Armscor is keeping its cards close to the chest as regards its single largest tender request for the SA Navy since democracy.
Project Hotel will see a new vessel purpose-built to replace SAS Protea and all Armscor, in the person of its general manager: marketing and development Lulu Mzili, will say is “it was a competitive tender with a number of tenders submitted”.
As far as ascertaining the involvement of foreign shipbuilders this is also off limits.
A bidders’ conference, attended by representatives of 12 shipyards, was held last October in Simon’s town
“Adjudication of the tender submissions has started and as it is still in process, Armscor cannot provide more information on this matter,” she said.
The tender closing date for submissions for Project Hotel was extended by two months because of the complexity of the project, which involves not only building a new hydrographic vessel but also ancillary equipment to make the new platform part of a full hydrographic system.
The will see the selected tenderer deliver a pair of inshore survey motorboats integrated with the new hydrographic vessel, a sea boat, a hangar flight deck arrangement for a medium-sized maritime helicopter as well as an upgrade to the shore-based hydrographic offices and infrastructure at Silvermine. A spare motorboat, fully equipped and operationally qualified, is the final component of the Project Hotel tender.
Indications are adjudication could take up to a year. This means the Navy will maintain and operate the 44-year-old SAS Protea for at least another seven or eight years before its replacement arrives in Simon’s town.