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Ports & Ships Maritime News

December 15, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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PORTS & SHIPS will be taking a break during the December holidays and our final news service of the year will appear this Wednesday, 15 December. We return on 10 January 2011. During the shut-down period we will continue with Ship Movement reports except for the period 30 December – 6 January. Any urgent news items will be posted online as separate stories.




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First View – RUBIN CRANE

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The Japanese capesize bulk carrier RUBIN CRANE 9154,310-dwt, built 1994) at Cape Town’s Eastern Mole on Wednesday, 8 December 2010. Pictures by Aad Noorland

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News from the ports of Africa

Israeli firm provides Mombasa port with security

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Mombasa Port, berth 16

An Israeli company, MAGAL Security Systems Ltd has begin supplying and installing a port security system for the Port of Mombasa.

The contract, which is worth US$ 21.4 million, includes 10kms of smart fencing along the port perimeter involving Magal S³ locating sensor-Barricade II, several kinds of gates with access control, a full CCTV network including long-ranged day and night surveillance cameras, static and PTZ cameras, all supported by Magal S³ Intelligent Video Analytics product, radio equipment and other security items.

Magal will undertake the training of personnel and the commissioning of the new system, which will be networked and integrated by the Fortis-Magal S³ Physical Security Information Management system.

“This project is key to securing the port, but more importantly, securing the trade and growth of Kenya and its neighbouring countries. We are pleased to be working with Magal S3 and making this a reality,” said Gichiri Ndua, Kenya Port Authority managing director.

APM Terminals looks to emerging markets

According to APM Terminals VP and chief financial officer, Christian Moller Laursen, emerging markets offer greater opportunities to terminal operators but there are still many risks attached

Laursen was speaking at a port finance conference in London. “The ports industry is very much an emerging market story,” he said. “In terms of container throughput, two-thirds of the global container throughput is handled in ports in emerging markets. Global port and terminal operators have a lot of capabilities to offer in emerging markets, but these markets need to create an environment conducive to infrastructure investment on the part of operators.” – source Baird Maritime

Port of Ana Chaves (Sao Tome & Principe) awarded to Sonangol

The government of Sao Tome and Principe is to grant concessions on the port of Ana Chaves, the most important port of the two islands, and the Sao Tome international airport, to Angolan state oil company Sonangol, under the terms of a deal signed this week Monday in Sao Tome.

As part of the memorandum of understanding signed by the prime minister of Sao Tome, Patrice Trovoada, and the chairman of the board of Sonangol, Manuel Vicente, Sonangol is to extend the airport’s runway by 300 metres, install lighting and widen it, as well as equipping and modernising the terminal building, at a cost of over US$ 20 million.

“This is a project that came from the previous government and that is now being carried out after the introduction of some small changes,” said a government source, who did not give details of the benefits to the Angolan oil company.

In relation to the port of Ana Chaves, Sonangol’s project, according to the same source, aims to “extend it into the sea by a few metres and re-equip it.”

- (macauhub)

By-pass road to be built around city of Lome

Togo is to receive a US$ 17.2 million (€13 million) grant from Germany to build a by-pass road around the city of Lome. The by-pass will make it possible for trucks leaving the Port of Lome to avoid the downtown and take the trunk road 1 that serves the hinterland countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

The money is to be distributed through the Development Bank of Germany and construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2011. – OTAL

Tin Can Terminal C fire

A fire at the weekend at Terminal C at Tin Can Island, Nigeria’s second busiest port was quickly brought under control but not until a number of motor vehicles and other cargo were damaged or destroyed.

The fire is believed to have started from an unknown object in one of the imported vehicles, which spread rapidly to engulf about 30 motor vehicles and other import cargo. Fire fighters from the port authority were able to bring it under control and prevent it from spreading further. An investigation into the cause is underway.

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a part of Tin Can Island


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90,000-ton Brilliance of the Seas battered by Mediterranean storm

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Brilliance of the Seas – picture RCCL

About 30 passengers were hurt when their Royal Caribbean Cruises’ ship ran into heavy seas in the eastern Mediterranean this week.

The 90,000-ton BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS was nearing the port of Alexandria in Egypt when a violent storm broke around the ship, causing it to roll severely a number of times. About 30 of the 2,000 passengers on board suffered minor injuries from falling over or, in some cases, from treading on broken glass.

According to reports, furniture was thrown about in the cabins and the public areas and a large Christmas tree in the ship’s centrum fell over. Articles in the shops on board were thrown from their display stands and shelves and gymnasium equipment was similarly tossed about.

The storm struck in the early hours of the morning, when most passengers were in bed. Although the buffet area used for breakfast was described as a ‘disaster area’ it was open for business later in the morning when passengers normally would assemble for breakfast.

The ship was not immobilised in any way and retained full power and services and was able to continue but the planned visit to Alexandria was cancelled and the ship has gone instead to Valetta, Malta where she is expected to spend two days in port.

According to another report a cargo ship that was also caught in the storm but closer to the coast of Israel sank, while on land nearby the storm caused some flooding.


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Focus on Mozambique coal grows more intense

The development of Mozambique coal resources continues to expand, with Vale expected to commence production of export coal from the Moatize mine in 2011, as will Riversdale from its Benga concession.

Now comes news that UK group Beacon Hill Resources has paid £23 million pounds sterling for the balance of what it owed on acquiring a coal mine at Minas Moatize in Mozambique. The mine will be operated by Beacon Hill Resources’ subsidiary, BHR Mining. The mine was provisionally acquired in May 2009 and the group says it hopes to have an annual production of 2 million tonnes when in production from 2012.

Coal India to start prospecting in two blocks

State owned Indian company Coal India Ltd (CIL) plans to start prospecting for coal in its two concession areas in Mozambique within the next two months and commence production in 2013, said a company official quoted by the Indian newspaper The Economic Times.

Coal India also plans to sell a 15 percent stake in its wholly-owned local subsidiary Coal India Africana Limitada (CIAL) to a Mozambican government designated partner once the coal reserves have been valued.

CIL was granted two blocks in August 2009 following a tender launched by the Mozambican government, giving the company license to explore and develop the two blocks for five years. – macauhub

Europe’s cold weather may keep SA coal prices firm on two-year high

The cold weather covering much of Europe may result in coal prices reaching new highs, according to analysts. The Deutsch Bank AG last week raised its Richards Bay price forecast by 7.3% to US$ 118 a metric ton for 2011.

“Unseasonably cold temperatures in Europe are causing elevated demand for energy,” wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Daniel Brebner in the report. According to IHS McCloskey export prices at RBCT averaged $107.11 a ton in the week ending last Friday (10 December).

Deliveries of coal to the Richards Bay terminal along with exports began to increase in the second half of the year with improved rail deliveries, with the terminal achieving a record high of 7.380 million tonnes exported during October but November figures are believed to have decreased by over 8% year-on-year and were 30% down on the October numbers.

If confirmed this suggests a final export figure in the low 60 million tonnes for 2010, probably reaching the hoped for 65mt that was once being forecast.

In 2009 RBCT exported 61,14mt of coal in what it described as ‘challenging’ conditions. In 2008 the figure was 61.7mt. The terminal has a capacity of 91mt but in recent years the rail delivery has been incapable of reaching beyond the mid 60mts.


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News of ships and shipping lines

Hapag-Lloyd orders 13,200-TEU container ships

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Buoyant from its dramatic turnabout in fortunes, German container carrier Hapag-Lloyd has placed orders with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries for four container ships each capable of carrying 13,200-TEU.

In addition, six mid-size ships already on order with the yard from 2008 will be upgraded also to 13,200-TEU, giving Hapag-Lloyd an order book for ten new super container ships in this class. The ships are scheduled for delivery between mid-2012 and the end of 2013. All will be fully compliant with the latest environmental requirements and will enter Hapag-Lloyd’s service between Europe and the Far East.

Hapag-Lloyd has also announced that it has purchased back its company headquarters in Hamburg’s Ballindamm, a building said to be steeped in tradition.

CSAV cuts its South Africa-Asia service capacity

Chilean shipping line CSAV has revealed it is to reduce capacity on its New Discovery Service between Asia and South Africa by introducing a number of smaller capacity vessels with immediate effect.

The New Discovery Service currently operates with eight ships all provided by CSAV, with Libra-Montemar taking up slots. CSAV will now replace five of those vessels with smaller capacity ships, thereby reducing the average capacity to 2,226-TEU a week.

The service’s port rotation remains Xingang, Ningbo, Shanghai, Chiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Durban, Cape Town, Singapore, Xingang, Ningbo, Shanghai, Chiwan and Hong Kong.

General rate increases announced for main East-West services

Seven shipping lines have announced General Rate Increases for January, ahead of the New Year slack season. The increases range between US$ 250 and $ 300 per TEU and have been announced by CMA-CGM, Cosco, ‘K’ Line, Maersk, MOL, MSC and Zim. Other lines are expected to follow shortly.

Although most shipping lines have experienced remarkable turnarounds since mid year, with in some cases record profits after almost two dismal years in which a number of shipping majors came close to going to the wall, most are remaining cautious in outlook with no absolute conviction that the ‘good times’ have returned and that the global recession is over.

On the other hand, as if in contradiction to this, several of the lines have gone out on a limb with new orders for really large ships, all in the search for economies of scale. See Hapag-Lloyd report above.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen how their clients the shippers react to the general rate increases.

IRISL to fight detention of three ships

Iranian shipping line IRISL (Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line) which is believed to be the real owner of three ships detained in Singapore, is expected to seek a postponement of the sale of each vessel.

The three German-registered ships, named TUCHAL, SABALAN and SHAND are registered to separate companies and are said to be worth US$ 144 million, and were seized on a Singapore High Court warrant. The bank involved with all three ships foreclosed against IRISL as a direct consequence of European Union sanctions against the shipping line, which is accused by the US of having helped Iran circumvent international nuclear sanctions.

It is reported also that four European banks, led by the German-based HSH Nordbank, are seeking the arrest of another five IRISL ships over loan foreclosures involving defaults worth US$ 268 million. Two of the five ships named DANDLE and DECRETIVE have already been arrested in Malta and Hong Kong respectively.

IRISL as guarantor of the loans, is in default as a result of US-led controls, which saw many of the IRISL fleet of about 170 ships placed on a list of the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets control in September 2008, which prevented IRISL from transacting in US dollars, the currency of the loan.

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IRISL’s Iran Shariati in Durban some years ago. Picture by Terry Hutson


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Get that furry feeling – Canadians seek Namibian help with seal harvesting

Namibia has been asked to help a group of Canadian associations engaged in the trading of seal products to assist them with information on seal harvesting. The purpose of this request is to bring about a review of the European Union ban on seal products at the World Trade Organisation.

In 2009 the European Union, responding to a public outcry over commercial seal hunting, introduced a ban in the importation of seal products. Canada, as the largest trader in seal products, has appealed against the ban and some of Canada’s indigenous people are claiming that the ban deprives them of their livelihood.

The EU general court has upheld the ban with few exemptions and Canadian companies and organisations involved in the hunting and trade of seal products want to approach the World Trade Organisation.

Read the full article which appeared here in Namibia’s NEW ERA

Namibia has one of the larger seal culls, with between 80,000 and 90,000 culls authorised each year – most of them seal pups. Internationally there are strong views on both sides, and one of the main considerations outside of the actual sealing and fur industry being the effect that seal populations have on local fish stocks. If you find this topic of interest, the Internet is full of articles both for and against, some emotional and others more considered and a simple Googling will bring all the results needed. Here are just two of those views:



href="http://www.actionagainstpoisoning.com/page154/page154.html"> SEAL ALERT


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Pics of the day – YESTERYEAR – those classic ships

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Showing off her rigging to perfection in the soft light is the Reardon Smith Line freighter DEVON CITY (10,300-gt, built 1960) seen sailing from Durban one cloudy day in the early 1970s. Pictures by Trevor Jones

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