Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 7 July 2023

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Hellas Margarita    Picture by Trevor Jones

The chemical and oil products tanker HELLAS MARGARITA (IMO 9794721) sails from Durban on 14 June 2023 after discharging her liquid cargo at the Port of Durban’s Island View terminal. The 183-metre long, 32m wide Marshall Islands’-flagged tanker of 49,879-dwt is operated by Latsco Marine management Inc of Monaco which operates a fleet of 41 tankers plus an order book of four very large gas tankers.

This picture is by TREVOR JONES


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In Conversation: South Africa supports decarbonisation of shipping industry — in a lukewarm kind of way

The second day of the 80th Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) meeting in London saw South Africa state its position on the negotiations set to lay the path for the shipping industry to decrease and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.

South Africa’s position on the talks, which conclude on Friday, was largely aligned with those of South American countries, Russia and Bangladesh, which have collectively backed unambitious targets that use weak language around the agenda for decarbonisation by 2050.

Among the reasons for an unambitious stance by South Africa are concerns that a proposed carbon levy would have negative economic impacts on the country.

The MEPC 80 discussions are expected to begin setting the shipping industry’s decarbonisation agenda, but the way forward has been unclear. Some countries and organisations are calling for an ambitious final text that would include interim goals in 2030 and 2040 ahead of complete decarbonisation by 2050. Others say that the technology and measures that will aid the industry to decarbonise are going to cost more than they can afford, and are delaying progress.

“We support a basket of measures and are eager to progress this work. As we progress this work, we remain committed to preventing negative impacts on countries including LDCs and SIDS [least developed countries and small island developing states],” said South Africa at the plenary.

“South Africa and other counties in the Global South will find it hard to remain competitive in a world in which tariffs increase prices. Unless we find a basket [of measures] that can reduce emissions in the least impactful way, we will face unemployment, inequality and poverty — especially amongst the youth in our populations.”

Regarding the carbon levy, which was previously suggested at $100 per tonne of carbon (though $400-450/tonne of carbon is suggested for any impact on emissions of the shipping industry), the South African delegation said they had opted to conduct a comprehensive impact assessment; a detailed study that could take years to complete. This is considered to be a delaying tactic to avoid taking action on decarbonisation. 

Setting ambitious decarbonisation goals could encourage investment into alternative fuel development and infrastructure for alternative fuel energy, as well as the building of ships that can make use of the alternative fuels and spur more ambitious decarbonisation goals and action. 

Green hydrogen

South Africa has been at the forefront of developing its green hydrogen energy sector — a possible fuel alternative being looked into for the shipping industry and energy sectors. Most recently, South Africa, Denmark and the Netherlands launched a $1-billion fund to further develop green hydrogen.

“We also advocate for a just transition to new fuels that can provide finance for adaptation, including infrastructure changes that need to happen. South Africa is doing its part. South Africa is engaging in several initiatives related to [zero emission] fuels, and green hydrogen in particular. Our green hydrogen roadmap is under development,” the country said. 

South Africa often aligns itself with other developing countries that have low historic emissions and yet are the most affected by the effects of the climate crisis.

Across the African continent however, South Africa has the highest emissions and the Durban shipping port, which is the busiest in Africa, also produces the highest emissions on the continent. 

But being a middle-income country, South Africa often argues that to reduce these emissions, the country needs financial aid. The success of this call has been evident in the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan that laid the pathway for how the country can move away from a heavily coal-reliant energy grid to cleaner and greener energy solutions.

South Africa said it continues to advocate for common, but differentiated responsibilities, which holds that those most responsible for emissions should bear the cost. 

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

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IATA latest: Air Cargo demand remains weak in May

Edited by Paul Ridgway


On Wednesday, 5 July from Geneva IATA released data for May 2023 indicating that global air cargo markets were showing weak market conditions.

It was reported that global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), fell 5.2% compared to May 2022 (-6.0% for international operations).

We learn that capacity, as measured by available cargo tonne-kilometres (ACTKs), rose 14.5% compared to May 2022, primarily driven by belly capacity which increases as demand in the passenger business recovers. Capacity is now 5.9% above May 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.

IATA’s media service informs us that key factors influencing demand include:

* The global manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) indicates an annual contraction of 1.4% in new export orders and a decrease of 5.2% year-on-year in production PMI. This suggests a cooling in global manufacturing demand.

* Global goods trade decreased by 0.8% in April, due to macroeconomic challenges and supply chain constraints. Trading conditions appeared to favor maritime cargo as demand for container shipping contracted by 0.2% while air cargo demand weakened by 6.3% year-on-year.

* The global supplier delivery time PMI increased to 54.5 in May, up from its low of 35 in October 2021, indicating shorter delivery times and some relief for supply chains. However, this is also a sign of weaker global goods trade demand.

Potential stimulation

To quote Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General: “Trading conditions for air cargo continue to be challenging with a 5.2% fall in demand and several economic indicators pointing towards weakness.

“The second half of the year, however, should bring some improvements. As inflation moderates in many markets, it is widely expected that central bank rate hikes will taper. This should help stimulate economic activity with a positive impact on demand for air cargo.”

ME trade

IATA indicated that Middle Eastern carriers experienced a 3.1% year-on-year decrease in cargo volumes in May 2023. This was a slight improvement in performance compared to the previous month (-6.7%). Capacity increased 15.6% compared to May 2022.

Of Africa

African airlines posted a 2.4% decrease in demand compared to May 2022. This was a decline in performance compared to the previous month (-0.9%).

Notably, the growth on the Africa to Asia trade route slowed significantly in May from 18.5% in April to 11.0%, possibly due to the impact of the conflict in Sudan since mid-April.

Capacity in May was up 9.2% compared to the same month in 2022.

The IATA Air Cargo Market Analysis is AVAILABLE HERE

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Proposed Coral Norte FLNG project in Mozambique nears reality

The FLNG Coral Sul being delivered to site from South Korea in January 2022. This has since gone into production in Block 4 of the Rovuma Basin off Mozambique.  Picture Eni

by Africa Ports & Ships

The Mozambique Area 4 Coral North Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project is receiving serious consideration, it is being reported.

The project is a follow-up to the successful Coral South FLNG venture, which has gone into production offshore the northern Mozambique coast with several deliveries of LNG having been delivered to Europe.

The consultations that have and are being held regarding the next step, Coral Norte, fall within the framework of the Environmental Pre-Feasibility and Scoping Study (EPDA).

It’s understood these consultations include the local community in Cabo Delgado province, civil society and government institutions as well as other interested and affected parties.

Coral Sul

The Coral South FLNG project also in Block 4 of the Rovuma Basin, comprises six deepsea gas wells connected to the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility named CORAL SUL.

This has a capacity of 3.4 million metric tonnes of LNG per year.

By virtue of operating a FLNG in deepsea conditions offshore of the Mozambique coast, the developers of Coral South have avoided the problems that have so far crippled the TotalEnergies venture on the Afungi Peninsula near Palma in northern Cabo Delgado province.

The Coral field was discovered by Italian oil major Eni in 2012 within Area or Block 4 of the Rovuma Basin. It holds an estimated 450 billion cubic metres of gas. Four years later Eni and its partners signed an agreement with BP to take the entire future production of LNG produced from the Coral South project, for an initial period of 20 years.

Development of Coral South (Sul) commenced with its launch in 2017 when contracts for the drilling, construction and installation contracts for the production facilities were signed.

The Coral Norte project which is proposed also for Area Block 4, is in the deep waters of the Rovuma Basin. Block 4 is operated by Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV) a joint venture co-owned by ExxonMobil, Eni and CNPC (China).

MRV has a 70% participating interest in the concession contract, while other partners, Galp, Kogas (South Korea) and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (Mozambique) each have a 10% stake.

Eni Rovuma Basin (ERB) is the delegated operator of the Coral Norte FLNG Project. Provided it receives the go-ahead, Coral Norte is expected to be operational with its own FLNG in the second half of 2027, with Block 4 having the capacity to produce 7 million tonnes of LNG per year.

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Cape Town container terminal delays attract surcharge and port omission

The container ship Kalahari Express sailing from Durban for Europe and the UK on 8 June this year. Picture: Trevor Jones

French container carrier CMA CGM advises that as a result of the current congestion at South Africa’s port of Cape Town, a Port Congestion Surcharge (PCS) will be applied.

The PCS will apply on shipments of containers to the Port of Cape Town from the following Asian countries or areas:

Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore, Japan, Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Brunei, Mongolia & Vietnam

The surcharge will apply to both Dry & Reefer, the line advises, and will come into effect on 15 July 2023 (loading date).

Amount of surcharge: USD 250 per TEU, payment with the freight

Port Omission

In related news, Ocean Network Express (ONE), a member of the South Africa – Northern Europe container consortium (SRX for ONE), advises that as a result of the operational delays and congestion at the Port of Cape Town, the voyage of the container ship KALAHARI EXPRESS (v.232N/232S), will omit her London Gateway call.

ONE advises this is for the reason of maintaining the ship’s schedule reliability.

Instead, London Gateway imports will be discharged in Rotterdam and connected to the vessel Santa Rita (v.232N), with ETA London Gateway on 21 July 2023.

“Cargo originally planned for loading from London Gateway will be transferred to M/V Santa Rita (v.233S), ETA London Gateway 21 July 2023,” advises ONE.

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Suez Canal Authority’s latest floating dock is delivered

The floating dock Fakhr Al-Qanah which has been delivered at Port Said. Picture: SCA

by Africa Ports & Ships

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has taken delivery of its new floating dock for service at the Port Said Shipyard.

The new floating dock, which has been named ‘Fakhr Al-Qanah’, has a capacity of 35,000 tons.

The dock is the latest addition to the SCA which earlier received a directive from Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, to develop and raise the capabilities of the canal authority.

The dock arrived at Port Said Shipyard after an interesting transit of the canal following its delivery voyage across the Indian Ocean from the Sang Sangin shipyard in South Korea.

The dock was taken northwards through the canal on tow behind the canal authority tug ‘Posh Hawk’ and two other SCA tugs in a special operation that required not stopping at the Bitter Lakes, as most canal convoys normally do.

Picture: SCA

The transit was achieved over a 24 hour period without disturbing the navigational traffic in the Canal.

The Port Said Shipyard already possesses three other floating docks ranging from 5,000 tons to 25,000 tons capacity.

In addition, the SCA owns and operates its own fleet of dredgers which can fit onto the shipyard’s floating docks for maintenance and repair. The latest floating dock just arrived has dimensions of a length of 260 metres overall, width of 62 metres and a draught of 18 metres.

SCA chairman Admiral Rabie pointed out that the new floating dock opens ‘new horizons’ and capabilities for the SCA. He said the next step involves preparing the dock for operations through a group made up of SCA’s shipyard and engineering departments working hand-in-hand with canal officials.

Please see an earlier report on the new floating dock, ‘Suez Canal Authority orders six new tugs and a floating dock’, which may be FOUND HERE

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DNV develops new Shore Power class rules for tankers

DNV has introduced new class rules for electrical shore connections specifically tailored for tankers.   DNV

DNV has become the first class society globally to introduce new class rules for electrical shore connections specifically tailored for tankers, and in the process, contributing to setting sector norms.

The need for new rules on shore power for tankers emerged following amendments to the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth Regulation, requiring tankers to have emission control strategies in place at specific ports from January 2025.

As a response to these regulatory changes, DNV, on behalf of the Western States Petroleum Association, conducted a comprehensive assessment of the feasibility of meeting the new requirements.

Necessity for more robust rules

The assessment found significant gaps in the existing regulatory framework for shore power on tankers, emphasizing the necessity for more robust rules. The gaps included a lack of standardization for connection points, limited interface compatibility with terminal systems, and technology development constraints.

Durban’s Island View 9-berth liquid and dry bulk terminal. Picture: Russell Cleaver

The project also identified a need for risk evaluation in handling hazardous cargo during implementation of shore power technology.

“At DNV our primary focus is on safety,” said Catrine Vestereng, Senior Vice President, and Global Segment Director Tankers at DNV Maritime.

“With tankers, that often carry potentially flammable cargoes, the electrical risks can be greater than for dry bulk carriers and containerships. This requires more attention on systems safety both on-board and on the quayside.”


“These gaps underscore the importance of establishing industry-standard guidelines to address safety concerns effectively and ensure the well-being of personnel and assets involved in tanker operations,” Vestereng said.

To ensure a comprehensive and inclusive process, DNV sought feedback from interested parties through proposals for a hearing starting 8 March. After incorporating insights and expertise from leading energy charterers, tanker terminals, and prominent ship owners, DNV has finalised the rules after a five-week review period.

“The Oil Companies International Marine Forum’s (OCIMF) Environment Committee established the Onshore Power Supply Work Group (OPS WG), a joint industry working group to support the development of standardised practices guidance regarding the application of shore power for tankers, terminals, and their interface.

“DNV has been a part of this collective endeavour, contributing significantly,” said Filipe Santana, Engineering Adviser at OCIMF. “We appreciate their and all our industry partners’ efforts as we strive to accelerate the adoption of innovative solutions to reduce emissions.”

The new rules were officially released on 1 July 2023.

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Dredging to safeguard a Maldive islet

The TSHD Oranje which is currently at work off Gulhifalhu islet in the Maldives. Picture: Boskalis

Africa Ports & Ships

Readers will recall the Wharf Talk article of earlier this week about the dredger FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI, which called at Cape Town on 26 June, and later departed for the Maldives to engage in a dredging contract on the island of Gulhifalhu.

The contract on that idyllic group of Indian Ocean islands is in the hands of the Dutch company, Royal Boskalis, and Filippo Brunelleschi will take up work in phase 2 of the land reclamation project on Gulhifalhu, a small islet 4 kms to the west of Malé, Maldive’s main island and capital.

Gulhifalhu, situated at Latitude 4°10’51” north and Longitude 73°27’28” east, is being enlarged and strengthened for further development, including the construction of housing and a small harbour.

The project entails dredging approximately 18 million cubic metres of sand which will ensure the island is resilient to rising sea levels.

The Maldives are highly susceptible to the effects of climate change, which if unchecked could result in the seas rising and engulfing low island nations such as Maldives.

The project involves not just dredging more sea sand onto the islet, but includes coral relocation and measures aimed at limiting the spread of sediments in the water, which is constantly to be monitored.

Further development of the small port on the islet is within the scope of the project.

Another trailing suction hopper dredger, ORANJE (IMO 9263904P, is already on site engaged with the USD 130.5 million reclamation project.

Boskalis was also responsible for the successful execution of the first phase of the expansion of Gulhifalhu in 2019 and 2020.

The Maldives are one of the Indian Ocean’s larger island groups, totalling 1,190 small coral islands grouped into 26 atolls. Of these only 200 are inhabited, with Malé not only the capital but also the most densely populated.

Filippo Brunelleschi in Cape Town on 26 June 2023.  Picture:  ‘Dockrat’

Tsunamis and rising seas

The authorities in the Maldives are extremely conscious of the risks not only from climate change, but have reason to recall the disastrous effects of the tsunami of 26 December 2004, which had major economic, social and environmental consequences for the island nation.

Of the inhabited islands, 13 were totally destroyed and 56 suffered major damage, including the island of Vilufushi in Thaa Atoll to the south. Houses and infrastructure were heavily damaged and surviving residents had to be evacuated to a neighbouring island.

In response to this natural disaster, Boskalis was contracted to reconstruct the entire island and to extend it by landfilling the shallow reef.

A medium-sized cutter suction dredger was deployed for the project of dredging 1 million m3 of coral sand from an area off the northern reef edge of Vilufishi which was then pumped directly into the area to be filled.

A 2,000 metre rock revetment was constructed around the island as a breakwater against wave penetration, a new 3 metre deep harbour dredged and quay wall and breakwater constructed as additional wave protection.

The Maldive archipelago lies approximately 400 nautical miles (750 kms) south and slightly west of the Indian mainland. The island group as been populated for at least 2,500 years (its known history) and currently has a population of between 550,000 and 600,000 people.

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Delay in starting rehabilitation of Mozambique’s EN1 ‘backbone’ highway

Africa Ports & Ships

Rehabilitation of Mozambique’s ‘backbone’ highway. the EN1 North-South road running for much of the length of the country, will only commence in 2024, President Filipe Nyusi has confirmed.

Earlier this year Public Works Minister Carlos Mesquita advised that work would commence in the second half of this year.

See the 27 March 2023 report in Africa Ports & Ships World Bank agrees to finance repair of Mozambique’s EN1 North-South Highway , by CLICKING HERE.

The initial phase of the work will cover 508 kilometres of EN1. These cover the stretches from the Inchope crossroads to Gorongosa, in the central province of Sofala; from Gorongosa to Caia, on the south bank of the Zambezi River; from Chimuara to Nicoadala, in Zambezia province; and from Metoro to Pemba, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. This work will cost US$ 400 million, financed by the World Bank.

Mozambique has no railway connecting the south to the north of the country – almost all railways run from the coast to inland destinations. The EN1 highway therefore has assumed an important logistics role in the transport of freight, as has sea transport.

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Tanzania wants port operations excluded from natural wealth laws

Port of Dar es Salaam, where DP World is taking a large interest.   TPA

In another example of how the Tanzania government appears to be bending over backwards in accommodating Dubai company DP World in its port operations at Dar es Salaam and possibly elsewhere in the country, comes with news of the government seeking to avoid having elements of the country’s natural wealth and resources legislation apply when it comes to DP World’s operations in the country.

The Tanzanian government has sent to the parliament the Written Laws (Misc Amendment) No. 2 Bill, 2023, intending to amend, among other laws, the country’s natural wealth and resources legislations so that they will not apply to the operations of multinational logistics company DP World’s operations in Tanzania.

The government seeks to amend the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act of 2017 and the Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and. No. 6. Re- Negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act of 2017, two pieces of legislation intended to give Tanzania authorities over its natural resources.

The bill was first read in the parliament on June 28, 2023, and the Parliamentary Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs invites public opinions on the sought amendments before the bill returns to the parliament later in August.

Part IV and V of the amendment bill proposes an amendment to the said laws to ensure that the implementation of those laws does not prejudice the performance of sea, dry and lake ports in the country.

The government says the amendments aim to enable Tanzania’s ports to “operate at international level and to attract more ships and large cargo to be served by ports.”

The proposed amendments to the laws come as a huge national debate is occurring around the necessity of an inter-governmental agreement between Tanzania and Dubai allowing the latter’s DP World to operate the Dar es Salaam port.

On June 10, 2023, lawmakers unanimously endorsed the controversial deal that continues to polarise the nation, with division in opinion between its supporters and critics appearing as clear as day.

The government and the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party describe the agreement as “the best deal ever,” while activists and opposition parties describe it as “the worst.”

In the middle are religious leaders and legal experts who, while appreciating authorities’ efforts to attract investors into the country, are very clear in their analysis that if the agreement goes to implementation in its current form, Tanzania will lose more than it’ll benefit from it.

This analysis by the Tanganyika Law Society represents many recommendations that others have shared to make the deal more favourable to Tanzania, which include, among other things, doing away with provisions that prevent parties from terminating the agreement due to material breaches. source: Chanzo Report

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Angola’s Sonangol’s journey towards partial privatization and shifting mission

Sonangol, Angola   Picture Sonangol

By NJ Ayuk

Executive Chairman
African Energy Chamber

The petroleum industry is one of the mainstays of Angola’s economy, accounting for more than a third of the country’s GDP and more than 90% of its exports. It also generates about 70% of the government’s total budget revenues and is the biggest source of foreign direct investment (FDI).

Moreover, its importance is not likely to diminish any time soon. Angolan crude oil production levels have been trending downward for some time due to the maturation of existing fields, but the country was still extracting more than 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) as of May 2023, and it is encouraging foreign investors to search for new reserves in the untapped sections of its offshore zone.

Additionally, Angola has been paying closer attention to its natural and associated gas resources and is working to increase production in a bid to take advantage of rising demand, especially in Europe.

These are the kind of circumstances that make resource nationalism — a policy approach under which governments, acting in the name of their constituents, assert and retain control over natural resources rather than allowing private-sector entities to become full stakeholders — attractive.

But Angola has not succumbed to this temptation. Instead, its government, under the direction of President João Lourenço, is pursuing a remarkable reform program designed to allow Sonangol, the national oil company (NOC), to represent local interests while also working cooperatively with outside investors.

First Step: Shifting Sonangol’s Mission

The government began laying a foundation for these reforms in 2019, during Lourenço’s first term as president. In February of that year, the president signed a decree establishing the National Agency for Oil, Gas, and Biofuels (ANPG). The decree stated that ANPG would act as the country’s concessionaire for oil and gas projects, thereby making the new agency solely responsible for regulating, supervising, and monitoring activities related to oil and gas exploration and production.

In so doing, it stripped Sonangol of this function. The company had previously served as a national concessionaire while also acting as a partner or shareholder in oil and gas development projects. Once ANPG took over the role of concessionaire, though, it was no longer responsible for regulatory tasks and could focus on operational matters.

It is true that the NOC was already taking steps in this direction anyway. It had been working since mid-2017 to divest non-core units — that is, subsidiaries focusing on other types of economic activity, such as finance, real estate, travel, and food services. But it was the creation of the new agency that truly set the stage for Sonangol to function more like an oil company and less like a government bureaucracy.

Next Step: Partial Privatization

It’s no wonder, then, that the Lourenço administration took things further. In September 2021, Diamantino Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum, and Gas, announced that Sonangol was preparing for an initial public offering (IPO), an event that would allow outside investors to become shareholders in the company.

That announcement was not immediately followed by a stock exchange listing. Instead, the NOC worked to formulate a concrete plan for partial privatization, and in September 2022, shortly after Lourenço’s election to a second term as president, the government began unveiling its new roadmap.

Initially, that roadmap was incomplete. It provided for the sale of up to 30% of Sonangol’s stock but did not specify exactly how that process would unfold. That is, it did not say when or on what terms the shares might be offered to potential buyers.

Since last September, though, Angola’s government has clarified its intentions. It has stated that the IPO will only move ahead once Sonangol meets a number of key milestones. In November 2022, Sebastião Gaspar Martins, the company’s chairman and CEO, listed the following requirements:

* Bringing the share of total oil and gas output coming from fields operated by Sonangol up to 10%
* Increasing domestic refining capacity to reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuels
* Developing and constructing at least one petrochemical plant
* Expanding and monetizing fuel distribution and marketing networks, as well as logistics networks
* Increasing domestic storage capacity for petroleum products
* Reducing carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20% in exploration, production, and refining operations
* Launching renewable energy projects and increasing carbon capture

Martins explained that Sonangol would have to meet all of these targets in order to proceed with the IPO, as they had been formulated to make the company stronger and more self-sustaining. He said the government had not set a firm deadline for the launch of the stock issue and added that he expected the company to work toward these aims through 2027.

End Goal: A National Oil Company Focused on Core Activities

Then, in January 2023, Martins indicated that Angolan authorities had finalized the IPO roadmap. He stated that the government was planning to sell up to 30% of the NOC’s stock and noted that shares would be listed in two venues — first on the Angola Debt and Stock Exchange (BODIVA) and then on an international exchange. He reiterated that Sonangol would have to meet certain criteria prior to the listing and said he expected the company to hit its targets by 2027.

Additionally, he noted that the NOC was working to assess its projected future valuation in comparison to its current declared share capital of USD12 billion. The process will help the company assess its own value accurately in light of the changes that will be made in 2023-2027 and optimize the results of the IPO, he said.

All of these planned changes are designed to further the process of transforming Sonangol from an instrument of the state, an entity with regulatory as well as operational functions, into a corporate-style organization focused on operational matters and not bogged down by peripheral concerns. This transformation, in turn, should allow Sonangol to work more smoothly together, not just with foreign partners such as Chevron (U.S.), Shell (UK), and Azule Energy — the joint venture formed last year by BP (UK) and Eni (Italy) — but eventually with the outside investors that will gain stakes in the company via the IPO.

At the same time, though, Sonangol will continue to serve Angola’s own interests. The company will continue to be majority government-owned, and it will work to expand local capacity with respect to upstream, midstream, and downstream projects. Moreover, it will represent the country in projects involving foreign investment — as it has been doing, but more competently and efficiently, thanks to its divestment of regulatory functions and non-core assets.

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A jornada da Sonangol de Angola rumo à privatização parcial e mudança de missão

Sonangol headquarters building, Luanda   Picture: Sonangol

Por NJ Ayuk

Presidente Executivo
Câmara Africana de Energia

A indústria petrolífera é um dos pilares da economia de Angola, representando mais de um terço do PIB do país e mais de 90% das suas exportações. Também gera cerca de 70% das receitas orçamentárias totais do governo e é a maior fonte de investimento estrangeiro direto (IED).

Além disso, sua importância não deve diminuir tão cedo. Os níveis de produção de petróleo bruto angolano têm tendência de queda há algum tempo devido à maturação dos campos existentes, mas o país ainda extraía mais de 1,1 milhões de barris por dia (bpd) em maio de 2023, e está incentivando os investidores estrangeiros a procurar novas reservas nas seções inexploradas de sua zona offshore.

Adicionalmente, Angola tem estado mais atenta aos seus recursos de gás natural e associado e está a trabalhar para aumentar a produção de forma a aproveitar o aumento da procura, especialmente na Europa.

Esse é o tipo de circunstância que torna atraente o nacionalismo de recursos – uma abordagem política sob a qual os governos, agindo em nome de seus constituintes, afirmam e mantêm o controle sobre os recursos naturais, em vez de permitir que entidades do setor privado se tornem partes interessadas.

Mas Angola não sucumbiu a esta tentação. Em vez disso, o seu governo, sob a direção do Presidente João Lourenço, está a levar a cabo um notável programa de reformas concebido para permitir à Sonangol, a companhia petrolífera nacional (NOC), representar os interesses locais ao mesmo tempo que trabalha em cooperação com investidores externos.

Primeiro Passo: Mudar a Missão da Sonangol

O governo começou a lançar as bases para essas reformas em 2019, durante o primeiro mandato de Lourenço como presidente. Em fevereiro daquele ano, o presidente assinou o decreto que institui a Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás e Biocombustíveis (ANPG). O decreto previa que a ANPG atuaria como concessionária do país para os projetos de petróleo e gás, tornando a nova agência a única responsável pela regulação, supervisão e monitoramento das atividades relacionadas à exploração e produção de petróleo e gás.

Ao fazê-lo, privou a Sonangol desta função. A empresa já havia atuado como concessionária nacional, ao mesmo tempo em que atuava como parceira ou acionista em projetos de desenvolvimento de petróleo e gás. Porém, uma vez que a ANPG assumiu o papel de concessionária, deixou de ser responsável pelas tarefas regulatórias e passou a se concentrar em questões operacionais.

É verdade que o NOC já estava dando passos nessa direção de qualquer maneira. Ela vinha trabalhando desde meados de 2017 para alienar unidades non-core – ou seja, subsidiárias com foco em outros tipos de atividade econômica, como finanças, imóveis, viagens e serviços de alimentação. Mas foi a criação da nova agência que realmente preparou o terreno para a Sonangol funcionar mais como uma empresa petrolífera e menos como uma burocracia governamental.

Próximo Passo: Privatização Parcial

Não é à toa, então, que o governo Lourenço foi mais longe. Em Setembro de 2021, Diamantino Azevedo, Ministro dos Recursos Minerais, Petróleos e Gás de Angola, anunciou que a Sonangol estava a preparar uma oferta pública inicial (IPO), evento que permitiria a investidores externos tornarem-se accionistas da empresa.

Esse anúncio não foi imediatamente seguido por uma listagem na bolsa de valores. Em vez disso, o NOC trabalhou para formular um plano concreto de privatização parcial e, em setembro de 2022, logo após a eleição de Lourenço para um segundo mandato como presidente, o governo começou a desvendar seu novo roteiro.

Inicialmente, esse roteiro estava incompleto. Previa a venda de até 30% das ações da Sonangol, mas não especificou exatamente como esse processo se desenrolaria. Ou seja, não informou quando ou em que condições as ações poderão ser oferecidas a potenciais compradores.

Desde setembro passado, porém, o governo de Angola esclareceu suas intenções. Afirmou que o IPO só avançará quando a Sonangol atingir uma série de marcos importantes. Em novembro de 2022, Sebastião Gaspar Martins, presidente e CEO da empresa, listou os seguintes requisitos:

* Elevar a quota da produção total de petróleo e gás proveniente de campos operados pela Sonangol até 10%
* Aumento da capacidade nacional de refino para reduzir a dependência do país de combustíveis importados
* Desenvolvimento e construção de pelo menos uma planta petroquímica
* Expansão e monetização das redes de distribuição e comercialização de combustíveis, bem como das redes de logística
* Aumento da capacidade doméstica de armazenamento de produtos petrolíferos
* Reduzir as emissões de dióxido de carbono em pelo menos 20% nas operações de exploração, produção e refino
* Lançar projetos de energia renovável e aumentar a captura de carbono

Martins explicou que a Sonangol teria de cumprir todas estas metas para proceder ao IPO, uma vez que foram formuladas para tornar a empresa mais forte e autossustentável. Ele disse que o governo não estabeleceu um prazo firme para o lançamento da emissão de ações e acrescentou que espera que a empresa trabalhe para atingir esses objetivos até 2027.

Objetivo Final: Uma Companhia Nacional de Petróleo Focada em Atividades Essenciais

Então, em janeiro de 2023, Martins indicou que as autoridades angolanas haviam finalizado o roteiro do IPO. Ele afirmou que o governo estava planejando vender até 30% das ações da NOC e observou que as ações seriam listadas em dois locais – primeiro na Bolsa de Valores e Dívidas de Angola (BODIVA) e depois em uma bolsa internacional. Reiterou que a Sonangol terá de cumprir determinados critérios antes da admissão à cotação e disse esperar que a empresa atinja os seus objetivos até 2027.

Além disso, ele observou que o NOC estava trabalhando para avaliar sua avaliação futura projetada em comparação com seu atual capital declarado de US$ 12 bilhões. O processo ajudará a empresa a avaliar seu próprio valor com precisão à luz das mudanças que serão feitas em 2023-2027 e otimizar os resultados do IPO, disse ele.

Todas estas mudanças planeadas visam aprofundar o processo de transformação da Sonangol de um instrumento do Estado, uma entidade com funções reguladoras e operacionais, numa organização de estilo empresarial focada em questões operacionais e não atolada em preocupações periféricas. Esta transformação, por sua vez, deverá permitir à Sonangol trabalhar de forma mais harmoniosa em conjunto, não apenas com parceiros estrangeiros como a Chevron (EUA), a Shell (Reino Unido) e a Azule Energy — a joint venture formada no ano passado pela BP (Reino Unido) e pela Eni ( Itália) — mas eventualmente com os investidores externos que ganharão participações na empresa por meio do IPO.

Ao mesmo tempo, porém, a Sonangol continuará a servir os próprios interesses de Angola. A empresa continuará sendo de propriedade majoritária do governo e trabalhará para expandir a capacidade local em relação a projetos upstream, midstream e downstream. Além disso, representará o país em projetos de investimento estrangeiro — como vem fazendo, mas com mais competência e eficiência, graças ao desinvestimento de funções regulatórias e de ativos não essenciais.

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Congestion on SA/Mozambique border leads to lengthy delays

The Lebombo border crossing between SA and Mozambique, on the South African side, 28 June 2023. Picture: Twitter

Africa Ports & Ships

Trucks with export cargo heading towards the Port of Maputo in Mozambique are having to wait for up to five days before crossing the border, with up to 1,000 laden trucks delayed on the South African side of the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia crossing near Komatipoort.

According to reports there is little or no delay in the opposite direction but the queue of stationary trucks on the SA side stretches just short of 10 kilometres.

Monday’s issue of the independent newssheet Carta de Mocambique quoted a transport operator as saying things are crazy on the South African side.

“The trucks that were waiting to enter Mozambique since Wednesday only managed to cross the border at the weekend. On average, it is taking four to five days for the cargo to be processed,” he said.

The paper quoted a customs clearance agent as saying that the problem lies with the computerised systems of the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

“Often it stops and takes a long time to come back online,” he said.

Much of the heavy vehicle traffic consists of mineral exports bound for the port at Maputo. Drivers are forced to sleep in their cabs, with no toilet or washing facilities available and at risk from thieves in the night. Armed gangs have been reported as targeting the trucks.

The clearance agent, who was named in the Portuguese-language report, said that one of his clients has withdrawn 286 trucks from the Maputo route in favour of Richards Bay or other ports, even though the Richards Bay road outside that port remains congested.

Meanwhile, the Mozambique government has issued a statement through its Nelspruit consulate warning Mozambique citizens against travelling to South Africa by road for any non-essential business.

Tis is not only because of the congestion, but also as a result of the frequent criminal attacks targeting Mozambican vehicles along the N4 and other highways.

Mozambicans having to make the journey are advised to cross the border at Ressano Garcia between the hours of 09h30 and 13h30, when there is less traffic. Night-time travel in South Africa should be avoided, both Mozambican and South African authorities strongly advise, the report says.

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WHARF TALK:  Aframax LR2 product tanker – STELLATA

The Aframax LR2 product tanker STELLATA in Cape Town Tanker Basin, 20 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

It is becoming more and more apparent that the brokering of product tankers to bring in the necessary amounts of fuel to keep the country running, involves them as being fixed to operate to a more than one discharge port schedule. It would seem that most tanker arrivals now seem to include a second coastal destination, as witnessed by many of the recent callers.

What is unusual is when the delivery schedule has the same port twice in the itinerary, with two short calls, split by a destination a good two days sail away. It is a headscratcher as to why this is the most efficient use of such a vessel, possibly incurring higher chartering costs, and a doubling of port dues.

On 20th June, at midday, the Aframax LR2 product tanker STELLATA (IMO 9732230) arrived off Cape Town, from the giant refinery complex at Yanbu in Saudi Arabia, and entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding into the Duncan Dock, and going alongside the long No.2 Eastern Mole tanker berth.

The vessel in question is the largest type of product tanker able to utilise the discharge facilities of Cape Town harbour, i.e. an LR2 class tanker being classed as being greater than 80,000 deadweight tons, and below 160,000 deadweight tons. Any tanker above this upper class weight limit enters another class, and is considered to be a VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier).

Built in 2016 by Sumitomo Heavy Industries at Yokosuka in Japan, ‘Stellata’ is 239 metres in length and has a deadweight of 109,991 tons. She is powered by a single Mitsui MAN-B&W 6S60ME-C8.2 six cylinder two stroke main engine producing 14,956 bhp (11,000 kW), driving a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14.5 knots.

Stellata. Cape Town 20 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Daihatsu generators providing 880 kW each. She has a single Alfa Laval Aalborg CHR exhaust gas boiler, and two Alfa Laval Aalborg CHO oil fired boilers. She has 12 cargo tanks, all pure epoxy coated, and with a cargo carrying capacity of 125,898 m3. She has three powerful cargo pumps, each capable of discharging at a rate of 2,500 m3/hour.

One of two sisterships, built to the G3SL type design, ‘Stellata’ was designed as an eco-tanker with both an energy saving, and vibration reducing, hull form. Her bow is a new wave piercing design, as witnessed by its extremely bluff appearance when viewed from ahead, whilst she was alongside, and she is coated with the latest low friction, antifouling, marine paint. The accommodation block has an aerodynamic structure to provide further design fuel savings.

Beneath the surface, ‘Stellata’ has a tailored Nakashima propeller, and her rudder bulb, and rudder blade, are designed for uninterrupted wake flow. She has wave directing fins, placed just forward of the propeller, with a Sumitomo Integrated Lammeren Duct (SILD), for improved propeller efficiency, and achieving a 6% reduction in fuel consumption.

Stellata. Cape Town 20 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Nominally owned by Stellata Transportation Ltd., of Valetta in Malta, ‘Stellata’ is operated and managed by Neda Maritime Agency Co. Ltd., of Piraeus in Greece. The company, Neda Maritime Agency, is controlled by the Lykiardopulo family, and unknown to most casual maritime observers, it is one of the oldest merchant shipping companies in Greece.

It was founded in 1897, in Kefalonia, by Captain Nicolaos Lykiardopulo, and to this day is still managed under the Presidency of a direct descendant of the founder, third generation Fotis Lykiardopulo with Nicolas and Michael Lykiardopulo as Directors of the company.

In October 2021 ‘Stellata’ joined the Alpha 8 Pool, operated by the Navig8 Group, of London in the UK. In 2020 Trafigura, of Singapore, and Navig8 joined forces, and at the conclusion of a two year charter with Trafigura ‘Stellata’ transferred over to Navig8.

Unusually for a product tanker, ‘Stellata’ is not equipped with a yellow circle ‘Winch Only’ helipad on her foredeck. Instead, and which is a rarity for a discharging tanker in Cape Town, she is large enough to have a ‘Ships Side Helicopter Landing Area’. This allows helicopters to land on her deck, rather than winch down personnel, such as a Marine Pilot. It also allows delicate stores, or technical equipment, to be carried within the helicopter cabin, rather than having to undersling them to her deck.

Because of the regular use of the operation of helicopter pilotage services at both Durban and Richards Bay, the presence, design, and use of a ‘Ship Side Helicopter Landing Area’ is well known in these ports. What is lesser known outside these ports in South Africa is that the information required for helicopter operations comes from the publication produced by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and titled ‘Guide to Helicopter / Ship Operations’.

It is the only aviation publication that both the ICS and IMO publish, as all other publications they produce are maritime related. The design, markings, layout, and use of Ship Side Helicopter Landing Area is laid out in this publication, and is copied by every operator worldwide, especially tanker and bulk carrier, operators who desires, or is required, to use helicopters as part of their operations worldwide. The current 2021 edition is the fifth.

Stellata. Cape Town 20 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The transfer of marine pilots by helicopter is becoming more and more an operational necessity. There are some ports in this world where virtually all pilotage is carried out by helicopter. Such operations are becoming the norm all the time, with more and more ports introducing helicopters as part of their pilotage offers. The time saved by not requiring a long sea run to transfer a pilot, makes helicopter transfers a good option for shipowners.

Port Hedland and Dampier in Western Australia, Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay in Queensland, and Newcastle in New South Wales being five such examples where the vast majority of pilotage transfers take place by helicopter. Other ports, and port complexes, that conduct a high percentage of their pilotage transfers by helicopter include the Columbia River mouth in Oregon, the Rotterdam/Antwerp/Amsterdam port complex, Le Havre and Bordeaux in France, and the Hamburg/Bremen/Emden port complex in Germany.

In October 2022, whilst en route to Singapore, via the Suez Canal, and whilst passing 120 nautical miles south of Greece, ‘Stellata’ informed the Central Port Authority of Kalamata, in Greece, that the Third Engineer onboard needed immediate medical assistance. A Greek Air Force AS332 Super Puma helicopter, of 384 SAR Squadron, was despatched and flew out to ‘Stellata’ and airlifted the patient from the vessel. He was flown directly to the military airbase at Kalamata, and transferred to the local General Hospital at nearby Messinia for treatment.

Stellata. Cape Town 20 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Back to the present, and after a short thirty six hour discharge in Cape Town, ‘Stellata’ was ready to sail, and at 01h00 in the early morning of 22nd June she sailed from the Mother City, bound for Walvis Bay, or so it would seem.

Interestingly, she returned to Cape Town some six days later, and at midnight on 28th June, she once more entered Cape Town harbour, for the second time on this voyage, and proceeded back to the same berth she had vacated some six days previously. However, her AIS was displaying that she had departed from, and returned to, Cape Town with no intermediate destination in that six day period. Did she go to Walvis Bay?

Strangely, whilst Walvis Bay was indicated as her departure point for Cape Town elsewhere, every AIS site did not show Walvis Bay as her departure point. However, another site showed that her voyage from Cape Town to Cape Town between the 22nd June and 28th June had been completed at an average speed of 11.9 knots, and had covered 1,476 nautical miles.

Stellata. Cape Town 20 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

For those who know, the published sea route between Cape Town and Walvis Bay, and vice-versa, is shown as 775 nautical miles in length, depending on course taken. For those who have sailed that route, as I have many times, it takes approximately two days. Assuming that ‘Stellata’ had another 36 hour discharge stay in Walvis Bay, then a six day gap from Cape Town, together with her voyage statistics whilst in between the same port, does point to a voyage to Walvis Bay and back, despite the AIS history seemingly not showing where she went to.

Again, on her second call in Cape Town, ‘Stellata’ spent another near thirty six hour period alongside the Eastern Mole discharging for the second time, and at 10h00 on the morning of 30th June, she sailed once more from Cape Town, but this time her AIS indicated that she was proceeding only to the Table Bay anchorage, where she remains three days later. Her next destination from the anchorage is as yet unknown.

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Angola’s Atlantic Lobito Rail Corridor concession all signed up

Locomotives with freight trains of the Benguela Railway   Picture  LAR

Africa Ports & Ships

The concession for managing and operating the Lobito Rail Corridor, which stretches from the Atlantic port of Lobito to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) near Luau, was confirmed and signed yesterday in Lobito (4 July 2023).

The Lobito Atlantic Railway consortium, consisting of Trafigura, Vecturis and Mota Engil, will operate, manage and maintain the heavy freight side of the railway for a period of 30 years with the potential for a further 20-year extension.

The Lobito Atlantic Railway consortium will be responsible for the operation, management and maintenance of the rail infrastructure for cargo transport, minerals, liquids and gas for the Corridor that links the port of Lobito with Luau in eastern Angola close to the border with the DRC.

As part of the concession agreement the consortium has committed to invest significant capital in improving the rail infrastructure to improve the capacity and safety of the Lobito Corridor, as well as to invest in significant rolling stock for freight operations.

Caminho de Ferro de Benguela (CFB) will retain responsibility for the transport of passengers and lighter cargo.

Lobito Rail Corridor  Map LAR

The Cape gauge (3ft 6ins) railway has an annual capacity of 20 million tons of freight, 4 million passengers and passes through 67 stations.

The railway covers the provinces of Benguela, Huambo, Bié and Moxico, before reaching the DRC border. It accesses the DRC’s resource-rich Katanga province and Zambia’s Copperbelt, with Lobito becoming the closest port to those mining areas.

The commercial success of the Lobito Atlantic Railway will, however, depend largely on the recovery of rail transport in the DRC and Zambia. It is also envisaged that a new 259-kilometre railway will connect the CFB at Ruacano in Moxico province, with Jimbe in the border region of Zambia. On the Zambian side an extension of this railway will be required to connect with the Zambian Copperbelt and rail network.

Within Angola, the Benguela Railway will provide impetus for the development of industry, mining and farming opportunities as well as improving opportunities for employment along its length – 40 per cent of Angola’s population resides in the provinces through which the railway passes.


Vecturis SA is a private Belgian railway operator of passenger, ore and freight rail operation in a number of countries across the world.

Trafigura Pte Ltd. is a Singapore-based multinational commodity trading company in base metals and energy, with regional hubs in Geneva, Houston, Montevideo and Mumbai.

Portugal’s Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao Africa SA operates in the sectors of civil construction, public works, port operations, waste, water, and logistics, with a long history of operations in several parts of Africa. Most recently Mota-Engil has been active in the construction of one phase of Tanzania’s emerging Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)

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Plastic pollution initiatives – Reducing waste across the globe

Communities across the world are initiating programs to reduce plastic waste. Picture: CSIRO

Edited by Paul Ridgway

A new book published by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, shines a light on the creative and impactful ways communities across the globe are dealing with the plastic pollution crisis. This was reported on 3 July.

Released on that day, Ending Plastic Waste: Community Actions Around the World presents, we are informed, a collection of stories, advice and information from people in the field, and aims to serve as a source of inspiration to reduce plastic waste in the environment.

The book highlights nineteen initiatives from fifteen countries including Australia – including footwear thongs into artworks, and a recycling app to prevent waste ending up in landfill.

Three trillion pieces out there

It is estimated that global plastic production will double by 2040, and there are trillions of pieces of plastic already in our oceans, it is reported.

CSIRO scientist and editor, Dr Denise Hardesty, said such is the scale of the problem that in June this year, countries from around the world came together to continue negotiations for the United Nations Environmental Programme global treaty to end plastic pollution.

She commented: “Plastic pollution is now considered a planetary crisis. The world is taking notice that we need to change our relationship with plastic and use plastic as a resource, rather than a waste.

“It is heartening to see how communities are managing plastic pollution in their local environment, delivering wins for the environment, the economy and livelihoods. We can all make a difference.”

Ocean Sole: upcycling thong pollution (Kenya)

In Kenya, one million thongs are found as litter along its coastline per year. Ocean Sole is turning the discarded footwear into artworks.

Joe Mwakiremba from Ocean Sole said the organisation had recovered and upcycled over 559 tonnes of thong pollution since it began in 2006, using them to produce 65,000 artworks.

He reflected: “The issue was so bad that turtles could no longer use some beaches to nest and lay eggs. Now, we have 15 coastal communities collecting thongs, resulting in economic benefits and cleaner beaches.”

Plastics Circle: circular economy for plastics (Australia/India)

Another program is the Plastics Circle. Founder Murray Hyde said the organisation has created an app to connect businesses to specific post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic.

Hyde said: “Quality recyclables were going to waste in countries across Asia. The app creates a circular economy model so plastic can be used again, rather than going to landfill or ending up in our oceans.”

India trial

The Plastics Circle was trialled in India, recovering almost 4000 kg of plastic over 67 collection days, equating. to almost six kilograms per person per day.

Natalie Harms is the Programme Officer on Marine Litter, Secretariat of the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

She explained: “Armed with knowledge and the stories told in this book, readers will feel inspired and empowered to create their own organisation and join us in our collective effort towards solving the global plastics pollution challenges.”

Ending Plastic Waste: Community Actions Around the World is available now

CSIRO is on a mission to end plastic waste, with a goal of an 80% reduction in plastic waste entering the Australian environment by 2030.

It is understood that orders for the paperback or e-book may be PLACED HERE

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Give a crane a name! Stockholm sets an example

Norvik Port’s two named cranes  Portof Stockholm

Africa Ports & Ships

In what may be a novel move in port practice, two large Ship-to-Shore cranes at the port of Stockholm have been given names.

Not just any name, but royal names at that!

This occurred earlier this year when Stockholm’s Norvik Port was officially inaugurated by Swedish Royalty and the port’s two container cranes were given the names ‘Estelle’ and ‘Oscar’. Now the nameplates have been installed on these 120-metre tall cranes.

On 26 April this year, Sweden’s newest freight port was officially inaugurated by His Majesty The King and Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess. On the same day the container cranes were named after Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar. The nameplates have now been installed on the cranes.

“It was an honour and a privilege to have a royal official opening of Stockholm Norvik Port with both HM The King and HRH The Crown Princess in attendance,” said Magdalena Bosson, CEO Ports of Stockholm.

“These 120-metre tall and stately container cranes were also given the regal names Estelle and Oscar,” she explained.

In Sweden it is apparently traditional to name port cranes and Stockholm Norvik’s container cranes now have a gilding of royal splendour.

These two super-post-Panamax STS cranes are some of the largest on Sweden’s east coast and can handle the largest container vessels operating in the Baltic Sea. The cranes stand 120-metres tall in their maximum positions and have a lifting capacity of just over 80 tonnes.

Remote operation

The cranes are remotely operated from the port’s main building, with no operator on the cranes themselves, and 80 per cent of the lifting is automated.

Stockholm’s Norvik Port opened for business on schedule and on budget in 2020. The port is operated by Ports of Stockholm, a City of Stockholm company.

Sweden’s newest freight port is a RoRo and container port with an ideal location in the Baltic Sea. Short approach lanes and efficient transport links provide direct access to one of the most rapidly growing regions in Europe.

Perhaps the crane name idea can catch on in South Africa and help develop a stronger sense of pride and performance!

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TFR says it is getting on top of coal line challenges

A derailment along the Richards Bay coal line on 12 May this year saw 56 laden wagons and locomotive derail, causing both lines to be closed for a period.   Picture: supplied

Africa Ports & Ships

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has responded to reports and articles on the problems facing the export of coal along the Richards Bay coal line (Coal Corridor).

In a written statement TFR says it has always been transparent on the critical challenges that has impacted the export coal line, which it says has been severely constrained by the locomotive challenges, and an admitted historic underinvestment in the rail network infrastructure. To these is added crippling theft and vandalism.

“TFR is, however, responding with determination to these challenges and has embarked on decisive interventions,” the railway company said.

“We are confident that through the range of initiatives that include partnerships with the private sector and industry at large, we are well on track to exceed last year’s performance on the export coal line despite the challenges.

Last year saw the delivery of coal to RBCT barely reach 50 million tons.

“The tender process to return to service the long-standing locomotives is in its final stages,” TFR said. “We are also engaging with other original equipment manufacturers for the speedy return to service of their locomotives – this while negotiations with CRRC E-loco continues at government level.”

According to TFR, the impact of reduced locomotive availability is estimated to cost TFR approximately 16m tons in volume capacity per annum.

As from 1 August 2023, TFR will introduce an outcomes-based security contract. “Performance management of the outcomes-based contracting is different in that it will incorporate penalties for substandard performance. Incentives are only offered if the agreed performance targets are met and or exceeded.”

TFR’s coal customer collaboration initiative includes the funding of security which comprises an additional 86 security task teams and 35 drones.

“Since the deployment of coal customer funded security interventions, there has been a 34% reduction of security-related incidents per week on the coal line.

“However, it must be borne in mind that the coal line continues to be challenged by cable theft at critical bypasses and this impacts train movements.”

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In Conversation: Protecting Congo’s forests: new timber parks will help fight illegal logging

Picture: EIA

Paolo Omar Cerutti, Center for International Forestry Research – World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) and Silvia Ferrari, Center for International Forestry Research – World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joined the East African Community in 2022. This will offer the country, which has immense natural wealth, a huge market in neighbouring countries and direct access to new roads, railways and ports – and therefore potential global trade.

But as east African road and rail networks expand and transportation costs fall, the DRC’s eastern forests will become more vulnerable to surging demand by regional and global markets.

This could threaten one of the world’s richest biodiversity areas. The DRC’s eastern forests are one of the last remaining intact tracts of rainforest on the planet, second only to the Amazon. They help to regulate climate and provide resources – like food, medicines, materials and shelter – to millions of people. They’re also rich in minerals and forest products. Timber is highly coveted for its commercial value and, once roads are opened to harvest it, further encroachment and deforestation may follow.

Effective management and monitoring of timber harvesting and trade is therefore key to ensure the country’s laws are respected, a fair share of the benefits are captured, and illegal timber exports and tax fraud are reduced.

The country already has one of the highest annual deforestation rates on the planet. Since 2010, it has lost at least 500,000 hectares of forest every year, with peaks well above one million hectares per year. And while timber harvesting is not the largest contributor to the DRC’s deforestation rates – small-scale agriculture is – it remains a daily activity for thousands of operators serving the national and international markets.

In 2017 the DRC began to lay the legal groundwork to establish a series of “timber parks” at border crossings around the country, with an initial focus on the eastern borders. These would monitor timber exports and revenue collection.

Over a period of two and a half years, we worked with Congolese authorities and timber park officials to test the first timber park at a major eastern border, operational since August 2018. We wanted to determine how well the current system worked in assessing the volume of timber leaving the DRC’s eastern borders. We also wanted to know how it could be improved.

Together with the park team, we found that timber reached the border without proper paperwork (making it impossible to determine where it came from); that only part of the total volume was being correctly declared; and that the mis-declaration of tree species was common, leading to timber being improperly taxed or not taxed at all. In the process, both local communities and the government lose.

However we also found that the presence of the park, and the pressure put on traders, did improve things over time. Park personnel were also quick to adapt and adopt improved verification techniques, making illegal trade more difficult, if fully supported by their supervisors.

A long way to legal trade

We assessed a total of 341 timber operations. From Kisangani, on the bend of the Congo river, east-bound timber is trucked 700km overland to the border, usually in the form of sawn planks. These are unloaded and inspected at the timber park before continuing on towards markets in neighbouring countries, as well as Kenya and overseas.

We found that for every 100 cubic metres of timber declared on the official waybills, 157 cubic metres were actually transported – that is, 57 cubic metres were undeclared and unpaid for.

Timber parks, where the paperwork for loads of timber is inspected, can help stem the financial losses from illegal exports.
Center for International Forestry Research – World Agroforestry

Of the 100 cubic metres listed on the waybills, only about half had proof of payment of the four major taxes owed to national, provincial and local governments for harvesting timber. This deprives local communities of much-needed financial resources.

Species mis-declaration was also common. For instance, about 20 of the same 100 cubic metres were declared as Mammea africana (local name bulungu), while observations by trained park staff, corroborated by laboratory analyses, indicated the wood belonged to the genus Afzelia, possibly A. bipindensis (commercial name doussié). This species carries the highest rate of taxation of all species and has recently been listed in Annex II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. It requires increased scrutiny because it may become threatened with extinction.

Lastly, about 60 of the 100 cubic metres left the country undeclared, meaning only 18% of duties were paid. These discrepancies amount to revenue losses broadly estimated at about US$310,000 which, if fully collected, would pay for the park’s annual running costs and still contribute to the state coffers.

It’s important to note that, for the purpose of our research, we focused only on a small percentage of total timber exports. Available estimates of total exports from the eastern DRC vary from 65,000 to 200,000 cubic metres annually – putting potential losses at millions of US dollars every year.

Timber parks could help

Timber parks can be an effective tool for the DRC to stem the flow of financial losses from illegal timber exports. They send a clear signal to illegal traders that the old way of bribing your way out of the country is no more, or much more difficult to use. Up-scaling to all major border crossings, however, is needed to deny truckers the choice of crossing at borders without timber parks.

Critically, the park model needs the support of central, provincial and local governments to contribute to better environmental policies. Our results indicate that about 93% of the timber sampled bore no trace of an authorised logging permit. A logging permit can indicate whether the origin of timber is legal and, more importantly, whether sustainability standards should be applied during harvesting operations in the forest. With no title available, timber parks can increase revenue collection by taxing an illegally produced commodity, but it remains close to impossible to know whether the forest is responsibly managed and whether the forestry sector is following a sustainable path. Support from and coordination with the governments of producing provinces is thus critical, because they are the ones in charge of verifying the legality and sustainability of forest operations.

Lastly, as the DRC increases its trading connections to partner countries in the East African Community and the world, it should not be left alone in the battle against illegal timber trade. Neighbours such as Uganda, or even Kenya further down the trade routes, should improve the way incoming timber is verified and recorded. After all, exporting and importing countries carry shared and proportional responsibilities towards environmental stewardship. And once the DRC’s forests are gone, it’s all of us who will pay the price.The Conversation

Paolo Omar Cerutti, Principal Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research – World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) and Silvia Ferrari, Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research – World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF)

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

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Aviation safety in Africa: IATA launches programme to improve

Picture: AFCAC

Edited by Paul Ridgway

During June news was released from Addis Ababa that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had launched the Collaborative Aviation Safety Improvement Program (CASIP) to reduce the accident and serious incident rate across Africa as part of the Focus Africa initiative.

Launch partners in the programme are:

* The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
* The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC)
* The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
* Boeing
* The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA)

Safety priorities

It is understood that together, the CASIP partners will prioritize the most pressing safety concerns on the continent and rally the resources needed to address them. The benefits of improving aviation safety in Africa will be spread across the economies and societies of the continent.

To quote Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General: “Improving aviation safety will play an important role in Africa’s overall development. Safe, efficient and reliable air connectivity is a major driving contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“In that sense, CASIP will make it clear to governments across the continent that aviation must be prioritized as an integral part of national development strategies. With such broad benefits at stake, we hope that other parties will be encouraged to join the CASIP effort.”

Global standards

The effective use of global standards for safety is the starting point for safety improvement. At government level, a key indicator is effective implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS).

We are informed that data for the year 2022 reveals considerable room for improvement with only 28 of 54 African states reaching an effective implementation rate for ICAO SARPS of 60% or higher.

Parallel action

In parallel, the CASIP partners will, it is reported:

* Identify deficiencies in operational safety and implement corrective action plans.
* Provide safety training and workshops continent wide.
* Promote a data-driven approach to safety performance with emphasis on making safety data available to decision-makers and ensuring efficient accident/incident reporting.

Walsh added that improving safety performance is a priority for Africa. “And we don’t need to reinvent the wheel to deliver the needed results,” he said. “Collaborative safety teams in Latin America have demonstrated that safety improves when government and industry work together to implement global standards.

“By working together, the partners will pool resources to have a greater impact on areas where risk can be reduced, leading to measurable improvements in safety.”

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WHARF TALK: Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) – FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI

The Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger Filippo Brunelleschi, Cape Town 26 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

All major harbour administrations, and operators, have a variety of work vessels to keep their port, or ports, in good order. One of these vessels is the humble dredger, which is used to keep channels free of silt build up, maintain working berths to their promulgate depths, and small construction projects that require some form of depth requirement, or a need for some minor bottom dredging. So most harbour dredgers are small affairs, mostly grab, or backhoe dredgers.

However, if you need to tackle a major construction project at a port, or are in the process of constructing a new harbour, or even a major marine construction project like an offshore airport, or a new island, then you need a major sized dredger. Major projects at existing ports might include land reclamation for new terminals, opening up new channels to the same newly constructed terminals, increasing width and depth to existing channels within the harbour, or cutting new approach channels and harbour basins for a newly minted port.

On 25th June, at 10h00 in the morning, the Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) ‘Filippo Brunelleschi (IMO 9262778) arrived off the Table Bay anchorage, after a voyage down from Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, and went to anchor for a 24 hour period. At 10h00 in the morning, on 26th June, she entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding into the Duncan Dock, and went alongside at the Landing Wall, indicating some maintenance was in the offing.

Filippo Brunelleschi – Cape Town 26 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2003 by Astilleros IZAR Constructiones Navales del Norte SA, at Sestao in Spain, ‘Filippo Brunelleschi’ is 143 metres long with a deadweight of 18,590 tons. She is a diesel electric powered vessel with her main power generation coming from two MAN-B&W 12V32/40 twelve cylinder four stroke main engines producing 7,725 bhp (5,760 kW) each.

Power is provided to two electrical propulsion generators providing 5,400 kW each, driving two controllable pitch propellers, each with its own rudder, which can provide ‘Filippo Brunelleschi’ with a transit sea speed of 15.3 knots. For added manoeuvrability she has a bow transverse thruster providing 850 kW, and a stern transverse thruster providing 850 kW. This enhanced manoeuvrability meant that she did not require a tug to go alongside on arrival in Cape Town.

Her auxiliary machinery includes a single generator providing 1,360 kW, and a single emergency generator providing 170 kW. She has two Alfa Laval Aalborg CHR exhaust gas boilers, and a single Alfa Laval Aalborg CHO oil fired boiler. She has a Dredge Pump that provides 3,400 kW when carrying out trailing operations, and provides 7,500 kW when carrying out rainbow discharging operations.

Filippo Brunelleschi – Cape Town 26 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her main dredging suction pipe has a diameter of 1200 mm, and her discharge pipe has a diameter of 900 mm. Her standard dredging depth is down to 38 metres, but she is capable of conducting dredging operations down to a maximum of 77 metres. Her dredge spoil is pumped into an onboard hopper with a capacity of 11,300 m3.

Unlike a standard harbour grab dredger, or backhoe dredger, a trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) is designed to dredge loose material and soft soils such as sand, gravel, sludge or clay. One or two suction pipes are lowered from her starboard side, down to the seabed and the suction drag head is then trailed over the bottom as the THSD moves slowly forward.

A pump system sucks up a mixture of the soil and water, and discharges it in the onboard hopper, which acts like the hold of a ship. Once fully loaded, the dredger sails to the unloading site, where the material is deposited on the seabed.

There are four major methods of discharge for a TSHD, the first of which is by dumping the spoil back onto the seabed, through the hopper bottom doors, which are opened to allow gravity to take effect. Or the spoil is used for reclamation by using the rainbowing technique through the bow nozzle, spraying the spoil and water onto a site being reclaimed. The material can also be pumped ashore through a pipeline, using a bow connection, where the spoil is also to be used for reclaiming land. Lastly, the spoil can be offloaded onto a quayside where it can be washed, and then removed, as required, to be taken away for uses not associated with reclamation.

Filippo Brunelleschi – Cape Town 26 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

One of two sisterships, ‘Filippo Brunelleschi’ is owned by Dredging & Contracting, of Bergen op Zoom in Holland, and managed by Dredging & Marine Management SA, of Capellen in Luxembourg, who are a subsidiary of the Jan de Nul NV Group, of Hofstade-Aalst in Belgium.

She is operated by the Jan de Nul NV Group, who have a policy of naming all of their vessels after great explorers, inventors, innovators and scientists.

The houseflag of the Jan de Nul Group is proudly displayed on the funnel of ‘Filippo Brunelleschi, and her port of registry is Luxembourg, which is a fully landlocked country. It is a rare sighting to see a vessel in Cape Town, which is registered in a city that has no connection to the sea, and from a country that has no connection to the sea. The closest point of Luxembourg to the ocean is the North Sea, off Belgium, and which lies 362 nautical miles to the west of the city.

Filippo Brunelleschi – Cape Town 26 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She is named after Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446), the great Italian architect who is recognised as the first modern engineer, planner, and founder of Renaissance Architecture. His architectural brilliance included the building of the Florence Cathedral dome, being the first dome of that size constructed since Roman times. He was the first person to obtain a patent for an invention, and in 1427 he designed, and built, a unique vessel propelled by rotary sails and paddle wheels. He is also credited for bringing linear perspective into technical drawing and art.

The voyage from Abidjan to Cape Town took ‘Filippo Brunelleschi’ eight days, and covered a distance of 2,681 nautical miles, at an average speed of 11.9 knots. The port of Abidjan itself has undergone some large, and complex, projects recently, some of which ‘Filippo Brunelleschi’ played a major role. At the start of 2023 the port authority of Abidjan, Port Autonome d’Abidjan (PAA), completed the construction of a new bulk minerals terminal. Work include reclamation of 9 hectares of land for the terminal, and the dredging of new access channels.

Filippo Brunelleschi – Cape Town 26 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

In 2020, three new container berths were completed in Abidjan harbour on reclaimed land, along with a Ro-Ro berth, a General Cargo berth, and newly dredged channels to all of the new infrastructure. The project took three years to complete and cost US$993 million (ZAR18.54 billion). The construction costs were met by loans from the Chinese Government, via the China Eximbank, and the project was undertaken by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

This was followed in 2022 by the construction of a new container terminal, which required the reclamation of 45 hectares of land, and the dredging of new channel access to the terminal. The cost of this construction project was US$953 million (ZAR17.79 billion), and again was bankrolled by the Chinese State with 85% of the costs, again received via the China Eximbank, and with just 15% coming from the Ivory Coast Government. That is a total of US$1.8 billion (ZAR33.61 billion) of loans received from the Chinese Government in just 5 years. One hopes that an aid debt trap is not on the horizon.

Some of the large, and extremely well known reclamation projects that ‘Filippo Brunelleschi’ has been a part of, and for which a large trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) is designed for, includes the reclamation for the new offshore Manila International Airport, and the reclamation for the famous Palm Island complex at Dubai in the UAE, which holds the record as the largest artificially constructed island on the planet.

Filippo Brunelleschi. Durban, 2005. Picture: Dredgepoint

This call of ‘Filippo Brunelleschi’ into Cape Town is not her first call to a South African port. The casual maritime observer may recall that back in 2005 she was the TSHD that was responsible for the reclamation of the land required to expand the Durban Point Docks.

The work was not so much dredging around what was then the existing Point Docks, but on a regular basis she would sail from Durban and proceed to an approved dredging ground outside the entrance channel where she would fill her hopper with spoil. She would then sail back into Durban Harbour, loaded down to her marks with sand and spoil, to rainbow it onto the new land area being reclaimed for the extension to the historic Point docks.

After the project in Durban was completed, ‘Filippo Brunelleschi’ sailed from Durban and headed down the coast to Algoa Bay, where she was responsible for dredging the new entrance channel, harbour turning basin, and reclaiming land for new quaysides, for the then newly constructed port of Coega. The harbour lies just west of Port Elizabeth, and has now been renamed as the port of Ngqura, a name change, like that of Port Elizabeth, to one that almost nobody, other than locals, are able to pronounce. Most shipping lines continue to use the Coega name.

Filippo Brunelleschi rainbowing at Coega 2005 Picture: Jan de Nul

Her brief stop in Cape Town was completed on 28th June, and at 15h00 in the afternoon ‘Filippo Brunelleschi’ sailed from Cape Town harbour, bound for Male in the Maldives. There are currently some huge dredging, and reclamation, projects underway in the Maldives.

These include the construction of the new Gulhifalhu seaport to serve the capital city Male, the construction of the new Hulhumale island to house the overspill from Male, which is the most densely populated island on earth, the construction of the Addu City islands in the southernmost atoll of the country, and other island reclamation projects, and harbour construction, linked to the Maldives tourist industry, and located throughout the island chain.

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Tanzanian Govt on benefits arising from partnership with DP World at Port of Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam container terminal scene   TPA

The Tanzanian Government says it expects to enjoy various benefits from its partnership with DP World in the port operations of Dar es Salaam.

Among these will be an improvement of efficiency at the port together with more than a tripling of its annual revenue collection to 26tri/- (USD 11.2 billion) while cargo volumes could more than double to 47.5 million tons by 2032-33.

Improvements will include new infrastructure and equipment leading to an improvement in the time container ships spend in port from the current average of five days to just 24 hours.

DP World has negotiated to operate seven berths at the Port of Dar es Salaam. This follows the taking over by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) on 1 January this year of the container terminal occupying berths 8-11. The terminal was previously operated by Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS), managed by Hutchison Ports.

Negotiations leading to the involvement of DP World, which already operates African terminals in the ports of Somaliland, Eritrea, Mozambique, Senegal, Angola, DRC, Algeria, Egypt, and Rwanda, were entered into earlier this year

Terex STS cranes at Dar es Salaam port   TPA

A spokesman for the government said that the partnership with DP World will open new economic opportunities through investments in various areas of the Dar es Salaam port, and Special Economic and Industrial Zones.

He said this will play a large role in complementing government’s efforts towards increasing industrialisation and the wider transport chain from the Dar es Salaam port to Tanzania’s neighbouring inland countries.

“DP World has enough experience in ports operation, apart from running 190 ports in 70 countries, they are also running the dry port in Rwanda which handles 50,000 containers and this is a great advantage for Tanzania,” he pointed out.

Tanzania is currently building a standard gauge railway (SGR) from Dar es Salaam to the ports on Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika and hopes to extend the SGR to Rwanda and Uganda.

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BW Energy commences production from Gabon’s second Dussafu Hibiscus/Ruche well

Borr Drilling jackup rig Picture: VesselFinder

Africa Ports & Ships

Production has safely started from the second well of the Hibiscus / Ruche Phase 1 development in the Dussafu licence offshore of Gabon. A statement issued by BW Energy says production performance from the well has been in line with expectations and is currently stabilised at approximately 6,000 barrels per day.

The DHIBM-4H well was drilled as a horizontal well from the BW MaBoMo production facility to a total depth of 4,800 metres into Gamba sandstone reservoirs on the Hibiscus field. Following completion, the Borr Norve jackup has commenced drilling operations on the third production well (DHIBM-5H).

“We continue to progress the Hibiscus / Ruche drilling campaign with excellent HSE performance,” said Carl Krogh Arnet, the CEO of BW Energy.

“We still have several wells to complete which will deliver successive production growth in Gabon through 2023 and into early 2024.”

The drilling campaign targets four Hibiscus Gamba and two Ruche Gamba wells which are expected to add approximately 30,000 barrels per day of total oil production when all wells are completed in early 2024. The oil produced at Hibiscus / Ruche is transported by pipeline to the BW Adolo FPSO for processing and storage before offloading to export tankers.

Separately, the commissioning and testing of the second gas lift compressor is ongoing on the BW Adolo. The compressor, which will support production from the six Tortue wells, is expected to commence its final commissioning phase in the next few weeks and, once fully operational, will add another 3,000 barrels per day.

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Xeneta Update: Long-term ocean freight rates fall again, with almost 50% drop in key pricing benchmark across last three months

The beleaguered carrier industry took another major hit in June, with the latest data from Xeneta’s Shipping Index (XSI®) showing a decline of 9.4% in global long-term shipping rates. Following on the heels of a 27.5% collapse in May, and a 10.3% fall in April, contracted rates have now shed 47.2% of their value in the last three months alone, and 51.7% over the course of 2023.

Xeneta’s real-time data, crowd-sourced from leading global shippers, shows falls in the prices of valid long-term contracts across all key trading corridors. The uniform declines have now pushed the XSI® to a 23-month low, with, as Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund points out, little hope of a turnaround on the industry horizon.

Challenging times

“The fall from the peaks of last year have almost been as dramatic as the rates explosion which gave carriers such a profitable 2022,” says Berglund. “Those higher rates now appear to be a distant memory, while 2023 is becoming quite challenging.

Patrick Berglund, Xeneta CEO

A fall of almost 50% in contracted prices in just three months on the XSI® is highly unusual.

“Furthermore, with on-going weak demand, continuing macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty, and a growing excess of capacity, it’s difficult to see how the industry can turn this current trend around – at least in the short-term.”

Xeneta’s data demonstrates a case of ‘the bigger they are, the harder they fall’, with huge declines for the year to date on the main container corridors. The Far East export benchmark, a key link in the global supply chain, has, Berglund remarks, steeply declined since December 2022, shedding 65.3% of its value. Meanwhile, the US import sub-index is down 56.3% for the year, with the European import benchmark declining 46.2%. The opposing European export figure fared only slightly better, down 38.3%.

Dramatic drops

“If we sift through those headline figures and look at individual trades, we see some eye-catching reversals in fortune over the first six months of the year,” Berglund notes. “For example, China to North Europe and Indian West Coast & Pakistan to North Europe are two trades that have racked up total declines of more than 70% since the end of last year. Taiwan to the Mediterranean and Taiwan to North Europe have also plummeted from the heights of 2022, with falls of 65.5% for 2023 to date.

“There really are very few bright spots with the only exception this month being the trade lane from South America East Coast to China, which is up by 11% month-on-month. Hardly enough to lift the hopes of anyone within the carrier community.”


Sub-index slump

Xeneta’s in-depth analysis shows a decline in all import and export benchmark figures for all regions. In Europe, the import sub-index hit a 24-month low point, falling 9.4% since May, while the export figure dropped for the third consecutive month, declining 5.1%. The XSI® for Far East exports lost 13.9% of its value in June and has now slumped by 69.5% since its peak last year. The back-haul regional import trade has experienced a more muted decline, with a fall of 6.7% in June and 35.4% for the year to date.

The story continues on the US sub-indexes, with an 11% drop on the import benchmark pushing it to an 18-month low. The export back-haul figure recorded a 4.3% fall.

The big picture

“One is left wondering where this will all end,” Berglund concludes. “If we look at volumes, there are some figures that suggest things might not be as bad as they first appear – with US container exports actually increasing for the for the first four months of the year, by 1.8% year-on-year, while inbound container demand for Europe ‘only’ declined by 1.1% for the same period. But again, those figures have to be seen against a wider backdrop of declining global demand, easing port congestion and increased capacity – all factors that exert downward pressure on rates.

“It’s perhaps more telling to consider the recent development of the key Far East XSI® export index. Here we see single-digit month-on-month declines from February to April, accelerating to double-digit drops for the last two months. This is a clear indication of weakening demand from essential Western markets and a worrying omen for the major players in this fast-paced, always evolving shipping segment.”

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TNPA publishes its approved Port Development Framework Plans

Durban Port Master Plan 2022 – ambitious but controversial  Picture TNPA  

R13 Billion to be invested

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) recently held a series of public participation meetings concerning development and land use proposals for South Africa’s seaports. In a statement last week TNPA advised that following the conclusion of this process, it has now published its approved Port Development Framework Plans (PDFPs).

In terms of the plans, TNPA will invest in excess of R13 billion over the next five years towards capacity creation to ensure long-term sustainability of the port system.

They outline key projects in the pipeline to develop port infrastructure in the immediate and long-term and allow future demand planning aligned to TNPA’s strategy of creating an efficient smart-port system.

Underpinned by the Ports Act, the review of PDFPs ensures plans remain relevant and in line with international best practice, says TNPA.

For the Central Region ports, the Port of Port Elizabeth is being positioned as an automotive hub alongside the relocation of manganese and liquid bulk facilities to the Port of Ngqura.

The deepening of the N-berth quay will support the automotive sector in the Port of East London.

In the Eastern Region ports, the South Dunes liquid bulk terminal will be expanded to handle liquid and gas commodities at the Port of Richards Bay, whilst the Port of Durban continues to be positioned as a regional container hub aligned to the KwaZulu-Natal Port Master Plans.

The Western Region ports will acquire strategic land parcels for port expansion at the Port of Mossel Bay. The development of Culemborg as a back-of-port logistics park is planned for the Port of Cape Town while the provision of the Liquified Natural Gas facilities is planned for the Port of Saldanha.

The plans are now published on the TNPA website and can be ACCESSED HERE

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The cable-laying ship Teliri which was a recent feature off Pipeline Beach, Amanzimtoti in Durban. Picture CIO Africa

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

Just as South Africa is blessed to have an Ocean Salvage Tug on permanent station in Cape Town (mostly), so does she have a Cable Ship on permanent station. The salvage tug, as almost every casual maritime observer knows is the venerable ‘S.A. Amandla’, owned by AMSOL of Cape Town, and shortly to go into retirement, and probably end up as razor blades, within the next few months, after a career straddling 47 years.

The resident cable ship, whilst not as well known, is the French vessel ‘Leon Thevenin’, owned by Orange Marine. Both vessels, when in port, are always to be found berthed in the V&A. The cable ship is here because of the many transoceanic submarine communications cables that connect Africa to the world. If any breaks, failures, faults, or damage occurs to any of them, then a cable ship has to be on permanent standby to go and sort out the problem quickly.

However, technology, and connectivity, continues to develop and expand, with more and more submarine cables being required for the digital age. A standby cable ship is in no position to go off and spend what could be months laying a new submarine cable, and so this job is normally left to other cable ships, who are irregular, but exciting, arrivals in South African ports as they bring in cables for landing at one of the five major cable landing stations (CLS) along the South African coast.

On 24th June, at 08h00 in the morning, the cable ship TELIRI (IMO 9105889) arrived off Cape Town, from a seaward position off Amanzimtoti, just south of Durban. She entered Cape Town harbour and proceeded to the eastern Mole in the Duncan Dock. Such an arrival point is normally a fair sign that the arriving vessel is in transit, on a short turnaround, and requires stores, bunkers, or minor maintenance. However, for ‘Teliri’, the requirement to berth on the Eastern Mole was down to her occupation.

TELIRI. Cape Town 24 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Unbeknownst to almost every casual maritime observer, and even those who work on the docks, the Eastern Mole is the location of a major submarine cable store, and where both arriving, or departing, cable ships come to load, or offload, submarine communications cables required for any job they are contracted to attend to. On arrival, ‘Teliri’ offloaded an approximate length of 7.5 kilometres of submarine cables into the facility cable tanks.

The facility on the Eastern Mole includes numerous cable tanks capable of storing hundreds of kilometres of submarine cable. The facility had recently been upgraded, and now comes complete with a bespoke cable roller system, linked to an external gantry that allows the cables to be run out to the vessel, or vice-versa, and transferred safely, above any harmful traffic. If anyone has ever wondered what the gantry on the eastern Mole was for, well now you know.

TELIRI. Cape Town 24 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 1996 by Azimut Bennetti Shipyard at Livorno in Italy, ‘Teliri’ is 112 metres in length and has a deadweight of 3,400 tons. She has diesel electric propulsion, and is powered by two Wärtsilä 16V25 generators providing 3,680 kW each, and a single Wärtsilä 12V25 generator providing 2,768 kW. The generators provide power to two Ansaldo MSCR motors producing 2,200 kW each, which drive two stern LIPS FS1510 azimuth thrusters, each producing 2,200 kW for a service speed of 14 knots. She also has a single Wärtsilä SACM emergency generator providing 380 kW.

For added manoeuvrability she also has a retractable bow LIPS FS1510 azimuth thruster providing 2.200 kW, and two bow LIPS CT09H transverses thrusters providing 450 kW each. All of these thrusters provide for accurate station keeping, required for either laying new submarine cables, or repairing existing submarine cables, and ‘Teliri’ has a dynamic positioning capability, which is provided by a Kongsberg Simrad ADP 702 system.

TELIRI. Cape Town 24 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She has three main cable tanks onboard, with a capacity of 2,831 m3, and allows for 2,400 tons of cable to be carried. She also has two emergency, spare, cable tanks each holding 50 m3 of submarine cable. She also has two repeater stacks, each holding 50 cable repeaters. Her cable operations take place using either the bow, or the stern, sheave.

In addition to her onboard cable laying equipment, ‘Teliri’ has a Taurus Plough System, which is capable of operating in waters depths of 1,500 metres, and is able to plough a cable trench 1.5 metres deep. She also has a T200 ROV Trenching System to support the Taurus system. The ploughing operation utilises a stern ‘A Frame’ capable of lifting 30 tons. She is fitted with a towing drum winch, which holds 4,000 metres of 40mm cable, and has a bollard pull of 60 tons.

TELIRI. Cape Town 24 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Owned and managed by Elettra TLC SpA, of Rome in Italy, ‘Teliri’ is operated for Orange Marine of Puteaux in France. She has an operating endurance of 30 days, and has accommodation for up to 68 persons. The name Elettra harks back to a bygone era which is not well known.

The grandfather of marine radio telecommunications was the Italian scientist and inventor, Guglielmo Marconi. In 1919, at the end of the First World War, he acquired a beautiful 1904 built steam yacht. It was built by the Ramage & Ferguson shipyard in Leith in Scotland, and was built to the order of Archduke Charles of Austria.

TELIRI. Cape Town 24 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

When purchased by Marconi, he had her partially converted with laboratories and equipment to allow him to experiment with, and trial, new radio systems. He renamed the yacht after his daughter ‘Elettra’. He owned ‘Elettra’ until 1943 when it was requisitioned by the Nazis in Italy, who used it as a patrol boat in the Adriatic Sea. In early 1944 whilst off Zadar, on the coast of Croatia, she was attacked by allied fighter-bombers, and had to be beached, and abandoned.

The arrival of ‘Teliri’ in Cape Town was to allow her to discharge her unused submarine communications cables that were used in the laying of the new Mauritius Telecom T3 cable, from Mauritius to South Africa. The cable started from Le Goulet in Mauritius, with two spokes laid to Le Port in Reunion, and to Ehoala [Fort Dauphin (a.k.a. Taolagnaro)] in Madagascar. The termination point for the T3 cable was the Amanzimtoti Cable Landing Station (CLS), which is owned by Liquid Telecom SA.

TELIRI.  Cable Store.  Cape Town 24 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The cable laying exercise has been underway by ‘Teliri’ since late March, when she first arrived at Port Louis, in Mauritius, to prepare to lay the first segment of the T3 cable. She arrived in Le Port on 6th May, and sailed for Ehoala on 10th May, where she arrived on 13th May. She sailed from Ehoala on 14th May for Durban.

She arrived in the Durban anchorage on 4th June at 05h00 in the early morning, and entered Durban harbour at midnight on the same day. After a three day period loading stores, cable equipment, and bunkers, ‘Teliri’ sailed at 16h00 in the afternoon on 7th June to carry out the landing, and termination, of the T3 cable at Amanzimtoti, which was achieved by 20th June, when she finally sailed for Cape Town, in order to offload her unused cable. Once her offload was complete at the Eastern Mole, she shifted across the Duncan Dock to the Repair Quay.

TELIRI. Cable Tanks. Cape Town 24 June 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The T3 cable followed almost the exact same route that the 3,200 kilometre long METISS cable took in November 2020, and which was also landed at Amanzimtoti. On completion of this cable laying operation, ‘Teliri’ also sailed for Cape Town to offload unused submarine cable.

She was also responsible for laying another cable on the East coast of Africa, when in 2012 ‘Teliri’ laid the 2,700 kilometre long extension to the LION (Lower Indian Ocean Network) cable which also linked Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar. This new LION 2 cable extended to both Mayotte in the Comores, and on to Mombasa in Kenya. It gave Mayotte their first access to high speed internet connectivity.

Marconi’s Elettra. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

On the west coast of Africa ‘Teliri’ was responsible for laying the ACE cable, that linked Europe, via Spain, with South Africa and terminated at the Cable Landing Station (CLS) at Melkbosstrand, just north of Cape Town. She was also responsible for laying a major part of the EQUIANO cable, also linking Europe, via Portugal, with South Africa and which also landed at Melkbosstrand, although ‘Teliri’ did not lay the final stretch of cable in South African waters, but was confined to laying operations in West Africa and out to St. Helena.

After a short stay to obtain her necessary engineering support in Cape Town, she was ready to sail. On 27th June, at 13h00 in the afternoon, ‘Teliri’ sailed from Cape Town, and headed north, with her destination set for Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands.

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Port of Lobito: Testing Singapore-developed maritime single window

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Delegates from Angola and a representative of IMO have been able to test out the maritime single window (MSW) platform developed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore for the Port of Lobito, Angola. The opportunity came at a business process study workshop held in Singapore from 27-30 June, as part of the Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWiFT) Project.

This was reported by the IMO media service at closure of the event.

The SWiFT pilot project was launched by IMO and Singapore last year to support medium-sized ports to meet the requirements of the International Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) and facilitate interconnectivity between ports worldwide.

The maritime single window facilitates the seamless electronic submission of information required for ships calling in the Port of Lobito by way of a single digital portal. From 1 January 2024 it will be mandatory for ports around the world to operate MSWs. To read more about MSWs readers are invited to SEE HERE

The formal handover of the MSW platform and completion of the SWiFT pilot Project is expected to take place by October.

Participants at the workshop included representatives of the Ministry of Transport of Angola; the Agência Marítima Nacional (AMN); Administração Geral Tributária (AGT); Agência Reguladora de Certificação de Carga e Logística de Angola (ARCCLA); the Port of Lobito, and ship agents based there and in the Port of Luanda.

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Top UN official for Africa calls for added action to stop piracy’s spread

UN News

International cooperation is making waves in combatting piracy in West Africa, but addressing its root causes and ensuring sustainable funding must fully eliminate threat, which is spreading to other regions, a top UN official told the Security Council.

Despite gains made in tackling seafaring criminal groups, “piracy incidents continue to threaten the safety of maritime traffic in the region,” said Martha Pobee, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations.

Effective deterrents

Since her last briefing on maritime security in November, she said a steady decrease in piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea was in large part due to interventions by national authorities and regional and international partners.

Together, these effective deterrents against criminal groups have been buttressed by the ongoing operationalization of the so-called Yaoundé architecture, established in 2013 with the signing of the related Code of Conduct by actors in the region, she said, noting that four out of five interregional coordination centres are now functioning.

Such efforts, including forming joint naval task groups, have enhanced cooperation and information sharing while forging a centralized process for maritime security that bridges national and regional capacity gaps, she said.

Threats shifting waters

However, gaps remain, she cautioned, calling for increased support to fill them. These include such challenges as the lack of appropriate equipment and of sustainable financing to ensure the full operationalization of the Code of Conduct.

“Rapidly addressing the challenges that hamper the full operationalization of the Yaoundé architecture is critical to maintaining current gains,” she cautioned.

Recent figures already suggest that “incidents are steadily shifting from the waters of West Africa towards the maritime domain of the UN Economic Community of Central African States,” she said.

Following trends

From 2016 to 2021, the pirate groups in the region altered their patterns, shifting their focus towards “kidnapping for ransom” piracy, according to the UN Secretary-General’s report on piracy in the region.

A study by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global Maritime Crime Programme showed that “kidnapping for ransom” piracy peaked in 2020, with approximately 140 individuals reportedly abducted at sea, the report showed.

The study revealed that the pirate groups operated indiscriminately, targeting vessels of all types, including fishing vessels, and increased their activities further afield. Several cases at the time were reported beyond 200 nautical miles from shore.

Concerted efforts

Against this backdrop, the number of cases of piracy and armed robbery at sea, including kidnapping for ransom, decreased to 45 in 2021 from 123 in 2020, due to national efforts, the Secretary-General’s report found.

The report noted that deterrence effect was further amplified by the deployment of non-Gulf of Guinea navies, including through the continuous presence of ships under the European Union Coordinated Maritime Presences operation, from Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, as well as the regular patrols of navies from Brazil, Canada, India, Morocco, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States.

UN assistance

For its part, the UN stands ready to assist, Ms. Pobee said.

Highlighting several ongoing efforts, she said UNODC is, among other things, providing technical and logistic support for joint patrols.

Together, the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) have developed an inter-regional project to conduct a review of the Code of Conduct, which will be critical in galvanizing support for these activities at a time when piracy remains a threat to the Gulf of Guinea region.

Key action areas

Underlining several key areas essential for success in reviewing the Code, she said nations must first update legal frameworks. Meanwhile, enhanced coordination between the Interregional Centre and partners “remains vital”.

In addition, actors must address the root causes of piracy to eliminate the threat, she said.

“To effectively eliminate the threat posed by piracy and armed robbery at sea, national stakeholders, regional and sub-regional organizations and international partners must also actively seek to address the underlying social, economic and environmental challenges that underpin the recruitment of individuals into maritime criminal networks,” she said.

In this regard, it would be important for the review process, when launched, to include a focus on prevention, consider ways of enhancing more participatory community-based engagements in the architecture, and generate sex-disaggregated data on the impact of maritime crime on women, girls, men, and boys to better inform policy options and actions.

“Without traction on this front, overall progress in curbing this menace will be limited,” she warned.

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Hong Kong ship recycling Convention: Bangladesh accedes

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Bangladesh has become a party to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, otherwise known as the Hong Kong Convention. This was reported by IMO on 26 June.

Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest ship recycling countries by capacity.

Ms Saida Muna Tasneem, High Commissioner, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the IMO, deposited the instrument of accession with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim on 26 June at IMO HQ in London.

“The Government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has once again demonstrated Bangladesh’s global leadership and commitment as a major ship recycling country to environmentally safe and sustainable ship recycling by acceding to the Hong Kong Convention,” she commented. “Bangladesh thanks IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim and his team, the Government of Norway and other international organizations for their continued support to our ship recycling industry.”

Criteria to be met

The Hong Kong Convention will enter into force 24 months after the following required criteria have been met:

* Not less than 15 States;

* Not less than 40% of the world’s merchant shipping by gross tonnage; and

* Ship recycling capacity of not less than 3% of the gross tonnage of the combined merchant shipping of those States mentioned above.

Picture: IMO

Bangladesh and SENSREC

Bangladesh’s accession comes after a High-Level Roundtable meeting held on 23 May at IMO HQ to launch Phase III of the IMO-implemented project on Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh (SENSREC).

This meeting discussed ratification of the Hong Kong Convention and took stock of the achievements of the project and key stakeholders’ contributions.

Participants confirmed the significant role that the project and its legacy has played in prompting the Government of Bangladesh to accede to the Convention.

Safe and environmentally sound operations

IMO’s SENSREC Project has been enhancing safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh with specific legal-policy support. Its targeted capacity building and involvement of key stakeholders has been instrumental in catalysing the accession process by Bangladesh.

Norwegian funding

It is understood that the Project has been funded by Norway in three phases, to the tune of approximately US$ 4 million since 2015.

Key partners

The SENSREC project has worked with key implementing partners, the Ministry of Industries, and the Bangladesh Ship Breakers’ and Recyclers’ Association (BSBRA), to cultivate a strong sense of ownership in greening ship recycling in Bangladesh. Through close collaboration on project activities, the project has also engaged on the ground in Bangladesh with workers, yard owners, and stakeholders, to develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the industry.


During phase II of SENSREC, an institutional and legal roadmap towards ratification was established, and 900 shipyard workers, skilled professionals and other key stakeholders were trained. The remaining activities under Phase II focus on gender awareness in the ship recycling industry, including the holding of a workshop in June 2023 in Chittagong to discuss recommended actions on the economic participation of women in the ship recycling industry.

SENSREC Phase III is planned to provide further support to Bangladesh for compliance with the Convention, by focusing on technical assistance towards the establishment of Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities, as well as analysis of further investment needs required for the yards.

For more on this topic readers are invited to SEE HERE

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Mozambique’s Lesson for Senegal: Don’t Let Violence Lead to Lost Opportunities

FLNG Coral Sul, now in production off Mozambique    Picture Eni

By NJ Ayuk

Executive Chairman
African Energy Chamber

Last November, the Coral South LNG consortium began exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Coral, an offshore field in Mozambique’s Rovuma basin. The group produced and loaded its first cargo on the Coral Sul, the world’s first deepwater floating LNG (FLNG) ship, and delivered it to Europe, where buyers have been looking eagerly for new suppliers ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It has exported several additional cargoes to Europe since then and has continued to operate without interruption.

This development isn’t just a triumph for Eni, the Italian major that’s leading Coral South LNG, or for its European customers. It’s also a triumph for Mozambique, which is now the sixth African country to become a large-scale producer of LNG — and the first to take this step since 2013. It indicates that the Mozambican government’s efforts to attract and retain investors have paid off, and it ought to signify that the country’s offshore reserves have successfully been opened for commercial development.

It’s worth noting, though, that Mozambique’s offshore gas sector isn’t exactly all the way open yet.

Let me explain what I mean.

Mozambique: Two Years of Lost Opportunities

Coral South LNG was always supposed to be the first consortium to export gas from Mozambique, but it never expected to spend much time as the only party to do so. It expected to be joined in short order by Mozambique LNG, a group led by TotalEnergies of France that plans to extract gas from another field in the Rovuma basin. This second consortium was scheduled to start production in 2024.

If the second group had met its deadline, Mozambique’s gas production — and its status as a commercial producer of gas and LNG — would have leveled up significantly in a relatively short period of time. Mozambique LNG was designed to be far larger in scale than Coral South LNG, with two trains turning out 12.88 million tons per annum (mtpa), compared to a single train with a capacity of 3.4 mtpa.

But things changed in 2017 because of an insurgency in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost province of Mozambique. That conflict eventually reached the Afungi Peninsula, where TotalEnergies was building its LNG plant. It led the company to declare force majeure in April 2021, saying it could not resume work on the plant until the security situation in the area was stabilized.

Now, more than two years later, TotalEnergies is reported to be on the verge of announcing an official restart to construction after reviewing the outcome of a multilateral peacekeeping mission and making plans to support residents of host communities. Even so, it has said it won’t be able to start exporting LNG until at least 2026-2027. (There are hints that 2027 is a more realistic guess.)

Therefore, because of the violence in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique has to wait at least three extra years before its gas sector is in a position to outgrow Coral South LNG’s capabilities.

Moreover, it will also have to bear the consequences of the delay. It will have to bring its financial projections into line with not being able to collect any of the revenues it might have earned as an exporter of additional LNG before 2027. It will also have to forego the opportunity to lock in market share now under long-term contracts and instead bear the risk that gas demand will diminish by the time the plant starts production.

These are lost opportunities.

Senegal: Bad News as Dates for First Oil and First Gas Approach

And that brings me to Senegal. At the moment, Senegal is under severe political strain.

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) commends President Sall for everything he’s done to promote and secure the future of Senegal’s oil and gas industry, but I’m not writing this essay for the purpose of taking sides in this debate.

Instead, I’m writing this essay as a reminder of the importance of maintaining stability and avoiding violence when hydrocarbon development — and all the economic benefits that have the potential to follow it — are at stake.

You see, the timing of this unrest is incredibly unfortunate. Senegal isn’t only in the run-up to the next presidential election, which is scheduled to take place in February 2024. It is also just a few months away from beginning commercial production of both crude oil and natural gas. Australia’s Woodside Energy is due to achieve first oil at the offshore Sangomar block before the end of 2023, while the British giant BP and its U.S.-based partner Kosmos Energy are on track to reach a similar milestone at Greater Tortue/Ahmeyim (GTA), a cross-border gas block shared with Mauritania, in the fourth quarter of this year. BP and Kosmos plan to process gas extracted from GTA in an FLNG vessel for export, with most of the resulting LNG going to the European market.

These projects promise to be very beneficial for Senegal, which is a shareholder in both Sangomar and GTA through Petrosen, the national oil company (NOC). They will generate revenue directly, in the form of taxes and other payments, and indirectly, by increasing demand for the goods and services needed to support the oil and gas sector and other links in the energy value chain — and along the way, they will create many jobs. Meanwhile, in the case of GTA specifically, the project will provide gas for domestic electricity generation, while also launching the process of establishing infrastructure networks to support the development of other offshore gas fields, such as Yakaar-Teranga. As such, it will help alleviate energy poverty in the long run.

If Senegal remains stable, it has a better chance of realizing all these benefits no matter which way the political process goes.

But if Senegal continues to be racked by violence and unrest, the likelihood of seeing Woodside delay first oil at Sangomar and BP postpone first gas at GTA will increase — again, no matter which way the political process goes.

And we already know from the example of Mozambique that such delays have consequences.

They push back the date by which oil- and gas-producing states can begin reaping the benefits of their natural resources – the financial benefits of fuel sales, the economic benefits of market share and increased investment, and the fiscal benefits of increased payments to the state treasury. They force the revision of plans for government budget spending, and they force the producer to bear the risk of future commodity market fluctuations.

Senegal doesn’t have to accept this risk

Instead, its citizens can invest in their own future right now. To put themselves in a better position to create solutions to their real political grievances, Senegal’s citizens ought to avoid violence and embrace the stability that will facilitate oil and gas development.

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La leçon du Mozambique pour le Sénégal : Ne laissez pas la violence vous faire perdre des opportunités

FLNG Coral Sul, actuellement en production au large du Mozambique.  Eni

Par NJ Ayuk

Président exécutif
Chambre africaine de l’énergie

En novembre dernier, le consortium Coral South LNG a commencé à exporter du gaz naturel liquéfié (GNL) depuis Coral, un champ offshore dans le bassin de Rovuma au Mozambique. Le groupe a produit et chargé sa première cargaison sur le Coral Sul, le premier navire GNL flottant en eau profonde (FLNG) au monde, et l’a livré en Europe, où les acheteurs recherchent avec impatience de nouveaux fournisseurs depuis l’invasion russe de l’Ukraine. Il a exporté plusieurs cargaisons supplémentaires vers l’Europe depuis lors et a continué à fonctionner sans interruption.

Ce développement n’est pas seulement un triomphe pour Eni, la major italienne qui dirige Coral South LNG, ou pour ses clients européens. C’est aussi un triomphe pour le Mozambique, qui est désormais le sixième pays africain à devenir un producteur à grande échelle de GNL – et le premier à franchir cette étape depuis 2013. Cela indique que les efforts du gouvernement mozambicain pour attirer et retenir les investisseurs ont porté leurs fruits, et cela devrait signifier que les réserves offshore du pays ont été ouvertes avec succès au développement commercial.

Il convient de noter, cependant, que le secteur gazier offshore du Mozambique n’est pas encore tout à fait ouvert.

Permettez-moi d’expliquer ce que je veux dire.

Mozambique : Deux années d’opportunités perdues

Coral South LNG a toujours été censé être le premier consortium à exporter du gaz du Mozambique, mais il ne s’attendait jamais à passer beaucoup de temps en tant que seule partie à le faire. Il devrait être rejoint prochainement par Mozambique LNG, un groupe dirigé par le français TotalEnergies qui prévoit d’extraire du gaz d’un autre gisement du bassin de Rovuma. Ce deuxième consortium devait démarrer la production en 2024.

Si le deuxième groupe avait respecté son échéance, la production de gaz du Mozambique – et son statut de producteur commercial de gaz et de GNL – se serait considérablement stabilisée dans un laps de temps relativement court. Mozambique LNG a été conçu pour être beaucoup plus important que Coral South LNG, avec deux trains produisant 12,88 millions de tonnes par an (mtpa), contre un seul train d’une capacité de 3,4 mtpa.

Mais les choses ont changé en 2017 à cause d’une insurrection à Cabo Delgado, la province la plus septentrionale du Mozambique. Ce conflit a finalement atteint la péninsule d’Afungi, où TotalEnergies construisait son usine de GNL. Cela a conduit l’entreprise à déclarer un cas de force majeure en avril 2021, affirmant qu’elle ne pourrait pas reprendre les travaux sur l’usine tant que la situation sécuritaire dans la région ne serait pas stabilisée.

Aujourd’hui, plus de deux ans plus tard, TotalEnergies serait sur le point d’annoncer un redémarrage officiel de la construction après avoir examiné les résultats d’une mission multilatérale de maintien de la paix et élaboré des plans pour soutenir les résidents des communautés d’accueil. Malgré tout, il a déclaré qu’il ne serait pas en mesure de commencer à exporter du GNL avant au moins 2026-2027. (Il y a des indices que 2027 est une supposition plus réaliste.)

Par conséquent, en raison de la violence à Cabo Delgado, le Mozambique doit attendre au moins trois ans supplémentaires avant que son secteur gazier ne soit en mesure de dépasser les capacités de Coral South LNG.

De plus, il devra également supporter les conséquences du retard. Il devra aligner ses projections financières sur le fait qu’il ne pourra percevoir aucun des revenus qu’il aurait pu gagner en tant qu’exportateur de GNL supplémentaire avant 2027. Il devra également renoncer à l’opportunité de s’assurer une part de marché désormais sous long terme. contrats à terme et supportent plutôt le risque que la demande de gaz diminue au moment où l’usine démarre la production.

Ce sont des occasions perdues.

Sénégal: Mauvaises nouvelles comme dates pour l’approche du premier pétrole et du premier gaz

Et cela m’amène au Sénégal. En ce moment, le Sénégal est soumis à de graves tensions politiques.

La Chambre africaine de l’énergie (AEC) félicite le président Sall pour tout ce qu’il a fait pour promouvoir et assurer l’avenir de l’industrie pétrolière et gazière du Sénégal, mais je n’écris pas cet essai dans le but de prendre parti dans ce débat.

Au lieu de cela, j’écris cet essai pour rappeler l’importance de maintenir la stabilité et d’éviter la violence lorsque le développement des hydrocarbures – et tous les avantages économiques qui pourraient en découler – sont en jeu.

Vous voyez, le moment de ces troubles est incroyablement malheureux. Le Sénégal n’est pas seulement à l’approche de la prochaine élection présidentielle, qui devrait avoir lieu en février 2024. Il n’est également qu’à quelques mois du début de la production commerciale de pétrole brut et de gaz naturel. L’australien Woodside Energy devrait obtenir son premier pétrole sur le bloc offshore de Sangomar avant la fin de 2023, tandis que le géant britannique BP et son partenaire américain Kosmos Energy sont en passe d’atteindre une étape similaire à Greater Tortue/Ahmeyim (GTA), un bloc gazier transfrontalier partagé avec la Mauritanie, au quatrième trimestre de cette année. BP et Kosmos prévoient de traiter le gaz extrait de GTA dans un navire FLNG pour l’exportation, la majeure partie du GNL résultant étant destinée au marché européen.

Ces projets s’annoncent très bénéfiques pour le Sénégal, qui est actionnaire à la fois de Sangomar et de GTA via Petrosen, la compagnie pétrolière nationale (NOC). Ils généreront des revenus directement, sous la forme de taxes et d’autres paiements, et indirectement, en augmentant la demande de biens et de services nécessaires pour soutenir le secteur pétrolier et gazier et d’autres maillons de la chaîne de valeur de l’énergie – et en cours de route, ils créer de nombreux emplois. Dans le même temps, dans le cas de GTA en particulier, le projet fournira du gaz pour la production d’électricité domestique, tout en lançant le processus d’établissement de réseaux d’infrastructures pour soutenir le développement d’autres gisements de gaz offshore, tels que Yakaar-Teranga. En tant que tel, il contribuera à réduire la pauvreté énergétique à long terme.

Si le Sénégal reste stable, il a de meilleures chances de réaliser tous ces avantages, quelle que soit la direction prise par le processus politique.

Mais si le Sénégal continue d’être secoué par la violence et les troubles, la probabilité de voir Woodside retarder le premier pétrole à Sangomar et BP reporter le premier gaz à GTA augmentera – encore une fois, quelle que soit la direction prise par le processus politique.

Et nous savons déjà par l’exemple du Mozambique que de tels retards ont des conséquences.

Ils repoussent la date à laquelle les États producteurs de pétrole et de gaz peuvent commencer à récolter les bénéfices de leurs ressources naturelles – les bénéfices financiers des ventes de carburant, les bénéfices économiques de la part de marché et de l’augmentation des investissements, et les bénéfices fiscaux de l’augmentation des paiements au trésor public. Ils forcent la révision des plans de dépenses budgétaires du gouvernement, et ils forcent le producteur à supporter le risque des fluctuations futures du marché des matières premières.

Le Sénégal n’a pas à accepter ce risque

Au lieu de cela, ses citoyens peuvent investir dans leur propre avenir dès maintenant. Pour se mettre dans une meilleure position pour trouver des solutions à leurs véritables griefs politiques, les citoyens sénégalais doivent éviter la violence et adopter la stabilité qui facilitera le développement du pétrole et du gaz.

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Ajouté le 3 juillet 2023


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