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Ports & Ships Maritime News

13 October 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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The car carrier TRANS FUTURE 6 (60,401-gt, built 2006) is, along with some of her sister ships, a routine caller at the New Zealand port of Lyttelton (the port for Christchurch), with at least one other -- Trans Future 5 -- having featured before in PORTS & SHIPS. This particular vessel, Trans Future 6 was built at the Mitsibishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard in Japan as yard number 2206. The fleet are all similarly named apart from the number and are managed by Toyofuji Shipping of Japan - the owner being reported as Feng Li/Norwich Shipping. This picture is by Alan Calvert

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The construction phase 1 of the US$1.5 billion Tema Port expansion project has commenced, the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA) reports.

The investment is said to be one of the biggest ever in the almost 70 year history of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. The project is expected to increase the capacity of the port of Tema threefold.

Scheduled for completion by the 4th quarter of 2019, the contract is in the hands of Meridian Port Services (MPS), which is a consortium of three main institutions, Bolore Africa Logistics, APM Terminal and GPHA.

MPS subsequently awarded the contract for the construction of the project to the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) ltd, and to AECOM Professional Services (Ghana) Ltd.

In September, the IFC announced the availability of money allocated for the 1st phase of the project. MPS chief executive Mohamed Samara subsequently advised that work would commence in the first week of October.

The Tema Port Expansion project is expected to create a substantial amount of jobs for Ghanaians.

The project has been planned around five separate phases. Phase 1 would provide the main basic port infrastructure -- breakwater, dredging to adequate depths (-16 metres) and quay wall foundation trenches. Phase 1 will include the provision of five new berths -- two for containers, two for multi-purpose cargo handling including Ro-Ro berths and one dedicated for passenger and cruise ships.

Phases 2, 3 and 4 will see the development of additional container berths, as well as a fresh product berth for perishables including fruit. Phase 5 will cater for the oil rig markets, including the service and work boats allied to that offshore industry.

As a result of the expansion project of phase 1, the port at Tema will be able to handle some of the world's largest containerships, while the quality of cargo handling services as well as container capacity is expected to improve.

Logos Hope
In other news from Ghana ports, the floating library ship LOGOS HOPE, which has been in Tema for the past month, has sailed for the Ghanaian port of Takoradi where she has taken up residence until 23 October.

While in Tema the library ship was visited by thousands of children, students and adults from all walks of life.

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The Ematum fleet of modern trawlers idling in harbour

Mozambique's Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Agostinho Mondlane, says that last week's strike by workers at the Ematum fishing company was of little consequence, despite reports that workers had not been paid in some months.

The Ematum company has been embroiled in controversy surrounding the fleet of high tech fishing vessels and a number of associated patrol vessels that were acquired from the French CMN Shipyard with the Mozambique government signing surety on their payment of US$850 million.

Minister Mondlane told the independent television station STV that: "This is not the first time we've heard of a company where workers go on strike. We have to see what the problem is, and I think the Board of Directors is working to clear this up."

Workers told the station that they hadn't been paid in three months and that delays in paying wages was now common. They further said that Ematum's fleet of 24 modern fishing trawlers has not put to sea since the beginning of this year.

When this was put to Mondlane he appeared surprised. PORTS & SHIPS has previously reported of problems with licensing the vessels and refitting them to bring them up to standards demanded by the Mozambican maritime authorities, although why vessels ordered by a state body and indebted to the Mozambique state as a sovereign debt, should have been built to a standard that did not match up to Mozambican requirements, has gone unanswered.

When STV asked him about the vessels not going to sea Mondlane said he was under the impression that at least five had done so and were fishing for tuna. He said that in any case by 2017 all 24 vessels would be fully operational.

He added that the fleet should indeed have been going to sea to fish. "They were working to improve their logistical conditions, so that they can work fully and at a level of sustainability," was the story he gave to the televison station.

He said that he had been told the company was producing, "so that it could support its running costs, including the payment of wages."

In May this year Mozambique's Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, reported to the Assembly of the Republic (parliament) that ten of the 24 Ematum fishing vessels were being refitted in South Africa in order to meet the technical specifications demanded by the European Union for boats that catch fisheries produce intended for the European market.

These were fishing vessels built under government scrutiny (the two presidents) in Europe especially for tuna fishing!

Ematum's fishing boats were acquired in 2013 from the French boatbuilder Constructions Mechaniques de Normandie (CMN), in the French port of Cherbourg, through the issuing of bonds on the European bond market to the value of 850 million US dollars. The French president Francois Hollande and Mozambique's then president Armando Guebuza personally assisted with the signing off for the contracts in France. This was done at the Cherbourg shipyard and PORTS & SHIPS reported it at the time.

The bond issue was arranged by European banks, notably Credit Suisse and VTB of Russia, and these loans were guaranteed by the Mozambican government of the time, headed by President Armando Guebuza. The government guarantees were in flagrant violation of the 2013 budget law which set a limit on government guarantees equivalent to 6.5 million dollars.

Ematum's accounts for 2013 and 2014 showed that the company was in serious financial difficulties and the accounts for 2015 have not yet been published. From figures published by the government, however, it is known that in 2015 Ematum was responsible for the catching of less than 300 tonnes of tuna, which was reportedly exported to China. source: AIM and Ports & Ships sources

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DNV GL has released an English version of the offshore diving guideline. Picture: DNV GL

Working offshore underwater can be a challenging and sometimes risky task. Many factors -- including the tides, different diving platforms, varying operational scenarios and the interactions between other offshore and underwater actors off the German coast -- result in a complex and changing working environment. To fill the guidance gap and help to make offshore diving work safer, DNV GL has released a new Offshore Diving Guideline, which is now also available in English.

"With offshore diving growing in importance in Germany, we needed to examine the existing regulations and guidelines to make sure that they addressed the specific circumstances of professional diving in the offshore sector. The aim of the guide is to provide greater transparency and to draw attention to the safety regulations. In addition, we want to ensure that divers are familiar with emergency and rescue plans and undertake regular training. Therefore training and instruction are an essential component of the offshore diving operation and must be documented," says Karsten Hagenah, DNV GL expert for underwater technology.

Taking into account the existing national and international legal norms, rules and guidelines, a common minimum standard for diving in German coastal waters and the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) was developed under the lead of DNV GL. The German version, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), was set up as a project under the National Masterplan Maritime Technologies (NMMT) and implemented in cooperation with the offshore diving working group.

The guide contains administrative principles and the responsibilities of personnel involved in diving operations, technical requirements for the diving equipment used, through to the recommended outfitting for rescue operations. The contents also cover the planning and execution of diving work, maintenance and testing procedures, and special requirements for diver pressure chambers. The guideline further includes practical material, for example checklists for medical findings.

"The aim of the guide is not only to ensure the safety and health of those involved in the diving work, but also to avoid environmental damage and protect equipment and underwater assets," concludes Hagenah.

The English version of the guideline can be ordered as a hardcopy (67 pages) for Euro 120 plus VAT by writing an email to underwatertechnology@dnvgl.com

For a preview of the table of contents, CLICK HERE

The guideline is also available for download in German. CLICK HERE

edited by Paul Ridgway

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Responding to reports that the Tanzanian flag was now flying over a significant number of North Korean ships in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions (see yesterday's PORTS & SHIPS News), the East African country has responded by saying that the Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA) has begun a process of de-registering North Korean vessels.

Something in the order of 50 North Korean owned or associated vessels have been registered under the Tanzania flag, some of them having previously been de-registered by other flag states in accordance with UN requirements.

According to ZMA director general Abdallah Hussein the process of de-registering Democratic People's Republic of Korea vessels had commenced in June and was ongoing.

The Tanzanian newspaper The Citizen reported that ZMA, through its subsidiary the Tanzania Zanzibar International Register of Shipping (TZIRS), made use of agents throughout the world to sign up ships to its register. There was evidence that this process was ongoing and that it included registering ships from North Korea.

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The Vokswagen Group will become one of the first motor vehicle manufacturers to opt for low emission LNG-powered car carriers for transporting its vehicles.

As one of the first OEMs, the Volkswagen Group says it has decided to significantly improve the environmental balance of its marine transport fleet by using two vessels powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas) on routes between Europe and North America. The two planned charter vessels from SIEM Car Carriers are a genuine milestone on the way to eco-friendlier marine transport.

In addition, Volkswagen intends to transfer vehicle and material transport in Europe increasingly from trucks to lower-emission means of transport such as ships in the future.

Alternative LNG drive systems for ships are claimed to reduce air pollutant emissions significantly -- CO2 by up to 25% and NOx by up to 30%, particulate matters by up to 60% and SOx by as much as 100%.

"The Volkswagen Group is shouldering its responsibility for the environment," said Wolfram Thomas, Head of Group Production. "This not only applies to our cars but also to our production and logistics. We are pooling all our efforts to improve environmental compatibility in Logistics under the term Green Logistics. By commissioning the two LNG-powered freighters for the route between Europe and North America, Volkswagen Group Logistics is forging ahead with environmentally compatible, resource-efficient transport." He said the use of LNG-powered roll on/roll off car carriers on other routes is currently being considered.

The two LNG-powered vessels, with a length of about 200 metres and a width of about 36 metres, have a capacity of about 4,500 vehicles (7,000 CEU). The car carriers, equipped with a 3,000 cubic metre LNG tank installed below deck, will therefore have a comparable capacity to conventional transatlantic freighters. Both ships will feature a 12,600 kW engine developed by MAN Diesel & Turbo.

The use of the two LNG-powered freighters for vehicle logistics across the North Atlantic will reduce emissions per ship and year by up to 25% in the case of CO2, up to 30% in the case of NOx, and up to 60% in the case of particulate matters (PM), while SOx emissions will be cut by as much as 100%. Emissions will be further reduced by the use of a highly advanced dual-fuel marine engine with direct injection and exhaust gas treatment. The engines used by SIEM Car Carriers will therefore be more environmentally compatible than previous engines.

"Compared with other means of transport, marine shipping is one of the most efficient possibilities," said Thomas Zernechel, Head of Group Logistics. "Volkswagen Group Logistics already transports half of the vehicles produced by sea. We are continuously working on the optimisation of our marine transport systems. The chartered vessels on which a decision has already been taken are the first milestone."

He added that the possibility of changing other vehicle transport vessels chartered by Volkswagen over to LNG operation will depend on the availability of the necessary infrastructure. "Apart from LNG as an alternative fuel, we are also working on other projects which will continuously make our logistics processes more environmentally compatible."

The two LNG ships to be provided by SIEM Car Carriers AS will replace two of the nine conventional freighters powered by heavy fuel oil from 2019 onwards. These are used exclusively for the Volkswagen Group in a round trip scheme across the North Atlantic serving the markets of Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe.

The Volkswagen Group joined the Clean Shipping Network at the beginning of 2014 and was the first German automaker to use this index for assessing the environmental impact of marine transport. Apart from chemicals and waste disposal, the assessment criteria also include emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate emissions (PM) and sulfur oxides (SOx). Volkswagen says it is working steadily on alternative, environmentally compatible transport possibilities, not only for vehicle logistics, but also for material logistics. Since the end of 2015, material from Turkey for the Autoeuropa plant in Portugal has been shipped from Izmir to Lisbon by sea. The transfer from road haulage to marine transport on this route cuts annual CO2 emissions by 240 tons. At the same time, the cost to the company is reduced.

"By bundling consignments in an intelligent way, we can use means of transport such as ships and railways, which conserve resources, instead of trucks and further improve the environmental compatibility of our vehicle and material logistics," says Zernechel.

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Clipper Point in Gibraltar's drydock

Gibraltar's Gibdock has extended its extensive track record in the passenger and freight ferry market by delivering the Seatruck Ferries container/ro-ro vessel CLIPPER POINT on-time, after a fast turnaround eleven-day renewal project for the Clipper Group-owned operator. The ship has subsequently been introduced to Seatrucks' Irish Sea operations.

Returning Gibdock customer Seatruck scheduled Clipper Point (5,193-dwt) to arrive in the yard on 18 September. The 142-metre loa (23 metre beam) freight ferry left the yard after the job's completion on 30 September.

Said Richard Beards, Gibdock Managing Director: "Location and the quality of work proved pivotal in attracting Seatruck back to the yard, after Clipper Point came off charter in the Mediterranean. We were delighted to be Seatruck's yard of choice as part of Clipper Point's redeployment to UK-Ireland services. The project has been a welcome addition to the substantial ferry workload Gibdock carries out every year, in a market that demands flexibility, as well as high quality workmanship and timely redelivery."

Scope of the project included completion of her statutory classification surveys involving inspections of the hull, deck machinery and rudders, steering gear overhauls and hull cleaning plus the application of Hempel antifouling coatings. It also involved the removal, smoothing and polishing of Clipper Point's twin Wartsila 4CF13AH controllable pitch propeller blades in a team effort with Portuguese contractor Repropel Propulsion Services, as well as overhauling the ship's Wartsila CT200 bow thrusters.

Clipper Point's repair was also notable for bringing Gibdock Ship Manager Juan Pinero Perez and Seatruck Senior Superintendent Mark Baynham together again -- the team that worked successfully on the repair project entrusted to Gibdock by Sea Trucks, Clipper Arrow in 2014.

Designed by Knud E Hansen A/S, Clipper Point is one of four 'P Series' ro-ro freight ferries built for Clipper Group subsidiary Sea Trucks by Spanish shipyard Astilleros de Huelva whose dimensions were conceived as the maximum possible permissible for the UK port of Heysham. The three-deck 'Heysham max' ferries have capacity for 105 trailers (1800 lane metres) and are classed 1A1 RoRo/Container vessels by DNVGL.

Paul Ridgway

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Maritime experts to discuss US$8 billion Suez Canal expansion and what it may mean for maritime trade and regional investment

The eighth edition of the biennial Seatrade Maritime Middle East (SMME) exhibition and conference, which takes place in Dubai from 31 October to 2 November 2016, will debate the latest issues surrounding the new US$8 billion Suez Canal expansion and the consequences for the global maritime industry.

SMME, a part of Dubai Maritime Week, will begin the opening afternoon session of the three-day conference and exhibition, with a panel discussion led by Admiral Mohab Mohamed Mameesh, Chairman and Managing Director of the Suez Canal Authority. A panel of experts will examine what the new Suez Canal development means for global trade, canal transits, inward investment and the development of the Egyptian economy.

"The Suez Canal is integral to maritime development in the Middle East and naturally at a time when the shipping industry is facing a challenging economic climate, the issues surrounding trade, shipping markets, infrastructure and investment are bound to stimulate lively debate," said Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade.

The new Suez Canal project which opened on 6 August 2015, includes a 35km parallel waterway, which runs alongside the original canal. In addition, 37km of the existing canal was made broader and deeper, to reduce transit times by up to seven hours for vessels travelling south and it now accommodates ships travelling in both directions along all 72km of the expanded route.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) expects to receive toll revenue of $13 billion annually by 2023, but revenue in 2015 actually dropped to $5.175 billion, a 5.3% decline on 2014 revenues, due to market conditions. However, according to SCA Chairman & MD Mohab Mameesh, year-on-year revenue to 6 August 2016 showed a 4% increase to $3.18 billion up from $ 3.06 billion, despite slowing trade.

An acceleration in the growth of world trade volume will be needed for the Suez Canal project to reach its revenue targets by 2023. Some container lines, as well as tankers and bulk carriers on some itineraries, are still opting to sail via the Cape of Good Hope, even though the distance is 12,412 nautical miles (nm) from New York, compared to 10,117 nm via the Suez Canal, due to lower operating costs and low bunker prices.

"The SCA also faces renewed competition from the widened Panama Canal, which is looking to regain some of the Asia-US East Coast container trade it has previously lost to the Suez Canal," commented Hayman.

So in a bid to recapture traffic, the SCA confirmed in June that all containerships coming from ports north of the Port of Norfolk (Virginia) on the US East Coast and heading to Malaysia's Port Klang and ports eastwards were eligible for a 45% rebate on canal tolls up to 31 December 2016. Vessels departing from ports south of Norfolk and calling at Port Klang and eastwards can claim a 65% discount.

Other sweeteners have been added such as the an "experimental" new toll for Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) transiting the canal from the Red Sea, which could save the ship's operator in excess of $70,000 for each northbound trip from the Middle East to the Mediterranean.

Naturally, increased traffic through the new canal, will benefit ports throughout the Arabian Peninsula and the GCC countries continue to invest heavily in port infrastructure.

The government of Oman has invested more than $15 billion in the Sohar Port and Freezone, Qatar is building the $7.4 billion Hamad Greenfield Port project, Dubai will invest $850 million to develop Container Terminal 3 at Jebel Ali Port, and Saudi Arabia has committed $500 million to Saudi Global Ports (SGP) Container Terminal at Dammam King Abdul Aziz Port.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, SMME is the largest maritime event in the regional calendar.

More than 7,000 participants from 67 countries are expected throughout the show, which is set to evaluate current market challenges, alongside a series of technical forums in association with IMarEST.

Over 240 exhibitors from more than 30 countries will also be represented on the exhibition floor this year, which extends to over 4,300 square metres -- Japan, Denmark, Qatar, Singapore are participating with dedicated country pavilions. Major delegations from Saudi Arabia, UK, Egypt and China, will be visiting the 61st International Shipsuppliers & Services Association's (ISSA) Convention, which is a partner of SMME 2016.

More information about this conference can be found at www.seatrade-middleeast.com

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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

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The chemical products tanker SILVER AMANDA (49,780-dwt, built 2014) makes an appearance in Durban earlier this month, heading for the Island View liquid bulk terminal. The 183m long tanker, which is owned by Hong Kong interests and is managed by Sinokor Management of South Korea, arrived from Fujairah via Mombasa. Having completed discharging her product she has since departed from Durban and was last night at the Richards Bay outer anchorage. Silver Amanda was built at the Hyundai Mipo shipyard in South Korea. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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