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Ports & Ships Maritime News

5 August 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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Laoghaire 12 July 2014 1 470

WIND SURF (14,745-gt, built 1989), one of four computer-controlled (sails) sailing motor ships operating in the service of Windstar Cruises, was photographed at the Irish port of Dun Laoghaire during July. The ship has accommodation for up to 310 passengers, cared for by a crew of 214. Picture: Trevor Jones

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Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane addressing the media before the summit

by Chris Bathembu, Washington

Africa needs to form partnerships with the developed nations in order to realise the continent’s goal to industrialise, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana- Mashabane said on Sunday.

Speaking in Washington ahead of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit called by US President Barack Obama, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said while South Africa would listen to President Obama and what he had to say at the summit, it was important that an African voice be heard during the deliberation on Wednesday.

“Wherever we go, together with other African governments, we will always champion the African agenda, issues of peace and security and development, and that would include industrialisation and beneficiation of our mineral resources,” she said.

Nelson Mandela initiative
The unprecedented conference takes place after President Obama announced the Washington Nelson Mandela Leadership Initiative to develop and train political and economic leaders in Africa.

The programme will be rolled out in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Senegal, and its beneficiaries will be Africans aged 25 – 35, who have an opportunity to study at top US universities.

“We welcome the initiative. It’s one of many programmes that we as the South African government support and hope will support our own initiatives to industrialise and grow our own economies,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said.

South Africa would take advantage of the talks in Washington to say Africa was in the business of integrating the continent’s infrastructure, she said.

“Africa is serious about integrating our own economies and trade among ourselves but that does not exclude working with other major economies in the world, including the US.”

She pointed out that more than 600 American companies were operating in South Africa, saying that this was good for both US and South Africa’s economy.

Business Forum
President Obama and other African leaders, including President Jacob Zuma, will take part in Business Forum discussion. The US President will also host a White House dinner in honour of the nearly 50 African Heads of State and Government visiting the US capital.

The Presidency said the meeting is expected to further strengthen ties between the United States and one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing regions, Africa.

“The high-level engagement was announced during the official visit to some countries in the continent, including South Africa last year, by US President Barack Obama,” said a Presidency issued statement.

The summit provided an opportunity to promote increased cooperation on Africa-US trade and investment, as well as cooperation on peace and security, infrastructure development and other key sectors.

“South Africa sees immense value in the Power Africa initiative of President Obama and an opportunity in it to promote Africa’s energy projects as part of the continent’s important infrastructure development programme,” said the Presidency.

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The first stage of the new Lamu port is set to commence after China Communication Construction Company signed a US$ 479 million deal to build the first three berths at the new Kenyan port.

The three berths at the new port will bring about a whole new dynamic for the East African region as it is part of the US$ 24 billion Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor that will provide South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and the eastern DRC with a new outlet to the sea.

On Friday the Kenya Ports Authority and China Communication Construction Company signed a contract stipulating that construction work on the new berths is to begin in September 2014.

The Corridor will ultimately see the development of a 32-berth deep water port at Lamu, close to Kenya’s northern border with Somalia, and rail and road links with Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and the eastern DRC, plus pipelines to South Sudan providing that landlocked country with an alternate link to the sea.

The crude oil pipeline and a new export terminal at Lamu could be in operation as early as 2017, according to some sources.

Included in the project is an international airport and an oil refinery. The railway to be built to connect with inland destinations will be constructed to standard gauge (4ft 8 ½ ins).

“All these components are intended to be implemented as a package that will result in the development of an integrated transport and economic corridor,” said Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday (1 August). This was a day after he gave orders for the repossession of large tracts of ‘stolen’ land in the Lamu area.

“In the light of Kenya’s recent discoveries of mineral resources such as oil, coal and gas, the need for the Lamu Port [expansion] and the corridor cannot be gainsaid. Our country must develop the additional transport and infrastructure capacity to harness the immense mineral wealth that our country is now discovering,” he said.

The land he wants repossessed covers a large coastal zone almost the size of Luxembourg, which Kenyatta said had been grabbed “under dubious and corrupt circumstances.” The 2,000 square kilometres was taken by 22 companies between 2011 and 2012, said the president, as he gave orders for it to be repossessed.

“This criminal conspiracy has dispossessed individuals and families living in this region of their land and opportunities for improving their well-being. It has also helped fuel the current insecurity being experienced in the region, and frustrated our efforts in building cohesion in the country,” he said.

The Lamu area, part of which is also a UNESCO-listed holiday destination has recently become prone to attacks by al-Shabaab militants operating from across the nearby Somalia border.

To learn more about the LAPSSET Corridor and port project go HERE - use your BACKSPACE key to return to this page.

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Lake Tanganyika Basin towns 

11 03 08

Zambia stands to benefit from the development of the Lake Tanganyika Transport Corridor which will create a gateway to Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania, reports the Zambia Daily Mail.

African Development Bank (AfDB) country director Freddie Kwesiga said the bank was currently undertaking a feasibility study of the modernisation of Mpulungu Port on Lake Tanganyika as part of the development of the lake passageway.

The Lake Tanganyika transport corridor project will link Zambia with the port town of Kigoma in Tanzania to Bujumbura in Burundi then to DRC’s lakeside city and port of Kalemie.

Kigoma is the railhead for the railway from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Kalemie is the terminus for the DRC rail network while a rail link has been proposed for Mpulungu to connect to the rest of the country (Zambia).

He said the multi-billion dollar port development project will bring trade and regional integration between the countries which share Lake Tanganyika.

“We are helping Zambia and her neighbours develop transport corridors to assist these countries in the region to trade freely and efficiently. Then the corridor goes on to link Mpulungu port in Zambia at the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika and a number of other towns in Tanzania,” he said.

He said the project is still under the feasibility study stage but hinted that progress is being made and it is expected to kick off soon. Mr Kwesiga said in an interview that the project is vital as it will enhance trade between Zambia and countries of the Greats Lakes region.

AfDB seeks to promote the free movement of goods, services, capital and people by reducing barriers between countries and harmonising economic and financial policies. Mr Kwesiga said the bank has supported the establishment of corridors in the southern African region and will continue to do so to strengthen trade ties in the region through efficient and reliable transport routes. He said AfDB is also looking at possibilities of supporting other viable transport routes in the region.

Apart from the Tanganyika corridor project, AfDB supported the establishment of seven other transport corridors in the southern and eastern Africa region worth billions of dollars. These include the Southern Corridor, Maputo Corridor, Walvis Bay Corridor, Beira Corridor, Lobito Corridor, Tazara and Nacala corridors respectively.

The bank supports the respective governments’ Nacala Corridor Phase Road project which is constructing 1033 kilometres of roads in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, as well as two border posts.

Besides promoting regional integration in the Southern African Development Community, these projects are contributing to poverty reduction and the empowerment of women and other disadvantaged groups through better socioeconomic infrastructure along the road.

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Port of Rotterdam – at the forefront of new technology

Delays caused by the need to stop a container for inspection are being reduced at the Port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands, following the development of technology that allows trained operators to use high-power X-ray scanners to produce clear, unambiguous imagery of even densely packed cargo in containers on board trains moving at speeds of up to 60km/h.

A report in Government Security News magazine describes how another group of operators can be located several kilometres away in a secure inspection office where they can collect, analyse and evaluate the X-ray images for a wide range of potential threats, dangerous material and even contraband.

As a result of this technology Dutch Customs at the Port of Rotterdam are now able to scan almost 200,000 rail containers each year or the equivalent of one container every few seconds.

This development appears to provide some answers to the challenge of scanning all containers arriving in a port, as envisaged by US authorities several years ago, which was then dismissed as impractical, although the US mandate to screen all containers hasn't been withdrawn. The new technology doesn't however accommodate the greater majority of containers that arrive at many ports by road or barge. However, it is more than a step in the right direction that could conceivably see all containers being inspected prior to entering a port precinct.

The Rapiscan Systems Eagle R60 Rail Scanner was first launched at the port in Rotterdam in 2012. It uses a high-power 6 MeV X-Ray source to produce a clear and unambiguous x-image of even the densest rail cargo. The system requires a single operator to monitor the screening process, while operational and safety systems' guarantee the system is safe for the rail crew and drivers because only cargo containers are scanned.

"The ability for rail operators and security organisations to quickly assess rail cargo is vital to protecting rail infrastructure and the global supply chain," says Ajay Mehra, Rapiscan Systems president.

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Moma landing jetty in Mozambique

The Irish company Kenmare Resources has reached agreement with its main creditors to restructure debt deriving from the exploitation of heavy sand deposits in Moma, Mozambique, the company indicated in a statement.

Under terms of the agreement, which also extends the amortisation period for the loan granted by ABSA Bank of the Barclays group, nearly half of the US$160 million debt with amortisation scheduled for August 2015 will be paid in nine equal semi-annual instalments over four years.

ABSA Bank accepted in turn that payment of a US$20 million loan can be postponed for a year until March 2016.

Kenmare Resources director Michael Carvill said he was satisfied by the agreement, which “enables us to retain money and become more flexible in the current period of low international prices for the products we extract in Mozambique.”

The main asset of Kenmare Resources is the Moma concession in Nampula province, where the company extracts titanium minerals such as ilmenite and rutile, as well as zircon (zirconium silicate), from heavy mineral sand deposits. (macauhub)


HAI SOON 6 by Shipspotting 470
Hai Soon 6. Picture: Shipspotting

The Singapore-owned and managed oil products tanker HAI SOON 6 (5,497-dwt, built 1993) which had been highjacked by pirates off the coast of Ghana, has been released along with the crew.

The 10 armed pirates released the 12 crew and left the tanker after apparently transhipping the cargo. No other details are available at this stage.

Hai Soon 6 was employed as a bunker vessel providing fuel to barges and other ships off the West African coast. On 26 July the ship was taken by pirates while some 46 n.miles south of Anloga in Ghana. She then disappeared off the scanners.

It is not known whether a ransom for the ship and crew was negotiated, although the usual practice in West African waters is for pirates to be targeting the fuel on board rather than trying to ransom a ship’s crew, which can be a drawn out process.


shuttle1 470

When choosing a shuttle service company, there are always so many factors to take into consideration. With over 10 years of experience in the transport business, MLT’s dedicated Shuttle Service and executive transfers department is a welcome addition to the Group’s suite of services.

MLT provides a dedicated Shuttle Service which is carried out on behalf of various corporate clients and individuals. The fleet of modern vehicles is well maintained. Each vehicle is fully licensed and insured with R100 million liability cover. As an added bonus all vehicles have wifi on board and are fitted with fire extinguishers, roadside emergency medical kits and cellphone linked to MLT’s Operations Desk.

Satellite tracking records all movements allowing MLT to maximise control of all vehicles.

Executive airport transfers

This is an extension of MLT’s Transfer Service and assists executives transferring between their hotels and the airport. This service is targeted at both international and local business executives, and is available in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

MLT also provides customised tours to various tourist attractions. MLT’s insight and experience allows it to assist with immigration, customs and visa clearance.

Meet and Assist

On request MLT’s trained staff will accompany passengers during their time at the airport, whether on arrival, before departure or while waiting for a connecting flight. This meet and assist service can be tailored to individual needs.

MLT also provides a meet and assist service upon arrival and departure to and from airports and assists with the checking in and clearing of all luggage.

MLT assists with customs formalities and ensures that all documentation required by the Department of Home Affairs is completed and processed. In addition MLT transports mariners to and from offshore launches and helicopters. A translation service for foreigners for both European and Nordic languages is on offer.

MLT’s operation functions 24 hours per day, 365 days a year ensuring availability at short notice.

SAOGA Logo 50px deep Member SAOGA


Gateway port 470
Gateway port

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 container 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.


MARIDIVE 603 rotcro 470

MARIDIVE 603 470

The offshore supply ship MARIDIVE 603 (3683-dwt, built 2014) called at Cape Town recently. The ship is owned by Ocean Marine which operates out of the Hamriyah Free Zone in the Sharjah emirate of the UAE. The ship is managed however by an Egyptian firm and flies the flag of Belize. Pictures by: Ian Shiffman

Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za


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