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Construction begins on multi-purpose vessel for the Port of Cape Town
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Construction begins on multi-purpose vessel for the Port of Cape Town

TNPA invests in marine fleet

SOUTH AFRICA: The construction of new multi-purpose vessel for the Port of Cape Town that will assist in attending to oil spills as well as clean up pollution and debris officially got underway at Damen Shipyards Cape Town last week Friday.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) issued the tender for the design, manufacture and delivery of the newbuild in February last year and received interest from a number of shipbuilders and project management companies.

Apart from harbour clean-up operations, the vessel will also undertake quay maintenance, navigational buoy maintenance, some dredging activities as well as other general maintenance work in the port.

The tender called for a modern steel-hull twin-screw work pontoon of proven design that had been recently built and delivered as well as been in operation for at least two years.

Seeking a vessel capable of 6 knots, TNPA’s bid included the specification of two electric marine diesel engines each driving a fixed-pitch propeller in a nozzle with a closed cooling water system. In addition, the engines need to be removable via a large service hatch for east of maintenance.

Deck equipment specified in the tender included a hydraulic crane as well as a towing bit and hydraulic towing hook.

Dignitaries from TNPA and Damen participated in a traditional keel laying ceremony on Friday to mark the beginning of construction of a new multi-purpose vessel which is scheduled to be delivered by February 2025.

During the ceremony, Damen representatives, Director Sam Montsi, Managing Director Jos Govaarts and TNPA’s Chief Harbour Master, Rufus Lekala and Port Engineer Benedict Isaacs placed the Mandela Peace Prize coin underneath the keel to invite good fortune during construction and the life of the ship.

This investment forms part of TNPA’s drive to boost its marine fleet. Speaking at the ceremony, TNPA Regional Manager for Operational Performance and Oversight at Western Region Ports, Captain Vernal Jones said, “The ongoing investment in reliable port infrastructure is the creation of new assets to enable economic activity in the region and will further ensure smooth operation at the port.”

Once operational, the new vessel will require additional human resources for manning. This includes two seafarers’ deck, one able seafarer engine, one skipper and one Marine Engineering Officer.

 

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