Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 2 May 2024

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

Newsweek commencing 28 April 2024.  Click on headline to go direct to story : use the BACK key to return.  

FIRST VIEW:   Costa Deliziosa

Masthead:  PORT OF CAPE TOWN

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 FIRST VIEW:   Costa Deliziosa

Costa Deliziosa. Durban. 27 April 2024. Picture by Keith Betts
Costa Deliziosa. Durban. 27 April 2024. Picture by Keith Betts

After last Friday’s heavy rain that fell across Durban, the skies cleared on Saturday 27 April in time to welcome another late season cruise ship to South Africa’s busiest port. This was Costa Cruises Costa Deliziosa (IMO 9398917), arriving from the Indian Ocean with an unknown but quite high number of passengers on board, ready to go ashore and explore what Durban and district had to offer.

Costa Deliziosa can carry up to 2,260 passengers double occupancy (2,828 maximum) with a crew of 934. The ship entered service with Costa Crociere in 2010 and has a length of 294 metres and width of 32m. Her gross weight is 92,720-gt. The attractive ship has 16 decks of which 12 are for passengers. She cruises at up to 21.6 knots with a maximum speed of 23.6 knots.

After arrival at the cruise terminal, there was at first little action – it appears that the immigration people took some time – it was after all a public holiday! Soon afterwards, however, the buses arrived with two heading off on a shuttle service to nearby USHAKA MARINE WORLD, another 8 buses heading for Ballito on the North Coast, and roughly 20 more taking tourists elsewhere – Tala Game Park, Thousand Hills, the Durban tour etc.

Before arriving in South Africa, the Costa Deliziosa embarked on an exciting 126-day one-way itinerary from Trieste to Venice, themed as an ‘Easter’ cruise. Like so many cruise ships this summer, it did not all go to plan. Her round the word journey saw the ship sailing westwards from Trieste, via stopovers in the Mediterranean, including the historic city of Dubrovnik in Croatia, Catania in Sicily, Naples and Pompeii, Marseilles in southern France, Barcelona, then out into the Atlantic for Casablanca.

The Canaries followed before crossing the Atlantic for Barbados then Cartagena in Colombia and Colon, gateway to the Panama Canal. Once in the Pacific a call at Manta in Ecuador followed, then down the South American coast to Callao-Lima in Peru, and further south to Arica in Chile.

Next stops were Easter Island and Pitcairn, where the Bounty mutineers took refuge. Papeete on Tahiti island was next before the crossing to Sydney in Australia. Brisbane and Cairns offered alternate impressions of the greater Australia, including the Great Barrier Reef, before the ship headed north west to Rabaul in Papua New Guinea.

Calls in Japan followed (Kobe-Osaka, Nagasaki City), then Busan in South Korea before the ship visited Keelung in Taiwan. Hong Kong was almost a compulsory call ahead of the ship visiting a couple of Vietnamese destinations ( Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City) before moving on to Singapore for a melting pot of cultures and futuristic architecture.

After that came nearby Klang and Penang Island both in Malaysia.

Leaving South-East Asia the ship headed to Colombo in Sri Lanka, followed by the Indian sub-continent (Mormugao, Goa and Mumbai). At this point Costa Deliziosa was due to call at Salalah and proceed into the Red Sea to Aqaba, before crossing through the Suez Canal and back into the Mediterranean.

The geopolitical situation off the Yemen coast and including the Arabian Sea obviously influenced a change of itinerary at this stage and the ship has instead headed south to call among others at Durban on Saturday and later on Sunday 28 April, at Port Elizabeth. Another diversion! The revised schedule is not immediately clear to us but the ship will also call at Cape Town during the week and probably later at Walvis Bay.

Pictures are by Keith Betts

Africa Ports & Ships

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African Maritime Forces Summit, Naval Infantry Leaders Symposium-Africa held in Ghana

by defenceWeb

Governmental and military leaders from more than 40 countries on four continents have kicked off the second annual African Maritime Forces Summit (AMFS) and third Naval Infantry Leaders Symposium-Africa (NILS-A) in Accra, Ghana.

The three-day AMFS and NILS-A, combined this year for the first time, began on 30 April under the theme “Cooperation at Sea: Safeguarding African Maritime Security”.

The summit brought together over 100 delegates as well as international partners and experts.

Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his keynote address said Ghana is committed to playing a leading role in promoting maritime security in the region. He urged delegates to take decisive actions to combat piracy and transnational crimes and enhance regional cooperation with international partners to share intelligence and best practices.

Akufo-Addo said the blue economy holds enormous potential for coastal economies, but it faces threats in all forms which undermine economic gains and threaten human lives.

“This potential is, however, constantly threatened by various maritime security challenges, including piracy, illegal fishing, smuggling, and maritime terrorism. These transnational crimes do not only threaten national and regional peace and security, but they also come at a great cost to the economies of both coastal and non-coastal states.”

Akufo-Addo said it is well known that the global maritime space, particularly the Gulf of Guinea, is a key route for international trade and connects all of the major continents. The current crisis in the Red Sea, and the re-routing of maritime traffic, he said, attest to the strategic importance of the western coast of Africa.

In the face of these challenges, he said it is imperative “we foster greater cooperation and collaboration amongst Africa maritime forces. By working together and sharing intelligence, and coordinating our efforts, we can address effectively maritime security threats and safeguard our maritime domain”.

Panel discussions during the conference include Strategies for Cooperation and Models for Combined Operations, The Spectrum of Maritime Action: At Sea and In the Littorals, Assessing Maritime Security Interventions, and Countering and Prosecuting Illicit Maritime Activity (From Piracy to IUUF).

In her opening remarks, US Ambassador Virginia Palmer said that, “here in West Africa, peacebuilding and security are never far from our minds. Ghana has been fortunate, so far, in avoiding violent extremist attacks. As you know, some of Ghana’s neighbours have not been so lucky.

“As His Excellency the President noted at the very beginning of his State of the Nation address earlier this year, ‘West Africa is under threat of terrorism and violent extremism,’ and that ‘countries in this region can no longer take our territorial integrity for granted.’ These are indeed times in which the work and collaboration of everyone in this room is critical.

Written by defenceWeb and republished with permission. The original article can be found here.

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Introduction of extra trains sees road truck congestion reduced at Richards Bay

Class 19E electric locomotives as used on the Richards Bay coal line. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Africa Ports & Ships

Transnet’s Freight Rail (TFR) division has embarked on a ramp up of GF coal trains from 21 trains a week to 28 trains a week, supported by an injection of locomotives, reported TFR on Thursday 2 May 2024.

This is part of Transnet’s Recovery Plan initiatives, and a commitment made to the City of uMhlathuze (Richards Bay) leadership and other stakeholders during the Stakeholder Collaboration on Truck Congestion Solutions meeting held in the Port of Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal, on 21 November 2023.

The main objective of the ramp-up was to reduce truck loads and migrate volume from road to rail. All Transnet customers that were road hauling to the port of Richards Bay at the time were identified and approached directly to indicate interest in participating in a test train service.

Further, the intention of the test was to enable Transnet and the customers to assess train loading capabilities and rail friendliness of their cargo for each of the parties that were road hauling to the port. The test was focused on the following areas:

• Siding capabilities and readiness
• Cargo suitability for rail loading
• Status of the network
• Train handling times
• Train turnaround times, etc.

“As of 31 March 2024, the test train initiative had seen TFR moving 106,000 tons from Road to Rail whilst removing approximately 3,100 truckloads from the roads (6,200 truck movements, including the empty leg),” says Theo Johnson, Acting Managing Executive on the North Corridor.

“To date seven customers, a majority of whom were 100% on road before, have been tested.

Johnson said the process to test the remaining customers is ongoing, subject to available capacity on a week-by-week basis.

Conveyor system at the port of Richards Bay. Picture: Transnet

The test train initiative was offered with a clear proviso that it does not constitute a commitment for rail capacity in the long term, as there are structured ongoing processes for capacity allocation, Johnson added.

The ramp up is the latest positive development after the coal export conveyor belt, which had been out of service for two years due to fire damage, came back into full operation at Richards Bay terminals, according to Transnet Port Terminals (TPT).

Commissioned at the end of December after rigorous tests were carried out successfully, it has taken off the road over 400 trucks.

This belt was among three that were gutted by fire in October 2021. The 2,2 KM long conveyor belt has an output of more than three million tons per year.

Procurement processes to repair the remaining two are at an advanced stage.

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Focus on the Port of Tanga

Tanzania’s northern port of Tanga. Picture: TPA

Africa Ports & Ships

Tanzania’s port of Tanga is often overlooked in discussions about ports and ships in Tanzania, which is unfortunate as the port has a significant role to play in the East African country.

Tanga, known as Bandari ya Tanga in Swahili, is situated on the northern coast of Tanzania close to the border with Kenya and has an interesting background and history.

Established in 1914 to serve the commercial and agricultural needs of northern Tanzania, Tanga goes back much further in the region’s history having been part of the Portuguese and Arab gateway for the slave and ivory trade.

Happily, that sad history is now behind everyone and the port that has developed is there to serve the northern regions of Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara. The port can also benefit Tanzania’s neighbouring countries of Kenya and Burundi and even possibly Rwanda and Uganda.

The proposed oil pipeline from Uganda may well end at the coast near Tanga, but that’s in the future.

While Tanga boasts a wide and deep entrance channel capable of accommodating large draught vessels with a natural and well-sheltered bay for shipping services, the actual port facilities remain limited at present.

The modern quay wall has a total length of 450 metres, with berths for two moderately-sized vessels. Cargo handling equipment includes mobile cranes, reach stackers and forklift trucks, and on the waterside, cargo barges and tug boats.

Opposite the two berths is a paved area for containers and cargo sheds to store weather-sensitive cargo.

Offshore are 12 inch pipelines for handling liquid bulk products including oil products with a conventional buoy mooring at Totten Island to handle liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Looking across the bay at Tanga, with a ship near Totten Island

The current cargo capacity of Tanga is said to be 1.2 million tonnes a year.

The type of cargo handled at Tanga has progressed beyond the traditional agricultural export products of the past to handling a more diverse mix of imports, including machinery and industrial equipment, and various raw materials.

These include phosphates, chemicals, ammonia, sulphur, grains and cereals, oil and oil products, construction equipment, automobiles and auto equipment.

Most recently, the Port of Tanga has registered an increase of 16.1% in cargo handled during the first three quarters of the 2023/2024 fiscal year, as reported to the Tanzania Daily News by the port manager, Mr Masoud Mrisha.

Tanga and the large bay sheltering the inner harbour

Between July 2023 and end February 2024, the port handled approximately 870,000 tonnes of containerised cargo, an increase on the 750,000 tonnes for the same period in 2022/23.

During the three quarters of the current fiscal year, Tanga handled 217 ships with a total gross tonnage of 1,160,799 GT. The 217 ships included 94 deep-sea vessels and 123 coastal ships.

This in itself is an increase of over 35% compared with the 160 ships of the comparable period. These had a total gt of 710,655-GT.

Mrisha attributed these increases to the introduction of various discounts and incentives offered, such as allowing transit cargoes 15 days in port compared to the previous seven days before charges are levied. He said that empty containers are charged after 25 days.

Another advantage pointed out by Mrisha is that Tanga city is not congested with trucks blocking the roads to and from the port.

He said that Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) was implementing two strategic projects. The first phase involved expanding the entrance channels and deepening the port depth from 3 to 13 metres and expanding the turning basin.

The second phase will include the provision of another berth with a length of 450 metres and an adjacent container yard with 7,230 square metres.

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Xeneta Update: Long term rates edge up globally as Red Sea conflict continues to cast uncertainty across the market

uncertainty in container shipping

Africa Ports & Ships

Ocean freight container carriers are treading a fine line between risk and reward during new contract negotiations as the market remains gripped by uncertainty in the Red Sea, according to new data on the Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI®).

The latest data released by Xeneta today, Thursday (2 May), shows the Global XSI® (the average rate of all valid long term contracts in the market) remained fairly flat in April at 154.3 points, up by just 1.7% from March.

However, looking at sub-indices within this global figure reveals a dynamic market, with the XSI® for European Imports reaching 171.8 points, which is up by 9.2% from March and its biggest month-on-month increase since June 2022.

However, the XSI® sub-indices for US Imports fell by 9.4% in April to 150.6 points. And, while April’s Global XSI® figure represents a slight month-on-month uptick, it is still down by 50.1% compared to April 2023.

Emily Stausbøll, Xeneta Senior Shipping Analyst, said: “We have seen a big increase on the XSI® for European Imports in April, mainly due to the ongoing impact of conflict in the Red Sea.

Emily Stausbøll

“However, given the spot market on trades such as Far East to Mediterranean is still up by more than 60% compared to 12 months ago, you would expect carriers to be pushing for even higher long term rates.

“The reason carriers aren’t demanding higher long term rates is because they are scared of overcapacity in an uncertain market.”

The case for higher long term rates is strengthened by a 10.7% increase in global container volumes in January and February compared to the first two months of 2023.

Even the European Imports XSI® sub-index, which registered strong month-on-month growth in April, is down by 34.2% compared to a year ago.

Stausbøll said: “There has been record high deliveries of new container ships in every quarter since Q2 2023, but conflict in the Red Sea has largely protected carriers from overcapacity so far in 2024 because diversions around the Cape of Good Hope require more ships to maintain service schedules.

“If the situation changes and we see a large-scale return of container ships to the Red Sea in the next 12 months, it will leave carriers severely exposed to the impact of overcapacity and spot market rates are likely to plummet.

“Yes, carriers want higher long term rates, but they also need to secure long term volumes. That is the fine line they are trying to walk, balancing risk and reward in such an unpredictable market.

“Carriers and shippers must wish they had a crystal ball to know how the next 12 months will play out, but they don’t, and this uncertainty illustrates how every single negotiation is unique.”

The XSI® sub-indices for US Imports score of 150.6 points not only represents a 9.4% month-on-month decrease, it is also down by an enormous 67% compared to April last year when it stood at 451.5 points. It is also the lowest the index has been since April 2021.

With many US shippers’ long term contracts running from April to May, next month’s XSI® figures will reveal how recent negotiations have played out.

Stausbøll believes market data and intelligence have been central to these discussions.

She said: “Spot rates from the Far East to the US East Coast have steadily fallen by 33% from their peak at the start of February following the escalation of conflict in the Red Sea in December. Spot rates from the Far East into US West Coast have fallen by 31% in the same period.

“US shippers have used Xeneta data during long term contract negotiations to highlight this softening spot market and secured substantial big discounts between tender rounds. These new long term contracts will come into validity in May so we can expect to see further movement on the XSI® in the next month.”

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Port News and Advisories

King Abdulaziz Port Container Terminal

Africa Ports & Ships

MSC includes King Abdulaziz Port to East Africa Express

According to a report issued by the General Ports Authority (MAWANI), Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has included a port call at King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast for its East Africa Express service.

This connects the Saudi Kingdom to East African ports.

The rotation also connects King Abdulaziz Port with the ports of Mundra in India, Qasim in Pakistan, Abu Dhabi and Jebel Ali in the Emirates, on a weekly basis to calls in East Africa (Mombasa and Dar es Salaam), using ships with a capacity of up to 11,000 TEU.

According to a report published by Schednet, in March the King Abdulaziz Port handled a new high for container volume by handling 289,787 TEU for the month.

PORT ADVISORIES

French container line CMA CGM has introduced a series of Peak Season Surcharges affecting services to Africa as follows:

From Asia to West Africa:

Applicable from 29 April 2024 (loading date) until further notice:

* From China – Dry Cargo

Destination range to West Africa Central (Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Togo, Equatorial Guinea)
– Amount: USD 900 per TEU

* From North & Central China

Destination range to West Africa South Range (Angola, Congo, DRC, Namibia, Gabon, Cameroon)
– Amount: USD 500 per TEU

Expiry of Port Congestion Surcharge in Matadi (DRC)

Applicable as from 22 April 2024 based on improvement of situation in Matadi:

From North America to Matadi, Dry cargo & Reefer
– Amount USD 200 per TEU

Expiry of Port Congestion Surcharge in Kribi (Cameroon)

Applicable as from 22 April 2024 based on improvement of situation in Kribi:

From North America to Kribi, Dry cargo
– Amount USD 150 per TEU

Expiry of Port Congestion Surcharge in Douala (Cameroon)

Applicable as from 22 April 2024 based on improvement of situation in Douala:

From North America to Douala, Dry cargo
– Amount USD 250 per TEU

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WHARF TALK: Kamsarmax bulk carrier – ODYSSEAS L

The Kamsarmax bulk carrier Odysseas L, which made a surprise call at Cape Town late on 16 April. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

The ever increasing amount of traffic calling into South African ports, as a result of being diverted away from the Houthi menace has, in effect, made the southern Red Sea region into a ‘de-facto’ war zone. However, most people tend to forget that there is a real war zone still active in Ukraine, and some vessels are calling into South African ports that have a link, however tenuous, to the broader outcomes of this conflict, as a result of international sanctions on Russia, which sadly the South African government has largely ignored.

The big bulk ports of South Africa are Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal province on the east coast, and Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape province on the west coast, and where the large, gearless, bulk carriers of all sizes are loaded with export cargoes of coal and ores of all descriptions. The port of Cape Town has no bulk handling infrastructure in place, so when a gearless bulk carrier arrives at this port it is not for purposes of loading, or discharging, a cargo.

On 16th April, at 23:00 in the very late evening, the Kamsarmax bulk carrier ‘Odysseas L’ (IMO 9597381) arrived off Cape Town, from Port Kembla in Australia, and entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding into the Duncan Dock and going alongside the Landing Wall. Such an arrival indicates either a call for bunkers, but most likely for shoreside engineering support, and the length of stay would indicate which one it was, if not for both reasons.

Built in 2013 by Hyundai Heavy Industries at Samho in South Korea, ‘Odysseas L’ is 229 metres in length and has a deadweight of 81,259 tons. She is powered by a single HHI MAN-B&W 6S60ME-C8 six cylinder, two stroke, main engine producing 13,732 bhp (10,100 kW), driving a single fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots.

Odysseas L. Cape Town 19 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She is a gearless bulk carrier, and has seven cargo holds with a cargo carrying capacity of 95,700 m3. She is termed a Kamsarmax class of bulk carrier as she has been designed to have the maximum dimensions to allow her access to the port of Kamsar, located in the West African state of Guinea at 10°39’ North 014°37’ West.

The port was built developed for the bulk export of Bauxite, which is the ore from which Aluminium is produced. The limitations of the river on which the port of Kamsar is located means that 229 metres is the maximum length of vessel capable of entering the port. Kamsarmax bulk carriers are also within the dimensional requirements to be classed as a Panamax vessel, to allow them passage through the original locks of the Panama Canal.

One of two sisterships, both built for the same owner, ‘Odysseas L’ is owned by Kyla Shipping Enterprise Corporation, of Athens in Greece, and is both operated and managed by Kyla Shipping and Trading Corporation, also of Athens. She is nominally owned by Greenship Ltd., of Monrovia in Liberia. Interestingly, her sistership is nominally owned by Redship Ltd.

The arrival of ‘Odysseas L’ in Cape Town showed her to be in a fully loaded condition, and the question asked, by the casual maritime observer, was what cargo was it that she was carrying. The loading port of ‘Odysseas L’, Port Kembla, is located south of Sydney in the Australian State of New South Wales at 34°28’ South 150°54’ East. The port is the second largest exporter in New South Wales of coal, and possesses the largest wheat export terminal in New South Wales, which gives an indication of what she might be carrying, i.e. coal or wheat.

The call of ‘Odysseas L’ in Cape Town was evidently more than just a case of requiring an uplift of bunkers, as she remained alongside for a period of almost three and a half days, which indicated that a technical issue was at play, and shoreside engineering assistance and support was required for an unknown snag. On 20th April, ‘Odysseas L’ was ready for departure, and at midday she sailed from Cape Town, with her AIS indicating that her next destination was to be the port of Ghent, in Belgium.

Odysseas L. Cape Town 19 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Ghent, is located in Northern Belgium, close to the border with Holland. In 2018 the port of Ghent joined forces with the two Dutch ports of Terneuzen and Vlissingen to form the ‘North Sea Port’, across a 60 kilometre stretch of land. Ghent is known as the Granary of Europe, based on her port having the largest storage capacity for grains and cereals in Europe. The port is a Grain Exchange port, which is used in the food sector, for animal feed, and for the production of biofuels.

The port was the primary import port for Russian wheat before the invasion of Ukraine. With EU sanctions being applied to Russia, this trade fell away dramatically, as did Ukrainian wheat due to Russian destroying wheat stocks and blockading Ukrainian ports. This loss of wheat in Europe was replaced by increased imports of wheat from Australia. As a result of the loss of Russian wheat from civilized world markets, by the end of 2022 Australia became the largest exporter of wheat on earth, with an export industry worth US$10.2 billion (ZAR190.1 billion).

As the voyage of ‘Odysseas L’ from Cape Town to Ghent progressed, her AIS changed to show her destination now to be the port of Hamburg in Germany. Such a change is nothing unusual, as it could mean one of two things. It may mean that Hamburg is a final destination, with a part discharge taking place in Ghent, and a complete discharge taking place in Hamburg. Alternatively, it may mean that the port of discharge for the entire cargo had indeed been changed to Hamburg. Of course, the cargo onboard ‘Odysseas L’ may not be wheat.

Prior to the war in Ukraine, Hamburg imported the majority of Russian coal into Germany, where 53% of the nation’s coal originated from Russia in 2021. As a result of EU sanctions, Russia’s share of coal exports to Germany fell to just 2%, where this figure was deemed to be stocks remaining prior to the imposition of EU sanctions. In Germany, coal is used for power generation, domestic heating, and steel production.

Again, as with Ghent, the loss of Russian coal was replaced by an increase in coal imported from Australia. Coal from Australia increased to 27% of the 28 million tons that Germany imported in 2023, with coal from the USA increasing to 28%, and from Colombia increasing to 15%. South African coal, from Richards Bay, also showed a modest increase in exports to Germany.

Odysseas L. Cape Town 19 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

In February 2020, ‘Odysseas L’ was off the Kent coast, in the English Channel, and en route in ballast from Amsterdam to Canada, when she experienced a steering failure, resulting in her leaving the southwest lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme on emergency steering. She informed the Dover Coastguard in the UK, and was later able to resume her voyage after her engineers managed to rectify the problem.

In May 2019, when lying at anchor at the coal exporting terminal of Taboneo, located at 03°43’ South 114°26’ East, on the island of Borneo in Indonesia, ‘Odysseas L’ was boarded by seven armed local pirates. Although the alarm was raised, the pirates threatened the crew with their knives, stole ships stores and escaped. No member of the crew was injured in the attack.

In June 2015, ‘Odysseas L’, whilst on passage between Brake, in Germany, to Baltimore in the US State of Maryland, responded to a distress call from the yacht ‘Alien 1`, located 350 nautical miles southeast of Long Island Sound, off New York State. She informed the Canadian MRCC at Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada, who then alerted the 1st Coast Guard Command Centre in New York of the casualty.

The US Coast Guard requested ‘Odysseas L’ to remain on scene until the US Coast Guard Cutter ‘USCGC Spencer (WMEC-905)’ arrived from Boston. On arrival at the casualty, the two crewmembers of ‘Alien 1’ were transferred to the ‘USCGC Spencer’, and the yacht was taken in tow back to the US mainland, allowing ‘Odysseas 1’ to continue with her voyage.

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Drone attack on diverted MSC Orion in Arabian Sea

Map: Norman Einstein / Wikimedia Commons

Africa Ports & Ships

Unconfirmed reports by the Houthis in Yemen claim that a drone attack was successfully carried out on another MSC container ship, MSC Orion (IMO 9857157).

What is significant, apart from the attack, is that the Portuguese-flagged vessel was in the Arabian Sea some 375 miles off the Yemeni coast when struck by what appeared to be a drone.

The 366-metre long, 51m wide, 158,097-dwt ship was sailing between East Africa and the Omani port of Salalah when attacked, having apparently rounded the Cape to avoid having to travel through the Red Sea. MSC Orion departed from the Portuguese port of Sines on 6 April 2024 and was last reported by AIS passing the Comoros on 24 April 2024.

After the attack, wreckage from the drone was apparently discovered on the vessel. No serious damage was reported.

If this report is correct this will be the furthest from Houthi-controlled sections of Yemen that a missile or drone attack has been carried out.

It will also mean that no ship sailing in the Gulf of Aden or the Arabian Sea off the Yemen coast can be considered safe from attack.

Considering that US reports early in the conflict between Israel and the Hamas in Gaza stated that the Houthis had fired missiles from Yemen in the direction of Israel, which the US claimed were shot down by US Navy ships in the Red Sea, these would also have been long-distance missiles.

The attack on MSC Orion reportedly took place on Friday 26 April. The ship suffered minor damage and there were no injuries to crew.

MSC Orion, on charter to the Swiss/Italian company, is reported to be connected with London-based Zodiac Maritime, which in turn forms part of Israeli millionaire shipowner Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group. Her nominal ownership however is listed as Bafalo Shipping Inc, care of MSC in Switzerland, with ship management also in the hands of MSC via its Cyprus office. This has remained unchanged since the ship entered service in January 2020.

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Angola confirms intention of linking all three railway corridors

Angola and the three railway corridors

Africa Ports & Ships

Angolan transport minister, Ricardo D’Abreu, has confirmed Angola’s intention of linking all three railway corridors.

Each of the three corridors commence at ports on the coast and extend inland to the individual hinterlands provinces. None are connected to each other.

The Northern Corridor commences at the capital and port city of Luanda, extending eastwards to cover the provinces of Luanda, Cuanza-Norte and Malange.

The Central Corridor, better known as the Lobito Corridor and now a concessioned operation with American investment, starts at the port city of Lobito, extends along the coast to Benguela before heading inland and crossing the provinces of Benguela, Huambo, Bié and Moxico before ending at the border with the DRC near the town of Luau.

This line continues into the DRC Copperbelt under DRC administration and connects with the Zambian railway into the Zambian Copperbelt and further south to Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.

The third railway is the Southern Corridor which runs from the port of Namibe (Moçâmedes) to Menongue, in Cuando Cubango.

All three railway corridors are constructed to the 3ft 6ins (1067mm) Cape gauge.

According to D’Abreu, a study is underway which includes finding the means to finance the proposed linking of all three corridors.

The minister said a tender will be issued later this year for the Southern Corridor searching for a future concessionaire.

Referring to the Lobito Corridor, D’Abreu indicated it is still too early for the public to witness the impact of the concession, because, he said, the concessionaires, the Lobito Atlantic Railway and Africa Global Logistics (AGL), were still focused on improving the infrastructure and creating conditions that will achieve the intended objectives.

Referring to the involvement of small, and medium local companies, he said they are already becoming active.

“We also had the opportunity to listen to communities in the field of agriculture, including rural women,” he said.

The minister indicated there are challenges with all three railway corridors related to dishonesty, crime and sabotage, which are being addressed by the authorities. Similarly, attention is being given to eliminating railway accidents and work in this connection is being carried out on all three corridors.

He said the Luanda railway corridor presents the biggest challenge, particularly in the urban zone where there has been a lot of interference affecting the railway operation. “There is work for awareness and education, as well as discipline,” he pointed out.

Nevertheless, he said that on this corridor, the Government is working with an American railway team to be able to promote, in due course, its dynamization, which will reach the provinces of Zaire, Lunda-Norte and Lunda-Sul. source: Angop

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Port State Control Officers: IMO boosting maritime security skills

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway
Africa Ports & Ships
London

Senegal Navy’s newest OPV, Cayor

These questions were recently asked in an IMO news service item: Where do you start if asked to inspect a ship? Does the ship conform with IMO treaties? Does it require an expanded inspection? Should the ship be detained?

Those are the types of questions that port state control officers must answer to ensure adequate security and safety standards are met.

Increasing regional instability, conflict, piracy and transnational organised crime endanger the freedom of navigation of vessels and limit investment into port infrastructure and maritime commerce.

Regional Programme for Maritime Security in the Red Sea Area

To address those challenges, the Regional Programme for Maritime Security in the Red Sea Area, funded by the European Union, has been holding a series of training activities to support countries to improve port security and safety of navigation in the region.

Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen participation

Participants from Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen met in Mombasa from 22-26 April to increase their capacity and knowledge about the application of control and compliance measures under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), specifically Chapter XI-2 on special measures to enhance maritime security (SOLAS XI-2).

Hosted by Kenya

This event was hosted by the Kenya Maritime Authority.

It is understood that this style of workshop will encourage knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices to promote proper understanding of what an effective and adequately staffed control and compliance regime entails.

As part of the programme, participants were able to board a ship at the Port of Mombasa to observe a mock inspection focusing on control and compliance of maritime security measures.

The Red Sea Project: EU funding

The Regional Programme for Maritime Security in the Red Sea Area (otherwise known as the Red Sea Project), is funded by the European Union and was launched in February 2021.

Inter agency activities

Under this programme, IMO works with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in support of participating countries: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

Regional dialogue encouraged

The programme aims to develop capacities and promote adequate security and safety standards for maritime, port and land-based law-enforcement authorities. In addition there is encouraged regional dialogue at the operational-level based on sound maritime domain awareness (MDA), in line with the objectives of the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy, the AIM.

At 32-pages the publication: 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (The 2025 AIM Strategy) is available to download here

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Maersk to make US$600m infrastructure investment in Nigerian ports

Africa Ports & Ships

Danish shipping and logistics major A.P Moller-Maersk has announced a US$600 million investment aimed at improving port infrastructure at its Nigerian terminals.

This was revealed by chairman of A.P Moller-Maersk, Robert Uggla, during a meeting with Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu last week.

Robert Maersk Uggla.     Picture: Maersk

Their meeting was held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum being held in Saudi Arabia.

The announcement said the investment by A.P Moller-Maersk would be used to extend existing port infrastructure in the Nigerian ports in order to accommodate more container shipping services.

President Tinubu, in welcoming the investment, said this was over and above an existing $1 billion investment made by his administration for improving and reconstructing Nigerian sea ports.

The president gave an assurance that the Federal Government would continue to create an enabling environment for business to thrive in the country.

“A bet on Nigeria is a winning bet,” the president said. “It is also a bet that rewards beyond what is obtainable elsewhere. We need to encourage more opportunities for revenue expansion and minimise transshipments from larger ships to smaller ships.”

Uggla said that A.P Moller-Maersk had already made considerable investments of more than $2 billion in Nigerian ports and reaffirmed his confidence about the future of Nigeria.

He noted the potential for Nigerian ports to accommodate larger container ships and stressed the need for further expansion of port infrastructure to meet demand while reducing the cost of logistics.

“We have seen a significant opportunity for Nigeria to cater for larger container ships. Historically, most of the West African coasts are already served by smaller ships,” Uggla pointed out.

“Currently, we see an opportunity to deploy larger ships to Nigeria. To achieve this, we need to expand the port infrastructure, especially in Lagos, where we need a bigger hub for logistics services. The growth potential is hard to quantify.”

The head of A.P Moller-Maersk pointed out that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and as such it should have the biggest and best port. “We believe in Nigeria. We are very eager to invest”, he said.

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WHARF TALK: Japanese Passenger Cruise Ship – ASUKA II

Asuka II, back in the days when she sailed under the Crystal Cruises banner as Crystal Harmony for her then and current parent owners NYK, and included a number of annual calls at Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. Picture: Crystal Cruises

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

It is a strange thing that Asia’s greatest maritime nation, and a nation of exceptionally polite, and well behaved, tourists have never developed a cruise industry to cater for their large and prosperous population, in the way that both North America and Europe have. Most casual maritime observers would struggle to name a Japanese Cruise Ship, but they do exist, and just occasionally they do turn up in South African ports.

The writer recalls as far back as 1968, whilst a young boy in Hong Kong, going aboard the 1962 built, Mitsui-OSK Line passenger liner, ‘Sakura Maru’ (IMO 5307350), then thought to be the only Japanese passenger cruise liner, and not to be confused with a standard passenger cargo liner, on the Japanese register. She was a small vessel, certainly by modern standards, and she spent almost her entire career in the Pacific Ocean, and cruising around South East Asia, based out of Yokohama with a purely Japanese clientele.

On 28th April, at 06:00 in the morning, the Japanese Passenger Cruise Liner ‘Asuka II’ (IMO 8806204) arrived off Cape Town, from Port Louis in Mauritius. She entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding into the Duncan Dock and berthed alongside the Passenger Cruise terminal at E berth. As soon as she was alongside, the harbour bunker tanker ‘Southern Valour’ tied up alongside to start the process of uplifting bunkers.

Asuka II. Cape Town 28 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Sadly, the powers that be at the Passenger Cruise Terminal are of the opinion that cheap traffic cones are the vision that should meet incoming international passengers when they disembark off any visiting cruise vessel. Whilst passenger safety on the quayside is paramount, and a walkway to protect them from potentially dangerous quayside activity is a must, surely an investment in proper moveable walkway guides, such as shiny metal poles, with colourful webbing straps linking them, as seen at airport terminals, or using colourful moveable barriers, would give visitors a positive first image of South Africa. Mismatched traffic cones are an insult.

Built in 1990 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard at Nagasaki in Japan, ‘Asuka II’ was originally named ‘Crystal Harmony’, and operated by Crystal Cruises, of Los Angeles in the US State of California. Crystal Cruises were very much an upmarket cruise company aimed at the American Market. What most casual maritime observers may not be aware of, is that Crystal Cruises were, in fact, a subsidiary company of the Japanese shipping giant, Nippon Yusan Kabushiki Kaisha, or the NYK Group.

Asuka II. Cape Town 28 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

In 2006, Crystal Cruises transferred ownership of ‘Crystal Harmony’ back to the parent group, and to their new domestic cruise subsidiary, NYK Cruises Co. Ltd., of Tokyo in Japan, who own and operate ‘Asuka II’ to this day, with her being managed by NYK Line, also of Tokyo. Since 2006, other than embarking on a small number of world cruises, ‘Asuka II’ is mainly to be found cruising around Japan, the Japanese Islands, and South East Asia.

She is a diesel electric vessel, and has four Mitsubishi MAN 8L58/64 generators providing a total of 32,800 kW . Power is transferred to two ABB motors which provide 12,000 kW each to drive two controllable pitch propellers for a service speed of 21 knots. She has two Marukin Sato auxiliary exhaust gas boilers, and for added manoeuvrability she has two bow transverse thrusters.

Asuka II. Cape Town 28 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She has twelve decks, of which nine decks are set aside for passenger use, with four decks for cabins, of which there are 436 cabins in total. All cabins are outside cabins, with 260 of them having balconies, and the rest being Oceanview. The cabins of ‘Asuka II’ reflect her Japanese heritage and passenger clientele, as they are all fitted with traditional Katami Mat flooring around the sleeping area. She can carry 872 passengers, who are looked after by a crew of 545.

Her facilities include six restaurants, six lounges, four bars, internet café, show lounge, theatre, library, card room, meeting room, casino, a range of boutiques, and two swimming pools, and a Jacuzzi. Again, reflecting her Japanese passenger clientele, ‘Asuka II’ has a Sushi Bar, and Mahjong Saloon. She has a gymnasium, spa, beauty salon, barber shop, treatment rooms.

Asuka II. Cape Town 28 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Again, reflecting her Japanese culture, the Spa onboard ‘Asuka II’ is split between Ladies Only, and Gentleman Only. In line with this tradition, there are two outside traditional Japanese baths, with one set aside for Men Only, and one set aside for the use by Women Only. For sport minded Japanese passengers, ‘Asuka II’ provides two outside deck table tennis tables, and two golf driving range cages.

In her long career, ‘Asuka II’ has received no less than 102 Port State Inspections since 1990, with only one resulting in a detention. This was conducted by Australian AMSA inspectors in Sydney in February 2018, under the auspices of both the Tokyo MoU, and the Indian Ocean MoU. Her inspection raised five findings, of which one of them, defective fire dampers, was deemed serious enough to warrant a single day’s detention to get them fixed.

Asuka II. Cape Town 28 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The NYK Cruise Line has taken a nomenclature line that their Passenger vessel should be named ‘Asuka’, which can mean both ‘Flying Bird’ and ‘Fragrance of Tomorrow’, and which some reader who speaks Japanese will be able to confirm one which it is. The first ‘Asuka’ which had no number suffix, is currently trading as the German passenger cruise liner ‘Amadea’ of Phoenix Reisen. The first ‘Asuka’ was actually the first Japanese flagged passenger vessel to undertake a world cruise. The next vessel is due to enter service in 2025, and will be named ‘Asuka III’.

The current call at Cape Town by ‘Asuka II’ is due to her undertaking a world cruise. It began in her home port of Yokohama on 5th April and is scheduled to be a 100 day cruise, with port calls so far being Singapore (12th and 13th April), Port Louis (22nd April), and Cape Town. After a period of sixteen hours alongside, and having uplifted bunkers, ‘Asuka II’ was ready to sail depart for her next port call.

Asuka II. Cape Town 28 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

At 22:00 in the late evening of 29th April, ‘Asuka II’ sailed from Cape Town, bound now for Tenerife in the Canary islands, with an ETA there of 10th May. Sadly, the full itinerary of ‘Asuka II’ on this cruise is unknown, and unpublished, in any English Language cruise website, so her passage after Tenerife is unknown, although calls at Lisbon in Portugal, and New York in the USA, have both been mentioned in at least one cruise newsletter.

That her legs thus far have been quite long ones, with more time spent at sea than in port for the passengers, gives an indication that she may be yet another passenger liner being diverted away from the Red Sea as result of continued Houthi nonsense. She has visited South African shores in the past, with her calling at Cape Town in 2014, but the majority of her previous World Cruises went via the Suez Canal.

Asuka II. Cape Town 28 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

An interesting observation on Japanese culture in regard to the response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, was that in March 2020, whilst cruising in Japanese waters, just a single passenger tested positive for the virus. NYK cruises immediately cancelled the cruise, and the vessel returned to Yokohama where all passengers disembarked, and ‘Asuka II’ was then laid up.

In June 2020, whilst still in Covid-19 lay-up, a fire broke out on the upper deck of ‘Asuka II’, which has been alongside at Yokohama since early April because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Smoke was seen billowing from the upper deck in the fore section of ‘Asuka II’, and a mixture of Crew Fire teams, Local Firefighters and Coastguard personnel managed to bring the fire under control after 3 hours. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, and it started in a storage area on the top deck. The vessel had 153 crewmembers aboard at the time, who were a skeleton crew remaining onboard for essential duty. No one was injured.

To show how seriously NYK Line take the threat of Piracy, especially in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea region, on 18th June 2023, NYK Line Co., Ltd., jointly with the Japan Coast Guard, and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), conducted a public-private partnership anti-piracy training exercise for the ‘Asuka II’ during a voyage around the west of the Japanese island of Izu Oshima, and included a Japanese Coast Guard cutter, which was used an intervention security vessel during the exercise.

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Mozambique’s CFM Ports & Rail handled 26.6 million tonnes in 2023

Maputo main station and CFM HQ

Africa Ports & Ships

Mozambique’s state-owned rail and port company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique EP (CFM) last year handled a total of 26.6 million tonnes of cargo.

In announcing this, chairman of the CFM Board of Directors, Agostinho Langa Jnr, said the figure achieved represented a growth of around 8 per cent when compared with 2022.

The figure covers the ports and railways operated under the control and jurisdiction of CFM, but will exclude cargo volumes achieved at concessioned ports and terminals such as Maputo and Matola and Nacala-a-Velha.

He said the CFM railway transported just over seven million passengers which was a 25 per cent growth on the previous year.

The terminals under CFM management reflected a decrease of around seven per cent by handling 12.3 million tonnes, compared with the 13.2 million tonnes of 2022.

The chairman explained this as a result of the fall in coal exports and a lesser volume of imports of liquid fuels at the central port of Beira.

According to Langa, CFM faced significant challenges arising from natural disasters and regional economic difficulties. Despite these, the company remained committed to its projects in line with the government’s Five-Year Plan for 2020-2024.

He said that CFM had successfully completed various infrastructure projects that had been budgeted, such as the rehabilitation and expansion of the Port of Nacala and the Machipanda line between Beira and the Zimbabwe border, as well as the doubling of the Ressano Garcia line between Maputo and the South African Lebombo border at Komatipoort.

Other capital projects saw the upgrading of Maputo Central Station and the acquisition of locomotives and wagons for use in the port area.

It had also been possible to conclude, during the same period, the expansion of the Beira Port Oil Terminal and the acquisition of tugboats and speedboats for the northern Port of Nacala. source: AIM

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CTF 150 concludes successful drug intervention off African coast

Task team from CTF150 boarding a dhow off the African coast. Picture: CMF

Africa Ports & Ships

The Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces, operating in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, has successfully concluded Operation Crimson Barracuda, a focused operation aimed at countering narcotics smugglers in the allotted area.

During the operation, units from the Royal Navy, Indian Navy, U.S. Costal Guard, and U.S. Navy seized approximately 4,917 kg of narcotics, including two seizures in one day. Indian and American air assets as well as Canadian space-based intelligence conducted surveillance and reconnaissance of suspicious vessels, contributing to the operation’s success.

The Royal Navy Duke-class Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster interdicted over 800 kg of hashish, 390 kg of methamphetamines, and 110 kg of heroin on 10 April. Later that day, the U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel-class fast-response cutter USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr (WPC 1147) seized 257 kg of meth, 311 kg of hash, 17 kg of amphetamines, and 92 kg of heroin.

The following day, Lancaster seized and destroyed 2,000 kg of hash from a dhow, preventing the narcotics from being used to fund criminal activities.

The Indian Navy’s Talwar-class frigate INS Talwar boarded a suspected dhow, resulting in 453 kg of meth, 71 kg of heroin, and 416 kg of heroin being confiscated and destroyed. This seizure was also the Indian Navy’s first seizure as a CMF member, having joined last November.

“Crimson Barracuda was a great success, which can be attributed to the strong cooperation between CMF member nations,” said Royal Canadian Navy Capt. Colin Matthews, CTF 150 commander.

He said he is extremely proud of the work that was done during this focused operation. “It proves the value in working as a multilateral team to deter and disrupt criminal and terrorist activities at sea.”

One of the seizures of illicit drugs being smuggled across the north western Indian ocean, often into Africa. Picture: CTF150 / CMF

CTF 150 & CMF

CTF 150 is one of five task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, the world’s largest international naval partnership. CTF 150’s mission is to deter and disrupt the ability of non-state actors to move weapons, drugs, and other illicit substances in the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.

Combined Maritime Forces is a 43-nation naval partnership upholding the international rules-based order by promoting security and stability across 3.2 million square miles of water encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

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IMO CARES project: Projects for decarbonisation

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway
Africa Ports & Ships
London

Senegal Navy’s newest OPV, Cayor

IMO has announced that funding is being released to develop detailed technical proposals to help accelerate decarbonisation of selected domestic vessels and ports in Africa and the Caribbean.

This will be as part of the Maritime Technology Global Challenge, under the IMO CARES (Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping) project.

The IMO CARES Maritime Technology Global Challenge was launched in November 2023 to identify technology solutions to accelerate decarbonisation in domestic shipping and ports in target regions.

Targets include Namibia and Mauritius

A judging panel recommended three specific topics: (i) wind turbines, (ii) shore to ship power supply and (iii) port call data sharing.

It is understood that these would lead to development into detailed technical proposals and possible demonstration in four target countries (a) Namibia, (b) Mauritius, (c) St Kitts and Nevis, and (d) Trinidad and Tobago).

The final choice of solutions was made by the governments of these countries, taking into consideration their needs and the technical specifications of selected ports and vessels.

Dedicated effort required

“Combating climate change through emission reduction requires dedicated effort at every port and for even the smallest vessels throughout the world”, commented Anton Rhodes, IMO CARES Project Manager.

“It is vital to support developing countries, in particular the small island developing states and least developed countries, in this journey and to help facilitate access to technologies.”

A total of twenty-one companies from across the globe entered their solutions into the IMO CARES Maritime Technology Global Challenge. Given the technology-neutral nature of the contest, entries spanned the technology spectrum, ranging from wind turbines and kites; carbon capture, artificial intelligence and data sharing systems; to hull coatings and fuel emulsifiers.

Broad judging panel

The judging panel, which included government representatives from the beneficiary countries, academia, industry associations and Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs), assessed the technologies against a set of common criteria focused on the needs of domestic shipping and ports in all four countries.

The IMO CARES Project played the role of neutral facilitator for the Global Challenge.

Funding

Funding will now be provided to help develop the proposed solutions into in-depth technical proposals with guidance from the regional MTCCs in Africa and the Caribbean.

The IMO CARES project is funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

To learn more about the IMO CARES readers are invited to see here.

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AD Ports awarded 20-Year concession to operate & upgrade Luanda MPT

Luanda port and admin buildings. Picture: Port of Luanda

Africa Ports & Ships

AD Ports Group has signed several agreements with Unicargas and Multiparques leading to securing a 20-year concession agreement (extendable for another 10 years) with the Luanda Port Authority for the operation and upgrade of the existing Luanda multipurpose port terminal in Angola.

The agreement carries an option for a further 10 years.

The agreements with Unicargas and Multiparques, well-known logistics and transport companies in the country, saw AD Ports Group acquire an 81% stake in a joint venture that will operate the terminal, and a 90% stake in another joint venture that will serve the facility and the broader Angolan logistics market.

AD Ports Group has committed USD 251 million towards the modernisation of the terminal and development of the logistics business over the next three years (2024-2026), with this investment potentially increasing to USD 379 million over the concession term and in line with market demand.

Serving as Angola’s dominant maritime gateway along the corridor, the Port of Luanda plays an important role in Angola’s domestic economy by handling more than 76% of the country’s container and general cargo volumes.

It is well situated to capture the anticipated growth in the country’s container volumes, which are projected to rise at an average annual rate of 3.3% over the next decade.

In addition, the Port of Luanda serves as one of the main transshipment hubs for Central-West Africa by enabling maritime trade access to land-locked countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

“The Port of Luanda is not just Angola’s main maritime gateway, it is a critical hub for regional trade and economic vitality,” said Ricardo Daniel Sandão Queirós Viegas de Abreu, Angola’s Minister of Transport.

“Through our strategic partnership with AD Ports Group, which is part of a broader effort involving multiple first-class stakeholders, we will transform the port into a modern, multi-faceted facility that will significantly enhance our logistic capacities and stimulate economic growth across Central-West Africa.”

de Abreu described the collaboration as marking a significant milestone in Angola’s mission to modernise infrastructure and expand global trade access, promising a prosperous future for Angola and its partners.

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, said the multipurpose terminal will be modernised to attract business from leading global shipping lines and offer the highest levels of service efficiency and quality.

Joaquim Nazaré Pimentel da Piedade, Unicargas Management Committee Coordinator, said that at Unicargas, they view the partnership with AD Ports Group as a transformative opportunity to leverage global expertise and resources, to accelerate the modernisation and expansion of the Port of Luanda and logistics infrastructure.

“Together, we are committed to unlock new potentials, foster economic growth, and establish Angola as a key player in the global maritime trade landscape,” he said.

Under the terms of the terminal concession agreement, the joint venture will significantly upgrade the existing multipurpose facility to a container and Ro-Ro terminal. This will encompass an enlarged concession area (178,000 sqm to 192,000 sqm); an upgraded quay wall; additional ship-to-shore cranes, gantry cranes and other state-of-the-art equipment; expanded draft (9.5 metres to 16 metres); and modernised IT systems.

Redevelopment of the terminal is expected to be completed in Q3 2026, ultimately boosting its container handling volumes from 25,000 TEUs to 350,000 TEUs, and Ro-Ro volumes to over 40,000 vehicles. During the 3-year redevelopment, the terminal’s container volumes will be handled at a nearby berth, while excess volumes will be moved to Multiparques’ Viana inland container depot (ICD), thereby minimising any impact to customers.

Integrated logistics & freight forwarding

The Group’s other joint venture with Unicargas will provide integrated logistics and freight forwarding services for local, regional and international clients.

The business, to be operated by Noatum Logistics, part of AD Ports Group, will manage the movement of containers to Viana ICD and offer short and long-haul transport within Angola and to the neighbouring countries.

This will leverage Noatum’s broad global expertise, infrastructure and logistics networks combined with the knowledge, capacities and assets of the local Unicargas team.

Noatum will assume management and operations of Unicargas’ existing fleet of trucks and different logistics sites located across the country.

In addition, it will boost the business’ capacity by investing in new machinery, reefer and flat-bed trucks and upgrading its IT systems to plug in seamlessly across Noatum Logistics’ digital ecosystem – thereby providing for full end-to-end supply chain visibility and enhanced operational efficiency.

Offshore industry

AD Ports Group is also exploring opportunities to support Angola’s offshore industry and other maritime sectors, through its Maritime & Shipping Cluster, and will deploy assets such as work accommodation vessels, passenger ferries, platform supply vessels, and other maritime craft and infrastructure.

With a population of 34.5 million, growing at a rate of 3.2%, and a GDP of USD 74 billion, the Republic of Angola is considered the sixth largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa and a sizable domestic market also requiring meaningful gateway cargo volumes.

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AD Ports se adjudica una concesión por 20 años a operar y actualizar Luanda MPT

Sede del puerto de Luanda. Foto: puerto de Luanda

Africa Ports & Ships

AD Ports Group ha firmado varios acuerdos con Unicargas y Multiparques que conducen a la obtención de un acuerdo de concesión de 20 años (ampliable por otros 10 años) con la Autoridad Portuaria de Luanda para la operación y mejora de la terminal portuaria multipropósito existente de Luanda en Angola.

El acuerdo tiene una opción por 10 años más.

Los acuerdos con Unicargas y Multiparques, reconocidas empresas de logística y transporte en el país, permitieron a AD Ports Group adquirir el 81% de una empresa conjunta que operará la terminal, y el 90% de otra empresa conjunta que prestará servicio a la instalaciones y el mercado logístico angoleño en general.

AD Ports Group ha comprometido 251 millones de dólares para la modernización de la terminal y el desarrollo del negocio logístico durante los próximos tres años (2024-2026), pudiendo esta inversión aumentar hasta los 379 millones de dólares durante el plazo de la concesión y en línea con la demanda del mercado. .

El puerto de Luanda, que sirve como puerta de entrada marítima dominante a Angola a lo largo del corredor, desempeña un papel importante en la economía interna de Angola al manejar más del 76% de los volúmenes de contenedores y carga general del país.

Está bien situado para captar el crecimiento previsto en los volúmenes de contenedores del país, que se prevé que aumenten a una tasa anual promedio del 3,3% durante la próxima década.

Además, el Puerto de Luanda sirve como uno de los principales centros de transbordo para África Centro-Occidental al permitir el acceso al comercio marítimo a países sin litoral, incluidos la República Democrática del Congo y Zambia.

“El Puerto de Luanda no es sólo la principal puerta de entrada marítima de Angola, es un centro crítico para el comercio regional y la vitalidad económica”, dijo Ricardo Daniel Sandão Queirós Viegas de Abreu, Ministro de Transporte de Angola.

“A través de nuestra asociación estratégica con AD Ports Group, que es parte de un esfuerzo más amplio que involucra a múltiples partes interesadas de primera clase, transformaremos el puerto en una instalación moderna y multifacética que mejorará significativamente nuestras capacidades logísticas y estimulará el crecimiento económico en toda Central -África occidental.”

de Abreu describió la colaboración como un hito importante en la misión de Angola de modernizar la infraestructura y ampliar el acceso al comercio global, prometiendo un futuro próspero para Angola y sus socios.

El capitán Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, director general y director ejecutivo de AD Ports Group, dijo que la terminal multipropósito se modernizará para atraer negocios de las principales líneas navieras mundiales y ofrecer los más altos niveles de eficiencia y calidad de servicio.

Joaquim Nazaré Pimentel da Piedade, coordinador del Comité de Gestión de Unicargas, dijo que en Unicargas ven la asociación con AD Ports Group como una oportunidad transformadora para aprovechar la experiencia y los recursos globales, para acelerar la modernización y expansión del Puerto de Luanda y la infraestructura logística.

“Juntos, estamos comprometidos a desbloquear nuevos potenciales, fomentar el crecimiento económico y establecer a Angola como un actor clave en el panorama del comercio marítimo mundial”, afirmó.

Según los términos del acuerdo de concesión de la terminal, la empresa conjunta mejorará significativamente la instalación multipropósito existente para convertirla en una terminal de contenedores y Ro-Ro. Esto abarcará una superficie de concesión ampliada (de 178.000 m² a 192.000 m²); un muro de muelle mejorado; grúas de barco a tierra adicionales, grúas pórtico y otros equipos de última generación; calado ampliado (de 9,5 a 16 metros); y sistemas informáticos modernizados.

Se espera que la remodelación de la terminal se complete en el tercer trimestre de 2026, lo que en última instancia aumentará sus volúmenes de manipulación de contenedores de 25.000 TEU a 350.000 TEU, y los volúmenes de Ro-Ro a más de 40.000 vehículos. Durante los tres años de remodelación, los volúmenes de contenedores de la terminal se manejarán en un muelle cercano, mientras que los volúmenes excedentes se trasladarán al depósito interior de contenedores (ICD) de Viana de Multiparques, minimizando así cualquier impacto para los clientes.

Logística integrada y transporte de carga

La otra empresa conjunta del Grupo con Unicargas proporcionará servicios integrados de logística y transporte de carga para clientes locales, regionales e internacionales.

La empresa, que será operada por Noatum Logistics, parte del grupo AD Ports, gestionará el movimiento de contenedores hasta Viana ICD y ofrecerá transporte de corto y largo radio dentro de Angola y hacia los países vecinos.

Esto aprovechará la amplia experiencia global, la infraestructura y las redes logísticas de Noatum combinadas con el conocimiento, las capacidades y los activos del equipo local de Unicargas.

Noatum asumirá la gestión y operación de la flota de camiones existente de Unicargas y de los diferentes centros logísticos ubicados en todo el país.

Además, impulsará la capacidad del negocio invirtiendo en nueva maquinaria, camiones frigoríficos y de plataforma y actualizando sus sistemas de TI para conectarse sin problemas al ecosistema digital de Noatum Logistics, proporcionando así una visibilidad completa de la cadena de suministro de extremo a extremo. y una mayor eficiencia operativa.

Industria offshore

AD Ports Group también está explorando oportunidades para apoyar la industria offshore de Angola y otros sectores marítimos, a través de su Clúster Marítimo y de Transporte Marítimo, y desplegará activos como buques de alojamiento para trabajo, ferries de pasajeros, buques de suministro de plataformas y otras embarcaciones e infraestructuras marítimas.

Con una población de 34,5 millones de habitantes, que crece a una tasa del 3,2% y un PIB de 74 mil millones de dólares, la República de Angola es considerada la sexta economía más grande del África subsahariana y un mercado interno considerable que también requiere importantes volúmenes de carga de entrada.

Agregado el 28 de abril de 2024

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WHARF TALK: British Military Sealift vessel – ANVIL POINT

The British Military Sealift vessel ‘Anvil Point which arrived in Cape Town harbour on 14 April for bunkers and supplies. Pictures is by ‘Dockrat’

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
Story by Jay Gates

There are two nations who are continuously moving military cargoes around the world, on behalf of their national Armies, Navies and Air Forces for purposes of pre-positioning, training, or ongoing military operations. This is the kind of transport not to be confused with the likes of the Russians, who are merely buyers, sellers and peddlers of arms and armaments, sometimes in full cahoots with the ANC government, as was exposed when a Russian arms trader called at Simonstown, of all places, on the flimsy pretext of being in mild distress.

The military transport fleets of both the United States, and the United Kingdom, continue to criss-cross the globe on behalf of their Military and Defence requirements. There was a time when the American military sealift transports were regular callers in South African ports, mainly for bunkers, but now they bypass South Africa completely, even with the Houthi menace forcing them once more to take the longer Cape sea route to, and from the United States.

The same can be said for the British sealift vessels, in that they normally proceed via the Suez Canal, when heading into the Indian Ocean or Persian Gulf. However, unlike the Americans, the British sealift vessels are calling at South African ports for bunkers. Cape Town had already seen one of them back in early February, when ‘Hartland Point’ was heading back to the UK, after calling at four British military bases in the Middle East and East Africa. That this traffic is regular is borne out by the fact that recently yet another one of the class called at a South African port.

On 14th April, at 07:00 in the morning, the British Military Sealift vessel ‘Anvil Point’ (IMO 9248540) arrived off the Table Bay anchorage, from Gibraltar, and went to anchor for a short three hour period. Later than morning, at 10:00, she entered Cape Town harbour and proceeded into the Duncan Dock, going alongside the outer Eastern Mole berth. As always, this non-commercial berth is the transit stop for many of those vessels requiring an uplift of bunkers, stores and fresh provision.

Anvil Point. Cape Town, 14 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2002 by the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard, at Belfast in Northern Ireland, and the same place where the great ‘Titanic’ was built, ‘Anvil Point’ is 193 metres in length, and has a deadweight of 13,274 tons. Her claim to fame was that she was the last major vessel built at Harland and Wolff. She is powered by two MaK 7M43 seven cylinder, four stroke, main engines providing 17,130 bhp (12,600 kW), and driving two controllable pitch propellers for a service speed of 17 knots. For added manoeuvrability she has a bow transverse thruster.

It is a rare occurrence for a Ro-Ro vessel to call into Cape Town, and wheeled cargo on ‘Anvil Point’ is loaded via a Stern Ramp, which has a loading strength of 77 tons/m2. There is also a Side Ramp on the starboard side of ‘Anvil Point’ which has a loading strength of 68 tons/m2. With has 3 vehicle decks, she has 2,650 lane metres available, which gives her the capability of loading up to 220 vehicles, including 130 armoured fighting vehicles, and 70 military trucks, plus support vehicles, and ammunition, totaling 13,000 tons.

She has a container carrying capacity of 668 TEU, with deck plugs provided for 30 reefers. For loading, and discharging her container capacity in ports with no infrastructure, ‘Anvil Point’ has a MacGregor deck crane with a lifting capacity of 40 tons, which is offset to the starboard side of the vessel. She has a range of 9,200 nautical miles, she has accommodation for a crew of up to 22, although she often operates with a crew of 18, and she had additional accommodation provided for a further 12 persons.

Anvil Point. Cape Town, 14 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The fourth of six sisterships, built to an upgraded, popular German design known as the Flensburger RoRo-2700 series, all six sealift vessels are known as the Point Class, and all were named after Lighthouses of the Trinity House Lighthouse Service in the United Kingdom, with Anvil Point Lighthouse being built in 1881, and located on the Dorset coast, close to the town of Swanage, and acting as a Waypoint Sector light for shipping navigating the English Channel.

In 1998, as a result of a Strategic Defence Review, a national need for specially designed roll-on, roll-off, transport vessels, with strengthened decks for the carriage of heavy military armoured vehicles, was identified, and with all vessels being contracted to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence. They were to be owned, operated and managed by British companies, and be operated by a civilian crew.

The current contract runs until the end of 2024, with a potential 5 year extension to 2030, should a new agreement be concluded that requires a new class of vessel. In October 2021 the Ministry of Defence issued a Request for Information (RFI) to interested parties for an Interim Strategic Sealift (SSL-I) capability that will begin in January 2025 and run for at least 5 years. A more detailed Prior Information Notice (PIN) was issued in January 2022 to assist potential providers in preparing bids for the contract.

Anvil Point. Cape Town, 14 April 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Of the six vessels built for the current contract, two have since been sold on for further trading, with the remaining four, including ‘Anvil Point’ operating on permanent engagement on military transport activities worldwide. The four ships are also nominally available to the NATO Sealift Consortium, which includes eleven European nations. The 4 ships, with a total of 9,200 lane metres, make the United Kingdom the largest single contributor to the NATO Sealift Consortium, which itself has a total of 15 ships and a capacity of about 33,700 lane metres.

Similarly, as with Royal Fleet Auxiliary crews, the crews on the Sealift vessels are civilian, but considered to be part of the Naval Reserve, and will come under Naval Discipline in times of conflict. The all British crews are eligible to be called out as Sponsored Royal Navy Reservists (under the Reserve Forces Act 1996) if operational requirements demand. This status gives the crew military status under the terms of the Geneva Convention, when sailing in war zones.

Owned by Foreland Shipping Ltd., of London, whose FSL company logo is displayed on her funnel, ‘Anvil Point’ is operated by Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd., of London, and managed by AW Ship Management Ltd., also of London. Andrew Weir is a name with a great, historical, pedigree, as they were the owners of the Bank Line, whose general cargo vessels regularly called at South African ports on their round the world cargo service. The company also operated the ‘RMS St. Helena’ mail ship.

Originally Foreland Shipping Ltd., was originally made up of 4 separate companies – Andrew Weir, Bibby Line, James Fishers and Hadley Shipping Groups. The technical management of the vessels was carried out by Andrew Weir, with the crew management carried out by Bibby Line. Hadley Shipping Group is now the sole owner of FSL. Foreland Shipping Ltd., was originally named as Andrew Weir Strategic Ro-Ro, but the name was changed back in 2004.

Anvil Point loading military equipment. Picture: Think Defence

The routing of ‘Anvil Point’ is very similar, but in reverse, to the route being followed by her sistership ‘Hartland Point’ which arrived in Cape Town on 4th February. As with ‘Anvil Point’ the arrival of both vessels is based entirely on the Houthi menace, and the need to avoid the risks of a British vessel making a transit of the Red Sea.

She departed the Marchwood Military Port, near Southampton in the United Kingdom on 24th March, after a one week turnaround. From there ‘Anvil Point’ made her way to Gibraltar, which is a British Colony located at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, and the location of a large Tri-Services military presence. She spent just over one day in Gibraltar, sailing for Cape Town on 28th March.

After just 12 hours alongside in Cape Town, ‘Anvil Point’ sailed at 22:00 in the late evening of 14th April, bound for the port of Duqm, in Oman. Here the British Military operate the United Kingdom Joint Logistics Support Base (UKJLSB), which is based in the port, and facilitates the deployment of naval forces in the Indian Ocean to provide security patrols, which are provided by the Royal Navy Littoral Response Group (South). Duqm also supports the Joint Training Area (JTA), where joint British and Omani Army training takes place.

Anvil Point Lighthouse, erected 1881. Picture: lighthouse Accommodation

There was an indication that ‘Anvil Point’ would also be calling at Mombasa during this voyage, where the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) operates from three bases throughout Kenya, and where up to six Infantry Battalions exercise each year. The permanent staff of 100 military personnel in BATUK includes Royal Engineers who provide essential infrastructure, and development projects for the local communities, and Royal Army Medical Corps staff who provide free healthcare provision and medical assistance to the local Kenyan population.

In June 2021 ‘Anvil Point’ reported that she had rescued 25 migrants of sub-Sahara origin, when 230 nautical miles Southeast from the port of Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands, and northwest of the port of Dakhla, in the disputed territory of the Western Sahara . She diverted to Las Palmas with the rescued immigrants. At the time ‘Anvil Point was on a voyage from Marchwood Military Port to Georgetown on Ascension Island, in the tropical South Atlantic Ocean.

Later that year, in October 2021, when returning to Marchwood Military Port and sailing off the north coast of Spain, ‘Anvil Point’ requested the medical evacuation of a crew member, when 75 nautical miles northwest of A Coruña. The Rescue Coordination Centre at Finisterre, in Northern Spain mobilized a Search and Rescue helicopter, an Airbus H225 Super Puma helicopter, which airlifted the crewman, and flew him to A Coruña airport, where he was transferred directly to a local hospital for further treatment.

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Houthi attacks on Red Sea & GoA ships continue

Africa Ports & Ships

The tanker Andromeda Star (former Fulmar) which was reportedly struck by a Houthi Missile. Picture: VesselFinder

Yemen’s Houthis claim to have made further attacks on ships with ties to Israel, the UK and USA in recent days.

Some of these ‘ties’ are more historical than actual.

On Saturday 27 April 2024 the Houthis said they had stuck the Panama-flagged, but former UK-owned crude oil tanker Andromeda Star (IMO 9402471), which was sailing in the Red Sea on Friday.

The 155,605-dwt Andromeda Star changed hands in November last year and is currently nominally owned by a Seychelles-registered company Algae Marine Inc, but is thought to be Indian-owned.

Andromeda Star is sailing from the Russian port of Primorsk, to Vadinar in India, loaded with Russian oil.

The extent of the damage to the tanker is not clear but the claim by the Houthis was confirmed by the US Central Command (Centcom) who said three missiles had been launched into the Red Sea, with minor damage reported on the tanker.

Centcom said a missile had landed in the sea near a second vessel, the 159,453-dwt Maisha (IMO 9232929), which was not damaged. Maisha has continued her journey northward into the Red Sea in the direction of the Suez Canal. The ship, which changed hands in February this year, is nominally owned by Seaserenity Shipping Ltd which office is registered with the ship in Antigua & Barbuda.

The word Maisha is of Swahili origin, meaning Life, or vitality.

On Thursday 25 April the Houthis are reported to have fired on the MSC Darwin, sailing between the port of Aden and Djibouti. It doesn’t appear that the container ship was hit by any missile or drone.

These attacks come in defiance of the US and UK aerial raids into Houthi-controlled Yemen to attack sites where drone and missile attacks on shipping are thought to be launched.

According to the Houthis late last week they shot down an American MQ-9 drone flying over Yemen’s Saada province.

The Houthis also claimed to have launched a rocket attack aimed at the Israeli port city of Eilat. There are no reports from Israel of these attacks having been successful.

Meanwhile it being reported that two thirds of traffic crossing through the Red Sea and Suez Canal has been lost since the Houthi movement began their campaign against ships with an Israeli, American of British ownership.

Added 28 April 2024

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Beira dredger Macuti returns to Mozambique port

Beira dredger Macuti shortly after delivery in 2012

Africa Ports & Ships

The Beira trailing suction hopper dredger Macuti (IMO 9641144), which was involved in a collision with the container ship MSC Chiara in 2016, and suffered serious damage, has returned to her home port after remaining in Durban awaiting repairs.

It’s understood there were financial constraints preventing an earlier return for the Macuti.

In the period that Macuti remained in Durban, the Chinese CRBC hopper dredger Tong Tan (IMO 9259678) undertook the necessary regular dredging duties at the Mozambique port.

The port of Beira is built within a river and has ongoing silting challenges requiring regular dredging.

It was one of these sandbanks that ‘saved’ the Macuti from sinking during her serious collision with the container ship. Her skipper ran the dredger onto a sandbank to avoid losing his ship and blocking the port entrance.

Macuti shortly after her collision with the container ship MSC Chiara

Macuti is owned and operated by the Mozambique state-owned Empresa Mocambicana de Dragagens EP (Emodraga EP) and was built in 2012 at the Western Baltija Shipbuilding yard in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

The vessel has a length of 82 metres, a width of 16 metres and a deadweight of 3,900 tons.

Her hopper volume is 2,500m3 and she can dredge to a depth of 25 metres.

Macuti is powered by two MAN main engines of 1,720 kW each and a single 1,935 kW engine for pumping sand.

Macuti arrived back in Beira last Monday, 22 April 2024.

Added 28 April 2024

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UK MAIB Safety Digest issued

Examples of poor access reported by UK pilots taken from the report. Picture: UKMPA © / MAIB Crown Copyright 2024

Edited by Paul Ridgway
Africa Ports & Ships
London

In the UK the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) examines and investigates all types of marine accidents to, or on board, UK vessels worldwide, and other vessels in UK territorial waters.

Located in offices in Southampton, the MAIB is an independent branch within the Department for Transport (DfT). The head of the MAIB, the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, reports directly to the Secretary of State for Transport.

Broad base of material

On 2 April the MAIB published a new collection of cases (Volume 1 of 2024) detailing accidents involving vessels from the sectors: merchant (fourteen examples), fishing (six), and recreational (three). We learn, too, that pilot ladder safety remains in the spotlight over three pages.

In this edition, the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, Andrew Moll, acknowledges comment in prefaces on the above sectors written by Captain Hywel Pugh, Dmitrijs Skripacevs, and Mark Todd for their valuable insights on improving safety and stresses the role of precautionary thought in minimising accidents.

Pilot ladder safety

Throughout 2023, the UK Marine Pilots’ Association (UKMPA) continued its project to gather data on noncompliant, inadequate, or otherwise unsafe pilot ladders rigged on board vessels calling into UK ports.

Last year, UKMPA received a total of 314 reports of pilot ladder incidents. In 2022, the association canvassed the 105 UK Competent Harbour Authorities and found that there had been over 400 pilot ladder incidents across the UK, of which only 205 were reported directly to the MAIB.

The 53% increase in incidents reported directly to the MAIB in 2023 is an encouraging development, particularly compared to the 302 incidents recorded for 2023 by the UK Maritime Pilots’ Association.

To continue to identify trends in pilot ladder matters the MAIB, says UKMPA, needs the data received to be suitably representative of pilots’ experiences throughout the UK and relies on UK pilots and harbour authorities to report incidents regularly and accurately, with supporting photographs where possible.

Free to download

The 36-page document is available here to download.

This safety digest draws the attention of the marine community to some of the lessons arising from investigations into recent accidents and incidents. It contains information that has been determined up to the time of issue.

Desire to inform

This information is published to inform the merchant fleets, the fishing industry, the recreational craft community and the public of the general circumstances of marine accidents and to draw out the lessons to be learned.

The sole purpose of the safety digest is to prevent similar accidents happening again.

The content must be regarded as tentative and subject to alteration or correction if additional evidence becomes available. The articles do not assign fault or blame nor do they determine liability. The lessons often extend beyond the events of the incidents themselves to ensure the maximum value can be achieved.

Added 28 April 2024

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Turkish warship visits Somalia

Turkish Navy corvette TCG Kınalıada. Picture: Bestthqwallpapers.com

Guy Martin
defenceWeb

Heading to Japan to mark a centenary of bilateral relations, the Turkish Navy warship TCG Kinaliada has visited Somalia as one of the 20 countries on its route.

The vessel arrived in Mogadishu on 23 April, where it was welcomed by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. He said the visit was a “sign of the enduring fraternal relations between the two brotherly nations and a new dawn for Somalia’s maritime security.”

The TCG Kinaliada’s arrival came two months after a ten-year cooperation agreement was signed between the two nations. Few details have emerged, but it has been reported that the Framework Agreement for Defence and Economic Cooperation involves Turkey training and equipping Somali naval forces and developing their capabilities.

The agreement also reportedly gives Turkey the authority to guarantee the protection of Somalia’s 3,333 km coastline and its maritime borders. Turkey will allegedly receive 30% of revenues from Somalia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as payment for its maritime security services.

Following the ratification of the agreement, President Mohamud stated that Turkey is “the only country that has expressed its willingness to help Somalia protect its territorial waters, exploit its resources, and rehabilitate the Somali navy.”

Turkey and Somalia enjoy close ties, with Turkey establishing a military base and training college in Mogadishu – over 10,000 soldiers having graduated since its opening in 2007. A Turkish company manages Mogadishu’s airport and in 2020, the Somalian government signed a 14-year contract with a Turkish company to rebuild the largest port in the country.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey has provided more than $1 billion in aid to Somalia since 2011 for a variety of projects in the health and education sectors, municipal services, and infrastructure projects.

The TCG Kinaliada departed Turkey’s Aegean province of Izmir on 8 April and over the course of its 134-day voyage will conduct 24 port visits in 20 countries during its 27,000 nautical mile journey to Japan and back. Countries that will be visited include Japan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Somalia, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Jordan.

The TCG Kinaliada (F-514) is the fourth ship of the Ada-class anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvettes built for the Turkish Navy by the Tuzla (Istanbul) Naval Shipyard as a part of the MILGEM project. It was laid down on 8 October 2015, launched on 3 July 2017, and commissioned on 29 September 2019.

The vessel has a displacement of 2,440 tons, is 99.5 metres long, and is powered by two diesel engines and a gas turbine giving a speed of up to 29 knots (54 km/h). She has a range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h), and an endurance of 21 days with logistical support and ten days while operating autonomously. She has a crew of 93, with space for up to 106. A Sikorsky S-70 helicopter or unmanned aircraft can be carried on the aft deck.

The ship is armed with a single 76 millimetre OTO Melara gun, two ASELSAN STAMP 12.7-millimetre guns, eight Harpoon missiles, 21 Rolling Airframe Missiles and two launchers for Mark 46 torpedoes.

Written by defenceWeb and republished with permission. The original article can be found here.

Added 28 April 2024

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Port News and Shipping Advisories

Nele Maersk, delays along the US Eastern seaboard   Picture:  FleetMon

Africa Ports & Ships

USA-SA container service: Nele Maersk port swap

Maersk Line advises that a port swap will take place involving the container vessel, Nele Maersk, deployed on the USA East Coast – South Africa service.

Nele Maersk has experienced major delays out of the USA, mainly due to congestion arising as a result of the Baltimore bridge collapse.

As a result of this many vessels are calling at alternative US ports for their import cargo causing the congestion.

Nele Maersk will therefore call at Durban first and then proceed to Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

The tentative schedule is as follows which Maersk advises is subject to change basis waiting time and weather:

DUR – 9th May
PLZ – 12th May
CPT – 14th May

MSC Mattina (IMO 9315915) 412S Phase-out

With MSC Mattina being phased out of the US East Coast – South Africa service, the MSC Mattina will omit Durban and Cape Town. In addition, she will call at the Ngqura Container Terminal instead of Port Elizabeth Container Terminal.

Contingency for import cargo as follows:

Durban and Cape Town cargo will be discharged in Ngqura.
Cape Town imports will connect onto the MSC Ishyka.
Durban imports will connect onto the MSC Donata

SAECS / SRX Service Update

Vessel Santa Isabel voyage 241S/241N – Cape Town Omission

Due to operational delays in South Africa, the vessel Santa Isabel, deployed on the South Africa-Europe Container Services (SAECS/ONE SRX) on voyage 241S/241N will omit her Cape Town call.

Cape Town import cargo will be discharged in Durban and connect to the vessel Santa Cruz on voyage 241S.

Cargo originally planned for the vessel Santa Isabel on v.241N in Cape Town will be transferred to the Santa Cruz v.241N.

Santa Isabel v.241S/N:

PORT                  ETA                         ETD
Durban               06:00 6 May 2024      10:00 Fri 10 May 2024
Cape Town          OMIT                       OMIT
Rotterdam          07:00 28 May 2024    19:00 Wed 29 May 2024

South Africa to Middle East Service Enhancement Citrus Season 2024

Maersk Line advises that it will be making changes to their Protea Service in order to deliver a best-in-class service over the upcoming citrus season.

The Reunion and Port Elizabeth port calls will be removed from the rotation.

South Africa/Middle East Service new rotation becomes:

Durban – Jebel Ali – Mundra – Jawaharlal Nehru – Durban

Imports to Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) will be handled via Maersk’s weekly feeder setup from Durban to Port Elizabeth.

The new rotation will be effective from the CMA CGM Valparaiso on voyage 415S/420N scheduled to call Durban on Thursday 16 May 2024.

The adjusted setup will run on an 8 weeks proforma thus introducing one additional week buffer on the service to ensure an improved level of schedule reliability.

APM Terminals Apapa, Nigeria

As from 01:00 to 07:00 on Monday 29 April, the APM Terminal Apapa Terminal Operating System (TOS) will undergo scheduled maintenance.

During this period, gate operations and digital services including TERMView, Track & Trace and Shipping Line Dashboard will be unavailable.

Apapa customers are requested to kindly plan their transactions accordingly.

Added 28 April 2024

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UK presents hydrographic award to Nigeria

Picture: Ministry of Defence / UKHO Crown Copyright 2024

Edited by Paul Ridgway
Africa Ports & Ships
London

Senegal Navy’s newest OPV, Cayor

On 17 April the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) presented Chukwuemeka Ebenezer Okafor, Rear Admiral and former Hydrographer of the Nigerian Navy, with the 2023 Alexander Dalrymple Award for services to international hydrography.

During a ceremony led by UK National Hydrographer, Rear Admiral Angus Essenhigh, at the IMO HQ in London, Rear Admiral Okafor received the award as the 2023 recipient during a dinner gathering, also attended by the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Cyprian Heen, as well as family and friends.

The Alexander Dalrymple Award committee acknowledged Rear Admiral Okafor’s advancements and contributions to the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic Office (NNHO) during his tenure as Hydrographer of the Nigerian Navy. Under Rear Admiral Okafor’s leadership, the NNHO has become the first West African Hydrographic Office to support and operate its own hydrographic survey fleet.*

The then Commander Okafor of the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic Office with John Smart, Senior Geomatics Analyst-Teledyne CARIS, Photo Teledyne CARIS

The accomplishments of Rear Admiral Okafor for the NNHO have heightened the strategic importance of hydrography in Nigeria. This foundation will deliver profound economic and social advantages, not only nationally but also throughout the region, positioning Nigeria as an example for other West African countries to emulate.

Commenting on the award, Rear Admiral Angus Essenhigh, UK National Hydrographer, UKHO, said: “It is with great pleasure we present this award to Rear Admiral Okafor, for his lasting contributions to hydrography. We recognise his enduring influence on the Nigerian Navy through his leadership as Nigeria’s National Hydrographer for 32 years. He becomes the latest recipient in a long and illustrious list of some of the world’s most influential hydrographers.”

Rear Admiral Chukwuemeka Ebenezer Okafor, Former National Hydrographer of the Nigerian Navy added: “I’m honoured to accept this award from the UK Hydrographic Office. The UKHO’s efforts are paramount to ensuring the safety of maritime operations and preserving the dynamic marine ecosystems upon which we depend.

“With 32 years of service in the Nigerian Navy, I have always believed passionately in Nigeria’s commitment to hydrography and charting. I have seen first-hand how powerful hydrographic information can be if it is placed in the right hands. I am convinced that sustainability of the current level of hydrographic development in Nigeria will unlock her Blue Economy potential for the common good of all its citizens.”

NNS Lana, the first of two hydrographic survey vessels built in France for the Nigerian Navy. Picture: OCEA

 

Nigeria’s electronic charts

Alongside improved data collection capability, led by Rear Admiral Okafor, the NNHO has also started to produce Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) and paper chart coverage of Nigerian waters, meeting stringent international standards to earn recognition as an INT chart producer – a globally recognised mark of competency. This started by producing charts in the Lagos Harbour Area and is now expanding to other parts of Nigerian waters.

With this impressive charting capability and the recent issue of two nautical publications, Nigeria is well placed to provide accurate and up-to-date hydrographic services across its waters. Notably, this encompasses a significant project to survey and chart the Lower River Niger from Lokoja to Burutu.

The Alexander Dalrymple Award, named in honour of the inaugural Hydrographer of the British Admiralty, has been presented annually by UKHO since 2006.

* See related stories here
also here  OCEA awarded tender for second Nigerian hydrographic survey vessel
and here….  Nigerian hydrographic survey vessel launched in France

Added 27 April 2024

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Nigerian Navy’s second Dearsan OSV launched

Second of the Nigerian Navy Dearsan OSVs. Picture: Dearsan

Guy Martin
defenceWeb

Turkish shipyard Dearsan has launched the second and final 76 metre offshore patrol vessel (OPV) for the Nigerian Navy (NN), six months after the first.

The launch on 19 April at Dearsan’s shipyard in Turkey was described by the shipbuilder as “a major step forward in enhancing Nigeria’s maritime defence and security capabilities.” The launch ceremony was attended by Nigeria’s First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu; Minister of State for Defence Bello Muhammed Matawalle; President of Secretariat of Defence Industries of Turkey, Haluk Görgün; Turkey’s Deputy Minister of National Defence Şuay Alpay; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.

Speaking at the event, Ogalla said, “Dearsan Shipyard is constructing two OPVs for the NN and the first OPV was launched here on 26 October 2023. I am particularly pleased that the milestones on the vessel construction have been met and I hereby appreciate the management of Dearsan Shipyard for their efforts so far.”

The Nigerian Navy said construction of the vessel will boost its fleet renewal efforts for fulfilment of her constitutional mandate and ensure maximum presence at sea to curb illicit acts such as oil theft, piracy, sea robbery, illegal fishery as well as smuggling of small arms and light weapons among other crimes in the vast 84 000 square nautical miles of Nigeria’s maritime environment.

“It will also facilitate harnessing the enormous potentials within Nigeria’s maritime domain in support of the Federal Government’s Blue Economy initiatives.”

According to Dearsan, the OPV 76 vessels have been tailored to meet the specific requirements of the Nigerian Navy. Each vessel has a length of 76.8 metres, a beam of 11 metres, and a draft of 2.9 metres. The crew consists of 47 sailors, and the steel-hulled vessels displace 1 100 tons. The aft deck can accommodate a medium-size helicopter. Two RHIBS will be carried for interdiction and other tasks.

The launching ceremony for Nigerian Navy’s second Dearsan OSV. Picture: Dearsan

Armament includes a Marlin 40 (40 mm) main gun, Aselsan 30 mm Muhafiz remote controlled stabilized naval gun and 12.7 mm STAMP remotely controlled weapon station (RCWS).

ombat equipment will include an Aselsan MAR-D naval search radar and Aselsan DenizGozu-AHTAPOT (Sea Eye-Octopus) electro-optical/infrared system. Havelsan will supply its Advent combat management system and its GVDS ship data distribution system while Yaltes will supply operator consoles.

Four MAN 18VP185 diesel engines in a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) configuration will give a maximum speed of 28 knots and a range of 2,500 nautical miles/endurance of 16 days. Crew complement is 47.

Nigeria’s contract for the two OPV 76 vessels was first announced in November 2021. At the time, the Nigerian Navy said Dearsan was selected based on its track record and cost-effective pricing and the acquisition is part of the Nigerian Navy’s fleet renewal effort in line with its 2021-2030 Strategic Plan.

After securing the offshore patrol vessel contract, Dearsan Shipyard in June 2023 signed an agreement with the Nigerian Navy for the mid-life upgrade of its flagship, the NNS Aradu, and the supply of a 57 metre long Tuzla-class patrol vessel.

The refurbishment and project for the NNS Aradu, originally built by German shipyard Blohm & Voss in 1982 and commissioned in 1985, will be conducted at Dearsan Shipyard’s facility in Tuzla. The NNS Aradu is a Meko 360 class vessel with a length of 125 metres and displacement of 3,500 tons.

Sources indicate that the Tuzla class vessel was initially intended for Libya; however, due to unforeseen complications, the delivery could not be completed. Once the delivery is completed, the Nigerian Navy will become the fourth to operate Tuzla-class vessels, following the Turkish Naval Forces, Turkmenistan Navy, and Turkmenistan Coast Guard Command.

Written by defenceWeb and republished with permission. The original article can be found here.

Added 25 April 2024

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Engineers open 10.6-metre deep channel under Baltimore’s collapsed bridge

Giant grab brought into Baltimore to lift sections of the collapsed bridge by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Picture USACE

Africa Ports & Ships

Commencing Thursday, 25 April, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) plan to open a fourth and deeper channel beneath the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge at the port of Baltimore.

The channel will have a depth of 35 ft (10.66 metres), considerably improving on the existing three channels already opened and another significant step toward the full reopening of the Baltimore port.

According to reports this will allow five of the seven cargo ships trapped within the confines of Baltimore harbour, to make their departure. It will also enable suitable ships to enter port to carry out normal cargo working activity.

Chesapeake 1000 heavylift floating crane with a section of the collapsed bridge. Picture: USACE

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapasco River on the early morning of 26 March after a neoPanamax 10,000-TEU container ship, Dali (IMO 9697428) collided with one of the main piers supporting the huge steel bridge.

Six road workers engaged with repairing potholes on the bridge died as a result of the bridge collapsing in spectacular fashion.

It appeared that the 300-metre long Dali, on charter to Maersk Line, lost power as the vessel approached to cross under the bridge, veering slightly off course and colliding with the bridge.

The Dali remains under the collapsed sections of the bridge although some of the containers on board, including those with hazardous cargo, have been removed by the USACE.

Baltimore is normally a regular port of call to container ships operating between South Africa and the east coast USA. Ships have diverted and are discharging and loading cargo at other nearby US ports.

Baltimore’s city council and mayor have taken legal steps aimed at holding the container ship’s owner and manager fully responsible for the damage caused by the collision. This was after the owner and manager petitioned the US court to have their liability capped, quoting an US 1851 maritime law.

The latter will be decided by a Maryland Federal court.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Patapsco River at Baltimore, prior to the collision. Picture: USACE
Added 25 April 2024

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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

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

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

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

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CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES


QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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

Naval News

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

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Total cargo handled by tonnes during March 2024, including containers by weight

PORT March 2023 million tonnes
Richards Bay 6.060
Durban 6.477
Saldanha Bay 6.027
Cape Town 1.379
Port Elizabeth 1.313
Ngqura 1.348
Mossel Bay 0.121
East London 0.173
Total all ports during February 2023 22.991 million tonnes

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