Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Expansion of Container Freight and Bulk Liquid Handling Terminals for South Africa

Investment Means Ever Greater Capacities
Shipping News Feature
SOUTH AFRICA – Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has reached a key milestone in its mega project to deepen and lengthen berths at Durban container Terminal (DCT): Pier 2 with the multi-billion rand Main Marine Construction Works package will go out to tender this month. The works are essential to permit access to ever larger container ships importing and exporting essential freight. The initial tender follows the two environmental approvals secured from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) last year for marine and landside works. The tender process for the landside works will follow at a later stage. TNPA Chief Executive, Richard Vallihu, said:

“The continued investment in infrastructure and modernisation of our flagship Port of Durban is pivotal in meeting the ever-increasing demands of the maritime industry, in particular the ever-increasing size of container vessels pulling into our ports.”

The project, with a worth overall of R7 billion, aims to improve efficiencies and reduce costs for vessels calling at the port by deepening Berths 203, 204 and 205, as well as the basin and approach channel, from 12.8 metres to 16.5 metres. The effective berthing length will be increased from 914 metres to 1210 metres, to safely accommodate the simultaneous berthing of three Super Post Panamax vessels of 350 metres in length and draft of up to 14.5 metres.

DCT: Pier 2 handles approximately 65% of the total containerised cargo of South Africa and is the main link to the country’s industrial and economic hub, Gauteng. It is estimated that the demand through the Port of Durban is expected to grow from 2.5 million TEUs to 3.5 million, over the next 10 years. Currently Super Post Panamax vessels take up two berths on the North Quay which decreases port capacity. In addition, large vessels requiring a deeper draft than 12.2 metres can only enter the channel at high tide, resulting in delays. Increasing the draft will enable vessels to enter at any time reducing the queue of vessels waiting at anchorage to enter the port.

Elsewhere, Transnet National Ports Authority has signed an agreement with Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC) for the planning, funding, construction, ownership, maintenance, and operation of a new liquid bulk handling facility. Bulk liquids such as petroleum, diesel, jet fuel, illuminated paraffin and liquid petroleum gas, will be transported to the Port of Ngqura via ship and piped to the tank farm prior to local supply and/or local and global re-export. The facility will create a new tank farm for the Eastern Cape when the existing lease for petroleum storage facilities at the Port Elizabeth harbour expires. OTGC was appointed as preferred bidder following an open and transparent tender process. Gideon Loudon, Chief Executive Officer of OTGC, said:

“As an independent bulk liquid logistics operator, OTGC has been investigating the petroleum and chemical market in South Africa for several years. Current petroleum demand projections for South Africa strongly support the need for significant investments in tank storage infrastructure to cater for the country’s liquid fuel supply. OTGC’s main objective in the Port of Ngqura is to develop a world-class, highly efficient and responsibly operated liquid bulk terminal facility in South Africa. OTGC shall build the terminal facility in strict accordance with the Oiltanking global technical, operating and HSSEQ standards.”

Construction of the facility is estimated to commence in September 2017 and continue until June 2019. It will be commissioned during June-July 2019 and the planned operational date is August 2019. The liquid bulk facility at the port includes the loading and offloading facilities at berth B100, the services and equipment to perform operations at the berth, pipeline connectivity to the liquid bulk facility, the buildings, tanks, structures, paving, and surfacing on the twenty hectare site designated as the liquid bulk facility.

Phase 1 of the liquid bulk facility will provide for 158,000 m3 of storage capacity for refined products. Products will be received via vessel and distributed by road and the annual throughput is expected to be in the region of 1,250,000 m3. Future phases will provide for an additional 550,000 m3 of storage capacity available for third party storage.

Photo: Durban container terminal.