VEECRAFT Marine, a subsidiary of Paramount Maritime, has been awarded a Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) tender to design, manufacture and assemble two twin-screw, diesel-powered workboats to spearhead harbour activities, including conventional escort, Light House Services (LHS) assistance and towing support for the bustling port of Cape Town.
The 100 percent South African-developed, 19.5m (LOA) maritime vessels, manufactured with 60 percent local content, will feature a 7.25m Beam, fixed-pitched propellers and twin rudders, offering 15T bollard pull (short tons-force). The vessels will assist in servicing small to medium-sized craft pilotage into the port, the towing of vessels, lashing up next to dead ships and undertaking conventional escort operations. This additional capacity will have a direct and indirect impact cross-sector on industries operating within and around notably one of the most demanding trade routes in the world, serving as a critical component of the value chain of fishing companies in particular.
The entrance channels to the dry-docks at the Port of Cape Town have been historically, extremely confined, with workboats the only vessels capable of servicing the area. Over the course of the past few decades, however, after years of service assisting up to 300+ foreign fishing vessels per annum, the existing vessels have suffered from fatigue, recurring breakdowns and thusly require regular maintenance which can be costly to maintain. In addition, the older vessels are causing increased air pollution due to outdated engine technology, compounded by potential oil leakages into the fragile ocean environment.
Recognised as an integral part of South Africa’s economy, the Port of Cape Town largely facilitates imports for regional consumption and exports of agricultural products, including the management of the largest amount of deciduous fruit and fish exports in the country. This distinction has also led to the growth of world-class ship repair and maintenance services from the Port, accommodating both the local and foreign fishing industries alongside recreational boating.
Stuart McVitty, Chief Executive Officer of Veecraft Marine, stated that: ‘It is our privilege to offer the latest available technologies in both manufacturing and deploying these next-generation workboats to the Port of Cape Town, offering a dramatic reduction in the cost of doing business, increased operational efficiencies, safer working conditions and a reduced carbon footprint in the process. These are turn-key solutions pertinent to South African geo-commerce and the responsible utilisation of our ‘Ocean Economy’, proudly in line with Veecraft’s nearly 20-year heritage. We look forward to playing a continued role in the South African maritime supply chain, proudly an indigenous enterprise supporting this historic yet global marketplace.’
A wholly-owned subsidiary to Paramount Maritime Holdings, Veecraft Marine offers specialised, turn-key maritime solutions that include new vessel design and construction, new vessel leasing and life-cycle services, vessel operating and vessel support.