According to defenceWeb, Kommer Damen, Chairman of the international Damen Shipyards Group, said that Transnet's leasing policy is hurting investment in the ship building industry. Shipbuilding required access to the waterfront, he said. However, Transnet National Ports Authority (NPA) - who owns large areas of South African waterfront -has a policy of only offering short-term leases of five to seven years.
Speaking at the inauguration of the new Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) building in Table Bay Harbour, Damen said that, because longer leases are preferred by investors, Transnet's short leases would be turned down by European shipyards and financing companies. Transnet NPA should therefore offer "much longer leases for all their industrial areas in the port (in order to attract) much bigger investments."
But Damen had also some good news for the South African shipbuilding industry, defenceWeb says. The company has decided to base its southern African customers' service operations in South Africa, while keeping local branches in Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria. Damen will also be starting a training facility in Cape Town in order to train crews on Damen-built ships in service at southern African countries.
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