New Durban tug passes sea trials

Jan 17, 2003
Author: P&S

A new tug built by SAFBuild for National Ports Authority (NPA) passed her sea trials with flying colours this week (17 January 2003), says the Durban shipyard's director Jurgen Cobarg.

The Voith Schneider tractor tug is due to enter service in the port of Durban and in line with the port's policy of naming their tugs after rivers on the eastern seaboard has been named Tugela.

"We achieved a speed of 12.99 knots and a bollard pull of 55 tons. In both instances the specification was well exceeded. The next tug, our build number 305 is getting launched this month," he told Ports & Ships.

The NPA programme of tug replacement will see between eight and nine new Voith Schneider tractor tugs entering service in South African ports. Tugela is number 4 of this series, all of them so far having been built at the SAFBuild yard at Bayhead, Durban.
The first two tugs, built at a cost of R104 million, are named Palmiet and Enseleni and entered service initially in Durban in 2000 although Palmiet has subsequently transferred to Cape Town to answer a need for a more powerful tug as a result of the large oil rigs and offshore vessels using that port.

Each tug measures 30m in length and has a beam of 11m. Their design requirement calls for a 50t bollard pull and a speed of 12 knots and has in all cases been exceeded.

The third tug to be built, Indlazi is successfully in service at Richards Bay. SAFBuild has submitted a tender for a further two tugs of a similar design to the NPA - the contract for these is expected to be awarded in April 2003.

SAFBuild is a joint venture between Southern African Shipyards and a black empowerment company SAFreight Ltd.

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