THE Port of Ngqura in Port Elizabeth is on track to become the transshipment container hub of sub-Saharan Africa and the future global leader of manganese exports, Transnet National Ports Authority said yesterday.
During a visit to the port by Transport Minister Ben Martins shortly before he was moved in a cabinet reshuffle to energy minister yesterday, Port of Ngqura manager Mpumi Dweba said during the next seven years the port would undergo critical changes which would see it become a leader in manganese exports.
“We started with a two-berth terminal but since then have increased to a four-berth container terminal. It is now the world’s fastest-growing port. Since starting with a capacity of 70000 twenty- foot equivalent units (TEUs), now we are at 940000 TEUs, which is well on the way to our target of two million.
Dweba said the Port Elizabeth Harbour’s manganese terminal was exporting five million tons a year, but when moved to Ngqura this would be increased to eight million, with the final target being 16 million tons of manganese.
“The new manganese terminal will be completed by 2017-18 and we hope to see the first ship carrying manganese leave the port in 2018,” she said.
Additional construction at the port before 2020 will include expansion to a three-berth multi- purpose cargo terminal to assist the Coega Development Corporation in its need for additional infrastructure, and the construction of a three-berth liquid bulk terminal for the relocation of the tank farm from the PE Harbour, Dweba said.
About R909-million would be injected into the port in the next financial year, R3.6-billion during the 2015-16 financial year and R3.2-billion in the 2016-17 financial year. A new administration building would also be built.