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Caribbean oil rig arrives in two weeks in Walvis Bay for major repairs and overhaul

Caribbean oil rig arrives in two weeks in Walvis Bay for major repairs and overhaul

In about two weeks, the almost 16,000 tonnes SKD Jaya drill rig, owned by Sapura Energy, is set to arrive at the port of Walvis Bay from Trinidad, carried by the semi-submersible heavy-lift vessel, the Hua Hai Long. The rig is due for repairs and recommissioning by the local dry-dock operator, EBH Namibia.

After two and a half years of turmoil in the depressed offshore oil and gas exploration industry, EBH Namibia’s South African shareholders relinquished their shareholding, selling their interest to a Namibian consortium in 2018. Fixing the SKD Jaya is the first major project undertaken by EBH Namibia and is envisaged to serve as a showcase of the advanced technical ability of the local marine vessel repair company.

EBH Namibia’s Marketing Manager, Quintin Simon, commented “We are delighted to be able to announce the successful conclusion of the agreement with Sapura Energy, as it endorses EBH Namibia’s high levels of expertise and experience in servicing the international offshore oil and gas sector. This key new project is a strong vote of confidence which highlights the strategic relevance of the company as the preferred ship repair partner on Africa’s West coast.”

The majority shareholder in EBH Namibia, the Namibian Ports Authority, has also played its part to enable larger vessels to be serviced in Walvis Bay by embarking on the current multi-billion dollar expansion project. This creates many beneficial downstream opportunities for local service providers.

Acting EBH Namibia Chief Executive, Ms Heritha Muyoba, said “Our long history of unrivalled experience and expertise in the offshore repair sector, supported by our all-inclusive shipyard facilities, highly skilled and trained resources and optimised processes and procedures, mean that we are ideally placed to provide top-class, innovative services in line with our client’s requirements.”

She anticipates that the SKD Jaya project is only the first of many to follow, pointing out the obvious benefits to EBH Namibia’s shareholders, stakeholders and the entire Walvis Bay community.

The SKD Jaya has lain decommissioned in the waters near Trinidad when offshore exploration took a dive due to the low crude oil price. With a perceptible change in the oil market, Sapura Energy decided to reactivate the dormant rig but corrosion from the sea water and weather elements, has taken its toll leading to an overall deterioration in the rig’s operational condition. It became clear that a major overhaul was required before the rig could be recommissioned.

However, works of this scale take a relatively long time and depends on the skills and ability of the ship repair company.

“Reactivating a very large structure such as the SKD Jaya firstly involves a detailed inspection above and below the waterline. The scope of work will include full shipyard marine engineering services, such as metal work, fabrication, carpentry, mechanical, coatings and electrical,” added Simon, conveying his company’s gratitude to NamPort for assisting them by enabling the extended-stay berthing facility for the duration of the project.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.