Transnet has set out a long-term vision to develop South African dredging and manufacturing industries – raising levels of operational efficiency and improving the capabilities of those employed in these sectors.
The delivery of a training simulator by IHC is part of the supplier development plan that IHC and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), one of five operation divisions of Transnet, agreed on prior to the delivery of trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) ILEMBE in 2016. The aim is to improve the local industry in South Africa by setting up a dredging school, outsourcing parts to local suppliers and using the local supply chain for life-cycle support of the vessel.
The IHC Training Institute has been working closely and sharing knowledge with Transnet over the past two years, in order to set up a formal and accredited dredging course at their Maritime School of Excellence. The simulator will be used in practical modules within the new training programme. It features dredging and navigation trainee consoles, a trainer desk, wide fore and aft exterior view displays, a classroom projector and screen, and accompanying hardware and software.
“We integrated two of IHC’s trailing suction hopper dredgers in the simulator – the ILEMBE and ISANDLWANA – so that users can train using both vessels,” says Rens Klootwijk, IHC Systems Managing Director. “As the PLC/SCADA simulation of multiple TSHDs can also be uploaded, other dredgers can be added in the future.”
The school will welcome its first group of students at the beginning of 2017. TNPA and the IHC Training Institute are now finalising the curriculum, the duration of the school’s programme, and (competence-based) course modules and materials.
“We are looking forward to training our dredging crew on the new simulator,” says Richard Vallihu, TNPA CEO. “The training on a dredging simulator, combined with the theoretical courses in the dredging school, will take the next generation of our pipe operators, dredge masters and dredging managers to a completely new level.”