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Ports & Ships Maritime News

2 June 2015
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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The Maltese-flagged, Danish-owned bulk carrier XO LION (42,717-dwt, built 1997) seen in Table Bay at the recent weekend. Picture: Ian Shiffman

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The salvage firms of Ardent and Subtech have announced they have formed a joint venture between them.

In a statement issued by the two companies, Ardent, which itself is a newly created (1 May 2015) joint venture involving Svitzer and Titan Salvage (Crowley), and South Africa’s Subtech have announced that they are launching a joint venture between themselves.

“Subtech brings an unparalleled Sub-Saharan African presence through an extensive infrastructure network with facilities and activities that cover both East and West Africa in addition to its home territory in South Africa, Ardent said.

Ardent added that Subtech’s experienced marine and subsea personnel, equipment, resources, entrepreneurial business model and the support of the James Fisher Group will help the joint venture to evolve and grow.

The JV will build on an already successful track record of collaboration between Ardent and Subtech through projects such as the wreck removal of the mv SMART in Richards Bay and the emergency response salvage of the VESTAS WIND off the coast of Mauritius.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with Ardent, a company with a global reputation for emergency response and wreck removal,” said Neil Scott Williams, director of Salvage at Subtech and the General Manager of the JV. “Our companies complement each other in a whole host of ways, and I see a wealth of opportunities ahead.”

The JV, which will operate as Ardent Subtech, will be based out of Subtech’s existing Cape Town facility with supporting offices in Namibia, Mozambique and Mauritius. The key objectives are to increase responsiveness and operational capability throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and to provide clients with support and assurance in areas that are challenging to operate in.

The JV will also look to maximise the use of personnel and equipment by supporting additional services throughout the region and elsewhere.

Ardent came about from 1 May through the merger of Svitzer Salvage and Titan Salvage to create a more modern and effective service for businesses in the maritime sector. Building on the heritage of two highly respective salvage companies, the offer covers risk mitigation, emergency response, wreck removal, offshore decommissioning and underwater services.

Ardent is headquartered in Houston, Texas with key hubs located in the Netherlands, the UK and Singapore. These locations are supported by offices in Australia, Brazil, South Korea, the Middle East and South Africa.

Subtech is a member of the James Fisher and Sons Plc Group and is a diving and marine services company offering a wide range of marine solutions including salvage and towing, diving, hydrographic survey, last mile marine logistics, marine construction and subsea cable support to both the inshore and offshore markets throughout Southern Africa.

It has operational offices in Angola, Namibia, Cape Town, Durban, Maputo and Pemba.

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CMA CGM’s new Wazzan Service

French shipping line CMA CGM is to introduce a new Europe – West Africa service to improve on what it already has to offer on that trade.

The new service will be called the Wazzan service and will provide for the following:

1] Complementary to CMA CGM’s ‘EURAF’ services in West Africa.
2] Direct weekly calls from Spain and Morocco to Mauritania and Senegal.
3] Mali served via Dakar through complementary intermodal solutions.
4] Improves transit times between Mauritania, Senegal and Morocco by 8 days.
5] Previous transshipment calls on the above replaced by direct calls.
6] Introduces a new direct call in Las Palmas from North West Africa and to Morocco.
7] Develops CMA CGM’s reefer container offer in Nouadhibou, Mauritania, allowing fish exports to intra-African and worldwide markets.

The Wazzan service will be weekly and is complementary to the six existing EURAF services serving West Africa and Europe. Ships of 3,100-TEU capacity will deploy of the following rotation:

Casablanca, Algeciras, Tangiers, Nouakchott, Dakar, Nouadhibou, Las Palmas, Casablanca.

The first rotation will start from Casablanca, with the MV DELMAS SWALA on 6 June 2015.

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There is considerable interest from past passengers, many of whom took several cruises on the now-65,000gt (previously 58,600gt) MSC SINFONIA, all eager to experience the changes brought about by the addition of 200 more cabins and even more passenger facilities. In a two-year €200 million Renaissance Programme, three other vessels in MSC’s Lirica-class vessels, MSC ARMONIA, MSC LIRICA and MSC OPERA (currently ‘under the chop’ in the Italian Fincantieri yards) will also be lengthened by 24 metres…and an array of key spaces, such as balcony cabins, restaurants and bars, sundecks and entertainment areas will be overhauled and enhanced. “This enormous feat of maritime engineering will leave these four stunning vessels resized and revitalized,” Allan Foggitt of MSC Cruises, South Africa told PORTS & SHIPS. “Now longer by 24 metres and boasting a host of added onboard enhancements, there is great excitement ahead of the arrival of MSC Sinfonia in South African waters on 19 November,” he said.

Sales for MSC SINFONIA’s coming South African cruise season are “nearly 50 percent ahead in advance sales compared to the same time last year,” reveals Allan Foggitt, MSC Cruises marketing, South Africa.

“This is because we launched three months earlier than we did last year…and incentivised passengers to book early with a 50% advance booking discount.

“It shows that if the price is right, passengers will even plan a three- or four-night getaway a year in advance,” stated Allan, adding that MSC Cruises had “just finalised the 2016/17 cruise season…and we’ve already opened it for sale on the website, without launching or publicising it just yet because it could well dilute current interest for this season.”

Refurbished inner cabins feature plenty of mirrors to enhance space, while pale timber and cool colours add to an immensely appealing ambiance.

Always popular, balcony cabins have direct access to ocean breezes, with two chairs and a table outside to watch gorgeous sea vistas sweep by.

PIC 4 SINSUITE480 PX jpeg Balcony suites feature a lounge area, with an en-suite bath/shower. Both balcony and suite cabins have caught on with the South African cruise lover and early reservations are advised.

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One of the accents on the MSC SINFONIA makeover is on family holidays, and to this end the ‘bright and garish’ lure has been added to the huge pool deck topside.

The little ones will have more than enough distractions to keep them occupied, while mom and dad are freed up to have some time together amid a plethora of attractions inside.

“Thus far, bookings are looking good for the coming season,” concluded Allan, “but we remain committed to that never-ending and considerably daunting quest for full ships on every departure.”

MSC Cruises has announced that ...

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Allan Foggitt also told PORTS & SHIPS that Madagascar had been abandoned as a destination. Ilha de Mozambique calls will replace Fort Dauphin in Madagascar on the 7-night itineraries. The change has been brought about as a result of the lengthened MSC SINFONIA now being unable to berth alongside at the port of Port d'Ehoala, Madagascar. “In an effort to replace Fort Dauphin, we did a recce trip to the ancient Island of Mozambique (Ilha Mocambique) and were hugely impressed with the upgrades to the island since UNESCO got involved in restoring it as a ‘world heritage’ site. We have implemented three Ilha Mocambique calls for 2015/16…and have scheduled four for next summer,” he revealed. Allan also added that Sinfonia’s 4- and 5- night itineraries have now been adapted to a 2-day call at Portuguese Island, with an optional boat transfer to the neighbouring island of Inhaca. “Our passengers will now enjoy a buffet lunch on both days on the newly improved and upgraded Portuguese Island…and if they wish to visit the island of Inhaca, there’s an optional water transfer from Portuguese Island across to Inhaca.”

More about this fascinating little Isle de Mozambique next week - Ed.

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New diesel-electric locomotives arriving for the Nacala Corridor. 80 of these locos have been ordered from GE for this extended route

Vale Mozambique expects to begin exporting coal through the port of Nacala in northern Mozambique by the third quarter of this year, the Executive Director of Fertilisers and Coal of Brazilian group Vale said in Tokyo.

Exports through the port in Nampula province had been due to begin in the first quarter of 2015 but the company was forced to postpone the date due to flood damage on the railway linking the port to Moatize in Tete province.

Roger Downey, speaking during the Japan/Africa Mining & Resources Business seminar in Tokyo, said that Vale Moçambique remains committed to reaching its production of 11 million tons of coal per year by mid-2016, compared with the current production of 7 million tons per year.

The extended railway is 900 kilometres long and forms part of the Nacala Corridor. It makes use of the original railway between Nacala and Malawi, as well as the Malawi railway system in that country. A new section from Malawi to the town of Moatize in Tete province, Mozambique is nearing completion.

In December 2015, the Vale group sold a stake of almost 15 percent in the Moatize mine and 35 percent of the railway and the port of Nacala to Japanese group Mitsui & Co.

To date, Vale Moçambique has only exported coal production along the Sena line, which connects Moatize and the port of Beira, in Sofala province. The Sena railway however has a limited capacity. - Macauhub

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Port of Namibe in southern Angola

Sociedade Gestora de Terminais (Sogester) of Angola will invest more than US$21 million in buying machinery and cargo trucks for the port of Namibe, in the south of Angola, says the company’s legal director, Alexandre Bala Toto.

He said that Sogester would manage the cargo terminals of the state-owned company Porto de Namibe, under a partnership with two foreign companies, one from the United Arab Emirates and one from Denmark.

Plans for the cargo terminals involve refurbishing existing infrastructure and the introduction of a modern management system that will achieve cost reductions and a better use of available resources.

Bala Toto, who was speaking after the signing of an investment contract with the National Agency for Private Investment (ANIP), said the port of Namibe operated shifts that are unusual in the current management of port companies, because work was carried out between the hours of 7am and 3pm. This, he said, led to poor productivity.

He said Sogester had also discovered that the port operated with defective equipment and was only able to average 4 container moves per ship per hour.

In terms of safety and security, Sogester had found that anyone could access the port facilities.

Sogester is the result of a partnership between Danish company APM Terminals and Angolan company Gestão de Fundos, which since 2007 has been operating the concession on container Terminal II at the port of Luanda.

ANIP is the government body responsible for implementing the national policy on private investment, promotion, coordination and supervision. ANIP was created in 2003. In terms of the Private Investment Law all private contracts with monetary amounts exceeding US$1 million have to come under its jurisdiction.

President of ANIP, Maria Luisa Abrantes said that in the first quarter of 2015 investment agreements had been signed totalling US$800 million, and that this figure had increased to US$1.1 billion by Friday, 15 May. – Macauhub

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New MD Glander International Bunkering India

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Ajay Menon

Ajay Menon has been appointed as the Managing Director of Glander International Bunkering (India) Private Limited. Prior to his promotion, Mr Menon was Senior Bunker/Lubricant Trader & Team Leader in the Dubai office.

Menon is a native of Kerala and has an MBA from Warwick University, UK. He is the longest serving employee of the Glander International Bunkering Group and has been working from the Dubai office.

The company said in a statement that it made the decision to change the leadership in order to boost performance levels of the office and to contribute to the overall growth strategy of the group.

Vice Chancellor, Registrar Appointed For Nigeria Maritime University

Shortly before handing over the reins of office, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan approved the appointment of Professor Ongoebi Maureen O. Etebu and Mr Anho Nathaniel Esoghene Lucky as Vice Chancellor and Registrar respectively, of the newly approved Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State.

Mrs Etebu is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Port Harcourt. She graduated with a B.Sc, Degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1982, and went on to obtain a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), in 1997.

She also obtained an MSc in Engineering from the same university and an MBA from the University of Port Harcourt with a bias in Management. She has extensive working experience in the University community and the Public Service and is currently occupying a Professional Chair for Engineering Management.

The first Registrar of the Nigeria Maritime University, Mr Anho Lucky, obtained a BA (Education) History/Foundations degree from the University of Port Harcourt and a Masters in Industrial and Labour Relations. He has held several positions in the University Community spanning from Senior Assistant Registrar to the position of Deputy Registrar/College Secretary, College of Health Science, Delta State University, Abraka. - Daily Times.


Video of Hamburg’s Intelligent Traffic Light system introduced as a means of eliminating container traffic congestion in one of Europe’s busiest ports. [2.40]


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The IAPH (International Association of Ports & Harbours) is holding its 2015 conference in the port city of Hamburg this week. From tomorrow (Wednesday) we hope to include video clips from the conference for those who have an interest in the proceedings. Courtesy of the event organisers working behind the scenes at the Port of Hamburg, we bring you today a news/music clip from the Elbjazz-Festival 2015 in the port of Hamburg held just ahead of the IAPH conference.

Elbjazz 2015: Roger Cicero and the Port of Hamburg

The sixth Elbjazz festival lured over 15,000 visitors into the port of Hamburg. 50 concerts within 48 hours turned the Port of Hamburg into an international musical stage.

The jazz saxophonist Sebastian Gille was honoured on Saturday with the Hamburg Jazz Award 2015. Watch the short video clip (2.47)

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Request a Rate Card frominfo@ports.co.za


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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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ITALENI grab fitted 23 August 2014 1 Trevor Jone

Transnet National Ports Authority’s grab hopper dredger with the apt name of CRANE (839-gt, built 1972) is seen here with and without her Liebherr equipment, with which the vessel was able to work in the South African ports as a hopper dredger helping to keep the internal channels open for shipping. With the recent arrival of a new grab hopper dredger, ITALENI, Crane has become surplus to requirements, which allowed the salvage firm of Subtech to charter her for use as a hopper vessel with the deepening of Maydon Wharf berth no.1. But first, the fairly new Liebherr grab crane was transferred across to Italeni. Once Crane’s hopper is filled with spoil Crane departs for the disposal grounds several miles out to sea, and indeed the middle picture shows her returning to port after just such a task.

The dredger Crane incidentally, is named after the bird species and not for her former front appendage.

The lower picture is of TNPA’s new grab hopper dredger ITALENI (1792-gt, built 2014), and shows the Liebherr crane that came off the older vessel. All pictures: Trevor Jones


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