Friso Visser, Damen Shipyards Cape Town director, speaking to the public. (Photo: Damen)
Damen introduces its financial leasing system for ships to South African fishing community
Thursday, December 06, 2018, 01:50 (GMT + 9)
Damen Shipyards Cape Town deems the first Fishing Seminar, held in Cape Town, as a great success, where it introduced its new financial leasing system for ship building aimed at African shipowners, the fund "Africa Ship Leasing."
The serminar was attended by more than 60 participants from a broad cross-section of the industry, including the five major South African fishing companies.
More than 60 participants from a broad cross-section of the industry attended the seminar, including the five major South African fishing companies. (Photo: Damen)
“The event was a good opportunity for different stakeholders from various sides of the industry to come together - to engage, listen and understand the current operating environment and various push and pull factors such as the cost of doing business, etc. It was a very informative day,” pointed out Jeremy Marillier, Executive Director of FishSA, the representative of all the main industry associations in South Africa.
“Damen wants to show how it can support the fishing community, both in terms of maintaining the existing fleet and also through the fund, which can help them develop their fleet and potentially replace ageing vessels. I think the fishing industry appreciated our efforts,” stated Benny Bhali, Sales and Marketing Executive at Damen Shipyards Cape Town.
Bhali stressed that it is worth noting that clearly these issues are of interest in other parts of southern Africa as companies from Namibia and Mozambique also attended.
Participants also had a tour of Damen Shipyards Cape Town to highlight the advantages of building vessels ‘in Africa for Africa’.
“We can show shipowners what is possible and how we can help them grow their business. Although fishing companies are awarded their quotas, it is not always easy for them to get local financing for investments in their fleet, so the Damen Fund enables them to tap into the international financing market,” Bhali stressed.
The executive highlighted that the South African government has some important initiatives to help develop the fleet but he recognised that it will not be able to achieve its ambitions on its own.
Damen has delivered more than 1,200 vessels to customers in Africa over the years. Africa Ship Leasing was established in May 2018 and is already assisting owners in both Nigeria and Angola. Each lease agreement is tailormade.