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16 Apr 2018

The CMA CGM Group and Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise sign a Memorandum of Agreement to operate Lekki Port’s future container terminal (Nigeria)

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"* Lekki Port: Nigeria’s first deep sea port and Sub-Saharan Africa’s deepest port * A strategic choice for the development of CMA CGM’s operations in Africa’s largest economy and West Africa’s first consumer market * CMA CGM, second shipping company in Nigeria and on the African market The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in maritime transport, and Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE), the promoters of Lekki Deep Sea Port, are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement to operate Lekki Port’s future container terminal. Located in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, the future Lekki Deep Sea Port will be developed, built and operated by LPLE, a joint venture enterprise led by the Tolaram Group, the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority. As the container terminal operator, CMA CGM, through its subsidiary CMA Terminals, will be responsible for marketing, operations and maintenance of the container terminal at Lekki Deep Sea Port. Lekki port, Nigeria’s first deep-sea port Upon completion in 2020, Lekki port will have 2 container berths and will be Nigeria’s first deep sea port. Speaking about this development, Navin Nahata, Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise, described the signing of the agreement with the CMA CGM Group as another step in the right direction towards the actualization of the Port, which would become the deepest port in Sub-Saharan Africa. “We are excited about this development because CMA Terminals is a world class port operator and can be relied upon to provide international port standard delivery services at par with most modern ports around the world to the Nigerian port customers” he said. On this occasion, Farid T. Salem, Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, declared: “We are pleased to sign this Memorandum of Agreement with LPLE to operate Lekki Port’s container terminal. As Nigeria’s first deep sea port, Lekki Port represents a strategic choice for the CMA CGM Group. Thanks to its position and capacity, Lekki Port will allow us to bring to Nigeria larger container ships from Europe and Asia to better serve our customers and pursue our commitment to the development of the entire region. With CMA CGM’s unique service offering and expertise combined with our logistics and inland services, our presence in Lekki Port will benefit the entire Nigerian supply chain and market as well as neighboring countries.” The Federal Government of Nigeria recently pledged its total support to the Lekki Port project during the official flag-off ceremony by President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. A strategic choice for the CMA CGM Group’s development in West Africa The choice of Lekki Port, which will aid the reduction of congestion in the port of Lagos, is fully in line with the CMA CGM Group’s development in the region. Lekki Port’s container terminal will allow the Group to develop its presence into West Africa’s first consumer market and will serve as a transshipment hub, especially to neighboring countries like Togo and Benin. Upon completion, the container terminal will be equipped with a 1,200-meter-long quay as well as 13 quay cranes and will have a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units). With its 16-meter depth, it will allow the Group to deploy ships with a capacity of up to 14,000 TEUs. Operations are planned to start end of 2020. CMA CGM, a partner of the development of Sub-Saharan Africa The CMA CGM Group is highly committed to the development of port infrastructure on the African continent where it is the second largest shipping company. The Group is particularly present in Sub-Saharan Africa with a network of 75 agencies and nearly 1,400 experts. In the region, the Group operates 30 services thanks to a fleet of 87 ships calling at 248 ports."

10 Apr 2018

Pirate attacks worsen in Gulf of Guinea

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"A surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa is pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, warns the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB's Piracy Reporting Centre recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016. Worldwide in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks. The Gulf of Guinea accounts for 29 incidents in 2018 Q1, more than forty percent of the global total. Of the 114 seafarers captured worldwide, all but one were in this region. All four vessels hijackings were in the Gulf of Guinea, where no hijackings were reported in 2017. Two product tankers were hijacked from Cotonou anchorage in mid-January and early February, prompting the IMB PRC to issue a warning to ships. Towards the end of March, two fishing vessels were hijacked 30nm off Nigeria and 27nm off Ghana. “The hijacking of product tankers from anchorages in the Gulf of Guinea is a cause of concern. In these cases, the intent of the perpetrators is to steal the oil cargo and kidnap crew. The prompt detection and response to any unauthorised movements of an anchored vessel could help in the effective response to such attacks,” commented an IMB spokesperson. Nigeria piracy hotspot Nigeria alone recorded 22 incidents. Of the 11 vessels fired upon worldwide, eight were off Nigeria – including a 300,000 MT deadweight VLCC tanker more than 40nm off Brass. “Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea are against all vessels. Crews have been taken hostage and kidnapped from fishing and refrigerated cargo vessels as well as product tankers. In some cases, the attacks have been avoided by the early detection of an approaching skiff, evasive action taken by the vessel and the effective use of citadels. The IMB is working with national and regional authorities in the Gulf of Guinea to support ships and coordinate counter piracy actions. The authorities from Benin, Nigeria and Togo have sent out boats in response to several incidents,” said an IMB spokesperson. Somalia risk remains One incident was reported off Somalia, where a product tanker was fired upon and chased by two skiffs around 160nm SE of Hobyo. At the end of March, a 160,000 DWT tanker reported being fired upon in the Gulf of Aden, while transiting within the Maritime Security Transit Corridor. The distance from land, sighting of ladders and firing upon ships continues to illustrate that the Somali pirates retain the capability and intent to attack merchant shipping in the wider Indian Ocean. Indonesia Indonesia recorded nine low level attacks against anchored vessels. Five bulk carriers reported actual or attempted attacks at Muara Berau anchorage in Samarinda, while waiting to load coal cargoes. IMB Piracy Reporting Centre Since 1991 the IMB PRC’s 24-hour manned centre has provided the maritime industry, governments and response agencies with timely and transparent data on piracy and armed robbery incidents – received directly from the Master of the vessel or its owners. The IMB PRC’s prompt forwarding of reports and liaison with response agencies, its broadcasts to shipping via Inmarsat Safety Net Services and email alerts to CSOs, all provided free of cost, has helped the response against piracy and armed robbery and the security of seafarers, globally. IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB PRC. This first step in the response chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle piracy. Transparent statistics from an independent, non-political, international organization can act as a catalyst to achieve this goal."

25 Mar 2018

"DP World Wins 30-Year Concession for Greenfield Port of Banana in the Democratic Republic of the Congo "

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"* Multi-purpose facility to serve as the first deep-water port in the country * Initial investment of $350 million in first phase over 24- month period DP World has won a 30-year concession with an option of a further 20-year extension for the management and development of a greenfield multi-purpose port project at Banana, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Port of Banana will be the first deep-sea port in the country along its small coastline of 37 kilometres, which currently only has the riverine port of Matadi. DP World will set up a joint venture with 70% control, and the government of DRC holding a 30% share, to manage and invest in the Port of Banana. The first phase of the greenfield project, with an estimated initial investment of $350 million, will include a 600-metre quay and 25-hectare yard extension with a container capacity of 350,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) and 1.5 million tonnes for general cargo. Construction is expected to start in 2018 and is expected to take approximately 24 months to complete. The initial investment of $350 million will be spread over 24 months and the total project cost of more than $1 billion over four phases will be dependent on market demand for the port, industrial and logistics zone infrastructure. The development gives the Democratic Republic of the Congo the opportunity to be connected into global trade lanes, to have access to a wide range of global markets and to reduce its dependency on the neighbouring countries’ ports. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “We are delighted to extend our African footprint further with a major investment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is Africa’s third-most populous country but has no direct deep-sea port. Investment in this deep-water port will have a major impact on the country’s trade with significant cost and time savings, attracting more direct calls from larger vessels from Asia and Europe, and ultimately acting as a catalyst for the growth of the country and the region’s economy. “DP World has become a major player in Africa and the Port of Banana will contribute to our global network and continued growth in the developing markets. We are confident that this investment will deliver attractive returns to shareholders over the longer-term and we look forward to bringing DP World’s world class productivity-enhancing, security, safety and environmental best practices in container terminal development and operation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Jose Makila Sumanda, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Transport and Communications, Democratic Republic of the Congo, said: “We are excited to partner with DP World on this landmark project. The Port of Banana will offer the first deep-water port to the Democratic Republic of the Congo that will dramatically improve the cost and time of trade as the majority of the cargo is still handled by neighbouring countries. “The project will provide us with a first-class marine facility comparable to other African countries in terms of capacity, draft and ability to handle the latest generation of vessels. “The country was waiting for this strategic and structural project for a long time. We are confident that with DP World as a partner, we will be able to meet the expectations of our people, traders and exporters to have access to more markets and to bring more efficiency and cost effectiveness to international trade.” "

23 Mar 2018

Liberian Registry, NAMEPA and ProSea launch environmental training program

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"The Liberian Registry, the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), Netherlands-based ProSea Marine Education, and Maritime Training Services (MTS) of Seattle, Washington, have jointly developed a ground-breaking marine environmental awareness training program for seafarers and shoreside staff. The computer-based training program provides a comprehensive overview of the complex and diverse marine environment, explaining how it is impacted by shipboard waste, discharge and spills, and by shipping generally. It also covers marine ecology, environmental compliance plans and management systems, sustainable shipping and the role of the human element in pollution prevention. In addition, it provides an overview of MARPOL regulations and other relevant IMO conventions, emphasizing the importance of regulatory compliance in general. Christian Mollitor, vice-president of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, says, “This program provides the training that seafarers and shoreside staff need in an era of strict environmental compliance and oversight. “Environmental performance, regulatory compliance and safety awareness all play a vital role in the commercial success of every company engaged in the shipping industry. In keeping with its reputation as the most technologically advanced maritime administration in the world, and as part of its corporate social responsibility program, the Liberian Registry is delighted to have worked with NAMEPA, ProSea and MTS in producing this program, which provides a framework for individuals to take an active role in balancing economic prosperity, environmental quality and social awareness in the shipping industry.” Joe Hughes, Chairman of NAMEPA, says, “This program is an excellent example of a successful collaboration to protect the marine environment. Leveraging the strengths of strong partners limits the adverse impact of shipping on the environment and is a powerful step in NAMEPA’s commitment to its mission to Save Our Seas.” The marine environmental awareness training is suitable for use by those with a vested interest in protecting the marine environment, including all seafaring and port personnel and all office-based maritime industry staff. It is based on the IMO model course 1.38 and meets the requirements of STCW Chapter VI. Liberia will issue a special qualification (SQ) certificate in Basic Environmental Awareness to anyone who successfully completes the course and submits an application and training certificate. Seafarers will receive an SQ sticker for their Seafarer’s Identification & Record Books. Shoreside personnel and cruise ship crew will be issued an SQ card."

16 Mar 2018

Somaliland rejects Somalia stance on DP World deal

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"The President of Somaliland on Saturday dismissed Somalia's move banning the UAE ports operator DP World from developing Berbera Port, saying Mogadishu has no jurisdiction over the matter. ""Somaliland is an independent sovereign country with a long democratic tradition. We will not allow any outside forces to interfere in our internal issues,"" President Muse Behi Abdi said in Dubai. Abdi, who was accompanied by five ministers, told the media that there is ""no authority other than the elected representatives of the country to decide on its internal affairs. He said the agreement signed between the UAE ports operator DP World and the Ethiopian Government to acquire a 19 per cent stake in Berbera Port is lawful and binding. ""As a sovereign and independent state, Somaliland has right to enter agreements, and does not allow others to meddle with its rights."" Asked what would happen in a worst- case scenario of Somalia sticking with its position of denouncing the port deal, terming the tri-party agreement unconstitutional, null, and void, Abdi said ""nothing will happen."" The project will go as planned and will be completed within two years, he added. The Parliament of Somaliland approved the partnership with DP World in 2016, paving the way for the UAE's port operator to invest $442 million to rebuild the Port of Berbera and manage it through a 30-year concession. Recently, both countries agreed to give 19 per cent stake in the project to Ethiopia. The president said the present agreement is nothing new. ""It is an extension of the agreement entered into between the Republic of Somaliland and DP World and approved by the parliament."" Abdi said since Somaliland's union with Somalia did not work, his country decided to stay out of the union in May 1991. ""Since then, Somaliland has succeeded in building a democratic, stable state where people elect their president and parliament in free and fair elections. It has the constitutional right and the capacity to enter into treaties and agreements with other nations and international companies which it does. Somalia has no jurisdiction over Somaliland, which is a sovereign state,"" said Abdi. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Saad Ali Shire said it was very unfortunate that Somalia's parliament is trying to create a controversy over the issue despite all problems the country faces. They are trying to block a development which is needed by every country in the continent, including Somalia."" On Thursday, DP World, which is also embroiled in a separate dispute over its operations at the Port of Djibouti, said it is committed to the Somaliland port agreement and is going ahead with the development as planned. DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said the Dubai-based ports operators is concerned by the decision by the Somalia parliament. Last week, the Somali Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport said Mogadishu was not a party to the agreement which it termed as defective. ""This so-called agreement is both defective and detrimental to the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the unity of the country,"" the Ministry said. Somalia's Upper House of Parliament on Thursday approved legislation banning the UAE ports operator DP World from operating anywhere in the Horn of Africa country. The new bill awaits now the ascension of the President of the Federal Government of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who will sign it into law that finally forces the DP World out of Somalia. The Somalia parliamentary vote comes about a week after Somaliland hit back against the Somalian prime minister's March 2 statement declaring ""null and void"" a deal by the region and DP World to grant a stake in the Port development to Ethiopia. According to the original deal announced on March 1, Ethiopia will become a 19 per cent shareholder in the Port of Berbera, with DP World controlling 51 per cent stake in the project. Somaliland will hold the remaining 30 per cent. The government of landlocked Ethiopia will also invest in infrastructure to develop the Berbera Corridor as a trade gateway to the port, according to the agreement. Mogadishu however is contesting the manner in which the deal was reached between. The Somalian Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport dismissed the agreement as ""defective"" in a statement in the first week of March, saying the Somalian government was not party to the agreement. Development of the Berbera corridor is expected to address some of the region's most pressing employment and investment issues. DP World plans to build an additional berth in line with the Berbera masterplan as part of its concession agreement, and earlier this month said it had signed the final agreement with the Government of Dubai to develop a 12 square kilometre greenfield economic free zone in Somaliland to complement growth of the port."

06 Mar 2018

OSM looks to boost Mozambique maritime education as part of UN Global Compact commitment

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"OSM Maritime Group is aiming to make the shipping industry accessible to all as part of its pioneering involvement in the UN Global Compact (UNGC) initiative. The ship management company, which provides tailored services to over 500 vessels worldwide, has signed a MOU to re-launch the Mozambican Higher School of Nautical Sciences. It is also actively working to increase the number of females in its global pool of 11,000 qualified seafarers. OSM is one of the first companies in the ship management segment to join the UNGC. The Norwegian-headquartered business has now submitted an initial report detailing its desire to set new industry standards, with a focus on the four key UNGC areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environmental Protection, and Anti-Corruption. As ‘quality education’ is a UN Sustainable Development Goal prioritised by OSM, the Mozambican project is, according to CEO Geir Sekkesaeter, a perfect fit. “There’s a demand for skilled seafarers in Mozambique, but a ‘competence gap’ with regards to the local workforce,” Sekkesaeter states. “The developing coastal shipping network, fishing sector and the logistical needs of the offshore hydrocarbon industry have created real opportunity for Mozambicans, but they need the required competence. “Through this MOU, OSM Africa will draw up a viability study for re-launching the school and transforming it into a centre of excellence for maritime training. We strongly believe that quality education is a cornerstone of developing a sustainable industry that rewards all stakeholders – in Mozambique and worldwide. This kind of investment fits not just with our UNGC goals, but also with the OSM way of doing business.” The company will now use the next four months conducting the feasibility study for the Maputo-based facility. OSM joined the UNGC in 2017. All OSM offices have supported and contributed to the overall UNGC reporting, which addresses ten defining principles with qualitative assessments to gauge compliance. “It’s been an enlightening project,” Sekkesaeter notes, “highlighting areas where we excel, such as worldwide community CSR projects and upholding labour principles, and others where we need to improve, such as increasing female participants in our trainee seafarer programmes. “Overall, the reporting provides a deep level analysis of our entire organisation and will form a strong foundation for an on-going process of improvement. As such it’s an invaluable business tool, as well as a force for positive, responsible and ethical development.” As a demonstration of this, OSM is already working to address its perceived lack of female seafarers. Over the course of the next year the organisation will launch internal and external campaigns to raise awareness of employment opportunities for female crew, highlight existing success stories, and campaign for greater inclusion and equality across the wider maritime industry. “Awareness of UNGC and the need to abide by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals is growing,” Sekkesaeter concludes, “and we’re proud to be leading the way for the ship management segment in this regard. We’d encourage all major maritime businesses, and ship management firms, to sign up to the scheme and help build a sustainable future for our industry.” OSM provides a comprehensive range of bespoke solutions for its customer base – ranging from complete ship management and all-inclusive arrangements to individual value-added services, such as crewing, procurement, accounting and insurance. In the past year the company has grown significantly."

06 Mar 2018

Djibouti signs port deal with Singapore-based Pacific International Lines

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"Just weeks after DP World accused the Government of Djibouti of illegally seizing control of the Doraleh Container Terminal a new contract has been signed with Singapore's Pacific International Lines (PIL). Djibouti Ports & Free Zones Authority said Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company had inked an agreement with PIL. It said that the agreement with the Singapore-owned shipowner would increase its volumes by 33%. “This agreement is a first important step towards Doraleh Container Terminal fulfilling its capacity potential,” the ports authority said. The Government of Djibouti cancelled the previous contract for Doraleh Container Terminal with DP World on 22 February this following a dispute over the concession that had lasted six years. Among the issues with DP World the government cited the port only reaching 57% of its total volume since 2008, and the Dubai-headquartered terminal operator developing competing ports in the nearby region.Djibouti’s Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company has signed a deal with Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL) to raise by a third the amount of cargo handled at the port, the country’s Ports and Zones Authority said on Tuesday. The agreement is expected to raise performance at the Doraleh Container Terminal, allowing it to handle an extra 300,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEU) annually, the authority said, without providing any further details. Last month, Djibouti ended its contract with Dubai’s DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, to run the Doraleh Container Terminal, citing failure to resolve a dispute that began in 2012. [nL8N1QC6D5] DP World called the move an illegal seizure of the terminal and said it had begun new arbitration proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration, which last year cleared DP World of all charges of misconduct over the concession to run the terminal. The Doraleh terminal has a capacity of 1.6 million TEUs per year. “This agreement is a first important step towards Doraleh Container Terminal fulfilling its capacity potential,” the ports authority said. PIL is one of Asia’s biggest shipping companies, ranked “11th amongst the top container ship operators in the world,”, it said on its website."

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