Container terminal 56 % complete

The Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) released statistics recently confirming the N$4 billion container terminal project on reclaimed land in the port of Walvis Bay has now reached 56 % completion.
This project is the first of its kind in Namibia and involves the reclamation of 40 hectares of land in the port of Walvis Bay to form a man-made island on which a fully operational container terminal is to be constructed.
With the release of the statistics, Namport also revised the completion date of the project with several months – from the last quarter of 2017 to mid-2018.
CHEC, according to the statistics so far spent close to N$1 billion on the project which represents 27 % of the total spending. Of the total spending 17,85 % was spent on services and goods supplied by previously disadvantaged Namibians and 3 % was spent on Namibian owned small and medium sized enterprises, according to the statistics.
The construction so far required 190 000 man days and a total of 360 Namibians have received training from CHEC whilst working on the project.
With regard to the revision of the completion date, Namport explained the main contractor, China Harbour & Engineering Company (CHEC), reportedly encountered obstacles with the installation of underground, vertical piles on the reclaimed land which will form the foundation of the container terminal.
During the planning phase it was foreseen that a 25 metres thick layer of organic silt 20 metres under the seabed could pose a possible challenge with the installation of the piles.
The composition of this silt layer is mainly from fossilised phytoplankton and research on the behaviour of such an organic layer under construction conditions remains limited.
CHEC undertook continuous research on the topic after the construction project commenced in 2014 and has in the meantime come up with a solution that could settle the piles better and also eliminate the possibility that the piles could sink or shift after the project has been completed and the weight of the container terminal, cargo and traffic bears down on it.

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