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Ports & Ships Maritime News

19 January 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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Uzavulo ex RH Tarpey and Uhuva ex W Marshall Cla

Two of Richard's Bay's older tugs in service at the busy Zululand port. Closest to the camera is UZAVOLO (373-gt, built 1974), the former RH Tarpey (RB3) while behind her is UHUVA (373-gt, built 1974), the former W Marshall Clark (RB1). Both tugs have remained in service at the Richards Bay port for many years. Pictures by Ken Malcolm.

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Analyst raises importance of East and Southern Africa trades AFRICA political with islands 480 x 505

Dutch analyst firm Dynamar has recently published an attention-getting report in its Container Markets and Trades series, entitled: The East and Southern Africa Container Trades (2015) that is sure to be thought provoking and even a little controversial.

It analyses container trade to Africa -- to East and Southern Africa in particular and makes some startling conclusions. Pointing out that in most people's minds, trade to these two regions is usually regarded as insignificant when looking at individual ports, whereas when lumped together the region's output is close to eight million TEUs. This, says Dynamar, is technically more than the whole of Australia.

Equally of importance, the region's 23 countries combined provide much scope for growth with their 437 million inhabitants.

The report highlights the following:

  • East and southern Africa's container volumes have grown by nine percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since 2010

  • China's exports to East Africa are expected to increase by 91 percent by 2020

  • The area is experiencing strong growth, rising incomes, falling poverty and economic diversification

  • Transit cargo from Mombasa is growing at an average of seven percent; current share is 30 percent

  • Inland transportation costs are reaching 77 percent of export value

  • Sub Saharan Africa's largest port is Durban, South Africa

  • Somali-attributed pirate attacks back from 2010's 220 to ten (too many) in 2014
  • The three main African regions covered in the report consist of 23 countries:
    East Africa: coastal Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania, plus seven landlocked countries;
    Indian Ocean: Madagascar, Mauritius, La Reunion (France) and three more island states;
    Southern Africa: littoral Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia, plus four non-coastal nations.

    "Imagine that the East and Southern Africa container trades would catch up, relatively, and in one year's time, with that of the U.S. with its population of 323 million," says Dirk Visser, Senior Shipping Consultant and Managing Editor DynaLiners. "In that case, the relevant African TEU volume would grow to 42 million TEUs, up 1,200 percent from the 3.2 million TEUs of 2014. A period of 25 years may be more realistic. This would then translate into a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 11 percent.

    "Exaggerated? A bit perhaps, but combined, east and southern Africa including the Indian Ocean Islands have seen full container volumes growing by a CAGR of over nine percent since 2010. This backed up by the value of their merchandise trade expanding by more than 26 percent to US$385 billion over the same period."

    Littorals and megalomaniac terminal projects

    Although three carriers, CMA CGM, MSC and Simatech are nowadays serving Mogadishu, Somalia, including Somaliland and Puntland, remains largely defunct, says Visser. "Hence, East Africa currently counts just two active littoral countries: Kenya and Tanzania. These serve a more than seven-country hinterland, comprising a population of well over 200 million souls, more than double their own. Altogether, an indication of the increasing pressure on their ports to serve such an extensive and economically growing inland area via often physically inadequate connections larded with numerous checkpoints, if not roadblocks."

    Kenya's Mombasa, anticipating that its current 1.0 million TEUs throughput will have doubled by 2020, is building a new 1.2 million TEU container terminal, after recently having expanded its existing one.

    Also strongly in contention for various inland destinations, the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania has longstanding plans and a long shortlist of no less than ten companies to build a new, 600,000 TEU box facility, doubling its present capacity. In addition, some multipurpose berths will be strengthened to handle containers.

    In addition to their main ports, both countries are ushering in their smaller secondary outlets. The main ones are Lamu in Kenya and Bagamoyo and Mwambani in Tanzania. These have in common that they are to become the oceanic starting points of transport corridors of sometimes megalomaniac, multi-billion dimensions as they are to include port facilities, roads, railways, pipelines and warehouses.

    Bagamoyo, opposite Zanzibar and 75 kilometres north of Dar es Salaam, was the capital of former German East Africa. Visser says that China Merchants (Holding) International and Oman have jointly funded $11 billion to build a 20 million TEU capacity container port there. However, it is still not excluded that preference will be given to the southern port of Mtwara, near the border with Mozambique.

    The Indian Ocean Islands comprise some of the smallest territories, for example think of the French Departement d'Outre-Mer Mayotte with its 376 square kilometres, says Visser. By contrast, he says, Madagascar is the world's largest single island nation (582,000 square kilometres), boasting at least 13 sea ports.

    "The government of Mauritius aims at transforming the island into a high-income country by 2025. Hence, Mauritius Container Terminal at Port Louis is being expanded to accommodate the expected 1.0 million TEU container throughput by then, around double the present volume of which 55 percent is transhipment."

    Southern and South

    Several of the ports in Mozambique (all privatised), including Beira, Maputo and Nacala, are competing for connections with landlocked Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, and with South Africa's heavy industrialised Gauteng accommodating the capital of Johannesburg in particular. Rich in natural resources and a potential supplier of LNG, amongst others, Mozambique's economy has been doing well.

    South Africa is the largest of the only three littoral southern African countries and the single African G-20 member. Durban, its main outlet, is the largest of the only four Sub-Saharan African millionaires by container throughput. The building of a new, 9.6 million TEU capacity port at the site of the former airport has been continuously delayed but is now thought set to start by 2021 or 2022. Like all South African ports, it will be operated by parastatal Transnet.

    In a remarkable second week of December last year, the South African government had three finance ministers at a row, says Visser. "If this 55-million people country's outlook remains weak (2.5 percent average until 2020), it is mainly due to severe domestic challenges."


    Three-year throughput of east and southern African ports handling minimum 100,000 TEUs

    Port 2014 2013 TEU 2012 TEU
    Dar es Salaam 612,600 553,900 507,200
    Mombasa 1,012,000 894,000 903,400
    Port Louis 403,000 385,300 417,500
    Port Reunion 241,000 213,000 221,400
    Toamasina 139,200 137,800 131,000
    Beira 218,700 184,000 170,000
    Maputo 134,000 120,000 101,200
    Cape Town 892,600 920,600 848,300
    Durban 2,664,300 2,632,500 2,568,900
    Ngqura 705,400 774,800 574,900
    Port Elizabeth 259,900 290,000 288,200
    Walvis Bay 359,500 334,400 334,400

    Source: East and Southern Africa Worldwide Container Trades report published by Dynamar B.V.

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    Vale rly 470
    A Vale operated coal train

    Further refurbishment of the Sena Railway linking the port of Beira with the coal mining centre of Moatize in Tete province is expected to be completed before the middle of this year and will see the line capacity increased from 6.5 million tons to 20 million tons a year.

    Work on this phase commenced in 2013 not long after the Sena Railway was reopened to traffic after having been closed since the civil war. The lack of capacity on the line forced the Brazilian mining group Vale, which mines coal near Moatize, to opt for building an extension of the railway from Moatize to connect with the Malawian Central South African Railway, whose railway is linked with the Nacala Corridor.

    The latter railway opened to traffic late last year and has relieved some of the pressure on the existing Sena Railway, but once the new phase on the latter is completed in a few months time the Sena (Beira) Railway will be able to compete with the Nacala Corridor, although the portside facilities at Nacala are going to be more favourable for large bulk coal exports. A new port and terminal is being built in Nacala Bay at Nacala-a-Velha, opposite the old port which is also undergoing refurbishment.

    Meanwhile, a recent resurgence in conflict between the old foes of the civil war threatens the well-being of coal exports and the two railway systems.

    The 575km Sena Railway includes the Inhamitanga to Marromeu branch which carries mainly sugar from the mill at Marromeu.

    The Sena Railway once in full commission will operate with 100-wagon trains, compared with the 42-wagon trains that the line currently uses. Each train will be hauled by up to six locomotives (two at present). The contractors working on the line have lengthened passing loops and station yards from 750 metres to 1,500 metres and bridges and culverts have been strengthened.

    One of the concerns will be the periodic flooding of the Zambezi and other rivers which have disrupted railway operations over the years.

    The importance of the Sena and Nacala railways for Vale in particular, as well as other mining companies, can be judged from a statement issued by Fitch Ratings which said that Vale's coal project in Mozambique at Moatize will act to strengthen the liquidity of the mining company, which is also benefiting from a revolving US$5 billion credit facility and a coal Joint Venture entered into with Japanese company Mitsui Group on the Nacala Corridor.

    Mitsui is in the process of acquiring 15 percent of Vale Mozambique Limitada, which owns all of Vale's assets in Mozambique. as well as 50 percent of Vale's 70 percent stake in the Nacala Corridor, for which it is paying Vale a total of approximately US$1 billion for the combined assets. Once the JV is completed, Vale is expected to receive around US$2 billion-US$2.5 billion of proceeds from project finance debt to be placed in the newly formed coal JV to refinance the shareholder loans that Vale provided to its Mozambique coal-related projects to date. The project finance will be off-balance-sheet and no shareholder corporate guarantees are expected to be provided to the new JV debt. The newly created JV will be legally ring-fenced from Vale and Mitsui.

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    Ferry concept 5178 Rev1 Large 01 480
    Picture courtesy Wartsila

    Wartsila is launching a complete concept for a series of zero or low emission shuttle ferries. The concept has been developed in line with new Norwegian environmental regulations for ferries emphasising the elimination of harmful emissions -- a regulatory trend also evident in other countries.

    Developed in a cooperation between Wartsila's Ship Design and Electrical & Automation offices, the solution provides customers with an optimised design and a single point of contact, streamlining engineering, integration, and follow-up procedures throughout the project phase.

    The design focuses on high energy efficiency with low resistance, above and below the water line.

    The ferries are designed to run entirely on batteries or in a battery-engine hybrid configuration where the fuel options are liquefied natural gas (LNG) or biofuel.

    In plug-in operation, the fuel consumption is reduced by 100 percent compared to conventional installations, and all local emissions are completely eliminated. With the plug-in hybrid configuration, emissions are reduced by up to 50 percent.

    The concept features Wartsila's new wireless inductive charging system, which offers major benefits for typical shuttle ferry operations involving 20,000 or more departures a year because of its time and energy savings. The system eliminates physical cable connections, thus reducing wear and tear and enabling charging to begin immediately when the vessel arrives at quay.

    The design also encompasses a complete electrical and automation package based on the company's battery/hybrid solution. It also includes Wartsila azimuth propulsion units and a complete bridge control system. The ferry series can accommodate 60 to 120 cars on a single car deck for quick and easy loading and unloading.

    In addition to this design concept for newbuilds, Wartsila can also provide battery and hybrid solutions for retrofitting existing ferry propulsion units in order to meet the new regulations.

    "Wartsila is fully committed to producing ship designs, marine products, and integrated solutions that make a significant contribution towards lowering the environmental footprint of shipping," says Riku-Pekka Hagg, Vice President, Ship Design, Wartsila Marine Solutions. "This new concept is one more example of this focus. By making it possible for ferries to eliminate exhaust emissions entirely, we feel that we are again acting proactively to protect the marine environment."

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    The 40th anniversary banner for the PMAESA Conference held in Durban in 2013

    The Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) has announced the cancellation of its annual conference which was scheduled for 15 to 17 February this year in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

    The Conference cancellation followed a move by the incoming Tanzania President John Magufuli to relieve several Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) top managers including the Director General of their duties and to dissolve the Authority's entire board of directors. The conference was to be hosted by TPA in conjunction with PMAESA.

    The Secretariat is now focusing on the 2016 Conference to be held in Khartoum Sudan in the month of November.

    The theme for the November conference and speakers remains the same. The conference theme was Port Strategies for Harnessing the African Blue Economy & Investment Options. The sub themes included 'the outlook of the blue economy'; investment opportunities and infrastructure; and 'coastal tourism, ship repairs and cabotage, state of fisheries and aqua culture.'

    In the meantime, the PMAESA Council, Board and Technical Committee meetings which are normally held together with the conference will be rescheduled to a different venue and date to be announced in due course.

    The Board meeting for the Cruise Indian Ocean Association -- a body entrusted with marketing regional ports as cruise destinations, will be held alongside the PMAESA Council meeting.

    For the last eight years PMAESA has been running an international conference alongside its Council meetings with a view of availing its members, maritime experts and stakeholders in the related sectors with an information sharing platform.

    This will be the first time that the annual PMAESA conference has failed to take place since its inception in 2007 in Seychelles.

    This was followed by a conference in Djibouti which was also combined with the 6th Pan African Ports Cooperation (PAPC) Conference in 2008, Durban, South Africa (2009). Arusha in Tanzania played host to the 8th PAPC in 2010, followed by Swakopmund in Namibia in 2011 and Cape Town in 2012.

    The colourful conference marking PMAESA's 40th anniversary was held in 2013 in Durban, South Africa followed by the 10th PAPC conference in Mombasa, Kenya.

    News continues below


    amjochd cropped

    The inaugural edition of a continent wide forum for maritime journalists, content owners and publishers based in Africa, tagged Africa Maritime Journalists Conference (AMJOC), will be held this January in Accra, Ghana's capital city.

    Under the theme Building Effective Communication Infrastructure for Africa's Blue Economy, the conference will take place on 29 and 30 January 2016 at the Coconut Groove Regency Hotel.

    Aside from members of the maritime media fraternity, other participants expected at the two-day event are maritime industry corporate communication and information officers, advocacy groups, trade and professional associations, non-governmental and civil society groups etc.

    Special Guest of Honour is Ghana's Deputy Minister of Transport, Hon. (Mrs) Joyce Bawah Mogtari. She will give a Keynote Address on Maritime Media as a Vessel for Africa's Economic Transformation at the Opening Ceremony.

    Some of the invited speakers include Mr Magnus Teye Addico -- former Secretary General of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA); Mr Micheal Luguje -- Secretary General of Pan African Ports Co-operation (PAPC); Capt Arian Turkson -- former Rector of the Regional Maritime University of Ghana; Barrister Hassan Bello -- Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers Council; and Capt Dallas Laryea -- Head of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Office for Anglophone West Africa.

    Others include barrister (Mrs) Nancy Karigithu -- Principal Secretary, Maritime Commerce at Kenya's Ministry of Transport; Mr Richard Anamoo -- Director General of Ghana Ports and Habours Authority; Commander Tsietsi Mokhele -- CEO of the South African Maritime Safety Agency; Revd (Dr) Peter I Azuma -- Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority; and Mr George Sunguh, Editor PMAESA Our Port Magazine.

    Chairperson of the Conference Organising Committee, Mr Lanre Badmus, explained that AMJOC is conceived as an annual capacity building platform for maritime media personnel in the continent, to strengthen professionalism and promote best practices in the delivery of maritime news across Africa and to the world.

    According to Badmus, the conference aims to set an agenda and encourage peer review by maritime institutions in Africa; support research and information exchanges among maritime media practitioners; and advocate solidarity and goodwill between the media and all segments of the maritime industry. The Accra conference entails interactive technical sessions, display of maritime journals, books and media equipment, as well as a pre-conference educational visit to maritime establishments, he added.

    Papers to be discussed include Maritime Policy Development and its Impact on Africa's Economy; Africas Blue Economy and Contemporary Maritime Media; Capacity Building and Institutional Support for Maritime Media in Africa; Maritime Domain Awareness -- the Role of the Media; Effective Media to Business Relations in the Maritime Industry: Methods and Tactics; and Ethics and Professionalism in Maritime Media Practice.

    The event is free for all practising maritime media journalists and content owners, however for those who are not journalists, a registration fee will apply. All interested participants are to register by visiting the conference official website www.amjoc.net, and click on the REGISTER MENU to access the form online.

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    UASC Barzan 480

    On 14 January United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) and Ahli United Bank (AUB), Egypt marked the passing of the 18,800 TEU vessel mv Al Zubara, what is claimed to be the world's greenest ultra-large container vessel, through the new Suez Canal.

    This event is one of the first in a series of activities being organised by UASC to celebrate 40 years in business and was attended by senior dignitaries and officials including Dr Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment (Egypt), Admiral Mohab Mameesh, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Basil Al-Zaid, Chief Financial Officer at UASC, Nevine El-Messeery CEO of AUB and Captain Emad Oraby, the General Manager of UASAC Egypt.

    Guests were taken on a guided tour of Al Zubara, while sailing through the new Suez Canal passage, where Admiral Mohab Mameesh presented a brief introduction to the strategic project.

    Said Basil Al-Zaid, Chief Financial Officer at UASC: "Initiating UASC's 40th anniversary celebrations from the Suez Canal makes perfect sense given its strategic location, being the fastest maritime route connecting Asia to Europe. UASC's vessels passed through the Suez Canal around 295 times last year, reflecting its importance to us. Having the new canal operational has helped to reduce our vessel's transit time, which of course, reflects positively on the company. This celebration is to mark our long term partnership with the Suez Canal and Ahli United Bank, which not only facilitates our passage payments in the Canal, but has also contributed to financing UASC's current newbuilding program, comprising 17 new ships among the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly in the world."

    Ahli United Bank, with a strategic goal of developing support for the region's economy, established a special division to support the shipping industry. The bank facilitates canal passing payments, port projects and berths, as well as supporting the financing of the investment project to develop the canal area.

    To date, UASC has received five 18,800TEU class vessels; Barzan, Al Muraykh, Al Nefud, Al Zubara and Al Dahna respectively. This superior series of vessels are considered the world's greenest due to their outstanding environmental credentials and first class technology on board, it is understood.

    Putting these advanced vessels to the test Al Muraykh achieved a record-breaking cargo of 18,601 TEU in December. This unprecedented westbound shipment was also UASC's highest utilisation to date of this eco-efficient class, meaning the CO2 output per TEU on this passage is set to be more than 60 percent lower than if the same containers were shipped on board a 13,500 TEU ship.

    Paul Ridgway

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    PECT aerial 470
    Gateway port

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    KATHARINA 6 January 2016 480

    The container ship KATHARINA (10,600-dwt, built 2008) enters Durban harbour earlier in January to work her cargo of containers. Katharina has a German owner, Intersee Schiffahrt and can carry up to 667 TEUs fully loaded. The ship is currently on charter to French operator CMA CGM as a feeder vessel to the smaller ports. Katharina was built at the Chinese Yichang Damen Shipyards, as hull number 7305. The picture is by Trevor Jones


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