The Dredging Services division of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has confirmed that its Isandlwana trailing suction hopper dredger has left the Port of Durban and will arrive in the Port of Mossel Bay on 09 December 2018 for approximately 10 days to address some high spots in the port’s entrance channel.

Dredging the high spots was a necessity ahead of an oil drilling expedition from December 2018 to March 2018 by petroleum refining company, Total, where supply vessels that support the activity will be utilised.

Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange said: “The Port of Mossel Bay has some high spots in the entrance channel and the sand trap is full. The high spots in the channel pose a navigational risk especially during low tides. We want to ensure that we provide an excellent service to our customers, hence we have brought forward the dredging activity to ensure the drilling expedition and the movement of the platform supply vessel are not compromised.”

Shadrack Tshikalange
Shadrack Tshikalange

The benefits of dredging the areas will be an entrance channel that is dredged to the designed depth and all high spots, that would have posed a navigational risk, will be removed, explained Tshikalange. The dredged sand trap will then again have capacity for the migrating sand to not settle in the entrance channel of the port.

Regarding Total’s local oil drilling expedition, Tshikalange said TNPA was supportive of the initiative as positive results would contribute towards unlocking the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans and subsequent job creation as part of Operation Phakisa, which was declared by the President in 2014.

TNPA’s Dredging Services division aids the removal of approximately four million m3 per year of dredged material from South Africa’s ports. The present fleet of dredgers includes two trailing suction hopper dredgers, the Isandlwana and the Ilembe, the 750m3 Italeni grab hopper dredger; the Ingwenya trailer hopper dredger and the Impisi plough tug.