IHC Merwede has been awarded a contract for the design, construction and delivery of a 5,500m3 trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) to Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), South Africa. The company was selected after a successful submission into an open tender process for what will be the largest dredging vessel of its kind operating in the country.
The new TSHD will join TNPA’s existing fleet of IHC Merwede-built vessels, which features: the 4,200m3 TSHD ISANDLWANA (ordered in 2008); and the grab hopper dredger ITALENI (ordered in 2013).
As one of the five operating divisions of Transnet SOC Ltd., TNPA is responsible for the safe, effective and efficient economic functioning of the South African national port system. It manages eight commercial ports along the country’s 2,954km coastline in a landlord capacity, with two main service categories: the provision of port infrastructure; and the provision of maritime services, such as dredging and marine operations.
As part of its contract with TNPA, IHC Merwede will execute a social development plan in order to help improve local industry in South Africa. This initiative will feature the appropriate transfer of some of the company’s advanced technology and knowledge base to aid the development of the workforce’s skills within the region (IHC Merwede).