Namibia’s US$243mn port expansion project reaches 25% completion

1.250 million Cubic meters of land has already been reclaimed in the expansion of Namibia port at Walvis Bay, and the project, which is progressing well, is set to end within the time frame set by the contractor; main contractor China Harbour Engineering Company, which was awarded the project in 2012, has last week said. The land reclamation deadline is set at February next year.

The Namibia port expansion project, which involves construction of a modern port, will seek to make it the preferred port of choice for Southern Africa Development C and other landlocked countries.  600m of quay length will be added to the current 1500m and annual capacity pushed to 350 000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) by adding more 650 000 TEU.

The project manager, Yuangfei Feng, said the port construction operation is 25% complete and on track, with the whole projected completion date set of March 2017.  The deadline for quay walls is set at April 2016 while revetment need be done by August same year. The revetment, which will create a wall around reclaimed land, will need 400 000 cubic metres of different types rock and geotextile material, and will constitute placing different layers of the same.

“Our first major deadline is on February 4 next year when reclamation of the land must be completed. Thereafter, we have to complete the quay walls by April 2016 and in August the revetment,” he said.

There are over 24 workers on site and two bulldozers, one long arm excavator, two normal excavators, three loaders and 41 trucks, among others.

“We also created a sandbag cofferdam, which prevents the dredged material and muddy water from overflowing during the process of reclamation,” he said.

Construction vessel, anchor boat, suction dredger and plastic pipes are being used to help in construction of the sandbag cofferdam at the Namport. The latter will prevent dredged material and muddy water from overflowing during reclamation.

“We have 26 months to complete the work. A substantial amount of work has already been done and due to its high demand for concrete a cement batching plant was built at the port. We have put up an onsite laboratory to ensure that all materials used in the production of the concrete for the post-expansion is of the highest international standards and meet the requirements of the contract,” he said.

He said local procurement over the 36-month period is supposed to be 31.8 percent as per contract details and they were confidence this is achieved. This means that one billion dollars will go to local contractors. He said they were enjoying a good relationship with local sub-contractors.

Nambian Ports Authority (Namport) was planning to increase cargo volumes by 70% in 2020 and AfDB had last year signed a loan for expansion project.  

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