Five Down, Four to Go


Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) R1.4 billion tug building contract in Durban continues to create jobs and develop local marine capabilities, with the fifth of the authority’s nine new tugs launched recently in Durban.

The project is now 81% complete and still on track to deliver the ninth and final tug early in 2018, on time and within budget. Five tugs are under construction at any given time at the premises of contractor, Southern African Shipyards. Four are already delivered and at work in Port Elizabeth and Saldanha.

The new tug, named Ukhozi (the isiZulu word for eagle), will serve at the Port of Richards Bay. She is Kwa-Zulu Natal’s first new tug among four planned for the province’s ports. Richards Bay is expecting another of these relatively small but powerful vessels used to guide visiting ships safely into port by pushing or towing them, while Durban will also receive two.

The nine tugs are being built over three and a half years, as part of a wider fleet replacement programme that also includes new dredging vessels and new marine aviation helicopters. The programme is aimed at improving operational efficiency in the ports.

TNPA’s new fleet of nine tugs are each 31 metres long with a 70 ton bollard pull. They feature the latest global technology such as Voith Schneider propulsion which makes them highly manoeuvrable.

Southern African Shipyards

Lucinda Hippolyte, Tel: (031) 274-1800