Veecraft awarded tender to manufacture Transnet workboats


Veecraft Marine has been awarded a Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) tender to design, manufacture and assemble two twin-screw, diesel powered workboats for the port of Cape Town.

Veecraft on 21 April said the boats will be used to spearhead harbour activities, including conventional escort, Light House Services (LHS) assistance and towing support.

The 100% South African-developed, 19.5 metre (LOA) maritime vessels, manufactured with 60% local content, will feature a 7.25 metre beam, fixed-pitched propellers and twin rudders, offering 15 tons bollard pull (short tons-force). The vessels will assist in servicing small to medium-sized craft pilotage into the port, the towing of vessels, lashing up next to dead ships and undertaking conventional escort operations.

“This additional capacity will have a direct and indirect impact cross-sector on industries operating within and around notably one of the most demanding trade routes in the world, serving as a critical component of the value chain of fishing companies in particular,” Veecraft said.

The entrance channels to the dry-docks at the Port of Cape Town have been historically extremely confined, with workboats the only vessels capable of servicing the area. Over the course of the past few decades, after years of service assisting up to 300+ foreign fishing vessels per annum, the existing vessels have suffered from fatigue, recurring breakdowns and thus require regular maintenance. In addition, the older vessels are causing increased air pollution due to outdated engine technology, compounded by potential oil leakages into the fragile ocean environment, Veecraft said.

Stuart McVitty, Chief Executive Officer of Veecraft Marine, stated that: “It is our privilege offer the latest available technologies in both manufacturing and deploying these next-generation workboats to the Port of Cape Town, offering a dramatic reduction in cost of doing business, increased operational efficiencies, safer working conditions and a reduced carbon footprint in the process. These are turn-key solutions pertinent to South African geo-commerce and the responsible utilization of our ‘Ocean Economy’, proudly in line with Veecraft’s nearly 20-year heritage. We look forward to playing a continued role in the South African maritime supply chain, proudly an indigenous enterprise supporting this historic yet global marketplace”.

Veecraft Marine offers a variety of vessels from patrol boats to workboats, ferries and harbour vessels. It has supplied vessels to the South African Navy and Special Forces, including two 11 metre workboats and a 20 metre ferry as well as Project Xena riverine patrol boats for the Maritime Reaction Squadron. It is currently constructing 20 metre workboats for the Special Forces. Veecraft has exported interceptors, boarding boats and harbour patrol boats to the Namibian Navy and has delivered more than 60 vessels in various classes since inception in 2002. It is working on a 24 metre coastal reconnaissance workboat for a West African customer and in 2019 opened new premises in Cape Town in line with expansion plans. Its R200-million order book includes the hydrographic survey motor boats for the South African Navy’s new hydrographic survey vessel.