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A Big Future in Ship Repair: The Inauguration of EBH Namibia’s Third Panamax Floating Dock
25 October 2013

Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH) Namibia today celebrates a watershed event in the company’s history with the inauguration of its third Panamax floating dock.

The 195 metre floating dock, which represents the largest infrastructural investment that EBH Namibia has made to date, will increase the company’s dry docking capacity by 15 000 tons. This also heralds significant positive implications for the future of Namibia’s economy, according to EBH Namibia Chief Executive Officer, Hannes Uys.

“By enhancing our docking capacity, the new floating dock will substantially increase our capacity to offer shipping clients a one-stop service of global standards. Moreover, the presence of the Panamax dock will enable us to further contribute to the growth of the local economy and establish Namibia as a ship repair destination of choice on the West African coast,” Uys says.

To date, EBH Namibia has contributed an estimated N$2 billion to the economy of Namibia in terms of downstream revenue and job creation. The new floating dock, which arrived in the port of Walvis Bay on 5th July 2013, will create an estimated 150 new job opportunities.

“As a company, we are strongly committed to developing and up-skilling our existing staff, as well as addressing unemployment in the local region. Our strategic aim is to work alongside our shareholders in creating a strong, motivated Namibian workforce dedicated to the future economic wellbeing of the country.”

In the keynote address at the event, Minister of Works and Transport Erkki Nghimtima, speaking on behalf of Prime Minister, Dr Hage Geingob, reiterated this, saying: “EBH Namibia, along with its partnership with local government, has truly already placed Namibia on the move. The latest infrastructure investment, the impressive Pamamax floating dock, Namdock 3, now commissioned and installed here in the port of Walvis Bay, is a dramatic symbol of our vision for a prosperous, globally competitive Namibia coming to fruition.”

For Bisey Uirab, Chief Executive Officer of EBH Namibia’s majority shareholder Namport, the partnership between government and private sector entities is a critical success factor in the growth and development of the economy of Namibia, and Africa as a whole.

“Our strategic partnership with EBH Namibia has helped give the local shipping industry its competitive edge. Ours is a strong working relationship driven by a common vision for the future of Walvis Bay as a leading ship repair hub in Africa. The Panamax floating dock is a powerful symbol of the progress we are making in ensuring that this vision becomes a reality,” Uirab states.

While the Namibian Ports Authority, Namport, remains the majority shareholder of EBH Namibia, its other shareholder is the South-African based DCD Group, which acquired its shareholding in 2012.

“EBH Namibia has established itself as a highly competitive ship repair company of the highest integrity and standards,” says Rob King, managing director of the DCD Group. “We are thrilled to be a part of the new chapter in the history of EBH Namibia with the inauguration of its third floating dock and the possibilities this brings to the industry.”

The installation of the Panamax floating dock, now known as ‘Namdock 3’, was the culmination of a number of challenges and preparatory work. The dock was moved from its country of origin, Australia, to Batam, Indonesia, where it underwent extensive upgrading before departing for Namibian shores on 18 April 2013.

Commissioning of the dock in September entailed the placement of the mooring blocks, dredging, and moving Namdock 1. This was followed by the remobilisation of all requisite equipment, such as cranes, pumps and valves and the offloading of the floating crane.

“The fact that the commissioning of the Panamax went smoothly and according to plan is testament to the calibre of EBH Namibia’s work force and our teamwork ethic. Sheer hard work and dedication ensured that all deadlines were met.

This inauguration is a proud moment in our history, and we are looking forward to a future of sustainable long-term growth and generating increasing value to all our stakeholders,” Uys concludes.
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