In keeping with the maritime tradition of launching a new vessel, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has christened the latest addition to its Dredging Services fleet in a ceremony where the Transnet Group Chief Executive, Portia Derby in her role as the Lady Sponsor, revealed the name Mohoma for the new plough tug.
The name Mohoma is derived from one of the eleven South African official languages, Sesotho and means “to plough”, befitting for the function of the vessel. The name was chosen through a naming competition that TNPA ran amongst its employees, with the winning name entered by three employees.
Delivering the keynote address at the Christening Ceremony, Chairperson of the Transnet Board of Directors, Dr Popo Molefe said: “The demand for dredging services has increased in the region and the addition of this plough tug will increase the berth capacity of the ports. Managing the demand is part of TNPA’s growth plan, which will see the continuous improvement of port infrastructure.”
A plough tug is used as a bed leveler to smooth out high spots created by marine traffic in high-volume berth areas. The vessel complements the work of dredgers, which serve the purpose of maintaining or increasing the depth of navigation channels, anchorages, or berthing areas to ensure the safe passage of boats and vessels.
The purchase of plough tug Mohoma forms part of TNPA’s ongoing fleet replacement program and it replaces the plough tug Impisi – a 50-year-old marine craft that has surpassed its operational lifespan. Over the past few years, the Impisi has been confined to the Port of Durban due to her limited availability, and Mohoma will enable TNPA Dredging Services to plough at all the South African ports.
Built by Damen Shipyards Cape Town, plough tug Mohoma is a multi-functional seagoing workboat for harbour and coastal services. It is a unit from the Shoalbuster series – built in steel to the Damen standard design. Damen Shipyards Cape Town has vast experience with low-cost maintenance vessels ensuring an optimal layout and maintainability of all installed high-quality components.
“We are honoured to deliver this state-of-the-art plough tug to TNPA. This vessel has the capacity of a 45-ton bollard pull measure, 33 meters long and 9 meters wide, and can plough up to 25m dept. With a spacious working deck, this versatile workboat will serve as an asset for TNPA’s ports and dredging operations. The world-class vessel showcases the Damen Group’s design knowledge, the skill of our South African Shipbuilding team and our first-class local