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Ports & Ships Maritime News

27 September 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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Wilhelmsen Lines' car carrier with a local name -- TUGELA (72,295-gt, built 2011) outside the port of Durban at the weekend and a reltively short distance from the mouth of the river from where she takes her name. The 229-metre long by 34m wide car carrier has a capacity of 8,000 motor cars. Tugela is flagged in Malta and was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries Ltd in South Korea. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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Mission to Seafarers logo 1

Global maritime welfare charity, the Mission to Seafarers, offered on 23 September to help Hanjin Shipping in providing welfare support to their 2,500 seafarers on board 97 container ships at sea and in port around the world.

From the Republic of Korea (ROK) this container shipping giant, the world's seventh-largest container line, filed for receivership last month (August), putting thousands of jobs at risk.

It is understood that some port authorities are refusing entry, as the ships could be arrested on arrival, with the financial situation at such a critical stage funds to unload the ships remain in doubt.

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Ken Peters, (illustrated) Director of Justice and Public Affairs at the Mission to Seafarers, said from London: "Today we have written a letter offering our support to Hanjin Shipping and their seafarers. If the ships continue to be blocked from entering port, there could be a welfare crisis for these seafarers, as vessels will quickly run out of food, fuel and essential provisions.

"Seafarers will be very anxious and their families at home will be concerned and distressed. The Mission to Seafarers has now issued a global alert to all our 200 port welfare teams to be ready to assist Hanjin seafarers when they come into port. We have also asked Hanjin to publish the global Seafarer Helpline details to all their crewing agencies, so that should seafarers have an emergency, they can quickly find help."

Simon Ro, Port Chaplain Busan South Korea, The Mission to Seafarers, added: "We have Hanjin vessels currently waiting at Busan port (ROK). Our Flying Angels ship-visiting group, which is made up of ten volunteers from the Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU), have been visiting on board. They report that seafarers are worried about their wages and are concerned that there have been calls from some officials for the crews to be sent home. They have also told me that there is concern about shortages of supplies on board."

edited by Paul Ridgway

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Tesla model S. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has encouraged US automotive and energy storage company Tesla to explore the possibility of setting up shop in South Africa.

The company expressed interest of investing in South Africa during a business breakfast session in Washington, DC in the United States, where Minister Davies was addressing investors on Sunday.

The Minister is in the US to attend the 15th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, which was held on Monday.

Tesla Motors designs, manufactures and sells electric car components and batteries. The founder of the company is South African born Elon Reeve Musk.

Minister Davies indicated that South Africa's automotive programme already has an additional incentive that applies to the electric vehicles. He further stated that government understands that electric vehicles are where things are going, including hybrids and fuel cells.

Davies highlighted that government is still on track with the Independent Power Producers Programme (IPP) on renewable energy. He emphasised that investors had informed him that South Africa's IPP programme is one of the best power purchasing programmes in the world.

The business breakfast preceded the one day AGOA Forum on Monday (yesterday). The Forum is an annual forum that takes place on an alternating basis between sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.

The theme for this year's Forum is 'Maximising US-Africa Trade and Investment: AGOA and Beyond.' The forum focused on the implementation of AGOA utilisation strategies, as well as the US-Sub-Saharan Africa trade and investment relationship beyond AGOA.

AGOA is a unilateral US trade preference programme that provides duty-free, quota-free treatment for over 6,400 tariff lines into the United States market.

US President Barrack Obama signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 that contained the AGOA Extension and Enhancement Act, which extended AGOA for 10 years until 2025 with South Africa included. source: SAnews.gov.za

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A green LED buoy lantern being tested on the light measurement facility at the Trinity House Depot, Harwich, on the east coast of England.

Director of Research
General Lighthouse Authorities of Great Britain & Ireland (GLA R&RNAV)

The last 50 years have seen a complete revolution in light sources for aids to navigation and the General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK & Ireland (GLA) have been at the forefront of these changes. Half a century ago most buoys and many lighthouses used gas mantles and acetylene gas cylinders. These gradually gave way to electrification in the 1950s, using incandescent (filament) lamps. The lamps in major lighthouses could be up to 3.5 kW and more than a foot high, this could be where the expression 'more heat than light' came from!

In the 1980s, coinciding with widespread automation, these large, specially made filament lamps were replaced by much more efficient, commercially available discharge lamps, in particular mercury vapour, or MBI lamps. These gave a better, whiter light, using less than a third of the power.

During the 1980s, trials with solar power with electric filament lamps on buoys led to increased reliability and a final move away from gas. Then in the 1990s, the 1 kW and 400 W MBIs in lighthouse rotating optics were replaced by much lower power discharge lamps (35 or 70 W), making conversion to solar power possible, even on major lighthouses, with enormous savings in running costs and maintenance, compared with constant-running diesel generators. Since discharge lamps could not be switched on and off rapidly, flashed lights in fixed optics still used filament light sources, but these were changed to clusters of halogen lamps, giving longer life and better optical characteristics.

However, the real revolution occurred from the beginning of the 21st century with the introduction of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). These gave greatly extended life, more efficiency and flexibility of design, allowing LED arrays to be designed to match existing optics. LEDs were first introduced on buoys, where their reliability and long-life immediately paid dividends in reduced maintenance costs. They are now being installed in lighthouses, allowing further reductions in supporting infrastructure, such as solar energy systems, which have become the preferred option on all remote sites.

More recently, sector lights have been replaced with LED arrays, designed to meet the particular requirements of stations, in terms of sector cut-off, whilst giving much better colour recognition, without the inefficiency of coloured light filters.

LED Lights on Buoys
LEDs have well defined colour characteristics, so that white, red and green lights are much more readily distinguished than their incandescent predecessors. They also have 'square' flash shapes, with a sharp on and off transition, making lights more conspicuous and easier to identify, even in poor visibility. These advantages are particularly important on buoys, which are also subject to pitch and roll motion caused by waves.

In addition to the longer life, which reduces maintenance visits, the size and weight of LED lights are much less, making replacement easier, especially on a buoy at sea.

LED arrays on Lighthouses
Arrays designed by GLA R&RNAV have replaced conventional light sources in many rotating optics, giving a better match between the shape and size of the source and the optic, which in many cases was designed for a much larger filament lamp, or in the older ones for a mantle or wick.

Where shorter ranges are acceptable, commercially available lanterns with circular arrays of LEDs and annular lenses are used in flashing mode. These are simple to install and maintain, by replacement. However, their output still needs to be measured to ensure that operational performance meets published service levels and this is a specialised service provided by R&RNAV to the GLAs and sometimes other lighthouse authorities.

LED Sector Lights
Filament lamps have continued to be used in sector lights because the lenses were often specially designed for each station, to provide the required cut-off and to fit in to the lighthouse structure, often a purpose-built window. Use of LED arrays has allowed the replacement of many of these special lamps, because the design of arrays is flexible and, as with buoys, there is no need for light filters to produce the required colour. Efficiency, cut-off accuracy and life are all greatly enhanced as a result.

Benefits of LEDs
The main drivers for the introduction of LED sources have been improved performance and efficiency. The performance of the lights has been verified by viewing trials, on-site measurement and testing under controlled conditions on the R&RNAV light ranges. However, the economic benefits have also been very significant and have contributed to the ability of the GLA to reduce overall operating costs. Whenever the use of new, more efficient light sources enabled conversion to solar power, the savings in running costs and carbon footprint have been very substantial. LED sources have been particularly valuable because of their flexibility of design and long life. On offshore sites, it has been imperative to move away from on-site diesel generation, as this not only entailed high fuel costs, but also high transportation costs, particularly when the usual method was by helicopter with underslung fuel bags. The savings in each of these cases have been of the order of GBP10,000 and 15 tonnes of carbon per year.

There has been a steady progression in light sources over the history of lighthouses and buoys, but the last two decades have seen the greatest leap forward in both performance and efficiency. This progress, led by the GLA, is likely to continue, enabling them to meet their common mission statement: "To deliver a reliable, efficient and cost effective aids to navigation service for the benefit and safety of all mariners".

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A Research & Radio Navigation (R&RNAV) LED array light source inside a lighthouse optic

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Specialist marine solutions provider SMIT Amandla Marine will be awarding a limited number of bursaries in 2017 and is inviting un-bonded students who will be studying at University or Universities of Technology in 2017 to apply for bursaries in the following disciplines:



  • ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING (Students from 2nd year upwards in 2017)

  • OCEANOGRAPHY OR CLIMATOLOGY (2017 post-graduate studies -- Honours or Masters Level)

  • Requirements:

  • South African citizenship

  • Grade 12 with a minimum Level 5 or 60% in English, Mathematics and Science

  • Un-bonded students (i.e. have not been awarded bursaries by any other party for 2017)

  • Electrical Engineering and Oceanography/Climatology applicants already to be enrolled in their field of study

  • Provisional acceptance at CPUT (Marine Engineering)

  • Provisional acceptance at DUT or CPUT (Maritime Economics)


    * Bursary may have a Contractual Employment obligation, at the discretion of SMIT Amandla Marine, based on operational requirements.
    * Students are responsible for their own registration for 2017
    * Basic bursary will cover tuition, at minimum. Other expenses including residence and textbooks awarded at the discretion of SMIT Amandla Marine, depending on financial and personal circumstances and relative need.
    * Selections will be made in accordance with SMIT Amandla Marine's Employment Equity Plan


    Interested and Qualifying Applicants are invited to submit the following documents via email by the closing date to careers.smitamandla@smit.com, marked clearly in the email subject line for the attention of '2017 Bursary Selection Committee':

    * Letter of Motivation
    * Curriculum Vitae (CV), including contactable references
    * Matric certificate/June 2016 Grade 12 school report, or copy of latest University results for students
    * Proof of registration at a Tertiary Institution for Electrical Engineering and Oceanography/Climatology applicants

    For more information about SMIT Amandla Marine, please visit our website at www.smitamandlamarine.com and the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/smitamandlamarine


    Short listed candidates will be advised via email by 28th October 2016.
    * Should you not be notified via email by 28th October 2016, please consider the application unsuccessful.
    * Short-listed candidates will be invited for a face-to-face or telephonic interview with the Bursary Selection Committee.
    * Should shortlisted candidates not be notified of Bursary Award via email by 9th December 2016, please consider the application unsuccessful.

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    NNS Centenary, which called at Simon's Town Naval Base on her delivery voyage from China in January 2015. NNS Centenary was the first of two type P18N offshore patrol vessels ordered by the Nigerian Navy from the China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company's Wuchang Shipyard in Wuhan, China, the second being NNS Unity which is now on her delivery voyage to Nigeria. Picture by David Erickson

    The Nigerian Navy will intensify its operation in protecting strategic areas on the country's waterways as it acquires a new naval vessel from China to combat militant activities, a Nigerian Navy official reported in Lagos.

    Spokesperson for the Navy Cor Ezekobe said in a statement that the Nigerian Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) NNS UNITY, which was built in China, has been completed and is on her way to join the Nigerian Navy fleet.

    The new vessel would strengthen the efforts against all maritime crimes and illegalities in the nation's territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea in general, he added.

    According to Ezekobe, areas hitherto that were unable to be covered by other Navy ships will now be covered by NNS Unity which will enhance the navy's effectiveness and responsiveness to the maritime security challenges within Nigeria's waters.

    The Navy spokesperson added that NNS Unity en-route Nigeria will pay port calls on a number of ports of friendly nations before arriving in the West African country.

    Ezekobe said this will further boost the existing cordial relationship with sister navies around the world and the Gulf of Guinea in particular.

    NNS Unity departed China on Wednesday 21 September and is expected to arrive in Nigeria in the first week of November.

    The Nigerian Navy has reiterated its commitment to defending the country's territorial waters for economic prosperity in line with its zero tolerance to maritime illegalities. source: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)

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    HMS Portland. Picture courtesy Royal Navy

    A Royal Navy frigate, HMS PORTLAND is due in Durban tomorrow (Wednesday 28 September) for a courtesy visit to a port that sees far less naval ships than it was once accustomed to.

    That was so until about a week ago, when three naval ships of the Indian Navy arrived unexpectedly to pay a courtesy visit. The Indian ships have been on an extended cruise in the Western Indian Ocean, showing the flag and visiting Port Louis, Victoria in the Seychelles and Mombasa in Kenya before arriving in Durban.

    Turning back the clock, the Indian Navy made the ships available for public visitation -- with Durban possessing one of the largest Indian populations outside of India, this was hardly surprising and the public enjoyed the opportunity of visiting the three ships.

    The vessels were the destroyer INS KOLKATA, the frigate INS TRIKAND, and the replenishment tanker INS ADITYA. They sailed again on Friday to return to India.

    Now it is the turn of the Royal Navy, once a regular and always welcome visitor in the port of Durban. HMS Portland F79 is a type 23 frigate and was until recently on deployment in the Middle East and Gulf regions. The frigate is arriving via the East Coast direct from the Persian Gulf. She was built on the Clyde and commissioned into the Royal Navy in 2001. The ship displaces 4,900 tonnes, is 133m long with a beam of 16.1m and carries a complement of 185. Her commanding officer is Captain Paul Stroude.

    Unlike the Indian Navy ships, Portland is going to the naval base at Salisbury Island which makes it unlikely that she will be open to the public.

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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.


    GREEN MOUNTAIN IMG 3744r 480

    MACS Maritime Carrier Shipping's (MCS Line) general cargo ship GREEN MOUNTAIN (37,510-dwt, built 2013) is a regular visitor to the ports of Durban, Richards Bay and Cape Town, with calls also made at Maputo as part of the line's Europe-South Africa service. The ship has a length of 200 metres, a beam of 30m and in addition to her general cargo she can carry up to 200 TEUs. Green Mountain was built at the China Changjiang Shipping Group Qingshan Shipyard in China. This picture is by Ken Malcolm


    For a Rate Card please contact us at info@ports.co.za

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