“Having had no facility to berth the tugs was always a limitation for the port in terms of revenue creation. This significant investment in infrastructure demonstrates TNPA’s confidence in the future capabilities of this expanding port,” said Zanele Ntantala, Senior Engineer who managed the project.
“The long term future development of the port was taken into account during design. The position of the facility, located at the root of the Eastern Breakwater, allows unhindered developments in the long terms.”
As much as the structure is in the middle of an operational port, the construction was done in the dry. That took time, as the contractor had to build a temporal working platform and piles for the ACB Finger pier. The pier is a suspended concrete deck on piles. The water was pumped out of the Finger pier site area so that piling and other work could commence. It was pumped back in again after completion.
The facility is made up of a 300m long breakwater armoured with rock and a 120m long Finger Pier capable of handling six tugs or four tugs, a pilot boat and other small craft as per the current medium term requirement. Provision has also been made for easy extension of the pier to accommodate two extra tugs should there be a need for more tugs in future. The design of the ACB provides ample opportunities for easy construction to berth additional small craft such as tugs, SANParks and SAPS vessels in future. The channel of the ACB as well as the basin is 8.3m deep.
THE FINAL MOVE
There is one outstanding construction task to be completed before the tugs could move to their new home. This entails the final completion of dredging, which is anticipated to be completed by end April 2018. TNPA Lighthouses also has to install navigational equipment on site.
THE PEOPLE INVOLVED
The contractor was Basil Read, with subcontractor Sub-Tech responsible for dredging. The role of TNPA’s Port Engineers department was mainly to ensure that the project was delivered within budget, according to specification and that it fulfils its purpose. The following people played a key role in ensuring its success – Gerrit du Plessis (Port Engineer), Zanele Ntantala (Senior Engineer), Thulani Dubeko (Harbour Master) and c(Port Manager). Construction on the project started in February 2015.
Siyabonga Gadu (TGC Project Manager) and his team together with Kevin Stone (ECI Joint Venture Project Manager) and Lennard Coleske (Construction Manager) worked hard to make the project a success.