by Ports.Co.Za

Southern African Shipyards

New tug contract shows local support

New tug contract for local firm

Southern African Shipyards (SAS) in Durban has been awarded a contract for nine new tugs, to be built over a 42-month period, the Ports and Ships website has learnt.

The contract, which has still to be formally signed because Transnet National Ports Authority is arranging an official announcement, will see work commence immediately on building the nine new tugs.

Confirming this news, SAS executive director Prasheen Maharaj told Ports and Ships that eight of the tugs will have a bollard strength of 70 tonnes and one will have a massive 100-tonne bollard pull – making these the most powerful ever to enter service with the harbour authority.

The contract will have a positive effect on the Durban shipyard, which has had little in the way of shipbuilding contracts since the last tug order for five tugs was awarded in September 2007.

It is not yet known where the tugs are destined, but a number of tugs in service at the country’s ports are due for replacement or will undergo major mid-life type refits. The number of tugs in service at Durban may be expanded to as many as 12 – with additional tugs being required by the time the new dig-out port at Durban is completed in 2020.

As with other recent tug rebuild prpgrammes over the past 12 years from SAS, the new tugs will have Voith Schneider propulsion units. The design appearance is not expected to vary much from that of earlier vessels, although this has not been confirmed.

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