Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), a South African logistics firm, has revealed plans to launch port infrastructure projects at seven ports across the region over the next five years.
As part of the plans, ports of Durban, Saldanha, Cape Town, East London, Ngqura, Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth will receive infrastructure developments.
TNPA chief operations officer Phyllis Difeto was quoted by worldmaritimenews as saying: "A total of around R2bn will be spent over the next five years to refurbish existing repair facilities, while we will invest an estimated R13bn to 15bn to create new repair facilities at the South African ports."
TNPA will undertake two projects to create additional capacity at the Durban Container Terminal besides reconstructing quay walls at the Durban Maydon Wharf berths one and two and 13-14 of the port.
Port of Durban senior operations manager Zola Nkowane was quoted by 5stardurban.co.za as saying: "It involves the reconstruction and deepening of six of the 15 berths in this precinct.
"Once completed the berths will have a draught of 14.5m enabling them to handle vessels with draughts up to 13m, however the Maydon Wharf entrance channel will still need to be deepened thereafter to enable these vessels to sail in fully laden."
Originally designed to handle vessels of approximately 20,000dwt, the quay walls currently handle 55,000dwt vessels which has raised concerns.
Construction of Berths three and four is expected to begin early in 2016 with Berth one and two and 13-14 construction currently underway at the port.
The infrastructure projects are expected to create additional bulk capacity at the Port of Ngqura and at the port of Richards Bay which will have a new LNG terminal and bulk liquid berth to handle up to 100,000TEUs of containerised cargo.
Additionally, TNPA plans to launch a fleet management programme for all ports, as part of its efforts to support the oil and gas sectors as well as the ship repair and building industries in the region.
Image: Port of Durban. Photo: courtesy of Sir James.