Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 6 December 2021 – Africa Ports


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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

These news reprts are updated on an ongoing basis. Check back regularly for the latest news as it develops – where necessary refresh your page at www.africaports.co.za

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FIRST VIEW:  MSC ORCHESTRA

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The Monday masthead shows the Port of Tema
The Tuesday masthead shows the Port of Saldanha futuristic

The Wednesday masthead shows the Port of Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal
The Thursday masthead shows the Port of Richards Bay Coal Terminal
The Friday masthead shows the Port of Richards Bay
The Saturday masthead shows Port Harcourt
The Sunday masthead shows the 
Port of Port Elizabeth Manganese Terminal

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FIRST VIEW:  MSC ORCHESTRA   

MSC Orchestra arrived off Durban in the early morning of a grey, overcast Thursday, 2 December and entered port shortly afterward. Trevor Jones was on hand to welcome the ship with this photograph. in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
MSC Orchestra arrived off Durban in the early morning of a grey, overcast Thursday, 2 December and entered port shortly afterward. Trevor Jones was on hand to welcome the ship with this photograph.

The MSC Cruises MSC ORCHESTRA arrived in Durban on Thursday, 2 December, to commence a summer season of cruises from Durban and Cape Town, along the South African coast and, Covid-19 protocols permitting, to Mozambique and Namibia destinations.

The 92,409 gt cruise ship is capable of carrying over 3200 passengers but is likely to have less this 2021/22 season owing to strict Covid-19 protocols. She is now also likely to be the only cruise ship on our coast during the early summer, if not longer, with a number of others having cancelled planned cruises to South Africa.

MSC Orchestra sailed directly to Durban in time for the inauguration of the new hundred-plus million rand new cruise terminal that has been developed by a consortium led by MSC Cruises. This ship has been a focal point for the opening of this terminal on Sunday, 5 December.

The new terminal is situated at the Point area close to the developing Point Waterfront and the harbour entrance.

The following photographs are courtesy of Trevor Jones, Jumaine Kruger and the eThekwini Maritime Cluster (EMC), as indicated.

 

This early evening shot of MSC Orchestra was taken from the waterside by Jumaine Kruger in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
This early evening shot of MSC Orchestra was taken from the waterside by Jumaine Kruger
Here is MSC Orchestra on her berth (Point B Berth) opposite the new Cruise Terminal which will be her home for the next five months. This picture taken by Jumaine Kruger in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
In another early evening image, here is MSC Orchestra on her berth (Point B Berth) opposite the new Cruise Terminal which will be her home for the next five months. This picture taken by Jumaine Kruger
This picture also by Jumaine Kruger in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The berth position for the new terminal is almost exactly where the early passenge ships  – Union Castle etc would use a hundred and more years ago.  It is also close to the spot of the early wooden St Paul’s Wharf, Durban first real wooden pier. This picture also by Jumaine Kruger
Our final view of MSC Orchestra alongside the new cruise terminal is courtesy of the EMC in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Our final view of MSC Orchestra alongside the new cruise terminal is courtesy of the EMC
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Photographs of shipping and other maritime scenes involving any of the ports of South Africa or from the rest of the African continent, together with a short description, name of ship/s, ports etc are welome.

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Shell gets go-ahead with seismic survey off Eastern Cape Wild Coast

The seismic survey vessel Amazon Warrior, which is conducting the survey off the Eastern Cape Wild Coast on behalf of Shell. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The seismic survey vessel Amazon Warrior, which is conducting the survey off the Eastern Cape Wild Coast on behalf of Shell. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

With a favourable decision in the Makhanda (Grahamstown) High Court oil company Shell on Friday (3 December 2021) received the go-ahead with its planned seismic survey off the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast.

This followed an urgent legal application by several activist groups, including Greenpeace Africa.

The activists included claims that the methods used in conducting the survey endangered marine life in the area of the survey, including migrating whales, dolphins, as well as lower catch rates for commercial fishing.

Shell’s counter argument was that it has fulfilled all regulatory obligations and that similar studies have been carried out in South African waters.

High Court Judge Avinash Govindjee noted the public interest in the case which he said was “palpable” but pointed out the assertion of irreparable harm to the marine environment was at best speculative.

“The balance of convenience is in favour of Shell. In the urgent application, the applicants have failed to produce evidence that there is a genuine apprehension of irreparable harm to the marine environment particularly given the mitigation measures that Shell would put in place in line with the environmental management programme [EMP],” the judge ruled.

The judgement at 09h00 on Friday was broadcast live on television and radio, with Judge Govindjee awarding costs for two counsels.

Among the reports that led to the outcry were those of Sunday Times columnist and former newspaper editor, Peter Bruce, who referred to an article in the New York Times which quoted a professor at Duke University who said airgun blasts used in a survey had been detected 4,000km away!

Bruce claimed that Shell was going to lay a ship off the Wild Coast and would, every 10 seconds, be blasting a sound “10,000 times louder than a nuclear explosion,” which he said would be repeated more than a quarter of a million times.

Bruce added that there were whales off the Transkei coast at this time of year and that “Shell will kill many this Christmas and those it doesn’t kill will lose their hearing and thus their ability to communicate with each other.”

To add emphasis he finished his article saying that for all sea life off the Transkei, the world is about to change forever, and that Shell should be ashamed of itself. [Sunday Times 21 November 2021]

The public outcry followed this article.

South Africa and the famous, sometimes notorious Wild Coast
South Africa and the famous, sometimes notorious Wild Coast

Seismic surveys have been conducted off the South African coast on a number of occasions, including off the southern Cape coast near the Outeniqua Bank, and off the KwaZulu-Natal coast including off Durban. There have been no reports of ‘nuclear’ sounding explosions having been heard, nor of mysterious great fish deaths.

On the contrary, on a daily basis whales are noticed all along the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal coast, including off Durban where there are several whale watching observation positions. The whales and numerous dolphins are mostly seen close to the coast but have also been observed further out to sea.

As one correspondent has pointed out to us, after forty years of such surveys worldwide, and half a dozen within SA waters, there is still no empirical evidence that seismic surveys do damage to whales, or other marine life.

He added that procedures on streaming is that the air gun, which is close to the ship, is ‘ramped’ up on start so that any noise that makes a cetacean uncomfortable is slowly built up and gives the marine mammal the time to leave the area. “Every survey ship carries a whale watcher to look for whales, and the air guns are stopped on sighting them.”

Another point made is that… “If the naysayers had any merit in their emotional wailings, the North Sea would be a marine desert due to amount of seismic surveys that have taken place there! Yet it has large well managed fish stocks of all kinds, no history of whale strandings following surveys and no sign of benthic life being decimated.”

He said that the Shell survey is taking place over 20km from shore, so is unlikely to be seen or heard, and almost solely off the continental shelf in very deep waters over 700m in depth. “As such, these deep waters are not migratory routes for marine mammals or fish, contain very little marine life, and are not sitting in the Wild Coast Marine Park.”   – trh

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News From the Coast: Ships in port tonight: Seismic Survey underway; Platform vessel Temis

MSC Trieste, the ship that was towed into Saldanha Bay for repairs. Picture: Fleetmon in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
MSC Trieste, the ship that was towed into Saldanha Bay for repairs. Picture: Fleetmon

SHIPS IN PORT (Sunday night)

Richards Bay:  13 vessels in port and 30 vessels outside

RBCT Coal Terminal:   3 vessels plus 1 tug and tow.
TPT Terminals: 9 vessels in port.

Richards Bay Outer Anchorage:  30 vessels waiting outside either for RB or orders.

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Durban: The port of Durban is currently entertaining 33 ships in port and another 35 waiting outside. The breakup of terminals is as follows:

Container Terminals Piers 1 and 2: 5 vessels
Maydon Wharf: 10 vessels
Point, T Jetty & Cruise Terminal: 6 vessels
Island View Liquid Bulk: 5 vessels
Bluff: 2 vessels
Bayhead (ship repair): 5 vessels

Not included are workboats, service tugs, fishing vessels, trawlers, bunker tankers etc.

Durban Outer Anchorage: 35 vessels

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East London: 2 vessels in port.

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Ngqura: 1 vessel (not included are bunkering or associated tankers).

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Port Elizabeth: 7 vessels.

Algoa Bay anchorage: 10 vessels either for Port Elizabeth, Ngqura, or for bunkering at anchorage.

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Cape Town: 10 vessels (not including fishing vessels, workboats etc).

Table Bay anchorage: 9 vessels.

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Saldanha Bay: 6 vessels including MSC Trieste for engine room repairs.

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St Helena Bay Anchorage: 3 vessels including NS Qingdao for removal of cargo.

For regular news about ships in the South African and neighbouring ports, check out our SHIP MOVEMENTS PAGES

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Amazon Warrior, now on station off the Eastern Cape coast. Picture by 'Dockrat', in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Amazon Warrior, now on station off the Eastern Cape coast. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

AMAZON WARRIOR

In other news this week the Shearwater seismic survey vessel AMAZON WARRIOR which has been (and probably will stay) in the news over the controversy surrounding offshore seismic surveys, is on station opposite Morgan Bay and carrying out the first of its programme, with the support of several smaller vessels including ASTRA G and OCEAN FORTUNE, all three of which have featured in recent editions.

Amazon Warrior and its support vessels are expected to remain off the Wild Coast into January.

Cargo clearing is continuing from the bulk carrier NS QINGDAO in St Helena Bay – see our detailed report in last week’s batch of news. In the neighbouring Saldanha Bay, the disabled container ship MSC TRIESTE is at anchor and undergoing repairs in her engine room.

The other large ship casualty is another MSC ship, the 12,400-TEU MSC KATRINA (IMO 9467445), which remains at Pier 1, berths 102/103 where she is undergoing repairs to the engine room which suffered fire damage. MSC Katrina has a fullish cargo of containers destined for the Far East and loaded in West Africa – these have remained on board during the lengthy repair, suggesting that many might be empties.

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The platform accommodation vessel Temis in Cape Town Harbour. Note Debmarine's new diamond mining vessel under construction. Picture by Charles Corbett in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
The platform accommodation vessel Temis (left) in Cape Town Harbour. Note Debmarine’s new diamond mining vessel Benguela Gem under construction.  Picture by Charles Corbett
Temis in Cape Town harbour, having arrived from Angola. Picture by Charles Corbett in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Temis in Cape Town harbour, having arrived from Angola. Picture by Charles Corbett

TEMIS

A ship of interest at Cape Town is the accommodation platform vessel, TEMIS (IMO 9693135), 84-metres long, 32m wide, that arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday last week, 30 November, from the Girassol FPSO Terminus off Angola.

The vessel has a gross tonnage of 15,700-gt and a deadweight of 3,800 tons. Built in 2015 she is flagged in the Marshall Islands. Among the vessel’s features are a crane lifting capacity of 150 tons.

The Girassol terminus from which Temis arrived is a FPSO (Floating, Production, Storage & Offloading) vessel, which is on station in Block 17, about 210km northwest of Luanda in Angola and floating in water that is 1,350 metres deep.

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WHARF TALK: Ultramax SDARI Dolphin 64 design – CP CHONGQING

The bulk carrier CP Chongqing is on her berth in the port of Cape Town, taking bunkers from the tanker Al Safa. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The bulk carrier CP Chongqing is on her berth in the port of Cape Town, taking bunkers from the tanker Al Safa. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

It is not unusual that two ships, from the same company, are in port together. However, it is not usual that two sisterships, from the same company, are in port together, and with the sisterships in question being from a class of vessel that is becoming one of the most popular. Also unusual was that one vessel had arrived to discharge a cargo, whilst the other had not.

On 29th November at 19h00 the Ultramax bulk carrier CP CHONGQING (IMO 9710517) arrived off Cape Town, from Chattogram in Bangladesh. She proceeded directly into Cape Town harbour, but not to discharge any cargo, but went directly to the Eastern Mole in order to take on bunkers and stores. As soon as she was alongside, the bunker tanker Al Safa arrived to make the necessary transfer of bunkers.

Taken from the wharfside, the bulker CP Chongqing presents an imposing picture. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Taken from the wharfside, the bulker CP Chongqing presents an imposing view. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her arrival draft was an indication that she was in ballast, and her actual destination was the Recalada Anchorage, at the mouth of the River Plate in Argentina. From Recalada, most bulk carriers then proceed up the River Plate, to the wheat ports up the Parana River, such as Rosario and San Lorenzo. After a short 15 hour stop, CP Chongqing sailed from Cape Town at 10h00 on 30th December for her destination.

CP Chonqing was berthed at the Eastern Mole in Cape Town Harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat'
CP Chongqing was berthed at the Eastern Mole in Cape Town Harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

 

Built in 2016 by Chengxi Shipyard at Jiangyin in China, CP Chongqing is 200 metres in length and has a deadweight of 63,581 tons. She is powered by a single Hudong MAN-B&W 5S60ME-C8.2 5 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, producing 10,945 bhp (8,050 kW) to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14.2 knots.

CP Chongqing moving away from the Eastern Mole and readying to leave port. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
CP Chongqing moving away from the Eastern Mole and readying to leave port. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Yanmar 6EY18AL generators providing 650 kW each, and a single Cummins 6CT-8.3-D(M) emergency generator providing 140 kW. She has a Saacke CMB-VS Composite exhaust gas boiler. She has five holds, serviced by four 30 ton hydraulic cranes, and her cargo carrying capacity is 78,500 m3.

CP Chongqing begins to move out from the Duncan Dock towards the harbour entrance. Picture by 'Dockrat'
CP Chongqing begins to move out from the Duncan Dock towards the harbour entrance. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

One of the extremely popular SDARI Dolphin 64 design, from the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute, CP Chongqing is one of 12 sisterships built for her company. The SDARI 64 is an energy efficient, eco-friendly design, and the largest type of geared bulk carrier available. It is built in numerous state owned shipyards in China, and its popularity with shipowners means that almost 500 of them have been built since the first one in 2012.

The accommodation and bridge area of the bulk carrier. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The accommodation and bridge area of the bulk carrier. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Owned and managed by Parakou Shipping Limited of Hong Kong, whose houseflag she displays on her funnel, CP Chongqing is operated by Efe Chartering of Istanbul, in Turkey. When CP Chongqing arrived in Cape Town on 29th November, her sistership CP Tianjin was already alongside C berth in the Duncan Dock, where she had arrived on 27th November, and was busy unloading a cargo of bulk bagged rice, loaded in Sriracha in Thailand. She sailed the day after her fleet mate, bound for Luanda in Angola.

It is not the first visit to Southern Africa this year for CP Chongqing, even if this call was for bunkers only. She had previously called at both Nacala and Beira, in Mozambique, back in July, and also Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth in August.

CP Chongqing heads out into the Atlantic, next stop the River Plate in Argentina. Picture by 'Dockrat'
CP Chongqing heads out into the Atlantic, next stop the River Plate in Argentina. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

For those who are not familiar with Chattogram in Bangladesh, which is where CP Chongqing started her present voyage, it has, like many other port cities in this part of the world, been renamed by the local authorities. As a former colonial part of British India, and latterly as East Pakistan, before claiming full independence in 1971, it was previously known as Chittagong. The Bangladeshi government enacted the name change in 2018, in order to align it with the local Bengali dialect.

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Omicron: Transport leaders warn of governments’ knee-jerk reaction: Supply chain at greater risk

Knee-jerk reaction. Picture: ITF © in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Picture: ITF ©

It was reported by ITF on 3 December that world leaders’ knee-jerk reactions to the Omicron variant are putting transport workers and the global supply chain at greater risk of collapse.

This was the subject of a warning by international transport organisations and unions representing road, air and sea transport. These bodies are: IATA, ICS, IRU and ITF. They represent more than US$ 20 trillion of world trade annually and 65 million global transport workers and more than 3.5 million road freight and airline companies and more than 80% of the world merchant shipping fleet.

Cross-border transport workers including seafarers, air crew and drivers must be able to continue to do their jobs, and cross borders without overly restrictive travel rules, to keep already ailing supply chains moving.

IATA, the International Air Transport Association, ICS, the International Chamber of Shipping, IRU, the International Road Transport Union, and ITF, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, have jointly called for governments to not re-impose border restrictions that further limit the freedom of movement of international transport workers and learn from the lessons of the last two years.

Variant of concern

One week since the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the new Omicron strain of Covid-19 as a ‘variant of concern’, at least 56 countries have re-imposed varying degrees of travel restrictions.

These transport bodies are calling for an end to the rushed and fragmented approach to travel rules by governments. ITF in its statement says now is the time for heads of state to listen to industry leaders and workers, by taking decisive and coordinated action together to ease strain on the supply chain, and support an exhausted global transport workforce during the busy holiday season.

Crew Change Crisis by ITF in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

Frustration

In their announcement on 3 December the transport bodies also expressed frustration that governments were reneging on clear steps issued to world leaders in September to:

* Guarantee the free and safe movement of transport workers.

* transport workers to receive WHO-recognised vaccines.

* Adopt lasting travel and health protocols developed by industry for seafarers, drivers and air crew, as endorsed by WHO, ILO, IMO and ICAO.

* Create globally harmonised, digital, mutually-recognised vaccination certificates and processes for demonstrating health credentials (including vaccination status and COVID-19 test results), which are paramount to ensure transport workers can cross international borders.

* Increase global vaccine supply by all means at our disposal in order to expedite the recovery of our industries.

Of the present situation Guy Platten, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping  commented: “This feels like groundhog day for our transport sectors. There is a real and legitimate fear that unless coordinated action is taken by world leaders we will see a return to the peak of the crew change crisis in 2020 where more than 400,000 seafarers were impacted by unnecessarily harsh travel restrictions.

Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Guy Platten

“Our transport workers have worked tirelessly for the past two years throughout the pandemic to keep the global supply chain moving, and they are at breaking point. December is traditionally a busy time for seafarers returning home to their families and governments owe them the chance to spend that time with their loved ones.”

Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, ITF, pointed out that the same governments that have blocked global vaccine access are now the first to lock down their borders to keep the Omicron variant out. “Instead of pursuing a global solution to this pandemic, their decisions further risk supply chain collapse.

“It is not only morally reprehensible, it is economic self-destruction. We need universal access to vaccines now. It is imperative for all of us to tell governments to stop bowing down to big pharma and pave the way so that every country can produce the vaccines needed to end this pandemic.”

Paul Ridgway

Reported by Paul Ridgway
London

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Singapore suspends crew change for those with recent travel history to southern Africa

Singapore Maritime and Port Authority imposes restructions on crew travelling via southern Africa, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Singapore Maritime and Port Authority imposes restructions on crew travelling via southern Africa

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, in its latest Marine Notice, has temporarily suspended all crew change for seafarers with a recent history of travel to southern African countries.

This is in response to the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In the notice, No.44 of 2021 dated 2 December 2021, it is announced that the ‘Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history (including transit) to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or transit through Singapore.’

The notice adds that as a precautionary measure, crew change and vaccination of crew will be temporarily suspended in the Port of Singapore:

a) ‘Crew with recent travel history to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe within the last 14 days preceding arrival to Singapore. This includes sign-on crew travelling to Singapore by flight as well as sign-off crew from vessels that have called at Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
b) ‘Sign-on crew transiting Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe on their connecting flights to Singapore.’

The Marine Notice is signed by Capt. Ching Jai Chyuan, Port master of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

Read this article in conjunction with the warning message (article above) from transport leaders of ‘governments’ knee-jerk’ reaction.

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Nigerian Ports set date to become fully digital by 2025

President of PMAWCA and Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Micheal Luguje, who provided the welcoming message. "Covid-19 has indeed taught us that we live in a very fragile world," he said. in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
President of PMAWCA and Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Micheal Luguje, who provided the welcoming message. “Covid-19 has indeed taught us that we live in a very fragile world,” he said.

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Acting Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko, says the NPA is taking the necessary measures for the creation of a fully digital ecosystem in all the West African country’s port ,locations by 2025.

Bello-Koko was through a spokesperson at the 41st Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) Annual Council Meeting and 16th Round-table Conference of Managing Directors of PMAWCA, in Douala – Cameroon.

He said a lot of work has gone into the smart port transformation agenda of the Authority, aimed at having a paperless, time saving and cost efficient port operation.

The NPA first deployed a main computer system in 1975 to improve its payroll management, billing, statistical and accounting systems. From 1992, the deployment of personal computers was introduced at each port to ease data management, but without connectivity between the ports, making the sharing of information difficult.

PMAWCA banner in Africa PORTS & SIPS

In 2011 the NPA reviewed its ICT strategy in line with its new role as landlord, following the concessioning of port terminals in 2006. The primary focus of the new strategy was on enterprise computing with a heavy dependence on network infrastructure, along with a centralised and shared database.

Bello-Koko said the adoption by NPA of a phased ICT deployment is geared towards achieving a fully integrated port operating system:

* to foster relationships with all internal and external stakeholders,
* to streamline NPA’s internal business processes,
* to make use of high-end smart technologies,
* to record, monitor and utilise data for better decision making.

A five year plan is now being implemented by the Authority for the attainment of a fully digitalised port system in Nigeria.

Currently, the NPA has deployed a portfolio of systems and infrastructure towards the actualisation of its ICT objectives. These include an Oracle Enterprise Business Suite for financial and human resources planning; Billing/Revenue and Invoice Management System (RIMS) to fast-track billing processing; Customer Portal/electronic Ship Entry Notice (eSEN)/Manifest Upload for shipping traffic management; Hyperion Budgeting for management of annual budget; Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence System (3Ci) for maritime domain awareness and management of vessel calls; Truck Call Up and Gate Access Control for the control and schedule of trucks to the ports as well as manage truck traffic around the port corridor.

Mohammed Bello-Koko, Acting Managing Director: Nigerian Ports Authority in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Mohammed Bello-Koko, Acting Managing Director: Nigerian Ports Authority

Bello-Koko said that with the international supply chain now faced with a number of disruptions, the NPA intends focusing on what he called the smartness level of the port rather than the size of the port in order to optimise productivity and meet the expectations of port users.

At NPA, our goal is to leverage on technology to close the gap between us and the major international ports. A digitalised port helps in making better informed operational decisions, increased efficiency, improve collaboration amongst stakeholders, lower port costs and will ultimately help to meet the ever increasing customer expectations in a timely manner.”

Bello-Koko was represented at the PMAWCA meeting and conference by the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Prof Idris Abubakar.

In his welcoming message, the President of PMAWCA and Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Micheal Luguje, described the conference theme ‘Digitalised Port as a model of Port Efficiency’ as “…very relevant because more than ever, Covid-19 has indeed taught us that we live in a very fragile world. Within a space of time, the dynamics with regards to world trade and our ways of life can change dramatically.

Luguje said the impact of Covid-19 cannot be swept under the carpet so easily. Countries are now having to rebuild again after many years of economic progress has been wiped off. “As leaders in the maritime field entrusted with the responsibilities of facilitating trade and economic progress for our respective countries, we are here to have serious discussion on how we can continue to adjust in the face of this unwavering virus and how to plan and operate our ports to meet future challenges.”

He said the main aim is to explore diverse ways of using less to achieve more through the use of smart technologies.

The PMAWCA 41st Council Meeting attracted heads of PMAWCA member ports and sister organisations that included International Association for Ports and Harbours (IAPH), International Maritime Organization (IMO), Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Union of African Shippers Council, and Abuja MoU on Port State Control in West and Central Africa.

The event was opened by the Minister of Transport for Cameroon, Mr Massena Ngalle Bibehe, while the Roundtable Conference was chaired by the Director General, Port of Douala, Mr Cyrus Ngo’o.

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BIMCO’s new contract for Employment of Security Escort Vessels

Armed guard on board security escort vessel. Image courtesy: Dryad Global in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
Armed guard on board security escort vessel. Image courtesy: Dryad Global

BIMCO, which represents approximately 60 per cent of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage, with members in more than 130 countries, including managers, brokers and agents, has through its Documentary Committee, approved a new standard contract for security escort vessels (SEVs).

The standard is a balanced contractual framework for SEVs that accompany merchant ships in high threat areas such as the Gulf of Guinea which has recently seen a rise in piracy activity as the dry season has begun.

The new contract is dubbed SEV-GUARDCON because it is based on BIMCO’s GUARDCON contract for the employment of security guards on board ships.

“The escort vessel’s capabilities, and what should happen if the vessel does not arrive at the rendezvous point as agreed, are key issues for shipowners and operators trading in high threat areas,” says Dan Carr, Deputy General Counsel, Stolt-Nielsen, who chaired the work of the project team.

“SEV-GUARDCON addresses these and other aspects to consider when transiting areas such as the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.

SEV-GUARDCON has been drafted specifically for cross-border transits where an SEV is needed to accompany the owner’s vessel through the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) or territorial waters of more than one state.

BIMCO banner in Africa PORTS & SHIPS

The structure mirrors GUARDCON wherever possible to ensure familiarity, and the insurance provisions have been kept as close as possible to the original GUARDCON wording. The liabilities and indemnities provisions reflect that SEV-GUARDCON covers services of an independently operated SEV as opposed to a security team carried on board the merchant ship.

“Security escorts are used when merchant ships transit dangerous areas and call ports where the use of on board maritime security personnel is not desirable due to local practices or regulations. With SEV-GUARDCON we aim to add value to, and fairly represent the interests of, both the maritime security companies providing escort services and the shipowners and operators who use them,” says BW Group’s Nick Fell, Chairman of BIMCO’s Documentary Committee.

The project team consisted of representative shipowners and operators, private maritime security companies and maritime risk consultants, P&I Clubs, and marine insurance and legal experts, several of whom also participated in the development of the original GUARDCON contract.

It will soon be available on BIMCO’s secure contract editing system, SmartCon, as well as in a sample version on the BIMCO website accompanied by explanatory notes. source: BIMCO

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EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT


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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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