The Port of Cape Town has taken delivery of its powerful new tug USIBA, which is the seventh tug to be delivered in Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) R1.4 billion, nine-tug construction contract.
The tug is set to boost marine efficiency and aid the port as it continues to service bigger commercial vessels more frequently according to TNPA Port Manager at the Port of Cape Town, Mpumi Dweba.
USIBA was originally intended for the Port of Richards Bay however, adjustments in TNPA’s planning have seen the tug deployed to Cape Town instead.
“We’re delighted as her presence in the port will better equip us to improve operational efficiency, speed up vessel turnaround times and assist the much larger commercial vessels now calling at our port. These ships require powerful tugs to push or tow them into port, and Cape Town cannot be left wanting with other tugs in our fleet having only 30 to 40 ton bollard pull.”
World class technology
Transnet’s new fleet of tugs features the latest global technology such as Voith Schneider Propellers and each is 31 metres long with a 70 ton bollard pull.
The nine tugs are being built for TNPA, by Southern African Shipyards, over three years, with five under construction at any given time, as part of a wider fleet replacement programme that also includes new dredging vessels and new helicopters.
To date new tugs in this order have been delivered on time, within budget and to specification, to the Ports of Port Elizabeth, Saldanha, Richards Bay, Durban and now Cape Town. The eight tug, UMKHOMAZI, was officially named and launched in Durban on 17 November and would be delivered to the Port of Durban in February 2018. The ninth tug is expected to be delivered to the Port of Saldanha by April 2018.