New survey craft boosts Transnet dredging fleet

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Operations Director of contractor Dams Maintenance and Industrial Supplies, Danny Ramsaroop, Project Manager (Opex and Capex) at TNPA Dredging Services, Trinesh Govender, and Ryan Hansen of subcontractor Durban Yamaha. PHOTO: Supplied

Posted June 13, 2019

The TNPA dredging fleet plays a vital role in facilitating economic growth within the country by ensuring ports entrance channels, basins and berths are well maintained.

TRANSNET National Ports Authority (TNPA) has taken the delivery of a new survey craft as the latest acquisition in its Dredging Services division’s ongoing fleet replacement programme in excess of R2 billion. The vessel named SS Sonar is valued at approximately R1.5 million and was built by a local company in Durban.

Executive manager for TNPA’s Dredging Services division, Carl Gabriel, said the new vessel is replacing the South African port landlord’s existing Survey Craft, Swift, which is 32 years old and has reached the end of its operational life.

“Although the survey craft is one of the smaller vessels in our dredging fleet, it is a critical tool for keeping our ports at the correct depths for safe navigation. We use the craft to conduct single beam hydrographic surveys around the ports as well as measuring the physical environment underwater for any potential impact on marine activities,” he said.

Gabriel said the TNPA dredging fleet plays a vital role in facilitating economic growth within the country by ensuring the port’s entrance channels, basins and berths are well maintained.

“Critical to the success of dredging is the need for world-class dredging vessels, especially as we continue to welcome an influx of container vessels larger than 10 000 twenty-foot equivalent units which has resulted in the demand for berth dredging increasing threefold,” he said.

He also added that it was inspiring to see new entrants into the boat building market.

Dams Operations Director, Danny Ramsaroop, said the company’s previous experience included building a Category E rescue craft for the KwaDukuza Municipality’s lifeguards division and a jet ski for the eThekwini Municipality’s lifeguards unit.

“This was our first project for Transnet and it was a sheer pleasure but also hard work coordinating the project from documentation to the manufacture and delivery according to specifications, with all statutory certification,” he said.

The order was received from TNPA in November 2018 and the craft was completed five days ahead of schedule on 26 March 2019.

Creating an enabling environment for the growth of local shipbuilding and ship repair is a key focus for the South African Government’s Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy programme in which TNPA is a lead implementing agent.