Port of Ngqura
The Port of Ngqura, South Africa’s newest port, is sited in Algoa Bay, some twenty kilometres North of Port Elizabeth. The port became operational in 2009 with the intention of providing complementary services to the central ports of Port Elizabeth and East London.
In June 2014, plans were announced to build a new multi-purpose terminal at Ngqura, which will handle exports of coal and manganese upon its completion in 2019.
January 2015 Update
In June 2014, at the Transnet Group's annual results presentation in Johannesburg, Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe announced that the export coal terminal originally planned for the Port of East London would be relocated to the Port of Ngqura by the year 2019. Transnet plans to redeploy mobile cranes from East London to Ngqura and construct a multi-purpose terminal in Ngqura that will handle exports of manganese as well as coal. The move from East London to Ngqura was prompted by financial problems at Elitheni Coal, the company originally slated to develop East London as a coal port, as well as environmental concerns raised by Mercedes Benz South Africa, which feared that dust from the loading and unloading of coal would negatively impact their East London-based automobile manufacturing facility.
According to a 2014 report by Transnet, the government agency in charge of all South African ports, the port of Ngqura handles just over 6 million tons of cargo per year (over 400 vessel calls), with the 30 year forecast predicting up to 110 million tons of cargo per year. The intended role of the Port of Ngqura has been through a number of developments since its inception. Its relationship to the Coega IDZ, as deepwater port to service IDZ tenants, has remained constant, as has its role of providing cargo handling capacities beyond the limitations of the existing ports of Port Elizabeth and East London.
Originally planned as a bulk port, it has been adapted for container handling. Ngqura’s current primary role is to target transhipment cargoes, both for East and West African ports, as well as for inter-continental transhipments. In addition, Ngqura will handle container cargoes for the local hinterland, and be positioned to handle overflow Gauteng cargoes should capacity in Durban be exceeded.
In addition to containers, two other categories of potential cargo handling operations will add to the role of the Port of Ngqura. The first is the relocated manganese ore operations from Port Elizabeth, which will catalyse Ngqura’s role as a bulk port. The second is the crude oil import and refined fuel export facilities. The IDZ generated projects, none of which have been finalised, collectively indicate a significant role for Ngqura as a port servicing the CDC’s tenants. Most relevant is potential development of the Mthombo Refinery. 
- Operator: Transnet National Ports Authority
- Location: Ngqura, South Africa
- Existing Capacity (Tonnes): 6 million (all cargo)
- Proposed Capacity (Tonnes): 110 million (projected, all cargo)
- Status: Proposed
- Type: Exports
- Coal Source: Mpumalanga province and the Waterberg region in northern South Africa
- Cost of expansion:
- Financing for expansion:
Transnet National Ports Authority
N2 Neptune Road off Klub Road
Port of Ngqura, 6212
Tel: (27) 041 507 1957
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- "Transnet National Ports Authority Port Development Framework Plans 2014," Transnet report, 2014.
- "EL set to lose coal terminal to Ngqura" DispatchLive, July 1, 2014.