A dredging project at South Africa’s biggest container port remains on hold due to “potential procurement irregularities”.
The project was put on hold last November after an organisation called “Forensics for Justice” alleged procurement irregularities against the project.
In February 2019, the contractor CMI Emtateni JV terminated the contract and Transnet accepted this termination.
CMI Emtateni JV is made up largely of four entities that includes Italian construction company CMC Di Ravenna and its South African company CMI Infrastructure, Omame Emtateni Empowerment Group Consortium and Masinya Emtateni Empowerment Group Consortium.
A Transnet source told CM that the alleged irregularities were still only “potential” irregularities. The project remains on hold but is still a priority for Transnet, the source said.
Transnet wants to deepen and lengthen berths at Durban Container Terminal by 2023. Dredging would deepen the turning basin and approach channel serving berths 203 to 205 from 12.8 m to 16.5 m draught.
Currently larger vessels can only enter the channel at high tide while super post-Panamax vessels with a capacity of 9,200 teu take up two berths of the North Quay, shrinking port capacity and resulting in delays and vessel queues at outer anchorage.
The existing quay wall will be lengthened from 914 m to approximately 1,210 m to allow for the simultaneous berthing of three 250 m long post-Panamax vessels.
A new quay wall at Pier 2’s North Quay will be constructed 50 m seawards of the existing quay wall, along berths 203 to 205, which will provide sufficient water depth to safely accommodate larger post-Panamax vessels.
Seven existing 80 tonne ship-to-shore (STS) cranes at Pier 2 will be modified to suit the profile of the new quay wall structure and to serve berths 205 to 203.