The naming ceremony for the first of the two Damen Shoalbusters 3009 being built for marine solutions specialist SMIT Amandla Marine at Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT), was held on Thursday, 29 October 2015. Mrs Jenny Coltman, Spouse of the Chairman of De Beers Group Services, named the vessel Aukwatowa.
The Shoalbuster series of multi-purpose, shallow draught workboats are designed for inland and coastal waters. The 30 metre 3009S has a bollard pull of 24.5 tonnes and is fitted with a crane with a lifting capacity of up to 1.7 tonnes, making it suitable for towage, buoy-laying, pushing and all-round support duties. These new vessels will carry out supply and support work for the De Beers Group’s offshore diamond mining activities out of Port Nolloth in the Northern Cape. With the shallow waters of the port making it accessible only to vessels with draughts of 2.8 metres or less, the minimal draught of the Shoalbuster was an important factor in SMIT Amandla selecting the class.
The Aukwatowa was delivered on time and to budget. The trainees on DSCT’s highly-regarded Apprenticeship Programme played a significant role in the project, with all of them getting the opportunity to exercise their newly-acquired skills as the vessel took shape.
DSCT is proud of its successful Apprentice Training Programme, which recently received official recognition when the South African Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr Rob Davies MP, visited the yard to present certificates to nine apprentices who have achieved Artisan status. The training programme makes an appreciable contribution to creating jobs and raising skills levels both locally and in the South African marine industry. Since 2010, 63 young people, including 19 females, have benefitted from the apprenticeship programme. DSCT’s efforts also contribute to the South African Government’s economic change initiative, known as Operation Phakisa, one element of which is the development of the country’s maritime sector.
Meanwhile, the build of the second Shoalbuster for SMIT Amandla is proceeding smoothly and on schedule for delivery in 2016. Throughout both builds, DSCT has had the full cooperation of Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld, the yard behind the development of this class. The Dutch yard has transferred the necessary technology and provided full support to ensure a top quality end result.
The naming of Aukwatowa marks the mid-point of what has thus far been an exemplary project. It has worked well at all levels: a build for a local client at a local shipyard, based on a proven design, the transfer of technology, high levels of local content, and sustainability of employment. All have led to a vessel built to the highest quality standards, with the best materials and workmanship, incorporating state-of-the-art technology and delivering excellent performance.
“We quickly established an excellent relationship with the SMIT Amandla Marine project management team,” said DSCT project manager Craig Trethewey. “As a result the project has gone smoothly and is on schedule. We are really pleased with progress and look forward to seeing the second vessel in the water in February next year.”
Sam Montsi, Chairman of DSCT: “We at Damen Shipyards Cape Town believe that the economic development of our country is a shared responsibility between Government and the private sector. We are therefore proud to be part of this co-operative effort with SMIT Amandla and De Beers in having the two vessels built here in Cape Town. The vessels have been built within the budgets and times agreed. We look forward to more co-operation with SMIT Amandla and other vessel operators in our country.”