Namport container terminal takes shape

namport-expansionConstruction of the N$3 billion container terminal at Walvis Bay is taking shape with over 1.5 million cubic metres of land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which is constructing the terminal, says the work is on schedule for completion in 2017.

“We understand the importance of the project not only for Namibia but for Africa as a continent and therefore we are fully committed to deliver a state-of-the-art project at the end,” said CHEC’s acting project manager, Feng Yuan Fei.

The expansion includes the construction of a modern container terminal, adding 600m of quay length to the existing 1500m and 650 000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) per annum capacity to the existing 350 000 TEU. The Namibia Port Authority (Namport) port engineer, Elzevir Gelderbloem, said Namport is happy with the progress made so far.

“It took us nine years to get to the construction phase of the project. Such projects take time to implement and we hope our next projects will be much quicker. However, we have no dry land to expand as the harbour is completely boxed in by the town, but with the current project we are creating more land in water. This type of expansion is unique and feasible for a container terminal.

“It’s the kind of construction that has never been used in the country but will improve our port services at least until 2020 when we will have to undergo the same process again,” he said.

Reclamation of the land is scheduled for completion in February next year, after which the next phase is to complete the quay walls by April and then the construction of revetment by August in the same year. Erection of revetment involves the layering of different rock such as armour core rock, mixed filter layer, geotextile, and crushed stone layers to create a wall around the reclaimed land. More than 400 000 cubic metres of rock will be needed for revetment.

Feng said he was confident they would comfortably meet the deadline to complete the revetment in August next year. “We also created a sandbag cofferdam, which prevents the dredged material and muddy water from overflowing during the process of reclamation,” he said. Source: New Era newspaper

Massive SADC Gateway port for Namibia

An aerial view of the port of Walvis Bay. NamPort is seeking a green light from Cabinet to spend over N$3 billion on the expansion of the harbour (Namibian Sun)

An aerial view of the port of Walvis Bay. NamPort is seeking a green light from Cabinet to spend over N$3 billion on the expansion of the harbour (Namibian Sun)

NamPort has recently commenced a massive N$3 billion construction project to build a new container terminal, but plans even more extravagant expansion in the years to come, according to its executive for marketing and strategic business development, Christian Faure. He expanded on the planned multi-billion dollar Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Gateway Terminal envisioned for the area between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay this week.

“The SADC Gateway terminal is still in the concept phases,” stressed Faure. “This development was considered the long term plan for the Port of Walvis Bay’s expansion, but plans have been brought forward mainly due to the construction of the new fuel tanker berth facility and the Trans-Kalahari railway line initiative for the export of coal from Botswana. This development is not to be confused with the new container terminal currently under construction at the port,” he said.

Already NamPort has completed pre-feasibility studies and is currently busy with geo-technical evaluations to determine the structure of the ground in the area to be dug out, he said. NamPort is also positively engaging the Municipality of Walvis Bay on the land itself, and other role players that may be impacted, he said. “This is a massive development and to put it into perspective, the current port is 105 hectares in size. The SADC Gateway port is 10 times that with a size of 1 330 hectares. The new container terminal will add 40 hectares,” said Faure.

With Namibia’s reach to more than 300 million potential consumers in the SADC region, the port of Walvis Bay is ideally positioned as the preferred route to emerging markets in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Faure explained that several mega projects have surfaced in the last few years that will not be feasible without the SADC Gateway terminal, including the Trans-Kalahari Railway Line, Botswana coal exports through Namibia, mega logistics parks planned in NDP4, the budding crude oil industry, large scale local mining product exports, as well as magnetite, iron ore and coal exports from Namibia.

The SADC Gateway Port project (also sometimes called the North Port) will extend the existing harbour to the north of Walvis Bay between Bird Island and Kuisebmond. It will cover a total for 1330 hectares of port land with 10 000 meters of quay walls and jetties providing at least 30 large berths. The new port will also feature world class ship and rig repair yards, and oil and gas supply base, more than 100 million tons worth of under cover dry bulk terminal, a car import terminal and a passenger terminal, he explained.

The SADC Gateway Port will also feature a liquid bulk terminal for very large crude carriers, dry ports and backup storage areas, break bulk terminals, small boat marinas and a new high capacity rail, road, pipeline and conveyor link to the area behind Dune 7. Source: Informate, Namibia