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Ports & Ships Maritime News

2 December 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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The Cape Town based ex-fishing trawler/now pollution control boat UBUNTU (185 ton, built 1974) seen arriving back in port one day last week. Picture: Ian Shiffman

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Redevelopment of infrastructure projects such as ports and railways points to increased or potential economic activity in a country, as can be seen here in Beira with the recent development of a new container terminal at the port of Beira. Picture: Rogan Troon

Mozambique is one of three countries that stand out for their growth in Africa, a continent that will become increasingly important in economic terms in the coming years, according to consulting firm Deloitte.

Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to a report just published on the economic outlook for the continent, is expected to expand 50 percent by 2019, to US$3.7 trillion, driven by the growing middle class and an increase in private consumption.

“An annual growth of about 8 percent would add US$1.1 trillion to Africa’s GDP by 2019, with Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique among the most rapidly expanding markets,” the document said.

A recent report by Standard Bank Group points to significant growth of the African middle class in the coming years – 40 million homes by 2030, in 11 of the region’s economies, but in a more pronounced way in Nigeria.

If this trend is confirmed, it will signal a change in what has been the paradigm of African economic growth in recent decades, which has mostly focused on extraction of raw materials such as oil, diamonds, natural gas and, more recently, the construction of infrastructure, such as dams, railways and highways.

As in the recent case of the Benguela Railroad, funded by China in Angola, this type of infrastructure is removing vast regions of the content from previous isolation by linking production areas to markets and creating wealth and jobs.

Deloitte said companies need “long-term strategies” for Africa, a continent where the business world still faces legal and bureaucratic barriers, along with growing opportunities in tradable goods, ranging from mobile phones to luxury products.

“Where there are challenges, there are also opportunities to innovate. Given the growth potential that the continent offers, Africa’s business opportunities may outweigh the risks,” the consultancy said.

The mobile phone market is one that has amongst the highest growth potential, with a total penetration growing to an expected 97 percent by 2017, 25 percentage points more than current penetration.

This increase, Deloitte said, is of over 334 million mobile phone subscribers.

The services sector in Mozambique is currently experiencing strong growth, benefiting from the growth surge that the country is receiving, particularly in production facilities and export of raw materials such as coal and natural gas.

The Economist Intelligence Unit projects that economic growth in Mozambique will accelerate to 7.3 percent in 2014 and 7.8 percent in 2015, driven by the coal industry and investment in infrastructure, but also by “strong growth” of the telecommunications, industry and financial services. – macauhub

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Port of Caio as when it will be finally developed

Work on the first of three phases of construction of the deep water port in Caio Litoral, in the Angolan province of Cabinda, will start in June 2015, according to Angolan state newspaper Jornal de Angola.

The newspaper added that the Caio Porto company, which was awarded the contract to build the port, has commenced work and is currently carrying out the cordoning off of the port area and building access roads.

The first phase, costing an estimated US$600 million (60 billion kwanza), comprises the extension of the commercial wharf wall and support for the platform, facilities for ship repair, a breakwater, access canal (150 metres wide), new road access and basin (215 metres wide).

Transport Minister, Augusto da Silva Tomás, who attended the presentation ceremony of the port’s scale model, said construction of the future deep-water port in the province “is strongly linked to government plans to rebuild and improve transport facilities in the region.”

The Minister said completion of the first phase of the deep-water port is scheduled for mid 2016. – macauhub

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Wharf making up the existing port of Caio

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MSC Sinfonia off Portuguese Island, Mozambique

Earlier in November MSC Cruises SA hosted various Mozambiquan dignitaries on board the cruise ship MSC OPERA as part of discussions to drive sustainable long-term growth within the territory.

MSC Cruises operates a range of cruises between Durban and Mozambique destinations each summer.

Various dignitaries from Maputo Council, Mozambique Tourism and Inhaca Administration met together with top management from MSC Cruises SA.

“The discussions had the key purpose to discuss how MSC Cruises can work further with relevant Mozambique departments to grow the country as a sought after tourist destination,” said Allan Foggitt, marketing and sales director of MSC Cruises SA. “Focus is on contributions to the local economy as well as tackling important ecological issues.”

MSC Cruises SA has been cruising up to Mozambique, through Starlight Cruises as the local operator and more recently as MSC, since 1992. Carrying in excess of 1.5 million passengers internationally each year, MSC has in the last year brought over 100,000 foreign tourists to Mozambique’s shores, and having invested around $2 million in capital expenditure on tourism linked infrastructure.

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Inhaca Island

MSC’s present season …
… is 5 months, and included 46 cruises along the Mozambique coast in 2013/14, 27 in 2014/15 and 34 in 2015/16, with focus on Portuguese Island, Inhaca and Maputo.

Investment into Mozambique on behalf of MSC includes advertising of the destination worldwide through various mediums. The selling of shore excursions at relevant destinations with over $250,000 generated in the current season alone and paid to local suppliers, continues to play a major role.

Local trade is also boosted through passenger spend at destinations, the creation of local markets and the establishment of the Boat Association. MSC Cruises has also invested heavily into skills based training and job creation. MSC spends on average $150,000 on labour in Mozambique.

An important area for discussion was how MSC is currently preserving the ecological environment on Portuguese Island and Inhaca. The cruise line continues to work in conjunction with the University to ensure the environmental aspect of the island is maintained.

Bulk services supplying the island have been designed to ensure they have the minimum impact on the island. Sewer systems utilise bio degradation systems and sea water is used in tanks as a water source. Solar power has been installed to drive energy resources, and waste is collected, stored and removed on each trip.

MSC Cruises SA says it has committed to increase activity on Portuguese Island by at least 50% within the next 15 months, making the Africa’s East Coast the preferred cruise holiday destination.

“The event was successful and a good understanding of MSC’s role in the territory was attained, along with valuable partnerships forged in order to achieve mutual beneficial long term goals,” said Foggitt.


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Doug Byers, Nautic Africa’s business development manager

Security continues to be one of the oil and gas industry’s key concerns and suppliers to this industry have an important role to play in helping the industry limit security risks, improve security measures and find solutions to security challenges.

This is the view of Doug Byers, Nautic Africa’s Business Development Manager, after he recently returned from the international Corporate Security Forum (CSF) conference, held in London at the end of October 2014.

Byers says that closer collaboration between the Heads of Security of oil and gas companies and suppliers to the industry will go a long way in minimising the security challenges facing the industry.

“The Heads of Security of companies such as Shell Nigeria, Subsea7, Tidewater, Haliburton and Statoil work under extremely challenging conditions and have an enormous responsibility to ensure the safety of staff, subcontractors and assets while focusing on, and improving, issues such as safety awareness, processes and measures.

“Attending the conference gave us the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the security challenges facing these security executives, as well as their numerous responsibilities which go beyond maritime security to include security in others areas such as IT, transport and local communities, to name but a few.”

Byers says the opportunity to discuss real-life case studies with these security executives was particularly invaluable.

“For example, during the conference we received a report of a vessel hijacking on the West Coast of Africa. The pirates had been monitoring vessels leaving the harbour and presumably had an onshore contact providing them with intelligence about potential targets. The pirates struck as soon as the vessel became isolated in open water, robbing the crew and taking a hostage.

“The discussion at the conference very quickly turned to how this incident could have been avoided and how important it is to not only have the right processes and people in place but also the right ‘tools’ to deal with these challenges. These ‘tools’ include having high-speed and ballistic-protected vessels - such as Nautic’s Sentinel range – which provide a safe haven against small arms fire and have the ability to outrun the pirates.”

Byers says in addition to the valuable insights gained, the CSF - which focused on the current pressing security challenges facing the oil and gas industry - also provided a wonderful platform for sharing information on Nautic’s specialised patrol and vessels which have been purpose-built for the oil and gas market.

The Nautic Group is based in Cape Town and provides specialised turnkey maritime solutions that include new vessel design and construction, new vessel leasing and life-cycle services, vessel operating and vessel support.

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Nautic Africa ‘Sentinel’ type patrol boat in Table Bay

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The existing Kipevu single berth oil terminal at Mombasa, which is to be replaced with a modern four-berth facility

Danish engineering firm NIRAS has been awarded the contract to plan, design and oversee construction of a new oil terminal for the port of Mombasa.

The new terminal, which will replace the 50-years old Kipevu oil terminal, will cost an estimated US$ 120 million and is set for completion in 2017.

NIRAS will act as consultant to oversee the construction of the terminal, which will be built adjacent to the existing Kipevu terminal and will be capable of handling four Capesize (150,000-dwt) vessels at a time, thus quadrupling its capacity. The current terminal is able to handle a single ship of 100,000 dwt at a time.

“The Port of Mombasa is the gateway for import and export not only to Kenya, but also to land-locked countries like Uganda, so the existing oil terminal is crucial for import of fuel to a big part of East Africa. Kenya Port Authority is therefore pleased that we can now implement a new terminal with increased capacity and we are looking forward to continue our collaboration with NIRAS on this important project,” said Daniel Amadi, Head of Projects Development and Management, Kenya Ports Authority.

In addition to the design of the new terminal, NIRAS will be in charge of the preparation of the tender documents for the construction works, including the many electrical and mechanical installations such as pipelines and loading arms. When the contractor has been chosen, NIRAS will also be handling the supervision throughout the entire construction period.

NIRAS has previously operated in countries such as the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.


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Costa Deliziosa, another of the Costa Cruises’ ships calling locally this summer and indicating an increased interest by Costa in cruising in these waters

Last week we published a list of cruise ships calling at the Port of Durban. Today we are adding cruise ship calls at Richards Bay, Walvis Bay and Port Louis to the list.

Richards Bay:

17/12/14 Seven Seas Voyager
18/12/14 Nautica
26/12/14 Seven Seas Voyager
27/12/14 Seabourn Sojourn
27/12/14 Nautica
10/01/15 Voyager
11/01/15 Seabourn Sojourn
12/01/15 Nautica
23/01/15 Voyager
21/02/15 Insignia
29/03/15 Crystal Serenity
31/03/15 Silver Whisper
06/04/15 Costa Deliziosa

Walvis Bay:

16/12/14 Seabourn Sojourn
26/12/14 Ocean Dream
02/01/15 Nautica
02/01/15 Explorer
14/01/15 MSC Opera
03/02/15 Voyager
11/02/15 Insignia
06/03/15 Silver Cloud
25/03/15 The World
30/03/15 MSC Opera
02/04/15 MS Explorer
05/04/15 Astor
07/04/15 Silver Whisper
14/04/15 Costa Deliziosa

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Seven Seas Voyager

Port Louis:

04/12/14 Astor
11/12/14 Ocean Dream (Peace Boat)
17/12/14 Voyager
02/01/15 Voyager
03/01/15 MSC Opera
11/01/15 Costa Neoclassica
19/01/15 Seabourn Sojourn
25/01/15 Costa Neoclassica
08/02/15 Costa Neoclassica
22/02/15 Costa Neoclassica
02/03/15 Costa Neorivierra
08/03/15 Costa Neoclassica
18/03/15 Explorer
20/03/15 Crystal Serenity
25/03/15 Astor
30/03/15 Costa Deliziosa
09/04/15 Queen Mary 2
27/04/15 Ocean Princess


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MSC Armonia after having been lengthened by 24 metres which provided an additional 193 cabins and several areas for entertainment. Picture provided courtesy Gary Seach

A video clip showing the lengthening of MSC Armonia, the first of the Lirica-class cruise ships to be ‘stretched’. Clip is 3 minutes 39 seconds long.


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Durban Bay Heritage Site, with the Silt Canal on the centre right. Picture by Steve McCurrach www.airserv.co.za

A large oil spill in Durban Harbour hasoccurred in the area known as the Silt Canal, in the upper reaches of the Bayhead area.

According to our source a considerable number of birds and fish have died after being exposed to the oil slick which has spread in the area near the Bluff Yacht Club. The spill meanwhile has spread to a large section of Durban Bay, including Maydon Wharf and is being reported outside the harbour entrance and thus threatening Durban’s beaches.

The source of the oil spill was not immediately obvious, but was later pin-pointed. This part of the bay is fed by three river systems – the Umbilo River which joins the Umhlatuzana River shortly before it enters the bay along a canalised section, and the Amanzimyama River which flows from the area of the Clairwood Racecourse through Clairwood and passing a large number of factories, and along the bottom of the Bluff hill before entering the bay at the end of the Silt Canal.

Transnet National Ports Authority believes the spill came from the Amanzimyama River and say they have traced it to a short way beyond Solomon Mahlangu Drive (Edwin Swales VC Drive) which places it in Clairwood.

Concerned residents of the Bluff have already reacted to the news by asking “how much longer are we going to put up with this absolute disregard for our suburb and fish, bird and animal life?”

The report said that Ivor Alwayd of the Bluff Ratepayers Association has visited the scene and is horrified at the extent of the damage and loss of fish and bird life.

The three rivers become a source of pollution every time there is heavy rain as they bring down polluted matter from inland areas. Much of this rubbish is caught up in the adjacent mangrove swamps where it gathers and accumulates, destroying animal and fish life in what should be a pristine environment. Other rubbish is washed further into the bay and is lodged in all corners of the harbour where Transnet National Ports Authority employs a contractor to collect and clean-up.

On the other hand factories sometimes use the rivers as a dumping ground for waste material, often in the secrecy of night and in the belief that by morning all evidence pointing back to them has disappeared. The Amanzimyama River often carries a strong chemical smell at night which can be present even during the day.

TNPA says it has a team working on clearing up the spillage which they say was from approximately 4,000 litres of heavy crude oil type substance dumped into the Amanzimyama.


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Artist impression of one of the new dual electric/diesel PRASA locomotives just arrived in Cape Town

The first of an order for 70 new diesel-electric locomotives for PRASA – the Passenger Rail Services of South Africa, has arrived by sea in Cape Town and was presented to the media yesterday.

The locomotives, 50 Euro Dual electro-diesel locomotives and 20 Euro 4000 diesel locomotives are being supplied by the German manufacturer, Vossloh and will enter service on electrified and non-electrified passenger serviced areas of South Africa.

Since the division of passenger and metro services from Transnet, the availability of locomotive power available to PRASA has been extremely limited. Although a number of electric and diesel locomotives were transferred to the passenger services, those transferred have tended to be poorly maintained leading to a severe shortage of motive power, which is only now being rectified.

According to Mosenngwa Mofi, PRASA’s chief executive, the new locomotives will change the lives of commuters for the better.

“The critical factor is to improve the journey experience and encourage more long distance travel. This can only be achieved by providing reliable, efficient locomotives to haul these trains, thus minimising en-route delays,” he said.

Mofi said the new locomotives would be used primarily to serve the long distance market, while 10 of the 70 locomotives would be allocated to the Eastern Cape region.

The trains would run along six long distance corridors. As soon as PRASA receives new stock during the first half of the year, these will be increased to 10 corridors.

The locomotives have been built at Vossloh’s Spanish plant near Valencia and will undergo several months of testing locally before entering service.

Correction We are advised that the loco unveiled yesterday was a pure diesel-electric and not dual electric and diesel, which is still to arrive. The picture above shows the dual electro diesel type.


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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.


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Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ ASTOR made a return visit to South Africa this past week, calling at Cape Town and Durban while en route from the UK to Australia. After summering in Australian waters she will return to the UK in April thus providing the opportunity for passengers wanting to visit the UK to travel by ship. This would be in a vessel that was actually designed to fill the gap left by the disappearance of the Union-Castle liners in the 1970s, although designed for cruising rather than for liner services. In these photographs ASTOR is seen arriving at Cape Town on a grey, overcast day. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

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