Elgin Brown & Hamer : Ship Shape

Eddie ClintonEditorial Team
Eddie Clinton - Senior Head of Projects Editorial Team

Elgin Brown & Hamer South Africa’s track record speaks for itself over the course of 138 years, but this doesn’t prevent the market leader from seeking new opportunities for expansion and diversification.


Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH South Africa) will soon celebrate 140 years of operations in a country that heavily relies on the Company’s experience, expertise and commitment to wider industry growth.

The ship repair specialist has provided the international shipping domain and oil & gas sector with a full in-house service across all associated facets since its inception 1879 from its bases in Durban, Cape Town, East London and Walvis Bay.

“EBH South Africa offers a dedicated team of employees focused on superior quality, service and safety, provided by skilled craftsmen as well as an extensive network of experienced subcontractors,” the Company introduces on its website. “This ensures efficient ship repairs, conversion and new construction projects.”

Accredited with ISO 9001:2008 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certifications, EBH leverages its unrivalled experience to continuously expand and diversify its offering.

Its blasting and painting service incorporates high pressure cleaning, grit blasting and coatings to specified standards; its hydraulics division offers a 24-hour service in specialised shipboard systems; its mechanical operations are equipped with a range of machine tools and task remits driven by skilled personnel; and the oil & gas domain is catered for via the aforementioned full in-house ship service provision.

“Other services include piping repairs, riding crews, steel repairs and underwater operations,” the Company continues. “The former piping repairs service forms a major part of EBH’s work and our workshops have more than 30 machines covering pipe cutting and bending activities, as well as other machineries used for pipe handling efficiency.”


Elgin Brown & Hamer South Africa’s team is comprised of a dedicated workforce encouraged to focus on superior quality, service and safety across each and every project.

Complemented by an extensive network of experienced subcontractors, the Company’s skilled craftsmen have subsequently been involved in a series of high profile opportunities.

“EBH Durban was approached by the owners of the MT Berg, a 144 metre 16,500DWT chemical and multi-product tanker to effect a post-build assessment of the stainless steel pipe systems that had failed  during its delivery voyage,” the Company’s website explains regarding its Berg project in 2009. “The vessel docked alongside EBH Berth for minor repairs and the inspection of leaks in pipe systems. Upon inspection it was determined that the fully-welded pipe systems were in some cases not welded to specification.

“Material analysis of the failed pipe sections further revealed that the stainless steel pipe was manufactured from re-melt SS scrap and had an iron content that was out of specification.

“EBH undertook the replacement of all deck, engine room, pump room and tank space pipe work with the assistance of several petro chemical qualified piping contractors, to the satisfaction of the Bureau Veritas Surveyors and owners.

“During the two months… a project management plan to schedule the work in the tank spaces and compartments was devised to avoid labour clashes amongst the piping contractors and optimise the sequence of the repairs.”

Work on the Superior Pride vessel refurbishment and the year-long Pinocchio refurb required similar levels of competency, efficiency and quality; as did EBH’s involvement with Acergy Eagle.

“The project entailed a major (five-year)  refit to the Acergy Eagle, a 138-metre subsea seven-cable restorer that had been converted into a pipe carrier with moon pool, heavy lift crane and specialised deep diving bell, spudding and anchor tendon placement,” the Company details. “It was decided to undertake repairs to the main engines, propulsion and thrusters as well as embarkation of new sonar equipment, pipe spools and piping for continued link-up work in Angola.

“The Acergy Eagle was under a strict timeline to complete the refit work and return to Angola to complete the tie-ins. The vessel was returned into service on 15 January, 2008 and EBH repatriated all removed equipment and pipe spools as per the owner’s instruction.”


Over the years, expansion and diversification hasn’t simply been a case of new services, solutions or offerings but has in one pivotal example, been an enlargement of the Group as a whole.

The introduction of Port Scaff in 1986 came with a vision to facilitate the hiring, sales and erection of various scaffolding solutions to complement the existing EBH SA remit.

“Since this expansion and adoption of a broader vision for the Company as a whole, we can now service other industries in South Africa including the building, painting and construction industries,” the Company says. “Our quotes are based on yearly maintenance contracts, fixed rates, daily rates and cubic metre rates. Most of our valuable work comes from our high levels of repeat business, customer recommendations and safety standards.

“[As such], Port Scaff is a division of EBH SA that facilitates the hiring, sales and erection of various scaffolding solutions to suit your particular needs.”

Port Scaff embraces work around tower and mobile scaffolding, independent scaffolding, cantilever scaffolding, suspended scaffolding, birdcage and load bearing scaffolding, apron scaffolding, access towers, and temporary swimming pool covers.

And across each sub-sector the same socially responsible and safe processes are implemented by a team of staff who have enjoyed bespoke skills development over a number of years.

And such dedication to the ‘small details’ have been rewarded with big accolades.

“After 15 years of recognising and celebrating success, innovation and ethical excellence in South Africa’s leading companies, the Oliver Empowerment Awards – in association with the Impumelelo – named us as one of South Africa’s Top Empowered Companies at the country’s premier awards ceremony for leadership and transformation,” EBH emphasises. “This was awarded for our outstanding achievement as a top empowered Company in its sector and for contributing to the growth and sustainability of the South African economy.”

Share This Article
By Eddie Clinton Senior Head of Projects