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Ports & Ships Maritime News

24 March 2015
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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Residensea II’s THE WORLD (43,188-gt, built 2002), the luxury apartment ship, has been back in Southern African waters and after having visited Durban for a three day stopover the ship then called at Cape Town for four days at the V&A Waterfront, before sailing yesterday. Picture: Ian Shiffman

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Grimaldi’s new ro-ro ship Grande Tema

Italian liner company Grimaldi’s multi-purpose ro-ro cargo ship GRANDE TEMA has made her maiden voyage to the Ghana port of Tema.

Launched in late 2014, the 71,543-gt, 236m long ro-ro vessel was built in South Korea and follows the introduction of GRANDE LAGOS in September last year. Grande Tema is the second of a series of six planned ships of similar class multi-purpose ships, designed for fuel efficient operation.

She has a loading capacity of 5,700 linear metres for motor vehicles including cars, trucks and earthmoving equipment along general cargo and a capacity of 1,800 TEUs.

This is close to a 50 percent increase in loading capacity compared to the earlier generation of Grimaldi ro-ro ships currently in service. These include Grande Nigeria, Grande Cameroon, Grande Guinea, Grande Benin, Grande Morocco and Grande Ghana.

The older generation ships are fitted with two 40-ton cranes on the weather deck and have an optimum container capacity of 850 TEU together with 2,500 linear metres of ro-ro cargo and 1,800 motor vehicles.

They operate with a service speed of 20 knots and are deployed on the West Africa service.

Grimaldo announced that with the arrival of the new vessel the call rotation in West Africa becomes six days, making this one of the best frequencies in the shipping industry.

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To celebrate women's professional involvement in the shipping and maritime industry, the WISTA-UK event at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has awarded honours to an International Personality of the Year, Entrepreneur of 2015 and the "Came by SHIP" competition winner.

WISTA-UK is part of the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association, an international organisation for women in management positions involved in the business and related trades worldwide. WISTA has 2,100 members from 35 different countries including South Africa.

One of the speakers of the evening was former secretary-general of IMO, William O'Neil, who praised WISTA's great effort to try to “improve the younger generation’s knowledge of shipping activities.”

Despite being a male dominated industry, women are gradually staking their claim and empowering others to get involved in shipping and that is what WISTA-UK strives to encourage with the Personality of the Year and Entrepreneurship awards.

The annual WISTA Personality of the Year was awarded to Liverpool Cruise Terminal's manager, Angie Redhead, who has helped to restore the city's prestigious position on the international cruise map and will continue to be a strong advocate for the passenger destination.

She regards the terminal as the "lifeblood of the river" and it is set to undergo a Ł4 billion (US$5.96 billion) expansion project.

Owner and business director of Guardian Maritime Ltd, Teresa Stevens, was presented with the WISTA-UK Entrepreneur of 2015 award for her ground-breaking work inventing and developing vessel protection systems.

Ms Stevens said: “Shipping is below the radar in the UK and I think that women need to rally together and encourage one another to build up their network of contacts. Without the encouragement and support of WISTA-UK I probably wouldn't be here accepting this award.”

In 2014, to commemorate the 40th year anniversary of WISTA-UK, the Came by SHIP campaign was introduced in order to help promote the importance of shipping in our lives.

In conjunction with Seavision and Jeanius Consulting, and supported by the UK Chamber of Shipping, the Came by SHIP national essay competition was launched to encourage schools, cadets and youth groups to focus on the significance of the industry and consider shipping and seafaring as a future career.

Ten-year-old Ruby Smith from Sanford Primary School won the under 12 category with an impressive and factually descriptive piece about containerships.

Sixteen-year-old Lydia Pallot from Peter Symonds College in Winchester won the 12-18 year old category with a piece about the industry's role in fuelling the economy. – Schednet

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Reporting by Paul Ridgway

An advanced hospital ship under construction for the Mercy Ships charity will feature complete electrical power and propulsion systems from ABB, it was reported from Zurich, Switzerland.

ABB will deliver electrical propulsion and power systems to the new flagship hospital ship for the Mercy Ships organisation. The vessel, ATLANTIC MERCY (this is a working title) will be built by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) at the Tianjin Xingang Shipyard and is scheduled for delivery in 2017. The Atlantic Mercy project construction will be managed by Stena RoRo.

To be certified as a passenger vessel, Atlantic Mercy will be fitted with a pair of ABB’s Azipod® C propulsion units, said to be the most advanced propulsion system in modern passenger ships. ABB’s scope of delivery includes an energy saving Azipod C electrical propulsion system, which provides a high level of manoeuvrability, reliability and passenger comfort due to minimal vibration, and the main electrical power plant.

When completed, Atlantic Mercy will be the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, it is claimed. The 37,000-gt vessel will feature full hospital, accommodation and training facilities and once in service, she will expand the Mercy Ship organisation’s activity on the African continent. There will be two hospital decks onboard, and six surgery rooms that can be used for both medical care and educational training. The ship will have beds for 109 acute-care patients, 45 self-care patients, and over 487 crew members and medical staff in 277 cabins. While in port, the ship’s capacity can increase to 950.

“We have done many challenging new buildings over the years but this is truly a fantastic project to work with,” said Staffan Stenfelt, new building manager at Stena RoRo. “To know that the work we do on behalf of Mercy Ships can contribute to the wellbeing of so many make ourselves and selected partners such as ABB very proud to be involved.”

The power production system on board Atlantic Mercy is designed to ensure power supply for the hospital functions in any possible fault situation. In addition, the ABB power and propulsion plant will be supported by a remote diagnostics system and around-the-clock telephone assistance to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Added Heikki Soljama, Managing Director for ABB’s marine and ports business: “ABB’s marine solutions supported with a global service network have already established a strong position across several high-end vessel segments that require outstanding reliability, flexibility and energy efficiency. This hospital vessel project continues the successful collaboration between ABB and Stena on state-of-the-art ships.”

In conclusion Jim Paterson, Senior Vice President Marine Operations for Mercy Ships, commented: “Our hospital ships operate in environments where reliable power is not always available. Even if shore power was available, we could not count on it to provide a safe and clean source of power to operate our hospitals. Our ships have to be pretty self-sufficient and able to provide, not only for the hospital, but also for the 400 plus crew, staff and family members who serve on board. A reliable power source and distribution system is critical for this to happen. Using Azipod propulsion also enables us to dock in tight spots and not be dependent on tug support for arrival or even unexpected departures.”

About Mercy Ships
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building and sustainable development to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $1 billion, treating more than 2.5 million direct beneficiaries. Each year Mercy Ships has more than 1,600 volunteers from more than 40 nations. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort.

Visit Mercy Ships Mercy Ships or twitter.com/MercyShips

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The State of the Industry panel included, from left, Pierfrancesco Vago of MSC Cruises, Arnold Donald of Carnival Corp., Frank Del Rio of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and Richard Fain of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Cruise Shipping Miami, the cruise industry's biggest annual conference, officially kicked off earlier this month with an upbeat assessment by the Cruise Lines International Association and an entertaining panel discussion with top cruise line executives.

Richard Quest, CNN’s colourful international correspondent, moderated the traditionally stale event. He promised attendees that no topic would be off limits. Much of the discussion focused on two C-words, as Quest put it — “Cuba and China!”

And the panel, designed to enlighten a crowd consisting of businesses that are part of the cruise industry in one shape or another, didn't disappoint.

Participants MSC Cruises' Pierfrancesco Vago, Carnival Corporation's Arnold Donald, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' Frank Del Rio, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' Richard Fain all provided some feisty commentary and tweet-worth sound bites.

Key discussions included:
Cuba. Once the embargo is lifted, how long will it take to see cruise travel open up to the Caribbean island?

RCCL's Fain started off with an uncharacteristic "ummmmm" before confessing “I'm not sure if any of us are ready. We have a lot to learn about every country we go into. One size doesn't not fit all.”

But Norwegian's Del Rio had quite the opposite reaction; he simply snapped his fingers. “All of us on this panel are ready to move at the drop of a hat,” he said. He noted that one advantage to cruising to Cuba, a mere 222 miles from Port Miami, once it opens to Americans is that lines bring their own infrastructure, such as rooms and restaurants.

Getting the biggest laugh was Italy-based MSC's Vago, who noted that the embargo does not apply to his family-owned company. “I'm European, I have no embargo, and we're already there.”
Quest shot back: “Make sure you stay there and the others don't push you out.”

How is the cruise industry faring?

“In a couple of words, very well," CLIA Chairman Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., said in the opening of the State of the Industry panel.
Globally, CLIA member cruise lines are expected to carry about 23 million passengers this year, up from 22.1 million in 2014 and 17.8 million in 2009. The global economic impact is $117 billion.

“The outlook is very, very bright,” Goldstein concluded.

In China, the challenge is educating travellers who are not familiar with a cruise vacation. Carnival Corp CEO Arnold Donald said some passengers from Mongolia not only had never seen a cruise ship before, but had never even seen a swimming pool. “The Chinese have no idea what a cruise is,” he said. “It's a blank sheet of paper” with the potential to grow into the world's largest market within a few years.

Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., noted that the industry is still working in the US to dispel myths about cruising but in China has the chance to create an industry.

Challenges that remain include trying to raise prices to reflect the value of a cruise vacation and attracting first-timers. “Cruising offers a higher level of satisfaction yet it's cheaper,” Fain said.

UBM, the company that operates CSM, also announced that it will change the name of the conference back to Seatrade, the name that was abandoned a few years ago but which some people still call the show. UBM has acquired Seatrade, which publishes the maritime industry bible, and so is reviving the name. The show, which has been held in Miami Beach for 31 years, now will be called Seatrade Cruise Global. It will move to Fort Lauderdale for the next three years.

Organisers expected about 11,000 people to attend CSM Miami….which is reverting back to the name of SeaTrade Cruise Global and will move to Fort Lauderdale for the next three years. Miami, now branded as PortMiami, enjoys enough cruise calls to make a ship lover faint.

Vernon Buxton for Ports & Ships

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With a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons and the ability to accommodate up to 4,140 guests at double occupancy, it will be the largest ship in the MSC fleet “MSC Cruises has the unique opportunity to provide North American guests with a ‘Mediterranean Style Cruise’ experience that no other line is able to offer, and guests from around the world a unique setting as it sails to the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. The MSC Cruises’ Miami-based cruise operations will benefit from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami.

Following the first ship’s delivery from the shipyard, MSC SEASIDE will make her way to Miami for MSC Cruises’ first ever christening ceremony in the US, to take place in late 2017.

“The Seaside class of ships is part of MSC Cruises’ $5.3 billion fleet expansion plan that will allow the company to double its capacity by 2022,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises.

“Since bringing MSC DIVINA to Miami in 2013, we’ve seen significant demand from consumers in the product, excellent support from our travel agent partners and the growing need for additional MSC Cruises’ ships in the market.”

At first glance, it looks like just another new giant cruise liner.

Although MSC has not previously ordered new ships from Fincantieri, the Italian yard is currently busy lengthening (one at a time) MSC’s four Lirica-class vessels, a process that will end in November with MSC SINFONIA, OPERA, LIRICA and ARMONIA all being 193 cabins the richer. The SINFONIA will cruise in SA waters this coming summer season and berths are filling apace with repeaters eager to see the e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d vessel.

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Built to sail to warm weather destinations, MSC Seaside will feature one of the most interactive and originally-designed aqua parks at sea, with four slides and attractions for all ages…plus ‘Slideboarding’, a unique waterslide and interactive video game all-in-one. Guests will race down a two-storey, 112-metre slide on a sleekly designed raft that includes an embedded game controller with coloured buttons. The end goal – match the colour of the flashing strobe lights seen on various sections of the slide with the coloured buttons on the raft. The slide uses a smart gaming system that knows who riders are and tracks their progress and scores over the run down the waterslide. And, to cater to its youngest guests, a portion of MSC Seaside’s aqua park will be designed specifically for tots, featuring an active and colourful water play structure that is an experience all on its own. The AquaPlay area will be complete with tipping-buckets, various spray cannons, solid stream jets, a rain tree and a mini-slide…and very much more to keep passengers entertained.

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Look closer at the aft section and there’s something distinctly different going on. Yes, there’s a considerable variation of maritime architecture being implemented in the all-new ‘Seaside’ vessels that the Italian cruise operator has ordered. These two ships will be the largest vessels ever constructed by the Italian yard Fincantieri, and the largest to ever sail for MSC. Purpose-built to cruise the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South America, the company says the two ships represent the last piece of its plan to double the capacity of its fleet by 2022…aiming for a capacity of about 80,000 passengers a day. What looks like an ‘apartment block’ aft makes for great vistas from your smart balcony cabin on any one of the many decks stretching skyward. On a section of open deck is a splendid swimming pool, with a good number of lie-back loungers from which you can watch sea vistas sweep by as you sip Margaritas or the juice of the grape from some suitable Italian vineyard. On top, look, there’s another pool with a lot of deck chairs, which will decidedly all be needed when one has 5,300 passengers aboard. Though individual response to this new look is subjective, this correspondent finds the ‘apartment’ feel to the architecture immensely pleasing indeed. The Seaside prototype also presents unique features, such as a sea-level promenade that circumscribes the ship and is designed to give passengers the feeling of walking on a promenade…with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants. In addition, Seaside will also feature a spacious theatre, a terraced balcony and panoramic lifts.

Is this enough innovation to compete with the other mega-liners already in service?…like the Royal Caribbean International behemoths? Very likely, because MSC Cruises vessels have a distinct ‘Latin-sexy’ ambiance and, as its rapid growth has manifested, this ‘purist’ Italian cruise operator attracts its own kind of customer, and brings him or her back again time and again.

Full marks to MSC Cruises for a completely ground-breaking ‘other look’…if only in the aft section. It’s what will be going on inside that we are also eager to hear about too.

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A computer generated image shows the shape and size of the two as-yet unnamed Seaside-class ocean giants MSC Cruises has ordered from Fincantieri. The first is to be delivered in November, 2017, the second in May, 2018. MSC also holds the option for a third vessel. Weighing in at 154,000gt each, there will be 43,500 square metres of public areas available. They will also combine the best features of MSC’s previous vessels, including the highly-popular MSC Yacht Club, along with new technology that allows for greater efficiency, including reduced fuel consumption and advanced safety systems.

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Angola CIA Factbook with Benguela rly to Luau
Map of Angola showing the southern Moçâmedes railway which will ultimately reconnect with the port of Namibe

The Moçâmedes Railroad in southern Angola carries over 13,000 passengers per month between Lubango and Menongue, over a distance of 510 kilometres, the railway management company’s technical director has revealed.

António Cabral told Angolan news agency Angop that trains currently make the journey three times a week adding that there were “great expectations” about the transport of iron ore and gold from Jamba, which will increase the company’s revenues.

The director said the company intended to buy more carriages to carry more passengers and looks forward to completion of the railway’s reconstruction to the port of Namibe, formerly known as Moçâmedes.

Reconstruction work on the Moçâmedes Railroad, which is still ongoing, began in 2006 and its completion and final delivery was originally scheduled for October 2014.

The reconstruction of the line connecting the coastal city of Namibe to Menongue, the provincial capital of Cuando Cubango in eastern Angola, by Chinese company China Hyway, includes the construction and modernisation of 56 stations, telecommunications systems and lighting as well as replacement and extension of the line.

Construction of the original Moçâmedes Railroad began on 28 September 1905 and was completed on 6 December 1961. It has a total length of 860 kilometres, including branch lines to the old mining areas of Jamba and Cassinga.

The contractor of this construction work is one of 16 subsidiaries of the Chinese group of the same name, based in Beijing, operating in various sectors of economic activity, especially in road construction, railways and railway bridges. - macauhub


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Gateway port

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20 03 15 0366 Happy Dover stern 480

The general cargo heavylift ship HAPPY DOVER made a colourful appearance outside Durban harbour last weekend as she made ready to enter port. On hand to welcome the Dutch ship and capture her entrance by photography was Keith Betts.


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