Two new tugs for Transnet’s KZN Ports

Lady Sponsor of the USIBA tug, Judith Nzimande, with the new tug which will serve at the Port of Richards Bay.
Lady Sponsor of the USIBA tug, Judith Nzimande, with the new tug which will serve at the Port of Richards Bay.

TRANSNET National Ports Authority (TNPA) celebrated a twin milestone for its KwaZulu-Natal ports when the new USIBA tug was christened and named ahead of its delivery to the port of Richards Bay.

Durban took delivery of its UMBILO tug which was launched and named earlier this year. The tugs form part of Transnet’s R1.4 billion, nine-tug construction contract.

The vessels are the sixth and seventh respectively to roll off the production line on time and within budget. All nine tugs are being built by Southern African Shipyards in Durban.

Read also: VIDEO-Pilot honoured by port for nerves of steel

The name USIBA is derived from the isiZulu word for the Black-crowned Night-Heron, but can also refer to a feather.

The Port of Richards Bay has a tradition of naming its marine fleet after treasured South African birds, such as the UKHOZI tug (eagle) and the older INDWE (blue crane).

Through the project TNPA and SAS have created 500 direct and 3500 indirect jobs with a minimum of 60 per cent locally manufactured components.

The nine tugs are being built for TNPA over three and a half years, as part of a wider fleet replacement programme that also includes new dredging vessels and new marine aviation helicopters.

Read also: R200-million cruise terminal upgrade for Durban

 

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