Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) today signed a N$3.38b deal to build a new container terminal in Walvis Bay expected to be complete in 2017.
The signatories, Namport, African Development Bank, China Harbour Engineering Company (the company which was awarded the tender) and the Walvis Bay Corridor Group have all agreed to have the new terminal operational by 2017.
The project is expected to enable Namport to handle one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) stated capacity, compared to 2000 when it could only handle 20 000 containers per year.
“The concept of an expanded port facility at Walvis Bay has been considered for many years. However, it was not until Namibia and all the countries in the region achieved independence and full democratic status that this vision was able to gather momentum. Upon transfer of the assets of Walvis Bay in 1994 to Namibia, the Port of Walvis Bay was identified as a gateway to the Sadc region due to its locality, natural harbour and port efficiencies,” said Namport CEO, Bisey /Uirab, at the ceremony today.
The deal is equivalent to about 3% of the country's GDP.
“We now provide direct employment to more than 830 staff members, up from 550 five years ago, with the ratio of previously advantaged personnel falling from 11.6% to just 4.2% currently,” he said.