TNPA increases tug availability at the Port of Durban

An image showing tugs at the Port of Durban

There is now increased tug availability at the Port of Durban

8th December 2023

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online


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Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has increased the number of tugs available at the Port of Durban to an average of six.

The increased tug availability is set to complement the recently announced 24-hour helicopter service, ensuring a quicker turnaround of vessels at the port and allowing terminal operators to implement the container recovery plan at the port with agility, the entity avers.

This milestone comes after the introduction of a TNPA-wide fleet renewal programme which seeks to ensure marine craft are maintained and serviced timeously to mitigate against breakdowns and provide a buffer should there be a need.

The six operational tugs – Umkhomazi, Mkhuze, Lotheni, Palmiet, Pholela and uMhlali – add to the required tug capacity and availability in the improvement of operational efficiencies in the port, TNPA says.

The provision of tugs falls within the ambit of TNPA as stipulated in the National Ports Act of 2005, which states that the authority should provide or arrange for tugs, pilot boats and other facilities and services for the navigation and berthing of vessels in the ports.

“Having all six tugs operating is a big step in the right direction for the port and our investment in the marine fleet exhibits our commitment to continuous improvement and ensuring the port remains a gateway for trade.

“We are optimistic about the positive impact these tugs will have on the current container recovery plan and our general service offering to our customers,” says Port of Durban port manager Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana.

Most of the repair and maintenance of the Port of Durban marine fleet has been carried out by TNPA’s internal heavy engineering workshop, Workshop 24, which is based in the Bayhead Precinct in the port.

TNPA also expects the port to take delivery of three second-hand tugs in the first quarter of 2024. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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