West Africa News

13 Jan 2021

Maritime Security: Neo-colonialism in the Gulf of Guinea

© Lucia / Adobe Stock

Is neo-colonialism in the Gulf of Guinea the answer to West Africa’s maritime crime crisis?In October 2020, China’s transport ministry established an ad hoc workgroup to lay down precautionary measures for ships and seafarers passing through high piracy risk West African waters.The move came as China told its vessels to up vigilance and implement a series of precautionary measures to ensure the security of ocea-going vessels and seafarers amid rising attacks and a surge in kidnaps in the Gulf of Guinea.Plans outlined by Wu Chungeng…

11 Jan 2021

Gambia Seizes Huge Cocaine Haul from Shipping Container

© Hor / Adobe Stock

Gambian authorities seized nearly three tonnes of cocaine from a shipment of industrial salt originating in Ecuador, a spokesman said on Friday, in one of the largest ever busts in West Africa.The 118 bags of cocaine were discovered on Thursday during a search of a container shipped from the port of Guayaquil in Ecuador and through Algeciras in Spain, said Ousman Saidybah, a spokesman for Gambia’s drug enforcement agency.It was not clear where the cocaine was ultimately headed.

08 Jan 2021

In Sub-Saharan Africa's First, Ghana Takes Delivery of Offshore LNG Terminal

Illustration - Credit: Helios Investment Partners

Ghana has taken delivery of sub-Saharan Africa's first offshore receiving terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG), allowing it to start delivering LNG to customers in the first quarter of this year, the terminal's operator said.Tema LNG, which is backed by UK-based Helios Investment Partners, said in a statement that a floating regasification unit (FRU) built by a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation arrived in Ghana on Thursday.Shell will supply the LNG under a long-term contract…

18 Dec 2020

Siem Offshore Loses Offshore Vessel Contract in Canada

Siem Pilot/ Credit: Dean Porter - MarineTraffic

Norwegian offshore vessel operator Siem Offshore has seen a platform supply vessel contract in Canada terminated almost two years ahead of the expected contract expiration.The company said Friday that its Canadian subsidiary Secunda Canada had received a notice of early termination of the charter party for the vessel Siem Pilot."The original charter period expires in November 2022. Secunda Canada LP will be entitled to an early termination fee," Siem Offshore said. According to available information…

11 Dec 2020

2020 OSV Update: Laid Up and Beginning To Look Lazy

© Gwenolé de Kermenguy / MarineTraffic.com

With increased time in layup and outdated tonnage, surely after all that has occurred in 2020 it’s about time for the offshore support vessel (OSV) sector to address the long standing elephant in the room. This article will focus on platform supply vessel (PSV) layups and will investigate what the future might hold for the troubled OSV sector.Using VesselsValue recency of automatic identification system (AIS) data, we categorize any vessel that has not signaled in over eight weeks as laid up.Looking first at lay up on a global level…

19 Nov 2020

Global Crude Market Finds Support From China Demand

© momentscatcher / Adobe Stock

China, the global oil market's lifeline this year, has stepped up purchases from exporters like Russia, the United States and Angola in recent weeks, while buyers elsewhere pare orders as coronavirus infections surge and fresh lockdowns are put in place.China, the world's largest importer of crude, is the only major buyer expected to see increased oil demand this year as the pandemic destroyed consumption globally.With China's imports expected to reach 12 million barrels per day (bpd) next year…

19 Nov 2020

Nigerian Crew Boat Owner Opts for Fueltrax

Credit: Fueltrax

Fueltrax, a provider of marine fuel management systems, has said that a major Nigerian vessel owner and operator for fast crew boats and security vessels has upgraded two of its onboard electronic fuel monitoring systems to Fueltrax.Fueltrax said the client opted for its solution due to standards not being met with a previous electronic fuel monitoring system (EFMS)."The new vessels coming online with Fueltrax include two fast crew boats operating in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria…

11 Nov 2020

Asian Piracy Is on the Rise

© Em / Adobe Stock

Piracy and armed robbery against ships is on the rise in Asia, ReCAAP ISC reveals in its latest monthly report. In October, nine incidents of armed robbery against ships and no piracy incidents were reported in Asia. With these, the total number of incidents from January to October was 84, a 35% increase from 62 over the same period in 2019, and the most reported since 2016.ReCAAP ISC expressed concern over the overall increase of incidents in Asia, particularly regarding the continued occurrence of robberies and thefts in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes…

30 Oct 2020

Traders Scout for Tankers to Store Diesel as Virus Spreads

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Oil traders are scouting for newly built supertankers to store diesel for the next few months as they brace for lower demand in Europe amid renewed restrictions aimed at battling the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping and trade sources said.Trading companies, including oil majors, are making enquiries to charter very large crude carriers (VLCC) to carry diesel with 10 parts-per-million (ppm) sulphur for up to six months, they said, indicating that diesel floating storage could rise again.Several such supertankers…

21 Oct 2020

Bandwidth Efficiency will Drive Maritime Digitalization

Applied Satellite Technology (AST)

Gregory Darling and Applied Satellite Technology (AST) works with shipowners to help them use their bandwidth more efficiently for ship business and crew needs.When Gregory Darling, Group MD, AST, worked in the marine industry in the 1980s with a marine survey company, he needed to get word to one of his ships off of West Africa to recalibrate its course and head off to a new job. But the ship had left port, and radio calls to the ship went unanswered, resulting in two days of lost time and revenue.“That was frustrating and costly…

15 Oct 2020

Gulf of Guinea Kidnappings by Pirates Rise 40%

Illustration only - Pirates in Africa - Credit: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia

Kidnappings rose by 40% in the Gulf of Guinea in the first nine months of this year, and the region off West Africa's coast now accounts for 95% of global maritime kidnappings, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Wednesday.Eighty seafarers were taken in the Gulf of Guinea, a 2.3 million sq km (888,000 sq m) area bordering more than a dozen countries, sharply up from the same period in 2019, and the pirates are attacking further out to sea than before, the IMB said.Pirates…

16 Sep 2020

New Lives for Old Ships: Inside Keppel O&M’s FLNG Conversion Solution

“Jointly developed by Golar and Keppel O&M, the concept of using sponsons was an innovative game changer, creating new acreage to house additional equipment on the vessel and segregating the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon systems to meet safe design requirements.”
Mr. Chor How Jat, Managing Director (Conversions & Repairs), Keppel O&M

As the focus on carbon emissions comes to the fore across all industries, Keppel O&M, which supports the circular economy concept and is a ship conversion leader, is able to help companies reduce their indirect emissions. Proof of this was delivery of the world’s first FLNG conversion solution that dramatically reduced the carbon footprint of the project as compared to new construction. There’s a second conversion project currently underway, and by the way: it’s faster to market…

08 Sep 2020

Report: Reefer Ship Attacked Offshore Nigeria. Two Crew Members Kidnapped

Image by Roli B - MarineTraffic.Com

Maritime security intelligence agencies have reported that the Water Phoenix reefer vessel was boarded Tuesday morning off Nigeria by an unknown number of persons and that two Russian nationals have been kidnapped.Per Praesidium International, a risk consultancy and maritime security company, the incident happened at 5:50 a.m. UTC Tuesday, approximately 34 nautical miles south of Lagos."According to the initial reports, the perpetrators managed to board the vessel and kidnap the master and another crew member…

28 Aug 2020

Hermitage Offshore Services Appeals NYSE Delisting Decision

A Hermitage offshore vessel - Credit: Jan Henry Knutsen / MarineTraffic

Offshore vessel owner Hermitage Offshore Services has appealed against the New York Stock Exchange's move to delist its shares.Hermitage Offshore Services (previously known as Nordic American Offshore) on August 12 filed for a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, It cited a prolonged slump in global oil prices, driven in part by the global coronavirus pandemic, and its effect on the company’s business, as well as the inability to reach a financial restructuring deal with lenders out of court…

24 Aug 2020

Hilburn Rejoins Crowley Solutions as VP, Business Development

Bleu Hilburn (Photo: Crowley)

Logistics executive Bleu Hilburn is returning to Crowley Solutions as vice president of business development for all government services. In this role, Hilburn will develop strategies to build a customer pipeline, qualify opportunities and manage all aspects of marketing, bid and capture management to drive growth and build deep relationships with government customers for Solutions.Hilburn, a 2015 Thomas Crowley Award winner, the company’s highest honor for employees, will start Aug.

17 Sep 2020

Keppel: Converted FLNGs Have Smaller Carbon Footprint Compared to Newly Built Units

Hilli Episeyo - Credit: Keppel

Singapore's Keppel Offshore & Marine has said that converted FLNG vessels save approximately 33% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to an FLNG new build, citing a study by environmental consultants, Environmental Resources Management (ERM).Commissioned by Keppel O&M, the study by ERM assesses the converted and new build FLNG across three stages of the project life cycle, namely the end of life of the LNG tanker, repurposing, or shipbuilding of the FLNG, and maintenance…

07 Aug 2020

Nigeria: FPSO Workers Released after Kidnapping

Sendje Berge FPSO - Image by Gwenolé de KERMENGUY/MarineTraffic

Offshore workers kidnapped from an FPSO offshore Nigeria in an armed pirate attack in July, have been released, the owner of the floating production unit said Friday.In an incident that occurred on July 2, nine Nigerian crew members aboard the BW Offshore-owned Sendje Berge FPSO were kidnapped.BW Offshore said Friday the workers had been released."BW Offshore is very pleased that all of the offshore employees have been safely released.

31 Jul 2020

Maritime Security: Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail

© Denys Yelmanov / Adobe Stock

North America is historically one of the world’s safest regions for maritime transit and operations. Our data shows that of the 2,915 reported global maritime crime incidents that have occurred in the last decade, only nine of them took place in North America. This figure comes from a range of threats against both commercial, and pleasure craft vessels, primarily, attempted, or successful: attacks, suspicious approaches, illegal boardings, hijackings, kidnappings, robberies and exchanges of gunfire. This is what many of us boil down to the eye-catching buzzword “piracy”.

27 Jul 2020

New Mammoet Crane in Operation in Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base

Image Credit: Mammoet

Nigeria's Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base, LADOL, serving the country's offshore oil and gas industry, now has a new crane in operation - Mammoet Terminal Crane (MTC 15).LADOL and Mammoet had in January signed a partnership agreement aimed at growing LADOL’s capacity for project cargo handling and logistics for industrial sectors in West Africa. Mammoet then supplied LADOL with its heavy-lift terminal crane - MTC 15 - which has transformed LADOL’s quayside into a heavy lift terminal.

24 Jul 2020

Asian Piracy Incidents Double in H1 2020

Of the 51 piracy incidents reported through the first six months of 2020, 31 (61%) occurred to ships at anchor/berth and 20 (39%) to ships underway. (© hit1912 / Adobe Stock)

The number of reported attacks against ships has doubled in Asia over the first half of 2020, elevating security concerns for mariners across the region.A total of 51 cases of piracy and armed robbery against ships (including 50 actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported in Asia from January through June 2020, up from 28 incidents (25 actual and three attempted) during the same period for 2019, according to ReCAAP Information Sharing Center's (ISC) latest half-yearly report.A growing number of attacks occurred in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes…

22 Jul 2020

Shipowners Struggle to Bring Home Crews Amid Coronavirus Chaos

© Alexey Seafarer / Adobe Stock

Shipping companies are still struggling to get hundreds of thousands of crew members back home after many months at sea despite pledges by countries to ease transit restrictions for seafarers, industry officials say.Countries including the UK, the United States, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines pledged this month to boost efforts to help seafarers, many of whom have been on ships longer than the 11-month limit laid out in a maritime labor convention.Other countries…

20 Jul 2020

Crew Kidnapped from Tanker in the Gulf of Guinea

© Martin Smith / MarineTraffic.com

Armed pirates have reportedly kidnapped 13 seafarers from a Liberian-flagged product tanker in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, continuing a rise in attacks on vessels in the world's most dangerous piracy hot spot.The Curcacao Trader was approached by eight armed individuals aboard a single speedboat and boarded 232 nautical miles southwest of Lagos, Friday. Among those abducted are seven Russian nationals, according to the Russian embassy in Nigeria. The other five crew members…

15 Jul 2020

Crew Kidnappings Soar in West Africa

Sendje Berge FPSO - Image by Gwenolé de KERMENGUY/MarineTraffic

Crew kidnappings and violent attacks on vessels in the oil-rich West Africa region have soared in 2020, with 77 seafarers taken hostage or kidnapped for ransom since January, according to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest piracy report.The Gulf of Guinea off West Africa is increasingly dangerous for commercial shipping, accounting for just over 90% of maritime kidnappings worldwide. Meanwhile, ship hijackings are at their lowest since 1993, the report said.“Violence against crews is a growing risk in a workforce already under immense pressure…

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