NAMPORT'S N$4,2 billion container terminal, built on 40 hectares of land that was reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean at Walvis Bay, is now fully operational.
Since the inauguration by president Hage Geingob a month ago, Namport has begun a massive relocation exercise, moving over 2 000 containers and large cranes from the old terminal to the new one.
The new terminal increases Namport's container handling capacity from 355 000 twenty-foot equivalent units to 1 005 000 units.
It also provides a special jetty for passenger liners. In fact, according to Namport commercial executive Tino !Hanabeb, the Germany-operated passenger liner 'Albatros' is scheduled to dock at the port of Walvis Bay on 18 October – becoming the first passenger ship to use the new state-of-the-art terminal.
“We look forward to fully utilising the newly commissioned terminal, along with the cruise passenger liner jetty,” he told Gerd Müller, German federal minister for economic cooperation and development, who made a courtesy call at Namport last Friday.
Müller said Germany was interested in developing export and cooperation with Namport, in particular with the ports of Hamburg and Bremen.
It is hoped the new terminal, which was built over five years, will not just benefit Namibia, but the greater economy of southern Africa, especially in terms of providing a sea-route for landlocked countries to the American, European and Asian markets.
The project has put Namibia on par with countries such as Australia, Brazil, Dubai and The Netherlands in the utilisation of reclaimed land for port expansion.
China Harbour Engineering Company was the main contractor for the new terminal, which has increased Namport's assets to N$7,6 billion.
SOURCE: The Namibian