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EBH Namibia and Rolls Royce – Demonstrating the Value of a Mutually Beneficial Partnership
15 May 2014

  Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH) Namibia has successfully positioned itself as a shipyard of choice along the west coast of Africa. One of the keys to this success has been a savvy approach to forming partnerships with both the public and the private sector locally and internationally.

The value of forging working partnerships is very much a part not only of EBH Namibia’s own operational ethos, but that of the overall strategy of the DCD marine cluster, of which EBH Namibia is a part. This is according to Hannes Uys, Chief Executive Officer of EBH Namibia.

“Working hand-in-hand with our majority shareholder, the Namibia Ports Authority (NAMPORT) as well as with our other shareholder, the DCD Group, has placed us in a stronger position in terms of our value offering to our clients,” says Uys.

“It is important to find synergies among players in the industry in order to leverage off each other’s expertise, and a working example of this is our partnership with Rolls-Royce,” Uys continues.

Based on an agreement which was signed in early 2011, Rolls-Royce, under the auspices of its marine division Marine & Industrial Power Systems (MIPS), has been operating a dedicated servicing hub at EBH Namibia’s Walvis Bay facility.

According to the agreement, Rolls-Royce Marine gains preferential rights to providing service on all Rolls-Royce equipment coming into the shipyard. In return, the co-operation is expected to bring an increased flow of customers into the shipyard.

Justin Russell, Service Centre Manager at Rolls-Royce Namibia, explains: “The benefit to customers is that they can readily gain access to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skill sets required for quality work. Customers will also benefit from a co-ordinated approach for their vessel servicing needs.”

Uys agrees, remarking that partnerships - such as with Rolls-Royce - feed into EBH Namibia’s overall aim of providing the highest levels of service delivery.

“Ultimately, it is the client who benefits. Access to an additional body of highly skilled service engineers has enhanced our capacity to deliver truly world-class support for our customers.”

“A co-ordinated approach to customer support also benefits the growth strategies of both parties,” he adds.

Another part of EBH Namibia’s growth strategy has been the company’s investment in a third (Panamax-size) floating dock, which was commissioned in October 2013. At 195 meters in length and with a lifting capacity of 15 000 tons, the new dock has substantially increased the shipyard’s infrastructural capacity and its ability to compete on a global scale.

Rolls-Royce looks set to share in these benefits.

“The new Panamax dock can take up to four Rolls-Royce UT-designed supply and service vessels. Not only will this translate into an increase in our activity, but it adds to Namibia’s reputation as an increasingly attractive ship repair hub,” comments Russell.

“It is Rolls-Royce’s strategy to intensify its co-operation with shipyards in strategic locations to provide expert technical support as close to our customers as possible. Our agreement with EBH Namibia feeds into that strategy, thanks to EBH’s highly desirable position on the west coast of Africa, and its strong reputation in the industry,” he says.

From EBH Namibia’s perspective, its agreement with Rolls-Royce is further proof of the value of synergistic partnerships which support the company’s overall growth strategy.

“Mutually beneficial partnerships, such as with Rolls-Royce, translate not only into new opportunities for growth, but form an essential part of our overall aim, which is to provide the kind of support and service our international shipping clients expect from us.

By aligning ourselves with like-minded, quality service providers, and co-ordinating our efforts, we are further consolidating our reputation as a service hub of choice along the busy west coast shipping route,” Uys concludes.
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