South African state-owned terminal operator Transnet has announced that construction will begin on a ‘dig-out port’ at the Port of Durban in the south of the city in 2021.
Mark Gregg-McDonald, Transnet’s group executive of planning and stability, made the announcement at a press conference in South Africa on Friday.
Before construction can begin, a number of improvements must first be made to the port.
The new port will occupy the site of the former Durban International Airport in Isipingo, 20km from the city centre.
In 2014, Durban port handled an estimated 2.7 m teu and this is expected to increase to 7.5 m by 2040.
Locations including Richards Bay and Ngqura in the Eastern Cape, were considered for expansion before the Durban was chosen.
Despite the planned expansion of the current container terminal, it is thought that by 2025 the port may have run out of capacity, which is why the ‘dig-out port’ will be built.
A number of designs are being examined ahead of the project’s 2021 potential construction date.