MSC Technical Durban, one of three MSC Shipping facilities worldwide that were established by the company to offer repairs and services to the company’s ships, has recently completed a major project whereby it has erected and secured a ship’s propeller at the new KwaZulu-Natal Cruise Terminal, a passenger terminal in Durban harbour that will cater for the many expected tourists and cruise ships that are likely to visit Durban, once the pandemic has ceased. The COVID-19 pandemic brought cruise travel to an abrupt halt last year, but as lockdowns lift across the world, the luxury of cruising is back on the cards.
The new cruise passenger terminal, a joint venture led by MSC Cruises SA, was scheduled to open for cruise ships at the start of the 2021/22 season and although the opening of Durban’s new R300 million cruise passenger terminals in the Point is imminent, it is not known when cruise ships will start arriving in Durban and passengers will start being processed through one of Africa’s most modern marine terminals.
The new KwaZulu-Natal Cruise Terminal, a passenger terminal in Durban harbour that will cater for the many expected tourists and cruise ships that are likely to visit Durban, once the pandemic has ceased, has had a ship propeller installed beside the terminal and it is intended to be a tourist attraction while also acting as Durban’s own ‘Statue of Liberty’
“The mighty propeller has been installed beside the terminal and it is intended to be a tourist attraction while also acting as our own ‘Statue of Liberty’. The whole exercise of getting the propeller erected and in place before the official opening of the terminal has been a major collaboration between shipping, engineering, fabrication, personnel and local rigging, cranage, steel companies,” said Ravy Sankaran, Chief Technical Director of MSC Technical Durban.
“The planning started with securing a propeller that would do justice to the project. This was done in Antwerp, Belgium and then it had to be shipped to South Africa.”
“Made of a Ni-Al-BR alloy, the propeller weighs 52 metric tons and has five-blades. A person standing underneath is dwarfed by it, even more so now that it has been erected. The height of the whole structure is 10m.”
Logistically it has been a challenge to get the propeller from Antwerp, Belgium to its permanent ‘mooring’ in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
“Logistically it has been a challenge to get the propeller to its permanent ‘mooring’. We shipped the propeller from Antwerp to Durban in one of MSC Shipping’s own vessels. To do this there was some compromise on the cargo to accommodate the propeller.”
“Once in Durban the propeller was lifted out of the cargo hold and onto the floating crane barge and then transported to the cruise terminal site. We then had to use a 140 metric ton crane for placement of the steel structure and a 440 metric ton crane, in conjunction with cranes from M/s Concord and M/s Lovemore, were used to mount and install the propeller.”
“MSC Technical Durban was contracted to design and fabricate the steel plinth stand and nose cone that the propeller had to be mounted on, to keep it in place. In total we used about 11.7 metric tons of steel for these components of the ‘statue’. In essence the mounting of the propeller was straight forward because everybody worked in unison, from the fabricators, welders, and riggers to the civil construction guys.”
“The integration of the stand into the concrete foundation was also critical and pleasing to the eye, as it fitted like a glove. Having the propeller bolted 380mm deep into a double steel reinforced concrete foundation ensures, that she is not moving anywhere.”
Made of a Ni-Al-BR alloy, the propeller weighs 52 metric tons and has five-blades. A person standing underneath is dwarfed by it, even more so now that it has been erected. The height of the whole structure is 10m
The importance of offering repairs/services for the company’s ships passing the southern tip of Africa was recognised by management of MSC Shipping Company. MSC Technical Durban has evolved into being specialists in machining, welding, reconditioning of ships main engine piston crowns, reconditioning of ships auxiliary engine components, extensive fabrications, overhauls and running repairs to ships that call into the Durban harbour and complete maintenance and repairs (steel, structural, electrical and mechanical) of the company’s power packs.
“The enhancement of captive power on ships, through placements of these power pack’s, facilitated and substantially increased the reefer box carriage in the South African winter season, and thus also contributing to significant export of the regions agricultural produce.”
“The above also includes the active involvement of hundreds of local service providers and personnel. The skilling of local manpower and providing them with ample opportunities to work on our ships remains at the forefront to our agenda and is of paramount importance to us.”
MSC Technical Durban works exclusively for the MSC Company vessels and are recognised as a ‘not for profit operation’. The savings realised are inherent in the ships’ smooth operation, by way of improved and efficient-running abilities, plus fewer breakdowns.
MSC Technical Durban was contracted to design and fabricate the steel plinth stand and nose cone that the propeller had to be mounted on, to keep it in place. In total about 11.7 metric tons of steel was used for these components of the ‘statue’ and the propeller bolted 380mm deep into a double steel reinforced concrete foundation
“The service includes repairs and fabrication requirements, general repairs, mechanical and electrical repairs of components and running gear, retrofits and installation of new systems and machinery.”
“Considering the higher demands on speed and performance, quick turn-around in ports, vessel maintenance, overhauls, general repairs and replacement/refurbishing of worn parts could often suffer or get delayed due to paucity of time. With the changing regulatory environment, and the additional workloads and documentation pressures on the crew, shore assistance from an in-house technical facility can be more than useful, effective, and beneficial. We in Durban intend to enhance our value offering services and become more recognised within the group.”
For further details contact MSC Technical Durban on TEL: 031 466 2227 or visit www.msc.com