Port of Ngqura

Deepwater Gem for South Africa

Port of Ngqura
Port of Ngqura.jpg

The Port of Ngqura is a valuable asset to South Africa, with its deepwater capacity of 18 metres, the Port is gaining increasing popularity with the global shipping trade.

When DCD MARINE was awarded the contract to undertake repairs and upgrades on Odfjell Drilling’s semi-submersible rig, the Deepsea Stavanger vessel for the 2nd quarter of 2011 and Transocean’s drill ship Deepwater Millennium for the 3rd quarter of 2011, Ngqura was the port of choice. 

“The selection of the Port of Ngqura was based primarily on its ability to cater to the draft of both vessels,” says DCD MARINE General Manager, Gerry Klos. 

Both projects resulted in an investment of R8 million by DCD MARINE into the local area. In addition, Odfjell and Transocean contributed in excess of US$50 million to local coffers. “Training of local community members and sourcing of local suppliers and equipment, left an indelible impression on the area,” says Klos.
DCD MARINE began negotiations with the Transnet National Port Authorities (TNPA) in the Port of Ngqura to ensure that the client’s requirements as well as TNPA’s environmental standards were met. “Careful planning and close co-operation was required by all stakeholders to successfully undertake these projects in the allocated time,” says Klos.
Upon receipt of the order for the Deepsea Stavanger, the first priority was to obtain confirmation from the TNPA of the berthing space. “This included confirming the bollard capabilities and the depth of the berthing space. A comprehensive contract was compiled for controlled access,” says Colin Schreuder, Marketing Manager at DCD MARINE.
Schreuder explains that the TNPA and DCD MARINE agreed to provide a joint induction on access, security and safety considerations for the project. “This in essence required substantial documentation and compliance with the TNPA’s Environmental Operational Management Programme (OEMP). This document addressed the necessity to comply with stringent requirements that ensure the protection of the sensitive marine and terrestrial environments in the Port.
Schreuder points out that one of the challenges faced prior to the commencement of the project was the co-ordination of the SHE policies and procedures of Odfjell, the TNPA, DCD MARINE and its sub-contractors. “In order to simplify the process, we compiled a bridging document which linked the intent of each of these separate entities together into a common whole.”
“The document and its subsequent checklist focused on air quality management, solid and liquid waste management, emergency preparedness and response, marine mammal management and monitoring.
It also addressed ballast water management, management of hazardous chemical substances and fire control; archaeological and paleontological protection, protection of fauna and flora, and rodent control,” says Schreuder.
Due to the extremely tight time constraints on the project, DCD MARINE commenced work on the first phase of the project while the Deepsea Stavanger was still offshore in Tanzania. “We prefabricated pipes and shipped them to Tanzania. Concurrently, 52 DCD MARINE and subcontractor employees were flown to Tanzania and transported to the rig. Installation of the pipes then took place while the rig was in transit to the Port of Ngqura,” Schreuder says.
According to Schreuder, probably the biggest challenge facing the team was the fact that the purchase order was given just prior to Easter 2011. “This meant that DCD MARINE was forced to very quickly mobilise its employees and subcontractors over the long weekend. In terms of logistics, we needed to relocate a large crane and other specialised equipment from our facilities in Cape Town. The dedication and understanding of the team is to be applauded and it played an integral role in the successful and timeous completion of the project.” adds Schreuder.
Schreuder says that the foundations laid between the TNPA and DCD MARINE on this first project were instrumental in the decision to undertake the subsequent upgrades and modifications to Transocean’s Deepwater Millennium drill ship in the Port of Ngqura. 
The Deepwater Millennium vessel is a Samsung/Reading and Bates designed dynamically positioned drillship capable of drilling in water depths up to 2 468 metres (upgradable to 3 048 metres) and to depths of 9 144 metres below the sea surface.
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