Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has identified infrastructure and port development projects that will be prioritised at its Cape Town and Saldanha ports.
This was announced following the Western Cape Regional Customer Forum, held on August 31. The forum is aimed at aligning TNPA’s plans to meet the business requirements of regional port users.
TNPA COO Nozipho Mdawe outlined various developments lined up for the two ports, with ship building and ship repair identified as a strategic competence for both ports, which will meet gaps in the market and provide attractive business facilities for the Western Cape, especially for those who were previously excluded from the port system.
Additionally, TNPA will improve liquid bulk and tourism activities at the Cape Town port, while developing Saldanha port’s liquid petroleum gas (LPG), oil and gas and aquaculture activities.
CAPE TOWN PORT PLANS
Further opportunities in other sectors for the Port of Cape Town include a review of the under-used capacity within the breakbulk sector and developing innovative scenarios for future port developments.
TNPA is pursuing detailed studies aimed at creating additional container capacity through the Cape Town Container Terminal reconfiguration project, which will increase the terminal’s capacity to 1.4-million twenty-foot equivalent units a year.
To boost ship repair, the port is investing R950-million to modernise its ageing facilities, including the 130-year-old Robinson dry dock, the 70-year-old repair pier and Sturrock dry dock, and the 45-year-old Syncrolift.
“While the Robinson dry dock floating caisson (main gate) was recently refurbished, it is the ultimate intention to replace this structure with a modern, fit-for-purpose caisson structure. The design process will be undertaken in the near future,” said Mdawe.
In terms of maritime skills development to support TNPA’s role as a lead implementer of government’s Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy programme, the port had established the new Cape Town Maritime Training Centre.
Additionally, through a relationship with De Beers Marine, TNPA has created much-needed ship fitting and repair activities with 3 000 to 4 000 active employment opportunities at peak and a further 300 to 400 small black economic empowerment contractors awarded supply contracts.
TNPA is exploring options to introduce a helicopter service to assist with operations during major swells and to increase the availability of services during stormy conditions, which are a common occurrence in the region.
A fully-fledged feasibility study is being undertaken and the TNPA will be engaging with customers to determine the best approach. TNPA is also prioritising the removal of some high spots that had been detected within the port’s Duncan Dock.
In terms of its Craft Replacement Strategy, the Cape Town port is striving to replace two of its workboats by 2019/20 and a request has also been made to bring forward the replacement of two tugs and two launches to 2019/20 instead of 2020/21 to meet industry needs.
Mdawe said there was still opportunity for businesses to be located in the attractive Cape Town cruise terminal precinct or to use facilities there for business and conferencing needs within a working harbour environment.
“Our partnership with the V&A Waterfront for the development of a cruise terminal facility at E Berth has created a world-class facility akin to the property development facility of the V&A. This project is now at Phase 3 of its development,” she added.
Meanwhile, the TNPA has issued port concessions for various projects to establish new oil and gas facilities at its ports in support of a critical sector of the economy, while promoting transformation.
The Burgan Cape Terminal liquid fuel storage facility, which attracted substantial private sector investment of more than R890-million, started operations as a clean fuels handling facility in July 2017.
Similar brownfield opportunities in this sector will follow in the short term.
SALDANHA PORT PLANS
The world-class Sunrise Energy LPG import facility in Saldanha started operation in May 2017. Mdawe said although challenges were being experienced in this space, the authority is committed to a solution that will benefit the LPG industry as a whole and ensure a competitive environment that will ultimately benefit the LPG consuming public.
“Saldanha is privileged to be the only port in the system to have an industrial development zone (IDZ) declared on port land. We have established a tight relationship with the Saldanha Bay Licensing Company.
“Together we have moved to sign a memorandum of understanding regarding pockets of land within the port to be developed for the operation of a focused oil and gas customs-free port area in Saldanha,” added Mdawe.
The partnership has produced its first tenant, with TNPA having signed a 20-year concession agreement with Saldehco for the development of South Africa’s first dedicated offshore supply base.
“Back of port on the Saldanha Bay IDZ footprint, we are currently finalising a lease with the IDZ for Saldehco over 20 ha of land. This is over and above a lease concluded in March 2018 covering 35 ha with the port for development of the promulgated customs control freeport.
“Here, bulk earthworks, roads and services construction activities are currently under way, and planned for completion by the end of 2019. Over the years and as our partnership with Saldehco produces a vibrant oil and gas industry there is a further 20 ha that would be made available for IDZ development,” explained Mdawe.
She said industry could also expect Section 56 processes to be implemented in due course, calling for private sector participation on greenfield projects looking at a new ship repair facility or floating dock at the Mossgas quay in Saldanha, as well as a rig repair facility.