneta container rates alert: strong demand and supply chain strain continue to drive long-term ocean freight rates

Ocean carriers remain in pole position in negotiations for long-term freight contracts, with high demand, port congestion, and supply chain disruption driving further rates increases. According to the Xeneta Shipping Index XSI® Public Indices, long-term rates recorded their tenth consecutive month-on-month rise in October, climbing by 2.2%. The indices now stand at a colossal 93.1% up year-on-year, with little hope of relief on the horison for embattled shippers.

The past few months have seen long-term ocean freight rates climb by 3.2% in September, 2.2% in August and a huge 28.1% in August. Over the course of 2021 alone Xeneta’s global index has now recorded a hike of 90.1%. Patrik Berglund, CEO of the rate benchmarking and market intelligence platform, sees no sign of a rate reset.

Calling the shots

Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund
Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund

“It remains a very challenging market for shippers, and a very profitable one for carriers,” he notes. “We’re not dealing with the astronomical increases we’ve experienced in past months – and indeed some trades are experiencing slight rates reductions – but overall the arrow remains pointing resolutely skywards.”

Berglund continues: “Carriers are still sitting pretty in a sellers’ market and, basically, calling the shots. For example, Maersk is reportedly shunning business from some freight forwarders in an effort to deal directly with cargo owners. In doing so, it’s seeking to provide a single end-to-end solution on key lanes and maximise profits. Some, such as CLECAT, the European Association for Forwarding, may suggest this is an abuse of power. That’s up for debate. But the fact it’s a demonstration of power certainly is not in question.”

Uncertain horisons

In addition to carrier strength, lack of equipment and strong demand, port congestion remains an issue – especially in the US, where the number of container ships waiting to berth at LA and Long Beach hit over 80 earlier in October – while a power crisis in China, where factories are being forced to curb production, is causing additional supply chain pressure.

“Shippers want predictability,” says Berglund, “and that’s especially true when key trading periods, such as Christmas, are on the horison. However, instead of that they’re getting clogged supply chains, limited (or zero) available carrier capacity, rates they can’t control, and a growing sense of uncertainty. All in all, a dream year for the carriers is an ongoing nightmare for them.”

Regional dips

Regionally, the rates picture was more mixed in October than recent months. European imports on the XSI® had a marginal decline of 3.7% – the first month-on-month fall since June. However, the index still stands 122.1% against this time last year. European exports also dipped slightly, falling by 2.2% across October, but remain 50% up year-on-year.


Xeneta logo

In the Far East, imports on the XSI® fell, by 3.2% (up 49.9% against October 2020), while the export benchmark surged ahead with a 7.9% month-on-month boost. It is now some 136.2% higher than this time last year. In the US, both import and export benchmarks fell moderately, the former by 1.5% and the latter by 3.5%. However, strong growth throughout 2021 leaves import rates 64% higher and exports up 15.8% on a year-on-year basis.

The value of intelligence

“It’s difficult to read too much into the current fluctuations,” Berglund concludes. “After such a prolonged period of rates growth it would be easy to anticipate an adjustment downwards, but with all the supply chain challenges, continued lack of capacity and ongoing demand I certainly wouldn’t count on it.

“But, as ever, this market is almost impossible to second guess. That’s why all stakeholders in the ocean freight value chain need to keep abreast of the very latest intelligence, such as XSI®, to achieve optimal value from their negotiations. It’s a very challenging environment out there, so my advice is to stay flexible, stay alert to opportunity, and stay informed.”

Xeneta’s XSI® is compiled from the very latest crowd-sourced ocean freight rate data aggregated from leading shippers around the world. Companies participating in the benchmarking and market analytics platform include names such as ABB, Electrolux, Continental, Unilever, Nestle, L’Oréal, Thyssenkrupp, Volvo Group and John Deere, amongst others.

To get the full XSI® Public Indices report for the long-term market, SEE HERE

To see daily XSI® short-term market rate movements for 12 main trade lanes, GO HERE

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IN CONVERSATION: Industrial policy paved the way for Dangote’s empire. Why it didn’t deliver for all Nigerians

Aliko Dangoite with Bill Gates. Picture: BillGates blog

Richard Itaman, University of Cambridge and Christina Wolf, Kingston University

Dangote Industries Limited dominates the Nigerian cement market and is a key player in the rapidly expanding African cement business. The conglomerate has also expanded its manufacturing activities in a range of food processing industries such as sugar and salt. This expansion has made it the biggest group listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

By 2020, the three Dangote subsidiaries listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange employed 19,672 workers. This is equal to 51% of all workers in listed manufacturing firms.

Dangote has been a main beneficiary of Nigeria’s backward integration policy. Introduced in 2002, it was operated through tariffs, levies and tax breaks. In the last few years Nigerian manufacturing has shown some degree of recovery. Manufacturing’s share in output increased to 9.3% in 2017, up from 6% in 2002 (calculations based on UN National Accounts).

The policies were initially designed for cement and beverages. They were later extended to sugar, rice, tomato paste, automotive, oil and gas and textiles. The changes led to Nigeria emerging as the largest cement producer in sub-Saharan Africa.

Is the rise of Dangote’s group therefore an illustration of successful industrial policy? Not quite, we argue in our recently published research.

Dangote might be an example of a successful and dynamically expanding manufacturing firm in Nigeria. But structural transformation across the Nigerian economy remains very limited.

We tried to unpack why this is so. We argue that a key challenge for late-industrialising nations like Nigeria is to support the development of domestic demand for goods at the same time as policy is being used to develop the capacity of industries to increase production.

Both need to work together if there is going to be structural change across the economy beyond the development of a few industrial islands of efficiency.

Islands of efficiency

In Nigeria, public policy has failed to support the development of structures that can nurture the growth of domestic demand for goods. This is itself the result of historically formed power relations or asymmetries between actors in their ability to influence and exert power.

The industrial policy that made import licences contingent on setting up domestic supply capacity – backward integration – may have encouraged increases in output and productivity in individual firms such as Dangote’s. But these productivity increases were not passed down to consumers through price reductions, higher wages for workers or other redistributive measures such as taxation of corporate profits.

If that is the case, for any given level of capitalist consumption and investment, effective demand and output will fall. This follows from the economist Michał Kalecki’s “paradox of costs”. While an increase in wages increases an individual firm’s costs of production and cuts into profit margins (that is, profits per item sold), the aggregate level of output that can be profitably sold increases. And with it overall sales and the profit rate.

This is because workers and subsistence collectivities have a higher propensity to consume than capitalists.

In contexts where firms respond strongly to increases in demand as has been the case in Nigeria, the results are only individual islands of efficiency as well as limited structural transformation in the economy as a whole, given that demand growth has not been supported by industrial policy.

Learning by doing

Structural change is almost universally recognised as the key development challenge for sub-Saharan African economies. There is equally growing recognition that industrial policy is necessary to ignite structural transformation because productivity increases rely on tacit knowledge about how to operate machines and organise production.

This can only be acquired through the production process itself.

Therefore, production costs will typically initially exceed world market prices. That means instruments like subsidies, credit direction or tariff protection are needed to ensure production can take place before competitiveness is reached.

The key issue revolves around the conditions under which industrial policy can be successfully implemented because learning ultimately depends on the active effort of firms. This can be difficult for government to enforce. A significant analytical breakthrough here comes from the insight that industrial policy instruments have to match the distribution of power in society.

The key challenge is therefore how to promote growth in demand through distributional processes and market structures.

Beyond islands of efficiency

We argue that the likelihood of successful implementation of industrial policy increases with expanding markets (rising demand). Expectations by industrialists of market expansion can act as an incentive to achieve productivity increases.

Conversely, if market conditions are contracting, the “size of the prize” might be too low for firms to warrant high levels of effort in learning beyond cashing in subsidies from industrial policy. This was highlighted, for instance, in Ethiopia’s apparel industry.

What is more, industrialisation doesn’t just depend on knowledge. It also depends on scale. The size of the domestic market is key to realising increasing returns to scale and hence further productivity increases. The bigger the market, the greater the number of inputs produced under increasing returns to scale.

Hence, the size of the market is critical in sustaining structural transformation across the economy.

The case of Dangote

We show that substantial capital formation by Dangote’s firms was spurred by expectations about rising domestic demand and that learning has taken place. We did this using data from balance sheets, statements of Dangote’s senior management to their shareholders and media interviews.

The rate of re-investment (investment relative to profits) was on average 49% in Dangote Cement, 58% in Nascon (Dangote’s salt processing subsidiary) and 31% in DSR (Dangote’s sugar processing subsidiary) each year between 2010 and 2017. This suggests substantial capital formation.

Meanwhile the cost-revenue ratio in Dangote Cement declined and is substantially lower when compared to Lafarge, its closest competitor in the Nigerian cement market.

Dangote Cement’s revenues increased at a faster rate than their costs, while cost and revenue grew roughly in line for Lafarge. Since the two companies can charge the same price in Nigeria, it suggests productivity increases in Dangote Cement.

In that sense, industrial policy was successful in terms of supporting learning and productivity increases.

As a result of productive investments, Dangote extended its lead over competitors, resulting in monopolistic market structures.

Meanwhile, Dangote has successfully co-opted opposition groups and rival civil society groups as ruling elites change to guarantee the continuation of the government’s backward integration policy. As this paper shows, Dangote Industrial Limited has been a major beneficiary.

Key lessons

It is true that monopolistic market structures are an outcome of productive investment. But the political and economic power of Dangote favoured a disproportionate growth in profits relative to the purchasing power of wage-earners and subsistence collectivities.

This meant that the domestic market (demand base) was left vulnerable.

This vulnerability is worsened by economic shocks such as the 2014 fall in oil prices. This resulted in a depreciation of the exchange rate. In turn this put pressure on domestic prices. The effect was dwindling purchasing power of lower income households as well as an increase in the costs of imported raw materials needed in production.

More unequal distribution of income and wealth makes the demand base more sensitive to such externally induced shocks and hence undermines the initial driver of productivity growth while also limiting space for other firms.

Notably, profits across the conglomerate increased faster than wages. In Dangote Cement, average wages per employee in 2018 were lower than in 2011. Profits more than trebled in that period.

Moreover, the effective tax rate was just under 5%. This left limited resources for pro-poor redistribution.

Dangote does not single-handedly control the growth of purchasing power of the entire economy. Nevertheless, firm-level observations for Dangote reflect the distributional dynamics in Nigeria and mirror the wider trajectory of the wage share in Nigeria. This has been falling since the wake of structural adjustment of the 1980s.

In short, responses to demand can drive competition and productivity increases and can underpin successful implementation of industrial policy in the sense of enforcing learning effort. Nevertheless, the outcome of such responses to demand can be monopolies, which – paradoxically – can undermine demand by undercutting purchasing power of workers and subsistence communities.

Demand-side conditions for successful implementation of industrial policies and sustained structural transformation have long been absent from the debates both on a theoretical level as well as in policy terms.

But demand growth is closely linked to distribution of income and wealth. The expansion of domestic markets alongside – and as a basis for – export growth is important in supporting late industrialisation. Therefore, successful industrial policy is not only contingent on achieving productivity increases. It is also contingent on pro-poor, pro-labour distributional outcomes.The Conversation

Richard Itaman, Senior Research Associate at Jesus College, University of Cambridge and Christina Wolf, Senior Lecturer in Economics and leader of the Political Economy Research Group, Kingston University

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

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Shipping’s ambitious climate targets: Seafarers call for sustainability


The shipping industry needs to set ambitious targets to help prevent global climate catastrophe, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) cautioned in a new position paper launched on 29 October.

The title is: The Green Horizon: We see beyond the Big Blue. How Seafarers will lead the just transition needed for a sustainable shipping future.

A pdf version may be downloaded HERE

There are currently more than 50,000 cargo ships on the world’s oceans, the majority of which run on low-grade, heavy ‘bunker’ fuel. Together, the ships emit as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as entire countries, such as industrial powerhouses Germany and Japan.

International shipping has not been explicitly included in the landmark Paris Agreement or its predecessors.

The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. To bring international shipping into line with the Paris Agreement, the ITF is calling for the industry and regulators to commit to a target of zero-carbon by 2050.

Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary
Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary

In the words of Stephen Cotton, the ITF’s General Secretary: “People who work at sea witness the impacts of climate change every day and are extremely concerned that their industry is not acting quickly enough.

“Huge changes are needed swiftly to switch the shipping industry away from fossil fuels. Seafarers have the passion, knowledge and ideas to help move the industry to a carbon-free future.

“The decisions made by leaders over the coming weeks at COP and elsewhere will be crucial to preventing irreversible climate change. As working people, we deserve a planet that is safe to live on.”

Fundamental principles for a just transition

This sustainable shipping position paper sets out eight ‘fundamental principles for a just transition’ to make sure the decarbonisation of the industry includes workers’ voices, as the industry tests alternative fuels, redesigns skills and career pathways, and shifts employment from fossil fuels to alternative fuel bunkering systems.

David Heindel, ITF Seafarers’ Section chair and the Federation’s Sustainable Shipping Working Group chair added: “Seafarers want to be part of the solution. We want to be proud of the action taken by our industry. We want to lead the transition.”

But switching from carbon-heavy bunker fuel to new energy sources such as hydrogen or ammonia has the potential for danger for workers, the ITF’s paper points out.

Transition could lead to more employment

Safety must be carefully thought through. Seafarers must receive adequate training. Changes such as the introduction of new technology must not be used as an excuse to reduce crewing numbers on ships or to attack workers’ jobs or conditions. In fact, it says, the transition could lead to more employment, and is especially an opportunity to encourage more women and young people to take up work at sea.

Heindel continued: “Seafarers must be at the table from the outset, if we are to deliver sustainable shipping for future generations. The industry would be well-advised to draw on workers’ experience and expertise. That way, plans for achieving zero-carbon emissions can happen quickly, safely and fairly”’

Major investment needed in ports

Ports, the ITF warns, will need major investment to replace diesel tanks and pipeline infrastructure with the fuel systems of the future. Upgrades could cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Transitioning shipping to zero-carbon will be a challenge, particularly in the global south. The ITF position paper calls on international regulators, governments and the shipping industry itself to look at ways the transition can be funded fairly, particularly for investments needed in the world’s poorest countries.

Cotton concluded by saying: “A just transition for workers was included in the Paris Agreement for a reason – there can be no climate justice without labour justice. Workers will drive the urgent transformation of the global economy, and seafarers will drive the transformation in shipping. We’re up for the challenge”

The paper comes as Glasgow hosts the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) from 31 October – 12 November 2021).

Calls for concrete climate action at Glasgow have been coming from all sectors. There has been a steady drumbeat of key reports showing that it is imperative for countries to take measures to curb emissions as soon as possible.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a ‘massive mobilization’ of political will that requires trust among the world’s biggest economies – the G20 – and between developed and developing countries, including emerging economies.

COP26 can still be a turning point towards a safer and greener world, and it is not too late he commented, but ‘we must act now’, he stated. ‘Without decisive action, we are gambling away our last chance to – literally – turn the tide.’

Glossary of terms

Mid-week UN News published an informative and entertaining introduction to climate change, COP and more.   It is available by CLICKING HERE

Reported by Paul Ridgway

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Bowmans and Gide announce a strategic co-operation agreement: enhanced legal services provided to clients across Africa

Leading France-based international law firm, Gide Loyrette Nouel (Gide), and leading African law firm, Bowmans, have announced they have signed a strategic co-operation agreement that will boost each firm’s ability to provide legal services to their clients doing business in Africa.

The two firms will work closely together to deepen their ties with current and potential clients and to share their knowledge of the African market. Gide particularly brings its offices, connections and long-standing experience working in West and North Africa, principally in francophone countries, while Bowmans brings its complementary strengths in Southern and Eastern Africa, principally in English-speaking countries.

Richard Harney
Richard Harney: Bowman’s snr partner: Kenya

Last but not least, this is a great opportunity for both firms to offer their lawyers multiple opportunities to collaborate and to increase their reach across the continent, as they share the same values and standards of professional excellence.

“This is a very exciting development,” said Bowmans senior partner: Kenya, Richard Harney. “We have a long-standing relationship with Gide, which is a fellow Lex Mundi member, and have worked with their lawyers for a number of years. The co-operation agreement strengthens this relationship and will help us to better serve our clients in West and North Africa, with particular emphasis on francophone countries.”

Jean-François Levraud, managing partner of Gide said they have known the Bowmans team for more than a decade. “We both share the same values and professional excellence. We have a long history of successful joint assignments that have always benefited our clients. This next step in our co-operation will allow us to support our clients in their most complex pan-African transactions.”


Bowmans is a leading African law firm with offices in Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, Alliance firms in Nigeria and Ethiopia, special relationships with leading firms in Malawi and Mozambique, and a non-exclusive co-operation agreement with French international law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel.


Gide is the first international law firm of French origin. Founded in Paris in 1920, the firm now has 11 offices worldwide. It brings together 500 lawyers, of 35 different nationalities, recognised among the best specialists in each branch of national and international business law. Gide Africa has been present on the African continent for more than 40 years and relies on a multidisciplinary team of more than 90 lawyers and an important local network of leading law firms throughout the continent.
source: Bowmans

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Transnet pipeline fire in Durban – 3 dead

Picture: ALS Paramedics
Picture: ALS Paramedics


An attempted fuel theft attempt from the Transnet pipeline between the Durban port and Gauteng, has seen three people being killed and a fire that is reported to have engulfed a tanker vehicle, a private house, a shop and a small factory building.

People living in the immediate area of Horseshoe Road in Clairwood, Durban, were evacuated for their own safety as thick smoke and fumes were emitted. Transnet said it immediately shut down the pipeline as fire department officials responded.

According to Transnet, a preliminary assessment indicated a botched fuel theft incident on the pipeline. Investigations were ongoing, the company said.

As Transnet activated its emergency response plan, emergency response teams, including eThekwini (Durban) Disaster Management, SAPS, Fire Departments and Spill Response went on site.

It appears the fire started at around 03h30 on Sunday 31 October. Throughout the day heavy black smoke continued to billow from the scene and although it appeared by late afternoon that the fire might be dying down, by early evening lots of smoke painted a different picture.

Transnet said remediation work and business continuity management processes have been activated, with the immediate focus being to extinguish the fire and minimise the impact on the community and environment.

There has been an unprecedented spate of fuel theft incidents on the pipelines and the associated infrastructure during the last two years. Due to the inherent dangers of tampering with high pressure petroleum pipelines, these incidents have resulted in fire and other asset damage, as well as environmental incidents, with high remediation costs.

Due to the nature of the petroleum products transported on the pipeline, some activities have resulted in serious injuries and/or fatalities, as with the latest case.

Transnet has a toll free number to dial – 0800 203 843 – to report any suspicious activity on or near the pipeline which runs through many rural, semi-rural and urban areas.

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