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Ports & Ships Maritime News

19 March 2013
Author: Terry Hutson

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



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The Chinese heavylift vessel HUA HAI LONG (31,726-gt, built 2012) arrives off the Port of Cape Town last week with a cargo of oil rig equipment. The vessel is owned by Guangzhou Salvage Bureau who also operate the ship. Picture by Aad Noorland


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Franklin Mziray, new PMAESA secretary-general

Earlier this year, in what pointed to a shake up at the top of the Ports Management of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA), Tanzania Port Authority’s Corporate Communications Manager Franklin Mziray was appointed as the new Secretary-General.

He replaced Burundi’s Jerome Ntibarekerwa, who held the position of SG for seven years until November 2012.

Other candidates for the post were Sam Andrade, once a long serving PMAESA treasurer and chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority, and David Kema, a retired director of the Department of Maritime (Ports & Shipping) and Inland Waterways, Ministry of Communications and Transport, Zambia. Kema was also PMAESA’s 2nd vice chairman.

The PMAESA secretariat is based in Mombasa, Kenya.

Ntibarekerwa had been relieved of his duties as SG at the November 2012 AGM of PMAESA in a move that followed criticism that PMAESA was lacking direction and needed ‘invigorating’. One main speaker at the conference said rather pointedly that PMAESA appeared to be more interested in arranging details of the following events rather than attending to the more important issues facing the region’s ports.

It appeared clear that the board took the matter to heart with the former SG becoming the scapegoat.

In his acceptance speech Mziray promised to give the member states value for their money and said he intends to provide PMAESA with a “new and dynamic management and leadership.”

In a one-on-one interview with Ports & Ships in Durban yesterday, Mziray reiterated this intention. He said that interest in the organisation had been waning over recent years and that his office would have to provide urgent attention towards reversing this trend by providing value for the membership.

As an example of the shortcomings in the PMAESA region, Mziray said that research conducted by the respective members was being filed and not shared with other members, thus losing much of its value. He said there is a need to harmonise the current port systems. Information gained by each respective port authority should be shared with the aim of improving infrastructure and systems. Instead it was sometimes withheld for fear that it might prove advantageous to other ports.

“We can use this information and experience to preserve and to benefit from our regional expertise instead of having to look overseas.” As an example, he referred to there being shortages of marine pilots in some ports, yet in others pilots are routinely retired because they have reached a certain age, whereas they could be utilised in other regions.

Mziray is a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CMILT), a member of Eastern Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee and has had a long relationship with PMAESA while at the Tanzania Ports Authority, having become the Association’s founding Communications Technical Committee chairman.

He also helped found the Cruise Indian Ocean Association (CIOA), a body set up by PMAESA to help develop cruise tourism in the region, of which South Africa is also a member.

Resolutions passed

Three resolutions were adopted by PMAESA at the conclusion of the conference.


  • As part of its mandate, the organisation recommitted itself to the founding principles as contained in its constitution and said that, while acknowledging that the world environment has changed, PMAESA would focus strongly on regional and economic integration
  • It would consider effective operational elements of the existing corridors together with its governance structures
  • PMAESA would identify and engage with key stakeholders to determine their positions in the maritime industry, thereby building closer working relationships while pursuing sound maritime principles.

In terms of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the continent is divided into three zones. PMAESA embraces all Southern and Eastern African countries; PMAWCA covers the regions of West and Central Africa; and UAPNA covers the North African Ports Association. Each organisation operates with similar objectives, which date back as far as 1971.

PMAESA is the regional organisation for the ports and maritime sector in Eastern and Southern Africa and acts under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). It seeks to promote and nurture best practices among member ports by creating an enabling environment for exchange of information and capacity building to contribute to the economic development of the region.


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Tin Can Island terminal, Lagos, Nigeria – one of the Bollore-operated port terminals. Picture OTAL

The French logistics and terminal operating specialist Bolloré, which has wide investments in French-speaking Africa, intends expanding its operations into South Africa and several other English-speaking African countries.

According to Dominique Lafont, Bolloré’s head of African business, Bolloré intends ‘unlocking Africa’ to benefit from the huge trading opportunities coming from China and other ‘fast-growing economies’ and South Africa has been identified as being one of its priority list areas into which it will expand.

He pointed out that in 2000 trade with China, India, Brazil (all Brics states) and Turkey amounted collectively to around US$18 billion with Africa. In 2012 trade with these same countries reached $265 billion, an increase of more than 10 times. Europe’s trade Africa had increased from $150 billion to $250 billion over the same period, which he said indicated how the flow of trade has shifted.

Bolloré’s main focus is on increasing African sales to above the continent’s average economic growth rate of between 5 and 6 percent, but Lafont says that to achieve this Bolloré needed to address its chief weakness in the “critical markets” of South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt, which between them contribute over half of Africa’s GDP.

Bolloré already operates 14 port terminals in Africa and was ready to invest in South African terminals, he said. It was also seeking opportunities in container terminal operations in Kenya, Mozambique and Somaliland and had earlier won the concession to operate the Tin Can Island terminal in Lagos.

Bolloré employs more than 25,000 people in Africa, involving freight forwarding, warehousing, container terminal operating and operating two railway networks.


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The opening of the school hall at Brendan Simbwaye Primary School at Katimo Mulilo, Caprivi region, Namibia. Picture Namport

The Namibian Ports Authority says it is demonstrating its responsible corporate citizenship by funding the construction of a school hall at Brendan Simbwaye Primary School, situated in Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi region.

The value of this ‘investment’ is N$700,000 (R700,000) which Namport’s directors say they regard as money well spent as an investment in the future. The official handover ceremony took place on Monday, 11 March 2013, and was attended by various stakeholders, including the Governor of the Caprivi Region, Hon. Lawrence Samupofu, as well as the Mayor of Katima Mulilo, Cllr Charles Mukaya Matengu.

Namport CEO, Mr Bisey Uirab, addressed the audience, emphasising the importance of education and stressing his hope that the school hall will create a productive and positive learning environment for the learners, teachers and other community members, thus improving the livelihood of the entire region.

The Board and Management of Namport says it is of the opinion that a country can only be as developed in line with the capacity of its human resources. Namport, as part of its contribution to Vision 2030, is therefore committed to capacity building and skills development in Namibia and it is for this reason that Namport in 2006 established a Social Investment Fund (NSIF) focusing on Education, Health, and Entrepreneurial development. To date the fund has invested over N$20 million across the country.

For the 2013 calendar year, the NSIF has pledged yet another N$3.2milion to identified well deserving projects.


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The first Triple-E class container ship rolled out recently

In a shipyard in South Korea workers are building the world's largest ships - Maersk Line's 400m long Triple-E container vessels and now Maersk and Discovery Channel have teamed up to bring you every stage of construction from design to maiden voyage.

In a six episode TV-series, Discovery Channel has exclusive access to document every stage of the build; from the design of the vessels unique hull to the construction of the Triple-E's enormous engines and propellers, from the environmental improvements and safety systems to the ship's naming ceremony and maiden voyage on the Asia-Europe route. All angles relating to the ships design, build and launch will be covered – with many sequences in 3D.

The series will also focus on the human side of the Triple-E's development and zoom in on the lives of some of the people involved with the ship including the naval architect, members of the site team supervising the build and the Captain as he trains for his new role and eventually sails the first Triple-E out on its maiden voyage.

“The Triple-E is an exceptional ship, in terms of its size as well as its energy saving technology and design. We're excited about these vessels and proud to have Discovery Channel as a partner for showing how it is built and the people and passion behind it,” says Morten Engelstoft, Chief Operating Officer, Maersk Line.

“Discovery always delivers a unique and exclusive perspective on the world's most ambitious engineering projects and the building of the world's largest ship is no exception. The Triple-E's scale is unprecedented and we're glad our audience will be able watch these mighty ships being built, and launched, on Discovery,” says Dan Korn, SVP and Head of Programming at Discovery Networks, West Europe.

Produced by Windfall Films ‘The World's Largest Ship’ will air on Discovery Channel in November 2013. For the latest information, you can visit the brand new website, www.worldslargestship.com where you can watch a time lapse video of the building of the Triple-E. The video consists of 50,000 photos taken over 3 months.


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Stim Star Angola, which recently completed a scheduled maintenance project at Cape Town’s DCD Marine ship repair yard. Picture DCD Marine

DCD Marine has completed maintenance work on Halliburton’s well stimulation vessel, STIM STAR ANGOLA (3,861-gt, built 2004) which has sailed for Angola.

Halliburton is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, and Halliburton’s vessels operating out of Angola have been successfully used to complete a number of stimulation, sand control, and remedial well treatments. One of the company’s recent additions, the Stim Star Angola, arrived in the Port of Cape Town for scheduled repair work which was undertaken by DCD Marine.

“The choice of DCD Marine as a service provider was based on the previously successfully completed project undertaken by the company on Halliburton’s Stim Star vessel during 2012,” says Gerry Klos, General Manager of DCD Marine.

“A number of factors resulted in our selection of DCD Marine as a supplier of choice,” says Mike Armour, Business Segment Manager for Halliburton. The Stim Star project undertaken for Halliburton in 2012 entailed 5,000 stainless x-rayed steel welds, all of which were undertaken with a 100% success rate. In addition, not a single HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) incident occurred during the 66 000 man hours worked.”

Armour gives the close proximity to Halliburton’s Angola base as a major reason for selecting the port of Cape Town. “In addition, DCD MARINE has a multitude of maritime suppliers and vendors that they utilise in the area, resulting in fast turnaround times.”

The Stim Star Angola arrived in the Port of Cape Town in mid-January 2013 and spent three weeks alongside A-Berth and three weeks in the Sturrock Dry Dock, before returning to the West Coast of Africa.

DCD MARINE’s scope of work for the Stim Star Angola project involved class inspections of the rudders and tail shafts and renewal of the seals, pipework, including antifouling pipe line, bilge suction line, cooler pipe lines, bulk system pipe work, generator cooling lines and diesel lines.

“In addition, we installed new anodes, renewed stainless steel chemical lines, corrosive liquid tank lids, and associated pressure relief devices, and then finally, we undertook the blasting and coating of the hull, painting of various areas and tank work,” said DCD Marine Senior Project Manager, Denver Arendse.

Everton ready to depart Durban

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The fire damage that crippled the Everton is evident in this picture taken at the T-Jetty yesterday. Picture by Terry Hutson

EVERTON, the fire-damaged general cargo ship that has been occupying a ship repair jetty berth at the Bayhead for some months, after the crippled ship had been towed to Durban for evaluation and possible repair, has been moved to the T-Jetty where it would appear that she is being readied for a final tow to the breakers. In attendance to take up the tow is the small Kenya Marine Contractors tug named KMC RHINO (former Rhino, previously Strongbow, 391-gt, built 1977) and registered in Zanzibar.

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The Kenyan tug KMC Rhino which will be towing away the fire damaged general cargo ship Everton. Picture by Trevor Jones

Another interesting and slightly unusual arrival in Durban yesterday was the Capesize bulker CAPE AMANDA (182,741-dwt, built 2011) that called not for repairs but for bunkers and took up almost the entire combined length of Q and R-berths, which are normally used by car carriers. The berths form part of the Durban Car Terminal. The Capesize was light ship and drawing 10 metres of water.

In another movement, the 41,114-gt container ship MOL BRAVERY has taken up a berth at the Dormac Marine quayside in Durban to undergo various repairs.


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The Norwegian line Thor Dahl’s well-remembered THORSTREAM (5,758-gt, built 1960) seen sailing from Durban in March 1976. Picture by Trevor Jones

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Lykes Line was another operator on the North America –South Africa trade route that ran on this route for over 50 years before the American company was sold to Canada’s CP Ships. This picture shows the Gulf class passenger freighter GULF FARMER (9,459-gt, built 1964) arriving in Durban in April 1976. Lykes employed a total of five of these sturdy steam ships which could be activated as necessary to become ships of the US Military Sealift Command – Lykes Farmer then assuming the pennant number AK-5045. The ship was ultimately laid up among the reserve fleet until finally disposed of for scrapping in 2009. Picture by Trevor Jones


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