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Ports & Ships Maritime News

16-17 February 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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

57,105 readers and over one million hits were recorded on PORTS & SHIPS during January 2012 – thank you readers. Just another good reason to consider advertising your company or services on these pages. info@ports.co.za for details

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Two new harbour tugs for Dutch company SMIT called recently at Cape Town for bunkers and supplies (there’s a shortage of bunkers in Cape Town right now) while on delivery between Singapore and Rotterdam. Here they are leaving port yesterday for the long haul north through the Atlantic. At top is SMIT EMOE and below is SMIT KIWI accompanied by a Cape Town harbour launch acting as pilot boat, with Table Mountain providing its usual impressive backdrop. Pictures by Glen Kasner

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Reacting to the Ports Regulator’s rejection of Transnet National Ports Authority's application for approval of an 18.06% increase in TNPA tariffs and services for 2012/2013, Andrew Robinson, director of Admiralty and Shipping at maritime attorneys Norton Rose says the increase is lower than expected and less than the tariff increases that the Regulator has approved in recent years.

Instead of the 18.06% applied for, the Regulator has approved a 2.76% increase for 2012/2013.

“In 2010/2011, the Regulator approved an increase of 4.42% instead of the 10.62% increase that was applied for by the TNPA. In 2011/2012, the TNPA applied for an overall increase of 11.91% in tariffs but also proposed the adjustment of certain "misaligned" tariffs, including proposed increases of over 600% for selected commodities. The Regulator granted an overall increase of 4.49% only and rejected the adjustment of the "misaligned" tariffs beyond the approved 4.49% tariff increase,” says Robinson.

“In the 2012/2013 tariff application, the TNPA appears to have abandoned any attempt to adjust any "misaligned" tariffs.”

Robinson said that in his 2012 State of the Nation address, President Zuma announced that the exporters of manufactured goods will benefit from an agreement reached between the Regulator and Transnet which will result in a significant decrease in port charges during the upcoming year.

“This decrease is separate from the 2012/2013 TNPA tariff application, although it not yet clear exactly how and when the decrease in port charges (totalling R 1 billion) will come into effect.”

The Regulator's full Record of Decision is expected to be published by the end of next week.

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The Greek-owned and managed bulk carrier NINA P which had an engine room fire near Mauritius on Monday, while en route for Africa. Picture Geir Vinnes/Shipspotting

An engine room fire on board the Greek-owned dry bulk vessel NINA P (26,858-dwt, built 1986) has left the ship drifting without power about 200 n.miles south of Mauritius.

The fire was reported on Monday, 13 February as the ship made her way from South Asia for Africa – full destination not known at this stage. Although the fire was brought under control the ship has lost all power and was awaiting the arrival of a tug commissioned to take the ship under tow.

It is not known at this stage where the Panamanian-flagged Nina P will undergo repairs.

Ron Widdows takes over at Rickmers Holding

Ron Widdows, former chief executive officer of NOL/APL has been appointed CEO of Rickmers Holding and Rickmers Linie with effect from 1 April 2012.

He replaces Jan B Steffens who had been in office at NOL/APL for ten years in the twin positions as chief executive of Rickmers Holding and Rickmers Linie.

After ten very successful years with the Rickmers Group and especially, with Rickmers-Linie, Jan B Steffens will step down on 31 March 2012 from the twin positions of CEO of Rickmers Holding and of Rickmers-Linie although he will continue to serve on the Rickmers Group advisory board. “I am pleased to announce that Jan B Steffens, who asked for this change of role, will continue to be with us on the advisory board and take care of special projects associated with the Rickmers Group,” said Bertram R C Rickmers, Chairman of Rickmers Holding. “I am very happy to welcome Ron Widdows to the Rickmers Group. “Widdows has over 40 years’ experience in the shipping industry, the last 31 years of which were with APL and Neptune Orient Lines Ltd where he held the position of Group President and CEO.” Mr Widdows is currently the chairman of the Washington-based World Shipping Council.

Nigerian ship for breaker named BEN

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The detained Nigerian tanker BEN at anchor outside Walvis Bay. Picture by Captain Mkhulu

The Nigerian bulker BEN K which was detained by Namibian authorities and on which we reported last Wednesday, 8 February has had the ‘K’ in her name removed to become simply BEN.

This is consistent with ships that are on the way to the breakers, where a portion of their former name is often ‘rubbed out’ with paint and the ship re-registered to some other company prior to undertaking the final voyage.

CMA CGM and IBM sign service agreement

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CMA CGM’s Christophe Colomb

Wednesday, 15 February - After five years of working together through a joint subsidiary, CMA CGM Group and IBM today announced a new strategic partnership.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, IBM will provide industry-specific expertise in new technologies such as cloud computing and analytics, while supporting CMA CGM’s growth by delivering quality information technology services that will help CMA CGM significantly reduce costs.

The IT teams from the two companies will be merged into a new subsidiary, CMA Systems. The new services and technologies developed by the new subsidiary, along with its unified organization, will enable CMA CGM to generate substantial savings in 2012, CMA CGM officials said.

Queen Mary 2 has power outages in mid Indian Ocean

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Queen Mary 2 arriving in Fremantle. Picture by Chris Gee

The giant 150,000-gt ocean liner QUEEN MARY 2 which sailed from South Africa for Mauritius and Australia late in January, arrived in Fremantle earlier this month after completing her crossing of the Indian Ocean.

It was a crossing not without incident, as on several occasions the ship lost all or part of her power – we reported this more fully on 9 February. Use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page.

Nevertheless Queen Mary 2 safely completed her crossing and is now engaged with a circumnavigational cruise of Australia. The above picture shows the ship making a regal entry into Fremantle harbour.

The photographer Chris Gee says, “By the way, the small ship just partly visible in the extreme right hand side of the photo is the PRINCESS MARY, would you believe, renamed several years ago after Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark, who is from Australia.

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Cyclone Giovanna yesterday at midday UTC. Imagery by Passageweather.com

On Thursday morning (16 February) Cyclone Giovanna was still raging off the south-western Madagascan coastline and it is now being forecast that the cyclone will remain over the southern coastline of Madagascar for several days before moving eastwards, and not westwards into the Mozambique Channel.

By Saturday the storm will have intensified over the south-western tip of the island but by Sunday Cyclone Giovanna, while losing some of its strength will have moved north-west and it is expected to have centred near Fort Dauphin, before moving away south-eastward into the Indian Ocean, south of Reunion and Mauritius where the storm will blow itself out later next week.

This is an updated forecast by Patternweather.com from earlier reports which suggest th storm would remain in the Mozambique Channel and again come ashore in central Mozambique.

The BBC meanwhile has reported that the death toll in Madagascar has reached at least 10 people so far but thousands have been affected by the heavy rains and strong winds.

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Forecast position of Cyclone Giovanna for Saturday 18 February at 18h00UTC. Imagery by www.passageweather.com

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Angola showing the country’s three railway systems

The Angolan government plans to create the company Caminhos-de-Ferro de Angola, which will absorb all the country’s existing railway companies, the president of Caminhos-de-Ferro de Luanda has stated.

Lobo de Nascimento specified that “the government’s programme aims to open the commercial operation of railway service to private initiative,” adding that the state would retain the infrastructures, while the companies would be responsible for commercial operation of the various components of railway service.

The state newspaper Jornal de Angola reported that Lobo de Nascimento used the same occasion to announce the signing of a partnership protocol by Caminhos- de-Ferro de Luanda and the Integrated Technological Training Centre (Cinfotec), covering training, consultancy, technical assistance and joint technical projects and services.

The partnership aims to provide technological qualifications and help Luanda railway employees enhance skills and update their technological knowledge.

Angola has three main railroads extending from Luanda, Benguela and Namibe. The first is 424 km long and links the national capital Luanda to Malanje, capital of the province of the same name.

The Benguela Railroad is 1,344 km long and links the port of Lobito on the Atlantic coast to the border town of Luau, which is on the DRC border.

The 756 km Namibe Railroad links the city of Namibe (former Moçâmedes) to Menongue (former Serpa Pinto). Source macauhub

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Mozambique and the Rovuma Basin bordering with Tanzania

Maputo, 15 February – ENI East Africa has announced a new discovery of natural gas in the Rovuma Basin in Mozambique, with potential reserves of 7.5 trillion cubic feet, Mozambique’s National Oil Institute said in a statement issued in Maputo.

The new discovery was the result of a well drilled in area 4 of the Rovuma Basin, which increase the potential reserves of natural gas found in the area to 30 trillion cubic feet.

Cited by Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias, the statement said that the last discovery was made in 186 metres of sand saturated with natural gas. The report added that the tests carried out on the well had shown it to be highly productive and able to provide around 1 million cubic metres per day.

Surveying activities in area 4 continue and five new wells are due to be drilled this year.

Alongside this feasibility studies are underway on large-scale combined projects to supply natural gas to the national, regional and international markets (liquid natural gas, liquid fuel production and other industrial projects).

The concession holders of area 4 of the Rovuma basin, for which the production contract was signed in 2006, are ENI East Africa – Moçambique, which is the operator and has a 70 percent stake, Mozambican state company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), with 10%, and Portugal’s Galp Energia and South Korea’s Kogas, each with 10 percent. (macauhub)

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Above: The cruise ship GRAND MISTRAL (48,276-gt, built 1999) which is currently operated by Iberocruceros, seen here in the approaches to Santos, Brazil. The 1700-passenger ship which is owned by Carnival Corporation was originally owned and operated by Festival Cruise Lines for whom the ship sailed as MISTRAL. Picture by SMERA
Below: Without knowing the area (Santos we think) we’re not sure if the is a sunrise or sunset scene although we suspect the latter in which case it is a fitting image to leave you until Monday. The caption with the picture reads “Navegando nas águas de Vesper - 15 Fev 2012.” Pictures by SMERA.

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