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Long-term plans in place for emergency response

Long-term plans in place for emergency response

Emergency towing contract developments

SOUTH AFRICA: The Department of Transport (DoT) is working on a strategy aimed at ensuring the continued capacity to provide long-term maritime emergency response along the country’s coastline.

Contributing to discussions around oil spill mitigation during this week’s bunker stakeholder roundtable, Tsepiso Taoana-Mashiloane, Chief Director Maritime Safety Security and the Environment at the Department of Transport, confirmed that the DoT was moving towards a government-owned and managed emergency response operation.

“The ETV (emergency tow vessel) is part of our mitigation response in terms of environmental spills and the State has an obligation to provide that response mechanism,” she told attendees.

The Emergency Tow Vessel (ETV) contract that was issued for tender last year attracted submissions from four bidders and was awarded to African Marine Solutions (AMSOL) at the beginning of April for a five year period.

According to Taoana-Mashiloane the DoT is still strategising to build a new tug and bring the contract under government ownership and operation. The award of the emergency response contract is seen as an interim measure until the department builds its own tugs.

A feasibility study was commissioned almost a decade ago to determine the viability of the State acquiring its own ETVs.


PHOTO: The recently retired SA Amandla - one of South Africa's original purpose-built emergency response tugs alongside the anchor handling tug, the Umkhuseli that is currently contracted to undertake emergency towage along the South African coastlin. The Umkhuseli is owned and operated by AMSOL. 

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