[Durban, South Africa, 06/11/2015] The ports industry is in a state of radical change and uncertainty, which requires flexible and adaptable port planning and design. This is according to Phyllis Difeto, Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Chief Operations Officer, who delivered the welcome address at the African Ports Evolution 2015 conference at the Durban ICC this week on behalf of Chief Executive, Richard Vallihu.
“The impact of the global economic downturn is a daily reminder to ports of the need to change ‘business as usual’, ” she said. “Innovative techniques are required to adapt to the pressures of integrating the global supply chain, the need for greater port expansion and the immediate requirement to preserve natural resources, ” she added.
Difeto outlined the South African port authority’s strategic direction and key projects from 2015 to 2022. Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy – which aims to enable the effective, efficient and economic functioning of an integrated port system to promote economic growth – is in its third year of implementation. Transnet had invested R92.8bn to date, of which port investments had amounted to R5.78bn. TNPA’s investment in the South African port system over the next 10 years would be R 56bn, of which R320m will be spent in the 2015/16 financial year.
“The South African government’s focus on the Oceans Economy under its Operation Phakisa initiative will be a major driver to invest in the port system. A total of around R2bn will be spent over the next five years to refurbish existing repair facilities, while we will invest an estimated R13 to 15bn to create new repair facilities at the South African ports, ” said Difeto.
“We are addressing current challenges in the Port of Durban where depth restrictions demand an urgent programme of dredging and berth deepening. In Richards Bay we will create additional container handling capacity through the short term installation of mobile cranes and a medium term expansion for the port to handle up to 100 000 TEUs of containerised cargo, ” she said.
Difeto said TNPA’s anticipated major port infrastructure projects between 2015/16 and 2021/22 would include:
• Two projects to create additional capacity and deeper berths at the Durban Container Terminal, namely the Pier 2 berth deepening and lengthening project and the Pier 1 Phase 2 project also known as the Salisbury Island Infill project
• Operationalising the Port of Ngqura
• Creating bulk capacity at the Port of Ngqura through a new 16mtpa manganese terminal and a tank farm at berth A100 supported by roads, port entrance and service. Additional bulk capacity would also be created at the Port of Richards Bay through a new LNG terminal and additional bulk liquid berth.
• Creating break bulk capacity through the reconstruction of sheet pile quay walls at the Durban Maydon Wharf precinct’s berths 1-2 and 13-14
• A fleet management programme for all ports including the acquisition of tug boats, pilot boats, launchers and dredgers
• Acquiring new helicopters for Durban and Richards Bay
• Operation Phakisa infrastructure developments at the Ports of Durban, Saldanha, Cape Town, East London and Port Elizabeth, aimed at supporting the oil and gas sectors as well as the ship repair and building industries
“TNPA is on a journey to create a port system with the infrastructure and capacity to promote economic growth and contribute to job creation, ” said Difeto.
“We have made solid progress. We have digitised seven of our eight ports through our Integrated Port Management System (IPMS), with the eight due to go live later this month. We are monitoring port efficiencies and have implemented performance operating standards for all operations – at the terminal, marine, haulier / road and rail interfaces. We are in the process of establishing Joint Operations Centres (JOC) across the port system.
“Within the parameters of our economic regulatory environment we are striving to improve the sustainability of the port system. We are exploring ways to re-integrate our ports with their cities and communities. Transformation of the port system is another priority and all new port projects, contracts and leases are subject to strict transformation criteria. We are developing our suppliers and trying to ensure that the ports provide opportunities to local suppliers and the previously disadvantaged, ” she said.
TNPA’s port framework plans are reviewed annually and adjusted to suit the economic, policy, trade and technology environment. The port plans allowed TNPA to manage land use and optimise its investments.
TNPA is landlord of eight commercial ports around the South African coastline. Transnet’s integrated system of regional ports and rail corridors aimed to complement rather than compete with each other, said Difeto.
About Transnet National Ports Authority
Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is one of five operation divisions of Transnet SOC Ltd. The National Ports Authority is responsible for the safe, effective and efficient economic functioning of the national port system, which it manages in a landlord capacity. It provides port infrastructure and marine services at the eight commercial seaports in South Africa – Richards Bay, Durban, Saldanha, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Mossel Bay and Ngqura. It operates within a legislative and regulatory environment and is governed by the National Ports Act (Act No. 12 of 2005). For more information visit www.transnetnationalportsauthority.net.