New container terminal to start operating late August

Operations at the Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) new container terminal are expected to commence on 24 August 2019 said the port's Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kavin Harry.

Harry, who was speaking at a media briefing ahead of the inauguration of the new terminal here on Thursday, added that over the past two weeks, the port has successfully managed to move most of the container handling equipment, from the old container terminal to the new facilities.

The new N.dollars 4.2 billion container terminal which will be officially inaugurated by President HageGeingob on Friday, will create a capacity of at least 750,000 Twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) per annum (p.a) an increase from the 355,000 TEUs p.a previously, whilst ample space for optimisation and expansion of the initial facility exists, he added.

He noted that the project will not only provide increased container handling capacity in the Port of Walvis Bay, but will also increase the port's bulk and break-bulk handling capacity by freeing up the existing container terminal to become a multi-purpose terminal.

I must underline that critical to the overall roll out of this project, was the simultaneous development of a new railway line and road linked to the existing national infrastructure, that ultimately connects the Ports of Walvis with our land-locked counterparts in the SADC Region.

Funding for the project includes a sovereign guaranteed loan in the amount of US. Dollars 272million (N.dollars 2.9 billion), which was issued in 2013 by the African Development Bank (AfDB), funds from the Namibian Government as well as Namport itself.

Harry emphasised that this state of the art infrastructure is of critical importance, particularly because our vision has always been to transform the Port of Walvis Bay, into a Regional Cargo Processing Centre, handling not only local but international cargo destined to and from different markets in the SADC Region, Harry noted.

It is therefore pertinent that while other regional ports are investing heavily in developing and upgrading their port handling facilities, that as a nation we too develop ahead of demand, so that we can maintain the edge ahead over competitors in capturing the region's emerging business opportunities especially within the hinterland, he noted.

Source: Namibia Press Agency