Cape Town’s Sturrock Dry Dock a hive of activity

The Debmar Atlantic being refurbished by contractors at the Sturrock Dry Dock in the Port of Cape Town.

The Sturrock Dry Dock in the Port of Cape Town has been a hive of activity recently with a number of interesting vessels berthing at the facility for repairs and maintenance.

The mining vessel, mv Debmar Atlantic, owned by De Beers Marine Namibia (Pty) Ltd, recently underwent routine work at the dry dock, carried out by contracting firms.

Built in 1978, mv Debmar Atlantic features its own diamond processing plant on board the vessel. During the mining process gravel, bearing diamonds, is airlifted from the seabed to the vessel. The gravel and water is de-aerated before entering the processing plant. The material then goes through various stages and processes before the diamonds are recovered.

Sturrock Dry Dock was also the site of recent repairs on the deep water field development ship (FDS) SAIPEM FDS 2 owned by Saipem (Portugal) Comercio Maritimo (SPCM.) The work was carried out by DCD Marine, Cape Town. SAIPEM FDS 2 was designed and built to assist in the construction of subsea infrastructure, connecting oil production platforms with refineries on shore.

Cape Town Port Manager, Sipho Nzuza, said, “The Port of Cape Town has been earmarked as one of the important hubs for the delivery of government’s Operation Phakisa initiatives aimed at supporting the growth of the local ship repair, ship building and oil and gas sectors. We have seen increased ship repair activity and are gearing up for more frequent calls such as this one.”

To target the ship repair and offshore oil and gas sectors, TNPA intends to refurbish the Syncrolift facility which is situated in the Victoria & Albert Waterfront Precinct. The authority will also replace water circulating pumps at the Sturrock Dry Dock. Future work would include refurbishment of the Robinson Dry Dock and Sturrock Dry Dock, replacement of 10 cranes.

Speaking at the recent African Ports Evolution 2015 conference at the Durban ICC, TNPA Chief Operations Officer, Phyllis Difeto, said: “Operation Phakisa and its focus on the Oceans Economy will be a major driver to invest in the port system. TNPA will spend a total of around R2bn over the next five years to refurbish existing repair facilities, while we will invest an estimated R13 to 15bn to create new repair facilities at the South African ports.”