In South Africa’s largest local shipbuilding contract Transnet National Ports Authority has ordered nine new Voith Water Tractors (VWT) for use in several ports across the country. This is also the largest order in the history of Voith marine technology.
The VWT will be built by South African Shipyards in Durban over the next 42 months. Eight of the tugs will be identical in construction with a length of 31 meters and a beam of 12.5 meters. Propelled by two Voith Schneider Propellers VSP 32R5/265-2 with a power of 2 x 2,650kW they will have a bollard pull of 70 tons. The VWT will be utilized for harbor towage in the ports of Saldanha Bay, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Richard’s Bay.
Another VWT will achieve a bollard pull of more than 100 tons and therefore is one of the strongest ever equipped. Propelled by two VSP 36R6EC/285-2 it offers Transnet a wider escort envelope to protect the ecologically sensitive coastal areas of the West coast. Powered by 2 x 3,900kW it is 37.1 meters long and has a beam of 13.5 meters.
In addition to the VSP, the Voith scope of supply for each Water Tractor comprises two turbo couplings and two Renk couplings. The eight identical Voith Water Tractors will get a mechanical control system, the 100 tons bollard pull VWT will be equipped with a Voith electronic steering system. These components are to be delivered between 2015 and 2017. Furthermore Voith will provide local training, skills development and capacity building to Transnet employees. This ensures to further optimize the safe and efficient utilization of the VWT fleet.
Transnet manages all eight commercial seaports in South Africa and provides port infrastructure and marine services for the handling of the international freight traffic. To date, the company already operates 23 vessels with Voith Schneider Propellers. The first vessel has proven its reliability since entering service in 1972.