The new deep-water port of Ngqura, which has a depth of between 16 m and 18 m to accommodate the larger, new-generation container vessels, was launched operationally in October.
Freight logistics company Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), a division of transport para- statal Transnet, reports that the 300-m-long, 13-m-deep MSC Catania sailed into the port early in October to become the first commercial vessel to enter Ngqura’s container terminal. Two groups of operators successfully offloaded the vessel using the port’s Liebherr ship-to-shore cranes, before it sailed on to Cape Town and Europe.
With its supporting infrastructure and super- structure, the container terminal at Ngqura will be able to accommodate ultramega ships carrying 6 000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) to 10 000 TEUs, as well as 100 container-moves a ship for each working hour with stack and berth capacity to cater for future growth of up to two-million TEUs.
Deliveries to Date
The main contractor for the development of the port, construction and engineering group Grinaker-LTA, completed the pouring of the concrete pavement during June. The company had to pour 800 m3/d of concrete to complete the project on schedule.
Another milestone for Ngqura is the hand- over of the port control building, where the technologically advanced port control system has been declared operationally ready and is currently manned by vessel traffic control personnel on a 24-hour basis.
Further, a R1-million camera, with a range of 11 km to 15 km, has been installed to monitor the anchorage area and serve as harbour watch between the ports of Ngqura and Port Elizabeth. Ngqura is the first Transnet port with such a high-tech camera.
One of three new tugs was delivered to the port in October, with the delivery of the other two scheduled for April and May 2010. The tugs, worth R120-million each, are capable of a 70-t bollard pull.
Also handed over recently were: the container terminal’s first two of four berths, the two multipurpose berths, the single liquid berth, the four-storey TPT administration building and the temporary container engineering workshop.
The equipment assembled and commissioned to date includes 22 rubber-tyred gantry cranes, six Megamax ship-to-shore cranes, two rail-mounted gantry cranes, two reach stackers, four empty-container handlers and the installation of all the 1 680 reefer frames for refrigerated cargo. The Navis Sparcs N4 terminal operating system and the autogate facility have also been commissioned.
Rail on Track
Transnet Freight Rail, a division of Transnet, is on target for the completion of the Ngqura rail terminal, the marshalling yard, and the main line construction to the hinterland, with four operational lines currently in the marshalling yard and the remaining five scheduled to be available by March 2010.
The rail route links the new port to the City Deep rail terminal, in Gauteng province, through Beaconsfield, in the Northern Cape. The new marshalling yard infrastructure can accommodate up to six trains a day in each direction and the hinterland will have a design capacity of two trains a day. The hinterland capacity will be increased as volumes increase, subject to financial and business viability.