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HomePorts & TerminalsTransnet appoints Grindrod to develop and operate container facility in Richards Bay

Transnet appoints Grindrod to develop and operate container facility in Richards Bay

The Port of Richards Bay is located around 160 klicks North-East of Durban and about 465 klicks South of Maputo on the Eastern Seaboard of South Africa and the first phase of this port was officially opened on 1st April 1976.

While Richards Bay is world renowned for its Coal exports, it also handles forest products, aluminium, bagged cargo, granite, heavy lifts, ferro alloys, andalusite, chrome, clay, copper concentrates, fertilizer, magnetite, rock phosphate, rutile, titanium slag, woodchips, zircon, alumina, coking coal, pet coke, potash, salt, sulphur, urea, phosphoric acid, chemical and chemical products.

The Port of Richards Bay also handles a minimum volume of container shipments of around 50,000 TEUs per year. This volume is set to increase to 200,000 TEUs per year through the development and operation of a container handling facility as part of plans to drive improved port efficiency and service levels.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) announced the appointment of Grindrod South Africa (Pty) Ltd (Grindrod SA) as the preferred bidder to develop and operate this container handling facility.

A statement from Transnet read “This successful award responds to historical calls from industry for a container terminal in Richards Bay and follows the successful conclusion of a Section 56 concession process in terms of the National Ports Act, Act no. 12 of 2005, which began with the issuing of a Request for Information (RFI) and subsequently the Request for Proposals (RFP) to market.

Grindrod SA is a homegrown South African staple in all things shipping, freight, maritime, and logistics for the past 20 years in SA and is seen by many as the ideal candidate for the development and operation of this facility.

This facility which is scheduled to become operational in 2027 comes at an estimated capital investment of around R285 million (around $16 million) which is a substantial boost to the region’s container industry.

As per Transnet, this project is also expected to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and foster skills development in Richards Bay while lowering logistics costs and reducing transportation lead times, benefiting both local and regional economies based on the container facility’s proximity to the hinterland market.

Grindrod SA, a Level 1 B-BBEE South African registered company intends to partner with Eyamakhosi Resources (Pty) Ltd, a local entity within the Umhlathuze municipality, to ensure that the benefits of this project extend to the local community.

This is a significant step forward in our efforts to enhance the Port of Richards Bay’s infrastructure and capacity. We are confident that Grindrod South Africa’s experience and commitment to the local partnership will drive the success of the facility, bringing considerable economic and logistical benefits to the region,” said Adv Modjadji Phyllis Difeto TNPA Acting Chief Executive.

Xolani Mbambo, Chief Executive Officer of Grindrod South Africa, commented: “We are honoured to have been awarded the preferred bidder status to develop and operate the container handling facility in the Richards Bay port. We believe that it will significantly impact global trade and the region’s economic growth, contributing to employment and uplifting local communities.


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