JUNE 8, 2012 — South Africa's Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has ordered a Pilot Cutter 2706 and its fifth Stan Tug 2006 from Damen Shipyards Cape Town. Both vessels have been specifically designed for the South African market and will be used for operations in the expanding Port of Saldanha. The Pilot Cutter 2706 will be delivered by the shipbuilder in May 2013 and the tug in March 2013.
TNPA is renewing its pilot boats. The new Pilot Cutter 2706 has been designed by Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) in conjunction with Triton Naval Architects, and is customized for South African conditions. With an entrance channel to the Port of Saldanha that is fairly narrow for large ships, pilots board incoming vessels as far as 10-15 miles from the harbor entrance. This service condition has resulted in a specific hull shape capable of handling the adverse sea conditions experienced further out, whilst still maintaining speed. The interior design (bridge, propulsion, HVAC, etc.) is based on long-standing and proven technology of Damen pilot boats.
TNPA already operates four Damen Stan Tugs in South Africa. The STu 2006 is an enlarged design, based on the STu 1906. This parent vessel was adapted to the specific needs of the South African ports, namely increased payload and hull speed as well as increased stern gear protection while handling submerged equipment.
The new tug will be used for general port services and pilot duties in Saldanha, South Africa's largest deepwater port. re, while its main import product is oil.
Both vessels will be built at DSCT. Recently the shipyard has started an expansion program with the building of a new vessel construction shed and office/workshop building to cater for increased demand and growing work force. DSCT has also established its own Apprentice Training Center to provide government recognized training and qualification for welders and boiler makers so as to add capacity and create sustainable employment opportunities.