Durban Harbour contracts worth R428 million awarded
Apr 14, 2005
The National Ports Authority (NPA) has awarded contracts valued at R428 million for a number of Durban harbour works.
The largest of the three contracts awarded on 31 March 2005 involves the long-awaited surfacing of the new multi-purpose terminal under construction between berths D-G at the Point.
The contractors, Protekon, will be on site by the end of April.
The 18-month contract requires a 400mm thick layer of concrete to be poured onto crusher run placed above sea sand and will be cast in strips 100m long and 5m wide.
The quay wall itself was completed earlier with 52 concrete caissons cast at Bayhead and floated into position. Dredging of the water to a depth of 12.8m alongside the berths was subsequently completed.
The new terminal has been designed as a large open area for the handling of ships cargo, as opposed to having a narrow working area sandwiched between the ship and shed, as is found in more traditional dock areas.
The existing sheds, now set well back from the berths, have undergone a full refurbishment, which includes being re-roofed. These will be used for weather sensitive cargo, while the open concrete stacking area can also take containers stacked up to three high.
The multi-purpose terminal will handle a variety of cargo including steel, machinery, project cargo, bagged rice and perishable fruit. Containers are expected to become an important function of future operations here.
According to the NPA the delay in awarding a contract for the surfacing was mainly to complete geotechnical tests aimed at determining the primary settlement in the reclamation, which consists of sea sand dredged from outside the port entrance. The dredger involved in this project, Filippo Brunelleschi, took less than three months to complete the work and has been offsite for more than a year.
Other delays resulted from the late completion of the quay wall and subsequent planning requirements. Only then could the tender process begin, leading to the R240m contract.
A second contract worth R34m was also awarded to Protekon for road and rail works at the Point Rail Terminal adjacent to the new Point dock area. This involves civil and electrical infrastructure.
Immediately beyond the Point Rail Terminal servicing the new Point Docks is Queen’s Warehouse on Point Road, which is currently undergoing a refurbishment (also by Protekon), which aims to restore the historic building in keeping with the Point re-development. Queen’s Warehouse will become offices and a car parking area for the SA Port Operations personnel employed in the Point/City terminal area.
Island View refurbishment
A third contract awarded to Protekon involves the reconstruction of Island View berths 5 and 6 and is valued at R154m. This is part of an ongoing rebuilding of the aging Island View berthing area, which has become decrepit in places.
The Island View contract calls for the construction of a new quay wall at these two berths, where sensitive petroleum and chemical tanker type cargo is handled. Work is due to begin this month and will last a total of 30 months.
Port entrance widening
The contract to widen the port entrance is apparently facing further delays and seems unlikely to begin before 2007. In this regard it is of interest to note the increasing number of large container ships, which are well above normal port limitation requirements, which are already using the port on a regular basis.
Not the least of these was the arrival on Sunday (April 10) of Hamburg Sud’s new 5 500 TEU capacity Monte Rosa, the largest ever container ship to come into Durban. Monte Rosa was on a delivery voyage to Brazil and was carrying a large quantity of containers.
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