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Durban port deepening project to start in 2024; bids due Q1 2024

The Port of Durban, once the best-run port in Africa, these days is beset with physical and logistical capacity issues

Posted on December 10, 2023

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the reconstruction, deepening and lengthening of berths at the Durban Container Terminal’s (DCT) Pier 2 North Quay in the Port of Durban, starting in 2024.

The massive construction project, part of TNPA’s R154 billion KwaZulu-Natal Ports Master Plan to improve efficiencies and reduce costs for vessels calling at the port, includes the deepening of Berths 203, 204, 205 and the basin and approach channel from 12.8 meters to 16.5m.

The project will be completed over a five-year period.

TNPA said in a statement on Monday that the governance and environmental approvals for the multi-billion-rand marine construction works package which has now gone to tender, were secured in 2015.

“The effective berth length will be increased from 914m to 1 210m, to safely accommodate the simultaneous berthing of three Super Post Panamax vessels of 350m in length and draft of 14.5m.

Super-size vessels currently take up two berths on the North Quay which decreases port container capacity,” TNPA said.

Another benefit of increasing the draft is the enablement of vessels requiring a draft deeper than 12.2m to enter the port at any time, reducing the number of vessels waiting at anchorage to enter at high tide.

“This mega project is one of the TNPA KZN Logistic Hub’s initiatives of positioning the Port of Durban as an international container hub, by growing its container volume capacity from 2.9 million TEUs to 11.4 million TEUs as per the Transnet Segment Strategy,” TNPA said.

The strategy also seeks to position the port as a premium automotive hub, increasing its automotive capacity from 520 000 fully built units (FBU) per annum to one million FBU.

The plan is expected to create more than 570 000 employment opportunities over the next 30 years.

TNPA portfolio director, Bridgette Gasa-Toboti, said the increased size of container vessels calling at the port had necessitated the project as DCT Pier 2 berths are now operating beyond their original design specification regarding water depth.

“Our continued investment in infrastructure and the modernisation of the Port of Durban’s infrastructure is pivotal in meeting the ever-increasing demands of the maritime industry – in particular the ever-increasing size of container vessels calling at our ports,” said Gasa-Toboti said.

DCT Pier 2 handles approximately 65% of South Africa’s total containerised cargo and is the main link to the country’s economic and industrial hinterland in Gauteng.

Demand for container cargo to be moved via the Port of Durban is expected to grow from 2.7 million TEUs to 4.5 million TEUs over the next 10 years.

RFP documents can be accessed from the National Treasury’s e-tender portal and/or the Transnet website:

A briefing session has been scheduled for 29 January.

RSVPs for the session and questions regarding clarity clarification may be sent to

The deadline for submissions is 4pm on 29 March 2024.


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