Designed by CENTECH, the 17.6 x 4.7 meter and 40 metric ton “Taharga” survey and laboratory vessel was built at the Barthel shipyard in Derben in 2013. The “Taharga” was developed specifically for hydrographic surveys of the Sudanese Merowe dam reservoir, which is one of the largest in Africa, with a surface area of 476 square kilometers. The vessel was officially put into service at the Merowe reservoir in March 2014.

The ten turbines of the Merowe hydroelectric power plant currently produce about 70% of the electricity consumed in Sudan – the dam is hugely important for the population and development of the country. The aim of hydrographic analyses is to help prevent the turbines of the 1250 MW hydroelectric power plant silting up; information about sediment movements and water depths is therefore important.

In order to be able to perform the necessary measurements and analyses, the vessel is equipped with a dual frequency EA 400 single beam echo sounder (38/200 kHz) and an interferometric GeoSwath Plus Compact multi-beam echo sounder (250 kHz) made by Kongsberg Maritime. Using these systems, the crew can record and evaluate hydrographic data on board – for example, the exact water depth, sediment movement and sediment distribution.

A highly advanced GNSS RTK system from Trimble is employed to allocate data to exact geographic coordinates. Using its own reference station it can determine positions accurately to within a centimeter. Furthermore, water flow rate and quality are measured in the vessel’s laboratory.

In addition, the “Taharga” is equipped with a forward-looking sonar to ensure that submerged obstacles can be identified in good time and the appropriate evasive action taken. The vessel can accommodate and cater for a crew of up to six. It has two independent 167 HP diesel propulsion units and two 20 kW diesel powered generating sets.

The highly efficient Kongsberg Maritime multi-beam/side scan surveying system is another feature of the vessel.

The “Taharga” is the first survey and laboratory vessel of its kind on the African continent.

Apart from designing the “Taharga” survey and laboratory vessel and coordinating all activities, CENTECH was also responsible for all transport operations and logistics. It was a challenge to transport the vessel from Hamburg to the destination port and then across country to the dam reservoir – we even had a road built for the final stretch.

Furthermore, we organized the crew’s training. The pictures provide an impression of the considerable achievements of all the partners involved under the direction of CENTECH.