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Ports & Ships Maritime News

26 April 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

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

As tomorrow (Wednesday 27 April) is a public holiday in South Africa, the next edition of the maritime news will appear on Thursday 28 April.


Click on headline to go direct to story : use the BACK key to return


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Two heavylift vessels, similarly loaded with special project oil rig equipment called at Durban at the recent weekend for bunkers and supplies, before sailing again bound for Santos in Brazil. The two Jumbo heavy lifts were JUMBO VISION and FAIRLANE (seen above). Both ships fly the Netherlands flag and are similar in design, being 110 metres in length and 21m wide with a deadweight of 7,000 tons. Even the cargo appeared to be similar. Fairlane is the older of the two, being built in 1999 while Jumbo Vision entered service two years later. The picture here shows Fairlane and is by Keith Betts

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We've written on numerous occasions of Transnet National Ports Authority's assurances regarding public access to the completed North Pier at Durban Harbour. The pier remains closed for reasons not apparent to anyone outside the port authority, assuming that it is apparent to themselves. The South Pier was re-opened but only after an association of mostly Indian fishermen took the matter to the High Court, with TNPA backing down days before the court appearance and providing access. Meanwhile, TNPA remains silent on the matter of the more popular North Pier, which for more than a hundred years remained accessible to the general public and which provided an attraction to the people of Durban and visiting tourists alike.

On Saturday, 23 April at the start of the 2016 Vasco Da Gama yacht race from Durban to Port Elizbeth, what can only be described as a debacle and an embarrassment took place on what should be an area of prime, open and free access to the people of this city.

The following report from 'Water Rat' tells the story.

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The X marks a huge fail for the city of Durban and is symbolic of the Authorities' desire to eradicate the sport from its waters forever

The Race Committee made considerable efforts to get the Port Authorities to allow spectators access to the North Breakwater so that they could watch the start of the race. Written permission was provided by way of an email so a huge contingent of race supporters made their way to the breakwater. Initially we were barred from entering the access gates due to a 'communication' breakdown between various Transnet Departments. This was eventually resolved and the crowd started walking towards the end of the breakwater. As entrants transited the channel there was much waving and hollering of support. For the crews facing a stonking south westerly, this must have been somewhat heartening.

However, once we got halfway down the breakwater, three security vehicles came roaring down on us and an officer informed us that permission had been rescinded and we had to leave the breakwater at once.

Between our Port Authorities and City Officials there seems to be a concerted effort to kill the sport of sailing in Durban. The City, in cahoots with a property developer, tried to rob us of Vetch's Beach and only a protracted and costly battle prevented this. The Port Authorities impose draconian measures that aren't in force in any of SA's other ports. If we want to make a simple passage from Durban to Richards Bay we are required to submit 'flight plans' and obtain clearance from both Customs and Immigration. Water Wing police officers regularly make checks on sailing craft and are often completely misinformed of the regulations that they are trying to impose.

All of this occurs in a port where illegal aliens access the port freely to stowaway on foreign going ships. This costs the international Shipping Community millions of dollars every year. And it affects all of us because ship owners simply charge higher freight rates for cargo loaded or discharged in Durban. This applies to every litre of fuel, slice of bread, fillet of chicken etc etc that you buy. If you buy anything that is imported by sea Transnet's inability to effectively (i.e.: keep the real bad guys out !) secure the port costs you money. It is a simple as that.

This is not only a rant about the current crop of officials. The need for flight plans and Pilots Exemptions were imposed many years ago. Unfortunately, despite the considerable efforts of SAS and the Clubs to ensure that we sail safe, petty officialdom still reigns.

I have been fortunate to enjoy two bareboat holidays in the Greek Islands. And to be frank it is sometimes tempting to sell up my boat and mooring, give up membership of a Yacht Club and invest the proceeds to spend on chartering holidays in sailor friendly environments.

It is high time that we, as a sailing community, join forces to put an end to this petty officialdom and take active measures to protect our sport for current and future generations. I therefore encourage you to engage with your club and SAS representatives and think up of proactive ways that will enable the sailing community to achieve this aim. If not I fear that more disgruntled people will vote with their feet and move to a sport that isn't faced with so many unnecessary frustrations.

(signed) The Water Rat

Saturday 23 April 2016 Barred from N Pier pic by
The 'Evictees'

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Picture by Terry Hutson

The debate over the 1 July implementation of the SOLAS Amendment on container weighing rages on. Here in South Africa SAMSA appears to have established the standards and rules by which SOLAS will be administered but what might appear to be a simple enough matter remains instead complex, with questions remaining about who has the responsibilty for the weighing, what tolerances will apply and even questions regarding perishable cargo that alters in weight as it ages.

Now European logistics organisations, conscious of a fast approaching deadline, warn that an absence of balanced SOLAS enforcement will lead to competition distortion and significant interruption to supply chains.

The warning of non-balanced SOLAS enforcement has equal meaning and importance in Africa as in Europe.

In a joint statement, European organisations representing shippers, freight forwarders, terminal operators and port authorities are calling on national authorities to coordinate their actions related to the requirement for shippers to provide the verified gross mass of containers before they are loaded on ships, reports American Shipper.

The requirement, in an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention, takes effect on 1 July.

The European Shippers Council, Federation of European Private Port Operators, European Sea Ports Organisation, and European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services said uniformity is needed to preserve a level playing field.

The groups called for national authorities to take urgent, coordinated action, warning "the absence of such action will lead to competition distortion and significant interruption to the functioning of the logistics chain.

"To ensure that the implementation of the new legal requirements does not create competition distortion through a patchwork of varying national measures, member states should pursue a coordinated European approach, taking into consideration the national guidelines of other member states when deciding on national rules," they added.

"Supply chain actors and national authorities should work towards commonly accepted guidelines in order to minimise distortion of competition and ensure smooth functioning of the SOLAS requirements. Cooperation in drafting of guidelines must focus on two main elements: tolerances applying to weighing equipment and the certification of those shippers approved to issue VGM certificates using Method 2 based upon common standards and programs (such as AEO, ISO 9001, ISO 28000) or other existing obligations or recommendations to provide the container weight," the groups said.

Their statement added that countries around Europe must adopt similar standards on certification of weighing equipment "which are not overly restrictive and do not have an adverse impact on the functioning of the logistics chain."

Also the groups said it was "important that national authorities communicate the accepted tolerance level for weighing equipment used to issue, and where necessary verify a declared VGM (for example; 5 percent or an acceptable variation from the declared VGM) in advance" of the 1 July implementation. source: American Shipper

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The weather put something of a dampener on things on Day 1 of this year's SA Navy Festival at Simon's Town, with rain and mist all but washing things out.

However the weather certainly perked up for Days 2 & 3.

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On Saturday morning, in place of the formal 'Right of Entry' parade led by the Navy Band, we had something very different. The announcer bellowed into his microphone "Ladeez and Gen'lmen -- I give you the Military Police!!". The picture above shows the solitary MP on his motorbike, heading a bunch of what looked like Hell's Angels, about 20, but it seemed more like 200 as they revved their engines -- which certainly impressed some of the crowd.

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In previous years the parade was always led by the Navy Band, usually belting out a Sousa March at full volume -- very stirring. Instead, following the Hell's Angels we had the Izivunguvungu Youth Band. With all due respect to Commander Mike Oldham SAN (Ret'd) who has spent many years training and nurturing this band, it isn't quite the same.

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The Sea Cadets put on a good show of marching prowess -- but there were no Navy personnel in the parade.

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The usual procession of floats and military vehicles was non-existent; the Navy contributed two forklift trucks at the end of the parade. Maybe they weren't part of the parade after all!

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Admission into the East Dockyard took forever. I queued for nearly an hour and a half before getting through the airport security-style checks; all bags went through a scanner and people went through a metal detector loop, which was continuously sounding an alarm. Nobody bothered to sort out this charade. However once inside, there was a pleasing display of flea-market stalls serving a variety of delights. One stall appeared to be selling 'Slush Fish', which seemed a bit dubious, but on closer inspection it was 'Slush Eish' -- maybe best avoided, just in case.

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Food of all descriptions was available, but the oddly-named 'Scandalous Food Truck' didn't seem to be attracting any customers.

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Many stalls were unoccupied -- stallholders complained of 'rip-off' hire charges demanded by the Navy.

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Most of the dockyard was barriered off. The dry dock entrance was deserted and silent -- the Cannon Association of South Africa (CAOSA) had pulled out after disagreement with the Navy over the provision, weighing and preparation of black powder charges for their antique cannons. So no display, and no firing of the cannons at intervals, which was always a hugely popular spectacle.

IMAGE 13 P1250410a 480
Ships in the harbour included the Hydrographic Survey vessel Protea, the Fleet Support vessel Drakensberg, the four frigates (one in dry dock), one submarine, tugboats and miscellaneous small craft. No foreign ships were present. However there were compensations -- the 'bouncy castle' was very popular, and opportunities for 'selfies were endless. Palm Springs commercial photography

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The Air Force deployed a single helicopter, which carried out some interesting manoeuvres. The tugboat rides, despite the long queues, were a huge success.

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Finally, a most interesting display was that mounted by Denel -- promising 'Rejuvenation of the Naval Dockyard'. There have been strong rumours that Denel is to take over the dockyard, but this is the first public indication that something is afoot. When the dockyard was privatised in 2007, this was hailed as a turning-point for the run-down facility, and an opportunity to bring in commercial work. Armscor, under their local General Manager Mr T.T. Goduka, has totally failed to deliver. The Robben Island Ferry and a succession of small trawlers for a scrape and repaint, have been the main non-naval vessels. The only commercial opportunities generated appear to be for outside contractors, who have come to the dockyard to provide support services, where essential in-house skills and competencies have long since disappeared. What will this 'Rejuvenation' consist of? We should be told..

David Erickson

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Image of what MSC Seaside will look like at sea

In a coin laying ceremony held at Fincantieri's Monfalcone shipyard in Italy, MSC Cruises has revealed details of their future ship MSC SEASIDE which is due to enter service in December 2017.

The giant ship will host 5,179 passengers and is to be homeported in Miami where she will join MSC Divina. Seaside will also become the first MSC ship to be christened in Miami.

Among some of the many features MSC Seaside will have suspended glass floors, a wrap around outdoor promenade with restaurants and bars, ocean-view elevators and the highest outdoor space ratio of any ship.

As will be realised with mention of a coin laying ceremony and a December 2017 delivery, there is not much to see right now but MSC Cruises and the shipyard went the extra distance by providing mock-ups of the various cabin configurations which include 14 corner suites, terraced balcony cabins with sea views and which overlook the promenade below, cluster cabins designed specially for family use and suites that have a private outdoor hot tub.

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The impressive atrium on MSC Seaside

"This prototype is significantly different to anything we have ever built before as this is a ship dedicated to cruising in warm seas," said MSC Cruises chief executive officer Gianni Onorato.

"With the highest ratio of outdoor spaces on any of MSC Cruises' ships, guests will also enjoy an increased number of balcony cabins, sea views and public areas.

"Specifically for MSC Seaside, we are developing exciting new dining options for the delight of our guests, with nine eateries featuring cuisines from all around the world including a Pan-Asian restaurant in partnership with acclaimed chef, Roy Yamaguchi, a luxury seafood restaurant with chef's table and a world-class international steak house, amongst others."

The concept behind MSC Seaside is to 'bring the sea closer to passengers', and is being designed with an exclusive warm weather aesthetic. The beach-condo-inspired concept will focus on the outdoor space of cabins and suites, many al fresco eating options including 20 bars; outdoor spa and fitness facilities, such as luxury cabanas for spa treatments, two wellness cabins, which feature advanced Kinesis Technoygm fitness equipment; and the private MSC Yacht Club, which features a lounge and restaurant and a solarium.

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Outside open area of ship

Adventure activities include a 130-metre zip line, an aqua park, which features slide boarding, duelling high-speed aquatubes, AquaPlay & AquaSpray -- a section specifically designed for younger children -- and the Adventure Trail, featuring rope courses, bridges, and crawl-through slides.

MSC Seaside is the first of two identical ships in the Seaside class. The sister ship is set to enter service in 2018, while a third one, for which an existing option for an additional Seaside class ship exists, will be delivered by 2021 if taken up.

MSC Seaside is part of a series of 'smart' ships to be built by MSC, part of its 10-year, 9 billion Euro investment plan which includes the building of up to 11 new ships due to come into service between 2017 and 2026.

MSC Seaside itineraries include cruises to the Bahamas, Mexico, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. source: MSC Cruises

PIC 3 SEASIDE1600 480

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Image courtesy Myanmar Industrial Port website

It was announced from Singapore on 18 April that IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping to improve Myanmar's under-developed transportation sector by providing US$40 million of financing to Myanmar Industrial Port (MIP).

MIP is one of two major container ports in Myanmar and a key trade gateway that handles more than 300,000 TEU annually or 40 percent of the country's container traffic.

See the port's corporate video at www.myanmarindustrialport.com/

This $40 million in mezzanine financing is the first phase of a $200 million financing package which is expected to include $160 million in long-term senior loans to be provided by IFC and other foreign lenders. The financing package will help the company increase capacity and efficiency at its container terminal in central Yangon, the commercial capital of Myanmar.

With IFC's long-term funding, the company will be able to complete the first phase of its expansion plans which, together with the efficiency improvements, will increase the terminal's annual handling capacity to 500,000 TEU or more, it is understood.

The investment is IFC's first in the transportation sector in Myanmar and is part of a broader strategy to help Myanmar do business more efficiently and more competitively thereby unlocking the country's potential for increased international trade and supporting job creation and economic development.

Commented Captain U Ko Ko Htoo, MIP's Chairman: "Thanks to IFC's investment, we will be able to further modernise our port operations and respond to the increasing demands of international shipping lines and local traders. We are also keen on IFC's advice on bringing our environmental, social and governance practices into line with international standards."

Myanmar's container volumes are estimated to have increased by 90 percent over the last three years due to rapid growth in imports and exports following the government's implementation of political and economic reforms.

"IFC's financing for MIP comes at a critical time in Myanmar's development when transport infrastructure is urgently needed to realize the country's growth potential," added Hyun-Chan Cho, IFC's Head of Infrastructure and Natural Resources for Asia. "The MIP loans will also help to catalyse investment by other private developers and financiers in Myanmar's infrastructure sector for which long-term US dollar funding has not been readily available."

IFC, together with the World Bank, is supporting reforms and investments in Myanmar to strengthen the private sector and create jobs in order to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity. IFC is working with the government and the private sector to improve the country's investment climate, access to finance, and infrastructure, with an initial focus on the power, telecommunications, and ports sectors.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, it uses capital, expertise, and influence to create opportunities where they are needed most.

In FY15, IFC's long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly US$18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

Paul Ridgway

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Palm Springs commercial photography
Hakan Wester, Group VP Strategy & Planning

Global shipping, logistics and marine service provider GAC, which has a presence in South Africa, has announced two new appointments within its Group Management team.

Hakan Wester takes on the new role of Group Vice President, Strategy & Planning, and is charged with coordination and supporting the implementation of GAC strategy throughout the Group's operations in more than 50 countries around the world. Wester joined GAC as Group Business Controller in 1998, taking on additional responsibilities for Quality and other Management Systems in 2002. He was appointed Group Vice President for Business Processes in 2010, and Group Vice President, Business Control four years later.

In a second appointment, Mikael Leijonberg has been named as the Group's Chief Financial Officer (CFO), responsible for all Group Finance & Accounts and Business Control matters. Leijonberg has been with GAC for two decades, having served as Financial Manager for GAC Dubai from 1996 to 2004, followed by six years as the company's General Manager, Finance and his appointment as Managing Director of GAC Bahrain in 2011. He moved to GAC's Corporate headquarters in Jebel Ali as Deputy Group CFO in September last year, before his most recent appointment as Group CFO.

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Palm Springs commercial photography
Cathelco 'Ton' desalinator

Cathelco's desalination division says it is continuing to win orders worldwide in the commercial and military sectors for their range of space saving watermakers.

One of the latest orders has come from Norwegian based Havyard Ship Technology who are building a Hvyard 832 SOV wind turbine service vessel for the Danish shipping company ESVAGT. It will be used to service the Dudgeon wind farm operated by Statoil off the coast of Norfolk in the UK.

Cathelco are supplying Havyard with a T30 desalinator which has the capacity to produce up to 30 tonnes of fresh water per day for a full range of washing and cleaning requirements. The units provide a high output for their size and are ideal for installation where space is limited, whilst allowing good access for routine maintenance.

Another order has come from Reederei Nord, the Dutch ship managers who have purchased desalinators for two oil/chemical tankers, the Nord Isle (12,810 dwt) built in 2009 and a sister ship Nord Ocean which entered service a year later.

Both vessels will be installed with Cathelco H2016 desalinators which can produce up to 6.5 tonnes of potable water per day. Compactly designed, the units are ideal for retrofitting and have diagnostic systems to continually monitor the quality of the water.

In Australia, defence prime contractors Austal are building a further two Cape Class Patrol vessels. The 58 metre ships under construction for the Australian Commonwealth are each being installed with two Cathelco H2012 desalinators. These will provide 10 tonnes of fresh water daily for up to 18 crew members on the vessels which have a top speed of 26 knots and a range of 4,000 nautical miles.

For the first time, Cathelco have supplied desalinators to the US Navy's Military Sealift Command. These have been installed on the MV Capt David I Lyon, a container ship which supports US Air Force missions and the MV LTC John UD Page which provides ocean transport to sustain US Army operations.

The ships are being equipped with Cathelco T35 desalinators which can produce up to 35 tonnes of freshwater per day for a wide range of domestic uses.

Algerian Navy Sail Training Ship
One of the most distinctive vessels in the history of Remontowa Shipbuilding will be installed with two Cathelco desalinators. This is the El-Mellah, a three masted frigate which is being built as a sail training vessel for Algerian Navy cadets. With a length of 110 metres and a main mast 54 metres high the ship can accommodate more than 200 people.

In addition to providing two desalinators, each with the capacity of producing 16 tonnes of freshwater per day, Cathelco is supplying an impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) system to safeguard the steel hull against corrosion.

"Cathelco offers a portfolio of products to the marine industry and we are delighted to have supplied two types of systems for this very impressive vessel," said Chris Bell, general manager of the company's desalination division.

Cathelco desalinators are now exported throughout the world, a growth in sales that has benefitted from the ability to create packages of equipment that can include marine growth prevention systems, ICCP hull corrosion protection and ballast water treatment systems. The division stems from the acquisition of Seafresh Desalinators in 2010 and has flourished as the result of product development.

In 2015, the scope of Cathelco's activities in the desalinator market were strengthened and extended by the acquisition of HEM, the well known manufacturers of water treatment systems for the luxury yacht market, based in the South of France. -- Press Release

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Request a Rate Card frominfo@ports.co.za


Port Louis 470
Port Louis - Indian Ocean 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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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section, but this is also available in a dedicated Cruise News section. This section will include various stories and news not covered in the general news so if you have an interest in this sector don't forget to check regularly on our CRUISE NEWS page.

This you will find here in CRUISE NEWS & REVIEWS

Naval News
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Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories which also have their own dedicated section, although some stories may be duplicated in the general news section.

Find the Naval Review section HERE

Remember to use your backspace key to return to this page.


Palm Springs commercial photography

Palm Springs commercial photography

Two car carriers that couldn't be further apart in appearance and which reveal the advances made in this type of ship design. The orange ship is DONG-A METIS (60,396-gt, built 2010) which flies the Panamanian flag and is owned and operated by South Korean interests. The lower picture is of an older generation car carrier, RYUJIN (47,737-gt, built 1993) a Japanese owned and operated vessel. Ryujin, which is 180 metres in length with a width of 32m and a capacity of 4,759 motor units, was berthed at Durban's R Shed car terminal, while Dong-A Metis, which is 199m long and 32m wide and has a motor unit capacity of 6,700 vehicles, was photographed in the entrance channel. Both pictures are by Keith Betts


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