Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) is currently building a Damen ATD 2909 Tug named Inyathi – Buffalo in English – to be delivered to the South African Navy in January 2016. Now in the production phase, this is the second tug the SA Navy has ordered from DSCT. The first, named Imvubu - meaning Hippo – was delivered beginning July 2015.
These tugs are to replace two existing harbour and coastal tugs, De Neys and De Mist, built in 1969 and 1978 respectively. They will remain in service until the delivery of the second ATD. The new tugs are equipped to safely assist the SA Navy’s current and future fleet of vessels under all-weather, heavy sea, restricted visibility, day and night conditions within the confines of the Southern African ports and in coastal waters.
“We were looking for a proven design and a commercial off-the-shelf product. Damen Shipyards Cape Town’s bid had the highest points combined with the right contract price. After the successful submission of the Armscor tender, DSCT was selected as the preferred bidder. The project team managing the acquisition describes the working relationship with Damen and the assistance it has received as excellent,” comments SA Navy Project Officer, Commander Hermann van Geems.
These registered SAMSA Class VIII vessels were constructed in South Africa by a South African workforce in keeping with governmental imperatives to create and maintain local job opportunities. The vessels will be deployed for towing, mooring and fire-fighting operations. These robust vessels are equipped with rigid foundations, extra plate thickness, extra brackets and extra fendering. They were further outfitted with SA Navy equipment to ensure equipment duplication and maintenance saving. Compact and powerful, these ATD Tugs have a bollard pull of 43 tonnes, a length of 29 metres, a beam of 9.98 metres, a maximum speed of 13.2 knots and a propulsion system of two Caterpillar 3512C HD engines with a total power of 3,000 bkW at 1,600 rpm. They are also outfitted with Rolls Royce US 205 azimuth thrusters.
DSCT, formerly known as Farocean Marine, delivered two Damen Stan Tugs for the SA Navy in 2006. These vessels are currently in service with the Naval Harbour Master for port operations in Simon’s Town.