Repairs to the Tanker Berth in the Port of Port Elizabeth are progressing as scheduled, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said this week.
The berth has been closed since February 18 to allow for repairs to be conducted on the corroded steel structures supporting the berth’s access walkway.
The berth’s reopening is targeted for March 25, once it has been recertified by a structural engineer.
The repairs entail the strengthening of the vertical columns through the installation of additional vertical I-sections connected to the existing steel piles. The new I-sections will be bolted at intervals on either side of the flanges for the full length of each pile.
Nine columns will be strengthened both above and below the water.
TNPA is “very pleased with the progress” that the contractor has made, despite some delays owing to weather conditions affecting the ability to complete underwater works, port manager Rajesh Dana said in a statement.
Weekly meetings with oil companies have ensured that they are kept aware of progress, which subsequently allowed them to keep a measure of stock in the port, thereby ensuring that the promise of uninterrupted fuel supply to Nelson Mandela Bay during the shutdown is kept, Dana added.
The South African Petroleum Industry Association’s Siganeko Magafela on Friday confirmed that the closure of the berth has not had a negative impact on fuel supply.
Magafela added that the oil companies have ensured that contingencies are in place to deliver continual supply to the region.
Dana further assured stakeholders that the repairs were receiving priority attention from TNPA and that the contractor would endeavour to complete the project earlier, should weather conditions allow.