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In the name of expansion

A computer-generated visual of the extended Walvis Bay Port

A computer-generated visual of the extended Walvis Bay Port

The hubbub surrounding the expansion of Namibia’s main import hub has finally reached some form of consensus. Namport’s CEO, Bisey /Uirab, recently announced that the tender process for the expansion of the Port of Walvis Bay has commenced with seven companies in close contention. According to the CEO, the tender process will follow the strict documented outlines and will further undergo the adjudication process. In a recent press statement, he emphasized the importance of the project,“I would like to take this opportunity to remind the greater public of the importance of this project not only for Namport but for Namibia and all SADC countries at large.
The Port of Walvis Bay is as a gateway into Southern Africa and is in desperate need of expansion since current cargo handling capabilities are reaching the upper limit of our existing capacities.”
In a private meeting with the Economist, the CEO explained that the project had been in consideration for the past 10 years. He said the past 5 years were crucial for the actual development of the project,“As Namport has grown into a fully-fledged regional port facility serving not only Namibia but also our neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, DRC and Angola, we needed to expand our capacity to serve those markets,”said /Uirab.
The whole project is seeking a company which can construct and finance a new container terminal on reclaimed land, a quay wall, quay cranes and dredging works. /Uirab noted, “The main feature is that it will increase the container capacity from 355,000 container to around 1 million containers per year. This will impact further on our capability of handling larger vessels for bulk cargo too.” He further explained, “The construction is based on reclaimed land so the first phases will involve dredging a new basin and using that material to construct the new terminal.”
The CEO said Namport is at an advanced stage of finalizing financing discussions. He said that once this was concluded, relevant announcements will be made to all interested stakeholders. He further said, “The successful adjudication and award of this tender is of utmost importance and we will endeavour to complete both the evaluation process and commencement of construction of this national asset in the shortest possible time.”
The seven companies bidding for the project which is expected to start later this year and end in 2017 are Sinohydro Corporation Limited (China), Construtora AOS S.A. (Brazil), China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (China), Walvis Bay Harbour Contractors (R.S.A.) Dredging International N.V.(Belgium), Soletanche-Bachy International (France), Consolidated Contractors Company (Greece) STFA (Turkey); Jan de Nul N.V.(Belgium) China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (China) and lastly the RMB Consortium.

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