Commercial banks invest N$5.6 billion in Debmarine’s N$7 billion AMV3 diamond recovery vessel
In what has been marked the largest commercial deal this year to boost marine diamond recovery operations, five banks sealed a deal worth N$5.6 billion to assist in construction of Debmarine’s new AMV3 vessel.
The five commercial banks are: Bank Windhoek, Nedbank Namibia, Standard Bank Namibia, FirstRand Bank and Absa.
The banks are set to provide asset financing facility constituting 80% percent of the vessel cost, while diamond miner, Debmarine, will provide 20% which translates to N$1.4 billion.
Speaking at the signing ceremony on Wednesday, Debmarine’s CEO, Otto Shikongo said the construction process of the vessel is well underway with over 20,000 tonnes of steel already cut to date.
Shikongo said the vessel which will be registered at the Port of Lüderitz will be the 7th and biggest vessel in Debmarine’s fleet, producing 500,000 carats per year, an increase of 35% of the company’s current production.
“In its first year of production, the AMV3 is expected to contribute N$2 billion per annum in taxes and royalties to the Namibian Treasury- capital loan must be repaid during that period,” Shikongo added.
The vessel is being constructed in the Damen Mangalia Shipyards in Romania and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022. The vessel will be used for marine diamond recovery operations off the southern coast of Namibia in the Atlantic 1 mining license area.
Shikongo said that the new vessel is expected to create more than 161 new direct jobs alongside Debmarine’s current 1000 employees.
Caption: At the signing ceremony, f.l.t.r: Karl-Stefan Altman (Executive: Corporate & Investment Banking and Treasury of Nedbank Namibia), James Chapman (Chief Financial Officer of Bank Windhoek), Willy Mertens (Chief Financial Officer of Debmarine Namibia), Otto Shikongo (Chief Executive Officer of Debmarine Namibia), Conrad Dempsey (Chief Executive Officer of RMB Namibia) and Vetumbuavi Mungunda (Chief Executive Officer of Standard Bank Namibia).