GAC Adds Lay-Up and Warm Stacking Services in Response to Tough Markets

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday March 14, 2016

The Gulf Agency Company Ltd. (GAC) Friday announced that, amid low petroleum prices and a resulting growing demand from the oil and gas sector, GAC South Africa will now offer lay-up and warm stacking services at South African and Namibian ports.

"With the markets being in the state they are, an ever increasing amount of our customers are looking at affordable lay-up options," said Eric Barnar, GAC South Africa's Managing Director.

"Though not good news for the market, it is an opportunity for GAC to offer a service where there previously was none."

With an increasing number of vessels staying idle, GAC says that owners and operators are looking for cost-effective options until more suitable and profitable employment can be found for ships.

GAC says the new offerings will be available at the ports of Cape Town, Ngqura (Coega), Durban, and Saldanha Bay in South Africa, as well at the Namibian port of Walvis Bay, noting that the South African and Namibian ports provide a "viable alternative" by combining space to accommodate lay-ups alongside lower cost, quality services, and support from GAC.

"There is more to a lay-up or warm stacking than simply dropping anchor and turning the engines off," says GAC, adding that the new service offering includes approval of lay-up arrangements, safety and security matters, preservation and maintenance, vessel and hull inspections, status reports, port agency, husbandry, and logistics.

Last month, Ship & Bunker reported that some of the latest steps being taken by dry bulk players to help weather the historically dire markets could include idling vessels as young as 3 years old.