TransNamib has announced that it moved the first shipment of manganese ore for the South African company, TradePort Namibia, from Ariamsvlei to the port of Lüderitz on 2 August.
The 520-tonne consignment was loaded at Ariamsvlei on 1 August and arrived at Lüderitz on 3 August.
TransNamib's commercial and marketing executive, Hippy Tjivikua, said this is the first major movement of cargo on this route, especially after the rehabilitation of the railway line between Aus and Lüderitz, which had not been operational since 1998.
TradePort in December last year drove truckloads of manganese ore to Lüderitz without the requisite environmental clearance certificate from the ministry of environment and tourism.
It was then forced to reload the ore and was allowed by NamPort to store the 620 tonnes in a warehouse inside the port facilities.
Although the environment ministry did not take any steps against TradePort in December, it did issue an ECC to the company on 7 February, reportedly after it had done a “thorough assessment” of manganese transhipment via the Lüderitz harbour.
Tjivikua said one of the conditions of the ECC issued to TradePort was that the company must make use of enclosed storage warehouses at both Ariamsvlei and Lüderitz.
Tjivikua said after the issuance of the ECC, TransNamib prepared to transport TradePort's manganese with two locomotives pulling 20 wagons loaded with 26 tonnes each due to the current railway infrastructure limitations.
Tjivikua said TradePort had approached TransNamib in 2018 to start shipping its bulk manganese by rail from the Northern Cape to Lüderitz.
“This is part of the solution to provide the required pit-to-port logistics solution and gave an undertaking to provide a minimum of 30 000 metric tonnes of manganese concentrate per month for this route,” Tjivikua said.
He said several stakeholders – NamPort, the ministry of works and transport, as well as the ministry of industrialisation, trade and SME development – were part of the negotiations with TradePort, which concluded in May.
Tjivikua said as a result of this “national project” TransNamib has recruited more than 150 people.
“A lot of spinoff business activities are expected to be generated out of this new business venture, especially at Ariamsvlei, Keetmanshoop, Aus, and Lüderitz,” he said.
SOURCE: Namibian Sun - CATHERINE SASMAN