Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  17 Oct 2010

ENGINEERING: KND's R90m Anti-Piracy Boat


Recent Western Cape Business News

THE sight of all kinds of rigs - from drill platforms to oil and gas mining vessels - has become common place in the Port of Cape Town, where they moor for maintenance or repair.

Many of these operate offshore the West African coast, where exploration and mining of oil and gas are gushing at a nifty pace. A considerable sum of money is spent, much of which flows to local marine engineering companies.

Less notable so far, but very important, is a R90 million plus project by KND, which is nearing completion in Simon’s Town. The contract is for the design and build of a specialist high-speed craft that will be owned and operated by a Nigerian company that holds a lease with Shell Oil.

Cape Town based KND Naval Design, founded in 1984 by Kobus Potgieter, has grown into a leading naval design architectural practice. Today its in-house staff consists of naval architects, mechanical engineers and industrial designers who are responsible for the development and design of ships and boats, including small craft, rigid inflatables, ferries, navy ships, high-speed craft and many other types of vessels.

KND Projects, recently founded in 2009 by James Fisher, has established its workplace on the SA Navy Dock Yard in Simon’s Town. At present, KND Projects has a highly skilled team and is working with excellent facilities and equipment for building craft up to about 60 meters, utilizing cutting edge technology to meet the stringent requirements of customers and classification societies such as DNV, BV or Lloyd’s Register.

For the Nigerian company, KND has designed and is building two impressive crew transfer vessels with lengths of 30 and 24 meters respectively and a beam of 6.3 meter, both with a capacity for 24 seated passengers (12 berths are provided for passengers that may need to sleep onboard while the vessel is stationed off a rig). There are five berths for the crew. The 30m vessel is scheduled for launch in January next year, with commissioning and trails taking place in February.

The 30 meter vessel is powered by three CAT C32 engines of 1300 bhp each, coupled to an ZF3050 gearbox and MJP DRB 500 Jets. It has a roundtrip range of 350 nautical miles, achieving speeds of up to 30 knots as required.

KND’s project manager Greg Wessels says the vessels are being built to specific client requirements. “In conjunction with strategic specialist sub-contractors we have managed to develop a low weight ballistic protected superstructure to protect the crew and passengers.”

The project required research and development over five months, which has been a challenge. The sub-contractor Materials, Mechanics and Structure was appointed to refine the ballistic panel design and build the structure,” Wessels says.

He points out that a number of sub-contractors are involved including specialists in joinery, electrical work, painting, insulation, and air conditioning, fitting of the propulsion driveline and fitting of the electronics equipment. Excitingly, further vessels are being planned, according to Wessels.

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