Big investment in SA’s ports

2008-08-11 00:00

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) will continue its massive investment rollout over the next few years as it plans to spend a whopping R2,4 billion during this financial year alone.

A fair portion of this figure is expected to be pumped into the Durban Port.

The organisation’s investments increased from R131 million in 2001/02 to R1,9 billion in 2007/08, according to Tau Morwe, TPT chief executive, who addressed guests at a TPT/Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry event in Durban yesterday.

He said TPT’s investments in new and replacement equipment will amount to R10,3 billion over the next five years.

TPT’s rollout also includes investments in new and expanded container facilities.

The intensive focus on infrastructure development is clearly a necessity, given that monthly volumes at the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) have grown from 102 000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units — a measure of container capacity) a month in 2001/02 to 180 000 TEUs a month in 2007/08.

Morwe said major projects in progress or about to start include increasing container capacity at the DCT (and other terminals in South Africa), increasing automotive capacity in Durban by 180 000 units per year, and widening Durban’s entrance channel.

The project includes replacing ship-to-shore cranes as well as the reconstruction of quay walls at Maydon Wharf.

Morwe said TPT has improved efficiency at local ports over the past few years. As of May this year, 80% of vessels performed above 16 container moves per hour (CGH) in contrast with 81% of vessels having performed below 16 CGH in 2002. The average performance at DCT for 2007/08 was an impressive 22,5 CGH.

TPT’s target for 2008/09 is 25 container moves, he added.

Morwe said TPT has also undertaken several value-added projects at DCT, including an automated car- wash in 2007/08 and the Pier 1 Container Terminal Auto Gate.

The auto gate boasts a six-lane drive-through facility as well as capacity for 240 trucks per hour.

Morwe also said several hundred employees have already benefited from TPT’s intensive training initiatives.

kavith@witness.co.za

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