Passenger liner jetty utilised

Over 20 000 tourists visited the country as passengers on board cruise liners.

24 December 2019 | Infrastructure

The new container terminal constructed on reclaimed land in the Port of Walvis Bay is currently operating at 30% capacity based on the current Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) handling.

According to the Namibian Port Authority (Namport), this is to be expected given that operations at the facility, which was inaugurated on 2 August this year, are still at an early stage and are tied to the present economic challenges within the country and the region.

Namport said in a news bulletin that growth in the corridor and hinterland business has been encouraging and is going forward. This is expected to increase further as inroads are made into new markets.

The port authority said that notable increases in container volumes handled were experienced at the new container terminal compared to that handled at the old terminal.

Namport said that while the average volumes handled each month amounted to 10 000 TEUs at the old terminal, the average volumes have increased to 13 000 TEUs per month since September.

The port authority ascribed this increase to improvements in the volumes of imports and exports destined for Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The old terminal is now being used as a multi-purpose terminal for handling both containerised and non-containerised cargo such as chemicals and various metal products.

The main equipment which had to be moved from the old terminal to the new facility included four Mobile Harbour Cranes and four Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes. These were successfully moved over a four-day period and ahead of the scheduled seven-day shutdown period.

The relocation of resources and connected activities to the new container terminal was complex and intricate, requiring the introduction of new technological systems and a realignment of the current systems.

Terminal planning personnel were upskilled and the operating system was upgraded to the latest version so as to facilitate the required efficiency functionality at the new container terminal.

For the first time Namport deployed four Post-Panamax Ship to Shore (STS) cranes, which required training of personnel to operate. A total of 29 personnel were trained as STS operators in record time and at a significant cost. One of the operators of these gigantic machines is a female employee, Priscilla Damases.

The RDO Favour became the first container vessel to dock at the new container terminal on 24 August. The initial terminal performance was slower than anticipated as staff honed operating skills of the new equipment and application of the upgraded systems.

Since then 80 vessels have been handled at the new container terminal and productivity levels have shown marked increases moving up from the initial average of ten berth moves per hour to the current 27 moves per hour.

A fortnight ago, the second consignment of 3 860 steel rails weighing 7 500 metric tonnes was discharged at the multi-purpose terminal within a record time of seven days. This was part of a consignment of 20 000 tonnes intended for the upgrading of the railway infrastructure.

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