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South Africa - Construction of the first of nine tug boats, tug T3013, to be built in Durban has got underway at Southern Africa Shipyards. The R1,4 billion order was placed on the yard by Transnet National Port Authority which is replacing its ageing fleet in the ports of Durban, Richards Bay, Port Elizabeth and Saldanha Bay. This contract rates as the largest single contract awarded by TNPA to a South African company for the building of harbour craft.

Southern Africa Shipyards has 42 months in which to complete the order. The boats will be built in tandem with five tugs under construction at any given time with the first tug being launched in November 2015 and the last handed over in the first quarter of 2018.

The project will revitalise the boat building industry in Durban, providing some 600 jobs for locals and much needed revenue for subcontractors, many of whom have established workshops on the premises and who are expected to create up to an additional 3000 job opportunities.

Eight of new tugs will have a 70 ton bollard pull. At 31 metres long, 11.5 metres wide and 18 metres high they are slightly larger than the existing ones. The ninth will have a bollard pull of 100 tons and will be 42 metres long and 15 metres wide, making it the most powerful tug in the world. The bollard pull is a means of measuring in tons the maximum pull that the tug can exert on a stationary ship or object and is a way of understanding the available power of the tug. The increased bollard pull meets international standards to handle the increasing size of commercial vessels calling at South African Ports.