First Panamax docking signals new era for ship repair

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In October 2013, Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH) Namibia launched its new Panamax-size third dock (‘Namdock 3’) in Walvis Bay. Now, the company has welcomed its first appropriately sized vessel to the new floating dock, signalling a new era in ship repair for the company and its capacity to service the international market.

At 195 m in length, and with a lifting capacity of 15 000 tons, Namdock 3 has opened the doors for EBH Namibia to provide a service for the Panamax vessel market, which includes container and general cargo ships and tankers. The company celebrated this milestone when Bold Voyager, a general bulk vessel owned by Navigation Maritime Limited, was docked alongside Namdock 3 on June 01, 2015.

“As the first Panamax-size vessel to be lifted and docked in Namibia, at the only privately-owned floating dock of its size in western Africa, this was a truly ‘milestone moment’ and an occasion to go down in history,” said Hannes Uys, Chief Executive Officer of EBH Namibia. For Uys, the event represented the fulfilment of the next stage in the company’s vision of becoming the preferred shipyard in Africa. “This successful docking and completed project work amply demonstrate our capacity to handle a vessel of this size. Namdock 3 has opened up a whole new segment of the market for EBH Namibia, and we believe the success of this project will give our other international clients the confidence that our infrastructure and people are more than capable of handling such vessels,” he said. Bold Voyager, which operates in West Africa between South Africa, Namibia and Nigeria, set sail for Cape Town on June 12, from where she will go to Nigeria for a steel delivery before returning to Walvis Bay for a salt loading consignment. The scope of work, completed in 11 days, included painting and blasting.

“With a length overall (LOA) of 185 m and a beam of 30 m, the vessel is the largest to be lifted by EBH Namibia, and required methodical planning prior to her arrival to ensure optimum work efficiencies and client satisfaction,” commented Uys.

“The sheer size of the surface area to be coated meant meticulous resource management and sound communication skills. I am exceptionally proud that EBH Namibia rose to the challenge with flying colours.”
Several enquiries have been made from similar calibre vessels, according to Uys, and the company is gearing up for a busy period as ‘Namdock 3’ comes into its own.

“We believe our capacity to service the Panamax-size vessel market gives us a critical competitive advantage, allowing us to service a broader sector of the market.

‘Namdock 3’ has effectively given EBH Namibia ‘another string to our bow’, significantly boosting our reputation on the west coast as a ship repair destination of choice, and a major global player,” Uys concluded.

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