Cape Town wants to become a big player in ship repair

Aug 23, 2003
Author: P&S

The port of Cape Town has to regularly turn away ships needing repair facilities because of a lack of facilities at the port, says Bill Cilliers, planning manager of the port of Cape Town.

Cilliers was responding to the announcement (see earlier News report) that the National Port Authority was calling for expressions of interest in developing a new ship repair facility near the Cape Town Container Terminal.

He said that booking had to be made up to eight months in advance and the port urgently needed additional capacity to service the smaller vessel market and the construction of a new repair facility was the best solution. The alternatives of expanding existing facilities or building the required four floating docks were not viable, as there was inadequate space for development within the respective facility areas.

In addition, commercial development and business at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront also provided an environment of frequently conflicting operations at the Robinson Dry Dock and Syncrolft facility, both of which accommodate smaller vessels.

The port’s under-capacity in servicing smaller vessels has prompted inappropriate use of the larger Sturrock Dry Dock, which often has to accommodate the overflow of smaller vessels.

“The incorrect use of facilities has resulted in a loss of revenue for NPA and the local economy, as the more lucrative, larger vessel market cannot be serviced adequately,” said Sanjay Govan, port manager of Cape Town.

The development could take place over 18 months, excluding the NPA and Transnet procurement and administration processes (which are usually time-consuming).

The port of Cape Town provides ship repair infrastructure that is predominantly used by offshore vessels, research vessels and local and foreign fishing fleets.

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