Barloworld Power, the southern African dealer for Caterpillar power systems, has opened a new facility at Vredenburg in the Western Cape to provide customised power solutions and support to the West Coast marine and petroleum  industries.

The opening of the Vredenburg facility on 7 February was the third by Barloworld Power in three months, following new start-ups in Angola and Mozambique in late 2013.

Vredenburg, 12km inland from Saldanha Bay and about 140km north of Cape Town, is considered the transportation and commercial hub of the West Coast and is the administrative centre of the Saldanha Bay Local Municipality.

Located on the main Vredenburg-Saldanha road, the new facility will provide on-the-spot service and support for Barloworld Power’s many long-term customers in the fishing industry and is also well placed to serve the new Saldanha Industrial Development Zone. The IDZ, officially launched last year, is attracting strong interest from global oil and gas companies and local suppliers to the petroleum sector.

Barloworld Power represents MaK, Cat and Perkins engines and the Vredenburg facility, developed at a cost of about R1 million, includes offices and a workshop with lifting equipment to handle components up to 2,5 tons. Wynand van Zyl, Barloworld Power manager for the Cape region, says the MaK power systems business is expected to grow significantly with the foreign vessel activity that accompanies development in the petroleum sector. “This facility will supply strategic parts and service support for MaK products.”

Dedicated marine and petroleum product support representatives and certified mechanics are based in the Vredenburg facility.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

“Barloworld Power has always tried to base itself as close to its customers as possible and our Durban facility located in the harbour has proved highly successful," says van Zyl. “We have had a small presence on the West Coast for about 10 years now, with technical support based in Cape Town. Our investment in Vredenburg is a response to customer demand for quick and effective solutions and we are looking at Mossel Bay as another hub that may require strategic support in the future.”

Barloworld Power’s growing international customer base in southern African in support of the offshore oil and gas industry also led to the opening of new facilities in Soyo in Angola and Pemba in Mozambique on 6 and 15 November 2013 respectively.