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Ports & Ships Maritime News

28-29 April 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

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

As Monday 2 May is a public holiday in South Africa, the next edition of the maritime news will appear on Tuesday 3 May.


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


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Solstad Shipping's pipe-layer vessel NORMAND PIONEER (5913-gt, built 1999) has arrived in Durban for a very special reason -- she is the support and maintenance vessel in the upcoming switchout involving the single buoy mooring (SBM) which is located outside the port opposite Isipingo Beach. The switchout will take place next week when the original larger unit will be reinstalled. Apparently the turn circle bearing on this unit has been replaced. The Norwegian vessel is registered in the Isle of Man whereas most of the other Solstad fleet is registered in Kubneshavn in Norway. These pictures are by Ken Malcolm

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MSC Sinfonia on an earlier sailing from Durban in much more pleasant weather than is being experienced on her current voyage. This picture is by Trevor Jones

It hasn't been the ideal end to what has been a highly successful cruise season, and when MSC SINFONIA slipped away from her summer homeport of Durban at around midnight last Friday night (22 April), few on board would have anticipated what lay ahead for them. The plan was for a pleasant cruise along the South African east and south coasts as far as Cape Town where MSC Sinfonia was due to undertake several cruises before heading to the Mediterranean, her 2015/16 South African season over for another summer.

Unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas, and along the KwaZulu-Natal and Wild Coasts the ship began to experience unpleasant conditions with swells reaching over ten metres, which drove most people into their cabins and resulted in some superficial damage on the ship.

With more storms being reported along the way, the ship's captain took the decision for the safety of the ship and comfort of the passengers to take shelter in Port Elizabeth harbour until the seas had calmed down.

So far that hasn't been the case and as late as yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon a port official at Port Elizabeth was describing Algoa Bay as "very windy with strong seas."

According to MSC Cruises' Sales Director Allan Foggitt, rumours of the ship being damaged and other sinister stories are "just stories", as the superficial damage caused in the initial storm was repaired immediately and "since then it has just been a waiting game with one front after another between us and Cape Town." He said the decision to go into Port Elizabeth for shelter has been very costly, with refunds for two cancelled cruises and the repatriation of those stuck in Port Elizabeth but expecting to make Cape Town over the weekend. He said that only 200 passengers elected to stay on to Cape Town and everyone else was home already.

"Passengers will receive full refunds for cancelled cruises and a 25 percent discount on the next cruise booked."

Foggitt said that passengers have been amazingly understanding and considering the storms have impacted over 6000 passengers the process has been exceptionally smooth and trouble free. "A pity that weather played such a cruel trick at the end of the season especially considering that the Cape Cruises have been almost sold out since November last year."

He said that overall it has been an exceptional season with nearly 99 percent average occupancy for the whole season and sales for the new season running at over 800 cabins per week, "so the poor economy is making local cruising more popular than ever." During her 2015/16 summer cruise season in South Africa MSC Sinfonia has operated from either Durban or Cape Town, with most of her cruises reaching to destinations in Mozambique. The ship has also visited Reunion and Mauritius in addition to several Cape Town cruises which have included calls at the Namibian port of Walvis Bay.

MSC Sinfonia will be returning to South Africa in October/November this year for her 2016/17 summer cruise season, much like the present one just being completed but hopefully without the same drama-filled finale.

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CMA CGM has announced the introduction of its new service, West Feeder 2, to be deployed on the West Africa trade.

West Feeder 2 starts on 8 May 2016 at Pointe Noire, when CMA CGM will deploy one vessel of 618 TEU nominal capacity, which will operate on a fortnightly basis with the following rotation: Pointe Noire, Libreville, Douala, Pointe Noire.

At Pointe Noire, West Feeder 2 will enable the following connections:

India, Middle East Gulf to Gabon with an improved transit time by 6 days. Libreville will be reached from the UAE in 33 days, India in 27 days. To Cameroon, the transit time will be shortened by 4 days. Douala will be reached in 38 days from the UAE, 32 days from India.

East Coast South America and Plata area to Gabon and Cameroon will benefit from a shortened transit time by 6 days. Libreville will be reached in 33 days from Santos, 48 days from Montevideo. Douala will be reached in 36 days from Santos and 46 days from Buenos Aires.

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Hapag-Lloyd's Berlin Express

German container carrier Hapag-Lloyd and the UAE's United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) are reported to be in talks about a possible merger or other ways of joint cooperation. The talks concern primarily their container ship operations.

In a statement Hapag-Lloyd said the respective parties are "basing their discussions on a relative valuation of the two businesses at 72 percent (HL) and 28 percent (UASC), subject to a mutually satisfactory completion of the negotiations and the mutual due diligence exercise."

Hapag-Lloyd said that so far the discussions between the two carriers have not resulted in any binding agreement and "no assurance can be given" that these discussions will lead to a definitive agreement. "The potential transaction will be subject to the approval of the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders." Hapag-Lloyd operates with a fleet of 177 modern container ships, and is one of the world's leading liner shipping companies. The Company has around 9,500 employees at 366 sites in 118 countries.

With the acquisition of Chilean operator CSAV's container business in December 2014, the Hapag-Lloyd fleet offers a total transport capacity of almost one million standard containers (TEU) as well as a container capacity of 1.6 million TEU -- including one of the largest and most modern fleets of reefer containers.

The German line operates a total of 121 liner services worldwide and connecting all continents. Hapag-Lloyd is a founding member of the G6 Alliance, one of the largest shipping alliances in the world, and is one of the leading operators in the Transatlantic and Latin America trades. Hapag-Lloyd ships also call at South African ports as do those of UASC.

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Graphic showing what the four news ships will look likeZ

Norway's coastal cruise line Hurtigruten last week revealed plans for a major fleet renewal by placing an order for four combined passenger/cargo ships with Norwegian shipbuilder, Kleven Maritime.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the two companies reflects a firm order of two ships with an option for a further two. This makes this the biggest order ever placed by Hurtigruten throughout its 120-year history.

The line operates with a fleet of 14 ships but the last time a new order was placed was 10 years ago. A total of 12 shipyards bid for the new order which will lead to jobs for up to 200 direct and a number of indirect workers.

"This is a milestone for us, for Norwegian tourism and the Norwegian shipping industry," Hurtigruten's chief executive, Daniel Skjeldam said.

According to shipbuilder Kleven, the ships for Hurtigruten will be designed by Rolls-Royce and are likely to feature the straight up and down bow.

The new ships will each carry up to 600 passengers and will operate along the Norwegian coast and to Arctic and Antarctic destinations.

Hurtigruten has recently benefited from a boost in the Norwegian tourist industry arising from the weaker kroner at a time when there is a growing interest in Northern Norway and the country's magnificent scenery.

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France's CMA CGM Group has launched AQUAVIVA, a new generation of containers which allows for the safe carriage of live lobsters in their original water in conditions maintaining their natural habitat.

The development of this global innovation relies on CMA CGM's Reefer specialist expertise and the unique technology INNOPURE, developed by EMYG Environnement & Aquaculture.

This is a unique innovation allowing the carriage of live lobsters in optimal conditions.

Previously lobsters were carried either frozen by sea or alive and on ice by airfreight. With the new AQUAVIVA container, they can now travel by sea in optimal conditions while maintaining their natural habitat. This mode of transport relies on three major characteristics that:

  • Replicates lobsters' natural living conditions.

  • Guarantees the water's optimum temperature during transportation, thanks to CMA CGM reefer expertise.

  • Preserves the water's oxygen level and quality, thanks to INNOPURE and its natural filtration system.
  • Lobsters are carried in optimal conditions during the whole transport process within their natural water, from fishing area until arrival at wholesalers or restaurants. This, says CMA CGM, guarantees first-day freshness and quality even over a long term conservation.

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    Picture by Fleetmon

    Is the sale for scrap of a 14-year old Post-Panamax Containership a new trend?

  • One-off or trend? Specification of the sold vessel, was she active?

  • What is the scope: are there any other similar vessels?
  • Craig Jallal, Senior Data Editor of mapping, ship search and valuation service VesselsValue, examines whether the sale of a 14-year old containership is the start of a new trend. To set the sale in context, the average age of all sizes of containerships sold for scrap in 2014 and 2015, was around 22-years old.

    There have been relatively few Post-Panamax containerships sold for scrap, but the average age at the time of sale was around 19.5-years old. Therefore, the 2002-built, 5,447-TEU Post-Panamax containership CONTI TAIPEI was sold relatively young, but this does not appear to be a one-off event. There have been three other 2002-built Post-Panamax containerships sold in the last six months. All three were built at 'quality' shipyards in South Korea, and at the time of sale their next Special Surveys were not due for at least twelve months or more.

    Other distinguishing features were that all three vessels were owned by German companies, and had been inactive at least six to three months before the sale, according to the VesselsValue's vessel tracking module VV@. Using the ship search VV+ module, it is possible to filter the Post-Panamax containership fleet for similar ships i.e., built between 1999 and 2003, owned by a German company, and with Special Survey due before 1 May 2017. The VV+ search returns 17 candidate ships from a potential fleet of over 1,000 Post-Panamax containerships.

    Two of the 17 vessels on the candidate list have been in-active for at least eight months. These two ships are currently stationed among a group of islands close to the city of Zhoushan (near Shanghai) in China. These are sisters-ships, and are currently valued at US$ 17 million each, with a demolition value of around US$ 8 million.

    One of the above islands, Daixizhen Island, has also recently become the host to two more Post-Panamax containerships. These are also sister-ships, with a current value of US$ 16 million, and a demolition value of US$ 7 million. Now that the scrap price is firmer, it will be interesting to see if these relatively young Post-Panamax containers ships are sold for scrap, too.

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    Wind Prospect Africa (WPA) has appointed a new general manager, Duncan Ayling, who brings more than a decade of experience in the international renewable energy industry, and who has been an integral part of the South African renewables industry for the past six years.

    This was reported on 25 April and it is understood that he will lead the WPA team based in Cape Town.

    Duncan Ayling joins Wind Prospect from RES Southern Africa, where he took a leading role in South Africa's REIPPPP* Round 3 and 4 commercial negotiations with investors, lenders, technical advisors, construction and turbine supply contractors. He also successfully managed the development of the 140MW REIPPPP Round 4 Oyster Bay wind project from initiation through to preferred bidder status and provided development services to financial close. Ayling is currently serving his second term on the Board of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) to represent the wind industry, provide strategic direction and perform constitutional governance.

    Duncan, who holds a BEng and an MSc, has worked for engineering advisor AEA and the BWEA (British Wind Energy Association) prior to supporting the African industry as part of RES Southern Africa.

    Wind Prospect Africa's Director, Achim Hoehne, commented: "Duncan's background in advisory, project development and with industry associations, combined with his solid local African industry familiarity makes him the perfect fit for Wind Prospect Africa.

    "Duncan developed and delivered a Southern African regional business strategy and strategic portfolio management for 600MW+ of wind projects. This experience, together with his high profile achievements as an advocate for the African renewables market, is invaluable to the team. We are very pleased to have him on board."

    "Wind Prospect has a rich heritage within the industry and remains one of the leading independent renewable energy consultancies today," said Ayling. "I am delighted to join the talented team at such an exciting time for the African renewable energy market. From just ten operating turbines in 2011 to over 1GW of capacity in 2016 in South Africa alone, the industry has grown significantly and Africa is reaping the benefits.

    "WPA has been working in South Africa, Kenya and Zambia. I look forward to continuing this work, whilst growing and diversifying the Wind Prospect Africa business in my new role."

    * REIPPPP -- Renewable Energy Independent Power Project Procurement Program

    About SAWEA
    SAWEA is a non-profit, industry organisation representing the wind industry in South Africa. Its members include both national and international entities active in the entire wind energy supply chain. Its aim is to promote the sustainable use of commercial wind energy in South Africa; to contribute knowledge and human resources to the streamlining of the policy and regulatory framework for wind in SA; to facilitate synergy between the growth of the industry and the achievement of the broader socio-economic aims of Government (including training, job creation and localisation); to disseminate information; to act as a focal point for discussion between members, government, the media and the public.

    South Africa's principal annual wind energy conference, Windaba, will take place on 2 and 3 November 2016 at Cape Town's International Convention Centre. A wind energy related activity day will be held on the 4 November.

    The theme for the conference, which attracts delegates and exhibitors from all over the globe, will be 'Towards 100 percent Renewables' and will focus on how to achieve this goal.

    Early bird registration for Windaba is now open with discounted rates available. Readers are invited to visit www.windaba.co.za for further information.

    WindAc Africa
    In recognition of the importance of research towards a cleaner and more sustainable production of energy in South Africa for the first time sister academic conference WindAc Africa will run from 31 October -- 1 November. More information can be found at windac-africa.com

    Paul Ridgway

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    Picture by Jorgen Breker

    The six crew members abducted at gunpoint off the Turkish tanker PULI along the coast of Nigeria last week, have been freed after, it is presumed, a ransom was paid.

    The tanker, owned and operated by Kaptanoglu Denizcilik, was underway some 90 n.miles off the Nigerian coast on 11 April when armed pirates attacked and boarded the vessel. While the remainder of the crew sought shelter in the ship's citadel, six of the crew including the ship's master, chief officer and chief engineer, were taken away when the pirates left the ship.

    Puli had been sailing for Cameroon at the time of the attack.

    According to a lawyer representing the shipping company, the abducted crew are all back in Istanbul and are in good health.

    The attack on the Puli was one of six pirate attacks on different ship recorded oevr a one week period off the West African coast.

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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
    SA Navy 480

    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.


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    LOGOS HOPE 27 April 2016 2 480

    The library ship LOGOS HOPE has been undergoing meintenance and repair on the floating dock of EBH South Africa, followed by a spell on the ship repair jetty adjacent to EBH's quay. This is prior to the library ship continuing her visit to other South African ports. Her next port of call is in about a week's time, at the Zululand port of Richards Bay and this will be followed by calls at East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. The ship has meanwhile emerged from the floating dock looking much more spruce than when she went on Eldock and her maintenance overhaul should see her through for a few more years. These two pictures are taken by Trevor Jones


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