South Africa has fully opened Port Ngqura near Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, which will act as an transhipment hub linking trade routes between the East and the West coasts.

TransNet , a South Africa-based freight logistics chain, has invested ZAR10bn ($1.31bn) to develop the facility, which has been under construction for the past 12 years.

The logistics firm will further invest about ZAR10bn ($1.31bn) over the next ten years to increase its capacity from 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units (teus) per year to 2-million teus.

Additional investment in the port will help build a four-berth container terminal, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and also a bulk and break-bulk berth.

Transnet has integrated its plans with the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) for the design of the port to help to increase economic benefits for businesses located in the area.

In addition, the logistics provider will also relocate its manganese export facility to the new port from its current location in the Port Elizabeth harbor, to focus on automotive and containerised cargo.

Part of the port, the Ngqura Container Terminal, has been operational since October 2009 featuring six mega-max ship-to-shore cranes and 22 rubber tyred gantry (RTG) cranes.

The Port of Ngqura is the deepest container terminal in sub-Saharan Africa with a depth of between 16m and 18m, allowing it to accommodate new generation container vessels.