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Ports & Ships Maritime News

September 28, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

Shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa

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The Russian-owned, Maltese flagged Ro-Ro vessel ATLANTIC ELAND (16,075-gt, built 1990) passes Wilson’s Wharf as she makes her way into the Esplanade Channel from discharging cargo at Durban's Maydon Wharf area and bound for the open sea. Going back a few ’ownerships’ this ship was well-known as LYKES INSPIRER. Picture by Terry Hutson


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Brazil’s Vale takes 51% stake in Nacala’s SDCN

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a port of Nacala scene

If anyone needed confirmation of whether Brazilian mining giant sees the need for a route to the sea for its coal production from Moatize in Mozambique, other than Beira, then the news last week that it has acquired a 51% controlling stake in Sociedade de Desenvolvimento do Corredor do Norte SA (SDCN) should remove any doubts.

Logistics firm SDCN operates the port of Nacala and the railway from the port to the Malawi border. Part of this railway remains in dilapidated condition and much of the line will require considerable refurbishment before heavy coal trains can be considered. Vale also has a controlling share in CEAR – Malawi’s Central East African Railway concession, which connects with SDCN but Vale will have to construct a new section of rail between the Malawi border and the mines at Moatize.

Vale has meanwhile bought time with an agreement to export coal along the Sena railway which was recently refurbished along its entire length between the mining town of Moatize and the junction with the main Beira – Mutare (Zimbabwe) railway at Dondo. This will enable the port of Beira to undertake initial exports of coal from the Moatize mines of up to 6 million tonnes annually.

Vale’s buying into SDCN indicates Vales’ long term path lies with the port of Nacala, a naturally deepwater port capable of handling the larger Capesize vessels with ease and which has, subject to railway reconstruction, a potential of virtually unlimited volumes. A coal terminal and new berthing/mooring facility will have to be built at the port.

In its first phase Vale expects to produce 11 million tonnes of export coal annually from Moatize, commencing from mid 2011, but the Brazilian company has already indicated a much larger production expectation of up to 26mt in future phases. The Moatize mine will ultimately become the largest coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere and will project Mozambique in among the leading coal producers and exporters.

Australia’s Riversdale Mining also has coal mining interests near Moatize but there hasn’t been much clarity as to how this production will find its way to the sea. Riversdale has explored the possibility of using barges on the Zambezi River but it appears likely that initial exports from the Australian-owned concession will begin making use of the rail connection with the Beira outlet, with lighterage used at the port.


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Mozambique reserves land and presses ahead with proposed new deepwater port between Maputo and KZN

The Mozambique government has approved a decree establishing a state-reserved area in the Techonanine region of the Matutuine district of Maputo Province south of the port and city of Maputo, where it is planning a deepwater port.

And in public advertisements placed this week the Mozambique Government began calling for a ‘Pre-Qualification Bid for a Special Territorial Planning of the Matutuine District within the Framework of the Integrated Project of the Port of Techobanine’.

The proposed deepwater port costing an estimated US$ 7 billion is earmarked for the export of coal from Botswana and other areas. The port was originally intended for nearby Ponta Dobela but ran into environmental issues which have necessitated a change of area.

According to initial reports the new site at Matutuine is preferred because it does not require extensive dredging. The object of having a port here is to handle Capesize vessels for the export of coal and other ores - the port of Maputo is not capable of handling larger bulk ships.

The proposal seeks to have port infrastructure underway or completed between 2012 and 2015. This would of necessity include rail and road infrastructure, which makes the schedule very tight and possibly unachievable within this timeframe.

In the past week CFM issued an invitation for expressions of interest by calling on consultancy companies to design a ‘Special Territorial Planning of the Matutuine District’ in which the port would be built.

On the basis of the responses received CFM will select between three and six suitably qualified candidates, which may be made up of joint ventures, although these must be detailed in the application. This process will take until 25 October 2010. Consultancy Companies interested in participating in the tender should show their interest through adetailed e-mail addressed to sancho.junior@cfm.co.mz, copied to anibal.aleluia@cfm.co.mz.

Applications must be received by noon, 8 October 2010 and should be accompanied by general information about the interested consultancy companies or joint ventures, with relevant technical, economic and financial capacities as well as its relevant experience in the field.

See our related reports New deepwater port south of Maputo back on the agenda of 12 July and also Mozambique and Botswana sign MoU on new deepwater port and railway dated 12 July 2010.

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MSC takes delivery of latest super container ship MSC EMANUELA

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MSC Daniela – first in the series of new design 14,000-TEU ships

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has taken delivery of its latest super container ship, the 13,798-TEU MSC EMANUELA, which was delivered from the South Korean Samsung shipyard.

MSC Emanuela is the 14th in an order book of 30 ships ordered in the 14,000-TEU range placed with Samsung Shipbuilding and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co (DSME). She follows another super ship, the MSC PALOMA which was also delivered from the Samsung yard recently, and will be followed shortly by MSC EVA from the same yard.

The giant ships coming from both shipyards are being built to a similar design, in which the wheelhouse and accommodation is located forward of the centre of the ship, unlike most conventional large container ships which have their accommodation and bridges aft and directly over the engine rooms. The new design, which has been used with several new ships built for German owners in addition, provides the vessels with two towers, one up front and the other over the engine room near the stern which carries the smokestack.

The builders and ship owners claim this allows increased space for loading containers, making them the world’s largest container ships. The design is for ships with a length of 366m, a beam of 51m, a draught of 15m when fully loaded and a deadweight of 165,000 tonnes. The gross tonnage is around 135,000 tons. The vessels are powered by MAN SE B&W 12K98MC-C diesel engines with an output of 98,280hp, giving them a design speed of 25,2 knots maximum, or 23.5 knots while cruising.


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CO2 control measures high on agenda at IMO environment meeting

The reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from international shipping is featuring high on the agenda for the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which is meeting this week for its 61st session between 27 September and 1 October, 2010 at the IMO Headquarters in London.

Also high on the agenda is the expected adoption of the revised Annex III of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), covering pollution from packaged goods, and consideration of issues relating to the implementation of the ballast water management and ship recycling conventions.

Measures to address GHG from ships

The MEPC is expected to consider the approval of technical and operational measures to reduce CO2 emissions from international shipping (specifically, the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP)) as mandatory measures, possibly as amendments to MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships, with the type and size of vessel to which they will apply also to be agreed.

The Committee is also to discuss further work concerning market-based measures, including the possible development of a mandatory IMO instrument.

A working group on GHG issues will be convened during the session to refine the regulatory text implementing the technical and operational measures as mandatory standards, as well as the formulas and guidelines supporting the regulatory text.

The MEPC has before it for consideration the outcome of two intersessional working groups, one of which progressed work on the contemplated technical and operational measures to enhance energy efficiency in ships' operations, while the other, consisting of a group of experts, conducted a feasibility study and impact assessment of a number of proposed market-based measures.

The Committee will also consider the issue of a reduction target and whether the international maritime sector should be subject to an explicit emission ceiling (cap) comprising the entire world fleet of merchant vessels.

Adoption of the revised MARPOL Annex III

The MEPC will consider, with a view to adoption, the revised MARPOL Annex III Regulations for the prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form. The amended text, which was approved at the last session, is aimed at bringing the Annex up to date with the mandatory International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, specifying that goods should be shipped in accordance with relevant provisions.

Implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention

The MEPC is also addressing issues relating to the implementation of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 and is expected to reiterate the need for ratification of the Convention to achieve its entry into force. To date, 26 States, with an aggregate merchant shipping tonnage of 24.66% of the world total, have ratified the Convention. The Convention will enter into force twelve months after the date on which not fewer than 30 States, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than 35 percent of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping, have become Parties to it.

The MEPC is also expected to decide on proposals for "basic approval" or "final approval" of 10 ballast water management systems that make use of active substances, after consideration of the reports of the thirteenth and fourteenth meetings of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment Protection (GESAMP) Ballast Water Working Group, which met in May and July 2010, respectively.

Recycling of ships

The MEPC will continue its work on developing guidelines intended to assist ship recycling facilities to commence introducing voluntary improvements to meet the requirements of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, which was adopted in May 2009.

Following development by a correspondence group, the MEPC will consider draft Guidelines for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling, Guidelines for the development of the Ship Recycling Plan and Guidelines for the authorization of Ship Recycling Facilities.

The Committee is expected to encourage Governments to ratify the Convention, which has been signed, subject to ratification, by five countries, and to review the programme for technical assistance aimed at supporting its early implementation.

Revision of MARPOL Annex V

The MEPC is expected to consider the approval of proposed draft amendments to revise and update MARPOL Annex V Regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships and its guidelines, following a comprehensive review by a correspondence group.

Emission Control Area proposal

The MEPC will consider a proposal to designate certain waters adjacent to coasts of Puerto Rico (United States) and the Virgin Islands (United States) as an Emission Control Area (ECA) for the control of emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOX), sulphur oxide (SOX), and particulate matter under MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships.

Currently, there are two designated ECAs under Annex VI, the Baltic Sea area and the North Sea area, and a third area, the North American ECA, was adopted in March 2010, with expected entry into force in August 2011.

Annex IV special area proposal

The MEPC will consider a proposal to amend MARPOL Annex IV Prevention of pollution by sewage from ships to include the possibility of establishing Special Areas for the prevention of such pollution and to designate the Baltic Sea as a Special Area under this Annex.

Proposal to make Strait of Bonifacio a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area

The MEPC will consider a proposal submitted by France and Italy to designate the Strait of Bonifacio as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA).

Implementation of the OPRC Convention and OPRC-HNS Protocol

The MEPC will be invited to consider the report of the eleventh meeting of the OPRC HNS Technical Group, which was held in the week prior to the Committee's session, and is expected to approve the draft texts developed by the Technical Group: the revised Manual on oil pollution, Section I - Prevention and the Guidance document on the implementation of an incident management system.


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Piracy: captured LUGELA is free again as pirates abandon ship

The Panamanian-flagged general cargo ship LUGELA, which we reported yesterday as having been highjacked by pirates while some 900 n.miles east of Eyl on the Somali coast, has been suddenly abandoned by the pirates.

According to the European Naval Force operating in the region, EU NAVFOR, the company owning the ship had notified it that the pirates had left the ship which was now underway towards Mumbai where it will undergo an examination. The original destination was Mauritius (see our report in yesterday’s news).

The 12 crew, all Ukrainians, are reported to be safe and unharmed and EU NAVFOR says it is monitoring the situation. No reason as to why the pirates so suddenly changed their minds, or had them changed for them, has been given.


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Pics of the Day – INS GANGA and INS TABAR

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The ships of the Indian and Brazilian Navies wrapped up their visits to South Africa during which they took part in this year’s IBSAMAR 2 exercise with the South African Navy. Yesterday the Indian Navy ships INS MYSORE, INS TABAR, INS GANGA and INS ADITYA sailed from Cape Town harbour bound for, so it is believed, East Africa. During their visits to the ports of Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town the ships were admired by many visitors. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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