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Thursday, October 17, 2019

West Africa News

Photo: ITF

ITF Expands into Asia Pacific

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has established its latest Contacts Network, covering Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Thailand.ITF has seen a significant increase in seafarers requesting assistance from countries without an inspector or contact, in recent years.Attempting to resolve these requests is often challenging due to several factors, including the local political context and the effectiveness…

file image (credit: AdobeStock / © dbvirago

U.S. Sanctions Deal Blow to LSFO for 'IMO 2020'

Highly sought after types of oil best suited to making cleaner shipping fuel are suddenly finding they are a tougher sell for thirsty East Asian markets, traders say, in an unintended consequence of U.S. sanctions on a Chinese shipping fleet.With just over two months until environmental rules are set to mandate the biggest changes to ship power in over a century, certain rare types of West African oil have soared in value but have had to be marked down due to the higher costs of transport.The United States imposed sanctions on units of China's COSCO on Sept.

Map: CMA CGM

CMA CGM Set to Launch Guinea Gulf Express

French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM plans to introduce its new product GUINEA GULF EXPRESS (GGX) service in complement of the current 6 weekly services as part of improving its  offer on the trade Europe and Mediterranean to West Africa strategic markets.The new Guinea Gulf Express is the second service from Gibraltar hubs linking European, Med and North America to Tema, Ghana, Nigeria Lagos port and Conakry, Guinea.It will provide perfect answers to Customers’ needs with transit times amongst the best on the market…

File image of a typical DP World terminal operation. CREDIT: DP World

DP World’s Topaz, P&O Merger Complete by Year-end

Port operator DP World's planned merger of its P&O Maritime and recently acquired Topaz Energy and Marine businesses is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Topaz CEO Rene Kofod-Olsen said on Monday.DP World bought Dubai-based oil services company Topaz in July with the intention of combining it with P&O Maritime as part of efforts to diversify beyond its core port operations to other marine-related sectors.The merged entity, to be known simply as P&O, will give Topaz…

Image by Liebherr-MCCtec Rostock GmbH

BP Orders BOS 2600 Offshore Crane

Ship cranes manufacturer Liebherr-MCCtec Rostock GmbH together with China's Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard signed a contract concerning the delivery of a board offshore crane, type BOS 2600.The German maritime cranes maker said BP will use the crane for supply and maintenance tasks on a jack-up accommodation platform off the coast of West Africa.The BOS 2600 is a compact and function-orientated crane design within the well-known Liebherr Offshore crane series and therefore the ideal solutions for platforms where space on deck is limited.“Because of the particular requirements of this project…

Image: Topaz Energy and Marine

Topaz Revenue Climbs

Revenue of Topaz Energy and Marine of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the six-month period of 2019 was $235 million, an increase of 56% compared to H1 2018.Dubai-based offshore vessel operator’s first-half net income also surged to $42 million from a $4m loss recorded at the end of first six months of 2018.Earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization rose by 83 percent to $141m in the first half.The global ports operator DP World acquired Topaz from Oman's…

Pic: Port of Rotterdam

Nansha Doubles Direct Sailings to Rotterdam

The deep-water port of Nansha in Guangzhou, a city of 15 million people in the vicinity of Hong Kong, has doubled the number of direct connections with North Europe and West Africa, following the arrival of the Elly Maersk.The Elly Maersk departed from Nansha for Rotterdam on 28 July; the first departure of the new 2M service, doubling the number of direct departures from Nansha to Rotterdam. The Ocean Alliance also already has direct connections with this fastest growing port in the south of China.Nansha port started international departures ten years ago…

Port of Nansha, the deep sea port of Guangzhou, has now 4 direct sailings connecting Europe. Image: © portofnansha.com

Chinese Port Doubles Direct Connection with Europe

The deep water port on the shore of the Pearl river (aka Zhujiang River), in the Nansha District in the Southern China, Port of Nansha doubled direct connection with North Europe and West Africa.The first navigation ceremony was held at the dock site on  July 28, as the first sailing of Elly Maersk in port of Nansha marked a new upgrade of AE7/CONDOR of 2M alliance from Asia to Europe.On this service 2M alliance deploy 12 vessels of 14 to 18 thousand TEU, calling Nansha on every Sunday.

Pic: Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority.

Tema Port T3 Welcomes First Cargo Vessel

The first commercial vessel, Maersk Cape Coast has docked at the Terminal 3 at Tema Port after 3 years of expansion and modernization works to complete the first two berths.The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, which operates the harbor is located along the Gulf of Guinea, said that with the state-of-the-art technology and equipment, 1,427 containers were discharged and 730 containers loaded.Incidentally, Maersk Cape Coast was inaugurated and christened at the port of Tema in 2011.

Map: Ocean Network Express

ONE Offers New African Service

Container lines Ocean Network Express (ONE) is launching a new service covering Africa, India and the Middle East (AIM).The new product will broaden ONE’s already expansive global coverage by offering direct port calls between West Africa, South Africa and key locations in West Asia.The new service will offer market leading transit times between the West Asian ports of Jebel Ali, Mundra, Nhava Sheva and Colombo and African ports of Durban, Cape Town, Tema, Tincan and Apapa.The AIM Service…

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd Launches New Africa Service

Hapag-Lloyd is expanding its African liner services and will offer its MIAX (Middle East-India-Africa Express) service starting in October 2019. It will include direct connections between the Arabian Gulf, India, Colombo (Sri Lanka), La Réunion, South Africa and West Africa.MIAX is integrated into the Global Mainline Network with the central ports Jebel Ali (Dubai) and Colombo. Hapag-Lloyd will operate MIAX jointly with Ocean Network Express.

Graphics: IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC)

Piracy: West Africa, World's Most Dangerous Seas

The seas off West Africa's coastline are now the most dangerous in the world for shipping, the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest report revealed.According to the report, of the 75 seafarers taken hostage onboard or kidnapped for ransom worldwide so far this year, 62 were captured in the Gulf of Guinea – off the coasts of Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Cameroon.The IMB Piracy Reporting Center (IMB PRC) recorded 78 incidents of piracy worldwide and armed robbery against ships in the first half of 2019, compared with 107 incidents for the same period of 2018.

Photo: DP World

DP World Set to Acquire Topaz Energy

The world’s largest port operator DP World is in advanced discussions to acquire Topaz Energy & Marine, marking the Dubai-based company's first potential foray into the oil and gas industry.Britain’s Sky News, citing sources, earlier reported that a $1.3 billion deal for DP World to take over Topaz could be announced as early as Monday. The report didn't specify whether the valuation was referring to the equity or enterprise value of the transaction.However, Bloomberg reported that the port operator is in “very advanced” discussions to acquire Topaz Energy.

Photo: ICS

ICS Launches Annual Review

In advance of its AGM in the Faroe Islands next week, the global trade association for shipowners, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has launched its Annual Review 2019, providing in-depth insight into the most pressing issues confronting shipping, which moves about 90% of global trade.ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson, explains:  “The immediate focus of ICS is the successful implementation of the UN IMO global sulphur cap, which will take complete effect on January 1. ICS…

Image: APM Terminals

APM Terminals Boosts Nigerian Agri-Export

The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) has invested in a new container freight station (CFS) at the Port of Onne, Nigeria.The 1,520m2 facility - the first of its kind in East Nigeria - provides Nigerian farmers with an opportunity to grow their business by exporting goods such as cashew nuts and sesame seeds.While the country has long been associated with the oil industry, it is estimated that more than 22% of the country's GDP is generated from agriculture. "A government drive to encourage exports…

Photo courtesy of Konecranes

Konecranes Cranes for Winning Int'l Group

A fleet of specially-designed, durable and productive Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Cranes is enhancing supply chain efficiency for Winning International Group.The cranes play a critical role in Winning International Group’s supply chain, by loading 30,000 tonnes per day of bauxite from feeder barges onto a mother vessel, ready for shipment between China and West Africa.“Our Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Cranes have proven themselves in a rough open-sea environment. They have been custom-tailored to our bauxite handling application…

(Photo: Topaz Energy & Marine)

Overcoming Local Crew Challenges

Dubai headquartered offshore support vessel (OSV) company Topaz Energy & Marine provides marine solutions to the global energy industry with primary focus on the Caspian, Middle East, West Africa and Subsea operations in the North Sea and Gulf of MexicoIn 2017, Topaz awarded Worldwide Recruitment Solutions (WRS) a contract as sole provider of managed services, which saw the UK based workforce solutions provider undertake crew management responsibilities for five vessels, all Topaz owned and operated…

© F. Ybancos / MarineTraffic.com

Missing Tanker Docks in Togo after Suspected Hijacking

A tanker with 19 crew members on board has docked at a port in Togo after going missing for over a week in a suspected hijacking off the West African coast, the crew's agency said on Friday.The Ialkani agency and the ship's managers lost communication with the Panama-registered Pantelena on August 14, when it was about 17 miles (27 km) from the port of Libreville, in Gabon.Two Russian nationals and 17 Georgians were aboard the vessel, a dual purpose oil or chemicals tanker managed by Athens-based Lotus Shipping.

Image: UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

The USD1trln African Maritime Industry Mulls Further Growth

The blue economy can be the engine of economic growth, the basis of socio-economic development and industrialization for many African countries, if well utilized.The maritime industry, for example, is estimated at over $1 trillion, and there are other related and emerging sectors of tourism, offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, seabed extractive industries, marine biotechnology and bio prospecting.Said Adejumobi, Southern Africa Director, UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said that  the Economic Commission for Africa is fully committed to supporting the African Union…

Pic: Seacor Marine

Seacor Marine Acquires Three Fast Support Vessels

U.S. offshore vessel owner Seacor Marine  has acquired of three fast support vessels (FSVs) in exchange for the private placement of 603,872 shares of its common stock to domestic U.S. holders affiliated with the McCall family of Louisiana.The provider of global marine and support transportation services to offshore oil and natural gas and windfarm facilities worldwide has operated the acquired vessels for the past ten years under a revenue sharing pooling agreement along with four of its owned FSVs of similar specification.As part of the transaction, this pooling agreement was terminated.

Pic:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

West Africa to Promote Electronic Data Exchange for Vessels

Ships and ports will need to be able to exchange arrival and departure data electronically from April 2019, under International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Facilitation Convention said a press note.There requirements also encourage the use of a single window in which all the many agencies and authorities involved exchange data via a single point of contact. Training in the treaty requirements took place during national seminars in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (13-15 November) and in Nouakchott, Mauritania (20-22 November).

© Gudellaphoto / Adobe Stock

Unipec Suspends US Oil Imports as Trade Spat Intensifies

China's Unipec, the trading arm of state oil major Sinopec, has suspended crude oil imports from the United States due to a growing trade spat between Washington and Beijing, three sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.The sources declined to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media.It is not clear how long the temporary halt will last, but one of the sources said Unipec has no new bookings of U.S. crude until at least October.Unipec and Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner and biggest buyer of U.S.

Pic: Forth Ports

Tilbury Port to Capitalise on Opportunities to Boost Trade

Tilbury Port and the people that work there will play a major role in helping the UK to increase international trade after we leave the European Union.International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox visited Tilbury Port  to meet with port workers and management, as well as members of the Tilbury on the Thames Trust.Tilbury is the fastest growing port in the UK and a £1 billion investment programme will see the port employing 9,000 people by 2020, 3 times more than it did in 2012. One…

Pic:  International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB)

Global Piracy Up in 2018, Gulf of Guinea Leads

Piracy increased on the world’s seas in 2018, with a marked rise in attacks against ships and crews around West Africa, the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest annual piracy report reveals.Worldwide, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017.The Gulf of Guinea remains increasingly dangerous for seafarers. Reports of attacks in waters between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo more than doubled in 2018…

Image: Monjasa

Monjasa Moves Bunker Tanker to Panama

Danish bunker group Monjasa has transferred a ship from West Africa to Panama, where it carried out its first fuel supply off the coast of Balboa."As part of a fleet reshuffle, Accra arrived in Panama after forming part of Monjasa’s West Africa bunker operation. The tanker fast received all safety and operational approvals from the Panama Maritime Authorities and completed her first fuel supply at Balboa Anchorage on 18 January," said a statement from the marine fuels supplier.Accra is a 2010-built and 8,800 dwt tanker.

Pic: Norden

Norden Expands into West Africa

Danish shipping giant Norden is opening an office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, as part of the Company’s continued global expansion.The office will generate new business and focus on contributing positively to the development of the region, the dry bulk and tanker owner said in a press release.“Norden opens offices and employs people with a long-term horizon and that is also the case for our move into West Africa. We wish to come even closer to our business partners and increase our business presence and at the same time be part of and help the region develop by investing manpower…