The Port of Port Elizabeth has two brand new tugs – the Mvezo and the Qunu. Port of Port Elizabeth Port Captain, Brynn Adamson puts them through some of their paces in the video below – if you let your mind roam free you can almost see a beaming Madiba sidestepping and whirling along with the two tugs so closely connected to his memory:
The Mvezo and Qunu both measure 31m long and can boast of a 70 ton bollard pull, compared with the older tugs with a 32.5 to 40 ton pull. The 42 month contract was awarded to Durban-based Southern Shipyards which also built TNPA’s previous 12 tugs.
The increased bollard pull of these new generation tugs meets international standards and they also feature the latest global technology such as Voith Schneider propulsion which makes them highly maneuverable and able to change direction and thrust almost instantaneously while guiding large vessels safely into South Africa’s ports.
The tugs are expected to have a 35-year working life.
“The building of Mvezo and the eight other tugs in this project, demonstrates that this country has the expertise to compete in the global shipbuilding industry and to use the maritime economy to unlock the economic potential of South Africa, in line with the government’s Operation Phakisa initiative,” said TNPA CEO Richard Vallihu.
The tug, Qunu, is named after former president Nelson Mandela’s village in the former Transkei and the Mvezo, is named after Madiba’s birthplace.
The Port of Port Elizabeth‘s tugs form part of a nine-tug contract – worth R1.4-billion – which is the largest single contract the Transnet Ports Authority has ever awarded to a South African company for the building of harbour craft.
Putting a smile on yachtsmen’s faces (as there will be NO stern wash from hard working tug propellors) is the fact that he Mvezo and Qunu Tugs use a Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP). This propeller combines propulsion and steering in one unit. This unique vessel propulsion solution was developed 90 years ago by Austrian engineer Ernst Schneider. Today Voith Schneider Propellers are in use all over the world wherever precise, safe and efficient maneuvering is of the essence.