5.3m tonnes handled at Walvis Bay harbour
The Walvis Bay Harbour, through its ports, handled 5,372 635 million metric tonnes of cargo for both exports and imports in the 2013/14 Financial Year (FY).
According to the 2011/12 Namibia Port’s Authority (Namport) annual report, the revenue achieved was N$755 million, against a target of N$653 million, which meant that the total revenue made in the FY2013/14 would be less.
The number of containers handled during the FY2011/12 was 337 134 versus 223 688 the number of containers handled in the FY2010/11.
Meanwhile, the total goods that landed at the Walvis Bay harbour in the period under review was 3,325 456 million metric tonnes of cargo whilst the shipped cargo was 1, 170 357 million metric.
Meanwhile, the cargo handled in the period under review was less than that handled in the 2011/12 Financial Year, as the port handled 6.5 million metric tonnes of cargo.
The Port of Walvis Bay is strategically located halfway down the Namibian coast, with direct access to principal shipping routes; it is the regional hub for central and southern Africa thus trade between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is enhanced.
NamPort’s positioning both as a transhipment hub for West Africa and preferred access point for goods travelling into this region has enabled the volume throughput to reach record levels.
NamPort Chief Executive Officer, Bisey Uirab, said through the Port and trading with SADC, Namibia imports Petrol, Sugar, Coal, Salt and Fish.
Uirab noted that the total number of transhipped cargo in the FY2013/14 was 876 822 million metric tonnes.
Uirab said the commodities that are mainly exported from Namibia are Salt, Manganese, Fish, Fluorspar, Uranium, Zinc Ore, Copper Ore, Granite and Marble, Charcoal, Flat Cartons, Frozen Meat and so forth.
The Walvis Bay Port is a natural gateway for international trade to and from the SADC region to Europe, the Americas, and the Far East.
“The country through the port not only trades with SADC, it also mostly trades with Japan, South Korea, China, Morocco, Germany, Peru, USA, SADC, Nigeria (salt export), United Arab Emirates, UK, Switzerland, Spain, France, India, Peru, Thailand,” said Uirab.
NamPort’s strategic goal is to combine the Port of Walvis Bay as a regional gateway as well, serving as a reliable and efficient interface for imports and exports within SADC, and to and from the west coast of Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries.
Through the Walvis Bay Corridors, the infrastructure and location of the Port make it suitable to serve SADC import- and export bound sea-borne cargo.
Namport through the Walvis Bay Corridor Group has expanded its International presence by opening offices in Lubumbashi (DRC) and Sao Paulo (Brazil) to further foil existing branches in Johannesburg (South Africa) and Lusaka (Zambia).
The Port is one of Africa’s most efficient and best equipped, with the capacity to handle more than 8 million tonnes of cargo and it is linked to Namibia’s air, rail, and road network, thus placed to service landlocked countries in southern Africa, especially through the arteries of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group.
As Walvis Bay through its port will be seen as the SADC gateway, Namport’ N$1.5 billion-dollar bulk fuel storage facility called North Port is underway, aimed at servicing landlocked Southern African countries.
The North Port being built on 1 330 hectares of land at a cost of N$30 billion is aimed at positioning Namibia as a key import and export hub for the country’s eastern neighbours, landlocked Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The development of the new port facilities is in line with SADC’s goals of heightening infrastructure development to smoothen the flow of goods and services across the region.
Namibia hopes to invest in much larger port facilities to service a market of more than 300 million in the wider SADC region and this will position Walvis Bay as an import and export hub.
The construction of the N$3 billion terminal at deep water port of Walvis Bay is also underway and it is aimed at expanding capacity to more than 1 million containers a year from current levels of around 350 000 containers.
by Charmaine Ngatjiheue