Building|Coal|Container|Export|Indaba|Iron Ore|Joburg Indaba|Ports|PROJECT|rail|System|Technology|Terminals|Transnet|Infrastructure|Operations
Building|Coal|Container|Export|Indaba|Iron Ore|Joburg Indaba|Ports|PROJECT|rail|System|Technology|Terminals|Transnet|Infrastructure|Operations

Transnet building pipeline of transactions for private sector participation

Transnet CEO Portia Derby

Transnet CEO Portia Derby

7th October 2021

By: Terence Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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Transnet CEO Portia Derby says the State-owned group received a “fantastic” response to its two recent requests for information (RFIs) for private participation at the ports of Durban and Ngqura and that several other private sector participation (PSP) transactions are under development.

The group formally released RFI documentation for the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2 and Ngqura Container Terminal (NCT) in August to test market appetite for partnerships at the two underperforming terminals.

Both DCT Pier 2 and NCT are operating well below their nameplate capacities of 2.4-million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and 1.3-million TEUs respectively and Transnet is aiming to partner with international port terminal operators and shipping companies to boost efficiencies at DCT Pier 2 and to position NCT as a trans-shipment hub.

Speaking during the Joburg Indaba this week, Derby said there had been an overwhelmingly positive response to the RFIs, which would be used to inform future commercial processes.

She also reported that the group was also preparing a pipeline of transactions that, should they receive shareholder approval, could result in PSPs being deployed across its port infrastructure and operations, as well as on its rail and pipeline networks.

Transnet would release an expression of interest (EoI) in October for a partner to work with Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) – which is being separated into an independent company, with its own board, under Transnet – to build the Point Container Terminal at the DCT.

“That project would increase its capacity from 200 000 TEUs to 1.2-million TEUs, which is a substantial terminal,” Derby said, reiterating that the desired “end-state” container handling capacity at the Port of Durban would be 11-million TEUs by 2032.

The group had also retained ownership of the old Durban International Airport site, where a dig-out port could be developed thereafter should such a development be justified on the basis of demand growth.

Transnet was also planning several PSPs to bolster its yearly capacity to export mineral commodities, including raising iron-ore exports to 67-million tons, manganese to 22-million tons and chrome and magnetite to 9.8-million tons.

It was not aiming to increase its overall coal export capacity, but would seek to raise yearly throughput to the channel’s 81-million tons nameplate and integrate Waterberg coal exports.

For manganese, Transnet would narrow its current multichannel approach to the two channels of Saldanha Bay, where it plans to increase yearly capacity to 6-million tons, and Ngqura, where the aim is to build a 16-million-ton-a-year manganese terminal and relocate the Gqeberha manganese terminal to Ngqura.

An EoI for a technology partner to build a 16-million-ton-a-year manganese terminal at the Port of Ngqura would be released this month, with a deadline for responses in December.

Transnet was also aiming to build a “mega-terminal” in Richards Bay to raise capacity for chrome and magnetite exports, partly as a phased substitution for coal.

“By the middle of next year, we expect to have a very clear indication of what we will be doing and hopefully we would have progressed through the various governance hoops so that we can indicate who the partner is that we will be working with, which is an established South African entity,” Derby said.

In the meantime, Transnet was working to improve relations with the Port of Maputo so as to expand the capacity for chrome and magnetite exports through Mozambique, supported by plans to alleviate the current rail constraints on the channel.

The group was also looking to boost its balance sheet through a series of property transactions, but saw partnerships as increasingly important to ensuring that capacity was developed to unlock pent-up demand.

“There’s quite a lot of private sector participation that we are looking for across the entire system,” Derby explained.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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