Namport eyes Q3 2024 to start Lüderitz port expansion

The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) is targeting to start port expansion at Lüderitz next year to facilitate the implementation of the country's impending oil and gas developments. 

Namport Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kanime told The Brief that construction is expected to take 24 to 36 months, as the ports operator looks to align the capital project with Hyphen's feasibility timeline of approximately two years. 

“We also need to make sure that as and when they (Hyphen) are ready to export the first molecule, which is 2028, we are also ready. But before we get even there, they need to import project construction materials. The wind turbines, blades, for example, the solar panels and that is something that is going to happen sooner. Unfortunately, our current port at Lüderitz does not have sufficient capacity to enable them to import their construction materials,” he said.

Kanime said the ports company will not be closing the Lüderitz port during the planned works. 

“Today we can do it, but if we do it, it means we must probably close the port. That’s why we need to now extend the key wall by at least 300 metres so that we can construct a dedicated and additional bath. When we construct an additional bath, it gives us additional capacity in the port to ensure that we continue with our normal port activities,” he said. 

He said the entity had already concluded public consultation sessions at Lüderitz as part of finalising the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

“Two weeks ago, we concluded public consultation sessions in Lüderitz, which are critical input into the finalisation of the EIA.

So our target is to be between now and quota four next year. We need to run with the documentation bidding process to launch it so that we can actually commence construction quarter four next year between now and quota four next year.

“So, it's more like a year. It's more like a year just to commence construction.

He said the port will be expected to cater to both the green hydrogen sector and the oil and gas.  

“It's one of those projects where whether they (Hyphen) are going ahead or not, it has to be done. It has to be done because the current port is also oil and gas. There is again oil and gas. So the extension will help both two sectors industries,” the Namport CEO said. 

Quizzed on how the company plans to fund the project, Kanime said the entity would use blended financing by funding the project with its internal resources as well as debt financing.  

The government signed a feasibility and implementation agreement with Hyphen Hydrogen Energy in May, paving the way to begin the groundwork for the US$10 billion (N$187 billion) project, set to be located in the Namib Desert’s Tsau//Khaeb National Park. 

This comes as the government seeks to base operations of Total Energies and Shell, who recently discovered oil off the coast of Namibia, to base their operations at Luderitz and not Walvis Bay. 

On the gas front, Namibia is on track to achieve its first gas-to-power from Kudu in 2027.

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