Source: Namibia Broadcasting Coperation
Walvis Bay and its port users are gearing up and looking forward to the completion of the multi-billion dollar construction of the container terminal at the harbour.
The N$4,2 billion expansion project is expected to be completed and commissioned by the middle of this year.
Last year cargo volumes at the Walvis Bay harbour increased by 15% a sure indication that the port will be even busier after the new container terminal is put to use. The new container terminal is set to double the port's authority container handling capacity from its current 350 000 to more than 750 000 containers. The expansion project is sure to provide added impetus to Namibia’s logistics hub ideals.
The Container Liners Operators Forum (CLOF) working closely with the Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) plays a crucial role in container handling at the port.
The forum is looking forward to the completion of the new container terminal, especially since the capacity at the harbour will be increased substantially, according to Willie J Prosser, the chairperson of CLOF.
“With the capacity increase, the port will grow to increase productivity and efficiency that will turnaround higher volumes and make us a much more attractive tranship port and destination port to serve landlocked countries and the southern African region,” said Prosser.
Woker Freight Services is a major logistics operator at Walvis Bay handling a variety of cargo across the spectrum and Managing Director Phillip Strydom, is excited about the new container terminal
The Walvis Bay Port Users Association, comprising all users of the port, is another major stakeholder and it acts as the main liaison with the ports authority.
For the chairperson of the Port User Association Pillar Veiga, the establishment of the new container terminal calls for greater efficiency, increased collaboration across the value chain and the embracing of new technology.
"There is much to do. We are looking at strengthening the cooperation, digitalisation of systems, cranes and how we move. We need to keep up with new technology and we look into digitalisation and robotics. Remember, we are living in a competitive world and we have to benchmark with other ports. The better we are the better we will make it," said Veiga.
For Bisey /Uirab, the CEO of Namport, the commissioning of the new container terminal will represent a major success story, not only for Namport but for Namibia and the rest of the SADC region as well.
Expansion works at the Walvis Bay harbour started in May 2014, with the African Development Bank providing the funding.