South Africa’s rig/ship repair and engineering sector is well developed to offer a wide range of services. Offering close proximity to the west and east African oil and gas fields, the country’s ports are able to supply a full range of ship and rig services ranging from routine maintenance and inspection through repairs to fabrication of additional add-ons and complete jackets. In addition to the industrial and marine engineering in the port cities, the development of the mining industry in the interior has seen the growth of major heavy engineering services in Gauteng.
While many of the port-based engineering firms continue to invest and gear up for the larger machining requirements of the offshore industry, Johannesburg-based heavy engineering services are also available. Although some distance from the ports, they represent only a road haul each way for heavy loads.
The marine engineering sector is generally based within the harbour precincts of the various ports with establishments, offices and workshops on sites leased from the port authorities and making extensive use of the facilities offered by the port:
- General harbour services
- Repair jetties and other berthing sites
- Drydocking facilities
Not all ship repair firms, however, are located inside the port precincts, but are generally within close proximity in nearby industrial areas. While most of the major repair and maintenance contracts are handled by a handful of large players with project managing experience, they are supported by numerous smaller ship repair firms, ancillary engineering firms and other service providers.
All leading firms are certified as compliant with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 or can obtain certification as needed. They are able to comply with all recognised international standards applicable to the work they perform and submit willingly to industry-related audits to establish compliance.
Aside from repair work, the local industry has the ability to fabricate many of the sub-units required by the offshore industry. Many of these are currently fabricated locally and the industry is keen to become involved in a wider range of projects.