Second newbuild naming signals completion of successful local shipbuilding project

by Hans | June 3rd, 2016

In keeping with maritime tradition, the second of two vessels destined to support the world’s largest offshore diamond mining operation will be officially named today. Built by Damen Shipyards Cape Town for specialist marine solutions provider SMIT Amandla Marine, the ‘Aogatoa’ will join her sister vessel, the ‘Aukwatowa’, in the coming weeks. The supply vessels are based out of Port Nolloth on the Northern Cape west coast and operate on contract to the Supply Chain Centre of De Beers Group Services.

Taking up the traditional role of ‘Lady Sponsor‘ in the naming ceremony is Mrs Adri Nelson, Supply Chain Centre Manager for De Beers Group Services in Port Nolloth. Mrs Nelson has managed the logistics base in Port Nolloth for eight years, and has been integral to the supply vessel newbuild programme in her role in managing the Northern Cape based supply chain centre for De Beers.

The first of the newbuild vessels, the ‘Aukwatowa’, was officially named on Thursday, 29th October, 2015 in the presence of the Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr. Rob Davies, who applauded the partnership approach adopted by SMIT Amandla Marine, the leading black empowered specialist marine solutions company in Southern Africa, and their client De Beers, together with Damen Shipyards Cape Town.

Built to a Shoalbuster design, both 30m vessels utilise the most modern technology available and the construction has led to job creation and skills transfer at the shipyard, thereby supporting the growth and transformation strategies of business and government in the maritime sector, and the objectives of the National Industrial Participation Programme.
The naming of the ‘Aogatoa’, which means “safe return”, signals the completion of the newbuild project which began in 2013 with a commitment by De Beers and SMIT Amandla Marine to replace the then operating vessels, thereby underpinning their joint vision of safe and sustainable fleet renewal.

SMIT Amandla Marine and De Beers have been operational in Port Nolloth for more than three decades and will later this year celebrate the 4000th supply run with the community. The companies participate with the communities in the region, advancing skills development by supporting courses leading to qualifications in careers associated with economic activities locally and providing skills marketable in industry.

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