TNPA to select Durban Port berth infrastructure provider by April


Transnet National Ports Authority is about to award a service provider for the expansion of Durban’s Point Container Terminal as part of a broader initiative to enhance port infrastructure.

TNPA to select Durban Port berth infrastructure provider by April 2024
Durban harbor, South Africa

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) expects to award a service provider for the detailed design and commissioning of berth infrastructure works of the Point Container Terminal Marine Infrastructure and Bulk Services project at the Port of Durban by April 2024.

The project seeks to expand the terminal capacity from 0.2m TEUs to 1.8m TEUs.

The investment is part of the port authority’s efforts to accelerate port infrastructure development projects aimed at addressing congestion and increasing capacity at the Eastern Region ports of Durban and Richards Bay. Durban is South Africa’s main cargo and container port due to its strategic location along international shipping routes.

For the Port of Richards Bay, TNPA has appointed the terminal operator for the handling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the South Dunes Precinct.

In the coming months, the port plans to appoint a developer of the port’s common-user infrastructure facility required to support the LNG terminal. The developer will carry out the construction of marine structures such as berths, bollards, fenders, pipe racks, and bund walls as well as the development of a gas transmission pipeline for handling LNG imports and bulk services infrastructure.

The implementation is being accelerated following the much-needed preparation funding from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which will enable the port to execute these projects within the specified timelines.

“Our continued investment in infrastructure and the repositioning of the two ports is pivotal in meeting the demands of the maritime industry – in particular, the increasing size of container vessels calling at our ports and introducing new energy mix within the port system,” TNPA Portfolio Director for KZN Logistics Hub, Bridgette GasaToboti, said.

The project pipeline for the region also encompasses the deepening and lengthening of berths 203, 204 and 205 at the Pier 2 Durban Container Terminal at the Port of Durban.

In this regard, the request for proposal for the multi-billion-rand main marine construction works package is out in the market and will close on 19 April 2024, TNPA said. The project is scheduled to commence between August and December 2024.

The project aims to increase the berth length from 914m to 1,210m to safely accommodate the simultaneous berthing of three Super Post Panamax vessels of 350m in length and draft of 14.5m.

ICTSI contract award

At the beginning of March, the Board of Directors of Transnet SOC Ltd (Transnet) approved proceeds to finalise the contract award to International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) from the Philippines following the conclusion of the financial due diligence.

In July 2023, ICTSI was selected as the preferred bidder to partner in a 25-year joint venture with Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) to develop and upgrade the terminal, which is Transnet’s biggest container terminal handling 72% of Port of Durban throughput and 46% of SA traffic.

The completion of the financial close is still subject to other non-financial processes which are currently underway.

Transnet expects the procurement of a private sector partner to improve terminal productivity and increase terminal throughput, bolstering the competitiveness of South Africa’s economy.

The award of the contract is subject to successful finalisation of a number of outstanding legal and regulatory matters, according to the port authority.

CEO suspension

Separately, TNPA has been in the center of media attention recently after suspending its chief executive, Pepi Silinga, and two general managers over allegations of wrongfully awarding a R300-million tender.

“The Transnet Board and TNPA Board have been fully briefed and made the decision to place the Chief Executive of TNPA and two general managers on precautionary suspension while the allegations are investigated,” Chairperson of Board of Directors, Andile Sangqu, said in a statement on March 1.

“Transnet will do everything to expedite these investigations, which are being conducted by an independent law firm and a forensic firm. Transnet will take any further action as necessitated by the outcome of the investigations. Every effort will be made to ensure that fair labour processes are followed and that the interests of Transnet and its employees are protected. “