THE completion of the R360 million Admin Craft Basin (ACB) in the Port of Ngqura has opened up opportunities for revenue growth in this young developing port.
The new structure will be home to the port’s three tugs and one pilot boat soon, freeing up Berth C101, which was designed to handle revenue-generating vessels.
“Having had no facility to berth the tugs was always a limitation for the port in terms of revenue creation. This significant investment in infrastructure demonstrates TNPA’s confidence in the future capabilities of this expanding port,” said Zanele Ntantala, the senior engineer who managed the project.
“The long-term, future development of the port was taken into account during design.
“The position of the facility, located at the root of the eastern breakwater, allows unhindered developments in the long term.”
Construction on the project started in February 2015. As much as the structure is in the middle of an operational port, the construction was done in the dry.
That took time, as the contractor had to build a temporary working platform and piles for the ACB finger pier. The pier is a suspended concrete deck on piles.
The water was pumped out of the finger pier site area so that piling and other work could commence. It was pumped back in again after completion.
The facility is made up of a 300m long breakwater armoured with rock and a 120m long finger pier capable of handling six tugs or four tugs, a pilot boat and other small craft as per the current medium-term requirement. Provision has also been made for easy extension of the pier to accommodate two extra tugs should there be a need for more tugs in future.
The design of the ACB provides ample opportunities for easy construction to berth additional small craft, such as tugs and SANParks and SAPS vessels, in future. The channel of the ACB, as well as the basin, is 8.3m deep.
The contractor, Basil Read, with subcontractor Sub-Tech, was responsible for dredging.
The role of TNPA’s Port Engineers Department was mainly to ensure that the project was delivered within budget, according to specification and that it fulfils its purpose.
Port engineer Gerrit du Plessis, senior engineer Zanele Ntantala, harbour master Thulani Dubeko and port manager Tandi Lebakeng played key roles in ensuring its success, along with TGC project manager Siyabonga Gadu and his team, together with Kevin Stone, the ECI joint venture project manager, and construction manager Lennard Coleske.
There is only one outstanding construction task to be completed before the tugs could move to their new home.
This entails the final completion of dredging, which is anticipated to be completed by end April 2018.
TNPA Lighthouses also has to install navigational equipment on site.