Dutch-built anchor kit gets warm welcome in Tanzania

MV Mwanza. Photo: Peter van Bruggen / ProjectWise
MV Mwanza. Photo: Peter van Bruggen / ProjectWise
Ambtman Marine winch onboard MV Mwanza. Photo: Peter van Bruggen / ProjectWise
Ambtman Marine winch onboard MV Mwanza. Photo: Peter van Bruggen / ProjectWise
Ambtman Marine anchoring kit in place. Photo:  Photo: Peter van Bruggen / ProjectWise
Ambtman Marine anchoring kit in place. Photo: Photo: Peter van Bruggen / ProjectWise

Anchoring kit, constructed by Netherlands-based Ambtman Marine, has travelled far: two custom-built units have just started work in Tanzania... to the sound of cheering from the quayside.

The equipment comprised a pair of electrically driven 5 tonne winches with a line hauling speed of 9m/per minute plus accompanying switchboxes. Included on the winch is a drum with a storage capacity for 100m of 18mm diameter steel wire rope, MBL 226KN, Ambtman’s Steve Baird told MJ: alongside these are two AC14 anchors weighing 315kg each. He explained that the design was chosen for basic, cost effective sturdiness; moreover, he said that like others of their type, “these winches are also easy to repair”: an added factor in their favour.

Just ten weeks passed from contract to shipping out from Ambtman’s facilities for the first leg of the journey from the Dutch facility to Utrecht, before being containerised along with other parts for the main transit to East Africa – the transit, as well as the contract support and commissioning being coordinated by Peter van Bruggen of ProjectWise, another Netherlands company familiar to Temesa. One of the big challenges is just getting the equipment to Tanzania, he explained: “A six-week transit to Dar es Salaam by sea, getting it through customs can take a week to ten days, and then there’s a four day road trip to Lake Victoria.”

To be honest the winch contract, however tightly executed, isn’t the most obvious cause for celebration. However, the kit is central to the operation of the 250t ro-ro ferry, MV Mwanza, built for the Tanzania Electrical Mechanical and Electronics Service Agency (Temesa), by Tanzanian shipbuilding company Songoro Marine.

The launch of this double-ended vessel, which rolled down the slipway with attending drums, crowds and TV cameras in June, was a national event. Designed to transport 800 passengers and 36 vehicles across Lake Victoria on the Kigongo and Busisi link, both it and its onboard equipment have to be robust as it is (quite literally) carrying a lot of expectations: “The ferry will improve movement of people and goods across the lake and hence boost economic activities in the region,” said Dr Mussa Mgwatu of Temesa at the keel laying ceremony in September last year.

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