The Future Development of Port Facilities at Cape Fria or Angra Fria

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By Dr Moses Amweelo THE COAST of Namibia runs in an almost straight line about 1350 kms to the North-North-West. The coastline is affected to a marked degree by the major meteorological systems within the southern Atlantic which cause the Benguela Current to run along the entire coastline of Namibia. The coastline has two harbours, Walvis Bay and Luderitz. At the mment, it is believe that no vessels (apart from pleasure boats that can be removed from the water) operate from any location other than Walvis Bay and Luderitz. The Government of Namibia wants to investigate the consequences and to determine the impact of a third harbour in the vicinity of Cape Fria/Angra Fria to serve Namibia not only as a fishing harbour, but also as a harbour for the shipment of import and export cargo, ore and minerals from and to adjacent SADC countries. Cape Fria is located approximately 130 km north of Mowe Bay and about 300 kms north-west of Opuwo in the Kunene Region and Angra Fria is situated a further 20 km to the north of Cape Fria. The pre-feasibility study, including preliminary design, aims to provide a complete basis for the government to arrive at a decision on the need for, and how to, build a new harbour and its facilities at Cape Fria or Angra Fria. In particular, the study will identify and perform all the technical, environmental and economic analyses which are required to answer the following questions: -Which is the best location on the coast? -Which is the best strategy for the construction including timing, phasing, operations, and financing of a new harbour and its facilities? -What are the economic implications for Namibia of constructing the new harbour and its facilities? The proposed study is envisaged to address the merits of phasing the construction works. The first phase would focus on the need for providing facilities for in-and off-shore fishing fleets and operations, including coastguard, fishery protection and pollution control services. The second phase would focus on the facilities to be handled commercial shipping operations, including the associated feeder system required, e.g. new rails links. A new harbour could be developed at several points between Cape Fria and Angra Fria. According to the pre-feasibility study of a future port facility there conducted by Technology Systems & Management (pty) Ltd, the most likely location is Angra Fria. Cape Fria was deemed unsuitable due to the substrate, while more conventional external ports were feasible but estimated to cost about double an internal construction. The engineers favour the internal port construction at Angra Fria because it is likely to offer the best location for the following reasons: – The natural bay is of a sufficient size to form the basis of a new harbour and although it provides little protection, it would reduce the problems of siltation within the harbour. – It is unlikely to cause major problems to the natural environment (e.g. the seal colony at Cape Fria). Mineral products such as salt are produced in vast volumes in Namibia, currently over 600,000 t/per year, and there is enormous potential for increased salt production along the north coast such as south of Torra Bay and north of Angra Fria. Dimension stone mining in Namibia has not reached its full potential, and excellent deposits such as the Onjuva limestone deposit in the northern Kunene Region may become viable if export facilities are located in the northern part of the country: Power generation will be an important issue in the coming years and if either the Epupa Falls hydro-electric scheme or the Kudu gas scheme come on stream, a northern port (Cape Fria/Angra Fria) will provide useful facilities (Technology Systems & Management (Pty) Ltd, draft executive summary vol.11 Windhoek, March 2006). Key findings in relation to maritime transport and potential for a new port (Cape Fria/Angra Fria): -Europe is Sub-Sahara Africa’s largest trading partner, Namibia is positioned too far South to effectively fulfill the role of a regional hub distribution port. However, a northern port (Cape Fria or Angra Fria) would be closer to this market than other Namibia ports and save at least one day on sailing times relative to Walvis Bay. -Walvis Bay is one of the most competitive ports on the African continent and if namport operates a new northern port (Cape Fria/Angra Fria) this competitive edge is likely to also exist. -A northern port (Cape Fria/Angra Fria) will form an additional link in the Walvis Bay corridor system that includes the Trans Kalahari Highway through Botswana to Gauteng, this highway is meant to drive the Walvis Bay – Botswana Gauteng – Maputo development corridor for the purpose of generating economic activity along the highway and therefore improve the living standards of the communities along the corridor. The northern port 9Cape Fria/Angra Fria) will be provided a shorter export and import link with the Americans and Europe for Botswana, Zimbabwe and the Gauteng province of South Africa. The Trans-Caprivi highway together with the links to the Walvis Bay harbour, are meant to drive the Walvis Bay – Caprivi, Ndola, Lubumbashi development corridor, and also meant to provide Zambia, northern Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi a shorter export and import link with the Americans and Europe. The section between Rundu, Onhuno, Engela, Ongenga, Outapi, Tsandi, Opuwo and the proposed future new port (Cape Fria/Angra Fria) is an extension of the Trans – Caprivi highway westwards meant to link the northern regions and southern Angola to Kavango and Caprivi and further on to the land – locked countries. Findings towards the planning of a new port for the long term: -The expected market for a northern port (Cape Fria/Agra Fria) will consist of goods imported and exported from northern Namibia and goods in transit for export and import into southern Angola, Zambia, and beyond. -Under given assumptions a port in the Cape or Agra Fria region will have an estimated cargo throughput of 1.2 million tons in 2010. increasing to 2.9 million tons in 2024, i.e. similar in operation to current Walvis Bay. Containers will increase from 29,000 TEU in 2010 to 116,500 TEU in 2024 (Technology Systems & Management (pty)Ltd, draft Executive summary Volume 11 Windhoek., March 2006). The extension of the Trans-Caprivi is meant to link the Cape/Angra Fria for the purpose of firstly promoting regional trade and co-operation, and secondly proving a better environment for travel. The increased use of the highway will generate business activities in the towns through which the highways pass as there will be an increase in demand for services by the motorists, resulting in creation of employment opportunities in response to the provision of the services. The completion of the northern port (Cape/Angra Fria) and the highways to all-weather roads will provide a convenient mode of travel for the communities and therefore link them to the major urban economic centers where they can market their produce. This is turn will boost production and therefore increase economic activity which will positively improve the living standards and therefore reduce poverty. Shipment The shipping industry also depends on efficient port operations that can meet its requirements in all circumstances, the , development of administrative qualities and the development of physical port infrastructures. The existence of these factors are essential today. For future expansion, the broader context of national economic development as well as new port development should be considered. When a modern port is being discussed, improvements in port conditions and mechanization, being typical of port operations, should not be seen separately. Machines for lifting and lowering cargo such as mobile cranes, forklifts, quays, machines for transporting cargo such as trucks, tractors, trailers, and machines suitable for stacking and unstacking cargoes should be proper planned and made available. Manpower Training Training of manpower will be one of the most important aspects in the new port that is being established at Cape Fria/Angra Fria. Port operations activity and its development is an integrated process. The development of human recourses in this integrated process of the port industry is vital. There could be no successful operation without the availability of skilled manpower, both for port management and for manning vessels. The development of human recourses in such a field provides the means to maximize the national advantages of the port industry of a country. The development of such human recourses is bound to be affected positively or negatively by the prevailing economic, social and political conditions of a given country. For its positive effect the assessment and planning ensures the availability of trained manpower needed in the future new port being constructed in the vicinity of Cape Fia or Angra Fria.

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