MPA commissions new buoy tender vessel to enhance safety in Singapore waters

MPA commissions new buoy tender vessel to enhance safety in Singapore waters
A buoy being deployed at Cyrene, off Jurong Island.

SINGAPORE - The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) commissioned a new buoy tender vessel "Panduan" today that will support MPA in the maintenance of navigational and mooring buoys in Singapore's waters.

Panduan, which means "guidance" in Malay, will replace the current vessel (also called Panduan) that has been in operational service for the past 17 years. The new Panduan stands apart from its predecessor in terms of size, cruising speed and increased operational capabilities.

Panduan is capable of carrying two buoys and has a heavier lifting capacity of 10 tons. The new vessel will also deploy the buoy from its aft through a more stable A-Frame, further enhancing the safety of the vessel and the crew during the buoy maintenance operations.

In addition to having a faster cruising speed of 15 knots, Panduan is also been equipped with fire fighting capabilities to assist as an oil spill dispersant re-supply vessel during marine incidents.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Mr Lucien Wong, Chairman of MPA, said: "With the continued growth in vessel arrival tonnage and the increase in the size of vessels calling at the Port of Singapore, it is important to ensure that the Aids to Navigation are adequate, more conspicuous and able to mark out Singapore's shipping lanes and anchorages clearly. I am confident that with our new buoy tender vessel, we will be well placed to ensure the safety of navigation in our waters alongside the growth in Singapore's port and shipping operations."

Home to one of the busiest ports in the world, Singapore sees some 130,000 vessel calls annually.

Buoys, along with other Aids to Navigation, play a crucial role in guiding mariners and vessels as they come into Singapore's waters, similar to traffic lights on the roads.

To cope with the heavy vessel traffic in the Singapore Strait and Singapore's port waters, MPA relies on a combination of Aids to Navigation equipment such as navigational buoys and beacons along with its Vessel Traffic Information System at its Port Operations Control Centres.

MPA maintains more than 120 navigational buoys and 97 mooring buoys in its waters. Panduan plays an important role in helping to ensure that the provision and maintenance of these buoys meet international standards.

Costing more than $4.8 million, Panduan was built specifically to meet MPA's future operational and navigational requirements as the port develops.

Panduan was designed and built by China-based Ningbo Foreign Trade Co Ltd in consortium with Marine Expert (Zhao Qing) Shipyard Co Ltd in Ningbo, over a period of 14 months.

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