Transnet National Ports Authority and the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) consortium has officially signed an agreement for the construction of a US $16.6m cruise terminal at the Port of Durban entrance. The construction work is expected to kick start this month.
70% of the consortium, is owned by MSC Cruises, which is the largest cruise line operating in South African waters. The remaining 30% is owned by broad-based black economic empowerment investment company Africa Armada Consortium. The company was also declared the preferred bidder for the 25-year concession project in May 2017.
KCT will finance, construct, operate and maintain the new cruise terminal. To extend the beachfront promenade from uShaka beach southwards to the harbour entrance, the project is expected to dovetail with the eThekwini municipality’s Point Waterfront Development and plans.
According to MSC Cruises head of global port development and shore activities, Gianluca Suprani, the official signing of the construction agreement took longer due to the magnitude of the intended greenfield project. The agreement signing was initially expected to have been concluded before the end of 2017.
Nonetheless, the detailed design phase of the terminal is scheduled to commence this month and be done within a period of nine months, though the detailed design will differ from the initial conceptual visuals that were circulated a year ago.
The new Durban cruise terminal is expected to commence operations in October 2020, kicking off the 2020/21 cruise season.
On completion, the terminal will include separate screening and temporary holding areas, parking for 200 vehicles with kerbside drop-off facilities for 12 buses, dedicated baggage drop-off areas, and a separate passenger entry and exit points.
The planned terminal will as well offer a multi-use facility with a retail component, and a multipurpose training, conferencing and events facilities.
Moreover, Cruise vessel calls to Durban are projected to increase substantially from 60 a year to more than 150 a year by 2040 with the number of passengers expected to grow from 200 000 a year to over 700 000 a year.