THE new container terminal at the Namibian Port of Walvis Bay, built between 2014 and 2019 and commissioned in August 2019, is now fully operational.
Constructed on 40,000 square metres of land reclaimed from the ocean as part of a nearly US$300 million project, the expansion has steered Walvis Bay towards becoming a logistics hub for southern Africa that aims to meet the growing demand for freight.
It will also promote new maritime access to serve the landlocked countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), according to a report by the African Development Bank (ADB) published on September 3, 2020.
The African Development Bank provided a US$178,000 loan representing over 70 per cent of the project funding, report London’s Container News.
The works included the dredging 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 metre 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 1km road, the laying of 2.3km of rail lines, and the installation of service networks, while the report also noted that the facility’s electricity supply was also successfully upgraded.
The terminal increased its capacity from 355,000 TEU to 750,000 TEU annually, while it has also reduced vessel waiting time to less than eight hours and cut container transit time from 14.5 days to 9.5 days.
The demand for services from the port of Walvis Bay has increased by about 8 per cent following the commissioning of the new terminal, the report added and forecasted that cargo volumes, revenues and income from other services (maritime, port, berth and light dues, and other storage and handling fees) will increase by at least 8 per cent in 2020 and 2021.