NamPort on expansion drive

Windhoek ‑ Namibia’s ports authority, NamPort, has embarked on key projects aimed at transforming the country’s main ports at Walvis Bay and !Nami≠Nüs (formerly Lüderitz) as preferred routes for sea-borne trade between SADC, Europe and the Americas.

The projects include a new Walvis Bay container terminal, the Walvis Bay SADC Gateway Port, a new tanker berth, a ship and rig repair quay at the Walvis Bay SADC Gateway Port site, a Walvis marina development as well as a new bulk handling port at !Nami≠Nüs.

Liz Sibindi, the NamPort Manager of Corporate Communication, says the new Walvis Bay container terminal on reclaimed land project is aimed at expanding the port’s container, as well as bulk, handling capacity ahead of demand.

“In so doing, the current container terminal will be converted back to a multi-purpose terminal capable of handling more bulk and break bulk cargo,” she says. The current container terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay can accommodate ground slots for 3 875 containers with provision for 482 reefer container plug points, therefore, various business development opportunities are being undertaken to facilitate imports and export containers at the port.

The construction of this new container terminal that will cost the company approximately R3 billion is expected to start early next year and is due for completion by 2016.

The terminal will be constructed on a 30-hectare piece of reclaimed land with 600m of quay wall length designed for a water depth of 16.5m alongside but dredged to -14.0m.

Another project in the pipeline is the Walvis Bay SADC Gateway Port, which is aimed at developing a whole new port just north of the current town of Walvis Bay. The new port that will be within the jurisdiction of the town, will cover 1 330 hectares compared to the current 105 hectares. The new port is expected to cater for mostly bulk cargo and some of the projects that rely on the development on the new port include the Trans-Kalahari railway line, Botswana coal exports, Mega Logistics Parks in Namibia (NDP4), Namibia crude oil industry as well as the large-scale Namibian mining product exports and coal exports from Dordabis.

The construction of the new port will start in 2014 and it is expected to cost NamPort between R30b and R60b.

The construction of the new tanker berth is also likely to start next year. The new tanker berth will be constructed to accommodate larger fuel carriers. The new facility will replace the current ageing facility. Ministry of Mine and Energy will fund the project at R650 million. Construction of the ship and rig repair quay at the Walvis Bay SADC Gateway Port is also underway. The new ship and rig repair yard at the Port of Walvis Bay will see the construction of a new quay wall or jetty suitable for accommodating two large semi-submersible oil rigs as well as drill ships. The construction will commence by 2014 and phase 1is expected to cost R600 million.

 Sibindi says several large oil rigs operating in the Angolan oil fields have used the Port of Walvis Bay to carry out major repairs, modifications and scheduled maintenance. Walvis Bay marina development that allows a private investor to build, own and operate a modern marina facility through long-term concession will also begin next year . 

Meanwhile, NamPort is planning to develop new deep-water port just south of the town of !Nami≠Nüs but within the jurisdiction of the current Port of !Nami≠Nüs. The R60-billion new port at !Nami≠Nüs would mostly cater for bulk cargo.

August 2013
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