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August 7, 2002

Local yard wins SA patrol boat tender

South African newspapers report that Cape Town-based Farocean Marine has won a R 304 million ($28.7 million) tender to build three of four patrol vessels for the country's Marine and Coastal Management agency.

Nine shipyards from around the world competed for the ships, including Germany's Abeking & Rasmussen, which offered vessels based on its SWATH technology.

Farocean Marine's South African status played no meaningful role in its winning, Marine and Coastal Management project manager Alan Robertson is quoted as saying. He continued that the company had won the tender as it offered the best package in terms of price and government's local content stipulations. Be that as it may, the Cape Business News notes that "Farocean Marine has taken on a strong black empowerment component in the ownership of the company. The Sam Montsi group now has control. This may also have assisted in the contract being awarded to Farocean."

The Farocean vessels will be able to operate anywhere within SA's exclusive economic zone, reaching up to 200 km offshore. They will be 45 m long, have a crew of 13, carry two fisheries inspectors and be able to stay at sea for up to two weeks. They will have a range of about 3,500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots and a top speed of more than 23 knots.

A R 210 million tender for an 80 m offshore vessel was won by Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands. This ship will have a crew of 21, a range of 7,500 nautical miles and stay at sea for 45 days.

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