Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the appointment of suitable terminal operators to fund, design, develop, operate, maintain and transfer the liquid bulk and/or green fuel terminals for a concession period of 25 years for the Port of Richards Bay’s South Dunes Precinct.
This comes as the struggling state-owned logistics company is implementing a recovery plan to clear the months-long backlog of container vessels and cargo trucks stuck outside its ports on the back of equipment failures and collapse of the railway network.
Transnet yesterday said the RFP was issued as part of Phase 1 of the South Dunes Precinct development, which includes five sites identified by TNPA, and aligned to the Master Plan for the Port of Richards Bay.
These sites will have access to existing berths 208 and 209 and, upon demand, TNPA will prioritise the development of the proposed berth 210 to support Phase 2 of the liquid bulk terminals development.
This project is being executed under the auspices of the TNPA KwaZulu-Natal Logistics Hub Portfolio, which comprises strategic programmes seeking to expand capacity in the Ports of Durban and Richards Bay through the delivery of 31 flagship initiatives.
TNPA KwaZulu-Natal Logistics Hub Portfolio director Dr Bridgette Gasa-Toboti said the hub sought to expand capacity in the Ports of Durban and Richards Bay through execution of the KZN Port Master Plans.
“The South Dunes development is a major milestone towards achieving the Transnet Segment Strategy,” she said.
“The project prioritises liquid bulk handling and strengthening of this sector is crucial for the development of the South African economy and furthers our intent of creating capacity for cleaner green fuels, in compliance with the international standards.”
The non-compulsory RFP briefing session will be held with all interested parties at the Port of Richards Bay in January and the bid closing date is the end of April 2024.
Meanwhile, Transnet yesterday said the Daily Container Recovery Plan monitoring session continued to find ways to alleviate container vessel congestion at the Port of Durban.
According to Transnet, there were a total of 18 container vessels at anchorage at the Port of Durban yesterday, and a total of 34 gangs have been deployed across the Durban, Nelson Mandela (NMB), and Cape Town ports.
Initiatives to expedite this process include an increase in tug availability to achieve multiple concurrent moves, cargo diversions to other TPT terminals, prioritisation of urgent import cargo which is done in consultation and support from shipping lines, increasing the number of gangs deployed, and the reduction of shuffles through Group Imports Release (GIRs) and Tier for Tier (Imports Evacuation).
Transnet said a total of 5 006 volumes had been handled at the Port of Durban in the last 24 hours, depicting a steady decrease in container vessels at anchorage from 37 to 16 container vessels, between November 27 and December 10.
It said the ports of NMB and Cape Town also remained fully operational and indicate no challenges thus far.
The Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT) received a delivery of seven pre-used rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) yesterday.
To date, CTCT has been operating with 20 RTGs and the delivery will bring the total number to 27.
Out of the 20 RTGs, seven of them were recently fitted with new engines and three with generators.
CTCT is completing maintenance repairs on two additional RTGs, which will bring the total number to 29.
Over the next few days, Transnet said the engineering team would spend time commissioning all the seven RTGs to ensure readiness before they are officially handed over to operations.
Concurrently, the operations team would roll out training to operators who will be working on the additional RTG machines.
The acquisition of the RTGs is part of TPT turnaround plan, whose key priorities include equipment availability in order to support operational efficiencies.