State-owned logistics company Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has started implementing a multimillion-rand port infrastructure rehabilitation project at the small domestic seaport of Port Nolloth, on the north-western coast of South Africa.
The appointed contractor, Steffanuti Stocks Marine, started preparatory site establishment activities during August.
The project is aimed at improving infrastructure for offshore activities and forms part of efforts to develop the country’s marine transport and manufacturing industry, in line with the South African government’s Operation Phakisa initiative.
Cape Town port manager Sipho Nzuza – whose portfolio includes Port Nolloth – says the port has historically been “overlooked” but that TNPA has invested in this rehabilitation project to the tune of R7.2-million to date out of a budgeted project value of R39-million. The full project is expected to be completed in October 2017.
He says Port Nolloth will continue to serve as a support facility for the fishing and offshore mining industries and will play an active role as part of the Western Cape port system.
TNPA’s primary infrastructure at Port Nolloth consists of an L-shaped concrete deck on pile jetty, which includes a landing quay about 67 m long with a useable area of 1 450 m2.
The scope of TNPA’s work includes the refurbishment of the jetty structure, refurbishment or replacement of concrete where required, refurbishment of quay infrastructure and replacement of quayside fender systems by TNPA and diamond company De Beers. TNPA will also be undertaking revetment works to address erosion of the shore line.
Port Nolloth has operated under a ten-year lease agreement to De Beers Group Services, which has used it as an offshore supply base for conducting diamond prospecting activity in Namibia. Ship operator Smit Amandla’s supply vessels are stationed in Port Nolloth and are used for transferring supplies to De Beers’ offshore prospecting vessels.
The port was founded in the late 1800s as an export facility for copper from mines located in the Springbok area. This activity ceased in the 1940s and the port has since acted mainly as a support facility for the fishing and offshore mining industries.