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Ports & Ships Maritime News

1 March 2013
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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Candidates are invited to apply for the position as CEO for SAASOA (South African Association of Ship operators and agents).

The incumbent should have an excellent working knowledge as well as extensive experience in the port and logistics interfaces that ship operators and agents deal with in their day to day business. The incumbent needs to provide evidence of at least 10 years’ experience in a senior position in the shipping industry, and must clearly evidence a high level of engagement with logistics infrastructure organizations.  


The position may possibly suit a recently retired “Captain of Industry”.            ;    

The position will be based in Durban and remuneration will be commensurate with experience and negotiated contract terms.

Interested persons may apply only in writing with a full CV, including references, to:

Att: The Chairman
Closing Date: 13 March 2013



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The special project cargo ship BBC KIBO (8,255-gt, built 2011) works her way along the Esplanade Channel en route to the Transnet Ports Terminal on Maydon Wharf 9-12 to discharge two new Liebherr mobile cranes, part of a largescale re-equipping of the various TPT terminals. The ship arrived last Saturday, 23 February. Picture by Trevor Jones


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Cape Town, 27 February 2013 – Foreign companies that are based in South Africa and that are keen on investing in countries outside of Africa – including in the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India and China) members, will be able to benefit from relaxed cross-border financial regulations and tax requirements, the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan announced today.

In the Budget Speech Gordhan said the outward investment reforms that apply as part of the Gateway to Africa reforms will also apply to those companies seeking to invest in countries outside of Africa, including Bric countries.

These reforms include the relaxation of cross-border financial regulations and tax requirements on companies and making it easier for banks and other financial institutions to invest and operate in other countries.

Gordhan said Africa now accounts for 18 percent of South Africa’s exports – including nearly a quarter of its manufactured exports.

He said over the past five years the Reserve Bank has approved over 1 000 large investments into 36 African countries.

South Africa is also helping to fund several development projects in the region, with the Development Bank of SA (DBSA) accelerating investment into neighbouring countries particularly in the field of electricity generation and transmission and roads.

Added to this the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) last year funded 41 projects in 17 countries to the tune of R6.2 billion.

Most of these projects were in industrial infrastructure, agro-processing and tourism. Eskom is now considering investing in several regional generation and transmission projects, Gordhan said.

Gordhan said there is a proposal to pool Brics member countries foreign exchange reserves with the idea of using this to support one another in times of balance of payments or currency crisis.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - the grouping of emerging economies - collectively hold reserves of $4.5 trillion.

He said work is underway to create a trade and development insurance risk pool, with the aim of setting up a sustainable and alternative insurance and reinsurance networks for Brics members. Source – SAnews.gov.za


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Messina newbuilds go for clean

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Jolly Perla, the third of eight newbuilds for Italian line Ignazio Messina – see below. Picture by www.nauticalimages.co.za

Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract by Korean shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding to supply exhaust gas cleaning systems for four new container ro-ro (Con-Ro) ships ordered by Italian line Ignazio Messina.

The Wärtsilä systems will enable the new vessels to comply with both current and pending environmental legislation relating to exhaust emissions. From 2020 ships sailing in European waters generally will be limited to a maximum sulphur content of 0.5%, but a tighter limit of 0.1% will apply from 2015 to ships operating in ‘sulphur emission control areas’ (SECAs), which include the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the English Channel.

The Wärtsilä systems supplied under the terms of this order will clean both sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter emissions from the main engines, auxiliary engines, and the boiler.

The vessels are scheduled to be delivered to Ignazio Messina & Co between 2013 and the second half of 2014.

According to Enrico Allieri, Technical Director at Ignazio Messina, the latest order follows on from a contract with Hamworthy back in 2010 to supply exhaust gas cleaning systems for the auxiliary engines and boiler for four new 45,000 dwt Con-Ro vessels, the first of which, the Jolly Diamante, was successfully delivered in 2011. “This is a further step in ensuring that our fleet complies with the regulations,” he said. “In fact, this time also the main engine's exhaust is included in the system supply.” The fourth of eight sister ships planned for Ignazio Messina, the 3,900-TEU Con-Ro vessel JOLLY QUARTZ has been delivered by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The next four ships in the order will come from the STX Shipyard.

The first three vessels in the fleet, JOLLY DIAMANTE, JOLLY PEARL and JOLLY CRYSTAL each entered service on the Italy – South Africa service. The vessels are 240m in length, 37.5m wide and can operate with a full load at 21.5 knots. With a maximum draught of 11.5m they are equipped especially suited for African ports. Each vessel has a loading ramp with a capacity of 350 tons, designed to allow the transport of cargo and plant material in a deck which is up to seven feet tall. The ships all fly the Italian flag.

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The stern and ramp of Jolly Perla. Picture by www.nauticalimages.co.za


Fairmount tug delivers Emma Maersk in Palermo for repairs

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The super tug Fairmount Alpine. Picture courtesy Fairmount Marine

Super tug Fairmount Alpine has delivered the container vessel Emma Maersk, one of the largest container carriers of its kind, at Fincantieri’s repair yard in Palermo, Sicily.

Emma Maersk experienced engine room flooding while outside Port Said and had to be towed into port. After discharging her cargo of 11,000 containers at Suez Channel Container Terminal, a contract was issued to Fairmount Marine for the tug FAIRMOUNT ALPINE, which was in the Mediterranean at the time, to take the giant 398-metre long, 156,907-dwt ship under tow for Palermo.

Fairmount Alpine and Emma Maersk left Port Said on Sunday 17 February for the 1,276 miles voyage to Palermo, where the convoy arrived on Monday this week, 25 February.

Fairmount, which is a part of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group, operates a fleet of five modern super tugs of 205 tons bollard pull each, especially designed for long distance towing, and a multipurpose support vessel.

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Emma Maersk under tow behind the super tug Fairmount Alpine. Picture Fairmount Marine


Lyubov Orlova distress signal picked up

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Lyubov Orlova

The Newfoundland Shipping News blog is reporting that an emergency beacon, registered to the drifting and abandoned former cruise ship LYUBOV ORLOVA, has begun signaling, signifying that the ship may have sunk. See earlier recent news reports on this ship in PORTS & SHIPS and the circumstances that led up to her being cast adrift in the North Atlantic.

The fact that the beacon has begun signaling is not conclusive evidence that the ship has gone under, however. They are designed to be activated manually by receiving a strong knock, or automatically when entering the water. If the beacon was in a life-raft that fell from the ship it may have activated.

“It could have banged itself into operation. On the other hand maybe the vessel sank. Everything is speculation at this point,” says Capt Wayne Jarvis of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax. “We don’t know what caused it. The beacon just started going off. We’re just keeping an eye on the position for reports at sea just to make sure nobody runs into it but otherwise nothing is being pursued on it.” On Friday 22 February, a document published by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, an agency of the US Department of Defense, said they had located the Lyubov Orlova about 2,400 km off the west coast of Ireland. The position put the ship at 49-22.70N and 044- 51.34W, whereas the beacon’s location is 51-46.00N and 035-41.00W. source – Newfoundland Shipping News.


CRUISING NEWS – Norwegian Breakaway floats out

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Norwegian Breakaway eases out from the building dock hangar. Picture NCL

The largest ship to have been built in Germany, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ NORWEGIAN BREAKAWAY, was floated out from her hangar at Meyer Werft’s Papenburg shipyard building dock II on Tuesday this week.

The 146,600-gt ship has been under construction since September 2011and is expected to be delivered to her owners on 25 April 2013. Norwegian Breakaway is 324 metres long and 39.7m wide and will carry up to 4,000 passengers.

The ship incorporates a number of innovative design features which PORTS & SHIPS will cover in a future article. These features include on her top decks the first Aqua Park at sea with five full-size water slides, including twin Free Fall slides, the first ever at sea, and a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, rock climbing wall and more.

“This new vessel is a further milestone for us. Its construction complies with the latest safety standards, and the ship meets all valid environmental regulations. Beyond that Norwegian Breakaway includes a lot of unique design elements and technical innovations,” said Bernard Meyer, Managing Partner of Meyer Werft.

Following the floating out, tests were carried out in the harbour and the ship was berthed alongside the yard's outfitting pier. On 4 March, the first crew members will move into their accommodation on board and will begin to familiarise themselves with the ship, readying her for guests. Norwegian Breakaway's conveyance down the river Ems towards the North Sea, where she will prove her seaworthiness, is scheduled for 10 March, weather permitting.

NCL has two 4,000-passenger vessels, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, under construction for delivery in April 2013 and January 2014, along with one larger ‘Breakaway Plus’ vessel for delivery in the northern autumn of 2015. Known as New York’s ship, Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest vessel to homeport year-round in the US city, sailing to Bermuda for the summer beginning 12 May 2013. Sailings for both Breakaway ships are now on sale.


Travel by cargo ship, on world’s largest container vessel

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CMA CGM Marco Polo on her sea trials

French line CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping group has announced that passenger cabins are now available on board the CMA CGM MARCO POLO, the world’s largest containership.

Able to carry up to 16,020 TEUs, this giant of the seas of almost 400 metres in length offers travellers the possibility to relax in comfort in any of five modern cabins of 20 square metres (the average cabin in a modern cruise ship is around 12-14m²).

There is also a lounge in which to relax, with TV equipment, a library, a fitness room and even a swimming pool. Travelling by cargo ship provides a unique, unforgettable experience of discovering oceans, seas and continents to the beat of international trade and involving oneself in the life on board by sharing the crew’s everyday life.

CMA CGM Marco Polo sails along the world largest route linking Asia and Europe and will allow travellers to discover the world’s largest ports on a rotation of Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Yantian, Port Kelang, Tangier, Southampton, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Malta, Khor Al Fakkan, Jebel Ali, Ningbo.

CMA CGM is one of the relatively few cargo ship operators to offer passenger accommodation across a number of its ships. It is possible to sail with them on other routes including Europe – Asia, USA – Asia, Round the world via the Panama Canal, Europe – India. Enquire from the local CMA CGM office or through the website www.cma-cgm.com


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The Walvis Bay Corridors performed strongly in the movement of commodities through the Port of Walvis Bay to southern Africa with a record increase of more than 54% during the past financial year, reports the Walvis Bay Corridor Group.

This represents a total of 682,333 tonnes of cargo that moved along these corridors which is 240,000 tonnes more than the previous financial year. The Trans-Kalahari Corridor, which connects the Port of Walvis Bay with the Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe markets, showed an impressive 115% growth; the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor, which connects the Port of Walvis Bay with the Zambia and the DRC markets, showed a substantial 75% growth; and the Trans-Cunene Corridor which connects the port of Walvis Bay to Angola, showed a 29% growth.

“We have continued our campaign to communicate and engage with the shipping and logistics community to attract them to Walvis Bay and to create more capacity amongst our Walvis Bay corridors,” said Johny Smith, WBCG’s chief executive. “New shipping lines have started to call Walvis Bay and some have set up new offices to expand their services via Walvis Bay into the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region. We have also seen more logistics service providers from the region and further abroad that have started to develop their footprints in Walvis Bay. This therefore allows more choice for our customers within the SADC region and for a bigger variety of service aspects to attract new customers along our corridors.”

Mr Bisey Uirab, the chairman of the Corridor Group said the WBCG’s work was being distinguished in the regional and international markets for its attitude in growing through persistence.

“And for its unique private-public participation at various levels in the region, on the continent and further abroad,” he added. “This recipe of success continues to bring new and more rewards of growth as we also strengthen our role, create new partnerships and networks to develop trade and economics with the SADC region.”


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The Dona Ana Bridge over the Zambezi on the Sena Railway, which has since reverted to being a railway and road bridge. Picture Wikipedia Commons

The closure of the Sena railway line since 10 February, between the Moatize coal basin and the port of Beira has cost Mozambique’s port and rail company, CFM, between eight and ten million US dollars in lost revenues.

Interviewed in Monday’s issue of the independent daily O Pais, the managing director of the company’s central division, CFM- Centro, Candido Jone, noted that the coal companies who use the line have also suffered serious losses.

The Brazilian company Vale has failed to deliver quarter of a million tonnes of coking coal to Beira for export, while Rio Tinto has suspended all activity at its open pit mine at Benga, until the railway re-opens.

CFM says that that the line can be re-opened by Tuesday, but with speed restrictions on stretches where emergency repairs are still under way, notably in the Zemira region in Mutarara district.

In all, about eight kilometres of the line was affected by torrential rains and flooding. In places, not only was the ballast washed away, but so was the ground on which the line rested, leaving the rail tracks and their sleepers dangling in mid-air over large craters.

Transport Minister Paulo Zucula, who visited the repair works in person on Friday, blamed the disaster on shoddy work done by the Indian contractor, Rites and Ircon International (RICON), when they rebuilt the Sena line.

CFM and the government have bitterly criticized RICON for its lengthy delays and its poor workmanship – but the World Bank, which funded the reconstruction of the Sena Line, took no measures to correct matters.

Zucula said that the destruction was due not merely to the rains “but is the result of the line that we built. You know we had a long history with RICON in which we said they were building the line badly. This is further proof that the drainage system they installed was of the wrong dimension.”

The Minister believes that, when the problems began with RICON and the government threatened to rescind its contract, the Indian consortium began to cut corners in an attempt to finish the job. “They concluded the work badly and we are suffering for this,” he said. “This damage did not happen because of lack of planning, lack of engineering, much less lack of knowledge. The line was badly built.”

RICON had promised to complete the reconstruction of the Sena line by September 2009. A year later the line was still unfinished, and the government gave notice that it was rescinding the contract in December 2010.

Recently RICON has suggested that it will take the Mozambican government to an international court to demand compensation for the termination of the contract. Zucula dismissed this, saying “if anyone should be compensated, it’s the Mozambican government which should demand compensation from RICON for holding up the country’s development.”

There have been more than ten derailments on the Sena Line involving Vale and Rio Tinto coal trains. But these cannot all be blamed on defects in the line – there may also be problems with the rolling stock. Vale is reported to have imported second hand locomotives and wagons which have suffered repeated breakdowns.

CFM is now working with a Portuguese building company, Mota-Engil, to complete the upgrading of the Sena line. Source - AIM


Repairs on Sena and Limpopo railroads to cost US$263 million

In a related matter, long-lasting repairs on the Sena and Limpopo railroads in Mozambique are estimated to cost US$263 million, of which US$143 million will be spent on the Limpopo railroad, said the chairman of state rail and port management company CFM.

Rosário Mualeia said that the funding would make it possible to carry out work on the two lines that will ensure they remain in operation even when flooding similar to this year occurs.

On the Limpopo railroad the floods caused estimated damage of US$4.5 million, of which US$3 million is the result of trains not being able to use the line.

On the Sena railroad damage was estimated to cost US$10 million, which also includes emergency repair work and the cost to trains that have been unable to use the line.

The figures for the Sena line do not include losses incurred by mining groups Vale and Rio Tinto, which have been forced to break their coal contracts due to it being impossible to transport production to the port of Beira for export.

Last week Brazilian mining group Vale announced that problems on the Sena railroad had prevented its Mozambican subsidiary from shipping 250,000 tons of coking coal. (macauhub)


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Rio Tinto’s Benga open cast mining project

Mozambique’s coal production in 2012 totalled 4.9 million tons in 2012, which was an all-time record, the country’s Mining Resources Minister Esperança Bias said in Maputo this week.

At the opening session of a seminar on managing revenue and optimising the benefits of coal and natural gas, Bias said that Mozambique currently had four coal mining contracts, which would soon increase when some prospecting licenses are converted into mining concessions.

“There are conditions in place so that, by 2020, the country will produce over 50 million tons of coking and thermal coal per year,” said the minister adding that “Mozambique is noted to have conditions [that will enable Mozambique] to become one of the five biggest exporters of coking coal in the world.”

Bias also said that over the last few years over US$5 billion had been invested in coal exploration, and that reserves were estimated at over 20 billion tons, most of which were in Tete province, in the centre of the country.

The minister recognised that there were constraints, particularly a lack of transport infrastructure, but gave assurances that the government has been working with companies in the mining sector to identify solutions for transporting coal through public-private partnerships. (macauhub)


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Another view of the giant LNG carrier, SONANGOL BENGUELA (104,537-gt, built 2011) on her berth taking bunkers in Cape Town this past week. The ship featured in this section of Tuesday’s news this week. While not everybody’s favourite shipping view, such alongside shots capture the atmosphere of the workings of a busy modern harbour. Pictures by Aad Noorland

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