GIS – 28 November 2018: Since the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) is now regularly handling vessels of greater than 12 000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit containers (TEUs) following the operation of the extended Mauritius Container Terminal in 2017 and taking into consideration the increasing maintenance costs of its fleet, it has decided to acquire one additional 70 Tons Bollard Pull Tug. It has also decided to procure three small tugs in replacement of those which have outlived their economic life.
This reply was given by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at the National Assembly yesterday, to a Parliamentary Question pertaining to the fleet of floating crafts of the MPA mobilised at Port Louis.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the MPA is responsible for the provision of pilotage and tug services to ensure the safe manoeuvering of ships in the harbour. It is the sole provider of these services in Port Louis Harbour. He outlined that the MPA operates and maintains a fleet of 11 floating crafts as at date, comprising four big tugs of 30 to 70 Tons Bollard Pull capacity, four small tugs of 12 Tons Bollard Pull capacity, one pilot boat, one debris recovery craft and a Launch.
With regards recommendations of the technical audit and replacement plan concerning the fleet of floating crafts, he underscored that since the MPA was embarking on major port development projects, it had, in 2009 following a tender exercise, enlisted the services of a consulting firm based in the United Kingdom, namely, Burness Corlett-Three Quays, to inter alia, assess the conditions of its existing fleet of floating crafts, to make recommendations on the most suitable maintenance approach based on best practices in the industry and propose future operational requirements for the Mauritius Ports Authority to cater for larger vessels.
He underlined that the Consultant had assessed 10 floating crafts which were operational as at 2009 and observed that five tugs and the Launch were in good conditions. However, he pointed out, one big tug of 30 Tons Bollard Pull Capacity had to be repaired and retained until 2013 and one mooring barge to be repaired and retained until replacement. It was also recommended that two tugs of 30 Tons Bollard Pull Capacity and 3.8 Tons Bollard Pull Capacity respectively, be discarded, he stated.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Jugnauth recalled that in view of the implementation of the Container Terminal expansion project as recommended in the Port Masterplan of 2009, the Consultant proposed a replacement plan over a 20-year period as follows: the procurement of a tug of 70 Tons Bollard Pull Capacity by mid-2012 similar to those operating in other modern ports; the procurement of a second tug of 70 Tons Bollard Pull Capacity by 2023 as it was anticipated that MPA would be required to handle large vessels of 11 000 TEUs; and the acquisition of a pilot boat.
He underpinned that the MPA proceeded with the disposal of one mooring barge in 2014, one tug of 3.8 Tons Bollard Pull Capacity in 2011 and one tug of 30 Tons Bollard Pull Capacity in early 2018. As recommended, he stated, one big tug was repaired in 2012 and is still operational to cater for increasing shipping movement and larger vessels calling at Port Louis earlier than anticipated. The MPA, he added, also proceeded with the purchase of a 70 Tons Bollard Pull Tug which was ordered in 2014 and delivered in 2016; a pilot boat in 2015; and a debris recovery craft in 2010 for cleaning of the port waters.
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