TNPA Chief Executive, Richard Vallihu, said: “The continued investment in infrastructure and modernisation of our flagship Port of Durban is pivotal in meeting the ever-increasing demands of the maritime industry, in particular the ever-increasing size of container vessels pulling into our ports.”

The DCT: Pier 2 Berths 203 to 205 reconstruction, deepening and lengthening project forms an integral part of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy which is in its 5th year and aims to enable the effective, efficient and economic functioning of an integrated port system to promote economic growth.

The increased size of container vessels calling the Port of Durban has resulted in DCT: Pier 2 berths now operating beyond their original design specification in regards to water depth.

DCT: Pier 2 handles approximately 65% of the total containerised cargo of South Africa and is the main link to the country’s industrial and economic hub, Gauteng. It is estimated that the demand through the Port of Durban is expected to grow from 2.5 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit) to 3.5 million TEUs, over the next 10 years.

The overall R7 billion project aims to improve efficiencies and reduce costs for vessels calling at the port by deepening Berths 203, 204 and 205, as well as the basin and approach channel, from 12.8m to 16.5m. The effective berthing length will be increased from 914m to 1210m, to safely accommodate the simultaneous berthing of three Super Post Panamax vessels of 350m in length and draft of 14.5m.

Currently Super Post Panamax vessels take up two berths on the North Quay which decreases port capacity. In addition, large vessels requiring a deeper draft than 12.2m can only enter the channel at high tide, resulting in delays. Increasing the draft will enable vessels to enter at any time reducing the queue of vessels waiting at anchorage to enter the port.

The procurement sourcing strategy for all the project packages is clearly defined, including focus areas for Supplier Development (SD), B-BBEE Improvement Plans and Local Content (LC) that advance transformation and build capacity among Black Owned (BO), Black Woman Owned (BWO) and Youth Owned (YO) Companies.