Nqura Port Control up and Ready

www.MyPE.co.za: The
latest milestone for the Port of Ngqura is the handover of the Port
Control building, where the technologically-advanced Port Control
system has been declared operationally ready and is currently manned by
Vessel Traffic Control personnel on a 24 hour basis.

Said Khomotso Phihlela, Chief Executive of Transnet National Ports
Authority, “The Port Control serves as the core of the port’s marine
services to be offered by Transnet National Ports Authority. Marine
services will initially be offered during daylight hours only with the
Port Control operational 24 hours.”

The four-storey Port Control building is equipped with world-class
maritime equipment, which includes high technology Vessel Traffic
Management Information Systems, Automatic Identification System (AIS),
CCTV, radios and radar valued at approximately R5.5 million.

Over the past 18 months a total of 46 marine personnel have undergone
intense training at the Port of Port Elizabeth in preparation for the
new port’s commercial launch, with specific emphasis on marine and port
operations. These critical positions include Tugmasters, Marine
Engineers, Vessel Traffic Control Assistants, Marine Pilots, General
Purpose Ratings, Motormen, Berthing Masters, Marine Shorehands and
Pilot Boat Masters.

Included in the Port Control’s marine services is the planning of
vessels sailing and docking in the port and sea rescue operations. The
Port of Ngqura will compliment the Port of Port Elizabeth Port Control
in the management of vessel traffic within Algoa Bay.

In addition, a R1million camera boasting a range of 11 to 15 kilometres
(km) has been installed to monitor the anchorage area and serve as
Harbour Watch between the metro’s two ports – Ports of Nqgura and Port
Elizabeth. The Port of Ngqura is the first Transnet port to possess
such a high-tech camera.

Power Tugs:
The deep-water port is expecting the delivery of one of its three brand
new tug boats in mid-October 2009, which is currently undergoing sea
trials in the Port of Durban. The new tug boat will be officially named
and blessed in nautical fashion during the imminent launch of the port
and associated infrastructure.

In addition, two new tug boats will be delivered during April and May
2010. At an approximate cost of R120m per tug boat, they are regarded
as the most powerful harbour tugs in South Africa as each is capable of
a 70 ton bollard pull, and are most ideal for the deep-water port
taking into account the size of vessels that will be transiting the
Port of Ngqura.

Included in Ngqura’s shipping schedule for October 2009 is the deepest
container vessel to call at any South African port. It will take
advantage of the port’s deep water capacity with an entrance channel
depth of 18m and a basin depth of 16m. The vessel is scheduled to
discharge cargo at the Ngqura Container Terminal.

All on Track:
Currently Transnet Freight Rail is on target for the completion of the
Ngqura rail terminal, marshalling yard, and main line construction to
the hinterland. There are presently four operational lines in the
marshalling yard with the remaining five due to be available by March

The rail route links the new port to the City Deep rail terminal in
South Africa’s Gauteng Province via Beaconsfield. Transnet has
refurbished some 400 container wagons. The new marshalling yard
infrastructure can accommodate up to six 7 E locomotive trains per day
per direction and the hinterland will have a design capacity of two
trains per day. The hinterland capacity will be increased as volumes
increase, subject to financial and business viability.

Also handed over recently were the container terminal’s first two of
four berths, the two multi-purpose berths, the single liquid berth, the
four-storey Transnet Port Terminals administration building and the
temporary container engineering workshop.

Equipment assembled and commissioned to date includes 22 rubber-tyred
gantry cranes (RTGs) and six Megamax ship-to-shore cranes, two
rail-mounted gantry cranes (RMGs), two reach stackers, four empty
container handlers and installation of all 1680 reefer frames for
refrigerated cargo. The Navis SPARCS N4 terminal operating system and
the auto gate facility have also been commissioned.. 

Source: PERCCI.

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