South African Port Authority adds survey craft to dredging fleet

TNPA new Survey Vessel SS Sonar Durban. Credit: TNPA.

South Africa’s Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has taken delivery of a survey craft as the latest acquisition in its Dredging Services division’s ongoing fleet replacement programme.

The vessel, known as the SS Sonar, valued at approximately R1.5million (USD101,000), was built in Durban, and is the latest procurement of the TNPAs R2billion (USD135million) regeneration programme.

Carl Gabriel, executive manager for TNPA’s Dredging Services division, said the new vessel is replacing the South African port landlord’s existing survey craft, Swift, which is 32 years old and has reached the end of its operational life.

“Although the survey craft is one of the smaller vessels in our dredging fleet, it is a tool for keeping our ports at the correct depths for safe navigation. We use the survey craft to conduct single beam hydrographic surveys around the ports as well as measuring the physical environment underwater for any potential impact on marine activities,” he said.

The TNPA dredging fleet plays a role in facilitating economic growth within the country by ensuring the maintenance of port entrance channels, basins, and berths. With increasingly large container vessels calling at the ports, estimated larger than 10,000 teu, demand for berth dredging has increased.

Dams Maintenance and Industrial Supplies designed, manufactured, assembled, commissioned and delivered the SS Sonar to the TNPA’s Dredging Services division on time and within budget.