Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 1 October 2023

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BBG Leader. Picture: Trevor Jones

Looking in need of a little paint along her hull is this otherwise impressive mid-sized bulk carrier, BBG LEADER (IMO 9704843), and carrying an interesting-looking deck cargo to add to her attraction as she moved down the Durban entrance channel and into the bay. Built in 2015 and flying the Liberian flag, BBG Leader has a length of 200 metres and width of 32m.

The bulker was arriving on Friday 22 September to berth at Maydon Wharf 7, having sailed directly from her last port at Dar es Salaam, a journey of six days to the Durban anchorage, where she spent another two and a half days before entering port. BBG Leader has a deadweight of 63,241 tons.  The ship is nominally owned by CL Marigold II Ltd, and placed under the care and management of BG Shipping Ltd of Hong Kong.   

This picture is by Trevor Jones

Africa Ports & Ships


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Portia Derby steps down as Transnet Group Chief Executive

Statement by Transnet SOC

The following statement has been issued on Friday p.m. by Transnet SOC Ltd

Transnet SOC Ltd. (Transnet) wishes to announce that Portia Derby will be stepping down from her role as the Group Chief Executive (GCE) and as Executive Director on the Board of Directors, with effect from 31 October 2023.

The company’s Group Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director on the Board, Nonkululeko Dlamini, has also submitted her resignation. She leaves the company today after serving a month’s notice.

Ms Derby joined Transnet on 1 February 2020 and has steered the company through an extremely challenging period, following on the setting aside of the 1064 locomotive contract which has created a significant binding constraint for Transnet that remains to this day.

Furthermore, the period of the current executives’ tenure was impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, immediately thereafter the looting, the hacking of the ICT system, the floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the strike towards the end of 2022, all of which have adversely impacted Transnet.

The floods in particular required a significant capital outflow to return to service the critical Container Corridor between Johannesburg and Durban.

Ms Derby has been responsible for driving the introduction of restorative governance measures and stabilising the company following the years of State Capture.

During her tenure she worked with the team in Transnet to introduce a private partner for Transnet Port Terminals into the container terminal space, the first of its kind, including working with key stakeholders in introducing reforms, aligned with Government policy, which aim to turn the organisation around, restructure the rail sector particularly, and enable the growth of the freight logistics system.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to take this opportunity to convey to Portia and Nonkululeko our best wishes and to express our gratitude for their dedication, selflessness and hard work in serving the company during this critical time in its history”, Board Chairperson Andile Sangqu said.

Michelle Phillips, the Chief Executive of Transnet Pipelines (TPL) will be the Acting GCE from 1 November 2023, until a permanent GCE is appointed. Hlengiwe Makhathini will act as Group CFO while a permanent replacement is sought.

Ms Derby will be available until the end of the calendar year to support the acting GCE and the Board as part of the handover process.

Issued on behalf of the Board of Directors.

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Added 29 September 2023


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The UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2023 Part 2

Picture: UNCTAD

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Towards a green and just transition – Part 2

With accent on Africa, we continue to reflect upon some of the points made by UNCTAD in its Review of Maritime Transport 2023.

Shipping fleets


In 2022, Liberia surpassed Panama as the world’s largest flag state of registration in terms of dead weight tonnage, with 378.3 million deadweight tons in its fleet. Liberia recorded a 12.7% growth in ship tonnage between 2022 and 2023.

Liberia takes second place after the Panama ship registry in terms of ship numbers, with 4,821 vessels in the Liberia-flagged fleet. The average vessel size flagged in Liberia is 78,479 deadweight tons.

When measured by value, Liberia has the second-largest share of vessels registered, at 11.78% compared with Panama’s 12.86%.


Nigeria is the largest ship-owning country in Africa. In terms of the world fleet, it is at number 33 on the list, with 291 vessels totalling 7.94 million deadweight tons. In terms of vessel value, Nigerian-owned vessels were in 30th place with a 0.56% share of the world fleet value.

Carbon emissions

In 2022, ships flying the flags of Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands (the world’s three leading flags by tonnage and number of vessels), collectively accounted for more than one third of shipping’s global carbon emissions. Liberia-flagged vessels are responsible for the highest volume of carbon dioxide emissions from ships, when purely measured by main flags of registration.

Maritime transport performance

The Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI), measuring the connectivity of economies, showed that average LSCI for Africa increased in 2022 but remained below pre-pandemic values.

Port investment

There is ongoing investment in Africa by global port and terminal operators, including by MSC and Hapag-Lloyd.

Africa was the only region in the world to show an increase in port calls by dry bulk carriers – up 2.5% in 2022. The region also recorded a more than 5% increase in port calls by liquid bulk carriers.

Container handling

The World Bank’s Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) measures a port’s capacity to handle containers for export, import and trans-shipment. In the Top 25 ports under the CPPI 2022, Tanger-Med Port in Morocco is ranked fifth, up one place from 2021.

Tanger Med port strengthened its position as a major Mediterranean hub, handling 7.5 million containers in 2022 – up 6% from 2021. An estimated 35% of African trade with the rest of the world is passing through Tanger Med, which is connected to about 40 African ports.

Port Said, Egypt is ranked at number 11 and Djibouti is ranked 25.

Dar es Salaam was the port which most reduced average arrival times in 2022. The government of Tanzania invested heavily in the Dar es Salaam port facilities – improving clearance procedures with the goal of making the port the entry point of the Central Corridor and the route to Southern Africa. The port has seen an LSCI increase of 50% since 2006.

Loading times

When measuring tanker cargo and vessel handling performance for the top 30 countries in terms of ship arrivals, the fastest loading times are recorded for Angola, at 98 tons per minute.

Cutting costs

Thanks to policy reforms within the East African Community (EAC), the time to move cargo from Mombasa to Kampala has been cut from eighteen to three days; the cost of transport from Mombasa to Nairobi has been reduced by 56%.

Contract rates covering Africa to Asia increased by 248% in 2022, compared with 2021, while rates from Asia to Africa increased by 160%. These increases were primarily influenced by imbalances in supply and demand.

Based on material kindly provided by the UNCTAD press service.

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Added 28 September 2023


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WHARF TALK: handysize bulk carrier ANTARCTIC OCEAN

The handysize bulk carrier Antarctic Ocean departing from the port of Cape Town, 24 September 2023, bound for Durban. The tug assisting is the Umbilo.
Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

Sometimes the name of a vessel conjures up all the wrong images of what she may be, and what epic undertakings she must be involved in. With Cape Town being rightly known as the ‘Gateway to Antarctica’, the casual maritime observer would think that any vessel at this time of the year, with a name that conjures up a connection to the Big White South, would be heading that way. However, they would be wrong.

On 20th September, at midday, the Handysize bulk carrier ANTARCTIC OCEAN (IMO 9467627) arrived at the Table Bay anchorage, from Ust-Luga in Russia, and went to anchor for a short period of just nine hours. At 21h00 in the evening, on the same day, she entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding into the Duncan Dock, and going alongside B berth at the FPT, where she began her discharge of her agricultural bulk cargo.

Antarctic Ocean. Cape Town 24 September 2023.
Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2010 by Samjin Shipbuilding at Weihai in China, ‘Antarctic Ocean’ is 180 metres in length, and has a deadweight of 33,755 tons. She is powered by a single STX MAN-B&W 6S50MC-C6 six cylinder, two stroke, main engine producing 10,689 bhp (7,971 kW) to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three MAN-B&W 5L23/30H generators providing 550 kW each, and a single Doosan AD066TIS emergency generator providing 110 kW. She has a single Kangrim MC0503P31 auxiliary composite boiler. She has a cargo carrying capacity of 46,284 m3, and her five holds are serviced by four 35 ton cranes.

Antarctic Ocean. Cape Town 24 September 2023.
Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She is one of a popular design of handysize bulk carrier, known as the Samjin 33BC class, of which more than thirty were built at the shipyard. Nominally owned by Anta Ocean Ltd., the real ownership of ‘Antarctic Ocean’ lies with Union Maritime Ltd., of London, whose houseflag colours she displays on her funnel. She is operated by Union Commercial Services Ltd. also of London, and she is managed by Virono Shipping SA, of Athens.

Her port of departure Ust-Luga, in Russia, is located in the Baltic Sea, on the southern side of the Gulf of Finland, just across the border from Estonia. It is one of two new ports developed at the request of Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin, as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The other newly developed Baltic port being Primorsk, which was developed primarily as an export oil terminal.

Antarctic Ocean. Cape Town 24 September 2023.
Picture by ‘Dockrat’

At that time Russia had nine ports in the Baltic Sea, but lost five of them when the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, declared independence from the Soviet Union, and turned their back on their previous occupiers. Those ports were Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) Ventspils (Latvia), Liepāja (Latvia), and Klaipēda (Lithuania).

Ust-Luga was developed on reclaimed land, as the largest, and deepest, Russian port in the Baltic Sea, and was open for business in 2001. It has six export terminals, for coal, oil, and fertilisers. Fertilisers play a leading role in the export trade from Ust-Luga, and one of the fertiliser terminals is one of the largest in Europe.

Antarctic Ocean. Cape Town 24 September 2023.
Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The fertiliser exports from Ust-Luga include almost every derivative of fertiliser, and includes Potash, Sulphur, Phosphate, Ammonium Nitrate, Ammonia, Nitrogen, and Urea. The latest fertiliser terminal constructed at Ust-Luga includes two berths, with a third coming, all linked by a covered conveyor belt system to the covered bulk fertiliser storage warehouses. The capacity of the terminal was set at 6,025 million tons per annum, and this will increase to 10 million tons per annum with the full commissioning of the third berth.

Since the illegal invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russia lost many of its markets for fertiliser exports, including to Europe, and a large market in the USA. Sadly, as with her oil exports, the BRICS nations have rewarded Putin, by increasing their imports of Russian fertilisers, with China, India and Brazil taking the bulk of Russian fertiliser exports this year.

Antarctic Ocean. Cape Town 24 September 2023.
Picture by ‘Dockrat’

With the arrival of ‘Antarctic Ocean’ in Cape Town, you can now add South Africa to that list, to get a full house of BRICS nations aiding and abetting a thug nation. It is a sad state of affairs when the continued violent colonization of sections of Ukraine, which goes against everything that South Africa stands for, is rewarded by assisting Russia in buying up fertilisers. In some ways, the continued export of South African fruit to Russia, and in increasing quantities throughout this year, is similar.

There is some conjecture that Belarus, whose despotic leader, Aleksandr Lukashenko, sanctioned the use of his land, for Russia to use as a military launch pad against Ukraine, is trying to get access to the fertiliser terminals at Ust-Luga. His actions prior to the Ukraine war, when he was widely condemned for rigging an election, and violently suppressing protests, ended with Lithuania closing down his only export route for the Potash fertiliser industry in Belarus, and EU sanctions being applied.

Antarctic Ocean. Cape Town 24 September 2023.
Picture by ‘Dockrat’

All 12 million tons per annum of Potash was sent by railway to Klaipēda in Lithuania, for export. There was no secondary route, and overnight the traffic was stopped. Since then, the Belarus authorities have been trying to get a fixed route via a Russian seaport, with Ust-Luga being the closest.

So far, they have failed to arrange it, as Russia is using all of the terminal capacity at Ust-Luga for their own fertiliser exports. The result is that the Potash is being sent to a number of Russian ports for export, including as far away as Murmansk, the delays and costs of which are hurting what little export markets the Belarus industry still has.

Antarctic Ocean. Cape Town 24 September 2023.
Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Back in July 2014, the Master and Chief Engineer of ‘Antarctic Ocean’, then named ‘Orient Accord’, were arrested by the Greek Authorities in Thessaloniki. An inspection of her fuel tanks found 54 tons of unregistered bunker fuel, and 1.4 tons of unregistered fuel oil. The fuel had not been declared in her documentation on arrival at the port.

In Cape Town, it was clear that the fertiliser cargo of ‘Antarctic Ocean’ was destined for a multi-port itinerary. After three and half days unloading, she was made ready to sail, still with a working draft. At 10h00 in the morning of 24th September, ‘Antarctic Ocean’ sailed from Cape Town, bound for Durban to complete her discharge, where her ETA off the Bluff was given as 27th September at 13h00 in the early afternoon.

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Added 28 September 2023


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DP World investing $210 million in Luanda multipurpose terminal

DP World’s Multipurpose Terminal, Luanda

Africa Ports & Ships

DP World is investing US$ 210 million in the modernization and expansion of the Multipurpose Terminal of the Port of Luanda, DPW’s director general for Angola, Francisco Pinzon, announced on Tuesday in Luanda.

Reported by ANGOP, the investment will lead to a dramatic increase in capacity for the Multipurpose Terminal. The current capacity is 430,700 TEU
per year.

Civil construction at the terminal has already commenced and will continue for 18 months.

Included in the contract is a new two-storey admin and operations building, two access extensions for loading and unloading, customs facilities, the Fiscal Police, and the inclusion of an ultra modern X-Ray facility.

The terminal will acquire state-of-the-art scanners and other modern technological equipment necessary for a modern well-run port terminal.

The multipurpose terminal occupies 22 hectares of land at Angola’s principal port and currently has a cargo throughput capacity of 2.6 million tonnes per year, inclusive of containerised cargo, general cargo and motor vehicles.

Pinzon said the $210 million investment to digitalise the terminal’s operational activities should result in improving the time factor of processing cargo by 50 per cent.

DP World was awarded the concession to manage and operate the multipurpose terminal in 2020 for a period of 20 years. Included in the concession agreement is the requirement for DP World to rehabilitate the 610-metre quayside facing the terminal. The quayside has a water depth alongside of 12.5 metres.

* See related report: Mystery over APM Terminals reported sale of majority share in Luanda container terminal

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Added 28 September 2023


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Heavy rains disrupt rail freight services in Eastern & Western Cape

Manganese ore trains among those disrupted

Africa Ports & Ships

The heavy rains and storms across the Eastern and Western Cape in recent days has severely disrupted both freight and passenger rail services, Transnet Freight Rail said on Wednesday (27 September).

The disruptions in certain parts of the Cape Corridor follow the severe weather conditions experienced across both regions over the long weekend.

The Caledon Branch line and Cape Main line in both the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, in particular, have been severely affected by these adverse weather conditions.

Extreme rainfall – resulting in wash-aways, rockslides and fallen trees along some sections of rail lines – caused damage to locomotives and the rail infrastructure, resulting in challenging operational obstacles.

As a result, operations have had to be suspended, said TFR, affecting both the freight and passenger services on the Cape Main line.

In the Eastern Cape, heavy winds broke the overhead equipment of the rail line on the Blinkhoff and Salraire section of the Manganese Main line, which are causing delays in train operations.

“We are actively working to address these challenges and have deployed our dedicated teams to restore normal operations within the coming week,” TFR said.

“Safety remains our utmost priority and all necessary precautions are taken to ensure that the damaged infrastructure is restored safely.”

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Added 27 September 2023 14h00


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The UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2023 Part 1

Picture: UNCTAD

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Towards a green and just transition – Part 1

On 27 September from Geneva the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published its 156-page Review of Maritime Transport 2023. This year’s edition includes a chapter on shipping decarbonisation.

We publish in two parts a brief reflection on the Review with particular accent on Africa.

The report

It is understood that the full report will be available from noon on 27 September by the link here.

After a Foreword by Rebecca Grynspan, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, and an Overview the report is divided into section thus:

* International Maritime Trade.

* World shipping fleet, services, and freight rates.

* Decarbonisation shipping.

* Port performance and maritime trade and transport facilitation.

* Legal issues and regulatory developments.

These sections are supported by a wealth of tables, graphs and charts to enhance the text.

This document provides an analysis of structural and cyclical changes affecting seaborne trade, ports and shipping, as well as an extensive collection of statistics from maritime trade and transport.

Maritime transport is the backbone of international trade and the global economy. Over 80% of the volume of international trade in goods is carried by sea, and the percentage is even higher for most developing countries. [In Africa it is in excess of 90%]

It is reported that seaborne trade declined by 0.4% in 2022, and growth resumed in 2023. Without doubt shipping continues to navigate Covid-19 post-pandemic trends, the legacies of the 2021–2022 crunch in global supply chains, a softening in the container shipping market and shifts in shipping and trading patterns arising from the war in Ukraine.

In spite of the decline UNCTAD projects maritime trade will grow by 2.4% in 2023.

World fleet

As of January 2023, the world fleet consisted of 105,493 vessels of 100 gross tons and above. In 2022, capacity expanded at an annual rate of 3.25% with overall tonnage hitting 2.27 billion deadweight tons.

The global fleet is also ageing. At the start of 2023, commercial ships had an average age of 22.2 years.

On Africa

We provide a summary here of the many facts and figures on Africa:

Maritime trade patterns

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement is expected to increase intra-African freight by 28% and demand for maritime freight by 62%.

A significant increase in traffic flows is expected across all transport modes throughout Africa in the coming years. Enormous investment in transport equipment and infrastructure will be required, including 100 more vessels, if the AfCFTA is fully implemented. The investments expected due to the AfCFTA also provide an avenue for a green economic recovery in Africa.

Grain imports into Africa from Ukraine, crucial to the food security of many African economies, declined by 14.9% in 2022, forcing these economies to adapt their trading patterns. From 2018 to 2020, 32% of total African wheat imports came from the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Egypt coped with an 81% fall in wheat imports from Ukraine during the first eight months of the war by replacing the source of imports with the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United States.

Ethiopia replaced the loss of wheat supply from the Russian Federation and Ukraine with shipments from the United States and Argentina.

The war in Ukraine led European countries to import more gas from other suppliers – including Algeria – to compensate for the loss of shipments from the Russian Federation.

South-South trade such as from Africa to Latin America and the Caribbean contributed 12.5% to global containerised trade in 2022.

[Based on material kindly provided by the UNCTAD press service]

To be continued in Part 2

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Added 27 September 2023 13H31


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Picture & Banners: IMO

IMO World Maritime theme for 2023

MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on

Edited by Paul Ridgway

The World Maritime Day 2023 takes place on Thursday, 28 September 2023.

This year’s World Maritime theme is MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on.

IMO-UNEP-Norway Innovation Forum 2023

The event takes place on 28 September 2023 at IMO Headquarters, London, and online. The Forum includes topics such as: Environmental performance; reducing plastic litter from ships; supporting innovation in marine fuel production; decarbonizing the maritime sector; unlocking green finance; and partnerships and collaboration.

To read more readers are invited to see here.

Lighting up landmarks

IMO Headquarters will be bathed in blue light in the evening of the day to promote this year’s theme. IMO invites Member States, intergovernmental organizations in cooperation with IMO, and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with IMO to lighting up landmarks.

Social media participation

IMO invites Members States and everyone in the maritime industry to celebrate the day by using the hashtag #WorldMaritimeDay and tagging IMO on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn).

MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on

The theme reflects the organization’s long history of protecting the environment from the impact of shipping via a robust regulatory framework and emphasizes its ongoing commitment to this important work. The theme MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on spotlights the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which covers prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

IMO Secretary-General’s Message:

How does IMO’s marine protection treaty make a difference?

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim commented: “A lot has changed in shipping in the 50 years since the MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973, and IMO’s commitment to protecting and preserving the marine environment has remained unwavering.

“The World Maritime Theme for 2023 will allow us to celebrate this legacy, while also underscoring our dedication to building on the existing foundations as we move towards a brighter future together.”

IMO’s marine protection treaty, the MARPOL Convention, is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships and currently includes six technical Annexes. Click on the images below to learn how the treaty makes a difference in marine protection.


MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on promotes discussions on the next phase of IMO’s work to further protect the planet and the oceans, is also linked to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These include affordable and clean energy (SDG 7); industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); climate action and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources (SDGs 13 and 14); and the importance of partnerships and implementation to achieve these goals (SDG 17).

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Added 27 September 2023


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SARS confirms detention of five bunker tankers in Algoa Bay

Bunkering in Algoa Bay. Picture: SAMSA

Africa Ports & Ships

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has confirmed reports in a weekend newspaper that five bunker tankers operating in Algoa Bay outside the ports of Ngqura and Port Elizabeth, have been detained.

The five vessels have been involved in the local bunker fuel supply chain.

According to SARS it has been engaging with the fuel industry since 2016 to encourage compliance with the legislation concerning the importation, the trading in and other operational activities of vessels engaged in the supply of fuel.

Alongside these engagements, SARS says it has also been conducting investigations around compliance in fuel bunkering. The detention of the five vessels operating out in Algoa Bay is part of this on-going investigation.

“SARS confirms that several vessels were detained in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 91 of 1964.

“This was done in the normal course of investigating whether the provisions of the Act have been contravened. SARS is of the view that the detention is lawful and, as the investigation is ongoing, no decision to seize such vessels has been taken,” said SARS in a written statement.

“SARS is obliged to administer the law fairly, without fear, favour or prejudice and to conduct investigations in a responsible manner in accordance with a fair procedure,” said SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter.

“SARS has no interest in jeopardising economic growth nor of contributing to the problem of unemployment, poverty and inequality,” he added.

The Commissioner called on taxpayers and traders to comply with their tax and Customs obligations.

Kieswetter emphasised that SARS will not hesitate to act firmly and robustly to ensure that non-compliance is hard and costly for those that wilfully and intentionally ignore their obligations.

“The clarion call to all taxpayers and traders is – comply or face the consequences,” the commissioner warned.

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Added 27 September 2023


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WHARF TALK: handysize bulk carrier DOUBLE DIAMOND

The handysized bulk carrier Double Diamond which arrived in Cape Town harbour on Thursday 21 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

Sometimes the arrival of a vessel in a South African port brings back a memory of a product from one’s youth. Of course, you have to either be of a certain age to make the connection to the name of the vessel that evokes the memory, and in some cases you may even have to have been in a certain location to have tried the product, or to have seen the product advertisement on local TV.

Additionally, to the casual maritime observer, what is probably not known about this particular vessel is what connection it might have with South Africa in a wider context. Not only that, what connection would it have to the name of what was considered to be a great South African shipping concern, from a time when South Africa actually had a shipowning pedigree.

On 20th September, at 22h00 in the late evening, the Handy Bulk Carrier DOUBLE DIAMOND (IMO 9478470) arrived at the Table Bay anchorage, from Richards Bay, and duly went to anchor, albeit merely for an overnight stay. The next day, at 11h00 on the morning of 21st September, she entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding into the Duncan Dock, and going alongside A berth at the FPT to begin her agricultural product discharge.

Double Diamond. Cape Town, 21 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2011 by Kanda Shipbuilding at Kure in Japan, ‘Double Diamond’ is 177 metres in length and has a deadweight of 33,145 tons. She is powered by a single Akasaka Mitsubishi 6UEC45LSH six cylinder, two stroke, main engine producing 8,908 bhp (6,550 kW) to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 15 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Nishishiba NTAKL-VE generators providing 440 kW each. She has an Osaka OVS2-100/85-23 composite boiler. She has five cargo holds, with a cargo carrying capacity of 42,630 m3, served by four 30 ton cranes.

She is nominally owned by Good Duke (MI) Ltd., of Hong Kong, and operated by Taylor Maritime (HK) Ltd., also of Hong Kong, and whose houseflag she displays on her funnel. She is managed by Tamar Shipmanagement Ltd., also of Hong Kong, where all of these companies are located at the same Hong Kong address.

The overall management ownership company, of all three of the companies fall, under Taylor Maritime Investments, of St.Peter Port in the Channel Island of Guernsey. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Taylor Maritime Investments is Edward Buttery. Edward Buttery is also CEO of Taylor Maritime (HK) Ltd., and Tamar Shipmanagement Ltd.

Double Diamond. Cape Town, 21 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

So what might be the South African connection here? It is that Taylor Maritime Investments recently acquired Grindrod Shipping, in Singapore, and on 1st April 2023 Edward Buttery was announced as the new CEO of Grindrod Shipping.

On arrival at Cape Town, it was clear to the casual maritime observer that ‘Double Diamond’ was not fully loaded down to her marks. The current voyage of ‘Double Diamond’ began in the Argentinian port of San Lorenzo, located up the Paraná River, which acts as the most important Agricultural export port in Argentina.

The San Lorenzo port complex is a series of riverside facilities on the western shore of the Paraná River, shared by the cities of San Lorenzo and Puerto General San Martín, in the province of Santa Fe. The port is located at 32°43’ South 060°44’ West, and is the last deepwater port on the Paraná, allowing bulk carriers up to the size of Panamax class vessels to berth. The dredged depth of the river is maintained at 10.5 metres.

Double Diamond. Cape Town, 21 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

San Lorenzo-Puerto General San Martín form a major commercial terminal for Argentinian agricultural exports, accounting for 50% of all Soybean products, and 36% of all Cereal products. Another reported export from the port complex does not make the national statistics for Argentinean agricultural export crops.

Bizarrely, but in a rather sinister way, it was widely reported that the San Lorenzo port complex was a major centre used by the infamous Colombian drug trafficking cartels, as a place to ship cocaine and other drugs, to Europe, and other destinations abroad, using the bulk carrier traffic as their preferred method of shipping their drugs.

Sailing from San Lorenzo on 4th August, after a three day loading sequence, ‘Double Diamond; proceeded to Port Louis, in Mauritius, where she arrived on 28th August, at 01h00 in the morning. She discharged a parcel of her agricultural cargo over a period of five days, and at 0100 in the morning of 3rd September, she sailed for Richards Bay, where she finally entered the port 13th September, at 07h00 in the morning.

Double Diamond. Cape Town, 21 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her second parcel discharge in the KwaZulu-Natal bulk port took just over three days, and at 1500 in the afternoon of 16th September, she set sail for Cape Town. Her discharge in Cape Town was for a small parcel remainder, as she was ready to sail after just 34 hours alongside. At 1500 in the afternoon of 22nd September, ‘Double Diamond’ sailed from Cape Town, bound on her AIS for Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) of the Caribbean Sea. As the BVI do not have any bulk export trades, it is presumed that Tortola is her destination for orders.

For the nomenclature aficionado, and based on the company being owned by an Englishman, ‘Double Diamond’ will be well known to some mariners of a certain age, and who found their way into English Pubs throughout the period of the 1950s to the 1980s. This is because ‘Double Diamond’ is the name of a pleasant English Beer. It was originally brewed as far back as 1876 by the Samuel Allsop Brewery, at Burton-upon-Trent, in the county of Staffordshire.

Double Diamond and Umbilo. Cape Town, 21 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Burton-upon-Trent is well known as a beer brewing town as, at one point, there were no fewer than 26 breweries in the town. This is because the River Trent, from where the breweries still get their water possesses a hardness, and a mineral content, that is perfect for brewing beer. The town also is the site of the largest brewery in the world. Its fortune came, not only because of the water, but because of its central location, and that both the River Trent, which is navigable, and the English canal network which linked to the river, allowed the output of the town’s breweries to be transported swiftly, all around the country.

An English Pale Ale, ‘Double Diamond’ was one of the most popular keg beers in the UK during the 1970s. It is still brewed at Burton-upon-Trent to this day, and still as a keg beer, but now by the Carlsberg UK Brewery in the town, who had previously taken over the Ind Coope Brewery, who themselves had taken over the Samuel Allsop Brewery. For those who remember, the advertisement jingle of the product was ‘Double Diamond works wonders, so have one today’. Aaaah, memories of a misspent youth.

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Cable Restorer sinks at her Simonstown mooring

Cable Restorer sunk at her Simonstown mooring  Picture: FaceBook / Simonstown Community Group

Africa Ports & Ships

The former cable ship CABLE RESTORER (IMO 5056676) sank at her moorings in Simonstown on Tuesday morning (06h30), possibly the result of the weather conditions prevailing over the weekend in the Western and Eastern Cape. Cable Restorer is listed as a museum ship and was previously utilised as a floating restaurant, though recently the vessel has remained in poor condition.

Built in 1944 as HMS Bullfrog for duty in harbour defences during World War 2, she was sold two years later to Cable & Wireless Ltd and converted for use in undersea cable repair work. At that point she was renamed CS Retriever. In 1961 she became the property of the Commercial Cable Company who renamed her CS Cable Restorer.

In 1972 she took up duty under the ownership of the South Atlantic Cable Company who based her at Cape Town. After 21 years of service in this capacity she was ‘retired’ and donated to the Simon’s Town Museum and was used for some years as a public floating restaurant.

CS Cable Restorer. Picture:
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APM Terminals Apapa welcomes first cargo movement on Nigerian SGR Lagos – Ibadan

Nigerian Railways Lagos-Ibadan SGR locomotive

Africa Ports & Ships

APM Terminals Apapa has welcomed the flagging off of the first cargo movement on the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor from one of three standard gauge rail (SGR) lines at its Apapa terminal.

APM Terminals Apapa is the only container terminal in Nigeria with on-site rail connectivity and therefore is able to offer a unique multi-modal access to the terminal via road, barge and rail.

Lower costs

APM Terminals Apapa first restored the rail in the port in 2013 leading to the movement of containers from Apapa port to Kano and Kaduna via Cape gauge (3ft 6ins) rail. Connecting the port to the new Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line now offers cost advantages for consignees and reduces pressure on the road network.

In a statement marking the occasion, APM Terminals said they were increasing standards of responsibility to improve and safeguard the planet that sustains us all. “Globally, we made an industry-leading commitment to be fully net zero by 2040, and to reduce our total emissions by 70% by 2030 compared to 2020,” the terminal operator said.

Growing rail volumes

The statement added that rail transportation will help achieve that ambition. “We will continue to enhance the connectivity of our network with intermodal, environmentally-friendly solutions and digital technologies to improve ease of doing business with APM Terminals Apapa.”

The new standard gauge freight train from Apapa port to Ibadan will move 90 containers daily, assisting with decongesting the port and reducing demurrage for shippers, said Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali.

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IMO and Africa regional audits

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway

IMO Member States in Africa are being supported to be ready for audits under the mandatory IMO Member State Audit Scheme IMSAS.

A training course in Addis Ababa held from 18-22 September was aimed at officials from maritime administrations who are, or will be, involved in preparing their respective countries for audit, and who may be nominated as auditors under IMSAS. This was reported by the IMO news service on 25 September

IMO and Ethiopia joint effort

The course was organized jointly by IMO and Ethiopia, as hosting country, as part of a series of training activities to support IMSAS. Through a blended learning approach involving in-person classroom training and individual online study.

Participants learnt about the latest guidance for Audit Officers, for example how to write a statement regarding an observation during an audit.

Participants used newly revised e-lessons, e-exercises, and e-quizzes, part of IMO’s new e-learning tool which is accessed through the online Learning Management System LMS.

Broad representation

The course was attended by twenty-three officials from: Angola, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Mandatory requirement

All IMO Member States are required under IMSAS to undergo a mandatory audit within the seven-year audit cycle. Since the inauguration of the mandatory phase of the IMSAS Scheme in January 2016, 109 mandatory audits have been successfully conducted.

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Transnet accuses ‘opportunistic elements’ of having private agendas

Durban Container Terminals Piers 1 and 2, and Salisbury Island Naval Base at middle left 

by Terry Hutson

In a press release issued late last week, Transnet said “opportunistic elements” are using the current operational challenges faced by Transnet to further their own agendas.

The release was described as Transnet’s statement on recent  chambers’ letters (see following article).

The statement itself avoided going into specifics, but the state-owned transport company said it remains committed to “authentic stakeholder engagement and collaboration”.

Saying the company will not be intimidated and that those who owe Transnet money will have to pay, it accuses unnamed individuals of a “distortion of public discourse” while “failing to disclose their true motives”.

This seems an unusual argument to make when faced with strong condemnation by some of the country’s leading industrial and business interests across the country, from mining to commerce and industry alike.

On top of which the responsible government department through Minister Pravin Gordhan has himself issued an instruction calling for a resolution to the issues being raised by the responsible organisations.

It’s not just Transnet that is under the cosh from these problems, or  ‘challenges’  as Transnet calls them. The mining industry, on which much of South Africa’s wealth and stability rests, is losing billions of rand in lost exports and production, purely as a result of Transnet’s inability to transport products to the ports.

As a result many of the country’s roads and infrastructure have been compromised and even destroyed, as mines turn to road transport in a desperate bid to avoid further losses and mine closures.

Similarly the roads and infrastructure leading into the main container ports remain severely affected, with ongoing congestion and ships avoiding ports due to expensive delays that have seen the country’s container ports being ranked by the World Bank annual survey as among the very worst in the world.

Transnet’s rather strange response is that it is already having regular meetings with the respective Chambers of Commerce & Industry via Port Forum meetings – which are not new events in response to the challenges – as well as various ad-hoc meetings with member bodies and stakeholders across all its operations.

Transnet points out too the daily OPS meetings held at all ports to talk through the past day performances and forecasts. There’s also a bi-weekly decongestion meeting attended by many stakeholders, and other regular meetings with truckers to discuss their problems and Transnet solutions. And so on.

The problem with all this is that it doesn’t appear to be working. The trains no longer run as frequently as required and some not at all, the terminals still take much too long to turn around a container ship and ports are still being avoided by some shipping companies. The roads outside the ports remained clogged by thousands of heavy trucks, messing up road systems never designed for the loads now being experienced.

These are the issues that have brought the associations to make unprecedented demands on government to take urgent steps in correcting issues, including making senior management changes.

It is not for the first time the private sector has felt forced to cry out – even the president has been forced on more than one occasion to intervene and visit the ports in an effort of reversing the sickness in our state-owned transport system.

One had the feeling then that those presidential visits ended up becoming glorified exercises in public relations. They certainly made little difference.

Transnet acknowledges it is public knowledge that the Board has been instructed by the Minister of Public Enterprises to develop a number of turnaround plans to improve efficiencies across the business, and work, it says, is underway in that regard.

The question being asked by private enterprise is whether this will result in changes of management and method, and not become simply an amplification of ad-hoc gatherings and stakeholder meetings that resolve little about the major issues facing commerce and industry.

Meanwhile, the nation’s economy stagnates.

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Transnet says its challenges must not be highjacked for private agendas

The following is the full media statement issued by Transnet SOC Ltd, on Thursday 21 September 2023, and referred to in the article above.


Transnet SOC Ltd (‘Transnet’) is aware of opportunistic elements who are using the current operational challenges faced by the organisation to unfortunately further their own agendas.

As it addresses its challenges, Transnet remains committed to authentic stakeholder engagement and collaboration. However, it must be clear that those who owe Transnet money will have to pay, and the company will not be intimidated. Transnet will also no longer tolerate a distortion of public discourse by individuals who fail to disclose their true motives.

In the case of its operations in Durban, Transnet meets with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Port Forum sessions, which are standing meetings every two months. In these meetings the parties discuss, among others, the Port’s performance and dependencies on all stakeholders to achieve the common goal of an improved Port for the benefit of all. The quarterly meetings of the Durban Chamber of Commerce Council, where Transnet has a representative, is another forum to tackle areas of mutual interest.

It must also be emphasised that Transnet holds regular and ad-hoc meetings with many member bodies and stakeholders across all its operations, who are updated on any areas impacting them, and mitigation measures are put in place where required. Stakeholders are encouraged to utilise the structures in place to raise their concerns and have them duly addressed. These include the following:

The daily engagements:

1. Daily OPS Meeting: held daily at 9am – chaired by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) for all ports in SA where each terminal representative talks through the past day performance and then the forecast for operations. This is attended by numerous
(up to 100) stakeholders and Transnet (TPT, TNPA) and other terminal operators (e.g. Bidvest, and others)

The weekly engagements

2. Port of Durban Decongestion Meeting: held bi-weekly. chaired by TNPA for all ports in SA where each terminal representative talks through the past week performance and then mitigations to improve all port operations. This is attended by numerous (up to 100) stakeholders.

3. Weekly landside performance reviews: transporter landside forum meetings held between the TPT terminals and transporter stakeholders.

4. Durban terminal regional truckers’ association meetings: Weekly meeting with affected transporters.

5. Weekly washups are held with each shipping line on a bi-lateral basis.

6. Ad hoc meetings with cargo owners and shipping lines.

It is public knowledge the Board of Transnet has been instructed by the Minister of Public Enterprises to develop a number of turnaround plans to improve efficiencies across the business, and work is underway in that regard.

The Board will soon be providing the Minister with an update on the progress it is making and, as was indicated at the Transnet annual results presentation on 1 September 2023, will have a turnaround plan in place by the end of October 2023.

This will outline the strategy for dealing with issues such as operational improvements, efficiencies, productivity improvements, funding constraints and how to restore the financial stability of Transnet.

Transnet continues to be a critical enabler for the recovery of the South African economy and is determined to continue playing the role of accelerating economic growth by improving logistics efficiencies, regardless of the motives of some of its detractors.

Issued on behalf of Transnet SOC Ltd

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WHARF TALK: geared container vessel MSC RADIANT III

The geared container vessel MSC Radiant III sailing from Cape Town, 17 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

Way back in May 2005, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) decided to inaugurate a new container feeder from Cape Town, serving Angola. It started off small, as all new services usually do. MSC purchased a 1996 built vessel, with a very modest container carrying capacity of just 600 TEU, and renamed her ‘MSC Sheila’.

The new service would simply be called the ‘Angola Service’, and it would open with just the single vessel. The Angola Service would have a fortnightly rotation, and would follow a port rotation of Cape Town- Walvis Bay- Luanda- Lobito- Cape Town. The first departure took place in June 2005, with ‘MSC Sheila’, and the plan was to introduce a second vessel before the end of the year, and go from a fortnightly departure, to a weekly departure.

Export freight to Angola from Gauteng and the Johannesburg area would arrive in Cape Town by train, and export freight to Angola from both KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape, would be transshipped to Cape Town on existing MSC services operating from Durban and Port Elizabeth. Things have certainly developed for MSC on the Angola Service since those far off days.

As far back as 12th September, at 13h00 in the early afternoon, the geared container vessel MSC RADIANT III (IMO 9235402) arrived off Cape Town, from Durban, and entered Cape Town harbour. She proceeded into the Duncan Dock, and as all vessels on the MSC Angola Service do, she made her way to the Multi-Purpose Terminal (MPT), located at F berth, to begin loading.

MSC Radiant III, Cape Town 17 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2001 by Daewoo Shipbuilding at Geoje in South Korea, ‘MSC Radiant III’ is 208 metres in length and has a deadweight of 33,836 tons. She is powered by a single Sulzer 6RTA-72U six cylinder, two stroke, main engine producing 24,420 bhp (182190 kW), driving a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 20 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Yanmar 6N260L-ZV generators providing 1,618 kW each, and a single MAN D2866TE emergency generator providing 221 kW. She has an Auxiliary MCH1SVGY composite boiler. For added manoeuvrability ‘MSC Radiant III’ has a Kawasaki KT-130B3 bow transverse thruster providing 1,350 kW.

She has a container carrying capacity of 2,456 TEU, and is geared with three 40 ton cranes to enable her to load, and discharge, containers in ports which lack container gantries, or container cranes. Her TEU capacity is in line with all other MSC vessels on the Angola Service, which varies per vessel from 2,400 TEU to 2,800 TEU.

MSC Radiant III, Cape Town 17 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

An interesting comparison of the ‘then and now’ aspect of ‘MSC Radiant III’ would be to show her against the specifications of ‘MSC Sheila’ (IMO 9180968), the original vessel on the Angola Service. Built in 1996 by the Selah Shipyard at Istanbul in Turkey, ‘MSC Sheila’ was 149 metres in length and with a deadweight of 16,211 tons.

She was powered by a single MAN 7S35MC seven cylinder, two stroke, main engine producing 6,662 bhp (4,854 kW), driving a controllable pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots. Her container carrying capacity grew from 600 TEU, to eventually reach 903 TEU, and she had onboard deck plug provision for 50 reefers. Incredibly, she is still owned by MSC, deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, and currently operating on the MSC Turkey-Israel-Egypt service.

Now with a total of eight vessels operating on the Angola Service , and often providing a better than weekly departure from Cape Town, the current port rotation schedule for the service is Cape Town- Lobito- Luanda- Lagos- Lome- Pointe Noire- Luanda- Namibe- Walvis Bay- Ngqura- Durban- Cape Town. The route development of the Angola Service since the first rotation in 2005 is quite striking, with ports further north in West Africa being added to the service.

MSC Radiant III, Cape Town 17 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The latest addition to the Angola Service is the port of Pointe Noire, in the Congo republic, which was added only in January 2023, and includes a feeder service to this port, for the Angola Service, from the Congo River port of Matadi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The addition of Pointe Noire to the service removed the need for transshipments having to be made from Lome, which meant that export freight from South Africa could be delivered a full eleven days earlier than before.

Her time in South African waters on this current rotation was unusual in that her arrival from Walvis Bay in late August had her going to anchor in St.Helena Bay, which is the normal anchorage for bulk carried awaiting their iron ore berth at nearby Saldanha Bay. Her arrival took place on 24th August at 10h00 in the morning. It may have been due to the need for sheltered water for a maintenance issue, as she was only there for approximately eight hours.

MSC Radiant III, Cape Town 17 September 2023. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Strangely, the anchorage recently has also played temporary host, not only for the usual Saldanha Bay bulk carrier traffic, but also to no less than five other container vessels, all of whom were waiting for a berth in Cape Town, whilst three others remained out at sea off Robben Island. In this instance, poor weather was most likely the culprit.

Departing St.Helena Bay at 16h00 on 24th August, ‘MSC Radiant III’ arrived at Ngqura on 29th September, at 07h00 in the morning, and spent two days on her turnaround, departing at 10h00 on the morning of 31st August for Durban. Her arrival at Durban was at 21h00 in the evening of 2nd September, and she spent a further five and a half days completing her turnaround, sailing on 8th September, at 10h00 in the morning, for Cape Town.

MSC Sheila outside Durban, March 2008. Picture by Steve McCurrach

She is nominally owned by Bomar Radiant Oceanway Ltd. where, incidentally, ‘Bomar Radiant’ was her name prior to her purchase, and renaming, by MSC in 2022. She is operated by MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company of Geneva in Switzerland, and she is managed by MSC Shipmanagement Ltd., of Limassol in Cyprus.

In her long, 22 year career, she has received a number of Port State Inspections. It is always a pleasant surprise to see when these occur at South African ports, as they appear to be a rare thing these days, and so it is with ‘MSC Radiant III’. She received an inspection in Durban, back in April 2011, under the auspices of the Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and where no findings were recorded against the vessel.

MSC Sheila at Luanda, Angola. Date not known. Picture: Shipspotting

After more than five days alongside, unloading and loading, which seems to be par for the course in Cape Town for a vessel with only a 2,500 TEU capacity, she was ready to continue her northbound schedule for the Angola Service. She sailed at 18h00 in the early evening on 17th September, bound for Lobito in Angola, where she duly arrived, exactly four days later, at 18h00 on 21st September.

Less than 36 hours later, she was ready to sail once more, and she departed from Lobito, at 05h00 on the morning of 23rd September, now bound for Luanda, and where she arrived at 15h00 in the afternoon of 24th September, and where she is currently lying as this piece is being written. She is next due to proceed to Lagos in Nigeria, where Tin Can Island will be her loading terminal at the port.

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Indian Ocean port security: Training in Comoros

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Strengthening port security in the Indian Ocean island state of Comoros, situated NW of Madagascar, was the focus of a training workshop in Moroni, Comoros, held from 18 to 22 September.

This event brought together twenty-six participants, including Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) from Moroni, Anjouan and Mohéli ports as well as representatives of the Port Authority (Société Comorienne des Ports (SCP), customs, Gendarmerie Nationale and the Designated Authority (Agence National des Affaires Maritimes (ANAM)).


Participants consolidated their knowledge and skills in developing and implementing port facility security plans (PFSPs) in order to perform their duties in accordance with the relevant provisions of pertinent IMO regulations – SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).

The training given will provide participants with a solid foundation in oversight roles and responsibilities of Designated Authorities.


It was reported by the IMO news service on 22 September that the workshop is the latest in a series of activities under the European Union-funded project on port Security and Safety of Navigation in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, which involves nine participating countries, including Comoros.

Under the project, IMO aims to assist participating countries to enhance maritime security and safety within the region in line with the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy.

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New R3 billion auto manufacturing plant planned for Coega

Front Row from left: TP Nchocho, CEO Industrial Development Corporation (IDC); Malebo Mabitje-Thompson, acting director general the DTIC; and Leslie Ramsoomar, Stellantis South Africa managing director. Standing, left to right: Ebrahim Patel, minister of Trade and Industry & Competition and Samir Cherfan, Stellantis Middle East and Africa chief operating officer

Africa Ports & Ships

The multinational automotive manufacturing corporation known as Stellantis N.V. intends developing a greenfield auto manufacturing plant at the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) in the Eastern Cape.

Stellantis developed from the merger between the Italian–American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the French PSA Group, with headquarters in Amsterdam. Stellantis is the fourth largest automaker by sales behind Toyota, Volkswagen Group, and Hyundai Motor Group.

The corporation manufactures and sells 16 brands – Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Mopar, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, and Vauxhall and employs some 300,000 people worldwide.

The manufacturing plant will be built in the South African Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Coega situated near Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth). The greenfield manufacturing project is planned to be completed by the end of 2025.

According to the statement the initial launch will be a one-ton bakkie (pick-up truck) with a planned annual production of 50,000 units. The plant is to be developed in terms of the government’s Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), a production incentive scheme for the motor industry aimed at promoting production volumes in the specified motor vehicle industry.

The programme has a strong leaning towards encouraging the development of the industry hub in the Eastern Cape and in support of the port of Port Elizabeth in this direction.

Drawing of Coega Development Corporation (CDC) Autopark

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), Ebrahim Patel, called it a “wonderful day” when making the announcement when he and officials of the IDC met at the Parliament Buildings in Cape Town with the Stellantis Middle East and Africa chief operating officer, Samir Cherfan.

“South Africa currently has the capacity to produce close to 700,000 vehicles annually. This will add considerable additional capacity, just as we prepare to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area,” Patel said.

He described the commitment by Stellantis to invest in South Africa’s motor industry as a highlight of the success of the country’s manufacturing sector policy, its capability and potential.

“We look forward to welcoming Stellantis to South Africa and sharing in the detailed plan for employment and investment,” Patel said.

In response, Cherfan said Stellantis is delighted with the speed at which they are progressing on this project, which he said was thanks to the commitment of Minister Patel and the great collaboration with IDC, CDC and DTIC teams.

“This project reflects our focus and trust in South Africa as one of the most important markets in Africa and Middle East. It is also the execution of our Dare Forward 2030 Strategy to reach over 22% Market Share in the region by 2030 with 70% regional localisation of our sales leading to over 1 million units produced.

“We believe in South Africa and we intend to develop industrially and commercially bringing value to our customers,” he said.

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The Gambia: Strengthening oil spill response planning

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Preparation for a marine oil spill incident is crucial. The Gambia is being supported to develop its National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP), which is the foundation for an effective and sustainable oil spill preparedness and response framework.

An in-person national workshop in Banjul, the Gambia held from 11 to 15 September, was delivered under the framework of the GI WACAF Project*, which works to enhance the capacity of partner countries to prepare for and respond to marine oil spills. This was reported by the IMO news service on 19 September.

The workshop supports effective implementation of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) Convention.

During the event, forty national stakeholders and government personnel involved in oil pollution response were familiarized with the roles and responsibilities that need to be addressed prior to, and during an oil spill.

In particular, the importance of effective collaboration amongst numerous different stakeholders. An action plan was produced to facilitate ongoing development of an effective national oil spill preparedness and response framework.

This workshop was delivered through IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ICTP), and forms part of the Organization’s commitment to supporting African Small Island Developing States (SIDs) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the effective implementation of OPRC Convention.

* The Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa Governments and Industries working together to enhance oil spill preparedness, response and cooperation. For more see here.

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Tanzania to build first dedicated fishing harbour

Tanzanian artisanal fishermen. Picture: Amisodago Consultancy

Africa Ports & Ships

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan last week laid the foundation stone for the construction of Tanzania’s first-ever fishing harbour, reports Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The fishing harbour is to be located in Kilwa Masoko, on the Indian Ocean coast in the Lindi region in southern Tanzania. Construction is in the hands of the China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd.

President Hassan also commissioned 160 modern fishing boats to be used by artisanal fishermen in deep seas. The boats will be lent to the fishermen without interest.

Costing USD 106 million, the fishing harbour will have the capacity to store 90 tonnes of frozen fish per day. Livestock and Fisheries Abdallah Ulega said the harbour will be under the jurisdiction and management of the Tanzania Ports Authority.

The facility will also have fish processing plants and a workshop for the manufacture of fishing nets and the repair of fishing vessels.

According to Ulega, the fishing harbour will lead to employment for more than 30,000 youth.

He said the provision of 160 fishing boats for artisanal fishermen will boost the fisheries contribution to Tanzania’s economic growth, with a targeted increase from 1.8 per cent at present to 10 per cent by 2036.

The fishing boats will be loaned to fishermen operating in fishing cooperatives in the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa. source: Xinhua

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Longline fishing company Pesquera Azul tests unique whale depredation solution

The Norwegian/Uruguayan longline fishing vessel Ocean Azul, in Cape Town harbour. Picture: ‘Dockrat’

Africa Ports & Ships

A successful trial of an innovative catch protection cage by Norway/Uruguay-based Pesquera Azul in killer whale-infested waters of the Southern Indian Ocean, has been deemed a success and a potential game-changer for the Longline fishing industry.

The problem faced by the industry has come about as it grapples with the challenge of whale depredation.

The steady increase in the whale population in sub-antarctic fishing grounds presents a serious challenge for the longline fishing industry, especially for fatty fish species.

Whales have learned to snatch, for example, Black cod, halibut and Patagonia toothfish off the hooks as lines are hauled in, and teach their young to do the same.

In areas with a strong whale presence such as South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands, the Prince Edwards Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (South Africa) and east of the Kerguelen Islands (French/Australia), depredation has become so serious that it threatens the economic viability of fishing operations.

Urgent need for sustainable solution

“If you’re losing 75% of your catch you have to do a lot more fishing to meet your quota,” says Pesquera Azul CEO Arne Birkeland.

“Ships have to steam a long way to get away from whales resulting in higher fuel costs and, of course, emissions. It is also bad for fish stocks considering that toothfish take around 15 years to reach adulthood, so as an industry we urgently need a sustainable solution,” Birkeland said.

“The shared challenge is how to meet catch quotas in the shortest possible timeframe, while at the same time not distressing whales using sonic or other methods to discourage them.”

Faced with this increasing challenge, Pasquera Azul has been involved in the ongoing development and testing of a patented solution to the problem for the past five years.

Designed by Norwegian company SagoSolutions AS, the solution features a lightweight aluminium catch cage that is secured at the end of a line when it is set and runs back up the line as it is hauled in.

Hooked fish are gathered safely within the cage, which can either be craned back onboard or received directly into the ship through a moon-pool extension module, which Pesquera Azul has also helped develop.

As well as protecting the catch from whale depredation, the cage also enables significant catch improvement in heavy seas versus the conventional method where a lot of fish can be lost.

Decisive test results

During this summer’s toothfish season in the Prince Edward Islands fishery, the company conducted further live tests of catch cages onboard its fishing vessel FV OCEAN AZUL*, which is the only ship worldwide equipped to use the technology.

During one test where there was a large pod of killer whales circling the ship, three lines were set using cages and one set conventionally with no cage. The lines with cages yielded 90-100 fish each, versus just five smaller fish on the latter line – which clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the cage protection.

“The exceptional results of all the tests prove decisively that the technology works. With continuous improvement we are confident we can get to a near-100% catch rate,” says Birkeland.

“This will help to make fishing possible again in waters where an increasing amount of catch is being lost to whales.”

First-mover advantage

Inspectors onboard throughout the testing programme will deliver a report to The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) for publication later in the autumn.

“There has been a lot of interest in the technology from fishing authorities looking for ways to enhance the sustainability of the longline fleet,” Birkeland said.

“Some competitors may be tempted to talk down our solution for that reason. We clearly have the first-mover advantage as other companies will have to invest time and money developing viable systems of their own,” he says.

The immediate priority for Birkeland and his team is to continue to develop the company. “With that in mind we are actively searching for new partners and investors so we can maximise opportunities for optimal energy and resource use,” he said.

Pasquera Azul

Long-liner fishing Pesquera Azul ( has offices in Storebø in Austevoll municipality on Norway’ west coast, and in Montevideo, Uruguay.

* For more information about the fishing vessel Ocean Azul, see Jay Gates’ report of 14 November 2022 HERE

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Maran Tankers’ VLCC Antonis I. Angelicoussis receives Green Award

LNG dual-fuel powered VLCC Antonis I. Angelicoussis, recipient of the first LNG-fuelled VLCC Green Award

Africa Ports & Ships

Maran Tankers’ LNG dual-fuel powered very large crude carrier (VLCC) ANTONIS I. ANGELICOUSSIS (IMO 9930777) has become the first LNG-fueled VLCC to join and be certified by the Green Award programme.

Certification of the Greek-flagged ship includes the Green Award greenhouse gas labels CO2 (level 1) and CH4.

Earlier this year the 330-metre long by 60m wide Antonis I. Angelicoussis was delivered to Maran Tankers Management, She was followed by sisterships MARIA A. ANGELICOUSSIS, MARAN DANAE and MARAN DIONE in recent months.

All four LNG dual fuel ships, built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea, are part of Maran Tanker’s fleet expansion programme, which also includes eight new build LNG dual fuel Suezmax tankers on order.

It is worth noting that these four VLCCs are the lowest emission most environmentally friendly in the world today.

The vessels are managed by Maran Tankers Management, the oil shipping arm of Greece’s Angelicoussis Group, which operates a fleet of over 140 ships. The Angelicoussis Group has been participating in the Green Award programme for over 27 years.

In recent years three Maran Tankers managed oil tankers were certified by Green Award, as well as four LNG tankers operated by sister company Maran Gas Maritime.

Green Award

The Green Award Foundation recognised the potential of LNG to bring immediate emissions reduction versus conventional fuel oil, with the option to evolve towards net zero emission through the use of bio- or synthetic LNG.

In 2022 special greenhouse gas labels were introduced to strengthen Green Award’s approach towards decarbonisation and emissions reduction within its mission to recognise ships that take roles as front-runners.

Green Award certified ships are able to benefit from financial and non-financial incentives awarded by ports, service providers and suppliers.

For oil tankers 37 ports give discounts on port dues, ranging from 3 to 15 per cent. In total the Green Award seagoing programme is supported by over 180 incentive providers worldwide.

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Added 26 September 2023


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Kenya to Uganda SGR will be built, says Kenya

Naivasha Inland Dry Port, current terminus of Kenya’s SGR

Africa Ports & Ships

The extension of the standard gauge railway (SGR) from Naivasha in Kenya to the border with Uganda, and from there to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, as well as further extensions to neighbouring countries, will happen, says Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Roads and Transport, Kipchumba Murkomen.

The existing Kenya SGR from the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi and then to Naivasha, came to a halt when the Chinese, who had financed and built the railway as far as Naivasha, declined to take it any further over financial concerns.

These included an apparent lack of interest by Uganda.

Now, the Roads and Transport secretary says the Kenya government is fully committed to completing the standard gauge railway as far as the Uganda border as Malaba and also from there to the Ugandan capital and on to Rwanda and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He told the visiting Dutch Trade Mission on Port Development that the railway continuance is necessary in order to open doors for the private investment sector.

The railway will also lead to the development of industrial parks and logistics hubs, Murkomen said.

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Added 26 September 2023


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Singapore ranked top maritime centre for 10th consecutive year

Port of Singapore

Africa Ports & Ships

For the 10th year in a row, the Port of Singapore has ranked first in the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index (ISCDI) Report.

Published jointly by Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, and global maritime data provider, Baltic Exchange, the report lists Singapore as the global leading maritime centre, followed by London and Shanghai.

The island nation scored 95.32 out of a possible 100 points, while the maritime support services powerhouse of London scored 83.35 points and the mighty port-city of Shanghai takes third place with 81.58 points.

Singapore has held the top position since the Index began a decade ago. It has retained its position due to its winning combination of strategic location, international outlook and established ecosystem of professional global maritime services and good governance.

London and Shanghai have retained their positions of second and third place within the Index for the past four years.

Further down the top 10, there was little movement as Hong Kong, Dubai, Rotterdam and Hamburg take fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh place, respectively.

The trading capital of New York and its New Jersey port dropped by two places from eighth place last year, to 10th place this year while Athens/Piraeus moved up by one place. A relative newcomer to the Index, Ningbo-Zhoushan, sits at number nine. The Chinese city’s ranking amongst the top 10 is primarily due to it being the busiest port in the world in terms of cargo tonnage.

The main findings of the index were as follows:

The top 10 locations remain largely unchanged since 2022 and features four Asian, four European, one Middle East and one United States location

A total of 43 maritime locations were rated as part of this report, which considers port factors including cargo throughput, number of cranes, length of container berths and port draught; number of players in professional maritime support businesses such as shipbroking, ship management, ship financing, insurance and law, as well as hull underwriting premiums; and general business environment factors such as customs tariffs, extent of electronic government services and logistics performance.

“It’s been a decade since the Baltic Exchange started working with Xinhua News Agency on this Index and during that time we have witnessed a growing amount of trade move from west to east,” said Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Officer Mark Jackson.

“This shift in trade flows is clearly visible looking at the Xinhua-Baltic ISCDI top 10 rankings over the past decade. This report is a valuable reminder of how intrinsic the maritime industry is to global trade.”

Jackson said the best performing maritime centres demonstrate there is more than one way to grow a successful hub – whether borne out of location, encouraged through attractive policies and conditions or creation of a large port cluster.

“In every instance, collaboration across the various industry players is central to a maritime centre’s growth and prosperity.”

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the report.

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Added 26 September 2023



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Total cargo handled by tonnes during August 2023, including containers by weight

PORT  August 2023 million tonnes
Richards Bay 6.648
Durban 7.199
Saldanha Bay 5.643
Cape Town 1.314
Port Elizabeth 1.589
Ngqura 1.243
Mossel Bay 0.083
East London 0.230
Total all ports during July 23.947 million tonnes
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