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Ports & Ships Maritime News

25 September 2013
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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News continues below...


khuklisa eyethu 470

The South African trawler KHULISA EYETHU (built 1973) seen arriving in her homeport of Cape Town earlier in September. The trawler is owned by a Walvis Bay company. Picture by Ian Shiffman

News continues below…


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“The Deep Sea Mining campaign applauds the Namibian government’s decision to impose a moratorium for 18 months on marine phosphate mining” said Natalie Lowrey, communications coordinator for the Deep Sea mining campaign, based in Australia.

“Environmentalists and the fishing industries in Namibia, backed by international scientists and critics, have argued against the seabed mining of phosphate in their coastal waters – their concerns that seabed mining would destroy the environment and jeopardise the fishing industry has been heard and acted upon by the Namibian government.”

In announcing the decision, the Namibian Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the Hon. Bernhard Esau, stressed that seabed mining cannot happen if there is not solid proof that it will not have negative impacts on the environment.

“Our organisations, along with a larger group of partners, have been fighting for the precautionary principle to be employed with regard to Marine Phosphate Mining since 2011,” said Marcia Fargnoli, director of The Earth Organisation Namibia.

“Namibia has shown wisdom in being cautious. This very caution is exactly how sustainability is achieved. Indeed if this type of decision making continues to take place, we face a bright future.”

Swakopmund Matters, a Namibian environmental group that has 14,000 members, said the Namibian government was not prepared to be a guinea pig for an untested and unknown endeavour. “It refused to let its ocean and marine resources become the proverbial experimental playground,” the group said.

“It will resonate throughout the world where battles are being fought against actions by mining companies that will harm, if not destroy, important marine areas. It will embolden all those who are standing up for the protection of their marine environments.”

There is growing opposition against seabed mining throughout the Pacific. In New Zealand, environmentalists and fisheries are opposing a similar phosphate mining project in their deep seas. Over 24,000 people in Papua New Guinea have signed a petition opposing experimental seabed mining in their oceans.

In Vanuatu the Hon. Ralph Regenvanu, Minister for Land and Natural Resources, has called for Pacific governments to respect people’s wishes on experimental seabed mining calling for both the precautionary principle and free, prior and informed consent to be applied.

“The Namibian decision to call for a moratorium on seabed mining demonstrates to other governments that environmental concerns should take precedence over corporate profits.” said Ms Lowrey. “The Northern Territory state government made a decision in June this year for a total ban on seabed mining in waters around Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria. We would encourage Namibia to consider the same if the scientific studies to be conducted over the next 18 months cannot prove sea bed mining will not have negative environmental impacts.”

News continues below…


angoche te 470

Looking across the Mozambique river town of Angoche

The exploration of heavy sands deposits in Sangage, in the Angoche district of Mozambique’s Nampula province, may lead to the re-opening this year of the Angoche shipping port, said the chairman of state port and rail company Portos e Caminhos de Ferros de Moçambique (CFM).

Rosário Mualeia told Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias that studies were underway to repair the port, which had serious problems of sediment build up and a lack of basic services, as well as training of human resources.

“Re-opening the port of Angoche depends on it being repaired and on training its staff,” said Mualeia noting that training had already begun, specifically of marine and customs inspectors who would be stationed at Angoche and the northern port of Pemba, all under CFM management, to identify and determine the fees payable on goods at the port.

The metals mined in Sangage, which are being explored by Chinese businesses, are now exported through the port of Nacala, which is just over 200 kilometres away and involves costs that could be reduced by using the port of Angoche.

Mualeia said the point of the exercise is that “when demand in the ports reaches a high level, we shall be prepared, not merely in terms of infrastructures, but also with trained staff who are qualified to carry out their tasks with professionalism.” source – Noticias and macauhub

* See related story here Chinese to modernise port of Angoche

News continues below...


Royal Princess loses power on Med cruise, returns to port

Royal Princess10

Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess which has suffered an embarrassing power outage

The spate of problems affecting cruise ships which lead to cancellation of cruises is continuing, with Princess Cruises’ ROYAL PRINCESS the latest to lose motive power in the middle of a cruise.

The 141,000-gt, 3,600-passenger ship was sailing between Mykonos and Naples when she suffered a power outage on Sunday (22 September 2013). Power was restored three and a half hours later but by then it had been decided that on arrival in Naples all passengers would have to leave the ship which would then head on to Barcelona with crew only on board.

The ship was due in Naples yesterday. It seems likely that the next cruise due to commence in Barcelona on Friday, 27 September might be affected or even cancelled.

Royal Princess is the largest ship in the Princess fleet and was delivered by the builders, Fincantieri at the Italian Monfalcone shipyard in June this year. She was named by the Duchess of Cambridge later in June.

P&O Cruises to name new ship Britannia PO Britannia 470

P&O Cruise’s new flagship, the twin-stack Britannia as she is expected to look, with new styling and giving her a different 'feel' – picture courtesy P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises has announced that its new 141,000 tons cruise ship, scheduled to enter service in spring 2015, will be named BRITANNIA.

In London yesterday, P&O Cruises & Carnival UK chief executive officer David Dingle said that P&O's new 141,000 tons cruise ship, scheduled to enter service in spring 2015, will be named BRITANNIA. “Britannia is a most fitting name for the newest addition to P&O Cruises, which, with its long and famous heritage, remains Britain’s favourite cruise line.”

“Britannia will capture both the contemporary spirit of P&O Cruises and the spirit of Britain today,” he said.

“Today’s Britain is a place of increasing style and sophistication, optimism and excitement. Britannia will reflect that feeling and will mark a new era of growth and success for the cruise industry.

“Britannia will underpin P&O Cruises unique commitment to building ships specifically designed to anticipate the tastes of today’s Britain.

“It will be a modern classic, a ship for this and future generations offering authentic travel by sea in an enduringly contemporary setting.”

Britannia will boost P&O Cruises capacity by 24 percent.

With a length of 1,082 feet, the ship will carry over 3,600 passengers and at 141,000 tons will be 25,000 tons larger than P&O Cruises previous biggest ship.

Britannia will offer the best of British contemporary design, with an unprecedented number of passenger facilities. She is being designed throughout by London-based Richmond International, creating “flowing” interiors which have a coherent feel while each area will have an individual identity, look and feel through shape, space and soft furnishings.

The ship will be built to both attract many thousands of newcomers and also resonate with existing passengers, says P&O in a statement.

News continues below…


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Maritime piracy remains a significant problem around the world, threatening the lives of seamen while carrying a price tag of about $7 billion a year.

That sum includes both monies lost and stolen, and that spent on international security efforts that have proven to be necessary to withstand, where possible, the challenge created by these maritime marauders.

Today, West African piracy seems to be eclipsing that off the coast to Somalia, although the threat in the Gulf of Aden remains real. Amidst this rise in piracy and armed robbery—31 incidents as of early August, including four hijackings— the International Maritime Bureau, or IMB, underscores the surge in kidnappings at sea, with a wide range of types of vessels being targeted.

On 17 September, International Maritime Bureau Director Pottengal Mukundan and Robert Gauvin, executive director of piracy policy at the US Coast Guard, held forth in Episode No. 6 of the Piracy Daily / Maritime TV series on piracy mitigation strategies, the interview with Captain Mukundan coming first and done by Skype.

Joining them in the discussion were Dr. John A.C. Cartner, the author of two invaluable works of reference, the International Law of the Shipmaster, and Defending Against Pirates, the International Law of Small Arms, Armed Guards, and Privateers, and Captain William H. Watson, the President and COO of Advanfort International, a world leader among private maritime security companies.

To see the Maritime TV video, CLICK HERE - use your BACKSPACE key to return to PORTS & SHIPS.

Together, the panelists literally “cover the waterfront,” and beyond, on key issues involving the uniqueness of the threat by West African pirates; the possible use of lessons learned elsewhere; the institutional challenges still faced in the region; the role that can and should be played by Private Maritime Security Companies, and other critical questions and possibilities created by a dangerous phenomenon that maritime owners, operators, and crews are all seeking to better understand as they guard against being the next victims.

Read more at www.piracydaily.com - use your BACKSPACE key to return to PORTS & SHIPS.

Source – Piracy Daily


Rift Valley Rail 470

Rift Valley Railways is busy upgrading trackwork in Kenya and Uganda

Rift Valley Railways (RVR), which connects the Kenyan port of Mombasa with Uganda, intends investing more the US$15 million in the next two years specifically on track upgrades to permit the carrying of heavy loads, says RVR general manager Sammy Gachuhi.

This follows decades of neglect of the railway infrastructure. Increasing trade and booming regional economies now require an urgent upgrading of tracks to carry heavier loads.

Last month RVR reopened the line from Kampala in Uganda to the oil-rich north west of the country and this line in particular is in need of further permanent way attention.

With the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan heavily dependent on the Kenyan port of Mombasa, the poor standard of roads and railway have long been a drag on the region’s economy. In 2006 a concession to operate the former East African Railway network in Kenya and Uganda was awarded to private concessionaires. Egypt’s Citadel Capital, one of the original shareholders in RVR, has subsequently taken control of the 25-year concession and continues to operate as Rift Valley Railway but was only able to bring in other investors from 2010 when the group committed to spending $287 million over five years.

The first priority has been identified as rehabilitating the 930-kilometre long Mombasa – Kampala mainline which, as with the rest of the region’s railway network, is built to metre gauge. RVR says it intends reducing transit time between Mombasa and Kampala from seven days to 2.5 days and will triple the rolling stock it has available. It says that by 2015 RVR will have 3,400 rail wagons available for service.

While the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda say they are committed to building a new standard gauge railway all the way from Mombasa to Kigali in Rwanda, via Uganda, RVR is having to face the more immediate demand on its services especially following the discovery of oil reserves in Uganda said to be worth an estimated 3.5 billion barrels.

RVR says it will be ready to carry the oil when the demand is made by the oil industry, despite there being talk of a pipeline between the Ugandan oil fields and Kenya’s port of Lamu, which is to be developed as a deepwater port. Before that takes place, says RVR, it will be ready to provide the necessary services for the oil industry.


Victoria 470

picture by EU NAVFOR

by Prof Francois Vreÿ

Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Military Science, in cooperation with the Royal Danish Defence College and the University of Dar es Salaam, hosted the third On Strategy conference from 18 to 20 September 2013 on the specific issue of Maritime Security off Eastern Africa: Beyond Piracy.

Good order at sea in the waters off Eastern Africa were discussed by a wide range of interested parties from Africa, India and Europe that included academics, naval personnel and other interested parties. The maritime dimension embraces virtually every major issue that confronts the east African region at present.

Though the seas off the Eastern African coast have been plague by piracy it became quite clear that good order at sea comprises much more than piracy. Piracy, though, made an important contribution in raising maritime awareness in Africa in general and East Africa in particular.

It became quite clear that there is a dire need to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nexus between the importance of the maritime domain, its security and Africa’s prosperity. In Africa, the debate on good order at sea is often underpinned by questions about whose interests are served by the safety and security of the maritime domain and who is benefitting from good order at sea.

About 60 percent of Africa’s population lives within 160km of the sea, 90 percent of Africa’s trade is via the sea, and 200 million Africans depend on fish as a protein resource. This means that a substantial proportion of Africa’s economic, and by implication political, activities are closely connected to good order at sea. The link between the wellbeing of coastal communities and access to safe seas are therefore rather obvious.

In Africa, with its many lakes and large rivers, the importance of the inland maritime domain is growing. This is linked to the reality that inland states are heavily dependent on their coastal neighbours for access to the sea. The cost of transport, access to markets and instability in coastal states negatively influence many land-lock countries in Africa. Consequently, good order at sea translates into economic growth and development for both coastal states and their land-lock neighbours.

A particular emphasis upon this often neglected relationship formed part of the conference discussions.

A question raised, enquired about the cost for Africa of not investing in the development and safeguarding of the maritime domain and maritime infrastructure. The question is closely linked to the rising role and increasing participation of private security companies in safeguarding the seas and maintaining good order at sea.

The role of private security companies should be seen against the background of the lack, the cost and the underdeveloped state of Africa’s naval capabilities. The lack of a comprehensive maritime awareness in Africa challenges navies in ‘selling the sea’ to political office bearers and local communities. Navies, in securing good order at sea, face the additional challenge that existing naval technology and platforms were developed for high intensity military roles and that they need to re-orientate available platforms, technologies and existing mind frames.

Many African states still find it difficult to enforce their jurisdiction and assert sovereignty in their territorial waters. This is not only the result of a lack of naval capabilities and other maritime infrastructure. Functioning national institutions are critical for the enforcement of jurisdictional and maritime international and national legislation. Enforcing jurisdiction in territorial waters require a long-term commitment from governments and communities – an understanding that they are in it ‘for the long haul’.

At a continental level Africa has made great strides in the development of the African Integrated Maritime Security Strategy 2050 (AIMS-2050) by the African Union. AIMS-2050 highlighted the need for Africans to take responsibility for the safety and security of the waters around and within Africa. The strategy, though, reflects the reality that there is no shortage of good ideas and plans in Africa. The challenge is to operationalise the ideas contained in AIMS-2050 by linking it to reasonable timeframes and available resources for execution.

Critical questions were raised about the generally accepted idea that the roots of African maritime instability are on land and that good order at sea off East Africa is dependent on the development, safety and security of the adjacent maritime communities. Good order at sea is rather dependent on a comprehensive approach and the integration of sea-based and landward-driven methods rooted in an all-embracing understanding of the importance of the sea for development on land.

After all, the salient piracy threat off the Horn of Africa significantly declined only when actions at sea took shape to support the landward.

Francois Vreÿ, is an associate professor at the Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University.


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.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE - remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.


hs haydn==rt 470

Hansa Shipping’s 3,554-TEU container ship HS HAYDN (35,697-gt, built 2010) which is on charter to the Chilean shipping line CSAV, seen arriving at Cape Town in December last year. Many of the ships in Hansa Shipping’s container fleet are named after famous European musicians along with a few named after famous explorers, such as HS Scott, HS Shackleton and HS Humboldt. Perhaps one can fantasise about the appropriate music being piped through the corridors and stairwells of these sturdy ships as they sail the seven seas, but then, realising the probable nationality of the respective crews, perhaps that’s not the best of ideas. Pictures are by Ian Shiffman

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