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Transshipment Project Restarts in Ghana / ASK SMT

MV Katagalan Wisdom

MV Katagalan Wisdom

Trans­ship­ment Project Restarts in Ghana

After a hiatus lasting more than five months, SMT is once again engaged in the transshipment of manganese ore off the coast of Takoradi, Ghana. SMT’s customer, Tian Yuan Logistics, together with its sister companies Ghana Manganese Ltd. and MTL, were forced by the Ghanaian government to cease their mining operations pending the resolution of various contractual issues. These negotiations were officially resolved by April 2020. By May 1, SMT’s transhipper MV Gdansk relaunched its operation with the loading of MV Katagalan Wisdom.

This ocean-going vessel (OGV) departed on May 12 with about 95,000 tons of cargo onboard. M/V Gdansk moved away from her operational position during the shut-down to better shelter her from inclement weather. SMT then employed two tugs, Coastal Atlas and Jaro II, to return the vessel to her transshipment location and secured her both fore and aft using a system of anchors and moorings.

In addition, SMT chartered MV Celine C, which is owned by SMT’s joint venture CSMT, to act as a shuttle vessel delivering manganese from the berth in Takoradi to MV Gdansk. Celine C will provide significant operational advantages over the former shuttle vessel MV Honor, as her larger size will carry more cargo per voyage and her three hold configuration will allow MV Gdansk to work three cranes simultaneously during discharge.

Celine C did require a brief docking before entering this new trade in order to remove her tween decks and cranes – giving MV Gdansk unobstructed access to all of Celine C’s holds.

MV Gdansk

MV Gdansk

The crew of MV Gdansk has performed continual maintenance on the vessel to assure full operational capability. However, the project has experienced lower production rates during the restart, largely due to labor and travel restrictions stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rates are expected to increase to maximum output once lockdown restrictions are eased.

The shutdown has been painful for all interested parties, and particularly for those Ghanaian nationals working for the project – from mine workers to truckers to port employees. It is therefore a wonderful achievement to bring this great economic engine back to life, and we all look forward to servicing the next OGV which is already fixed for arrival around May 21.


SMT starts Online Learning to cadets:"Ask SMT"

May 15, 2020 marked the launch of a new SMT initiative. “Ask SMT” will be a series of online meetings with our different cadet programs, providing information and an opportunity to ask questions as we work through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our first “Ask SMT” was with the cadets in our program at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Monitored by Sarita Mahabir, over 60 UTT cadets joined the Zoom meeting to hear from Vanessa Voorham, Tomasz Dziubek of our Systems Department and Dariusz Stefaniak of our Crewing Department. Following a brief introduction by Ms. Voorham, Mr. Dziubek gave an overview of SMT’s Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHS) and then discussed the implications of COVID-19 on our operations.

Mr. Stefaniak then spoke about the impact of the pandemic on our seamen and shared a video that we have disseminated to all of our vessels in various languages (excerpts of which can be seen in this issue of Nautical News).

After the presentations from our staff, the cadets had the chance to ask questions. Topics that were covered included procedures on board, the possibility of COVID testing, the future prospects of our cadets and more. We look forward to many more “Ask SMT” meetings as we continue to find ways to communicate
with the SMT family.

Lake Pearl out of drydock in Tuzla Turkey March 2020