Namport’s new container terminal going strong
While Covid-19 put a damper on the first anniversary of the new container terminal, the facility continues to be a trendsetter.
08 September 2020 | Infrastructure
Namibia witnessed the inauguration of Namport’s new container terminal (NCT) constructed on 40 hectares of reclaimed land at a cost of N$4 billion by president Hage Geingob on 2 August 2019.
Construction began in mid-2014.
The reclaimed land was created by dredging (deepening) the port and using the sand obtained to form new land. The reclaimed land is linked to the existing portland by a causeway. The NCT built on this land consists of quay walls, paved areas, buildings, roads, railway lines, ship-to-shore quay cranes and rubber-tyred gantry cranes.
The facility was commissioned and officially started with operations on 24 August 2019.
Unfortunately, Namport could not celebrate the NCT’s first anniversary in true Namport fashion due to Covid-19 and its accompanying regulations.
Namport operations executive Raymond Visagie said the investment in the expansion and upgrading of Namport’s container handling capacity was necessary to decongest the old terminal and to expand both container and general cargo handling capacities. The investment also provides the opportunity for much-needed repairs to the old quay infrastructure.
Visagie said various milestones have been achieved since the facility became operational a year ago.
He said the offshore container terminal provides direct employment to 281 persons and considering an average family size of five people, indirectly supports the livelihood of an estimated 1 405 Namibians.
Thirty-three operators successfully completed intense training to operate the STS cranes deployed at the NCT and in just eight months of operations 115 146 TEU’s were handled.
Visagie added that the port authority remains optimistic that this upward growth trajectory will continue.
In addition, five maiden calls from vessels which previously bypassed the port of Walvis Bay were recorded, while a record-breaking 46 berth moves per hour on a vessel were recorded in March 2020.
The new passenger jetty welcomed ten passenger liners, translating into more than 5 000 international tourists visiting the town of Walvis Bay.
Visagie attributed these successes to dedication and teamwork.
The NCT has a capacity of at least 750 000 TEUs per annum, with ample space for optimisation and expansion.
The terminal not only provides increased container handling capacity in the port of Walvis Bay, but also increases the port’s bulk and break-bulk handling capacity by freeing up the existing container terminal to be utilized as a multi-purpose terminal.
Another 600 metres of quay wall length was added to the existing 1 800 metres, which will enable major rehabilitation of existing quay walls to occur with minimal disruption to operations.
The three new berths at the NCT are berth 9, 10 and 11. Berth 9 is the new passenger liner berth.