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

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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FIRST VIEW: LAUST MAERSK

Laust Maersk at Lyttelton. Picture: Alan Calvert, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Laust Maersk. Picture: Alan Calvert

The container ship LAUST MAERSK (IMO 9190743) makes her way out from the New Zealand port of Lyttelton. The 4500-TEU capacity ship is 266 metres long and has a beam of 37.3m and a deadweight of 63,000 tons. She was built in 2001 at the former Maersk Odense Steel Shipyard in Denmark as yard number 172. This picture is by Alan Calvert

 

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EGS TO COMMENCE GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY OFFSHORE OF MOZAMBIQUE

Research and survey vessel Ridley Thomas, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Research and survey vessel Ridley Thomas

The EGS Group has commenced a major offshore hydrographic and geophysical survey for Anadarko’s Mozambique Area 1 (AMA1) LNG development.

The survey is expected to last up to three months and involves deploying a range of hydrographic and geophysical survey tools in a remote environment offshore of northern Mozambique.

Offshore operations include shallow and deep water high resolution geophysical and hydrographic surveys, utilizing EGS’ vessel RV RIDLEY THOMAS and the recently acquired shallow daughter craft.

The surveys will support onshore development of two liquefaction trains to be constructed by Anadarko-led Area 1.

According to EGS Vice President Chris Dougherty, EGS has worked closely with Anadarko in the time leading up to the commencement of field operations so that the team of 15 offshore geophysicists, surveyors and engineers can be as well prepared and safe as possible for the variety of survey tasks to be performed at the remote site.

EGS is a leading international group of companies with offices in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia, with its headquarters hub in Hong Kong. EGS provides global specialist multi-disciplinary marine survey support, and delivers solutions to the oil and gas, telecommunications, energy & renewables and marine infrastructure market sectors.

The company was first established in the UK and shortly after in Hong Kong in 1974 and remains an independent group, which over the last 40 years has grown into an international network of services hubs and centres of excellence.

EGS also has strategic alliances with partner companies in various countries, enabling it to carry out marine surveys and studies worldwide.

 

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LEGISLATORS WANT MORE SEZs AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR KENYA’S NORTHERN CORRIDOR

Port of Mombasa, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Mombasa

The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) reports that the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is looking to develop policies to increase resource allocation for the expansion of the Port of Mombasa and to improve efficiency at the port.

The Assembly is also targeting construction of more Special Economic Zones (SEZ) across the region to enhance trade activities.

The KBC says that the port of Mombasa remains one of the…

 

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TANZANIA ASKS CHINA FOR HELP TO ESTABLISH TRANSPORTATION UNIVERSITY

NIT in Tanzania, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

It is being reported in Dar es Salaam that China has agreed to a grant of US62 million (approximately 138.2 billion TSh) for the construction of a university of transportation.

The Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Wang Ke, made this revelation in the Tanzania port city shortly after delivering a special message to President John Magufuli from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Reports say the details of the message and the grant will be revealed next week, although the ambassador said that the grant was part of China’s support for development projects in Tanzania aimed at…

Details of NIT (pictured) can be found here www.nit.ac.tz/

 

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LOCAL LÜDERITZ MAN ACQUIRES OFFSHORE SUPPLY VESSEL SAKAWE SURVEYOR

Sakawae Surveyor, under new ownership, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Local born and bred Lüderitz resident Peter Sylvester is the new owner of the offshore supply vessel SAKAWE SURVEYOR. Sylvester recently acquired the vessel from Sakawe Mining Corporation (Samicor), reports Namibian newspaper New Era.

The vessel, which was sold for N$6 million (R6 million), has operated as a supply vessel to Samicor’s mining fleet, and since 2011 has been used as a seabed sampling and surveying vessel.

Sylvester was previously employed as…

 

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NEW AFRICAN COUNTRY MANAGERS FOR DHL GLOBAL FORWARDING IN AFRICA

DHL banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

DHL Global Forwarding has announced a reorganisation among its managers in a number of African countries.

According to the company this underlines the continent’s importance to DHL Global Forwarding.

The countries affected are Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya and Mozambique.

The Kenya office will be managed by…

 

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ANOTHER RECORD RAILING FOR TRANSNET FREIGHT RAIL

Class 22E electric locomotives of the type transferred from Richards Bay to Rustenburg to assist with the transfer of chrome ore to the port. Picture: Col Andre Kritzinger/Wikipedia Commons, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Class 22E electric locomotives of the type transferred from Richards Bay to Rustenburg to assist with the transfer of chrome ore to the port. Picture: Col Andre Kritzinger/Wikipedia Commons

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has achieved its highest record of railing chrome from mines to the ports, exceeding last financial year’s performance by week 47 of this (fiscal) year.

The TFR team, comprising of the different internal business channels that handle chrome, have railed a record…

 

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** INTERNATIONAL NEWS **
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IMO IMPLEMENTS THE 2020 SULPHUR LIMIT

IMO Headquarters in London, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
IMO Headquarters in London

The 0.50% limit on sulphur in fuel oil on board ships (outside designated emission control areas) will come into effect on 1 January 2020.

Ensuring consistent implementation of the 0.50% requirement was a key item on the agenda of IMO’s Sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) which met last week (5-9 February) at IMO headquarters, London. The meeting looked at how…

 

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BIG BANG ON THAMES

Image shows the divers lifting the bomb from the dock basin with a lifting bag visible. London’s business centre skyline as a backdrop. The device was lying in a bed of dense silt and the first stage of the removal operation was to free the shell from the silt so it could be floated for removal. Timing of removal was dependent on tides. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2018 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Image shows the divers lifting the bomb from the dock basin with a lifting bag visible. London’s business centre skyline as a backdrop. The device was lying in a bed of dense silt and the first stage of the removal operation was to free the shell from the silt so it could be floated for removal. Timing of removal was dependent on tides. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2018 ©

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts yesterday (14 February) detonated a 500kg Second World War bomb found in the River Thames.

The historic ordnance was found in the George V Dock (east London) during pre-planned construction work near London City Airport on Sunday morning (11 February).

Royal Navy divers from the Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2, who are trained bomb disposal experts, were called to the scene to…

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

 

** SPECIAL FEATURE **
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MAYOTTE: THE FRENCH MIGRATION FRONTLINE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF – IRIN

Edward Carver/irin, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

 

by Edward Carver/IRIN

Last month, Ousseni Souffiani’s life was turned upside down. He had lived in a hillside shantytown on the island of Mayotte, but a torrential downpour swept his flimsy home away, killing his wife and four of his children who were sheltering inside.

Like many other Comorian immigrants on Mayotte, a speck of French territory in the Indian Ocean, Souffiani’s home was a banga – made of corrugated sheet metal.

All that was left after the tragedy was an old foam mattress and a refrigerator, half-buried beneath the rubble.

When IRIN met Souffiani several weeks later, he was carrying an empty pot covered in cloth. He and his only surviving child, a six-year-old son, were going to a friend’s to ask for food. “We’re starting over at zero,” he said.

Souffiani had most recently worked as a labourer on a manioc field. But his life, like that of other undocumented migrants who’ve made the dangerous sea crossing from the Comoros – just 90 kilometres away – is a precarious one. They face discrimination, and are fearful of being caught by the government’s deportation machine.

Mayotte was once one of the four main islands in the Comoros, all under French control. But during the decolonisation period in the 1970s, it alone voted to join Paris rather than an independent Comoros, splitting the archipelago.

Despite its far-flung location and Comorian claims to the island, Mayotte has most of the trappings and advantages of an official French department – including membership of the EU.

A mirror image of the Mediterranean

So, just as migrants cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, Comorians cross a thin strip of the Mozambique Channel to reach Mayotte and the chance of a better life, usually on small kwassa kwassa fishing boats.

A banga in the Mayotte capital, Mamoudzou. Picture: Edward Carver/IRIN, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A banga in the Mayotte capital, Mamoudzou. Picture: Edward Carver/IRIN

As in the Mediterranean, these boats are often in poor condition – they are frequently seized, so smugglers don’t use their best vessels – and they are overloaded.

About 7,000-10,000 Comorians – more than one percent of the islands’ population – died on the crossing between 1995 and 2012, according to a report from the French Senate. Many local observers cite higher figures, and the Comorian authorities claim it is “the world’s largest marine cemetery”.

French border patrols catch several kwassa kwassa per night. In most cases, the people on board are deported the very next day. Mayotte has a population of just over 200,000, and yet manages to deport about 20,000 people each year.

Mayotte is exempt from certain French immigration laws, and the border police do not always respect those that do exist. In a report last year, France’s human rights commission condemned the quick deportations in Mayotte, where most migrants don’t even see a lawyer or a judge before expulsion.

The commission wrote that seeking asylum in Mayotte was “mission impossible” and that this “worrying phenomenon” was unique in France. For Comorians, these difficulties are compounded by the fact that they believe themselves to be on their own land when they are on Mayotte.

Social tensions

The people of Mayotte and the Comoros have a common, if complicated, ethnic background, with ancestors arriving over the centuries from Africa, islands in the Pacific, Madagascar, and the Middle East. They also share a language and religion.

Most people on the islands speak some form of the main Comorian language, Shikomori, and adhere to the Shafi’i school of Sunni Islam.

Yet the long-settled Mahorans (people of Mayotte) resent the large presence of other Comorians on their island, which puts pressure on public services. Schools are now full of children from the other islands, and at Mayotte’s main hospital, most of the women giving birth are undocumented migrants.

Mansour Kamardine, one of Mayotte’s two representatives in the French parliament, considers the Comorian presence an “invasion” and regularly bemoans the grand remplacement of his island’s population. In 2016, he said Mayotte was on the verge of a “civil war”. In legislative elections last year, he easily won a seat in Paris.

Comorians wait in line outside the office for foreign affairs in Mayotte. Picture: Edward Carver/IRIN, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Comorians wait in line outside the office for foreign affairs in Mayotte. Picture: Edward Carver/IRIN

Anti-migrant sentiment was also evident in the presidential election a few months earlier. Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right party, received significant support in Mayotte, even though most Mahoran voters are Muslim people of colour – not Le Pen’s normal supporters (only about one percent of Mayotte’s population comes from metropole France).

Le Pen has won popularity here by decrying the influx of migrants and criticising the Comoros. She recently expressed exasperation that the Comoros has the gall to “question the integrity of French territory”.

Some Mahorans refer to all other Comorians, no matter which island they’re from, as mdzwani, a slur derived from the name of the closest Comorian island. In 2016, a series of violent evictions by anti-migrant mobs left Comorians camped out in city squares.

In an online manifesto, one local group claims migrants insult, rape, rob, plunder, and burglarise the people of Mayotte, and disfigure the landscape with their banga huts.

But not all Mahoran agree with this depiction of Comorians. Ambidi Said Mattoir, a Mahoran activist who believes his island should still be part of the Comoros, says that many who speak out against immigration are hypocrites who employ undocumented Comorians in their homes and their fields. Without the labour these migrants provide, the economy might collapse, he told IRIN.

The “Dreamers” of Mayotte

Like undocumented “Dreamers” in the United States, people who were brought to Mayotte at a young age often grow up to find themselves treated like foreigners.

Chakour Ali, a 20-year-old electrician, came to Mayotte with his mother on a kwassa kwassa when he was five. He hasn’t left since. His request for nationality has been pending for more than two years; he’s still awaiting a response.

In the meantime, he can’t work legally or continue his education. He’d like to study electrical engineering. He graduated from high school two years ago, but now that he’s an adult he’s at greater risk of deportation.

If he had papers that would let him come and go, Ali says he would visit his father on Grande Comore. But, having no memory of the island, he has no interest in living there. “I know nothing about the Comoros,” he told IRIN. “I wouldn’t know how to live there.”

Many police on Mayotte are from metropole France. Picture Edward Carver/IRIN, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Many police on Mayotte are from metropole France. Picture Edward Carver/IRIN

Closing borders and opening up divisions

France helped create the tensions now visible among the Comorian population.

In the 1970s, the Comoros voted for independence, but France retroactively interpreted the vote island by island – a way of holding onto Mayotte, the one island that had voted against independence.

In splitting the Comoros, France violated a UN mandate and an agreement with the Comoros to respect existing boundaries during decolonisation. This led the UN to repeatedly condemn France’s occupation of Mayotte, including in a resolution from 1976, just after the split.

In 1995, France introduced a “Balladur” visa requirement for Comorians wishing to travel to Mayotte. The visa was expensive and required an invitation from a Mayotte resident, so most Comorians turned to the kwassa kwassa, and the death toll started to climb.

Billboards in the Comoros proclaim that “Mayotte is Comorian and always will be”, “Balladur visa = legalised genocide”, “[International] law is flouted in the Comoros”, and so on.

Over the decades, France upgraded Mayotte’s status, with the support of the Mahoran people, who consistently voted for closer ties to France. But some activists say the referendums were masquerades controlled by France and influenced by French propaganda.

In 2011, in order to fulfill a campaign promise by then-president Nicolas Sarkozy, France made Mayotte a full overseas department – a move that enraged Comorians. Last year, current French President Emmanuel Macron made an insensitive joke about the kwassa kwassa boats, causing another diplomatic row with the Comoros.

Yet in September, a new French policy seemed possible: Paris announced a “road map” to opening up travel restrictions between the Comoros and Mayotte so that people would stop risking their lives to make the treacherous journey.

However, many Mahoran protested the plan, seeing it as too soft on illegal immigration. The original road map has now been scrapped and the Balladur visa requirement remains in place, the Mayotte prefecture told IRIN in an email.

Nowhere to go

After the accident in which Souffiani lost his family, his entire shantytown was deemed unsafe. The local government forced everyone out of their banga. However, for most people, including Souffiani, emergency housing was provided for only three weeks (for documented residents, it was three months).

Several people in the community told IRIN they had nowhere to go; they just wanted to return to their banga. Though these huts seem makeshift in construction, many are hooked up to the electricity grid, and some families have televisions and refrigerators. Souffiani will have to rely on his friends until he can once again afford such amenities.

As a young man, he crossed to Mayotte and spent years saving money, then went back to the Comoros to start a business selling clothes. But customs fees, corruption, and political instability derailed his business – the Comoros has endured more than 20 coup d’états in the four decades since independence.

Souffiani and his family ended up on a kwassa kwassa back to Mayotte so the children could receive a good education. That education is what he still wants for his six-year-old boy. “His future is what’s on my mind,” he explained simply.

The original report can be found by CLICKING HERE

 

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ROTTERDAM PORT FUND AND INNOVATIONQUARTER STRENGTHEN GROWTH

McNetiq team, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

McNetiq BV Investor Rotterdam Port Fund and InnovationQuarter have acquired a majority interest in McNetiq BV, a Rotterdam technology company that has placed an innovative magnet anchoring on the market.

McNetiq, founded in 2014, offers the patented and award-winning Controlock technology.

This magnet application is the most secure, cost-efficient, durable and flexible temporary steel connection without the use of (temporary) welds. The Controlock is the first magnet that an be tested and used on different surfaces. It offers considerable advantages compared to traditional steel connections, such as drilling and welding.

McNetiq is ready to launch their product on a larger scale. Participation in the World Port Accelerator PortXL in 2017 contributed to the acceleration of the development and professionalising of the company and was followed by the entry of the Rotterdam Port Fund.

The company McNetiq fits the investment profile of the Rotterdam Port Fund.

“The potential of the Controlock technology has been proven and extensively tested,” says Frans van der Harst of the Rotterdam Port Fund.  “We are excited to support the company in their ambition to apply the technology internationally to many new products to be developed, in different market segments.”

“We are very happy with our new partners,” says director Willem van der Graaf of McNetiq. With this investment, we can further strengthen our organisation and give the product development a powerful boost. It’s also nice to see that the innovation ecosystem works in Rotterdam.”

“We have been in touch with McNetiq for a long time and see enormous potential in this technology. It’s fantastic to see that the company will make a growth spurt with this investment. WE will support the company’s growth from our wide range of activities,” says Francis Quint, Head of Capital at InnovationQuarter.

 

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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.

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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CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES


QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.

 

Naval News

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.

 

PICS OF THE DAY : IONIC UNICORN

Ionic Unicorn at Durban. Picture: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Ionic Unicorn. at Durban Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ionic Unicorn. Pictures: Keith Betts

The name alone is enough to warrant a second look and even if the ship lacks the smooth more graceful lines of others of her kind, from a sheer practical aspect the ship’s ‘looks’ indicate practicality and perhaps efficiency. The Greek-owned and operated bulker IONIC UNICORN (IMO 974 7429) is shown arriving in Durban earlier this month. Owned and managed by Ionic Shipping of Athens, Greece, the 60,411-dwt ship is 199-metres in length and 32m wide and was built in 2016 at the Mitsui Shipyard in Japan. The self-geared Ionic Unicorn is registered in the Marshall islands. These pictures are by Keith Betts

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Love did not have to make sense. It did not have to be worthy. It did not have to be earned. It did not have to woo. It just simply was.”
― Mary Balogh, Then Comes Seduction

 

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