Walvis Bay will soon become a logistics hub for southern Africa that aims to meet the growing demand for freight, promoting new maritime access to serve the landlocked countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
The African Development Bank provided a ZAR 2,982 million loan representing over 70% of the project funding, constructed on 40 hectares of land reclaimed from the ocean as part of a nearly $300 million project which commenced in 2014 and now operating at full throttle after its commissioning in 2019.
The works included the dredging of over 3.9 million cubic metres of sand, used partly for the reclamation, construction of a 600-metre quay wall, the laying of 304,000 square meters of paved surface and the construction of a workshop and administrative buildings. It also entailed the installation of four ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, the construction of a one-kilometer road, the laying of 2.3 km of rail lines, and the installation of service networks. The facility’s electricity supply was also successfully upgraded, highlighted the report
“Overall, the project has fully achieved its goals,” the report said, increasing the terminal’s capacity from 355,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit) to 750,000 TEUs yearly. It has also reduced vessel waiting time to less than 8 hours and cut container transit time from 14.5 days to 9.5 days.
Expanded activities required the training of seven pilots and 26 ship-to-shore crane operators, including one woman.
Demand for services from the port of Walvis Bay has since increased. Cargo volumes, revenues and income from other services (maritime, port, berth and light dues, and other storage and handling fees) are expected to increase by at least 8% in 2020 and 2021. After that, growth should reach 5% yearly as projected in the report.
The project completion reporting team was led by Richard Malinga, Bank Principal Transport Engineer and Task Manager for the project.
The Walvis Bay expansion is in line with the Bank’s High-5 strategic priorities, including promoting the integration of Africa.
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News