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Ports & Ships Maritime News

12 November 2013
Author: Terry Hutson

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


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News continues below...


URANUS aad noorland 3 (2) cr 470

The German offshore anchor handling supply tug with a name that has become the butt of many a joke, although the ship was no doubt named for the 7th planet, URANUS (3,732-gt, built 2009) which called at Cape Town last week to take bunkers. A search revealed no less than 12 ships that are all currently carrying this planetary name pus another four that have since been renamed. Plenty to chuckle over! Picture by Aad Noorland

News continues below…


mozambique lon 466px

by Paul Fauvet (AIM)

Maputo — Long distance freight and bus companies have warned that they might halt their activities if the security situation in the centre of the country does not improve. The main target for the Renamo gunmen has been the country’s main north- south highway as it passes through Sofala province, reports AIM.

The associations that represent bus and truck owners warn of the huge losses, both human and material, that the Renamo attacks are causing.

The Mozambican Road Transport Federation (FEMATRO) met with its associates in Maputo on 6 November to discuss the possibility of halting long distance traffic that crosses the dangerous area.

The chairperson of the Mozambican Association of Interprovincial and International Transporters (AMOTRANS), Vasco Flor Matavele, told reporters, “Every day the convoy suffers. So transporters have a plan to interrupt their activity, bearing in mind that one or more attacks happen every day. These are human lives that are being lost, apart from other material damage. We have to deal with this problem and restore the climate of peace.” source – AIM

See related articles in PORTS & SHIPS

Mozambique army in push against Renamo
Greater concern over Mozambique unrest
SADC calls on Renamo to stop the violence - use your BACKSPACE key to return to this page

News continues below…


947192 TORM KANSAS by Shipspotting 470
The products tanker Torm Kansas which came under pirate attack while voyaging to Mossel Bay. Picture by Shipspotting

The Danish products tanker TORM KANSAS (46,922-dwt, built 2006) came under attack by pirates on Saturday, 9 November, giving a further indication that the threat of Somali pirates is far from over.

. This was the fourth attack by pirates in a matter of days.

The Danish-owned tanker was sailing between Sikka in India and Mossel Bay in South Africa with a 35,000-tonne cargo of oil products when the pirates approached in a skiff. The ship was then roughly south-east of the port of Mombasa and several hundred miles offshore, about halfway between the Seychelles and Mombasa and almost 300 n.miles from the northernmost tip of Madagascar.

After the pirates approached the ship at speed and opened fire with automatic weapons, armed guards on the Torm Kansas returned the fire, driving the pirates off. The ship was then able to resume its voyage. A Torm statement said that all crew members were given the opportunity to speak with their next of kin back home in India and inform them about their wellbeing. “The charterer of TORM Kansas and all relevant authorities, both domestic and international, have also been notified of the incident,” the statement said.

Several days earlier, on Wednesday 6 November a pirate skiff attacked a Chinese tanker some 135 n.miles northwest of the Torm Kansas position on the Saturday and directly opposite Mombasa but well out to sea. This attack too was unsuccessful and the Chinese tanker was able to continue its voyage.

On Sunday, 10 November the Danish warship ESBEN SNARE intercepted a suspicious looking skiff in the ocean close to where Torm Kansas was attacked. A number of suspects were detained and taken on board the warship for questioning. It is thought this may be the same group that attacked the Danish tanker and possibly the Chinese vessel as well.

Two other pirate attacks have taken place in a separate area, giving rise to the belief that a second pirate group was active. This group has also been detained by Australian and Danish Navies.

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What Walvis Bay’s new container terminal will look like. Image courtesy of Namport

Windhoek, Monday: The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and Namibia on Friday, 8 November 2013 signed a R 2.9 billion (US $338 million) sovereign guaranteed loan to Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) to finance the construction of a container terminal at Walvis Bay New Port.

In line with its Ten Year Strategy and focus on infrastructure development and regional integration, the AfDB Group approved the construction of the New Port of Walvis Bay Container Terminal Project in July 2013. The Bank also provided a UA 1.5 million grant (US $2.3 million) to the Government of Namibia for logistics and capacity building complementing the port project loan.

Namibia’s Finance Minister and Governor for the Bank, Sara Kuugongwelwa-Amadhila, signed the loan guarantee and grant agreements on behalf the Government in Windhoek. Namport CEO Bisey Uirab signed the loan agreement on behalf of Namport, while Ebrima Faal, Regional Director of the AfDB’s Southern Africa Resource Center (SARC), signed for the Bank.

In her intervention, Kuugongwelwa-Amadhila stressed the importance of the project and its contribution to one of the key development goals (the logistics pillar) of the National Development Plan which aims to position Namibia as a regional logistics hub by 2017. The Minister also thanked the AfDB for its strong and holistic support to Namport and the Government of Namibia through the loan and grant financing.

For his part, the Namport CEO acknowledged the positive spirit and enthusiasm of the AfDB in committing to finance the project and its unwavering commitment throughout the project preparation process.

In his statement, Faal emphasised the developmental impact of the project: “This project is important for Namibia and for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. It is critical to fulfilling Namibia’s aspirations to become a world-class logistics hub in the SADC region,” he said.

According to Faal, the project will enhance international and inter-regional trade and regional integration and Namibia will be able to fully exploit its unique geographical location to facilitate trade to and from the region.

“With the high levels of youth unemployment, the Bank’s support to Namport and the Government of Namibia will greatly improve private sector development and youth employment and will especially boost women participation in the logistics sector,” he emphasized.

The Project is expected to enable Namport to triple the container-handling capacity at the Port of Walvis Bay from 350,000 TEUs to 1,050,000 TEUs per annum. It will also finance the purchase of up-to-date port equipment and the training of pilots and operators for the new terminal. The grant component will fund the preparation of the National Logistics Master Plan study, technical support and capacity-building for the Walvis Bay Corridor Group and training of freight forwarders with particular emphasis on female staff.

According to the AfDB Director of Transport and ICT, Amadou Oumarou: “Through this project which potentially serves up to seven major economies in the SADC region, the Bank is assisting in the diversification and distribution of port facilities on the southwest coast of Africa, and provides the much-needed alternative for the region’s landlocked countries.”

The project will stimulate the development and upgrade of multimodal transport corridors linking the port to the hinterland while improving the country’s transport and logistics chains. It will also boost competition among the ports and transport corridors in the region with the ripple effect on reductions in transportation costs and increased economic growth.

The projected project outcomes include improvement in port efficiency and increase in cargo volumes by 70% in 2020 as a result of increased trade in the region. The benefits of the project will include among others, the stimulation of inter-regional trade and regional integration, private sector development, skills transfer and most importantly employment creation, leading to significant economic development and poverty reduction in Namibia, and the SADC region.

News continues below…


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MSC Opera on arrival in Cape Town yesterday

MSC OPERA arrived in Cape Town yesterday, 11th November 2013 for the start of the 20-13/14 summer cruise season.

MSC Opera will shortly be joined by sister ship MSC SINFONIA, which departed Italy yesterday for her 19 day voyage to the South African coast. Together the twin ships are expected to carry around 135,000 passengers as part of the South African local season.

While in Cape Town MSC Opera hosted an on-board charity luncheon for the Ukuthemba Foundation, an organisation which provides loving homes for abandoned and abused children in South Africa.

MSC Opera, returning to SA for her second season, later departed the Mother City at around 18h00 for Durban, sailing via Port Elizabeth with passengers being treated to the perfect opportunity to experience a coastal cruise.


Union Castle liner sailing Durban c 1950s crop 4
Union-Castle mailship leaving Durban circa late 1950s

The editor

This is just a note regarding the Mailships in Durban harbour Sparking Memories – looking back with Vernon Buxton of 5 November.

We lived in Lighthouse Road on the Bluff from 1948 to 1957, and we had a magnificent view of the harbour as you can imagine. What a thrill to see the Sunderlands taking off and landing from Maydon Channel!

It was as a result of being where we were that I developed a love of ships. I also had free access to Salisbury Island what with my father being in the navy and had a great time as a kid visiting the ships that called in at the Island post-war. We also used to cycle to West’s station and then onto the ferry across the harbour mouth and make our way down to the T Jetty and turn back once we got to the main entrance gate. I had quite a few scrapbooks with pictures of ship – some years back I handed them over to the Durban Ship Society.

However, my strong recollection of the arrival and departure times of the mailships differs! They used to arrive at 07H00 on a Tuesday and be berthed at B berth (we could not see A berth from our house). The mailship in question would then sail at 16H00 on a Thursday. It would be good to know who is right and who is wrong!

Peter Terry-Lloyd
Richards Bay



The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Chief Operating Officer Sobantu Tilayi has chosen 12 successful candidates who will take part in the organisation’s first ever canoeing training programme for the SAMSA Change a Life Academy.

The organisation will groom the chosen enthusiasts, with the help of Duzi winner Martin Dreyer to become potential participants in the world famous Duzi Canoe Marathon race which takes place in February 2014. The organisation is calling for more candidates to show interest in filling up at least 13 more placements for training.

All the canoeists are from the Enanda area of Durban where for the past few months they have been training. They come from various schools including Hlengimpilo Primary School, KaGence Primary School, Mbheki High School, Matebetula Primary School, Mqhawe High School, Sthabile High and the Abalindi Orphanage.

The 12 successful candidates announced today are: SAMSA says that it has committed itself through its corporate social investment wing to sponsoring the training, supplying of canoes, training gear and groceries for canoeist’s families. Through various stages of training, the paddlers will proceed into receiving advanced training and all the necessary support, from canoe equipment, clothing, energy supplements and transport to races - to achieve their true potential.


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Port Elizabeth harbour

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cma cgm africa one 0496 470

The 3,600-TEU container ship CMA CGM AFRICA ONE (40,827-gt, built 2010) n Cape Town harbour last week. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

cma cgm africa one 470

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