The Port of Cape Town is poised to expand the portís ship repair facilities to meet current and future demand for ship repair work. The port is inviting proposals for the construction of a multi-million rand ship repair facility at the Elliot Basin in the Ben Schoeman Dock within the port. The National Ports Authority (NPA) will award a concession for the development and operation of the facility to a private consortium, at the conclusion of the tender process. The current ship repair infrastructure is predominantly used by offshore vessels, research vessels and local and foreign fishing vessel fleets.
Mr. Billy Cilliers, planning manager of the Port of Cape Town, said present facilites, namely the Syncrolift, Robinson Dry Dock and Sturrock Dry Dock, regularly have to turn vessels away. Bookings are being made as far as eight months in advance. He said the port needed additional capacity to service the smaller vessel market and the construction of a new ship repair facility was the best solution. The alternatives of expanding existing facilities or building the required four floating docks were not viable, as there was inadequate space for development within the respective facility areas. The portís under-capacity in facilities servicing smaller vessels has prompted the ineffective use of the larger Sturrock Dry Dock, as it accommodates the overflow of smaller vessels, while the dock is intended for the more lucrative, larger vessel shiprepair market. The development could take place over 18 months.