Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 12 December 2021

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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FIRST VIEW:  MSC ORCHESTRA

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The Monday masthead shows the Port of Tema
The Tuesday masthead shows the Port of Saldanha futuristic

The Wednesday masthead shows the Port of Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal
The Thursday masthead shows the Port of Richards Bay Coal Terminal
The Friday masthead shows the Port of Richards Bay
The Saturday masthead shows Port Harcourt
The Sunday masthead shows the 
Port of Port Elizabeth Manganese Terminal

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FIRST VIEW:  MSC ORCHESTRA   

MSC Orchestra arrived off Durban in the early morning of a grey, overcast Thursday, 2 December and entered port shortly afterward. Trevor Jones was on hand to welcome the ship with this photograph. in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
MSC Orchestra arrived off Durban in the early morning of a grey, overcast Thursday, 2 December and entered port shortly afterward. Trevor Jones was on hand to welcome the ship with this photograph.

The MSC Cruises MSC ORCHESTRA arrived in Durban on Thursday, 2 December, to commence a summer season of cruises from Durban and Cape Town, along the South African coast and, Covid-19 protocols permitting, to Mozambique and Namibia destinations.

The 92,409 gt cruise ship is capable of carrying over 3200 passengers but is likely to have less this 2021/22 season owing to strict Covid-19 protocols. She is now also likely to be the only cruise ship on our coast during the early summer, if not longer, with a number of others having cancelled planned cruises to South Africa.

MSC Orchestra sailed directly to Durban in time for the inauguration of the new hundred-plus million rand new cruise terminal that has been developed by a consortium led by MSC Cruises. This ship has been a focal point for the opening of this terminal on Sunday, 5 December.

The new terminal is situated at the Point area close to the developing Point Waterfront and the harbour entrance.

The following photographs are courtesy of Trevor Jones, Jumaine Kruger and the eThekwini Maritime Cluster (EMC), as indicated.

 

This early evening shot of MSC Orchestra was taken from the waterside by Jumaine Kruger in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
This early evening shot of MSC Orchestra was taken from the waterside by Jumaine Kruger
Here is MSC Orchestra on her berth (Point B Berth) opposite the new Cruise Terminal which will be her home for the next five months. This picture taken by Jumaine Kruger in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
In another early evening image, here is MSC Orchestra on her berth (Point B Berth) opposite the new Cruise Terminal which will be her home for the next five months. This picture taken by Jumaine Kruger
This picture also by Jumaine Kruger in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The berth position for the new terminal is almost exactly where the early passenge ships  – Union Castle etc would use a hundred and more years ago.  It is also close to the spot of the early wooden St Paul’s Wharf, Durban first real wooden pier. This picture also by Jumaine Kruger
Our final view of MSC Orchestra alongside the new cruise terminal is courtesy of the EMC in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Our final view of MSC Orchestra alongside the new cruise terminal is courtesy of the EMC
Added 5 December 2021

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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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MSC suspends South African cruises until 9 January

MSC Cruises South Africa announced on Friday that all further cruises during December and early January have been suspended. This was after the first opening cruise of the 2021/2022 summer season cruise ends with the return to Durban of MSC ORCHESTRA carrying a number of passengers on board who tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

The ship, which arrived in South Africa a week earlier had returned to Durban at 04h30 on Friday from its inaugural cruise to Mozambique destinations, having sailed on Monday 6 December.

The full notice from MSC Cruises reads as follows:

Johannesburg, South Africa, 10 December 2021 – MSC Cruises today announced that it has voluntarily suspended all its domestic sailings in South Africa with immediate effect until 8 January, 2022. The temporary suspension was dictated by the cruise line’s industry-leading health and safety protocol in connection with the most recent and sudden evolution, particularly in the past week of the pandemic ashore in the country, that puts the health and safety of its guests and crew as its utmost priority.

The decision will lead to the cancellation of all sailings of MSC Orchestra from the port of Durban and all booked guests will receive a voucher for a voyage later in the season at their convenience or a refund. MSC Orchestra will resume her cruise sailings on 9 January, 2022.

Ross Volk, Managing Director, MSC Cruises South Africa, said, “We made this voluntary decision in an abundance of caution towards our guests, our crew and the communities that MSC Orchestra was scheduled to visit in the coming weeks. This is what our health and safety protocol is designed to do, in accordance with the evolution of the pandemic ashore and to ensure the utmost protection to our guests and crew.

“In light of the most recent evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic across South Africa, we have been in consultation with the government’s Department of Health which is working hard to understand the most up-to-date data of the virus and as health and safety is our number one priority our protocol clearly called for a temporary suspension of our forthcoming sailings with immediate effect.

“We now also await eagerly for any additional guidance from the South African government for its citizens so that we can also reflect any new measures into our own health and safety protocol.

“We understand that our decision will be very disappointing to those guests that will have their voyages cancelled but I hope that they will understand that it was made with their wellbeing in mind, as the health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we visit is our number one priority.”

MSC Cruises resumed its sailing operation also in South Africa on Monday 6 December after a 20 month hiatus when MSC Orchestra departed from Durban for a 4-night cruise.

The approval to sail was granted by the government’s Department of Health, Department of Transportation and South African Maritime Safety Authority who all approved MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol.

MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol has led the way in the global cruise industry since August 2020, being the first major cruise liner to resume international operations.

The line currently has 12 ships at sea operating regular cruises in Europe, North America, South America, and the Middle East.

MSC Cruises has to date safely and responsibly hosted over one million guests on its ships globally since it resumed operations in Summer 2020. The cruise line continually adapts its health and safety measures to the evolution of the pandemic ashore to ensure the highest level of protection for guests, crew and destinations visited. Today’s decision is a further proof of this. End of MSC notification.

A Durban newspaper carried a report that a number of passengers were not allowed to leave the ship on Friday after other passengers disembarked, after having tested positive.

The report quoted a passenger saying while some passengers disembarked on Friday, other did noit have their passports returned and were asked to remain on board. He understood they had tested positive for the virus.

The newspaper quoted MSC’s Ross Volk as saying: “A number of completely asymptomatic guests tested positive during today’s testing procedure upon arrival and they are currently awaiting disembarkation for their safe return home.”

He said while some passengers had disembarked, others will do so on Saturday “in full co-ordination and under the guidance of health authorities,” said Volk.

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Added 11 December 2021

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IN CONVERSATION: Planned seismic survey by Shell has kicked up a storm in South Africa. Here’s an explainer

Mia Wege, University of Pretoria; Barend Erasmus, University of Pretoria; Christel Dorothee Hansen, University of Pretoria; Els Vermeulen, University of Pretoria; James Roberts, University of Pretoria; Jean Purdon, University of Pretoria, and Michael John Somers, University of Pretoria

The planned seismic survey off South Africa’s Wild Coast by energy company Shell has unleashed public outrage in the country and beyond. The survey’s aim is to search for oil and gas deposits. Environmental and human rights organisations and fishing communities are trying to block the move in court. The Conversation Africa asked researchers to share their insights on seismic surveys.

What is a seismic survey?

Seismic surveys have been used for at least 50 years in both onshore and offshore mineral and oil exploration. The concept is relatively simple: measure the time it takes for a compression wave (“sound”) to move through solid material, strike a reflecting surface and return to a recorder. This allows the orientation and thickness of layers hidden below the Earth’s surface to be measured, so hidden ore deposits and gas or oil trap structures can be identified.

This negates the need for costly drilling and makes seismic surveys a fast and cost-effective tool in exploration for natural gas or mineral deposits.

Offshore seismic studies use an array of airguns towed on a cable behind a ship to create loud sound pulses, which move through the water to strike and pass into the ocean floor. Though this sound pulse is extremely loud to human ears, it is of far lower amplitude than earthquakes and explosions, and the pulse is not sufficient to cause any physical disruption to faults or structures on the ocean floor. Therefore, it is considered geologically safe.

If a detailed seismic survey confirms the likely presence of gas or the mineral deposit of interest, then it might be followed by drilling test wells.

Is this one unusual?

Seismic surveys are not uncommon along the South African coast. The Petroleum Agency of South Africa keeps records of all seismic surveys, and it is clear from this map that many seismic surveys have been done in South African waters, and beyond, since 1967.

Lines on the map showing where seismic surveys have been done.
Seismic surveys have been done in South African waters.  Provided by author.

Superficially, there does not seem to be anything technically unique about this particular survey, but these details need confirmation from the company that is working with Shell, Impact Oil & Gas.

The main difference is that it has provoked a large public outcry. The concerns are wide and varied, and some of them are in the process of being tested in court. Some have not been successful, while others wait on an outcome.

Seismic surveys have a direct impact on the marine environment – which we unpack below. More importantly, they can also be the precursor of much larger and systematic impacts if the exploration leads to further offshore operations such as drilling.

South African marine biodiversity is unique and valuable in many ways, and the Wild Coast is an especially rich part of that heritage. It’s therefore understandable that people wish to protect it and ask questions about who the true beneficiaries are.

In addition, projects to find new fossil fuel sources are inconsistent with staying within planetary boundaries for a sustainable future. They are at odds with promises made by the South African government during the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

What are the effects of marine acoustic seismic surveys?

Seismic surveys, and the subsequent exploitation of oil and gas reserves in much of the world’s oceans, focus on continental shelves, those areas closest to the coast. Here the seafloor is fairly shallow, making it easier (and cheaper) to access oil and gas reserves.

Continental shelves are also productive regions where marine life is the most diverse, where predators hunt for food, or creatures mate and give birth or lay eggs, where corals grow, and ultimately where the most productive fisheries are. Surveys can therefore lead to wide-scale disruption of marine ecosystems, and the value that humans derive from them.

There is a growing body of evidence of the effects of seismic surveys on marine wildlife. These effects are pervasive in marine ecosystems, from the smallest organisms to the largest.

Plankton are very small organisms that form the basis of a healthy marine ecosystem. They consist of phytoplankton (small plants) and zooplankton (small animals). Zooplankton are severely affected by seismic surveys, leading to wide-scale die-off in the vicinity of blasting sites. Since other marine species survive by feeding (directly or indirectly) on zooplankton, this has an effect on the entire aquatic food web.

The critically endangered leatherback turtle, which frequents some areas to be surveyed, is similarly affected by seismic surveys. The Wild Coast is an important area where the young future-breeding individuals spend their time.

Whales and dolphins rely on sound to communicate, navigate and hunt. Generally, the dominant frequencies of seismic airguns (typically below 100 Hz) overlap with those of the communication signals of large baleen whales (10 Hz–1 kHz).

Some seismic surveys also use high frequency sonar mapping, which has been linked to the mass strandings of deep-diving toothed whales. For example in Madagascar 100 melon headed whales stranded and died. The strandings occur because the sonar interferes with their navigational system (echolocation), causing the whales to surface extremely fast. Gas bubbles form in their bloodstream and expand, resulting in decompression sickness, similar to “the bends” that human divers get.

Furthermore, the sound waves generated by seismic surveys may lead to temporary outward migration of wildlife. In another study conducted in the Bass Strait of Australia, it was found that noise exposure during larval development of scallops produced body malformations in nearly half of the larvae and their overall development was delayed.

So how dangerous is this survey?

Despite the examples we’ve given above, the science on the direct and long-term impacts of seismic surveys has not yet provided conclusive answers on many facets of marine ecosystems. But that doesn’t mean there is no basis on which to act. Decisions are often made in the absence of scientific certainty to avoid potentially catastrophic changes in the environment.

The global scientific community has a specific method to assess the state of knowledge in a particular area, to support decision making. It is called a scientific assessment. Among the best known examples are the scientific assessment reports of the International Panel on Climate Change, regularly used in climate policy and decision making.

The same method has also been applied locally to assess the impact of fracking in South Africa’s Karoo region. It is clear that we need a scientific assessment on the impact of seismic surveys to inform the current gaps in South Africa’s National Environmental Management Act and guide the development of new policies.

Until we have the outcomes of such an assessment, the act provides for the application of the precautionary principle in environmental matters and states that:

… a risk-averse and cautious approach is applied, which takes into account the limits of current knowledge about the consequences of decisions and actions.

Other countries have also grappled with seismic survey impacts. Norway, for example, amends its management guidelines in response to findings from ongoing studies. The country does not rely on impact assessments that are years out of date.

Although still needed, it would be short-sighted to focus research on marine environmental impacts and seismic surveys only. The focus should be on the danger to humanity from additional fossil fuel exploration, and the associated increase in the impacts of climate change.

Climate science has matured to the point where there is very strong evidence for the links between life-threatening extreme events such as floods, fires and droughts, and climate change. There are also several new studies that map out feasible and just transitions to reduce our carbon footprint. There really are no good excuses left to continue with any fossil fuel exploration, and certainly not seismic surveys that have an impact on unique and rich marine ecosystems.The Conversation

Mia Wege, Marine Predator Ecologist and lecturer in Zoology, University of Pretoria; Barend Erasmus, Dean and Professor, University of Pretoria; Christel Dorothee Hansen, Lecturer, University of Pretoria; Els Vermeulen, Research Manager, Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit, University of Pretoria; James Roberts, Associate Professor, Geology, University of Pretoria; Jean Purdon, Marine Biologist, University of Pretoria, and Michael John Somers, Associate Professor, University of Pretoria

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

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Added 10 December 2021

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Matola scores with a Capesize, its largest ever ship in Port Maputo

Magnetite being loaded at Port Maputo's Grindrod-operated Matola terminal. Picture courtesy Grindrod, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Magnetite being loaded at Port Maputo’s Grindrod-operated Matola terminal. Picture courtesy Grindrod

The biggest shipment in the history of Port Maputo sailed from Grindrod’s Matola Terminal on Sunday, 5 December 2021.

The Capesize vessel, NAVIOS CANARY (IMO 9583005) sailed this week from Grindrod’s de Carvão da Matola (TCM) terminal after loading a parcel of 147,545 tonnes of magnetite ore destined for China.

The 292-metre long, 45m wide ship was built in 2015 and carried the biggest shipment in the port’s history – the previous largest being a shipment cargo of 121,000 tonnes registered in May this year.

Grindrod credited teamwork that ensured the cargo loading was efficient with meticulous planning and a collaborative effort by all parties including the customer, Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) marine services, the vessel agent, and TCM operations staff.

“Investment in the port and exceptional teamwork has allowed us to deliver the most efficient and cost-effective customer solution,” said Xolani Mbambo, CEO of Grindrod Freight Services.

In 2017 the TCM berth pocket was deepened to 15.5 metres chart datum to receive and load larger vessels targeting post-Panamax vessels. This was as part of the Port Maputo channel dredging and port expansion project.

The 180,528-dwt ship is managed and operated by Kleimar Ltd of Piraeus, Greece. This picture taken while the ship was still named Dream Canary, is courtesy of Fleetmon, in Africa Ports & Ships
The 180,528-dwt Capesize ship is managed and operated by Kleimar Ltd of Piraeus, Greece. This picture taken while the ship was still named Dream Canary, is courtesy of Fleetmon
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Added 9 December 2021

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WHARF TALK: All Indian tanker – JAG APARNA

The Indian owned and operated LR1 tanker, Jag Aparna, which called at Cape Town in the last week Picture by 'Dockrat'
The Indian owned and operated LR1 tanker, Jag Aparna, which called at Cape Town in the last week Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

Despite BRICS, despite the long historical links between the two countries, and despite the 2020 trade figures from South Africa to India being US$3.2 billion (ZAR51.6 billion), and trade figures from India to South Africa being US$3.9 billion (ZAR62.9 billion), it is not often that a vessel arrives in a South African port that is not only fully crewed by Indians, but is owned by a traditional, well known, Indian shipping company, and whose vessels are actually registered in India. But when it does happen, it is ironic that the vessel in question did not bring in a cargo that originated in an Indian port, and nor will it sail with a cargo destined for an Indian port.

On 2nd December at 20h00, the LR1 tanker JAG APARNA (IMO 9388936) arrived at the Table Bay anchorage, from Al Ruwais in the UAE. She remained at anchor overnight, and at 11h00 on 3rd December she entered Cape Town harbour and went to the long Tanker berth in the Duncan Dock to begin her discharge. As with a number of tanker arrivals recently from Al Ruwais, her voyage route is the same, in that, on completion of her products discharge at Cape Town, she sailed on 8th December at 11h00, bound for Fujairah in the UAE.

Jag Aparna is owned and operated b the Great Eastern Shipping Company of Mumbai. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & ships
Jag Aparna is owned and operated b the Great Eastern Shipping Company of Mumbai. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2009 by STX Shipbuilding at Jinhae in South Korea, Jag Aparna is 228 metres in length and has a deadweight of 74,859 tons. She is powered by a single STX MAN-B&W 6S60MC-C 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, producing 18,436 bhp (13,560 kW) to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14.5 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three STX MAN-B&W 6L23/30H generators providing 970 kW each. She has 12 cargo tanks, and has a cargo carrying capacity of 80,260 m3. She is one of four sisterships built for her owner.

The accommodation section of Jag Aparna. Note the details on the funnel. Picture by 'Dockrat'in Africa Ports & Ships
The accommodation section of Jag Aparna. Note the details on the funnel. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Just like merchant ships of old, she is owned by, operated by and managed by a single company, namely the Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited (GESCO), of Mumbai in India, and whose name adorns the hull of Jag Aparna.

Great Eastern are a traditional ship owner, founded in 1948 after India gained her independence from the UK, and active in the bulk trades with a fleet of 45 vessels. They also have a subsidiary, Greatships, operating 19 offshore support vessels in the oil and gas industry, one of which, Greatship Manisha, was until recently operating in support of the PetroSA offshore operation from Mossel Bay, on the Cape south coast, as reported in the 19th September edition of Africa PORTS and SHIPS.

Table Mountain looks on over the busy port, Picture by 'Dockrat', in Africa Ports & Ships
Table Mountain looks on over the busy port, Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The historical background to GESCO is that they started as a Sugar trading company, becoming the largest Sugar importers in India. They purchased their first vessel in 1948 to assist them with their principle business. They have grown in the intervening years, and now Great Eastern is the largest private sector shipping company in India.

The finance for the start-up of GESCO was provided by one of the partners, Ardeshir Hormusji Bhiwandiwalla, who became the first Chairman of GESCO (1948-1973). He was honoured by the company by having his initials (AHB) adorn the funnel, and houseflag, of all company vessels.

Jag Aparna at the tanker berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Jag Aparna at the tanker berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The other GESCO partners were the Mulji Brothers, with Jagjivan Mulji’s son being the driving force behind the start-up. Jagjivan, or Jag for short, and whose name means ‘The Universe’ in Hindi, was similarly honoured by having his name adorn the hull of every GESCO vessel by using it as a prefix to every GESCO vessel’s name.

In the case of ‘Jag Aparna’, Aparna is a girl’s name, which comes from the Sanskrit language, and is the other given name for the Hindi Goddess Parvati, which means ‘leafless’.

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Added 9 December 2021

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SA minister visits Port of Rotterdam to discuss hydrogen exports

South Africa’s Minister for International Relations & Cooperation, Ms Naledi Pandor, recently visited the port of Rotterdam to discuss the export of hydrogen from South Africa to Rotterdam.

Pandor met with Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Hydrogen production

The South African government has indicated its intention of producing hydrogen on a large scale. The country is very well positioned to produce large volumes of green hydrogen due to the availability of generating large quantities of solar energy. Production may serve both local use, to decarbonise industries and road transportation and for export of energy.

Europe’s Hydrogen Hub

The port of Rotterdam is an important entry point into Northwest Europe for hydrogen and other new, low carbon and zero emission fuels and feedstocks of the future, such as green ammonia, methanol and e-kerosine. Its infrastructure is being adjusted to receive large volumes of these already from 2024 onwards.

Underpinned by the Dutch Government’s national hydrogen strategy, the Port of Rotterdam is setting itself up as a major hydrogen import hub for Europe.

Boegoe Baai

In South Africa, the South African energy company Sasol announced plans to have 5 GW electrolysis capacity operational in the Boegoe Baai area.

The aim of the project is to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and create a new port in Boegoe Baai, focusing on the production of hydrogen and Power-to-X fuels and feedstocks from renewables for export.

In October these plans were announced of the project involving Boegoe Baai, which lies about 60km north of Port Nolloth in the Northern Cape, close to the Namibian border. Boegoe Bay offers natural deep water facilities and will fall within the proposed Namakwa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), in which South African energy company Sasol will take a strategic role in leading to the construction of green hydrogen and ammonia production facilities under the umbrella of a designated Strategic Integrated Project (SIP) within the South African National Development Plan.

Meanwhile, the Northern Cape Economic Development Agency (NCEDA), the Presidential Investment agency and Port of Rotterdam are reported to be collectively examining what it takes to create a successful port and SEZ in Boegoe Baai to function as an exporting hub for the country.

The port would act as a shipping corridor for hydrogen between Boegoe Baai and Rotterdam but could also serve other regions in the world where hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives might be required as a future fuel or feedstock.

Western Australia & Port of Rotterdam

In related news Western Australia is continuing to solidify its leading role on the global renewable hydrogen stage, with a Memorandum of Understanding signed with Europe’s largest sea port, the Port of Rotterdam.

The MoU builds on work underway by the McGowan Government in Western Australia and by the Port of Rotterdam, and covers a number of areas for cooperation.

The two parties will work together to investigate the renewable hydrogen export supply chain between Western Australia and the Port of Rotterdam, including production, storage, transport and the use of renewable hydrogen.

The State Government and the Port of Rotterdam will also collaborate on opportunities for knowledge sharing relating to policy, regulation and technology developments. source Port of Rotterdam

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Added 9 December 2021

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IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee: 22-26 November – Part 2

The MEPC adopted a resolution to contribute to the reduction of Black Carbon emissions from ships when operating in or near the Arctic. Picture: IMO © in Africa Ports & Ships
The MEPC adopted a resolution to contribute to the reduction of Black Carbon emissions from ships when operating in or near the Arctic. Picture: IMO ©

We conclude here news from IMO and the MEPC, based on a press briefing.

Black Carbon in the Arctic – resolution adopted

The MEPC adopted a resolution which urges Member States and ship operators to voluntarily use distillate or other cleaner alternative fuels or methods of propulsion that are safe for ships and could contribute to the reduction of Black Carbon emissions from ships when operating in or near the Arctic, (illustrated above).

The resolution encourages Member States to commence addressing the threat to the Arctic from Black Carbon emissions, and report on measures and best practices to reduce Black Carbon emissions from shipping

Revised Guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems adopted

The MEPC adopted 2021 Guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems, to update the last version adopted in 2015.

Evaluation and harmonisation of rules and guidance on the discharge of discharge water from EGCS

The Committee agreed the scope of work for the PPR Sub-Committee relating to evaluation and harmonisation of rules and guidance on EGCS discharge water into the aquatic environment, including the conditions and areas for discharge.

Strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships adopted

The MEPC, in order to enhance implementation of IMO’s mandatory international regulations, adopted the Strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships. This sets out the ambitions to reduce marine plastic litter generated from, and retrieved by, fishing vessels; reduce shipping’s contribution to marine plastic litter; and improve the effectiveness of port reception and facilities and treatment in reducing marine plastic litter.

To learn more of this strategy readers are invited to SEE HERE

IMO, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), is implementing the GloLitter Partnerships Project which aims to help shipping and fisheries move to a low-plastics future.

GESAMP provides authoritative, independent, interdisciplinary scientific advice to organisations and governments to support the protection and sustainable use of the marine environment. Picture GESAMP © in Africa Ports & Ships
GESAMP provides authoritative, independent, interdisciplinary scientific advice to organisations and governments to support the protection and sustainable use of the marine environment. Picture GESAMP ©

More information is available CLICK HERE.

Garbage Record Book

The MEPC considered a proposal to extend the requirement for a Garbage Record Book to ships less than 400 GT and equal to or greater than 100 GT. It agreed to instruct the PPR Sub-Committee to prepare draft amendments to MARPOL Annex V.

Plastic pollution by plastic pellets (Nurdles)

A document submitted by Sri Lanka, reporting on the May 2021 mv X-Press Pearl incident, during which 11,000 tonnes of plastic pellets were spilled off the shore of Colombo, Sri Lanka, was referred by the Committee to the PPR Sub-committee for further discussion.

Harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water

The MEPC was updated on the experience-building phase associated with the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM), which has been in force since 2017 and aims to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species in ballast water. The Committee was informed that there is now available data from 35 Member States and seven other stakeholders corresponding to approximately 15,000 ships. This is currently being analysed by the World Maritime University (WMU) and a full data analysis report will be submitted to MEPC 78.

The MEPC also established fundamental elements to be taken into account for the further development of guidance on measures that may be taken when ballast water management systems encounter challenging water quality on uptake.

Categorisation of noxious liquid substances approved

The MEPC approved draft amendments to appendix I (Guidelines for the categorization of noxious liquid substances) to MARPOL Annex II that are consequential to the revised GESAMP* Hazard Evaluation Procedure, which was approved by GESAMP as part of the GESAMP Hazard Evaluation Procedure for Chemicals Carried by Ships, 2019 (GESAMP Reports and Studies No.102).

* For more on GESAMP readers are invited to see here: www.gesamp.org

Paul Ridgway

Reported by Paul Ridgway
London, based on a media briefing
kindly provided by IMO Media staff.

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Added 9 December 2021

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Interesting book release: The Ever Given

Ever Given. The story of her salvage, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
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As we wind down towards Christmas our thoughts may turn to presents, even if they are what we buy ourselves, for as someone once said, ‘The best present is always the one you buy for yourself’

With this is mind we came across news of an interesting new book that has appeared from an unexpected source, a leading salvage company. The book, a new release, is titled THE EVER GIVEN and is compiled and published by Royal Boskalis Westminster NV of PO Box 43, Papendrecht, 3350 AA, The Netherlands, and is available in English and Dutch.

Boskalis, together with fellow Dutch salvage specialist and subsidiary, SMIT Salvage, was responsible for the salvage of the giant container ship Ever Given, which ran aground in the Suez Canal earlier this year (March), effectively blocking it to other shipping for six days.

As a result hundreds of ships were either trapped within the canal or outside the north and south entrances, unable to complete their journeys and incurring huge costs as they awaited the removal of the Ever Given. Lloyd’s List estimated that cost to be in the region of USD 400 million per hour.

Working in collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, a large group of experts from Boskalis and its subsidiary SMIT Salvage succeeded in refloating the enormous vessel within a week during a spring tide, thus unblocking the canal.

This allowed the hundreds of queuing ships to continue their journey and averted a potential disaster for world trade.

At the time of the salvage operation and immediately afterwards, Boskalis received numerous questions from the media and interested parties about the progress of the salvage operation and what had happened behind the scenes.

The Salvage of the Ever Giver, in Africa Ports & Ships

It is in response to these requests and because of the unique nature of this salvage operation, that Royal Boskalis Westminster decided to publish a book reflecting on this intense week.

Based on interviews with a large number of colleagues involved, combined with various photos, the book paints a chronological picture of what took place on board the stranded vessel with the salvage team, the shore support team in Egypt and the Boskalis offices.

The book is available in English and Dutch and can now be ordered from the Boskalis shop in Papendrecht via CLICK HERE or for domestoc (Netherlands) orders through www.bol.com

The price quoted is for collection at EUR 9.95 plus shipping cost for international deliveries.

-trh

Africa PORTS & SHIPS has not seen or read the book and bases the above on information received from the publisher.

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TRADE NEWS: Xeneta Shipping Index by Compass is launched

Xeneta and Compass Financial Technologies Partner to Launch the Industry’s Most In-Depth Daily Container Freight Index

Xeneta Shipping Index by Compass (XSI® – C), EU Benchmark Regulation (EU BMR) compliant is ready for index-based contracting and derivatives

 

Xeneta logo in Africa Ports & Ships

OSLO/ LAUSANNE, 9 December 2021:  Branded as the Xeneta Shipping Index by Compass (XSI®-C)the solution offers a EU Benchmark Regulation (EU BMR) compliant index for rolling short-term Freight All Kinds (FAK) rates, which are rates applicable to the shipping of all types of goods.

“The XSI® by Compass, provides the most reliable and in-depth EU BMR compliant short-term ocean container freight rates available,” said Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund. “The unreliability of existing indices and their lack of transparency are what motivated us to create a new data source for the containerized ocean freight market together with the Compass team.”

The contracted rate data reported to Xeneta by customers is the source data for the XSI®-C indices. Xeneta is the world’s largest ocean freight rate benchmarking platform and provides the most exhaustive source of information related to container transactions. The use of proprietary data guards XSI®-C from issues associated with third-party data sources, including problems with accuracy, reliability and transparency.

Read the rest of this report in the TRADE NEWS section available by CLICKING HERE

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UNCTAD and Africa Report

UNCTAD’s Economic Development in Africa Report 2021 in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
UNCTAD’s Economic Development in Africa Report 2021, which has been published this week

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could reduce Covid-19-induced growth contraction, poverty and inequality trends and spur sustainable and inclusive growth on the continent, according to UNCTAD’s Economic Development in Africa Report 2021 published on 8 December.

Available in English and French the Report can be FOUND HERE

The world’s largest free trade area needs measures to boost productivity and expand opportunities. This report outlines the measures required to support inclusive economic growth on the continent. Economic growth can only be inclusive if it reduces both poverty and inequality it is stated.

Africa’s unprecedented growth in the 2000s has not translated into significantly improved livelihoods for most Africans, as the income gap between the rich and the poor has widened.

The AfCFTA, under which free trade officially commenced in January 2021, is one of the flagship projects of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which includes various targets on sustainable and inclusive growth. For more on this SEE HERE

About UNCTAD

UNCTAD is the UN trade and development body. It supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalised economy more fairly and effectively and equips them to deal with the potential drawbacks of greater economic integration.

It provides analysis, facilitates consensus-building and offers technical assistance to help developing countries use trade, investment, finance and technology as vehicles for inclusive and sustainable development.

An annual publication

The Economic Development in Africa Report, published annually, analyses major aspects of Africa’s development and policy issues of interest to African countries.

It makes policy recommendations for action by African countries themselves and by the international community to overcome the development challenges that the continent faces.

The 2021 edition, at 224 pages is entitled Reaping the Potential Benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area for Inclusive Growth. This publication aims to equip African governments and development partners with knowledge on how the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can be beneficial for inclusive growth and help realize Africa’s untapped export potential.

Introduction

The Introduction by Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General of UNCTAD introduces the potential benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area for inclusive growth, regional integration with objectives and structure of the report.

She writes that the AfCFTA is expected to be a game changer for development ambitions in Africa: “It arrives at a crucial time, marked by the increased poverty levels and socioeconomic setbacks African countries have experienced due to the coronavirus disease pandemic, and its related financial, climatic and food-related shocks.”

Further she draws attention to the urgent need for better understanding of how the AfCFTA operates considering significant challenges faced and the increasing levels of inequality. For example it is a shock to learn that 34% of African households are below the international poverty line.

UNCTAD-15, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
UNCTAD-15

Barbados and UNCTAD 15

It must not be forgotten that UNCTAD 15 was held this year in Barbados in October – for more SEE HERE – and we should not overlook the words of Kenya’s President Kenyatta spoken there. He urged the global community to come together to work towards a functional multilateral system: “No single government or multilateral agency can address global threats alone. We must work together in solidarity if we are to succeed.”

The Bridgetown Covenant agreed their outlined member states’ desire to see UNCTAD’s role as an important intergovernmental forum for consensus-building on trade and development meaningfully reinvigorated.

Contents

Following the Report’s Introduction this valuable publication has chapters as here: Chapter 1 Inclusive growth in Africa; Chapter 2 People, informality and inclusivity; Chapter 3 Shared prosperity through the African Continental Free Trade Area: Realizing export potential and challenges towards greater inclusiveness of trade; Chapter 4 An integrated framework and cost-efficient trade measures, and Chapter 5 Main messages and policy recommendations.

Each chapter is divided into a total of 26 sub-topics. Then follows a wealth of References, Figures and Tables.

Are they listening?

In all a perfect insight into the economic drivers and hurdles to be encountered in this huge trade area. Here in Europe, particularly in an island on the edge of Europe, those in politics would do well to master their briefs with study of this impressive document before debating Africa.

Paul Ridgway

Reported by Paul Ridgway
London

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Grindrod stake in new freight ferry service to be introduced on Lake Victoria

A new 96-metre long purpose-built roll-on/roll-off ferry for freight services and to operate on Lake Victoria, has been commissioned by InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), and Durban-based Grindrod Limited.

The ferry will be built by SECO Marine Ltd, an affiliate company of Mombasa-based Shipyard, Southern Engineering Co. Ltd.

To be built in Entebbe, Uganda, the ferry will transport fully laden trucks, operating a safe, scheduled freight service between Port Bell (serving Kampala, Uganda) and the Port at Mwanza South in Tanzania with an anticipated journey time of circa 24 hours.

InfraCo Africa is the majority shareholder of the East Africa Marine Transport (EAMT) project which will pioneer a scheduled freight ferry service to facilitate trade across Lake Victoria. EAMT has benefitted from a European Union-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF) grant which provided funding for market and technical studies as well as for legal and regulatory support.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Grindrod and SECO Marine to deliver the pioneering EAMT project, combining our own experience of delivering Kalangala Infrastructure Services, with Grindrod’s deep knowledge of African trade flow and SECO Marine’s ship-building expertise,” said Gilles Vaes, InfraCo Africa’s Chief Executive Officer.

“By bypassing congested road networks, EAMT’s scheduled marine freight service is expected to prevent approximately 130,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions each year, whilst opening up trade and promoting economic development in the Lake Victoria Basin and the wider region.”

In the countries bordering Lake Victoria, the majority of existing freight is transported by road, with journeys around the lake taking 3-4 days. To date, privately operated freight transport across the Lake has been undertaken on an ad hoc basis with smaller vessels sailing only when they are full. This approach has economic and opportunity costs for businesses, particularly those working with time-sensitive cargo.

Lake Victoria has a number of existing ferries of which mos cater for carrying passengers and cargo, often a vehicle or two, as with this landing craft-type vessel on the lake
Lake Victoria has a number of existing ferries of which most cater for carrying passengers and cargo, often a vehicle or two, as with this landing craft-type vessel on the lake

“Grindrod provides customers with efficient and cost-effective routes to market for their cargoes,” said Xolani Mbambo, Chief Executive Officer, Grindrod Freight Services.

He said the ferry service achieves that objective and will unlock economic growth in the region through a scheduled marine freight service offering, significantly improving time to get goods to the market.

“It will also bolster Grindrod’s existing presence in East Africa in line with our objective to grow in this region. We are privileged to be an operational partner of InfraCo on this initiative.”

Expected to become operational in 2024, EAMT will create jobs and provide businesses with a faster, safer and more reliable route to regional markets. For those transporting fresh produce, a direct route across the Lake will prevent spoilage, enabling producers to cut waste and retain the value of their products.

Reduced journey times are expected to boost trade and reduce emissions from road transport by removing freight vehicles from the region’s congested road network.

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WHARF TALK: Ice class general cargo vessel – MALIK ARCTICA

Ships from Greenland are not very common in South African ports, thugh not they are not total strangers either. Malik Arctica is the latest vessel to arrive, as seen here in this picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Ships from Greenland are uncommon in South African ports, although they are not total strangers. Malik Arctica is the latest such vessel to arrive, as seen here in this picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

Antarctic research and resupply season is upon Cape Town once more. As always, the Russians kicked the resupply season off when the MYS DEZHNEVA headed south, to Progress Station, as early as 9th October, with the lead items of the new Vostok Base. She was followed by the evergreen AKADEMIK FEDEROV, which sailed from Cape Town on 4th December, bound also to Progress Station with further elements of the new Vostok Station.

However, Antarctic resupply is not simply about the Russians, and Cape Town is not known as the ‘Gateway to Antarctica’ for nothing. After an almost non-existent Antarctic resupply season last year due to Covid, this year will also see the Germans, Norwegians and Indians coming through the port. The Germans are also using a chartered ice class vessel to assist with the resupply of their Antarctic station, NEUMAYER III, for the 2021-2022 season.

On this overcast day Malik Arctica arrived from an unorthodox direction, for a vessel going on to the Antarctic. Read about it here. Picture by 'Dockrat'
On a cloudy day Malik Arctica arrived from an unorthodox direction for a vessel going on to the Antarctic. Read about it here. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

On 6th December at 11h00 the ice class, general cargo vessel MALIK ARCTICA (IMO 9618135) arrived at the Table Bay anchorage. After a short three hour wait, she entered Cape Town harbour and proceeded to E berth in the Duncan Dock.

She is expecting to sail for Antarctica late on 8th December.

She had been taken on charter by the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), of Bremerhaven, to resupply their Antarctic research station, Neumayer III, located at Atka Bay in Queen Maud Land. She had arrived from Bremerhaven, Leixoes, Las Palmas and Lobito, which was a strange route for a vessel that was scheduled to be sailing from Cape Town on a resupply voyage to Antarctica on behalf of a major European Antarctic Expedition.

The reason for this routing is that Malik Arctica had also been taken on a sub-charter by MACS to complete a single southbound voyage from Europe to Southern Africa, carrying containers only, on behalf of the German carrier, after first picking up the majority of the AWI cargo components in Bremerhaven, which were destined for Neumayer III.

The ship's bow design provides at least a hint of her status as an ice-strenghtened vessel. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The ship’s distinctive bow design provides at least a hint of her status as an ice-class vessel. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2017 by Remontowa Shipbuilding SA of Gdansk in Poland, Malik Arctica is 114 metres in length and has a deadweight of 8,438 tons. She is powered by a single HHI MAN-B&W 6S46ME-B8.2 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, producing 10,540 bhp (7,860 kW) to drive a controllable pitch propeller for a service speed of 15 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes two STX MAN-B&W 8L16/24 generators providing 880 kW each, one STX MAN-B&W 5L16/24 generator providing 500 kW, and a Scania DI09074M emergency generator providing 323 kW. Unusually for a general cargo vessel, Malik Arctica has two transverse thrusters, operating both a bow, and a stern, Brunvoll FU62LTC1750 thruster unit, to assist with port manoeuvring in the trade in which she usually operates.

She has four holds, which are serviced by two Liebherr CBW cranes, capable of 45 ton lifts. Her cargo carrying capacity is 13,620 m3. She has a container carrying capacity of 606 TEU, for which 251 reefer plugs are fitted.

Malik Arctica on the calm waters of Duncan Dock in the port of Cape Town. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Malik Arctica on the calm waters of Duncan Dock in the port of Cape Town. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Classified as ICE 1A1 by DNV-GL, which is the classification society created in 2013 with the merger of the Norwegian Det Norske Veritas (DNV), and the German Germanischer Lloyd (GL) classification societies, and which means Malik Arctica is capable of normal open water operations, in ice conditions of 0.8 metre thick first year ice.

She is owned, operated and managed by Royal Arctic Line AS (RAL), of Nuuk in Greenland. RAL were founded in 1993, and are wholly owned by the government of Greenland, which is a Danish autonomous territory. The sole purpose of RAL is to serve both the major, and the remote, coastal communities of Greenland, and maintain a year round link to Denmark.

Royal Arctic Line are no strangers to passing through Cape Town every Austral summer, on a resupply mission to Antarctica on behalf of one National Antarctic Expedition, or another. The first such voyage took place in the 2007-2008 season, when the RAL vessel Naja Arctica called at Cape Town on 15th February 2008, on her way back from taking down the components of the new Neumayer III base to Antarctica. Her story was reported in both the 15th February 2008, and the 18th February 2008 issues of Africa PORTS and SHIPS.

The ship turns to manoeuvre towards her berth. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The ship turns to manoeuvre towards her berth, with a harbour tug in assistance  Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Since 2008, they have travelled south every year on behalf of the expeditions running the German (Neumayer III), Belgian (Princess Elisabeth) and Norwegian (Troll) bases, using first the Naja Arctica, then the Mary Arctica, and latterly the Malik Arctica.

In the last 2020-2021 season, Malik Arctica called at Cape Town in December 2020 and January 2021, whilst undertaking the Troll base resupply. Unlike this year, on both occasions last season, due to Covid restrictions, her port stay was limited to taking stores and bunkers only in both directions, with no cargo working taking place in Cape Town.

On sailing from Cape Town, Malik Arctica is due to arrive at Atka Bay, located at 70° 35’ South 007° 51’ West just before Christmas. On completion of her resupply mission to Neumayer III, Malik Arctica is scheduled to arrive back at Cape Town on 18th January 2022, before heading back to Bremerhaven to complete the voyage for the German Alfred Wegener Institute.

The stern view of Malik Arctica, which was due to sail for the Antarctic today (Wednesday 8 December). Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The stern view of Malik Arctica, which was due to sail for the Antarctic today (Wednesday 8 December). Picture by ‘Dockrat’

However, as with her southbound leg to Cape Town, Malik Arctica is also due to, once more, conduct a single voyage sub-charter, from Cape Town to Europe, on behalf of MACS, carrying containers only. From Bremerhaven, she will proceed to Aalborg in Denmark, where she will load for yet another of her usual voyages, that of carrying general cargo to the ports, and the communities, of Greenland.

Despite her Ice class, and despite her normal operating environment being the ice filled waters of Greenland, Malik Arctica has been caught out more than once by the ice conditions she encountered whilst navigating in these dangerous coastal waters.

In October 2020, whilst carrying winter supplies from Denmark to Greenland ports, Malik Arctica got stuck off her destination port of Ittoqqortoormiit (Greenland has some spectacular sounding port names), located at 70° 11’ North 022° 11 West. She drifted for 30 hours towards Kangertiqqivqay, before she could extract herself and continue with her voyage.

It is not only winter ice conditions in Greenland that can cause her problems. On only her second voyage, in July 2017, Malik Arctica was also stopped due to severe summer ice conditions, whilst sailing from Qaanaaq. Subsequently, her last port of call on that voyage, Qeqertaq, could not be reached and she was forced to cancel the call, and return to Denmark.

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IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee: 22-26 November

Picture: IMO ©, in Africa Ports & Ships
Picture: IMO ©

​The International Maritime Organization (IMO’s) MEPC meeting virtually for its 77th session adopted a resolution on voluntary use of cleaner fuels in the Arctic, to reduce black carbon emissions.

We are privileged to publish material here kindly provided in a Press briefing from IMO at the conclusion of the event. To assist with space it has been assembled in two parts to run in consecutive editions of Africa PORTS & SHIPS.

The MEPC adopted a strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships; adopted revised guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) and agreed the scope of work on discharge water of EGCS; and considered matters related to the Ballast Water Management Convention.

Tackling climate change – cutting GHG emissions from ships

The MEPC agreed to put in train the revision of the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships, recognising the need to strengthen the ambition during the revision process. The move comes in the wake of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), held in Glasgow from 1-12 November and in view of the urgency for all sectors to accelerate their efforts to reduce GHG emissions.

A final draft Revised IMO GHG Strategy would be considered by MEPC 80 (scheduled to meet in spring 2023), with a view to adoption.

The Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Shipping was adopted in 2018.

For more information readers are invited to SEE HERE

The Committee invited interested Member States and international organisations to work together and to submit concrete proposals for a revised IMO GHG Strategy to MEPC 78 (June 2022) for consideration.

Discussion of proposals to further reduce GHG emissions from shipping

A number of proposals for further mid-term GHG reduction measures, including market-based measures, to address GHG emissions from shipping, as well as a proposal to establish an International Maritime Research and Development Board, were discussed during the session. This followed presentation of a number of proposals in the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG GHG 10).

Following a constructive discussion, the Committee referred the proposals and relevant documents, including associated impact assessments, to the next sessions ISWG-GHG.

Impact assessment of GHG measures

The Initial IMO GHG strategy recognizes that the impacts on States of proposed measures that should be assessed and taken into account as appropriate, with particular attention paid to the needs of developing countries, especially small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs).

The Committee agreed to establish an Ad-hoc Expert Workshop on Impact Assessments to consider concrete proposals for improving the impact assessment procedure and provide recommendations as part of the lessons-learned exercise, the outcome of which will be submitted to ISWG-GHG 11.

GHG TC Trust Fund

New pledges were made by Governments to support the work of the IMO in supporting the implementation of the Initial GHG Strategy in developing countries, in particular SIDS and LDCs, through technical cooperation and capacity building through the IMO GHG TC Trust Fund. These pledges will enhance the Organization’s work on energy efficiency technology cooperation and demonstration ensuring nobody is left behind in implementing the Initial Strategy.

Correspondence Group on Carbon Intensity Reduction

A Correspondence Group on Carbon Intensity Reduction was established, to finalise and update guidelines. These relate, in particular, to the short-term measures adopted in 2021, consisting of technical (EEXI) and operational (CII and its rating) measures. These mandatory rules are expected to enter into force in November 2022, aiming at 40% reduction of carbon intensity by 2030.

Meanwhile, the MEPC approved the MEPC circular on 2021 Guidance on treatment of innovative energy efficiency technologies for calculation and verification of the attained EEDI and EEXI, particularly accommodating the use of wind propulsion as an alternative (complimentary) source of propulsion.

To be continued…..Part 2 on Friday

Paul Ridgway

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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Who’s the biggest of them all? MSC now on top, but Maersk still has the most ships

Maersk held the winner's cup for several decades as having the largest container fleet, measured in capacity and in ships. Now that record is threatened if not beaten by MSC. Picture by Unsplash
Maersk held the winner’s cup for several decades as having the largest container fleet, measured in capacity and in ships. Now that record is threatened if not beaten by MSC. Picture by Unsplash

Who’s the biggest of ’em all? For years, since the 1990s at least, it was indisputably Maersk who could boast of having the largest fleet of container ships, including having the most capacity for transporting containers (TEUs) on board.

At one time it was a regular feature in various maritime journals and newspaper columns in South Africa and elsewhere to report whenever one of the top 10 container lines moved up or down a place in the hierarchy of dominant container shipping, as measured by the number of ships and the capacity they could carry.

Then Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) moved up into position two, ousting CMA CGM (if we recall correctly) into third position, which it still holds.

Still Maersk continued to dominate and for a number of years the status quo has remained unchanged, near the top at least.

Now that is about to change, or already has, with MSC reported to have reached the top, having galloped into position following an extraordinary spell of buying secondhand container ships by the hundreds, as well as taking delivery of huge newbuilds, thus adding considerably to the container capacity MSC is able to carry.

Maersk meanwhile is remaining quiet and apparently unmoved on the topic, unless it is about to spring a surprise on us all. That doesn’t seem likely as the Danish giant has expressed intentions of focusing on diversifying with landside logistics operations rather than on simply expanding its fleet.

Not that MSC says much, if anything either. As a private, family-owned company MSC doesn’t need to speak of its achievements or intentions, or to reveal future further raids on secondhand shipping. Let’s all remember it was on the strength of selective secondhand ships that MSC successfully built its empire.

Anyway, news of their newbuilds comes usually from the shipyards or via brokers and analysts who keep an eye on such things.

MSC built its fleet with good secondhand tonnage before branching out into newbuilds, which include some of the world's biggest ships and other newbuilds using environment-friendly fuels such as LNG, in Africa Ports & Ships
MSC built its fleet with good secondhand tonnage before branching out into newbuilds, which include some of the world’s biggest container ships and other newbuilds using environment-friendly fuels such as LNG.  MSC

What is known is that the Geneva-based Italian company has an order book worth a total of one million TEU and that’s not including reports that it has signed letters of intent with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of six LNG-powered 15,000-TEU ships worth a total of US$1 billion.

A little over a week ago MSC took delivery of two 12,200-TEU boxships from China’s Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group – these have been named MSC ALANYA and MSC RAYSHMI, which follow MSC CAROLE, the first in the new class, which was handed over in September. A further two similar ships are under construction for later delivery. It is these newbuilds plus the recent secondhand purchases that is reported to have nudged MSC into top position as measured by capacity.

That’s if these numbers are correct. One leading analyst company, Alphaliner, has Maersk still at the top – only just – as the capacity gap is down to around 11,000 TEU, which a single one of those newbuilds will cancel out!

Alphaliner records Maersk as having a total of 731 container ships, with 323 of these owned and 408 on charter. According to this analyst, MSC trails Maersk in the number of ships with a total of 634 vessels, of which 251 are owned and 383 on charter.

So, who is actually top dog in this unofficial competition? It doesn’t really matter, they’re all making huge pots of money – Maersk recently announced record profits for the first nine months of 2021 and is in line for its largest profit ever reported by any Danish company. MSC doesn’t say, but bet your last rand (or dollar) it too is a rather obscene-sounding figure.  – trh

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Liberia and China sign MoU to bolster and expand on maritime safety

The products tanker UACC Ras Tanura, registered in Monrovia under the Liberian flag. Picture by 'Dockrat', in Africa Ports & Ships
The products tanker UACC Ras Tanura, registered in Monrovia under the Liberian flag. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

News has been released that the Liberian Maritime Authority and the Maritime Safety Administration of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in October which will strengthen an existing working relationship in areas of maritime safety.

In recent years the two countries have confirmed and updated historic reciprocal agreements designed to develop friendly relations between the two governments and to strengthen their co-operation in the field of maritime transport.

The latest signing of an MoU took place in Beijing and followed several months of close discussions and cooperation.

The areas focused on include port state control and marine environmental protection. In addition both Liberia and China intend working to promote and facilitate maritime transport between both countries.

Attention will also focus on promoting the safety of navigation at sea, seafarer training and welfare, and other areas concerning the safety of vessels at sea.

Reduction in port dues in China

It was agreed that this agreement is a part of a broader deal signed between Liberia and China which will see “Liberian flagged vessels given preferential status for reductions in port dues in China.”

The Liberian Registry has a long-established track record of combining the highest standards of safety for vessels and crews supporting international legislation designed to maintain and improve the safety and effectiveness of the shipping industry and protection of the marine environment.

The registry was the first ship registry to join Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change.

The signatories of the declaration have committed to improving seafarers’ position in the maritime industry, working also on problems related to the crew change crisis caused by COVID-19.

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UN Security Council adopts resolution to combat the continuing threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia

Danish Navy forces intercepting a suspicious skiff between the African coast and Seychelles, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Danish Navy forces intercepting a suspicious skiff between the African coast and Seychelles.. Picture: Danish Navy

The UN Security Council on Friday (3 December) adopted a resolution to combat the continuing threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia, as shipping and protection measures to keep vessels safe, have returned to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation in the country illustrates that joint counter-piracy efforts have resulted in a steady decline in attacks and hijackings since 2011.

However, although piracy off the coast of Somalia has been ‘repressed’, the ongoing threat of resurgence remains.

As such – under Chapter VII of the Charter, which provides for enforcement action – the Security Council adopted Resolution 2608, which, among other things, condemns piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Somali coast, underscoring that it exacerbates instability by introducing “illicit cash that fuels crime, corruption and terrorism”.

Making amends

Through its resolution, ambassadors said that investigations and prosecutions must continue for all who “plan, organise, illicitly finance or profit from pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia”.

The Somali authorities were called upon to put in place mechanisms to safely return effects seized by pirates and to patrol the coastal waters to prevent and suppress future acts of armed robbery at sea.

At the same time, they were requested to bring to justice those using Somali territory to “plan, facilitate, or undertake criminal acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea”.

Member States were asked – at the request of the Somali authorities and with notification to the Secretary-General – to strengthen maritime capacity in the country and to appropriately cooperate on prosecuting suspected pirates for taking hostages.

The resolution also encourages the Somali Government to accede to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, and develop a corresponding legal architecture as part of its efforts to target money laundering and financial support structures on which piracy networks survive.

UN Security Council unanimously adopts resolution condemning and deploring all acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia.

EU NAVFOR naval ships on patrol off the coast of Somalia. Picture: EU NAVFOR
EU NAVFOR naval ships on patrol off the coast of Somalia. Picture: EU NAVFOR

Authorisation to fight piracy

The Security Council renewed its call to States and regional organisations to deploy naval vessels, arms, and military aircraft to combat piracy, and stressed that the importance of international coordination.

At the same time, the resolution authorised – for a further three-month period – States and regional organisations cooperating with Somali authorities, to fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off Somalia, “for which advance notification has been provided by Somali authorities to the Secretary-General”.

Calls to action

Through its resolution, the Council called upon all States to “take appropriate actions…to prevent the illicit financing of acts of piracy and the laundering of its proceeds…[and] to criminalize piracy under their domestic law”.

Countries were also petitioned to cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of anyone responsible for or associated with acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia, including international criminal networks.

Resolution 2608 welcomed the continued work of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) Global Maritime Crime Programme to ensure that those suspected of piracy are prosecuted, and those convicted, imprisoned in accordance with international legal standards.

Finally, the resolution recognised the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) role concerning privately contracted security personnel on board ships in high-risk areas and welcomed its continued anti-piracy role – particularly in coordination with UNODC, the World Food Programme (WFP), the shipping industry and all other parties concerned. Source : UN

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Durban’s new port manager vows to reduce vessel delays by 85%

Port of Durban Container Terminal, North Quay on Pier 2
Port of Durban Container Terminal, North Quay on Pier 2    Picture:  Transnet

The Port of Durban’s recently appointed Port Manager, Ms Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana, says that during her tenure at Durban, she wants to reduce vessel delays by at least 85% and implement a book now and dock now approach.

“Even when I am gone, I want to ensure that I am able to measure my outputs by dealing with the challenges that shipping liners are encountering in the Port of Durban,” she said.

Dweba-Kwetana says that part of her ‘deliverables’ are to fast-track the Durban Port Masterplan which seeks to reposition the Port of Durban as a logistics hub for the African continent.

Durban port manager Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana, in Africa Ports & Ships
Durban port manager Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana

She indicated she will also drive the new Operating Model which is set to provide a self-sustainable integrated port system that is adequate, efficient, affordable, safe and environmentally compliant and in doing so, driving economic growth and enabling economic transformation.

The port manager was the keynote speaker at this year’s Women in Transport Awards which were held at the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Hotel.

The annual Women in Transport Awards bring together Africa’s most renowned transport industry professionals, many of them longstanding attendees of the Transport Evolution Africa Forum.

This industry event provides the platform to recognise, reward and celebrate the success of women transforming the transport sector while recognising women in the transport industry who are achieving career success and opening doors for other women.

“Companies nowadays need problem solvers; they do not need people who follow what other people have done instead the industry needs trailblazers and trendsetters. People who are not afraid to take calculated risks, people who walk into any organisation and immediately identify what is wrong and implement change,” Dweba-Kwetana said.

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WHARF TALK: Return to the tankers – CRIMSON JADE

Crimson Jade on the tanker nerth in the port of Cape Town. Picture by 'Dockrat, in Africa Ports & Ships'
Crimson Jade on the tanker berth in the port of Cape Town. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

Another day, another tanker, another charter. In most cases, tankers on time charter seem to maintain the identity of their owner, and keep the funnel colours of the said owner, and not that of the charterer. It is not often that the observer spots a vessel displaying the funnel colours of a major shipping concern, but where that vessel clearly is not owned by the company whose houseflag she flies.

On 26th November at 11h00, the MR2 tanker CRIMSON JADE (IMO 9812743) arrived off Cape Town, from Aliaga in Turkey, and proceeded straight into Cape Town harbour, going alongside at the Tanker Berth in the Duncan Dock. For an MR2 tanker, her time alongside was longer than normal, a full week, and on 3rd December at 12h00 she sailed from Cape Town, bound for Sikka in India.

Built in 2017 by Minaminippon Shipbuilding of Ozai in Japan, Crimson Jade is 186 metres in length and has a deadweight of 51,504 tons. She is powered by a single Mitsui MAN-B&W 7S50ME-B9 7 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, providing 11,516 bhp (8,470 kW) to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots.

The tanker was in port for a week before sailing for India. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The tanker was in port for a week before sailing for India. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her auxiliary machinery includes four generators, plus an emergency generator, providing a total of 3,360 kW. She has an Alfa Laval Aalborg vertical oil fired boiler. With 12 cargo tanks, Crimson Jade has a cargo carrying capacity of 55,665 m3. She is one of two sisterships.

She is owned by MMS Co. Ltd. of Japan, where MMS is a part of the Meiji Shipping Group, and she is managed by MMSL Pte. Ltd. of Singapore, where MMSL is an acronym for Marubeni Maritime Singapore Limited.

Crimson Jade on the tanker berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Crimson Jade on the tanker berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

For scholars of the Japanese language, Maru simply means ship, and Beni means Crimson i.e. Crimson Ship, where all vessels of MMS have the prefix of Crimson in their name. Incidentally, her builder’s yard, Minaminippon, translates as ‘Southern Japan’.

However, the funnel colours of Crimson Jade clearly identify her with the Italian d‘Amico group, and Crimson Jade is operated by d’Amico Tankers DAC of Dublin. She has been placed with the, d’Amico Group owned, Highpool Tankers fleet.

On completion, and delivery from the shipyard in June 2017, Crimson Jade was immediately taken on a seven year time charter by d’Amico International Shipping SA, of Rome, with an option to both extend the charter, and to have a purchase option on the vessel.

Crimson Jade on the tanker berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat in Africa Ports & Ships'
The accommodation , bridge and funnel section of Crimson Jade. Note the d’Amico logo on the attractive funnel.  Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She had been a visitor to South Africa in the past, although this is her first visit this year. She has visited Africa this year, when she delivered a refined products fuel cargo to Freetown, in Sierra Leone, in West Africa.

Her loading port in Turkey, Aliaga, is situated on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, and whilst more famous for the recent, last resting place of some famous passenger liners at the local ship recycling facility, it is also the location of two of Turkey’s biggest refineries.

Being at Cape Town we have to have Table Mountain in view. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Being at Cape Town we have to have Table Mountain in view. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The Tüpraş Izmir Refinery, owned by a private company of the same name, which has four tanker berths, is the largest. The second refinery at Aliaga is the Star Aegean Refinery, which is owned by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), and which provides seven tanker berths.

Her destination port in India, after sailing from Cape Town, was Sikka, located on the southern shores of the Gulf of Kutch, in the northwestern state of Gujarat. The port is a major Indian oil terminal, with just under 90% of arrivals being tankers associated with the import of crude oil, or the export of refined products and petrochemicals.

The port has seven jetty berths, all for the export of refined fuel products, with two berths capable of handling tankers up to MR size, and three berths capable of handling tankers up to LR size. Sikka also provides five offshore single buoy moorings (SBM), with three provided for the import of crude oil, and two provided for the export of refined fuel products.

Crimson Jade in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Crimson Jade in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

 

All of Sikka’s berths and SBMs are connected by pipeline to the nearby Jamnagar oil refinery.

To reinforce the picture, not always understood in South Africa, that India is a major oil exporter of refined products, the Jamnagar oil refinery is the largest refinery in the world today. It is owned and operated by Reliance Industries Limited, and when it was commissioned in 1999, it was already built as being capable of refining 668,000 barrels per day.

By 2008, the refinery has expanded to be capable of refining 1,240,000 (1.24 million) barrels per day. If every piece of pipe used in the Jamnagar refinery was laid end-on-end, it would stretch for the whole length of India, from north to south, an effective distance of 3,214 kilometres, or the equivalent of from Cape Town to Durban, and back again.

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Lagos State Government announces plans to clear Apapa port road gridlock

The Lagos State Government has introduced plans to clear the trucks that are parked haphazardly along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.

The vehicles will be removed in order to restore a free flow of vehicles to and from the port.

“Sequel to the decision of NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority) to start a new regime of empty container movement into Tin Can Island port via Pregate, all truckers are hereby notified that Lagos State Government, through the office of the Special Adviser on Transportation, will begin a clearance and sanitization operation on Friday, December 3, 2021, to achieve the objective of maintaining a free flow of vehicular activities along the Mile 2-Tin Can Island port Road,” said Toyin Fayinka, special adviser on transportation to the State Governor.

Fayinka is also chairman of the Lagos State Apapa Traffic Management and Enforcement Committee. He warned truckers who are guilty of parking indiscriminately along the roadway, that their vehicles would be removed and confiscated.

The port of Apapa in Lagos, in Africa Ports & Ships
The port of Apapa in Lagos   Picture: NPA

The road congestion and gridlocks have been a major problem at the port of Apapa in Lagos for many years, with various methods introduced as a means of alleviating the build up of trucks.

Fayinka included the road to Tin Can island in his warnings, saying that all Tin Can Island port bound trucks must move via Mile 2. To this extent, he said, the road to Tincan Island road becomes a no stopping, no parking and a tow zone. “All trucks plying that road must be in motion or risk getting towed,” he warned.

Meanwhile the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), through the Truck Transit Park (TTP), announced the temporary measures in current ports operations.

“In line with NPA’s primary objective of decongesting the port axis, TTP has been mandated to disable booking of empty containers on E-call up system, called ‘Etò’ for Tin-can Island Port bound trucks so as to ensure all empty containers already booked get to the various terminals.

“Please note that customers who made bookings before the shutdown will be able to access the parks and match their trucks.

“Please be advised and comply with regulation based on the directives above so that we can achieve the common goal-hitch-free movement.”

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Capt Nick Sloane appointed as President of International Salvage Union

Capt Nick Sloane being interviewed at the site of the Costa Concordia salvage, which he led., featured in Africa Ports & Ships
Capt Nick Sloane being interviewed at the site of the Costa Concordia salvage, which he led.

Well-known South African salvage master and director of EMEA Resolve, Capt Nick Sloane, has been appointed President of the International Salvage Union.

His appointment was revealed at the recent annual general meeting of the ISU, which was held virtually. Capt Sloane has been Vice President of the ISU since 2020 and succeeds Richard Janssen who will continue as a member of the ISU Executive Committee.

The ISU is the trade association that acts as the global voice of the salvage industry and its members who facilitate world trade by providing marine services that save lives, protects the environment, mitigates risk and reduces loss.

In his speech while handing over the presidency to Sloane, Janssen said: “More than ever I am convinced about how critical our industry is and we have continued to make a great contribution by preventing loss, mitigating risk, protecting the environment and enabling global trade.

Nick Sloane, left, with Joe Farrell of Resolve Marine
Nick Sloane, left, with Joe Farrell of Resolve Marine

“I hand over the presidency with real confidence to Nick, who is well-known across the shipping industry and beyond. He is a vastly experienced salvor and has a deep personal commitment to our industry and also to the protection of the marine environment.”

Commenting on his appointment, Captain Sloane said: “I would like to thank Richard for his hard work and leadership over the past two years – often in difficult circumstances – he has not only held the industry together but has helped us to make progress on key issues and led the appointment process of our new Legal Advisor and Secretary General.

“I am honoured to represent Resolve on the ISU Executive Committee and it is a privilege for me to take over the leadership position as President of the ISU. I want to see through our commitment to cooperate with insurers recognising that we serve the same clients, the shipowners. I want to vigorously promote our industry and its benefits.

“In particular, I will emphasise that protection of the environment is such an important aspect of our members’ operations and so crucial in the world today which has rightly put the environment at the top of the international political agenda.”

Capt Sloane is a director of international salvage, wreck removal, emergency response and training provider, Resolve Marine of Florida USA. He is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and the International Institute of Marine Surveyors and started his career at sea in 1980 and has worked in many roles, primarily in towage and salvage, rising to become master of the super-tugs John Ross and Wolraad Woltemade and then salvage master.

His ‘case book’ includes casualties and wrecks in all classes of ship and oil rigs around the world. One of his earliest salvage jobs on the John Ross was the Castillo de Bellver tanker disaster off the West Coast.

Captain Nick Sloane in Cape Town, 2018, receiving the SOMMSA Gold Medal from SOMMSA President, Rob Whitehead, in recognition of his leadership in the successful Costa Concordia wreck removal operation. Picture SOMMSA In Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Captain Nick Sloane (left) in Cape Town, 2018, receiving the SOMMSA Gold Medal from SOMMSA President, Rob Whitehead, in recognition of his leadership in the successful Costa Concordia wreck removal operation. Picture SOMMSA

He become a famous figure between the years 2012 and 2014 when he led the team that raised the cruise ship Costa Concordia from the Italian island of Giglio.

Captain Sloane is South Africa’s second sitting President of the ISU – a position once occupied by Captain Okke Grapow.

The new Vice President of the International Salvage Union is John Witte, President and CEO of Donjon Marine Co., Inc. of New Jersey, USA. Witte has more than 40 years’ experience of towage, salvage, heavy lift, marine engineering and shipbuilding and repair and is a past-President of both the American Salvage Association and ISU.

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Wallenius Wilhelmsen celebrates naming ceremony for car carrier MV Nabucco

Wallenius Wilhelmsen's latest Hero class vehicle carrier, Nabucco, which was named in Gothenburg earlier today (Tuesday 7 December 2021) in Africa Ports & Ships.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s latest Hero class vehicle carrier, Nabucco, which was named in Gothenburg earlier today (Tuesday 7 December 2021).   Picture WW

At the port of Gothenburg today (Tuesday 7 December 2021) Wallenius Wilhelmsen ASA celebrated the naming ceremony of their RoRo vehicle carrier, NABUCCO (IMO 9731652) at the Port of Gothenburg. The vessel and her sister ships are among the most sustainable RoRo vessels in the global fleet.

The ceremony was live streamed from Gothenburg, with only a select group attending due to the recent increase in Covid cases. MV Nabucco is the last in a line of four HERO class sister ships.

The bottle-shaped ice sculpture that was smashed against the ship's hull, in Africa Ports & Ships
The bottle-shaped ice sculpture that was smashed against the ship’s hull

To signify the vessel’s sustainable features, and the company’s ambitious sustainability agenda, a bottle-shaped ice sculpture was smashed against the hull. The godparents, sustainable battery company and Wallenius Wilhelmsen customer, Northvolt, presented Captain Fredrik Krysén with a battery to keep onboard as a reminder that both companies are committed to a decarbonised world.

“This vessel is at the forefront when it comes to minimising carbon emissions, ship recycling and fuel efficiency,” said Acting CEO Torbjørn Wist. “She is our last vessel based on conventional fuel technology and we now look towards the next generation of energy solutions.”

Nabucco and her sister ships are among the most sustainable RoRo vessels in the global fleet. The HERO class reduces energy consumption by dramatically improving the cargo to ballast ratio. As the increased beam (36.5m) provides better stability, there is less need for ballast water.

The symbolic battery presented by battery manufacturer, Northvolt in Africa Ports & Ships
The symbolic battery presented by battery manufacturer, Northvolt

In addition, an optimised hull diminishes drag and wave resistance, improving fuel efficiency, while the engine has been tuned for low-load operation to reduce fuel consumption.

The HERO vessels are designed to further strengthen Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s competitive advantage in the high & heavy and breakbulk markets. The cargo hold on the Nabucco has been arranged with electrically hoistable deck panels, allowing for fast, safe and flexible operations to cater for variations in the cargo mix and enabling it to carry large and heavy (out-of-gauge) cargo.

Nabucco was delivered by Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding. She is now on her way to Zeebrugge for loading and will sail to the US, Asia and back to Europe.

Vessel facts:

Capacity 7,700 vehicles
Length: 200m
Beam: 36.5
Draft (max): 11.0 m
DWT: 23,890 MT
GT: 73,358 GT

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CRUISE NEWS: Hurtigruten launches more West African cruises; Covid and Omicron on board Norwegian cruise ship

Hurtigruten cruises West Africa out of Dakar

Hurtigruten Expeditions, more noted for their Arctic and Antarctic-type cruising, is launching more West African expedition cruises for 2023/24 – including one of the least visited destinations and national parks on the planet.

Hurtigruten Expeditions is the world’s largest expedition cruise line and has rapidly expanded its global offering of small-ship expedition cruises in recent years.

This has seen the adding of destinations such as to West Africa, the Galapagos, and the Caribbean. Hurtigruten claims to be the only expedition cruise company offering year-round cruises directly from Germany and the UK to the Norwegian coast.

It says the 2023/24 season will be the most extensive in the company’s 125 years of exploration. One of the new highlights is:

Exploration of the remote and rarely visited parts of West Africa including Cape Verde and the Bissagos Island.

The itineraries include four countries: Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal, with their ship MS SPITSBERGEN based out of Dakar, one of Africa’s most bustling cities.

“Exploration is not solely about geography; it’s a mindset,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.

“We receive clear feedback from guests that they want to experience new ways to explore, and in more places. This is the reason why we continue to launch and expand our offerings to immerse in nature, culture, history, and science across the whole planet.”

Hurtigruten Expeditions is the only cruise company offering West African-based cruises.

Norwegian Breakaway, the NCL cruise ship that returned to New Orleans with 17 cases of Covid-19 on board

In other cruise news of the moment, it is reported that the NORWEGIAN BREAKAWAY, with more than 3,200 passengers on board, has returned from a Caribbean 7-day cruise out of New Orleans with at least 17 cases of Covid-19 among passengers and crew.

The ship returned to New Orleans on Sunday 5 December after making calls at Belize, Honduras and Mexico.

The possible Omicron case is one of the ship’s crew who has been kept in isolation on board the vessel.

Passengers were tested for the virus before they left the ship on return on Sunday. Those who tested positive for Covid-19 were advised either to travel home in a personal vehicle, or given the choice to self-isolate in accommodation provided by NCL.

The incident occurred as the United States records an increase in Covid-19 cases, including an increasing number of cases of the Omicron variant.

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West Africa: where have the pirates gone?

Article & Report by Dryad Global

The Gulf of Guinea has been the global epicentre of maritime crime and piracy for some time now. However, throughout 2021 the well-established trend of increasing incidents, often involving the violent armed boarding of vessels and the kidnap and ransom of crews, has declined significantly.

Metis Insights - Where have the pirates gone in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Metis Insights – Where have the pirates gone

Such a precipitous decline in incidents is welcomed, however, increasingly this is being met with claims that the risk to commercial operations throughout the Gulf of Guinea has also lessened. In this month’s Metis Insights, Dryad Global’s Head of Intelligence Munro Anderson shares his analysis.

The importance of risk-based decision making for all commercial operators within the Gulf of Guinea means that it is vital that sudden and steep changes in trends of incident data are examined in detail.

Indeed, by using a simple logic-based investigation of available maritime security data, it is apparent that the basis for such a decline is likely to be fragile and conditional upon loosely correlated actions, strongly indicating the fragility of any assessment that correlates a reduction in threat with a decline in incidents.

Access Dryad Global’s Metis Insights latest report for the full analysis by SIGNING UP HERE

The above requires you to sign up for Metis Insights

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TNPA dredger Isandlwana replenishing sand on Durban beaches to prevent beach erosion

TNPA port dredger Isandlwana
TNPA port dredger Isandlwana, accused of ‘oiling’ Durban’s beaches        Picture:  Transnet

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has reacted to a social media video in which a vessel is seen spouting out an ‘oil-like substance’ close to the shores of Durban’s Beachfront.

The video began circulating on Thursday, 2 December 2021 and is not the first time that social media has distorted the facts involving the actual vessel involved, the port cutter suction dredger ISANDLWANA, which is helping to replenish sand onto Durban’s beaches, ahead of the festive season.

The dredger is using a method known as ‘rainbowing’, which propels clean sand that has been dredged from the sandtrap (a dredged hole in the seabed) on the south side of the South Pier, in a high arc to a particular location.

TNPA has an agreement with the eThekwini Municipality (Durban) for the port authority to nourish the beaches. TNPA says it would like to assure the public that this act is safe and does not pose any danger to beach users or the marine
environment.

The sandtrap is used to capture sand moving northward via the littoral drift, which would otherwise accumulate against the South Pier before spilling over across the harbour entrance, creating a ‘bar’ that would endanger shipping.

Part of the five miles of swimming beaches between the Port of Durban harbour entrance and the Umgeni river mouth, which the dredger helps maintain sand levels
Part of the five miles of swimming beaches between the Port of Durban harbour entrance and the Umgeni river mouth, which the dredger helps maintain sand levels    Durban Publicity

At the same time the Durban beaches are in danger of gradually becoming denuded of seasand on its famous beaches as a result of the disrupted northward littoral drift, hence the need to replenish what is being lost, and this is where the dredger comes in.

Isandlwana regularly empties the sandtrap and by arrangement with the eThekwini Municipality, at certain times this sand is ‘rainbowed’ into the sea in front of the respective beaches, which then washes ashore and restoring the beach levels.

TNPA has issued an appeal to the public to stop the spread of fake news by way of reporting any fake news to Transnet’s hotline number 0800 003 056 or by emailing Transnet@tip-offs.com

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WHARF TALK: Unusual visitor to Cape Town – TEMIS

The accommodation support vessel TEMIS arrives in Cape Town Harbour from the oil fields off northwestern Angola. Picture by ''Dockrat'
The accommodation support vessel TEMIS arrives in Cape Town Harbour from the oil fields off northwestern Angola. Picture by ”Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

As they always do, any vessel involved in the oil and gas industry draws attention from the casual observer. The head turning ability of offshore industry vessels is normally due to their sheer size, their sometimes enormous working deck fittings, and their sheer unique designs. Interest is doubled when a twin hulled, specialised, offshore industry vessel arrives. Ugly is quite often beautiful.

On 30th November at 10h00, the compact semi-submersible (CSS) TEMIS (IMO 9693135) arrived off Cape Town, from the Dalia oil field, situated offshore Angola, and proceeded directly into Cape Town harbour, going alongside the Repair Quay in the Duncan Dock.

This is the same vessel described in Monday's edition of Africa PORTS & SHIPS. This picture is by 'Dockrat'
This is the same vessel described in Monday’s edition of Africa PORTS & SHIPS. This picture is by ‘Dockrat’

As a compact semi-submersible, Temis has been designed to be an accommodation support vessel, sometimes referred to as a Floatel or, more unflatteringly, and erroneously, as an accommodation barge. She is expected to remain in Cape Town, undergoing maintenance and overhaul work, until around mid-December, a period of about two weeks.

Cllose-up detail of the bows of Temis. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Close-up detail of the bows of Temis, including her extendable ladder/gangway and heavy 150-ton crane. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2015 by Fujian Shipbuilding at Mawei in China, Temis is a twin hulled vessel, with a length of 84 metres, on a beam of 32 metres, and has a gross registered tonnage of 15,896 tons. One of three sisterships, she has six Rolls-Royce Bergen C25:33 L9A diesels, each producing 2,800 kW each, with each providing power to six AvK ADSG114M1 generators, producing 3,111 kVA each.

A view of the stern of Temis including her helipad. Picture by 'Dockrat'
A view of the stern of Temis including her helipad and lifeboats. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Power from the generators is split between utilisation for shipboard needs, and to provide power to four Rolls- Royce Aquamaster US305FP, 360 degree, azimuth thrusters, with one located at each end of her twin hulls, providing 3,000 kW each, to give Temis a transit speed of 8 knots. Her auxiliary machinery includes a single Caterpillar C32 emergency generator providing 910 kW.

Temis in the Duncan Dock at Cape Town Harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Temis in the Duncan Dock at Cape Town Harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

With accommodation provided for 501 persons, she has seven Jiangyin Wolong lifeboats, three of which are free-fall, and four of which are davit launched. They are located on three sides of Temis. She has a telescopic, ‘walk to work’ gangway, extendable to a maximum of 42.5 metres, that allows her onboard, accommodated, workforce to access the offshore platform that they are working on. To maintain a constant position with the platform, she has a Kongsberg Dynamic Positioning system, giving her a full DP3 capability.

The same but with Table Mountain in the picture, which is by 'Dockrat'
The same but with Table Mountain in the picture, which is by ‘Dockrat’

She has a 22 metre helideck, capable of taking the largest of offshore helicopters, up to Sikorsky S-92A size. Her working deck is 650m2, capable of holding 500 tons of stores, equipment and supplies, and she has a MacGregor KB Longreach, 60 ton capacity, working crane, to enable her to transfer equipment from her working deck to the platform, or to a working vessel alongside.

Now the accommodation vessel is preparing to come alongside. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Now the accommodation vessel is preparing to come alongside. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Owned by Marine Assets Corporation (MAC) of Dubai, Temis is operated by her owner’s subsidiary company, MAC Offshore of Singapore. She is managed by Nortrans Offshore, also of Singapore, whose logo is prominent on the hull of Temis.

Temis in Cape Town Harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Temis in Cape Town Harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

For the last eighteen months Temis has been working in the West African offshore arena, and the Southwest African offshore arena. Before moving to work in Angola in 2021, she was on contract for 142 days, providing accommodation for the workforce on the Alen Gas Field development, located 32 miles east of Bioko Island, in Equatorial Guinea.

After she moved south to Angola she worked in Block 17, on both the offshore Girassol and Dalia oil fields. Both fields are deepwater fields, over 100 kilometres off the Angolan coast, and both fields are serviced by a central Floating Production and Storage Offshore (FPSO) platform.

Temis is in Cape Town Harbour for a souple of weeks, one of the more unusual callers of the year. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The Girassol FPSO, built by the Hyundai Shipyard in South Korea, is located 210 miles northwest of Luanda, and operates in a water depth of 1,350 metres. It produces 240,000 barrels per day, with development costs of US$2.8 billion (ZAR45.2 billion).

The final workplace for Temis, prior to sailing for Cape Town, was the Dalia FPSO, built by the Samsung Shipyard in South Korea, and also located over 200 miles northwest of Luanda. The field lies in water depths between 1,200 and 1,500 metres, and also produces 240,000 barrels per day. The development costs of the Dalia field were US$3.4 billion (ZAR54.9 billion).

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Maritime Safety: UK MAIB and collision investigation – Anchoring: Marine Guidance Note issued

The fishing vessel Achieve under tow. Photograph courtesy of RNLI (Tynemouth) © in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The fishing vessel Achieve under tow. Photograph courtesy of RNLI (Tynemouth) ©

UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch

A report has been issued into the collision between prawn trawler Achieve and general cargo vessel Talis and subsequent sinking of Achieve on 8 November 2020.

On that day the UK-registered fishing vessel Achieve (HL257) collided with the Panama-registered general cargo ship Talis in fog off Tynemouth on the NE coast. The fishing vessel was severely damaged and sank while being towed to port. It was found on investigation that neither vessel was keeping an effective lookout in the restricted visibility and Achieve’s wheelhouse was unmanned at the time of the collision.

Safety Issues

There were safety issues outlined in the report. In brief these are:

* Neither crew was keeping an effective lookout in restricted visibility and neither vessel was making the required sound signals.

* The fishing vessel’s wheelhouse was unmanned at the time of the collision and the vessel was not fitted with a radar reflector.

* Ineffective use was made of radar by both vessels which could have provided early warning of the risk of collision.

* The action taken to avoid the collision was made too late.

Recommendations

In its conclusion the RAIB report outlined two recommendations. The owner/skipper of Achieve, who has since bought a half share in a new boat and fishes part time with its co-owner, has been recommended (No 2021/132) to put procedures in place to require a proper lookout is kept at all times.

A recommendation (No 2021/133) has been made to Talis’s owner to remind its masters and officers of their obligations under the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972, as amended.

The fishing vessel Achieve, built 1997, of wood construction, 10 metres loa. Photograph courtesy of RNLI (Tynemouth) ©
The fishing vessel Achieve, built 1997, of wood construction, 10 metres loa. Photograph courtesy of RNLI (Tynemouth) ©

The MAIB Report

The MAIB Report 14-2021 issued on 3 December into this very serious marine casualty is available HERE

Safety flyer for fishers

A Safety Flyer to the fishing industry highlighting a number of the safety lessons was produced for this report.

Anchoring: Marine Guidance Note issued

On 1 December the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued MGN 661 (M+F) Navigation – safe and responsible anchoring and fishing practices. This note highlights the importance of full awareness of the submarine pipelines and cables on the seabed, prior and during anchoring operations, and during fishing activities.

For MGN 661 (M+F) which replaces MIN 604 (M+F) readers are invited to SEE HERE

This Note, published on 1 December, is addressed to all masters; ship operators and managers; skippers of fishing vessels and small commercially operated vessels and yachts; and pleasure vessels.

Its issues follows a recent incident investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and submarine cable industry concerns.

In view of the serious consequences resulting from damage to submarine cables, vessel operators should take special care when anchoring, fishing, dredging or engaging in underwater operations near areas where these cables may exist or have been reported to exist. In order to minimise the risk of such damage as much as possible, vessels should avoid any such activity near and either side of submarine cables.

Paul Ridgway

Reported by Paul Ridgway
London

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Shell gets go-ahead with seismic survey off Eastern Cape Wild Coast

The seismic survey vessel Amazon Warrior, which is conducting the survey off the Eastern Cape Wild Coast on behalf of Shell. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The seismic survey vessel Amazon Warrior, which is conducting the survey off the Eastern Cape Wild Coast on behalf of Shell. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

With a favourable decision in the Makhanda (Grahamstown) High Court oil company Shell on Friday (3 December 2021) received the go-ahead with its planned seismic survey off the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast.

This followed an urgent legal application by several activist groups, including Greenpeace Africa.

The activists included claims that the methods used in conducting the survey endangered marine life in the area of the survey, including migrating whales, dolphins, as well as lower catch rates for commercial fishing.

Shell’s counter argument was that it has fulfilled all regulatory obligations and that similar studies have been carried out in South African waters.

High Court Judge Avinash Govindjee noted the public interest in the case which he said was “palpable” but pointed out the assertion of irreparable harm to the marine environment was at best speculative.

“The balance of convenience is in favour of Shell. In the urgent application, the applicants have failed to produce evidence that there is a genuine apprehension of irreparable harm to the marine environment particularly given the mitigation measures that Shell would put in place in line with the environmental management programme [EMP],” the judge ruled.

The judgement at 09h00 on Friday was broadcast live on television and radio, with Judge Govindjee awarding costs for two counsels.

Among the reports that led to the outcry were those of Sunday Times columnist and former newspaper editor, Peter Bruce, who referred to an article in the New York Times which quoted a professor at Duke University who said airgun blasts used in a survey had been detected 4,000km away!

Bruce claimed that Shell was going to lay a ship off the Wild Coast and would, every 10 seconds, be blasting a sound “10,000 times louder than a nuclear explosion,” which he said would be repeated more than a quarter of a million times.

Bruce added that there were whales off the Transkei coast at this time of year and that “Shell will kill many this Christmas and those it doesn’t kill will lose their hearing and thus their ability to communicate with each other.”

To add emphasis he finished his article saying that for all sea life off the Transkei, the world is about to change forever, and that Shell should be ashamed of itself. [Sunday Times 21 November 2021]

The public outcry followed this article.

Seismic surveys have been conducted off the South African coast on a number of occasions, including off the southern Cape coast near the Outeniqua Bank, and off the KwaZulu-Natal coast including off Durban. There have been no reports of ‘nuclear’ sounding explosions having been heard, nor of mysterious great fish deaths.

On the contrary, on a daily basis whales are noticed all along the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal coast, including off Durban where there are several whale watching observation positions. The whales and numerous dolphins are mostly seen close to the coast but have also been observed further out to sea.

As one correspondent has pointed out to us, after forty years of such surveys worldwide, and half a dozen within SA waters, there is still no empirical evidence that seismic surveys do damage to whales, or other marine life.

He added that procedures on streaming is that the air gun, which is close to the ship, is ‘ramped’ up on start so that any noise that makes a cetacean uncomfortable is slowly built up and gives the marine mammal the time to leave the area. “Every survey ship carries a whale watcher to look for whales, and the air guns are stopped on sighting them.”

Another point made is that… “If the naysayers had any merit in their emotional wailings, the North Sea would be a marine desert due to amount of seismic surveys that have taken place there! Yet it has large well managed fish stocks of all kinds, no history of whale strandings following surveys and no sign of benthic life being decimated.”

He said that the Shell survey is taking place over 20km from shore, so is unlikely to be seen or heard, and almost solely off the continental shelf in very deep waters over 700m in depth. “As such, these deep waters are not migratory routes for marine mammals or fish, contain very little marine life, and are not sitting in the Wild Coast Marine Park.”   – trh

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News From the Coast: Ships in port tonight: Seismic Survey underway; Platform vessel Temis

MSC Trieste, the ship that was towed into Saldanha Bay for repairs. Picture: Fleetmon in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
MSC Trieste, the ship that was towed into Saldanha Bay for repairs. Picture: Fleetmon

SHIPS IN PORT (Sunday night)

Richards Bay:  13 vessels in port and 30 vessels outside

RBCT Coal Terminal:   3 vessels plus 1 tug and tow.
TPT Terminals: 9 vessels in port.

Richards Bay Outer Anchorage:  30 vessels waiting outside either for RB or orders.

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Durban: The port of Durban is currently entertaining 33 ships in port and another 35 waiting outside. The breakup of terminals is as follows:

Container Terminals Piers 1 and 2: 5 vessels
Maydon Wharf: 10 vessels
Point, T Jetty & Cruise Terminal: 6 vessels
Island View Liquid Bulk: 5 vessels
Bluff: 2 vessels
Bayhead (ship repair): 5 vessels

Not included are workboats, service tugs, fishing vessels, trawlers, bunker tankers etc.

Durban Outer Anchorage: 35 vessels

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East London: 2 vessels in port.

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Ngqura: 1 vessel (not included are bunkering or associated tankers).

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Port Elizabeth: 7 vessels.

Algoa Bay anchorage: 10 vessels either for Port Elizabeth, Ngqura, or for bunkering at anchorage.

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Cape Town: 10 vessels (not including fishing vessels, workboats etc).

Table Bay anchorage: 9 vessels.

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Saldanha Bay: 6 vessels including MSC Trieste for engine room repairs.

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St Helena Bay Anchorage: 3 vessels including NS Qingdao for removal of cargo.

For regular news about ships in the South African and neighbouring ports, check out our SHIP MOVEMENTS PAGES

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Amazon Warrior, now on station off the Eastern Cape coast. Picture by 'Dockrat', in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Amazon Warrior, now on station off the Eastern Cape coast. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

AMAZON WARRIOR

In other news this week the Shearwater seismic survey vessel AMAZON WARRIOR which has been (and probably will stay) in the news over the controversy surrounding offshore seismic surveys, is on station opposite Morgan Bay and carrying out the first of its programme, with the support of several smaller vessels including ASTRA G and OCEAN FORTUNE, all three of which have featured in recent editions.

Amazon Warrior and its support vessels are expected to remain off the Wild Coast into January.

Cargo clearing is continuing from the bulk carrier NS QINGDAO in St Helena Bay – see our detailed report in last week’s batch of news. In the neighbouring Saldanha Bay, the disabled container ship MSC TRIESTE is at anchor and undergoing repairs in her engine room.

The other large ship casualty is another MSC ship, the 12,400-TEU MSC KATRINA (IMO 9467445), which remains at Pier 1, berths 102/103 where she is undergoing repairs to the engine room which suffered fire damage. MSC Katrina has a fullish cargo of containers destined for the Far East and loaded in West Africa – these have remained on board during the lengthy repair, suggesting that many might be empties.

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The platform accommodation vessel Temis in Cape Town Harbour. Note Debmarine's new diamond mining vessel under construction. Picture by Charles Corbett in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The platform accommodation vessel Temis (left) in Cape Town Harbour. Note Debmarine’s new diamond mining vessel Benguela Gem under construction.  Picture by Charles Corbett
Temis in Cape Town harbour, having arrived from Angola. Picture by Charles Corbett in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Temis in Cape Town harbour, having arrived from Angola. Picture by Charles Corbett

TEMIS

A ship of interest at Cape Town is the accommodation platform vessel, TEMIS (IMO 9693135), 84-metres long, 32m wide, that arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday last week, 30 November, from the Girassol FPSO Terminus off Angola.

The vessel has a gross tonnage of 15,700-gt and a deadweight of 3,800 tons. Built in 2015 she is flagged in the Marshall Islands. Among the vessel’s features are a crane lifting capacity of 150 tons.

The Girassol terminus from which Temis arrived is a FPSO (Floating, Production, Storage & Offloading) vessel, which is on station in Block 17, about 210km northwest of Luanda in Angola and floating in water that is 1,350 metres deep.

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WHARF TALK: Ultramax SDARI Dolphin 64 design – CP CHONGQING

The bulk carrier CP Chongqing is on her berth in the port of Cape Town, taking bunkers from the tanker Al Safa. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The bulk carrier CP Chongqing is on her berth in the port of Cape Town, taking bunkers from the tanker Al Safa. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

It is not unusual that two ships, from the same company, are in port together. However, it is not usual that two sisterships, from the same company, are in port together, and with the sisterships in question being from a class of vessel that is becoming one of the most popular. Also unusual was that one vessel had arrived to discharge a cargo, whilst the other had not.

On 29th November at 19h00 the Ultramax bulk carrier CP CHONGQING (IMO 9710517) arrived off Cape Town, from Chattogram in Bangladesh. She proceeded directly into Cape Town harbour, but not to discharge any cargo, but went directly to the Eastern Mole in order to take on bunkers and stores. As soon as she was alongside, the bunker tanker Al Safa arrived to make the necessary transfer of bunkers.

Taken from the wharfside, the bulker CP Chongqing presents an imposing picture. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Taken from the wharfside, the bulker CP Chongqing presents an imposing view. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her arrival draft was an indication that she was in ballast, and her actual destination was the Recalada Anchorage, at the mouth of the River Plate in Argentina. From Recalada, most bulk carriers then proceed up the River Plate, to the wheat ports up the Parana River, such as Rosario and San Lorenzo. After a short 15 hour stop, CP Chongqing sailed from Cape Town at 10h00 on 30th December for her destination.

CP Chonqing was berthed at the Eastern Mole in Cape Town Harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat'
CP Chongqing was berthed at the Eastern Mole in Cape Town Harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

 

Built in 2016 by Chengxi Shipyard at Jiangyin in China, CP Chongqing is 200 metres in length and has a deadweight of 63,581 tons. She is powered by a single Hudong MAN-B&W 5S60ME-C8.2 5 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, producing 10,945 bhp (8,050 kW) to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14.2 knots.

CP Chongqing moving away from the Eastern Mole and readying to leave port. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
CP Chongqing moving away from the Eastern Mole and readying to leave port. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Yanmar 6EY18AL generators providing 650 kW each, and a single Cummins 6CT-8.3-D(M) emergency generator providing 140 kW. She has a Saacke CMB-VS Composite exhaust gas boiler. She has five holds, serviced by four 30 ton hydraulic cranes, and her cargo carrying capacity is 78,500 m3.

CP Chongqing begins to move out from the Duncan Dock towards the harbour entrance. Picture by 'Dockrat'
CP Chongqing begins to move out from the Duncan Dock towards the harbour entrance. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

One of the extremely popular SDARI Dolphin 64 design, from the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute, CP Chongqing is one of 12 sisterships built for her company. The SDARI 64 is an energy efficient, eco-friendly design, and the largest type of geared bulk carrier available. It is built in numerous state owned shipyards in China, and its popularity with shipowners means that almost 500 of them have been built since the first one in 2012.

The accommodation and bridge area of the bulk carrier. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The accommodation and bridge area of the bulk carrier. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Owned and managed by Parakou Shipping Limited of Hong Kong, whose houseflag she displays on her funnel, CP Chongqing is operated by Efe Chartering of Istanbul, in Turkey. When CP Chongqing arrived in Cape Town on 29th November, her sistership CP Tianjin was already alongside C berth in the Duncan Dock, where she had arrived on 27th November, and was busy unloading a cargo of bulk bagged rice, loaded in Sriracha in Thailand. She sailed the day after her fleet mate, bound for Luanda in Angola.

It is not the first visit to Southern Africa this year for CP Chongqing, even if this call was for bunkers only. She had previously called at both Nacala and Beira, in Mozambique, back in July, and also Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth in August.

CP Chongqing heads out into the Atlantic, next stop the River Plate in Argentina. Picture by 'Dockrat'
CP Chongqing heads out into the Atlantic, next stop the River Plate in Argentina. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

For those who are not familiar with Chattogram in Bangladesh, which is where CP Chongqing started her present voyage, it has, like many other port cities in this part of the world, been renamed by the local authorities. As a former colonial part of British India, and latterly as East Pakistan, before claiming full independence in 1971, it was previously known as Chittagong. The Bangladeshi government enacted the name change in 2018, in order to align it with the local Bengali dialect.

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Omicron: Transport leaders warn of governments’ knee-jerk reaction: Supply chain at greater risk

Knee-jerk reaction. Picture: ITF © in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Picture: ITF ©

It was reported by ITF on 3 December that world leaders’ knee-jerk reactions to the Omicron variant are putting transport workers and the global supply chain at greater risk of collapse.

This was the subject of a warning by international transport organisations and unions representing road, air and sea transport. These bodies are: IATA, ICS, IRU and ITF. They represent more than US$ 20 trillion of world trade annually and 65 million global transport workers and more than 3.5 million road freight and airline companies and more than 80% of the world merchant shipping fleet.

Cross-border transport workers including seafarers, air crew and drivers must be able to continue to do their jobs, and cross borders without overly restrictive travel rules, to keep already ailing supply chains moving.

IATA, the International Air Transport Association, ICS, the International Chamber of Shipping, IRU, the International Road Transport Union, and ITF, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, have jointly called for governments to not re-impose border restrictions that further limit the freedom of movement of international transport workers and learn from the lessons of the last two years.

Variant of concern

One week since the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the new Omicron strain of Covid-19 as a ‘variant of concern’, at least 56 countries have re-imposed varying degrees of travel restrictions.

These transport bodies are calling for an end to the rushed and fragmented approach to travel rules by governments. ITF in its statement says now is the time for heads of state to listen to industry leaders and workers, by taking decisive and coordinated action together to ease strain on the supply chain, and support an exhausted global transport workforce during the busy holiday season.

Crew Change Crisis by ITF in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

Frustration

In their announcement on 3 December the transport bodies also expressed frustration that governments were reneging on clear steps issued to world leaders in September to:

* Guarantee the free and safe movement of transport workers.

* transport workers to receive WHO-recognised vaccines.

* Adopt lasting travel and health protocols developed by industry for seafarers, drivers and air crew, as endorsed by WHO, ILO, IMO and ICAO.

* Create globally harmonised, digital, mutually-recognised vaccination certificates and processes for demonstrating health credentials (including vaccination status and COVID-19 test results), which are paramount to ensure transport workers can cross international borders.

* Increase global vaccine supply by all means at our disposal in order to expedite the recovery of our industries.

Of the present situation Guy Platten, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping  commented: “This feels like groundhog day for our transport sectors. There is a real and legitimate fear that unless coordinated action is taken by world leaders we will see a return to the peak of the crew change crisis in 2020 where more than 400,000 seafarers were impacted by unnecessarily harsh travel restrictions.

Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Guy Platten

“Our transport workers have worked tirelessly for the past two years throughout the pandemic to keep the global supply chain moving, and they are at breaking point. December is traditionally a busy time for seafarers returning home to their families and governments owe them the chance to spend that time with their loved ones.”

Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, ITF, pointed out that the same governments that have blocked global vaccine access are now the first to lock down their borders to keep the Omicron variant out. “Instead of pursuing a global solution to this pandemic, their decisions further risk supply chain collapse.

“It is not only morally reprehensible, it is economic self-destruction. We need universal access to vaccines now. It is imperative for all of us to tell governments to stop bowing down to big pharma and pave the way so that every country can produce the vaccines needed to end this pandemic.”

Paul Ridgway

Reported by Paul Ridgway
London

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Singapore suspends crew change for those with recent travel history to southern Africa

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, in its latest Marine Notice, has temporarily suspended all crew change for seafarers with a recent history of travel to southern African countries.

This is in response to the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In the notice, No.44 of 2021 dated 2 December 2021, it is announced that the ‘Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history (including transit) to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or transit through Singapore.’

The notice adds that as a precautionary measure, crew change and vaccination of crew will be temporarily suspended in the Port of Singapore:

a) ‘Crew with recent travel history to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe within the last 14 days preceding arrival to Singapore. This includes sign-on crew travelling to Singapore by flight as well as sign-off crew from vessels that have called at Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
b) ‘Sign-on crew transiting Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe on their connecting flights to Singapore.’

The Marine Notice is signed by Capt. Ching Jai Chyuan, Port master of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

Read this article in conjunction with the warning message (article above) from transport leaders of ‘governments’ knee-jerk’ reaction.

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Nigerian Ports set date to become fully digital by 2025

President of PMAWCA and Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Micheal Luguje, who provided the welcoming message. "Covid-19 has indeed taught us that we live in a very fragile world," he said. in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
President of PMAWCA and Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Micheal Luguje, who provided the welcoming message. “Covid-19 has indeed taught us that we live in a very fragile world,” he said.

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Acting Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko, says the NPA is taking the necessary measures for the creation of a fully digital ecosystem in all the West African country’s port ,locations by 2025.

Bello-Koko was through a spokesperson at the 41st Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) Annual Council Meeting and 16th Round-table Conference of Managing Directors of PMAWCA, in Douala – Cameroon.

He said a lot of work has gone into the smart port transformation agenda of the Authority, aimed at having a paperless, time saving and cost efficient port operation.

The NPA first deployed a main computer system in 1975 to improve its payroll management, billing, statistical and accounting systems. From 1992, the deployment of personal computers was introduced at each port to ease data management, but without connectivity between the ports, making the sharing of information difficult.

PMAWCA banner in Africa PORTS & SIPS

In 2011 the NPA reviewed its ICT strategy in line with its new role as landlord, following the concessioning of port terminals in 2006. The primary focus of the new strategy was on enterprise computing with a heavy dependence on network infrastructure, along with a centralised and shared database.

Bello-Koko said the adoption by NPA of a phased ICT deployment is geared towards achieving a fully integrated port operating system:

* to foster relationships with all internal and external stakeholders,
* to streamline NPA’s internal business processes,
* to make use of high-end smart technologies,
* to record, monitor and utilise data for better decision making.

A five year plan is now being implemented by the Authority for the attainment of a fully digitalised port system in Nigeria.

Currently, the NPA has deployed a portfolio of systems and infrastructure towards the actualisation of its ICT objectives. These include an Oracle Enterprise Business Suite for financial and human resources planning; Billing/Revenue and Invoice Management System (RIMS) to fast-track billing processing; Customer Portal/electronic Ship Entry Notice (eSEN)/Manifest Upload for shipping traffic management; Hyperion Budgeting for management of annual budget; Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence System (3Ci) for maritime domain awareness and management of vessel calls; Truck Call Up and Gate Access Control for the control and schedule of trucks to the ports as well as manage truck traffic around the port corridor.

Mohammed Bello-Koko, Acting Managing Director: Nigerian Ports Authority in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Mohammed Bello-Koko, Acting Managing Director: Nigerian Ports Authority

Bello-Koko said that with the international supply chain now faced with a number of disruptions, the NPA intends focusing on what he called the smartness level of the port rather than the size of the port in order to optimise productivity and meet the expectations of port users.

At NPA, our goal is to leverage on technology to close the gap between us and the major international ports. A digitalised port helps in making better informed operational decisions, increased efficiency, improve collaboration amongst stakeholders, lower port costs and will ultimately help to meet the ever increasing customer expectations in a timely manner.”

Bello-Koko was represented at the PMAWCA meeting and conference by the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Prof Idris Abubakar.

In his welcoming message, the President of PMAWCA and Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Micheal Luguje, described the conference theme ‘Digitalised Port as a model of Port Efficiency’ as “…very relevant because more than ever, Covid-19 has indeed taught us that we live in a very fragile world. Within a space of time, the dynamics with regards to world trade and our ways of life can change dramatically.

Luguje said the impact of Covid-19 cannot be swept under the carpet so easily. Countries are now having to rebuild again after many years of economic progress has been wiped off. “As leaders in the maritime field entrusted with the responsibilities of facilitating trade and economic progress for our respective countries, we are here to have serious discussion on how we can continue to adjust in the face of this unwavering virus and how to plan and operate our ports to meet future challenges.”

He said the main aim is to explore diverse ways of using less to achieve more through the use of smart technologies.

The PMAWCA 41st Council Meeting attracted heads of PMAWCA member ports and sister organisations that included International Association for Ports and Harbours (IAPH), International Maritime Organization (IMO), Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Union of African Shippers Council, and Abuja MoU on Port State Control in West and Central Africa.

The event was opened by the Minister of Transport for Cameroon, Mr Massena Ngalle Bibehe, while the Roundtable Conference was chaired by the Director General, Port of Douala, Mr Cyrus Ngo’o.

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BIMCO’s new contract for Employment of Security Escort Vessels

Armed guard on board security escort vessel. Image courtesy: Dryad Global in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Armed guard on board security escort vessel. Image courtesy: Dryad Global

BIMCO, which represents approximately 60 per cent of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage, with members in more than 130 countries, including managers, brokers and agents, has through its Documentary Committee, approved a new standard contract for security escort vessels (SEVs).

The standard is a balanced contractual framework for SEVs that accompany merchant ships in high threat areas such as the Gulf of Guinea which has recently seen a rise in piracy activity as the dry season has begun.

The new contract is dubbed SEV-GUARDCON because it is based on BIMCO’s GUARDCON contract for the employment of security guards on board ships.

“The escort vessel’s capabilities, and what should happen if the vessel does not arrive at the rendezvous point as agreed, are key issues for shipowners and operators trading in high threat areas,” says Dan Carr, Deputy General Counsel, Stolt-Nielsen, who chaired the work of the project team.

“SEV-GUARDCON addresses these and other aspects to consider when transiting areas such as the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.

SEV-GUARDCON has been drafted specifically for cross-border transits where an SEV is needed to accompany the owner’s vessel through the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) or territorial waters of more than one state.

BIMCO banner in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

The structure mirrors GUARDCON wherever possible to ensure familiarity, and the insurance provisions have been kept as close as possible to the original GUARDCON wording. The liabilities and indemnities provisions reflect that SEV-GUARDCON covers services of an independently operated SEV as opposed to a security team carried on board the merchant ship.

“Security escorts are used when merchant ships transit dangerous areas and call ports where the use of on board maritime security personnel is not desirable due to local practices or regulations. With SEV-GUARDCON we aim to add value to, and fairly represent the interests of, both the maritime security companies providing escort services and the shipowners and operators who use them,” says BW Group’s Nick Fell, Chairman of BIMCO’s Documentary Committee.

The project team consisted of representative shipowners and operators, private maritime security companies and maritime risk consultants, P&I Clubs, and marine insurance and legal experts, several of whom also participated in the development of the original GUARDCON contract.

It will soon be available on BIMCO’s secure contract editing system, SmartCon, as well as in a sample version on the BIMCO website accompanied by explanatory notes. source: BIMCO

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GENERAL NEWS REPORTS – UPDATED THROUGH THE DAY

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

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– Ibn Battuta

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EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT


Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

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

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

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

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CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES


QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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

Naval News

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

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