THE local economy of Walvis Bay is set for a financial injection as Namdock secured a contract with the Angolan Navy to maintain and repair its vessels.
According to Namdock’s Commercial and Operations Manager, Willie Esterhuyse, the contract was concluded in September the exact date when the vessels will be arriving in Walvis Bay has not been finalised. He said it is anticipated that this will start happening early in 2020.
In terms of the agreement, Namdock will initially accommodate two Angolan Navy vessels in its dry docks. However, there is a possible extension to this contract into 2020 to service the Navy’s other vessels as well as supplying related services and training.
The Angolan Navy consists of some 40 vessels including fast missile craft, fast torpedo craft, coastal patrol boats and minesweepers.
The conclusion of this contract required extensive negotiations which were started in 2017. Representatives of the AngolanNavy visited Walvis Bay to inspect Namdock’s facilities, while the Namibian company also dispatched technicians to Luanda to inspect the naval vessels.
“We are pleased to welcome this new customer to our shipyard which is arguably the most sophisticated and efficient on the West Coast of Africa,” Esterhuyse said.
In the recent past, Namdock’s has been fostering this cooperation with Angola and has carried out projects such as the repair of the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries’ (Pescangola) floating dry dock.
Esterhuyse insisted that the maintenance and repair of naval vessels does not require any skills that Namdock does not have. “We are used to working on naval vessels as we have been maintaining those of the Namibian Navy since our company’s inception in 2006,” he said.
The first two vessels will be sailed from Angola and will undergo a turnkey maintenance operation at Walvis Bay, where all services such as dry docking, sandblasting, coating, mechanical, metalwork, valves, piping, engine work, electronics are fully available. As these vessels play a key part in the defence of Angola, Namdock will be bringing all its experience and expertise to bear to affect a rapid turnaround.
“This contract is further testimony to the successful collaboration that we have had with other Angolan Ministries and clearly demonstrates the shipyard’s capacity and outstanding, effective and efficient performance to date.”
The award of this contract follows an eventful year for Namdock marked by the steady increase in yard activity and significant growth in enquiries that have translated into confirmed yard bookings.
“This has progressively allowed us to overcome the depressed economic cycle that has constrained our industry since 2016,” explained Namdock’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Heritha Nankole Muyoba.
“As industry leaders, our core values of trust, excellence and integrity have assisted us in gaining recognition as the preferred ship repair partner along the West Coast of Africa. This Angolan contract is a proud milestone for us in the development of our company and our continuing ability to make a meaningful contribution to the Namibian economy,” Nankole Muyoba said.