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Whose fault is it really?

TNPA explains tug non-awards

SOUTH AFRICA: Answering questions at the Cape Town consultations on the port tariff submissions hosted by the Ports Regulator of South Africa (PRSA), Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) commented on the non-award of the tug tender.

“Unfortunately it is not our doing that we ended up in a non-award,” explained a TNPA representative at the session. TNPA asserts that the submissions received from bidders did not comply with the tender RFP criteria.

“We asked for X-Y-Z and got A-B-C,” he continued adding that this is despite the hosting of an official briefing and allowing for clarification questions. “We don’t have control over that.”

Acknowledging that the country does have the capacity to build the tugs, he urged companies to pay closer attention to the requirements of the bid documents.

Responding to this explanation, CEO of Sandock Austral Shipyards, Prasheen Maharaj commented; “We firmly believe that we as Sandock Austral Shipyards met all the requirements in respect of the Request for Proposal for the construction of three new tugs. We believe that TNPA may have erred in its adjudication process and have requested them to review their process.”

Fleet renewal strategy

The fleet renewal strategy came under scrutiny in the session as a major contributor to the lack of CAPEX spend. This includes the procurement of helicopters, tugs and dredgers.

With an aging fleet and tug boats that are past their productive lifespans, the Authority is opting for second hand vessels. With a stipulation that these vessels must be less than five years old, they believe that this offers a competitive alternative to seeking new vessels that will have an 18 month production cycle.

According to input at the session, the Authority is aware of vessels that were built and not delivered due to cancellations relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. They are hoping to see some of these included amongst the submissions to the latest RFP released for second hand tugs.

Given the issues surrounding the non-awards and the lack of compliant submissions, TNPA’s procurement department is planning to run a drive amongst their suppliers to address the areas where companies are not meeting the prescribed criteria.

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