Weekly Press Review – 12 December 2016

The big maritime news this week is the announcement that African Marine Solutions Group (AMSOL) has acquired the marine solutions company Smit Amandla Marine.

According to the press the sale of the Smit Amandla Marine to AMSOL, which is owned by a consortium including Smit Amandla Marine management and employees, the Mineworkers Investment Company, Pan-African Capital Holdings and RMB Ventures, is in line with a stated commitment by shareholders to capacitate the company over time and return it to 100 percent South African ownership.

Paul Maclons, AMSOL Managing Director, said, “We are excited to build a great South African company and to remain relevant to our clients in the energy, mining, ports and maritime sectors into the future.”

Mary Bomela, CEO of the Mineworkers Investment Company, believes the acquisition supports the objectives of Operation Phakisa. “In facilitating the transformation of the maritime economy in South Africa, AMSOL is now in a unique position to support the continued growth and transformation of the sector in the region – with the transaction including Smit Amandla Marine’s business in Namibia and Mozambique.”

Also making headlines this week is the announcement that South African company Veecraft, specialists in new vessel construction, will be selling two advanced specification security vessels after clients defaulted on payment.

The sale will take place in Cape Town and the vessels could fetch up to US$6 million each.

Ariella Kuper, managing director of Clear Asset who is assisting Veecraft with the urgent sale of the vessels says, “International companies are showing interest in these vessels.”

Finnish power systems company Wartsila is among several companies eyeing opportunities in South Africa’s mooted gas-to-power independent power producer (IPP) programme.

According to the press the programme is expected to be the catalyst for the development of the gas industry in South Africa.

Weekly Press Review – 5 December 2016

The SA Agulhas II embarked on her latest voyage this week. According to the press a group of 10 local scientists and researchers will spend 14 months doing scientific research for South Africa on the white continent, Antarctica.

According to Department of Environmental Affairs spokesperson Zolile Nqayi, “The team will be doing various types of research, including on weather, oceanography and marine animals such as sea birds.  One of the new interesting projects they will work on is doing remote digital surveillance on penguins, in which they track penguins and how they travel for feeding.”

The research is aimed at providing information regarding the effects of climate change.

PetroSA remains in the headlines this week with a call by the DA for PetroSA bosses to pay back their annual bonuses.

According to the press 10 of the company’s top managers, responsible for Project Ikwhezi, received a total bonus of approximately R17.3 million, while regular workers received nothing; and the company registered a deficit of R14.5 bn. Trade union Numsa is insisting that workers are paid some kind of bonus immediately, and also calling for an immediate forensic audit of the company.

A mix-up at Cape Town’s main harbour dry dock left a 67m supply vessel, the Go Regulus, perched on the wrong blocks this week. According to the press the resultant damage has led to a probe by harbour operator Transnet.

According to global ship repair company EBH the mix-up occurred due to dry-dock workers apparently “misinterpreting designs”.

EBH South Africa shipyard manager Deon Chetty said, “ The Go Regulus has sustained limited damage to the hull. This was due to the inadvertent misinterpretation of drawings submitted. However, in the spirit of its lengthy association – as well as co-operation and goodwill – EBH SA is working closely with Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to resolve the matter as speedily as possible.”

Unconfirmed reports suggest that another vessel may also have been damaged due to the docking designs being swapped.

TNPA has previously highlighted massive investment in port infrastructure under Operation Phakisa.