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Ports & Ships Maritime News

7 June 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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


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SMIT Amandla Marine's service tug SIYAKHULA (469-gt, built 2009) in an out at sea pose not ordinarily available to everyone to record on film. This shows the tug out at sea with the Isipingo coast in the background, where she was servicing the single buoy mooring (SBM) which had undergone a changeout, in which the bigger of two SBM's replaced the older smaller model which has been in use taking the moorings of ULCC and VLCC tankers delivering South Africa's crude oil. Prior to 2011, the year when the tug came into service with SMIT Amandla Marine, she was named KST54. She had been acquired to replace the well-known PENTOW SERVICE as the SBM service vessel and was given her current name which means "We are Growing" and at the same time was registered in Durban to fly the South African flag. Siyakhula was built at the Keppel Nantong Shipyard in China. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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BF under 9 cranes at Port of Los Angeles Dec 201
CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin

French shipping company CMA CGM S.A. yesterday launched an all-cash voluntary conditional general offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL), the parent company of APL. This follows approvals by the relevant regulatory authorities in the European Union and China.

CMA CGM currently owns 10.5 percent of all NOL shares. NOL's majority shareholders, Temasek Holdings (Pvt) Limited and its affiliates, which own 66.78 percent of all NOL shares, will tender these in acceptance of the offer.

CMA CGM's offer is for SGD1.30 per NOL share in cash, which it does not intend to increase. The offer is worth US4 2.4 billion.

The Offer provides NOL shareholders with an opportunity to realise their investment in NOL at a 49 percent premium to NOL's unaffected share price on 16th July 2015 and a 33 percent premium to NOL's 3-month volume-weighted average share price prior to 16th July 2015.

The acquisition of NOL by CMA CGM will provide it with a capacity of approximately 2.35 million TEUs, a market share of approximately 11.7 percent, a fleet of approximately 540 vessels and a combined annual turnover of approximately US$21 billion. CMA CGM says it believes that the combination of the two groups would also create the benfit of scale which will enhance competitiveness and deliver sustainable performance.

Commitment to Singapore:
CMA CGM says it attaches significant importance to Singapore and the region for the deployment of its strategy in Asia. CMA CGM plans to use Singapore as a key hub in Asia, which will reinforce Singapore as a center of excellence in the field of maritime activities. CMA CGM plans to establish its regional head office in Singapore and aims at providing efficient and quality services to customers in the region.

"In a particularly challenging international context in the shipping sector, our offer fully and fairly values NOL. We believe this is an attractive offer for all shareholders, as it was for Temasek and its affiliates, which have committed to tender their 66.78 percent stake," said Rodolphe Saade, vice chairman of CMA CGM.

Following the planned acquisition, Nicolas Sartini would become the new chief executive officer of NOL, while NOL's current CEO and group president, Ng Yat Chung, will remain an executive director.

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Noxolo Thabatha Ngqura CT Terminal Manager 225
Newly TPT appointed Terminal Manager, Noxolo Thabatha

Noxolo Thabatha has been appointed by Transnet Port Terminals as the Terminal Manager for Ngqura Container Terminal (NCT) in the Eastern Cape. This appointment took place in April.

In its statement TPT says that Thabatha's overall responsibility will be the reshaping Transnet Port Terminal's (TPT) core strategic thrust with specific focus on volume growth, revenue diversification, cost efficiency, and inter OD integration.

Other objectives she has been tasked with include that of achieving world-class operational performance in line with the best practices and driving employee satisfaction at NCT.

Siya Mhlaluka, General Manager of TPT's Eastern Cape Port Terminals, believes that strong leadership is necessary to maintain the Eastern Cape Terminal's high productivity standards. "The EC Terminals' Management Team has complete confidence in the capabilities of the leadership now in place. This will undoubtedly maintain the high performance standards already set by the terminals while continuing to maximise the Eastern Cape Terminal's efficiency to achieve all set organisational goals," said Mhlaluka.

Ms Thabatha has been with TPT since 2009 when she joined at NCT as a Planning Technician and has been involved in the start-up and growth of the terminal to date. She has worked in a planning and logistics environment contributing to the performance success of the terminal, in particular with a focus on customer service and operational key performance indicators.

She was promoted as Chief Planning Manager in 2013, and this was followed by her recent role as Acting NCT Terminal Manager last year.

Thabatha's academic and training qualifications include Port Logistics at APEC (Belgium), Port Operations Planning from Hamburg Port Training Institute, and Leadership and Management qualifications obtained at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in the Eastern Cape.

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Agoatoa 480 In keeping with maritime tradition, the second of two vessels destined to support the world's largest offshore diamond mining operation has been officially named in a ceremony held in Cape Town last Friday (3 June 2016).

Built by Damen Shipyards Cape Town for specialist marine solutions provider SMIT Amandla Marine, the AOGATOA will join her sister vessel, the AUKWATOA, in the coming weeks. The supply vessels are to be based out of Port Nolloth on the Northern Cape west coast and will operate on contract to the Supply Chain Centre of De Beers Group Services.

Taking up the traditional role of 'Lady Sponsor' in the naming ceremony was Mrs Adri Nelson, Supply Chain Centre Manager for De Beers Group Services in Port Nolloth. Mrs Nelson has managed the logistics base in Port Nolloth for eight years, and has been integral to the supply vessel newbuild programme in her role in managing the Northern Cape based supply chain centre for De Beers.

The first of the newbuild vessels, Aukwatowa, was officially named on Thursday, 29th October, 2015 in the presence of the Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr. Rob Davies, who applauded the partnership approach adopted by SMIT Amandla Marine, the leading black empowered specialist marine solutions company in Southern Africa, and their client De Beers, together with Damen Shipyards Cape Town.

Built to a Shoalbuster design, both 30m vessels utilise the most modern technology available and the construction has led to job creation and skills transfer at the shipyard, thereby supporting the growth and transformation strategies of business and government in the maritime sector, and the objectives of the National Industrial Participation Programme.

The naming of the Aogatoa, which means safe return, signals the completion of the newbuild project which began in 2013 with a commitment by De Beers and SMIT Amandla Marine to replace the then operating vessels, thereby underpinning their joint vision of safe and sustainable fleet renewal.

SMIT Amandla Marine and De Beers have been operational in Port Nolloth for more than three decades and will later this year celebrate the 4000th supply run with the community. The companies participate with the communities in the region, advancing skills development by supporting courses leading to qualifications in careers associated with economic activities locally and providing skills marketable in industry.

See article concerning the launch of the other Port Nolloth vessel, AWKWATOWA by CLICKING HERE

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granite slabs 480

Sixteen entrepreneurs from China plan to invest US$50 million in a project for processing and exporting granite in the Sussendenga district, Manica province, reports Mozambican daily newspaper Noticias.

The report said that of that amount US$32 million has already been invested in building the plant and the acquisition of the equipment needed to process granite, as well as for cutting and finishing the stone.

Hu En Xie, president of the Huaxi Group, which brought together the 16 entrepreneurs, said that by October the factory will be fully equipped in order to start producing at full capacity.

By October this year additional equipment is expected to have been purchased to open a new production area, this time for quarrying other types of stone to market in China and other countries.

The provincial governor of Manica, Alberto Mondlane, after a meeting to present potential investment opportunities in the province to a delegation of Chinese business people, said the Sussendenga plant will make use of the granite quarried in Manica and Tete and production would supply the local and export market. source: macauhub

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Pictured from left to right are Gershwyn Poole, Siyamtanda Vuyelwa and Phaphama Kepu

Subtech South Africa recently awarded 3 Grade 12 Lawhill Maritime Centre students at Simonstown School full bursaries for the 2016 education year. These bursaries will cover both school fees and hostel fees, allowing these enthusiastic students to continue with their maritime studies.

Lawhill's maritime studies programme is one of only a very few examples of a specific industry playing a role, at secondary school level, in providing industry-focused education which improves the school leaver's chances of finding employment. The programme is aimed at stimulating maritime awareness among young people, attracting them to the shipping industry and providing the industry with high quality, skilled and knowledgeable employees. Because the Lawhill Maritime Centre receives no state funding, its students -- the majority of whom come from financially-stressed homes -- are reliant on bursaries provided by the maritime and related industries to fund their education from Grade 10 to 12.

The three bursars are Siyamtanda Vuyelwa; Gershwyn Poole; and Phaphama Kepu.

Siya hails from Uitenhage where she grew up. She notes that her proudest accomplishment to date has been her acceptance to Lawhill Maritime Centre. Her role model is Dr Kopano Mabaso, "because she went from being miss average to getting 7 distinctions." Siya lives with her grandparents and little sister. She says that maritime studies are very interesting and have exposed her to a whole new world that she did not even know existed. She would like to see herself become a seafarer in five years who is "making waves in the maritime industry!"

Gershwyn was born and raised in Kensington, a suburb in the greater Cape Town area. He counts his father and "the everyday people who are contributing to his life" as his role models. His parents are divorced and he has one younger sister. His proudest accomplishment thus far is attending a maritime school and progressing towards his vision of working in the maritime industry where he sees himself studying and working at sea.

Phaphama was born and raised in the Eastern Cape but moved to the Western Cape in 2009 with his mother, brother and sister leaving his father and two other brothers in the Eastern Cape. Amongst his role models are Brian Ingpen and Debbie Owen of Lawhill Maritime Centre. Phaphama embarked on maritime studies at school because he is interested in the industry, how it operates and wanted to understand more about the main international trade line. He sees himself as a second mate on one of the biggest container ships in the next five years.

What binds these three kids and Subtech is a passion for all things maritime! We look forward to monitoring their progress over 2016 and wish them well for their matric year, said a Subtech spokesperson.

In other Subtech news......
Subtech has had the pleasure of hosting five TNPA trainees for a 2-week period in the Port of Ngqura for the purposes of work exposure and on-the-job training. They completed their time with Subtech at the end of last week.

The learners -- Thozamile Vimba, Lubabalo Magangxana, Mawambe Sicubu, Bonga Ndaben and Masiza Vimba -- were provided with a theoretical introduction to working on deck by means of the Subtech Deckhand training course, which is designed to introduce learners to the skills required to work safely aboard ships and barges as a deck hand.

On the practical side, each trainee has been provided with:

  • Time on the Subtech RHIB

  • Time onboard the Subtech Covec hoppers

  • Training in rope work, knots, splices etc

  • Basics in paint work and general deck work

  • Subtech said that it trusted that the above exposure added value to the development of these young people within the Port of Ngqura and their careers within the maritime industry.

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    Big Mouth Pirate 470

    It's been six months since the High Risk Area (HRA) in the Indian Ocean was reduced, leaving the situation remaining uncertain with multiple incidents having already occurred this year in the Gulf of Aden.

    Shipping industry needs to be vigilant as Somalis retain the capability and intent to hijack vessels, warns MAST, the international maritime security company.

    MAST said in a statement this week that the security situation in the Western Indian Ocean may be at a tipping point, marking six months since the High Risk Area (HRA) was reduced on 1 December 2015.

    The culmination of the smaller HRA, merchant vessels sailing closer to the Somali coast, a reduced naval presence and fewer security teams has resulted in pirate activity in recent months, with some merchant vessels coming under fire in the Gulf of Aden. There is also evidence of a reduced application of Best Management Practice (BMP) measures by vessels and shipping companies.

    "Furthermore, there is concern within the security sector that some incidents are not being reported, and those that are lack detail and therefore, make a limited contribution to ongoing efforts to tackle piracy," the MAST statement said.

    EUNAVFOR (European Naval Force) and other bodies including the International Maritime Bureau continue to warn shipping companies that Somali piracy is supressed and not eradicated, and that those onboard need to remain vigilant.

    "We know that the pirate networks in Somalia retain the ability and intent to hijack vessels," said Gerry Northwood, COO at MAST and former Royal Navy counter piracy commander. "Vessels sailing without adequate security are therefore inadvertently increasing the opportunities for the Somalis to conduct a successful pirate attack.

    "Additionally recent events suggest the Somali pirates are once again using the area around Al Mukallah as a forward operating base. In understanding the dynamics of criminality in the region, it is important to appreciate that Yemen and Somalia are closely related areas of instability and poor governance. They are in effect a single economy for piracy and other criminality in which the Gulf of Aden is as much an enabler as it is a barrier between the two states.

    "Regrettably, the governance of the coastal regions of Somalia, mainly Puntland and Galmudgud, have not changed significantly in the past three or four years. They remain politically autonomous and are ultimately permissive to kidnap and ransom activity. Yet despite the increasingly uncertain environment in both Somalia and Yemen, we are seeing shipping companies concluding that the situation in the Gulf of Aden is safe because there have been no successful attacks since 2012.

    "Sadly," he said, "it will take a hijacking to make some people realise this is not the case."

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    Peter Pietka, Ardent CEO 300x200
    Peter Pietka, Ardent CEO

    With the passing of May, Ardent just celebrated its first birthday.

    "One year ago, we set off with our business plans, and today we are pleased that the merger has progressed in line with these plans," said Ardent CEO Peter Pietka, "although the market has been weaker than expected," he added.

    In May, 2015, Svitzer Salvage, a part of the Maersk Group, and Titan Salvage, under the Crowley Group, merged to form Ardent.

    Prior to the merger, Svitzer Salvage excelled in emergency preparedness and response, while Titan specialised in large projects. Ardent complimented the strengths of Svitzer Salvage and Titan to develop one of the most robust service offerings in the worldwide salvage industry.

    Now, Ardent has become a leading services company with an extensive network, offering innovative solutions to the shipping and offshore industries.

    "The integration of the two companies has gone well, and the merger targets have been achieved," said Pietka.

    In its first year, Ardent won and executed more than 50 contracts with a strong safety performance, and no loss-time incidents in its first year.

    "The current markets in the shipping and offshore sectors have affected our margins." said Pietka.

    "Looking from a different perspective, the current oil and gas market provides us with a large opportunity to focus on offshore decommissioning," said Pietka.

    "With the amount of knowledge and diversity between our partners and staff, and with a successful integration behind us, we look forward to the exciting years ahead."

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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.


    BW EAGLE IMG 0052 480

    Palm Springs commercial photography

    The chemical and oil products tanker BW EAGLE (49,999-dwt, built 29015) is outbound from Durban after visiting the Island View oil berths. The tanker is owned, managed and operated by Singapore interests and flies the Singapore flag. These pictures are by Keith Betts


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