Debmarine signs off funding for new vessel

21 June 2019

Four local banks, Nedbank Namibia, RMB Namibia, Standard Bank, Bank Windhoek and South Africa’s ABSA have provided an N$5.6 billion loan to Debmarine Namibia towards funding the acquisition and construction of the company’s latest marine diamond mining vessel, the AMV3.

According to details of the deal, Nedbank Namibia, which facilitated the transaction and also provided hedging for the foreign currency denominated loans, provided 40 percent of the required amount, with Debmarine having provided N$1 billion of the required N$7 billion.
“We brought all the banks together and our contribution was between US$170-180 million of the amount. Being a foreign currency denominated transection, hedging had to be provided against currency movements and we provided that,” said Nedbank’s Executive CIB and Treasury, Karl-Stefan Altman.
“We are proud to have been part of the project and having facilitated the transection and it’s our first-time being part of such a project.”
Bank Windhoek provided close to N$400 million as part of the asset financing facility.
 “It is an honour to be part of the lending consortium that realised the birth of the Alternative Mining Vessel 3.  As a catalyst of sustainable opportunities, Bank Windhoek believes that capital investment projects of this nature enable progress and growth - not just in key sectors but also in the economy as a whole,” Bank Windhoek’s Executive Officer for Corporate and Institutional Banking, Lukas Nanyemba said.
“As a collective, the banking sector has once again shown that, together they can play a meaningful role in ensuring growth and expansion of industries that will ultimately culminate in Namibia’s economic advancement. Congratulations to Debmarine Namibia for this milestone achievement and thank you for providing Bank Windhoek, a home-grown Namibian bank, with an opportunity of being a part of it.” 
Standard Bank, which has previously provided funding for Debmarine, revealed that it had made available N$1.5 billion as part of funding agreement.
 ‘It’s good see all the banks coming together and on a transaction. It’s important that we partner and work together to meet the needs of such projects,” Standard Bank Namibia CEO, Vetumbuavi Mungunda said.
“At Standard Bank we are very pleased in continuing with the partnership and providing N$1.5 billion (US$78 million) for the transaction.”
He urged government to benchmark its Public Private Partnership on with Debmarine Namibia, a 50-50 owned company by De Beers and the government of Namibia, has managed to achieve.
“This allows government to see what other areas this model can be used in other PPPs,” Mungunda said.
RMB Namibia CEO, Conrad Dempsey commended Debmarine for the investment in the new vessel, with bank having provided N$1.1 billion (US$78 million).
“We believe it’s commendable that a Namibian company continues to invest in such projects and we are proud to be associated with investments of this nature. For RMB this is not the end of the line for these kinds of projects,” he said. 
Debmarine Namibia CEO, Otto Shikongo said the new vessel contributes significantly to diamond production, which currently stands at 1.2 million carats annually.
“The highest quality diamonds in the world are found in our ocean and with this investment, we will be able to optimize new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand,” he said.
“By 2022, over seven years, Debmarine Namibia would have invested over N$10 billion and created 300 direct employment opportunities.”
The vessel which is being constructed by Damen Shipyard in Romania and expected to be completed by 2022, is going to be registered in Namibia at the Port of Luderitz, and will be seventh vessel in the company’s fleet and the largest, with an expected annual production of 500,000 carats of diamonds. 
Although the company’s mining operations have a life-of-mine of 31 years, the company is optimistic about continuing to mine beyond 2050.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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