Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  02 Aug 2010

MARINE: Petrel Makes It Good In Chile


Recent Western Cape Business News

CAPE TOWN-based Petrel Engineering is undaunted by damage caused to new machinery it had delivered for installation on a fishing vessel when the devastating earthquake hit Chile in February, flattening coastal towns.

The net-handling gear was wrecked when a warehouse in downtown Talcahuano was hit by tsunamis caused by the earthquake which claimed more than 700 lives.

Petrel specialises in design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of medium to heavy, with emphasis towards custom-built deck equipment for the global fishing and shipping industries.

In October 2008, Petrel was contracted by its long-standing customer, an Icelandic fishing fleet operator, Isfelag Vestmannaeyja, to supply net-handling machinery for two new 71.3 metre combination purse seine/trawler vessels that were being built at the Chilean shipyard, Asmar.

The consignment on order included Trident 824 net haulers, long reach NCS7 net stackers, R550 intermediate rollers, KC40 fish pump cranes, KC60 main deck cranes, and HW110 hose and fish hose reels. Back stop winches, electro-hydraulic power packs and wireless radio remote controls were also to be supplied.

When the net-handling gear for one of the vessels was complete in December 2009, it was shipped to Chile and was being warehoused in Talcahuano when flood waters caused havoc in February.

Petrel Engineering sales executive Peter Coop says an assessment would be done of the extent of damage to the electrical, electronic and hydraulic systems of the machinery that had been sent to Chile.

Depending on the severity of the damage, repairs would be conducted in Chile or the equipment would be brought back to South Africa for rebuilding.

Sensitive radio control equipment that may have been damaged will be sent back to the supplier for replacement,” says Coop.

Meanwhile work is going ahead with identical equipment for the second vessel.

Coop says the total cost of the project to supply and install the machinery on the two fishing vessels is in the region of R17 million and 30 workers are kept busy at the Cape Town engineering workshop.

He adds Petrel Engineering is the only manufacturer in South Africa - and one of no more than four around the world - that produces triple roller net haulers.

The commissioning of the equipment on the two vessels in Chile would resume despite the disruption caused by the earthquake.

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