Namibia welcomes country’s first ship building project

The Tunacor Group Limited announced on Wednesday a N$160 million fishing vessel the company has ordered from a Spanish shipbuilder that will receive its final fittings and trimmings in Namibia, in order to bring a portion of the project to Namibia to create local jobs and local income generating capacity.
This project is to become a trailblazer to develop Namibia’s capacity in general limit its foreign order book only to segments of work delivery that can-not be sourced or carried out locally.
The fishing vessel, MVF Oshiveli, is a “first born” for Namibia in many instances. Not only will this become the post-Independent Namibia’s first ship building project, but the vessel was designed by Tunacor’s Technical Department.
The project is twofold: The bulk of the vessel is to be constructed by Armon Shipyards SA in Vigo, Spain, but the final fittings will be completed in Namibia for the benefit of local job creation and local business opportunity.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau, was a guest of honour at the launch of the project by Tunacor in Walvis Bay on Wednesday and said the project is evidence that job creation in the fishing industry should not be limited to create work on fishing vessels or in fish processing plants, but that the entire fishing industry value chain can create jobs within the sector. According to Esau the current work force of close to 16 000 fishing industry workers can be tripled if the entire value chain of the fishing industry is put into motion to create work and local value.
A N$ 160 million budget has been made available for the construction which is estimated to take 18 months. The vessel is a big step for Tunacor and the Namibian economy as whole because of the opportunities it brings.
“The initiative to domesticate shipbuilding activities in Namibia is a paradigm shift which shows that we should not always endeavour to create jobs in the fisheries sector only through fishing activities, but we can diversify to include jobs in shipbuilding and other unit operations in fishery and maritime value chains. We must explore all ways of retaining the Namibian dollar locally, while attracting more foreign exchange, that is how the country will become rich,” Esau further commented .
The fishing trawler measuring 53 meters long and 11.5 meters wide has a gross tonnage of 1200 tons and a cargo capacity of 500 tons of fish. The vessel will be year-round operational, as it will be capable of catching hake, monk and horse mackerel, three main commercial species exploited in Namibia. The vessel will incorporate the latest engine- and trawling technology, ensuring the optimal fuel consumption and maximum operational capabilities while reducing emissions and waste.
Tunacor is expected to reduce over 15% of the construction costs by going local, bringing significant savings to the company. “This initiative by Tunacor Group will not only retain a significant proportion of the ship-building budget here at home, but will also create local jobs in the shipbuilding, develop skills that may be locally lacking, and create vital and strategic ship-building partnerships between Walvis Bay Port and Vigo port. All these achievements are a first for Namibia and I indeed request you all to join me in congratulating Tunacor Group Ltd for this wonderful achievement,” Esau added. A director of Tunacor Group Limited, Peya Hitula, at the launch event explained: “The benefits to the Namibian economy as a result of this project include the 200 direct jobs we expect to create by building this vessel. 60 of these positions will be on-board and 140 will be land based. There will also be hundreds of jobs indirectly created in the supply, maintenance and logistic chains.”
The new vessel will bring more revenue for the fishing sector and Tunacor but also for the government as resource rent in the form of taxes and levies. It will assist in increasing the country’s pace of industrialisation and economic diversification.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login