Namibian Panamax drydock swallows Angolan drydock only to spit it out brand new
It does not happen every day that one floating drydock is towed to another for repairs but this is exactly what happened this week when an Angolan drydock arrived in Walvis Bay on Thursday.
In a landmark deal for EBH Namibia, a floating drydock belonging to the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries, Pescangola, had to be towed from the Luanda harbour to Walvis Bay to undergo repairs in EBH’s Panamax drydock.
“For some time, we have recognised that strategically there are a number of pivotal synergies between the Angolan fishing ministry and EBH Namibia; and on a national level between Angola and Namibia,” said Hannes Uys, the EBH Chief Executive.
EBH Namibia is already well-known in the Angolan maritime and fisheries sectors as many of the support vessels which service the West African offshore oil industry operate out of Angolan ports,” said Uys.
To get the Pescangola drydock to Walvis Bay posed some unique logistical problems. A team of technicians from EBH had to go to Luanda first to ensure the dock was seaworthy before it could embark on the 900 nautical mile journey to the Walvis Bay harbour.
The Pescangola drydock known as the ‘Boa Vista’ had its basic hull constructed in 2011 by a shipyard in the Ukraine. The dock then had all its systems completed by ENP in Portugal before being sold to the Angolan government. The 62m x 21m dock can lift vessels up to a docking weight of 2000 tonnes.
Over the next twenty days, EBH will conduct some 25 tonnes of steel repairs and corrosion protection while the Boa Vista is inside the Namport 3 drydock. Another ten days are then required to commission all systems and ensure the Angolan dock can return to its port of base.
In the second week of September, officials from the Angolan fishing ministry will visit Walvis Bay to view the progress of the rehabilitation work.
EBH Namibia’s Commercial and Marketing Manager, Willie Esterhuyse commented “Even though this drydock repair is a ‘first’ in terms of repairing a drydock at our facilities, our experience and competence makes us the ideal partner to conduct a project of this nature.”