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Dangote Cement to Start Production in Tanzania

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…As Dangote renews interest in Arsenal ownership 

Nigeria’s Dangote Cement said it will begin production in Tanzania in August, as sub-Saharan Africa’s leading cement producer eyes new markets on the continent.

A $500 million factory it is building in southern Tanzania, with an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes, will double the country’s annual output of cement to 6 million tonnes.

However, Dangote faces challenges in accessing coal and natural gas as sources of cheap power to run the factory, its owner, Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, told President Jakaya Kikwete at a meeting in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, according to a statement released by the president’s office.

Tanzania, East Africa’s second-biggest economy, has made big natural gas discoveries and has coal reserves of up to 5 billion tonnes, but lacks infrastructure to deliver the energy to major factories.

Dangote’s factory is being built in the Mtwara region but there is no infrastructure to connect the plant to gas from nearby offshore natural gas fields.

Dangote applied last year for a license to build a 75 megawatt coal-fired plant in Tanzania that would power the cement factory.
Initially it will power the plant from electricity on the grid.

The Nigerian company plans to roll out plants across Africa to reach an annual capacity of 62 million tonnes by 2017, up from an estimated 42 million tonnes last year.

Its Tanzanian plant will supply the domestic market and export to landlocked countries in the region. It will be competing with other Tanzanian cement producers including Tanzania Portland Cement, owned by a subsidiary of Germany’s Heidelberg Cement AG ; Tanga Cement, majority owned by Afrisam Mauritius Investment Holdings Limited; and Mbeya Cement, owned by France’s Lafarge SA.

Meanwhile, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said he still wants to buy English Premier League soccer team Arsenal even after he was rebuffed by its owners in 2010.

Nigeria’s Dangote, an Arsenal fan worth $15.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, discussed buying a stake in the club five years ago before talks with the owners fell through, he said.

Since then his wealth has grown more than sevenfold. “I still hope, one day at the right price, that I’ll buy the team,”

Dangote, 58, said in an interview as he traveled on a plane owned by one of his companies between the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and the Nigerian commercial hub of Lagos on May 1. “I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist. I know my strategy.”

Arsenal is one of England’s most successful clubs, having won 13 top flight league titles in the country, the most after Manchester United and Liverpool.

Arsenal Holdings Plc., the owner, trades on the ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange, or ISDX, and is valued at 988 million pounds ($1.49 billion).

A successful bid would make Dangote the first African owner of a club in a league where billionaires including Russia’s Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea, and Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, who controls Manchester City, have acquired teams.

Stan Kroenke, worth $5.6 billion and owner of the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams, holds 67 percent of Arsenal, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Red & White Sec Ltd., controlled by Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri, owns 30 percent. Dan Tolhurst, a spokesman for the London-based club, declined to comment as did Rollo Head, a spokesman for Usmanov in London. Tomago Collins, a spokesman for Kroenke in Denver, did not immediately respond to e-mails requesting comment.

Dangote has interests in sugar and flour and controls Dangote Cement Plc, Nigeria’s biggest publicly traded company. He is investing $11 billion in a 650,000 barrel-a-day oil refinery near Lagos and as much as $2.5 billion in gas pipelines running to the city from Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger River delta region.

His wealth has fallen by $2.7 billion this year, the sixth-most globally, according to the Billionaires Index.

Dangote, who ranks 55th on the index, said he’s too busy with existing projects to mount a bid now. “We have $16 billion-worth of investments in the next few years,” he said.

“Right now I want to take my own business to a certain level. Once I finish on that trajectory, then maybe” an offer will follow.

Most English Premier League matches are broadcast live in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, by Supersport, a satellite television channel owned by South Africa’s Naspers Ltd.

Arsenal won the FA Cup, England’s main knockout tournament, last year, its first major trophy since 2005, and is in the final of the same tournament this year.

Over the last decade London rivals Chelsea have won the English league four times as well as the European Champions League and several other trophies.

Arsene Wenger, who has managed Arsenal since 1996, has been criticized by fans including Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame for the team’s limited success in the last decade.

Dangote said he is often too nervous to watch their games. While Wenger has managed the club well from a financial standpoint, he “needs to change his style a bit,” said Dangote. “They need new direction.” 

Reuter (additional reports from Agency report)

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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