by WCN Editorial
Just three months after the completion of Walvis Bay’s new container terminal, DP World has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with port operator Namport to develop a free economic zone at the Namibian port
The MoU was also signed by the Dubai firm’s prospective Namibian partner, Nara Namib, and it is hoped that a binding agreement can be concluded in the second quarter of next year. The zone will seek to attract logistics, industrial and manufacturing clients, including in the agriculture, automotive and mining industries.
Development of the zone should help to speed up the process of developing Walvis Bay as an entrepôt for the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC). It will be developed on a 50 hectare plot in Phase 1, with scope for up to 1,500 hectares. It is hoped that Phase 1 will attract N$3.5B (US$237M) in investment, with a target of N$25B (US$1.7B) set for the entire site.
Suhail Al Banna, DP World CEO and managing director for the Middle East and Africa said: “DP World is pleased to work with Nara Namib to explore how we can work together to enable smarter trade in Namibia. We believe the country has great potential to expand its role as a hub for the region. The Namibian government’s recent legislation on free zones and efforts to facilitate greater business provides an attractive environment for investment.”
The number of containers shipped out of the port increased by 19% in September, the first full month of operation, while imports jumped 33%. The terminal, which has annual handling capacity of 750,000 TEU/year, was built on 40 hectares of reclaimed land and is linked to the rest of the port by a causeway. The old container terminal is now being converted into a multi-purpose terminal.
SOURCE: World Cargo News