Construction starts on Transnet plough tug

A Nelson Mandela coin has been used for the keel-laying ceremony of Transnet National Port Authority’s (TNPA) new bed leveller (plough tug) at Port Elizabeth in South Africa.

Designed, manufactured and assembled by shipbuilder FTC Engineering, trading as Tide Marine Shipyard, the ZAR100 million (US$8.5 million) vessel was the latest acquisition in TNPA’s ZAR2 billion fleet renewal program.

TNPA General Manager Hamilton Nxumalo said the vessel was the first of its kind to be built for TNPA in South Africa.

He said the unnamed vessel was expected to be handed over by October.

TNPA Dredging Services Executive Manager Carl Gabriel said the vessel’s compact size enabled it to be guided into confined spaces.

“The plough tug is used as a bed leveller, smoothing out high spots created by marine traffic in the high-volume berth areas. This is a critical activity in keeping the ports’ berths to their promulgated depths,” said Mr Gabriel.

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