South Africa: Dredging to Bring Larger Vessels to Durban

The Mediterranean Shipping Company’s vessel MSC Sola is expected to arrive off Durban in the early hours of Wednesday, according to the IOL News.

This vessel weighs 131,771 tons and has the length of three-and-a-half rugby fields. Fully loaded it is capable of carrying 11,660 standard containers.

IOL News reports that when the MSC Sola does dock at Pier One, it will not be fully laden – the shallower waters at DCT do not allow it to berth safely with a full load.

“MSC Sola is the latest in an increasing number of super-ship arrivals in South Africa, such as container ships like MSC Maeva, MSC Lisbon and Emma Maersk, and car carriers like m/v Oberon,” said Karl Socikwa, the Transnet Port Terminals chief executive.

Prior to the completion of Transnet’s R300 million project in 2010 to widen and deepen the entrance to Durban’s harbour, MSC Sola would have been unable to enter the port, as the harbour entrance was dredged only to a depth of 12.8 metres.

“We are optimistic that our planned investments into port infrastructure over the next few years will offer mega-ships like these the prospect of making more regular calls to South Africa,” Socikwa concluded.

Dredging Today Staff, July 3, 2012

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