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Walvis Bay shipyard drydocks its first Panamax vessel

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Bold Voyager in Namdock 3

JUNE 22, 2015 — The Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH) Namibia shipyard has docked the first Panamax size ship in its new Panamax capacity floating dry dock Namship 3. The ship that marked the milestone was the 43,469 bulker owned by Navigation Maritime which arrived at the Walvis Bay shipyard June 1.

EBH Namibia commissioned the dry dock, its third and largest, back in October 2013 (see earlier story). The floating dock, which has a length of 195 m, entrance width of 32,9 m and a lift capacity of 15,000 tons, was previously owned by Australian shipbuilder and repairer Forgacs Engineering and had long been a Newcastle, New South Wales, harbor landmark. At the time of its sale, Forgacs CEO Lindsay Stratton told local media that due to a lack of demand for drydocking ships, the dock had remained closed since late 2010

The dock is meeting with more success in Namibia.

“As the first Panamax-size vessel to be lifted and docked in Namibia, at the only privately-owned floating dock of its size in western Africa, this was a truly ‘milestone moment’ and an occasion to go down in history,” says Hannes Uys, Chief Executive Officer of EBH Namibia.

“This successful docking and completed project work amply demonstrate our capacity to handle a vessel of this size,” he added. “Namdock 3 has opened up a whole new segment of the market for EBH Namibia, and we believe the success of this project will give our other international clients the confidence that our infrastructure and people are more than capable of handling such vessels,” he says.

Bold Voyager, which operates in West Africa between South Africa, Namibia and Nigeria, set sail for Cape Town on June 12, from where she will go to Nigeria for a steel delivery before returning to Walvis Bay for a salt loading consignment.
The shipyard’s scope of work, completed in 11 days, included painting and blasting.

“With a length overall (LOA) of 185 meters and a beam of 30 meters, the vessel is the largest to be lifted by EBH Namibia, and required methodical planning prior to her arrival to ensure optimum work efficiencies and client satisfaction,” says Mr. Uys. “The sheer size of the surface area to be coated meant meticulous resource management and sound communication skills. I am exceptionally proud that EBH Namibia rose to the challenge with flying colors.”

Several enquiries have been made from similar size vessels, according to Mr.Uys, and the company is gearing up for a busy period as Namdock 3 comes into its own.

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