Work on Transnet’s project to create deeper berths at Durban Container Terminal (DCT) is set to start towards the end of next month.

Addressing stakeholders at a business breakfast in Durban on Tuesday, Transnet Chief Capital Officer, Krishna Reddy, told stakeholders the R7 billion mega project would help to sustain the existing container operations at the Port of Durban and accommodate newer generation container vessels by 2023.

Scope of works

The marine infrastructure work will be executed in three successive phases – commencing with work on berth 205, followed by berth 204 and ending with berth 203. This staggered approach will ensure that the terminal is able to accommodate two vessels at any time between berths 203 to 205, even while one berth is decommissioned.

A new quay wall will be constructed 50m seawards of the existing quay wall, along Berths 203 to 205, which will provide sufficient water depth to safely accommodate larger Post Panamax vessels.

The existing quay wall will be deepened from -12.8m to -16.5m Chart Datum Port (CDP) and lengthened from 914m to approximately 1 210m which will allow for the simultaneous berthing of three 350m long Post Panamax Vessels. These berths have been operating beyond their original water depth design specifications.

Dredging will be carried out to deepen the turning basin and approach channel serving Berths 203 to 205 from -12.8m to -16.5m CDP.

Seven existing 80-ton ship-to-shore cranes at DCT: Pier 2 will be modified to suit the profile of the new quay wall structure and to serve berths 205 to 203.

Remaining competitive

“In the Port of Durban which handles approximately 65% of the total containerised cargo of South Africa, we have a critical need to provide modern, safe, deeper and longer container berths to accommodate the ever-increasing size of container vessels we are now servicing.

“This will ensure that our flagship Port of Durban and South Africa as a whole remain competitive within the industry, while catering safely for the needs of the marine sector,” Reddy said.