The South African company Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has named its 750m3 grab hopper dredger, Italeni, during a special ceremony hosted by the shipbuilder IHC Merwede. The ceremony was performed on June 18 by TNPA’s Supply Chain General Manager, Ncumisa Nkanunu, in the shipyard of IHC Merwede’s partner, MTG Dolphin, in Varna, Bulgaria.
The contract for the design, construction and delivery of the grab hopper dredger was signed between TNPA and IHC Global Production, part of IHC Merwede, on January 29, 2013. The keel was laid on August 20, 2013 and the vessel will sail under her own keel to Durban, South Africa later this month.
The Italeni has been designed and built to achieve low maintenance costs. The vessel will replace the current grab hopper dredger, Crane, which has recently been equipped with a new grab crane. This equipment will be transferred to the Italeni after her arrival in South Africa. The Italeni will be used mainly for maintenance work in various ports throughout the country.
The dredger is named after the battle of Italeni that took place near the Itala Mountains, where the Zulu King Dingane defeated the Voortrekkers in 1838.
Tau Morwe, TNPA’s Chief Executive, said, “The new dredger will ensure that we have the capacity to meet demand in line with our strategic objectives, as well as providing spare dredging capacity that we can sell on to neighboring ports.”
Fer Tummers, Managing Director of IHC Merwede’s Dredging Division, said, “The ITALENI is not the first vessel that IHC Merwede has built for TNPA. IHC Merwede has already proven itself to be a reliable and professional partner with the successful delivery of the trailing suction hopper dredger [TSHD] Isandlwana in 2010.
“We are also proud to be building a third vessel for TNPA, a 5,500m3 TSHD. This will be the largest vessel of its kind to operate in South Africa and a sign of our continuing successful cooperation.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to TNPA, IHC Merwede is glad to be participating in economic developments in South Africa by implementing a Supplier Development Plan to help improve local industry. This initiative will include the transfer of some of our knowledge and advanced technology to enhance the skills of the workforce within the region.”
Type: Grab hopper dredger
Customer: Transnet National Port Authority
Builder: IHC Global Production BV/IHC Holland BV
Length overall: 62m
Dredging depth: 25m
Hopper capacity: 750m3
Total installed power: 3,203kW
Speed: 11 knots
Daytime accommodation: 18 people