It is said that the Maersk Conakry, a WAFMAX-class (West Africa MAX) container vessel belonging to Maersk is the largest container vessel ever to call at the port of Walvis Bay. In fact, it is the largest container vessel to call at any harbour along West Africa.
According to Maersk Line's Chairman, Mr. David Williams, the 250-metre-long vessel is the latest addition to the series of vessels from Maersk Lines, and will set new standards for liner shipping in West Africa, providing further opportunities for customers and global commerce.
The ship docked at the port of Walvis Bay in the early hours of 27th June for unloading of cargo. It set sail again later in the day, and was accompanied by a huge fanfare, as local tugs led it through the port channels out to sea.
The celebrations were attended by board members of Namport, the Walvis Bay Mayor, Derek Klazen; and the Permanent Secretary of Works and Transport, Mr. George Simataa.
The vessel can carry up to 4,500 containers, which, if they were put on a train, would need 28 kilometres of carriage. The length of the vessel is equal to three Airbus A380 airplanes placed end to end, but the ship can carry 320 times more cargo weight. It weighs about 54,000 tonnes and is over 60 metres high.
What makes this ship even more amazing is that it is equipped with a “waste heat recovery system”, saving up to 10 per cent of its main engine power.The deputy chairperson of Namport's Board of Directors, Ruusa Shipiki-Kapolo, praised the occasions and emphasised Namport's endeavour to ensure maximum efficiency in terms of services and facilities for is clients, hence the need to deepen the depth of the harbour for super-large vessels, increase container handling capacity and increase container storage areas.
Mr. Simataa said that Namport played a crucial role in Namibia's transport infrastructure development, and that the port would ultimately serve more than just local and regional clients, but may even be of benefit to Africa as a whole.