Nduna Maritime, the shipping unit of South Africa’s Mnambithi Group, has entered into a ZAR400m ($26.45m) enterprise and supplier development (ESD) funding agreement with Sasol, a global integrated chemicals and energy company, to invest in a chemical tanker through Sasol Siyakha Trust.
The vessel, 1998-built 37,300 dwt Bow Cecil, has been acquired from Odfjel. It is the first owned vessel in Mnambithi’s fleet and it is also the first South Africa-flagged chemical tanker.
The vessel will still be commercial and technically operated by Odfjell.
“We are excited about the acquisition and have long term plans to own and operate our own tankers. We also have plans to expand our fleet in both liquid bulk and dry bulk vessels which will see us further deepen South African ownership of the maritime industry. The vessel currently handles outbound shipments of chemicals into Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe for Sasol and other companies,” said Vusi Mazibuko, Mnambithi Group’s executive chairman.
Nduna Maritime will use the vessel to increase its capacity to ship chemical products to markets in Asia.
“We believe that through this ground-breaking project, we have heeded the call to address the aspirations of our government’s National Development Plan by increasing investment in the country’s ship registry as well as by creating an enabling environment for the improvement of human capital and skills development in the sector,” Mazibuko added.
Mnambithi Group also runs joint venture Odfjell Mazibuko with Odfjell, which commercially and operationally handles all Odfjell Tankers’ chemical tankers calling ports sub-Sahara.