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Ports & Ships Maritime News

28 January 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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



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News continues below...


The world’s most famous passenger ship, Cunard’s QUEEN MARY 2 sailed into Cape Town harbour yesterday morning for an overnight stopover. The ship sails again this afternoon, bound for Durban where she is due on Thursday morning, before sailing again later the same day. Ian Shiffman was up early yesterday to capture this spectacular shot as QM2 sailed into harbour. Picture by Ian Shiffman

News continues below…


nigeria 470
Nigeria’s Niger delta remains a trouble spot for pirate attacks

Pirates in the West African region struck again at the weekend when they attacked a tug belonging to the Nigerian Agip Company (NOAC).

The tug, which had a crew of seven on board including the captain, came under attack while on the Nembe Waterways near Peter’s Town in Bayelsa State. Seven armed pirates came on board from a speedboat and after stealing all the personal valuables they could lay their hands on, left taking the captain and engineer with them as hostages.

The tug was on its way from Port Harcourt to Brass to deliver petroleum products at the terminal. The whereabouts of the abducted men remains unknown although the pirates are expected to make their demands known soon. In another incident at the weekend, gunmen boarded a passenger boat returning to Akassa after a church service in the Brass local government area. They stole the boat’s engine and valuables from the passengers before making their departure.

A report in This Day newspaper quoted a source as saying that Nigeria’s waterways along the coast are unsafe. “The waterways of the Niger Delta especially the Bayelsa axis have remained volatile. It is no longer safe for people to travel. The security operatives especially the navy and the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield seem clueless. They don't know what to do,” the source said.

This Day also quoted the media coordinator of the Joint Task Force, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, who said he had not yet been briefed about the incident.

News continues below…


ICTSI to build Matadi port on Congo River Wikimedia Commons 47
Port of Matadi which is soon to have a new container terminal operated by ICTSI. Picture by Wiki Commons

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has announced that it plans to build a new container terminal in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The terminal, to be known as ICTSI Congo DR, will be located on the banks of the Congo River in Matadi, which serves as the main entry point for containers into the DRC serving both the greater region and the Kinshasa market.

“We have been following the positive economic developments in DRC closely and are proud that we can take part in building the needed infrastructure for the future growth and prosperity of the country,” said ICTSI chairman and president, Enrique K Razon Jr.

The container terminal will be capable of handling 120,000 TEU upon the completion of Phase 1, with provisions in place to double this amount dependent on demand with a second phase.

Phase 1 will have two dedicated container berths with a quay length of 350 metres, costing in the region of US$100 million.

ICTSI Congo DR is a joint venture between the ICTSI Group and Simobile SPRL, with shareholding split 60 percent and 40 percent respectively.

The new terminal is scheduled to open for commercial shipping in 2015 and represents the Manila-based operator’s first investment in the African country.

News continues below...


LPLE ICTSI Sign Mo U for Lekki Port 470
A drawing of the proposed new Lekki container port

CMA CGM's recent changes to West Africa services with a focus on transshipment at Tanger Med shows why Nigeria wants to make its harbours' deep water ports, says London's Drewry Maritime Research.

Nigeria has potential for substantial growth in container traffic. Capacity being added will help rectify congestion problems, but hardware alone will not rid its ports of the red tape congestion that stymies cargo flow, said Drewry analysts.

Nigeria's decision to approve the building of a new port at Lekki, 65 kilometres east of Lagos, underlines its concern over the increasing proportion of cargo carried by feeder vessels due to unacceptable delays suffered by mainline services.

But delays in customs clearance, the high level of physical container inspections, and congestion-causing activities of state agencies create “very long dwell times by world standards”, said Drewry.

The new US$1.4 billion Lekki project involves a deep water port to be developed by the Tolaram Group, a Singapore-based family owned international conglomerate.

In a joint venture with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Lagos State Government, the 90-hectare port complex will be part of Lagos Free Trade Zone, and will also include dry bulk, liquid bulk and breakbulk facilities.

Manila's International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) holds a 20-year sub-concession for the terminal which will have a capacity of 2.5 million TEU a year at full build out.

The ICTSI terminal will have a quay length of 1,200 metres and a depth of 14 metres alongside but with the potential to increase it to 16.5 metres.

The Badagry port project, 55 kilometres west of Lagos, will have a terminal with 14.5 metre draught alongside and an annual capacity of one million TEU, as well as bulk, ro-ro, general cargo and offshore oil support facilities in a Free Trade Zone.

“This may seem like a lot of capacity expansion for a country that only sees just over one million TEU of port traffic a year. But Nigeria is a wealthy country and has a population of 170 million, making it the biggest in Africa with one sixth of its population,” said the analysts.

The huge potential for container volume growth by comparing Nigeria with selected emerging and mature economies is evident. Nigeria's port market has had double digit growth over the last 10 years, and even in the global financial crash of 2009, volumes only dipped slightly.

APM Terminals is the country's main terminal operator at present, with facilities in Lagos and Onne (Port Harcourt) which accounted for around 65 percent of the country's throughput in 2012.

AP Moller Maersk standalone port operator has invested over $200 million in enhancements at its Nigerian terminals since 2006, with another $100 million to be spent by the end of 2014.

The other main terminal operator in Nigeria is the Bollore Group at Apapa's Tin Can Island, where China Merchants also has a stake in the terminal. Bollore accounted for 32 percent of Nigerian container port throughput in 2012. source – Shipping Gazette

News continues below…


DSC05014 Walvis Bay Beach Cleanup 470
Staff of EBH Namibia spent a morning on the beach recently, helping to clear refuse left behind after the recent holidays

Ship repair company Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH) Namibia decided to kick start the new year with a campaign to clean up the beaches of Walvis Bay.

The company says this that a key element in being a responsible corporate citizen is by having a positive impact on the environment in which it operates.

Living up to its motto of ‘One Team, One Goal’, a total of 73 EBH Namibia employees descended on three beach sites, gathering hundreds of kilogrammes of refuse, and leaving a pristine shoreline in their wake.

EBH Namibia’s latest clean-up initiative is part of the company’s effort to promote environmental stewardship by focusing on a cleaner beach and healthier ocean.

“Dirty beaches drive away tourists, injure bathers and harm wildlife. Whether we live near a beach or hundreds of kilometres from the coastline, we all have a profound stake in an ocean that is healthy and abundant,” says Leeanne Salpeter, Commercial Administrator of EBH Namibia.

“At EBH Namibia we continuously strive to create a culture of safety, and a safe environment is one that is free of litter and toxins which pose a health risk to people, marine life, and ultimately to our economy.”

During the four hour clean-up operation, which took place on 8 January, the EBH volunteers managed to fill 200 refuse bags, which had been donated by the Walvis Bay Municipality. Most of the trash collected originated from land-based sources, including plastic bottles, cigarette butts, rusty tins, broken glass bottles, aluminium beverage cans, Styrofoam containers, food wrappers and plastic grocery bags.

“Plastic bags and bottles are among the top five items of debris most often found our beaches,” notes Salpeter. “Like almost all single-use disposable plastics, it tends to be used for a few seconds but lasts forever. Their durability and buoyancy make them especially harmful to marine life when washed into the ocean.”

She said that everyone deserves to walk on the beach without worrying about cutting ourselves on litter, or health risks as a result of pollution.

“It was good to have launched our 2014 CSI (corporate social investment) agenda on a clean and healthy note, and to see EBH Namibia’s culture of co-operative teamwork in action. Our cleaner shoreline has set the tone for a year in which we will work even harder towards a healthier and safer environment for our employees and the wider Walvis Bay community,” Salpeter concludes.


Mapa thumb[3]
Nacala Bay with the existing Nacala port on one side and the new coal terminal at Nacala-a-Velha on the opposite

The multipurpose port terminal of Nacala in Mozambique’s Nampula province is due to start operating this year, according to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

The project, which is expected to cost around US$1 billion, will in its first phase have an annual handling capacity of 14.5 million tons of coal delivered from the mines in the Moatize coal basin in Tete province.

The newspaper said that a Chinese company was building a rail wagon dumper and that a pontoon was also being built to moor large draught Capesize ships with cargo capacities of over 200,000 tons.

The terminal will mainly be used by the Mozambican subsidiary of Brazilian group Vale, which since 2011 has operated a mine in Moatize where it aims at mining 11 million tons of coal a year in the short term.

As well as the terminal and other facilities, the group is funding construction of a 912-kilometre railroad between Moatize and Nacala, passing through Malawi, of which 684 kilometres of rail is to be rebuilt and the remainder built from scratch. source – macauhub


Investec Asset Management, the South African asset management company and US asset management company The Carlyle Group have agreed to invest in J&J Africa, a pan-African transport logistics company specialising in the road transportation of general cargo along the Beira corridor, one of Southern Africa’s key trade routes.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.

“Carlyle brings strong expertise working with companies in the transportation sector, along with deep experience in emerging markets, including Africa,” said Marlon Chigwende, Managing Director and Co-Head of the Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund. “We have a particularly strong track record in partnering with private, family and entrepreneurial firms and helping them expand to compete on a world stage. By building on J&J’s current service, as well as adding new offerings, we hope to better serve current and future customers in this fast-growing region. Further, J&J is well positioned to benefit from the fast growth across Southern Africa, particularly in Mozambique and Zambia.”

William Alexander, an Investment Principal in Investec Asset Management’s Private Equity team, said that over the past decade, J&J Africa has built up the pre-eminent transport fleet and logistics infrastructure in the region. “We look forward to working with J&J’s highly professional management team to realise our plans to grow the business further in the coming years.”

Founded in 1995, J&J has more than 18 years’ experience in cross-border transport within Africa. From their headquarters in Mozambique, the company has established itself as a provider of transport and logistics services to a diversified, international customer base.

With 800 trucks and extensive storage infrastructure, J&J is well-placed to serve Southern Africa, home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world, said the statement issued by the two asset management companies.

The investment, which was led by Carlyle, is the second investment by Carlyle’s Sub-Saharan Africa Fund, which invests in companies that support the emerging middle class across the Sub-Saharan Africa region. In November 2012, the Fund made its first investment in Export Trading Group, a global agricultural supply chain manager based in Tanzania.

The investment is the seventh by Investec Asset Management’s Africa Frontier Private Equity Fund, which invests in established companies in Africa with the objective of supporting the creation of local or regional champions in their respective industries.


LOTHENI 22 December 2010, Trevor Jones 470
The Durban harbour tug LOTHENI, one of a fleet of eight tugs in service in the port. With the intended expansion of the Durban fleet a new extension to the tug basin jetty is required, for which an EIA process has just commenced. Picture is by Trevor Jones

Notice has been given of the public participation in an environmental impact assessment (EIA) concerning the proposed expansion of the Durban Harbour tug jetty at ‘R’ berth.

“Notice is hereby given to all registered and persons identified as potential interested and affected parties (I&APs) of the Public Review of the Draft Basic Assessment Report of the proposed expansion of the Tug Jetty at the "R" Berth, Port of Durban project.

“Notice is given in terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations (2010) published in Government Notice No. R543, in terms of Section 24(5) of the National Environmental Management Act (Act No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA), as amended.

“WorleyParsons RSA (Pty) Ltd has been appointed by the applicant, Transnet Capital Projects to conduct and manage the required Environmental Impact Assessment processes in terms of the NEMA for the proposed expansion of the Tug Jetty at the ‘R’ Berth, Port of Durban.

“The Draft Basic Assessment Report is available for public review for a period of 30 days from 24 January 2014 to 22 February 2014 at the Beach Public Library at 21 Boscombe Place, Marine Parade, Durban. The report is also available for download and review on the following WorleyParsons site:


“Please contact the Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP), J.C. Pretorius with any queries and to submit any comments or concerns relating to the Draft Basic Assessment.

“All comments should be submitted to WorleyParsons before or on 22 February 2014.”

The Environmental Assessment Practitioners (EAPs) contact details are as follows:

Post: PO Box 22, Menlyn, 0063

Tel: (012) 745 2000
Fax: (012) 745 2001
* NB Ports & Ships is aware that at the time of publishing this, the WorleyParsons website does not appear to be opening. The EIA practitioner has been advised.


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Port of Mombasa

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 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.


merkur cloud 470

The container ship MERKUR CLOUD (22,015-dwt, built 1996) seen preparing to sail from the Port of Cape Town earlier this month. With all the hype around the larger container ships, one can easily forget that there is a need also for smaller capacity container ships, as with the vessel shown here which has a maximum container capacity of just 1618 TEU. Merkur Cloud was built in Germany at the Meeres-Technik-Wismar shipyard. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

merkur cloud 470

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