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VMS Group Expands into West Africa

VMS Group Expands into West Africa

Niël Terblanché

DANISH maritime service company, the VMS Group A/S has expanded its worldwide service footprint by setting up shop in Walvis Bay recently.


In a statement the company said the port of Walvis Bay is a favourable location because of the rapidly growing offshore oil market and fishing fleets along the entire west coast of Africa. The factors combined create huge potential for a strong maritime repair and maintenance cluster in this region.


“Walvis Bay is the only port with service and repairs facilities between Cape Town in South Africa and the Canary Islands and is a key area for marine traffic in the Eastern Atlantic. This is the reason why VMS Group, headquartered in Frederikshavn, Denmark, established a workshop close to the port facilities.”


According to the statement the VMS Group has been doing research in the region in close co-operation with W. Dresselhaus Engineering, a Namibian-owned company based in Walvis Bay since 1989 which has made the establishment of a 420 m2 workshop fully equipped with all necessary engineering tools and equipment.

Pictured: Kristian Kaasing Larsen. Photo: Contributed

“The business opportunities in the region are very promising. The local shipyard in Walvis Bay has made a considerable headway, and the new container terminal is already operating,” said Kristian Kaasing Larsen, Senior Vice President of VMS Group in the statement.


He said the workshop in Walvis Bay will initially be run by a Danish supervisor and a team from its Brazilian subsidiary. He indicated that the company will also employ Namibians as time progresses.


He sees a burgeoning sense of optimism in the oil and gas industry, which is currently recovering from years of decline.


“In July alone, 24 rigs were reactivated, and with each rig being dependent on at least three supply boats, this only increases our market potential. Moreover, Walvis Bay has 12 fish factories and a local fishing fleet of more than 130 vessels. And last, but not least, we will be present in the region, when our current customers need service on vessels sailing in the West African waters, explains Kristian Kaasing Larsen.


In addition to boosting the existing business and supporting the global development of VMS Group, the Danish company also sees possibilities in contributing to turning Walvis Bay into a new maritime service cluster.


The close co-operation between VMS Group, W. Dresselhaus Engineering, the local yard Namdock and the port of Walvis Bay could form the pillars of a successful maritime service cluster, since the port also serves as a service area for Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe with Dry Port facilities providing reloading of goods and supporting logistics and storing facilities.


From the workshop in Walvis Bay, VMS Group will be able to offer service and maintenance on all types of diesel engines, turbochargers and gearboxes.

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