May 21, 2018
The expansion projects at Port of Walvis Bay will see throughput capacity of the port’s container terminals will more than double to 750,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year. It will also add the first government-controlled oil storage facility in Namibia and a cruise jetty to boost tourism of the scenic African country.
“The type of work we’ve done here is the first of its kind in Namibia,” said Bisey Uirab, CEO of the Namibian Ports Authority, referring to the 40 hectares of lands reclaimed from the sea and the four 79-meter-high ship-to-shore container cranes newly deployed to the port.
Mr. Uirab said upgrading the key port is significant to the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, as it will boost import and export of mineral-rich landlocked nations like Zimbabwe and Botswana that are using the port as access, and in the meantime increase Namibia’s appeal to global investors.
Moreover, the port construction will spur upgrading of nearby roads and railways, fueling the country’s infrastructure boom that the government hopes will create employment and offset the current economic woes caused by low commodity prices.
The momentum is palpable at the port’s construction site. “Many people are expecting this new port to be commissioned. It’s important to Namibia and we’re proud to be part of it,” said Liborius Albertze, a Namibian safety inspector who has been promoted from a general worker since the project commenced in 2014.
Expected to be completed by the end of 2018, the port project, like many other infrastructure developments ongoing in Namibia, lies at the heart of the country’s ambition to become a logistic hub in the southern African region.