Namport to start talks with MSC subsidiary over new container terminal management
The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) recently announced that it would start negotiating the concession agreement with Terminal Investment Limited (TIL), a subsidiary of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), for managing the new container terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay.
Namport has been looking for a manager since 2019 when it commissioned the container terminal at N$4.2 billion.
The TIL won the bid to manage Namport’s new container terminal for 25 years from 2023, with Maritime Business and Transport Solutions (MBTS), an international consultancy firm, being appointed as a transactional advisor in the concession exercise.
According to the draft concession, TIL will pay an up-front take-on fee on the signing of the concession agreement and commit to specific increased volumes.
“One of the significant challenges to befall the shipping and logistics industry following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic was the shortage of vessels especially on the relatively less lucrative Africa trade lanes and in favour of the highly profitable Asia – Pacific trade lanes. So dire was the situation that in numerous instances, our ports at Walvis Bay and Luderitz, just like others here in Africa, went on for weeks without receiving a single vessel call especially for container carriers,” said the Namport Chief Executive, Andrew Kanime when he explained the situation to the media last week.
In previous media statements, he alluded that there is a provision for penalties in the concession agreement in cases where the volume commitments are not met.
Kanime said the negotiations between Namport and TIL on the concession agreement would focus on detailed operational matters, including but not limited to the exact terms and conditions of the personnel to be taken over by the operator.
Kanime also said the negotiation and handover process is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.
Despite the low volumes, Kanime pointed out that the Ports Authority still made a profit in contrast to the previous year when the authority posted a modest loss.
“…with the significant improvement in operational performance, the authority could comfortably cater for these finance costs and maintain a positive bottom line. Hence, profit before taxation for the year amounted to N$253 million (and N$106 million excluding non-operational income), in comparison to the loss before tax position of N$38 million for the year ended the 31st of March 2021,” he stated. (Xinhua).