Container terminal project only completed by 2019

At a public session presented by PS HSE Consulting to keep interested parties and the community updated on the progress of construction of Namports’ new container terminal on reclaimed land, it was confirmed that the construction of the 40 hectares container terminal is around 60% completed.

The project, which was scheduled for completion by mid-2018, has been delayed due to unforeseen geotechnical conditions below the seabed. As a result of the problem the terminal would now only be commissioned by 2019. Six months were spent doing additional geotechnical investigations and research on a diatomaceous silt layer, a layer of dead organic matter, approximately 20 metres below the seabed. The type of diatomaceous silt found at Walvis Bay is particularly uncommon worldwide, and research into the engineering properties of this type of silt is limited.
“Namport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Namibia in order to carry out a three year study which will assist in understanding the silting of the lagoon, the contributory factors, the impacts on the environment and how they can be managed,” said Elzevir Gelderbloem, Namport Port Engineer at the public briefing recently.
The three year study will focus on the status of the physical and chemical condition of the lagoon, as well as biological communities (plankton, benthic fauna, plants, fish and birds) and to determine the environmental and biological indicators of the health status of the lagoon.
An update was given on the Hazard Management Plan, which monitors the noise, dust & waste management of the project. Noise monitoring results for November 2016 – April 2017 has indicated a low average, though high peaks were experienced. Results for dust monitoring indicated very low results, while waste management has been appropriately taken care of.
A total number of 151 safety incidents have been recorded since October 2014 to date, ranging from public incidents and security incidents to property damage.
The new container terminal project consists of several contracts, of which the biggest contract is being undertaken by China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC). The main contractor of the project is required to train 707 local employees by the end of the project through skills transfer and other classroom trainings, of which 514 locals have been trained through different courses. The next public information sharing is scheduled for 22 November 2017.

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