From left to right: Alastair Pettie, Rune Haukom, Steve Nell, Shaun Ortell, Pierre Marais, Wojtek Kowalczyk (Photo: Kongsberg Maritime)
Kongsberg said it has opened its first office and warehouse facility in the Republic of South Africa on Friday, November 4, 2016. Located in Cape Town’s airport zone, the new Kongsberg Maritime South Africa facility joins the company’s global network of first party sites, consisting 64 offices located in 20 countries, employing more than 4,000 people.
Kongberg's expansion in South Africa comes as the Government’s National Development Plan turns toward maritime resources as part of ‘Operation Phakisa’; a program implemented to unlock the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans. Kongsberg Maritime’s diverse technology portfolio can support all major pillars of the Operation Phakisa maritime program, including: marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas, aquaculture, marine protection and ocean governance/monitoring.
The Kongsberg Maritime South Africa facility currently combines office and warehouse space in addition to a testing lab, with plans already in place to open training facilities that will help local offshore operators to meet local content requirements. Kongsberg Maritime said it is committed to employing local engineers to support a diverse customer-base across the African continent through technical skills and knowledge in addition to cultural experience.
Kongsberg Maritime South Africa currently addresses all customer needs within the merchant automation and dynamic positioning segments, with a plan to quickly expand scope as the facility grows next year. Current focus is on service, maintenance and after-market support, but the facility will act as a local contact point for all customers in the region. With its location close to Cape Town International Airport, Kongsberg Maritime South Africa can deploy technicians to customer vessels throughout Sub-Saharan Africa faster and for lower-costs.
“The current shipping and offshore markets are challenging but it’s vital that we continue to support our global customer-base by ensuring we have local facilities ready to help wherever a vessel may be,” said Vegar Arndal, EVP Global Customer Support, Kongsberg Maritime. “Our new South Africa office positions a team of experts closer to our customers in the region, enabling a faster, more cost-effective response should we need to visit a vessel. I see Kongsberg Maritime South Africa as a first and important building block in our journey in the region. We have a long-term focus and expect the African continent to be even more exciting going forward.”
“We see an ocean of opportunities in South Africa and throughout the continent, with fast growing economies that attract more and more shipping traffic and a steady offshore oil and gas industry,” said Rune Haukom, VP Global Customer Support – Offshore and Chairman of Kongsberg Maritime South Africa. “By being present with our own facility, we will be better positioned to support local industry across the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region and be part of the growth that Operation Phakisa is expected to generate.”