My first hard news article, hopefully the first of many.
WEST COAST ENGINEERING FIRM EXPORTS NEW DREDGER TO ANGOLA
Saldanha engineering firm Dredgeco Engineering launched it's first completed dredger last week as part of an R8million, two unit order for Angola's Hidroportos,(The National Company of Hydraulic Works and Ports). The as yet unnamed, 16 meter, 50 ton vessel features special adaptations to enable it to be towed the 1300 nautical sea miles up the west coast of Africa to Luanda. It departs from the box-like shape of most dredgers with a twin, rounded, pontoon hull system that provides extra stability.
The Angolan capitol city is currently experiencing an oil money driven construction boom and the Dredgeco machine will be put to work preparing the seabed for a new freeway running nine kilometers along the shoreline of the Luanda Lagoon. The road will connect a new 'Dubai style' artificial island hotel and office complex planned for Luanda's waterfront to outlying suburbs of the city and cut current travelling time from four hours in some cases, to mere minutes.
The dredger itself is a formidable piece of equipment that comes equipped with a cutter/suction attachment capable of displacing 1000 cubic meters of sand and sediment per hour and pumping it up to 300 meters away. The three man vessel is powered by a refurbished 1300 horsepower diesel plant, recycled from a recently decommissioned fishing trawler and a boasts a locally manufactured Rockeater pump system.
Part owner of Dredgeco, Mr Roland Burke, praised the professionalism and hard work of his twenty-two man team of wielders, artisans and mechanics and said the team managed to take the vessel from blueprint to launch in only nine weeks. Dredgeco is subcontracting for North-South Engineering of Langebaan. “Saldanha is in an excellent position to develop more industry like this. We have the skills, the materials and the backup, all on our doorstep,” added Burke.