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Ports & Ships Maritime News

13 August 2013
Author: Terry Hutson

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




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The Australian-owned, Dutch-managed, Panama-flagged seismographic research ship FUGRO BRASILIS (1929-gt, built 2013) which arrived in Cape Town for bunkers yesterday. Picture is by Aad Noorland News continues below…



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Kiani Satu, grounded near Buffalo Bay

Oil is continuing to spill from the general cargo ship KIANI SATU, which went aground near Buffalo Bay in the Southern Cape on Thursday morning, 8 August.

An attempt was to be made this morning (Tuesday) at around 5am to pull the ship clear of the beach before the onset of another cold front bringing severe weather from the south. The tug SMIT AMANDLA had secured her tow cables by late yesterday afternoon. Preparations for the attempt were being hampered by a technical problem with the heavy helicopter assisting the salvage team, and several smaller choppers have had to be called in to assist.

The ship is loaded with a cargo of 15,000 tons of rice and about 330 tons of heavy fuel oil and a smaller quantity of distillates. By the end of the weekend SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority), which has overall control of the salvage effort, had estimated that between 10 and 15 tons of heavy fuel oil had spilled from the ship.

Much of this appeared to be moving out to sea but smaller quantities have polluted the adjacent beaches. The South African Department of Environmental Affairs’ Oil Spill Response team has reported that the oil spill from grounded bulker Kiani Satu is ‘under control’, which might appear to be premature at this delicate stage and with another cold front moving in on the coast.

Authorities have closed off several of the river mouths nearby to prevent ingress of oil into the river system – the ship is ashore in front of a nature reserve and some of South Africa’s most magnificent coastline.

The drama began when Kiani Satu stopped off the coast to undertake repairs to the ship’s engines. In heavy seas of 5 metre swells and winds gusting up to 45 knots, the ship began to drag on her anchor on early Thursday morning and despite the attentions of a tug that came to the ship’s assistance, she turned sideways onto the shore and went aground.

Shortly afterwards the decision was made to abandon ship and all 19 crew were winched off by a helicopter called to the scene. There were no serious injuries and the crew was taken to Mossel Bay where they were temporarily accommodated.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Oil Spill Response team, in collaboration with the local municipality, SANParks and CapeNature, reported yesterday that they were working around the clock in putting up protection measures and cleaning up the oil spill in the Goukamma estuary on the east side of the ship, and the Swartvlei estuary on the west side.

The Department’s reconnaissance aircraft, Kuswag 9 is undertaking overflights out of George Airport to monitor the oil leaking from the ship.

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Tweaks for Maersk/CMA CGM joint West African service

Maersk Line and CMA CGM are making a few changes to their joint Far East – West Africa service known respectively as FEW5 and WAX2.

A call at Walvis Bay is now being included with Cape Town dropping away. Likewise, a call at Colombo is also being removed and the ship’s rotation will reduce from 70 days to 63 days. Nine container ships in the range between 2,700 to 3,400 TEU will be utilised, using gearless vessels which is a little unusual for West African calls but is an indication of improvements at the respective terminals.

In a related move, Maersk is dropping the Walvis Bay call involving ships on the company’s FEW1 service, while Lagos will replace the port of Lome, leaving the FEW1 rotation as follows: Tanjung Pelepas, Tin Can Island, Onne, Douala, Cochin, Port Kelang, Tanjung Pelepas.


MOL Comfort’s sister ship return to service

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MOL Comfort with a broken back, shortly before the ship split in two. Picture MRCC India

Three of the ill-fated MOL Comfort’s sister ships, MOL Celebration, MOL Courage and MOL Creation have been returned to service after undergoing strengthening of their hulls. Another two ships, MOL Charisma and MOL Competence will return to service at the end of September, and the final ship of the class, MOL< Commitment will return to service in February 2014. The latter ship was only delivered from the builders in June this year.

MOL Comfort broke in two in the north-western Indian Ocean, south of the Yemen/Oman border on 17 June. The front and back sections of the ship ultimately sank, taking their cargo and secrets with them, but not before the front section caught fire and burned fiercely.

Without positive knowledge of what cause the ship to break in half, MOL opted to strengthen the hulls to twice of what is required by ClassNK. Lloyd’s Register described the reinforcement as ‘the best preventive measure against a similar failure at present.’


World’s biggest container ship crosses Suez Canal

On Friday, 9 August the world’s biggest container ship, MAERSK McKINNEY Moller crossed through the Suez Canal on her maiden voyage to Northern Europe, having loaded cargo at several ports in Korea, China and South East Asia.

The 400m long, 59m wide ship is only a few metres longer and wider than the smaller E-Class Maersk container ships yet she can carry another 2,500 containers giving her a total capacity of 18,200-TEU.

Maersk has 20 Triple-E class ships on order, and has already taken delivery of the second vessel in the series, to be named MAJESTIC MAERSK when she arrives in Europe.

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Record cargo for Suez Canal

The Suez Canal saw another type of record being broken also on Friday, being the amount of cargo sent along the canal in a single day.

According to the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mamish, 68 ships crossed the canal on Friday (9 August 2013), with a total load of 4.8 million tons. This is the highest figure in a single day since the canal opened in 1869.

The canal is one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency, along with tourism. Unlike tourism, the canal keeps working throughout most unrest and disturbances – in May this year the revenue topped US$438.1 million, compared with $434.6m for May 2012.


Nigerian Navy ship leaves for Australian Fleet Exercise

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The Nigerian Navy Ship THUNDER, which has departed on a lengthy deployment that will see the ship taking part in the Fleet Review in Australia

The Nigerian Navy is once again taking part in an international fleet review, this time in Australia. NNS THUNDER sailed from Calabar last week and will arrive in Australia ahead of the exercise which takes place between 3 and 11 October, with the navies of some 50 nations taking part.

NNS Thunder is expected to be on deployment away from Nigeria for approximately six months. En route to Australia the ship will pay visits to Luanda in Angola, Cape Town, Port Louis in Mauritius, Fremantle in Western Australia, Hobart in Tasmania and Sydney.

On her return voyage the ship will call at Melbourne, Albany, Reunion, Durban, Walvis Bay and Pointe Noire.

NNS Thunder is a former Hamilton-class US Coastguard cutter, now converted into a frigate.

As far as is known the South African Navy will not be taking part in the Fleet Review, leaving the Nigerian Navy as the sole representative of Africa.


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MSC Opera. Picture by Trevor Jones

MSC Cruises, which has just released its 2013/14 summer brochure, is offering a select number of coastal cruises during the summer months.

These offer the opportunity of cruising the beautiful South African coastline between Cape Town and Durban, with the friendly city of Port Elizabeth as a local destination offering.

The 3 or 4 night coastal cruise options departing from either Cape Town or Durban provide the opportunity to experience the full splendour of either the popular MSC Sinfonia or recent newcomer MSC Opera at very reasonable rates.

Travellers celebrate the ship as a perfect holiday destination with accommodation, a taste of MSC Mediterranean dining, an array of world class entertainment and on board facilities like pools, jacuzzis and sports facilities included in the fare.

A stop over on select departures in the city of PE allows a day of exploration. Situated 260 km from Knysna and around 800km from Cape Town and roughly halfway to Durban, PE is known for its sunshine and safe sandy beaches. PE offers travellers wanting a complete South African experience the perfect complement to the Garden Route.

MSC Cruises SA now also offers ‘Stay and Cruise’ packages with cruise enthusiasts now able to enjoy a night in the bustling city of Durban or picturesque Cape Town before or after their cruise.

With accommodation provided by Tsgogo Sun, the land-based accommodation ensures the perfect holiday experience with the best of the local coastal destinations and on board MSC experience. Travellers can be tourists within their own cities, then enjoying the wonders of the ocean and MSC hospitality.

Stay Cruise prices are from as low as R3,679pp: includes 2 nights’ accommodation and Cruise Fare on board MSC Sinfonia or MSC Opera. Kids under 18 cruise free [T&C’s] with an array of kids entertainment designed to suit any age.

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MSC Opera deck scene. Picture by Terry Hutson

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MS Pacific, also known as the Pacific Princess

The cruise ship PACIFIC has taken her final voyage, far from the glamour of her days as a Hollywood star, during which the cruise ship was made famous in Aaron Spelling’s television show ‘The Love Boat’ in which she appeared under the guise of Pacific Princess.

Not one of the larger ships, the 171 metre, 13,500-gross ton ship featured on the popular television show for nine years between 1977 and 1986, operating cruises out of California to the Mexican Riveira. Many believe that the show helped popularise cruising among both American and European audiences.

The ship has been sold to Turkey’s Izmir Ship Recycling Co for a figure of €2.5 million. Her last voyage took Pacific from Genoa to Aliaga in Turkey where she arrived last week for her date with the cutting torches. On the way the ship went through a violent storm and began taking on water and had to be assisted into Aliaga with the aid of several tugs and with a decided list to starboard.


Celebrity Millennium delayed by electrical problem

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Millennium sailing from Lyttelton harbour, New Zealand in 2008. Picture by Alan Calvert

The Celebrity cruise ship MILLENNIUM was delayed in an Alaska port for several days by an electrical problem, says Celebrity Cruises.

The 2,138-passenger ship was due to arrive in Seward in Alaska when the problem with one of her engines struck, with a loss of power in one of the ship’s two electrical propulsion motors. The ship was completing a seven day cruise at the time.

“The intricate repairs required to restore power to the motor will take several days,” Celebrity Cruises said in a statement.

The ship has been forced to remain in port and is only expected to sail again today (Tuesday, 13 August). Millennium had another round of passengers set to start a seven-day cruise last Friday from Seward to Vancouver in British Columbia. Instead the company was obliged to offer guests a variety of options in compensation and/or assistance with alternate travel arrangements.

“They could also have “stayed onboard during the repair and enjoyed all the onboard experiences they have come to expect from a Celebrity Cruises vacation.” Celebrity said.




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 on the island of Mauritius.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, at any time by going HERE - remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.




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News of the eighth South African Joint Air Defence Symposium 2013 (SAJAD) was revealed in Pretoria last week. The SAJAD 2013 symposium will be held over a period of three days from 10 to 12 September 2013 at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) International Conference Centre in Tshwane (Pretoria).

The responsibility for organising SAJADS 2013 is rotated between the Army, Air Force and the Navy. This year it is the turn of the navy.

The biennial symposium has an international flavour and will feature senior local and foreign speakers, including attendance by senior local and foreign military representatives, Chiefs of Services of the SANDF and SADC countries and industry.

A spokesman for SAJAD said the symposium is aligned with the South African Government’s commitment to SADC as an enabler for regional integration and sustainable development, with particular emphasis on the Mutual Defence Pact’s objective, of seeking mutual cooperation in the defence and security domains.

The aim of the symposium is to highlight key areas of military and industrial participation both nationally and within SADC in order to achieve indigenous Joint Air Defence. The intention is to attract people interested in the subject of air defence, with specific emphasis on defence officials, government officials, defence institutes and the relevant defence industries.

“The symposium will be attended by approximately 300 delegates with 18 papers being presented and a total of six exhibition stands from the industry,” said Rear Admiral Karl Wiesner, Director of Maritime Warfare and the Chairman of the SAJADS 2013 organising committee.

The navy’s four Valour Class Frigates are armed with Umkhonto missiles, which are launched vertically and are specially designed for providing all-round defence against simultaneous air attacks from multiple combat aircraft (fixed wing or helicopters) and incoming missiles,” said Warrant Officer Manny Gounden, the communications officer for SAJADS 2013

During the 2010 Soccer World Cup the frigates assisted with air defence guarding the coastal cities where soccer games were being held. This was in terms of an FIFA requirement.

Additional information regarding the symposium can be accessed at website address www.sajads.co.za - use your BACKSPACE key to return to this page.




The following notice from SARS has been received and is published here in its entirety without comment or editing.

Clearance at the first port of entry and the effect on inland terminals

Pretoria, 8 August 2013 — The Customs Bills, after having undergone an extensive consultation process, have now been submitted to Parliament. One of the major aims of the Bills is to create a balance between customs control and trade facilitation. As part of the overall policy review to achieve this aim, SARS reviewed its current policy of allowing goods to move on the basis of a manifest to inland terminals such as City Deep.

Currently, the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, allows container operators to move containers in bond from a port of entry (e.g. the port of Durban) to an inland container terminal (e.g. City Deep) without submitting a customs clearance declaration. The containers are moved on the basis of a manifest. No security is required and liability for the removal rests with the container operator. After the arrival of the goods at the inland container terminal the importer will clear the goods for another permissible customs procedure or for home use and pay the duties.

This current position does not provide SARS with adequate information to determine any possible safety, security, fiscal and economic risks in relation to these goods before they are transported inland. No value is declared on the manifest and only a general description of the goods is provided. This lack of information on a manifest therefore does not promote the application of efficient and effective customs controls and risk management at the port of entry, potentially allowing high risk goods to move inland.

To address this deficiency, clearance at the first port of entry envisaged in the Customs Control Bill will require a declaration of the true value of the goods and duties and taxes that are to be paid. In addition the origin of the goods, as well as a clear description of the goods as per the Harmonised Commodity and Coding System (HS Code) will have to be declared. The HS Code will indicate whether the goods pose a fiscal or economic risk or a safety and security risk to society. The inclusion of the origin, HS code and true value on the declaration would thus facilitate electronic data processing which contributes to effective risk management and customs control. A further benefit of a declaration is that the person who submits the declaration subscribes to the correctness of the information. This person will be in South Africa and action can be taken against such person if necessary.

Notwithstanding wide consultation on this matter there still remains a misunderstanding about the implementation of this policy. Incorrect reporting and information that this proposed change will result in the closure of inland terminals such as City Deep, is still being spread by the media, some stakeholders and specific entities.

The statement that all goods must be transported to inspection areas at the port of entry which in turn will lead to port congestion in Durban and closure of City Deep resulting in job losses, is absolutely incorrect and completely misleading. SARS will not mandate inspection of all goods at the port of entry and has no intention to increase inspections beyond available capacity in the port of Durban. Only high risk goods (which are a small percentage of imports) will be physically inspected in Durban whilst medium to low risk goods (which represent the vast majority of imports) will continue to flow to inland terminals such as City Deep where they will be inspected.

SARS is aware of the benefits of inland terminals and is not averse to the retention and establishment of such terminals. The issue is the use of the manifest that does not contain sufficient information on which basis the goods are risk assessed. The effect of the change is that goods will still be able to move from Durban to City Deep without payment of duties and taxes. At City Deep the goods can be cleared for home use or a customs procedure at a later time. City deep will therefore NOT be closed.

This policy change will also have no impact on exports from City Deep.

In support of modernising customs, SARS’s systems modernisation programme started to implement incremental improvements. As part of this journey, the modernisation systems programme will continue and reach a further milestone when the legacy declaration system will be replaced with a modern and innovative system as the next phase in programme.




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The German Deutsche Afrika Linien container ship DAL KAROO (50,757-gt, built 2003) arriving in Cape Town in July this year. Shortly afterwards this ship was renamed MAERSK GARONNE. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

2009 april 13 025 dal reun 470



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