Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 1 June 2024

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

Newsweek commencing 26 May 2024.  Click on headline to go direct to story : use the BACK key to return.  

FIRST VIEW:   Lily Glory

Masthead:  PORT OF CAPE TOWN

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 FIRST VIEW:   Lily Glory

Lily Glory.   Durban.  30 April 2024.   Picture by  Keith Betts

In this picture it’s the 30th April this year and the bulk carrier Lily Glory (IMO 9942201) is heading along the entrance channel and into the Port of Durban.  Sailing under the flag of Panama, the bulker was arriving in Durban from East Africa and was en route to Saldanha Bay.

Lily Glory, which was built in 2023, has an overall length of 190 metres and width of 32m and a deadweight of 58,084 tonnes.

Her nominal ownership rests in the name of Leeward Navigation SA, care of the ship manager Tokai Shipping Co in Tokyo, Japan.  Anglo-Eastern Ship Management takes care of the vessel’s ISM affairs.

Having completed cargo working at Saldanha Bay, Lily Glory is on her way again with Singapore listed as the destination and an arrival date shown as 3 June 2024.   

Picture is by Keith Betts

Africa Ports & Ships

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WHARF TALK: Emirati super yacht support vessels – M2 & ALESUND

The Emirati Super Yacht flotilla support vessel Alesund W312. Picture courtesy Shipspotting

Pictures by ‘Dockrat’
and as indicated
Story by Jay Gates

In the best of times there are some vessels that are so specialised that the chances of the casual maritime observer getting to spot one in a South African port are, generally, slim to zero. The reason is that the specialization that I refer to is so rare, that they number so few, probably less than the number of digits that the casual maritime observer has on their hands.

Ironically, it is thanks to the idiocy of the Houthis that they have turned up in Cape Town, although most folk would have been none the wiser watching their arrival, as they don’t tend to give away many clues as to what they actually represent. It also doesn’t help that the use of AIS appears to have been temporarily ditched, presumably on security grounds.

Readers of Africa Ports & Ships will have now become aware that the Super Yachts of the Abu Dhabi Royal Yacht flotilla are making their way around the Cape, and heading for the traditional summer season of cruising, partying, and holding receptions at the ‘in’ places, and regular haunts of the rich and famous in the Mediterranean Sea.

Such a flotilla, in some ways, is no different from a Naval Squadron operating far from home, in that they take with them at least one auxiliary support vessel capable of providing much of what they need when away from their home base. The Royal Yacht flotillas of many of the Gulf States possess such auxiliaries. Better known as Super Yacht Support Vessels, and the Abu Dhabi flotilla operate at least two of them, both of whom graced Cape Town recently.

Super yacht support vessel M2, Cape Town 17 May 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

With no AIS to monitor their movement, the only assumption is that they shadowed their two charges, ‘Blue’ and ‘A+’, arriving off Cape Town with them on 15th May. First to be spotted, on 17th May, was the Super Yacht Support Vessel ‘M2’ (IMO 9245354) which had entered Cape Town harbour, but unlike the Super Yachts before her, she had proceeded into the Duncan Dock, going alongside the Landing Wall. First thoughts were that she was just another divert in for bunkers, stores, provisions, and possible maintenance support.

Built in 2002 by Santiernul Naval Severnav shipyard at Severin in Rumania, ‘M2’ was the largest vessel ever launched on the Danube River. She was originally built as the passenger cargo vessel ‘Aranui 3, designed for exotic two week voyages from Tahiti in the Society Islands, and linking the tropical paradises of the Marquesas Islands, and the Tuamotu Archipelago, all of them located across the vast oceanic expanse of French Polynesia.

Super yacht support vessel M2, Cape Town 17 May 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

 

The purpose of ‘Aranui 3’ was mainly to serve the cargo needs of these isolated islands, transfer residents between the islands, and to take luxury passengers on the voyage of a lifetime through the lesser known regions of the South Pacific Ocean. It would be a voyage, which evokes memories of the travels of the great novelist of ‘Treasure Island’, Robert Louis Stevenson, in his book of his travels in this area, published in 1896 and titled ‘In the South Seas’.

At 130 metres in length, ‘M2’ has a deadweight tonnage of 4,526 tons. She is powered by a single MaK 8M32C eight cylinder, two stroke, main engine producing 5,222 bhp (3,840 kW), driving a controllable pitch propeller for a service speed of 15 knots. Her auxiliary machinery includes two Caterpillar 3412 DITA generators providing 500 kW each, and one Caterpillar 3408 DITA generator providing 320 kW. She has a single Caterpillar 3406 DITA emergency generator providing 216 kW.

For added manoeuvrability she has a bow Schottel STT 170 TLK transverse thruster. As built she had four cargo holds, with a cargo carrying capacity of 2,500 tons, and served by two Liebherr CBW cranes, one with a lifting capacity of 25 tons, and the other with a lifting capacity of 35 tons. She has eight decks, and originally had accommodation for 208 passengers in a mixture of 100 cabins, some with balconies, and including one 20 bed dormitory. She operated with a crew of 27, and a Hotel staff of 25.

Super yacht support vessel M2, Cape Town 17 May 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

In 2016 she was replaced by the much larger ‘Aranui 5’, and put up for sale. There was to be no ‘Aranui 4’ as the vessel was owned by Chinese interests, and the number 4 is unlucky in Chinese society. She was purchased in 2016 by her current nominal owner, M2 Vessel Ltd., of Abu Dhabi, and is operated and managed by Al Seer Marine Supplies Ltd., of Abu Dhabi.

Her current owners sent her to Singapore where the Sembawang Shipyard converted her into a Super Yacht Support Vessel for the Abu Dhabi Royal Yacht fleet. Her four cargo holds were converted into garages with a storage area of 6,500 m3, and which can hold additional tenders, high performance speedboats, water toys, and spares to look after the fleet. A bow helideck was fitted, capable of taking a Agusta AW139 helicopters of the Abu Dhabi Royal Flight.

The second Super Yacht Support Vessel that arrived from Abu Dhabi was ‘Alesund’ (IMO 9139763), and she was permitted to enter Cape Town harbour, and proceed into the V&A Waterfront, together with ‘Blue’ and ‘A+’, and she went alongside No.7 Quay, adjacent to No.2 Jetty, where both of the Super Yachts were berthed.

Super yacht support vessel M2, Cape Town 19 May 2024. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 1996 by Myklebust Mekaniske Verkstad Verft AS at Gurskebotn in Norway, ‘Alesund’ was originally launched as the Norwegian Coast Guard (Kystvakt) vessel ‘Ålesund W312’ as a public-private initiative, and on a 20 year charter to the Coast Guard to provide EEZ patrols, Fisheries Inspections, and Search and Rescue operations in the Far Arctic North of Norwegian waters, north of 65° North.

With a length of 63 metres, and a gross registered tonnage of 1,357 tons, ‘Alesund’ is powered by a single Wärtsilä WX8V28B eight cylinder, two stroke, main engine producing 3,600 bhp (2,700 kW), and driving a controllable pitch propeller for an intervention speed of 18 knots. She had an impressive endurance of 20,600 nautical miles at 13 knots.

Emirati super yachts A+ and Blue in the V&A Waterfront harbour, with a glimpse of support vessel Alesund (blue hull). 19 May 2024 Picture: Frank Atherley

Her auxiliary machinery includes two Volvo TAMD 163A generators providing 380 kW each. For added manoeuvrability she has a single bow Ulstein 90TV transverse thruster providing 300 kW, and a single stern Ulstein 90TV transverse thruster providing 300 kW. For her emergency towing requirements she has a modest bollard pull of 37 tons.

As a Norwegian Coast Guard vessel, she was originally armed with a Bofors L70 40mm cannon, mounted on her bow, plus a variety of deck mounted Colt 12.7mm machine guns. She operated with a crew of 23. To identify her as a Fisheries Inspection vessel, she flew the international yellow and blue quartered pennant, which was also painted on the side of her accommodation block.

This Fisheries Inspection flag was also occasionally flown from R.S. Africana, back in the 1980s, when she conducted research voyages under the auspices of the International Commission for the South East Atlantic Fisheries (ICSEAF), who monitored Namibian waters prior to Namibian independence, and when Namibian waters were filled with huge fleets of large Russian, and other Soviet client state trawlers, with all of whom hoovering the Namibian waters of fish, and sending them back to Europe by their accompanying freezer fish carriers.

Super yacht support vessel Alesund, Cape Town 19 May 2024. Picture by ‘ Dockrat’

When the 20 year charter for ‘Ålesund’ expired in 2016, she was put up for sale, and purchased by her current nominal owner ‘Project NV Vessel Ltd., of Abu Dhabi, and she is both operated and managed by Al Seer Marine Supplies Ltd., of Abu Dhabi, just as ‘M2’ is. Her new owners removed the Norwegian ‘AA’ character of ‘Å’ in her name, and changed it to a simple ‘A’, and also changed her Navy Grey all over colour, to a more modern two-tone blue colour, and converted her after working deck into one carrying Water Toys and Support Tenders.

An indicator of how the Houthi terrorist activity in the Southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden has affected vessels such as ‘Alesund’, her movements for the 2023 Mediterranean social season showed her moving north through the Suez Canal on 15th June 2023, and returning south through the Suez Canal on 23rd September 2023,and bound back to Abu Dhabi.

Back in Cape Town on 19th May, at 16:00 in the afternoon, as the Super Yacht ‘Blue’ sailed from the V&A Waterfront, indicating Las Palmas as her next stop, she was joined by ‘Alesund’ who followed her out, shortly followed by ‘M2’, sailing out of the Duncan Dock. Again, both Support Vessels were not displaying AIS information, but it is expected that a bunker stop at Las Palmas is the likely next stop, en route to providing the necessary support functions to the Emirati Royal Yachts in the upcoming 2024 Mediterranean social season. Unless the Houthis have a change of heart, and a change of mind, it is highly likely that they may well all be back later this year.

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Terminal Operator Agreement (TOA) signed for Durban Port liquid bulk facility

Mnambithi Terminals Executive Director, Sibusiso Mazibuko, Transnet Group Chief Executive, Michelle Phillips, Mnambithi Group Chairperson, Vusi Mazibuko, and TNPA Acting Chief Executive, Phyllis Difeto.

Africa Ports & Ships

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) last week (23 May) signed a Terminal Operator Agreement (TOA) with Mnambithi Terminals for the development of a liquid bulk facility at the port’s Maydon Wharf precinct.

The project is designed to improve operational efficiencies at the Maydon Precinct as Transnet pursues its business-wide Recovery Plan including the increase of cargo volumes.

The signing ceremony follows the conclusion of a section 79 directive issued by the Minister of Transport for TNPA to grant Mnambithi Terminals a terminal operator agreement for the handling of liquid bulk at Maydon Wharf 6, for a period of 20 years.

According to TNPA, this demonstrates the effectiveness of the National Ports Act of 2005 section 79 in promoting the national, strategic and economic interests of the country.

Black-owned subsidiary of Mnambithi Group

The agreement with Mnambithi Terminals, a 100% black-owned subsidiary of Mnambithi Group, is aimed at ensuring the facilitation of trade through the import and export of high-flash liquid bulk cargo at the port. TNPA says this underpins its quest for transformation at the Port of Durban.

The new terminal will feature direct rail and road loading and an on-site truck staging area with automated loading systems to ensure maximum operational efficiencies whilst alleviating road congestion in the Maydon Wharf precinct.

With an investment value of R1.3 billion, the liquid bulk facility is also set to create over 50 to 100 direct and just over 400 indirect job opportunities.

Transnet Group Chief Executive, Michelle Phillips, said TNPA is deliberate about enabling transformation in the industry and breaking barriers of entry by ensuring inclusion and access for all.

“We are, therefore, delighted to welcome Mnambithi Terminals, and hope that this strategic relationship will promote the national, strategic, and economic interests of the country as mandated by Section 79 of the National Ports Act of 2005,” she said.

The project is in two phases, with the initial phase entailing the demolition of the existing structure including foundations, installation of tanks, associated infrastructure, and road loading gantry.

Phase One includes the bulk transfer of pipelines connecting Mnambithi Terminals to the relevant berths to receive liquid cargo.

The second phase will entail the installation of remaining tanks and associated infrastructure.

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Red Sea: IMO condemns illegal and unjustifiable attacks

HMS Diamond shot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen on 17 April. The ship’s company of the Royal Navy warship used her Sea Viper missile system to shoot down the missile, which was targeting a merchant vessel, in the Gulf of Aden.
  Diamond is currently deployed in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden to deter Houthi attacks, ensure freedom of navigation, and make international waters safer and more secure for merchant vessels. Picture: Leading Photographer Chris Sellars. UK MOD © Crown Copyright 2024

Edited by Paul Ridgway
Africa Ports & Ships
London

Member States of the IMO have called for an immediate end to ongoing attacks on ships and seafarers transiting through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

In a resolution adopted at HQ in London, IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee condemned the attacks as ‘illegal and unjustifiable’, posing a direct threat to the freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical waterways, while causing major disruptions to regional and global trade.

Member States’ first resolution

It is the first resolution to be adopted by IMO Member States on this issue since the Houthis seized mv Galaxy Leader in November 2023. Since then, around fifty dangerous and destabilising maritime attacks have been carried out, costing the lives of several seafarers while the twenty-five crew members of Galaxy Leader remain hostage. The Committee called for their immediate and unconditional release.

The IMO Resolution stated: ‘The Houthis’ reckless actions are putting innocent lives at risk, disrupting the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid to those who need it most, increasing the cost of this humanitarian assistance, and destabilising the region.’

Influence sought

The Committee called for peaceful dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the crisis. In particular, it urged any party that may have influence with the Houthis to use that influence to seek an end to the attacks. It further emphasised that all 176 IMO Member States are obligated to prevent the direct or indirect supply of arms and related materiel to the Houthis, under the targeted UN arms embargo.

Echoing the resolution, IMO Secretary-General Mr. Arsenio Dominguez said: “IMO Member States are unequivocal in their condemnation of these reckless attacks. The maritime industry sustains the supply chains that are the lifeline of nations and populations around the world – innocent seafarers and commercial ships trading essential supplies should be free to navigate, unhindered by geopolitical tensions.

“I call on all governments and relevant organisations to provide maximum assistance to seafarers affected, and to spare no effort in finding a resolution to this crisis.”

Continued monitoring by IMO

IMO will continue to monitor the situation and engage stakeholders, in collaboration with Member States and partners from international industry bodies.

The resolution, adopted on 23 May, encouraged ship operators and vessels to carefully assess the nature and unpredictability of recent events, as well as the potential of continued attacks in the area, when considering transit plans.

The Maritime Safety Committee met for its 108th session from 15 to 24 May.

IMO’s MSC 108 meeting summary will be available shortly.

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In Conversation: The world is rushing to Africa to mine critical minerals like lithium – how the continent should deal with the demand

Africa Ports & Ships

James Boafo, Murdoch University; Eric Stemn, University of Mines and Technology; Jacob Obodai, Edge Hill University, and Philip Nti Nkrumah, The University of Queensland

Global demand for critical minerals, particularly lithium, is growing rapidly to meet clean energy and de-carbonisation objectives.

Africa hosts substantial resources of critical minerals. As a result, foreign mining companies are rushing to invest in exploration and acquire mining licences.

According to the 2023 Critical Minerals Market Review by the International Energy Agency, demand for lithium, for example, tripled from 2017 to 2022. Similarly, the critical minerals market doubled in five years, reaching US$320 billion in 2022. The demand for these metals is projected to increase sharply, more than doubling by 2030 and quadrupling by 2050. Annual revenues are projected to reach US$400 billion.

In our recent research, we analysed African countries that produce minerals that the rest of the world has deemed “critical”. We focused on lithium projects in Namibia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ghana. We discovered these countries do not yet have robust strategies for the critical minerals sector. Instead they are simply sucked into the global rush for these minerals.

We recommend that the African Union should expedite the development of an African critical minerals strategy that will guide member countries in negotiating mining contracts and agreements. The strategy should draw from leading mining practices around the world. We also recommend that countries should revise their mining policies and regulations to reflect the opportunities and challenges posed by the increasing global demand for critical minerals.

Otherwise, African countries that are rich in critical minerals will not benefit from the current boom in demand.

What are critical minerals?

There is no universal consensus on what critical minerals are. Various regions and institutions have different lists of critical minerals, and the contents of these lists keep changing. For instance, Australia has classified 47 minerals as critical. The European Union has identified a list of 34 critical raw materials that are important to the EU economy and face a risk of disruption. The US critical minerals list contains 50 elements, 45 of which are also considered strategic minerals.

Each country or region has reasons why these minerals are classified as critical. For most western countries, minerals are critical if they

    • are essential for a low carbon economy or for national security
    • have no substitutes
    • are vulnerable to supply chain disruption.

Lithium projects in Africa

At the time of our research there were 18 lithium projects at various stages, from early-stage exploration to production, across Africa. We focused on those in Namibia, Zimbabwe, the DRC and Ghana.

Our research revealed that conversations on Africa’s critical minerals had largely been shaped by geostrategic and economic opportunities arising from demand from western countries and China. Less attention was paid to the supply chains African countries should secure for current and future industrial applications.

We realised that these countries contributed little to global carbon emissions and their economies were not driven by industrialisation. The current inadequate infrastructure and policies to deal with the repercussions of lithium mining, for example, underscored the lack of a clear agenda. Lithium mining has impacts on communities, biodiversity, water sources and energy usage.

We also discovered that with over 30% of the world’s critical minerals deposits, African countries could become major global suppliers. They could also trade among themselves to avoid potential supply chain disruption or even monopoly by countries outside Africa.

Our research also highlights that emerging lithium mining in Zimbabwe, the DRC and Namibia is reinforcing and breeding new forms of corruption and illegality in the resources sector. Ghana is still in the early stage of setting up its lithium sector.

What is the way forward?

Africa needs stronger resources governance: regulations, accountability and transparency. Mining policies and regulations must reflect the opportunities and challenges of meeting global demand for critical minerals. Mining companies operating in African countries should adhere to leading mining practices and national regulations to minimise the environmental and social impacts of their operations.

The claim that it is urgent to acquire critical minerals must not be an excuse for African governments and foreign mining companies to bypass mining and environmental regulations. Rather, the urgency claims should give African governments greater power to make mining deals that will benefit people and the environment.

For these countries to use the economic opportunities arising, there must be incentives for local companies to mine and process lithium before exporting it. Processing of lithium in the country of origin would increase local returns, create jobs, and drive the growth of other sectors of the economy.

There is a need for coordinated efforts in Africa to build local capacity along the mining chain, from exploration to the market. There’s an opportunity also to build industries to support the global de-carbonisation agenda. An example would be manufacturing electronic vehicle batteries. In this way, Africa would not only be a source of raw materials, but a competitive source of low carbon products.

These are some key lessons for African countries.The Conversation

James Boafo, Lecturer in Sustainable Development, Murdoch University; Eric Stemn, Lecturer, Safety and Engineering, University of Mines and Technology; Jacob Obodai, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Edge Hill University, and Philip Nti Nkrumah, Researcher, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland

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

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Cargo ship Basilisk and crew liberated from pirates by EUNAVFOR naval ship off Somalia

The general cargo ship Basilisk and her naval escort from Operation Atalanta. Picture: EUNAVFOR

Africa Ports & Ships

EUNAVFOR reports that one of its naval ships operating with Operation ATALANTA has intercepted the cargo ship Basilisk (IMO 9539377) which had earlier been boarded by pirates while sailing approximately 380 nautical miles east of Mogadishu, Somalia.

The 17,809-dwt Basilisk, which is owned and operated by a German company, was heading north towards the port of Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when pirates approached in two small skiffs and were able to board and capture the ship and its 17 crew.

This took place on Thursday 23 May 2024.

That same evening, an Atalanta frigate on patrol approached the general cargo ship and the ATALANTA forces went on board using the Fast-Rope technique from the ship’s helicopter. The ship was secured by the naval forces and the crew reported to be safe.

According to the EUNAVFOR report of the incident, one of the ship’s crew received an was injured during the boarding of the vessel by the pirates. He is reported in a stable condition and has received medical attention by the naval vessel’s medical team.

The remaining crew are all safe and without injury.

Picture: EUNAVFOR

The Liberian-flagged Basilisk is owned by MV Basilisk AG care of the ISM and ship manager, Minmarine MPP of Hamburg, Germany.

Basilisk was briefly named Safmarine Sudd during 2012 and 2013.

She is the latest merchant ship to have been captured by pirates believed to be from certain areas of Somalia. Other ships to have been boarded were the Abdullah which was sailing from Richards Bay with a full cargo, and the Ruen. Several dhows or fishing vessels have also come under attack and been captured.

In view of this resurgence in piracy off the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden, EUNAVFOR has strongly recommended merchant and other vulnerable vessels to register in the Maritime Security Centre- Horn of Africa’s Voluntary Registration Scheme, in order to provide the most effective monitoring and response by ATALANTA forces and their partners in countering maritime security threats.

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IMO and the London Protocol: Carbon capture and storage – Madagascar workshop

Picture: www.imo.org IMO ©.

Edited by Paul Ridgway
Africa Ports & Ships
London

Protecting the oceans from the dumping of hazardous wastes at sea through full implementation of the London Protocol (LP), including carbon capture and storage in the sub-seabed, was the subject of a national workshop in Antananarivo, Madagascar from 21 to 23 May.

This was reported by the excellent IMO new service towards the end of the week just gone.

The LP prohibits all dumping at sea, other than when explicitly permitted under the terms of the treaty, and contains measures for climate change mitigation.

Carbon capture and storage

These measures include carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the sub-seabed, which can help reduce the impacts of increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Madagascar, an island developing State (SIDS), acceded to the LP in July 2017.

Broad representation

During the workshop, twenty-five senior Malagasy officials from maritime and environmental authorities, the ports sector and NGOs covered all legal, technical and administrative matters to support implementation of the LP, with a focus on the climate change aspects of the treaty.

Participants were introduced to the LP in the context of a legal framework for marine pollution management and identified next steps for future coordination and cooperation to ensure effective implementation.

Awareness was also raised on the management of port environments to ensure the sustainability of development and ongoing operations through protection of the environment, including preventing pollution and contamination.

ROK funding

The workshop was hosted by the Agence Portuaire Maritime et Fluviale (APMF) and funded by the Republic of Korea through the Organization’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).

It comes as part of IMO’s continuous efforts to support UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (life below water), with a view to creating awareness and dialogue around specific ocean governance issues.

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Transnet Port Terminals focusing on increased volumes

Container volumes up by 10% in first six weeks of financial year. Picture: Transnet

Africa Ports & Ships

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) says credit must go to the dedication and commitment of its employees for an increase in volumes at the country’s port terminals.

TPT was pointing to the first six weeks of the current 2024/25 financial year that commenced on 1 April.

During this period container volumes were up 10%, while bulk and breakbulk volumes increased by 5% and 17%, respectively.

A slight dampener came from automotive volumes which were 3% below, owing, says TPT, to high stock levels that have forced importers to revise their imports orders due to low car sales as a result of slow economic growth.

Cargo handling equipment & key performance indicators

“We are doing our best to move more volumes despite our shortfalls on equipment and ultimately, key performance indicators,” says TPT Chief Executive, Jabu Mdaki.

He added that when comparing the previous financial year to the current year, the performance was showing signs of recovery.

Volume improvements however, remain largely the result of an improvement with South Africa’s economy, of which six weeks is a minute reflection.

The terminals remain reliant on what the country is importing and exporting, then it is their performance with those volumes that counts.

Capital investment

TPT has embarked on an equipment acquisition drive with capital investment estimated R3.9 billion in the current financial year.

There is also emphasis on the availability and reliability of the existing fleet that continued through the first phase. A 24-hour maintenance regime is now in place to secure the availability and reliability of existing equipment. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are present across all terminals providing technical support and supplying critical spares.

Customer support

TPT is also the recipient of invaluable support from its customers, thus enabling continued promotion of growth in the South Africa imports and exports.

This customer support includes supply of equipment for TPT use, identifying equipment available globally for purchase, urgent movement of equipment across the water, and terminal partnership programmes which promote world class planning and execution.

“While weather continues to disrupt operations, contingency plans are sufficient and integrated planning and collaboration engagements with customers and industry are ongoing,” says Mdaki.

Meanwhile, TPT’s container sector has begun its citrus season with over 200 additional cargo coordinators and port workers as well as additional capacity across participating terminals.

Mdaki added that in the current financial year, TPT will maintain good communication with depots and cold stores to achieve maximum flexibility regarding the opening stacks.

“It is crucial for the industry to make use of the entire 24-hour operational window at terminals to ensure a successful season,” he said.

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Unpacking risk resilience ahead of the elections

City Logistics – a logistics company looking at the latent risks during the elections

Africa Ports & Ships

Last week, the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied SA (ATDF-SA) threatened a national shutdown. The shutdown was suspended, but with the elections next week, there is still the risk that businesses and the logistics of goods will be disrupted.

The business environment in South Africa is already fraught with risks. Now that the elections are looming, experts in the logistics industry are urging companies to put measures in place to ensure that they can mitigate any risk and uncertainty that may ensue.

The last four years have been categorised by risk on the part of South African business. First came COVID-19. Then, the July 2021 riots, which saw widespread civil unrest in the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, marked by rampant looting and violence. Businesses were forced to shut down, and employees stayed home for safety reasons. The economic damage was estimated at R50 billion by the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa.

Then, in 2022, KwaZulu-Natal experienced severe flooding. This was the province’s most devastating natural disaster on record, resulting in significant loss of life, extensive damage to homes and infrastructure, and a staggering economic impact. Estimated losses totalled R36 billion.

The impact on the logistics sector was immense. For one such company, City Logistics, a leading privately-owned logistics companies, it resulted in a 31% decrease in volumes as a result of the riots and a 37% decrease in volumes due to the floods.

Yet, a month after the riots, City Logistics managed to normalise their operation and despite damage to road infrastructure, the month following the floods, the company operated effectively. So how was this achieved?

Ryan Gaines, City Logistics

According to Ryan Gaines, CEO of City Logistics, this was possible due to preparation.

“When facing risks like political turmoil, natural disasters, and social unrest, businesses must ready themselves for unexpected challenges,” Gaines said.

“Preparation is key to reducing both financial losses and personal impacts. This is something that the logistics industry, a critical backbone supporting key sectors, has learnt over the years”.

What can companies learn from the logistics industry? The first thing is that, in order to mitigate risks, companies should compile a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), which establishes protocols and creates prevention and recovery systems for unforeseen circumstances.

Each scenario may differ, but the BCP works on building protocols and structure to ensure businesses are prepared for all types of unrest and uncertainty.

Just this week, the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied SA (ATDF-SA) threatened a national shutdown for Monday, 20 May, urging all truckers to “down tools” until the government addresses its demands to remove foreigners from the trucking industry.

Although the shutdown has since been suspended, Gaines advises both logistics businesses and passenger drivers to assess affected routes and areas previously impacted by similar events. They should check with local authorities for any incidents before sending trucks or driving into these areas.

During times of unrest or uncertainty, businesses also need to prioritise open and clear communication across the company. If employees can’t reach work safely – due to reasons like riots, floods, or COVID-19 – they should be able to work from home with full access to company software and tools.

Finally, he says, during times of increased risk, companies should ensure that staff members have emergency contact numbers and access to additional security for their protection.

Some further reading for reference:

Economic impact of the recent unrest: National Treasury and PBO briefing

The 2022 Durban floods were the most catastrophic yet recorded in KwaZulu-Natal

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SA Navy’s new hydrographic survey vessel delayed again

The uncompleted Project Hotel hydrographic survey vessel out in the yard of Sandock Austral. Picture by Trevor Jones

Dean Wingrin
defenceWeb

The South African Navy (SA Navy) will have to wait a while longer to receive its much-anticipated new hydrographic survey vessel that is being acquired under Project Hotel due to another, unexplained, delay.

Signed in December 2017 with Durban-based Sandock Austral Shipyards (SA Shipyards, previously known as Southern African Shipyards), the project aimed to replace the aging SAS Protea, which has served for 52 years. However, unforeseen circumstances have caused numerous setbacks and delays.

The global Covid-19 pandemic severely disrupted global supply chains, while local social distancing measures hampered production efficiency. Unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal during 2021 and subsequent floods in 2022 further exacerbated delays, pushing the initial delivery date from September 2022 to January 2024.

As of May 2024, the construction of the hydrographic survey vessel, now named SAS Nelson Mandela (pennant number A187), is still nearing completion.

Armscor, the procurement agency, acknowledged the delay and told defenceWeb that the delivery date of the contract had to be reconsidered due to various challenges affecting the performance of the contract.

“Armscor and the contractor are in the process of amending the contract, which will determine the new delivery date,” Armscor confirmed.

Project Hotel encompasses more than just the main vessel. The programme also includes acquiring smaller survey motorboats, a sea boat and crucial upgrades to the SAN’s hydrographic office infrastructure.

In a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) in September last year, Armscor confirmed that overall project progress was at 75% completeness. The vessel itself was only 55% complete, with SA Shipyards in the pre-outfitting phase of the Outfitting Process, busy with compartment readiness in preparation for the commencement of the work to be executed by sub-contractors.

Work still to be performed included cable trays, foundations for equipment, ducting penetrations, large/small bore piping, pinning for the insulation and preparation for the installation of the shaft line.

Survey Motor Boat (SMB) 1 has been handed over and SMB2 and SMB3 are currently placed in preservation at the Naval Dockyard, ready to be delivered with the main vessel. Sea Acceptance Trials of the Sea Boat is also complete and been placed into preservation.

The upgrade to the shore-based South African National Hydrographic Office (SANHO) is 100% complete.

Total approved funding is R2.943 billion [US$ 159.657 million] of which R2.210 billion [US$ 119.915 million] has been paid to date. Armscor was still investigating ways to intervene further to enable ease of cash flow to enable milestones to be reached to activate invoicing.

SAS Nelson Mandela, based on Canadian/Norwegian company Vard Marine’s VARD 9 105 design, will be a significant leap forward in South Africa’s ability to map its seabed and surrounding waters. The 95-metre long vessel boasts a strengthened bow for operations in the Southern Ocean, a 10,000 nautical mile range and an 18-knot top speed. The South African version includes customized features like a helicopter hangar to enhance its operational versatility.

The vessel’s advanced survey equipment includes multi and single beam echo-sounders as well as side-scan sonar and a seabed sampler to recover material from the seafloor and underlying sub-strata for detailed analytical and testing purposes.

Previously, CEO of SA Shipyards, Prasheen Maharaj, said: “Eventually the Navy will get a great product. It is the largest, most complex survey vessel currently under construction in the world, so not only will they get a great product, but they will get the most modern product and it’s something Team South Africa can be very proud of.”

The SA Navy has yet to respond to a request for comment.

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

Added 23 May 2024

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