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Ports & Ships Maritime News

13 October 2015
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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Damen Shipyards in Cape Town has just completed the first of two Shoalbusters 3009 service vessels, named AUKWATOWA for local operator Smit Amandla Marine who will operate them at Port Nolloth on behalf of De Beers Marine's offshore diamond mining operation. A Shoalbuster is Damen's name for a multipurpose tug designed for inshore, shallow as well as deeper waters. The 3009 has a standard bollard pull of 48 tons, is 30m in length, has a draught of 3.2m and an operating speed of up to 11 knots. The name Aukwatowa is a Nama word meaning Where the water took the old man away, which probably bears testimony to some tragic item of Nama history. The English name of Port Nolloth has a much less emotive background and was simply named after the commanding officer of HMS Frolic, MS Nolloth, who surveyed the west coast in 1854. The little town, 80km south of the Orange River mouth, was founded the following year. A second similar vessel to this is due to follow in due course. Picture is by Aad Noorland

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Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) managing director Mallam Habib Abdulahi

Seaports account for over 80 percent by volume of international trade and commerce

It was announced from Lagos, Nigeria, on 8 October that the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mallam Habib Abdulahi has advocated provision of adequate port infrastructure by the Federal Government and the private sector to facilitate export activities through the country's seaports.

He pointed out, however, that other factors which might be extraneous to the Authority are also critical towards achieving enhanced export activities in the nation's seaports.

Stressing that the provision of appropriate port infrastructure was necessary to enhance trade in the economy, Malam Habib gave assurances that the Ports Authority would encourage any effort designed to change the trade orientation of the nation from import dependent to export.

The MD was speaking through the General Manager Capital Projects, Engr Rufai Mohammed, in a paper titled Providing Enabling Port Infrastructure to Enhance Trade at the recently concluded two day International Seatrade and Investment Convention (ISIC) 2015, under the theme Exploring New Trade Frontiers. He emphasised that globally accepted seaports account for over 80 percent by volume of international trade and commerce, and pointed out that for a seaport to be competitive, it must have a robust infrastructure base amongst other assets.

The speaker argued that with the major infrastructural improvements embarked upon by Nigerian Ports Authority in its ports and harbours in all its four pilotage districts, coupled with the impending 25 year port master plan which has reached an advanced stage, the organisation is being positioned to properly meet the demand of all categories of port users for both imports and exports.

The MD explained that mindful of the Federal Government's determination of delivering an efficient port system for the overall good of the nation's economy, the Authority was consolidating and entrenching the gains of the port reform by facilitating and synergising activities of the private terminal operators, shipping lines, freight forwarders and other stakeholders, as well as improving the existing port infrastructure.

He outlined a number of completed and continuing capital projects embarked upon by the Authority, and explained that the projects were meant to add efficiency to the nation's seaports as well as to make the system competitive, effective and user friendly.

"Sustained efforts at providing the enabling port infrastructure has impacted on overall port operational efficiency," he added.

In his goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the convention, Malim Habib commended the conveyors of the event, being the first of its kind in Nigeria's maritime industry, for their foresight and said the event could not have come at a better time than now. The nation was striving to promote export trade, he said, which would change the orientation of Nigerian sea trade which is currently import dependent.

Paul Ridgway

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CMA CGM BOUGAINVILLE, the world largest containership sailing under the French flag, was inaugurated by French President Francois Hollande. Picture: P Plisson

The CMA CGM Group's latest new container ship, CMA CGM BOUGAINVILLE, which also happens to be the world largest containership sailing under the French flag, was inaugurated last week by French President Francois Hollande in the port of Le Havre.

The inauguration took place in the presence of Jacques R Saade, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CMA CGM Group and various French, Lebanese and business dignitaries and customers.

CMA CGM Bougainville is deployed on the French Asia Line (FAL) between Europe and Asia and, says CMA CGM, is the symbol of trade between these two continents. "This vessel is also a reflection of the CMA CGM Group: familial, dynamic, innovative, and environmental friendly. A leading ship for a worldwide leading shipping Group," the French company said ina statement.

In his speech, Jacques Saade mentioned that CMA CGM has experienced a sustainable growth -- reinforced by several pioneer projects around the world and with innovative developments such as the Traxens technology transforming standard containers into smart, connected objects. The CMA CGM Bouigainville is the first containership in the world having such technology.

Saade also highlighted the CMA CGM Group's commitments as an employer towards society and for the environment.

French President Francois Hollande paid tribute to CMA CGM and Jacques Saade successes. "It's a great success. A success for you, your family, your staff members. A success for France."

He also complimented CMA CGM on its foresight. "you have always been one step ahead."

He concluded his speech by saluting the Group's expansion benefiting French growth. "Such ingenuity and work are strengths for France. We must be one step ahead. You set an example, an example to follow."

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Floating tidal energy platform prepares to double capacity: from drawings to grid connected tidal energy in just 6 months

Blue TEC in operation tidal energy platform 480

The first months of operating the BlueTEC tidal energy platform have proved to be a success, the company developing the process of harnessing tidal power at sea has announced.

The platform is now supplying electricity into the Dutch national grid and the partners involved in its development are now planning the installation of a second larger turbine.

"Getting the platform from the drawing board to a grid-connected operating reality in just 6 months is amazing," says Allard van Hoeken, Head of New Energy at Bluewater Energy Services and recent recipient of the first Prince Friso Engineers Award. "The electricity production is conforming to expectations, the mooring loads are lower than expected and the stability is better than expected. It is a great success."

Shortly after its launch this (northern) summer the platform's new moorings passed their first serious tests with flying colours as two large storms passed over the area.

With the platform up and running smoothly, the project partners are now looking forward to the next step in its development. "We will install the next turbine -- a Tocardo T2 -- before the winter. This will double the platform's capacity," says Mr Van Hoeken."A few months after that we will install a second T2 turbine. With two turbines working simultaneously this will double the capacity once again to reach the 400-500 kW mark. This means a proven solution is available on the market. In the meantime we will proceed to even larger units of 2.5 MW each."

"These units can supply clean energy to islands and remote locations below the cost of diesel generators. In addition, what the industry may only be starting to realise, is that they also pave the way towards large, utility-scale tidal farms. Starting with 500 kW units means using existing technology and a small grid setup, hence keeping the required investment and associated risks to a minimum. In the following step, our 2.5 MW units will be used for full development," he says.

The BlueTEC platform serves as a demonstrator model. The platform's ease of maintenance illustrates the advantages of a floating system perfectly: "It has been very easy to solve any issues we came across," informs Mr Van Hoeken. "We can reach the platform with a small boat, open the watertight door and enter the electronics room, fix and replace something and be back on land an hour later."

Cooperative partners
The list of project partners includes Bluewater, Damen Shipyards Group, Niron Staal, Van Oord, Acta Marine, Vryhof Anchors, TKF, Tocardo, Schottel Hydro, NIOZ, Tidal Testing Centre, Nylacast and the Port of Den Helder. Talking about the close cooperation within the project partnership, Mr Van Hoeken's enthusiasm is evident: "We are a group of great, strong and motivated partners, where everyone does their best to make it succeed -- applying their skills to realise a new way of harnessing clean power."

Further support came from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Waddenfonds programme, in addition to EU Life funding during the developmental phase.

Watch a short [5:45 min] video of the BlueTEC platform, now in service.

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MSC Cruises' Allan Foggitt

What you pack to take on-board can impact the enjoyment of your cruise vacation. Allan Foggitt, veteran cruiser and marketing and sales director of MSC Cruises, offers his top 10 tips

Whether you are the organised type of traveller who starts filling your suitcase a week (or more) before you cruise, or the type of traveller who simply throws a bunch of clothes and toiletries into a carry-on bag the night before you cruise -- what you choose to take with you can have a big impact on your cruise experience.

Says Allan Foggitt, Sales and Marketing Director for MSC Cruises: "Cruise packing can easily go wrong, especially if you are cruising for the first time and you are not sure what to expect. Having said that however, even if you don't pack all the right things, it is not the end of the world, as most ships offer a good selection of clothing, swimwear, accessories and toiletries in their on-board shops, and there are laundry services available on-board as well."

If you are going on a cruise, here are Allan's top 10 tips for packing:

1. Over-packing: The biggest mistake you can make is to over-pack -- chances are that you will spend most of your time on-board in your swimming costume and beachwear, so you don't need to pack an extensive wardrobe. Also, keep in mind that space is at a premium in most cabins, so the last thing you want to do is to clutter up your cabin by bringing too much clothing with you.

2. Luggage: MSC Cruises allows each passenger to check in one bag on cruises of four nights or less. Any additional bags will be checked in at an extra charge. Carry-on luggage is also restricted to one bag as well, and it may not exceed the following dimensions: 56cm (length) x 45cm (width) x 25cm (depth). Although MSC Cruises doesn't enforce any weight restrictions on luggage when cruising, prospective passengers should be aware that there are definite weight restrictions when flying -- so if you are flying to port, you must be sure that the weight of your luggage corresponds with the weight restrictions of the airline you are flying with.

3. Pack your carry-on bag wisely: You don't want to wait for your checked-in bags to arrive in your cabin before you can start enjoying your cruise. As such, it is advisable to pack some first-day essentials into your carry-on bag -- along with your normal items, such as your cell phone, wallet and sunglasses, these would include your travel documents, a change of clothes, bathing suit, sun hat and any medications that you may need. Also, all your valuables should be packed in your carry-on luggage and not in your checked-in luggage -- these include your airline tickets, cruise documentation, jewellery, medication, eyeglasses, makeup, camera, tablet, MP3 player and laptop should be packed in your carry-on luggage. Also, it is advisable to bring photocopies of your passport and prescriptions in case these get lost. Also, you will need your carry-on bag at the end of your cruise -- your luggage needs to be left outside your cabin for collection by latest 2am on the day of disembarkation, so your carry-on luggage will be required to pack your toiletries, pyjamas, and so on, in the morning of disembarkation.

4. Medication: Although there is a doctor on-board, it is highly advisable to pack enough medication for the duration of your cruise. Also, it is wise to pack some medication for motion sickness -- ear patches, bands and pills all work well. However, to limit the chance of motion sickness ruining your holiday, tablets such as Stugeron are recommended, and you should begin taking them the day before departure to ensure the medication is in your system.

5. Daywear: If you are cruising to a warm-weather destination, then be sure to pack quality swimwear, as you are more than likely to spend a lot of time around the pool. Pack two costumes in case one is wet, and a pair of casual shoes, such as sandals or flip-flops. Shorts, t-shirts, slacks, trousers, casual skirts, blouses and sundresses are all perfect attire for daywear -- whether you are indoors or out. If you are cruising to cooler destinations, then be sure to dress in layers in order to cater for the cooler temperatures outdoors and the warmer temperatures indoors. Also, if you are planning to visit the on-board fitness centre, pack extra fitness attire and some tennis or running shoes.

6. Dinner attire: Most cruises have one or two formal evenings, and suggested guidelines for these nights are either Casual (sport shirts and slacks for men, sundresses or pants for women), or Smart Casual (jackets and ties for men, dresses or pantsuits for women). It is advisable to pack a dressy sweater, jacket or pashmina as it can sometimes get a little nippy on-board at night.

7. Themed nights: Most cruises have theme nights on-board that you can dress up for, and it is wise to find out about these, so that you can pack accordingly. When cruising with MSC Cruises for example, you can expect the following theme nights:

  • 3-night cruise: Tropical Night -- dress in tropical attire

  • 4-night cruise: Gala Night / Captains Cocktail -- formal attire

  • 5-7-night cruise: Retro Evening -- flower power of the '60s and '70s

  • 5-7-night cruises: Italian Night -- dress in the colours of the Italian flag (green, white and red)

  • 10-14-night cruises: Gala Night -- formal attire

  • 10-14-night cruises: Souvenir Night -- a flavour of the destinations you have visited

    8. Packing techniques: When it comes to packing your luggage, there are a few tried-and-tested packing techniques that will help you save space. The first one is to wear your heaviest shoes during embarkation and disembarkation so you don't have to pack them. Pack heavier, bulkier items, such as shoes and toiletries, before packing lighter items, and stuff socks, belts and other smaller items into your shoes to free up some space. When packing jackets -- turn them inside out, fold them in half and place them in dry cleaning bags -- the plastic helps to minimise wrinkles, which is why dry cleaners use them. Vacuum storage bags are a great innovation when it comes to travel -- they allow you to vacuum-pack your clothing, which not only minimises the space that it takes up, but also ensures that it is watertight, so you can be sure that if any packed toiletries leak, it won't matter.

    9. Dangerous items: You will not be permitted to bring the following items on-board: weapons, alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, flammable liquids, explosives, dangerous chemicals, firearms (and realistic replicas), ammunition, sharp objects, including knives and scissors, candles and incense, coffee makers, clothes irons, hot plates, hockey sticks, cricket bats, bows and arrows, skateboards, surfboards, martial arts gear, self-defense gear, flammable liquids, explosives, and HAM radios.

    10. Don't forget: Be sure to pack an empty soft bag for souvenirs and momentos. Mark your luggage with brightly-coloured yarn or tags to make it easy to spot and less likely to be picked up by somebody else by mistake. You don't need to pack towels, as bath and pool/beach towels will be provided. Pack comfortable walking shoes for shore excursions.

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    Karl Socikwa

    Economic growth prospects for Africa over the next 50 years present both opportunities and challenges for port terminal operators, writes Karl Socikwa, CE at Transnet Port Terminals.

    The International Transport Forum Transport Outlook 2015 estimates that trade between African countries will increase by 715 percent between now and 2050. International freight transport volumes are also expected to grow by 200 percent over the same period. This is not altogether surprising as volumes of trade through port terminals have to grow in order to sustain economic growth, jobs and food security across Africa. Effectively this means that we as port operators have to look beyond the terminal gates in order to ensure the future sustainability of our operations and the local economy and that we have to take cognisance of the various challenges including the health risks that come with the predicted necessary expansions.

    Our challenge is to sustainably support growth in trade between African countries as this will have a significant impact on the environment with shipping-related emissions in ports predicted to increase by the same percentage. That is if shipping companies, port authorities, freight companies and terminal operators continue with business as usual.

    It is only once terminal operators and city management start working more closely together that we will find solutions. The danger is real. Increased emissions have the potential to severely impact the lives around port cities. In fact it is estimated that shipping-related Particulate Matter (PM) emissions in port cities are responsible for approximately 60,000 cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths annually around the world. Most deaths occur near the main shipping hubs in Europe, East Asia and South Asia.

    It is therefore vital that any future terminal investment in Africa has to take these factors into account, especially as most of the major ports on the continent are in close proximity to city centres and residential areas. The ports of Cape Town, Durban, Maputo, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa, Luanda and Abidjan are all good examples.

    South African ports have taken this challenge to heart and in the long term modernisation of the terminal infrastructure and operating systems will help to reduce emissions per ton of cargo moved. Not only is modern equipment more energy-efficient, it is also more productive. This reduces the time that vessels spend in port -- or waiting out in the roadstead, which in turn reduces emissions as these vessels contribute to the emissions from the ports.

    It is vital that shipping companies also do their part to continue to reduce the emissions through the introduction of new, more energy-efficient vessels or the retrofitting of older vessels. However noise pollution remains a very real consideration too as the cumulative effect of more trade will be that the terminals have a greater impact on the air quality, noise levels and traffic congestion in the port cities in which they are situated.

    If you want to see the affect of trade on a port city you need only look at the effect it has on that city's traffic. With a few notable exceptions and for historical reasons most of the major ports in Africa have no direct road access from a highway because the cities were developed around the ports. City authorities are now left with the challenge of creating routes for trucks through city streets that were designed and built long before the container era. Add to that the huge growth in the African middle class and vehicle ownership across Africa, which has created an additional load on the road infrastructure, and traffic congestion, noise pollution and carbon emissions on Africa's roads become a real concern.

    According to figures generated by the European Commission in 2015 figures show that more than two-thirds of transport-related greenhouse emissions are from road transport. In contrast, rail contributes 0,6 percent and maritime operations 13,9 percent of transport-related emissions. As a continent we therefore have to focus on rail and short sea shipping solutions in order to support intra-African and global trade growth.

    There are no easy (or low cost) solutions. In the short term local authorities can upgrade the access road infrastructure where this is physically possible. A more lasting solution is to place freight on rail -- either from source or at a dry inland feeder port, such as the Kano dry port outside Lagos. Or a new harbour can be built. There are already quite a few good examples on our continent: Kenya is building the port of Lamu north of Mombasa, Nigeria is building the Ibaka deep-sea port. Here in South Africa we have Ngqura and there are plans for a second port in Durban. However, as we have seen, new ports do not automatically take all the freight from the old harbours. Without Ngqura the South African terminal system would have struggled to cope with the existing levels of trade, despite the global downturn since 2008. If the International Transport Forum is right and Africa will enjoy an average 20 percent growth in trade a year - then as a continent we will need both the new and old terminal operations to keep up with the demand.

    This brings us as terminal operators back to thinking outside the terminal gates. We can be only as green and efficient as the economic and logistics systems, which we support. Moving freight through the terminal gates more efficiently is one of the challenges. Another is power. According to a report the World Bank released in 2013, African manufacturers experience power outages on average 56 days a year. Terminal operators are also affected by this -- which results in delays and raises the cost of doing business with Africa.

    As one of the biggest power users in any port city terminal operators can, however, make a difference. Decisions on the procurement of new equipment should be guided by the energy efficiency of the machinery. An immediate benefit to the terminal operator is reduced power costs. By reducing demand on the power grid we also help keep the local economy moving, and lights burning in the homes of local South Africans. Modern ship-to-shore gantry cranes such as those installed recently by Transnet Port Terminals can also feed power back into the grid.

    So, the good news is that trade through Africa's sea terminals is going to grow, and that as an industry and society we have the solutions to reduce the environmental impact of that growth along the entire logistics value chain -- which in the majority of cases starts or finishes at the port terminal. All that is required is for terminal operations to be fully integrated into the fabric of the cities and regions they serve.

    About the Author
    Karl Socikwa is the Chief Executive of Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), which is a division of Transnet SOC Limited, South Africa's state-owned freight transport and handling company. TPT has a staff complement of over 6000.

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    Konecranes received a repeat order in July from the Bollore Group for thirteen Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes to be delivered in the second half of 2016 to container terminals operated by Bollore Africa Logistics in Cotonou in Benin and Lome in Togo.

    Five of the RTGs will be delivered to Cotonou, and the other eight to Lome.

    "Our excellent cooperation with Bollore continues. We have 69 RTGs either delivered or under production, to container terminals operated by Bollore Group in West Africa, and with this new order the total will reach 82," says Antoine Bosquet, Sales Director, Konecranes, Port Cranes. "Bollore is going from strength to strength in Africa, and Konecranes is proud to be part of it."

    The thirteen RTG cranes will be equipped with Konecranes' smarter cabin offering improved ergonomics, visibility and safety. They will also have advanced Konecranes technology such as Autosteering, which keeps the crane on a pre-programmed, straight driving path, and Variable Speed Engine and Diesel Fuel Saver technology. Taken together, these features help to improve operating safety and increase productivity.

    The RTG container positioning systems will be connected to the ports' Terminal Operating Systems offering correct, real-time container positioning and an accurate inventory. The RTG cranes will also be equipped with TRUCONNECT remote access technology, enabling remote diagnostics for maintenance purposes.

    The hydraulics-free, 16-wheel RTGs have a lifting capacity of 40 tons stacking 1-over-5 containers high and 7 plus truck lane wide.

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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.


    KOTA HIDAYAH 6 October 2015 480

    Pacific International Lines' (PIL) container ship KOTA HIDAYAH (18,871 dwt, built 2002) sails from Durban last week. The 160 metre long Kota Hidayah is one of the smaller container capacity ships in the PIL fleet with a container capacity of just 1098 TEU. The ship was built in the Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co Ltd, Japan as their hull number 5148. The picture is by Trevor Jones


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