Rebranded drydock operator lands its first major contract with Angolan navy
Barely a few months after completing its restructuring and rebranding, the former Walvis Bay drydock operator, EBH Namibia, now sailing under the banner Namdock, has landed a significant contract with the Angolan navy for repair and refurbishing of a number of vessels in its fleet.
The first two vessels are expected to arrive early in 2020. According to a statement released by Namdock last week, the exact time of arrival has not been finalised.
The Angolan Government was prompted to upgrade its naval fleet following several attacks to marine vessels in the Gulf of Guinea, north of Angola. The fact that oil installations and oil tankers were also involved in some of these incidents, demonstrated Angola’s vulnerability to similar attacks especially to its oil and gas industry in Kabinda.
It was reported by the Angolan news agency, Angop, that upgrading the Angolan navy’s vessels has become a priority. The Chief of the General Staff of the Angolan armed forces was quoted as saying that international terrorism poses a serious threat to the Gulf of Guinea and neighbouring countries such as Angola.
According to Namdock’s Commercial and Operations Manager, Willie Esterhuyse, Namdock will take two Angolan navy vessels into its dry docks in 2020 with a possible extension to this contract to service the navy’s other vessels as well as supply related services and training.
The landmark contract took more than two years to finalise. Negotiations started in 2017 when officers of the Angolan navy inspected Namdock’s drydock facilities in Walvis Bay. Similarly, EBH Namibia send technicians to Luanda to inspect the vessels.
“We are pleased to welcome this new customer to our shipyard” said Esterhuyse adding that they have already done some work for the Angolan government when they repaired their Ministry of Fisheries’ drydock.
In terms of skills and capacity, Esterhuyse said “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.”
The Angolan navy contract comes after an eventful year for Namdock during which there was a steady increase in yard activity and new enquiries. “This has progressively allowed us to overcome the depressed economic cycle that has constrained our industry since 2016,” said the acting Chief Executive, Heritha Nankole Muyoba.
“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 our Namibian economy,” she concluded.