Transnet ropes in Grindrod to ramp Port of Richards Bay container handling to 200 000 TEUs

TNPA’s Port of Richards Bay container handling facility. SUPPLIED

TNPA’s Port of Richards Bay container handling facility. SUPPLIED

Published Jun 21, 2024


Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has appointed Grindrod South Africa as the preferred bidder to develop and operate a container-handling facility at the Port of Richards Bay, as part of plans to drive improved port efficiency and service levels.

This comes as Transnet embarks on a strategy to attract more private sector players into the development and maintenance of port infrastructure as part of structural reforms on the back of financial constraints.

TNPA said yesterday that this development will enable an increase in the port’s container handling capacity from 50 000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to 200 000 TEUs per annum, in alignment with the provincial ports master plan.

Grindrod SA is ideally positioned to spearhead the development and operation of this facility, which is scheduled to become operational in 2027.

The project entails an estimated capital investment of about R285 million, offering a substantial boost to the region’s container industry.

Grindrod SA intends to partner with Eyamakhosi Resources, a local entity within the Umhlathuze Municipality, to ensure that the benefits of this project extend to the local community.

“This is a significant step forward in our efforts to enhance the Port of Richards Bay’s infrastructure and capacity. We are confident that Grindrod South Africa’s experience and commitment to local partnership will drive the success of the facility, bringing considerable economic and logistical benefits to the region," said TNPA’s acting CEO, advocate Phyllis Difeto.

The strategic location of the proposed container handling facility will serve the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal effectively, providing vital proximity to the hinterland market. This positioning is anticipated to lower logistics costs and reduce transportation lead times, benefiting both local and regional economies.

“We are honoured to have been awarded the preferred bidder status to develop and operate the container handling facility in the Richards Bay port. We believe that it will significantly impact global trade and the region’s economic growth, contributing to employment and uplifting local communities,” said Grindrod CEO Xolani Mbambo.