NamPort’s expansion projects well on schedule

> Magreth Nunuhe

Walvis Bay – The Namibian Port Authority (Namport) says that it is committed to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the entire region’s goal to make trade competitive through efficient, reliable and cost-effective supply of port services.

The company believes that through its current development of new port facilities, new airports, road and rail infrastructure, it will undoubtedly create a competitive edge to realise the dream of becoming a logistics hub for the nearly 300 million inhabitants of SADC.

“We are confident that the completion of the new container terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay in 2017 will go a long way in establishing Namibia as a regional logistics hub and will further support the Namibian Government’s stated intention to develop an industrialised economy,” Namport stated.

According to Taná Pesat, Namport Corporate Communications Manager, the company’s expansion projects will enable regional development and cross-border trade, which will further facilitate economic growth in Namibia.

“Namport’s expansion projects will assist to meet the future demands of our clients, while TransNamib provides railway solutions in Namibia,” said Pesat.

The port authority is in the process of constructing a railway link between the Port of Lüderitz quay wall and the TransNamib railway link in Lüderitz, with the construction almost complete.

This is expected to link the port of Lüderitz with the rest of Namibia and SADC.

Other major projects include the development of a container terminal and an oil tanker jetty to the tune of N$3billion each, which commenced in 2014 and has a deadline for completion by the end of September 2017.

In order for Namport to expand its terminal, it has started reclaiming land from the sea as the present capacity is not sufficient for the amount of container and bulk storage required to meet its current and future demand.

The new container terminal which is being built on reclaimed land will be Namibia’s biggest ever port construction project since independence, and is envisaged to double the port’s container handling capacity from 350,000 TEU’s (twenty-foot equivalent unit) to 750,000 TEU’s per year.

The development for Phase 1 started in February 2015 for the storage facility and the oil tanker jetty and to date, the project is 26 percent complete and still on schedule.

An important part of extensions to the Walvis Bay SADC port is located at the northeast of the existing port and consists of an oil tanker jetty, onshore facilities, pipelines and tank farms.

The work scope of an oil tanker jetty includes one access channel, marine structures for two 60,000 DWT berths, two tug berths and one 1.7 km long access trestle.

Onshore facilities are comprised of a radar tower, security and access control building and pollution equipment storage building.

The oil tank farm has a gross area of 25 840 m², with an oil storage capacity of 75 000 m3 to store oil products such as motor gas, automotive diesel oil, aviation fuel and heavy fuel oil will be stored in different tanks.

Oil products will be unloaded at the oil tanker jetty, transported via 5.4 km oil pipelines to the oil storage area and stored in different tanks.

Through the oil pumping facilities and pipelines, the oil products can be loaded to oil tankers, trains and road tankers, oil tanks and other tank farms.

Most countries in Southern Africa are landlocked, which means that there is less trade outreach to and from the region, but Namibia’s western coast is a natural gateway for regional trade as it offers direct trade links for countries in Southern African with the rest of the world.

Namibia’s commercial port, operated by Namport in Walvis Bay’s deep water port is one of the most efficient natural ports on the western coast, with a significant capacity to store and move cargo.

The port receives more than 3000 vessels, moves about 5000 tons of cargo and has the potential to accommodate up to 350 000 containers each year.

Namport’s trade of network routes by road and rail stretch through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Angola, Zambia, Malawi and other land-locked countries in SADC.

The company also operates the port of Lüderitz, which is a vital link to markets in the Northern Cape of South Africa and the rest of Namibia.

Namport currently employs 962 people and according to Pesat, the company remains committed to making a meaningful contribution to the development and up-liftment of the people of Namibia with a number of initiatives such as bursary schemes, organisational development programmes and the Namport Social Investment Fund.

According to Pesat, all Namport tenders are required to have 51 percent Namibian effective shareholding of which 30 percent must be held by Namibians.

For joint ventures the same criteria applies, she adds.

December 2015
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