First foreign floating dock undergoes repairs at Walvis Bay

The boundaries have been shifted for Walvis Bay as ship repair hub on the West coast of Southern Africa. A floating dock arrived from Angola on Wednesday to undergo repair and maintenance locally on one of Elgin Brown Hamer Namibia’s floating docks in the port of Walvis Bay. This is the first time in history a floating dock undergoes repair and maintenance here.

For EBHN this is not only a moment of pride for its quality of workmanship, but the fact that the floating dock belongs to the Angolan Government also highlights a new level of economic cooperation between Namibia and Angola.
In a media statement EBHN states: “30 August 2017 was a very significant date for EBH Namibia (EBHN), in that it was the day that the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries (Pescangola) floating dry dock was docked in Walvis Bay for repairs.
“For some time, we have recognised that strategically there are a number of pivotal synergies which exist between Pescangola and EBHN; and, on a national level, between neighbouring Angola and Namibia,” says Hannes Uys, CEO of EBHN.
As the preferred shipyard on the West coast of Africa, EBHN is already well-known in the Angolan maritime and fisheries sectors, as many of the support vessels which service the West African offshore oil industry operate out of Angolan ports.
“However, in terms of the floating dock repair, a project from an Angolan authority is truly a land mark and historic first for EBHN,” comments Uys.
“We certainly value the opportunity which this project presents; and, in so doing, further enhancing positive relations and cooperation between our neighbouring countries,” he adds.
From a logistical perspective, in order to get the dry dock to Walvis Bay, an EBHN team travelled to Luanda to ensure that the dock was seaworthy, and compliant with international towing regulations, enabling it to be towed the more than 900 n.m. (nautical miles) to Walvis Bay.
The dry dock, known as the ‘Boa Vista’, had its basic hull constructed in 2011 by a shipyard in Ukraine. The dock then had all its systems completed by ENP in Portugal before being sold to the Angolan government. The dock – with dimensions of 62m x 21m – has the capacity to lift vessels with a docking weight of up to 2000 tons.
“EBHN’s exclusive mandate is to restore the dock to a good operational state. This will involve approximately 25 tons of steel repairs, corrosion protection and the commissioning of all systems. To do this, the dock will have to spend some 20 days at EBHN’s Panamax-sized Namport 3 dry dock; and then a further 10 days berthed in Walvis Bay,” explains Willie Esterhuyse, Commercial and Marketing Manager at EBHN.
To observe the project in progress, Pescangola representatives will be visiting EBHN during the second week of scheduled repairs.
“Even though this dry dock repair is ‘first’ in terms of repairing a dry dock at our facilities, our experience and competence makes us the ideal partner to conduct a repair project of this nature,” says Esterhuyse.
EBHN is very fortunate to have a full house in terms of repair projects currently; and looks forward to continue providing their customers with service excellence, Esterhuyse advises.
Since its founding in 2006, EBHN has established an enviable reputation as a supplier of reliable, high-quality ship and offshore repair services. This has firmly established the company as the preferred shipyard on the West coast of Africa.
“Our association with the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries is a momentous achievement for all involved; and speaks volumes in terms of how Pescangola and EBHN can partner synergistically and successfully to our mutual benefit. It also very clearly demonstrates how our two neighbouring countries and economies can collaborate going forward,” EBHN’s Uys enthuses.
“It is indeed a very valued relationship that we foster in mutual respect. We hope accordingly to continue being of service to our Angolan associates in the future,” he concludes.

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