Transnet invites proposal for the construction of a new container terminal in Richards Bay.

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Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) seeks collaboration with the private sector to enhance container facility capacity. These came after Transnet calls for proposal (request for proposal) for the construction of a new container terminal at the Port of Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

The RFP (Request for Proposals) process begins following the successful conclusion of the request for information (RFI) process by TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority). The RFI process, initiated in November of the previous year, showed considerable interest from private sector participants willing to invest in the construction of a new container terminal on Richards Bay. This project is seen as a crucial catalyst for the local economy.

New container terminal in Richards Bay footprint

The new container terminal will be constructed on greenfield site expected to have a total footprint  675,000 square meters. Its purpose is to alleviate the strain on the existing 600-series multipurpose handling facility (MPT), which currently manages containerized cargo.

Presently, the MPT can handle up to 50,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). However, the new facility has the potential to increase this capacity significantly, possibly quadrupling it. This expansion aims to cater to the growing demand for container handling and accommodate larger volumes of cargo efficiently.

In a statement, Moshe Motlohi, the TNPA managing executive for Eastern Region ports, expressed that the RFI process has been instrumental in assessing the market interest in the construction of a new container terminal in Richards Bay. The responses received during the process have indicated the potential to expand the current capacity to approximately 200,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). This optimistic assessment highlights the opportunity for significant growth in container handling capabilities at the proposed new facility.

The results of the RFI have provided TNPA with the assurance that industry players are enthusiastic about investing in the development of the new facility. This positive response gives them the confidence to move forward to the next stage, which involves inviting formal proposals for the project. With the interest shown by potential investors, TNPA is optimistic about the future success of the development and the benefits it will bring to the region.

Transnet aims to attract bidders who possess the necessary experience and capabilities to undertake a project of this magnitude. However, they emphasize that the bidding process will also be inclusive, allowing opportunities for new entrants and smaller enterprises within the container handling industry to participate in both the RFP process and the subsequent construction phase. This approach seeks to encourage competition, foster innovation, and create a diverse pool of potential partners, ensuring a fair chance for different players to contribute to the development of the new facility in Richards Bay.

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