Ngqura’s automated mooring system gets green light

MAY 23, 2015

The automated mooring system at the Port of Ngqura is poised to improve port efficiency and safety, cementing the deep water port’s position as a leading transhipment hub for the Sub-Saharan region. The system comprises 26 mooring units, the last of which arrived at the port in March 2015.

“Procured from global engineering group, Cavotec, the mooring units were designed, custom manufactured and installed to meet the specific environmental conditions of the Port of Ngqura. They will complement manual berthing teams at the port by stabilising container vessels on the quayside at the click of a button, reducing docking and undocking times from between 10 and 40 minutes to less than 10 seconds,” said Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) Chief Executive, Richard Vallihu.

He further expressed that TNPA is excited to be leading the pack in the African maritime industry by acquiring this technology.

Port Manager, Mpumi Dweba, added that Ngqura experiences significant long wave effects and strong winds, particularly in the winter months, which frequently cause berthed vessels to move excessively and impacts on cargo operations, safety and the port’s efficiency.

“This unique vacuum based automated mooring technology is used in a few ports internationally, but will be the first in the South African port system, proving once again that the Port of Ngqura is the leader in deploying new technologies to improve port operations and the safety of vessels,” she said.

Technicians from Cavotec have been on site since November 2014 assembling and testing units at Berth D100, one of four at Ngqura Container Terminal that will be equipped with the technology. Dweba said the pilot berth was selected because it was most severely affected by weather conditions.

“We certainly look forward to fewer interruptions in the loading and unloading of ships which we know will yield significant improvements in our operational efficiency and our ability to better serve clients”.

Local skills transfer was a central requirement of the contract and Cavotec will upskill local mechanical and electrical companies to provide ongoing technical support, maintenance and repairs to the port.

In addition, Ngqura maintenance staff has received specialised training, while operational training will take place after the units have all been installed. Installation and testing of the 26 units is underway and due for completion at the end of August 2015. Thereafter, the system could be rolled out to three additional berths at the Ngqura Container Terminal


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