Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Break Bulk Cargo Berths Upgraded After Almost a Century

South African Port Improvement Continues to Progress Well
Shipping News Feature
SOUTH AFRICA – A R1.5 billion ($111.4 million/ £91 million / €104) project to improve one of Africa’s busiest ports has reported that works to improve it for modern usage is progressing well. The Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) six-berth reconstruction project at the Maydon Wharf Precinct in the Port of Durban has completed the deepening of Berths 13 and 14. Both berths are now fully operational. Constructed more than 90 years ago, the Maydon Wharf Precinct is one of the oldest cargo terminals and is the largest breakbulk and dry bulk handling precinct in the Port of Durban covering 120 hectares of port land.

The precinct’s youngest berth is about 42 years old while its oldest berth is 92 years old. The quay walls in the precinct were originally designed to handle vessels of approximately 20,000 DWT versus the 55,000 DWT vessels now calling the port. Once completed the berths will have a draught of 14.5 metres enabling them to safely handle vessels with draughts up to 13 metres, making these the deepest berths in the Port of Durban. However, the Maydon Wharf access channel will still need to be deepened to enable deeper-draught vessel to sail in fully laden. Port of Durban Engineer, Malefetsane Setaka said:

“The quay walls of the old berths had reached their lifespan and were becoming unsafe for the vessels to operate. This project has given new life and a safe environment for larger ships to berth.”

The project scope involved demolition of paving, rail track work and services, construction of new steel sheet piled quay walls, demolition of existing piled crane beams, extraction of timber, concrete piles and limited number of steel sheet piles and removal of the existing quay walls and capping beams. The newly constructed quay walls should now have a lifespan of about 50 years.

The completion of Berths 13 and 14 comes after the handover of Berth 1 and 2 to port operations in July 2016. Upgrade work on the final two berths will be completed in 2018.