Lüderitz Port Manager, Max Kooper has revealed that business at the small port has drastically improved since last year October when they started handling bulk zinc exports from Rosh Pinah mine.
Initially Zinc exports to South Africa were being handled at Walvis Bay leaving the depriving smaller pert of business in the way.
He told The Villager the Lüderitz Port has benefited immensely from the initiative by Rosh Pinah mine to export their zinc products from through the port.
“The reason for diverting these Zinc concentration export via the Port of Lüderitz from Walvis Bay port where as a result of double handling of this commodity by trucking them from the mine and rail them from Aus to Walvis Bay and loading them for export which process increase handling cost. While Lüderitz situation is mere trucking from the mine into the Port of Lüderitz and export, which is economical and valuable for our clients. Changing of exporting zinc from Walvis Bay port (Namport) to Lüderitz port is saving cost by reducing the distance the companies have to endure from the South to Walvis Bay port.” he said.
The Zinc concentration and Lead concentrate at the Luderitz Port is 100 000 tonnes and 20 000 per annum respectively. Kooper said this process has great positive implication both in terms of Gross Domestic Product contribution and revenue of Namibian Port Authority (Namport).
“Transport and Logistics form integral part of National Development Plan 4, Port of Lüderitz being the second hub, increase through put capacity via the port of Lüderitz will strengthen backward and forward economic linkages in the region, it will contribute immensely to the Corridor Development initiative and more employment opportunities will be imminent,” he said.
Kooper also said apart from zinc there are many other activities that are found at the Lüderitz Port as things like oil activities also take place.
“Skorpion Zinc import between 70 000 and 90 000 tonnes of Sulphur and export 95 000 Zinc Ingots per annum to the international market. Other commodities are fish, dieseline and break bulk commodity. In 2013 Oil exploration activities in our offshore has been handled via the Port of Luderitz and at the same time “Out of Gauge” cargo meant for Northern Cape Province of South Africa had been handled simultaneously”.
He added that, “Our strategy is to capitalize and diversify our business portfolio in order to increase through put capacity via the Port of Luderitz and thereof the development a Trade Corridor Development Initiative.
“Therefore our intention will be, exporting of Grapes from Aussenkher, Manganese and Iron via the Port of Luderitz at the same time work in collaboration with Walvis Bay Corridor Group to development the Orange Corridor Route”.
Meanwhile the Public Relations Manager for Rosh Pinah Zinc Mine, Kondja Kaulinge added that Zinc exportations through Lüderitz have also cut down drastically on expenditure for the company as they do not have to engage long distances to deal with long distances to get to Walvis Bay.
“The high costs of transportation and the need to sell the concentrates efficiently have forced Rosh Pinah Zinc Corp (RPZC) to consider all options. Amongst the alternatives RPZC considered, the Port of Lüderitz provided RPZC with the most cost effective and practical solution to export both its zinc and lead concentrates production to the global market. This solution, combined with operational efficiency gains as well as improved logistics control due to the close proximity of the port to the mine, is delivering benefits which are now being realised by Rosh Pinah ,” he said.
Kaulinge also said that the present alternative solution to solve the export problems for both zinc and lead concentrates, shipping through Port of Lüderitz.
“After consideration of all the factors and issues it was clear that the best solution would be to develop the infrastructures at the Port of Lüderitz even though it meant investing a large amount of capital to so,” he said.
He added that, “Exporting through the Port of Lüderitz acquired approvals from all the relevant Authorities in 2013. All parties worked seamlessly together and all approvals were obtained and the required facilities established”.