The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has given Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Richards Bay, South Africa, the green light to construct its multi million-rand floating dock infrastructure.
The new $96 million floating dock facility, which will be located at the port’s Small Craft Harbor, forms part of the $302 million capital investment plans announced by TNPA in 2017.
“The consent from DEA followed a rigorous process, which included a series of specialized studies, impact assessments and consultations with various environmental and industry stakeholders, including the South African Heritage Resources Agency, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, DEA: Coastal Pollution Management as well as the local municipalities among others,” said TNPA.
Furthermore, TNPA will be supporting this initiative by undertaking the dredging operations, marine infrastructure and bulk land-side infrastructure developments.
The project is expected to create approximately 1000 direct and indirect jobs, with a current targeted operational date of April 2022.
Once complete, the facility will be capable of accommodating capesize vessels. This will require upgrades to the existing quay and extensive deepening of the berth from its current 8.5m to a planned minus 18m depth.
The floating dock project represents Initiative 7 of Operation Phakisa, a government-driven program aimed at unlocking the potential of South Africa’s Oceans Economy. Of a total of 18 Marine Transport and Manufacturing (MTM) Initiatives under Operation Phakisa, TNPA is directly associated with eight initiatives of which four involve infrastructure developments.