The construction of the new Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gateway Port is now underway; with phase one of the development due to start in 2014.
This view was shared by the Nambian Ports Authority (Namport) during the companys mid-year project update press conference, held in Walvis Bay yesterday.
Namport Chief Executive officer Bisey /Uirab said the tender of the port expansion will be awarded next month and construction is expected to start in December this year.
The realities and demands of our neighbours have pushed us to fast-track the northern port. The anticipated coal transportation from Botswana to Asia, which will be done via the port of Walvis Bay, is one of the main reasons why we have to be ready for this huge development, said /Uirab.
The new port will be built between the residential area of the harbour town, Kuisebmund and Bird Island with facilities to enhance the existing capacity of the port of Walvis Bay.
The port will occupy about 1330 hectares of land, which is almost 1200 hectares larger than the current port.
Construction costs of the port which will be done is five phases is estimated at about N$30 billion.
The construction of a tanker berth and fuel storage facility at a cost of N$1.6 billion, will be done during the first phase, which is expected to commence early next year.
The Port Engineer Elzevir Gelderbloem, said that the new SADC Gateway Port would contain a world-class ship and rig repair yard as well as an oil and gas supply base. A huge undercover dry bulk terminal, car import terminal, passenger terminals and most possibly a container terminal if needed are also planned.
He said the SADC Gateway Port would be linked via rail road to the Walvis Bay Industrial Park which is also expected to be constructed behind Dune 7 on Farm 58.