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Ports & Ships Maritime News

9 September 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

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

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return

SEND NEWS REPORTS AND PRESS RELEASES TO info@ports.co.za

News continues below...
FIRST VIEW –xxxxxx

Orchard Bulker, Lyttelton 

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Flying the Singapore flag the Lauritzen owned and operated bulk carrier ORCHARD BULKER (32,500-dwt, built 2010) arrives at Lyttelton to discharge palm kernel for stock feed. Picture: Alan Calvert

News continues below…

ANGOLA ORDERS SEVEN PATROL BOATS FROM BRAZIL

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Brazilian-built Macaé -class offshore patrol boats.

Angola has ordered seven Macaé patrol ships from Brazil as part of the Angolan Naval Development Programme (Pronaval), the chief of staff of the Angolan Navy, Admiral Augusto Cunha ‘Gugu’ has announced in Brasilia.

The Admiral also told Angolan news agency Angop that under the memorandum signed by the Ministries of Defence of both countries that of the seven 500-ton patrol vessels, four would be built in Brazil and three in Angola, specifically in the province of Kwanza Sul.

Augusto Cunha said the “memorandum will evolve into a contract to build ships for the Navy and also to support construction of a shipyard.”

Macaé class patrol vessels are versatile, suitable for surveillance and policing, navigation control and pollution, search and rescue, combatting drug trafficking, smuggling and illegal fishing and support to military operations.

The Brazilian Navy will also contribute to the training of Angolan crews, as well as the construction of a military shipyard in Angola.

On 11 June 1980 Angola and Brazil signed a general agreement on economic, cultural and technical-scientific cooperation, which was the basis for the development of the relationship between the two countries. - macauhub

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BAGAMOYO, TANZANIA’S MEGA-PORT, GETS A HEAD START

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The planned Special Economic Zone around Bagamoyo port

After negotiations with Chinese officials, the Tanzanian government has been successfull in bringing forward the starting date for the US$11 billion mega port at Bagamoyo, which is to the north of Dar es Salaam.

Instead of January 2015, work on building the mega port, which is destined to become Africa’s biggest port, will now get underway this year.

Bagamoyo is being developed by China Merchants Holdings International and is to be expanded in stages over a period of 30 years, giving it an eventual capacity of 20 million containers a year. When completed the new port will rival major ports in the Persian Gulf.

The port will also be able to handle roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) ships and post Panamax container vessels with a capacity up to 10,000 TEU.

The port will be developed over an area covering about 800ha and will be surrounded by a 1,700ha special economic zone. Businesses will be encouraged to process or refine raw materials coming from Tanzania and the neighbouring states.

Bagamoyo will also act …
… as a transhipment hub for raw materials coming in and out of landlocked Malawi, Zambia, DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and even Uganda.

China will also be assisting Tanzania with the redevelopment of its railway and road networks in the area.

According to Adelhelm Meru, the director general of the Export Processing Zones Authority, the SEZ will attract industries specialising in adding value to agricultural products.

Phase 1 of the project involves the quay, container yards, cargo terminals and dredging of the basin and approach areas and will be completed by 2017. The special economic zone will be fully developed by 2024.

The first phase of work, the quay, the container yards, the cargo terminals and all dredging work will be completed by 2017, with the zone being fully developed by 2024. – Port Technology

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WORLD TRANSPORT BODIES PUT HEADS TOGETHER OVER EBOLA OUTBREAK

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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) says that it has joined the international ad hoc Ebola Travel and Transport Task Force and is working with other United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations to monitor the situation and provide timely information in response to the outbreak of the disease.

IMO, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) have joined forces with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Airports Council International (ACI), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in the Travel and Transport Task Force.

IMO has issued a circular letter providing information and guidance, based on recommendations developed by WHO, on the precautions to be taken to minimise risks to seafarers, passengers and others on board ships, from the Ebola virus disease.

On 8 August 2014, WHO declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005). – IMO

News continues below…

FULL SEASON OF DIVERSE MSC OPERA CRUISING LOOMS!

MSC Cruises SA has confirmed that MSC OPERA will return to South African waters for the 2014/15 local season.
The luxury ship will serve an extended 2014/15 season, arriving from Southampton (yes, dear reader, can you imagine?...depart Southampton on 7 October to Cape Town?...best-value cruising available) arriving on 1 November, 2014…and will then cruise the tried-and-tested Mozambique and Namibian itineraries.

On offer for the third season will be the popular 7-night Durban, Portuguese Island, Fort Dauphin itinerary as well as an 11-night Reunion and Mauritius New Year’s itinerary. Meanwhile, Inhaca Island, near Maputo, replaces Inhambane and Anakoa in Madagascar (because of too many weather-restricted landings.)

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Also on offer are 7 departures from Cape Town, including Mossel Bay…and calls at Namibia’s Walvis Bay and Lüderitz (above) a harbour town in south-west Namibia, lying on one of the least hospitable coasts in Africa. Lüderitz began its life as a trading post, with other activities in fishing and guano harvesting. In 1909, after the discovery of diamonds nearby, Lüderitz enjoyed a sudden surge of prosperity. The town is renowned for its splendid colonial architecture, and has been re-styled with a new waterfront area for shops and offices. Wildlife includes seals, penguins, flamingos and ostriches. It’s a wonderful port of call for MSC OPERA.

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MSC OPERA was captured sailing from Durban (by local photographer Trevor Steenkamp) on her inaugural cruise from Durban on 23, November, 2012. Your correspondent Vernon Buxton and publisher Terry Hutson and his wife Sheila were aboard, as guests of Allan Foggitt of MSC Cruises SA. This beautiful 59,058-gt vessel arrives back in South Africa on 1 November.

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“Cruise-lovers are urged to book early for the upcoming season to avoid disappointment and ensure availability” declared Allan Foggitt of MSC Cruises SA. “To launch the new season, a tempting 40% discount reward is being offered as an incentive for those who wish to book early and secure their holiday at the best available price,” Allan told Ports & Ships, adding: “Accommodation, meals, and entertainment are all included in the cruise fare, with children under 18 cruising free!”

AAAOPERABALCONY 230 AAAOPERASUITE 230
MSC OPERA currently has 856 cabins, of which 172 are Balcony Cabins (on two decks, pictured left) and 28 are Balcony Suites (as shown on the right.) These added-luxury cabins are extremely popular and tend to book up early.

AAAOPERAACTUALBALCONY 230 AAAOPERAACTUALSUITE 230
Balcony Cabins feature a sliding door out into your own semi-private area, with two comfortable chairs and a table. The Balcony Suites (right) offer a lounge area before you step outside to watch glorious sea vistas sweep by.

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Back on MSC OPERA this coming cruise season will be the ever-popular cruise director Stephen Cloete, who has had a break ashore this year “as I have been doing some theatre shows and also am getting stuck into writing my second book.” Besides his wonderfully self-deprecating sense of humour, Stephen is a dab hand at magic and all passengers are the beneficiaries of his many natural talents in this demanding role.

AN MSC OPERA CRUISE…WHAT’S IT LIKE?
So…what is the MSC cruise experience like off the South African coast? Our correspondent Vernon Buxton was a guest of Allan Foggitt of MSC Cruises on the maiden cruise out of Durban in November 2012…and here he shares what he describes as “a very pleasurable experience indeed!”

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Many of MSC OPERA’s deck stewards hail from Bali and Indonesia. They are first-rate stewards because they understand good service, have impeccable manners and are constantly warm and welcoming. They are among the ship’s most important assets.

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All decks are named after operas. The décor has many Italian influences, including clean lines, minimalism in furniture design and a collection of colours, soft furnishing and fabrics that work well together and, without any hint of garishness. Real wood and marble have been extensively incorporated in the interiors, and the high quality reflects the commitment that MSC Cruises has in the vessel.

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The Boat Deck is an important area, because it carries all the ship's lifeboats. It’s also a very appealing stretch of open deck, which guests use for perambulating, or for popping out for a puff. This deck is also nearer the sea…and you can feel and hear the action of the waves…the hidden joy of cruising.

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There is plenty of deck space and seating for everyone who wants to enjoy the pool area. Two swimming pools and spas are the main magnet for holidaymakers, and there is more deck space to be had up the stairs in the background, towards the stem of the ship. It’s a complete resort atmosphere out here, and it is a popular spot throughout the day and night. There’s music on deck, competitions and fun for the kiddies. The Lo Spinnaker Bar in front is extremely busy and you’ll just love the vibe and camaraderie. It’s one of the best places to make new friends.

CRUISEOPERA4 470
Oh, yes, please I’ll have more of this. Cruising is popular because it takes you away from the pressures and strains of contemporary life. Cruise ships are really self-contained resorts, without the crime, which can take you to several destinations in just the space of a few days. It is beneficial and therapeutic, and, because you pay in advance, you know what you will spend on your holiday without any hidden surprises.

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This is the life… and by the time guests end up in a spa bath their spirits are well ‘lubricated’ by the joys of such a carefree holiday. These happy folk were on MSC OPERA’s 4-day cruise to Maputo and Barra Lodge, though the landing at the latter did not take place.

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Prepare your taste buds for a great meal every time you dine on MSC OPERA. There are four great restaurants to choose from, each with a unique menu, and all with delicious food. La Caravella, and L'Approdo are both elegant and have a great atmosphere. There are two sittings for dinner, in keeping with other ships in the MSC Cruises fleet, and tables are for two, four six or eight.

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Le Vele Cafeteria is an incredibly appealing restaurant…and the floor to ceiling windows makes for wonderful sea vistas. Perfect place for breakfast and lunch buffet-style… and you can enjoy more casual dinners here too.

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Lunch at Le Vele Cafeteria is a huge spread of Mediterranean-style fare…and some typically Eastern dishes come out on display too.

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It’s midnight and the pulsating Tropical Party is already well underway. A huge spread of all manner of specialties adds to the carnival atmosphere and there are very few guests who make it to bed before the early hours. That’s also why cruising is so popular…you live quite differently to the way you do at home. This is a place of fantasy, extravagance and self- indulgence. But, when you feel you’ve had enough, your welcoming cabin is just minutes away. And there are no cops out on the roads here…!

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About 200 giant pizzas are baked every day to take care of appetites for up to 20 hours a day. You can also get hamburgers and salads almost around the clock at Il Patio, on the pool deck. Tea and coffee are available here 24 hours a day.

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The ship has four restaurants, eleven bars, two pools, and two whirlpools. The cruise ship boasts the MSC Aurea Spa and Solarium (pictured), a disco, video games room, internet café, casino, team building facilities and a medical centre. Also, a wonderful array of duty free shops…and the vessel caters for children with the Buffalo Bill children’s play area, mini and junior clubs, and teen clubs. Additional facilities include the Cotton Club bar and a stage on deck for outdoor entertainment.

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The 713-seat Teatro dell Opera is the ship’s main show lounge, located in the forward section of the vessel. It offers tiered seating set in a sloping floor. Production shows and variety acts are presented by cruise director, Derrick van Wyk. If weather up on deck is not suitable, Derrick puts on Bingo and other attractions here too.

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Every night the entertainers sing and dance their hearts out …heading up the most of the elaborate nightly extravaganza shows for guests.. Never a dull moment on this vessel…at times it is difficult to keep up with the cruise director and his fantastic “Dream Team’ of entertainers.

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Las Vegas?...no…Macao?…nuh-uh…it’s MSC OPERA’s fabulous Teatro Dell’ Opera,…and the feathers and fun come out every night at sea to entertain you. Enjoy elaborate shows nightly…it’s an important part of your fantasy holiday at sea

Vernon Buxton for Ports & Ships

News continues below…

FISHING IN GUINEA-BISSAU REMAIN UNMONITORED

guinea bissau 1

The lack of monitoring of fishing activities in the Guinea-Bissau Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) is a concern according to a preliminary assessment by a technical team from the European Commission.

Headed by Louize Hill, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Sea, the team concluded that there was a lack of control of fishing activities in the territorial waters of Guinea-Bissau, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.

The Secretary of State for Fisheries of Guinea-Bissau, Ildefonso de Barros also acknowledged that in recent years, especially during the period when the country was led by a transitional government, inspection of fishing activities virtually ceased to exist.

“The mission basically came to assess our whole system of control and surveillance of fishing activities, records of ships, how we control the issuance of licenses and fishing efforts in our EEZ,” said Barros.

The final evaluation report from the European Commission will be issued when the team returns, but Louize Hill said that “specific recommendations” had already been communicated to the Guinea-Bissau authorities on what corrections need to be made.

With a total of over 60 ships, the European Union (Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal) has had a fisheries agreement with Guinea-Bissau in place since 1980, but following the military coup of April 2012 European boats stopped fishing in Guinean waters. - macauhub

SOUTH AFRICA SUSPENDS CITRUS EXPORTS TO EU

Citrus Black Spot 

on Valencia orange wiki common
Black spot fungus on Valencia oranges. Picture: Wiki Commons

South Africa has voluntarily suspended exports of citrus fruit to the EU as a result of traces of citrus black spot being discovered in fruit exported to Europe.

This shock announcement was made yesterday by the Citrus Growers Association (GCA), which said that all exports were being suspended immediately, except for mandarins and fruit that was already packed and inspected for export.

Another exception to the suspension involves fruit from the Western and Northern Cape.

The decision followed a report by the EU to the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) that four consignments of citrus from South Africa had been found to have black spot fungus.

Last year exports of citrus from South Africa to the EU were stopped because of several consignments having black spot. Like now, this occurred at the tail end of the citrus season and had little effect on the season’s exports, but it placed in doubt whether South African fruit would be allowed into Europe for this present season.

Subject to conditions, the EU gave clearance for exports to continue but this latest suspension is likely to prove harder to overcome. According to the CGA, the decision to suspend exports has been made voluntarily and if no evidence is forthcoming from the EU then the decision may be reconsidered.

The country had gone to great lengths to ensure that the EU’s citrus export requirements were met, which included the setting of new testing regimes as well as a comprehensive citrus black spot risk management programme, the CGA said.

The current citrus season has about a month to run.

INT’L SPOTLIGHT – UK TO GO AHEAD WITH 2ND AIRCRAFT CARRIER

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Artist’s impression of Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier at sea with escort

Following the NATO summit held in Wales over the recent weekend, the UK now intends bringing the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS PRINCE OF WALES into service.

Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron made the announcement during a speech on Friday, in which he said the decision meant that Britain would always have one carrier available, “100 percent of the time.” There has been intense speculation over the fate of the second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales. It had been indicated that the vessel, on which the hull is still being assembled, might be mothballed, with further work on her upperworks and fitting out being completed only when needed.

A defence review in the second half of 2015 after a general election was going to decide the future or fate of the uncompleted warship. Speculation even suggested that the vessel could be sold ‘as is’ or completed and sold, or mothballed completely.

It seems the Ukraine crisis and Russia’s apparent intent at expanding its borders has NATO members concerned and has hardened the UK’s resolve to move ahead with the project.

The UK has cut defence spending by about 8 percent over the last four years as it attempts to reduce a huge budget deficit.

The Royal Navy’s first new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth was named by Queen Elizabeth two months ago. That ship is still being fitted out.

EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT

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Gateway port

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 going HERE - remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

PICS OF THE DAY – AURORA LEO

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The Norwegian-owned LPG tanker AURORA LEO (58,610-dwt, built 2008) seen arriving in the Brazilian port of Santos. The tanker is managed by a Singapore firm and flies he Marshall Island flag. Pictures: Roberto Smera

Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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