The ports authority has already begun to see the benefits of the installation of six units at the Ports of Ngqura and Cape Town.
"The supply of additional units marks TNPA’s commitment to make key investments in port infrastructure. This is a timeous intervention to improve vessel turnaround time, which is already well received by our customers at the ports of Cape Town and Ngqura," says Takatso Maputle, TNPA project manager.
A hydraulic tension mooring unit is a system that is placed on the quayside to ensure the safety of vessels alongside and mitigate the severity of long-wave effects on vessels. The units assist with stabilising vessels during strong winds, adverse weather conditions, and high swells. The benefits also include minimised downtime and safety during operations.
Currently, the port authority has four (4) units at the Port of Cape Town and two (2) at the Port of Ngqura. The acquisition of an additional 52 Shore Tension units will be allocated to various ports that are currently facing excessive surge motions at an excess of 3 meters high. The allocation includes 16 units for the Port of Cape Town, 14 for the Port of Durban, eight (8) for the Port of Port Elizabeth, six (6) for the Port of Ngqura, four (4) for the Port of Saldanha and four (4) for the Port of Richards Bay.
Attesting to the positive impact of the line tensioner mooring units presently in use in Cape Town and Ngqura, chief executive officer of the South African Association of Ship Owners and Agents (SAASOA), Peter Besnard says: "SAASOA is delighted to learn that TNPA has heeded to the call of the shipping industry to provide more hydraulic line tensioner mooring units. Thus far our members are complimentary of the results and benefits derived from the existing units and have been calling for more to be procured.
"This is definitely a step in the right direction as these units certainly make a difference in reducing shipping delays and ensuring safe vessel working and operations at the ports."
The first batch of four units is expected to arrive on South African shores in October 2023 and will be split evenly to the ports of Ngqura and Cape Town. The delivery of the rest of the units will be staggered until early 2025.