Namibia's second port a hive of activity

One hundred and fourteen tons of manganese ore was shipped from the Port of Lüderitz this year.

24 December 2019 | Infrastructure

The fourth consignment of manganese ore totalling 30 000 metric tonnes was shipped from the Port of Lüderitz recently, with the next shipment due to depart on 10 January 2020.

The first shipment of 24 000 tons left the country on 3 September. Another 30 000 tons followed on 13 October and 30 000 tons left the country on 15 November. Port operations averaged 58 productive hours between the four shipments. This exceeded the envisioned target and is of great significance to the Namibian economy.

This first-ever supply value chain of its kind in the country involves several stakeholders, including Namport, TransNamib, Tshipi Manganese Mine, Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), Road Fund Administrator, Private Transporters and Trade Port Logistics.

According to the Namibian Port Authority (Namport), the Port of Lüderitz is embarking on a journey of full trade facilitation on the Trans Oranje Corridor route with a firm volume commitment of 1 million tons per annum.

Manganese is mainly used in the steel industry. Manganese removes oxygen and sulphur when iron ore (an iron and oxygen compound) is converted into iron. It is also an essential alloy which helps in the conversion of iron into steel.

Immanuel !Hanabeb, Namport's commercial executive, said the manganese project will culminate in an additional 360 000 tonnes of cargo per annum passing through the port of Lüderitz, resulting in a 60% overall volume increase.

He made this statement during the commissioning of the first manganese shipment through Lüderitz, saying the current volume throughput of Namport there amounts to an estimated 600 000 tonnes per year. He added that the port of Lüderitz is targeting manganese from the Northern Cape province of South Africa in the Hotazel area being transported through the Trans-Oranje Corridor route.

According to !Hanabeb, 92 people are directly employed by Namport in Lüderitz. The current available bulk cargo handling capacity of the port is a bit more than 1 000 000 tons per year. The port currently operates at about a third of its capacity in terms of bulk cargo hand­ling. The manganese export project thus allows the port to operate at full capacity and will generate increased revenue, contributing to the national treasury.

An environmental assessment scoping report on the export of manganese ore via the Port of Lüderitz was conducted by Geo Pollution Technologies for Pektranam Logistics.

Revenue generated through the transport and logistics sectors associated with the project, will contribute significantly to the Namibian economy. For three shipments of ore, the income potential is estimated between N$600 million and N$700 million. Employment will depend on the methods of transport.

The project will also increase the spending power of a portion of the Lüderitz community and contribute to the economic resilience of existing businesses that can supply services to Pektranam Logistics.

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