Need to capitalise on maritime sectors

Chamber of Business chief executive Kevin Hustler
Chamber of Business chief executive Kevin Hustler

Business chamber boss Hustler calls for expansion of shipbuilding in Bay

Nelson Mandela Bay was looking to identify niche ship building sectors to begin capitalizing on the huge potential in the maritime industry, Chamber of Business chief executive Kevin Hustler said yesterday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Investing in Blue symposium organised by NMMU at the Boardwalk, Hustler said maritime business opportunities had already emerged with the servicing of oil rigs at the Port of Ngqura and the off shore refuelling of ships.

“But the next step is identifying other specific maritime sectors to focus on,” he said.

Hustler said the “low-hanging fruits” for the Bay could include deep-sea diving training to bolster marine search and rescue, ship salvaging and ship building.

A catalyst for the ship building sector could be the pending move to Port Elizabeth of highly successful Cape St Francis company Tag Yachts, which builds and exports luxury yachts around the world.

Hustler said Tag’s know-how and business model could provide the ideal blueprint to expand ship building in the Bay.

Another possible focus area was ship repairs to cater for vessels turned away by the over-booked harbours of Durban and Cape Town.

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