Offshore breakthrough for black-owned shipping company

Aug 4, 2005
Author: P&S

Marine Bulk Carriers (MBC), the Cape Town-based black owned shipping company, expects to commence its anchor handling supply vessel contract with PetroSA with the departure from Cape Town of the giant oil rig Pride Southseas.

Pride Southseas, which has undergone a major refit in Cape Town, was expected to leave earlier this week but has been delayed for a few days.

In terms of the contract between MBC and PetroSA, MBC will supply an anchor handling tug supply vessel for service on PetroSA’s Sable Oil Field along South Africa’s Southern Cape Coast. The supply tug, Malaviya Twenty One recently arrived in Cape Town from the Bharati Shipyard in Mumbai, India, after MBC entered into a vessel provision agreement with Great Eastern Shipping of India, the owners of the supply tug.

Malaviya Twenty One with Pride Southseas in the background in Cape Town harbour, following a major refit to the oil rig

The Malaviya Twenty One has been built to the highest specifications, with horsepower of 10 800 BHP and a Bollard Pull of 130 tons. The anticipated departure of the Pride Southseas, assisted by the Malaviya Twenty One and another anchor handling vessel Buccaneer, signals a new venture for Marine Bulk Carriers into the off-shore business.

The contract with PetroSA follows soon after another deal by MBC’s sister company, Marine Crew Services (MCS), in which Sanko Steamship Co of Japan made a significant investment in both companies, including giving MBC access to Sanko’s international shipping fleet and MCS training facilities on Sanko vessels.

According to Lester Peteni, MBC chairman, the company has been targeting the South African off-shore sector for new business development.

“We have worked closely with Great Eastern in meeting the exacting requirements of the PetroSA tender for the supply of an anchor handling tug. It is important for MBC as a new black owned shipping company to develop working relationships with established companies of international repute such as Great Eastern Shipping”.

Great Eastern is India`s largest private sector shipping and off-shore oil field services provider. Based in Mumbai, it owns and operates a fleet of 31 offshore vessels.

Vijay Sheth, Great Eastern managing director said that the venture with MBC and PetroSA is of great significance to the involvement of his company in South Africa.

“More importantly, it signifies the interest of Indian companies to work with black owned SA companies such as MBC to enhance job opportunities, the skills base and know-how of local companies. Great Eastern will work closely with MBC to create on board opportunities for training and development. There is growing cooperation between South Africa and India in many spheres, and Great Eastern, along with its partner MBC, is excited to contribute to this.”



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