01 Aug 2019 19:10pm
WALVIS BAY, 01 AUG (NAMPA) - Operations at the Namibia Ports Authority (Namport)s new container terminal are expected to commence on 24 August 2019, its Acting Chief Executive Officer, Kavin Harry, has said.
Harry, who was speaking at a media briefing ahead of the inauguration of the new terminal here on Thursday, added that over the past two weeks, Namport has successfully managed to move most of the container handling equipment from the old container terminal to the new facilities.
The new N.dollars 4.2 billion container terminal, which will be officially inaugurated by President Hage Geingob on Friday, will create a capacity of at least 750 000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) per annum (p.a), an increase from the 355 000 TEUs p.a previously, whilst ample space for optimisation and expansion of the initial facility exists, he added.
He noted that the project will not only provide increased container handling capacity in the Port of Walvis Bay, but will also increase the ports bulk and break-bulk handling capacity by freeing up the existing container terminal to become a multi-purpose terminal.
I must underline that critical to the overall roll-out of this project was the simultaneous development of a new railway line and road linked to the existing national infrastructure, that ultimately connects the Port of Walvis Bay with our land-locked counterparts in the SADC region, he added.
Funding for the project includes a sovereign guaranteed loan in the amount of US. Dollars 272 million (N.dollars 2.9 billion), which was issued in 2013 by the African Development Bank (AfDB), as well as funds from the Namibian Government and Namport itself.
Harry emphasised that the state-of-the-art infrastructure is of critical importance, particularly because Namibias vision has always been to transform the Port of Walvis Bay into a regional cargo processing centre, handling not only local but international cargo destined for different markets in the SADC region.
It is therefore pertinent that while other regional ports are investing heavily in developing and upgrading their port handling facilities, that as a nation we too develop ahead of demand, so that we can maintain the edge ahead over competitors in capturing the regions emerging business opportunities, especially within the hinterland, he noted.