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Ports & Ships Maritime News

19 May 2015
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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Chang Hang Xian Feng, Lyttelton 02 05 15 480

The Chinese tanker CHANG HANG XIAN FENG (45,849-dwt, built 2009) departing the New Zealand port of Lyttelton after discharging petroleum products from Singapore. Picture: Alan Calvert

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LPLE ICTSI Sign Mo U for Lekki Port 470
What the port of Lekki will look like when viewed from the east

Work on building the new Nigerian container port at Lekki, west of Lagos, has gotten underway after a ceremony on Saturday to mark an advance payment to the contractors, EPC Contractors and China Harbour Engineering LFTZ Enterprise.

The new port forms a major part of the Lekki Port Lagos Free Trade Zone Enterprise and is being developed at a cost of N325 billion, with the marine and land infrastructure tagged at N156bn.

The Managing Director, Lekki Port, Mr HareshAswani, said, “We are honoured to be part of this promise. We thank the Federal Government of Nigeria and its agency, the NPA, and the Lagos State Government for their support as we look forward to this partnership.

“We congratulate the EPC Contractors, CHELE and our terminal container operator, the ICTSI, on achieving this significant milestone that pushes the project from a development phase into a full construction phase.”

Aswani urged the incoming government to work with private enterprises to build the needed infrastructure in the country.

He added that the Lekki port was a model that could be replicated by providing long term policies that would attract similar investments.

Nigerian Ports Authority managing director, Mr Alhaji Sanusi Bayero described the notice-to-proceed on construction issued to the contractors as a quantum leap and expressed the resolve of the NPA to tap into the huge market provided.

He said, “As a port authority, we see potential for growth and strive to make it a reality at all times. A port with a depth of 16.5 metres will allow bigger vessels to berth.

“This will enable our ports to be enormously competitive due to economy of scale and it will have a positive macroeconomic impact on Nigeria in terms of employment, taxes and royalties. As we begin the consummation of our strategic alliance with the promoters of this project, the NPA will not waver in its continued support.”

Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Olusola Oworu urged the promoters of the project to ensure its development at a rapid pace so that the port could become operational within the set timeframe. – Nairaland Forum

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Mombasa Port container terminal 470
Mombasa container terminal

Pressure on the development of a regime of cabotage for shipping in and out of East African ports is developing, with the Intergovernmental Standing Committee on Shipping (ISCOS) calling for East Africa to invest in own shipping vessels or lose billions in avoidable costs.

According to ISCOS, East African Community countries and those of Central Africa are spending billions of dollars in freight costs on foreign-owned shipping firms that they would otherwise have used on their own.

Between 2008 and 2012, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi paid US$48.2 billion in freight costs, ISCOS said in an article published by the East African.

“These are colossal amounts of money. It is high time countries in East Africa explored the idea of investing in vessels,” ISCOS secretary Kenneth Mwige said, adding that apart from Ethiopia, most countries in Africa do not own ships.

Kenya paid $15.6 billion in the five years of the review, followed by Zambia and Tanzania, which spent $11.2 billion and $10.5 billion respectively. “If EAC states are to grow their economies, they cannot afford to keep paying this kind of money to foreign companies. Their economies are growing and imports are increasing at an average rate of seven percent annually, so these figures will keep rising,” said Mr Mwige.

ISCOS — an initiative of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia — plays a key advisory role on maritime matters.

According to Kenya Ports Authority statistics, the volume of cargo passing through Mombasa Port is projected to grow at between five and 10 percent this year, that is, 27.36 million tonnes compared with the 24.875 million tonnes handled in 2014. Container traffic at the port is projected to rise from 1.012 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers last year to 1.3 million TEU this year, a 28.8 percent increase.

According to the Shippers Council of East Africa executive officer Gilbert Lang’at, countries should empower such entities as the Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) to purchase empty containers so that they can become involved in the shipping business.

Once cargo has been delivered to its destination, empty containers are supposed to be returned to the shipping line within a free period of 14 days for local and up to 45 days for transit cargo, failing to which they attract demurrage.

Shipping lines charge these fees differently, ranging between $7 and $14 per day depending on the size of the container. Returning empty containers takes time while demurrage charges come as added costs to importers.

“The cost of buying a vessel might be quite prohibitive but to begin with, if the government buys containers for KNSL, they will be in business since it is the most important component of importing and exporting goods,” he said.

The Kenya Maritime Authority, in a proposal to revamp KNSL, suggests that cabotage laws that support reservation of cargo for national carriers should be implemented.

“Ongoing endeavours to make the port of Mombasa a hub will greatly benefit a national shipping line operating under a cabotage regime while there will be savings on foreign exchange arising from use of own vessels for international carriage of goods,” the report says. - The East African

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Maersk Londrina 1663991 by Shipspotting 480
Maersk Londrina. Picture: Shipspotting

Maersk Line’s fully cellular container ship MAERSK LONDRINA (99,778-dwt, built 2012), which experienced a fire on board while some distance still from Port Louis, Mauritius, has arrived in the Eastern Cape port of Ngqura where repairs are to be carried out.

The South African contractor involved is Dormac Marine.

The ship reported an explosion in a container on the afternoon of 25 April which led to a fire breaking out. See our report JS Danube aground at Mombasa, Maersk Londrina on fire off Mauritius The 8,700-TEU ship was then 620 n.miles from Port Louis on her voyage between China and South America via South Africa. After sending off a distress signal she remained adrift for several hours during which the crew of 32 seafarers fought the fire which was in her no.7 hold.

By activating the CO² system the fire appeared to have been contained or even extinguished; however the master decided to divert to Port Louis where a thorough assessment of the situation and damage could be taken out.

A tug, IONIAN SEA FOS had meanwhile arrived on scene and provided external cooling with its water hoses. The container ship, escorted by the tug then made her way to Port Louis where it was apparently found that the fire was still burning. A team from Svitzer Salvage attended and additional CO² was deployed in the hold.

Despite all this it appears that, once the fire was confirmed as being out, no serious damage had occurred, apart from a number of containers. An assessment of cargo stowed nearby has become necessary and it was believed this might lead to the owners declaring General Average.

There were no injuries to crew reported.

Maersk Londrina has since made her way to the South African port of Ngqura for further repairs where she currently remains.

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Nigerian Navy Shaldag Mk II patrol craft 470
Nigerian Navy Shaldag patrol boats

According to Nigeria’s Flag officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Henry Babalola, 30 ships, tugs and baggies have been detained and confiscated over the past six months as a result of criminal activity involving the vessels.

Admiral Babalola was speaking during a regimental dinner to mark the end of the FOC’s first biannual three-day sea exercise that ended last Thursday.

He said the criminal activities included illegal oil bunkering on the waterways of Nigeria. Further steps are being taken, he said, to ensure that those behind the crimes are also apprehended and charged.

“Almost on a daily basis, my operational men in Port Harcourt, Ikot-Abasi, Calabar, Bonny and Ibaka go on aggressive patrols and we have destroyed numerous illegal refineries.

“We have seized equipment and destroyed several formations and it is a continuous exercise. When we arrest a ship, our focus is not on the crew because the crew members are doing their paid jobs.

“We go further to look for those behind it and our job is to effect arrests, carry out preliminary investigations and hand them over to the relevant security agencies and we will go further to be witness during trials,” he said.

“The major security challenge facing us on the sea now is the problem of kidnapping and hostage-taking. I am happy to inform you that the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, has allocated some new patrol boats to combat these activities head on.

“We are also expecting other patrol boats that are currently undergoing construction in Port Harcourt. When we have those boats on our waterways, there will be a very significant reduction in criminal activities.”

The FOC disclosed that the three-day exercise just completed had been aimed at protecting the multi-million dollar offshore investments on the high seas.

“This sea inspection is the reflection of the navy’s day-to-day duties for the protection of the economic assets of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he added. – Punch

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Fremantle Port inner harbour 480
Port of Fremantle inner harbour, West Australia

The West Australian government intends selling off Fremantle Port for a figure of around US$5 billion in order to reduce state debt.

The drastic step is being taken to help pay off some of the accumulated debt the state has incurred to go with previous steps taken to sell $1 to $2 billion worth of state assets for the same reason.

According to Mike Nahan, Treasurer for Western Australia, the way to reduce state debt levels is through recycling assets and selling assets more aggressively than would otherwise be done.

“It took us some time. In Treasury we had no one who has ever been involved in asset sales. We had to build up the team and get on advisers and build up the capacity to do it. It's taken us six months to do that. We have identified some assets for sale,” he said.

The crisis has been amplified by plummeting ore prices and decreased loyalties. The state government made the announcement while presenting the state budget on Friday, 15 May.

Fremantle is Australia’s fourth largest container port. It is expected that the port will go for auction on a 49-year lease.p> Plummeting ore prices and lost royalties have forced the Western Australian government to find other ways of recouping losses. The sale of the port can be regarded as something of a fire-sale.

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Bill Hill Executive Group Vice President Intl
Bill Hill, GAC’s Executive Group Vice President – Oil & Gas

Global shipping, logistics and marine services company, GAC, is further strengthening its strategic focus on the worldwide energy sector with the appointment of William Hill as its Executive Group Vice President – Oil & Gas.

Group President Bengt Ekstrand says bringing a specific senior management focus on Oil & Gas is a clear signal of GAC’s intent. “Our aim is to be more strategic, more active and more successful in this sector.”

“Over the decades, GAC has built up a broad suite of assets and skills in Oil & Gas,” he adds. “With Hill's appointment, we will expand our footprint and impact as a global provider to this dynamic and demanding industry.”

Hill joined the GAC Group in 1984 and held marketing and business development roles in Kuwait and Dubai before serving as Regional Manager for Asia Pacific from 1995 to 2001. Before his appointment as Executive Group Vice President – Commercial in 2009, he was Group Vice President for Logistics Services.

His former duties as Group Vice President – Commercial are being taken over by Christer Sjödoff, previously Group Vice President – Solutions. Sjödoff’s appointment brings his accountability for Group IT and the eco-friendly underwater hull cleaning system HullWiper under Commercial.

Sjödoff has more than 25 years of experience in shipping, logistics and marine and has been with the GAC Group since 1993. After holding management and operations posts in the Middle East and Asia, he served as Regional Director for Asia Pacific and the Indian Subcontinent for five years from 2002. In 2007, he was appointed Group Vice President – Solutions, to develop strategic partnerships to meet the needs of the international maritime community

. Ekstrand says: “The position of Group Vice President – Commercial is a good fit with Sjödoff’s energy and entrepreneurial flair. With him at the helm, we shall bring together under a single umbrella all the essential tools we need to develop our business products and services to serve the changing needs of our customers.”

Both appointments are effective from 1 May 2015.

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PECT aerial 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.

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CY THUNDER 9 April 2015 480

D S REPUBLIC 11 April 2015 480

In the top picture is the Turkish dry bulk vessel, CY THUNDER (45,406-dwt, built 1995), seen arriving in Durban during April this year. Picture: Trevor Jones
In the lower picture, a somewhat worse for wear looking container ship, DS REPUBLIC (80,510-dwt, built 2001) is seen sailing from Durban harbour also during April. The ship is owned by the German firm of DS-Shiffahrt and operated by CSAV. Picture: Trevor Jones


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