The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed a three-year, multimillion-rand contract with Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) for the maintenance of existing Datawell Waveriders and wind stations at all eight ports.
The two organisations said the partnership is a significant step towards improving the safety of shipping and port operations. According to the agreement, CSIR technicians will service and maintain existing wind monitoring and water level recording stations regularly to ensure good, continuous and reliable data, the CSIR said on 8 July.
The CSIR will also provide TNPA with real-time access to wave, wind and current information, including tidal and under-keel measurement monitoring. Wave, wind, current and tidal conditions are of prime importance for safe shipping and port operations and in the design of structures such as breakwaters and for hind-casting of sea state conditions.
TNPA, a division of Transnet Limited, is mandated to control and manage all eight commercial ports; Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town and Saldanha; on the 2 954 km South African coastline.
Acting Executive Manager: CSIR Smart Mobility, Kenny Kistan, welcomed the signing of the agreement saying, “This is a positive development and places the CSIR in a great position to continue to support a key state-owned company.”
“We hope that through our research and development capabilities and technological solutions we can assist the TNPA to become more efficient, agile and responsive to contribute to the growth and development of South Africa”, he added.
For more than three decades, the CSIR has been providing data and decision support systems, including the Integrated Port Operation Support System (IPOSS), to the TNPA. The IPOSS consists of all the data that the CSIR measures from the waves, wind and currents off the ports. This real-time information is fed to the port control tower at each port to assist decisions made affecting port operations.
TNPA sees the data and systems that are provided by the CSIR as critical to their daily operations to ensure port safety, as well as port efficiency, the CSIR said.