Debmarine eyes Lüderitz
Debmarine Namibia has set its sights on using the Port of Lüderitz as a major procurement hub, pending the outcome of a feasibilty study currently in progress. The company has been on a vigiourous quest to Namibianise operations, registering a 90% Namibian workforce towards the end of 2011.
This was announced during a recent media-familiarisation visit to the operator’s off-shore activities. Communications Manager Stella Auala said, “Since its migration from South Africa to Namibia, Debmarine Namibia has actively pursued its goal to migrate all services to Namibia by undertaking various studies in this regard, and as a result the company has steadily increased its presence and service provisions from Lüderitz.”
A feasibility study was undertaken towards the end of 2013. It aimed at investigating and identifying further opportunities for Debmarine Namibia by using Lüderitz as a supply base. The study focussed on the opportunities, costs, infrastructure development and dedicated quay space. The study also depends on establishing means of moving goods, for which an expression of interest was issued, according to Auala.
She added that “The feasibility study is expected to be concluded by the end of 2014, at which time the company will be in a more informed position to understand and translate the findings as regards costs and investment required. The feasibility-study outcome will then direct next steps as regards our continued growth plan in Lüderitz.”
Auala cited the proximity of the Port Nolloth harbour as a critical supply and support base. The Port Nolloth harbour is 80 nautical miles from the Debmarine Namibia fleet in the mining area, whilst the Port of Lüderitz is twice the distance from the mining area, said to be approximately 160 nautical miles.
“Due to the strategic logistical location of the Port Nolloth harbour, the port is strategic to Debmarine Namibia in terms of effectiveness and cost of supply and the provision of search, rescue and pollution support to the Debmarine Namibia fleet,” said Auala. Debmarine Namibia owns, operates and maintains five marine-diamond-production vessels, namely the Debmar Atlantic, the !Gariep, the Debmar Pacific, and its flagship fishing vessel, the Mafuta. All the vessels are registered in the Port of Lüderitz. Debmarine has a concession that forms part of an Economic Exclusive Zone to mine and explore 6000 square kilometres off the coast of Namibia and has up to date only been able to mine 2% of the total area.