Seven months ago Southern African Shipyards was named the preferred bidder to provide a new hydrographic platform for the SA Navy and ongoing negotiations regarding technical and commercial conditions, among others, mean there is still no finality on when “preferred” will be changed to “confirmed”.
Solomzi Mbada, Armscor Group Executive: Corporate Support, told defenceWeb Durban-based Southern African Shipyards was appointed as the preferred bidder for Project Hotel in a competitive tender process.
“The appointment is subject to the successful negotiation of detailed technical and commercial conditions with the aim of arriving at a contracting position for execution of the project.
“The procurement process is still underway and not finalised and once negotiations with the preferred bidder are concluded, there is another process involved – obtaining the necessary approvals from the various approval structures in the Department of Defence,” he said, adding it is “difficult” to provide clarity on both the construction timeframe and actual fitting out of the new SA Navy new hydrographic vessel.
That means the close to 50-year-old SAS Protea will continue to provide hydrographic services for the SA Navy and the wider maritime sector for the foreseeable future.
Also back in February Armscor announced Damen Shipyards Cape Town as preferred bidder for six new hulls – three each of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and inshore patrol vessels (IPVs).
The Request for Offer (RfO) for the OPVs was cancelled in August leaving only the still-to-be-built IPVs as extra platforms to patrol South Africa’s maritime resources, an integral part of the blue economy component of Operation Phakisa.
On the IPVs, Mbada said the procurement process, including negotiations, was still underway with the “respective shipyard to arrive at a contractual baseline”.