Port of Ngqura to Get Additional 100 Meters of Quayside (South Africa)

As it celebrates its first year in business, the new port and container terminal of Ngqura (NCT) in South Africa’s Eastern Cape is going to be given an additional 100m of quayside.

Announcing this yesterday, Transnet Port Terminals, which operates the Ngqura container terminal at the port, said the additional 100 metres of quay will allow the terminal to simultaneously berth two large container ships of 305m each in length. NCT is currently able to berth one 305m ship and one 275m vessel at the same time.

TPT said the expansion would be completed by July 2011.

It was originally scheduled to double the berthing capacity at NCT with an additional two berths, increasing the annual capacity from 800,000-TEU to two million TEUs, but apparently this is a decision that must be taken by Transnet National Ports Authority, which governs the 60ha Port of Ngqura.

According to Nosipho Damasane, TPT’s chief operating officer, volumes at NCT have outstripped projections during the terminal’s first year of operation. “Year to date figures show 259 vessels handled since October 2009 with an average of 1,100 TEUs each.

“NCT has handled a total of 288,812 TEUs from October 2009 to October 2010, of which 61% was transhipment cargo brought into South Africa for transfer to other vessels and ports. The remaining 31% was a mix of imports and exports,” she said.

By the end of this financial year (end March 2011) NCT hopes to have handled about 410,000 TEUs.

TPT acting chief executive Karl Socikwa says these volumes are proof that Transnet’s strategy of positioning the port as a major transhipment hub for the region has been correct.

“The Port of Ngqura is ideally located at the centre of trade routes for both African and global markets,” he said. “Our strategy from the outset has been to position the port as a world class transhipment hub – the first of its kind in Southern Africa – as a means of growing the economy and bringing additional trade to our shores.”

Socikwa said Transnet shared the bullish business sentiment and projections of its anchor customers at Ngqura, the two shipping lines MSC and MOL SA. Both had been instrumental in ramping up performance at the terminal, directing how operations would be deployed, and assisting Transnet with planning and training.

The two shipping lines were running a total of 8 line services per week through Ngqura.

According to Damasane the container terminal is “more than recovering its investment” and is “the pride of South African ports.” She said that of R10 billion spent on developing the Port of Ngqura, only between R2.5 and R3 billion was spent on the container terminal.

TPT said that productivity during the first month of operation had averaged 20 GCH (gross container moves per hour). A year later it had notched up to 25 GCH. Ship working hours had improved from 41 SWH in October 2009 to 39 SWH in October 2010.

The Port of Nqgura remains a pivotal element of the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), which also features sophisticated road and rail connectivity to provide a full inter-modal service. The IDZ is potentially the largest in South Africa.


Source: ports, October 19, 2010;