R1 billion investment to boost tugboat availability

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is injecting a R1 billion investment in its marine fleet renewal programme through the acquisition of seven tugboats aimed at enhancing marine operations at its commercial seaports.

“The seven tugboats will replace marine craft that has reached its operational lifespan at the ports of Durban [in KwaZulu-Natal] and East London [in the Eastern Cape]. TNPA has awarded two contracts to a shipbuilding company, Damen Shipyards Cape Town, to deliver the seven tugboats from April to August 2024,” Transnet said on Tuesday.

From this procured tug fleet, the Port of Durban has been allocated five tugboats and two will go to the Port of East London.

“This investment demonstrates TNPA’s ongoing commitment in providing reliable marine craft at our South African ports, which will enable us to effectively service the marine industry and respond to global shipping demands,” TNPA Chief Harbour Master, Captain Rufus Lekala said.

The procured tugboats boast the latest hull design and propulsion, as well as a 60-ton bollard pull, which is a much-needed improvement from the bollard pull of the existing tugboats that will be replaced that ranges between 32 and 40-ton bollard pull.

“The 60-ton pollard pull meets international standards and makes the craft highly manoeuvrable while guiding larger and newer vessels safely in and out of the ports.

“TNPA’s marine fleet programme demonstrates a reimagined focus in ensuring that the Ports Authority delivers on its mandate of providing a competitive port system in its role as an enabler of economic growth,” Transnet said. –SAnews.gov.za