MOU cements ties between ports

04 March 2019 | Infrastructure

The Namibian port authority (Namport) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Port of Dunkerque, France.

The MOU will ensure that the two ports intensify and extend cooperation and port industrial activities.

It also explores mutually beneficial initiatives with a view to sharing information and policies on a wide range of topics relevant to activities of the parties including, but not limited to, infrastructure development, environmental furtherance and commercial water front development which aims at enhancing trade and maritime services.

The MOU further endorses cooperation in the areas of training of staff members, exchange of information and experiences as well as transferring knowledge on technologies of port operations and management.

Currently, Namport facilitates the movement of various consumables from Europe destined to a number of African countries.

Late last year, Namport also witnessed the first consignment of vehicle parts destined for the Peugeot vehicle plant that opened in Walvis Bay.

Namport CEO Bisey /Uirab during the signing ceremony in Walvis Bay highlighted the relationship between Namibia and France, saying the two countries enjoyed healthy growth over the past years since independence and pledged support towards Namport’s drive to render superior customer service to all clients.

The Port of Dunkerque CEO Stéphane Raison emphasised the primary focus of the MOU with an aim on collaboration, sharing information, training opportunities and growing business relations between the two ports.

The French ambassador in Namibia, Clair Bodonyi, said “without connectivity there is no relationship with various countries” and pledged her tireless commitment to continue to grow relationships between Namibia and France in other spheres such as tourism, among other.

The Port of Dunkerque is France’s biggest harbour on the North Sea in terms of the total traffic throughput. Although mostly known for handling heavy bulk, it also does well in other sectors including containers. CMA CGM/MacAndrews networks provide a direct link from Dunkerque to the Baltic region and Russia.

The port owes its third position among busiest French maritime gateways (according to annual cargo traffic) to over 43 million tonnes carried by approximately 7 000 vessels each year.

Situated 40 km from English Dover, 10 km from the Belgian frontier, close to the city of Lille and at the heart of the Brussels-London-Paris triangle, Dunkerque is a platform for goods consolidation and redistribution in Europe.

The port extends along a waterfront of 17 km and has two entries for shipping consisting of an older Eastern Port which is restricted to ships of 14.2 m draught, and a newer Western Port which is home to container and roro terminals that can accommodate vessels with draughts up to 22 m.

The Container Terminal (NFTI) handled almost 300 000 TEU in 2013 with the CMA CGM/MacAndrews container ships berthing and departing for Ust-Luga and St. Petersburg every week.

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