Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 16 October 2022

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

These news reprts are updated on an ongoing basis. Check back regularly for the latest news as it develops – where necessary refresh your page at www.africaports.co.za

Week commencing 10 October 2022.  Click on headline to go direct to story : use the BACK key to return  

FIRST VIEW:  CMA CGM ZANZIBAR

The week’s mastheads:

Monday: Port of Richards Bay
Tuesday: Port Harcourt
Wednesday: Port Elizabeth Manganese Terminal
Thursday: Port Elizabeth Car & Container Terminal
Friday: Port of Walvis Bay
Saturday: Port of Ngqura
Sunday: Port of Ngqura Container Terminal

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FIRST VIEW:  CMA CGM ZANZIBAR

CMA CGM Zanzibar. Picture by Trevor Jones in Africa Ports & Ships
CMA CGM Zanzibar. Picture by Trevor Jones

The container ship CMA CGM ZANZIBAR (IMO 9367827) departs from Durban down the entrance channel heading for the high seas and her next destination. The 34,252-dwt ship had earlier completed working cargo at the port’s container terminal.

CMA CGM Zanzibar entered service on 5 February 2009 with the name Blackpool Tower. She’d been built at the Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co Ltd in China. Ten years later the ship’s named became Glacier Bay. The vessel has a length of 212 metres and a beam of 30m and a nominal container capacity of 2564 TEU with 342 reefer points.

CMA CGM Zanzibar sails under the flag of Malta. The geared vessel is powered by a Wartsila Sulzer 7RTA72-B-TI main engine and assisted in port with a bowthruster.

This picture is by Trevor Jones

and now the news….

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WHARF TALK: LR1 Panamax products tanker CORAL GULF

After a long wait of nearly three weeks outside port the products tanker Coral Gu;lf finally enters Cape Town Harbour.  Picture by 'Dockrat', in Africa Ports & Ships
After a long wait of nearly three weeks outside port the products tanker Coral Gu;lf finally enters Cape Town Harbour.  Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

Jay Gates, in Africa Ports & Ships

With all the problems being experienced recently with lack of fuel, both of the diesel and the jet varieties, one still wonders how it is that a product tanker, full of much needed fuel, can spend nigh-on a full month between arrival at one port, and departing from the same port, with over 65% of that time being wasted in waiting for a berth to discharge.

Again, as happened recently, is this down to speculative fuel purchasing by profiteers, who are awaiting a buyer? Or is it down to procedural incompetence in the ordering, and delivery, of the cargo itself? Or maybe it is simply down to inefficiencies of management at the port itself. Whichever it is, and it may be none of the above, most shipowners don’t relish one of their vessels having to spend just short of three weeks lying idly at anchor.

As far back as 14th September, at 17h00 in the afternoon, the LR1 Panamax products tanker GULF CORAL (IMO 9389851) arrived at the Table Bay anchorage, from Körfez in Turkey. She went straight to anchor, and there she remained for an inordinate amount of time, just under 19 days to be precise. That is certainly a record, in recent times, for a fully laden tanker to sit outside Cape Town, awaiting a free berth.

The Panamax products tanker Gulf Coral making her appearance at the port of Cape Town. Picture by ‘Dockrat’ in Africa Ports & Ships
The Panamax products tanker Gulf Coral making her appearance at the port of Cape Town. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Finally, on 2nd October, at 10h00 in the morning, she finally raised her anchor, and entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding into the Duncan Dock, and going alongside the 250 metre long berth in the Tanker Basin. As with all previous LR1 tankers in the port, her discharge would not likely be a quick one, just to add to her time woes.

Built in 2009 by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard at Ulsan in South Korea, ‘Gulf Coral’ is 228 metres in length, and has a deadweight of 74,999 tons. She is powered by a single HHI MAN-B&W 6S60MC-C 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine producing 18,436 bhp (13,560 kW), and driving a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14.5 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three MAN-B&W 6L23/30H generators providing 905 kW each, and a Cummins 6CT8.3DM emergency generator providing 140 kW. She has a single composite exhaust gas boiler, and a single oil fired boiler.

The tanker’s accommodation and bridge area. Picture by ‘Dockrat’ in Africa Ports & Ships
The tanker’s accommodation and bridge area. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She has 12 cargo tanks, and a cargo carrying capacity of 82,362 m3. She can carry 4 grades of products at any one time, and she is equipped with 12 cargo pumps, each capable of pumping 900 m3/hour during loading, or discharge, operations. Simple maths says that a single pump being used to discharge all 12 tanks, of a single product, would take 92 hours to complete, or certainly less than 5 days taking into consideration onboard manifold, line, and valve changes.

Nominally owned by Gulf Coral Shipping Ltd, of Nassau in the Bahamas, ‘Gulf Coral’ is both operated, and managed, by Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM) PJSC, all located at the same address in Dubai. The GEM houseflag is clearly apparent on her funnel. She is the third built of a class of four sisterships.

Her owners, Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM) PJSC, are a joint venture company consisting of three state owned enterprises in the Gulf region, namely the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) of Dubai in the UAE, the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of Abu Dhabi in the UAE, and the Oman Oil Company of Muscat in Oman.

The tanker in Duncan Dock, prior to turning for the tanker basin. Picture by ‘Dockrat’ in Africa Ports & Ships
The tanker in Duncan Dock, prior to turning for the tanker basin. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Earlier this year, two weeks after the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, ‘Gulf Coral’ was engulfed in a furore regarding her involvement in assisting with the export of Russian oil, from a Russian port in the Black Sea.

The Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies reported that, between 9th and 16th of March, there were nine tankers engaged in exporting Russian ‘Blood’ Oil from the Black Sea port of Tuapse, in contravention of some international sanctions policies. One of those nine tankers named was ‘Gulf Coral’, who sailed from Tuapse on 10th March, bound for Suez, via the Dardanelles.

The port of Tuapse, is probably little known in South African marine circles. It is located at 44°06’ North 039°04’ East, on the northeastern shores of the Black Sea. It was developed by the Soviet Union as an oil terminal, and is the location of the only oil refinery on the Russian Black Sea coastline. The refinery is also one of the oldest Russian oil refineries, being brought into operation as far back as 1929. It is currently owned, and operated by Rosneft, and processes up to 240,000 barrels per day.

The port of Tuapse itself has a large oil storage facility adjacent to it. There are four berths for the loading of tankers, and all are connected to the nearby oil terminal by pipeline. The oil terminal itself has 69 storage tanks, with a capacity of 2.14 million barrels of oil.

In March this year Gulf Coral was involved in assisting with the export of Russian oil, from a Russian port in the Black Sea. Picture by ‘Dockrat’ in Africa Ports & Ships
In March this year Gulf Coral was named as one of the ships assisting with the export of Russian oil, from a Russian port in the Black Sea. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

It is clear that this is not the first visit to Cape Town by ‘Gulf Coral’, as back in January 2021 she actually received a Port State Inspection by the South African maritime authorities in Cape Town. The inspection was carried out under the auspices of both the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and the Indian Ocean MoU. The report listed nil deficiencies.

Törfez, which was the loading port of ‘Gulf Coral’, is located in the Turkish Sea of Marmara, between the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. The port is the location of the Izmit oil refinery, which is one of four refineries operated by the Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation (TÜPRAŞ). Opened in 1961, it produces mainly Petroleum, Diesel and LPG for export, and in 2020 processed 13.4 million tons of oil. The refinery is connected to the nearby oil storage terminal, which itself is connected, by pipeline, to the five tanker loading berths in Körfez port.

Finally, after a long 29 days sitting, either at anchor in Table Bay, or discharging within Cape Town harbour, ‘Gulf Coral’ was ready to sail after completion of a full ten day discharge period. Whilst the unnecessary Transnet port workers strike may have played a small part in the time it took to discharge her, a ten day discharge of an LR1 tanker, in this day and age, is nothing to write home about. Sadly, a week to 10 days seems to be becoming the discharge norm, in Cape Town harbour, for a tanker of this size.

Gulf Coral spent 19 days outside Cape Town before entering port to discharge her cargo, and that took another 10 days. Picture by ‘Dockrat’ in Africa Ports & Ships
Gulf Coral spent 19 days outside Cape Town before entering port to discharge her cargo, and that took another 10 days. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

On 12th October at 09h00, ‘Gulf Coral’ sailed from Cape Town harbour, with her destination set for Sikka in India. Sikka is the next port along from Vadinar port, whose oil refinery is part owned by the Russian Rosneft organisation, and located in the Gulf of Kutch, and lying on the Gujarat coastline of Northwest India. Sikka port has a total of seven tanker berths, all located on offshore T-Jetties.

The T-Jetties are linked by pipeline to the large oil storage terminal, adjacent to the port. The oil storage terminal itself is connected directly to the nearby Jamnagar oil refinery, which is operated by Reliance Industries. The refinery itself was opened in 1999, and currently processes 1,240,000 barrels of oil per day.

The sheer size of the processing capacity of the Jamnagar refinery makes it the largest oil refinery in the world. This fact is yet another, mainly unknown, fact about the massive size, not only of India’s refinery capacity, but also of the size of the Indian fuel products export market. This is easily witnessed by the increasing number of product tankers, that arrive in South African ports, from ports located all around the coast of India.

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Added 14 October 2022

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TRANSNET STRIKE: Transnet tables latest offer

Transnet on Thursday tabled its latest offer to the striking unions members of UNTU and SATAWU. There has been no response as yet from either union.

The latest offer follows two days of wage talks facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Transnet says the negotiations have been a delicate balancing act for the company – “mindful not only of the affordability and sustainability of the wage increases for the business, but also having full appreciation of the cost pressures that employees face currently.”

The wage offer, which would upon acceptance be effective from 1 April 2022, entails the following:

• A 4,5% across-the board (ATB) increase in the current year, which will be implemented from 1 October 2022
• A 5,3% (ATB) increase in 2023/24
• A 5,3% (ATB) increase in 2024/25
• A 4,5% increase in the medical aid allowance in 2022/23, which will be adjusted in line with the ATB increase in the subsequent two years
• The back-pay will be paid in two tranches – three months’ back-pay on 15 November 2022, and three months’ back-pay on 16 January 2023

“Whilst the parties have not settled on this offer, engagements are ongoing,” said Transnet, adding that it remains committed to concluding the wage negotiations speedily and amicably, in the interests of employees, the company and the economy.

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Added 13-14 October 2022

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IN CONVERSATION: Slavery has not disappeared – it’s just moved offshore

Forced Labour on the High Seas | #TheOutlawOceanProject

With rising fuel prices and fewer fish close to shore, maritime labour researchers predict that more boats will resort to venturing further out to sea, making the mistreatment of migrants more likely. The work is brutal. 

In Thailand’s bloated, inefficient and barely profitable national fleet, captains require crew members to simply do what they are told, when they are told. No complaints, no matter how long the hours, how little the food, or how paltry the pay. In short, these captains rely on sea slaves.

The Outlaw Ocean Project, a non-profit journalism organisation based in Washington DC, boarded a Thai distant-water vessel using enslaved labour. On it, three dozen Cambodian boys and men worked barefoot all day and into the night on the deck of the purse seiner. 

Rain or shine, shifts ran 18 to 20 hours. At night, the crew cast their nets when the small silver fish they target – mostly jack mackerel and herring – were more reflective and easier to spot in darker waters. During the day, when the sun was high, temperatures topped 37°C – but they worked nonstop. 

Drinking water was tightly rationed. If they were not fishing, the crew sorted their catch and fixed their nets, which were prone to ripping. One boy, his shirt smudged with fish guts, proudly showed off his missing two fingers, severed by a net that had coiled around a spinning crank. Their hands, which virtually never fully dried, had open wounds, slit from fish scales and torn from the nets’ friction. Infections were constant. Captains never lacked amphetamines to help the crews work longer, but they rarely stocked antibiotics for infected wounds. 

On boats like these, deckhands were often beaten for small transgressions like fixing a torn net too slowly or mistakenly placing a mackerel into a bucket for sablefish. Dispatched into the unknown, they were beyond where anyone could help them, usually on so-called ghost ships – unregistered vessels that the Thai government had no ability to track. 

They typically did not speak the language of their Thai captains, did not know how to swim, and, being from inland villages, had never seen the sea before.

Virtually all of the crew had a debt to clear, part of their indentured servitude, a “travel now, pay later” labour system that requires working to pay off money they often had to borrow to sneak illegally into a new country.

There is this modern assumption, especially in the West, that slavery no longer exists. But debt bondage is still very much present. Like the Cambodian boys held captive and killed if they try to escape. This is what modern day slavery looks like. And until we modernise our understanding of that, we won’t know how to identify it, much less do anything about it. DM/OBP

Ian Urbina is the director of The Outlaw Ocean Project, a non-profit journalism organisation based in Washington DC that focuses on environmental and human rights concerns at sea globally.

This article first appeared on Daily Maverick and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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Added 13-14 October 2022

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Xeneta Rates Report, Week 41: Contracts to obtain better ocean freight rates value

Shippers eye Index Linked Container Contracts to obtain better ocean freight rates value

In an ocean freight rates market defined by turbulence, with astronomic price hikes giving way to steep declines in spot rates, cargo owners are looking to regain control over unpredictable supply chains. According to the latest customer survey by Oslo-based Xeneta, turning to Index Linked Container Contracts (ILCCs) may be the obvious way forward.

Changing strategies?

In the in-depth poll of Xeneta users, comprised of leading global shippers, some 76% responded that they would like to use ILCCs to procure more of their capacity.

Peter Sand, in Africa Ports & Ships
Peter Sand

This corresponded exactly with the proportion that are not currently using ILCCs whatsoever. Focusing on those that are, 12% said they use ILCCs to procure up to 25% of their freight, with 6% using them for 50-75%, and the final 6% for more than 75%.

Of those looking to use ILCCs in the future, caution seemed to be the initial watchword, with the greatest number, 36%, targeting 25-36% of capacity tied to the indexed contracts. Of the remainder, 20% of Xeneta customers want to procure 25-50% of capacity via ILCCs, 8% are looking to 50-75%, and the final 12% aim to procure more than 75% of capacity this way.

All these figures are, says Peter Sand, Chief Analyst, Xeneta, indicative of a shipper community eager for change.

Enough is enough

“The rates market is a rollercoaster ride that many shippers appear to be growing tired of,” Sand comments. “The huge growth we’ve seen since the pandemic began appears to be falling away, with tumbling spot rates (from USD 9 000 per FEU in May on the Far East to the US West Coast corridor to USD 3000 per FEU in early October) and long-term contracts beginning to follow that trend.

“What this means for shippers, and carriers, is regular, time-consuming and inefficient renegotiations where you’re never quite sure if you’re getting optimal value for your business. And if you are today, will you still achieve it tomorrow? The obvious way to remedy this is replacing fixed rate agreements with contracts, namely ILCCs, that are automatically adjusted based on a set index, such as Xeneta’s XSI®. As most of our customers are already relying on freight rate data in contract talks, it’s the next, natural step forward.

“By taking it they can achieve predictability, value, and, in an ever fluctuating market, a sense of control. Something shippers, in particular, have been missing of late.”

Xeneta logo in Africa Ports & Ships

Firing blanks?

In this respect, Sand also notes that the survey asked respondents if the anticipated 50% blanking of all scheduled sailing from Far East Asia to North America would impact upon them. This, as observers have seen, is an attempt by carriers to shore-up falling rates and control supply in the face of weak demand. The responses were surprising.

“The shippers seem largely calm about this,” Sand says, “with 26% saying they wouldn’t be affected at all and 43% anticipating some disruption, but no major issue. However, 9% admitted that the entirety of their cargo is being rolled and 22% expected significant disruption. That said, disruption – in addition to rates fluctuation – has been a standout feature of the market ever since the pandemic reared its head back in 2020.”

Xeneta’s weekly container rates blog please visit www.xeneta.com/blog

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Added 13 October 2022

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Maritime Sector under the spotlight: IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event Day 2, October 13, 2022

The annual IMO-led Annual World Maritime Day Parallel Event (WMDPE) is continuing today (Thursday 13 October) at the ICC in Durban, South Africa’s premier port city. The event ends later today.

Below is another interview by the SABC, now on YouTube, with the Deputy Transport Minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga [08:05]. The venue is the ICC, Wednesday 12 October 2022.

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Added 13 October 2022

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Cable theft’ & vandalism on Transnet property reaches unprecedented levels

TFR has cancelled 1,190 trains as a direct result of security related incidents Iin Africa Ports & Ships
TFR has cancelled 1,190 trains as a direct result of security related incidents.  Class 20E dual-voltage electric locomotives.  Picture: Col. Andre Kritzinger / Wikipedia Commons

As if Transnet and its port, rail and terminal divisions haven’t enough worries with the ongoing strike by union members, where there is so far no sign of a settlement, Transnet now says the theft of overhead cables and vandalism has reached unprecedented levels.

In the period January 2021 to October 2021, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has lost over 1000 km of copper cable, from an average of 600 theft and vandalism incidents monthly.

The consequences of cable theft are not limited to financial losses but often result in tragedy. TFR security is under constant threat such as the incident last week where a security officer was ambushed and fatally injured at the Natalspruit Depot in Germiston.

TFR says it continues to witness a steep increase in incidents. In the period 29 October to 10 November, 55km of cable was stolen, 9.4km of which was stolen in the last 48 hours alone. The rampant theft and vandalism has severe impact on freight movements and has a direct impact on TFR’s and customer’s revenues as trains are cancelled daily.

Year to date, TFR has cancelled 1,190 trains as a direct result of security related incidents. Many of the incidents take place on high traffic and high volume corridors, moving major bulk commodities. TFR has seen a particular spike in incidents in the NorthCor (where it moves Coal), CapeCor (where they move manganese) and the Central Corridor which is a junction connecting all of the corridors.

These lost volumes can never be recouped.

The incidents range from the theft of copper cable, vandalism of susbstations which are crucial to the running of TFR’s electrified fleet, theft of wiring and cable from locomotives, theft of wooden rail sleepers and other malicious damage to Transnet property. The damage runs into hundreds of millions.

TFR says it is continuing to engage law enforcement agencies to assist in crime prevention across its network.

“We are pleading to the general public to contact the Crime Stop Hotline on 08600 01000 or to send an email to transnet@tip-off.com to report any suspicious activity near and around our network. Information provided will be treated confidentiality,” said TFR.

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Added 13 October 2022

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WHARF TALK: Norwegian krill trawler ANTARCTIC ENDURANCE

The krill trawler Antarctic Endurance enters port at Cape Town. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The krill trawler Antarctic Endurance enters port at Cape Town. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

Jay Gates, in Africa Ports & Ships

When a shipowner boasts that his latest newbuild vessel is the first vessel ever to be built for a specific purpose, and the only one to be built, it grabs the attention. There can be nothing better than seeing a vessel of which there are no equals, and especially one designed to operate in an isolated and harsh location, for which Cape Town harbour provides a safe base.

Despite the advertised hype, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the boast is entirely honest. In fact, the truth is often slightly different, and definitely so in this instance, especially when a similarly purpose built vessel, and one built over 30 years previously, and for the same requirement, is berthed just a few metres down the same quayside.

On 29th September, at 10h00 in the morning, the Krill Trawler ANTARCTIC ENDURANCE (IMO 9827891) arrived off Cape Town, and according to her AIS she had arrived from Commandante Ferraz, which will not be a familiar place name to just about everyone. She entered Cape Town harbour, and proceeded into the Duncan Dock, going alongside the Repair Quay. Most arrivals to the Repair Quay are to receive shoreside engineering assistance, often linked to annual maintenance programmes, or prior to a period of lay-up.

Another view of the trawler as she enters port. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Another view of the trawler as she enters port. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

That ‘Antarctic Endurance’ has the word ‘Antarctic’ in her name, and is described as a Krill trawler, will point very strongly to her normal place of operations, and will link her to the place of her departure. Commandante Ferraz is the name of the Brazilian Antarctic Programme research station in the Antarctic Peninsula. It is occupied year round, and is located in Martel Inlet, which lies within Admiralty Bay, on King George Island at 62°05’ South 058°23’ West. It is likely that close to this position was where ‘Antarctic Endurance’ started her long voyage across the Southern Ocean to Cape Town.

She was delivered in 2019, with her hull built at the VARD Tulcea Shipyard at Tulcea in Rumania, and then towed to the VARD Braatvåg shipyard in Ålesund in Norway for outfitting and completion. She is 130 metres in length and has a deadweight of 6,300 tons.

Superstructure of the vessel with bridge and accommodation quarters. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Superstructure of the vessel with bridge and accommodation quarters. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She is powered by a single MaK 12VM32e 12 cylinder 4 stroke main engine producing 9,012 bhp (6,720 kW), driving a ducted Rolls-Royce controllable pitch propeller for a maximum transit service speed of 18 knots. For added manoeuvrability she has a Rolls-Royce TT1850 transverse bow thruster providing 746 kW, and a Rolls-Royce TCNS100/M-200 Azimuth bow thruster providing 989 kW.

Her auxiliary machinery includes a MaK 6M32e generator providing 3,300 kW, and two Caterpillar C32 generators providing 900 kW each, and a Caterpillar C18 emergency generator providing 260 kW. Her boilers are all provided by Alfa Laval Aalborg.

Unlike the majority of other Krill Trawlers, ‘Antarctic Endurance’ is not a stern trawler, but rather she is a twin boom Beam Trawler, and she is provided with third generation trawling equipment. This includes a net vacuum pump, which is attached to the net cod end, when it is still 2.5 metres below the waterline, which protects the nets and catch from both light pack, and brash, ice. The vacuum pump allows a steady stream of Krill to be pumped directly from the net, via a hull connection, and straight into the processing factory deck.

Antarctic Endurance in the Duncan Dock, assisted by harbour tugs. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Antarctic Endurance in the Duncan Dock, assisted by harbour tugs. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She fishes using two beam trawls, which are launched, and recovered, by two derricks amidships, one each located per side. She has a vast array of deck fishing gear and winches to assist her operation, and which includes two trawl winches, two Gilson winches, two boom lifting winches, one net drum winch, two hose reel winches, two net probe winches and a further six auxiliary winches.

To assist with the moving of nets and equipment on her working deck she has a wide array of Aukra deck cranes, all of 3 tons lifting capacity, and which includes two deck knuckle boom cranes, two knuckle boom stores loading cranes, four knuckle boom cargo cranes, one beam crane, and two overhead traverse cranes in her cargo hold. Her cargo hold is 6,300 m3 in volume, and is capable of holding 3,150 tons of cargo.

She operates with a crew of 55 persons, and has accommodation for 70 persons. Her accommodation includes 48 single cabins, and 11 double cabins. Her onboard crew complement includes both scientists and observers, and they are all provided with two lounges, including a sky lounge above the bridge, a mess room, gymnasium, cinema, sauna, and even an outdoor Jacuzzi. Her scientific complement are also provided with a laboratory.

She is owned, operated and managed by AKER Biomarine AS, of Lysaker in Norway, and is a VARD 810 design. She cost US$128.51 million (ZAR2.34 billion) to build and, unsurprisingly, she has an Ice 1A classification, which allows her to operate in nominal first year ice thickness of 0.8 metres, and in first year Polar ice thickness up to 0.7 metres, without icebreaker assistance.

Her modern design has the whole vessel, both internally and externally, fitted with LED lighting, which reduces her power requirements for overall lighting by up to 75%. Her navigation system is provided by the VARD Sea-Q bridge system, and her fishing system is provided by Kongsberg-Simrad. Her onboard krill processing facility is extremely sophisticated, and was responsible for half of the build costs of the vessel.

The trawler at her berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The trawler at her berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her Antarctic credentials, are reinforced by use of the name of the vessel that the greatest Polar explorer of them all, Sir Ernest Shackleton, used on his ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917 with the vessel ‘Endurance’. As such, the honour of her christening in 2019 was given to, none other than, the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, who is Sir Ernest Shackleton’s granddaughter. The final resting place of the original ‘Endurance’ was located by an expedition onboard the ‘S.A. Agulhas II’ on 9th March this year.

This is not the first time that ‘Antarctic Endurance’ has visited Cape Town as she was previously here during her maiden operational year when she arrived on 5th May 2019, and remained in Cape Town undergoing maintenance, bunkering, storing and preparation for her voyage to Antarctica for over seven weeks. She departed for her fishing season in Antarctica, via Montevideo, on 26th June 2019.

For her fishing operation in Antarctic waters, she is registered and licensed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Her CCAMLR licensed areas for fishing within Antarctic waters are 48.1 (South Shetland Islands), 48.2 (South Orkney Islands), 48.3 (South Georgia), and 48.4 (South Sandwich Islands), all of whom are to be found in the South Atlantic region of Antarctica.

Funnel detail Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Funnel detail, partially obscured by the ship’s crane.Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She is equipped with a satellite-linked vessel monitoring system (VMS), which is approved under the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries regulations, which relate to satellite based monitoring of the activities of fishing vessels. The Norwegian Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC) is located at the Directorate of Fisheries, at Bergen in Norway, with ‘Antarctic Endurance’ being continuously monitored, both within, and outside, the CCAMLR area, with all received data being submitted to the CCAMLR Secretariat in real time.

The owners of “Antarctic Endurance’ are also members of the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies (ARK). Of the nine members, five of them utilise Cape Town as their winter lay-up base, and currently there are five Antarctic Krill Trawlers in Cape Town harbour in various stages of maintenance and lay-up, with one currently in the Sturrock Drydock.

The arrival in Cape Town of ‘Antarctic Endurance’ was not just limited to an overwinter period of maintenance, overhaul and survey, as she also took the opportunity of offloading her precious Krill cargo, which was predominantly made up of Krill Meal, which is used in both agriculture, and aquaculture, as feedstock. The large offloaded bags of Krill meal will be exported back to Norway.

Observers with knowledge of Dangerous Goods will have noticed that the bags of Krill meal have all been marked with the Class 4 ‘Spontaneously Combustible’ diamond, indicating that this particular cargo is actually classified as Dangerous. In fact, Krill Meal is a notifiable cargo, and has its own bespoke IMO Dangerous Goods UN number of 3497.

Offloading her precious Krill cargo, which was predominantly made up of Krill Meal. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Offloading her precious Krill cargo, which was predominantly made up of Krill Meal. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her owners boast that ‘Antarctic Endurance’ is the first trawler vessel purposely built for fishing krill, as the boast continues that all other Krill Trawler have been converted from having previously been utilised as either demersal, or pelagic, trawlers, or in one case as a cargo vessel.

That is only partly true, in so far as she will be the first purpose built krill trawler built in the 21st Century only! Secondly, irrespective of the century referred to, not all current krill trawlers have been converted for use in the pursuit of Krill.

In the 20th century, the Soviet Union had a vast fleet of deepsea trawlers operating throughout the Antarctic region, trawling for Krill, and mostly using classes of trawler that had not been designed with that particular catch in mind. However, between 1984 and 1988, the Soviet Union designed a class of trawler, Project Type 16080, otherwise known as the ‘Antarktida’ class, and these were purpose built trawlers for Krill.

Sadly, due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, only seven of the class were ever built, and until recently two of them were still operational in Antarctic waters. One of them is now Chinese owned, but has not been in use in Antarctic waters for the last two years. However, one of the ‘Antarktida’ class is still very much still catching krill in Antarctica. This vessel is the Ukrainian flagged ‘More Sodruzhestva’, and she is currently overwintering in Cape Town, as she does every year.

The large offloaded bags of Krill meal will be exported back to Norway. Picture by 'Dockrat' in
The large offloaded bags of Krill meal will be exported back to Norway. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

To make the boast of the ‘Antarctic Endurance’ even less real, both the ‘More Sodruzhestva’ and the ‘Antarctic Endurance’ are not only tied up alongside the Repair Quay, but they are lying exactly, directly, opposite each other.

So, in fact, the only TWO true, operational, krill trawlers in the world, built with krill as their target species, and completely unconnected to each other are, in fact, both together in Cape Town harbour. Now that is a boast that, most probably, nobody has ever been able to make before, and that boast, at least, is real.

As with all of the other Krill trawlers currently overwintering in Cape Town, it is expected that ‘Antarctic Endurance’ will sail directly for Antarctica when the weather improves, after the spawning season is over, and when the krill season is deemed to be open by CCAMLR.

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Sale of Grindrod Shipping a step closer

The 32,500-dwt bulk carrier IVS Kingbird, built in Japan in 2007. Picture: Shipspotting, in Africa Ports & Ships
The 32,500-dwt bulk carrier IVS Kingbird, built in Japan in 2007. Picture: Shipspotting

The sale of Grindrod Shipping is moving towards finality as Grindrod Shipping Holdings Ltd enters a transaction implementation agreement with Taylor Maritime Investments Limited (TMI) whereby TMI’s subsidiary Good Falkirk Limited will acquire the shipping company for US$26 per share.

Some shareholders have argued this is far too low a figure.

Others say the bid price is reasonable and the timing right for Grindrod to abandon shipping completely.

At stake principally is the fate of Island View Shipping (IVS), the dry bulk carrier that was largely responsible for a turnaround in Grindrod Shipping early in the 2000s. IVS currently operates with a fleet of 31 ships – 15 handysize dry bulkers and 16 supramax/ultramax dry bulk carriers.

Sentiment however plays little or no role in money matters.

Most shareholders will probably agree that is how things ought to be.

Grindrod Shipping, though now based in Singapore with offices in London, Durban, Tokyo and Rotterdam, is originally a purely South African shipping company headquartered in Durban which has operated historically with familiar brand names such as Unicorn Lines, Unicorn Tankers, Quadrant Container Lines, and currently with Island View Shipping (IVS).

IVS, a dry bulk operator has been owned by Grindrod for more than 20 years. IVS was eased out of the parent company in 2018 at a time when Grindrod was turning its attention towards freight and logistics.

The transaction value of the acquisition is US$26.00 per share, representing a 26.8% premium to the last traded price per share on 26 August 2022. If the sale proceeds, Grindrod Shipping will delist from the JSE.

Good Falkirk, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMI, already owns a 26% stake in Grinship. TMI is listed in London.

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HMS Montrose nabs another drug smuggler at sea

HMS Montrose, a type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy, attached to Combined maritime Forces in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, has intercepted and captured almost a tonne of drugs beibg smuggled towards Africa. Picture: Royal Navy in Africa Ports & Ships
HMS Montrose, a type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy, attached to Combined maritime Forces in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, has intercepted and captured almost a tonne of drugs being smuggled towards Africa. Picture: Royal Navy

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) reports that earlier this month the Royal Navy frigate, HMS Montrose, was successful intercepting and seizing 870 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth an estimated $45 million from a fishing vessel in the Arabian Sea.

HMS Montrose (F 236) was operating in international waters in the Gulf of Oman as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150. Montrose is a Duke-class frigate that has been on station in the Middle East since March 2019.

“HMS Montrose again proves the value of having a forward-deployed presence in the region,” said Cmdr. Claire Thompson, the ship’s commanding officer. “This shows the professionalism of the boarding team and whole ship’s company.”

Currently led by the Royal Saudi Navy, CTF 150 is one of four task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, the largest multinational naval partnership in the world. CTF 150 conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea to help ensure the free flow of commerce.

Combined Maritime Forces includes 34 naval nations and is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet. The 34 nations are: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen.

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IN CONVERSATION: The 5 biggest threats to West Africa’s oceans – and what to do about the

 

Aderonke Omolara Lawal-Are, University of Lagos

The natural resources that form ocean ecosystems can play a significant role in the socio-economic growth and development of nations.

West Africa has a variety of marine and coastal ecosystems, found within the Atlantic Ocean. This is one of the most diverse and economically important fishing zones in the world and provides an income for many through fishing, shipping, logistics and mining.

But unregulated and unsustainable exploitation has degraded the ecosystems severely. Threats have come from land based sources of pollution, insecurity and piracy, illegal and harmful fishing practices, and climate change.

These multiple stressors have had a negative impact on the ecological integrity and health of West Africa. They are causing an alarming decline in fishery resources, loss of coral reefs and seashells, coastal erosion, ocean acidity and rising sea levels.

For over 20 years I have worked as a marine biologist, conducting numerous studies on the Nigerian coastal waters. In this period, I have seen the impact of natural processes and human development. It is vital that scientists like myself highlight the biggest challenges that West African nations must focus on to save the ocean.

The ocean produces over half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere. Its health is key to survival.

1. Plastic waste

Millions of tonnes of plastic leak from land-based sources into the oceans yearly.

The pollution of marine ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Guinea by plastic and associated contaminants has adverse effects.

In a recent study, we showed how ingesting plastic fragments affects crabs. We explored the implications for food safety as well as the growth and productivity of marine resources. We saw that ingesting plastic caused reduced food intake, delayed growth, cell damage and abnormal behaviour in aquatic organisms.

There is an urgent need to effectively manage plastic waste, replace single-use plastics and introduce plastic-free alternatives in West Africa.

2. Oil spillage and oily waste

Exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources in oil-rich countries like Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria is another big threat. It has led to leakage of crude oil and petroleum products and discharge of untreated waste and chemical into marine ecosystems. These substances are a major source of potentially toxic heavy metals in the ocean.

In a recent study, we reported high concentrations of heavy metals in tissues of edible aquatic snails (gastropod). This has implications for the health of human consumers if there is eventual bioaccumulation and biomagnification.

Sabotage, bunkering (loading ships with oil) and equipment failure are also risks.

The regular use of chemicals in cleaning operations at ports can introduce certain trace elements which ecosystems can’t deal with.

Monitoring and prevention of these risks must be improved.

3. Illegal fishing

The extensive theft of local fish by foreign trawlers has left communities poorer.

The unregulated and continuous exploitation of local fisheries has resulted in overfishing of over 50% of fisheries stock. Reports show that once abundant fish species like blue fin tuna are increasingly endangered. Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing costs West African nations’ economies up to $2.3 billion annually.

Illegal fishing is quickly becoming a regional crisis. Governments should strictly enforce appropriate sanctions.

Conservationists advocate creating expansive marine reserves to protect the biodiversity of the oceans.

4. Ocean acidity

Ocean acidity or ocean acidification is a reduction in the pH of the ocean over an extended time. It is caused by uptake of carbon dioxide (CO₂), a greenhouse gas emitted by human activities. The ocean’s average pH is now around 8.1, which is basic (or alkaline). But as the ocean continues to absorb more carbon dioxide, the pH decreases and the ocean becomes more acidic.

This has contributed to the loss of corals on a global scale as their calcium skeletons are weakened by more acidic water. This also erodes and affects the formation of shells of shellfish.

It has thus brought changes in relative species dominance, potentially leading to ecosystem shifts in coastal waters of West Africa.

Every West African country must adopt simple measures to reduce greenhouse gases.

5. Bioinvasion

Invasive species of plants, animals and microbes are among the greatest threats to the world’s oceans. Shipping and maritime activities are responsible for most accidental species translocation globally. Over 80% of the volume of international trade is transported by sea. The percentage is even higher for developing countries, including Nigeria, which has a coastline of about 852km.

Ship ballast water (held in ships for stability) is a principal vector. It aids the spread of toxic phytoplankton and occurrence of algal blooms that produce toxins harmful to aquatic animals.

Invasive species often adapt to new areas quickly as they can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, grow very fast, are often bigger, carnivorous, and reproduce faster than endemic species.

The spread of the invasive South American water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes, for instance, is damaging transport links in Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos. It forms a thick mat that impedes navigation and halts fishing.

What to do about it

There are moves under way to tackle these threats. Four protocols have been adopted by 22 parties to the Abidjan Convention:

Through awareness campaigns, ordinary people can learn 10 simple things they can do anywhere and anytime to help save the oceans.

Coastal states in the West African sub-region where the maritime sector is critical to the economy should lead the transformation for a more resilient and sustainable ocean through the blue economy. The blue economy promotes economic growth, social inclusion and preservation of livelihoods, while sustaining the environment.The Conversation

Aderonke Omolara Lawal-Are, Professor of Marine Sciences, University of Lagos

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

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Maritime Sector under the spotlight: IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event

The annual IMO-led Annual World Maritime Day Parallel Event (WMDPE) is currently being held at the ICC in Durban, South Africa’s premier port city.

Below is an interview by the SABC, now on YouTube, with the premier of KwaZulu Natal, Nomusa Dube-Ncube [08:09]. The venuw is the ICC, Wednesday 12 October 2022.

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Port Strike: Unions reject Transnet’s latest offer

Port Eklizabeth harbvour, in Africa Ports & Ships
Port Elizabeth harbour  Picture:  Transnet

The two recognised trade unions at Transnet, SATAWU and UNTU, met with the employer on Monday at a lengthy CCMA-facilitated session with all parties agreeing to and signing the picketing rules and sites, which Transnet on Friday refused to agree. This was achieved under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), and with the presence of the Minister of Labour, Thulas Nxesi.

The unions however refused to accept Transnet’s latest offer concerning salaries and perks as they affect union members.

UNTU called the proposal an insult and accused Transnet of changing the way the offer looks, by allocating different percentage increases in different ways.

“The actual improvement in salaries of the members, taking all things into consideration including the once off ex-gratia amount, is still very far away from a CPI related increase for the members.

“UNTU rejected the offer and expressed the need to the Commissioner to explain to Transnet that UNTU will not even approach its members with yet again such a ridiculous offer.”

The union said it “eagerly awaits a salary increase offer that is aligned with the increased cost of living and economic challenges that our members are faced with every day!!!.”

Parties reconvening today

According to Transnet, the parties to the negotiations are considering alternative proposals and will reconvene today (Wednesday, 12 October 2022) to take the process forward.

Transnet said yesterday that Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) Western Cape leadership met with members of the Deciduous Fruit Industry: Berries SA, Hortgro and the chairman of the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) today, to discuss contingency plans for the export of deciduous fruit from the Port of Cape Town given the current industrial action.

The deciduous fruit season is expected to fully commence at the end of October 2022.

“Transnet is working closely with industry to ensure that the perishable products, along with other cargo with a limited shelf-life, are prioritised at the ports. A joint integrated planning team with industry will also be established to mitigate any further delays.

“Transnet continues to work closely with the shipping lines and industry broadly to manage the current situation and remains fully committed to moving customers’ cargo as efficiently as possible.”

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WHARF TALK: general purpose tanker MH LANGOEY

A rare arrival in Cape Town was the small tanker MH Langoey with a full cargo that was part-discharged at the port's tanker terminal. The vessel has since departed for Durban where she is due on 14 October. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
A rare arrival in Cape Town was the small tanker MH Langoey with a full cargo that was part-discharged at the port’s tanker terminal. The vessel has since departed for Durban where she is due on 14 October. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

Jay Gates, in Africa Ports & Ships

The rarest arrival of a small tanker in Cape Town is that of the General Purpose, or GP, tanker. The class of GP Tanker is considered to be the smallest of the product tankers, and their size ranges from a deadweight of just 10,000 tons, up to a maximum of 24,999 tons.

The arrival of such a tanker, especially all the way from Europe, is not usually a sign of another import of fuel oil products, due to the small size of the vessel. The product it is carrying is likely to be another kind of oil product, and this arrival points strongly to that premise, based on her port of origin, which specialises in another kind of export oil product.

On 25th September at 09h00, the small General Purpose product tanker MH LANGOEY (IMO 9330783) arrived off the Table Bay anchorage, from Varna in Bulgaria, and went to anchor for the next eleven days. Finally, on 6th October at 11h00, she entered Cape Town harbour and proceeded to the Tanker Basin in the Duncan Dock to begin her discharge. She was fully loaded down to her marks on arrival, which indicated a full cargo.

MH Langoey is a small general purpose product tanker. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
MH Langoey is a small general purpose product tanker. Here is her bridge and accommodation section. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2006 by Fukuoka Shipbuilding at Fukuoka in Japan, ‘MH Langoey’ is 144 metres in length and has a deadweight of 19,960 tons. She is powered by a single Makita-Mitsui MAN-B&W 6S42MC-C6 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine producing 8,356 bhp (6,150 kW), driving a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Yanmar 6N18AL-SV generators providing 615 kW each, and a single emergency generator providing 48 kW. She has a single Alfa Laval Aalborg CHR exhaust gas boiler, and a single Alfa Laval Aalborg CHO oil fired boiler. For added harbour manoeuvrability she has a transverse bow thruster providing 630 kW.

After an 11-day wait outside, the tanker entered port to discharge a parcel of oil products. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa ports & Ships
After an 11-day wait outside, the tanker entered port to discharge a parcel of oil products. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She has 20 paired, stainless steel, cargo tanks, with 10 each on the port and starboard sides, and a cargo capacity of 20,526 m3. As a GP tanker ‘MH Langoey’ is able to carry 20 grades of product at any one time, and she can discharge her cargo at a rate of 1,846 m3/hour if it is carried out simultaneously through all manifolds.

She has 20 cargo pumps, with the smallest 8 of her tanks being able to discharge at 200 m3/hour, and her 12 largest tanks being able to discharge at 300 m3/hour. In an efficient harbour, or alongside an efficient oil terminal, the maximum discharge rate of ‘MH Langoey’ allows her to be fully discharged in just 11 hours.

The tanker possesses 20 stainless steel cargo tanks.... Picture by 'Dockrat in Africa Ports & Ships
The tanker possesses 20 stainless steel cargo tanks…. Picture by ‘Dockrat

One of four sisterships, ‘MH Langoey’ is owned by Mowinckel Chemical Tankers AS, of Bergen in Norway. She is operated by Hansa Tankers AS, also of Bergen, and she is managed by Diamond Ship Management Pte. Ltd., of Singapore.

Her Norwegian ownership is made obvious by the use of the Norwegian national flag colours of red, white and dark blue, on her funnel. She was purchased by her current owner, alongside one of her sisterships, at a cost of US$12 million (ZAR217.2 million) for each of them, in December 2021.

MH Langoey is Norwegian-owned, as evidenced by the Norwegian national flag colours on her funnel. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
MH Langoey is Norwegian-owned, as evidenced by the Norwegian national flag colours on her funnel. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her port of origin, Varna, is only the third largest city in Bulgaria, but it is the largest port in the country. Bulgaria itself is not a fuel oil exporter, but is the world’s 3rd largest producer of Sunflower Seed Oil, raising US$700 million (ZAR12.67 billion) in exports in 2021. She is also the world’s 8th largest exporter of refined Sunflower Oil, with an export value of US$387 million (ZAR7 billion) in 2021.

However, her largest export crop in 2021 was that of Rapeseed Oil, for which exports generated a total of US$926 million (ZAR16.76 billion). Rapeseed Oil is a vegetable oil that is also widely used in the production of Biodiesel.

MH Langoey prepares to go alongside her berth at the tanker terminal. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
MH Langoey prepares to go alongside her berth at the tanker terminal. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is likely to elevate Bulgaria’s position even further in the export market tables, as Ukraine is likely to slip from her 2021 position of the world’s 2nd largest producer, and exporter, of Sunflower Oil.

After just over four days, or exactly 100 hours later, and ‘MH Langoey’ was ready to sail from Cape Town. She sailed on 10th October at 15h00, bound for Durban, to continue her discharge.

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Red Sea Jeddah port to deepen and add new berths

Cutter suction dredger of the Huta Group in Africa Ports & Ships
Cutter suction dredger of the Huta Group    Picture Mawani

Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has signed two contracts to have the Red Sea Jeddah Islamic Port deepened and enlarged with two new berths.

The contracts were signed with PC Marine Services and Modern Building Leaders (MBL), the latter in consortium with Huta Hegerfeld Saudia Ltd.

The contracts form part of Mawani’s initiatives to accelerate growth in the maritime transport and logistics industry, drive a transformative shift in port operations by implementing over 160 projects, and to develop a prosperous and sustainable maritime sector.

This is aimed at positioning the Kingdom as a global logistics hub connecting three major continents in line with the objectives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS).

The contract with MBL, in association with Huta Hegerfeld Saudia Ltd, aims to develop the credentials of Jeddah Islamic Port as a pioneering logistics destination through the deepening of harbour approach channels, turning basins, waterways, and the South Terminal basin.

These upgrades will enable the arrival at Jeddah of giant vessels that hold a capacity up to 24,000 TEUs, besides enhancing the port’s competitive capability and attracting new global shipping lines to local shores.

The contract with PC Marine Services calls for two new berths with a depth alongside of 16 metres and a total quay length of 1,100 metres which will be built at the multi-cargo terminal and enable the arrival of large grain carriers and other larger vessels.

Authorities consider this necessary to secure the Kingdom’s strategic grain reserves through higher imports at the Jeddah Islamic Port, while boosting overall food security.

Port of Jeddah

The Saudi Arabia Jeddah Islamic Port, located at Jeddah on the Red Sea, is the second-busiest port in the Arab world and is the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah is the country’s commercial capital.

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Did You Know?    Red Sea

The Red Sea takes its name from the Greek Erythra Thalassa, which means the same thing. It has also been referred to in history as the Erythraean Sea but has had a number of other names from different languages and population groups. The Red Sea is roughly 2250km in length and 355km at its widest point. The average depth is around 490 metres with a maximum depth of 3,040m at the central Suakin Trough. The surface area covers 438,000 sq km. The Red Sea is also home to much coral of both soft and hard variety, and is a habitat for over a thousand species of invertebrates. The Red Sea forms a northern part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley.

Source & Map: Wikipedia Commons

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NSRI Queberha evacuates seafarer from deepsea bulker

Station 6 NSRI rescue craft Spirit of Toft. in Africa Ports & Ships
Station 6 NSRI rescue craft Spirit of Toft.  Picture: Dirk Erasmus/NSRI

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Gueberha station (Port Elizabeth) was recently called out to respond to a patient on board a passing bulk carrier who had been taken ill.

Launching their sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft, the duty crew together with Eastern Cape Government Health EMS rescue paramedics, the NSRI motored to a rendezvous with the bulker some 18 nautical miles offshore, where an EMS rescue paramedic and two NSRI rescue swimmers boarded the motor vessel and took a 65 year old male Pakistani seafarer into their care.

Finding him to be in a serious condition he was stabilised before being secured into a Stokes basket stretcher before being moved down four flights of stairs with ships crew assisting in moving the patient. This alone took an hour on account of the confined spaces.

In a technical high angle rescue operation the patient was transferred from the motor vessel onto the NSRI rescue craft, which then returned the 18 n.miles to the NSRI Gueberha rescue station in Port Elizabeth harbour.

The patient, in a serious but stable condition, was then taken by ambulance to hospital

Justin Erasmus, NSRI Gueberha station commander, commended the ship’s crew for their assistance.

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International: Boskalis to upgrade Europa Terminal in port of Antwerp

Boskalis, which is a leading global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime services sectors, and its partners Artes Roegiers, Artes Depret and Herbosch-Kiere, have been appointed to upgrade the Europa Terminal in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and to enable the terminal to continue receiving the largest container ships, while also increasing capacity by a third.

The work, which officially commenced a week ago, will take nine years to complete while keeping the terminal operational. The contract will be carried out in three phases, taking maximum account of nature and the environment and carries a total value of EUR 335 million.

Global container congestion calls for making more efficient use of existing space to handle larger ships. The draught alongside the quay wall of the Europe Terminal will therefore be deepened from 13.5 metres to a maximum of approximately 16 metres.

The current quay wall will be broken down and replaced by a new wall of 1,200 metres. A temporary water retaining structure will ensure that no parts of the old quay wall enter the Scheldt and will protect the works from passing ships and the river tides. The three phases have been carefully planned based on the expected shipping traffic in the coming years.

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STRIKE NEWS: Kumba stands to lose 120,000 tonnes of iron ore exports per day

Saldanha Bay Iron Ore terminal in Africa Ports & Ships
Saldanha Bay Iron Ore terminal    Picture:  Transnet

As the Transnet strike, involving employees who are members of the two main unions, UNTU and SATAWU, entered its first full day on Monday, one of Transnet largest customers, Anglo-American’s Kumba, released details of the effect and cost of each day of striking will have on its operations.

The estimated impact on production for Kumba is approximately 50,000 tonnes per day for the first seven days, after which it becomes approximately 90,000 tonnes per day.

Export sales will be impacted by approximately 120,000 tonnes per day.

Kumba produces iron ore at Sishen and Kolomela mines in the Northern Cape Province and exports iron ore through the port of Saldanha Bay to customers around the globe, including in China, Japan, South Korea and various countries in Europe and the Middle east.

Bargaining Council

During Monday representatives of the two unions met with Transnet and the minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, at the Transnet Bargaining Council but under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). They met in a last-minute bid to resolve the current impasse in wage negotiations.

While details of the proceedings are not available, it is clear that no path to a settlement was achieved and that the strike will continue on Tuesday. Transnet continues to argue that it is an illegal or unprotected strike, whereas the unions are adamant that proper arrangements for picketing were made and that the strike therefore should be protected.

Terminals at the country’s ports that are operated by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) are strike-bound, including the container and car terminals among others. Where private operators are involved there is some if not full cargo working. Ships are able to enter or depart from ports as the Transnet marine service, classified as essential services, remains on duty.

Durban Container Terminal, North Quay - at a standstill for cargo working in Africa Ports & Ships
Durban Container Terminal, North Quay – at a standstill for cargo working  Picture:  Transnet

COSATU

On Monday the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), to which SATAWU is affiliated, lent its support to the striking workers at Transnet who are demanding a 12% or 13% salary increase across the board. COSATU said the current economic trends have unleashed very harsh conditions for the working class and the poor.

“The escalating rate of unemployment means that an average employee now has to take care of about six people. The rising cost of living and unreasonable interest rate hikes have left many people struggling to afford basic necessities and are stressed by the ever-rising debt service costs” the union stated.

“We call on Transnet to accede to the fair and reasonable demands of workers.”

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WHARF TALK: new coastal tanker? MAERSK CALLAO

The tanker Maersk Callao on the tanker berth in Cape Town harbour, new vessel on the coast. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The tanker Maersk Callao on the tanker berth in Cape Town harbour, new vessel on the coast. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

Jay Gates, in Africa Ports & Ships

For the last few years the coastal tanker contract, for BP customers, around the South African coast has been carried out by a BP vessel, but under the colours of Maersk Tankers, namely in the guise of ‘Maersk Altus’. However, it seems that this link may be coming to an end, and the sight of another Maersk Tanker arriving on a coastal run may, or may not, be a linked event.

On 6th October at 22h00, the MR2 products tanker MAERSK CALLAO (IMO 9786152) arrived off Cape Town, from East London, and entered Cape Town harbour at that late hour, proceeding into the Duncan Dock, and to the Eastern Mole tanker berth, to begin a short discharge programme. This is also the normal berth for the ‘Maersk Altus’, when she calls at Cape Town, giving rise to the suggestion that ‘Maersk Callao’ is currently on a BP coastal run.

The bow section of Maersk Callao, in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The bow section of Maersk Callao, in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her voyage originated in Mangalore in India, but her discharge schedule has, so far, taken in no less than four ports around the South African coast. Originally arriving off Durban harbour, from Mangalore, on 27th September at midnight, ‘Maersk Callao’ immediately entered Durban harbour, proceeding to Island View 8 to begin her discharge, which was the beginning of her time on the South African coast.

She spent three and a half days alongside at the Island View terminal, and sailed from Durban on 1st October at 13h00, bound for East London, where she arrived on 3rd October at 09h00. After 36 hours alongside in East London she sailed on 4th October at 20h00, bound for Cape Town, where she arrived on 6th October at 22h00. However, her voyage did not end there.

Maersk Callao arrived in South Africa from India in late September. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Maersk Callao arrived in South Africa from India in late September. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2018 by Samsung Shipbuilding at their Chinese shipyard in Ningbo, ‘Maersk Callao’ is 183 metres in length and has a deadweight of 49,919 tons. She is powered by a single STX MAN-B&W 6G50ME-B9.3 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine producing 9,347 bhp (6,875 kW), to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three MAN-B&W 6L23/30H generators providing 809 kW each. She has 12 cargo tanks, and a cargo carrying capacity of 53,129 m3. Her tanks are all coated with Epicon T-800, which is a silicone epoxy phenolic, glass flake, coating. This anti-corrosion paint provides temperature resistance up to 230 °C, with physical properties of adhesion, toughness, abrasion resistance, and wet and dry cycling condition resistance, which make it suitable as a protective coating for tanks.

The bow and prominent name of the tanker. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The bow and prominent name of the tanker. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She was the third built vessel of a class of nine sisterships, all given a suffix beginning with the letter ‘C’, after the traditional ‘Maersk’ prefix. The whole class was built for US$300 million (ZAR5.4 billion). Nominally owned by CL Qinchuan Ltd., of Hong Kong, ‘Maersk Callao’ is operated by Maersk Tankers AS of Copenhagen, and managed by Synergy Denmark AS, also of Copenhagen.

She is no stranger to Southern African shores, and in recent months has made three previous visits to these waters, with calls in June to both Toamasina in Madagascar, and to the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, and in early September she called at Beira in Mozambique.

The bridge and accommodation area of the vessel. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The bridge and accommodation area of the vessel. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her coastal schedule is reminiscent of that often carried out by ‘Maersk Altus’, which has been undertaking the BP Southern African fuel provision around the coast. However, in June 2022, it was announced that she was to be sold, along with seven other vessels from the BP fleet. The buyers were announced as Pantheon Tankers Management (PTM), of Athens.

Although nominally owned by the Finance Leasing division of the Chinese State owned ICBC bank, and registered with the banks’ maritime shipowning division, Hai Kuo Shipping, ‘Maersk Altus’ and her four other sisterships were all placed on a three year charter, starting in 2019, with BP Shipping, of London. In turn, BP shipping entered into a bareboat charter with Maersk Tankers for the vessels, and exchanged their ‘British’ prefix for that of a ‘Maersk’ prefix.

It would appear that Maersk Callao may be replacing Maersk Altus on the coastal service. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
It would appear that Maersk Callao may be replacing Maersk Altus on the coastal service. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

With the deal now having expired, and ICBC/BP having sold the vessel, it may explain why ‘Maersk Altus’ is currently sitting on the Landing Wall in Cape Town harbour, and not continuing with her normal BP coastal run.

She arrived in Cape Town on her normal coastal schedule on 3rd October at 20h00, from East London and Durban, which is similar to that of ‘Maersk Callao’, and after a two day discharge, ‘Maersk Altus’ sailed on 5th October at 19h00, but only as far as the Table Bay anchorage. She remained out at anchor only overnight, as the next morning on the 6th October she re-entered Cape Town harbour at 12h00, but proceeded directly to the Landing Wall, where she currently remains.

Being at the Landing Wall can often be a sign that there is an engineering issue aboard, and that shoreside maintenance assistance is required. It is also often the place where vessels are brought to undergo a change of ownership, and where funnel colours, and names are often changed to that of new owners.

Maersk Callao has called at all coastal ports on this voyage save Richards Bay and Saldanha. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Maersk Callao has called at all coastal ports on this voyage save Richards Bay and Saldanha. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

If that is the case, and PTM are in the process of taking her over, then we may have seen the last of ‘Maersk Altus’ in her current guise. Is it that ‘Maersk Callao’ is her replacement, or is it merely just an operational coincidence, and ‘Maersk Altus’ will continue for BP, as usual?

After less than 24 hours discharging in Cape Town, ‘Maersk Callao’ sailed at 21h00 on 7th October, now bound for Mossel Bay, where she arrived on 8th October at 21h00, making this her fourth call on the South African coast. She was still discharging at the offshore SBM after 24 hours connected to the buoy. Where she is due next will give a clue as to her future on the coast, or not.

UPDATE: Maersk Callao completed her discharge at Mossel Bay at 02h00 on 10th October and is en-route to Durban, where her ETA is 12th October at 05h00.

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Positive expressions of interest in Transnet’s Renewable Energy RFI

Transnet looking to install between 50 and 80 MW of renewable energy in 2024. Port of Ngqura, one of eight TNPA ports in Africa Ports & Ships
Transnet looking to install between 50 and 80 MW of renewable energy in 2024. Port of Ngqura, one of eight TNPA ports  Picture:  Transnet

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) says it received about 30 positive responses in regard to its Request for Information (RFI) issued in July for the introduction of a renewable energy programme at its eight commercial seaports.

The roughly 30 companies who responded to the RFI, include local and international energy industry players, ranging from experienced Independent Power Producers, consortiums of investment firms, technology developers and experienced energy generation companies amongst others.

“The proposed solutions from the respondents have exceeded our expectations and are also aligned with the National Independent Power Producer Programme. This gives us confidence in the outcomes of the RFI,” said Jarryd Introna, TNPA Project Manager.

Issuing the RFI was aimed at assisting TNPA to gauge market appetite, better understand what is available in renewable energy market and what is the most suitable deployment business model aligned with the needs and demands of the seawater ports.

TNPA intends procuring between 50 – 80 MW initially, of renewable energy power generation capacity that can be implemented cumulatively across all its commercial seaports.

TNPA intends approaching the market in November 2022 with a request for proposals, which will ensure that the renewable project is realised within the 2024 timeframe.

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Walvis Bay records several important bulk shipments through port

The Port of Walvis Bay in Namibia has handled a couple of significant bulk exports during the month.

Lithium being exported through Port of Walvis Bay in Africa Ports & Ships
Lithium being exported through Port of Walvis Bay.  Namport

First up was a cargo of 54,719 tonnes of lithium which was shipped to the People’s Republic of China. The lithium was mined at the Xingfeng Investment Lithium Mines in Omaruru in the Erongo region.

Lithium concentrate is used in the production of batteries, glass, greases and air treatment. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, ‘the overall market for Lithium is currently at 200,000 tonnes and estimates a growth in demand of 800,000 tonnes by 2025.’

‘The batteries segment is forecasted to grow by 65 – 70%. Currently the major lithium producing areas of the world are Western Australia (for hard rock) and South America (for brine) and much of this ends up in China for further processing into battery grade lithium chemicals.’

Bulk Coal

The second important bulk cargo involving the port of Walvis Bay was the shipment of a 48,000-tonne parcel of coal for Germany.

Stockpiles of coal at the Port of Walvis Bay, in Africa Ports & Ships
Stockpiles of coal at the Port of Walvis Bay.  Namport

This became the largest single consignment of bulk coal via the Namibian port to date. With the war raging in Ukraine and Russian exports of gas and other products under sanction or threat of disruption, Germany has turned to bringing back to service several coal-fired power stations, with the subsequent need to import more coal into the European country.

Given the historic ties between Germany and Namibia, it is only appropriate that some of the required volume of coal will be imported via the Walvis Bay port.

The consignment arrived by road in the port from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe and was stockpiled awaiting shipment.

According to the Namibian Ports Authority it expects to handle 300,000 tonnes of coal for export to a number of countries during the next 12 months.

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Air cargo demand shows resilience: IATA data

 

August 2022 data

On 6 October from Geneva, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released August 2022 data for global air cargo markets which demonstrated the industry’s resilience amid economic uncertainties.

IATA represents some 290 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.

It was found that:

* Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), fell 8.3% compared to August 2021 (-9.3% for international operations). This was a slight improvement on the year-on-year decline of 9.7% seen in July.

* Capacity was 6.3% above August 2021 (+6.1% for international operations). This is a significant expansion over the 3.6% year-on-year increase in July.

Several factors should be noted in the operating environment:

* Global goods trade expanded slightly in August and the additional easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China will positively impact cargo markets. While maritime will be the main beneficiary, air cargo will also receive a boost from these developments.

* Inflation levels in G7 countries slowed for the first time since November 2020.

* Oil prices stabilized in August and the jet fuel crack spread fell from a peak in June.

* New export orders, a leading indicator of cargo demand and world trade, decreased in leading economies in all regions except the US.

“Air cargo continues to demonstrate resilience,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. “Cargo volumes, while tracking below the exceptional performance of 2021, have been relatively stable in the face of economic uncertainties and geopolitical conflicts.

“Market signals remain mixed. August presented several indicators with upside potential: oil prices stabilized, inflation slowed and there was a slight expansion in goods traded globally.

“The decrease in new export orders in all markets except the US tells us that developments in the months ahead will need to be watched carefully,” Walsh said.

On Africa

African airlines saw cargo volumes increase by 1.0% in August 2022 compared to August 2021. This was a significant improvement on growth recorded the previous month (-3.5%). Capacity was 1.4% below August 2021 levels.

Whole world market shares

Total cargo traffic market share by region of carriers in terms of CTK is:

Asia-Pacific 32.4%
Europe 22.9%
North America 27.2%
Middle East 13.4%
Latin America 2.2%
Africa 1.9%.

Market analysis

The four-page IATA August 2022 Air Cargo Market Analysis in pdf form is to be FOUND HERE

Paul Ridgway, London, in Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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Indian coastal sailing vessel sinks off Maldives – 76 dead in Nigerian boat tragedy

The coastal trading sailing vessel, MSV ESTHER RAJATHI, has sunk at sea while en-route from Tuticorin with a cargo for the Maldives.

The 35-metre long, 8m wide sailing vessel had a crew of eight on board – seven were rescued and one man remains missing.

Esther Rajathi sank on Saturday 1 October but the news is only now beginning to surface.

The little vessel was heading for the Maldive’s port of Malé when she ran into bad weather while some 60 nautical miles off the coast of the island nation.

The eight seafarers who survived were picked up by a passing ship, the Indian vessel Bharadwaj, leaving one man missing in the sea. A second report confirms the seven survivors but says one man was recovered dead.

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Nigerian death toll reaches 76

In another boating disaster, a vessel in Nigeria’s south-eastern state of Anambra, has capsized near Ogbaru leaving 76 people dead.

Reports quote President Muhammed Buhari as confirming the higher death toll although initial reports said 10 people had died and another 70 plus were missing.

According to the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, 15 people were rescued.

The region has been inundated with heavy rains causing the rivers and water areas to flood, which may have played a role in the tragedy.

The locally built sunken vessel was reportedly capable of carrying 100 persons. It was carrying passengers to the Nkwo market in Ogbakuba.

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STRIKE ACTION: Full effect of worker stayaway expected from today

Cape Town where fruit exports as well as container and other traffic, will be impacted by a nationwide strike in Africa Ports & Ships
Cape Town where fruit exports as well as container and other traffic, will be impacted by a nationwide strike.  Picture:  Transnet

The Transnet strike will intensify as from today as members of the South African Transport & Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) join those of the United National Transport Union (UNTU) who went out on Friday.

An indefinite strike affecting all ports as well as the Transnet Freight Rail services, and lasting anything up to two or more weeks, lies ahead.

Transnet Port Terminals has already responded by declaring Force Majeure SEE HERE but adds that TPT will schedule vessels in accordance with the general weekly berthing, subject to a number of ‘principles’ applying.

Transnet meanwhile continues to argue that the strike constitutes an illegal action whereas both unions accuse the state-owned company of wanting to frustrate labour by refusing to engage on establishing picketing rules as required by the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995.

On Friday, 7 October, the labour court, according to the unions, dismissed the urgent interdict application on the strike which Transnet alleges is unprotected.

“The strike is continuing on Monday as planned, however, as a result of the picketing rules not being agreed to by Transnet management, we are allowed to gather peacefully outside Transnet premises without picketing rules as parties are still in dispute,” the two unions said in a joint statement.

One last chance?

In one last chance to arrive at a settlement between the respective parties, Transnet and the two unions will meet today (Monday) at the Transnet Bargaining Council for a facilitated session under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), as part of efforts to resolve the current impasse in the wage negotiations.

Transnet on the other hand says it wants to correct inaccurate and misleading interpretation of the Labour Court decision.

It says the decision of the court was to “not hear the matter on Friday. The court only dealt with whether the matter of the unprotected strike was urgent. The court did not deal with Transnet’s submissions on the defective notice period and the lack of a secret ballot and picketing rules. Therefore, Transnet remains of the view that the strike is unprotected.”

Regardless of who is right or wrong in interpreting Labour Court decisions and related matters, the facts are that as from today SATAWU intends joining UNTU in a nationwide strike that will certainly cripple not only port operations but the national economy as well, no matter how short or long the strike lasts.

Figures have been bandied about in the media as to what the cost of a strike will be, with numbers like R1 billion a day tossed into the arena while mention is made of previous strikes that lasted between one and three weeks.

At the end of it all, a compromise will be reached – it always is – and workers will don their overalls and safety vests and head back to work while the suits will settle again in their comfortable offices content with having survived another ‘problem’ with the workforce.

It is outside the gates however that the real damage will have been done, with the private sector left reeling after yet another setback in this sorry economic state South Africa finds itself in.

Operations

On the operational side at the end of last week and the weekend, it is reported by shipping lines that the UNTU action on Friday brought to a halt operations at the TPT-managed container terminals at Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and East London.

In Durban scaled-down operations continued at the Durban Container Terminals, basically because most of the workers are members of SATAWU who has called for a strike as from Monday.

As the strike intensifies as expected from today, there are concerns among private companies with premises in the Durban Bayhead area, that if Bayhead and Maydon Roads are shut by picketing then their ability to continue working will be impacted.

As for the fruit industry, where the emphasis now switches to the Cape, the citrus export trade is coming to or has already ended but the stonefruit, blueberry and avocado exporters are frantically seeking cold storage facilities as it is reported the fruit terminals are not accepting cargo.

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WHARF TALK: platform supply vessel LAYLA

The support vessel vessel Layla which has arrived in support of the oil rig Island Innovator which is drilling off the northern West Coast. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The support vessel vessel Layla which has arrived in support of the oil rig Island Innovator which is drilling off the northern West Coast. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

Jay Gates, in Africa Ports & Ships

As always, vessels from the oil and gas industry are a welcome sight in South African ports, both due to the seemingly infinite variety of them, and for the work that they were designed to perform. The vast majority call in, whilst en-route from one contract to another, using the crossroad location of Durban, or Cape Town, for logistical or maintenance requirements. They are almost all positioning through on international contracts. There is the odd one that isn’t.

On 27th September at 15h00 the Platform Supply Vessel LAYLA (IMO 9694036) arrived off Cape Town, from Luanda in Angola, and immediately entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding into the Duncan Dock, and going alongside the Repair Wall, which indicated some minor maintenance requirement whilst she was en-route to her next mission, or a possible refinement being made, as a requirement of her next mission.

The platform supply vessel Layla enters Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The platform supply vessel Layla enters Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She remained alongside for just three days, indicating nothing too serious, and then sailed from Cape Town on 30th September at 12h00. However, her destination was only a few miles outside the harbour North Breakwater, and she went into the Table Bay anchorage, where she remained for the next four days.

Whatever the need for shoreside assistance was, that need was to be provided by Dormac, as on 4th October at 09h00, ‘Layla’ entered Cape Town harbour for the second time in just over a week, and this time she didn’t enter the Duncan Dock, but instead she proceeded into the Ben Schoeman Dock, and went alongside at berth 501, which is one of the two Dormac bespoke repair quays, situated together, within the harbour complex.

She is a relative newbuild, being completed in January 2022 by Xiamen Shipbuilding at Xiamen in China. She is 78 metres in length and has a deadweight of 4,170 tons. She is powered by two Anqing-Daihatsu 8DKM-28ef 8 cylinder 4 stroke main engines producing 3,155 bhp (2,353 kW) each, and driving two controllable pitch propellers for a service speed of 13.5 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes four Caterpillar C18 generators providing 450 kW each, and a Caterpillar C4.4 emergency generator providing 99 kW. For added manoeuvrability she has two Kawasaki bow thrusters providing 300 kW each, which with her two controllable pitch propellers, gives ‘Layla’ a dynamic positioning classification of DP2.

Her DP2 classification is provided by a Kongsberg K-Pos DP21 system, which is linked to three gyrocompasses, three wind sensors, three motion reference units, three DGPS systems, one Cyscan laser positioning reference sensor, and one HiPap acoustic position reference system.

Another view of the platform supply vessel inside Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Another view of the platform supply vessel inside Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She operates with a crew of 16 persons, but has accommodation for up to 61 persons. This additional accommodation is to allow her to take on personnel from the rig, if requested.

She has a firefighting classification of FiFi1, and is equipped with two fire monitors, with a water capacity of 1,200 m3/hour, and capable of throwing a water/foam stream over a distance of up to 120 metres from the vessel, and up to a height of 50 metres.

As a Platform Supply Vessel (PSV), ‘Layla’ has an aft cargo deck area 800 m2, and a capacity of holding 1,500 tons of deck cargo. She has five cargo tanks located below her cargo deck. Her fully enclosed aft cargo deck clearly identifies her to the observer as a PSV, and not as an Anchor Handler, which all have an open stern, aft deck, to allow for towing, and chain handling.

Her below deck cargo tanks include one of 1,197 m3 capacity for fuel, one of 835 m3 capacity for drilling mud, one of 647 m3 capacity for potable water, one of 300 m3 capacity for cement, and one of 223 m3 capacity for methanol. Her three large cargo tanks are all equipped with cargo pumps capable of pumping 100 m3/hour, and her two small cargo tanks are all equipped with cargo pumps capable of pumping 75 m3/hour, including three pumps for redundancy.

She is one of four sisterships, and ‘Layla’ is nominally owned by Shijing Navigation Pte. Ltd., of Singapore, and she is both operated and managed by MK Marine Pte. Ltd., also of Singapore.

On 6th October at 16h00, ‘Layla’ had completed the necessary engineering support works at Dormac, and she sailed from Cape Town harbour, bound for Gazania-1. For most folk, the destination of Gazania-1 is probably meaningless, and probably identifies an offshore oil and gas location somewhere up in Angola, where ‘Layla’ had arrived from. In fact, Gazanai-1 is located in South African waters, and is the site of the latest oil drilling programme.

And this shows the classic 3/4 rear view of the vessel. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
And this shows the classic 3/4 rear view of the vessel, against a backdrop of container cranes. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

[To see related report in Africa Ports & Ships of rig Island Innovator’s arrival on station off the West Coast, CLICK HERE]

Arriving on location at Gazania-1 the next day, 7th October at 16h00, ‘Layla’ rendezvoused with the 2012 built, semi-submersible, drilling platform ‘Island Innovator’ which had previously arrived on station on 30th September, in readiness to anchor on her assigned drilling position, which is south of Hondeklipbaai, in the Northern Cape province, some 25 km offshore, and in a water depth of approximately 150 metres.

Gazania-1 was identified back in 2013, when Western Geco conducted a 3D seismic survey in January of that year, covering an area of 686 km2 in Block 2B. The test drilling programme, once started, is expected to take 25 days, and on completion the well will be plugged and sealed below the seabed, so that no equipment will be left behind on the seafloor.

The Gazania-1 target oil formation was formed in the late Jurassic, and early Cretaceous period, and forms part of the Orange Basin formation. The Orange Basin straddles the offshore waters of Namibia and South Africa, where major discoveries on both the Graff-1 well, drilled by Shell, and the Venus-1 well, drilled by Total, have recently been announced.

The Gazania-1 field is located 2,040 metres below the seabed, and is estimated to contain over 300 million barrels of recoverable, light crude, oil. The test drilling programme by ‘Island Innovator’ is expected to include no more than two wells, one being a directional drill.

The two discoveries in Namibian waters, by both Shell and Total, resulted in very positive results of, between them, over 5 billion barrels of recoverable oil. These results were such that the Namibian Government has proposed that a potential start, of production of the fields, can begin as early as 2026, i.e. just four years from now.

And finally, the stern of the vessel with her long platfom deck Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
And finally, the stern of the vessel with her long platform deck Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The operating partners of the Gazania-1 field are Eco Atlantic, who hold a 50% share and are the main operator, Africa Energy Corporation who hold a 27.5% share, Panoro Energy ASA who hold a 12.5% share, and Crown Energy AB who hold the remaining 10% share. The shareholders are a mix of Canadian, Norwegian and Swedish energy companies.

Due to the location of the Gazania-1 well, it can be expected that ‘Layla’, as the assigned PSV to the drilling rig ‘Island Innovator’, will be an irregular visitor to Cape Town harbour over the next month, as she collects supplies, fuel, drilling equipment and other logistical requirements, in support of the rig. It is also highly likely that she will, once more, utilise the engineering facilities of Cape Town harbour, when she demobilizes from the current support contract, once the drilling programme is complete.

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STRIKE ACTION: Santa Cruz & Santa Teresa service update

Santa Cruz. Picture by Shipspotting, in Africa Ports & Ships
Santa Cruz. Picture by Shipspotting

In a Strike Action service update concerning the SAECS (SRX) vessels SANTA CRUZ (voyage 223S) and SANTA TERESA (voy. 224N), Ocean Network Express (ONE), a member of the SAECS partnership, advises the following:

Cape Town Terminal

As a result of the industrial action in the South African ports, with limited work taking place in Cape Town Terminal, M/V Santa Cruz v.223S will omit her Cape Town call and proceed directly to Walvis Bay to discharge her Cape Town imports.

Cape Town import cargo will connect to M/V Border v.286B, arriving in Cape Town FPT Terminal on 16 October 2022 (ETA)

Cape Town export cargo will be loaded on M/V Santa Teresa v.224N, berthing on 7 October 2022 (ETA)

ONE advisory 8 October 2022 i Africa Ports & Ships

Further schedule updates will be provided during Monday 10 October once further details of the industrial action are known.

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SAECS update: MOL Proficiency returns to service

MOL Proficiency. Picture: Wikipedia in Africa Ports & Ships
MOL Proficiency. Picture: Wikipedia

In an advisory, Ocean Network Express (ONE), a member of the South Africa Europe Container Service consortium (SAECS), advises that their container ship MOL PROFICIENCY on the interrupted voyage 224S, has completed repairs and returned to service in Algeciras on Saturday 8 October 2022.

The vessel is now able to return to the service and cover the onward voyage to South Africa.

Export cargo from Rotterdam and Bremerhaven has meanwhile been loaded onto M/V George Washington Bridge v.224S to connect to MOL Proficiency v.224S in Tangier.

London Gateway export cargo was loaded on M/V Kalahari Express v.224S on 8 October 2022
(ETS).

In addition, the vessel Santa Isabel v.224S will omit her Algeciras TTI call.

Cargo originally planned for loading from Algeciras TTIA Terminal will be transferred to MOL Proficiency v.224S, ETA Algeciras 10 October 2022 (ETS).

The latest schedule for MOL Proficiency voyage 224S is:

Arrival              Port                    Departure
Mon 10 Oct      Algeciras TTIA     Mon 10 Oct
Tue 11 Oct         Algeciras APMT  Tue 11 Oct
Thu 13 Oct       Tangier                  Fri 14 Oct
Wed 26 Oct     Ngqura                 Fri 28 Oct
Mon 31 Oct      Durban                  Fri 4 Nov
Wed 9 Nov      Cape Town           Sat 12 Nov

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IN CONVERSATION: Fishers and environmental activists express concern over proposed drilling off SA’s West Coast

Island Innovator, the oil drilling rig now offshore the South African West coast to drill for the Eco Atlantic consortium.. Picture: Eco Atlantic in Africa Ports & Ships
Island Innovator, the oil drilling rig now offshore the South African West coast to drill for the Eco Atlantic consortium.. Picture: Eco Atlantic

Drilling at Azinam’s proposed offshore exploration well (the Gazania-1) will be conducted in relatively shallow depths of 50m to 200m.    

A veteran small-scale fisher from Port Nolloth, Walter Steenkamp, said he and his fellow fishers are against the exploration.

“We believe that this will cause huge damage in the ocean. We know there is no solution for the damage that will be done when they conduct the seismic survey. The exploration will cause marine destruction and we don’t understand why our government is still continuing with the oil and gas explorations on our ocean,” said Steenkamp.

He said residents of Hondeklipbaai and other areas don’t know about the planned exploration as they were never consulted.

 “We say no to oil and gas exploration because it is dangerous for our fish and water, and it contributes to global warming.

“We believe that our government should do more to educate the affected communities about all the impacts of offshore oil and gas exploration and they definitely need to consult the people before they make decisions that could negatively affect them, but instead it feels like all our government is doing is stripping our land of its minerals and leaving us with nothing but hunger,” said Steenkamp.

Another resident, Andy Pienaar, said there had been no meaningful consultations with communities about the planned exploration.

“We do not want a situation where the developer and the department come to us to feed us with information in the same way the apartheid education system did — just enough to say they did inform us,” said Pienaar. 

“Only half the impact of the drilling and further seismic testing has been communicated to us and we demand the full assessment. This activity, together with other planned projects like coffer dams, underwater mining and the expansion of the nuclear industry, spells the end of our relationship with the ocean. 

“It is an understatement that we believe that drilling will not only threaten a great deal of the sea life in the area but also that it will contribute to the extinction thereof. A go-ahead for the drilling in Block 2B will set a precedent for other similar projects in the area in which there is now a high level of interest,” said Pienaar.

He said they were concerned by the utterances of the minister, who, he said, wants them to betray their birthright for a project that largely won’t benefit them.

The Green Connection’s strategic lead, Liziwe McDaid, said an oil spill contingency plan (OSCP) in respect of the proposed exploratory drilling was a central mitigation measure proposed in the final environmental impact report. 

“The report also acknowledges that the greatest potential risk associated with oil and gas exploration are oil spills and well blowouts — which would have a devastating impact on the oceans and coasts and would directly affect the welfare and livelihoods of coastal communities and small-scale fishers. 

“However, it should be noted that this OSCP was not subject to public participation during the environmental impact assessment process, and we understand, only submitted to the relevant authorities recently,” said McDaid.

Contentious issue

The Green Connection’s Neville van Rooy said the question of whether to exploit our oceans and natural environment for fossil fuel profits, while simultaneously ignoring the many livelihoods that depend on it as well as ignoring the climate crisis, had become a contentious issue.

“In a country that is struggling to cope with rising unemployment, and which is bearing the brunt of climate change, South Africa should make a more concerted effort to move toward the just transition,” he said. 

The Green Connection said it had tried unsuccessfully for months to obtain  the oil spill contingency plan for the drilling operation off Hondeklipbaai from Azinam consultants and lawyers. The ecojustice organisation eventually approached the Petroleum Agency SA, which provided the plan on Tuesday.

Eco Atlantic said it acquired Azinam South Africa early in 2022 and with that acquisition came a 50% working interest in Block 2B, which is located in the Orange Basin and covers 3,062 sq km off the West Coast.  

Eco Atlantic told Our Burning Planet: “Public participation processes were undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the National Environmental Management Act and the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

“In the first half of 2022, as part of its environmental and social governance strategy, the company undertook additional public information-sharing sessions by meeting with regional community members, organisations and area representatives to discuss the exploration activities undertaken to date, including the upcoming plans for exploration drilling.”

Eco Atlantic said regional leaders, fishing community associations and cooperatives, local businesses and the general public were all notified about the meetings, which were well attended. 

“NGO organisations were also invited to discussions. The company has strived and successfully communicated information on the projects and maintained transparency directly with the community stakeholders. 

“The company and community stakeholders had an excellent opportunity through multiple meetings and an area workshop on the objectives of the drilling programme, including the environmental controls in place and the oil spill contingency plan. The company brought in independent environmental specialists to discuss the fishing impacts, timing, migration depth and regional fishing operations.  

“A successful outcome at the Gazania-1 well will give South Africa access to its own hydrocarbon resources to decide how it can support the country with the next phase of its energy transition,” said Eco Atlantic. DM/OBP

 

This article first appeared on Daily Maverick and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

See related article above WHARF TALK LAYLA

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Added 10 October 2022

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Container ship TSS Pearl on fire in Red Sea – crew safely evacuated

Red Sea container fire on TSS Pearl. Map: Fleetmin, insert Saudi News Agency in Africa Ports & Ships
Red Sea container fire on TSS Pearl. Map: Fleetmon, insert Saudi News Agency

The crew of the container ship TSS PEARL (IMO 9339868) have been safely evacuated after fire broke out on board the vessel in the Red Sea.

According to news from the Saudi Border Guard, all 25 crew are unharmed and have been taken to the port of Jazan (Jizan) on the Saudi Red Sea coast where they underwent medical observation.

The fire started last Wednesday but the news only broke later in the week. TSS Pearl, a 2,000-TEU capacity feeder vessel, was transiting from Jeddah to Aden when a container on board began burning when the ship was 120 nautical miles northwest of the port of Jizan.

AIS shows the ship lowing to a halt at around 19h00 and coming to a stop, before the AIS was turned off or failed.

A spokesman for the Saudi Border Guard said the control centre at Jazan relayed a distress signal to them to provide the necessary support.

A separate report says the crew of the TSS Pearl were taken off the burning vessel with the help of a passing tanker.

TSS Pearl is managed by a UAE-based company, Tehama Shipping and is owned, at least nominally, by Rafidain Shipping.

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Added 10 October 2022

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Joining forces for sustainable maritime development: IMO and The Commonwealth Secretariat

The MoU was signed by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (left) and Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC (right) in Africa Ports & Ships
The MoU was signed by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (left) and Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC (right).  Picture IMO

Newly-signed partnership will promote sustainable maritime transport through joint activities in selected countries

The Secretary-General of the IMO has signed a partnership agreement with the Commonwealth Secretariat, under which both organisations commit to strengthening the maritime and port sectors in selected developing countries through activities which will promote and facilitate the adoption of sustainable maritime transport systems and practices. This has been reported by the excellent IMO media service.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC.

Commonwealth countries who are Member States of IMO will benefit from joint capacity-building activities between the two intergovernmental organisations.

Under the agreement, IMO and the Commonwealth Secretariat intend to work together to support:

* Knowledge sharing.

* Intergovernmental cooperation.

* Capacity-building.

* Joint resource mobilisation.

Specific activities will be developed to address:

* Marine environment protection and climate change.

* Maritime safety.

* Maritime security

* Maritime legislation; and

* Maritime transport facilitation in support of global and regional trade flows.

“IMO is pleased to partner with the Commonwealth Secretariat to boost sustainable maritime transport,” IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said.

“The maritime sector binds us all together and this agreement will help us target countries with additional support to ensure that shipping is greener and more resilient, supporting employment and driving forward the blue economy across nations.”

Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC said: “Our ocean drives economic activity, connecting us all and carrying 80% of global trade, by volume, through maritime transport.

“The provision of safe, secure shipping on cleaner seas has never been of greater importance than it is now. The Commonwealth covers more than a third of the ocean under national jurisdiction, so we are excited to join hands with the IMO to advance the prospects for a sustainable global blue economy.”

Commonwealth Blue Charter

The Commonwealth Secretariat is the intergovernmental organisation which co-ordinates and carries out much of the Commonwealth’s work to promote good governance, multilateral cooperation and sustainable development. This includes implementing the Commonwealth Blue Charter, an agreement by all 56 member countries to actively cooperate to solve ocean-related challenges.

The MoU was signed at IMO HQ during the IMO-UNEP-Norway Innovation Forum 2022. The Innovation Forum is a two-day hybrid global platform aimed at championing innovation to accelerate the transition of the marine sector towards a zero- and low-emission future.

The Forum is linked to the IMO World Maritime Day theme 2022 Technologies for Greener Shipping, with a special emphasis on inclusive innovation for decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

Paul Ridgway, London, in Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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Added 10 October 2022

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VIDEO: Bridge across Kerch Strait between Russia & Crimea damaged by explosion

An explosion damaged the road and rail bridges across the Kerch Strait earlier this morning (Satursday 8 October). The 12-mile long bridge connects the Russian mainland with Crimea, which was annexed to Russia in 2014.

Reports say two spans of the road bridge collapsed into the sea while the rail bridge suffered damage to a goods train at that same spot. Some reports say the explosion originated on the road bridge and engulfed the train on the second bridge but this has not been verified.

It is unclear what caused the explosion which was seen and filmed from both on the bridge and on the land some distance away. While Ukraine was quick to report the incident they haven’t laid claim to having caused the explosion, though President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy is reported to have said this was the first – he didn’t go further.

The log bridge stands high above the waters and is navigable for ships entering or exiting the Sea of Azov. It was completed in 2018 and opened by Russia’s President Putin.

Watch short {02:31] video (non-English) of the explosion and fire that destroyed part of the road bridge and damaged a goods train on the adjacent rail bridge.

and some additional scenes here amidst much dialogue [09:31]

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Added 8 Octiber 2022

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Annual World Maritime Day Parallel Event (WMDPE)

World Maritime Day Parallel Event will be held in Durban between 12 to 14 October 2022, in Africa Ports & Ships

World Maritime Day Parallel Event will be held in Durban between 12 to 14 October 2022

In line with observing this year’s World Maritime Day last week (29 September), the annual IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event will take place in Durban, South Africa, between 12 – 14 October at the ICC.

In 2020 and 2021 this event was postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event in October in Durban will consist of a number of high-level panel discussions focused on IMO’s 2022 theme: “New Technologies for Greener Shipping”.

As one of the most important maritime events on a global scale, the WMDPE will become a definitive stage for the international community to make concrete contribution and progress on collaboration. This is geared at innovative solutions to address mitigation strategies to reduce the maritime transport carbon footprint.

A separate high-level roundtable discussion, at ministerial level, will also take place, highlighting the above theme as well as other important issues, whose deliberations may be used as a platform to embrace new solutions and ideas within the world’s maritime community.

Details and registration for this event at the Durban ICC is available HERE

Sculpture

One of the feature events of the Parallel Event in Durban will be the unveiling of a commemorative sculpture in Durban that depicts the fullness of the maritime world. The sculpture is due to be unveiled by the General-Secretary of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Mr Kitack Lim at a venue to be announced within the port precincts.

The sculpture, which is named ‘Ukuhlangana’, meaning collectiveness, is the work of two young female architects from Pretoria, twin sisters Letlhogonolo and Tlhologelo Sesana of Sesana Sesana Studio.

While the sculpture remain a surprise to be unveiled during the Parallel Event, the video below features an interview with the two sisters.

Click on the video [11:08] below to view and you’l be given a hint of what it may look like.

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Added 3 October 2022

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GENERAL NEWS REPORTS – UPDATED THROUGH THE DAY

in partnership with – APO

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

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognise as separating us from our creator, our very self-consciousness, is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. It was a bitter birthday present from evolution.

– Annie Dillard

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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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Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome. Email to info@africaports.co.za

 

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