Walvis Bay new terminal now fully operational

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Windhoek -The new container at the Port of Walvis Bay in Namibia is now fully operational.

The port expansion and upgrade is part of Vision 2030, which seeks to transform Namibia into an international logistics hub by 2025.

The US$300 million project was also a priority of the fourth National Development Plan and the National Poverty Reduction Action Plan.

The African Development Bank provided a R2,98 billion loan - 70 percent of the budget - for the works that included reclamation of 40 hectares of the Atlantic Ocean.

Works included the dredging of over 3,9 million cubic metres of sand, used partly for the reclamation; construction of a 600m quay wall; laying of 304,000 square metres of paved surface; and construction of a workshop and administrative buildings.

It also entailed installation of of four ship-to-shore cranes and other service networks, construction of 1km of roads and laying of 2,3km of rail.

The port’s electricity supply was also upgraded.

The expansion of the port necessitated the training of seven pilots and 26 STS crane operators.

The AfDB says demand for port services is already up since the commissioning of the new container terminal.

It increased the terminal's capacity from 355.000 TEUs (a measure of ships cargo capacity) to 750.000 TEUs annually and reduced vessel waiting time to less than eight hours while cutting container transit time from 14,5 days to 9,5 days.

Cargo volumes, revenues and income from other services, which include, maritime, port, berth and light dues, and other storage and handling fees, are expected to increase by at least eight percent by 2020 and 2021.

The AfDB said, "Overall the project achieved its goals."

 

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