Syncrolift back at full capacity

Namport has re-opened its Syncrolift to full capacity this week. Extensive repair and maintenance work had been carried out at the 44 year-old Syncrolift since June 2014. It necessitated the Syncrolift operating below its capacity.
The re-opening on Wednesday of this week coincided to the day three years since a major incident at the Syncrolift on 31 May 2014 when a cable of one of the lift platform’s winch motors snapped whilst lifting a fishing vessel from the water for repairs and maintenance.
During the re-opening ceremony on Wednesday, Elzevir Gelderbloem, Namport Port Engineer, emphasized Namport’s commitment towards keeping the Syncrolift in good running condition. “The Syncrolift is a pivotal dry dock facility for ship repairs and maintenance in Walvis Bay. The Syncrolift can accommodate vessels of up to 2000 tons and is crucial for the local fishing industry for drydock vessel repairs and maintenance.
We will not allow this facility to be closed down or fall into disrepair. We will continue to maintain it and to repair when necessary. The money we spent annually over the last few years on concrete rehabilitation and the steel repairs runs into millions”, explained Gelderbloem.
In the 2014 incident, major damage was caused to two main steel beams and a grillage section when a wire rope completely severed under tension while Namport Syncrolift personnel were in the process of lifting the MFV Paraclete out of the water onto the syncrolift platform.
All ground work came to a halt. Kraatz Marine and several other local companies under Namport’s supervision and instruction carried out a stabilisation operation and emergency repairs. The syncrolift only became semi-operational on 14 June 2014, and remained functional, albeit at reduced capacity until the re-opening this week.
The Syncrolift has since 1973 been one of only two commercial drydock ship repair facilities in Walvis Bay. The other is Elgin Brown and Hamer Namibia (EBHN) which operates three floating docks in the port of Walvis Bay.
Namport is not involved in the actual ship repair business carried out at the Syncrolift but generates revenues from docking/ undocking and repair bay leasing only. The ship repair and maintenance business is carried out by the local marine engineering and allied sectors.

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