Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  07 Aug 2012

MARITIME: Bumper Year For DCD Marine


Recent Western Cape Business News

ENGINEERING conglomerate DCD (formerly DCD-Dorbyl) is enjoying a bumper year in its ship repair activities, says CEO Rob King.

This is good news, especially considering DCD – which turns over some R3 billion from a variety of engineering activities – spent a considerable sum to upgrade its A-Berth facility in the Cape Town harbour late last year.

The upgrade included the installation of a 350 ton permanent crawler crane at A-Berth along with a variety of mobile cranes.

In terms of pure numbers it does not take much to buoy the local ship-building sector. King told CBN: “A bumper year for us is maybe four or five ships. This is going to be a good year for us. Last year was a bad one.”

King says that in terms of cyclical businesses the ship building and repair industry was one of the most variable.

In a business where viability revolves around small volumes and big margins it is critical that contracts are lucrative.

King notes there are currently two ships in Cape Town harbour for repairs. “One is being worked on by our competition, and we are busy with the other one. We might see another vessel in August, which might mean five vessels repaired in Cape Town harbour this year.”

He says work undertaken in Cape Town harbour is mostly limited to vessels serving the West and East Coast of Africa. “They can come to Cape Town…or they can also go to Rotterdam or Los Palmos.”

King conceded A –berth was under threat in the long-term as newer vessels needed berthing that could accommodate a deeper draft. “We can handle older ships, which currently accounts for around 60% of the shipping fleet. But newer vessels will probably have to go to Saldanha Bay or Coega.”

King reckoned DCD Marine would still have a role to play in new berthing facilities. “There will be a need for back-up facilities and personnel. It’s a regional opportunity and we need an upfront plan, which is why we are investing heavily in people and training.”

He indicated that DCD marine would be opening a new training centre shortly.

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