Dredging work doubles at the Port in Richards Bay

Posted February 26, 2020

This as Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA)’s Dredging Services division has added a second dredging vessel for scheduled maintenance dredging at work in the Port of Richards Bay

REPLENISHMENT of sand at Alkantstrand beach is about to be boosted.

This as Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA)’s Dredging Services division has added a second dredging vessel for scheduled maintenance dredging at work in the Port of Richards Bay.

This will not only ensure the safety of the port’s navigational channels and berths, but will also assist in the reclamation of sand onto the Alkantstrand where severe coastal erosion remains a challenge.

The trailer suction hopper dredger Ilembe, a familiar sight to beachgoers, arrived back at the port on 20 January and the grab hopper dredger Italeni made its appearance last week.

Port Engineer, Basil Ngcobo, said dredging has become even more critical owing to climate change and occurrences of inclement weather.

The grab hopper dredger Italeni

‘Dredging assists in countering the littoral drift, which is a natural process that migrates the sand up the coast, thereby depleting beaches of sand,’ he said.

‘Using a trailer suction arm that acts as a vacuum cleaner on the seabed, the larger Ilembe is expected to reclaim around 750 000m3 of sand from the sand trap and dump 550 000m3 of silt during the dredging exercise.

‘The focus is on nourishing Alkantstrand beach, as well as dredging in the port’s entrance channel.

‘The smaller Italeni will focus on the quaysides at specific berths, clearing high spots and picking up seabed material with a clam shell bucket attached to an onboard crane or hydraulic arm,’ said Ngcobo.

‘The two dredgers complement each other in that the Ilembe is built for high speed sailing to the off-shore disposal site, while the Italeni improves the accuracy of the final dredged depths.’

The current dredging campaign in Richards Bay is expected to be completed by the end of March.

Source: zululandobserver.co.za